Preparing for Laylatul Qadr! Is there a need

Preparing for Laylatul Qadr! Is there a need

to prepare for Laylatul Qadr?

In order to answer

this, let us define

what the word

'PREPARE' means?

Simply, put it means

to make ready or fit, to bring into a suitable

state, to make one ready for, e.g. when we

want to prepare a meal, or go out for an

event, we must have a GOAL in mind.

As in what is my end result, the final dishor

my final destination where I wish to end up.

And as per the subject under discussion i.e.

"Preparing for Laylatul Qadr" our GOAL is to

take full benefit/make full use of the

BOUNTIES and RAHMA that Allah (SWT)

bestows opens us in this night of

LAYLATUL QADR.

It is important that we first understandthe

significance of LAYLATUL QADR in order

that we know what sort of 'ingredients' are

required for our preparation to reach the

Ultimate Goal which is earning the

pleasure of Allah (SWT).

What is Laylatul Qadr or Night of Power

therefore?

You are all aware of its importance so I will

just briefly re-run through it. In surah Al-

Qadr Allah (SWT) clearly states:

"Surely We revealed it (the Holy Quran) on

the grand night. And what will make you

comprehend what the grand night. The

grand night is better than a thousand

months. The angels and Gabriel descend in

it by the permission of their Lord for every

affair, Peace! It is till the break of the

morning." Holy Quran (97:1-5)

Allah (SWT) is inviting all the believers for a

Divine feast; the invitation which has been

brought by the messengers. Allah (SWT) is

the host, his most favorite angels are the

servants and the believers are the guests.

The table is spread with Divine blessings

containing all sorts of rewards and favors.

Though the eyes cannot see them nor the

ears hear them not the human hearts

imagine them, yet the bounties are all kept

in readiness to be awarded to the guests in

accordance to his/her actions.

Laylatul Qadr is a blessed night because

the Almighty brings down during it

goodness, bliss, and forgiveness for His

servants. It is a feast which has come with a

message that shows one the way to

achieve happiness in both the worlds.

Laylatul Qadr is a feast for the spirit, a feast

of worship and prayers.

Ahadith indicate that the fate of every

believer for the coming year is decreed on

this night. When our Prophet Mohammad

(saw) was asked how man could enjoy the

favors and good grace of proximity to, and

mercy of, Allah (SWT) he quoted Prophet

Moosa / Musa / Moses (peace be upon him)

supplication:

"Oh My God, I seek proximity to You; He

(Allah) said: Proximity to Me is for him who

stays awake on Laylatul Qadr.

Oh My God, I am in need of Your Mercy; He

(Allah) said: My Mercy is for him who shows

mercy to the poor on Laylatul Qadr.

Oh My God, I am in need of the passport to

cross the bridge; He (Allah) said: that is for

him who give alms on Laylatul Qadr.

Oh My God, I am in need of the trees in

Paradise and their fruits; He (Allah) said:

that is for him who seeks forgiveness on

Laylatul Qadr.

Oh My God, I seek deliverance from fire;He

(Allah) said: that is for him who remembers

Allah on Laylatul Qadr.

Oh My God, I seek Your good pleasure; He

(Allah) said: that is for him who says a two

Rakat prayer on Laylatul Qadr."

On another occasion Prophet Moosa / Musa

/ Moses (peace be upon him) said: "Oh My

God, are You far away that I shout at You,

or are You near that I whisper to You?" He

(Allah) said: "O Musa, I am sitting together

with you!"

What do we therefore have to remind

ourselves about Laylatul Qadr?

We have to remind

ourselves about

Laylatul Qadr that is:

A unique once in a

year opportunity to

do a life times worth of activity.

A once in a year occasion for influencing

our future destiny - "QADR" - Taqdeer.

Full of long lasting blessings.

The night of unsurpassed grandeur when

the absolute Grand God revealed the

Grand Quran through the Grand Wahy -

Jibreel into the heart of the Grand Prophet

Mohammad (saw).

The Ma'sumeen have explained to us that

God in his infinite wisdom had planned the

system of the universe in such a way that

every persons destiny will be determined

on a yearly basis in the angelic spheres

through the agency of the Imam of the

age. Who is the leader and focus of the

whole spiritual world this gives MANKIND a

unique opportunity to influence his own

future (gain, loss, health, sickness, richness,

poverty, etc by performing certain acts,e.g.

Dua, Salat, Sadaqah, Jihad, acquiring

knowledge, Holy Quran recitation etc.

The night when the whole multitude of

angels and the Great Spirit (Ruh) descend

on earth, greeting and praying for the

believers and conveying messages to the

Imam of age.

Do we than still need to PREPARE

OURSELVES FOR LAYLATUL QADR after

knowing its significance?

Yes, Let us imagine for a moment that we

are invited for a special feast by the

president of our country, who also tells us

in advance that he is going to reward us

with magnificent gifts as per the way we

present and behave ourselves during the

feast - What would we do?

After the initial euphoria, we would leave

no stone unturned to present ourselves in

the best possible manner. Preparations of

what to wear, how to get there, what will I

speak with the president. If I have to go

through his secretary what will I say to him,

what sort of gifts will I take with me, what

sort of conversation I have with him, all this

and more will be thought about, rehearsed

and re-rehearsed. Correct me if I am wrong!

All this 'tension' in honor of an invitation

from the President of a country. Laylatul

Qadr is an invitation form the President of

all Presidents, The Supreme One. Do we

need to make preparations for this night?

Undoubtedly, we must start our

preparations way ahead of time, after all

going by human nature (Fitra), there is

more than profit that can be got from this

feast of Laylatul Qadr unless out of sheer

carelessness we end up amongst those

negligent and idle ones, who do not

achieve anything except tiredness, loss and

eternal doom, who will gain nothing

except regret and cry out aloud on the day

of Reckoning:

"Ah! Woe is me! In that I neglected (my

duty) towards Allah." - Holy Quran (39:56)

What sorts of Pre-preparations are needed

before the advent of this grand Laylatul

Qadr?

Jibreel was asked; "What has the Almighty

Allah (SWT) done on this night with the

wishes of the believers among the nation

of Prophet Mohammad (saw)?" He

answered, "The Almighty Allah (SWT) has

looked upon them on this night and

forgiven them, all of them, except the

following: "One who is addicted to

drinking, One who severs his ties with his

kin, and One who is a trouble-maker."

We have been advised to beseech Allah

(SWT) during the whole year before the

arrival of the Night of Power or Laylatul

Qadr, to keep us alive for this night:

To bestow upon us the Tawfiq to remain

vigilant during this night and pray for

blessings and forgiveness.

To bless us that we are able to do the best

of deeds on this night.

To comprehend fully the importance of this

night which is superior to one thousand

months.

To pray that we can become one of the

favorites of Allah (SWT) and be blessed with

His love, learning, nearness, union,

pleasure, together with health, happiness,

and welfare.

To yearn and act so that Allah (SWT) beso

pleased with us in such a manner, that after

this night He would never be displeasedus

again.

To pray that our Aimma especially the

Imam-ul-Asr (as) be pleased with us

intercede on our behalf.

How to prepare oneself for The Night of

Power (Laylatul Qadr)?

(I) Preparing Mentally

Strive to keep Allah (SWT) at the fore of

one's mind the whole night long.

All the Ibadah (worship) done should be

recited in the state of being completely

awake, aware, conscious, and with a live

heart. If one feels that one will not be able

to concentrate then start reciting from now

"We are from Allah and towards Him is our

return." - Holy Quran (2:156) for it is

considered as a tragedy if one can not in

this night receive the divine grace in

supplications. "Their prayers ascend

upwards and reaches Allah (SWT), their

words are accepted, and Allah (SWT) loves

to listen to their prayers the way a mother

likes her own child."

Is not it shameful that the prayers which

ascend upwards should be recited from

the tip of the tongue, while the heart and

soul remain occupied in worldly affairs?

Many a times, one

feels that one cannot

'properly' perform a

certain Ibadah and

so decided to forgo

it. One should not do listen to this 'waswas'

instead, one should perform it and more,

for acceptance lies in the Hand of the

Mercy of Allah (SWT).

(II) Preparing Physically

For worshipping in this night a suitable

place, dress, and perfume should be

arranged in advance (comfortable dress

which does not distract us).

Paying alms during this night - to the

people who really deserve financial

support.

Follow the translation of the Duas in order

to understand what you are reciting forlutf

is only got when one knows what one is

reciting.

(III) Preparing Spiritually

Increase ones eagerness for receiving the

promised bounties and blessings.

Select worships and deeds which are more

in harmony with ones mood.

When one stands for prayer, or any other

Ibadah, to briefly spare a moment to think

about the wisdom of that action/its

meaning etc for e.g. Why am I standing

towards Makkah? To realize that when I

stand on my two feet, it indicates my hope

and fear about the acceptance of my

worship.

Resorting (Tawassul) to Ahlul Bayt (as) -

With persistence, supplicating in a polite

and soft manner, with words and content

arousing their sympathies, should beseech

them for bestowing upon us the grace of

being vigilant during this night.

Crying and Shedding Tears: that during

these nights ones fear, humility, tears,

crying, anguish and lamentation be

increased as much as possible. The Learned

Scholar Hajj Mirza Javad Agha Maliki Tabrizi

(ra) in his book (Suluk-i Arifan) Spiritual

Journey of the Mystics tell us that One of

the best method is that one should tie

ones hands around ones neck; should pour

dirt upon ones head; should place ones

head against a wall; sometimes one should

stand and sometimes one should cry;

should imagine oneself at the scene of

Judgment Day; and the way sinners are

rebuked with harshness, then one should

imagine and be scared least Allah (the

Glorious, the Exalted) orders: "Lay hold on

him, then put a chain on him, then cast him

into the burning fire, then thrust him into a

chain the length of which is seventy

cubits." - Holy Quran (69:30-32)

Then one should cry: "O' Thou are the most

compassionate, and Thou Who are the

shelter of unsheltered ones!" "Where is

Your vast blessing? Where is Your infinite

forgiveness? Where are Your love and

benevolence?" Ask for forgiveness of past

sins in the most appealing manner with a

promise to try never to return to the sins

again - a TAWBA in every sense of the word

Present ones requests before the Almighty

Allah (SWT) with full hope that they will be

answered.

Prophet Mohammad (saw) when asked

what one should invoke Allah (SWT) during

these nights, said: "Ask for your safety (here

and in the hereafter)"