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How to Prepare for Laylatul Qadr

by in Ramadan on 30th March, 2024

The last ten nights of Ramadan are upon us and it is time to gear up for the final stretch. It is a time to seek the most powerful night of the year, Laylatul Qadr, a night better than a thousand months. A night of worship and du’a, a chance to gain Allah’s favour and blessings, and an opportunity to change what was written for us in the al-Lawh Al-Mahfuz, The Preserved Tablet. This Tablet was written by the Pen, created 50,000 years before the heavens and the earth. Allah (SWT) calls it al-Lawh Al-Mahfuz because it’s protected from any change. Everything that would have happened, that has happened, and will happen is written there.

Ubadah b. al Samit said to his son :

I heard the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) say: “The first thing Allah created was the pen. He said to it: ‘Write.’ It asked: ‘What should I write, my Lord?’ He said: ‘Write what was decreed about everything till the Last Hour comes.’” (Abu Dawud)

The Prophet (ﷺ) explained that this means our lives and our destiny was written for us 50,000 years before the creation of heavens and earth and long before we were created as mankind. 

However, there is one night in the whole year when Allah (SWT) invites us to the planning process of our lives. Scholars have explained that this is the night in which a person’s sustenance, lifespan, and other critical matters would be sealed for the coming year. Al-Hasan Al-Basri, Mujahid, and Qatadah — three renowned early Muslim scholars, shared this view and were reported to have said that “all the affairs of lifespan, deeds, creation, and provision are decreed on Laylatul Qadr in the month of Ramadan and will come to pass in the coming year.”

There is no night better than this one if we spend it well in worship and duas. The reward equals approximately 83 years of worship, which means we can attain the rewards of an entire lifetime. 

“Indeed, We revealed [the Qur’an] during the Night of Decree. And what can make you know what is the Night of Decree? The Night of Decree is better than a thousand months. The angels and the Spirit descend therein by permission of their Lord for every matter. Peace it is until the emergence of dawn.” (Surah al-Qadr 97:1-5)

Our destiny may have been written, our lives may have been mapped out; but as told by Allah (SWT) and His beloved Prophet (ﷺ), some parts of our predestination (qadr) can be changed with the power of du’a.

Supplications made with sincerity to Allah (SWT) have the power to alter our destiny. Moreover, even if our du’as go unanswered in this world, these du’as are then either written in our book of good deeds which we are rewarded for in the Hereafter, or they avert a calamity or difficult situations about to happen to us.

The Prophet (ﷺ) said:

“Nothing can change the Divine decree except du’a.” (Tirmidhi)

“Allah changes what He wills and establishes what He wills.” (Surah Ar-Ra’d 39:13)

Laylatul Qadr is an incredible opportunity and gift from Allah for us to ask Him to change our decree for the better through our prayers, deeds and du’as. It is an open invitation from Allah (SWT) to ask Him of anything we are in need of – for ourselves, our parents, our health, wealth, our children, for the duniya and the akhirah, and ultimately for His mercy and forgiveness.

Narrated Abu Huraira (may Allah be pleased with him):

The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Whoever fasted the month of Ramadan out of sincere Faith (i.e. belief) and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his past sins will be forgiven, and whoever stood for the prayers in the night of Qadr out of sincere Faith and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven.” (Bukhari)

Can you imagine gaining a clean slate to start afresh? This is the night that gives us the chance to change the course of our entire lives and the afterlife.

In order to make the most of Laylatul Qadr, we must prepare ourselves accordingly. So how do we ensure that we are utilising our time properly and making the best of the Night of Power? Here are some tips as per the prophetic sunnah to help you prepare.

1. Set a Routine

The Prophet (ﷺ) used to do specific deeds during the last ten days of Ramadan that he did not do at any other time of the same month. 

‘A’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, said, “The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) used to strive hard (in worship) during the last ten days of Ramadan in a way that he did not strive at any other time.” (Muslim)

Try to be consistent with your routine during these last ten nights by making sincere niyyah (intention) to seek Laylatul Qadr. Before Iftar, freshen up and wear clean clothes with the intention to stand in front of the Lord of the Worlds in your best state and a clean heart. If you can’t go to the masjid for Taraweeh or Qiyam-ul-Layl, create a calm and quiet prayer corner in your home, returning to the same spot every night as you engage in worshipping Allah (SWT). 

Intend for lofty goals purely for the sake of Allah (SWT), even if you cannot bring them into action every night, He will inshaAllah reward you for your intentions.

2. Balance and Assess your Direct and Indirect Ibadah (Worship)

Assessing your direct ibadah versus indirect ibadah can help you understand what to put your time and energy into during Laylatul Qadr. By evaluating both, you can ensure you have the correct balance.

Direct ibadah includes acts of worship, such as offering voluntary and obligatory prayers, making du’as, reciting and reflecting on the Qur’an, or performing Taraweeh, among others. Indirect ibadah involves the beneficial work you do in service to others and the community. This can include acts of charity, volunteering, helping those in need, or even fulfilling your responsibilities in your professional or personal life with sincerity and integrity.

While indirect ibadah is important, try prioritising direct ibadah during these blessed nights as strengthening your relationship with Allah (SWT) requires focusing on direct acts of worship, particularly prayer and seeking forgiveness from Allah (SWT) over past mistakes. Indirect ibadah can be reserved for during the day time or another in or outside of Ramadan. 

  1. Create a Simple Plan

It was narrated that ‘A’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, said, “With the start of the last ten days of Ramadan, the Prophet (ﷺ) used to tighten his waist belt (i.e. work hard) and used to pray all the night, and used to keep his family awake for the prayers..” (Bukhari)

The sunnah establishes that this is definitely not the time to be complacent. Try writing down a list of goals a day before Laylatul Qadr starts. Avoid complicated lists and factor in the amount of time you will have each night. The main aim should be to create a list that inspires and encourages you to do your best and includes the fundamental acts of worship as done by the sunnah of the Prophet (ﷺ).

The Prophet (ﷺ) used to stay awake, spending the night in prayer, supplicating to Allah Almighty, seeking His forgiveness.

4. Plan your Prayers

  • Congregational Prayers

You might plan Isha and Taraweeh prayers at the mosque but try praying the following Fajr Salah in congregation as well for which the rewards are immense.

It was narrated that `Uthman bin `Affan said:

The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: “Whoever prays `Isha` in congregation, it will be like spending half the night in prayer (qiyam) and whoever prays `Isha` and Fajr in congregation, it will be like spending the whole night in prayer. (Qiyam ul Layl).” (Musnad Ahmad)

This year, why not plan with a group of friends to go to the masjid, bring snacks and water and engage in Qiyam-ul-Layl, while encouraging each other to do more. 

  • Voluntary Prayers

Between the Isha and the Fajr prayer, you can pray two rakah Nafl prayers with specific intentions. For example, two rakah Salat al Taubah (prayer of repentance) or 2 rakah Salat al Shukr (prayer of thankfulness), and so on. You can also make the intention to make up any missed prayers throughout your life.

Breaking up your Nafl prayers with specific intentions can help bring a special focus and sweetness to our prayers as each one becomes meaningful and measured.

5. Make a Du’a List

Apart from the Quranic and Prophetic du’as, write down a personalised du’a list for the night that is only between you and Allah (SWT). Pour out every frustration, obstacle, challenge and hurt you are facing. This will ensure your du’as are heartfelt and earnest. 

Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) reported:

I asked: “O Messenger of Allah! If I realise Laylatul Qadr (Night of Power), what should I supplicate in it?” He (ﷺ) replied, “You should supplicate: Allahumma innaka ‘afuwwun, tuhibbul-‘afwa, fa’fu ‘anni (O Allah, You are Most Forgiving, and You love forgiveness; so forgive me).” (Tirmidhi)

  اللْهُمَّ إِنَّكَ عَفُوٌّ تُحِبُّ الْعَفْوَ فَاعْفُعَنِّي

Allahumma innaka `afuwwun tuhibbul `afwa fa`fu `annee

“O Allah, You are Most Forgiving, and You love forgiveness; so forgive me.”

This is the most important dua of Laylatul Qadr, so be sure to recite this often throughout the night.

Also include the vulnerable and the oppressed brothers and sisters around the world in your du’as. Our Ummah is hurting in many places, Palestine, Sudan, Congo, Ughyur Muslims, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kashmir and so on, facing persecution and Islamophobia. For every du’a you make for your fellow Muslims, the angels say ‘Ameen and same for you’.

Abu Dharr reported that Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said:

“There is no believing servant who supplicates for his brother behind his back (in his absence) that the Angels do not say: The same be for you too.” (Muslim)

Additionally, have complete faith that Al-Mujeeb (The Answerer of Prayers) will respond. As-Sami (The All Hearing) is listening, His doors are open for you, just ask. Du’a on this night has the greatest power to change decree, hence the night is both the Night of Power and the Night of Decree. 

But most importantly, make du’a for Allah (SWT) to grant you Laylatul Qadr and all the blessings and mercy that come with it. Ameen.

You can also read these articles to help you to write your dua list:

The Etiquettes of Making Dua: How to Get Your Prayers Answered

Allah’s Names and How to Use them in Duas

10 Duas to Know for Ramadan and Laylatul Qadr

6. Recite the Quran

The night begins with Maghrib Adhan as soon as you open your fast. In order to ground yourself and begin the night properly, you can recite the Quran and reflect on the verses of Surah Al ‘Alaq revealed on Laylatul Qadr after praying Maghrib Salah, just like the scholars used to do. You can also read Surah Qadr, reflecting on its meaning and reminding yourself of the importance of this night.

You can also read tafseer with the intention of understanding the message of Allah (SWT) or like many others, intend to complete a Khatam on one of the odd nights of Ramadan.

Narrated `Aisha:

Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “Search for the Night of Qadr in the odd nights of the last ten days of Ramadan.” (Bukhari)

7. Be mindful of what you eat and drink

Last but not the least, try having nutritious meals during the days leading up to the last ten nights, keep yourself hydrated during non-fasting hours and plan short power naps during the day; all with the intention of having energy to carry out sustained ibadah throughout these precious nights. Ensure that you do not overeat or overindulge in a way that may disrupt your ibadah.

As we enter these blessed last ten nights, may we all try our best to seek out Laylat al Qadr and find the goodness of it. May Allah (SWT) accept all our efforts and du’as and may He bless us with Laylatul Qadr. Ameen.

Amaliah Team

Amaliah Team

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