Seeking Power, Bad Habits, Weeping
Issue 496 » September 26, 2008 - Ramadan 26, 1429
Al-Qadr (The Power)
Chapter 97: Verse 3
Laylat ul-Qadr is the most blessed night. A person who misses it has indeed missed a great amount of good. If a believing person is zealous to obey his Lord and increase the good deeds in his record, he should strive to encounter this night and to pass it in worship and obedience. If this is facilitated for him, all of his previous sins will be forgiven.
There is no consensus of the Ummah over when the night of Qadr occurs. Imam Razi has a few novel points to offer on why that is the case:
Allah concealed its knowledge from His slaves since His rida (approval and pleasure) is concealed in devotions to Him, and in concealment of the night is the cause of increase in devotions. This is following His general method: He concealed His friend (waliyy) among the people in order that all people might be respected; He concealed His response to supplications in order that they might resort to it oftener; He concealed His Great Name (Al-Ism al-A'zam [some scholars believe that Allah is the Ism al-A'zam. YMFN ED]) in order that all of His Names might be revered; He concealed the accepted prayer in order the people pay special attention to every Prayer; He concealed the time of death in order that the people never be oblivious of it.
Again if the night of Qadr been known, the sins of the sinners in that night would have weighed heavily upon them, since, to commit sins on a known blessed occasion is greater in enormity than when committed on the same blessed occasion but without the sinner knowing that it is a blessed occasion.
Three Ways to Seek Laylat ul-Qadr
1. Performing Night Prayer (Qiyam)
It is recommended to make a long night prayer during the nights on which Laylat ul-Qadr could fall. This is indicated in many hadiths, such as the following:
Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger (peace be upon him) said: "Whoever stands (in qiyam) in Laylat ul-Qadr [and it is facilitated for him] out of faith and expectation (of Allah's reward), will have all of his previous sins forgiven." [Al-Bukhari, Muslim, Ahmad]
2. Making Supplications
It is also recommended to make extensive supplication on this night. Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) reported that she asked Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him), "O Messenger of Allah! If I knew which night is Laylat ul-Qadr, what should I say during it?" And he instructed her to say: 'Allahumma innaka afuwwun tuhibbul afwa fafu annee - O Allah! You are forgiving, and you love to forgive. So forgive me.'" [Recorded by Ahmad, Ibn Majah, and at-Tirmithi. Verified to be authentic by Al-Albani]
3. Abandoning Worldly Pleasures for the Sake of Worship
It is further recommended to spend more time in worship during the nights on which Laylat ul-Qadr is likely to be. This calls for abandoning many worldly pleasures in order to secure the time and thoughts solely for worshipping Allah. Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) reported: "When the (last) ten started, the Prophet (peace be upon him) would tighten his izaar (i.e. he stayed away from his wives in order to have more time for worship), spend the whole night awake (in prayer), and wake up his family." [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
"Tafsir Ishraq al-Ma'ani" - Syed Iqbal Zaheer
“How to Seek Laylat ul-Qadr” – Muhammad Nasir-ud-Deen al-Albani
Replacing Bad Habits
Completely eliminating a habit is more challenging than replacing it with a more productive habit. Moreover, it’s crucial to replace the lost natural needs, such as the need to socialize and to be entertained with something healthy.
For instance, it’s easier to replace or balance your addiction to TV with a physical workout or reading, than to suddenly remove the TV from your life. Interestingly, Prophet Muhammad, the greatest ‘psychologist’ of humanity, illustrated this principle in these words:
“Fear Allah wherever you may be; follow up an evil deed with a good one which will wipe (the former) out, and behave good-naturedly towards people.” [At-Tirmidhi]
"16 Proven Techniques to Help You Kick Bad Habits" - TorontoMuslims.com
Weeping During Recitation
It is an attribute of those with profound knowledge of God, and a distinguishing feature of God's righteous devotees. God Most High said, They fall down upon their faces weeping, and it increases them in humility (Quran 17: 109).
Many hadiths and accounts from the Righteous Forebears have been related concerning this. Among them is from the Prophet, peace be upon him, himself: "Read the Quran and weep. If you do not weep, cause yourself to weep." [Ibn Majah]
Umar ibn al-Khattab, may Allah be pleased with him, prayed the Morning Prayer in congregation and read Surat Yusuf. He wept until his tears flowed over his collarbone.
Imam Abu Hamid al-Ghazali said, "Weeping is recommended while reciting [the Quran] or witnessing [its recitation]." He said, "The way to achieve this is by bringing sadness to mind by pondering the threats and warnings, the covenants and agreements that it contains, and then contemplating one's shortcomings with their regard. If this does not bring to mind sadness and weeping, as it does with elite worshippers, then one should weep from the lack of it, since it is among the greatest of calamities." [Ihy Ulum al-Din]
"Etiquette with the Quran" - Imam al-Nawawi, pg. 45