This Ramadhan is very different as this year we are facing the deadly covid-19 global pandemic and following the social isolation laws. It seems disheartening, but an ideal time for reflection. It is the time to make a deep connection with Allah through our prayers. Now only few days are left and we are advancing towards the most pious and blessed night the Shab e Qadr, also known as Laylatul Qadr. This night is for repentance of the sins and there is no other night that is equivalent in sacredness to this night that falls in the last ten days of Ramadan and within those days it is in the odd nights of the Ashra.
In Quran, Allah says: "Verily, We have sent it (this Quran) down in the night of Al-Qadr (Decree)." (97:1).
From this ayah of Quran it is very cear that the biggest virtue associated with Laylat ul Qadr is that in this night Allah bestowed Quran upon humanity the best gift of Allah. Allah sent down his biggest gift upon Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in this blessed night. It is mandatory for us to celebrate this blessed night. The best way to celebrate this very blessed night would be to recite and understand the holy Quran.
In another ayah of Quran, Allah (SWT) says: "The night of Al-Qadr (Decree) is better than a thousand months (i.e. worshipping Allah in that night is better than worshipping Him a thousand months, i.e. 83 years and 4 months)." (97:3)
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) also spoke about this Night in one of his hadiths in the following way: "Whoever offers Salah on the night of Qadr with sincere faith and hope for a reward from Allah (SWT), all his previous sins will be forgiven."(Bukhari)
This hadith again glorifies on the great virtues of Laylatul Qadr. This hadith tells that this night is the best option for a person to seek forgiveness for previous sins. So it is very mandatory to worship with sincere heart and seek forgiveness from Allah,. Therefore, Laylatul Qadr is best weapon for seeking forgiveness from Allah (SWT).
Preparation of this blessed night in the current scenario of Covid 19
As we are going through the tough times due to deadly covid-19 pandemic, all the mosques are closed but the doors of blessings from Allah (SWT) are open for all of us. The closure of our mosques in no way closes our doors to seek Allah's blessings.
In a Hadith-e-Qudsi, Rasulullah (S.A.W) mentioned that Allah (SWT) said:
"Whoever comes close to me by the length of a hand, I will be close to him by the length of an arm. Whoever comes to me by foot, I will approach him by greatest speed. Whoever meets me with unlimited sins to fill the earth, not accompanied any entity with me, I will meet him with as much forgiveness." (Hadith by Imam Muslim)
So we have to worship and seek forgiveness from almighty at our homes by:
Reciting and comprehending Quran with meaning: The recitation of Holy Quran can be a great means of worship in the blessed night. In addition to reciting Quran and receiving reward against every word of it, we should also need to reflect on the words of Quran as it can unfold the lessons of almighty for the whole humanity. By understanding the meaning we will also grasp the true purpose of why the particular verses were revealed and what message they entail.
Dua/Prayer for Laylatul Qadr:
Now second essential thing we can make special for this occasion. Pertaining to the special Dua to make during the Laylatul Qadr, Aaishah (RA) reported that she asked Allah's Messenger (PBUH):
"O Messenger of Allah! (SAW), If I knew which night is Laylatul-Qadr, what should I say during it?" Noble Prophet (SAW) advised her to recite:
"Allahumma Innaka afuwwun Tuhibbul Afwa fa'fu Annee "
O Allah! You are forgiving, and you love forgiveness. So forgive me.(Tirmidhi)
It is mandatory for us that we endeavor for finding the Laylatul Qadr during the last ten days of Ramadhan and in all the odd nights of the last ten days, and seek forgiveness from Allah Almighty with the truest intention. Insha Allah we will be among the blessed ones.
Gowhar Rashid is a researcher at SKIMS, Srinagar