(see also Post: THE HOLY MONTH OF RAMADAN)
In the last decade of Ramadan we celebrated the night of Laylatul Qadr, the most important night of the Islamic calendar, the Night of Destiny (literally the night of honor and nobility, predestination, closeness) of spiritual bliss, the powerful all-night vigil that is worth a thousand months of prayers in which countless angels descend upon us not to leave the smallest space uncovered on earth. It could fall on any of the odd nights in the last 10 days. For this reason the Prophet (saws), was making seclusion (i’tikaf) in the last ten days of Ramadan. If possible the ideal is to make seclusion in the mosque, or at home, observing the odd nights by making extra prayers and practice.
It’s the most powerful night of the year when Allah commands the angels to write our fate for the coming year, it is the night of forgiveness, blessings, and it’s secret, you have to feel it when it comes. Even the master can not reveal when it is. Of course, the official night that is celebrated together is anyway the 27th night of Ramadan, but the real one can be anyone of the odd nights of the last decade: 21st, 23rd, 25th, 27th and 29th night of Ramadan which means:
(the night before) 5th June (=21st Ramadan),
(the night before) 7th June (=23rd Ramadan)
(the night before) 9th June (=25th Ramadan)
(the night before) 11th June (=27th Ramadan)
(the night before) 13rd June (=29th Ramadan)
It’s up to us to feel the right one, but it is usually so powerful that it is hard to miss. it can also be more than one. One sign is that you feel incredibly tired.
It is the night in which the revelation of the holy Qur’an to the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, started. It is a night of prayer, of recitation and listening of the Qur’an, of connection. These are the directions valid in general for all: to perform the prayers, as you know them, and trying to stay as much as possible in sajda (prostration) asking forgiveness.
You can pray from 20 to 100 rakat, do the dhikr, recite the 99 Names and anything else you feel may connect you, even to look at a picture of our master can help in establishing the connection.
It is said that the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, when asked about what prayer to recite in this sacred night, said:
“Allahumma innaka afuwwun Karimun tuhib – bul af -wa – afu anni”
(O Allah, You are the One who grants forgiveness from sins, and loves to forgive. Please forgive me)
To recite Astaghfar as much as possible:
“Astaghfirullah hallazi la-ila-ha illa huwal Hayyul Qayyumu wa atu-bu ilaihi “
( I seek forgiveness from Allah, the Almighty, there is no God except Him, the Existing One and the Eternal, to Him I shall return)
Lailatul Qadr is to be sought in the last 10 nights of Ramadan. There are many sahih hadeeth indicating it could fall on any of the odd nights in the last 10 days. That is why many Muslims follow the example of the Prophet (saws), by making I’tikaf in the last 10 days. For those who are not able to make i’tikaf, they try to observe the odd nights by making extra devotions.