Questions related to Ramadan

3

What is the purpose of fasting?

Allah the Almighty states in the Holy Quran:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ

 “Fasting is prescribed for you, as it was prescribed for those before you, so that you may become righteous.” (Surah al-Baqarah, Ch.2: V.184)

Fasting is a way to mend one’s soul by leaving one’s own desires for Allah. It nourishes the believer in almost every area of their spiritual life. A person becomes aware and personally experiences what hunger, poverty, loneliness and discomforts mean to the less fortunate sections of society. As a result, a person abstains from performing bad deeds and strives to do good works during Ramadan.

The Holy Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

“Whoever wakes up in the middle of the night and offers prayer with the intention of reward and to fulfil the demand of belief, and fasts, his previous sins are forgiven.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab as-Saum)

Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih IIra states:

“The purpose of fasting is not to starve. If one could enter Paradise by starvation, then in my view, disbelievers and hypocrites would be ready to do so, as it is not so difficult. In reality, the challenging thing is moral and spiritual transformation. People starve themselves for the most trivial of matters; prisoners go on hunger strikes; Brahmans famously stop eating when they are not listened to. Thus, it is nothing extraordinary to remain hungry, nor is it the purpose of Ramadan.

“Ramadan’s actual purpose is to abstain from everything for Allah during this month and fasting is a way of expressing that one can leave every right for Allah. Eating, drinking, conjugal relationships between a husband and wife, etc. are all rights of a person; whosoever leaves these rights, shows that they are ready to leave their rights for Allah.” (Al Fazl, 17 December 1966)

As fasting is a source of spiritual elevation, there are physical benefits to it as well which include good health, patience and strength to bear hardships.

How should one keep fasts?

Allah the Almighty states in the Holy Quran:

وَكُلُوْا وَاشْرَبُوْا حَتّٰى يَتَبَيَّنَ لَكُمُ الْخَيْطُ الْأَبْيَضُ مِنَ الْخَيْطِ الْأَسْوَدِ مِنَ الْفَجْرِ

“And eat and drink until the white thread becomes distinct to you from the black thread of the dawn.” (Surah al-Baqarah, Ch.2: V.188)

In order to fast, one should eat and drink before the time of Fajr, which is called sehri (or sahoor).

The Holy Prophetsa said:

“Eat sehri because there are blessings in eating sehri.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab as-Saum)

However, if someone has the intention to fast but happens to wake up late without deliberation and the time for sehri is over, it is permissible to keep fast without eating sehri.

Intention is also mandatory for keeping fasts. A person who wishes to observe the fast must have the intention to fast.

The Holy Prophetsa said:

“Whoever does not have the intention of fasting before morning, he has no fast.” (Jami‘ at-Tirmidhi, Kitab as-Saum)

Although words are not necessary to show the intention of fast, but traditionally the following words are expressed after eating sehri:

وَبِصَوْمِ غَدٍ نَّوَيْتُ مِنْ شَهْرِ رَمَضَانَ

 “I hereby express my intention to keep the fast of tomorrow during the month of Ramadan.”

Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra states:

“For fasting, intention is necessary. Without it, there is no reward. Intention is from the heart. One is allowed to eat and drink until they see light from the eastern horizon. If one takes precautions and is later told that daybreak has already happened, his fast will still remain. The time span between eating and Fajr prayer for the Holy Prophetsa was equal to the time spent on reciting 50 verses.” (Al Fazl, 28 July 1914)

However, if someone intends to fast throughout the month of Ramadan but forgets to make a proper intention for a fast or two, this won’t affect their fast. Also, if there is a valid excuse – for instance, they are mistakenly informed about the appearance of the moon of Ramadan after Fajr time and they have not eaten anything – they may still make the intention of the fast and it will count.

How should one break their fast?

Allah the Almighty states in the Holy Quran:

ثُمَّ أَتِمُّوا الصِّيَامَ إِلَى اللَّيْلِ

“Then complete the fast till nightfall.” (Surah al-Baqarah, Ch.2: V.188)

It was the practice of the Holy Prophetsa to open a fast with a date, milk or simple water. The Holy Prophetsa said:

“When one wants to open a fast, they should open it with a date because there are blessings in it. If this is not available, then open it with water because it is a very pure thing.” (Jami‘ at-Tirmidhi, Kitab as-Saum)

The prayer for opening the fast is:

اَللّٰهُمَّ اِنِّی لَکَ صُمْتُ وَبِکَ اٰمَنْتُ وَعَلَيْکَ تَوَکَلَّتُ وَعَلٰی رِزْقِکَ اَفْطَرْتُ

“O Allah, I observed the fast for Your sake. I believe in You and I put my trust in You and I end the fast with what You have provided me.”

According to the sayings of the Holy Prophetsa, it is essential that one should break their fast immediately after sunset. Prolonging it beyond this point is not acceptable. The Holy Prophetsa said:

“My people will adhere to good as long as they hasten to break their fast [at the fixed time].” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab as-Saum)

Who is fasting obligatory for?

Allah the Almighty states in the Holy Quran:

شَهْرُ رَمَضَانَ الَّذِيْ أُنْزِلَ فِيْهِ الْقُرْآنُ هُدًى لِّلنَّاسِ وَبَيِّنَاتٍ مِّنَ الْهُدَى وَالْفُرْقَانِ فَمَنْ شَهِدَ مِنْكُمُ الشَّهْرَ فَلْيَصُمْهُ

“The month of Ramadan is that in which the Quran was sent down as a guidance for mankind with clear proofs of guidance and discrimination. Therefore, whosoever of you is present [at home] in this month, let him fast therein.” (Surah al-Baqarah, Ch.2: V.186)

During the month of Ramadan, the observance of fasts is mandatory upon every adult Muslim man and woman who is healthy, muqim (stationary, not travelling) and able to fast.

Only those have been given exemption who are sick or travelling etc. Such people can complete their fasts later. Those who are suffering from a chronic illness, are weak or a woman who is pregnant or breastfeeding etc. and are incapable of fasting, as compensation during the rest of the year, can offer fidya (feeding of a poor man). This is stated in the Holy Quran by Allah the Almighty:

فَمَنْ كَانَ مِنْكُمْ مَّرِيضًا أَوْ عَلَىٰ سَفَرٍ فَعِدَّةٌ مِّنْ أَيَّامٍ أُخَرَ ۚ وَعَلَى الَّذِينَ يُطِيْقُوْنَهُ فِدْيَةٌ طَعَامُ مِسْكِيْنٍ

“And whoso among you is sick or is on a journey [shall fast] the same number of other days; and for those who are able to fast [only] with great difficulty is an expiation – the feeding of a poor man.” (Surah al-Baqarah, Ch.2: V.185)

Regarding the fasting of children, it should be kept in mind that they should be trained to observe fasts through a gradual process. Owing to the atmosphere of devotion to values of faith, at a very early stage they begin to exhibit an eagerness to keep fasts, but parents should restrain young children from observing entire fasts too frequently as this can affect their growth. Children may be permitted to keep one or two fasts as a practice before they become fully mature to observe mandatory fasts. 

What is the guidance for those who deliberately abstain from fasting?

Allah the Almighty states in the Holy Quran:

وَأَنْ تَصُوْمُوْا خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ

“Fasting is good for you.” (Surah al-Baqarah, Ch.2: V.185)

Fasting is one of the pillars of Islam. One should be extremely cautious and watchful regarding the fasting of Ramadan. If someone consciously refrains from fasting without any excuse and cares not about the command of Allah the Almighty, they may not ever be able to make up for this mistake, even if they fast for the rest of their lives. It means every person upon whom it is mandatory to fast must take the fasting of Ramadan seriously.

The Holy Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him,said:

“Anyone who does not fast on any of the days of Ramadan without lawful excuse or illness will never be able to ransom the loss even if he fasts for the rest of his life.” (Musnad Darimi, Baab Man aftara yauman min Ramadan muta‘amidan)

The terms “illness” or “journey” are not defined by the Holy Quran because they are left to be defined by common usage of the people and the attending circumstances. If doctors do not recommend fasting, one must refrain from fasting.

Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih IIra states:

“In my opinion there are some people who take fasting as something trivial and leave it due to minor excuses. At times, they possess a thought that they will become sick and abstain from fasting, even though there is no excuse to quit fasting, with only the mere thought that they will become sick. One can leave fasting only in the condition that they are sick, and sick to the extent that fasting is harmful. It is unacceptable for a person experiencing a sickness which has no risk through fasting to not fast.” (Al Fazl, 11 April 1925)

What is the status of one who fasts?

Fasting spiritually elevates the status of a believer and draws the love of Allah the Almighty for His creation. The Holy Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him,said:

“Allah declares that each act of man is for himself, apart from fasting. Fasting is for Allah and Allah alone is its reward.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab al-Saum)

Fasting helps a person wash away their previous sins and come closer to Allah the Almighty. The Holy Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him,said:

“Whoever wakes up in the middle of the night and offers prayer with the intention of reward, fulfilling the demand of belief, and fasts, their previous sins are forgiven.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab as-Saum)

Allah the Almighty begins to love that person who restrains from drinking, eating and sexual desires etc., thereby pardoning their earlier mistakes and errors, making them pure like a new born child. The Holy Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him,said:

“By the Being in whose hands is the life of Muhammad! The odour from the mouth of a person fasting is much more pure and pleasant than that of kasturi [deer’s scent].” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab as-Saum)

Explaining the following verse of the Holy Quran:

شَهْرُ رَمَضَانَ الَّذِيْ أُنْزِلَ فِيْهِ الْقُرْآنُ

“The month of Ramadan is that in which the Quran was sent down” (Surah al-Baqarah, Ch.2: V.186), Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the Promised Messiahas states:

“This verse indicates the greatness of the month of Ramadan. The sufis have recorded that this is a good month for the illumination of the heart. The one who observes fasts has frequent experience of visions in this month. Salat purifies the spirit and the fast illuminates the heart. The purification of the spirit means that one may be delivered from the passions of the self that incites to evil; and the illumination of the heart means that the gates of vision may be opened so that one may be able to behold God.” (Malfuzat, Vol. IV, pp. 256-257)

What renders a fast invalid?

A fast is broken by eating, drinking or conjugal relationships between a husband and wife. It is also broken by bleeding profusely, either by accident or illness, or by vomiting deliberately.

If someone accidently breaks a fast of Ramadan, there is no sin, but they will have to make up for the fast later. However, if a person mistakenly eats or drinks and immediately or after some time realises that they were fasting, then there is no sin in it.

It is stated by the Holy Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him:

“Whoever forgets that they are fasting and eats or drinks, then they should still complete their fast. It is only Allah who fed him and gave him drink.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab as-Saum)

During Ramadan, if a woman’s menstrual cycle begins, she should stop fasting and make up for the missed fasts later.

The fatwa (verdict) for those who break the fast of Ramadan deliberately, being compelled by an inner desire or a sudden burst of feelings, can be found in the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him.

It is pointed out in Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab al-Saum that whoever breaks a fast of Ramadan on purpose must fast the one missed, plus 60 consecutive fasts. If one cannot fast, then they must feed 60 poor people, either together or separately. Or, they can feed one person for 60 days or give the required amount in money. If one cannot feed anyone, then they should beseech the mercy and blessings of Allah.

What is the guidance about fasting during a journey or illness?

Allah the Almighty states in the Holy Quran:

فَمَنْ كَانَ مِنْكُمْ مَّرِيضًا أَوْ عَلَىٰ سَفَرٍ فَعِدَّةٌ مِّنْ أَيَّامٍ أُخَرَ

“And whoso among you is sick or is on a journey [shall fast] the same number of other days.” (Surah al-Baqarah, Ch.2: V.185)

The above-mentioned Quranic injunction clearly states that one should refrain from fasting during a journey or in sickness and make up the lost count on other days.

Hazrat Amrra ibn Umayyah reported, “I came to the Holy Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, from a journey and he said, ‘Stay, so that we can eat, O Abu Umayyah.’ I said, ‘I am fasting.’ The Holy Prophet Muhammadsa said, ‘Come close to me and I will tell you about the traveler. Surely, Allah Almighty has relieved him from fasting and half of the prayer.’” (Sunan al-Nasai, Kitab as-Saum)

It should be noted here that we find certain sayings of the Holy Prophetsa which show that he did sometimes fast whilst travelling but this happened only when he was keeping voluntary fasts and not the fasts of Ramadan.

Hazrat Jabirra relates that once, the Holy Prophetsa was on a journey and he saw a crowd around a person over whom a shade had been erected. The Holy Prophetsa asked “What is the matter?” to which the people replied that the man was fasting. The Holy Prophetsa said, “It is no virtue to keep a fast while travelling.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab as-Saum)

The Promised Messiahas states:

“Whosoever fasts in Ramadan during sickness or journey clearly disobeys the command of God. God has clearly said that the sick and travellers should not fast. A sick person should fast after recovering from sickness and the traveller should fast after completing the journey. This injunction should be heeded for repentance is through the grace of Allah and not by a forceful exhibition of one’s physical strength. God has not specified what the length of the journey should be, nor has he set a criterion for the degree of sickness. The injunction is general and thus, if a person keeps a fast, they are succumbing to transgression against the command of God.” (Badr, 17 October 1907, p.7)

Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra writes that Mian Fazl Muhammad Sahib (shopkeeper, Mahalla Dar-ul-Fazl) wrote to him saying,

“During litigation with Maulvi Muhammad Hussain Batalvi, for a court hearing, we had to go to Dhariwal. It was a hot summer’s day and in the month of Ramadan. Many friends had convened at Dhariwal, many of whom were fasting. One of the influential chieftains [who was a lady] extended an invitation to the Promised Messiahas. Huzooras accepted the invitation. The chieftess presented sweet rice alongside other foods. Some companions asked Huzooras regarding their fasts. Huzooras said, ‘It is not permissible to fast while on a journey.’ Therefore, all of the companions broke their fasts.” (Siratul-Mahdi, Vol. 2, p. 303)

During Ramadan, if a woman’s menstrual cycle begins, she should stop fasting and make up for the remaining fasts on other days. The woman who is pregnant or breast feeding is exempted from fasting because she falls in the category of sick. The Holy Prophet Muhammadsa said:

“Allah has relieved the pregnant woman and the suckling woman from fasting.” (Sunan Abu Dawood, Kitab as-Saum)

 According to the saying of the Promised Messiahas, those who are permanently sick, travellers or mothers who know that they will not find the opportunity to fast, either because of being very old or breast-feeding, they should not fast and should give Fidya because it is almost impossible for them to fast. (Al Badr, 24 October 1907, p. 3)

What is the guidance for the one who journeys for work?

If someone travels far for work or their livelihood is based on travelling, then they must fast because they are used to this routine.

Once the Promised Messiahas was asked about the person who travels for work whether such a person’s travel fall in the category of a journey? Huzooras replied:

“[The person who travels for work] their journeys should not be considered journeys because they are part of their work.” (Al Fazl, 16 August 1948)

What is the guidance for the one who travels to Markaz or temporarily settles somewhere during Ramadan?

Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih IIra said:

“When Jalsa Salana was due in Ramadan and the question arose of whether or not the visitors should fast during the days of Jalsa, an individual reported that in the time of the Promised Messiahas, when the Jalsa was held during Ramadan, they personally served Sehri [as breakfast] to the guests. In the given circumstances, on the basis of the edict given by the Promised Messiahas, I have permitted the visitors of Jalsa to observe fasts. Previous scholars even permitted observing fasts on journeys, and non-Ahmadi maulvis of today do not consider modern-day travels worthy of being called a journey. Nonetheless, the Promised Messiahas forbade observing fasts during journeys, however he himself has permitted to observe fasts whilst staying in Qadian [the Markaz]. Thus, it is improper to consider one of his edicts and abandon another.” (Al Fazl, 4 January 1934, pp. 3-4)

The general guidance is that if someone settles somewhere for at least 15 days or more and they are able to make preparations for Sehri and Iftari, they should observe fasts.

However, Hazrat Syed Muhammad Sarwar Shahra states that the Promised Messiahas said about fasting:

“If somebody stays somewhere for more than three days, they may fast but they may not do so if they are staying for less than three days. If somebody who is staying for less than three days observes fasts in Qadian, then there is no need to fast again [in compensation].” (Fatawa Hazrat Syed Muhammad Sarwar Shah Sahib, Register no. 5, Dar-ul-Ifta, Rabwah)

Thus, it all solely depends on the heart and intention of the person. If someone considers their journey worthy of falling in the category of a journey, they should refrain from fasting. On the other hand, if they realise that their travel does not fall in the category of journey, they should fast.

What is the guidance for the one whose illness does not affect their fast?

The term “illness” has not been defined by Allah the Almighty in the Holy Quran. Thus, regarding an illness, one should decide with Taqwa if someone is able to fast or not. The Promised Messiahas said:

“There are certain kinds of illnesses in which a person continues to perform other works … Hence, if one can find time to perform other works, then what is the reason that he does not observe fasts?” (Al Fazl, 16 August 1948)

It should be borne in mind that if doctors do not recommend fasting, one must refrain from fasting.

The Promised Messiahas states:

“As far as I am concerned, I do not leave a fast unless it is likely to cause my death; I do not feel inclined to leave a fast. These are blessed days and the days of the showering of God’s blessings and mercy.” (Al Hakam, 24 January 1901)

What are those actions and conditions by which a fast does not break?

  • Below is the list of certain actions and situations which do not render a fast invalid:
  • Brushing your teeth or using miswak (a teeth cleaning twig)
  • Rinsing your mouth
  • Rinsing your nose
  • Putting oil on your beard or hair
  • Smelling or wearing perfume
  • Taking a shower
  • Putting on surma (but it is better to apply it at night)
  • Accidental vomiting
  • Forgetfully eating or drinking
  • Bleeding gums

What is fidya and why is it offered?

Allah the Almighty states in the Holy Quran:

فَمَنْ كَانَ مِنْكُمْ مَّرِيْضًا أَوْ عَلَىٰ سَفَرٍ فَعِدَّةٌ مِّنْ أَيَّامٍ أُخَرَ ۚ وَعَلَى الَّذِيْنَ يُطِيْقُوْنَهُ فِدْيَةٌ طَعَامُ مِسْكِيْنٍ

“And whoso among you is sick or is on a journey [shall fast] the same number of other days; and for those who are able to fast [only] with great difficulty is an expiation – the feeding of a poor man.” (Surah al-Baqarah, Ch.2: V.185)

The general rule is that one should be eager to fast during the month of Ramadan. However, those who are permanently sick, weak or a woman who is pregnant or breastfeeding continuously etc., and do not possess the strength to fast may offer fidya (expiation). In addition, a person who is not able to fast owing to a genuine reason and can fast at a later time may also give fidya, as it is a virtue. However, it is essential for such a person to fast at a later time.

As far as the quantity or amount of fidya is concerned which is given to a poor person, its guidance is present in the Holy Quran:

مِنْ أَوْسَطِ مَا تُطْعِمُوْنَ أَهْلِيْكُمْ

“With such average food as you feed your families with” (Surah al-Maidah, Ch.5: V.90). Thus, for every missed fast, a person should feed a poor person two times a day or offer the amount needed for it. Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih Vaa states:

“Although fasting has been prescribed for the development of taqwa [righteousness], but as Islam is a religion in line with nature, therefore it makes allowances for situations which naturally arise in life. However, attainment of taqwa should always be the aim, so if fasting is not possible, then either a needy person should be fed or fidya should be paid.” (Friday Sermon, Baitul Futuh Mosque, 21 September 2007)

Explaining the true philosophy and purpose of offering fidya, the Promised Messiahas states:

“Once I had an intuition about the philosophy behind fidya and observed that the main objective behind it is to attain the means whereby one can observe fasts. Allah the Almighty provides all the abilities and one should ask Him for everything. Allah is the All-Powerful and if He Wills, He can grant the strength needed for fasting to a feeble person. So, fidya provides one with the strength to observe fasts and it can only be delivered by the grace of Allah the Almighty. Thus, I believe that one should pray to Allah, asking for strength, ‘O Lord! This is your blessed month and I am being deprived of its blessings. I do not know if I will live to see the next year’s Ramadan or if I may find the opportunity to compensate and observe the missing fasts.’ I am certain that Allah the Exalted would bless such a person the strength to observe fasts.” (Al Badr, 12 December 1902, p. 52)

Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih IIra states:

“Fidya does not invalidate the obligation of fasting. Fidya is for those people who, under a reason permitted by the Sharia, are unable to participate in the blessed days of Ramadan in performing this worship alongside other Muslims. These excuses are of two types: temporary and permanent. Fidya should be given in both these conditions depending on financial means of the person. Although one may offer fidya, but after one, two or three years, whenever the person finds good health, they should observe those missed fasts. The exception is for those who initially suffered temporary ailments and after getting well, intended to observe the fasts every day but their health deteriorated to a state of permanent illness. Whoever finds financial means and falls in the category of a traveler or sick, should provide an underprivileged person with a meal as fidya and observe the missed fasts on other days. This was the practice of the Promised Messiahas – he used to give fidya, eventually observing fasts too. He used to admonish others about this as well.” (Tafsir-e-Kabir, Vol. 2, p. 389)

What is etikaf in the month of Ramadan?

Allah the Almighty states in the Holy Quran:

وَعَهِدْنَا إِلَىٰ إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَإِسْمَاعِيلَ أَن طَهِّرَا بَيْتِيَ لِلطَّائِفِينَ وَالْعَاكِفِينَ وَالرُّكَّعِ السُّجُودِ

“And We commanded Abraham and Ishmael, saying, ‘Purify My House for those who perform the circuit and those who remain [therein] for devotion and those who bow down and fall prostrate in prayer.’”(Surah al-Baqarah, Ch.2: V.126)

Etikaf is a form of worship which is generally observed during the last ten days, beginning from the Fajr prayer on the twentieth in the month of Ramadan by staying in a mosque. After fasting for 20 days in the month of Ramadan, a believer feels an eagerness to attain as much pleasure and delight of Allah the Almighty as possible, and therefore, in the last ten days of Ramadan, with much enthusiasm and vigour, strives to achieve the nearness of Allah the Almighty.

The most suitable place to perform etikaf is a mosque, as it is stated in the Holy Quran:

وَأَنْتُمْ عَاكِفُوْنَ فِي الْمَسَاجِدِ

“While you remain in the mosques for devotion.” (Surah al-Baqarah, Ch.2: V.188)

It is reported that the Holy Prophetsa used to tighten his girdle, stay awake for most of the night for prayers and exhort his family to do the same during the last ten days of Ramadan.

Hazrat Aishara reported that every year till the time of his demise, the Holy Prophetsa used to observe etikaf in the mosque during these ten days and nights of Ramadan, and the same practice was continued by his wives after his demise. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab al-Etikaf)

Hazrat Abu Hurairara narrated that the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, went into retreat for ten days in the month of Ramadan but in the year in which he passed away, he went into retreat for twenty days. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab al-Etikaf)

During etikaf it should be kept in mind that a person should try to completely cut off from the material world and should make a habit of sacrificing worldly desires. One should not leave the place of etikaf except for when necessary (for example, using the bathroom etc.). It is not permissible to have conjugal relations even at night during etikaf.

What is Lailatul Qadr (the night of decree)?

Allah the Almighty states in the Holy Quran:

إِنَّا أَنْزَلْنَاهُ فِيْ لَيْلَةِ الْقَدْرِ۔ وَمَا أَدْرَاكَ مَا لَيْلَةُ الْقَدْرِ۔ لَيْلَةُ الْقَدْرِ خَيْرٌ مِّنْ أَلْفِ شَهْرٍ۔ تَنَزَّلُ الْمَلَائِكَةُ وَالرُّوحُ فِيْهَا بِإِذْنِ رَبِّهِمْ مِّنْ كُلِّ أَمْرٍ۔ سَلَامٌ هِيَ حَتَّى مَطْلَعِ الْفَجْرِ

“Surely, We sent it [the Quran] on the Night of Destiny. And what should make thee know what the Night of Destiny is? The Night of Destiny is better than a thousand months. Therein descend angels and the Spirit by the command of their Lord with their Lord’s decree concerning everything. Peace – so will it be even at the rising of the dawn.” (Surah al-Qadr, Ch.97: V.1-6)

Lailatul Qadr is a night of great blessings in which Allah the Almighty showers His Mercy upon His sincere and faithful believers. It is said that the Holy Quran’s revelation began on this very night and it is generally associated with the showering of blessings and mercy of Allah the Almighty in the month of Ramadan, particularly in its last ten days. However, it possesses other meanings as well which are all deeply rooted in Allah the Almighty’s attribute of Al-Rahman (the Gracious).

Hazrat Abu Hurairara narrates that the Holy Prophetsa said:

“Whoever fasts during the month of Ramadan with sincere faith and hoping for a reward from Allah, all their past sins will be forgiven, and whoever stands for the prayers in the night of Qadr with sincere faith and hoping for a reward from Allah, all their previous sins will be forgiven.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab Fazl Lailatul Qadr)

Regarding the occurrence of this night, Hazrat Aishara relates that the Holy Prophetsa said:

“Seek Lailatul Qadr (the night of decree) among the odd nights of the last ten days of Ramadan (i.e. 21, 23, 25, 27 or 29).” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab Fazl Lailatul Qadr)

Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih IIra states:

“The day [of the night of decree] comes but once a year and it represents the hour of the acceptance of prayer. Therefore, benefit should be drawn from it as much as possible.” (Al Fazl, 17 May 1923)

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