In the name of Allah, most Gracious, most Merciful
Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the world, and peace and blessings be upon the trustworthy Prophet Muhammad and upon all his family and companions.
I bear witness that there is no deity except Allah, having no associates, and that our master, Prophet Muhammad is the servant of Allah and His Messenger. May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon our guide, Muhammad, his family, his companions, and all those who will follow them in righteousness till the Day of Judgment.
As to what follows, I call upon myself and all of you to be ever conscious and do construct our lives in accordance to what He has ordered us. He says: “O you who have believed, fear Allah and be with those who are true.” (At-tawba: 119).
Allah (may He be glorified) has conferred upon us the holy month of Ramadan, blessed us with its days and nights and overwhelmed us with the flow of its blessings whether during the first or the middle 10 days.
As we enter the last 10 days, the gem of Ramadan, we should always remember that this month is the best time of the year for doing good and engaging in worship. Indeed, these days and nights are the sap of this month and its fruits.
For this reason, the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) used to strive hard at this time of the year, more than usual. His wife, Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) would exert himself in worship during the last 10 nights more than at any other time.
He (peace be upon him) would stay up at night, spending the time in prayer. It was reported that Aisha said, “When the last ten days of Ramadan came, the Prophet (peace be upon him) would stay up at night, wake his family and gird his loins.”
The phrase “girded his loins” is a metaphor describing his preparedness to do his utmost in worship, and was also a metaphor for keeping away from worldly affairs and focusing more on worship.
Our master Muhammad (peace be upon him) was more persistent in waking his family to stand up for prayer on the last 10 nights of Ramadan than at other times of the year. Ali Ibn Abi Talib (may Allah be pleased with him) was reported to have said, “The Prophet (peace be upon him) used to wake up his family during the last ten days of Ramadan. So everyone, younger or older, would bear standing up for prayer.”
O Servants of Allah,
Among the unique merits of these great nights is Laylatul Qadr (The Night of Decree). A blessed night as it is, Laylatul Qadr was the time Allah (The Exalted) chose to send/reveal the holy Qur’an. About which, He, the Almighty, says,
“Indeed, we sent it down during a blessed night. Indeed, we were to warn [mankind].” – (Ad-dukhan: 3).
This sacred night is a flow of blessings and veneration from Allah (The Most Provident) with which to honour his servants. Allah (The Ever Exalted) says,
“Indeed, We sent the Qur’an down during the Night of Decree. And what can make you know what the Night of Decree is? 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.” (Al Qadr).
The Surah Al Qadr described this night as being better than a thousand months. It was narrated that the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was informed of the lifespan of people before him and he noticed that that of his Ummah had comparatively become shorter. He therefore feared they would not be able to achieve as much good work as their predecessors did. So Allah granted him and his Ummah a night that is better than a thousand months. This Surah also shows that among the special characteristics of this night is that on this night the angels along with Gabriel (Jibreel) do descend. So for its immense virtues, our Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) used to strive formidably hard in worship on this night as it is a cause for winning Allah’s forgiveness. In a Hadith agreed upon, he (peace be upon him) said, “whoever stays up during Laylatul Qadr out of faith and in the hope of earning reward, all his previous sins will be forgiven.”
Truly those who are honoured to engage in extensive worship on this blessed night will get full blessings. And whoever is denied its reward has been deprived all good. On the narration of Anas Ibn Malik that the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, “O verily this month has come upon you and it has a night better than a thousand months. Whoever is deprived of its virtue, and then he has been deprived of all good. Verily he who is deprived of its virtue is deprived.”
Laylatul Qadr falls in the last 10 days of Ramadan. And it is therefore recommended to strive in acts of worship during this time. It was reported from Abdullah Ibn Abbas that the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, “Seek the Night of Al Qadr during the last ten (nights) of Ramadan.”
May Allah let us be among the people of acceptance and help us to obey Him and those He has ordained upon us to obey, in compliance with His injunctions: “O ye who believe! Obey Allah, and obey the Messenger, and those charged with authority among you.” (An-nisaa’: 59).
May Allah bless you and me with the ability to implement the Holy Qur’an and the Sunnah of his Messenger Muhammad (peace be upon him). I say this and pray to Allah, the Almighty, to grant us forgiveness. Supplicate to Allah for forgiveness for He is the Most Forgiving and the Most Merciful.
Praise be to Allah. I bear witness that there is no deity but Allah, having no associates. I also bear witness that our Master Muhammad is His servant and messenger, who was true to his promise. May the peace and the blessings of Allah be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, his companions and all those who will follow them in righteousness till the Day of Judgment.
Please fear Allah and be aware that the best of supplications with which to beseech Allah, may Glory to be Him, on Laylatul Qadr, is what out Master Muhammad (peace be upon him) used to say.
It was reported that Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) asked the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) “O Messenger of Allah, if I knew which night is Laylatul Qadr, what should I say during it? And he instructed her to say: “Allahummah innaka afuwwun tuhibbuul afwa fa ‘afu anna (O Allah, you are forgiving, and you love forgiveness. So forgive us).”
So the best recompense one can gain on these days and nights is his Creator’s forgiveness. This is mentioned by one of the righteous people when he said, “No man is wise unless seeking forgiveness is his ultimate hope from Allah.”
My respected brothers and sisters, let us also use this opportunity to pray for our great Country Nigeria so that Allah will bless us with peace, unity and progress.
Allah has commanded you an order to which He and His angels are both committed, when He says, “Allah and His angels send blessings on the Prophet: O you that believe! Send you blessings on him, and salute him with all respect.” (Al Ahzab: 56).
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “For everyone who invokes a blessing on me will receive 10 blessings from Allah.” May the peace and the blessings of Allah be upon our Master Muhammad (peace be upon him), his family and all his companions. May Allah be pleased with the rightly-guided Caliphs and all those who will follow them in righteousness till the Day of Judgment.
O Allah, we seek your favour to let our hearts be full of your gratitude and keep our tongue moist with your remembrance. May Allah bless us with good provision, accepted work, beneficial knowledge, well-being in mind and body and blessed living, life and progeny.
O Allah, increase your blessings upon us and do not withhold your provision from us, honour us and do not disgrace us, give us and do not deprive us, advocate for us and do not disfavour us. O Allah, bestow upon us your satisfaction and grant us self-content. O Allah make piety our pursuit, solidify our faith and increase our wisdom.
O Allah, we seek your mercy and forgiveness. We turn to you in repentance, put our hope and trust in you to guide us to do righteous actions and accept our supplications to you. We also beseech you to confer on us safety from every sin, and booty of all righteousness, and to win Paradise and deliverance from Hellfire.
O Allah, we implore you at this instant not to let a sin unforgiven, a distress unrelieved, an illness unhealed or a handicapped without relief, a dead without mercy or a debt unsettled. Our Lord! Grant us good in this world and good in the life to come and keep us safe from the torment of the Fire,
Ameen ya Ar-hamar-raahimeena yaa rabbal ‘Aalameen.
Lastly, anything good I have said is from Allah, and any mistakes are my own and we seek refuge in Allah from giving wrong advice and from all forms of calamities and fitnah. And I ask Allah’s forgiveness if I stepped beyond bounds in anything I said or I do.
My respected people, it is now less than 10 more days to the end of Ramadan, have you been able to observe regular prayers, give to the poor, do more supplications and recite or study the holy Qur’an? It is never too late. You can start now!
This Khutbah (Friday Sermon) was prepared for delivery today (Juma’ah) Ramadan 21, 1435 A.H, (July 18, 2014) by Imam Murtada Muhammad Gusau, the chief Imam of Nagazi Jumu’at Mosque, Okene, Kogi State, Nigeria. He can be reached via 08038289761 and firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com