Ruling on celebrating on the twenty-seventh night of Ramadan

Q 2: What is the ruling on celebrating Laylat-ul-Qadr (the Night of Decree), the twenty-seventh night of Ramadan?


A: The best guidance is the guidance of Muhammad (peace be upon him) and the worst practice is the introduction of new practices in Islam. The practice of the Prophet (peace be upon him) during Ramadan was to offer many acts of worship like Salah (Prayer), recitation of the Qur'an, Sadaqah (voluntary charity), and to perform other good deeds. Over the first twenty nights of Ramadan, the Prophet (peace be upon him) might sleep or offer Optional Night Prayer. But when the last ten nights of Ramadan began, he (peace be upon him) would awaken his family, tie his lower garment (i.e., avoid sleeping with his wives), and devote himself entirely to worship at night. Also the Prophet (peace be upon him) encouraged believers to offer Optional Night Prayer in Ramadan and on Laylat-ul-Qadr. He (peace be upon him) says: Whoever observes the Prayer at night during Ramadan, out of faith and seeking reward from Allah, his previous sins will be forgiven. And whoever performs Salah (prayer) on Laylat Al-Qadr (the Night of Decree) during Ramadan out of faith and seeking reward from Allah, his previous sins will be forgiven. Narrated by Al-Bukhari and Muslim. The Prophet (peace be upon him) explains that Laylat-ul-Qadr is in the last ten nights of Ramadan, and specifically on one of the odd numbered nights. He (peace be upon him) said: Search for it (Laylat-ul-Qadr) in the odd nights of the last ten nights of Ramadan. Narrated by Ahmad in the Musnad and Al-Tirmidhy. The Hadith reads: Seek the night of Al-Qadr in the last nine, seven, five, three nights, or in the last night of Ramadan. After narrating this Hadith, Al-Tirmidhy said, "It is a Hasan Sahih Hadith. In addition, the Prophet (peace be upon him) taught `Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) (Part No. 3; Page No. 59) the invocation she should say on Laylat-ul-Qadr (the Night of Decree). Ahmad narrated in the Musnad on the authority of `Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) : O Prophet of Allah, what should I say on the Night of Decree? The Messenger said: Say: "Allahumma Innaka `Afowun Tuhibbu Al-`Afwa Fa`fu `Ani i.e. (O Allah, You are Most Forgiving, and You love forgiveness; so forgive me." This Hadith is also narrated by Al-Nasa'y, Ibn Majah, and Al-Tirmidhy. After narrating it, Al-Tirmidhy said, it is a Hasan Sahih Hadith. This is the practice of the Messenger (peace be upon him) in Ramadan and in Laylat-ul-Qadr. As to the celebration of the twenty-seventh night of Ramadan as Laylat-ul-Qadr, it is against the guidance of Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him), for he did not celebrate Laylat-ul-Qadr. Hence celebrating it is considered as Bid`ah.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.

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