Anas reports, “Once when Ramadhaan commenced, the Messenger of Allah said, ‘A month has verily dawned over you wherein lies a night better than one thousand months. However is deprived of its blessings has indeed deprived of (almost) all good. And none is deprived of its good except he who is completely unfortunate’”.
Who can have doubt as to the misfortune of the person who deprives himself of the great good of Laylatul Qadr? (Who can doubt the misfortune of the one who misses all the bestowed favours? Indeed there are so many of us). There are those who during the course of their services and duties of employment have to stay awake throughout the year at night. What difficulty can there be for people like these, should they for the sake of gaining the reward of over eighty years ‘ibaadah, stay awake at night for this month in the way of Allah’s service?
For them the task should not be too difficult, but, because of lack of interest, there is no urge in the heart. If that was present, then not one night, but a thousand nights in worshipping Allah would become exceedingly easy.
It is that urge and desire that we must create, after all there must have been some reason why Rasulullah S.W. had performed such lengthy ‘salaah that his feet even became swollen. This he did despit having firmly believed the promises and glad tidings which Allah had given him. We also profess to be his followers. Those who really appreciated these opportunities of ‘ibaadah did what was necessary and set an example to the ummah. They left no room for the critics to say, “Who could do it better or who is more capable of following these examples”. It is a matter of convincing the heart, that for those who desire doing things, the most difficult task presents no hardship. This could only be achieved by remaining with a recognized Shaikh for spiritual guidance.
Let us look at the example of the following illustrious sons of Islaam. One such man was ‘Umar (Ra) who, having performed his ‘Ishaa’ ‘salaah used to return home and then remain in ‘salaah throughout the night until the athaan was heard for fajr. Then there is the example of the pious KHaleefa Uthmaan (Ra) who, after fasting the whole day (almost throughout the year) used to spend the whole night in ‘salaah, apart from having a little sleep during part of the first third of the early night. It is well known about him that he used to recite the whole Qur’aan during one Rak-ah. In the Ihya ‘Ulumid Deen by Imaam Ghazaali, Abu ‘ Taalib Makki makes mention about forty men from among the tabi’iy, who used to perform fajr ‘salaah with the same wudhu with which they had performed their ‘Ishaa’ ‘salaah. This has been reported by many authentic narrators.
Shaddad (Ra) was one of the sahaabah who used to lie awake throughout the night turning from side to side until fajir. Then he used to say, “O Allahl, the fear for the fire of Jahannam was driven away sleep from my eyes”. Aswad bin Yazeed (Ra) aprt from sleeping a little between Maghrib and ‘Isha’, used to remain in ‘ibaaadah throughout the night during Ramadhaan. Now let us look at a man like Sa’iyd ibn Musayyib (Ra) it is said that he used to perform ‘Isha’ and fajr with the same wudhu for fifty years. Then there is the example eof ‘Sila bin Ashyam (Ra) who after spending a whole night in Allah’s worship, used to say at the break of day, “O Allah, I am not fit to beg of You Jannah but all I beseech from you now is that you save me from Jahannam”.
Qataadah (Ra) was a man who used to finish the recitation of the Qur’aan every three nights of Ramadhaan but during the latter ten nights be used to complete the whole Qur’aan every night. About Imaam Abu Haneefah R.A. it is well known that for forty years he performed Ishaa and the following morning’s fajr ‘salaah with the same wudhu. To doubt or disbelieve is the denial of true historical facts. When his companions inquired of him as to where he had obtained the strength for that, he replied, “It is tin answer to a special duaa’ which I made to Allah in the name of the blessedness of His special names”. He merely slept a little in the afternoons about which he said, “In the Hadith we are advised to do that”. In other words, even in the afternoon sleep he used to follow the sunnah. This same Imaam Abu Haneefah R.A. while reciting the Qur’aan used to cry so much that his neighbours used to feel pity ofr him. Once he wept the whole night, crying while reciting the following verse time and again:
“Nay the Hour (of Judgement) is the time promised for them (for their recomplense) and that hour will be most grevious and bitter” (Suratul Qamar: 46).
Ibrahim Ibn Ad’ham R.A. went so far not to sleep in Ramadhaan neither by night nor by day. Imaam Shaafi’iy R.A. used to recite the Qur’aan about sixty times in his ‘salaah, in the days and nights of Ramadhaan. Apart from these few there were countless saintly souls who used to act diligently on the injunctions of the verse:
“I have only created jinn and human that they may serve Me”.
(Suratuth Thaariyaat: 56)
Nothing is difficult for those who have a will to practice. These are examples of those who have gone before. But today too there are many who with the same devotion, serve Allah and according to their own times turn night into day in the service of Allah. Even in these times of evil and iniquity there are those who in their saintly manner follow the example of Rasulullah S.W.. Leisure and comfort should not prevent one from deligent devotion. Nor are wordly errand obstacles.
The messenger of Allah SW said, “Allah says, ‘O son of Aadam, spend you r time in my service and I shall enrich you with independence and freedom from want, and I remove poverty form you. Otherwise I shall fill you with obligations and duties while your poverty and needs shall not disappear”. How true, and we see the truth of this daily.
(There are people who serve only Allah, while having no apparent means of earning anything and yet they need nothing. On the other hand we see people striving hard to earn wordly things and necessities. They become so engaged in their task that no time is left for ‘ibaadah. Then too, inspite of spending all their time seeking material needs, they remain full of wordly desires, necessities and obligations.