Quran Focus Academy Blog

Laylatul Qadr: 10 points towards successfully seeking it

By: Farrukh Paasha

We should remember that even though is not possible to definitively know whether we have attained Laylatul Qadr or not the real success is in the seeking itself. We ask Allah for that success in this Ramadan and in many others to come!

Allah, Most High, says in the Qur’an: 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. [Qur’an: 97:3-5]

The blessed Laylatul Qadr can be found in any of the last 10 nights of Ramadan, which are the most blessed nights of the year. As such, we should increase our worship and devotion during this period.

Aisha, Most High, reported: With the start of the last ten days of Ramadan, the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to tighten his waist belt (i.e. work harder) and used to pray the whole night, and used to keep his family awake for the prayers. [Bukhari]

Abu Hurayrah (Allah be pleased with him) relates that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Whoever stands (in the voluntary night prayer of) Ramadan out of faith and in the hope of reward, his previous sins will be forgiven. And whoever spends the night of Lailat Al-Qadr in prayer out of faith and in the hope of reward, his previous sins will be forgiven.” [Sunan an-Nasa’i]

Subhan Allah! Such immense rewards are to be gained during these blessed 10 nights. How can we afford to miss out on them? Who is to say that we will live to see the next Ramadan? We MUST make the best of these 10 nights. If we cannot manage all of the 10 nights, then as many as we can manage, particularly on the odd-numbered nights: 21st, 25th, 27th and 29th.

There is a saying that a person who fails to plan, plans to fail. So I have created a Worship Plan that we can use to maximise these blessed 10 nights of Ramadan. But first, there are a few points to consider:

10 Points to Consider in the Worship Plan

  1. Remain in I’tikaf: The best way of catching the blessed night is to remain in I’tikaf, which both men and women can do. If it is not possible for one to remain in I’tikaf for the whole of the 10 days and nights, then one should try to remain in I’tikaf for as many days and nights possible. It is also possible to make intention of Nawafil I’tikaf each and every time one enters the masjid to gain rewards for the time spent in the masjid.
  2. Worship all the 10 nights: Try to worship the whole of the 10 nights or as many days you can manage as that is the best way to catch the unimaginable and incomprehensible rewards of  Laylatul Qadr. Each and every good deed from Maghrib until Fajr on Laylatul Qadr is rewarded a minimum of at least 83 years’ of worship. Subhan Allah, that is longer than most of us will live!
  3. Best dua of the last 10 nights: اَللَّهُمَّ اِنَّكَ عَفُوٌّ ، تُحِبُّ الْعَفْوَ فَاعْفُ عَنِّي
    Aisha (Allah be pleased with her) reported: I asked: “O Messenger of Allah! If I realize Lailat-ul-Qadr (Night of Decree), what should I supplicate in it?” He (peace be upon him) replied, “You should supplicate: Allahumma innaka ‘afuwwun, tuhibbul-‘afwa, fa’fu ‘anni (O Allah, You are Most Forgiving, and You love forgiveness; so forgive me).” [At-Tirmidhi].
  4. Give charity: Any good act such as charity during Laylatul Qadr is rewarded like you have done it for over 83 years.
  5. Eat light: As you will be staying up until Fajr, the more you eat, the harder it will be for you to stay up and the less productive you will be!
  6. Hydrate well: Keep some water with you at all times. This will help you stay up, feel energised and refreshed and have a clearer mind.
  7. Complete all tasks beforehand: Make arrangements to clear as many of your pending tasks as possible or make a plan for tackling them later. This way, we are free to worship during the 10 nights without being distracted by worldly tasks.
  8. Show exemplary character: The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Nothing will be heavier on the Day of Resurrection in the Scale of the believer than good manners. Allah hates one who utters foul or coarse language.” [At- Tirmidhi]. So we must aim to be the best in character during these blessed nights and continue to do so for the rest of the year. We must not argue, swear, backbite, slander or gossip.
  9. No time wasting: We must make a firm intention that during these blessed 10 nights, we will not take part in idle talk, watch TV, play computer games or spend time on the social media. There are 355 days in the year for all that – if you really cannot resist. This is just 10 nights! There will be indeed an utter loss and regret for those of us who waste these blessed 10 nights.
  10. Making life changes: We should make the necessary changes to improve ourselves as Muslims and what better time to make such changes than during these blessed 10 nights where we can change our lives forever. We must internalise these changes and make a firm commitment to Allah, Most High , and maybe that he will wipe off our sins until we become newborn babies, In sha Allah.

Source: ProductiveMuslim

Students from Lowfield Primary School visit Sheffield Islamic Centre Madina Masjid Trust

Students from Lowfield Primary School visited a local Mosque, to learn more about Muslims living in the city.

The youngsters visited Sheffield Islamic Centre Madina Masjid Trust, where they were given a tour of the Mosque’s wash rooms, prayer areas and library and learned more about the contents of the Quran and how children start to study the religious text of Islam from a young age.

Mosque visit - Quran Focus Academy

The children and staff were joined by students from their partner school, Hartington C of E Primary School, as part of studies into city and countryside cultures and differences.

Lowfield Teaching Assistant, Judith Flower, said: “The Mosque tour was such a great experience, for both the children and the staff. We removed our shoes and our guide explained the importance and relevance of why Muslim people cleanse before they go to pray.

“We learnt so much about the religious views of Muslim people, as well as how and where they pray.

“It was fantastic to see all the children asking questions to develop their learning. As Hartington is a Church School with a strong Christian ethos, it is fantastic that pupils are able to learn about other great world faiths.”

This event came after Sheffield youngsters visited the Derbyshire Dales school in July last year, where they investigated life within a rural community.

Hartington pupil Jacob Blackwell, 9, said: “It was interesting to see the Mosque and stunning to learn more about what Muslim people do when they pray and how they worship Allah.”

Lowfield School Council Co-ordinator and Year 3 Teacher, Richard Green said: “The trip to the Mosque gave the Hartington children an understanding of the social and cultural activities that our children undertake and really bonded the two communities.”

American writer spends year debating Holy Quran with Muslim scholar

What happens when an American writer and a madrassah-trained scholar debate the Holy Quran in a bid to find interfaith understanding? A powerful journey to help bridge one of the greatest divides shaping our world today.

If the Oceans Were Ink is American writer Carla Power’s story of how she and her longtime friend Sheikh Mohammad Akram Nadwi decided to tackle the “ugly stereotypes and persistent misperceptions” that were dividing their communities.

“People are going back to the basic texts, and they’re stripping away centuries of culture and tradition and looking for what they see at the heart of the religion,” she says.

Power provides readers with details of her year with sheikh Akram and how the Quran provided her with many moments of grace. “I found comfort in how small I felt reading the text, as when I considered the images of the ‘lord if the heavens and the earth and everything in between, and Lord of all points of the sunrise.’  Even as a nonbeliever, I still found myself taking refuge in the Quran classes as a clam inlet from daily life.”

Carla Power

Power notes the greatness of the Quran by highlighting the triviality of worldly matters like the “close on Wall Street, the exam score or dress size, even happiness itself” that seemed nothing next to the fact that from God we come and to God we return. She describes this as “constant reminders of one’s own puniness and powerlessness.”

She also shares a personal experience that made her realise the essence of the word InshAllah. “When my mother died, I remember thinking how sensible it was, the Muslim practice of saying InshAllah after every plan, every promise, no matter how minor, since only God can be sure whether next Wednesday’s lunch date will indeed be kept. It was a comfort, in a season of grief, to hang out with a community that honored this world’s certainties.”

On her understanding of namaz, she writes about it as a symbol of devotion to God. She mentions studies on the postures of Muslim prayers by scientists who have concluded that they encourage calm and flexibility. While standing straight strengthens the arrangement of muscles in the body, bowing helps stretch out the lower back and hamstrings, and sitting after prostration keeps joints mobile. In relation to this, Power notes how “Akram’s prayers have rendered him culturally supple, too, stretching his humanity in surprising ways. The act of return, to his prayer mat, to his Quran and his classical text–has often afforded an expansion of his worldview, not a restriction of it.”

She beautifully describes the sheikh offering his prayers and the meaning attached to his every move. She writes, “In standing, kneeling, bring his forehead to the earth, then standing again, his attention returns to his origins and destination, which are one and the same.” She also shares the words of the sheikh, who connects the experience to a “feeling of returning to the arms of your mother, when you are a child.”

The author explains the meaning of existence for the sheikh revolves around God, in the shape of a circle. The circle has God at its end, beginning, and every point in between. This sheds lights on his belief that “from Allah he has come, and to Allah he will return,” with everyday circling back to God.

On starting her Quran lessons, as she was able to understand its message, she realised that it is more than just a book. Instead, she reflects on its reach to Muslims around the world as a “metaphor of return. It is a place to which the faithful return, again and again.”

She explains, “I’d come a long way from earliest encounter with the Quran, but I still hadn’t understood that it was far more than a much-revered book. Over the course of the year, I began to see that the Quran was not merely a set of pages between two covers. Calling it a book, something one can read from beginning to end, embalms it in expectations. It was just another way of limiting it into something small: an amulet, a manifesto, an instruction guide, a political tool. In the life of a Muslim like Sheikh Akram, its meaning is much more diffuse.”

On questioning the sheikh about how to better understand the Quran, she shares his response, “Read. Keeping reading the Quran. Read it, and read it again. Return,” echoing the command that Prophet Muhammad had heard upon revelation.

First Islamic theology school in Scandinavia

Mina Hindholm Imam Khatib school will take on students aged 18 and up from Denmark, Norway and Sweden.

The northern European region of Scandinavia has officially opened its first Islamic Theology boarding school, known as an Imam Khatib school, in the Danish city of Slagelse.

The school is due to take on students from Denmark, Norway and Sweden and will teach the national curriculum along with Turkish and Islamic lessons in the fields of Qur’an, Hadith and Islamic creed.

Boarding school head Ahmet Deniz told Anadolu Agency said that Mina Hindholm will be Denmark’s first official Islamic school for students aged 18 and up. The school, which is Europe’s second Imam Khatib after the one in Belgium, already has 52 students.

Al Noor School – Brooklyn, New York

Al Noor School was founded in 1995. Al‐Noor School is one of the Largest and fastest growing Islamic schools in America. They are strategically located in the heart of Brooklyn, New York. In September 2002, they attained the Pre Kindergarten – 12th grade status with current registration of 650 students. Most of their students are the American‐born descendants of Muslim immigrants from the Middle East and Indian Subcontinent.

Quran School, Brooklyn, New York

Al Noor School is a New York State chartered school educating male and female students from Pre Kindergarten to 12th grade. The staff of Al Noor School is committed to the pursuit of excellence in Islamic faith and academic studies with the inculcation of Islamic values, morals and the development of a strong attachment of our students to the Islamic culture.

Their goal is to ensure that our students can make optimal use of modern facilities and technology, and to acquire the relevant attitudes and skills so that upon their graduation they will serve as useful and productive Muslims and can provide effective leadership in all spheres of society.

Al-Noor is very much concerned with the general academic development of its students, their morals, values, and identity as Muslims. The efforts of the administration and faculty have proven that Al-Noor can offer its students a quality education to enter the best colleges, In June 2002; the first batch of students graduated and received the high school diploma. This is a remarkable achievement and Al-Noor will continue to add more of these fulfilments.

Al Noor School is committed to providing an education of excellence that meets each student’s interests, abilities and needs within a common curricular framework and reflects and promotes an understanding of, and appreciation for, diversity in our community as an integral part of school life. Al Noor School challenges each student to develop intellectual independence, creativity and curiosity and a sense of responsibility toward others both within the school and in the community at large. Guided by the Quran and the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) Al Noor School prepares students to go forth as active participants in society.

Al Noor School Address

675 4th Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11232