Laylatul Qadr and the reward of congregational worship

Laylatul Qadr and the reward of congregational worship

Focus on Allah

Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) stated that in the last ten days of Ramadan, the Prophet (peace be upon him) would spend the night in prayer, and wake up his family so they could also pray and worship Allah. Our focus on the last ten nights should be worshipping Allah. The Prophet (peace be upon him) would isolate himself in a tent Aisha would erect for him with bamboo sticks in the mosque. And he would stay awake all night.

عَنْ عَائِشَةَ ـ رضى الله عنها ـ قَالَتْ كَانَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم إِذَا دَخَلَ الْعَشْرُ شَدَّ مِئْزَرَهُ، وَأَحْيَا لَيْلَهُ، وَأَيْقَظَ أَهْلَهُ‏.‏

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 hard) and used to pray all the night, and used to keep his family awake for the prayers.[Bukhari].

Exert yourself

‘Tighten his belt’ means he would exert himself in his worship and refrain from intimacy with his wives. Nothing would distract him from worshipping Allah in these nights, and would not let anything obstruct his connection and dedication at this time.  

He would stay away from his wives, even Aisha to whom he was so close.

If we can do etikaf, that is good, but if we cannot we should spend at least one night in worshipping, if possible the night of 27th Ramadan. While fasting restricts our eating and drinking, eitikaf restricts our communication with others. It is about minimising our whims and desires during the day and maximising our time and one to one communication with Allah during the night.


The companions who described his salah (peace be upon him) said he would never recite a verse without reflecting on it – if it was about mercy he would seek Allah’s mercy and if it was about punishment, he would cry and seek Allah’s protection for his Ummah from that punishment. He was not merely reciting but activating the verses.

His worship was not restricted to salah, but he also engaged in other forms of ibadah as well.

The reward of Laylatul Qadr

The reward of Laylatul Qadr is the equivalent of 1000 months of worship as stated in Surat Al Qadr:

The Night of Decree is better than a thousand months. [97:3]

The rewards of praying in congregation

If possible, go to the mosques and pray in congregation as there is even more reward for praying in congregation.

Al-Khatib Al-Baghdadi narrated on the authority of Anas that whoever prayed Laylat al-Qadr for Isha’ and Fajr prayer in congregation has taken from Laylat al-Qadr the ample share.

Uthman bin ‘Affan (may Allah be pleased with him) reported:

عن عثمان بن عفان رضي الله عنه قال‏:‏ سمعت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول‏:‏ ‏”‏من صلى العشاء في جماعة، فكأنما قام نصف الليل ومن صلى الصبح في جماعة، فكانما صلى الليل كله‏”‏ ‏(‏‏(‏رواه مسلم‏)‏‏)‏‏.‏

I heard the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) saying:

“One who performs ‘Isha’ prayer in congregation, is as if he has performed Salat for half of the night. And one who performs the Fajr prayer in congregation, is as if he has performed Salat the whole night.” [Muslim]

Uthman b. ‘Affan reported the Messenger of Allah (may peace be him) as saying;

عَنْ عُثْمَانَ بْنِ عَفَّانَ، قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ “‏ مَنْ صَلَّى الْعِشَاءَ فِي جَمَاعَةٍ كَانَ كَقِيَامِ نِصْفِ لَيْلَةٍ وَمَنْ صَلَّى الْعِشَاءَ وَالْفَجْرَ فِي جَمَاعَةٍ كَانَ كَقِيَامِ لَيْلَةٍ ‏”‏ ‏.‏أبو داود.

If anyone says the Isha’ prayer in congregation, he is like one who keeps vigil (Qiyam in prayer) till midnight; and he who says both the Isha’ and Fajr dawn prayer in congregation is like one who keeps vigil (Qiyam in prayer) the whole night. [Abu Dawoud]

What should you recite?

Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) said she asked God’s Messenger (peace be upon him) to tell her what prayers to say on Laylat al-Qadr if she knew which night it was, and he told her to say:

وَعَنْ عَائِشَةَ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهَا قَالَتْ: قُلْتُ: يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ أَرَأَيْتَ إِنْ عَلِمْتُ أَيُّ لَيْلَةٍ الْقَدْرِ مَا أَقُولُ فِيهَا؟ قَالَ: ” قُولِي: اللَّهُمَّ إِنَّكَ عَفُوٌّ تُحِبُّ الْعَفْوَ فَاعَفُ عَنِّي “. رَوَاهُ أَحْمد وَابْن مَاجَه وَالتِّرْمِذِيّ وَصَححهُ.

 “O God, Thou art forgiving and lovest forgiveness, so forgive me.”  [Ahmad, Ibn Majah and Tirmidhi]

Attain forgiveness

The greatest reward of Laylatul Qadr is having your sins forgiven, but these are minor sins so if anyone has major sins, these are deleted by doing tawbah.

Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

وعن أبي هريرة رضي الله عنه، عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قال‏:‏ ‏ “‏من قام ليلة القدر إيمانا واحتسابًا غفر له ما تقدم من ذنبه‏”‏‏.‏ ‏(‏‏(‏متفق عليه‏)‏‏)‏ ‏.‏

“Whosoever performs Qiyam during Laylat-ul-Qadr (Night of Decree), with faith and being hopeful of Allah’s reward, will have his former sins forgiven.” [Bukhari and Muslim]

Ziyad related to me from Malik that he had heard that Said ibn al-Musayyab used to say:

عَنْ مَالِكٍ، أَنَّهُ بَلَغَهُ أَنَّ سَعِيدَ

بْنَ الْمُسَيَّبِ، كَانَ يَقُولُ مَنْ شَهِدَ الْعِشَاءَ مِنْ لَيْلَةِ الْقَدْرِ فَقَدْ أَخَذَ بِحَظِّهِ مِنْهَا ‏.‏ الموطأ.

“Whoever is present at Isha on Laylat al-Qadr has taken his portion from it.” [Muwatta’]

We ask Allah Almighty to enable us to witness Laylatul Qadr and receive its tremendous blessings, complete forgiveness and abundant reward. Ameen.

Khutbah Shaykh Haytham Tamim147th April 2023.

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Shaykh Haytham Tamim is the founder and main teacher of the Utrujj Foundation. He has provided a leading vision for Islamic learning in the UK, which has influenced the way Islamic knowledge is disseminated. He has orchestrated the design and delivery of over 200 unique courses since Utrujj started in 2001. His extensive expertise spans over 30 years across the main Islamic jurisprudence schools of thought. He has studied with some of the foremost scholars in their expertise; he holds some of the highest Ijazahs (certificates) in Quran, Hadith (the Prophetic traditions) and Fiqh (Islamic rulings). His own gift for teaching was evident when he gave his first sermon to a large audience at the age of 17 and went on to serve as a senior lecturer of Islamic transactions and comparative jurisprudence at the Islamic University of Beirut (Shariah College). He has continued to teach; travelling around the UK, Europe and wider afield, and won the 2015 BISCA award (British Imams & Scholars Contributions & Achievements Awards) for Outstanding Contribution to Education and Teaching.