Better than One Thousand Months: Tafsir al-Baghawi

Better than One Thousand Months: Tafsir al-Baghawi

In surah al-Qadr, Allah describes Laylah al-Qadr by saying:

لَيْلَةُ الْقَدْرِ خَيْرٌ مِّنْ أَلْفِ شَهْرٍ

Laylah al-Qadr is better than one thousand months [97:3]

Imam al-Baghawi wrote the following in his commentary on this ayah:

قوله – عز وجل – : ( ليلة القدر خير من ألف شهر ) قال عطاء عن ابن عباس : ذكر لرسول الله – صلى الله عليه وسلم – رجل من بني إسرائيل حمل السلاح على عاتقه في سبيل الله ألف شهر ، فعجب رسول الله – صلى الله عليه وسلم – لذلك وتمنى ذلك لأمته ، فقال : يا رب جعلت أمتي أقصر الأمم أعمارا وأقلها أعمالا ؟ فأعطاه الله ليلة القدر ، فقال : ( ليلة القدر خير من ألف شهر ) التي حمل فيها الإسرائيلي السلاح في سبيل الله ، لك ولأمتك إلى يوم القيامة . [ ص: 491 ] . ـ

Relaying from ibn ‘Abbaas, ‘Ataa’ said: The Messenger of Allah was told about a man from Banu Israa’eel who carried a sword on his shoulder in the path of Allah for one thousand months. So Allah’s Messenger was amazed by this and wished this for his ummah, saying, “O Lord, You made my ummah the shortest of nations in terms of lifespan and the least of them in terms of deeds?” So then Allah gave him Laylah al-Qadr and said,

لَيْلَةُ الْقَدْرِ خَيْرٌ مِّنْ أَلْفِ شَهْرٍ

“Laylah al-Qadr is better than one thousand months

in which that man from Banu Israa’eel carried a sword in the path of Allah. It is for you and your ummah until the Day of Resurrection.”

قال المفسرون : ” ليلة القدر خير من ألف شهر ” معناه : عمل صالح في ليلة القدر خير من عمل ألف شهر ليس فيها ليلة القدر . ـ

The mufassiroon have said that the meaning of “Laylah al-Qadr is better than one thousand months” is that righteous deeds done during Laylah al-Qadr are better than the deeds of one thousand months which do not contain Laylah al-Qadr.

حدثنا أبو القاسم عبد الكريم بن هوازن القشيري ، إملاء ، حدثنا أبو نعيم الإسفراييني ، أخبرنا أبو عوانة ، حدثنا أبو إسماعيل ، حدثنا الحميدي ، حدثنا سفيان ، حدثنا الزهري ، أخبرني أبو سلمة عن أبي هريرة أن النبي – صلى الله عليه وسلم – قال : ” من قام ليلة القدر إيمانا واحتسابا غفر له ما تقدم من ذنبه ” . ـ

… Abu Hurayrah said that the Prophet said, “Whoever stands Laylah al-Qadr in prayer with eemaan and the expectation of reward, his previous sins will be forgiven.”

قال سعيد بن المسيب : من شهد المغرب والعشاء في جماعة فقد أخذ بحظه من ليلة القدر . ـ

Sa’eed ibn al-Musayyib said, “Whoever is present for maghrib and ‘ishaa’ in congregation has certainly caught his share of Laylah al-Qadr.”

أخبرنا أحمد بن إبراهيم الشريحي ، أخبرنا أبو إسحاق الثعلبي ، أخبرنا أبو بكر بن عبدوس المزكي ، حدثنا أبو العباس محمد بن يعقوب ، حدثنا الحسن بن مكرم ، حدثنا يزيد بن هارون ، أخبرنا كهمس عن عبد الله بن بريدة أن عائشة قالت للنبي – صلى الله عليه وسلم – : إن وافيت ليلة القدر فما أقول ؟ قال : ” قولي : اللهم إنك عفو تحب العفو فاعف عني ” . ـ

… ‘Aishah said to the Prophet, “If I come upon Laylah al-Qadr, what should I say?” He replied, “Say:

اللَّهُمَّ إِنَّكَ عَفُوٌّ تُحِبُّ الْعَفْوَ فَاعْفُ عَنِّي

Allaahumma innaka ‘Afuwwun tuhibbu’l-‘afwa f’afu ‘anee

O Allah, Indeed You are Pardoning and love pardoning, so pardon me!”

[Tafsir al-Baghawi 8/490-491]

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Doubt/Misconception 03: The Fast of Ramaḍān Remains Suspended between Heaven and Earth until The Zakāt al-Fiṭr Is Paid*

Some Common Doubts and Misconceptions Affiliated with Zakāh and Zakāt al-Fiṭr and Their Clarification

*Doubt/Misconception 03: The Fast of Ramaḍān Remains Suspended between Heaven and Earth until The Zakāt al-Fiṭr Is Paid*

After discussing the weakness of the chain of this Ḥadīth, Shaykh Muḥammad Nāṣir al-Dīn al-Albānī(رحمه الله) said:

Even if the Ḥadīth was authentic, its apparent meaning is that fasting in Ramaḍān is only accepted when Zakāt al-Fiṭr is paid. Therefore, whoever did not pay it, then his fast will not be accepted, yet I do not know anyone from the people of knowledge who have said this.

As for the interpretation that I have narrated from al-Maqdisī [i.e. that the sins that occurred in Ramaḍān are only raised to Allāh to be forgiven when the Zakāt al-Fiṭr is paid], then it is implausible, knowing that its interpretation is dependent upon its authenticity, and the Ḥadīth is weak in the first place.

Although I say this [i.e. that the Ḥadīth is weak], I know some Muftīs spread this Ḥadīth everytime the month of Ramaḍān approaches. This is from the leniency which we desire to warn the people from, let alone fall into it themselves.

● [Silsilah al-Aḥādith al-Ḍaʿīfah, vol. 1, pg. 118]

Summarized Rulings Regarding Zakaah al-Fitr

Summarized Rulings Regarding Zakaah al-Fitr

1. What is the ruling regarding Sadaqah al-Fitr?

Ibn Baaz said:

Zakaah al-Fitr is mandatory upon every Muslim, young or old, male or female, free or enslaved (al-Fataawaa 14/197).

2. With what is the Zakaah al-Fitr given?

Ibn Baaz said:

A Saa’ (four handfuls) of food, dates, barely, raisins, and cheese; and according to the most correct opinion of the scholars, what is also included with these types is anything that the people nourish themselves with in their countries like rice, maze, millet and anything similar to these.

3. What is the measure for Zakaah al-Fitr?

Ibn Baaz said:

What is mandatory for this is one Saa’ from the food of the country and its measurement is with Kilos—approximately three Kilos (al-Fataawaa 14-203).

4. When is the time for giving Zakaah al-Fitr?

Ibn Baaz said:

It is given on the days of the 28th, 29th, and 30th as well as the night of ‘Eed. It is also given in the morning of ‘Eed before the Prayer (al-Fataawaa 14/32-33).

5. What is the reason for giving Zakaah al-Fitr?

Ibn ‘Uthaymiin said:

To show gratitude for the blessings of Allaah upon the servant regarding the breaking of the fast of Ramadaan and its completion (al-Fataawaa 18/257).

6. Who is Zakaah al-Fitr given to?

Ibn ‘Uthaymiin said:

It is not to be given except to the poor (al-Fataawaa 18/259).

7. What is the ruling on entrusting children or other than them with giving Zakaah al-Fitr on a person’s behalf?

Ibn ‘Uthaymiin said:

It is permissible for a person to authorize his children to give Zakaah al-Fitr on his behalf at its time even if he is in another country at the time for work (al-Fataawaa 18/262).

8. Is it permissible for the poor to authorize someone else to take the Zakaah al-Fitr for him?

Ibn ‘Uthaymiin said:

It is permissible (al-Fataawaa 18/268).

9. Is there a specific statement that should be made when giving Zakaah al-Fitr?

We do not know of any specific Du’aa (Supplication) that is said at the time of giving it (al-Lajnah ad-Daa’imah 9/387).

10. Is it permissible to give Zakaah al-Fitr in its worth (in money)?

Ibn Baaz said:

It is not permissible to give its worth (with cash) according to the opinion of many scholars due to its opposition to the direct statement of the Prophet—صلى الله عليه و سلم—and his companions—رضي الله عنهم (al-Fataawaa 14/32).

Ibn ‘Uthaymiin said:

Giving it in cash will not suffice, because it has been prescribed to be given in food (al-Fataawaa 18/265).

11. Is it permissible to give Zakaah al-Fitr in a country different from the one its giver is in?

Ibn Baaz said:

The Sunnah is to distribute it amongst the poor in the country of the one giving it and to not give it in cash in a different country so that he can enrich the poor from his country and satisfy their need (al-Fataawaa 14/213).

12. Where is Zakaah al-Fitr given?

Ibn ‘Uthaymiin said:

Zakaah al-Fitr is dispensed in the land that you are in upon breaking the fast [of Ramadaan] even if it is far from your country.

13. Is Zakaah al-Fitr given for a fetus?

Ibn ‘Uthaymiin said:

It is not given on the fetus’s behalf due to it being obligatory; rather it is given because it is highly recommended (al-Fataawa 18/263).

14. Is it permissible to give Zakaah al-Fitr to Non-Muslim workers?

Ibn ‘Uthaymiin said:

It is not permissible to give it to other than the poor from the Muslims (al-Fataawaa 18/285).

15. Is the Zakaah al-Fitr for a single person given to just one individual or can it be dispersed amongst several people?

It is permissible to give the Zakaah al-Fitr for a single person to an individual just as it permissible to distribute it amongst a number of people (al-Lajnah ad-Daa’imah 9/377).

16. What is the ruling on the one who accepts Zakaah al-Fitr and then sells it?

If the one who took it was deserving of it, it is permissible for him to sell it upon receiving it (al-Lajnah ad-Daa’imah 9/380).

17. Delaying the giving of the Zakaah al-Fitr to after ‘Eid without an excuse.

Ibn ‘Uthaymiin said:

Delaying it until after the Salaah is Haraam (impermissible) and it will not suffice (al-Fataawaa 18/266).

Doubt/Misconception 02: Using Money to Pay Zakāt al-Fiṭr Is Acceptable*

Some Common Doubts and Misconceptions Affiliated with Zakāh and Zakāt al-Fiṭr and Their Clarification

*Doubt/Misconception 02: Using Money to Pay Zakāt al-Fiṭr Is Acceptable*

Shaykh ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz Āl al-Shaykh (حفظه الله) stated:

Paying Zakāt al-Fiṭr by estimating its worth and then giving it to the poor wasn’t done in the time of the Prophet (ﷺ), nor in the time of the Rightly-Guided Caliphs (رضي الله عنهم), nor in the time of the Companions (رضي الله عنهم), nor in the time of the Tābaʿīn (رضي الله عنهم); therefore, opposing them isn’t appropriate; rather, following them is preferable.

Paying the value of Zakāt al-Fiṭr is also unacceptable as this is done privately, while paying Zakāt al-Fiṭr itself is done publicly.

● [زكاة الفطر]

Shaykh Ṣāliḥ ibn Fawzān al-Fawzān (حفظه الله) said: “As for paying the value of Zakāt al-Fiṭr, then it is in opposition to the Sunnah. This is unacceptable as there are no reports of the Prophet (ﷺ) or the Companions (رضي الله عنهم) ever paying its value.”

● [Al-Mulakkhaṣ al-Fiqhī, pg. 353]

Shaykh Muḥammad ibn Ṣāliḥ al-ʿUthaymīn (رحمه الله) was asked: “Many poor people say currently that they prefer money over food for their Zakāt al-Fiṭr because money is more beneficial to them then food, so is using money to pay Zakāt al-Fiṭr permissible?”

He (رحمه الله) said: “In my opinion, using money to pay Zakāt al-Fiṭr is impermissible in any circumstance. Food should be give instead. If the poor person wishes, he may sell the food and benefit from the money. As for the one paying Zakāt al-Fiṭr, then he must give food.”

● [Majmū‘ Fatāwá wā Rasāʾil al-ʿUthaymīn, vol. 18, pg. 277]

He (رحمه الله) was also asked: “What is your view concerning the statement of Imām Mālik (رحمه الله): ‘Verily, Zakāt al-Fiṭr is only payed in food, not money?’”

He (رحمه الله) responded: “The opinion of Imām Mālik is that of Imām Aḥmad and Imām al-Shāfi‘ī (رحمهم الله), and it’s correct.”

● [Majmū‘ Fatāwá wā Rasāʾil al-ʿUthaymīn, vol. 18, pg. 279]

Doubt/Misconception 01: The Annual Zakāh Is due when Ramaḍān Commences*

Some Common Doubts and Misconceptions Affiliated with Zakāh and Zakāt al-Fiṭr and Their Clarification

*Doubt/Misconception 01: The Annual Zakāh Is due when Ramaḍān Commences*

Shaykh Muḥammad ibn Ṣāliḥ al-ʿUthaymīn (رحمه الله) was asked: “Giving charity and paying the annual Zakāh in the blessed month of Ramaḍān have become a custom for many people, so are they exclusive to this month?”

He (رحمه الله) said:

Certainly, charity isn’t only given in the month of Ramaḍān; rather, giving it any time is recommended. As for paying the annual Zakāh, then if a year elapses [prior to Ramaḍān], then don’t wait for Ramaḍān, unless the year elapses in a month that is close to it, like Shaʿbān. In this case, there is nothing wrong with postponing its payment until Ramaḍān; however, if the year elapses in Muḥarram—[which is far from Ramaḍān]—then paying the annual Zakāh that late is impermissible. Paying Zakāh early is permissible, but postponing its payment isn’t.

● [Majmū‘ Fatāwá wā Rasāʾil al-ʿUthaymīn, vol. 18, pg. 295]

He (رحمه الله) also said:

Like any other good deed, paying Zakāh in an auspicious occasion—[like Ramaḍān]—is better; however, whenever a year elapses and paying Zakāh becomes compulsory, a person must do so immediately. He shouldn’t postpone its payment until Ramaḍān. Therefore, if a year elapses in Rajab, then he must pay his Zakāh in Rajab. He shouldn’t postpone its payment until Ramaḍān. Likewise, if a year elapses in Muḥarram, then he must pay his Zakāh in Muḥarram. He shouldn’t postpone its payment until Ramaḍān. If, however, a year elapses in Ramaḍān, then he must pay his Zakāh in Ramaḍān.

● [Majmū‘ Fatāwá wā Rasāʾil al-ʿUthaymīn, vol. 20, pg. 72]

A Series of Reminders About The Month of Ramaḍān – No.36

A Series of Reminders About The Month of Ramaḍān – No.36

*Increase Your Supplications, Especially In The Odd Days & Nights Of The Last Ten Days of Ramaḍān*

Ibn Kathīr رحمه الله said: “It is recommended to increase (one’s) supplication at all times, more so in the odd days of the last ten days of the month of Ramaḍān. (Furthermore), it is recommended to increase one’s supplication of this du’ā’:

‎اللهم إنك عفو تحب العفو فاعف عني

‘Allaahumma Innaka ‘Afuwwun Tuḥibbul ‘Afwa Fa’fu ‘Annee’

(O Allāh, indeed You are the One who pardons and You love to pardon; so pardon me).”

● [تفسير ابن كثير ٨/٤٥١]

Enjoining Salaah on your family and waking them up for the night prayers:

Enjoining Salaah on your family and waking them up for the night prayers:

📗 Allaah تعالى mentioned about Ismaa`eel عليه السلام, saying:

وَاذْكُرْ فِي الْكِتَابِ إِسْمَاعِيلَ ۚ إِنَّهُ كَانَ صَادِقَ الْوَعْدِ وَكَانَ رَسُولًا نَّبِيًّا * وَكَانَ يَأْمُرُ أَهْلَهُ بِالصَّلَاةِ وَالزَّكَاةِ وَكَانَ عِندَ رَبِّهِ مَرْضِيًّا

{And mention in the Book (the Qur’aan) Ismaa`eel. Verily! He was true to what he promised, and he was a Messenger, (and) a Prophet. And he used to enjoin on his family and his people al-Salaah (the prayers) and the Zakaah, and his Lord was pleased with him.}
📚 [Surah Maryam (19): 54-55]

📗 Allaah تعالى says to the Prophet ﷺ:

وَأْمُرْ أَهْلَكَ بِالصَّلَاةِ وَاصْطَبِرْ عَلَيْهَا

{And enjoin al-Salaah (the prayer) on your family, and be patient in offering them [i.e. the Salaah]}
📚 [Surah Taha (20): 133]

➡️ Abu Hurairah رضي الله عنه said: The Messenger of Allaah ﷺ said:
❝May Allaah have mercy on a man who gets up at night and prays, then he wakes his wife and she prays, and if she refuses he sprinkles water in her face. And may Allaah have mercy on a woman who gets up at night and prays, then she wakes her husband and prays, and if he refuses she sprinkles water in his face.❞
📚 [Sunan Abu Dawood, Sunan al-Nasaa’ee, Sunan Ibn Maajah, and graded as “Hasan Saheeh” by Shaikh al-Albaanee]

➡️ `Aaishah رضي الله عنها narrated:
❝With the start of the last ten days of Ramadhaan, the Messenger of Allaah ﷺ used to tighten his waist belt (i.e. keep away from his wives) and used to stay up praying all night, and he would also wake his wives (to pray and recite Qur’aan etc.).❞
📚 [Saheehain]

A Series of Reminders About The Month of Ramaḍān – No.35

A Series of Reminders About The Month of Ramaḍān – No.35

*The Virtue Of The Second Half Of Ramaḍān*

Ibn Rajab رحمه الله said: “Al-Ṭabarānī collected the Ḥadīth of ‘Abd Allāh bin Unays; that he asked the Prophet ﷺ about Laylatul Qadr and he said: “I saw it and I was made to forget it, so seek it in the last half of [meaning the end of Ramaḍān].”

Then he returned and asked again and he ﷺ said: “Seek it on the 23rd night.”

And for this reason, and Allah knows best, Ubay bin Kab used to perform Qunūt in al-Witr during the latter half (of Ramaḍān) because it is hoped to be found therein. And also because the latter half of all virtuous times are better than their beginnings: the end of the day of ‘Arafat and Jumu’ah as well as the night and the day in general are better than their beginnings.

● [لطئف المعارف ١٧٦]

Doubt/Misconception 04: Laylat al-Qadr Can Be Seen with the Naked Eye*

Some Common Doubts and Misconceptions Affiliated with Laylat al-Qadr and Their Clarification

*Doubt/Misconception 04: Laylat al-Qadr Can Be Seen with the Naked Eye*

Shaykh ʿUbayd al-Jābirī (حفظه الله) stated when responding to the question: “Is Laylat al-Qadr seen with the naked eye?:

It has become prevalent upon the tongue of many people that a light is seen between the earth and the sky on Laylah al-Qadr. You will see based upon what we will clarify during the answer to this question, if this is true.

First of all, we say: We do not accept such speech without conclusive evidence. This evidence is either a verse from the Book or an authentic Ḥadīth from the infallible [i.e. the Prophet (ﷺ)].

ʿĀʾishah (رضي الله عنها) said: “I asked: O Messenger of Allāh! If I realize when Laylat al-Qadr is, what should I say?’ He (ﷺ) replied: ‘You should say: Allāhumma innaka ʿafuwwun, tuhibb al-ʿafwa, faʿfu ʿannī [i.e. O Allāh, You are Most Forgiving and love forgiveness, so forgive me].'” This was reported by al-Tirmidhī, Ibn Mājah and Aḥmad.

Aḥmad’s wording [of the Ḥadīth] is: “O Messenger of Allāh! What should I say if I come upon Laylah al-Qadr?” He (ﷺ) said: “Say: Allāhumma innaka ʿafuwwun, tuhibb al-ʿafwa, faʿfu ʿannī [i.e. O Allāh, You are Forgiving and love forgiveness, so forgive me].'”

Al-Nasāʾī [also] reports in al-Kubrá: “O Prophet of Allāh! What should I supplicate with if I come upon Laylat al-Qadr?” He (ﷺ) said: ‘Say: Allāhumma innaka ʿafuwwun, tuhibb al-ʿafwa, faʿfu ʿannī [i.e. O Allāh, You are Forgiving and love forgiveness, so forgive me].'”

In another narration she (رضي الله عنها) said: “O Prophet of Allāh! What should I ask Allāh for if I come upon Laylah al-Qadr?” He (ﷺ) said: ‘Say: Allāhumma innaka ʿafuwwun tuhibb al-ʿafwa, faʿfu ʿannī [i.e. O Allāh, You are Forgiving and love forgiveness, so forgive me].'”

Hence, there is no proof in the Ḥadīth, despite its varying expressions that this blessed night is seen with the naked eye.

● [إسعاف ذوي البصيرة والبصر بالتحذير من أمر خطير يشاع حول ليلة القدر]

Doubt/Misconception 03: The Purpose of Laylat al-Qadr Is to Pray a Lot*

Some Common Doubts and Misconceptions Affiliated with Laylat al-Qadr and Their Clarification

*Doubt/Misconception 03: The Purpose of Laylat al-Qadr Is to Pray a Lot*

Shaykh Muḥammad ibn ʿUmar Bāzmūl (حفظه الله) stated:

The purpose of Laylat al-Qadr isn’t to pray a lot, for the Messenger (ﷺ) never prayed more than eleven units in Ramaḍān or any other month. Also, what was meant by the Messenger (ﷺ) tightening his waist wrapper during the last ten nights is iʿtikāf, which was clarified in his (ﷺ) biography. Praying a lot wasn’t the intended meaning.

Furthermore, the purpose of Laylat al-Qadr isn’t to perform a specific ritual. No! this isn’t its purpose. Its purpose is for the slave of Allāh to prepare and spend this night in supplication and remembrance. Haven’t you see the Ḥadīth collected by al-Tirmidhī from ʿĀishah (رضي الله عنها) who said: “O Messenger of Allāh (ﷺ)! If I knew what night Laylat al-Qadr was, what should I say?” He (ﷺ) said: “Say: ‘O Allāh, indeed, You pardon, and You love pardoning, so pardon me.’” Al-Tirmidhī said: “This Ḥadīth is Ḥasan Ṣaḥīḥ.”

Therefore, the Messenger (ﷺ) didn’t direct her to pray a lot, nor to make a lot of supplication, nor to perform a specific ritual of worship; instead, he taught her this supplication.

[Ziyād related] from Mālik—in al-Muwaṭṭa’, in the Book of I‘ʿikāf, in the Chapter of What Was Mentioned about Laylat al-Qadr—that he heard that Saʿīd ibn al-Musayyib (رضي الله عنه) used to say: “Whoever was present for the ʿIshāʾ prayer on Laylat al-Qadr has taken his portion of it.”

● [ليس المقصود بليلة القدر كثرة الصلاة]