الحمد لله رب العالمين، والصلاة والسلام على أشرف الأنبياء والمرسلين، نبينا محمد وعلى آله وصحبه أجمعين أما بعد
Shaikh ‘Abdul-‘Azeez bin Baaz (rahimahullaah) said:
“It is not hidden that we are indeed in a great month, and (in) the blessed ten – and it is its conclusion and it is the best of it. The Noble Prophet (‘alaihis salaatu was-salaam) would dedicate them with an excess of exertion which he would not do in the other twenty, and from that: is that he (‘alaihis salaatu was-salaam) would spend its nights awake (in prayer) and he would awaken his family and he would tighten his waistcloth and would perform I’tikaaf in order to seek out the great night – the night of decree.
So it is befitting of us, it is befitting of the people of Islaam, it is befitting of his Ummah (‘alaihis salaatu was-salaam), from the people of Eemaan that they should emulate him (‘alaihis salaatu was-salaam) in veneration of these ten and to have care and concern for them and to be swift and strive in pursuit of the aspects of good. Since in the like of this it is said: so let those strive who want to strive; and: let the workers work. He, The Mighty and Majestic, says:
((So hasten to [do] good works.)) (Al-Baqarah: 148)
He, The Glorified, says also:
سَابِقُوا إِلَىٰ مَغْفِرَةٍ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ وَجَنَّةٍ عَرْضُهَا كَعَرْضِ السَّمَاءِ وَالْأَرْضِ
((Race towards forgiveness from your Lord and a Garden whose width is like the width of the heaven and the earth.)) (Al-Hadeed: 21)
Likewise He, The Glorified, says:
وَسَارِعُوا إِلَىٰ مَغْفِرَةٍ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ وَجَنَّةٍ عَرْضُهَا السَّمَاوَاتُ وَالْأَرْضُ أُعِدَّتْ لِلْمُتَّقِينَ
((And hasten to forgiveness from your Lord and a Garden whose width is that of the heavens and the earth, prepared for the Muttaqeen [pious and dutiful ones])) (Aal-‘Imraan: 133)
These commands incorporate all times and all places, so the believing male – and likewise the believing female are both commanded with hastening to (do) good works, and to race to them and to be swift in regard to them in any time and in every place until one meets his Lord. However it befits the believing male and female to specify the occasions that the Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) specified and venerated them with an excess of care and concern.
The believer, his Eemaan propels him and his Eemaan prompts him upon taking advantage of the opportunities of good and to race to an array of acts of obedience, especially during these blessed ten, for they are indeed worthy of careful consideration, and in them is a tremendous night, one that is better than a thousand months. Truly it is Laylatul Qadr (the night of decree). He (‘alaihis salaatu was-salaam) said:
مَنْ قَامَ لَيْلَةَ الْقَدْرِ إِيمَانًا وَاحْتِسَابًا غُفِرَ لَهُ مَا تَقَدَّمَ مِنْ ذَنْبِهِ
((Whoever stands [in prayer] in Laylatul Qadr out of true faith and seeking reward, then his previous sins will be forgiven for him.))
This is an immense good and a great virtue, and this is the night in which the Qur’aan was revealed, as He, The Mighty and Majestic, said:
إِنَّا أَنزَلْنَاهُ فِي لَيْلَةِ الْقَدْرِ
((Indeed; We sent it [the Qur’aan] down in the Night of Al-Qadr [Decree])) (Al-Qadr: 1)
إِنَّا أَنزَلْنَاهُ فِي لَيْلَةٍ مُّبَارَكَةٍ
((Indeed, We sent it [the Qur’aan] down on a blessed night.)) (Ad-Dukhaan: 3)
So the blessed night that is mentioned in Soorah Ad-Dukhaan is this very night, it is Laylatul Qadr. He said in it here in Soorah Ad-Dukhaan:
حم * وَالْكِتَابِ الْمُبِينِ * إِنَّا أَنزَلْنَاهُ فِي لَيْلَةٍ مُّبَارَكَةٍ ۚ إِنَّا كُنَّا مُنذِرِينَ * فِيهَا يُفْرَقُ كُلُّ أَمْرٍ حَكِيمٍ
((Hā-mīm. By the clear Book. Indeed, We sent it [the Qur’aan] down on a blessed night. Verily, We are ever warning. Therein [that night] is decreed every matter of ordainment.)) (Ad-Dukhaan: 1-4)
He likewise said in a Soorah that He revealed separately:
إِنَّا أَنزَلْنَاهُ فِي لَيْلَةِ الْقَدْرِ * وَمَا أَدْرَاكَ مَا لَيْلَةُ الْقَدْرِ* لَيْلَةُ الْقَدْرِ خَيْرٌ مِّنْ أَلْفِ شَهْرٍ * تَنَزَّلُ الْمَلَائِكَةُ وَالرُّوحُ فِيهَا بِإِذْنِ رَبِّهِم مِّن كُلِّ أَمْرٍ * سَلَامٌ هِيَ حَتَّىٰ مَطْلَعِ الْفَجْرِ
((Indeed; We sent it [the Qur’aan] down in the Night of Al-Qadr [Decree]. And what will make you know what the Night of Al-Qadr [Decree] is? The Night of Al-Qadr [Decree] is better than a thousand months. The angels and the Rooh [Jibreel] descend therein by permission of their Lord with every matter. Peace! It is until the appearance of dawn.)) (Al-Qadr: 1-5)
It is appropriate for you O servant of Allaah; that you strive hard in spending them awake with goodness and with righteous action, for indeed action within it and striving in it is better than action in a thousand months from other than it. A unit of prayer in it or recitation in it or giving in charity in it or making a Tasbeehah (glorifying Allaah) in it or enjoining good or forbidding evil or calling to Allaah or the like of that is better than action in a thousand months from other than it. This is immense good and a great virtue.
Whoever stands (for prayer) during the ten nights then he accomplishes this night – without doubt, for indeed with the majority of the scholars it does not exit from them (i.e. the last ten nights), and it is the truth in which there is no doubt.
Whoever stands during all of these ten nights (in prayer), then he will have indeed accomplished it, with the condition that it is out of Eemaan (true faith) and anticipating and seeking out the reward. Eemaan in that Allaah legislated it, and anticipation for the reward with Him, The Glorified and Most High, not out of wanting to be seen (by others) nor for any other objective.
Rather one establishes them and acts within them out of true faith with the legislation of Allaah and out of anticipation for the reward with Him, The Mighty and Majestic. This is how the actions should be, it is essential that they stem from true faith and sincerity and truthfulness, as for if it is for some other objective then it has no value for it nor does it benefit its companion – rather it harms him.
Indeed the actions that are with Allaah are but (those that are) pure and advantageous and beneficial. They are the actions that emanate from sincerity to Him, The Glorified, and from true faith in Him in that He is the Lord of the creation, and that He is The One and Only. The Unique (The One Who is Alone and Unique in every sense) Who is worthy of worship, and anticipation of the reward that is with Him and to seek the reward that is with Him, The Glorified and Most High, and out of compliance with the legislation – not that it is an innovation. Rather it is to be for Allaah purely, and compliant with the legislation – this is how the actions are beneficial and advantageous.
He (‘alaihis salaatu was-salaam) made clear that the odd (nights) are more emphasized than other than them. Some of the people of knowledge stated that if during the odd nights there is the night of Al-Jumu’ah (Friday), then it is more emphasized and closer to being Laylatul Qadr, and so it is appropriate for us that we should give importance to these nights, especially this night, and that there should be for us a share and portion of exertion within it in performing good.
May Allaah endow us and you with uprightness, and may He grant us and you refuge from the factors of sadness and regret, and grants us all the ability to complete fasting it and standing in it out of true faith and anticipation and seeking reward.”
Abridged from: Hadeethul Masaa min ad-Duroos wal-Muhaadaraat wa at-Ta’leeqaat p.217-222
 Reported by Al-Bukhaaree (no.1901) and Muslim (no.759)