Yusuf gazed out of the window. He saw the bright full moon through the half open curtains.
“Abdullah, look!” Yusuf said out loud.
“SubhaanAllah!” he said in awe.
Yusuf was amazed by the beauty of Allah’s creation.
“It looks like a special night tonight!” Aminah snuck into the room and added cheekily.
“Yes, you are right my dear Aminah.” Ummi said, hugging Aminah.
“Shall we go on a journey for Allah?”
Abdullah looked puzzled.
“How is that Ummi? Are we taking an airplane?” he asked.
Ummi laughed and said, “No, my little boy, what I meant was to take a pretend trip to Allah. Let’s embark on a spiritual journey in the best of months, Ramadan!”
“Yes Ummi, I read in a book once that Ramadan is an honorable month.” Yusuf shared.
“You are very right, my son,” Ummi replied.
“Ramadan is the month of mercy. Allah showers His mercy on all of His creation, especially mankind, because He knows we can easily be weak and sin. That’s why, Allah is giving us a chance to do a great amount of good deeds and turn back to Him alone. A fresh new start! Allah is truly the Most Forgiving and the Most Merciful. We can show our thanks to Allah by filling up our luggage with good deeds and loving Allah Almighty by worshipping Him.”
Ummi decided she would give an example to explain what she meant.
“We can’t travel without packing our belongings, right?”
“Right!” her children replied together.
“In the same way, we can’t go to Jannah without our good deeds! My dear children, listen carefully to this beautiful hadeeth narrated by the companion Ibn Umar. The Prophet ﷺ mentioned Ramadan and said, “Do not fast unless you see the crescent (of Ramadan), and do not give up fasting till you see the crescent (of Shawwal), but if the sky is overcast (if you cannot see it), then act on estimation (i.e. count Sha’ban as 30 days)”, Ummi shared.
“So we fast for 30 days, Ummi?” Abdullah asked.
“Yes, Abdullah.” Ummi smiled.
Suddenly they were interrupted by the ringing of the doorbell. Abi was home!
“Assalamu ’alaikum!” Abi called out cheerfully.
“Wa ’alaikumussalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakaatuhu, ya Abati,” Yusuf, Abdullah and Aminah exclaimed, rushing to the door to welcome their father. They hugged and kissed him exuberantly.
“Oh my, look what Abi has got for you, children! SubhaanAllah!” Ummi exclaimed in amazement.
“A beautiful pink prayer mat,” Aminah clapped her hands in glee.
She was very happy and immediately kissed her father’s cheek, “Jazaakallahu Khairan ya Abati! You gave me a priceless gift. I will keep it forever and ever and ever!”
Abi was very touched by Aminah when she said these words.
“And may Allah bless you to pray dutifully to Him on this prayer mat forever and ever and ever, my pumpkin,” he hugged her closely.
“A blue and green prayer mat for both of us!” Yusuf exclaimed to his brother Abdullah, pulling another prayer mat out.
“Yippee! That’s so cool! We can pray with Hamaad and Hafsah when they visit us tomorrow for Taraawih InShaaAllah!” Abdullah said to Yusuf.
“JazakAllahu Khair Abati,” they turned to him, their faces lit up.
“Baarakallahu feekum, Yusuf and Abdullah.” Abi replied back.
The children loved their prayer mats and liked their colours very much. They all thanked their father.
“My sweetheart, a rose and a prayer scarf for you,” Abi said, handing Ummi the wrapped gifts.
Ummi was very touched by her husband’s special gift for her.
‘Abi is racing for rewards from Allah!’ Yusuf thought to himself. “Abi,” he said out loud, “Ummi was just teaching us a beautiful lesson about how our deeds are multiplied in Ramadan. And now you have taught us that we should be kind and generous to each other, with these special gifts. Wow, Ramadan really is a special time of the year!”
“How good of you to notice that, Yusuf! MashaAllah TabarakAllah,” Abi smiled, “Yes, indeed, it is. In fact, we learn that our beloved Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) was the most generous of all people, and he used to become more generous in Ramadan! He (ﷺ) then used to be more generous than the fast wind.”
“The fast wind. What does that mean, Abi?” Aminah asked.
“It means that just like everyone feels the breeze of the wind, everyone would feel the benefit of the Prophet’s generosity. His generosity would reach everyone, SubhanAllah!”
“Wow, that’s amazing. I’m going to try and be more kind and generous this Ramadan too! Just like the Prophet (ﷺ),” Abdullah piped up.
Yusuf, Abdullah and Aminah thanked Abi one more time and then each of them ran off to their rooms to try out their new prayer mats.
Aminah rubbed her feet over her soft prayer mat and made a du’aa.
“O Allah, please bless Abi and grant him the highest place in Jannah.”
“Yusuf! Abdullah! Aminah! Come for dinner!” Ummi called from the kitchen.
Abdullah rushed to the kitchen quickly.
“Well, that was fast,” Abi smiled as he joined him at the table and everyone else followed.
“Abi, Ummi said that Ramadan is a race. So I’m racing to do everything now!”
Everyone laughed out loud.
“How funny you are, little Abdullah,” Abi grinned.
“Bismillah,” Abdullah said, hoping to be the first again as his hand shot out to grab a samosa.
“Eat slowly Abdullah, I’m afraid you will turn into a Biryani,” Yusuf teased his brother and chuckled.
The dinner table was laid out with fresh mango juice, chicken biryani and many more delicious treats!
“JazakAllahu Khair Ummi for this wonderful meal,” Abi said.
“Wa iyyak,” Ummi replied. “Aminah was very kind to help me set the table.”
As everyone relished the food on their plates, Abi asked, “So, children, do any of you know what Laylatul Qadar is?”
“Laylatul Qadar?” Abdullah asked in confusion.
“Laylatul Qadar means the Night of Power,” Aminah answered.
Abi congratulated Aminah for her fast response. “Brilliant Aminah! BaarakAllahu feeki sweetheart.”
“I’ve been studying Surah al Qadar with Ummi,” she replied happily.
“The Night of Power is a remarkable night, ‘Layl’ means night and Qadar means ‘Sharaf’ in Arabic, which means ‘honour’. Because in this special night Allah revealed the greatest miracle to mankind. Can anyone tell me what that is?” Abi said.
“I know this one!” Abdullah exclaimed, “The Qur’an!”
“Excellent, Abdullah! BaarakAllahu feek,” Abi said, “The Qur’an was sent down on this night and so it is very special. In fact, it is the best night in the whole year! And holds many many rewards. Shall I tell you something really amazing about this night?”
“Yes, yes, Abi!” the children exclaimed.
“Allah says in the Qur’an that Laylatul Qadar is better than a thousand months! Can you imagine!”
“When is it, Abi? Which night of Ramadan?” Yusuf asked.
“Well, Yusuf, the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) told us to look out for Laylatul Qadar during the last ten nights of Ramadan, especially the odd nights. That means the 21st, 23rd, 25th, 27th and 29th. And he also told us that there are special signs for us to look out for.”
“What are they?” Yusuf asked.
“Laylatul Qadar is a night after which the sun rises in the morning without rays. That means that it looks a little bit like the colour of an egg yolk and without any bright light shining around it. And you also feel very very special on this particular night as peace descends onto Earth.”
“Wow! I can’t wait to find Laylatul Qadar this Ramadan!” Aminah exclaimed.
“So what can we do to make Laylatul Qadar special, Abi?” Abdullah asked.
“Any good actions we do such as giving charity, helping the needy, reciting the Quran, remembering Allah during laylatul qadr is better than doing those deeds for one thousand months. It’s not equal to it, it’s better! How Merciful Allah is to us!”
“Wow, subhaanAllah, what massive reward!” Aminah exclaimed, thrilled.
“And that’s not all,” Ummi grinned, “The Prophet (ﷺ) also said that whoever prays during Laylatul Qadr with Eeman – faith – and hoping for reward from Allah, then they will have all of their previous sins forgiven!”
“Oh wow,” Yusuf said.
“So now do you kids know why Ramadan is so special?”
“Yes, yes, yes!” the children exclaimed loudly. “Alhamdulillah for Ramadan!”
Ummi and Abi smiled at each other. “Alhamdulillah for Ramadan, indeed.”
Aminah, Yusuf and Abdullah were now very very excited to meet the special day of Laylatul Qadar. They decided together to make loads of du’aa that night and read loads of Qur’an, and would even list all their favourite du’aas on paper.
That night before bed Ummi called her children, “Come over here, children. I want to share with you a special du’aa that was taught by our beloved Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) to his wife Aisha when she asked him what to say on the night of Laylatul Qadar. Here, Yusuf, can you read the du’aa in Arabic out loud for us all, please?”
“Yes, Ummi,” he said, “Allahumma innaka `afuwwun tuhibbul `afwa fa`fu `annee.”
“And Yusuf, the English translation please.”
“O Allah, certainly You are the One who pardons greatly, and loves to pardon, so pardon me.”
Ummi then told her children to memorize the du’aa. “Ask Allah for anything you wish my dear children, no matter how small or big it is. Have faith that Allah will answer your du’aa. Make a long du’aa, sincere and deep. It may look impossible to you but raise your hands high up to Allah and trust Him. He will grant you all that is good for you. Nothing is impossible in the eyes of Allah! Also remember to pray for our brothers and sisters in Islam who are suffering from poverty, sickness and diseases.”
Ummi hugged her children tightly and then sent them off to bed.
Before sleeping, Aminah, Yusuf and Abdulllah thanked Allah for His countless blessings and made du’aa that they would earn the many rewards of Laylatul Qadar.
· The Night of Power is better than a thousand months; we should increase our worship and do more good deeds to get closer to Allah subhaanahu wa ta’ala.
· Do extra Salah, dhikr (Remembering Allah), Qiyaam and Taraweeh during the last ten nights of Ramadan.
· Eat less, say little and focus on how you can make a difference in your life by speaking to Allah and planning your future.
· Take a special trip just for Allah; pray more, give more and do more. Put away things that distract you from the remembrance of Allah. If your friends invite you to play, kindly decline them in a nice manner and encourage them to spend time reading quran
· Recite Quran and race in doing good deeds; get a buddy to help you with this. It can be your siblings, your good friend, your mother or father.
May Allah reward the readers and may this Ramadan be a meaningful one to you and your beloved ones. Ameen.