By Tariq Mehanna

Adorning yourself for Laylat al Qadr

night of decree

as-Salamu ‘alaykum wa Rahmatullah wa Barakatuh.

It’s interesting to note how keen the Salaf were to cleanse themselves externally on the last ten nights of Ramadan, as they sought out the Night of Qadr. For example:

* Ibrahim an-Nakha’i would be sure to bathe on each of the last ten nights of Ramadan;

* Anas bin Malik would bathe and apply fragrance on the 27th night, and put on a special cloak and lower garment. When he awoke the next morning, he would fold them up and not wear them again until the same time the following year;

* Ayyub as-Sakhtiyani would take a bath on the 23rd and 24th night (which he considered to be the most likely nights of Qadr), and wear brand new garments and scent himself with incense;

* Thabit al-Bunani and Humayd at-Tawil would wear their best clothing and apply fragrance, and scent the mosque with oils and incense on the night that they anticipated the Night of Qadr;

* Tamim ad-Dari had a cloak he had purchased for a thousand dirhams, and he would wear it on the night on which it was anticipated to be the Night of Qadr.

Commenting on this, Ibn Rajab al-Hambali said, in his book ‘Lata’if al-Ma’arif’: “All of this makes clear that on the nights on which the Night of Qadr is anticipated, it’s encouraged to be particularly clean and presentable – to bathe, to smell good, and to wear good clothes – just as with the Friday prayers and ‘Ids. Likewise, it is part of the Islamic Shari’ah to take care of your appearance and clothing in all of the prayers, as in the verse: {“Properly clothe yourselves at every occasion of prayer.”} (7:31) And Ibn ‘Umar said: “Allah is more deserving than anyone else that you properly adorn yourself for Him.””

This reflects how much they venerated this occasion, and that they took it quite seriously.

– Tariq

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