What are the blessed days in islam? What holy night is tonight in islam? What are the 5 holy nights in islam?
1) The Day of ʿAshura
The tenth day of Muharram, which is the first month of the lunar calendar, is the day of ʿĀshūra. The word āshūr comes from the Hebrew word ashūr, and the day of āshūra is a day known in earlier divine religions and the people fasted on that day considering it holy. It is used for the day of penance in the Jewish belief.
When the Prophet (saw) came to Medina, he saw that the Jews were fasting on the day of ʿĀshūra and asked what fast it was. In response, they said: “Today is a good day. God saved the Children of Israel from the persecution of Pharaoh today, so Moses fasted for gratitude today. We fast it too.” Thereupon, the Prophet said, “We are closer to the Sunnah of Moses than you,” and he fasted that day and told his Companions to fast. Aisha (r. anha) describes the practice of fasting as follows, “In the days of ignorance, the Quraysh used to fast on the day of ʿĀshūra. Before the Hijra, the Messenger of Allah used to fast, too. He continued this fast after he migrated to Madinah. The following year, when Ramaḍān fasting was made obligatory, he stopped fasting on the day of ʿĀshūra.
While the rule of ʿĀshūra fasting was obligatory according to Ḥanafis and sunnah mu’akkad according to Shafiʿis in the early days of Islam, this fast started to be considered mustaḥab after Ramaḍān fasting was made obligatory. On the other hand, it is considered good to fast on the ninth, tenth and eleventh day of Muharram in order not to resemble the Jews.
There are various historical events reported in relation to the tenth day of Muharram. It is among these narrations that it is said that on that day Adam’s repentance was accepted, Noah’s ship ran aground, and Jacob was reunited with his son Yusuf. The origin of the Turkish dessert called ʿāshūra is also based on one of these reports. It is said that those in Noah’s ark mixed the leftover food in the hold of the ark after the ark run aground and cooked a meal to celebrate that day. This is accepted as the root of the custom of cooking ʿāshūra and offering it to friends and family.
Those in the Shia-Imāmiyya school consider the tenth day of Muharram a “mourning day” because it coincides with the day that Hussein was martyred in Karbala, and they do not laugh, eat meat, wear a new dress, or start a new job between the first and tenth day of Muharram. According to them, the tenth day of Muharram is a day of lamentation and mourning.
Before the advent of Islam, people mourning a deceased person would go to extreme lengths. Mourning included crying and screaming loudly, tearing clothes, hiring professional weepers, keeping the deceased’s wife out of the house for a year, not wearing perfume, and not even washing and keeping clean. The religion of Islam rationalized the mourning inherent in man’s nature and forbade extremism. The criterion in this matter is expressed in the hadiths as follows, “He who slaps the cheeks tears the clothes, and follows the tradition of the Days of Ignorance is not from us.” When the Prophet cried and tears came down his eyes after the death of his son Ibrahim and his grandson, the Companions asked about this situation. Allah’s Messenger (saw) said, “It is mercy which Allah has lodged in the hearts of His slaves, and Allah is merciful only to those of His slaves who are merciful (to others).”, and “The eyes are shedding tears and the heart is grieved, and we will not say except what pleases our Lord” According to Islam, the period of mourning is three days. However, the woman whose husband died mourns for four months and ten days and spends this time at her husband’s house.
2) The Night of Raghaib
The first Friday night of the month of Rajab, which is the first one of the three months, is known as the “The Night of Raghāib”. It is reported that on this night, the Messenger of Allah was blessed with various spiritual manifestations and performed twelve cycles of prayer for gratitude. The narration that Muhammad was conceived in his mother’s womb on this night does not seem to be fully compatible with the date of his birth. Perhaps, the mother of the Messenger of Allah, Amina, learned that night that she was pregnant.
3) The Night of Miʿraj (Ascension)
The 27th night of Rajab is the night of Miʿraj (Ascension). On this night, Muhammad (saw) was taken from Mecca as a miracle, and he made a journey to the Masjid al-Aqsa in Jerusalem, from where he ascended to the heavens. He had many manifestations that night. The incident of the Miʿraj took place about a year and a half before the hijra and five daily prayers were made obligatory on that night.
The Miʿraj’s first part that happened on earth is described in the Qur’an as follows, “Glory to (Allah) Who did take His servant for a Journey by night from the Sacred Mosque to the Farthest Mosque, whose precincts We did bless, in order that We might show him some of Our Signs: for He is the One Who hears and sees (all things).”
There was no other mosque at that time beyond the Masjid al-Aqsa, which was named Bayt al-Maqdis. As a matter of fact, the name of this mosque is used in the hadith about Isrā. “I got on Buraq and arrived at Bayt al-Maqdis.”, and “Allah has blessed the area between the Arish and the Euphrates and has made Palestine especially holy.” It was David (as) who built Masjid al-Aqsa because this region and its surroundings were prosperous and fertile places where the prophets received revelations, worshiped, and were places with rivers and fruit trees. From Jabir Ibn Abdillah, “I heard the Prophet (saw) say: ‘When the Quraish disbelieved me (concerning my night journey), I stood up in al-Hijr (the unroofed portion of the Kaʿba) and Allah displayed Bayt al-Maqdis before me, and I started to inform them (Quraish) about its signs while looking at it.’”
On the night of Miʿraj, the Prophet ascended to the seven heavens and had a direct conversation with Allah, and the five daily prayers were declared obligatory on this night. Moreover, the last two verses of chapter al-Baqara were revealed on this night.
4) The Night of Berat
Berat is the 15th night of Sha’ban, and the word berat is the Turkified form of the Arabic word barā’a-barā’ah meaning to be acquitted from sins. It is reported that the decrees pertaining to the creatures’ sustenance in a year, whether they will be rich or poor, holy or disgraced, their lifespan, and the number of pilgrims will be conveyed to the angels in charge to implement those decrees by Allah Almighty during this night.
In the third verse of chapter al-Dukhān (44), it is stated that the Qur’an was sent down on a blessed night. Although the majority said that this night was the night of power (Laylat al-Qadr), Ikrima and a group of scholars said that it was the “Night of Berat”. According to those who hold this view, the Qur’an descended from Lawḥ al-Maḥfūẓ to the world sky on the night of Berat, and it was started to be revealed piece by piece on the night of Power in Ramaḍān, and this revelation was completed in 23 years. As a matter of fact, Ibn Abbas gave the following answer to the question about it, “The Qur’an descended from the Lawḥ al-Maḥfūz to the Bayt al-Maʿmūr, which is the heaven of the world. Then, it was revealed according to the events and situations.”
Ali narrated that the Prophet (saw) said, “When it is the night of the middle of Sha’ban, spend its night in prayer and observe a fast on that day. For Allah descends at sunset on that night to the lowest heaven and says: ‘Is there no one who will ask Me for forgiveness, that I may forgive him? Is there no one who will ask Me for provision, that I may provide for him? Is there no one who is afflicted by trouble, that I may relieve him?’ And so on, until dawn comes.”
According to a narration from Aisha (r. anha), on the 15th night of the month of Shaban, the Prophet (saw) left the house and went to the Baqi cemetery. She followed him and when he saw Aisha watching him, he said, “Indeed Allah, Mighty, and Sublime is He, descends to the lowest Heavens during the night of the middle of Shaban, to grant forgiveness to more than the number of hairs on the sheep of (Banu) Kalb.” He also explained the reason for his leaving silently as follows, “Gabriel came to me when you saw me. He called me and he concealed it from you. I responded to his call, but I too concealed it from you (for he did not come to you), as you were not fully dressed. I thought that you had gone to sleep, and I did not like to awaken you, fearing that you may be frightened. He (Gabriel) said: Your Lord has commanded you to go to the inhabitants of Baqi’ (to those lying in the graves) and beg pardon for them. I said: Messenger of Allah, how should I pray for them (How should I beg forgiveness for them)? He said: Say, Peace be upon the inhabitants of this city (graveyard) from among the Believers and the Muslims, and may Allah have mercy on those who have gone ahead of us, and those who come later on, and we shall, God willing, join you.”
It is said that there are five features on the Night of Berat: 1) Every wise thing is separated on this night. 2) The virtue of worshiping that night is great. On this night, it is recommended to help the poor and to perform qaḍā, tahajjud, and tatawwū’ prayers. 3) Allah’s mercy descends. 4) It is the night of forgiveness. It is stated in a hadith, “Allah Almighty forgives all Muslims on this night. Except for those who are soothsayers, magicians, those who hold grudges, those who are fond of alcohol, those who cut off their relations with their parents, or those who are fond of adultery.” 5) On this night, the entire authority of intercession was given to Muhammad. It is stated in a hadith, “Muhammad prayed on the 13th night of Sha’ban, and he was given one-third of the intercession, one-third of the intercession on the 14th night, and the whole right of the intercession was given to him with the prayer he made on the 15th night. However, those who run away from Allah like a camel run away are excluded from this intercession.”
5) The Night of al-Qadr
The characteristics of the night of power are described as follows in the Qur’an, “We have indeed revealed this (Message) in the Night of Power: And what will explain to you what the night of power is? The Night of Power is better than a thousand months. Therein come down the angels and the Spirit by Allah’s permission, on every errand: Peace!… This until the rise of morn!”
There are different reports given regarding the reason for the revelation of this surah. According to the narration from Mujāhid, when the Prophet (saw) said that a soldier from the Children of Israel took up arms in the way of Allah for a thousand months, the Companions belittled their own deeds, and this surah was revealed. Whereas, according to Imam Malik, this surah was revealed when the Prophet was worried about the lack of action, thinking that the period of his ummah was going to be a short one.
The Prophet stated that the Night of Power should be sought in the odd days of the last ten days of Ramaḍān. Ubay Ibn Ka’b (ra) narrated that it was the 27th night of Ramaḍān, based on the signs reported by the Messenger of Allah. There is also a narration from Muawiya regarding this issue. Abu Talha reported that Nu’aym Ibn Bashīr said from the pulpit of Homs, “Together with the Messenger of Allah (saw), we engaged in worship until the first third of the 23rd night of the month of Ramaḍān, half of the 25th night, and almost until the time of dawn on the 27th night.” The Ḥanafis took this view as a basis. Imam Shafiʿi, on the other hand, saw the narration about the 21st night of Ramaḍān to be stronger. However, keeping it secret appears to be to encourage the revival of all the other nights.
Regarding the virtue of the Night of Power, Allah’s Messenger said, “Whoever revives the Night of Power by believing in its reward and expecting its reward from Allah, his past sins will be forgiven.” This hadith is narrated in al-Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawūd, al-Tirmidhi from Abu Huraira, and in al-Nasāī from Aisha.
The narrations stating various things such as searching for the Night of Power in the odd, or even, or in the last ten days of Ramaḍān, or in the whole Ramaḍān, are due to the different answers given by the Prophet to the questions on this subject. As Ibn Malak said, it is possible that it will occur on the odd nights in one year and on the even nights in another year.
However, it is a fact that since it is reported that the Qur’an was revealed in the month of Ramaḍān in accordance with the verse 185 of al-Baqara and that the night of Qadr is the night when the Qur’an was revealed, there is no doubt that that night will coincide with a night in that blessed month and Allah Almighty knows the truth.
According to this, there is no doubt that a person who spends the day of Ramaḍān fasting, and performs the night prayers, dawn prayers, and tarawīḥ prayers during the nights will benefit from its blessings by his or her actions coinciding with this night, even if he or she is unaware of what night it is that is transpiring.
As a result, there is no special supererogatory prayer related to these blessed nights. However, performing compensatory or supererogatory prayers, reciting the Qur’an, and engaging in supplication, dhikr, and knowledge by making use of these nights bring great rewards to the person. As a matter of fact, the Messenger of Allah (saw) advised Aisha, who asked how she should pray on the Night of Power, to say:
“Allāhumma, innaka afuwwun, karīmun, tuḥibbu’l-ʿafwa, faʿfu ʿanni.”
(O Allah, indeed You are Pardoning, Generous, You love to pardon, so pardon me)
One should continue to make this supplication as much as possible on these blessed nights.
 See al-Bukhari, Ṣawm, 1; Torah, Leviticus, 16, 29. Al-Bukhari, Ṣawm, 69; Tecrid-i Sarih Tercemesi, VI, 308, 309. Al-Bukhari, Ṣawm, 69; Tecrid-i Sarih Tercemesi, VI, 307, 308. Al-Bukhari, Janā’iz, 36. Al-Bukhari, Janā’iz, 33. Al-Bukhari, Janā’iz, 44. Al-’Isrā, 17: 1. Al-Bukhari, Bad’ al-khalq, 6; Muslim, Imān, 259, 264; al-Nasā’ī, Ṣalāh, 10. Muslim, Imān, 282; al-Munāwī, Taysīr, I, 248. Al-Bukhari, Tafsīr, 17/3. See Ebussuûd, Tafsīr, VIII, 58. Fakhr al-Rāẓi, Tafsīr, XXVII, 240; al-Alūsi, Tafsīr, XIII, I/ 111; al-Qurṭubī, Jamī’, XVI, 126; Elmalılı, al-Dukhān, 44: 3. Ibn Maja, ‘Iqāmah, 191. The chain of narrators of this hadith is considered weak. Al-Nasā’ī, ‘Iqāmah, 191; al-Tirmidhī, Ṣawm, 39. Al-Tirmidhī, considered this hadith weak. Muslim, Janā’iz, 103; al-Nasā’ī, Amr bi’l-Istighfār, 103. Aḥmad ibn Ḥanbal, II, 176; Targhīb wa Tarhīb, II, 118. Al-Alūsi, Tafsīr, XIII, 112; For more information about intercession see H. Döndüren, Açıklamalı Meal, Al-Zumar, 39: footnote 44. Al-Qadr, 97: 1-5. Al-Bayḥaqī, Sunan, IV, 306. Malik, Muwaṭṭā’, Iʿtikāf, 15. Al-Tirmidhī, Ṣawm, 72. Abū Dawūd, Shahru Ramaḍān, 2, 3, 6, Hadith No: 1378, 1386; al-Tirmidhī, Ṣawm, 72, Hadith No: 792. Al-Nasā’ī, Kıyamu Şehri Ramaḍān, 5, Hadith No: 1603. Malik, Muwaṭṭā’, Iʿtikāf,6, Hadith No: 9; al-Bukhari, Iʿtikāf, 1, Muslim, Ṣiyām, 213; Abū Dawūd, Shahru Ramaḍān, 2, 3, Hadith No: 1378, 1382; Al-Tirmidhī, Ṣawm, 72, Hadith No: 792. Al-Bukhari, Imān, 25, Ṣawm, 6, Laylat al-Qadr, 1; Muslim, Musāfirīn, 175, 176; Abū Dawūd, Ramaḍān, 1; al-Tirmidhī, Ṣawm, 1; al-Nasā’ī, Qiyām al- Layl, 3, Ṣiyām, 39. See al-Qurṭubī, Ibn Kathīr, Elmalılı, Çantay, surah al-Qadr, 97: 1-5. Al-Tirmidhī, Daʿawāt, 84; Ibn Maja, Duʿa, 5; Aḥmad ibn Ḥanbal, Musnad, I, 419, 438, VI, 171, 182, 183, 208, 258.
Source: Basic Islamic Principles (ilmiḥal) According to the Four Sunni Schools With Evidence From The Sources of Islamic Law, Prof. Hamdi Döndüren, Erkam Publications