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Sacred Nights

Sacred nights are esteemed by Islam. Having great mercy upon His slaves, Allahu ta'ala has made some nights valuable and has declared that He will accept the prayers and istighfars [1] done on these nights. He has made these nights opportunities for His slaves to worship much, to pray and ask for forgiveness. A sacred night is named after the day following it. It is the duration of time from the early afternoon prayer of the preceding daytime till the dawn following the night. Only, the night of Arafa and the three nights of Qurban are not so. These four nights follow the daytime after which they are named. We must benefit from these nights, perform our omitted prayers of namaz, read the Qur'an, say prayers and istighfar, give alms, please Muslims and send the thawab [2] to the souls of the dead, too. We must respect these nights. To respect them means not to commit sins during them.

It is written on the hundred and seventy-second page of the book Riyad-un-nasikhin, "Imam-i Nawawi says in his book Azkar, 'To utilize one-twelfth of the night [about one hour] means to utilize the whole night. This is the case for summer and winter nights alike. ' It is written in Haqayiq-i manzuma, 'In books of fiqh [3], an hour means an amount of time. ' Imam-i Nawawi is a mujtahid [4] in the Shafi'i Madhhab [5]. It is good also for those who are Hanafi to benefit from the nights in this manner."

1- QADR NIGHT: Qadr night is a night in the blessed month of Ramadan. Imam-i Shafi'i noted that it was most probably the seventeenth night, while Imam-i a'zam Abu Hanifa said that the most probable night was the twenty-seventh. We have been told to look for it between the twentieth and the thirtieth nights. It is the most valuable night praised in the Qur'an. The Qur'an began to be revealed to Rasulullah on this night.

2- NIGHT OF 'IYD OF FITR: Night of 'iyd [6] of Fitr is the night between the last day of the blessed month of Ramadan and the first day of the 'Iyd.

3- ARAFA NIGHT: Arafa night is the night between the Arafa day and the first day of the 'Iyd of Qurban (sacrifice). It is the night between the ninth and the tenth days of the month of Zil-hijja.

4- NIGHTS OF QURBAN: Nights of qurban are the nights following the first, second and third days of the 'Iyd of Qurban. These three days are called Ayyam-i nahr.

5- MAWLID NIGHT: Mawlid night is the night between the eleventh and twelfth days of the month of Rabi'ulawwal. It is the birth night of Hadrat [7] Muhammad Mustafa 'alaihissalam', who was sent as the Prophet for people all over the world and who is the last and the highest of all prophets.

6- BARAT NIGHT: Barat night is the fifteenth night of the month of Sha'ban. That is, it is the night between its fourteenth and fifteenth days.

7- MI'RAJ NIGHT: Mi'raj night is the twenty-seventh night of the month of Rajab. Mi'raj means ladder. It is the night on which Rasulullah was made to ascend to heavens and was taken to unknown places.

8- THE NIGHT OF RAGHAIB: First Friday night (i.e. the night between thursdayand friday.) of the month of Rajab is called Night of Raghaib.

9- MUHARRAM NIGHT: The first night (i.e. the night previous to muharrem 1,) of the month of Muharram is the Muslim's new year's night. Muharram is the first month of the Islamic year.

10- ASHURA NIGHT: Ashura night is the tenth night of Muharram. That is, it is the night between the ninth and tenth days. !

GLOSSARY
[1] istighfar: prayer for repentance; prescribed prayer recited in order to entreat Allahu ta'ala for forgiveness.
[2] thawab: Muslims will be rewarded in the Hereafter for all their pious actions which they have done in the world. The rewards which Muslims will be given in the Hereafter are called thawab. The word is used as an adjective as well as a noun. For example, when we say that an action is very thawab we mean that Allahu ta'ala will give many rewards for the action. Rewards which Muslims will be given in the Hereafter.
[3] fiqh: knowledge dealing with what Muslims should do and should not do; actions, a'mal, 'ibadat.
[4] mujtahid: great 'alim capable of employing ijtihad; mujtahid imam, mujtahid mufti.
[5] madhhab: all of what a profound 'alim of (especially) Fiqh (usually one of the four-Hanafi, Shafi'i, Maliki, Hanbali) or iman (one of the two, namely Ash-ari, Maturidi) communicated.
[6] iyd: one of the two Islamic festivals.
[7] Hadrat: title of respect used before the names of great people like and Islamic scholars.