Worship on the "night of destiny" is more rewarding that 1,000 months of worship, sermon reminds Muslims.
Friday sermon: Ask Allah for forgiveness on the 'night of destiny'
Worship on the "night of destiny" is as rewarding as 1,000 months of prayer, today's sermon says.
As the last days of Ramadan begin, the sermon highlights the importance of "Laylat Al Qadr", the night when the Quran was revealed, when all angels descend and ultimate peace is found until dawn.
Exactly when during the last 10 days of Ramadan the night falls has not been revealed, though it is believed to occur during one of the odd-numbered nights.
The Prophet Mohammed had been on his way to inform Muslims of when the night fell but he became distracted when he found two of his companions arguing at the mosque.
The sermon notes that Allah added to the honour of the night by having angels descend to the earth. On Laylat Al Qadr their number on earth exceeds the number of pebbles, according to a Hadith. On this night, Satan can do no harm.
"Therefore work hard during those last days and keep your hearts pure and think well of people," says the sermon. "Ask Allah for pardoning and forgiveness."
It cites an incident when the Prophet's wife Aisha asked him what prayers she should say on Laylat Al Qadr. He told her to say: "O Allah, Thou art forgiving and lovest forgiveness, so forgive me."
Al Qadr chapter from the Quran explains the benefits of the night: "Lo! We revealed it on the night of power. Ah, what will convey unto thee what the night of power is! The night of power is better than a thousand months. The angels and the spirit descend therein, by the permission of their Lord, with all decrees. Peace until the rising of the dawn."