I think I wrote a post about Laylatul Qadr every year. But I don’t care. I just want everyone to realise how important the last 10 days of Ramadhan is. I want to remind you, all of you who read this, to spend these last days with as much as prayers as possible. Please don’t let these days pass without any meaning to you. Instead of writing about the meaning of Laylatul Qadr once again, this time I want to share my experience in Mecca on 27 Ramadhan with you guys .
Verily, We sent it down in the night of al-Qadr. And what will make you know what the night of al-Qadr is? The night of al-Qadr is better than a thousand months. Therein descend the angels and the Spirit by their Lord's permission with all Decrees. Peace! Until the appearance of dawn. Al-Qur'an 97
Seek it in Ramadan in the last ten nights. For verily, it is during the odd nights, the twenty-first, or the twenty-third, or the twenty-fifth, or the twenty-seventh, or the twenty-ninth, or during the last night. Sahih Hadith Ahmad
I don’t know whether or not people in Indonesia aware about the importance of Laylatul Qadr. My family always treats these last 10 days as special ones. So are the people in Saudi Arabia. It’s clear that the Grand Mosque becomes more crowded than the other previous days of Ramadhan. But it’s only on 27 Ramadhan (which is today, 19 October) that more than 2 million Moslems gather in the Mosque, the highest number of people they have in Ramadhan. I don’t actually know why they consider 27 as the Laylatul Qadr. Allah SWT never mentioned the specific date of Laylatul Qadr. It still remains mysterious. Perhaps 27 is an odd number? But 25 and 29 are odd numbers too. Anyone knows why?
I always suggest people that if they want to visit Mecca, do it during the last 10 days of Ramadhan. It will be an unforgettable moment. But be aware that the hotel rates increase so rapidly on these days; usually 5 or more times higher than the original rates!! My dad runs a travel agency so I know how ‘crazy’ the rates could be. He once told me that Hilton Hotel had a rate of SR. 10,000 – 15,000 per room for 10 full nights (about Rp. 25 million – 37 million)!!!! Even the cheapest accommodation could cost about SR. 5,000 (Rp. 12 million), you know??? No matter how long you want to stay (1 day, 2 day, etc), if you come during the last 10 days of Ramadhan, they will charge you as if you’re staying there for 10 full nights. There are many pilgrims who paid for that amount but they only stayed there for few days. Their paid rooms will obviously be empty once they’re gone. So my dad always “took over” the rooms for us. If we’re lucky, we got a room in a 5-star hotel (for free ), but if not, we got a dodgy one. No matter what room we got, it became so valuable as it’s soooo expensive!!! And surprisingly, the rates will go down to the original one once the Ramadhan is over (on Eid ul-Fitr). It’s costly, but it’s worth it!!! Coz Laylatul Qadr is better than a thousand months!!
If you haven’t been to Mecca before and you’re planning to go there someday during the last 10 days of Ramadhan, make sure you’re familiar with the “rules”. Two to three million people will gather in the same spot on 27 Ramadhan, so the Holy Mosque will be soooooooooo crowded and packed!!! If you’re late for Taraweeh prayer, don’t think for a second that you’ll get a praying space inside the Mosque! Just forget it! You waste your time. You can hardly go inside coz most of the walking paths are blocked by people who pray. I remember I was late for Taraweeh a few years ago. I was desperate to find even ONE free praying space for myself!!! I ended up praying inside the Hilton mall, squeezing with others. On this night, people practically pray on every place they could find a free space! In the malls, shops, on the roads, pathways, sideways,… everywhere! We could hardly move around coz all the pathways are blocked. It’s amazing to see people do anything they can to do Taraweeh prayer, even though they pray in front of noisy roads!!!
You don’t want to get a bad experience like I did on your first ever visit to Mecca, right??? My advice is, don’t be late!!! Be there at least an hour before Maghrib prayer. It’ll be MUCH better if you go there before Ashar Prayer, so you can find a convenient place to pray inside the Mosque. After breaking fast in the Mosque, DON’T go home!!! Stay there until the Taraweeh concludes, otherwise you will hardly get any praying space!! My mom and I used to do that on 27 Ramadhan, and that’s the safest way we could ever find. If you want to go to the toilet, do it right after the Maghrib prayer and ask somebody else to keep your space so you don’t have to find another one later on. Make sure you pray not too far from the gates, so that it’ll be easier for you to go outside. Once the Taraweeh concludes, wait for 15-30 minutes. Arabic people are WAAAY bigger and stronger than you, you’ll be squeezed and pushed! (I would do the same thing to them though i’m small lol). Especially if you’re old, don’t take any risks. Remember, there’ll be 2 to 3 million people; and the Mosque can only hold nearly one million!
A special do’a for Laylatul Qadr:
Allahumma innaka ‘afuwwun tuhibbul ‘afwa fa’fu ‘annaa
O Allah! You are Forgiving, You love forgiveness, so forgive me. Bukhari