I wore my best hijab last night, a beautiful, shiny hijab with bright embroidery and sequins. I never wear bright scarves when I go out. I try for dull, matte colors – usually black, if I’m being honest – to match the black abayas I wear. I don’t want to look bad when I go out, but I don’t want to look particularly attractive or decorated when I’m outside my home either. I do it because of this ayah, the ayah in Surat an-Noor,
“And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and guard their private parts and not expose their adornment except that which [necessarily] appears…” [24:31]
I’m content and comfortable with the way I dress, happy even, but wearing black can be hard for just one reason… there are so many beautiful hijabs out there.
I see them, I want them, and sometimes I buy them. I know I’ll never wear them outside, but they’re so, so beautiful! And I tell myself, “maybe on Eid, I’ll make an exception” or “maybe I’ll wear it as an accessory at home.” And I buy them. I store them in my closet, sometimes thinking of ways and times to wear them, often feeling guilty for owning things I don’t need and don’t use… and always, when I see them, thinking of how beautiful they are.
Last night was different. Last night I couldn’t resist, and I tingled with excitement as I felt the strongest urge to dress up. I showered. I wore my best hijab, a light blue shiny hijab with gold and copper-toned embroidery and delicate, sparkling sequins. I wore my best abaya, too, a long, flowing gown I save for the best occasions. I sprayed perfume over myself and everywhere, a light clean scent that’s one of my favorites.
Normally, I would die before I went out dressed this way. I’ve never left my home all perfumed-up, and I pray that I never do. But last night was different. Last night, I didn’t go out. Last night, after I had cleaned, dressed, adorned, and perfumed myself, I laid out my prayer rug… and prepared to meet Al-Malik, The King.
I learned this from our role models before us. When the last ten nights would arrive, the righteous from our predecessors would get ready. They would prepare for the last nights of Ramadan and for Laylat al-Qadr, and get ready to greet them like they would greet Eid. They would work hard on cleaning themselves, both inside and out.
According to Ibn Jareer*,
“They used to prefer to make ghusl every night of the last ten nights, and an-Nakha’i used to make ghusl every night of the last ten nights. Some of them would make ghusl and get perfumed on the nights when it was most hoped to be Laylat al-Qadr.”
Laylat al-Qadr is such a great night, a night we cannot pass up!
Aisha, radiya Allahu anha, wanted to be prepared with what to say on that night, asking, “O Messenger of Allah, if I know what night is the night of Qadr, what should I say during it?” To which he replied, salla Allahu alayhi wasallam,
‘O Allah, You are the one who pardons greatly and loves to pardon, so pardon me.’” [Ahmad, Ibn Majah, and Tirmidhi]
Tamim ad-Dari, radiya Allahu anhu, had a garment he had bought for 1000 dirhams, which he would only wear on the night when he hoped would be Laylat al-Qadr. And Thabit al-Banani and Hameed at-Taweel would wear their best clothes and get perfumed, and would perfume the masjid with the best perfumes on the nights they hoped would be Laylat al-Qadr.
It was all part of the preparation.
The last ten nights are here, and it’s time for every sister to pull out her prettiest hijab, her prettiest abaya, her sweetest perfume, and the best phrases of du’aa. It’s time to meet Allah in prayer at the best time of the year, to greet the best of seasons and the best of nights. So long as we’re at home, there is every reason to make a party of our clothes… and if we are going to the masajid, then we can still do our best while avoiding anything haram.
It’s time to bring our cleanest and best on the outside… and work hard on bringing the cleanest and best on the inside, too.
Oh Allah, allow us and our families to witness Laylat al-Qadr. Oh Allah, give us in this world that which is good and in the Hereafter that which is good, and save us from the punishment of the Fire! Oh Allah, you are the One who pardons greatly, and loves to pardon, so pardon us. Oh Allah, you are the One who pardons greatly, and loves to pardon, so pardon us.Oh Allah, you are the One who pardons greatly, and loves to pardon, so pardon us. Ameen.