It was narrated on the authority of Abu Salamah ibn ‘Abdul-Rahmaan that he said
We thought of the Night of Al-Qadr. I thus went to Abu Sa‘eed Al-Khudri, may Allah be pleased with him, who was a friend of mine and said, “Won’t you come with us to the garden of date-palms?” He came out having put his clothes on. I said to him, “Did you hear the Messenger of Allah talking about the Night of Al-Qadr?” He said, “Yes. We observed I‘tikaaf (seclusion in the mosque) in the middle ten days of Ramadan with the Prophet . In the morning of the twentieth of Ramadan, we came out, and the Prophet delivered a Khutbah (sermon), saying: ‘I was informed of (the date of) the Night of Al-Qadr, but I forgot it (or I was made to forget it); so seek it in the odd nights of the last ten nights of Ramadan. (In a vision) I saw myself prostrating in mud and water (as a sign of it). So, whoever observes I‘tikaaf with the Messenger of Allah should return to it with me (for another ten days).’ Therefore, we returned. At that time there was no sign of clouds in the sky. However, suddenly a cloud came and it rained till rainwater started leaking through the roof of the mosque, which was made of date-palm leaf stalks. Then the prayer began and I saw the Messenger of Allah prostrating in mud and water and I saw traces of mud on his forehead.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
In another narration on the authority of Abu Sa‘eed, may Allah be pleased with him, he said,
We observed I‘tikaaf in the middle ten days of Ramadan with the Messenger of Allah until it was the morning of the twentieth of Ramadan, and then we brought out our luggage (to leave). Thereupon, the Messenger of Allah came to us and saying: “Whoever observed I‘tikaaf should return to the place of his seclusion, for I have been informed of (the date of) that Night (of Al-Qadr), and I have also seen (in a vision) myself prostrating in water and mud.” When he returned to the place of his seclusion, (he resumed), the sky was filled with clouds, and it rained. By Him who sent him with the truth, the sky was filled with clouds towards the end of that day. At the same time, the (ceiling of the) mosque was made of palm leaf stalks. I saw traces of water and mud on his (the Prophet's) forehead and nose tip. [Muslim and Al-Bukhari]
It was also narrated on the authority of Abu Sa‘eed Al-Khudri, may Allah be pleased with him, that he said
The Messenger of Allah would observe I‘tikaaf in the middle ten days of Ramadan. Whenever the twentieth night elapsed and he received the twenty-first night, he would go back to his house on the twenty-first, and the people who were in I‘tikaaf with him also would go back to their houses. Once in Ramadan when he was in I‘tikaaf, he stayed the night and then returned home; then he delivered a Khutbah and ordered people whatever Allah wished him to order and then said: “I used to observe I‘tikaaf for these (middle) ten days (of Ramadan) but now I intend to observe I‘tikaaf for the last ten days (of the month); so whoever was in I‘tikaaf with me should stay at his place of seclusion. I had indeed been informed of (the date of) this Night (of Al-Qadr) but I was made to forget it. So seek it in the odd nights of the last ten (of this month). I also saw myself (in that vision) prostrating in mud and water.”
On the eve of the twenty-first, the sky was covered with clouds and it rained, and the rainwater started leaking through the roof of the mosque at the praying place of the Prophet . I saw with my own eyes the Prophet at the completion of the Subh (morning) prayer leaving with his face covered with mud and water. [Al-Bukhari]
Benefits and rulings
First: Seeking knowledge and choosing the most suitable time and place to ask the scholars.
Second: The student should try to be cordial to his Shaykh when asking to be alone with him in pursuit of having his queries answered perfectly.
Third: The praying person should abstain from wiping off his forehead what sticks to it in his prostration during prayer unless it causes harm to him and distracts him from the prayer. It is also permissible to pray and prostrate in mud.
Fourth: The human nature of the Prophet was proven as he forgot (and that is the case of every human being) except what Allah The Almighty commanded him to convey to people, which Allah The Almighty guarded from being forgotten. Furthermore, the visions of the Prophets are true and they materialize as seen.
Fifth: As for the Prophet's vision of the Night of Al-Qadr, he would probably have known it, or seen its portent. In confirmation of this, it was narrated by Al-Bukhari on the authority of Abu Sa‘eed, may Allah be pleased with him, that Jibreel (Gabriel), may Allah exalt his mention, told him that it is in (one of) the last ten (nights of Ramadan).
Sixth: If a scholar has some knowledge which he then forgets, he should admit this.
Seventh: There is an indication in the Hadeeth of the fact that it is favorable to observe I‘tikaaf in Ramadan, and that the middle ten days are better for I‘tikaaf than the first ten, and that the final ten are better than the middle ten.
Eighth: It is permissible for the Imaam to deliver a Khutbah to his people, and clarify to them important matters.
Ninth: The eagerness of the Prophet to teach his Ummah (nation) what benefits them, and the earnest diligence of the Prophet and his Companions, may Allah be pleased with them, to seek the Night of Al-Qadr.
Tenth: The virtues of observing I‘tikaaf in the last ten days of Ramadan, which is a confirmed act of Sunnah, as the Prophet would do it regularly.
Eleventh: The Night of Al-Qadr should be sought in the last ten nights of Ramadan, of which the odd ones are the most likely, and of which the 21st night is one of the most likely.
Twelth: In prostration, one should set firm his nose and forehead on the ground as the Prophet would do.
Thirteenth: These Hadeeths show the state in which the people were during the lifetime of the Prophet in terms of asceticism in worldly affairs and simplicity of living, to the extent that the (ceiling of the) mosque was made of palm leaf stalks, and if it rained, water would leak (through it) onto them while in prayer.
Fourteenth: The virtue of the 21st night of Ramadan, as on that night, the Night of Al-Qadr may well occur. Thus, the Muslim should not be negligent in performing acts of worship and obedience in it.