The night of Laylatul Qadr
All Praises and all Glory belongs Only to Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata’ala, Lord and Cherisher of the universes. He created the night for people to rest and the day for them to seek their livelihood. He Alone is the Lord and Sustainer of the Divine Throne. His sovereignty pervades the entire existence. His supremacy governs all actions. He sees and hears everything, including the heartbeat of an ant crawling over an opaque stone in the middle of a moonless night. There is no god except Him. He chose His Beloved messenger – Muhammad Ibn Abdullah Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam, the seal of the prophets and strengthened him with wisdom and protection. He sent him as a mercy to humankind, to guide them away from heedlessness, and to lead them out of darkness and into the light of the Most Holy and Glorious Qur’an. May Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata’ala’s eternal blessings shower upon him, his illustrious companions and upon his Ummah in this world and in the Aghirah. Ameen.
“Laylatul Qadr” means the Night of Grandeur, Excellence and Honour. Amongst the nights of Ramadhan there is this most holy and auspicious night called “Laylatul Qadr” a night that is noted for its Glory and untold blessings. The Most Holy and Glorious Qur’an describes it as being greater in blessedness and spiritual virtue than a thousand months which in turn means that it is greater than eighty three years and four months. Regarding this Holy Night, in a Hadith reported by Hazrat Anas Radhiallahu Anhu, our Beloved Nabee Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam is reported to have said: “Laylatul Qadr was granted to my Ummah and to no other Ummah before this.” Before I proceed with a brief commentary of Surathul Qadr, let us first investigate the “Sabab-Al-Nuzool” of this Surah. This means, the reason why Almighty Allah Subhanahoo Wata’ala in His Infinite Mercy and Bounty revealed this Surah. Regarding the reason for the granting of “Laylatul Qadr”, various reasons are mentioned. One reason, according to some Ahaadith is given thus: Our Beloved Nabee Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam used to look at the longer lives of the earlier people and was saddened when pondering over the much shorter lives of his own Ummah. If his Ummah had wished to compete with the people before them in piety and Taqwa, because of their shorter lives it would be impossible for them to either emulate or surpass them. To compensate for the difference in their life span, Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata’ala out of His great Muhabbat and Infinite Mercy and Bounty granted them this great night of honour, grandeur and blessings.
According to Ibn Abu Hatim and Wahidy and related from Mujahid, it is stated that our Beloved Nabee Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam once related to the Sahaba Ridwanullahi Ta’ala Alayhim Ajma’een the story of a very righteous man from among the Bani Isra’eel who used to spend one thousand months in Jihad. On hearing this, the Sahaba were saddened that they could not attain the same reward. Still another report states that our Beloved Nabee Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam once mentioned the names of four most pious people from among the Bani Isra’eel who each spent 83 years in the sincere service of Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata’ala. They were Hazrat Ayoob Alahis Salatu Wasallam; Hazrat Zakariyya Alayhis Salatu Wasallam; Hazrat Hizqeel Alayhis Salatu Wasallam and Hazrat Yu’shaa Alayhis Salatu Wasallam. Then Sayyidina Jibra’eel Amin Alayhis Salatu Wasallam appeared and recited “Surathul Qadr” to our Beloved Nabee Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam wherein the Blessings and great Honour of this Holiest of nights was revealed. No matter which of the explanations we may choose to accept, the most important fact that remains is that Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata’ala granted this Glorious and most auspicious Night only to the Ummah of His Beloved Nabee Muhammad Ibn Abdullah Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam. In the Name of Allah the Beneficient, the Merciful.
“Truly, We have revealed the Holy Qur’an during the Night of Grandeur.” Here it means that during this Great Night, only “Iqra” was revealed to our Beloved Nabee Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam. The other sections of this Surah as well as the entire Holy and Glorious Qur’an was transferred from the “Lowhul Mahfuz” to the Angels of “Sama’ud Dunya” so that it could be revealed to our Beloved Nabee Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam in parts over a period of 22 years 2 months and 22 days. This happening took place during the month of Ramadhan on one of its nights known as the Night of Grandeur for so declares Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata’ala in verse 185 of
“The month of Ramadhan is the Month wherein the Holy Qur’an was revealed.” And declares Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata’ala in verse 3 of Surah Al-Dukhan: “We have revealed the Qur’an during the Night of Blessings.” Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata’ala then informs our Beloved Nabee Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam abouth the greatness of this Most Wonderful and Blessed Night in verse 2 of Surathul Qadr:
“The Night of Power is better than a thousand months.” Here Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata’ala starts to explain to His Beloved Nabee Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam and to all of us the excellence of this Great Night. The true meaning here is that the reward for spending this Glorious Night of Ibadah is better than having spent 1000 months in Ibadah. It is in fact more but as to how much more rewarding it is, we are not told. “Therein the Angels and Sayyidina Jibra’eel descends to the earth by permission of Allah on every errand.” During the Night of Laylatul Qadr, Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata’ala makes every affair distinctly clear to the Mala’eeka.
The deadline of deaths for the coming year are ordained for the Mala’eeka for execution. Also ordained on this Great Night is the sustenance for the entire mankind for that year for so declares Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata’ala in verses 4 to 6 of Surah Al-Dukhan: “During the Night of Blessings, every affair is made clear with wisdom by command from Us. For We send Messengers (with revelations) as a Mercy from your Cherisher. For He hears and knows all things.” From these verses that I had just quoted, there is a great lesson to be learnt, and that is that the Mala’eeka are Ma’soom (infallible) and that they are sinless. They do not do anything by themselves. Whatever they do is done through Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata’ala’s permission and command. It is stated that the Mala’eeka were created on this night and the earthly matter from which Nabee Adam Alayhis Salatu Wasallam was created from was gathered on this night. On this Night, Nabee Esa Alayhis Salatu Wasallam was lifted up bodily into the heavens and it was on this night that the Toubah of the Bani Isra’eel was accepted by Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata’ala. Peace is proclaimed until the break of dawn.”
Yes, my beloved brothers and sisters, this is the very embodiment of peace. Throughout the hours of this most holiest of nights, the Mala’eeka recite Salaam upon all faithful believers who are engaged in glorifying their Supreme and Most Merciful Creator and Sustainer – Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata’ala. To further elucidate this point, allow me to quote verse 43 from Surah Al-Ahzab where Almighty Allah declares His Promise:
“It is He Who sends salutations on you so too His Angels, that He may bring you from the depths of darkness to the Light. And He is full of Mercy towards the Believers.” Thus, this Wonderful Night is indeed a Night of Grandeur, excellence and honour, and it does not become the Ummah of Almighty Allah’s Beloved Nabee Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam to be unmindful of this great night which was was given to us out of Almighty Allah’s Infinite Mercy, Kindness and His great Muhabbat for us. It is therefore the right of every Muslim to celebrate this Great Night in complete and profound gratitude to Almighty Allah for it is the Glorious Night when the foundation stone of Islam was laid for all of eternity.
The great scholar Ibn Qayyim, in his book Zad-al-Miad mentions that the very first revelation from Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata’ala which came to our Beloved Nabee Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam on the Night of Laylatul Qadr was: “Iqraa, Bisme Rabbika Alladhee” (Read in the Name of thy Sustainer who created..) This was also his appointment to prophet hood and Almighty Allah commanded him to recite it in his heart.
Then Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata’ala revealed “Ya Ayyuha al Muddathir Qum Fandhir.” (O thou art enwrapped in thy mantle, arise and warn). Thus the revelation of “Iqraa” on the Night of Laylatul Qadr was his appointment to prophet hood while “Ya Ayyuha al Muddathir Qum Fandhir” was his appointment to Messenger ship. Let us all remember that the Night of Laylatul Qadr is better than a thousand months. It transcends Time: for it is Almighty Allah’s Power of dispelling the Darkness of Ignorance, by His Revelation, in every kind of affair. A ‘thousand’ must be taken in an indefinite sense; as denoting a very long period of time. This does not refer to our ideas of time, but to “Timeless Time.” One single moment of enlightenment under Almighty Allah’s Light is better than thousands of months or years of animal life, and such a moment converts the night of darkness into a period of spiritual glory. When the Night of spiritual darkness is dissipated by the Glory of Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata’ala, a most wonderful Peace and sense of Security arise in the soul. And this lasts on until this earthly life comes to an end, and the Glorious Day of the new world dawns, when everything will be on a different plane, and the chequered nights and days of the Doonya will be even less than a dream.
Our wealth, our resources, our Muhabbat and our sincere Islamic feelings of brotherhood, caring and sharing should for always indicate our deep and profound gratitude and appreciation to Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata’ala in the way of Fie Sabillillah, and by remembering the poor, the needy and the under priviledged amongst us as well as the plight of our mothers, our fathers, our brothers, our sisters and our children in Palestine, Chechenya, Iraq, Algeria, Kashmir, Bosnia and Kosovo who are torn apart by war, repression and oppression. May Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata’ala in His Infinite Mercy, Bounty, and Kindness grant us the success where the Most Holy and Glorious Qur’an will become the most treasured and cherished possession in our lives then our reward will Insha’Allah not be limited only to Laylatul Qadr but we will be enjoying the fruits and Blessings of Laylatul Qadr every day for the rest of our lives. May Almighty Allah’s everlasting peace and blessings shower upon our Beloved Nabee Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam, upon his family, upon the illustrious Sahaba Ridwanullahi Ta’ala Alayhim Ajma’een and upon his Ummah in this life and in the Aghirah.