Thursday, August 25, 2011

Laylatul Qadr or Night of Power

 It is important that we first understand the significance of LAYLATUL QADR 
in order that we know what sort of 'ingredients' are required for our preparation 

to reach the Ultimate Goal which is earning the pleasure of Allah (SWT).

What is Laylatul Qadr or Night of Power therefore?

You are all aware of its importance so I will just briefly re-run through it. 
In surah Al-Qadr Allah (SWT) clearly states:

"Surely We revealed it (the Holy Quran) on the grand night. And what will make 
you comprehend what the grand night. The grand night is better than a thousand 
months. The angels and Gabriel descend in it by the permission of their Lord for 
every affair, Peace! It is till the break of the morning." 

Holy Quran (97:1-5)

Allah (SWT) is inviting all the believers for a Divine feast; the invitation 
                              has been brought by the messengers. Allah (SWT) is the host, his 
most favorite angels are the servants and the believers are the guests. 
The table is spread with Divine blessings containing all sorts of rewards and favors. 
Though the eyes cannot see them nor the ears hear them not the human hearts 
imagine them, yet the bounties are all kept in readiness to be awarded to 

the guests in accordance to his/her actions.

                  which Laylatul Qadr is a blessed night because the Almighty brings down during 
it goodness, bliss, and forgiveness for His servants. It is a feast which has come 
with a message that shows one the way to achieve happiness in both the worlds. 

Laylatul Qadr is a feast for the spirit, a feast of worship and prayers.

Ahadith indicate that the fate of every believer for the coming year is decreed 
on this night. When our Prophet Mohammad (saw) was asked how man could 
enjoy the favors and good grace of proximity to, and mercy of, Allah (SWT) 
                      he quoted Prophet Moosa / Musa / Moses (peace be upon him) supplication:
"Oh My God, I seek proximity to You; He (Allah) said: Proximity to Me is for him
 who stays awake on Laylatul Qadr.
Oh My God, I am in need of Your Mercy; He (Allah) said: My Mercy is for him 
who shows mercy to the poor on Laylatul Qadr.
Oh My God, I am in need of the passport to cross the bridge; He (Allah) said: 
that is for him who give alms on Laylatul Qadr.
Oh My God, I am in need of the trees in Paradise and their fruits; 
He (Allah) said: that is for him who seeks forgiveness on Laylatul Qadr.
Oh My God, I seek deliverance from fire; He (Allah) said: that is for him 
who remembers Allah on Laylatul Qadr.
Oh My God, I seek Your good pleasure; He (Allah) said: that is for him 
who says a two Rakat prayer on Laylatul Qadr."

On another occasion Prophet Moosa / Musa / Moses (peace be upon him) said: 
"Oh My God, are You far away that I shout at You, or are You near that 
I whisper to You?" He (Allah) said: "O Musa, I am sitting together with you!"

What do we therefore have to remind ourselves about Laylatul Qadr?

                           A unique once in a year opportunity to do a life times worth of activity.
We have to remind ourselves about Laylatul Qadr that is:

               A unique once in a year opportunity to do a life times worth of activity.
A once in a year occasion for influencing our future destiny - "QADR" - Taqdeer.
Full of long lasting blessings.The night of unsurpassed grandeur 
when the absolute Grand God revealed the Grand Quran through 
the Grand Wahy - Jibreel into the heart of the Grand Prophet Mohammad (saw).

The Ma'sumeen have explained to us that God in his infinite wisdom 
had planned the system of the universe in such a way that every persons 
destiny will be determined on a yearly basis in the angelic spheres through 
the agency of the Imam of the age. Who is the leader and focus of 
the whole spiritual world this gives MANKIND a unique opportunity to 
influence his own future (gain, loss, health, sickness, richness, poverty, etc 
by performing certain acts, e.g. Dua, Salat, Sadaqah, Jihad, acquiring knowledge, 
Holy Quran recitation etc.

The night when the whole multitude of angels and the Great Spirit (Ruh) 
descend on earth, greeting and praying for the believers and 
conveying messages to the Imam of age.

after knowing its significance?

Yes, Let us imagine for a moment that we are invited for a special feast 
by the president of our country, who also tells us in advance that he 
is going to reward us with magnificent gifts as per the way we present 
and behave ourselves during the feast - What would we do?

After the initial euphoria, we would leave no stone unturned to present 
ourselves in the best possible manner. Preparations of what to wear, 
how to get there, what will I speak with the president. If I have 
to go through his secretary what will I say to him, what sort of gifts 
will I take with me, what sort of conversation I have with him, all 
this and more will be thought about, rehearsed and re-rehearsed. 
Correct me if I am wrong!

All this 'tension' in honor of an invitation from the President of a country. 
Laylatul Qadr is an invitation form the President of all Presidents, 
The Supreme One. Do we need to make preparations for this night?

Undoubtedly, we must start our preparations way ahead of time, 
after all going by human nature (Fitra), there is more than profit that 
can be got from this feast of Laylatul Qadr unless out of sheer 
carelessness we end up amongst those negligent and idle ones, 
who do not achieve anything except tiredness, loss and eternal doom, 
who will gain nothing except regret and cry out aloud on the day of 

"Ah! Woe is me! In that I neglected (my duty) towards Allah." - 
Holy Quran (39:56)

What sorts of Pre-preparations are needed before the 
advent of this grand Laylatul Qadr?

Jibreel was asked; "What has the Almighty Allah (SWT) done on 
this night with the wishes of the believers among the nation of 
Prophet Mohammad (saw)?" He answered, "The Almighty Allah (SWT) 
has looked upon them on this night and forgiven them, all of them, 
except the following: "One who is addicted to drinking, 
One who severs his ties with his kin, and One who is a trouble-maker."

We have been advised to beseech Allah (SWT) during the whole year 
before the arrival of the Night of Power or Laylatul Qadr, to keep us 
alive for this night:

1) To bestow upon us the Tawfiq to remain vigilant during this night 
and pray for blessings and forgiveness.

                    2) To bless us that we are able to do the best of deeds on this night.

3) To comprehend fully the importance of this night which is superior 
to one thousand months.

                   4) To pray that we can become one of the favorites of Allah (SWT) 
and be blessed with His love, learning, nearness, union, pleasure, 
together with health, happiness, and welfare.

             5) To yearn and act so that Allah (SWT) be so pleased with us in such 
a manner, that after this night He would never be displeased us again.

             6) To pray that our Aimma especially the Imam-ul-Asr (as) be pleased with us 
intercede on our behalf.

How to prepare oneself for The Night of Power (Laylatul Qadr)?

(I) Preparing Mentally:

Strive to keep Allah (SWT) at the fore of one's mind the whole night long.
All the Ibadah (worship) done should be recited in the state of being 
completely awake, aware, conscious, and with a live heart. 

If one feels that one will not be able to concentrate then start reciting 
from now "We are from Allah and towards Him is our return." - 
Holy Quran (2:156) 

for it is considered as a tragedy if one can not in this night receive 
the divine grace in supplications. "Their prayers ascend upwards 
and reaches Allah (SWT), their words are accepted, and Allah (SWT) 
loves to listen to their prayers the way a mother likes her own child."

Is not it shameful that the prayers which ascend upwards should 
be recited from the tip of the tongue, while the heart and soul remain 
occupied in worldly affairs?

Many a times, one feels that one cannot 'properly' perform a certain 
Ibadah and so decided to forgo it. One should not do listen to 
this 'waswas' instead, one should perform it and more, for acceptance 
lies in the Hand of the Mercy of Allah (SWT).

(II) Preparing Physically:

For worshipping in this night a suitable place, dress, and perfume 
should be arranged in advance (comfortable dress which does not distract us).
Paying alms during this night - to the people who really deserve 
financial support.
Follow the translation of the Duas in order to understand what you 
are reciting for lutf is only got when one knows what one is reciting.

(III) Preparing Spiritually:

Increase ones eagerness for receiving the promised bounties and blessings.
Select worships and deeds which are more in harmony with ones mood.
When one stands for prayer, or any other Ibadah, to briefly spare a moment 
to think about the wisdom of that action/its meaning etc for e.g. 
Why am I standing towards Makkah? To realize that when I stand on 
my two feet, it indicates my hope and fear about the acceptance of 
my worship.

Resorting (Tawassul) to Ahlul Bayt (as) - With persistence, supplicating 
in a polite and soft manner, with words and content arousing their 
sympathies, should beseech them for bestowing upon us 
the grace of being vigilant during this night.

Crying and Shedding Tears: that during these nights ones fear, 
humility, tears, crying, anguish and lamentation be increased as 
much as possible. 

The Learned Scholar Hajj Mirza Javad Agha Maliki Tabrizi (ra) 
in his book (Suluk-i Arifan) Spiritual Journey of the Mystics tell us 
that One of the best method is that one should tie ones hands around 
ones neck; should pour dirt upon ones head; should place ones 
head against a wall; sometimes one should stand and sometimes 
one should cry; should imagine oneself at the scene of Judgment Day; 
and the way sinners are rebuked with harshness, then one should 
imagine and be scared least Allah (the Glorious, the Exalted) orders: 

"Lay hold on him, then put a chain on him, then cast him into 
the burning fire, then thrust him into a chain the length of 
which is seventy cubits." 

- Holy Quran (69:30-32)

Then one should cry: "O' Thou are the most compassionate, and Thou 
Who are the shelter of unsheltered ones!" "Where is Your vast blessing? 
Where is Your infinite forgiveness? Where are Your love and benevolence?" 
Ask for forgiveness of past sins in the most appealing manner with 
a promise to try never to return to the sins again - 

a TAWBA in every sense of the word Present ones requests before 
the Almighty Allah (SWT) with full hope that they will be answered.
Prophet Mohammad (saw) when asked what one should invoke Allah (SWT) 
during these nights, said: "Ask for your safety (here and in 
the hereafter)".