Shab-e-Qadr: The night of power and forgiveness
Mohammad Hussain Khan
As we live today in an era of digital distractions and materialistic heedlessness, often acts of worship are squeezed into brief moments in our daily routine, which does not furnish one with a complete transformative spiritual experience. Serious worship requires not just taking a brief moment to pray, but allowing our prayers to define our direction in life. Thus, Islam offers opportunities for intense spiritual experiences that involve setting aside the worldly life and its distractions.
One of the greatest of such opportunities are the blessed nights of Ramdan. The foremost of these opportunities are the last ten nights of Ramdan. When the last tne nights began Allah’s Messenger (SAW) kept awake at night and wakened his family for prayer with more vigour and devotion. Prophet (SAW) used to practice the “I,tikaf” for the entirety (whole) of the last ten days of Ramdan.
By far however, there is no day or night that has been emphasized more than the night known as “Shab-e-Qadr” or “lailatul-Qadar”. The Quran’s 97th chapter is dedicated entirely to this night “indeed, we revealed the Quran during the “lailatul-Qadr”. And what can make you know what is “lailatul-Qadr”? The “lailatul-Qadr” is better than a thousand months. The Angels and the spirit descend therein by permission of their lord for every matter. Peace it is until the emergence of dawn”.
The precise night on which “lailatul-Qadr” occurs has not been mentioned. The Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said, “search for “lailatul-Qadr” in the odd nights of the last ten nights of Ramdan”. There is a tremendous wisdom behind not knowing exactly when “Shab-Qadr” occurs. Allah has concealed this night from the ummah so that they may strive in seeking it and performing worship throughout the odd nights of last the nights of Ramdan.
“Shab-Qadr or Lailatul-Qadr” is the holiest night of the year in the holy month of Ramdan. All ummah across the globe give their best in trying to attain the pleasure of Almighty “Allah” during “lailatul-Qadr” which is also known as the night of power, destiny or decree. Due to the merits of this blessed night our beloved Prophet (SAW) used to exert himself greatly in worship during “lailatul-Qadr”. Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said, “whoever stand in prayer in “lailatul-Qadr” out of faith and seeking reward then his previous sins are forgiven”.
What “Qadr” means ? It means importance, dignity and honour. “Lailatul-Qadr” is called so because it is very important and dignified night. Qadr also means constriction as in this night huge number of Angels come down to earth. As per some scholars Qadr means predestination as in this night “Allah” decides and decrees what will happen in the next year i.e. the night of foreordainment. Thus ‘”Shab-e-Qadr” refers to the night of blessings. In this night Holy Quran was transferred on the holy heart of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW).
Without any doubt in the history of mankind the greatest night is “Shab-e-Qadr” its implications for humanity are so far reaching that is impossible to unravel for any one of us. “Shab-Qadr or lailatul-Qadr” is the night when Prophet Muhammad (SAW) became the Prophet and the messenger of Allah (SWT). Allah (SWT) communicated his last message to mankind on that night. That night Allah sent a message that turned the war-mongering, ruined society of Arabs into the greatest generation of humans that ever walked the face of this earth. That was the night of decree, night of power, night of value, night of destiny, or night
of measures. Night of “Qadr” comes with blessings and mercy of Allah in abundance, sins are forgiven, supplications are accepted, and that the annual decree is revealed to the angels who carry it out according to the Allah’s plan. It is a pleasant night and its signs are peaceful night, on that night the moon look like a piece of a plate or half aplate, there is possibility of
rain and the sunrise for next morning comes up in a very special way after a special night. Narration says that it is going to be sun with no rays i.e. it is very weak sun and we can look straight at it Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said if you find “lailatul-Qadr”, recite this dua:
“Allahhuma innak a’fuvun tohib-bul a’fva fa’afu anni”
“O Allah! You are forgiver and you like forgiving so forgive me”.
Dear readers, let us take advantage of this night, from sunset till sunrise. Let we offer nawafil (prayers), recite Quran, recite many many salwat (Darood Sharif & Salaam), do repent (Istaghafar) & pray for pardon and make benediction (Duaa’s). Utilize this night in worshipping Allah Almighty and enjoy the peace when you are alone with Allah (SWT). Stay up throughout the last 10 nights of Ramdan, make time for Quran reading, make time for some memorization, even the short surahs and make time for having the Angels of Allah see you in a condition of obedience, peace, beauty and connection with Allah. May Allah bless us all with an accepted “lailatul-Qadr”)! …Ameen.
(The author can be reached at Khanhussain.firstname.lastname@example.org)