Peckham Mosque, London on Laylat ul-Qadr Ramadan 1415 (Feb-Mar 1995)
Nights are the time which Allah `azza wa jall has designated for the attainment of spiritual blessing and power. Allah told His Beloved in the Quran: Rise to pray in the night except a little (73:1)
Allah ordered Prophet (s) to spend most of the night in worship in order to prepare his heart for the tremendous revelation of Quran. This night worship was the means for the Prophet (s) to ascend and to attain more and more power. His Companions would join him for the night prayer and would be rising up in station and spirituality:
Surely We will make to descend on you a weighty Word. Surely the rising by night is the firmest way to tread and the best corrective of speech. (73, 1-5)
Laylat al-Qadr is a holy night. All nights of Ramadan are holy nights but Laylat al-Qadr is the holiest night of this holy month. It is also the holiest night among all other holy nights throughout the entire year. It comes only once a year and Allah Almighty grants to His most praised, most respected and most beloved servant Sayyidina Muhammad (s) this holy night, the Night of Power. About this night, God, the Glorious and Exalted said:
In the name of God, the Beneficent the Merciful
"Night of Power" is a very strange translation for "Laylat al-Qadr" but it attributes to it a good meaning: whoever may attain the blessings of this holy night should attain perfect power in his spiritual life. One can attain perfect power by means of this night because its value is more than one thousand months of worshipping. Every worship performed increases the spiritual power of people and in this night any worship is going to be valued as one thousand months of worshipping on any other night. It is condensed power. God, the Almighty, makes it a mighty night by placing in it such incredible power, making it a much mightier night than other nights. Allah Almighty says it is much more valuble than one thousand months of worshipping. That means Allah Almighty granted such huge power to that night.
It is just such a mighty night which is highly respected and given such a high value by the Lord Almighty. It is so mighty that it is said that it is the most mighty night, that Night of Power. Allah Almighty puts in it power for His servants to come closer to His Divine Presence. In a short time a that great power adorns worshippers in this night and they may be able to penetrate through the entire heavens and reach the Divine Presence.
People on this night are going to be on several different levels. No doubt we are on the lowest level, so we are hoping in this night to attain the honor and illumination granted in it. When we reach a higher level and as it is a holy night in the heavens as well, we will begin to sense something [of the great power being manifested] on this night. Whoever is at the highest spiritual level must be present for this night in the Divine Presence of the Lord.
That appearance will occur in a matter of seconds, perhaps within a single second. Perhaps one second is an enormous unit of time [in comparison] to that moment. It may be more than a second or much less, but it is an instant in time when an appearance from Divine Presence is manifested to creation. When that Divine Appearance manifests (Ar. tajalli), no one will remain standing throughout the heavens and the earth. Everything falls into prostration, throwing themselves down in prostration for that moment. That manifestation of Divine Power--that Divine Light--appears, and whoever is prepared and who has also been invited to attend that appearance sees it and falls in prostration. Everything in that moment falls in prostration (Ar. sajda): all animals--even ants, even elephants, even giraffes, even dogs--on that night they are not sleeping but are hurrying to make prostration on experiencing that divine manifestation. All trees-- even buildings--bow down in prostration and then rise up to their original positions. This is mentioned in Quran:
And unto Allah falleth prostrate whosoever is in the heavens and the earth, willingly or unwillingly, as do their shadows in the morning and the evening hours. (ar-R`ad, 15)
Hast thou not seen that unto Allah payeth adoration whosoever is in the heavens and whosoever is in the earth, and the sun, and the moon, and the stars, and the hills, and the trees, and the beasts, and many of mankind, while there are many unto whom the doom is justly due. He whom Allah scorneth, there is none to give him honour. Lo! Allah doeth what He will.(al-Hajj, 18)
May God forgive us because we are sinners. Every few minutes, or even every few seconds we commit so many sins, thus we are in need of our Lord's forgiveness for the honor of His Most Praised Servant Sayyidina Muhammad, peace and blessings of God be upon him. This holiest of nights is granted to him from his Lord Almighty Allah. In it all powers adorn him, all lights illuminate him and all angels come to him. the Archangel Gabriel comes to him, and he is dressed with countless honors on this holy night. The angels ask forgiveness [from Allah for people] for the sake of the master of humanity (Sayyid al Bashar), to the Owner of creation (Rabb al-Ka'inat).
For his honor, may God forgive us and take away our bad states. May Allah change our conditions from bad to good and change everything in us to be for His Sake. May we be good servants, obedient servants, beloved servants, respected servants, praised servants. Try to be servants such as this. For that reason, attend humbly to worship on that night as our Beloved Prophet (s) directed us:
"Whosoever offers voluntary prayers during the Night of Power out of belief and expecting from Allah its reward will have his past sins forgiven." [Bukhari and Muslim]
Now I would like to pray the Prayer of Recollection (salat ul-tasabih) to express a little bit of praising from our side to glorify our Lord Almighty Allah. That glorifying Allah Almighty in salat ul-tasabih consists four cycles of prayer (raka'ats) in which we are glorify our Lord 300 times by saying "Glory be to God, all praise be to God, there is no god but the One God Allah, God is Most Great!" (Ar. "Subhanallahi wal hamdulillahi wa la ilaha illa Allahu wa Allahu Akbar." May Allah Almighty glorify His beloved and most praised servant, Sayyidina Muhammad (S), and may mercy from His endless mercy oceans fall on you, and fall on our descendents, and fall on our ancestors, fall upon east and west, and may its blessing fall upon all from North to South, upon all oceans and upon all continents.
Allah Allah...Karim Allah...Aziz Allah...Subhan Allah...Sultan Allah Oh our Lord You are the only Sultan. Raise up Your Work and bring down the work of destructive disbelief and evil which seeks to harm Your human beings and all other creations by means of a destined appointed and authorized sultan from your Divine Presence.
Bihurmat al habeeb wa bi hurmat al fatiha.
[for the sake of the Beloved, for his sake we recite the Opening Chapter of Quran]