Laylat al-Qadr

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 Indeed We sent it [the Holy Quran] down on the Night of Power. What will convey to you what the Night of Power is like! Better is the Night of Power than a thousand months in that Night the angels and the Spirit descend by the permission of their Lord for every affair. Peace it is, till the break of dawn. [Quran, Chapter 97]

 

“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)

 

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