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Updated: Nov. 10 2001
Layla tul Qadr - The Night of Power
Layla tul Qadr falls on the 23rd of Ramadan and this is significant event in Muslim history as not only did Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) receive his first revelation that culminated in the Holy Quran, but this day marks the anniversary of his Prophethood on earth. Muslims all over the world spend this night in prayers as it holds special Barakah for those in prayer.
"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? 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 errand. Peace it is, until the break of dawn."
- Quran, Chapter 97 Al-Qadr
Many interpreters of this verse in the Holy Quran state that thousand months is Allah's way of defining eternal time as it cannot be described in worldy time. A single moment of enlightenment of the Noor of Allah is better than a thousand months and such a moment of recognition converts the night into a period of Spiritual glory and majesty, and every one of us should try to work towards this.
When the night of spiritual darkness is removed by the Noor of Allah, a wonderful peace and sense of security arises in the soul which lasts until this physical life ends and the glorious day of the spiritual world dawns, when everything will be on a different plane and the nights and days of this world will seem less than a dream. This is the meaning of "until the rise of dawn" and not the literal interpretation as many may construe or understand it. Surely, Allah's realm/time span is larger.
Allah has says in the Quran: Rise to pray in the night except a little (73:1)
Allah ordered Prophet Muhammad (salwaat) to spend most of the night in worship in order that his Lord may lift him to a higher elevation. Hazrat Ali (salwaat) and others would join him for the nightly meditation (Baitul Khayal) 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)
Listen to Sura Qadr Audio File in MP3 Format
Our beloved Prophet Muhammad, praise and peace be upon him, said: "Whosoever offers voluntary prayers during the Night of Power out of belief and charging Allah with its recompense will have his past sins forgiven." - Hadith, compiled by Bukhari and Muslim
Dai Nasir-i Khusraw explains the significance of this night saying: " You illuminate the mosques on the Night of Qadr and make it as bright as the day, while your hearts are as dark as the darkest night. Know that illuminations are not enough. When you light the lamps, remind yourselves that your dark hearts, without inner purifications, will not become enlightened by the lamps".
The Glory and Majesty of this night cannot be explained in any human terms. This Night is an opportunity to open out our hearts unto Him Who revealed the Holy Qur'an to Prophet Muhammad, who kept Allah's message everliving and appointed his heirs, the Imams, as the carriers of the Divine mission. At Gadhir Khumm, Prophet Muhammed (salwaat) reminded the believers of the Holy Institution of Imamat, he said: "I am leaving behind me two weighty things. The Holy Quran and my posterity. Verily if you follow them both you will never go astray. Both are tied with a long rope and cannot be separated till the Day of Judgment." This night is therefore, not only the Anniversary Night of the Holy Quran, but it is also the Anniversary of Hazrat Nabi Muhammad's Prophethood.
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