Issue 147 » December 7, 2001 -
Surah al-Qadr (The
Chapter 97: Verses 1-5
"Verily, We have sent it (Quran) down in the Night of Al-Qadr (Power).
And What will make you know what the Night of Al-Qadr is?
The Night of Al-Qadr is better than a thousand months.
Therein descend the angels and the Spirit (Ruh) by their Lord's permission with every matter.
In it there is peace until the appearance of dawn."
The theme of this chapter of the Quran is to acquaint us with the importance of the Quran and the role of the Night of Al-Qadr, which falls in the last ten nights of Ramadan, plays in connecting us with Allah. Al-Qadr could be translated in several ways, all of which are interrelated in meaning: Power, Decree, Glory, Destiny, etc.
Allah begins by stating that He has sent the Quran down during the Night of Al-Qadr, and it is a blessed night. The fact that this chapter is placed, in the arrangement of the Quran, right after the chapter "Al-'Alaq", the first five verses of which began the process of revelation to the Prophet Muhammad in the cave Hira, explains that this book was sent down in a destiny-making night that changed the future of humanity!
The Night of Decree has two implications: First, it is the night during which the destinies of people and the Allah's creation are decided. It is also the night when the times of death and provisions are measured out, as Allah says about this night in another chapter: "Therein is decreed every matter of decree." [44:4] In other words, it is not an ordinary night, but a night in which new decisions are being made and the relationships of the believers with Allah strengthened and refreshed.
No wonder, Allah then emphasizes its importance in the following manner, "The Night of Al-Qadr is better than a thousand months." And as the Prophet (peace be upon him) once said, "...Whoever is deprived of its good, then he has truly been deprived!" [Ahmed and An-Nasaai]. Not only that, this night can surely change our life forever, as the Prophet (pbuh) further says, "Whoever stands (in prayer) during the Night of Al-Qadr with faith and expecting reward (from Allah), he will be forgiven for his previous sins." [Muslim]
Second, the revelation of this Book and its revolutionary message is not merely the revelation of a book, only to be used for academic study or recited on certain occasions, but this revelation is an event that will change the destiny of not only the Arabia, but of the entire world!
Allah concludes by outlining some signs of this Night: when the angels, peace, and blessings descend on earth, surrounding the believers. In fact, as Mujahid (Rahimahullah) said, "[On this Night] Peace is concerning every matter. It is peace and security because Shaytan will not be able to do any evil or any harm on this night."
[compiled from "Tafsir Ibn Kathir", by Ibn Kathir (Rahimahullah) and "Towards Understanding the Quran" by Syed Abul Ala Mawdudi]
HADITH FOR THOSE WHO REFLECT
~ Time for Repentance (Tawbah) ~The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) once said:"Allah extends His Hand at night so that He can forgive the sinner of the day; He extends His Hand in the day so that He can forgive the sinner of the night. He will continue to do so until the sun rises from the West (the Day of Judgment)"[Related by Imam Muslim]Lessons to Think about:
In another Hadith the Prophet (pbuh) said, "Allah accepts the Repentance (Tawbah) of His servant as long as he does not croak (on his death bed)" [Tirmidhi], i.e. until just before his last moment, when he knows that he has to repent any way.
Once he advised his Companions: "People! Repent towards Allah and ask Him to forgive you. For I repent a hundred times a day!" [Muslim]
Imam Raghib al-Isfihani mentions the following three benefits of a sincere Tawbah (repentance) in Adh-Dhari'ah:
It patches up your faults and identifies the devil's points of entry to the human heart. This makes the repenting person more aware of evil around him or her.
You, the repenting person, become embarrassed and are thus overcome with fear. You approach the door of your Merciful Lord with humbleness and apprehension.
Since you have experienced both the good and bad aspects of this life, and have tasted its sweet and bitter fruits, you become more sympathetic towards other sinners, and do not look down upon them.
Last ten nights of Ramadan, also described as the days of 'Freedom from Hellfire', offer a perfect opportunity to turn to Allah in Tawbah[compiled from "Sincere Repentance", by Imam Ghazali, Imam Ibn Qayyim, and Imam Rajab (May Allah bless their souls)]
22 SYMPTOMS OF WEAK FAITH
Series continued from YMFN Issue #146
Following are some of the signs and symptoms of weak faith that one can use to assess whether he or she suffers from spiritual death or disease:
15- Not practising what one preaches: Allah says: “O you who believe! Why do you say that which you do not do? Most hateful is it with Allah that you say that which you do not do.” [al-Saff 61:2-3]. No doubt this is a kind of hypocrisy, and the person whose deeds do not match his words is blameworthy before Allah and despicable in the eyes of his fellow man. The people of Hellfire will soon discover the reality of the one who enjoins good but does not do it, and forbids evil, but does it himself.
...to be continued...
[16 THINGS YOU CAN DO ON THE NIGHT OF POWER!]
Here are some tips on things we can do on the Night of Power and the time before and after it. This list is a summary of an insightful article on www.SoundVision.com. We strongly recommend you to visit the link below and benefit from the whole article.
- Take a vacation for Allah: We take a break from our jobs for almost everything in life. Why not this time to focus on worshiping and thanking our Creator.
- Do Itikaf: It was a practice of the Prophet to spend the last ten days and nights of Ramadan in the Masjid for Itikaf, which involves people performing various forms of Dhikr (the remembrance of Allah), doing extra Prayers, and recitation and study of the Quran.
- Make this special Dua: Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her, said: I asked the Messenger of Allah: 'O Messenger of Allah, if I know what night the night of al-Qadr is, what should I say during it?' He said: 'Say: O Allah, You are pardoning and You love to pardon, so pardon me.' "(Ahmad, Ibn Majah, and Tirmidhi). The transliteration of this supplication is "Allahumma innaka `afuwwun tuhibbul `afwa fa`fu `annee"
- Recite the Quran: Perhaps you can choose Surahs or passages from the Quran which you have heard in Tarawih Prayer this Ramadan to recite.
- Reflect on the meaning of the Quran: Choose the latest Surah or Surahs you've heard in Tarawih and read their translation and Tafseer. Then think deeply about their meaning and how it affects you on a personal level.
- Get your sins wiped out: Pray some extra/voluntary Salah. Don't just pray using the shorter Surahs that you know. Try to make your prayers longer, deeper and meaningful. Read the translation and explanation of the Surahs you know and then pray reciting these Surahs, carefully reflecting on the meaning while you pray.
- Make a personal Dua list: Ask yourself what you really want from Allah. Make a list of each and everything, no matter how small or how big it is, whether it deals with this world or not. Allah loves to hear from us. Once this list is ready, ask Allah to give you those things and plan your efforts in getting those things in the future.
- Evaluate yourself: Do an evaluation of where you are and where you are going. Let this evaluation lead you to feel happiness for the good you have done and remorse for the bad you have done. This latter feeling should make it easier to seek Allah's sincere forgiveness when making the Dua mentioned in tip #3 above.
- Make long, sincere and deep Duas: One of the best times to do this is during the last part of the night. For instance, wake up one hour before Suhoor time to ask Allah for anything and everything you want that is permissible. This can be done using the Duas of the Sunnah, but also Dua in your own language, with sincerity and conviction.
- Memorize a different Dua every night: They don't have to be long. They can be just one line. And be sure to know what they mean generally at least. You can put them on index cards (and glance at them during work, while driving, waiting in line, etc.) Then practice them at night in prayer.
- Have Iftar with the family: If you've spent Iftar time on weekdays in your cubicle at work alone with a couple of dates, now is the last few days you'll have this Ramadan to spend with your family. Use it wisely.
- Take the family to Tarawih: Have your spouse and kids missed Tarawih most of Ramadan because you weren't there to drive them to the Masjid, which is too far away to walk to? If so, bring everyone for Tarawih in these last ten nights at least.
- Attend the Dua after the completion of Quran recitation: Almost all Masjids where the Imam aims to finish an entire reading of the Quran in Tarawih prayers in Ramadan, will be completing their recitation in these last ten nights. Attend this particular night's Tarawih prayer with your family.
- Finish reading a book on the Prophet: Read about the Prophet's life, which can increase your love for him and Islam by seeing how much he struggled for Allah's sake. It may inspire you to push yourself even harder during these last ten nights. This community is built on sacrifice.
- Plan for the next year: Once you've done a self-evaluation, you can plan on where you want to go, at least in the next 12 months. Laylatul Qadr is a great night to be thinking about this (without taking away from your worship), since you'll Insha Allah, be in a more contemplative state.
- To do list for the Night of Power: Make a to do checklist for each odd Night of these last ten days. This should define how you would like your night to be used. Pick things from this list and define the sequence you would like to do things in. This will help you avoid wasting your time in unproductive chats which are common in the festive atmosphere of Masjids at the Night of Power.
[from "16 things you can do on the Night of Power" by Abdul Malik Mujahid]