Contributed by AbuSuad, UK.
Emai : [email protected]
“…What will convey unto you what the Night of Power is? The Night of Power is better than a thousand months. The angels and the Spirit descend therein, by the permission of their Lord, with all decrees. (That night is) Peace until the rising of the dawn.” Qur’an 97 verses 2-5
The Nights Above all Nights
An effort as little as performing ablution could be rewarded continually rewarded for the next 83 years, how’s that? That is the result of performing an act of worship during the night of Laylat-ul-Qadr. How much more the opportunity of making tilawah (recitation of the Qur’an), nawafil (non-obligatory salaah), dhikr (Glorification of Allah) and du’aa (requesting our needs from Allah) during that night. Then our sins are forgiven as if we are born anew. And if we are able to witness this Night of Power every year for 13 years we will be in the rank of those who have spent a thousand years in pure worship of Allah.
Abu Hurayrah reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “The blessed month has come to you. Allah has made fasting during it obligatory upon you…. There is a night [during this month] which is better than a thousand months. Whoever is deprived of its good is really deprived [of something great].” (Ahmad & Nasa’i) Indeed, the Night of Qadr (Power) is the most virtuous night of the year. It is the night of Allah extended benevolence, “What will tell you what the night of power is? It is better than a thousand months.” (Qur’an 97 verses 2-3)
This is the night the Qur’an was revealed; it is indeed that night (once every year) when important issues are decreed. Allah says: “We sent it down during a blessed night: for We (ever) wish to warn (against Evil). In that (night) is made distinct every affair of wisdom, by command from Our presence. For We (ever) send (revelations) as a Mercy from thy Lord: for He hears and knows (all things).” (Qur’an 44 verses 3-6) That nights sins of previous years, big or small, known or hidden, will be forgiven. The Prophet (peace be upon him) promised, “Whoever stands in (Prayer) in Laylatul-Qadr out of Iman and seeking reward then his previous sins are forgiven.” (Bukhari)
When is this glorious night? The early Muslims asked the same question. The Prophet (peace be upon him) encouraged them to do I’tikaf (seclusion in the mosque away from all worldly thoughts, deeds and concerns) in the last ten days. ‘Aisha (the Prophet’s wife, may Allah be pleased with her) said: “Allah’s Messenger used to practice I’tikaf in the last ten nights of Ramadan and used to say, ‘Look for the Night of Qadr in the last ten nights of the month of Ramadan’.” (Bukhari)
How do you know you have witnessed that wonderful night? The Prophet (peace be upon him) gave us a few signs. He (peace be upon him) said: “On the morning following Laylatul-Qadr the sun rises not having any rays, as if it were a brass dish, until it rises up.” (Muslim) He also said, “Laylatul-Qadr is calm and pleasant, neither hot nor cold, the sun arises on its morning being feeble and red.” (Ibn Khuzaimah & al-Bazzar)
And what do you pray for if you are able to witness this superior night? Aishah asked the Prophet the same question, what to say if she knew which night it was, and he told her to say, “O Allah, You are the One Who Pardons greatly, and You love to Pardon, so Pardon me.” [Allahumma innaka affuwwun tuhibbul ‘afwa fa’ af anna] (Ahmad)
“When it is recited to them, they fall down upon their faces prostrating and they say: Glory be to our Lord! Our Lord’s promise is fulfilled. And they fall down upon their faces weeping and it increases them in humility.” Qur’an 17 verses 107-109
Jewels from the Past:
Witnesses to the TRUTH
The Noble Qur’an is the word of Allah. Some perceives it as a book of poetry, yet it is unmatched by man or jinn in poetic grandeur to this day. The Qur’an is replete with scientific facts yet it is not a scientific text alone; it is a blueprint for man to architect laws to fairly govern the earth; its timeless in its application and so much more. “Those who are given the book recite it as it ought to be recited as it is only they who believe in it.” Qur’an 2:121
This is no ordinary book; it is indeed the Words of Allah, with power and dignity that had it been revealed to the mountains they would have smashed away in awe and fear of the truth it carried. The Qur’an itself acknowledged this fact, “Had We sent down this Qur’an on a mountain verily thou would have seen it humble itself and cleave asunder for fear of Allah such are the similitudes which We propound to men that they may reflect.” Qur’an 59:21 But by Allah’s mercy we have been entrusted with the Qur’an without feeling the disintegration the mountain would have felt, because it is a book which has brought guidance, mercies and humility to our hearts. Indeed, the Qur’an is the bounty and mercy of Allah, in it let us rejoice, as it better than whatever wealth any of mankind can amass.
There are four golden rules we must apply when reading the glorious Qur’an, the WORDS OF ALLAH, Our Creator whom we shall one day face to account for what our SOULS earned.
Read in Arabic: This is the language in which it was revealed. It helps to unite us and to preserve the eternal message of the Qur’an. Allah made reference to this language of the Qur’an to instruct us of its significance. “Alif Lam Ra. These are the Verses of the Perspicuous Book. We have sent it down as an Arabic Qur’an in order that ye may learn wisdom.” Qur’an 12:1-2 Further, reciting it in Arabic provides clarity of understanding and sure guidance (socially) and provides protection and safety (spiritually): “(It is) a Qur’an in Arabic without any crookedness (therein): in order that they may guard against Evil.” Qur’an 39:28
Read with Understanding: It is also recommended that the Qur’an be read in a language you understanding, otherwise how will you know or realise its meaning? For better understanding, the pace and duration for completion must be adequate for comprehension and appreciation.
Learn and Live the Qur’an: The companions used to define themselves by the qualities identified in the Qur’an. Abdullah Ibn Masud noted that the early Muslims were generally conscious of living by it. He described their regime as a period “when the limits of behaviour defined in the Qur’an are guarded” (Al-Muwatta).
Teach & Share the Qur’an: Why not teach someone else the knowledge you gain from the Qur’an? Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “The most superior among you (Muslims) are those who learn the Qur’an and teach it.” (Bukhari) He also emphasized the sharing of it, even if it is a verse. This is circulation of knowledge, and a beneficial knowledge at that! Don’t forget that “…knowledge is iba’dah (worship to Allah).” So share it.
Don’t be of those who have seals placed upon their hearts and heed not, even when knowing the truth. Remember when you want to talk to Allah, pray salaah, when you want Allah to talk to you, read the Qur’an so read with an open heart and call to mind:
“And when they hear what has been sent down to the messenger you see their eyes overflow with tears because of what they recognise of truth. They cry, Our Lord! We believe; so you do write us down among the witnesses (TO THE TRUTH).” Qur’an 5:83
Source: SwordsWoman, UK. http://www.swordsmenofallah.blogspot.com/
“When the Qur’an is read listen to it with attention and hold your peace: that you may receive Mercy. And do thou (O reader!) bring your Lord to remembrance in your (very) soul with humility and in reverence without loudness in words in the mornings and evenings; and be not thou of those who are unheedful.” Qur’an 7 verses 204-205
Know Him Before You Adore Him
Inviting to the adoration and worship of Allah is usually stalled by request to prove His existence. How do you convince a genuine seeker that Allah actually exists in reality short of physically producing Him? Allah is aware of such queries; hence He points us to one of His attributes –Al-Khaaliq (“The Creator”). Allah says: “And at the Sky how it is raised high; and at the Mountains how they are fixed firm? And at the Earth how it is spread out? Therefore do thou give admonition for thou art one to admonish. Thou art not one to manage (men’s) affairs……” (Qur’an 88:18-22) He further connects our intelligence (ability to ponder) to His very existence and the need to worship Him: “Behold! in the creation of the heavens and the earth and the alternation of night and day there are indeed Signs for men of understanding. Men who celebrate the praises of Allah standing sitting and lying down on their sides and contemplate the (wonders of) creation in the heavens and the earth (with the thought): “Our Lord! Not for naught have you created (all) this! Glory to Thee! Give us salvation from the penalty of the fire. Our Lord! Whom Thou causes to enter the Fire: him indeed Thou hast confounded. For evil-doers there will be no helpers.” (Qur’an 3:190-2)
In fact, how do you explain your own existence or others’ without considering a Creator (Al-Khalaq). This Creator must necessarily be All-Powerful (Al-Qaadir) and able to sustain all His creatures (Ar-Rasaq). He must be loving and passionate of His Creations (Al-Waduud), He must necessarily endow them (Qur’an 79:29) so that new opportunities are opened for them (Al-Fattah). He would be subtle and compassionate (Al-Lateef & Ar-Rauf), forgiving of their errors (Al-Ghaffar), accepting their repentance (At-Tawwab), provider of guidance (Al-Haadi), who ensures compliance by instituting rewards (Qur’an 3:148) and punishment (Qur’an 18:87). His must be the dominion and sovereignty (Al-Maalik). He is the giver and taker of life (Qur’an 23:80, Al-Muhyi & Al-Mumit), who does not rely on anything, but upon who everything depends (As-Samad) and patient with their rebellion, ignorance and doubts (As-Sabur). He was there first before any other thing (Al-Awwal) and He will be there when nothing else exist (Al-Aakhir). He is the All-Knowing and Most Wise (Al-Halim & Al-Hakim). Indeed, he has power over all things.
These noble attributes of Allah point to One Creator and Controller of all the affairs of the Earth, and all the affairs of the universe, and all the affairs of other existence which we are yet to know or discover. Allah is not assisted by a team of Pseudo-gods, or semi-gods or elevated human beings or angels. He alone has the domain of the destiny of all affairs. He alone is eternal and every inch of existence or creation belongs to Him. Whoever makes a claim to an inch of anything, will soon be gone and unable to take those things with them.
The understanding of the Unity of Allah (Tawheed) is very important and crucial to our claim to Iman (faith), the very first foundation of Islam. We do not allow anyone to share of Allah’s Glory, His Authority or His Authorship. Whoever thinks someone else has a right to authority or ownership of this earth, that person lacks Iman. Whoever, thinks Allah does not deserve any of His names or attributes, cannot make a claim to Islam or to his love for Allah. Whoever describes Allah with any human attributes or describe any human with the unique attributes of Allah, then his faith is not firm. And whoever worships anything or anyone aside from Allah or along with Allah and dies in that condition would have limited his enjoyment only to this world, for the punishment of the grave till the Day of Judgement and the decision of the Hell-Fire would be his lot forever.
Therefore, worship only Allah and seek not the protection of anyone else, nor elevate to God’s status anyone else. Pray and praise Allah always: “Say: ‘Call upon Allah or call upon Rahman: by whatever name you call upon Him (it is well): for to Him belong the Most Beautiful Names. Neither speaks thy Prayer aloud nor speaks it in a low tone but seek a middle course between.’ Say: ‘Praise be to Allah Who begets no son and has no partner in (His) dominion: nor (needs) He any to protect Him from humiliation: Yea magnify Him for His greatness and glory’!” Qur’an 17 verse 112.
“On that Day will men proceed in companies sorted out to be shown the Deeds that they (had done). Then shall anyone who has done an atom’s weight of good see it! And anyone who has done an atom’s weight of evil shall see it.” Qur’an 99 verses 6-8
A Civic Responsibility
The teachings of Islam, to most people, are basically personal and worship. Personal, because it is sincerity and accountability to Allah, you will stand before him one day insha’Allah, and it will be you and your deeds alone, no solicitor or barrister. It is worship because what is important is your efforts at your iba’dah such as fasting, salaah and hajj. For these people, Paradise lies in those regards. Good, but that’s not all. Islam in not the substitute for some customary forms of worship, rather, Islam is a way of life which involves the way we relate with other people, our moral standing, civic responsibilities, social and spiritual purification.
In fact, Paradise lies in most things we do or do not do daily. For instance, Abu Hurayrah narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “While a man was going on a way, he saw (an harmful) thorny tree branch and removed it from the way and Allah became pleased with his action and forgave him for that.” (Bukhari) Don’t we see harmful objects on the road everyday? Perhaps if we deliberately remove one everyday, our sins will be forgiven daily and we wouldn’t really be far from Paradise. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Every one of the children of Adam has been created with three hundred and sixty joints; so he who declares the Glory of Allah, praises Allah, declares Allah to be One, Glorifies Allah, and seeks of forgiveness from Allah, and removes stone, or thorn, or bone from people’s path and enjoins what is good and forbids from evil, to the number of those three hundred and sixty, will walk that day having removed himself from Hell.” (Muslim)
Of course removing a thorn is not the only issue that reflects social virtue. The Prophet (peace be upon him) spoke of a prostitute: “A prostitute was forgiven by Allah, because, passing by a panting dog near a well and seeing that the dog was about to die of thirst, she took off her shoe, and tying it with her head-cover she drew out some water for it. So, Allah forgave her because of that.” (Bukhari) It is clear that social responsibility is a great means of seeking Allah’s forgiveness. This is because Islam teaches respect, love and well wishing for others and we should try our best to make life pleasant for people known and unknown; appreciative or not.
Since all our actions or inactions will be accounted for, and rewarded, it is more profitable to do those acts which actually cost us nearly nothing, but with greater implications. The places of passage or public paths are sources of comfort or discomfort, depending on their condition. We are obliged as Muslims to keep it safe, either by removing harm (e.g. harmful objects, pot holes, dirt objects or smell, or other discomforts) or by providing comfort therein (e.g. lightening, shade, pavement, beautiful scenery, security etc.). These paths are also the best alternatives during emergencies or crises, thus such paths should not be obstructed or endangered.
If we have been instructed to keep the road clean and clear, wouldn’t we be punished for acting contrary to this injunction? Thinks of the many litters we dump on the road, throw out of our vehicles! Think of the much harm we have contributed to unknowingly but avoidably. Many hidden things will become exposed on the day of judgement! That day many people will found out that there are marked down for manslaughter or an attempted one, or injury to people they had never met. Indeed, “to Allah belongs all that is in the heavens and on earth; so that He rewards those who do evil according to their deeds and He rewards those who do good with what is best.” (Qur’an 53 verse 31)