Reflections on Layalatul-Qadr (Night of Decree)
It is prevalent among Muslim believers their seeking to catch Laylatul-Qadr (the Night of Decree) during the last ten nights of Ramadan. Indeed, it is a special night as it is revealed in the Quran that it is the night when the Holy Book (Quran) was sent down, it is special because the rewards and benefits are multiplied in abundance, it is special as the Angels descend to earth by the leave of their Lord and it is special as it is all peace until the rise of the dawn.
Muslim believers are expected to do more ‘Ibadat (worship) during the last ten days of Ramadan, as the night of Decree is left embedded in these nights according to most Muslim scholars. Worshiping can take different forms, praying, reciting the Quran, doing the Du’a (supplication) and remembrance of God, Exalted is He. It is also expected that the individual Muslim yearning to catch this night, to reconcile with whom one had been on bad terms, for God, the Almighty, accepts only deeds springing from sound hearts.
But is this night meant to be a seasonal opportunity for Muslims to increase their rewards then we go back to our daily habits and routine of heedlessness and self-complacency in this restless and agitated world? Absolutely not, the Muslim should be reminded that his life is a continuous journey to God, Exalted is He; he should seek nearness to Him all the time, he should rein in his ego and purify his soul, he should always remember that his ultimate goal is to win his Lord’s pleasure and that his lifetime is only a bridge to the everlasting hereafter, God, the Almighty says: “Say, “My prayer and my worship, and my life and my death, are devoted to God, the Lord of the Worlds” (al-An’am, 162).
This night is meant to revive faith in our hearts and urge us to brave the obstacles of our ego and the injustice inflicted upon the Ummah (Muslim community). Of the meanings we can draw from Laylatul-Qadr is that God, Exalted is He, has honored the Muslim community with this special night, and how can we speak of honor, esteem and value while this Ummah is going through adverse trials: political despotism, economic backwardness, ethnic and sectarian violence and fragmentation, low morality, etc. Each Muslim should feel responsibility towards his Ummah to recover its dignity and self-esteem, to heal the wounds and work for more unity and resume our mission of calling to God and enjoining what is good and proper and forbidding what is evil.
The Night of Decree is meant to be a message of peace. “It is peace, until the rise of dawn”. Violence has never been the Prophetic method to convey the message of Islam. It is reported that the Messenger, peace and blessings be upon him, says: “whenever leniency is used (to handle things), it yields beauty, and whenever violence is used, it yields ugliness”. And violence only reflects what is inward, so we, particularly, the young should have an opportunity to redress our inward illnesses and permanently revive faith in our hearts through the prophetic way of education. The world now needs the message of mercy, and this message is in Islam.
7th May 2021.