In the Holy Quran, in Surah Qadr, Allah swt says, “Surely We revealed it (the Holy Quran) on the grand night. And what will make you comprehend what the grand night is? The grand night is better than a thousand months. The angels and Gabriel descend in it by the permission of their Lord for every affair, Peace! It is till the break of the morning.” (97:1-5) But how is it that one night is greater than essentially one lifespan? What makes this night so grand?
In Arabic, the meaning of the word Qadr literally means destiny. On this night, our fate for the following year is decreed. In the Holy Quran, Allah swt says, “We sent it down during a Blessed Night: for We (ever) wish to warn (against Evil). In the (Night) is made distinct every affair of wisdom.” (44:3-4) Our sustenance, fortune and misfortune, our health, spiritual elevation, and even natural occurrences are determined on this night. Imam Sadiq (as) is narrated to have said that the 19th night is the night when our destiny is written, the 21st night is when it’s prepared, and on the 23rd night it’s signed and sealed. In these nights, an upper and lower bound for our destiny is set, but it is up to us to determine which we will attain.
Thus the grandeur of this night lies not only in the ascension of the Quran, angels, but the mercy of the Lord at our fingertips and the potential for us to reach nearness to Allah swt. Knowing the grandeur of this night, we must strive to prepare ourselves physically, mentally, and spiritually such that we do not lose out on such a unique and invaluable opportunity to better ourselves. When the Prophet (s) was asked how one could enjoy the favors and good grace of proximity to the mercy of Allah swt, he recited the supplication of Prophet Musa (as):
“Oh My God, I seek proximity to You; He (Allah) said: Proximity to Me is for him who stays awake on Laylatul Qadr.
Oh My God, I am in need of Your Mercy; He said: My Mercy is for him who shows mercy to the poor on Laylatul Qadr.
Oh My God, I am in need of the passport to cross the bridge; He said: that is for him who give alms on Laylatul Qadr.
Oh My God, I am in need of the trees in Paradise and their fruits; He said: that is for him who seeks forgiveness on Laylatul Qadr.
Oh My God, I seek deliverance from fire; He said: that is for him who remembers Allah on Laylatul Qadr.
Oh My God, I seek Your good pleasure; He said: that is for him who says a two rakat prayer on Laylatul Qadr.”
Let us stay awake on this night and strive with our every being to gain nearness to Allah swt. Let us strive to restructure our thoughts and priorities in this life such that they are aligned with what Allah swt is pleased with. If we can take advantage of this one night, and potentially change our lives for the better in the upcoming year, then we have achieved a success that is innumerable by any measure.”
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