Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Night of Power

"The Night of Power is better than a thousand months" Quran 97:3

For years I have been fascinated by this one special night. From small, I have heard countless tales of magical events that is unfolded during this night. This very special night only happens once in a year. The best thing is, no one knows exactly when it will happen but trust me, it happens!

The night that I'm referring to is the night of power or laylatul qadr. It is a special night, only in the month of Ramadhan, where God Almighty has decreed it to be a night which is better than a thousand months.

What it means basically is, on that night, if you are one of the lucky few who managed to catch it, the rewards of performing worship for the sake of Allah SWT is equivalent to the rewards for act of worship performed in a thousand months. Let's see....a thousand months is equivalent to roughly 83 years and 4 months. Gosh! I don't even know if I will ever live that long! Subhanallah! Such mercy granted to us by our beloved Creator.

In the Name of Allâh, the Most
Beneficent, the Most Merciful.

1. Verily! We have sent it (this Qur'ân) down in the night of Al-Qadr (Decree)[]

2. And what will make you know what the night of Al-Qadr (Decree) is?

3. The night of Al-Qadr (Decree) is better than a thousand months (i.e. worshipping Allâh in that night is better than worshipping Him a thousand months, i.e. 83 years and 4 months).

4. Therein descend the angels and the Rûh [Jibrael (Gabriel)] by Allâh's Permission with all Decrees,

5. Peace! (All that night, there is Peace and Goodness from Allâh to His believing slaves) until the appearance of dawn.

Surah Al Qadr :97

Besides the promised rewards, why do people seek for this night? Well...from the stories that I've heard, on this night, at a particular time, all the trees will bow down and prostate to its Creator. This truly would be a sight to behold.

This is also a night where our supplications will be answered and previous sins can be forgiven.

“Whoever stands (in prayer) during the Nigh of Al-Qadr with faith and expecting reward (from Allah), he will be forgiven for his previous sins.” [Fath Al-Bari 4:294, and Muslim 1:253]

But, however, there is a catch though! That special elusive night is not easy to find. It can be any night. Some predict it to be on 25th night, some 27th night. The knowledge of when this magical night will occur is solely with God Al Mighty. Our beloved Prophet SAW however, had said to look for the night of power in the last 10 nights of Ramadhan.

This is supported by what Imam Ahmad recorded from Ubadah bin As-Samit that the Messenger of Allah (Sallallaahualaihi wa Sallam) said,

“The Night of Al-Qadr occurs during the last ten (nights). Whoever stands for them (in prayer) seeking their reward, then indeed Allah will forgive his previous sins and his latter sins. It is an odd night: the ninth or the seventh, or the fifth, or the third or the last night (of Ramadan).”

How do we know if we have passed the night of power?

The Messenger of Allah (Sallallaahualaihi wa Sallam) also said,

“Verily, the sign of the Night of Al-Qadr is that it is pure and glowing as if ther were a bright, tranquil, calm moon during it. It is not cold, nor is it hot, and no shooting star is permitted until morning. Its sign is that the sun appears on the morning following it smooth having no rays on it, just like the moon on a full moon night. Shaytan is not allowed to come out with it (the sun) on that day.” [Ahmad 5:324.]

The thing is, I have learnt to understand that to witness such night of power is a secret between God and whom He chooses. You can stand vigil the whole night in the last 10 remaining nights and overdose your body with caffeine, to help you stay awake, but, if you are not meant to witness it, it can happen under your very nose but your eyes will be veiled from seeing it.

We know that this magical night is special so to me, it must take a special person to be given the privilege to share the 'secret' with God. This person, after witnessing the majestic power of God, will continue keeping what he or she seen as a secret. Reason being, to avoid the feeling of arrogance or riya' that can easily creep into one's heart unknowingly.

So, the million dollar question is, can we qualify as one of those 'special' person? I asked this very question to the Wise Owl. He said, that each of us have the same opportunity to be one of the 'special' person. The only difference is our sincerity in trying to be that special person and how hard we work towards achieving it.

The Wise Owl said that some people even started their humble worship, 2 months before Ramadhan with the sincere intention that God will accept their devotion and sacrifices. They don't wait for Ramadhan or the last 10 nights to start their worship.

I would be lying if I say that I never tried to look for the night of power but deep in my heart, I know that perhaps my deeds are not enough to qualify me to be given such privilege. Still, I shall not give up or lose hope.

There is still time, InShaAllah for this Ramadhan for us to step up our gear and increase our deeds and worship. Who knows, if we are lucky, God just might decide to share His secret with us......Ameen....

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

One Day at a Time

“You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.”
― Mae West
This year, in my rather 'delicate' condition, I am very grateful for each  day that I am able to fast. A long time ago, I used to dread fasting month as I didn't understand the spirit of Ramadhan but now, I eagerly wait for its arrival each year.
This year, due to my special condition, there were days when I couldn't fast. Even though I fall into the category of those who are allowed to not fast, that knowledge is not enough to assuage my guilt and disappointment of not being able to fast.
The Wise Owl had once told me that we should seize every opportunity to do good and worship God while we still can. If we procrastinate, we might not live to see another sunrise. God may decide to take back our souls whilst we are sleeping.
The Prophet (saw) advised to: “Take benefit of five before five: Your youth before your old age, your health before your sickness, your wealth before your poverty, your free time before you are preoccupied, and your life before your death”
(Narrated by Ibn Abbas and reported by Al Hakim)
Today, when I broke my fast surrounded my loved ones with a simple home cooked dish, I finally understood the meaning of 'sweetness' and joy of breaking fasting.
Hadith qudsi (narration that reports the words of God): Allah Ta’ala (Most High) says what means: ‘Fasting is Mine and it is I who give reward for it.  [A man] gives up his sexual passion, his food and his drink for My sake. Fasting is like a shield, and he who fasts has two joys: a joy when he breaks his fast and a joy when he meets his Lord. The change in the breath of the mouth of him who fasts is better in Allah’s estimation than the smell of musk.’ (Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmidhi, Nasa’i and Ibn Majah).
To be able to complete a full day fast for me, at the moment is a huge achievement. To be able to control my tongue, eyes and ears from committing sin is even a bigger achievement than controlling one's hunger.
The true joy of breaking fast is not just to be able to eat or drink but to know in your heart that you have indeed fasted, in the true sense of the word; body, mind and soul.........

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