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'Laila-tul- Qadr': Rise of a 'Mujaddid'/ 'Khalifatullah'

In the Muslim spiritual imagination, the month of Ramadan is deeply embedded as the sacred month of Fasting for the sake of God Almighty. The month also reminds us about the advent of Divine revelations on the Holy Prophet Muhammad (sa) and the sacred birth of the Holy Qur'an! Indeed the Holy Qur'an itself acknowledges that it was in the blessed nights of Ramadan that the very first verses began to be revealed on the Holy Prophet of Islam (sa). The Holy Book says: “The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Quran, a guidance for mankind and clear proofs for the guidance and the criterion (between right and wrong).” [2:185] “Verily! We have sent it (this Qur'an) down in the night of Al-Qadr (Decree). [97:1].  "Truly, We revealed it in a blessed Night"(44:3). 

Distinguished lexicographers and Qur'an scholars have noted that wherever the Qur'an speaks of "Lailah", it has a deep connection with the descent of Divine revelations. The saints of Islam had noted the profound connection of "Lailat-ul-Qadr" with the advent of Muhaddith (recipient of Divine revelations), "Khalifatullah" (Caliph of God) and Mujaddid (Divine reformer) in every era of Islam. The Promised Massih Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as) of Qadian also sought to educate and remind the Muslims of his era about the significance of 'Lailat-ul-Qadr' and the deep spiritual verities of Surah Al Qadr, especially with regard to the raising of great spiritual souls in every era of Islam as 'Mujaddid', 'Muhaddith', 'Khalifatullah', etc. 

Reproduced below are the words of Hadhrat Massih Maoud (as) from one of his books, Fateh-e-Islam: 

Allah gives glad tidings to the faithful in Surah Al Qadr that His prophet and His revelation descended from the heaven during the period of Laila-tul- Qadr (the Night of Decree).

Every Muhaddath and Mujaddid who is commissioned by Allah always appears during the Night of Decree. 

Do you understand what is meant by the Night of Decree? The Night of Decree or the Laila-tul- Qadr is the name of a night when spiritual darkness reaches its ultimate gloom. That gloom, metaphorically, demands a light from heaven for its dissipation. This night is symbolically called the Night of Decree. In fact, it is not a night, but a period, which is referred to as a ‘night’ because of its intense darkness. 

One thousand months is the approximate life span of a human being. It is also a period after which normal human senses ceases to functionThe elapse of a period of one thousand months, following the demise of a Prophet or his spiritual successor also signals the commencement of a ‘night’ of darkness. This ‘night’ triggers fervour in the heavens and the seeds of the birth of one or more reformers (Mujaddidin) is stealthily sown. Thus such a Mujaddid or prepare to emerge at the head of the new century. The following verse is also an indication by Allah towards this phenomenon:

           

  “The Night of Decree is better than a thousand months” (Surah Al Qadr, 97:4) .
  
It means that anyone who perceives the blessings of this Night of Decree, or anyone who benefits from the company of the Mujaddid of the age, is better than an eighty year old man who failed to behold this blessed time. Even if he witnessed a single moment of this blessed era, it was better than his past one thousand months. Why is that moment better?

Because during that period, in support of the Mujaddid, the angels of Allah and the Rooh-ul-Qudas (Holy Spirit) descend from the heavens. They manifest themselves upon the hearts of the faithful for the purpose of unveiling the path to guidance. They remain fully engaged in this endeavour until the gloom of delinquency vanishes, ushering in a dawn of piety.

Now, O Muslims, Ponder over these verses and observe how Allah praises that blessed period in which, at the need of the hour, a Mujaddid is sent unto the world. Would you not acknowledge the value of this period? Would you view with ridicule and taunt the covenants of Allah, the Most High?”  [Victory of Islam, pp. 33-35, Qadian: Islam International Publications, (2003) ]  

The Promised Massih Hadhrat Ahmad (as) also writes:

“Let it be known that it is the established custom of Allah that whenever a Messenger, a Prophet or an appointed recipient of Divine Revelation is sent for the reformation of mankind, it becomes imperative that he is accompanied by such angels who instill guidance in all loving hearts. They induce the hearts towards goodness.  They continue to descend until the darkness of profanity and corruption gives way to the break of the dawn of faith and truthfulness. The Almighty God says: “The angels and the Spirit descend upon them by the command of their Lord with their Lord’s decrees concerning every matter. It is all peace, till the break of the dawn”. (Surah Al Qadr, 97:5-6) .

So the appearance of the angels and the Holy Spirit only takes place at the advent of a person of distinction, who is dressed in the garb of Khilafat and honored with a direct communion with God. This Khalifa is specially gifted with the Holy Spirit and the angels in attendance are deputed to descend on all pious hearts. The reflection of this heavenly glow falls on people of receptive talent, and consequently the whole world is engulfed in the dazzle of this intense light.    

As a result of the noble influence of the angels, the hearts of such people are voluntarily inclined towards virtuous thoughts and are thus charmed by the concept of the Unity of God. Upright hearts are charged with the inclination towards the search of truth. The spiritually frail are granted fortitude. Everywhere a breeze begins to blow which is supportive to the objectives of the Mujaddid. An invisible hand is beckoning humanity so that they of themselves are hastening towards that reform which will bring out the best of their talents. Mankind is in a state of agitation and stir in anticipation of what is to come.

At that juncture, the ignorant contemplates that the world has taken a turn for the better, all by itself. Indeed, this reformation is the result of the efforts of those angels  who appear along with the Khalifa of Allah (Khalifatullah) and confer extraordinary powers upon people to understand and accept the Truth. They awaken the masses from their slumber, alert the careless, grant hearing to the deaf, quicken the dead and raise the entombed out of their graves. Then, people suddenly begin to open their eyes and those issues that were, until this time, concealed from their hearts begin to unravel. In reality, these angels are not different from this Khalifa of Allah (Khalifatullah). They are indeed a reflection of the Divine illumination on his face and manifestations of his endurance towards his mission. Such a person may be physically distant or nigh, he may be an acquaintance or totally alien, yet all are attracted with a magnetic force provided the capacity of reformation is present in them.

In that period of the Khalifa all the moves of humanity towards piety and the generation of enthusiasm, be it amongst the Asians, the Europeans or the Americans, is the result of the motivation of the angels   who appear alongside the   Khalifa of Allah (Khalifatullah). This is a Divine Law which will never see change. It is clear and easy to understand. 

It is your misfortune if you fail to ponder over this occurrence for this humble self has come from Allah with guidance and truth. Therefore you will observe signs of my conformity to truth in every direction. That time is not far, indeed it is at hand, when you will observe armies of angels descend from heaven into the hearts of Asians, Europeans and Americans. You are already aware of the testimony of the Holy Qur’an that with the appearance of angels is essential in order to incline hearts towards the truth. Therefore, you should await the fulfillment of this sign. If you do not notice this appearance of the angels or a clear evidence of their influence or an extraordinary favour in the hearts of humanity, then you are justified to contend that no one has appeared form the heavens. But if all these signs do come to pass, then you should refrain from rejecting the truth, lest you should be counted in the sight of God amongst the rebellious”[Victory of Islam, pp. 10-12, Qadian: Islam International Publications, (2003) ]