Saturday, July 2, 2016

The Quest for 'Laila-tul-Qadr'

The Night of Decree

If the Night of Destiny, which is found in the last ten days of Ramadan is different from the other nights of this blessed month or even the other nights of the year, it is due to its preeminence as mentioned in a chapter of the Holy Quran which has been revealed on its very subject, i.e. Chapter 97, Verses 1-6:

“In the name of Allah, the Gracious, the Merciful. 
Surely We revealed it on the Night of Majesty; 
And what will make you understand what the Night of Majesty is? 
The Night of Majesty is better than a thousand months. 
The angels and the Spirit descend therein by the permission of their Lord for every matter. 
Peace it is until the emergence of dawn.” (Al-Qadr, 97: 1-6).

Traditions report that the Holy Prophet Muhammad (sa) was on his way to inform Muslims of the date of the Night of Destiny, when because of a quarrel between two people the knowledge thereof was taken from him. He expressed the wish that it was (indeed) good for the Muslims (that the specific date of this Night has been made to be forgotten).

Hazrat Aisha (ra), the wife of the Messenger of Allah (sa) informed us: “The Messenger of Allah (sa) used to retreat in the Mosque during the last ten days of Ramadan, in the odd days of the last ten days of Ramadan.” (Bukhari & Muslim).

Therefore, the possible nights are the 21st, 23rd, 25th, 27th & 29th.


However, various authorities have pronounced on the matter with differences. Imam Malik (ra) believed that every night in the last ten days are equal candidates, none of them being more likely than the others. According to Imam Shafi (ra) the most likely contender is the 21st. According to Bilal (ra), the Messenger of Allah (sa) would have said on one occasion, it is the 24th night. According to Abu Dharr (ra), it is the 25th. As for Ibn Abbas and Ibn Ubayy Ka’ab (ra), they said that it is the 27th night. Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal (ra) is of the same opinion as them. Actually fifty opinions can be identified on the manifestation of this holy night.

For Muslims there is no better way to obey the order of the Messenger of Allah (sa) to seek the Night of Destiny than to follow his example. The Holy Prophet (sa) said: “Whoever spends the Night of Destiny worshiping Allah with sincere faith in Allah and an unshakeable belief in divine reward, God will forgive him his previous sins.” (Bukhari & Muslim).

Hazrat Aisha (ra) reported: “With the start of the last ten days of Ramadan, the Prophet used to tighten his waist belt (i.e. work hard) and used to pray all the night, and used to keep his family awake for the prayers.” (Bukhari & Muslim).

Hazrat Muhammad (sa) used to excel or to redouble his efforts in the last ten days of the month of Ramadan, even more than he used to do during the other days of fasting. (Muslim).

Hazrat Aisha (ra) is known to have asked the following question to the Holy Prophet Muhammad (sa): “O Messenger of Allah! What prayer do I need to say as and if I reach the Night of Destiny?” He (sa) replied:

“Say: O Allah You are The One Who pardons greatly, and loves to pardon, so pardon me.” (Tirmidhi).

The Holy Prophet Muhammad (sa) expressed the wish that the concealment of the exact date of the Night of Destiny was actually a good for the Muslims. The question may arise as to why God did not (specifically) disclose it to His servants?

Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jilani (ra) responded as follows: 

“Allah (swt) wants to ensure that His servants do not have illusions about the good works they practiced during that special night. Without this uncertainty (in the date of the Night of Decree), they could have put forward the following argument: “We have made pious works overnight which is better than a thousand months. Also, Allah (swt) has forgiven us and to Him we deserve now to be spiritually elevated and access to Paradise.”

They could then abandon any effort to practice pious works and rest on their laurels, to enjoy a deserved rest after success. Victims of their not-so-well justified optimism they would be doomed to perdition."

The time of death is also a secret that Allah does not disclose. For, had He done that, then anyone could give vent to his lustful desires, enjoy all illicit pleasures that the world can offer, and at the approach of his death, repent, and devote himself entirely to worship of God while thinking that he will meet death as a repented and practicing believer!

Indeed, these secrets act like a stimulus which constantly pushes the servant of God to practice piety (to be pious), constantly repent and to continuously strive to improve his conduct. According to an anonymous author, Allah (swt) has hidden five things in other five. He hid:

1)     The pleasure of Allah in acts of obedience;
2)     His anger into acts of disobedience;
3)     The middle prayer among other daily canonical prayers.
4)     His friend, the Saint (Wali) amidst His other creatures; and
5)     The Night of Destiny in the month of Ramadan.

Given what I have just mentioned, to fix the Night of Destiny in one particular night is a mistake. Recall that the Messenger of Allah (sa) invited his companions to seek the Night of Destiny (Laila-tul-Qadr) during the last ten days of Ramadan, and he himself gave the practical and concrete example of this search by confining himself completely to the mosque during the last ten nights of Ramadan. Has Allah (swt) not say in the Holy Quran:

“You certainly have in the Messenger of Allah an excellent example (to follow) for him who hopes in Allah and the Last Day and remembers Allah much.” (Al-Ahzab, 33: 23)?

I wish you all, my brothers and sisters, my devoted followers, may Allah grant you the riches of the full blessing of the Holy Night of Destiny. By the grace of Allah, Allah has given you a lifetime of Laila-tul-Qadr, because he has sent me to you with the Holy Spirit for the revivification of your soul, to show you the path to Allah and His satisfaction. May Allah always keep you on the right path that He has directed you to, and may Allah help thousands other people to find this lifesaving way. Insha-Allah, Ameen.

FIRE AT THE BAITUL FUTUH MOSQUE

At the beginning of this week, I have learnt through Rabwah Times’ YouTube Channel, the news posted on 08 June 2016 concerning the fire which struck the Baitul Futuh Mosque of the Ahmadiyya Community in Morden, London. The fire took place on 26 September 2015. 

It is UK’s greatest Mosque and was completed in 2003 and cost about 15 million pounds. The Mosque covers an area of 5.2 acres (about 226520 square feet). The fire overtook the Mosque on 26 September 2015, mainly in the administrative parts. About 50% of the ground floor, as well as parts of the first floor and the roof caught fire.

It is really sad, unfortunate that which transpired, but there is in it a great sign especially on the issue of the repayment of my salary as a worker of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association. I had since long asked them to give me my due, my sweat, my hard-earned money (salary, and money for all the time service as an employee of the Jamaat). He made the deaf and did not heed the request. I thus see no coincidence that the Administrative part (of the Mosque) caught fire. And we need to recall that it was for the construction of that same Mosque that there was a fraud. 

The Ahmadis of Mauritius (upon our expulsion) used to proclaim loud and clear that “the Caliph knows whatever transpires across the oceans.” 

It was after that that the fraud was detected, such a fraud which happened right under the nose of the then caliph (Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad). He did not even know what was happening in his own house! 

When he discovered all that, he did not ordained boycott for those culprits, but he rather made then step down from their posts and there were no expulsion whatsoever. They concealed the matter. 

As for us, why were we expelled? Only because of Divine Revelations!

And bear in mind that it was in the year of the centenary of the Jamaat Ahmadiyya that this catastrophe occurred, whereby a spiritual chief refused to come to celebrate that event and told the members of the Mauritius Jamaat “to go and redress/ reform your Jamaat”, while he himself flew to Japan, without any worry, for he knows that with appeals for contributions (from the members), then money will come in! In the capacity of leader, what should have he done? He should have come to clean everywhere; if the head is dirty, not good, he should have cleaned it and put an order in that Jamaat!

I hope that you take into consideration what I am saying, and at the same time, I am talking for the benefit of all workers of the Jamaat (Ahmadiyya). You need to treat all the workers of the Jamaat in the right way and give them their due. You should not neglect to give the workers of the Jamaat the good treatment they deserve, and do not waste money on others who are not doing the Jamaat’s works, those who just come to sit, eat and drink. 

Now the Langar Khana is like a 5-Star Hotel, run 24/7 and whereby just one kind of people/ nation benefit from it! A Messenger of Allah cannot see injustice being given free rein.


Thus, may Allah help each of us in this blessed month of Ramadan and enable us to benefit the most of it in prayers and may Allah bless each one of us, and even our brothers and sisters are are preparing to go for Ittikaaf (Spiritual Retreat). May Allah accept that from them and show them great signs. Insha-Allah, Ameen.

---Friday Sermon of 24 June 2016 ~(18 Ramadan 1437 AH) delivered by Khalifatullah Hadhrat Munir Ahmad Azim Saheb (atba) of Mauritius. 

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