Lailatul Qadr is better than a thousand months of Ibadah"
Laylat al- Qadr also known as Shab-e-Qadr is a celebration to commemorate the arrival of final guidance for the humans. It is a tribute to the commencement of the "Quranic message" revealed to the mankind by their creator, Allah, a message which shows them the way to achieve happiness in both the worlds. As revealed in the Holy Quran, " We have indeed reveled this (Message) in the Night of Power : And what will explain to thee what the night of power is ? The Night of Power is better than a thousand months. Therein come down the angels and the Spirit by Allah's permission, on every errand : Peace!…This until the rise of dawn" (Sura 97 Al-Qadr 1-5). The Holy Quran was reveled to the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in one of the odd nights of last ten days of Ramadhan in two phases, with the first phase being the revelation in its entirety on Laylat al-Qadr from Loh-e-Mehfooz (the preserved tablet), to the angel Gabriel (AS) in the lowest heaven, and then subsequently verse by verse revelation to Muhammad (PBUH) by Gabriel (AS) across 23 years. The revelation started on Laylat al-Qadr with the Surat al-Alaq in 610 CE at the Hira Cave (Gaar – i – Hira) on Mount Nur (Jabli – e -Noor) in Makkah and Allah empowered the Laylat al- Qadr, when the blessing and mercy of Allah are abundant, sins are forgiven, supplications are accepted, and the annual decree is revealed to the angels who also decent to the earth. The messenger of Allah Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) asked his followers to search for Laylat al- Qadr in the odd numbered nights, i.e 21st, 23rd, 25th, 27th and 29th in the last ten days of Ramadhan. Hazrat Aisha Radiallah Anha stated that I asked Rasool Allah, peace be upon him, "If I find Lailatul Qadar then what should I do? He, peace be upon him, said, recite this Dua. "ALLAH HUMMA INNAKA A'FUVUN TOHIB BUL AFVA FA'AFU ANNI" ("O Allah! You are the forgiver and you like forgiving, so forgive me"). Thus the blessed night Laylat al- Qadr is solely is to seek forgiveness of our sins.
Why do human beings commit sins? The origin of the sin, i.e disobedience to commandment of Allah is as old as Hazrat Adam (AS). God created Adam (AS), the first man, the first human being from a hand full of clay and blew his Soul into him, and said to the Angels Prostrate before Adam :
Allah did not create human kind for any purpose other than to worship him. However being descendants of Adam makes us frail and forgetful while at the same time our humanity often causes us to become full of our own importance; proud and arrogant. Arrogance in term often causes us to commit sins, and our forgetfulness often causes us to make mistakes that can easily lead to sinful behavior. God knows us well, he is our creator. He has not abandon us to our own imperfect nature; he has provided us innumerable opportunities to turn to him for forgiveness. Allah says "O My slaves who have transgressed against themselves (by committing evil deeds and sins)! Despair not of the Mercy of God: verily, God forgives all sins. Truly He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful." (Quran 39:53).
Laylat al-Qadr is better than thousand months of worship, a great opportunity when sins are forgiven and supplications are accepted.
(The writer is IFS (Rtd) and Member All India Muslim Majlis – e- Mushawarat. New Delhi.