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Why is the night of al-Qadr more valuable than a thousand months?

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The greatness and virtue of Laylat al-Qadr

Laylat al-Qadr is one of the most significant and irreplaceable nights of the year for Muslims. It is reported from the blessed existence of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him and his family) that when the month of Ramadan approached (during the days when three days of the month of Sha’ban were left), he said to Bilal: Call Muslims to the mosque, and when the Muslims gathered, he went atop the pulpit and after praising and glorifying God, he said: “O people, the Lord has designated this month for you, it is the chief of months, and it contains a night which is better than a thousand months.”

Among the reasons for the virtue of Laylat al-Qadr, indeed the highest aspect of its virtue, is the descent of the Holy Quran in this night, which was revealed all at once to the holy heart of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him and his family) and then over the rest of his blessed life gradually. The Holy Quran counts this meaning as one of the reasons for the virtue of the month of Ramadan and says: “The month of Ramadan [is that] in which was revealed the Quran, a guidance for the people and clear proofs of guidance and criterion” (2:185).

The Holy Quran in verses three and four of Surah Ad-Dukhan mentions another reason for the virtue of this great night, considering it the determination of human destinies, saying: “Indeed, We sent it [the Quran] down during a blessed night. Indeed, We were to warn [mankind]. (3) On that night is made distinct every precise matter (4) / We have indeed revealed this (Message) in the Night of Power.”

Night of Forgiveness and Pardon

Laylat al-Qadr is the best opportunity to seek forgiveness and pardon for sins from God, and the Lord has a special grace for His servants on this night and indeed has made it an excuse for forgiving His servants.

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him and his family) in a narration has considered the existence of Laylat al-Qadr as the ultimate kindness of God to His nation and says: “To my nation in the month of Ramadan, five things have been given that were not given to any nation before me.

The first gift: When the first night of Ramadan comes, God looks at His servants, and whoever God looks at, will never be tormented forever.

The second gift: The smell of the mouth of those who worship God at night is more pleasant than the smell of musk to God.

The third gift: Angels ask for their forgiveness day and night.

The fourth gift: God Almighty commands His Paradise to seek forgiveness and be adorned for His servants. So how close it is that the hardships of the world engulf them, and they move towards Paradise and My honor.

The fifth gift: So when the last night comes, God forgives all His servants.

A man asked: O Messenger of Allah, on Laylat al-Qadr? The Prophet replied: Do you not know that when the work of the workers is finished, their wages are given to them?”

Also, those fasting raise their hands to God and recite: “O Allah, grant me the favor of Laylat al-Qadr on this day, and make my affairs from difficulty to ease, and accept my excuse, and remove sin and burden from me, O Most Kind to His righteous servants.”

Although there are questions about Laylat al-Qadr and it is not precisely known which night of the year it is, among the three nights of Qadr that exist and are customary, the third night is more likely, and this is our devotion to all three nights to maximize the virtues and merits of this majestic month, as it is narrated from Imam Sadiq (peace be upon him) that the determination of destinies happens on the night of the 19th, its affirmation on the night of the 21st, and its signing on the night of the 23rd of Ramadan.

Acts of the night

The acts of Laylat al-Qadr are of two types; those that are performed on all three nights, known as the common acts, and those specific to each of the blessed nights of the 19th, 21st, and 23rd. Imam Musa ibn Ja’far (peace be upon him) stated about the acts of Laylat al-Qadr: Anyone who takes a bath on Laylat al-Qadr and stays awake until dawn, their sins will be forgiven.

Laylat al-Qadr is recommended for reciting prayers, including “Jawshan al-Kabeer,” “Dua al-Iftitah,” and “Abu Hamza al-Thumali,” as one finds solace in remembering the kindness, forgiveness, generosity, mercy, and endless bounty of Almighty God, and it instills a light of hope in one’s heart.

It is appropriate to reflect seriously on the other common acts and, of course, thereafter on the specific acts of each of these three nights in Mafatih al-Jinan by the late Mohaddith Qomi, including frequent repentance, placing the Quran on the head with its particular invocations, and most importantly, the Ziyarat of Imam Hussain (peace be upon him).

However, perhaps the most meritorious acts on Laylat al-Qadr are prayers for two things, the first being from the blessed presence of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him and his family), where someone asks him: What should I do if I witness Laylat al-Qadr? The Prophet replied: Ask God for ‘afiyah (well-being). What is ‘afiyah? We should look to the beautiful prayer in Sahifa Sajjadiya, where the meaning of ‘afiyah that should be sought is mentioned from his blessed words.

Second, a prayer that may be the best act and a preamble to expressing some untold aspects of the blessed night of Qadr is the prayer for the relief (Faraj) of Imam Mahdi (may Allah hasten his reappearance). The full and perfect understanding of Laylat al-Qadr is tied to his noble existence, and our destiny depends on his gaze and signature on these nights. Therefore, the prayer for Faraj essentially summarizes all the good that we seek from the presence of Almighty God.

Fatimah al-Zahra And The Night of Qadr

Imam Sadiq (peace be upon him) said in a narration: The reality of Laylat al-Qadr is Fatimah al-Zahra (peace be upon her), and if someone truly recognizes her, they have understood Laylat al-Qadr. Also, in the Holy Quran, it is said: “And what will make you know what the Night of Decree is?” Do you think one can achieve the recognition of Fatimah al-Zahra (peace be upon her), who is the reality of Laylat al-Qadr?

Let me first make an introduction before answering this question. There is a very important connection between the noble existence of the Holy Quran and the infallible Imam; without the Imam, the Quran cannot be understood. The Imam is the equal of the Quran and complements this noble scripture as one of the two weighty things (thaqalayn) left by the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him and his family), which should be considered carefully.

A reliable narration from the blessed presence of Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (peace be upon him) states: O group of Shiites, argue with the verse “Indeed, We sent it down during the Night of Decree” to succeed. By Allah, this verse after the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him and his family) is a great proof from God upon people, and this verse is one of the distinctions of your religion and the pinnacle of our knowledge.

The question is, why does Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (peace be upon him) command the Shiites to argue about this blessed verse? What is so important in this verse that promises us victory over our enemies? The answer is that the issue lies in this connection of the Quran and Wilayah (guardianship of the Imams), as this blessed verse was also revealed concerning the Wilayah of the Imams (peace be upon them) and explains the reality of Wilayah, while its apparent meaning concerns the revelation of the Quran on Laylat al-Qadr.

Imam Jafar Sadiq (peace be upon him) about the reality of Laylat al-Qadr says: “The night (Laylah) is Fatimah (peace be upon her), and the decree (Qadr) is Allah. So whoever recognizes Fatimah (peace be upon her) with her true worth has indeed grasped the Night of Decree (Laylat al-Qadr). She was named Fatimah because people are weaned (Fatima) from knowing her true status.” The term “Laylah” refers to Lady Fatimah al-Zahra (peace be upon her), and “al-Qadr” refers to God. Therefore, anyone who truly recognizes Lady Fatimah al-Zahra (peace be upon her) has understood Laylat al-Qadr, and indeed she was named Fatimah because people are incapable of attaining true knowledge about her.

Again, in another place, the Holy Prophet said: “As for His saying, ‘Laylat al-Qadr is better than a thousand months,’ it means Fatimah (peace be upon her).” The verse: “Laylat al-Qadr is better than a thousand months,” signifies Lady Fatimah al-Zahra (peace be upon her). The reality of Laylat al-Qadr, the source and fountainhead of Wilayah (guardianship) and the connecting link between prophethood and Imamate, is Lady al-Zahra the Pure (peace be upon her), and the condition for comprehending Laylat al-Qadr is knowledge of Lady al-Tahira (peace be upon her).

In a narration from Amir al-Mu’minin Ali (peace be upon him), it is reported from the Noble Prophet of Islam (peace be upon him and his family) who said to me: “O Ali! Do you know what Laylat al-Qadr is?” I said, “No, O Messenger of God.” The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him and his family) said: “Allah, the Blessed and Exalted, decrees on that night the destiny that will be on the Day of Judgment, decrees and measures, and among what God Almighty commanded was your Wilayah (guardianship), and also the Wilayah of the Imams from your progeny until the Day of Resurrection.”

In this narration, the criterion and basis of destiny and decree are placed on the Wilayah of the pure Imams (peace be upon them). The condition for our understanding of this reality and attaining Fatimid knowledge is following her life model and patterns in all aspects of our lives. In fact, our benefit from Laylat al-Qadr is dependent on the extent of our emulation and actions as followers of Lady al-Zahra (peace be upon her). Thus, let’s ensure that on Laylat al-Qadr and during these blessed nights, in addition to reciting the Holy Quran, we cling to the Ahlul-Bayt (peace be upon them) so that through these two precious legacies of the Noble Prophet (blessings of Allah upon him and his family), we may attain salvation and increasingly appreciate the value and status of Laylat al-Qadr.

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