The Ahmadiyya Anjuman Ishaat-I-Islam (Lahore) society recently celebrated the Night of Majesty for Ramadan with members and invited guests from different faiths.
Most non-Muslims may not know but in the blessed month of Ramadan there is a special night which is better than a thousand months, called the Night of Majesty (Lailatul Qadr H.Q 97:3). The society celebrates this night each Ramadan to inform people of its importance and its benefit for Muslims who are prepared to seek it.
The MC, AmeenSahu-Khan began the evening by welcoming members and guests then asked Aisha-Rose Khan and Aydin Sahu-Khan to recite a chapter of the Holy Qur'an.
WendyKhan carefully explained Prophet Muhammad's (peace and blessing of God be upon him) first revelation experience from Almighty God 1440 years ago and explained how the Night of Majesty was connected to that experience.
Before Muhammad was appointed a prophet, Arabia had no law and order. The weak were persecuted by the strong, fathers would show disappointment when girls were born and would bury them alive in the hot sand. Orphans and widows had no rights and tribes fought with each other over trivial matters.
This caused great concern for Prophet Muhammad. He wanted to do something about it but didn't know what or how. He was searching for answers when Almighty God responded to his call through the angel Gabriel.
Wendy said when Prophet Muhammad encountered Gabriel for the first time he was startled, showing that he was human. She finished with a profound statement, that Muslim women should feel empowered because once the encounter with Gabriel was complete the Prophet hurried to the person closest and dearest to him -- his wife, Khaidja. He could have easily reached out to kings, or tribal leaders.
The Night of Majesty was when the first revelation of God Almighty to humanity; it took 23 years for the whole of the Qur'an to be revealed. Wendy's full presentation is at: facebook.com/AAIILAust.
As Wendy's presentation ended, the sun slowly sank behind the horizon, with a spectacular yellow-orange twilight -- a magnificent sight.
Society member HussainSahu-Khan proclaimed the call of prayer, the adhan, marking the breaking of fast, or iftar, for Muslims after abstaining from food and water for 12 hours. Members and guests enjoyed refreshments followed by the Maghreeb prayer.
DeanSahu-Khan spoke on "The Majesty", or Al Qadr. He said the name Night of Majesty is for the night when the Holy Qur'an began to be revealed -- the whole revelation took 23 years. He emphasised the Holy Qur'an was revealed for the guidance and benefit of all and to guard us against evil, including how we deal with others, how we treat others, how we think about others.
We need to learn to forgive each other; learning to not keep grudges, removing hatred, jealousy and all animosity between us. Also removing pride and egoism. He said by considering all these, one finds peace. If you don't, you must understand you can't really be a true and believing, practising Muslim. In fact, you can't be a good human being.
These are the basic and fundamental teachings of Islam, indeed, for any religion. You can't have peace or tranquillity unless and until you address these things. Peace is the distinctive mark of the Night of Majesty, or Lailatul Qadr. This peace comes to the heart of true followers in the form of mental tranquillity which makes them fit to receive divine blessings.
Qadr is commonly translated as Night of Power because Qadr means estimation and determination. God knows everything, so He informs His angels what He has decreed for the people for this year. Qadr also means nobility, honour and dignity because of the Night's dignity. Qadr also means to appreciate and constriction or congestion or to be stuck in something.
All these meanings are embedded in the word Qadr -- a beautiful night which God decreed for His close friends.
The best time of the whole year to get close to God is the night of Qadr, one of the odd nights in the last 10 days of fasting.
What is the wisdom behind not knowing when the Night of Qadr is? Laziness. If people knew exactly which night it was, they would only worship on that night and not the other nights of the year. The fact we don't know the exact Night of Qadr removes us from some blame, in comparison to if we knew when the Night of Qadr was, and if we were lazy, then that would bring us a lot more blame.
You can accomplish a lot of good in this Night, not just in worship, but in doing good to others. So if you have broken up with someone, a relative, or a friend, then this is the best night to do the good, or khayr, of uniting with them and removing hard feelings.
This is why the chapter ends with "peace until the morning" (Holy Qur'an 97:4). On this night there's no evil at all. This night is entire peace, or salamun, a night of total peace with no intervention of the devils. The angels pass by the believers doing worship and give Salaam, or prayers of peace, to all individually. They give salaam and collect their supplications, or duas, to take to God.
Narration: God accepts prayers except from one who has animosity and vengeance to a believer. This night symbolises the darkness of ignorance after which it is all light. If your heart has animosity, hatred, anger and jealousy then ignorance of darkness will remain and you won't see light or have light in your heart.
You need the inner purification to benefit. Everyone would like to live free of sins. Everyone would like to meet God on the day of Judgement. Everyone would like to feel that he or she is reborn today. All of us wish to rejuvenate ourselves and start fresh. Everyone wants to live a pure life and everyone of us wants to purify ourselves without anguish or torment. The Night of Power is one of the best ways to achieve these.
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) recommended this prayer: "Oh God, you are the one who pardons, you love to pardon, so pardon me." This dua, or supplication, must come from deep in your heart, with sincerity.
May God help us appreciate and recognise the Night of Qadr. May God help us remove the dirt from our hearts to be able to reap the full benefit. May God Almighty help us think well and wish all good for others regardless of how they think of us, keeping in mind that God will not ask us what others think or do. God will ask us what we say, think and do.
We pray for those who were massacred at Christchurch and the Christians in Sri Lanka and for the world.
We pray for peace in the world. May God Almighty bless us all.
Ameen thanked everyone for attending, especially Mrs Nur Jehan Alam and Mrs Chand Bibi Sahu-Khan for hosting dinner and refreshments. He thanked charity co-ordinator Shahnaaz Sahu-Khan for collecting 75 donated blankets for the homeless on the night to go to Mission Beat Australia.
- More about Prophet Muhammad's biography: aaiil.org/text/books/mali/muhammadtheprophet/muhammadtheprophet.pdf.
- Society on Facebook: facebook.com/AAIILAust.