A few days ago, I had qiyamullail with a group of friends. In between sahur and Fajr prayers, we had a short tazkirah and I was asked about the significance of Laylatul Qadr.
There are two types of believers who stand in night vigils during the last ten nights of Ramadhan: one group are those who wakes up only on the odd nights, while the other group wakes up every of the last ten nights irrespective of it being an odd or an even night. Both are hoping to be granted with the reward of meeting with the Night of Power – Laylatul Qadr, insyaAllah.
Allah s.w.t. asked us to consider what that night may be. He posed the question: “And what will explain to thee what the Night of Power is?” [al-Qadr 95: 2] And usually when we think of that blessed night, we are guided by the ‘ultimate prize’ – rewards valued at more than one thousand months! Allah s.w.t. said in the preceding verse: “The Night of Power is better than a thousand months” [al-Qadr 95: 3] This magnanimous gift is truly a blessing from Allah s.w.t. – as a beautiful gift to His striving servants. Imagine if you were standing in night prayers on that night, you will be rewarded as if you are standing continuously for one thousand months! MasyaAllah and Alhamdulillah!
But what makes that night worth more than one thousand months? The answer for me is contained within the next two verses of that same Surah. On that blessed night, Allah sends down angels, including Jibril a.s. to perform all manners of tasks as commanded by Allah, but the main decree is to provide and secure Peace (Salam) to his striving servants who are in a state of worship that night. He says at the conclusion of this Surah: “Peace! Until the break of dawn” [al-Qadr 95: 5]
Many of us were taught that the aim of Laylatul Qadr is to obtain the reward equivalent of one thousand months. But what is the impact of that generous reward? The answer is a convincing state of Peace, within and without.
Let us examine why this is so. First, Peace is the penultimate outcome of Laylatul Qadr as explained in Surah Al-Qadr [95: 5] above. Second, Laylatul Qadr is only available to us on the last ten nights of Ramadhan: after an extensive period of purification as a result of fasting, after a rigorous period of intense worship particularly during the last ten nights of qiyamullail, and after a period of humble submission throughout the month of Ramadhan. Laylatul Qadr is not situated at neither the beginning nor the middle of Ramadhan, but at the last one-third of the month so that we are physically and spiritually prepared to reap its full benefits.
What is the effect of these acts of submission: such as fasting, extra prayers and regular recitation of the Quran? They develop a heart that is purified and tranquil, a soul that is humbled and appreciative of every blessing, and it instills discipline through extra prayers and restraint from food and drinks throughout the day – all of these add up to a heart that is more ready to return and to surrender completely to Allah s.w.t. This surrender is the fitrah of our being and when the heart, body and mind are in this equilibrium state, it is then, and only then, do we find peace with ourselves and with others.
Ultimately, the reward of Laylatul Qadr is really the attainment of Peace. If you can put a monetary value on that peace, what is the value of peace? The best place to begin thinking of this question is to bring yourself back to the moment when you were inundated with worries, stress, pain and sadness. How much would you pay to obtain your peace of mind? Consequently, will this be of a value close to one thousand months?
Therein lies the reward of one thousand months. It is for peace and it is about peace. For after all, is not Islam a path toward peace? So, if you want to achieve Laylatul Qadr this year, upgrade yourself from working to “get” that one special night, but instead journey within and embrace the richness of the process so that you can consciously achieve a state of peace – and that will be your Night of Power.
This state of peace is important to a believer, because Allah personally sends an invitation to peaceful hearts to enter Paradise. He says: “O soul who are in a state of peace! Return unto thy Lord, content in His good pleasure! So enter among My servants, and enter My Paradise!” [al-Fajr 89: 27-30]
I pray that you will meet with Laylatul Qadr. I pray you will find the peace that you deserve, and may we all be invited by Allah s.w.t. to His Paradise, carrying nothing but only our tranquil hearts.
Amin ya Rabbal ‘Alamin.