The night of majesty is here
In the name of the Almighty, the Beneficent the Merciful
We have indeed revealed this (Qur’an) in the Night of Majesty…The Night of Majesty is better than a thousand months; Therein come down the angels and the Spirit (Jibril) by His permission… Peaceful (shall be the night) until dawn (Quran 92)
It feels as if it was yesterday. But alas! We have now entered the climax in the spiritual season of the blessed month of Ramadan. Here I am referring to the last ten days of this glorious month; days in which the night of Majesty would occur; a night which is better than a thousand months spent in worshipping the Almighty. In other words, when the Almighty says “the night of majesty is better than one thousand night” it is meant to call our attention to the fact that the night is equal in importance to 30,000 days of worship; it is equivalent to Eighty-three years of complete devotion to the Almighty. To hold the night sacred, to consecrate the night to the worship of the Almighty, therefore, is to partake in such rare divine blessings as would not be seen again until next year. Yes! Have you forgotten what your lord and sustainer say in chapter 44: Your lord says: Ha M’im; We swear by the Glorious Book; That We revealed this Qur’an in a blessed night (Layla-tul Qadr); for We wanted to forewarn mankind; In that night every matter is decided wisely by a command from us…”
When carefully contemplated, these verses appear to give some clues to some of the vexed issues which have constantly bothered humanity: the issue of destiny, the challenge of knowing the unknowable. Here the Almighty unveils part of the hidden to us all; we are being summoned to partake in divine politics if as such it may be described. When He, the Almighty, says “In that night every matter is decided wisely by a command from us…”, it is like an invitation from His majesty to humanity to actively partake in a process which will ultimately lead to the distribution of divine blessings; the blessings of life, of wealth and health, of terrestrial and celestial successes. Unlike our experience on earth where the so-called legislators appropriate the national resources at the beginning of each year by giving sole consideration to their prosperity, the night of Majesty open the celestial space to the poor and the rich, the mighty and the lowly to present their “proposals” to the Almighty. Brethren, on this night we are being invited to “join” the angels in the process of “appropriating” earthly fortune; you are being asked, on the night of majesty, to have a say in how your future is going to look like.
But how might you go about partaking in your own destiny during this night when, according to the Prophet, “the number of Angels who will descend to earth will be greater than the number of pebbles on the whole planet”!.? This question was also posed by Aishah (r.a) to Muhammad (s.a.w). She said: “I said “O Messenger of The Almighty, on the night of Laylat al-Qadr, what should I say?’ The Prophet then replied: “Say: Allahuma innaka ‘afuwwun tuhibbu al-’afwa fa’affu ‘anni” meaning “O the Almighty! You are oft-forgiving and You love forgiveness, so forgive me”. How blissful that would be to be in penitence while angels would be descending in abundance during the Night of Al-Qadr, in obeisance to His command and in celebration of the abundant blessings of the night; the same way they descend each time the Qur’an is being recited.
At a public lecture the other day, a brother lamented his inability to read as many Quran as he would have loved because he recently started learning. He wanted to know the formula for reading the Quran such that he can complete the recitation of the glorious book at least four times in the month. My response to him was that it is not the number of times we complete the recitation of the Quran in this month that matters but the number of times we read them carefully, contemplated their meaning and are blessed as a result. If you happen to be a slow reader of the Quran, be rest assured that the reward that would accrue to you would be commensurate to the intention you had when you set out to read the Glorious book.
As you set about to increase your spiritual capital during the coming days, remember your brethren all around the world who are presently going through trials, tribulations and strife. Remember your sister in Syria, your brother in Gaza and your compatriots in the North-Eastern parts of this country. Not to spare a thought for them is to suffer a spiritual deficit. Prophet Muhammad says: “He is not a believer he who wakes up in a day and share no concern for his fellow brethren”. Therefore join me in supplicating thus: “Allahuma innaka ‘afuwwun tuhibbu al-’afwa fa’affu ‘anna” aamin.
(08122465111 for text messages only)
Afis Ayinde Oladosu Ph.D
Professor of Middle Eastern, North African and Cultural Studies
Dean, Faculty of Arts,
University of Ibadan,