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Tafsir Surat al-Qadr, Vol. 2

Mawlana Shaykh Muhammad Hisham Kabbani

December 8, 2001

Audhu billahi min ash-shaytan ir-rajeem

Bismillah ir-rahman ir-raheem

Nawatu 'l-arba`een, nawatu 'l-‘itikaaf, nawaytu 'l-khalwa, nawaytu 'l-`uzla, nawaytu 'r-riyaada lillahi ta`ala al-`azheem fee hadhal-masjid

وَإِنَّ يَوْمًا عِندَ رَبِّكَ كَأَلْفِ سَنَةٍ مِّمَّا تَعُدُّونَ

Wa inna yawma `inda Rabbika ka-alfi sannatin mimma ta`udoon

One day to Allah swt is like one thousand years of our reckoning. (Surat al-Hajj, 22:47)

If we look at Surat al-Qadr it is:

Bismillahi 'r-Rahmani 'r-Raheem

إِنَّا أَنزَلْنَاهُ فِي لَيْلَةِ الْقَدْرِ

Inna anzalnaahu fee laylati 'l-qadr;

We have indeed revealed this message on the Night of Power; (Surat al-Qadr, 97:1)

This is the first mention of Laylatu'l-Qadr in this Surah.

وَمَا أَدْرَاكَ مَا لَيْلَةُ الْقَدْرِ

Wa maa adraaka maa laylatul qadr;

And what will explain to thee what the Night of Power is? (Surat al-Qadr, 97:2)

Here is the second mention of Laylatu'l-Qadr.

لَيْلَةُ الْقَدْرِ خَيْرٌ مِّنْ أَلْفِ شَهْرٍ

Laylatul qadri khayrun min alfi shahr;

The Night of Power is better than a thousand months. (Surat al-Qadr, 97:3)

سَلَامٌ هِيَ حَتَّى مَطْلَعِ الْفَجْرِ

Salaamun hiya hatta matla`i 'l-fajr.

Peace it is until the emergence of dawn. (Surat al-Qadr, 97:4)

Here the name Laylatu'l-Qadr, Night of Power, is repeated for the third time. So we see this special reference repeated three times in this surah, once at the beginning, then at the end, and once in the middle.

The word layla is composed of four letters, and therefore is equivalent to four numbers. Let us speak of the numerology of these letters. Al-qadr is composed from five letters – equivalent to five numbers. [therefore the numerical value of the word Laylatu 'l-Qadr is:] four plus five which equals nine.

The numerical value of Laylat al-Qadr is nine. With the second repetition of this phrase, the numeric total is 18, and with the third it is 27. The Qur’an’s triple repetition of the Night of Power is a sign to look for it as the Prophet (s) said, "Look for it in the last ten days of Ramadan." And most scholars have selected the 27th as the most likely night of Ramadan for Laylat al-qadr.

In numerology nine is like zero. So for the first nine days of Ramadan, whatever Allah’s servant - `abd - is doing, if Allah does not want to send His mercy, He withholds it. Only if by Allah’s mercy, the tenth day is reached, will mercy descend. Therefore the deeds (`amal) of the first nine days are all of no value. The first day’s deeds, the second day’s deeds, … up to the ninth day’s are of no value. The essential day is the tenth. That is because 10 depends on the digit one – signifying we are all dependent on the One – Allah Almighty.

Now if you add nine to nine you get eighteen, 18; then add the digits of 18, one and eight, you get 9 which is numerologically equivalent to zero. Therefore for all three days, you get nothing, except through the One, by means of whose mercy He saves us and grants us His Favours.

The next verse is:

تَنَزَّلُ الْمَلَائِكَةُ وَالرُّوحُ فِيهَا بِإِذْنِ رَبِّهِم مِّن كُلِّ أَمْرٍ

Tanazalul-malaikatu war-ruh feeha bi-idhni rabbihim min kulli amr;

The angels and the Spirit descend therein by permission of their Lord for every matter. (Surat al-Qadr, 97:5)

On the Night of Power Allah revealed the Holy Qur’an completely, in one piece, in a single night. Following this, it was re-revealed to the -Prophet (s) during the course of his mission over a period of 23 years, as events brought about its necessity. Jibreel (as) brought the Holy Quran in that night from the source - al-Lawh al-Mahfouzh, the Preserved Tablets. Allah swt gave permission to Jibreel to take the Holy Qur’an from the al-Lawh al-Mahfouzh to Bayt al-`Izza. So it descended in its entirety to Bayt al-`Izza. From there it was revealed piecemeal to Sayyidina Muhammad.

At the Bayt al-`Izza, Jibreel was ordered to reveal the entire Quran to all the angels. The angels were all trembling, knowing the Quran was being revealed to the Last Messenger. They knew then that the Last Day was approaching, for the Prophet (s) said, “anaa was-sa`ati ka-hatayn” showing two fingers, the shahada finger and its sister, the middle finger.

The place from which wahiy emerges is the First Heaven. All revelation first comes from al-Lawh al-Mahfoudh to Bayt al-`Izza. From the First Heaven they descend and are revealed in this world, ad-dunya. Allah has revealed the Holy Qur’an over 23 years to show the greatness and magnificence of the Prophet (s). When you come to a king and bring a gift, you don’t bring it all at once and dump it. Instead you come time after time. Each time with a new gift. You don’t come empty-handed - that would be disrespect. Every time Allah swt would send Jibreel to Sayyidina Muhammad He would send with him a present of part of the Holy Quran.

This was not the case for Sayyidina Musa (as), for Allah gave him the Taurat directly, when he visited Mt. Sinai (Tur Sineen) for forty days, following it up over ten more days.

Allah showed his great respect to the Prophet (s) by sending revelation to the Prophet with Jibreel each time he visited him. This was to show Allah’s great respect and magnification of esteem for the Holy Prophet (s). In all Jibreel visited the Prophet (s) 12,000 times.

وَقَالَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا لَوْلَا نُزِّلَ عَلَيْهِ الْقُرْآنُ جُمْلَةً وَاحِدَةً كَذَلِكَ لِنُثَبِّتَ بِهِ فُؤَادَكَ وَرَتَّلْنَاهُ تَرْتِيلًا

And those who disbelieve say, "Why was the Qur'an not revealed to him all at once?" Thus [it is] that We may strengthen thereby your heart. And We have spaced it distinctly. (Surat Al-Furqan, 25:32)

They were upset at the great esteem that Allah showed to the Prophet (s) by sending magnificent verse after magnificent verse.

Another form of revelation that Allah sent to the Prophet was al-khabar al-qudsi. It was delivered by means of Jibreel as well. Even hadith was revelation to Sayyidina Muhammad. The Prophet did not open his mouth except as directed by Allah swt.

وَمَا يَنطِقُ عَنِ الْهَوَى إِنْ هُوَ إِلَّا وَحْيٌ يُوحَى

maa yantiqu `an il-hawa in huwa illa wahyun yuhaa.

Nor does he speak from [his own] inclination. It is not but a revelation revealed, (Surat an-Najm, 53:3-4)

Allah said, “We have indeed revealed this message on the Night of Power.” Why was the Quran revealed at night - why not during the day, al-nahaar? The reason is that the night is the most spiritual time for contemplation and meditation, and your relationship with your Lord is always conducted at night. What time do people choose to relax? At night. That is the time of peace. And peace is paradise. So “jannat al-mu’min layluh” – “the paradise of a believer is at night” when he reaches peace in the Divine Presence. Even if everyone is resting at night, the believer is awake, resting instead in the Divine Presence. That is when the nafahat, holy breaths/inspirations come to the believer. That is why Allah chose this time to send down the Holy Quran from al-Lawh al-Mahfoudh to Bayt al-`Izza. Day is a time for running, motion, activity, business and difficulties. Night is for resting.

Always at night, the worship is better than the worship of the day, more rewarded.

Allah swt made hudoor al-qalb, the presence of the heart, always at night. In the day, the presence is always of dunya.

That is why there are Awliya, jalwati khalwati. Khalwa is khalaa al-qalb. Jalaa’ al-qalb is polish of the heart. Khalaa al-qalb is emptiness of the heart from all but Allah. So that wali is between two stages. One from polishing, reaches the emptiness of all but Allah’s presence. This will happen only be excluding yourself from dunya alone, in seclusion that is why it was revealed in the night.

“And what will explain to ye what the Night of Power is?”

If I don’t tell you Ya Muhammad the importance of Laylatu 'l-Qadr, no one can know its importance. Because its qadr, value, is above the knowledge of human beings. It is not related to human beings, but it is something related to heavens. If it has no value, then why reveal it in that night? What do you think can explain the Night of Power – the secret is with me.

It is said that at that night, if anyone sees that night and Allah opens to his eye and he sees that light in the horizon of his heart, which means in the sky., then any du`a of that person is accepted. Whoever dies is availed of all questioning in the grave for the one who dies on that night.

Laylat al-Bara`at, the night of the 15th of Sha`ban, nisfi sha`ban Allah sends down His Attributes to the first heaven and from there these blessings descend on earth. Therefore on that night it is recommended and favoured to make salat Laylat al-Bara`at after salaat al-‘Isha. Tajalli 's-siffaat will descend on the night of Laylat al-Bara`at.

And on Laylatu 'l-Qadr, Allah sends the blessings of His divine Essence. That is why it is recommended to pray after Salat al-‘Ishaa on Laylatu 'l-Qadr.

That Night of Power is better than 1000 months. To keep awake in worship is better than one thousand months.

The day of that night which you must fast, and staying up the entire night in prayer, is more precious to Allah than one thousand months.

The Prophet (s) said, “whoever stayed up on Laylatu 'l-Qadr with complete iman and perfect understanding and worshipping, Allah will forgive from every sin he has committed and protect from falling into sin after that day.

And one who fasted Ramadan with complete iman and with perfect understanding [means with 20 raka`ats of taraweeh] Allah will forgive all his past sins and protect from future ones."

Whoever prays Maghrib and Isha in jama`at Allah will give him his chance on that night.

The day of Laylatu 'l-Qadr is similar to Laylatu 'l-Qadr, just as in its night, as long as you keep doing good. But to Awliyaullah, the night is more preferable to the day like one thousand months.

The Prophet said, “look for it in the odd nights of the last ten days.” This is because people in that time will be very weak in their worshipping in Ramadan. And Allah likes to check up on his servants, their devotion and zeal, in that last third of Ramadan.

Ibn Abbas (ra) said that Surat al-Qadr is of thirty words. Hiya, a pronoun referring to Laylatu 'l-Qadr in the last sentence, is the 27th word. Each day is represented by one word. That is the sign that the 27th is Laylatu 'l-Qadr

And Ibn `Abbas also said that Laylatu 'l-Qadr is of nine letters and it is mentioned three times, and 3x9 is 27, again strongly indicating the 27th as the Night of Power.

There was `Uthman ibn al-`Aas, a servant. He said to his master, “O my master! That water of the sea always is salty. But one night of the year it becomes sweet.” His master said, “when that happens inform me.” The next year the servant came to his master and said, “O my master, tonight the water is sweet.” His master said, “this is the 27th of Ramadan and is Laylatu 'l-Qadr.”

On that night comes everything sweet. From Allah comes everything sweet. From us comes everything sour. And we want to say, where are my amanaat, where are my secrets.”

Allah according to the Prophet (s), will free 1000 times 1000 persons from hellfire, which is one million. And Ramadan is 29 or 30 days. So in 30 days Allah frees 30 million. The Prophet (s) says, all of them are min an-naar astawjabu 'l-`adhab, and all of them have been judged to be punished. And if it was the last night of Ramadan, Allah frees from the fire as many as He had freed from the first night up to that night. [this totals 60 million]

The first night of Ramadan must be the night of thanking because he has granted us Ramadan and He has given us Laylatu 'l-Qadr. The last night of Ramadan is like that of the death of a person.

`Ayesha relates that she asked the Prophet “O Prophet of Allah, if I see that night, what should I say?” He said, “say Allahumma innaka `afoowun tuhib al-`afoow fa`foow `anee.”

She said, “If I see it I will add to that, Allahuma innee salam 'alaykum'luka al-`afuw wa'l-`affiyat fi'd-deeni wa 'd-dunya wa 'l-akhirah.

Just as the hour of Jum`ah in which the du`a is accepted is hidden, and just as the middle salaat is hidden (salaat al-wusta), which some say is Salaat al-`Asr, but it is not specified, so has Allah hidden Laylatu 'l-Qadr, so that Allah will keep you always searching and striving in order to catch it.

Allah called it Laylatu 'l-Qadr due to the fact that in it everything is balanced in the scale (al-Miqdaar) in amount.

Ibn Abbas (ra) said, “Allah has accounted for everything that will happen in that year.”

From 27th of the year to 27th of the next year, Allah gives the 'copy' (nuskha) of all that is going to happen to the creatures in that year. Some scholars say it is Laylatu 'l-Baraat.

Among the things written are rain, sustenance, death and life. Allah will give the angels a copy of what is going to happen in that year, sustenance for servants, human and plants and trees as well as where the rain will fall and where whatever is to happen will occur and that is assigned to the angels.

Sayyidina Mikail (as) is responsible for arzaaq, sustenance, physical and non-physical and for the rain.

And Allah gave to Sayyidina Jibreel (as) earthquakes, winds, tornadoes, war, lightning and eclipses. All that is in the hands of Sayyidina Jibreel (as)

And to Sayyidina Israfil is given the copy of the deeds of man.

And all related to health and death is given to Sayyidina Azra`eel.

Sayyidina Mika'il = liver of the body. The liver is the location in the body for the metabolism.

Sayyidina Israfil = has in his hands the sustenance for spirituality, = brain al-dimmagh

Sayyidina Jibreel = intelligence (`aql)

Sayyidina Azraeel = man’s laziness and weakness in obligations.

May Allah forgive us and we continue insha-Allah next time. We did not yet come to the meaning of 1000.


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