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A night of the Power and unauthorized practices around it

Introduction

The review of a specific set of 26 verses across 5 suras of the Quran provides us sufficient irrefutable evidences to believe that the act of God, the event “The Power” occurred in a specific night of Ramadan in the past when He sent down the Quran all at once for all of us through an inspiration process as established by Him to transfer knowledge to humanity to guide it to the right direction as reflected in the following verses gives us more insight on the matter:

[42:51] And it is not to human that God would speak to him except inspiration, or from behind a barrier, or He sends a messenger is to reveal by His permission what He wills. Indeed, He is Most High, Most Wise.
[42:52] And thus, we inspired to you (Muhammad) an inspiration by our command. You did not know what the scripture was, nor was the faith. But we made it a light, we guide with it whomever we will from among our servants. And indeed, you undoubtedly guide to a straight path.
[39:42] God takes the souls at the time of their death and the one who does not die in their sleep. Then He keeps the one whom He has decreed the death and He sends the others for a specified term. Indeed, in that are signs for a people to think about.
[58:22] You will not find a people who believe in God and the Last Day befriending those who oppose God and His messenger, even if they were their fathers, or their sons, or their brothers, or their relatives. Those – He has built the faith into their hearts and has supported them with inspiration from Him. And He will admit them to gardens, the rivers flow underneath them wherein they will abide forever. God is pleased with them and they are pleased with Him. Those are the party of God. Undoubtedly, the party of God are the successful ones.

Objective of the event

God is the Most Wise Al-mighty (al-azeez al-hakeem) and it is not for Him to do anything haphazardly or without any purpose while He has used a systematic approach to reveal the Quran through His established methods: (1) inspiration and (2) revelation. The process which He used to place the whole Quran into the prophet’s soul in a single night reveals His purpose is facilitate His prophet to memorize the Quran when it was revealed to him piece by piece mediated by the Gabriel to recite to the people as well as to deliver the pure Quran to mankind when it is already in his subconscious mind. Thus, the world had received the pure Quran, which was recited over a time period of 23 years, and there is no room for us to confuse the later process (revelation) with the earlier one (inspiration) as well as to understand the specific objective of the event as well.

Importance of the night of event

God has made the event night very special for His act of sending down the Quran all at once through His prophet for all of us raising the event status calling the night to be “Night of Power“. He has assigned four wonderful attributes to it: (1) the night is better than a thousand months (97:3), (2) it is a blessed night (44:3), (3) in it every matter of wisdom is clarified (44:4) and (4) in it is given the clear guidance and the statute book for mankind (2:185). He has also decreed a rite for us associating with the event and has commanded us to fast in the entire month of Ramadan to which this night belongs to be grateful to Him for giving us the clear guidance and the statute book (2:185). Thus, we should not have any confusion in our hearts that the night of event has mandated us fasting in Ramadan and studying the Quran to know our guidance:

[97:3] The Night of Power is better than a thousand months.
[44:3] Indeed, we have sent it (the scripture) down in a blessed night, indeed, we are warning.
[44:4] In it (the blessed night), every matter of wisdom is clarified.
[2:185] Ramadan is the month in which the Quran was revealed as guidance for the people, the clear guidance and the statute book. So whoever among you witnesses the month, then he should fast in it. But whoever is ill among you or on a journey, then the prescribed number in other days. God wishes for you ease and He does not wish for you hardship so that you can complete the prescribed number, and that you can glorify God for what He has guided you so that you may be grateful.

Misconceptions and unauthorized practices around the Night of Power

What God has decreed for us for the night is very straightforward, is to fast in the entire month of Ramadan but yet we see misconceptions and unauthorized practices around the night being the satanic tricks to make us losers that many of us pay no attention while they are disregarding God:

1. Concept of annual observance of the Night of Power

According to this concept the angels and the Gabriel descend to earth every year on this night with every command of God to answer our prayers and fulfill our needs. This tradition came down to us not only based on man-made teachings but also based on the misinterpretation of the Quran specially the verse 4 of sura 97 (Al-Qadr). Even the sura starts with the past tense verb but the present tense verb is used in the rest of the 4 verses of the sura consisting of 5 verses making a root cause of the misinterpretation. While God is letting us know that you have no idea (ma-adraka) how awesome that night is, it is better than thousand months, the angels and the Spirit descend by God’s leave with every single command on that specific night, peace it is until dawn (when the process ended). All of this is referring to a process that was completed in the past by Him along with the Gabriel and the angels.

There is also another claim for using the present/imperfect tense in 97:4 to dictate that the descent of the angels and the Spirit (Gabriel) is annually reoccurring event, is invalid since the description of events after wonder expression, ma-adraka in Arabic stylish grammar is always given in imperfect tense. We learn this from God in Quran through other examples with this wonder expression, ma-adraka, where God uses the present tense in the subsequent verses to describe and elaborate on the wondrous entity or event spoken about as found in 69:3, 74:27, 77:14, 82:17, 83:19, 86:2. 90:12, 101:3 & 10, and 104:5. It is noteworthy that God uses past, present and future grammatical verb tenses all over the Quran to describe events irrespective of their corresponding timelines, i.e., past, present or future. This is simply because we are trapped on earth and limited to its physical systems and time zones, where God is not. He oversees past, present and future all at the same time. So hanging on the verb’s present tense in 97:4 alone, without examining and verifying all the other evidences to prove the reoccurring of the Night of Power is a baseless approach. Thus, the annual observance is a reoccurring event to fulfill some man-made objectives where God is exclusively referring to a specific night that took place over 1400 years ago more specifically on the night of 27th Ramadan 13 B.H. with a specific objective of revealing the Quran to mankind.

2. Belief of receiving reward from God equivalent to praying of more than a thousand months

There is also another crucial belief around the traditional circle that the praying in this night would qualify for receiving the reward from God equivalent to praying of more than a thousand months because of a shorter life span of the later generations of believers comparison to the early generations of believers. There is no such thing in the Quran except introduced by tradition and is also a misinterpretation of the verse, 97:3. While in the verse God is letting us know that the night is better than a thousand months in which the event of inspiration was completed by Him with the involvement of the angels and the Spirit, and the use of plural 1st person in the relevant verses of sura 44 and sura 97 also confirms it. The Quran has also confirmed that there would be no comparison between the people of the different communities what they earned except the people of every community will be responsible for what they have earned (2:141):

[2:141] That was a nation that passed away, to them is what they earned and to you is what you have earned; and you will not be asked about what they had done.

3. Staying at mosque during the last 10 days of Ramadan

The Night of Power is very significant to traditional Muslims, even to some Muslims of new generation who believe the night to be 27th of Ramadan turns many of them to spend the night by commemorating God either in their privacy or in a mosque with other Muslims. While there are many who retreat to a mosque in the last ten days of Ramadan to take advantage of God’s such blessings with an intent not to miss it as it may fall in any night of the last ten days of Ramadan to gain extra rewards for their dedication of receiving reward from God equivalent to praying of more than a thousand months, which is a misconception as well. They spend the entire night through different forms of prayers including reciting the Quran, doing dhikir (remembrance of Allah) and supplicating to Allah to forgive their past sins and accept their acts, even they make certain units of special salat prayer. Even though all of these including a special prayer are man-made or according to baseless hadiths, there are some who misinterpret the verse, 2:187 to have a reference of staying at mosque for the last ten days of Ramadan. The verse is very specific about the update in fasting permitting sexual relation between the fasting spouses during the nights of fasting if they do not stay in the masjids including details on how to fast. Thus, even there is a hint in the verse to stay in masjids does not indicate that this is an order for us except misinterpretation to stay in masjids during the last 10 days of Ramadan when the verse has no connection with the inspiration event or the Night of Power exposes the misinterpretation of the verse.

4. Salatul Qadr

The Salatul Qadr having 2-unit at a time reciting sura Al-Qadr or any other sura followed by sura Al-Fatehah in each unit based on teachings of fabricated Hadith and Sunnah books or teachings given by their religious scholars. This is another way to corrupt the significance of laylatal qadr by establishing Salat prayer during the night before the Isha prayer. The 2-unit prayer is performed at a time reciting sura Al-Qadr followed by the sura Al-Fatehah until the dawn prayer when the Isha prayer is established it is too late. While the Quran has confirmed daily 5 times Salat prayer (4:103, 20:130) to establish consistently in a timely manner. Anything we are doing or following that has not been prescribed by God, then we are doing idol worshipping, which is an unforgiveable sin (4:48, 116, 39:65). There is no more or no less as per God is our concern except what has been specially enjoined us to have extra rewords such as paying to charity as much as we can but not being extravagant after fulfilling Zakat (obligatory charity), studying of the Quran as much as we can being freed from the interference of the Satan and imploring Him using His words from the Quran at any time. Since there are no extra Salat prayers including ‘Wajib’, ‘Sunnat’, ‘Nafil’ or ‘Betar’ that are practiced by many Muslims around the globe expecting extra rewards from God are all false prayers and such practices make them idol worshipers instead of getting rewords from Him.

5. Usage of the verbs awhaa, `allama and anzala

God has used the verbs “awhaa” meaning “to inspire”, “`allama” meaning “to teach” and “anzala” meaning “to send down or reveal” in the relevant verses to describe the entire event of inspiration, which may raise concern among us in isolating and linking the verses to the inspiration event. But if we can reflect that the actual inspiration/teaching occurred in the ultimate point (sid’ratil muntahaa) by God Himself while the rest of the process is described when the Quran is already down at the end of the return journey of the prophet to earth that we see in 97:1, 44:3 and 2:185 even using the 1st person plural form indicating the involvement of the angels and the Gabriel to complete the entire process before the dawn of that night will eliminate any concern or confusion about it.

Conclusion

This review provides us enough information to understand that: (1) God has followed a systematic approach for the event that occurred in the Night of the Power, (2) the method He has used to place the entire Quran into prophet’s soul is distinct from the method of revealing the Quran over a period of time, (3) His wisdom has reflected to His single night work being clearly clarified for us what we need to achieve His nearness, (4) His great work being an opportunity for all of us to find the right path for us concentrating to the event, “The Power” as defined by Him, (5) the significance of the night to avoid all misconceptions and unauthorized practices introduced by the so called scholars or according to baseless hadiths falsely assigned to the prophet, (6) He has specified a rite for the event of the night to fast during the entire month of Ramadan, (7) He wants us to be grateful to Him for giving us guidance to be used as a source of His teachings and laws, and (8) He also wants us to study His guidance (Quran) to know His teachings and laws so that we all can follow it to lead a righteous life for our own good.

Thus, if we can reflect to the information that we have obtained from the Quran and the event in the Night of Power being a historical event, we will be able to avoid all misconceptions and unauthorized practices around the event/night introduced by tradition including the annual observance of the night. There is no doubt that the night is so great for revealing the entire Quran in a single night having all divine teachings and laws but misconceptions and unauthorized practices around it being emotional as well as driven by the Satan expecting extra rewards nullify our works as idol worshipers. Why should we not focus on what God has decreed for us is fasting during the month of Ramadan every year and study the Quran carefully to avoid all misinterpretations, misconceptions and unauthorized practices around the event/night expecting a return to a place of happiness in the Hereafter?
Peaceful Friday, salaam and God bless.
Tafazzal (6/7/2019).