Quranic Reflection No. 320 Āyat 44:4 – The Night of Distinction

فِيهَا يُفْرَقُ كُلُّ أَمْرٍ حَكِيمٍ
fīhā yufraqu kullu amrin hakīm
In it every definitive matter is made distinct.
(Sūratud Dukhān, No.44, Āyat 4)

The night of Qadr sets the direction of events that will happen in the coming year. In Suratud Dukhān Allah talks about the night of Qadr as a blessed night on which every affair is made distinct. The word yufraqu refers to the separation of an affair from a group of affairs such that it becomes distinct from the rest.

‘Allāmah Tabātabā’ī in Tafsīr al-Mīzān explains that matters in the decree of Allah are of two types: a) Abstract and Obscure and b) Distinct and Separate
On the night of Qadr the affairs leave the first state and enter the second one.

From among these matters that make a movement on that night is the Holy Quran. On the night of Qadr the Quran was taken from its abstract state and sent down for human beings. Sending down is not a physical direction but a change of state in order for human beings to understand it. It is a reduction and dilution of its original lofty state which would be incomprehensible for the human mind. Thus on that special night it was moved down from its position to make it accessible for human guidance.

The matters of the human being are also made distinct on that night. All that will happen in the coming year are separated from the rest of his affairs and are sent down for implementation. A long Hadith from Imam al-Bāqir (a) explains this well.

From Humrān who asked Abu Ja‘far [Imam al-Bāqir] (a) regarding the verse ‘Surely We have revealed it on the blessed night’ (Q 44:3). He (a) said: yes, it is the Night of Qadr, and it is there every year in the last ten days of the month of Ramadan, and the Quran was never revealed [in its entirety] except on the Night of Qadr. Allah, the Mighty and Majestic, says: During that night every definitive matter is made distinct (Q 44:4). He (a) said: It is decreed on the Night of Qadr everything that is going to take place in that year till a similar night (in the next year) [matters such as] good and evil, obedience and disobedience, birth, death and sustenance. So whatever is apportioned on that night and decreed, then it is sealed. And the decision in this regard (is absolutely) with Allah, the Mighty and Majestic. [Humrānn then] asked (the Imam), ‘what is meant by, ‘Night of Qadr is better than one thousand months? (Q 97:3)’ So he (a) said, ‘the good deeds from prayers, alms and other good deeds are better than (all) the deeds performed during one thousand months, in which there is not Night of Qadr. Had Allah, the Blessed and Exalted, not multiplied [the good deeds] for the believers, they would not achieve [the required ranks] but Allah increases for them their good deeds for the sake of our love (Sharullāh fil-kitāb wal-sunnah, p. 403, H. 613 taken from al-Kāfī, 4: 157, H. 6 and al-Faqīh 2:158, H. 24)

Recite this verse to remind ourselves of the sanctity of the holy night and the importance of staying awake in supplications and prayers. You can participate in the destiny that is being decreed for you. Ask from Allah, plead your case and beseech humbly for your needs, both of the world and the Hereafter. Make them in line with His expectations of you and pray also for the destinies of others. It is a game changing night.

‘Allāmah Muhammad Husayn Tabātabā’ī, Tafsīr al-Mīzān;
M. Muhammadī Rayshahrī, Sharullāh fil-kitāb wal-sunnah).