Reflection No. 115 on Q 44:3-4 – Laylatul Qadr
إِنَّا أَنزَلْنَاهُ فِي لَيْلَةٍ مُّبَارَكَةٍ إِنَّا كُنَّا مُنذِرِينَ* فِيهَا يُفْرَقُ كُلُّ أَمْرٍ حَكِيمٍ
Innā anzalnāhu fī laylatim-mubārakatin, innā kunnā mundhirīn.
Fīhā yufraqu kullu amrin Hakīm.
Surely We revealed it on a blessed night surely We (ever) wish to warn (against Evil).
Therein every wise affair is made distinct. (Sūratud Dukhān (No. 44), Āyats 3- 4.
The night described in this verse is blessed. According to Tafsīr this means the night is greatly beneficial and a continuous source of great goodness. There is lots of good in it. Commentators agree that this night is the Night of Qadr, a night on which the fate of humanity was changed through the revelation of the holy Qur’an. It is also a night on which the decrees for mankind are determined each year.
Laylatul Qadr is a celebration to commemorate the arrival of the final guidance for humans. It is a tribute to the commencement of the message sent by God to show ways of achieving success and happiness in both the worlds. Just as the arrival of a child is celebrated at the time of birth and then each year, Laylatul Qadr is celebrated as the birth of light and guidance for mankind. The birthday feast is replaced with a feast for the soul, a feast of worship and prayers.
It is through the love and kindness of the Creator that He has blessed us with such a night. Imam Muhammad al-Bāqir (a) was asked about this night being better than a thousand nights. He explained; Good deeds such as salāt, charity and all types of good [actions] in it are better than actions of a thousand nights in which there is no Laylatul Qadr. Were it not for Allah multiplying deeds for believers, they would not have reached [Him], but Allah multiplies for them the good deeds. (MH, H # 16080)
The multiplying of good deeds is a huge favor for the human being, without which he would have very little to offer God. The Creator who knows our weaknesses also knows we need this boost to have something to show for our life in this world when we return to Him. Imam Zaynul ‘Ābidīn (a) talks about it very poignantly in the Du‘ā to bid farewell to the month of Ramadān; It is You who has pointed them through Your speech from Your Unseen and Your encouragement in which lies their good fortune toward that which had You covered it from them, their eyes would not have perceived, their ears would not have heard, and their imaginations would not have grasped . . . O He who shows Himself praiseworthy to His servants through beneficence and bounty, flooding them with kindness and graciousness! (Du‘ā 45, Sahīfa Sajjādiyya). It is up to us to make the most of these favors.
Sources: Tafsīr Namune, Aytaullah Nasir Makarim Shirazi (ed).
Mizānul Hikmah, Muhammadi Rayshahri; Sahifa Sajjadiyyah, Imam Zaynul ‘Ābidīn (a)