إِنَّا أَنْزَلْنَاهُ فِي لَيْلَةٍ مُبَارَكَةٍ
Innā anzalnāhu fī laylatin mubārakah
Surely We revealed it on a blessed night
(Sūratud Dukhān, No.44, Ayat 3)
The Holy Quran was revealed on a night that is described as mubārakah. The root word barakah signifies something that is beneficial, that multiplies in good, and has a continuous flow of that which is liked and desired.
It is the night on which the final guidance for humanity came down, brightening the world with a glimpse of Divine light. It brought with it the tools to change the destiny of man, propelling him towards a fulfillment of the potential within him and giving him the means of attaining perfection. It expanded human capacity and enabled the traversing of new horizons.
Apart from the fact that the Night of Qadr is the time when the decree for the year is established, we must understand the spiritual significance of the night and appreciate its greatness for what it really is. Not only for what it can do for us in giving us what we want for the year to come. But also for what it tells us of the love of God for human beings and His concern for their well-being. It is the night on which human beings received a gift from their Lord, the blessings of which will forever stay with them.
For a more spiritual appreciation of the night think of the following:
1) God tells us about Himself. It is the night when God allowed humanity to have a glimpse of Himself. Although limited due to limited human capacity, it is the only way human beings can know God – through His own words. Amīrul Mu’minīn Imam Ali (a) says:
Allah sent Muhammad (s) . . . with the Qur’an which He explained and made strong, in order that the people may know their sustainer (Allah) since they were ignorant of Him . . . He, the Glorified, revealed Himself to them through His Book without their having seen Him (Nahjul Balāgha, Sermon 147).
2) A close friend. Every human being who accepts the guidance sent on this night receives a friend and companion. One who stays with him in the world and in the Hereafter, who soothes and calms, who speaks to him even when all other conversations seem muted. Imam Zaynul Ābidīn (a) says: If whoever is in the East and the West were to die I would not be lonely so long as I have the Quran with me (Bihārul Anwār, v. 46, p. 107). He also says in the Du‘ā at completing a reading of the Quran; O Allah . . . let the Quran be an intimate companion for us in the darkness of the night (Du‘ā 42, Sahīfa Sajjādiyya)
3) A path towards success. One who holds on to the gift received on this night grasps a firm rope of success. It is the success of following the path towards the pleasure of God. Without the guidance of the Quran the human being is confused about what he really wants. He turns here and there, pulled in different directions, not knowing what his inner being is really yearning for. It is only when he embraces the message from his Lord and accepts it wholeheartedly that he can actually find peace. Then he has found his niche in the Universe, a created being at peace, glorifying and serving the Creator while on earth. Imam Ali (a) says: Whoever takes the Quran as a proof, he is guided towards what is most upright (Nahjul Balāgha, Sermon147).
On the upcoming nights of Qadr, pray for yourself and others. Perform the recommended acts of devotions (a‘māl) and supplications for this great night which is better than a thousand nights. But do not forget to spend time appreciating and thanking God for the blessing of guidance received on this night. It is a blessing unlike any other.
Imam Ali bin Abu Talib, Nahjul Balāgha;
Imam Zaynul ‘Ābidīn (a), Sahīfa Sajjādiyya
Āyatullāh Nāsir Makārim Shirazi (ed.), Tafsīr-e Namūne