Monday, June 30, 2014

Because Allah Loves Us

Bismillahi Rahmani Rahim

Assalamualaikum WRT WBT

Ramadhan is finally here! This year I feel different with the coming of Ramadhan. It may be an age factor. Haha. I wasn’t able to appreciate Ramadhan so much in my younger years, but as you grow up, and your ilm has increased, you know a lot more of the teachings of Islam, you’ll begin to see the specialty and uniqueness, as well as the opportunity Allah has given us through the Holy month of Ramadhan.

With the coming of this missed month, I would like to share some points and knowledge I have gained through my years of learning. Today, I’d like to share about Lailatul Qadr

Allah SWT said:
We have indeed revealed it (Quran) in the Night of Power (1) And what can make you know what is the Night of Power? (2) The Night of Power is better than a thousand Months (3) The angels and the Spirit (Jibril) descends therein by the permission of their Lord for every matter (4) Peace it is until the rise of dawn (5)
[Surah Al Alaq: 1-5]

If you look at the discussions between humans, the questions about Lailatul Qadr is always WHEN. When is it? “It’s on the odd days of the end of Ramadhan.” “No, its on one of the even days” “I think its on the 27th of Ramadhan” “No its not.”

Well, these types of discussion are endless and a waste of time because no one knows when Lailatul Qadr is. Allah made it that way, so you do not have to question and guess. The most important thing you should do it use the 10 last days of Ramadhan to the fullest. If you utilise each day, insyaAllah you will not miss it.

Allah SWT says:

“We have indeed revealed it (Quran) in the Night of Power (1)”

Lailatul Qadr a night of barakah. Is it blessed because Quran came down? Or because it was always blessed so the Quran came down? I heard a talk by Sheikh Nouman Ali Khan and he said that Lailatul Qadr was always a blessed night, therefore Al Quran came down. It became more noble and dignified by the Quran.

But the question you might be asking is, “wasn’t Al Quran brought down bit by bit thru wahyu to Rasulullah s.a.w?” Yes it was. Al Quran was brought down over 23 years during the life of Rasulullah. An opinion by Ibnu Abbas is that Allah sent the Quran down from Luh Mahfuz down thru the 7 heavens. And from there, it was brought down by Jibril to Rasulullah bit by bit based on a question, an issue, an incident, a problem that was faced by Rasulullah s.a.w and the Muslimin.

Allah SWT says:

“And what can make you know what is the Night of Power? (2)”

What is Lailatul Qadr? Qadr is translated as the night of “Power”. It is also a night of appreciation.

Have you ever heard the story of the sahabah quarrelling about when Lailatul Qadr is? Well, they did quarrel and because of these quarrels, Allah made Rasulullah forget the exact day of Lailatul Qadr. Again, when is not important. It’s the “what”. So Allah asks us in surah Al Qadr, “Do you realise how amazing Lailatul Qadr is?” Ofkos we don’t know, so Allah tells us.

The one who really appreciates Allah, they will find the appreciation of Allah on this night. Those who don’t appreciate Allah, will sleep thru it. So in which category are we? Are we among those who really appreciate Allah and are among those who are grateful? Or we say we are but we don’t make an effort at all? Tepuk dada tanya Iman.

Rasulullah s.a.w was with Saidina Ali r.a one day. They were in the masjid and there was a Bedwin sleeping. It was nearing the time of Solah, so Rasulullah s.a.w asked Ali to go wake him up. Ali went to do as told, but he was surprised because Rasulullah would never pass doing a good deed.

So Ali asked the Messenger about it. Rasulullah said, “If I tried to wake him up and he brushed me aside, it would be great sin. It was an act of mercy”.

The same thing can be related to the knowledge of Lailatul Qadr. There is a hikmah of not knowing. It’s good that we don’t know because if we know when it is every year, and we still do not appreciate it, can you just imagine what kind of trouble and how big a sin we would be in? Therefore, Allah not telling us when Lailatul Qadr is, is an act of mercy.

Allah Taala says:

 "The Night of Power is better than a thousand Months (3)"

The deeds and ibadah you do on this night will be equivalent to more than the deeds you do in 1000 months. Ya Allah, how awesome is that? If you think logically, the lifespan of people nowadays is what..? 70? 80? If we use Rasulullah's lifespan of 63 years. 1000 months is more than double of that!

Allah is giving us the opportunity to increase our pahala on this special night that you can't even do in one lifetime. Can you imagine 10 yeards of getting Lailatul Qadr? It will be a millenium of pahala! MashaAllah! So why are we wasting this opportunity?

Based on the opinion of the ulama', an interpretation of "khair" in ayat 3 is on good deeds and ibadah, but also be seen as Barakah with the things you do on that day. If that night and that day is a day of Barakah, we should take the opportunity to do a lot of things we have been putting aside.

I heard this from a talk I listened to a while back. If we have a certain friend that we had a quarrel with, a friend that we havent talked to in a while. Or maybe a family member that we are not in good terms with, or someone we did wrong to and need to apologise to, then we should do it on this night. Take a chance, insyaAllah with the Barakah Allah is bestowing on the earth, only good will come out of it.

I found this very inspiring. I will try and do this. Yes, ofkos I have people whom I have deliberately stopped talking to. May Allah forgive my many weaknesses. I will try and rekindle the relationship insyaAllah. (Please pray that I am sincere and I get to do this)

The next ayat Allah says:

“The angels and the Spirit (Jibril) descends therein by the permission of their Lord for every matter (4)”

In the Quran, Allah mentioned angels all the time. But in this ayat, Allah mentions the angles AND Jibril. During this nobel and special night, not only to the malaikat (angels) come down, but also Jibril! Jibril, the one who brought down Al Quran, the one who brought down wahyu to Rasulullah s.a.w is also descending. So it is a big deal.

In the ayat, Allah says, Jibril and the angels will descend with the permission of their Lord/Master. From the tafsir given by Sheikh Nouman Ali Khan, he said that the angels are all eager and desperate to come meet the believers! They cannot wait to meet and greet the believers.

The eagerness is the same as the eagerness to meet a celebrity. Just imagine one celebrity/artist/singer/football player/professor/ulama or anyone you really respect and hold in high regard, you admire and you really want to meet. Just imagine that you have the chance to meet them. How would you feel?

Who? Tom Hiddleston? Christiano Ronaldo? Dr Morsi? Ismail Haniyeh? Angelina Jolie? Who? You really really like them, you really really admire them, you really really want to meet them, get an autograph, take pictures with them.

Ha, that is exactly how the angels feel towards the Mu’minin. They admire the Mu’minin so much that they ask Allah’s permission to go and see them. Can you imagine that? They hold the Mu’minin on such high regard, but are we as Muslims worthy of such respect? We have to ask ourselves this. Tepuk dada tanya Iman. Are we worthy? Have we done enough to be seen as celebrities? Are our amal ibadah enough? Have we been a good servant to Allah Taala? The angels have no sins and are pure. What about us? It was like a huge slap on the face when I heard this. Ya Allah.

The last ayat of the Surah, Allah says:

"Peace it is until the rise of dawn (5)"

There are a lot of opinions from the Ulama', and none of them are wrong. Compared to us, we do not have the knowledge to interpret the Quran, therefore we will have to base our understanding on the Ulama' (the knowledgeable). Among the opinions of the Ulama' as mentioned by Sheikh Nouman:

1. Peace in this ayat means absolutely no evil whatsoever. Each decision is peace. On other nights, there might be punishments, violence, but this night is entirely peaceful.

2. During this night no human can embark in an evil task (Mujahid r.a)

3. It is the night of peace because the angels are constantly saying salam to the people of the Masjid. They pass every single Mu'min and say "peace be upon you"

4. The battalion  of angels descend at once and go into every Masjid, every single Mu'min, say salam and leave a doa behind. Just imagine their long descent, their long journey to earth just to give salam. It is such an honour to the believers on this night. (Ibnu Kathir)

Out of the four opinions, all bring the same message - that Lailatul Qadr is a very very very special night that is peaceful and has a lot of benefits for those who care enough to find out and use it. On this special night, the angels will be all around us, giving salam and leaving their doa. The Malaikat are racing, grabbing every opportunity to meet the Muslimin and say a prayer.

So what are we doing? Layak ke kite dalam doa para Malaikat?

May Allah preserve our Iman and increase it day by day. But my dear friends, it is us who have to seek knowledge on how to increase our Iman. Allah leads you to it, but it is us who have to make the choice. Changing is a choice.

In my research, I have learned that the learning process is proven with the change in action and attitude. Therefore, if there is no change, then the learning process has not happened. Which means what? That you have not learned.

Being ignorant is also a choice. With the availability of knowledge so easily today, there is no longer an excuse, especially to those who have internet. To increase our Iman, we must increase our Amal. To increase our Amal, we must have a strong foundation of Aqidah. Because doing amal ibadah without Aqidah is what syaitan strives for. That is why the feeling of ibadah being a 'burden' arises. So please go and seek knowledge. The RIGHT knowledge from the RIGHT people. Being ignorant is no longer an excuse.

Let's all strive to become better Muslims with this Ramadhan. Start now. Ramadhan is a month of forgiveness and barakah. Use it.

May everyone gain Lailatul Qadr this Ramadhan. Ameen Ya Rabb.

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