What are the differences between the three nights of Power. What is the spiritual significance on the 19th, 21st and 23rd Night of the Holy Month of Ramadan... Join Sheikh Abbas Jaffer to find out!
Bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim. May Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala accept our a'maal in this month, whatever we have managed to do so far and give us the tawfiq InshaAllah in the days to come, especially these nights now of Qadr that are with us, to take the maximum benefit that is available. Tonight is one of the nights of Qadr and this is from the highlights of the month of Ramadhan, the night of Qadr, the night of decree, the night of decision making. What does it mean? We will talk about it briefly. It is, of course, the night of the revelation of the Qur'an and the Qur'an was revealed on this night because of the power of this night.
Ok and so we need to make sure that we really prepare for this evening and night, and we are able to take from Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala what He has prepared for us. Now there are three nights normally that are mentioned as the probable nights of Qadr, the 19th night, the 21st night and the 23rd night and in some riwayyaat, some of the other odd nights in the last ten nights of the month of Ramadhan. Amongst them, most of the riwayyaat point to the 23rd night as being the night and the second most plausible one 21st night. But there are also riwayyaat that say that something happens on each of these nights.
Hadiths tell us that on the 19th night, there is a kind of collection of all the decrees. All the amar, the umoor are all brought together and collected. So people's petitions, decisions about what is to happen to them in their life, whether they're going to live till the next year or not, all these decrees are brought together on the 21st night. They are granted, they are if you like, a decision is made about them, yes or no or whatever is made about them and on the 23rd night there is an Imza', there is a sign off. And this Imza' gives a kind of decree that now the Angels are informed because Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala's decrees are carried out by His Angels. The Imam of the time also or the Hujjah of Allah of the time is informed about it and that these are the decrees. These are the umoor of the people and the Angels are told about this.
Now there are some Ahadith that tells us a little bit more about what happens. And there are many we can read up about them but generally speaking, we are told that on this night of Qadr, our destiny for the next year, a muhkam, decision is made about it. The question I want to spend a bit of time on in this section, amongst the many things we could discuss is this, if the decision on the night of Qadr is muhkam, is hatmi, it cannot change, then what's the point of Du'a after that? My decree was written last 23rd month of Ramadhan. So now if it is irrevocable, it cannot be changed, then what is the point of me saying anything more in Du'a? How does it work?
So the answer of course, from the Imams of Ahlul Bayt 'alayhim us-salaam, answered by both Imam Zain ul-Abideen and Imam Al-Sadiq salawaatu Allahi wa as-salamu 'alayhim 'ajma'een , is that everything that happens, every effect you see in dunya, it goes through six stages, six. When all six are in place, it happens. Until all six are not in place, it doesn't happen. And he said the first of them is for the decree to be executed is that it has, it goes through a stage where 'Alim Allah, God knows some wisdom about it. In His Knowledge, this particular action has a hikma, has a wisdom because He doesn't act without wisdom.
The second stage is Washa'a. He Desires or Wills for this act to be done. So the Mashia of Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala is also behind the 'Ilm. He knows there is an act of wisdom, and then there is the Mashia of Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala. And then the third one is wa arada, now He intends to carry it out. Araad Allah.
The fourth part is Qaddara. He now apportions it. This act will have different consequences for you, me, everybody - Qaddara. How long will it happen for, how much it'll get and so on. And when this Qaddara happens, then Qadha, then he gives the decree. He says this is to happen. This Qadha is when everything is now informed to those people who will be handling it. The Imam, the Angels, they will be putting it into effect. They now have received that Qadha.
However, there is one step and all this till Qadha, the five steps are done on 23rd, on the night of Qadr. On the night of Qadr, these five things are decided. The one thing that is remaining is what Imam said, Imdha'. This Imdha' of Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala is a variable, and that when it comes in, that is when an action happens instantly on the time. Without that it doesn't happen. And if this Imdha' of Allah has come, then no Du'a or no prayer can change it because the action is already in play. It is already happening. Imam 'alayhi as-salam said that 'All praise belongs to Allah who withholds this Du'a, this decree, this mubram ordained degree, with a Du'a of the person.'
It is the Du'a that will now bring it to happen or not. So everything has been decided except for that final Imdha' of Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala. Let me give you an example from Qur'an. In Surat Hud, we have that the Angels came to Nabi Ibrahim 'alayhi as-salam and ate with, he brought a sheep for them, they did not eat, he became a bit concerned. They said to him 'We are Angels.' They gave him good news of a son to him Ishaq 'alayhi as-salam. Then he said to them 'Where are you going?' They said 'We are going to the people of Lut to punish them.'
Now this is where we pick up. He says, "Fa lamma dhahaba an Ibraahim ar-raw'u" (11:74). When Ibrahim calmed down because he, when he was in the presence of two Angels, he was very nervous. But after they told him 'Calm down, don't be afraid,' he now got over some of his awe of them. "Wa jaaa'at ul-bushraaa" (11:74). And he had received the good news about Ishaq 'alayhi as-salam and they had told him we are going to Lut, now he's a bit relaxed. Then what did he do? "Yujaadiluna fee qawmi Lut" (11;74). He began to argue to us about qawmi Lut. Now he's no longer in awe. He's saying 'Why? Why do you want to kill them? You know Lut is amongst them. There may be some Saaliheen amongst them?
You see, Ibrahim had a very soft heart, very soft heart and even the idea of killing people and all, give them a chance this. "Yujaadiluna fee qawmi Lut" (11:74), Allah says. Why? "Inna Ibraahima la haleemun awwaahun muneeb" (11:75). The thing was, Ibrahim was tender hearted. He was soft hearted. This was his way. He couldn't bear to see hurt on anyone. But now the next verse. This problem was that this had not reached five levels. It was the 6th one, Imdha' had been done. Imdha' had been done and no amount of pleading or begging from Ibrahim 'alayhi as-salam could change it.
So Allah says in the next verse, 76. "Yaa Ibraahim. A'rid 'an hadha" (11:76). O Ibrahim, let this conversation go. Don't talk about this anymore. Why? "Innahoo qad jaaa'a amru Rabbik" (11:76). I have signed off on this. My Imdha' is there already. Nothing now can stop the adhaab on qawm Lut. "Wa innahum ateehim 'adhabun ghairun mardood" (11:76). This adhaab that is coming to them cannot be now changed because I have put it in taqween as an amr, khalaas.
But until this happens, Imam said your Du'a, your pleading, your begging from God, throughout time, will change this. So there's a whole lot of destiny that is already ready for you, on the 23rd night. Your Du'a can bring it to pass and your Du'a can protect you from balaa. So keep asking from Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala. So the Imam 'alayhi as-salam, of the day, of the time, the Angels have received their instructions, but they wait for Imdha' from Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala to bring this to fruition.
This is a night of Qadr, my brothers and sisters. This is a night to ask for everything. Whatever you want for the next year is being written right now, is being decided right now. And if you have a hand in it, if you have a prayer in it, you will be included. Your wishes will be included in these things. So this is a night, as much as possible, what should we do? We don't have to do many things. If, for example, you're able to stay awake longer, do so. If you're only able to stay short time, do so, but keep it, the quality of it good. You know engage in pleading to Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala for your destiny, for your taqdir, for others, for the Muslimeen, pray for each other. Remember each other in prayers. This is the night of Qadr. If prayers are going to happen and be put into place, it is this night so that even if we grab a little bit of it, little bit of it before we sleep, it is useful, InshaAllah Ta'ala.
May Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala accept from all of us in this night, InshaAllah wa Ta'ala. Wa as-salamu alaykum, wa rahmatullahi, wa barakatuh.