Night of Power (Lailatul-Qadr)
The most important thing of this month is the Night of Power (Lailatul-Qadr) - the night which is superior, than a thousand months, one thousand months jihad, one thousand months reign, and the worship in it is superior than one thousand months of worship, (as has been narrated in the traditions). Yes! the Night of Power is a very precious and distinguished night, in accordance with the Qur'anic interpretation it is a very auspicious night; and as could be derived from the traditions, in this night the sustenance and age of servants, and the good and evil of their affairs are destined; the Holy Qur'an was descended in this night; also the angels are descended all over the earth, and when they pass through the gathering of believers, send salutations and praises upon them, and consider their prayers until the dawn.
“It has been narrated that during this night the prayers of all are accepted, and the prayer of no one remains unanswered except the following:
The one who has displeased and angered his parent and was declared disinherited or rebellious by them.
The one who has cut off his relationship with his kith and kin.
The one who possesses animosity and vengeance of a believer in his heart.
The one who consumes alcoholic drinks.”
In the book “Iqbal”, a tradition has been narrated from the Holy Prophet [s]:
“That Prophet Moses [a] in his prayer said: 'O' Allah! I desire Your nearness and union. 'My nearness and union belong to someone who remains vigilant and awake during the Night of Power.' Replied Allah. Prophet Moses [a] said: 'O' Allah! I want Your blessing and forgiveness.' 'My blessing belongs to someone who is kind towards the destitute on the Night of Power.' Replied Allah.
Prophet Moses [a] said: 'O' Allah! I want to pass through the bridge of Serat on the road to Paradise safely.' 'The safety in passing through the bridge of Serat belongs to someone who pays alms on the Night of Power,' replied Allah. Prophet Moses [a] said: 'O' Allah! I want the trees and fruits of Paradise.' They belong to someone who does not forget to remember and praise Me on the Night of Power.' Replied Allah. Prophet Moses [a] said: 'O' Allah! I wish to have your pleasure and consent.' My pleasure and consent belong to someone who offers two rak'ats of prayer during the Night of Power.' Replied Allah.
In the same book of Iqbal it has been narrated from the Holy Prophet [s]:
“On the Night of Power the gates of Heaven are opened. There for every is no servant who offers prayer in this night, but Allah for every prostration stores a tree in the Paradise - the tree whose branches and shade is so vast that if a rider travels for one hundred years through its shade he would not be able to cross it; for every ra'kat would build a home for him in Paradise - the home decorated and built by pearls, topaz, and rubies; for every verse recited a crown from the crowns of Paradise; for every praise (tasbeeh) a bird from the birds of Paradise; for every sitting a rank from the ranks of Paradise.
For every witnessing (tashahud) - a chamber from the chambers of Paradise, and for every salutation - a robe from the robes of Paradise would be bestowed upon him by Allah. And at the breaking of the dawn, companions - youthful and sympathetic, houris of Paradise - pure and decorated, servant obedient and well uniformed, horses - most obedient and swift, flowers, greenery, and good smells, running elegant fountain streams, and many other bounties which make the soul pleased and eyes to shine, would also be bestowed upon him by Allah.”
It may be derived from some of the traditions that there are ranks and degrees for the Night of Power and each one of the nights of 19th, 21st, 23rd, and 27th may be considered possessing one of those degree. And the night which possesses the most superior distinction, has been mentioned in the Holy Qur'an as equal to thousand months, and whatever is destined in that night wouldn't be changed is the night of 23rd of the Holy Month, which is also known as the Night of Juhanni.135
And the one who wants that his actions should be exact and precise, better be vigilant during all these four nights. Of course, regarding the Night of Power there are some other narrations as well, but since their authenticity is not confirmed, it would not be appropriate to describe them here.
Yes! the one who believes in the religion and respects Qur'anic verses and traditions of the sinless Imams [a], it would be desirable that he should make his best efforts and endeavours for celebrating this night.
The efforts which are desirable and should be undertaken are, that during the whole year before the arrival of the Night of Power, he must repeatedly beseech Allah (the Glorious, the Exalted) to bestow upon him the divine grace (towfiq) to be vigilant during this night; bless him with most esteemed and dearest deeds; consider that night superior than one thousand months for him and may accept from him; make him His most favourite and nearest one during this night; bless him with His love, learning, nearness, union, pleasure, and consent together with health, happiness, and welfare; should be pleased with him in such a manner, that after this he would never be displeased with him; should make the prophets.
Imams, and especially the Imam of the Age (may Allah hasten his appearance) pleased with him; and allocate him to live in Allah nearness accompanied by the impeccable ones, bestow upon him divine favour to succeed in establishing Allah's obedience and consent, and make his ultimate end Allah's countenance and pleasure.
The other decent efforts for this night are that before its arrival, the prudent wayfarer should arrange for its preliminaries and necessities, e.g. for worshipping in this night a suitable place, dress, and perfume should be arranged in advance for engaging in private humming communications Allah (the Glorious, the Exalted), as well as for communications with his masters, i.e. sinless Imams [a] he should arrange suitable themes and contents; for paying alms during this night should allocate some money, even for the invitation of guests and for payment of alms, he should plan in advance to select the most suitable guests and the genuinely poor people who really deserve financial support.
Let us imagine that if an emperor dispatches a special courier before someone, with compassion and mercy invites him for a special feast, gives him glad-tidings that if he appears in the royal feast with decency and decorum, rewards and magnificent gifts would be bestowed upon him, and the more respectfully he would behave in the assembly, the emperor too would increase his rewards and gifts in proportion with his behaviour.
Undoubtedly, after receiving such a message this person would become excited and pleased, and in order to prepare himself would not leave any stone unturned, and during this period would mobilize all his resources and efforts to procure whatever is required for being present in such an assembly, so that finally, when that moment arrives, being fully decorated in a respectable and decent manner, he could present himself over there.
The invitation of an emperor is responded in the above manner but how about the invitation of Allah (the Glorious, the Exalted), who is the King of all kings - the King of the Earth and the Heavens - has invited us for His feasts; in order to invite us has dispatched his favourite angels, pious prophets and sinless Imams as his couriers. He has assigned His angels to announce his invitation kindly and compassionately to us; has given us the glad-tidings of giving us permanent abode in Paradise in return for sincere worshipping during one single night (the Night of Power); has promised such bounties, which have not been seen by any eye, have not been heard by any ear, and have not been imagined through any human being's mind, as well as has given us the glad-tiding of illumination, ecstasy, majesty, splendour, nearness, union, and countenance, for whose least comprehension and understanding, faculties of reason and thoughts find themselves astonished and helpless.
Are we among those who have prepared for this night and invitation, the way we ought to be, and must be, in order to attain the eternal blessing and salvation? Or are we among those negligent and idle ones, who do not achieve anything except loss and eternal doom? We must better know that the one who acts naively and lazily, and does not strive to take advantage of the magnificent generosities of this night, when in the Hereafter, would see that those who were zealous, committed, and vigilant during these nights what have they achieved, and what magnificence, splendour and glory have been bestowed upon them. But they would gain nothing except regret - the regret so great and painful that the Hell's blazing fire and its torturous punishments would seem smaller as compared to their regret, and then together with the losers and eternally doomed ones, would cry loudly:
“Ah! Woe upon me! In that I neglected (my duty) towards Allah.”
- Holy Qur'an (39:56)
But on that Day when the gates of repentance would have been closed, there would be nothing left for compensation of the damage, everyone would have seen the ultimate outcome of his deeds, and then feeling sorry and being regretful would not produce any gain. Therefore, we must take a look upon ourselves, and before falling into such regret and grief, must admonish ourselves for being so lazy, naive, and easy going. And before that we are called for accounting and are condemned into the state of wretchedness and destitution, for wasting our precious capital - the capital through which we could have accomplished most precious and greater gains we better put our self to scrutiny.
Other desirable efforts of this night are that with the nearing of these nights, one should increase his eagerness for receiving the promised bounties and blessings; should select worships and deeds which are more in harmony with his mood from the point of view of sincerity, heart's presence, and internal purification; in this matter should seek help from Allah (the Glorious, the Exalted), and the impeccable ones; and if he cannot diagnose himself what suits his mood properly, he should seek guidance from Allah (the Glorious, the Exalted), through consultation (istekhara).
After recital of invocations and supplications one should also allocate some time for self-meditation and pondering, of course, this should be done at a time when he is free from whatever disturbs his thoughts like domination of sleep, over-eating, and pains of hunger etc.
During these nights, one must strive his best to keep thinking about Allah (the Glorious, the Exalted), all along the night, and should not forget Him during any part of the night even for the sake of recommended and justified deeds. Also while offering prayer and supplications he should not think about any other thing even though if they happen to be recommended things.
For example, during prayer (salat), one should not think about recommended deeds like building of mosque, cleaning of mosque, and paying alms etc., because all these are indications of negligence; even during a part of the prayer (salat), he should not think about the next portion of the prayer, e.g. in the state of standing, to think about the prostration is negligence.
He must try to concentrate upon whatever act of the prayer he is performing and should not be negligent about whatever he is doing or reciting. In order to make this task easier, before performing different acts of prayer, e.g. recital or genuflexion (rukoo), first of all, he should think about them briefly and then should perform them. And in case while performing a certain act, negligence dominates over him, and if a verse or invocation is recited with negligence, he must repeat it again.
For example, when he wants to stand towards Mecca (Qiblah) for prayer (salat) first of all, he should think briefly about the wisdom of standing towards Mecca, and then should turn his face in that direction; and when he wants to stand for the prayer, first of all, he should think about the meanings of standing, i.e., his standing is for truth and his resting upon his two feet is the indication of his hope (raj'a) and fear (khouf) about the acceptance of his worship. When he wants to recite the phrase:
“In the name of Allah the Beneficent, the Merciful.”
First of all, he should think about its meaning in brief, and then should recite it with his tongue, and similar is the case with other acts of the prayer.
The one who wants to be vigilant in this manner throughout the night, must take refuge in the sinless (ma'sum) - the one to whom this night belongs - at the beginning of that night, should stretch his hands towards their generous threshold. With persistence, supplicating in a polite and soft manner, with words and content arousing their sympathies, should beseech them for bestowing upon him the grace of being vigilant during this night.
Then he must surrender and hand over all his existence, reason, heart, self, virtues, deeds to them, and throughout the night, must be careful not to commit anything which is not in harmony with this surrender, because the one who succeeds in it, certainly would have achieved whatever he aspired for during this night.
For the prudent wayfarer who desires, that during these nights his fear, humility, tears, crying, anguish, and lamentation be increased as much as possible, one of the best method is that he should tie his hands around his neck; should pour dirt upon his head; should place his head against a wall; sometimes he should stand and sometimes he should cry; should imagine himself at the scene of Judgement Day; and the way sinners are rebuked with harshness, should rebuke himself accordingly; then he should look towards his right, imagining about the companions of the right hand (ashab al-yamin) and should think about their splendour, majesty, features, virtues, robes, and smells; then he should look towards the left, imagining about the companions of the left hand (ashab al-shumal) should regard himself among them, thinking about their torturous and painful condition with blackened faces, their swollen eyes, tied hands and feet, and burnt skins; the angels standing in readiness to execute Allah's command to throw him together with them inside Hell; then he should imagine and be scared lest Allah (the Glorious, the Exalted) orders:
“Seize ye him, bind ye him, burn ye him in the blazing fire, and make him march in a chain whereof the length is seventy cubits.”
- Holy Qur'an (69:30-32)
Then he should cry:
“O' Thou are the most compassionate, and Thou Who are the shelter of unsheltered ones!”
And should cry:
“Where is Your vast blessing? Where is Your infinite forgiveness? Where are Your love and benevolence?”
Then he should cry, should remember His patience and kindness, should think about His infinite forgiveness and generosity, and if Satan wants to make him hopeless should tell him: 'you, with all these sinning and transgressions can't be hopeless about Allah's blessing and forgiveness, which belongs especially to righteous ones and you are not among them.' He shouldn't pay attention to his words, don't let his whispers effect his heart, turn his face from him, take refuge in Allah, (the Glorious, the Exalted), and should pay more attention to his prayer, hopes and needs, and in a hopeful manner should speak to Allah (the Glorious, the Exalted): it is far away from Your benevolence and magnanimity to turn Your face away from someone needy like me, and not to forgive a destitute and helpless one like me who has stretched his needy hands towards Your threshold, has resorted to Your most favourite ones, with tearful eyes, and heart and body trembling with fear.
Then becoming further hopeful, he should submit his wants before Him, and whatever spiritual exalted position and sublime ranks, like enlightenment, love, union, faith, and piety could enter in his mind, he must beg from Him. And should repeat the following text as much as possible:
“O'! Thou Who is capable of doing whatever he pleases, and except Thee there is none, who could do whatever he desires. O'! Thou are the One Whose great generosities and large bounties are not expansive at all. O'! Thou Whose donations do not decrease anything (from His treasures), and Whose not giving away does not increase anything.”
Then he should insists more about the same meanings and plead by saying:
“O' my Lord! if I do not deserve to request whatever I have requested from You, but Your generosity and benevolence is such and deserve to bestow upon me the grant of my needs. O' my Lord! Your recognition, which You Yourself have taught me encourages me, that I should desire my great needs from You, because, whatever You bestow upon Your servants and provide for them is not because they are worthy of them, and if there is such worthiness, even that worthiness is bestowed upon them by You, therefore, benevolence and welfare could not belong to anyone except You, and if such is the case, O' Lord! That worthiness and decency, which You bestowed upon Your righteous servants, bestow upon me too, so that I could also achieve this worthiness, whereby my prayers could receive Your acceptance and my desires get fulfilled.
O' Allah (the Glorious, the Exalted)! You are the one that whatever You do, no one can question You, and there is no one who could dare to raise a finger of criticism. Or could challenge You in Your Power and Reign, You are such that neither Your generosity have any limit and boundary, nor Your blessing have any end, therefore, O' Lord bestow upon me worthiness in accordance of Your Power, and make me rich with Your generosity.
O' Thou are the most generous one among the generous ones! O' Allah (the Glorious the Exalted)! If You want to punish me, instead, punish one of those who don't believe in Your divinity and keep enmity towards Your friends. Come on and punish him, but as far as I am concerned, can I find anyone else except You to pardon me? O' Lord! Would You deprive me from Your generosity ? Or there is no need for You to punish and take revenge but as far as I am concerned, I do need a lot of Your forgiveness and generosity.
O' my Lord! Your enemy as well as my enemy, Satan desires that I become deprived from Your supplication and prayer and, thus, become pessimistic and hopeless from Your blessing and generosities, but I, because of Your grace have turned off my face from him, and trampled over whatever he desired. Therefore, help and support me over him, because in spite of his whispering I didn't become hopeless and never turned off my face from You.
O' Lord! With my little comprehension about Your blessing and forgiveness as well as Your being needless and omnipotent, I don't believe that You will deprive from Your forgiveness and pardon, anyone of Your servants even the pagans except the enemies of your favourite ones who have oppressed your saints and tortured them but as regards to the punishment of others, if it was not the surrender and obedience to Your book and Your prophet's words, I wouldn't have believed; that regarding the punishment of unbelievers, you have stated in your book that they will be punished; from the point of view of my reason - the reason which you have bestowed upon me - in case you decided to punish them to fulfil Your warning against them, You are not helpless to do so.
But if You don't act in accordance with Your warning, by not punishing them, then even in that case, there would not be the least interference in Your Exalted essence and perfection. O' Lord! I presume so about the unbelievers, then how come shouldn't be hopeful about the believers who have taken refuge in Thee, have put their trust in Your generosity, and desire Your union, even though they might have sinned and acted disobediently?
O' my Lord! My Master! Sinning is from the servant and forgiveness is from the Master, especially, if the Master happens to be Exalted and beneficent like Thee. O' my Lord! This is what I presume about Your generosity and kindness towards Your servants, during other months, days, and nights, and therefore, I am hopeful. But during the Holy Month of Ramadhan on the Night of Power, which You have created for the sake Your special generosities and blessings; have bestowed a special favour upon Your servants; have given glad-tidings of Your forgiveness and mercy to the sinners; have opened the gates of Your benevolence and magnanimity towards all; have spread the tablecloth of your forgiveness and blessing for all; can I say except that - You will reward everyone with pardon, forgiveness, love and blessing; would grant their wants; would accept their prayers; would reward their evils with goods, and their sins with good deeds; and would let Your greatness and magnanimity to surpass their limits - what else can I presume?
This is my optimistic presumption towards You, and that is my favourable opinion about Your kindness and magnanimity; You Yourself are knowledgeable, that Your great Prophet has given what glad-tidings for those, who have favourable opinion about you.”
1. It is up to the prudent wayfarer to offer two rak'ats of prayer (salat) each one of the Nights of Power; in each rak'at after surah, al-Hamd, the Opening, should recite surah al-Ikhlas, the Sincerity, seventy times, and after salutation, should recite:
“O' Allah! Forgive me and accept my repentance.”
And then should ask about his wants and desires.
2. Then he should offer 100 rak'ats special prayer for the Night of Power, and in between should recite the supplications which have been left by the sinless ones (ma'sumin [a]) - the prayers which are extremely precious and valuable, contain most subtle discourses, delicate points and exalted learnings about Allah (the Glorious, the Exalted), His Characteristics, Sacred Names, Generosity and Beneficence, Wisdom and Justice, divine will and destiny, etiquette and manners of supplicating to Allah; all of which are heavenly revealed, and except prophets and imams, who learned them through revelations, no one else has access to them.
Of course, it should not be forgotten that these supplications should be recited in the state of being completely awake, aware, conscious, and with a live heart; blessed is the one whose recital of this prayers with a live heart is influential upon his heart and soul; whatever is uttered by his tongue is also accepted by his heart and soul; that if for these supplications there do not exist any reward and blessing, except only this effect upon his heart and soul, even then it merits, and one should mobilize all his energy, strength, efforts, and all over crusade with heart and soul in order to accomplish this effect. But in addition to that for each word and phrase there are rewards, blessings, and illuminations - the rewards and blessings which no one has the capacity to measure.
Therefore, the one whose recital of these supplications do not produce any effect upon his heart and soul, at least should recite them consciously, should ponder about their meaning, must endeavour in order to comprehend as to what did he read, what did he say, and what did he want, lest he recite them with negligence with the tip of his tongue, like the magicians who utter nonsensical, meaningless words from the tip of their tongue, without knowing what is being uttered, what is said, and what is wanted by him.
And the one whose recital of these supplications neither influences his heart and soul, nor he hesitates in their recital; does not even care to understand their meanings, instead of reciting these supplications, should cry about his own worst condition and should shed tears upon this heavy tragedy - the tragedy of not receiving divine grace in supplications; his being unable to appreciate these supplications, and not being able to be influenced by them, should recite the following sentence several times:
“We are from Allah and towards him is our return. “
- Holy Qur'an (2:156)
which is recited at the time of occurrence of a tragedy. Further he should say:
“I seek refuge in Allah from this tragedy, which is horrible and would bring a severe punishment.”
In a divine tradition, it has been mentioned about the characteristics of the people of the next world:
“Their prayers ascend upwards and reaches Allah, their words are accepted, and Allah loves to listen to their prayers the way a mother likes her own child.”
Therefore, we should be careful and should ponder about this sentence:
“Their prayers ascend upwards.”
Is not it shameful that the prayers which ascend upward should be recited from the tip of the tongue, while the heart and soul remain occupied in worldly affairs? Is not it disgusting that we seek Allah (the Glorious, the Exalted), from tongue and seek world by heart -the world which in traditions has been called Allah's enemy as well as the enemy of His friends? Is not it helplessness and disobedience that our tongue's tip remains busy in his remembrance while the heart takes off towards the world? Does there exist any greater tragedy than this one?
3. Open the Holy Qur'an, recite its special prayer, place it upon your head. and your intention in doing so, in addition to showing respect and regard to the Holy Qur'an, should be that through this means, reason and thoughts become strengthened and the illumination of reason becomes perfected with the illumination of the Holy Qur'an.
4. The salutations (ziyarat) of the Lord of the Martyrs, Imam al-Husayn [a] should be recited during this night, some other ziyarat which have been which have been narrated by the Sinless Imams should also be recited.
5. the recitals of surah al-Rum, al-Ankabut and al-Dukhan from the Holy Qur'an should not be forgotten on the night of 23rd Ramadhan.
6. The special supplications which have been narrated should be recited, especially, the supplications, which has been quoted in the book of Iqbal from some authentic books and begins as follows:
“O' Allah! If, about this night and the nights before, there is a doubt or reluctance in their being the Nights of Power, but regarding, Thee, Thou unity (Tawhid), and that because of Your Exaltedness and Magnanimity, You will purify your servant's deeds there is absolutely no doubt.”
If, one could discover truly the meanings of the above content that Allah (the Glorious, the Exalted), and in His unity there is absolutely no doubt and contradiction - indeed he has received a good reward for his worship of this night. Also, one should not forget recital of a short prayer which has been mentioned in the book of Iqbal quoted from Imam al-Sajjad [a] and which starts with:
“O Intrinsic Fundamental (Secret) evident in His Expose intelligible expression (Manifest), and O Rational Exposition (Manifest) leading to His genuine quintessential (Secret).”2
Which, while being short is a very subtle Monotheistic prayer worth reciting.
I swear that if we did not achieve any benefit from the existence of Sinless Imams [a] except these very higher learning, subtle themes, and delicate points regarding Monotheism - which they have explained to us, even then it would have been desirable to mobilize all our efforts and strength for their thanks and appreciation, while accepting and admitting, that these thanks and appreciation would not be sufficient to compensate for that great blessing, and whatever we do, we would never be able to thank them for that great blessing the way it ought to be thanked.
7. One should not forget to select a period for having a private union between himself and his Creator and during this period should concentrate his mind and soul at this point, that Allah (the Glorious, the Exalted), is completely aware of his helplessness and disobedience as well as is able to rescue him from this wretchedness, because his generosity, magnanimity, love, and kindness do not have any limits; then he should tie his hopes towards His threshold of generosity and benevolence, should look forward towards His blessings and bounties, and should listen carefully to the blowing of the breeze of His love.
Yes! Congratulations and thousands of congratulations for the one who was able to have the divine grace of performing correctly whatever was described. But the one who did not have the divine grace of performing all of them, lest be tricked by Satan and through acceptance of his whispers, in which he says:
“You are not the one who could perform all these tedious worships, the way they ought to be performed, therefore, it makes no sense to bother yourself, leave it and do your own things, because, their incomplete performance would not bring any reward for you.”
In this manner he would quit performing whatever he could have performed, would close upon himself the path of salvation and righteousness forever, and with this negligence and cheating would entangle himself into serious disaster. Therefore, he should not pay attention to these Satanic whispers and should not show any negligence in performing whatever he could perform, even if it happens to be quite insignificant, because, deeds and worships however smaller they might be, possess illumination and reward, would enable the doer to have the divine grace for performing another deed and worship, which quite often helps the person to be able to perform complete worship.
Be aware that Satan does not have any other aim and objective except to keep you away from Lord's obedience and to cut off your bonds of servanthood. It should not be forgotten that paying attention to Satanic whispers results in heart's darkness, which in turn makes a person lazy and disappointed in performance of Allah's worship; disappointment from performance of deeds and worship results in renunciation of some of the worships; renunciation of some of the worships results gradually in renunciation of all the worships; renunciation of all the worships results in our eternal degradation and doom, except that Allah's generosity rescues us, so that we practice abstinence in following Satan, and because of abstinence from Satan's following, our heart becomes illuminated, thus having the divine grace for worship and servanthood.
Yes, the prudent believer, lest underestimate his good deed, no matter how insignificant it may be, or may consider even a tiny portion of it as insignificant and worthless, and with such presumption renounces it; that such behaviour would not accomplish anything except loss and damage. (Similarly considering his good deeds as big and with such presumption getting himself involved in self-conceit).
Also, lest he renounces a good deed because he is not able to perform it, instead, he should perform it, as much as possible; of course, after performance of a deed be it small or big, he should regard it as insignificant while comparing it with Allah's Exaltedness.
Because, the All deed and worship, regarded as insignificant by the servant are considered as much bigger by Allah (the Glorious, the Exalted), who very often looks at it positively, and accepts it from his servant, and what is important and useful for the servant is that Allah (the Glorious, the Exalted), accepts deed, and not its being small or big, because He does accept quite insignificant deeds, rewards handsomely, and this acceptance and rewards mean infinite gains for the doer. On the contrary, plenty of deeds which aren't accepted by Him don't mean anything for the servant. Didn't Allah (the Glorious, the Exalted), accept a little worship and repentance from Prophet Adam [a] but reject plenty of worship from Satan, and order him to leave the Celestial kingdom forever?
Therefore, from this consideration lest, one may regard his deed and worship as big and looks at it with appreciation and astonishment, even though if he has performed worship equivalent to the worship performed through all humans and angels; because considering one's own worshipping as great does not have any gain except its being ruined, and worst then that, it changes deed's illumination into darkness. Similarly lest he regards a little deed and worship as worthless and may renounce it, because, so often Allah (the Glorious, the Exalted), accepts a small deed, and with his acceptance makes it a lot.
Whatever has been described so far to strive hard to have more sincerity and truth and to consider deeds and worships as small and insignificant was about the deeds and worships which some one performs for himself; and all this emphasis is because of the reason, that no one should like and accept about himself anything, except, the deeds and worships which are performed with sincerity, and should not account for whatever is not done with truth and sincerity, rather should see it as sinning and transgression.
But lest he regards and presumes so about the deeds and worships of others, because underestimating others deeds not only doesn't produce any gain - the gain which is obtained for underestimating one's own deeds - rather is detrimental, because it produces the background whereby others become discouraged and disgusted with respect to their deeds and worship, thus the doors of goodness and prosperity becoming closed upon them.
Therefore, from this consideration to treat others deeds and worships in this manner is not allowed, instead, for appraisal of others deeds their very apparent value should be considered as genuine. Or even higher than this, Allah's Generosity and Magnanimity should be considered as criteria, and should be presumed so, that very often Allah (the Glorious, the Exalted), because, of his Generosity and Magnanimity might accept their deeds, even if they are not accompanied with truth and sincerity. Also, we should consider the possibility that perhaps Allah (the Glorious, the Exalted), because of His kindness and love towards the servants, might accept and grant their prayers, even if they are recited from the tip of their tongue, and not from the depth of their souls. Therefore, from this consideration lest we disappoint and discourage Allah's servant from His blessing and forgiveness.
And thus with such undesirable conduct make him discouraged and with respect to his deeds and worships, ultimately resulting in his quitting worship and servitude. Even if his deeds and worships are not sincere, and are mixed with some undesirable things, it is not too far that this very apparent and superficial deeds and worship - if are not renounced suddenly - performed by a servant would become the basis for breezing the cold breeze of Allah's grace over him, thus, blowing the spirit of reality in the spiritless skeleton of his worships; the illumination of reality radiating upon his soul in such a manner that he would suddenly became transformed, gaining access to the real worship and the reality of worship, from that superficial worship, and attaining righteousness, salvation, and eternal prosperity. I even believe that if an intoxicated sodomite in state of intoxication, would cry O' Allah! and besought Him for help, He would reply him.
It has been reported from Zaid bin 'Ali that his father Imam al-Sajjad
[a] used to recite the following prayer from the beginning till the end of the night, on the night of twenty seventh of Ramadhan:
“O' Allah please bestow upon me the divine grace so that I become disgusted with this world - the House of deception - and become attracted towards the Hereafter - the House of Eternity - and before the arrival of my death, should make myself readied for the journey towards the Next world.”
A little bit of pondering and meditation about the above-mentioned supplication, would reveal this delicate point that in accordance with the Qur'anic verses, traditions narrated from the Sinless Imams [a], and whatever has been spiritually contemplated by the mystics, this world is altogether deceitful and whatever we see, in reality isn't as it appears to be, rather it is like a mirage, which is misleading. Therefore, from these considerations it has been called as the House of Arrogance (Dar al-Ghuroor) and the House of Deception (Sarai-Farib).
Perhaps acceptance of this point might be hard for some, and they may not accept it easily that whatever is being seen by them in reality is not, what it appears to be, rather mistakenly they see a thing as something else. But there are situations, where human perception makes a mistake in seeing a thing as something else, e.g., a spoon inside a glass of tea appears as a broken spoon. If we think, ponder, and pay attention that this mistake of human sight -whose being a mistake, there is the least contradiction with other sights which are not mistakes, at least in appearance doesn't differ at all.
With this analogy, we can therefore conclude, that seeing a thing as something else - even contradictory to what it is supposed to be is a phenomenon whose occurrence is possible, and is not an impossibility. And if the traditions describe that our perceptions see the world and its phenomenon mistakenly as things - which in reality they are not - then with reference to the above-mentioned analogy, such occurrence and its reality should also be acceptable i.e., the reality that whatever we see in this world, is not, what it appears to be. Following are some of the traditions relevant to this matter:
1. The traditions which mention the speaking of lifeless solid material, like the speaking of stone pebbles upon the Prophet's [s] hands. In spite of the fact that our senses do not accept the speaking of stone pebbles and other solid bodies.
2. The traditions which describe the conditions of graves, that some of the graves are full of joy like green pastures, while some of them are like the trenches full of blazing fires, in spite of the fact that human senses do not see the graves as such.
3. The traditions which describe the role of angels in directing the world's phenomenon, while our sense of perception does not see them.
4. The traditions which mention that the sustenance of all worldly existence including solids, plants and animals comes from the Celestial kingdom, while our sense of perception do not see such a thing.
All these traditions describe this point, that in this world, there are plenty of phenomenon which are not perceived by our senses, or are perceived in a different manner. Yes! This world is named as the House of Arrogance (Dar al-Ghuroor), because its phenomenon do not manifest themselves to us the way they really are; rather manifest themselves with forms which do not show reality; with perspectives which lack authenticity, with essence which like a mirage disappears; with stability which is altogether in motion; with realities which like mirage, are imaginations and hallucinations. It deceives its lovers, and presents itself to them in a charming manner; only for the believers for whom the worldly materialistic veils have been removed from their esoteric eyes the world manifests itself, the way it actually is, and they see world's phenomenon the way they really are. Removal of worldly materialistic veils from the heart's esoteric eyes, as have been mentioned in the above-mentioned tradition means:
“Becoming disgusted with the House of Arrogance.”
And seeing the worldly phenomenon the way they are, means:
“Becoming attracted towards the House of Eternity.”
Since Allah (the Glorious, the Exalted), has spread his blessings and forgiveness more than any other period, during these esteemed nights for his servants, and has invited them for worship, obedience and sitting down upon the table of his generosity it is a must for the servants to pay more attention towards the etiquette of these nights, by engaging themselves in worshipping and vigilance, they should look forward hopefully towards His Generosity and Magnanimity, and should not be negligent in remembering, that during these nights Satan too tries hard, more than any other period, to keep us away from worship, vigilance, and being benefited from Allah's blessings and favours.
As was described for the other important and esteemed nights, the Night of Power (Lailatul-Qadr) should also be farewelled exactly in the similar manner, i.e. at the end of the night, one should resort (tawassul) to the Impeccable ones (the M'asumin [a]) - to whom that night belongs - should submit his deeds and worships to those exalted ones, with a heart broken, with grief and shedding tears, should request them to make those deeds as righteous, and should intercede with Allah (the Glorious, the Exalted), for their acceptance, and thus making them as fruitful.
It should be understood that in accordance with the traditions both the night and day are interconnected, as far as their worth, value, esteem, and splendour are concerned, i.e. if the day is esteemed and honourable, the night of that day also possesses the same distinction and vice versa. Therefore, we must appreciate the importance of the Days of Power and like the Nights of Power, should celebrate them by sincerely performing worships and righteous deeds.
- 1. Abu Yahya 'Abdullah bin Onais al-Juhanni: a shepherd from the tribes of Juhan arrived before the Holy Prophet [s] and said: 'O' Prophet of Allah! I wish you order me, so that during one of the nights of Ramadhan I come to Madina and offer the prayer.' The Holy Prophet [s] called him on the 23rd night of Ramadhan, and therefore this night become famous as the Night of Juhanni. - Bihar al-Anwar vol. 99 p. 20, and Asad al-Ghabe vol. 3, p. 20 [Author].
- 2. This prayer has also been mentioned in the book 'Mafatih al-Jinan' of Hajj Sheikh Abbas al-Qummi in the deeds of the 23rd night of Ramadhan [Author].