Lailatul Qadr: The Night of Power

LQ

Khutbah Lailatul Qadr

Arshad Gamiet

Revised 5th May 2021

 “A-úthu billáhi minash shaytánir rajeem. Bismilláhir rahmánir raheem

Al hamdu lillahi nahmaduhu wanasta’eenahu, wanastagh-firuhu, wanatoobu ilayhi, wana’oothu Billaahi min shuroori an-fusinaa, wamin sayyi aati a’maalinaa. May- Yahdillahu fa huwal muhtad, wa may- yudlill falan tajidaa lahu waliyan murshida. Wa ash-hadu an Laa ilaaha ill-Alláh, wahdahoo laa shareeka lah, wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadan ‘abduhoo warasooluh

All Praise is due to Alláh, We praise Him and we seek help from Him. We ask forgiveness from Him. We repent to Him; and we seek refuge in Him from our own evils and our own bad deeds. Anyone who is guided by Alláh, he is indeed guided; and anyone who has been left astray, will find no one to guide him. I bear witness that there is no god but Alláh, the Only One without any partner; and I bear witness that Muhammad, peace and blessings on him, is His servant, and His messenger.

Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem! Ya Ay-yuhal-latheena ‘aamanut taqul-laaha, haqqa tuqaatihee wala tamu tun-na, il-la wa antum Muslimoon.”

O You who believe, – Be aware of Allah, with correct awareness, an awe-inspired awareness, and die not except as Muslims.

Ya Ay-yuhal-latheena ‘aamanut taqul-laaha, wa qooloo qawlan sadeedaa. Yuslih-lakum a’maalakum wa yaghfir lakum thunoobakum, wamay yu-til-laaha warasoolah, faqad faaza fawzan atheemaa.”

O You who believe, – Be aware of Allah, and speak a straightforward word. He will forgive your sins and repair your deeds. And whoever takes Allah and His Prophet as a guide, has already achieved a mighty victory.

In the opening verse of Sura An-Nisaa’, Allah says:

“O mankind! Show reverence towards your Guardian-Lord Who created you from a single person, created, of like nature, his mate and from the two of them scattered (like seeds) countless men and women;― Be conscious of Allah, through Whom ye demand your mutual (rights) and (show reverence towards) the wombs (that bore you): for surely, Allah ever watches over you.”

My Dear Sisters and Brothers,

Many Muslims believe that27th night of Ramadan is  Lailatul Qadr, the Night of Power. But the scholars tell us that it could be any of the odd nights in the last 10 nights of Ramadan. And, Allah knows best.

We all feel a special excitement as we anticipate this great Night, and we should therefore reflect on the words of Sura 97 in the Holy Quran:

Bismilláhir Rahmánir Rahím! Innaa an zal naa hu fee lailatil Qadr, Wamaa ad-raaka maa lailatul Qadr. Lailatul Qadri khairun minal fee shahr. Tanaz zalul malaa-ikatu -war-roohu fee haa bi-ithnee rabbi him min qul li-amr. Salaamun heeya hattaa mat-la-ill fajr.”

 “We have indeed revealed this [Message] in the Night of Power. And what will explain to you what the Night of Power is? The Night of Power is better than a thousand Months. Therein come down the angels and the Spirit by Alláh’s permission on every errand. Peace… this until the rise of Morning!”

What is so special about Lailatul Qadr? Why does The Qur’án describe it as “better than 1,000 months?”  What if this night had never actually happened?

1,411years ago (solar calendar), Laylatul Qadr was the night that changed history. It was the night that Gabriel, Jibreel alayhis salaam, brought the first Words of Revelation, the very first verses of The Holy Qur’án  to a man sitting in a cave on Jabal Nur, the Mountain of Light. That man, Muhammad ibn Abdullah, became the Last Messenger and Educator of mankind, Khaataman Nabiy-yeen,  the Seal of the Prophets.” There would be no new Messenger, no new Prophet after him.

Just imagine! If there was no Lailatul Qadr, the Holy Quran would not have been revealed to us. And, if Muhammad had remained a mere man like those around him, then Jesus, Nabi Isa, would have been the last Prophet. As we all know, Jesus spoke Aramaic and we have no complete and accurate version of Jesus’ message (the Injeel) in Aramaic.  The Gospels of the New Testament were written at least 40 years after Nabi Isa’s time. The Gospel writers never met him, never heard his words directly nor did they ever see his face. St Barnabas lived in the time of Nabi Isa. His Gospel clearly foretold the coming of Prophet Muhammad sws. However, The Gospel of Barnabas was excluded from the Bible’s New Testament.

From the earliest days of Christianity, controversies raged over the nature of Jesus. The idea of the Trinity (3 in 1) God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, was only established at the Council of Nicea, 325 years after Jesus!

It was the Holy Quran that came down to us, to clarify these controversies over  Nabi Isa (Jesus). As we all know, the Quran we have today is exactly the same as the one revealed to Muhammad sws and it is the only Scripture that has remained intact to this day, since it was revealed. Allah is its Protector. Even if all the printed Qurans  were destroyed, millions have already memorised it by heart, and new printed versions can easily be produced with every word in its proper place. This amazing book, Allah’s Sacred Word, The Holy Quran, is the real gift of Lailatul Qadr.

Let us consider the world scenario on the day before Lailatul Qadr. Imagine the day before, when the man Muhammad was still deep in meditation, alone in a cave on a mountain near Makka.  His city was a playground for the rich. Might was right. The poor were oppressed. The Arabs worshipped idols made of wood and stone. Women had few rights. Newborn girls were often buried alive.  Arabia was so backward that the Persian and Roman Empires didn’t bother to invade. This land and these people weren’t even worth fighting over!

As the day passed into night, Muhammad became aware of a strange presence in that cave. It was the angel Gabriel (Jibreel alayhis salaam) in the form of a man. Jibreel grabbed him and held him in an ever tightening embrace. Jibreel commanded him, repeatedly, to “READ!” Muhammad was terrified, and he kept saying “I cannot read!” But Jibreel persisted, squeezing the breath out of him until Muhammad almost lost consciousness. Then, slowly and painfully these majestic words emerged from his blessed lips:

“Bismilláhir Rahmánir Rahím! Iqra’ bismirab bikal lathee khalaq. Khalaqal insaana min ‘alaq! Iqra’ wa rabbukal akramul lathee ‘al lama bil qalam. ‘Al lamal insaana maalam ya’-lam!”

“In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. READ, in the Name of your Lord (and Educator}, who created! Created human beings out of a mere clot of congealed blood. READ, and your Lord is most Bountiful. He who taught the use of the Pen. Taught mankind that which he knew not!

Outside the Christian and Jewish worlds, the Arabs were Pagans, praying to idols of their own making. They had desecrated the Holy Ka’ba with 360 idols, almost one for each day of the year. Arabia was in a hopeless state, and it seemed, doomed to a dismal fate. Then literally and metaphorically, out of the darkness of the Cave, and in the Arabs’ darkest hour, there appeared the first words of The Holy Qur’án, the first rays of light to dispel their spiritual darkness.

That same sacred light (Noor) that filled the Cave during Laylatul Qadr, that filled the heart of our dear Prophet Muhammad [sws], has shone brightly down the ages, to fill our lives also. Year after year, for over 1,400 years, the light of Laylatul Qadr has brought hope and renewed faith, to a world that still finds itself stumbling around, trying to find its way, trying to find its soul in the spiritual darkness of our present times.

Dear brothers and sisters, we all take great care that our homes have adequate gas and electric power. It is also important that we do not neglect our spiritual power. Let us plug our hearts and souls in to Laylatul Qadr and let’s recharge our ímán batteries. The Muslim world today is once again in a sorry state. Now as  ever, we need the Light, the Nuur, of Lailatul Qadr, to help us find our way to Allah’s Ridwaan, Allah’s Good Pleasure.

Let us spend our Night of Power, in Dhikrullah, remembering Alláh, swt, and offering thanks to Him, for his countless blessings that we enjoy each moment of our lives. Let us passionately seek Alláh’s help, Glorified and Exalted is He, to lift the burden of injustice and oppression from so many Muslim communities around the world. Let us beg Him to help us become the dynamic, disciplined and balanced community, the Ummatan wasatan, the Balanced People, and the Witness to the Nations, as described in The Holy Qur’án. Let us spend this historic night offering our most heartfelt pleas to our Lord and Educator, to help us become the model Muslims that our children and all future generations can love, respect and follow.

“Alhamdu lillahi Rabbil ‘Aalameen. Was-salaatu was-salaamu alaa Khairil mursaleen. Muhammadin-nabeey-yil Ummiy-yee, wa-‘alaa aalihee, wasah-bihee, aj-ma’een.                              

Ammaa ba’ad:

“Innalláha wa malaaikata yusallúna alan nabi. Yá ay yuhal latheena ámanu sallú alayhi wasalli mú tas leema. Allahumma salli alá Muhammad, wa ala áli Muhammad, kama salayta ala Ibrahim, wa ala ali Ibrahim. Allahumma barik ala Muhammad, kama barakta ala Ibrahim, wa ala ali ibrahim. Fil ála meen, innaka hameedun majeed.”

(Second Khutbah):

“Soob’ hanallahi wal hamdu lillah, wala hawla wala quwwata illah billah yu althi yual theem”

Glory to Allah!  Praise to Allah! There is no power and no strength except from Allah!

The Night of Power has energised history. The brilliant and irresistible light of Alláh’s revelation illuminated the darkness of human ignorance . In the 7th Century, from an unlikely land of barren deserts and wandering Bedouin, Islam lit up the world. And despite many ups and downs, in communities large and small, Islam still lights up the darkness of human weakness, ignorance and evil today.

What can we learn from the history of Islam that will help us build a better future for our children and grandchildren?

We learn that wishful thinking doesn’t work.. Our laziness won’t solve problems. Unless we strive hard in the ‘greater jihad to control our lower nafs, we are the loosers. We have to look inwardly into our hearts,  take stock of ourselves and follow Allah’s advice, our conditions won’t change by themselves. In Sura Al-Ra’d, 13:v11, we read:

“Truly, never will Alláh change the condition of a people, until they change what is within themselves…”

Alláh will not change our condition, until we make the effort to turn away from what displeases Him, and we must strive, sincerely, to seek His pleasure. If we seriously want our conditions to change for the better, we must willingly sacrifice our time and effort to serve others out of love and gratitude to Allah. We must face all our  difficulties positively, relying on Allah to accept our efforts and to deliver good results.

Remember that Muhammad [sws] started his prophetic mission, as a minority of one. The challenge was enormous. Read his amazing life story. Family and friends later joined him. But he had to work hard, with sincerity, patience and perseverance, for his community to grow. He was determined, patient and persistent. He  relied  on Alláh alone. In time, his Ummah grew in quantity and quality. By the end of his life he had unified a country of wild and warring tribes into a real Brotherhood of Believers.

Within a few years, the effect of that first Laylatul Qadr was that it transformed the weak and troublesome Arab tribes into a nation of Supermen. As one writer described it: “It was as if the desert sand of Arabia had turned into gunpowder, and when the fuse of ímán was lit, the Muslims became an unstoppable, irresistible force. They exploded out of the Arabia, north, south, east and west. Even the Roman and Persian empires could not resist them.

Dear Brothers and Sisters, that mystical and mysterious force that descends by the command of Alláh Most High, during Laylatul Qadr, the Night of Power, has proven itself in history. Its clear evidence is there for all of us to see. It can change our lives, for the better, also.

Remember that it was during Ramadhán that some of Islam’s noblest and greatest victories were achieved, for example, the Battle of Badr, the Conquest of Makka, the Conquest of Spain, and the Defeat of Genghis Khan’s Mongols at Ain Jalut.

That same irresistible light hat guided our noble and illustrious predecessor can guide us also. The magic of Lailatul Qadr is none other than Allah’s guidance in the Holy Quran and the Prophetic Sunnah. All over the world, millions are using the last 10 days of Ramadan to find the blessing, the barakah, of this Holy Night. Let us therefore rededicate ourselves and re-align our priorities. Let us try hard to be full-time Muslims, not just Jumu’ah Muslims or Ramadan Muslims or Eid Muslims. Allah will never accept divided loyalties. Our hearts must serve Allah alone.

So, my dear Brothers and Sisters, why not let me, and you all here, make a commitment today, to serve Alláh whole-heartedly, and to let our first love be our love for Alláh. And for His sake alone, let us strive every moment of every day to purify and improve ourselves, in body, heart and soul.

Anything less than this will be unworthy of us who choose to call ourselves Muslims and Believers. Only when we have purified our hearts from greed, vanity, cowardice, envy and malice, and we have filled that space with a love of truth, justice, beauty, generosity and mercy, can we expect Alláh to change our condition. Once we have won this Jihád al nafs, this battle against our Lower Self, we can deserve, and deserve, the help and Mercy of Alláh.

I pray that during this historic time, in this Holy Month, on this Great Night of Power, when His angels are sent by His Command, that Alláh Most Gracious will accept our commitment. May He also help us to purify our hearts, strengthen our faith, and enable us to meet every challenge, overcome every difficulty in our lives. May Alláh allow us to serve Him in our work, in our leisure, in our study, in our business and professions and in our family life and social relations. And when the time comes for us finally to return to Him, may Alláh admit us to the companionship of those whom He loves as His friends.

Dear Brothers and sisters, to conclude our khutbah:

InnaAllaha, Yamuru bil adel, wal ihsaan, wa eetaa-i zil qurba; wa yanha anil fuhshaa-i, wal munkari walbaghi; ya-idzukhum lallakum tathak-karoon. (Sura 16:90), Fadth kuroonee adth kurkum, wash kuroolee walaa tak furoon [2:152]. wala thikrul-Laahi akbar, Wal-Laahu ya’lamu maa tasna’oon.” [29:45].

“Surely Allah commands justice, good deeds and generosity to others and to relatives; and He forbids all shameful deeds, and injustice and rebellion: He instructs you, so that you may be reminded.” Allah says, “and remember Me: I will remember you. Be grateful to Me, and do not reject faith.” “and without doubt, Remembrance of Allah is the Greatest Thing in life, and Allah knows the deeds that you do.”        

Ameen.    Aqeemus salaah