– The last 10 days of the month of Ramadhan is believed to be the period of Laylatul Qadr. “Laylat al-Qadr (Arabic: لیلة القدر), “variously rendered in English as the Night of Destiny, Night of Power, Night of Value, the Night of Decree or Night of Measures. It is the anniversary of two very important dates in Islam that occurred in the month of Ramadan.
It is the anniversary of the night where we believe the first verses of the Holy Quran were revealed to Prophet Muhammad (SAW).
– What happened to Prophet (SAW) when this event occured in his life. We have learned in our study of Islam that before the Holy Quran was revealed to him, his society was in a period of “jahiliyah” or a period of ignorance.
Before the Prophet receieved the revelation he was “still living among an extremely backward people who were devoid of any traces of civilization and humanity. These hard conditions severely tormented his pure soul.
He observed nothing in that society but the darkness of ignorance.
He would go to the Ka’aba, but instead of witnessing the worship of God,
he witnessed, idolatry. He would then leave the Ka’aba and go among the people. But there, too, he was troubled by what he saw. He was pained by the ugly customs and false thoughts of his people. The pitiable condition of
the poor and the destitute caused him great anguish. The deplorable situation of women, who were treated worse than animals, as well as the prevalence of gambling, wine drinking and murder, these tortured his blessed heart.
“When he dealt with people as a merchant, their immoral behavior gave so
severe an emotional shock to him that he had to go to a lonely place
where he would not be tormented by people’s inhuman behavior. For these
reasons and to find peace of mind, he would go to Mount Hira and there
think deeply about the amazing phenomena of nature and the vestiges of
God’s All-Embracing Compassion.
– He spent most of his time doing a spiritual retreat or “itikaf” in a cave.
This Cave of Hira, the sanctum of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW), the place of his devotions and meditations and the sacred spot where the Holy Quran began to be revealed. The Cave is situated on mount Al-Noor on way to Mina near Makkah and its peak is visible from a great distance. Prophet Muhammad (SAW) had just stepped into the forty-first year of his life, when during a night in the month of Ramadan the first 5 verses of the Surah Al-Alaq (96) were Revealed to him.
– By the time the Holy Prophet of Islam reached the age of 40, he was ready for his divine mission. One day suddenly, the Angel of Revelation, appeared to him and said, `Recite!’ He said in surprise, `What shall I recite?’ Again the divine voice very clearly and openly called out, `Recite, O Muhammad!’And a third time Gabriel repeated,
“Recite in the Name of Your Lord Who created.
He created the human being from a clot [of blood]. Recite
and your Lord is Most Honorable, Who taught (to write) with the pen,
taught the human being what he knew not…” Holy Quran (Alaq 96: 1-5)
– After this, Islam was born.
– In another verse, Laylatul Qadr was described as:
We have indeed revealed this (Message) in the Night of Power:
And what will explain to thee 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 Allah’s permission, on every errand: Peace!…This until the rise of dawn!
Sura 97 (Al-Qadr), āyāt 1-5.
– These verses are among the beautiful verses in Holy Quran. If one would study the language, the message, and the context when and how the Surahs (Chpaters) and Ayats (verses) you may see the divine power of such revelations.
– History books about Prophet Muhammad (SAW) all agree that the he was was unlettered. Thus, we may ask, “Is it logical to believe that an uneducated, unlettered person, brought up in an ignorant, backward society that was devoid of any knowledge, learning or scholarly books could offer such an amazing book, full of startling facts and extremely advanced learning? “How was the Holy Prophet of Islam able to study the Old and New Testaments? How is it possible for an unlettered man who has not been taught by any teacher nor gone to any school, to make predictions
of the future and relate events of the past?” Very interesting questions, but I found the answers when I learned Islam through my own spiritual journey and time spent in helping people (Muslims and Non Muslims) and communities to help themselves. I hope most of us will do the same.