By Omar Bihmidine
By Omar Bihmidine
Morocco World News
Sidi Ifni, Morocco, August 15, 2012
As this year’s Ramadan is approaching its end, ‘Laylato al Qadr’ is now at our doorstep, the night that commemorates the divine revelation of the Quran to the prophet Mohamed PBUH. It unanimously takes place on the 26th of Ramadan and this special night is known as the Night of Destiny or the Night of Power.
Muslims observe the night in commemoration of the first day the angel Gabriel spoke to the prophet on the occasion of the start of his mission. Yet, the question remains: is it celebrated as a night of worship as the prophet meant it to be, or a night of fun as many Muslims have misunderstood it to be?
On this holy night, Muslims recite and read the Quran and contemplate it meditatively. They also remember God and take advantage of the holiest night in a year to perform as many deeds of worship as possible. Many Muslims stay in the mosque for the remainder of the night until dawn because of the importance of this night in cleansing the soul, seeking forgiveness from God and reconsidering the ephemeral, materialistic lives we are leading.
On the other hand, some Muslims, especially women, celebrate the night in their own special way. For instance, they collect some money to buy the victuals they need for the night and agree upon one of their houses where they can observe the Night of Power away from the mosque. They think that buying food and get-togethers are part of giving Laylato al Qadr what it deserves.
Others, children in particular, take advantage of the night to go and play around the mosque while other people are inside, worshiping. During Ramadan, some Muslims never go to the mosque until this day comes. All they think of is to share the pleasure of observing the night with their fellow Muslims and to enjoy eating the food served in the mosque right after praying.
“40 MAD a piece!” I heard some women, our neighbors, telling my mother the other day.
When I inquired about the voluntary deeds they are going to do on this holiest night of Ramadan, they mentioned eating a variety of foods and socializing. Rarely do they mention the divine purpose behind Laylato al Qadr, which is purifying the soul by performing voluntary recitals of the Quran and other voluntary prayers.
Many misconceptions of the night are witnessed on this night. For instance, many Muslims forget that giving charity is a sign that Laylato al Qadr has been served well; they forget that praying and invoking God for forgiveness are, among others, signs that the celebration has served the purpose of purifying the souls.
What is the use of the Night of Destiny if fasters cannot gain some spiritual purification? What is the use of this holiest night if Muslims don’t benefit from it to repent and seek forgiveness? For us Muslims, we must hasten to seize the opportunity to attain much divine mercy, which can’t be attained easily on other nights of the year.
Contemplate this great verse from Surah al Qadr, “The Night of al-Qadr is better than a thousand months”.
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