SHAB-E-QADR or Laylat-ul-Qadr means, ‘Night of Destiny’. This night is introduced in the Quran thus: We sent it [Quran] down on the Night of Destiny. And what will make you comprehend what the Night of Destiny is? The Night of Destiny is better than a thousand months; on that night, the angels and the Spirit come down by the permission of their Lord with His decrees for all matters; it is all peace till the break of dawn. (97: 1-5)
Based on some Hadith narrations, it is commonly believed that the Night of Destiny falls in any of the odd nights in the last ten days of Ramadan. On this night, God Almighty destines the future of people. Therefore, people generally try to worship more during these nights. In spite of Muslims generally praying throughout the night, no special form of worship is mentioned either in the Quran or Hadith.
The Prophet’s wife Aisha asked Prophet Muhammad what she should do if she finds the Night. Prophet Muhammad said she should pray in these words:
O God! Certainly You are the One who grants forgiveness for sins. You love to forgive, so forgive me. (Sahih al-Bukhari)
The act of seeking forgiveness is significant because by doing so, a believer realizes the smallness of his being and the greatness of God. He realizes that God alone has the power to forgive and none else. Laylat-ul-Qadr is not something mysterious. It is an occasion of profound spiritual feelings that translate into heartfelt prayers of forgiveness from God.
According to a Hadith, once the Prophet was in Eitekaf (voluntary seclusion practised in the final phase of Ramadan). One night, he came out of the mosque but went back again. He later told his Companions that an angel had come to pass on the knowledge about the Night of Destiny. When the Prophet came out to inform the believers, he saw two of his people quarrelling. Instantly, the knowledge of the Night was taken away from the Prophet’s mind. This incident has a great lesson for the believers! The fight was not an armed battle; the two believers were merely arguing, but even fighting with words is enough to have the divine knowledge taken away. Those who adopt the path of violence and suicide bombing can never become the recipients of divine blessings.
Now, believers spend odd nights of the last ten days of Ramadan in search of Laylatul-Qadr. ‘Finding’ is an outcome of long preparation and search. A scientist spends years studying the subject and researching it, and after a long, gruelling effort, he makes that one discovery. Similarly, to find the Night of Destiny one must prepare the mind. This involves years of effort and supplication, at the end of which a believer is able to realize his insignificance and the supreme greatness of God.
Positivity is the most important trait that makes a man worthy of receiving God’s blessings. A positive mind will not engage in conflicts and would remain free of revenge, hatred, lust and negative thoughts.
Muslims think that staying awake an entire night would ensure finding the Night of Destiny. This is a far-fetched idea. A believer has to spend a lifetime to attain a prepared mind and then hope his prayer will be accepted by God.
To receive blessings or knowledge from God, a believer must be a positive personality in the ultimate sense of the word. Else the blessings may be showered, but not on him! Positivity is the most important trait that makes a man worthy of receiving God’s blessings. A positive mind will not engage in conflicts and would remain free of revenge, hatred, lust and negative thoughts.