Friday, 3 September 2010

Notes on Laylat al-Qadr

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Although most people look for it on the odd nights, they would do well to consider that the “odd” nights are from the Makkan perspective, not the local one.  Therefore, since the start of fasting varies in different parts of the world, an ‘odd night’ in Makkah is not necessarily an ‘odd night’ in Singapore.

There is more than one Laylat al-Qadr.  One is for the awliya’.  The other is for all the Muslims.  The Laylat al-Qadr for the awliya’ is a day or two removed from the Laylat al-Qadr for the Muslims.  Only Allah (s.w.t.) knows how many Laylat al-Qadr there actually are but to my knowledge, Shaykh Nazhim al-Haqqani (q.s.) and Shaykh Zakaria Bagharib (q.s.) have only spoken of two.  Laylat al-Qadr is less about a night and more of a hal.

Allah (s.w.t.) Manifests Himself in the Lower Heavens in a gradual process over several days.  The secret of why this is so lies with Him and the Knowers.  And in His wake, there is an impact.  The day gets cooler.  Not so much cold but the air seems sharp.  And everything is more alive.  It is the Manifestation of the Attribute of al-Hayy.  The day after is neither too hot nor too cold and the sun is Veiled since in the days of Laylat al-Qadr, the source of light is actually the Divine Light Manifest.  Often, for those who are Aware, they would notice a gentle rain that comes in the mornings and lasts until just before zhuhr or perhaps longer.  And Allah (s.w.t.) Knows Best.  Different people sitting together may experience different things in Laylat al-Qadr.  For those who are able to see, there is a Light that comes from the ground up.  And a Light that comes from the sky down.  The air is different and cannot be described.  It is cool, sharp, pure and there is a hint of a scent.

Every Laylat al-Qadr has been slightly different.  No two are alike.  In the first year after conversion, I saw the trees and the lamp posts bow.  And the sky glowed with a light whose colour cannot be described.  And perhaps that is the lowest level.  In the time of Musa (a.s.), when Allah (s.w.t.) Manifested Himself upon the mountain, it was a sudden Manifestation.  The force of the shadow of His Reflection was enough for every atom in the mountain to submit in annihilation.  And since the mountain has no soul, it was physical.  But Allah (s.w.t.) Comes Down as a gentle caress every Ramadhan.  And the gradual Overwhelming Force of Presence causes all Creation to bow, to submit.  Except those who are heedless.

Sometimes, in the morning after, and in the night before, there is a scent or just a hint of it.  Of musk or perfume that is so sweet it would overpower the senses it were other than an echo of the Garden.  There is a melancholy in the air as the soul calls for what it remembers n the Day of Promises, long ago.


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