The Final Moments by Dr Mohammad Manzoor Alam (June 24, 2017)
Dr Mohammad Manzoor Alam
When you get to read these lines only a day or, at best, two, of the holy month would be left before Eid celebrations. That is, only a small window of opportunity is left for believers to take advantage of to please Allah in the holy month and get rewarded for it.
As discussed in the preceding two columns in this series published earlier in the month, Ramadhan is divided into three ashras (ten-day period): the first being the ashra of rahmat (Allah’s Kindness and Mercy), the second, of maghfirah (Pardon by Allah) and the third, of emancipation from the fire of hell. It is noteworthy that all these ashras are somehow related to Allah’s boundless Mercy.
Needless to explain that the concluding ashra is the crux of the month in which Allah showers His Bounties on earth more than at any time of the year. In the last ashra falls the most precious jewel of the holy month–Lailatal Qadr (literally, the night of power). The holy Quran describes this night as “better than a 1,000 months,” that is, about 83 years.
Prayer and supplication at this night is equal to that of 83 years. We must strive to get advantage of this. However, it is not clear which night of the last ashra is Lailatal Qadr (in Persian, Shab-e-Qadr). The Prophet (PBUH) said, “Look for it in the odd nights” of the ashra i.e., 21st, 23rd, 25th, 27th and 29th.
Most Muslims, not taking chances, keep vigil in all ten nights. It is interesting to know that the Prophet (PBUH) was told in his dream about the exact night it comes. However, when he got up and wanted to tell his companions about this happy news he got distracted by a noisy quarrel among some people and he forgot the exact date in the melee. All that he could remember was that it was most probably one of the above-mentioned nights.
An important insight that comes from this episode is that a quarrel can be highly injurious in its consequences for our life here and hereafter. Quarrels can be avoided with sabr and restraint, valued features in Islam.
As you read these lines the last probable night that could be Lailatal Qadr would be only a few hours away. We must try to make the most of it by remembering every small or big lapse or sin knowingly or unknowingly committed and telling Allah to forgive, making a firm commitment not to repeat them again. We cannot hide our lapses and sins from All-Knowing Allah in any case. So, we better confess them and ask for forgiveness in the solitude of the blessed night.
Also, we should remember all our little merits and moral-spritual strengths, and ask Allah to enhance and strengthen them.
In fact, the whole month is a crash course in sabr and sympathy for our fellow humans as well as for strengthening our relationship with Allah. The Quran says Ramadhan fasts have been mandated on Muslims “so that you become pious.” Sharing our hunger and thirst with fellow Muslims on fast, being focused on helping others and mitigating their hardships produces this quality in us.
As we march out to eidgaah in the morning of Eid to thank Allah for His Kindness shown in sending Ramadhan to us and having helped us by making us perform our duty towards it, we must keep it in mind that the month brought us a crash course in how to keep our relationship with Allah and His Creation.
We have to strive to keep the standards set during Ramadhan for the next eleven months, till the next Ramadhan comes. These standards have not to be compromised in any situation and we must keep a relentless watch on ourselves.
With that I wish you a very happy Eid Mubarak.