Some Other Deeds to be performed during the Night of Power (Lailatul-Qadr)
By : Haj Mirza Javad Agha Maliki Tabrizi (R.A.)
1. It is up to the prudent wayfarer to offer two rak'ats of prayer (salat) each one of the Nights of Power; in each rak'at after surah, al-Hamd, the Opening, should recite surah al-Ikhlas, the Sincerity, seventy times, and after salutation, should recite:
"O' Allah! Forgive me and accept my repentance."
And then should ask about his wants and desires.
2. Then he should offer 100 rak'ats special prayer for the Night of Power, and in between should recite the supplications which have been left by the sinless ones (ma'sumin [a]) - the prayers which are extremely precious and valuable, contain most subtle discourses, delicate points and exalted learnings about Allah (the Glorious, the Exalted), His Characteristics, Sacred Names, Generosity and Beneficence, Wisdom and Justice, divine will and destiny, etiquette and manners of supplicating to Allah; all of which are heavenly revealed, and except prophets and imams, who learned them through revelations, no one else has access to them.
Comments about the Prayer's Etiquette
Of course, it should not be forgotten that these supplications should be recited in the state of being completely awake, aware, conscious, and with a live heart; blessed is the one whose recital of this prayers with a live heart is influential upon his heart and soul; whatever is uttered by his tongue is also accepted by his heart and soul; that if for these supplications there do not exist any reward and blessing, except only this effect upon his heart and soul, even then it merits, and one should mobilize all his energy, strength, efforts, and all over crusade with heart and soul in order to accomplish this effect. But in addition to that for each word and phrase there are rewards, blessings, and illuminations - the rewards and blessings which no one has the capacity to measure.
Therefore, the one whose recital of these supplications do not produce any effect upon his heart and soul, at least should recite them consciously, should ponder about their meaning, must endeavour in order to comprehend as to what did he read, what did he say, and what did he want, lest he recite them with negligence with the tip of his tongue, like the magicians who utter nonsensical, meaningless words from the tip of their tongue, without knowing what is being uttered, what is said, and what is wanted by him.
And the one whose recital of these supplications neither influences his heart and soul, nor he hesitates in their recital; does not even care to understand their meanings, instead of reciting these supplications, should cry about his own worst condition and should shed tears upon this heavy tragedy - the tragedy of not receiving divine grace in supplications; his being unable to appreciate these supplications, and not being able to be influenced by them, should recite the following sentence several times:
"We are from Allah and towards him is our return. "
- Holy Qur'an (2:156)
which is recited at the time of occurrence of a tragedy. Further he should say:
"I seek refuge in Allah from this tragedy, which is horrible and would bring a severe punishment."
In a divine tradition, it has been mentioned about the characteristics of the people of the next world:
"Their prayers ascend upwards and reaches Allah, their words are accepted, and Allah loves to listen to their prayers the way a mother likes her own child."
Therefore, we should be careful and should ponder about this sentence:
"Their prayers ascend upwards."
Is not it shameful that the prayers which ascend upward should be recited from the tip of the tongue, while the heart and soul remain occupied in worldly affairs? Is not it disgusting that we seek Allah (the Glorious, the Exalted), from tongue and seek world by heart -the world which in traditions has been called Allah's enemy as well as the enemy of His friends? Is not it helplessness and disobedience that our tongue's tip remains busy in his remembrance while the heart takes off towards the world? Does there exist any greater tragedy than this one?
3. Open the Holy Qur'an, recite its special prayer, place it upon your head. and your intention in doing so, in addition to showing respect and regard to the Holy Qur'an, should be that through this means, reason and thoughts become strengthened and the illumination of reason becomes perfected with the illumination of the Holy Qur'an.
4. The salutations (ziyarat) of the Lord of the Martyrs, Imam al-Hussein [a] should be recited during this night, some other ziyarat which have been which have been narrated by the Sinless Imams should also be recited.
5. the recitals of surah al-Rum, al-Ankabut and al-Dukhan from the Holy Qur'an should not be forgotten on the night of 23rd Ramadhan.
6. The special supplications which have been narrated should be recited, especially, the supplications, which has been quoted in the book of Iqbal from some authentic books and begins as follows:
"O' Allah! If, about this night and the nights before, there is a doubt or reluctance in their being the Nights of Power, but regarding, Thee, Thou unity (towhid), and that because of Your Exaltedness and Magnanimity, You will purify your servant's deeds there is absolutely no doubt."
If, one could discover truly the meanings of the above content that Allah (the Glorious, the Exalted), and in His unity there is absolutely no doubt and contradiction - indeed he has received a good reward for his worship of this night. Also, one should not forget recital of a short prayer which has been mentioned in the book of Iqbal quoted from Imam al-Sajjad [a] and which starts with:
"O Intrinsic Fundamental (Secret) evident in His Expose intelligible expression (Manifest), and O Rational Exposition (Manifest) leading to His genuine quintessential (Secret)."
Which, while being short is a very subtle Monotheistic prayer worth reciting.
Comments about the Importance of Ahlul-Bait's [a] Supplications
I swear that if we did not achieve any benefit from the existence of Sinless Imams [a] except these very higher learning, subtle themes, and delicate points regarding Monotheism - which they have explained to us, even then it would have been desirable to mobilize all our efforts and strength for their thanks and appreciation, while accepting and admitting, that these thanks and appreciation would not be sufficient to compensate for that great blessing, and whatever we do, we would never be able to thank them for that great blessing the way it ought to be thanked.
7. One should not forget to select a period for having a private union between himself and his Creator and during this period should concentrate his mind and soul at this point, that Allah (the Glorious, the Exalted), is completely aware of his helplessness and disobedience as well as is able to rescue him from this wretchedness, because his generosity, magnanimity, love, and kindness do not have any limits; then he should tie his hopes towards His threshold of generosity and benevolence, should look forward towards His blessings and bounties, and should listen carefully to the blowing of the breeze of His love.
Yes! Congratulations and thousands of congratulations for the one who was able to have the divine grace of performing correctly whatever was described. But the one who did not have the divine grace of performing all of them, lest be tricked by Satan and through acceptance of his whispers, in which he says:
"You are not the one who could perform all these tedious worships, the way they ought to be performed, therefore, it makes no sense to bother yourself, leave it and do your own things, because, their incomplete performance would not bring any reward for you."
In this manner he would quit performing whatever he could have performed, would close upon himself the path of salvation and righteousness forever, and with this negligence and cheating would entangle himself into serious disaster. Therefore, he should not pay attention to these Satanic whispers and should not show any negligence in performing whatever he could perform, even if it happens to be quite insignificant, because, deeds and worships however smaller they might be, possess illumination and reward, would enable the doer to have the divine grace for performing another deed and worship, which quite often helps the person to be able to perform complete worship.
Be aware that Satan does not have any other aim and objective except to keep you away from Lord's obedience and to cut off your bonds of servanthood. It should not be forgotten that paying attention to Satanic whispers results in heart's darkness, which in turn makes a person lazy and disappointed in performance of Allah's worship; disappointment from performance of deeds and worship results in renunciation of some of the worships; renunciation of some of the worships results gradually in renunciation of all the worships; renunciation of all the worships results in our eternal degradation and doom, except that Allah's generosity rescues us, so that we practice abstinence in following Satan, and because of abstinence from Satan's following, our heart becomes illuminated, thus having the divine grace for worship and servanthood.
Yes, the prudent believer, lest underestimate his good deed, no matter how insignificant it may be, or may consider even a tiny portion of it as insignificant and worthless, and with such presumption renounces it; that such behaviour would not accomplish anything except loss and damage. (Similarly considering his good deeds as big and with such presumption getting himself involved in self-conceit).
Also, lest he renounces a good deed because he is not able to perform it, instead, he should perform it, as much as possible; of course, after performance of a deed be it small or big, he should regard it as insignificant while comparing it with Allah's Exaltedness. Because, the All deed and worship, regarded as insignificant by the servant are considered as much bigger by Allah (the Glorious, the Exalted), who very often looks at it positively, and accepts it from his servant, and what is important and useful for the servant is that Allah (the Glorious, the Exalted), accepts deed, and not its being small or big, because He does accept quite insignificant deeds, rewards handsomely, and this acceptance and rewards mean infinite gains for the doer. On the contrary, plenty of deeds which aren't accepted by Him don't mean anything for the servant. Didn't Allah (the Glorious, the Exalted), accept a little worship and repentance from Prophet Adam [a] but reject plenty of worship from Satan, and order him to leave the Celestial kingdom forever?
Therefore, from this consideration lest, one may regard his deed and worship as big and looks at it with appreciation and astonishment, even though if he has performed worship equivalent to the worship performed through all humans and angels; because considering one's own worshipping as great does not have any gain except its being ruined, and worst then that, it changes deed's illumination into darkness. Similarly lest he regards a little deed and worship as worthless and may renounce it, because, so often Allah (the Glorious, the Exalted), accepts a small deed, and with his acceptance makes it a lot.
Comments about the Prayers of Others
Whatever has been described so far to strive hard to have more sincerity and truth and to consider deeds and worships as small and insignificant was about the deeds and worships which some one performs for himself; and all this emphasis is because of the reason, that no one should like and accept about himself anything, except, the deeds and worships which are performed with sincerity, and should not account for whatever is not done with truth and sincerity, rather should see it as sinning and transgression. But lest he regards and presumes so about the deeds and worships of others, because underestimating others deeds not only doesn't produce any gain - the gain which is obtained for underestimating one's own deeds - rather is detrimental, because it produces the background whereby others become discouraged and disgusted with respect to their deeds and worship, thus the doors of goodness and prosperity becoming closed upon them.
Therefore, from this consideration to treat others deeds and worships in this manner is not allowed, instead, for appraisal of others deeds their very apparent value should be considered as genuine. Or even higher than this, Allah's Generosity and Magnanimity should be considered as criteria, and should be presumed so, that very often Allah (the Glorious, the Exalted), because, of his Generosity and Magnanimity might accept their deeds, even if they are not accompanied with truth and sincerity. Also, we should consider the possibility that perhaps Allah (the Glorious, the Exalted), because of His kindness and love towards the servants, might accept and grant their prayers, even if they are recited from the tip of their tongue, and not from the depth of their souls. Therefore, from this consideration lest we disappoint and discourage Allah's servant from His blessing and forgiveness.
And thus with such undesirable conduct make him discouraged and with respect to his deeds and worships, ultimately resulting in his quitting worship and servitude. Even if his deeds and worships are not sincere, and are mixed with some undesirable things, it is not too far that this very apparent and superficial deeds and worship - if are not renounced suddenly - performed by a servant would become the basis for breezing the cold breeze of Allah's grace over him, thus, blowing the spirit of reality in the spiritless skeleton of his worships; the illumination of reality radiating upon his soul in such a manner that he would suddenly became transformed, gaining access to the real worship and the reality of worship, from that superficial worship, and attaining righteousness, salvation, and eternal prosperity. I even believe that if an intoxicated sodomite in state of intoxication, would cry O' Allah! and besought Him for help, He would reply him.
The Night of Twenty Seventh of Ramadhan
It has been reported from Zaid bin 'Ali that his father Imam al-Sajjad [a] used to recite the following prayer from the beginning till the end of the night, on the night of twenty seventh of Ramadhan:
"O' Allah please bestow upon me the divine grace so that I become disgusted with this world - the House of deception - and become attracted towards the Hereafter - the House of Eternity - and before the arrival of my death, should make myself readied for the journey towards the Next world."
The Commentary - World Being the House of Illusion (Dar al-Ghuroor)
A little bit of pondering and meditation about the above-mentioned supplication, would reveal this delicate point that in accordance with the Qur'anic verses, traditions narrated from the Sinless Imams [a], and whatever has been spiritually contemplated by the mystics, this world is altogether deceitful and whatever we see, in reality isn't as it appears to be, rather it is like a mirage, which is misleading. Therefore, from these considerations it has been called as the House of Arrogance (Dar al-Ghuroor) and the House of Deception (Sarai-Farib).
Perhaps acceptance of this point might be hard for some, and they may not accept it easily that whatever is being seen by them in reality is not, what it appears to be, rather mistakenly they see a thing as something else. But there are situations, where human perception makes a mistake in seeing a thing as something else, e.g., a spoon inside a glass of tea appears as a broken spoon. If we think, ponder, and pay attention that this mistake of human sight -whose being a mistake, there is the least contradiction with other sights which are not mistakes, at least in appearance doesn't differ at all.
With this analogy, we can therefore conclude, that seeing a thing as something else - even contradictory to what it is supposed to be is a phenomenon whose occurrence is possible, and is not an impossibility. And if the traditions describe that our perceptions see the world and its phenomenon mistakenly as things - which in reality they are not - then with reference to the above-mentioned analogy, such occurrence and its reality should also be acceptable i.e., the reality that whatever we see in this world, is not, what it appears to be. Following are some of the traditions relevant to this matter:
1. The traditions which mention the speaking of lifeless solid material, like the speaking of stone pebbles upon the Prophet's [s] hands. In spite of the fact that our senses do not accept the speaking of stone pebbles and other solid bodies.
2. The traditions which describe the conditions of graves, that some of the graves are full of joy like green pastures, while some of them are like the trenches full of blazing fires, in spite of the fact that human senses do not see the graves as such.
3. The traditions which describe the role of angels in directing the world's phenomenon, while our sense of perception does not see them.
4. The traditions which mention that the sustenance of all worldly existence including solids, plants and animals comes from the Celestial kingdom, while our sense of perception do not see such a thing.
All these traditions describe this point, that in this world, there are plenty of phenomenon which are not perceived by our senses, or are perceived in a different manner. Yes! This world is named as the House of Arrogance (Dar al-Ghuroor), because its phenomenon do not manifest themselves to us the way they really are; rather manifest themselves with forms which do not show reality; with perspectives which lack authenticity, with essence which like a mirage disappears; with stability which is altogether in motion; with realities which like mirage, are imaginations and hallucinations. It deceives its lovers, and presents itself to them in a charming manner; only for the believers for whom the worldly materialistic veils have been removed from their esoteric eyes the world manifests itself, the way it actually is, and they see world's phenomenon the way they really are. Removal of worldly materialistic veils from the heart's esoteric eyes, as have been mentioned in the above-mentioned tradition means:
"Becoming disgusted with the House of Arrogance."
And seeing the worldly phenomenon the way they are, means:
"Becoming attracted towards the House of Eternity."
Since Allah (the Glorious, the Exalted), has spread his blessings and forgiveness more than any other period, during these esteemed nights for his servants, and has invited them for worship, obedience and sitting down upon the table of his generosity it is a must for the servants to pay more attention towards the etiquette of these nights, by engaging themselves in worshipping and vigilance, they should look forward hopefully towards His Generosity and Magnanimity, and should not be negligent in remembering, that during these nights Satan too tries hard, more than any other period, to keep us away from worship, vigilance, and being benefited from Allah's blessings and favours.
How to Farewell the Night of Power (Lailatul-Qadr)
As was described for the other important and esteemed nights, the Night of Power (Lailatul-Qadr) should also be farewelled exactly in the similar manner, i.e. at the end of the night, one should resort (tawassul) to the Impeccable ones (the M'asumin [a]) - to whom that night belongs - should submit his deeds and worships to those exalted ones, with a heart broken, with grief and shedding tears, should request them to make those deeds as righteous, and should intercede with Allah (the Glorious, the Exalted), for their acceptance, and thus making them as fruitful.
The Day of Power (Qadr)
It should be understood that in accordance with the traditions both the night and day are interconnected, as far as their worth, value, esteem, and splendour are concerned, i.e. if the day is esteemed and honourable, the night of that day also possesses the same distinction and vice versa. Therefore, we must appreciate the importance of the Days of Power and like the Nights of Power, should celebrate them by sincerely performing worships and righteous deeds.
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