Rama-reflections - week 3

Tuesday October 9th 2007 - the Night of Power & Peace

As we enter the last 10 days of Ramadan (ends 10.13.07) Muslims across the globe will prepare to observe Lailat al-Qadr, the "Night of Power." This special event marks the night (over 1400 years ago) when Muhammad supposedly received his first revelations from Allah. Muslims regard this as the most important event in history, and the Qur'an says that this night is "greater in value than a thousand months" (97:1-5) and that on this night the angels descend to earth. Many will exert themselves more in these last 10 days than any other time. Muslims will stay up all night in prayer, devotion & recitation of the Qur'an as they seek forgiveness for all previous wrongdoings. It is a special way to gain righteousness by dedicating yourself to Allah during this sacred time.

Specific things to do for Qadr (adapted from this site):
  • Take a vacation for Allah - rather than a vacation from our job, take a vacation to spend with Allah, worshiping him and thanking him. This will also help with staying awake during extra Ibadah or I'tikaf*.
  • Do *I'tikaf - a form of worship, by spending extended secluded time (3+days) in a Mosque - with the intention to worship thru extra prayers, study or recitation of the Qu'ran. This time helps you to not be distracted or preoccupied by life, but to stay focused.
  • Offer special Dua's (supplications, recited prayers) in Arabic.
  • Recite the Qu'ran - choose any special Surah, or practice any from memory.
  • Reflect on the Qu'ran - think deeply about the meaning, and how it affects you personally.
  • Get your sins wiped away - stand during prayer, longer prayers, with deep meaning. Careful reflection, concentration and recitation is very important.
  • Make a personal Dua list - things that you want to ask Allah for.
  • Evaluate yourself - all the good/bad you have done.
  • Make long, sincere & deep Dua's (prayers) - the best time is during the last part of the night, even waking before breakfast and pleading Allah for anything & everything you want.
  • Memorize a different Dua every night, with the general meaning too.
  • Have Iftar with your family - the meal that breaks your fast at sundown each day, with sweet dates.
  • Take your family to Tarawih - meaning "standing at night." This is a voluntary time of prayer, where you must stand while long portions of the Qu'ran are recited.
  • Attend the Dua after the completion of the Qu'ran recitation - after the Qu'ran has been read completely thru, the Imam may choose to recite extra Dua's.
  • Finish reading a book on the Prophet - to increase your love for him and Islam. Maybe it will inspire you.
  • Plan for the next year - almost like making a resolution for the year ahead.
  • Make a checklist for each night - to help you avoid wasting time in unproductive chats.
We hope this has been insightful, and that you may read something informative that can help you understand the heart behind this post. We are learning lots about the differences in culture and beliefs in this distant land. Many of our friends observe these practices, some with great devotion, and many without real understanding or passion - but either way, it is good to be aware of their background and build a bridge to common ground. :)