Saturday, 10 August 2013

Lailatul Qadr

I have heard stories about Lailatul Qadr, the Night of Power. I have always wondered about it. Ramadan reminds me of Lailatul Qadr.

Most people know that Lailatul Qadr occurs in the last 10 days of Ramadan. I have also heard it can occur at any time/day during Ramadan.

This Ramadan 1434 Hijrah was different as I still had a lot of academic work to do and had to work on it during Ramadan. I was sick of and on, in and out of A&E. I had missed reading my Quran for a few days. My preparation to face this Ramadan was less than the previous year. Ramadan came too soon while I was still busy and sick. But I held my views of going through Ramadan safely despite my health condition.

I watered my plants and fed the cats as usual. I made sure my cats were fed and my plants were watered. I made sure the drinking bowl for the cats was cleaned and the water replaced every few days (alternate days) so I don't breed larvae. Sometimes there was a frog 'trapped' in the cats' drinking bowl. The frog can't jump out and if I don't check the drinking bowl, the frog may drown and die. It was my duty to check if any frog accidentally fell into the cats' drinking bowl.

Ramadan started. I was doing ok. I wasn't tired or fatigued as I usually was the first 3 days of fasting. On the third day, something happened at night. I usually sleep and wake up to do my night prayers. On the third night, I woke up, fully alert and I wanted to do my night prayers. I wasn't lazy. Everyone was sleeping. I prayed by my bed, underneath the ceiling fan. The night was quiet and it was easy to pray without distraction. I wasn't sleepy or drowsy, I was totally alert.

As I was praying and reading Al-Fatihah, something happened. I stopped reading and looked up to my left (about 11 o'clock). I looked past my ceiling, up to the clouds above. I wasn't wearing glasses. I could see the grey clouds moving above and opening up. A white intense beam of light came right down and touched me in between my eyebrows - I felt a soft thud but it was not painful. The light then went back up the same way it had descended. The clouds then gathered, closed up, the light was gone, and the ceiling was opaque again. There was nothing on the ceiling. I continued to finish my night prayer, not understanding what happened. I then went back to sleep, wondering about what just happened. The magical scene that I saw was in grey tone, not coloured.

I still have a lot of questions unanswered. I don't know what happened that night and why it happened. I wasn't dreaming - I was alert and sane.

If it was Lailatul Qadr, why did it occur on the 3rd of Ramadan?

Sometimes I try to reflect on what I did before Ramadan such that this extraordinary phenomenon occurred and I had observed it first-hand.

I will list what I had done and what my mind was on before Ramadan.

I was heavy into wirid. I wanted to do as much wirid in my free time. I went to buy a few tasbih so I could do a lot of wirid.

I have 2 places where I prayed, one near my clothes cupboard and another by my bed.

I have a tasbih near each of my prayer mats. I have a tasbih (small brown koka wood) near my bed. I have a black tasbih (big black beads) near my cupboard. I have a tasbih under my pillow.

I bought many telekung for myself and my daughters. I buy the cool light material as they stay cool during prayers and are lightweight. It is easier to pray in this type of telekung.

I buy pretty sejadah for myself and my family. Some sejadah were given by friends. But I pray mostly on my own sejadah which I bought.

I perform wudhu' carefully and as best as I can.

I make sure my clothes are clean for prayers. If I step out to do gardening or sweep outside, I make sure I change clothes or bathe and wear clean clothes. This is because, I wear caftan; caftan have long edges which can drag on the ground and collect dirt. As such they are unclean for prayers.

Sometimes I write using an ink pen and ink marks appear on my hands. These marks have to be scrubbed off. I scrubbed to a point it doesn't hurt. If it starts to hurt and the ink is still in place, I just leave them on because I have done my best to remove stubborn ink marks.

I use a fragrant soap for cleaning my skin for prayers. I make sure I smell good if I want to pray. I won't pray if I don't smell good. I shop for fragrant soap whenever I travel overseas. The Australian bar soaps are fragrant and have a good medicinal fragrance which last a long time. They don't give off odours. It is nice to pray when there is some fragrance.

I buy a lot of rose perfumes. Some are given by friends. I try them out. There are some which give a light fragrance. I am not a perfume person and sometimes I get headaches and nausea from very strong perfumes. I apply perfume onto my sejadah and prayer clothes. I don't wear any perfume at all.

I buy many Quran. I usually buy when I see a good one where the Jawi scripts are crispy and clear. I buy the ones with translations. Some have translations and Quranic text on the same page. Some have word meanings under the Jawi scripts. I prefer the Quranic text with Malay text at the bottom. I write in my Quran and I use coloured stickers to mark important Ayat which I need for my other work, or if I wish to look them up further. My Quran is filled with my handwriting and coloured stickers. I used a pen and that destroyed my Quran as the ink seeps through and ends up in my Quran. It is better to write with a pencil. The coloured stickers are not permanent and after a while, the adhesive part tends to dry up and the stickers fall off.

Quran reading
I was reading Quran very slowly before and it was awful and very boring. I then made doa and asked Allah to grant me the ability to read the Quran, at least better than before, and so that I would not be bored. Now I can just pick up the Quran and read quickly. I can read Quran quite well now. I have overcome my own weakness of reading the Quran. I am happy that I have mastered Quran reading, at least for myself.

Understanding the Quran
I mark my Quran - Surah and pages. I try to mark the common Surah and where they are or understand the order. I also try to remember where certain Ayats are mentioned and under what circumstances they are mentioned. I tried to make sense of some of the Ayats in the Quran. Sometimes I sit back and reflect on what I have just read and understood of the translation. The Malay translation is easy to read and understand but I had a gut feeling that I was missing something. I was missing the deeper meaning of the verses in the Quran. Because I don't join any Quran ladies group, I have to buy a lot of books to read and understand the various verses and chapters in the Quran. All in all, I discovered a strong message that Allah puts across in the Quran. He stresses upon His Powers, over and over in many Ayat and Surah. I was amazed that I had missed these all this while. These are towards the last 100 pages of the Quran. These Ayat glared at me and I wondered what Allah wanted me to understand. There was this Ayat about He made the clouds and earth and He is charge of the skies, the earth and in between. This is mentioned many times in the Quran. I thought very hard as to what this message meant. There is also some mention that only He knows of the unseen (ghaib). I also thought how can our scientists understand of how the earth and universe began if they don't learn it from the Quran. I thought very hard and pondered of the Powers of Allah in creating the Universe and in creating Humans. There is also an Ayat Allah mentions where He says it is easier for Him to create Humans than to create the Universe. Allah was challenging the non believers. These were the things I was pondering about when Ramadan came this year (2013). I still hadn't any answers. I just wondered why nobody told me Allah is the Most Mighty and never got that stuck in my brain. But after all these wondering, I began to understand Allah's mighty Powers and how small we humans are. We are very small and useless beings unless we follow Sunnah Nabi Muhammad SAW and the Quran. So those were what I discovered and I was happy. There is a part in the Quran where Allah mentions to look or follow Nabi Muhammad SAW. There is also a part that mentions Allah Selawat on Nabi Muhammad SAW. And we humans must also do Selawat for Nabi Muhammad SAW. For this bit, I do Selawat after Subuh prayer - I do 100 Selawat as my tasbih beads are strung. 

As humans, we all tend to do wrong - all the time. Some do more wrong than others. I don't like to compare. For me, a wrong can be corrected and must come with repentance. Once there is repentance, there is a promise not to overstep and repeat the same mistake. The reins are in place and I only need to pull on the reins to stop myself from going any further and getting into problems. I have learned to say "no" to lot of things. It doesn't mean I am a boring person. I am not. It just means that I think twice and most probably I will say "no" to some doubtful requests which I think will lead me astray. It saves me a lot of trouble if I say "no" to most things that come my way. I read 100 times of Astaghfirullah, Astaghfirullah hal adzim, and Astaghfirullah hal adzim wa atu bu ilaik whenever I can, and I use my tasbih for this. It is the first thing that comes to mind.

Seeking and asking for forgiveness from Allah is good. I used to ask for forgiveness when I did something wrong or when I handled something incorrectly. I only did solat Taubat on the last day of Ramadan this year. In previous years, I only made prayers and asked for forgiveness. I don't know the specific doa or what must be read, so I make up my own prayer. I read my prayer in tears because I did something dreadfully wrong and I wanted Allah to forgive me. I learnt the word taubat and taubatan nasuha from reading. I think I know what they mean. They may be difficult words to digest but now that I have time to think and reflect on life, I know what these words mean. They are meant to keep me away from entering into difficult situations where I maybe irrational. Nobody is 100% perfect and sinless.

Remembrance of Allah
I remember Allah even when I sit in the back seat of my car, and when I do shopping. I read Ayat Kursi most of the time when I'm in the car or doing shopping. Sometimes I read Surah Al-Ikhlas and Al-Fatihah. I also read when I'm watching TV but I hardly watch TV. I try to read as much of these Surah daily when I have nothing to do. I have not mastered Surah Al-Mulk and Surah Sejadah. InsyaAllah, I will try.

Lailatul Qadr
That 3rd night of Ramadan, Allah showed me His Powers. He opened the skies above, sent down a beam of light onto my forehead, and rolled it back up and closed everything back up. Do I believe it happened? Yes. Do I believe Allah did it? Yes. Do I believe Allah is All Mighty and has All Powers? Yes. I'm really amazed that Allah did it for me. Alhamdulillah. I am happy to have seen this unusual phenomenon in Ramadan. So for me, this Ramadan is very special even though I was not prepared. But I kept up with my zikr, solat, taubat, Quran reading and believed in Allah. So I am happy as things worked out. The experience makes me happy even though I didn't focus on Raya shopping this year as I did in previous years. I am sorry for my family but Allah has shown me better ways to spend my life and whatever remains of it. We tend to forget Allah during festive season because we are happy with the world we live in and forget who made it for us and kept us alive. I took one month leave this Ramadan so that I had time for Ramadan.

Solat Dhuha
I have always wondered about solat dhuha. I read about it in books. I still have not performed it except for 2 occasions all my life. This Ramadan, I performed solat dhuha on the last morning of Ramadan - this was my 3rd solat dhuha in my life.

This Ramadan, I asked Allah for treatment methods, especially for terminal cases where Western medicine cannot find a cure. I mentioned to Allah of the various conditions that humans are faced with and asked Allah to guide me to the various treatment methods. I usually don't do this prayer but because many patients faced these problems, I thought it would be best to request Allah for guidance. I have not done anything after that prayer.

The 3 Grand Mosques in Islam
Many months before Ramadan and during Ramadan, I downloaded many pictures of the 3 Grand Mosques in Islam. I checked the Internet for all possible pictures of the 3 Grand Mosques and downloaded them. My 2 external harddisks are filled with images of the 3 Grand Mosques. I go through the images in my free time. I read texts about the 3 Grand Mosques. They amaze me so much, that I even want to write my own books. InsyaAllah, I will write after I visit Masjid al-Aqsa.

A luminous white beam of light coming down from in between the grey clouds above. In my case, my forehead was at where the Kaabah is in this pic and the light beam was tilted at 11 o'clock. The clouds were fluffy like cottonwool and everything was in grey tone.


Post a Comment