Laylat al Qadr: the Night of Power & Forgiveness

Anas ibn Malik reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said when the month of Ramadan began, “Verily, this month has presented itself to you. There is a night within it that is better than a thousand months. Whoever is deprived of it has been deprived of all good. None is deprived of its good but that he is truly deprived.”

Source: Sunan Ibn Mājah 1644

Aishah narrated that she said: “O Messenger of Allah, if I know when the Night of Al-Qadr is, what should I say in it? He said: ‘Say: O Allah, indeed You are all-Pardoning, You love pardoning, so pardon me.’” What a beautiful du’a prayer,

King David (Nabi Dawood as) prayed, The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. (Honored Zaboor, Psalms 38:16 ) And his son, King Solomon (Nabi Suleiman as) being the wisest king on earth warned us,  “He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will find mercy.” (Proverbs 28:13).

Why do we need to ask forgiveness? Because if God (swt) were to judge us according to his perfect justice, we shall all perish.



What are the Conditions for Receiving Mercy?

The conditions for receiving divine mercy are simple, just and reasonable. God (swt) does not command us to do some grievous thing that we may taste his forgiveness. We need not make long and wearisome pilgrimages, or perform painful penances, No! But he who confesses and abandons his sin God (swt) will cover him with robes mercy.

True confession is always of a specific character. It admits particular sins: some may be brought before God (swt) alone. Some should be confessed to those who have being wronged; some were public character and should be publicly confessed. Whatever the type, such confession should be definite and to the point, acknowledging the very sins committed and the desire to abandon such conduct. There must be decided changes in the life; everything offensive to God must be put away. This will be the result of genuine sorrow for sin.

Our work is plainly set before us: “Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before Mine eyes; cease to do evil; learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.” (Isaiah 1:16-17)



What is the Sign of False Repentance?

Those who after repenting say, “if it had not been for certain circumstances, I would not have done this or that” have not understood the true nature of sin.  The spirit of self-justification originated in the “father of lies” (Shaytan) and has been exhibited by all the sons and daughters of Adam. Confessions like this are not authentic because they do not originate in awareness of the destructive nature of sin, nor are inspired by the Spirit of God speaking to our conscience. Such repentance will not be acceptable to God.

True repentance will lead a man to bear his guilt himself and acknowledge it without deception, hypocrisy or cover up.

Then Jesus (Isa al Masih may his peace be upon us) told a parable concerning those who believe themselves to be righteous, and look with superiority at others, so he said: “Two men went to the courts of the House of God to pray. One of them was from the sect of the Pharisees (Rigorists), and the other was a Publican (tax collector for the Romans). There the Pharisee (Rigorist) spoke to himself saying: “God, I praise you because you did not make me like the greedy and evildoers and adulterers among other people, or like the tax collector standing there, for I pray two days a week, and I give the alms of the tenth from all my income.”

But the tax collector stood in the last row lowering his gaze in shame before God. Then he began to pray to God while beating his chest with his hands in despair and sorrow saying: “Mercy, Lord, have mercy for I have gone astray.” Friends, God accepted the prayer of the tax collector and was pleased with him and opposed the other. All those who exalt themselves will be put down by God, and all those who humble themselves and lower their own importance will be raised by God.”

True repentance will lead a man to bear his guilt himself and acknowledge it without deception, hypocrisy or cover up.


How can I know that my repentance is acceptable to God?

Repentance includes sorrow for sin and a turning away from it. We will not renounce sin unless we see its destructive nature. And until we turn away from it there will be no peace for the life will remain untransformed.

Many express sorrow that they have sinned and even make an outward reformation because they fear that their wrongdoing will bring suffering and shame upon themselves. But this is not repentance in its truest sense. The Pharaoh who had oppressed the Bani of Israel, when suffering under the judgments of God (swt), acknowledged his sin in order to escape further punishment He lamented the suffering that that comes as consequence of sin, rather than the sin itself. Thus, returned to his defiance of God (swt) as soon as the plagues were removed.



What If I do not feel sorrow for my sins?

Here is a point on which many may err, and hence they fail of receiving divine help.  They think that they cannot come to God (swt) unless they first repent, and that repentance prepares for the forgiveness of their sins. It is true that repentance does precede the forgiveness of sins; for it is only the broken and contrite heart that will feel the need of a Savior. But must the sinner wait till he has repented before he can seek help? Is repentance to be made an obstacle between the sinner and His Lord (swt)? No.

We cannot repent without the activity of God’s spirit to awaken the conscience. True repentance is beyond the human reach unaided Only when the light reaches our hearts, we can see the need of cleansing. God’s spirit is the only one that can implant in the heart enmity against sin. Every desire for truth and purity, every conviction of our own sinfulness, is evidence that His divine spirit is moving upon our hearts.

We cannot repent without the activity of God’s spirit to awaken the conscience. True repentance is beyond the human reach unaided Only when the light reaches our hearts, we can see the need of cleansing.

The same divine mind that is working upon the things of nature is speaking to the hearts of men and creating an inexpressible craving for something they have not. The things of the world cannot satisfy their longing. The divine spirit is pleading with them to seek for those things that alone can give peace and rest and experience the joy of holiness. “Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts, as you did in the rebellion.” (Hebrews 3:7)

Through influences seen and unseen, the spirit of God (swt) is constantly at work to attract the minds of men from the unsatisfying pleasures of sin to the infinite blessings that may be theirs in Him. To all these souls, who are vainly seeking to drink from the broken cisterns of this world, the divine message is addressed, ““Come!” Let the one who hears say, “Come!” And let the one who is thirsty come, and the one who desires the water of life drink freely.” (Revelation 22:17)



Do Not despair of the Mercy of God (swt)!

As you see the enormity of sin, as you see yourself as you really are, under the purifying light of heaven, do not give up to despair.

Say, “O My servants who have transgressed against themselves [by sinning], do not despair of the mercy of Allāh. Indeed, Allāh forgives all sins. Indeed, it is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful.”(Qur’an Karim, Zumar 39:53)

Because “My mercy extendeth to all things”. (Qur’an Karim Al Araf 7:156) we may ask, How does God (swt) extends his mercy to me?  Listen what Jibreel said to the beloved Maryam, the mother of the Messiah.

(…) Even so thy Lord has said: “Easy is that for Me (to produce a child without father); and that We may appoint him a sign unto men (ayatan lil-nassi) and a mercy from Us (wa rahmatan minna); it is a thing decreed.”‘ (Qur’an Karim, Maryam 19:21)

Our Lord (swt) decreed that the child of Mary (may his peace be upon us) be a sign for all people, that includes us and the means by which God pours his mercy on from heaven to the earth.

  • Sign And I will confirm the Torah revealed before me and to make lawful some of what had been forbidden to you. I have come to you with a sign from your Lord, so be mindful of Allah and obey me.” (Al Imran 3:50)


What is this sign from our Lord (swt)? Let’s consider the context:

(…) and he will be a Messenger to the Children of Israel.’ (And when he came to them he said): ‘I have come to you with a sign from your Lord. (1) I will make for you from clay the likeness of a bird and then I will breathe into it and by the leave of Allah it will become a bird. (2) I will also heal the blind and the leper, and by the leave of Allah bring the dead to life. (3)I will also inform you of what things you eat and what you treasure up in your houses. Surely this is a sign for you if you are true believers.  (Al Imran 3:49)

Much of the stories of the Injil point to this sign,

Jesus stepped into a boat, crossed over and came to his own town. 2 Some men brought to him a paralyzed man, lying on a mat. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the man, “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.”


 At this, some of the teachers of the law said to themselves, “This fellow is blaspheming!”


Knowing their thoughts, Jesus said, “Why do you entertain evil thoughts in your hearts? Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the paralyzed man, “Get up, take your mat and go home.”  Then the man got up and went home.


When the crowd saw this, they were filled with awe; and they praised God, who had given such authority to man. (Honored Injil, Mathew 9:1-8)

The manifestation of divine approval, the sign that Jesus (Isa al Masih sa) had power to forgive sins on earth, was that indeed by his word, the paralytic man recovers his capacity to walk.

(…) teachers of religious law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. They put her in front of the crowd.


 “Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5 The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?”


 They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger. They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!”  Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust.


When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman. 10 Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?”


 “No, Lord,” she said.


And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”  (Honored Injil, John 8:3-11)

As you are approaching the “Night of Power & Forgiveness” may the mercy of God cover you under its mantle of beauty and love. Peace be Upon you brother and sister!