Laylat-ul-Qadr is considered the most important night in Islam for a simple reason that revelation of the Quran began on that particular night. Exposition of Surah (Chapter) Al-Qadr highlights the significance of that night and the era in which the revelation began.
As we know, Layl means Night and Qadr means an estimate or measure or a scale. So in the context of the Quran, Laylat-ul-Qadr basically means “a night during which humanity was bestowed with the measures or the Permanent Values” that were necessary for the education and guidance of the human self or the Nafs.
Surah Al-Qadr states –
- We revealed the Quran with the permanent values and principles at a time when the world had become dark, without the light of Wahi.
- Who can tell you better than Allah Almighty, how sublime and dignified the night was when these illuminating values and principles were revealed?
- This one night is better than thousands of months when mankind had been deprived of the light of Wahi.
- This night is in fact the harbinger of the era which is destined to emerge with the revelation of the Quran.
- The world would thus be rid of all darkness and ultimately the earth will glitter with the most wondrous light of its Rabb.
** (Source – Exposition of the Holy Quran) **
Considering the first verse of this Surah in conjunction with Verse 177 of Surah Al-Baqarah, what becomes evident is the characteristic of the era during which the revelation began. It was an era during which Autocracy, Kingship and Theocracy were at their peak.
Wishes of the Autocrats and Priests were the law of the land and observance of rituals and dogmas was considered to be the purpose of Deen (religion, way of life). Human life, respect, dignity, equality, liberty, free thinking etc. etc. were all compromised at the wish and whims of the rulers.
During such time when humanity was shrouded in darkness came the light of Wahi, the source of knowledge, wisdom and permanent values. Education of the masses based on those permanent values enhanced the self-determination and psyche of individuals who rose up to relieve themselves from the fetters of man-made laws, rituals and dogmas.
People, under the guidance of the Quran and leadership of Prophet Mohammed (s), learned and realised that everything in this humongous universe was nurtured, guided and controlled by the immutable and infallible laws of creation and evolution. They realized that, within the human sphere – education based on the permanent values set forth by the Quran gave more meaning to life and enabled them in establishing ideal human societies.
Taking heed from the revolution the revelation of the Quran and the leadership of Prophet Mohammed (s) had brought on during such dark times, we need to introspect and question the value system of the human societies of our times. The epidemics of Lawlessness, Internationalism, Nationalism, Capitalism, Wars, Racism, Debt, Religiousness are cutting into the roots of the edifice of our civilisation and deteriorating the conditions of human life.
Its high time humanity wakes up to face the reality before we run out of the time of reprieve and get sucked into the vicious process of self-destruction.
We need to build an education system based on the permanent values ordained in the Quran so as to educated and enable individuals with a “balanced personality”. Such individuals would then come together to establish ideal human societies.
Some of the permanent values stated in the Quran are –
- There is no sovereign except Allah. (Quran 12:40):This basically means that Allah is the only authority and giver of law. Human societies are to be run and administered in a way in which no human being rules over or becomes superior to others.
- All human beings are one brotherhood, equal by birth and are worthy of respect and dignity. (Quran 17:70; 2:179)
- Indeed Allah commands justice and proportion. (Quran 16:90)
- Conceal not evidence; for whosoever conceals it – his heart is tainted with sin. And Allah knows all that you do. (Quran 2:283)
- Every personality draws the meed of its own act on none but itself: no bearer of burden can bear the burden of another. (Quran 6:164)
- Wrong not and you shall not be wronged. (Quran 2:279)
- Allah loveth not lawlessness. (Quran 2:205)
- All that is surplus to the needs of an individual belongs to the society. (Quran 2:219)
- Talk straight, to the point, without any ambiguity or deception. (Quran 33:70)
- Always speak the truth. Shun words that are deceitful and ostentatious. (Quran 22:30)
- Do not confound truth with falsehood. (Quran 2:42)
- Say with your mouth what is in your heart.(Quran 3:167)
- Do not be contemptuous or arrogant with people. (Quran 31:18)
- Fulfil your promises and commitments. (Quran17:34)
In Surah Al-Fatiha, the important supplication for guidance towards the Straight path, I believe, signifies the way of life that incorporates implementation of all the permanent values that have been ordained in the Quran.
An ideal individual is the one with a balanced Personality and Character.
Ideal human societies are nothing but a reflection of the cumulative psyche of ideal individuals.