Y’all my Laylat-ul-Qadr Radar is broken.
Laylat-ul-Qadr, also known as the Night of Power, is when the first words of the Quran were revealed to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). It is believed that Laylat-ul-Qadr first occurred on an odd night in the last 10 days of Ramadan, although exactly which day it could be is always a bit unsure due to the constantly changing nature of the lunar calendar.
It is believed that on the night of Laylat-ul-Qadr the mercy and forgiveness of Allah SWT is in abundance. Muslims encourage one another to seek this night out in particular to devout to worship.
The few signs of Laylat-ul-Qadr, aside from it being an odd night, include precipitation ranging from a light drizzle to heavy rain, the sensation of peace and of power in the night – and sometimes it’s just an internal spiritual know that this is the night.
I like to believe that for the past few years I was able to tell which night was the one of power. I felt as if I could feel the power and peace of the night – and I was never alone. Every year there was an abundance of people who would feel the same thing I was feeling and we would confirm with each other - this had to be the night. Now of course no one ever knows for sure 100%. Yet I felt my guesses must be on point. Everything fit the way it should and that internal peace reassured me year after year which night it was.
Until this year.
The first time I got the feeling it was Laylat-ul-Qadr was on the 23rd night. One of the masjids had completed their recitation of the Quran during the Taraweeh prayers, which meant the congregation met for a long dua (prayer). When we were done it felt like Eid was already here. The wind was beautiful, the sky was enchanting. The feeling of happiness and contentment engulfed me like never before this year. I was so certain this had to be the night.
Until the 25th night rolled around.
On this night, I found myself resting in the masjid between the Taraweeh prayer ending and the Qiyam prayer starting. There was such a calmness in the atmosphere. There was a silence in the atmosphere that shimmered with possibilities. Everything about the night felt holy, and then it started raining. As I made my prayers in the middle of the night, listening to the rain fall against the masjid walls I realized I must have been wrong. This had to be night of Laylat-ul-Qadr.
Until the 27th rolled around.
Now, most Muslims believe that the 27th night of Ramadan is most likely to be the one of Laylat-ul-Qadr. But I couldn’t be wrong twice. The Night of Power had passed, I was sure. I went into a crowded masjid and slowly lost myself in the Qiyam prayers. Before I knew it, the duas hit me – I was bawling my eyes out as I listened to the recitation amidst a congregation of Muslims praying for each other. It was beautiful and moving, and my heart constricted with the pain of the Muslims suffering in the world, and the hope that everything will get better. And then it started raining – hard. I stepped outside after the prayer and was immediately drenched by the downpour. Yet as much as I hate wet shoes and a wet hijab, I felt giddy with excitement and in awe of the world. Looks like I was wrong again. This had to be the Night of Power.
For the first time though, I can’t make that claim with my usual 99.99% assuredness. After all, it is the last Friday of Ramadan, which is the Muslim day equivalent to Saturday Sabbath or Sunday church. This Friday also happens to be the 29th day of Ramadan – the last odd night. As confused as I am by my busted radar, I’m kind of excited too – who knows what this night will bring! Besides, if the Laylat-ul-Qadr hasn’t already passed, we have another opportunity tonight to take advantage of the last nights of Ramadan and devout ourselves to worship in these fleeting moments.
The weather is already looking beautiful.
Internal struggle of the day: I’ve really been craving churros today. It’s all I can think of but all the churro places will be closed by the time we break fast. I’ll have to wait until after Eid to satisfy this craving.
Internal affirmation: Eid prep makes Ramadan coming to a close a little easier to deal with.
The 30 Days of Ramadan blog is written by Sobia Siddiqui, CAIR-Houston’s Operations Coordinator.