The Spirit of Mahe Ramazan – Ahle Bait (a.s.) and Quran

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History is witness that Muslims have rejected many facts and realities of Islam. Where outright denial was not possible, they have chosen to overlook those truths and evidences. But there are instances where the greatness of Ahle Bait (a.s.) is so manifest and apparent, that it is impossible for the general Muslims to even ignore and overlook those merits. Hadis-e Saqalain (Tradition of Two Weighty Things) is one such reality. It is so famous and oft-narrated that even the deniers are unable to reject it. In this tradition (hadis), the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) has explained that the Holy Quran and the Ahle Bait (a.s.) are identical in importance and merit. He (s.a.w.a.) further stated “these two will never separate from each other till they meet me at Hauz-e-Kausar”. The author of Yanaabi al-Mawaddah, Sulaiman Qunduzi narrates, ‘In the book Al-Sawaaeq al-Muhreqah, this particular tradition of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) has been narrated by 30 of his companions.[1]

The beloved daughter of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) – Hazrat Fatimah Zahra (s.a.) says: My father’™s chamber was brimming with his (s.a.w.a.) companions and I heard him say – O people! The time has come for me to depart from this world. Know that I am leaving among you the Book of Allah and my Ahle Bait (a.s.). Then he took Hazrat Ali’s (a.s.) hand in his own hands and declared,

هَذَا عَلِيٌّ مَعَ الْقُرْآنِ وَ الْقُرْآنُ مَعَ عَلِيٍّ، خَلِيفَتَانِ بَصِيرَانِ لَا يَفْتَرِقَانِ حَتَّى يَرِدَا عَلَيَّ الْحَوْض‏

“€˜This Ali is with the Quran and Quran is with Ali. They will never separate from each other until they meet me at the Hauz. I will ask you how you dealt with them after me.”
Reference: Aamali of Shaikh al-Toosi (a.r.) p. 497, h. 1045

In light of this tradition we can definitely say that if the Holy Quran remains till the Day of Resurrection (which it surely will), then a representative from the Ahle Bait (a.s.) too will exist along with it. Thus the earth can never remain devoid of a divine representative (Hujjat).

Shab-e-Qadr – The Heart of Ramzan

Innumerable narrations have been recorded concerning the eminence and virtues of Shab-e-Qadr. This is because in this night the entire Quran was revealed from the “€˜Lauh-e-Mahfooz”€™. Also, in this night the affairs of the people for the forthcoming year are destined, prayers are answered and sins are forgiven. Angels descend to the earth with the permission of Allah, as it is said in the Holy Quran,

تَنَزَّلُ الْمَلَائِكَةُ وَالرُّوحُ فِيهَا بِإِذْنِ رَبِّهِم مِّن كُلِّ أَمْرٍ

“œThe angels and the Spirit descend in it with the permission of their Lord with every affair.”

Worship of this night is better than the worship of 1,000 months.

Imam Sadiq (a.s.) says,

‘It is evident from the Quran that the number of months of a year is twelve. (Mahe) Ramazan is the chief of those months while Shab-e-Qadr is the heart of (Mahe) Ramazan.’ [2]

This night is so majestic and great that Marhoom Ayatullah al-Haaj Mohammed Ibrahim Kalbaasi – the author of “€˜Ishaarat al-Usool”€™ – would spend every night of the previous year in worship so that he could get the opportunity to attain the blessings and benevol.ence of this venerated night. [3]

Allah has given preference to humans among all His creations, the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) among all His prophets (a.s.), Islam over all other religions, Holy Kaaba over all other houses, Hajr-e-Aswad over all other stones, Holy Quran over all divine books, Serat-al-Mustaqeem over all other paths, Surah Yasin over all other chapters, Friday over all other days of the week, Ramazan al-Mubarak over all other months and Shab-e-Qadr over all other nights of (Mahe) Ramazan. Fortunate is the one who attains this night and spends it in strengthening his attachment with the Holy Quran and the Ahle Bait (a.s.). For, these two are precious and priceless treasures of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) that will never be separated from each other.

If a Muslim’s loyalty and friendship is restricted to the Holy Quran and does not extend to the Ahle Bait (a.s.), and he spends the Night of Qadr reciting the Quran in such a condition, then he will be devoid of the innumerable blessings of this glorious night. Similarly if someone were to express his love and devotion to the Ahle Bait (a.s.) in this night – as they are the place of descent of angels – but were to disregard the Quran or consider it lowly, will he benefit from grace of Shab-e-Qadr? Certainly not! Such a person will not gain from the blessings of this night. Rather he will be included among those who have opposed a distinguished tradition of the Noble Prophet (s.a.w.a.). Consequently not only will he be deprived of the virtues of this holy night, but will also be questioned by the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) on the Day of Resurrection and will also be denied the opportunity of quenching his thirst from the Pond of Kausar at the hands of Ameerul Momineen (a.s.).

Shab-e-Qadr is not confined to the lifetime of Prophets (a.s.):

Some Ahle Sunnah scholars are of the view that the grandeur and significance of Shab-e-Qadr was restricted to the life of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and waned after his demise. [4]

This opinion is flawed, because in many commentaries (Tafaaseer) of the Holy Quran, a tradition from Hazrat Abu Zar Ghaffari (r.a.) can be found wherein he asks the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.):

“˜Is Shab-e-Qadr restricted to the life of the Prophets (a.s.) upon whom revelations descended? And is it that after the demise of the Prophet (a.s.), the system of divine communication comes to an end?”

The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) replied, “€˜No! Shab-e-Qadr will keep recurring till the Day of Resurrection.” [5]

This tradition also clarifies that in every era there exists an infallible Imam upon whom the angels will descend in Shab-e-Qadr bringing with them the divine decrees, destinies and communications. This is an honour and privilege for the Imams (a.s.) from the side of Allah and in no way contradictory to the revelations that descended upon the Prophets (a.s.).

Ibn Umar narrates that once the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) was asked about Shab-e-Qadr and I heard him (s.a.w.a.) say, “€˜It is in every (Mahe) Ramazan i.e. it will be found in all the (Mahe) Ramazan of the forthcoming years.”€™[6]

In yet another tradition, Imam Baqir (a.s.) says, “€˜In Shab-e-Qadr, the affairs and destinies of every individual for the forthcoming year are revealed upon the infallible Imam of that era. In this revelation, special commands and directives descend for both – the Imam (a.s.) as well as the masses.”

Which night is Shab-e-Qadr?

There is difference of opinion among the scholars concerning Shab-e-Qadr. Traditions too have not explicitly mentioned which night is Shab-e-Qadr. But there is a motive and a secret behind this. Allah has concealed His “Greatest Name” (Ism-e-Azam) among all His other names, He has not revealed the precise time of acceptance of supplications on Friday, He has withheld the time of Qiyamat, the time of Imam Mahdi’€™s (a.t.f.s.) reappearance and has not informed the people of the time of death. He withheld this knowledge from the people so that no evil person could abuse this knowledge for his devious gains and at the same time, the believers would be more careful and alert in matters of worship and obedience. Thus, in order to achieve the Ism-e-Azam, a believer is expected to honour and respect all Names of Allah, he should pray excessively throughout the day of Friday. Similarly, the time of Qiyamat or death has been concealed from the people so that they are fearful and worried about the occurrence at all times. Likewise, Allah has concealed the exact night of Qadr so that people should spend every night in worship and veneration. Of course, they will ultimately benefit from all their acts of worship. But one thing is confirmed and that is although we are oblivious about the night of Qadr, yet the Imams (a.s.) are fully aware about Shab-e-Qadr because the angels descend upon them with the decrees of the people. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and all other infallible Imams (a.s.) are conscious and familiar with the time and period of Shab-e-Qadr and in this era Imam Zamana (a.s.) too is aware about it.

As it has come in a tradition that someone asked Imam (a.s.) “€˜Do you know when is Shab-e-Qadr?”

Imam (a.s.) replied ‘˜How can we be ignorant of the night in which the angels do our “€œtawaaf”€?’€™ [7]

Angels descend upon Imam (a.s.) with the details of all that is going to occur in a believer’€™s life in the following year. Thus, it is imperative that a believer should spend the month of Ramazan – especially Shab-e-Qadr – in constant worship, obedience and recitation of Quran. He should also attach himself to Imam-e-Zamana (a.t.f.s.) through love and obedience. We should pray before him and say “O Master! You have the authority on our affairs, you are responsible for all that is going to occur in the following year and you have been chosen by Allah. You are the focus of the descent of the angels. Please support and assist this lowly, disgraceful and poor servant. Without your attention and consideration our affairs cannot be rectified. If you turn us away from your door, then no one else can honour us.”

O Allah! In this Shab-e-Qadr and every Shab-e-Qadr, our greatest prayer is that You hasten the reappearance of Imam-e-Zamana (a.t.f.s.). Aameen!

[1] Yanaabi al-Mawaddah

[2] Tafseer Noor al-Saqalain, vol. 5 pg 918

[3] Qasas al-Ulama pg 118

[4] Muhammed Jamaal al-Deen Qasimi in “Tafseer-e-Qasimi”€™ vol. 17 pg 218

[5] Tafseer Noor al-Saqalain, vol. 5 pg 620; Tafseer-e-Burhaan, vol. 4 pg 488; Majma’ al-Bayaan vol. 10 pg 518

[6] Al-Durr al-Mansoor, vol. 6 pg 371

[7] Tafseer-Noorus Saqalain; Tafseer-e-Burhan; Basaaer-ud-Darajaat

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