By MOHEZ NATO
“We have indeed sent it (the Qur’an) down in the Night of Power!
And what will make you understand what the Night of Power is?
The Night of Power is better than a thousand months.
The angels and the Spirit (Ruh) descend therein with the permission of their Lord, to regulate all things.
It is peace until the rising of the dawn” — Qur’an, 97:1-5 (Surah al-Qadr)
The Qur’an affirms in the final two verses of this very short Surah of Qadr — The Night of Power — that angels and luminous spirits descend to earth on the blessed night, expressing the Grace and Mercy of Allah.
What symbolic dimension and esoteric meaning should we give to this night of the angels in the blessed Islamic month of Ramadan?
Of course, during this crucial night, as Shia Imami Ismaili Mulsims, under the spiritual authority of the Imam-of-the-Time, we will devote our time in congregation as well as individually to spiritual exercises that will especially help us to enter into communion with our soul and succeed in opening our heart to the vision of God.
The recitation of verses and surahs of the Qur’an, Ginans and Qasidas, special Tasbihs (invocations), the Hadiths (the traditions of the Prophet), the Farmans (guidance) of Mawlana Hazar Imam, as well as the remembrance of Allah, the Prophet Muhammad, Hazrat Ali and his (Hereditary) successors, as we commemorate this special event, will support our spiritual search.
On this Holy Night it is necessary to be in tune, by reason and with our hearts, with the angels and the luminous entities sent in mission as providential messengers.
Musicians know this phenomenon well. Here are two absolutely identical tuning forks: you touch one of them, it vibrates, and the other, which has not been touched, also vibrates. We say that there is a resonance.
Well, a similar phenomenon occurs with the human beings: if each one of us manages to tune our physical and psychic being to the most subtle vibrations of the universe, we can reach the celestial powers to make an exchange with them and thus receive help and comfort.
We also know that there is no true listening without the fundamental attitude of humility!
During this night of the angels, we can even touch certain currents of forces to make them come to us. As soon as we know this law (of tuning), we understand how important it is to surpass ourselves — to surpass ourselves to touch the most subtle chords of our being and to make them vibrate, because there will be forces that will respond by making us benefit from their knowledge.
Through Ibadat (worship), special Zikr prayers and Bandgi (meditation and contemplation), we can communicate and be heard! We have to make the sincere effort to enter the sacred silence of interiority and to understand the importance of the spiritual quest by going down to the bottom of our soul.
This Night of the Angels remains precious for introspection, awareness, offers moments of purification, forgiveness, enlightenment, contemplation, submission, renewing our act of allegiance to the Spiritual Authority of the Imam-of-the-Time.
Laylat al-Qadr is a night of the angels where Allah in His Great Mercy and Glory has concentrated His Blessings and entrusted the angels and the invisible light entities to make the night the centre of His Favours.
Laylat al-Qadr is a night that is conducive to our spiritual maturity because these hours of worship, allow us to see the treasures of knowledge and recognition.
We conclude by offering our prayers and sincere fraternal thoughts for a complete, serene and satisfying night of Laylat al-Qadr.
Date posted: April 12, 2023.
Featured image shown at top of post: In his Khamsa, Shab-i Qadr (the Night of Power), the renowned Persian poet Amir Khusraw Dihlavi (d. 1325 CE) tells the story of a saint who made a failed attempt to stay awake until the Laylat al-Qadr. This image is taken from a folio in the Aga Khan Museum collection in Toronto, Canada.
Born and raised in Madagascar, Mohez Nato went to France in the late 1960’s to pursue his university education. Political tensions in Madagascar prevented him from returning to his home country, where he had planned to teach and carry out research on medicinal plants. Instead, he remained in France and completed his PhD, following which he worked as a teacher-researcher in Plant Biotechnology at the University of Paris Sud XI from 1971 to 2011.
Now, in his retirement, Mohez does voluntary work giving courses in French-speaking Universities in countries like Burkina Faso, Lebanon, Benin, Algeria and Tunisia. He is also the president of a Humanitarian Association which has been active in Madagascar since 1993. Within the Ismaili community, Mohez was Secretary General of the Ismailia Association for France (with President Mohamad Peera) which organized Mawlana Hazar Imam His Highness the Aga Khan’s visit to Paris in 1980. Thereafter, he devoted time for the opening of a Jamatkhana in Antony in southern suburb of Paris, where he also held the position of Kamadia from 1981 to 1983. After the Golden Jubilee celebrations in 2007-08, Mohez was bestowed with the title of Alijah by Mawlana Hazar Imam. Mohez is married to Farida, with whom he has two daughters, Farahna and Rahima. We invite you to read his earlier piece Ode à l’Imam du Temps Présent / Ode to the Imam of the Present Time published in Barakah.
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I would like to thank Mohez Nato for this article. It is also delightful to see the illustration. However, the description of Amir Khusraw as merely a Persian poet does not do him justice. He is one of the greatest writers of Urdu and Hindi, and is highly renowned in India, Pakistan and far beyond. Amir Khusraw is particularly well known for introducing the ghazal to the subcontinent and for developing the qawwali.