MV: In case you missed the online class by Shaykh Omar Suleiman, the video is out for all to watch!
The following is a partial transcript (notes) from Shaykh Omar Suleiman’s online tafseer class on surah Al-Qadr.
Credit to Br. Abdullah Shaikh for the notes.
We need to renew our sense of urgency and realize importance of this night
Verse 1: “We sent it down on the Night of Power.”
“we” is royal “we”; moreover, whenever royal “we” is used, Allah SWT clarifies his Oneness right before or right after (see verse 4); also, Allah SWT uses royal “we” whenever He’s sending something down and this is a magnification of His Greatness but Allah SWT is the All-Merciful and does not want us to feel that we cannot approach Him so then whenever it comes to worship, Allah SWT changes back to the singular to make sure that we don’t feel left out or alone
Surah Alaq – surah before Surah Qadr – is an introduction to Surah Qadr – “it” is the Quran – when the surah Qadr was revealed, it had been sometime since surah Alaq was revealed and it’s as if Allah SWT is telling the Sahabah RA that you already know how amazing the Quran is, now let Me tell you how amazing the Night it was revealed is
Layl-at-ul Qadr is the Night of Decree – it is the night in which the angels write down everything that will happen in the next year – the writing of who will die, who will get what rizq, whatever will happen in the coming year, is written during the Layl-at-ul Qadr
Of course there’s Allah SWT’s tablet in which EVERYTHING to EVER HAPPEN is written down but Allah SWT keeps that by Himself – other than that He gives commands to the angels to write down for every single person what he will receive but because of our dua He can change what He initially told the angels (though obviously Allah SWT already knew we would ask for this and that He would change it for us)
Sometime during the next 10 nights, Allah SWT will write down who will go to Hajj next year, what good deeds we’ll do in the next year, what calamity will fall upon who, etc. – increase your dua! Allah SWT can change His decree to whatever He wills – some people will be destined to die a month, a week, a day, an hour after Ramadan but because of their dua on Layl-at-ul Qadr, Allah SWT will extend their life however much He wills
On Layl-at-ul Qadr, so many angels descend to earth that there is literally no space in the heavens – the heavens and earth are literally restricted on that night – so many angels are shading the homes and masajid, are saying salaam upon us, etc. – how can we fail to take advantage of this? On this 1 night, we can salvage our entire Ramadan – Allah SWT can accept some form of worship that He wouldn’t accept from us on any other day of the year
So when is Layl-at-ul Qadr?
Authentic hadith from Aisha RA in which Layl-at-ul Qadr fell upon 21st of Ramadan during one month; ibn Umar RA said it was 24th of Ramadan; ibn Abbas RA, in his earlier opinion, said it was 23rd Ramadan; some scholars have said 25th of Ramadan; Ubayy ibn Ka’ab narrates in a hadith in Sahih Muslim that it was 27th of Ramadan and this was also the later opinion of ibn Abbas RA
Majority opinion which is the most correct opinion since it’s the only way to reconcile all the hadith is that Layl-at-ul Qadr changes every single year – in the hadith in Bukhari, the Prophet SAWS did not worship any differently on any one of the last 10 nights – he SAWS worshipped during every single night of the last 10 nights as if any one of those nights is Layl-at-ul Qadr – the any night, even the even nights, can be Layl-at-ul Qadr – it could even be the 20th night of Ramadan – we don’t know and we need to step up our game and seek it every single night so we don’t miss out – Allah SWT keeps us on our toes so that we don’t just step our game just 1 night but rather we keep at it every single night
Verse 2: “What will explain to you what that Night of Power is?”
Verse 3: “The Night of Power is better than a thousand months”
1 night is greater than 83 years – that’s longer than most people live!
Verse 4: “on that night the angels and the Spirit [the Angel Jibreel PBUH] descend again and again with their Lord’s permission on every task”
What are the angels doing? They want to give salaam to us. They love us and are on our side. They shade us when we’re in a halaqah and then they go to Allah SWT and brag about us and tell Him “look at Your servants!” even though Allah SWT knows everything that’s going on. Not only that, the angels ask Allah SWT for permission to go say salaam and visit us. The angels like to visit those who deny their nafs – why? The one who gives in to his nafs is using his free will to do evil is like an animal vs. the one denies his nafs is like an angel as angels have no free will and only worship Allah SWT and cannot disobey Him – so they want to visit those who have free will but still choose to be like them
Not only do regular angels come and say salaam, but Jibreel PBUH, the same angel who brought the Quran to the Prophet SAWS, will come to give us salaam if we’re worshipping Allah SWT during the night.
Verse 5: “[there is] peace that night until the break of dawn.”
The 1st 20 days of Ramadan is a warm-up for the last 10 nights. This is the time to buckle down and get serious. Just like when the Prophet SAWS started tahajjud by praying 2 quick warm up rakaat before starting his long rakaats.
There is an authentic hadith in which if a person prays 4 rakaats after isha salah, it is as if you’ve prayed Layl-at-ul Qadr – now imagine if you did this on the actual Layl-at-ul Qadr! SubhanAllah. We did nothing to deserve this great gift from Allah SWT and the very least we can do is thank Allah SWT and praise Him for this amazing opportunity.
Dua for Layl-at-ul Qadr: “Oh Allah, You are the Pardoner and You love to pardon, so pardon me.”