The Symbol and History of Lailatul Qadar
The night of lailatul qadar is a moment awaited by Muslims, especially when entering the last ten days of the month of Ramadan. Lailatul qadar means “night of glory”. That night, Allah (SWT) revealed the Qur’an. So glorious that night, Allah SWT defines lailatul qadar that it is better than a thousand months without clarity when it occurs.
For this reason, there are many ways for Muslims to welcome this glorious night, for example, doing i’tikaf (staying in the mosque) all night, praying tahajjud, reading the Qur’an, and other worship services. However, do all Muslims get what they are waiting for? It seems all Muslims can’t get lailatul qadar. Only a few people can get it.
Once, the Prophet Muhammad SAW said to his companions who were gathered waiting for the night of lailatul qadar at the Medina mosque that lailatul qadar, God willing, will come that night because the Prophet had seen it in ru’yah that there would be heavy rain then the Prophet was covered in mud and wet drenched by water. The companions also dispersed because the Medina mosque at that time was very simple with a roof made of date palm leaves so that when it rained heavily, water would naturally enter the floor of the mosque which was made of earth.
That night it rained heavily. Some friends saw what he said. The Prophet prayed while soaking wet, while his face and body were covered with mud. Then what is meant by lailatul qadar? Nothing else, the Prophet only explained it with a metaphor.
Because lailatul qadar is a spiritual matter, there is not enough vocabulary to explain it so symbols are used. Then, this is where the interpretation or take is used. The condition of the Prophet being drenched in water and his face and body covered with mud is a warning to all of us that the highest level of spiritual experience is when we have returned to the origin. Or at least, we are aware of where we come from.
We come from two elements. First, we come from land and water, while the second element comes from the spirit of Allah SWT which is breathed into us by Him so that we live. Then, all of them will return to their respective origins without us knowing when, where, and in what way we will return.
The prayer established by the Prophet at that time is a symbol or symbol of awareness of our origin, namely the spirit of Allah SWT who will return to Him. Meanwhile, the water and mud that clung to the Prophet when he established the prayer, namely the awareness of the origin of our bodies, namely the soil and water that will return to them as well. This awareness must be instilled in each of us.
We know that the Qur’an was first revealed in the month of Ramadan both as a whole and in stages. Especially since the Qur’an was revealed on the night of lailatul qadar as stated by Allah SWT in the 97th chapter, al-Qadr (glory). The Prophet Muhammad SAW received the first revelation when he was only 40 years old, at that age he liked to seclude himself in the Hira cave which is located in Jabal (mountain) Nur.
It was in the cave that the Prophet began to think about the condition of his people who were in ignorance (ignorance) and real error. Thus, he longs for the light of guidance from God to free people from misguidance and the darkness of ignorance. Then it was answered by Allah SWT by sending down His first revelation through the angel Gabriel, namely Surah Al-Alaq verses 1-5.
In this revelation, Allah SWT ordered to read in the name of God (Rab) who created. Reading here has a broad meaning, not only reading the concrete but also the abstract, not only Aaliyah (words) but also kauniyah (nature), not only individual or personal but also social or community, and so on without forgetting the name of God who created.
Then, the next verse states that Allah SWT created humans from blood. If we relate to the words of the Prophet above that we are given the knowledge that we must realize that our origins are from soil and water that flows in our bodies in the form of blood.
If we look at the explanation above, then lailatul qadar is a moment at night in the month of Ramadan that not all Muslims – but all of them have the potential – to get that moment, who knows when it will happen. What is clear, only humans who have high spiritual experience will get the moment of lailatul qadar.
With awareness of our origins, the logical consequence is humility. That nature will bring us peace, safety, and happiness until we return home to our origins. The opposite of humility is pride. This trait is the nature of the devil who arrogantly feels better than Prophet Adam (AS) and that is the nature that we must avoid because it will lead us to misery and misguidance both in this world and in the hereafter.
Seeing the beginning of the revelation (al-Qur’an) to the Prophet Muhammad SAW shows that we are not allowed to only think about peace, safety, and happiness for ourselves both in this world and in the hereafter, but also for all mankind and the entire universe because Indeed, that is the character of Islam that is rahmatan Lil Alamin, of course with the provision of knowledge as the first revelation that was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad, namely Iqra (reading).
Then what is the meaning of a thousand months? Mathematically, a thousand months is equivalent to 83.33 years. Meanwhile, the average age of the oldest human after the Prophet Muhammad is around 60 years, more than that is a mere bonus. So, people who get lailatul qadar will spread peace, safety, and happiness throughout their life. Wallahu a’lam bil shawab.
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