I sit pensively in front of my PC, my modern-day qalam (pen), trying to capture my thoughts and shape in words the echoes of my heart Words may be mere symbols, but they do carry meaning, express feelings and convey ideas. Through words we are able to communicate with one another, understand experiences, shape expectations and even relate our dreams and aspirations. Through these words I relate, but relate in silence.
Silence of the night
I am humbled by the silence of the night, confronted by the turbulence of my soul. How true the words of the Almighty, “Surely in the long wake of the night, the soul is most receptive and the words more telling. ” (Quran 73:6)
There is perhaps a higher purpose behind Allah’s choosing the night (Layla-tul-Qadr) for the commencement of the final revelation. The night is indeed conducive to quietness, serenity, peacefulness and tranquility; suitable for the nourishment of the soul.
Night of Power
I reflect on the most auspicious of all nights, Layla-tul-Qadr, the Night of Power, the Night of Majesty, the Night of Grandeur, the Night of Dignity of Destiny and Determination. A night “greater in value than a thousand months”. A night celebrated by Muslims throughout the world, a night of historic significance marking the commencement of the final divine communique’, a revelation that affected the fate of nations and their destiny, changing the course of history.
Layla-tul-Qadr carries with it “peace until the dawn” implying that the realization of the sanctity of this night could act as a shield against all forms of things unsavory, improper; allowing those who live by what was revealed on that night to experience tranquility and peace with peace of mind.
I can not but help and reflect on the condition of those who commemorate this night with me. Images come to my mind that grip the very the essence of my conscience, shaking the core of my being in the darkness of the night. Images of the refugees of Afghanistan, of the poverty-stricken in Somali, of the abused in Kashmir, of the homeless in Palestine, the orphans in Chechnya and of the humiliated in Bosnia, Kosova and Iraq. Yes, they too belong to my faith tradition; they too commemorate the Night of Power and the Night of Peace; but they have neither power nor peace. They are Believers who are neither safe nor secure, living in degradation, bearing the brunt of Muslim subjugation and disunity, crying exasperated cries of desperation, while enduring the obscenities of history.
I reflect on the Night of Power, those it empowered, the once powerful, now powerless. Muslims; once the bearers of the torch of civilization, now victims of global injustice. Never in history has a community of faith been so displaced, so victimized on such a large scale as the ummah in the last 21 years. The fact that over sixty percent of all world refugees at present are Muslims bears testimony to that.
All our collective mechanisms of religiosity, spirituality, activism and intellectualism are unable to cover the ugliness of the absence of power; not the power to conquer, merely the power to at least safeguard the innocent amongst our own.