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CHAPTER - 12 - SURAH – 97 - ‫سورة القدر‬

AL-QADR – THE VALUE / THE MEASURE

‫بسم هللا الرحمن الرحيم‬


With the identification of the System, the Rehman, the Rahim

INTERPRETATION:

‫نز ْلنَاهُ فِي لَ ْيلَ ِة ْالقَ ْد ِر‬


َ َ ‫ِإنَّا أ‬
1) Indeed we have settled/lodged it in the process of the valuable anxiety

‫َو َما أ َ ْد َراكَ َما لَ ْيلَةُ ْالقَ ْد ِر‬


2) And what you know what the process of valuable anxiety is?

‫ش ْهر‬ ِ ْ‫لَ ْيلَةُ ْالقَ ْد ِر َخي ٌْر ِم ِّْن أَل‬


َ ‫ف‬
3) The process of the valuable anxiety is better from the familiar / usual manifestations

ُ ‫تَنَ َّز ُل ْال َم ََلئِكَةُ َوالرُّ و‬


‫ح فِي َها ِب ِإذْ ِن َر ِبِّ ِهم ِمِّن ُك ِ ِّل أَمْر‬
4) Therein settles Malaikah [faculty of mind which possess command] and Ruh [spirit of
consciousness] in it (affair) with the permission of their Rabb from every judgment / opinion.

‫س ََل ٌم ِه َي َحت َّ ٰى َم ْطلَ ِع ْالفَ ْج ِر‬


َ
5) It is peace [salam] until the emergence of the breakthrough [fajr].

EXEGESIS:

A very important significance is attached to this surah in the “Islamic theology” – This surah is
unjustifiably believed that it is about a single night of power or decree or blessed night of the
revelation of “Quran”, 114 chapters book. Thus confining or limiting its significant message to
only one event. The concept or belief of reverring any blessed night or special day is like
worshiping that event and it can also be termed as blasphemy. Attaching any importance to
personalities, things, time, dates and address is not the concept of the glorious “Quran”.
No surah is isolated in the Quran every surah is interconnected to a common theme and
a single goal. This surah too is one of the series of an important chain of the “Quran”.

It is the job of Gabriel / Jibrail to lodge or download (nazil) the unknown / unseen
understanding, which is not visible to the intellect (Qalb) - (2:97). Such unknown
knowledge is called ‫ب‬ ِ ‫( بِا ْلغَ ْي‬Bil-Gayab) in Islamic terminology (2:3). Algebra and Jibrail
have a common root word ‫ ر ج ب‬- The function of Algebra is to deduce or to find the
factor we generally recognize it as “x” factor and the function of Jibrail the Malaikah
(commanding faculty of mind) is also the same, that is to bring out the unknown
knowledge which is recognized as revelation (2:97-98) or wahi (7:3) in Arabic. Al-Jabr
also means reunion of broken parts.

In short this surah can be treated as an extension of 2:183 – 187 the verses of saum in
which the revelation of Quran occurred. The terms Saum – Ramadan – Nazil – Quran –
Lail- Hajj is overall related in the understanding of the phenomenon of ‫لَ ْيلَ ِة ا ْلقَد ِْر‬
(Lailathul-Qadr). And the beneficiaries of this amazing knowledge are those who
believe in the unseen and works on it, such people are called Mutaqi or “God
Conscious” / thoughtful in colloquial terms. Such people are called
successful (Muflihoon) in Quran because they followed the guidance of their
Rabb (2:1-5).

ْ ‫ لَ ْيلَ ِة‬Lailthul
The first three verses are describing the word or the Arabic term ‫القَ ْد ِر‬
Qadr or rather the entire surah is dedicated to it. The traditionalist term this vibrant
term as the night of decree whereas the real meaning of ‫ ْالق َ ْد ِر‬Al-Qadr is - to evaluate,
measure, compute, estimate (6:91), determine and to know some specific purpose.
The meaning of ‫ لَ ْيلَ ِة‬Lail is a period or a process or a phase when one is anxious or
uncertain about the outcome.

This Surah intends to educate us about the phase or process of anxiety (‫ – )لَيْلَ ِة‬This
moment can also be identified as the period of uncertainty. The surah does not discuss
about the ordinary anxiety, but a very valuable one (‫)الْقَ ْدر‬. Seeking new knowledge or
revelation, without any bouts of uneasiness and nervousness, cannot be considered as
of real worth. The idea of the new findings should provoke the seeker and this anxiety
does not allow the seeker to take rest and be calm. Such phase of uneasiness or
uncertainty is called Lailth in classical Arabic.

A researcher is the first one to initiate this mental journey and values it immensely.
The outcome of this valuable anxiety changes his destiny and the destiny of the entire
Mankind. This tough journey on the path of inquiry is actually termed as a pilgrimage
or Hajj, in its final stage. This pilgrimage is like a crusade against one’s own self . The
term LAITH is called as the period of anxiety and it is generally the period of
ignorance or dark phases of one’s life. When a pioneer is in the midst of search of
some important breakthrough (Fajr) and is in the dark about the outcome of his / her
hard work - a feeling creeps into one’s psyche. And that feeling of uncertainty is
called as anxiety, when the outcome is not known. This period / process of intense
anxiety or over thinking leads to severe uneasiness, and this condition is termed
as Lailth, which is a long tiresome journey or a mental crusade.

One of the meanings of Lail in classical Arabic also means robber or thief, as he is
uneasy during the search of valuables and is not sure about the outcome of his
venture. During the period of ‘laith’ a person is in search of unusual important things
hence he is restless until the emergence of a breakthrough or an opening or a way
out (Fajr) is achieved.

The beloved author has further explained Lailthul Qadr as a valuable / useful anxiety
or a better venture than the usual (Alfi) or familiar manifestations (Shahr). In this
process of intense thinking, the person is encouraged or consoled through the
Malaikah (a medium of authority embedded in mind) and Al-Ruh (air /spirit of
consciousness) for his efforts or attempts in undertaking this long deadly journey.

Please note that this phenomenon called Ruh is an important thing whose absence
makes one restless, lifeless, senseless and spiritless and whose presence makes things
lively, cheerful, sensible and active. When the person is involved in such mental
journeys or exercise he gets exhausted very quickly and needs the moral support and
consolation at every moment of his research, which he receives from the mechanisms
of Malaikah and Ruh. Spirit of consciousness or awareness is Ruh which keeps the
person alert, spirited, on the toes and satisfied with his decision or work.

This unusual phenomenon when colludes with one’s intellect, it is called revelation or
a breakthrough thinking. The phenomena of Malaikah and Ruh descend upon all those
who think unusually and this phenomenon is not easy to understand, unless someone
has experienced it. This happening is the main driving force for people who indulge
deeply in the field of thinking and research. Such people are restless souls who are
anxious until they find the solution or the breakthrough (Al-Fajr) to their dilemma.
These individual pioneers need moral support or acknowledgement from time to time,
so that the individuals can sense that his / her research is going in the right direction;
an authentication of their work is done by the Rabb through Ruh and Maliakah to help
out or ease the anxiety that the person is going through.

The researcher or an investigator needs some kind of authentication for their findings
on every step, without which he / she cannot move ahead in his / her thought process.
The assurance that his work is going on the right track is signaled by these intangible
forces. Once these individual pioneers, are sure that the journey of anxiety is on the
right track they are relieved or at peace [salam] until their idea sees the light of the
day [fajr] and its worthiness is measured (Al-Qadr) by all. The sense of relief
obtained because of the soothing communication that is received from their Rabb
makes them delighted. This momentous feeling of enlightenment is combined with
authority is termed as descending of Ruh and Malaikah on one’s efforts during the
undergoing task.

A mathematician gets mathematical expressions or formulas in the form of


revelations. Archimedes got the breakthrough while he was about to bathe in his
bathtub that was his fajr from the journey of anxiety (Lailth) towards
enlightenment (Nahr). A Music composer gets his musical notes through revelations
or a Poet gets his inspiration to write poetry through revelation. The revelation is the
breakthrough through which one becomes famous (Mashur one of the derivatives of
Shahr). This revelation changes the fortune (Taqdeer derivative of Qadr) and it
becomes the destiny (Muqadar) of the individual and the mankind at large. The
beloved author wants us to know the power of thinking in which the entire universal
energies conspire to fulfill our urge to know the unknown and the unique. Only those
people achieve it, who value (Qadr) it…If you value sports your muqaddar (destiny)
will be in sports. If you value science your muqaddar will be in science. Al-Qadr
depends upon what we value in life the most.

MEANINGS:

‫ = إِنَّا‬Indeed

ُ‫نز ْلنَاه‬
َ َ ‫ = أ‬We have revealed to its destination (Manzil one of the derivatives of Nazil),
descended, alighted, settled, downloaded, lodged - 1st person plural (form IV) perfect
verb – subject pronoun – 3rd person masculine singular object pronoun

‫ = ِفي‬In

‫ = لَ ْيلَ ِة‬The process or journey of searching for light or enlightenment, period of


darkness – Genitive feminine noun.

‫ = ْالقَ ْد ِر‬The value, measurement, determined, computed, proportion, estimation etc


(Qudrat, Qadir, Taqdeer, Muqadar, Miqdar are some of it derivatives).

ِ ‫ = أ َ ْل‬usual, habitually, frequented, familiar, etc.


‫ف‬
‫شهْر‬
َ = Manifestation, full moon because shining of full moon is a manifestation of
sun’s light hence becoming famous is manifestation of hard work (Mashoor, Shaurat,
Musheer are some of the derivatives). - genitive masculine indefinite noun

ُ‫ = ْال َم ََل ِئكَة‬The system of conveying the message with authority, Having power of
authority, dominance, A faculty firmly rooted in mind, possessor of command, owned
exclusively.

‫ = الرُّ و ُح‬Something that Cools or soothes, pleasant, spirited, lively, cheerful, wind,
blowing with mouth, relief, relieved, restore to him his right due, air of consciousness

‫ = أَمْ ر‬Command, order, consult, counsel, advice, opinion, injunction, judgment,


determination, mark, sign, set to show the way in difficult situations, errand (Amir,
Tamir are some of the derivatives) – consultation with mind in every affair- Genitive
masculine indefinite noun.

‫ = َر ِب ِِّهم‬Their Lord, Nourisher, Provider, Mind, Conscious etc

‫ = َم ْطلَ ِع‬Rise, appear, elevates, eminent, apparent, known, emergence, etc

‫س ََل ٌم‬
َ = Safety, security, relaxation, free, relax, free from imperfection
ِ َ‫ = ْالف‬The breakthrough, passage, channel, break open, open a way, dawn
‫جْر‬

‫ = بِ ِإ ْذ ِن‬With knowledge, Listens, desired eagerly, permission, leave, apprize, inform


etc

EXEGESIS ACCORDING TO THE INTERPRETATION:

The respected author is trying hard to explain the criterion that lead to the
revelation (Nazil). Lailth is a journey of anxiety which is termed as the uneasy period
or phase of ignorance. The surah is addressed to a single person or a group of
individuals. The uneasiness faced by the person going through this period is due to
lack of proper enlightenment on a certain subject. This anxiety or uneasiness remains
until one does not find a proper solution or does not achieve the
breakthrough (Fajr), which he / she are looking for. The breakthrough he/she is
looking for is not the usual or ordinary, but it has great value to it. Due to the constant
period of restlessness or anxiety to search for an answer to the long pending problem,
a word or expression - an authority of authentication is released from the system of
mind. This forces of authority (Malaikah) has the quality to overcome or control the
mind of a person by the virtue of which he is full of energy (Ruh) until the final
breakthrough (Fajr) is achieved.

Why this authentication or assurance from Malaikah and Ruh is necessary for a
person who is involved in research?

A pioneer researcher is always against all odds as he is constantly trying to do what


nobody has ever achieved or done before him. He or she is the pioneer in his/her
works, and it’s obvious that the general people will not accept his work because it is
ahead of his contemporaries’, unless it is proved by evidence or argument (Al-
Hajj). That’s why this surah is connected with the revelation of Al-
Quran and Saum.

EASIER EXPLANATION:

The essence of this surah is not easy to understand from the traditional point of view
but this is a common phenomena experienced by all thinking people.

The feminine marker at the end of the word Malaikah indicates a process or a
mechanism, which when activated turns confusion into the position of dominance or
authority and Ruh signifies energy, spirit or air of consciousness / awareness.

When the power of anxiety is at its peak, a valuable and precious phenomenon occurs.
In that period of anxiety one gets the solution to his research or dilemma or problem,
but this is not an ordinary solution, it’s a breakthrough which is beneficial to
everyone. The solution during this period of anxiety is better than the thousand
months of living in ignorance. It is the dawning of relief to the person until the
breakthrough sees the light of the day. This is how Al-Lailth is converted into Al-Fajr
or An-Nahr, that is period of anxiety into phase of enlightenment. That's why it is
considered as valuable anxiety ‫ لَ ْيلَ ِة الْقَ ْد ِر‬-

Invention of electricity is a breakthrough for entire mankind. It is an authority and


dominance over all other inventions in that field. The same thing could be said about
Al-Quran it was a breakthrough work in the field of psychology and character
building in the Arabic language. No other book was parallel to this magnificent book
of that era. It was a light, guidance and source of enlightenment to those
underprivileged nomadic tribes who were living a life of tremendous hardship and
fear.
The purpose of this surah is that, the solutions to all our problems can be solved by us
alone, provided we focus on our work. The universal energies will help us to find a
way to solve our problems. Malaikah does not come down from heaven; it is a deep
rooted faculty in our brain itself (EWL page # 3023) which gives us the power,
authority and control over our anxiety. The work of a Ruh is to keep us excited, agile,
alert and content with the knowledge of awareness or consciousness.

TRADITIONAL INTERPRETATION:

1) Indeed, we have sent it (this Quran) down in the night of the Decree.

2) And what will make you know what the Night of the Decree is?

3) The Night of the Decree is better than a thousand months.

4) Therein descend the Angels and the Ruh (Jibrael) by Allah's Permission with
all decrees,

5) (All night), there is peace until the rising of the dawn.

EXEGESIS ACCORDING TO TRADITIONALIST:

There are different versions about the meaning of Lailthul Qadr by the traditional
translators. Some says it is a Night of Power or Decree, others say it is Night of
Majesty or Dignity. The basic concept of these translators are same - that it is in this
night the first divine revelation brought by the Arch Angel Jibrael, to the honorable
messenger of Arabia at the cave Hira, in the month of Ramadan. Because of this event
the night became auspicious and those who are awake all night, busy in performing
prayers will have a reward of thousand months from their Lord.... Thus it is called
Night of Power, Decree, Dignity, Majesty etc.

If we follow the traditional interpretation of this great surah there is no lesson in it for
anyone. Only information is provided about the scenario, how the angels and Chief
Angel Jibrael descends down with the revelation of "Quran" and the whole night
becomes auspicious due to it, until the emergence of dawn.

MY POINT:

Again the timeless immemorial message of the "Quran" is confined to that particular
night only, by the enemies of this sacred book. The message of this surah is so
meaningful and deep but the enemies of the honorable messenger and the noble Quran
have made the entire message handicapped by confining it to that superficial event.
Sadly, they believe that one cannot understand the Quran without the help of crutches
made by “hadith compilers”. We have been conditioned to think that only with the
help of Hadith books we can understand or deduce the message of Quran. This is the
severe travesty with the evocative message of the "Quran" which is meant for
everyone and all times to come.

Al-Quran should act as a measuring instrument to check all the extra Quranic
material. The “Hadith” should not show light to the "Quran" but on the contrary the
traditionalists claim that Quran cannot be understood without referring to Hadith.
While Quran itself claims that it is easy to understand (54:17) and is clear. "Quran"
should be the measuring instrument to check the veracity of all other books on the
subject. The ulterior motive of the so called narratives of the prophet is to give
guidance to the "Quran" and misguide the followers of "Quran" from the divine
guidance. All these fabricated books were written after approximately 200 years of
the messenger’s or author’s demise and to take these books as a guide to understand
the “Quran is worse than blasphemy.

POINTS FROM THIS SURAH:

Every work either big or small creates an anxiety before its completion. However
every job does not excite you or in other words, does not give you a kick. This kick or
excitement is a sign of manifestation that the work or assignment that you have
undertaken is of your interest and is very dear to your heart. You don’t need an extra
motivation to do this job as the job itself urges you or commands you to complete it.
This extra motivation is provided by the Rabb by secreting Malaikah and Ruh to
authenticate your work and ease out the anxiety during the long mental journey of
finding the solution.

This job won’t let you sleep. It increases your excitement day by day and the result is
that eventually your level of anxiety also grows. This level of anxiety is not an
ordinary anxiety and it cannot be subdued unless the entrusted task gets completed.
The task is a prolonged one and for that continuous determination and excitement is
needed to fulfill that task. The task of soothing and consoling is done by the Malaikah
and Ruh by authenticating, consoling and giving energy to find the solution to the
bothering problem.

What makes a person to undertake this task? Who commands him / her to do such a
thankless job? – The job is entrusted upon him by his consciousness and it is his
consciousness that commands him, day and night, to complete it. And it is his
consciousness that will ease out his anxiety by acknowledging his work through the
secretion of Malaikah and Ruh in him. The pioneers have no master or guide over
them to authenticate or acknowledge their work; nevertheless he gets his energy or
acknowledgement of his work through the intangible feeling of delightedness through
Malaikah and Ruh. This is the signal from his Rabb to him that his investigation is on
the right track; this keeps him fastened towards his goal. Finally there is
Peace (Salam), after the attainment of the breakthrough (Fajr). Some call these
feelings as eureka moments.

Q: Are there any special nights in which we should spend our time in
superfluous prayers rather than sleep?

A: Contrary to popular practice and belief there are no 'special nights' with
special ceremonialist prayers. However, thinking, pondering or meditating with
sincerity in any dark hour of need is a sign of a Mutaqi or who is conscious about
the need of his/her environment.

Although “Al-Quran” mentions specific dark phases of anxiety in the life of any
person with the words 'Laithul Al-Qadr' and 'Laithin Mubaarakah' (44:1-7), it is
not an annual night for 'special prayers'. According to the Qur'an it is the period
of extreme anxiety during which the matter is cooked to its final stage
(Ramadan) and is manifested (shahr) in the form of revelation of the Qur'an
(Expression in our mother tongue). Thus this is the blessed anxiety (dark phase)
due to which the Quran or expression is revealed as the guidance and criterion
for agitated souls. Hence 'Surah Al-Qadr' is actually articulating and
acknowledging the status of the dark period as a blessed period and not
specifying an annual night of special prayers for granting boons.

The overwhelming influence of Hadith literatures over the Qur'an has seduced
us to misread the obvious essence of the Surah.