Imam Mahdi (A.S) in Chapter al-Qadr (Part 2)
A Night which repeats every year
It can be clearly understood from the verses of Surah al-Qadr4 that there is a night every year which is better and more valuable than a thousand months5. On this night, the angels along with their leader, the Spirit, come down and bring with them all the commands and destinies appointed by God for the coming year till the next night of Qadr.
The narrations explaining these verses and the beginning verses of Surah al-Dukhan as well as some other verses show that at the night of Qadr, angels bring the ordained decisions of that year to God’s vicegerent of the age and give them to him. This event has always occurred and will take place forever. At the time of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), angels descended to him. This fact is approved by all scholars. Another approved fact is that after the Prophet (PBUH) there continues to be the night of Qadr as it is clearly stated in Surah al-Qadr and Surat al-Dukhan that the night of Qadr occurs every year.
Rashid al-Din Meybudi, a famous Sunni scholar says: Some have said that the night of Qadr was for the time of Prophet and ended after him. However, this is not true, since all companions of the Prophet and all Muslim scholars believe that the night of Qadr will exist till the resurrection day.6
Shaykh Tabarsi has mentioned a narration from Abu Dharr Ghaffari as follows: I told the messenger of God: O Prophet! Does the night of Qadr and the descent of the
Angels therein happen only at the time of Prophets and ends after they are gone?
The Prophet (PBUH) said: “No, rather it continues until the judgement day.”7
Regarding this important issue, we have received a great number of narrations that explain and describe this Qur’anic subject. For example, in Al-Kafi Imam Sadiq (A.S) is quoted as saying: Imam Ali (A.S) used to often say that two of the companions were with the Prophet (PBUH) while he was reciting Surah al-Qadr and crying in a state of humbleness. Upon witnessing this, they asked, “Why are you so sensitive towards this surah?” He replied, “This sensitivity is due to what my eyes have seen and my soul has tasted and after me the soul of this man (pointing to Imam Ali) will taste.” Then they asked, “What did you see and what will he see?” In reply, the Prophet (PBUH) wrote on the ground, “In it the angels and the Spirit descend, by the leave of their Lord, with every command.” Then he said, “When God has said all the commands and destinies, will there be anything left [that I have not seen]? They would say: No.”8
The Master of the Night of Qadr
After understanding that the night of Qadr comes every year, we will then realize that the master of the night of Qadr also has to exist forever - as it has been said in the narrations9 since otherwise to whom would the angels descend? Near whom would they open the book of destinies? To whom would they give the commands by God's permission?
Based on the teachings of the Prophet (PBUH), the generative (takwini) guidance and guardianship (wilaayah) are in line with the legislative guidance and guardianship. Therefore, since the Holy Qur’an is applicable till the day of judgement and it is a proof of God (hujjah), then so is the master of the night of Qadr.
After the Prophet (PBUH), this position, i.e., the master of the night of Qadr, is assigned to the Prophet (PBUH)’s successors. Imam Ali (A.S) points out these two realties (occurrence of night of Qadr every year and existence of master of the night of Qadr in all ages) as follows:
The night of Qadr exists every year. All affairs of the year (destinies) are brought down that night. After the death of the Prophet (PBUH), still this night has masters…10
It is interesting that sometimes even the Sunni scholars have stated this fact explicitly - for instance, while explaining the Hadith of Thaqalayn. Hadith of Thaqalayn is a famous narration that has been narrated by hundreds of Shi‘ite and Sunni scholars and narrators and it is one of the most assured prophetic narrations and truths. The Prophet (PBUH) says that: Verily, I am leaving behind two precious things (thaqalayn) among you, you will not go astray if you get hold of both of them after I am gone, one part of it being more important than the other: the Book of God and my progeny.11
The Sunni scholars and researches have made several important remarks regarding this hadith. We will mention one of them as an example. Ibn Hajar Haytami Makki Shafi‘i, a famous narrator of hadiths and the author of many books such as Al-Sawa‘iq al- Muhriqah, says: From the narrations received from the Prophet that emphasize on getting hold of his progeny and obeying them, it can be understood that until the day of judgment there will always be a person from Prophet's progeny who is qualified for leadership and guidance, as the Qur’an is also a guide until the judgement. And this is why they are the cause for the safety of people on earth.12
Later we will discuss two important rules of the universe: wisatat dar fayd and ijmal-u tafsil dar khalq-u taqdir. But for now, we have to point out that the continuation of destinies and the continuation of existence of the one who receives the destinies is a certain fact and the continuation of existence of the one who receives the destinies is a certain fact and a divine law that will never change nor will it alter.13 These two intertwined issues have been and will be true.
Imam Javad (A.S) has taught about this fact and constant reality: God created the night of Qadr at the beginning of creation of the universe. He also created the first prophet and the first vicegerent at that night. The divine decision was made that every year there should be a night on which the details of affairs and destinies of that year would be sent down…
There is no doubt that prophets have had relations with the night of Qadr. After the prophets, the proofs (hujjah) of God shall exist as well, since the universe, from its beginning till its end, will never be without God’s proof. At the night of Qadr, God sends down the destinies and decisions to the person He has chosen (His vicegerent and proof).
By God, at the night of Qadr, the angels and the Spirit were brought down upon Adam and carried the destinies of the affairs to him. And indeed, Adam chose a successor for himself before his death. After Adam, divine commands and decision were sent down to all the prophets too and every prophet would entrust this position to his Successor.14
Although we only mentioned a part of this great hadith, there are some important points in it that are ought to be taken into consideration and be deeply examined. It is impossible to lack this knowledge and be able to understand the reality of the universe. This is what the Qur’an says about people who lack this knowledge:
يَعْلَمُونَ ظَاهِرًا مِّنَ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَهُمْ عَنِ الْآخِرَةِ هُمْ غَافِلُون
“They know just an outward aspect of the life of the world” (30:7).
Discovering features of different matters, metals and the chemical compounds, gaining some knowledge about the galaxies and inventing complicated machines and discovering new medicines are all parts of this outward aspect when compared to the reality of this world. Concerning the above hadith from Imam Javad (A.S), there are five points to be noted:
1. Necessity of order and measurements as the first thing that has been created from this universe is the night of Qadr, which is the time of regulating affairs and measurements.
2. Necessity of the performer of the orders, as we see that along with the orders the role of a performer has also been ordained.
3. Necessity of existence of a hujjah during the process. Hujjah is the performer of the orders by God’s permission and he is the vicegerent of God i.e. a prophet or successor of a previous prophet.
4. Necessity of wasiteye fayd (medium of grace) in inward relations of the universe, who is the vicegerent of God and his existence, is prior to others.
5. Necessity of nonstop continuation of divine laws (precedents) till the day of judgement.
Therefore, we realize that the night of Qadr has existed since the beginning of this universe. It has been said that knowledgeable people in the previous nations had also looked forward to the night of Qadr and had been aware of this night and its importance.15
By: Mohammad Reza Hakimi
4. The same is true about the beginning verses of Chapter Dukhan which will be cited later.
5. “Keeping awake, worshipping Allah and doing good deeds in this night, is better than doing the same in a thousand months in which there is no night of Qadr.” Majma‘ al-Bayan, vol. 10, p. 520. A thousand months is eighty three years and four months.
6. Kashf al-Asrar, vol. 10, p. 559.
7. Majma‘ al-Bayan, vol. 10, p. 518.
8. Usul al-Kafi Kitab al-Hujjah, bab fi sha’n Inna anzalna ho fi laylat al-qadr wa tafsiriha, Hadith no. 5
9. Ibid. Hadith no. 7
10. Ibid. Hadith no. 2.
11. ‘Abaqat al-Anwar, vol. on Hadith Thaqalayn.
12. Ibid. vol. 3, p. 151 and also: Sharaf al-Din, pp. 58-66.
13. Refer to the Qur’an: 17:77, 33:62, 35:43, 48:23.
14. Usul al-Kafi Kitab al-Hujjah, bab fi sha’n Inna anzalnho fi laylat al-qadr wa tafsiriha, Hadith no. 2.
15. Kashf al-Asrar, vol. 10, p. 559.
Reappearance of Imam Mahdi
Features of Imam Mahdi’s Government
Characteristics of Imam Mahdi’s Government