Imam Mahdi (A.S) in Chapter al-Qadr (Part 3)
The Qur’an and the Night of Qadr
Once someone asked Imam Sadiq (A.S) whether the night of Qadr has been only in the past [i.e. the age of the Prophet (PBUH)] or is there a night of Qadr every year? Imam (A.S) replied: “There would be no Qur’an if the night of Qadr was not to occur.”16
This statement of Imam Sadiq (A.S) refers to the ultimate reason for man's descent on earth. This universe was created for a man’s living place so that he would be tested. The perfect ones would be separated from the imperfect ones, the blessed ones from the others and then man would progress and try to approach God. Therefore, in order for this to happen, this universe has to exist.
In order for this universe to exist, wisdom, and measurements are needed and these are all related to the night of Qadr and the presence of God’s vicegerent. When all of these are in place, then the book of knowledge and practice i.e. the Qur’an is required. Therefore, the factor that makes this material universe remain is man’s progress towards perfection in relation with the book and the vicegerent of God. Hence, since removing the night of Qadr will lead to disarrangement of this universe, removing the night of Qadr will lead to removal of the Qur’an.
Therefore, as long as universe exists, there is the night of Qadr and as long as the night of Qadr occurs the Qur’an will exist. And as long as these two exist, the vicegerent of God who is the master of the night of Qadr and the carrier of Qur’an will exist too.
In a way, this response of Imam (A.S) explains the close relation of generative guidance and legislative guidance. In other words, it explains the direct relation of the silent proof of God i.e. the Qur’an to the talking proof of God, the Imam. This response is an explanation for the famous hadith of the Prophet (PBUH), the hadith of thaqalayn, which was previously mentioned. Most versions of the hadith include this sentence: These two (that I leave among you: the holy book and my progeny) shall not separate from each other till they come to me by the Pool (of Kawthar).
At this point, it is appropriate to point out another significant issue in relation of the knowledge of Imam to the night of Qadr on one hand, and to the holy Qur’an on the other. One needs to think about what is the relation of the holy Qur’an and its verses and words with the commands and destinies that are sent to Imam at the night of Qadr which he will then actualize. Understanding this relation is very important in understanding different aspects of the Qur’an, the potentials hidden in it, and the esoteric meanings of its verses. The verses of the Qur’an have true effects. Some of these effects have been pointed out in our narrations. All of these effects depend on this cognition and their actualization relies on the scientific researches on this issue.
To further confirm this fact we shall notice that the revelation of the Qur’an has been mentioned to have taken place on the night of Qadr. Furthermore, in Surat al-Qadr and al-Dukhan, the revelation of the Qur’an has been mentioned first and then the night of Qadr itself and its reality are expressed.
Imam Ali (A.S) and the night of Qadr
Imam Sadiq (A.S) is quoted as saying:
Once Imam Ali (A.S) was reciting Surat al-Qadr and his sons, Imam Hassan (A.S) and Imam Hussein (A.S) were near him. Imam Hussein (A.S) asked his father: “Father, how come we feel a different sensation when you recite this surah?” Imam Ali (A.S) replied, “O son of the Prophet and my son! I know things from this chapter that you are not aware of now. When this surah was sent down to the Prophet he asked me to go to him. When I went to him he recited this surah, then he put his hand on my right shoulder and said: O my brother and my successor! O the leader of my nation after me! O tireless fighter with my enemies! This surah is yours after me, and is for your two sons after you. Gabriel who is my brother among the angels informs me of the events of one year of my nation at the night of Qadr. And after me he will give this information to you. This surah will always have a shining light in your heart and in the heart of your successors until the rising of the dawn of the day of reappearance of Qa’im [the one who rises, one of Imam Mahdi (A.S)’s titles].”17
The Blessed Night
In addition to Surah al-Qadr, the night of Qadr has also been mentioned in Surah al-Dukhan. In the primary verses of this surah, issues such as the revelation of the Qur’an and the determination of all definitive matters have been pointed out:
إِنَّا أَنزَلْنَاهُ فِي لَيْلَةٍ مُّبَارَكَةٍ إِنَّا كُنَّا مُنذِرِينَ فِيهَا يُفْرَقُ كُلُّ أَمْرٍ حَكِيمٍ أَمْرًا مّنْ عِندِنَا إِنَّا كُنَّا مُرْسِلِين
Indeed, we sent it down on a blessed night, and indeed we have been warning [mankind]. Every definitive matter gets resolved in it, as an ordinance from us. Indeed, we have been sending [apostles]. (44:3-5)
These verses are about the night of Qadr, the night of destinies and blessings, the revelation of the Qur’an and the descent of the angels. Here the Qur’an has used the present tense when saying that the matters get resolved, which shows the continuation of this process and that this always happens on the night of Qadr.
The process of regulating affairs for a period takes place at two levels. First, everything has to be generally specified and second, further details should be determined while executing the process for which the plan had been prepared. For example, you first specify your programs, costs, and duties for a year. Then, during that year you will act regularly and carefully according to that planned program. This fact which is a necessity for having order and regulations and is related to matters getting resolved has been mentioned in a narration from Imam Sadiq (A.S): God has said: 'Every definitive matter gets resolved at this night, since how can a matter be definitive if it has not been resolved?'18
Therefore, regular and orderly progress of different matters in the universe with all its complexity, components, parts, and laws is possible because everything is first carefully regulated and wisely measured, and then it is actualized by means of the vicegerent of God on Earth who is the operant and the supervisor of all affairs. This is how these verses indicate the continuation of presence of the vicegerent of God on Earth.
At present, the vicegerent of God on Earth is Imam Mahdi (A.S). He is the master of the night of Qadr and the angels and the Spirit descend to him on the night of Qadr. It has been said in a narration that: On the night of Qadr, people are in the state of praying and asking for their needs from God, and the master of this night is attending the angels that have descended towards him.
They take the ordained affairs and commands and the cases of next year’s events to him.19
By: Mohammad Reza Hakimi
16. Nur al-Thaqalayn, vol. 5, p. 621.
17. Tafsir “al-Burhan”, vol. 4, p. 487.
18. Al-Burhan, vol. 4, p. 487.
19. Nur al-Thaqalayn, vol. 5, p. 641.
Why is Imam Mahdi (A.J) also known as BaqiyatAllah?
The Connection between Imam Mahdi (A.S) and Imam Hussein (A.S)
The Messianic Leader, Mahdi, in Other Religions