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Assam Riot: A report after visiting the relief camps

I was part of a five member team who visited the riot hit districts in Assam. Our intention was was to see by our own eyes the sufferings of the destitute people in the riot hit districts. Hundreds of thousands of Muslims have lost their homes. The plight of these people in the relief camps, the burnings in the riot hit areas, the Muslim gullies (streets) charred under the sectarian violence organized by the Bodo extremists, Assam is a unique land of sufferings today.
Communalism is the real reason behind the recent riots. Some of the media and the racist organizations are trying to brand these riots as a by-product of infiltration from Bangladesh. 

The riot was widely spread in four districts where Bodo tribal groups have influence and upper hand in all affairs. These areas are, sort of, controlled by Bodo liberalization tiger’s force. They are demanding self rule in these lands. They want to expel all except Bodos from these lands. Bodos claim that Muslims are not Assamese. According to them Muslims are infiltrates from the West Bengal and Bangladesh. So they demand the Muslims to leave the Bodo lands. According to them, Muslims do not have place in Bodo land. Where as this claim do not have any historical backing. Muslims are in Assam since 13th century. In 19th century British rulers brought Muslim workers from Bengal to the factories in Assam. The Muslims in Assam are the successors of these earlier Muslims. These Muslims have their root in this land for more than 150 years. These facts can be substantiated with historic proofs.

Kroknjan, Chirank, Udal Kuri and Bongaygav are the places where riot was hit in a very serious nature. The riot was spread like a fire on 19th of July. A communal turned murder was the root cause behind the start of the riot. It is the Muslims who lost everything due to the riot. In Assam 3,50,000 Muslims are driven out of their home today! Unofficial estimates are around 500,000. Today they stay in relief camps and refugee homes. It caused us great pain to see their situation in this holy month of Ramadan, without even getting food for breaking their fast!

Muslims are staying in around 250 camps. Most of these camps are Madrasas or Schools. None of these camps, where up to 4000 refugees are accommodated, have enough basic facilities. Food and dress are not available. While they ran to save their lives, they were not able to take medicines or dresses along with them. The camps do not have even basic medicines. Thousands are sharing one or two toilets in the camps! Central government has announced an emergency relief fund of 300crore. Only after this announcement the supplies of essential food supply to the camp were started.

We started to Assam as per the request from the members of Islahi movement. Even the rescue workers cannot guarantee a safe reach to the refugee camps. Even media persons can not access many places. We reached the camp with the help of a police escort vehicle. We went in a lorry loaded with food, dresses and other essential commodities. Our lorry got stoned while we passed through the Bodo controlled areas. However we reached the destination with the help of police. What we saw in the camp were lots of people forced to lead a hell like life. The plight of people who are fighting with diseases and sufferings can not be described.

The local police and authorities are cooperating well with the relief activities. When we told that we came from Kerala to visit the camp and to distribute essential commodities they offered all their support. They provided us with escort vehicles to lead us to relief camps.

We met with officials like Assam DGP Mr. J.N Choudhary, ADGP Mr. Chandranathan, Deputy Commissionar of Bhongaigav Mr. S.P Nandi and SP Mr. Nithul Gogoy. We also visited a Bodo refugee camp in Kajalgav School in Chirang. They have moved to the camp because of their proximity to a Muslim area and a potential retaliation from there.

Media is trying to project riot and ruthless killing by Bodo activists as an infiltration issue from Bangladesh. They are not trying to visit and report the sufferings in the camps to the outside world. The national media are not ready to analyse actual facts on Bangladesh infiltration or to expose the false claims of the Bodo extremists. The promoters of Hindutwa are also actively trying to utilize the situation in their favour.

The only lasting solution to the problem is the active involvement of the ruling authorities.
1.      The ongoing relief activities should be accelerated.
2.      Both central and state government should involve in the subject proactively.
3.      The Bodo land territory should be dissolved.
4.      The violators should be brought to the law immediately.
5.      All efforts should be made to safely repatriate the Muslim refugees back to their homes.

We can also do our part in support of the Muslim refugees in Assam.

1.      We can support and involve in the relief activities wholeheartedly.
2.      We can try to reach out and support the believers who are suffering without food, water and medicines.
3.      While we are planning to celebrate Eid, let us try to arrange at least one pair of dresses to the Assam refugees suffering without spare dresses in the relief camps.
4.      We can be a frontline fighter in the team efforts to give back normal life to the Assam Muslim Brothers, who are stranded.
5.      We can pray to Allah to protect the believers from further attacks.

Note: This is an independent approximate translation of the article by Dr. Hussain Madavoor in the Malayalam daily “Chandrika” dated 15th August 2012. 

Laylat-ul-Qadr - The Night Prayers

Ibn Umar (Radi Allahu anhu) said:

The Allah's Messenger (SalAllahu alaihi wasallam) said, "A woman was punished in Hell because of a cat which she had confined until it died. She did not give it to eat or to drink when it was confined, nor did she free it so that it might eat the vermin of the earth."

Al-Bukhari & Muslim
As taken from Riyad-us-Saliheen

How to Seek Laylat-ul-Qadr

Adapted from "The Night Prayers: Qiyam & Tarawih
From works by Muhammad Nasir-ud-Deen al-Albani (and other scholars)"
Compiled by Muhammad al-Jibali, 1997 QSS
Reprinted from

Laylat ul-Qadr is the most blessed night. A person who misses it has indeed missed a great amount of good. If a believing person is zealous to obey his Lord and increase the good deeds in his record, he should strive to encounter this night and to pass it in worship and obedience. If this is facilitated for him, all of his previous sins will be forgiven.
Praying Qiyaam
It is recommended to make a long Qiyaam prayer during the nights on which Laylat ul-Qadr could fall. This is indicated in many hadeeths, such as the following:
Abu Tharr (radhiallahu `anhu) relates:
"We fasted with Allah's Messenger (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) in Ramadaan. He did not lead us (in qiyaam) at all until there were seven (nights of Ramadaan) left. Then he stood with us (that night - in prayer) until one third of the night had passed. He did not pray with us on the sixth. On the fifth night, he prayed with us until half of the night had passed. So we said, 'Allah's Messenger! Wouldn't you pray with us the whole night?' He replied:
'Whoever stands in prayer with the imaam until he (the imaam) concludes the prayer, it is recorded for him that he prayed the whole night.'…" [Recorded by Ibn Abi Shaybah, Abu Dawud, at-Tirmithi (who authenticated it), an-Nasa'i, Ibn Majah, at-Tahawi (in Sharhu Ma`an il-Athar, Ibn Nasr, al-Faryabi, and al-Bayhaqi. Their isnad is authentic.]
[Point of benefit: Abu Dawud mentioned: "I heard Ahmad being asked, 'Do you like for a man to pray with the people or by himself during Ramadan?' He replied, 'Pray with the people.' I also heard him say, 'I would prefer for one to pray (qiyaam) with the imaam and to pray witr with him as well, for the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) said:"When a man prays with the imaam until he concludes, it is recorded that he prayed the rest of that night." ]
Abu Hurayrah (radhiallahu `anhu) narrated that the Messenger (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) said:
"Whoever stands (in qiyaam) in Laylat ul-Qadr [and it is facilitated for him] out of faith and expectation (of Allah's reward), will have all of his previous sins forgiven." [Al-Bukhari and Muslim; the addition "and it is facilitated for him" is recorded by Ahmad from the report of `Ubaadah Bin as-Samit; it means that he is permitted to be among the sincere worshippers during that blessed night.]
Making Supplications
It is also recommended to make extensive supplication on this night. `A'ishah (radhiallahu `anha) reported that she asked Allah's Messenger (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam), "O Messenger of Allah! If I knew which night is Laylat ul-Qadr, what should I say during it?" And he instructed her to say:
"Allahumma innaka `afuwwun tuh.ibbul `afwa fa`fu `annee - O Allah! You are forgiving, and you love forgiveness. So forgive me." [Recorded by Ahmad, Ibn Majah, and at-Tirmithi. Verified to be authentic by Al-Albani]
Abandoning Worldly Pleasures for the Sake of Worship
It is further recommended to spend more time in worship during the nights on which Laylat ul-Qadr is likely to be. This calls for abandoning many worldly pleasures in order to secure the time and thoughts solely for worshipping Allah.
`A'ishah (radhiallahu `anha) reported:
"When the (last) ten started, the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) would tighten his izaar (i.e. he stayed away from his wives in order to have more time for worship), spend the whole night awake (in prayer), and wake up his family." [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
And she said:
"Allah's Messenger (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) used to exert more (in worship) on the last ten than on other nights." [Muslim]

Laylat ul-Qadr: Peace Until Fajr

In each of the daily prayers we offer, we solemnly declare to Allah, “Iyyaka na’budu”(You alone do we worship). While the intelligent and committed believer realizes that his very lifestyle spells worship, he knows, remembering the words of our Prophet (pbuh) that “Du’aa’ (supplication) is worship” [Tirmidhi, Abu Daud]
Allah, the Most Merciful, has encouraged the believers to take advantage of certain times during the year to make du’aa’. Such an occasion presents itself annually during Ramadan — especially on the Lailat-ul-Qadr, the Night of Power. On this night, the single most important event in human history unfolded as, after the Glorious Quran was preserved in the Protected Tablet, Jibril descended with the blessed book to reveal it, upon Allah’s command, to His Messenger (pbuh).
Accentuating its significance, Allah says “And how would you know (the value of the) Night of Qadr." [97:2] So valuable is this Night of Qadr that the Quran devotes a special surah to it. “Lailatul Qadr is better than a thousand months” [97:3] This one night surpasses the value of 30,000 nights.
The most authentic account of the occurrence of the Night indicates that it can occur on any one of the last ten, odd numbered nights of Ramadan. The fact that the exact night is unknown reflects Allah’s will in keeping it hidden. Indeed, the Prophet (pbuh) was prevented from telling us its precise time. One day, he came out to tell the companions the exact night. On the way he saw two men arguing with each other. By the will of Allah, he (pbuh) forgot and subsequently remembered it. Afterwards the Prophet (pbuh) was instructed not to divulge this information. “Had I been allowed,” he (pbuh) remarked once, “I would have told you (of its exact time).” [Ahmad]
The Almighty in His wisdom kept this hidden from us for many reasons. Perhaps He wants us to strive hard in our worship during the last ten days of Ramadan so that we don’t become lazy, worshipping hard on just that one night and denying ourselves the benefit of doing the same on the other nights. “Had people not left their salah except for that (one) night, I would have informed you (of its exact date).” [Al-Tabarani]
The sincere believer who worries day and night about his sins and phases of neglect in his life patiently awaits the onset of Ramadan. During it he hopes to be forgiven by Allah for past sins, knowing that the Prophet (pbuh) promised that all who bear down during the last ten days shall have all their sins forgiven. To achieve this, he remembers the Prophet’s (pbuh) advice in different sayings wherein he used words like “seek”, “pursue”, “search”, and “look hard” for Lailat-ul-Qadr. Moreover, Allah and His Prophet (pbuh) provided us some signs of its occurrence. Allah (swt) describes the night as “..peace until the rise of the morn.” [97:5] In various sayings, the Prophet (pbuh) described the night as serene, tranquil, and peaceful. The sun at sunrise would appear reddish and without its normal blazing and sharp rays. The Prophet (pbuh) added that “the angels on earth on that night of Qadr will be more numerous than all the pebbles of the earth.”
What should one do during the last ten days in pursuit of Lailat-u- Qadr? The devoted servant of Allah makes these nights alive with prayer, reading and reflecting on Quran. He makes du’aa’ to Allah, penitently beseeching Him for His forgivness. He is inspired by the Prophet’s (pbuh) words “Our Lord, most Exalted, Most high comes down to the lowest heaven during the last third of each night and announces (reassuringly): Whoever makes du’aa’, I shall answer it. Whoever asks (for something halal) I shall grant it; and whoever seeks forgiveness, I shall forgive him.” [Bukhari] The believers, conscious of Allah and their sins, will continue to beseech Allah, in and out of prayer, during their prostrations. For a time, the only concern will be cleansing oneself of the forgetfulness that this life propagates in one’s heart, the sins that accumulate, darkening the heart, making it insensitive to disobeying Allah. The believer begs Allah to keep him away from misfortunes in this world, the punishment of the grave, and the torment of Hell. He asks Allah to make him patient and steadfast in struggling to maintain his Islam in this world and asks Him to overlook his shortcomings, periods of laziness and neglect.
Sincere devotion on that night will render the believer forgtful of the time, until he is surprised by the Adhaan of Fajr. After Fajr, as the sun creeps above the horizon, reddish and weak in its appearance, without any rays, the effort at night will have been worthwhile. The believer rejoices, knowing that this was quite possibly Lailat-ul-Qadr and “whoever stays up (in prayer and remembrance of Allah) on the Night of Qadr fully believing (in Allah’s promise of reward for that night) and hoping to seek reward (from Allah alone and not from people), he shall be forgiven for his past sins.” [Bukhari, Muslim]

Laylat al-Qadr: The Night of Power

Let's analyze the significance of Laylat al-Qadr with commentary, (tafseer) on chapter 97 of Al-Qur'an, Al-Qadr (the Night of Power).


This chapter (surah) was revealed in Makkah, and its basic theme is honoring the revelation of this blessed book, the Holy Qur`an. The Night of Power or honor is a special gift only to the community (Ummah) of Islam. The night is one which even the angels in the heavens see as worthy of witnessing. The night is so rich with holiness, as the night when good deeds are returned, and is equal to a thousand months in the sight of Allah.

Occasion Of Revelation

In a report by Abi Hatim and Al-Wahidi, by way of Mujahid, the Messenger (saas) mentioned that there was a man among the Israelites who devoted his life to the cause of Allah for a thousand months. The companions were amazed and impressed, but were saddened because they knew there would be no way that they could reach this status of devotion. So Allah (SWT) revealed this surah to inform them that He had just blessed this Ummah with the Night of Honor, which is equal to a thousand months.
"We have indeed revealed it, (Al-Qur`an) in the Night of Power." (Al-Qur`an 97:1)
There are several points pertaining to the meaning of this verse:
The meaning and the use of the pronoun "We" is a style in Al-Qur`an that when the Creator (SWT) is mentioned as a pronoun, He is referred to by "We" or "I," as is evidenced in this surah. Elsewhere He said, "Behold, thy Lord said to the angels: `I will create a vicegerent..." (Al-Qur`an, 2:30). There is no problem when Allah uses the pronoun "I" to refer to His Exalted Self, but when he uses "We" the explanation becomes warranted because it cannot be perceived to indicate plural. There is unanimity among the scholars that "We" indicates respect and exaltation for the Creator and Cherisher of all the worlds, whose greatness is incomprehensibly vast and beyond our imagination.
Or, it is referring to Allah (SWT) and the angels who carry out his words to one all, in every level of His dominion. It cannot mean plural, or more than One Allah, for that would necessitate dropping in ranks, the absoluteness, and the powers of each competing deity. If each is capable of being absolute, each would have been independent from the other and the idea that each deity can be independent from the other, is evidence that none is absolute. This is inconceivable of Allah (SWT) therefore, "We" cannot mean anything but respect and exaltation of the One and Only.
"...Have Indeed Revealed It In the Night of Power" (Al-Qur`an 97:1)
There is again unanimity among the commentators that "it" refers to Al-Qur'an, meaning "We revealed" Al-Qur'an in the Night of Power. He (SWT) did not mention Al-Qur'an explicitly because to refer to Al-Qur'an by the pronoun implies a certain divine uniqueness of this book, as well as greatness and honor that may not be attained if the word Al-Qur'an was used instead. First, it ascribed the revelation of Al-Qur'an to Himself, and not to anyone else. Second, referring to Al-Qur'an by pronoun is an indication that the revelation of this book was not a secret that no one knew about. Its revelation was an event widely known to all during the time of Muhammad (saas) and after, guarding against anyone who may like to challenge it or claim any honor of teaching Muhammad (saas) Al-Qur'an. Third, the statement also meant to honor and memorialize the time period in which Al-Qur'an was revealed.
By revealing Al-Qur'an in the Night of Power, Allah (SWT) inaugurated or started its revelation for the beginning of the prophethood ('Bi'ethah), and the Prophet's mission of Al-Islam began in the month of Ramadan on that Night. Al-Qur'an was not revealed in one night; it was revealed over the course of 23 years. Ibn Abbas (raa) said: The whole Qur'an was revealed to the lower heavens from the protective slate (Lawhul Mahfuz) on the Night of Power, then from there to the earth in the course of 23 years.
The word power, Al-Qadr, has several implications and meaning, but we cover only those implications which are relevant to the issues here.
Qadr implies having power over something, as in the case of the Creator over the creation. Allah's (SWT) excellence is Al-Qadr, capable, omnipotent, almighty, all powerful. It also implies excellence and high esteem, and as for this Night of Power, it is highly esteemed and regarded. For this night is equal to over 80 years in the sight of Allah (SWT).
It also implies to maintain, appoint, assign or decree an order. Thus, in the Night of Power, Allah (SWT) proclaims to the angels His commands and orders in regards to the affairs of the universe. From this meaning is derived the concept of Al-Qada Wa Qadar, the fifth article of faith, that Allah has decreed or preordained or, in other words, has full knowledge of all that the human being will do with his free will. A man's decision to act freely in good conscience or bad conscience is all known to Allah (SWT), past, present and future.
Qadr also implies measurement, that is all the events of the year will occur in accordance to the exact measurement of what is in the knowledge of Allah, Who states: "Verily, all things have We created in proportion and measure." (Al-Qur`an, 54:49)

Why the name, the Night of Power?

As mentioned above, it is the night of Taqdeer, meaning the one in which Allah (SWT) announces to the angels His already decreed commands, rules, events, etc., for the coming calendar year, from the present Night of Power to the next Night of Power. Allah (SWT) states:
"We sent it down during a blessed night; We forever wish to warn (against evil). In that (night) is made distinct every affair of wisdom." (Al-Qur`an, 44:3-4)
It should be known that most scholars believe Allah's commands and rules are not made on that night. It has already been decreed in the eternity what is known to Allah, but that knowledge is not known to anyone, including the angels, until He announces it to the angels on that night so that they will record it on the protective slate.
This is also the night of honor and prestige which may be awarded to the servant who devotes himself to special deeds, or to the deeds themselves for the higher value they contain on that night.

The Night Is Concealed

Allah (SWT) in His mercy, has concealed the Night of Power from us for the following reasons: The problems pertaining to an exact night on which the honors are attained are not unique with this Night. It seems that Allah conceals many things. He conceals his pleasure from us in all our good deeds so that we will strive in all of them. He conceals His wrath from us in all of the sins we commit so that we will avoid them. He conceals His most beloved servants ('awliya) so that we will respect all the believers. He has concealed the time of His acceptance of our supplications so that we will strive in all our supplications. He concealed his greatest name, so that we mention all His names. He has concealed the time of death so that we will be conscious of Him and our deeds all the time.
He has concealed the exact date of the Night of Power so that we would double our the efforts in the whole month of Ramadan, or at least the last ten days. He has concealed it also to test the serious and the non-serious. The seriously interested person will search for the night late and in the early hours until he or she attains it, regardless of the hardship.

Where Is The Night?

The majority of the scholars who agreed that the night occurs in the month of Ramadan, disagreed on the exact night. Some said it comes on the first day of Ramadan. Others said it is on the seventh; while others say its on the 19th night. All these opinions are not built on sound proof. There is evidence that the night comes on the last ten days of Ramadan, specifically on the odd numbered nights. In a report by Bukhari, the Messenger of Allah (saas) said: "Seek it on the odd nights of the last ten days of Ramadan."
In a hadith by Ibn Umar (raa), some men among the companions saw the night in a dream occurring in the last seven nights. Responding to this, the Messenger of Allah (saas) told them, "I see your dreams coincide on the last seven, whoever wants to seek it should do so in the last seven." (Agreed upon)
In Muslim's report, the Prophet (saas) said, "Seek the night in the last ten days, and if any of you is weak, or can't observe it, he should not miss the remaining seven days." In Hadith by Ubayy bin Ka'ab (raa), he said: "By Allah, I know which night it is. It is the night the Messenger commanded us to observe, the night of the 27th." (Ahmed/Tirmidhi)
Analyzing all these citations indicates still no one knows for sure which night is the Night of Power, at least in a given year. It seems that the night shifts and rotates to different nights from one year to another. It may occur on the 27th in one year, while the next year it will be on the 25th, while on the following year it will be occurring on the 29th, etc. There is an indication to this in hadith by Bukhari, when the Messenger of Allah (saas) states: "Seek it on the twenty-ninth; it may be on the twenty-seventh, or on the twenty-fifth." Imam Ibn Hajr, in his book, "Fathul Bari", in the commentary of the Book of Bukhari, said: ``I accept the ruling that the night occurs on the odd nights of the last ten days of Ramadan, namely the twenty-first, twenty-third, twenty-fifth, twenty-seventh and or twenty-ninth.''

Seeking The Night

It is recommended to seek the night and spend it diligently in devotion, including night Sunnah prayers (Tahajjud), recitation of Al-Qur'an and supplications. In a hadith related by Abu Hurairah (raa), the Messenger of Allah (saas) said: "He who spends the night in prayer on the Night of Power, as a sign of His faith, and seeking rewards from Allah, his previous sins will be forgiven." (Bukhari/Muslim) This citation indicates that regardless of whether a person knows the night or not, Allah will grant him forgiveness for previous shortcomings.
" And what will explain to thee what the Night of Power is?; The Night of Power is better than a thousand months." (Al-Qur`an 97:2-3)
Allah (SWT) is emphasizing by putting the second verse in question form. The answer being no one knows, or comprehends, the awesomeness and the depth of honor of the night. As if to say whatever merits Allah informs you about the night is just nothing compared to the things you have no idea about. Nonetheless, He mentions three honors in the credit of the night: 1."The Night is better than a thousand months. 2. "Therein, come down the angels..." and 3. "Peace!"
The Night of Power is better than a thousand months. This indicates that acts of worship such as prayer, charity, and recitation done on this night are better in reward than the same act done on other nights. The rewards (thawaab) are being multiplied several-fold.
Imam Malik reported that the Messenger of Allah (saas) was shown the long life span of people of previous nations, so the Prophet bemoaned the shortness of the life span of the Ummah, fearing that they might not be able to save many good deeds for the Hereafter. Therefore, Allah gave him the Night of Power to compensate for their lack of longevity. Hence, the devoted believer has as chance of adding 80 something years of worship to his life on the Night of Power. You see, for instance, if you worship Allah on this night every year for 65 years, by multiplying 65 by 80, you would have lived for 5,200 years, or achieved the reward of a person who lived that long.
You can see why the devotions were highly encouraged by the Prophet. Indeed, you can achieve the honor of the Night of Power if you so wish by spending the odd nights of the last ten days in acts of worship.
"Therein, come down the angels and the Spirit by Allah's permission, on every errand." (Al-Qur`an 97:4)
This is far from the earlier cry of the angels who, when Allah told them, "...I will create a vicegerent on earth," they said, "Will you place therein one who will make mischief therein and shed blood?..." (Al-Qur`an, 2:30)
You see, when the angels first looked at our spirit with its traits of mischief, vanity and desires, and the rages of anger, they, the embodiment of all that is good, did not like us at all. That explains their response in the above verse. So is the case with parents, when they first conceptualize the shape of the offspring, semen and congealed blood; they do not like it. They will even wash their hands, clothes and everything that this substance touches, a gruesome thing. They may even think about aborting the baby in the beginning.
But after the baby is being fashioned in the most beautiful shape and they feel the movement of life, they change from dislike to caring love.
That is seemingly what happened to the angels. When they saw in us this beautiful spirit of knowing the Creator, and worshipping Allah alone, they changed from dislike to complete love, and cannot wait for another Night of Power to come down so they can pray for us. Allah states: "...And they implore forgiveness for those who believe..." (Al-Qur`an, 40:7)
He used the form (tanazzal) "They come", to indicate that the angels descend on the Night of Power, group after group; some coming down to earth while others ascend into the heaven. This heavenly, angelic organized traffic of good will continues until the break of dawn.
As for the reasons why they come, there are several explanations including: (1) they descend to witness how we worship and obey Allah, and (2) to show their deep love for the believers. This is why they seek permission from Allah to come and meet us. This is a once-a-year opportunity they do not like to miss. (3) Allah promised the believers that in the hereafter, angels will approach on them with greetings: "...And the angels shall enter into them from every gate (with the salutation): Peace be unto you for that you persevered in patience..." (Al-Qur`an, 13:23-24)
Now, if you preoccupy yourself with worship of Allah, the angels will descend on you with salutations. (4) Allah (SWT) singles out this night with honors on the earth so the angels can come down and increase their rewards, and as a means to encourage the human race to worship. (5) Realization that the angels are around is encouragement for the servants to devote more time to good deeds as a man will work harder when a foreman is present.
"...And the Spirit..." (Al-Qur`an 97:4)
There are several explanations for the meaning of the Spirit: (1) The Spirit is comprised of groups of special angels who are seen only on the Night of Power; (2) it is referring to Al-Qur`an, as Allah (SWT) stated: "And thus have We, by Our command sent inspiration (spirit) to thee..." (Al-Qur`an 42:52), (3) This is a reference to Angel Jibreel, as this is a special honor to Jibreel who has been mentioned twice Surah 42 first with another angel, and separately as the spirit of Allah (SWT) as the Qur`an says: "Verily this is a revelation from the Lord of the Worlds. With it came down the spirit of faith and truth." (Al-Qur`an, 26:192-193) Thus the correct explanation of the spirit, Ruuh, is Jibreel in this verse to indicate the angels on one side and Jibreel on the other, while they were descending.
"...By Allah`s permission..."
This indicates the angels extend a request to come to meet the believers; and to underscore the fact that angels are infallible; that they do not make a move without explicit permission from their Lord. Allah (SWT) states: "They speak not before He speaks, and they act (in all things) by His command." (Al-Qur`an, 21:27) "(The angels say) We descend not but by command of thy Lord..." (Al-Qur`an 19:64)
"(Their) Lord." It indicates honor for the angels. It is as if Allah (SWT) is saying ``They are for Me and I am for them''. Similarly, Allah (SWT) said regarding us: "Verily your Lord is Allah Who created the heavens and the earth in six days..." (Al-Qur`an, 10:3)And regarding Prophet Muhammad (saas) Allah said: "Behold, your Lord said to the angels..." (Al-Qur'an, 2:30)
It has been reported that when Prophet David was terminally ill, he asked Allah to be for his son Solomon, as He was for him. Allah (SWT) replied, saying: "Tell Solomon to be for Me as you are for Me. (Al-Qur`an 2:30)
"...On every errand..."
This indicates the angels and the Spirit descend for different purposes: some come down for prostration, some for bowing, and others for supplications for the believers and salutations. Or they come down carrying with them the proclamations of the coming year.
"Peace!..." (Al-Qur`an 97:5)
There are several explanations to this verse: (1) The whole Night of Power, from sunset to the break of dawn, will be spent by the angeles in salutation. (2) The purpose is to describe the night with peace because of the salutation from the angels. That is very important, because when seven angels visited Prophet Ibrahim (saas) and saluted him, he was very happy, and when Nimrod threw him in the fire, it turned ice-cold when the angels saluted him. (3) This is a wish of safety and peace from all evil and harmful things, or the angels will only bring on this night, good things!
"...Until the rise of morn." (Al-Qur`an 97:5)
All the honor, blessings and peace of the Night of Power will continue in every second of the night until Fajr. Allah (SWT) is the Best Knower.

When the Night Equals a Thousand

It was narrated that in the days that Musa (alayhis-salaam) wandered with Bani Israa'eel in the desert an intense drought befell them. Together, they raised their hands towards the heavens praying for the blessed rain to come. Then, to the astonishment of Musa (alayhis-salaam) and all those watching, the few scattered clouds that were in the sky vanished, the heat poured down, and the drought intensified.
It was revealed to Musa that there was a sinner amongst the tribe of Bani Israa'eel who had disobeyed Allah (Subhanahu wa ta'ala) for more than forty years of his life. "Let him separate himself from the congregation," Allah (Subhanahu wa ta'ala) told Musa (alayhis-salaam). "Only then shall I shower you all with rain." Musa (alayhis-salaam) then called out to the throngs of humanity, "There is a person amongst us who has disobeyed Allah for forty years. Let him separate himself from the congregation and only then shall we be rescued from the drought." That man, waited, looking left and right, hoping that someone else would step forward, but no one did. Sweat poured forth from his brow and he knew that he was the one.
The man knew that if he stayed amongst the congregation all would die of thirst and that if he stepped forward he would be humiliated for all eternity.
He raised his hands with a sincerity he had never known before, with a humility he had never tasted, and as tears poured down on both cheeks he said: "O Allah, have mercy on me! O Allah, hide my sins! O Allah, forgive me!" As Musa (alayhis-salaam) and the people of Bani Israa'eel awaited for the sinner to step forward, the clouds hugged the sky and the rain poured. Musa (alayhis-salaam) asked Allah (Subhanahu wa ta'ala), "O Allah, you blessed us with rain even though the sinner did not come forward." And Allah (Subhanahu wa ta'ala) replied, "O Musa, it is for the repentance of that very person that I blessed all of Bani Israa'eel with water." Musa (alayhis-salaam), wanting to know who this blessed man was, asked, "Show him to me O Allah!" Allah (Subhanahu wa ta'ala) replied, "O Musa, I hid his sins for forty years, do you think that after his repentance I shall expose him?"
Allah (Subhanahu wa ta'ala) revealed the Qur'an in the most blessed month; the month of Ramadan, the month in which the Qur'an was sent down.
On the most blessed night, the Grand night: Laylatul Qadr; "Verily, we revealed the Qur'an on the night of Qadr."
Ibn Jareer narrates, on the authority of Mujaahid that there was a man from Bani Israa'eel who used to spend the night in prayer. Then in the morning he would fight the enemy in the Way of Allah during the day, until the evening and he did this for a thousand months.
And so Allah revealed the Surah: "Verily, We sent it down in the night of Al-Qadr" until the verse "The night of Al-Qadr is better than a thousand months." That is, standing in prayer on that night is better than the actions of that man.
Sufyaan ath-Thawree reports, on the authority of Mujaahid (also), that the night of Al-Qadr being better than a thousand months means that the good deeds performed on it, fasting on it, and standing in prayer on it are better than a thousand months' good deeds, prayers and fasting. (Narrated by Ibn Jareer)
It is reported from Abu Hurairah that he said: "When the month of Ramadan came, the Messenger of Allah said: 'The month of Ramadan has come, a blessed month in which Allah has made it obligatory for you to fast; in it the gates of Paradise are opened and the gates of Hell are closed and the devils are chained. In it is a night better than a thousand months, whoever loses the benefit of it has lost something irreplaceable.'"(Narrated by Imam Ahmad and An-Nasaa'i).
It is reported on the authority of Abu Hurairah, that Allah's Messenger (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) said: "Whoever stood in prayer on the night of Al-Qadr, in faith and hoping for a reward from Allah, he will have all of his previous sins forgiven." (Narrated by Al-Bukhari and Muslim).
This one night surpasses the value of 30,000 nights. The sincere believer who worries day and night about his sins and phases of neglect in his life patiently awaits the onset of Ramadan. During it he hopes to be forgiven by Allah (Subhanahu wa ta'ala) for past sins, knowing that the Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) promised that all who bear down during the last ten days shall have all their sins forgiven. To achieve this, the believer remembers the Prophet's (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) advice in different sayings wherein he used words like "seek", "pursue", "search" and "look hard" for Laylatul Qadr.
Laylatul Qadr is the most blessed night. A person who misses it has indeed missed a great amount of good. The Mu'min should search for it in the last ten nights of Ramadan, passing the nights in worship and obedience.
For those who catch the opportunity, their gift is that of past sins wiped away.
The Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) illustrated for us some of the things we should be doing on this Grand Night. From his blessed Sunnah we find the following:
Praying Qiyaam (night prayer): 
It is recommended to make a long qiyaam prayer during the nights on which Laylatul Qadr could fall. This is indicated in many ahadeeth, such as "Whoever stands (in qiyaam) in Laylatul Qadr [and it is facilitated for him] out of faith and expectation (of Allah's reward), will have all of his previous sins forgiven." [Al-Bukhari and Muslim; the addition "and it is facilitated for him" is recorded by Ahmad from the report of 'Ubaadah Bin as-Samit; it means that he is permitted to be among the sincere worshippers during that blessed night.]
Making Supplications: 
It is also recommended to make extensive supplication on this night. 'A'ishah reported that she asked Allah's Messenger (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) "O Messenger of Allah! If I knew which night is Laylatul Qadr, what should I say during it?" And he instructed her to say:
"Allahumma innaka `afuwwun tuhibbul `afwa fa`fu `annee - (O Allah! You are forgiving, and you love forgiveness. So forgive me)." [An authentic Hadith recorded by Ahmad, Ibn Majah and at-Tirmidhi.]
Abandoning Worldly Pleasures for the Sake of Worship: 
It is further recommended to spend more time in worship during the nights on which Laylatul Qadr is likely to fall. This calls for abandoning many worldly pleasures in order to secure the time and thoughts solely for worshipping Allah (Subhanahu wa ta'ala).
'A'ishah reported: "When the (last) ten started, the Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) would tighten his izaar (i.e. he stayed away from his wives in order to have more time for worship), spend the whole night awake (in prayer) and wake up his family." [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
And she said: "Allah's Messenger (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) used to exert more (in worship) on the last ten than on other nights." [Muslim]
Have we estimated Allah (Subhanahu wa ta'ala) correctly?
The opportunity of Laylatul Qadr is coming in the next few days. Life is about people that take advantage of their opportunities to win the love of Allah (Subhanahu wa ta'ala), and this is indeed one of those chances.
Abu Dah Daah was one of those who found an opportunity and won that which is greater than the heavens and the earth. An adult companion of the Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) cultivated his garden next to the property of an orphan. The orphan claimed that a specific palm tree was on his property and thus belonged to him. The companion rejected the claim and off to the Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) went the orphan boy to complain. With his justness, the Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) measured the two gardens and found that the palm tree did indeed belong to the companion. The orphan erupted crying. Seeing this, the Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) offered the companion, "would you give him the palm tree and to you is a palm tree in Jannah?" However, the companion in his disbelief that an orphan would complain to the Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) missed the opportunity and went away angry.
But someone else saw the opportunity, Abu Dah Daah - radi Allahu 'anhu. He went to the Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) and asked, "Ya Rasul Allah, if I buy the tree from him and give it to the orphan shall I have that tree in Jannah?" The Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) replied, "Yes."
Abu Dah Daah chased after the companion and asked, "Would you sell that tree to me for my entire garden?" The companion answered, "Take it for there is no good in a tree that I was complained to the Prophet about."
Immediately, Abu Dah Daah went home and found his wife and children playing in the garden. "Leave the garden!" shouted Abu Dah Daah, "we've sold it to Allah! We've sold it to Allah!" Some of his children had dates in their hand and he snached the dates from them and threw them back into the garden. "We've sold it to Allah!"
When Abu Dah Daah was later martyred in the battle of Uhud, Rasul Allah (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) stood over his slain body and remarked, "How many shady palm trees does Abu Dah Daah now have in paradise?"
What did Abu Dah Daah lose? Dates? Bushes? Dirt? What did he gain? He gained a Jannah whose expanse is the heavens and the earth.
Abu Dah Daah did not miss his opportunity, and I pray to Allah (Subhanahu wa ta'ala) that we do not miss our opportunity of standing to Allah (Subhanahu wa ta'ala) on Laylatul Qadr.
Dear brothers and sisters, we do not obey, worship and revere Allah (Subhanahu wa ta'ala) in a way befitting of His Majesty.
Allah (Subhanahu wa ta'ala) revealed:
"No just estimate have they made of Allah, such as is due to Him. On the Day of Resurrection the whole of the earth will be but His handful, and the heavens will be rolled up in His right hand: Glory to Him! High is He above the partners they attribute to Him." (Surat al-An'aam, Ayat 91).
Everything that we have belongs to Allah (Subhanahu wa ta'ala). When someone dies we say, Inna lillaahi wa inna ilayhi raaji'oon, Indeed to Allah we belong and indeed to Him we shall return. This is not a supplication just for when a soul is lost. It is a supplication for every calamity that befalls a believer, even if his sandal were to tear. Why? Because everything belongs to Allah (Subhanahu wa ta'ala) and everything shall come back to him. Sit and try to count the blessings Allah (Subhanahu wa ta'ala) has bestowed upon you. Have you ever tried to count stars?
"And He giveth you of all that ye ask for. But if ye count the favors of Allah, never will ye be able to number them. Verily, man is given up to injustice and ingratitude."
(Surat Ibrahim, Ayat 34).
We have not understood the weight of this Qur'an that we rest on our high shelves, this Noble book that was sent to give life to the dead. For even if our hearts were as solid as rock they would have crumbled to the ground in fear and hope of Allah's (Subhanahu wa ta'ala) punishment and Mercy. Could it be that our hearts are harder than that mountain?
"Had We sent down this Qur'an on a mountain, verily, thou wouldst have seen it humble itself and split asunder in fear of Allah." (Surat al-Hashr, Ayat 21).
Dear brothers and sisters, as you fill the Masajid for Qiyamul Layl in the last ten nights of Ramadan, remember what Allah (Subhanahu wa ta'ala) wants you to know:
"Know ye that Allah is strict in punishment and that Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful."
There shall be a night, some night in your life that you shall awaken in Jannah or Hell fire. Anas ibn Malik, on his deathbed, prayed to Allah, (Subhanahu wa ta'ala), "O Allah, protect from a night whose morning brings a journey to hell fire." Think about that morning.
Peace shall descend on Laylatul Qadr until the dawn. It may be that you shall leave the Masjid after Fajr one day soon forgiven by Allah, Glorious and Most High.

Received by email from brother Mehaboob Paksan.