Though I’m not a Muslim, I was given the chance to learn Surah, or chapter 97 of the Quran in a class at a mosque. During the class, the Imam told a story related to this chapter, The Night of Power (Laylat al-Qadr, ليلة القدر). This was the night Allah gave his revelations to Muhammad for the first time through the angel Gabriel. When Muhammad was around 40 years old, he often meditated in solitude for days in a cave called Hira. He meditated on the problems of the society he lived in, the immoral activities his people engaged in, and, more importantly, the idol worship in Mecca. He felt helpless and sought resolution in the cave. In A.D. 610, one night while Muhammad was meditating, the angel Gabriel appeared and commanded him to “read” (iqra, إقرأ). Muhammad, however, wasn’t able to read, so the angel held his body tightly and asked him to read again. Muhammad was almost choked to death, but the angel eventually uttered five verses (ayah, آيات), which are now recorded in Surah 96:1-5 of the Quran. After this first revelation, Muhammad was chosen as the final prophet of Allah and was called to instruct mankind to worship only Allah and to live righteously.
While telling the story, the Imam explained that this night fell on an odd numbered day during the last ten days of Ramadan, June 21st, 23rd, 25th, 27th or 29th. Thus, in the evening during these last ten days, Muslims gather in the mosque and are led by their Imam in wholehearted prayer and recitation. They believe prayer and recitation done on the Night of Power will yield great benefits and accumulate for them higher honor and merit. It’s believed that Allah grants forgiveness to those who take part in fervent prayer and recitation on the Night of Power. They also expect to be awarded blessings a thousand times over. In order to avoid missing this Night of Power, it’s not unusual for many mosques to be packed full of people throughout the last ten days of Ramadan. Just that one night, they believe, can make something extraordinary happen in their lives.
…I saw a light from heaven…then I asked, ‘Who are you, Lord?’
‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,’ the Lord replied. Acts 26:13, 15
Please pray that as Muslims seek the blessing of Allah, they will receive dreams and visions and learn that Jesus Christ is the One they are seeking. Pray that many Muslims will come to faith in Jesus this year during Ramadan!