In the name of God, the Most Merciful the Most Compassionate
Imagine a person who is really trying during Ramadan to increase in his acts of worship- he is reading more Qur’an, praying qiyaam, and really asking Allah. Yet somehow, and only by Allah’s will, he misses out on laylat al-qadr. Why would that happen?
When the last 10 days was upon the Muslims, Umar bin Al-Khattab (ra) would bring the people together in the mosque and declare:
كل الناس مني في حل
Which, to translate the meaning roughly, that all of the people are absolved of any blame from him- he would not carry any bad feelings towards any of the Muslims even if he were wronged. Why? He knew laylat al-qadr was at the door, and he did not want anything to prevent him from reaching it. Ibn Masud (ra) would say that none of them dared to greet the new moon of Ramadan with even an atom’s weight of rancor towards other Muslims.
Recently I went to a talk, and the speaker was speaking about this issue. Yes, Ramadan is the month to get back on track and increase in our acts of worship- no doubt. But it is also a month of cleansing the hearts. Who of us does not suffer from some disease in the heart- whether it is a lack of sincerity, or hatred, or resentment towards someone?
The key to reaching laylat al-qadr is really to let go and try remedy these diseases- especially if we have something in our hearts against another Muslims. At the end of the day, our beloved Prophet (pbuh) told us that Allah does not look at our externals but looks into our hearts- and imagine He finds a heart filled with rancor towards others? Even if someone has wronged us… if we forgive them truly for the sake of Allah, Allah rewards us with His forgiveness, and our du’a on laylat al-qadr is “O Allah You are the forgiving, who loves to forgive so forgive me”. Allah says:
وَلْيَعْفُوا وَلْيَصْفَحُوا أَلا تُحِبُّونَ أَن يَغْفِرَ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ وَاللَّهُ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ
“…let them pardon and forgive. Do you not wish that God should forgive you? God is most forgiving and merciful.” (Surat An-Noor, 24:22)
Lesson: With the last 10 days only a few days away, really commit to this exercise- sit down and try to think what is plaguing your heart; is there someone that you have not forgiven for something they may have done? Really try to make yourself forgive them, and remember you are doing so for the sake of God- inshAllah Allah in turn will forgive you and grant you this blessed night.