The Friday Message - Issue No. 354 - Night of Juhanni the shepherd

The Friday Message - Issue No. 354 - Night of Juhanni the shepherd

Salamun alaykum,

Today 21st Shahru Ramadhan marks the day of beginning of one of the greatest losses to humanity. A man who had given everything to others, who had been oppressed, but never thought of revenge, who forgave his enemies, who helped the weak and fathered the orphans submitted to martyrdom. On the dawn of 19th Shahru Ramadhan 40 A.H. Abdulrahman bin Muljim (May the curse of Allah befall him) swept a fatal blow of his sword laced with poison upon Amiral Muminin Imam Ali a.s. who was in sajda at the mosque of Kufa. At that moment everything in this world became heartbroken except the face of Amiral Muminin who cried out,“By the Lord of the K’abah, I have been successful!”  

اللّهُمّ الْعَنْ قَتَلَةَ أَمِيرِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ

Allahumma al`an qatalata ameeril mu´mineena
O Allah: (please do) withdraw your mercy from the killers of the Commander of the Believers

Juhanni the Shepherd:

A shepherd called Abu Yahya Abdalla bin Unays al Juhanni from the tribe of Juhan, arrived before the Noble Prophet and said,” O Messenger of Allah! I wish you to command me, so that during one of the nights of Ramadhan I come to Madina and offer the prayer.”
According to some narrations the Noble Prophet whispered something into his ear. Since then Abdalla bin Unays al Juhanni was seen coming to Madina for prayers on the 23rd of Ramadhan. This night came to be known as Laylatu Juhanni; night of Juhanni.

Night of Juhanni: Its excellence:

Among the nights of Shahru Ramadhan is one special night, Laylatul Qadr, the night of power, which is better than a thousand months.(Sura Al Qadr 97:3). This night, which is better than 30 000 nights, is a unique once in a year opportunity being offered to us to do a lifetimes worth of activity.
According to traditions Laylatul Qadr is to be found in the last ten odd nights. More emphasis is laid on the 21st and 23rd particularly the 23rd night.

Unique gift to the Ummah:

“Verily Allah has gifted Laylatul Qadr to my Ummah which has not been presented to the previous nations.” (Noble Prophet)

What takes place?

“…and it is during this night (laylatul Qadr) when sustenance is allotted, times of death prescribed and all that is to happen in that year is decreed.” 8th Imam Ali Ar Ridha a.s.

Ihyaul Layl - Reviving the night:

A hadith states that one who revives Laylatul Qadr i.e. remains awake on night of Qadr- his sins are forgiven even though the quantity of sins may be like stars in the sky, its weight to all the mountains and its volume to all the seas

Practice of Ahlul Bayt:

On the eve of the 23rd the Noble Prophet would awaken members of his family and would sprinkle water on any of them who slept.

Sayyida Fatima al Zahra a.s. would not let any member of the family to sleep during this eve. She gave them little food as a precaution against drowsiness. During the day, she would prepare them for keeping awake at night by asking them to take ample sleep during the day.
Imam J’afar Sadiq a.s. was very sick, but when the 23rd of the Shahru Ramadhan arrived, he ordered that he be carried to the mosque in the same condition and he spent the night in the mosque.

Preparations: Is there any need?

Yes. Just like there is need to prepare for any task or activity one undertakes in daily life likewise there is definitely a need to specially prepare for Laylatul Qadr. There are three unique dimensions of preparations for Laylatul Qadr:

  1. Physical: Perform Ghusl, don suitable comfortable dressing, not being overfed, devote dedicated time and be calm.
  2. Mental: Comprehend the importance of this night, have frame of mind focused towards Allah SWT, have knowledge of the recitations and understand them, appreciate that one’s deed is worth than lifespan.
  3. Spiritual: Tawassul – uphold love and longing for Ahlul Bayt, earnestly perform Amal of Quran placed on head and calling the Imams symbolizes our submission to lead life as per Thaqalayn (Quran and Ahlul bayt), Recall our sins, Do tawba, Mention the requests for others and then Present our hajat.

Let us make our best efforts and endeavors for celebrating this night;
a unique once in a year opportunity to do a lifetime’s worth of activity.

May Allah SWT make this Shahru Ramadhan the best of our lives. May we emerge stronger in our relationships with Allah SWT, our families and communities. May we return to our al Mahdi centre to celebrate our renewed Taqwa at the end of this blessed month, InshAllah.

During the remaining days of Shahru Ramadhan,let us continue to offer special prayers to Allah SWT, by wasila of Ahlul Bayt a.s. invoking the name of Imam al Asr Sahibaz Zaman (A.F.), for protection of all from the COVID-19 epidemic and for the cure of all who are unwell.
May you and your loved ones be granted safety from all calamities. Iltimasi dua.

اللّهُمّ الْعَنْ قَتَلَةَ أَمِيرِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ

Wa ma tawfiqi illa billah

Sheikh Fazle Abbas Datoo
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Resident Alim
Wessex Shia Ithna Asheri Jamaat