THE BLESSED NIGHT

With the holy month of Ramadan in progress and the world observing Laylatul Qadr (Night of Power) it is high time for the people to focus on the lessons embedded in these holy days as well as fasting. The lessons are required to be followed not only by the Muslims but by others too because every religion teaches humanitarian principles and emulating the teachings of all religious cults is the essence of secularism in India which is known for tolerance and composite culture. The night of Shab-e-Qadr or Laylatul Qadr is the most special and blessed night as this night marks the anniversary of the night when Prophet Mohammad received the first verses of the holy Quran. Muslims devote their time during this night to reading this holy book. Muslims have regarded the last ten nights of Ramadan as being specially blessed. They believe that the Night of Qadr comes with blessings and mercy of God in abundance, sins are forgiven, supplications are accepted, and that the annual decree is revealed to the angels who carry it out according to God’s plan. According to a tradition, the blessings due to the acts of worship during this night cannot be equaled even by worshipping entire lifetime. The reward of acts of worship done in this one single night is more than the reward of around 83 years (1000 months) of worship. While the Muslims normally used to conduct mass prayers in mosques on this night, this year in view of the COVID-19 pandemic they will have to pray at their respective homes. This principle to be followed in pandemic situations had been mandated even by Prophet Mohammed during his lifetime when the people were engulfed in a situation like the one which has taken the world in its grip today. On this day it is time to reiterate our commitment to Austerity which is by any yardstick one of the greatest virtues of human beings acknowledged by almost all the religions followed in India. Irrespective of religion, caste, creed or colour let’s all with cleansed minds and pure hearts seek forgiveness and blessings to follow the path of love, peace and mercy, reiterating our resolve and commitment to make everyone aware of the significance of rational thoughts besides denunciating religious obscurantism. Let’s pray that the Battle against second wave of COVID-19 is won at the earliest so that the world including the worst victim India comes out of this unprecedented crisis with peace and harmony prevailing across the globe once again. Amen!