Tonight is the night we celebrate Lailat al-Qadr, the Night of Power. This is the night that the first verses of the Qur’an were revealed to the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him. Traditionally, the communities gather for prayer retreats, as this night is more powerful than 1000 months of prayer.
This is the first year we are without our guide, Sidi Shaykh Muhammad al-Jamal, and many of us, myself included, have expressed how much we are missing him at this time.
The following was written by Sidi for us, his students, regarding Lailat al-Qadr, the Night of Power. I realize it’s long, but it felt right to share in its entirety. Take from it what you will for your heart.
Bismi’llah ir-Rahman ir-Rahim
Laila is the Shaykh on the Night of Power. This is a message from the shaykh to his murids [students] from the heart of the soul of the eternal night which is greater than a thousand months.
My eye, my holy eye, who sees me in the eye of the heart of the soul continuing to sing on the holy night of Lailat al-Qadr. When I begin to pray and to remember with the special remembrance, from the beginning I am with your spirit, and all this night you sing with me the song of the prophet David, may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him, which he sings to our Beloved Allah. You live inside my heart, and for this reason I am sending this letter to explain what is inside my heart about you. Understand that you are Laila, not another because there is no other, and you are beginning to give me the wine from your cup. This cup is filled with knowing, but the knowing is different from before.
You stand between the figures as the dance begins. This dance is different from before because everyone has lost his body, heart and soul on this holy night, returning to be One; not face to face, but only He. You are, and this is what I mean about you. Continue on your way, do not stop. Do not lose any moment, because your life is full of the essence of the deep secret love (al-ishq) of Allah, who made you to be special for Him and Him to be special for you.
In this moment, I hold all my clothes and all my veils. I am without anything, only the deep, deep essence of my truth when I see you go through me and make the holy marriage with me on this holy night. This is what your Beloved wants you to be. Then in this moment, in your real life, in my life, you change the night to day. You change everything to be me and there is no one, only Me, in all this world, my holy Bride. In this moment, every one of your holy brothers and sisters is newborn, to be like you in everything and there is nothing. This is what I mean. You are Laila, and there in not another in all this world, only you, my Beloved Laila. Do you understand what I mean, my spirit? I drink from your spring the essence of my ‘ishq and inside this spring is the essence of my life, and this life is for anyone who wants life.
This is also what I mean when I say, “Help me to know how to help yourself after you go through me to swim in the secret of my ocean. In this ocean there is all that anyone needs. When he washes in this ocean, he can realize what he yearns for.” But after that, when you return to the dunya [material world], keep what I gave you on this night. Then you change everyone around you, because you are the fragrance of your father who gave you all the blessings in every direction. Everything around you needs the blessings and you are the blessing.
Lailat al-Qadr – this is more than any language of speaking and more than any feeling. No tongue can describe what I see of the holy night of Lailat al-Qadr. If you know Who is then you are Lailat al-Qadr, if you live in me in every moment. Your Laila becomes day, and this day has no beginning and no end. This is the life for you. You sing and everything around you sings with you, the angels, the jinn, and the souls of the prophets and guides before me. Then you live in the real peace and the real mercy. This is what Allah wants from you – to send what you take from your beloved father, who gives you his life, to be like him in everything. This is your way in the world. The way is full of all that the people need after you understand how to be in this life all the time. When you understand how to give, then all that you see in this world really comes from you, not from another. You give the holy food to your children around you who need this food, because they have been wanting to eat for such a long time.
My beloved, understand that your water is from His water and send this water to every tree and to every bird and to everything. Then you will see that everything becomes like you, and sings as you sing with a language that none can explain but you, because you are the holy mother, the holy daughter, the holy father and the holy son. You are the bride returned again to be the real Eve, to give birth again to the real Adam. The real Adam gives birth to the real Eve from the soul, not from the body; to return to Him, to the first world and to the holy path. You are the path. For a long time you have carried Him (your Beloved) inside you. For this reason, you are crying and weeping, but not like the weeping you knew before. This weeping is from the deep essence of the ‘ishq. Then you are the first, and there is no first; you must give birth to Him every moment.
When you realize what I say, then you live all the time in the holy marriage. This is what I want from you, my beloved. Then you will understand how to find the real husband or wife in your truth, who would not leave you any moment. And you could not leave Him any moment in this dark world. Then you do not care what is around you, because everything around you is changed to be the Beloved. If you understand what I mean, in that moment, I can say that you are the child of your truth. There is no another, only you, because you have erased everything and changed everything. If you realize who is the real spouse after you have died in your guide, and you have died in your brothers and sisters, He is your Beloved Allah, and in this moment there is no separation between He and you. What, after this, do you want?
This is my song for you; not only for you, but for everyone who is like you and who danced as you dance, if he can, if he goes through me, behind every word. If he understands Who moves him and Who put him in this holy way, how can he sleep? Because he is the real oil in this world. This world is a machine, and you are the oil in this machine. This machine could not work without you; this is what I mean. You are Laila in everything and there is no life without Laila. Be Laila every moment. If you are my child, be like me. Then you can hear my voice in every voice which is beginning to sing. Understand for Whom I sing; I sing only for You Beloved. This is my life, follow me. Do not stop. Then you find everything in this world to be like you. If you understand Who Laila is and if you look in the eye of the heart of your soul, you see only One. Then you realize what your father has realized.
~ from Sidi Shaykh Muhammad al-Jamal, Music of the Soul
Have a blessed Night of Power, whether you are spending this time in prayer, in community or alone. May all of your prayers be answered, may your mistakes be returned to Allah, may you find forgiveness for yourself and others, and may you receive guidance for the path ahead.
With love and gratitude,
Mastura Graugnard on behalf of all your friends and family at UOS