In the Bible in Genesis 16:11, Ishmael was the first person named by the living God before he was even born. His name means “God hears.” The Qur’an upholds the Muslim belief that Ishmael, not Isaac, was Abraham’s ultimate heir. Ishmael is mentioned several times throughout the Qur’an and it is through the Islamic scripture that he is considered as a messenger, prophet, and one preferred by God.
Near the end of Ramadan’s 30 days is the “Night of Power” (Laylat Al Qadr), the holiest night of the year for Muslims. Most Islamic scholars believe it falls on one of the odd-numbered nights of Ramadan’s final ten days, but is typically celebrated on the 27th day. It commemorates the night that Muslims believe their Prophet Muhammad received the first revelations of the Qur’an, recorded in Sura 96.
They believe that from sunset to dawn, during the whole Night of Power, there are groups of angels who perform particular purposes and are only seen on this night. Some angels come down for worship or for granting the request of the believing Muslim. Other angels come down bringing with them proclamations of the coming year.
Today many Muslims think this is a special night when God gives heed to their requests. They are open to dreams and visions as they seek for guidance and revelation. Many Muslims pray all night, seeking a response to specific requests. One common belief is that angels will shower down Allah’s peace and blessings on all who remain awake during this “night of power.” According to the Qur’an, Allah either listens directly or via the angel Gabriel, to the requests of Muslims concerning their fate.
Muslims also call this the “Night of Destiny,” and it seems equally important among orthodox Muslims and in Folk Islam. It is on this night, and during the following weeks that many Muslims have had supernatural encounters with Jesus Christ.
Muslims are encouraged to stay awake the entire night and pray for blessings and forgiveness. According to Abu Huraira translation of the Hadith, the prophet Muhammed declared that “whoever prays during the Night of Power with faith and hoping for its reward will have all his previous sins forgiven.” Many things a Muslim will endeavor to do on the Night of Power, include reciting and studying the Quran, making special requests from Allah, evaluating their own lives, and making plans for the next year.
For the past 1400 years, many Muslims stay up all night to prove their devotion to Allah through their prayers, even being proud of their religious accomplishments. Others, knowing in their hearts that they are incapable of really pleasing God by their own religious activity, will feel disappointed with themselves. Finally, significant numbers will be praying in desperation and genuinely seeking help from God and will have a dream or vision of Jesus.
Our God has not forgotten that He named Abraham’s son Ishmael, which means “God hears.” Today God hears the cries of Ishmael’s descendants who sit in darkness and the shadow of death. Let us cry out that they will indeed be guided to the true right path – the path to peace, the Lord Jesus Christ.
- Since this is a time of heightened spiritual activity, pray that Christians around the world will be quickened by the Holy Spirit to pray and contend for the salvation of the Muslim people.
- God is hearing the prayers of the Muslim people around the world – pray that their hearts will be open to His truth as He reveals Himself to them.
- Pray that Jesus Christ, the Son of the true and living God will appear to Muslims during this time through dreams and visions.