Laylatul qadr is a night that would be nice to know in advance so that we can maximise our ibadah to take advantage of the benefit of the night. However that is not going to happen and we have to maximise our ibadah every night without taking any chance. Doing ibadah on that single night is equivalent one thousand months or about 80 years, which is roughly equivalent to our lifetime if we live that long. It doesn’t mean that we can relax after that as we have done a lifetime’s worth of worship. Imam Nawawi witnessed laylatul qadr when he was 7 years old but yet he spent his entire life dedicated to gaining and disseminating knowledge for the sake of Allah. He died at a very young age of about 44 years old but he wrote a large number of books that one wonders how he managed to write all those books. He also had large amount of knowledge and he had to limit what he wrote so that the books do not become excessively thick. We are familiar with his Forty Hadith and Riyadhus Salihin and these are actually a compressed version of the knowledge of Islam. The Forty Hadith is a thin book but the knowledge behind each hadith can be decompressed to reveal a wider knowledge of Islam that we will not have the time to learn all of them.
Imam Nawawi is one of those who were selected by Allah to witness laylatul qadr. He lived a simple life full of humbleness and yet contributed so much to the Muslim world in his short life. He left behind abundant knowledge which are his amal jariah (continuous deeds). His achievement should be an inspiration to us who have or most likely with exceed the 44 years of living. We need to reflect and improve not just our relationship with Allah but also our relationship with mankind. Our relationship and contribution to mankind is also important. Imam Nawawi contributed a lot to society and we will not be able to achieve anywhere near to what he had achieved. However there are still a lot of things that we can and need to do to better ourselves. We can assess ourselves on how much we contribute to society. This can be achieved by evaluating how much people will miss us in our absence. If people forget about us after our death, it shows that our contribution to society is insignificant if not nil.
It is important for us to realise that the journey in our life is not just about our individualistic self but also about our contribution to the community. Our success will be short-lived if success is confined to us personally. Everything will be gone once we are dead. However if others can benefit from our success, then that success brings meaning and will last a very very long time. Imam Nawawi with his sincerity and humbleness had successfully accumulated a lot of knowledge and the whole Muslim ummah are benefitting from his success. He was a person whom Allah had taken care from birth to death and was also a gift to the Muslims.
Nurturing someone from birth can prevent scandals or controversies that plague the person in his or her later life. We can all dream of children whom we can nurture from birth so that they become successful and are valued by the community. There is nothing wrong in having that dream but do we just want to dream? There is nothing to stop us from putting effort in making the dream a reality. We have our own small community and we have young children in our community whom we can nurture. The only question that we need to ask ourselves is whether we are willing to do it. If there is a will, there is a way.