Night of Power and End of Ramadan Celebrations
Graphic by https://ramadan.pray4tunisia.com/prayer/power
What is the Night of Power?
Muslims celebrate the Night of Power (Laylatul Qadr) during the last 10 days of Ramadan. They believe that on this night God revealed the Qur’an to Muhammad by the angel Gabriel in 610 CE. It is one of the most sacred nights in the Islamic calendar.
But no one know when this night is. They only know it is on an odd day during the last 10 days (21st, 23rd, 25th, 27th, or 29th night). They believe that the Night of Power is a special night and there is a special hour that only God knows about.
During that time, if Muslims are reading the Quran or doing something good, they will be blessed a thousand times. The blessing or reward is multiplied a thousand moons which is a thousand months worth. “The Night of Power is better than a thousand months,” (Qur’an, 97:3).
Muslims want to get this great blessing so on the odd nights they try to read the Qur’an, pray and do good deeds. Muhammad said, “Whoever prays on Laylatul Qadr out of faith and sincerity, shall have all their past sins forgiven,” (Hadith, Bukhari and Muslim). But Muslims won’t know if they received this blessing or if God forgave their sins until they die.
What is Mudik?
During the last week of Ramadan, Indonesians will “mudik”- return to their villages and spend time with their family. They have to return home for a minimum of 3 days. Some are able to get the whole week off, but most can only take off those 3 days. This holiday time is like Christmas to Muslims. Those who live in the cities usually only see their families once a year during this holiday.
Right before they ‘mudik’, Muslims will pack the malls to buy new clothes and shoes. They want to be seen as holy and new at the end of Ramadan so they all wear new clothes. Indonesians will also go to the bank to withdraw money to give to family members. They do this to show that God has blessed them this year.
This is the first year since the pandemic in 2020 that Indonesians are allowed to travel to their hometowns at the end of Ramadan. The pandemic was hard on Muslims living away from their family. They couldn’t celebrate Ramadan with their loved ones. President Jokowi restricted travel because too many people would be leaving all at once, increasing the spread of COVID19. Now in 2022, Indonesia is allowing people to ‘mudik’ again and gather for the Tarawih (Ramadan evening prayers).
What is Idul Fitri?
Idul Fitri is the holiday on the last two days of Ramadan. Indonesians spend these days visiting houses of neighbors, family members and friends. On the first day, they will visit relatives that are closest to them. Then on the second day they will visit neighbors and other family that live far away. If you visit someone after these few days, then they are considered less important.
When you enter someone’s home during Idul FItri, they always provide lots of snacks and drinks. Everyone shakes hands and greets each other with the saying “Mohon maaf lahir dan batin.” This means, “I ask for your forgiveness physically and emotionally.” They then spend time chatting and catching up while eating snacks.
On these last nights of Ramadan, kids in the villages will walk around with torches and drums all night long (takbiran). This is another way they celebrate the end of the fasting month and give thanks to God. They chant “Allahku Akbar” (God is great) over and over again. Some Indonesians will be in the mosque as well all night chanting “God is great.”
In the cities, Indonesia has restricted these celebrations in recent years out of respect for non-Muslims. They now can’t use the mosque loud speaker after 12 am. City leaders want to be mindful of others now that major cities are made up of people with a variety of religious beliefs.
This last week of Ramadan is a crucial time to pray for Muslims. On the odd nights they seek the blessing and reward that is multiplied a thousand times. Pray for Indonesian Muslims to know the love and grace of Jesus during this last week. Let us pray fervently for Jesus to reveal himself to millions of Muslims during the Night of Power and Idul Fitri!