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City of Brass

The past few years, the anniversary of 9-11 has coincided with Ramadan. As I wrote last year, 9-11 usually elicits a defensive posture in muslim Americans, because of the lingering suspicion and distrust by our fellow citizens. But with the advent of Ramadan, I’ve felt like I’ve finally managed to take ownership of 9-11 like any American, and look at it without consciousness of my religious identity. To do otherwise would indeed be to let the terrorists win.

And yet, this year the anniversary of 9-11 is eclipsed by the approach of the holiest night of Ramadan, Laylatul Qadr, the “Night of Power”. The importance of this night is impossible to overstate, as it represents a bounty of blessings for the pious beyond our comprehension. In the Qur’an, the verses pertaining to Laylatul Qadr (97:1-5, recitation) are as follows:

We have indeed revealed this (Message) in the Night of Power:

And what will explain to thee what the Night of Power is?

The Night of Power is better than a thousand months.

Therein come down the angels and the Spirit by Allah’s permission, on every errand:

Peace!…This until the rise of dawn.

Indeed, this night is Peace. There is no better refutation of the crazed ideology of those who sought to divide us in terror. This is the time to look forward, at how precious little time remains in Ramadan, not look backwards.

Related: my essay two years ago about the intense preparation for Laylatul Qadr and the way in which we observe it, engaged in prayer all night.

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