Surah al Qadr [Power]

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Surah al Qadr [Power]
Miracle Dream Tafseer – Nouman Ali Khan

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Introduction:


The Relation of this Surah to the Previous Surah:

1 – Surah’Alaq began explaining How revelation began.

This surah addresses When Revelation was sent down.

2 –
Surah ‘Alaq started with – He taught man what he knew not. [Alaq

Meaning: You did not know what the Night of Qadr is. You only found out because Allah taught it to you.

3 –

The last ayah of Surah Alaq is;
وَاسْجُدْ وَاقْتَرِب wasjud waqtarib – prostrate and draw near (to Allah). [Alaq
Surah Qadr – The best time to get close to Allah – in the whole year – is in the night of Qadr (which is in the last 10 nights of Ramadan).

4 - Surah ‘Alaq: mentions – Iqra‘ – recite [the Qur'an.] [Alaq
Surah Qadr – mentions the Qur’an which should be recited.


When is the Night of Qadr
?

We’re certain for sure that it is one of the 5 odd nights in the last 10 nights of Ramadan (21st, 23rd, 25th, 27th, or 29th).

There are Only 5 aayaat in this surah – just like there are 5 odd nights in the last 10 days of Ramadan.


Ibn Abbas
had the opinion it is 23rd (based on his ijtihad/research).

In a later opinion he had the opinion was 27th.

The most often mentioned opinion by the scholars is the 27th.

It’s interesting how when ibn Abbas explained his view of the 27th to Umar ibn al Khattab, he said;

Laylatul Qadr has 9 letters. [Lam, Ya, Lam, Ta (marboota). Alif, Lam. Qaf, Daal, Ra. = 9 Letters]

AndLaylatul Qadr is mentioned 3 times in this surah.

9 x 3 = 27.

So he had the opinion that it the Night of Qadr is on the 27th of Ramadan.

This method is not taken as a daleel/proof, but it is interesting how he formed this opinion.

He also had this view because;

This surah has 30 words in it (like 30 days in a month). But the 27th word is هِيَ hiyya [meaning 'it']. [in Ayah 5]

He then says that Hiyya/it – implies that this word is the 27th word out of the 30, the same way the 27th night is the night of Qadr out of the 30 nights.

The safest position to have is that it falls in one of the odd nights and we don’t know which one.


Brother Nouman recommends that you take the last 11 nights really seriously because of the confusions and disagreements Muslims have over when Ramadan begins/ends etc. So focusing on the last 11 nights will allow us to catch it atleast once (even if this means sleeping through the day, to have enough energy for the night?)

We should save our energies and be balanced in our worship in the first 20 days, because alot of Muslims tire themselves out before the last 10 nights. So instead, use most of your energy for the last 10 nights since they are the most special and which contain the Night of Qadr.

We should pray Taraweeh prayer with the intent of remembering Allah;

إِنَّنِي أَنَا اللَّهُ لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا أَنَا فَاعْبُدْنِي وَأَقِمِ الصَّلَاةَ لِذِكْرِي

Indeed, I am Allah.There is no god except Me, so worship Me and establish prayer for My remembrance.
[Taha 20:14]

Ayah 1:


إِنَّا أَنزَلْنَاهُ فِي لَيْلَةِ الْقَدْرِ

in-naa anzalnaahu fee laylatil qadr

Indeed, We sent it down in the Night of Decree.


It is no doubt We have sent it down on the Night of Qadr.

inNa – surely We.

Why We?

Allah is mentioned in 4 types of pronouns in the Qur’an;

Ana – I
Nahnu – We
Anta – You
Huwa – He

Only one of these is plural (nahnu), the rest are singular.

So if someone argued – you Muslims have alot of ‘gods’, they are mistaken, because;

1 - All the other pronouns are singularwhen referring to Allah (i.e. I, He, etc.)

2 -Nahnu was used in semitic languages to show power and strength. I.e. A king wouldn’t say “I have forgiven you”, he would say “We are letting you go.“We have decided” (even though he was talking about himself). A show of power, of royalty – a show of my strength being more than that of many men.

Allah says ‘Nahnu‘ – when He sends down and gives water, food, and forms creations’. All majestic acts.
He especially does it when He mentions sending down water, maybe because water is a sign of giving life? Allah knows best.

Nahnu is also formal speech, more Majestic.

3 - There are Two instances of when Ana – I, is mentioned; Either when Allah is extremely angry, or when He is extremely merciful.

Ana – I, is informal speech. This makes it more; Personalised, closer to the slave.

4 - Whenever Nahnu is mentioned, Allah or Rabb is mentioned next to it(both are singular words [if they were plural, it would be Aaliha, and aRbaab). Which shows that the Royal We is referring to One King God.


Is this Night Blessed because the Qur'an came down within it, or was it already blessed before this
?


ash-Sha'rawi
: This night was noble and majestic and dignified before the Qur'an was revealed, and when the Qur'an was revealed - it increased in its majesticness.


إِنَّا أَنزَلْنَاهُ فِي لَيْلَةٍ مُّبَارَكَةٍ ۚ إِنَّا كُنَّا مُنذِرِينَ

Indeed, We sent it down during a blessed night. Indeed, We were to warn [mankind]. [Dukhan 44:3]

ash-Shawkani
:

We sent it (hu)down.

You don’t use a pronoun except if you know what ‘it’ is. Unless the audience already knows what ‘it’ is.

إِنَّا أَنزَلْنَاهُ فِي لَيْلَةِ الْقَدْرِ

Allah says; innaa anzalnaaHu fee laylatil qadr – surely We have sent ‘it’ down in the Night of Qadr.

So it seems clear what ‘it’ is – the Qur’an.

This use of the word ‘Hu’ is used because when everybody knows something so universally, and it is deeply imbedded in their heart – the name does not need to be mentioned.

This ‘Hu‘ came down with 2 extreme reactions;

The believer loving the Qur’an till death, and the disbeliever hating the Qur’an so much – that they were willing to kill others out of hate for it.

So both groups knew ‘hu‘ (it) was referring to the Qur’an.

anzalNa – We sent down.

anzala
– (af’ala) sent down AT ONE TIME.
naz-zala – (fa’al-la) – sent down gradually.


The Qur’an was Nazala, and the Torah & Gospel were Anzala.

What’s the Difference?

In Surah Aal ‘Imraan, verse 3,

 

نَزَّلَ عَلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ بِالْحَقِّ مُصَدِّقاً لِّمَا بَيْنَ يَدَيْهِ وَأَنزَلَ التَّوْرَاةَ وَالإِنجِيلَ

 

It is He Who has sent down the Book (the Quran) to you (Muhammad SAW) with truth, confirming what came before it. And he sent down the Torah and the Gospel.
Although the English translation reflects no difference in the original words that were used to convey the meaning of ‘sent down’, a look at the Arabic will show us that the form nazzala نزَّلَwas used in reference to the Qur’an while the form anzala أَنْزَلَwas used in reference to the Torah and the Gospel.

The reason for this goes back to the manner of revelation – the Qur’an was gradually revealed in a number of stages that spanned the 23 years of the Prophet Muhammad’s (sallaa Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) Prophethood, as is reflected by the form nazzalawhich indicates repetition and graduality, while the Torah and the Gospel were revealed to the Prophets Musa (Moses) and ‘Eesa (Jesus) at one time, as reflected by the form anzala.

This difference is more beautifully sealed when we look at the first verse of Surah al-Qadr,

إِنَّا أَنزَلْنَاهُ فِي لَيْلَةِ الْقَدْرِ

Verily! We have sent it (this Quran) down in the night of Al-Qadr (Decree)
In this verse, Allaah has used the verb anzala – which does not reflect graduality – to describe the revelation of the Qur’an, although He previously used nazzala! The reason for this is clear when the word is considered in it’s context, as is explained by Ibn ‘Abbas and others,
Allah sent the Qur’an down all at one time from the Preserved Tablet to the House of Might (Bayt al-’Izzah), which is in the heaven of this world. Then it came down in parts to the Messenger of Allah based upon the incidents that occurred over a period of twenty-three years.”
Thus, it is clear that this verse is referring to Allaah sending the Qur’an down at one time to Bayt al-’Izzah on Laylat al-Qadr, and not to its gradual revelation to the Prophet; a concept so precisely and beautifully conveyed just through knowing the meaning of the forms used in the original Arabic.

Laylah – Night

al – the

Qadr -

Commonly translated as ‘Night of Power’.

Because Qadr means Estimation and Determination.

Allah knows everything, so He informs His angels what He has decreed for the people for this upcoming year.

Qadr - nobility/honor/dignity - because of the Night’s Dignity.

Qadr – to Appreciate – in this Night those who obey Allah, Allah really Appreciates it. He counts this night as more than 1000 months.

Qadr – constriction / congestion / to be stuck in something. [see al Fajr embedded within the one word; Qadr.

Ayah 2:


وَمَا أَدْرَاكَ مَا لَيْلَةُ الْقَدْرِ


wa maa adraaka maa laylatul qadr

And what can make you know what is the Night of Decree?

maa adraaka?

Maa – at-ta’ajjub (to surprise you and give you awe).

What in the world could possibly give you a clue to what the Night of Power is?

Gives takhfeem - (power/heaviness)

maa adraaka – past tense, what would ever tell you..?

So Allah tells us what the Night of Qadr is in the upcoming aayaat/verses.

wa Maa adraaka maa laylatul Qadr?

and what will make you know what the Night of Qadr is?

By Allah repeating the words ‘Night of Qadr’ again in the 2nd ayah, it shows the Night’s strong importance.

Then for Allah to repeat the words; ‘Night of Qadr’ (Laylatul Qadr) in the 3rd ayah again, shows how extremely important and majestic this Night is in the sight of Allah.

Allah repeats things twice in other surahs’. i.e.

 

كَلَّا ۖ لَيُنبَذَنَّ فِي الْحُطَمَةِ

وَمَا أَدْرَاكَ مَا الْحُطَمَةُ

نَارُ اللَّهِ الْمُوقَدَةُ

No! He will surely be thrown into the Hutama/Crusher.
And what can make you know what is the Hutama/Crusher?
It is the fire of Allah , [eternally] fueled,

[Surah Humazah 104: 4-6]

Similar is done in Surah Tariq [al Lata’if al isharaatal Fushayri(in the 4th century) writ something beautiful:

A beautiful night which Allah decreed (qadra fee ha Rahmah li awliyaa’ihee) for His close friends.

The worshippers of Allah realise their worth (qadru nufoosihim) to Allah, through the quality of their worship in this Night. (so if you sleep through it, how much are we worth in the sight of Allah?)

And those who truly aim to seek and recognise Allah, they appreciate (qadra ma’buoodihim) their servitude to the One they are seeking (in this Night).


al-Aloosi
:

The wisdom behind not knowing when the Night of Qadr is;

- Laziness – people would only worship in this night and not in any of the other nights of the year.

- A hadith summarised: Allah’s Messenger is with Ali, and a bedouin is asleep in the Masjid. It is time for salah/prayer, so Allah’s Messenger tells Ali to wake the bedouin up from his sleep. So Ali wondered why Allah’s Messenger never woke the bedouin up himself, since this is an act of worship, and Allah’s Messenger is the first of people to do a good deed.

So he asked Allah’s Messenger, why didn’t you do this good deed?

Allah’s Messenger replied that if he woke the bedouin up, and the bedouin didn’t obey the Prophet – he would be in major sin for disobeying a command of Allah’s Messenger. But if you (Ali) do it, then that’s okay.

al-Aloosi comments
; The fact that we don’t know the exact Night of Qadr – removes us from some blame, in comparison to if we knew when the Night of Qadr was, and if we were lazy then – that would bring us ALOT more blame.

(quote Tafseer ibn katheer surah Qadr, and hadeeth of sahaba disputing and Allah making the forgetting of the exact night).

http://tafsir.com/default.asp?sid=97&tid=58835

Ayah 3:


لَيْلَةُ الْقَدْرِ خَيْرٌ مِّنْ أَلْفِ شَهْرٍ


laylatul qadri khayrun min alfi shahr

The Night of Decree is better than a thousand months.

Deeds you do in this night is better than the deeds you do in more than 1000 months (around 83 years and 4 months).

The average lifespan in the USA at its peak is 80 for women, and 74 for men. So Allah is giving us a lifetime full of worships and reward within 1 night time.

What a great Night Allah has given us. In some parts of the Muslim world, the average lifespan is 40, in some places it is on average 33.

Allah is offering us a lifetime full of worship’s reward, per every year.

So if we worshipped in the Night of Qadr for 50 years. 50 years dedicated to the Nights’ of Power, multiplied by 80 [1000 months] = 4000years of worship’s reward! It’s like you worshipped Allah for 4000 years!


The surah began with
; What will give you a clue what the Night of Qadr is?

It is a night that has amazing rewards and extreme Mercy from Allah.

hadeeth; average age for my ummah 60-70 years.

hadeeth;
ra’a ‘amaara
fa khaafa an lan yablughu

The Messenger was afraid that the members of his ummah are going to have short lives, so they won’t be able to catch up with the worship like previous nations (who had longer lifespans).

So Allah gifted to his Messenger the Laylah al Qadr. / Night of Qadr.

Khayrun min alfi shahr;

Others say this Khayr – you can accomplish alot of good in this Night, not just in worship, but in doing good (khayr) with others.

So the scholars commented that if you have broken up with someone i.e. A relative, a Muslim friend etc. – then this is the best night to do the good/khayr of uniting with them and removing the hard feelings between each other.

Allah doesn’t say;

Ka alfi shahr
Like 1000 months.

He says; khayrun min alfi shahr - Better than 1000 months.


Alfi Shahr
- 1000 months

By Allah saying 1000 months = He meansall time.

1000 months meant hyperbolised, i.e. Better than Forever.

During the time of Allah’s Messenger,The Arabs would say; “I will be your friend for 1000 months” = meaning, ‘I will be your friend, always.’

So this could ayah could mean that The Night of Qadr is better than all times.

So aninfinity context is being implied.

Ayah 4:


تَنَزَّلُ الْمَلَائِكَةُ وَالرُّوحُ فِيهَا بِإِذْنِ رَبِّهِم مِّن كُلِّ أَمْرٍ

tanazalul malaa’ikatu war-roohu fee haa bi idhni rabihim min kulli amr

The angels and the Spirit [Jibreel] descend therein by permission of their Lord for every matter.

Ta nazalul mala’ikah..

The Qur’an is precise speech, all the way to the way a word is spelt.

A word in Arabic can be spelt fully, and partially. (i.e. In English, Maths is shortened for the longer word Mathematics etc.)

This is; Iddgham fis-sarf. الإدغام في الصرف

تَتَنَزَّلُ

TaTanazalu is the actual Original word. There are 2 Ta’s.

But you can say Tanazalu – تَنَزَّلُ

Other similar types of words used in the Qur’an;

Tatafakaru / Tafakaru (to ponder)
tatazakaru / tatazakaru (to remember)

The meaning is the same, both are correct – but in Classical Arabic, for the word to be fuller [with double Ta] – implies that it is more in meaning.

In this ayah, Allah says;

Tanazalul mala’ikah..
[1 Ta]

In Surah Fussilat, Allah says;

 

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ قَالُوا رَبُّنَا اللَّهُ ثُمَّ اسْتَقَامُوا تَتَنَزَّلُ عَلَيْهِمُ الْمَلَائِكَةُ أَلَّا تَخَافُوا وَلَا تَحْزَنُوا وَأَبْشِرُوا بِالْجَنَّةِ الَّتِي كُنتُمْ

تُوعَدُونَ

Indeed, those who have said, “Our Lord is Allah ” and then remained on a right course – the angels will descend [TaTanazal] upon them, [saying], “Do not fear and do not grieve but receive good tidings of Paradise, which you were promised.

[Fussilat 41:30]

Angels are coming down in both places, but When you add the Ta [2 Ta's as prefix] – there are more angels.

In the Surah Fussilat, more angels are coming down at the time of death. How often does death happen? Everyday, all the time – people are dying, so many angels are always coming to take the peoples’ soul away. [So 2 Ta's are mentioned as a prefix.]

In the Night of Power, the Angels are coming down, but it is happening alot less [because it is only 1 night in the year] in comparison to the total amount of angels for death everyday of the year. [So 1 Ta is mentioned as a prefix.]

But even then, there are ALOT of angels coming in this night.

Tanazalu -

al Bica’i: The missing Ta also implies that the angels come down quickly and secretly in this night.

..al Malaa’ikatu war-Roohu..


The mala’ikah [angels] And ar-Ruh (the spirit – Jibreel/Gabriel). By Ijma’ (consensus) – the Muslim scholars all agree that ar-Ruh is Angel Jibreel.

Mala’ikah and Ruh (Jibreel) is repeatedly mentioned in the Qur’an, with the angels [mala'ikah] being mentioned first – then the Ruh.

 

تَعْرُجُ الْمَلَائِكَةُ وَالرُّوحُ إِلَيْهِ فِي يَوْمٍ كَانَ مِقْدَارُهُ خَمْسِينَ أَلْفَ سَنَةٍ

The angels and the Spirit [Jibreel] will ascend to Him during a Day the extent of which is fifty thousand years.

[Ma'arij 70:4]

The only time this order of sequence is shifted is in Surah Naba’;

 

يَوْمَ يَقُومُ الرُّوحُ وَالْمَلَائِكَةُ صَفًّا ۖ لَّا يَتَكَلَّمُونَ إِلَّا مَنْ أَذِنَ لَهُ الرَّحْمَٰنُ وَقَالَ صَوَابًا

The Day that the Spirit [Jibreel] and the angels will stand in rows, they will not speak except for one whom the Most Merciful permits, and he will say what is correct.

[Naba' 78:38]

Why is this? Why is the Ruh mentioned after the Mala’ikah, except in Surah Naba’?

We notice that Allah ascribes alot of movement with the angels. Them descending, ascending, doing some form of action etc.

But when Allah describes the Ruh – Jibreel, He usually describes him as stationary / still, or doing a specific action of responsibility. (ذِي قُوَّةٍ عِندَ ذِي الْعَرْشِ مَكِينٍ – [Who is] possessed of power and with the Owner of the Throne, secure [in position], [Takweer 81:20]

We see that in surah Naba’ – Allah describes the Jibreel/ar-Ruh standing/yaqoom with the angels. The angels are not moving, so ar-Ruh/Jibreel is mentioned first.

In this surah - there is movement of the angels descending, so the Mala’ikah/angels are mentioned first, and then the Ruh/Jibreel is also descending with them.

This is part of the subtelty and beauty of the Qur’an.


Who brings the Qur’an down
? The Noble Angel Jibreel. So on this Night, this Angel – who revealed the Qur’an to Prophet Muhammad – descends every year in our world with other angels. What an honour.

He repeats his Sunnah every year, of coming down on the day the Qur’an was first revealed.

..bi idhni Rabihim..

by the permission of their Master.

Shaykh Salman ar-Ra’i: It is said the angels are looking forward to seeing the believers on Earth. so they seek permission of their Master (Allah) to come down on this Night, and Allah allows them to descend, after which they meet and greet the believers who are in worship during that night with Salaam (peace and greetings).

This is why the surah ends with

سَلَامٌ هِيَ حَتَّىٰ مَطْلَعِ الْفَجْرِ -

Salamun hiyya matla-il fajr - peace until the morning (ayah 5).

So we see that the angels are excited to meet Allah’s obedient slaves.


..min kulli ‘amr.

Min - means (from).

Min in classical arabic can also mean – ‘because of’

because of every command

إِنَّا أَنزَلْنَاهُ فِي لَيْلَةٍ مُّبَارَكَةٍ ۚ إِنَّا كُنَّا مُنذِرِينَ

فِيهَا يُفْرَقُ كُلُّ أَمْرٍ حَكِيمٍ

أَمْرًا مِّنْ عِندِنَا ۚ إِنَّا كُنَّا مُرْسِلِينَ

Indeed, We sent it down during a blessed night. Indeed, We were to warn [mankind].
On that night is made distinct every precise matter -
[Every] matter [proceeding] from Us. Indeed, We were to send [a messenger]

[Dukhan 44: 3-5]


Why is Allah’s permission [idhn] mentioned
?

Because alot of polytheistic religions commit shirk with the Angels, making them into a deity which is worshipped. So Allah is implying that the angels can’t do anything – except with His permission.

The polytheists would make the angels into gods, i.e. An angel which has power over the rain clouds might later be turned into a force, a ‘god of the rain’ etc. by future ignorant people.

So Allah is telling us that the angels descend by His permission.

al Bica’ithe angels come with the commands which Allah has given them to do for the whole year until the next year’s Night of Qadr.

So the amount of deaths which will take place, who will die etc. All this information of commands is given to the angels in this night uptill the following year.

Ayah 5:


سَلَامٌ هِيَ حَتَّىٰ مَطْلَعِ الْفَجْرِ

salaamun hiyya hat-taa mattla’-il fajr

Peace it is until the emergence of dawn [fajr].

On this night there is absolutlely no evil whatsoever. This night is entire peace (salamuN - tanween).

A night of absolute peace when there is no intervention of the devils.

Mujahid: this is the night when no human can embark upon any evil task.

ash-Sha’bi: Allah calls it the Salam because the angels are constantly sending peace and blessings upon the believers in the Masaajid/mosques.

From the setting of the sun till thr break of dawn.


The angels pass by the believers doing worship and give Salaam
[prayers of peace] to every single one of them individually.

a Hadeeth quoted by Ibn Katheer: A battalion of angels come down with Jibreel and they enter every Masjid, and approach every believer who is in worship and give him Salaam.
The long journey the angels and Jibreel take, just to give Salaam to the believers.
What an honour.

The Beginning of the Surah's Relation to it's End:


The surah began with the descent of the Qur’an, then the angels, then peace. Till the time of Fajr.


What’s the best time to recite Qur’an?

The last 3rd of the night, before Fajr.

 

أَقِمِ الصَّلَاةَ لِدُلُوكِ الشَّمْسِ إِلَىٰ غَسَقِ اللَّيْلِ وَقُرْآنَ الْفَجْرِ ۖ إِنَّ قُرْآنَ الْفَجْرِ كَانَ مَشْهُودًا

Establish prayer at the decline of the sun [from its meridian] until the darkness of the night and [also] the Qur’an of dawn. Indeed, the recitation of dawn is ever witnessed.

[Israa' 17:78]

It starts with the Qur’an descending, and then it mentions the Night of Qadr being before the time of Fajr – hinting that this is the best time to recite it, especially within that Night.

Almost by consensus, this is a Makki surah (Revealed in Makkah).

When you read about the virtues of the Night of worship. But who doesn’t benefit from the virtues? The disbelievers.
But in the Makkan context – the primary audience are the Disbelievers. So why is this a Makki surah?


The integrity of the Qur’an
. In the previous surah ‘Alaq, Allah’s Messenger is being attacked by Abu Jahl.

Da’wah is like sales, you give Islam and hope the other person buys it.

Allah’s Messenger is desperate that the disbelievers become Muslim, and the disbelievers as a result feel they are in power.

Allah makes His Messenger know that he is the one in power, not the disbelievers. They are in loss, and the only reason the Messenger of Allah is desperate is because he fears for the disbelievers.

This Book is so Noble, it was sent down in the Night of Qadr – showing the Nobility of this Book/Qur’an. You do not need to worry about them, rather – if they are sincere – they will try to reach this High and Noble Book.

They missed out on 1000 months of worship, not you.
They are the ones who are losing out.

They should be the most grateful ones because they get to hear the word of Allah. They are not doing you a favour by becoming Muslims.

The previous Surah ‘Alaq ended;

waqtaribget close.

This surah shows that you can get the closest to Allah in this Night of Qadr.

Both surahs’ focus on Iqra‘ – Read [Alaq :1]. This surah focuses on us Reading the Qur’an (in salah/prayer) in this Night as one of the best forms of worship.

أَقِمِ الصَّلَاةَ لِدُلُوكِ الشَّمْسِ إِلَىٰ غَسَقِ اللَّيْلِ وَقُرْآنَ الْفَجْرِ ۖ إِنَّ قُرْآنَ الْفَجْرِ كَانَ مَشْهُودًا

Establish prayer at the decline of the sun [from its meridian] until the darkness of the night and [also] the Qur’an of dawn. Indeed, the recitation of dawn is ever witnessed.
May Allah give us the blessing in seeing and following the Night of Qadr in the upcoming year, and give us love and understanding of the Qur’an, and its implementation. May Allah send peace and blessings upon His Messenger (sal Allah alaihi wasalam). Ameen.

This is the end of tafseer Surah Qadr, and the praise is for Allah.

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