If sleep could be likened to a temporary death, when one feels nothing, sees and hears none and makes contact with another realm, the subconscious or the inner self, however you like to call it, then staying awake at night could be likened to another life. Night becomes an opportunity to live in another dimension, a revival . That is probably the concept behind the "Living Nights" that we have in Ramazan. The idea is to stay awake on certain nights which are known to be nights of Ghadr or Measure. It is like the opportunity to measure yourself realistically and to find out how much you meet the standards or how much you have fallen off course. There are certain equations in Ramazan , which could be rooted in the fasting and serious restraint from wrong doings , that make that inner self more accessible. In those nights, flight and access to the realm of the spirit, that which we have so wrongly forgotten , for the sake of a dazzling and charming yet deteriorating and entropic world, becomes possible. It is as if the heavens are closer or those who have fasted have become lighter.
Then if a soul is revived, it would be possible to revive a society. If a leader revives his soul, then he would not rule on the basis of selfish, arrogance and vengeance. His leadership would stem from love, passion and altruism.
It is a common spiritual experience, for followers of divine religions and the believers. In Tehran, I met Archbishop Capucci, a Palestinian clergyman who had fought against Israeli occupation and aggression. He told us how he was treated in Israeli prisons , how he was given dog food and how they spat in the food to humiliate the Palestinians. That was in 1979 way before the Intifada, but the Islamic Revolution had given their cause a new life and spirit. " I lost a lot of weight " he said " but that made me lighter , and my spirit could fly easier and higher..."