The Arabs often use seven or seventy or a thousand, or multiples of those numbers, to indicate a great number. Here alf (a thousand) means “a vast number.” If we suddenly understand something, we realize that the one day in which we were awakened is better than years of ignorance. In a period of ten years we may remember two or three days that were critical, which contained those moments that changed the entire course of our lives and the way we saw things. Those days brought more to us than a thousand months.
Our traditions relate that the Prophet once saw monkey-like figures preaching from his mimbar (pulpit) in Madinah, and it is said that by this sign he predicted that for a thousand months after his death, unworthy leaders would misguide the ummah (the community of Muslims). One night of opening, the descent of the Qur’an, the revelation of the truth upon the Prophet, more than compensated for the thousand months of misguided leadership. Its truth is eternal, therefore, its light will always overcome darkness.
From ‘Beams of Illumination from the Divine Revelation’
By Shaykh Fadhlalla Haeri