Laylat al-Qadr: The Night of Decree

Ramadan is the most blessed month of the year for Muslims all over the world. Not only was The Quran revealed in this month, but fasting is also prescribed for Muslims during Ramadan. The significance of this month is such that in Surah al-Baqarah, Allah SWT Himself says [1]:

Ramadan is the (month) in which was sent down the Quran, as a guide to humankind, also clear (signs) for guidance and judgment (between right and wrong).

Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is reported to have said concerning Ramadan, as narrated by Abu Hurairah (RA) [2]:

Allah’s Apostle (PBUH) said, “When the month of Ramadan starts, the gates of the heavens are opened and the gates of Hell are closed and the devils are chained.”

Laylat al-Qadr: The Night of Decree

One of the most distinctive aspects of Ramadan is Laylat al-Qadr, or Laylatul Qadr.

Layl means Night and Qadr means Power or Decree. So Laylat al-Qadr means The Night of Decree or The Night of Power. Allah SWT says in The Quran [3]:

Verily! We revealed The Quran on the Night of Decree.
And what can make you know what is the Night of Decree?
The Night of Decree is better than a thousand months!
Gabriel and the angels descend therein, by Permission of their Lord.
Peace it is, until the emergence of dawn!

So from The Quran we come to know that it is the night in which The Quran was revealed and it is the best night of the year, such that any good deed done in this night is a thousand times better than what is done in other nights.

Furthermore in The Quran, Allah SWT says [4]:

We revealed it on a blessed night — Lo! We are ever warning; Whereon every wise command is made clear; As a command from Our presence — Lo! We are ever sending, A mercy from your Lord.

There is a difference of opinion as to when actually the Laylat al-Qadr occurs. But in many Ahadith, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) advises as that one should seek Laylat al-Qadr in the odd-numbered nights, in the last ten days of Ramadan. So, the 21st, 23rd, 25th, 27th or 29th night of Ramadan could be Laylat al-Qadr.

Narrated by Hz Aisha (RA) [5]:

The Prophet (PBUH) said: “Look for the Night of Qadr in the last ten nights of the month of Ramadan.”

Narrated by Ibn Umar (RA) [6]:

The Prophet (PBUH) said, “Seek it in the last seven days (of Ramadan).”

Narrated by Abu Hurairah (RA) [7]:

The Prophet (PBUH) said, “Whoever establishes prayers on the night of Qadr out of sincere faith and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven; and whoever fasts in the month of Ramadan out of sincere faith, and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven.”

Once again, as narrated by Abu Hurairah (RA) [8]:

Allah’s Apostle (PBUH) said, “Whoever establishes the prayers on the night of Qadr out of sincere faith and hoping to attain Allah’s rewards (not to show off), then all his past sins will be forgiven.”

There is no special form of worship prescribed for this night. One can engage himself or herself in offering prayers, making supplications, Quran recitations or simply by performing any good deed like charity. To support us in this effort, the following prayer to be recited on Laylat al-Qadr was conveyed to Hz Aisha (RA) [9]:

laylat-al-qadr-dua

O Allah! You are the Great Pardoner, You love to pardon. Hence I seek Your pardon.

May Allah enable each and every one of us to engage in sincere worship during this blessed month, and especially on Laylat al-Qadr, so that we may all benefit from the Mercy of Allah, InshaAllah! Ameen!

References

  1. The Quran 02:185 (Surah al-Baqarah)
  2. Sahih Bukhari Vol 03, Book 31, Hadith 123
  3. The Quran 97:01-05 (Surah al-Qadr)
  4. The Quran 44:03-06 (Surah Ad-Dukhan)
  5. Sahih Bukhari Vol 3, Book 32, Hadith 237
  6. Sahih Bukhari Vol 9, Book 87, Hadith 120
  7. Sahih Bukhari Vol 3, Book 31, Hadith 125
  8. Sahih Bukhari Vol 1, Book 02, Hadith 34
  9. Tirmidhi; Ibn Maja; Kitab al-Dua

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