Laylatu l-Qadr Night of Greatness Night of Destiny

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيم

Praise be to God the Creator of the world, the One Who exists without beginning, without end, without location, without a “how” and Who does not depend on time. Nothing resembles Him in anyway and He hears and sees everything without organs. Whatever you imagine, God is different from that. May the elevation in degree and preservation of his community of what he fears for it, be granted to our master Muḥammad Al-‘Amin, the Honest One, who called for following Islam, the religion of truth, the religion of all the Prophets: of the First, Adam, to the last Muḥammad.

The Night of Qadr is a very great night in the blessed month of Ramaḍān. It is “the Night of Greatness.” In it, Allâh brought down a great Book the Qur’ân.

Each year, when the Night of Qadr occurs, great angels and great mercies come down to earth. This night is not a night specific to the nation of Muḥammad which occurred after the revelation to Prophet Muḥammad, Salla lLâhu `alayhi wa sallam. It is known that the Night of Qadr occurred during Ramaḍān in the eras of the previous prophets. However, what is a specific for the nation of Prophet Muḥammad is that Allâh guided them to know that the month of Ramaḍān would be their fasting month. In Surat Al-Qadr, Allâh, ta^âlâ, said:

سورة القدر
بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ
إِنَّا أَنزَلْنَاهُ فِي لَيْلَةِ الْقَدْرِ {1} وَمَا أَدْرَاكَ مَا لَيْلَةُ الْقَدْرِ {2} لَيْلَةُ الْقَدْرِ خَيْرٌ مِّنْ أَلْفِ شَهْرٍ {3} تَنَزَّلُ الْمَلائِكَةُ وَالرُّوحُ فِيهَا بِإِذْنِ رَبِّهِم مِّن كُلِّ أَمْرٍ {4} سَلامٌ هِيَ حَتَّى مَطْلَعِ الْفَجْرِ {5}

The first verse of this Surah means: « The whole Qur’ân was brought down in its entirety during the Night of Qadr. » The Qur’ân was copied from the Guarded Tablet and Jibrîl brought it down as a complete book to Baytul-`Izzah in the first sky. This occurred on the Night of Qadr in the month of Ramaḍān in the year Jibrîl first brought the revelation to the Prophet. Then, on the next day, Jibrîl came with the first five verses of Surat Al-`Alaq. This was the beginning of the prophethood of Prophet Muḥammad.

Ibn Hibban narrated from Wāthilah Ibn Al-‘Asqa` that he said the Prophet, salla lLâhu `alayhi wa sallam, said:

« أنزلت التّوراة لست مضين من رمضان وأنزل الإنجيل لثلاث عشرة خلت من رمضان وأنزل الفرقان لأربع وعشرين خلت من رمضان »

‘unzilati t-tawrâtu lisittin maḍayna min Ramaḍān wa ‘unzila l-‘injîlu lithalâthi `acharata khalat min Ramaḍāna wa ‘unzila l-furqânou li ’arba`in wa `ichrîna khalat min Ramaḍān

which means: « The Torah was revealed on the sixth (6th) night of Ramaḍān, the Injîl on the thirteenth (13th) night, and the Qur’ân on the twenty-fourth (24th) night of Ramaḍān. »

From this Hadîth it is known that it is not a condition that the Night of Qadr happens on the 27th or the 29th of the month of Ramaḍān, although from other Hadîths we know that this is most likely the case. Since the Night of Qadr might occur on any of the nights of Ramaḍān, the Muslims should put forth effort to pray each night of Ramaḍān, seeking the promised reward for the one who prays (the optional prayers) during that night. Making the extra effort in worshipping Allâh especially during the last ten days of Ramaḍān is recommended, because in most of the cases, the Night of Qadr occurs during one of those nights.

The second verse literally means: « How would you know what the Night of Qadr is ? » This means that before Allâh informed you, you did not know what the merit of that Night was. This ayah truly is a question which emphasizes the high status of this night and encourages the person to seek its goodness.

The third verse is the answer to the previous question. It means: « The reward one receives for praying during this night is greater than the reward he receives for praying one thousand (1000) months (which do not have the Night of Qadr in them). »

The fourth verse means: « The angels (in great numbers), including Jibrîl, descend from the sky to the earth during that night, and Allâh gives them the knowledge of what is going to happen during the coming year. » It was narrated from Abu-Hurayrah that the number of angels who would descend to earth during that night may be more than the number of pebbles on earth. Jibrîl, referred to as “ar-Ruḥ” in this verse, will be among them.

Al-Hakim narrated from the Prophet that during the Night of Qadr Jibrîl comes down to earth with a group of angels, and they make supplication (du`a’) for every slave standing up or sitting down mentioning Allâh. In another narration it is mentioned that these angels descend to earth at sunset and remain until the appearance of the dawn.

During the Night of Qadr, Allâh, tabâraka wa ta`âlâ, gives the angels the knowledge of what is going to happen during the coming year in what pertains to the sustenance (rizq), the changes in the situation of the slaves, and the like. This is the meaning of min kulli amr (of all the matters) in the verse. Allâh informs the angels about the details of the matters which will happen in the next year including what they are ordered to do that year. The angels copy matters from the Guarded Tablet which will happen during the coming year including the births, deaths, sustenance, calamities, enjoyments, and the like.

The fifth verse means: « The night is full of safety, goodness, and blessings (for the obedient believer) until the appearance of dawn. »

Among the signs that show the person that he saw (witnessed) the Night of Qadr are:

1. To see a great, clear light during the night other than the light of the sun, the moon, or electricity ;

2. To see the trees prostrating ;

3. To hear the voices of angels ;

4. To see the angels in their original form with two (2), three (3), four (4) or more wings, or to see them in the shape of a human being, i.e. the shape of a man (however, without genitalia).

Also, the way the sun rises the next morning is an indication that the previous night was the Night of Qadr. When the sun is rising its light and heat are not intense.

It is a very good sign for the person who sees the Night of Qadr and makes supplication (du`a’) during it. A very great goodness is hoped for this person, and, in shâ’ Allâh, the supplication would be answered. At-Tirmidhiyy narrated from `A’ishah that she said: « O Prophet of Allâh, if I encounter the Night of Qadr, then what should I say? (What supplication should I make during it?). The Prophet answered her:

« قولي : اللّهم إنّك عفوّ تحبّ العفو فاعف عنّي »

qûlî : Allâhumma ‘innaka `afuwwun tuHibbu l-`afwa fa`fu `annî

« Say: which means: « O Allâh, You are the One who forgives a great amount and You love forgiveness, so forgive me. » May Allâh bless us with seeing this great Night and making supplication in it.

There is wisdom in hiding from the slaves exactly which night is the Night of Qadr. This is so they put forth effort during all the nights of Ramaḍān hoping that by that they would acquire the reward of praying during the Night of Qadr. One would get the aforementioned multiplication of the reward, promised in the verses of the Qur’ân, by praying during that night whether one prays many optional rak`ahs or a few even two (2) rak`ahs. Reciting for a long time during the prayer is better than reciting for a short time. If one has the choice between praying a few number of rak`ahs with a longer recitation in each and praying more (many) rak`ahs but reciting for a short time during each rak`ah, then the first is better. It is not a condition that one actually witnesses the signs of the Night of Qadr to get the promised reward of praying in that night.

Al-Bukhâriyy and Muslim narrated from the Prophet, Salla lLâhu `alayhi wa sallam, that the one who prays during the Night of Qadr (out of believing in Allâh and for the sake of Allâh) then Allâh forgives him his previous sins. Some scholars said that the one who prays the Dawn Prayer (SubH) and the Evening Prayer (`Isha’) in congregation each day of Ramadan would get the reward of the Night of Qadr - even if he does not see that night. What a great reward!

Al-Bukhâriyy and Muslim also narrated from `A’ishah that the Prophet, Salla lLâhu `alayhi wa sallam, urged the Muslims to take very special care to pray during the last ten nights of Ramaḍān, because most of the time the Night of Qadr is one of those nights. Likewise, they both narrated from `A’ishah that she said: “When the last ten nights of Ramaḍān started, the Prophet used to put a forth great endeavor in worshipping during these nights. He used to pray the whole night and also wake his wives to pray.” They also related from `A’ishah that the Prophet used to make I`tikaf (stay in the mosque during the last ten (10) nights of Ramaḍān) each year until he died.

Praying during all the nights of Ramadan has a great reward. Prophet Muḥammad, Salla lLâhu `alayhi wa sallam, urged us to do that. Imam Muslim narrated from the Prophet that Allâh forgives the previous sins of the one who prays all the nights of Ramaḍān out of believing in Allâh and for His sake.

We are now in the month of Ramaḍān. The blessings are coming down to earth to us. Many opportunities are open for us to acquire these blessings and the gate of repentance is open for those who want to repent. May Allâh guide us. Let us take this great opportunity before we lose it.

O Allâh, You are the One who forgives a great amount and You love forgiveness so forgive me.

And Allâh knows best.

الحمد لله رب العالمين

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