Laylat ul Qadr
The month of Ramadan is the most special of times for the Ummah. It extols the virtues of sacrifice, patience and discipline, and gives us countless opportunities to seek mercy and forgiveness from Our Creator and seek His blessings for this life and the Hereafter. In this month, one night in particular is more precious than any other – Laylat ul Qadr (sometimes referred to as al Qadr or Laylat al Qadr/Laylatal Qadr).
So what is Laylat ul Qadr? Known as the Night of Power or the Night of Decree, it is the night when the worship of the Almighty is worth more than 1,000 months (84 years) of worship, so any act on that night seeking the mercy and blessings of our Creator carries immense rewards.
It is one reason why charitable giving increases that night – not only do many people give more during Ramadan (because of its special status) towards helping those in need, but many reserve their giving for the last 10 nights as Laylat ul Qadr falls during one of the odd nights during those 10.
The virtues of this special night are marked by many significant events that make it so precious and valuable.
- The night when the first verses of the Qur’an were revealed to our beloved Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allah Be Upon Him)
- The Qu’ran states that good deeds performed on this night are equivalent to those that would be performed over a thousand months
- It also says that the angels descend to Earth on Laylat ul Qadr
- There are Hadith saying that praying on this night of al Qadr, with pure intentions, offers a chance to have all past sins forgiven
- Peace and tranquillity is on that night until the break of dawn.
The Story of Laylat ul Qadr
The story of Laylat ul Qadr is magnificent in its impact on humanity. Before the widespread acceptance of Islam, our beloved Prophet (PBUH) would go to the cave of Hira and meditate in solitude for days and nights.
It was during one of these nights in Ramadan that he (PBUH) was visited by the Angel Jibril. The Angel commanded him (PBUH): “Iqraa” (Read). The Prophet (PBUH) was illiterate and responded that he could not read.
The command was repeated twice more and received the same answer. Jibril then revealed the first verses of the Qur’an:
“Read in the name of your Lord who created. Created man from an embryo. Read and your Lord is Most Honourable and Generous. The One who has taught by the Pen. Taught man that which he had no knowledge of.”
(Qur’an Surah Al Alaq 96:1-5)
The Qur’an is the word of Allah swt, His guidance and mercy for humanity and it started on the Night of Decree. Allah swt talks about the significance of this night in the Laylat ul Qadr surah in the Quran, when He says:
Indeed, We revealed [the Qur’an] during 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
The angels and the Spirit i.e. Jibril] descend therein by permission of their Lord for every matter.
Peace it is until the emergence of dawn.
(Qur’an Surah Al Qadr)
Although many scholars point to the 27th night of Ramadan as being the likely night of Laylat ul Qadr, the precise night on which Laylat ul Qadr occurs has not been specified and the Prophet (PBUH) said: “Search for Laylat ul Qadr in the odd nights of the last ten nights of Ramadan.” (Hadith Bukhari)
Respected scholars have stated that Allah swt has kept the precise time of Laylat ul Qadr concealed – as He has concealed other things like our time for leaving this life or the Day of Judgement – so we may devote our efforts to good deeds and worship in the hope of gaining its rewards and blessings.
The Night of Power is among the last 10 nights of Ramadan, a period that is among the greatest of opportunities presented to humanity to bring themselves closer to their Creator. Observances for Laylat ul Qadr include prayer, study, devotional readings or Itikaf (seclusion in the masjid during this time), a Sunnah of our beloved Prophet (PBUH).
Surah Al Alaq begins with the command to read and ends with the command to prostrate before our Lord and to draw close to him. If there is nothing else we do to benefit from the blessings of Laylat ul Qadr, we should perform our salah rigorously and especially at Isha (night) and Fajr (dawn).
The Prophet (PBUH) said: “Whoever attends Isha prayer in congregation, then he has the reward as if he had stood half of the night. And whoever prays Isha and Fajr in congregation, then he has the reward as if he had spent the entire night standing in prayer.” (Hadith Muslim)
May Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala allow us to invoke His forgiveness and mercy on this special night, may He accept our duas and grant us the blessings of Laylat ul Qadr. Ameen.