Laylatul Qadr: Unveiling the Significance of the Most Important Night in Islam

Laylatul Qadr – Islam creates specific periods and sacred locations. Although a person who is a Muslim can perform worship, like remembering or praising God at any moment (“standing on their feet, sitting, or lying on their side” [1]),

Certain moments are characterized by unique and distinct blessings that go along with these times. In the same way, even though the entire Earth is now an area of worship and prayer, there are certain locations (such as the 3 Mosques) that are specifically blessed.

This causes within the mind of the religious person a desire to search for these unique opportunities to get closer to Allah. This yearning triggers various positive spiritual feelings: reverence, awe, wonder, and anticipation, as well as eagerness, enthusiasm, optimism, and longing. All of which are encapsulated by the word shawq. [2]

We live in an age of technological distractions and apathy to material things. Most prayers are squeezed into short moments of our lives that do not provide people with a transformational spiritual experience. An authentic worship experience is not simply having a moment for prayer but instead allowing our prayers to establish our direction in our lives.

This is why Islam provides opportunities for deep spiritual experiences, which require putting aside the dunya (worldly worldly) and its distractions. One of the most significant possibilities is the blessed night of Ramadan. The Prophet Muhammad stated, “Whoever spends the nights of Ramadan praying in faith and the hope of reward, he’ll be cleansed of his past mistakes.” [3]

The best of these occasions are the last ten days of Ramadan. The Prophet’s wife, A’isha, recounts, “When the last ten nights began, Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) was awake at midnight (for prayers and dedication) and woke his family and set himself to follow salah (with greater vigor).” [44

It is not a coincidence that i’tikaf (seclusion within the mosque) is also recommended during Ramadan. The Prophet Muhammad was a practitioner of the i’tikaf for all of the final ten weeks of Ramadan. [5]

No night or day has been more emphasized than the night known by the name of lalat al-qadr (the night of Decree). The Qur’an’s chapter 97 is specifically dedicated to this night:

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We disclosed the Qur’an on that Night of Decree. What can you do to be aware of a Night of Decree? The Night of Decree is said to be better than a thousand years. Angels and the Spirit descend upon it with the permission of their Lord in all matters. Peace and tranquility until dawn breaks. (97:1-5)

The companion Anas Malik said: “Ramadan approached, ” the Messenger of God stated, “This month is upon you, and in it, you will find one night that is better than a thousand. If you are not able to enjoy it, then you are devoid of all goodness, and no one is deficient of its goodness unless those who truly suffer.'” [66

The exact night that Laylatul-Qadr was observed has yet to be discussed. The Prophet Muhammad stated, “Search for Laylatul-Qadr on the nights that are not regular in the final ten nights during Ramadan.” [77. As experts have acknowledged, there is an enormous wisdom in not knowing the exact time when it occurs. As Ibn Qudamah al-Maqdisi (d. 620 H) writes:

God has kept that night’s events from ommash to allow them to work in pursuing it and carry out prayers throughout the month in the hope of finding it. In the same way, He concealed the time for remarkable acceptance on Friday so that people would be more sincere in their prayers throughout the day.

He hid His Name, His Highest (ism al-Adham), in His Divine Names and His pleasure in actions of obedience so that people could strive for their own. In addition, He concealed a person’s life span as well as the hour [of the day of Judgment] in order that humanity would always strive to improve their actions and be aware of them.[88.

Also Read: Ramazan Increases Women’s Responsibility

A theological reason for Laylatul-qadar’s significance in theology

Islamic scholars are divided on the importance of the name ‘ Laylatul-Qadr.’ The term ‘ Qadr‘ could have several meanings. Each has its significance in theology.

Certain scholars have defined ” Qadr as a reference to the meaning of the holy night of “destiny/decree” (Qadar). For them, this meant that it was the night on the course of which the fate of every individual was determined. This was the night when the person’s survival, longevity, and other essential aspects were secured for the following year.

To support this, ‘Abdullah Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with his soul) declared: “It is written in Umm al-Kitab (the Heavenly copy of the Qur’an) during the period of Laylatul-Qadr what will be the case in the coming year of goodness as well as evil. It will also provide sustenance and life span. Even the journey for the pilgrim (shall be determined) and it will be stated that “so and so will be a pilgrim’ (on this night).” [9]

Al-Hasan Al-Basri (d. 110 H), Mujahid (d. 100 H) as well as Qatadah (d. 112 H)–three well-known early Muslim scholars who shared this opinion and were said to have stated that “all the issues of life of creation, deeds, and provision are made known to Laylatul-Qadr during the month of Ramadan and will be fulfilled during the year ahead.” [10]

Imam Al-Nawawi concluded his discussion about Laylatul-Qadr by stating: “It was named Laylatul-Qadr, which means the night of Judgment as well as discernment (in the lives that men are involved in). This is the meaning that is popular and true.” [11]

Some scholars have identified the meaning of ” Qadr” as ‘power,’ indicating the strength of the honor and power in the evening. [12] A similar interpretation is the meaning of ‘ Qadr’ as ‘power’ by stating that the noble acts done during the night are more significant than any other night.

Ibn ‘Uthaymeen stated: “A person would attain the benefit of the night even if they have no information about it. It is because Prophet Muhammad stated that “whoever stands (in the prayer) during the prayer of Laylatul-Qadr with hope and faith will be forgiven and the Prophet didn’t make an understanding of the night a requirement for their forgiveness. If knowledge of the night had been essential, prophets would’ve clearly stated this.” [13]

Also Read: Ramadan Supplications: Qualities Of A True Servant

Let’s consider that understanding the night is optional to be successful in the night. The unnecessary option is needed to comprehend notions of destiny or decide to benefit from worshipping this particular night. All they have to do is engage in worship rituals during the night.

Another interpretation of ‘ Qadr,’ in its context, in the case of Laylatul-Qadr, has to do with the meaning of restriction. This is thought to imply that the Earth is restricted by the angels who descend to Earth during the night of the Holy and occupy the Earth.

This angelic descent is mentioned in the Qur’an, and since angels are often associated with concepts like illumination, guidance, and blessings, they indicate how magnificent Laylatul-Qadr is.[14Additionally, gels are a part of the heavens of the highest and are referred to as such in the Qur’an as being ‘close to God however, when they are on Laylatul-Qadr, they’re seeking permission from God to come down to Earth in gratitude for the divine blessings God gives to the Earth on this night.[15In an account, the Prophet said: “Truly the angels on this night are as numerous as pebbles that are scattered across the earth.”[16

Laylatul-Qadr is also described as a gift to the Muhammad’s community ( ummah). Muwatta in the Muwatta of Imam Malik, there is a hadith that declares: “The Messenger of Allah is Allah, may Allah be pleased with him, and give him Peace was shown the life spans of those (who were gone) earlier than him.

Or as Allah would have of them, and it appeared like the lives of the members of his group had become too short to carry out the same kind of good things as the people before them were in a position to accomplish in their lengthy lives. Therefore, Allah granted him the Laylat al(also known as Qadr, which is greater than a thousand years).” [17]

Alongside the significance of Divine decrees and presenting the Prophet’s family with a unique opportunity to worship, there is an intimate connection Laylatul-Qadr can share with the Qur’an. It is noted in the Surah of al-Qadr (97:1), in addition to Surah al-Dukhan (44:3).

It is stated it is believed that there was a time when the Qur’an was revealed that night. Ibn Abbas has explained this by saying that in the Laylatul-Qadr in the 97th chapter, the Qur’an was revealed in all its entirety from the top heaven down to the lowest heaven and then placed in a particular chamber referred to as Bayt al-Izzah (the House of Honor).

Then, it was revealed slowly over 23 years to Muhammad, the Prophet. Muhammad. [18] This was done to highlight the revelation’s importance and inform the people in the Heavens that it was the last message. [19] It is also stated by other scholars, including the Imam Al-Sha’bi (d. the year 105 H.) and others, that the revelation of the Qur’an’s message to the Prophet Muhammad was initiated in the month Ramadan on the night of Laylatul-Qadr when Jibreel made his first appearance to meet his Prophet Muhammad. [20]

Also Read: 7 Heart Warming Duas To Celebrate The End of Ramadan 2024

What’s the relationship between its purpose and its merits?

What’s the connection to Laylatul Qadr, the night when decrees are made? Deliberation, as well as being the most moral night to be praying on? What makes the night when angels descend on the Earth with the Decree the most heavenly night to pray?

One answer is located within the explanation (Tafsir) of the first passage of Surah ad-Dukhan.

Ha, Meem. The clear Book truly, We have revealed the Qur’an during the night of a blessing. Indeed, we always warned humanity. On that night, every sensible decision (amr Hakeem) is enacted at the direction of Our Lord. Sure, we always sent [messengersto] favor from our Lord, for indeed God is All-Hearing and All-Knowing. (44:1-6)

The passage reaffirms the importance of the night of Laylatul-Qadr because it is the time when destiny, fates, and decrees are announced for the coming year. The well-known Qur’anic commentator Abu’lThana Al-Alusi (d. 1270 H/1854 C.E.) noted in his Tafsir that when God declares that “On the night that follows, each Hakeem decree is defined,” one of the implications of Hakeem is that it’s much (decisive) that means that “this decree is not able to be altered when it is enacted as opposed to before it was made.” [21]

When people think about the many things that could occur over the next 12 months, they will feel a sense of excitement and dread. Shortly, they will experience the loss of a beloved one or the onset of a fatal disease, a bitter battle and destruction of property, or, perhaps, losing their faith and relationship with God.

Maybe in the coming year, they will experience great happiness and intimacy with their family members, the most rewarding accomplishment in their professional life or union, a solution to old issues, new friendships and wealth, and most importantly, the growth of their relationship to the Divine.

When one thinks about this, they realize that the time of prayer known as Laylatul-Qadr is the ideal time to ask for prayers that will lead them towards achieving their greatest dreams and prevent the most dreadful nightmares. This is the night that the annual Decree is set. In a way, it is the night your fate is “downloaded” from the sky.

A person waiting for an official’s decision in the courtroom prays the most strongly during the time that the decision is set to be pronounced. Similarly, the prayer of Laylatul-Qadr could signal the final chance to alter one’s destiny ( taqdeer). Then, the one’s Taqdeer in the records of the angels only gets modified if it was written before the time it was altered.

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The scholar of hadith, Ibn Hajar al Asqalani (d. 854 H.), observes the distinction between the contingent decision (al-Qada’al-Mu’allaq) that God has granted to angels and the unrevocable order (al-Qada’al-Mubram) that is associated with God.[22The record of a person’s fate that angels hold is susceptible to change, since the Qur’an explains “God removes and confirms what He wishes” (13:39) as well as the Prophet Muhammad declared, “Nothing averts fate except prayers (la yaruddu ad-al-qadar, illa du’ ).”[23).

But the record of one’s relationship with God on the Preserved Tablet (al-Lawh al-Mahfudh) is unbeatable. Therefore, praying to Laylatul-Qadr could cause their records with angels to change before the documents are sealed in the future of the year. The night of Du’a has the most power to alter decrees; hence, it is also known as the Night of Power and the Night of Decree.

There is a particular connection between this night and the need for forgiveness from God. A’isha inquired of the Prophet, “O Prophet of Allah! If I knew the night called Laylatul-Qadr, what should I do to my companions during the night?” And he instructed her to use the following words:

llaWhumaW inaWka `ufuwunW kariymun tuHibuW l`afwa fa`fu `aniWy

O Allah! You are the most forgiving of God. You love to forgive. Therefore, forgive me.[24[24

The Prophet commanded us to pray to Allah by using Allah’s Divine Name Al-Afuww (The Most Merciful) during this time, and it has an intimate connection to Qadar. The meaning of the linguistics behind the Divine Name can be clarified by pointing out that the root of “‘afuw’ (forgiveness) in linguistic terms refers to the erasure ( al-mahuw) and elimination ( al-tams). [25]

So, our prayers towards Allah now are directly linked to a request for Him to erase all effects of our wrongdoings. The Qur’an declares in the Qur’an that God’s ‘afuw prevents the calamity of being imposed on us because of our sins

If you are struck by the calamity (museebah), It’s because of the wealth you have earned, even though He can pardon (ya’fuw) quite a bit. (42:30)

The decrees of Laylatul-Qadr could be coming down with the calamities resulting from our sins. Fortunately, this night, we are allowed to ask for forgiveness from the Al-Afuww to avert those mistakes and the resulting decree and free them from our lives for the coming year.

Also Read: The Holy Month of Ramzan Prayers into The Early Hours

Looking for its benefits

Since Laylatul Qadr is the most blessed day we have, anyone who does not attend it has surely lost a lot of goodness. [26] Several scholars suggested that one thing be avoided over and above the sin of wasting time during that evening: spending time in a social setting with others, fighting, or shopping.

You should remember that the night’s official start time is around Maghrib (sunset), and be aware of how much time is spent after that point. If a person believes willfully to obey his Lord and improve the good works he’s done, He should try to be a part of the night’s worship and in obedience. If God facilitates this for him, all his past mistakes will be forgiven.

Suratul-Alaq, revealed during this heavenly night, starts with the instruction to read the Qur’an and closes with the instruction to kneel and be close to God. It also contains Divine instructions for how the night should be spent. Ash-Shafi’i (d. the year 204 H.) claimed that a few of the saintly predecessors prefer to spend their evening in prayer, some in the Quran and others to perform dua, and all are blessed with a reward from Allah. [27]

This also demonstrates how important intention is that even if you fail to stay up late for a reason beyond your control, you’ll be rewarded in full. Although it is recommended to complete I’itkaf(i.e., to be confined within the masjid all ten days), there are many essential things to accomplish even if you cannot participate in I’tikaf.

Just asking Isha and the Fajr in the congregation on that night will make it a success. The Prophet stated: “Whoever attends Isha prayer with the congregation and prays in a congregation, then they receive the same reward as if he spent the whole night standing.

If a person prays Isha and Fajr in the congregation and receives the same reward as if spending the whole night sitting in prayer.”[28Furthermore, Imam Malik (d. 171 H) told of having been told that Said ibn al Musayyab (d. 1994 H) used to say, “Whoever attends Isha during Laylatul-Qadr has taken their portion from it.”[2929

If one can perform more than this, the next step is making extra prayers at night. The Prophet Muhammad declared, “Whoever stands in prayer during the night time prayer of Laylatul-Qadr with hope and faith for the blessings of Allah and Allah, all of his past wrongs will be remitted.” [30]

As mentioned, the supplication that the Prophet suggested to his wife A’isha during that night of joy is a prayer to receive forgiveness from all angles that calls on Allah’s forgiveness and love. [31]

There is a massive benefit for those who believe in Allah to discover their forgiveness love while praising Allah’s love for forgiveness. The Prophet Muhammad told his friends: “I came to inform you of what happened on the (specific) date in the night of Laylatul Qadr, but I came across so-and-so fighting in a dispute and (in mediating) mediation) were the details of the night taken away out of me.” [32]

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Because the Prophet’s knowledge of the particular date that was the night of Laylatul Qadr was taken away from him because of internal conflicts between two people, this acts as a reminder that conflicts between people prevent people from receiving the forgiveness and pardon they deserve during the night.

Since the Prophet was hidden from knowing about the night because of the resentments between people, it’s through offering forgiveness to other people and not focusing on each other’s faults that we can experience that Allah has forgiven us. Allah in the time of Laylatul-Qadr.

In that equation, the success found in the small effort of one night is the infinite mercy found in the eternal path to salvation. This is the same God who has commanded you to ask for His forgiveness and will gladly offer it in exchange for a task that can be carried out even by the smallest and weakest of us.

The God who created you, the same God who gave you only a few years to accomplish good, provides you with nights and days comparable to a lifetime of worship. The same angel, Jibreel, was sent to pay tribute to the Prophet on that night and is being sent to the earth on the same night every year to honor his nation.

[1] Qur’an 3:191.

2. The Prophet used to pray, “O Allah, I would like to have the pleasure of seeing Your Face and the excitement (shawl) to meet You” ( Sunan an-Nasa’i 1305). Ibn al Qayyim describes the shawl as “the path of the heart that seeks its loved ones” ( Tareeq al-Hijratayn Dar Alam alFawa’id Vol. 1, p. 723).

  • [3] Sunan an-Nasa’i 2192.
  • [4] Sahih Muslim 1174.
  • [5] Sahih Muslim 1171.
  • [6] Sunan Ibn Majah, 1644.
  • [7] Sahih Bukhari, 2017.
  • [8] Ibn Qudamah,al-Mughni (Dar `Alam al-Kutub), vol. 4, p. 453.
  • [9] Tafsir al-Baghawi 7/227-228.
  • [10[10 Al-Bayhaqi, Kitab Fada’il Al-Awqat 213.
  • [11] Al-Majmoo’ Sharh Al-Muhadhab, 6/447.
  • [12] Tafsir Al-Baghawi, 8/48.
  • [13] Sharh Al-Mumta’, 6/494.
  • [14] Quran, 97:4.
  • [15] Quran, 4:174.
  • [1616 Musnad Ahmad 734.

[17] Muwatta Malik, 19:706. Based on this account, certain scholars, including Ibn `Abdul-Barr and al-Nawawi, declared it was a virtuous reward offered by this night was only available to Muhammad’s ummah; however, other scholars, such as Ibn Kathir and Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani were not convinced that it was to be exclusive (see Al-Zarqani Muhammad Abdul-Baqi. Sharh al-Zarqani `ala Muwatta Malik, 2003, p.326).

[18] Mustadrak al-Hakim 3781, Sunan al-Nasa’i 11625, Sunan al-Bayhaqi 8521. Ibn Taymiyyah says that this revelation, which was originally an oral version (in Lawh al-Mahfudh) to a form written (in Bayt al-`Izzah), does not invalidate the Angel Jibreel’s hearing of the Qur’an directly from Allah and then bringing it now to Prophet ( Majmu al-Fatawa 12/126-7). We have thus an oral revelation from the Qur’an and the revealed in writing to the Qur’an.

  • [19] Badr al-Deen al-Zarkashi, Burhan fi Ulum al-Qur’an, vol .1, p. 230.
  • [20[20. Manna al-Qattan, Mabahith, and Ulum al-Qur’an He state that both beliefs are valid and compatible.
  • [21] Al-Alusi, Abu’l-Thana’. Ruh Al-Ma’ani (tafsir of Verse 44:4).
  • [22] Al-‘Asqalani, al-Hafiz b. Hajar. Fath al-Bari li sharh sahih al-Bukhari. (Cairo Dar Al-Rayyan li al-Turath, 1986) volume. 10, p. 430.
  • [23] Sunan Ibn Majah, 1:95.
  • [24] Jami’ al-Tirmidhi, 3513.
  • [25] Lisan al-`Arab, 4/3019.

26. Most scholars believe the Laylatul-Qadr can be observed on any odd night during the final ten nights of Ramadan Thu, demonstrating the importance of keeping the same amount of worship throughout every night. Ibn Taymiyyah argued the intriguing argument about the “odd nights” could be counted starting from the beginning or at the end to the end of this month (e.g., the 28th night is the third night in the 30 day Ramadan and consequently also odd) Therefore, it is essential to try to achieve to be consistent throughout the ten night. ( Majmu’ al-Fatawa 25/284-285).

27. This can be particularly important to be aware of for women experiencing their period and not being able to do Qiyam because the benefits of the night remain accessible to those who have it.

  • [28] Jami’ Tirmidhi, 221. Similar to Sahih Muslim 656a.
  • [29. Muwatta Malik book 19, Hadith 707.
  • [30] Sahih Bukhari, 1901.
  • [31] Jami’ al-Tirmidhi, 3513. The article was previously discussed in p. 9.
  • [32] Sahih Bukhari, 49.  

Categories: PRAYER (Salat), ALMS (Zakat), SAWN (Fasting) HAJJ (Pilgrimage) & DUA (Supplications), Hadith and Tafseer, The Holy Quran, Quran Jaz 1- 114

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