Lailatul Qadar (لیلة القدر), the Night of Power, Night of Value, the Night of Decree or Night of Measures, is the anniversary of two very important dates in Islam that occurred in the month of Ramadan.

We have indeed revealed this (Message) in the Night of Power:
And what will explain to thee what the night of power is?
The Night of Power is better than a thousand months.
Therein come down the angels and the Spirit by Allah’s permission, on every errand:
Peace!…This until the rise of morn!

Summary:

This Sura describes Lailatul Qadar, the “Night of Power” in Ramadhan on which Muslims believe the Qur’an was first revealed. The “Spirit” mentioned in verse 4 is commonly interpreted as referring to the angel Jibreel (Gabriel). The “peace” referred to is “security in which Shaytan (Iblis) cannot do any evil or any harm”, while Ibn Kathir quotes Ash-Sha’bi as saying that it refers to the angels greeting the people in the mosques throughout the night.

Lailatul Qadar occurs during an odd-numbered night within the last ten days of Ramadan, but its exact date is uncertain; due to the promises made in the Sura and in various hadith. Muslims consider it a particularly good time for prayer, supplication, and repentance to God.

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Among the signs of Lailatul Qadar is that it is a serene, quiet, shining night, neither hot nor cold but the temperate would be as if a moon is shining clear; it lasts until the break of the dawn. Rain may fall either during the night or during the day of that night.

Abu Huraira (Allah be pleased with him) reported: We were talking about Lailat-ul-Qadr in the presence of the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) and he said: He who amongst you remembers (the night) when the moon arose and it was like a piece of plate (at the end of the month in a state of waning). (Sahih Muslim, Book 6, no. 2635).

Another sign is that at dawn, the sun rises without any radiant beams of light, appearing rather like the moon in its fullness.

Zirr b. Habaish reported: I asked Ubayy b. Ka’b (Allah be pleased with him): Your brother (in faith) Ibn Mas’ud says: He who stands (for the night prayer) throughout the year would find Lailat-ul-Qadr, whereupon he said: May Allah have mercy upon him; (he said these words) with the intention that people might not rely only (on one night), whereas he knew that it (Lailat-ul-Qadr) is in the month of Ramadan and it is the twenty-seventh night. He then took oath that it was the twenty-seventh night. I said to him: Abu Mundhir, on what ground do you say that? Thereupon he said: By the indication or by the sign which the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) gave us, and that is that on that day (the sun) would rise without having any ray in it. (Sahih Muslim, Book 6, no. 2633)

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Lailatul Qadar is of religious importance as it is based on Qur’an 97:1-5. The verses cited regard the Night as better than a thousand months (83 years and 4 months). The whole month of Ramadan is a period of spiritual training wherein believers devote much of their time to fasting, praying, recitating the Qur’an, remembering God, and giving charity.

However, because of the revealed importance of this night, Muslims strive harder in the last ten days of Ramadan since the Lailatul Qadar could be one of the odd-numbered days in these last ten (the first, third, fifth, or seventh). It calls for Muslims to emulate the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) who, upon entering the 21st day of Ramadhan, visited the mosque more frequently for iktikaf (spiritual retreat) and woke up members of his family for prayers, in his determination to gain the blessings from Lailatul Qadar.

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The Prophet Muhammad (SAW) taught this following du’a (supplication) to his wife Aisha for Lailatul Qadr.

A night such as Lailatul Qadar was not granted to any ummah (religious community) before the Muslims. Only the ummah of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) were favoured with a night of huge reward. One reason this was granted was to enable Muslims to equal the worship of the people who lived before this ummah. In the distant past, it is said that people lived very long lives of hundreds of years.

Today, we live with much shorter lifespans. And so, Allah SWT gave us Lailatul Qadr to enable us to do as much worship as a man who lived even hundreds of years longer. If in a lifetime, one was able to only worship on Lailatul Qadr ten times, he would have equaled in those ten nights, 833 years of worship.

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From Ubayy RA who said: that the Prophet SAWS said: “On the morning following Lailatui-Qadr, the sun rises not having any rays, as if it were a brass dish, until it rises up.” (Reported by Muslim, Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah)

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Lailatul Qadar is full of blessings, because the Noble Qur’an descended on this night, which leads one who clings to it to the path of honour and nobility, and raises him to the summit of distinction and everlasting life. The Qur’an is peace in itself. It distinguishes between the good and evil and shows to the way of peace and the eternal joy for all humanity. The Qur’an says:

“Surely We revealed it (the Holy Qur’an) on the grandest night. And what will make you comprehend what the grandest night. The grandest night is better than a thousand months. The angels and Gabriel descend in it by the permission of their Lord for every affair. Peace onto it until the break of the morning.” (Sura’ Al-Qadr 97: 1-5)

Being this thus, the night in which this Divine Book was sent down is worthy of great esteem. The Muslims who adhere strictly to the Sunnah of Allaah’s Messenger SAW do not raise flags on this night, nor suspend colourful decorations. Rather they vie in standing during Lailatul-Qadr in prayer, out of sincere faith and hoping for reward.

As regards to its excellence, it is more than sufficient to mention that Lailatul-Qadr is better than a thousand months, and in it every decreed matter for the year is conveyed, Allah the Most High says:

“We sent it (this Qur’an) down on a blessed Night. Verily, We are ever warning (mankind of Our Torment). Therein (that Night) is decreed every matter of ordainment. Amran (i.e. a command or this Qur’an or His Decree of every matter) from Us. Verily, We are ever sending (the Messenger). (As) a Mercy from your Lord. Verily! He is the All-Hearer, the All-Knower.” (Sura’ Ad-Dukhaan 44: 3-6)

On the Night of Power, pray to God with all your heart and He will definitely respond to all your prayers. During this night, the angels and the celestial spirit (Gabriel, alaihis-salaam) descends. Its proximity to the earth gives to a spiritual brightness to the hearts and souls of the believers. To that, they spend their night in oration, the unimaginable experience of joy, a deep feeling of great pleasure, like the result of immense celestial blessings in tonight.

Recite the Qur’an, look for the pardon of Allah and pray for the good of this world, as well as in the next.

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