What Is Lailatul Qadar?

Lailatul Qadar (Arabic: 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.

Religious Importance Of Lailatul Qadar

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.

Seeking For Lailatul Qadar

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.