“We have sent it [the Quran] down in the Night of Qadr. And what may let you know what the Night of Qadr is? The Night of Qadr is much better than one thousand months. The angels and the Spirit descend in it, with the permission of your Lord, along with every command. Peace it is till the debut of dawn” (Quran Chapter 97).
Making reference to the above Qur’anic quote, according to Islamic scholars, Allah (SWT) first revealed the opening verses of the Qur’an to the Prophet Muhammad on one of the odd-numbered nights of the last 10 nights of Ramadan called the Night of Decree.
Islam offers opportunities for intense spiritual experiences, experiences that involve setting aside worldly activities or lifestyles and its distractions. Of the greatest of such opportunities are the blessed nights of Ramadan; more especially its last ten days. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said, “Whoever spends the nights of Ramadan in prayer out of faith and in the hope of reward, he will be forgiven his previous sins.” Also, A’isha (may Allah be pleased with her) narrates, “When the last ten nights began Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) kept awake at night (for prayer and devotion), wakened his family, and prepared himself to observe salah (with more vigor).”
So what’s this Laylatul Qadr all about?
To answer this, see what Prophet Muhammad said it in the hadiths below.
Abu Salamah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “Once I went to Abu Sa`id Al Khudry and asked him: Won’t you come with us to the date-palm trees to have a talk? So, Abu Sa`id went out and I asked him: Tell me what you heard from the Prophet (peace be upon him) about the Night of Qadr. Abu Sa`id replied: Once Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) performed I`tikaf (seclusion) on the first ten days of the month of Ramadan and we did the same with him. Gabriel came to him and said: The night you are looking for is ahead of you. So, the Prophet (peace be upon him) performed the I`tikaf in the middle (second) ten days of the month of Ramadan and we too performed I`tikaf with him. Gabriel came to him and said: The night which you are looking for is ahead of you. In the morning of the 20th of Ramadan the Prophet (PBUH) delivered a sermon saying: Whoever has performed I`tikaf with me should continue it. I have been shown the Night of “Qadr“, but have forgotten its date, but it is in the odd nights of the last ten nights. I saw in my dream that I was prostrating in mud and water. In those days the roof of the mosque was made of branches of date-palm trees. At that time the sky was clear and no cloud was visible, but suddenly a cloud came and it rained. The Prophet (peace be upon him) led us in the prayer and I saw the traces of mud on the forehead and on the nose of Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him). So, it was the confirmation of that dream.”
When exactly is Laylatul Qadr (i.e. Night of Decree)?
The precise date of this night is unknown to any human. The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) implored Muslims to seek Laylatul Qadr out in one of the last ten nights in Ramadan, specifically odd nights. He emphatically said, “Search for Laylatul-Qadr in the odd nights of the last ten nights of Ramadan.” This means that the 21st, 23rd, 25th, 27th, and 29th nights of Ramadan all have a high potential of being Laylatul Qadr. Some scholars believe that the exactly date is made unknown primarily to give opportunities to a person fasting to engage in extra worship throughout the last ten days of Ramadan in hopes of catching the right date. They opined that if one specific night was known, humans would naturally relax and lessen their on other nights and focus only on that one night.
No single hadith specifies the exact date or day of this unique night. Forn instance, Nafi` reported from Ibn `Umar (may Allah be pleased with him): “Some men amongst the Companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him) were shown in their dreams that the night of Qadr was in the last seven nights of Ramadan. Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said: It seems that all your dreams agree that (the Night of Qadr) is in the last seven nights, and whoever wants to search for it (i.e. the Night of Qadr) should search in the last seven (nights of Ramadan).” Also, Jabir (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: “I have seen Laylat-ul-Qadr (the Night of Decree) then I forgot it. It is in the last ten days [of Ramadan]. It is a good night that is neither hot nor cold as if there is a moon that shows all the stars. Devils [in that night] are not released until the dawn comes.”
In a nutshell, it is unknown exactly which, but many Muslims choose to mark Laylatul Qadr on the 27th night of Ramadan.
How long is the Night of Decree?
The Night of Decree is no longer or shorter than any other night; however, during Ramadan, many Muslims prefer to sacrifice sleep on this Holy day in order to worship and pray to Allah (SWT). It is believed that giving up sleep for Allah (SWT) to pray and undertake good deeds will result in all prior sins being pardoned and having one’s prayer requests quickly answered by Allah.
What do Muslims do on Laylatul Qadr?
Nowadays, many Muslims spend these nights in the mosque where they can have undisruptive opportunity to dedicate their time and energy only on spiritual development. Rich ones among them opt for traveling to Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah.
In most cases, the imams, After the Taraweeh prayers, do give a talk admonish Muslims to put more effort in their prayers and spiritual practices in the last ten days.
Consequently, Muslims use these last ten days to devote their time on extra prayers, recitation of the Quran, sunatic and personal supplications, seeking for forgiveness and exaltation of Allah. In particular, the Prophet (PBUH) advised Muslims to recite this supplication: “Allahumma, inaka ‘afuwun, tuhibbul ‘afwa, fa af’-ani” – meaning “Oh Allah, truly you are The Pardoner, you love to pardon, so pardon me.”
`Abdullah ibn `Amr (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated: “The Prophet (peace be upon him) used to practice I`tikaf in the last ten days of Ramadan.” Nafi` said: `Abdullah (may Allah be pleased with him) showed me the spot [of the masjid] in which the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to observe I`tikaf.
`A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) narrated: “Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) used to practice I`tikaf in the last ten nights of Ramadan and used to say: Look for the Night of Qadr in the last ten nights of the month of Ramadan.”
Also, Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: “Whoever establishes Optional Night Salah on the night of Qadr (Night of power) in sincere faith and hoping for Allah’s Reward, Allah shall erase his previous sins.”
Additionally, `A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) narrated: “When the last ten nights began Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) kept awake at night (for prayer and devotion), wakened his family, and prepared himself to observe Salah (with more vigor).”
Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) narrated: “The Messenger of Allah used to encourage the people to pray Qiyam in Ramadan, without insisting on that. He said: “Whoever spends the nights of Ramadan in prayer out of faith and in the hope of reward, he will be forgiven his previous sins.”
Finally, based on the authentic Hadith, it was proven that Laylat-ul-Qadr comes in the last ten nights: (21th, 23rd, 25th, 27th, and 29th). Perhaps the reason for not fixing it precisely is that Muslims should exert efforts in seeking it in the last ten days by performing Qiyam and invocation. And Allah knows best. This special Night of Decree calls for much reflection and prayer. Whilst fulfilling good deeds and asking for forgiveness, Allah (SWT) is thought to see and answer your prayers during this night.
To all the Muslims finishing up this blessed month of Ramadan, may God give you the strength to go out on a high note with true faith and sincerity. May this month be a means for you to spiritually cleanse yourself and come out fresh. May God make it easy for you to continue the good habits you developed in this month for the rest of the year and for the rest of your lives!
As we move to the last 10 days of Ramadan, let’s put extra effort on our spiritual practices, such as reciting and studying the Holy Qur’an, observing more nawafil, seeking for forgiveness in the recommended prophetic manner, appreciating Allah and supplicating for mercies and blessingsfrom the Almighty.
In addition, we are implored to be more compassionate, forgiving, and peaceful with fellow creatures of Allah (SWT). Lasttly, giving zakat is a significant factor of this and for many, the Laylat-al-Qadr is seen as the perfect moment to make this donation. The Compassion Unit of halalfinder.com provides opportunity for you to do this.