What is Laylatul Qadr?
Laylatul Qadr, or the Night of Power/Decree as it is otherwise referred to, is one of the most important and sacred nights in the Islamic calendar.
While the month of Ramadan is most widely known as the month that the Qur’an was first revealed to humankind, the Night of Power describes the exact night that the Qur’an was revealed.
When is Laylatul Qadr?
It is a commonly held belief that Laylatul Qadr (the Night of Power) occurs on the 27th Ramadan. However, scholars of Hadith recommend focusing on the last 10 nights of Ramadan, especially the odd nights, as it is most likely to have occurred in one of these nights based on the following Hadith:
It was advised by the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) to “Look for it in the odd nights of the last ten nights of the month of Ramadan.” (Bukhari)
Humankind will never know the exact date of Laylatul Qadr however, and it is most likely one of the odd nights in the last ten nights of Ramadan – Allah knows best.
What to do on Laylatul Qadr
Muslims are encouraged to worship intently throughout Ramadan in order to catch the blessings of the Night of Power. On this night, the reward for worship is better than 1000 months! Therefore, muslims can earn phenomenal reward and acceptance of their repentance through sincere worship and reflection.
In the Qur’an, an entire Surah is dedicated to the Night of Power/Decree (Laylatul Qadr), and in it, Allah (SWT) reveals its purpose, reward and signs:
“Indeed, We sent the Qur’an down 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 descend therein by permission of their Lord for every matter. Peace it is until the emergence of dawn.” (Qur’an 97:1-5)
Here are five key acts of worship to focus on in your effort to catch Laylatul Qadr:
- Salah and voluntary Salah.
- Du’a, for yourself, loved ones, those who are oppressed, mankind and Allah (SWT’s) creatures.
- Tawbah (repentance) for major and minor sins.
- Acts of Sadaqah and Sadaqah Jariyah.
- Upright conduct and character towards others.
Due to the sanctity of this night, your deeds are multiplied. Consequently, praying just two rakat could equal 83 years of Salah!
May Allah accept our efforts, Ameen.
Why is Laylatul Qadr called the Night of Power?
Laylatul Qadr or the Night of Power is described as such to illustrate the significance of what the night entails for human kind.
Allah says about the purpose of this night:
”Ha, Meem. By the clear Book, Indeed, We sent it down during a blessed night. Indeed, We were to warn [mankind]. On that night every precise matter – Every matter [proceeding] from Us. Indeed, We were to send (a messenger).” (Qur’an 44:1-5)
Signs of Laylatul Qadr
Only Allah has knowledge of Laylatul Qadr. However, to determine its presence we are directed towards some signs.
Two of the most authentic signs of Laylatul Qadr are:
- The sun rises early in the morning without rays. Ubayy, (may Allah be pleased with him) said:
“The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “On the morning following Laylatul-Qadr, the sun rises without any rays, as if it were a brass dish, until it rises up.” (Muslim)
- It is a pleasant and calm. Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allah be pleased with him), said:
“Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him), said: “Laylatul-Qadr is calm and pleasant, neither hot nor cold, the sun rises on its morning being feeble and red.” (Ibn Khuzaimah)
Try your best to catch Laylatul Qadr (the Night of Power) by focusing on Ibadah (worship) this Ramadan more than ever before! Therefore, by consistently making Du’a to catch it, it may be that Allah allows you to witness this precious and powerful night and earn its rewards!
Laylatul Qadr Surah
Laylatul Qadr, or The Night of Power/Decree is mentioned in the Qur’an in Surah Qadr, which is a whole Surah dedicated by Allah to describing this bountiful night in these precious verses:
“Indeed, We sent the Qur’an down 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 descend therein by permission of their Lord for every matter. Peace it is until the emergence of dawn.” (Qur’an, 97:1-5)
What to read on Laylatul Qadr?
Scholars relay that one of the most beloved du’as to make during these last ten nights in the hope that it falls on Laylatul Qadr is the following:
“Allahumma innaka Afuwwun (Karimun) tuhibbul `afwa fa`fu `annee”
Translation: “O Allah, indeed You are Pardoning, (Generous) You love to pardon, so pardon me.”
How to pray on Laylatul Qadr
There are no specific prescribed acts of worship for Laylatul Qadr (the Night of Power). This is because the exact date is known only to Allah. However, as it is most commonly believed to occur in the last ten nights, Muslims are encouraged to follow the beautiful example of the Prophet (peace be upon him) during this precious time and maximise their worship:
Aisha (ra) said that:
“Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) used to exert himself in devotion during the last ten nights to a greater extent than at any other time.” (Muslim)
Some examples of worship that can earn bountiful reward can include:
- Dhikr (remembrance of Allah)
- Blessings on the Prophet (peace be upon him)
- Nafl (voluntary prayers)
- Sincere du’a
Above all, Muslims are encouraged to approach every act of worship with sincere faith in Allah’s bountiful mercy. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
“Whoever fasted the month of Ramadan out of sincere Faith (i.e. belief) and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his past sins will be forgiven, and whoever stood for the prayers in the night of Qadr out of sincere Faith and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven .” (Bukhari)
What happened on The Night of Power?
On this night, in the year 610 CE, the Qur’an was first revealed to the beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) through the angel Jibreel (Gabriel).
At the age of 40 years old, the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), who had been born into the Quraysh tribe and lived in Mecca, present day Saudi Arabia, was living with his beloved wife Khadijah (ra). The Prophet (peace be upon him) would often travel to the Cave of Hira in Mecca to be in seclusion and meditate on the creation of the world, as he had rejected the worship of idols as was custom within the Quraysh tribe.
In the lead up to the revelation, Muhammad (peace be upon him) was troubled with the state of the society he was living in and resolved himself to seeking true religion within his heart.
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) meeting Angel Jibreel (ra)
During the month of Ramadan in the year 610 CE, the Prophet (peace be upon him) was meditating in the Cave of Hira, when the Angel Jibreel suddenly revealed himself to him by the order of Allah, commanding him to read, “Iqra!”.
The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was illiterate, and his inability to read prevented him from reading the words before him, he said, “I am not a reader”. The Messenger of Allah relayed that Jibreel (as) then took hold of him and squeezed him until he could not bear it any more, then he released the Prophet (peace be upon him) and said, “Read!“.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said again, “I am not a reader”.
The first revelation of the Qur’an
Jibreel (as) took hold of him and squeezed him a second time until he could not bear it any more, then Jibreel released him and said, “Read!“. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “I am not a reader”. Jibreel took hold of him (peace be upon him) and squeezed him a third time until he could not bear it any more, then Jibreel (as) released him and said:
Read! In the Name of your Lord Who has created (all that exists).
He has created man from a clot (a piece of thick coagulated blood).
Read! And your Lord is the Most Generous.
Who has taught (the writing) by the pen.
He has taught man that which he knew not.
These were the first verses of the Qur’an to be revealed.
Laylatul Qadr Rewards
In the Holy Qur’an, Allah The Most Merciful describes The Night of Power.
“Indeed, We sent the Qur’an down 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 descend therein by permission of their Lord for every matter. Peace it is until the emergence of dawn.” (Qur’an 97: 1-5)
Performing acts of worship such as Nafl (voluntary) prayers, Sadaqah and Du’a can earn you bountiful rewards, but when performed on The Night of Power, with sincere intention and faith in Allah’s (SWT) acceptance, the rewards could be exceptional. Giving Zakat or Sadaqah during Ramadan is multiplied by 70 times, and the reward for any righteous act is equivalent to having performed that same deed every day for 83 years, SubhanAllah!
In a famous hadith it is narrated:
“Whoever prays on Laylatul Qadr out of faith and sincerity, shall have all their past sins forgiven.” (Bukhari and Muslim)
How Long is The Night of Power?
In the Islamic calendar, the start of each new calendar day begins at Maghrib prayer (just after sunset). It coincides with Tahajjud prayers, which occurs each night between Isha prayer (the evening prayer) and Fajr Prayer (the morning prayer). Allah (SWT) says that each night, He descends to the lowest heavens in the last third of the night. Waking up just 20 mins before Fajr to make Tahajjud prayers and Du’a could earn bountiful rewards!
Even though the beginning of the new day begins at Maghrib, the Night of Power begins and extends from Maghrib to Fajr time.
How is The Night of Power Observed?
Muslims around the world are encouraged to observe The Night of Power by making extra Ibaadah (worship). Therefore, this could include acts such as giving Zakat (alms giving) and Sadaqah (voluntary charity), praying Nafl prayers (voluntary prayers), and making Du’a.
In some cases, communities may encourage each other to gather together at the Mosque in the last ten nights to pray or fundraise Sadaqah in the hope of catching extra rewards, However, Laylatul Qadr may be observed at home in solitude, in Itikaf (devotion to Ibaadah inside a mosque for the last ten nights) or in a visit to a mosque. However, there is no prescribed way to observe The Night of Power.
How is The Night of Power Celebrated?
Although Laylatul Qadr is the most important night in the Islamic year (despite its exact date being unknown), it is not a celebratory night. Muslims are encouraged to seek it throughout Ramadan and specifically in the last ten nights, by being steadfast in their worship in the hope of catching it and earning exceptional reward.
Religious Importance of Laylatul Qadr
The Night of Power marks the single most important event in the Islamic calendar, the revelation of the Qur’an. During the month of Ramadan in 610 CE, the Qur’an was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), and thus began the Prophethood of the Messenger of Allah with a message to humanity for the remainder of existence.
As a result, Muslims around the world are encouraged to seek this night out with worship throughout the month of Ramadan in the hope of catching its bountiful rewards.