Significance of the Laylatul Qadr, the Precious Night


Laylatul Qadr also rendered as the Night of Power, Night of Destiny, Night of Decree, or Night of Determination, also the Precious Night is, in Islamic belief, the night when the Holy Quran was first sent down from Heaven to the world and also the night when the first verses of the Quran were revealed to the Prophet of Islam Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH); it is described to be better than a thousand months of worshipping. According to many Muslim scholars, its exact date is uncertain but it was one of the odd-numbered nights of the last ten days of Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. Since that time, Muslims have regarded the last ten nights of Ramadan as being especially blessed. Muslims believe that the Night of Qadr comes with blessings and mercy of Allah (SWT) in abundance. They believe that sins are forgiven, supplications are accepted, and that the annual decree is revealed to the angels who carry it out according to Allah’s grace.

The Quran uses the word anzal (انزل) which justifies ‘the immediate revelation’, according to Allamah Tabatabai. However, some others believe that the revelation of Quran occurred in two phases, with the first phase being the revelation in its entirety on Laylat al-Qadr to the angel Gabriel (Jibril in Arabic) in the lowest heaven, and then the subsequent verse-by-verse revelation to Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH) by Gabriel. The revelation started in 610 CE at the Hira cave on Mount Jabal al-Nour in Mecca. The first Surah that was revealed was Sūrat al-ʿAlaq (العلق). During Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH)’s first revelation, the first five verses of this Surah, or chapter, were revealed.

When is Laylatul Qadr this Ramadan?

A specific date of Laylat al-Qadr is not mentioned in the Quran. Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH) received the information about the exact date of Laylat Al-Qadr from Allah in a dream. He went to tell the Sahabah about that date. However, he saw two people fighting and forgot what the date was because Allah took the knowledge of Laylat Al-Qadr from him. With the day of the week, a Muslim date can be fixed exactly.

Sunni Islam believe Laylat Al-Qadr is found to be on the last 5 odd-numbered nights of Ramadan (21st, 23rd, 25th, 27th or 29th) whereby night precedes day. Many cultures celebrate it on the 27th, while certain scholars state that if a Friday night coincides with an odd numbered night, it is likely to be the one.

Shia Muslims similarly believe that Laylat Al-Qadr is to be found in the last ten odd-numbered nights of Ramadan but mostly on the 19th, 21st or 23rd of Ramadan with 23rd being the most important night. The 19th, according to the Shia belief, coincides with the night Ali was attacked in the Mihrab while worshipping in the Great Mosque of Kufa. He died on 21 Ramadan. Shia Muslims believe that Ali (the first Shia Imam, and the fourth caliph of the Rashidun Caliphate to Sunnis) had special insight and intimacy with Allah on this night. Imam Sadiq is quoted as saying (Tafsir “al-Burhan”, vol. 4, p. 487):

Once Imam Ali was reciting Surat Al-Qadr and his sons, Imam Hasan (a) and Imam Husayn (a) were near him. Imam Husayn (a) asked his father:

“Father, how come we feel a different sensation when you recite this surah?” Imam Ali(a) replied, “O son of the Prophet and my son! I know things from this chapter that you are not aware of now. When this surah was sent down to the Prophet, he asked me to go to him. When I went to him, he recited this surah, then he put his hand on my right shoulder and said: O my brother and my successor! O the leader of my nation after me! O tireless fighter with my enemies! This surah is yours after me, and is for your two sons after you. Gabriel who is my brother among the angels informs me of the events of one year of my nation at the night of Qadr. And after me he will give this information to you. This surah will always have a shining light in your heart and in the heart of your successors until the rising of the dawn of the day of reappearance of Qa’im [the one who rises, a title for the Islamic Messiah, Mahdi]”.

The night is not comparable to any others in view of Muslims and according to a tradition, the blessings due to the acts of worship during this night cannot be equaled even by worshipping throughout an entire lifetime. The reward of acts of worship done in this one single night is more than the reward of a thousand months of worship. Laylat al-Qadr is referenced in the Quran:

We have indeed revealed this (Message) in the Night of Decree:

And what will explain to thee what the Night of Decree is?

The Night of Decree 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 dawn! — Surah 97 (Al-Qadr), āyāt 1–5.

Muslims all around the world observe Laytaul Qadr with great reverence and devotion.

In Bangladesh, as well as in other Muslim-majority countries such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Iraq, Jordan, Oman, Syria, Palestine, Iran, Turkey, Morocco, Egypt, Lebanon, Tunisia, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei Darussalam, the United Arab Emirates and the Muslim-majority countries in the African continent – Laylatul Qadr is observed during the last ten days of Ramadan. Muslims believe that this night is more significant than a thousand months, and any good deeds performed during this night are multiplied manifold.

Muslims prepare for this night with great zeal and devotion. They spend their time in prayer, supplication, and reading the Quran. Many mosques hold special night-long prayers called Tarawih, where the entire Quran is recited over the course of the last ten nights of Ramadan.

In Bangladesh, many Muslims also participate in Itikaf, a spiritual retreat where they seclude themselves in the mosque for the last ten days of Ramadan to focus solely on their worship and devotion to Allah. It is believed that the rewards for this act of devotion are even greater on the Night of Power.

In Middle Eastern countries such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates, Muslims observe Laylatul Qadr by spending the entire night in prayer and supplication. The Grand Mosque in Mecca and the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina are filled with worshippers on this night, and many people from all over the world come to these holy places to perform their prayers.

In addition to prayer and worship, many Muslims also give generously to charity during this time. It is believed that the rewards for good deeds are multiplied manifold on this blessed night, so Muslims strive to do as much good as possible.

In conclusion, Laylatul Qadr is a night of great significance in the Islamic calendar, and it is observed with great devotion and reverence by Muslims all around the world. Muslims believe that this night is more significant than a thousand months, and any good deeds performed during this night are multiplied manifold. It is a time for prayer, supplication, reading the Quran, and doing good deeds, and it is an opportunity for Muslims to deepen their spiritual connection with Allah.

As we are at the last five days of Ramadan, I do sincerely hope, my Muslim brothers and sisters throughout the world shall be blessed by Allah on this extremely auspicious night of Laylatul Qadr and the entire Muslim ummah shall be eternally rewarded by Allah in this world and the life after.


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