Laylat al-Qadr (Special Night of Greatness)

Laylat al-Qadr (Special Night of Greatness)

Laylat al-Qadr (Special Night of Greatness)

The Night of Qadr is a very great night in the blessed month of Ramadan. It is “the Night of Greatness.”  In it, Allah brought down a great Book- the Qur’an.

Each year, when the Night of Qadr occurs, great angels and great mercies come down to earth. This night is not a night specific to the nation of Muhammad which occurred after the revelation to Prophet Muhammad, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam. It is known that the Night of Qadr occurred during Ramadan in the eras of the previous prophets. However, what is a specific for the nation of Prophet Muhammad is that Allah guided them to know that the month of Ramadan would be their fasting month.  In Surat al -Qadr, Allah, ta^ala, said:

سورة القدر
بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ
إِنَّا أَنزَلْنَاهُ فِي لَيْلَةِ الْقَدْرِ {1} وَمَا أَدْرَاكَ مَا لَيْلَةُ الْقَدْرِ {2} لَيْلَةُ الْقَدْرِ خَيْرٌ مِّنْ أَلْفِ شَهْرٍ {3} تَنَزَّلُ الْمَلائِكَةُ وَالرُّوحُ فِيهَا بِإِذْنِ رَبِّهِم مِّن كُلِّ أَمْرٍ {4} سَلامٌ هِيَ حَتَّى مَطْلَعِ الْفَجْرِ {5}

The first verse of this Surah:
means: [The whole Qur’an was brought down in its entirety during the Night of Qadr].  The Qur’an was copied from the Guarded Tablet and Jibril brought it down as a complete book to Baytul-^Izzah in the first sky.  This occurred on the Night of Qadr in the month of Ramadan in the year Jibril first brought the revelation to the Prophet. Then, on the next day, Jibril came with the first five verses of Suratul-^Alaq. This was the beginning of the prophethood of Prophet Muhammad.

Ibn Hibban narrated from Wathilah Ibn al-‘Asqa^ that he said the  Prophet, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, said:

which means: <<The Torah was revealed on the sixth (6th) night of Ramadan, the Injil on the thirteenth (13th) night, the Zabur on the eighteenth (18th) night, and the Qur’an on the twenty-fourth (24th) night of Ramadan.>>

From this hadith it is known that it is not a condition that the Night of Qadr happens on the 27th or the 29th of the month of Ramadan, although from other hadiths we know that this is most likely the case. Since the Night of Qadr might occur on any of the nights of Ramadan, the Muslims should put forth effort to pray each night of Ramadan, seeking the promised reward for the one who prays (the optional prayers) during that night.  Making the extra effort in worshipping Allah especially during the last ten days of Ramadan  is recommended, because in most of the cases, the Night of Qadr occurs during one of those nights.

The second verse:
literally means: [How would you know what the Night of Qadr is ?,] This means that before Allah informed you, you did not know what the merit of that Night was. This ayah truly is a question which emphasizes the high status of this night and encourages the person to seek its goodness.

The third verse:
is the answer to the previous question It means:  [The reward one receives for praying during this night is greater than the reward he receives for praying one thousand (1000) months [which do not have the Night of Qadr in them.]]

The fourth verse:
means: [The angels (in great numbers), including Jibril, descend from the sky to the earth during that night, and Allah gives them the knowledge of what is going to happen during the coming year.] It was narrated from Abu-Hurayrah that the number of angels who would descend to earth during that night may be more than the number of pebbles on earth. Jibril, referred to as “ar-Ruh” in this verse, will be among them.

Al-Hakim narrated from the Prophet that during the Night of Qadr Jibril comes down to earth with a group of angels, and they make supplication (du^a’) for every slave standing up or sitting down mentioning Allah. In another narration it is mentioned that these angels descend to earth at sunset and remain until the appearance of the dawn.

During the Night of Qadr, Allah, tabaraka wa ta^ala, gives the angels the knowledge of what is going to happen during the coming year in what pertains to the sustenance (rizq), the changes in the situation of the slaves, and the like.  This is the meaning of min kulli amr (of all the matters) in the verse. Allah informs the angels about the details of the matters which will happen in the next year including what they are ordered to do that year. The angels copy matters from the Guarded Tablet which will happen during the coming year including the births, deaths, sustenance, calamities, enjoyments, and the like.

The fifth verse:
means: [The night is full of safety, goodness, and blessings (for the obedient believer) until the appearance of dawn.]

Among the signs that show the person that he saw (witnessed) the Night of Qadr are:
1. To see a great, clear light during the night other than the light of the sun, the moon, or electricity;

2. To see the trees prostrating;

3. To hear the voices of angels;

4. To see the angels in their original form with two (2), three (3), four (4) or more wings, or to see them in the shape of a human being, i.e. the shape of a man (however, without genitalia).

Also, the way the sun rises the next morning is an indication that the previous night was the Night of Qadr. When the sun is rising its light and heat are not intense.

It is a very good sign for the person who sees the Night of Qadr and makes supplication (du^a’) during it.  A very great goodness is hoped for this person, and, in sha’ Allah, the supplication would be answered. At-Tirmidhiyy narrated from ^A’ishah that she said: “O Prophet of Allah, if I encounter the Night of Qadr, then what should I say? (What supplication should I make during it?).  The Prophet answered her: “Say:

which means: <<O Allah, You are the One who forgives a great amount and You love forgiveness, so forgive me.>>  May Allah bless us with seeing this great Night and making supplication in it.

There is wisdom in hiding from the slaves exactly which night is the Night of Qadr. This is so they put forth effort during all the nights of Ramadan hoping that by that they would acquire the reward of praying during the Night of Qadr. One would get the aforementioned multiplication of the reward, promised in the verses of the Qur’an, by praying during that night whether one prays many optional rak^ahs or a few—even two (2) rak^ahs. Reciting for a long time during the prayer is better than reciting for a short time.  If one has the choice between praying a few number of rak^ahs with a longer recitation in each and praying more (many) rak^ahs but reciting for a short time during each rak^ah, then the first is better.  It is not a condition that one actually witnesses the signs of the Night of Qadr to get the promised reward of praying in that night.

Al-Bukhariyy and Muslim narrated from the Prophet, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, that the one who prays during the Night of Qadr (out of believing in Allah and for the sake of Allah) then Allah forgives him his previous sins.  Some scholars said that the one who prays the Dawn Prayer (Subh) and the Evening Prayer (^Isha’) in congregation each day of Ramadan would get the reward of the Night of Qadr—even if he does not see that night.  What a great reward!

Al-Bukhariyy and Muslim also narrated from ^A’ishah that the Prophet, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, urged the Muslims to take very special care to pray during the last ten nights of Ramadan, because most of the time the Night of Qadr is one of those nights.  Likewise, they both narrated from ^A’ishah that she said: “When the last ten nights of Ramadan started, the Prophet used to put a forth great endeavor in worshipping during these nights.  He used to pray the whole night and also  wake his wives to pray.”  They also related from ^A’ishah that the Prophet used to make I^tikaf (stay in the mosque during the last ten (10) nights of Ramadan) each year until he died.

Praying during all the nights of Ramadan has a great reward.  Prophet Muhammad, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, urged us to do that. Imam Muslim narrated from the Prophet that Allah forgives the previous sins of the one who prays all the nights of Ramadan out of believing in Allah and for His sake.”

We are now in the month of Ramadan. The blessings are coming down to earth to us. Many opportunities are open for us to acquire these blessings and  the gate of repentance is open for those who want to repent.  May Allah guide us.  Let us take this great opportunity before we lose it.

O Allah, You are the One who forgives a great amount and You love forgiveness so forgive me.
And Allah knows best.

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