Alhamdulillah… Infinite thanks and praises are due to the Almighty Allah, for making Laylatul Qadr an exclusive privilege for this Ummah. I send abundant peace and blessings upon the best man who ever devoted himself in observing Laylatul Qadr, Sayyidinā Muhammad, his household, his companions and all those who follow his guided path till end of time.
This article presents some useful information about Laylatul Qadr. The 3 three things you must have on your checklist for this night is surely presented. But prior to discussing it, let’s go through the definition of Laylatul Qadr, it’s time of occurrence, its significance and then present some virtues of this annual great event for the believers. This article aims to help the Muslim to achieve the best, out of his observance of Laylatul Qadr.
What is Laylatul Qadr?
Laylatul Qadr (lailatul Qadr / laylah al-Qadr) is an Arabic phrase, which carries various meanings. These meanings can be translated into English as the Night of Decree, Night of Power, Night of Value, Night of Destiny, or Night of Measures. The night of laylatul Qadr actually implies all the above meanings. You’ll realize that, as you read this article, inshā Allah.
Technically, Laylatul Qadr is the one night in the year which is better than 83 years and four months. It’s a night that is been blessed by Allah. Muslims are encouraged to spend the night of Laylatul Qadr in devotion, seeking forgiveness and blessings from Allah the Almighty.
When Does Laylatul Qadr Occur?
The night of Laylatul Qadr falls on one of the odd nights of the last ten days of Ramadan. That is either 21st, 23rd, 25th, 27th or 29th of Ramadan. Every year, Allah chooses one of these nights to bestow upon the Ummah the blessings of Laylatul Qadr. Since Allah has put uncertainty to the exact day of the occurrence of Laylatul Qadr, the Muslim is encouraged to seek for it in the last 10 nights of Ramadan. Sayyidatunā ‘Āishah raḍiya Allāhu ‘anhā narrates in a ḥadīth reported by Imām al-Bukhārī, that:
“Seek Laylatul Qadr in the odd nights out of the last ten nights of Ramadan.”
Significance of Laylatul Qadr
Laylatul Qadr which occurs in the last ten nights of Ramadan is the most significant night in a year. But we also learn its significance by looking at how the Prophet ṣallā Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam observed it. The Prophet ṣallā Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam would engage himself in devotion during the last ten nights more than he did in any other time. This is what is understood from the ḥadīth of Imām Muslim from the narration of Sayyidatinā ‘Āishah raḍiya Allāhu ‘anhā. She said:
The Messenger of Allah ṣallā Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam used to strive more in worship during Ramadan than he strove in any other time of the year; and he would devote himself more (in the worship of Allah) in the last ten nights of Ramadan than he strove in earlier part of the month.
Virtues of Laylatul Qadr
Laylatul Qadr has many virtues which the Muslim should know and seek to seize its opportunities. Below is a selection of some of the virtues of the Night of Power.
#1: The Qur’an was Descended on Laylatul Qadr
It was on Laylatul Qadr when the Qur’an was first sent down from the Preserved Tablet (Al-Lawḥ al-Maḥfūẓ) to the first heaven (Bayt al-‘Izzah). This is what we can understand from the first verse of Sūrah al-Qadr (97:1), which says:
“Verily, We have sent it (this Qur’an) down in the night of Al-Qadr (Decree).”
#2: Laylatul Qadr is a Blessed Night
One of the virtues of Laylatul Qadr is that it’s a blessed night. And this title was given to the night by the Qur’an. We find that in Surah al-Dukhān, 44:3, where Allah says:
“Surely, We sent it (this Qur’an) down on a blessed night.”
We know, by now, that the night which the Qur’an was descended as a whole is Laylatul Qadr. Therefore, that same night is the one being referred to as the blessed night.
#3: Laylatul Qadr is better in Value and Rewards than a Thousand Months
A thousand months is calculated to be equal to 83 years and four months. This is what is understood from Surah al-Qadr, 97:3, where Allah says:
“The night of Al-Qadr (Decree) is better than a thousand months.”
This implies that rewards of righteous deeds in this night are better than (not equal to) the rewards one can attain from the deeds of 83 years and four months. If the rewards of good actions are doubled in Ramadan, how about performing these actions in Laylatul Qadr? None but Allah knows the rewards that is given to the person who performs Qiyām in that night out of faith and hoping for the reward of Allah.
#4: The Angels Come Down to the Earth with Goodness
On the night of Laylatul Qadr, the Angels, under the leadership of Jibrīl ‘alayhi al salām all come down to convey the blessings and mercy of Allah to the believers. This is what verse 4 of Sūrah al-Qadr implies:
“On that night, the Angels and the Spirit (Rūh / Jibrīl) come down by the permission of their Lord with His decrees for all matters.”
#5: The Night of Laylatul Qadr is Filled with Peace and Tranquility
A night in which the Angels are deployed to bring down peace and blessings from Allah to the believers is worth to be filled with peace, tranquility and coolness. A night that Allah forgives anyone who sees Him with faith and hope is more than worth to be filled with peace and tranquility. Allah says in the last verse of Sūrah al-Qadr and it means:
“It is all peace till the break of dawn.”
This peace can be felt by almost everyone. But only those who pay attention and are observant can differentiate it from any ordinary night.
#6: Observing Laylatul Qadr in Righteousness Eradicates Our Previous Sins
The Prophet ṣallā Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam gave us this good tidings, and added that many people are freed from torment, and many people are helped to obey their Forgiving Lord who accepts repentance. In a ḥadīth reported by Imām al-Bukhārī and Muslim from the narration of Sayyidinā Abī Hurrah raḍiya Allāhu ‘anhu, the Prophet ṣallā Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam 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.”
3 Things A Muslim Must Have on His Laylatul Qadr Checklist
On the night of Laylatul Qadr, a profuse amount of mercy is descended from Allah and bestowed upon believers. No one will be left empty-handed. No one goes unforgiven. The exception to this is he, who fails to prepare for it holistically. Everyone should have a checklist in preparation for observing the Laylatul Qadr. Here are 3 elements that you must have on your list among others.
I would like to claim, that if these three things happen to be the only ones on your Laylatul Qadr checklist, rest assured that you’re still going to have an awesome and a successful Laylatul Qadr, inshā Allah.
So, what are the three things you must have on your Laylatul Qadr checklist?
#1: Review Your Faith
One of two major criterions for attaining the blessings of Laylatul Qadr is to embrace it with faith in Allah. Faith in Allah needs to be pure. In other words, our belief in Allah should be purified from any form of beliefs that contradicts with or contaminates monotheism (Tawḥīd). Tawḥīd is the only basis of the message, with which all Prophets and Messengers were sent. Anything else was secondary matter.
Thus, if one is engaged in any form of black magic, he or she must get rid of them before Laylatul Qadr approaches. If one in engaged in religious rituals which are not taught by Islam, he should stop it for good, before Laylatul Qadr kicks in. These are the things, that will surely influence and determine whether or not our Laylatul Qadr observance is successful.
#2: Check Your Sincerity
The other major criterion is the purify our intention and sincerity in the activities we undertake in the night of Qadr. Planning and intending to execute a task is something. But restricting that to seeking the Pleasure and acceptance of Allah’s alone is something different. The former is called Niyyah, while the latter is called Ikhlāṣ. However, both are required –as meant for in Islam, in order for sincerity to take its effect.
Moreover, having a pure faith (Tawḥīd) is something. Having a sincere intention is another thing. And bth need to come hand in hand, for the success of our Laylatul Qadr to take place. This is what is emphasized in the above ḥadīth of Imām al-Bukhārī and Muslim from the narration of Sayyidinā Abī Hurrah raḍiya Allāhu ‘anhu, when the Prophet ṣallā Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam said:
“…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.”
This tells us, that many are those who observe Laylatul Qadr, but only Allah knows who among them goes through it successfully. This is due to the failure of some (if not many) to check and ensure they’re on the right track, with regards to these two major criterions.
#3: Focus on Righteous Activities, not on Searching for the Signs of Laylatul Qadr
We’ve already agreed that Laylatul Qadr may fall on any of the odd nights of the last 10 nights of Ramadan. The truth is, the Prophet ṣallā Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam was informed about it. But before he could inform his noble companions, he was made to forget it. He then told them (and us) to look for it on the odd nights of the 10 days of the month.
We look for Laylatul Qadr by engaging in devotion for ‘ibādat, i.e. prayers (tarāwīḥ and tahajjud), Qur’an recitation, du‘ā, dhikr, and other righteous acts. This means, when we’re observing Laylatul Qadr, focusing on activities of righteousness (no matter how little) is better than spending the time figuring out the signs of the night; whether or not it has arrived. To that effect, it was narrated that Sayyidatuna ‘Aishah raḍiya Allāhu ‘anhā asked the Prophet ṣallā Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam, “If I know what night is Laylatul Qadr, what should I say during it?” He said, “Say”:
اللَّهُمَّ إِنَّكَ عَفُوٌّ تُحِبُّ العَفْوَ فَاعْفُ عَنِّي
Allahumma innaka ‘afuwwan tuhibbul-‘afwa fa’fu ‘anni
(O Allah, You are forgiving and love forgiveness, so forgive me).”
This implies, that we shouldn’t be obsessed with finding the signs of Laylatul Qadr. By doing that, we either stop worshiping, or we may have the tendency of missing the actual day of Laylatul Qadr.
In the end, we may figure out the signs of the Laylatul Qadr, but fail to get our sins forgiven. But once our sins are forgiven and our Laylatul Qadr is successful, what will we lose, with that, if we couldn’t figure out the arrival of the night?
Also, assuming Laylatul Qadr occurs on the 21st night of the Ramadan, should we rest and stop our intended ‘ibādāt for the remaining nights of Ramadan? If we do, will that be the way we show appreciation to Allah for granting us a successful Laylatul Qadr?
In addition to the du‘ā the Prophet ṣallā Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam taught Sayyidatanā ‘Āishah raḍiya Allāhu ‘anhā, we learn that it’s better to make our du’a as holistic as possible. This is in following the footsteps of the Prophets and people of piety in their du‘ās mentioned in the Qur’an (Du‘ās from the Qu’ran and Sunnah).
Once you’ve had your Laylatul Qadr checklist in place, it’s time to spend the last 10 nights in special sessions of communication and bonding with the Almighty Allah. It’s all about presenting our humility before Him and seeking His acceptance and Pleasure. Remember, the more of the Hereafter we ask for, the best of this dunyā He grants us, together with the best of the Ākhirah. The more of this dunyā we ask for, the less of the Ākhirah we may attain, and no guarantee for the dunyā.
“We give whatever We will to whoever desires immediate gains; but then We have prepared Hell for him which he will enter, disgraced and rejected. Anyone who desires the Hereafter and makes a proper effort to achieve it, being a true believer, shall find favour with God for his endeavours” (Sūrah al-Isrā’, 17:18-19).
May Allah guide us to purity in faith and sincerity in intentions. May He enable us to prepare and take part in observing Laylatul Qadr. And may He accept us and accept from us. Amin.
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Allah knows best.
Allahu Hafiz 🙂