Friday, September 03, 2010


There is a powerful night in the month of fasting: Lailat-ul-Qadr. In this night the worship of Allah the Most High as well as the performance of any noble deed are more valuable than those which were being done during a thousand months. The Holy Qur’an says:

"Verily! We have sent it [this Holy Qur'an[1]] down in the Night of Power (Lailatul-Qadr). And what will make you know [o, Muhammad] what the Night of Power is? The Night of Power is better than a thousand months! Therein descend the angels and the Rooh (i.e. Jibreel [angel Gabriel]) by Allah's permission with all decrees. Peace!(or – there is peace and quiet with any decree in this night [2])[It lasts] until the appearance of dawn" (see, the Holy Qur’an, 97).

Here follow some explanations and comment on the surah:

1. The fact that the last Scripture - the Holy Qur’an was sent down from the Preserved Tablet on the first celestial level out of the seven existing ones exactly in this night demonstrates its power and significance in the sight of the Creator.[3]
2. The repetition of the word combination Lailatul-Qadr three times is not accidental. Such turn of speech in Arabic points at a respectful treatment the object defined with this word combination.
3. Lailatul-Qadr – the Night of Power. Scholars specified various versions motivating theof this night. Here are some of them:

- “its power and greatness lie in the fact that it was in this very night that the Holy Qur’an was sent down”;

- “…because an enormous number of angels descend in this night to earth”;

- “... because the manifestation of grace, mercy and forgiveness from the Lord of the worlds in this night is incomparable with other nights by its significance”;

- “... because a believer, who spends this night praying, acquires, with the mercy of God the Most High, most great and powerful forces and energy”.

The word al-qadr can be also translated as tightness, closeness. Taking into account this meaning of the word Alims said: ”In this night such a great number of angels descend to earth that there is simply no room for them all”.

It can be also translated as limitation, restriction, which means that awareness and knowledge about which night of the next month of Ramadan will be Lailatul-Qadr is limited by Allah the Most High. The Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (may Allah greet and bless him) gives only approximate information on the matter.

Sometimes the word combination Lailatul-Qadr is translated as The Night of Predestination. It is especially true when the word qadr is read as qadar. Taking into account such possible translation Islamic scholars are said to have explained:” Depending on how a believer spends this night and with what prayers he invokes God the Most High, it may have a significant impact on the following year of the life of this person, with his actions going in line with the original all-awareness of the Creator”.[4]

4. “The Night of Power is better than a thousand months!” Of course, with regard for the fact that in these months and on these thousands of days there is no such night, there is no Lailatul-Qadr.

The ayah makes it clear for believers that any good deed performed in this blessed night is of greater value in the sight of God the Most High than the performance of the same action or deed during a thousand of months. This is the manifestation of the great mercy of the Creator towards men, who often forget about Him, eternity and piety.

5. “Therein descend the angels”- angels both descend from heaven to earth and become closer to believers.
6. “…and the Rooh (i.e. Jibreel [angel Gabriel])”. Allah the Most High, first saying about all angels and then mentioning separately one angel from such great number, points at the privileged position of angel Jibreel [angel Gabriel] in His sight, in the sight of the Creator of the worlds.[5]
7. “with any decree”. I.e. angels descend both in order to reveal and fulfill God’s decrees and to encourage the conception of all the deeds that are to be performed in the next year.[6]
8. “[It lasts] until the appearance of dawn” – Lailatul-Qadr begins immediately after the sun sets and ends at dawn, i.e. at the beginning of the time of the Morning Prayer Fajr.[7]

The Holy Qur’an contains another mentioning of Lailatul-Qadr:

“Verily, We [says God the Most High, herewith He means His Grandeur, and by no means at His plurality] revealed it [the Holy Qur’an][8] on a blessed Night. Verily, We are ever warning [informing people with those injunctions that were written by Us in the Holy Scripture, as well as with the explanation of is in store for them on the Judgement Day, in the hereafter]. Therein (in Lailatul-Qadr) every wise affair is made distinct. A command from Us; verily, We are the senders (of messengers). A mercy from your Lord. Verily, He is the Hearing, the Knowing” (see, the Holy Qur’an, 44:3-6).[9]

Prophet Muhammad (may Allah greet and bless him) said:

“He, who performs a Night Prayer[10] in the Night of Power with faith and seeking his reward from Allah, will have his past sins forgiven”.[11]

As far as Prophet Muhammad himself is concerned, ‘Aisha transmitted that “during the last ten nights of Ramadan Prophet Muhammad would pray a lot, wake his family for a Night prayer and perform many good deeds”.[12]

Question: We often hear how generously man is rewarded for a good deed performed in the Night of Power. When should one expect it to come? What are its signs?


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