Laylatul Qadr in Islam: Meaning, Significance, Benefits, Rewards, and Importance of the Night of Decree, Power, and Destiny

Laytuul Qadr – Introduction

Laylatul Qadr or Shab-e-Qadar, also known as the Night of Decree, is one of the most significant nights in the Islamic calendar that falls on one of the odd-numbered nights in the last ten days of Ramadan

Shab-e-Qadar is believed to be better than a thousand months and is marked as the night when the first verses of the Quran were revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him).

The Quran mentions Laylatul Qadr in Surah Al-Qadr (97), which states:

“Verily, We have sent it (this Quran) down in the Night of Decree. 
And what will make you know what the Night of Decree is? 
The Night of Decree is better than a thousand months. 
Therein descend the angels and the Spirit by Allah's permission, on every errand: 
Peace!... This until the rise of dawn."

Reference: Surat-Ul-Qadr Aayat ( 1 to 5 )
The first revelation of the Quran during Ramadan is also supported by the Ayah in Surah Baqarah Ayah 185: 

The month of Ramadan was the one in which was revealed the Quran, a guidance for mankind and clear proofs for the guidance and the criterion (between right and wrong).”
Besides, Ayah 3 of Surah Dukhan also supports the same thing: 

“Indeed, We sent it down in a blessed night, Indeed, We are ever warning.”
Laylatul Qadr

Interpretation of the first Ayat of Surat Ul Qadr:

Syed Abu Ala Modudi explains the first Ayat of Surah Al-Qadr as that there can be two interpretations of this Ayat. The first one is that Allah (SWT) handed over the writing of the whole Quran to the angel Jibrail who kept on revealing the Quran to the Prophet (PBUH) for the next 23 years slowly, with starting 5 verses of Surah Alaq being the first one. The second interpretation of this ayah is that only the first 5 verses of Surah Alaq were revealed, and no scripture was handed over.

Meaning of the term “QADR”:

As indicated by the name, Shab-e-Qadar is the night of Qadar. Some exegetes have interpreted the meaning of Qadr as destiny. That is, this is the night in which Allah entrusts the angels to implement the decisions of destiny. This is supported by the verse of Surah Al-Dukhan (verse 4), “In this night, every matter is decided wisely.” 

In contrast to his Imam Al-Zuhri, who says that Qadr means greatness and glory, that is, it is a night of great greatness, this meaning is supported by the words of the same Surah that “The night of Qadr is better than a thousand months.” 

When is Laylatul Qadr? 

You might be thinking is Laylatul Qadr on the 27th or 29th of Ramadan or the last ten nights of Ramadan? Well, scholars have different opinions on the exact night of Laylatul Qadr. That’s why we have gathered down all the relevant ahadiths talking about the night of Laylatul Qadr.

"Narrated `Aisha: Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) said, "Search for the Night of Qadr in the odd nights of the last ten days of Ramadan." Sahih Al-Bukhari 2017. 
A'isha (Allah be pleased with her) and Ibn Numair reported Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) as saying:

Look for (and in the words of Waki, seek) Lailat-ul-Qadr in the last ten nights of Ramadan.

Sahih Muslim 1169
It is narrated from 'Aisha that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: "Find the night of Qadr in the last ten nights of Ramadan.” (Musnad Ahmad 3995).

Why is it called the Night of Destiny?

Mufti Taqi Usmani interprets the 4th Ayah of Surah Qadr as there are two purposes for angels to descend on this night, one is that the angels pray for mercy for those who engage in worship on that night, and the second purpose is that Allah hands over the decisions of the year to the angels in this night, so that they can obey them at their own time. This is what the exegetes have interpreted as “descending everything.” That’s why it is referred to as the ‘NIGHT OF DESTINY.’

What are the signs of Laylatul Qadr or Shab-e-Qadar?

In Islam, there are several signs and indications that point to the night of Laylatul Qadr. These signs have been mentioned in various ahadith and traditions of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). 

Here are some of the signs of Laylatul Qadr in Islam, along with relevant ahadith:

  1. It falls during the last ten nights of Ramadan:Narrated ‘Ubada bin As-Samit: Allah’s Apostle went out to inform the people about the (date of the Night of decree (Al-Qadr). There happened a quarrel between two Muslim men. The Prophet said, I came out to inform you about the Night of Al-Qadr, but as so-and-so and so-and-so quarreled, so the news about it had been taken away; and maybe it was better for you. So look for it in the ninth, the seventh, or the fifth (of the last ten days of Ramadan). (Sahih Bukhari 6049). In another narration, by Abu Sa’eed al Khudri (r.a), he says,“We observed I’tikaf with the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) during the middle ten days of Ramadan. He said: ‘I have been shown Lailatul-Qadr, then I was caused to forget it, so seek it in the last ten night, on the odd-numbered nights.’” (Ibn-Majah 1766)
  2. Moon looks like a half plate: Narrated by Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him), he said: “We were in the company of the Prophet (peace be upon him) when we mentioned the Night of Decree. He said, ‘Do any of you remember when the moon rose and it was like half a plate? That was the same night (i.e. Laylatul Qadr).” (Sahih Muslim 2779)
  3. The angels descend to the earth: Narrated by Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him), the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said about Laylatul Qadr (the Night of Decree): “It is the 27th or 29th night (of Ramadan). On this night, more angels descend to the earth than the number of pebbles on the earth.” (Musnad Ahmed 4050)
  4. The night is marked by a great sense of peace and tranquility: This is proven by the Ayah 5 of Surah Al Qadar, “Peace!… This until the rise of dawn.”
  5. The sun rises on the following morning without any visible rays: Abu Aqrab says: One day in the month of Ramadan, I went to Sayyidna Abdullah bin Masoud, may Allah be pleased with him, in the morning. I saw him sitting on the roof of his house, and we heard him saying: Allah spoke the truth and His Messenger (PBUH) conveyed it, then narrated this hadith that the Messenger of Allah(PBUH) said: “Undoubtedly, the middle night of the last seven nights of the month of Ramadan is Laylatulqadr (the night of decree). When the sun rises on its morning, it is completely clean and has no visible rays.” I have just looked at it and found it to be in accordance with the decree of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). (Musnad Ahmad 4048)
  6. The night is characterized by a sense of mercy and forgiveness: According to a hadith narrated by Abu Huraira, the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, “Whoever stays up during Laylatul Qadr with faith and seeking reward, will have his past sins forgiven” (Musnad Ahmad 3658)
  7. The night is marked by a sense of spiritual upliftment and renewal: According to a hadith of Sahih Bukhari 2024, “When the last ten nights (of Ramadan) would come, the Prophet (peace be upon him) would keep awake at night (for prayer and devotion), and would tie his lower garment tight (i.e. he would stay away from his wives and observe i’tikaf in the mosque). He would also awaken his family members for prayer and devotion.” This shows the devotion of Prophet (PBUH) to pray to Allah.

In conclusion, the signs of Laylatul Qadr in Islam are numerous and diverse including a sense of peace and tranquility, the descent of the angels, a clear and cloudless sky, and a sense of spiritual upliftment and renewal. Muslims are encouraged to seek out and take advantage of the blessings and rewards of this blessed night, and to spend it in worship and supplication, seeking Allah’s forgiveness and mercy.

Importance of Laylatul Qadr

The importance of Laylatul Qadr has been emphasized by many scholars of Islam, who have provided various reasons why this night is so significant.

Revelation of the Quran: 

One of the primary reasons why Laylatul Qadr is so important is because it was on this night that the Quran was first revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). This event is considered to be the most significant event in human history, as the Quran contains the divine guidance that is essential for humanity’s salvation.

Forgiveness of Sins: 

Laylatul Qadr is believed to be a night when Allah forgives the sins of those who worship Him with sincerity and devotion. This is because of the immense blessings and rewards that are showered upon believers on this night, which serve as a means of expiation for their sins. 

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, “Whosoever observes fasts during the month of Ramadan with faith, seeking reward from Allah, all his previous sins will be forgiven; and whoever stands for prayers on the Night of Qadr with faith, seeking reward from Allah, all his previous sins will be forgiven.” Sufyan narrated this Hadith as well as Salim Ibn Qais, who narrated it from Zuhri. (Sahih Bukhari 2014)

Rewards

Laylatul Qadr is also significant because of the immense rewards that are promised to those who worship Allah on this night. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is reported to have said that whoever prays on Laylatul Qadr with sincere faith and devotion will be granted the reward of worshiping Allah for a thousand months.

Spiritual Renewal: 

Laylatul Qadr is also believed to be a night when believers can experience spiritual renewal and rejuvenation. This is because of the immense blessings and mercy that Allah bestows upon His servants on this night, which can serve to purify their souls and strengthen their faith.

Commemoration of Allah’s Mercy: 

Laylatul Qadr is also an opportunity for believers to remember and commemorate the mercy and blessings of Allah. This is because of the immense blessings and rewards that are showered upon believers on this night, which serve as a reminder of Allah’s infinite grace and compassion.

These factors combine to make Laylatul Qadr a night of immense blessings and rewards, and an opportunity for believers to draw closer to Allah and seek His favor and grace.

How Muslims Should Observe Laylatul Qadr?

Muslims all over the world observe Laylatul Qadr with great devotion and enthusiasm. Here are some ways in which Muslims observe Laylatul Qadr throughout the world:

Spending the Night in Prayer: 

Muslims often spend the entire night of Laylatul Qadr in prayer, reciting Quran, and engaging in other acts of worship. They may gather in mosques, community centers, or at home for these prayers.

Offering Special Prayers: 

Many Muslims offer special prayers during Laylatul Qadr, such as the Taraweeh and Qiyamul Layl prayers, which are longer than regular prayers and offer a chance to increase one’s devotion and earn Allah’s mercy.

Reciting the Quran: 

Muslims often recite the Quran during Laylatul Qadr, either individually or in groups. Many mosques hold Quran recitation sessions throughout the night.

Giving Charity: 

Laylatul Qadr is a time when Muslims are encouraged to give to those in need. Many people donate to charitable causes or engage in acts of kindness and compassion towards others.

Seeking Forgiveness: 

Laylatul Qadr is a time for repentance and seeking forgiveness for one’s sins. Muslims are encouraged to reflect on their actions and seek Allah’s mercy and forgiveness during this night.

Making Dua: 

Muslims often make dua (supplication) during Laylatul Qadr, asking Allah for blessings, guidance, and forgiveness. Many mosques hold communal dua sessions throughout the night.

Spending Time with Family: 

Laylatul Qadr is also a time for families to come together and share in the blessings of the night. Many families gather for meals, engage in acts of worship together, and spend time in each other’s company.

Overall, Muslims around the world observe Laylatul Qadr with great devotion and enthusiasm, engaging in acts of worship, charity, and seeking Allah’s mercy and forgiveness.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Laylatul Qadr is a night of unmatched significance for Muslims all over the world. This is a night when the heavens open, and the mercy of Allah pours down upon those who seek it. It is a time of immense spiritual significance, where believers engage in acts of worship, and charity, and seek forgiveness for their sins. The importance of this night cannot be overstated, as it presents a unique opportunity to connect with Allah and strengthen our relationship with Him. 

As the blessed month of Ramadan draws to a close, we must strive to seek out Laylatul Qadr and maximize its blessings by increasing our devotion and worship. May Allah accept our prayers, forgive our sins, and guide us on the path of righteousness. Aameen.

FAQ – Laylatul Qadr

What is the dua for Laylatul Qadr?

You can recite the following dua on the night of Laylatul Qadr: 1. AllahummainnakaAfuwwun [Karimun ]tuhibbul `afwafa`fu `annee English Translation: O Allah, indeed You are Pardoning, [Generous,] You love to pardon, so pardon me. (TIRMIDHI 3513)

What to do on the night of Laylatul Qadr?

As a Muslim, you must strive to celebrate Laylatul Qadr with as much spirit as you can. First, you must have completed your Isha namaz which is mandatory. After that, you must be inclined to perform 20 rakat of Tarawih.

Besides that, you can perform nawafil with a prolonged or short recitation of the Quran. The more you read Quran during your Nawafil, the higher the reward. But you must read Quran at a speed at which you also understand the words. You must not hurry up while reciting the Quran as it is said, “And recite the Qur’an (aloud) in a slow, (pleasant tone and) style”

[al-Muzammil 73:4] 

Apart from this, it is also narrated that ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr said: The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Read the Qur’an in a month.”I said: I can do better than that… Until he said: “Then read it once every seven days, and do not do any more than that.”

Narrated by al-Bukhari (4767) and Muslim (1159).
But since the virtue for reading and understanding Quran is so high so you must go at a pace at which it is understandable as well as readable for you!

Apart from Nawafil and recitation of the Quran, you must repent as much as you can and read the above-written dua for Laylatul Qadr. Since Allah calls this night peaceful and has all that is good, Allah (SWT) will In shaa Allah forgive you for all the sins that you did, for He is forgiving.

What Dikhr/Zikr to do on Laylatul Qadr?

There is no specific zikr told by the Prophet (PBUH) for this night except for the dua of Laylatul Qadr which we have already written above. But we have listed down some of the izkaar which are heavily rewarded, and you can perform them on this night, too.

1. SubhanAllah wa bihamdihi, SubhanAllahil-Azim (Glory be to Allah and His is the Praise, Glory be to Allah, the Most Great).
This is a highly recommended zikr and is considered as a means of expiation of sins.

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, “Whoever says: SubhanAllah wa bihamdihi (Glory be to Allah and His is the Praise), one hundred times a day, his sins will be forgiven even if they were like the foam of the sea.”

(Narrated by Al-Bukhari, Hadith no. 6406).

2. La ilaha illa Allah, wahdahu la sharika lah, lahul-mulku wa lahul-hamdu, wa huwa ala kulli shay'in qadir (There is no god but Allah, alone without partner, His is the sovereignty and His is the praise, and He is capable of all things).

This zikr is also highly recommended and is considered as a means of gaining the reward of freeing a slave.

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, "Whoever says: La ilaha illa Allah, wahdahu la sharika lah, lahul-mulku wa lahul-hamdu, wa huwa ala kulli shay’in qadir (There is no god but Allah, alone without partner, His is the sovereignty and His is the praise, and He is capable of all things) one hundred times in a day, will have a reward equal to that of freeing ten slaves, and one hundred good deeds will be written for him, and one hundred sins will be erased from his record, and it will be a protection for him from Satan that day until evening. No one will come with anything better except someone who has done more than that.”

(Narrated by Al-Bukhari, Hadith no. 3293).

3. SubhanAllah, walhamdulillah, wa la ilaha illallah, wa Allahu Akbar (Glory be to Allah, and all praise be to Allah, and there is no god but Allah, and Allah is the Greatest).
This zikr is considered as a means of filling the scales of good deeds on the Day of Judgment.

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, “The most beloved phrases to Allah are four: SubhanAllah, walhamdulillah, wa la ilaha illallah, wa Allahu Akbar (Glory be to Allah, and all praise be to Allah, and there is no god but Allah, and Allah is the Greatest). There is no harm in starting with any of them in your zikr.”

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