What and When is Laylatul Qadr (The Night of Power)?

Bismillah-ir-Rahman-ir-Raheem – Alhamdu lillāhi rabb-il-‘Ālamīn
Allāhumma Salli ‘alā Muhammadin wa ‘alā Ālihi wa Sahbihi wa Sallim

What is Laylatul Qadr (The Night of Power)?

Allah سبحانه و تعالى says in the Qur’ān, interpretation of which states:

“Verily! We have sent this (Qur’ān) down in the Night of al-Qadr. And what will make you know what Night of Qadr is? The Night of al-Qadr is better than one thousand months. In it the angels and the Spirit (Angel Gabriel) descend, by the Permission of Allah, with all decrees. Peace it is until the appearance of dawn.”
[Sūrah al-Qadr (97): 1-5]

Imam Malik records in his Muwatta:

‟The Messenger of Allah ﷺ was shown the lifetimes of Ummahs. He saw that lifetime of His Ummah was shorter than the others. So He ﷺ was concerned for his Ummah not being able to do as much deeds as the previous nations who had longer lives. Thereupon, Allah سبحانه و تعالى‎  bestowed him Laylat-ul Qadr and made that night betterthan the other Ummahs’ one thousand years. Thus, the short lifetime of the Ummah gets longer by Laylat-ul Qadr.”

Imam Zuhri (d. 125 AH) says

“‘Qadr’ means status. So in comparison to other nights, this night has a greater status and hence it is known as Laylatul Qadr (The Night of Power.”

Abu Bakr al-Warraq (d. 280 AH) upon commenting on ‘Qadr’ says:

“On this night the worshippers are made into owners of Power, even if they  weren’t worthy of such a thing before.”[Tafsir al-Qurtubi]

Mufti Abdur Raheem Limbada says:

‟Laylatul Qadr is of two types;

  1. The night when the Qur’ān was revealed, and
  2. The night when one’s decree for a year is sent down.

The night when the Qur’ān was revealed always falls in Ramadhān and the night when the decree is sent can happen during any night of the year.

Wallāhu A’lam (Allaāh knows best).”

Given the tremendousness of this night, it is recommended to seek this night, and to worship Allah in it, with prayer, supplication (du`a), remembrance (dhikr), and other actions. Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:

‟Whoever stays up (in prayer and remembrance of Allah) on the Night of Qadr fully believing (in Allah’s promise of reward for that night) and hoping to seek reward (from Allah alone and not from people), he shall be forgiven for his past sins.”
[Bukhari and Muslim]

When is Laylatul Qadr (Night of Power)?

Ibn Juzayy al-Kalbī says in his al-Qawānīn al-Fiqhiyyah:

“Most of the scholars, from the Salaf (right guided predecessors) and the Khalaf (rightly guided successors) agree that Laylat-ul-Qadr can occur on any night of the year, even outside the month of Ramadhān. However, the conclusion of the erudite scholars is that the exact night changes every year. Most years it is in Ramadhān while on rarer occasions it occurs outside of Ramadhān.

In the years that it is in Ramadhān, most of the time it occurs in its last ten days, On less frequent occasions, it occurs in the middle ten days (11-20). In the years that it occurs in the middle ten days, it occurs more often on the 17th or 19th.

In the years that it occurs in the last ten days, it occurs more often in the odd nights (rather than the even nights). In the years that it occurs in the odd nights, it is more frequent that it occurs on the 27th night of Ramadhān.”

This has been transmitted from many of the Companions of the Prophet ﷺ, including ‘Abdullah Ibn Mas`ud (Allah be pleased with him). It is one of the reported positions of Imam Abu Hanifa, and also the opinion of am Malik, ash-Shafi’i, Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Ibn Arabi (whose position is quoted by Ibn Abidin with support), Abu’l Hasan al-Shadhili, Sha`rani, and many other knowers of Allah. 

Summary:

  1. One thousand months of about thirty days each are About 80 years.
  2. One should recite Qur’an and do many other acts of worship that have extensive rewards e.g. serving parents, making up missed prayers, praying optional prayers, making dhikr, etc. so that this great amount of good deeds may be multiplied 30,000 times over.
  3. Most years you can look in the last twenty days of Ramadan and you will find it for sure.

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