Laylatul Qadr

And what can make you know what is the Night of Decree? (The Holy Qur’an 97:2)

Laylatul Qadr, also known as the Night of Power or the Night of Decree, occurs on one of the odd nights in the final ten days of Ramadan. The Holy Qur’an describes it as being better than a thousand months.

As it is hidden in mystery, we often find ourselves asking questions about it. Here are some answers to help us understand Laylatul Qadr better.

When is Laylatul Qadr 2024?

Many of us believe that Laylatul Qadr falls on the 27th night of Ramadan. To mark this special occasion, Muslims worldwide gather in mosques and homes to hold special prayers and functions.

Ibn Mas’ud said: “I swear by Allah that I know which night it is. It is the night Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) ordered us to observe standing in prayer… It is the night on the eve of the 27th of Ramadan. Its sign is that the Sun will rise in the morning of that day white without exuding any rays.” (Muslim)

However, the hadiths regarding Laylatul Qadr are varied. This suggests that the exact date of this blessed night was intentionally hidden, so that believers would strive to search for it. We therefore observe each odd night in the final ten days of the month to ensure we do not miss out.

‘Seek it in the last ten days of Ramadan, when there are nine days left, and seven days left, and five days left.’ (Bukhari)

What is the story of Laylatul Qadr?

Laylatul Qadr is a significant night, as it marks the night when the first revelation of the Holy Qur’an was given to our beloved Prophet (ﷺ). On this night, in a cave on Mount Hira, the Angel Jibril (AS) came to him while he was worshipping in seclusion. He commanded the Prophet (ﷺ) to read, to which the Prophet (ﷺ) responded: “I cannot read.” Even after the angel embraced him three times, the Prophet (ﷺ) declared he could not read. Finally, Jibril (AS) embraced the Prophet (ﷺ) one last time and commanded him to read. This time, the words of the first verses of the Holy Qur’an were revealed:

Read, ˹O Prophet,˺ in the Name of your Lord Who created – created humans from a clinging clot. Read! And your Lord is the Most Generous, Who taught by the pen – taught humanity what they knew not. (The Holy Qur’an 96:1-5)

It was during this momentous occasion that Allah (SWT) first unveiled His divine message of Prophethood to His beloved Messenger Muhammad (ﷺ). This divine message was intended to guide and deliver humanity towards the salvation and the peace of Islam – a destiny that had been set even before the world was created. It is no wonder then why this night is called the Night of Decree, and Allah (SWT) certainly knows best.

Which Surah is about Laylatul Qadr?

Al-Qadr is the 97th Surah of the Holy Qur’an. It explains Laylatul Qadr, the night the Qur’an was first sent down. As it’s only five verses, it is a short and memorable Surah. Through this Surah, we learn of the significance of the Night of Power.

Indeed, We sent it [i.e. the Qur’an] down during the Night of Decree. And what can make you know what is the Night of Decree? The Night of Decree is better than a thousand months. The angels and the Spirit [i.e. Jibril] descend therein by permission of their Lord for every matter. Peace it is until the emergence of dawn. (The Holy Qur’an 97:1-5)

What should we do on Laylatul Qadr?

Let us follow the example of the one Allah (SWT) loves best – our beloved Prophet (ﷺ).

I’tikaf – According to hadith, one of the practises the of Prophet (ﷺ) observed was I’tikaf during the last ten days of Ramadan. This involves retreating from worldly activities and dedicating our time to worship.

Aisha (RA) was reported to have said: “Allah’s Apostle (ﷺ) used to practice Itikaf in the last ten nights of Ramadan and used to say: ‘Look for the Night of Qadr in the last ten nights of the month of Ramadan.’” (Bukhari)

Tahajjud Prayer – Performing Tahajjud, the voluntary Night Prayer, is considered one of the most commendable forms of worship during the Night of Power. It is usually performed in the last third of the night (although its time extends between Isha and Fajr).

‘Aisha (RA) reported that when the last ten nights began Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) kept awake at night [for prayer and devotion], wakened his family, and prepared himself to observe prayer [with more vigour].’ (Muslim)

Sadaqah – Giving charity is a great way to express our appreciation for the blessings in our lives, and this expression is amplified during Laylatul Qadr. So, let’s be generous, whether it’s by donating Sadaqah to those in need, or even offering a smile or kind words to those around us.

‘The Messenger of Allah, (ﷺ) was the most generous of people and he was even more generous in Ramadan. (Bukhari)

Additional acts of worship that should be performed on the Night of Power include:

  • Reading the holy Qur’an
  • Istighfar – seeking forgiveness
  • Dhikr – remembrance of Allah (SWT)
  • Reciting Salawat – sending prayers and salutations upon the Prophet (ﷺ)

What are the Signs of Laylatul Qadr?

It is a popular belief based on the hadith that when a Friday night falls on an odd night during Ramadan, it is likely to be Laylatul Qadr.

‘Laylatul Qadr is calm and pleasant, neither hot nor cold, the sun arises on its morning being feeble and red.’ (Ibn Khuzaymah)

Some other signs of the Night of Power based on the hadith include:

  • The possibility of rainfall during the day or the night
  • A night sky that is luminous but without rays
  • A light fog
  • A moon that is clear and looks like half a ‘jafna’ (i.e. half a plate)
  • A soothing night without the discomfort of extreme heat or cold
  • A sun that rises the following morning like a red orb without rays

‘On the morning following Laylatul Qadr, the sun rises not having any rays, as if it were a brass dish, until it rises up.’ (Muslim)

To reap the rewards of giving charity in secret this Laylatul Qadr, donate Sadaqah anonymously online and let Allah (SWT) take care of the rest.

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