In the Shade of Laylat al-Qadr

1 – The Meaning of Qadr

Ibn Hajar said in ‘Fath al-Bari’ (4/323-324):

“There are various explanations of the meaning of the qadr that this night is ascribed to.

It was said that it means veneration, as in the verse: {“…and they didn’t venerate (qadar) Allah as He deserved…”} [al-An’am; 91] This refers to it being a night of veneration due to the revelation of the Qur’an taking place in it, or due to the descent of the Angels in it, or due to the blessing and mercy and forgiveness that descend in it, or that those who stay up that night in worship are venerated.

It was also said that qadr here means constriction, as in the verse: {“…and who is constricted (qadara) in his provision…”} [at-Talaq; 7] This refers to it being a night of constriction due to the exact night being hidden, or because the Earth is constricted due to the presence of such a large number of Angels.

It was also said that it is qadar, derived from the word for judgment. This refers to the fact that all the judgments of that year are made on this night…”

2 – Better than a Thousand Months

Ibn Kathir mentioned in ‘Tafsir al-Qur’an al-‘Adhim’ (4/686) that Mujahid said:

“There was a man from the Children of Israel who would pray all night and then fight Jihad against the enemy all day, and he did this for a thousand months. Allah then revealed the verse: {“The Night of Qadr is better than a thousand months…”} So, praying on this night is better than the actions of that man.”

3 – The 27th Word

Ibn Kathir mentioned (4/690):

“…And it was reported that some of the Salaf used the Qur’an to conclude that it is on the 27th night because the word ‘هي’ (it is) is the 27th word in the chapter, and Allah Knows best.”

4 – Why the Exact Day Was Hidden

Ibn Hajar said (4/328):

“…This might have a benefit linked to legislation…or exertion in worship, because if the Night of Qadr was specified to be on an exact night, people would limit themselves to that night and miss out on the worship on other nights. It is as if this is what the Prophet meant when he said: “…this might be better for you.”

5 – Heavy for the Hypocrite

Ibn Kathir mentioned (4/692) that Ka’b al-Ahbar said:

“By the One in Whose Hand my soul is, the Night of Qadr is so heavy on the disbeliever and hypocrite that it feels like a mountain on his back.”

6 – What to Supplicate on the Night of Qadr

In ‘as-Silsilah as-Sahihah’ (3337), it’s reported that ‘A’ishah asked the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم): “If I happen to catch the Night of Qadr, how should I supplicate?”

He replied: “You should say:

اللهم إنك عفو تحب العفو فاعف عني
O Allah, You Pardon and Love pardoning. So, Pardon me.”

7 – In the Shade of the Night of Qadr

Sayyid Qutb said in ‘Fi Dhilal al-Qur’an’ (6/3945-6):

“…This night is better than thousands of months in the lives of human beings. How many thousands of months and years have passed by without leaving in our lives the changes that this single blessed, joyous night leaves us? The might of this night is such that its reality transcends the limits of human comprehension: {“And what will make you understand what the Night of Qadr is?”}

…When we look today after the generations of the past to this noble, joyous night and imagine the amazing festive atmosphere that the Earth witnessed on that night, and we reflect over the reality of what took place that night, and we let its significance in history in the reality of the world, and in the outlook of our hearts and minds sink in, we see something that is truly great. We begin to understand a bit of the purpose of the Qur’anic mention of this night: {“And what will make you understand what the Night of Qadr is?”}

On that night, every wise judgment was made. Values, principles, and scales were laid down. Ordainments were made that surpassed that of individuals: ordainments for nations, countries, and peoples. In fact, it is even greater and mightier than this: ordainment of realities and hearts!

Humankind has become heedless – due to its ignorance and disconnection – of the value of the Night of Qadr and the reality and significance of this event. Since the time that it became heedless of this, it has been deprived of the most joyous and beautiful gifts from Allah. It lost the true happiness and peace – the peace of mind, and peace in the home and society – that Islam granted it. This cannot be replaced by the material bounty, civilization, and power that it has been given. It is in a bad state despite the outpouring of production and high standards of living it possesses!

The beautiful light that shone on it at one time has been put out, as has the illuminating happiness that carried it to the highest levels. The peace that once soaked hearts and souls is absent, and the spiritual joy and heavenly light and ascension to the highest levels can never be replaced.

We as believers are commanded to never forget or be heedless of this memory. Our Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) showed us an easy way to bring this memory to life in our souls and remain connected to it forever, as well as to remain connected to the universal event that occurred in it. This is why he encouraged us to pray on this night every year and to seek it out on the last ten nights of Ramadan. In the two ‘Sahih’s, it says: “Seek out the Night of Qadr in the last ten nights of Ramadan,” and: “Whoever prays in the Night of Qadr out of faith and expectation of reward will have all of his past sins Forgiven.”

Islam is not simply outer actions meant for show. This is why the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said that this prayer should be out of faith and expectation of reward. Likewise, this night prayer should bring back to life the massive concepts that this night encompasses. It should be done out of faith in order to make it purely for Allah, as well as in expectation of reward. At this point, the heart will have a specific reality ingrained in it because of this night prayer that is tied directly to the purpose for which this Qur’an was revealed.

The Islamic method of tarbiyah ties worship to the reality of belief in the conscience. It turns worship into a method of resurrecting these realities, clarifying them, and solidifying them in a living image that transcends mere emotion and isn’t limited to theory. It is confirmed that this method alone can resurrect these realities and turn them into a movement in one’s conscience and character, and that mere realization of these realities without the support of physical worship will not establish these realities or push them into a movement in the life of an individual or the life of a group.

This direct connection between the memory of the Night of Qadr and praying at night out of faith and expectation of reward is just one aspect of this sound and successful Islamic method…”

5 Responses to “In the Shade of Laylat al-Qadr”

  1. Jazak Allah Khair.

  2. Salaamalaykum warahmatuallah

    Mashallah! jazakallahukhair
    may Allah give all believers successful Laylatul Qadr ,Ameen.
    ya rabbal alameen.

  3. Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuhu

    MashaAllah you are maintaining an excellent blog!

    Just to inform you that i have initiated a Qur’an blog recently
    Have a look at it InshaAllah

    http://www.yassarnalquran.wordpress.com

    Jazakallah Khair.

  4. leigh sobowale Says:

    وا السلام عليكم
    وجزاكم الله خيرا آمين

  5. Last Ramadan, It was the 27th night. I didnt even know about Laylat Al Qadr. I woke up in the middle of the night and saw a shining white light that was indistinguishable in front of my bed. I felt a jolt of joy and happiness at this experience liek nothing i had ever felt, and asked a friend about it. He told me it must have been an angel, and that is how i learned more about this glorious night.

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