Lailatul Qadr (the Night of Power or Destiny) is one of the blissful nights of Ramadan, which has been specially mentioned in the Holy Quran.
It is the night associated with the revelation of the Quran, which contains the eternal message of mercy from the Creator to His creation. The Holy Quran enables mankind to distinguish between the good and the evil, the vice and the virtue, the lawful and the forbidden. It warns man against the pitfalls and darkness and shows the illumined way that leads to righteousness.
IN HUMILITY... people pray at a mosque in Dubai during the holy month of Ramadan. — KT Photo by Shihab
This is the night of the spiritual bliss. It is one of the last 10 nights of Ramadan. It is better than 1,000 months in the blessings it brings as a reward for good deeds. In the Holy Quran this night is mentioned at two places. In chapter 97, it is described three time as Lailatul Qadr: “We have, indeed, revealed this (message) in the Night of Power: and what will explain to you what the Night of Power is? The Night of Power is better than a thousand months. Therein come down the angels and the spirit by Allah’s permission, on every errand: Peace...This until the rise of morning.”
Here this night is mentioned as the night in which the Holy Quran was revealed, and it is further stated that it is the night in which angels and the spirit descend. ‘A thousand’ must be taken in an indefinite sense, as denoting a very long period of time. This does not refer to our ideas of time, but to ‘timeless time’. One moment of enlightenment under Allah’s light is better than thousands of months or years of animal life, and such a moment converts the night of darkness into a period of spiritual glory.
When the night of spiritual darkness is dissipated by the glory of Allah, a wonderful peace and a sense of security arise in the soul. And this lasts on until this life closes, and the glorious day of the new spiritual world dawns, when everything will be on a different plane, and the chequered nights and days of this world will be even less than a dream.
It is also mentioned in chapter 44 where it is called a blessed night (Lailatin Mubaraka). “By the Book that makes things clear; We sent it down during a blessed night: for We (ever) wish to warn (against evil). In that (night) is made distinct every affair of wisdom. By command, from Our Presence. For We (ever) sent (revelations)” -- 1-7.
It will be seen that, at both places, the Holy Quran is spoken of as having been revealed on this night, and else where (ii-185) it is stated that it was revealed in the month of Ramadan, which suggest that Lailatul Qadr occurs in this holy month. The revelation of the Holy Quran on this night actually means that it is revelation began on that night: in other words, the first revelation came to the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) on this night.
It is called a “blessed night” because in it was laid the basis of a new revelation to the world, which contains every commandment full of wisdom and knowledge. Lailatul Qadr is, therefore, as it were the anniversary of the revelation of the Holy Quran. During Lailatul Qadr the angels and Heavenly Spirit come to the earth: their presence impart spiritual lustre to it and comforts the souls and hearts of the believers engaged in acts of devotion during the night.
The last 10 days of Ramadan are specially observed as days of devotion so much so that though Islam discourages asceticism, in these days a Muslim is allowed to lead an ascetic life, by confining himself to a mosque and giving up all worldly affairs.
There are various traditions showing that the Muslims should look for Lailatul Qadr on one of odd nights in the last 10 nights of Ramadan or in the last seven nights. According to some traditions, it could be the 25th or 27th or 29th night of Ramadan. In the majority view, the 27th night is taken to be the most probable Lailatul Qadr.
Al Syeda Aisha Siddiqah said that Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) used to exert himself in devotion during the last 10 days of Ramadan to a greater extent than at any other time. She said that when the last 10 nights began, the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) prepared himself for religious exercises, stayed awake at night and wakened his family.
Those who spend the night performing prayers experience immense bliss and profound spiritual pleasure as a result of the heavenly blessings, which come down during the night. One should therefore, do one’s best and offer Nafl (optional) prayers, recite the Holy Quran, seek Allah’s forgiveness and pray for the good, both in this world and the hereafter.
Al Syeda Aisha Siddiqah said she asked the Holy Prophet to tell her what prayers to say on Lailatul Qadr if she knew which night it was, and he told her to say: “O Allah, You are forgiving, love forgiveness, so forgive me.”