The Night of Power – Laylat-ul-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 morn! (97:1-5)
Laylut Al Qadr or the Night of Power falls on the odd nights of the last ten days of Ramadan. We strive arduously throughout the last ten days hoping that one of the nights will coincide with the Night of Power.
Laylut Al Qadr is embraced not only for its mathematical power but also for its divine revelation. It commemorates the night during which Allah, subhanaho wa talla, revealed a full surah, Soorat Al- Qadr [97:1-5] and the 3rd to the 6th verses of Soorat Al-Dukhan, salla Allahu Alahi wa sallam.
The soorah, Soorat Al- Qadr, was revealed in Mecca and its central theme is honoring the revelation of the Holy Qur’an. The night is so full of holiness that even the angels in the heavens see it as worthy of witnessing.
It is reported by Abi Hatim, Al Wahidi, and Mujahid, that the Messenger, salla Allahu alahi wa sallam, spoke of a man amongst the Israelites who devoted a thousand years of his life to the worship of Allah.
The Companions were amazed yet saddened because they knew that they could not attain such a level of devotion. So Allah, subhanaho wa talla, through His mercy, informed them of the Night of Power which is equivalent to a thousand months.
The word power, Al-Qadr, has several implications and meanings, which help deliver a better understanding of the word, hence the night. Qadr means having power over something just as the Creator has power over his creation.
It also means excellence and high esteem because this Night is highly esteemed. Qadr also means to maintain, appoint, assign, or decree an order. On this night, Allah, subhana wa talla informs the angels of His commands and orders for the universe.
The concept of Al Qada Wa Qadar, the fifth article of faith, relates to this topic and means that Allah has decreed or preordained all that a human being will do with his free will.
Qadr also implies measurement in that, all the events in the world will coincide with what Allah has decreed in exact measurement. Allah, subhana wa talla, says in his Holy Book: “Verily, all things have We created in proportion and measure.” (Al-Qur`an, 54:49)
This is also the night of honor and prestige with which a faithful servant is rewarded with. All his or her good deeds will be multiplied through the mercy of Allah.
Yet the night remains concealed from us, in good wisdom, for the following reasons: Allah conceals many things, not just Laylut Al Qadr. He conceals his pleasure from us when we perform good deeds so that we continue to strive in the way of Allah. He conceals His wrath from us when we commit sins so that we may try to abstain from them. He conceals the time of His acceptance of our supplication so that we strive in all our supplications and the time of death is also hidden so that we become more conscious of him and double our efforts all the time.
Allah, subhana wa tallah, has concealed the date of the Night of Power so that believers continue to strive relentlessly throughout the month, seeking the pleasure of their Lord.
Although we can not determine the exact date, there is evidence that the night falls on the last ten days of Ramadan, specifically on the odd-numbered nights. As reported by Bukhari, the Messenger of Allah, sala Allahu alahi wa sallam said: “Seek it on the odd nights of the last ten days of Ramadan.”
In yet another hadith by Ibn Umar, radiua Allahu anhu, some of the companions saw the night in a dream occurring in the last seven nights. Responding to this, the Messenger of Allah, sala Allahu alahi wa sallam, told them, “I see your dreams coincide on the last seven, whoever wants to seek it should do so in the last seven.” (Agreed upon)
In a Muslim report, the Prophet, sala Allahu alahi wa sallam, said, “Seek the night in the last ten days, and if any of you is weak, or can’t observe it, he should not miss the remaining seven days.” In Hadith by Ubayy bin Ka’ab, radiua Allahu anhu, he said: “By Allah, I know which night it is. It is the night the Messenger commanded us to observe, the night of the 27th.” (Ahmed/Tirmidhi)
The variation of the dates, as indicated by various ahadith, leads us to conclude that no one knows for sure what night is the Night of Power. The night also seems to shift from one year to the next. It may occur on the 27th in one year, followed by the 29th in the subsequent year, etc. “Seek it on the twenty-ninth; it may be on the twenty-seventh or the twenty-fifth,” reports Al-Bukhari.
Its strongly recommended to seek the night and spend it in sincere devotion to the Highest. A believer should strive through performing sunnah prayers (Tahajud), reciting the Holy Qur’an, and invoking supplications. Charitable acts have multiplied weight and morality should be at its peak.
In a hadith related by Abu Hurairah, radiua Allahu anhu, the Messenger of Allah, sala Allahu alahi wa sallam, said: “He who spends the night in prayer on the Night of Power, as a sign of His faith, and seeking rewards from Allah, his previous sins will be forgiven.” (Bukhari/Muslim) This hadith indicates that whether a person is aware of the night or not, Allah will forgive him his past sins.
Supplications for Laylut Al Qadr
O, Allah! Forgive us of sins that would hinder our supplications
O, Allah! Forgive us of sins that would suppress hope
O, Allah! Forgive all sins that we have committed and every error that we have erred
O, Allah! Accept our apologies and pity our intense sufferings and set us free from my heavy fetters (of evil deeds)
O, Allah! You are aware of my weakness to bear even a minor affliction of this world and its consequence and adversity affecting the denizen of this earth, although such afflictions are momentary, short-lived, and transient
How then can I bear the retributions and the punishments of the Hereafter which are enormous and of intensive sufferings, of prolonged period and perpetual duration, and which shall never be alleviated for those who deserve the same as those retributions will be the result of Your wrath; and Your punishment which neither the heavens nor the earth can withstand and bear!
My Lord! How can I, a weak, insignificant, humble, poor, and destitute creature of Yours be able to bear them?
Oh my God! My Lord! My King! And Master! Which of the matters shall I complain to You and for which of them shall I bewail and weep?
Shall I bewail for the pains and pangs of the punishment and their intensity or the length of sufferings and their duration?
Therefore (my Lord!) If You will subject me to the penalties (of hell) in the company of Your enemies and cast me with those who merited my punishments and tear me apart from Your friends and those who will be near to You, then my God, my Lord, and my Master, though I may patiently bear Your punishments, how can I calmly accept being kept away from You?
I reckon that though I may patiently endure the scorching fire of the hell, yet how can I resign myself to the denial of Your pity and clemency? How can I remain in the fire while I have hopes of Your forgiveness?
So, my Lord! I look earnestly towards You and You, my Lord!
I have stretched forth my hands, therefore, by Your honor, respond to my supplication and let me attain my prayers and, by Your bounty, frustrate not my hopes and protect me from the evils of my enemies and O’ My Lord! have mercy on me whose only asset is hope and whose only weapon is lamentation.
Ameen … Ya Rabb … Ameen … Ameen …