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The Significance of Laylat al-Qadr

Laylat al-Qadr – The night of Qadr is better than a thousand months and is so special that Allah has

dedicated a specific chapter in the Quran to it.

By the Will of Allah the Almighty we are rewarded with the holy month of Ramadan; a

month that is filled with immeasurable blessings, a month of purification of the hearts,

minds, and souls, and a month when one can spirituality thrive and flourish. One of

the blessings that are given by Allah as a gift to His servants is the blessed night of

Qadr, often translated as the Night of Decree or the Night of Power. 

The night is so

special and significant that Allah has dedicated an entire chapter of the Quran to it.

“Indeed, We sent the Quran 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 descend therein by permission of their Lord for

every matter. Peace it is until the emergence of dawn.” (Surah Al-Qadr, 97:1-5)

As we are approaching the holy month of Ramadan, let us uncover the meaning of

this night and its significance and examine what makes Laylat al-Qadr exceptional

and special.

The Date is Unknown

The exact night that coincides with Laylat al-Qadr has always been unknown but as

per certain traditions quoted from the infallibles it coincides with one of the nights of

the 19th, 21st, or 23rd of the month of Ramadan, and popular belief suggests that

Laylat al-Qadr is the 23rd night Certainly, there is great wisdom in why Allah the Almighty has purposely made the

exact date unknown to us. Part of it is so that we may strive in seeking it, engage in

extra worship and remain consistent in doing them towards the last days of Ramadan.

The Revelation of the Quran

The biggest virtue associated with Laylat al-Qadr is that on this night, Allah revealed

the Holy Quran to humankind as a gift and as a source of guidance. Besides

mentioning in the first verse of Surah Al-Qadr, it has also been mentioned in verse 3

of Surah Ad-Dukhan, which says: “Indeed, We sent it (the Quran) down during a

blessed night.”

The revelation of the Scripture came in two stages; it was primarily revealed in its

entirety by Jibril (as) was then gradually revealed in stages to the Holy Prophet of

Islam (pbuh) over the course of 23 years.

The Reward of the Night

It is mentioned that one of the incomprehensible rewards of Laylat al-Qadr is that the

night is better than a thousand months. If we realize the value of it, every act of

righteous deeds and worship completed on this single night are rewarded manifold.

Such is the unique opportunity for us when approached with sincerity, to gain the

forgiveness and mercy of Allah the Almighty. The Holy Prophet (pbuh) is quoted to

have said: “Whoever spends the night of Laylat al-Qadr in prayer out of faith and in

hopes for the reward, his previous sins will be forgiven.”

Forgiveness of Sins

According to Islamic sources, the Night of Qadr is a special night for divine mercy and

the forgiveness of sins. In this night, Satan will be chained, and the doors of Heaven

will be opened to believers. The Prophet (s) was quoted as saying: "if a person stays

vigilant in the Night of Qadr and is a believer in the day of rewards and punishments,

then all his sins will be forgiven.

Descent of Angels

According to verses of Qur’an 97, angels and the Spirit descend on the Earth in Night of Qadr, and according to some hadiths, they meet the Imam to notify him of what is predestined for people in the coming year. Imam al-Baqir (a) said; in this night, angels circumambulate around us, whereby we find out that it is the Night of Qadr; In some other hadiths, Shias are recommended to draw upon this fact to

present an argument for the necessity of Imamate and the rightfulness of Shiism,

since, at each age, there must be an Infallible Imam whom angels notify about

peoples predestination.

The Acceptance of Supplications

One of the many nuances of the word “Qadr” is congestion and restriction.

Accordingly, the earth on that night will be flooded and occupied with so many angels

that it becomes congested and pressured. And because it is filled with celestial

beings of light and blessings, the earth is voided of every evil and calamity and

becomes exposed to spiritual pressure. Sins are forgiven and supplications are


With the significance of Laylat al-Qadr explained, let us enliven and maximize this

night by reciting the Quran and engaging in continuous prayers and invocations. If a

believing person is keen to nurture and strengthen his spiritual self and increase the

good deeds in his record, he/she should strive to spend this night in obedience and


Finally, it should be realized and understood that it is not about seeking the night but

the Master of the night, which is Allah the Almighty who will bless and reward us as

He wants and pleases. Let us pray to Allah to enable us to make the best of this night

and receive the maximum blessings of Laylat al-Qadr.

Recommended acts of Laylat al-Qadr

The mustahabb (recommended) acts for the nights of Qadr are divided into two types:

Acts that are common to the three nights such as Ghusl, vigil (Ihya), the prayer of

Laylat al-Qadr, reciting sura 44 and sura 97 of the Quran, reciting al-Jawshan al-Kabir

supplication, ziyara of Imam al-Husayn (a) and holding the Quran on the head.

Particular acts for each night, which are extensively mentioned in Mafatih al-Jinan

and other supplication books.

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