Laylatul Qadr (Night of Power)
We reach the most luminous and fruitful night on the Night of Power. Ramadan is the only month and the Night of Power is the only night mentioned in the Quran. The Lord of the Universe informed His beloved Prophet about the honor and value of those fruitful hours. The virtue of that night is so great that there is an independent chapter in the Quran explaining the mercy that will be manifest and the spiritual events that will take place on that night. That chapter is the chapter of al-Qadr.
God Almighty, uses the expression “Night of Power” clearly three times in a chapter that consists of five verses in order to inform us the holiness of that night:
"We have indeed revealed this (Message) in the Night of Power: And what will explain to thee what the Night of Power is? The Night of Power is better than a thousand Months."
The exalted events are expressed as follows at the end of the chapter:
"Therein come down the angels and the Spirit by Allah's permission, on every errand: Peace!... This until the rise of Morn."
The most important characteristic of the Night of Power is that the Quran, which grants the jinn and men bliss in this world and the hereafter and which is the pre-eternal translation of the book of the universe, was started to be sent down to the sky of the world on that night. Then, it was presented to the Messenger of Allah (pbuh), the addressee of the revelation, through Jibril (Gabriel) in the form of verses or chapters based on needs.
On that blessed night, an opportunity that will lead man to eternal welfare and that will make him gain a fruitful life is granted. A person who spends that night with prayers, dhikr (mentioning the names and attributes of Allah) and worshipping will have the bliss to gain the rewards that can be earned in a long life like eighty years.
The angels, primarily Jibril, who brought the Quran to the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) through revelation, come down to the world and enliven the divine feast and the Quranic table. The believers whose hearts and perceptions are open watch the scenes from the hereafter. With the coming down of the angels, the earth becomes exposed to a spiritual pressure. The world becomes to be, so to speak, narrow for them. They surround the believers and give them the glad tidings of the forgiveness and mercy of their Lord. That exalted manifestation, which goes on until the break of the dawn, blows a vast wind of peace and bliss into the hearts of the umma (community) of Muhammad.
We reach the anniversary of such luminous events on the Night of Power. If we realize the value of it, we will benefit from its abundance and prosperity, and the luminous atmosphere that surrounds the world.
What is the reason (wisdom) why it is said to be better than one thousand months?
"One thousand months" corresponds to a period of eighty-three years and four months. It is the opportunity of obtaining the spiritual level that good people of the past earned in a whole life. The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) told his companions that someone from the sons of Israel had fought for Allah with his weapons for one thousand months. When the companions heard about it, they were surprised and thought that their good deeds were very few. Then, the Chapter of Qadr was sent down.
In another narration, our Prophet told his companions that four people from the sons of Israel had worshipped for eighty years without committing any sins. The companions were very surprised when they heard about it. Then, Jibril came and said, "O Muhammad! Your umma was surprised by the worshipping of eighty years of those people. Allah sent you something better than it” and read the Chapter of Qadr. He said, "It is better than your and your umma’s astonishment."(1)
In another narration, the Messenger of Allah was shown the life spans of the people of all of the ummas. When he saw that the life span of the people of his umma was short, he thought about the good deeds of the people of the ummas with long life spans. He became sorry because he thought that his umma, with the short life span, could not reach the good deeds of those ummas. Allah, the Exalted, granted the Night of Power to His beloved Prophet in return for his sorrow and made it better than one thousand months. (2)
The Chapter of Qadr was sent down upon those events.
That chapter is a chapter that relieved the sorrow of the companions.
How can you explain the fact that the Night of Power is so beneficial?
Certainly, a single Ramadan can produce fruits equal to that of a lifetime of eighty years. The fact that, according to the Qur’an, the Night of Power is more auspicious than a thousand months is a decisive proof of it. For example, a monarch may declare certain days to be festivals during his reign, or perhaps once a year either on his accession to the throne or on some other days which reflect a glittering manifestation of his sovereignty. On those days, he favors his subjects, not within the general sphere of the law, but with his special bounties and favors, with his presence without veil and his wondrous activities. And he favors with his especial regard and attention those of his nation who are completely loyal and worthy. In the same way, the All-Glorious Monarch of eighteen thousand worlds, Who is the Sovereign of Pre-Eternity and Post-Eternity, revealed in Ramadan the illustrious decree of the All-Wise Qur’an, which looks to the eighteen thousand worlds. It is a requirement of wisdom, then, that Ramadan should be like special Divine festival, a dominical display, and a spiritual gathering. Since Ramadan is such a festival, Allah has commanded man to fast, in order to disengage him to a degree from base and animal activities.
Why the Night of Power (Qadr)?
The Night of Qadr means the night of decree (jugdment). As it is explained in Chapter ad-Dukhan, the decrees that are determined by the divine predestination are made distinct on the Night of Power. Therefore, some people call the Night of Power as the night of predestination. As a matter of fact, the amounts and times of the things, affairs and decrees were determined in the pre-eternity; the predestination here is the preparation of the plans of the predetermination program determined earlier. (3)
The word "Qadr" contains the meaning of “pressure” too. Accordingly, that night so many angels come down to the world that the world becomes too small for them.
In a hadith, the following is stated pointing to that situation, "That night, the number of the angels coming down to the world is more than the number of the pebble stones". (4)
Although there are many narrations about what night of Ramadan is the Night of Power, it is recommended to search it on the last ten days of Ramadan. It is stated in some hadiths that it corresponds to the 27th night of Ramadan. The hadith "Search it on the twenty-seventh night" points to it. (5)
Under the light of those narrations, Islamic scholars regarded thetwenty-seventh night of the month of Ramadan as the Night of Power, and Muslims worshipped during that night with the intention of the Night of Power.
Therefore, believers try to benefit from that night as much as they can. They try not to spend that night sleeping and resting because thirty thousand rewards are given in return for one letter of the Quran on that night. The rewards of other kinds of worship increase accordingly. .
In order to benefit from the Night of Power and to increase the abundance and prosperity of that time, people perform prayers, read the Quran, study the interpretation of the Quran, mention the names of Allah, say salawat, pray to Allah and make supplication. People also give food and sadaqah to the poor and needy. In short, that time is illuminated through all kinds of opportunities. The hadiths that were narrated about the benefits of Night of Power are the best incentives for worshipping.
"All of the previous sins of a person who stays awake and worship on the Night of Power by expecting the reward only from Allah are forgiven." (6)
How should we pray during that night?
Let us find out about it from our Prophet through Hazrat Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her):
"I said,'O messenger of Allah, if I find attain the Night of Power, how should I pray?’
The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said, ‘say "Allahumma innaka afuwwun tuhibbu'l-afwa fa'fu anni (O Allah. You are the pardoner; you love pardoning; forgive me).' "
1) Hak Dini Kur’an Dili. 6:4592
2) Muwatta. Itikaf:6
3) ad-Dukhan, 3.
4) Hak Dîni Kur'ân Dili, 9:5970.
5) Musnad, 2:27.
6) Bukhari, Siyam: 71, Ibni Majah, Dua