The importance of the Night of Power (Laylatul-Qadr)

The twenty-seventh night of the month of Ramadan, when the Quran started to be sent down. The most sacred and virtuous night in Islam is the Night of Power (Laylatul-Qadr). The Night of Power is better than one thousand months that do not include the Night of Power. There is a separate chapter stating the virtue of this night in the Quran. Our Lord states the following in this chapter:

"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. Therein come down the angels and the Spirit by Allah´s permission, on every errand: Peace!...This until the rise of morn!" (al-Qadr, 97/ 1-5)

There are various narrations about the reason why this chapter was sent down. One of them is as follows:  

Once, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said to his Companions that a man from Sons of Israel girded on his weapons and made jihad in the way of Allah for one thousand months. When the Companions were astonished by it, God Almighty sent down this chapter. (Tajrid-Sarih Translation, VI, 313).

The reason why this night is called the Night of Power is due to its honor and value as it is stated below:

a) The Quran started to be sent down on this night.

b) Worship in this month is more virtuous than worship in one thousand months that do not include the Night of Power.

c) All kinds of incidents to take place during the next year are notified to the angels related to Allah’s pre-eternal destiny on this night.  (Tajrid-Sarih Translation, VI, 312).

d) Jibril (Gabriel) and many angels come down to the earth on this night.

e) This night is peaceful until dawn and is free from all evil. The angels that come down to the earth greet all believers that they meet.

It is not definitely known what night is the Night of Power exactly but it is generally preferred that it is on the twenty-seventh night of Ramadan. The Prophet (pbuh) did not clearly say what night it was; he said, "Search for the Night of Qadr in the odd nights of the last ten days of Ramadan." (Bukhari, Laylatul-Qadr, 3; Muslim, Siyam, 216)

Zirr b. Hubaysh, narrates: "I said to Ubayy b. Ka'b: Your brother Ibn Mas'ud says, "He who worships every night during the year will come across with the Night of Power."

Ubayy b. Ka'b said, "May Allah have mercy on Ibn Mas'ud! He did not want people to rely only on the Night of Power. He knew that the Night of Power was in Ramadan and on the twenty-seventh night, among the last ten days."

I said to him: O Abu Mundhir (Ubayy b. Ka'b’s nickname)! On what ground do you say that?

Ubayy said: By the sign which the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) gave us: On the following day, the sun rises without having any ray in it." (Muslim, Siyam, 220)

According to what is stated in the Islamic resources, Allah Almighty kept the Night of Power and some things secret due to some wise reasons. They are as follows:

The time of acceptance of prayers on Friday, the middle prayer (salatul-wusta) among five daily prayers, the greatest name of Allah among divine names, divine consent among deeds of worship, the time of the Day of Judgment in time and the time of death in a person's lifespan. The reason why they are kept secret is to make believers alert and careful and worship Allah all the time. Believers should not spend this night in heedlessness; they should benefit from it by worshipping. The Prophet (pbuh) states the following in a hadith reported by Abu Hurayra:

"If a person spends the Night of Power worshipping by believing its virtue and hoping for a reward from Allah, all his previous sins will be forgiven." (Bukhari, Qadr, 1)

What can be done on the Night of Power?

One should spend the Night of Power by performing prayers, reading the Quran, repenting, asking for forgiveness and saying prayers (dua).

It is more virtuous for those who have to perform missed (qada) prayers to perform at least five missed prayers. If one has no missed prayers, he can perform nafilah prayers.

Sufyan ath-Thawri states the following: "It is better to pray to Allah and ask for forgiveness than performing prayers on the Night of Power. It is better to read the Quran first and to pray to Allah after that." (Tajrid-Sarih Translation, VI, 313)

Hz. Aisha narrates: I asked the Messenger of Allah,

"- O Messenger of Allah! How shall I pray on the Night of Power?" He said,

"- Pray as follows: Allahumma innaka afuwwun tuhibbul-afwa fa’fu anni (O Allah! You are the Forgiver and You like forgiving; so, forgive me)." (Tajrid-Sarih Translation, VI, 314).

There is such a moment on this night that all deeds of worship that are performed and all prayers that are said are accepted. It is necessary to spend the whole night repenting and asking for forgiveness in order to catch that moment. This will refresh a person’s belief. Those who cannot spend the whole night worshipping should at least sit and pray to Allah for a while after tarawih prayer.   


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