Laylat al-Qadr (Arabic: لیلة القدر) (also known as شب قدر Shab-e-Qadr , in Persian), variously rendered in English as the Night of Decree, Night of Power, Night of Value, Night of Destiny, or Night of Measures, is in Islamic belief the night when the first verses of the Quran were revealed to the Islamic prophet Muhammad. It is one of the nights of the last ten days of Ramadan. Muslims believe that on this night the blessings and mercy of Allah are abundant, sins are forgiven, supplications are accepted, and that the annual decree is revealed to the angels who also descend to earth. Shia Islam holds that Prophets and the Shia Imams are recipients of the angels on the night of Qadr and the decrees that they reveal.
Reading Qur'an is one of the key observances of the Qadr night.
|Official name||ليلة القدر (Night of Decree)|
|Also called||Night of Power, Night of Value, Night of Destiny, or Night of Determination|
|Significance||Night the Quran was revealed;
Angels descend to the earth and the annual decree is revealed to them;
Better than 1000 months of worship
|Observances||Night prayers, Reading Quran, Making Dua, Doing Dhikr, Observing Iʿtikāf|
Revelation to MuhammadEdit
Some commentators believe that Quran was revealed to Muhammad two times being 'the immediate revelation' happening on the Laylat al-Qadr and 'gradual revelation' across 23 years. The Quran uses the word Inzal (انزال) which justifies 'the immediate revelation', according to Allamah Tabatabai. However some others believe that the revelation of Quran occurred in two phases, with the first phase being the revelation in its entirety on Laylat al-Qadr to the angel Gabriel (Jibril in Arabic) in the lowest heaven, and then the subsequent verse-by-verse revelation to Muhammad by Gabriel. The revelation started in 610 CE at the Hira cave on Mount Nur in Mecca. The first Sura that was revealed was Sūrat al-ʿAlaq (in Arabic العلق). During the first revelation the first five verses of this Sura, or chapter, were revealed.
In Islamic countries and Sunni communities all over the world, Laylat al-Qadr is found to be on the last nights of Ramadan, mostly in on one of the odd nights (21st, 23rd, 25th, 27th or 29th) whereby night precedes day. Many traditions insist particularly on the night before the 27th of Ramadan.
|27th of Ramadan||Gregorian date |
|1435||23 July 2014|
|1436||13 July 2015|
|1437||2 July 2016|
|1438||22 June 2017|
Shia Muslims similarly believe that Laylat al-Qadr is to be found in the last ten odd nights of Ramadan but mostly on the 19th, 21st or 23rd of Ramadan with 23rd being the most important night. The 19th, according to the Shia belief coincides with the night Ali was attacked in the Mihrab while worshipping in the Great Mosque of Kufa, and died on the 21st of Ramadan. Shia Muslims regard these three nights as greatly rewarding. Many Shia Muslims, who make up the largest minority of Islamic followers — including the Ismailis and Dawoodi Bohras observe Laylat al-Qadr on the 23rd night of Ramadan, in keeping with traditions received through Ali and his wife Fatimah, Muhammad's daughter and the Fatimid Imams The tradition is also said to have been articulated by Ja'far al-Sadiq and other Shia Imams.
|23rd of Ramadan||Gregorian date|
|1436||10 July 2015|
|1437||27 June 2016|
|1438||18 June 2017|
Mahdavi Muslims observe Laylat al-Qadar on the 27th night of Ramadan as Dougana Laylat al-Qadr (in Persian, the word Dogana means "double"; here the word Dougana symbolizes the two rak'ahs of prayer performed during this night). Following the practice and traditions of their promised Mahdi, Muhammad Jaunpuri, the Mahdavis dress in colorful traditional attire and converge at Mahdavia mosques in their respective localities. Past midnight, between 26 and 27 Ramadan they collectively offer two rak'ahs of thanksgiving prayers, led by their Murshids.
Mahdavis believe that God blessed them with this most valued night of might/power, by the virtue of Muhammad Jaunpuri while travelling from Thatta (now in Pakistani province of Sindh) towards Farah (now in Afghanistan). During his stay in Makran, Imam Mahdi, in compliance with divine order, offered Dogana Laylat al-Qadr past midnight of 27 Ramadan 908 AH along with his family members and companions at the nearby mountain, which was later named after him as Koh-e-Murad.
The night is not comparable to the others in view of Muslims and according to a tradition, the blessings due to the worships during this night can't be equaled even by worshiping throughout the entire life. The reward of worships done in this one single night is more than the reward of around 83 years(1000 months) of worship. Laylat al-Qadr is referenced in the Quran:
We have indeed revealed this (Message) in the night of Qadr:
And what will explain to thee what the night of Qadr is?
The night of Qadr 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 dawn!
The verses above regard the night as better than one thousand months. The whole month of Ramadan is a period of spiritual training wherein believers devote much of their time to fasting, praying, reciting the Quran, remembering Allah, and giving charity. However, because of the revealed importance of this night, Muslims strive [give more effort] harder in the last ten days of Ramadan since the Laylat al-Qadr could be one of the odd-numbered days in these last ten (the first, third, fifth, seventh or ninth). Normally, some Muslims from each community perform iʿtikāf in the mosque: they remain in the mosque for the last ten days of the month for prayers and recitation. Women also observe i'tikaf. They remain in prayer and meditation mostly, although they are allowed to do the minimum domestic work to run the family. When Muhammed observed i'tikaf in a tent, he saw a few tents around his. His wives joined him by pitching tents.
Shia theology also holds that Muhammad during his lifetime and the Shia Imams who succeed him are the recipients of the Angels and the Spirit that annually descend on the night of Qadr, and are thereby informed about the Divine providence for the coming year. Shia hadith sources narrate that:
Once Imam Ali (a) [the first Shia Imam] was reciting Surat al-Qadr and his sons, Imam Hasan (a) and Imam Husayn (a) were near him. Imam Husayn (a) asked his father: “Father, how come we feel a different sensation when you recite this surah?” Imam Ali(a) replied, “O son of the Prophet and my son! I know things from this chapter that you are not aware of now. When this surah was sent down to the Prophet he asked me to go to him. When I went to him he recited this surah, then he put his hand on my right shoulder and said: O my brother and my successor! O the leader of my nation after me! O tireless fighter with my enemies! This surah is yours after me, and is for your two sons after you. Gabriel who is my brother among the angels informs me of the events of one year of my nation at the night of Qadr. And after me he will give this information to you. This surah will always have a shining light in your heart and in the heart of your successors until the rising of the dawn of the day of reappearance of Qa'im [the one who rises, a title for the Islamic Messiah, Mahdi].”
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- Koh e Murad
- Dogana laytul qadr reference.
- Quran 97:1–5
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