Significance and Virtues of Laylatul Qadr
The Powerful Night
Laylat al Qadr (لیلة القدر) is an Arabic word which means Night of Power / Night of Decree in English. Laylatul Qadar is indeed the blessed and the most powerful night throughout the year. Allah says in Surah Al-Qadar that the night of Qadar is the best among the thousand nights. Following is the verse from Holy Quran,
“The Night of Glory is better than a thousand months. That night the angels and the ˹holy˺ spirit descend, by the permission of their Lord, for every ˹decreed˺ matter. It is all peace until the break of dawn”. [97: 3-5]
When Laylatul Qadar arrives?
According to hadith the Laylatul Qadar arrives in the last ten days of Ramadan and in these last ten days, Muslims have been asked to find the night of Power among the odd nights of last ashra.
In the following Hadith Hazrat Aisha (R.A) has narrated:
“When the last ten nights began (of Ramadan), Allah's Messenger (S.A.W.) kept awake at night (for prayer and devotion), wakened his family, and prepared himself to observe prayer (with more vigour).”[Sahih Muslim: 1174]
A single good deed brings blessings of the thousand months
As mentioned in above verses of Surah Al-Qadar from the Holy Quran, Allah says that angels and holy spirits decent and this implies multiplied grace and mercy by Almighty Allah. Since Laylatul Qadar is the blessed night because of many reasons; therefore a single good action performed on this night can bring thousands of blessings from the sky.
Can Laylatul Qadar forgive the previous sins of a Muslim?
Our Prophet Mohammad (P.B.U.H) asked Muslims to find Laylatul Qadar among the odd nights in the last ten days of Ramadan because of the greatest significance of this powerful night. Our beloved Prophet Mohammad (P.B.U.H) also encouraged Muslims to seek forgiveness in this night as in the following hadith Abu Huraira has narrated:Allah's Apostle said, "Whoever establishes the prayers on the night of Qadr out of sincere faith and hoping to attain Allah's rewards (not to show off) then all his past sins will be forgiven." [Sahih Bukhari Vol 1, Book 2, Number 34]
Revelation of Quran on Laylatul Qadar
There are many significance of this great night and the night is important for so many reasons among which, the most important thing is revelation of Quran on this night. In surah Al-Qadar, Allah says in the first verse that:
“Indeed, We sent it [i.e., the Qur’ān] down during the Night of Decree”. [Sahih International , 97:1]
In another verse in the Holy Quran Allah says:
Indeed, We sent it down during a blessed night. Indeed, We were to warn [mankind]. [Sahih International, 44:3]
In Surah Al-Baqarah, Allah repeats the same thing to recall Muslims that:
“The month of Ramaḍān [is that] in which Qur’ān was revealed, which is guidance for the people and clear proofs of guidance and criterion. So whoever sights [the crescent of] the month, let him fast it; and whoever is ill or on a journey - then an equal number of other days. Allah intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship and [wants] for you to complete the period and to glorify Allah for that [to] which He has guided you; and perhaps you will be grateful.” [Sahih International, 2:185]
Thus, it has been proved from various Quanic verses that the Quran is revealed in the month of Ramadan and particularly on the night of Qadar. What else is important to know the significance of this night than this that we all Muslims have got the book of guidance on this night? Quran is not only the book of guidance but it is a book of justice, a book of knowledge, and a book which tells peoples the way of living and the difference between right and wrong.
Purpose of Itikaf
Muslims perform Itikaf in the last ten days of Ramadan in order to find Laylatul Qadar through the signs Allah sent down on the night of glory. Our beloved Prophet Mohammad (P.B.U.H) has also performed Itikaf mostly in the last ten days of Ramadan as mentioned in the following Hadith:
Narrated by Hazrat Aisha (the wife of the Prophet):
“The Prophet Mohammad (P.B.U.H) used to practice Itikaf in the last ten days of Ramadan till he died and then his wives used to practice Itikaf after him.” [Vol 3, Book 33, Number 243]
However, there is no harm in it if Muslims perform Itikaf other than last ashra as well as Prophet Mohammad (P.B.U.H) has also practiced Itikaf in other days of Ramadan too. But Prophet Mohammad (P.B.U.H) has himself encouraged Muslims to practice Itikaf in last ten days to find the Night of Power (Laylatul Qadar).
Following narration in Sahih Bukhari is supporting the above statement:
Narrated by Abu Said Al-Khudri (R.A):
“Allah's Apostle used to practice Itikaf in the middle ten days of Ramadan and once he stayed in Itikaf till the night of the twenty-first and it was the night in the morning of which he used to come out of his Itikaf. The Prophet said, "Whoever was in Itikaf with me should stay in Itikaf for the last ten days, for I was informed (of the date) of the Night (of Qadr) but I have been caused to forget it. (In the dream) I saw myself prostrating in mud and water in the morning of that night. So, look for it in the last ten nights and in the odd ones of them." It rained that night and the roof of the mosque dribbled as it was made of leaf stalks of date-palms. I saw with my own eyes the mark of mud and water on the forehead of the Prophet (in the morning of the twenty-first).” [Vol 3, Book 33, Number 244]
Dua for Laylatul Qadar
It was narrated from Aishah (R.A.) that she said:
"O Messenger of Allah, what do you think I should say in my supplication, if I come upon Laylatul Qadr?" He said: "Say:
اللَّهُمَّ إِنَّكَ عَفُوٌّ تُحِبُّ الْعَفْوَ فَاعْفُ عَنِّي
Allahumma innaka ‘afuwwan tuhibbul-‘afwa fa’fu ‘anni
(O Allah, You are Forgiving and love forgiveness, so forgive me)."
[Ibn Majah: 3850]