Ramadân Series: Part 5 – The Night of Decree (Laylatul-Qadr)

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Verily! We have sent it (this Qur’ân) down in the night of Al-Qadr (Decree). And what will make you know what the night of Al-Qadr (Decree) is? The night of Al-Qadr (Decree) is better than a thousand months (i.e. worshipping Allâh in that night is better than worshipping Him a thousand months, (i.e. 83 years and 4 months). Therein descend the angels and the Rûh [Jibrîl (Gabriel)] by Allâhs Permission with all Decrees. Peace! (All that night, there is Peace and Goodness from Allâh to His believing slaves) until the appearance of dawn. (Sûrah Al-Qadr 97)

What is Laylatul-Qadr

The words qadr and qadar mean decree, majesty or high esteem. Thus, Laylatul-Qadr means the Night of Decree or the Night of Majesty. (Lisân al-‘Arab)

It is called Laylatul-Qadr because of its great virtue and status, that is, its excellence in the sight of Allâh. Also, the ordainments about what will happen in the coming year concerning life terms, sustenance and worldly events are all decided during Laylatul-Qadr. (Tafsîr As-Sa’dî 97)


The Virtues of Laylatul-Qadr

1) The Revelation of The Qur’ân

إِنَّآ أَنزَلۡنَٰهُ فِي لَيۡلَةِ ٱلۡقَدۡرِ ١

Verily! We have sent it (this Qur’ân) down in the night of Al-Qadr (Decree) (Sûrah Al-Qadr 97:1)

Ibn Kathir said: Ibn ‘Abbâs and others have said, “Allâh sent the Qur’ân down all at one time from the Preserved Tablet (Al-Lawh Al-Mahfûdh) to the House of Might (Baytul-‘Izzah), which is in the heaven of this world. Then it came down in parts to the Messenger of Allâh based upon the incidents that occurred over a period of twenty-three years.” (Tafsîr Ibn Kathîr 97)

2) A night better than a thousand months

لَيۡلَةُ ٱلۡقَدۡرِ خَيۡرٞ مِّنۡ أَلۡفِ شَهۡرٖ ٣

The night of Al-Qadr (Decree) is better than a thousand months (i.e. worshipping Allâh in that night is better than worshipping Him a thousand months, (i.e. 83 years and 4 months). (Sûrah Al-Qadr 97:3)

On account of its virtue, this night is better than a thousand months, in that, performing good deeds during it is better than performing acts of worship for a thousand months. (Tafsîr As-Sa’dî 97)

3) A night which Allâh decrees His wise ordainments

تَنَزَّلُ ٱلۡمَلَٰٓئِكَةُ وَٱلرُّوحُ فِيهَا بِإِذۡنِ رَبِّهِم مِّن كُلِّ أَمۡرٖ ٤

Therein descend the angels and the Rûh [Jibrîl (Gabriel)] by Allâhs Permission with all Decrees (Sûrah Al-Qadr 97:4)

The prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said:

ليلةُ القدرِ ليلةُ السابعةِ أو التاسعةِ وعشرين، وإن الملائكةَ تلك الليلةَ أَكْثَرُ في الأرضِ من عَدَدِ الحَصَى

Laylatul-Qadr is the night of the twenty-seventh or twenty-ninth. Indeed, during that night, the angels on earth are more than the numbers of pebbles. (Ibn Khuzaymah 2194. Declared Hasan by Al-Albânî)

The angels descend in abundance during the Night of Al-Qadr due to its abundant blessings. The angels descend with the descending of blessings and mercy. Qatâdah and others have said, “The matters are determined during it, and the times of death and provisions are measured out during it.” (Tafsîr Ibn Kathîr 97)

4) There is peace until Fajr

سَلَٰمٌ هِيَ حَتَّىٰ مَطۡلَعِ ٱلۡفَجۡرِ ٥

Peace! (All that night, there is Peace and Goodness from Allâh to His believing slaves) until the appearance of dawn. (Sûrah Al-Qadr 97:5)

Mujâhid said, “Peace concerning every matter.” Sa’îd ibn Mansûr said, ‘Isâ ibn Yûnus told us that Al-A’mash narrated to them that Mujâhid said concerning Allâhs statement,﴿سَلَـمٌ هِىَ﴾(There is peace) “It is security in which Shaytân cannot do any evil or any harm.” (Tafsîr Ibn Kathîr 97)

It is a peaceful night, free from every type of evil and wickedness on account of its abundant goodness. (Tafsîr As-Sa’dî 97)

5) Forgiveness for the previous sins

The prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said:

مَنْ صَامَ رَمَضَانَ إِيمَانًا وَاحْتِسَابًا غُفِرَ لَهُ مَا تَقَدَّمَ مِنْ ذَنْبِهِ وَمَنْ قَامَ لَيْلَةَ الْقَدْرِ إِيمَانًا وَاحْتِسَابًا غُفِرَ لَهُ مَا تَقَدَّمَ مِنْ ذَنْبِهِ ‏”‏ ‏

He who observes the fast of Ramadân with faith and seeking reward (from Allâh), all his previous sins would be forgiven, and he who observed prayer on Lailatul-Qadr with faith and seeking reward (from Allâh), all his previous sins would be forgiven. (Sahîh Muslim 760)


Which night is Laylatul-Qadr

  • The last ten nights & last seven nights


عَنْ ابْنِ عُمَرَ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُمَا قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ الْتَمِسُوهَا فِي الْعَشْرِ الْأَوَاخِرِ يَعْنِي لَيْلَةَ الْقَدْرِ فَإِنْ ضَعُفَ أَحَدُكُمْ أَوْ عَجَزَ فَلَا يُغْلَبَنَّ عَلَى السَّبْعِ الْبَوَاقِي

Ibn ‘Umar reported: The Messenger of Allâh صلى الله عليه وسلم said, “Look for the Night of Decree in the last ten nights of Ramadân. If one of you is weak or unable, then let him not miss (at least) the last seven nights” (Sahîh Muslim 1165)

  • The odd/even nights of the last ten nights

عَنْ عَائِشَةَ ـ رضى الله عنها ـ أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ ‏ “‏ تَحَرَّوْا لَيْلَةَ الْقَدْرِ فِي الْوِتْرِ مِنَ الْعَشْرِ الأَوَاخِرِ مِنْ رَمَضَانَ ‏”‏‏.

‘Âishah narrated: Allâhs Messenger (ﷺ) said, “Search for the Night of Qadr in the odd nights of the last ten days of Ramadân.” (Sahîh Bukhârî 2017)

عَنِ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ ـ رضى الله عنهما ـ أَنَّ النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ ‏ “‏ الْتَمِسُوهَا فِي الْعَشْرِ الأَوَاخِرِ مِنْ رَمَضَانَ لَيْلَةَ الْقَدْرِ فِي تَاسِعَةٍ تَبْقَى، فِي سَابِعَةٍ تَبْقَى، فِي خَامِسَةٍ تَبْقَى ‏”‏‏.‏

Narrated by Ibn ‘Abbâs: The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Seek for the Night of Qadr in the last ten nights of Ramadân; on the night when nine or seven or five nights remain out of the last ten nights of Ramadân. (Sahîh Bukhârî 2021)

Shaikhul Islām states (after being asked about Lailatul Qadr):

” Alhamdullillah lailatul Qadr is in the last ten nights of the month of ramadhān, this is how it has authentically occurred from the messenger – (ﷺ ) that he said:

It is in the last ten days of Ramadhān

and it is in the odd nights.

The odd nights though, are viewed in respect to that which has passed (from the month), thus one seeks out the 21st and the 23rd and the 25th and the 27th and the 29th.

It is also sought from a point of view of what remains (from the month). Just as the Prophet – Sallallahu alaihi Was salam said (In the Hadīth of Abu Bakarah – Radhiyallahu anhu):

“(seek it) on the ninth of the nights remaining of ramadhān, the seventh of the nights remaining of Ramadhān, the fifth of the nights remaining of ramadhān, the third of the nights remaining of ramadhān

(Collected by Imaam Abu Dawood At Tayālisi (922 – Turki print) and tirmidhi and declared ‘Sahīh bu Shaikh Nāsir in Sahīh Sunan At Tirmidhi (636))

Based upon this, if it is a 30 day month, then that will occur on even nights, and the 22nd night will be the 9th of the nights remaining from ramadhān, the 24th will be the 7th of the nights remaining from ramadhān (and so on). This is how Abu Sa’īd Al Khudhri explained it in an authentic hadīth. And thus the Prophet  (ﷺ ) established the month in this way.

If (however) the month is of 29 days, (as lunar months often are) then the remaining days (as it relates to them falling on odd or even nights) will be the same as the past days (meaning whichever way one looks at it on a 29 day month, the odd nights in respect to looking at the month from the beginning will start from the 21st and considering the second hadīth, counting down, the ninth night will also fall on the 21st and eight will be on the 22nd and so on)

Therefore if this is the case it is befitting that the believer seeks it out in all of the (nights of the) last ten..”

(Majmoo’ul Fatāwā 25/284-285)

*https://ah-sp.com/2012/08/09/lailatul-qadr-odd-and-even-nights/

  • The night of the twenty-first

عَنْ أَبِي سَعِيدٍ الْخُدْرِيِّ ـ رضى الله عنه ـ‏.‏ كَانَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم يُجَاوِرُ فِي رَمَضَانَ الْعَشْرَ الَّتِي فِي وَسَطِ الشَّهْرِ، فَإِذَا كَانَ حِينَ يُمْسِي مِنْ عِشْرِينَ لَيْلَةً تَمْضِي، وَيَسْتَقْبِلُ إِحْدَى وَعِشْرِينَ، رَجَعَ إِلَى مَسْكَنِهِ وَرَجَعَ مَنْ كَانَ يُجَاوِرُ مَعَهُ‏.‏ وَأَنَّهُ أَقَامَ فِي شَهْرٍ جَاوَرَ فِيهِ اللَّيْلَةَ الَّتِي كَانَ يَرْجِعُ فِيهَا، فَخَطَبَ النَّاسَ، فَأَمَرَهُمْ مَا شَاءَ اللَّهُ، ثُمَّ قَالَ ‏ “‏ كُنْتُ أُجَاوِرُ هَذِهِ الْعَشْرَ، ثُمَّ قَدْ بَدَا لِي أَنْ أُجَاوِرَ هَذِهِ الْعَشْرَ الأَوَاخِرَ، فَمَنْ كَانَ اعْتَكَفَ مَعِي فَلْيَثْبُتْ فِي مُعْتَكَفِهِ، وَقَدْ أُرِيتُ هَذِهِ اللَّيْلَةَ ثُمَّ أُنْسِيتُهَا فَابْتَغُوهَا فِي الْعَشْرِ الأَوَاخِرِ وَابْتَغُوهَا فِي كُلِّ وِتْرٍ، وَقَدْ رَأَيْتُنِي أَسْجُدُ فِي مَاءٍ وَطِينٍ فَاسْتَهَلَّتِ السَّمَاءُ فِي تِلْكَ اللَّيْلَةِ، فَأَمْطَرَتْ، فَوَكَفَ الْمَسْجِدُ فِي مُصَلَّى النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم لَيْلَةَ إِحْدَى وَعِشْرِينَ، فَبَصُرَتْ عَيْنِي رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم وَنَظَرْتُ إِلَيْهِ انْصَرَفَ مِنَ الصُّبْحِ، وَوَجْهُهُ مُمْتَلِئٌ طِينًا وَمَاءً‏.‏

Narrated by Abû Sa’îd Al-Khudrî: Allâhs Messenger (ﷺ) used to practice I’tikâf (in the mosque) in the middle third of Ramadân and after passing the twenty nights he used to go back to his house on the 21st, and the people who were in I’tikâf with him also used to go back to their houses. Once in Ramadân, in which he practiced I’tikâf, he established the night prayers at the night in which he used to return home, and then he addressed the people and ordered them whatever Allâh wished him to order and said, “I used to practice I’tikâf for these ten days (i.e. the middle third but now I intend to stay in I’tikâf for the last ten days (of the month); so whoever was in I’tikâf with me should stay at his place of seclusion. I have verily been shown (the date of) this Night (of Qadr) but I have forgotten it. So search for it in the odd nights of the last ten days (of this month). I also saw myself (in a dream) prostrating in mud and water the following morning.” On the night of the 21st, the sky was covered with clouds and it rained, and the rainwater started leaking through the roof of the mosque at the praying place of the Prophet (ﷺ) . I saw with my own eyes the Prophet at the completion of the morning prayer leaving with his face covered with mud and water. (Sahîh Bukhârî 2018)

  • The night of the twenty-fourth

The prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said:

أُنزلتْ صحفُ إبراهيمَ أولَ ليلةٍ من شهرِ رمضانَ ، و أُنزلتِ التوراةُ لستٍّ مضتْ من رمضانَ ، و أُنزل الإنجيلُ بثلاثِ عشرةَ مضتْ من رمضانَ ، و أُنزِلَ الزبورُ لثمانِ عشرةَ خلَتْ من رمضانَ ، وأُنزلَ القرآنُ لأربعٍ وعشرينَ خلتْ من رمضانَ

The scrolls of Ibrâhîm were revealed on the first night of the month of Ramadân, and the Tawrah was revealed on the 6th day of Ramadân. The Injîl was revealed on the 13th day of Ramadân and the Zabûr on the 18th day of Ramadân and the Qur’ân was revealed on the 24th of Ramadân. (Sahîh al-Jâmi’ 1497. Declared Hasan by Al-Albânî)

قَالَ عَبْدُ الْوَهَّابِ عَنْ أَيُّوبَ‏.‏ وَعَنْ خَالِدٍ عَنْ عِكْرِمَةَ عَنِ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ الْتَمِسُوا فِي أَرْبَعٍ وَعِشْرِينَ

Ibn ‘Abbas said: “Search for it (Laylatul-Qadr) on the twenty-fourth (of Ramadân). (Sahîh Bukhârî 2022)

  • The night of the twenty-seventh

عَنْ زِرٍّ، قَالَ سَمِعْتُ أُبَىَّ بْنَ كَعْبٍ، يَقُولُ – وَقِيلَ لَهُ إِنَّ عَبْدَ اللَّهِ بْنَ مَسْعُودٍ يَقُولُ مَنْ قَامَ السَّنَةَ أَصَابَ لَيْلَةَ الْقَدْرِ – فَقَالَ أُبَىٌّ وَاللَّهِ الَّذِي لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ هُوَ إِنَّهَا لَفِي رَمَضَانَ – يَحْلِفُ مَا يَسْتَثْنِي – وَوَاللَّهِ إِنِّي لأَعْلَمُ أَىُّ لَيْلَةٍ هِيَ ‏.‏ هِيَ اللَّيْلَةُ الَّتِي أَمَرَنَا بِهَا رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم بِقِيَامِهَا هِيَ لَيْلَةُ صَبِيحَةِ سَبْعٍ وَعِشْرِينَ وَأَمَارَتُهَا أَنْ تَطْلُعَ الشَّمْسُ فِي صَبِيحَةِ يَوْمِهَا بَيْضَاءَ لاَ شُعَاعَ لَهَا

Zirr ibn Hubaish reported:I heard from Ubayy ibn Ka’b a statement made by ‘Abdullâh ibn Mas’ûd in which he said: He who gets up for prayer (every night) during the year will encounter upon Lailatul-Qadr. Ubayy said: By Allâh, whom none has the right to be worshiped but He, that (Lailatul-Qadr) is in Ramadân (He swore without reservation: ) By Allâh, I know the night; it is the night on which the Messenger of Allâh (ﷺ) commanded us to pray. It is that which precedes the morning of twenty-seventh and its indication is that the sun rises bright/white on that day without rays. (Sahîh Muslim 762)

He صلى الله عليه وسلم also said:

ليلةُ القدرِ ليلةُ السابعةِ أو التاسعةِ وعشرين، وإن الملائكةَ تلك الليلةَ أَكْثَرُ في الأرضِ من عَدَدِ الحَصَى

Laylatul-Qadr is the night of the twenty-seventh or twenty-ninth. Indeed, during that night, the angels on earth are more than the numbers of pebbles. (Ibn Khuzaymah 2194. Declared Hasan by Al-Albânî)

  • The night of the twenty-ninth

In a hadîth that has preceeded:

ليلةُ القدرِ ليلةُ السابعةِ أو التاسعةِ وعشرين، وإن الملائكةَ تلك الليلةَ أَكْثَرُ في الأرضِ من عَدَدِ الحَصَى

Laylatul-Qadr is the night of the twenty-seventh or twenty-ninth. Indeed, during that night, the angels on earth are more than the numbers of pebbles. (Ibn Khuzaymah 2194. Declared Hasan by Al-Albânî)


Signs of Laylatul-Qadr

The prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said:

صبِيحةَ ليلةِ القدْرِ تَطلُعُ الشَّمسُ لا شُعاعَ لها ؛ كأنَّها طِسْتٌ حتى تَرْتَفِعَ

On the morning following Laylatul-Qadr, the sun rises without rays, resembling a dish, until it becomes high. (Sahîh al-Jâmi 3754. Declared Sahîh by Al-Albânî)

The prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said:

ليلةُ القدرِ ليلةٌ سمحةٌ، طلقةٌ، لا حارةٌ و لا باردةٌ، تصبحُ الشمسُ صبيحتَها ضعيفةً حمراءَ

Laylatul-Qadr is an easy and moderate night. It is neither hot nor cold. On the morning following it, the sun rises weak and reddish. (Sahîh al-Jâmi 5475. Declared Sahîh by Al-Albânî)


Etiquette of Laylatul-Qadr

  • Making supplications

عَنْ عَائِشَةَ، قَالَتْ قُلْتُ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ أَرَأَيْتَ إِنْ عَلِمْتُ أَىُّ لَيْلَةٍ لَيْلَةُ الْقَدْرِ مَا أَقُولُ فِيهَا قَالَ ‏ “‏ قُولِي اللَّهُمَّ إِنَّكَ عَفُوٌّ تُحِبُّ الْعَفْوَ فَاعْفُ عَنِّي ‏

‘Âishah narrated: “I said: ‘O Messenger of Allâh, if I know when the Night of Al-Qadr is, then what should I say in it?” He said: ‘Say: “O Allâh, indeed You are Pardoning and You love pardon, so pardon me (Allāhumma innaka ‘Afuwwun, tuḥibbul-‘ afwa fa’fu ‘annī).’” (Sahîh Al-Jâmi’ 4423. Declared Sahîh by Al-Albânî)

  • Performing prayer

عَنْ عَائِشَةَ ـ رضى الله عنها ـ قَالَتْ كَانَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم إِذَا دَخَلَ الْعَشْرُ شَدَّ مِئْزَرَهُ، وَأَحْيَا لَيْلَهُ، وَأَيْقَظَ أَهْلَهُ‏

Narrated by ‘Âishah: With the start of the last ten days of Ramadân, the Prophet (ﷺ) used to tighten his waist belt/garment and used to pray all the night, and used to keep his family awake for the prayers. (Sahîh Bukhârî 2024)

  • Exerting oneself in worship

الأَسْوَدَ بْنَ يَزِيدَ، يَقُولُ قَالَتْ عَائِشَةُ رضى الله عنها كَانَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَجْتَهِدُ فِي الْعَشْرِ الأَوَاخِرِ مَا لاَ يَجْتَهِدُ فِي غَيْرِهِ

‘Âishah (Allâh be pleased with her) reported that Allâhs Messenger (ﷺ) used to exert himself in worship during the last ten nights to a greater extent than at any other time. (Sahîh Muslim 1175)

Published by أبو زكريا عيسى الألباني

BSc (Hons) Microbiology | Qur'ān | Sunnah |

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