The Night of Power

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Mustapha Elturk, Ameer of IONA

 And what do you know about the Night of Power (Lailatul Qadr)?

We have indeed sent it (the Qur’an) in the Night of Power (al-Qadr). And what do you know about the Night of Power? The Night of Power is better than a thousand months. On this Night, the angels and the spirit (Jibril) descend by the permission of their Lord with all decrees. Peaceful it is until the break of dawn. [97:1-5]

According to Ibn Abass, the Qur’an was sent down from the preserved tablet in one piece and was received by the angels in the earthly heaven. Jibril (AS) then revealed it to Muhammad (SAW) in portions, a few ayat at a time, at different times over a span of 21 years. Previous scriptures, such as the scrolls of Ibrahim, the Torah of Musa, the Psalms of Dawud, and the Gospel of ‘Isa, were also sent down during the month of Ramadan, according to the Prophet (SAW). Swearing by the Clear Book (the Qur’an), Allah (SWT) informed us that the Qur’an was sent on a very special and blessed night [44:3] in Ramadan. It is the Night of Power or lailatul-Qadr [97:01].

Lailatul-Qadr is a blessed night because of the blessings Allah’s (SWT) humble slaves receive from their Master. Charity, additional prayers, and zakah, among other good deeds during this magnificent night, are better than the deeds of a thousand months, which is equivalent to eighty-three years and four months.

Mujahid narrates that the Prophet (SAW) once mentioned a man from the children of Israel who fought in the way of Allah (SWT) for one thousand months. The Muslims were amazed, Allah (SWT) then revealed to Muhammad (SAW) surah al-Qadr.

Another narration on the authority of Ali Bin Urawa said that the Prophet (SAW) mentioned four people from Bani Israel who worshipped Allah (SWT) for 80 years without committing a sin or disobeying Allah (SWT). The companions of the Prophet (SAW) were amazed. Jibril came to Muhammad (SAW) and said to him, your people were amazed by the worship of these people for 80 years, Allah (SWT) has sent you better than that. Jibril then recited to him surah al-Qadr.

Whoever stands up during the night in prayers and worships out of conviction and believes in this great night and hopes to be rewarded, Allah (SWT) will forgive his past sins as was told to us by Muhammad (SAW), on the authority of Abu Hurairah.

During that night, angels, along with Jibril, descend down with Allah’s (SWT) permission, sending greetings of peace unto every believer. Satans and the devils will not be able to do harm or commit mischief. All the gates of heaven open up and Allah (SWT) will accept the repentance of every repenting person. ‘Aisha asked the Prophet (SAW), “What must I say when I witness the night of power?” The Prophet (SAW) replied, “Say, O Allah you pardon and love to forgive, so I beg your pardon.” She also said, “Had I known which night is lailatul Qadr, I would have frequently asked for forgiveness and good health.”

None of the previous nations and peoples received a similar night or occasion. It is a sign of Allah’s (SWT) great favor upon the believers, the Ummah of Muhammad, to receive such a great and blessed night year after year until the end of time. When asked as to when it may occur, the Prophet (SAW) said, “Watch out for it in the last odd 10 nights of Ramadan.”

As described by Muhammad (SAW), Lailatul Qadr appears on a very quiet, tranquil, pleasant, clear, and illuminated night, neither hot nor cold, neither windy nor rainy. The sun rises in the morning without rays, looking like a huge bright full moon. It is believed that Allah (SWT) will answer the supplications of a believer during that night. It is best to supplicate for forgiveness and good health as the Prophet (SAW) has recommended it. One may, however, ask for anything.  

The Prophet (SAW) used to do ‘Itikaf (retreat) at the masjid in the last 10 days of Ramadan, devoting all his time to worshipping Allah (SWT) until he died. To reap the maximum benefits of what remained of Ramadan, it is highly recommended to devote the last days and nights of Ramadan in constant worship of Allah (SWT). One may engage in extra prayers (salah nafilah), reciting the Qur’an, doing zikr, supplications, and other forms of worship that may bring one closer to Allah (SWT). 

May Allah (SWT) accept our fasts, prayers, and every good deed we perform during this great and blessed month, ameen.

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