NIGHT OF POWER
Verily! We have sent it (this Qur’an) 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. worshiping Allah in that night is better than worshiping Him a thousand months, i.e. 83 years and 4 months). Therein descend the angels and the Ruh (Jibril (Gabriel)) by Allah’s Permission with all Decrees, (All that night), there is Peace (and Goodness from Allah to His believing slaves) until the appearance of dawn.
Amongst the nights of Ramadhan, there is one called ‘Laylatul Qadr’, a night that is noted for its great blessings. The Qur’an describes it as being greater in blessings and spiritual virtue than a thousand months, which in turn means that it is more valuable than eighty three years and four months. Fortunate indeed is that person who attains the full blessings of this night by spending it in the worship of Allah, because he has then attained the reward of “Ibadah” for eighty three years, four months and even more. Indeed the granting of this night for the faithful Muslims is a great favour.
Regarding this night, in a Hadith reported by Anas رضی اللہ تعالیٰ عنہ in ad-durrul Manthur, Rasulullah ﷺ is reported to have said: “Laylatul Qadr was granted to this Ummah and not to any other Ummah before this”. As regards the reason for the granting of Laylatul Qadr, various views are held.
According to some Ahadith, one reason is given thus: Rasulullah ﷺ used to ponder over the longer lives of the people of the past ages and when comparing them with much shorter lives of this Ummah, he became greatly saddened, because if his Ummah wished to compete with the people before them, then because of their shorter lives, it would be impossible for them to either emulate or surpass the previous Ummah in the doing of righteous deeds. Therefore, Allah ﷻ in His Infinite Mercy granted this night of great blessings. This means that, if any fortunate person of this Ummah during his life-time spends ten such nights in the worship of his creator, he would have gained the reward of Ibadah for more than eight hundred and thirty three years.
Another report states that Rasulullah ﷺ once related to the ‘Sahabah’ the story of a very righteous man from among the Banu Isra’il, who spent one thousand months in Jihad’. On hearing this the Sahabah enviously felt that they could not attain the same reward, whereupon Allah ﷻ granted them this night of Power.
Another report states that our Nabi ﷺ once mentioned the names of the four most pious people from the Banu Isra’il, each of whom spent eighty years in Allah’s ﷻ sincere service, worshiping Him and not transgressing in the least. They were Prophet Ayyub علیہ السلام, Zakariyya علیہ السلام, Ezkeel علیہ السلام and Yu’sha علیہ السلام. The Sahaba heard this, wondering how to emulate their achievements. Then Jibra’il علیہ السلام appeared and recited “Surah Al Qadr”, wherein the blessings of this particular night were revealed.
There are reports too, explaining the origin of the night of Power, but no matter which of these are accepted, the important fact remains that Allah ﷻ has granted us this night as a great favour and how fortunate are those who have never missed worship in this night. As to which particular night it is, here again, approximately fifty different views are reported. It is not easy to enumerate them all but the most generally accepted versions, shall follow in the ensuing pages of this chapter. Because the Qur’an itself mentions the night, we shall commence with a short commentary of Suratul Qadr’.
Reference here is made to the fact that, on this specific night, the Qur’an was sent down from the ‘Lowhul Mahfuz’ (the preserved Tablet) to the heavens. The mere fact that the Qur’an was revealed on this night would have been sufficient to ensure its greatness. But apart from this fact, it is also noted for many other things. In the very next verse, a question is asked:
In other words, the question asked here is: Have you any knowledge as to the greatness and importance of the night? Have you any knowledge as to the great favours and bounties that go with it? The next verse proceeds to explain its greatness.
The true meaning here is that the reward for spending this night in worship is better and greater than having spent one thousand months in worship.
An exegesis that has been given for this verse, explains that when man first appeared on earth, Mala’ikah looked upon him with concern. They even ventured to ask Allah ﷻ “Will You place on this earth, one who shall be riotous therein and shed blood?” Similarly, it can be noted that man’s original form as a mere drop of sperm looked upon with dislike, so much so, that it is considered as something which pollutes clothes and must be washed away. But later, when Allah ﷻ makes that same sperm into the form of a child, it becomes something to love and cherish. So far have things now progressed that, when on this Night of Power we find, that same man worshiping Allah ﷻ and adorning Him, then those very Angels descend towards him, obviously repentant for the thoughts they had once harbored against him. In this verse, where it is mentioned (Warruhu) “and the Spirit….”, the reference is to Jibra’il علیہ السلام who descends to the earth during this night. Commentators of the Qur’an have given various meanings of this word. The vast majority of commentators have agreed that Jibra’il علیہ السلام is meant here and, and most agree that, this is the most correct meaning. Allah ﷻ first makes mention of the Mala’ikah and then because of Jibra’il علیہ السلام special status among them, a separate mention is made of him.
Indeed this night is the very embodiment of peace; through out its span, the ‘Mala’ikah’ offer salutations to the faithful believers adorning their Rabb. As one group ascends, another group descends (with the same greetings), as indicated in some narrations. Another interpretation is that it is a night of complete safety from evil and mischief.
DU`A WHEN IN SEARCH OF LAYLATUL QADR
It is reported from Ayesha رضی اللہ تعالیٰ عنہ: “I said: “O Rasulullah ﷺ, when I find myself in Laylatul Qadr, what shall I say?” Rasulullah ﷺ replied: ‘say: