There is night in the month of Ramadan which is better than equivalence to a thousand months.
Laylat Al-Qadr is celebrated as a bringer of light and guidance; it honours the advent of the concluding direction for mankind. It is an acknowledgment to the commencement of the message revealed to us all by Allah (Subhana Wa' Ta'ala) through Arc Angel Jibrail, a message later conveyed to all man by the seal of the prophets, Muhammad (peace be upon him).
“We have indeed revealed this (Message) in the Night of Power:
And what will explain to thee what the night of power is?
The Night of Power 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 morn!”
- Surah Al-Qadr (Night of Power) 97, V 1-5
The word Qadr in Arabic translates to destiny, honour and dignity. It is this night in which the first Divine Revelation came to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), whilst in prayer in the cave of Hira, deep in reflection.
Laylat Al-Qadr is one of the holiest and most sanctified nights in the Muslim calendar, occurring on one of the odd nights (reference is made to the 21st, 23rd, 25th, 27th, 29th night) on the last ten days of Ramadan.
The wife of the Prophet (Peace be upon him), Ai'sha (Radi'Allahu Anha) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (Subhana Wa' Ta'ala) had said:
'Seek the night of Dignity in the odd nights of the last ten days of Ramadan'.
- Saheeh al-Bukhari.
A night such as Laylat Al-Qadr was not blessed to any religious community before Muslims. Only the Ummah of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) were favoured with a night of immense reward. It was granted to enable Muslims to equal the worship of any persons who lived before them. Imam Malik (May Allah have mercy on him) reported that the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) was shown the long life span of people of previous nations, so the Prophet bemoaned the shortness of the life span of his Ummah, fearing that they might not be able to accumulate numerous good deeds for the Hereafter. Therefore, Allah bestowed upon him the Night of Power to compensate for their lack of longevity.
The incentive of submission on this night is better than the worship of a thousand months of worship. So, on this night one should pray Nafl1 prayers, recite the Qur'an, do Dhikr2, Tasbih3, Du'a4 and Istighfar5, each as much as achievable.
Ai'sha (Radi' Allahu Anha) asked the Prophet (Peace be upon him) that if she happened to get the night transcendent, which prayer he would recommend for her invocation. The holy Prophet (Peace be upon him) replied that she should say the following prayer:
"Allahumma innaka afuwwun kareemun tuhib-bul af-wa fa-afo anni"
(O Allah, You are the One who grants pardon for sins, loves forgiving, so forgive me.)
The Author Zoe Choudhury is an LLB Medical Law student at Birkbeck College, University of London
1. Nafl Prayers: Extra voluntary prayers
2. Dhikr: Remembering Allah (God) by expressing one's self silently or aloud. Reciting short or medium verses repeatedly for long periods of times,
3. Tasbih: Similar to Dhikir, typically a Misbaha (prayer beads) is used
4. Du'a: An act of worship, making a direct connection with Allah (God), asking or requesting something from Allah.
5. Istighfar: Seeking forgiveness from Allah (god)