Surah Al-Qadr (Arabic القدر‎) is the 97th surah of the Qur’an and classified as Meccan surah. It consists of a total of 5 ayat or verses.

In English, Surah Qadr is referred to as “power of fate” and celebrates the night which the first verses of the Qur’an were revealed by Jibreel. This surah also describes significance of Laylat al-Qadr which is the “night of decree” or “night of power” which happens during the last 10 nights of Ramadan, typically an odd-numbered night.

One of the goals of My Islam is to make it easy to read and understand the Qur’an so below each ayah we provide Sahih International translation and the transliteration by M.A. Halim Elaisha.

At the end of the surah we’ve provided different tafsir works so you can read and develop a deeper understanding of virtues of Surah Qadr.

Read Surah Qadr with Translation and Transliteration

Bismillah hir rahman nir raheem

Bismillah Hir Rahman Nir Raheem
In the name of Allah, The Most Gracious and The Most Merciful

surah al qadr ayah 1

Inna anzalnahu fee laylatialqadr
1. Indeed, We sent the Qur’an down during the Night of Decree.

surah al qadr ayah 2

Wa maa adraaka ma lailatul qadr
2. And what can make you know what is the Night of Decree?

surah al qadr ayah 3

Lailatul qadri khairum min alfee shahr
3. The Night of Decree is better than a thousand months.

surah al qadr ayah 4

Tanaz zalul malaa-ikatu war roohu feeha bi izni-rab bihim min kulli amr
4. The angels and the Spirit descend therein by permission of their Lord for every matter.

surah al qadr ayah 5

Salaamun hiya hattaa mat la’il fajr 
5. Peace it is until the emergence of dawn.

Quran Transliteration

5 Hadith on laylatul qadr – Virtues of the Night of Qadr:

1. Narrated Aisha: Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “Search for the Night of Qadr in the odd nights of the last ten days of Ramadan.” [1]

2. Narrated Ibn ‘Umar: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) as saying: Seek lailat al-qadr in the last seven days. [2]

3. Narrated Ibn `Umar: Some men amongst the companions of the Prophet (ﷺ) were shown in their dreams that the night of Qadr was in the last seven nights of Ramadan. Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “It seems that all your dreams agree that (the Night of Qadr) is in the last seven nights, and whoever wants to search for it (i.e. the Night of Qadr) should search in the last seven (nights of Ramadan). [3]

4. Narrated Ibn Abbas: The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Look for the Night of Qadr in the last ten nights of Ramadan ,’ on the night when nine or seven or five nights remain out of the last ten nights of Ramadan (i.e. 21, 23, 25, respectively). [4]

5. Aisha narrated: “I said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, what is your view if I know when the Night of Al-Qadr is, then what should I say in it?” He said: ‘Say: “O Allah, indeed You are Pardoning, [Generous,] You love pardon, so pardon me (Allāhumma innaka `Afuwwun [Karīmun], tuḥibbul-`afwa fa`fu `annī).’” [5]

Learn Dua For Laylatul Qadr

Learn dua for laylatul Qadr as mentioned in the fifth reference.

1. Sahih al-Bukhari 2017
2. Sahih (Al-Albani) Sunan Abi Dawud 1385
3. Sahih al-Bukhari 2015
4. Sahih al-Bukhari 2021
5. Sahih (Darussalam) Jami At-Tirmidhi 3513

Tafsir of Surah Al Qadr

The Sahih international translation can help us understand the verses of this chapter. But to gain further insights and learn the nuances about Surah Qadr it helps to read the tafsir. Below you can read four different interpretations of this Surah.

Tafsir and Benefits of Surah Al-Qadr

Tafsir of Surrah Al-Qadr (meccan)

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

  1. Verily, We have sent it down in the Night of Al-Qadr.
  2. And what will make you know what the Night of Al-Qadr is
  3. The Night of Al-Qadr is better than a thousand months.
  4. Therein descend the angels and the Ruh by their Lord’s permission with every matter.
  5. There is peace until the appearance of dawn.

The Virtues of the Night of Al-Qadr (the Decree)

Allah informs that He sent the Qur’an down during the Night of Al-Qadr, and it is a blessed night about which Allah says,

﴿إِنَّآ أَنزَلْنَـهُ فِى لَيْلَةٍ مُّبَـرَكَةٍ﴾

 

(We sent it down on a blessed night.) (44:3) This is the Night of Al-Qadr and it occurs during the month of Ramadan. This is as Allah says,

﴿شَهْرُ رَمَضَانَ الَّذِى أُنزِلَ فِيهِ الْقُرْآنُ﴾

 

(The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Qur’an.) (2:185) Ibn `Abbas and others have said, “Allah sent the Qur’an down all at one time from the Preserved Tablet (Al-Lawh Al-Mahfuz) 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 Allah based upon the incidents that occurred over a period of twenty-three years.” Then Allah magnified the status of the Night of Al-Qadr, which He chose for the revelation of the Mighty Qur’an, by His saying,

﴿وَمَآ أَدْرَاكَ مَا لَيْلَةُ الْقَدْرِ – لَيْلَةُ الْقَدْرِ خَيْرٌ مِّنْ أَلْفِ شَهْرٍ ﴾

 

(And what will make you know what the Night of Al-Qadr is The Night of Al-Qadr is better than a thousand months.) Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Hurayrah “When Ramadan would come, the Messenger of Allah would say,

«قَدْ جَاءَكُمْ شَهْرُ رَمَضَانَ، شَهْرٌ مُبَارَكٌ، افْتَرَضَ اللهُ عَلَيْكُمْ صِيَامَهُ، تُفْتَحُ فِيهِ أَبْوَابُ الْجَنَّةِ، وَتُغْلَقُ فِيهِ أَبْوَابُ الْجَحِيمِ، وَتُغَلُّ فِيهِ الشَّيَاطِينُ، فِيهِ لَيْلَةٌ خَيْرٌ مِنْ أَلْفِ شَهْرٍ، مَنْ حُرِمَ خَيْرَهَا فَقَدْ حُرِم»

 

(Verily, the month of Ramadan has come to you all. It is a blessed month, which Allah has obligated you all to fast. During it the gates of Paradise are opened, the gates of Hell are closed and the devils are shackled. In it there is a night that is better than one thousand months. Whoever is deprived of its good, then he has truly been deprived.)” An-Nasa’i recorded this same Hadith. Aside from the fact that worship during the Night of Al-Qadr is equivalent to worship performed for a period of one thousand months, it is also confirmed in the Two Sahihs from Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allah said,

«مَنْ قَامَ لَيْلَةَ الْقَدْرِ إِيمَانًا وَاحْتِسَابًا غُفِرَ لَهُ مَا تَقَدَّمَ مِنْ ذَنْبِه»

 

(Whoever stands (in prayer) during the Night of Al-Qadr with faith and expecting reward (from Allah), he will be forgiven for his previous sins.)

The Descent of the Angels and the Decree for Every Good during the Night of Al-Qadr

Allah says,

﴿تَنَزَّلُ الْمَلَـئِكَةُ وَالرُّوحُ فِيهَا بِإِذْنِ رَبِّهِم مِّن كُلِّ أَمْرٍ ﴾

 

(Therein descend the angels and the Ruh by their Lord’s permission with every matter.) meaning, 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, just as they descend when the Qur’an is recited, they surround the circles of Dhikr (remembrance of Allah) and they lower their wings with true respect for the student of knowledge. In reference to Ar-Ruh, it is said that here it means the angel Jibril. Therefore, the wording of the Ayah is a method of adding the name of the distinct object (in this case Jibril) separate from the general group (in this case the angels). Concerning Allah’s statement,

﴿مِّن كُلِّ أَمْرٍ﴾

 

(with every matter.) Mujahid said, “Peace concerning every matter.” Sa`id bin Mansur said, `Isa bin Yunus told us that Al-A`mash narrated to them that Mujahid said concerning Allah’s statement,

﴿سَلَـمٌ هِىَ﴾

 

(There is peace) “It is security in which Shaytan cannot do any evil or any harm.” Qatadah and others have said, “The matters are determined during it, and the times of death and provisions are measured out (i.e., decided) during it.” Allah says,

﴿فِيهَا يُفْرَقُ كُلُّ أَمْرٍ حَكِيمٍ ﴾

 

(Therein is decreed every matter of decree.) (44:4) Then Allah says,

﴿سَلَـمٌ هِىَ حَتَّى مَطْلَعِ الْفَجْرِ ﴾

 

(There is peace until the appearance of dawn.) Sa`id bin Mansur said, “Hushaym narrated to us on the authority of Abu Ishaq, who narrated that Ash-Sha`bi said concerning Allah’s statement,

﴿تَنَزَّلُ الْمَلَـئِكَةُ وَالرُّوحُ فِيهَا بِإِذْنِ رَبِّهِم مِّن كُلِّ أَمْرٍ

 

– سَلَـمٌ هِىَ حَتَّى مَطْلَعِ الْفَجْرِ﴾

 

(With every matter, there is a peace until the appearance of dawn.) `The angels giving the greetings of peace during the Night of Al-Qadr to the people in the Masjids until the coming of Fajr (dawn).”’ Qatadah and Ibn Zayd both said concerning Allah’s statement,

﴿سَلَـمٌ هِىَ﴾

 

(There is peace.) “This means all of it is good and there is no evil in it until the coming of Fajr (dawn).”

Specifying the Night of Decree and its Signs

This is supported by what Imam Ahmad recorded from `Ubadah bin As-Samit that the Messenger of Allah said,

«لَيْلَةُ الْقَدْرِ فِي الْعَشْرِ الْبَوَاقِي، مَنْ قَامَهُنَّ ابْتِغَاءَ حِسْبَتِهِنَّ فَإِنَّ اللهَ يَغْفِرُ لَهُ مَا تَقَدَّمَ مِنْ ذَنْبِهِ وَمَا تَأَخَّرَ، وَهِيَ لَيْلَةُ وِتْرٍ: تِسْعٍ أَوْ سَبْعٍ أَوْ خَامِسَةٍ أَوْ ثَالِثَةٍ أَوْ آخِرِ لَيْلَة»

 

(The Night of Al-Qadr occurs during the last ten (nights). Whoever stands for them (in prayer) seeking their reward, then indeed Allah will forgive his previous sins and his latter sins. It is an odd night: the ninth, or the seventh, or the fifth, or the third or the last night (of Ramadan).) The Messenger of Allah also said,

«إِنَّ أَمَارَةَ لَيْلَةِ الْقَدْرِ أَنَّهَا صَافِيَةٌ بَلْجَةٌ، كَأَنَّ فِيهَا قَمَرًا سَاطِعًا، سَاكِنَةٌ سَاجِيَةٌ، لَا بَرْدَ فِيهَا وَلَا حَرَّ، وَلَا يَحِلُّ لِكَوْكَبٍ يُرْمَى بِهِ فِيهَا حَتْى يُصْبِحَ، وَإِنَّ أَمَارَتَهَا أَنَّ الشَّمْسَ صَبِيحَتَهَا تَخْرُجُ مُسْتَوِيَةً لَيْسَ لَهَا شُعَاعٌ، مِثْلَ الْقَمَرِ لَيْلَةَ الْبَدْرِ، وَلَا يَحِلُّ لِلشَّيْطَانِ أَنْ يَخْرُجَ مَعَهَا يَوْمَئِذ»

 

(Verily, the sign of the Night of Al-Qadr is that it is pure and glowing as if there were a bright, tranquil, calm moon during it. It is not cold, nor is it hot, and no shooting star is permitted until morning. Its sign is that the sun appears on the morning following it smooth having no rays on it, just like the moon on a full moon night. Shaytan is not allowed to come out with it (the sun) on that day.) This chain of narration is good. In its text there is some oddities and in some of its wordings there are things that are objectionable. Abu Dawud mentioned a section in his Sunan that he titled, “Chapter: Clarification that the Night of Al-Qadr occurs during every Ramadan.” Then he recorded that `Abdullah bin `Umar said, “The Messenger of Allah was asked about the Night of Al-Qadr while I was listening and he said,

«هِيَ فِي كُلِّ رَمَضَان»

 

(It occurs during every Ramadan.)” The men of this chain of narration are all reliable, but Abu Dawud said that Shu`bah and Sufyan both narrated it from Ishaq and they both considered it to be a statement of the Companion (Ibn `Umar, and thus not the statement of the Prophet ). It has been reported that Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri said, “The Messenger of Allah performed I`tikaf during the first ten nights of Ramadan and we performed I`tikaf with him. Then Jibril came to him and said, `That which you are seeking is in front of you.’ So the Prophet performed I`tikaf during the middle ten days of Ramadan and we also performed I`tikaf with him. Then Jibril came to him and said; `That which you are seeking is ahead of you.’ So the Prophet stood up and gave a sermon on the morning of the twentieth of Ramadan and he said,

«مَنْ كَانَ اعْتَكَفَ مَعِيَ فَلْيَرْجِعْ فَإِنِّي رَأَيْتُ لَيْلَةَ الْقَدْرِ، وَإِنِّي أُنْسِيتُهَا، وَإِنَّهَا فِي الْعَشْرِ الْأَوَاخِرِ فِي وِتْرٍ، وَإِنِّي رَأَيْتُ كَأَنِّي أَسْجُدُ فِي طِينٍ وَمَاء»

 

(Whoever performed I`tikaf with me, let him come back (for I`tikaf again), for verily I saw the Night of Al-Qadr, and I was caused to forget it, and indeed it is during the last ten (nights). It is during an odd night and I saw myself as if I were prostrating in mud and water.) The roof of the Masjid was made of dried palm-tree leaves and we did not see anything (i.e., clouds) in the sky. But then a patch of wind-driven clouds came and it rained. So the Prophet lead us in prayer until we saw the traces of mud and water on the forehead of the Messenger of Allah , which confirmed his dream.” In one narration it adds that this occurred on the morning of the twenty-first night (meaning the next morning). They both (Al-Bukhari and Muslim) recorded it in the Two Sahihs. Ash-Shafi`i said, “This Hadith is the most authentic of what has been reported.” It has also been said that it is on the twenty-third night due to a Hadith narrated from `Abdullah bin Unays in Sahih Muslim. It has also been said that it is on the twenty-fifth night due to what Al-Bukhari recorded from Ibn `Abbas that the Messenger of Allah said,

«الْتَمِسُوهَا فِي الْعَشْرِ الْأَوَاخِرِ مِنْ رَمَضَانَ فِي تَاسِعَةٍ تَبْقَى، فِي سَابِعَةٍ تَبْقَى، فِي خَامِسَةٍ تَبْقَى»

 

(Seek it in the last ten (nights) of Ramadan. In the ninth it still remains, in the seventh it still remains, in the fifth it still remains.) Many have explained this Hadith to refer to the odd nights, and this is the most apparent and most popular explanation. It has also been said that it occurs on the twenty-seventh night because of what Muslim recorded in his Sahih from Ubay bin Ka`b that the Messenger of Allah mentioned that it was on the twenty-seventh night. Imam Ahmad recorded from Zirr that he asked Ubayy bin Ka`b, “O Abu Al-Mundhir! Verily, your brother Ibn Mas`ud says whoever stands for prayer (at night) the entire year, will catch the Night of Al-Qadr.” He (Ubayy) said, “May Allah have mercy upon him. Indeed he knows that it is during the month of Ramadan and that it is the twenty-seventh night.” Then he swore by Allah. Zirr then said, “How do you know that” Ubayy replied, “By a sign or an indication that he (the Prophet ) informed us of. It rises that next day having no rays on it — meaning the sun.” Muslim has also recorded it. It has been said that it is the night of the twenty-ninth. Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal recorded from `Ubadah bin As-Samit that he asked the Messenger of Allah about the Night of Decree and he replied,

«فِي رَمَضَانَ فَالْتَمِسُوهَا فِي الْعَشْرِ الْأَوَاخِرِ، فَإِنَّهَا فِي وِتْرٍ إِحْدَى وَعِشْرِينَ، أَوْ ثَلَاثٍ وَعِشْرِينَ، أَوْ خَمْسٍ وَعِشْرِينَ، أَوْ سَبْعٍ وَعِشْرِينَ، أَوْ تِسْعٍ وَعِشْرِينَ، أَوْ فِي آخِرِ لَيْلَة»

 

(Seek it in Ramadan in the last ten nights. For verily, it is during the odd nights, the twenty-first, or the twenty-third, or the twenty-fifth, or the twenty-seventh, or the twenty-ninth, or during the last night.) Imam Ahmad also recorded from Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allah said about the Night of Al-Qadr,

«إِنَّهَا لَيْلَةُ سَابِعَةٍ أَوْ تَاسِعَةٍ وَعِشْرِينَ، وَإِنَّ الْمَلَائِكَةَ تِلْكَ اللَّيْلَةَ فِي الْأَرْضِ أَكْثَرُ مِنْ عَدَدِ الْحَصَى»

 

(Verily, it is during the twenty-seventh or the twenty-ninth night. And verily, the angels who are on the earth during that night are more numerous than the number of pebbles.) Ahmad was alone in recording this Hadith and there is nothing wrong with its chain of narration. At-Tirmidhi recorded from Abu Qilabah that he said, “The Night of Al-Qadr moves around (i.e., from year to year) throughout the last ten nights.” This view that At-Tirmidhi mentions from Abu Qilabah has also been recorded by Malik, Ath-Thawri, Ahmad bin Hanbal, Ishaq bin Rahuyah, Abu Thawr, Al-Muzani, Abu Bakr bin Khuzaymah and others. It has also been related from Ash-Shafi`i, and Al-Qadi reported it from him, and this is most likely. And Allah knows best.

Supplication during the Night of Decree

It is recommended to supplicate often during all times, especially during the month of Ramadan, in the last ten nights, and during the odd nights of it even more so. It is recommended that one say the following supplication a lot: “O Allah! Verily, You are the Of the Pardoning, You love to pardon, so pardon me.” This is due to what Imam Ahmad recorded from `A’ishah, that she said, “O Messenger of Allah! If I find the Night of Al-Qadr what should I say” He replied,

«قُولِي: اللْهُمَّ إِنَّكَ عَفُوٌّ تُحِبُّ الْعَفْوَ فَاعْفُ عَنِّي»

 

(Say: “O Allah! Verily, You are the Of the Pardoning, You love to pardon, so pardon me.”) At-Tirmidhi, An-Nasa’i and Ibn Majah have all recorded this Hadith. At-Tirmidhi said, “This Hadith is Hasan Sahih.” Al-Hakim recorded it in his Mustadrak (with a different chain of narration) and he said that it is authentic according to the criteria of the two Shaykhs (Al-Bukhari and Muslim). An-Nasa’i also recorded it. This is the end of the Tafsir of Surah Laylat Al-Qadr, and all praise and blessings are due to Allah.

A Most Distinguished Night

This surah speaks about the promised great night which the whole universe marks with joy and prayer. It is the night of perfect communion between this world and the Supreme society. That night marked the beginning of the revelation of the Qur’an to Muhammad (peace be upon him), an event unparalleled in the history of mankind for its splendour and the significance it has for the life of mankind as a whole. Its greatness is far beyond human perception. “From on high have We bestowed it [i.e. the Qur’an] on the Night of Power. Would that you knew what the Night of Power is! The Night of Power is better than a thousand months.” (Verses 1-3)

The Qur’anic statements which relate this great event radiate with God’s clear and shining light: “From on high We bestowed it on the Night of Power.” (Verse 1) There is also the light of the angels and the Spirit moving between the earth and the Supreme society. “On that night the angels and the Spirit by their Lord’s leave descend with all His decrees.” (Verse 4) In addition, there is also the light of dawn which the surah represents as perfectly harmonious with the light of the Qur’an and the angels as well as with their spirit of peace: “That night is peace, till the break of dawn.” (Verse 5)

The night in question here is the same night referred to in Surah 44, Smoke: “From on high We bestowed it [i.e. the Qur’an] on a blessed night, for We would warn [mankind]; on a night when every precept was made plain as a commandment from Us. We have ever sent forth messengers as a blessing from your Lord. It is He alone who hears all and knows all.” (44: 3-6) It is clearly established that it is a night during the month of Ramadan, as stated in Surah 2, The Cow: “It was in the month of Ramadan that the Qur’an was revealed: a guidance for mankind and a self-evident proof of that guidance and a standard to distinguish right from wrong.” (2: 185) This means that the Night of Power marked the beginning of the revelation of the Qur’an to the Prophet and his mission of delivering it to mankind.

Ibn Ishaq related that the first revelation, consisting of the opening of Sarah 96, The Germ-Cell, took place during the month of Ramadan, when God’s Messenger was at his devotion in the Cave of Hira.

A number of ahadith specifying this night have come down to us: some stress that it is on 27 Ramadan, others on 21; a few others say it is one of the last ten days and still some others do not go beyond saying that it is in Ramadan.

Its name, Layalt al-Qadr, or the Night of Power, may be taken to mean deliberate planning, management and organization, or it may mean value, position and rank. Both meanings are relevant to the great, universal event of the revelation of the Qur’an and the assigning of the message to the Prophet. It is indeed the greatest and most significant event the universe has ever witnessed. It is the event which explains most clearly how human life benefits by God’s planning, management and organization. This night is better than a thousand months. The figure here and elsewhere in the Qur’an does not signify a precise number. It simply denotes something very high. Many thousands of months and many thousands of years have passed without leaving behind a fraction of the changes and results brought about during that blessed and happy night.

This night is too sublime for proper human perception: “Would that you knew what the Night of Power is!” (Verse 2) There is no reason to attach any value to the legends circulated concerning this night. It is great because God chose it for the revelation of the Qur’an, so that its light may spread throughout the universe, and divine peace may spread in human life and conscience. That night is great because of what the Qur’an includes: an ideology, a basis for values and standards and a comprehensive code of moral and social behaviour, all of which promote peace within the human soul and in the world at large. It is great because of the descent of the angels, and Gabriel in particular, by their Lord’s leave, carrying the Qur’an. They fill all the space between heaven and earth in such a splendid, universal celebration, vividly portrayed in this surah.

When we look today in retrospect, after the lapse of numerous generations, at that glorious and happy night, imagine the fascinating celebration the world then witnessed, and ponder over the essence of revelation and its far-reaching effects on human life and values, we appreciate how great this event was. We can then understand, to some extent, why the Qur’anic reference to that night is made in such an equivocal way: “Would that you knew what the Night of Power is!” (Verse 2)

On that night every matter of significance was made plain and distinct; new values and standards were established; the fortunes of nations were determined; and values and standards were sorted out.

Humanity, out of ignorance and to its misfortune, may overlook the value and importance of the Night of Power. When humanity does so ignore it, it loses the happiest and most beautiful sign of grace which God bestowed on it. It also suffers the loss of the real happiness and peace gifted to it by Islam, namely, the peace of conscience, family and society. What it has otherwise gained of material civilization is inadequate compensation for its loss. Humanity is miserable in spite of higher production levels and better means of existence. The splendid light which once illuminated its soul has been put out; the happiness which carried it high up to the Supreme society has been destroyed; the peace which overflowed in people’s hearts and minds has disappeared. Nothing can compensate for the happiness of the human soul, the heavenly light and elevation to the loftiest ranks.

We, the believers in Islam, are commanded not to forget or neglect this event. The Prophet has taught us an easy and enjoyable way to commemorate it, so that our souls may always be in close communion with it and with the universal event which it witnessed. He has urged us to spend this night of each year in devotion. He said: “Seek the Night of Power in the last ten nights of Ramadan.” [Related by al-Bukhārī and Muslim.] He also said: “Whoever spends the Night of Power in worship, with a pure motive of faith and devotion, will have all his past sins forgiven.” [Related by al-Bukhārī and Muslim.]

Islam is not mere formalities. Hence, the Prophet specifies that the consecration of that night must be motivated by faith and devotion. This would make its consecration by any individual an indication of his or her full awareness of the farreaching effects of what took place on that night.

The Islamic method of education and character building links worship with faith and establishes truth in our hearts and consciences. By this method, worship is considered a means for maintaining full awareness of this truth, its clarification and firm establishment in our minds, hearts and souls. This method has been proved to be the best for the revival of this truth so that it has an unfailing influence on people’s behaviour. The theoretical understanding of this truth cannot, on its own and without worship, establish it or give it the necessary impetus for its operation in the life of the individual or society. This link between the anniversary of the Night of Power and its consecration in faith and devotion is a part of the successful and straightforward method of Islam.

Period of Revelation

Whether it is a Makki or a Madani revelation is disputed. Abu Hayyan in Al-Bahr al-Muhti has made the claim that the majority of scholars regard it as a Madani Surah. Ali bin Ahmad al-Wahidi in his commentary says that this is the first Surah to be sent down in Madinah. Contrary to this, Al Mawardi says that according to the majority of scholars it is a Makki revelation, and the same view has Imam Suyuti expressed in Al-Itqan. Ibn Mardayah has cited Ibn Abbas, lbn Az Zubair and Hadrat Aishah as saying that this Surah was revealed at Makkah. A study of the contents also shows that it should have been revealed at Makkah as we shall explain below.

Theme and Subject Matter

Its theme is to acquaint man with the value, worth and importance of the Quran. Its being placed just after Surah Al-Alaq in the arrangement of the Quran by itself explains that the Holy Book, the revelation of which began with the first five verses of Surah Al-Alaq. was sent down in a destiny making night. It is a glorious Book and its revelation for mankind is full of blessings.

At the outset, Allah says: “We have sent it down.” That is, it is not a composition of Muhammad (upon whom be Allah’s peace and blessing) himself, but We Ourself have revealed it.

Then, it is said that “We sent it down in the Night of Destiny.” Night of Destiny lies two meanings and both are implied here. First, that it is the night during which destinies are decided; or, in other words, it is not an ordinary night like the other nights, but a night in which destinies are made or marred. The revelation of this Book in this night is not merely the revelation of a book but an event which will change the destiny of not only the Quraish, or of Arabia, but of, the entire world. The same thing has been said in Surah Ad-Dukhan for which please see Introduction to that Surah and E. N. 3 thereof. The other meaning is that this is, a night of unique honor, dignity and glory; so much so that it is better than a thousand months. Thus, the disbelievers of Makkah have been warned, as if to say: “You on account of your ignorance regard this Book, which Muhammad (upon whom be Allah’s peace and blessings) has presented, as a calamity for yourselves and complain that a disaster has befallen you, whereas the night in which it was decreed to be sent down was such a blessed night that a task was accomplished in it for the well being of mankind, which had never been accomplished even during a thousand months of history. This also has been said in verse 3 of Ad-Dukhan in another way, which we have explained in the introduction to that Surah.

In conclusion, it has been stated that in this night the angels and Gabriel descend with every decree (which in verse 4 of Surah Ad- Dukhan has been described as arm-hakim: wise decree) by the leave of their Lord, and it is all peace from evening till morning; that is, there is no interference of evil in it, for all decrees of Allah are intended to promote good and not evil. So much so that even if a decision to destroy a nation is taken, it is taken for the sake of ultimate good, not evil.

We have sent down this (Qur’an) in the Night of Glory. And what do you know what the Night of Glory is? The Night of Glory is better than a thousand months.2 The angels and the Spirit3 descend in it with every decree, by the permission of their Lord.4 That Night is peace, until the rising of the dawn.5

The words in the original are anzalana hu: “We Ourself have sent it down”. But although there is no mention of the Qur’an before it, the Qur’an is implied, for “sending down” by itself points out that the Qur’an is meant. And there are numerous instances of this in the Qur’an that if from the context, or the style, the antecedent of a pronoun is apparent, the pronoun is used even if the antecedent has not been mentioned anywhere before or after it. (For explanation, see E.N. 9 of An-Najm).

Here, it has been said: “We have sent down the Qur’an in the Night of Destiny”, and in AI-Baqarah: 185, “Ramadan is the month in which the Qur’an was sent down. ” This shows that the night in which the Angel of God had brought down revelation for the first time to the Holy Prophet (upon whom be .Allah’s Peace) in the Cave of Hira, was a night of the month of Ramadan. This night has been described as Lailat-ul-qadr here and as Lailat-im-mubarakah in Surah Ad-Dukhan: 3 above.

There can be two meanings of sending down the Qur’an in this night: first, , that in this night the entire Qur’an was entrusted to the bearers .(angels) of Revelation, and then Gabriel (peace be on him) continued to reveal its verses and Surahs, from time to time, to the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) during 23 years as the occasion and conditions demanded. This meaning has been given by Ibn `Abbas. (Ibn Jarir, Ibn al-Mundhir, Ibn Abi Hatim, Hakim, lbn Marduyah, Baihaqi). Second, that the revelation of the Qur’an began in this night. This is Imam Sha`bi’s view, although from him too the other view also is related, which is the view of Ibn `Abbas as cited above (Ibn Jarir). Anyhow, in both cases, the meaning is the same that the revelation of the Qur’an to the Holy Prophet (upon whom be pence) began in this very night, and this was the night in which the five opening verses of Surah Al-`Alaq were revealed. The fact, however, is that Allah did not compose the verses and the Surahs of the Qur’an right at the time guidance was needed by the Holy Prophet for his message of Islam in respect of an occasion or affair, but even before the creation of the universe, in the very beginning, Allah had a full plan of the creation of mankind on the earth, of raising the Prophets in it, of sending down the Books to the Prophets, of raising the Holy Prophet Muhammad (upon whom be Allah’s peace and blessings) at the end of the line of the Prophets and of sending down the Qur’an to him. In the Night of Destiny only the execution of the final phase of the plan began. No wonder if at that very time the entire Qur’an was entrusted to the bearers of Revelation.

Some commentators have interpreted qadr to mean destiny ( taqdir) , . i. e it is the night in which Allah entrusts the decrees of destiny to the angels to be enforced. This is supported by verse 3 of Surah Ad-Dukhan: “This is a night in which every matter is decided wisely by Our command.” On the contrary, Imam Zuhri says that qadr means glory and honor, there by implying that it is a Night of Destiny. This meaning is supported by the words “Lallat-ul-qadr is better than a thousand months” of this Surah itself.

As for the question as to which night it was, it is disputed and there are as many as 40 different views on this subject. however, a great majority of scholars hold the opinion that one of the odd nights of the last ten nights of the month of Ramadan is Lailat-ul-qadr, and among these also most scholars think that it is the 27th night. Below we give the authentic Ahadith which have been reported in this connection:

According to Hadrat Abu Hurairah, the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) said, in connection with Lailat-ul qadr, that it is the 27th night. (Abu Da’ud Tayalisi). According to another tradition from Hadrat Abu Hurairah, it is the last night of Ramadan. (Musnad Ahmad).

When Zirr bin Hubaish asked Hadrat Ubayy bin Ka`b about Lailat-ulqadr, he stated on oath, and did not make any exception, that it is the 27th night. (Ahmad, Muslim, Abu Da’ud, Tirmidhi, Nasa’i, Ibn Hibban).

When Hadrat Abu Zarr was asked about it, he said: “Hadrat `Umar, Hadrat Hudhaifah and many other Companions of the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) had no doubt that it is the 27th night.” (Ibn Abi Shaibah).

Hadrat `Ubadah bin as-Samit says that the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) said: `Lailat-al-qadr is one of the odd nights of the last ten nights of Ramadan: 21st, 23rd, 25th, 27th, 29th, or the last night.” (Musnad Ahmad).

Hadrat `Abdullah bin ‘Abbas says that the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) said: “Search for it among the last ten nights of Ramadan when there are still nine days in the month, or seven days, or five days.” (bukhari). Most of the scholars have understood it to mean that by this the Holy Prophet meant the odd nights.

Hadrat Abu Bakr said: “When nine days remain in the month, or seven days, or five days, or three days, or the last night.” What he meant was that Lailat-ul-qadr should be sought among these dates. (Tirmidhi, Nasa’i).

According to Hadrat ‘A’ishah, the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) said: “Search for lailat-ul- qadr among the odd nights of the last ten nights of Ramadan. (Bukhari, Muslim, Ahmad, Tirmidhi). Hadrat ‘A’ishah and Hadrat ‘Abdullah bin `Umar have also reported that the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) observed i`tikaf (seclusion in the Mosque) during the last ten nights of Ramadan every year during his lifetime.

On the basis of the traditions related in this regard on the authority of a great Companions like Hadrat Mu`awiyah, Hadrat lbn ‘Umar, Hadrat Ibn ‘Abbas and others, a large number of the earliest scholars regard the 27th of Ramadan as Lailat-ul-qadr. Probably Allah and His Messenger have not specified any one night for the reason so that the people, in their zeal to benefit from the virtues of Lailat-ul-qadr, should spend more and more nights in worship and devotion and should not remain content with only one night. Here the question arises that when it is night at Makkah, it is daytime in a large part of the world; therefore, the people of those parts can never take advantage of Lailat-ul-qadr. The answer is that the word night in Arabic is mostly used for the combination of the day and night. Therefore, the night preceding the day on any one of these dates of Ramadan can be Lailat ul-qadr for that part of the world.

The commentators in general have understood this to mean that the good acts performed in this Night are superior in value to the good acts of a thousand months in which Lailat-ul-qadr is not included. There is no doubt that this is in itself correct and the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) has described great excellencies and virtues of the good acts and devotions of this Night. According to a tradition related in Bukhari and Muslim, on the authority of Hadrat Abu Hurairah, the Holy Prophet said: The one who remained standing in worship in the state of belief and for the sake of rewards from Allah during Lailat-ul-qadr, would have all his previous sins forgiven.” And in Musnad Ahmad, there is a tradition from Hadrat `Ubadah bin as-Samit, saying that the Holy Prophet said: Lailat-ut-qadr is. Among the last ten nights of Ramadan. The one who stood up in worship in order to take advantage of their rewards, Allah wilt forgive all his former and latter sins.” But, the verse does not say: “To act righteously in Lailat-ul-qadr is better than acting righteously in a thousand months, ” but it says: lailat-ul-qadr is better than a thousand months. ” And “a thousand months” also does not imply 83 years and 4 months exactly, but a very long period of time as “a thousand” denoted among the Arabs. Therefore, the verse means that in this one night a task was accomplished for the welfare of mankind the like of which had not been accomplished even during an indefinitely long period of history.

“The Spirit”: Gabriel (peace be on him), who has been mentioned separately from the angels in view of his unique eminence, honor and merit.

That is, they do not descend of their own accord but by leave of their Lord, and “every decree” implies amr hakim (a wise decree) as described in Ad-Dukhan:

That is, the entire Night, from evening till morning, is peace, free from every evil and mischief.

Occasion of Revelation

Ibn Abi Hatim has reported from Mujhid (as mursal hadith) that the Messenger of Allah (صلی اللہ علیہ وآلہ وسلم) was told about a mujahid [ warrior in the cause of religion ] from amongst the Children of Israel who carried weapons of war on his shoulders for a thousand months during which time he never laid down his arms. The Companions were amazed when they heard this. On that occasion, this Surah was revealed which describes that worship in the Night of Qadr granted to this Ummah exceeds by more than a thousand months of jihad persistently fought by that warrior. According to another narration of Mujahid cited in Ibn Jarir, a worshipper from among the Children of Israel used to worship Allah the whole night, and as soon as the dawn broke, he would arm himself and fight the whole day. This continued consecutively for a thousand months. This Surah was thus revealed. This shows the superiority of the Ummah of the Holy Prophet `, and that the Night of Qadr is a special characteristic of this ummah. [ Mazhari ].

Meaning of The Night of Qadr

One meaning of the word Qadr is ‘greatness, honour or dignity’. Zuhri and other scholars have assigned this meaning to it. The night is called the Night of Qadr because it is a night of greatness, honour, majesty and dignity. Abu Bakr Warraq has stated that this night is so called because a person becomes a man of honour and dignity on account of repentance, seeking pardon and righteous acts during this night, whilst prior to this he might have lacked honour and dignity on account of unrighteous life he might have led.

Another meaning of the word Qadr is ‘predestination’. From this point of view, the night is so called because the destiny of individuals and nations that was decided in pre-eternity is assigned to the relevant angels who are appointed for cosmic planning. Every man’s age, death, sustenance, rain and other things are measured out to the angels to be implemented for a complete year from one month of Ramadan to another. If an individual is destined to perform Hajj in the forthcoming year, it will be prescribed. According to Ibn ` Abbas (رض) ، there are four angels in charge of cosmic planning: [ 1] Israfil; [ 2] Mika’il; [ 3] ` Izra’il; and [ 4] Jibra’il 6.1

It is clearly stated in [ 44:3-5]
إِنَّا أَنزَلْنَاهُ فِي لَيْلَةٍ مُّبَارَ‌كَةٍ ۚ إِنَّا كُنَّا مُنذِرِ‌ينَ ﴿٣﴾ فِيهَا يُفْرَ‌قُ كُلُّ أَمْرٍ‌ حَكِيمٍ ﴿٤﴾ أَمْرً‌ا مِّنْ عِندِنَا ۚ إِنَّا كُنَّا مُرْ‌سِلِينَ ﴿٥﴾
We have sent it down in a blessed night, (because) We had to warn (people). [ 3] In that (night), every wise thing is decided [ 4] through a command from Us. We were to send the Messenger [ 5].(44:3-5)

‘Laylatun Mubarakah’ or the ‘blessed’, according to overwhelming scholars of the Qur’an, refers to the Night of Qadr. The angels record and descend with whatever Allah has destined or decreed for the coming year. Some scholars hold that the ‘blessed night’ in 44: 3 refers to the fifteenth night of Sha’ban, that is, ‘Laylatul Bara’ah ‘ or the ‘Night of Immunity’. This view may be reconciled with the former one by holding that the initial Divine decrees are decided on the Night of Immunity, and the details are recorded and handed over to the relevant angels on the Night of Qadr. This is supported by a narration of Ibn ` Abbas which Baghawi has recorded on the authority of Abud-Duha which states that Allah decrees all cosmic matters on the Night of Immunity, but they are only handed over to the relevant angels on the Night of Qadr. [ Mazhari ].

Date of the Night of Qadr
It is explicitly stated in the Qur’an that the Night occurs in the blessed or auspicious month of Ramadan, but its exact date has not been disclosed. As a result, it is disputed and debated among scholars. There are about forty opinions recorded. Mazhari states that the most authentic opinion is that the Night of Qadr occurs in the last ten nights of Ramadan, but no specific date has been fixed. It could be any of the last ten odd nights which may alternate from year to year. According to authentic Traditions, it could be one of the following nights: 21, 23, 25, 27 and 29. Thus all the apparently conflicting Traditions relating to the odd nights are reconciled. All the Traditions pertaining to the date of the Night are authentic, and there is no need for any convoluted interpretation. Most eminent jurists – like Aba Qilabah, Imam Malik, Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, Sufyan Thawri, Ishaq Ibn Rahwaih, Abu Thawr, Muzani, Ibn Khuzaymah and others – agree that the Night occurs in the last ten odd nights, alternating. Imam Shafi’i has two opinions. In one he sides with the majority, and in another he holds that the night is fixed and does not alternate. [ IbnKathir ].

Sayyidah ` A’ishah’s (رض) عنہا narration is recorded in Sahih of Bukhari, according to which the Messenger of Allah (صلی اللہ علیہ وآلہ وسلم) is reported to have said: تحرّوا لیلۃ القدر فی العشر الاواخر من رمضان “Look for the Night of Qadr in the last ten nights of Ramadan.” Ibn ` Umar narrates, as recorded in Sahih Muslim, that the Messenger of Allah (صلی اللہ علیہ وآلہ وسلم) said: فالطلبوھا فی الوتر منھا “Search for it in the last ten odd nights of Ramadan.” [ Mazhari ].

The Value and Importance of the Night and a Special Du’ a for the Night
The greatest virtue of the Night is mentioned in the Surah itself, that is, the acts of worship performed in this single night is better than worship in one thousand months which amounts to eighty-three years and four months. The figure here and elsewhere in the Qur’an does not signify its precise number, but simply denotes a very large or high number. Allah alone knows how much more or better.

It is recorded in Bukhari and Muslim on the authority of Sayyidna Abu Hurairah (رض) that the Messenger of Allah (صلی اللہ علیہ وآلہ وسلم) said: “He who spends the Night of Qadr in the worship of Allah, all his past sins will be forgiven.” Sayyidna Ibn ` Abbas (رض) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (صلی اللہ علیہ وآلہ وسلم) said: All the angels resident at the ‘Lote Tree of the Uttermost Boundary’ descend in the leadership of Sayyidna Jibra’il (علیہ السلام) and greet every believer, man or woman, except one who takes wine or eats pork.” Another narration reports that anyone who is deprived of the good of the Night of Qadr is in fact deprived of all good. On the Night of Qadr some people experience and witness special anwar [ lights ]. However, it may be noted that this is not experienced or witnessed by all and sundry nor is it part of the blessings and reward of the Night. Therefore, people should not concern themselves about it.

Sayyidah ` A’ishah (رض) once asked the Messenger of Allah (صلی اللہ علیہ وآلہ وسلم) what supplication she should make if she finds the Night. The Messenger of Allah (صلی اللہ علیہ وآلہ وسلم) advised her to make the following supplication: اللَّھُمَّ اِنَّکَ عَفُوُّ تُحِبُّ العَفوَ فَاعفُ عَنِّی “0 Allah! Verily, You are the Oft-Pardoning, You love to pardon, so do pardon me.” [ Qurtubi ].

Revelation of the Holy Qur’ an
Verse [ 1] إِنَّا أَنزَلْنَاهُ فِي لَيْلَةِ الْقَدْر‌ “We sent it [ the Qur’an ] down in the Night of Qadr.”This verse makes explicit that the Holy Qur’an was revealed on the Night of Qadr. This could have one of two meanings: [ 1] the entire Holy Qur’an was revealed on this Night from the Preserved Tablet. Then Sayyidna Jibra’il (علیہ السلام) according to the exigency of circumstances, brought it down to the Messenger of Allah (صلی اللہ علیہ وآلہ وسلم) piecemeal over a period of twenty-three years; and [ 2] it is related that the first revelation, consisting of the opening verses of Surah [ 96], took place in the month of Ramadan on the Night of Qadr, when the Messenger of Allah (صلی اللہ علیہ وآلہ وسلم) was at his devotion in the cave of Hira’. The rest of the Qur’an was revealed little by little according to the need of different occasions.

All Heavenly Books were revealed in Ramadan
Sayyidna Abu Dhar Ghifari (رض) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (صلی اللہ علیہ وآلہ وسلم) said: “Holy Prophet Ibrahim’s (علیہ السلام) Scriptures were revealed on 3rd of Ramadan; Torah was revealed on 6th of Ramadan; Injil was revealed on 13th of Ramadan; Zabur was revealed on 18th of Ramadan; and the Holy Qur’an was revealed on 24th of Ramadan.” [ Mazhari ].

94:4 Surah Qadr

Descent of the Angels and the Spirit with Divine Decrees
Verse [ 4] نَزَّلُ الْمَلَائِكَةُ وَالرُّ‌وحُ (The angels and the Spirit descend in it, with the leave of their Lord, along with every command.) ‘Spirit’ here refers to Jibra’il (علیہ السلام) .

Sayyidna Anas (رض) narrates that the Messenger of Allah صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم said: “When the Night of Qadr occurs, Jibra’il (علیہ السلام) descends on the earth with a huge throng of angels and all of them pray for every servant of Allah, man or woman, busy in salah or dhikr, to be blessed by Allah.” [ Mazhari ]. In the phrase مِّن كُلِّ أَمْرٍ‌ (along with every command), the preposition min is used in the sense of ‘with’ as in [ 13:11] يَحْفَظُونَهُ مِنْ أَمْرِ‌ اللَّـهِ. The verse under comment means the angels bring down, during the Night of Qadr, the decree for everything destined to occur in the coming year. Some of the commentators, like Mujahid and others, say that the phrase مِّن كُلِّ أَمْرٍ‌min kulli amrin is syntactically related to salam, and the word Amr means ‘everything’. Thus they interpret the statement to mean: ‘The night is a security from every evil, harm and calamity.’ [ Ibn Kathir ].

97:5 Surah Qadr

Verse [ 5] سَلَامٌ (Peace it is till the rising of dawn.) The word Salam [ peace ] stands for a complete sentence meaning ‘it is all peace, equanimity and complete goodness, having no evil in it.’ [ Qurtubi ]. Some scholars treat the word Salamun as a sentence qualifying مِّن كُلِّ أَمْرٍ min kulli amrin, meaning ‘the angels come with every such matter which is good and peace’. [ Mazhari ].

هِيَ حَتَّىٰ مَطْلَعِ الْفَجْرِ‌ The concluding expression of the verse means the blessings of the Night of Qadr are not restricted to any particular part of the night. They start descending at the fall of night and continue till the break of dawn.

Special Note
According to the verse ‘The Night of Power is better than a thousand months’ which equals eighty-three years and four months. Obviously, each year will contain a laylatul Qadr which will be better than a thousand months. As a result, the Night of Qadr will recur ad infinitum, that is, repeat or continue without an end. For this reason, some of the commentators say the expression ‘more than a thousand months’ does not include nights of Qadr. Thus this should not pose any problem. [ Ibn Kathir on the authority of Mujahid ].

On account of geographical positions, the time will vary from place to place. As a result, the Night of Qadr will not occur in all the regions of the world simultaneously. This is not a problem because people of each location should calculate and consecrate the night and receive its blessings according to their geographical position. Allah, the Pure and Exalted, knows best.

Ruling

If anyone performs the ` Isha’ and Fajr salahs in congregation, he will receive the blessings and reward of the Night of Qadr. The more one performs acts of worship in this night, the more he shall receive its blessings. It is recorded in Sahih of Muslim that Sayyidna ` Uthman (رض) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (صلی اللہ علیہ وآلہ وسلم) said: “If a person performs his ` Isha’ salah in congregation, he will attain the blessings of spending half the night in devotion; and if he performs Fajr salah in congregation, he will attain the blessings of spending the entire night in devotion.”