Surah Qadr describes Shabe Qadr/Laylat al-Qadr, the “Night of the abundant of blessings” in Ramadan on which is an outstanding opportunity for the Muslims. Surah Qadar is the 97th Surah (chapter) of the Holy Quran, which has 5 Ayats (verses). It is also called Al-Qadr which means Power, or Fate” and is designated after the word al-qadr in the first verse and is mainly about power.
On this night Allah Almighty sent the first verses of the Holy Quran to the Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم). Muslims worship this night to get the divine blessings of the Allah Almighty. Laylat al-Qadr means the Night of Value and has many names like Shabe Qadr, Night of Decree, Night of Power, Night of Destiny, or Night of Measures.
Muslims believe that the Night of Power brings the blessings and mercy of Allah Almighty in abundance. Moreover, their sins are forgiven, and their dua (supplications) are accepted.
Importance of Shabe Qadar
Significance of the Shabe Qadar
Surah Qadar describes that any Muslim, who worships Allah Almighty on this blessed night is rewarded as he/she worshipped an equivalent to one thousand months. For Muslims, this is the holiest and most blessed night which has countless rewards.
The angels and the Spirit [Jibraeel (AS)] descends in the proximity of the Earth. This was the night when the Spirit brought the first verses of the Holy Quran from Loh-e-Mehfooz (the Preserved Tablet) to the prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم). This night is full of forgiveness, reward, and blessings.
There are two important contexts discussed in Surah Qadar. First, is “Spirit” mentioned in the 4th ayat and is interpreted as referring to the angel Jibreel (Gabriel). The second is “peace” which refers to as Shaytan (Iblis) cannot do any evil or any harm during this holy month”.
بِسۡمِ اللّٰہِ الرَّحۡمٰنِ الرَّحِیۡمِ
اِنَّاۤ اَنۡزَلۡنٰہُ فِیۡ لَیۡلَۃِ الۡقَدۡرِ ۚ ﴿ؔ۱﴾
وَ مَاۤ اَدۡرٰىکَ مَا لَیۡلَۃُ الۡقَدۡرِ ؕ ﴿۲﴾
لَیۡلَۃُ الۡقَدۡرِ ۬ ۙ خَیۡرٌ مِّنۡ اَلۡفِ شَہۡرٍ ؕ ﴿ؔ۳﴾
تَنَزَّلُ الۡمَلٰٓئِکَۃُ وَ الرُّوۡحُ فِیۡہَا بِاِذۡنِ رَبِّہِمۡ ۚ مِنۡ کُلِّ اَمۡرٍ ۙ ﴿ؔ۴﴾
سَلٰم ٌ ۟ ۛ ہِیَ حَتّٰی مَطۡلَعِ الۡفَجۡرِ ﴿۵﴾
The following Hadith highlights the importance of the Laylat al-Qadr:
حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو الْيَمَانِ ، قَالَ : أَخْبَرَنَا شُعَيْبٌ ، قَالَ : حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو الزِّنَادِ ، عَنِ الْأَعْرَجِ ، عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ ، قَالَ : قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ : مَنْ يَقُمْ لَيْلَةَ الْقَدْرِ إِيمَانًا وَاحْتِسَابًا غُفِرَ لَهُ مَا تَقَدَّمَ مِنْ ذَنْبِهِ .
Abu Huraira narrated that the Messenger said: Whoever stands (in prayer) in Laylatul Qadr h nourishing his faith with self-evaluation, expecting reward from Allah, will have all of his previous sins forgiven. [Bukhari and Muslim).
Sahih Bukhari: 35
When is the night of Laylat al-Qadr
Surah Qadar did not address the exact date of Laylat al-Qadr. However, prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said that Laylat al Qadr will fall on odd number night of last ten days of Ramadan. Besides a complete surah on the subject, there are many Hadith available which cover the subject.
Muslims spend the last 10 nights of the holy month Ramadan in Itikaf because they do not want to miss the rewards of Laylat al-Qadr. Following Hadith highlights the importance of the subject:
حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ الرَّحْمَنِ بْنُ بِشْرٍ ، حَدَّثَنَا سُفْيَانُ ، عَنِ ابْنِ جُرَيْجٍ ، عَنْ سُلَيْمَانَ الْأَحْوَلِ خَالِ ابْنِ أَبِي نَجِيحٍ ، عَنْ أَبِي سَلَمَةَ ، عَنْ أَبِي سَعِيدٍ. ح قَالَ سُفْيَانُ ، وَحَدَّثَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ عَمْرٍو ، عَنْ أَبِي سَلَمَةَ ، عَنْ أَبِي سَعِيدٍ . ح قَالَ : وَأَظُنُّ أَنَّ ابْنَ أَبِي لَبِيدٍ حَدَّثَنَا ، عَنْ أَبِي سَلَمَةَ ، عَنْ أَبِي سَعِيدٍ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ ، قَالَ : اعْتَكَفْنَا مَعَ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ الْعَشْرَ الْأَوْسَطَ ، فَلَمَّا كَانَ صَبِيحَةَ عِشْرِينَ ، نَقَلْنَا مَتَاعَنَا ، فَأَتَانَا رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ ، قَالَ : مَنْ كَانَ اعْتَكَفَ ، فَلْيَرْجِعْ إِلَى مُعْتَكَفِهِ فَإِنِّي رَأَيْتُ هَذِهِ اللَّيْلَةَ ، وَرَأَيْتُنِي أَسْجُدُ فِي مَاءٍ وَطِينٍ ، فَلَمَّا رَجَعَ إِلَى مُعْتَكَفِهِ ، وَهَاجَتِ السَّمَاءُ ، فَمُطِرْنَا ، فَوَالَّذِي بَعَثَهُ بِالْحَقِّ ، لَقَدْ هَاجَتِ السَّمَاءُ مِنْ آخِرِ ذَلِكَ الْيَوْمِ ، وَكَانَ الْمَسْجِدُ عَرِيشًا ، فَلَقَدْ رَأَيْتُ عَلَى أَنْفِهِ ، وَأَرْنَبَتِهِ أَثَرَ الْمَاءِ وَالطِّينِ .
Narrated Abu Said: We practiced Itikaf with Allah’s Apostle in the middle ten days (of Ramadan). In the morning of the twentieth (of Ramadan) we shifted our baggage, but Allah’s Apostle came to us and said, Whoever was in Itikaf should return to his place of Itikaf, for I saw (i.e. was informed about the date of) this Night (of Qadr) and saw myself prostrating in mud and water. When I returned to my place the sky was overcast with clouds and it rained. By Him Who sent Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) with the Truth, the sky was covered with clouds from the end of that day, and the mosque which was roofed with leafstalks of date palm trees (leaked with rain) and I saw the trace of mud and water over the nose of the Prophet and its tip.
What to do before Laylat al-Qadr
The whole month of holy Ramadan is full of blessings. To get the blessings of Shabe Qadr, as mentioned in Surah Qadar, a checklist of what to do on the night of Shabe Qadr is developed to facilitate you. Please try to worship according to this checklist on each odd night of the last ten days of Ramadan. However, you may define your own checklist of things to be done in the order of your choice. This will help you ensure the useful investment of your time on this auspicious Night of Power.
1. Keep fasting
Ramadan is the month of fasting. Muslims keep fasting during the whole month in order to get the blessings of the Allah Almighty. There are prescribed prayers for fasting (Roza rakhne ki dua), and breaking fast (Roza kholne ki dua).
2. Recite Ashura Duas
The word ‘Ashra’ means 10 days, and the holy month Ramadan is based on 30 days. The month is divided into three Ashras with specific names, features, and qualities respectively. These Ashras or stages of the holy month Ramadan are described below. Allah Almighty defined these Ashra and the Holy Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) told us:
- 1st Ashra of mercy (pehla Ashra Rehmat)
- 2nd Ashra is forgiveness (dosra ashra Maghfirat)
- and the 3rd Ashra is freedom from hellfire (Dozakh/Jahanum se Nijat).
3. Offer Taraweeh Prayers
Taraweeh is one of the most significant practices of Muslims during the holy month of Ramadan. It is although a non-obligatory but is offered with the belief that they will be rewarded with the divine gifts and their prior sins may be pardoned.
The holy month Ramadan brings us the increased worship, fasting during the day, and offering special prayers at night. These special prayers at night are known as Taraweeh. Taraweeh prayer means “rest prayer” as after each of the four rakaats, Muslims sit for a brief period of rest and recite the Taraweeh Dua before continuing further.
4. Do Itikaf
During the holy month of Ramadan, Muslims go into isolation at Masjid (mosque) for the last 10 days. Considering the importance of Itikaf, the prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) asked the Muslims to stay in isolation at the mosque and worship Allah Almighty during this period to find the Laylat al Qadr. This isolated worship of Allah while maintaining certain conditions, is called Itikaf.
Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) practiced spending the last ten days and nights of the holy month Ramadan in the masjid, for Itikaf. During Itikaf the person stays in the masjid (mosque) performs various forms of zikr (the remembrance of Allah). Such as Nafil Salat, recitation of the Quran. They do not go outside the masjid except in case of emergencies.
5. Prepare a list of things to do
Prepare a list of things to do on the night of Shabe Qadr. Seems difficult, do not worry, we have prepared a checklist of things to do on the night of Laylat al-Qadr. It will facilitate you on this auspicious night. This checklist is just a guideline, you may amend it according to your convenience and act accordingly.
What to do on the night of Laylat al-Qadr
As mentioned in Surah Qadar, the following steps will help you gather the blessings of the Laylat al-Qadar:
- Staying awake during the whole night may exhaust you, therefore, have a good sleep in the day time. And it will help you stay awake for longer hours and worship with concentration.
- Take a shower in the evening to refresh and get yourself ready for the Shabe Qadr.
- Prepare yourself mentally (Intention) that you will worship in Laylat al- Qadr.
Guidelines to worship on the night of Laylat al-Qadr
If you want to get the blessings and rewards related to the Laylat al-Qadr, please follow the following steps:
1. Avoid meaningless talk
Avoid meaningless talk in social gatherings on this blessed night.
2. Evaluate yourself
Imagine that if you die on this night, what good deeds will you carry and what sins you have committed so far. How you will be treated, do you have sufficient good deeds to protect you from the Jahanum (hell). This evaluation will lead you to feel happiness for the good deeds and remorse for the sins you might have committed. This evaluation will make it easier for you to seek Allah’s sincere forgiveness when making the Dua.
3. Offer Nafil Salah (optional prayer)
Nafil prayer is much rewarding worship on this blessed night. Try to read the translation and explanation beforehand, and then pray. It will help you understand the message of the Surahs and pray with concentration. Although it is better but not necessary to remember and recite long Surahs in the prayers, you may recite even if you are familiar with the shorter Surahs.
4. Recite the Quran
Recite the Quran with Translation, including Surah Qadar. You should also try to Memorize the small Surah/passage of the holy Quran.
5. Recite the Laylat-al-Qadr Dua
Please recite the following dua (supplication) as much as you can and seek forgiveness of Allah Almighty.
اللَّهُمَّ إِنَّكَ عَفُوٌّ تُحِبُّ الْعَفْوَ فَاعْفُ عَنِّي
6. Switch between different forms of worship
To get true blessings with concentration, frequently switch between different forms of worship. For example, offer Nafil Salah, then recite some verses from the Holy Quran, again offer Nafil Salah and perform Zikr, etc.
7. Take small breaks
You may feel sleepy or tired so you should take small breaks in between and perform Zikr (the remembrance of Allah), for example:
- Allahu Akbar
- Subhan Allah
8. Do Astaghfar:
Recite the following dua (supplication) to seek forgiveness of Allah Almighty.
أسْتَغْفِرُ اللهَ رَبي مِنْ كُلِ ذَنبٍ وَأتُوبُ إلَيهِ
Abu Huraira narrated that the Messenger said: Whoever stands (in prayer) in Laylatul Qadr while nourishing his faith with self-evaluation, expecting reward from Allah, will have all of his previous sins forgiven. [Bukhari and Muslim).
Sahih Bukhari: 35
9. Ask Allah Almighty for the forgiveness of your parents
Weather deceased or alive, our parents deserve that we ask Allah Almighty for forgiveness of our parents. If deceased, we should also ask for their higher position in the Jannat ul Firdous (most higher rank in the paradise). Following dua (supplications) are most suitable and rewarding in this regard.
ربِّ اغْفِرْ وَارْحَمْ وَأَنْتَ خَيْرُ الرَّاحِمِينَ
رَبَّنَا اغْفِرْ لِي وَلِوَالِدَيَّ وَلِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ يَوْمَ يَقُومُ الْحِسَابَُ
10. Ask Allah Almighty for the things important to you
Shabe Qadr is a night of blessings and reward, thus ask yourself and prepare a list of what really you want from Allah. You may forget what you want when the time comes. Allah loves to hear from us, so prepare the list of each and everything, no matter how small or big. The preferred time to do this is during the last part of the night.
Abu Huraira, may Allah be pleased with him, related that the Prophet said: When the last one-third of the night remains, our Lord, the Glorious One descends towards the heaven of the earth and proclaims: Who is that who supplicates for Me, and I grant his supplication? Who are that who begs Me for anything and I grant it to him? And who is that who seeks My forgiveness, and I forgive him? (Bukhari, Muslim).
May Allah Almighty help us to the right path, strengthen our faith, and help us to worship and get the blessings of every moment, especially of this auspicious and blessed Laylat al-Qadr.