The Last Ten Nights of Ramadan and the Night of Qadr

~ 21st Night – Wednesday 13th May 2020

~ 23rd Night – Friday 15th May 2020

~ 25th Night – Sunday 17th May 2020

~ 27th Night – Tuesday 19th May 2020

~ 29th Night – Thursday 21st May 2020

~ We are now entering the last ten nights of Ramadan. These are the most virtuous nights of the year in which the prophet (ﷺ) used to increase in worship.

Aisha narrated that with the start of the last ten days of Ramadan, the Prophet used to tighten his waist belt (i.e. work hard) and used to pray all the night, and used to keep his family awake for the prayers. [Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith 3.241]

Within these nights occurs a special night called the Night of Qadr ( Night of Power or decree)

One of the blessings of this night is that the Qur’an was revealed on the Night of Al Qadr. This is mentioned in the Qur’an itself.

Verily!  We have sent it (this Qur’an) down in this night of Power/Decree [97:1]

It is further mentioned again as the blessed night in which the decrees are sent.

We sent it (this Qur’an) down on a blessed night (Laylatul Mubarakan). Verily, We are ever warning. Therein (that night) is decreed every matter of ordainments. Amran (i.e. a Command or this Qur’an or the Decree of every matter) from Us. Verily, We are ever sending (the Messengers), [44:3-5]

The Night of Qadr is a night of power worth more than a thousand months

Qadr means power or decree and the night has both aspects.

As for the power, it is a special night that is equivalent to more than a thousand months of worship.

“We revealed it on the night of power [that is, qadr]. What will tell you what the night of power is? It is better than a thousand months.” [98:1-4]

Abu Hurayrah said that when Ramadan came Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “Ramadan, a blessed month, has come to you during which Allah has made it obligatory for you to fast. In it the gates of Heaven are opened, the gates of al-Jahim are locked, and the rebellious devils are chained. In it Allah has a night which is better than a thousand months.  He who is deprived of its good has indeed suffered deprivation.” [Ahmed 2.230, Nisa’i 4.129]

Thus an action done on this night is equivalent to one done for over a thousand months which translates as 83 years and four months (excluding the night of Al Qadr within those years). Some said that this was not an exact time, but an indication of the great amount of reward.

It was revealed to give the believers a chance to increase their good deeds because of our short life spans compared to the people of earlier generations, such as Nuh (as) who called people to Islam for 950 years.

Abu Hurayrah narrated that Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said, “The term of life of my people ranges between sixty and seventy years, and very few live longer.” [Al-Tirmidhi Hadith 5280]

The prophet (ﷺ) gave examples of worshippers of the past and they were unhappy that they did not have as much opportunity to worship Allah, so Allah revealed this night as a gift to the believers.

Ziyad related to me from Malik that he had heard a man he trusted of the people of knowledge say, “The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was shown the lifespans of the people (who had gone) before him, or what Allah willed of that, and it was as if the lives of the people of his community had become too short for them to be able to do as many good actions as others before them had been able to do with their long lives, so Allah gave him Laylat al-Qadr, which is better than a thousand months.”  [Al-Muwatta 634]

The Night of Decree is when decrees are written

Another meaning for Qadr is decree, or predestination. In this night people can be successful or not depending on their decree.

Anas told of Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) saying when Ramadan began, “This month has come to you, and it contains a night which is better than a thousand months. He who is deprived of it is deprived of all good, but only those who are denied prosperity are deprived of it.” [Ibn Majah 3.1644, Al-Tirmidhi 1964]

Thus the angels descend on this night with the decrees for the coming year; who will live, die, make money lose money, marry, have children etc.

We sent it (this Qur’an) down on a blessed night. Verily, We are ever warning. Therein (that night) is decreed every matter of ordainments. Amran (i.e. a Command or this Qur’an or the Decree of every matter) from Us. Verily, We are ever sending (the Messengers), [44:3-5]

The angels descend, lead by Jibreel (as) with the decrees of the people, wishing peace upon the believers until Fajr.

Therein descend the angels and the Ruh [Jibrael] therein by the Permission of the Lord, with all commands, Therein is decreed every matter.  [97:3-6]

Anas ibn Malik reported that Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said that when Laylat al-Qadr comes, Gabriel descends with a company of angels who invoke blessings on ever who is standing or sitting and remembering Allah, who is Great and Glorious. [Al-Tirmidhi 2096]

These decrees are one segment of the decrees, as the decrees are sent for whole life spans, for the year and for each.

It is also considered a night of greatness and honour because people are elevated because of their repentance.

When is the Night of Qadr?

It is thought to occur in the last odd ten nights of Ramadan. So it is the 21st 23rd 25th 27th or 29th night. It should be borne in mind that the night precedes the day, so the 21st night starts after Maghrib on the 20th day. There are narrations that mentions all of these nights but many people think it is likely to be the 27th night of Ramadan. Some say the night is not fixed and this is popular view amongst the earlier scholars.

Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her, said that Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “Search for the Night of Qadr in the odd nights of the last ten days of Ramadan.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari 3.234]

So, although we do not know which night it is, we have indicators to tell us which night it was based upon some of the signs.

The prophet (ﷺ) gave some indications on how to identify the night of Qadr. The first is that in the morning the sun rises bright without rays.

Ubayy ibn K’ab said: By Allah, and there is no God but Him, it is during Ramadan–and He swore to that–and by Allah, I know what night it is. It is the night during which the Prophet ordered us to make prayers, the night of the 27th. Its sign is that the sun rises in the morning white and without any rays.” [Sahih Muslim Hadith 2633]

Other indications are that it is a mild night and very serene.

‘Ubaadah ibn As-Saamit may Allah be pleased with him that the Messenger of Allah, (ﷺ), said: “Indeed, the sign of the Night of Al-Qadr is that it is bright and pure as if the moon is shining in it, still and tranquil, neither cold nor hot. On it, it is impossible for a star to be shot [at a devil] until morning comes. Its [other] sign is that in the morning after it, the sun rises brightly and without rays, similar to a full moon; and it is impossible for Satan to come out with it on that day.” [Ahmad]

What to do in the last ten nights?

It is a night of seeking forgiveness, worship and dhikr and all sins can be forgiven during this night so the night should be spent in worship, remembrance of Allah and seeking forgiveness.

Abu Hurayrah said that the Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Whoever established prayers on the night of Qadr out of sincere faith and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven; and whoever fasts in the month of Ramadan out of sincere faith, and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith 3.125]

The etiquette is to recite Qur’an, pray and make du’a asking for forgiveness. As to the supplication during the Night of Qadr,

Aisha asked Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) to tell her what prayers to say on Laylat al-Qadr if she knew which night it was, and he told her to say,

“O Allah, You are the Forgiving and love forgiveness, so please forgive me.  

(Allahumma Innaka ‘Afuw-wun Tuhibbul ‘Afwa Fa’fu ‘Anee).” [Al-Tirmidhi Hadith 2091]

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