RELIGION
07/13/2015 02:36 pm ET Updated Jul 13, 2015

What Is Laylat Al Qadr, The 'Night Of Power?'

Lebanese Muslim boys read from the Koran, Islam's holy book, during the holy fasting month of Ramadan, at a mosque in the sou
AFP/Getty Images: Lebanese Muslim boys read from the Koran, Islam's holy book, at a mosque in Sidon, on Laylat al-Qadr, or Night of Destiny, when Muslims believe the first verses of the Koran were revealed to the Prophet Mohammed, on August 14, 2012.
Lebanese Muslim boys read from the Koran, Islam's holy book, during the holy fasting month of Ramadan, at a mosque in the southern Lebanese city of Sidon, on Laylat al-Qadr, or Night of Destiny, when Muslims believe the first verses of the Koran were revealed to the Prophet Mohammed, on August 14, 2012. AFP PHOTO / MAHMOUD ZAYYAT (Photo credit should read MAHMOUD ZAYYAT/AFP/GettyImages)

What Is Laylat Al Qadr?

Laylat Al Qadr is considered the holiest night of the year for Muslims, and is traditionally celebrated on the 27th day of Ramadan. It is known as the "Night of Power," and commemorates the night that the Quran was first revealed to the Prophet Muhammad, beginning with the exhortation, "Read! In the Name of your Lord, Who has created (all that exists)," in Surat Al-Alaq (Muhsin Khan translation).


When Is Laylat Al Qadr?

The Prophet Muhammad did not mention exactly when the Night of Power would be, although most scholars believe it falls on one of the odd-numbered nights of the final ten days of Ramadan, such as the 19th, 21st, 23rd, 25th, or 27th days of Ramadan. It is most widely believed to fall on the 27th day of Ramadan.

In 2015, Laylat Al Qadr is expected to fall on Monday, July 13, in the United States and the United Kingdom.

Scripture

The Quran says in Surat Al-Qadr,

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!

 

Iranian Shiite Muslims pray in Tehran in the early hours of July 7, 2015 in commemoration of the death of the seventh century
AFP/Getty Images
Iranian Shiite Muslims pray in Tehran in the early hours of July 7, 2015 in commemoration of the death of the seventh century Imam Ali bin Abi Taleb and in preparation for Laylat al-Qadr -- a high point during Ramadan when the Koran holy book was revealed to the Prophet Mohammed. Imam Ali, the first male convert to Islam, is the fourth caliph to succeed Prophet Mohammed, his cousin and father-in-law. AFP PHOTO/ATTA KENARE (Photo credit should read ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images)

 

Hadith

The importance of this night is also mentioned in hadith, which are the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad as remembered by his companions:

Whoever establishes the prayers on the night of Qadr out of sincere faith and hoping to attain Allah's rewards (not to show off) then all his past sins will be forgiven.

Hadith, Bukhari Vol 1, Book 2:34.

Observance

Muslims observe this occasion with study, devotional readings, and prayer, as the night's holiness is believe to make it a very good time for prayers to be answered. The last ten days of Ramadan are considered a particularly spiritually important time, as any of the days may be Laylat Al Qadr, and thus worshippers strive to be especially observant during this period. Some Muslims participate in a spiritual retreat called itikaf, where they spend all ten days in the mosque reading the Quran and praying.

Many Muslims will give emphasis to the 27th night of Ramadan being Laylatul Qadr, but the opinions on what day it is varies. The Qur'an doesn't mention a specific date for Laylatul Qadr and the Prophet Muhammad's recommendation to, "Seek it in the last 10 days, on the odd nights," indicates the importance of searching for it. I would recommend for those observing to take advantage of every night remaining and if we are amongst those who find ourselves in Ramadan next year, to stand in every night that we possibly can.

What one does while seeking out Laylatul Qadr will vary from person to person. Praying the Isha prayer, the night prayer, and the Fajr prayer, the prayer at dawn, in congregation is important as is every minute in between. Some will then stand for hours in ritual prayer. Others will read or listen to the Quran being recited. Some will sit with their hands raised to the skies with tears falling from their eyes as their hearts tremble out of devotion. 

PHOTO GALLERY
Ramadan Around The World 2015
CONVERSATIONS