Lailat ul-Qadr: The Ummah’s Blessing

Surat ul-Qadr

Surat ul-Qadr (97), ayat 1-5

The Grand Marja`, Imam Mustafa as-Suyuti ar-Ruhaibani (d. 1243 AH), when mentioning Lailat ul-Qadr (the Night of Power), said the following:

The best of nights is the Night of Power. The Exalted One has said,

The Night of Power is better than one thousand months.[1]

The scholars of commentary stated, “The intent of the ayah is that standing in prayer and actions done on this night is better than one thousand months doing the same thing but devoid of this night.”

It was narrated from Abu Hurairah, may Allah be pleased with him, in an attributable hadith where the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said, “Whoever stood in the Night of Power with faith and full focus shall have all his previous sins forgiven.” The narration of Imam Ahmad includes the statement, “And what shall come after.”

This night is specifically set aside for this Ummah out of nobility being shown to the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, of this Ummah and this blessing will remain and not be lifted.

The fact that the blessing of the Night of Power remains and is not lifted is because there are narrations enjoining everyone to seek the Night of Power and to stand in prayer. This is the correct position as opposed to those holding the position that the blessing was lifted after his death, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him.

The Shaikh, Taqi ud-Din Ibn Taymiyyah said, “The Night Journey in terms of the rank of the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, is more virtuous than the Night of Power; but the Night of Power is better for the Ummah and this is the meaning of the statement of Abu Umamah and Al-Balqini.

Ibn ul-Qayyim further remarked, “If the intent of the Shaikh was that the Night Journey with all of its’ portents and its’ coming every year is more virtuous than the Night of Power and that standing in prayer and supplicating on the day of the Night Journey is better than the Night of Power, then this is false.

Such a statement was never made by any of the Muslims and it is also a statement that is well known to be corrupt as per the contradictions with other texts.

But if someone said that the Night Journey and its’ portents is better than the Night of Power and meant by that the specific day in which the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, was taken up and that what was given to him was not given at any other time to anyone else – without saying that standing in prayer or worship is better than the Night of Power – such a statement would be correct.

This is authentic if he stood by such a statement, as this night is an evidence itself on that Allah gave manifest favours to His Prophet on the Night Journey that were greater than the favours given to him by the sending down of the Qur’an on the Night of Power.

It should be said that this distinction is only known by Revelation and it is not for anyone to speak on such matters without knowledge.

It is also not known that any of the Companions specified any worship commemorating the Night Journey.  Furthermore, it was not even agreed on which exact day the Night Journey occurred.[2]

Even if the Night Journey – in and of itself with the magnificent favours and blessings that it possesses – is better than the Night of Power, no standing in prayer, supplication or worship was ever ordained on that day.

The same can be said for the fact that the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, did not favour the Cave of Hira’ – where he received the first revelation and the Qur’an was sent down to him – over any other cave nor did he specify that the day in which the Revelation commenced had any specific standing in prayer or supplication attached to it.”

Imam Mansur al-Buhuti, may Allah be pleased with him, said in his commentary on the Satisfaction,[3] “It is necessary for someone to remember that the statement of Abu Umamah and Shaikh Taqi ud-Din Ibn Taymiyyah and those who agree with them regarding the matter of comparing the Night Journey with the Night of Power in every year is excluding comparison between the Night Journey and that which was sent of the Qur’an.”

It is referred to as the Night of Power due to the fact that all of what is to be ordained for that year is revealed as the Exalted One has said,

In it is set apart every matter of wisdom.[4]

It has also been said that it is referred to as the Night of Power due to the nobility of its’ rank. The nobility of this night was already discussed above just moments ago.

This night is specifically in the last ten nights of Ramadan and we have been commanded to seek it out as per the statement of the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, “Seek out the Night of Power in the last ten nights of Ramadan.” This is collected by Imams al-Bukhari and Muslim in their collections.

Looking for the Night of Power in the odd nights is especially emphasised due to the statement of the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, “Seek them out in the last ten nights in the last three odd nights or in the remaining three, the remaining seven or nine.”

The last seven is the most well known position as explicitly mentioned by Imam Ahmad and it is also the statement of Ubai ibn Ka`b and he even swore that this was true and he did not make any exception and the same holds true for Ibn `Abbas and Zirr ibn Hubaish.

Ubai ibn Ka`b said, “By Allah, Ibn Mas`ud knew that it was in the month of Ramdan and it was the night of the 27th but he disliked informing you as you might abandon seeking it out in the last ten nights.” This is collected by Imam at-Tirmidhi in his Sunan and classed as authentic by him.

It is also narrated from Mu`awiyah that the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said, “The Night of Power is on the 27th night of Ramadan.” This is collected by Imam Abu Dawud in his Sunan.

The sign of the Night of Power having elapsed is that the day and night of it is neither hot nor cold. This is based on the hadith of the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him,

“The sign of the Night of Power having come is that the night of it is clear and the moon is splendid and tranquil without excessive light. The night will be neither cold nor hot nor will there be any shooting star until the coming of the daylight.

Another sign that it has come is that in the morning when the sun rises, it will be on the horizon and splendid but without rays around it just as the full moon would appear. Shaitan can not come out on that day or bring anything with it.”

Another sign mentioned is that when the sun rises, it is white and luminous but without rays around it. This is based on the hadith of Ubai ibn Ka`b where the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said, “The sun comes up in the morning and appears white without any rays around it.” In another narration, the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said, “Like the full moon at night.”

It is sunnah to make consistent supplication on the Night of Power according to the hadith of `A’ishah where she said, “Messenger of Allah, If I should come to the Night of Power, what shall I say in supplication?” He replied, “Allah! You pardon and You love to pardon so pardon me!” This is collected by Imam Ahmad in his Musnad and others.

Taken from Matalib Uwl in-Nuha Fi Sharhi Ghayat il-Muntaha, vol.2, pp. 325-327


[1] Surat ul-Qadr (97), ayah 3

[2] Tr. note: This was further mentioned by Imam Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali, “It was narrated that in the month of Rajab, there were numerous wondrous incidents that happened but none of that is authentic. It was also narrated that the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, was born in the first night of the month of Rajab and that he was sent to the world on the 27th of Rajab or on the 25th of Rajab according to one account. Nothing authentic has been established from such accounts. It has been narrated with a chain that is inauthentic from Al-Qasim ibn Muhammad that the Night Journey of the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, was on the 27th of Rajab. This was further repudiated by Ibrahim al-Harbi and others besides him.” Taken from Lata’if ul-Ma`arif Fima Li-Mawasim il-`Ami Min al-Waza’if, pp. 134-135.

[3] Ar. Al-Iqna`

[4] Surah Fussilat (41), ayah 4

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