14 RAMADAN 1442: KHATAM OF THE QUR’AN AND THE TIMING OF THEM

14 Ramadan 1442

[ مقدار قراءة القرآن العظيم عند السلف ]

The Recitation of the Grand Qur’an according to the First Three Generations

قال أبو الفرج ابن قدامة المقدسي رحمه الله :

Imam Abul Faraj Al-Maqdisi (d.698), may Allah be pleased with him, said:

 ” فأما مِقدار القراءة فقد اختلفت فيه عادات السلف، فمنهم من كان يختم كل يوم وليلة ختمة، ومنهم أكثر من ذالك، ومنهم من كان يختم في ثلاثٍ ختمة، ومنهم من كان يختم في كل شهر، اشتغالاً بالتدبر أو بنشر العلم أو بتعليمه أو بنوع من التعبد غير القرأة.

In terms of the completion of the Qur’an and how long it would take to do so, there was difference of opinion in the habits of the First Three Generations. Some of them would make a khatam of the Qur’an every one day and night. Some of them did more khatams than that. Some of them would make a khatam every three days while others would do so every month, busying themselves with reflecting on its meanins, spreading knowledge, learning and other forms of worship besides the recitation.

قال ابن عباس رضي الله عنه؛ لأن اقرأ البقرة وآل عمران وأرتلهما وأتدبرهما أَحبّ إلي من أن أقرأ القرآن كله هذرمة، ومن وجد خلسة في وقتٍ فاليغتنم القراءة ليفوز بكثرة الثواب، فقد كان عثمان رضي الله عنه يقرأ القرآن في ركعة يوتر بها، وكان الشافعي رحمه الله يختم في رمضان ستين ختمة “.

Ibn `Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “Recitation of Al-Baqarah and Ali `Imran with slowness and reflecting upon them is more beloved to me that reciting the Qur’an in totality with quickness”. So whoever is able to take pleasure in a particular time, then let him seek the riches of the recitation in order to be successful and gathering abundant reward. `Uthman ibn `Affan, may Allah be pleased with him, used to recite and complete the Qur’an in one raka`ah of his witr. Imam Ash-Shafi`ii used to make some 60 khatams in the month of Ramadan.

مختصر منهاج القاصدين.

And this was cited by the Imam in Mukhtasar Minhaj ul-Qasidin.

13 RAMADAN 1442: IS THE JUMU`AH NIGHT OR LAILAT UL-QADR GREATER IN RANK? CONCLUSION

13 Ramadan 1442

Sixthly, Ubayy ibn Ka`b narrated: I heard the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said, “Maintain Lailat ul-Qadr on the 27th of Ramadan. It is a night of immense and pure joy. The weather on that night is neither exceedingly cold or exceedingly hot. The sun comes up in the morning right after and it has no luminescence around the disk. Whoever is able to make ghusl for it and delay the suhur until the end of its time, then let him also make his iftar on pure milk”.

Seventhly, It is narrated by `Ubadah ibn As-Samit, who mentioned that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said, “Lailat ul-Qadr is a night splendid with a moon in which the stars are not out and that night remains so until the morning comes. And the evidence of this night is that the sun comes up in the morning right after and it has no luminescence around the disk. It will resemble the moon on a full moon night and Allah has made it forbidden for the demons to come out at that time”.[1]

Eighthly, Abu Hurairah narrated that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said, “The angels that descend on that night are more than can be reckoned”.[2]

Ninthly, and there is also the narrative from Abu Hurairah to the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, “Whoever should stand in salah on Lailat ul-Qadr with iman and longing shall have whatever sins he had committed previously forgiven”.[3]

And then finally, there is the statement Imam Al-Awza`ii narrated from `Abdah ibn Abi Lubabah who remarked, “I tasted some water from the ocean on 27th Ramadan and found that it had been given a sweet taste”.[4]

The answer to all of this is that some of these texts have already been narrated and discussed. And we have put answers in place that counter their application. Some of these texts only establish the rank of Lailat ul-Qadr in and of itself and this is not under discussion.

Our only difference of opinion is its rank over all other nights. And there is no evidence of Lailat ul-Qadr necessarily being more preferred or virtuous than the Jumu`ah night. And Allah knows best.

Praise be to Allah who is Alone and Unique in His Oneness. And peace and blessings be upon our master, Muhammad.

Al-Qadi Abu Ya`la Muhammad ibn Al-Hussain Al-Farra’ Al-Baghdadi (380-458)

This manuscript was dictated by Muhammad ibn Muhammad As-Salihi Al-Manbiji (d.785)


[1] Musnad of Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal, hadith#22765

[2] Collected by Abu Dawud At-Tayalisi, hadith#2688 and Ahmad ibn Hanbal in his Musnad, hadith#10734

[3] As collected by Imams Al-Bukhari and Muslim

[4] Al-`ilal by `Abdullah ibn Ahmad ibn Hanbal, statement #2777.

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12 Ramadan 1442

I looked into what was mentioned by Ahmad ibn Al-Hussain ibn Ya`qub ibn Muqsim Al-Maqri on this topic and he said, “As for the question which led to the difference of opinion on the Jumu`ah night and Lailat ul-Qadr, the discussion centred around which one was better in rank and virtue?”

So every one of our companions went to the position of the veneration of one of these two nights over the other and there are two statements on the matter. And using the principles and many indicative texts, there are outstanding proofs for either side and it is not for anyone to attribute a mistake to the one who holds either position.

The position of holding the rank of Jumu`ah night over others is conditioned on two things:

  1. Jumu`ah night is specified by times and it is well known to have been witnessed by the elite and laity – whether it be male or female, young or old, blind or sighted – and the blessing of this day reaches the living and the deceased while Lailat ul-Qadr is not specified and there is a boundary to this day at one moment that is not the case for the Jumu`ah night.
  • Jumu`ah night occurs again and again and its reward increases over just the one night of Lailat ul-Qadr. Do you know see that the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, when it was mentioned to him the rank of one man over the other that he also name both of them and declared they both had virtue? Then he declared one preferred over the other.

So when the preferred one died in his, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, lifetime and the one giving rank over him was still alive and then died not long after, he, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, mentioned his rank and preferred him over the first one that had died. It was then said to him, “Messenger of Allah, Did you not mention that the one before was better?”

So the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said, “So where is his salah after the salah of the other one? And where is his sawm after the sawm of the other one? And where is his sadaqah after the sadaqah of the other one?”[1]

So he declared that the one preferred had his righteous deeds multiplied and the reward doubled. So then he mentioned that the rank of the one preferred was several and he made it clear. So that which we cited makes clear the virtue of Lailat ul-Qadr in and of itself as per the last point mentioned at the beginning of the text.

I also looked into what was mentioned by Abu Hafs ibn Shahin and he mentioned things indicating the favour and virtue of Lailat ul-Qadr over the Jumu`ah night and chose that position as per the following reasons:

Firstly, the first of what was sent down of the Qur’an was in the month of Ramadan on Lailat ul-Qadr and the whole Qur’an was waiting at the nearest sky. And then it came down in regular intervals like that for the next 20 years.

“The Qur’an was sent down all at once on Lailat ul-Qadr to the lowest sky. And thus when Allah so willed that some of it be revealed, He would bring that about when the time came”.[2]

And this rank and virtue is not paralleled by any night besides.

Secondly, it is preferred as He ordered mankind in masse to seek it out when He said,

Seek out what Allah ordained for you.[3]

Thirdly, Allah made it the night in which Allah hands down the judgement that is to come to pass for the coming year, everything to do with who is to live and who is to die. And it was narrated as the preferred night.

And it is narrated from Mujahid who recited this ayah:

Indeed We sent it down in Lailat ul-Qadr.[4]

Mujahid said, “This is the night of decisive judgement being handed down”.[5]

Fourthly, Allah made it the best night in the best month and out of all the nights, Lailat ul-Qadr was the best of all of this given. And this understanding was narrated from Ka`b in which he said, “Indeed Allah, Exalted be He, chose the hours and then He chose the hours set aside for the salah times. And He chose the days and chose out of them the Jumu`ah day. And He chose the months and out of that chose the month of Ramadan. And He then chose the nights and out of them chose Lailat ul-Qadr”.[6]

Fifthly, Allah, Exalted be He, did not reveal to anyone from those before, those after, the prophets and messengers in sleep or wakefulness like what was given to our Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, for indeed the Qur’an was sent down to him. He was given the Qur’an in wakefulness and visions and he was shown the truth until it dawned upon him.

And the first revelation came to him and dawned upon him and he informed people of that in the conviction that they would take joy in the revelation and he declared this to the first two men he approached and they forgot it. To the Ummah at large, he told them to seek Lailat ul-Qadr in the last ten nights of Ramadan.

And it is not because they saw it revealed to them. But they looked for the favour of the day in the last ten nights. So these blessings of looking for Lailat ul-Qadr in the last ten nights is not matched by the Jumu`ah night or any other night. And this blessing was not seen by another after him.

And anyone who should claim after the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, that they saw what he did, indeed they are on falsehood and when such a one is asked what he saw, he can’t qualify it in truth. And when that is seen, the claimant to prophethood is scandalised for his falsehood.


[1] Musnad of Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal, hadith#16074

[2] Musannaf of Imam Abu Bakr ibn Abi Shaibah, hadith#20813

[3] Surat ul-Baqarah (2), ayah 187

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

[5] Abdur-Razzaq in his tafsir, vol.2, pp.385-386

[6] Al-Asbahani’s Hilyat ul-Awliya’, vol.6, pp.14-15

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It has been said by some that an evidence of the superiority of the Lailat ul-Qadr is that the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, forbade that the Jumu`ah night be specifically set aside for worship and then making sawm in its daytime.

And yet the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, enjoined people to carry through these actions on Lailat ul-Qadr. Remember that the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said, “Whoever should stand in salah on Lailat ul-Qadr with iman and longing shall have whatever sins he had committed previously forgiven”.[1]

They thus see this as establishing the proof that Lailat ul-Qadr is higher in rank and virtue than the Jumu`ah night.

The answer to the statement above is that the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, forbidding the singling out of Jumu`ah for certain action is not evidence of its lacking in rank when compared with Lailat ul-Qadr and that Lailat ul-Qadr is above it in rank.

Have you not seen that he, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, forbade from salah after the `Asr and Fajr times? And then there is the statement of the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, “There are two salahs in which the angels of the day and night bear witness to them and they ascend and descend at those times”.

And likewise he forbade from singling out the two `Eids and the Days of Tashriq for making sawm and yet they are better than all other days besides them.

And it has also been mentioned that he, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, forbade from singling it out for standing in the night in salah out of respect for its day as one will be in the Jumu`ah salah. And in the same way we are not to precede by a day or two days the month of Ramadan out of respect for it.

And it stands to reason that the prohibition of standing in salah in the Jumu`ah night is on account of the fact that one might sleep and then possibly miss the salah on the day of Jumu`ah.

Answering the statement regarding the prohibition of making siyam on the day of the Jumu`ah

The answer to this claim can be tendered in two ways:

  1. The Jumu`ah is an `Eid and thus it is not permitted to make sawm on an `Eid
  2. One is not to make sawm as he might be weakened at the time of the Jumu`ah salah in the Central Masjid

[1] As collected by Imams Al-Bukhari and Muslim

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10 Ramadan 1442

The Companions, `Abdullah ibn Mas`ud, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said, “Every single Jumu`ah night, Allah, Mighty and Majestic, looks at His Creation three times and He shall forgive whoever did not associate any partners with Allah at all”.

The Companion, Jabir ibn `Abdullah, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said, “Whoever died on the day or night of the Jumu`ah shall be saved from the Punishment of Allah, Mighty and Majestic, and on the Day of Resurrection shall be upon the way of the martyrs”.[1]

And there is also a narrative from Anas ibn Malik who mentioned that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said, “Every single day or night of the Jumu`ah, Allah, Mighty and Majestic, looks at the whole of the earthly life and frees 100,000 souls from those who declare Him to be One and Unique from punishment and those who merit such”.[2]

And Anas ibn Malik also narrated a hadith in which the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said, “The night of Jumu`ah is a time of luminescence and its day is one of radiance and more so. Two angels, one in the east and one in the west, call out after the `Isha’ on the night of the Jumu`ah, the middle of the night and just before daybreak with the following: who is repenting so that he might have it accepted? Is there anyone asking anything so that it might be given? Is there anyone seeking safety so that he might have it guaranteed for him? Is there anyone interceding so that the intercession might be granted?”[3]


[1] Abu Nu`aim Al-Asbahani’s Hilyat ul-Awliya’ wal-Asfiya’, vol.3, pp.154-1555

[2] Al-Khatib Al-Baghdadi’s Tarikh Baghdad, vol.11, pp.25-26

[3] Collected with different wording in the Musnad of Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal, hadith#2346

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9 Ramadan 1442

Ibn `Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said, “Lailat ul-Qadr is better than one thousand months”.

Ibn `Abbas explained that this means Lailat ul-Qadr is better than one thousand months of worshipping in the night and making sawm in the day. There is no month like the night it falls in so whoever should make worship at that time then he had been saved by making worship that is worth one thousand months.

Anas ibn Malik narrated: I heard the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, saying, “When Lailat ul-Qadr has arrived, the Angel Jibril – peace be upon him – descends in a gathering of angels and he is bearing two special wings with jewels and rubies that he does not wear at any time except for one time in one night. And it is here where the Exalted One has said,”

The angels descend in ranks in that night and the Spirit by the permission of their Lord in every affair and peace is the order at the time…[1]

“The angels referened in this ayah are under the Lote Tree of the Uttermost Boundary while the Spirit is in reference to the Angel Jibril – peace be upon him – who descends”.[2]

Ma`mar narrated that Qatadah recited the following ayah:

in every affair…[3]

And Qatadah remarked about the portion, “It is ordered what is to be in the upcoming year and onwards”.

Al-A`mash narrated from Mujahid, who recited the portion,

in every affair and peace is the order at the time until the coming of the Fajr.[4]

Mujahid then remarked, “It is a night of peace and safety in which none is blotted out and no demon descends upon the people”.

The answer brought by those giving precedence to Lailat ul-Qadr is to state that these texts all indicate the favour, rank and bounty of Lailat ul-Qadr in and of itself. And this is correct. In the case of trying to use these texts to establish that it has rank over all other nights, then this is not the case.

Texts regarding the night of Jumu`ah that contradict the understanding that Lailat ul-Qadr is superior

It was narrated by Ibn `Umar who said that the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, declared, “Whoever died on the day or the night of the Jumu`ah, Allah shall save him from the punishment of the grave and those who come to take account and question at the time”.[5]


[1] Surat ul-Qadr (97), ayat 4-5

[2] Al-Baihaqi in Shu`ab ul-Iman, vol.5, pp.275-276

[3] Surat ul-Qadr (97), ayat 4-5

[4] Surat ul-Qadr (97), ayat 4-5

[5] Collected by Imam Ahmad in his Musnad, hadith #s 6646 and 7050.

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8 Ramadan 1442

And there is a further proof that they quote in which there is the statement of the Exalted One.

In this night every matter is resolved.[1]

And they state that this is in reference to Lailat ul-Qadr. The answer to deducing this ayah as proof is that it is also stated as referring to the 15th of Sha`ban. And according to most of what is discussed by this party we are agreed upon, namely that Lailat ul-Qadr has a rank and virtue in and of itself and we don’t negate this at all.

Our difference of opinion rests on giving Lailat ul-Qadr rank over all other nights in favour and virtue and not on the indication regarding the ayah in which Lailat ul-Qadr is explicitly mentioned.

And further to all the proofs and narratives cited regarding the rank of Lailat ul-Qadr, these same texts indicate its rank in and of itself and not over and above each and every other night.

The narratives making reference to the rank and virtue of Lailat ul-Qadr

Ikrimah narrated from Ibn `Abbas, may Allah be pleased with both of them, who stated, “The Qur’an was sent down all at once on Lailat ul-Qadr to the lowest sky. And thus when Allah so willed that some of it be revealed, He would bring that about when the time came”.[2]

Abul Jawza’ also narrated from Ibn `Abbas, may Allah be pleased with both of them, that he recited the ayah,

And seek out what Allah has ordained for you.[3]

Ibn `Abbas said of this, “It is in reference to Lailat ul-Qadr”.[4] Imam Al-Awza`ii narrated from `Abdah ibn Abi Lubabah who remarked, “I tasted some water from the ocean on 27th Ramadan and found that it had been given a sweet taste”.[5]

Abu Hurairah also narrated from the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, who said, “Whoever should stand in salah on Lailat ul-Qadr with iman and longing shall have whatever sins he had committed previously forgiven”.[6]


[1] Surat ud-Dukhan (44), ayah 4

[2] Musannaf of Imam Abu Bakr ibn Abi Shaibah, hadith#20813

[3] Surat ul-Baqarah (2), ayah 186

[4] Al-Jarh wat-Ta`dil, vol.1, pp.316-317

[5] Al-`ilal by `Abdullah ibn Ahmad ibn Hanbal, statement #2777.

[6] As collected by Imams Al-Bukhari and Muslim