The Meaning and Importance of the Night of Qadr

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The meaning of the Night of Qadr is “Night of Decree.” It refers to the night when the decisive matters decreed by Divine Will or many firm commandments are distinguished. The purpose of the decree is the manifestation of the eternal decree. Wise matters are finalized. It is understood that a kind of compilation of destiny is made on this night. In other words, it is the compilation from the Clear Imam to the Clear Book.

In particular, the benefits of the remembrance, prayers, and contemplation performed with awake eyes while everyone is asleep, in the dispersal of discord, the softening of hearts, and protection from the influence of Satan and sins, can only be understood through practice and experience. Do those who are enlightened at night remain unenlightened during the day?

Especially for those who turn their hearts towards the spiritual realm during blessed times, days, nights, even hours and minutes pass as if under a different enchantment… Those who make use of the nights containing sacred time periods seem to awaken and reach the eternal gardens with the lights emanating from their faith and conscience, peering behind the veil of existence with their emotions.

In Ramadan, the nights cloak everything with their own mysteries, embracing human emotions and thoughts with a distinct intimacy. With its nights and days, fasting, and tarawih prayers, Ramadan permeates our hearts and penetrates our beings. That’s why there is no other month as luminous in its nights and as radiant in its days as the Noble Ramadan. Furthermore, on the most blessed night of Ramadan, the Qur’an, which guides humanity, leads them to the right path and distinguishes truth from falsehood, begins to be revealed, containing the clearest and brightest evidence. This night is the Night of Decree, which is better than a thousand months.

The Night of Qadr

The Night of Qadr is named “The Night of Power”. The day of the descent of the final Divine Book, which will guide all humanity in this world and the hereafter until the Day of Judgment, and its anniversaries, are indeed exceptional days and it is very appropriate to celebrate them with ceremonies.

The Night of Qadr is the night when the Qur’an was revealed from the Preserved Tablet to the heavens of the world all at once. In the Qur’an, it is stated: “The month of Ramadan [is that] in which was revealed the Qur’an, a guidance for the people and clear proofs of guidance and criterion.”1

There is a separate chapter in the Qur’an that explains the meaning and importance of the Night of Qadr. This chapter, consisting of 5 verses, was revealed in Mecca. It is named after the phrase “laylatu’l-Qadr”, meaning “the Night of Decree”, which appears in the first verse. “Qadr” signifies “status, honor, value, greatness”. This chapter discusses the beginning of the revelation of the Qur’an, the great virtue and blessing of that night, the descent of angels and the Spirit, and the Divine peace that envelops the universe on that night. In the chapter, the Night of Qadr is described as follows: “We have indeed revealed this Qur’an in the Night of Qadr. And what will make you comprehend what the Night of Qadr is? The Night of Qadr is better than a thousand months. Therein descend the angels and the Spirit by the permission of their Lord with every command. It is peace, till the break of dawn.”2

In the chapter ad-Duhan (Smoke), it is stated: “By the clear Book, indeed, We sent it down during a blessed night. Indeed, We were to warn [mankind]. On that night is made distinct every precise

matter – [every] matter [proceeding] from Us. Indeed, We were to send [a Messenger] as a mercy from your Lord. Indeed, He is the Hearing, the Knowing.” 3 According to most commentators, this blessed night refers to the Night of Qadr.

There is a glad tiding from the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) that this night is a night of forgiveness: “Whoever fasts Ramadan with faith and seeking reward, his previous sins will be forgiven, and whoever spends the night of Lailat al-Qadr in prayer with faith and seeking reward, his previous sins will be forgiven.”4 Additionally, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) mentioned that fasting during the day of the Night of Qadr is equivalent to fasting for the entire year.5

What is the Origin of the Name “The Night of Qadr”?

The Night of Qadr manifests a sense of appreciation and significance. Therefore, we must understand the value of that night so that our own worth may be known. Furthermore, it is a night where, as a manifestation of God’s mercy, additional blessings are bestowed without considering merit.

The Night of Qadr is the accepted form of a prayer made by the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) due to his profound love for his Ummah (community of believers). It is said that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) was shown the lifespans of the people who came before him or a portion of these lifespans as God willed.

Upon this, he prayed, “May my Ummah accomplish deeds within their shorter lifespans that others with longer lifespans cannot.” God then granted him the Night of Qadr, which is better than a thousand months, excluding this night.6 This statement that this night is better than a thousand months is metaphorical and not applicable to everyone; it is for those who recognize and try to make the most of every night as if it were the Night of Qadr. It is as if one has been observing every night, and on this night, the cup of mercy overflows… Then the servant merges with the ocean with just a drop.

Bediüzzaman mentions regarding the reward to be given on this night that in Ramadan, the rewards for deeds are expressed in thousands. He says: “When the reward for every good deed at other times is tenfold, in the noble month of Rajab it is multiplied by a hundred, in the noble month of Sha’ban it increases to over three hundred, and in the blessed month of Ramadan, it reaches a thousand. On Friday nights, it is multiplied by thousands, and on the Night of Qadr, it is multiplied by thirty thousand.”7

When is the Night of Qadr?

The Absolute Qadir, God (may His glory be exalted), has not clearly revealed to the Ummah when the Night of Qadr occurs. It is well known that the Lord has hidden many significant matters in this world of trial. He has concealed the appointed time of death within one’s lifetime, His accepted saints among ordinary people, and His Greatest Name among His Beautiful Names.

Similarly, within Friday lies the hour of acceptance, within the five daily prayers lies the middle prayer (Salat al-Wusta), within all acts of worship lies Divine pleasure, within time lies the Day of Judgment, within life lies death, and within the days of Ramadan lies the Night of Qadr. 8 As long as these remain hidden, others will retain their value and importance. 9 The wisdom behind hiding certain things within others is to enhance the value of those other things. If such special matters were disclosed, the value of other things could diminish.10

According to a narration from the respected Aisha, the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) used to seclude himself for worship in the mosque during the last ten days of Ramadan

and would say, “Search for the Night of Qadr in the last ten days of Ramadan!” 11 In other narrations, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) stated that the Night of Qadr is one of the odd nights of the last ten or seven days of Ramadan (i.e., the 21st, 23rd, 25th, or 27th nights).12

The hadiths that indicate the Night of Qadr is on the 27th night of Ramadan have been widely accepted by most scholars 13 and embraced by the entire Muslim world. Regarding this acceptance, the interpretation of Bediüzzaman Said Nursi is as follows: “…The possibility that (the 27th) night is the Night of Qadr is very strong… Even if it is not the actual night, since the ummah regards that night with such reverence, hopefully, it will be accepted as such in reality. 14

The Secrecy of the Night of Qadr

Regarding the secrecy of the Night of Qadr, Hocaefendi makes the following evaluations: “There is a separate secret in the secrecy of this night. The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) first knew about it, and then he was made to forget it 15 so that it could be revived.

Perhaps only those who revive this night may be honored with Divine grace, but there is no doubt that those who recognize and revive every night as if it were the Night of Qadr will receive more and certain blessings.

“We should not be cheap in front of hidden treasures. I have never believed in cheapness. For example, I do not believe that those who are cheap will fully benefit from the Night of Qadr. Let them wait for a whole year; let them only observe the twenty-seventh night of Ramadan, thus they may be granted the Divine blessings bestowed upon those who truly appreciate the Night of Qadr in a manner befitting. This is unlikely to happen.

Therefore, Abu Hanifa – who, in my humble opinion, is the best representative of the reality of Ahmadiyya – says, “The Night of Qadr should not only be sought on specific nights but on each night within the three hundred and sixty-something days of the year. If you observe these three hundred and sixty-something nights with utmost sincerity, God will also bestow His favors upon your sincere heart.” The saying “Every night is Qadr, every person is Khidr!” is short but very comprehensive. Indeed, the respected Khidr is hidden among people. However, if you show respect to everyone, help those in need, lend a hand to everyone, and open your heart to all, one day you will encounter a Khidr among the believers, and your heart will blossom too.

Yes, if there is not a sincere attachment to God in your heart, you will find it difficult to find Qadr and Khidr. They only reveal their secrets to you when you find sincerity and honesty within your own heart when you search for what you pursue within yourself first. If you have a mentality of instant gratification if you are attached to the feeling of “Let me find it now, let me say it now, let me obtain it now!” then you will need to wait longer.

Footnotes

1.Surah al-Baqarah, 2/185.

2.Surah al-Qadr, 97/5.

3.Surah ad-Dukhan, 44/2-6.

4.Bukhari, Fasting 6, Tarawih 1, Laylat al-Qadr 1; Muslim, Travelers’ Prayer 173–176.

5.Ibn Majah, Fasting 39.

6.Malik, Muwatta, Itiqaf 6.

7.Bediüzzaman Said Nursi, Şualar, 575.

8.Bediüzzaman Said Nursi, Sözler, 309.

9.Bediüzzaman Said Nursi, Mektubat, 535.

10.Bediüzzaman Said Nursi, Sünûhât, 29.

11.Bukhari, Laylat al-Qadr 3; Muslim, Fasting 219.

12.Muslim, Fasting 212, 215, 208; Ibn Majah, Fasting, 56.

13.Muslim, Travelers’ Prayer, 179, Fasting, 220, 221.

14.Bediüzzaman Said Nursi, Şualar, 500.

15.Bukhari, Virtues of Laylat al-Qadr 2; Muslim, Fasting 213.

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