Allah (SWT) has created day, night, month and year. At the same time, He has made some days/nights better than others. The blessed month of Ramadan is superior to other months as Friday is superior to other days. Similarly Allah (SWT) made Laylatul Qadr superior to other nights of the year which is getter and its reward is greater than the A’mal of a thousand months. According to authentic narrations of Qur’an and Hadiths, Laylatul Qadr is the night when Allah (SWT) arranges the affairs of the following year. On this night, Allah (SWT) forgives his servants, writes the destinies of all the creations for the coming year.
Laylatul Qadr means the night of decree, night of value, night of power, night of destiny or night of measures. It is the anniversary of the night when Holy Qur’an was first revealed to the last Messenger, Muhammad (PBUH). Laylatul Qadr or the night of destiny is a special bounty and mercy of Allah (SWT) upon us which is only given to the Ummah The Prophet (PBUH) said: ‘Laylatul Qadr’ has only been gifted by Allah to my Ummah (People). It was not given to any people before this.” (KanjulUmmal).The significance of Laylatul Qadr is such that Allah (SWT) revealed a complete Surah in order to emphasis on the greatness of it. He says: “Indeed, We sent the Qur’an down during the Night of Decree. And what can make you know what is the Night of Decree? The Night of Decree is better than a thousand months. The angels and the Spirit descend therein by permission of their Lord for every matter. Peace it is until the emergence of dawn.” (Sura Al-Qadr: 1-5).
‘Laylatul Qadr is better than a thousand months’ means that standing in prayer in this blessed night is better (in reward) then fasting, praying and performing good deeds for a thousand month.
Laylatul Qadr is the night of destiny. The yearly decree is written down during the night. Allah (SWT) said about yearly decree: ‘We sent it down on a blessed night, for We are warning. In that night every affair is wisely decided. (Sura Dukhan : 2-3).The exact date of LaylatulQadr is unknown to us. Because, The Messenger of Allah (Pbuh) did not mention exactly when the LaylatulQadr would be. He (PBUH) ordered us to seek LaylatulQadrduring the nights of last 10 days of Ramadan. Mother of believers A’isha (RA) reported Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) as saying: Look for Lailat-ul-Qadr in the last 10 nights of Ramadan. (Sahih Muslim). According to another Hadith, narrated by Ayeesha, the mother of believers (Ra), LaylatulQadr is one of the odd-numbered nights during the last 10 days of Ramadan.The Prophet (Pbuh) said, “Search for LaylatulQadr in the odd nights of the last 10 nights of Ramadan.” (Sahih Al-Bukhari). So it may be on 21st, 23rd, 25th, 27th and 29th nights of Ramadan.
Whoever spends LaylatulQadr in prayer out of faith and in the hope of reward, Allah will forgive his previous sins. Abu Hurayra (RA) narrated that The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, ‘Whoever observes optional night prayer on LaylatulQadr (Night of Destiny) in sincere faith and hoping for Allah's Reward, Allah (SWT) will erase his previous sins.’ (Sahih Muslim).
Duwa (supplication) on this night has the great significance. There is a special Duwa (supplication) that can be recitedon LaylatulQadr which the Prophet (PBUH) taught us. Aa’ishah (RA.) said: “I said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, if I know which night is LaylatulQadr, what should I say on that night?’ The messenger of Allah replied, ‘Say: Allaahummainnaka ‘afuwwuntuhibbulafwafa’affu ‘anni (O Allaah, You are forgiving and You love forgiveness, so forgive me).”
The best way of catching Laylatul Qadr is to remain in I’tikaf. Because, staying in the Mosque all this time, like performing extra Salat and recitation of the Qur’an. I’tikaf means confinement to a specific thing or place or isolating oneself. According to Islamic Shariyah, it is staying in a mosque (where the five times daily prayers are held) with the intention of worship for a certain number of days and nights. The messenger of Allah (PBUH) used to perform I’tikaf in every Ramadan. I’tikaaf gets superiority over other methods of worship because it encompasses many other forms of worship within itself. Whoever performs I’tikaf, he gets reward for the pious deeds committed by other people as well. Ibn Abbas t relates that the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "The person performing Itikaaf remains free from sins and he is indeed given the same reward as those who do good deeds (in spite of not having done these deeds). (Ibn Majah). One who observes the 10 days I’tikaf in Ramadan he will get the reward of performing two Hajj and two Umrahs. The Prophet (PBUH) said:“He who observes the ten days’ I’tikaf during Ramadan will obtain the reward of two Hajj and two Umrah.” (Bayhaqi).
The writer is a national award winner Qari and Kahtib of Baitush Shafiq Mosque (near National Univesity), Gazipur