Living The Quran
Al-Qadr (The Power) surah 97: Ayah 3
“The Night of Power is better than a thousand months.”
Laylat ul-Qadr is the most blessed night. A person who misses it has indeed missed a great amount of good. If a believing person is zealous to obey his Lord and increase the good deeds in his record, he should strive to encounter this night and to pass it in worship and obedience. If this is facilitated for him, all of his previous sins will be forgiven.
There is no consensus of the Ummah over when the night of Qadr occurs. Imam Razi has a few novel points to offer on why that is the case:
Allah concealed its knowledge from His slaves since His rida (approval and pleasure) is concealed in devotions to Him, and in concealment of the night is the cause of increase in devotions. This is following His general method: He concealed His friend (waliyy) among the people in order that all people might be respected; He concealed His response to supplications in order that they might resort to it more often; He concealed His Great Name (Al-Ism al-A’zam [some scholars believe that Allah is the Ism al-A’zam.]) in order that all of His Names might be revered; He concealed the accepted prayer in order that the people pay special attention to every Prayer; He concealed the time of death in order that the people never be oblivious of it.
Again if the night of Qadr been known, the sins of the sinners in that night would have weighed heavily upon them, since, to commit sins on a known blessed occasion is greater in enormity than when committed on the same blessed occasion but without the sinner knowing that it is a blessed occasion.
Three Ways to Seek Laylat ul-Qadr
1. Performing Night Prayer (Qiyam)
It is recommended to make a long night prayer during the nights on which Laylat ul-Qadr could fall. This is indicated in many hadiths, such as the following:
Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger (peace be upon him) said: “Whoever stands (in qiyam) in Laylat ul-Qadr [and it is facilitated for him] out of faith and expectation (of Allah’s reward), will have all of his previous sins forgiven.” [Al-Bukhari, Muslim, Ahmad]
2. Making Supplications
It is also recommended to make extensive supplication on this night. Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) reported that she asked Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him), “O Messenger of Allah! If I knew which night is Laylat ul-Qadr, what should I say during it?” And he instructed her to say: ‘Allahumma innaka afuwwun tuhibbul afwa fafu annee – O Allah! You are forgiving, and you love to forgive. So forgive me.‘” [Recorded by Ahmad, Ibn Majah, and at-Tirmithi. Verified to be authentic by Al-Albani]
3. Abandoning Worldly Pleasures for the Sake of Worship
It is further recommended to spend more time in worship during the nights on which Laylat ul-Qadr is likely to be. This calls for abandoning many worldly pleasures in order to secure the time and thoughts solely for worshipping Allah. Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) reported: “When the (last) ten started, the Prophet (peace be upon him) would tighten his izaar (i.e. he stayed away from his wives in order to have more time for worship), spend the whole night awake (in prayer), and wake up his family.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
“Tafsir Ishraq al-Ma’ani” – Syed Iqbal Zaheer
“How to Seek Laylat ul-Qadr” – Muhammad Nasir-ud-Deen al-Albani