Laylatul Qadr, The Night of Decree

Night of decree
Night of decree

The Night of Decree

Laylatul Qadr, the Night of Decree or Night of Power, is one of the most sacred nights of the year. It takes place in the last ten days of Ramadan and was the night in which the Qur'an was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ.
It is also the night in which Allah shows great mercy to His creation and the night in which one's fate is decreed.
Allah says in the Qur'an, "The Night of Decree is better than a thousand months" (Qur'an, 97:3). The Prophet ﷺ said, "Whoever prays on Laylatul Qadr out of faith and sincerity, shall have all their past sins forgiven" (Bukhari & Muslim).

The exact date of Laylatul Qadr is unknown, although it is thought to occur on an odd night in the last ten days of Ramadan (e.g., the 21st, 23rd, 25th, 27 or 29th night). The Prophet ﷺ said, "Seek it in the last ten days, on the odd nights" (Bukhari & Muslim).

When Sayida Aisha (may Allah be well pleased with her) asked the Prophet ﷺ "O Messenger of Allah if it is Laylatul Qadr, then what should I supplicate with?" he replied with the famous dua: "Allahumma innaka' afuwwun, tuhibbul-‘afwa, fa'fu 'anni" – "O Allah, You are Most Forgiving, and You love forgiveness; so forgive me."

Many Muslims choose to spend the last ten days of Ramadan in seclusion (i'tikaf), where one solely focuses on worshipping Allah and refrains from involvement in worldly affairs. It is time to reflect, increase worship, and increase one's religious knowledge, seeking closeness to Allah.
Ibn' Umar (Allah be pleased with both of them) reported that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) used to observe i'tikaf in the last ten days of Ramadan.

The sunnah is to remain in i'tikaf for ten days, but it can be one day and one night as a minimum. I'tikaf is a great opportunity to reconnect with Allah in solitude. It is also a time to implement good religious practices, which can be carried on throughout the whole year.
This seclusion usually takes place at the mosque but with many mosques closed this Ramadan amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, a secluded space within the home can be designated, free from noise and distractions if possible.

May Allah grant eternal success to the ummah of Muhammad ﷺ and may we learn to emulate the Prophet's grace, both in Ramadan, and outside of it.

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