Reflections on the word Lailat al-Qadar
This word is a compound word made up of the following:
1. Night [Layl]: indicates the time from sunset till dawn
2. Power [Al-Qadar]: This word carries a number of different meanings such as honor, serenity, judgment, and power. The scholars differed over the meaning of this word when used in relation to that special night that takes place during the month of Ramadan. Here are the most common interpretations:
Some scholars held that it was a word related to magnificence and honor
This meaning is obvious because it is the night that the Qur’an was sent, Prophet-hood was announced and the angels descend. Other scholars held that the one who revived this night with worship would become honorable because Allah [the Exalted] would raise his/her ranks.
1. As Muslims we should feel honored because Lailat al-Qadar was the night that the Qur’an was sent and the Prophet was chosen by Allah. However, this was also the night that witnessed the birth of a new religious nation, the nation of the Prophet and we are blessed to belong to that nation. Do you feel humble? Do you feel blessed to be a part of that nation? Do you feel and share the greatness of this night? Do your actions reflect that humility?
2. If one wants to be honored them let him do so by worshiping Allah
Another meaning the scholars put forth was something restricted or difficult to attain.
That is because the night of its occurrence is restricted from the knowledge of men and the only way to find it is to put forth effort and seek it. It is also said that the earth becomes full with the presence of an infinite number of malaikah.
3. When something is hidden it is a sign of its value. One someone who truly understands this will work to find the hidden treasure in this night.
Finally, Some scholars contented that the meaning was related to judgments and decisions
This is because it is this night that the angels distribute what is destined for Allah’s servants with regards to those servants provisions and lifespan for the next year. Some scholars contended that the night which ones provisions and life were to be giving is during the middle of Sh’aban. However, the majority of scholars hold that it is this night, the Night of Power.
“We sent it (this Qur’an) down on a blessed night. Verily, We are ever. Therein (that night) is decreed every matter of ordainments.”
4. One should reflect on how lucky he/she was to live another year to worship and serve the Creator. Reflect on one’s success and praise Allah. Think of one’s shortcomings and seek His forgiveness. Come out of Ramadan with new goals and aspirations.
We Ask Allah to guide us and bless us to see this special night.
Suhaib William Webb is an American-born convert to Islam. He currently lives in Cairo where he studies at Al-Azhar University with a primary focus on Islamic Law. Suhaib William Webb is an American-born convert to Islam. He currently lives in Cairo where he studies at Al-Azhar University with a primary focus on Islamic Law.