The Night of Honour and Power: An Opportunity to Earn Divine Pleasure & Purify Oneself


In a few days Ramadan will leave us. Cherish every moment. The constant recitation of “Ya Hayyu Ya Qayyum”, sending blessings upon the beloved Messenger, and supplications for salvation from the Hellfire are now the habit of the tongue. Periods of deep contemplation are becoming lengthier, and the heart feels at peace. Also, the Night of Power is really an opportunity to earn Divine pleasure and purify oneself.

Spiritual realities are difficult to comprehend and even more so when we are immersed in a consumer society obsessed with economic growth and worldly prosperity. However, Islamic teachings and way of life help us to face this challenge of materialism. During the month of Ramadan Muslims big and small, old and young, men and women, poor and rich all fast. This creates an environment of devotion, worship and connection with the mighty Lord. The fact that everyone in the community fasts from dawn till dusk, strictly observing the rules of this tiresome and tough exercise.

Night of Power

At night-time in the jam-packed mosques, they stand before their Lord in prayer for hours. They stand to listen to The Majestic Quran. During Ramadan, Muslims become charitable and donate generously to good causes. Perhaps the climax of this month is the 27th night, which the Quran calls the noble, honourable and the Night of Power. Coming in the last part of Ramadan, is the Night of Power, its crowning feature.

We sent down the Quran on the Night of Power, how can you know the greatness of the Night of the Power? The Night of Power is better than one thousand months, by the order of their Lord the angels and Archangel Jibreel come down bringing with them each person’s decree. Peace descends everywhere until dawn.” [Surat Qadr]

This early Makkan surat praises the splendour of the night in which the Quran was revealed. On this Night of Power, glory and splendour the Quran was transferred from the ‘protected tablet’ in the upper heaven to the lower heavens from which it was gradually revealed in bite size and revealed to the Messenger (peace be upon him) over 23 years.

This explains why this night is regarded as very special and people worship throughout the night. Three things come down during the night: Angels, human destiny and peace. Most scholars believe that this night is on the 27th night of Ramadan although a minority considers it to be on any of the odd nights in the last 10 nights.

What is Qadr?

Qadr means destiny, honour and power. Here it is possible to employ all the meanings. This is not an ordinary night. It is the great night on which the revelation of the Quran began that was to change the destiny of all those who willingly accept its Message. The majesty and the grandeur of the night in which the ‘Book of Guidance’ was revealed is being described. It is thus said ‘to worship in this night is better than eighty-three years, as angels and spirits continue to descend all night bringing blessings and peace.’

The Messenger (peace be upon him) described its blessings in the following hadith narrated by Anas: When the month of Ramadan came, the Messenger (peace be upon him) said, “A month has dawned upon you which has one night that is better than one thousand months. Whoever misses this night it is as though he has been deprived of all goodness and only the really unfortunate one is deprived” [Ibn Majah].

Only the very unfortunate person will ignore a blessed night like this. Perhaps in our communities, there is not always the zeal and the yearning for spiritual reward that there should be. The Messenger (peace be upon him) had already been promised Paradise, and the highest rank of all creation, called al-Maqam al-Mahmud. Despite this, he (peace be upon him) would stay awake long into the night, standing in humility before his Lord. His feet would become swollen and his fine blood vessels would ooze with blood. Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) would ask, “Why do you do this? Haven’t you been promised forgiveness?”. He (peace be upon him) would simply say, “Shall I not be a grateful servant of my Lord.”

Is there any special devotion for this Night?

Hazrat Umar would return home from Isha prayer in the masjid, and start his night vigil till dawn. Imam Abu Hanifah’s night prayer from Isha until Fajr for forty years is legendary. What if someone wanted to know the secret of his ability to stay awake all night. He said, “I practice the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and I have a nap in the afternoon.” He would sob so bitterly in his prayer that his neighbours would begin to cry too. Imam al-Shafi’ completed the recitation of the Quran sixty times in Ramadan. It is reported that Ibrahim ibn Adham would not sleep at all during the month. So those who love their Lord can find plenty of time for Him. Especially whilst immersed in the blessings of this peerless month.

Allah can be remembered in many ways. We can do it through nafl (voluntary) prayers, recitation of the Quran, reciting His Beautiful Names, and supplication (dua). Aisha once asked the blessed Messenger (peace be upon him) “What should I pray on Laylatul Qadr?”. He (peace be upon him) replied, “Pray like this: “Allāhuma innaka Affuwan, tuhibbu al-afwā faʿfu ʿannī.” (“Lord, You are the Forgiver and You love forgiveness, so forgive me” (Ibn Huzaima).

You can read more about this in my Kindle book ‘The Blessed Month of Ramadan’ available on Kindle. Click HERE to download.

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