The Night of Qadr and its Recommended Deeds

the Night of Qadr [Laylat al-Qadr] is a night in the Holy month of Ramadan, which is considered the most superior and the most important night of the year in Islam. The Night of Qadr is indeed the holiest night of the year. The Arabic term “Qadr” means measure and limit or value of something or destiny[1].

Meanwhile, several reasons were given for the naming of the night as the Night of Qadr, which include:

It was called al-Qadr because the annual destiny of every person will be determined by God[2]. Some have said that it was called al-Qadr because it is a grand and high-value night[3].

Other names such as Laylat al-Tanzīl[4] (that is, the night of the revelation of the Qur’an and the descent of the angels); Laylat al-Mubarakah[5] (a night of blessings); Laylat al-Khayr[6] (the night of goodness); Laylat al-Salām[7] (the night of peace) have also be mentioned for this night.

In the glorious Qur’an and the reliable narrations from the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his household) and pure household (peace be upon them), many virtues are mentioned for this night. Some narrations indicate that the fate of every believer for the coming year is decreed on this night. It is on this basis that believers are encouraged to stay awake the whole night and pray for blessings and forgiveness. It is considered the night of revelation of the Qur’an, the night in which a year’s destiny of people is sealed and destined. It is the most virtuous night of the year and the night of divine mercy and the forgiveness of sins when angels descend on the Earth.

The entire Qur’an 97 was revealed to describe the Night of Qadr, a night said to be more valuable than one thousand months [more than 83 years]. That is to say, good deeds performed on that single night are equal to those performed over a thousand months (more than 83 years). Allah says:

Indeed We sent it down on the Night of Ordainment. (1) And what will show you what is the Night of Ordainment? (2) The Night of Ordainment is better than a thousand months. (3) In it the angels and the Spirit descend, by the leave of their Lord, with every command. (4) It is peaceful until the rising of the dawn. (5)

There is an opinion that the Night of Qadr was just a single night, which has come and gone. That is, that very night in which the Holy Qur’an was revealed to the Prophet (PBUHH) was the Night of Qadr and it does not come again every year. Contrary to this rare opinion, it is necessary to say that based on several narrations from the Infallibles, it can be said that the Night of Qadr comes every year in the last ten days of the Month of Ramadan.

According to some reports from the pure Prophet’s household [Ahl al-Bayt], the Night of Qadr could be found on the odd nights 19th, 21st, 23rd, 25th, 27th, and 29th of the last ten nights of the month. Sheikh Tusi (may God have mercy upon him) has considered the odd-numbered nights in the month the Night of Qadr. Sheikh Abu Ja’far al-Tusi in his book Kitab al-Tibyan has said the following regarding the interpretation of “We have indeed revealed this (Message) in the Night of Destiny.” The Night of Destiny is without any doubt one of the odd nights in the last ten days of Ramadhan. There is no difference in opinion about this. Some of the Shiah scholars have said: “It is one of these two nights – the twenty-first or the twenty-third night. Others hold the view that it may be on one of the following odd nights; twenty-first, twenty-third, twenty-fifth, twenty-seventh and twenty-ninth night[8].

In addition, there are narrations in which one of the three nights (19th, 21st and 23rd is considered to be the Night of Qadr. The following is narrated through a chain of documents to Muhammad ibn Yaqub al-Kulayni (may God have mercy on him) in Al-Soam from Al-Kafi through a chain of narrators on the authority of Zirarah on the authority of Abu Abdullah (PBUH): “Destination is on the nineteenth night, its approval is on the twenty-first night and the final signature is on the twenty-third night[9].”

Therefore, it is highly recommended to take advantage of the last ten nights of the month in searching for the Night of Qadr. However, one who does not have the chance should endeavour to engage in immense acts of worship on the three nights of the 19th, 21st and 23rd of Ramadan.

Considering the significance and the impacts of this night on the life of an individual and society at large, believers are encouraged to stay awake the entire night and pray for blessings and forgiveness. It would be unwise to engage in unproductive activities or be heedless of the tremendous benefits during this night. One of the most important prayers and requests that a believer should not forget on this night is to beseech Allah (the Glorious, the Exalted) to bestow upon him the divine grace, well-being and prosperous end.

Meanwhile, the recommended deeds in these three nights are divided into two categories: The common and peculiar deeds.

Common A’amaal in the Nights of Qadr

On all three nights of the Night of Qadr, i.e. the 19th, 21st, and 23rd of Ramadan, the following acts are recommended:

1. To keep vigil: It is reported in Hadith that whoever keeps awake on the nights of Qadr shall have his/her sins forgiven, even if they equal the number of the stars in heaven.

2. To take a ritual bath (Ghusl): It is recommended to perform Ghusl at the beginning [at Sunset before the Ishai Prayer] and the end of the night [before the Dawn Prayer].

NOTE: This bath does not suffice for ablution.

3. To give charity: It is recommended to arrange and give charity [Sadaqa] tonight.

4. To observe 2 Rakat of prayer for the forgiveness of oneself and the parents: In every Rakat, recite Surah al-Fatiha, and Surah Ikhlaas [Qulhuwallah] seven times. After Completion of salaat, repeat 70 times: Astaghfirullah wa atubu ilayhi [I seek the forgiveness of Allah and I repent before Him].

5. Recite 100 times of Astaghfirullah rabbi wa atubu ilayhi [I seek the forgiveness of Allah, my Lord, and I repent before Him]

6. To observe 100 Rakat of Salat: It is also recommended to recite a hundred rak`aat (i.e. 50 Salat of 2 rak`aat each) on these nights.

7. Open the Qur’an and recite certain supplications. Then, place the Qur’an on the head and recite certain supplication [Refer to Mafatih al-Jinan].

8. Dua Jawshan al-Kabeer. It is highly recommended to recite the Dua Jawshan al-Kabeer on each of the three nights. [Refer to Mafatih al-Jinan]

Peculiar A’amaal in the Nights of Qadr

Apart from the common A’amaal in all three nights of the Night of Qadr [i.e. the 19th, 21st, and 23rd of Ramadan], the following acts are peculiar A’amaal in each of the three nights.

The 19th Night of Ramadan

According to Hadith, the Night of Qadr is either on the 19th, 21st or 23rd night of Ramadan. More emphasis is laid on the 21st and the 23rd, particularly the 23rd. Meanwhile, the peculiar A`maal for the 19th night include:

1. To recite special supplication for the 19th night [Refer to Mafatih al-Jinan].

2. To recite Ziyarat of Imam Husayn (a.s) [Refer to Mafatih al-Jinan].

3. Say 100 times: “Astaghfirullaaha Rabbee Wa­atoobu Ilayh” [I seek forgiveness of Allah, and I turn (repentant) to Him].

4. Say 100 times: “Allahumma il­`an Qatalata ­Ameeril mu’mineen” [O Allah, curse the ones who killed Ameerul Mu’mineen].

5. Recite Munajat of Imam Ali (a.s) [Refer to Mafatih al-Jinan].

The 21st Night of Ramadan

The peculiar A’amaal for the 21st night include:

1. From this night onwards, there is a common supplication for the last ten nights of the month of Ramadan. Also, there is a special supplication for each of the last ten nights. Therefore, special supplication for the 21st night should be recited [Refer to Mafatih al-Jinan].

2. To recite Ziyarat of Imam Husayn (a.s) [Refer to Mafatih al-Jinan].

3. To recite Ziyarat of Imam Ali (a.s) [Refer to Mafatih al-Jinan].

4. To recite Munajat of Imam Ali (a.s) [Refer to Mafatih al-Jinan].

The 23rd Night of Ramadan

According to Hadith, more emphasis is laid on the 23rd night, the peculiar A’amaal for the 23rd night include:

1. To recite special supplication for the 23rd night [Refer to Mafatih al-Jinan].

2. To recite Ziyarat of Imam Husayn (a.s) [Refer to Mafatih al-Jinan].

3. Recite the following Chapters of the Qur’an: Surah `Ankabut (Qur’an 29), Surah Rum (Qur’an 30) and Surah Dukhan (Qur’an 44).

4. Recite 1000 times (or as many times as possible) Sura al­Qadr [Inna anzalnau).

5. Recite Du`a for the twelfth Imam [Refer to Mafatih al-Jinan].

6. Recite Du`a at­Tawbah [Refer to Sahifah al-Sajjadiyyah].

7. Recite Du`a Makarim al-Akhlaq [Refer to Sahifah al-Sajjadiyyah].

 

References

[1] . Qarashī, Qāmūs al-Qurʾān, vol. 5, p. 246-247.

[2] . Ṭabāṭabāʾī, al-Mīzān, vol. 20, p. 561.

[3] .  Makārim Shīrāzī, Tafsīr-i nimūnih, vol. 27, p. 188.

[4] . Qur’an 97: 1 & 4.

[5] . Qur’an 44: 3.

[6] . Qur’an 97: 3.

[7] . Qur’an 97: 5.

[8] . Ibn Tawus, Iqbāl al-Amal, vol 2, p. 196.

[9] . Ibn Tawus, Iqbāl al-Amal, vol 2, p. 198.

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