What Is Laylat Al Qadr?
Laylat Al Qadr is considered the holiest night of the year for Muslims, and is traditionally celebrated on the 27th day of Ramadan. It is known as the “Night of Power,” and commemorates the night that the Quran was first revealed to the Prophet Muhammad, beginning with the exhortation, “Read! In the Name of your Lord, Who has created (all that exists),” in Surat Al-Alaq (Muhsin Khan translation).
When Is Laylat Al Qadr?
The Prophet Muhammad did not mention exactly when the Night of Power would be, although most scholars believe it falls on one of the odd-numbered nights of the final ten days of Ramadan, such as the 19th, 21st, 23rd, 25th, or 27th days of Ramadan. It is most widely believed to fall on the 27th day of Ramadan.
In 2014, Laylat Al Qadr is expected to fall on Thursday, July 24.
The Quran says in Surat Al-Qadr,
We have indeed revealed this (Message) in the Night of Power:
And what will explain to thee what the night of power is?
The Night of Power is better than a thousand months.
Therein come down the angels and the Spirit by Allah’s permission, on every errand:
Peace!…This until the rise of morn!
The importance of this night is also mentioned in hadith, which are the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad as remembered by his companions:
Whoever establishes the prayers on the night of Qadr out of sincere faith and hoping to attain Allah’s rewards (not to show off) then all his past sins will be forgiven.
Hadith, Bukhari Vol 1, Book 2:34
Muslims observe this occasion with study, devotional readings, and prayer, as the night’s holiness is believe to make it a very good time for prayers to be answered. The last ten days of Ramadan are considered a particularly spiritually important time, as any of the days may be Laylat Al Qadr, and thus worshippers strive to be especially observant during this period. Some Muslims participate in a spiritual retreat called itikaf, where they spend all ten days in the mosque reading the Quran and praying.