Readings for Lailat al-Qadr
Lailat al-Qadr, the Night of Power, marks the night in which the Holy Qur’an was first revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) by Allah. There are different traditions regarding the exact night, but it is almost unanimous that the blessed night occurs in one of the last ten odd nights of the month of Ramadan. The Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims celebrate the night on the 23rd of the month (August 22 for 2011), with many Jamats worldwide spending the whole night in prayer and supplication. The Holy Qur’an refers to the spiritual barakah this night offers in the following five verses of Surah 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!” — 97:1-5
Our first reading for Lailat al-Qadr thus reflects on the Holy Book, which His Highness the Aga Khan referred to as an “inexhaustible well-spring of inspiration” in a speech he delivered in London. Please click The Noble Qur’an – An Inexhaustible Well-Spring of Inspiration and Knowledge for the speech excerpts.
Lailat al-Qadr is also a good time to ask for forgiveness, and a second piece by Ismailignosis explains the significant practice of forgiveness among the Ismailis, with the discussion primarily focusing on the act of seeking forgiveness from the Imam of the Time. Please click Seeking the Forgiveness of the Imam of the Time: A Short Explanation.
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