Laylat al-Qadr – A Night Better than a Thousand Months

Compiled by Simerg
with contributions from Karima Maghraby

In his Khamsa, Shab-i Qadr (the Night of Power), the renowned Persian poet Amir Khusraw Dihlavi (d. 1325 CE) tells the story of a saint who made a failed attempt to stay awake until the Laylat al-Qadr. This image is taken from a folio in the Aga Khan Museum collection; the Toronto museum is due to open in 2014. Photo: Courtesy of the Aga Khan Museum

In his Khamsa, Shab-i Qadr (the Night of Power), the renowned Persian poet Amir Khusraw Dihlavi (d. 1325 CE) tells the story of a saint who made a failed attempt to stay awake until the Laylat al-Qadr. This image is taken from a folio in the Aga Khan Museum collection; the Toronto museum is due to open in 2014. Photo: Courtesy of the Aga Khan Museum

Laylat al-Qadr is the auspicious night when the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.s.) first received the revelation of the Holy Qur’an, thereby conferring upon him the mantle of prophet hood at the age of forty.

The Shia Ismaili Muslims observe Laylat al-Qadr on the 23rd night of Ramadan, in keeping with traditions received through Hazrat Ali (a.s.) and his wife Hazrat Bibi Fatimah (a.s.), and the Imams of the Fatimid dynasty. It is a night of special prayer, reflection and remembrance of Allah.

The following verses from the Holy Qur’an describe the loftiness of this night and articulate the importance of the final revealed scripture to mankind:

“Lo! We revealed it on the Night of Power. What will convey unto you what the Night of Power is! The Night of Power is better than a thousand months. The angels and the spirit descend therein, by the permission of their Lord, with all decrees. Peace it is until the rising of the dawn.” — 94:5

“(This is) a Scripture which We have revealed unto you (Muhammad) that thereby you may bring forth mankind from darkness unto light, by the permission of their Lord, unto the path of the Mighty, the Owner of Praise” — 14:01 

“And celebrate the name of thy Lord morning and evening. And part of the night, prostrate thyself to Him; and glorify Him a long night through. As to these, they love the fleeting life, and put away behind them a Day (that will be) hard.” — 76:25-27 

“We sent it down during a Blessed Night”  — 44:3 

“Ramadhan is the (month) in which was sent down the Qur’an, as a guide to mankind, also clear (Signs) for guidance and judgment (Between right and wrong)” — 2:185

Hazrat Mawlana Murtaza Ali (a.s.) the successor of Prophet Muhammad (s.a.s) to the throne of Imamat is quoted as having said:

“Do not remember God absent-mindedly, nor forget Him in distraction; rather, remember Him with perfect remembrance (dhikran kamilan), a remembrance in which your heart and tongue are in harmony, and what you conceal conforms with what you reveal.” — quoted in  Justice and Remembrance, Introducing the Spirituality of Imam Ali, by Reza Shah Kazemi, p. 162.

Date posted: Sunday, July 28, 2013

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Readers will be interested in a recently published piece on this blog, Assessing English Translations of the Qur’an, and Links to Translations on the Internet by Khaleel Mohammed (USA)

A collection of additional literary readings and essays inspired by the Holy Qur’an:

The Noble Qur’an –  An Inexhaustible Well-Spring of Inspiration and Knowledge by His Highness the Aga Khan

Literary Reading: Fatimid Scientist, Al Hazen, Inspired by the Spirit of the Qur’an

The Story of Noah’s Ark in the Holy Qur’an

The Parable of Moses and Khidr in the Holy Qur’an: An Esoteric Interpretation

In the Beginning….The Qur’an and Muslim Thinkers on Creation

“The Blue Manuscript” by Sabiha Al Khemir – An Intriguing Fiction About the Hunt for a Priceless Fatimid Qur’an

Literary Reading: Some Considerations of the Term ‘Imam’ in the Holy Qur’an

Historical Images: The Blue Qur’an from the Fatimid Period, “A Very Spiritual Piece”

A “Thank You” Letter to the Makers of the Blue Qur’an

The Verses of the ‘Immaculate Conception’ of Jesus Christ in the Holy Qur’an and their Lasting Impact on a Christian Emperor

The Birth of Jesus and the Status of Mary in the Qur’an

Historical Images: President Thomas Jefferson’s Copy of the Qur’an

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5 thoughts on “Laylat al-Qadr – A Night Better than a Thousand Months

  1. For those that believe that the essential or overarching purpose of the temporal life is Ibadat or service, remembrance and obedience to God, for them the night of power is the paragon and model for all other nights!
    May it be Inshallah that what we conceal in the deeds of the day, conforms in the spirit of brotherhood, generosity, and ethical conscience enjoined on us, to and such that the remembrance in the prayers of the night, becomes perfected in Dhikran Kamilan.
    Ameen.

  2. I say, if Hazrat Ali’s words (as noted in the final pragraph above) were read or digested by each of us each day , what a wonderful world this would be….

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