The Significance of Laylat al-Qadr

My little sister wrote the following essay for a competition:

Ramadan is the holy month of Islam. It is the month where the Quran was revealed to our mankind for guidance to Jannah. It’s the generous month where our good deeds, our worship to Allah, and our charity acts are multiplied. Moreover, the gates of Jannah are unlocked, the gates of Jahannam are closed, and Satan is tied up. Fasting is an obligatory act for Muslims to retain from eating or drinking from before the starting of dawn, till the sunsets. Ramadan isn’t just for humans to experience thirst and hunger, it is to stay away from un-Islamic possessions and become devout. Prophet (S.A.W.) said, “Whoever fasted Ramadan out of belief in it and sincerely seeking the reward from Allah, all his past wrong doings will be forgiven”.

In this particular month it includes a sacred night, Laylat al-Qadr (Night of Power), which is a night that is better than a thousand months. This night has a big significance in Islam. This is the night where the very first verses of the Quran were revealed to Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.), when the angels were sent down, and the night where your destiny is written.  Allah revealed the whole Quran from the preserved tablet, to the lower heaven. From the lower heaven, few verses of the Quran were revealed in the span of 23 years. The Quran was revealed through Angel Jibril in Mount Hira, the mountain that Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) went to meditate.  Angel Jibril asked Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) three times to read the verses of the Quran, but each time he answered saying, “I don’t know how to read.” Each time Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) didn’t read the verses, Angel Jibril would vigorously press him against his chest until he couldn’t tolerate the pain. The fourth time he was asked, our Messenger recited, “Read, in the name of your Lord, who created: the human being from clotted blood. Read, for your Lord is Most Generous, who taught by the pen, taught the human being what he did not know.” Surat al-‘Alaq [96]. After this, Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) received the revelation and went home. He told his wife, Khadija that he was crazy or he became one of the Messengers of Allah. He realized he was definitely a prophet when Angel Jibril kept visiting him.

On this extraordinary night, Allah accepts all the duaas asked by his slaves, and forgives all the people with the intentions to absolve. On Laylat al-Qadr, believers should stay up all night and pray with the right intentions since it’s the holiest night of the year. Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) worshipped Allah on the last 10 nights like he has never done before by praying, making dhikr, reading the Quran, and making duaa continuously. If a person misses one blessed night, they’ve missed out on a lot of rewards. The Prophet (S.A.W.) said, “Whoever spends the night of Laylat al-Qadr in prayer out of faith and seeking reward, all his previous sins will be forgiven.” Plus, whoever takes the time to pray all night for Laylat al-Qadr, and if it is actually the night of Laylat al-Qadr, his previous and future sins will be dismissed. Furthermore, on Laylat al-Qadr, Allah tells his angels what will happen throughout this year (this Laylat al-Qadr to the next Laylat al-Qadr). Some Muslims perform Itikaf in a masjid by remaining in the mosque for the last 10 days to pray and recite the Quran. Laylat al-Qadr can be on any of the last five odd nights of Ramadan (21st, 23rd, 25th, 27th, and 29th). When Prophet (S.A.W.) was going to tell the Muslims when the day of Laylat al-Qadr was, he witnessed two men bickering with each other and forgot what he was going to say.  The rationale of why no one knows when Laylat al-Qadr is because Allah wants us to praise Him throughout the last 10 days of Ramadan. A person can find out if it was Laylat al-Qadr after it has passed. If the sun appears weak, reddish, and has no sunrays, the night before was Laylat al-Qadr.

This is beneficial after Ramadan because we become more pious. One gains taqwa by fearing Allah and staying away from the deeds that upset Allah. When we recite and reflect the Quran and pray Taraweeh it drew us closer to Allah. It takes a lot of patience to fast and give up eating and drinking. People become more charitable by donating money, making food for others, and even smiling. Fasting has medical benefits too because it teaches Muslims to take care of their bodies.  All in all, if a person is accustomed to these qualities in the month of Ramadan, this person can also continue being a deferential believer that feels closer to Allah and wants to cherish Him even more after Ramadan. One can change for the better.

-N.W. Khan

UPDATE : She won second place, only 4 marks behind the winner. She received $50 as the prize money!