What does the night of al-Qadar means?
Alhamdulillah, praise and thanks to Allah for the countless blessings He has blessed us all with. Blessings and salutations to the Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his wives, his family, companions and all those that follow his teachings to the day of judgement.
As we realize it or not, we have entered the last 10 nights of Ramadhan. Furthermore, in this blessed month of Ramadhan, Allah SWT has created a night so special that any deed performed on this night would be multiplied and this night is known as the night of al-Qadar or lailatul Qadar. This is according to the statement of Allah SWT:
إِنَّا أَنزَلْنَاهُ فِي لَيْلَةِ الْقَدْرِ ﴿١﴾ وَمَا أَدْرَاكَ مَا لَيْلَةُ الْقَدْرِ ﴿٢﴾ لَيْلَةُ الْقَدْرِ خَيْرٌ مِّنْ أَلْفِ شَهْرٍ
“Indeed, We sent the Qur'an down during the Night of Decree. And what can make you know what is the Night of Decree? The Night of Decree is better than a thousand months.”
Surah al-Qadr (1-3)
In answering the above question, scholars have differing opinions as to the meaning of the night of al-Qadar. Some of their opinions are:
- On the night, Allah SWT determines the death, sustenance and qadar of humans, whether they are good or bad as stated by Imam al-Baghawi in his commentary. (See Tafsir al-Baghawi, 7/228)
- The night of al-Qadar is named as such due to its high status, honour and greatness. Thus, when a person is praised, he is called “ذو قدر” which means a person of status and honour.
- Indeed, it is a night of worship and obedience to Allah SWT and on the night there are great rewards and honour.
- The reason is Allah SWT has revealed the Quran on this night. (See Tafsir al-Iz bin Abd al-Salam, 3/473)
- The night of al-Qadar is the night of decree (decider) or punisher.
Imam Ibn Hajar in Fath al-Bari cited the statement of Imam al-Nawawi where he said, it is named as the night of al-Qadar because on this night the angels will write the qadar of humans as stated by scholars (See Fath al-Bari, 4/255). Imam al-Nawawi also stated this in his book al-Majmu’. (See al-Majmu’, 6/447)
Thus, we are inclined towards the fifth opinion which states that the night of al-Qadar or Lailatul Qadar is because on the night the qadar of each human are decided or decreed as stated by Imam al-Nawawi according to the statement of Allah SWT:
فِيهَا يُفْرَقُ كُلُّ أَمْرٍ حَكِيمٍ
“On that night is made distinct every precise matter,”
Surah al-Dukhan (4)
The Wisdom Behind Why Lailatul Qadar is Hidden
Among the wisdom as to why Allah SWT hides when exactly is the night of al-Qadar is so that it will be a motivator for people to search for it. Furthermore, it is so that people will strive in worship in search of this night, just like why the time that supplication will be granted on Fridays is also kept a secret as well as why the honoured names of Allah SWT from among His names are hidden.
May Allah SWT bless us a night of al-Qadar filled with worship which would ultimately make us eligible to receive His forgiveness. Amin.