Assalamualaikum. What are the signs of lailatul qadr and the wisdom behind why the night of al-Qadr is kept a secret?
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.
Answering the above question, among the reasons of why al-Qadr is kept a secret is so that it will be a motivation for people to seek for it. Furthermore, it will also increase our determination so that we will put in our best efforts in worship to search and attain the night of al-Qadr. This is the same as to why the time where any supplication will be granted on a Friday is also kept a secret.
Regarding to the signs of the night of al-Qadr, some scholars details the signs of al-Qadr which are observed by some Muslims with the permission of Allah SWT every Ramadhan. The signs are collected from various hadiths of the Prophet PBUH which explain the signs of this blessed night:
- From Ubadah bin al-Somit RA, the Prophet PBUH said:
إِنَّ أَمَارَةَ لَيْلَةِ الْقَدْرِ أَنَّهَا صَافِيَةٌ بَلْجَةٌ كَأَنَّ فِيهَا قَمَرًا سَاطِعًا سَاكِنَةٌ سَاجِيَةٌ لَا بَرْدَ فِيهَا، ولَا حَرَّ وَلَا يَحِلُّ لِكَوْكَبٍ أَنْ يُرْمَى بِهِ فِيهَا حَتَّى تُصْبِحَ، وَإِنَّ أَمَارَتَهَا أَنَّ الشَّمْسَ صَبِيحَتَهَا تَخْرُجُ مُسْتَوِيَةً لَيْسَ لَهَا شُعَاعٌ مِثْلَ الْقَمَرِ لَيْلَةَ الْبَدْرِ، لَا يَحِلُّ لِلشَّيْطَانِ أَنْ يَخْرُجَ مَعَهَا يَوْمَئِذٍ
“Indeed, on that night, it is clear, as though the moon illuminates brightly, it is pleasant, where it is not too cold nor too hot, and the stars are not visible all through the night until dawn. And among the signs are the sun rises bright without rays like a full moon and shaytan has no place to come out with it on the day.”
Musnad Ahmad (22765)
- From Ubay bin Ka’ab RA, the Prophet PBUH said:
وَأَمَارَتُهَا أَنْ تَطْلُعَ الشَّمْسُ فِي صَبِيحَةِ يَوْمِهَا بَيْضَاءَ لَا شُعَاعَ لَهَا
“And its indication is that the sun rises bright on that day without rays.”
Sahih Muslim (762)
- From Abdullah bin Mas’ud, he said:
فَإِنَّ الشَّمْسَ تَطْلُعُ كُلَّ يَوْمٍ بَيْنَ قَرْنَيْ شَيْطَانٍ إِلَّا صَبِيحَةَ بَدْرٍ
“Indeed, the sun rises from between the two horns of the devil, except on the dawn of the night of al-Qadr.”
Narrated by Ibn Abi Syaibah (9529)
An important point to ponder is, if someone knows or predict a certain night as the night of al-Qadr, should he tell other people or should he keep it to himself?
Imam al-Subki issued a ruling in al-Halabiyyat referring to the narration (of which Allah SWT kept the night of al-Qadr as a secret from the Prophet PBUH), that it is sunnah to keep it a secret if someone observes the lailatul qadr. The reason is, it is kept a secret by Allah SWT even towards the Prophet PBUH. Then, the best course of action to take is to follow the sunnah and not tell it to others. This is stated in Syarah al-Minhaj and al-Hawi. Among the wisdoms as to why it is kept a secret, is because it is an honour (karamah) and keeping it a secret is so that he will not be look upon with envy or fall into riyak (performs an act of obedience in order to be praised by people). See Fath al-Bari (268/4).
In al-Hawi it is stated for whoever who observes the night of al-Qadr to supplicate sincerely for his worldly and hereafter needs. However, he should prioritize religious and hereafter needs (when compared to worldly matters). See al-Majmu’ (461/6).
As a conclusion, it is our responsibility as a Muslim who believes in Allah SWT and His messenger the Prophet PBUH to seek for this blessed night of al-Qadr for the great rewards, as commanded to us by the Prophet PBUH in the following hadith:
- From Aisyah RA, the Prophet PBUH said:
تَحَرَّوْا لَيْلَةَ القَدْرِ فِي الوِتْرِ، مِنَ العَشْرِ الأَوَاخِرِ مِنْ رَمَضَانَ
“Search for the Night of Qadr in the odd nights of the last ten days of Ramadan.”
Sahih al-Bukhari (2017)
Lastly, may Allah SWT bless us to be able to find this blessed night of al-Qadr and filling the night with worship and good deeds, enlivening the night, be granted forgiveness and saved from the punishments of the hellfire. Amin.