“Indeed We sent the Qurān 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. The Angels and the Spirit descend therein by permission of their Lord for every matter.” [Surah Qadr]
The Night of Decree is one that we all seek with such great anticipation and there are many reasons we do so. It is a night if observed with ‘Ibaadah well, that is equivalent to approximately 83 years of worship – that is, a whole lifetime of reward. There is no night better than this night, no night that is more virtuous. All the Angels of Allāh descend, including Jibreel AS, and the quantity of the Angels that descend is one that only Allāh has knowledge of – but know that their numbers are vast and great, beyond human comprehension. The horizons will be packed with their presence.
In a famous hadith found in Bukhāri and Muslim, the Prophet ﷺ said, “Seek the Night of Decree in the odd nights among the last ten nights of Ramadhān.” This is a night that can change the entire course of our lives.
It may be that this night is the reason that on the day of Qiyāmah, you are among those who receive your record book in your right hand, it may be that this night is your very reason for entry into Jannah in its highest ranks. And so, seek it with a hopeful heart, for there is so much for us to gain.
The Prophet ﷺ said, “Whoever establishes prayers on the night of Qadr out of sincere faith and hoping for a reward from Allāh, then all his previous sins will be forgiven.” [Sahih Bukhāri]
How beautiful and reassuring is this hadith, that if we make efforts to seek this night in the odd nights of the last ten days, and fill it with ‘Ibaadah, that all our previous sins will be forgiven? What is greater hope there? A chance for Him to forgive all the sins we have collected in our years on this Dunya – a chance to wipe the slate entirely clean and start afresh, a chance to lighten the burden of sin that has so darkened our hearts.
In Surah Dukhān, verse 4, Allāhs tells us “Therein, on that night is decreed every matter of ordainments.” So what does this mean?
Ibn Katheer in his tafseer explains that though our decree has previously been written on the Preserved Tablets 50,000 years before the creation of the heavens and the earth, on this night, Allāh announces our Qadr to the Angels – the Highest group of Angels – and so we should seek to be in the best states, hoping that our ‘ibaadah will positively impact our Qadr as He announces it.
What is it that your heart seeks? What are the things you so yearn for? Whether it’s a matter pertaining to the dunya or the akhirah, this is the night for you to make the effort to have it decreed for you.
As the famous hadith in Tirmidhi states, “Nothing can change Qadr other than du’ā.” So make du’ā abundantly, and know that you have an incredibly powerful tool within the very palms of your hand to change the course of your life. Du’ā, Qurān, optional prayers, giving charity, sending salutations upon the Prophet ﷺ, dhikr, these are your keys for that night.
I leave you all with the beautiful du’ā that the Prophet ﷺ encouraged us to recite often on the odd nights as we seek Laylatul Qadr;
اللهم إنك عفو تحب العفو فاعفو عنى
Allahumma innaka ‘afuwwun, tuhibbul-‘afwa, fa’fu ‘anni
O Allah, You are Most Forgiving, and You love forgiveness; so forgive me.