The Night of Power (2/3)
Tajuddin B. Shuaib
Why the name, the Night of Power?
As mentioned above, it is the night of Taqdeer, meaning the one in which Allah
(Glorified and Exalted be He) announces to the angels His already decreed
commands, rules, events, etc., for the coming calendar year, from the present
Night of Power to the next Night of Power. Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He)
"We sent it down during a blessed night; We forever wish to warn (against
evil). In that (night) is made distinct every affair of wisdom!'' (Al-Qur'an,
Surah Ad-Dukhan, 44: 3-4)
It should be known that most scholars believe Allah's commands and rules are
not made on that night. It has already been decreed in the eternity what is
known to Allah, but that knowledge is not known to anyone, including the
angels, until He announces it to the angels on that night so that they will
record it on the protective slate.
This is also the night of honor and prestige which may be awarded to the
servant who devotes himself to special deeds, or to the deeds themselves for
the higher value they contain on that night.
The Night Is Concealed
Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) in His Mercy, has concealed the Night of
Power from us for the following reasons: The problems pertaining to an exact
night on which the honors are attained are not unique with this Night. It
seems that Allah conceals many things. He conceals his pleasure from us in all
our good deeds so that we will strive in all of them. He conceals His wrath
from us in all of the sins we commit so that we will avoid them. He conceals
His most beloved servants (awliya) so that we will respect all the believers.
He has concealed the time of His acceptance of our supplications so that we
will strive in all our supplications. He concealed his greatest name, so that
we mention all His names. He has concealed the time of death so that we will
be conscious of Him and our deeds all the time.
He has concealed the exact date of the Night of Power so that we would double
our efforts in the whole month of Ramadan, or at least the last ten days. He
has concealed it also to test the serious and the non-serious. The seriously
interested person will search for the night late and in the early hours until
he or she attains it, regardless of the hardship.
Where Is The Night?
The majority of the scholars who agreed that the night occurs in the month of
Ramadan, disagreed on the exact night. Some said it comes on the first day of
Ramadan. Others said it is on the seventh; while others say it's on the 19th
night. All these opinions are not built on sound proof. There is evidence that
the night comes on the last ten days of Ramadan, specifically on the odd
numbered nights. In a report by Bukhari, the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon
"Seek it on the odd nights of the last ten days of Ramadan."
In a hadith by Ibn Umar (may Allah be pleased with him), some men among the
companions saw the night in a dream occurring in the last seven nights.
Responding to this, the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) told them:
"I see your dreams coincide on the last seven, whoever wants to seek it should
do so in the last seven." (Agreed upon)
In Muslim's report, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:
"Seek the night in the last ten days, and if any of you is weak, or can't
observe it, he should not miss the remaining seven days."
In Hadith by Ubayy bin Ka'ab (may Allah be pleased with them), he said:
"By Allah, I know which night it is. It is the night the Messenger commanded
us to observe, the night of the 27th." (Reported by Ahmed/Tirmidhi)
Analyzing all these citations indicate still no one knows for sure which night
is the Night of Power, at least in a given year. It seems that the night
shifts and rotates to different nights from one year to another. It may occur
on the 27th in one year, while the next year it will be on the 25th, while on
the following year it will be occurring on the 29th, etc. There is an
indication to this in hadith by Bukhari, when the Messenger of Allah (Peace be
upon him) states:
"Seek it on the twenty-ninth; it may be on the twenty-seventh, or on the
Imam Ibn Hajr, in his book, "Fathul Bari ", in the commentary of the Book of
"I accept the ruling that the night occurs on the odd nights of the last ten
days of Ramadan, namely the twenty-first, twenty-third, twenty-fifth,
twenty-seventh and or twenty-ninth."
Seeking The Night
It is recommended to seek the night and spend it diligently in devotion,
including night Sunnah prayers (Tahajjud), recitation of Al-Qur'an and
supplications. In a hadith related by Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with
him), the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) said:
"He who spends the night in prayer on the Night of Power, as a sign of His
faith, and seeking rewards from Allah, his previous sins will be forgiven."
(Reported by Bukhari/Muslim)
This citation indicates that regardless of whether a person knows the night or
not, Allah will grant him forgiveness for previous shortcomings.
"And what will explain to thee what the Night of Power is? The Night of Power
is better than a thousand months." (Al-Qur'an, Surah Al-Qadr, 97:2-3)
Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) is emphasizing by putting the second verse
in question form. The answer being no one knows, or comprehends, the
awesomeness and the depth of honor of the night. As if to say whatever merits
Allah informs you about the night is just nothing compared to the things you
have no idea about. Nonetheless, He mentions three honors in the credit of the
1. "The Night is better than a thousand months."
2. "Therein, come down the angels...", and
Source: Essentials of Ramadan