Excellence of the Night of Al-Qadr (Decree)

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Allah The Almighty Says (what means):

  • {Indeed, We sent it down during a blessed night. Indeed, We were to warn [mankind]. On that [night], is made distinct every precise matter.} [Quran 44:3-4]
  • {Indeed, We sent the Qur'an down during the Night of Decree. In addition, what can make you know what the Night of Decree is? 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. Peace it is until the emergence of dawn.} [Quran 97:1-5]
Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Messenger of Allah,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ), said: “Whoever performs voluntary prayers on the night of Al-Qadr (Decree), out of sincere faith and in the hope of getting reward from Allah The Almighty, his earlier sins will be forgiven for him.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
According to another version: “He who offered the night voluntary prayers on the eve of Al-Qadr, with genuine faith and hopes of attaining reward from Allah The Almighty, his previous wrongdoings would be pardoned for him.”
He, may Allah be pleased with him, also reported that the Messenger of Allah,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ), said, in reference to the Night of Al-Qadr: “It is the twenty-seventh or twenty-ninth night [of Ramadan]; and on that night, the angels on earth are more numerous than pebbles.” [Ahmad]
 
Benefits and rulings [derived from these Hadeeths]:
First: These Hadeeths portray the excellence of the Night of Al-Qadr, which stems from the following:
1.     This eve has a great rank in the Sight of Allah The Almighty.
2.     It is better than one thousand ordinary months that do not include the Night of Al-Qadr; and that would equal [it being more superior to] eighty-three years and four months.
3.     On it, angels descend in great multitudes, such that they number much more than the pebbles on earth.
4.     The Quran was first revealed on this night.
5.     Also, in it, there is much safety from punishment due to the righteous deeds of the slaves of Allah The Almighty on one hand, and the [opportunity of attaining] mercy, forgiveness and emancipation from fire, which is conferred by Allah The Almighty upon them, on the other.
6.     It is wholly a blessed night, in view of its countless merits and advantages.
7.     Whoever stands to offer supererogatory prayers then, believing in it and in the good promised by Allah The Almighty on it, and hoping for reward from Him, all his previous sins will be forgiven.
8.     All matters decreed for the years to come are written on it.
9.     [The following points should be kept in mind, regarding the Night of Al-Qadr:]
First: Whoever spends this night in prayer and worship has a great status in the Sight of Allah, and is worthy of gaining His Mercy and Forgiveness.
Second: A Muslim should seek to seize the Night of Al-Qadr, by offering voluntary prayers in all of the last ten nights of Ramadan and striving to perform prayer, supplications and Thikr (remembrance of Allah The Almighty). Indeed, anyone who neglects to grab [the opportunity on] that superior night, by doing Salah (prayer) and other acts of worship, is truly deprived of goodness. May Allah The Almighty grant us from His Bounty.
Third: The excellence of the Night of Al-Qadr lies in the good deeds that are performed on it, since one virtuous act then outweighs its like done for a thousand months, which is a great Divine gift.
Fourth: Allah The Almighty has favored our Muslim Ummah (nation) by bestowing this blessed night on us every year, may all perfect praise be to Him.
Fifth: The Night of Al-Qadr is the best of all nights; the assertion that the eve of Friday is better than it, is invalid. At the same time however, if it happens to coincide with a Friday night, it gains much additional superiority.
Sixth: It is true that the night of Al-Israa’ and Al-Mi‘raaj (the journey from Al-Masjid Al-Haraam (the Sacred Mosque) to Al-Aqsa Mosque, and ascension to the heaven) is better than the Night of Al-Qadr; this is because, on it, the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ), was made to reach the heavens, where his Lord The Exalted, The Almighty, communicated with him, which is certainly the greatest honor and highest position [conferred to anyone]. But, as for all other Muslims, their benefit from the Night of Al-Qadr is more perfect and complete than what they gain from the Night of Al-Mi‘raaj.
Seventh: According to some scholars, this great Night (of Al-Qadr) is an exclusive bounty to the Muslim Ummah, although Hadeeths to this effect are not authentic. It is said that this bounty was also given to the nations before us or at least their Prophets, may Allah exalt their mention, but Hadeeths stating this are also weak.
Eighth: “Whoever offers supererogatory prayers on the Night of Al-Qadr, with sincere faith and hoping for reward from Allah, and it happens to actually be that very night, his sins will be forgiven.” [Muslim] Those who claim that the reward of observing acts of worship on the Night of Al-Qadr is awarded only to those who offer this voluntarily, while knowing it with certainty to be it, support their claim with this Hadeeth. However, its apparent meaning does not indicate that; it shows that the reward goes to those who perform the supererogatory night prayer then, in anticipation of it being the Night of Al-Qadr and it actually happens to be so, regardless of them being certain or uncertain of it.
Hence, a Muslim should endeavor to observe the voluntary prayers on every one of the last ten nights of Ramadan, as if it were the Night of Al-Qadr, for it might probably really be so. In this manner, his worship will eventually coincide with it.

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