If Ramadan is the month of devotion and high religious rigor and commitment, Laylat al Qadr or as it is rendered in English the “Night of Destiny” is considered according to the Quran and the prophet’s tradition as the culmination of religious commitment.
Muslims believe that the Night of Destiny is the most holy night in the year. Islam places a high value on this night as it commemorates the night of revelation during which the Quran was revealed to the prophet Mohammed Peace Be upon Him. There is” Surah” in the Quran especially dedicated to this holy night often also rendered in English as the Night of Decree.
Surah Al Qadr describes the blessings of this holy night:
“We have sent it [the Qur'ân] down on the Night of al-Qadr.
And how will you know what the Night of al-Qadr is?
The Night of al-Qadr is better than a thousand months,
In it the angels and the Spirit come down by their Lord’s leave, with all His decrees.
Peace it is, until the rising of the dawn”
In this holy night, Muslims are encouraged to perform more voluntary prayers, verbal praise of God called ”Dikr” and Quran recitals as acts of remembrance of God and temporary withdrawal from worldly concerns. The Night of Destiny is known to be in the last days of the holy month Ramadan. The exact date of this holy night was mentioned neither in the Quran nor in the Sunna (the Prophet’s tradition).
Yet the different records from the prophet’s life and that of his companions suggest that the Night of Destiny is to be found on one of the nights that follow the 2Oth of Ramadan, which means either the 21st, 23rd, 25th, 27th or 29th night. The mystery surrounding the exact date of this holy night keeps Muslims praying intensively for the last days of the holy month.
Ramadan remains the month of religious dedication par excellence. Before resuming their former lifestyle and their routines, Muslims put once more their faith under test.
The night of Destiny is also the night of forgiveness as true and honest prayers are rewarded with forgiveness for any prior sins.
The word “Qadar” which means destiny in Arabic is a concept of paramount importance in Islam. Indeed, the belief in predestination of good and bad things or events that happen during the course of life is the sixth pillar of faith (Imaan) in Islam. It is believed that the destiny of all humans is decreed during this night.
The Night of Destiny is an exclusive opportunity for Muslims all over the world to reconcile with their faith and to seek forgiveness. It is also a subtle promise for a more righteous life in compliance with Islamic instructions.
By Loubna Flah