When is Laylatul Qadr?
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
This is a common question, isn’t it?
And there are so many answers….
Do you know what the correct answer is?
Let me tell you: It doesn’t matter when it is.
Huh, you say?
Yes. It doesn’t matter because:
1) There is so much iktilaaf (difference of opinion) over its date.
Some scholars said that it was fixed. Others said it changes every year, etc. So if you follow one opinion, you’re in danger of missing out on Laylatul Qadr.
Here’s Imam Ibn Taimiyyah’s (rahimahullah) view on when Laylatul Qadr is. I don’t necessarily agree with him but it’s an interesting view nonetheless and something for us all to ponder over. [This is also Imam Ibn Hazm’s (rahimahullah) view, if I’m not mistaken.]
Now, please don’t say “But Allah is Most Merciful”*. Of course, He is.
[*This is usually stated by those who don’t want to do much worship.]
That, however, is not an excuse to try to figure which night Laylatul Qadr might be so that we can take a shortcut and pray on that night alone.
Please note: When you read all the opinions, you’ll realise that Laylatul Qadr can fall on ANY of the last ten nights (odd or even). The last few odd nights have the most chance, of course.
2) The ones who truly want the mercy of the Most Mercifulwill strive for to do ibaadah on all the ten nights because:
a) They would want to make sure that there is NO way that they miss Laylatul Qadr because they know of the immense rewards of getting it:
Narrated Abu Hurairah: The Prophet (salallahu alaihi wasallam) said, “Whoever established prayers on the night of Qadr out of sincere faith and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven; and whoever fasts in the month of Ramadan out of sincere faith, and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven.”[Saheeh Al-Bukhari, Volume No. 3, Hadeeth No. 125]
[As I mentioned in this post, the above refers to minor sins unless of course, it is accompanied by repentance.]
By the way, please notice that there are two conditions for getting Laylatul Qadr accepted: 1) Iman (faith) and 2) Ihtisaab (hoping for a reward from Allah).
b) Suppose we know for certain that Laylatul Qadr fell on the 21st night. Should we stop praying on the remaining nights? Of course not, because there is another hadeeth to motivate us:
Narrated Abu Hurairah: Allah’s Messenger (salallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “Whoever establishes prayers during the nights of Ramadan faithfully out of sincere faith and hoping to attain Allah’s rewards (not for showing off), all his past sins will be forgiven.” [Saheeh Al-Bukhari, Volume No. 1, Hadeeth No. 36]
c) There is yet another hadeeth to motivate us:
Abu Hurairah reported: Verily the Messenger of Allah (salallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “Five (daily) prayers and from one Friday prayer to the (next) Friday prayer, and from Ramadhan to Ramadhan are expiations for the (sins) committed in between (their intervals) provided one shuns the major sins.” [Saheeh Muslim, Hadeeth No. 450]
Even if Laylatul Qadr comes on the 21st, the rest of Ramadan is still left.
d) Ramadan is a month of training. What are we training ourselves to be? Muttaqoon (pious).
So, the hunt-and-peck approach won’t help us become pious. However, the patient approach (patiently praying each night) will definitely help us carry on praying Qiyam Al-Layl after Ramadan.
3) We’re never going to know for sure anyway so why waste time trying to figure it out?
As I said in the beginning of this post, it doesn’t matter when it is. If Allah had wanted to inform us, He would have but He did not.
Therefore, let’s try to stop looking for shortcuts. Let’s just look to squeeze whatever we can out of the last ten days. We can sleep properly after Eid, insha-Allah.