Laylat al-Qadr

Laylat al-Qadr



Qadr, (قدر) in Arabic, means measure and limit or value of something or destiny. Some reasons have been offered for its naming:

  • It is said that it was called al-Qadr because the annual destiny of every person will be determined by God.
  • Some say that if one stay awake at this night, one will reach a high state.
  • Some have said that it was called al-Qadr because it is a grand and high-value night.

Other names such as “Laylat al-‘Azama” (Arabic:ليلة العظمة; night of the greatness) and “Laylat al-Sharaf” (Arabic:ليلة الشرف; night of the honor) have also be mentioned for this night.


The Night of Qadr is the most superior and the most important night of the year in the Islamic culture. According to a hadith from the Prophet (s), the Night of Qadr is a divine endowment to Muslims, which was not enjoyed by any of the past nations. There is a full sura in the Qur’an characterizing and praising the Night of Qadr, and thus it is called “Sura al-Qadr.” In this sura, the value of the Night of Qadr is said to be greater than one thousand months. Verses one to six of Qur’an 44 are also concerned with the importance and events of the Night of Qadr.

According to a hadith from Imam al-Sadiq (a), the best month is Ramadan, and the heart of the month of Ramadan is the Night of Qadr. There is a hadith from the Prophet (s) to the effect that the Night of Qadr is the head of all nights. According to sources of hadiths and jurisprudence, the Days of Qadr are as virtuous and valuable as its Nights. In some hadiths, Lady Fatima (a) is referred to as the secret of the Night of Qadr. According to these hadiths, if one recognizes the status of Fatima (a), he will recognize the Night of Qadr. For Shi’as, the Nights of Qadr are doubly important, because events such as the martyrdom of Imam ‘Ali (a) occurred in the last ten days of the month of Ramadan. In addition to recommended practices of these nights, the Shi’as also mourn for Imam ‘Ali (a). In an interpretation of the verse four of Qur’an 44[2], Imam al-Baqir (a) said: every year in this night, every person’s destiny in the coming year will be determined. Thus, in some hadiths, the Night of Qadr is said to be the beginning of the year. According to ‘Allama Tabataba’i, “the word, “qadr,” means measurement, and thus, in this night, God measures and determines events such as life, death, livelihood, happiness, and misery.” There are hadiths to the effect that the wilaya of Imam ‘Ali (a) and other people from Ahl al-Bayt (a) were confirmed in this night.


According to Islamic sources, the Night of Qadr is special night for divine mercy and the forgiveness of sins. In this night, Satan will be chained and doors of the Heaven will be opened to believers. The Prophet (s) was quoted as saying: “if a person stays vigilant in the Night of Qadr and is a believer in the day of rewards and punishments, then all his sins will be forgiven.” According to verses of Qur’an 97, angels and the Spirit descend on the Earth in the Night of Qadr, and according to some hadiths, they meet the Imam to notify him on what is predestined for people in the coming year. Imam al-Baqir (a) said: “in this night, angels circumambulate around us, whereby we find out that it is the Night of Qadr.” In some other hadiths, Shi’as are recommended to draw upon this fact to present an argument for the necessity of Imamate and the rightfulness of Shiism, since at each age there must be an Infallible Imam whom angels notify about people’s predestinations.



An online encyclopedia of the school of Ahl al-Bayt (a), affiliated with the Ahl al-Bayt World Assembly.


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