The last Ashra of Ramadan has held specific significance as Allah shows more mercy on His believers in the shape of Laylatul Qadr.
The most crucial significance of the last ten Days of Ramadan is Laylatul Qadr.
Hazrat Aisha (RA) narrated that Allah’s Apostle said,
“Search for the Night of Qadr in the odd nights of the last ten days of Ramadan.”
The last ten days of Ramadan are considered to seek refuge from Hellfire. Prophet Muhammad SAW used to sit I’tikaf in these days and advice His companions as well,
In another hadith, A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) said:
“With the start of the last ten days (of Ramadan), the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) used to tighten up his loincloth, stay up at night and keep his family awake.”
Revelation of Quran
Laylatul Qadr, the Night of Decree when the Holy Quran is revealed from the loh-e-Mehfooz through the angel Jibrael, is believed to have occurred in the Last Ashra of Ramadan.
As narrated in the Quran,
إِنَّآ أَنزَلْنَٰهُ فِى لَيْلَةٍ مُّبَٰرَكَةٍ ۚ إِنَّا كُنَّا مُنذِرِينَ
“We sent it (Quran) down on a blessed Night. Verily, We are ever warning.
فِيهَا يُفْرَقُ كُلُّ أَمْرٍ حَكِيمٍ
Therein ( in that night) is decreed every matter of ordainment.
أَمْرًا مِّنْ عِندِنَآ ۚ إِنَّا كُنَّا مُرْسِلِينَ
Amran (i.e., a command or this Quran or His Decree of every matter) from Us. Verily, We are ever sending (the Messenger) (As) a Mercy from your Lord.”
(Ad-Dukhaan 44: 3-6)
The Prophet Muhammad (SAW) would often retreat to Cave Hira to seek Solace, where Angel Jibrail came with the revelations of the first five verses of Surah Alaq. The Holy Quran was sent down in parts upon the Prophet over 23 years.
When is Laylatul Qadr?
The exact date of Laylatul Qadr is not confirmed, and there is a consensus that it is one of the odd-number in the last Ashra. It is known from the Hadith that Allah took the exact knowledge of when Laylatul Qadr fell because some people argued. Ubaadah ibn as-Saamit (R.A) said:
“The Prophet (PBUH) came out intending to tell us about Laylatul Qadr; however, two men were arguing, and he said:
“I came out to inform you about Lailatul-Qadr, but so and so, and, so and so were arguing, so raised it, and perhaps that is better for you, so seek it on the (twenty) ninth and (twenty) seventh and the (twenty) fifth.” (Bukhari)
Also, it is reported from the Prophet (PBUH) that:
“Verily, I saw Laylatul Qadr, and caused me to forget it, and indeed it is during the last ten (nights). It is during an odd night (the night of 21st, 23rd, 25th, 27th and 29th of Ramadan).”
So the night of Decree occurs on odd-numbered nights during the last ten days of Ramadan. It may be on the twenty-first, twenty-third, twenty-fifth, twenty-seventh, or twenty-ninth. Aisha (RA) narrated:
“Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) used to practice Itikaaf in the last ten nights and say: ‘Seek out Laylatul Qadr in the (odd nights) of the last ten days of Ramadhan.” (Bukhari, Muslim)
If someone is too weak and unable to pray for all odd nights, he must not let go of the last seven nights. Ibn Umar (RA) reports
Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) said:
“Seek it in the last ten, and if one of you is too weak or unable, then let him not allow that to make him miss the final seven.” (Bukhari, Muslim)
As Ibn Qudamah al-Maqdisi (d. 620 H) writes:
God has concealed this night from the ummah so that they may strive to seek it and perform worship throughout the month to catch it. Similarly, He concealed the hour of remarkable acceptance on Friday so that one would increase in their supplications throughout the day, and He concealed His Greatest Name amongst His Divine Names and His Pleasure with acts of obedience so that people would strive for them. And He concealed an individual’s lifespan and the Hour [of the Day of Judgment] so that humanity would continuously strive for good deeds, being heedful of them.
Surah Qadr and Laylatul Qadr
Surah Qadr and the importance of night of power “Laylatul Qadr” is excellent. Allah Almighty descended the Holy Quran in the very night. The Muslims who find Laylatul Qadr should stay up and pray the whole night out of faith and hoping for a reward from Allah. As to the importance of Laylatul Qadr (the Night of Decree), it is better than a thousand months. Allah Almighty says in AlQuran, Surah Qadr.
إِنَّآ أَنزَلْنَٰهُ فِى لَيْلَةِ ٱلْقَدْرِ
“verily! We have sent it (Quran) down on the Night of Decree (Laylatul Qadr).
وَمَآ أَدْرَىٰكَ مَا لَيْلَةُ ٱلْقَدْرِ
And what will make you know what the Night of Decree is?
لَيْلَةُ ٱلْقَدْرِ خَيْرٌ مِّنْ أَلْفِ شَهْرٍ
The Night of Decree is better than a thousand months.
تَنَزَّلُ ٱلْمَلَٰٓئِكَةُ وَٱلرُّوحُ فِيهَا بِإِذْنِ رَبِّهِم مِّن كُلِّ أَمْرٍ
Therein descend the angels and the soul (i.e. Gabriel) by Allah’s Permission with all Decrees,
سَلَٰمٌ هِىَ حَتَّىٰ مَطْلَعِ ٱلْفَجْرِ
Peace! until the appearance of dawn.”
(Surah Qadr 97: 1-5)
Dua for Laylatul Qadr
We should supplicate on the night of Lailatul Qadr. Hazrat Aisha (RA) reported,
“O Messenger of Allah! What if I knew which night Lailatul-Qadr was, then what should I say in it?”
اللَّهُمَّ إِنَّكَ عَفُوٌّ كَرِيمٌ تُحِبُّ الْعَفْوَ فَاعْفُ عَنِّي
O Allah, You are forgiving, and You love forgiveness, so forgive me.” (at-Tirmidhi)
How should we observe Laylatul Qadr?
1. The Prophet (PBUH) used to stay up and pray on Lailatul-Qadr, so Ulama prescribed staying up and praying the whole night. The Prophet (PBUH) said:
“Whoever stands in (Prayer) in Lailatul-Qadr out of Eemaan and seeking reward then his previous sins are forgiven.” (Bukhari)
2. One should strive hard to honour during the last ten days of Ramadan. The Prophet (PBUH) used to worship in the previous ten days of Ramadan as he never did at any other time. One should pray, read Al-Quran, and make Dua’s. Aisha (RA) reported
“The Prophet (PBUH) used to exert himself in the last ten nights more than he would at other times.” (Muslim)
If one misses this blessed night, it is as if he has lost a lot. Therefore every Muslim should pray and hope for the great reward associated with this night.