The Night of Destiny (Laylat al-Qadr) is known to Muslims as the most spiritually significant…
The holy month of Ramadan is the climax of the spiritual season in the Islamic calendar, and the most significant night is the night of Laylat al-Qadr, or the Night of Destiny. This night falls on the nineteenth, twenty-first, and twenty-third of the blessed month. This sacred night is filled with blessings, and we should take the opportunity to seek the pleasure of the Almighty and fill our hearts with virtue.
Imam al-Rida (p) states, “The Night of Destiny is when God Almighty decrees what will take place from year to year in regards to matters of life and death, the good and evil, and one’s sustenance. And whatever He decrees on that night becomes certain.”1
The Merits of Laylat al-Qadr
The Night of Destiny, one of the most special nights in the Islamic calendar, has many merits. A tradition that the Holy Prophet (pbuh&hp) narrates on behalf of Prophet Musa (p) explains these merits beautifully when he (Prophet Musa) said to the Almighty, “My desire is to be near you!” God responded, “Whoever desires to be near me should remain awake during Laylat al-Qadr.” Prophet Musa (p) said, “And I wish to earn your mercy!” God said, “That is granted to the one who is merciful to the indigent during this night.”
Prophet Musa (p) said, “And I wish to stay on the right path!” God said, “This is granted to the one who spends alms during Laylat al-Qadr.” Prophet Musa (p) then said, “I wish to enjoy the trees and fruits of paradise!” The Almighty responded, “That is granted to the one who praises me during this night.” Again, Prophet Musa (p) asked, “I wish to achieve salvation from the fire!” God then said, “That is granted to the one who seeks forgiveness during Laylat al-Qadr.” And then Prophet Musa (p) said, “Oh God! I want to achieve your pleasure!” and God said, “I shall be pleased with anyone who prays two cycles of prayer during this night.”2 This narration shows that this night is a key opportunity to elevate one’s status with the Almighty.
Furthermore, it is the night in which the Holy Quran was revealed to the holy Prophet (pbuh&hp). God states, “We revealed the Quran on the Night of Destiny.”3 On this night, the final guidance to humanity was sent down from the heavens, making the night that much more special.
Worship on the Night of Destiny
Laylat al-Qadr is of such significance within Islamic tradition that God dedicates an entire chapter of the Quran to it. In this chapter, it is clear how much weight this night holds in terms of reward and worship. God states, “The Night of Destiny is better than a thousand months.”4 God mentions a thousand months to emphasize the unique blessing that we can attain on this night if we put forth effort.
There are numerous rituals which we should perform on this blessed night. Staying awake all night in worship, supplication, and asking God for forgiveness are just a few of the recommended acts. Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (p) states, “The one who stays awake [in worship] on the night of Qadr has his sins forgiven even if they were the same number of stars in the sky, and the weight of the mountains, and the volume of the seas.”5
It is important to be engaged in God’s remembrance, recommended prayers, and specific actions prescribed to us by the family of the Prophet (pbut) that we can find in books of supplication.
How Can We Make the Most out of This Blessed Night?
1. Spend time taking account of ourselves. The night of Qadr is the night in which God decrees all our affairs as He tells us in the Holy Quran, “On this night, every absolute command coming from Us becomes distinguishable.”6 Thus, it is important to think about how we can maximize our obedience to God and limit our disobedience, while at the same time creating a practical roadmap to leave this night as transformed individuals.
2. Do not limit your dua. The month of Ramadan is the month of supplication, and there is no time for supplication like the night of Qadr. We should ask God to bless us in this life and the next and recognize God’s mercy while pleading desperately. Surely, He will respond to us when we seek from Him in that manner, as he states, “The One who answers the prayers of the distressed ones, removes their hardship.”7 We should also pray for those in need and those who are living under oppression around the world.
3. Build a relationship with Imam Mahdi (p): The Night of Power inherently links with the Imam of our time, and it is important to pray for his reappearance. Furthermore, our theology suggests that the angels on this blessed night descend on the house of the Imam8 when God mentions, “On this Night, the angels and the spirit descend by the permission of their Lord with His decree (to determine everyone’s destiny).”9
It is important to realize and recognize the incredible benefit of Laylat al-Qadr, and we can use it to transform our hearts and souls for the rest of our lives.
1. Shaykh al-Saduq, Uyun  akhbar al-Rida, vol 2, p. 161.
2. Hurr al-Amili, Wasail al-Shia, vol. 8, p. 20.
3. Quran 97:2.
4. Quran 97:3.
5. Shaykh al-Majlisi, Bihar al-anwar, vol 95, p. 146.
6. Quran 44:4.
7. Quran 27:62.
8. Abbas al-Qummi, Mafatih al-jinan, Beirut, Al-alami Library, 2006, 300.
9. Quran 97:4.