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The Search for Laylah – How to Find the Night of Power

The Search for Laylah – How to Find the Night of Power
Laylat-ul-Qadr (the Night of Power) will fall on an odd night during the last ten nights of Ramadan.

For hundreds of years, lovers have been searching for Laylah. This search is a love story like no other. They know her features. They know about her beauty. They know that she would be most cherished. With great excitement, every year, they look for Laylah- Laylat-ul-Qadr: the Night of Power.

The Prophet Muhammad encouraged the search for Laylatul-Qadr:

Search for it in the last ten of Ramadan. (Sahih Al-Bukhari)

To help us in this search, the Prophet Muhammad gave us clues. He informed us that the night would fall on an odd night:

Search for Laylat-ul-Qadr in the odd of the last 10 of Ramadan. (Al-Bukhari)

Odd Nights Do Not Necessarily Mean Odd Dates

Laylat-ul-Qadr (the Night of Power) will fall on an odd night during the last ten nights of Ramadan. This is not the same as saying that it would fall on one of the odd dates.

A lunar month can either be 29 or 30 days, depending on the moon sighting. If a month ends up having 30 days, the odd nights will fall on the even dates.

However, if a month ends up having 29 days, the odd nights will fall on odd dates. The existence of the additional 30th day shifts what dates the nights would fall on. This method of counting is according to the Prophet’s words:

Search for it (the Night of Power) in the last ten of Ramadan, in the 9th that remains, the 7th that remains, the 5th that remains. (Al-Bukhari)

Method of Counting the Nights

If Ramadan ends up having 30 days, the 9 nights that remain of the month would be the 22nd of Ramadan and the nights after that. The nights to look for would be the remaining odd nights, namely the 9th night, the 7th night, the 5th night, the 3rd night, and the last night.

These nights would correspond with the 22nd of Ramadan, the 24th of Ramadan, the 26th of Ramadan, the 28th of Ramadan and the 30th of Ramadan, respectively. All these dates are even dates, but at the same time, they are odd nights in respect to the number of nights that remain for the month.

If Ramadan ends up having 29 days, the 9th remaining night would be the 21st of Ramadan, and the 7th remaining night would be the 23rd, the 5th would be the 25th, and so on.

Ibn Taymiyah confirms this method of night-counting to identify the Night of Power:

“It will be in the odd of it. But, the odd is in regards to what has passed. So it is sought in the 21st night, 23rd night, 25th night, 27th night and the 29th night. And it is in regards to what remains (of the month) as the Prophet said, ‘For the 9th that remains, for the 7th that remains, for the 5th that remains, for the 3rd that remains.’

So according to this, if the month is 30 days, Laylat-ul-Qadr would fall on the even nights. The 22nd night would be the 9th that remains, and the 24th night would be the 7th that remains.”

Abu Saeed al-Khudri also confirmed that to find Laylat-ul-Qadr the nights have to be calculated and not the dates. A questioner asked him:

“O Abu Saeed! You are more knowledgeable about numbers than us.”

He said:

“Yes. We have more right to it than you.”

“What is the 9th, 7th, and 5th?”

Abu Saeed responded:

“When 21 have passed, what follows it is 22, and that is the 9th. And when 23 have passed, what follows it is the 7th. And when 25 has passed, what follows it is the 5th.” (Muslim)

Since we can only know which nights are odd only after the month has been completed, we would have to focus on every night of the last ten nights to ensure we catch Laylat-ul-Qadr.

If Ramadan ends up having 30 days, the odd nights will fall on the even dates. If the month ends up having 29 days, the odd nights will fall on the odd dates.

The table below shows both possibilities:

Ramadan with 30 Days

Ramadan Dates222324252627282930
Remaining Sequential Night9th8th7th6th5th4th3rd2nd1st
Ramadan with 29 Days
Ramadan Dates212223242526272829
Remaining Sequential Night9th8th7th6th5th4th3rd2nd1st

 


About Shakiel Humayun

Shakiel Humayun, a dad, a husband, and an entrepreneur, was born and raised in New York City. He graduated from Baruch College with a BBA in Business Administration. He then completed postgraduate studies at the Umm-ul-Qura University in Makkah al-Mukarramah receiving an Associate’s Degree in Arabic and Islamic Studies with honors. He continued his studies at the College of Shariah at Umm-ul-Qura University. During his stay in Makkah, he had the opportunity to benefit from many scholars.

He firmly believes in the importance of a strong community and as a result his non-profit endeavors include founding the Foundation for Knowledge and Development,Wellspring Elementary, the Hatebusters, and Masjid ‘Eesa ibn Maryam. He currently blogs at shakielhumayun.com.

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