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Importance of Laylat al-Qadr according to Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi

According to the religious guides it is absolutely proved that Laylat al-Qadr was not restricted to the time of the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and not only in Hijaz area. But in all the periods of time and for all different places it existed with all its importance and greatness and there is no scope for anything contrary to this.

Question: Many causes are mentioned in Islam regarding the importance and greatness of Laylat al-Qadr. Well-known traditions of religious leaders indicate it to one of the following nights of the holy month of Ramadan: 19th, 21st or 23rd. We are instructed to offer special prayers on this night.

It seems that Laylat al-Qadr is not more than one night every year, but we know this also that, because of the difference in horizons the beginning of the month of Ramadan in some countries happens to be one or two days earlier and in some happens to be one or two days later.

According to this situation in those places, there is difference of one or two nights of Laylat al-Qadr. And for those different places more than one Laylat al-Qadr comes into existence. This situation arises every year, as Laylat al-Qadr being only one night and in that particular night the angels descend with blessings and bounties, how harmonious is it?

Is it that Laylat al-Qadr was especially in the time of the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and in Mecca and that night is no more after that?

Answer: According to the religious guides it is absolutely proved that Laylat al-Qadr was not restricted to the time of the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and not only in Hijaz area. But in all the periods of time and for all different places it existed with all its importance and greatness and there is no scope for anything contrary to this.

Above mentioned objection has come up because it was imagined that Laylat al-Qadr being one in the whole year meant that every year for all the places in the world only one common night is fixed as Laylat al-Qadr and this night is fixed in every region of the world and it is liable to end at a fixed time.

However this concept is wrong, as we know that the earth is spherical and always one of its hemispheres happens to be in dark and the other in light. Therefore there can never be night at one fixed and common time in all the parts of the earth.

By saying that in the whole year there is only one Laylat al-Qadr, it means that for the residents of all the places, according to their own lunar year only one night is Laylat’ul-Qadr. The explanation to this statement is that residents of every place start their lunar year according to the specific horizon of that place from the first of Muharram.

And after passing some lunar months, the month of Ramadan also of that place, starts with the specific horizon of that place and in that month, 19th, 21st or 23rd night is Laylat al-Qadr for the people residing in that area.

Residents of every place have to fix their Holy Days and times according to specific horizon of that place and tot only Laylat al-Qadr in particular.

For example, Eidul Fitr and Eidul Azha are holy days in Islam and special prayers are prescribed for those days of these Eids not a single one comes on more than one day in the whole year. In different Muslim countries fixation of this day, even though there being difference in their existing horizons, each country fixes the day considering their specific horizon. This is the reason that for example in Saudi Arabia Eid-e-Adha is mostly celebrated one or two days before Pakistan and some other countries.

We should know that this account regarding Laylat al-Qadr, is not a negation for some other purposes (for example, this that in this night Angels are descending) Because all these situations are witness to the enlargement of the special blessings of Allah in this night, for the residents of all the places.

The selection taken from the “Philosophy of Islamic Laws by Naser Makarem Shirazi”.

About Ali Teymoori

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