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THE NIGHT OF POWER

Tafseer of Surah al Qadr


Teacher: Abdullah Hasan Venue: East London Mosque Date: 27 August 2010
Reflections on Surah Laylatul Qadr

CONTENTS

Arabic & Translation ............................................................................................................. 3

Word for word analysis and explanation: .................................................................... 4

Laylatul Qadr: Step by Step Guide ................................................................................... 8

Laylatul Qadr Checklist ...................................................................................................... 10

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Meadows of Paradise: The Night of Power – Tafseer of Surah al Qadr – Abdullah Hasan – ELM/IFE
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ARABIC & TRANSLATION

ِ ‫بﱢس ِْم اللﱠـ ِه الرﱠحْ َم ٰـ ِن الر‬


‫ﱠح ِيم‬

‫﴾ لَ ْيلَةُ ْالقَ ْد ِر َخ ْي ٌر‬٢﴿ ‫ك َما لَ ْيلَةُ ْالقَ ْد ِر‬


َ ‫﴾ َو َما أَ ْد َرا‬١﴿ ‫إِنﱠا أَن َز ْلنَاهُ فِي لَ ْيلَ ِة ْالقَ ْد ِر‬

﴾٤﴿ ‫﴾ تَنَ ﱠز ُل ْال َم َالئِ َكةُ َوالرﱡ و ُح فِيھَا بِإِ ْذ ِن َربﱢ ِھم ﱢمن ُك ﱢل أَ ْم ٍر‬٣﴿ ‫ف َشھ ٍْر‬
ِ ‫ﱢم ْن أَ ْل‬
ْ ‫َس َال ٌم ِھ َي َحتﱠ ٰى َم‬
﴾٥﴿ ‫طلَ ِع ْالفَجْ ِر‬

Indeed, We sent the Qur’an down during the Night of Power (Laylatul

Qadr). And what can make you know what the Night of Power is? The

Night of Power is better than a thousand months. The angels and the

Spirit descend therein by permission of their Lord for every matter.

Peace it is until the emergence of dawn.

Meadows of Paradise: The Night of Power – Tafseer of Surah al Qadr – Abdullah Hasan – ELM/IFE
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WORD FOR WORD ANALYSIS AND EXPLANATION:

Inna (‫)إِنﱠا‬: Inna is a particle of emphasis. Inna belongs to a group of words called “Inna
and its sisters” (literally: inna wa akhawaatuhaa). Inna changes the mubtada to ismu-
inna, and the khabar to khabru-inna; grammatically, khabru-inna is mansoob (usually
with fatha); this is how you know what’s being emphasized.

This also highlights the importance of this night. It is Allah who is emphasising the
virtue of this night.

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Anzalnaa hu (ُ‫)أَن َز ْلنَاه‬: We revealed it. Anzalnaa comes from nazala, which means to
descend or go down; anzalnaa is “we sent down” (the original is anzala). Hu, it, is the
maf’ool, the recipient of the anzala–the “what” we sent down. We know this because it’s
marfoo’; it’s not “huwa,” it’s “hu.” And what is this it? Nothing less than Al-Qur’an Al-
Kaeem.

Ibn Abbas explains: "Allah sent the Qur'an down all at one time from the Preserved
Tablet to the House of Might (Bayt al-'Izzah), which is in the heaven of this world. Then
it came down in parts to the Messenger of Allah based upon the incidents that occurred
over a period of twenty-three years.''

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Fiy (‫)فِي‬: In. Fiy is a prepositon (hafu-jarr); the thing it modifies becomes majroor,
usually with kasra. Prepositions change in meaning depending on context, but here, and
generally, fiy means “in.”

Laylatul-Qadar (‫)لَ ْيلَ ِة ا ْلقَ ْد ِر‬: Literally, the night of Al-Qadar. Scholars say it means that it
means the night that Allah ordains the qadar of people for the next year. (It’s a
mudaf/mudaf-ilayh combination; evidenced by the single tanween on layl, and the kasra
on qadar).

Qadr in the Arabic language has a number of meanings: 1) Estimation/Determination –


Allah determines the provisions of all the people in this night. 2) Noble / Honour –
because of the nobility and greatness of this night. 3) Appreciation – to appreciate the
great number of Angels descending in this night. 4) Constriction /Congestion – because
of the great number of angels coming in this night. The hadith says the number will be

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the same as the number of pebbles on the earth. 5) Power – the power of Allah and the
power of this night.

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Wa maa adaraaka, maa (‫)و َما أَ ْد َرا َك َما‬:


َ This phrase means, “and what will make you
know, what [blank] is?” maa is ismu-istifhaam, the interrogative particle (aka a
question-mark). This phrase, when it appears, means: “And you will NEVER understand
what [blank] is. But here’s a taste …” so an explanation follows.

Khayrun (‫)خ ْي ٌر‬:َ Khayr means good; or it can be ism tafdeel, the
comparative/superlative; in this case, it’s the comparative–better, not best. We know
this, since it’s used with “min.”

Min ( ْ‫) ﱢمن‬: Mean usually means “from.” When used with ism tafdeel, it means “than.” i.e.
“x min y”, x is better than y. Also, a tip from the realm of tajweed: notice the shaddah on
the meem? That’s because you use yarmaluwn when you recite khayrun–noon with
double-tanween, followed by one of the letters of yarmaluwn. This is why I love the
Saudi mushaf–it gives you these helpful hints.

Alf (‫ف‬ِ ‫)أَ ْل‬: Alif means 1000. It’s majroor (with kasra), and it comes after min, so we know
it’s the majroor of min, and the thing we’re comparing to. “Better than 1000 …” But wait.
Why does it have single tanween, not double (i.e. alfi, not alfin)? The answer is … look at
the next word.

Shahr (‫ش ْھ ٍر‬


َ ): Shahr means month. Notice the double-tanween kasra here; combined
with the single-kasra on alfi, makes us conclude that this is a mudaf/mudaf-ilayh pair
(possessive case). But actually, it’s complicated–it’s how the number system works at
1000. The number digit is the possessor, and the thing we’re counting (months) is plural
and the possessed (mudaf), hence the kasra.

Tanazzalu (‫)تَنَ ﱠز ُل‬: You can see the root-word here–nazala. Nazala means “descend,”
nazzala (shaddah on the za) means a more intense form of descending. The ta hints that
it might be fi’l mudaari’, the present-/future-tense. The “ta” also hints that the doer is
either you (second-preson) or she (third-person); let’s see who’s doing the descending.

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ْ The angels. It means, literally, it means “the angel” (malaikah is


Al-Malaaikah (ُ‫)ال َم َالئِ َكة‬:
single); but using alif-lam with a singular sometimes means the whole species of
something. Like An-Naas; naas is a singular word, but An-Naas means the human

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species. It’s the faa’il (doer), because of the damma (it’s marfoo’). It’s the one doing the
descending.

Wa Ar-Ruh (‫وح‬ ُ ‫الر‬


‫) َو ﱡ‬: Ar-Ruh literally means, “the spirit.” Sometimes it refers to Jibreel
(alayhi salaam). It’s also marfoo’, so it’s also the faa’il, and it’s descending.

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Fiyhaa (‫)فِي َھا‬: Fiy, we know; haa, is the majroor/mansoob of “hiya.” It means here, “in it.”
What it? Laylatul-Qadar. (Layl is also feminine; so we know it’s that.)

Bi (‫ب‬
ِ ): Another harfu-jarr. Usually means “with.”

Idhn (‫)إِ ْذ ِن‬: Permission.It’s majroor (with kasra) because of bi. The single tanween hints
at another idaafah (possessive) case; which is right. It’s also the mudaaf.

Rabbihim (‫)ربﱢ ِھم‬:


َ Rabb means, Allah; Allah is Ar-Rab, the creator/owner/sustainer of
everything; and also, in this case, the owner of idhn, the permission. Also, “rabbihim” is
itself an idaafah case; rabb has single tanween, and him is the mudaf. “With the
permission of their lord.” Or literally, “with the permission of the lord of them.”

Min (‫) ﱢمن‬: Usually means From.

Imam Shawkani mentions three possible meanings of min in this verse. 1) Because of
every command, 2) Min with the meaning of lam –for every command, 3) with the
meaning of Ba – with every command.

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Kulli (‫) ُك ﱢل‬: Every. It’s majroor because of min.

Amr (‫)أَ ْم ٍر‬: Command. Or, affair (as in, our matter). Root verb is amara, to command.

Ibn Abbas, Ali, Ikrimah and Kalbi read ‘amr’ as imri’in ‘person’ – because of every
person. Kalbi explained – because they angels descend and greet every person in this
night. Amazing! (Imam Shawkani, Fathul Qadeer).

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Meadows of Paradise: The Night of Power – Tafseer of Surah al Qadr – Abdullah Hasan – ELM/IFE
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Salaam (‫س َال ٌم‬


َ ): Peace. Ikhtilaaf about what it refers to in this verse. Some say in this
night the devils cannot harm a believer. Sha’bi, Allah calls it peace because the angels
are constantly giving salams to the believers in the mosques etc. It was also said that
peace here means that the angels greeting one another. ‘Ata said that salam is given to
the close friends (awliya) and the people of obedience.

It’s also the khabr. But then again, it isn’t an indefinite khabar not allowed in Arabic
grammar? Well, Allah can do whatever He wants. Don’t be too hardcore about
grammar.

Hiya (‫) ِھ َي‬: She. Or it. Here, “it”–laylatul-qadar.

Hatta (‫)حتﱠى‬:
َ Until. A particle of time. So it makes the thing it’s talking about, majroor.
See next word.

Matla’ (‫) َم ْطلَ ِع‬: A noun of some sort. I’m going to hypothesize here and say that the “ma”
implies, as it sometimes does, the place of something (e.g. masjid–the place of sujood).
That would make the root verb would be tala’a, which means to emerge, or to rise, or
something along those lines. Again, notice the single tanween–idaafah. And why is it
majroor? Because of hatta.

Al-Fajr (‫)ا ْلفَ ْج ِر‬: Al-Fajr refers to the time at which the darkness of night starts receding–
dawn. Salat-ul-Fajr, therefore, is the salah of the time Al-Fajr. The root word is fajara,
which means to split open, break open, break though; because the dawn breaks
through the darkness of night.

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Meadows of Paradise: The Night of Power – Tafseer of Surah al Qadr – Abdullah Hasan – ELM/IFE
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LAYLATUL QADR: STEP BY STEP GUIDE

1. Start preparing for it at Fajr time. After Fajr Salah make sure you do the morning
dhikr especially ‘La ilaa illahu wahdau la sharika lahu, lahul mulku walahul hamd
wahuwa ‘ala kulli shayin qadeer ‘’ 100 times. The Prophet said whoever says it
100 times in the morning and evening, 100 good deeds will be recorded for you
and 100 evil deeds will be erased from your tab, and you will be protected from
the shaytan. Important issue here is that you will be free from the whisperings of
the shaytan to prepare for the Night of Power.

2. Treat Iftar to a fasting person, either by inviting him to your house, or by buying
the food for him and sending it to him. The Prophet said that whoever breaks
another person’s fast he will receive the same reward as the person without his
reward being diminished.
3. When the day breaks make as much dua as possible that Allah helps you and
makes it easy for you to worship Him during this night.

4. If you haven’t paid your Zakat money pay it this night as the rewards will be
magnified. If you have then prepare some sadaqa to give in the way of Allah.
Remember charity burns our sins as fire burns wood.

5. During the course of the day try and avoid people as much as possible (except
those who need your support). This way you will not be harmed nor will you
harm anyone. Thus entering the night with clean heart and mind.

6. Throughout the daytime make sure you perform the obligatory duties such as
prayer on time with the sunnahs. Repeat after the mu’dhin and make the
necessary supplications. (see Hisnul Muslim).

7. When you break your fast, make sure you’re mindful that Allah may not accept
your fasting, so you should yearn for and anticipate His mercy and reward.
Supplicate also with the following dua ‘’allahumma ‘ainni wa waffiqni li qiyami
Laylatul qadr’ O Allah help me and facilitate for me to worship you in this Night’.

8. Constantly make the chosen dua for this night ‘’Allahumma inna ‘afuwun tuhibbul
afwa fa’fu ‘anni’’ O Allah you the Most Forgiving, and You love to forgive, so
forgive me’’

9. If you have parents, make sure you are dutiful towards them. Break Iftar with
them and fulfil all their needs.

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10. If you are not in good terms with a family member try and resolve it before the
night starts.

11. If you can, do a bath and perform wudhu like the Prophet.

12. Put on clean clothes and put nice perfume on before going to the Mosque

13. When you enter the Mosque perform all the etiquettes of the Mosque. Try not to
speak to people too much, just focus all your energy to be alone with Allah.

14. Pray the salahs with khushu and try to cry, if tears are not coming out try and
make them come out.

15. When you return home make sure you are still doing the dhikr of Allah.

16. When you arrive at your house, eat and make dua, make wudhu and take some
rest (sleep) if you need to. Your sleep will be counted as ibadah.

17. Wake up in due time and pray Tahajjud, eat and then pray fajr. After fajr, read the
Qur’an, make constant dua and plead to Allah to forgive you. Do that and the
morning dhikr until sunrise, all the while being mindful of the presence of the
angels.

18. Remember this is the night in which Allah decrees your rizq for the coming year,
so implore Allah; cry your heart out as they say so that He may give you what you
desire. Don’t think what you’re asking for is too much for Allah, nothing you ask
will decrease His dominion. You want money ask Him, you want a wife/husband
ask Him, you want a job ask Him, you want children ask Him, you want peace of
heart ask Him, anything you desire ask. Remember that you must focus and
concentrate when you pray and make dua. Your knife needs to be sharp.

19. When you make dua remember that there certain etiquettes you have to follow.
1) Praise Allah first, 2) then send salutations upon the Prophet, 3) then pray for
the Ummah and make dua for your parents, family etc, 4) and finally make dua
for yourself. Try and follow this order as much as you can.
20. And finally pleeeeeeeeese don’t forget to make dua for me: Abdullah Hasan ☺

Meadows of Paradise: The Night of Power – Tafseer of Surah al Qadr – Abdullah Hasan – ELM/IFE
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LAYLATUL QADR CHECKLIST

Required activities & deeds 21st 23rd 25th 27th 29th Comments

Woke up for Fajr and Pray the fard with its


sunnah
Made my morning Dhikr with the dua
mentioned above
Prayed all the 12 rak’at of Sunnah during the
day
Avoided mixing with people too much –
including facebook, twitter etc
Kiss * and made up with people who I am
not in good terms with

Helped doing the household chores

Helped my parents – fulfilled their needs

Had a bath /shower

Made sure that I have clean clothes to wear

Treated another person to Iftari

Collected my Zakah /Sadaqa money to give


in the Mosque

Memorised the chosen dua/supplication

Made sure that I am psyched up for the


power of this night
Made sure that I do not twaddle or argue
with anyone in the Mosque

Made sure that I did not backbite anyone

*kiss is only for sisters☺, and it’s only on the cheeks

To print out more copies of the table please visit www.abdullahhasan.net

Meadows of Paradise: The Night of Power – Tafseer of Surah al Qadr – Abdullah Hasan – ELM/IFE
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