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Leyla al-Qadr: The Night of Power

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During the last ten days of Ramadan, Muslims seek and observe the Night of Power (Leyla al-Qadr). The Qur'an describes this night in a chapter named for it:

Surah (Chapter) 97

Al-Qadr (The Night of Power)

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

We have indeed revealed this message in the Night of Power.
And what will explain what the Night of Power is?
The Night of Power is better than a thousand months.
Therein come down the angels and the spirit, by Allah's permission, on every errand.
Peace! Until the rising of the morn!

Tradition holds that the Night of Power is the night that the first revelation of the Qur'an was sent down to the Prophet Muhammad. Muslims are instructed to "seek" the Night of Power during the last ten days of Ramadan, particularly on the odd nights (ie. the 23rd, 25th and 27th). It is reported that the Prophet said: "Whoever stays up (in prayer and remembrance of Allah) on the Night of Qadr, fully believing (in Allah's promise of reward) and hoping to seek reward, he shall be forgiven for his past sins." (Bukhari & Muslim)

Muslims worldwide spend the last ten nights of Ramadan in solid devotion, retreating to the mosque to read Qur'an (i'tikaf), reciting special supplications (du'a), and reflecting on the meaning of Allah's message to us. It is believed to be a time of intense spirituality, when the believers are surrounded by angels, the gates of heaven are open, and God's blessings and mercy are abundant.

The whole month of Ramadan is a time of renewal and reflection. As the month winds to a close, we pray that the spirit of Ramadan, and the lessons learned during it, last for all of us throughout the year.

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