Surah Qadr

Surah Qadr

Surah Qadr (سورَةُ القَدر) meaning ordainment, also known as Innā Anzalnā (indeed We revealed), is a short surah of the 30th juz’ of the Quran. This surah is about Laylat al-Qadr (لَيلَةُ القَدر) meaning the “Night of Ordainment,” which is one of the three blessed nights of the month of Ramadan. In fact, it is the night on which God revealed the entire Quran to Prophet Muhammad.

Additionally, on this night, God ordains everything that will happen in that year. As God says in this surah, this night is so significant that it is better than a thousand months, and on this night, the angels and the Spirit (الرّوح) descend to the earth while sending peace to believers until the breaking of dawn.

Facts about Surah Qadr

Surah Qadr is the 97th surah in the Noble Quran that God revealed to Prophet Muhammad in Mecca. This surah is mainly about a specific sacred night known as the Night of Ordainment. On this night, which is most probably the eve of the 23rd of the holy month of Ramadan, the entire Quran was revealed to the Noble Prophet of Islam at once. Moreover, on this night, God ordains the entire things that will happen in an individual’s life for the next year. Muslims honor this month by keeping vigil and engaging in acts of worship until dawn.

97 Surah no.

Juz’ 30 Place

Makki Makki/Madani

25 Order of revelation

5 No. of verses

30 No. of words

114 No. of letters


Arabic Text and Translation of Surah Qadr


بِسْمِ ٱللَّهِ ٱلرَّحْمَٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيم

In the name of Allah, the most compassionate, most merciful

إِنَّآ أَنزَلْنَـٰهُ فِى لَيْلَةِ ٱلْقَدْرِ ﴿1﴾

Indeed We sent it down on the Night of Ordainment.

وَمَآ أَدْرَىٰكَ مَا لَيْلَةُ ٱلْقَدْرِ ﴿2﴾

And what will show you what is the Night of Ordainment?

لَيْلَةُ ٱلْقَدْرِ خَيْرٌ مِّنْ أَلْفِ شَهْرٍ ﴿3﴾

The Night of Ordainment is better than a thousand months.

تَنَزَّلُ ٱلْمَلَـٰٓئِكَةُ وَٱلرُّوحُ فِيهَا بِإِذْنِ رَبِّهِم مِّن كُلِّ أَمْرٍ ﴿4﴾

In it the angels and the Spirit descend, by the leave of their Lord, with every command.

سَلَـٰمٌ هِىَ حَتَّىٰ مَطْلَعِ ٱلْفَجْرِ ﴿5﴾

It is peaceful until the rising of the dawn.

Occasion and Context of Revelation of Surah Qadr

There is a narration that states that God revealed surah Qadr to Prophet Muhammad after his holiness dreamed that a person from the Umayyads was going up the pulpit. As a result, the Prophet became very sad. Therefore, God revealed this surah to console him and stated that one night of Qadr is better than a thousand months of the Umayyads rulership. 1

Another narration states that the occasion of revelation was when the Prophet related a story about a warrior of the Children of Israel (بَني إِسرائيل) who wore armor in order to fight in the way of God for a thousand months. After that, the companions of the Prophet were surprised by such a story. Subsequently, God revealed surah Qadr to the Prophet, in order to show that the Night of Qadr is greater than wearing armor to fight the enemies of God for a thousand months. 2

Tafseer of Surah Qadr

إِنَّآ أَنزَلْنَـٰهُ فِى لَيْلَةِ ٱلْقَدْرِ ﴿1﴾

Indeed We sent it down on the Night of Ordainment.

From the first verse, we understand that the third person pronoun actually refers to the Quran. The word anzalnā (أَنزَلنا: We sent down) comes from the root word inzāl (إِنزال), which means all at once sending down of something. In other words, the whole of the Quran was sent down to the Prophet on this night. Likewise, one can deduce the same thing from the first three verses of surah Dukhān (الدُّخان):

بِسْمِ ٱللَّهِ ٱلرَّحْمَٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيم

In the name of Allah, the most compassionate, most merciful

حم ﴿1﴾

Ha, Meem.

وَالْكِتَابِ الْمُبِينِ ﴿2﴾

By the clear Book,

إِنَّا أَنزَلْنَاهُ فِي لَيْلَةٍ مُّبَارَكَةٍ ۚ إِنَّا كُنَّا مُنذِرِينَ ﴿3﴾

Indeed, We sent it down during a blessed night. Indeed, We were to warn [mankind].

As can be seen, firstly, God swears by the entire Quran, and secondly, He asserts that the Quran was revealed on a blessed night.

Worth to read!  David in the Quran

On the other hand, the word tanzīl (تَنزيل) mean graduals descent of the Quran, as God Almighty has used in other verses of other surahs to convey this meaning. 3 For example, verse 106 of surah Isrā’ reads:

وَقُرْءَانًا فَرَقْنَـٰهُ لِتَقْرَأَهُۥ عَلَى ٱلنَّاسِ عَلَىٰ مُكْثٍ وَنَزَّلْنَـٰهُ تَنزِيلًا ﴿106﴾

We have sent the Quran in [discrete] parts so that you may recite it for the people a little at a time, and We have sent it down piecemeal.

In light of the above verse as well as the first verse of surah Qadr and the second and third verse of surah Dukhān, one can conclude that God revealed the Quran twice to the blessed heart of the Noble Prophet:

  1. Entirely on the Night of Qadr
  2. Gradually and piecemeal over the course of 23 years (i.e. the number of years of the Prophet’s apostleship)

The Naming of the Night of Qadr

Qadr means ordainment. Therefore, one may wonder why this night is called the Night of Ordainment and what does it have to do with the sending down of the Quran? First of all, one can find the answer to this from the fourth verse of surah Qadr:

تَنَزَّلُ ٱلْمَلَـٰٓئِكَةُ وَٱلرُّوحُ فِيهَا بِإِذْنِ رَبِّهِم مِّن كُلِّ أَمْرٍ ﴿4﴾

In it the angels and the Spirit descend, by the leave of their Lord, with every command.

Therefore, the angels will descend with every command that they receive from God on this night. In addition, the answer can be found in verses three to six of surah Dukhān that are also about Laylat al-Qadr:

إِنَّآ أَنزَلْنَـٰهُ فِى لَيْلَةٍ مُّبَـٰرَكَةٍ ۚ إِنَّا كُنَّا مُنذِرِينَ ﴿3﴾

We sent it down on a blessed night, and We have been warning [mankind].

فِيهَا يُفْرَقُ كُلُّ أَمْرٍ حَكِيمٍ ﴿4﴾

Every definitive matter is resolved on it,

أَمْرًا مِّنْ عِندِنَآ ۚ إِنَّا كُنَّا مُرْسِلِينَ ﴿5﴾

as an ordinance from Us.We have been sending apostles as a mercy from your Lord—

رَحْمَةً مِّن رَّبِّكَ ۚ إِنَّهُۥ هُوَ ٱلسَّمِيعُ ٱلْعَلِيمُ ﴿6﴾

indeed He is the All-hearing, the All-knowing—

As a result, we understand from these verses, especially verses three and four of surah Dukhān, that on this night, everything that is to happen is ordained and decided by God. In fact, in light of these verses and based on our narrations, on that night, every ordainment for that year is settled, and all of these ordinances are presented to the Imam of the time, meaning the vicegerent of God on earth, after which he will give the final approval. 4

In other words, in view of the fact that the Night of Qadr is repeated every year, there must be someone on earth who receives the commands and ordinances of God. At the time of the Prophet, the Prophet himself would receive them, whereas after him, his successors, meaning the infallible Imams receive them.

The Significance of the Night of Ordainment in Surah Qadr

The second and third verses of this surah lay emphasis on the importance and significance of the Night of Qadr:

وَمَآ أَدْرَىٰكَ مَا لَيْلَةُ ٱلْقَدْرِ ﴿2﴾

And what will show you what is the Night of Ordainment?

لَيْلَةُ ٱلْقَدْرِ خَيْرٌ مِّنْ أَلْفِ شَهْرٍ ﴿3﴾

The Night of Ordainment is better than a thousand months.

What happens on this night that it is so important? Is it only because the Quran was sent down on this night, or is there another reason? As was noted, based on our narrations, what God means by the descent of the angels and the Spirit with every command, is that on this night, everything that is to happen from the night of that year until the next will be ordained for people. For instance, God will ordain things such as when someone would:

  • have a child
  • get married
  • die
  • become prosperous or wretched in this life and the next

Nevertheless, this does not amount to predestination, but rather depending on people’s deeds, God will ordain people’s future accordingly and it may be subject to change. Furthermore, God and His Prophet have told us that we should honor this month by staying awake and keeping vigil, reciting the Quran and certain supplications, and asking God for forgiveness.

In fact, these acts of worship and the quality of their performance will also determine our ordainment for the following year. Additionally, this indicates that it is not the case that the events of this night have taken place only once and will not happen again, but rather they are repeated every year.

Worth to read!  Saleh in the Quran

When is the Night of Ordainment?

Now that we know that the entire Quran was revealed to the Prophet on a specific night, how can we know exactly on what night and month of the Islamic lunar calendar that specific night was? For this purpose, one must refer to other verses of the Quran that talk about the sending down and all at once descent of the Quran. Specifically, one verse clearly indicates that God revealed the Quran on one of the nights of the blessed month of Ramadan (رَمَضان). To illustrate, verse 185 of surah Baqarah (البَقَرَة) explicitly states that the Noble Quran was revealed in the holy month of Ramadan:

شَهْرُ رَمَضَانَ ٱلَّذِىٓ أُنزِلَ فِيهِ ٱلْقُرْءَانُ هُدًى لِّلنَّاسِ وَبَيِّنَـٰتٍ مِّنَ ٱلْهُدَىٰ وَٱلْفُرْقَانِ ﴿185﴾

The month of Ramadan is one in which the Quran was sent down as guidance to mankind, with manifest proofs of guidance and the Criterion.

However, the Quran does not specify on which night of this holy month God sent down the Quran. To this end, one must refer to narrations from the Prophet and his infallible successors to find out. As a matter of fact, there are narrations that state that the Night of Qadr is on one of the three nights of the month of Ramadan meaning the eve of:

  1. 19th of Ramadan (the night before the 19th day)
  2. 21st of Ramadan
  3. 23rd of Ramadan

Nevertheless, narrations state that most likely the Night of Qadr is on the eve of the 23rd of Ramadan. 5

Peace Until Dawn

The last verse of surah Qadr, meaning verse five of this surah, states that there will be peace on this night until the rising or breaking of dawn:

سَلَـٰمٌ هِىَ حَتَّىٰ مَطْلَعِ ٱلْفَجْرِ ﴿5﴾

It is peaceful until the rising of the dawn.

In reality, this peace refers to the fact that God’s grace and favor will shower upon those servants of His who turn to Him and honor this night. Furthermore, it is a night in which the door of punishment is closed and the Satan’s ruses prove ineffective. On the other hand, some Quranic exegetes say that this verse means that the angels of God send peace to whichever of God’s servants who engage in worship on this night.

In fact, this interpretation is a reference to the previous verse as well, that is, the angels who descend to earth are the ones who send peace and salutation on the worshipping servants of God on that night.

Esoteric Interpretation of Surah Qadr

As regards the esoteric interpretation (ta’wīl: تَأويل) of surah Qadr, some exegetes of the Quran have said that the word Laylah (night) is a reference to Lady Fatimah Zahra (فاطِمةُ الزَّهراء). Accordingly, when God in this surah says that people cannot appreciate the significance of the Night of Qadr, in the second verse, in reality God means that the significance, worth, and virtue of Fatimah is so great that people cannot appreciate and know it fully.

As an illustration, a narration from one of our Imams reads, “Laylah (night) is Fatimah, and Qadr is God. So, whosoever fully appreciates the status of Fatimah, he has in fact appreciated the Night of Qadr.” 6 It must be remembered that certain concepts in the Quran can have more than one example, and Laylat al-Qadr is one of those examples.

The Martyrdom of Imam ‘Ali (AS)

It is important to realize that two of the likely nights of Laylat al-Qadr are relevant to Imam ‘Ali. That is to say, Imam ‘Ali was struck with a sword on his head on the 19th of Ramadan, and was martyred two days later, meaning on the 21st of Ramadan. For this reason, those who honor the nights of Qadr also revere Imam ‘Ali and mourn him. In fact, this night assumes greater significance due to this occasion.

Surah Qadr

Virtues of Reciting Surah Qadr

One of our holy Imams has said, “Whoever recites this surah with a loud voice, is like the one who has drawn his sword to fight in the way of God. If he recites it in a low tone, it is as though he has been martyred in the way of God, and if he recites it ten times, God will forgive one thousand of his sins.” 7

Worth to read!  Surah Nas

Another one of our Imams has said, “Whoever recites surah Qadr seven times while sitting next to the grave of a believer, God Almighty will send an angel to worship Him in that exact place on behalf of the reciter of the surah and the dead person. Then, when God resurrects that dead person, thanks to the same angel, he will have no fear and will enter paradise. 8

Another narration reads, “Whoever recites surah Qadr in one of his obligatory prayers, a caller from God will say to him, ‘O servant of God, God has forgiven all your past sins. Thus, this marks a new beginning for you.’”

Whoever recites surah Qadr eleven times before going to sleep, God will assign eleven angels to protect that person from the evil of the Satan until morning. 9

Whoever recites surah Qadr 76 times every day and night, God will create eleven angels who will write the reward of reciting this surah 36,000 years and God will strengthen their seeking for forgiveness for that person. 10

Benefits of Reciting Surah Qadr

There are many benefits mentioned in narrations regarding reciting this surah. Some of them are:

Settlement of Debts

One of the benefits of reciting this surah is settling one’s debts. One of our Imams said, “Those who wish to pay their debts must seek forgiveness from God a lot and recite surah Qadr many times.” 11

Cure for Illnesses

A narration states that whoever has an ailment should buy a new jug, fill it up with water, and then recite surah Qadr thirty times to it. Then, he must drink that water, make ablution with it, and every time that water is to be finished, he must fill it again for three more days. Then, by God’s leave, he will be cured. 12

Eyesight

Whoever recites surah Qadr close to a glass of water and then drinks it, God will place a light in his eyes. 13

Ease of Childbirth

Anytime childbirth becomes difficult for a woman, one must recite surah Qadr next to her. 14

Having Children

Some people are deprived of having children or the desired gender of their child. One of our Imams has said in this regard, “Write surah Qadr with musk and saffron, then wash it and give to a woman to drink so she can conceive.” 15

Cure for Liver Disease

If someone writes surah Qadr on pottery and washes it with rainwater, then adds some sugar to it and drinks it, God willing, he will have a healthy liver. 16

Sound Sleep and Safety at Time of Sleep

Whoever recites surah Qadr 15 times after the ‘Isha prayer, he will be safe until the next night. And, whoever recites surah Qadr seven times before going to sleep, God will protect him until morning. 17

Answer to Prayer

Whoever recites surah Qadr in one of his obligatory prayers, God will accept his prayer and double his reward. And, whoever recites this surah and then says a prayer, God will answer his prayer. 18

God willing, by reading, memorizing, and reciting surah Qadr, we will be able to receive all of these rewards and benefits. Therefore, it is highly important that all of us learn to read the Quran. Click here to enroll in Islam4u’s course on how to read the Quran.


References

  1. Al-Mizan, vol. 20, p. 330, 334.
  2. Asbāb al-Nuzūl al-Qur’ān, p. 486.
  3. Quran 17:106.
  4. Al-Kafi, vol. 1, pp. 247-252.
  5. Saduq, al-Khiṣāl (الخِصال), p. 519.
  6. Bihar al-Anwar, vo. 43.
  7. Al-Kāfī, vol. 2, p. 621.
  8. Kāmil al-Ziyārāt, p. 322.
  9. Falāḥ al-Sā’il wa Najāḥ al-Masā’il, p. 281.
  10. Biḥār al-Anwār, vol. 89, p. 329.
  11. Al-Kāfī, vol. 5, p. 317.
  12. Ṭibb al-A’immah, p. 123.
  13. Mustadrak al-Wasā’il, vol. 4, p. 314.
  14. Al-Da‘awāt, p. 201.
  15. Ṭibb al-A’immah, p. 96.
  16. Mustadrak al-Wasā’il, vol. 4, p. 314.
  17. Tafsīr al-Burhān, vol. 5, p. 699.
  18. Mustadrak al-Wasā’il, vol. 4, p. 190.

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Abu Mahdi
Abu Mahdi
I'm Abu Mahdi, one of the writers of this blog. I have a BA in English literature and an MA in English language teaching. I am also a teacher and reciter of the Quran in the field of reading the Quran, tajweed, and maqamat. Currently, we are working on a course for learning tajweed of the Quran here on Islam4u.

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  1. I honestly never knew there could be a connection between Suratul Ghadr and the daughter of the Prophet. It would be great if you could share with us more explanations on such issues that are supported with reliable sources from both schools of thought.

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