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Laylat al Qadr: a night of spirituality during Ramadan

The night of 19-20 May 2020 is a special night in Muslim culture. It corresponds to Laylat al Qadr or the Night of Power, a blessed date in the month of Ramadan when a key event in the history of Islam is commemorated.

During the holy month of Ramadan, there is a date that Muslims consider blessed: Laylat al Qadr, or the Night of Destiny. It commemorates a key event in the history of Islam: the night when the Qur’an was revealed to Prophet Muhammad by the angel Gabriel in the cave of Hirah.

One night, several dates

According to the Prophet’s accounts, the event in question took place on an odd day among the last 10 days of Ramadan. As the precise date of Laylat al-Qadr is unknown, its commemoration varies according to the currents of Islam and the regions of the Muslim world.

Thus, among Sunnis, it is found during the 21st, 23rd, 25th, 27th or 29th night of Ramadan. Among the Shiites, it falls during the 19th, 21st and 23rd night of the holy month. In France, the Great Mosque of Paris proposes, as an indicative date, the night of 26 or 27 Ramadan which corresponds, this year, to the night of 19 to 20 May 2020. This is also the same matter in several states in North Africa and the Middle East.

A date placed under the sign of spirituality

Whether in Sunni or Shia belief, the Night of Doom is traditionally a time of deep contemplation. According to the Qur’an, which devotes several verses to it in the 97th Sura, known as Al-Qadr (The Destiny), “the night of Al-Qadr is better than a thousand months. During the night of Al-Qadr is better than a thousand months. During it, the angels descend with the Spirit, by permission of their Lord for every command. It is peace and salvation until the dawn appears.”

In the Muslim faith, it is even a night during which the most pious Muslims can ask forgiveness for their sins, through prayers, meditative readings of the Koran and “hadith” (stories of the Prophet) and gifts. A specific prayer known as “Tarawih” is even performed by imams in mosques at night and concludes with the recitation of the entire Qur’an.