Laylat al-Qadr, or the night Muslims believe the first verses of Quran were revealed to Prophet Muhammad, is one of the major events to look for in the month of Ramadan or Ramzan, which is already underway from Thursday, June 18.
Also known as the Night of Destiny, Night of Power, Night of Value, the Night of Decree, or Night of Measures, Lalyat al-Qadr night is one of the last ten days in the holy month and Muslims believe that on this night, God blesses everyone, forgives their sins and grants their prayers. In Quran, the night was described as “better than a thousand months.”
While Sunnis observe it strictly on this night that includes Quran reading or remaining in the mosque throughout, for Shi’ites, the event also marks the period during which they believe the first Imam was killed. They spare part of the Laylat al-Qadr night to mourn the death of their first Imam.
With over a billion Muslims observing the fast, spending more time in prayers and maintaining abstinence from sexual activity, often they become targets of wars and invasions too. Last year, Israel chose the Lalyat night for its air raids.
Laylat al-Qadr falls on the last five odd nights in the final 10 days of Ramadan, which means one of the 21st, 23rd, 25th, 27th or 29th day of Ramadan take precedence over the day with prayers in mosques, with Quran reading throughout the night.
Last year, Israeli jets raided Palestinian areas during the night on Laylat al-Qadr, raising anger among the Muslim countries.
The next big event is Eid ul-Fitr, when Muslims break their month-long fasting and celebrate the festival with colourful new clothes, visit to the mosque and giving money or gifts in charity. Eid al-Fitr usually lasts for three days.