Al-Qadr (surah)

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Sura 97 of the Quran
القدر
Al-Qadr
The Abundant Portion (or) The Abundant Blessings
Classification Meccan
Other namesFate, The Majesty, Destiny
Position Juzʼ 30
No. of verses 5

Al-Qadr (Arabic : القدر, "Power, Fate") is the 97th chapter (sūrah) of the Qur'an with 5 verses (āyāt). It is a Meccan surah [1] which celebrates the night when the first revelation of what would become the Qur'an was sent down. The surah has been so designated after the word al-qadr in the first verse. It is mainly about power.

Contents

Summary

This surah describes Laylat al-Qadr , the "Night of the abundant portion of blessings" in Ramadan on which Muslims believe the Qur'an was first revealed. The "Spirit" mentioned in verse 4 is commonly interpreted as referring to the angel Jibreel (Gabriel). The "peace" referred to is called by Mujahid "security in which Shaytan (Iblis) cannot do any evil or any harm", while Ibn Kathir quotes Ash-Sha'bi as saying that it refers to the angels greeting the people in the mosques throughout the night.

Laylat al-Qadr occurs during an odd-numbered night within the last ten days of Ramadan, but its exact date is uncertain; due to the promises made in the sura and in various hadith. Muslims consider it a particularly good time for prayer, supplication, and repentance to God. This event marks the descent of the first revelation of the Quran to Earth. The official Islamic teaching is that Muhammad received the revelations that formed the Quran piecemeal for the next twenty-three years of his life up until the time of his death.

Period of revelation

Whether it is a Makka or a Madina revelation is disputed. Abu Hayyan al-Gharnati in Al-Bahr al-Muhti [2] has made the claim that the majority of scholars regard it as a Madani Surah. Ali bin Ahmad al-Wahidi in his commentary says that this is the first Surah to be sent down in Madinah. Contrary to this, Al-Mawardi says that according to the majority of scholars it is a Makki revelation, and the same view has Imam Suyuti expressed in Al-Itqan. Ibn Mardayah has cited Ibn Abbas, lbn Az Zubair and Aishah as saying that this Surah was revealed at Mecca.

Theme and subject matter

Its theme is to acquaint man with the value, worth and importance of the Quran. Its being placed just after Surah Al-Alaq in the arrangement of the Quran by itself explains that the Holy Book, the revelation of which began with the first revelation of first five verses of Surah Al-Alaq. was sent down in a destiny making night. It is a glorious Book and its revelation for mankind is full of blessings.

At the outset, Allah says: "We have sent it down." That is, it is not a composition of Muhammad himself, but We Ourself have revealed it.

Then, it is said that "We sent it down in the Night of Destiny." Night of Destiny lies two meanings and both are implied here. First, that it is the night during which destinies are decided; or, in other words, it is not an ordinary night like the other nights, but a night in which destinies are made or destroyed . The revelation of this Book in this night is not merely the revelation of a book but an event which will change the destiny of not only the Quraysh tribe, or of Arabia, but of, the entire world. The same thing has been said in Surah Ad-Dukhan for which please see Introduction to that Sura and E. N. 3 thereof. The other meaning is that this is, a night of unique honor, dignity and glory; so much so that it is better than a thousand months. Thus, the disbelievers of Mecca have been warned, as if to say: "You on account of your ignorance regard this Book, which Muhammad (upon whom be Allah's peace and blessings) has presented, as a calamity for yourselves and complain that a disaster has befallen you, whereas the night in which it was decreed to be sent down was such a blessed night that a task was accomplished in it for the well being of mankind, which had never been accomplished even during a thousand months of history." This also has been said in verse 3 of Ad-Dukhan in another way, which is explained in the introduction to that Surah.

In conclusion, it has been stated that in this night the angels and Gabriel descend with every decree (which in verse 4 of Surah Ad- Dukhan has been described as amr-hakim: wise decree) by the leave of their Lord, and it is all peace from evening till morning; that is, there is no interference of evil in it, for all decrees of Allah are intended to promote good and not evil. So much so that even if a decision to destroy a nation is taken, it is taken for the sake of ultimate good, not evil.

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References

  1. Quran Verses in Chronological Order
  2. Abdulmageed Falah, Grammatical Opinions of Abu Hayyan Andalusi between Theory and Practice. Arab Journal for the Humanities. Academic Publication Council, Kuwait University: Vol. 29, Issue 116. 2011.