Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article.Join Britannica's Publishing Partner Program and our community of experts to gain a global audience for your work!
Laylat al-Qadr, (Arabic: “Night of Power”) Islamic festival that commemorates the night on which God first revealed the Qur?ān to the Prophet Muhammad through the angel Gabriel. It is believed to have taken place on one of the final 10 nights of Ramadan in 610 CE, though the exact night is unclear. The date of the annual commemoration thus varies throughout the Islamic world but is most commonly observed on the 23rd night of Ramadan for Shi?i Muslims and on the 27th for Sunni Muslims.
According to Islamic tradition, the Qur?ān (the literal word of God which was relayed to humanity through Muhammad) was first revealed to Muhammad after a period of habitual meditation in seclusion. During one of his retreats, on Laylat al-Qadr, the angel Gabriel appeared to him and commanded him: “Iqra?!” (“Recite!”)
Aside from the celebration of the Qur?ān’s revelation, the annual observance of Laylat al-Qadr holds additional significance as a night in which angels descend to earth with a myriad of tasks, leading to a night of peace, blessings, and divine guidance (qadar) until the dawn. It is thus commemorated with solemnity, devotion, and prayer, and some observers spend the festival in a mosque in retreat (i?tikāf).
Learn More in these related Britannica articles:
Islam, major world religion promulgated by the Prophet Muhammad in Arabia in the 7th century ce. The Arabic term islām, literally “surrender,” illuminates the fundamental religious idea of Islam—that the believer (called a Muslim, from the active particle of islām) accepts surrender to the will of Allah (in Arabic, Allāh:…
Allah, the one and only God in Islam. Etymologically, the name Allah is probably a contraction of the Arabic al-Ilāh, “the God.” The name’s origin can be traced to the earliest Semitic writings in which the word for god was il, el, or eloah, the latter two used…
Qur?ān, (Arabic: “Recitation”) the sacred scripture of Islam. According to conventional Islamic belief, the Qur?ān was revealed by the angel Gabriel to the Prophet Muhammad in the West Arabian towns Mecca and Medina beginning in 610 and ending with Muhammad’s death in 632 ce. The word…