Lailatul Qadr – Odd or even nights?!

Bismillahi wal Hamdullillah Was Salātu Was Salāmu ‘Alaa Rasoolillahi

Ammā ba’d:

Now that the last ten days of Ramadhān are upon us there is an issue that often time comes up during ramadhān related to the affair of lailatul qadr. What is commonly known is that one should look for it during the last ten nights on the odd nights, since many texts indicate that.

There is a group of scholars though, who hold that it is possible to occur on an even night and they site texts that indicate that. From those scholars we have the statement of Shaikhul Islām Ibn Taimiyah – Rahimahullahu ta’ala.

Shaikhul Islām states (after being asked about Lailatul Qadr):

Alhamdullillah lailatul Qadr is in the last ten nights of the month of ramadhān, this is how it has authentically occurred from the messenger – () that he said:

It is in the last ten days of Ramadhān

and it is in the odd nights.

The odd nights though, are viewed in respect to that which has passed (from the month), thus one seeks out the 21st and the 23rd and the 25th and the 27th and the 29th.

It is also sought from a point of view of what remains (from the month). Just as the Prophet – Sallallahu alaihi Was salam said (In the Hadīth of Abu Bakarah – Radhiyallahu anhu):

“(seek it) on the ninth of the nights remaining of ramadhān, the seventh of the nights remaining of Ramadhān, the fifth of the nights remaining of ramadhān, the third of the nights remaining of ramadhān

(Collected by Imaam Abu Dawood At Tayālisi (922 – Turki print) and tirmidhi and declared ‘Sahīh bu Shaikh Nāsir in Sahīh Sunan At Tirmidhi (636))

Based upon this, if it is a 30 day month, then that will occur on even nights, and the 22nd night will be the 9th of the nights remaining from ramadhān, the 24th will be the 7th of the nights remaining from ramadhān (and so on). This is how Abu Sa’īd Al Khudhri explained it in an authentic hadīth. And thus the Prophet  (ﷺ ) established the month in this way.

If (however) the month is of 29 days, (as lunar months often are) then the remaining days (as it relates to them falling on odd or even nights) will be the same as the past days (meaning whichever way one looks at it on a 29 day month, the odd nights in respect to looking at the month from the beginning will start from the 21st and considering the second hadīth, counting down, the ninth night will also fall on the 21st and eight will be on the 22nd and so on)

Therefore if this is the case it is befitting that the believer seeks it out in all of the (nights of the) last ten..”

(Majmoo’ul Fatāwā 25/284-285)

Thus according to this last hadīth and explanation of Shaikhul Islām, it is as though one is counting the last nine nights down from the 22nd in a 30 day month or the 21st in a 29 day month.

Therefore reflecting upon this statement of Shaikhul Islām we see that whether the month has 29 or 30 days, the month always has ten complete last days. If the month is of 30 days, then the last ten begins on the 21st night, but if the month is of 29 days then the last ten begins on the 20th night. This is in respect to what has passed of the month. Then if one looks at the month from a point of view of ‘that which remains’ (as occurs in the second hadīth) then the ninth of the nights remaining from ramadhān in a 30 day month falls on the 22nd night, while the ninth of the nights remaining from ramadhān in a 29 day month falls on the 21st night.

If this is understood then it becomes clear that lailatul qadr may possibly fall on an even night just as it may possibly fall on an odd night though it is most likely to fall on an odd night as occurs in the popular hadīth.

Thus it is possible that lailatul qadr could fall on an even night.

Perhaps this may shine some light upon the following hadeeth that discusses the qur’aan being revealed from the lawh al Mahfooh to the lowest heavens on laylatul Qadr.

Upon the authority of wāthilah Ibnil Asqa’ from the Prophet (ﷺ) who said:

The scrolls of Ibrāhīm were revealed on the first night of the month of ramadhān, and the taurāt was revealed on the 6th day of Ramadhān. The Injīl was revealed on the 13th day of Ramadhān and the zaboor on the 18th day of Ramadhān and the Qur’ān was revealed on the 24th of Ramadhān

(Collected by Tabarāni and Baihaqi and declared ‘Hasan’ by Shaikh Al Albāni in Sahīhul Jāmi’ (1497))

and since Allah the most high says:

Indeed we have sent it (this Qur’ān) down in the night of Qadr

(Suratul Qadr Vs 1)

Wallahu A’lam

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