There is only one simple prayer the Prophet, on him be peace, taught us to say on Laylatul Qadr, the Night of Empowering Decree.
His wife, ‘Aishah, Allah be pleased with her, asked him:
“If I know a night to be Laylatul Qadr, what should I say on that night?”
“Say: O Allah! You are all-pardoning. You love to pardon. So pardon me.”
(In transliterated Arabic: Allahumma innaka ‘afuwwun tuhibbu’l-‘afwa fa‘afu ‘anni.) (Tirmidhi)
No. This statement of the Prophet, on him be peace, does not mean this is the only du’a one should make.
It means this is the very best prayer we can utter in this incomparable moment because it condenses all that we seek from Allah — on this holiest of nights and in the whole of our lives — in just seven words: divine pardon for our sins and failings so He cleanses us, by His grace, rendering us worthy of admission to His Gardens of Paradise.
It is best also because this du’a is perfect in its manner and structure, as well as in its content for this destiny-altering Night. It entreats Allah with the exemplary etiquette and sequence of accepted supplication:
First, it acknowledges Him alone with humility.
Next, it beseeches Him only with intense sincerity by the action of one of His Beautiful Names.
Then, it extols the superabundance with which He copiously showers His loving, kind mercy upon all His creation.
Only lastly does it entreat His gracious clemency on His servant, who is now in beautiful surrender.
This, then, is a peerlessly packed and perfect prayer for a singular illuminated night. Only the Prophet, on him be peace, could have uttered it. It is Revelation.
As to the question of devotions in this time, one should fill the night of Laylatul Qadr with worship: supplications, Allah’s remembrances (dhikr), Quran recitation, and — above all — Ṣalâh (Prayer).
The Prophet, on him be peace, said:
“One who stands much (in ṣalâh, ritual prayer) in Laylatul Qadr — in anticipation of Allah’s reward — will be forgiven all his past sins”
(Bukhârî and Muslim)
The Prophet, on him be peace, said Laylatul Qadr is one of the odd-numbered nights of the last 10 nights of Ramadan. So people should say this prophetic supplication and strive in their ritual prayer (ṣalâh), other worship, and give ṣadaqah-charity most on the 21st, 23rd, 25th, 27th, and 29th nights of Ramadan.
Of these, the strongest prophetic indication is one of the last three nights (Bukhârî), and the 27th likelier among these, according to a prophetic report:
“One searching for Laylatul Qadr should seek it on the night of the 27th”
Yet we do not know certainly in which of these last 10 Ramadan nights Laylatul Qadr descends.
This means one should treat each of the last 10 nights of Ramadan as if it is Laylatul Qadr and recite the perfect and easy du’a our beloved has taught us specially for this Night in great profusion.
“O Allah! You are all-pardoning. You love to pardon. So pardon me.”
(Allahumma innaka ‘afuwwun tuhibbu’l-‘afwa fa‘afu ‘anni.)
Sign up for our email newsletter
In 2020, 81¢ from each dollar donated went directly toward programs serving those in need. 12¢ went to administrative costs & 7¢ went to fundraising costs.