Revealed at Makkah.


"THE word 'al Qadr," says Sale, "signifies 'power,' and 'honour' or 'dignity,' and also the 'divine decree;' and. the night is so named either from its excellence above all other nights in the year, or because, as the Muhammadans believe, the 'divine decrees' for the ensuing year are annually on this night fixed and settled, or taken from the 'preserved table' by God's throne, and given to the angels to be executed. On this night Muhammad received his first revelations, when the Quran, say the commentators, was sent down from the aforesaid table, entire and in one volume, to the lowest heaven, from whence Gabriel revealed it to Muhammad by parcels, as occasion required."

Muir, in his Life of Mahomet, vol. ii. p. 138, note, says that that which was sent down to Muhammad was more likely "a clear and vivid view of divine truth, which that night burst upon his mind."

Probable Date of the Revelations.

All authorities agree that this chapter belongs to the earliest Makkan period. Noëldeke places it immediately after chap. xciii.

Principal Subjects.

The Quran or a divine illumination vouchsafed to Muhammad on the night of al Qadr . . . 1
The night of al Qadr described and lauded ... 2-5


R 1/23.

(1) Verily we sent down the Quran in the night of al Qadr. (2) And what shall make thee understand how excellent the night of al Qadr is? (3) The night of al Qadr is better than a thousand months. (4) Therein do the angels descend, and the spirit of Gabriel also, by the permission of their LORD, with his decrees concerning every matter. (5) It is peace until the rising of the morn.

(1) Al Qadr. "The Muslim doctors are not agreed where to fix the night of al Qadr; the greater part are of opinion that it is one of the ten last nights of Ramadhán, and, as is commonly believed, the seventh of those nights reckoning backwards, by which means it will fall between the 23d and 24th days of that month."— Sale, Baidháwi, Zamakhshari.

See also notes on chap. xliv. 2, 3.

(3) The night, &c. Muslims usually spend this whole night in fasting and prayer.

(4) The spirit. See notes on chap. ii. 86, 253.

Every matter. See above on ver. 1.

Table of Contents
Answering Islam Home Page