Laylat al-Qadr

The last ten days of Ramadan, considered the most holy, are called Laylat al-Qadr. This is the night that Muhammad received the Koran, called a revelation. It is celebrated on a different day each year during the Islamic month of Ramadan, which always takes place eleven days after the last Ramadan. Some refer to this night of prayer as “Night of Power,” since prayer on this night is supposed to have an elevated power.

This revelation was received over the course of 23 years. In 610 CE, Muhammad started this reception at the base of Mount Sinai, the same location where Moses received the Torah. Muhammad received this information through revelation as he could not read.

On Laylat al-Qadr, Muslims usually spend more time praying. These prayers will be in the theme of redemption and salvation. Some prayers require the observer to wake up in order to pray. Many spend all of this day in Mosques, celebrating these last ten days of the festival there. Observers at mosques during this time are hopeful for divine favors.

About Ramadan

The ninth month of the Islamic calendar, Ramadan is a Muslim holiday period of fasting, prayer, charity, and reflection. The last third of the month is considered particularly holy, as this is when the beginning of the Koran was given to the Prophet Muhammad. The date of celebration depends on whether followers observe according to the Moon’s activity or by following proclamations from religious and political leaders. Each Ramadan starts eleven days before the last Ramadan celebration took place.

The principle tradition of Ramadan is the fasting, considered one of the Five Pillars of Islam. The fasting includes the restriction of food, drinking, smoking, sexual intercourse, and other vice behavior such as fighting during Ramadan days. The feast even includes water.

Muslims believe that during this time of year, Muhammad was sent the Koran from heaven, preparing for the prophet’s gradual relation. Muhammad stated that during this month, the gates of Hell are closed and Heaven’s are opened. It is believed that the Archangel Gabriel chose Muhammad for this task. Readings of the Koran usually occur in the original Arabic language in order to preserve this. The Shia and Sunni division of Islam disagree on the date of Laylat al-Qadr.

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