Assalam u alayekum !
1-I have heard some people claiming that layla-tul-qadr varies among the odd nights of last ten days i.e if this year it is 27th night,next year it may be 25th or 21st night etc. While my own view is that the importance of layla-tul-qadr is due to a particular event related to it in the history (related to Holy Quran’s revelation) so it should be a fixed night as appears from the opinions of Ibn e abbas,Imam abu Hanifa,Syedna Sheikh Abdul Qadir etc. (May Allah be pleased with all of them).
Is my opinion right?
2-How can an ordinary sinner person like me can confirm that a specific night is layla-tul-qadr.?
wa `alaykum salam,
The following text is translated and summarized from Imam Wali al-Din Ibn Zayn al-Din al-`Iraqi’s monograph Sharh al-Sadr bi-Dhikr Laylat al-Qadr:
<<The scholars differ concerning its location (mahalliha):
A number of them said it always falls on a specific night but they differed over what night:
1. It is somewhere in the year. This is what is known to be related from Abu Hanifa, Allah be well-pleased with him. It is corroborated by the saying of `Abd Allah b. Mas`ud, Allah be well-pleased with him: “and whoever prays at night the whole year shall encounter it.” Ubay b. Ka`b said: “He meant for people not to be heedless, Truly it is well-known that it is in Ramadan and that it is in the last ten days and that it is on the night of [before] the 27th.” Sahih Muslim.
2. It is somewhere in all of the month of Ramadan. This is the position of Ibn `Umar, Allah be well-pleased with him, and a number of the Companions. This probably means that it reoccurs and is found every year in Ramadan.
3. It falls on the first night of Ramadan. This was said by the Companion Abu Razin al-`Uqayli, Allah be well-pleased with him.
4. It falls in its middle ten and last ten days; this is refuted by the hadith in the Sahih [of al-Bukhari] from Abu Sa`id, that Jibril upon him peace said to the Prophet (upon him blessings and peace) who was in i`tikaf in the middle ten days: “What you are searching for lies ahead.”
5. It falls only in the last ten days as indicated by the Prophetic hadith: “Look for it in the last ten days” (al-Bukhari) and the hadith already mentioned.
6. It falls specifically on an odd day of the last ten days due to the Prophetic hadith: “Search it out in the last ten days, on an odd day” (al-Bukhari and Muslim), and in Musnad Ahmad and al-Mu`jam al-Kabir of al-Tabarani likewise, with the addition: “on the 21st or the 23rd or the 25th or the 27th or the 29th; or on the last night [i.e. the 30th].”
7. It is specific to his pairing due to Abu Sa`id al-Khudri’s reply, when he was asked: “What is the ninth and the seventh and the fifth?” “Following the 21st is the 22nd and that is the ninth; after the 23rd comes the seventh; and after the 25th comes the fifth.” (Muslim)
8. It falls on the 17th which they also considered the night on which the Qur’an was sent down and the day the two throngs met in battle [at Badr]. This is narrated from Zayd b. Arqam and also Ibn Mas`ud. Zayd b. Thabit would spend it in prayer. This is also related from al-Hasan al-Basri.
9. It falls on the 19th. This is said to be the position of `Ali b. Abi Talib and also Ibn Mas`ud.
10. It should be expected on the night of the 17th or the 21st or the 23rd. This is related from `Ali b. Abi Talib and also Ibn Mas`ud. It is corroborated by what the latter narrated from the Prophet (upon him blessings and peace): “Search it out on the night of the 17th of Ramadan and the night of the 21st and the night of the 23rd.” Then he did not say anything. (Sunan Abi Dawud)
11. It falls on the night of the 21st. This is indicated by the firmly established hadith from Abu Sa`id in the Sahih, in which <<the Prophet (upon him blessings and peace) said: “I saw that it was on an odd night and that on the morning following it I was prostrating in the midst of water and mud.” On the morning of the 21st he rose for the dawn prayer and it rained. The mosque was wet and I saw mud and water. When he went out there was water and mud on his nose and forehead. It was the night of the 21st in the last ten days.>> (Bukhari and Muslim)
12. It falls on the night of the 23rd. This is the position of a large number of Companions and others. It is indicated by the narration from `Abd Allah b. Unays in Sahih Muslim in which the Prophet (upon him blessings and peace) said: “I was shown Laylat al-Qadr then I was made to forget it. I saw that on its morning I was prostrating in water and mud.” This took place on the 23rd. Also in Sahih Muslim from Abu Hurayra, from an unnamed Companion in the Musnad, and from `Ali, Allah be well-pleased with him, in Abu Ya`la’s Musnad.
13. It falls on the night of the 24th. This is narrated from Bilal, Ibn `Abbas, al-Hasan and Qatada. Ibn `Abbas said: “Expect Laylat al-Qadr on the 24th.” (Bukhari) In the Musnad, Bilal narrated that the Prophet (upon him blessings and peace) said: “Laylat al-Qadr is the night of the 24th.”
14. It falls either on the night of the 23rd or the night of the 27th. This is also related from Ibn `Abbas, Allah be well-pleased with him and his father. He narrates it from the Prophet (Bukhari) as does Ibn Mas`ud (Musnad al-Bazzar).
15. It falls on the night of the 27th. This is the position of a large number of Companions and others. Ubay b. Ka`b would swear without saying insha-Allah that it fell on that night. (Sahih Muslim) He said its sign was that the sun rose without shining. The Prophet (upon him blessings and peace) pinpointed that date as narrated from Mu`awiya, Allah be well-pleased with him (Sunan Abi Dawud), Ibn `Umar (Musnad Ahmad), and Jabir b. Samura (Tabarani, Mu`jam al-Awsat).
16. It falls on the last night of the month as per the hadiths: “Expect it on the 29th, the 27th, and the 25th” (Bukhari), “Expect it on the 29th or the 27th or the 25th or the 23rd or the last night” (Tirmidhi, hasan sahih), “It falls on the 27th or the 29th, on that night the angels on earth are more numerous than the stars in the sky” (Ahmad with a good chain).>>
17-22. Ibn al-`Iraqi (Allah have mercy on him) goes on to cite six more positions and states:
23. <<All this is according to those who say it falls on a specific night, as is the position of Imam al-Shafi`i (Allah be well-pleased with him). The sound position of his School is that it falls within the last ten, most likely on an odd night, most likely the night of the 21st and the 23rd. That might be considered a separate position as well, which makes a total of 23 positions.
24. Add to that the position of those who say Laylat al-Qadr has been lifted up forever, which makes 24 positions.
25. A number of scholars said it circulates from night to night depending on the year, among them Malik, Sufyan al-Thawri, Ahmad b. Hanbal, Ishaq b. Rahuyah, Abu Thawr, and others. Ibn `Abd al-Barr attributes it to al-Shafi`i but we do not know that to be correct. However, it is the position of some of his followers such as al-Muzani and Ibn Khuzayma. Al-Nawawi chose it as his preferred position since it reconciles all the different positions.
26. Ibn Hazm said it falls among the odd nights of the last ten nights, but he interpreted their sequence to start on the night of the 20th in 29-day months and on the night of the 21st in 30-day months.
27. Some of the `Ulema said: Allah Most High has hidden it so that they do not rely on it and neglect others, as he wants for them earnestness at all times. The Prophet (upon him blessings and peace) said: “Were it not that people would leave salat except for that night I would inform you of it” (al-Tabarani with a fair chain), and “If I had permission I would tell you” (al-Bazzar)
Among its signs we already mentioned the hadith that on the morning following it the sun has no rays (la shu`a`a laha) and that is the soundest of its signs – “due to the cover of the wings and subtle bodies of the angels that came down to earth and rose in abundance” (Qadi `Iyad). Also, in Ahmad’s Musnad with a good chain: “The portents of Laylat al-Qadr are that it is pure and luminous as if awash with moonlight, still, reanquil, neither cold nor hot, without shooting star, until morning, and when the sun rises it rises full, without rays, like a full moon, and it is prohibited for the devil to come out with it on that day.” A narration in al-Tabarani’s Kabir adds: “and there is no cloud, rain, or wind on that night.”
Should you object that it was narrated above that it took place on a rainy night [see no. 11], we reply: that is for your own choice, as for our choice it is that it does not fall on a specific same night but moves around, so it might have been on a night still night devoid of wind and rain, and Allah knows best.>>
End of the Hafiz Wali al-Din al-`Iraqi’s monograph Sharh al-Sadr bi-Dhikr Laylat al-Qadr.
Hajj Gibril Haddad