General view of muslims performing evening prayers at the Grand Mosque on the eve of 27th Ramadan, in the holy city of Mecca, in Saudi Arabia, on April 5, 2024.
General view of muslims performing evening prayers at the Grand Mosque on the eve of 27th Ramadan, in the holy city of Mecca, in Saudi Arabia, on April 5, 2024. Image Credit: SPA/via REUTERS

Dubai: Millions of worshippers and Umrah performers gathered in the courtyards of the Grand Mosque in Mecca on the 27th night of Ramadan, marking what many scholars believe to be the most likely date for Laylat Al Qadr, or the Night of Power.

This sacred night, believed to be when the Quran was first revealed to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), holds immense significance in Islam, described in the Quran as "better than a thousand months."

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The General Authority for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques reported an extraordinary turnout, with the number of devotees estimated at 2.5 million, extending over 2 kilometres around the Grand Mosque. The authority, on its social networking site X, highlighted the monumental presence of worshippers during the Taraweeh prayers, a special nightly prayer performed during the holy month of Ramadan.

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Saudi Arabia's Holy Sanctuary experienced a majestic influx of believers on this auspicious night. Laylat Al Qadr is revered for its spiritual magnitude, during which prayers, recitation of the Quran, and acts of charity are believed to have an exponentially greater impact.

Al Ekhbariya, the official Saudi news channel, noted the massive influx of faithful making their way to the Grand Mosque, describing the scene as a majestic view of devotion. Similarly, large crowds were reported to have gathered at the Prophet's Mosque in Medina.

What is Laylat Al Qadr?
Laylat Al Qadr, known as the Night of Power or Decree, is one of the most sacred nights in the Islamic calendar. It commemorates the night when the first verses of the Quran were revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) by the Angel Gabriel. This event marks the beginning of the Quran's revelation, a process that continued over 23 years.

Laylat Al Qadr is mentioned in the Quran as "better than a thousand months" (Surah Al-Qadr, 97:3), highlighting its extraordinary significance. The exact date of Laylat al-Qadr is not definitively known, but it is widely believed to fall within the last ten nights of Ramadan, with the 27th night being the most traditionally observed among many Muslim communities.

Why is it important?

The importance of Laylat Al Qadr lies in its spiritual magnitude and the opportunities it presents for worship and reflection. Muslims believe that prayers, charitable deeds, and recitation of the Quran on this night are immensely rewarding.

It is a time when divine mercy and blessings are abundant, and the gates of forgiveness are wide open. The night is also a period of intense reflection, prayer, and seeking closeness to God, with many Muslims spending the night in supplication and Quranic recitation.

The belief that the fate of each person for the coming year is decided on this night adds to its profound spiritual significance, encouraging Muslims to ask for guidance, prosperity, and forgiveness.