The Meaning of “Laylah al-Qadr”: Tafsir al-Shinqitee

Allah describes Laylah al-Qadr in the beginning of surah al-Dukhaan by saying:

إِنَّا أَنزَلْنَاهُ فِي لَيْلَةٍ مُّبَارَكَةٍ ۚ إِنَّا كُنَّا مُنذِرِينَ * فِيهَا يُفْرَقُ كُلُّ أَمْرٍ حَكِيمٍ * أَمْرًا مِّنْ عِندِنَا

Indeed, We sent it down on a blessed night. Verily, We are ever warning * On that night every hakeem matter is apportioned *  A command from Us … [44:3-5]

Sheikh Muhammad al-Ameen al-Shinqitee discusses some of the issues related to these ayaat in his famous book of tafsir. We have already translated his explanation of ayah number 3 here, and what follows is his explanation of ayah number 4:

قوله – تعالى – : فيها يفرق كل أمر حكيم أمرا من عندنا . معنى قوله : يفرق ، أي يفصل ويبين ، ويكتب في الليلة المباركة التي هي ليلة القدر – كل أمر حكيم ، أي ذي حكمة بالغة ; لأن كل ما يفعله الله مشتمل على أنواع الحكم الباهرة . وقال بعضهم : حكيم ، أي محكم ، لا تغيير فيه ولا تبديل . [ ص: 173 ] وكلا الأمرين حق ; لأن ما سبق في علم الله لا يتغير ولا يتبدل ، ولأن جميع أفعاله في غاية الحكمة . وهي في الاصطلاح وضع الأمور في مواضعها وإيقاعها في مواقعها . ـ

Allah’s statement:

فِيهَا يُفْرَقُ كُلُّ أَمْرٍ حَكِيمٍ * أَمْرًا مِّنْ عِندِنَا

On that night every hakeem matter is apportioned * A command from Us … [44:4-5]

The meaning of Allah’s statement

يُفْرَقُ

… is apportioned …

is that every hakeem matter is determined, made clear, and written during that blessed night which is Laylah al-Qadr.

كُلُّ أَمْرٍ حَكِيمٍ

… every hakeem matter…

Hakeem [literally, ‘wise’] meaning: containing far-reaching wisdom, because every action that Allah does contains exquisite wisdom on multiple levels.

Some others say that hakeem here means: muhkam – perfectly complete and impervious – not allowing for any alteration or modification.

Both of these explanations are correct, because whatever Allah knows to happen cannot be changed or altered, and because all of Allah’s actions are the very epitome of wisdom.

And the technical meaning of this term hakeem is putting things in their proper places.

وإيضاح معنى الآية أن الله – تبارك وتعالى – في كل ليلة قدر من السنة يبين للملائكة ويكتب لهم بالتفصيل والإيضاح جميع ما يقع في تلك السنة إلى ليلة القدر من السنة الجديدة . فتبين في ذلك الآجال والأرزاق ، والفقر والغنى ، والخصب والجدب والصحة والمرض ، والحروب والزلازل ، وجميع ما يقع في تلك السنة كائنا ما كان . ـ

So it is clear that the meaning of this ayah is that in the Laylah al-Qadr of each year Allah makes all of what will take place in that year up until the Laylah al-Qadr of the following year clear to the angels and writes it for them in detail and with clarity.

So included in that clarification are the lifespans, material provisions, issues of poverty and wealth, fertility and barrenness, health and sickness, wars and earthquakes – everything that will take place in that year, whatever it may be.

وإيضاح ذلك أن معنى قوله : إنا أنزلناه في ليلة القدر أي في ليلة التقدير لجميع أمور السنة ، من رزق وموت ، وحياة وولادة ، ومرض وصحة ، وخصب وجدب ، وغير ذلك من جميع أمور السنة . ـ

So all of that makes is clear that the meaning of Allah’s statement

إِنَّا أَنزَلْنَاهُ فِي لَيْلَةٍ مُّبَارَكَةٍ

Indeed, We sent it down on a blessed night

is: the night of measuring out all the affairs of the upcoming year, such as the material provisions, life and death, offspring, health and sickness, fertility and barrenness, and so on to include all the affairs of the year.

واعلم أن قول من قال : إنما سميت ليلة القدر لعظمها وشرفها على غيرها من الليالي من قولهم : فلان ذو قدر ، أي ذو شرف ومكانة رفيعة – لا ينافي القول الأول ; لاتصافها بالأمرين معا ، وصحة وصفها بكل منهما ، كما أوضحنا مثله مرارا

And you should know that the position – that is, the position of those who say that it is called Laylah al-Qadr due to its grandeur and honor relative to all the other nights, as is the phrase “so-and-so is dhu’l-qadr“, meaning he has honor and an esteemed position – know that this position does not conflict with the first position regarding the meaning of Laylah al-Qadr. That is because Laylah al-Qadr is characterized by both of these qualities [i.e. both the apportioning of matters and its honored position] and it is accurate to describe it with either one of these qualities, as we have clarified this type of situation in a number of places already.

[Adhwaa’ al-Bayaan 7/172-174, with some abridgement of technical linguistic discussion and secondary material.]

See also: Better than One Thousand Months: Tafsir al-Baghawi

See also: The Meaning of “Laylah al-Qadr”: Sheikh ibn ‘Uthaymeen

See also: The Blessed Night is Laylah al-Qadr, not the Middle of Sha’baan

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3 thoughts on “The Meaning of “Laylah al-Qadr”: Tafsir al-Shinqitee

  1. Pingback: The Meaning of “Laylah al-Qadr”: Sheikh ibn ‘Uthaymeen | Tulayhah

  2. Pingback: The Blessed Night is Laylah al-Qadr, not the Middle of Sha’baan | Tulayhah

  3. Pingback: Better than One Thousand Months: Tafsir al-Baghawi | Tulayhah

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