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23 Layla – Night

Posted on 5th May, 2021

23 Layla – Night

 

Layla is a name frequently given to girls. If you google it you will find a reference to Eric Clayton (born 1967) and the band he formed, Derek and the Dominos. Layla was a love song in the 1970s Blues rock or Classic rock style. Layla actually means “night”. There is a well-known book of Arabic tales, alf layla wa-layla, A Thousand and One Nights.

But layla also comes into the Qur’an. Sûra (chapter) 97 is entitled sûrat al-qadr, translated as “The Night of Glory”.  Here is the text of this short sûra:

We sent it down on the Night of Glory (laylat al-qadr). What will explain to you what that Night of Glory is? The Night of Glory is better than a thousand months; on that night the angels and Spirit descend again and again with their Lord’ permission on every task. Peace it is until the rising of the dawn (Q 97:1-5).

In his translation of the Qur’an, in the introduction to this sûra, Abdel Haleem explains: “This Meccan sura celebrates the night when the first revelation of the Qur’an was sent down.” The tradition is that Muhammad received the first chronological passage of the Qur’an on the 27th day of Ramadan (see AR 21). Accordingly this night of special blessing, the Night of Glory (sometimes called the Night of Destiny or Power) is very dear to Muslims. Since the tradition that it corresponded to 27 Ramadan is not absolutely sure, pious Muslims tend to give particular observance to each of the odd nights of the last ten days of Ramadan in order to make certain of obtaining divine blessing.

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