Ibn Taymiyah on Seeking Laylatul-Qadr
A fatwa from Ibn Taymiyah on Why we should seek Laylatul-Qadr on all of the last ten nights of Ramadan. Translated by Owais al Hashimi hafidhahullaah
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When To Seek Out Laylatul-Qadr (The Night Of Decree)
Shaikhul-Islaam Ibn Taimiyyah -rahimahullaah
Translated by Aboo Talhah Daawood ibn Ronald Burbank rahimahullaah
Shaikhul-Islaam Ibn Taimiyyah -rahimahullaah- was asked about LaylatulQadr, whilst imprisoned in the mountain citadel (in Cairo) in the year 706 H. So he responded:
“All praise is for Allaah. Laylatul-Qadr is in the last ten (nights) of the month of Ramadaan. This is what is authentic from the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) , that he said: <<It is within the last ten of Ramadaan>>, and it is within the odd nights from them 
However the odd nights may be counted with reference to what has already passed by, such that it should be sought on the night of the twenty first, the night of the twenty third, the night of the twenty fifth, the night of the twenty seventh, and the night of the twenty ninth; and they may otherwise be counted with reference to what remains, just as the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said: <<On the night when nine remain, on the night when seven remain, on the night when five remain, on the night when three remain.>> 
So based upon this, if the month is of thirty days, then that will be one of the even nights. So the twenty second will be (the night) when nine remain, the twenty fourth will be when seven remain; and this is how Aboo Sa`eed al-Khudree explained it in the authentic hadeeth; and this is how the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) established it in the month. If, however, the month is of twenty nine days, then counting in accordance with what remains will then be just the same as counting in accordance with what has passed.
So, this being the case, it is befitting that the Believer seeks it out in all of the last ten, just as the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said: <<Seek it out in the last ten.>>  And it occurs more frequently in the last seven; and it occurs most frequently on the twenty seventh, just as Ubayy ibn Ka`b used to swear an oath that it was the twenty seventh night. So it was said to him: “How have you come to know that?” So he replied: “On account of the sign which Allaah”s Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم) informed us of. He informed us that the sun rises on the morning following it being like a brass dish, having no rays.” 
So this sign which Ubayy ibn Ka`b reported from the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) is from the most well known signs occurring in hadeeth; and it is related regarding its signs that it is a night that is “bright, shining”; and it is calm; it is not very hot, nor very cold. It may occur that Allaah reveals it to some of the people in a dream, or whilst awake, such that he sees its light, or he sees one who says to him: “This is Laylatul-Qadr”; or he may open his heart to witnessing such things that make the affair clear to him, and Allaah -the Most High- knows best.”
 Reported by al-Bukhaaree (no.2016) and Muslim (no.1167/217) as a hadeeth of Aboo Sa`eed al-Khudree -radiyallaahu `anhu; and by al-Bukhaaree (no.2017) as a hadeeth of `Aa·ishah -radiyallaahu `anhaa.
The narration of Muslim (no.1167/217) contains the addition that the narrator Abun-Nadrah said: “I said: “O Aboo Sa`eed! You know better about the numbers than us.” He said: “Indeed, we have more right to that than you.” He said: I said: “What is the ninth, the seventh, and the fifth?”He said: “When twenty one have passed, then that follows it is the twenty second:and it is the ninth; and when twenty three have passed, then that which follows it is the seventh; and when twenty five have passed, then that which follows it is the fifth.”
 Reported by al-Bukhaaree (no.2021) as a hadeeth of `Abdullaah ibn `Abbaas -radiyallaahu `anhumaa.
 Reported by al-Bukhaaree (no.2020) and Muslim (no.1169) as a hadeeth of `Aa·ishah – radiyallaahu `anhaa.
 Reported by Muslim (no.762).
[Translated by Aboo Talhah Daawood ibn Ronald Burbank]
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