The word Qadr can be best translated as: value, worthiness, or stature. However, from the same root of the word, another word, Qadar (destiny) is derived.
"We have indeed revealed this (Quran) in the Night of Qadr: And what will explain to you what the Night of Qadr is? The Night of Qadr is better than a thousand months. Therein come down the Angels and the Spirit (Gabriel) by Allah's permission, with every decreed command.
Peace it is until the rise of Dawn!" (Quran 97: 1-5)
Allah (God) sent down the first revelations of the Quran from the Preserve Board to the first heaven. The book was then taken from the first heaven by the arch-angel Gabriel and brought to Earth, where the first part of it was revealed to the Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) on the Night of Qadr, and the rest revealed to him gradually over a period of 23 years.
The Night of Qadr, as the Quran says, is better than a thousand months. One thousand months are equivalent to 83 years and 4 months, meaning more than a lifetime of average human being. Very fortunate is the person who spends this Night in prayer. The man or woman, who prays for the whole night during this Night, will deserve blessings and reward from Allah as if he or she has prayed for eighty three years and four months consecutively.
Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) said: "The Night of Qadr has been bestowed by Allah (as an honor or privilege) to my Ummah. It was not given previously to any other Ummah."
According to the Prophet (pbuh), this special night falls on the twenty-first, twenty-third, twenty-fifth, twenty-seventh, twenty-ninth or the last night of Ramadan.
The most correct saying is that it occurs in the odd nights of the last ten nights of Ramadan as is shown by the hadith of Aa'isha, who said: "Allah Messenger (pbuh) used to practice I'tikaaf in the last ten nights, saying: 'Seek out the Night of Qadr in the odd nights of the last ten days of Ramadan."
However, if the servant is too weak or unable, then he should at least not let the last seven days pass him by.
One who misses this blessed night, then he has missed much good for no one misses it, except one from whom it is withheld.
Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) said: "Whoever stands in (Prayer) in the Night of Qadr out of faith and seeks reward, his previous sins will be forgiven."
On the Night of Qadr, it is best to act upon the recommended acts and pay attention to the worships we are advised by the Infallible Imams (AS). Of the recommended acts in this Night is best to stay up till dawn and think about the issues which help us keep closer to Allah. For example, it is proper to sit aside and investigate our acts in the past year. Where were we last year and where we are today?
If we think to ourselves in just a few moments, we would get that out of the 365 nights of the year only one has the value of 1000 months and has such extraordinary features. Therefore, with a little thinking, we would find that we should make the most benefit from this great opportunity. This is the reason that every wise man would strive to do his best in understanding this Night and performing good deeds.
By thinking about these issues we can get prepared for benefiting better from this Night. We may ask Allah a better distinction in this year. We may ask Him to help us follow the path which He is satisfied with. We may ask Him to forgive us in this Night which He has promised us the forgiveness for the incorrect acts we have committed. We may decide in this Night to obey Allah more than before.
Remembering Allah in our heart, helping the poor, and praying for others is of the other recommended acts of this Night. In this way, every wise man can benefit from the blessings of this Night due to his attention to this opportunity. We pray for all to take the best advantage from this valuable Night.