Jumu’ah Night is Superior to Lailatul Qadr
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Allah has made certain times of the day superior to others, as well as certain months when compared to others. Interestingly though some scholars have even debated times which are virtuous in of themselves against others. One discussion is the topic of Jumu’ah Night being superior to Lailatul Qadr. Al-Imam Abu Ya’la Muhammad ibn Hussain Al-Hanbali (458H) detailed this topic in an essay which I will analyze here in this article.
Abu Ya’la mentioned that Abul Hasan At-Tamimi (371H) said , “ Friday night is better than Lailatul Qadr.” Other scholars as well from the Hanbali Jurists who held the same view were, Abul Hasan Al-Kharazi, Ibn Battah and Umar ibn Ahmed.
There are many texts which these great Imams and scholars used to support their opinion. Some them are;
- The Prophet (ﷺ) said it was the best of the week.
- The Prophet (ﷺ) encouraged us the send Salutations on Him during Friday night and the day.
- The Day of Judgement will take place on Friday.
- There is an hour on Jumu’ah when supplication is answered.
- Dying on Friday protects one against the grave punishment.
These are the base texts that Imam Abu Ya’la mentioned in his defense, while some the texts mentioned were based on weak hadith, there were others that carried the same meanings and are authentic.
Those who oppose this view use the following as their basis in their argument that Lailatul Qadr is superior to Jumu’ah night.
- Allah said: “ Lailatul Qadr is better than a 1,000 months.”[Al-Qadr 1]
The 1st response to this ayah was a hadith which states it was revealed for a certain reason, as there was a man from Bani Israel who wore a weapon around his waist fighting in Allah’s path for a 1,000 months. The companions were amazed at this man’s sincerity; thus, Allah revealed the verse. This story is weak and it’s mentioned with a chain of Mursal status by Al-Bayhaqi in his sunnan, vol 4, pg 306.
The second reply to this verse is a weak argument that states the verse implies a 1,000 months without Friday as a weekday. While Qatadah said, it means a 1,000 months void of Lailatul Qadr.
Abu Ya’la rejected the claim that it implies a month without a seven-day week, whereas the interpretation of 1,000 months without Lailatul Qadr is acceptable, since Lailatul Qadr can only happen during Ramdan. In other words, you can have 1,000 months without Lailatul Qadr, but you can’t have a complete month without a Friday Night.
The third argument is the verse, “Therein (that night) is decreed every matter of ordainments .[Ad-Dukhan :4]. This is Lailatul Qadr.
Abu Ya’la claims that although some say it’s inferred to apply to Lailatul Qadr, other scholars hold it to refer to the 15th of Sha’ban. Plus, the issue here isn’t the verse that highlight what takes place during that night, but rather to shed light on the virtue of this night.
There is virtue mentioned for Lailatul Qadr in itself and among them are;
- The Quran was revealed to the lowest of Heavens that night.
- Standing during its night allows one to become absolved of his minor sins.
- The year’s affair is decreed up until the next Lailatul Qadr.
- It is a night of peace without any movement of Satan.
- Allah said: seek that which Allah has ordained for you…[Al-Baqarah:187] Ibn Abbas said this is Lailtul Qadr.
These 5 arguments point to the virtue of Lailatul Qadr’s high status in of itself, yet it doesn’t provide a strong argument to support that Lailatul Qadr is better than Jumu’ah night. When compared to other nights of the week then Friday night is the best night to die. Reason being, you will be safeguarded against the punishment of the grave.
Those who defend Lailatul Qadr as being higher in rank than Friday night is the fact, we are prohibited to single out Friday night as night to stand, or do certain other acts or worship like fast.
This argument is a good argument with some ground. Although, Imam Abu Ya’la’s reply was that just because we are prohibited from doing certain acts of worship doesn’t decrease the value and superiority of the time, or the day. For example, we are prohibited from praying after Asr and Fajr and these are the best hours of the day. We are prohibited from Fasting on the two Eids, and the Days of Tashreeq and these days are better than others.
The prohibition of standing during Friday night could be imposed, so we would not miss the Jumu’ah prayer and the prohibition of fasting could be so we don’t miss the chance to have relations with our spouse and take a Ghusl before the prayer. Moreover, the prohibition to fast on Jumu’ah could be the same ruling applied to the two Eids, as Friday is the weekly Eid.
Nevertheless, both sides have a legitimate argument. Hence, it is incorrect for one to say that the opposing side is wrong and their position is right. Though the virtue of Friday is clearer cut and specified in a timeframe for any and everyone. This also includes the living and the deceased. On the other hand, Lailtul Qadr isn’t.
Friday is a recurring day. For that reason its virtue only multiplies when compared to one night. This is similar to a man to who died and the Prophet(ﷺ) considered him more virtuous compared to one who remained on earth; as he was unaware of the man’s deeds. Then He (ﷺ) was asked didn’t you use to say that so and so was better than he was?” The Prophet (ﷺ) replied, where is so and so compared to such and such in regards to the prayer, fasting, and charity.”
In conclusion, the other man’s rank was elevated due to him doing recurring acts of worship. Regularly, praying this is daily. Regularly fasting this can be done 3 days month, every other day, or twice a week. Regularly giving charity and there is no time frame on its description. While Lailtul Qadr is only once a year and Allah knows best.
Jumu’ah Night is Superior to Lailatul Qadr by Iman Abu Ya’la
Organised and prepared by
Abu Aaliyah Abdullah ibn Dwight Battle
Doha, Qatar 1443H© Ramadhan 27th
 الفروع vol 5, pg 129 by Ibn Muflih
 Tafsir Abdur Razzaq vol 2 pg 386
 Al-Bukhari 1901, Muslim 760
 Tafsir Ibn Abee Hatim
 Musnad Imam Ahmed 16074