Home > Content Index > Questions about Islam > Islamic Sects and Writings > al-Qadr in Islam

What is al-Qadr in Islam?

al-Qadr in Islam
Question: "What is al-Qadr in Islam?"

The Islamic term al-Qadr is most often associated with Laylat al-Qadr, believed to be the evening Muhammad first received a revelation from Allah. Alternatively, the terms qadr and qadar refer to the Islamic version of predestination.

Laylat al-Qadr: Night of the Decree

According to Islamic belief, Muhammad began to receive the words of the Qur’an sometime in the last ten days of the month of Ramadan in AD 610. Muslims believe the recording of the Qur’an came through revelations brought from Allah by the angel Jibril (Gabriel). Within the Islamic community, there is no explicitly agreed-upon date for this event. The first revelations marked the beginning of a 23-year period of recitation by Muhammad, inspiring Muslims to set aside as holy the month of Ramadan.

The evening Allah sent the first decree to Muhammad is called Laylat al-Qadr, meaning “Night of Power” or “Night of the Decree.” The Qur’an’s 97th chapter is given the title al-Qadr in reference to this content and the use of the phrase in the chapter’s first verse.

Islamic tradition teaches that prayers are especially potent on Laylat al-Qadr. Since it is the “Night of the Decree,” it is believed this is when Allah issues orders for all of creation for the following year. These commands are carried by angels throughout the world. According to the Qur’an, Laylat al-Qadr is “better than a thousand months”; that is, acts of worship done on Laylat al-Qadr are rewarded as much as 1,000 times more than the same acts done on other dates.

Islamic Predestination

The same root word found in references to Laylat al-Qadr forms the Islamic term for their version of predestination: qadar. As is the case in Christianity, Muslim views on predestination cover a spectrum from hard determinism to open theism. To the confusion of non-Arabic speakers, Muslims may differentiate between qadr, specifically meaning what Allah has willed via his power, and qadar in the more general sense of human destiny.

In principle, most sects of Islam view qadr/qadar/predestination as simple foreknowledge: Allah knows all that will occur, without interfering with free will. In practice, however, Islamic theology heavily implies that Allah used something akin to double predestination. Also, in practice, Muslims lean toward a belief that the broad strokes of a person’s life are purposefully arranged by the deliberate decisions of Allah.

Recommended Resource: Answering Islam: The Crescent in Light of the Cross by Norm Geisler

More insights from your Bible study - Get Started with Logos Bible Software for Free!

Related Topics:

What is Wahhabism? What is Wahhabi Islam?

I am a Muslim. Why should I consider becoming a Christian?

What is Islamism?

Who are the Alawites, and what do they believe?

What is the Druze religion?

Return to:

Muslim Questions

What is al-Qadr in Islam?

Share this page on:

Find Out How to...

Statement of Faith
The Gospel
Crucial Questions
Content Index
Top 20 Questions

Question of the Week

Preferred Bible Version:


Subscribe to our Question of the Week

Get our Questions of the Week delivered right to your inbox!