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Laylatul Qadr (Night of Power) in the United Kingdom

On Laylatul Qadr, Muslims in the United Kingdom commemorate the night when Allah revealed the Quran, or Koran, to the prophet Muhammad. It is considered the holiest day of the year.

Laylatul Qadr is a day of prayer and good deeds
According to the Muslim faith, worshipping Allah on Laylatul Qadr is more rewarding than doing so for 1000 months.
©iStockphoto.com/Wando studios

Laylatul Qadr in the Islamic Calendar

Laylatul Qadr falls on the 27th day of Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. It is the highlight of the Ramadan period.

Muslims use a lunar calendar which differs in length from the Gregorian calendar used worldwide. This means the Gregorian date of Muslim holidays, including Laylatul Qadr, shifts slightly from one year to the next, falling about 11 days earlier each year.

Laylatul Qadr Date Can Vary

There is a difference of opinion over the exact date of Laylat al-Qadr, but there is a general consensus it should take place in the last 10 days of Ramadan, with odd-numbered days being more likely. Most Muslims celebrate Laylatul Qadr on the 27th of Ramadan, but some Muslim communities may do so on a different date.

In general, the timing of Muslim months and holidays depends on the sighting of the Moon's crescent following the New Moon. Because the Moon's visibility depends on clear skies and a number of other factors, it is impossible to predict the exact date for Laylatul Qadr with certainty before the month of Ramadan has actually started.

Also, since the Moon is never visible in all world regions at once and current local dates can vary from one country to another, the holiday may fall on different dates according to a country's longitude and time zone. Depending on their country of origin or cultural affiliation, some Muslims in the UK may, therefore, celebrate Laylatul Qadr on a different date than others.

Is Laylatul Qadr a Public Holiday?

While Laylatul Qadr carries great significance for Muslims, there are no bank holidays associated with this particular date in the United Kingdom. However, since the Gregorian date of Muslim holidays changes every year, Laylatul Qadr can fall on other UK bank holidays.

Islamic businesses and organizations may change opening hours to suit prayer times during Ramadan. There may also be some congestion around mosques, such as the London Central Mosque in Regent’s Park, especially in the evenings.

Laylatul Qadr Spellings and Names

Laylatul Qadr can also be written Laylat al-Qadr or Lailatul Qadr. Other names include Shab-e-Qadr, Night of Power, Night of Decree, Night of Value, Night of Measures, and Night of Destiny.

Laylatul Qadr Events and Traditions

According to the Islamic faith, Laylatul Qadr is the holiest day of the year. On the evening preceding the date, Muslims all across the UK flock to their local mosques to pray. It is believed that worshipping Allah on Laylatul Qadr is more rewarding than doing so for 1000 months. Some Muslims spend the whole night praying or reciting the Quran.

Praying for Forgiveness

Forgiveness and atonement are central themes of this day. In a practice called Ehyaa, many Muslims in the UK congregate during the night of Laylatul Qadr to pray to God for mercy, forgiveness, and salvation. Some Muslim communities organize talks and discussions on these topics. These meetings may also include members of other faiths.

A Day for Good Deeds

Another central feature of Laylatul Qadr is Zakat, the practice of giving to charity or contributing to the community in some way. While Muslims consider the whole month of Ramadan a period of charity, a good deed on Laylatul Qadr is believed to be particularly rewarding.

It is common for mosques or Muslim organizations in the UK to raise money for worthy causes. For example, in 2017, the Green Lane Mosque and Community Centre in Birmingham organized a fund-raiser for children affected by the civil war in Syria. Other causes that year included supporting the victims of the Islamist terror attack in Manchester and of the Grenfell Tower fire in London.

Why Is Laylatul Qadr Celebrated?

Muslims believe that Laylatul Qadr marks the day in 610 CE when the first verses of the Quran were revealed to the Islamic prophet Muhammed. The Quran is the central religious text of Islam.

Who Celebrates Laylatul Qadr in the UK?

With nearly 2.8 million Muslims living in the United Kingdom, which equals about 4.8% of the population, Islam constitutes the second largest religion in the country, after Christianity. The largest Muslim community can be found in London. The municipalities of Bradford, Luton, Blackburn, Birmingham, and Dewsbury also have significant Muslim populations.

About Laylatul Qadr (Night of Power) in other countries

Read more about Laylatul Qadr (Night of Power).

Laylatul Qadr (Night of Power) Observances

Note: Regional customs or moon sightings may cause a variation of the date for Islamic holidays, which begin at sundown the day before the date specified for the holiday. The Islamic calendar is lunar and the days begin at sunset, so there may be one-day error depending on when the New Moon is first seen.

YearWeekdayDateNameHoliday TypeArea
2010SunSep 5Laylatul Qadr (Night of Power)Muslim 
2011FriAug 26Laylatul Qadr (Night of Power)Muslim 
2012TueAug 14Laylatul Qadr (Night of Power)Muslim 
2013SatAug 3Laylatul Qadr (Night of Power)Muslim 
2014ThuJul 24Laylatul Qadr (Night of Power)Muslim 
2015MonJul 13Laylatul Qadr (Night of Power)Muslim 
2016SatJul 2Laylatul Qadr (Night of Power)Muslim 
2017WedJun 21Laylatul Qadr (Night of Power)Muslim 
2018SunJun 10Laylatul Qadr (Night of Power)Muslim 
2019FriMay 31Laylatul Qadr (Night of Power)Muslim 
2020TueMay 19Laylatul Qadr (Night of Power)Muslim 

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