Sūra al-Qadr (Arabic: سورة القدر) or Innā Anzalnā (انّا انزلنا) is the ninety seventh sura of the Qur'an. It is a Makki Sura in the thirtieth juz' of the Qur'an. The name, "al-Qadr", comes from the first verse of the sura, which refers to the revelation of the Qur'an in the Night of Qadr.
Sura al-Qadr is about the greatness, virtues, and blessings of the Night of Qadr and the descent of the angels of mercy to Earth on that night. Shi'as appeal to the content of the sura to argue for the necessity of the existence of an Infallible Imam (a) on Earth until the Day of Resurrection.
The sura is named "al-Qadr" because its first verse refers to the revelation of the Qur'an in the Night of Qadr. The Sura is also known as "Inna Anzalna" because it opens with this phrase.
- Order and Place of Revelation
Sura al-Qadr is a Makki Sura, and in the order of revelation, it is the twenty fifth sura revealed to the Prophet (s). In the current order of compilation, this sura is the ninety seventh sura of the Qur'an, located in juz' thirty. Because of certain hadiths, some Quranic exegetes have allowed the possibility of the sura having been revealed in Medina. When the Prophet (s) saw in a dream that Banu Umayya were ascending his minbar, he was greatly saddened. Thus, the sura was revealed to console him.
- The Number of Verses and Other Features
Sura al-Qadr has five verses, thirty words, and 114 letters. With respect to size, it counts as one of the Mufassalat Suras in the subgroup of "Awsat" (mediums) and a small sura of the Qur'an.
In general, Sura al-Qadr is about the revelation of the Qur'an in the Night of Qadr, the greatness of the Night of Qadr (being superior to one thousand months), the descent of the angels of mercy and the "Spirit", the predestination of people's fates, and the blessings of this night.
Occasion of Revelation
About the occasion of the revelation of Sura al-Qadr it is said that one day the Prophet (s) told his companions about the story of a man from the Israelites who had put on his combat clothes for the sake of God for one thousand months. His companions were surprised by the story. Then, Sura al-Qadr was revealed, which said that vigilance in the Night of Qadr is better than one thousand months of wearing combat clothes for the sake of God.
Appeal to Sura al-Qadr for the Existence of Imam al-Mahdi (a)
In Shiite collections of hadiths, there are hadiths from the Prophet (s), Imam Ali (a), and Imam al-Baqir (a) to the effect that, in Nights of Qadr, angels are sent down to rulers after the Prophet (s); that is, Ali and eleven men from his progeny. The hadiths ask Shi'as to argue for the existence and survival of Imam al-Mahdi (a), because the descent of angels in the Night of Qadr for delivering the predestination for the coming year is not limited to the period of the Prophet (s). In fact, it occurs every year. Thus, after the Prophet (s), angels are sent down to his successors, who are Infallible Imams (a) and are most similar to the Prophet (s). The Shi'as have argued for the existence of a hujja (or Imam) in all periods of time from the doctrine that the Night of Qadr recurs every year until the Day of Resurrection, and the doctrine that angels are certainly sent down on Nights of Qadr, and the fact that angels must be sent down to someone who has a similar status to that of the Prophet (s).
Jurisprudential Points about Sura al-Qadr
Oneness of Horizons
Some jurists have appealed to the verse, "Indeed, we sent the Qur'an down during the Night of Qadr," to show that seeing the crescent (as the sign of the beginning of a lunar month) in one region is evidence for people of other regions too, because the Night of Qadr is only one night in which people's fates throughout the world are predestined, and it is implausible to say that there is a Night of Qadr in one part of the world and not in others. Thus, the Night of Qadr occurs for all people in the world at the same time. However, the argument has been countered by saying that the verse is only in a position to talk about the revelation of the Qur'an in the Night of Qadr, and there is no reason for oneness or plurality of the Night of Qadr.
Recitation of Sura al-Qadr is Recommended Prayers
The recitation of the sura has been recommended for certain recommended prayers, including:
- The prayer of the Prophet (s): It has two rak'as, in each of which Sura al-Hamd (Qur'an 1) is recited one time and Sura al-Qadr is recited fifteen times.
- The prayer of Fatima (a) : It has two rak'as, in the first of which Qur'an 1 is recited once and Sura al-Qadr is recited one hundred times, and in the second of which Qur'an 1 is recited once and Sura al-Tawhid (Qur'an 112) is recited one hundred times.
- Salat al-Wahsha (The Prayer of Burial Night): it has two rak'as. In the first rak'a, Qur'an 1 and Ayat al-Kursi are recited, and in the second rak'a, after Qur'an 1, "Sura Inna Anzalna" is recited ten times.
- The prayer of the beginning of the month: It has two rak'as. In the first rak'a, after Qur'an 1, Qur'an 112 is recited thirty times, and in the second rak'a, after Qur'an 1, Sura Inna Anzalna is recited thirty times.
Monographs about the Sura
In addition to having been interpreted in exegeses of the Qur'an, Sura al-Qadr alone, or together with few other suras, has been interpreted in a monograph. Here are some of these monographs:
- The exegesis of Sura al-Qadr by Morteza Motahhari
- The exegesis of Sura al-Qadr by Ali Safa'i Ha'iri
- The exegesis of Sura al-Qadr by Imam Musa al-Sadr.
In some hadiths, many divine rewards and virtues have been cited for the sura. It is quoted that the best suras that can be recited in obligatory prayers after Qur'an 1 are suras of al-Qadr and al-Tawhid. Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (a) was quoted as saying that "the superiority of the faith of someone who believes in 'Inna anzalna' and its interpretation over someone who does not have such a faith is like the superiority of a human person over an animal."
According to another hadith from Imam al-Sadiq (a), if someone recites Sura Inna Anzalna in one of his obligatory prayers, the unseen messenger (an angel) will address him like this: "O the servant of God! God has forgiven every sin you have thus far committed. Now resume your actions anew."
- Khamagar, Muhammad, Sakhtar-i suraha-yi Qur'an-i karim, Mu'assisa-yi Farhangi-yi Qur'an wa 'Itrat-i Nur al-Thaqalayn, Qom: Nashra, ed.1, 1392 Sh.
- The material for this article is mainly taken from سوره قدر in Farsi Wikishia.