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What is the special night mentioned in surat ad-Dukhan (44:3-4)

Indeed, We sent it down during a blessed night. Indeed, We were to warn [mankind]. (3)
On that night is made distinct every precise matter - (4)

Is it a different night than laylatu al-Qadr ليلة القدر, if so what night is it?

And what exactly will be distinct in this night and why?

3

This night is laylatul qadr (the night of glory) when the First Surah of the Quran was revealed (Surah Alaq).

The night implies the same night which has been called lailat-ul-qadr in Surah Al-Qadr (97). There it has been said:

`We sent it down in a Night of Glory," (97:1)

and here:

`We sent it down in a blessed Night." (44:3)

Then the Qur'an itself has told that it was a night of the month of Ramadan (Al-Baqarah).

Your question about what is distinct is answered below:

The website I based my answer on is English Tafsir and verse 4 is different. It says:

" This was a night in which every matter is decided wisely by Our Command."

The question about what is distinct might be this: (1)- The Command is based on wisdom and that there is no likelihood of errors or weaknesses and (2)- That it is a firm and stable decision and that it lies in no one's power to change it.

The Command might be the distinct thing. What is the Command?

In Surah Al Qadr, the same thing is said:

"The angels and the Spirit (Angel Gabriel) descend in it with every decree, by the leave of their Lord." (97:4)

This means that it is such a Night in the Divine administration of Allah on which He decided the destinies of indivuals and nations and entrust His decisions to His angels so that they apply them correctly.

Some commentators among whom Hadrat Ikrimah is most prominent, have been involved in the misunderstanding that this is the 15th night of Sha'ban, because in some traditions it has been said that the destinies of people are decided during that night. But Ibn 'Abbas, IbnUmar, Mujahid, Qatadah, Hasan Basri, Sa' id bin Jubair, Ibn Zaid, Abu Malik, Dahhak and many other commentators are agreed that this is the same night of Ramadan, which has been called lailat-ul-qadr, for the Qur'an itself has stated this.

To summarise up, the Night mentioned is Laylatul-Qadr and the distinct thing is the Command of the destinies of people.

And Allah knows best.

4

I am adding this as reference work only, it seems most of the mufassirin mentions laylatu al qadr.

About verse 4:

فِيهَا يُفْرَقُ كُلُّ أَمْرٍ حَكِيمٍ

Muhammad Asad translates it to:

On that [night] was made clear, in wisdom, the distinction between all things [good and evil]

His comment on that verse is:

Lit., "was made distinct everything wise", i.e., "wisely" or "in wisdom": a metonymical attribution of the adjective "wise" - which in reality relates to God, the maker of that distinction - to what has thus been made distinct (Zamakhshari and Razi). The meaning is that the revelation of the Qur’an, symbolized by that "blessed night" of its beginning, provides man with a standard whereby to discern between good and evil, or between all that leads to spiritual growth through an ever-deepening realization (ma’rifah) of God’s existence, on the one hand, and all that results in spiritual blindness and self-destruction, on the other.(Quran Ref: 44:4 )

Verse 3:

إِنَّا أَنزَلْنَاهُ فِي لَيْلَةٍ مُّبَارَكَةٍ إِنَّا كُنَّا مُنذِرِينَ

In Tafsir Tabari.

عن قتادة، في قوله: { فِي لَيْلَةٍ مُبارَكَةٍ } قال: هي ليلة القدر.

Zamakhshari seems to have the same conclusion though he adds;

وليلة القدر في أكثر الأقاويل في شهر رمضان. فإن قلت: ما معنى إنزال القرآن في هذه الليلة؟ قلت: قالوا أنزل جملة واحدة من السماء السابعة إلى السماء الدنيا، وأمر السفرة الكرام بانتساخه في ليلة القدر، وكان جبريل عليه السلام ينزله على رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم نجوماً نجوماً.

Tabarsi

أي إنا أنزلنا القرآن والليلة المباركة هي ليلة القدر

Razi;

وهٰهنا قال { إِنَّا أَنزَلْنَـٰهُ فِي لَيْلَةٍ مُّبَـٰرَكَةٍ } فوجب أن تكون هذه الليلة المباركة هي تلك المسماة بليلة القدر، لئلا يلزم التناقض وثانيها أنه تعالى قال { شَهْرُ رَمَضَانَ ٱلَّذِي أُنزِلَ فِيهِ ٱلْقُرْآنُ }

Qurtubi:

والليلة المباركة ليلة القدر. ويقال: ليلة النصف من شعبان، ولها أربعة أسماء: الليلة المباركة، وليلة البراءة، وليلة الصَّك، وليلة القدر.

وقال عكرمة: الليلة المباركة هاهنا ليلة النصف من شعبان. والأوّل أصح لقوله تعالى: { إِنَّا أَنزَلْنَاهُ فِي لَيْلَةِ ٱلْقَدْرِ }

Al Baydawi:

{ إِنَّا أَنزَلْنَـٰهُ فِى لَيْلَةٍ مُّبَـٰرَكَةٍ } ليلة القدر، أو البراءة ابتدىء فيها إنزاله، أو أنزل فيها جملة إلى سماء الدنيا من اللوح المحفوظ، ثم أنزل على الرسول صلى الله عليه وسلم نجوماً وبركتها لذلك

Ibn Al Kathir:

يقول تعالى مخبراً عن القرآن العظيم أنه أنزله في ليلة مباركة، وهي ليلة القدر كما قال عز وجل:

Al Baghawi:

قال قتادة وابن زيد: هي ليلة القدر أنزل الله القرآن في ليلة القدر من أم الكتاب >إلى السماء الدنيا، ثم نزل به جبريل على النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم نجوماً في عشرين سنة. وقال آخرون: هي ليلة النصف من شعبان.

Tafsir Jalalayn mentions;

{ إِنَّآ أَنزَلْنَاهُ }

جملة معترضة بين القسم وجوابه. قوله: (القرآن) هذا أحد أقوال في تفسير الكتاب وهو أقواها، وعليه فقد أقسم بالقرآن أنه أنزل القرآن في ليلة مباركة، وهذا من أبلغ الكلام الدال على غاية تعظيم القرآن، كما تقول للعظيم: أتشفع بك لك، وفي الحديث: " أعوذ برضاك من سخطك، ويعفوك من عقوبتك، وبك منك " وقيل المراد به في اللوح المحفوظ.

Source: http://altafasir.com/al-quran/surat/44/ad-dukhan/3

Feel free to edit and translate the tafsir in Arabic.

  • 3
    Good job with the references, but do add the English translations as well – Zaid May 2 '17 at 20:26

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