In his Khamsa, Shab-i Qadr (the Night of Power), the renowned Persian poet Amir Khusraw Dihlavi (d. 1325 CE) tells the story of a saint who made a failed attempt to stay awake until the Laylat al-Qadr. This image is taken from a folio in the Aga Khan Museum collection; the Toronto museum is due to open in 2014. Courtesy of the Aga Khan Museum
Laylat al-Qadr – the Night of Power – commemorates the night during which the first verses of the Holy Qur'an were revealed to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him and his family).
The Holy Qur'an describes Laylat al-Qadr in Surah 97:
We have indeed revealed this (Message) in the Night of Power. And what will explain to thee what the night of power is? The Night of Power is better than a thousand months. Therein come down the angels and the Spirit by Allah's permission, on every errand. Peace! This until the rise of morn!
Ismaili Muslims observe Laylat al-Qadr on the 23rd night of Ramadan, in accordance with traditions received through Hazrat Ali and Hazrat Bibi Fatima. It is a night of special prayer, reflection and remembrance of Allah.