¡ Truly We sent it down in the Night of Power.
* And what shall apprise thee of the Night of Power?
1-2 It refers to the Quran. According to several commentators, these verses indicate that the Quran was revealed in its entirety at once (Bḍ, IK, Q, Ṭ, Ṭs). This is understood to be the first stage of revelation from the Preserved Tablet (85:22) to the lowest heaven, that of this world (Bg, Ṭ, Ṭs), or more specifically to the House of Might (bayt al-ʿizzah), which is in the lowest heaven (IK, Sh); see also 44:3-5c. The second stage of revelation is then understood to have occurred gradually over a twenty-three-year period from 610 to 632. For a discussion of the second stage of revelation, see 17:106c; 25:32c. There are over forty interpretations of what is meant by the Night of Power (Sh). According to Mujāhid, it is “the night of ḥukm,” “the night of judgment/decree” (Sh), meaning that on this night God decrees (qaddara) all things for the following year (Sh, Ṭs), or meaning God’s Decree for the whole of creation, or both. Others do not see a necessary relation to God’s Decree, saying that this night is so named to convey its honor and greatness (Ṭs). Others say that the name relates to the
power of acts of obedience and worship performed during it, which have “a great power and a tremendous reward” (see the introduction to the sūrah; Sh, Ṭs). The rhetorical question in v. 2 is an emphatic expression of the utter holiness of this night, implying that true knowledge of it is beyond human understanding and belongs only to God (Sh).