Kadir Gecesi

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Kadir Gecesi is thought to be the most important of the five holy nights in the Muslim calendar called kandil. According to the 97th chapter of the Koran and the traditions of the Prophet Mohammed, it is the night on which the first verses of the Koran were revealed to Mohammed.

“We revealed the Koran on the Night of Qadr
Would that you knew what the Night of Qadr is like!
Better is the Night of Qadr than a thousand months.
On that night the angels and the Spirit by their Lord’s leave come down with His decrees.
That night is peace, till break of day.” *

The meaning and importance of Kadir Gecesi

Kadir, or Qadr in Arabic, literally translates as glory, and on this night Muslims are encouraged to seek out Allah’s grace. It is a special time when the blessings and mercy of Allah are abundant and all sins are forgiven. One prayer in particular is recited, the words of which mean, “O God, verily you are forgiving and love forgiveness, so forgive me.” Prayers made on this night are thought to be worth a 1000 months of worship.

Worshippers inside Eyupsultan Mosque

Kadir Gecesi falls some time in the last ten days of Ramazan, but the date depends on the cycles of the moon. As a result, many Muslim countries, including Turkey, usually designate the 27th day of Ramazan for this special night. Believers perform the terawih, a special night prayer specific to this period. The name is derived from the Arabic taraweeh, meaning to rest and relax.

On the great night itself men and women of all ages and social backgrounds flock to grand historic mosques in İstanbul such as Eyup Camii in huge numbers. They sit and reflect on their lives, offer prayers and supplications and listen to sermons and recitations of the Koran.

Known in Arabic as Laylat al-Qadr, the Night of Power is so important that many mosques remain open until dawn. Staying in a mosque for an extended period is known as itikaf and the practice is intended to bring the worshipper closer to Allah. Those unable to get out can watch live broadcasts of the prayer services going on at some of the larger mosques. In addition Laylat al-Qadr programs are shown, featuring talks on the importance of the night for Muslims.

Whatever your faith and wherever you are, Kadir Geceniz Mübarek Olsun.


*translation taken from The Koran, translated by N J Dawood, Penguin Books, 1972.


Here are some handy tips to help you plan your trip to Turkey

For FLIGHTS I like to use Kiwi.com.

Don’t pay extra for an E-VISA. Here’s my post on everything to know before you take off.

However E-SIM are the way to go to stay connected with a local phone number and mobile data on the go. Airalo is easy to use and affordable.

Even if I never claim on it, I always take out TRAVEL INSURANCE. I recommend Visitors Coverage.

I’m a big advocate of public transport, but know it’s not suitable for everyone all the time. When I need to be picked up from or get to Istanbul Airport or Sabiha Gokcen Airport, I use one of these GetYourGuide website AIRPORT TRANSFERS.

ACCOMMODATION: When I want to find a place to stay I use Booking.com.

CITY TOURS & DAY TRIPS: Let me guide you around Kadikoy with my audio walking tour Stepping back through Chalcedon or venture further afield with my bespoke guidebook Istanbul 50 Unsung Places. I know you’ll love visiting the lesser-known sites I’ve included. It’s based on using public transport as much as possible so you won’t be adding too much to your carbon footprint. Then read about what you’ve seen and experienced in my three essay collections and memoir about moving to Istanbul permanently.

Browse the GetYourGuide website or Viator to find even more ways to experience Istanbul and Turkey with food tours, visits to the old city, evening Bosphorus cruises and more!

However you travel, stay safe and have fun! Iyi yolculuklar.

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  1. A very interesting article thankyou. Absolutely love Turkey go back twice yearly. Just back from Gocek this week.

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