Qiyaam (Night Prayer)

All praise is due to Allaah, May peace and blessings be upon the Prophet, his household and companions.

Fellow Muslims! Fear Allaah and move nearer to Him. Acknowledge His favors on you by being kind to His creatures and remember Him in times of bliss He will remember you in times of hardship. He never created you for fun and whoever fears Him in this world will have security on the Day of Resurrection.

Brothers in faith! When one studies history and sees the conditions of the past nations, one will notice that this age is the most-gruesome in human history, the bloodiest and the most destructive. It is in fact paradoxical that things will be like this in a time when civilization, science and technology have reached and unsurpassed power. The present world with all its material progress and useful effects of its technology is still the most barbaric age of the human history. However, this surprise will disappear when the Muslim remembers the word of Allaah, “They know only the outside appearance of the life of the world (i.e. the matters of their livelihood) and they are heedless of the Hereafter,” (Ar Room: 7).

Yes! They are heedless of the hereafter. They forgot their Lord and were oblivious of the purpose of their creation, they were dictatorial in their judgments, they make use of their intelligence, knowledge and science to invent destructive weapons and to struggle for the control of world resources.

It should be noted that if less than half of all these efforts were utilized in giving Allaah His dues and in search of His pleasure, people would have real peace and security, but most of them deny the truth, transgressed, kindled the fire of wars and contentions and caused a lot of financial and political problems. They also oppressed many nations and deny others their rights, so they were held responsible for what they used to do.

In this month of blessings, people of Islaam are announcing that the only gateway to reform lies in reforming the hearts and making them surrender completely to the will of Allaah. In Islaam, worship entails wide meanings; it includes sincere faith and a righteous deed. Allaah says, “In the name of Allaah, Most-Beneficent, Most-Merciful. By the time. Verily! Man is in loss, except those who believe and do righteous good deeds and recommend one another to the truth and recommend one another to patience.”  (Al-‘Asr: 1-3).

Dear Muslims! Man is weak by nature. He can have no strength except by obeying his Lord. He is faced by evil powers, confronted by lustful desires and fought from all angles by different kinds of difficulties. The only way to overcome these problems is to return to Allaah and seek refuge with Him.

Fellow Muslims! The situation of Muslims today necessitates the talk about the most important act of worship in Islaam which is Salaah (prayer). The Messenger of Allaah resorted to it whenever he became distressed about an issue. Prayer is the water spring that never dries and the treasure that never ends.

Prayer is the pillar of Islaam and the refuge place for the repentant and the scared. It is the light of the devoted slaves of Allaah. It removes the impurities of the hearts   and enlightens them. Whoever is stronger in faith is better in prayer, longer in standing for Allaah in prayer and greater in certainty. The Messenger of Allaah said, “Prayer is the best matter- and let him who can pray as much as possible do that.”

Brothers in faith! Night prayers strengthen the bond between man and his Lord. The messenger of Allaah said, “The best prayer after the obligatory ones is the night prayer.” (Muslim)

The Prophet did not only recommend the night prayer to his nation, but laid an excellent example for that. Al-Bukhaarie and Muslim reported that the Prophet used to stand in prayer in the night so long so that his feet would become swollen.”

In Ramadaan, the Messenger of Allaah used to pray more, when the last ten days came, he would pass the night in prayer, wake his household for prayer and exert himself for greater acts of worship. He said, “The time when man becomes nearest to his Lord is in the middle of the last part of the night and if you can be among those who remember Allaah in this time, do that.” In fact, there is an hour in the night, which if any Muslim is fortunate to meet this hour and ask Allaah of anything, Allaah will give it to him and the hour is in every night.

It is by night prayers that dead hearts enlivened, spurred towards good deeds and prevented from evil acts. Ibn ‘Abbaas said, “Whoever loves to find the long standing of the day of  Resurrection less difficult should let him show himself to Allaah in the darkness of the night prostrating and standing, fearing the Hereafter and hoping for the  mercy of his Lord.”

The slaves of Allaah spend their nights in prostration and standing; keeping themselves away from the comfort of their beds and subduing their slumber for the joy of moving closer to Allaah, with the hope to attain His promised bliss and out of fear His punishment. The real slaves of Allaah sleep little in the night. To them, night prayer has its sweetness. Abu Sulaimaan Ad-Daaraanie said, “Those who pray in the night enjoy when they are observing their night prayer more than what the people of pastime and fun enjoy from their pastime. If not because of the night, I would not have loved to remain in this world.” When Umar was dying, he said “I do not grieve on anything of this life except the night prayer.”

Night prayer is a break-off from this life to get in contact with Allaah. Those who engage in night prayer do not find any sweetness in sleep. They remember the loneliness of the grave and the horror of the Last Day.

Truthful slaves of Allaah stay awake in the night praying and invoking their Lord out of fear of His punishment and in hope for His blessing and, no person knows what is kept hidden for them of joy as a reward for what they used to do.

Though their intentions and requests may vary, night is their source of making pleas to their Lord. Some seek nearness to Allaah, some are afraid of the Last Day and others seek forgiveness for their sins. Allaah then bestows His favors on them and grants them their requests and chooses them because they are contented with little sleep in the night and use the rest of the night in prayer, reading the Qur’aan and remembering of Allaah.

The night is the arena for the high-minded people. It is the provision for the journey of life. As for the low-minded people, their concern is for this world and they thereby forget the eternal life. Some of the righteous predecessors said, “How can a person who sleeps all night and spend all his day in pastime hope for salvation?”  It is however a pity that youth of this age spends all their night and day in pastime and fun!

Brothers in faith! Inability to observe night prayers hardens the heart and makes one heedless of the word of Allaah. The Messenger of Allaah was told of a man who would sleep all the night. The Prophet said, “Satan has urinated in the ears of such a man.”

Whoever does not have a particular act of worship he observes during the night is negligent of his own rights.  Which type of depravity is greater than having an opportunity to converse with one’s Lord and allow it to slip away through sleeping and low-mindedness?! We are not talking about those who spend their nights in forbidden things.

Brothers in Islaam! In these days there are generations of Muslims who spend their nights on useless things like watching immoral TV programs like music and the like on satellite channels. That is the reason many households complain of lack of interest in night prayers. Somebody complained to Ibn Al-Aswad – one of the companions of the Prophet – saying, “We are unable to pray in the night!” He answered, forsake your sins!”

Endeavor dear brothers, to pray whatever you can in the night. Try to pray the congregational night prayer in Ramadaan and be constant in that, for it is by patience, perseverance, constancy and sincerity that you can achieve strength and help from your Lord. Know that minutes of the night are valuable; do not therefore waste them in forgetfulness and shopping. Also, wake members of your family in the night to pray and repent for their sins. The Messenger of Allaah said, “May Allaah bless a man who wakes up in the night and prays; and wakes up his wife and she also prays. If she refuses to stand up, he sprinkles water on her face. May Allaah bless a woman who wakes up in the night and prays and wakes her husband up and he prays, and if he refuses to stand up, she sprinkles water on his face.”

Allaah says, “Say: shall I inform you of things far better than those? For the pious ones, there are gardens (Paradise) with their Lord, underneath which rivers flow. Therein is their eternal home and purified wives. And Allaah will be pleased with them. And Allaah is All-Seer of the slaves. Those who say: Our Lord! We have indeed believed, so forgive us our sins and save us from the punishment of Fire,. They are those who are the patient ones, those who are truthful and obedient with sincere devotion in worship to Allaah. Those who spend (in the way of Allaah) and those who pray and beg Allaah’s pardon in the last hours of the night.” (Aal ‘Imraan: 15-17).

You should also know dear brothers that one of the ways that make prayer easy is to turn back to Allaah with sincerity, to have good thought of Him, to hope for what is with Him and to refrain from committing sins. Also, eat little food, for whoever eats much food will feel heavy and sleep deeply. Wahb Ibn Munabbih said, “Satan loves none more than the one who eats much and sleeps much.” Free your heart from jealousy and hatred. Abstain from innovation, stick to Sunnah and let the fear of Allaah fill your heart. Know also that among the great facilitators of night prayer is the love of Allaah, His Messenger and His Book.

The period of night prayer extends from after the ‘Ishaa’ prayer till dawn and the Prophet had prayed in all parts of the night. “Whoever wakes up his wife and prays together with her, both will be written among those men and women who remember Allaah much”.

As for the manners of night prayer, it is recommended that one starts with two light Rak’ahs and then prays with a Tasleem after every two Rak’ahs. It is also recommended that longer recitation should be made.  One should also try to observe long bowing and prostration and endeavor to remember Allaah a lot. However, one should not make things hard for himself.  The Messenger of Allaah said, “You should do only what you can, for by Allaah! Allaah will not desist from answering your prayers until you become bored.” 

You can also be encouraged to observe night prayers if you remember that you are in noble and preferable days, like this blessed month. The one who neglects many good deeds in this month is deprived and losses. These are some of the most hopeful days, so fear Allaah and make best use of your time and show Allaah the good that is in you.

Enjoy the blessings of your Lord, spread Salaam, feed people and pray in the night while other people are asleep, your will enter the Paradise of your Lord with peace.

alminbar

Advertisements

About theCall

“Invite to the Way of thy Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious..”
This entry was posted in Qur'an and Hadith. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Qiyaam (Night Prayer)

  1. bint Yusuf says:

    Asslamu alaikum,

    I would like to share 7 Practical Tips for praying Qiyaam al-Layl

    1: Ikhlas (Sincerity) – the key to Allah’s Help and Blessings

    Help of Allah is needed to accomplish and achieve success in all our affairs. And Allah only helps those who are sincere in their hearts. The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: “If you are truthful with Allah, then Allah will deliver to you what you wish for.” [An-Nasa’ee, al-Hakim and Saheeh al-Jamee] Therefore, one should have a sincere intention to pray Qiyaam al-Layl; seek the Pleasure of Allah Alone and avoid the desire of praise or fame. Allah says: “And they were commanded not, but that they should worship Allah, and worship none but Him Alone…” [(98): 5]
    Imam Ibn al-Qayyim said: “The degree to which a person is helped and aided by Allah depends on the degree of his intention, drive, aim and hopes. Help from Allah comes to people in proportion to their drive, intention, hopes and fears, and failure comes to them in like manner.”

    2: Knowing the Virtues of Qiyaam al-Layl

    Knowing the virtues and rewards of performing worship produces willingness and desire to perform the worship. We have previously mentioned numerous virtues of regularly praying Qiyaam al-Layl, here we mention the excellence of praying Qiyaam al-Layl particularly in the great month of Ramadan. Abu Hurayrah (radhi allahu anhu) reported: “Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) encouraged the people, without making it an absolute command, to perform Qiyaam during Ramadan. He (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) used to say: “Whoever stands (in Qiyaam) in Ramadan out of faith and expectation (of Allah’s reward), all his previous sins will be forgiven.” [Saheeh Muslim]

    3: Taking a nap in the daytime

    Taking a nap before or after Dhur Salaat will dismiss the stress and thus enable one to get up in the night and stand in front of his Lord. The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: “Take a nap, for the Shayateen (pl. of Shaytan) do not take naps.” [Reported by at-Tabaranee. Al-Saheehah (2647)]

    4: Sleeping according to the Sunnah of Allah’s Messenger

    (a) Sleep early: Sleeping early is a healthy habit and it was the practice of Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) to sleep directly after performing the Isha prayer. Abu Barzah al-Aslami (radhi allahu anhu) said that the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) used to prefer to delay Isha, and he did not like to sleep before it or talk after it.” [Saheeh al-Bukharee]

    (b) Sleep in a state of taharah (purity): Ibn Abbas (radhi allahu anhu) reported that Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: “Purify these bodies and Allah will purify you, for there is no slave who goes to sleep in a state of purity but an Angel spends the night with him, and every time he turns over, [the Angel] says, ‘O Allah! Forgive Your slave, for he went to bed in a state of purity.’” [Reported by at-Tabaranee. See Saheeh al-Jamee (3831)]

    (c) Choose a suitable bed: Excessive luxurious or soft bed provokes laziness and makes one sleep more and become negligent. Aa’ishah (radhi allahu anha) narrates that the pillow of the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) on which he slept at night was made of leather stuffed with palm fibers.” [Abu Dawood and Musnad Ahmad. Saheeh al-Jamee (4714)]

    Once Umar Ibn al-Khattab (radhi allahu anhu) entered upon the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) when he was lying on a mat of palm fibers that had left marks on his side. Umar (radhi allahu anhu) said: “O Messenger of Allah, why do you not get something more comfortable than this?” He (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: “What do I have to do with this world? My relationship with this world is like that of a traveler on a hot summer’s day, who seeks shade under a tree for an hour, then moves on.” [Musnad Ahmad and al-Hakim. Saheeh al-Jamee (5545)]

    (d) Cleaning the bed and lying on the right side
    Abu Hurayrah (radhi allahu anhu) reported: “The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: “When any one of you goes to bed, let him clear his bed by hitting it with his garment, for he does not know what may have come onto it. Then let him lie down on his right side…” [Saheeh al-Bukharee and Saheeh Muslim]

    (e) Reciting the Adhkaar (supplications) mentioned in the Sunnah before sleeping
    There are a number of Adhkaar prescribed in the Sunnah before going to bed, amongst them are reciting the last verses of Soorah al-Baqarah, reciting Soorah al-Falaq and Soorah al-Nas and Soorah Ikhlas blow in the palms and wipe as much of the body possible, starting from the head, face and then the front of the body doing it three times. [Saheeh al-Bukharee and Saheeh Muslim]

    Ali Ibn Abi Talib (radhi allahu anhu) reported that when the Prophet’s daughter, Fatima (radhi allahu anha) came to him and asked him for a servant, he (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said to her and Ali: “Shall I not teach you something that will be better for you than a servant? When you go to bed, say ‘SubhanAllah’ thirty-three times, ‘Al-hamdulillah’ thirty-three times, and ‘Allahu Akbar’ thirty-four times. This is better for you than a servant.” [Saheeh al-Bukharee and Saheeh Muslim]

    5: Avoid too much food and drink

    Too much food or drink is one of the main obstacles that make one lazy and negligent of Qiyaam al-Layl. The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: “Man fills no vessel worse than his stomach. It is sufficient for the son of Adam to have a few mouthfuls to give him the strength he needs. If he has to fill his stomach, then let him leave one-third for food, one-third for drink and one-third for air.” [Reported by at-Tirmidhee and Ibn Majah. Saheeh al-Jamee (5674)]

    Abu Juhayfah (radhi allahu anhu) reported that the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said to a man who burped in his presence: “Stop your burping, for the people who eat the most in this life will be the most hungry on the Day of Resurrection.” [Reported by al-Hakim. Saheeh al-Jamee (1190)]

    6: Striving against oneself:

    Striving against oneself to get up and pray and suppressing one’s desires bring about Allah’s help and His Pleasure for the slave. Allah says in the Qur’aan: “Strive in Allah’s Cause as you ought to strive…” [Soorah al-Hajj (25): 78] “And as for those who strive hard in Our Cause, We will surely guide them to Our Paths. And verily, Allah is with the Muhsinoon (good-doers).” [ (29): 69]

    The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: “The Mujahid (one who strives in way of Allah) is the one who strives against his own self for the sake of Allah.” [Reported by al-Tirmidhee. See al-Saheehah (549)]

    He (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) also said: “When a man from my Ummah gets up to pray at night, striving against his own self to get up and purify himself, there are knots on him. When he washes his hands in wudhu, one knot is undone. When he washes his face, another knot is undone. When he wipes his head another knot is undone. When he washes his feet, another knot is undone. Then Allah says to those who are veiled (in the Unseen): ‘Look at this slave of Mine, he is striving against his own self and asking of Me. Whatever My slave asks of Me shall be his.” [Musnad Ahmad. See Saheeh al-Targheeb (627)]

    7: Rebuking one’s self for not praying Qiyaam al-Layl

    Qiyaam al-Layl is a great blessing from Allah, the Exalted, and He has placed in it numerous spiritual benefits and rewards for the believer. Therefore, one should rebuke one’s self, if he misses this great opportunity of achieving rewards and Pleasure of Allah. Allah says in the Qur’aan: “O you who believe! Fear Allah and keep your duty to Him. And let every person look to what he has sent forth for the morrow, and fear Allah. Verily, Allah is All-Aware of what you do.” [(59): 18]
    Imam Ibn al-Qayyim (rahimahullah) said: “If the slave is responsible and accountable for everything, even his hearing, sight and innermost thoughts, as Allah says, “…Verily, hearing, sight, and the heart of each of you will be questioned by Allah.” [Soorah al-Isra (17): 36], then he should check on himself before he is brought to account

    excerpt from As-Sunnah Islamic Newsletter Issue 15

    Like

  2. ruqaya says:

    Jazakallah ukhti for your tips,

    Qiyam al-layl or night vigil is a source of great spiritual energy. The Quran commends the one who utilizes the early hours of each day to engage in remembrance of Allah: “Is one who worships devoutly during the hours of night prostrating himself or standing [in adoration] and who places his hope in the mercy of His Lord – [like one who does not]? Say: ‘Are those equal – those who know and those who do not know?’ It is those who are endowed with understanding that receive admonition.” [Az-Zumar 39:9]

    “And in some parts of the night (also) perform the Salat (prayer) with it (i.e., recite the Qur’an in the prayer) as an additional prayer (Tahajjud optional prayer – Nawafil) for you (O Muhammad (PBUH)). It may be that your Lord will raise you to Maqam Mahmud (a station of praise and glory, i.e., the honour of intercession on the Day of Resurrection).” (17:79)

    “Their sides forsake their beds…” (32:16)

    “They used to sleep but little by night [invoking their Rabb (Allah) and praying, with fear and hope].” (51:17)

    The Prophet has said: “Keep up qiyam al-layl. It was the way of the virtuous who came before you, it draws you nearer to your Lord, atones for your sins, forbids you from evil and protects the body from sickness.” (Tirmidhi.)

    “Aishah (May Allah be pleased with her) reported: The Prophet (PBUH) kept standing (in prayer) so long that the skin of his feet would crack. I asked him: “Why do you do this, while you have been forgiven of your former and latter sins?” He said, “Should I not be a grateful slave of Allah?” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

    Like

  3. Pingback: Qiyaam (Night Prayer) | Blog theCall

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s