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Archive for the ‘Night Prayers’ Category

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Qiyaam al-layl is Sunnah mu’akkadah (a confirmed Sunnah). Many texts of the Qur’aan and Sunnah encourage it and speak of its high status and great reward.

Qiyaam al-layl plays a great role in strengthening one’s faith and helping one to do good deeds.

Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“O you wrapped in garments (i.e. Prophet Muhammad)!
2. Stand (to pray) all night, except a little —
3. Half of it or a little less than that,
4. Or a little more. And recite the Qur’aan (aloud) in a slow, (pleasant tone and) style.
5. Verily, We shall send down to you a weighty Word (i.e. obligations, laws).
6. Verily, the rising by night (for Tahajjud prayer) is very hard and most potent and good for governing oneself, and most suitable for (understanding) the Word (of Allaah)”
[al-Muzzamil 73:1-6]

Allaah praises those who have faith and are pious for their noble characteristics and good deeds, one of the most special of which is qiyaam al-layl. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Only those believe in Our Ayaat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.), who, when they are reminded of them, fall down prostrate, and glorify the Praises of their Lord, and they are not proud.
16. Their sides forsake their beds, to invoke their Lord in fear and hope, and they spend (in charity in Allaah’s Cause) out of what We have bestowed on them.
17. No person knows what is kept hidden for them of joy as a reward for what they used to do”
[al-Sajdah 32:15-17]

Allaah describes them elsewhere in the following terms (interpretation of the meaning):
“And those who spend the night in worship of their Lord, prostrate and standing.
65. And those who say: “Our Lord! Avert from us the torment of Hell. Verily, its torment is ever an inseparable, permanent punishment.”

66. Evil indeed it (Hell) is as an abode and as a place to rest in.
67. And those who, when they spend, are neither extravagant nor niggardly, but hold a medium (way) between those (extremes).
68. And those who invoke not any other ilaah (god) along with Allaah, nor kill such person as Allaah has forbidden, except for just cause, nor commit illegal sexual intercourse and whoever does this shall receive the punishment.
69. The torment will be doubled to him on the Day of Resurrection, and he will abide therein in disgrace;
70. Except those who repent and believe (in Islamic Monotheism), and do righteous deeds; for those, Allaah will change their sins into good deeds, and Allaah is Oft?Forgiving, Most Merciful.
71. And whosoever repents and does righteous good deeds; then verily, he repents towards Allaah with true repentance.
72. And those who do not bear witness to falsehood, and if they pass by some evil play or evil talk, they pass by it with dignity.
73. And those who, when they are reminded of the Ayaat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) of their Lord, fall not deaf and blind thereat.
74. And those who say: “Our Lord! Bestow on us from our wives and our offspring the comfort of our eyes, and make us leaders of the Muttaqoon (the pious).”75. Those will be rewarded with the highest place (in Paradise) because of their patience. Therein they shall be met with greetings and the word of peace and respect.
76. Abiding therein excellent it is as an abode, and as a place to rest in”

[al-Furqaan 25:64-76]
From this we may note the virtue of qiyaam al-layl and its good consequences that cannot be ignored; it is one of the means of avoiding the punishment of Hell and attaining Paradise, and we may note the great blessing it brings of conversing with the Lord. May Allaah make us among those who attain success thereby.
Allaah has described the pious in Soorat al-Dhaariyaat as having a number of characteristics – including praying qiyaam al-layl – by means of which they attain Paradise. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Verily, the Muttaqoon (the pious) will be in the midst of Gardens and Springs (in the Paradise),
16. Taking joy in the things which their Lord has given them. Verily, they were before this Muhsinoon (good?doers).
17. They used to sleep but little by night [invoking their Lord (Allaah) and praying, with fear and hope]”

[al-Dhaariyaat 51:15-17]
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) encouraged us to pray qiyaam al-layl in many ahaadeeth, such as the following:
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The best prayer after the obligatory prayer is prayer at night.” Narrated by Muslim, 1163.
And he said: “You should pray qiyaam al-layl, for it is the custom of the righteous who came before you and it brings you closer to your Lord, and expiates sins and prevents misdeeds.”
Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 3549; classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Irwa’ al-Ghaleel, 452.
“The custom of the righteous” means it was their usual practise.
“It brings you closer to your Lord” means, it is an act of worship by means of which one may draw closer to Allaah.
“and prevents misdeeds” means, it prevents one from committing sin. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Verily, As?Salaah (the prayer) prevents from Al?Fahsha’ (i.e. great sins of every kind, unlawful sexual intercourse) and Al?Munkar (i.e. disbelief, polytheism, and every kind of evil wicked deed)”
[al-‘Ankaboot 29:45]
It was narrated that ‘Amr ibn Murrah al-Juhani said: A man came to the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) from Qadaa’ah and said to him: “O Messenger of Allaah, what do you think if I bear witness that there is no god except Allaah and that you are His Messenger, and I pray the five daily prayers, and fast the month (of Ramadaan), and pray qiyaam in Ramadaan, and pay zakaah?” The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever dies doing that will be one of the siddeeqs and martyrs.”Narrated by Ibn Khuzaymah; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Ibn Khuzaymah, 2212.
Al-Tirmidhi (1984) narrated that ‘Ali said: The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “In Paradise there are apartments the outside of which can be seen from the inside and the inside of which can be seen from the outside.” A Bedouin stood up and said: “Who are they for, O Messenger of Allaah?” He said: “They are for those who speak good words, feed others, fast regularly and pray to Allaah at night when people are sleeping.” Classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi.
Al-Haakim narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Jibreel came to me and said: ‘O Muhammad, live as long as you want, for you will die. Love whomever you want, for you will leave him. Do whatever you want for you will be requited for it. Remember that the believer’s honour is his praying at night, and his pride is his being independent of people.” Classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami’, 73.
The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever prays qiyaam reciting ten verses will not be recorded as one of the negligent. Whoever prays qiyaam reciting one hundred verses will be recorded as one of the devout. Whoever prays qiyaam reciting one thousand verses will be recorded as one of the muqantireen.”
Narrated by Abu Dawood, 1398; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood.
The muqantireen are those who will be given a qintaar of reward. A qintaar is a large amount of gold, and most of the scholars of Arabic language are of the view that it is four thousand dinars.
And it was said that a qintaar is a bull’s hide full of gold, or eighty thousand, or a large but unspecified amount of wealth. See al-Nihaayah fi Ghareeb il-Hadeeth by Ibn al-Atheer.
What is meant by this hadeeth is to emphasize the greatness of the reward earned by the one who recites a thousand verses. Al-Tabaraani narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “A qintaar is better than this world and everything in it.” Classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Targheeb, 638.

Note:
Al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar said: From Soorat Tabaarak [al-Mulk] to the end of the Qur’aan is one thousand verses.
Whoever prays qiyaam reciting from Soorat Tabaarak to the end of Qur’aan has prayed qiyaam with one thousand verses.

And Allaah knows best.
http://islam-qa.com/en/ref/50070

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Fudhayl ibn al-‘Iyadh: ‘It used to be said that the characteristics of the Prophets and the righteous, the chosen ones from Mankind whose hearts are pure, are three characteristics: They were forbearing, oft-returning (to Allah), and they all had a portion of Qiyam al-Layl (the night prayer).’

Musa `alayhisalam: The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) said, ‘I passed by Musa – `alayhisalam – on the night of my Ascension while he was in his grave praying.’ 1

‘Isa `alayhisalam: ‘Verily the night and the day are two stores so look to what you do in them.’
Ibn ‘Abbas (radhiallahu `anhu) said regarding Prophet ‘Isa, ‘Wherever the night caught up with him, he would straighten his feet and stand in prayer until the morning.’ 2

Dawud `alayhisalam: The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) said, ‘Dawud was the most devout worshipper from Mankind.’ 3

The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) said, ‘The most beloved of prayers to Allah is the prayer of Dawud and the most beloved of fasts to Allah is the fast of Dawud. He used to sleep half of the night, stand up in prayer for a third of it and sleep a sixth of it, and he used to fast on alternate days.’ 4

Sulayman `alayhisalam: The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) said, ‘The mother of Sulayman ibn Dawud said to Sulayman ‘O my son, do not sleep a lot at night because indeed, sleeping too much at night will leave a man in poverty on the Day of Judgment.’ 5

__________________________

References

1] Sahih Muslim, Ahmad and al-Nasa’i
2] Al-Bidayah wal-Nihayah (2/16)
3] Sahih Muslim, al-Tirmidhi, al-Hakim
4] Sahih al-Bukhari
5] Reported by Ibn Majah and al-Bayhaqi (chain contains al-Fadhl ibn ‘Isa who is weak)

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Qiyam ul-Layl

Qiyam means standing and Qiyam Al-Layl means standing at night. In the Islamic terminology, both words refer to the voluntary night prayer, whose time extends from after Isha prayer until dawn.
Other common names for Qiyam Al-Layl are Salat-ul-Layl (the night prayer), Tahajjud (from hajada, meaning remained one who awake at night), and Taraweeh (resting).
A widespread misconception is that Tahajjud is a different night prayer than Qiyam or Taraweeh. It is important to clarify this misunderstanding and to make clear that the voluntary night prayer is known by different names.

1. Ikhlas (Sincerity)
Allah’s Help is required not only for worldly affairs but also for our worship. And Allah helps those who are sincere in their hearts. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: “If you are truthful with Allah, then Allah will deliver to you what you wish for.” (An-Nasa’i, Al-Hakim and Sahih Al-Jami’’)
Therefore, one should have a sincere intention to pray Qiyam Al-Layl. One should seek the pleasure of Allah alone and avoid any desire of praise or fame. Allah says:

“And they were commanded not, but that they should worship Allah, and worship none but Him Alone…” (Qur’an, 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. Failure comes to them in a similar manner.”

 

2. Know the virtue
Knowing the virtues and rewards of worship encourages us to perform them. The virtue of praying at night during Ramdan supersedes the virtue of praying any other night during the year. Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported: “Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) encouraged the people, without making it an absolute command, to perform Qiyam during Ramadan. He (peace be upon him) used to say: ‘Whoever stands (in Qiyam) in Ramadan out of faith and expectation (of Allah’s reward), all his previous sins will be forgiven.’ ” (Sahih Muslim)

3. Take a nap
Taking a nap before or after Zuhr Salah will reduce stress and give you sufficient energy to wake up late at night to stand in front of your Lord. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: “Take a nap, for the Shayateen (pl. of Shaytan) do not take naps.” (At-Tabarani, Al-Sahihah, no. 2647)

 

4. Sleep as per the Sunnah
• Sleep early! It’s a healthy habit and it was the practice of Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him). He would sleep immediately after performing the Isha prayer. Abu Barzah Al-Aslami said the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to prefer to delay Isha, and he did not like to sleep before it or talk after it.” (Al-Bukhari)

• Sleep in a state of taharah (cleanliness). Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) 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.’ ” (At-Tabarani, Sahih Al-Jami’, no. 3831)

• Choose a suitable bed. Extreme luxury and very soft mattresses provoke laziness. We tend to sleep more and become negligent. Ayesha (may Allah be pleased with her) narrated that the pillow of the Prophet (peace be upon him) was made of leather stuffed with palm fibers.” (Abu Dawood and Musnad Ahmad, Sahih Al-Jami’, no. 4714)

• Keep the bed clean and lie on your right side. The Prophet (peace be upon him) 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…” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

• Recite the Adhkar (supplications) mentioned in the Sunnah before sleeping. Among the Adhkar are reciting the last two verses of Surah Al-Baqarah; reciting Surah Al-Falaq, Al-Nas and Ikhlas and blowing in the palms and wiping as much of the body as possible – starting from the head, face and then the front of the body – three times; and saying Subhan Allah 33 times, Alhamdulillah 33 times and Allahu Akbar 34 times. (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

5. Don’t eat too much
Eating and drinking too much are the main obstacles that make one lazy and negligent of Qiyam Al-Layl. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) 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.” (At-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah, Sahih Al-Jami’, no. 5674)
Abu Juhayfah reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) 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.” (Al-Hakim, Sahih Al-Jami’, no. 1190)

6. Exert yourself
Exert yourself to get up and pray. Rise above your desires. Allah says in the Qur’an:

“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).” (Qur’an, 29:69)

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “The Mujahid (one who strives in the Cuase of Allah) is the one who strives against his own self for the sake of Allah.” (Al-Tirmidhi, Al-Sahihah, no. 549)
He (peace be upon him) 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 wudu, 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, Sahih Al-Targheeb, no. 627)

7. Regret if you missed it
Qiyam Al-Layl is a great blessing of Allah. He has kept numerous spiritual benefits and rewards for the believer in this prayer. Therefore, one should regret if he misses this great opportunity of achieving rewards and the Pleasure of Allah. Allah says in the Qur’an:

“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.” (Qur’an, 59:18)

Imam Ibn Al-Qayyim 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.” (Qur’an, 17:36), then he should check on himself before he is brought to account.” – As-Sunnah

Ref: ‘The Night Prayers’ by Muhammad Nasir-ud-Deen Al-Albani

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