Tahajjud (Qiyam al-Layil)
The Late Night Prayer

 

Its excellence and merit from the Qur’an:
Allah ordered his Messenger to perform salatul tahajjud.

Decorative Lines

bism Allah

And some part of the night awake for prayer, a largess for thee. It may be that thy Lord will raise thee to a praised position.” {Surah: al-Israa, 79}

This order, although it was specifically directed to the Prophet, also refers to all the Muslims since the Prophet is their example and guide in all such matters.

Those who regularly perform the tahajjud prayers are the Righteous and are more deserving of Allah’s bounty and mercy. Allah says: “Lo! Those who keep from evil will dwell amid gardens and watersprings, taking that which their Lord gives them. For, lo, they were doers of good. They used to sleep but little of the night and before the dawning of each day would seek forgiveness.”

Allah praised and complemented the deeds of those who perform the late-night prayers.

“The slaves of the Beneficent are they who walk upon the earth in humbleness, and when the ignorant address them, they say: ‘Peace’ and they who spend the night prostrating before their Lord and standing” [ al-Furqan: 63-64 ].

Allah bears witness to their belief in His signs. He says: “Only those believe in Our revelations who, when they are reminded of them, fall down prostrate and hymn the praise of their Lord and they are not scomful: who forsake their beds to cry unto their Lord in fear and hope and spend of what We have bestowed on them. No soul knows what is kept hidden for them of joy as a reward for what they used to do.”

Allah proclaims that those who do not possess these qualities cannot be treated as equal to those who possess them: “Is he who pays adoration in the watches of the night, prostrate and standing, aware of the Hereafter and hoping for the mercy of his Lord equal to a disbeliever..? Say: ‘Are those who know equal with those who know not..?’ But only men of understanding will pay heed.”

Volume 2, Page 21: Hadith regarding Tahajjud

The preceding section was primarily concerned with what Allah says about those who perform salatul tahajjud. There also exist a number of ahadith that reinforce the importance of tahajjud.

‘Abdullah ibn as-Salam reports:

“When the Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam came to Medinah, the people gathered around him and I was one of them. I looked at his face and understood that it was not the face of a liar. The first words I heard him say were: ‘O people, spread the salutations, feed the people, keep the ties of kinship, and pray during the night while the others sleep and you will enter paradise in peace.”‘ This is related by al-Hakim, Ibn Majah, and at-Tirmizhi who calls it hasan sahih.

Salman al-Farsi relates that the Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam said: “Observe the night prayer, it was the practice of the rightous before you and it brings you closer to your Lord and it is penance for evil deeds and erases the sins and repells disease from the body.”

Sahl ibn Sa’d reports:

“Gabriel came to the Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam and said: ‘O Muhammad, live as long as you like, for you are to die. Do whatever deed you wish, for you are to be rewarded. Love whomever you wish, for you are to be parted. And know that the honor of the believer is in the night prayer and his glory is being free from want from the people.”‘

Abu ad-Darda’ reports that the Prophet said: “Three people are loved by Allah, and He laughs for them and He grants them glad tidings. [The first is] a man who fights behind a group that flees and does so with his own soul for Allah’s sake, regardless of whether he is killed or he is aided by Allah and made victorious.

Allah says:

‘Look to my slave there who is patient with his life for My sake.’ [The second is] the one who has a beautiful wife and a soft bed and rises during the night. Allah says: ‘He leaves his desires and remembers Me and if he wished he would sleep.’ [The third] is a person who is traveling with a group and they pass the night awake and then sleep, but he still observes his prayer in hardship or ease.”

Volume 2, Page 22: Etiquettes of Late Night Prayer

The following acts are sunnah for one who wishes to perform the tahajjud prayers. Upon going to sleep, one should make the intention to perform the tahajjud prayers. Abu ad-Darda’ relates that the Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam said:

“Whoever goes to his bed with the intention of getting up and praying during the night, and sleep overcomes him until the moming comes, he will have recorded for him what he had intended, and his sleep will be a charity for him from his Lord.

” This is related by an-Nasa’i and ibn Majah with a sahih chain. Upon waking, one should wipe one’s face, use a toothstick, and look to the sky and make the supplication which has been reported from the Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam: “There is no God but Thee, Glory be to Thee, I seek forgiveness from You for my sins, and I ask for your mercy. O Allah, increase my knowledge and let my heart not swerve after You have guided me, and bestow mercy upon me from Thyself. All praise be to Allah who has given us back life after our death and unto Him is the resurrection.”

Then, one should recite the last ten ‘ayat of al-‘Imran, starting with, “Lo! In the creation of the heavens and the earth and [in] the difference of night and day are tokens (of His sovereignty) for men of understanding.”

Then one should say,

“O Allah, to You belongs the praise. You are the Light of the heavens and the earth and what is therein. And to You belongs the praise. You are the truth and Your promise is true. And the meeting with You is true. And the paradise is true. And the Fire is true. And the prophets are true. And Muhammad is true. And the Hour is true. O Allah, to You have I submitted. And in You have I believed. And in You have I put my trust. And to You have I turned. And by You I argue. And to You do I turn for my decisions. Forgive me of my former and latter sins, and those done in private and those done in public. You are Allah, there is no God besides Thee.”

One should begin Qiyam al-Layil with two quick rak’at and then one may pray whatever one wishes after that. ‘Aishah says: “When the Prophet prayed during the late-night, he would begin his prayers with two quick rak’at.” Both of these reports are related by Muslim.

Volume 2, Page 23: One should wake up one’s family for tahajjud

Abu Hurairah reports that the Prophet said:

“May Allah bless the man who gets up during the night to pray and wakes up his wife and who, if she refuses to get up, sprinkles water on her face. And may Allah bless the woman who gets up during the night to pray and wakes up her husband and who, if he refuses sprinkles water on his face.”

The Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam also said: “If a man wakes his wife and prays during the night or they pray two rak’at together, they will be recorded among those (men and women) who (constantly) make remembrance of Allah.” This is related by Abu Dawud and others with a sahih chain.

Umm Salamah narrates that the Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam got up during the night and said: “Glory be to Allah. What trials are descended with the night. And what has descended of treasures. Who will waken the lady occupants of the rooms (i.e., his wives) for prayers; how many a well dressed in this world will be naked in the hereafter.” This is related by al-Bukhari

Al-Bukhari and Muslim record that the Messenger of Allah asked ‘Ali and Fatimah: “Do you not pray [during the night]?” ‘Ali said: “O Messenger of Allah, we are in Allah’s hands. If He wishes to make us get up, we get up.” The Prophet turned away when he said that. Then, they could hear him striking his thigh and saying: “Verily, man disputes a lot.” This is related by al-Bukhari and Muslim.

Volume 2, Page 24: One should stop praying tahajjud and sleep if one becomes very sleepy

‘Aishah reports that the Messenger of Allah said: “When one of you gets up during the night for prayer and his Qur’anic recital becomes confused to the extent that he does not know what he says, he should lie down.” This is related by Muslim.

Anas narrates that the Messenger of Allah entered the mosque and saw a rope stretching between two posts. He asked: “What is this?” The people told him that it was for Zainab [bint Jahsh] who, when she became tired or weary, held it (to keep standing for the prayer).

The Prophet said: “Remove the rope. You should pray as long as you feel active, and when you get tired or weary, you should lie down to rest.” This is related by al-Bukhari and Muslim.

One should not overburden one’s self with the night prayer and should only pray it to the extent that is reasonable, and not leave that practice unless there is some great need to do so.

‘Aishah reports that the Messenger of Allah said:

Do (good) deeds according to your capacity, for by Allah, Allah does not weary from giving rewards unless you get tired of doing good deeds. This is related by al-Bukhari and Muslim.

Al-Bukhari and Muslim also relate from ‘Aishah that the Messenger of Allah was asked: “What is the most loved deed to Allah?” He answered: “One that is performed constantly even if it is a small deed.” And Muslim recorded that ‘Aishah said: “The Messenger of Allah was constant in his deeds, and if he did something, he would do it consistently.”

‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar reports that the Messenger of Allah said: “O ‘Abdullah, do not become like so-and-so who used to make the tahajjud prayers and then he stopped praying it.” This is related by al-Bukhari and Muslim.

Al-Bukhari and Muslim also record, on the authority of ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ud, that it was mentioned to the Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam that a man slept until the morning. [ThereuponJ he said:

“Satan has urinated into the ears of that person.” They also record from Salim ibn ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar, from his father, that the Messenger of Allah said to his father, “Abdullah would be a good man if he would pray the tahajjud prayers.” Salim said: “After that, ‘Abdullah would not sleep during the night save for a small amount at a time.”

Volume 2, Page 24a: The recommended time for tahajjud

Salatul Layil may be performed in the early part of the night, the middle part of the night, or the latter part of the night, but after the obligatory salatul ‘isha.

While describing the salah of the Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam, Anas would say: “If we wanted to see him praying during the night, we could see him praying. If we wanted to see him sleeping during the night, we could see him sleeping.

And sometimes he would fast for so many days that we thought he would not leave fasting throughout that month. And sometimes he would not fast (for so many days) that we thought he would not fast during that month.” This is related by Ahmad, al-Bukhari, and anNasa’ i .

Commenting on this subject, Ibn Hajar says:

“There was no specific time in which the Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam would perform his late night prayer; but he would do whatever was easiest for him.”

Volume 2, Page 25: Best time for tahajjud

It is best to delay this prayer to the last third portion of the night. Abu Hurairah reports that the Messenger of Allah said: “Our Lord descends to the lowest heaven during the last third of the night, inquiring: ‘Who will call on Me so that I may respond to him? Who is asking something of Me so I may give it to him? Who is asking for My forgiveness so I may forgive him?”‘ This is related by the group.

‘Amr ibn Abasah reports that he heard the Prophet say:

“The closest that a slave comes to his Lord is during the middle of the latter portion of the night. If you can be among those who remember Allah, the Exalted One, at that time then do so.” This is related by al-Hakim who grades it sahih according to Muslim’s standards, and at-Tirmizhi calls it hasan sahih. AnNasa’i and Ibn Khuzaimah also recorded it.

Abu Muslim asked Abu Zharr:

“Which late-night prayer is the best?” He said: “I asked the Messenger of Allah the same that you asked me and he said, ‘The (one done during) middle of the latter half of the night, and very few do it.'” This is related by Ahmad with a good chain.

‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr reports that the Prophet said:

“The most beloved fast to Allah is the fast of David. And the most beloved prayer to Allah is the prayer of David. He would sleep half of the night and then pray during the next third of the night and then sleep during the last sixth of the night. And he would fast one day and not fast the next.” This is related by the group except at-Tirmizhi.

The number of rak’at to be performed during tahajjud: The tahajjud prayer does not entail a specific number of rak’at which must be performed nor is there any maximum limit which has to be performed. It would be fulfilled even if one just prayed one rak’ah of witr after the obligatory night prayer.

Samurah ibn Jundub says:

“The Messenger of Allah ordered us to pray during the night, a little or a lot, and to make the last of the prayer the witr prayer.” This is related by at-Tabarani and al-Bazzar.

Anas relates that the Messenger of Allah said:

“Prayer in my mosque is equal to ten thousand prayers [elsewhere]. And prayer in the inviolable mosque is equivalent to one hundred thousand prayers [elsewhere]. And prayer in the battlefield is equivalent to one million prayers [elsewhere]. And what is more than all of that is two rak’at by a slave [of Allah] during the middle of the night.” This is reported by Abu ash-Shaikh, Ibn Hibban in his work ath-Thawab, and al-Munzhiri, in his book at-Targhib watTarhib, is silent about it.

Iyas ibn Mu’awiyyah al-Mazni reports that the Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam said: “The night prayer should certainly be performed even if it is for the length of time that it takes one to milk a sheep. And whatever is after the obligatory ‘isha is of the tahajjud.” This is related by at-Tabarani, and all of its narrators are trustworthy save Muhammad ibn Ishaq.

Ibn ‘Abbas relates:

“I mentioned the tahajjud prayer and some of the people said that the Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam said: ‘It may be half of the night, a third of the night, a fourth of the night or a fraction of the time for milking a camel or a sheep.””

Ibn ‘Abbas also narrates that the Prophet ordered them and encouraged them to make the tahajjud prayer to the extent that he said: “You should perform salatul layil even if it is just one rak’ah.” This is related by atTabarani in al-Kabir and al-Awsat.

Volume 2, Page 26: It is preferable to pray eleven or thirteen rak’at for tahajjud

One may choose between praying them all together or to separate them. ‘Aishah says: “The Messenger of Allah never prayed more than eleven rak’at, during Ramadan or otherwise. He would pray four rak’at, and don’t ask about how excellent they were or how lengthy they were. Then, he would pray four rak’at, and don’t ask about how excellent they were or how lengthy they were.

Then, he would pray three rak’at. I asked: ‘O Messenger of Allah, do you sleep before praying witr?’ he replied: ‘O ‘Aishah, my eyes sleep but my heart does not sleep.”‘ This is recorded by al-Bukhari and Muslim who also record that al-Qasim ibn Muhammad said that he heard ‘Aishah say: “The Messenger of Allah’s prayer during the night would be ten rak’at and then he would make witr with one rak’ah.”

Volume 2, Page 26a: Making qada’ for the missed tahajjud

Muslim records that ‘Aishah said: “If the Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam missed the late-night prayers due to pain or anything else, he would pray twelve rak’at during the day.”

‘Umar reports that the Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam said: “Whoever sleeps past his full portion [of the late-night prayers] or part of them, he should pray between the dawn and noon prayers and it would be recorded for him as if he had prayed during the night.” This is related by the group except for al-Bukhari.

Source: Islambasics

The Night Prayer
(Qiyaam al-Layl) – Part 1

All Praise is due to Allāh, Who has made ṣalāh a relaxation for the believer, a refuge for the fearful, and a guidance for the savage. May the peace and blessings of Allāh be upon the leader of those who perform ṣalāh, perform tahajjud, and make rukoo and sujood. And also upon his family, companions, and those who follow them in the right way until the day of judgement.

As for what follows:

Night prayer is the diligence of the righteous, the transaction of the believers, and the action of the victorious. At night the believers are alone with their Lord – they turn towards their Creator complaining about their situations and asking of His bounties. They are standing in front of their Lord, devoted to the confidential talk with their Shaper, gently breathing the fragrances, taking from the lights of the good deeds, and seeking and begging for the greatest of gifts.

Night Prayer as
Mentioned in the Qurʾān

Allāh the Most Exalted said: “They arise from [their] beds” [As Sajda 32:16] Mujahid and AlHasan said: “it means night prayer”.

Ibn Kathir explained the verse: “The meaning is night prayer, leaving sleep and rest upon a soft and flat furnishing.

AbdulHaq al Ashbeeli said: “Their sides find no rest upon a bed. So they are not settled on it because of the fear of the punishment, and hoping for reward.”

Allāh the Exalted mentioned about the people who make tahajjud: “They used to sleep but little of the night, And in the hours before dawn they would ask forgiveness” [Dhaariyaat 51:17-18] AlHasan said: “They burdened themselves with the night. They extended the ṣalāh until the early dawn, then they sat making du‘ā’ and seeking forgiveness.”

Allāh said: “ Is one who is devoutly obedient during periods of the night, prostrating and standing [in prayer], fearing the Hereafter and hoping for the mercy of his Lord, [like one who does not]? Say, “Are those who know equal to those who do not know?” Only they will remember [who are] people of understanding .” [Zumur 39:9]

In other words: Is the one whose character is this, similar to the one who sleeps at night and wastes himself? Can he be anything other than one who is knowledgeable about Allāh’s rewards but ignorant of His punishments?

My brothers and sisters: Where are the people of the night..? Where have the virtuous gone, and only the idle and inactive are left..?!

Oh people of the night exert yourselves [Seeking] A Lord who does not refuse when asked

Night Prayer as
Mentioned in the Sunnah

My dear Muslim brother/sister

The Prophet SAWS encouraged making night prayer and arousing interest in it.

“It is upon you to perform night prayer, because it was the practice of the righteous people before you. It is a means of obtaining closeness to Allāh the Exalted, it erases sins, it prevents wrondoings, and it drives away sicknesses from the body .” [Narrated by Ahmad, AlTirmidhi, and graded saheeh by AlAlbaani]

The Prophet SAWS said about the condition of Abdullah ibn Umar: “How excellent Abdullah is! If only he would pray ṣalāh at night ” [Agreed upon] Saalim ibn Abdillah ibn Umar said: “After that, Abdullah slept very little at night.”

The Prophet SAWS said: “There is a room in Jannah where the exterior is seen from the interior, and the interior is seen from the exterior. ”

Someone said: “Who is it for, Messenger of Allāh?”

He said: “It is for the one whose speech is pleasant, he feeds others, and he spends the night standing while the people are asleep ” [Narrated by al-Tabarani, al-Haakim, and graded saheeh by al-Albaani]

The Prophetﷺ said:

“Jibreel came to me and said: ‘Oh Muhammad: Live as you wish for you will die. Love whom you will for you will be separated. Do as you will for you will be recompensed for it. Know that the most honored of the believer is his standing at night, and his prestige is in not needing anything from the people ” [Narrated by al-Haakim and al-Baihaqi. It has been graded hasan by al-Mundhiri and al-Albaani]

He SAWS said: “Whoever stands at night and recites ten ayaat is not recorded among the heedless. Whoever stands at night and recites one hundred ayaat is recorded among the pious. Whoever stands and recites one thousand ayaat is recorded among those who received a huge quantity of good deeds .” [Narrated by Abu Dawood and graded saheeh by al-Albaani]

Someone told the Prophet SAWS about a man who slept the night until morning time. He said “That is a man in whose ear the Shaytan urinated! ” [Agreed upon]

The Prophetﷺ said: “The best prayer after the obligatory ones is night prayer” [Narrated by Muslim]

The Night Prayer of the Prophetﷺ

Allah the Most Exalted ordered His Prophet to perform night prayer in the following:

“O you who wraps himself [in clothing], Arise [to pray] the night, except for a little – Half of it – or subtract from it a little. Or add to it, and recite the Qur’an with measured recitation. ” [al-Muzzammil 73:1-4]

And He said:

“And from [part of] the night, pray with it as additional [worship] for you; it is expected that your Lord will resurrect you to a praised station.” [Israa 17:79]

Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her, said:

“The Prophet would stand at night until his feet became cracked. I said to him: Why do you do this oh Messenger of Allāh, while all of your sins past and future have been forgiven? He said: Shouldn’t I be a thankful slave? ” [Agreed upon]

This proves that thankfulness is not only by the tongue. It is only done by the heart, the tongue, and the limbs. The Prophetﷺ established the duties of worship in the most complete manner, and in the most perfect form. He did all of this despite the fact that he had to spread the Islamic Aqeedah, teach the Muslims, exert himself in the path of Allāh, and fulfill the duties of his family and children.

He was as Ibn Rawaha said:

Among us is the Messenger of Allāh reciting His book When the courtesy is separated from the morning, glowing. He showed us guidance after blindness, so our hearts Are full of certainty that what he said is reality.

He spends the night separated from his bed. When the beds are heavy with the idol-worshippers.

Hudhaifa said: “I prayed with the Prophet one night. He started with AlBaqara, so I thought that he will make rukoo after that. Then he started AlNisaa and recited it. Then he started Aal-Imraan and recited it. He would recite slowly; when he came to an ayaa with Tasbeeh, he would make Tashbeeh. When he came to a request, he would request. When he came to a seeking of refuge, he would seek refuge…. ” [Narrated by Muslim]

Ibn Masood said: “I prayed one night with the Prophet. He continued standing until I thought of a bad idea. Someone said: What did you think of doing? He said: I thought to sit down and leave him! ” [Agreed upon] Ibn Hajar said: “In this hadeeth is proof that the Prophet SAWS chose to prolong the night prayer. Ibn Masood was strong-willed in preserving his emulation of the Prophet SAWS. He did not think of sitting down until the prayer was much longer than he was used to.”

The Night Prayer
(Qiyaam al-Layl) Part 2

Imām AlHasan AlBasri said:

“I did not find any worship more powerful than ṣalāh in the middle of the night”.

Abu Uthmaan AlHindi said: “I was the guest of Abu Huraira for seven [days]. He, his wife, and his servant would divide the night into three parts, praying one part and staying awake for another part”.

When Shaddad ibn Aws would go to bed, he would be like a grain in a frying pan. Then he would say: “Oh Allāh, hell-fire does not stop me from sleeping”. Then he would stand to pray.

Taawus would strongly awaken his family, then he would make wudhu and face the qibla until morning. He would say “The sleep of the worshippers has caused them to completely stop remembering the hell-fire!”

Zum’a al-Aabid would pray long hours of the night. When dawn would approach, he would raise his voice and announce: “Oh riders of the beds, are you going to sleep and waste away the entire night? Will you not get up and leave the bed!”

He would then hear crying from one place, a person making du‘ā’ from another place, and someone making wuḍūʼ from another place. When fajr time would come, he would say: “At the morning time, the people are thankful for the announcement”

The levels of the early Muslims with regards to Night Prayer

Imām Ibnul Jawzi said: You should know that the early Muslims were at one of seven levels with regards to night prayer:

Level one: These would stay up the entire night. Some of them would pray Fajr with the same wuḍūʼ as Isha.

Level two: These would pray half of the night.

Level three: These would pray one-third of the night. The Prophet SAWS said: ” The most beloved ṣalāh to Allāh The Exalted is the ṣalāh of Dawud. He would sleep half of the night, pray one-third, and sleep one-sixth“. [Agreed upon].

Level four: These would pray one-sixth of the night or one-fifth.

Level five: These would not specify an amount of the night. He would only pray until he became sleepy, and would then sleep. When he woke up, he would pray.

Level six: These would pray two or four rakah.

Level seven: These would stay awake between the two Isha times [the early time for Isha and the later, recommended time], and they would sweeten their mornings [with du‘ā’]. This way, they would join the night and morning. The Prophet SAWS said: ” Indeed in every night is a time wherein if the worshipper asks Allāh for something good, He will give it. And this is in every night.” [Narrated by Muslim]

The Factors That Make
Night Prayer Easy

Imām Abu Hamid Al-Ghazali mentioned some external and internal factors that make Night Prayer easy.

External factors are four:

  1. That the individual should not eat or drink too much. Then sleep will overpower him, and waking up will be difficult.
  2. The person should not tire himself in the daytime with things of no benefit.
  3. He should not avoid the mid-day nap because it helps with regards to waking up.
  4. He should not make sins in the daytime because that will prevent him from night prayer.

Internal factors are four:

  1. The heart should be free from these: malice towards the Muslims, bid’as, and excessive worldly interests.
  2. The heart should have a lot of fear and not too much hope.
  3. He should know the benefits of night prayer.
  4. The best motivation: Love of Allāh, and having strong īmān that in his prayer every letter that he utters is freeing him from the punishment of his Lord.

Night Prayer in Ramadhan

Night prayer in Ramadhan is ṣalāh at-Taraweeh which the Muslims perform during Ramadhan. It is one of the greatest acts of worship by which the worshippers seek to come closer to Allāh in that month.

Al-Hafidh ibn Rajab said: “You should know that in Ramadhan the believer combines two actions by which he struggles against himself: during the day-time by fasting, and during the night-time by night prayer. Whoever combines these two forms of struggle receives his reward without any account.”

Shaikh Ibn Uthaimeen said: “ṣalāh at night during Ramadhan has benefits and merits not found in other times. The Prophet SAWS said: ‘Whoever makes night prayer during Ramadhan, with īmān and hoping for reward from Allāh, all his previous sins are forgiven. ‘ [Agreed upon]. Night prayer during Ramadhan is inclusive of ṣalāh in the early as well as late part of the night. For this reason, Taraweeh is part of night prayer during Ramadhan.

It is necessary to seek it, to protect it, and to hope for reward from Allāh because of it. It is only during a limited number of nights, so the intelligent believer takes advantage of the opportunity before it is lost.”

Ṣalāh at-Taraweeh has been legislated as a congregation in the mosques. The Prophet SAWS was the first to start the Sunnah of ṣalāh at-Taraweeh in the mosque, but then he left it out of fear that it would become obligatory on the people.

When the Prophet SAWS left this world and went to be with his Lord, the Sharia was completed and there was no fear of Taraweeh becoming obligatory. Its religious nature as a congregational ṣalāh has remained and is established.

It is necessary for the Muslims to take care of this ṣalāh and offer it completely, and have patience for the sake of Allāh the Exalted.

Shaikh Ibn Uthaimeen said: “No one should fall behind in obtaining the rewards of ṣalāh at-Taraweeh. He should not leave until the imām finishes it and Witr, so that he obtains all the reward for praying at night.”

It is allowed for the women to attend ṣalāh at-Taraweeh in the mosques so long as there is no danger, whether from them or against them. But it is necessary that she attends covered and wearing hijab, not showing off, perfumed, raising her voice, or displaying her beauty.

It is from the sunnah that they stand behind the men and away from them. They should begin with the last row because that is the opposite from men. They should leave the masjid right after the imām makes tasleem and not stay unless due to some necessity.

This is because of the Hadith of Umm Salama (may Allāh be pleased with her) who said: “When the Prophet would make salaam, the women would get up when he finished tasleem. He would stay in his place for a little while before he would stand. She said: We think, and Allāh Knows Best, that this was so that the women could depart before the men would catch up to them .” [Narrated by Bukhāri]

May the peace and blessings of Allāh be upon our Prophet, his family, companions, scholars, and all the Ummah.

Source: Muslimmatters

Praying Tahajjud Prayer

As Salam Walikum

What is the correct way to pray the Tahajjud prayer and how many rakahs are involved..? On the net i’ve found that 8 rakahs should be prayed alongside 3 rakahs of Witr prayer. On other sites i read that you can pray Tahajjud prayers in 2-4-6-8 rakahs. Is it ok to pray it 20-30min before Fajr’s Azaan?

I tend to pray my Witr prayer alongside Esha and i pray 1 rakah of it. Is it allowed to pray Witr through 1 rakah..?

Thanks!

Walikum Salaam Waramatullah Warbarkatu.

The minimal night tahajjud prayer is 2 rakats. [Hindiyya, quoting Fath al-Qadir]

Its optimal recommended amount is 8 rakats, because this was the general practice of the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him, his family, and companions). [Hindiyya, quoting Fath al-Qadir] meaning you will pray 2 rakats four time

Tahajjud is a nafl prayer, you would make the intention that your going to pray tahajjud two rakat and your going to perform this prayer normally the way you would usually do in any two rakats of prayer.

The time for performing tahajjud prayer ends when Isha time ends and Fajr time enters. Therefore, any voluntary prayers performed after Fajr time has entered does not count for tahajjud prayers.

So yes you can pray tahajjud with the Isha prayer or after praying witr or 20-30 mins before fajr adhan.

Witr prayer consists of 3 rakats so you must pray 3 rakats not one or two and if prayed one or two rakat then the prayer would be invalid. Yes the Witr prayer can be prayer with the Isha prayer.

In Imam Fakhr al-Dïn al-Zayla`ï(Allah have mercy on him) wrote in his Tabyïn al-Haqà’iq Sharh Kanz al-Daqà’iq:

 “It is recommended to delay the witr prayer until the end of the night if one is sure of waking up, in order for it to be the last of his night prayers, because the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Make the witr prayer the last of your night prayers.” (Related by Bukhari, Muslim, & others).

If one is not sure of waking up at night, one should perform the witr prayer before sleeping, because of the hadith narrated by Jabir (Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Whoever fears not waking up at the end of the night should pray witr before sleeping. And whoever is confident about waking up at the end of the night should pray witr then…” (Related by Muslim and others) [Tabyïn al-Haqà’iq, 1: 84]

Sayyidi Ibn Abidin (Allah have mercy on him) said in his Radd al-Muhtar:

 “If one prayed witr before sleeping and then wakes up… it is not disliked to pray. Rather, it is recommended to pray. However, witr is not repeated.” [Radd al-Muhtar: 1: 369]

Therefore, if one invariably gets up for tahajjud (the night vigil), then it is best to pray witr then. Otherwise, one should pray witr before sleeping, because it is a sin to delay a necessary prayer past its prescribed time.

This is why Abu Hurayra relates, “My beloved one Prophet counseled me not to sleep except having prayed witr.”

Source: Forum.Hadithoftheday

How to Pray Tahajjud Salat

Please explain to me how to pray Tahajjud Salat including all information about it, including the times to start it and how long you pray it. If you have to pray it for hours, how can this be done if you have not memorized long Surahs’..?

Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the World; and blessings and peace be upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon all his Family and Companions.

There is no difference between Tahajjud and Qiyam al-lail (the late night prayer). If the prayer is performed after one had slept then it is called Tahajjud otherwise it is called Qiyam-al-lail.

There are many evidences in Qur’an and Sunnah proving the excellence and merits of Tahajjud.

Allah Says (interpretation of meaning):

Is one who is obedient to Allah, prostrating himself or standing (in prayer) during the hours of the night, fearing the Hereafter and hoping for the Mercy of his Lord (like one who disbelieves)? Say: “Are those who know equal to those who know not?” It is only men of understanding who will remember (i.e. get a lesson from Allah’s Signs and Verses).’’ [39:9].

Allah Praises those who perform the late night prayers

Their sides forsake their beds, to invoke their Lord in fear and hope, and they spend (in charity in Allah’s Cause) out of what We have bestowed on them. No person knows what is kept hidden for them of joy as a reward for what they used to do.’’[32:16-17].

Imam Tirmizi narrates from Abdullah Ibn Salaam that “When the Prophet (Peace and blessing be upon him) came to Madinah “When the Prophet (Sallallahu Alehi Wasallam) came to Madinah, the people gathered around him and I was one of them. I looked at his face and understood that it was not the face of a liar.

The first words I heard him say were: ‘O people, spread the salutations, feed the people, keep the ties of kinship, and pray during the night while the others are sleeping and you will enter paradise in peace.”‘ This is related by al-Hakim, Ibn Majah, and at-Tirmidhi who calls it Hasan Sahih.

The Prophet said: “The best prayer after the obligatory prayers is the prayer which is performed in the last part of the night”. [Reported by Imam Muslim]

Therefore, the night prayer is a confirmed Sunnah, its rule does not change even in the month of Ramadhan. However, performing it during Ramadhan is better than during other months.

The time of Tahajjud (Qiyam al-lail) starts after obligatory prayer of Isha and extends till dawn. There is no specific time for this prayer so it may be performed at any time of night but the preferred time is the last third of the night.

There is no specific number of Rakah of this night prayer but the Prophet never prayed more than thirteen Rakah during Ramadhan or any other time.

The Sunnah is to be performed in sets of two Rakah. It is recommended to shorten the first two Rakah making the remaining Rakah longer. And then one should end it with Witr prayer. One may also make Dua Qunoot in Witr if he likes.

The person who does not memorize much Qur’an may recite many short Surahs in one Rakah or he may read looking in the Mus-haf too. Allah knows best.

Source: Sunni-news

Tahajjud Prayer
(The Night Prayer) Part 3

This prayer may be performed as between 2 and 8 rakahs. That is to say, according to the capability, it can be performed as two, four, six or eight rakahs. There is no compulsion like as “it must be absolutely eight rakahs”. As one can perform this prayer at his/her home, so can perform it at suitable places and time, such as at work, at the company etc. where s/he works at night.

The tahajjud prayer is a night prayer which is performed by getting up at night after having a sleep a while after isha prayer. It was obligatory upon every Muslim before five daily prescribed prayers became an obligation during the first periods of Islam.

And with the event of miraj (The night of the Prophet Muhammads (pbuh) miraculous journey to heaven (the 27th of Rajab)), when the five daily prescribed prayers being obligation has been stabilized, the tahajjud prayer has been changed into a nafila worship (a supererogatory and rewarded worship), yet in order to be a peculiar tradition for prophet, it had become an obligatory worship for only Our Prophet (pbuh).

And this is revealed in the chapter of Isra, 79th verse. Since Our Prophet (pbuh) had specific worships on some matters such as charity and alms, there was some worship which was peculiar to him, either. And the tahajjud prayer was one of them.

This prayer may be performed as between 2 and 8 rakahs. That is to say, according to the capability, it can be performed as two, four, six or eight rakahs. There is no compulsion like as it must be absolutely eight rakahs. As one can perform this prayer at his/her home, so can perform it at suitable places and time, such as at work, at the company etc. where s/he works at night.

There are so many narrated hadiths (Our Prophets (pbuh) sayings and deeds) about the virtue of the tahajjud prayer. One of the meanings of a hadith among them is as follows:

When one third of the night remains, every night, Our Lord, Allah, the All-Mighty says as follows till the dawn to break:

Whoever wants me something, I shall give. Whoever supplicates to me, I shall accept his/her pray. Whoever repents, I shall forgive him/her.

The narrator of that hadith Hazrath Ebu Hurayra (may Allah grant him peace) adds the following sentence: For this reason, the companions of Our Prophet (pbuh) used to prefer performing prayer at the end of the night rather than before the night. (Ibni Mace, Ikamatus-Salat: 182).

Generally, there are so many sound and actual sunnah narrations in the hadith books about reviving the nights with worship. One part of those narrations are generally about the virtue of the night prayers (Muslim, 1163; Tirmizi, 438…) and about Our Prophets performing the night prayers without delay and lengthening every rakah as long as he could (Buhari, Tahajjud; Ebu Davud, 874; Ibn Mace, 897…).

And one part is about reviving the midnight with prayers, and another part is about reviving the last part of the night with supplication, prayer and repentance and about the quality of that revive (Buhari, Tahajjud, Tacridi Sarih Tere ve Sherhi, H. No: 590,591, 592, 595…). (For all of the different narrations about Our Prophets night prayers see Tirmizi, Esshemailul Muhammadiyyai p. 221-236; Baqavi, Sherhu Sunnah, IV, p. 3-135).

The bases which are about how, when and how many rakahs Our Prophet (pbuh) used to perform, and a large majority of the narrations concerning actual sunnah has been transferred by Our Prophets wives especially by Hazrath Aisha (may Allah grant her peace).

As an addition to the hadiths about reviving night with prayer, supplication and repentance: According to some scholars, the night prayer was obligatory (fard) for Our Prophet [However, according to the terminology of those except for Hanafis, it was wajip (necessary)> by basing on both the mentioned hadiths and the Quran in which it is clearly understood in many verses (Muzzammil, 1-6; Isra, 79; Zariyat, 17-18;…).

And according to other scholars, the night prayer was obligatory both for Our Prophet (pbuh) and all Muslims. Then Muslims had been excepted from that obligation and it stayed as a peculiar worship to Our Prophet (pbuh). According to the Selef scholars, it is claimed that it is still wajip for the Ummah (the community of Our Prophet (pbuh)).

And according to another opinion, it was not obligatory both for Our Prophet (pbuh) and other Muslims; but for Our Prophet (pbuh) it was a nafila prayer which had a more auspicious than other nafila worships and for Ummah, it was a nafila prayer which was an opportunity for redemption and forgiveness.

And as a matter of fact, Our Prophet (pbuh) said in a hadith After obligatory prayers the most virtuous prayer is the night prayer. (Muslim, 1163; Tirmidi, 438…). Among those who accept that the night prayer is not obligatory for Ummah but is nafila worship; some of them said that that prayer is mandup (doing a deed which is nice). And some said that it is a muakkad sunnah.

With the deed of getting up at night and performing the night prayer, it is meant the deed of tahajjud which is mentioned in a verse of Isra chapter concerning the subject. The word of tahajjud which can be used as both to sleep and to wake up, after having been used in the Quran with that usage, it, henceforth, has been used as to get up at night and to perform prayer.

And thus, one who woke up at night and performed prayer has been started to be called as hajud. Then, as a religious term, it has been started to express the all prayers which are performed in order to revive the night except for fard, wajip and tarawih prayers.

When the tahajjud prayer is performed? Is it just after the isha (night) prayer or after having slept a while? And also with how many rakah is it performed..?

About the time of the tahajjud prayer, in the coming narrations, it is advised to revive the midnight or last part of the night with prayer, supplication and repentance. About this subject, in many narrations that tell about actual sunnah, it is stated that Our Prophet (pbuh) after performing the isha prayer used to go to the bad and after having slept a while, towards the midnight or just after the midnight used to get up, then start to worship.

After having performed prayer a while used to perform the witr prayer and then the sunnah salath of the fajr prayer. (Muvatta, Salatul-Layl; Buhari, al-Amal fis-Salath, tim, wudu, Cemaa, Sifatis-Salath, Witr…).

Since, in some of the narrations there are the statements of Our Prophet used to wake up at night; according to some interpreters, in order to perform the tahajjud prayer, it is a condition that one must go to the bad after performing the isha prayer, that is to say, there must be a sleep between the isha and tahajjud prayer. And according to some, such a condition is not a concern.

After isha prayer, till the time of the fajr prayer enters, one may perform the tahajjud prayer. However, on this subject, according to the verbal and actual sunnah coming from Our Prophet (pbuh), it is as follows: Firstly one should perform the isha prayer, then go to the bed to have a sleep, and wake up at midnight or after (after one third of the night) and should perform the tahajjud prayer by extending the time of each rakah if possible, then the witr prayer, and finally the sunnah prayer of the fajr salath.

And in many narrations, Our Prophet (pbuh) commands to perform the witr prayer as the last prayer of the night (Buhari, Witr; Muslim, 751…) or just before the sunnah prayer of the fajr salath (Tirmidi, 467; Ebu Davud, 1436…), and for those who have a fear of not being able to wake up at night, to perform it after the isha salath (Muslim, 755).

In that case, it is much more virtuous for those who do not have a fear of not being able to wake up, to have a sleep after the isha salath and to wake up in a certain time of the night then to perform the tahajjud prayer, and after that the witr salath and finally to perform the sunnah salath of the fajr prayer.

Due to so many hadiths been narrated about acceptance of the pray, presence of the hour of acceptance (Muslim, 757) and certainty that it will be accepted (Buhari, Tahajjud, Muvatta, The Quran, 1, 214; Muslim, 758, 2800; Tirmidi, 446…), therefore, one should try to make use of the time elapsed between well by repenting and praying profusely.

There are different narrations concerning with how many rakah did Our Prophet (pbuh) use to perform the night prayers. On this subject, it is understood, especially with the narrations by Hazrath Aisha (may Allah grant her peace) that it was changeable according to the situation of his health (whether standing or sitting).

Since Our Prophet used to perform the night prayers adding the witr and the sunnah of fajr salaths, in some narrations which mention about how many rakah our Prophet (pbuh) used to perform the night prayers, there are different opinions. This is because there are different views about how many rakah Our Prophet used to perform the witr salath.

Hazrath Aisha (may Allah grant her peace) narrated that Our Prophet used to perform 13 rakahs together with witr and the sunnah of fajr prayers (except for the sunnah of the fajr salath, it was 11 rakahs) when he was convenient.

And also she narrated that he used to perform longly four of four rakahs, then perform three rakahs (Buhari, Tahajjud, Muvatta, Salatul Layl; Muslim; 738, 736…), and in some narrations, he used to perform as -finishing at every two rakahs (Muslim, 736…)-. And in so many narrations, Our Prophet (pbuh) advises to begin to the tahajjud firstly performing two short rakahs (Muslim, 767, 768; Ebu Davud, 1323…).

And in some narrations, tahajjud prayer is mentioned only as two rakahs (Baqavi, IV, 18). And it is narrated that this number lessened to 9 and 7 as he fell from power with the progress of the age of him (Buhari, Tahajjud; Muslim, 738, 746; Ebu Davud, 1362, 1363…).

Accordingly, together with different opinions about details, Islam scholars have a consensus about the tahajjud prayer may be performed between four and eight rakahs. And it is stated that it may be performed as two rakahs.

What Should We Recite at Night Prayers..?

Our Prophet, used to recite long chapters during qiyam (standing up position in a prayer) at the night prayers. Those were the chapters such as Baqarah, Nisa or Al-Imran. And he used to keep long the rukuh (bowing position in a prayer) and prostrations as well. He used to think about the deep meaning of the verses. Following the prayers, he often used to supplicate concisely, remember Allah, and aplenty used to repent and ask for forgiveness.

Here, the criterion should be as follows: We should choose a recital which we can apply it any time and suitable with our time and potential. However, even if we do not it every time, when we are convenient, we can recite long chapters. For example, as one may recite a short chapter or several verses at every rakah, also s/he may recite a page or the chapters such as Yasin, Fatih, Rahman, Tabarake or Amme.

Source: Questionsonislam

Exact Time For Tahajjud

Mu’ meneen Brothers and Sisters,

As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah’s Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)

One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:

Assalaam Alaikum,

I have read your answers for the questions I have asked, thanks, but I was not completely satisfied. And I still wanted to know some in details. I know that Tahajjud is performed in the later 3rd part of the nite.. but what time will it be? Actual timings are what. I just wanted to confirm that. And also can we pray in the dark. Please let me know the answers to the questions above. Jazak Allah

(There may be some grammatical and spelling errors in the above statement. The forum does not change anything from questions, comments and statements received from our readers for circulation in confidentiality.)

Exact time for tahajjud

Answer:

In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is none worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.

It is best to delay the ‘tahajjud’ or late night prayer to the last third portion of the night. Abu Hurairah reports that the Messenger of Allah (saws) said: “Our Lord Descends to the lowest heaven during the last third of the night, inquiring:

Who will call on Me so that I may respond to him? Who is asking something of Me so I may give it to him? Who is asking for My forgiveness so I may forgive him..?“‘ Related by Bukhari and Muslim.

Amr ibn Abasah reports that he heard the Prophet (saws) say: “The closest that a slave comes to his Lord is during the middle of the latter portion of the night. If you can be among those who remember Allah, the Exalted One, at that time, then do so.”

Related by al-Hakim, at-Tirmidhi,Nasa’i and Ibn Khuzaimah.

Abu Muslim asked Hadrat Abu Dharr Ghaffari (r.a.):

Which late-night prayer is the best?” He said: “I asked the Messenger of Allah (saws) the same that you asked me and he (saws) said, ‘The (one done during) middle of the latter half of the night, and very few do it.‘” Related by Ahmad.

Abdullah ibn ‘Amr reports that the Prophet (saws) said:

The most beloved fast to Allah is the fast of (Prophet) Dawood (a.s.). And the most beloved prayer to Allah is the prayer of (Prophet) Dawood (a.s.). He (Prophet Dawood (a.s.)) would sleep half of the night and then pray during the next third of the night and then sleep during the last sixth of the night. And he would fast one day and not fast the next.” Related by Bukhari and Muslim.

If one could divide one’s night hours into six equal parts, then the absolute best time to offer one’s voluntary ‘tahajjud’ prayer would be the time of the fifth of the six portions.

If one is unable to offer their ‘tahajjud’ prayers at this ‘best’ and most opportune time for any reason, the absolute majority of the scholars and jurists in Islam are of the opinion that if one strives to offer their ‘tahajjud’ prayers at any time between the end of the ‘isha’ prayers and before the call of the ‘fajr’ prayers, they would receive their appropriate and due reward from their Lord for their striving.

Your Question: .. but what time will it be? Actual timings are what.

Respected brother, because the sun sets and rises at different times, it would obviously be almost impossible for us to give you one ‘exact’ clock time as the most opportune time to offer one’s ‘tahajjud’ prayers!

Lets just say that at a particular day in the place you reside, the time between the setting of the sun ‘Magrib’ and dawn is 12 hours (18:00pm to 06:00am).  If one divides the night into six portions of two hours each, the most opportune time to offer one’s optional ‘tahajjud’ prayers would be between the 5th and the 6th portion of the night, or in this particular instance, between 02:00am and 04:00am.

Your Question: And also can we pray in the dark.

If for any reason one wishes to offer their prayers in the dark, there is absolutely no harm.

Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allah’s Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me alone.  Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.

Source: Islamhelpline

What’s the Right Way to Perform Tahajjud..?

Question and answer details

Question:

Salam. My question is that I want to know the opinion of scholars and the teachings of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) on how to perform Tahajjud (optional late night Prayers).

Answer:

Thank you very much for your question and for contacting Ask About Islam.

Actually your question is highly important for every Muslim. Tahajjud Prayer is part of the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), which Muslims are preferred to follow all the time.

In his famous work, Fiqh As-Sunnah, Sheikh Sayyid Sabiq elaborates on the subject as follows:

Ordering His Messenger to perform Tahajjud, Allah Almighty says what means:

”And during a part of the night, pray Tahajjud beyond what is incumbent on you; maybe your Lord will raise you to a position of great glory.” (Al-Israa’ 17:79)

This order, although it was specifically directed to the Prophet, also refers to all Muslims, since the Prophet is a perfect example and guide for us in all matters.

Moreover, performing Tahajjud Prayers regularly qualifies one as one of the righteous and makes one earn Allah’s bounty and mercy. In praising those who perform the late night Prayers, Allah says what means:

”And they who pass the night prostrating themselves before their Lord and standing.” (Al-Furqan 25:64)

Next to these Quranic verses, there also exist a number of hadiths that reinforce the importance of Tahajjud.

`Abdullah ibn Salam reported:

 “When the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) came to Madinah, the people gathered around him and I was one of them. I looked at his face and understood that it was not the face of a liar. The first words I heard him say were: ‘O people, spread the salutations, feed the people, keep the ties of kinship, and pray during the night while the others sleep, and you will enter Paradise in peace.’” (At-Tirmidhi.)

Salman Al-Farsi quoted the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) as saying:

 “Observe the night Prayer; it was the practice of the righteous before you and it brings you closer to your Lord and it is penance for evil deeds and erases the sins and repels disease from the body.” (At-Tabarani)

Etiquette of Prayer

The following acts are recommended for one who wishes to perform the Tahajjud Prayer:

Upon going to sleep, one should make the intention to perform the Prayers. Abu Ad-Darda’ quoted the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) as saying:

Whoever goes to his bed with the intention of getting up and praying during the night, but, being overcome by sleep, fails to do that, he will have recorded for him what he has intended, and his sleep will be reckoned as a charity (an act of mercy) for him from his Lord.” (An-Nasa’i and Ibn Majah)

On waking up, it is recommended that one wipes the face, use a toothbrush, and look to the sky and make the supplication which has been reported from the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him).

Abu Hudhaifa reported:

Whenever the Prophet intended to go to bed, he would recite: (With Your name, O Allah, I die and I live).” And when he woke up from his sleep, he would say: (All the Praises are for Allah Who has made us alive after He made us die (sleep) and unto Him is the Resurrection.)” (Al-Bukhari)

One should begin with two quick rak`ahs and then one may pray whatever one wishes after that. `A’ishah said:

When the Prophet prayed during the late-night, he would begin his Prayers with two quick rak`ahs.” (Muslim)

It is recommended that one wakes up one’s family, for Abu Hurairah quoted the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) as saying:

“May Allah bless the man who gets up during the night to pray and wakes up his wife and who, if she refuses to get up, sprinkles water on her face. And may Allah bless the woman who gets up during the night to pray and wakes up her husband and who, if he refuses, sprinkles water on his face.” (Ahmad)

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) also said:

If a man wakes his wife and prays during the night or they pray two rak`ahs together, they will be recorded among those (men and women) who (constantly) make remembrance of Allah.” (Abu Dawud.)

If one gets sleepy while performing Tahajjud, one should sleep. This is based on the hadith narrated by `A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her), who quoted Allah’s Messenger as saying:

When one of you gets up during the night for Prayer and his Qur’anic recital gets mixed up to the extent that he does not know what he says, he should lie down.” (Muslim.)

Recommended Time for Tahajjud

Tahajjud may be performed in the early part of the night, the middle part of the night, or the latter part of the night, but after the obligatory `Isha’ Prayer (night Prayer).

While describing the Prophet’s way of performing Prayer, Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) said:

 “If we wanted to see him praying during the night, we could see him praying. If we wanted to see him sleeping during the night, we could see him sleeping. And sometimes he would fast for so many days that we thought he would not leave fasting throughout that month.

’And sometimes he would not fast (for so many days) that we thought he would not fast during that month.” (Al-Bukhari, Ahmad and An-Nasa’i.)

Commenting on this subject, Ibn Hajar says:

“There was no specific time in which the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) would perform his late night Prayer; but he used to do whatever was easiest for him.”

Best Time for Tahajjud

It is best to delay this Prayer to the last third portion of the night. Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) quoted the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) as saying:

 “Our Lord descends to the lowest heaven during the last third of the night, inquiring: ‘Who will call on Me so that I may respond to him? Who is asking something of Me so I may give it to him? Who is asking for My forgiveness so I may forgive him..?’” (Al-Bukhari)

`Amr ibn `Absah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that he heard the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) saying:

 “The closest that a slave comes to his Lord is during the middle of the latter portion of the night. If you can be among those who remember Allah the Exalted One at that time, then do so.” (At-Tirmidhi)

The Number of Rak`ahs in Tahajjud

Tahajjud Prayer does not entail a specific number of rak`ahs that must be performed, nor is there any maximum limit that may be performed. It would be fulfilled even if one prayed just one rak`ah of Witr after `Isha’.

Samurah ibn Jundub (may Allah be pleased with him) said:

 “The Messenger of Allah ordered us to pray during the night, a little or a lot, and to make the last of the Prayer the Witr Prayer.” (At-Tabarani and Al-Bazzar)

I hope this answer is satisfactory. Thank you again for your question and please keep in touch.

Salam.

Is there any difference between tahajjud and qiyaam al-layl..?

What is the difference between Qiyam ul Layl and Tahajud? Also, What are the rewards for he who prays these prayers..?

Praise be to Allaah.

Qiyaam al-layl means spending the night, or part of it, even if it is only one hour, in prayer, reading Qur’aan, remembering Allah (dhikr) and other acts of worship. It is not stipulated that it should take up most of the night.

It says in Maraaqi al-Falaah: What is meant by qiyaam is spending most of the night in worship, or it was said: spending one hour of it, in reading Qur’aan, listening to hadeeth, glorifying Allah (tasbeeh) or sending blessings upon the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him). End quote.

Al-Mawsoo‘ah al-Fiqhiyyah al-Kuwaitiyyah, 34/117.

Tahajjud means specifically praying at night, and some scholars limited it to prayers that are offered at night after sleeping.

Al-Hajjaaj ibn ‘Amr al-Ansaari (may Allah be pleased with him) said: One of you thinks that if he gets up at night and prays until morning comes that he has done tahajjud. But in fact tahajjud means praying after sleeping, then praying after sleeping.

That is how the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah upon him) prayed. Al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar said in al-Talkhees al-Habeer (2/35): Its isnaad is hasan; it includes Abu Saalih, the scribe of al-Layth, and it is somewhat weak. It was also narrated by al-Tabaraani, whose isnaad includes Ibn Luhay‘ah, whose report is supported by the one that came before it. End quote.

Thus it becomes clear that qiyaam al-layl is more general than tahajjud, because it includes prayer and other actions, and it includes prayer before and after sleeping.

But tahajjud is exclusively praying, and there are two opinions concerning it. The first is that it means praying at any time of the night, which is the view of the majority of fuqaha’.

The second is that it is prayer after sleeping. See: al-Mawsoo‘ah al-Fiqhiyyah, 2/232.

Al-Qurtubi (may Allah have mercy on him) said in his commentary on the verse (interpretation of the meaning): “And in some parts of the night (also) offer the Salaah (prayer) with it (i.e. recite the Qur’aan in the prayer) as an additional prayer (Tahajjud optional prayer Nawâfil) for you (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم). It may be that your Lord will raise you to Maqâm Mahmûd (a station of praise and glory, i.e., the honour of intercession on the Day of Resurrection)” [al-Isra’ 17:97]:

Tahajjud comes from hujood, which is doing one thing and the opposite, it so the word hajada may mean he slept or it may mean he stayed up at night, which are opposites.

Tahajjud means waking up after sleeping, and it became a name for prayer, because the individual wakes up for it. So tahajjud means getting up to pray at night. This meaning was given by al-Aswad, ‘Ilqimah, ‘Abd al-Rahmaan ibn al-Aswad and others.

Ismaa‘eel ibn Ishaaq al-Qaadi narrated from the hadeeth of al-Hajjaaj ibn ‘Amr, the Companion of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah upon him) that he said: Does one of you think that if he gets up and spends the entire night in prayer that he had prayed tahajjud? Rather tahajjud is praying after sleeping, then praying after sleeping, then praying after sleeping. This is how the Messenger of Allah (blessing and peace of Allah be upon him) prayed.

And it was said tahajjud means sleep, as it is said in Arabic, Tahajjada al-rajul, meaning the man stayed up, and alqa al-hujood, i.e., sleep. And the one who gets up to pray is called mutahajjid. End quote from Tafseer al-Tabari, 10/307.

Shaykh Ibn Baaz (may Allah have mercy on him) was asked: What is the difference between Taraweeh, Qiyaam and Tahajjud? Please advise us, may you be rewarded.

He replied: Prayer at night is called tahajjud or qiyaam al-layl, as Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):

And in some parts of the night (also) offer the Salaah (prayer) with it (i.e. recite the Qur’aan in the prayer) as an additional prayer (Tahajjud optional prayer Nawâfil) for you. [al-Isra’ 17:79]

* * *

O you wrapped in garments (i.e. Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم)! ”Stand (to pray) all night, except a little.” [al-Muzzammil 73:1-2]

* * *

They used to sleep but little by night [invoking their Lord (Allaah) and praying, with fear and hope].” [al-Dhaariyaat 51:17].

With regard to Taraweeh, the scholars use this word to refer to qiyaam al-layl in Ramadan at the beginning of the night, which should be made light and not lengthy. It may also be called tahajjud or qiyaam al-layl.

And Allah is the source of strength.

End quote from Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn Baaz, 11/317.

For more information on the virtues of qiyaam al-layl and the reward of the one who does that, please see the answer to question no. 50070.

For more information on measures that will help one to do it, please see the answer to question no. 3749.

And Allah knows best.

The Reward For Qiyaam Al-Layl

What is the reward for qiyaam al-layl..?

Praise be to Allaah. 

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):

(1) “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]

Allah 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):

(15) “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]

Allah describes them elsewhere in the following terms (interpretation of the meaning):

(64)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.

Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):

Verily, the Muttaqoon (the pious) will be in the midst of Gardens and Springs (in the Paradise). Taking joy in the things which their Lord has given them. Verily, they were before this Muhsinoon (good‑doers). 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 Allah..?”

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 Surat Tabaarak [al-Mulk] to the end of the Qur’aan is one thousand verses.

Whoever prays qiyaam reciting from Surat Tabaarak to the end of Qur’aan has prayed qiyaam with one thousand verses.

And Allah knows best.