Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Virtues of Solāh Tahajjud

 The Virtues of  Solāh Tahajjud

Question: As-Salām 'alaykum! Could you tell me how to pray Tahajjud (late night prayer)? Is there any supplication before starting and after finishing it according to Sunnah? Jazakum Allāh Khayran


In the name of Allāh, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful;
All the praise and thanks is due to Allāh, the Lord of al-ā’lameen. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allāh, and that Muhammad, Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His Messenger.

Description: Solāh Tahajjud or Qiyam al-Layl is a night prayer which is performed by getting up in later part of the night after having a sleep after observed Solāh ‘Isha’. Solāh Tahajjud is a Sunnah Mu’akadah Solāt. It is a most meritorious Solāh next to the five daily Solāh. Solāh Tahajjud may be performed in twos, a minimum of two rak’at; either 8 rak’at or 10 rak’at; in accordance with one’s capability. But, it has to be capped with witir. One may perform this prayer at any suitable places at night.

Qiyam and Solāh Tahajjud is infact the same Solāh with different names. But when these two names are used in Ramadhān, it is also referred as Qiyam of Ramadhān or Solāh Tarāwīh including Solāh Witr; while spending the late night in worship after some sleep is called Tahajjud or Qiyam al-Layl. 

Both names have been used in the Qurān.  The Qurān uses the phrase Qum al-layl when Allāh says: "O thou wrapped up in thy raiment! Keep vigil the night long (Qum al-layl), save a little, a half thereof, or abate a little thereof, or add (a little) thereto and recite the Qurān in measure…" [Al-Muzzammil, 73: 1-4] The verb Fatahajjad is a derivative from the root word Hajada (to keep vigil), Allāh says: "And some part of the night awake for it (fatahajjad), a largess for thee. It may be that thy Lord will raise thee to a praised estate." [Al-Isra', 17: 79] The later verse means to get up and performSolāh Tahajjud.  

It derives from night prayers or Qiyam, which means standing.  Qiyam or Tahajjud also refers to spending the night in worship in general, whether it is solāh or any other form acts of worship.

The Qiyam al-Layl was initially an obligatory Solāh before the five daily Solāh were prescribed as an obligation upon every Muslim during Mi’raj, the night of the Prophet Muhammad’s (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) miraculous journey to heaven, which was believed on the night of 27th Rajab, during the first periods of Islam in Makkah. Sa’ad Ibn Hisham Ibn ‘Amir said to ‘Aishah (radiyallāhu’anhu): “Tell me about how the Messenger of Allāh (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam)   performed qiyam.” She said: “Have you not read “Yā ayyuhal-Muzzammil (O you wrapped in your garments!)?” He said, “Of course.” She said: “Allāh, may He be exalted and glorified, made Qiyam obligatory at the beginning of this surah, so the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam)  and his companions observed Qiyam for a year, and Allāh withheld the end of this surah for twelve months, until He revealed something at the end of this surah to make things easier, so Qiyam al-Layl became voluntary after it had been obligatory.” [Muslim].

When the Five Daily Solāh has been legislated as Fardhu, Solāh Tahajjud was made as Nawafil Solāh (a Supererogatory Solāh), yet the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam)  maintained observing it to attain a praised position with Allāh“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.” [Al-Isrā’, 17: 79]. Although the ayat specifically directed to the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam)  it also refers to all Muslims, since the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam)  is a perfect example and guide for us in all matters.

In short Tahajjud derives from the term night prayers or Qiyam, which means standing.  Qiyam also refers tospending the night in worship in general, whether it is solāor any other form acts of worship. The occasion of such long Solāh is known as Qiyam al-Layl. Muslims are encouraged to perform Qiyam al-Layl throughout the years.

The Excellence of the Solāh Tahajjud

Al-Qurān and ahadith of the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam)  and his early followers clearly illustrate merits of Qiyam al-Layl. It indicates the boundless blessings Allāh would bestow upon those who observes it.

1. Allāh Subhānahu wa ta`ala praises the characters of the devout believers who observes Solāh Tahajjud.

Allāh Almighty says of such devotees:

“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 Allāh will be pleased with them. And Allāh 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 patients’ ones, those who are truthful and obedient with sincere devotion in worship to Allāh. Those who spend (in the way of Allāh) and those who pray and seek Allāh’s pardon in the last hours of the night.”  [Ali-‘Imran 3: 15-17]

“They do forsake their beds of sleep, the while they call on their Lord, in fear and hope....” [As-Sajdah, 32:16]

“They were in the habit of sleeping but little by night, and in the hours of early dawn, they [were found] praying for forgiveness…”  [Adh-Dhariyat, 51:17-18]

"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-Furqān, 25: 63-64]

They engaged most of the night in worshipful remembrance of Allāh and Solāh for His grace and mercy.   The verses make obvious reference to Qiyam al-Layl.

Salman Al-Farsi (radiyallāhu’anhu) reported the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam)  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."  [Narrated by, at-Tirmidzi, an-Nasa`ie and ibn Majah: Sahih]

‘Aishah (radiyallāhu’anha) reported: “The Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam)  used to keep standing - in long night prayer - so long that the skin of his feet would crack. When asked, why he did this while all his past and future sins were forgiven, Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam)  said: "Should I not be a grateful slave of Allāh?" [Al-Bukhāri and Muslim]

2. Performing Solāh Tahajjud regularly qualifies one as of the Righteous and earns one Allāh’s bounty and mercy.

Allāh Almighty says: "Lo! Those who keep from evil will dwell amid gardens and water springs, 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.'' [Adh-Dhariyat, 51: 15-18]

‘Abdullāh Ibn As-Salām (radiyallāhu’anhu) reported: "When the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam)  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 perform Solāh during the night while the others sleep and you will enter Paradise in peace."' [Narrated by al-Hakim, Ibn Mājah, and at-Tirmidzi: sahih]

Salman Al-Farsi (radiyallāhu’anhu) reported the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam)   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."  [Narrated by an-Nasa`ie and Ibn Mājah: Sahih]

Abu Hurayrah (radiyallāhu’anhu) reported that the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam)  has said:  “The best of Solāh, after the prescribed Solāh, is Solāh in the depths of the night, and the best of fasting after the month of Ramadhān is fasting the month of Allāh, Muharram.” [Muslim]

‘Abdallāh Ibn ‘Amr (radiyallāhu’anhu) reported that the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam)  said: “The most beloved of solāh to Allāh is the solāh of Dawud, and the most beloved of fasts to Allāh is the fast of Dawud. He used to sleep for half of the night, then get up and observe Solāh for a third of the night, then sleep for a sixth of the night, and he used to fast every other day.” [Al-Bukhāri and Muslim]

‘Amr ibn ‘Absah (radiyallāhu’anhu)  narrated that the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam)    has said: “The time when the closest the Lord is to His slave is in the later part of the night, so if you can be one of those who remember Allāh (Solāh) at that time, then do so.” [At-Tirmidzi]

‘Uqbah ibn ‘Amir (radiyallāhu’anhu) reported the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam)  has said:  “When a man from my Ummah (nation) 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 Allāh says to those who are veiled (in the unseen): Look at this slave of Mine, he is striving against his own self and asking for Me. Whatever My slave asks of Me shall be his.” [Ahmad]

3. Qiyam al-Layl is an act of worship that attaches the heart to Allāh and enables it to overcome the temptations of life.

It is to strive against one’s own self, at the time when voices are stilled, eyes are closed in sleep, and sleepers are tossing and turning in their beds. Therefore, Qiyam al-Layl is one of the measures of sincere determination and one of the qualities of those who have great ambitions. Allāh has praised them and distinguished them from others.

Allāh Almighty says:  “Is one who is obedient to Allāh, 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.” [Az-Zumar, 39:9]

4. Night prayers strengthen the bond between man and his Lord.

The Messenger of Allāh (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam)  said: “Solāh is the best matter - and let one who can perform to observe it as much as possible.” [Muslim] The Messenger of Allāh (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam)  said: “The best Solāh after the obligatory ones is the night prayer.” [Muslim]

5. The best of Solāh after the prescribed Solāh is Solāh in the depths of the night.

 Abu Hurayrah (radiyallāhu`anhu) narrated the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam)  said: “The best of Solāh after the prescribed prayers is Solāh in the depths of the night, and the best of fasting after the month of Ramadhān is fasting the month of Allāh, Muharram.” [Muslim]

6. Qiyam al-Layl is an established Sunnah of the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam)  which he (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam)  urged us to do it.

The Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam)  said:  “You should perform Qiyam al-Layl, for it is the habit of the righteous people who came before you, and it will bring you closer to your Lord, will expiate for bad deeds, prevent sin and expel disease from the body.” [At-Tirmidzi and Ahmad] This hadith indicates Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam)  habitualy performed Qiyam al-Layl, and never missed it, whether he was traveling or staying at home.

7. Among the pious ladies of the old times too, were very keen observers of Qiyam al-Layl.

Anas Ibn Mālik (radiyallāhu’anhu) reported that the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam)  said: “Jibreel said to me, ‘Go back to Hafsah, for she fasts a lot and observes a lot at night (Qiyam al-Layl).’” [Al-Hakim]

Mu’adhah Al-‘Adawiyyah, one of the righteous women physicians spent her wedding night; along with her husband Silah ibn Ashyam, observing Solāh until dawn. Then, when her husband and son were killed in Jihad, she would spend the whole night in performing Solāh, worshipping and beseeching Allāh. Then, she would sleep during the day. If she felt sleepy whilst she was performing Solāh at night, she would tell herself: “O soul, there is plenty of sleep ahead of you.”

The verses and hadiths of Prophet Muhammad (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam)  and his early followers clearly illustrate merits of Qiyam al-Layl. It tells us about the boundless blessings Allāh would bestow on us, if we spend the later parts the night in prayerful worship of our All-Merciful Lord.

Etiquettes of Solāh Tahajjud

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

1. Upon going to sleep, one should make the intention to perform Tahajjud. Abu ad-Darda' (radiyallāhu’anhu) quoted the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam)  as saying: "Whoever goes to his bed with the intention of getting up and observing Solāh 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." [Narrated by an-Nasā’ie and Ibn Mājah: Sahih]

2. On waking up, one should wipe one's face, brush the tooth, and look to the sky and make the supplication. It was reported the duā’ from the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam)

"O Allāh! There is no god but Thee, Glory is to Thee, I seek Thy forgiveness for my sins, and I ask for Your mercy. O Allāh increases my knowledge and let my heart not swerve after You have guided me, and bestow mercy upon me from Thyself. All praise is to Allāh who has given us back life after our death and unto Him is the resurrection."

Then, one should recite the last ten verses of Surah Ali-‘Imran starting with, “Behold! In the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the alternation of night and day, - there are indeed Signs for men of understanding.”

2. Then one should say the supplication as ‘Abdullah Ibn ‘Abbas (radiyallāhu’anhum) narrated that when the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam)  got up at night to offer the Solāh Tahajjud, Rasūlullāh used to say:

Allāhumma lakal-hamd. Anta qaiyimus-samawati wal-ard wa man fihinn. Walakal-hamd, Laka mulkus-samawati wal-ard wa man fihinn. Walakal-hamd, anta nurus-samawati wal-ard. Walakalhamd, anta-l-haq wa wa'duka-l-haq, wa liqa ‘uka Haq, wa qualuka Haq, wal-jannatu Han wan-naru Haq wannabiyuna Haq. Wa Muhammadun, sallal-lāhu ‘alayhi wasallam, Haq, was-sa ‘atu Haq. 

Allāhumma aslamtu Laka wabika amantu, wa ‘alayka tawakkaltu, wa ilayka anabtu wa bika khasamtu, wa ilayka hakamtu faghfir li ma qaddamtu wama akh-khartu wama as-rartu wama'a lantu, anta-l-muqaddimu wa antal-mu akh-khir, lā ilāha illa anta (or ā ilaha ghairuka).

 (O Allāh! All the praises are for you, You are the Holder of the Heavens and the Earth, And whatever is in them. All the praises are for You; You have the possession of the Heavens and the Earth And whatever is in them. All the praises are for You; You are the Light of the Heavens and the Earth And all the praises are for You; You are the King of the Heavens and the Earth; And all the praises are for You; You are the Truth and Your Promise is the truth, And to meet You is true, Your Word is the truth And Paradise is true And Hell is true. And all the Prophets (Peace be upon them) are true; And Muhammad is true, And the Day of Resurrection is true. 

O Allāh! I surrender (my will) to You; I believe in You and depend on You. And repent to You, And with Your help I argue (with my opponents, the non-believers) And I take You as a judge (to judge between us). Please forgive me my previous And future sins; And whatever I concealed or revealed And You are the One who make (some people) forward And (some) backward. There is none to be worshipped but you. )

Sufyan said that ‘Abdul Karim Abu Umaiya added to the above, “Walā hawla Wala quwata illa billāh (There is neither might nor power except by Allāh)”. 

[Sahih Bukhari Volume 2, Book 21, Number 221]

3. One should begin Solāh Tahajjud with two quick rak’at and then one may perform Solāh whatever one wishes after it.

It was proven from a hadith ‘Aishah (radiyallāhu’anha), who said: "When the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam)  performed Solāh during the late-night, he would begin his Solāh with two quick rak’at." [Narrated by Muslim]

Ibn Abbās (radiyallāhu`anhu) narrated after that Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam)  performed Solāh Tahajjud eleven rak’at (including Solāh Witr). Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam)  then lay down and slept and snored (and it was his habit to snore while asleep) till [Bilal bin Rabah (radiyallāhu’anhu)] the Mu’azzin came to him [and informed him about the Solāh Fajar. (Book 004, Number 1671)]

ūlullāh (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) then stood up; did not perform ablution; observed two short raka`at (Sunnah Fajar) before proceed to masjid to observe the obligatory Solāh Fajar; [and his supplication included the words:

"O Allāh, place light in my heart, light in my tongue, light in my hearing, light on my sight, light behind me, light in front of me, light on my right, light on my left, light above me and light below me; place light in my sinew, in my flesh, in my blood, in my hair and in my skin; place light in my soul and make light abundant for me; make me light and grant me light.” ([Muslim; Book 004, Number 1671)]

4. One should wake up one's family for Sol
āh Tahajjud. Abu Hurairah (radiyallāhu`anhu) quoted the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam)  as saying: "May Allāh bless the man who gets up during the night to perform Solāh and wakes up his wife and who, if she refuses to get up, sprinkles water on her face. And may Allāh 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 (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam)  also said: "If a man wakes his wife and observes Solāh during the night or they perform Solāh two raka`at together, they will be recorded among those (men and women) who (constantly) make remembrance of Allāh." [Narrated by Abu Dawud and others:  sahih]

5. If one gets sleepy while performing Tahajjud one should sleep as narrated by ‘Aishah (radiallāhu’anha) as she quoted Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam)  as saying: "When one of you gets up during the night for Solāh and his Qur`anic recital gets mixed up to the extent that he does not know what he says, he should lie down." [Narrated by Muslim]

6. The more virtuous way and time of the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam)  is after perform Solāh Isha’ is to retire to bed, then wake up at midnight or after one third of the night and perform the Solāh Tahajjud by extending the time of each raka`ah if possible, then concludes it with Solāh Al-Witr, took again a brief sleep before observing nāfil and Solāh Al-Fajar. [Muwatta, Muslim, Bukhari]

The Time Frame for Solāh Tahajjud

The Qiyam and Solāh Tahajjud (and witr) is to be offered after Solāh `Isha until before Solāh Fajar. [Al-Bukhari, Muslim] Allāh Says: “Verily, your Lord knows that you  stand (to perform Solāh at night) a little less than two-thirds of the night, or half the night, or a third of the night, and so do a party of those with you, And Allāh measures the night and the day. He knows that you are unable to pray the whole night, so He has turned to you (in mercy). So, recite the Qur`ān as much as may be easy for you…” [Muzzammil, 73:20] Allāh has praised those who observe them:  "Those who spend the night in adoration of their Lord, prostrate and standing." [Al-Furqan, 25:64] "Their limbs do forsake their beds of sleep, the while they call on their Lord in fear and hope and they spend (in charity) out of the sustenance which we have bestowed on them." [As-Sajdah, 32:16]. It also indicates the basis for nightly prayer and the good rewards for those who observe it.

Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam)  said: "The best Solāh after the obligatory ones is the night Solāh." [Muslim] Elsewhere he (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam)  said: "O people! Disseminate the salutations of peace As-Salām `alaikum; feed the needy food, and join the blood ties among the next of kin; and observe night prayer while people are at sleep, you will enter paradise peacefully." [Tirmidzi]

With regard to witr, Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam)  said: “Allāh has added one more prayer for you, which is witir, so pray it between Solāh al-‘Isha’ and Solāh al-Fajar.” [Al-Tirmidzi, 425: sahih].  Jabir bin ‘Abdullah (radiyallāhu’anhu) said: The Messenger of Allāh (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam)  said: “Whoever fears that he will not get up at the end of the night, let him observe Witir at the beginning of the night, but whoever thinks that he will be able to get up at the end of the night (i.e. Solāh Tahajjud ), let him pray Witir at the end of the night, for prayer at the end of the night is witnessed (by the angels) and that would be better.” [Muslim 755]

Many narrations that tell about actual Sunnah that the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam)  of observing Solāh al-Tahajjud.  Solāh 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 Solāh `Isha’.

Anas bin Mālik (radiyallāhu’anhu) 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." [Narrated by Ahmad, Al-Bukhāri, and An-Nasā`ie]

Ibn Hajar Al-‘Asqalani (rahimahullāh) says: "There was no specific time in which the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam)  would perform his late night prayer; but Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam)  used to do whatever was easiest for him."

The Best time for Solāh Tahajjud

The best time to perform it at the last third portion of the night as Abu Hurayrah (radiyallāhu’anhu) quoted that the Messenger of Allāh (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam), 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?" [Narrated by Ahmad, al-Bukhāri, and an-Nasā'ie]

‘Amr ibn Abasah (radiyallāhu’anhu) reported that he heard the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam)  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 Allāh, the Exalted One, at that time then does so." [Narrated by Ahmad, al-Bukhari, and an-Nasā'ie]

‘Abdullāh ibn ‘Amr (radiyallāhu’anhu) reported Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam)  as saying: With Allāh the best fasting is that of Dawud and the best Solāh is that of Dawud (‘alayhissalam) for he slept half of the night and stood for Solāh for the third of it and (then) slept the sixth part of it and he observed fast one day and broke on the other. [Narrated by Muslim (2595)]

The number of rak’at to be performed during Tahajjud

Solāh Tahajjud does not entail a specific number of rak’at which must be performed nor is there any maximum limit which has to be performed. ‘Aishah (radiyallāhu’anha) narrated that the number of raka`at  was not fixed by Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam)  but rather a changeable according to the situation of his health, or whether it was done in standing or sitting form. 

‘Aishah (radiyallāhu’anhu) narrated Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam)  used to perform eleven rak’at, in form of an extended two four-rak’at [eight rak’at of Tahajjud], then perform three-rak’at [of Solāh Witir.] [Bukhari, Muwatta, Muslim], and in some narrations, Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam)  used to perform it in the rak’at-of-twos, which is mustahab way, as Ibn ‘Umar (radiallāhu’anhu) reported that a companion asked the Messenger of Allāh (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam)  about the night prayer. The Messenger of Allāh (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam)  said: "In sets of two, in sets of two. Then when one of you fears the coming of morning, he perform one (rak’ah) that will serve as a Solāh Witir (i.e. make the number odd) of what he has observed the Solāt." [Al-Bukhari no. 990 and Muslim no. 749] Many narrations indicates Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam)  would begin the Solāh Tahajjud with a two short rak’at [Muslim, Abu Dawud]. And in some narrations, Solāh Tahajjud is mentioned only as a two rak’at [Bakhari]. And it is narrated that this number lessened to 9 and 7 as his age progressed [Bukhari, Muslim, and Abu Dawud]

Make Witir The End Of Your Night Prayer

Ibn ‘Umar (radiyallāhu’anhu) reported Allāh's Messenger (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam)  as saying: “Make Solāh Witir the end of your night prayer” [Muslim (1639)]. And the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam)  said: “There should not be two Witirs in one night.” [Abu Dawud 1439]

Scholars are in consensus that The Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam)  would normally perform eight rak’at and ending with three rak’at of Solāh witir. And it may be perform with a two rak’at Solāh Tahajjud with one rak’ah Solāh witir. It would be fulfilled even if one just observed one raka`ah of Witir after the ‘Isha’.

Samurah ibn Jundub (radiyallāhu’anhu) said: "The Messenger of Allāh (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam)  ordered us to perform Solāh during the night, a little or a lot, and to make the last of the Solāh the Solāh Witir." [Narrated by at-Tabarāni and al-Bazzār]

Anas ibn Mālik (radiyallāhu’anhu) quoted Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam), as saying: “Solāh in my mosque is equal to ten thousand Solāh [elsewhere]. And Solāh in the Sacred Mosque is equivalent to one hundred thousand Solāh [elsewhere]. And Solāh in the battlefield is equivalent to one million Solāh [elsewhere]. And what is more than all of that is two raka`at performed by a servant [of Allāh] during the middle of the night.” [Reported by Abu Al-Bukhari and Muslim, Ibn Hibban in his work ath-Thawab, and al-Munzhiri, in his book at-Targhib wa Tarhib, is silent about it.]

What Should We Recite At Night Prayers?

The Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam)  used to recite long surah during qiyam (standing up position in a Solāh) at the night prayers. Those were the surah such as Al-Baqarah, An-Nisā’ or Ali-‘Imran. And he used to keep long the rukū’ (bowing position) and (sujud) prostrations as well. He used to think about the deep meaning of the verses.

Following the solāh, he often used to supplicate conciselyremembers Allāh, and aplenty used to repent and ask for forgiveness. Many hadiths narrated about Allāh’s acceptance of the prayers, presence of the hour of acceptance [Muslim, 757] and certainty that it will be accepted [Bukhari, Tahajjud, Muwatta, The Qurān, Muslim, 758, 2800; Tirmidzi, 446] therefore, one should make use between of  the time well for repenting and praying profusely.

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 rak’ah, also she or he may recite a page or the chapters such as Yā-sīn, Fath, Al-Rahmān, Al-Mulk or Juzuk Amma.

Seeking Lailatul-Qadar In Last Ten Days Of Ramadhān

‘Aishah (radiyallāhu’anha) reported: “When the (last) ten days started, the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam)  would tighten his izar (i.e. he stayed away from his wives in order to have more time for worship), spend the whole night awake (in Solāh), and wake up his family.” [Al-Bukhāri and Muslim]

‘Aishah (radiyallāhu’anha) also said: “Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam)  used to exert more (in worship) on the last ten than on other nights.”[Muslim]

The Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam)  said: “Seek it in the last ten nights, on the odd-numbered nights.”[Al-Bukhāri and Muslim]

Abu Hurayrah (radiyallāhu’anhu) narrated that the Messenger (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam)  said: “Whoever stands (in qiyam) in Lailatul-Qadar [and it is facilitated for him] out of faith and expectation (of Allāh’s reward), will have all of his previous sins forgiven.” [Al-Bukhāri and Muslim; the addition "and it is facilitated for him" is recorded byAhmad from the report of ‘Ubadah Ibn As-Samit(radiyallāhu`anhu); it means that he is permitted to be among the sincere worshippers during that blessed night]

‘Aishah (radiyallāhu’anha) reported that she asked Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) , “O Messenger  of Allāh! If I knew which night is Lailatul-Qadar, what should I say during it?” And Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam)  instructed her to say: “Allāhumma innaka ‘afuw wun tuhibbul ‘afwa fa’fu ‘anni (O Allāh! You are forgiving, and you love forgiveness. So forgive me) [Recorded by Ahmad, Ibn Mājah, and At-Tirmidzi]

 And Allāh Almighty Knows best.

[Adapted from Islam Online]

All About The Solah

4. Al-Wudhu’ ; 5. Tayammum;
29.   Solāh al-Jumu’ah; 30. The Sanctified Hour of Jumu’ah.


Odurinde said...

Good post, tahajjud prayer is very beneficial thanks for the post.

tajudeen ajiboye said...

Yazakumllah khaeran,may the Almighty Allah increase you in knowledge