‘And those who spend the night in the worship of their Lord, prostrating and standing.’ (25:64)

Special mention of the night worship has been made because worshipping at the time of rest, requires a lot more effort than worshipping at other times. One of the advantages of spending the night in worship is that it rules outperforming the act of worship for show.

Abu Umamah narrates that the Holy prophet said, ‘Remain steadfast to your night prayers as this has been the practice of all the righteous people before your time and this will bring you closer to Allah and will expiate the evils and keep you away from sins.’ (Tirmizi)

Hazrat Uthmaan is reported to have observed that the Holy Prophet (PBUH) has said, ‘One who has offered Isha prayer with the congregation would be regarded as having worshipped half the night and one who has offered Fajr prayer with congregation would be regarded as having offered the other half of the night in prayers.’ (Muslim)

In early Islam, prior to the five Salah becoming obligatory, Tahajjud was Fardh on Rasulullah (PBUH) and the Ummah. Rasulullah and the Sahaba were so vigilant in executing this duty that they would remain awake most of the night performing Tahajjud. Rasulullah’s blessed feet would swell because of excessive standing in Tahajjud. “This is a time of peace and tranquillity in which the ears respond quicker and the heart is more alert and receptive to one’s devotions..”

Allah Ta’ala says, “As for the Righteous, they will be in the Gardens and fountains [of Jannah], with joy the rewards which their Lord gives them, before this (in the world) they were virtuous. They slept but little at night, and they prayed for forgiveness in the hours of early dawn.” (51:15,16,17)

Hadhrat Abdullah bin Abbas (RA) has stated that this ayah conveys glad tidings to all those who spend a portion of the night, however short it may be, in the Ibadah of Allah Ta’ala. (Ibn e Kathir)

Hadhrat Abdur Rahmaan bin Zaid relates that once a person from the Banu Tameem clan remarked to his father, “O Abu Usamah, we do not find that quality within us about which Allah Ta’ala praised the righteous. i.e. they remain awake most of the night. Our condition is such that we remain awake for a very short time only to render our Ibadah. His father replied,” Glad tidings are for those who sleep when sleep overtakes them, but they fear Allah on awakening.” (Maariful Quraan vol.5)

Although it is virtuous to perform the Tahajjud Salaah after rising up from one’s sleep, one may perform it before retiring to bed. Hadhrat Hassan said, “Any Nafl Salah performed after Isha is regarded as Tahajjud, although it is normally referred to as a Salah performed after one sleeps a portion of the night. (Maariful Quran vol.5)

Rasulullah (PBUH) said, “When Allah Ta’ala resurrects the entire mankind on the Day of Qiyamah, an announcer will announce, and his voice will be heard by the entire creation, “O you who have been resurrected, on this day you will come to know those who deserve honor and reverence, O you who have been resurrected, Stand up, those among you who possess the quality of “Their sides remained away from their beds”. A small group of people will stand up. Another narration states, “They will enter Jannah without reckoning. Thereafter the rest of mankind will be called for the reckoning. (Ibn e Kathir)

Hadhrat Abu Hurairah (RA) relates that Nabi (PBUH) said, “Allah Ta’ala has mercy on a person who stands up at night to perform Tahajjud and also awaken his wife. If she does not wake up he sprinkles water on her face. And Allah Ta’ala has mercy on a woman who stands up for Tahajjud and also awakens her husband. If he does not wake up, she sprinkles water on his face.” (Abu Dawood – Mishkaat).

In another Hadith, Rasulullah (PBUH) said, “The closest Allah Ta’ala gets to his servant is in the last portion of the night. If you possess the ability to be from among those who remember Allah, then become one of them.” (Tirmizi)

Our righteous predecessors would spend the entire night engrossed in the recitation of the Quran Shareef. At the time of Rasulullah (PBUH), in Madinah, if a person was walking outside at the time of the Tahajjud prayer, he would hear the recitation of the Quran Shareef like the buzzing of bees around their hive. Hazrat Imam Abu Hanifah used to complete one recitation of the Quraan Shareef during the day and one during the night. It is said that in the month of Ramadhaan, he would finish his recitation sixty-three times.

It is said of the daughter of Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal, recited seven chapters of the Quran during her Tahajjud prayer on her wedding night. A person remarked to Abdullah bin Abbas, “I always intend awakening in the last portion of the night to perform Salat but sleep overpowers me.” Ibne Abbas replied, “Before sleeping recite from “QUL LAW KAANAL BAHRU MIDADAL…” to the end of Surah Kahf. Allah Ta’ala will waken you at whatever time you intend rising.” (Tha’labi)

May Allah through His infinite Grace and Mercy, give us the ability to be amongst the servants who abandon their sleep to present ourselves in from of Him.