Discover the beauty, hidden benefits and barakah of meeting your Lord in the darkness of night
Qiyam = to stand
Layl = night
So, Qiyam-ul-layl literally means standing in the night. According to islamqa.info, Qiyaam-ul-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. More information can be found here.
By Ambreen Binte Muhammad
You pray but do not get what you want? You’re suffering but nobody seems to care? You’re persevering but people take you for granted?
At midnight today, free yourself from the world and go meet your Rabb! He is waiting for you.
He knows you’re standing, surrendering, leaving everyone else and asking for his company. Isn’t that a beautiful feeling?
If you would asked your mum for something like that, she would definitely grant it to you at once. But now, you’re standing before Allah, Al-Wudood, the One who Loves you immensely … love you so much more than a mother, SubhanAllah.
إِنَّ رَبَّكَ يَعْلَمُ أَنَّكَ تَقُومُ أَدْنَىٰ مِن ثُلُثَيِ اللَّيْلِ وَنِصْفَهُ وَثُلُثَهُ وَطَائِفَةٌ مِّنَ الَّذِينَ مَعَكَ
Indeed, your Lord knows, [O Muhammad], that you stand [in prayer] almost two thirds of the night or half of it or a third of it, and [so do] a group of those with you.
Invoking Allah at the time of tahajjud was the sunnah of many prophets.
“The most beloved prayer to Allah is that of David and the most beloved fasts to Allah are those of David. He used to sleep for half of the night and then pray for one third of the night and again sleep for its sixth part and used to fast on alternate days.” (1)
Emphasising on importance of Qiyaam-ul-layl, Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) described it as one of the qualities of the righteous slaves.
“Hold fast to Qiyaam-ul-layl, for it is the practice of the righteous before you, and indeed Qiyaam-ul-layl is a means of nearness to Allah, a means of prevention from sin, an expiation for bad deeds, and a barrier for the body against disease.” (2)
In the Qur’an, Allah discusses the qualities of His people, the term used is Ebaad-ur-Rahman — the slaves of the Most Mericful. They are those who come to meet Him in the darkness of the night, when He is nearest to them.
وَالَّذِينَ يَبِيتُونَ لِرَبِّهِمْ سُجَّدًا وَقِيَامًا
And those who spend [part of] the night to their Lord prostrating and standing [in prayer]
In a hadith Qudsi, Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) says:
“My slave keeps on coming closer to Me through performing Nawafil (voluntary prayers or doing extra deeds besides what is obligatory) until I love him, (so much so that) I become his hearing with which he hears, and his sight with which he sees, and his hand with which he strikes, and his leg with which he walks; and if he asks Me something, I will surely give him, and if he seeks My Protection (refuge), I will surely protect him.” (3)
Look at the love of Allah! How He loves his slave and saves him from possible bad deeds. He preserves his eyes, ears, hands and feet; keeping him away from the wrong path. How he gave him haq (truth) and saved him from baatil (falsehood)!
Indeed, He is all loving to His slaves as they stand before Him when He calls them.
Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) as saying:
“Allah descends every night to the lowest heaven when one-third of the first part of the night is over and says: I am the Lord; I am the Lord: who is there to supplicate Me so that I answer him? Who is there to beg of Me so that I grant him? Who is there to beg forgiveness from Me so that I forgive him? He continues like this till the day breaks.” (4)
After reading this, we understand that supplications, asking for Allah’s bounties and seeking forgiveness are the three main ways to take advantage of this blessed time.
For the seeker of forgiveness, Allah makes a special mention in the Qur’an:
وَبِالْأَسْحَارِ هُمْ يَسْتَغْفِرُونَ
And in the hours before dawn they would ask forgiveness
One of the biggest spiritual benefits we gain when we get up in the middle of the night, leaving everything behind, is self-control or rather control of the nafs. Along with that, it is the best time to understand the Qur’an. As Allah says:
إِنَّ نَاشِئَةَ اللَّيْلِ هِيَ أَشَدُّ وَطْئًا وَأَقْوَمُ قِيلًا
Verily, the rising by night (for Tahajjud prayer) is very hard and most potent and good for governing (the soul), and most suitable for (understanding) the Word (of Allah).
So, it is really upon us to gain this closeness, to be slaves of Ar-Rahman, Ask for forgiveness, control our nafs and understand the Qur’an to get to our real home and become the dwellers of jannah, in sha Allah.
A man came to Al-Hasan Al-Basri and said:
“I heard you say that if you commit sins, then Allah prevents you from things. I do all the sins that you can think of and don’t do many good deeds. I have a beautiful wife and beautiful kids and a lot of money and land and am successful. Allah did not prevent me from anything. How is it that you say that because of sins Allah prevents you?”
“Do you pray qiyaam-ul-layl? Do you enjoy your dua? Do you enjoy your salah? That is enough prevention that He prevented you from communicating with Him.”
- (Sahih bukhari 1131)
- (Tirmidhi 3549)
- (Sahih Bukhari 1/386)
- (Sahih Muslim 6/202)