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15 Hadiths on Optional Night Prayer (Qiyam)

15 Hadiths on Optional Night Prayer (Qiyam)

As the days and nights of Ramadan are approaching, it is smart of a believer to plan to maximize his/her gains in the blessed month.

Qiyam-ul-Layl or optional night prayer is one of the best ways to achieve this goal. The merits of this special worship are numerous. It is praised in various Quranic verses and Hadiths. And the nights of Ramadan is an ideal opportunity to develop the habit of observing Qiyam-ul-Layl.

Following are 15 hadiths that show the significance of this special type of worship and the Prophet’s (peace and blessings be upon him) example and guidance regarding it*:

The Prophet’s Example

10_Hadiths_on_the_Blessed_Nights_Thumb2 1. `A’ishah, the Prophet’s wife (may Allah be pleased with her) reported:

When the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) prayed (the optional night prayers: Qiyam-ul-layl), he would stand until (the skin of) his feet swelled. So, I said:

“O Prophet of Allah, do you do as such while Allah has forgiven you all mistakes?”

He responded: “Should not I be a grateful servant of Allah?” (Muslim)

10_Hadiths_on_the_Blessed_Nights_Thumb2 2. `Abdullah ibn Mas`ud (may Allah be pleased with him) reported:

I prayed one night with the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and he kept standing until I thought of doing something bad.”

`Abdullah was asked, “What was that?”

He said: “I thought of sitting down and leaving him.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

10_Hadiths_on_the_Blessed_Nights_Thumb2 3. Hudhaifah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported:

I prayed with the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) one night and he started reciting [surat] Al-Baqarah. I thought that he would bow at the end of one hundred verses, but he proceeded on; so I thought that he would perhaps recite the whole surah in a rak`ah. He continued reciting and I had the belief that he would bow on completing the Surah. However, he went on and started [surat] An-Nisaa’ and recited it all. Then he started [surat] Aal `Imran and recited it.

He recited leisurely: when he reached a verse which referred to the Glory of Allah, he glorified Allah; when he recited a verse that includes a supplication, he would supplicate Allah; and when he came across a verse related toisti`adha (seeking Allah’s protection), he asked Allah for protection.

Then he bowed and repeated (while bowing): ‘Subhana rabbia al-`adheem‘ (Glory be to my Mighty Lord.) His bowing lasted about the same length of his standing time.

(Then, on returning to the standing posture afterruku`) he said:

Sami` Allahu liman Hamidah

rabbana walka al-Hamd

Allah responds to whoever praises Him

O Lord, Yours is the praise

He stood about the same length of time as he had spent in bowing. He then prostrated himself and said:

Subhana Rabbia Al-A`la

Glory be to my Lord, the most High

His prostration lasted nearly the same length of time as his standing. (Muslim)

Advice to Beloved Companions

10_Hadiths_on_the_Blessed_Nights_Thumb2 4. `Ali (May Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) visited him and [his wife] Fatimah (May Allah be pleased with her) one night and said, “Why do not you observe prayer (at night)?” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim).

 

10_Hadiths_on_the_Blessed_Nights_Thumb2 5. Salim ibn `Abdullah ibn `Umar (May Allah be pleased with them) reported, on the authority of his father, that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “What an excellent man `Abdullah is! If only he could perform [optional] prayers at night.” Salim said that after this, (his father) `Abdullah used to sleep very little at night. (Al-Bukhari and Muslim).

 

10_Hadiths_on_the_Blessed_Nights_Thumb2 6. `Abdullah ibn `Amr (May Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said to him: “O `Abdullah, do not be like so and so! He used to pray at night and then he stopped doing that” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

The Best Good Deed

10_Hadiths_on_the_Blessed_Nights_Thumb2 7. Abu Hurayrah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said,

The best month for observing fasting after Ramadan is Allah’s month of Muharram, and the best Salah after the prescribed Salah is Salah at night.” (Muslim)

Ramadan Specials

10_Hadiths_on_the_Blessed_Nights_Thumb2 8. Abu Hurayrah reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said,

“Whosoever performs Qiyam (optional night prayer) during Ramadan out of faith and being hopeful of Allah’s reward, will have his past sins forgiven.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

10_Hadiths_on_the_Blessed_Nights_Thumb2 9. Abu Hurayrah reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said,

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Whosoever performs Qiyam (optional night prayer) during Lailat Al-Qadr (Night of Decree), out of faith and being hopeful of Allah’s reward, will have his past sins forgiven.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Easy Access to Paradise

10_Hadiths_on_the_Blessed_Nights_Thumb2 10. `Abdullah ibn Salam (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated,

When the Prophet arrived for the first time in Madinah, I went with everyone to see him. When I saw him, I knew his face was not that of a liar. The first words he said were,

O people, spread Salam (greeting of peace), give food, maintain kin relationships, and pray at night while people are asleep. With this, you shall enter Heaven in peace.” (Ibn Majah)

How to Do It

10_Hadiths_on_the_Blessed_Nights_Thumb2 11. `Abdullah ibn `Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said:

Night prayers are to be offered two by two, then if you fear that dawn will come, make [the total of the rak`ahs you performed] an odd number by praying one [additional] rak`ah.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

10_Hadiths_on_the_Blessed_Nights_Thumb2 12. Abu Huryrah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said,

When one of you gets up at night to perform [optional night] prayer, let him start Salah with two short Rak`ahs.” (Muslim).

A Family Activity

10_Hadiths_on_the_Blessed_Nights_Thumb2 13. `A’ishah reported:

When the last ten nights of Ramadan entered, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) would revive the night in worship and awake his family… (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

 

10_Hadiths_on_the_Blessed_Nights_Thumb2 14. Abu Hurayrah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said,

May Allah show mercy to a man who gets up during the night and performs Salah, awakens his wife to pray and if she refuses, he sprinkles water on her face (to make her get up).

May Allah show mercy to a woman who gets up during the night and performs Salah, awakens her husband for the same purpose; and if he refuses, she sprinkles water on his face.” (Abu Dawud).

 

10_Hadiths_on_the_Blessed_Nights_Thumb2 15. Abu Sa`id and Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with them) reported that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said,

When a man awakens his wife during the night and they both perform two-Rak`ah prayer together, they are recorded among the men and women who celebrate remembrance of Allah.” (Abu Dawud)

 


*Most of this collection is based on the chapters on Qiyam in Imam An-Nawawi’sRiyad As-saliheen


About Muhammad Fathi

Muhammad Fathi is the managing editor of the Shari`ah page, AboutIslam.net and a former Imam and teacher at the Quran Institute of America, MI, USA.

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