Can’t Pray Tahajjud: How Else Can I Draw Near to God?

06 April, 2018
Q i love to pray tahajjud... i tried a few times... just a few times.. it was a wonderful experience.. in the silence of the night... i actually felt close to god.. as if im talking and he is responding.... but the problem is that... im unable to do it... as i suffer from chronic and extremely severe migraine... since many years... im a physiologically and emotionally very hypersensitive person... and have not just one but many migraine triggers... hence im strictly advised by the doctor to follow the medications and avoid the triggers as far as possible... and lack of sleep or breaking the sleep in the middle certainly triggers a migraine... as i have sleep problems also... once i awake in the middle of the night... i just cant sleep back... no matter how hard i try... i have not been fasting also since several years as hunger and thirst for a couple of hours too triggers migraine for me... but i feel so sad and bad... not being able to perform tahajjud... as i read... that god is very close that time... he asks us who want forgiveness, who wants something, etc..... i really wish i could ask him that time... but im unable to... what is the solution... i want god close to me... to hear me... accept me... relieve me... bless me... i want to hear him speak to my heart... but its not possible... plz dont forward this question to fatwa section... im not asking for a fiqh... i have read about it... and im aware that tahajjud is not a fardh, etc, etc..... its about enhancing my relationship with god... thats why im writing in this section.. how can i seek the benefits of such a blessing like tahajjud... while not being competent enough to offer it.... will god hear me if i speak to him in the morning or afternoon or evening... as much as he would hear someone at the third part of the night.... i want to be amongst the people about whom god says in the quran... ashaddu hubbal lillah.... but yet im not in that category... i feel i love some chosen people beloved to me... more than i love god... how can i get in that category.... how can i change my heart.... which loves god... but honestly not yet in that category.... as god states in the quran....


Short Answer: Basically, tahajjud is voluntary, so it’s not required of you. Moreover, if your doctor has advised you against it, know that harming your body for the sake of worship robs you of the benefits of that extra worship. We must care for our body, and this is also an act of worship. Maybe try one of these simple suggestions, however, that may not negatively impact your health.

Salaam and thank you for your question.

There is no simple answer other than –tahajjud is voluntary. Having said that let’s see what we can find out.

Allah Desires Ease for Us

Allah tells us in the Quran,

God desires ease for you, and desires not hardship. [Qur’an 2:185]

Allah burdens not a person beyond his scope. [Qur’an 2:286]

And Prophet Muhammad said,

Do those deeds which you can do easily, as Allah will not get tired [of giving rewards] till you get bored and tired [of performing good deeds! … and the most beloved deed to Allah is the one which is done regularly even if it is little [Bukhari]

If I command you to do a thing then, do as much of it as you can. [Bukhari and Muslim]

Some Suggestions

Muslims are obligated to look after their health.

If the doctors have prescribed medicine and/or a routine for you to follow, in the best interests of your health you should follow it.

However, I understand you enjoy tahajjud and would like to offer the prayer. Practically there are possibilities.

For example, you could pray tahajjud:

1)    Before sleeping (qiyyam)

2)    After sleeping

Usually 2, 4 or 8 rakaats (cycles of prayer) are offered.

For example, in the winter it would be relatively easy to offer qiyyam after the Isha’ prayer (before sleeping) or to offer tahajjud half an hour say, before Fajr.

I’m sure a quiet place can be found where you could offer the prayer with due concentration and humility in tranquillity.

In the summer, where the nights are quite short, typically Isha’ is about 11pm and Fajr may be as early as 3am, sleeping would be a problem for you.

Would it be possible for you to sleep between Maghrib and Isha’ and sleep again after Fajr?

Be sure to consult with your doctor, of course, before attempting any of these suggestions.

Remember: Caring For Your Body Is Worship, Too

Please keep in mind what you are trying to do is voluntary and there is no punishment if the prayer is not performed.

Although missing out on the benefits of tahajjud is unfortunate, if there is an adverse affect on your health if you tried, you would be deprived of the benefit anyway.

I add this as I believe headaches may start or get worse when you lower your head as in ruku’ and sujood.

Scholars have deduced that it is allowed to pray while standing, sitting, or [lying] on our sides under some circumstances when our health dictates it.

This is especially true in the case of nafl (extra) prayers!

Keep in mind that if you can bow and prostrate without getting a headache then you MUST.

But, in the event you cannot, then for ruku’ you could sit and incline your head a little, then stand, then sit for sujood and incline your head just a little more than you did in ruku’.

I understand your desire to pray tahajjud and have tried to give you practical suggestions.

However, Allah knows your intentions and He will reward you accordingly.

There is no benefit in harming your health by doing optional worship.

May Allah bless you, make it easy for you and grant you health and healing, Ameen.

(From Ask About Islam archives)

Read more…

The Prophet’s Worship and Du’a in Tahajjud Prayer

5 Benefits Of Praying Tahajjud

What Is the Importance of Qiyam-ul-Layl?

15 Hadiths on Optional Night Prayer (Qiyam)

About Daud Matthews
Daud Matthews was born in 1938, he embraced Islam in 1970, and got married in Pakistan in 1973.
Matthews studied physics and subsequently achieved Chartered Engineer, Fellow of both the British Computer Society and the Institute of Management.He was working initially in physics research labs, he then moved to computer management in 1971. He lived and worked in Saudi Arabia from 1974 to 1997 first with the University of Petroleum and Minerals, Dhahran,and then with King Saud University in Riyadh. He's been involved in da'wah since 1986.