This particular matter that I am going to write about is an issue that most of the ummah (nation) think only is a speciality of ramadan. Yet, it’s such an important issue of ibadah (worship) that it will tell you if you love Allah and if Allah loves you. It is the matter of qiyam and tahajud (night prayer), also in ramadan called, taraweeh. It is the school of the richest people. Night prayer, qiyam, tahajud, is the tranquility of the believers. Night prayer and qiyam is the solution to your problems when you have a problem.
Many times you see those who claim to love Allah and the Prophet Muhammad (peace & blessings be upon him) and Islam. They’ll put it on their websites. They’ll click like on a Facebook. They’ll probably have a bumper sticker. But this will determine if they truly love Allah because Allah in the Quran says: “Is the one who is obedient to Allah, prostrating himself during the night time, fearing the hereafter and hoping for the mercy of his Lord, is he like those who don’t do that? Disbelievers or whoever doesn’t do that. Is he who knows like he doesn’t know?”
Allah is saying basically, don’t ever compare one who makes tahajud and qiyam with one doesn’t. Night prayer and qiyam is the best prayer after the five daily prayers. Night prayer and qiyam is the honour of the believer. Night prayer and qiyam is brightness on the day of judgement. Night prayer and qiyam is the characteristic of a believer, like Allah says in Surah Furqan:” And those who spent the night hours worshipping their Lord, bowing and prostrating to Allah, and standing.” Night prayer is the golden moments of the night time for those who long to be close to Allah to spend that time in privacy with Allah the AlMighty.
In Musnad Ahmad and Abu Dawud, Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) said that, the Prophet Muhammad (peace & blessings be upon him) said: “May Allah be pleased with a man who gets up at night and prays and then wakes up his wife, but if she refuses to wake up, he sprinkles water in her face.” And look at the other one. He says:” And may Allah bless a woman who gets up at night and prays, and then wakes up her husband, and if he refuses, she sprinkles water in his face.” Amazing hadith, Such a unique hadith, that encourages a family to worship Allah together and encourages each other. A family, a romantic family. She’s not waking him by forcing him nor is he, their consensus is that we both want to wake up. I dare a husband and a wife who does this consistently and faithfully for the sake of Allah and not have the happiest marriage ever! Prove me wrong and I am going to say, wallahi to it! If you are having marital problems, night prayer is your solution, get up, you and your wife. What affect will it on children in the future? Many times, children go astray even if you raise them well. However, one of the most memorable things a child takes with him, even years later and I can tell you this from my experience in dawah, they’ll say, ahh, wallahi you’re right. I used to always see my mother and father get up at the end of the night in prayer. It’s something that sticks to their mind that usually gets them back on the right track if they go astray.
The Prophet Muhammad (peace & blessings be upon him) said: “If a man gets up at night and prays (even two rakat), they will be amongst the zakireen.” [Abu Dawud]
Who are the zakireen? Flip the pages of the Quran to Surah Ahzab and you are going to see. “And those men who remember Allah and those women who remember Allah, Allah has prepared for them forgiveness and a great reward (high ranks in paradise).”
How beautiful is it to spend the night with Allah?
There are those who love to spend the nights flipping through the channels on their T.Vs. There are others who like to spend their nights browsing through the internet, hours and hours go by while they’re doing it. Some with girls and others with alcohol. And some with vain matters that are probably not haram or halal. Then there are those of the few of the few of the very few who truly love Allah and choose to spend their nights with Allah, the AlMighty. And rest assured, let me tell you this, the biggest indicator and hint to see if Allah loves you and if he’s pleased with you, see if you consistently pray the night prayer. If you consistently wake up for the night prayers, know you are in good status with Allah. Let me repeat because this is important. The biggest indicator of how pleased Allah is with you, is if you pray consistently the night prayers. It is only the special people who are allowed by Allah to spend those precious moments during the dark nights with Him.
A man told Ibrahim Ibn Adham, he said, “I cannot get up at night to pray. Why? I want to do qiyam (night prayer).” He said, “you commit the sins during the day, you will never be able to get up at night and pray.” Standing before Allah during the night time is an honour sinners are unworthy of. Sufyan At-Thawri (may Allah have mercy upon him) said, “for five months I couldn’t get up for the night prayer because of a sin I committed.” And if you look at the life of Sufyan At-Thawri, what could he have possibly done? A man, who is amazing in his character, in his ibdah, in his knowledge. A man came to Hasan Al-Basri and he said, “I sleep well, I rest well, I have no illness, I prepare the water by my mattress so I can get up for the prayer of qiyam but I never get up for qiyam.” So Hasan Al-Basri said, “your sins have shackled you. Your sins during the day, restrain you during the night time.” The rule is the sins of the day restrain a muslim from the honour of praying during the night time. Abu Jaffar said, “I went to visit Ahmad Ibn Yahya”, so he said, “I went and I’ve seen Ahmed crying.” Abu Jaffar said, “why are you crying?” Ahmed said, “I missed the night prayer.” He said, “that’s okay, Allah wanted you to rest.” Abu Jaffar said, “the more I tell you him and comfort him, the more he cries.” He said no, “it’s because of the sin I committed.”
Qiyam is responding to the call of Allah. How can you not respond to the call of Allah when Allah calls you? It was collected by Bukrahi, that the The Prophet Muhammad (peace & blessings be upon him) said: “The Lord descends every night to the lowest point of heaven, when the one third of the night remains. Is there anyone who calls upon me? Anyone who calls upon me so I can answer?” Allah is calling you as if He needs you and you’re the one who needs Allah? The hadith continues with Allah saying, “is there anyone who will ask me that I may give him?” People snore away as Allah is asking them if they need anything. The hadith continues with Allah still saying, “who may seek my forgiveness so that I may forgive him.” Qiyam must be an essential part of your life my brothers and sisters. It must be essential.
When Allah was preparing the Prophet Muhammad (peace & blessings be upon him) for the ultimate task ever, the guidance of humanity, what did he prep him with? He prepared him with the task of making tahajud fard (obligatory) upon him. This was fard in the early stages of the Prophet Muhammad (peace & blessings be upon him).
In order to be successful in any job, in any task, in any situation, you need to succeed during the night with your spiritual communication with Allah, that’s why Allah ordered the Prophet Muhammad (peace & blessings be upon him) to do that. You give parts of your life to yourself, to your family, to your work, we all give parts of our life, to school, to social events, we give parts of our life to leisure events, we give parts of our life to rest and comfort. Doesn’t Allah AlMighty deserve to be given a part of our life? And he should be given precedent and priority over everything!
Make the decision now. I say make the decision now. Make the oath now, make the pledge. From now on, I am going to pray qiyam to Allah the AlMighty.
Do it now!
By: Shaykh Ahmad Musa Jibreel