06 October 2011


‘They forsake their beds of sleep while they call on their Lord in fear and hope, and they spend of what We bestowed them. No person knows what pleasures are hidden for them as reward for their (good) deeds.’

(Surah Sajdah Aayat 16-17)

One of the 13 signs of the slaves of Allah (Ibaadur Rahmaan) is: ‘They are those who spend the night prostrating and standing before their Lord, i.e. in Tahajjud Salaah.’ (Surah Furqaan Aayat 64)

The performance of Nafl Salaah (Tahajjud) during the latter part of the night or the early hours of the morning was the constant practice of Rasulullah [sallallaahu alayhi wasallam]. Sayyidatuna Aaishah [radhiallaahu anha] says: ‘Do not abandon the Salaah of the night, for certainly Rasulullah r would never leave out his Tahajjud Salaah. If he r would be ill or weak, he would perform tahajjud while sitting.’ (Sunan Abi Dawud Hadith1301; Sahih ibn Khuzaymah Hadith1137)

Tahajjud was also an integral part of the lives of the Sahaabah [radhiallaahu anhum] who were known to be knights / warriors by day and devout worshippers by night.

Rasulullah [sallallaahu alayhi wasallam] has encouraged the Ummah to perform Tahajjud. The Fuqahaa (Jurists) have classified Tahajjud as the most significant of all Nafl Salaahs. (Tahtaawi pg.393)

Sayyiduna Abu Umaamah [radhiallaahu anhu] reports that Rasulullah [sallallaahu alayhi wasallam] said:

‘Be mindful of the night Salaah (Tahajjud) for certainly,

1) It was the practice of the pious before you,

2) It is a means of gaining proximity to your Lord,

3) It atones sins, and

4) It serves as a barrier from disobedience.’

(Sunan al-Tirmidhi Hadith3549; Sahih ibn Khuzaymah Hadith1135)

In other Ahaadith, Rasulullah [sallallaahu alayhi wasallam] has described Tahajjud as:

5. The best of Salaats after the Fardh Salaah

6. An honour for a true believer

7. A cause of extreme pleasure to Allah

8. A means of easily acquiring paradise

9. A protection from sicknesses and diseases.

(al-Targheeb vol.1 pg.423-435)

The Ulama mention that from among the many benefits of Tahajjud one is that it brings Noor (Divine glow) to one’s face and it protects a person from the terror of the day of Qiyaamah. It was the advice of Nabi Sulayman’s [Alayhis salaam] Mother, ‘O my son! Do not spend much time sleeping at night, because this causes a person to become destitute on the day of Qiyaamah.’ (Sunan ibn Majah Hadith1332)

The best time for Tahajjud Salaah is after half the night passes upto the last part of the night (before Subh Saadiq). It is during the last third of the night wherein Almighty Allah accepts du’aas and proclaims: ‘Is there anyone seeking sustenance that I may sustain him? Is there anyone seeking forgiveness that I may forgive him.’ (Sahih Bukhari Hadith1145)

Hafiz ibn Rajab al-Hambali [ra] mentioned the following while commenting on the auspiciousness of this part of the night, ‘It is the best of times for Salaah, at that time the servant is closest to Allah, the doors of the skies are opened and the du’aas (supplications) are accepted by Allah Ta’ala.’ (Lataaiful Ma’arif pg.56)

Imaam Ahmad ibn Harb [ra] says, ‘Surprising is the condition of he who knows that paradise is being adorned above him and that Jahannum is being lit beneath him, and he continues to sleep between the two?’ (al-Matjarur raabih pg.130)

However, if one is unable to wake up at that part of the night, then one may perform Salaatul layl (Tahajjud) any time after Esha Salaah. Rasulullah r said, ‘Whatever is performed after Esha is counted from the night, i.e. it will be considered as Salaatul layl - Tahajjud.’ (al-Targheeb vol.1 pg.430; Shaami vol.2 pg.24)

It was also the practice of some Sahaabah [radhiallaahu anhum] to perform their Tahajjud before sleeping. (ibn Abi Shaybah Hadith6679) One should bear in mind that it is Mustahabb (preferable) to offer the Witr Salaah last, i.e. after the Tahajjud Salaah. (Sahih Bukhari Hadith998; Shaami vol.1 pg.369)

However, during Ramadhaan, one should offer the Witr with congregation even though one intends to peform Tahajjud later on. (Maraaqil Falaah pg.386)

One who is uncertain of awakening at the latter part of the night should offer the Witr before sleeping and if one awakens later during the night, one may offer the Tahajjud Salaah. However, one should not repeat the Witr. (Shaami vol.1 pg.369) One may perform upto 12 Rakaats of Tahajjud. (Mirqaat vol.3 pg.238)

The approach of Ramadhaan offers an ideal opportunity to inculcate the habit of practicing this salient Sunnah of our beloved Master [sallallaahu alayhi wasallam].

Contributed by: horizon_41978

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