Benefits of Praying The Night Prayer

The night prayer in the Qur’an:
Allah Almighty said: {Their sides forsake their beds…} [Surah As Sajdah:16]
{تَتَجَافَى جُنُوبُهُمْ عَنِ الْمَضَاجِعِ} [السَّجدة:16]

Transliteration: Tatajāfá Junūbuhum `Ani Al-Mađāji`

Mujahid and Al-Hassan said: “It means night prayer”.

Ibn Katheer (rh) said in his interpretation: “That means night prayer, leaving sleep and rest on comfortable beds”.

Abdul Haqq Al-Ishbili (rh) said: “Those who their sides repel from their beds, where it doesn’t rest on it nor be fixed from their fear of the warning and in hope for what they were promised”.

The ranks of the righteous forefathers in the night prayer:

Ibn al Jawzi (rh) said: Know that the righteous forefathers were in seven ranks concerning praying at night:

  • First rank: They would pray the whole night and some of them would pray Fajr with the ablution of ‘Ishâ`.
  • Second rank: Some would pray half the night.
  • Third rank: They would pray third of the night. The Prophet (prayer and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “The most beloved prayer to Allah is the prayer of Dawûd; he would sleep half the night, pray third of it and sleep sixth of it.” (Agreed upon)
    «وأحبُّ الصَّلاة إلى الله صلاة داود: كان ينام نصف
    الليل ويقوم ثلثه، وينام سُدسه» [متفق عليه].
  • Fourth rank: Some would pray a sixth or fifth of the night.
  • Fifth rank: They would not consider certain timings, except they would pray until they feel sleepy, so they would sleep, but if they became conscious again they would continue praying.
  • Sixth rank: Some would pray from the night four or two rak’as.
  • Seventh rank: People who would pray between Maghrib and ‘Ishâ`, then pray in the last part of night, hence combining the two edges of night.

    In Sahih Muslim it was reported that the Prophet (prayer and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “In the night there is an hour, no Muslim would match it with asking Allah good from this worldly life or the Hereafter, except He will give him it and that would be every night.” (Reported by Muslim 757)

    Abu Hamid Al-Ghazali (rh) mentioned the apparent and hidden reasons facilitating the night prayer:

The Apparent Steps Are Four:

1)    Do not eat too much which will make you drink much, thus praying at night will be heavy on him.
2)    Do not tire yourself in the morning with trivial matters.
3)    Do not abandon the midday nap as it helps in praying the night prayer.
4)    Do not commit sins in the morning where you will be deprived from praying at night.

The Hidden Steps Are Four:

1)    Clearing the heart from any hatred towards any Muslim, innovation and curiosity in the worldly life.
2)    A fearing heart and overcoming it while having short hope in the worldly life.
3)    To know the virtue of the night prayer.
4)    The best of them all: Love of Allah and a strong belief that in his praying at night he doesn’t utter a word except he will supplicate his Lord.

﴿إِنَّ نَاشِئَةَ الَّيْلِ هِىَ أَشَدُّ وَطْأً وَأَقْوَمُ قِيلاً ﴾
(Verily, rising (Nashi’ah) at night is better for understanding and more suitable for speech (recitation).)

`Umar, Ibn `Abbas and Ibn Zubayr (ra), all said, “The entire night is Nashi’ah.” Mujahid and others said the same. It is said “Nasha’a” when a person stands at night to pray.

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