About special Prayers and the glory of Allah!
By: Dr Sheikh Arshid
A prayer vigil (Tahajjud) is a prayer performed at late night hours either in a mosque or at home. It has a specific quality in Allah’s sight. However, certain times are more valuable than others, and they are to be taken advantage of. Night-time is one of these times that the Qur’an and the sayings of the Prophet (pbuh) describe as valuable.
The value that Allah ascribes to night-time and the secrets hidden in it are countless. Allah says: ” And in some parts of the night (also) offer the Salat (prayer) with it (i.e. recite the Qur’an in the prayer), as an additional prayer (tahajjud optional prayer – Nawafil) for you (O, Muhammad SAW). It may be that your Lord will raise you to Maqam Mahmud (a station of praise and glory, i.e. the honour of intercession on the Day of Resurrection. Al-Israa, Verse 17″
Verily, the rising by night (for tahajjud prayer) is very hard and most potent and good for governing oneself, and most suitable for (understanding) the Word. (Al-Muzamil, Verse 6)
The secret of the swearing of Allah by the night is a Divine window to get our hearts and souls to watch many facts.
The night is the time to prostrate before the Divine Being with love and affection for the sake of pleasing Him instead of resting in cozy beds. Extra prayers performed at night are of great importance in achieving immediacy with Allah. One desires and performs prayers at night as much Divine Love as s/he has. It may be said that praying at night is like meeting and conversing with one’s lover at night. Being awake at a time when everybody is asleep means being included in the group of love and mercy.
The Tahajjud is conducted in fully sincere, precise, and continuous ways that can foster positive perception and motivation and make coping effective. Such positive emotional response can avoid stress reactions. Importantly, it should be noted that the Tahajjud may also bring stress if the prayer is performed without utmost sincerity. This is shown by the failure to maintain body homeostasis or failure to adapt the changes from diurnal circadian into nocturnal circadian.
The Prophet (pbuh) used to pray at night until he was footsore. He was once asked:
“– O the Messenger of Allah! Why do you strain yourself though Allah declared in the Qur’an (in chapter 48) that you were forgiven of all your sins?”
“– Should not I be a thanking servant?” (Bukhari, Tahajjud, 6).
The Prophet (pbuh) also said:
“The most virtuous prayer except the obligatory prayers is the one offered by becoming awake after sleep at night.” (Muslim, Siyam, 202-203).
“Two units of prayer performed at night is more beneficial than anything in the world. If I thought that it would not be a burden on my people I would enjoin it on them.” (Fadail al-Amal, 257).
“There is a certain moment at night. If a Muslim catches that moment to wish something from Allah, that thing is granted to him/her.” (Tirmizi, Vitr, 16).
“If a man wakes up at night and also wakes his wife up to offer two units of prayer together, Allah registers their names among those who remember Allah most.” (Abu Dawud, Tatawwu, 18).
“Do not you ever disregard praying at night! Because it was a custom of righteous people before you. Worshipping at night brings one closer to Allah, atones for one’s sins, keeps the body from illnesses, and prevents one from performing sinful acts.” (Tirmizi).
“Let Allah show mercy to the man who wakes up at night to pray, and also wakes his wife up to do so. Let Allah show mercy to the woman who wakes up at night to pray, and also wakes her husband up to do so!” (Abu Dawud, Vitr, 13).
The Prophet (pbuh) told Abu Zarr:
“– Do you get prepared when you are about to set forth on a journey?”
Abu Zarr replied:
“– Of course, o Prophet”
The Prophet (pbuh) said:
“– Well, how do you think that the journey on the Day of Judgment will be? Take heed of what I will tell you; shall I tell you what you would benefit from on the Day of Judgment?”
Abu Zarr replied:
“– Yes, o Messenger of Allah!”
The Prophet (pbuh) said:
“Fast on a very hot day for the Day of Judgment. Offer a prayer of two units at night to be saved from loneliness in the grave. Make the journey to Qabah once in a lifetime, and give alms to a needy person for the great occasions of the Doomsday. Say just words or save your tongue from saying unjust things!”
However, as it is not too easy to worship at night, one is supposed to observe some points. In addition to the strong desire to worship at night, one is supposed to have a light dinner and keep early nights. It is narrated that:
“The Prophet (pbuh) used to discourage people to sleep before the late-night prayer, and he also used to discourage them to have long conversations after it.” (Bukhari, Mawaqit al-Salat, 23).
A Muslim should be in the habit of keeping early hours, and waking up early. There may be exceptions to that on condition that they should not hamper one’s activity to worship at night. Omar, the second caliph, says:
“The Prophet (pbuh), sometimes, used to speak with Abu Bakr about the affairs of Muslims until daybreak. And I used to stay with them.” (Tirmizi).
These principles are necessary to remove the strain of waking up for prayer and also to untie the knots of Satan tied through sleep. The Prophet (pbuh) says:
“When you sleep Satan ties three knots on the back of your neck. And he says to each knot let a long night stay with you.’ When you wake up and cite the name of Allah one of the knots unties. When you make ablution another knot unties. And when you offer a prayer all of the knots untie. Thus, you wake up hale and hearty in the morning. Otherwise, you wake up asleep and downhearted.” (Bukhari, Tahajjud, 12).
So, it is clear that the prayer offered at night is so valuable that it comes second only after the obligatory prayers.
However, those who do prayers at night are to be reminded that they should not be proud just because they do worship at night. If so, they lose the blessing they would get.
They should always bear the following saying of the Prophet (pbuh) in mind:
“There are many who worship at night, yet they get nothing out of it. They just stay awake.” (Ahmad bin Hanbal, Musnad, II, 373).
The Tahajjud is usually held in the Masjid,We can pray in our homes, on our own, but when we set aside personal comfort and convenience in order to please Allah for intentional prayer.
Not only Tahajjud benefits spiritual being it also benefits biologically to person,it accelerates blood circulation, improves immunity of the body, improves the brain work and mind is fresher, increases the strength of body and raises the lung cavity.
As an optional prayer, the Tahajjud certainly isn’t something that any Muslim should feel compelled to do and there is no punishment for missing it. However, many Muslims choose to practice the Tahajjud on a regular basis. Therefore Tahajud prayer increases every day our belief and gets us closer to Allah. We must, therefore, make Tahajjud a part of your routine.