• How to Perform the Tahajjud Prayer (The Night Prayer)


    Tahajjud prayer (prayer performed by becoming awake after sleep at night) and other prayers offered at night-time

    Every time has a specific feature in Allah's sight. However, certain times are more valuable than others, and they are to be taken advantage of. And 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: "

    The night and its homing

    !" (Inshiqaq, 84:17). "

    And by the night when it is still

    !.." (Dhuha, 93:2). 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 lying down in smooth beds. Therefore, extra prayers performed at night are of great importance in achieving immediacy with Allah. Thus, 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.

    How to Perform the Tahajjud Prayer (The Night Prayer)

    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?"

    He replied:

    "– 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!"

    (ibn Abi'd-Dunya, Kitab al-Tahajjud).

    The Prophet (pbuh) said to Abu Hurayra in this regard:

    "O Abu Hurayra! If you want the company of the Mercy of Allah when in the grave and on the Doomsday, wake up at night to offer a prayer for Allah's sake. O Abu Hurayra! If you pray at the corner of your house, your house lightens as a constellation in the sky, and it becomes like a star for the people of the world." (Ihya al-Ulumiddin, I, 1023).

    Abdallah bin Omar, for interpretation, let the Prophet (pbuh) know one of his dreams through Hafsa, who was the sister of Abdullah and the wife of the Prophet (pbuh). The Prophet (pbuh) said while interpreting the dream:

    "Abdallah is a great person. Yet, it would be superb if he prayed at night!.."

    From that day on, Abdallah never abandoned praying at night. (Bukhari, Tahajjud, IV, 360).

    The Prophet (pbuh) said:

    "The Archangel Gabriel said: "The honor of a believer is, no doubt, related to night-time prayer…'" (Hakim, Mustadrak, IV, 360).

    One of the servants whom Allah is pleased with is one who gets out of his/her gentle and warm bed in order to offer the prayer of tahajjud. Allah is well-pleased with that servant and says to the angels:

    "– What makes this servant of Mine care about praying at this time of the night?"

    The angels reply:

    "– It is his/her wish to attain Your Grace and Blessing, and also fear of Your punishment."

    Allah says:

    "I grant him/her what s/he wishes from Me then. And I safeguard him/her from what s/he fears from." (Fadail al-Amal, 299).

    Many verses of the Qur'an call the servants to remember Allah at night-time.

    And during part of the night, -Aleyhisselâm-, celebrate His praises, and (so likewise) after the postures of adoration." (Qaf, 50: 40).

    "And for the part of the night also praise Him, and at the retreats of the stars." (Tur 52:49).

    "Those who spend the night in adoration of their Lord prostrate and standing." (Furqan 25:64).

    Allah explains the features of those who will be saved from the Divine punishment and be placed in paradise:

    "They were in the habit of sleeping but little by night. And in the hours of early dawn, they (were found) praying for forgiveness." (Zariyat, 51:17-18).

    In addition to this honoring, Allah cites those believers who remember Him at night-time as superior when comparing believers with disbelievers:

    "What! he who is obedient during hours of the night, prostrating himself and standing, takes care of the hereafter and hopes for the mercy of his Lord! Say: Are those who know and those who do not know alike? Only the men of understanding are mindful." (Zumar, 39:9).

    As Allah describes those who devoutly worship at night as such, He forewarns those unwary servants who do not behave accordingly:

    "And part of the night, prostrate yourself to Him; and glorify Him a long night through."

    "As to these they love the fleeting life, and put away behind them a Day (that will be) hard." (Insan, 76:26-27).

    The second part of the night is said to be more valuable. The Prophet (pbuh) was once asked about it:

    "– In which part of the night are the worships more likely to be accepted?"

    He replied:

    "The worships that are done in the second half of the night…" (Abu Dawud).

    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).

    How to perform salat al Tahajjud (The Night Prayer)

    How to Offer Salat al Tahajjud (The Night Prayer)

      1. Rakat
    • First make the Niyyah (intention) by reciting "I intend to perform two rakats of the salat al Tahajjud"
    • You say takbir "Allahu Akbar" This starts the prayer.
    • Begin reciting "Subhanaka"
    • After you say: "Audhu billahi min-ash-shayta -nir-rajeem Bismillah-ir-Rahman-ir-raheem"
    • Reciting Surah Al Fatiha
    • Another portion (Surah) of the Qur'an.
    • Go into Ruku (the bowing position) and We say "Subahaana Rabbiyal Azeem"
    • Go into the 1st Sajdah and We say "Subahaana Rabbiyal Aa'la"
    • Now sit-up from the first Sajdah in jalsa position (Sitting position between the two Sajdahs)
    • Now go into the 2nd Sajdah and We say "Subahaana Rabbiyal Aa'la"
      2. Rakat
    • Rise up to proceed to the next raka'at,
    • You say "Bismillah-ir-Rahman-ir-raheem"
    • Reciting Surah Al Fatiha
    • Another portion (Surah) of the Qur'an.
    • Go into Ruku (the bowing position) and We say "Subahaana Rabbiyal Azeem"
    • Go into the 1st Sajdah and We say "Subahaana Rabbiyal Aa'la"
    • Now sit-up from the first Sajdah in jalsa position (Sitting position between the two Sajdahs)
    • Now go into the 2nd Sajdah and We say "Subahaana Rabbiyal Aa'la"
    • After this, you sit for the complete Tashshahud: You recite At-tahiyyat, Allah-umma salli, Allah-umma Barik and Rabbana.
    • By turning to your face to the right first and saying "Assalamu alaikum wa Rahmatullah" and then to his left and doing the same
    Namaz Zamani
    Ramadan