By Haroon-Ishola Balogun
In Quran 73 verses 1-6, Allah commands His Messenger to get up and stand in prayer to His Lord. The Prophet did as Allah ordered him, by standing for prayer at night. In one of the authentic hadiths, it is said that the best prayer after the obligatory prayers is the night prayer.” (Sahih Muslim) ‘Qiyamulayli’, in the most literal sense, means to ‘stand during the night’. It is a voluntary prayer which is offered between the time of Isha prayer and the Fajr prayer (before dawn). But the most preferred time is said to be in the last third of the night. It is also more commonly known also as ‘tahajjud’. The difference is that Qiyamulayli is more encompassing as the latter also include other aspect of ibadah, like zikr and praises, while tahajjud is only about prayers, Nafil. Any of them holds great rewards and blessings for any Muslim who sacrifices his sleep to pray to Allah (SWT).
It is an act of worship that connects the heart to its Creator. It enables the Muslim to overcome the temptations of life and to strive against one’s desires and get closer to Allah. The night prayer and its blessings transcend and translate into our daily lives, without us even realizing it.
According to Holy Prophet (PBUH): “You should pray Qiyamulayli, for it is the custom of the righteous who came before you and it brings you closer to your Lord, and expiates sins and prevents misdeeds.” – Al Tirmidhi (3549)
Allah chose this particular time for supplication and worship because it requires us to put in that extra effort to earn His blessings and rewards by fighting against our sleep and waking up just for the sole purpose of connecting with Allah (SWT). Waking up for Qiyamulayli also helps us to gain discipline, and strengthen self-control and willpower. Muslims learn to fight their soul and personal desires and in turn, gain purity and excellence. It is a path that may lead a believer to paradise.
“You should pray Qiyamulayli, for it is the custom of the righteous who came before you and it brings you closer to your Lord, and expiates sins and prevents misdeeds.” – Al Tirmidhi (3549)
It also gives contentment, humility, and fulfillment. No one wants their sleep distorted if it’s not something crucial or beneficial. So, it is only Allah that can consistently request a precious time like that for devoted worship. This, in turn, gives you reward and a feeling of your prayers have been accepted after observance.
Make it a habit to rise and pray in the early hours before dawn. Remember, it’s not how much you can accomplish at a time. It’s how consistent you can be, even if it’s just two raka’t every night. May Allah grant us the strength and ability to be consistent with this good act.