Virtues of voluntary night prayer
April 19 2022 11:32 PM

Qiyaam (voluntary night prayer) is one of the best acts of worship that bring one closer to Allah The Almighty. It is highly recommended at all times of the year, and even more so in the holy month of Ramadan. The texts of the Qur’an and Sunnah (Prophetic tradition) urge Muslims to perform it and they state its unique status and great reward from Allah The Almighty.
Allah The Almighty praises the people of faith with certain characteristics and deeds, one of the most noble of these deeds is their night prayer. Allah The Almighty Says (what means): {Only those believe in Our verses who, when they are reminded of them, fall down in prostration and glorify the Praises of their Lord, and they are not proud. Their sides forsake their beds, to invoke their Lord in fear and hope, and they spend (in charity in Allah’s Cause) out of what We have bestowed on them. No soul knows what is kept hidden for them of joy as a reward for what they used to do} [Qur’an 32:15-17] 
Allah The Almighty describes His faithful slaves Saying (what means): {And those who spend [part of] the night in worship of their Lord, prostrating and standing [in prayer]} [Qur’an 25:64] He describes the righteous people as the ones who pray at night and seek His forgiveness before dawn; He Says (what means): {Verily, the righteous will be in the midst of Gardens and Springs (in Paradise), Taking joy in things which their Lord has given them. Verily, they were before that doers of good. They used to sleep but little by night (invoking their Lord [Allah] and praying with fear and hope). And in the hours before dawn, they were (found) asking (Allah) for forgiveness} [Qur’an 51:15-18] 
The night prayer plays a significant role in making one’s faith firm and helping one bear the burden of calling to Allah The Almighty. Allah The Almighty ordered His Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, to adhere to it Saying (what means): {O you wrapped in garments (ie Prophet Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam)!  Stand [to pray] all night, except for a little - Half of it or a little less than that, Or a little more. And recite the Qur’an (aloud) in a slow (pleasant tone and) style. Verily, We shall send down to you a weighty Word (ie obligations and laws). 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 (of Allah). } [Qur’an 73:1-6] 
There are many Hadiths (narrations) that show the virtues of the voluntary night prayer and that it is the habit of the righteous people of all nations. The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said: “Adhere to the night prayer, for it was the habit of righteous people before you, a means of seeking closeness to your Lord, an expiation for sins, and a deterrent against committing sins.” [Al-Haakim]
It is the best prayer after the obligatory prayer; in an authentic Hadith the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said: “The best prayer after the prescribed prayers is praying in the middle of the night.” [Muslim] He, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, also said: “The closest a person gets to his Lord is in the middle of the night, so try to be one of those who remember Allah at that hour.” [At-Tirmithi]
One of the greatest causes of having one’s supplication answered is praying at night; ‘Amr ibn ‘Anbasah As-Sulami, radhiallah ‘anhu, said: “I asked the Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, in which part of the night is one’s supplication more likely to be accepted? He replied: ‘In the last part of the night, so pray as much as you like, for the prayer is witnessed and recorded (by the angels) till you offer the dawn prayer.” [Abu Daawood] And also Jaabir,  radhiallah ‘anhu, said that he heard the Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, saying: “There is an hour during the night in which no Muslim individual will ask Allah for good in this world and the next without His giving it to him; and that applies to every night.” [Muslim]
The night prayer is one of the means of entering Paradise and attaining its high grades; Abu Maalik al-Ash‘ari, radhiallah ‘anhu, said: The Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said: “There are chambers in Paradise, its outside can be seen from its inside, and vice versa, Allah prepared them for those who speak tenderly, feed others, fast continuously, and pray at night while people are sleeping.” [Ahmad]
Dear reader, be sure to perform the night prayer on a daily basis, even if it is little so as not to be one of the heedless; the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said: “Whoever observes the night prayer even with the length of reciting ten verses he will not be recorded as heedless.” [Abu Daawood] Be sure to pray Taraweeh (voluntary night prayer) during this holy month, and do not leave until the Imam leaves so as to receive the reward of praying the whole night; the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said: “Whoever prays the night prayer with the Imam until he finishes the prayer, will receive the reward of praying the whole night.” [At-Tirmithi]
May Allah The Almighty accept our prayer and fasting, and help us to obey Him at all times.
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