Question: Please can you tell me the duas and surahs that need to be read in tahajudd namaaz and in what order?
Answer: In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate
There are many narrations of the Prophet’s (may Allah bless him and give him peace) night worship. Mentioning all of them is not feasible. However, I will mention some of the most important that have been related in the Qur’an and the Prophetic teachings.
From the Qur’an
Allah Most High says,
“Little do they sleep at night and in the pre-dawn they seek forgiveness” [Qur’an; 51:18-19].
“And those who seek forgiveness in the pre-dawn hours” [Qur’an; 03:17].
From the Ahadith
Ibn ‘Abbas (may Allah be pleased with them) narrates that the Prophet (may Allah bless him and give him peace) would say when He stood for the night prayer:
‘O Allah, for You belongs all praise. You are the sustainer of the heavens, the earth, and all that they contain. To You is all praise. To You belongs the dominion of the heavens, the earth and all they contain. For You is all praise. You are the light of the heavens, the earth and all they contain. For you is all praise. You are the King of the heavens and the earth. For You is all praise. You are the reality and Your promise is a reality. Meeting You is a reality. Your speech is a reality. Paradise is a reality. Hell-fire is a reality. The Prophets are a reality. Muhammad (may Allah bless him and give him peace) is a reality. The Hour is a reality. O Allah, to You, do I submit. You do I believe. You do I rely on. To You do I return. To You do I take my disputes. From You do I seek adjudication. Forgive me what has transpired and what is to come; what I have done privately and what I have done publicly. You are the One who puts forth. You are the One who leaves behind. There is no god but You (or He said – there is no god other than you)” [Bukhari].
The Prophet (may Allah bless him and give him peace) said,
“Whoever wakes up at night (in a state of remembrance) and says:
“There is no god except Allah alone, for Him is no partner. To Him belongs the dominion and for Him belongs all praise. And He is over all things able. All praise is for Allah. Glory be to Allah. There is no god except Allah. Allah is absolutely great. And there is no strength nor might except by Allah.”
“O Allah, forgive me!”
Or supplicates – their prayer will be answered. And if they perform the ablution and prayer, their prayer will be accepted [Bukhari].
Supplicating to Allah Most High
The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and give him peace) said,
“Allah Most High descends to the sky of the world every night when the first third has passed. He then says, ‘I am the King. Who is there to call upon me that I may respond to them. Who is there to ask of me that I may give them. Who is there to seek forgiveness from Me that I may forgive them.’ This continues until the break of dawn” [Tirmidhi].
In the narration, the Prophet (may Allah bless him and give him peace) teaches us to take advantage of this blessed time by beseeching Allah and seeking forgiveness from Him.
The Best Supplication
Always keep in mind that the best supplication is that which comes from the heart. Imam Muhasibi (may Allah have mercy on him) mentions sincere supplication as one of the means of awakening the heart from its heedlessness [al-Muhasibi; Adab al-Nufus].
Recitation in the Night Prayer
Regarding which Suras to recite in the night prayer one can recite as they please. The Messenger (may Allah bless him and give him peace) did not specify any specific order. He (may Allah bless him and give him peace) would sometimes read large portions of the Qur’an and other times He (may Allah bless him and give him peace) would repeat one verse throughout the entire night.
May Allah make us of those who worship Him while the world sleeps and give us hearts that are always mindful of Him.
Hope this helps
[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Shaykh Yusuf Weltch is a graduate from Tarim; a student of Habib Umar and other luminaries; and authorized teachers of the Qur’an and the Islamic sciences.