Is it Disbelief to Draw Pictures?

Answered by Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan

Question: Assalam alaykum,

I was told that we cannot pray for a muslim who has died or allow them to buried in a muslim graveyard if they are known to have made sculptures in this life. Are muslim image makers outside of Islam and eternally punished as those who commit shirk are?

Answer: Wa alaykum salam

Shukran for your question.

The primary narrations related to your question were transmitted by Imams Bukhari and Muslim. They are:

“The most severely punished people on the Day of Judgement will be image-makers.”

“Those who make images will be punished on the Day of Judgement and it will be said to them, ‘Give life to what you have created.’”

Thereafter, scholars differed regarding the meanings of these reports. In his Fath al-Bari, ibn Hajar has a lengthy discussion from which the following are important to consider.

Taswir or image-making

Some scholars like Khattabi, considered the image-making mentioned in the narrations above to refer specifically to three dimensional images. The majority however, including Imam Nawawi, considered the warning to apply to both three and two dimensional images.

What is important to consider here is that scholars differed, and while one may subscribe to a certain opinion, the views of our scholars demands our respect. Our respect for the opinion of the scholar and those who follow that opinion.

The intention with which the image was created

The majority understands the warning issued by the Messenger, Peace be upon him, in the narration to refer to the one who created the image/idol with an intention of either worshiping the idol himself, or for the idol to be worshiped by others. Another interpretation suggested that it refers to onwe who creates an image with an intention of competing with Allah in His creation. Both instances are cases of disbelief, and the action would therefore remove the person from the fold.

If however, the image-maker did not create the three or two dimensional image with an intention of worship, or to compete with Allah in His creation, then he is merely considered sinful in the first instance according to Khattabi, and in both instances according to others.

Thus it is clear, that the artist who created sculptures for the sake of art – not for worship or competing with Allah in His creation, is not out of the fold of Islam. He may be sinful, but this does not mean that we should not pray salah upon him when he dies, or bury him in the graveyard of the believers. Had this been the case, we should not be praying upon or burying in the Muslim graveyards, most Muslims on the face of the earth, who all engage regularly in the disobedience of Allah.

May Allah protect us all from sin, make us from those who are close to Him, and grant us all beautiful endings, Amin.

And Allah knows best.
Abdurragmaan Khan

p.s. image-making in the above answer refers to images of creation bearing souls, such as animals and human beings.

Wassalam
[Shaykh] Abdurragmaan Khan


Shaykh Abdurragmaan
received ijazah ’ammah from various luminaries, including but not restricted to: Habib Umar ibn Hafiz—a personality who affected him greatly and who has changed his relationship with Allah, Maulana Yusuf Karaan—the former Mufti of Cape Town; Habib ‘Ali al-Mashhur—the current Mufti of Tarim; Habib ‘Umar al-Jaylani—the Shafi‘i Mufti of Makkah; Sayyid Ahmad bin Abi Bakr al-Hibshi; Habib Kadhim as-Saqqaf; Shaykh Mahmud Sa’id Mamduh; Maulana Abdul Hafiz al-Makki; Shaykh Ala ad-Din al-Afghani; Maulana Fazlur Rahman al-Azami and Shaykh Yahya al-Gawthani amongst others.

Getting Married During the Month of Rabi al Awal.

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad

Question: Assalamu alaykum

Is it allowed in Islam to get married in the month of Rabi ul awal?

Answer:

Assalamu alaykum,

There is no sin or dislike in getting married during any time of the month of Rabi`ul-Awwal.

May Allah reward you and your family with the best of both worlds.

Wassalam,
[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafseer and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterwards, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic and other sciences. She recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.

Giving Zakat to an Adult Son.

Answered by Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan

Question: Assalam alaykum,

I have only one child who is in an adult.

Due some personal issues he faced he is in huge debts. His income exceeds his monthly expenses which further increases his debts and he I am afraid he is suffering from major depression as a result.

Am I allowed to pay Zakat for him?

Answer: Wa alaykum al-Salam

Thank you for your question.

You are correct that your adult son who enjoys his own income is not your dependent by agreement of the scholars. In addition, the fact that he is your son does not disqualify him from receiving zakah from you. Consequently, it would be permissible for you to pay from your Zakah to your son so that he may settle his debt.

قال النووي في المجموع 6/223 : (وأما إذا كان الولد أو الوالد فقيراً أو مسكيناً وقلنا في بعض الأحوال لا تجب نفقته فيجوز لوالده وولده دفع الزكاة إليه من سهم الفقراء والمساكين بلا خلاف؛ لأنه حينئذٍ كالأجنبي). انتهى

In his Majmu, Imam Nawawi said, “If the son or father is poor, and the circumstance is such that nafaqah (maintenance) is not compulsory upon the father or son respectively, then it would be permitted for one to pay his zakah – from the share of the poor or needy – to the other by agreement.

And Allah knows best

Wassalam
[Shaykh] Abdurragmaan Khan

Shaykh Abdurragmaan
received ijazah ’ammah from various luminaries, including but not restricted to: Habib Umar ibn Hafiz—a personality who affected him greatly and who has changed his relationship with Allah, Maulana Yusuf Karaan—the former Mufti of Cape Town; Habib ‘Ali al-Mashhur—the current Mufti of Tarim; Habib ‘Umar al-Jaylani—the Shafi‘i Mufti of Makkah; Sayyid Ahmad bin Abi Bakr al-Hibshi; Habib Kadhim as-Saqqaf; Shaykh Mahmud Sa’id Mamduh; Maulana Abdul Hafiz al-Makki; Shaykh Ala ad-Din al-Afghani; Maulana Fazlur Rahman al-Azami and Shaykh Yahya al-Gawthani amongst others.

Do I Have to Obey My Husband in Everything?

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad

Question: Assalamu alaykum

I met an Imam about my bad marriage. He said paradise lies at the foot of the husband and that I must obey him in everything because men are caretakers of women. However, what if he is mistreating the wife, emotionally abusing her, and not fully supporting her financially when able? What if she works full-time and feeds and clothes herself? Does he still have a right to be obeyed? Why is a man’s behavior towards his wife barely discussed, but paradise is still at his feet? This is like slavery. Can he command me to do things such as cooking, cleaning, which are not obligatory in Shafi’i madhab? Can he order me to hop on one foot for an hour? Do we have to obey them only concerning his rights or is it a blanket statement?

Answer: Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. I am sorry that you are experiencing problems with your husband, this can cause a lot of frustration and unhappiness. All of this can be rectified with the help of Allah and you asking for sincere guidance on the topic.

Your answer is found here in the following link: Is It Sinful to Disobey to One’s Husband?

In short, obedience to the husband regarding permissible actions is obligatory, whether he is supporting her fully or not. [see link above] A marriage is built on the premise of love, mercy, understanding and aiming to please Allah. Harmony, peace, and aligning yourselves in your relationship is key.

Although this may be difficult to digest, taking the first step to a marriage’s harmony is usually done by the wife. A woman has enough patience, wisdom, sweetness, and smarts to completely change a man.

A marriage should never be about the black and white rules of obedience. These rules should only be brought up when a couple is unable to get along. Then the shari`ah is called upon to settle a dispute between them. Generally speaking, if a woman is kind to her husband and does obey him, he will move mountains for her.

Please take a course on marriage together: Keys to Successful Muslim Marriages: Practical lessons that explain the Prophetic Spirit of Marriage
Marriage in Islam: Practical Guidance for Successful Marriage

See these answers about marriage:
Love, Marriage and Relationships in Islam: All Your Questions Answered

And these articles will answer some of your questions as well:

Obedience to the Husband in Mustahab and Makruh Acts

I’m Fearful That Islam Is Causing My Depression. What Can I Do?

Wassalam,
[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafseer and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterwards, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic and other sciences. She recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.

Are Good Deeds Unaccepted If You Don’t Wear Hijab?

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad

Question: Assalamu alaykum

I have been struggling with my OCD regarding religion. Alhamdulillah, I am almost recovered completely. However, one question that is taking a toll on me is whether Allah loves me because I do not wear the hijab. This question has made me want to forget everything I have accomplished in my religion because I feel unworthy for not covering my hair. I have stopped wearing skirts and bikinis. I hope to wear the hijab one day. Are any of my good deeds accepted despite not wearing a hijab?

Answer: Assalamu alaykum sister,

Thank you for your question. Allah, Most High, says in His book, “Say, ‘If you love God, follow me, and God will love you and forgive you your sins; God is most forgiving, most merciful.’“ [Qur`an, 3:31]

Also, in a hadith Qudsi, it has been related that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and give him peace, said, “Allah, the Almighty, and Sublime, said, ‘Whosoever shows enmity to someone devoted to Me, I shall be at war with him. My servant draws not near to Me with anything more loved by Me than the religious duties I have enjoined upon him, and My servant continues to draw near to Me with supererogatory works so that I shall love him. When I love him I am his hearing with which he hears, his seeing with which he sees, his hand with which he strikes and his foot with which he walks. Were he to ask [something] of Me, I would surely give it to him and were he to ask Me for refuge, I would surely grant him it. I do not hesitate about anything as much as I hesitate about [seizing] the soul of My faithful servant: he hates death and I hate hurting him.‘“ [Bukhari]

Allah’s Messenger, may Allah bless him and give him peace, said, “If Allah loves a person, He calls Gabriel, saying, ‘Allah loves so and so, O Gabriel love him‘. So Gabriel would love him and then would make an announcement in the Heavens, ‘Allah has loved so and so, therefore, you should love him also.‘ So all the dwellers of the Heavens would love him, and then he is granted the pleasure of the people on the earth.“ [Bukhari]

As you can see from the above, Allah, Most High, loves his servants if they take steps towards Him and follow the way of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and give him peace. Allah even declares war on the person who is at enmity with the one He loves!

You have done an outstanding job by putting away your skirts and bikinis and I am positive that you will be rewarded for it. Every single good deed counts unconditionally and if done for the sake of Allah, it will serve you for all eternity in sha Allah. It seems to me that your effort to change is a clear sign in itself that Allah loves you. If Allah has deemed you worthy to be Muslim, trust Him and thank Him for it.

Keep up your good work, don’t ever despair, keep up your good intention to wear hijab and always seek to improve yourself, your knowledge and your application of it. Ask Allah to guide and strengthen you every step of the way.

Wassalam,
[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafseer and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterwards, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic and other sciences. She recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.

Du’as and Disbelief

Answered by Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan

Question: Assalam alaykum,

During wudu, time for prayer was running out and I kept getting whispers concerning if I’ve washed a part properly and such. I said “ oh Allah, don’t let shaytan win”. Now this was entailed to me obliviously. Is this kufr?

Answer: Wa alaykum al-Salam

Shukran for your question

The prayer you made in no way denotes disbelief. Shaytan is our enemy. Allah said this clearly in the Quran. Accordingly, he is determined to lead us astray and wishes for our destruction. Asking Allah not to let him win or overpower us is a good prayer. O Allah grant us victory of shaytan and his armies.

That being said, waswasah is something that should not be ignored. You have to address it and work towards its removal. Please read this answer and implement the advices.

May Allah guide and protect us all, Amin.

Wassalam
[Shaykh] Abdurragmaan Khan

Shaykh Abdurragmaan
received ijazah ’ammah from various luminaries, including but not restricted to: Habib Umar ibn Hafiz—a personality who affected him greatly and who has changed his relationship with Allah, Maulana Yusuf Karaan—the former Mufti of Cape Town; Habib ‘Ali al-Mashhur—the current Mufti of Tarim; Habib ‘Umar al-Jaylani—the Shafi‘i Mufti of Makkah; Sayyid Ahmad bin Abi Bakr al-Hibshi; Habib Kadhim as-Saqqaf; Shaykh Mahmud Sa’id Mamduh; Maulana Abdul Hafiz al-Makki; Shaykh Ala ad-Din al-Afghani; Maulana Fazlur Rahman al-Azami and Shaykh Yahya al-Gawthani amongst others.

Learning Hijama (Cupping)

Answered by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Question: Assalamu alaykum

I wana to learn how to perform islamic hijama cupping for its a sunna
of the prophet Muhammed, Allah bless him and give him peace, and it’s the best among the cures. I want to revive this sunnah please help me. How to get hijama online learning?

Answer: Wa ‘alaykum as-salam wa rahmatullah wa baraktuh.

I pray you are well.

I’m sure you can find a reputable institute online who will teach you the proper method and practice of cupping. I don’t know of any institute that I can recommend. It’s probably a good idea to look for one that has some official body approving it, so you know what you learn is authentic.

Your intention of reviving a sunna is very noble. There is a narration from the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, which – despite its weakness – provides great motivation and hope for such acts: “Whoever revives my sunna loves me; and whoever loves me will be with me in the Garden.” (Tirmidhi).

May Allah grant us all that honour. Amin

Wassalam,
[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. After graduating with a degree in English and History he moved to Damascus in 2007 to study and sit at the feet of some of the most erudite scholars of our time.

Over the following eighteen months he studied a traditional curriculum, studying with scholars such as Shaykh Adnan Darwish, Shaykh Abdurrahman Arjan, Shaykh Hussain Darwish and Shaykh Muhammad Darwish.

In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years, in Fiqh, Usul al-Fiqh, Theology, Hadith Methodology and Commentary, Shama’il, and Logic with teachers such as Dr Ashraf Muneeb, Dr Salah Abu’l-Hajj, Dr Hamza al-Bakri, Shaykh Ahmad Hasanat, Dr Mansur Abu Zina amongst others. He was also given two licences of mastery in the science of Qur’anic recital by Shakh Samir Jabr and Shaykh Yahya Qandil.

His true passion, however, arose in the presence of Shaykh Ali Hani, considered by many to be one of the foremost tafsir scholars of our time who provided him with the keys to the vast knowledge of the Quran. With Shaykh Ali, he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Qur’anic Sciences, Tafsir, Arabic Grammar, and Rhetoric.

When he finally left Jordan for the UK in 2014, Shaykh Ali gave him his distinct blessing and still recommends students in the UK to seek out Shaykh Abdul-Rahim for Quranic studies. Since his return he has trained as a therapist and has helped a number of people overcome emotional and psychosomatic issues. He is a keen promoter of emotional and mental health.

Does the Prophet Know the Unseen?

Answered by Shaykh Farid Dingle

Question: Assalamu alaykum

Does the Prophet know the unseen (Allah bless him and grant him peace)? Could you please explain the hadith of Aisha (Allah be well-pleased with her) ‘Whoever says that he knows what happens tomorrow is mistaken.’? (Bukhari)

Answer: Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

Dear questioner,

This question might seen complex but it is in fact very simple.

Allah knows things innately, and therefore knows everything. Created beings do not know things innately, so they can only know what Allah causes them to know. A prophet is caused to know things by conventional means (like the five senses and deduction) and by revelation.

Whatever Allah chose to cause the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) to know, he knows; and whatever He chose to keep from him, He kept from him. The exact details are not a point of creed, but can be gleamed from various hadith.

Fuller Answer

What is it to know the “unseen”?

The unseen is term for things that we can only know through revelation. Knowledge of the unseen has been defined as ‘that which was unperceivable by the senses, and that which is neither known a fortiori or known by inference.’ (al-Nibras, Farhari)

Since the knowledge given to the prophets from Allah is either by revelation (which is like a fortiori knowledge with respect to them) or by exposing their senses to things that others can’t see or hear, whatever they know is not as such “knowing the unseen”. (al-Nibras, Farhari)

Who is shown the “unseen”?

Allah Most High says, ‘[He is] Knower of the unseen, and He does not disclose His [knowledge of the] unseen to anyone except whom He has approved of messengers.’ (Qur’an, 72:26-7)

These verses tell us that Allah gives special knowledge to his prophets and messengers (upon whom be blessings and peace). (Tafsir al-Tabari)

It is also possible that Allah give certain knowledge to a righteous Muslim by way of miracle. (Sharh al-Aqaid, Taftazani; Fatawa Shihab al-Ramli)

An example of this is when Sayyidna Umar saw in a dream the battle ground of his troops during a campaign in the Conquest of Persia and was able to tell them from Medina to stay next to the mountain in order to force the Persians to attach from one particular direction. (Tarikh al-Umam wa al-Muluk, Tabari)

According to Sunni Islam, what exactly does the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) know?

As mentioned before, as long as we understand that Allah knows things innately while His creatures merely learn or are caused to know things, the fine line between Creator and created, between tahwid and shirk is decisively drawn. Thereafter, whatever Allah chooses to have any of His creation know is not of creedal concern.

There are certain hadiths wherein the Sahaba mentioned that the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) ‘didn’t leave a bird in the sky save that he mentioned some knowledge concerning it.’ (Ahmad and Tabarani) Others mention that he mentioned ‘everything that would come to pass up until the Day of Rising.’ (Tirmidhi)

Imam al-Busiri is famous for the line ‘And of his knowledge is the knowledge of Tablet and the Pen.’

Commenting upon this, Ibn Hajar al-Haytami says, ‘[This] is because Allah Most High showed him everything in the Tablet on the Night of Ascension, and gave him knowledge of other things too.’ (al-Umda fi Sharh al-Burda, Ibn Hajar al-Haytami)

Knowing everything in the Tablet is something in principle possible for a normal human being, as explained by Imam al-Ghazali. (Qanun al-Tawil, Ghazali) Whether or not is has happened, or will happen, is not a point of creed.

Conclusion

The essential difference between our knowledge and Allah’s knowledge is that His is innate, while our knowledge is caused by His will and power.

Allah gives knowledge to certain individual of His creation by different means. However much knowledge Allah chooses to give a particular individual is not of major concern. It is like trying to pinpoint exactly how much happiness/wealth/health Allah will give any given person in Paradise.

I pray this helps.

Wassalam,
[Shaykh] Farid Dingle

Shaykh Farid Dingle grew up in a convert family in Herefordshire, UK. In 2007, he moved to Jordan to pursue traditional studies. Shaykh Farid continues to live in Amman, Jordan with his wife and kids. In addition to continuing his studies he teaches Arabic and several of the Islamic sciences.

Shaykh Farid began his journey in sacred knowledge with intensives in the UK and Jordan (2004) in Shafi’i fiqh and Arabic. After years of studying Arabic grammar, Shafi’i fiqh, hadith, legal methodology (usul al-fiqh) and tafsir, Sh. Farid began specializing in Arabic language and literature. Sh. Farid studied Pre-Islamic poetry, Umayyad, Abbasid, Fatimid, and Andalusian literature. He holds a BA in Arabic Language and Literature and continues exploring the language of the Islamic tradition.

In addition to his interest in the Arabic language Shaykh Farid actively researches matters related to jurisprudence (fiqh) which he studied with Shaykh Hamza Karamali, Shaykh Ahmad Hasanat, and continues with Shaykh Amjad Rasheed. 

My Brother Refuses to Support his Parents

Answered by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Question: Assalamu alaykum

Can you advise me with regards to a situation and the Islamic perspective please? My brother has migrated into another country and keeps refusing to support his parents but seeks their assistance whenever it suits his motives.

I believe they were quite supportive of him and feel all the burdens on my shoulders. How can I approach this problem, it’s not even the physical needs of my parents but the emotional ones that bothers the most.

Answer: Wa ‘alaykum assalam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh.

I pray you are well.

You’re in a very difficult situation. There’s nothing you can do to make your brother help, nor should you try to be forceful in your approach. Helping in a time of need is something which stems from care and concern, but life and relationships are sometimes very complicated.

Don’t Expect Anything

You know your brother, and you know what to expect from him. If he hasn’t helped in the past, the chances are that he will probably stay that way. For your own peace of mind, don’t expect to receive anything from him.

If he does want to get involved, then, by all means, let him. You should not expect anything from him. Doing so will save you from the feeling of being let down when he doesn’t turn up.

Is this fair on you? Probably not. But if he’s not getting involved then you can’t really force him to. Sometimes, Allah makes other people a test for us in our lives to see our reaction. “We have made some of you a difficult tribulation for others of you. Will you be patient?” (Qur’an; 25:20)

Whatever you endure, you’ll be rewarded and compensated fro many times over. Allah is too generous not to reward you abundantly.

Have Empathy

Look at your brother. I don’t know the exact situation, but I’m guessing that there is some experience which has affected him some way. How was his relationship with your family members growing you? How was he with your father?

Many a time, our experiences affect our behaviours. Perhaps he went through something which is making it difficult to engage with your family now. Allah knows.

Give him the benefit of the doubt. If he has a legitimate excuse, Allah knows it. Otherwise, you’ll be gaining from what is literally a windfall. Your service of you father may just end up the means which guarantees you Paradise without any prior punishment of judgement. Would that not be worth it?

Communicate with Him

I think you should try and speak to your bother. Not about his conduct, but about why he feels he needs to be distant. Express what you feel, and how it is affecting you. Listen to how he feels, and how being involved would affect him.

Perhaps you will see each others perspectives, and that may become a bride to clearing matters for you all.

May Allah unite your heats in the best of ways.

Wassalam,
[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. After graduating with a degree in English and History he moved to Damascus in 2007 to study and sit at the feet of some of the most erudite scholars of our time.

Over the following eighteen months he studied a traditional curriculum, studying with scholars such as Shaykh Adnan Darwish, Shaykh Abdurrahman Arjan, Shaykh Hussain Darwish and Shaykh Muhammad Darwish.

In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years, in Fiqh, Usul al-Fiqh, Theology, Hadith Methodology and Commentary, Shama’il, and Logic with teachers such as Dr Ashraf Muneeb, Dr Salah Abu’l-Hajj, Dr Hamza al-Bakri, Shaykh Ahmad Hasanat, Dr Mansur Abu Zina amongst others. He was also given two licences of mastery in the science of Qur’anic recital by Shakh Samir Jabr and Shaykh Yahya Qandil.

His true passion, however, arose in the presence of Shaykh Ali Hani, considered by many to be one of the foremost tafsir scholars of our time who provided him with the keys to the vast knowledge of the Quran. With Shaykh Ali, he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Qur’anic Sciences, Tafsir, Arabic Grammar, and Rhetoric.

When he finally left Jordan for the UK in 2014, Shaykh Ali gave him his distinct blessing and still recommends students in the UK to seek out Shaykh Abdul-Rahim for Quranic studies. Since his return he has trained as a therapist and has helped a number of people overcome emotional and psychosomatic issues. He is a keen promoter of emotional and mental health.

Duas and Suras to be Read in the Night Prayer

Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch

Question: Assalamu alaykum

What are some recommended duas and suras to be read in the Night Prayer?

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 stand for the night prayer,

اللَّهُمَّ لَكَ الحَمْدُ أَنْتَ قَيِّمُ السَّمَوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ وَمَنْ فِيهِنَّ، وَلَكَ الحَمْدُ لَكَ مُلْكُ السَّمَوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ وَمَنْ فِيهِنَّ، وَلَكَ الحَمْدُ أَنْتَ نُورُ السَّمَوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِوَمَنْ فِيهِنَّ، وَلَكَ الحَمْدُ أَنْتَ مَلِكُ السَّمَوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ، وَلَكَ الحَمْدُ أَنْتَ الحَقُّ وَوَعْدُكَ الحَقُّ، وَلِقَاؤُكَ حَقٌّ، وَقَوْلُكَ حَقٌّ، وَالجَنَّةُ حَقٌّ، وَالنَّارُ حَقٌّ،وَالنَّبِيُّونَ حَقٌّ، وَمُحَمَّدٌ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ حَقٌّ، وَالسَّاعَةُ حَقٌّ، اللَّهُمَّ لَكَ أَسْلَمْتُ، وَبِكَ آمَنْتُ، وَعَلَيْكَ تَوَكَّلْتُ، وَإِلَيْكَ أَنَبْتُ، وَبِكَ خَاصَمْتُ، وَإِلَيْكَحَاكَمْتُ، فَاغْفِرْ لِي مَا قَدَّمْتُ وَمَا أَخَّرْتُ، وَمَا أَسْرَرْتُ وَمَا أَعْلَنْتُ، أَنْتَ المُقَدِّمُ، وَأَنْتَ المُؤَخِّرُ، لاَ إِلَهَ إِلَّا أَنْتَ – أَوْ: لاَ إِلَهَ غَيْرُكَ

‘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 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. In You do I believe. Upon You do I rely. 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:

لاَ إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللَّهُ وَحْدَهُ لاَ شَرِيكَ لَهُ، لَهُ المُلْكُ وَلَهُ الحَمْدُ، وَهُوَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ، الحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ، وَسُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ، وَلاَ إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللَّهُ، وَاللَّهُ أَكْبَرُ، وَلاَ حَوْلَ وَلاَ قُوَّةَإِلَّا بِاللَّهِ

“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 the absolutely great. And there is no strength nor might except by Allah.”

Then says:

اللَّهُمَّ اغْفِرْ لِي

“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 past. 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 till 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
Allahu A’alam

Wassalam,
[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch

Shaykh Yusuf Weltch is a graduate from Tarim; student of Habib Umar and other luminaries; and authorized teachers of Qur’an and the Islamic sciences.