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Litanies and Night Vigil: A Comprehensive SeekersHub Reader

09Litanies and night vigil form the 10th chapter of Imam Al-Ghazali’s seminal work, the Ihya, which is widely regarded as the greatest work on Islamic spirituality in the world.

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Can I Pray Tahajjud (Night Vigil) Before Going to Sleep?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam alaykum

Can one pray Tahajjud before going to sleep (after Isha)? Does it include the same reward of praying it after one wakes up in the night?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

It is an established sunna to pray at night.

The night vigil (tahajjud) is a specific form of night prayer (qiyam al-layl) which, linguistically, indicates some form of struggle.

Hence, your prayer is legally the night vigil prayer when performed after sleep, and merely night prayer, otherwise. Both are of great reward, but the former is the way of higher resolve, and the elect.

However, if you are unlikely to awaken at some point in the night, it is obviously far superior to pray before sleeping than to miss out on both as there is precedence in the sunna for this too.

Please also see: Tahajjud Prayer: How To Pray it, When to Pray It and Its Merits

Wassalam,
[Ustadh] Tabraze Azam

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Tabraze Azam holds a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Leicester, where he also served as the President of the Islamic Society. He memorised the entire Qur’an in his hometown of Ipswich at the tender age of sixteen, and has since studied the Islamic Sciences in traditional settings in the UK, Jordan and Turkey. He is currently pursuing advanced studies in Jordan, where he is presently based with his family.

Is It Valid to Pray Tahajjud (Night Vigil) Just Before Fajr Time Enters?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Will it be acceptable pray Tahajjud at 03:30 am if Fajr time enters at 03:53 am?

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

Yes, that would be acceptable.

Technically, night prayer (qiyam al-layl) is that which is prayed after `Isha and before Fajr. It is known specifically as the night vigil (tahajjud) when it is prayed after sleep.

Abu Hurayra (Allah be pleased with him) reports that the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him, his family, and companions) was asked, “What prayer is most virtuous, after the obligatory prayers?” He said, “Prayer in the depths of the night.” [Muslim, Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi, Nasa i, Ibn Majah]

[Shurunbulali, Imdad al-Fattah bi Sharh Nur al-Idah (439)]

Please also see: Tahajjud Prayer: How To Pray it, When to Pray It and Its Merits

And Allah Most High alone knows best.

wassalam,
[Ustadh] Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Tabraze Azam was born and raised in Ipswich, England, a quiet town close to the east coast of England. His journey for seeking sacred knowledge began when he privately memorized the entire Qur’an in his hometown at the age of 16. He also had his first experience in leading the tarawih (nightly-Ramadan) prayers at his local mosque. Year after year he would continue this unique return to reciting the entire Quran in one blessed month both in his homeland, the UK, and also in the blessed lands of Shaam, where he now lives, studies and teaches.

“Your Attempts to Reach Allah are His Attempts to Reach You”

BLF201

All night, a man called “Allah”
Until his lips were bleeding.

Then the Devil said, “Hey! Mr Gullible!
How come you’ve been calling all night
And never once heard Allah say, “Here, I am”?
You call out so earnestly and, in reply, what?
I’ll tell you what. Nothing!

The man suddenly felt empty and abandoned.
Depressed, he threw himself on the ground and fell into a deep sleep.
In a dream, he met Abraham, who asked,
“Why are you regretting praising Allah?”

The man said, “ I called and called,
But Allah never replied, “Here I am.”

Abraham explained, “Allah has said,
“Your calling my name is My reply.
Your longing for Me is My message to you.
All your attempts to reach Me
Are in reality My attempts to reach you.
Your fear and love are a noose to catch Me.
In the silence surrounding every call of “Allah”
Waits a thousand replies of “Here I am.”

~ Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi

 

Resources for Seekers:

The Reality of Dua and Turning to Allah
Bringing Certainty to the Heart: A Step-by-Step Guide

Can I Pray the Night Vigil (Tahajjud) Prayer Alone?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalamu aleykum,

How to pray the tahajjud prayer alone?

Can I follow a video of an imam performing tahajjud?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.

The night vigil (tahajjud) prayer is prayed alone, like all other voluntary prayers.

Start with something brief and manageable, and then increase to something longer in the future. It is better to be consistent with it than to pray it haphazardly, yet there is good in both.

Abd Allah ibn Salam (Allah be pleased with him) reports that the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him, his family, and companions) said, “O people! Spread the salams, feed others, maintain family ties, and pray at night when others sleep and you will enter Heaven safely.” [Tirmidhi, Hakim]

Please see: A Reader on Night Worship and the Night Vigil (tahajjud) and: Tahajjud Prayer: Description & Merits

And Allah alone gives success.

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

A Reader on Night Worship and the Night Vigil (tahajjud)

“… And my servant continues to draw closer to me by voluntary actions until I love him…”[Bukhari]

Tahajjud Prayer: Description & Merits
Abu Hurayra (Allah be pleased with him) reports that the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him, his family, and companions) said, “The best prayer after the obligatory prayers is the night prayer.” [Muslim]
The Virtues of Prayer at Night
In this lecture, Shaykh Faraz Rabbani discusses the virtues of praying at night.
Islamcast Recast: The Virtues of Witr at the End of the Night
In this lecture, Shaykh Faraz Rabbani discusses the virtues of Witr at the End of the Night. Jabir (Allah be pleased with him) relates that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Whoever fears not being able to pray at the end of the night should perform Witr at the beginning of the night. But whoever is avid to pray at the end of the night should perform Witr then, for prayer at the end of the night is witnessed-and this is more virtuous.” [Muslim, Tirmidhi]
The Fiqh of Voluntary (Nafl) Prayers
An exposition of the prayers not directly related to the obligatory prayers. They are ten.
Are Tarawih and Tahajjud Prayers Different or the Same? Are they both from the sunna of the Prophet?
A straightforward answer.