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Posts tagged ‘night prayer’

4
Jul

“Fasting doesn’t make you weak.”

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

Recently, I attended a dawah course.

The teacher was talking about the things that the daee (caller to Islam) needs to do in order to strengthen themselves for the great task ahead i.e. calling people to Islam.

He mentioned quite a few things including qiyam al-layl (the night prayer). [For those who don’t understand how that could help, please read the explanation of Surah Al-Muzzammil.]

One of the things that he also mentioned was fasting. And he said something that really struck me:

[I’m quoting from memory.]

“Fasting doesn’t make you weak. It gives you strength.”

That’s what many of us think, isn’t it? We think that fasting tires us out (which is probably why we are so unproductive in Ramadan).

However, as the brother, may Allah reward him greatly, pointed out, it doesn’t tire us out, it actually does the exact opposite.

One of the main acts of worship of the Prophet (salallahu alaihi wasallam) and the Prophets (alaihimissalam) before him, and their companions (radiallahu anhum) was fasting.

Be honest: When you read their stories, do they seem like tired people or more like energizer bunnies*?

[*I hope you understand where I’m coming from. In our time, the energizer bunny is the epitome of the thing which just keeps going on and on.]

I get exhausted just reading their stories because…they were so active. They did more in one day than most of us do in a year.

There’s an ayah (verse) in the Quran that (for me) summarises why they were so full of life:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اسْتَجِيبُوا لِلَّـهِ وَلِلرَّسُولِ إِذَا دَعَاكُمْ لِمَا يُحْيِيكُمْ

O you who believe! Answer Allah (by obeying Him) and (His) Messenger when he (salallahu alaihi wasallam) calls you to that which will give you life.” [Surah Al-Anfal (8) : 24]

The commentators point out that the life means 1) the life of the heart and the soul and 2) the eternal life (i.e. Paradise).

Now, you might say: “Wait, I thought you were talking about physical energy? The ayah talks about spiritual energy.”

Well, I don’t think that there’s any contradicition because:

1) When we get re-energised spiritually, we also feel physically refreshed.

There were many times in my life when I went to a hifdh (Quran memorisation) class, or an Islamic lecture, completely exhausted. I was so tired at the beginning of the class.

By the end? I felt like a spring chicken. It’s amazing. Because I felt spiritually recharged, I also felt physically recharged.

I think that many of you would also have gone through similar situations.

2) If we answer Allah’s call i.e. apply the Shariah, we WILL be physically fit.

Why? Well, because it calls us to pay attention to our bodies and also because acts of worship like fasting and the night prayer (the two main acts of worship in Ramadan) are not just good for spiritual health, they are known to be good for physical health as well.

3) If we want to get the eternal life, we need to start working.

That alone is enough to turn one into an energizer bunny.

4) Good only results in more good.

If we obey Allah in one aspect, that will only result in more good. How can one fast (do something good) and expect that to lead to a bad thing (exhaustion)? No, that can’t be, because good only results in more good, so that exhaustion is not coming from the fasting.

So, if we understand these points, we’ll be able to understand how the earlier generations were so full of life.

Now, what am I trying to say?

Well, every Ramadan, we all complain how we are also so tired due to fasting in the morning and praying at night.

Those acts cannot be tiring us out because they are the ones giving us life and energy so there has to be something else draining our energy.

Perhaps it’s our negative attitude? Allah knows Better.

Either way, we need to change our perspective and approach both of these acts (and the whole Shariah in general) in a better manner.

Perhaps after we do that, we’ll see a different (and better) Ramadan this year, insha-Allah, hopefully one where we’ll all be full of life.

18
Feb

How to enter Paradise in tranquility…

Assalamu Alaikum.

How, you ask?

Here’s how:

لما قدم رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم المدينة انجفل الناس إليه وقيل قدم رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قدم رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قدم رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فجئت في الناس لأنظر إليه فلما استثبت وجه رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم عرفت أن وجهه ليس بوجه كذاب وكان أول شيء تكلم به أن قال أيها الناس أفشوا السلام ، وأطعموا الطعام ، وصلوا والناس نيام ، تدخلوا الجنة بسلام

Abdullah ibn Salam (radiallahu anhu) said: “When the Messenger of Allah (salallahu alaihi wasallam) arrived – meaning in Al-Madinah – the people came out to meet him. It was said that the Messenger of Allah (salallahu alaihi wasallam) had arrived, so I went among the people to get a look at him. When I gazed upon the face of the Messenger of Allah (salallahu alaihi wasallam), I knew that this face was not the face of a liar.

The first thing that he spoke about was that he said: “O people! Spread the salaam (greetings of peace), feed others and pray (at night) while the people are sleeping. You will enter Paradise in tranquility.*”” [Sunan At-Tirmidhi, Hadeeth No. 2485. Graded “saheeh” by Al-Albani in Saheeh Sunan At-Tirmidhi, Hadeeth No. 2485.]

[*The word mentioned is “bi-salaam” which means with salaam. It could mean with the greetings of peace or in tranquility.]

Another narration states:

يا أيها الناس أفشوا السلام وأطعموا الطعام وصلوا بالليل والناس نيام تدخلوا الجنة بسلام

“O people! Spread the salaam, feed others, uphold the ties of kinship, and pray at night when people are sleeping. You will enter Paradise in tranquility.” [Sunan Ibn Majah, Hadeeth No. 3251. Graded “saheeh” by Al-Albani in Saheeh Sunan Ibn Majah, Hadeeth No. 3251.]

So, we need to do four things, insha-Allah:

1) Spread the salaam – And this is not just to those we know!

2) Feed others – This includes the poor and one’s guests.

3) Uphold ties of kinship

4) Pray at night

Yes, I know. It’s easier said than done but we can all give it a shot, can’t we?

12
Aug

Article: The Superiority of the Night (Tahajjud) Prayer in Increasing Iman

Assalamu Alaikum.

Yes, the Month of Night Prayer is here.

However, is it the only month where we’re supposed to pray at night?

Short answer: No.

Ramadan helps to train us pray the night prayer so that we can continue for the rest of the year.

So, here’s an article (from one of my favourite authors) to help us understand the importance of this prayer: The Superiority of the Night (Tahajjud) Prayer in Increasing Iman by Shaikh Hussain Al-Awaaishah.

9
Aug

Article: The Night Prayer During Ramadan

Assalamu Alaikum.

Here’s another article on the Taraweeh / Qiyaam al-Layl in Ramadan by Shaikh Muhammad Saalih Al-Munajjid. He’s answered some of the common questions. Quite nice indeed.

[Sorry about those question mark thingies in the article. The original article was like that.]

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http://www.islamqa.com/en/ref/books/47

Night Prayer during Ramadhan
(Al-Qiyaam or Taraweeh)

Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: �The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to encourage us to pray at night in Ramadaan, without making it obligatory. Then he said, �Whoever prays at night in Ramadaan out of faith and the hope of reward, all his previous sins will be forgiven.� When the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) died, this is how things were (i.e., Taraaweeh was not prayed in congregation), and this is how they remained during the khilaafah of Abu Bakr (may Allaah be pleased with him), until the beginning of the khilaafah of �Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him).�

�Amr ibn Murrah al-Juhani said: �A man from Qudaa�ah came to the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and said, �O Messenger of Allaah! What do you think if I testify that there is no god except Allaah, and that you, Muhammad, are His Messenger, and I pray the five daily prayers, and fast in the month (of Ramadaan), and pray at night in Ramadaan, and pay zakaah?� The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: �Whoever dies on that will be among the siddeeqeen (those who tell the truth) and the martyrs.��

Laylat al-Qadr and its timing

2 � The best of its nights is Laylat al-Qadr, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: �Whoever prays at night during Laylat al-Qadr {and manages to �catch� it} out of faith and the hope of reward, all his previous sins will be forgiven.�

3 � According to the most correct opinion, it is the twenty-seventh night of Ramadaan. Most of the ahaadeeth state this, such as the hadeeth of Zurr ibn Hubaysh, who said: �I heard Ubayy ibn Ka�b saying � and it was said to him that �Abd-Allaah ibn Mas�ood said: �Whoever follows the Sunnah will �catch� Laylat al-Qadr!� � Ubayy (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: �May Allaah have mercy on him, he did not want people to take it for granted and only stay up to pray on one night. By the One besides Whom there is no other god, it is in Ramadaan � he was swearing without a doubt � and by Allaah, I do know which night it is. It is the night in which the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) commanded us to pray (qiyaam). It is the night the morning of which is the twenty seventh, and the sign of it is that the sun rises on that morning white and without rays.��

In another report, this was attributed to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).

(Reported by Muslim and others).

Read more »

7
Aug

Book: The Night Prayer in Ramadan

Assalamu Alaikum.

Ramadan isn’t just about fasting. That’s just for the daytime. Allah has ordained another act of worship for the night: the Taraweeh prayer.

Shaikh Al-Albani (rahimahullah) wrote a book on Taraweeh and then prepared an abridgment. Here’s the translation of that abridgment: The Night Prayer in Ramadan.

He talks about the different ways of doing Taraweeh*. He also has a discussion on Laylatul Qadr** and itikaaf.

[*Just a note: According to most of the scholars, it is permitted to pray more than 8 rakaahs in taraweeh / qiyam al layl. I personally prefer the 8+3 approach but it is permitted to do more.]

[**Shaikh Al-Albani prefers the opinion that it is only on the 27th. Many of the other scholars said that it changes. The latter seems to be a stronger opinion when we see that there are ahadeeth which show that Laylatul Qadr came on the 21st and the 23rd nights in the Prophet’s (salallahu alaihi wasallam) time. Allahu Alam.]

13
Jul

LECTURE SERIES: QIYAMUL LAYL (THE NIGHT PRAYER)

Assalamu Alaikum.

Qiyamul layl is the night prayer. It is not confined to Ramadan as some mistakenly believe. In Ramadan though, we obviously do pray more than in the other months.

Here’s a nice video series by Brother Abu Taubah where he explains Brother Muhammad Jibaly’s book “Qiyaaul Layl”:

[Note: Regarding the issue of taraweeh being 8 or 20 rakaahs, I believe that this series takes the 8 rakaah side, if I’m not mistaken and that’s fine. However, there are also many scholars that permitted praying more than 8, saying that the Prophet (salallahu alaihi wasallam) left it open. Some scholars would even pray 100 rakaahs at night!

Also, the reason the early scholars would pray more than 8 is so that there would be more sajdahs and rukoos. Also, this way the older people would stand less. They didn’t do it so that we could pray a REALLY short 8 rakaah taraweeh in order to go shopping. (I used to do that before and I know that many people still do this!)]