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Knowing Allah
  
  

Under category All about Ramadan
Creation date 2010-08-28 18:54:16
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allaah the almighty commended the believers who perform voluntary prayers at night and consider the night a riding mount to paradise. allaah the almighty says (what means):

 

{they arise from [their] beds; they supplicate their lord in fear and aspiration, and from what we have provided them, they spend.}

[quran 32:16] the prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said:

*"whoever performs voluntary prayers during the night of ramadhaan with faith and in hope of a reward from allaah, his past sins will be forgiven."

[al-bukhaari and muslim]

*"whoever performs voluntary prayers on the night of al-qadr with faith and in hope of a reward from allaah, his past sins will be forgiven."

[al-bukhaari and muslim]

 *"when the last ten days of ramadhaan came, the prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, used to perform prayers during the whole night, awaken his family, and avoid intercourse with his wives."

[al-bukhaari and muslim]

 

there are many things that one can do to help oneself perform voluntary prayers at night. shaykh muhammad saalih al-munajjid, a saudi scholar, states them as follows:

 

offering acts of worship with full sincerity to allaah the almighty, as he has commanded us to dedicate all our deeds to him alone.

allaah the almighty says (what means):

 

{and they were not commanded except to worship allaah, [being] sincere to him in religion.} [quran 98:5] the more sincere a person is towards allaah the almighty, the more he will be guided and helped to obey and draw closer to him. it was narrated on the authority of ubayy ibn ka’b, may allaah be pleased with him, that the prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: "give glad tidings to this ummah (muslim nation) of attaining splendor, religion, high rank, victory and establishment on earth. whoever does the deeds of the hereafter to gain some worldly benefit, will have no share in the hereafter."

[ahmad]

mutarrif ibn ‘abdullaah ibn ash-shikhkheer, may allaah have mercy upon him, said, "the soundness of a deed is related to the soundness of the heart, and the soundness of the heart is related to the soundness of the intention." ibn al-qayyim, may allaah have mercy upon him, said, "the degree to which a person is helped and aided by allaah depends on the degree of his intention, drive, aim and hopes. help from allaah comes to people in proportion to their drive, intention, hopes in allaah and fear of him, and failure comes to them in proportion to the same things." therefore the righteous predecessors were very keen to conceal their acts of worship such as performing voluntary prayers at night.

a man asked tameem ibn aws ad-daari, may allaah be pleased with him, "how do you pray at night?" he got very angry and said, "by allaah, one rak’ah (unit) that i pray in secret in the few hours of the night is more beloved to me than praying the whole night long and then telling people about it." ayyoob as-sikhtiyaani used to spend the entire night in prayer, then when dawn approached, he would go back to bed and lie down, and when dawn came, he would raise his voice as if he had just woken up.

the person who wants to perform voluntary prayers at night should realize that allaah the almighty is inviting him to this act. when the slave realizes that his master, who has no need of people’s worship, is inviting him to do this, he will definitely respond. allaah the almighty says (what means):

 

{o you who wraps himself [in clothing]. arise [to pray] the night, except for a little -half of it - or subtract from it a little. or add to it, and recite the quran with measured recitation.}

[quran 73:1-4]

sa’d ibn hishaam ibn ‘aamir said to ‘aa’ishah, may allaah be pleased with her, "‘tell me how the messenger of allaah, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, performed voluntary prayers at night.’ she said, ‘have you not read: "yaa ayyuhal-muzzammil

 

{o you who wraps himself [in clothing]}?’ he said, ‘of course.’ she said, ‘allaah the almighty made performing voluntary prayers at night obligatory at the beginning of this surah, so the prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and his companions performed voluntary prayers at night for a year, and allaah withheld the end of this surah for twelve months, until he revealed something at the end of this surah to make things easier, so performing voluntary prayers at night became voluntary after it had been obligatory.’" [muslim]

knowing the virtues of performing voluntary prayers at night:

whoever knows the virtues of this act of worship will be keen to talk to allaah the almighty in private and to stand before him at that time. among the reports that describe the virtues of this act of worship is the hadeeth of abu hurayrah,may allaah be pleased with him, that the prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: "the best of prayers after the prescribed prayers is a prayer in the depths of the night, and the best of fasting after the month of ramadhaan is fasting the month of allaah, i.e. the month of muharram."

[muslim]

 it was narrated on the authority of ‘abdullaah ibn ‘amr, may allaah be pleased with him, that the prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said:

 

"the dearest prayers to allaah is the prayer of daawood (david) and the dearest forms of fasting to allaah is the fasting of daawood. he used to sleep half the night, then get up and pray a third of the night, then sleep a sixth of the night, and he used to fast every other day."

[al-bukhaari and muslim]

it was narrated on the authority of ‘amr ibn ‘abasah, may allaah be pleased with him, that the prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said:

 

"the closest the lord is to his slave is in the last part of the night, so if you can be one of those who remember allaah at that time, then do so."[at-tirmithi and an-nasaa’i] it was narrated on the authority of ibn mas’ood, may allaah be pleased with him, that the prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: "our lord admires two men: a man who leaves his mattress and cover, and slips away from his wife and desire, to go and pray. allaah says, ‘o my angels, look at my slave. he has left his mattress and cover and slipped away from his desire and wife to pray out of hope for what is with me and out of fear of what is with me."

[ahmad] [hasan]

performing voluntary prayers at night expels heedlessness from the heart, as stated in the hadeeth narrated by ‘abdullaah ibn ‘amr ibn al-‘aas, may allaah be pleased with him, that the prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said:

 

"whoever recites ten verses of the quran while performing voluntary prayers at night will not be recorded as one of the negligent. whoever recites a hundred verses while performing voluntary prayers at night will be recorded as one of the devoutly obedient to allaah, and whoever recites a thousand verses while performing voluntary prayers at night will be recorded as one of those who pile up good deeds."

[abu daawood and ibn hibbaan] [hasan]

yahya ibn mu’aath said,

"the medicine of the heart is five things: reciting the quran and pondering on its meanings, having an empty stomach, performing voluntary prayers at night, beseeching allaah in the early dawn, and keeping the company of righteous people."

studying how the righteous predecessors and righteous people practiced performing voluntary prayers at night and adhered to it

:

the righteous predecessors used to enjoy performing voluntary prayers at night and rejoice greatly in doing it. ‘abdullaah ibn wahb said, "every type of pleasure is enjoyed only once, except for acts of worship, which are enjoyed three times: when you do it, when you remember it, and when you are given the reward for it." muhammad ibn al-munkadir, may allaah have mercy upon him, said, "there is nothing left of the joys of this life except three: performing voluntary prayers at night, meeting one’s brothers in faith, and praying in congregation."

thaabit al-bunaani, may allaah have mercy upon him, said, "there is nothing i enjoy more than performing voluntary prayers at night." yazeed al-raqaashi, may allaah have mercy upon him, said, "a lot of voluntary prayers at night bring delight to the worshippers, and a lot of thirst (i.e., fasting) brings joy when they meet allaah." makhlad ibn husayn said, "whenever i woke up at night, i saw ibraaheem ibn ad-ham remembering allaah and praying, and this made me depressed (for not being so himself), so i consoled myself with this verse in which allaah the almighty says (what means):

 

{that is the bounty of allaah, which he gives to whom he wills, and allaah is the possessor of great bounty.}

[quran 62:4]"

 




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