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Knowing Allah
  
  

Under category All about Ramadan
Creation date 2012-08-07 19:13:27
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Striving against oneself to perform voluntary prayers at night: This is one of the best means of helping oneself to perform voluntary prayers at night, because human nature is inclined towards wrongdoing, so the one who follows his own inclinations will be led to doom and destruction. Allaah The Almighty has commanded us to strive against our own selves. Allaah The Almighty Says (what means):

  • {And strive for Allaah with the striving due to Him.}[Quran 22:78]
  • {And those who strive for Us - We will surely guide them to Our ways. And indeed, Allaah is with the doers of good.} [Quran 29:69] 
  • {They arise from [their] beds; they supplicate their Lord in fear and aspiration.} [Quran 32:16]
It was narrated on the authority of Fadhaalah ibn ‘Ubayd  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him that the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), said: “The (true) Mujaahid is the one who strives against his own self for the sake of Allaah.” [At-Tirmithi and Ibn Hibbaan] It was narrated on the authority of ‘Uqbah ibn ‘Aamir  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him that the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), said: “When a man from my Ummah gets up to pray at night, striving against his own self to get up and purify himself, there are knots on him. When he washes his hands in ablution, one knot is undone. When he washes his face, another knot is undone. When he wipes his head another knot is undone. When he washes his feet, another knot is undone. Then Allaah Says to those who are behind the Veil, ‘Look at this slave of Mine, he is striving against his own self and asking Me. Whatever My slave asks of Me shall be his.’” [Ahmad and Ibn Hibbaan]
Muhammad ibn Al-Munkadir said, “I struggled against my own self for forty years until it became right.” Thaabit Al-Bunaani said, “I struggled for twenty years to make myself perform voluntary prayers at night, after which I enjoyed it (performing voluntary prayers at night) for another twenty years.” ‘Umar ibn ‘Abdul-‘Azeez said, “The best of deeds are those which we force ourselves to do.” ‘Abdullaah ibn Al-Mubaarak said, “The souls of righteous people in the past used to push them to do good deeds, but our souls do not do what we want them to do except by force, so we have to force them.” Qataadah said, “O son of Aadam, if you do not want to do any good except when you have the energy for it, then your nature is more inclined towards boredom and laziness. The true believer is the one who pushes himself."
Avoiding sins and misdeeds: If the Muslim wants to be one of those who earn the honor of speaking to Allaah The Almighty in private in the depths of the night, let him beware of sin, for the one who is contaminated with the stain of sin will not be helped to perform voluntary prayers at night. A man said to Ibraaheem ibn Ad-ham, “I cannot perform voluntary prayers at night, so tell me the cure for this.” He said,“Do not commit sins during the day, and He will help you to stand before Him at night, for your standing before Him at night is one of the greatest honors, and the sinner does not deserve that honor."
A man said to Al-Hasan Al-Basri, “O Abu Sa’eed, I sleep in good health, and I love to perform voluntary prayers at night, and I prepare water with which to purify myself, so why can I not get up?” Al-Hasan said, “Your sins are restricting you.” He also said, “The slave who commits a sin will be denied the opportunity to perform voluntary prayers at night and to fast during the day." Al-Fudhayl ibn ‘Iyaadh said,“If you cannot perform voluntary prayers at night, or fast during the day, know that you are indeed deprived and restricted, chained by your sins."
Taking oneself to account and rebuking one's self for not performing voluntary prayers at night: Checking oneself is one of the signs of the righteous and truthful. Allaah The Almighty Says (what means): {O you who have believed, fear Allaah. And let every soul look to what it has put forth for tomorrow - and fear Allaah. Indeed, Allaah Is Acquainted with what you do.} [Quran 59:18]
Imaam Ibn Al-Qayyim  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said, “If the slave is responsible and accountable for everything, even his hearing, sight and innermost thoughts, as Allaah The Almighty Says (what means): {Indeed, the hearing, the sight and the heart - about all those [one] will be questioned.}[Quran 17:36], then he should call himself to account before he is brought to account."
Performing voluntary prayers at night is an act of worship that connects the heart to Allaah The Almighty and enables it to overcome the temptations of life and to strive against one’s own self, at a time when voices are stilled, eyes are closed in sleep, and sleepers are tossing and turning in their beds. Therefore performing voluntary prayers at night is one of the measures of sincere determination and one of the qualities of those who have great ambitions. Allaah The Almighty has praised them and distinguished them from others in the Quran. Allaah The Almighty Says (what means): {Is one who is devoutly obedient during periods of the night, prostrating and standing [in prayer], fearing the Hereafter and hoping for the Mercy of his Lord, [like one who does not]? Say, "Are those who know equal to those who do not know?" Only they will remember [who are] people of understanding.} [Quran 39:9]
Performing voluntary prayers at night is a confirmed Sunnah (Prophetic tradition) which the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), urged us to do when he said:“You should perform voluntary prayers at night, for it is the practice of the righteous people who came before you, and it will bring you closer to your Lord, expiate for bad deeds, prevent sins, and expel disease from the body.” [At-Tirmithi and Ahmad] The Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), said: “The best of prayers after the prescribed prayers is performing voluntary prayers at night.”
The Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), always had the habit of performing voluntary prayers at night, and he never gave it up, whether he was traveling or staying at home. Even though he, among all the sons of Aadam, would be the one to have all his past and future sins forgiven, he performed voluntary prayers at night until his feet became swollen, and when he was asked about that, he said: “Should I not be a grateful slave?” [Al-Bukhaari and Muslim]
This is how the noble righteous predecessors were  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  them. Abu Ad-Dardaa’  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him said, “Pray two Rak’ahs in the darkness of the night for the darkness of the grave.” Ahmad ibn Harb said, “I am astonished at people who know that the delights of Paradise lie above them and the horrors of Hell lie beneath them. How can they sleep in between them?" When ‘Umar ibn Tharr saw that night had come, he used to say, “The night has come, and the night has dignity, and Allaah is Most Deserving of reverence."
For this reason, Al-Fudhayl ibn ‘Iyaadh said, “I met some people who feel ashamed before Allaah to sleep for too long in the depths of the night. Such a person may be resting on his side, and when he moves, he says to himself, ‘This is not your right. Get up and take your share of the Hereafter.’" Al-Hasan said, “We do not know of any deed more difficult than the struggle to stay up at night or to spend money.” It was said to him, “Why do the people performing voluntary prayers at night have the most beautiful faces?” He said, “Because they spend time alone with The Most Merciful, so He adorns them with some of His light."
The women of the righteous predecessors also used to strive to perform voluntary prayers at night with energy and determination. Where are the women of our own age when it comes to such great deeds?
‘Urwah ibn Az-Zubayr said, “I came to ‘Aa’ishah  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  her one day to greet her, and I found her praying and reciting the verse in which Allaah The Almighty Says (what means): {So Allaah conferred favor upon us and protected us from the punishment of the scorching Fire.} [Quran 52:27] repeating it and weeping. I waited for her, but I got bored of waiting, so I went to the market for some things I needed, then I came back to ‘Aa’ishah  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  her and she was still praying and reciting the same verse and weeping."
It was narrated on the authority of Anas ibn Maalik  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him that the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), said: “Jibreel said to me, ‘Take Hafsah back (in marriage) to you, for she fasts a lot and prays a lot at night.’”[Al-Haakim] Mu’aathah Al-‘Adawiyyah, one of the righteous femaleTaabi‘oon, (followers of the Companions) spent her wedding night, along with her husband Silah ibn Ashyam, praying until Fajr. When her husband and son were killed in the land of Jihaad, she used to spend the whole night in prayer, worshipping and beseeching Allaah, and she would sleep during the day. If she felt sleepy whilst she was praying at night, she would tell herself, “O soul, there is plenty of sleep ahead of you."
When Habeebah Al-‘Adawiyyah prayed ‘Ishaa’, she would stand on the roof of her house, wearing her dress and Khimaar, then she would say, “O my God, the stars have come out, people have gone to sleep, and kings have closed their doors, but Your door is open. Every lover is alone with his lover, but here I am standing before You.” Then she would start to pray and talk to her Lord until the early dawn. When the early dawn came, she would say, “O Allaah, this night is ending, the day is coming, and I wish I knew whether You have accepted this night (of worship) from me, so that I could congratulate myself, or if it has been rejected, so that I might console myself."
‘Amrah, the wife of Habeeb Al-‘Ajami, performed voluntary prayers one night whilst her husband was asleep. When the early dawn came, and her husband was still asleep, she woke him up and said to him, “Get up, my master, for the night has gone, the day has come and ahead of you lies a long road with little provision, and a small group of righteous people who have gone before us, and we are still here."
We ask Allaah The Almighty to help us to remember Him, to thank Him and to worship Him properly.

 




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