The virtue of voluntary Night Prayer in Ramadhaan and Its rulings

It was narrated on the authority of Abu Hurayrah may Allaah be pleased with himthat the Prophet, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention ), said:"Whoever stands (in voluntary payers on the nights of) Ramadhaan out of faith and hoping for reward from Allaah, his past sins will be forgiven."[Al-Bukhaari] ThisHadeethmeans that when the Muslim performs voluntary prayers at night duringRamadhaanwhile having faith that he will indeed be rewarded, seeking the pleasure of Allaah The Almighty, being free of ostentation and fame, and hoping for the reward of Allaah The Almighty, his past sins will be overlooked and he will not be taken to account for them.

It was narrated on the authority of Ibn ‘Umar may Allaah be pleased with himthat the Prophet, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention ), said:"Allaah will bring the believer close to Him, envelop him in His mercy, and cover him. He will then make him confess his sins by saying: 'Do you remember (doing) this sin and this sin?' He will reply, 'My Lord, I remember,' till the believer thinks he is doomed.Then Allaah will say: 'I covered it up for you in the worldly life, and I forgive it for you today.' Then the record of his good deeds will be handed to him. The disbelievers and the hypocrites, however, will be called out in front of the creation, ‘These are the ones who lied against their Lord. Unquestionably, the curse of Allaah is upon the wrongdoers.’"[Al-Bukhaari and Muslim]
The Prophet, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention ), encouraged voluntary night prayers inRamadhaanin the previousHadeethwhich was narrated on the authority of Abu Hurayrah may Allaah be pleased with himand made it an act of theSunnahby his practice. ‘Aa’ishah may Allaah be pleased with hersaid,
People were performing prayers in the Masjid (Mosque) of the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention )in Ramadhaan in groups. One man would lead a group of five or six men or more or less. One night, the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention )requested that I spread a mat for him in front of my room's door, and I did. The Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention )left after performing the ‘Ishaa’ Prayer, and people who were gathered and present in the Masjid and he led them in prayer for a long time. Then, the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention )left, entered his house, and kept the mat in its place. In the morning, the people talked about the congregational prayer of the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention )that night the people crowded in the Masjid and the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention )led them in ‘Ishaa’ Prayer, then, entered his house. When people kept waiting in the Masjid, the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention )asked:“Why are the people waiting, O ‘Aa’ishah?”I said, ‘O Messenger of Allaah, the people heard of your congregational prayer last night and gathered tonight so that you may lead them in prayer.’ He said:“O ‘Aa’ishah, move your mat away.”I removed the mat and the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention )kept awake that night, and the people remained in the Masjid. In the morning, the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention )left and said:‘O people, by Allaah, I did not sleep last night, nor was I unaware of your location. I only feared that it would become obligatory for you. Carry out the acts you are able to do, for Allaah does not withhold His reward and mercy until you despair.’"[Ahmad]
ThisHadeethteaches us some lessons:
1-The permissibility of theTaraaweehprayer, as the Prophet, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention ), led the people in prayer after the ‘Ishaa’Prayer.
2-The Prophet, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention ), did not perform voluntary night prayers with people in the rest of the month ofRamadhaanfor fear that it would become obligatory for them. This fear no longer exists because of the death of the Prophet, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention ), and the final ruling is thatTaraaweehinRamadhaanis something permissible.
3-The Companions may Allaah be pleased with themwere keen on worship and diligent in following the Prophet, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention ).
4-The Prophet, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention ), cared for and was kind to hisUmmah(nation), as Allaah The Almighty Says (what means):{There has certainly come to you a Messenger from among yourselves. Grievous to him is what you suffer; [he is] concerned over you and to the believers is kind and merciful.}[Quran 9:128]
Muslims should know that it is recommended to perform the voluntary night prayer behind theImaamand remain with him till he finishes theWitrprayer. It was narrated on the authority of Abu Tharr may Allaah be pleased with himthat the Prophet, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention ), said:"Whoever remained performing the prayer behind the Imaam until he left would receive the reward of performing voluntary prayers for the whole night."[Ibn Khuzaymah] ThisHadeethis general and women share the same reward, exactly as Allaah The Almighty Says (what means):{Whoever does righteousness - it is for his [own] soul.}[Quran 41:46] However, it is not permissible for a woman to attend theMasjidwearing perfume as the Prophet, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention ), said:"Any woman who applies scent should not attend the ‘Ishaa’ prayer with us [in the Masjid]."[Muslim] ‘Aa’ishah may Allaah be pleased with herremarked in later years,"Had the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention )seen what women have introduced after him, he would have banned them from attending the Masjids just as the women of the children of Israel were banned from places of worship."[Muslim] Scholars have commented that this refers to the adornment, perfume, and dazzling clothes that some women use.

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