In life, we experience something amazing that makes us feel compelled to come closer to Allah, where we feel a sense of iman-rush. But after a while, dunya gets to us and our reality check makes us feel that we cannot be spiritual consistently. Here’s a tip on how to remain consistently on the path towards the pleasure of Allah.
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There is no more intimate conversation between a slave and his Rabb than standing up at night and pray Tahajjud. Imam Al-Hasan Al-Basri rahimahullah was asked why are the faces of those who perform Tahajjud shine more brightly than others? He answered: “It is because when they are alone with the light of the All-Merciful, He clothes them with light from His Light.” That’s how close a person gets to Allah s.w.t. in Qiyamullail.
Qiyamullail is an ibadah that truly engages one’s iman. Fighting ourselves out of bed just to talk to Allah s.w.t. when no one else sees or hears us – what is a greater iman exercised than that? Even Allah s.w.t. Himself is AMAZED by a person who leaves his/her comfortable bed and spouse, just to call upon Him.
Our Rabb admires two men:
a man who leaves his mattress and cover,
and slips away from his wife and lover, to go and pray.
“O My angels, look at My slave.
He has left his mattress and cover
and slipped away from his lover and wife to pray,
out of hope for what is with Me
and out of fear of what is with Me.”
[Reported by Ahmad. It is a hasan (sound) report. Saheeh al-Targheeb, 258]
It was mentioned to Rasulallah s.a.w. about a man who slept all night until morning, to which he s.a.w said:
“That is a man in whose ear the Shaitan has urinated.”
In essence, Shaitan tries to keep us away from Qiyamulail because he knows that had you experience the sweetness of Qiyam, he has no appeal to you anymore and his waswas will mean nothing to you. Qiyamulail is a necessity for spiritual progress! A person who prays Qiyamulail PROTECTS his iman, insya Allah.
To prove this, it was narrated that Rasulallah s.a.w. would sit with the companions every morning and ask if anyone has experienced a good dream to share. Abdullah ibn Umar r.a. really wanted to have a good dream just so that he could share it with Rasulallah s.a.w. One night, he dreamt that he was taken by two angels towards the Hellfire so he started seeking refuge with Allah from the Fire. Then another angel met the other two and said to him, “Do not be afraid.”
When he woke up, he was too ashamed to tell Rasulallah s.a.w. of his dream. So he told about it to Hafsa r.a., his sister, who is the wife of Rasulallah s.a.w. When Hafsa r.a. narrated it to Rasulallah s.a.w, he said:
“What an excellent man Abdullah is,
if he only observes the night prayer.”
First of all, look at the way Rasulallah s.a.w responded. He didn’t say: What a terrible young man, he never prays Qiyamulail! But instead he s.a.w. comforted him by praising him: What an excellent person Abdullah is! Since then, Abdullah ibn Umar only slept little at night to perform Qiyamulail.
Coming back to the point: It is not sufficient for our spiritual progress if Qiyamulail is not part of our daily ibadah. We need to develop it as a consistent spiritual habit – even if it’s just 2 raka’ah, even if it takes only 5 minutes. If we find it difficult to wake up in the last third of the night, just wake up 10 minutes extra before the Fajr azan! 🙂