بسم الله الرحمن الرحیم
And those who spend the night in worship of their Rabb,
prostrate and standing.
[Surah Al-Furqan 25:64]
🌸 Third Characteristic: They are diligent and consistent in their Tahajjud
This ayah tells us the third beautiful characteristic of ‘Ibad-ur Rahman: they are dedicated, consistent and diligent in their night prayers i.e. Tahajjud. They love to wake up for Tahajjud for nothing else but for the pleasure of Allah. They will do their absolutely very best to never miss Tahajjud. This is like when Allah s.w.t. says:
They used to sleep but little by night.
And in the hours before dawn, they were (found) asking (Allah) for forgiveness.
[Surah Adz-Dzariyyat 51:17-18]
Their sides forsake their beds, to invoke their Rabb in fear and hope…
[Surah As-Sajdah 32:16]
There is hardly a night that would pass by that ‘Ibad-ur Rahman do not pray to Allah s.w.t. even if it’s just a little part of the night. They will forsake their sleep and comfortable beds just to seek the pleasure of Allah, invoking Him in fear of punishment, hoping for His reward, and seeking His forgiveness right before dawn.
What is the difference between Tahajjud and Qiyamul-Layl?
Linguistically, [qiyam] means to stand. Therefore Qiyamul-Layl means to stand in the night, and it was understood by the ulama’ that it also includes all types of worship performed throughout the night.
Tahajjud comes from the word [hujood] (ha-ja-da) which linguistically means doing the opposite of something. So in essence it means going to sleep, and then doing the opposite by waking up. Therefore Tahajjud means waking up after sleeping and it became a name for prayer, because a person wakes up for it.
Heart-rendering encouragements by Rasulallah ﷺ and righteous predecessors to pray Tahajjud
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.
Allah says, “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.”
[Ahmad | Grade: Hasan]
Our Rabb, the Blessed, the Superior,
comes every night down on the nearest Heaven to us
when the last third of the night remains, saying:
“Is there anyone to invoke Me, so that I may respond to invocation?
Is there anyone to ask Me, so that I may grant him his request?
Is there anyone seeking My forgiveness, so that I may forgive him?”
Imam Al-Hasan Al-Basri rahimahullah was asked why are the faces of those who perform night prayers shine more brightly than others? He answered:
“It’s because when they are alone with the light of the All-Merciful,
He clothes them with light from His Light.”
Ibn ‘Abbas r.a. said:
“Every night, they would worship Allah, even during a little part of the night.”
There is no more intimate conversation between a slave and his Rabb than waking up from sleep and pray Tahajjud for no other reason than to seek the pleasure and forgiveness of his Rabb.
“But this is too difficult for me…”
The thought of waking up for Tahajjud can be pretty overwhelming at first. But if we truly want to pray Tahajjud, all we have to do is just give it a try! I’m not even talking about spending a third or half of the night praying, but just get up 10 minutes before Fajr because that third of the night is still there in those last 10 minutes. From then on, we work our way up insya Allah.
Do not immediately set ourselves difficult goals like: I want to pray 3-hours of Tahajjud! We only end up burning ourselves out. If we over exhaust ourselves, we won’t be able to maintain consistency.
So start with humble steps and build the momentum little by little. Sleep early. Then on the first night, wake up 10 or 15 minutes before Fajr and just do 2-raka’ats, or recite short Surah like Surah Al-Asr or Surah Al-Kafirun. Then the next month (not the next day!), increase the numbers of raka’ats, increase the time spent in prayer, or recite longer surah. Keep on increasing on the following months. Of course, we should strive twice as hard in the month of Ramadhan – especially on the last 10 nights!
Insya Allah, it is doable. You may also read Qiyam: 14 Tips to Consistently Pray the Night Prayer for more awesome tips.
Alhamdulillah we have covered the third characteristic of ‘Ibad-ur Rahman. May Allah s.w.t. make it easy for us to be diligent and consistent with our Tahajjud – Allahumma ameen. We will continue with the subsequent characters of ‘Ibad-ur Rahman in the next posts, insya Allah.
🌸 ‘Ibad-ur Rahman Characteristics Recap 🌸
They are dedicated, diligent, and consistent with their Tahajjud. They love to wake up for Tahajjud to seek the pleasure and forgiveness of Allah s.w.t. They will do their absolutely very best to never miss it.
Tafsir Ibn Kathir
Tafsir Surah Al-Furqan by Dr Abdullah Yasin
The Right Belief Series by Imam Karim AbuZaid
Strangers In The Night by Sheikh Omar Suleiman