Bismillah Was-Salaatu Was-salaam ‘alaa Rasoolillah:
The ruling on Qiyam Al-Layl
Ibn Abdil Barr RHM:
Some of the Tabi’een opined for the odd view that Qiyam Al-Layl is obligatory, even if the duration of it was the equivalent to the time taken to milk a sheep (a short duration)! However, the majority of the scholars held the view that it is recommended…..
Matters which make performing Qiyam Al-Layl easier
Know that Qiyam Al-Layl is difficult upon the creation except, for the whom Allah grants the ability to perform it. Qiyam Al-Layl has factors that make it easier and they number in 7 which are internal and external factors.
As for the External factors: –
1) That a person does not excessively eat or drink which causes him to be overcome by sleep. Ergo, the statement of some of the predecessors: Do not eat in abundance to such an extent where you will drink in abdundance to such an extent where you will sleep in abundance!
2) That a person does not tire himself out during the day in actions which exhaust the body and nerves as this is also a cause for (domineering) sleep.
3) That a person does not leave out the Qayloolah (mid-afternoon nap) during the day as this assists one in getting up for Qiyam Al-Layl.
4) That a person refrains from excessive sins during the day for this hardens the heart and acts as a barrier between him and mercy (to grant the ability to perform Qiyam Al-Layl).
The kings do not allow anyone to be in seclusion with them nor, call upon them except the people of obedience, affability and sincerity. It was said to Ibn Mas’ood RA: “We cannot pray Qiyam Al-Layl!”. He replied “Sins have distanced you”. A man said to Al-Hasan: “I cannot get up for Qiyam Al-Layl, so, prescribe for me a remedy”. He replied “Do not sin during the day for it acts as an assessor between it and the night”. Ath-Thawri said “I was deprived from Qiyam Al-Layl for 5 months because of a sin i committed!”. Al-Hasan once entered the market and heard the peoples clamour and drollery and said “I think the night of these people will be an evil one”.
All sins reap a hard heart and thus, prevent a person from Qiyam Al-Layl. And a more specific cause of prevention is in the attainment of Haram provision (proscribed matters). A morsel of permissible provision has an impact in the refinement of the heart and its engagement towards good to such an extent that it is not matched by any other factor. And this was acknowledged by the people of Muraqabah (watchfulness/insight/diligence) via experiences. Thus, some of them said: How many (impermissible) food items have prevented one from Qiyam during the night and how many (impermissible) glances have prevented one from the recital of a surah. Indeed, a servant may eat or engage in something haram and consequently, may be prevented from Qiyam for a year!
As for the internal factors: –
1) Safeguarding the heart from heresy and malice towards the Muslims. Also, to safeguard the heart from being excessively concerned with the matters of the Dunya. For indeed, engrossment in contemplating matters pertaining to the Dunya doe not assist in making Qiyam Al-Layl easy for a person. Even if a person managed to wake up for Qiyam Al-Layl, they would not be able to focus on the prayer.
2) The heart should be overwhelmed with fear (of Jahannum/displeasng Allah) combined with reducing vain hopes. For, when a servant contemplates upon the abysses of Jahannum and the matters of the Aakhirah – his sleep would fly away!
‘Abdullah Ibn Rawahah RA said: Verily, when Jannah is mentioned, the servant of Allahs longing for it increases and when Jahannum is mentioned, he swarms away from it!
3) That a person acknowledges (learns) the virtues of Qiyam Al-Layl until, the yearning for it settles into his heart for which causes him to long for it.
Ibn Munkadir: There remains no delight in the Dunya except, for 3: Qiyam Al-Layl, Meeting with the brothers and prayer in congregation.
Abu Sulayman: The people of the night (those who engage in Qiyam Al-Layl) delight more in their nights than the people of amusement in their drollery. And if it was not for the night, then i would prefer not to remain in the Dunya!
When the eyes of the people used to subside (sleep); Ibn Mas’ood would stand (in prayer) and a noise would be heard from him like the ringing of bees (as he recited in prayer).
May Allah make us from the Mutahajjideen, allow us to taste the sweetness of this great worship, May Allah allow us to be *thankful slaves* by giving us the ability to enjoy the gift of Qiyam Al-Layl that he has bestowed upon us…Truly, he is the oft-giving, most merciful…Aameen