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The Art of Divine Communication (Ad-Du’a)

Contemplate, Oh Muslim, upon the words of your father – Ibrahim AS

وَإِذْ يَرْفَعُ إِبْرَاهِيمُ الْقَوَاعِدَ مِنَ الْبَيْتِ وَإِسْمَاعِيلُ رَبَّنَا تَقَبَّلْ مِنَّا ۖإِنَّكَ أَنتَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيمُ ﴿١٢٧ رَبَّنَا وَاجْعَلْنَا مُسْلِمَيْنِ لَكَ وَمِن ذُرِّيَّتِنَا أُمَّةً مُّسْلِمَةً لَّكَ وَأَرِنَا مَنَاسِكَنَا وَتُبْ عَلَيْنَا ۖ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ التَّوَّابُ الرَّحِيمُ ﴿١٢٨ رَبَّنَا وَابْعَثْ فِيهِمْ رَسُولًا مِّنْهُمْ يَتْلُو عَلَيْهِمْ آيَاتِكَ وَيُعَلِّمُهُمُ الْكِتَابَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ وَيُزَكِّيهِمْ ۚ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ الْعَزِيزُ الْحَكِيمُ

And [mention] when Abraham was raising the foundations of the House and [with him] Ishmael, [saying], “Our Lord, accept [this] from us. Indeed You are the Hearing, the Knowing. Our Lord, and make us Muslims [in submission] to You and from our descendants a Muslim nation [in submission] to You. And show us our rites and accept our repentance. Indeed, You are the Accepting of repentance, the Merciful. Our Lord, and send among them a messenger from themselves who will recite to them Your verses and teach them the Book and wisdom and purify them. Indeed, You are the Exalted in Might, the Wise.” (Surat Al-Baqarah Verses 127 – 129)

What a beautiful invocation. Each Du’a ends with a reference to Allah’s lofty names and attributes. Sometimes the heart merely repeats such beautiful names without due reflection. What does it mean when we say “Indeed you are the hearing, the knowing….Indeed, you are accepting of repentance and the bestower of mercy…Indeed, you are the exalted in might, the wise”. Let us try to expound on this inshaAllah.

As-Samee’ (All-Hearing)

This is a name of Allah that has appeared in approximately 50 places in the Qur’aan. As-Samee’ refers to the one who hears all voices regardless, of the differences within languages and variety of requests made. Indeed, his hearing extends to voices both, concealed and made apparent.

The attribute of hearing can be classified into 2 categories:

  1. Hearing refers to the acknowledgement of the voices/requests that are made.
  2. Hearing refers to response (i.e. Allah has heard you and is now responding to you)

The first category (acknowledgement of voices/calls/requests) is split into 3 further categories:

a) The attribute of hearing gives the notion of a threat/warning. i.e. be aware, Indeed, Allah does hear you!

For instance, when Allah refers to the criminals destined for the hellfire: –

“Or do they think that We hear not their secrets and their private conversations? Yes, [We do], and Our messengers are with them recording. (Surat Az-Zukhruf Verse 80)”

b) The attribute of hearing gives the notion of assistance

For instance, when Allah said to Musa AS and Haroon AS

“[Allah] said, “Fear not. Indeed, I am with you both; I hear and I see.” (Surat At-Taha Verse 46)

c) The attribute of hearing refers to hearing a dialogue/speech

For instance:

“Certainly has Allah heard the speech of the one who argues with you, [O Muhammad], concerning her husband and directs her complaint to Allah. And Allah hears your dialogue; indeed, Allah is Hearing and Seeing” (Surat Al-Mujadilah Verse 1)

Oh reader! How can you ever despair when you have As-Samee’ as your custodian? Indeed, he hears your call and vanquishes your perils

Al-‘Aleem (All-knowing)

This name appears more than 150 times in the Qur’aan. Al-A’leem refers to the one whose knowledge encompasses the external and internal matters. His knowledge extends to affairs that are revealed/out-in-the-open and those that are kept hidden. His knowledge extends to that which was in the past, that which is in the present and that which is in the future. When the believer ponders upon this name of Allah sincerely – he/she becomes much more conscious over his.her actions.

Sheikh Muhammad Al-Ameen Ash-Shinqeeti said “the scholars are agreed that this (name/attribute) serves as the greatest admonition and wake-up call (to the believer) to have descended from the heavens to the earth”.

This point is exemplified by the following narration reported by Ibn Rajab:

There was a man who wanted to seduce a woman. He had ordered her to close all the doors (in the house) and then asked her “Are there any doors left unclosed?”. She responded “Yes, the door between us and Allah”. This response was enough to subdue the man who did not proceed with his intention.

Ibn Katheer RHM said re. Allahs name Al-‘Aleem:

Allah informs us that his knowledge is complete, perfect and encompasses all things – no matter if they are of a distinguished nature nor, insignificant..no matter if they are big nor, small..no matter how subtle nor dexterous the matter is. He does this in order to alert mankind about his knowledge of them so, they may display the rightful amount of modesty and taqwa before him. He does this so, they are vigilant of him. For indeed, Allah is knowledgeable about that which deceives the eyes ...”

Know my dear reader – not a leaf falls from a tree without his knowledge encompassing it. When you call upon your lord; have conviction that Al-‘Aleem is fully aware of your circumstances and your call will not go in vain.

At-Tawaab (Acceptor of repentance)

At-Tawaab refers to the one who forgives whom he wills from his slaves by giving them the ability to repent in the first place. Know, oh beloved reader, that sincere repentance paves the way towards haviing your Ad’iyah (supplications) accepted. Ponder upon the story of Imam Ahmad & the Baker.

Ar-Raheem (Bestower of mercy)

Allah’s mercy overcomes his wrath. This latter statement alone fills the heart with joy! Do you not see that he provides for the disbeliever despite, the disbeliever rejecting the message of Islam? Does he not feed them and quench their thirst? Such is the mercy of Allah!

Ponder this, oh reader,,,,when a person fears another person – naturally, he would flee AWAY from his opponent but, when a believer fears Allah – he FLEES TO HIM. Allahu Akbar! Never despair in the mercy of Allah. For indeed, Allahs mercy knows no bounds. However, his mercy is of 2 kinds (General and Specific). His general mercy extends to ALL of mankind regardless, of faith. However, his specific mercy only envelops the believers. This is the mercy that pertains to Imaan, Religion and the affairs of the world and the hereafter. This is via granting them the ability to obey him and enjoin the good, This specific mercy is what keeps the believers steadfast and grants them entry into Jannah and saves them from Jahannum.

Al-‘Azeez (Exalted in might)

This name appears approximately 100 times in the Qur’aan. Al-‘Azeez refers to the one who possesses all forms of honour. There are predominantly 3 forms of honour:

a) Honour via strength. 

Verily, Allah is All-Strong, All-Mighty” (Surat Al-Hajj Verse 74)

b) Honour via enrichment

He is free of all needs..the creation cannot harm nor benefit him. He is solely the benefactor (benefitting whom he wills) and inhibitor (withholding benefit).

c) Honour via subjugation

All of creation are subdued before Allah’s might. They are submissive to his greatness and will. Everything is in his hands. Nothing moves or becomes inanimate except, by his leave! Whatever Allah wills, happens….and whatever he does not will..does not!

Al-Hakeem (The wise)

This name of Allah appears close to a 100 times in the Qur’aan. This name hghlights the perfect and complete wisdom that belongs to Allah. He is the sole legislator and there is no one that can repel his ordainments

“And Allah judges, there is none to put back His Judgement and He is Swift at reckoning.” (Surat Ar-Ra’d Verse 41)

The above names are to be utilised in Du’a from a perspective of awe and hope. The believer should call upon Allah using his names and attributes that he has manifested unto himself. The aforementioned names are just a few amongst many of Allahs names. However, those briefly expounded upon in this article apply to a whole range of scenarios and circumstances. For indeed, if you are a sinner – call upon At-Tawwab, if you feel disheartened, call upon Ar-Rahman, if you are oppressed, call upon Al-‘Azeez, if you are lost and confused, call upon As-Samee’ and Al-‘Aleem!

May Allah make us amongst those whom he loves and those who frequent in the art of making du’a to him with a fully submissive and humble heart..Aameen

 
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Posted by on January 25, 2016 in Miscellaneous

 

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The Advent of Winter

Bismillah Wal-hamdulillah Wassalaatu Wassalaam ‘alaa rasoolillah

After hearing a Khutbah recently on the fruitfulness of Winter to a believer’s life; it reminded me of when i first came across a khutbah exploring the virtues that Winter brings to the Muslim’s life – A khutbah by Sheikh Khalid Al-Musleh Hafidhahullah. I feel this is extremely pertinent – especially to Muslims living in the west as we enter upon an era with long nights and short days. It is easy to become lazy during these days and become sluggish in our zeal to go the extra mile in pursuit of our religious activities and endeavours. Thus, it becomes imperative that the believer reminds his/herself of the wisdom behind the changes in season and why, in fact, the winter should actually bring a smile to the believers face!

Undoubtedly, the different seasons that we experience is from Allah’s immense and far-reaching wisdom. It keeps us on our toes and the change in season should prompt a vigour of astuteness within us via a series of questions: How can we take advantage of this? What should i do differently? How should i prepare for this?

It is the latter question that the Sahabah had responded to so efficiently! Their actions and statement epitomised their desire to exploit all circumstances to their favour. Is it any wonder then why we marvel at the statement of the great ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab RA when he said regarding the advent of winter: –

Winter is the booty of the obedient ones

This statement is further emphasised upon by Ibn Mas’ood who sad

Welcome Oh Winter, In it descends immense blessings – Its nights are lengthened for Qiyaam (Al-Layl) and its days are shortened for fasts

SubhanAllah! The changes and variations in the course of the year is a sign of the mercy of Allah! It may be the case that we find standing in the depths of the night too difficult for us in other parts of the year – yet, Allah wants so much good for us that he allows us to enter a season in which standing during the night is easy for us! It fills the heart with joy when one realises how much Allah continues to shower his blessings upon us despite, our shortcomings. Ergo, the statement of Allah: –

يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ بِكُمُ الْيُسْرَ وَلا يُرِيدُ بِكُمُ الْعُسْر

Allah intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship(Al-Baqarah V.185)

Imam As-Sa’di RHM mentions in his tafseer of this verse:

“Allah wishes to facilitate for you the path to his pleasure in the greatest and easiest of ways. Thus, every commandment of Allah upon his slaves are ordained in a manner that enjoins ease upon them..”

As a result, the benevolence of Allah should be met with thankfulness from the servants and a determined attitude to become from the close allies of Allah. Certainly, the proof of a believers gratitude towards Allah is in his ‘Ibadah. Therefore, Oh Muslim, increase in the worship of Allah and take advantage of the mercy that Allah has bestowed upon you in the form of winter!

May Allah make us amongst the forerunners in this blessed month and the months to come…Aameen

 
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Posted by on November 15, 2015 in Miscellaneous

 

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Al-Hams Vs Al-Jahr

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

The characteristics of the letters used in the Qur’an can be split into 2 categories: – Characteristics which have an opposite and those which do not.

Characteristics which have an opposite can be split into 4 divisions:

The first of these is Al-Hams vs Al-Jahr.

Al-Jahr refers to the absence of the impact of ones breath after pronouncing particular letters due, to the strength of the letter pronounced. Whereas, Al-Hams refers to how the effects of the breath extends after pronouncing a particular letter because, the letter is considered a weak letter. As a result, when a letter is from Mahmoos (i.e. has characteristic of Al-Hams); when pronounced = you can hear the effects of the air in the sound of the letter.

The sheikh in the video gives an example of Al-Hams with the letter Faa (46 seconds into the video) i.e. اَفْ.

As one can see, the letter faa when pronounced includes abit of air in the pronounciation. (During Qur’an recitation, one would not exaggerate upon the faa as seen in the video; but, the sheikh is merely pronouncing it this way in order to make the characteristic of Al-Hams clear to everyone listening)

Whereas, for letters that have the characteristic of Al-Jahr – there is no air within the pronunciation. This is because the letters of Al-Jahr are domineering and do not allow the impact of ones breath to be heard. For instance, تَعْقِلُونَ. When ‘ayn is pronounced – there is no air due, to the inhibited impact of one’s breath when pronouncing the letter.

The letters of Al-Hams are 10 and collated in the memorable phrase

فحثه شخص سكت

“Fa-hathu-hu shakhsun sakath”

All other letters excluding the above have the characteristics of Al-Jahr.

Note: Although, examples were given using phrases in the sukoon form – Al-Jahr and Al-Hams are general characteristics and are not restricted to sukoon form. Examples were given using sukoon to make it easy to comprehend.

 
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Posted by on October 5, 2015 in Tajweed

 

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Qiyam Al-Layl: The Tranquility of the Believer (4)

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

 
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Posted by on January 15, 2015 in Eemaan Boosters, Miscellaneous

 

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Qiyam Al-Layl: The Tranquillity of the Believer (3)

Bismillah Walhamdulillah Was-Salaatu Wassalaam ‘alaa Rasoolilah:

The Night Vigil of the Prophet SAW:

1 – The Length of the Prophet’s Qiyam Al-Layl

On the authority of ‘Abdullah Ibn Mas’ood RA who said: “I prayed with the prophet SAW one night and he did not cease standing to such an extent that an evil thought entered upon me!. It was asked “What was that?”. He replied “I was thinking of sitting down and leaving the prophet!!!”. (Bukhari)

Al-Hafidh Ibn Hajar commentates on the aforementioned said:

This hadeeth is evident in the prophets predilection of lengthening the prayer during the night. Ibn Mas’ood was a strong man who was capable of following the example of the prophet SAW. However, his thought of sitting did not come to him until, after a lengthy period of time had elapsed of that which he was not normally used to! Thus, a lot of the companions and others opted for the opinion that performing more rukoo’ (bowing) and sujood (Prostrations) is preponderate (thereby, standing for a shorter period of time). Ergo, the hadeeth of Thawban RA in Saheeh Muslim who stated: “The most preponderate of actions is a plethora of prostrations“. It becomes apparent that there is a contradiction in the stances taken however, this is merely due to the differences in the people and their circumstances. It was also narrated in Muslim on the authority of Hudhaifah RA that he prayed with prophet SAW one night. The prophet recited Al-Baqarah, Al-‘Imran & An-Nisaa in one raka’ah. And when he passed by a verse in which the glorification of Allah was mentioned – he glorified him. And if he passed by a verse which mentioned asking, he would ask Allah or if the verse mentioned seeking refuge, he would seek refuge. Thereafter, he performed rukoo’ (bow) at the same length as his standing and thereafter, a similar time was taking for the sajdah and thereafter, he stood again. This example brought forth is oblique in terms of the time length but, perhaps both were awake the entire night in prayer! As for the prophets prayer in nights other this one then the narration of A’isha RA states that he used to stand for a period of time equivalent to a third of the night.

2 – The number of units in the night prayer of the prophet SAW

On the authority of ‘Abdullah Ibn Mas’ood RA who narrated that a man asked “Oh messenger of Allah, how is the night prayer performed?”. He replied “2 (units) by 2 (units) and if you fear dawn approaching, then perform 1 unit of the witr prayer” (Bukhari)

A’isha RA said: The prophet SAW used to pray used to offer thirteen Rakat of the night prayer and that included the Witr and two Rakat (Sunna) of the Fajr prayer.

Also, A’isha reported: The prophet SAW used to offer 11 raka’at of prayer in between the completion of Isha uptil Fajr. He used to make tasleem after every 2 raka’at and then offer 1 raka’at of witr. (Bukhari & Muslim)

3 – When did the prophet SAW stand up for Qiyam Al-Layl?

On the authority of Anas Ibn Malik RA who said: The prophet SAW used to abstain from fasting from a month until, we assumed he would never fast! and he used to fast to such an extent, we assumed he will never break it! And you would never have wished to see him praying except, that i witnessed him nor sleeping, except that i witnessed him! (Bukhari).

Al-Hafidh Ibn Hajr states in Al-Fath:

It is established upon the prophet SAW that he would stand during the first part of the night, its middle and its end until, he was informed about the most beloved of “Qiyaam” to Allah: It is mentioned in the hadeeth of ‘Abdullah Bin ‘Amr Bin Al-‘Aas RAM: “The most beloved prayer to Allah is that of Dawood AS and the most beloved fasts to Allah are those of Dawood AS. He used to sleep for half of the night and then pray (make Qiyaam) for one third of the night and again sleep for its sixth part and used to fast on alternate days. (Bukhari)”

Al-Mullahab states:

Dawood AS used to rest his self (in order so, his body could recover strength) by sleeping in the first portion of the night. Thereafter, he used to stand (in prayer) during the period in which Allah calls out “Is there anyone in need of a request; so, i could give him what he requests?” (i.e. in the last third of the night)? Thereafter, he would sleep in order to rest from standing during the night. This sleep used to occur during “As-Sahr” (just before daylight). This routine is more preferable than allowing oneself to take prlonged breaks out of fear that the body will become tired. Indeed, Allah said: “Allah never gets tired of giving rewards till you get tired of doing good deeds. (Bukhari)”. Allah loves to perpetuate his favours and benevolence. And this routine (of Dawood) is the most forbearing (on the soul) because sleeping after standing relaxes the body and repels the aches obtained from standing and wilting of the body which is not the case if one remains awake till the morning. Another benefit to be gained from this routine is that a person approaches the morning prayer (Fajr) and performs the Adhkaar An-Nahaar (supplication of the morning) with enthusiasm and attentiveness. Furthermore, this is a measure that aims to prevent him/her from Riyaa (Ostentatiousness) because whoever, sleeps the last sixth of the night awakens with a sound and healthy appearance (as opposed to a weary and tired figure). This is more closer to concealing ones preceding actions (of the night) from one who may see him (in the morning). And this is what Ibn Daqeeq has also touched upon.

May Allah make us from those who observe the night prayer…Aameen

 
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Posted by on January 11, 2015 in Miscellaneous

 

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Qiyam Al-Layl: The Tranquillity of the Believer (2)

Bismillah Walhamdulillah Was-salaatu Was-salaam ‘alaa Rasoolillah

Some of the gems from the Qur’an and Sunnah regarding Qiyam Al-Layl are as follows:

Allah says regarding those who engage in the night prayer:

تَتَجَافَىٰ جُنُوبُهُمْ عَنِ الْمَضَاجِعِ يَدْعُونَ رَبَّهُمْ خَوْفًا وَطَمَعًا وَمِمَّا رَزَقْنَاهُمْ يُنفِقُونَ

They arise from [their] beds; they supplicate their Lord in fear and aspiration, and from what We have provided them, they spend. (Surat Al-Sajdah Verse 16)

Thereafter, the end-result of this action is mentioned:

فَلَا تَعْلَمُ نَفْسٌ مَّا أُخْفِيَ لَهُم مِّن قُرَّةِ أَعْيُنٍ جَزَاءً بِمَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ

And no soul knows what has been hidden for them of comfort for eyes as reward for what they used to do. (Surat Al-Sajdah Verse 17)
Allah says in his description of the Muhsineen (Good-doers):

كَانُوا قَلِيلًا مِّنَ اللَّيْلِ مَا يَهْجَعُونَ ﴿١٧ وَبِالْأَسْحَارِ هُمْ يَسْتَغْفِرُونَ

They used to sleep but little of the night, And in the hours before dawn they would ask forgiveness, (Surat Adh-Dhariyat Verses 17-18).
It has been transmitted from Qatadah, Mujahid and others that the meaning of the above verse is that they did not used to sleep in the night until, the morning. Ibn ‘Abbas RA said that the meaning meant that no night preceded them except, they took a portion from it (i.e. spent a portion of it in prayer).
Allah also says:

أَمَّنْ هُوَ قَانِتٌ آنَاءَ اللَّيْلِ سَاجِدًا وَقَائِمًا يَحْذَرُ الْآخِرَةَ وَيَرْجُو رَحْمَةَ رَبِّهِ

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]? (Surat Az-Zumar Verse 9)

Sheikh Al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah said that the meaning of Al-Qunoot (noun: devoutly):

Persistent in worship; when in prayer – he lengthens his standing in it, his bowing in it or his prostrating in it. This is the one who is devout (Qaanit)

Allah says in his description of the qualities possessed by the slaves of Ar-Rahmaan:

وَالَّذِينَ يَبِيتُونَ لِرَبِّهِمْ سُجَّدًا وَقِيَامًا

And those who spend [part of] the night to their Lord prostrating and standing [in prayer] (Surat Al-Furqan Verse 64)

Al-Bukhari mentions the following hadeeth in his chapter entitled “Chapter on the virtues of Qiyam Al-Layl”:

Narrated Ibn `Umar (RA):

If a man saw a dream during the lifetime of the Prophet (SAW) he would narrate it to the Prophet. Once I wished to see a dream and narrate it to the Prophet I was young, unmarried, and used to sleep in the Mosque during the lifetime of the Prophet. I dreamt that two angels took me and went away with me towards the (Hell) Fire which looked like a well with the inside walls built up, and had two side-walls like those of a well. There I saw some people in it whom I knew. I started saying: “I seek Refuge with Allah from the (Hell) Fire, I seek Refuge with Allah from the (Hell) Fire.” Then another angel met the other two and said to me: “Do not be afraid.”

I narrated my dream to Hafsa (RA) who, in her turn, narrated it to the Prophet (SAW). He said: “What an excellent man ‘Abdullah is…if he only observes the night prayer.”

Salem (a sub-narrator) said:

“Abdullah used not to sleep at night but very little hence forward.”

It can be seen from the statement: “What an excellent man ‘Abdullah is..” that the compliance with prayer during the night fits the description of “an excellent man”. Another benefit that can be derived from the aforementioned hadeeth is that the engagement in Qiyam Al-Layl (night prayer) repels the punishment of Allah.

In the hadeeth of Abu Hureirah RA it mentions the prophet SAW said: “The best of prayers after the prescribed obligatory prayers is Qiyam Al-Layl” (Muslim).

Also, ‘Ali Bin Abi Talib RA informed that “the prophet SAW entered upon me and Fatima RA (The prophet’s daughter) one night and said “Won’t you two pray?”. I replied “Oh messenger of Allah, our lives are in the hands of Allah, if he want us to get up, he will make us get up”. The prophet SAW went away without saying anything and thereafter, I heard him saying whilst, hitting his thigh: –

وَكَانَ الْإِنسَانُ أَكْثَرَ شَيْءٍ جَدَلًا

 “…But, man is ever more quarrelsome than anything.” (Surat Al-Kahf Verse 54). [Bukhari]
Ibn Battaal said: In this narration, the virtues of Qiyam Al-Layl are mentioned in addition to awakening ones family and kindred from sleep (for prayer). 
At-Tabari said: If the prophet SAW did not know of the magnitude of the virtues of prayer during the night, he would not bother his daughter (Fatima) and the son of his uncle (Ali Bin Abi Talib) during a period in which Allah has created “rest” for his creation. But, he opted to allow them to achieve/realise that virtue.
May Allah make us from amongst the night vigils….Aameen
 
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Posted by on January 2, 2015 in Miscellaneous

 

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Qiyam Al-Layl: The Tranquillity of the Believer

الحمد لله الذي جعل الصلاة راحة للمؤمنين، ومفزعاً للخائفين، ونوراً للمستوحشين، والصلاة والسلام على إمام المصلين المتهجدين، وسيد الراكعين والساجدين، وعلى آله وصحبه ومن تبعهم بإحسان إلى يوم الدين… أما بعد:

As we journey through the toils of this life; we often find that we are in a place whereby our limbs become fatigued and our mental state becomes plagued with an innate desire to be in a state of tranquillity and calmness. Consequently, our behaviour and conduct becomes robotic; no longer do we find that happiness or joy that we once knew. Our life becomes bland and we crave to experience jubilation, delight and exuberance from merely living life. These emotions are indispensable to us as they can immediately exile a person from the darkness of sluggishness into the radiance of life. Such powerful emotions are an invaluable source of nourishment for our souls and this manifests into a communal cultivation land whereby, others benefit from the positivity that surrounds us.

As Muslims we must realise that this compelling sense of tranquillity is only achieved by attaining nearness to Allah – The supreme and mighty. One of the most rewarding ways to achieve this great feat is by traversing through the night via Qiyaam Al-Layl (The night prayer). The night prayer (Tahajjud/Qiyam Al-Layl) is a source of relaxation and comfort for the believer. As the believer awakens at night, whilst, mankind remains oblivious to his footsteps – he retreats to a period of seclusion and spends his night bowing, prostrating and invoking the one whom perpetuation of praise is rightfully due upon – Allah SWT. Such a relationship is one to be envious of for indeed, Qiyaam Al-Layl is a sign of a person whom Allah loves as he has given him the ability to forsake his soft bed to engage in a journey that takes him to a different realm – the realm of the hereafter.

The Mutahajjid (One who engages in Qiyam Al-Layl) calls out to his lord in the depths of the night whilst, acknowledging the potency and efficacy of supplications made at this preponderant time. He bears his heart out to his master whilst, knowing with certainty that his merciful lord hears his every whisper. It is this conviction that penetrates his heart that allows him to feel at ease and in comfort. He finds joy in praising Allah and in glorifying and thanking him. No longer does he feel the stresses and turmoil of his worldly affairs. No longer does he feel his heart narrowing by being worn down with the horridness that confronts him every day. He now experiences richness in his heart as he knows he has a loving lord who sustains and provides for him. This richness that encapsulates his heart gives him the strength and perseverance to achieve the unexpected. It empowers him with a sense of purpose and he finds himself being released from the chains of depression that used to shackle him. He realises that Qiyaam Al-Layl enriches his soul with a sweetness that brings internal elation and melts down the most bitter of attacks the world throws at him.

Qiyam Al-Layl is a form of ammunition which empowers the Muslim. He experiences a closeness to Allah that he never experienced before. He tastes the sweetness of worship and becomes enticed by it to the extent whereby, missing it becomes a source of misery for him. Thus, the pious predecessors used to make up Qiyam Al-Layl in the day if they did not partake in it during the night. Such concern for a supererogatory action only increases its importance and effectiveness in the life of the believer.

We ask Allah to make us from those who experience the tranquillity of the night in which the heart finds delightOh Allah make us amongst your special ones who are persistent in the performance of the night prayer….Aameen

 
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Posted by on December 26, 2014 in Miscellaneous

 

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