Practical Tips for the Night Prayer (Part 1)

Numerous ahadeeth and Qur’anic verses mention the excellence of Qiyaam al-Layl and the merit of those who perform it regularly. The craziness of life often have us trudging through our daily routine and forgetting about this fruitful prayer, here are a few reminders of its importance and a number of practical tips to help you get in the habit of Qiyaam al-Layl.

He (Peace and Blessings be upon Him) said: “You should pray Qiyaam al-Layl, for it is the habit of the righteous people who came before you, and it will bring you closer to your Lord, expiate for bad deeds, prevent sin, and expel disease from the body.” [At-Tirmidhee and Musnad Ahmad]

It is also narrated Mu’adh Ibn Jabal (May Allah be Pleased with Him): The Prophet (Peace and Blessings be upon Him) said to him: “May I show you the gates of goodness? (they are), (a) Fasting is a screen from Hell, (b) As-Sadaqah extinguishes the sins, as water extinguishes fire, (c) Standing in salaat (prayer) by a slave of Allah during the last third part of a night.”

Then the Prophet (Peace and Blessings be upon Him) recited the verse: “Their (believer’s) sides forsake their beds, to invoke their Lord in fear and hope; and they spend out of what We have bestowed on them.” [Abu Dawood and at-Tirmidhee]

Practical Tips for Praying Qiyaam al-Layl

1. Ikhlas (Sincerity)

This is the key to Allah’s Help and blessings. The help of Allah is needed to accomplish and achieve success in all our affairs. And Allah helps those who are sincere in their hearts. The Messenger of Allah (Peace and blessings upon him) said: “If you are truthful with Allah, then Allah will deliver to you what you wish for.” [An-Nasa’ee, al-Hakim and Saheeh al-Jamee]

Therefore, one should have a sincere intention to pray Qiyaam al-Layl; seek the Pleasure of Allah Alone and avoid the desire of praise or fame. Allah says: “And they were commanded not, but that they should worship Allah, and worship none but Him Alone.” [Quran 98: 5]

2. Knowing the Virtues of Qiyaam al-Layl

Knowing the virtues and rewards of performing worship produces willingness and desire to perform the worship. We have previously mentioned numerous virtues of regularly praying Qiyaam al-Layl, here we mention the excellence of praying Qiyaam al-Layl particularly in the great month of Ramadan.

Abu Hurayrah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Allah’s Messenger (Peace and blessings be upon Him) encouraged the people, without making it an absolute command, to perform Qiyaam during Ramadan. He (Peace and blessings be upon Him) used to say: “Whoever stands (in Qiyaam) in Ramadan out of faith and expectation (of Allah’s reward), all his previous sins will be forgiven.” [Saheeh Muslim]

3. Taking a Nap in the Day Time

Taking a nap before or after Dhuhr salah will dismiss stress and thus enable one to get up in the night and stand in front of his Lord. The Messenger of Allah (Peace and blessings be upon Him) said: “Take a nap, for the Shayateen do not take naps.” [Reported by at-Tabaranee. Al-Saheehah 2647]

In essence, purify your intentions, clear your mind and rest your body in preparation for this fruitful salah.

Look out for part 2 of this article for more practical tips on how to achieve Qiyam al-Layl.

Do you pray Qiyam al-Layl regularly? If so, inspire us with some of your tips that help you remain consistent, share with us how this prayer has impacted your life.

About the Author

This article was shared by Al Huda Institute Canada, a non-profit, non-sectarian, non-political organization currently working to promote authentic Islamic knowledge. The institute began its educational program in 2001, and is now providing structured courses for people from all walks of life.


14 thoughts on “Practical Tips for the Night Prayer (Part 1)

  1. Sleep early.. will wake up early. When u exp the results, u will trying to practice it more ofteb.. if not yet, keep trying n i sure u that u will difinitely exp a huge change to ur life, the positive one! =}

  2. Always ask for forgiveness from Allah before sleeping. Because sometimes the sins we committed in the day becomes a burden to us, causing us difficulties to wake up early in the morning =)

  3. May the Almighty Allah grant you all Aljannat fird’aus for the wonderful job you have being doing for this great ummah Ameen.

  4. I usually leave off praying witr and then I have to get up to do them that’s how I force myself to get up ……..also I heard somewhere that reading the last two ayats of surah baqra actually helps u get up for this blessed prayer walahu Alim……..but my main problem is that being a woman after the necessary break in the routine it’s a bit difficult to get back into it ……if u have any tips regarding that pls share :)

    1. To remain steadfast/consistent in the routine without disrupting it perhaps wake up for qiyam as you usually do and make duaa, do dhikr, reflect, listen to the recitation of the Qur’aan (whilst trying not to disturb those asleep in the home), ect.

      If you are married and your husband prays tahajjud Salah then wake him, set out the prayer mat, make things easier for him to wake up/pray bi ithnillah and then sit listening to him if he is reciting audibly as he prays.

      To remain attached to the Qur’an/to help with retaining and strengthening your hifdh whilst unable to recite we can at least listen to the recitation Alhamdulillah, even better and more beautiful (as I find it at least) listening to someone recite in person rather than just by recordings.

      If you love to fast and fast regularly then when unable to fast try to give food to others with the intention of feeding a fasting person bi ithnillah especially if you know they are fasting or likely to be such as on days when it is sunnah to fast.

      Also it might be good to make dua/sit down for dhikr during the time you usually pray Salah so you keep a connection to it despite being unable to pray and listen to the Jumah especially  (as the recitation is audible and to the khutbah/reminder) if you are able to since you feel connected and part of the gathering and it affects the heart Alhamdulillah.

  5. Jazakallah khair for this article. I loved the advice about taking a nap. The reason why I stopped praying Qiyam al Layl was because I was having geat difficulty waking up for Fajr after I had prayed the Qiyam al Layl.

  6. One of the best ways to wake up for Qiyam al layl is to avoid sinning throughout the day. I’ve noticed that when you sin Allah takes away the blessing of standing uo in prayer at night. Thus make istighfar before going to bed and inshallah Allah will bless you and all of us with this blessed moment of worship

  7. I agree with Fathima, when we are not sinning Allah blesses us with the opportunity to pray tahajjudh. It is also the best time to talk to Allah and ask for forgiveness and talk about all the problems and issues we face daily. Its impossible during the day to get that kind of peace and quiet to do that.

  8. Make Wdhu before going to bed and recite the last verse of Surah Kahf then waking for Night prayer becomes like peace of cake Inshallah 

    1.  thank a lot, I am going to try that, for the past couple of days I have tried waking up for night prayer, but failed. I am going to do that right now since it is night.

  9. It all comes down to how badly do you want it. Period.

    After months of trying and failing I took stock of myself – all thanks to Allah, this felt a goal too far to reach. But to attain the purification and forgiveness I seek this was imperative. I had to be honest with myself, I simply was not trying hard enough. Had this been any other event (i.e. to catch a flight, or speak to a friend) you bet your bottom dollar I would have got up.
    BUT this is not a one off, where you sleep late and then force yourself up, but then require a long sleep the night after. Nothing will get made in one night, a man is not made in one night. This religion is about steadfastness – to make a change and to keep it committed. To feel a difference you will need to be consistant. That means routine, you will have to take a drill sergant approach:  reflect on your day, how many things do you need to do? Calculate the time taken to do them, allocate enough time for eating, and what time you will need to get up for Tahujjud.

    Make sure you get to bed early – there is no other way. Sometimes I win and sometimes I lose, I often think about giving up, but I remind myself that Allah is merciful, he will help me if I help myself. If you want things to change you will make that effort. It will be hard, but the more the struggle the greater the reward. And just remember you take 10 steps to Allah he will come running. Just reflect at the magnitute of that statement. Don’t you want to meet your lord?

  10. I faced a tough time and I was very upset and that was the time I got very close to ALLAH and I got to know about tahajudd ever since I started praying it, but there comes a time when my apprehensive period was over and I was in ease and I got reluctant about it but whenever I missed salat-ul-layl being very honest through out that whole day I felt a heavy burden on my heart I felt terribly bad it was immense amount of guilt I felt like I could not take a single step and I was’nt productive in my day I felt feeble my heart use to ponder over small issues and thoughts about future and whenever I use to offer there was only one feeling “YES MY ALLAH IS WITH ME HE LOVES ME AND I CAN CONQUER THE WORLD AS THE BIGGEST SOURCE IS ALONG MYSIDE”
    rather going to people who can only listen to your problems and sympathise you with pitty saying go to YOUR LORD and seek help HE KNOWS , YET HE LISTENS and HE CURES !!!

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