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Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) - 52: Spending Hours In Night Worship

Islamic Perspectives - Muslim Journals

Arab News & Information - Shaikh Muhammad Al-Ghazali

THE Prophet (peace be upon him) prepared to receive every new day by engaging in worship in which he was keen that everyone in his household should join. Thus, it is a day that turns our familiar pattern upside down. It gives a different arrangement of priorities, looking at life from a new angle. It is as he expressed: people who are well dressed in this life may find themselves naked in the life to come, and a humble person here may be a king there. Yet, that is the true life and everyone should be prepared for it.

After spending much of the night in prayer and worship, the Prophet might go to sleep again, but his heart, full of faith, was always alert. When he turned in bed, or rose again, he would say: "All praise is due to You, my Lord. You are the light of the heavens and the earth and all between. Praise be to You, You are the one in control of the heavens and the earth and all between. Praise be to You, You are the Lord of the heavens and the earth and all between. To you belongs all praise. You are the truth: Your promise is true; what You say is true; the meeting with You is true; heaven is true; hell is true; all prophets are true; Muhammad is true; the Hour of Judgment is true. My Lord, to You I submit myself; in You I believe; on You I rely; to You I turn; by Your guidance I dispute; to You I submit for judgment. Forgive me what I have done and what I may do, what I hold in secret and what I do in public. You are my Lord; there is no deity other than You."

The Prophet always recommended his followers to start the night with a clean body. He used to say: "Purify your bodies; may God purify you. Anyone who goes to bed having had ablutions will have an angel stopping with him, praying God to forgive him as he started the night with purification." Needless to say, physical purification is no substitute for spiritual purity. However, we are helped to have a good night when we go to bed remembering God and glorifying Him.

The Prophet said to his daughter Fatimah and her husband Ali: "When you go to bed, say ‘Allah-u Akbar' (God is Supreme) 33 times, ‘Subhan Allah' (Glory be to God) 33 times and ‘Al-Hamd lillah' 33 times." In one report the glorification is required 34 times to complete 100. Ali said that he never omitted to say them ever since, not even on the night of the Battle of Siffin. This means that Ali did as the Prophet recommended for over 30 years, including the hardest day in his life when he had to fight against fellow Muslims. Perhaps we should add that Ali had a life full of worries that left him little relaxation. Perhaps he only felt truly rested when he left this life to meet God. Yet such worries and problems did not cause him to forget to glorify God and praise Him before sleep. Perhaps he found such glorification of immense help in facing his problems.

Stressing the importance of maintaining purity of body and soul as we start the night, the Prophet is quoted as saying: "Whoever goes to bed having performed his ablutions and glorifies God until he is overtaken by sleep, God will give him whatever he requests of the goodness of this life and the life to come which he asks Him as he turns in his bed." Thus Islam establishes a pattern of permanent relation between man and God that comes alive at every moment of day and night. Only when we are asleep we are oblivious of it, but we remain keenly aware of it throughout our waking hours. That relation ensures a relaxed and happy feeling which we experience all the time. This is the fruit of faith that combines conviction with action.

 

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