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The Virtue Of Performing Qiyam in Ramadan And Laylat-ul-Qadr (1)

EsinIslam Ramadan Explorer

Sheikh 'Abdullah ibn Salih Al Qusayyir

The merit of Qiyam

Qiyam is a stressed Sunnah and a great act of worship all year long. Texts reported from the Qur'an and the Sunnah exhorted and guided to it by stressing its great status and reward.

Moreover, it is the special course which pious people, whom Allah praised in His Book, used to do: "No doubt! Verily, the Auliyâ' of Allâh [i.e. those who believe in the Oneness of Allâh and fear Allâh much (abstain from all kinds of sins and evil deeds which He has forbidden), and love Allâh much (perform all kinds of good deeds which He has ordained)], no fear shall come upon them nor shall they grieve. * Those who believed (in the Oneness of Allâh - Islâmic Monotheism), and used to fear Allâh much (by abstaining from evil deeds and sins and by doing righteous deeds). * For them are glad tidings, in the life of the present world (i.e. through a righteous dream seen by the person himself or shown to others), and in the Hereafter. No change can there be in the Words of Allâh. This is indeed the supreme success." [Surat Yunus: 62 - 64].

Allah (Glory be to Him) praised the believers and the pious for their noble traits and great actions; and of these actions is Qiyam. Allah (may He be Exalted) says: "Only those believe in Our Ayât (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.), who, when they are reminded of them, fall down prostrate, and glorify the Praises of their Lord, and they are not proud. * Their sides forsake their beds, to invoke their Lord in fear and hope, and they spend (in charity in Allâh's Cause) out of what We have bestowed on them. * No person knows what is kept hidden for them of joy as a reward for what they used to do." [Surat As-Sajdah: 15 - 17].

And described them in another position with His Saying: "And those who spend the night in worship of their Lord, prostrate and standing. * And those who say: Our Lord! Avert from us the torment of Hell. Verily, its torment is ever an inseparable, permanent punishment." [Surat Al Furqan: 64 - 65]. until He says: "Those will be rewarded with the highest place (in Paradise) because of their patience. Therein they shall be met with greetings and the word of peace and respect. * Abiding therein - excellent it is as an abode, and as a place to rest in." [Surat Al Furqan: 75 - 76].

These Ayahs draw attentions to the virtue of Qiyam and its reward. Furthermore, it is one of reasons of diverting the torment of Hellfire away and winning Paradise and its permanent bliss along with living in the company of Allah.

May Allah make you and us from the successful! Allah (may He be Exalted) says: "Verily, The Muttaqűn (the pious), will be in the midst of Gardens and Rivers (Paradise). In a seat of truth (i.e. Paradise), near the Omnipotent King (Allâh, the One, the All-Blessed, the Most High, the Owner of Majesty and Honor)." [Surat Al Qamar: 54 - 55].

Allah described the pious in Surat Adh-Dhariyat with some attributes; of which: Qiyam by which they won the vast paradise. Allah (Glory be to Him) says: "Truly! The Muttaqűn (the pious) will be amidst Gardens and water-springs (Paradise). * Taking joy in the things which their Lord has given them. Verily, they were before this Muhsinűn (good-doers). * They used to sleep but little by night [invoking their Lord (Allâh) and praying, with fear and hope]." [Surat Az-Zariyat: 15 - 17].

Qiyam has a great effect in strengthening faith, helping a person to do great actions, and reforming conditions and blessing money. Allah (may He be Exalted) says: "O you wrapped in garments (i.e. Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him)! * Stand (to pray) all night, except a little." [Surat Al Muzzammil: 1- 2]. up to His Saying: "Verily, We shall send down to you a weighty Word (i.e. obligations, laws). * Verily, the rising by night (for Tahajjud prayer) is very hard and most potent and good for governing oneself, and most suitable for (understanding) the Word (of Allâh)." [Surat Al Muzzammil: 5 - 6].

It was authentically reported in Sahih Muslim that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "The best Salah after the prescribed Salah i.e., the obligatory Salah is the Voluntary Night Salah." [1]

It was reported in the Hadith of 'Amr ibn 'Absah that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "The Lord becomes nearest to His Servants in the last portion of the night, So, if you can be among those who remember Allah in that hour, then be (among them)." [2]

Abu Dawud reported in his Sunan from 'Amr ibn 'Absah (may Allah be pleased with him) that he asked the Prophet (peace be upon him): "In which part of night the supplication is more likely to be accepted? He replied: In the last portion of the night: Perform Salah as much as you like." [3]

It was reported in Sahih Al Bukhari and Sahih Muslim on the authority of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "Our Lord (Blessed and Exalted be He) comes down every night to the worldly sky in the last third of the night, saying: "Is there anyone to invoke Me, so that I may respond to his 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?" [4]

It was reported in Sahih Muslim on the authority of Jabir (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "There is an hour during the night in which no Muslim will ask Allah for good in this world and the next but He will grant it to him; and that happens every night." [5]

It was reported in Sahih Al Bukhari on the authority of 'Ubadah ibn As-Samit (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "Whoever gets up at night and says: 'La ilaha il-lallah Wahdahu la Sharika lahu. Lahu-l-mulk, wa Lahu-l-hamd wahuwa ‘ala kullishai'in Qadir. Alhamdu lil-lahi wa subhanal-lahi wa la-ilaha il-lal-lah wa-l-lahu akbar wa la hawla wala Quwata il-la-bil-lah.' (None has the right to be worshipped but Allah. He is the Only One and has no partners. For Him is the Kingdom and all the praises are due for Him. He is Omnipotent. All the praises are for Allah. All the glories are for Allah. And none has the right to be worshipped but Allah, And Allah is Great And there is neither Might nor Power Except with Allah). And then says: Allahumma, Ighfir li (O Allah! Forgive me). Or invokes (Allah), he will be responded to and if he performs ablution (and prays), his Salah will be accepted." [6]

Imam Ahmad and others reported on the authority of Abu Malik Al Ash'ary (may Allah be pleased with him) that he said: The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "In Paradise there are rooms that their inside can be seen from outside and outside can be seen from inside. Allah prepared them for those who soften their speech, feed the people, continue to observe (voluntary) fasting, and perform Salah at night while people are asleep." [7]

It was reported in Sahih Al Bukhari and Sahih Muslim on the authority of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) that he said: The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "Allah (may He be Glorified and Exalted) says: I have prepared for My Pious slaves things which have never been seen by an eye, or heard by an ear, or imagined by a human being.[8] Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: "If you wish, you can recite this Ayah: "No person knows what is kept hidden for them of joy as a reward for what they used to do." [Surat As-Sajdah: 17].

It was reported in the authentic Sunnah that performing Qiyam is one of the reasons to escape temptations and safety from Hell-Fire. It was reported in Sahih Al Bukhari and others on the authority of Um Salamah (may Allah be pleased with her) that the Prophet (peace be upon him) woke up one night and said: "Glory be to Allah! How many afflictions Allah has revealed tonight and how many treasures have been sent down (disclosed). Go and wake the sleeping lady occupants of these dwellings (for Salah)." [9]

The Hadith indicates the impact of performing Salah at night which is protecting a person from seditions and afflictions.

Moreover, in the story of Ibn 'Umar's vision, he said: "I saw in the dream that two angels caught hold of me and took me to the Fire which was built all round like a built well and had two poles in it and the people in it were known to me. I started saying: "I seek refuge with Allah from the Fire." Then I met another angel who told me not to be afraid. I narrated the dream to Hafsah who told it to Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him). The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "'Abdullah is a good man. I wish he prayed Tahajjud." After that 'Abdullah (i.e. Salim's father) used to sleep but a little at night." [10]

Al Hakim reported -He graded the Hadith as authentic and Adh-Dhahaby agreed to his judgment- on the authority of Abu Umamah Al Bahily (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "You should perform the Voluntary Night Salah because it is the practice of our righteous predecessors. It draws you near your Lord, expiates your sins, and protects you against committing of sins." [11]

To sum up, the Voluntary Night Salah is:

A- One of the causes of being close to Allah and gaining His Love.

B- One of the causes of removing fear and sadness, and receiving successive good news of the expected great reward.

C- One of the attributes of pious people in every time and place.

D- One of the greatest matters which help to achieve the benefits of this world and the Hereafter.

E- The Voluntary Night Salah is the best Salah after the obligatory one. It draws a person nearer to the Lord, as it expiates sins.

F- One of the reasons of accepting invocations, gaining the love of Allah, safety of undesirable matters, and remission of sins.

G- Protection against temptations and destruction, as it guards against sins.

H- One of the things that rescue a person from Hell and make him win the highest ranks of Paradise.

The virtue of Qiyam

Here, it becomes clear that Qiyam is one of the good traits that bring about great reward and a branch of piety which Allah imposed fasting to achieve.

Fasting and Qiyam in Ramadan are correlated according to the believers because Qiyam in Ramadan is one of the great rites which the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) exhorted people to do by words and actions.

It was reported in Sahih Al Bukhari and Sahih Muslim on the authority of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) who said: The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) "Whoever performs Salah at night the whole month of Ramadan out of sincere Faith and hoping for a reward from Allah, all his previous sins will be forgiven." [12]

It was reported in the Sahih (books of authentic Hadiths) on the authority of 'A'ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) that "the Prophet (peace be upon him) offered Salah in the masjid in the middle of the night then a group of his Companions performed Salah for three nights behind him. When it was the fourth night, the masjid was full of people and the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) did not come out to them. In the morning he (peace be upon him) said: "I saw what you were doing and nothing but the fear that it (i.e. the prayer) might be enjoined on you, stopped me from coming to you." [13] And that happened in the month of Ramadan."

This Hadith contains a great mercy from the Prophet (peace be upon him) toward his nation and the eagerness of the Companions (may Allah be pleased with them) adhering to the Sunnah and performing Qiyam.

It was reported in Sahih Al Bukhari and Sahih Muslim from the Prophet (peace be upon him) that he said: "Whoever establishes Salah on the Night of Decree out of sincere faith and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven."

This is one of the proofs to the virtue of Ramadan, especially, the last ten nights during which Qiyam is a Sunnah in order to seek the night of Decree because of its great reward.

Qiyam includes Salah whether it is done in the early hours of the night or in the late hours and Tarawih (Special Optional Night Salah that is performed in Ramadan). It was reported in the Sunan (Hadith compilations classified by jurisprudential themes) on the authority of Abu Dhar (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "When a man performs Salah with an imam till the imam leaves, he is reckoned as having spent a whole night in Salah." [14]

So, a person should be keen to perform it desiring for its goodness and reward. So, a person should perform Tarawih with his imam until the imam leaves in order to have the reward of Qiyam.

However, if a person desires to perform Salah some parts of the night, he may do so to gain the virtue of performing Salah in the middle of the night because it is attended and recorded by angels, and its invocations are answered.

If this happens, all requests shall be fulfilled, sins shall be forgiven, in addition to other things mentioned in regard of the virtue of Qiyam.

It was authentically reported from the Prophet (peace be upon him) that he said: "The night prayer is offered as two Rak'ahs followed by two Rak'ahs and so on." [15]

Thus, the Prophet (peace be upon him) did not limit the number of Qiyam with certain number, so a person may perform as many Rak'ahs as he wants, but he should not perform Witr Salah (Salah of odd number Rak'ah) if he had performed Witr with the imam because of the Prophet's saying: "There should be no two Witr Salah in one night." [16]

The meaning is: The times of Ramadan are blessed, so a person should benefit from in drawing near to Allah and invoking Allah continuously to fulfill all requests in this world and in the Hereafter and to gain success from Allah, for He is the Most Gracious, the Most High and the One whose aid is to be implored. There is no might nor strength save in Allah the Great, so, He is Sufficient for us and the best of Trustees!

[1] Part from a Hadith that was reported by Muslim No. (1163) in the book of fasting, chapter on the virtue of fasting the month of Al Muharram, on the authority of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him).
[2] Reported by At-Tirmidhy No. (3579) with his own wordings and An-Nasa'y reported it fully (1/279, 280) No. (571).
Al Mundhry reported it in At-Targhib wa At-Tarhib, as it was also reported by Abu Dawud in full with different wordings (1277) and reported by Muslim in full with different wordings (832). At-Tirmidhy said: This is a good and authentic Hadith, but strange from this way of narration, and Al Albany graded it as authentic in Sahih Al Targhib (1/257) No. (624). Al Arna'ut graded it as authentic in Jami' Al Usul (5/258) No. (3338).
[3] Reported by Abu Dawud (1277).
[4] Reported by Al Bukhari No. (7494) in the book of monotheism, chapter on Allah's Saying: "They want to change Allâh's Words." [Surat Al Fath: 15] and Muslim No. (758) 6, 24 on shortening Salah for a traveler, chapter on (exhortation to invocation and Dhikr in the last portion of the night).
[5] Reported by Muslim No. (757) on shortening Salah for a traveler, chapter on (There is an hour in the night in which invocations are answered).
[6] Reported by Al Bukhari No. (1154) in the book of Spending part of the night in supererogatory Salah, chapter on (the merit of the one who gets up at night to perform Salah).
[7] Reported by Imam Ahmad in his Musnad (5/343) and Ibn Hibban graded it as authentic (641). The Hadith has a similar example from the Hadith of 'Abdullah ibn 'Amr (may Allah be pleased with him) at Al Hakim (1/321). Adh-Dhahaby agreed to his judgment on the Hadith, whereas Al Mundhiry graded it as good. It has another similar Hadith from the Hadith of Ali in Sunan At-Tirmidhy (1985) and (2529)
[8] Reported by Al Bukhari No. (2344) in the book of the beginning of creation, chapter on the description of Paradise and its creation, and Muslim No. (2824) the beginning of the Paradise book.
[9] Reported by Al Bukhari No. (7069) in the book of turmoil, chapter on No time will come but the next will be more evil.
[10] Part of a Hadith reported by Al Bukhari No. (1121, 1122) in the book of Spending part of the night in supererogatory Salah, chapter on the merit of the Late Night Salah, and Muslim No. (2479) in the book of the merits of the Companions, chapter on of the merits of 'Abdullah ibn 'Umar (may Allah be pleased with him).
[11] Reported by Al Hakim (1/308) and graded it as authentic according to the conditions of Al Bukhari, Adh-Dhahaby agreed to his judgment on the Hadith, and Al 'Iraqy graded it as good.
[12] Reported by Al Bukhari No. (37) in the book of faith, chapter on performing Salah in Laylat-ul-Qadr (the Night of Decree) is part of faith, and Muslim No. (759) on shortening Salah for a traveler, chapter on exhortation to perform Tarawih in Ramadan.
[13] Reported by Al Bukhari No. (924) and (2012) in the book of Friday, chapter on "He who says during the Friday sermon after the introduction (now coming to the point)," and Muslim No. (761) on shortening Salah for a traveler, chapter on exhortation to perform Tarawih in Ramadan from 'A'ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) and the Hadith was also reported by Abu Humayd Al Sa'idy, Al Miswar ibn Makhramah and others.
[14] Reported by Abu Dawud No. (1375) and At-Tirmidhy No. (806) and An-Nasa'y (3/83, 84) No. (1363) and An-Nasa'y (3/202, 203) No. (1604) and Ibn Majah No. (1327) At-Tirmidhy said: This is a good and authentic Hadith. Al Arna'ut said in verifying Jami' Al Usul (6/120) No. (4220): Its chain of narration is correct.
[15] Reported by Al Bukhari No. (990) in Witr Salah, chapter on Hadiths reported about Witr Salah, and Muslim No. (749) and (753) on shortening Salah for a traveler, chapter on "The night prayer is offered as two Rak'ahs followed by two Rak'ah and so on" from 'Abdullah ibn 'Umar (may Allah be pleased with him).
[16] Reported by Abu Dawud No. (1439), At-Tirmidhy No. (470), and Ash-Shafi'y (3/229, 230) No. (1678) from Talq ibn Ali (may Allah be pleased with him). At-Tirmidhy said: Hadith Hassan Gharib (a good Hadith that is strange to come from this chain of narration). Al Hafizh graded it as good in Fathul-Bary (2/399). Al Arna'ut said in Jami' Al Usul (6/62) No. (4665): It is an authentic Hadith.
 

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