The Virtue Of Performing Qiyam in Ramadan And Laylat-ul-Qadr (1)
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 -
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
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." 
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)." 
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." 
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?" 
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."
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." 
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." 
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. 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)." 
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
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." 
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." 
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."  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." 
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
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." 
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." 
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!
 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).
 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).
 Reported by Abu Dawud (1277).
 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).
 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).
 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).
 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)
 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.
 Reported by Al Bukhari No. (7069) in the book of turmoil, chapter on No
time will come but the next will be more evil.
 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).
 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.
 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.
 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.
 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
 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).
 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.