Did you know that one of the best times to worship is during the middle of the night? When the day’s work is done and everyone is asleep and you are unplugged from all the activities of the day, the middle of the night becomes a time to forget all about this world and seek nearness to Allah (ta’ala).
During the lifetime of Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ), he was known to stand for many nights in prayer. Sometimes, he would pray so much that his feet would get swollen. The Prophet loved Qiyam ul-layl and many of the sahabahs followed in his footsteps with their love for standing up in prayer in the middle of the night.
Unfortunately for a lot of us in the later generations, we find it difficult to summon the same energy for qiyam ul-layl as the Prophet and his companions did. But this does not mean that we should give up and let our beds and comforter win the battle every night to prevent us from standing up for prayers.
Yes, our schedules are tight and we end our days tired, but if we can inspire ourselves with these benefits of qiyam ul-layl, maybe we can become of those who stand in prayer more often at night.
At that time of the night, the majority of humans are asleep, even most of the members of your household. This is a time when your chances of being interrupted by anyone or any device is limited. You’re less likely to get called by your boss at midnight than you are during the day. Even your favorite cable channels will only play reruns and old episodes of your favorite TV shows at midnight.
Standing up to pray at midnight gives you the space to offer salah for as long as you want without feeling like you’ve maxed out your lunch break, or that your kids may hurt themselves before you finish praying. Your khushoo is improved because there is nothing else lurking at the back of your mind waiting for attention. You also get a chance to recite the Qur’an as much as you want, and to make dua.
If you find that you still get distracted, maybe by your phone or bed, when you wake up for qiyam ul-layl, a good thing to do is to go and pray in another part of the house away from both.
Increased Good Deeds
Every salah that we offer during qiyam ul-layl is an extra on our scale of good deeds. So is every letter of the Qur’an recited and every dhikr made. Every act of worship during this time of the night is voluntary and they will add to a person’s scale if Allah (ta’ala) wills. We all can do with extra good deeds on our scales.
It is a great sacrifice to worship at a time when you’d rather be sleeping. But we also should remember that the reward that comes with worshipping at this time of the night is immense. It is even more unimaginable than scoring the best bargains at your favorite store.
The rewards that we stand to gain if we worship at that time is enough motivation to strive to wake up, even if it is for a few minutes a couple of times a week.
Increased Chances of Accepted Dua
The promise of Allah (ta’ala) is ever true, and from what we have been taught, qiyam ul-layl is one of the times with the highest chance of your dua being answered.
Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) (p.b.u.h) said, “Our Lord, the Blessed, the Superior, comes every night down on the nearest Heaven to us when the last third of the night remains, saying: “Is there anyone to invoke Me, so that I may respond to 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?” (Bukhari)
This hadith is telling us that Allah (ta’ala) is asking about the person praying at night so that He can accept their dua. Wouldn’t we want to be part of these people? How good will it feel knowing that your Rabb has descended to the nearest heaven and you are awake to have a one-on-one conversation with Him?
Yes, we know we cannot see Him. But we believe His words to be true, so if He is near us at that time of the day, we should strive to make good use of that opportunity.
I know that it is not easy for many people to leave their sleep to pray. Many times you are even so knocked out from the day’s activities that you just want to take a shower and hit the sheets. But remember that qiyam ul-layl is offering us a chance to build a lot of rewards for ourselves for the hereafter, and this world is our only chance of grabbing that opportunity.