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Tahajjud Research

1. “And during part of the night forsake sleep by prayer, beyond what is incumbent on thee; maybe thy Lord will raise thee to a position of great glory” (17:79).

2. “The rising by night is the firmest way to tread and the best corrective of speech” (73:6).

3. “Surely thy Lord knows that thou passest in prayer nearly two-thirds of the night, and (sometimes) half of it, and (sometimes) one-third of it, and also a part of those who are with thee” (73: 20).

Tahajjud, from hajada meaning he remained wakeful in the night, is the prayer which is offered during the latter part of the night, before daybreak. It is a supererogatory prayer, but special stress is laid on it in the Holy Qur’ān (vv. 1, 2).Witr, (lit. an odd number), originally a part of the Tahajjud prayer. is a supererogatory prayer of three rak’ahs, generally said after the ‘Ishii’ prayer. Tarāwīh (pl. of tarwihah meaning rest) is a supererogatory prayer of eight or twenty rak’ahs said during the month of Ramadzān immediately after the ‘Ishā’ prayer.

The Tahajjud prayer is said, after one has enjoyed sleep, during the latter third of the night (h. 1), This prayer consists of eleven rak’ahs (h. 2). but may be shortened to nine or seven or even less (hh. 3. 4), there being a break after every two rak’ahs. As all people could not afford to get up in the latter part of the night, three rak’ahs of witr were added to the ‘Ishā’ prayer, being the final act of devotion before going to sleep (hh. 5, 6). The last rak’ah of witr war, characterized by a special prayer offered before or after rukū’ and called the qunūt (h. 7).

The Tarāwīh prayer really takes the place of Tahajjud, in the case of those who cannot get up for Tahajjud, in the month of Ramadzān. In its present form, it was introduced in the time of ‘Umar
(h. 8).

Abn Hurairah reported, The Messenger of Allāh, peace and blessings of Allāh be on him, said, “Our Lord, blessed and exalted is He, descends every night to the nearest heaven when the latter one-third of the night remains, (and) says, Is there any one who calls upon Me so that I may accept of him, who asks of Me so that I may grant him, who seeks forgiveness of Me so that I may forgive him?

Ibn ‘Umar reported, The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allāh be on him, said:“Let the witr be your last prayer at night.”

‘Abd al-Rahmān said, I went out with ‘Umar ibn al-Khattāb to the mosque on a certain night in Ramadzān, and the people had formed themselves into different groups–one man saying prayer alone and another saying prayers with a number of people following his prayer. So ‘Umar said, I think if I gather them together behind one reciter, it would be much better. Then he made his decision and gathered them together behind Ubayy ibn Ka’b. Then I went out with him on another night and the people were following the prayer of their reciter.

‘Umar said, This innovation is very good; and the part (of the night) in which they sleep is better than that in which they stand saying prayers–he meant the latter part of the night; and the people stood praying in the first part.

Source: http://www.sacred-texts.com/isl/hadith/had16.htm

Waking up is hard to do.

wake up early. Now, we know the best time to pray is in the last third of the night–which gets to be pretty reasonable around winter time in North America. But how early should you wake up?

The answer is, whatever works for you. If you pray near the start of Fajr, then you can easily make it by trimming a mere 30 minutes or so from your sleep to rise early. Similarly, if you have a regular habit of fasting (such as Mondays and Thursdays, the White days, or in Ramadan) and you’re up for suhoor, wake up early or shorten your suhoor by a short period of time and pray qiyam instead.

hadiths that reinforce the importance of Tahajjud:

`Abdullah ibn as-Salam reported: “When the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) came to Medinah, the people gathered around him and I was one of them. I looked at his face and understood that it was not the face of a liar. The first words I heard him say were: ‘O people, spread the salutations, feed the people, keep the ties of kinship, and pray during the night while the others sleep and you will enter Paradise in peace.”‘ This is related by al-Hakim, Ibn Majah, and at-Tirmizhi who considers it authentic and sound hadith.

Salman al-Farsi quoted the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) as saying: “Observe the night prayer, it was the practice of the righteous before you and it brings you closer to your Lord and it is penance for evil deeds and erases the sins and repels disease from the body.”

Etiquettes of Tahajjud prayer

The following acts are recommended for one who wishes to perform the Tahajjud prayers:

1- Upon going to sleep, one should make the intention to perform the Tahajjud prayers. Abu ad-Darda’ quoted the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) as saying: “Whoever goes to his bed with the intention of getting up and praying during the night, but, being overcome by sleep, fails to do that, he will have recorded for him what he has intended, and his sleep will be reckoned as a charity (an act of mercy) for him from his Lord.” This is related by an-Nasa’i and ibn Majah through the authentic chain of narrators.

2- On waking up, one should wipe one’s face, use a tooth brush, and look to the sky and make the supplication which has been reported from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him): “O Allah! There is no god but Thee, Glory be to Thee, I seek Thy forgiveness for my sins, and I ask for Your mercy. O Allah, increase my knowledge and let my heart not swerve after You have guided me, and bestow mercy upon me from Thyself. All praise be to Allah who has given us back life after our death and unto Him is the resurrection.”

Then, one should recite the last ten verses of Surat Al `Imran starting with, “Behold! in the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the alternation of night and day,- there are indeed Signs for men of understanding.” Then one should say, “O Allah, to You belongs the praise. You are the Light of the heavens and the earth and what is therein. And to You belongs the praise. You are the truth and Your promise is true. Meeting with You is true; the Paradise is true, the Fire is true. The Prophets are true, and Muhammad is true and the Hour is true ! O Allah, to You have I submitted, in You have I believed, in You have I put my trust, to You have I turned, by You I argue and to You do I turn for my decisions. Forgive me of my former and latter sins, and those done in private and those done in public. You are Allah, there is no god besides Thee.”

3- One should begin Tahajjud with two quick rak`ahs and then one may pray whatever one wishes after that. `A’ishah said: “When the Prophet prayed during the late-night, he would begin his prayers with two quick rak`ahs.” Both of these reports are related by Muslim.

4- One should wake up one’s family for Tahajjud. Abu Hurairah quoted the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), as saying: “May Allah bless the man who gets up during the night to pray and wakes up his wife and who, if she refuses to get up, sprinkles water on her face. And may Allah bless the woman who gets up during the night to pray and wakes up her husband and who, if he refuses, sprinkles water on his face.” The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) also said: “If a man wakes his wife and prays during the night or they pray two rak`ahs together, they will be recorded among those (men and women) who (constantly) make remembrance of Allah.” This is related by Abu Dawud and others through an authentic chain of narrators.

5-If one gets sleepy while performing Tahajjud one should sleep. This is due to the hadith narrated by `A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) as she quoted Allah’s Messenger as saying: “When one of you gets up during the night for prayer and his Qur’anic recital gets mixed up to the extent that he does not know what he says, he should lie down.” This is related by Muslim.

Recommended time for Tahajjud

Tahajjud may be performed in the early part of the night, the middle part of the night, or the latter part of the night, but after the obligatory salatul `Isha’ (Evening prayer).

While describing the Prophet’s way of performing prayer, Anas said: “If we wanted to see him praying during the night, we could see him praying. If we wanted to see him sleeping during the night, we could see him sleeping. And sometimes he would fast for so many days that we thought he would not leave fasting throughout that month. And sometimes he would not fast (for so many days) that we thought he would not fast during that month.” This is related by Ahmad, al-Bukhari, and an-Nasa’i.

Commenting on this subject, Ibn Hajar says: “There was no specific time in which the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) would perform his late night prayer; but he used to do whatever was easiest for him.”

Best time for Tahajjud

It is best to delay this prayer to the last third portion of the night. Abu Hurairah quoted that the Messenger of Allah, as saying: “Our Lord descends to the lowest heaven during the last third of the night, inquiring: ‘Who will call on Me so that I may respond to him? Who is asking something of Me so I may give it to him? Who is asking for My forgiveness so I may forgive him?”‘This is related by the group.

`Amr ibn Abasah reported that he heard the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) saying: “The closest that a slave comes to his Lord is during the middle of the latter portion of the night. If you can be among those who remember Allah, the Exalted One, at that time then do so.”

The number of rak`ahs to be performed during Tahajjud

Tahajjud prayer does not entail a specific number of rak`ahs which must be performed nor is there any maximum limit which has to be performed. It would be fulfilled even if one just prayed one rak`ah of Witr after the `Isha’.

Samurah ibn Jundub said: “The Messenger of Allah ordered us to pray during the night, a little or a lot, and to make the last of the prayer the Witr prayer.” This is related by at-Tabarani and al-Bazzar. Anas quoted Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him), as saying: “Prayer in my mosque is equal to ten thousand prayers [elsewhere]. And prayer in the Sacred Mosque is equivalent to one hundred thousand prayers [elsewhere]. And prayer in the battlefield is equivalent to one million prayers [elsewhere]. And what is more than all of that is two rak`ahs performed by a servant [of Allah] during the middle of the night.” . This is reported by Abu ash-Shaikh, Ibn Hibban in his work ath-Thawab, and al-Munzhiri, in his book at-Targhib watTarhib, is silent about it.”

Allah Almighty knows best.
source: http://www.islamawareness.net/Salah/Nafl/tahajjud2.html

Qailulah

A short mid-day nap (Qailulah) is a Sunnah.
The value of this mid-day nap in total body relaxation has been appreciated recently by scientists.

Not only does a mid-day nap give relaxation to the body in day time but it is also very conducive to sleep at right.

Relaxing once during the day is very conducive to total relaxation and sleep.

It should be appreciated that insomnia is a “powerful stress in itself”. The Sunnah of short mid-day nap may, therefore, be practiced as a remedy for sleeplessness.

Furthermore, the sunnah is not necessarily to sleep during the day but to lie down for some time to relax. This is exactly what is required for proper relaxation according to the modem scientific investigations.

So Why Nap?

  • Reduce stress! Siesta-loving persons are more relaxed. They usually score better on stress tests than others who don’t take a shortnap during the day.
  • The risk of heart disease is shown to be greatly reduced by regular 30 minute naps.
  • Naps greatly strengthen the ability to pay close attention to details and to make critical decisions.
  • Naps taken about eight hours after you wake have been proved to do much more for you than if you added those twenty minutes onto already adequate nocturnal sleep.

Timing Is Everything!
A nap should be about 15 to 30 minutes in duration. If you nap longer than thirty minutes, your body falls into deep sleep, which is difficult to wake from and when you do, you’ll feel groggy

If you are severely sleep-deprived and must nap longer than 30 minutes, then you shouldn’t sleep less than an hour and a half, which is a complete sleep cycle. WARNING: Don’t expect to be fully alert until at least an hour after that nap.
A 15 minute nap is enough time to turn the nervous system off and can recharge the whole system!
If you are going to nap in the middle of the day, BE CONSISTENT and make a habit of napping everyday. An irregular napping schedule might disrupt your internal body clock. Napping only on weekends is like dieting or exercising only on weekends to make up for a week of overeating.
Brief naps taken daily are healthier than sleeping in or taking very long naps on the weekend. Be careful about taking that long nap on a lazy Sunday afternoon- you may find it hard to get to sleep that night and getting up on Monday to start the new week.
Late afternoon napping isn’t healthy- it delays your falling asleep time in the evening and begins to shift your biological clock.

Is There An Inborn Tendency To Nap?
Research indicates that the human body is inclined to rest in the middle of the afternoon as well as at night, even after adequate nocturnal sleep. A heavy lunch does not make you sleepy, it simply unmasks the physiological sleepiness that’s already in your body. The “post-lunch dip” in alertness occurs whether or not food is consumed. Our natural sleep pattern is biphasic: We have a significant drop in body core temperature and alertness at night, and a similar but smaller drop in the middle of the day. It’s then that you need a nap the most, especially if you have slept poorly the night before.

SLEEP POSTURE

The posture one adopts while sleeping reveals a lot about the personality of the person, his attitude towards life and so on.

Lying down in bed relaxes the muscles of the body and the degree of relaxation is determined by the sleep posture adopted by the person.

In the semifoetal position the person lies on his side with arms and legs partially folded. The limbs are not kept in an exactly opposed position.

In terms of physical comfort, in this position it is possible to turn from side to side without undoing the set configuration of the body position. It is supposed to be the best position in terms of physical comfort. It has, therefore, been considered as the best position for relaxation.

According to an old proverb the kings are known to prefer to sleep on their back, the rich man on his stomach and th ewise man on his side.

These abovementioned observations bear testimony to the superiority of sleeping in semi-flexed position on one side.

The sleep position which was adopted by Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) is a Sunnah and is scrupulously adopted by devout Muslims. He used to lie on his right-side with limbs slightly flexed, right hand below his cheek and facing towrds Kaba Sharif. This position is similar to the semi-foetal position described above, and, obviously in the light of the existing knowledge about sleep posture, is the position adopted by a highly balanced person psychologically. It is also the best posture for relaxation, both physical and psychological. Adherence to this sleep posture should therefore, contribute a lot to total body relaxation
source: http://myummah.co.za/site/2008/01/31/mid-day-napping-known-as-qailulah-in-islam/

a good free audio lecture about this: http://www.nooralanoor.com/audio/Muhammad_Al-Shareef-In_the_Middle_of_the_Night.mp3

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