InshaAllah everyone’s Ramadan is going well and with the first week complete we wanted to remind everyone and provide some useful tips to take advantage of the blessings of night prayers.
When it comes to night prayers there is some confusion if Qiyyam ul Layl, Taraweeh, and Tahhajud are different salahs. So let’s begin by defining each of them and seeing how they relate:
Qiyyam al-layl means spending the night, or part of it, even if it is for a short duration, in prayer, reading Quran, and doing dhkir. The time for Qiyyam ul Layl extends from after Isha prayer until Fajr salah. The word Taraweeh is the plural of the word Tarweeha which literally means ‘to rest’. In the context of Salat Al-Taraweeh performed in Ramadan, it means to rest between every four raka’at. Lastly Tahajjud means specifically praying at night, and some scholars limited it to prayers that are offered at night after sleeping. Therefore both taraweeh and tahhajud fall under the definition of the more general Qiyyam ul Layl.
Below are some tips to help you take advantage of this blessed month and increase in your nawafil salahs.
1. Understand the importance and blessings in regards to Qiyyam ul Layl especially in Ramadan. Knowing the blessings and rewards of performing an act of worship can encourage us to perform them.
Allah said: “Is one who is devoutly obedient during periods of the night, prostrating and standing [in prayer], fearing the Hereafter and hoping for the mercy of his Lord, [like one who does not]? Say, “Are those who know equal to those who do not know?” Only they will remember [who are] people of understanding .” [Suratul Zumur 39:9]
Abu Hurairah (RA) reports that the Messenger of Allah (SAW) said, “The best prayer after the obligatory prayers is the night prayer.” [Sahih Muslim]
Abu Hurairah (RA) reported: “Allah’s Messenger (SAW) encouraged the people, without making it an absolute command, to perform Qiyam during Ramadan. He (peace be upon him) used to say: ‘Whoever stands (in Qiyam) in Ramadan out of faith and expectation (of Allah’s reward), all his previous sins will be forgiven.’ ” [Sahih Muslim]
2. Make a sincere intention
Make your intention that you want to pray Qiyyam ul Layl only for Allah’s sake. Whether or not you want to pray Qiyyam for a particular thing you wish for, make a sincere intention that you are praying for Allah’s sake only. The Messenger of Allah (SAW) said: “If you are truthful with Allah, then Allah will deliver to you what you wish for.” [An-Nasa’i]
3. Know what’s being recited during Taraweeh
To increase your khushu in salah read the translation of the juz the Imam is going to be reading for the day. As well, focus on the recitation, even if you can’t understand the words as you didn’t have time to read the translation, make the effort to listen to the words of your Lord and that will help increase your focus and khushu in Salah.
4. Prepare your duaa
Spend some time during the day writing down and memorizing some of your favourite duaa to read during your sujood.
5. Healthy Eating
Eat light healthy meals at iftar as a full stomach will lead to an uncomfortable taraweeh. The Messenger of Allah (SAW) said, “Man fills no vessel worse than his stomach. It is sufficient for the son of Adam to have a few mouthfuls to give him the strength he needs. If he has to fill his stomach, then let him leave one-third for food, one-third for drink and one-third for air.” [At-Tirmidhi]
6. Pray with family and friends
Encourage your friends and family to come to taraweeh with you and pray tahhajud together. This will strengthen your resolve to attend as well.
InshaAllah these tips will help you take more benefit from Ramadan and encourage to pray more Qiyyam.