The midnight prayer means the Tahajjud prayer. “Tahajjud” is derived from “Hujud”, meaning sleep. Tahajjud signifies giving up sleep. The prayer was observed by the Holy Prophet (p.b.o.h.) from midnight up to the appearance of the early dawn. Tahajjud namaz is one of the non-obligatory prayers that one should pray in the latter part of the night after getting some sleep. Allah says:
وَمِنَ اللَّيْلِ فَتَهَجَّدْ بِهِ نَافِلَةً لَّكَ عَسَىٰ أَن يَبْعَثَكَ رَبُّكَ مَقَامًا مَّحْمُودًا
“And from [part of] the night, pray with it as additional [worship] for you; it is expected that your Lord will resurrect you to a praised station.” (Surah Al-Isra` 17:79)
Importance of Tahajjud Prayer
Tahajjud means to abandon sleep so that you can pray Salah. There are Numbers of Hadith and verses that emphasize the significance of invoking Allah Almighty by solicitation and prayers in the darkest nights.
“The Lord descends every night to the lowest heaven when one-third of the night remains and says: ‘Who will call upon Me, that I may answer Him? Who will ask of Me, that I may give him? Who will seek My forgiveness that I may forgive him?’” (Bukhari, Muslim)
Tahajjud prayer usually is done alone without together. Tahajjud prayer is not limited in number, but at least two Rakah. As Prophet Muhammad (SAW) explained:
“Evening prayer that two-two.” (Bukhari)
Time of Tahajjud Prayer
Tahajjud prayer may be performed in the early part of the night, the middle part of the night, or the later part of the night, but after the obligatory Isha prayer. Tahajjud prayer can be performed whenever in the night unless the doer time for sleep. But the best time to perform is 1/3 of the night after waking up from sleep. The time to perform Tahajjud prayer is since the specified Isha until dawn (all night) after getting up from sleep. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) has told his followers:
Abu Muslim asked Abu Zhar: “Which late-night prayer is the best?” He said: “I asked the Messenger of Allah the same that you asked me and he said, ‘The (one done during) middle of the latter half of the night, and very few do it.’” (Ahmad)
It can’t be offered straight away after Isha, yet just after one`s rest, neither when the time is close to Fajr.
Conditions of offering Tahajjud Prayer
- Make sure to perform Wudu as one should perform before every tahajjud namaz.
- Move to a clean and quiet place in the house being away from distractions.
- Offer at least two Raka`ts up to 12, depending on one`s willpower.
- Make an intention of performing Tahajjud prayer and rearrange to wake up finally a piece of the night.
- Don’t forget to supplicate to Allah SWT for one`s just and rightful requests to get benefited from this exceedingly rewarding hour of darkness.
Benefits of Tahajjud Prayer
Following benefits one could get by offering Tahajjud prayer:
- It gives inner strength
- It gives mental toughness
- Seek forgiveness and surely Allah will listen
- It can bring fresh inspiration and innovation
- Tahajjud prayer can strengthen the memory
- Tahajjud prayer can strengthen religious understanding
- Tahajjud prayer can delete wickedness and prevent the act of sin
- The doors of Mercy and Forgiveness are open during the last 1/3 of the night
- If someone wishes his/her Dua to be accepted this is the best time to ask
- A huge incentive for the believer to wake up when everyone else is asleep and remember Allah (SWT) alone
The excellence of night prayer
Great rewards and merits have been promised for the night prayer. Allah descends to the lowest heaven in the latter part of the night and invites invocations and petitions. Therefore the latter part of the night, especially the middle of the latter half of the night is an opportune moment for acceptance of prayers. Allah says:
وَالَّذِينَ يَبِيتُونَ لِرَبِّهِمْ سُجَّدًا وَقِيَامًا
“And those who spend (the) night before their Lord, prostrating and standing.” (Surah Al-Furqan 25:64)
There is a moment in the night in which the prayer of a devotee is accepted. Night prayer expiates and prevents sins. The honourable among the Muslims are those learned in the Quran and those who pray at night.
Perfect Time for Tahajud
Tahajud prayers can be offered from Isha prayers until Subah Sadiq (the true dawn) as no specific or exact time has been marked in the sacred scriptures but has deemed necessary upon one’s ease. Despite the convenient time, the Wistar prayers can be performed in the early night, middle night and later night but among three the best one that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) has told to his followers is the middle night as quoted:
“Which late-night prayer is the best?” He said: “I asked the Messenger of Allah the same that you asked me and he said, ‘The (one done during) middle of the latter half of the night, and very few do it.’” [Ahmad]
Tahajjud prayer is one of the best among non-obligatory prayers, it is the cause of getting Allah`s great Blessings and Mercy. Allah the Merciful judges every act on the intention that has been made before the obligatory or voluntary prayers. Make Niyyah for Tahajud prayers when intend to sleep, the vitality of Niyyah lies in the virtues that it will impact on the Muslim who will miss it due to any reason.