STRANGER IN THE NIGHT
taught by Sh Omar Suleiman on ILMFLIX
Don’t treat these classes like halaqa where you are falling asleep. Take as many notes as you can. If you see yourself getting tired, sit up. Scholars say that spending the night in seeking knowledge is equivalent to spending the night in prayer. Imam Shafie – it’s even superior spending the night learning about deen, how to worship Allah. It’s a form of worship in and of itself. For online attendees, in the beginning, you have those enthusiastic and slowly it wears off and they fall behind and just think they’ll watch what’s in the Ilmflix library later. This is a class where you really have to stay the course. Tonight Sheikh Omar is just stating the concept and what makes it special, In future, the how’s’ and why and more techniques. Tuition is pray 2 rakaat after class every week and make dua for Sheikh and volunteers.
The first question Sheikh Omar got when he was putting up title for this class was qiyamulayl vs tahajud. Aren’t they the same thing?
Qiyamulayl – linguistically means standing in the night
But it’s understood by ulama to be all forms of worship throughout the night. Salaatulayl – prayer in the night which Prophet saw sometimes specified, specifically refers to prayer.
Tahajjud – Linguistically means doing the opposite of something
A lot of people think comes from word jihad but no, it comes from hujood (hajada). Tahajud – you go to sleep and then you wake up so you do the opposite of what you were doing before. You pray after you were laying like a dead person. Ibrahim An Nakhai, Alqama and Ilqamah said that tahajud is not just praying at night but specifically going to sleep and then waking up and praying. It has a greater reward , which is what Prophet saw used to do. Anything you do from Isha or even from maghrib according to some scholars counts as qiyamulayl. But Tahajud is specifically going to sleep and then wake up, which requires greater determination which is harder and what we should strive for. Taraweeh => comes from raah7a (break) because Prophet saw used to take breaks when doing qiyam in Ramadan.
What’s so unique about al layl?
The Night time has very special place in Islam. Unfortunately, we’re deluded because of artificial lighting. Night time in Islam is very special, it does affect our ibadah. Ibn Qayyim said, “It is the greatest distinguishing fact bet us and Allah, that Allah doesn’t sleep but Allah forces us to sleep.”
Prophet saw said in hadith narrated by Abu Musa al Ash3aari, “Indeed Allah doesn’t sleep and it’s not befitting to Allah to sleep, rather Allah raises the scale and then He lowers it. The deeds of the days are presented to Allah at night and deed of night presented to Allah in the day.” [Sahih Muslim]
Allah looks at our deeds for the day and when day comes He looks at deed of night. Sheikh Omar’s sheikh said: how many of us have anything to present to Allah for deeds of night? If we combine all time we spent watching movies, sports, hanging out at night and we compare to amount of time we dedicate to praying at night, which one is heavier? Visualize your scroll going to Allah every morning. One of acts or worship at night is to recite ayat kursi. While we’re going to sleep we’re saying that He is not overcome by any form of drowsiness and doesn’t sleep. Allah makes the sleep overcome us
And made your sleep [a means for] rest[An Naba 78:3]
Prophet saw said that Allah extends His hand during the day[in a way that befits Allah swt] (YabSutu binnahaar) so that Allah will accept the repentance and forgive those who ask for it during the night and Rasulullah saw said that Allah extends His hand during the night so He can accept the repentance of those who ask for it during the day.
Allah always giving us the opportunity to seek forgiveness.But what is so special about the night?
It is the only time that Prophet saw said in a hadith narrated by Abu Hurayrah that, “Our lord descends (in a way that is befitting to His majesty without any form of human likening), and says, “Who is going to ask me so I can give him? Who is going to make dua to me so I can answer His supplication? Who is going to seek forgiveness from Me, so I can forgive him?” [narrated by Abu Dawud in Sahih Bukhari]
Allah keeps saying this over and over till Fajr. The entire last third of the night, Allah is calling on to you from the very beginning.
Amr ibn Abasa said “I asked Rasulullah saw, “Is there any hour of the night that is closer to Allah than another?” Rasulullah saw said “Yes, the last hour of the night is the closest that a servant can possibly be to Allah.” [authentic hadith in Ibn Maajah]
Imagine Allah is coming and asking us if we want to ask Him. How amazing is that? If we study hadith literature, even the animals know to ask Allah at this time. But humans don’t. Humans are sleeping.
Abu Dhaar narrated that Rasulullah saw was on a horse, tapped it, and said, “There is no horse except that at the end of the night, it makes dua to Allah and says, ‘Allahumma khawwaltani man khawwaltani min bani Aadam [oh Allah You entrusted me to whoever You entrusted me to]waj3altani lahu faj3alani ah7abbah ahlihi wa maalihi ilayh[and You made me his , so make me the most beloved of his family and of his wealth to him [Sunan An Nasaai]
That’s why Arab love horses more than they love their children 😀 Allah says about heavens and earth, when they make tasbih we don’t understand it, but even the animals understand that. This is every night. Often times we try to specify nights. There are nights throughout the year that are specified. But the Prophet saw said “Don’t choose Friday night of all nights for tahajud and don’t choose Friday of all other days for fasting.”
Imam Rajab comments on that “Oh you who sit at the door of the kings The kings of all Kings if calling upon you and you’re running to these little kings and asking them. How will it be when a sick child calls you, how will it be if your mother calls you But Allah calls upon you by name every night and you don’t respond to them.”
Al -Fudhail ibn Iyad said that Allah descends on the last third of every night and says, “He has denied My love/lied about loving me when the night comes to him and he sleeps while I’m calling to him and isn’t it that every single lover secludes himself with his lover at night?[not a hadith]
Responding to that call is something that makes you emotional. It personalizes your relationship to Allah. That’s the failure of Qiyamulayl, that we’re thinking only think about the reward? That’s not enough to wake you up. But knowing that Allah is calling you and you’re not answering. Imagine getting a phone call, an important one in the middle of the night and you don’t answer.
Habeebah al Adawiyah used to stand on her roof at night and her husband said one time he heard what she was saying beginning her dua, she said “My lord, the stars have come out and the eyes have slept and the kings have shut their doors but Your door is open and every lover is with their lover and this is me standing with You tonight.”
Abu Dardaa used to stand up at night and his wife said that a smile would come on his face as if he was getting excited, as if he had received the greatest news of his life and he hasn’t even started yet and he would say, “The eyes have shut and the stars have come out and You are the ever-living the one who is sustaining the universe.”
This is my notes from the ILF class Stranger In the Night, taught by Sh. Omar Suleiman. I thought I’d share my notes this way (piece meal) on top of uploading them as 1 big file. It will also motivate me to actually finish cleaning it up in sha Allah! May it be of benefit. Ameen.