STRANGER IN THE NIGHT
taught by Sh Omar Suleiman on ILMFLIX
Where is mention of Qiyamulayl?
Indeed, those who fear their Lord unseen will have forgiveness and great reward. [Al Mulk 67:12]
Allah is mentioning the cure from Riya here. Because these people fear Allah even when they’re all alone, absent and no one sees them except for Allah. They know Allah is watching them to the fear Him. This is opposite of hypocrites. Rasulullah saw said, “Whenever they’re alone with haram stuff they freely use them.” The sincere believer, the things he’s hiding from people is actually good.
Rasulullah saw mentioned, “Amongst the people who will be shaded on Day Of Judgment, …’a person who remembers Allah while he’s all alone and his eyes become full of tears…”
The criteria is that he’s all alone, no one else sees him, he remembers Allah in his alone time. Sufyan ath Thawri =>One time a guest came to visit him and his wife lets the guest in and tells him that he’s in the room. When the guest came into room he saw Sufyan crying, he’d look to roof of his room and kept on reciting , “Do they really think that We don’t hear their secrets and impulses. Allah says, verily our messengers are writing .” He’d recite this over and over again and said, “Balaa Yaa rabb – I know, I know.”
Imam Tustari narrated by Ibn Qudamah , “My uncle taught me a dua to say at night as a young man “say whenever you’re going to sleep Allahu ma3i [Allah is with me] Allahu shahidee [Allah is witnessing me]Allahu naadhirun ilay[Allah is watching m e], so I kept on saying it until I understood the sweetness of that.”
That’s why when we read the hadith where Isha in jamaah is equivalent to praying the first half of night and Fajr in jamaah is equivalent to praying the second half of night. You might wonder why, but the Prophet saw said that these 2 prayers are the hardest on the munafiqoon. It’s because, it was pitch black, no one can see them so they had no desire to go to the masjid during those times. The Prophet saw said in authentic hadith in Musnad Imam Ahmad “Give glad tidings to those who used to walk to the masjid at night, they will have complete light on Day Of Judgment.”
This is a form of Qiyamulayl. The Prophet saw used to delay Isha way until the night.
Ibn Umar said, “Prophet saw used to pray Fajr with us when it was really dark.” So this was a form of qiyam in jamaah. Ibn Umar said that Uthman delayed the Fajr to when it became bright when Umar was assassinated, obviously within the time which is permissible for window of Fajr.
[Bukhari]Anas ibn Malik narrated that two of the sahabah once walked with Prophet saw to Isha and then walked back and they had in front of them 2 lights that were like lines and whenever they parted, each one of them continued to be accompanied by that light until they returned to their homes [narrated 18 x]. This was a sign of Allah’s pleasure. Allah physically gave them light.
Hasan Basri when he was asked, “Yaa Abu Saeed, how come those people who pray qiyam have the freshest faces (despite not sleeping much at night)?” Hasan Basri replied “Because they secluded themselves with the Most Merciful, so Allah dressed them in His light.”
This is teaching yourself doing away with the love of people seeing you and praying when you’re completely alone. Hasan Basri said, “No one knows what is being prepared for them because their doing an act of worship while no one is seeing them, Allah has prepared for them reward that no one has seen.” Anas Ibn Malik describing…
They arise from [their] beds; they supplicate their Lord in fear and aspiration, and from what We have provided them, they spend. [As Sajdah 32:16]
referred to the sahabah between maghrib and Isha, a time of nawaafil.
One of the best times of praying nawaafil is between Maghrib and Isha. Anas r.a. was from the group of scholars who said that was considered qiyamulayl. Because from shar3i definition al layl, is what is between Maghrib and Fajr. So between Maghrib and Isha, they’re still showing Allah their love. If you don’t have artificial lights, how much harder is it to wake up at night? They would wake up without any form of help. Prophet saw said to Aisha (who was amazed at the way he wakes up) “My eyes go to sleep but my heart doesn’t.”
Sheikh Omar is telling a story of a brother who was doing i’tikaaf at the masjid .He was reading Quran, surah Noor and fell asleep and he woke up an hour and a half later and he didn’t have a mushaf in front of him and picked up reciting exactly where he left off. Anticipation builds in the believer. Prophet saw also constantly connected night time to death, so that’s why Prophet saw taught us to say bismikallahuma amoot wa ahyaa when we go to sleep. And after waking up, alhamdulillahilazhee ahyaana ba3da maa amatana wailayhi nushoor. We praise Allah who gave us life after we die.
Abu Dardaa used to call upon his household “Pray 2 rakaat in the darkness of the night for the darkness of the grave.” You will feel more khushu praying in darkness, more sakinah. Prophet saw continue to tie salat at night to salat in grave. P saw said, “Pray in your homes (if it’s not fardh) and don’t turn them into graves” This is how it is, we go to sleep at night and we die. Then we wake up and that represents the life of a believer, that you’re not heedless. Prophet saw said, “Whoever stands up at night and prayed with 10 ayahs, he would not be written with Allah as those who are in state of ghaflah (like the walking dead)” You’re showing Allah just by waking up that you are aware.
Hadith of Ibn Umar, “It is not befitting to go to sleep at night without having your will prepared.” It’s actually sinful if you don’t. Jarir ibn Abdillah said, “One time Prophet saw came out to us at night and pointed to the full moon and said, ‘You are going to see Allah in Day of Judgment as you see this full moon.’” [Sahih Bukhari]. He’s [saw] teaching them that they will meet Allah.
Ubayy Ibn Kaab says that when 1/3 of night would pass every night Prophet saw would call out and say, “Oh people, remember ar raajifah (in surah Naaziat) is the first blow of the trumpet and it will be followed by ar-raadifah(2nd blowing of the trumpet) and will restore life and mark yaumul qiyaamah…”[Tirmidhi]
What is status of one who prays qiyamulayl? Allah mentions this person as Ibaadurahman. One of the first ways Allah describes them is “they are the ones who spend their nights in sujud and standing in prayer.”
And those who spend [part of] the night to their Lord prostrating and standing [in prayer] [Surah Furqaan 25:64]
Surah israa – and from the night spend some time in tahajud. It may be that Allah will give you a noble station.
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 Israa 17:79]
Prophet saw used to specifically mention rewards in paradise for those who pray. Musnad Imam Hamad from Ibn Umar where Prophet saw said, “There are rooms in paradise, you can see the inside from the outside and the outside from the inside. Abu Musa said, ‘Yaa Rasulullah, who are they for?’ Rasulullah saw said, “The ones who soften his speech and feeds people during the day and he spends his nights praying while others are sleeping.”
Prophet saw says in hadith narrated by Ibn Masood in Tirmidhi :Allah is amazed by 2 men. The first one is a person who gets up from his comfortable bed and away from his family to stand up and pray to Allah just from his love of Allah. Allah says to the angels, “Oh angels look at this person! He jumped from his bed and from his family members just to pray to Me out of love for Me and out of desire for what which is with me. “
Ibn Umar says in hadith in Bukhari that Prophet saw said, “There is no envy except for 2 people one whom Allah has given knowledge of book to and he recites it during nighttime and a man whom Allah has given wealth and he spends it during the day.” [Sahih Bukhari]
Thaabit al Banani said, “No person can consider himself a true worshipper without long day of qiyam and long day of siyaam.”
Ibn Abbas said, “I’ve never met a sahabah of Rasulullah saw who didn’t pray at night.”
Abu Hurayrah in Abu Dawud : “May Allah have mercy who wakes up in middle of night to pray and wakes up his wife to pray as well and if he refuses, he takes a little bit of water and sprinkles it on her face.” Sufyan used to wet his hands and wet his wife’s face with it to wake her up. Rasulullah saw also said, “May Allah have mercy on the woman who wakes up in mid of night to pray and wakes up her husband to pray, and if he refuses she sprinkles water on his face.” Even though it’s a given but p saw says it too in case a man gets upset when his wife wakes up him up. Prophet saw said, “That those men and women who wake up praying qiyam are written with Allah as zhaakireenallahka katheeran wa zhaakiraat (men and women who remember Allah frequently).”
Qiyam is an honor (sharaf). Prophet saw said that “Jibril said to me, ‘Know that the nobility of a believer is his standing up to pray at night and his dignity is his being independent of people.’”
So the greatest way to pray qiyam is to understand that Allah won’t give it to one who sins during the day. Hasan Basri was asked, a man came to him and said, “Look I sleep early, well, take my water jug and put my wudhu next to me at night but I never wake up.” Hasan Basri responded, “Don’t disobey Him during the day and He will wake you up at night.” There is no way you live a life of haram and expect to wake up in qiyam and enjoy that intimacy with Allah. Abu Jafar once I went to visit Ahmad ibn Yahya. He was crying and I thought someone died in his family. I told him, “Why are you crying so much?” He replied, “Because last night passed and I didn’t wake up for a single rakaat with Allah.” Abu Jafar said, “It’s ok , Allah wanted you to rest.” Ahmad said, “No, by Allah it’s because I committed a sin.” The more I tried to comfort him the more he’d cry.
Sufyan Thawri says, “Wallahi I was forbidden for praying qiyam for 6 months because of a sin I committed.” All books of tazkiyah mention this. Someone asked him eventually what was that sin? “I saw a man crying one time and I said to myself, he’s not crying for Allah, so Allah punished me.”
Subhanallah,worry about yourself! A person who is not standing for qiyam should worry about himself. The moment you get a sense of kibr is the moment you’re not understanding it properly.
One of Sheikh’s favorite narration ibn Umar:– Prophet saw used to tell the people, “If any of you had a good dream last night, share with us, especially the youth, who amongst you had a good dream last night?” Ibn Umar couldn’t wait to have a good dream just so he could share it with Prophet saw. That time I was an unmarried young man. Instead I went to sleep in masjid of Prophet saw and I saw a dream of 2 angels carrying me to hell and just as they were about to dump me into hell I said auzhubillahi min naar..and I saw people inside there that I knew, so the angels carried me away and said don’t fear. I woke up and I was too ashamed to tell Prophet saw to tell him what I saw. Instead I told Hafsah to ask him on a personal level to ask him what it means. Prophet saw said, “Abdullah is a good man but if only he prayed qiyamulayl.”
Ibn Umar didn’t gossip and talk about the people he saw in the hellfire. Prophet saw didn’t say “What a terrible man, he didn’t pray qiyam,” but he [saw] wanted to comfort him and he saw knew this was going to reach him. [Muslim] Ibn Umar’s son, Salim said that after that Ibn Umar never left Qiyam
Hafsah was the only wife that Prophet saw divorced [Abu Dawud] 1 revocable divorce. Anas r.a. said that Prophet saw said that, “Jibril came to me and said, ‘Take Hafsah back because she fasts during the day and pray at night.’” The prayer at night was reason why Prophet saw took her back.
Allah won’t let you in if you encroach upon that sanctuary with haram. So the greatest way to do away with sin and understand the role of sin in this regard and status of Qiyam itself
Aisha says qiyam was the 1st prayer that was legislated and made mandatory on believers[authentic narration] Allah revealed Surah Muzammil (3rd surah revealed – 1. iqra 2. muddathir, 3. Muzammil). It’s initially only 1st page of surah revealed (it’s 1.5 page) the other half is just 1 ayah. Allah withheld it for a few years, so it was mandatory for the believers to do this, and then Allah revealed that last ayat. Allah made qiyam a voluntary act, Allah spoke of its virtues, but that He understands that some people might be sick, out in battle, working etc. Aisha said that ayat made qiyam voluntary.
In Sahih Muslim, Prophet saw said “The best prayer after the fardh prayer is qiyamulayl.” It’s even better than the sunnah muakkadah throughout day. Because the Prophet saw won’t pray those sunnah when traveling except Fajr but he’d always pray qiyam. Abdullah Ibn Salam says that when Prophet saw came to Madinah, people rushed to meet him so I went with them and his name was HuSayn, and I saw his face and I said that face is not a face of a liar. The first address of Prophet saw in Madinah was “Oh people, spread salam amongst yourselves and feed the poor and pray at night while others are sleeping and you will enter paradise in peace.”
Rasulullah saw said, “A person with his good character would be able to pass the one fast frequently and the one who prays frequently.” [well known hadith from Aisha]
Scholars explain that siyaam teaches restraint (good character, not having bad tongue when you fast etc.) and qiyam teaches ihsan in character. That’s why Allah mentions “They spend during day and from what Allah bestowed upon them..” If qiyam doesn’t affect your character, it’s worthless because Prophet saw said (narrated by Abu Hurayrah) there are people who fast and get nothing except hunger and there are people who pray and get nothing except sleeplessness. [authentic, in Ibn Maajah]
Narrated by Abu Hurayrah, that Prophet saw was asked about a woman who prays and fasts, the narration says she fast during day and prays at night and gives in charity but she is abusive to her neighbor and Prophet saw said about her, “There is no good inside of her she is in hellfire.”
Another woman who prays just faraidh and gives a small amount of sadaqah but doesn’t abuse anyone with her tongue and Prophet saw responded, “She is from the people of paradise.”
We can’t separate role of character and qiyam Prophet saw used to wipe his eyes from his sleep when he wakes up at night. In order to truly spend qiyam you have to spend your entire day thinking about it, anticipating it. That’s why Prophet saw said to take a nap during the day.
Authentic hadith in Tabarani – “Take a nap, the shayaateen don’t take naps.”
Qaylullah to qiyamulayl is what suhur is to fasting. Look at those ahadeeth about how amazing eating suhur is, the reward and angels praying upon those who eat suhur. Suhur is actually called falaah (success) sometimes, you’re winning for eating. You’re winning for napping because you’re anticipating qiyam. That’s something the Prophet saw taught us. This is why eating a lot is discouraged, you won’t be able to pray qiyam.
Wahb ibn Munabbih said, “There is no son of Adam who is dear to shaytaan who eats a lot and sleeps a lot.”
Your entire day has to be preparing for qiyam. The most hated act in the world to shaytaan is qiyamulayl. If he could get you to do anything else from your good deeds, he would but he hates qiyamulayl. ibn Masood said that a man was mentioned to Prophet saw who slept through the night without waking up in morning. Prophet saw said, “That is a man who a shaytaan has urinate in his ears.[Sahih Muslim] Shaytaan tries to keep you away from qiyamulayl. The entire day he’s plotting on how to keep you away from qiyamulayl. Abu Hurayrah narrates this (Sahih Bukhari) ;- hadith about ayat kursi, shaytaan, man who stolen 3 times, liar but told the truth. Ayat kursi is to keep him away. Every single night shaytaan puts 3 knots on back of your head and on every single knot he reads and exhales the following words, “Go ahead and sleep. You have a long night ahead of you.” Prophet saw said, when one wakes up and he remembers Allah, 1 knot gets undone and then he gets up and does wudhu another knots gets undone and gets up and prays ,another knot is undone. He wakes up energetic and in good spirits, and if he didn’t wake up, he wakes up khabeeth (in bad spirits and lazy, feeling lethargic entire day)[Bukhari] How do you feel the days you don’t wake up for Fajr? Imagine how much better you feel whenever you pray qiyamulayl!
Jabir ibn Abdillah narrates from the Prophet saw, “When night falls, stop your children from going out for the shaytaan spread out at that time and when the hour has passed you can release your children and close the doors and mention Allah’s name because shaytaan doesn’t open a closed doors. [Bukhari]
Close your containers and mention name of Allah upon them and extinguish your lamps [Bukhari]
From Jabir Ibn Abdillah “When a person enters his home and he mentions name of Allah while entering it and while eating his food, shaytaan says addressing himself, “you have to no place to stay tonight and you don’t have any food. Prophet saw says if you enter ur house and you don’t mention Allah’s name, when you eat shaytaan says to himself you have a place to stay tonight and you have dinner for the night”[Muslim] He’s already plotting on you for the nighttime when you enter your house. When you wake up at night from your sleep and you make wudhu, clean your nose three times because shaytaan spends the night in your nose [Authentic hadith in Sahih Muslim]
Do you realize how sometimes you’re more easily agitated at night? Abu Umaamah narrates that the prophet saw said, “Shaytaan comes to one of you in his bed before his family comes to him and says to you good night, shaytaan throws things at him to make him angry so when you feel angry at night, don’t become angry with them because it is part of the work of shaytaan….[hasan hadith]
Most argument takes place at night. You unleash your frustration during the day. Shaytaan wants to take us away from qiyam, if he achieves nothing in our life. When we taste qiyam, we’ll never leave it and his appeal becomes not attractive. That’s why taraweeh in Ramadan is so easy (shaytaan chained up). But we can’t pray Isha on other days. Because Allah takes away the appeal from him on other days. Don’t worry about struggling.
Thaabit al Banani said, “ I struggle for 20 years to pray qiyam and I enjoyed it for the next 20 years.” Just hearing about the virtues hopefully will make us want to pray it. Abdullah ibn Amr ibn Asr “Whoever stand up at night and reads a 100 ayat he will be written as those who are qaaniteen (devout worshippers) and whoever stands up with a 1000 ayat, he will be written amongst the munqatareen (those who pile up treasures).”
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.