STRANGER IN THE NIGHT
taught by Sh Omar Suleiman on ILMFLIX
Tahajjud is when you wake up after you sleep.
Prophet saw told Abdullah Ibn Amr Ibn AaSS that the best qiyam is the qiyam of Daud a.s. He would sleep the first half of the night, wake up for the last third of the night and sleep for the last sixth of the night.
So there was another period of sleep. You actually sleep twice. This was the sunnah of the Prophet saw.
Ismail ibn Ishaaq al Qaadhi narrates from Al Hallaj ibn Amr (sahabah, not a later scholar) who said “Does anyone think that if he gets up and spends the entire night in prayer that he spent the night in tahajjud? No By Allah, rather tahajud is to pray after you sleep and pray after you sleep again. That is how the Messenger saw used to pray.”
That is more rewardable than to stand up and pray the entire night.
In Ibn Maajah Aishah narrated “I never used to see Prophet saw at the end of the night except that he was sleeping next to me.”
Ibn Jarrah Waqi3 said this was after witr. After witr, the Prophet saw would take another nap. What makes this extraordinary is that it’s already hard enough to wake up once. How much harder is it to wake up twice?
This shows us how the Prophet’s saw heart was always awake. He’d jump (wathaba) up for qiyam, take a nap and jump (wathaba) for Fajr again. This amazed the sahabah.
Aishah r.a. said one time I asked the Prophet saw, “Do you sleep after witr? I see you asleep but you’re not really asleep? How do you get up so quickly?” Prophet saw said, “Oh Aishah, verily my eyes sleep but my heart doesn’t.”
Aishah said, “The Prophet saw used to pray the night and observe his witr and say to me, ‘Stand up and you pray your witr now Aishah.’” [Sahih Muslim]
Abu Qatadah narrated in Sahih Muslim, “Whenever Prophet saw was out at night on a journey, he’d sleep on his right side. Whenever he’d wake up and pray qiyam, as he’d go back to sleep just before fajr, he’d sleep with his face on his palm*”
*so that he doesn’t go into a deep sleep
He would sleep with his arm fully extended, and in the second sleep he’d sleep on his palm.
1st and 2nd azhan
First and second azhan(usually heard in the Haram in Makkah and Madinah) is something traced back to the Prophet saw.
Aishah said, “The Prophet saw said, ‘Bilal pronounces the azhan at night so eat and drink till you hear the azhan of ibn Maktum (call azhan for Fajr).’”[Bukhari]
Prophet saw in one of the other riwaayat (from Ibn Umar) said that, “Bilal proclaims azhan at the end of the night and ibn Maktum proclaims azhan at Fajr so eat and drink until the azhan of Ibn Maktum.”
Ibn Umar says, “The gap between the two azhan is not more than the time it took for one of them to get down and another one to get up.”
Right now in the Haramayn, it’s an hour, but it was never an hour before. It’s about 10-15 minutes back then.
How society dealt with the two azhaan
Hadith of ibn Masood Prophet saw said, “Let not one of you stop eating because of the azhan of Bilal. For verily he calls so the one who is praying all night should take a nap.”[Bukhari]
If you’re sleeping through the night, and you hear the azhan of Bilal, you should wake up. Ibn Qudamah said that the two azhaan serve two purposes. The one who prays all night takes a nap and the one who didn’t wake up should wake up and pray, do witr, istighfaar and pray something. The point is that no one should spend entire night without any form of zhikr/salah.
Allah says wabil as7haari hum yastaghfiroon [this is the time of suhur]. The time of suhur is not just for eating but also for istighfaar, inside and outside of Ramadan. It’s the time right before salat fajr. Allah says they spend that time making istighfaar. Prophet saw would spend that time making istighfaar.
Sufyan Thawri used to lay down after praying night and would elevate his leg (stack his pillows, to let the blood flow back) and say astaghfirullah again and again, just like we do after we pray our faraidh.
That istighfaar, as Hasan Basri said, “Whether after fardh prayer or praying the night, is the seeking forgiveness for Allah for not doing enough.” Not that when you commit an act of disobedience. The only time we hear it is after we do something bad. We might have zoned out at one point while doing the worship. This ibadah is not enough compared to what You have done for me ya Allah, so this astaghfirullah is for the shortcomings.
Aishah says, “The Prophet saw at that time sometimes, he would go to the Baqee3. Every time he was with me, he’d go at end of every night to the graveyard.” [Muslim]
Sahr is the last hour of night. This is the best time to seek forgiveness from Allah. This is when Allah says “Is there anyone seeking My forgiveness so that I may forgive him?”
When Yaqoub says to his sons, “I will seek forgiveness for you from my rabb”
He said, “I will ask forgiveness for you from my Lord. Indeed, it is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful.” [Yusuf 12:98]
sawfa :- future tense), -> ulama said it was because he was waiting till time of sah7r because it was the best time. In fact, it was very strange for people to sleep at that time. Salih ibn Kaysan (student of ibn Abbas, one of great scholars from Yemen) saw people sleeping at time of suhur and he said in loud voice, “I didn’t think anyone sleep for this entire period, yes for a part of it to refresh yourselves but who would sleep the entire of this time? This is best time to seek forgiveness from Allah.”
Aishah said that Prophet saw would take his nap, then, jump up for Fajr and Prophet saw never missed the 2 rakaat for Fajr at home or the 4 rakaat sunnah before zuhr at home [Bukhari]
Aishah says about the length of those rakaat, “Those rakaah were so fast that I would estimate that he only read Al fatihah in those rakaah.”
Just as when you start your qiyam with two fast rakaahs and then follow with 2 long rakaah, Prophet saw taught us that you should make your 2 pre fajr sunnah prayer short and make the fajr long.
Authentic narrations tell us that Prophet saw recited Al Kafiroon in the first rakaah and Al Ikhlaas in second rakaah. That was his extent of his recitation in the sunnah fajr, sometimes even just Al Fatihah, just to make a point that this is a salah that is to be made quickly. He would never leave those 2 rakaat even when he traveled. Bulk of narrations included the 2 rakaah of sunnah fajr as Qiyaamulayl. Narration of Umm Salamah and Ibn Abbas saying this was part of Qiyaam. These are very important rakaah to pray at home before going to masjid for fajr.
It’s important not to miss fajr because of your qiyam.
In a narration of Umar Ibn Al Khattab r.a. where he once didn’t see Sulayman Ibn Abi Hathama at fajr prayer. So Umar asked his mother at the market place and her name was As Shifaa “Where is Sulayman? I didn’t see him at fajr.” His mother said, “He spent the whole night in prayer and his eyes overcame him and he fell asleep.” Umar said, “For me to pray fajr in jamaah is more beloved to me than praying the entire night of Qiyaam.”
Remember that qiyam is optional and fajr is obligatory.
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.