STRANGER IN THE NIGHT
taught by Sh Omar Suleiman on ILMFLIX
What is so special about Fajr time?
A narration from Usayd ibn Hudhayr r.a. “One night I was reciting surah Al Baqarah at night. I had a horse that was tied beside me, and when I recited it, the horse started to tremble. When I stopped reciting, it became quiet and then I started reciting again and it trembled again and I stopped reciting and it became quiet again, then I started reciting again and my son Yahya was next to the horse. The horse started to move so much that I thought it was going to trample my son. The next morning, I told the Prophet saw and he told me ‘Read, Yaa Hudhayr, keep reading.’ The next night he did same thing. I saw something like cloud and had within had lamps. As I was looking up to see it it went away. I told the Prophet saw and he said, ‘Those were the angels. They were listening to your recitation. If you were to continue reading until the Fajr salat the people would have been able to see them and it wouldn’t have been hidden from them.’” [Bukhari]
His qiraah were so sincere, the angels were coming to listen to his qiraah. The sincerity in your qiraah makes a difference.
Said ibn Musayyib r.a. narrates that the Prophet saw said, “These angels of the night and these angels of the day, they meet every day at time of Fajr. Abu Hurayrah says ‘If you want, then read the Quran at Fajr because Allah says that the recitation of Quran at Fajr is witnessed [by the angels].’” [Bukhari]
There are angels that watch you during the night and report to Allah and watch you during the day and report to Allah. The deeds of the day are reported at night and the deeds of the night are reported during the day. Most of us don’t have any night deeds. We have many movies under our belt, hours spent on talking, backbiting, hookah, etc. How many people have deeds they did that can be presented to Allah that are good?
Recite Quran in salah Fajr and before and after Fajr. Zayd ibn Thaabit r.a. says, “Each one recites about 50 ayat and then they’d read till salat dhuha.” This is the time of the recitation of the Quran.
Abu Hurayrah r.a. narrates that the Prophet saw said that, “The angels take turns among you by night and say and they assemble at Fajr prayer and those who spend the night with you they ascend and Allah asks them ‘How did you leave My servant?’ They would say, “We left t hem while they were praying and we came to them while they were praying.”
The angels or morning and evening came and left and found them in salah and remembrance and recitation.
Prophet’s saw daily habit was to extend Quran recitation before and after Fajr. For those who memorize Quran, that is the time to memorize. At night is the time to recite but at fajr is the time to memorize.
In another hadith, Prophet saw specifically made dua for people to have barakah at early morning time.
In a narration from Jundub ibn Sufyan r.a. “One time Prophet saw became sick and didn’t pray qiyam for two or three nights.” [Bukhari]
In another narration, “…then a lady (wife of Abu Lahab) came and said to Prophet saw, “Oh Muhammad, I hope that this means your shaytaan has left you,” [Bukhari]
This was the reason of revelation of ad-Dhuha. The Prophet shared a wall with Abu Lahab and when The Prophet saw would recite, they would hear him. “Maa qadda3aka rabuka wamaa qalaa[your lord has not forgotten you nor has He bid you farewell nor has He abandoned you] This hurt Prophet saw, because Prophet saw was wondering why he wasn’t able to pray qiyaam for those two or three nights. Interestingly, surah Ad-Dhuha was revealed right after surah Muzammil. Surah Muzammil made qiyam obligatory on the believers.
Aishah said [Abu Dawud authentic], “Don’t stop praying at night because the Prophet saw never left it. Whenever he was sick or lethargic, he’d offer it sitting down.” [authentic hadith in Abu Dawud]
Bukhari ibn Amr ibn aas said that “The Prophet saw was praying qiyam while we were traveling on back of his mount, he’d pray in whatever direction he was facing.” [Bukhari]
The requirement of the qiblah was not obligatory for the voluntary prayers.
Mugheer ibn shu3bah narrates that the Prophet saw was asked by Aishah because he prayed all night until his feet swelled up and be forced to sit down. In one narration it was said that even blood would come out from his feet. So she said to the Prophet saw, “Oh Rasulullah saw, hasn’t Allah forgiven you for your past and future sin?”He (saw) replied, “Shouldn’t I be a grateful servant?” [Sunan An Nasaai]
This is a very touching hadith. Abdullah ibn shahqeeq, “ I asked Aishah, ‘Did the Prophet saw used to pray sitting down at night? She said, “When the people burnt him out (7aTama (to crush something) an naas).” [Abu Dawud]
Translation only says, “When he got old.” (A lot lost in translation for this one)
Prophet saw when he received revelation, was extremely youthful, much younger than his age. Even with Aishah, who was much younger than him, he beat her in a foot race.Prophet saw served people throughout the day. They emotionally and physically exhausted him, and so he would be so tired that he would be forced to pray sitting down.
During night he’s making dua for us and during day he’s (saw)serving us.
Aishah said, “I never saw Prophet saw reciting Quran at night till he was very old. He would sit down in salah until there was about 30-40 ayat left for the recitation and then he’d force himself to stand up again and then he’d make sujud. “
Even when he was old, and was sick and unable to recite standing up for hours like before, he still forced himself to make sujud because sujud is the closest you are to Allah. This shows that Prophet saw loved sujud. This is what we long for as believers. We long for those special moments at night being closer to Allah.
Did the Prophet saw ever miss Salat Fajr?
Yes, once. There is wisdom in this. Allah causes Prophet saw to make mistakes sometimes so we can know what to do when we make mistakes! Otherwise we’d have to use reasoning (ijtihaad) but Allah causes him (saw) to make mistakes sometimes so that he (saw) can show us what to do when we make the same mistakes.
Had he not one time prayed zuhr two rakaah, how would we know what to do when we do the same? Had he not missed fajr once how would we know what to do when we make the same mistakes?
Abu Hurayrah said that the Prophet saw was on a journey with the sahabah and they journeyed very late at night and were very sleepy. Prophet saw informed Bilal to wake them up. But Bilal fell asleep as well. The entire camp slept. When Prophet saw woke up, he was the first to wake up, the sun had already risen. He said to all of us, “Everyone should take the head of his camel and we should move to a different place because the place where we were at today was attended by shaytaan. Then Prophet saw performed wudhu and gave us water to make wudhu and then he (saw) did the sunnah of Fajr and then he prayed salatul ghada together with us (another name for salat Fajr) [Sunan An Nasaai]
Notice that the first thing Prophet saw did was to move to a different location. It’s recognizing that shaytaan was with us last night, so seek refuge with Allah from him. Also, when you wake up late for Fajr, still make your sunnah for Fajr and then pray Fajr. That is the example from the Prophet saw.
Don’t make excuses for not waking up!
Ali r.a. said, “I was so close to the Prophet saw. Every single night I would come to him before Fajr and say peace be upon you ya prophet of Allah. If he cleared his throat instead of answering me, I would go back to my family and if he responded, I would go to him. [Sunan An Nasaai]
The Prophet saw, if he was praying, he would gesture to Ali r.a. to return to his house by clearing his throat. The Prophet saw used to go to Ali’s house in the early part of the night sometimes to wake them up.
Ali narrated, “One time Prophet saw came to me and Fatima and said to us, “Why didn’t you pray last night?” Ali said, “Ya Rasulullah, our souls are in the hands of Allah and if Allah wants us to wake up, He’ll make us get up. The prophet saw walked away and slapped his thighs and said, “Man always likes to argue.” [Bukhari]
This is actually in the Quran [Wa kaanal insaanu akthara shay 2in jadala] . Look at how the sahabah narrated their mistakes. There is truth to what Ali r.a. said but don’t make an excuse. That’s the point Prophet saw was making as well.
Abu Hurayrah narrated that the Prophet saw said, “Whenever anyone of you wake up at night let him say Alhamdulillahilazhee waddaa alayya rooh7i wa aafani fee jasadi wa azhina lee fi zhikri [All praise to Allah who gave me back my soul, and gave health to my body and He gave me the opportunity to remember Him. ] ”
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.