Keep It Private!


taught by Sh Omar Suleiman on ILMFLIX

It’s very important to keep your private good deeds private!

The sahabah didn’t teach qiyam with their words, but they talked qiyam with their qiyam. People snuck up on them and caught them praying on their journeys. This was something very important to them (keeping their qiyam private).

One time a man came to Tameem ibn Aws Ad Daari. Umar appointed him and Ubayy Ibn kaab to lead qiyam. The man asks him “How many rakaat do you pray at night?” He responded, “I swear by Allah, for me to pray one rakaah at night in the privacy of my own home in secret is more beloved to me than praying the entire night and other people know about it.”

Sahabah and tabieen went to lengths to make sure no one found out about their qiyam.

Said ibn Jubayr was once speaking to some of the companions and said “Who amongst you saw the star last night?” He realized when he said that, that people would gather from what he said that he was praying at night. So he said, “As for me I wasn’t praying last night. I was awake because I was stung by something.”[Muslim]

Muhammad ibn Waasi3, his wife says, “He’d try to hide his tears from me to the extent that he would sleep on the side of the pillow from me and I wouldn’t know that he cried until I woke up in the morning and realized his side is soaked with tears.”

Sufyan Thawri [his statements on sincerity is so amazing, he lived it]– his wife says, “Imam Sufyan used to sleep out of the bed after half of the night and he’d pray qiyam and then jump back in bed, act like he was sleeping and wake me up for the last third of the night. I was awake the entire time but I didn’t want to break his heart.”

She narrated this after his death.

Hasan Ibn Abu Sinan used to fake sleep every night until his wife fell asleep. As soon as he thought she was sleeping, he would poke me and ask if she was asleep and if she didn’t’ answer, he’d get up and pray qiyam.

The scholars and these great people who were known for their knowledge were also known for their qiyam. All four imams were known for their qiyam as well, not just for their fiqh and knowledge. Their legacy lived long. They had a good ending. The salaf used to say that there was a secret between them and Allah that allowed that to happen.

Abu Hanifah was nicknamed al watad (the pole) because he was known to stand at night to pray.

Abu Bakr Al Marwabi, one of the students of Imam Ahmed said, “I was with Imam Ahmed in battle for 4 months. He never stopped praying qiyam at night and never stops reading Quran during the day. I never would know when he would finish reading Quran because he wouldn’t tell me.”

Imam Awzaa3i (who had his own mazhab), one time some of his wife’s friend visited his house. At that time there was one area dedicated for salah in the house. Whenever they went to the area, they noticed it was wet. They thought the children were urinating in that area. His wife said, “Wallahi, those are the tears he shed every night, so that spot has never been dry since we’ve been in this house.”

Said Ibn Musayyib was known for not doing wudhu between Isha and Fajr.

Mukhallad Ibn Hussain was a student of Ibrahim Ibn Adham said, “I never woke up at night except that I saw Ibrahim Ibn Adham praying and remembering Allah. It used to depress me. The way I would console myself is read, zhaalika fadhlulalh yu2teehi man yashaa, wallahu zhu fadhlil azdheem.”

Surah Hadeed [57:21]

Sahih International

Race toward forgiveness from your Lord and a Garden whose width is like the width of the heavens and earth, prepared for those who believed in Allah and His messengers. That is the bounty of Allah which He gives to whom He wills, and Allah is the possessor of great bounty.


What this shows us is that qiyam is a gift from Allah. It changes your entire life. It reforms your dunya, your relationship with Allah, reaffirms your belief in Akhirah, connects you more to death rather than life. The most important thing to do is to ask Allah to bless you with the ability to pray Qiyam and then to not do anything to waste your qiyam.

Don’t disobey Him during the day and He will wake you up at night. [Hasan Basri]

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.


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