It has been a while that I have wanted to write this post but I wanted to include it in a Prayer Series. I still haven’t gotten around to doing the series yet but hopefully, this post will evoke the desire to begin the series.
Tahajjud (which I used to confuse with Tarawih which is essentially Tahajjud in Ramadhan) is a voluntary late night prayer. I read that whoever desires something and has not prayed Tahajjud for it does not really want it.
It is a prayer highly recommended by Allah, preferably made during the last one-third of the night when Allah is most receptive to our pleas. It can be made anytime from after ‘Isha (the last prayer of the day) till before Fajr (the first prayer of the day made at dawn). There are a good number of verses that mention those who forsake their beds at night to seek Allah’s Face.
Here in Northern Nigeria and indeed other parts of Nigeria where there are masajid, there is usually a call to prayer roughly and hour before Fajr prayer. One could get up at this time for Tahajjud.
Abu Hurairah (R.A.) reported Allah’s Messenger (SAW) as saying:
Allah descends every night to the lowest heaven when one-third of the first part of the night is over and says: I am the Lord; I am the Lord: who is there to supplicate Me so that I answer him? Who is there to beg of Me so that I grant him? Who is there to beg forgiveness from Me so that I forgive him?… – Sahih Muslim Book 6 Hadith 202
It is a time when the world is asleep and there are no interruptions and you can allow yourself be overcome by emotion without feeling people’s eyes on you. It is a serene time when you truly feel enveloped in Allah’s Mercy and connect with Him.
‘Actions are by their intentions’ so if you desire to pray tahajjud, make the intention before you fall asleep. A hadith mentions that after making the intention, if one is overcome by sleep and forgets to wake up, he will still be rewarded for what he intended.
I would recommend eating light and going to bed early particularly for the hypertensive amongst us. Lack of a good night rest tends to elevate the blood pressure, tahajjud or not so ensure you get at least 6hours of sleep at night.
On waking, thank Allah then brush your teeth or use a miswak and perform wudhu. Wake others if they are interested.
Spread your prayer rug and make two rakat at least. It can be as many as you want – even numbers only. The prayers can be said in units of two with tashahud (At-tahiyatulillah…) in between each two units and teslim (Assalamu alaikum warahmatullah) at the end, before the Witr. A single Witr prayer can also suffice for Tahajjud, however but one can make Tahajjud and pray Witr afterwards. (I will discuss Witr in the next post in sha Allah.)
If you begin to feel sleepy to the point that you become unaware of your utterances, it is allowed to return to bed.
After the Tahajjud, you may recite of the Holy Qur’an as much as you can/wish and make supplications you desire. It is a perfect time for reflection.
We should all endeavour to make this a habit as Allah loves a consistent deed even if small.
May Allah accept our supplication.