Ramadan is a month of worship. It’s a month to strengthen our connection with Allah and learn to love ourselves and Him even more than we already do and it comes exactly when we most need it to. And what better way to do all of those things than to spend our nights in Qiyam and Tahajjud?
Tahajjud is a nawaffil prayer, which means it is a voluntary prayer that is prayed during the night. And Qiyam-ul-layl refers to spending the night in worship, whether that be praying, doing dhikr, reading Quran, or just remembering Allah.
Praying Tahajjud and staying awake during the night for Qiyam-ul-layl are both optional. But they are two of the most beneficial forms of worship.
The best prayer after the obligatory prayers is the night prayer.— The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ (Muslim)
Tahajjud is an optional nawaffil prayer, prayed during the night. It can be prayed anytime between Isha Salah and Fajr Salah. According to reports by Aisha RA, the Prophet Muhammad SAWS would wake up in the middle of the night and perform Tahajjud with a clear mind and complete devotion to Allah. The minimal number of raka’ah to perform is two but you can g up to 8 raka’ah as the Prophet is reported to have done. Your intention and reason for praying Tahajjud is also the most important part, whether you’re praying Tahajjud to ask for something specific from Allah SWT or just wanting to spend time getting closer to Him.
Do not ever stop praying Qiyaam. The Prophet ﷺ never ceased praying it. When he was sick or weak, he prayed sitting.— Aisha RA (Bukhari & Muslim)
I like to think of Tahajjud prayer as a remedy. No matter what your circumstances, there is something so beautiful, peaceful, and relieving about getting up during the last third of the night and praying to Allah. This is the time when you get to reflect and contemplate your life, actions, your reason for doing certain things.
You get to cry to Allah about your frustrations and vent to Him about anything. Your concentration is at its peak, and you have a better understanding of why you are doing things. It’s just you and Allah, no distractions. And with this solitude and calmness comes an almost automatic reaction. Your heart feels less burdened after you’ve shared your worries with your Lord, your mind is clear, and you feel altogether whole. Your problems may still exist, but when you share your issues with Allah, you know that there is a guarantee your prayers and duas will be accepted and answered.
While Tahajjud does technically fall under Qiyam-ul-layl as it is an act of worship during the night, the act of worshipping Allah by doing dhikr, remembering him, and reading the Quran is something that can be done all night. Finishing an extra juz (part) of the Quran or doing as much dhikr as you can or even just listening to the recitation of the Quran are all different ways you can spend your nights before Suhoor. The rewards for Qiyam-ul-layl are also immense, but the habit of turning to Allah and spending our nights in worship is one that will assist us for the rest of our lives.
You should pray Qiyaam al-Layl, for it is the habit of the righteous people who came before you, and it will bring you closer to your Lord, expiate for bad deeds, prevent sin, and expel disease from the body.— The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ (At-Tirmidhi & Ahmad)
tahajjud and qiyam-Ul-layl in ramadan
In Ramadan, our schedules have changed. We become more night people than we were before, which gives us an immense advantage. Instead of spending our nights watching Netflix or chit-chatting with friends (no shame in doing either, though!), it’d be more beneficial to spend our nights in prayer and worship. Ramadan is our only chance in the year to gain these many rewards with such high spirits and hope. We shouldn’t waste it.
The struggle of waking up to perform Tahajjud and do Qiyam is also a form of Jihad. Allah SWT wants us to do our regular business during the day and spend our nights in worship. It’s a beloved action by Allah and the rewards are immense. And in Ramadan, when each and every good action we do is already being multiplied, the chances of our duas, actions, and prayers being accepted are also multiplied.
We must strive to wake up at least a half-hour to an hour before Fajr salah to pray Tahajjud and do as much worship as we can during the night before sleep overtakes us. Tahajjud and Qiyam-ul-layl are a blessing that we will never regret losing our sleep for!
May Allah SWT give us the strength and ability to perform Qiyam-ul-layl and pray Tahajjud as much as we can for the rest of Ramadan and help us make it a habit we can incorporate into our daily lives. Ameen.