When the Night is Dark

5

Jump-start your qiyam (and begin an amazing relationship with your Creator) with these resources.

When the night is completely dark, it finds them [the people of taqwah] staying up in the night; fear has chased away their sleep, so they stay up, while those who feel secure in this life quietly sleep on.”

— Abdullah ibn Mubarak

With two thirds of Ramadan over, and the last ten nights almost here, it’s more important than ever for us to take our relationship with Allah to new heights. Aisha radiya Allahu anha narrated (as recorded by Bukhari and Muslim) that when the last ten days of Ramadan came, the Prophet salla Allahu alayhi wasallam would stay up at night and would wake his family up, and would abstain from marital relations. In another narration in Muslim, we’re told that he used to strive hard in worship during the last ten days of Ramadan as he never did at any other time.

And with Laylat al-Qadr, the night better than a thousand months, falling on one of these last ten nights, we can’t afford to do anything other than follow in his footsteps, salla Allahu alayhi wasallam. One of the best acts of worship we can engage in at this time is the night prayer. The night prayer is a beautiful act of worship that encompasses the other kinds of worship – reciting Qur’an, remembering Allah and praising Him in dhikr, making du’aa – all as you stand and bow and prostrate before His Majesty.

We’ve handpicked a few resources on qiyam to help you (and us!) prepare for the blessed nights to come. Please take the time to read through them all, and more importantly, put in the effort to pray and worship during these coming nights.

*** We realize that some of our sisters can’t pray at this time, but don’t loose hope. Here’s another list of resources to help you out. ***

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I Wore My Best Hijab Today

I wore my best hijab last night, a beautiful, shiny hijab with bright embroidery and sequins. I never wear bright scarves when I go out. I try for dull, matte colors – usually black, if I’m being honest – to match the black abayas I wear. I don’t want to look bad when I go out, but I don’t want to look particularly attractive or decorated when I’m outside my home either. I do it because of this ayah, the ayah in Surat an-Noor, “And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and guard their private parts and not expose their adornment except that which [necessarily] appears…” [24:31].

I’m content and comfortable with the way I dress, happy even, but wearing black can be hard for just one reason… [Read more]

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Jihad by Night

For twenty years I waged Jihad against myself.  I struggled, all throughout to remain standing in prayer at night.  For those twenty years I never tasted the sweetness of the night prayer.  It was only after that that I found comfort and sweetness.” These are the words of one of the greatest scholars of the early generation.  Al-Imam Sufyaan ath-Thawri (161 H) is known as one of the Eight Ascetics of his age.  He was, rahimahullah‘aabid – a worshipper.

Twenty years of Jihad by night.  No sweetness was experienced by ath-Thawri (rahimahullah) for twenty years? Nevertheless he kept the course with unwavering inspirational sabr.  He struggled in fear, campaigned in love, and toiled in hope of Allah… [Read more]

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A Word in Passing

I recall them still. They were moments of excitement and transformation during days of innumerable blessings.

Sixteen, my friend and I, and our phone conversations were altered from what they had been just before the start of the month: short now, and to the point, announcing a lecture on television (“it’s on, now, don’t miss it!”), sharing a hadith, recommending a good deed waiting to be done.

We were school girls, racing with ourselves and each other, not content to run alone. Instead, we met on the path, poised, ready to exchange pieces of wisdom and inspiration that might propel us forward. We ran, we paused, we passed them on – like batons in a race – and knew, wherever the batons went, whatever people they reached or work they inspired, good deeds would come. It’s the first Ramadan I truly remember. And I insist… [Read more]

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The Vigil of Standing and Prostration

In continuing with the noble traits of the true servants of The Merciful, we find that they are characterized by a deep sincerity; they give up their precious sleep time in devotion to their Most Gracious Creator.

The Most High elucidates the next quality of His servants who are, “Those who spend part of the night prostrating and standing in devotion to their Lord” [25:64]. Praying in the night reflects a special relationship with God. It is a distinguishing characteristic of those who are in an elevated state of faith. Almighty God asks us in another verse… [Read more]

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The Night Prayer in Ramadan [Downloadable E-book]

A most rewarding and fulfilling part of a Muslim’s worship are those blessed moments that he spends praying in the depth of the night, privately addressing his Great Lord, sincerely glorifying Him, humbly imploring Him – beseeching His forgiveness and asking Him for favors. The voluntary “night prayer”, or qiyaam, is indispensable for a person’s moral, spiritual, and physical welfare. Yet, it is greatly misunderstood and largely neglected by most Muslims. The book by the muhadith of the century Imam Albani (rahimahu Allah) lays light on the virtues and importance of the night prayer… [Download here]

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If you’re aware of any other great resources (articles, books, lectures) on qiyam, please share them in a comment below.

May Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala bless everyone here with witnessing Laylat al-Qadr. May He bless us with the sweetness of performing qiyam and humbling ourselves before Him, and may He forgive our sins, grant us His afw’, and free us from the fire. Ameen.