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In the Name of God بسم الله
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Tahajjud Prayers SALATUL–LAYL [NAMAZ-E-SHAB] وَمِنَ اللَّيْلِ فَتَهَجَّدْ بِهِ نَافِلَةً لَّكَ عَسَى أَن يَبْعَثَكَ رَبُّكَ مَقَامًا مَّحْمُودًا The Tahajjud Prayer (Namaz-e-Shab) ranks first and foremost in importance among all other optional (Sunnat) prayers. Tahajjud means to abandon sleep so as to pray Salat. The Qur’an refers to it in Surah 17:79 and says, “And (during part) of the night, abandon sleep and keep vigil to pray Salat, in addition to the regular obligatory prayer. Your Rabb (the Sustainer) may (as a reward) elevate you to the position of High Distinction, Glory and Praise.” The Prophet (saww) said, “I will be at “Maqam-e-Mahmuda” on the Day of Resurrection when I will seek forgiveness for the sinners from the Rabb (the Sustainer) who does what He wills.” The verse quoted above which prescribes Salatul-Layl has been placed immediately next to the verse (17:78) which prescribes the regular daily obligatory Salat. Therefore, it underscores the great importance of Salatul-Layl. Although optional, Tahajjud is considered “nearest to obligatory (Wajib) prayer.” MERITS AND BENEFITS OF PRAYING NAMAZ-E-SHAB By praying Salatul-Layl one’s livelihood is increased, one passes easily through “Sakaraat” (great and gruelling pain a dying person suffers at the time of death) and finds happiness in “Barzakh” (the Spiritual world where the departed souls stay either in happiness or misery, until the Day of Resurrection). Imam Jaffar Sadiq (a.s.) quotes Imam Ali (as) as saying that the Prophet (saww) said that a person who prays Salatul-Layl gets the following twenty four kinds of benefits: Secures Allah’s pleasure. Makes friendship with Angels. Is the Sunnat of the Prophets (a.s.) Provides the means to pursue knowledge. Constitutes the root of our faith. Keeps one physically fit. Drives Shaytan away. Protects one from enemies. Serves as a means of acceptance of one’s Duas and good deeds. Increases one’s livelihood. Intercedes with the Angel of Death. Lights up the grave. Provides comfortable bedding in the grave. Helps answering with ease the questioning of Munkar and Nakir in the grave. Gives companionship in the grave. Provides shelter on the Day of Judgment. Crowns one on the Day of Reckoning. Clothes one on the Day of Resurrection. Provides one with light on the Day of Judgment. Forms a barrier against the fire of Hell. Gets Allah’s pardon on the Day of Judgment. Increases the weight of good deeds on the scale. Helps one crossing the Bridge of “Siraat” without any difficulty. Forms the key to the Paradise. TIME The time for praying Salatul-Layl is from midnight (midnight is reckoned as the time which is exactly half the time between sunset and the actual dawn) to the time of Adhan for Fajr prayers. However, it can be prayed at anytime after Isha prayers but it is better to pray during the last part of the night near to the time of Fajr prayers. If it is not possible to pray after midnight or before Fajr, then it can be prayed in the morning or any part of the day with the niyyah (intention) of Qadha. It is better to pray with the niyyah of Qadha during the day time than to pray in the early part of the night. Note: According to Ayatullah Seestani, the time for Salatul-Layl is from midnight to the Adhan time for Fajr prayers. However, it is better to pray near the time of Fajr prayers. Anyone who finds it difficult to pray Salatul-Layl after midnight can pray before midnight. Salatul-Layl is made up of eleven Rak’ats. Ø The first eight Rak’ats are prayed as normal in pairs of two Rak’ats each with the niyyah of Nawafilatul-Layl. Ø The next two Rak’ats are prayed with the Niyyah of Salatul Shaf’a. Ø The remaining one Rak’at is prayed with the Niyyah of Salatul Witr. In this last one Rak’at, Qunoot is recited before Rukuu and the Salat is completed as usual with Tashahud and Salaam. While advising Imam ‘Ali (a.s.), the Prophet repeated three times, “’Alayka Bis-Salatil-Layl” which means, “incumbent upon you (O! Ali) is Salatul Layl.” This Hadith underscores further the importance of Salatul-Layl. Therefore, we should try never to miss it.
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