Salah at-Tahajjud

Of all the nafl prayers, that prayer which is offered in the middle of the night, known as Tahajjud or Salat al-Layl, is the most rewarding and beneficial.

Salat at-Tahajjud is offered after Isha prayer but before Fajr prayer (or 12 hours from the time of the Duhr prayer). The number of rakat prayed in tahajjud should be between 4 to 12 rakats, offered in even numbers, in units of two or four rakat each.

If one divides the night into six parts, the fourth and fifth part are the best for prayer. If divided in half, the second half is best. If into thirds, the middle part is best.

It is recommended to begin one's night Tahajjud with two brief rakats, to have intended to make the Tahajjud before going to sleep, and to not make a practice of more prayer than one can regularly perform without harm to oneself.

It is best to wake up in the middle of the night to perform the tahajjud. However, if one is not sure that one will be able to do so, then one can pray 4 rakat right after the 2 sunnah mu’akkadah of Isha with the intention (niyyah) of tahajjud. Although the reward will be much less, the pious authorities of the religion have advised this method for those who find it difficult to wake up later in the night. The Witr prayer should be offered after the tahajjud.

Allah (swt) says: “And some part of the night awake for prayer, a largess for thee. It may be that thy Lord will raise thee to a praised position.”
[surah al-Isra’: 79]

“As for the Righteous, they will be in the Gardens and fountains [of Jannah], with joy the rewards which their Lord gives them, before this [in the world] they were virtuous. They slept but little at night, and they prayed for forgiveness in the hours of early dawn." [51:15:18]

The Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) said, "The best (most rewarding) salah after the obligatory salah is the night prayer (salat at-tahajjud)"
[Ahmad and Muslim]

The Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) said, “There is a certain period of time in the night during which if a Muslim prays for anything beneficial to his life in this world or the next, it will be granted to him. And this time occurs every night.”

Salman al-Farsi quoted the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) as saying: "Observe the night prayer, it was the practice of the righteous before you and it brings you closer to your Lord and it is penance for evil deeds and erases the sins and repels disease from the body."

Abdullah ibn as-Salam quoted the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) as saying: 'O people, spread the salutations, feed the people, keep the ties of kinship, and pray during the night while the others sleep and you will enter Paradise in peace."'
[al-Hakim, Ibn Majah, and at-Tirmidhi]

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