Image courtesy of David Pasillas
Originally published for IFN March 2011
It is with this sense of urgency I want the night to visit and befall on the house like a blanket over a sleeping child. I want to feel reassurance, guidance, and answers to calm my fluttering heart.
I am in a rush to converse with my Lord.
Making wudu extinguishes any anger in my heart and I ardently rush to my corner of the house and pray.
Tahajjud is the night vigil prayer.
It is a blessed time with the Creator: people sleep and all is quiet in the world where the sounds of the ocean splashing across the sands can be heard in the depths of the darkness.
Life is most clear when all has died down and I submit to Allah (swt).
My focus is heightened and my concentration more intact than when I normally perform my daily prayers. I am all for Allah (swt) and Allah (swt) is listening.
The closest time to be with Him is in the tahajjud prayer.
There is something powerful, sublime, and serene when prostrating during this time of night; a reassuring embrace sweeps my body and mind. A warmth that seeps through the layers of skin and into my soul. That is the power Allah (swt) can cast over us.
Allah Most High said, “Establish worship at the going down of the sun until the dark of the night, and (the recital of) the Qur’an at dawn. Lo! (the recital of) the Qur’an at dawn is ever witnessed. And some part of the night awake for its recital, as voluntary worship for you. It may be that your Lord will raise you to a praised estate.” [Qur’an, 17: 78-79]
These specific prayers are respected and highly recommended. This is where people give their mind and hearts sincerely to Allah (swt). Reciting Qu’ran at that prescribed time is an act of sincerity and true submission.
No one is watching but Allah (swt) and His angels and this is when we want to have our actions recorded and acknowledged. He witnesses our heart’s vulnerability and candor.
Our concentration is not challenged and we are not distracted by our daily activities. It is not required to pray at this time of night but that is where some of the beauty lies.
Abu Hurayra (Allah be pleased with him) reports that the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him, his family, and companions) said, “The best prayer after the obligatory prayers is the night prayer.” [Muslim]
Why is the night prayer seen in high esteem?