How to pray at night

Tahajjud prayer (prayer performed by becoming awake after sleep at night) and other prayers offered at night-time

Every time has a specific feature in Allah’s sight. However, certain times are more valuable than others, and they are to be taken advantage of. And night-time is one of these times that the Qur’an and the sayings of the Prophet (pbuh) describe as valuable.

The value that Allah ascribes to night-time and the secrets hidden in it are countless. Allah says: “

The night and its homing

!” (Inshiqaq, 84:17). “

And by the night when it is still

!..” (Dhuha, 93:2). The secret of the swearing of Allah by the night is a Divine window to get our hearts and souls to watch many facts.

The night is the time to prostrate before the Divine Being with love and affection for the sake of pleasing Him instead of lying down in smooth beds. Therefore, extra prayers performed at night are of great importance in achieving immediacy with Allah. Thus, one desires and performs prayers at night as much Divine Love as s/he has. It may be said that praying at night is like meeting and conversing with one’s lover at night. Being awake at a time when everybody is asleep means being included in the group of love and mercy.

How to Perform the Tahajjud Prayer (The Night Prayer)

The Prophet (pbuh) used to pray at night until he was footsore. He was once asked:

“– O the Messenger of Allah! Why do you strain yourself though Allah declared in the Qur’an (in chapter 48) that you were forgiven of all your sins?”

He replied:

“– Should not I be a thanking servant?” (Bukhari, Tahajjud, 6).

The Prophet (pbuh) also said:

“The most virtuous prayer except the obligatory prayers is the one offered by becoming awake after sleep at night.” (Muslim, Siyam, 202-203).

“Two units of prayer performed at night is more beneficial than anything in the world. If I thought that it would not be a burden on my people I would enjoin it on them.” (Fadail al-Amal, 257).

“There is a certain moment at night. If a Muslim catches that moment to wish something from Allah, that thing is granted to him/her.” (Tirmizi, Vitr, 16).

“If a man wakes up at night and also wakes his wife up to offer two units of prayer together, Allah registers their names among those who remember Allah most.” (Abu Dawud, Tatawwu, 18).

“Do not you ever disregard praying at night! Because it was a custom of righteous people before you. Worshipping at night brings one closer to Allah, atones for one’s sins, keeps the body from illnesses, and prevents one from performing sinful acts.” (Tirmizi).

“Let Allah show mercy to the man who wakes up at night to pray, and also wakes his wife up to do so. Let Allah show mercy to the woman who wakes up at night to pray, and also wakes her husband up to do so!” (Abu Dawud, Vitr, 13).

The Prophet (pbuh) told Abu Zarr:

“– Do you get prepared when you are about to set forth on a journey?”

Abu Zarr replied:

“– Of course, o Prophet”

The Prophet (pbuh) said:

“– Well, how do you think that the journey on the Day of Judgment will be? Take heed of what I will tell you; shall I tell you what you would benefit from on the Day of Judgment?”

Abu Zarr replied:

“– Yes, o Messenger of Allah!”

The Prophet (pbuh) said:

“Fast on a very hot day for the Day of Judgment. Offer a prayer of two units at night to be saved from loneliness in the grave. Make the journey to Qabah once in a lifetime, and give alms to a needy person for the great occasions of the Doomsday. Say just words or save your tongue from saying unjust things!”

(ibn Abi’d-Dunya, Kitab al-Tahajjud).

The Prophet (pbuh) said to Abu Hurayra in this regard:

“O Abu Hurayra! If you want the company of the Mercy of Allah when in the grave and on the Doomsday, wake up at night to offer a prayer for Allah’s sake. O Abu Hurayra! If you pray at the corner of your house, your house lightens as a constellation in the sky, and it becomes like a star for the people of the world.” (Ihya al-Ulumiddin, I, 1023).

Abdallah bin Omar, for interpretation, let the Prophet (pbuh) know one of his dreams through Hafsa, who was the sister of Abdullah and the wife of the Prophet (pbuh). The Prophet (pbuh) said while interpreting the dream:

“Abdallah is a great person. Yet, it would be superb if he prayed at night!..”

From that day on, Abdallah never abandoned praying at night. (Bukhari, Tahajjud, IV, 360).

The Prophet (pbuh) said:

“The Archangel Gabriel said: “The honor of a believer is, no doubt, related to night-time prayer…'” (Hakim, Mustadrak, IV, 360).

One of the servants whom Allah is pleased with is one who gets out of his/her gentle and warm bed in order to offer the prayer of tahajjud. Allah is well-pleased with that servant and says to the angels:

“– What makes this servant of Mine care about praying at this time of the night?”

The angels reply:

“– It is his/her wish to attain Your Grace and Blessing, and also fear of Your punishment.”

Allah says:

“I grant him/her what s/he wishes from Me then. And I safeguard him/her from what s/he fears from.” (Fadail al-Amal, 299).

Many verses of the Qur’an call the servants to remember Allah at night-time.

And during part of the night, -Aleyhisselâm-, celebrate His praises, and (so likewise) after the postures of adoration.” (Qaf, 50: 40).

“And for the part of the night also praise Him, and at the retreats of the stars.” (Tur 52:49).

“Those who spend the night in adoration of their Lord prostrate and standing.” (Furqan 25:64).

Allah explains the features of those who will be saved from the Divine punishment and be placed in paradise:

“They were in the habit of sleeping but little by night. And in the hours of early dawn, they (were found) praying for forgiveness.” (Zariyat, 51:17-18).

In addition to this honoring, Allah cites those believers who remember Him at night-time as superior when comparing believers with disbelievers:

“What! he who is obedient during hours of the night, prostrating himself and standing, takes care of the hereafter and hopes for the mercy of his Lord! Say: Are those who know and those who do not know alike? Only the men of understanding are mindful.” (Zumar, 39:9).

As Allah describes those who devoutly worship at night as such, He forewarns those unwary servants who do not behave accordingly:

“And part of the night, prostrate yourself to Him; and glorify Him a long night through.”

“As to these they love the fleeting life, and put away behind them a Day (that will be) hard.” (Insan, 76:26-27).

The second part of the night is said to be more valuable. The Prophet (pbuh) was once asked about it:

“– In which part of the night are the worships more likely to be accepted?”

He replied:

“The worships that are done in the second half of the night…” (Abu Dawud).

However, as it is not too easy to worship at night, one is supposed to observe some points. In addition to the strong desire to worship at night, one is supposed to have a light dinner and keep early nights. It is narrated that:

“The Prophet (pbuh) used to discourage people to sleep before the late-night prayer, and he also used to discourage them to have long conversations after it.” (Bukhari, Mawaqit al-Salat, 23).

A Muslim should be in the habit of keeping early hours, and waking up early. There may be exceptions to that on condition that they should not hamper one’s activity to worship at night. Omar, the second caliph, says:

“The Prophet (pbuh), sometimes, used to speak with Abu Bakr about the affairs of Muslims until daybreak. And I used to stay with them.” (Tirmizi).

These principles are necessary to remove the strain of waking up for prayer and also to untie the knots of Satan tied through sleep. The Prophet (pbuh) says:

“When you sleep Satan ties three knots on the back of your neck. And he says to each knot let a long night stay with you.’ When you wake up and cite the name of Allah one of the knots unties. When you make ablution another knot unties. And when you offer a prayer all of the knots untie. Thus, you wake up hale and hearty in the morning. Otherwise, you wake up asleep and downhearted.” (Bukhari, Tahajjud, 12).

So, it is clear that the prayer offered at night is so valuable that it comes second only after the obligatory prayers.

However, those who do prayers at night are to be reminded that they should not be proud just because they do worship at night. If so, they lose the blessing they would get.

They should always bear the following saying of the Prophet (pbuh) in mind:

“There are many who worship at night, yet they get nothing out of it. They just stay awake.” (Ahmad bin Hanbal, Musnad, II, 373).

When to perform Tahajjud prayer

I write in sequence.

1. Salatul Isha 2. A little sleep and wake up 3. Tahajjud 4. Witr 5. Salatul Fajr

How to perform salat al Tahajjud (The Night Prayer)

How to Offer Salat al Tahajjud (The Night Prayer)

  • First make the Niyyah (intention) by reciting “I intend to perform two rakats of the salat al Tahajjud”
  • You say takbir “Allahu Akbar” This starts the prayer.
  • Begin reciting “Subhanaka”
  • After you say: “Audhu billahi min-ash-shayta -nir-rajeem Bismillah-ir-Rahman-ir-raheem”
  • Reciting Surah Al Fatiha
  • Another portion (Surah) of the Qur’an.
  • Go into Ruku (the bowing position) and We say “Subahaana Rabbiyal Azeem”
  • Go into the 1st Sajdah and We say “Subahaana Rabbiyal Aa’la”
  • Now sit-up from the first Sajdah in jalsa position (Sitting position between the two Sajdahs)
  • Now go into the 2nd Sajdah and We say “Subahaana Rabbiyal Aa’la”
  • Rise up to proceed to the next raka’at,
  • You say “Bismillah-ir-Rahman-ir-raheem”
  • Reciting Surah Al Fatiha
  • Another portion (Surah) of the Qur’an.
  • Go into Ruku (the bowing position) and We say “Subahaana Rabbiyal Azeem”
  • Go into the 1st Sajdah and We say “Subahaana Rabbiyal Aa’la”
  • Now sit-up from the first Sajdah in jalsa position (Sitting position between the two Sajdahs)
  • Now go into the 2nd Sajdah and We say “Subahaana Rabbiyal Aa’la”
  • After this, you sit for the complete Tashshahud: You recite At-tahiyyat, Allah-umma salli, Allah-umma Barik and Rabbana.
  • By turning to your face to the right first and saying “Assalamu alaikum wa Rahmatullah” and then to his left and doing the same

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Ending your day with prayer is a wonderful way to let go of stress and find peace before falling asleep. No matter what you faced today, talking to God through goodnight prayers will renew your faith. Evening prayer also helps you see all the good things that happened in your day that you have to be thankful for!

Share these nine bedtime and evening prayers with your children, spouse and friends so they too can fall asleep feeling blessed and thankful! 

Goodnight Prayer for Blessings

Bless us with rest tonight, Jesus, and a good night’s sleep. Forgive us for the things we did today that did not honor you. Thank you for loving us so much and that you know us through and through. We need your help every day, and we thank you for the strength you give and for helping us know that with you, even hard things are possible. Bless our family and our home, and keep us safe through the night. May your angels guard us and watch over us, just like you promised.

You’ve told us we are just like sheep. And that you lead us and guard us like a shepherd. You know our names, and you make us feel special and loved. When we hurt, you help us feel better. Thank you, Jesus, for your good care and for giving us to help. Thank you for the Bible, and for teaching us stuff in life that helps us grow. Bless the people in our world, and help them to know you love them, too. Thank you for all the people who help us so much: teachers, doctors, policeman, and fireman—and so many more.

Thank you for your good plan for our lives. Help us to obey you and love you more and more. When we awake in the morning, put a smile on our face and your purpose in our hearts, ready to start a new day. We love you, Jesus. Good night. In Jesus’s precious name, Amen. ~ ~ Rebecca Barlow Jordan

A Bedtime Prayer to Stop an Anxious Heart

Dear Lord, please help me trust You and empower me through Your Spirit to stop my emotions from bossing me around. I want to quit worrying about what might happen and focus on what has already happened by remembering and praising You for Your faithfulness in my life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. ~ Renee Swoop

Giving Thanks Evening Prayer

Dear God, we thank you tonight for the good day and for the special way you take care of us all the time. Thank you for the fun times outside and the quiet times inside, and for helping us learn new things every day.

Thank you for creating us special, exactly the way you wanted. Thank you for protecting us throughout the day. Forgive us for the wrong things we do. Thank you for loving us even when we disobey or try to do things our way. Help us to always choose your way, God, because it’s always best. We pray for all the people who don’t know you, and that they will come to understand your love for them, too.

Bless our family and thank you for good times together and apart. Bless our friends and those we love, including our grandparents, our aunts and uncles and cousins. Thank you for our home and a place to sleep and good food to eat. Help us rest well, give us peaceful dreams, and send your angels around our home to protect us throughout the night. Teach us to trust you and to love you more and more. You are good; you are great; and you are faithful, God. And we love you. Good night. In Jesus’s precious name, Amen. ~ Rebecca Barlow Jordan

how to pray at night

A Short Night-time Prayer (2 Timothy 1:7)

For God’s not given me a spirit of fear, 
But a spirit of love, 
and of power, and a sound mind,
To live each day and glorify his name. 

Popular Child’s Bedtime Prayer, 18th Century

Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
If I should die before I wake,
I pray the Lord my soul to take.

Alternative Version for Children:
Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep,
Watch and guard me through the night,
and wake me with the morning light.
Amen.

A Beautiful Prayer to End the Day

Heavenly Father, my day is drawing to an end, and I’m ready to turn in. But before I do, I have to thank you for your faithfulness today. It’s always a good day, even when things may not go the way I plan, or when the world seems in chaos, because you are in control.

For all the times when I was aware of your help today, all the times when your unseen presence seemed so near, thank you, God. But for all the ways you worked behind the scenes, unknown to me, moments when heaven-sent angels moved on my behalf in ways I’ll never know, thank you for those also, Lord.

Forgive me for any foolish actions on my part today or things I did without first asking your blessing or wisdom. Those are moments I’d rather forget, but I’m so grateful for your forgiveness when I ask. I never want to go to bed without clearing the air between us, Lord. Our friendship means too much, and your holiness deserves that. Thank you for loving me just as I am. Your love compels me to give you my all and fills my heart with praise for the relationship we share because of Jesus.

As I close my eyes tonight, I’m praying for loved ones around me, for friends and those who need to know you, Lord. I’m praying that your love, like the billions of stars in the night sky outside, will touch them and help them see who you really are. I pray for our world and those in it. I pray for their needs as well as my own.

Grant me a good night’s sleep tonight, God, so that I can awake refreshed and ready to begin another day loving you. Thank you again for blessings so undeserved and too numerous to count. I love being your child, and I long for the word “faithful” to describe my service to you, each day of every year. When I awake in the morning, may it be with a joyful smile, not a grumpy spirit. May your protection and your presence bathe this place with peace and safety against the enemy. Good night, Lord. In Jesus’s name, Amen. ~ Rebecca Barlow Jordan

how to pray at night

Father, We Thank Thee

Father, we thank thee for the night,
And for the pleasant morning light;
For rest and food and loving care,
And all that makes the day so fair.
Help us to do the things we should,
To be to others kind and good;
In all we do, in work or play,
To grow more loving every day.
— Rebecca Weston – 1890

Bedtime Prayer (song by Twila Paris)

Now I lay me down to sleep
I pray dear Lord that you will keep
Your eyes upon this sleeping world
Every little boy and girl

Bless the children far away
The ones who don’t know how to pray
Those who are not feeling well
The little one the slipped and fell

Bless the puppy down the street
The neighbors I have yet to meet
Bless my mom and dad especially

Just one more thing I’d like to say
Before I close another day
I’d like to thank you Lord for all the ways
That You bless me

Bless the child whose home is torn
The babies who are not yet born
Bless the ones who take your word
To all the hearts that have not heard

Bless all your children everywhere
I hope they know how much you care
Maybe someday I can go
And tell them that You love them so

Bless Grandma and my Grandpa too
And all my friend and all they do
Bless every twig upon my family tree

Just one more thing I’ll say to you
I’m so amazed by all you do
I’ll thank you once again because it’s true
That you bless me

The Examen (Evening Reflection)

Written by St. Ignatius Loyola, the Examen is a daily process for prayerfully reflecting on your day. 

1. Remember God’s presence.
Even after a trying day, God will quiet your soul as you remember His presence and intentionally seek to enter into it. Remember He’s with you. Invite Him to make Himself present to you. 

2. Respond to Him with thanks.
Giving thanks gives God glory and helps us look on the bright side of a bad day. What small blessings can you thank God for?

3. Reflect on how God showed Himself to you.
God reveals himself through scripture, but we also see glimpses of him in nature, events, and people. Sometimes He shows up loudly through miraculous, divine intervention. Other times He shows Himself quietly through the beauty of a flower or an earnest conversation. As you look back over your day, can you identify moments where you sensed God’s revelation or intervention? 

4. Repent of your failings.
I don’t like recognizing my own sin, but repentance is key to continual renewal in our relationship with God.As you reflect on your day, remember specific points where you failed. Bring your shortcomings before God and ask Him to forgive you.  

5. Resolve to grow. 
God is in the business of changing us, so don’t let your failings discourage or define you. His mercies are always new. Accept His forgiveness. Ask Him for grace to change. Is there anything you need to make right or anyone you need to apologize to? What can you do differently tomorrow?

Do you have a favorite goodnight prayer you use at bedtime? One that your parents taught you or that you are teaching your children? Share it with our community in the comments below!

how to pray at night

This article is part of our larger Prayers resource meant to inspire and encourage your prayer life when you face uncertain times. Visit our most popular prayers if you are wondering how to pray or what to pray. Remember, the Holy Spirit intercedes for us and God knows your heart even if you can’t find the words to pray.

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The Tahajjud is a special Islamic prayer which is recommended (but not compulsory) for all Muslims. The Tahajjud is prayed after Isha (the obligatory nightly prayer) and before Fajr (the obligatory morning prayer). If possible, it is most desirable to perform the Tahajjud between midnight and Fajr, preferably in the last third of the night. Though the Tahajjud isn’t compulsory, many devout Muslims try to make it part of their daily routine as an act of worship and to earn redemption and forgiveness from Allah. To learn how to pray the Tahajjud in the way laid out by the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), see Step 1 below.

Part 1 Preparing For Prayer

  1. how to pray at night Arrange to wake up after midnight.

    After praying the Isha prayer and before going to sleep, make arrangements to wake up during the night before the Fajr prayer (for instance, you may want to set an alarm clock or have a family member agree to wake you). Though the Tahajjud can be prayed at any part of the night, if possible, it is best to pray it after midnight, especially during the last third of the night. The time two-thirds of the way between Isha and Fajr is a good time for Tahajjud. This is because Allah descends to the lowest heaven during the last third of the night, asking, “Who is asking me, so I can give to him? Who is calling upon me, so I can answer him? Who is seeking my forgiveness, so I can forgive him?'”

    • If you make an honest effort to wake up and perform the Tahajjud but accidentally sleep through the night, don’t feel guilty. According to ahadeeth, Allah records your genuine intention to perform the Tahajjud and grants you sleep as an act of mercy. You will be rewarded as if your intention had been fulfilled. However, if you make a conscious decision to abandon your intention to pray Tahajjud without good reason, for example through laziness, then it may not be overlooked. t
  2. how to pray at night
  3. how to pray at night Go somewhere clean, quiet, and dignified to conduct your prayer.

    This is done because Allah’s names are pure, so, whenever possible, Muslims are encouraged to speak of Him in clean, holy places as a form of reverence. Wearing your normal prayer clothes, sit down on a prayer mat and face the Holy Kabah in Mecca as you would for your obligatory prayers.

    • To be clear, you don’t need to be anywhere special, like a mosque or a lavishly-decorated room in your house, to pray the Tahajjud. All that’s needed is a spot that’s clean which can even be in your room.
  4. how to pray at night Remove all worldly worries from your heart.

    At the time for prayer, calmly focus and reflect on the glory of your Lord. Do not worry about fleeting worldly problems that are ultimately meaningless in comparison to His infinite wisdom and mercy. Calm yourself and forget your worldly problems, hopes, and fears. Ignore any negative, distracting thoughts or feelings. Close your eyes and focus your attention on your heart as you begin to achieve a heightened state of spiritual awareness.

Part 2 Saying the Tahajjud

  1. how to pray at night Make your intention to pray known.

    As you start your prayer, make a definitive mental declaration to yourself that you are about to perform the Tahajjud. Decide that you are going to complete the Tahajjud in the specific way you have chosen, including how many rakats and which surahs you will recite. Also decide

    why you are saying the Tahajjud — for instance, to glorify Allah, thank Allah or ask for His forgiveness. You don’t have to make this declaration out loud — Allah knows your thoughts, so your intentions will be clear to him as long as they are clear to you.

    • The Tahajjud is typically performed by repeating multiple rakats (cycles) of Salah, the ritual that Muslims use for their required daily prayer. For the Tahajjud, the rakats are usually performed in pairs, so you’ll also want to decide exactly how many rakats you intend to perform at this time. See below for more information.
  2. how to pray at night Perform two rakats.

    To begin your Tahajjud, start by performing two rakats (cycles) of

    Salah

    . Salah begins by standing and reciting verses from the Holy Quran. Then, the person praying continues by bowing low with his hands on his knees, then prostrating on the ground with his forehead, nose, and palms on the floor and his elbows raised, sitting on his knees with his feet folded under him, and finally standing and reciting “Allahu Akbar.” This description of Salah is a generalization — if you’re not sure how to perform Salah properly, learn this

    fundamental Muslim skill

    before attempting the Tahajjud.

    • Emulate the practices of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) who used to recite the following surahs after each rakat in Tahajjud:
      • After reciting the Al-Fatihah the first rakat, recite the surah “Al-Kafirun”.
      • After reciting the Al-Fatihah for the second rakat, recite the surah “Al-Ikhlas”.
  3. how to pray at night Repeat rakats as you wish.

    Generally, two rakats is seen as the minimum necessary for a proper Tahajjud. However, it’s possible to repeat as many more as you wish. For instance, according to the Hadiths, the Prophet Muhammad frequently prayed up to thirteen rakats.

    Tahajjud rakats are performed in pairs and eight rakats is seen as a good number by many Muslims. In other words, most people will say two, four, six, or eight rakats, though more is not discouraged.

    • If you are able to, then reciting long surahs such as Al-Baqarah, An-Nisā’ or Al-‘Imran are highly commended, even if you can manage them only from time to time.
    • Following in the example of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), if you notice dawn approaching while you say your Tahajjud, you may end by performing one rakat as Witr (an optional pre-dawn prayer said before the required Fajr).
  4. how to pray at night Add your own prayers (dua) after the rakats.

    After you’ve completed the number of rakats you set out to pray, you may add your own dua as long as they’re sincere, respectful, and done in complete devotion to Allah. These may be offered in extended prostration in your own words and language. You may want to offer additional thanks and praise to Allah, pray for strength and guidance, or make a special request for help. For instance, you may ask for blessings for a friend who is suffering through difficult times or help with your own worship or simply spend a few moments thanking Allah for a blessing that He granted you the previous day. Prayers should be offered with humbleness, fear, hope and patience. This is an ideal time to ask for forgiveness for your mistakes and sins as Allah is especially open to our repentance at night according to many ahadeeth.

    • Acknowledge each of your wrongdoings, however big or small – you may feel that some are insignificant, but Allah may still decide that a penalty is due. Sincerely promise not to repeat your sins and ask Allah for forgiveness.
    • Use the fear of displeasing Allah to drive yourself to become a better Muslim.
    • Never lose hope of Allah’s mercy for the Qur’an tells us more than 70 times that Allah is the Most Forgiving.
    • Any prayer you offer will be heard, and, if Allah wills, your prayer will be answered in kind.
  5. how to pray at night

    Go back to bed, if you become too tired to complete the Tahajjud. Because the Tahajjud interrupts your normal sleep, it’s not unlikely that you may be somewhat tired when you attempt the prayer. If, however, you’re so tired that you find yourself forgetting what you’re saying as you recite your prayers or you doze off in the middle of your Tahajjud, don’t attempt to complete the prayer. In this case, according to several ahadeeth, Allah notes your sincere willingness to complete the Tahajjud. You may go back to sleep without any need to be embarrassed or ashamed, but try to better prepare yourself next time, perhaps by going to bed earlier.

Part 3 Exploring the Tahajjud

  1. how to pray at night Read scriptural passages about Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)’s observance of the Tahajjud.

    To gain a greater understanding of the unique importance of the Tahajjud prayer, you may want to consult any of the numerous references to the prayer in Islamic scripture. Most notably, the Tahajjud is mentioned in the Quran and discussed at great length in numerous ahadeeth. However, it is also discussed in the work of Islamic scholars throughout the history of the religion.

    • To start, try reading Book 21 (Prayer at Night) from Sahih Bukhari. No less than 70 ahadeeth in this book describe the habits the Prophet (pbuh) regarding the Tahajjud, which gives an indication of its significance in the life of a good Muslim. Commentary on the Tahajjud is also offered at multiple points in the Quran, including Surat 17:79 and Surat 39:9.
  2. how to pray at night Consider saying the Tahajjud with your family.

    Muslim families are encouraged to pray the Tahajjud in communion with each other because both Muhammad (pbuh) and his wife Aisha recommended that husbands and wives should say the Tahajjud together.

    Performing the Tahajjud as a family allows you to come closer to each other in devotion to Allah and to show solidarity in your worship.

    • If you’re interested in trying this, ask your spouse and/or children to join you before the first night you plan to say the Tahajjud together, then, if they need your help to do so, wake them up and celebrate Allah’s infinite greatness and mercy in quiet prayer together. Children over the age of ten should be gently encouraged to develop the habit of praying Tahajjud when they are ready, but if it is too difficult for them to wake in the night then no blame should be apportioned and they should not be admonished, as long as they are up for Fajr and complete all their obligatory prayers correctly.
    • Encourage your children by reminding them of the rewards that are available for completing voluntary acts of worship like Tahajjud, and warn them of the consequences of not making the sacrifices that Allah expects and deserves.
    • Generally, families that pray the Tahajjud together make exceptions for members that need their sleep, like small children, the sick, and the elderly.
  3. how to pray at night Emulate the practices of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).

    All Muslims are encouraged to live in emulation of the life of Muhammad (pbuh), Allah’s Messenger and the Seal of the Prophets. If you’re looking for guidance in performing the Tahajjud, you may want to study the ways Muhammad (pbuh) performed the Tahajjud and try to work these habits into your daily life. By striving to emulate the Prophet (pbuh)’s Tahajjud practices, Muslims can work towards the perfect ideal represented by him and, in doing so, become closer to Allah.

    • As noted above, Book 21 from Sahih Bukhari is a great place to start if you’re looking for information on Muhammad (pbuh)’s Tahajjud habits and practices.
  4. how to pray at night Make the Tahajjud part of your routine.

    As an optional prayer, the Tahajjud certainly isn’t something that any Muslim should feel compelled to do and there is no punishment for missing it. However, many Muslims choose to practice the Tahajjud on a regular basis (if not every night) when they are able. Like all forms of prayer, saying the Tahajjud brings you closer to Allah. In addition, the Tahajjud is often associated with Allah’s gifts of forgiveness and redemption, making it a great way to seek correction for each day’s minor failures, sins and imperfect actions.

    • Remember that Allah appreciates regular acts of worship, so if you start praying Tahajjud, try not to give it up. If you’re interested in making the Tahajjud a regular part of your life, you may want to try setting a recurring alarm to wake you up during the night or even having a predetermined area in your house for performing this prayer.
    • If you are unable to commit to praying Tahajjud every single night, then try build up slowly by establishing the habit of saying just two or four rakats two or three times a week, whatever you can manage, with the aim of building up over time.

Community Q&A

Add New Question

  • Question

    Can I ask Allah after praying tahajjud for someone whom I want as my life partner?

    Yes, of course you can. You can pray whatever you wish to pray, but never lose hope if your prayer isn’t answered immediately. It may be answered one day in the future.

  • Question

    I don’t always pray 5 times a day, will my tahajjud be accepted?

    Of course it will be accepted InshaAllah, but please start praying 5 times now, it is a sin not to.

  • Question

    How can my dua be accepted soon?

    Your dua will always be heard by Allah who will answer it how and when it is best for you, even though you may not realize it at the time.

  • Question

    How many rakat is tahajjud namaz?

    As many as you can before you fall asleep, although the minimum requirement is two. The Prophet prayed 13 rakah daily.

  • Question

    Is it obligatory for one to cry while praying the Tahajjud?

    No, it is not necessary to cry. The tears only come when you feel more near to The Almighty or have fear inside.

  • Question

    Is 13 rakat okay for tajjud prayer?

    Yes, the Prophet Muhammed used to pray up to 13 rakats.

  • Question

    Just converted to Islam, where can I get support?

    Find supportive forums and websites. Contact your local mosque, they’d be happy to help you.

  • Question

    I am confused about the timing of thajad prayer. For instance, if fajar starts at 6:15, can I wake up at 5:30-6:00, or do I need to wake up between 3:00 and 5:00?

    You can wake up at 5:30 for tahjjud but it’s more important that you do not leave the fajar prayer.

  • Question

    Because of my work schedule I am unable to pray five times. Is tahjjud still applicable for me?

    No. Tahajjud is not at all mandatory but your regular five prayers are. So, you need to pray five times daily, no matter what.

  • Question

    Is there a certain time I should perform the Tahajjud prayer?

    Between Isha and Fajr. It usually should be prayed during the last third of the night.

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Tips

  • “The site of this intention is the heart. By simply deciding in his heart to do this action, a person has made his intention. Hence it is not prescribed to speak the intention out loud when one wants to do the action. Rather speaking the intention out loud is a kind of innovation that was not narrated in the Book of Allah or in the Sunnah of His Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), nor was it narrated from any of his Sahabah (may Allah be pleased with them all). See al-Sharh al-Mumti’, 2/283.”
  • Please ask a Muslim that you know to guide you with the pronunciation.
  • Please beware that making the intention out loud before prayer is bid’ah (innovation)!

Article SummaryX

To perform the Tahajjud prayer, start by waking up in the middle of the night after midnight and performing Wudu by cleansing yourself. Then, find a quiet and clean place where you can pray, like your bedroom. When you’re ready, perform at least 2 rakats, or cycles, of Salah. After you finish your rakats, add in a few of your own prayers to the Tahajjud. When you’re finished praying, go back to sleep until morning. To learn how to incorporate the Tahajjud prayer into your daily routine, keep reading!

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Español: hacer la oración Tahajjud, Deutsch: Das Tahajjud Gebet verrichten, Italiano: Eseguire la Preghiera Tahajjud, Português: Fazer a Oração Tahajjud, Русский: совершить молитву Тахаджуд, Français: faire la prière de Tahajjud, Bahasa Indonesia: Melakukan Sholat Tahajud, العربية: أداء صلاة التهجد, Čeština: Jak provádět modlitbu Tahajjud

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Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: Could you please provide some details regarding the tahajjud prayer? What are its merits? How does one pray it?

Answer: 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.” (17: 78-79)

And He says,

“Their sides eschew their beds,” (32:16)

And the Almighty says,

“The part of the night they spent asleep was small.” (51:17)

Prophetic Narrations Relating to Prayer at Night

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.”

Abu Hurayra (Allah be pleased with him) reports that the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him, his family, and companions) was asked, “What prayer is most virtuous, after the obligatory prayers?”  He said, “Prayer in the depths of the night.”

Abd Allah ibn Salam (Allah be pleased with him) reports that the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him, his family, and companions) said, “O people! Spread the salams, feed others, maintain family ties, and pray at night when others sleep and you will enter Heaven safely.”

Abu Umama al-Bahili (Allah be pleased with him) reports that the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him, his family, and companions) said, “Hold fast to night prayer, for it was the way of the righteous before you, a way of drawing closer to your Lord, an expiation for wrong deeds, and a shield from sin.” In some narrations, there is an addition, “And it repels sickness from the body.”

Ibn Mas`ud (Allah be pleased with him) said, “The virtues of night prayer over day prayer is like the virtue of secret charity over open charity.” The scholars explain that this refers to voluntary prayers.

The Definition of ‘Night Prayer’ & Tahajjud

‘Night prayer’ is any prayer performed after Isha time. The time for performing the night vigil (tahajjud) prayer ends when Isha time ends and Fajr time enters. Therefore, any voluntary prayers performed after Fajr time has entered does not count for the night vigil prayers.

Imam Saffarini, the Hanbali faqih and sufi, explained in his Sharh Mandhumat al-Adaab:

“Night prayer is superior to day prayer because:

It is more concealed and closer to sincerity. The righteous early Muslims (salaf) used to strive hard to hide their secrets . Hasan said, ‘It used to be that a person would have guests staying over and he would pray at night without his guests knowing.’

And because night prayer is harder on the lower self, because night is a time of rest from the tire of day, so leaving sleep despite the lower self being desirous of it is a tremendous struggle (mujahada). Some have said, ‘The best of works are those the lower self is forced to perform.’

And because recitation in night prayer is closer to contemplation, because things that busy the heart are mostly absent at night, so the heart is attention and is with the tongue in understanding, as Allah Most High said, “o! The night vigil is (a time) when impression is more keen and speech more certain. Lo! You have by day a chain of business. So remember the name of your Lord and devote yourself with a complete devotion.’  (73: 6-7) It is because of this that we have been commanded to recite the Qur an in night prayer in a steady recital (tartil).

And it is because of this that night prayer is a shield from sin

And because night vigil time is the best of times for voluntary worship and prayer, and the closest a servant is to his Lord.

And because it is a time when the doors of the sky are opened, supplications answered, and the needs of those who ask fulfilled.

Allah has praised those who wake up at night for His remembrance, supplication, and to seek forgiveness and entreat Him, saying, ‘They forsake their beds to cry unto their Lord in fear and hope, and spend of what We have bestowed on them. No soul knows what is kept hid from them of joy, as a reward for what they used to do.’ (32: 16-17)

And He said, ‘Those who pray for pardon in the watches of the night.’ (3: 17)

And, ‘

Details Regarding the Tahajjud Prayer

Imam Abu Sa id al-Khadimi said, “There is scholarly consensus (ijma`) that among the best of virtuous acts is the night vigil prayer.”

The scholars derived the following from the Qur an and prophetic hadiths:

1.  The place of the intention is the heart, and has two aspects:

  • To intend what you are doing (such as praying tahajjud);
  • To intend why you are doing this (such as  for the sake of Allah).

Minimally, it is enough for all sunna and nafl prayers to simply intend to pray, though it is best to specify that you are performing the particular sunna prayer you are intending (such as tahajjud or duha).

2. The minimal night vigil prayer is 2 rakats.

3. Its optimal recommended amount is 8 rakats, because this was the general practice of the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him, his family, and companions).

4. Lengthier recitation is superior to a larger number of rakats prayed.

5. If one divides the night in thirds, then the final middle third is most virtuous.

6. If one divides the night in half, then the second half is more virtuous.

7. It is preferable to divide the night in six portions, one should sleep in the first three portions, worship and perform the Tahajjud prayer in the fourth and fifth, then go to sleep in the sixth, as this is the salah of Dawud (peace be upon him).

8. Voluntary (nafl) prayer at night is more virtuous than voluntary prayer during the day. However, the full reward mentioned in the Qur anic verses and Prophetic hadiths refers to worship that was preceded by sleep. This is also understood from the very linguistic meaning of tahajjud, which is to struggle rid oneself of sleep.

9. Ibn Nujaym and Haskafi both affirmed that night prayer is recommended. Kamal ibn al-Humam, the brilliant mujtahid who was the greatest Hanafi faqih of the latter half of Islamic history, however, wavered between it being recommended or a confirmed sunna. This is because while the spoken hadiths indicate recommendation, the continued practice of the Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace) would seem to indicate it being a confirmed sunna. This was also chosen by Ibn al-Humam’s student, Ibn Amir Haaj in his Halba.

10. It is disliked to leave the night vigil prayer for one who has made it their habit, unless there is an excuse, because the Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace) said to Ibn Umar (Allah be pleased with him), “O Abd Allah! Do not be like so-and-so. He used to pray at night and then left it.” Therefore, one should take on an amount of works one can sustain, for the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him, his family, and companions) said, “The most beloved of actions to Allah are the most constant, even if little.”

11. It is recommended to start the night vigil with two short rakats, because of the hadith of Abu Hurayra that the Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “It you get up for night prayer, start with two short rakats.”

12. Supplications in the depths of the night are answered, as the hadiths have mentioned.

Ibn Mas`ud (Allah be pleased with him) was asked, “I cannot pray at night.”  He said, “Your sins have prevented you.”

And Allah knows best
Wassalam
Faraz Rabbani

MMVIII © Faraz Rabbani and SunniPath

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