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Qiyam – The Secret to Worldly Success

Qiyaam Worldly Success

Rabbi Zidnee Ilman
“My Lord! Increase me in knowledge.”

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Have you ever had that one dua for something specific that you repeatedly supplicate from your heart, over and over again to Allah subhanahu wa’ta aa’aa? Most of us have – whether it’s for forgiveness of a particular sin, the wish to marry a righteous person or perhaps someone you already love, for the ease of suffering for those around you, or even for the success of a worldly task or dream that you hope to achieve. That dua for the thing you long for is likely crossing your mind as you read this right now, and Allah subhanahu wa’ta aa’aa has provided you with one of the best timings to take it into – the night prayer.

Our beloved prophet salallahu aleyhi wasallam said,
“The best prayer after the obligatory prayers is the night prayer.”

The night prayers are also referred to as “Tahajjud” or “Qiyam”; or “Taraweeh” in the month of Ramadan. It is performed anytime between the Isha (Evening) and Fajr (Dawn) prayer, but more virtuous in the last 3rd of the night or the ending of the 2nd third. During this time of our nights, most of us busy ourselves with vain things that neither harm nor benefit us. But why let such a blessed time pass us by when Jibreel aleyhi salaam in a hadith sahih refers to Qiyam as “sharaf al mu’mineen” – the honour of the believers. It is no wonder its rewards are so immense that they are reflected even in this dunya. Yes, here in this life.

The greatest test our prophet salallahu aleyhi wasallam had to face was the guidance of humanity, and it was a task he was greatly successful in. Islam continues to be the fastest growing religion in the world today – SubhanAllah. Such success did not just happen without preparation. So how did Allah subhanahu wa’ta aa’aa prepare Muhammad salallahu aleyhi wasallam for this huge task, this ultimate test? He had prepped him by making Tahajjud obligatory upon him in the early stages of prophethood. The lesson here is that in order to truly succeed in a particular task or situation during your days, you need to prepare by succeeding in your spiritual communication with Allah subhanahu wa’ta aa’aa during your nights. Surely we would not be facing the injustices of our leaders today had they been believers with honor, believers who bowed humbly in the nights to Allah subhanahu wa’ta aa’aa – and we are all leaders in our own ways. Just as we reflect on them, we must reflect on ourselves.

Allah subhanahu wa’ta aa’aa says:
“O you who wraps himself [in clothing], Arise [to pray] the night…Truly the rising by night is most potent for governing (the soul), and most suitable for (framing) the Word (of Prayer and Praise).
{Surat Al-Muzzammil 73 : Verses 1-6}

Rising in the night and disrupting our sleep may be a struggle, but it is good in governing and disciplining ourselves. We learn to strive for what is important without our emotions and low desires taking control. Prayer in the nights gets you to success more than your actions do in the day, including materialistic gains.


The prophet salallahu aleyhi wasallam made the supplication,
“May Allah have mercy on a man who wakes up at night, prays, and wakes his wife to pray; and if she refuses, he sprinkles water on her face. And may Allah have mercy on a woman who wakes up at night, prays, and wakes her husband to pray; and if he refuses, she sprinkles water on his face.”
[Abu Dawud]

The prophet’s salallahu aleyhi wasallam beautiful prayer has not been ignored by Allah subhanahu wa’ta aa’aa. Mercy truly is granted to those spouses who gently and lovingly encourage each other to wake up and pray to their Creator. Such a couple working to please Allah subhanahu wa’ta aa’aa is only bound to have the happiest marriage ever. This mercy even extends to the children whose parents work hard to raise them well by setting a wonderful example. Their memory of them pleasing Allah subhanahu wa’ta aa’aa, such as how they used to wake up for Qiyam, can help keep them guided. Qiyam strengthens familial relationships to prevent marital and family problems, and is a great way to reconcile those bonds when issues do arise.

Hassan al-Basri once asked, “Why is it that people who pray the nights are blessed with the bliss of a glow in their faces?” These individuals are special because they spent their dark nights in seclusion with The Almighty, so Allah subhanahu wa’ta aa’aa cast some of His light onto them. That special glow you see on their faces reflects the peace, tranquility, and noor that Allah subhanahu wa’ta aa’aa has placed in their hearts. Research also shows that one characteristic of happy individuals is gratitude. The pure reason of praying Qiyam to express our gratitude for Allah’s subhanahu wa’ta aa’aa blessings itself leads us to another blessing; happiness.

Even though the prophet salallahu aleyhi wasallam knew that all his sins were forgiven and Qiyam had become voluntary, he remained standing the nights telling Aisha, “Should I not be a grateful slave of Allah?” [Bukhari]. Qiyam is one of the causes of removing fear and sadness, and maintaining mental and emotional well-being. So when you are feeling stressed and depressed, be grateful in the nights; Qiyam is your resort for serenity and happiness.

When doors close and the darkness of night prevails and everyone is alone with their families, al-Fudhayl ibn ‘Ayad used to say that this is the time for loved ones to be alone with each other. That he was alone with his most beloved – Allah subhanahu wa’ta aa’aa. As Prophet Muhammad salallahu aleyhi wasallam said, “The closest that a slave comes to his Lord is during the middle of the latter portion of the night.” [Tirmidhi]. It’s at this time that the righteous leave their beds and their other loved ones to go to Allah subhanahu wa’ta aa’aa in seclusion – standing, bowing, prostrating to their most beloved. This pleasure of spending quality time with Allah subhanahu wa’ta aa’aa is in itself enough of a worldly reward to get us up for Qiyam. And Allah subhanahu wa’ta aa’aa returns His pleasure, bragging to His angels saying:

“O My angels, look at My slave. He has left his mattress and cover and slipped away from his lover and wife to pray, out of hope for what is with Me and out of fear of what is with Me.”

How beautiful is it to spend the night with Allah subhanahu wa’ta aa’aa, illuminating your dark room with His guided words? We all give big chunks of our lives to ourselves, family, friends and social events – give this part of your night to Allah subhanahu wa’ta aa’aa and taste the sweetness of His true love in this dunya.

All Sunnah prayers are greatly rewarding, but there is an exquisite virtue unique to the night prayer. Seclusion is its key.

Ibn Mas`ud radiallahu anhu said, “The virtue of night prayer over day prayer is like the virtue of secret charity over open charity.” 

The Salaf (early Muslims) used to strive hard to keep the good actions between them and Allah subhanahu wa’ta aa’aa a secret, even from the closest people in their lives. Nothing is more heart-softening than reciting the verses of Allah to Allah in the nights. Most things that busy our hearts and minds during the day are absent, leaving us to stand before Allah subhanahu wa’ta aa’aa in complete devotion and contemplation.

As Allah says, “O! The night vigil is (a time) when impression is more keen and speech more certain. Indeed, for you by day is prolonged occupation. And remember the name of your Lord and devote yourself to Him with [complete] devotion.”
{Surat Al-Muzzammil73 : Verses 7-8}

Think back to the dua that crossed your mind at the beginning, or anything that you long for. Imam Al-Shafi’i expressed the power of dua made in Qiyam, saying “The dua made at tahajjud is like an arrow which does not miss its target.” Our prophet salallahu aleyhi wasallam said “There is an hour of the night (every night) which no Muslim person encounters and asks for a good thing for this life or the Hereafter, but Allah grants it to him.” [Muslim]. How certain will you then be that your dua will be answered by Allah?

Just in between the two moments of making the dua and having it answered lies a great amount of unexpected success flourishing from Qiyam. If you want to resolve any problem, succeed in any task, or fulfill a dream, get up and take your first steps towards achieving it through Qiyam.

And Allah alone gives success. The night you pray, will give you a prosperous day!

Authored by Sister Ray
Edited by Shamsiya Noorul Quloob

Prophet Muhammad ﷺ - "Convey (knowledge) from me even if it is just one ayah" [Bukhari 3461]

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