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'And man was created weak' [Qur'an 4:28]

Qiyam: The Secret to Hereafter Success!

Qiyam the secret to hereafter success

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


We often hear amazing stories of Prophet Muhammad salallahu aleyhi wasallam and his companions, how they would stand all night in prayer until their feet swell. For some of us, we take inspiration from such stories, but probably for the majority of us, we feel ashamed and lose hope in ever being as great as them – so we turn away without even trying. The purpose of these stories is not to simply be amazed at how great they were and admit how horrible we are, but to atleast make that comparison so that it may be a source of motivation for us to advance another step in their direction.

Allah subhanahu wata’aa’la says: “Is one who is devoutly obedient during periods of the night, prostrating and standing [in prayer], fearing the Hereafter and hoping for the mercy of his Lord, [like one who does not]?”
{Surat Az Zumar 39: Verse 9}

The Almighty is making a distinction not between believers and non-believers, but more precisely between those of the believers who pray Qiyam and those who do not. We are basically being told that one who prays during the night and one who does not should not even be compared. This is the honor of the believer that Allah subhanahu wata’aa’la shows us. Along with the great worldly successes that result for those who pray Qiyam (Qiyam: The Secret to Worldly Success!), what are the ultimate rewards and successes that Qiyam brings towards our hereafter?

Avoiding sin can be a huge struggle for us, but Allah subhanahu wata’aa’la with His Mercy protects us from falling into sin when we dearly protect our night prayers. Our prophet salallahu aleyhi wasallam advised us,

“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.”

If we can successfully train ourselves to overcome our desire of sleep in the middle of our nights, it eventually disciplines us to have control and not obey our desires throughout our days. Once we gain this will power, we can avoid being empowered by the temptation to sin.

As for the sins we have already committed, Qiyam is an “expiation of wrong deeds” which eases that heavy weight we carry. We cannot despair in Allah’s Mercy. Prophet Muhammad salallahu aleyhi wasallam said: “Whoever wakes up his wife (or her husband) to pray two rak’at together, they will be among the “thakireen and thakirat”” [Sahih]. Who are the thakireen, and what is granted for them? Allah subhanahu wata’aa’la tells us

“…the men who remember Allah often and the women who do so – for them Allah has prepared forgiveness and a great reward.”
{Surat Al-‘Aĥzāb 33: Verse 35}

Allah subhanahu wata’aa’la calls you specifically in the night to ask you if you need anything.

As the prophet salallahu aleyhi wasallam said, “Our Lord descends to the lowest heaven during the last third of the night, inquiring: ‘Who will call on Me so that I may respond to him? Who is asking for My forgiveness so I may forgive him?”

So respond to Him with all your needs instead of putting your hope in people. If you want forgiveness, wake up for Qiyam and find that Allah subhanahu wata’aa’la is already there waiting to give it to you.

“Qiyam” literally means “standing up” particularly after sleeping, just as we say “Youm al-Qiyamah” for Judgment Day as we rise to stand before Allah subhanahu wata’aa’la after much rest in our graves. That is why sleep is like a daily death, and Qiyam is to rise from it.
Abdur-Rahman Al-Awzaa’ee said, “Whoever stands the night in prayer, Allah will make easy for him his standing on the Day of Judgment.”
Ibn Abbas also advised, “Whoever loves to find the long standing of the day of Resurrection less difficult should let him show himself to Allah in the darkness of the night prostrating and standing, fearing the Hereafter and hoping for the mercy of his Lord.”

Our lives are relatively very short not only compared to our eternal life in the hereafter, but to Judgment Day which itself lasts 50,000 years – years that can be eased and shortened with Qiyam. The question that remains revolves around our priorities; would we rather struggle to stand before Allah subhanahu wata’aa’la here and now during the nights, or on a day when the sun will be burning? If you want rest, get up for Qiyam and prepare for your grave – the ultimate place where you will get all the rest you need.

Allah subhanahu wata’aa’la tells us about those who will not face eternal punishment:

“They arise from [their] beds; they supplicate their Lord in fear and aspiration, and from what We have provided them, they spend.”
{Surat As-Sajdah 32: Verse 16}

He goes on to tell us about a great hidden reward for those who obey this verse, and wake up at night in His remembrance:

“And no soul knows what has been hidden for them of comfort for eyes as reward for what they used to do.”
{Surat As-Sajdah 32: Verse 17}

Leaving your warm bed in the midst of sleep is not meant to be easy, but just like you hide this deed of performing Qiyam for Him, Allah subhanahu wata’aa’la hides an unimaginable reward for you. The fact that it is hidden hints its greatness and beauty, for we have signs all around that the most beautiful things on earth are hidden – pearls in their shells sitting underwater, and gold and diamonds underground, are all like the beauty of a prayer hidden in the night for Allah subhanahu wata’aa’la and its hidden reward in the hereafter.

In describing the bounty deserved by those who regularly perform Qiyam, Allah subhanahu wata’aa’la says: “Indeed, the righteous will be among gardens and springs, accepting what their Lord has given them. Indeed, they were before that doers of good. They used to sleep but little of the night, and in the hours before dawn they would ask forgiveness.”
{Surat Adh-Dhāriyāt 51: Verses 15-18}

The prophet salallahu aleyhi wasallam has also given us a beautiful sneak-peak at the hidden reward for the people of Qiyam. He said: “In Paradise there are rooms that their inside can be seen from outside and outside can be seen from inside. Allah prepared them for those who soften their speech, feed the people, continue to observe (voluntary) fasting, and perform Salah at night while people are asleep.”

Qiyam is an indicator that you truly do love your Creator that you would spend alone time with Him, and that He loves you and is pleased with you in return. For those who pray Qiyam but are going through a difficult time waking up, this is an indication to reflect on yourself. Have you done something displeasing to Allah subhanahu wata’aa’la throughout your days that you are chained at night? A man once asked Hasan al-Basri: “I sleep in good health, and I love to pray Qiyam al-layl, and I prepare water with which to purify myself, so why can I not get up?”, and he answered, “Your sins have shackled you.”  The shackling of our sins can be a vicious cycle; it prevents us from successfully waking up to pray, which in turn can have us feeling horrible in the following days. As for those who never pray Qiyam – try it and don’t degrade your own honour. In taking this journey towards our akhirah, we all need to evaluate and guide ourselves. Just as a fuel gauge is an indicator of how much gas a car has to function, Qiyam is our indicator of how pumped our hearts are in our deen and deeds. We cannot expect to drive towards the hereafter as slaves of Allah subhanahu wata’aa’la without any indications of our progress. When we can’t wake up, this is a flashing red light warning us to check ourselves. It lets us learn about our shortcomings, then correct ourselves accordingly.

Implementing the habit of Qiyam is perhaps the best monitoring system we can apply in our lives to truly understand ourselves as Muslims – where we stand in our relationship with Allah subhanahu wata’aa’la and how successfully we are preparing for our hereafter.

I ask Allah subhanahu wata’aa’la to make us amongst those who pray the night prayers sincerely for His sake. May we become people of Qiyam, and unite with our beloved prophet salallahu aleyhi wasallam and his companions in our special rooms in Jannah. This is the mercy of Allah subhanahu wata’aa’la – this is the sweetness of Qiyam that no soul has the honor to taste expect those who pray the nights. We are all guaranteed a hereafter, but maybe not a tomorrow.

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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