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Way To Perform Night Prayer - IslamWeb. by Taamas111 (m): 9:41am on January 14
Rufai Oladimeji
Lagos State University
100Level, Nigeria.

My question is, do I have to
pray at midnight and over to be
considered as Qiyaam al-Lail
(night prayer)? If just I wake up
at night and do some Tasbeeh,
is this also as Qiyaam al-Lail? If
so, do I have to be in a full
Tahaarah (purification) Wudu?

All perfect praise be to Allah,
The Lord of the Worlds. I testify
that there is none worthy of
worship except Allah, and that
Muhammad is His slave and
Messenger, may Allah exalt his
mention as well as that of his
family and all his companions.

Optional night prayer is a
confirmed Sunnah and it is the
best prayer after the obligatory
ones. The Prophet said: "The
best prayer after the obligatory prayer
is the optional night prayer.'' [An-

It is not a condition for the
night prayer to be performed
after the middle of the night.
Indeed its time starts after
‘Ishaa’ prayer and lasts until
Fajr. So whoever prays after
‘Ishaa’, has indeed prayed the
optional night prayer. However,
the best time for it is the last
third of the night as the
Prophet said: “Allah descends
every night in the last third of the night
[in a way that befits His Majesty] and
says: Is there anyone invoking Me that I
may respond to his invocation? Is there
anyone asking Me so that I may grant
him his request? Is there anyone asking
My Forgiveness, so that I may forgive
him?" [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
Some scholars even consider
that the optional night prayer
starts from Maghrib.
As regards whether or not
remembrance of Allah is
considered as night prayer, the
answer is that what is apparent
from the narration of the
Prophet “The best prayer after
the obligatory prayer is the optional
night prayer.” What is meant by
the optional night prayer is
prayer and not simply
remembrance of Allah. There is
no doubt that remembrance of
Allah is of great excellence, but
it is not a condition to have
ablution to do it, though it is
desirable. The Prophet said:
“I disliked mentioning Allah except in a
state of purity.” [Abu Daawood].

Allah knows best.


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