Hazrat Ayesha (رَضِيَ ٱللَّٰهُ عَنْهَا) reports that The Prophet (ﷺ) used to offer prayer at night (for such a long time) that his feet used to crack – Al-Bukhari 4837
This standing in prayer all night is referred to as Qiyam or Qiyamullail. Qiyam means ‘to stand,’ and lail or Layl means ‘the night’ in Arabic. Although Qiyam in itself is an integral part or Juz of Salah, here Qiyam is used as an abbreviation of Qiyamullail (also written as Qiyam ul Layl), meaning to stand in the worship of Allah to show supplication during the night.
Qiyamullail is one of my favorite voluntary or Nafli prayers. Not only does it bring me peace, but it also keeps me humble. Not to mention the importance that Allah has associated with Qiyamullail, in the Holy Quran, Allah addressed the people who pray during the night, He says,
“O you who wraps yourself in clothing, arise during the night to pray, for only half of it, or add a little to it or subtract from it, and read the Quran in measure.” Surah Muzammil: 1-4
Since Allah is addressing the people who pray at night Himself, there is indeed a great reward for them. Although worshiping Allah (SWT) late at night might be optional, it brings with it a fair share of rewards that one should strive towards. Apart from the reward, I like Qiyamullail as it brings me strength in hardship. At a time when I experienced deep pain and destitution, my Qiyam prayer rakats proved to be an anchor.
If you are considering praying Qiyamullail, you have come to the right place. Here we will discuss the Qiyam prayer benefits, sunnah, importance, and more.
When Should You Perform Qiyamullail?
“And from [part of] the night, pray with it as additional [worship] for you; it is expected that your Lord will resurrect you to a praised station.” – Al-Isra 17:79
Qiyamullail can be performed at any time of the night. However, it is encouraged that you devote time for Qiyam after midnight. If you are praying the Tahajjud salah in Qiyamullail, then it is best to do it at the last 3rd of the night, i.e., at least 1 hour before the Fajar prayer.
What is the Difference Between Tahajjud and Qiyamullail?
Tahajjud is the Nafil salah that Muslims offer after waking up from sleep at night. To offer Tahajjud prayers, one must wake up from sleep. However, there is no such restriction for Qiyamullail. Moreover, Qiyamullail is an overarching term that means to pray during the night, and the prayers may include nafil rakats of salah, zikr, recitation of the Holy Quran, and more.
Therefore, we can say that the Tahajjud prayer can be a part of Qiyamullail, but they are not the same. If one wants to reap the benefits of both Ibadahs, then we would suggest that you wake up from sleep after midnight, offer the Tahajjud, and then other zikr; the quantity is completely up to you.
Interestingly, the main difference between the two becomes apparent during Ramadan when the prayer after Isha is referred to as Qiyam or Tarawih. On the other hand, to pray Tahajjud, one has to first get some sleep.
How Can I Pray Qiyamullail?
To pray Qiyamullail, you need to arrange to wake up for the prayer. Although you can pray right after Isha, the Holy Quran and Hadiths mentioned above refer to worshipping Allah (SWT) after having slept. By overcoming sleep, you also get to show your devotion to the Creator.
All you need to do is make the intention before going to bed. It will provide you with the willpower to lift your blanket and wake up during the third part of the night. Genuine intention to perform the night prayer will give you the strength to get up. Then, you must perform your Wudhu.
When you prepare to do the prayers, you must make an intention to perform two rakats of Tahajjud. It is important that you keep in mind that any form of night prayer, including Salah Taubah, also constitutes a form of Qiyamullail. You can repeat the rakats as you like.
However, two rakats are the bare minimum for the night prayer. Make sure to end your prayer with Witr prayer, which consists of three rakats and two Salams. There is no limit to the Qiyam prayer rakat you can offer, but it is said in hadith that the Prophet (ﷺ) offered no more than 11 rakats each night.
Hazrat Ayesha (رَضِيَ ٱللَّٰهُ عَنْهَا) said that the Prophet (ﷺ) used to offer thirteen rak’at of the night prayer and that included the witr and two rak’at (Sunna) of the Fajr prayer. Al-Bukhari 1140
Once you are done with your nawafil, recitation, and azkaar, say the Qiyamullail dua. Supplicate to Allah as much as your heart desires in this dua. There is no reason for you to be shy. Feel free to ask away, and He will respond as it is during the third part of the night that He is closest to you. The Qiyamullail dua is the culmination of your nightly ibadah. May Allah accept it.
Why Pray Qiyam – Qiyam Prayer Benefits
“Indeed, your Lord knows, [O Muhammad], that you stand [in prayer] almost two-thirds of the night or half of it or a third of it, and [so do] a group of those with you….” Al-Muzammil 73:20
Now, you must be wondering why we should perform Qiyamullail. The first reason is that it is the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) who is the greatest universal guide for all of mankind.
He has taught us that we must strengthen and refine our connection with Allah if we want to achieve success in our lives. Thus, the following Qiyam prayer benefits can be gained:
“And as for the night, remain awake for a part of it as it is an additional prayer for you: so that your Lord can elevate you to a station worthy of glory and praise.”
Keeping in view the above, it is clear that performing Qiyam prayer rakats can help one witness great success in this life and the life to come. The more you stand voluntarily for Allah in the depths of the night, the more certain you can be of his provision.
2. Best Prayer after the Obligatory Prayers
Another major incentive that will encourage you to perform Qiyamullail is the fact that it is the best prayer after the obligatory prayers. According to a narration by Abu Hurairah (RA) as mentioned in Tirmidhi: 438, “Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said that the most virtuous prayer after the obligatory prayers is Qiyamullail.”
Since the prayer is hidden from people (as it’s at night), it is considered to be the best of acts. Qiyamullail is for no other reason than to gain the blessings of Allah, as there is no show or ego involved in it.
Allah rewards this obedience and supplication by answering duas, rewarding sawab, and making our challenges easy for us.
3. Brings One Closer to Allah
As mentioned in Tirmidhi: 3549 by Al-Qasim bin Dinar Al-Kufi (RA), “Ishaq bin Mansur (RA) narrated that the Holy Prophet (ﷺ) said that the righteous used to perform Qiyamullail as a habit before us and it brings us closer to Allah while also expiating our bad deeds.”
There is no better reason to pray Qiyam than to achieve nearness to the Almighty. Not only can we expect to develop a close relationship with God through the night prayer, but we also get to benefit from forgiveness of our sins. Hence, there is no better excuse to start praying Qiyamullail.
4. Our Prayers Are Granted
We all have a special prayer in our hearts that we want God to grant. In order for our special prayer to be fulfilled, we have to get up in the night and pray to God and ask Him to grant us what our heart desires.
Although God provides us with the opportunity every moment of the day to make a prayer, the night prayer provides us an exclusive time period when our prayer is most likely to be granted. It is during this last third of the night that we can have whatever our heart desires.
Qiyamullail – The Road to Allah
Making Qiyamullail a part of your daily routine is possibly the best thing that you can do. You do not need to wait for the Holy Month of Ramadan 2022 to perform the night prayer; it can be offered daily to receive Allah’s blessing and get close to Him. Always remember that Allah appreciates regular acts of worship, and they allow you to become closer to him.