Benefits of Tahajjud
What is Tahajjud Prayer?
Tahajjud prayer is a type of optional, voluntary prayer (Nawafil). It can be offered individually or in a congregation.
When is it offered?
Tahajjud prayer is offered in the late hours of the night. The time for Tahajjud prayer starts after midnight and ends when the time for Fajr prayer starts. To offer Tahajjud prayer, one has to go to sleep after Ishaa prayer and wake up at night to pray again. The Holy Prophet (pbuh) used to offer Ishaa prayer and then go to sleep, waking up again just after midnight to pray Tahajjud. To make up for that sleep, he would usually then take a short nap in the afternoon.
How many Raka’at is Tahajjud prayer?
Tahajjud prayer typically consists of 8 raka’at, offered in sets of two raka’at. However, anywhere between 2 to 8 raka’at can be offered. In a Friday Sermon delivered on January 2nd 2015, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V (may Allah be His helper) said: ‘Our Jama’at should be regular in Tahajjud. If not much they should offer two units of Prayer.’
What are the benefits of Tahajjud prayer?
Tahajjud prayer is a way of becoming close to Allah Almighty. Tahajjud prayer allows you to gain Allah’s special favours as prayers that are offered in Tahajjud are more readily accepted by Allah. One becomes closer to Allah when offering Tahajjud prayer as he/she gives up sleep and the comfort of a bed to pray to Allah Almighty.
Although it is not obligatory, it is very strongly emphasised by the Holy Quran. It has always been the practice of the pious people to perform this Prayer regularly in order to gain Allah’s special favours. The supplication made during Tahajjud Prayer are granted acceptance by God Almighty readily. It is also a vehicle for achieving nearness to God, because at that hour, one gives up sleep and forsakes the comfort of one’s bed, to fall prostrate before one’s Lord.
Tahajjud not only benefits an individual’s relationship with Allah, but also has physical benefits. In a Friday sermon delivered on 2nd January 2015, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V (may Allah be His helper) said: ‘Tahajjud should be organised because it was the way of the earlier righteous ones and it is a source of gaining closeness to God. This practice keeps one away from sin and removes bad habits and also keeps one away from physical ailments.’
Although it is not compulsory, Tahajjud prayer and its benefits have mentioned several times in the Holy Quran:
Verily getting up at night is the most potent means of subduing the self and most effective in respect of words of Prayer. (73:7)
Starting the New Year with Tahajjud
The New Year is celebrated across the world with fireworks and celebrations happening throughout the night, however, the majority of these celebrations consist of worldly activities have no religious concern. As Ahmadis, we are guided by Islam and our Holy Prophet (saw) to spend our New Year by self-reflecting and praying to our creator. In a Friday Sermon delivered on 30th December 2016, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V (may Allah be His helper) guided us all by saying: ‘Thus, if we spend the last night of the previous year and the new day of the New Year pondering over our spiritual conditions and by spending time supplicating towards Allah then we will be the ones who will be working towards a good life hereafter. And if we also indulge in worldly wishes and affairs, then we will lose a lot and gain nothing.’
- Hygiene of Sleep, Dr. Shah Nawaz Khan – The Review of Religions, April 1993, https://www.alislam.org/library/misc/hygiene-of-sleep/
By Mashel Chaudhry