Today’s reminder is continuing on from the night prayer last week.
The imam began the reminder today with a reference from the 79th ayat of Sura Al Isra. It is translated to say:
And rise at ˹the last˺ part of the night, offering additional prayers, so your Lord may raise you to a station of praise.
Dear brothers and sisters, we spoke last week on the benefit of the night prayers and how we should implement in into our lives. The reminder continues this week with outlining the blessings of this act of worship so that we can implement it into our lives.
One of the blessings that comes from this prayer is the eradication of hypocrisy. We all need to take extra care to be mindful of this point as we live in a time and a place where hypocrisy is displayed by people in all walks of life.
As Muslims, we need to make sure that our acts of worship are not hypocritical. That they are being performed for the sake of Allah SWT and not for the sake of status or others to witness.
One way that this can be achieved is to perform acts of worship that are hidden from the world. They are those acts of worship that have no chance of the world witnessing it and therefore it is being done solely for the One who is always watching.
The night prayer is an act of worship that falls under this category. It is something that is done when those around us are asleep. Nobody is there to witness it and it is something that offers a deep personal connection with Allah SWT alone.
The imam spoke of how Allah SWT addresses people that pray in the night. Sura Al-Furqan, ayat 63 and 64 are translated to say:
The ˹true˺ servants of the Most Compassionate are those who walk on the earth humbly, and when the foolish address them ˹improperly˺, they only respond with peace.
˹They are˺ those who spend ˹a good portion of˺ the night, prostrating themselves and standing before their Lord.
And that leads us onto the next point regarding the night prayer. We all live busy lives, in a world where distractions are so intense that even prayers in congregation are sometimes disturbed with ringtones or alarms on phones.
This is part of life and we can all make attempts to minimize these disruptions but the point here is that the prayers in the day time have dunya prodding us to draw attention away from the prayers. Whether it is family at home whilst you are trying to make prayers or whether it is school or work which has tight schedules that you must follow, the prayers during the day have their own challenges.
This is why the night prayer is such a blessing. It offers that solitude and that peace that no prayer during the day can offer. Often it is prayed in low light, alone and with next to no other noise or distraction being heard.
The imam mentioned a hadith which is translated to say:
The most excellent prayer after that which is obligatory is the (voluntary) late night prayer.” [Reported by Muslim]. it is better as it is done in secret, and its very difficult, and as its quieter there is better contemplation.
And it is worth mentioning again in today’s reminder that the night prayer is one of the ways of attaining Allah SWT’s mercy.
The imam relayed two hadith in relation to this point. The first is translated to say:
There is an hour during the night in which no Muslim bondman will ask Allah for good in this world and the next but He will grant it to him.
And this one which is translated to say:
“Make a practice of getting up at night, for it was the custom of the pious before you, is a means of bringing you near to your Lord, an atonement for evil deeds and a preventative of sin.”
Dear brothers and sisters, the night prayers offers so much for so little on our part. From the answering of our prayers to the eradication of our sins, this is the act of worship we should all be attempting to build into our lives.
By doing so, we will not only benefit greatly in the hereafter but we will have discovered a treasure that offers us peace and tranquillity in this life like nothing else.
And whilst we are still in a time of year when the nights are still long and the days are short, lets make the most of the opportunity and implement this blessed act of worship into our lives.