It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever prays at night in Ramadan out of faith and in the hope of reward, his previous sins will be forgiven.”
This hadith is a perfect reminder of the mercy that is shown in the month of Ramadan and it also shows that this act that we are all engaged in this evening is one of the means of forgiveness of sin.
Just to be clear, what is meant by the night prayer is also referred to as qiyam al-layl and taraweeh prayers too.
What does it mean to be in faith and in the hope of reward? If we look at this meaning in detail then it means to pray the night prayer with focus, sincerity and intention to please Allah SWT.
Dear brothers and sisters, this is a special month for many reasons. One of the many benefits of the month is the masjid comes alive in this month unlike any other time of the year. As you can see today and especially on the weekend, the rows are full all the way to the back of the main hall.
We reconnect with friends and unlike jumma prayers, there is no time pressure associated with this and going back to our lives. However, we ought to be careful that this hadith speaks of forgiveness for those who seek it and are hopeful of it.
If we are focused more on the social aspect of this night, we run the risk of falling short of the requirement of this promise with qiyam al layl. Not only do we run the risk of losing focus ourselves but the hum of chatter in the hall can affect others who are attempting to focus on the imam and the night prayer.
Instead, we should make the most of the time given in this blessed month and the opportunity of this time of each day. Use the time at the end of vitr to catch up with one another and lets make the night prayer be a witness to our attaining forgiveness from Allah SWT.
May Allah SWT grant us forgiveness from our sins through our attendance at Qiyam al Layl.