Allah Most High has decreed 2 kinds of obligations on believers. One the
obligations they owe to Allah Most High Himself and the second are the rights
they owe to fellow humans.
Only that person will be considered successful in this world and there hereafter
who fulfills the obligations due to Allah Most High and
fellow human beings as
well. That person is worthy of being granted the approval of Allah Most High and
the approval of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam).
In a typical day, a human being has various engagements. Meeting people,
working, business, etc. is done almost all during the day only. On the other hand,
the night is free of all this. The last part of the night is particularly is the time of
supreme concentration of the mind and the heart. Things/engagements which
make the heart and the mind anxious are absent in those hours. The atmosphere
itself is very calm and the best time for worship and remembrance of Allah is the
time when one is free and consequently the worship is wholehearted. Thus, the
last part of the night is the best for worship and remembrance of Allah Most
Apart from this, the thoughts of ostentation and fame also don’t cross one’s mind
when one stands up in worship in the last part of the night, as the world itself is
asleep. There is no one to watch the worshipper. Thus, this is the best time to
worship and remember Allah with utmost sincerity. For this reason, the Holy
Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) said:
Translation: The mercy of Allah Most High is closest to a slave in the last part of
the night. If you can, include yourselves among those who perform
remembrance of Allah at that time. (Jame’ Tirmidhi, Hadith No. 3928)
Yet one more benefit of worship in the night is that our base self (Nafs) is
rendered subservient to us. This is because getting up in the middle of the night
and standing up in worship is a panacea to end base desires. For this reason,
Almighty Allah says:
No doubt rising at night strictly subdues (the ill-commanding self), and makes the
tongue deliver straight and clear speech (with the concentration of head and
heart). Surah Muzammil (73:06
Importance of worship of the night
The believers are permitted to perform supererogatory (Nafl) worship of Allah in
any part of the day and night without any reservations. However, in light of the
Holy Quran and the Sunnah, the worship of the night has been deemed more
excellent than the worship of the day. This is because, because of various
reasons worship of the night is much more excellence than worship of the day.
1. The Holy Quran was revealed in the night, i.e. in Shab Qadr.
2. Special mercy of Almighty Allah descends from the first heavens upon His
slaves in the last part of the night.
3. At night, there is a general declaration of forgiveness for believers.
4. The heavenly ascension (M’eraj) of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa
sallam) in which He saw the Lord Almighty Himself in all His sublime glory,
occurred in night.
5. The night is the best time for worship of Allah Most High as others are
sleeping and this is the ideal time for the sincere slaves of Allah to present
themselves before their Lord Almighty and there is not even a trace of showing
off or the like in this.
6. The affairs of the world are stopped at night. Noise and bustle is non-existent
then and there is peace and calm everywhere. All this helps in concentration and
devotion in worship.
The scholars have detailed these and such reasons which establish that the
worship performed in the night has a special excellence.
Hadhrat ‘Allama Ibn Hajar Haitami (May Allah shower His mercy on him)
describes the excellence of the day and night and then writes about the
excellence of night over day:
Translation: Other scholars have declared night to be superior to the day as the
entity which has been declared greater than 1000 months (Shab Qadr) is night
itself. For us, no day has been decreed to be better than 1000 months. The
scholars have qualified that if a man tells his wife that she is divorced in the most
excellent time, then the wife will be divorced in Shab Qadr only. The special
radiance of Allah’s mercy is expressed in the night only and the heavenly journey
of M’eraj also occurred in the night and Allah knows best. (Al Fatawa Al
Hadeethiya, Vol. 26)
The Hadith mention many details about the excellence of spending the night in
prayer. The Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) has encouraged and
exhorted His Ummah to spend the night in worship.
Sleeping for the whole night is the sign of the heedless and due to the effect cast
by Satan. When the Satan casts his effect on any human being, then that
person’s nights are spent in heedlessness and the day is spent in laziness and
Thus, there is a Hadith in Sahih Bukhari:
Translation: It is narrated on the authority of Hadhrat Abu Hurairah (May Allah be
well pleased with him) that the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) said:
When any one of you goes to sleep, Satan ties three knots at the nape of the
neck. On every knot, he says: The night is very long for you. You sleep for the
whole night. When a believer awakens and makes a mention of Almighty Allah,
one knot is unraveled. Then, if that person performs ablution, then another knot
is unraveled. If that person offers Salaat, all the knots are unraveled. Then the
next morning that person awakens glad and fit and fine otherwise he (or she)
awakens miserable and lethargic. (Sahih Bukhari, Hadith No. 1142; Sahih Muslim,
Hadith No. 3269)
This Hadith teaches us that if the effect of Satan, the accursed, can be undone, it
can be done with the benevolence of Allah Most High and with spending the
night in worship. The benefits of spending the night in worship that are
described n the Hadith aren’t for any particular night and neither has any
condition been described with it that this distinction is for those who spend every
night of the year in worship, but whichever night a Muslim spends in worship,
that person will get the reward and benefits of it. Be it any night or a particular
night like Shab Meraj, Shab Bara’at, Shab Qadr, the nights preceding the 2 Eids,
Now it can’t be said that spending Shab Meraj, etc. in worship is a reprehensible
innovation because Shab Meraj is also included in the aforementioned Hadith. If
the benefit of sending any night in worship of Allah is this, then the benefits of
spending the night of Meraj is worship should be even greater.
If someone insists that excellence mentioned in the aforementioned Hadith does
not include Shab Meraj and such nights, then present a Hadith which says so,
which states clearly that Shab Meraj is NOT a night of worship and remembrance
of Allah. No one can limit the excellence of worshipping in the night based on
one’s own whim and wish. And certainly no one can be allowed to play around
with the rules of the Shariah!