Worship at night (DW#595)

And during a part of the night, say the night prayer beyond what is incumbent on you; perhaps your Lord will raise you to a praiseworthy position. Quran 17:79

Reflection: These verses from Sura Israa (The Night Journey) are addressed in the first instance to the Holy Prophet (saw) advising him that the best means of closeness to his Beloved Lord is to stay up and worship in the night when the rest of mankind is sleeping comfortably,

It is said that the fastest means of transportation towards Allah is to worship at night. During the day so many things occupy our time and mind. We are distracted and it is challenging to find silence, solitude and peace to communicate with the Divine. It is easier to connect spiritually with Allah during the stillness of night when the demands of work and family are on hold for the moment. It is also easier to be free of the ego-drives of looking good that can sometimes creep into our worship, especially when they draw praise from others.

There is much emphasis in the traditions about how the wakefulness of night worship transforms our life both here and in the hereafter. Some of the benefits which are mentioned in the traditions and by scholars are: spiritual expansion, joy, ennobling of the soul, spiritual energy, motivation and an inner calmness and emotional and spiritual strength. Other traditions describe the night prayer as the adornment of the believer and a source of dignity in both the worlds.

How: Let us use these blessed nights of Ramadan to initiate a regular practice of night worship. Start with an intention before sleeping that you will wake up before Fajr to pray. If the thought of praying 11 units is too overwhelming right now, start with the 3 units or even the 1 unit of Witr. Once we see the results in our life and taste the deliciousness of worshipping alone in the dark, inshallah our motivation will grow with time.

Here are two beautiful narrations from the Beloveds of God about the importance of the night prayer.

You must get up for the night prayer,for verily it was the devoted practice of all righteous people before you, and verily the night vigil is a means of proximity to Allah and a prevention from sin. Holy Prophet (saw)

Standing to pray in the night is conducive to the health of the body, is a source of pleasure for the Lord, exposes one to [the descent of] divine mercy, and is adherence to the moral virtues of the prophets. Imam Ali (as)

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