Sleep before tahajjud
Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,
As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)
One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:
People say that after praying the Vitr rakaats of Isha namaaz, no sajda is allowed. People who pray Tahajjud namaaz go to sleep after Isha namaaz and wake up in the middle of the night to offer Tahajjud prayers. My question is, is it really important to fall asleep after Isha prayers in order to pray Tahajjud? I generally offer my Isha prayers immediately after Azaan and pray my vitrs also. For some reason, without teh intention to stay awake, I am unable to fall asleep in the night and I am awake around the Tahajjud time. Am I allowed to offer my Tahajjud prayers or is it forbidden? If it is forbidden, then please inform me as to why sleep is necessary between these prayers.
(There may be some grammatical and spelling errors in the above statement. The forum does not change anything from questions, comments and statements received from our readers for circulation in confidentiality.)
Sleep before tahajjud
In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol, no person, no grave, no prophet, no imam, no dai, nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad(saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.
Fiqh-us-Sunnah Fiqh 2.25
It is best to delay this prayer to the last third portion of the night. Abu Hurairah reports that the Messenger of Allah (saws) said: "Our Lord descends to the lowest heaven during the last third of the night, inquiring: 'Who will call on Me so that I may respond to him? Who is asking something of Me so I may give it to him? Who is asking for My forgiveness so I may forgive him?"'
Related by Bukhari, Muslim and others.
Amr ibn Abasah reports that he heard the Prophet (saws) say: "The closest that a slave comes to his Lord is during the middle of the latter portion of the night. If you can be among those who remember Allah, the Exalted One, at that time then do so." Related by al-Hakim, Tirmidhi, and AnNasa'i.
'Abdullah ibn 'Amr reports that the Prophet (saws) said: "The most beloved fast to Allah is the fast of David. And the most beloved prayer to Allah is the prayer of David. He would sleep half of the night and then pray during the next third of the night and then sleep during the last sixth of the night. And he would fast one day and not fast the next."
Related by Bukhari, Muslim and others.
Your Question: People say that after praying the Vitr rakaats of Isha namaaz, no sajda is allowed.
The Prophet (saws) said, 'The closest one of you comes to his Lord is while he is prostrating, (therefore) make many supplications therein.'
Related by Muslim and Ahmad.
Sunan of Abu-Dawood Hadith 1272 Narrated by Amr ibn Anbasah as-Sulami
I asked: O Messenger of Allah (saws), in which part of night the supplication is more likely to be accepted? He (saws) replied: In the last part: Pray as much as you like, for the prayer is attended by the Angels and it is recorded till you offer the dawn prayer; then stop praying when the sun is rising till it has reached the height of one or two lances, for it rises between the two horns of the Shaytaan, and the infidels offer prayer for it (at that time). Then pray as much as you like, because the prayer is witnessed and recorded till the shadow of a lance becomes equal to it. Then cease prayer, for at that time the Hell-fire is heated up and doors of Hell are opened. When the sun declines, pray as much as you like, for the prayer is witnessed till you pray the afternoon prayer; then cease prayer till the sun sets, for it sets between the horns of the Shaytaan, and (at that time) the infidels offer prayer for it.
There is absolutely no restriction in offering the sajdah or prostration to the All-Mighty Lord even after one has prayed his witr prayers as the last prayers of the night. The only times that the Messenger of Allah (saws) specifically prohibited to offer prostration is on three occasions:
After the Fajr prayers until after the sun has completely risen above the horizon.
When the sun is at or near its meridian just before Dhuhr prayers.
After the Asr prayers until the sun has completely set.
Your Question: People who pray Tahajjud namaaz go to sleep after Isha namaaz and wake up in the middle of the night to offer Tahajjud prayers. My question is, is it really important to fall asleep after Isha prayers in order to pray Tahajjud?
It is the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (saws) and best if one sleeps after Isha and wakes up again to offer the Tahajjud or late night prayers, but it is not obligatory. If one finds it difficult to wake up again for Tahajjud, then there is no harm if one offers these voluntary prayers after the Isha prayers or before one goes to sleep.
Your Statement: I generally offer my Isha prayers immediately after Azaan and pray my vitrs also.
There is absolutely no harm if one offers the witr prayers after one has prayed the obligatory Isha prayers.
Your Question: For some reason, without teh intention to stay awake, I am unable to fall asleep in the night and I am awake around the Tahajjud time. Am I allowed to offer my Tahajjud prayers or is it forbidden?
If one has an intention to wake up again in the middle or latter part of the night to offer the Tahajjud prayers, then it would be best to offer the witr prayers after the Tahajjud prayers, and make them the last prayers of the night.
Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith 2.112 Narrated by Abdullah bin Umar
The Prophet (saws) said, "Make Witr as your last prayer at night."
But if one does not have intention to offer the Tahajjud prayers, and thus has prayed the witr prayers along with the Isha prayers; and then subsequently wakes up in the middle of the night, or cannot sleep and intends to offer additional Tahajjud and night voluntary prayers, there is absolutely no harm in offering them. But since one has already prayed the witr prayers along with the Isha prayers, one should not pray them again.
Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allahs Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.
Your Brother in Islam,