What is the reward for qiyaam al-layl? (night prayer)

What is the reward for qiyaam al-layl?
(night prayer)
=================
Praise be to Allaah.
Qiyaam al-layl is Sunnah mu’akkadah (a
confirmed Sunnah). Many texts of the Qur’aan and Sunnah encourage it and
speak of its high status and great reward.
Qiyaam al-layl plays a great role in
strengthening one’s faith and helping
one to do good deeds. Allaah says
(interpretation of the meaning): “O you wrapped in garments (i.e. Prophet
Muhammad)!
2. Stand (to pray) all night, except a little

3. Half of it or a little less than that,
4. Or a little more. And recite the Qur’aan (aloud) in a slow, (pleasant tone and)
style.
5. Verily, We shall send down to you a
weighty Word (i.e. obligations, laws).
6. Verily, the rising by night (for Tahajjud
prayer) is very hard and most potent and good for governing oneself, and most
suitable for (understanding) the Word (of
Allaah)”
[al-Muzzamil 73:1-6]
Allaah praises those who have faith and
are pious for their noble characteristics and good deeds, one of the most special
of which is qiyaam al-layl. Allaah says
(interpretation of the meaning):
“Only those believe in Our Ayaat (proofs,
evidences, verses, lessons, signs,
revelations, etc.), who, when they are reminded of them, fall down prostrate,
and glorify the Praises of their Lord, and
they are not proud.
16. Their sides forsake their beds, to
invoke their Lord in fear and hope, and
they spend (in charity in Allaah’s Cause) out of what We have bestowed on them.
17. No person knows what is kept hidden
for them of joy as a reward for what they
used to do”
[al-Sajdah 32:15-17]
Allaah describes them elsewhere in the following terms (interpretation of the
meaning):
“And those who spend the night in
worship of their Lord, prostrate and
standing.
65. And those who say: “Our Lord! Avert from us the torment of Hell. Verily, its
torment is ever an inseparable,
permanent punishment.”
66. Evil indeed it (Hell) is as an abode
and as a place to rest in.
67. And those who, when they spend, are neither extravagant nor niggardly, but
hold a medium (way) between those
(extremes).
68. And those who invoke not any other
ilaah (god) along with Allaah, nor kill such
person as Allaah has forbidden, except for just cause, nor commit illegal sexual
intercourse and whoever does this shall
receive the punishment.
69. The torment will be doubled to him on
the Day of Resurrection, and he will abide
therein in disgrace; 70. Except those who repent and believe
(in Islamic Monotheism), and do
righteous deeds; for those, Allaah will
change their sins into good deeds, and
Allaah is Oft‑Forgiving, Most Merciful.
71. And whosoever repents and does righteous good deeds; then verily, he
repents towards Allaah with true
repentance.
72. And those who do not bear witness to
falsehood, and if they pass by some evil
play or evil talk, they pass by it with dignity.
73. And those who, when they are
reminded of the Ayaat (proofs,
evidences, verses, lessons, signs,
revelations, etc.) of their Lord, fall not
deaf and blind thereat. 74. And those who say: “Our Lord! Bestow
on us from our wives and our offspring
the comfort of our eyes, and make us
leaders of the Muttaqoon (the pious).”
75. Those will be rewarded with the
highest place (in Paradise) because of their patience. Therein they shall be met
with greetings and the word of peace and
respect.
76. Abiding therein excellent it is as an
abode, and as a place to rest in”
[al-Furqaan 25:64-76] From this we may note the virtue of
qiyaam al-layl and its good
consequences that cannot be ignored; it
is one of the means of avoiding the
punishment of Hell and attaining
Paradise, and we may note the great blessing it brings of conversing with the
Lord. May Allaah make us among those
who attain success thereby.
Allaah has described the pious in Soorat
al-Dhaariyaat as having a number of
characteristics – including praying qiyaam al-layl – by means of which they attain
Paradise. Allaah says (interpretation of
the meaning):
“Verily, the Muttaqoon (the pious) will be
in the midst of Gardens and Springs (in
the Paradise), 16. Taking joy in the things which their
Lord has given them. Verily, they were
before this Muhsinoon (good‑doers).
17. They used to sleep but little by night
[invoking their Lord (Allaah) and praying,
with fear and hope]” [al-Dhaariyaat 51:15-17]
The Prophet (peace and blessings of
Allaah be upon him) encouraged us to
pray qiyaam al-layl in many ahaadeeth,
such as the following:
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The best
prayer after the obligatory prayer is
prayer at night.” Narrated by Muslim,
1163.
And he said: “You should pray qiyaam al-
layl, for it is the custom of the righteous who came before you and it brings you
closer to your Lord, and expiates sins and
prevents misdeeds.”
Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 3549; classed as
hasan by al-Albaani in Irwa’ al-Ghaleel,
452. “The custom of the righteous” means it
was their usual practise.
“It brings you closer to your Lord” means,
it is an act of worship by means of which
one may draw closer to Allaah.
“and prevents misdeeds” means, it prevents one from committing sin. Allaah
says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Verily, As‑Salaah (the prayer) prevents
from Al‑Fahsha’ (i.e. great sins of every
kind, unlawful sexual intercourse) and
Al‑Munkar (i.e. disbelief, polytheism, and every kind of evil wicked deed)”
[al-‘Ankaboot 29:45]
It was narrated that ‘Amr ibn Murrah al-
Juhani said: A man came to the
Messenger of Allaah (peace and
blessings of Allaah be upon him) from Qadaa’ah and said to him: “O Messenger
of Allaah, what do you think if I bear
witness that there is no god except
Allaah and that you are His Messenger,
and I pray the five daily prayers, and fast
the month (of Ramadaan), and pray qiyaam in Ramadaan, and pay zakaah?”
The Prophet (peace and blessings of
Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever dies
doing that will be one of the siddeeqs
and martyrs.”
Narrated by Ibn Khuzaymah; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Ibn
Khuzaymah, 2212.
Al-Tirmidhi (1984) narrated that ‘Ali said:
The Prophet (peace and blessings of
Allaah be upon him) said: “In Paradise
there are apartments the outside of which can be seen from the inside and
the inside of which can be seen from the
outside.” A Bedouin stood up and said:
“Who are they for, O Messenger of
Allaah?” He said: “They are for those who
speak good words, feed others, fast regularly and pray to Allaah at night
when people are sleeping.” Classed as
hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-
Tirmidhi.
Al-Haakim narrated that the Prophet
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Jibreel came to me and said:
‘O Muhammad, live as long as you want,
for you will die. Love whomever you want,
for you will leave him. Do whatever you
want for you will be requited for it.
Remember that the believer’s honour is his praying at night, and his pride is his
being independent of people.” Classed
as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-
Jaami’, 73.
The Messenger of Allaah (peace and
blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever prays qiyaam reciting ten
verses will not be recorded as one of the
negligent. Whoever prays qiyaam reciting
one hundred verses will be recorded as
one of the devout. Whoever prays
qiyaam reciting one thousand verses will be recorded as one of the muqantireen.”
Narrated by Abu Dawood, 1398; classed
as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi
Dawood.
The muqantireen are those who will be
given a qintaar of reward. A qintaar is a large amount of gold, and most of the
scholars of Arabic language are of the
view that it is four thousand dinars.
And it was said that a qintaar is a bull’s
hide full of gold, or eighty thousand, or a
large but unspecified amount of wealth. See al-Nihaayah fi Ghareeb il-Hadeeth
by Ibn al-Atheer.
What is meant by this hadeeth is to
emphasize the greatness of the reward
earned by the one who recites a
thousand verses. Al-Tabaraani narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings of
Allaah be upon him) said: “A qintaar is
better than this world and everything in
it.” Classed as hasan by al-Albaani in
Saheeh al-Targheeb, 638.
Note: Al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar said: From Soorat
Tabaarak [al-Mulk] to the end of the
Qur’aan is one thousand verses.
Whoever prays qiyaam reciting from
Soorat Tabaarak to the end of Qur’aan
has prayed qiyaam with one thousand verses.
And Allaah knows best.
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