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Time of Tahajjud

Title: When does Tahajud time end and how did Rasulullah Salallahu Alayhi Wasalam perform Tahajud?

 

Question

 

I had a question regarding Tahajjud Salah: I heard that the best time is in the latter portion of the night, but is it right before fajr or a couple hours before fajr? Also, did the Prophet pray tahajjud and sleep and then wake up for fajr or did he pray tahajjud until fajr? Please advise me so I know which one is more rewarding to Allah Subhanahu wa ta’aala

 

Answer

 

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

  1. The time for Tahajud remains until Subah al-Sādiq (break of dawn). This is just before the time for Fajr sets in.[1]
  2. Rasulullah Salallahu Alayhi Wasallams habit of performing Tahajud Salah would vary. At times he would sleep and perform Tahajud in the beginning part of the night, at times in the middle of the night and at times in the last portion of the night. The hadith below displays the general practice of Rasulullah Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam:

عَنْ كُرَيْبٍ، مَوْلَى ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ أَنَّ عَبْدَ اللَّهِ بْنَ عَبَّاسٍ، أَخْبَرَهُ أَنَّهُ، بَاتَ لَيْلَةً عِنْدَ مَيْمُونَةَ زَوْجِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم وَهِيَ خَالَتُهُ فَاضْطَجَعْتُ فِي عَرْضِ الْوِسَادَةِ، وَاضْطَجَعَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم وَأَهْلُهُ فِي طُولِهَا، فَنَامَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم حَتَّى إِذَا انْتَصَفَ اللَّيْلُ، أَوْ قَبْلَهُ بِقَلِيلٍ أَوْ بَعْدَهُ بِقَلِيلٍ، اسْتَيْقَظَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَجَلَسَ يَمْسَحُ النَّوْمَ عَنْ وَجْهِهِ بِيَدِهِ، ثُمَّ قَرَأَ الْعَشْرَ الآيَاتِ الْخَوَاتِمَ مِنْ سُورَةِ آلِ عِمْرَانَ، ثُمَّ قَامَ إِلَى شَنٍّ مُعَلَّقَةٍ، فَتَوَضَّأَ مِنْهَا فَأَحْسَنَ وُضُوءَهُ، ثُمَّ قَامَ يُصَلِّي‏.‏ قَالَ ابْنُ عَبَّاسٍ فَقُمْتُ فَصَنَعْتُ مِثْلَ مَا صَنَعَ، ثُمَّ ذَهَبْتُ، فَقُمْتُ إِلَى جَنْبِهِ، فَوَضَعَ يَدَهُ الْيُمْنَى عَلَى رَأْسِي، وَأَخَذَ بِأُذُنِي الْيُمْنَى، يَفْتِلُهَا، فَصَلَّى رَكْعَتَيْنِ، ثُمَّ رَكْعَتَيْنِ، ثُمَّ رَكْعَتَيْنِ، ثُمَّ رَكْعَتَيْنِ، ثُمَّ رَكْعَتَيْنِ، ثُمَّ رَكْعَتَيْنِ، ثُمَّ أَوْتَرَ، ثُمَّ اضْطَجَعَ، حَتَّى أَتَاهُ الْمُؤَذِّنُ، فَقَامَ، فَصَلَّى رَكْعَتَيْنِ خَفِيفَتَيْنِ، ثُمَّ خَرَجَ فَصَلَّى الصُّبْحَ‏.‏

Narrated `Abdullah bin `Abbas (Radiallahu Anhu): That he stayed overnight in the house of Maimuna (Radiallahu Anha) the wife of the Prophet, his aunt. He added: I lay on the bed (cushion transversally) while Allah’s Messenger (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam) and his wife lay in the lengthwise direction of the cushion. Allah’s Messenger (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam) slept till the middle of the night, either a bit before or a bit after it and then woke up, rubbing the traces of sleep off his face with his hands. He then, recited the last ten verses of Sura Al-`Imran, got up and went to a hanging water-skin. He then performed the ablution from it and it was a perfect ablution, and then stood up to offer the prayer. I, too, got up and did as the Prophet had done. Then I went and stood by his side. He placed his right hand on my head and caught my right ear and twisted it. He prayed two rakat then two rakat and two rakat and then two rakat and then two rakat and then two rakat (separately six times), and finally one rak`a (the witr). Then he lay down again in the bed till the Mu’adh-dhin came to him where upon the Prophet (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam)  got up, offered a two light rakat prayer and went out and led the Fajr prayer.(Bukhari-183)

The following hadith indicates that Rasulullah Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam would wake up at different times to perform Tahajud depending on the situation.

حَدَّثَنَا حُسَيْنُ بْنُ يَزِيدَ الْكُوفِيُّ، حَدَّثَنَا حَفْصٌ، عَنْ هِشَامِ بْنِ عُرْوَةَ، عَنْ أَبِيهِ، عَنْ عَائِشَةَ، قَالَتْ إِنْ كَانَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم لَيُوقِظُهُ اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ بِاللَّيْلِ فَمَا يَجِيءُ السَّحَرُ حَتَّى يَفْرُغَ مِنْ حِزْبِهِ ‏.‏

It is narrated by ‘Aishah (Radiallahu Anha) that Allah, the Exalted, would awaken the Messenger of Allah (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam) at night. When the dawn came, he would his finish daily round of recital. (Abu Dawood-1316)

However, as we mentioned Rasulullah (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallams) would sleep and then He would wake up for Tahajud Salah. [2]

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Ismail Dawoodjee

Student Darul Iftaa
Zambia

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.

www.daruliftaa.net 

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