19 MUHARRAM 1441 AH: SUBCHAPTER 2: THE VIRTUE OF QIYAM UL-LAIL

Imam Ibn Rajab Al-Hanbali (d. 795 AH), may Allah be pleased with him, declared about the first month, Muharram:

The night is a time for the people who are looking for something in it. Some turn away in the night while some of them look for something. Each people know their rank and their place in the matter. The lover seeks out the private counsel of his beloved.

The one who is afraid has the chance to seek pardon and weep for his sins. The hopeful one has the chance to strive in his request for what he wants. The needy, heedless one may have Allah bless him for his violating his boundaries and falling short.

The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said to `Abdullah ibn `Amr, may Allah be pleased with both of them, “Do not be like such and such who used to make qiyam ul-lail and then left it afterward.”

Rabi`ah Al`Adawiyyah was once ill and so she prayed in the day time instead of the night and then she recovered. So when this happened, she did not pray the qiyam ul-lail. That night she had a dream that appeared as if she entered a huge green meadow and a door was opened to her which opened onto an abode.

A light then issued forward until it almost blinded her and so their came from there people with faces that looked like pearls and their hands were gleaming. There was a woman with Rabi`ah that said to them, “Where are you going?”

They said, “We are looking for the individual that was killed as a martyr at sea so that we might honour him.” She said further to them, “Will you not honour this woman that is with me?”

They looked at her and then said, “She has a portion of the honour that was due the martyr but then she left it.” That woman then turned to Rabi`ah Al-`Adawiyyah and recited the following poetry:

Your prayer is a light and the slaves are recipients of the light,

Your sleep is a stubborn enemy against the light when you sleep through the night!

Source: Lata’if ul-Ma`arif Fima Li-Mawasim il-`Ami Min Al-Waza’if, pp. 50-52

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