Reflection No. 79 on Q 17:79 – Worship at Night
وَمِنَ اللَّيْلِ فَتَهَجَّدْ بِهِ نَافِلَةً لَكَ عَسَىٰ أَنْ يَبْعَثَكَ رَبُّكَ مَقَامًا مَحْمُودًا
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.
Sura al-Israa, verse 79
In the human being’s journey towards Allah, the fastest means of transportation is the worship at night. During the day many things occupy the time and mind of the human being. Amidst all these distractions it is difficult to obtain the tranquility and peace of mind so necessary for spiritual elevation. At night when the world is quiet and still, when others are asleep and the demands of life cease for a while, the human being can acquire true closeness to God.
The spiritual strength derived from the late night prayer transforms life. It creates new energy and motivation and creates an inner calmness that is unruffled by outer circumstances. It stretches and boosts human capabilities and emotional strength, allowing you to reach heights you never expected. Hadith describes it as the adornment of the believer, a source of dignity in both the worlds.
Recite this verse to remind yourself of the importance of waking up some time before Fajr for this special task. Say it at night before you go to sleep, and motivate yourself to wake up early. If you do not have enough time for all 11 units of the prayer, at least say the last three, or even the last Salaat of Witr. If you cannot say the late night prayer every night, then at least perform it on some nights of the week. It is not something you can afford to overlook if you seek closeness to God, and are striving to better yourself. The peace and strength you will derive from this prayer will gladden your heart and help you face whatever life has to offer during the day.