The Secret Meeting

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

Divine Guide To Carry The Message

Allāh Glory be to Him said

بِسْمِ ٱللَّهِ ٱلرَّحْمَٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ يَٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلْمُزَّمِّلُ . قُمِ ٱلَّيْلَ إِلَّا قَلِيلًا . نِّصْفَهُۥٓ أَوِ ٱنقُصْ مِنْهُ قَلِيلًا . أَوْ زِدْ عَلَيْهِ وَرَتِّلِ ٱلْقُرْءَانَ تَرْتِيلًا . إِنَّا سَنُلْقِى عَلَيْكَ قَوْلًا ثَقِيلًا . إِنَّ نَاشِئَةَ ٱلَّيْلِ هِىَ أَشَدُّ وَطْـًٔا وَأَقْوَمُ قِيلًا

O you wrapped in garments (i.e. Prophet Muḥammad SAW)!(1) Stand (to pray) all night, except a little.(2) Half of it, or a little less than that,(3) Or a little more; and recite the Qurʾān (aloud) in a slow, (pleasant tone and) style.(4) Verily, We shall send down to you a weighty Word (i.e. obligations, legal laws, etc.).(5) Verily, the rising by night (for Tahajjud prayer) is very hard and most potent and good for governing (the soul), and most suitable for (understanding) the Word (of Allāh). (6) – Surat Al-Muzzammil 73:1-6

These are one of the very early revealed surahs. When Allāh Glory be to Him decided to prepare Muḥammad ﷺ to propagate the message of Islaam, He Glory be to Him revealed this surah to Him ﷺ. In it are lessons of ultimate guidance on how to be patient and continue carrying on the Message of Islaam and Qurʾān. The key to all of this is the secret meeting with Allāh Glory be to Him. The night prayers, qiyaam-ul layl.

Also note, this command from Allāh Glory be to Him was changed after 12 months or so as authentically reported from Ayesha’ may Allāh be pleased with her. Please see tafseer of last ayah of this surah (Ayah no. 20)

The Night Prayer

So important is the night prayer (qiyaam-ul layl), that it has been mentioned in Qurʾān many times explicitly. For example,

أَمَّنْ هُوَ

قَٰنِتٌ ءَانَآءَ ٱلَّيْلِ سَاجِدًا وَقَآئِمًا

يَحْذَرُ ٱلْءَاخِرَةَ وَيَرْجُوا۟ رَحْمَةَ رَبِّهِۦ ۗ قُلْ هَلْ يَسْتَوِى ٱلَّذِينَ يَعْلَمُونَ وَٱلَّذِينَ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ ۗ إِنَّمَا يَتَذَكَّرُ أُو۟لُوا۟ ٱلْأَلْبَٰبِ

Is one who is devoutly obedient during periods of the night, prostrating and standing [in prayer], fearing the Hereafter and hoping for the mercy of his Lord, [like one who does not]? Say, “Are those who know equal to those who do not know?” Only they will remember [who are] people of understanding. – Surat Az-Zumar 39:9

Allāh Glory be to Him is praising those who stand and prostrate in the night prayers in fear of punishment (in the Hereafter) and hoping for His Mercy.

Elsewhere in the Qurʾān, Allāh Glory be to Him said,

تَتَجَافَىٰ جُنُوبُهُمْ عَنِ ٱلْمَضَاجِعِ يَدْعُونَ رَبَّهُمْ خَوْفًا وَطَمَعًا وَمِمَّا رَزَقْنَٰهُمْ يُنفِقُونَ

Their sides forsake their beds, to invoke their Lord in fear and hope, and they spend (charity in Allāh’s Cause) out of what We have bestowed on them. – Surat As-Sajda 32:16

In this ayah, Allāh Glory be to Him informed to us a characteristic of the believers, their sides forsake their beds, knowing the comfort of the bed, but they get up and prepare for the ultimate comfort of the Hereafter. They do this with fear (of the punishment of Allāh Glory be to Him) and hope (of His Mercy). Allāh Glory be to Him says in the very next ayah,

فَلَا تَعْلَمُ نَفْسٌ مَّآ أُخْفِىَ لَهُم مِّن قُرَّةِ أَعْيُنٍ جَزَآءًۢ بِمَا كَانُوا۟ يَعْمَلُونَ

No person knows what is kept hidden for them of joy as a reward for what they used to do.

The person does the act hidden from the people, only for the sake of Allāh Glory be to Him, hence Allāh Glory be to Him has prepared for him that he is not aware of (nor has passed through his heart or mind)

حَدَّثَنَا هَارُونُ بْنُ مَعْرُوفٍ، وَهَارُونُ بْنُ سَعِيدٍ الأَيْلِيُّ، قَالاَ حَدَّثَنَا ابْنُ وَهْبٍ، حَدَّثَنِي أَبُو صَخْرٍ، أَنَّ أَبَا حَازِمٍ، حَدَّثَهُ قَالَ سَمِعْتُ سَهْلَ بْنَ سَعْدٍ السَّاعِدِيَّ، يَقُولُ شَهِدْتُ مِنْ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم مَجْلِسًا وَصَفَ فِيهِ الْجَنَّةَ حَتَّى انْتَهَى ثُمَّ قَالَ صلى الله عليه وسلم فِي آخِرِ حَدِيثِهِ ‏”‏ فِيهَا مَا لاَ عَيْنٌ رَأَتْ وَلاَ أُذُنٌ سَمِعَتْ وَلاَ خَطَرَ عَلَى قَلْبِ بَشَرٍ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ ثُمَّ اقْتَرَأَ هَذِهِ الآيَةَ ‏{‏ تَتَجَافَى جُنُوبُهُمْ عَنِ الْمَضَاجِعِ يَدْعُونَ رَبَّهُمْ خَوْفًا وَطَمَعًا وَمِمَّا رَزَقْنَاهُمْ يُنْفِقُونَ

* فَلاَ تَعْلَمُ نَفْسٌ مَا أُخْفِيَ لَهُمْ مِنْ قُرَّةِ أَعْيُنٍ جَزَاءً بِمَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ‏}

Sahl b. Sa’d as-Sa’idi reported: I was in the company of Allāh’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) that he gave a description of Paradise and then Allāh’s Apostle (Peace be upon him) concluded with these words: There would be bounties which the eye has not seen and the ear has not heard and no human heart has ever perceived them. He then recited this verse:” They forsake (their) beds, calling upon their Lord in fear and in hope, and spend out of what We have given them. So no soul knows what refreshment of the eyes is hidden for them: a reward for what they did” [Sahih Muslim 2825]

Allāh Glory be to Him also said about the righteous people who will inherit al-jannah

كَانُوا۟ قَلِيلًا مِّنَ ٱلَّيْلِ مَا يَهْجَعُونَ

They used to sleep but little of the night [Surah ad-Dhaariyaat 52:17]

Who Prays The Night Prayer

A man said to al-Hasan al-Basri: “O Abu Sa’eed, I sleep in good health, and I love to pray qiyaam al-layl, and I prepare water with which to purify myself, so why can I not get up?” Al-Hasan said: “Your sins are restricting you.” He said, may Allaah have mercy on him, “The slave who commits a sin will be denied the opportunity to pray qiyaam at night and to fast during the day.” 1

Al-Fudayl ibn ‘Ayaad said: “If you cannot pray qiyaam al-layl, or fast during the day, know that you are indeed deprived and restricted, chained by your sins.” 2

The rule is, sins of the Muslims during the day restrains him from the honour of praying during the night time. Allāh Glory be to Him enables Muslims who can restrain from the sins (or at least constantly repent from them) to stand before him during the night.

Night Prayer Is Hard

There is no doubt about that, that getting up and praying night prayer is hard. Allāh Glory be to Him Himself said in the ayahs we quoted above

إِنَّ نَاشِئَةَ ٱلَّيْلِ هِىَ أَشَدُّ وَطْـًٔا وَأَقْوَمُ قِيلًا

Verily, the rising by night (for Tahajjud prayer) is very hard and most potent and good for governing (the soul), and most suitable for (understanding) the Word (of Allāh). [Surat Muzzamil 73:6]

But He Glory be to Him instructed Muḥammad ﷺ (and through Him ﷺ to us) that night prayers are indeed better for governing the one’s self, the soul. In those moments, you understand the word of Allāh Glory be to Him the most.

A man consistently gets up, forsakes his sleep and comfortable bed, for no worldly gain but to please Allāh Glory be to Him, indeed, this person will be guided and will be able to ponder upon the Qurʾān more than he can during the day when he has other works and gets mentally tired in worldly matters or because of his fasting.

Family Who Prays Night Prayer

Narrated Abu Hurayrah:

The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said: May Allāh have mercy on a man who gets up at night and prays, and awakens his wife; if she refuses, he should sprinkle water on her face. May Allāh have mercy on a woman who gets up at night and prays, and awakens her husband; if he refuses, she would sprinkle water on his face. [Recorded by Ahmad, Abu Dawud, and others Verified to be authentic by al-Albani (Sahih ul-Jami 3494)]


The reward for the night prayer is huge and there are many aḥādīth and ayahs of Qurʾān that we did not include in this article for the sake of size of this article. May Allāh Glory be to Him give us ability to get up at night and pray only for sake of His Face.

  1. ^   Taken from IslamQA English (3749)
  2. ^   Ibid.