What is Qiyam Al Layl And How to Perform Qiyam Al Layl Prayer? 

What is Qiyam Al Layl And How to Perform Qiyam Al Layl Prayer?

Qiyam Al Layl Prayer is one of the most impactful sunnah prayers. Because it isn’t easy and at the same time voluntary. Praying Qiyam while having sincere intentions and seeking Aid of Allah would have a major impact on all aspects of your life. 

First, let’s explore together what’s Qiyam, how to perform it, and best practices about it. 

What is Qiyam Prayer?

Qiyam prayer, also known as Qiyam al Layl or the Night Prayer, holds profound significance in Islamic tradition as a voluntary act of worship performed during the night. It stands as a spiritual practice that predates the obligatory five daily prayers, reflecting the devotion and commitment of Muslims to commune with the Divine outside the confines of mandated rituals.

How many Rakat in Qiyam Prayer?

The recommended Rakat in Qiyam from Sunnah is (11) Qiyam Rakats. prayed as 8 or 10 Rakat in Qiyam and then 1 or 3 Witr. Rakat in Qiyam isn’t fixed but depends on the ability of each person. It’s up to each individual ability, time, and intention.

So, in Qiyam al layl, a Muslim can pray once, or up to five times in pairs of two. Then either pray 1 or 3 Rakat as witr to conclude it.

What time is qiyam al layl?

Qiyam al layl starts from after Isha and is extended all the way to Fajr Adhan. The best time for qiyam ul layl is at the last third of the night.

There are three ways you can pray Qiyam ul layl: 

  • Pray after Isha and before you sleep (Recommended for start practicing)
  • Sleep after Isha then wake up before Fajr and pray Qiyam ul layl 

Pray after Isha but not all and don’t pray witr, then sleep and wake up after Fajr and pray again with Witr (The best form of Qiyam as described in Hadith of Dawood (Coming up)

How to pray Qiyam Al Layl Prayer?

Performing Qiyam involves engaging in prayer similar to the regular Salah, albeit with some distinctive elements. Begin by standing for two Rakat, similar to the Fajr prayer, with a distinct and audible recitation of Quranic verses. 

The recitation should be prolonged, allowing for deep reflection and connection with the divine message. Following the two Rakat, recite the Tashahud and conclude with the Salam.

This cycle of prayer in pairs of two Rakat continues until you have completed the desired number of Rakat or have reached a total of ten. 

The emphasis lies not only on the physical act but also on the spiritual engagement and mindfulness during each Rakat. After completing the designated number of Rakat, conclude the Qiyam prayer session with the Witr prayer, which is a unique and significant aspect of the night prayer.

1. Intention (Niyyah): 

Begin with a sincere intention in your heart to perform Qiyam prayer, seeking closeness to Allah and His blessings.

2. Preparation:

 Ensure you are in a clean state (ablution or ghusl if needed) and find a quiet and clean place for prayer.

3. Starting the Prayer: 

Stand facing the Qiblah and begin the prayer by raising your hands to your ears and saying “Allahu Akbar” (Allah is the Greatest) to enter the prayer.

4. Recitation of Surah Al-Fatiha and Additional Verses: 

Recite Surah Al-Fatiha (the opening chapter of the Quran) followed by a portion of the Quran in each Rakat. Emphasize a slow and melodious recitation, contemplating the meanings of the verses.

5. Rakat (Units of Prayer): 

Perform the prayer in pairs of two Rakat each. After the first two Rakat, remain seated for the Tashahud.

6. Tashahud: 

While seated, recite the Tashahud, a supplication praising Allah and sending blessings upon the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

7. Salam: 

Conclude each two Rakat by turning your head to the right and saying “Assalamu Alaikum wa Rahmatullah” (Peace and mercy of Allah be upon you) to conclude the prayer.

8. Continuation: 

Repeat the cycle by standing again for the next two Rakat and continue until you have completed the desired number of Rakat, typically totaling ten.

9. Witr Prayer: 

After completing the desired number of Rakat, conclude the Qiyam prayer session with the Witr prayer, an odd-numbered prayer usually consisting of one or three Rakat.

10. Closing Dua: 

Finally, conclude the prayer session with a heartfelt supplication, seeking forgiveness, guidance, and blessings from Allah.

What is Witr Prayer?

Witr means (odd number), and the mark of finishing Qiyam is to pray Witr

Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him said: “Allah is Witr, and He likes what’s witr, so pray witr, o people of QuranRyadul-Salihen

Witr can be prayed in two ways: 

  1. Pray only one Rakah
  2. Pray Three Rakats

How to pray qiyam al layl is easily understood, but hard to practice. 

Qiyam is like Siyam, a great form of worship that disciplines the Muslim and shows commitment to Allah, as the Muslim struggles to fulfill this great act of worship.

How to pray Qiyam al Layl at home?

Praying Qiyam al layl at home is the same as how to pray Qiyam al layl. Home is the best-recommended place to pray Qiyam Al layl.

-Pick a time and a room where you can pray alone

This way your heart is only focused on the Salah and Allah. 

-Pray in An Audiable voice

Allah says: “And do not recite loudly in your prayer or quietly but seek between that an [intermediate] wayAl-Israa

-You can read Quran from the Mushaf if you don’t memorize enough

Read more (Reading from Quran in Salah)

Benefits of Qiyam Al Layl

There are great benefits to Qiyam al layl, here are seven of them:

  1. Completes the shortcomings of the regular prayer
  2. Strengthen the connection with Allah
  3. Cultivates sincerity (As the prayer is usually done alone, only Allah sees you)
  4. Keeps you steady on the deen and helps with obeying other commands
  5. One of the best times to ask Allah for all you need in this life and the next
  6. A good deed for repentance and forgiveness of sins
  7. A great deed for being thankful to Allah and His blessings 

Qiyam al layl is where the Muslim gets to reflect on his relationship with the Quran, as it’s a critical part of Qiam. Not just memorizing it, but also reflecting on it and stopping with what he reads, asking Allah the good that Allah mentions and seeking refuge in him from the punishments He mentions. 

Register for a free trial of Quran lessons to help with your Qiyam Al Layl

Dua for Qiyam Al Layl

Qiyam al layl is a great time for Dua – here are some examples of the Dua for Qiyam al layl from Sunnah: 

Arabic:  اللهم إنك عفو تحب العفو فأعفوا عنا

English: “O Allah, Indeed you are the one who pardons (Forgives), and you love to pardon (Forgive), so pardon (Forgive) us”

Arabic: اللهم إني أسالك من الخير كله عاجله وأجله ما علمت منه وما لم أعلم

English: “O Allah, i ask you from all the Good, what’s imminent of it and what’s delayed, what I know of it and what I don’t know”

Arabic: “اللهم إني أعوذ بك من الشر كله عاجله وأجله ما علمت منه وما لم أعلم”

English: “O Allah, I seek refuge with you from all the evil, what’s imminent of it and what’s delayed, what I know of it and what I don’t know”

Arabic: “اللهم اهْدِنِي فِيمَنْ هَدَيْتَ ، وَعَافِنِي فِيمَنْ عَافَيْتَ ، وَتَوَلَّنِي فِيمَنْ تَوَلَّيْتَ ، وَبَارِكْ لِي فِيمَا أَعْطَيْتَ ، وَقِنِي شَرَّ مَا قَضَيْتَ ، فإِنَّكَ تَقْضِي وَلا يُقْضَى عَلَيْكَ ، وَإِنَّهُ لا يَذِلُّ مَنْ وَالَيْتَ ، وَلا يَعِزُّ مَنْ عَادَيْتَ ، تَبَارَكْتَ رَبَّنَا وَتَعَالَيْتَ ، ولا منجا منك إلا إليك”

English: “O Allah, guide me with those whom You have guided,

and strengthen me with those whom You have given strength.

Take me to Your care with those whom You have taken to Your care.

Bless me in what You have given me.

Protect me from the evil You have ordained.

Surely, You command and are not commanded,

and none whom You have committed to Your care shall be humiliated

[and none whom You have taken as an enemy shall taste glory].

You are Blessed, Our Lord, and Exalted.”

These are just some examples and you can always ask whatever you would like from Allah in this life or the next. 

Say Dua in Arabic

If you wish to learn how to read Arabic Dua, don’t worry that can be easily done as well. You just need to have the right teacher to guide you on how to read and speak in Arabic

Check the free trail course of Noorani Qaida with a native Arabic speaker

Dua in Witr

In the last Rakah of witr, it’s sunnah after standing from Rukuh and saying (Allahuma Lak Al-Hamd), to raise your hands and make dua to Allah

After witr, it’s also recommended to say 

Subhan Al-Malik Al-Qodous  (Three times)

Hadith on Qiyam ul Layl: 

There are many hadiths and ayat on Qiyam ul layl, here is just an example to raise our motivation

-Allah says in the Quran: “O you who wraps himself [in clothing](1)Stand the night ˹in prayer˺ except a little—AlMuzzamil 

This is among the earliest Ayat to be revealed from the Quran. Ordering the prophet peace be upon him to pray at night, as this night prayer and connection with Allah is what makes easy the heavy mission he is tasked with.

-The prophet peace be upon him said: “The Most beloved prayer to Allah is the prayer of Dawoud, He used to sleep half the night, then pray it’s third and sleep it’s SixthSahih Albukhari

This hadith teaches us the best timing and duration for Qiyam ul layl. praying Third of the night is the optimal duration, and having that third by the end of it is the best timing. As the last third of night is the best timing for Qiyam ul layl.

It’s always important to observe the balance between body and soul: praying and giving the body enough time to rest. 

-The prophet peace be upon him also said: “Our Lord (Glorified is He) comes down every night at its last third on the nearest heaven to us and he calls: who makes Dua to me so I shall Grant him? Who asks of me and I shall Give him? Who asks for my forgiveness so I shall Forgive him?Sahih Al-Bukhari

This hadith is one of the biggest motivations for Qiam ul layl. Imagine Allah himself is Asking and calling to us! what more would we ever want?

All that’s needed is for us to wake up for Him when everyone else is asleep, open our hearts to Him, and let Him resolve all of our problems. 

Difference between qiyam al layl and tahajjud

Tahajjud is part of Qiyam al layl. Tahajjud refers to specifically praying in the last part of the night. That’s the most blessed part of it. As mentioned in the hadith before. 

Tahajud is mentioned in the Quran in Surah Al-Israa: “And Pray Tahajud at night with Quran, so your lord may your Lord will resurrect you to a praised station

some scholars also specify Tahajjud as the prayer of the night, which is prayed after one has slept and woke up.      

This is also mentioned in the hadith of Qiyam Dawod that’s mentioned before. and in the Ayah, it shows that one of the great honors that the prophet peace be upon him is given is related to him Praying Tahajjud. 

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Conclusion: 

The night is a time of rest for the body, but also a great opportunity for the soul. To wake up in the middle of the night, when everyone else is asleep, and no one sees you or hears you except your lord; Then you stand up to pray to Him, even though it isn’t obligational, but rather to get closer to Him.
Reading His words and making Dua to Him. That’s one of the best deeds to do, and it reflects on the rest of your behavior and worship. 

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