The Night Routine (Ahadith 804 – 805)
Narrated Ibn ‘Abbas:
Once I passed the night in the house of Maimuna (his aunt). I slept across the bed while Allah’s Apostle and his wife slept length-wise. The Prophet slept till midnight or nearly so and woke up rubbing his face and recited ten verses from Surat “Aal-Imran.” Allah’s Apostle went towards a leather skin and performed ablution in the most perfect way and then stood for the prayer. I did the same and stood beside him. The Prophet put his right hand on my head, twisted my ear and then prayed two Rakat five times and then ended his prayer with Witr. He laid down till the Muadh-dhin came then he stood up and offered two Rakat (Sunna of Fajr prayer) and then went out and offered the Fajr prayer.
(See Hadith No. 183, Vol. 1)
Another version (very interesting, in fact) here.
Narrated ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar :
The Prophet said, “Night prayer is offered as two Rakat followed by two Rakat and so on, and if you want to finish it, pray only one Raka which will be Witr for all the previous Rakat.” Al-Qasim said, “Since we attained the age of puberty we have seen some people offering a three-Rakat prayer as Witr and all that is permissible. I hope there will be no harm in it.”
Discussed in the previous post.
- Prophet (SAW) sleeps after `Ishaa’ prayer, without praying witr.
- He (SAW) wakes up at around midnight, rubbing his eyes (very cool and important Sunnah – makes your sleep go away in a jiffy!)..
- He recites ten verses from Surah Al-i-Imran. We get to know from other narrations that these are the last ten verses of Surah Al-i-Imran.
- He performs ablution in the perfect way. Not lazily, or half sleeping.
- He stands for prayer.. prays 10 rak`aat like this: 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 2.
- He ends his prayer with witr (1 rak`ah), when it’s almost time for Fajr.
- He lies down to rest a while, waiting for the Mu’adhdhin to call the Adhaan.
- He gets up, prays two rak`aat of Fajr sunnah prayers.
- And he leaves for the masjid to offer the Fajr prayer.
That’s as simply as I can describe the night routine of the Prophet (SAW). There’s great benefit in following it, not just spiritually, but physically and mentally also. Your day starts early, you get plenty of time to do your work in peace and quiet, you’re more productive, you get time to spend alone with yourself and Allah etc.
P.S. it’s because of the curiosity of Ibn Abbas (RA) that we know of Prophet (SAW)’s night routine. May Allah exalt his rank in Jannah and give me the opportunity to meet and thank him there (say Ameen if you want it for yourself!). :D