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The first is that, they used to spend a little part of every night awake. Ibn `Abbas said, "Every night, they would worship Allah, even during a little part of the night.'' Qatadah narrated that Mutarrif bin `Abdullah said, "Hardly a night would pass by them that they did not pray to Allah the Exalted and Most Honored, either in the beginning, or the middle of it.'' Mujahid said, "Only a few nights, if any, would they sleep through the night until the morning without praying Tahajjud.'' Qatadah said similarly. Anas bin Malik and Abu Al-`Aliyah said, "They used to pray between Al-Maghrib and Al-`Isha'.'' The Second Opinion They used to spend a little part of the night in sleep. This was preferred by Ibn Jarir. Al-Hasan Al-Basri said:

﴿كَانُواْ قَلِيلاً مِّن الَّيْلِ مَا يَهْجَعُونَ ﴾

(They used to sleep but little by night), "They performed voluntary night prayer and would not sleep during the night except a little. They were active and would continue until they were seeking forgiveness right before dawn.'' `Abdullah bin Salam said, "When the Messenger of Allah arrived at Al-Madinah, people quickly gathered around him and I was among them. When I saw his face, I knew that it was not the face of a liar. The first statement I heard from him was,

«يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ أَطْعِمُوا الطَّعَامَ، وَصِلُوا الْأَرْحَامَ، وَأَفْشُوا السَّلَامَ، وَصَلُّوا بِاللَّيْلِ وَالنَّاسُ نِيَامٌ، تَدْخُلُوا الْجَنَّةَ بِسَلَام»

(O people! Feed with food, keep relations to kith and kin, spread the Salam, pray at night while people are asleep, and you will enter Paradise in peace.)'' Imam Ahmad recorded that `Abdullah bin `Umar said that the Messenger of Allah said,

«إِنَّ فِي الْجَنَّةِ غُرَفًا يُرَى ظَاهِرُهَا مِنْ بَاطِنِهَا وَبَاطِنُهَا مِنْ ظَاهِرِهَا»

(Verily, there are lofty rooms in Paradise in which their outside can be seen from inside and their inside from the outside.) Abu Musa Al-Ash`ari said, "Who are they for, O Allah's Messenger'' He said,

«لِمَنْ أَلَانَ الْكَلَامَ، وَأَطْعَمَ الطَّعَامَ، وَبَاتَ للهِ قَائِمًا وَالنَّاسُ نِيَام»

(For those who use soft speech, feed food and spend the night in voluntary prayer while people are asleep.) Allah said:

﴿وَبِالاٌّسْحَـرِ هُمْ يَسْتَغْفِرُونَ ﴾

(And in the hours before dawn, they were asking for forgiveness.) Mujahid and several others said: "They were performing Salah.'' Others said that they would stand in prayer during the night and delayed asking Allah for forgiveness until the latter hours before dawn. As Allah, the Exalted the Blessed, said;

﴿وَالْمُسْتَغْفِرِينَ بِالاٌّسْحَارِ﴾

(And those who seek forgiveness during the last hours of the night.)(3:17); This is because it is better if asking for forgiveness is done while praying. It is confirmed in the Sahih collections as well as others, from several Companions, that the Messenger of Allah said,

«إِنَّ اللهَ تَعَالَى يَنْزِلُ كُلَّ لَيْلَةٍ إِلَى سَمَاءِ الدُّنْيَا حِينَ يَبْقَى ثُلُثُ اللَّيْلِ الْأَخِيرُ، فَيَقُولُ: هَلْ مِنْ تَائِبٍ فَأَتُوبَ عَلَيْهِ. هَلْ مِنْ مُسْتَغْفِرٍ فَأَغْفِرَ لَهُ. هَلْ مِنْ سَائِلٍ فَيُعْطَى سُؤْلَهُ؟ حَتْى يَطْلُعَ الْفَجْر»

(Allah, the Most High, descends each night to the lowest heaven when the last third of the night remains. He says, "Is there anyone who is repenting so that I may accept his repentance Is there anyone seeking forgiveness, so that I may forgive him Is there anyone asking of Me, so that I may grant him his request'' until Fajr begins.) Many of the scholars of Tafsir said that when the Prophet Ya`qub said to his sons:

﴿سَوْفَ أَسْتَغْفِرُ لَكُمْ رَبِّى﴾

(I will ask my Lord for forgiveness for you)(12:98), he delayed doing so until the hours before dawn. Allah the Exalted and Most Honored said,

﴿وَفِى أَمْوَلِهِمْ حَقٌّ لَّلسَّآئِلِ وَالْمَحْرُومِ ﴾

(And in their wealth there was the right of the Sa'il and the Mahrum.) After Allah mentioned their quality of performing prayer, He then mentioned their quality of spending in charity and acts of compassion and kindness,

﴿وَفِى أَمْوَلِهِمْ حَقٌّ﴾

(And in their wealth there was the right), a designated part which they dedicated to the Sa'il and Mahrum. The Sa'il is the poor who begs others, and he has a due right. As for the Mahrum, Ibn `Abbas and Mujahid said, "He is the poor person who does not receive a stipend.'' Meaning he does not receive a stipend from the Muslim treasury, nor does he have a means of income, nor a profession. The Mother of the faithful, `A'ishah may Allah be pleased with her, said about the Mahrum, "He is the displaced, the one who does not have a profession to easily earn an income from.'' Qatadah and Az-Zuhri: "The Mahrum is the one who does not ask the people for anything.'' Az-Zuhri added that the Messenger of Allah said,

«لَيْسَ الْمِسْكِينُ بِالطَّوَّافِ الَّذِي تَرُدُّهُ اللُّقْمَةُ وَاللُّقْمَتَانِ وَالتَّمْرَةُ وَالتَّمْرَتَانِ، وَلكِنِ الْمِسْكِينُ الَّذِي لَا يَجِدُ غِنًى يُغْنِيهِ وَلَا يُفْطَنُ لَهُ فَيُتَصَدَّقَ عَلَيْه»

(The poor (Miskin) is not the one who goes round to the people and asks them for a mouthful or two or a date or two. But the poor is the one who does not have enough to satisfy his needs and whose condition is not known to others, so that others may give him something in charity.) This Hadith is recorded in the Two Sahihs using another chain of narration.


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