(Surat al-Muzzammil: 1-8)
O you enwrapped in your garment! Stand vigil through the night, except a little, a half of it, or reduce of it a little, or add to it, and recite the Qur’ān in a measured tone., Verily [soon] We shall cast on you a weighty word. Assuredly rising in the night is firmer in tread and more upright in respect to speech. [For] assuredly during the day you have extended engagements. And mention the Name of your Lord, and devote yourself [exclusively] to Him with complete devotion.
He who is given the sustenance/bounty (rizq - rozi) of the valaayat of Ali has attained the goodness of this world and the Hereafter, and I do not doubt that he will enter jannat. In Ali’s love and valaayat are twenty virtues: 10 in this world (dunya) and 10 in the Hereafter (aakherat). 1) renouncing materialism, 2) desire to seek knowledge, 3) piety and scrupulosity, 4) eagerness/desire for worship, 5) sincere repentance, 6) waking up in the night for prayer.
Having been blessed with the greatest virtue, the valaayat of Amirul Mumineen SA, it is incumbent on us to be worthy of such a great blessing that ensures our salvation. Rasululullah SA has said that “he who is given the gift (rizq, rozi) of the valaayat of Ali has attained the goodness of this world and the Hereafter, and I do not doubt that he will enter jannat. In Ali’s love and valaayat are twenty virtues: 10 in this World (dunya) and 10 in the Hereafter (aakherat).” The first of the virtues in this world is zuhd (renouncing materialism – lit. asceticism – see Sijill Article 90). The second of the virtues in this world is desire (lit. greed) to seek knowledge (see Sijill Article 91). The third of the virtues in this world is piety and scrupulosity (see Sijill Article 92). The fourth virtue is the eagerness and desire for worship (see Sijill Article 93). The fifth virtue is sincere repentance. (see Sijill Article 94).
During Ashara this year, Syedna TUS narrated this Hadith and explained the many facets of this Hadith and the individual virtues. Syedna introduced the Hadith saying that this is a bishaarat for the Shi’a of Amirul Mumineen SA. He added that in one sense, those with true valaayat would necessarily have these virtues. If for some reason one with valaayat does not possess these virtues, then upon hearing this bayaan he/she should make a firm commitment to acquire them. The sixth virtue is waking up in the night for tahajjud prayers (al-qiyamu fil-layl lis-salaat).
Syedna TUS explained that tahajjud and bihori prayers specifically entails waking up after a short while of sleeping to pray tatawwu’ namaaz. In Shehrullah Syedna Taher Saifuddin RA used to sleep briefly before waking up for tahajjud. This entails more sawaab as it is more difficult to do - the manner in which all actions, ama,l are performed are taken into account by Allah Ta’ala. Syedna added in his waaz that, even at times where he is up until the time of Nisful-Layl for Dawat matters, he takes a brief rest before praying namaaz because that is what has been recommended by our Mawali Tahereen.
Rasulullah SA was instructed by Allah Ta’ala to pray at night in the Qur’an Majeed in the Ayat quoted above: It is narrated that Rasulullah often stood in vigil the entire night. Often he would pray, rest for a while, then pray again, then rest for a while. The poet al-Busayri, the author of the well-known qasidat al-Burda in praise of Rasulullah expresses Rasulullah’s shaan in tahajjud very poetically:
Rasulullah prayed in the darkness of the night
until his own feet complained of affliction
When Rasulullah SA was asked about the extent of his tahajjud and night prayer, he simply replied: “should I not express my gratitude that Allah Ta’ala has made me his true servant (haqiqi bandah), selected me and made me his messenger (rasul)”(afala akunu ‘abdan shakura).
Imam Ali Zainul ‘Aabedeen prayed one thousand rak’ats every night. The effect of the Imam’s prayers was that his Dawat would survive and persist till the end of time. The doas recited by Imam Ali Zainul ‘Aabedeen are a remarkable resource for us in praying bihori. Many of the doas have been presented on FatemiDawat.com in the Bihori section. In Imam Ali Zainul ‘Aabedeen’s doa after Nisful-Layl we pray:
“The stars in your skies have set, the eyes of your creatures have closed, the voices of your servants are stilled… but you, God, are a king who is living, standing, not moved by slumber or sleep, not distracted from one thing by another. The doors of your skies are open for those who pray to you. Your treasuries are never locked. The means to your mercy and your favors for those who seek them are not restricted. No indeed, they are continuously disbursed.”
Tahajjud is a time when the world is sleeping and the one praying is focused on prayer in the silence of the night. During bihori namaaz we pray munajaat, which literally means “a conversation in solitude with Allah Ta’ala.” Indeed, bihori and ‘ibaadat at night is the most intimate form of supplication and prayer. (See also Sijill Article 22 – “Alone in the Darkness of the Night”, for further reading about bihori).
Our Du’aat kiraam follow in the tradition of Rasulullah SA and the Imams. Every night Syedna Taher Saifuddin RA prayed Shafa’ namaaz and also prayed two rak’ats for mumineen. For fifty years, Syedna Burhanuddin RA continued in the same tradition and prayed for mumineen. Through the window, the light in Maulana Burhanuddin’s room was seen to be on late into the night, every night. Syedna Qutbuddin follows the tradition of the 51st and 52nd Dai’s and prays for mumineen in every bihori. May Allah Ta’ala include us in our Dai’s doa. For every doa that he beseeches Allah Ta’ala for us, may Allah Ta’ala grant him longest life in full health.
These are our Mawali Tahereen and role models. It is upon us to follow their guidance and their example. May Allah Ta’ala grant us the strength to pray bihori, especially in Shehrullah, and achieve closeness to Him.