there is an hour…

بسم الله الحمد لله والصلاة والسلام على رسول الله

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Jabir bin ‘Abdullah رضي الله عنه narrated that the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said:

إن في الليل لساعة لا يوافقها رجل مسلم يسأل الله خيرا من أمر الدنيا والآخرة إلا أعطاه إياه وذلك كل ليلة

“Verily in the night there is an hour, no Muslim reaches it, asking Allaah for goodness from matters of the Dunya or the Akhirah, except that Allaah gives it to him, and that is in every night.” [Saheeh Muslim, 757]

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1. Imam Nawawi said in his sharh that this “…includes a recommendation to make du’a in all hours of the night in anticipation of encountering the (aforementioned) hour.”

2. One must not lose focus during the night or insist on singling out a particular time of the night to pray or make du’a. Rather the generality of the hadeeth encourages one to participate much in du’a, qiyam al-layl and tahajjud and other acts of ibadah. It is also further evidence of Allaah’s infinite bounties and His Mercy by which He provides endless means for His ‘abd to fulfil his need and to achieve Allaah’s Forgiveness.

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3. Abu Hurayrah رضي الله عنه narrated that the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said:

ينزل ربنا إلى سماء الدنيا كل ليلة حين يبقى ثلث الليل الآخر فيقول من يدعوني فأستجيب له من يسألني فأعطيه من يستغفرني فأغفر له

“Our Rabb descends to the nearest Heaven in the last third of every night and Says: ‘Who is calling upon Me so that I may answer him? Who is asking Me so that may I grant him? Who is seeking forgiveness from Me so that I may forgive him?'” [Saheeh Bukhari, 1094 (Hadeeth Qudsi)]

Taking both the narrations together, it is understood that the “hour of asking for goodness” in the first hadeeth is to be found in the last third of night as stated in the second hadeeth. It was also for this reason that Abu Hurayrah رضي الله عنه added: “…The Companions of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم used to prefer performing salah at the end of the night rather than the start of the night.”

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4. In order to calculate when the last third of the night starts, one may simply add the hours between Maghrib and Fajr in their locality. These hours are then to be divided into three; so for example, if the sun sets at 7pm and fajr (true dawn) appears at 5am, then the total hours are 10. Therefore each third would last for 3 hours and 20 mins approx and thus the last third of the night would commence at 1.40am approx.

5. An inspiring poem on “A Night’s Prayer” by Ammar AlShukry

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And Tawfeeq is from Allaah alone.

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