Prophet Peace be upon him said:

“Pray as you have seen me praying" - Sahih Al-Bukhari

How did Prophet Muhammed Peace be upon him pray Qiyam Prayer ?


2 Answers 2


First, let us define what Qiyam prayer is. Qiyam means standing up or establishing. Perhaps you mean night prayer, which is before dawn at night and is Mustahab (recommended but not obligatory).

The time for Salatul Layl begins after midnight until the time for Fajr (morning) prayers. The best time for it is as close to the Fajr prayer as possible. When there is not enough time, it is recommended to at least recite the last three raka’ats, or even just the last rak’ah of Salatul Witr.

Salatul Layl consists of a total of 11 raka’ats, divided into the following prayers:

  1. Nafilah of Layl: 8 raka’ats (4 x 2 raka’ats)

  2. Salât al-Shaf’a: 2 raka’ats

  3. Salat al-Witr: 1 raka’at


The foundation of the prayer consists of the 11 raka’ats. In addition, there are a variety of surahs and supplications that have been recommended for recitation during these raka’ats. What follows is the description of one of the ways that has been recommended.

Additional supplications are also included. Please also refer to the section on Salatul Layl in Al-Baqiyat al-Salihat (commonly found on the margins of or as an appendix to Mafatihul Jinan) for other variations.

Nafilah of Layl

The 8 raka’ats of Nafilah are divided into four prayers of two raka’ats each. With the intention of reciting two raka’ats of Salatul layl, recite two raka’ats like the Fajr prayer.

After Sura al-Hamd it is recommended to recite al-Ikhlas (#112) in the first raka’at and Sura al-Kafirun (#109) in the second raka’at. Qunut is recommended in the second raka’at and can simply consist of saying a salawat only or subhanallah three times.

Salat al-Shaf’a

This is a two rak’aat prayer, and there is no qunoot in it.

1st raka’at: Recite Sura an-Nas after al-Hamd.

2nd raka’at: Recite Sura al-Falaq after al-Hamd.

Salatul Witr

This is a one rak’ah prayer. The following surahs are recited after Sura al-Hamd.

Sura al-Ikhlas (#112) 3 times

Sura al-Falaq (#113) 1 time

Sura an-Nas (#114) 1 time

Qunut of Salatul Witr

After completing the Surahs recite Qunut in the following manner. It is highly emphasized to be humble and tearful in Salatul Witr. Raise the left hand for asking forgiveness and use the right for holding a tasbih. Some recommended duas are as follows.

a) Recite the following du’a

بِسْمِ اللّهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيْمِ

لآ اِلَهَ اِلاَّ اللّهُ الْحَلِيْمُ الْكَرِيْمُ

لآ اِلَهَ اِلاَّ اللّهُ الْعَلِيُّ الْعَظِيْمُ

سُبْحَانَ اللّهِ رَبِّ السَّمَاوَاتِ السَّبْعِ

وَ رَبِّ الاَرْضِيْنَ السَّبْعِ

وَ مَا فِيْهِنَّ وَ مَا بَيْنَهُنَّ وَ مَا فَوْقَهُنَّ وَ مَا تَحْتَهُنَّ

رَبُّ الْعَرْشِ الْعَظِيْمِ وَ سَلاَمٌ عَلى الْمُرْسَلِيْنَ

وَ الْحَمْدُ لِلّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِيْنَ

وَ صَلَّى اللّهُ عَلى مُحَمَّدٍ وَ آلِهِ الطَّاهِرِيْنَ

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent the merciful

There is no god except Allah

the Forbearing, the Generous

There is no god except Allah

the High the Almighty

Glory be to Allah

Lord of the seven heavens

and Lord of the seven earths

and whatever is in them, and between them

and above them and below them,

Lord of the Mighty Throne.

Peace be on the Messengers.

All praise is for Allah Lord of the worlds.

O Allah bless Muhammad and his pure family.

b) Recite 70 times this prayer for forgiveness

اَسْتَغْفِرُ اللّهَ رَبِّي وَ اَتُوْبُ اِلَيْهِ

I seek forgiveness of Allah my Lord and I turn to Him

c) Ask for the forgiveness of forty believers, men and women, who have died or are living, by repeating forty times:

اَللّهُمَّ اغْفِرْ لِ____________

O’ Allah, forgive ___________

Fill in the names of believers. Apart from relatives and friends, it is recommended to remember the Ulama (Scholars) who have served and propagated Islam. If it is not possible to name forty believers, name as many as possible and then say:

اَللّهُمَّ اغْفِرْ لِلْمُؤْمِنِيْنَ وَ الْمُؤْمِنَاتِ

O Allah forgive all believers, male and female

Then say:

اَسْتَغْفِرُ اللّهَ الَّذِي لاَ اِلَهَ اِلاَّ هُوَ الْحَيُّ الْقَيُّومُ لِجَمِيْعِ ظُلْمِي وَ جُرْمِي وَ اِسْرَافِي عَلى نَفْسِي وَ اَتُوْبُ اِلَيْهِ

I seek forgiveness of Allah, He who there is no god but He, the Ever living, the subsisting, from all my oppressions and my sins and my excesses on my soul, and I turn (repentant) to Him

d) Repeat seven times:

هذَا مَقَامُ الْعَآئِذِ بِكَ مِنَ النَّارِ

This is the position of one who seeks refuge in You from the fire

e) Say three hundred times: اَلْعَفْوَ

        (I ask for Your) pardon

Then say:

رَبِّ اغْفِرْ لِي وَ ارْحَمْنِي وَ تُبْ عَلَيَّ

اِنَّكَ اَنْتَ التَّوَّابُ الرَّحِيْمُ

My Lord, forgive me and have mercy on me, and turn to me Surely You are the Oft-returning, the Merciful


Salatul Layl

Also, this is the dua Imam Sajjad S.A. recited at Qunut of night prayers:

His Supplication in the Night Prayer

some Hadith about Midnight Prayers


Firstly i would like to point out that "qiyam" means to wake or to get up from sleep, so qiyam prayer would be prayer that you wake from sleep and pray. So tahajjud prayer, witr and any other prayer that is prayed after awakening from sleep would be considered qiyam.


Prophet muhammad saaws used to pray an odd number of rakaat it would be two rakaat at a time and in addition would be witr, one rakaat so it would come out to be an odd number. Each of his rakaat would get shorter as he continued making the first the longest and the last the shortest.

Narrated 'Abdullah bin 'Umar : A man said, "O Allah's Apostle! How is the prayer of the night?" He said, "Two Rakat followed by two Rakat and so on, and when you apprehend the approaching dawn, offer one Raka as Witr." bukhari 238, 21

Yahya related to me from Malik from 'Abdullah ibn Abi Bakr from his father that 'Abdullah ibn Qays ibn Makhrama told him that Zayd ibn Khalid al-Juhani said one night that he had gone to observe the prayer of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. He said, "I rested my head on his threshold. The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, got up and prayed two long, long, long rak'ats. Then he prayed two rak'ats which were slightly less long than the two before them. Then he prayed two rak'ats which were slightly less long than the two before them. Then he prayed two rak'ats which were slightly less long than the two before them. Then he prayed two rak'ats which were slightly less long than the two before them. Then he prayed two rak'ats which were slightly less long than the two before them. Then he prayed an odd rak'at, making thirteen rak'ats in all."Muslim

Amount of rakaat

The maximum of rakaat would be 11, excluding two rakaat Sunnah of fajr, or 13 with the Sunnah prayer.

Narrated 'Aisha, The Prophet (p.b.u.h) used to offer thirteen Rakat of the night prayer and that included the Witr and two Rakat (Sunna) of the Fajr prayer. bukhari 241, 21

When to pray

The prophet would wake from his sleep at the lattest part of the night before fajr, when he finished praying his 13 rakaat he would go lie down until the athan was pronounced then he would go to the mosque to pray fajr

Narrated Al-Aswad: I asked 'Aisha "How is the night prayer of the Prophet?" She replied, "He used to sleep early at night, and get up in its last part to pray, and then return to his bed. When the Muadh-dhin pronounced the Adhan, he would get up. If he was in need of a bath he would take it; otherwise he would perform ablution and then go out (for the prayer)." bukhari 247,21

From the Quran

Allah subahanahu wa ta3ala has said in the Quran that those who regularly perform the tahajjud prayers are Righteous and are more deserving of Allah's bounty and mercy. Allah says:

"Lo! Those who keep from evil will dwell amid gardens and watersprings, taking that which their Lord gives them. For, lo, they were doers of good. They used to sleep but little of the night and before the dawning of each day would seek forgiveness.''

Allah praised and complemented the deeds of those who perform the late-night prayers.

"The slaves of the Beneficent are they who walk upon the earth in humbleness, and when the ignorant address them, they say: 'Peace' and they who spend the night prostrating before their Lord and standing" [ al-Furqan: 63-64 ].

So in addition to us following the prophet by praying the night prayer, we will be pleasing our lord and this is the reason why the prophet encouraged us to awaken from our sleep and pray to Allah.

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