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Types of Night Prayers in Islam

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Night prayer in Islam is very important. It is a form of worship mentioned in Quran that give a great credit to muslims. Night prayer is an act performed by the pious and address it to get closed to Allah SWT. Islam teach its people that during night it is a great time to communicate with their Creator. As mentioned in the following verse of Quran :


“And from (part of) the night, pray with it as additional (worship) for you, it is expected that your Lord will ressurect you to a praised station.” (QS. Al-Isra : 79)

The reward for muslims who woke up and perform Night prayer is so great that non can describe it. Rasulullah SAW said in the following hadith,

“There is no good deed except that its reward has been outlined in the Quran, except the Night Prayer. Almighty Allah has not specified its reward due to its greatness with Him.” 

After knowing the benefits of night prayer, isn’t that muslims should practice it? Read also about importance of dawud prayer for women.

Types of Night Prayer in Islam

Recommendations for performing night prayer in Islam is quite a lot. Night prayer itself is a voluntary night prayer begin after the last obligatory prayer has been fulfilled (Isya prayer). In order to fully understand about night prayers we must learn about types of night prayer in Islam.

There are many types of prayer in the night that muslims should know. Qiyam al-layl is a term using to described all night prayer.

1. Al-Taraweeh

The time to perform taraweeh prayer is limited according to Islamic calendar. The month of Ramadhan is the only month muslims can perform this night prayer. Rasulullah said in the following hadith :

“Whoever stands (in prayer) in Ramadhan out of faith and the hope of reward, all his previous sins will be forgiven.” (Narrated by Ahmad, Abu Hanifa, Al-Shafi)

Scholars agreed that the hadith refers to taraweeh prayer that only can be performed during a certain time in the month of Ramadhan. There are many virtues of taraweeh prayer muslims can obtained including hospitality and ukhuwah islamiyah.

2. Al-Tahajjud

Muslims who perform tahajjud will be given a great reward. Rasulullah SAW said in the following hadith:

“The best prayer after the obligatory prayers is night prayer.” (Narrated by Muslim)

To perform tahajjud prayer which consisted by a few preferred times :

  • The highly recommended time is by dividing the night into 6 equal portions. The first three is for sleeping, the forth and fifth portion for waking up and praying, and the last one is for back to sleep again before performing the morning prayer.
  • Some also divided the night into 3 equal portion. And the best time to perform tahajjud prayer is in the middle of the portion.
  • And if the night divided into two portion , the second one will be better.

There are no limitation on how many prayer we should perform. The Prophet said to have prayed maximum of 8 cycles and then do the Witr. 

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3. Al-Witr

Some sholars felt that Witr is equal to obligatory and be the greatest sunnah acts. The prayer usuallya perform as the last prayer to be prayed in the evening. There are some many ways to perform this prayer, and the minimum  raka’ will be one raka’. 

If we perform tarawih prayer during the month of ramadhan usually we perform it with imam. And do not be affraid if the imam perform witr to close the night prayer, you still can add an extra prayer as long as you have an intention to do so. Since if you do not perform the prayer along with imam you will miss the chance to get a great reward. Read more about importance of witr prayer for blessing life.

4. Al-Tasbeeh

Tasbeeh prayer is type of night prayer in Islam that recommended to perform during the night. Muslim can performs it either once in a month or at least once in a lifetime. It is a prayer for seeking forgiveness from Allah SWT. As mentioned by Rasulullah in the following hadith :

“O Abbas! O my uncle! Shall I not give you a gift? Shall I not show you something by means of which Allah will forgive your sins, the first and the last of them, the past and recent, the unintentional and the intentional, the small and huge, the secret and open? The Holy Prophet then taught him the Salah al-Tasbih. Furthermore he advised him that it be offered daily, if possible. If not, then every Friday or once a month or once a year or at least once in one’s lifetime.” (Narrated by Abu Dawud)

The prayer will grant muslims a mercy from Allah SWT of sins they did in the past. Usually it perform in 4 raka’ with two salam.

5. Al-Istikhara

It is a type of night prayer in Islam and the purpose of performing this prayer is to seek a guidance. Istikhara is non obligator prayer, muslims perform this prayer if they are facing on important decisions in life. The prayer consisted of 2 raka’ and followed with supplications of Istikhara prayer.

Narrated by Jabir ibn Abdullah al-Salami,

“The Messenger of Allah used to teach his companions to make Istikhara in all things, just as he used to teach them surah from the Quran. He said:

‘If any one of you is concerned about a decision he has to make, then let him pray two raka’ of non obligatory prayer and say (after the prayer) :

‘O Allah, I seek Your counsel by Your knowledge and I seek Your assistance by Your power and I ask You from Your immense favour, for verily You are able while i am not, and verily You know while I do not, and You are the knower of the Unseen.

O Allah, if You know this affair (meniton affair) to be good for me in relation to my religion, my life, and aftermath, my present and future, then decree it and facilitate it for me, and bless me with it, and if You know this affair to be ill for me concerning my religion, my life and end, my present and future, then remove it from me and remove me from it, and decree for me what is good, whatever it may be, and make me satisfied with it.”

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6. Al-Haja

Also called the prayer of need, it is a night prayer performed if we have an intention, goals, matter, and highly hope to achieve it and granted by Allah SWT. This night prayer not only for wishes but it also can be performed for relationship between human. To gain a higher chance our intention will be granted by Allah you may read more about prayers to get your hope accepted.

7. Al-Tawbah 

This prayer is offered to get a repentance. If muslims falls into sin, whether it is a major or minor sin, he has to repent from it straight away and it is recommended to pray 2 raka’.

8. Nafl al-Mutlaq

There is a clear difference between nafl al-Mutlaq and tahajjud prayer that is at when to perform the prayer. If tahajjud prayer should precceded by sleeping first, waking up their sleep to perform it, the nafl al-Mutlaq does not required so.

This prayer also has no limitation of how much the cycle are. The more raka’ and solemn we set up the prayer the reward will be greater and make our way to achieve jannah more open.

9. Lailatul Qadr Prayer

During month of ramadhan there is a night that greater than 1000 months which believed lies in the last ten days of Ramadhan. When muslims believe that the day is night of lailatul qadr muslims could offer this prayer. The prayer consisted of 4 raka’ and perform after Isya’ prayer. There are many virtues of laylatul qadr prayer for muslims if the perform it

There are still several night prayer that can be performed by muslims according to its intention. Those types of night prayer in Islam are as following:

  • Night prayer to prevent from sins
  • Night prayer to escalated our position in front of Allah
  • Night prayer for bringing health and removing pain
  • Night prayer to removing sorrows

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