Qiyam Al-layl Prayer – How many Rakats in Qiyam?

Qiyam Al-layl Prayer

Qiyam prayer is one of the significant worship that builds a strong connection with Allah. Generally, when you pray to Allah, you remember him as you recite the Quran and make Zikr and dua.

Furthermore, when you pray to Allah, you worship him as you see him in front of you in humility. Many Muslims love to spend a part of the night praying for Qiyam for Allah’s sake. So let’s figure out the Qiyam prayer’ meaning, number of rakats, and benefits.

What is Qiyam Prayer?

Qiyam prayer (Night Vigil prayer) is a voluntary worship that Muslims do at night while others are sleeping or resting. They perform it after the Isha prayer and spend the night or part of it praying till the fajr prayer.

Qiyam prayer in Islam is called “Qiyam al layl”. Qiyam means “standing”, and layl means “night”.

Muslims perform the Qiyam prayer as a following of prophet Muhammed’s (PBUH) Sunnah as he used to pray it besides the obligatory prayers.

How many Rakats in Qiyam?

The number of Qiyam al layl rakats starts from two rakats at least. After you pray Qiyam, you should move to Witr prayer, which consists of one rakat and increases to three, five, seven, nine, and eleven rakats.

The number of Qiyam al layl is doubled. Unlike the Witr prayer, which its rakats are odd.

Therefore, there is no fixed number of rakats of Qiyam al layl prayer. But it’s recommended to pray eight rakats. 

Prophet Muhammad used to pray 13 rakats. According to Ayesha (May Allah be pleased with her), she narrated:

The Prophet (ﷺ) used to offer thirteen rak’at of the night prayer and that included the witr and two rak’at (Sunnah) of the Fajr prayer.”


What is the Best Time For Qiyam Al Layl?

The best time for praying Qiyam al layl is the last third of the night before the Fajr prayer. If you divide the night into three parts, you’ll find the first third begins after Isha’s prayer.

The reason why the best time for Qiyam al layl is the last third of the night as Allah descends in this time in this time to respond to those who ask him among his believers.

Prophet Muhammed said:

“Our Lord descends to the first heaven every night at the last-third of the night and says: ‘Is there anyone who is invoking Me so that I may respond to his invocation? Is there anyone who is asking Me if I may grant him his request? Is there anyone asking for My forgiveness so I may forgive him”


How to Pray Qiyam al Layl?

When you get ready to pray Qiyam al layl, you do the same steps of the obligatory, as you should start with making intention for Allah’s satisfaction and performing wudu (ablution).

Begin with performing two rakats with the same steps as the obligatory prayers, then end the prayer with taslim.

If you want only to pray two rakats, move to perform the Witr prayer with one rakat at least. In case of praying up to two rakats, do two by two until you reach the number of rakats you want.

It’s noteworthy that prophet Muhammed (PBUH) clarified how to pray Qiyam al layl as he said:

“ Prayer during the night should consist of pairs of rak’ahs, but if one of you fears morning is near, he should pray one rak’ah which will make his prayer an odd number for him.”

(Sahih Muslim).

What is the Difference Between Qiyam Al Layl and Tahajjud?

The main difference between Qiyam al layl and Tahajjud is Muslims pray Tahajjud after waking up. But Qiyam al layl’s time can be before or after sleeping.

Furthermore, Tahajjud is a part of Qiyam al layl as for every Tahajjud Qiyam layl. So Tahajjud is also called Qiyam al layl. Tahajud Could only be through prayer (salah), but Qiyam al-Layl could refer to worshiping Allah at nigh such as reading the Quran, making Dhikr, learning Quran, and so on. 

What is the Dua For Qiyam Al Layl?

Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) used to make dua for Qiyam al layl in the opening of prayer.

The dua for Qiyam al-Layl is to say (as Prophet Muhammad said: “O Allaah, Lord of Jibraeel, Mikael and Israfeel, you are the originator of the heavens and the earth, the one who has all knowledge of the unseen and what is visible.

You judge between your worshipers in what they differ. Guide me to the truth with your permission in what they disagree. Indeed, You are the One who directs whom You want to the straight path.” (Muslim)

While doing sujood (prostration) in Qiaym al-Layl, the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) made a dua by saying:” O Allah, I seek protection in your pleasure from your anger, and I seek protection in your forgiveness from Your punishment. 

I seek protection in You from You. I cannot count Your praises. You are as You have praised Yourself.” (Abu Dawud)

Conclusion – Learn About Quran Islam

Qiyam al layl prayer is a voluntary worship that Muslims perform at an extended time from Isha to Fajr prayer. 

Its rakats start from two as you pray it two by two. Muslims get several virtues from Qiyam. They become closer to Allah, obtain Allah’s forgiveness, and gain success in life and the hereafter.

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