Have good intention and devotion to Allah
Be determined to perform Qiyam Al-Layl
Keep away from sins
Go to bed early
Take a nap if possible
Depend on Allah
Realize the merits of observing Qiyam Al-Layl
There are various degrees of observing Qiyam Al-Layl, as follows:
First, praying the whole night as some of our early righteous Muslims were accustomed to doing.
Second, praying for half of the night. Here, one is recommended to sleep the first third and the last sixth of the night.
Third, praying for one third of the night. Here, one is recommended to sleep the first half and the last sixth of the night. Prophet Dawud (peace and blessings be upon him) used to observe Qiyam Al-Layl in this way. Abdullah ibn Amr ibn Al-`Aas (may Allah be pleased with him) reported: Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) told me, “The most beloved Prayer to Allah is that of Dawud and the most beloved fasts to Allah are those of Dawud. He used to sleep for half of the night and then pray for one-third of the night and again sleep for its sixth part and used to fast on alternate days.” (Reported by Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
Fourth, praying for one-sixth or one-fifth of the night. It is better to pray in the second half or the last sixth of the night.
Fifth, praying with no estimation of time. This involves either one of the following two ways of observing Qiyam Al-Layl:
Sixth, praying four or two rakahs in the night. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) is reported to have said, “Pray in the night: pray four rakahs; pray two rak`ahs.”
Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Whoever wakes up at night and lets his wife do so in order to offer two rak`ahs, will be recorded amongst those who make much dhikr of Allah in that night.” (Reported by Abu Dawud)
Seventh, offering Prayer in the time between the Maghrib and `Isha’ Prayers.
Whoever finds it difficult to perform purification at night and to offer Prayer, should sit facing the qiblah and engage himself in making dhikr (remembrance of Allah) and du`aa’ (supplication). If, however, he is not able to sit, he is recommended to make dhikr while lying on his bed.
Whoever accustoms himself to offering Qiyam Al-Layl should beware of leaving it, for the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said to Abdullah ibn Amr (may Allah be pleased with him), “O `Abdullah! Do not be like so-and-so who used to pray at night and then stopped doing it.
All articles published not necessarily the official points of view held by islamonline