In a village where life turns around the soil and farms, it is important to milk the cow in the morning. Since there are no supermarkets around, the only way to have breakfast is to milk the cow. The milk itself on its own is one of the finest food on earth. In fact the beloved prophet Swalallahou `Alaihi Wasallam appreciated milk almost on everything. Reported in Abu Dawood that the beloved prophet SAW said: ‘’When Allah fed you some food, then say: O Allah! Put barkah in this food, but still give me better than this. But when Allah Ta`ala feed anyone of you Milk, then say: O Allah! Put barkah in it and still give me more of milk. Because I don’t know anything that may be dually be serve as well as a food and as well as a drink.’’(Abu Dawood):
عَنْ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ مَنْ أَطْعَمَهُ اللَّهُ طَعَامًا فَلْيَقُلْ اللَّهُمَّ بَارِكْ لَنَا فِيهِ وَارْزُقْنَا خَيْرًا مِنْهُ وَمَنْ سَقَاهُ اللَّهُ لَبَنًا فَلْيَقُلْ اللَّهُمَّ بَارِكْ لَنَا فِيهِ وَزِدْنَا مِنْهُ فَإِنِّي لَا أَعْلَمُ مَا يُجْزِئُ مِنْ الطَّعَامِ وَالشَّرَابِ إِلَّا اللَّبَنُ
So the finest food that one may have in the morning is milk. In fact the beloved prophet SAW used to drink milk almost every night. And then he would wash his mouth and say: ‘’(I washed my mouth because) It has some fats in it.’’(Bukhari)
Villagers need milk a lot because that is their main source of calcium and also the only way to produce butter, ghee and cheese. So if you have not milked the cow in the morning, then it is difficult for you to fulfil the needs of that day. Because the cow or the sheep normally gives more milk in the morning.
Likewise is tahajjud to a Mu`min. The beloved prophet Muhammad Swalallahou `Alaihi Wasallam said: ‘’Take the utmost care of performing Tahajjud salaah, even if it is for a brief time of milking the sheep. And (nafils)salaah after Esha are counted as Tahajjud.’’(Tabrani Kabeer)
In fact tahajjud is the most appreciated nafil by Allah Ta`ala. During the last part of the night, Allah Ta`ala`s mercy comes to our sky and He ask us about our needs for him to fulfil. Allah Ta`ala`s nearness and priviledges are distributed by that last part of the night. The beloved prophet SAW said: ‘’The best salaah after farzs salaahs is Tahajjud.’’(Muslim)
It is at tahajud time, that during the last third of the night time, that Ya`coob a.s. asked forgiveness of his sons, that time that Zakarya a.s. asked for a son and finally that time that the beloved prophet SAW asked for guidance and hidayah for Umar r.a. In brief it was always a practice of Anbiya a.s. and pious people. That is why the beloved prophet SAW said:
‘’Be steadfast with perfoming Tahajjud salaah. Because it was the noble practice of the pious before you. It is a means of proximity to your Rabb. And it forgives sin and in fact it is a deterrent against sins.’’(Mustadrak Hakim)
قال : « عليكم بقيام الليل فإنه دأب الصالحين قبلكم ، وهو قربة لكم إلى ربكم ، ومكفر للسيئات ، ومنهاة عن الإثم المستدرك للحاكم
The beloved prophet SAW used to wake up his family members for tahajjud. And times to times, he would go out to see whether his daughter Fatima and Ali was praying, listen to the tahajjud salaah of his fellow companions. And he say: ‘’Do not become like so and so who used to wake up for tahajud, but he now left it.’’(Muslim) To keep steadfastness of tahajud, when we slept over it, then the beloved prophet SAW recommended that we pray them in the morning, before zawaal that day(Ibn Majah).
In fact tahajjud brings nur and brightness in the face during the day(Ibn Majah). It enriches someone in Akhirah and save oneself from being categorised as neglectful during a night.
The beloved prophet SAW used to make du`as crying in tahajud. In fact the longer the tahajud you read, the highest altitude ranks you attain. A minimum of 10 ayahs of qiraat is important to save oneself from ghafils(negligent). In fact there are no fixed surahs for Tahajud. The longest you read is better. Take care of reading in order of Qur-aan. That is for example, do not read 1st Rakaat Wattin and 2nd Alam Nashrah. One may read all the surahs one may know in the prescribed order and then he may stand in the 2nd rakaat reading it all again. Better reat 2 by 2. Most ahadiths bring Tahajud to 8 rakaats. That is why we say that tahajud is 8, not taraweeh. Taraweeh is 20.
All this to tell you that Tahajud is the capital milking that we will use during the day. The beloved prophet SAW invited the qureishs to Islam and prayed tahajjud in supplication for either Umar or Abu Jahl. Allah Ta`ala made the cheese of that milking in favour of Umar Bin Khattab r.a. To plan the gains of your day, important to wake up for tahajud. In fact the ahadiths mentions about opening the knots of shaitaan is when someone wake up for tahajud. So tahajud brings a good mould and a healthy mind set.
So as you are waking up for tahajud during Ramadhaan, do keep the same noble practice to achieve piety and to stay away from sins. For men, it is recommended to slightly raise voice during nafil tahajud, but only to the limit to hear oneself or someone behind you. Not more than that. I recommend tahajjud to all those who cannot get away from any sins. And remember us in your du`as. Duas can be exceptionally be said in Ruku` and Sajdah, but only in Arabic.
And know that according to hanafis, there is no jamaat of Tahajjud or Qiyamullail. As described above and other ahadiths, this salaah was read individually at home or in a corner of masjid. In fact tahajjud is to create a proximity and loneliness to Allah to reach the peak of connection between oneself and Allah Ta`ala. So besides farzs salaahs, eid salaah, taraweeh, sun eclipse salaah and drought salaah, there is no salaah permissible in jamaat. The fact that it is prescribed at an specific time at an specific place nd done daily at specific dates is already an invitation to the salaah. Although times to times 3-4 persons tolerable, but that also not advisable. Because the sunnah settings need that we keep this time exclusively discreet to Allah Ta`ala. (refer to our article The Sunnah Settings on http://islam-qna.org/Articles.asp?QID=447&LN= ) Wallahu A`lam.