Advice by Habib `Umar On Night Prayers and Overcoming the Self

Q: I have a desire to stand in prayer in the night (qiyam al-layl), and I set my alarm clock. However I cannot wake up. How can I overcome my nafs (lower self)?

A: By being persistent and making use of both outward and inward means to help you wake up. Outward means include the use of an alarm clock, or making an agreement with a friend to wake you up, whether locally, or someone that calls you.

Inward means include making Istighfar (seeking forgiveness) just before dawn and just before sunset, and giving life to the time between Maghrib (the sunset prayer) and `Isha (the night prayer) by engaging in acts of goodness.

Before sleeping you should recite:

The tasbih that the Prophet (peace be upon him) taught to his daughter Sayyidah Fatimah al-Zahra` and Sayyiduna `Ali ibn Abu Talib:

Subhan Allah (transcendent is Allah) 33 times,

Alhamdulillah (all praise belongs to Allah) 33 times

and Allahu Akbar (Allah is most great) 34 times.

The last four verses of Surat al-Kahf (18: 107-110):

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ كَانَتْ لَهُمْ جَنَّاتُ الْفِرْدَوْسِ نُزُلاً (107)

خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا لا يَبْغُونَ عَنْهَا حِوَلاً (108) قُل لَّوْ كَانَ الْبَحْرُ مِدَادًا لِّكَلِمَاتِ رَبِّي لَنَفِدَ الْبَحْرُ قَبْلَ أَن تَنفَدَ كَلِمَاتُ رَبِّي وَلَوْ جِئْنَا بِمِثْلِهِ مَدَدًا (109) قُلْ إِنَّمَا أَنَا بَشَرٌ مِّثْلُكُمْ يُوحَى إِلَيَّ أَنَّمَا إِلَهُكُمْ إِلَهٌ وَاحِدٌ فَمَن كَانَ يَرْجُو لِقَاء رَبِّهِ فَلْيَعْمَلْ عَمَلاً صَالِحًا وَلا يُشْرِكْ بِعِبَادَةِ رَبِّهِ أَحَدًا (110)

Q/A answered by Sayyidi Habib Umar in  “Beneficial Lessons” Lesson 3

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