Is dawn the best time of the night? When exactly is that time?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

When it is sahar (dawn) time, a redness called fajr al-kadhib (false dawn) occurs in the sky. After that, a whiteness called fajr as-sadiq (true dawn) occurs. The time for the morning prayer starts at this fajr as-sadiq. The time called sahar is just before fajr as-sadiq. That is, the time just before imsak.

Some scholars say it is one-sixth of the night. That is, the time between the evening prayer and imsak time is divided into six and the time of sahar is found. For instance, if the evening prayer is at 17.30 and imsak is at 5.30, the night is 12 hours. One sixth of it is 2 hours. When 2 hours is deduced from 5.30, the result is 3.30. It means sahar time is between 3.30 and 5.30. This period decreases and increases based on seasons. 

Those who wake up at the time of sahar take refuge in Allah with prayer and supplication, shed tears by repenting and asking for forgiveness are appreciated in the Quran.

For, sincerity is experienced more at that time and show off intervenes in worshipping less. Fear of Allah in us is at the peak. We expect more from Allah.

Allah Almighty states the following in a verse:

"Those who show patience, Firmness and self-control; who are true (in word and deed); who worship devoutly; who spend (in the way of Allah); and who pray for forgiveness in the early hours of the morning." (Aal-i Imran, 3/17)

He states the following in the following verses:

"As to the Righteous, they will be in the midst of Gardens and Springs, Taking joy in the things which their Lord gives them, because, before then, they lived a good life. They were in the habit of sleeping but little by night, And in the hour of early dawn, they (were found) praying for Forgiveness." (adh-Dhariyat, 51/15-18)

The Prophet states the following about time of sahar, which interests us closely:

"Allah, Blessed and Exalted is He, descends to the earth's heaven every night when the first third of the night has passed. He says: "I am the Sovereign. Is there any who calls upon Me so that I may respond to him? Is there any who asks of Me that I may give him? Is there any who seeks forgiveness from Me so that I may forgive him?' He continues in that until the illumination of al-Fajr." (Tirmidhi, Salah, 326)

Is it possible not to act in accordance with that call?

On the other hand, the following hadiths and similar ones indicate the blessing of sahur time.

"Eat sahur. Doubtlessly, there is abundance in sahur." (Nasai, Siyam, 18, 19; Ibn Majah, Siyam, 22),

"He who wants to perform fasting should eat something at sahur." (Ahmad b. Hanbal, III / 367)

It is Sunnah to wake up at this time, which is just before the end of time period for night (isha) prayer, to perform tahajjud prayer and to perform witr as the last prayer of the night. The Prophet (pbuh) got up after the two-thirds of the night passed, performed tahajjud prayer and witr prayer after that.

As Badiuzzaman said Nursi observes, tahajjud prayer is like a necessary light and it will not leave believers in darkness in the grave and in the darkness of barzakh. (Nursi, Sözler, Dokuzuncu Söz)

We should be careful about this: We must not risk the morning (fajr) prayer because of getting up to perform prayers at sahar time. If it can risk the morning prayer, one can perform witr prayer after the night prayer before going to bed until he gets used to getting up at sahar time; that is also in accordance with the Sunnah.

We must not risk the morning prayer by any means. Those who cannot get up for tahajjud due to working hard are hoped to receive the blessing of sahar time when they perform the morning prayer.

One of the followers of Junayd Baghdadi saw him in his dream and asked him:

"You had so many good deeds and virtues. My Lord must have granted you so many thawabs."

The great saint gave the following answer:

"The two-rak’ah prayer I performed at the time of sahar is better than all of the others."

The Prophet (pbuh) states the following:

"Two rak'ahs at the time of fajr is better than the world and everything in it."

For the world and everything in it will remain in the world; a prayer of two rak'ahs will go to eternal life and be an intercessor there. 

Yes, time of sahar is such a blessed and valuable time. It is a period of time that multiplies the deeds of worshipping performed in it and elevate them.

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