At what time of the night is it more appropriate to perform tahajjud prayer?

The Details of the Question

Is it better to perform tahajjud prayer one hour before imsak time or at about 3 or 4 o’clock?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

The prayer that is performed after going to bed following the night prayer and by getting up just before or after midnight or when one-third of the night is left is called tahajjud prayer.

It is unanimously agreed that this prayer is nafilah for the ummah. There are different views based on different interpretations whether it is fard for the Prophet (pbuh) or not.

The most appropriate time for tahajjud prayer changes based on the state and conditions of a person:

1. The best one is to go to bed after performing the night (isha) prayer and to get up after half of the night passes to perform tahajjud prayer.

2. If a person sleeps before performing the night prayer due to an excuse, he should get up before half of the night passes and perform the night prayer. If he will not be able to get up again, he can perform tahajjud prayer following the night prayer.

3. When he gets up to perform the night prayer if half of the night has passed, he can perform the night prayer (though it is makruh to perform night prayer at that time according to some fiqh scholars) followed by tahajjud prayer.   

4. “If a person who regularly performs tahajjud prayer fears that he might not be able to get up at night for tahajjud, he can perform prayer with the intention of tahajjud after the night prayer” according to some scholars.

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