Many of us desire to be among those who pray Qiyam al-Layl (or Tahajjud), but find it difficult to wake up in the middle of the night for it. What can we do to make this easier?
Option 1: Late Sleepers. If you happen to be one of those late-night people–whether you’re up late studying for exams, chilling, or working on a project–why not make wudoo and pray two rakahs before you sleep? It’s not the sunnah way, and it doesn’t have to be long, but it starts you out with a regular habit, at least.
Option 2: Early Risers and Fasters. The other way is to wake up early. Now, we know the best time to pray is in the last third of the night–which gets to be pretty reasonable around winter time in North America. But how early should you wake up?
The answer is, whatever works for you. If you pray near the start of Fajr, then you can easily make it by trimming a mere 30 minutes or so from your sleep to rise early. Similarly, if you have a regular habit of fasting (such as Mondays and Thursdays, the White days, or in Ramadan) and you’re up for suhoor, wake up early or shorten your suhoor by a short period of time and pray qiyam instead.
And of course, the best way is to follow the sunnah of the Prophet (صلي الله عليه وسلم) and the way he prayed qiyam. You can find an amazing lecture on how to pray Qiyam, every single day of your life, here.
May Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) make us among those who sincerely strive for and achieve this great virtue through His mercy, ameen!