A Mufti said that if one did not sleep after isha, then his night prayers will not be tahajud rather Qayam ul Lail. Could you clarify?

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by


I want to ask you a question regarding tahajud.I read a fatwa on Ask Imam(Hazrat Mufti Ebrahim Desai’s website) where it was written that sleeping after Isha salah is not a condition for the validity of Tahajud,but its preferable to sleep and then rise for tahajud.On the other hand,I read a fatwa of a Mufti in Pakistan,who said that if one did not sleep after isha,then what he prays in the night will not be counted as tahajud,rather it will be Qayam ul Lail. PLease explain this ruling to me as I am confused.

Secondly,I want to ask that do the Barelvis or some other sect hold the view which the Pakistani Mufti stated,as it is possible that this mufti is a barelvi or some other sect.


In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

In principle, any prayer after Eshaa’ is called the Salatul Layl. However, contextually night vigil (Salatul Layl) refers to nafl (voluntary) salah after Eshaa’ called Tahajjud.

According to Hanafiya, it is recommended that one offers tahajjud after a brief rest in the third part of the night. Allamah Ibn Abideen rahimahullah explains that doing so will complete the meaning of tahajjud to perfection.

“and because that is more in conformity with the terminology and because the understanding from the generality of verses and ahadeeth as well, as well as because Tahajjud (linguistically) is the struggle in removing the sleep”1

While the above is correct, and indeed more virtuous, if the Tahajjud is prayed after Eshaa’, but before sleeping, then the sunnah of having prayed tahajjud is attained.

Ibn Nujaym al-Misri rahimahullah writes in Al Bahrur Ra’iq,

“And this entails that this sunnah (of night vigil) is attained by offering voluntary salah after Eshaa’ before sleep.”2

It should be noted that there are multiple angles to such a sunnah. One aspect is to fulfill a sunnah practice, while another aspect entails fulfilling it in the sunnah manner as well. So, although a person may attain one aspect of sunnah by praying tahajjud after Eshaa’, he looses out on immense reward for praying it in the later part of the night. The virtuous rewards in the ahadeeth refer to such tahajjud which is offerred in the sunnah way as well.

With regards to the difference between Salatul Layl and Tahajjud, Allamah Ibn Abideen mentions,

“Yes, Qiyamul Layl (standing in vigil) or Salatul Layl (prayer of the night) is more general than Tahajjud.”

This tells us that Qiyamul Layl has the possibility of having other salah within it, while tahajjud is specific salah for which specific method and rewards are mentioned. An example of Salatul Layl or Qiyamul Layl besides Tahajjud would be Taraweeh salah, or witr salah etc.

We are unaware of any different opinion which barelwi ulama may hold. However, Allama ibn Abideen rahimahullah has mentioned,

“Qadhi Husain from among the Shafi’iyah has mentioned that Tahajjud in terminology is the voluntary prayer offered after sleep.”3

The same opinion has been mentioned in other Shafi’i books as well.4 It is possible that the Mufti from Pakistan may have been referring to the Shafi’i opinion.

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Mufti Faisal bin Abdul Hameed al-Mahmudi
Darul Iftaa wal Irshaad, Montreal

Concurred by,
Mufti Luqman Hansrot

1الدر المختار وحاشية ابن عابدين (رد المحتار) (2/ 24)

ولأنه يكون جاريا على الاصطلاح ولأنه المفهوم من إطلاق الآيات والأحاديث ولأن التهجد إزالة النوم بتكلف

2وهو يفيد أن هذه السنة تحصل بالتنفل بعد صلاة العشاء قبل النوم(البحر الرائق شرح كنز الدقائق ومنحة الخالق وتكملة الطوري (2/ 56))

3وقد ذكر القاضي حسين من الشافعية أنه في الاصطلاح التطوع بعد النوم(الدر المختار وحاشية ابن عابدين (رد المحتار) (2/ 24))

4(قَوْلُهُ عَنْ صَلَاةِ لَيْلٍ) قِيلَ: الْمُرَادُ بِهَا مَا عَدَا الْوِتْرَ وَإِلَّا فَالْوِتْرُ مِنْ صَلَاةِ اللَّيْلِ أَيْضًا اهـ شَيْخُنَا وَتَقْدِيمُ الْوِتْرِ عَلَى التَّهَجُّدِ خِلَافُ الْأَوْلَى وَمِنْ الْمَعْلُومِ أَنَّ التَّهَجُّدَ لَا يَكُونُ إلَّا بَعْدَ نَوْمٍ وَبَعْدَ الْعِشَاءِ فَإِنْ فَعَلَ الْوِتْرَ بَعْدَ نَوْمٍ وَاقْتَصَرَ عَلَيْهِ كَانَ تَهَجُّدًا وَوِتْرًا وَإِنْ كَانَ قَبْلَ نَوْمٍ كَانَ وِتْرًا لَا تَهَجُّدًا فَبَيْنَ الْوِتْرِ وَالتَّهَجُّدِ عُمُومٌ وَخُصُوصٌ مِنْ وَجْهٍ وَيَنْفَرِدُ التَّهَجُّدُ فِيمَا إذَا كَانَ بَعْدَ نَوْمٍ وَلَمْ يَنُوبُهُ الْوَتْرُ (حاشية الجمل على شرح المنهج = فتوحات الوهاب بتوضيح شرح منهج الطلاب (1/ 484))
حاشية البجيرمي على شرح المنهج = التجريد لنفع العبيد (1/ 278))

This answer was collected from, which is a fatwa portal operated by Mufti Faisal al Mahmudi from Canada. 

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