Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
How do I perform night vigil (tahajjud) prayer?
Walaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,
In the Name of Allah, Most Merciful & Compassionate
Allah Most High says,
And He says,
And the Almighty says,
Voluntary (nafl) prayer at night (qiyam al-layl) is more virtuous than voluntary prayer during the day. ‘Night prayer’ is any prayer performed after Isha time.
However, the full reward mentioned in the Qur’anic verses and Prophetic hadiths refers to worship that was preceded by sleep. This is also understood from the very linguistic meaning of ‘tahajjud’ (night vigil), which is to struggle rid oneself of sleep. [Ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar, quoting Ibn Amir Haajj’s Halba]
Imam Nawawi’s Riyad al-Salihin: 212. Chapter: On the excellence of rising in the night to pray