Keep Up the Qiyam al-Layl
showing how the night prayer was an integral part of the everday lives of the people of knowledge in the past, whether it was in Ramadan or outside Ramadan, whether they were on a journey or at home.
Chapter: How the People of Hadith Would Pray at Night With Concentration and Humility
A man spent the night at the home of Ahmad, and he placed some water next to his bed. The man said: “I did not get up to pray at night or use the water. So, when I awoke, he said to me: “Why didn’t you use the water?” I became embarrassed and didn’t answer, and he said: “Subhan Allah! Subhan Allah! I have never heard of a student of Hadith who does not pray at night.””
The same incident occurred with another man, and he said to Ahmad: “I did not pray because I am traveling.” So, Ahmad said to him: “You should pray at night even if you are traveling! Masruq performed Hajj and would not sleep except while he was prostrating.”
Taqi ad-Din (Ibn Taymiyyah) said: “This shows that it is disliked for a person concerned with knowledge to not pray at night, even if he is on a journey.”
Bishr bin al-Harith said: “A person of Hadith should consider it to be like money, marking five out of every two hundred.”
Sufyan said: “Do not learn what you don’t know until you act upon what you already know.”
It was authentically reported from al-Hasan that he said: “A man would hear a piece of knowledge, and he would learn it and act upon it, and this would be more beloved to him than the world and what is in it.
Abu Ja’far Ahmad bin Badil said: “I saw us when we were writing down the Hadith, and I could not hear anything except the sound of a pen or the sound of someone weeping (because of his wish to act upon the knowledge he was writing).”
‘Abdullah bin Ahmad said: “My father would pray ‘Isha’, take a light sleep, then get up to pray and supplicate until morning.”
Ibrahim bin Shimas said: “I knew Ahmad bin Hambal as a young child, and he would stay up all night praying.”
[‘al-Adab ash-Shar’iyyah’; 1/169]