Concerning the Night Prayer, its Virtues and what Facilitates it
Allah the Elevated stated:
They rise from [their] beds... As-Sajdah: 16
The Prophet - ﷺ - said:
Pray the night prayer! For it is the way of the righteous who came before you, it is a closeness to your Lord, a forgiveness and a preventer of sin. As-Sajdah: 16
And there are many Ahadeeth concerning the virtues of the night prayer.
Al-Hasan al-Basri stated:
I have not encountered anything more difficult than praying in the depth of the night!
He was asked: How come those who pray the night prayer have the most pleasant faces?
He responded: Because they secluded themselves with ar-Rahman and so He placed His light upon them.
The Reasons that Facilitate the Night Prayer
Know that standing for the night prayer is difficult, except for those who were granted success in standing for it with the conditions that facilitate it.
Amongst them are external as well as internal reasons.
The external reasons:
As for the internal facilitators:
Refrain from eating a lot, it was said:
To those who yearn for their Lord, do not eat a lot, for you will drink a lot, and therefore sleep a lot, and consequently lose a lot.
Amongst them is that you do not tire yourself during the day with laborious work.
Amongst them: Do not abandon the Qaylulah (short nap), for indeed it helps one stand for the night prayer.
Amongst them: Avoid sinning! Ath-Thawri stated:
I have been prevented from the standing in the night prayer for a whole month due to a sin I had committed.
Having a clean heart towards the Muslims
a heart free of innovation
and a heart free of the distractions of the worldly life.
Amongst them: An overwhelming fear [of Allah] that continuously takes hold of the heart,
while not having expectations that you will live a long life.
Amongst them: Knowing the virtues of the night prayer.
And the greatest inspiration for the night prayer; is the love of Allah the Elevated.
and having strong faith that if you stand to call upon your Lord, that He is witnessesing and observes it, which would encourage you to stand for a lengthy period of time. Abu Sulayman - رحمه الله - said:
During their nights, the people of the night prayer are more delighted than people who are indulged in their entertainment.