How To Perform Tahajjud Prayer

By Last Updated: May 2, 2024Views: 2115

After all the obligatory prayers (fard salah), the most important prayer among voluntary prayers is tahajjud prayer or tahajjud salah. Due to its timing, its is also known as night prayers or “qiam-ul-lail”. It is a non-mandatory prayer (nafl salah) for muslim ummah, offered to praise Allah and to ask for Allah’s mercy. Waking up at night to offer tahajjud is a most virtuous act of worship.

Time to pray tahajjud starts withe the time of isha prayer and remain valid till the dawn (optional pre dawn prayer). However, it is preferred to perform tahajjud prayer in last third part of the night. Tahajjud prayers are offered in last third of the night to celebrate Allah’s infinite greatness in solitude. In these moments thanking Allah for his blessings and mercy is considered as the best act of worship for a muslim, as Allah descends to last heaven during last third of the night.

Offering tahajjud prayer is an opportunity to find solace and guidance and to seek refuge from wordly busyness in the peaceful and calm moments of night. Offering tahajjud prayer is a fundamental muslim skill that every muslim should practice in their everyday life to follow the sunnah of Holy Prophet pbuh and to receive blessings of Allah (S.W.T) to find peace and harmony in their life.

Tahajjud prayer is usually offered in isolation, but it can also be performed in congregation. Muslim families are encouraged to offer tahajjd prayer together so they can help to wake up each other to pray tahajjud prayers and can develop tahajjud habits. Parents should encourage their children to offer tahajjud and teach them about rewards available for offering tahajjud, so they can grow up with the habit of offering tahajjud.

Importance of Tahajjud

After obligatory prayers, tahajjud prayer is the most important prayer as Allah (SWT) said in Quran[1]:

“وَمِنَ ٱلَّيْلِ فَتَهَجَّدْ بِهِۦ نَافِلَةًۭ لَّكَ عَسَىٰٓ أَن يَبْعَثَكَ رَبُّكَ مَقَامًۭا مَّحْمُودًۭا “

“And rise from sleep during the night as well- this is an additional Prayer for you. Possibly your Lord will raise you to an honoured position.”

According to hazrat Abu Huraira, Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said[2]:

عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ “‏ أَفْضَلُ الصِّيَامِ بَعْدَ شَهْرِ رَمَضَانَ شَهْرُ اللَّهِ الْمُحَرَّمُ وَأَفْضَلُ الصَّلاَةِ بَعْدَ الْفَرِيضَةِ صَلاَةُ اللَّيْلِ

“The most virtuous fasting after the month of Ramadan is that of Allah’s month of Al-Muharram. And the most virtuous Salat after the obligatory is the night prayer.”

There are various hadith indicating the importance of tahajjud (night prayer). Prophet (SAW) never missed to perform the tahajjud prayer. Such acts of worship like performing tahajjud prayer can be found in everyday life of Prophet Muhammad and his companions.

As an optional prayer no one is compelled to offer tahajjud prayer. However, every muslim should make tahajjud salah, a part of their everyday life. If you are unable to pray tahajjud everyday, you should offer it whenever you can. You can develop a habit of offering tahajjud prayer by offering two, four, or six rakats , then increase the number of rakats gradually. Best time to start praying tahajjud regularly is month of ramadan, when you wake up for sehri, offer tahajjud prayer with full devotion first. Offering tahajjud in ramadan is most convenient for every one as you have to wake up for fasting, it will develop a habit of offering tahajjud prayer.

Difference Between Tahajjud And Tarawih

Tahajjud and tarawih are two different prayers, Tarawih is only offered during the month of ramadan, Other then ramadan, it is not allowed to offer tarawih. But, for tahajjud, every muslim can offer tahajjud every night. It is important to note that, sleeping before tahajjud prayer is not mandatory. Regardless of either you wake up from a sleep or you didn’t slept for a single moment, you can offer tahajjud prayer.

Benefits Of Night prayer

  • By performing these acts of worship (tahajjud prayer) Allah grant numerous rewards for muslims in this world and in afterlife.
  • Performing tahajjud prayer is a way of direct communication with Allah taala without any distractions.
  • Performing tahajjud prayer grant forgiveness of sins.
  • Tahajjud practices helps to strengthen will power.
  • It helps in spiritual awakening.
  • Helps in reducing stress and anxiety, it provides peace and mindfulness.
  • Offering tahajjud prayer guide toward right path.
  • Performing tahajjud prayer helps in forming closer bond with Allah taala.
  • Offering tahajjud prayer provide protection from diseases.

Rakat For Tahajjud

People also ask about how many rakats are there in Tahajjud? To perform the tahajjud prayer, one can offer up-to Thirteen rakats, but according to hazrat Ayesha, Prophet Muhammad frequently prayed 11 rakat (8 rakat of tahjjud salah followed by 3 rakat witr prayer) as narrated in sahih bukhari[3]:

أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم كَانَ يُصَلِّي إِحْدَى عَشْرَةَ رَكْعَةً، كَانَتْ تِلْكَ صَلاَتَهُ ـ تَعْنِي بِاللَّيْلِ ـ فَيَسْجُدُ السَّجْدَةَ مِنْ ذَلِكَ قَدْرَ مَا يَقْرَأُ أَحَدُكُمْ خَمْسِينَ آيَةً قَبْلَ أَنْ يَرْفَعَ رَأْسَهُ، وَيَرْكَعُ رَكْعَتَيْنِ قَبْلَ صَلاَةِ الْفَجْرِ، ثُمَّ يَضْطَجِعُ عَلَى شِقِّهِ الأَيْمَنِ حَتَّى يَأْتِيَهُ الْمُؤَذِّنُ لِلصَّلاَةِ‏.‏

“Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) used to pray eleven rak`at at night and that was his night prayer and each of his prostrations lasted for a period enough for one of you to recite fifty verses before Prophet (ﷺ) raised his head. He also used to pray two rak`at (Sunnah) before the (compulsory) Fajr prayer and then lie down on his right side till the Mu’adh-dhin came to him for the prayer.”

Pray Tahajjud Salah

According to Hazrat Abdullah bin Abbas[4], when Prophet Muhammad (SAW) wake up for tahajjud (night prayer), first he perform ablution, then recite last ruku of surah al imran and then start praying tahajjud.

Preparation To Perform The Tahajjud Prayer

To perform the proper tahajjud prayer you have to meet the following mandatory conditions. These are not the part of prayer, but you have to meet these conditions to offer non-obligatory or obligatory prayers correctly.

Time For Tahajjud Prayers

Check the validity of time for tahajjud prayer. Time for tahajjud salah begins with the isha prayer time and remain till dawn (fajr prayer). But, Preferred time for tahajjud prayer is last third part of night. Note that it is not mandatory to sleep before tahajjud.

‏ “‏ يَنْزِلُ رَبُّنَا تَبَارَكَ وَتَعَالَى كُلَّ لَيْلَةٍ إِلَى السَّمَاءِ الدُّنْيَا حِينَ يَبْقَى ثُلُثُ اللَّيْلِ الآخِرُ يَقُولُ مَنْ يَدْعُونِي فَأَسْتَجِيبَ لَهُ مَنْ يَسْأَلُنِي فَأُعْطِيَهُ مَنْ يَسْتَغْفِرُنِي فَأَغْفِرَ لَهُ ‏”‏‏.

Prophet (ﷺ) (p.b.u.h) said,

“Our Lord, the Blessed, the Superior, comes every night down on the lowest Heaven to us when the last third of the night remains, saying: “Is there anyone to invoke Me, so that I may respond to invocation? Is there anyone to ask Me, so that I may grant him his request? Is there anyone seeking My forgiveness, so that I may forgive him?”

Time of Tahajjud prayer

Perform Wudu

Before performing tahajjud prayer, you need to make ablution/wudu (wudu is a ritual ablution muslims use to cleanse before offering a prayer)as it is mandatory to be clean according to islamic methods before any prayer. If you are not clean or you have not make yourself clean according to islamic methods, your prayer will be invalid.

Perform wudu

Wear Clean (paak) Clothes

Change night clothes and wear proper clothes before starting tahajjud prayer. Clothes must be clean (paak) before performing any prayer. There is no specific dressinf for tahajjud prayers you can offer tahajjud prayer in any normal prayer clothes. For female, clothes must cover whole body accept hands, feet and face and for male it is mandatory to cover body minimum from belly button to knees. this is called covering the sattr.


Find Clean (paak) Place

Praying place must be clean (paak) to perform salah properly. So chose a place which is clean (paak) and suitable for praying tahajjud. Find a clean (paak) place to perform salah.


Recite Last Ruku of Surah Al-Imran and Dua

Hazrat Muhammad (S.A.W) used to recite last pericope of Surah Al-Imran before offering tahajjud prayer.After that recite masnoon tahajjud prayer dua of Prophet Muhmmad(S.A.W) َللّٰهُمَّ اجْعَلْ فِیْ قَلْبِیْ نُوْْرًا وَّفِیْ بَصَرِیْ نُوْرًا وَّفِیْ سَمْعِیْ نُوْرًا وَّعَنْ یَّمِیْنِیْ نُوْرًا وَّعَنْ یَّسَارِیْ نُوْرًا وَّفَوْقِیْ نُوْرًا وَّتَحْتِیْ نُوْرًا وَّاَمَامِیْ نُوْرًا وَّخَلْفِیْ نُوْرًا وَّاجْعَلْ لِّیْ نُوْرًا وَّفِیْ لِسَانِیْ نُوْرًا وَّعَصَبِیْ نُوْرًا وَّلَحْمِیْ نُوْرًا وَّدَمِیْ نُوْرًا وَّشَعْرِیْ نُوْرًا وَّبَشَرِیْ نُوْرًا وَّاجْعَلْ فِیْ نَفْسِیْ نُوْرًا وَّاَعْظِمْ لِیْ نُوْرًا، اللّٰهُمَّ اَعْطِنِیْ نُوْرًا

Dua for tahajjud

Steps to Perform 2 Tahajjud Rakats

After preparation, first follow the following steps to perform two rakats of tahajjud prayer (night prayer).

Make Niyyah

Stand straight on the prayer mat facing holy kabah (qibla) with complete devotion, and make niyyah of tahajjud salah by saying, ”I intend to pray two rakats of tahajjud prayer, facing towards the Holy Kaaba solely for Allah Almighty”.

Saying words of niyyah is not compulsory. Niyyah refers to intention by heart and by words. According to ahnaaf saying words of niyyah is a preferred way of niyyah for getting more spirituality.

Make Niyyat for salah


After making niyyat, raise your hands to your ear (either touching ear or indicating to touch ears) in such a way your palms faces the kaaba and say takbeer-e-tahreem, Allahu akbar الله أكبر to enter in the state of prayer. Takbeer-e-tahreem is obligatory (fard) action to enter in the state of prayer in Islam.



Qiyam refers to standing humbly and respectfully before Allah. Place your left hand almost on your belly button and right hand on left forearm in such a way that your thumb and little finger is pointing inward.

In the state of qiyam, First recite sana, سُبْـحانَكَ اللّهُـمَّ وَبِحَمْـدِكَ وَتَبارَكَ اسْمُـكَ وَتَعـالى جَـدُّكَ وَلا إِلهَ غَيْرُك then tauz,أعوذ بالله من الشيطان الرجيم and then tasmia,بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم and then recite complete surah al Fatiha, الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ (Al-hamdu lillahi rabbil-‘alamin) الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ (Ar-Rahmanir-Rahim) مَلِكِ يَوْمِ الدِّينِ (Maliki yawmid-din) إِيَّاكَ نَعْبُدُ وَإِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِينُ (Iyyaka na’budu wa iyyaka nastain) إِهْدِنَا الصِّرَاطَ الْمُسْتَقِيمَ (Ihdinas-siratal-mustaqim) صِرَاطَ الَّذِينَ أَنْعَمْتَ عَلَيْهِمْ غَيْرِ الْمَغْضُوبِ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا الضَّالِّينَ (Siratal-ladhina an’amta ‘alayhim ghairil-maghdhoobi ‘alayhim wala d-dallin).

Qirat refers to reciting verses from Holy Quran. You can recite a complete surah or minimum any three verses from Holy Quran.For learning we usually recite surah Al-ikhlaas (الْإِخْلَاص). قُلْ هُوَ اللَّهُ أَحَدٌ (Qul hu Allahu Ahad) اللَّهُ الصَّمَدُ (Allahu samad) لَمْ يَلِدْ وَلَمْ يُولَدْ (Lum yalid wa lum yulad) وَلَمْ يَكُن لَّهُ كُفُوًا أَحَدٌ (Wa lum yakul lahu kufuwan ahad).


Perform Ruku

After reciting additional surah, Bend down saying Allahu akbar الله أكبر in such a way that your hands are placed on your knees, fingers are spreading, making right angle from your head to hips and hips to heels. Place your gaze between your feet. Make sure that your elbows do not touch your body.

According to Hanfi islamic scholars, raising your hands to ears while saying takbeer to enter in ruku is not preferred, so we recommend you to take advise from local imam.

Keep this position humbly and recite the tasbeeh سُبْحَانَ رَبِّيَ الْعَظِيمِ minimum three times. For tahajjud you must recite this tasbeeh more then three times for longer ruku.

Perform Ruku

Standing in Qooma

Qooma is a standing position between ruku and sajdah. Rise straight from ruku saying سمع الله لمن حمده and recite رَبَّنـا ولَكَ الحَمْـدُ upon reaching the standing position. Stand straight for a while after ruku in such a way that your hands are down and in free position. Say takbeer Allahu akbar الله أكبر and go for first sajdah after standing for a while.


Perform First Sajdah

For sajdah sit down on your knees while your feet remains on the ground and thumbs of feet directing towards qibla. Place your forehead, nose and hands on the ground. Keep finger of your hands close with straight palms and your gaze straight on place, in between your hands.

Men make sure that their elbows do not touch the ground and their back must be inclined. Women elbows must touch the ground while their back remain straight and close to ground. Recite tasbeeh سُبْحَانَ رَبِّيَ الأَعْلَى minimum three times and maximum to your desired times. After reciting tasbeeh for desired time, say takbeer Allahu akbar الله أكبر and sit down with straight back.


Sitting in Jalsa

Jalsa refers to the sitting position between two sajood. After first sajdah, sit in resting position for a while such that your back is straight. After sitting a while say Allahu akbar الله أكبر and go for second sajdah.

Sitting in Jalsa

Perform 2nd Sajdah

Perform second sajdah just like the first one. You have to stand up in qiyam for 2nd rakat saying takbeer Allahu akbar الله أكبر after completing 2nd sajdah.


2nd Rakat

2nd rakat starts from qiyam after rising from 2nd sajdah. In 2nd rakat, start Qiyam from reciting surah-al-Fatiha along with other surah and follow all the steps according to first rakat. After 2nd sajdah sit in tashhud saying takbeer Allahu akbar الله أكبر.


Sit in Tashhud (At-Tahiyaat)

In tashhud, sit in such a way that you are sitting on your knees with straight back while your hands placed on your thighs with finger pointing to qibla. Position of feet depends upon your fiqah, so guidance from imam is recommended. Recite at-tahiyaat ٱلتَّحِيَّاتُ لِلَّٰهِ وَٱلصَّلَوَاتُ وَٱلطَّيِّبَاتُ، ٱلسَّلَامُ عَلَيْكَ أَيُّهَا ٱلنَّبِيُّ وَرَحْمَةُ ٱللَّٰهِ وَبَرَكَاتُهُ، ٱلسَّلَامُ عَلَيْنَا وَعَلَىٰ عِبَادِ ٱللَّٰهِ ٱلصَّالِحِينَ، أَشْهَدُ أَنْ لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا ٱللَّٰهُ، وَأَشْهَدُ أَنَّ مُحَمَّدًا عَبْدُهُ وَرَسُولُهُ

When you reach on أَشْهَدُ أَنْ لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا ٱللَّٰهُ، وَأَشْهَدُ أَنَّ مُحَمَّدًا عَبْدُهُ وَرَسُولُهُ , raise index finger of your right hand in such a way that your palm closed in the shape of lose fist touching the thigh and index finger points as up as possible before placing back on your thumb making a circular shape.

After At-Thiyat recite darood ibrahimi اللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ عَلَى مُحَمَّدٍ وَعَلَى آلِ مُحَمَّدٍ كَمَا صَلَّيْتَ عَلَى إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَعَلَى آلِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ إِنَّكَ حَمِيدٌ مَجِيدٌ اللَّهُمَّ بَارِكْ عَلَى مُحَمَّدٍ، وَعَلَى آلِ مُحَمَّدٍ كَمَا بَارَكْتَ عَلَى إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَعَلَى آلِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ إِنَّكَ حَمِيدٌ مَجِيدٌ Followed by a Supplication.

Most commonly used supplication is, you can recite any one of the following supplications,

رَبَّنَا آتِنَا فِي الدُّنْيَا حَسَنَةً وَّفِي الْآخِرَةِ حَسَنَةً وَّقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ

‘But among them is he who says, “Our Lord, give us in this world [that which is] good and in the Hereafter [that which is] good and protect us from the punishment of the Fire.”

You can recite other supplications after darood ibrahimi including,

رَبِّ اجْعَلْنِي مُقِيمَ الصَّلَاةِ وَمِنْ ذُرِّيَّتِي ۚ رَبَّنَا وَتَقَبَّلْ دُعَاءِ رَبَّنَا اغْفِرْ لِي وَلِوَالِدَيَّ وَلِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ يَوْمَ يَقُومُ الْحِسَابُ

“My Lord, make me an establisher of prayer, and [many] from my descendants. Our Lord, and accept my supplication. Our Lord, forgive me and my parents and the believers the Day the account is established.”

اَللَّهُـمَّ إِنيِّ أَعوُذُ بِكَ مِنْ عَذاَبِ الْقَبْرِ ، وَمِنْ عَذاَبِ جَهَنَّمَ وَمِنْ فِتْـنَةِ الْمَحْياَ وَالْمَماَتِ وَمِنْ شَرِّ فِتْـنَةِ الْمَسيِحِ الدَّجاَّلِ

Oh Allah I seek refuge in you,from affliction of the torment of the grave ,from the affliction of the torment of the Hellfire from the trial of life and death and from the evil of affliction of Al Maseeh ad Dajjal.

اللهم إني ظلمت نفسي ظلمًا كثيرًا، ولا يغفر الذنوب إلا أنت، فاغفر لي مغفرة من عندك، وارحمني، إنك أنت الغفور الرحيم‏”‏ ‏(‏‏(‏متفق عليه‏)‏‏)‏‏.‏ وفي رواية‏:‏ ‏”‏وفي بيتي‏”‏ وروي‏:‏ ‏”‏ظلمًا كثيرًا‏”‏ وروي ‏”‏كبيرًا‏”‏ بالثاء المثلثة وبالباء الموحدة، فينبغي أن يجمع بينهما، فقال‏:‏ كثيرًا كبيرًا‏.‏

O Allah! I have considerably wronged myself. There is none to forgive the sins but You. So grant me pardon and have mercy on me. You are the Most Forgiving, the Most Compassionate).

Sit in Tashhud (At-Tahiyaat)


After reciting supplication, its time to complete this voluntary prayer with tasleem and to exit from worship state. First turn your face towards right shoulder and recite السَّلاَمُ عَلَيْكُمْ وَرَحْمَةُ اللهِ وَبَرَكَاتُهُ and then turn your face towards left shoulder and recite السَّلاَمُ عَلَيْكُمْ وَرَحْمَةُ اللهِ وَبَرَكَاتُهُ

After tasleem you can repeat rakats up to 11 times including 3 rakat witr prayer. you can also offer ten nafl rakat of tahajjud prayers and three rakat of witr to offer thirteen rakats for tahajjud. For your conformation you can consult a scholar or islamic scripture. To gain the better understanding and knowledge about thajjud read scriptural passages from islamic books.


Dua For Tahajjud Prayer

Making dua (supplication) is a major part of a prayer, it contain heartfelt conversation of man with Allah (SWT). In a dua we can express whatever is reserved in our heart in front of Allah taala. When someone makes a dua, Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW) advised that,

إِذَا دَعَا أَحَدُكُمْ فَلْيَعْزِمْ فِي الدُّعَاءِ، وَلاَ يَقُلِ‏:‏ اللَّهُمَّ إِنْ شِئْتَ فَأَعْطِنِي، فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ لاَ مُسْتَكْرِهَ لَهُ‏.‏

“When one of you makes a dua, let him be firm in his asking, and not say, ‘O Allah, if You will, give me such and such.’ For indeed, there is no compelling Allah to do anything.”

There are some narrations that Holy Prophet pbuh make a dua after tahajjud prayer for everyone to learn and benefit from this dua, narrated by Ibn Abbas,[5](sahih al bukhari book 80 hadith 14)

‏ “‏ اللَّهُمَّ لَكَ الْحَمْدُ، أَنْتَ نُورُ السَّمَوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ وَمَنْ فِيهِنَّ، وَلَكَ الْحَمْدُ أَنْتَ قَيِّمُ السَّمَوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ وَمَنْ فِيهِنَّ، وَلَكَ الْحَمْدُ، أَنْتَ الْحَقُّ وَوَعْدُكَ حَقٌّ، وَقَوْلُكَ حَقٌّ، وَلِقَاؤُكَ حَقٌّ، وَالْجَنَّةُ حَقٌّ، وَالنَّارُ حَقٌّ، وَالسَّاعَةُ حَقٌّ، وَالنَّبِيُّونَ حَقٌّ، وَمُحَمَّدٌ حَقٌّ، اللَّهُمَّ لَكَ أَسْلَمْتُ وَعَلَيْكَ تَوَكَّلْتُ وَبِكَ آمَنْتُ، وَإِلَيْكَ أَنَبْتُ، وَبِكَ خَاصَمْتُ، وَإِلَيْكَ حَاكَمْتُ، فَاغْفِرْ لِي مَا قَدَّمْتُ وَمَا أَخَّرْتُ، وَمَا أَسْرَرْتُ، وَمَا أَعْلَنْتُ، أَنْتَ الْمُقَدِّمُ وَأَنْتَ الْمُؤَخِّرُ لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ أَنْتَ ـ أَوْ ـ لاَ إِلَهَ غَيْرُكَ ‏”‏‏.‏

“O Allah, to You, is all praise. You are the enforcer of the heavens and the earth and all that is in them. Praise be to You. You are the King of the heavens and the earth.  Glory be to You, the radiant light of Heaven and earth.

Praise be to You, You are true, Your promise is true, Your meeting is true, Your word is real, Heaven is real, Hell is real, the prophets are true, Prophet Muhammad SAW is real, and the Day of Judgment is real.

O Allah, to You I surrender, to You I return, to You I miss, and to You I judge. Forgive me for my mistakes and the previous ones, both what I have hidden and what I have stated.

You are the first God and the last God. There is no God but You. There is no power and strength except with (the power of) Allah”.


  1. The Quran, Surah Bani Israel, Para 15, Ayat 79.
  2. Tirmidi, Hadith number 438, Chapter qiam-ul-lail, Sahih muslim, chapter the book of fasting, hadith number 261.
  3. Sahih Al Bukhari, Chapter Kitab Al-witr, hadith number 5.
  4. Summary of Different Hadiths.
  5. Sahih Al Bukhari, Book 80, Hadith number 14.

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