A while ago I made this post asking for volunteers for a project and I got a few volunteers and a few questions. I am now opening this up to others so it will answer their questions and they can share it with others. It was meant for DuaPower.com and will be up there soon, but I wanted to give it due attention here on my blog.
It’s a self-development project you do on your own. It’s based on a hadith in Jami’ at-Tirmidhi in which Ali radiallahu anhu complains to the Prophet salallahu alayhi wasalam about the weakness of his memory in memorizing and learning Quran and hadith. The Prophet salallahu alayhi wasalam, tells him to perform this tahajjud prayer once a week, details how to perform it and teaches the dua to make after completing it. He teaches us to do it for 3 weeks, or 5 or 7 consecutively on Thursday nights. Ali radiallahu returns after 5 or 7 weeks saying now it is as if he can see the Quran in front of him when he recites from memory.
I have included the full narration of the hadith along with it’s reference, and another document which condenses the full hadith so that it helps one fulfill the injunctions the Prophet salallahu alayhi wasalam made in the hadith. Follow it meticulously and make sure you read through it well in advance before you actually perform the prayer.
Depending on your madhab, one can recite the Quran from a book while praying or have it on a chair by your place of prayer and read it from there. Some Hanafis make use of Quran posters from which they read from in their Nafl prayers.
The virtue of this hadith are immense. Firstly, the Quran testifies to the effectiveness of tahajjud in Surah al-Muzzammil: Verily, the rising by night (for Tahajjud prayer) is very hard and most potent and good for governing (the soul), and most suitable for (understanding) the Word (of Allah).
Secondly, the dua makes mention of certain Names of Allah azza wa ja’al that are also mentioned in certain duas from the Sunnah for which the Prophet salallahu alayhi wasalam said, that the Greatest Name of Allah, is contained within those duas. And the virtue of the Greatest Name of Allah is that one’s prayers are indeed answered, so this dua more than likely contains the Greatest Name of Allah. (DuaPower.com will also be releasing those duas containing the Greatest Name of Allah from the authentic hadith).
Thirdly, the Surahs that the Prophet salallahu alayhi wasalam tells us to recite in this tahajjud prayer, have special virtues of their own: Surah Ya Sin which is from the “heart of the Quran,” Surah as-Sajdah which will intercede for whoever persists in reciting it and Surah adh-Dukhaan for which 70,000 angels pray for forgiveness for it’s reciter.
Lastly, the dua that the Prophet salallahu alayhi wasalam teaches makes mention of reducing one’s sins and we know from the story of Imam ash-Shafi’i rahimullah and his teacher Waki rahimullah that reducing sins is one of the ways to improve one’s memory and knowledge of the deen. It is therefore evident that, this hadith in bringing together the more august elements of our religion’s spirituality, carries with it special and rare barakah.
I have performed this prayer to 7 weeks completion now and have truly benefited. Many times, it truly does feel like the Quran is there before my eyes and it’s memory is more lasting and durable to me now, more than it was ever before. My love of the Book of Allah has also grown and the only place I prefer to be in is in front of the Quran. For those of you who struggle with addiction to music, the love of the Quran will push you far away from listening to anything else but the remembrance of Allah.
You can download the documents for this project below. Download both and print both of them off. It’s called “A Memory like Ali.”
I should mention that this specific project, and the lineage of this hadith is common in Sufi tariahs. The difference between me sharing this here and them, is that these tariqahs have a sanad- a chain of authority, with this hadith that spans hundreds of years, of people who learned this from their teachers who learned it from their teachers all the way back to the Ali and the Prophet salallahu alayhi wasalam with this hadith. This is important because they knew what the experience of this was supposed to be like, how to know if you did it right or wrong, etc. Finding success with this project is guaranteed if one has the chain of authority- and I do not have a chain of authority. So although, I have benefited greatly from this, I will try and find someone to connect me with the chain of authority so that I receive the full effects of the barakah of this hadith, In sha Allah.
I pray that you will benefit as I have and will raise your rank in Jannah. My honor lies in honoring the Quran.
Subhana kallahumma wa bihamdika ash-haduana la illaha illa anta astaghfiruka wa atubu ilayk, Ameen.