Assalaamu alaykum, Scholar. Since I have not been able to perform the voluntary night prayer for months, I would love to hear stories like the one of Sufyaan Ath-Thawri, which says that he could not pray night prayers because of one sin. So, please, if you can tell me stories of Tabi'een (generation following that of the Companions) or Companions or Imams that struggled to pray voluntary night prayers.
All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger.
First of all, may Allah enable us and you to do acts of goodness and make us and you among those who stand in night prayers.
Your question is very broad and cannot be answered in a short translated fatwa. You may find the answer by searching the web and consulting translated books of biographies, such as the book At-Tahtheeb Al-Mawdhoo’i li Hilyat Al-Awliyaa’ wa li Siyar A’laam An-Nubalaa’ or books about the night prayer, such as the book entitled Ruhbaan Al-Layl.
However, we will mention three relevant statements to you:
1- Abu ‘Uthmaan said, “I was a guest with Abu Hurayrah, and he, his wife, and his servant took turns in praying at night: One would pray and then when he would finish, he would wake the other up.” [Al-Bukhaari]
2- The book Qoot Al-Quloob reads, “‘Utbah al-Ghulaam said, ‘I struggled with the night prayer for twenty years, then I enjoyed it for twenty years.’”
3- Al-Jarh wat-Ta’deel reads, “'Abdur-Rahmaan ibn Mus‘ab al-Ma‘ni said, ‘When Sufyaan Ath-Thawri wakes up in the morning, he extends his legs up to the wall with his head on the floor so that the blood returns to its place after the night prayer.’”
For more benefit, please refer to fatwa 19808.
Allah knows best.
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