Praying in the Night and Concern for Society: A Glimpse into the Spirituality of the Salaf


by Ibn al-Jawzī | Translated by Suhaib Webb

During the time of al-Hasan al-Bari there was an evil noble who used to sit on his balcony drinking; committing acts of sin and disobedience. Al-Hasan amassed a group of the righteous to face this evil. Thus, whenever the evil noble engaged in the forbidden, al-Hasan and friends would sit under his balcony, recite the Qur’an and engage in Allah’s remembrance with loud voices. Upon hearing them, the evil ruler sent his servant who said to al-Hasan and his students:

Servant: “Why have you come here?”

Al-Hasan: “Tell that man to stop his evil and to refrain from doing it in front of the masses or we will kill him!”

The servant returned to his master explaining all that had transpired. Upon hearing the threat of al-Hasan the man said, “And how will they kill me when I have this and that and I have 1000 soldiers (to protect me)?”

The servant delivered the answer to Al-Hasan.

Al-Hasan responded, “We will kill him with arrows of the night.”

Servant: “What are arrows of the night?”

Al-Hasan:

رفع الأيدي إلى الله عز وجل

“Lifting the hands (in supplication) to Allah.”

When the servant informed the noble of al-Hasan’s words he responded: “We have no power (to challenge) what he has promised.”

After that he ceased committing his evil acts in public.

Taken from Rawāı̔u al-Qasas of Ibn al-Jawzī D. 1201 C.E

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