Last 10 days of Ramadan in UAE: Special late-night prayers begin; faithful advised to check mosques for timings

These days are believed to be the most blessed: Muslims around the world spend these nights in prayer, seeking Allah's mercy and forgiveness

By Ruqayya AlQaydi and Nasreen Abdulla

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Photo by Shihab
Photo by Shihab

Published: Tue 11 Apr 2023, 4:50 PM

Last updated: Wed 12 Apr 2023, 6:05 AM

With the holy month of Ramadan now down to the last 10 days, special late-night prayers called Qiyam-ul-layl will begin tonight, April 11, according to Dubai's Department of Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities (Iacad).

The exact timing of Qiyam-ul-layl may vary from mosque to mosque, depending on the local community's preference and convenience. However, the usual timing is from midnight until roughly around 3am.

Qiyam-ul-layl, also known as the Night Prayer, is a Sunnah (recommended act of worship) performed by Muslims during the night after the obligatory Isha prayer and before the Fajr prayer. It is an important part of Ramadan's spiritual practices and it’s especially emphasised during the last 10 days of the holy month. These days are believed to be the most blessed and spiritually significant days of the year. Muslims around the world spend these nights in prayer, seeking Allah's mercy and forgiveness.

According to the Islamic tradition, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) used to perform Qiyam-ul-layl regularly, and he encouraged his followers to do the same. The holy Quran also mentions the importance of the night prayer in several verses.

Muslims can perform Qiyam-ul-layl individually or in congregation, and they can recite any part of the Quran during the prayer. The prayer consists of several Rak'ahs, mostly prayed in units of two, and each Rak'ah includes recitation of Quranic verses, bowing, and prostrating.

The night of Laylat-al-Qadr, or the Night of Power — considered to be the Islamic calendar’s holiest occasion — falls during the last 10 nights of Ramadan. During this night, the holy Quran’s first verses were revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Although the exact date of Laylat-al-Qadr is unidentified, it is commonly thought to occur on one of the odd nights of the month.



UAE residents have called on worshippers to be mindful of others during these holy nights. For some, bringing children to the mosque for the Qiyam-ul-layl poses potential disturbances and distractions.

Local resident Shamsa Al Sharyani said that while she's all for keeping the family together during such occasions, mosque-goers should keep others in mind before bringing kids to places of worship at such an hour.

"I always make an effort to attend Qiyam-ul-layl with my family as it brings me a sense of serenity, peace, and humility,” she said. “However, at times, we encounter some disruptions from children who are accompanied by their mothers to the mosque."

A number of mosques in the country put up separate tents for those who wish to bring their children without disturbing others.

Other residents have reminded worshippers to stay home if they are feeling unwell.

British national Abdulla said he feels uncomfortable when people come to the mosque with a cold and cough. “Several times, I see people coming to mosque and coughing and sneezing,” he said. “In the aftermath of Covid, it makes me very uncomfortable. Praying Qiyam-ul-layl is something people can do in the comfort of their homes without exposing the hundreds of people in a mosque to an illness. I just hope people are mindful of such things this year.”


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