Allah’s Messenger (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) talked about Friday and said:
‘There is an hour on Friday and if a Muslim gets it while offering Salat (prayer) and asks something from Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala), then Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) will definitely meet his demand.’
And he (the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) pointed out the shortness of that particular time with his hands. [Sahih al-Bukhari]
Some have said that this hour is from the time the Imam (prayer’s leader) enters the mosque on Friday’s prayer until the prayer is over (ie between the two khutbahs), whereas others have said that it is the last hour of the day (ie after the Asr prayer until the Maghrib prayer).
(Note: when we say an hour here we do not mean the hour everyone knows (60 minutes) but an unspecified period of time because the time counters which we use today came after the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) had died.
Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, رحمه الله تعالى, once was traveling and needed to stay somewhere overnight. When he went to the masjid, the guard (not recognizing Imam Ahmad) denied him entrance. Imam Ahmad tried numerous times, but the guard did not accept his requests. Frustrated, Imam Ahmed resolved to spend the night in the masjid yard. The guard became furious and dragged him away, despite the old age and frailty of Imam Ahmad.
A baker, whose shop was nearby, watched this scene and took pity on the Imam. He invited the Imam to stay with him for the night. While there, Imam Ahmad noticed that the baker continuously made istighfar (asking for Allah’s forgiveness) while working, and in the morning, the Imam eagerly asked his host about the latter’s continual seeking of forgiveness. The baker said it had become like second nature, so Imam Ahmed asked whether the man had experienced any reward from this practice.
The baker answered, ‘By Allah! No du’aa have I made except that it was answered – But one.’
‘And what is that duaa?’ asked Imam Ahmed.
The baker replied,
‘To be able to see the famed Imam Ahmed ibn Hanbal!’
Imam Ahmed interjected, ‘I am Ahmed ibn Hanbal!’ He then went on to add: By Allah! I was dragged to your place so that you can have your duaa/wish come true!
(Summarized from Al Jumuah magazine, vol 19, issue 7.)
The women of the salaf used to strive to pray qiyaam al-layl with energy and determination. Where are the women of our own age whenit comes to such great deeds?
‘Urwah ibn al-Zubayr said: “I came to ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) one day to greet her, and I found her praying and reciting the aayah (interpretation of the meaning), ‘But Allaah has been gracious to us, and has saved us from the torment of the Fire’ [al-Toor 52:27], repeating it and weeping. I waited for her, but I got bored of waiting, so I went to the market for some things I needed, then I came back to ‘Aa’ishah, and she was still praying and reciting this aayah and weeping.”