Maulana Wahiduddin Khan | The Sunday Guardian | April 23, 2017
The chapter of the Quran entitled “Al-Muzammil” (The Mantled One) commences with these verses: “You who are wrapped up in your mantle, keep vigil all night, save for a few hours: half the night, or a little less or a little more: and with measured tone recite the Quran. We are about to lay a weighty message upon you.
It is in the watches of the night that impressions are strongest and words most certain; in the day-time you are hard-pressed with work. Remember the name of your Lord and dedicate yourself to Him utterly.” (73:1-8)
From these verses it is clear that God requires His servants to be so devoted to divine service that they rise at night in order to perform their duties to the Lord. To forsake one’s sleep and spend the night hours in pursuit of a cause indicates the highest level of dedication; it shows that one has associated oneself utterly with the object of one’s dedication, and will soon be in a position to represent it in the world.
This applies to worldly pursuits also. Almost all the individuals who have reached great heights in any field have been those who were willing to stay awake at nights in order to gain proficiency in it.
The case of Severiano Ballesteros, the Spanish golfer, provides apt illustration of this point. Ballesteros is considered one of the greatest golfers in the world and has won millions of dollars in numer¬ous victories in tournaments on both sides of the Atlantic. There was a time, however, when he was just a poor caddy at Pedereda in Spain.
He once told Frank Keating of the Guardian how he used to get up at night to hit a 100 or so balls “at the moon.” He could not see them – “but I can tell how good and straight I hit them by the feel in hands and the sand.”