What is Qiyaam al-Layl?
Qiyaam’ means ‘standing’ and ‘Qiyaam al-Layl’ means ‘standing in night.’ In the Islamic terminology, both terms refer to, ‘the voluntary night prayer, whose time extends from after Isha prayer until dawn.’ Other common names for Qiyaam al-Layl are, Salaat ul-Layl (the night prayer), Tahajjud (from hajada meaning remained awake at night), Witr (odd-numbered this term is also used to refer to the last one or three Raka’ah of Qiyaam) and Taraweeh (resting).
A widespread misconception is that Tahajjud is a different night prayer than Qiyaam or Taraweeh. It is important to clarify this misunderstanding and to make clear that there is only one nafl night prayer known by different names. Even though the term Taraweeh is more commonly used to describe the night prayer in Ramadan, it is not different from Tahajjud. Thus, the practice of praying Taraweeh in the earlier part of the night and Tahajjud in the later part should be stopped.