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Iḥyaʾ (Arabic:احیاء) or vigil is one of the significant worship traditions among Muslims. According to most of mufassirun (exegetes of the Holy Qur'an), as it appears from Sura al-Muzzammil, keeping vigil to perform night prayers was an obligation upon all Muslims for about one year; and Muslims as well as the Holy Prophet (s) carried out this obligation; However, after nearly a year, and according to the verse number 21 of the same Sura, Allah substituted it for Tahajjud which is obligatory only for the Holy Prophet (s).
During Specific Nights
Vigil as a specific term, denotes keeping vigil at special nights during the year; the most important of which is The Night of Qadr (the nights of 19th, 21st, and 23rd in the Month of Ramadan). Also according to one narration, Imam 'Ali (a) has recommended the vigil during four nights: the first night of Rajab, the night at the middle of the month of Sha'ban, and the nights of Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha.
It has been narrated from the Prophet Muhammad (s) that: whoever keeps vigil on the nights of the two Eids, his heart shall not die on the day all hearts die (on the Day of Judgment). There is a narration indicating a similar reward for the vigil during the eve of Sha'ban 15th as well.
- The material for this article is mainly taken from احیاء in Farsi WikiShia.