Why the Nighttime?

Bismillah (in the name of Allah)…

How I Met your Mother fans might recall a season 1 episode in which Ted Mosby (the protagonist) tells his kids what his mom used to tell him, that “nothing good happens after 2 AM.” Though I’ve oft been compared to Ted by my college roommates (henceforth known by their proper name – the stupid trust) and I even played him in a UMD Pakistani Students Association video, I’m going to have to disagree with you Ted, ol’ boy. Sure people generally do stupider things late at night, but if my last 2 semesters of all-nighters have taught me anything – it’s that the nighttime is the right time.

There’s just something special about the very early morning. As my fellow procrastinators know, it’s capable of everything from the most dire sense of urgency to the highest clarity of thought, but there is also an unparalleled peace to post-2 AM. Maybe it’s knowing that everyone else is asleep, or maybe it’s something else… It is narrated in a hadith qudsi (sacred hadith – a narration of Prophet Muhammad [pbuh] that is said to be the direct word of God):

On the authority of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him), who said that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:

“Our Lord (glorified and exalted be He) descends each night to the earth’s sky when there remains the final third of the night, and He says: ‘Who is saying a prayer to Me that I may answer it? Who is asking something of Me that I may give it him? Who is asking forgiveness of Me that I may forgive him?'”

So late night can be the holiest of times as well, but that’s not all. There’s a famous saying – I live for the nights I can’t remember with the people I’ll never forget (I’m pretty sure Drake isn’t the original author.) I’m also fairly certain this has to do with being inebriated beyond consciousness, but I think I agree. Relax, people. I’m not promoting blacking yourself out, (side note – if any of you fellow non-drinkers wonder what being drunk is like – this study found that “24 hours without sleep or a week of sleeping four or five hours a night induces an impairment equivalent to a blood alcohol level of .1%.”) but I still think there is something profound about that often-overused Facebook photo album title.

I’m sure we can all recall a time where we’ve had a very deep conversation after dark (take a second, think back to your moonlit walks, campfires, late night g-chats…) Those conversations aren’t possible in the day – everyone stops censoring themselves as much as the day wears on so the night becomes more real, more natural. In the end, we might not always remember what we said or what we did on those special nights (even if alcohol wasn’t a factor,) but the night allowed us to share those legen- wait for it- dary moments with the unforgettable people in our lives.

Happy [nighttime] Reflecting

Naj