Offering the optional late night Prayer in congregation in other than Ramadan

Q 2: In our neighborhood there is a sign in the Masjid (mosque) informing the people that Qiyam-ul-Layl (optional Prayer at night) will be performed on a certain day and at a fixed time of the week. Is this act permissible? Kindly answer with supporting proof.

A: Qiyam-ul-Layl is only performed in congregation in Ramadan as was reported in the Sunnah (whatever is reported from the Prophet). In other than Ramadan, it is to be performed individually. However, if such optional night Prayer is sometimes offered collectively without singling out a certain night or placing a sign to inform the people about it, there is no harm in doing that. This is because the Prophet (peace be upon him) occasionally did that with some of his Sahabah (Companions of the Prophet). As for dedicating a certain night to perform Qiyam-ul-Layl in congregation and announcing that through a sign, this is a Bid`ah (innovation in religion) which should be forbidden.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.