Al-Rabī’ b. Sulaymān reports:
Al-Shāfi’ī used to divide the night into three parts: he would write (knowledge) for the first third, pray during the second third and sleep during the last third.
It is reported from Ḥusayn Al-Karābīsī that he said:
I spent the night with Al-Shāfi’ī. He would pray for about a third of the night. I hardly ever saw him recite more than fifty verses (in the prayer), one hundred at most. Whenever he came to a verse about mercy, he would ask Allāh for His Mercy, for himself and for the believers; and whenever he came to a verse about punishment, he would seek Allāh’s refuge from it, and ask salvation for himself and for all the believers. So it is as if both hope and fear were brought together for him.
Al-Bayhaqī, Ma’rifatu Al-Sunan articles 362, 365.