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Nawafil Prayers

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

 رَبِّ اشْرَحْ لِي صَدْرِي ; وَيَسِّرْ لِي أَمْرِي ; وَاحْلُلْ عُقْدَةً مِنْ لِسَانِي ; يَفْقَهُوا قَوْلِي

 

One of my friends asked few questions, regarding Nawafil prayers. The questions are stated below:

1. Why are these called Nawafil prayers?

2. Please differentiate between Sunnah prayers and Nawafil prayers and how are these applicable in our daily prayers?

3. What are the rulings of Islam on Nawafil prayers?

The questions raised are really important, and the subject is very widely misunderstood. Insha’Allah we shall try to throw some light on the subject by references from The Holy Qur’an & Ahadith.

In order to understand this issue clearly, the first thing we have to understand is the meaning of Nafl (Nawafil). What does this actually mean? I will quote Surah Al-Anfal (Chapter No. 8) from Holy Qur’an. This Surah was revealed after Ghazwa-e-Badr, when people started asking about ‘maal-e-ghanimah‘. Anfal refers to ‘Booty of the war’ i.e. the maal-e-ghanimah. This word comes from Nafl. Anything which comes as a bonus or as an extra with the main course is called Nafl. The war, the victory and the hasanaat associated with the war in Allah’s cause was the main course for Muslims and this maal-e-ghanimah was a bonus reward. This explains clearly what this word Nafl means.

Taking this explanation to our Salaat, we know what are main obligatory (Farz) prayers: 2 raka’at in Fajr, 4 raka’at in Zuhr, 4 raka’at in Asr, 3 raka’at in Maghrib & 4 raka’at in Isha’. These are Farz prayers which we have to perform, without fail. All other prayers (other than these obligatory ones) are Nawafil prayers. Most of us call these prayers as Sunnah prayers. I will quote some ahadith to explain about these prayers.

Narrated Aisha (RA), “Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) was never more regular & strict in offering any nawafil than 2 raka’at Sunnah before Fajr prayer.”

(Hadith No. 1169, Book of Tahajjud (Prayer), Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 2).

The hadith mentioned above clarifies that all prayers other than Farz prayers are Nawafil prayers, be they Sunnah-e-Muakkada or Non-Muakkada. Sunnah is an act which was done by Allah’s Messenger (PBUH), that’s why all those acts are called Sunnah; and we all know that this term Sunnah is not limited to prayers only. Muakkada are those Sunnah which have been recommended. These are those Sunnah which Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) used to do regularly. But let me clarify one thing, we should not raise these equal to Farz prayers. Some schools of thoughts preach that unless these Sunnah prayers are performed, our Farz prayer is incomplete and not acceptable to Allah. This is a wrong concept. Farz prayers are obligatory, without any excuses. Nawafil prayers are voluntary. Please refer to a hadith below which explains this matter very well.

Hazrat Abdullah Bin Malik bin Buhaina (RA), from Azd tribe, narrated that Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) saw one man praying 02 raka’at after the Iqamah had been pronounced. When Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) completed the Salat, the people gathered around him, and Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) said to that man protestingly, Are there 04 raka’at in fajr prayer? Are there 04 raka’at in fajr prayer?

(Hadith No. 663, Book of Adhan, Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 1).

I will quote some more ahadith to give some more insight in to the matter:

Zaid bin Thabit (RA) narrated, “Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) made an enclosure by a partition made of palm leaves & prayed in it. Some men knew that and came to pray with him. They again came following night, but Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) did not come out. They raised their voices & cast stones at the door. Then Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) came out angrily & said to them: You
kept doing what you did until I thought it would be made obligatory on you. Pray at your homes, for the best of your Salat is that which you perform at home, except for the obligatory (i.e Farz) prayers.”

(Hadith No. 731, Book of Adhan, Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 1 ).

The italicized words in above mentioned hadith tell us that Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) maintained a clear difference between Farz and Nawafils and he asked the same from us. The hadith that follows should remove all the doubts about Nawafil prayers.

Talha bin Ubaidullah (RA) narrated that a man from Najd with shaggy hair came to the Prophet (PBUH) and we heard the sound of his voice but could not understand what he was saying, until when he came near to the Prophet (PBUH) & then we found that he was asking about Islam. The Prophet (PBUH) said: “You have to perform Salat in day & night.” The man asked, “Is there any more prayer for me?” The Prophet (PBUH) replied, “No, unless you want to perform optional (Nawafil) prayers.” The Prophet (PBUH) further said to him, “You have to observe Saum (i.e fasts) of the month of Ramadan.” The man asked, “Is there any more fasting upon me?” The Prophet (PBUH) replied, “No, unless you want to observe the optional fasting.” Then the Prophet (PBUH) further said to him, “You have to give Zakat.” The man asked, “Is there any thing other than Zakat for me to give?” The Prophet (PBUH) said, “No, unless you want to give alms of your own (i.e. voluntary charity / sadaqa).” Then the man went away saying, “By Allah! I will neither do less nor do more than this.” The Prophet (PBUH) said, “If what he said is true, then he will be successful (i.e. he will be granted Jannah).” In another version it is narrated: The Prophet (PBUH) said, “By his father, he will be successful if he is truthful.” Or “By his father, he will enter Jannah, if he is truthful.”

(Hadith No. 46, Book of Belief, Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 1).

Any doubts remaining still? If yes, then those doubts can’t be helped, because the narrations mentioned above are so clear and self-explanatory that no trace of doubt should remain with us after going through them.

Now let us shift our attention to the question that how many raka’at are to be performed at different times for Muakkada Sunnah (Nawafil) prayers? Let us go through some ahadith to get the answer.

Abdullah bin Shaqiq (RA) said, “I asked Aisha (RA) about nawafil (voluntary) prayers of Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) & she replied : before Zuhr, he used to pray 4 raka’at in his house, then go out to lead people in prayer, then come in & pray 2 raka’at. He would lead people in Maghrib prayer, then come in & pray 2 raka’at. Then he would lead people in Isha’ prayer and enter my house & pray 2 raka’at. He would pray 9 raka’at during night, including Witr. At night he would pray for a long time standing and for a long time sitting; and when he recited the Qur’an while standing, he would bow & prostrate himself from standing position. And when he recited while sitting, he would bow & prostrate himself from sitting position. And when it was dawn (Fajr), he would pray 2 raka’at.”

(Hadith No. 1699 (730), Book of the Traveller’s prayer, Sahih Muslim, Vol. 2).

and

It was narrated that Ibn Umar (RA) said: I prayed two raka’at with Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) before Zuhr and two afterwards, two raka’at after Maghrib, two raka’at after Isha’ and two raka’at after Juma’ (Friday prayer). As for Maghrib, Isha’ & Juma’, I prayed with the Prophet (PBUH) in his house.

(Hadith No. 1698 (729), Book of the Traveller’s prayers, Sahih Muslim, Vol. 2).

Inference:

After having read all the ahadith, we can sum up as following:

  1. All the prayers other than Farz prayers are Nawafil prayers, be they Sunnah-e-Muakkada or Non-Muakkada. It is a wrong concept that unless these Sunnah prayers are performed, our Farz prayer is incomplete.
  2. The Muakkada Sunnah prayers are 2 raka’at before Fajr, 2 or 4 raka’at before and 2 raka’at after Zuhr, 2 raka’at after Maghrib, 2 raka’at after Isha’ and 2 or 4 raka’at after Juma’ prayers. Other than these, there are 8 raka’at for Tahajjud and 1 (or 3 or 5) raka’at for Witr (for details about Witr, refer to a separate article named ‘Witr’ available at www.quranandhadith.com).
  3. It is recommended to pray Nawafil prayers at homes.

Other than the Nawafil prayers stated above, there is one more very important Nawafil prayer called Tahayyat-al-Masjid. What is Tahayyat-al-Masjid prayer & what is its importance, is explained in following two ahadith:

Narrated Abu Qatada Al-Salami (RA): Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) said, “If anyone of you enters a mosque, he should offer 2 raka’at (Tahayyat-al-Masjid) prayer before sitting.”

(Hadith No. 444, Book of As-Salat, Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 1).

It is said that one should not perform any Nawafil prayer during Friday prayer’s Khutba (sermon); however, Tahayyat-al-Masjid is one Nawafil prayer that one should perform even if the Friday sermon is in progress. See the following hadith:

It was narrated that Jabir bin Abdallah (RA) said: Sulaik Al Ghatfani came on a Friday when Prophet (PBUH) was preaching (i.e delivering Khutba) and he sat down. He said to him, “O Sulaik, get up and pray 2 raka’at and make them brief.” Then he said, “If one of you comes on a Friday and the Imam is preaching, let him pray 2 raka’at and make them brief.”

(Hadith No. 2024 (875), Book of Friday Prayer, Sahih Muslim, Vol. 2).

Let it be clear that in no way this write-up tends to advocate that we should not perform Sunnah prayers. It is an effort to put forward the practices of our beloved Prophet (Mohhamad, PBUH). Our prayers should be based on these guidelines.

After this, we need not bother about what different schools of thoughts say about the subject. Word of Allah (SWT) & Word of Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) is what matters the most. We should leave aside all the different opinions and strictly follow what Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) has told us and what he used to do.

Let us refer to the following verse from Holy Qur’an, follow it strictly and stick to it please:

وَأَطِيعُوا اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ وَلا تَنَازَعُوا

“Do ita’at of Allah & Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) and do not have conflicts among yourself”.

(Aayah No. 46, Surah Al-Anfal, Chapter No. 8, Holy Qur’an).

And Allah knows best.

May Allah forgive me if I am wrong and guide us to the right path…Ameen.

سُبْحَانَ رَبِّكَ رَبِّ الْعِزَّةِ عَمَّا يَصِفُون َ ; وَسَلامٌ عَلَى الْمُرْسَلِينَ ; وَالْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ.

90 comments

  1. Assalam aalaykom wa Rahmatullah wa Barakatuh.

    Thank you for the information which is very clear and beneficial.
    I have a question. According to the hadith narrated by Ibnu Omar, he said he prayed with Rasulullah(PBUH).
    Does this mean they were praying in congregation for these nawafil prayers? Would appreciate if you could so kindly clarify for me.

    Jazakallah Khaeran Katseera.

    • Wa-alaikum As-Salam warahmatallah. The hadith of Ibn Umar (RA) you have referred to says that he prayed with the Prophet (PBUH). It may or may not mean that they prayed in congregation. Nawafil prayers are usually not performed in congregation; but there are examples where nawafil prayers are proven to be prayed in congregation. So, it is up to the reader to infer whichever manner he may from this hadith. And Allah knows best.

  2. brother i m shia in our sect they are saying nawafil wht is the difference between nawafil and sunnat

    • As Salam alaikum Warahmatallah brother.

      The article of ‘Nawafil Prayers’ throws light about what is a nawafil prayer and what is a Sunnah prayer. However, I will still try to clarify a bit more.

      Nawafil comes from the word nafil, which means an additional or a bonus to the main item. This can be applied to any thing/any ibadah, not necessarily referring to prayer alone. In context of prayer, the no. of raka’at which are farz are main prayer, and any more raka’at that are prayed before or after those are nawafil.

      On the other hand, Sunnah are actions/recommendations/prohibitions etc. shown/told/explained to us by our beloved Prophet (PBUH). These again are not limited to prayer, rather applicable to all aspects of life. In context of prayer, whatever prayers the Prophet (PBUH) prayed or recommended us to pray other than farz prayers, are called as Sunnah prayers. They are same as nawafil; absolutely no difference. Just one classification is given by us: the ones to which the Prophet (PBUH) showed or gave more emphasis are classified as Sunnah-e-muakkada, the others as ghair-muakkada. Both are nawafil; both are Sunnah. And Allah knows best.

      I hope this clarifies your doubt, Inshallah.

  3. Assalamualaikum,
    Thanks brother for such a brief explanation.I just want to know, is it a sin to not perform sunnat e muakkadah?

    • Wa alaikum Salam warahmatallah,

      All praise is for Allah. Performing Sunnah-e-Muakkada brings lots of rewards, as they are recommended. However, not performing these is not a sin.

      And Allah knows best.

  4. Thank you very much for making it crystal clear and removing all doubts. May Allah reward you.

  5. May Allah swt reward you both in this world and the Hereafter for your valued efforts brother. JazakAllah khair

  6. uthman bn lawal

    Assalamu alakum wa rahmatullah wa barakatuhu
    please i would like to know in detail about the chorouq (sunrise) nafl prayer, thank you.

    • Wa alaikum As Salam Warahmatallah Wabarakatuhu,

      According to majority of scholars, Salat Al-Awwabin, Duha prayer and Ishraq prayer, all are same prayers. The times of this prayer starts after the sun has risen and remains till a little before than Dhuhr prayer. Therefore, we can offer Ishraq/Awwabin/Duha prayer at any of these times. Some people also call it by the name of Chaasht prayer.

      Shaikh Ibn Baz was of the opinion that Duha prayer done at the beginning of its time is called Ishraq prayer.

      As per a hadith reported by Muslim: It was narrated that Zaid bin Arqam said: Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) went out to the people of Quba when they were praying, and said, “The prayer of the penitent (Awwabin) is when the young camels feel the heat of hot sand.” – Hadith No. 1747 (748), Book of Travellers’ Prayers & Shortening Thereof, Sahih Muslim, Vol. 2.

      Based on this hadith, it is recommended to offer Ishraq/Awwabin/Duha/Chaasht prayer when the sun’s heat becomes intense.

      I do not advocate differences of opinions on this prayer (as some scholars vary in their opinion of all these prayers being different, while others say that all these are same – Duha/Chaasht/Ishraq/Awwabin; I personally favour the later opinion), as this is a voluntary prayer. So one is free to chose whatever time he/she wants to offer (from after sunrise till approximately 10-15 minutes before Dhuhr).

      Also, there are no fixed number of raka’ats for this prayer, and one is free to offer as many he/she wants.

      And Allah knows best.

  7. Assalam u alaikum. Thank you for your article, very clear and informative. Can you please provide any hadiths or quotes from the quran to clarify rules regarding forbidden times of voluntary prayer. For example i have heard that nafls should not be performed after fajr or between asr and magrib? Thank you.

    • Wa alaikum Salam Warahmatallah,

      All praise is for Allah alone.

      There are plenty of narrations available to prove that no prayer should be offered after Fajr (till sun rises) and after Asr (till sun sets). I will quote one of those narrations here for you:

      Hadith No. 588, Book of Times of As-Salat, Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 1.

      Narrated Abu Hurairah (RA): Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) forbade the offering of two Salat:
      1. After Fajr prayer till the sun rises.
      2. After Asr prayer till the sun sets.

      I hope this answers your query.

      And Allah knows best.

  8. Asalamualaikum brother,pls as clearly stated,so it is not compulsory to offer the two nafila prayers before fajr prayers,one can go ahead to perform the two compulsory fajr prayers and his or her prayers aaccepted?pls I just want a yes or no answer,jazakala:

    • Wa alaikum As Salam Warahmtallah sister,

      Yes, the two nafil prayer before Fajr are not compulsory, rather they are Mustahab (i.e. recommended) and Sunnah-e-Muakkada. If due to some reason someone does not prays the two nafils before Fajr farz prayers, Inhallah still his/her Fajr prayers shall be considered as completed.

      And Allah knows best.

  9. Assalamualaikum.. Jazakallah khair for your explanation. I will always do my nawafil prayer before Fajr, but what happens if I forgot to do it? Is it possible for me to perform only after I have done the obligatory Fajr prayer ?

    • Wa alaikum As Salam Warahmatallah,

      If due to some reason you could not offer two raka’at nawafil (Sunnah) prayers before Fajr prayers, you can offer them after your farz prayers. Just keep in mind that when you are finished with farz prayers and the time for Fajr is still there, you may offer nawafil immediately after, but if there is not sufficient time for Fajr, you should wait for the sun to rise completely and then after that you may offer your nawafil prayers.

      And Allah knows best.

  10. Muhammad Abu al-Qasim

    Jazakallahu khair. TAHAJJUD IS Always the best among Nawafils.

  11. Mohammed Aslam Bekal

    Assalamu Alaikum,

    Kindly I would like to understand about the following two Hadith.

    Narrated `Aisha:
    Whenever the Prophet (ﷺ) come to me after the `Asr prayer, he always prayed two rak`at.
    Sahih al-Bukhari 593
    Book 9, Hadith 69

    Narrated Abu Hurairah (RA): Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) forbade the offering of two Salat:
    1. After Fajr prayer till the sun rises.
    2. After Asr prayer till the sun sets.
    Hadith No. 588, Book of Times of As-Salat, Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 1.

    May Allah give you best rewards for your all these efforts.

    • Wa alaikum As Salam Warahmatallah,

      You have raised a very important question. Most of the people are unaware of rulings associated with this matter, including scholars. Before I answer your query, I have a request to you. There is another article titled “Time(s) of Prayers” available at http://www.quranandhadith.com. I request you to go through that article carefully. Once you have done that, please write your views about your understanding of the article along with this query of yours again to us. Then Inshallah the matter will be understood easily.

      Jazak Allah.

  12. asalamu alaikum,please brother can u tell me wether there is anything sujud kabli or badi in tarawi prayer as well as any other nawafil prayer

    • Wa alikum Salam Warahmatallah,

      The word ‘Qabl’ means befoe, and the word ‘Ba’ad’ refers to after. These Sujoods mentioned by you refer to Sujood As-Sahw i.e. the prostration of forgetfulness. These are not restricted to Tarawih prayer or any nawafil prayer, but are applicable to all types of prayers, nawafil or Farz. For details about ‘Sujood Sahw’, please refer to the detailed article on this subject available at our site; you can reach the article through this link: http://www.quranandhadith.com/sujood-sahw/.

      And Allah knows best.

  13. The Muakkada Sunnah prayers are 2 raka’at before Fajr, 2 or 4 raka’at before and 2 raka’at after Zuhr, 2 raka’at after Maghrib, 2 raka’at after Isha’ and 2 or 4 raka’at after Juma’ prayers. Other than these, there are 8 raka’at for Tahajjud and 1 (or 3 or 5) raka’at for Witr
    Assalamualaikum warahmatullahi waberkatuhu,
    My question is :
    1.what is the importance of 4 raka’at b4 Isha? Can We read it necessarily as we use to ? It won’t be a divert action frm Sunnah?
    And about Tahajjud prayers are 8 rakaats minimal fix numbers or one can pray frm 2rakaats till on ward ?
    Kindly explain about the nawafils after maghrib prayers which are also called “Awaben” it is 12 rakaats .I read somewhere they are also very rewarding
    Do we need to pray 12 rakaats for tht nafil prayer or we can pary any number of rakaats we can like frm 2 rakats till 12rakaats?
    Jazak Allah for ur efforts.

    • Wa alaikum As Salam Warahmatallah Wabarakatuhu,

      Apologies for delayed response, as I was away for last few days and wa snot having access to the queries being raised.

      1. The nawafil prayers before or after Isha prayer as authenticated by SUnnah are only two raka’at after the farz prayers of Isha. However, if someone wants to offer 4 raka’at before also, then it shall be considered as another nawafil prayer (ghair-muakkada). It won’t constitute a bida’a Insha’Allah.

      2. There is no fixed no. for raka’ats during Tahajjud prayers. There are several ahaith which tell us that one may start with 2 raka’at followed by 2 and so on. And whenever one feels he/she wants to stop, he/she should offer 1 raka’at Witr to close the night prayer. 8 raka’ats come into picture as the Prophet (PBUH) offered these many no. of raka’at maximum number of times. However, he didn’t instructed to stick to this no., rather gave us the choice to offer as many raka’ats starting from 2 onwards. You can adopt the same.

      3. Salat Al-Awwabin ia not the voluntary prayer after Maghrib prayers. Rather it is a voluntary prayer which is offered before noon when it is hot. This is authenticated form the following hadith:

      It was narrated from Al-Qasim Ash-Shaibani that Zaid bin Arqam saw some people praying in the early morning and he said, “They know that prayer at a time other than is better. Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) said: The Salat Al-Awwabin is when the young camels feel the heat of the hot sand.” – Hadith No. 1746 (748), Book of Traveller’s Prayers & Shortening Thereof, Sahih Muslim, Vol. 2.

      I hope this clarifies your query. Feel free to write back if any doubt persists regarding these queries/response.

      And Allah knows best.

  14. Salamualaikum warahmatullahi wabarkahu,
    Jazak Allah for ur clear n detailed answers.
    What you wrote that is right about Awabain nawafils but Please I need few details of the nawafil aftr Maghrib prayers which are also called Awabain in another article and confirmed by hadees from Sunan Timizi. I tried to paste link or the hadees here I read about those nawafils but cant succeed.

    • Wa alaikum As Salam Warahmatallah Wabarakatuhu,

      The hadith of Jami’ At-Tirmidhi which you are talking about is reported in Chapters on Salat, Vol. 1. The hadith of Abu Hurairah (RA) which you are talking about is classified as ‘Daeef’ (i.e. weak) and ‘Gharib’ (i.e. strange) by Imam Abu Eisa Tirmidhi. Only 2 raka’at nawail prayers are authenticated by Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Offering more nawafils (like you asked about) are based on weak narrations.

      And Allah knows best.

  15. Assalam u alaikum.
    Can we offer Nawafil in 4 or 8 rakats ?
    Thanks

    • Wa alaikum As Salam Warahmatallah,

      There are examples from Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) that he used to offer 4 raka’at nawafils. It is difficult to comment about 8 raka’at though as I am not certain about it.

      And Allah knows best.

  16. I have learnt alot from both d questions n d brilliant answers provided. May Allah strengthen dis site, u, n reward our efforts with His forgiveness n mercy

  17. Salam Alaikum,
    Please i want to know if there is any nafl prayer before asr…and also i want to know the breakdown of the 13 nafl prayers that the Prophet (Pbuh) offered every day. Thanks.

    • Wa alaikum As Salam Warahmatallah,

      As per authentic narrations, the Muakkada Sunnah prayers that are recommended to be offered along with compulsory five prayers daily are following:

      1. 2 raka’at before Fajr
      2. 4 or 2 raka’at before Dhuhr
      3. 2 raka’at after Dhuhr
      4. 2 raka’at after Maghrib
      5. 2 raka’at after Isha

      This makes total of 12 raka’at in a day. These are the Muakkada SUnnah prayers on which all scholars agree upon unanimously.

      There are no Muakkada Sunnah prayers to be offered before Asr.

      However, as all these are nawafil prayers, if someone wants to offer more or less, it is up to him/her.

      I hope this clarifies your query.

  18. Assalamualaykum warahmatullahi wabarkahu

    Question on 4 raka’at before duhr, can you do it all 4 raka’at and 1 tashahud at the end or you have to do it 2 + 2? Jazakallah khaeer.

    • Wa alaikum As Salam Warahmatallah Wabarakatuhu,

      Dear brother, we follow the way of our Prophet (PBUH). Our prayers should also be based on the Sunnah of the Prophet (PBUH). The acceptable and authenticated way of offering these 4 raka’at of voluntary prayer before Dhuhr is to offer 2 raka’at, then an intermediate Tashah-hud, then other 2 raka’at, and then the final Tashah-hud before saying Taslim. Offering the prayer in any manner (other than this) which is not authenticated by Sunnah is not correct.

      And Allah knows best.

      • Asalaamu alaikum.
        About t you reply to nazrullah’s question. Do you mean that for sunnah before dhuhr prayer we must pray all 4 rakaats at once. PLease explain. Jakzakallah khair.

        • Wa alaikum As Salam Warahmatallah,

          The example of our beloved Prophet (PBUH) teaches us how to offer our prayers.

          Following narration tells us that the Prophet (PBUH) used to sit in Tashah-hud after every two raka’at:

          It was narrated that Aishah (RA) said, “Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) used to start his prayer with Takbir and recitation of ‘Alhumdulillahi Rabbil-Alamin’. When he bowed he neither kept his head up nor lowered it, but it was somewhere between the two. When he raised his head from bowing, he did not prostrate until he had stood up straight, and when he raised his head from prostrating, he did not prostrate again until he sat up straight. After each two raka’at he would recite ‘At-Tahiyyat’. He would lay his left foot along the ground and hold his right foot upright. He forbade Uqbatish-Shaitan, and he forbade resting one’s forearms along the ground like a predator. And he used to conclude his prayer with the Taslim.” – (Hadith No. 1110 (498), Book of As-Salat, Sahih Muslim, Vol. 1).

          Another narration clarifies that intermediate Tashah-hud is to be done in second raka’at of a prayer which is more than 2 raka’at (3 or 4 raka’at prayer):

          Narrated Abdullah bin Buhaina (RA): Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) once led us in Salat and offered two raka’at and got up (for the third raka’at) without sitting (after second raka’at, for At-Tahhiyat). The people also got up with him, and when he was about to finish his Salat, we waited for him to finish the Salat with Taslim, but he said Takbir before Taslim and performed two prostrations (of Sahw) while sitting and then finished the Salat with Taslim. – (Hadith No. 1224, Book of As-Sahw, Sahih Bukhari, Vol.2).

          Therefore, the Sunnah way of offering prayer which comprises of 3 or 4 raka’at is to sit in intermediate Tashah-hud in second raka’at. Only in case of Witr prayer it is established by Sunnah that we can offer 3, 5, 7, 9 etc. no. of raka’at in a single prayer without any intermediate Tashah-hud:

          Mansur reported from Al-Hakam, from Miqsam, that Umm Salamah (RA) said, “Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) used to pray Witr with five and seven raka’at which he did not separate with any Taslim nor talk.” – (Hadith No. 1715, Book of Qiyam Al-Lail and Voluntray Prayers during the Day, Sunan An-Nasa’i, Vol. 2).

          I hope this clarifies your query satisfactorily. Feel free tow rite back in case any doubt remains.

          And Allah knows best.

      • Asallam brother I have a question are nafal and sunnah necessary to offer in Dohar prayers

        • Wa alaikum As Salam Warahmatallah,

          Offering Nawafil prayers (or you may call them Sunnah prayers) is an act of great reward. Whoever offers them, earns rewards from Allah.

          However, if someone does not offer these, there is no sin, but he/she is bound to miss on the rewards which these prayers offer.

          And Allah knows best.

  19. Assalamualaikum,

    If possible, I would like some clarification on the hadith narrated by Talha bin Ubaidullah (RA) which you have quoted.

    The man in question, did he mean to say he would only do that which is obligatory and not that which is voluntary or did he mean to say he will do all that the Prophet (PBUH) said?

    JazakAllah

    • Wa alaikum As Salam Warahmatallah,

      The narration of Talha bin Ubaidallah (RA) is very explicit. The beduin man said , while returning back, that he will neither do more nor will he do less than what the Prophet (PBUH) had told him.

      In order to understand we should go back to what the Prophet (PBUH) had said to this man. The Prophet (PBUH) told the man about two different categories of Ibadah: compulsory and voluntary, for each of the pillars of Islam (Salat, Zakat & Saum;). He told the man that these are the compulsory acts of worship which he has to do. And when asked about anything else apart from these compulsory acts, the Prophet (PBUH) told him about Nawafil Salat/Saum/Sadaqat and told him that it is upto him if he wants to do these (nawafil acts) or not.

      So, the saying of the man that he will do neither less nor more than what the Prophet (PBUH) means exactly same what the Prophet (PBUH) said. to him i.e. he will abide by compulsory acts strictly and regarding the nawafil acts it is up to him if he wants to do or not.

      I hope this clarifies your query.

      And Allah knows best.

  20. Assalamualaikum,
    pls my questions are as follows
    1-after praying the recomended sunnah prayers,Can one pray other nawafil in odd numbers e.g 3 raka’ats after the 4rakaats of the sunnah nawafil after Zuhr?
    2-Can someone observing nawafil be joined by another in congrégation to pray a fard salat.e.g praying salatul Maghrib with someone observing the 2 nawafil of magrib and then mâle 1 rakaat to complète his prayer i.e 3 rakaats of maghrib.
    3-what is the expiation for praying at any of the forbidden time(s).
    May Allah forgive us and Grant us the highest Jannah.

    • Wa alaikum As Salam Warahmatallah,

      1. I personally do not prefer doing so as the practice of the Prophet (PBUH) tells us that he used to offer nawafil prayers either in 2 raka’at or 4 raka’at, except for Witr prayer which is offered in odd no. of raka’at. Therefore, the best way is to stick to the example of the Prophet (PBUH).

      2. There is a narration where the Prophet (PBUH) has said that if someone has offered his prayer and he goes out and sees another congregation praying, let him join the congregation and he will get the reward of nawafil prayer (narrated by Jabir bin Yazid bin Al-Aswad from his father, Hadith No. 219, Chapters on Salat, Jami’ At-Tirmidhi, Vol. 1). There is also a narration where the Prophet (PBUH) is told to be recommending that if you see someone offering prayer alone in a Masjid then join him (narrated by Abu Saeed, RA, Hadith No. 220, Chapters on Salat, Jami’ At-Tirmidhi, Vol. 1), you will get reward of nawafil prayer. Similar narrations are reported in other collections of ahadith also. Based on these narrations, I personally believe that there is no problem in doing so, Insha’Allah.

      3. There is no expiation mentioned for praying at forbidden times. If someone does so, and then he/she realizes his/her mistake, the best thing is to make Taubah to Allah sincerely and never ever repeat such an act.

      And Allah knows best.

  21. Alhamduallah I found this page, MA what a uesfull page and what uesfull Q&A.May Allah(swt) reward the effort.
    However, my Question is,above mentioned about Tahajjud and please tell me what does it mean and when performe?
    2nd question is about Tarawi-
    after sura Fatiha can we recite short sura or it has to be from first day of Ramadan start beginning of from the Holly Quran and as we go on we will finish to the end of the Holly book?
    JZK
    Sister Simin

    • Salam alaikum Sister Simin,

      All praise is for Allah alone. Jazak Allah khair for your appreciative words, and Aameen to your duas.

      Kindly refer to a separate detailed article titled ‘Qayaam-ul-Layl” available on our site where we have explained about the matters of Tahajjud, Tarawih etc. Insha’Allah that shall be helpful to you in understanding the subject related to Tahajjud and Tarawih prayers.

      Regarding your question about whether it is mandatory to recite Qur’an from start from first day of Ramadan in Tarawih prayers and complete whole Qur’an in the month: It is virtuous to do so, but we cannot say that it is mandatory. If someone has learned Qur’an by heart, and he/she can complete whole Qur’an in Ramadan during his/her Tarawih prayers, such a person will earn lots of rewards, Insha’Allah. But if someone has not learned Qur’an by heart, then he can recite other Surahs of Qur’an in his/her Tarawih prayers. Insha’Allah that too shall bring rewards for him/her.

      And Allah knows best.

      Feel free to write back in case any doubt persists.

      Jazak Allah khair.

  22. Assalamu alaikum

    How many raka’ats taraweeh did Prophet(pbuh) pray?
    When I was in KSA, I used to pray 8 rakats taraweeh and 3 rakat witr,because the masjid i went to did that
    But in Makkah it is 20 rakats taraweeh prayer. And in India also its 20 rakats(except that some other sects pray 8)..
    I am confused, pls explain me giving refernces from hadiths.

    • Wa alaikum As Salam Warahmatallah,

      This is yet another question which is very often asked/debated/argued.

      I suggest you to read some other articles on our site which will throw light on these matters. Kindly go through following articles:

      1. ‘Qayaam-ul-Layl’
      2. ‘Nawafil Prayers’
      3. ‘Witr’

      Once you finish reading these three articles, revert back to us with your query. Then you shall be in a better frame of mind to understand the matter, Insha’Allah.

      Jazak Allah khair.

      • Assalamu alaikum

        I read all the three articles and what i understood is tarawih is 11 rakats including witr. But on what basis is 20 rakats (tarawih alone) prayed in Makkah? There must be some reason behind that right?

        Also u said tarawih is nothing but tahajjud. So does that mean one need not pray tahajjud in late part of night during ramadan ..? If that is the case, then y do people pray qayam ul layl/tahajjud during the last ten days of ramadan in late night only and not during those preceeding 20 days?

        Pls correct me if I am wrong and pls clarify.

        • Wa alaikum As Salam Warahmatallah,

          Ahadith about night prayer/Tahajjud/Tarawih tell us that the Prophet (PBUH) did not fix number of raka’at for this prayer. he told us that pray, two, then two, and then two and so on, and when you want to finish, pray one raka’at Witr. This permits us to offer even two raka’at plus Witr, and that shall suffice Insha’Allah. But the Prophet (PBUH) himself used to offer 8 raka’at mostly plus Witr; therefore, if someone wants to follow him, it is better. Also, as he did not fix any number of raka’at, so, people take different decisions.

          Tahajjud or Tarawih is a voluntary prayer. Even if someone does not pray it, he will not be a sinner. But as there is a big reward associated with this prayer, one is recommended to offer this, as the prophet (PBUH) himself was regular in doing so.

          We should not criticize any of the views. Maliki view says about doing 36 raka’at in Tarawih.

          Time of Tahajjud starts after completing Isha prayers and it remains till Fajr doesn’t starts. During Ramadan, people offer Tahajjud in earlier part of night (immediately after Isha) in first 20 days, and mostly in last 10 days people tend to offer Tahajjud in later part of night. This has got to do something with Itikaf which the Prophet (PBUH) used to offer during the last 10 days of Ramadan. These actions are taken/inspired by Itikaf. Please refer to a separate article titled ‘Itikaf’ available on our site for more information about it.

          All such matters are related to voluntary acts (nawafil acts). Therefore, we should not argue upon these. Whoever wants to stick to whichever manner, should be accepted by all, as long as he/she doesn’t violate Qur’an and/or Sunnah.

          I hope this clarifies the matter for you.

          And Allah knows best.

  23. Is there any time for nawafil prayer or we can offer them anytime?

    • Salam alaikum,

      There are some nawafil prayers which have some times associated with them; for example: Tahajjud; now it is needless to talk about can Tahajjud be offered during day? Similar is the case of Nawafil prayers like Ishraq /Duha prayer, which is offered after complete rising of sun. For such case also it can’t be said ke let us offer it in night. Take another example of a nawafil prayer: Salat-ul-Kusuf. It is offered in case Eclipse takes place.

      So, there are some nawafil prayers which have some times associated with them.

      At the same time, there can be additional nawafil prayers which are not said to be associated with any particular time/event, and hence, can be offered any time, except in the prohibited times.

      And Allah knows best.

  24. Assalam u Alaikum!

    Admin will you please explain me that can we offer Four(4) nawafil. I heard that we can but now some one told me that we can’t offer four nawafil. We have to pray by 2X2. Means we can’t offer direct 4 nawafil.

    Waiting for your kind reply.

    Thnaks,
    Irfan Aziz

    • Wa alaikum As Salam Warahmatallah,

      It is absolutely wrong to put such restrictions in Islam which have no basis; and considering the arguments such things lead too, that too in context of nawafil prayers, one should be extremely careful in such acts.

      There is no restriction about no. of raka’at in nawafil prayers. let me quote one hadith which shows that the Prophet (PBUH) used to offer nawafil prayers of night in four raka’at also:

      Narrated Abu Salama bin Abd Ar-Rahman that he asked Aishah (RA), “How was Salat of Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) in Ramadan?” She replied, “He did not perform Salat more than 11 raka’at in Ramadan or any other month. He used to perform 4 raka’at – let alone their beauty & length – and then he would perform 4 raka’at – let alone their beauty & length – and then he would perform 3 raka’at Witr.” She added, “I asked, ‘O Allah’s Messenger (PBUH)! Do you sleep before praying the Witr? He replied, “O Aishah! My eyes sleep but my heart does not sleep?” – (Hadith No. 2013, Book of Tarawih Prayers, Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 3).

      Similarly there are many narrations about performing nawafil prayers in two raka’at each also.

      There are narrations which tell us that the Prophet (PBUH) performed night (nawafil) prayer in continuous 3, 5, 7, 9, 11 etc. no. of raka’at without making Tashah-hud or saying Salam in between any of these raka’at. Let me quote a few such narrations for you:

      Shubah narrated from Qatadah (RA), from Zurarah bin Awfa, from Sa’d bin Hisham, that Aishah (RA) said: When Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) grew old and put on weight, he prayed seven raka’at and only sat in last of them, and he prayed twor aka’at while sitting after saying the Talsim, and that was nine, O my son! And when Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) offered any prayer he liked to persist in doing so. – (Hadith No. 1719, Book of Night Prayer & Voluntary Prayers during the Day, Sunan An-Nasa’i, Vol. 2).

      and,

      Mansur reported from Al-Hakam, from Miqsam, that Umm Salamah (RA) said, “Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) used to pray Witr with five and seven raka’at which he did not separate with any Taslim nor talk.” – (Hadith No. 1715, Book of Qiyam Al-Lail and Voluntary Prayers during the Day, Sunan An-Nasa’i, Vol. 2).

      These narrations are enough to substantiate that it is okay to perform nawafil prayers in more than two raka’at, with or without intermediate Tashah-hud.

      I hope this clarifies your doubt. Feel free to write back if any doubt remains.

      And Allah knows best.

      • Admin,

        Thanks a lot for your brief reply. Surely this clarifies my doubt. May Allah give you lot of Happy and blessings upon you.

        Jzaak Allah

  25. Mohammed A. Razak Wumpini

    Alhamdulillah for such a wonderful and informative piece!

  26. Thank you very much and Allah bless you for providing us all this important information.

    Jazaak Allah Khair

  27. How we pray 4 rakat nafl ( like as before Dhuhr) in one salam or two salam (2+2)? Please answer with reference from Hadith.

    • Salam alaikum,

      The example of our beloved Prophet (PBUH) teaches us how to offer our prayers.

      Following narration tells us that the Prophet (PBUH) used to sit in Tashah-hud after every two raka’at:

      It was narrated that Aishah (RA) said, “Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) used to start his prayer with Takbir and recitation of ‘Alhumdulillahi Rabbil-Alamin’. When he bowed he neither kept his head up nor lowered it, but it was somewhere between the two. When he raised his head from bowing, he did not prostrate until he had stood up straight, and when he raised his head from prostrating, he did not prostrate again until he sat up straight. After each two raka’at he would recite ‘At-Tahiyyat’. He would lay his left foot along the ground and hold his right foot upright. He forbade Uqbatish-Shaitan, and he forbade resting one’s forearms along the ground like a predator. And he used to conclude his prayer with the Taslim.” – (Hadith No. 1110 (498), Book of As-Salat, Sahih Muslim, Vol. 1).

      Another narration clarifies that intermediate Tashah-hud is to be done in second raka’at of a prayer which is more than 2 raka’at (3 or 4 raka’at prayer):

      Narrated Abdullah bin Buhaina (RA): Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) once led us in Salat and offered two raka’at and got up (for the third raka’at) without sitting (after second raka’at, for At-Tahhiyat). The people also got up with him, and when he was about to finish his Salat, we waited for him to finish the Salat with Taslim, but he said Takbir before Taslim and performed two prostrations (of Sahw) while sitting and then finished the Salat with Taslim. – (Hadith No. 1224, Book of As-Sahw, Sahih Bukhari, Vol.2).

      Therefore, the Sunnah way of offering prayer which comprises of 3 or 4 raka’at is to sit in intermediate Tashah-hud in second raka’at. Only in case of Witr prayer it is established by Sunnah that we can offer 3, 5, 7, 9 etc. no. of raka’at in a single prayer without any intermediate Tashah-hud:

      Mansur reported from Al-Hakam, from Miqsam, that Umm Salamah (RA) said, “Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) used to pray Witr with five and seven raka’at which he did not separate with any Taslim nor talk.” – (Hadith No. 1715, Book of Qiyam Al-Lail and Voluntray Prayers during the Day, Sunan An-Nasa’i, Vol. 2).

      I hope this clarifies your query satisfactorily. Feel free tow rite back in case any doubt remains.

      And Allah knows best.

  28. ALESHINLOYE TOHEEB

    i s the haadith on nafl ishraaq saheeh which says one will get reward of hajj and umrah? what about nafl tasbeeh?. jazakallahu khaeran.

    • Salam alaikum,

      I am not aware of any such hadith which makes Salat-al-Duha/Ishraq as rewarding as Hajj and Umrah.

      What do you mean by ‘Nafl Tasbih’? Are you referring to ‘Salat-al-Tasbih’? Or do you want to know what the phrase ‘nafl tasbih’ refers to? Please clarify your question a bit so as to enable us answer properly and specifically.

      And Allah knows best.

    • ALESHINLOYE TOHEEB

      Jazakallahu Khaeran.

      Rasulullah is reported to have said, ‘He who performs Fajr Salat with Jamaat and remains seated in the same place while engaging in Dhikr until after sunrise and thereafter performs 2 Rakaats Nafil Salat, (Ishraaq), he will obtain the Thawaab of one Hajj and one Umrah.’ (Tirmidhi).

      Yes. I wanted to say Salat-al-Tasbih.

      • Salam alaikum,

        The hadith you mentioned is a ‘Daeef’ (i.e. weak) hadith, and hence can’t be relied upon. It is reported as Hadith No. 586, Chapters on Travelling, Jami’ At-Tirmidhi, Vol. 2.

        Coming to the next question about Salat Al-Tasbih; this is indeed one of the recommended voluntary prayers. Refer to following hadith about this prayer:

        Ibn Abbas (RA) narrated that Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) said to AL-Abbas bin Abdul Muttalib (RA), “O Abbas! O my uncle! Should I not give something to you? Should I not give you a present? Should I not give a gift to you? Should I not (instruct) you to ten things – if you were to do them Allah will forgive your sins; the first of them and the last of them, the old of them and the new of them, the unintentional of them and the intentional of them, the small of them and the large of them, the hidden of them and the public of them. Ten things: that you pray four raka’at, in each raka’at you recite Fatihat-al-Kitab (Surah Al-Fatiha) and a Surah. Then when you have completed the recitation in the first raka’at and you are still standing, say: ‘SUbhan Allah, walhumdolillah, wa la ilaha illallah, wallahu Akbar’ fifteen times. Then go into Ruku and say it while you are in Ruku ten times. Then raise your head from the Ruku and say it ten times. Then go into prostration and say it while you are in prostration ten times. Then raise your head and say it ten times. Then prostrate and say it ten times. Then raise your head and say it ten times. This comes out to seventy-five times in every raka’at, and you do this four raka’at. If you are able to pray this once everyday, do so. And if you do not do so, then once every week. And if you do not do so, then once every month. And if you do not do so, then once every year. And if you do not do so, then once in your lifetime.” – (Hadith No. 1297, Book of the Voluntary Prayers, Sunan Abu Dawud, vol. 2).

        This narration (and a similar narration is reported by Tirmidhi too) tells us the importance of Salat Al-Tasbih.

        I hope this answers your query satisfactorily. Feel free to write back in case any doubt remains.

        Jazak Allah khair.

  29. Thank you for the reminder. my question is, as a traveler I am meant to shorten my prayers right? do I still need to pray nawafil?

    Jazaak Allah Khair

    • Salam alaikum,

      Kindly go through a separate detailed article titled “Prayer in Journey (‘Salat Al-Qasr’)” available on our website. Insha’Allah that shall help you get answer to all such questions.

      Feel free to write back in case any doubt remains.

      Jazak Allah khair.

  30. Khalid Hussain

    Asslamualakikum brother.
    I was taught to prayer 2 nafl after the 2 sunnah of zuhr. 2 nafl after the 2 sunnah of maghrib. 2 nafl before and 2 nafl after witr of Isha.
    My question is when were these introduced as part of these daily prayer as well as the sunnah and farz prayers.
    I cannot find any evidence of these in any of the hadith.
    I’m from Hanafi sect.

    Jazak Allah khair

    • Wa alaikum As Salam Warahmatallah brother,

      Before I respond to actual content of your question, I have two things to say:

      1. I strongly oppose such statements: “I am from Hanafi sect or Maliki sect etc.” These statements amount to sin. Instead you should only say that you are a Muslim. If you want to emphasize about your bent towards teachings of Imam Abu Hanifa, you can say that I prefer teachings of Imam Abu Hanifa, or something similar. But labeling yourself to a sect named other than Muslim/Islam is a horrendous crime in my view, which tends to bifurcate the Ummah. Please do not do so. Always use the word Muslim for yourself.

      2. It should be very well understood that all prayers other than Farz prayers are voluntary, which are called Nawafil. I have explained this matter in detail in the subject article; kindly go through this point carefully.

      Now let us come to your main question. There is no restriction on a person for no. of raka’at for nawafil prayers. However, it is recommended that we follow example of our Prophet (PBUH). On this basis, the voluntary prayers which he sued to offer regularly came to be known as Sunnah-e-Muakkada. These are:

      2 raka’at before Fajr, 4 raka’at before Dhuhr and 2 raka’at after Dhuhr, 2 raka’at after Maghrib, and 2 raka’at after Isha. These amount to total of (2 + 4 + 2 + 2 + 2) 12. These twelve raka’at are talked of Sunnah-e-Muakkada, and are talked of in high regards; refer to following narration:

      It was narrated that Aishah (RA) said: Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) said, “Whoever persists in performing twelve raka’at from the Sunnah, a house will be built for him in Paradise: four before the Zuhr, two raka’at after Zuhr, two raka’at after Maghrib, two raka’at after the Isha, and two raka’at before Fajr.” – (Hadith no. 1140, Chapters of Establishing the Prayer, Sunan Ibn Majah, Vol. 2).

      This summarizes the Sunnah-e-Muakkada voluntary/nawafil prayers.

      Regarding the additional nawafil prayers you highlighted, you will several examples from the Prophet (PBUH) which tell us that he sometimes used to offer such nawafil prayers and sometimes not. For example:

      It was reported from Umm Salamah (RA) that the Prophet (PBUH) used to pray two short raka’at after Witr, sitting down. – (Hadith No. 1195, Chapters of Establishing the Prayer and the Sunnah regarding them, Sunan Ibn Majah, Vol. 2).

      Such cases were not regular for the Prophet (PBUH). The regular nawafil prayers were the twelve which I explained above.

      Therefore, if someone wants to offer the additional nawafil prayers also, there is no harm in that. But if it comes to ruling of Sunnah-e-Muakkada for such nawafil prayers, then only the twelve raka’at mentioned above fall under that category.

      I hope this answers your question satisfactorily.

      Feel free to write back in case any doubt remains.

      And Allah knows best.

  31. ALESHINLOYE TOHEEB

    Jazak Allahu khaeran. Yes I’m O.K but tell me sahih Haadith on Nafl Ishraaq

    • Salam alaikum,

      There are many authentic ahadith related to voluntary prayer of Ishraq. The prayer is actually called Duha prayer.

      It was narrated that Abu Hurairah (RA) said: My close friend (the Prophet, PBUH) advised me to do three things: to fats three days of every month, to pray two raka’at of Duha, and to pray Witr before going to sleep.” – (Hadith No. 1672 (721), Book of the Travellers’ Prayer & Shortening Thereof, Sahih Muslim, Vol. 2).

      This hadith tells us that the Prophet (PBUH) recommended his companions to pray Duha. However, there are different narrations which tell us about different numbers of raka’at being offered for Duha prayer. The above mentioned hadith mentions 2 raka’at. Following hadith mentions 4 raka’at:

      It was narrated that Aishah (RA) said, “Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) used to pray Duha with four raka’at, and however many more Allah willed.” – (Hadith No. 1665 (719), Book of the Travellers’ Prayer & Shortening Thereof, Sahih Muslim, Vol. 2).

      The last phrase tells us that there is no restriction in numbers of raka’at, it can be even more than 4.

      Therefore, the correct understanding about number of raka’at for Duha prayer is that it is minimum 2 raka’at; if someone wants to offer more, he/she can do so in even numbers. And Allah knows best.

      Another important thing in context of Duha prayer to be learned is that most of the ahadith tell us that the Prophet (PBUH) used to offer Duha prayer whenever he came from a journey. And the following hadith of Aishah (RA) makes this view sounder:

      It was narrated that Abdullah bin Shaqiq said: I said to Aishah (RA), “Did the Prophet (PBUH) pray Duha?” She said, “No, unless he was returning from a journey.” – (Hadith No. 1660 (717), Book of the Travellers’ Prayer & Shortening Thereof, Sahih Muslim, Vol. 2).

      It should also be remembered that it is a voluntary prayer, and one should not make it so regular that starts becoming similar to farz prayers; refer to following hadith:

      It was narrated that Aishah (RA) said, “I never saw Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) praying the voluntary prayer of Duha, but I used to do it. If Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) gave up an action that he liked to do, it was for fear that the people would do it and it would be made obligatory for them.” – (Hadith No. 1662 (718), Book of the Travellers’ Prayer & Shortening Thereof, Sahih Muslim, Vol. 2).

      Here Aishah (RA) talks about regularity of Duha prayer, which the Prophet (PBUH) purposely stopped to put forward an example for us that it is a nawafil prayer and people should not emphasize on it in a manner similar to that of obligatory prayers.

      I hope this answers your query satisfactorily.

      And Allah knows best.

  32. Mahmood Hussain Azad

    Assalmo Alaykum.It is generally said that do not offer any prayer/nawafil/tehytul masjid between Sunnah and Fard,because the continuity (TUSILSIL IN URDU) is must between sunnah and Fard.Resultantly,it is advocated that do not pray tehyatul masjid in case you pray two rakat of Fajar sunnah at home(which was the sunnah of Prophet PBUH) and than enter mosque for obligatory salat.Is this practice and judgement in line with Hadith.May please enlighten in this matter .Jazak Allah Khair.

    • Wa alaikum As Salam Warahmatallah,

      First of all, we have to correct our understanding of nawafil prayers. Any prayers other than Farz prayers are called Nawafil prayers. I have explained this at the start of the subject article, and following hadith clarifies this for us:

      Narrated Aisha (RA), “Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) was never more regular & strict in offering any nawafil than 2 raka’at Sunnah before Fajr prayer.” – (Hadith No. 1169, Book of Tahajjud (Prayer), Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 2).

      These nawafil prayers are further categorized in terms of superiority on the basis of the emphasis laid on them by the Prophet (PBUH), by his actions and/or by his words. And as such, we classify these nawafil prayers as Muakkada or Ghair-Muakkada. We Muslims of present world, made the Muakkada nawafil prayers as Sunnah (-e-Muakkada), and termed Ghair-Muakkada nawafils as Nawafils.

      Now let us come to your second part of the query. Whoever says that if you have prayed 2 raka’at nawafil before Fajr prayer at home then he should not offer Tahayyat-ul-Masjid prayers, is wrong, as this contradicts the sayings of the Prophet (PBUH):

      Narrated Abu Qatada Al-Salami (RA): Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) said, “If anyone of you enters a mosque, he should offer 2 raka’at (Tahayyat-al-Masjid) prayer before sitting.” – (Hadith No. 444, Book of As-Salat, Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 1).

      Therefore, we should not try to invent new things in our religion. Tahayyat-ul-Masjid is a voluntary prayer which has been ordered by the Prophet (PBUH) for us to offer whenever we enter a Masjid before we sit. If someone doesn’t want to offer these, I personally hold the view that he should not sit then till the Farz prayer starts.

      And Allah knows best.

  33. assalamu alaykum, i got this hadith in my sahih bukhari mobile app “Narrated ‘Abu Huraira: Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) said,'(Theres is) no ‘Adwa(no congtagious disease is conveyed without Allah’s permission). nor is there any bad omens(from birds), nor is there any Hamah, nor is there any bad omen in month of safar, and one should run away from the leper as one runs away from a lion.” sahih al-bukhari book 76,Hadith 27
    can you pls explain why there is order in hadith to run away from leper? pls help me to understand this hadith

    • Wa alaikum As Salam Warahmatallah,

      ‘Adwa’ here refers to spread/transmission of a disease from one (sick) person to another (healthy) person. The hadith tells us that no disease can be transmitted from one person to another without permission of Allah.

      ‘There is no Tiyarah’ refers to bad omens from birds. ‘There is no Haamah’ refers to another superstitious belief of the people of Jahiliyyah who used to think that Haamah was a type of bird like Owl, and if sat on top of anyone’s house then it means death. The hadith states that there is no authenticity in such superstitious beliefs.

      The phrase ‘No Safar’ refers to the month of Safar which the people used to consider as inauspicious, particularly for marriages. The hadith removes this superstitious belief also from minds of people.

      The phrase ‘runaway form leper’ refers to a patient who is suffering from leprosy and instruction to healthy persons to stay away form a person suffering from leprosy. The reason behind this statement is to be understood well otherwise it leads to wrong understanding of the hadith.

      Leprosy is a serious disease which can cause death also. It is contagious too. But it is said that no disease can be transmitted without permission of Allah. And if a person gets affected of leprosy due to his closeness to a leper, then he will start believing that he got the disease due to him being with a leper, instead of believing that it happened by permission of Allah.

      That’s why the Prophet (PBUH) ordered us neither to put our cattle with animals who are suffering from infectious diseases, nor should we ourselves remain too close to people suffering from contagious diseases. Following ahadith emphasizes this:

      1. Narrated Abu Hurairah (RA): Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) said, “The cattle suffering from a disease should not be mixed up with the healthy cattle; (or said) do not put a patient with a healthy person.” – (Hadith No. 5771, Book of Medicine, Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 7).

      2. Narrated Abu Hurairah (RA): The Prophet (PBUH) said, “No Adwa, nor Safar, nor Hama.” A Bedouin said, “O Allah’s Messenger (PBUH)! What about the camels which, when on the sand look like deers, but when a mangy camel mixes with them they all get infected with mange?” On that Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) said, “Then who conveyed the disease to the first camel?” – (Hadith No. 5770, Book of Medicine, Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 7).

      I hope this answers your query satisfactorily. Feel free to write back in case any doubt remains.

      And Allah knows best.

      • jazakallah for your answer,alhamdulillah now i got it now no comfusion but i have one more question that my brother lives in london and there some masjids follow saudi for ramadhan’s new moon nd for eid’s new moon and some masjids follow south africa,now he is confused what to do? and main thing is what is right according to quran and hadith? please help us because i got this hadith Narrated Ibn Umar: I heard Allah’s Apostle saying, “When you see the crescent (of the month of Ramadan), start fasting, and when you see the crescent (of the month of Shawwal), stop fasting; and if the sky is overcast (and you can’t see It) then regard the crescent (month) of Ramadan (as of 30 days)”.
        [Bukhari, Chp: 031 Fasting, No. 124] so related to this hadith if we can’t see moon in london so we should count month as 30 na?

        • Salam alaikum,

          The hadith quoted by you is correct.

          The concern highlighted by you is a very serious concern for Muslim Ummah. I would rather avoid making any comment on this matter, as it is a matter of unity of Ummah, and needs a serious decision-making from people in authority. The authorities taking active and decisive roles in decision making pertaining to Islamic matters should take a serious look of such matters so as to arrive at a unanimous conclusion on such matters. Till that doesn’t happens, people will remain divided and confused.

          May Allah help us to remain united!

          • walaykum assalam and ya i think you are right but i am sorry because i have one more question that i regularly read hadiths in bukhari app of my phone but my many friends told me you should not trust online hadiths,theres chances to mixup wrong hadiths with it so you should not read but I don’t think so,please tell me your opinion,what should i do? and let me tell you that mostly hadiths of it i found in islamic lectures of ulma

          • Salam alaikum,

            I am of old school of thoughts and always prefer books over online material. There is no harm in searching for references on internet; but whenever we come across any reference of Qur’an and/or Sunnah, we should go to our books to confirm those. For example: if you come across some explanation given by an online article with references of Qur’an, then you should confirm the inference and translation of the quoted verses by means of any Tafsir (like I prefer Tafsir by Imam Ibn Kathir). Similarly, when you come across any hadith, check about its status in books of ahadith. Once you keep doing this over a period of time, you will be able to judge well which websites are talking on authentic references and which are not. Also, over a period of time, your experience and knowledge about Islamic rulings will gather strength, and you will be able to assess the references easily.

            Even in case of reading articles on our website, adopt this practice.

            Now you would say, how will I get all books. Then my answer will be: It is not difficult to find good books of Tafsir and books of ahadith. I can tell you about publication house called Dar-us-Salam, from Saudi Arabia; they are printing numerous copies of Tafsir in many languages. Also, they have printed books of all major ahadith collections in different languages. And you don’t have to pay huge money to get them form their book stores.

            Develop this habit of reading and learning from books. You will eliminate the doubts which online material may bring in.

            And Allah knows best.

  34. Are we supposed to perform Qabli or Badi in Nawafil Salat?

    • Salam alaikum,

      I assume that you want to ask whether we should adopt Qabd or Sadl posture during Nawafil Salat.

      Kindly refer to another detailed article titled ‘Where to place hands while standing in Salat (‘Qabd’ vs ‘Sadl’)?’ available at our website. Insha’Allah that shall help you in this matter. Feel free to write back in case any doubt remains.

      Jazak Allah khair.

  35. walaykum assalam,jazakallah for your opinion recently I thought about it that i should check in books but i told you that most of hadiths from it i found in islamic lectures.

  36. i have one more confusion about saying amin after surah al-fatiha,here in india in all masjids imam does not say amin loudly but when i read hadiths in my hadith app so i found all hadiths about saying amin loudly,now i want to confirm with you that what is right way? saying loudly or not?

    • Salam alaikum,

      It is recommended to say ‘Aameen’ after reciting Surah Al-Fatiha during the prayer. This is authenticated by following narration:

      Narrated Abu Hurairah (RA): The Prophet (PBUH) said, “Say Ameen when the Imam says it and if the Ameen of any one of you coincides with that of the angels then all his past sins will be forgiven.” Ibn Shihab said, “Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) used to say Ameen.” – (Hadith No. 780, Book of Adhan, Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 1).

      The hadith in support of saying Aameen loudly is:

      Wa’il bin Hujr (RA) narrated that he prayed behind Allah’s Messenger (PBUH). He (the Prophet, PBUH) would raise his voice with ‘Ameen’, and he would say the Salam to his right and left until I could see the whiteness of his cheek.” – (Hadith No. 933, Book of Salat, Sunan Abu Dawud, Vol. 1).

      The view of all scholars is that it is recommended to say Ameen loudly in prayers where Qur’an is recited loudly, and say Ameen in low voice in prayers where Qur’an is recited silently.

      I personally have no problem in performing prayer both ways; though saying it loud is preferable to me.

      And Allah knows best.

  37. As salam alikum wa ramatallah hi wa barkatahu

    Dear Bother,

    when we are praying 4 rakats of Nawafil prayer, should with join surat with Sureh Al-Fatiha in last two rakats.

    • Wa alaikum As Salam Warahmatallah Wabarakatuhu,

      Reciting other Surah or Verses of Qur’an after Surah Al-Fatiha in a Salat is not compulsory, whether the Salat is Farz or a Nawafil, whether the recitation is done aloud or silently:

      It was narrated that Ata said: Abu Hurairah (RA) said, “In every Salat you should recite. What Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) made us hear, we make you hear; and what he recited quietly, we recite quietly.” A man said, “Even if I do not recite more than the Essence of Qur’an (i.e. Surah Al-Fatiha)?” He said, “If you recite more than that, that is better; but if you stop at that, it will suffice for you.” – (Hadith No. 883 (396), Book of As-Salat, Sahih Muslim, Vol. 1).

      Therefore, it is sufficient if we recite only Surah Al-Fatiha in every raka’at of our prayer.

      However, based on other examples of the Prophet (PBUH) and his companions, it is unanimously agreed by all scholars that it is recommended to recite another Surah/Verses after Surah Al-Fatiha in first two raka’at of any prayer, whether Farz or Nawafil, and to recite only Surah Al-Fatiha in third and/or fourth raka’at of all prayers, whether Farz or Nawafil.

      And Allah knows best.

  38. walaykum assalam,jazakallahu khaira..m totally satisfied with your answers but i have one more question today i m sorry but lots of questions comes to my mind about islam,today i want your explanation about this hadith ” Narrated ‘Abdullah bin Abi Aufa” We were traveling with Allah’s Apostle and he was fasting, and when the sun set, he said to (someone), “Get down and mix Sawiq with water for us.” He replied, “O Allah’s Apostle! (Will you wait) till it is evening?” The Prophet again said, “Get down and mix Sawiq with water for us.” He replied, “O Allah’s Apostle! It is still daytime.” The Prophet said again, “Get down and mix Sawiq with water for us.” So, he got down and carried out that order. The Prophet then said, “When you see night falling from this side, the fasting person should break his fast,” and he beckoned with his finger towards the east.
    [Bukhari, Chp: 031 Fasting, No. 177]” now can you pls tell me what is the meaning of “when you see night falling from east” in this hadith?

    • Salam alaikum,

      The statement ‘when you see night falling from east’ in this hadith is self-explanatory.

      The time of breaking the fast is when the sun sets i.e. Maghrib. The sun sets in west, and hence, the start of darkness can be seen in east direction of the sky (west side will still be having light until the sun is completely invisible).

      This is what the Prophet (PBUH) is telling his companions that the time of breaking the fast is when the suns sets, and one of the means of judging it is when you see darkness of night starting from the east, then is the time of sunset and breaking the fast.

      And Allah knows best.

  39. walaykum assalam, now i got it jazakallah

  40. Assalamu walaikum
    Brother I have read all the post I’m satisfied, but I’m having a small doubt on sunnah/nawafil prayers do I need to have intention of Nawafil or sunnah prayer ?

    • Wa alaikum As Salam Warahmatallah,

      Dear brother, you call it Nawafil prayer or Sunnah prayer, it is same. You can have Niyyah as you have it in your heart. It is not required to spell out the Niyyah of prayer loudly, rather, it is only in heart. Therefore, whatever Niyyah you have in heart at the time of standing for prayer, that is the Niyyah for the prayer, that’s it.

      Therefore, you should not have any doubt/confusion over this matter.

      And Allah knows best.

      • As Salaam Wa Alaikum Brother,
        Please tell me specifically to be sure whether I should use sunnah/nawafil in the niyya.
        Did our prophet and sahabas what prayer intention they had.?

        • Wa alaikum As Salam Warahmatallah,

          Make the Niyyah as you wish brother, both ways it shall be OK, Insha’Allah.

          There is no evidence from ahadith about making the intention loudly by the Prophet (PBUH) and his companions. Therefore, it is a matter of intending in heart.

          And Allah knows best.

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