Class 3 – Forgotten Sunan of Salah

Class 3
Forgotten Sunan of Salah

1. Reciting some verses in the third and fourth rak’ah of Zuhur prayer

 Aboo Sa`eed al Khudri (radiAllaahu `anhu) said that the Prophet used to recite in the first two rak’ahs of Zuhr prayer approximately thirty verses in each rak’ah, and in the last two rak’ahs approximately fifteen verses, or he said: half of that. In the first two rak’ahs of ‘Asr he used to recite in each rak’ah approximately fifteen verses, and in the last two rak’ahs approximately half of that. [Muslim, 452]

Thus, the scholars mention that it is sunnah to sometimes recite a soorah (after faatihah) in the last two raka`ah and sometimes not to recite a soorah (after faatihah) in the last two raka`ah.

2. Keeing the rows are straight and gaps filled

The Prophet ﷺ  said: 

  • Straighten your rows, for straightening the rows is part of perfecting prayer.” [Bukhaari & Muslim]
  • Make your rows straight.” [Reported by Al-Bukhaari]
  • “Make the shoulders parallel.” [Reported by Imam Ahmad and An-Nasaa’i],

3. Using Siwak (Miswak) before every prayer 

Allah’s Apostle said, If I had not found it hard for my followers or the people, I would have ordered them to clean their teeth with Siwak for every prayer. [Bukhari & Muslim]

4. Praying Nawafil and Sunnah prayers at home

Amongst the Sunan that become rarely offered is performing An-Nawaafil (i.e. supererogatory acts of worship) at home. There are many texts that encourage doing that.

The Prophet  ﷺ said:

  • O people, pray in your houses, for the best of prayer is a man’s prayer in his house, apart from the prescribed prayers.  [Reported by Al-Bukhaari and Muslim]
  • Man’s voluntary prayer, where people do not see him, is twenty five times as equal as that which he performs publicly.” [Reported in Musnad Aboo Ya’ala, Hadeeth 3821, Authenticated by Shaykh al-Albaanee in al-Jaami’ as-Sagheer, #3821] 
  • When any one of you finishes his prayer in his mosque, let him give his house a share of his prayer, for Allaah will create something good (i.e bless him) in his house from his prayer.”[Muslim]

5. Supplicating with whatever you want after the Final Tashahud in salah 

Prophet ﷺ, said:  When you sit after every two Rak‘ahs, then say: At-tahiyyaat al-tayyibaat As-salawaatu Lillaahi (All compliments, blessed words, prayers, pure words are due to Allaah …” Until he,  ﷺ , said: “And that Muhammad is His Slave and Messenger and then each of you should select the supplication he likes best and supplicate Allaah.” [Reported by Ahmad and An-Nasaa’i] 

Meaning, that when one finishes his Attahiyaat, then Ash-hadu Allaah ilaaha …. and the Durood e Ibraahim, then he may supplicate to his lord with any dua’a he knows or wants to make (but in ‘Arabic only for Fard Salahs). He may use supplications he knows from the Qur’an (such as rabbana aatinah fid-dunya hasanah wa fil….) or he may supplicate with any dua’a from the sunnah (such as Allahumma Inni zalamtu nafsi… or Allahumma inni ‘audhubika min adhaabil qabr ….).  and then he/she may say the tasleem (salaam on both sides to conclude the prayer) 

  • You may find the dua’s which the Prophet  ﷺ used to recite after completing his tashahud in the book Hisnul Muslim (Fortress of a Muslim)

6. Giving enough time in the middle of the Two Sujoods in Salah

My fellow Muslims, amongst the Sunan that many Muslims neglected is prolonging time after raising head from bowing and prostration. Many people offer the second prostration quickly after raising head from the first one. This act is actually included in the dispraised hastiness, and one should do the opposite of it because it is one of the forsaken recommended acts in prayer. 

It was narrated that Anas, may Allaah be pleased with him, said: “While leading you in prayer I do not shorten anything in the prayer. I pray as I saw the Messenger of Allaah,   , leading us. He (Thaabit), may Allaah be pleased with him, said: “Anas used to do something which I do not see you doing; when he lifted his head from bowing (rukoo’) he stood up (so long) that one would say: He has forgotten (to bow down in prostration/sujood). And when he lifted his head from prostration (sujood), he stayed in that position, till someone would say: He has forgotten (to bow down in prostration for the second Sajda).” [Reported by Al-Bukhaari and Muslim]

 He ﷺ used to read the following du’aa in his stay between the two prostrations:

  • Allahummagh Firli war hamni waj burni war fa’ani wahh dini wa ‘aafini war zuqni
  • Or He  ﷺ used to read : Rabbigh firli Rabbigh Firli (Oh Lord fogive me Oh lord forgive me)

7. Praying 4 rak’ah Before the ‘Asr prayer

`Ali bin Abu Talib (May Allah be pleased with him)reported: The Prophet  ﷺ used to perform four Rak`ah before the `Asr prayer, separating them with Taslim (i.e., offering blessings) on the favourite angels who are near Allah’s proximity and the Muslims and the believers who come after them[At-Tirmidhi]. 

Ibn `Umar (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: The Prophet  ﷺ said, “May Allah have mercy on a man who performs four Rak`ah before the `Asr prayer.” [Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhi].

These four Rak`ah can be performed in two couplets also, as was the practice of the Prophet ﷺ, according to the preceding Hadith. It can be performed with one Taslim also. Both forms are correct and permissible. Some scholars are of the opinion that the former method is better. `Ulama’ have stated that these four Sunnah of `Asr prayer are Ghair Mu’akkadah. Its importance is however evident from the fact that the Prophet ﷺ prayed for mercy on those who performed these Sunnah.

8. Invoking and Supplicating to Allah during the recitation of the Qur’an in the prayer (salah) itself and at times of Sujood and Tashahud 

 Hudhaifah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: I performed Salat with the Prophet ﷺ one night, and he started reciting Surat Al-Baqarah.He ﷺ then started reciting Surat An-Nisa’ which he followed with Surat Al-Imran. He recited leisurely. When he recited an Ayah which mentioned the tasbeeh, he would say Subhan Allah and when he recited the Ayah which tells how the Rubb is to be asked, the Messenger of Allah ﷺ would then ask from Him; and when he ﷺ recited an Ayah asking one to seek Protection Allah, he would seek Protection of Allah...” [Muslim].

And Abu Moosa al-’Ashari said, “Whoever follows the Qur’an, then he descends with it on the gardens of Paradise.” And ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab (May Allah be pleased with him) said, “They are those who, when they come across an ayah speaking of Rahmah (mercy), they ask Allah for that, and when the come across an ayah of punishment, they seek refuge from that. And this meaning has been narrated about the Prophetﷺ that when he came across an ayah of Rahmah, he asked, and when he came across an ayah of punishment, he sought refuge.”  [al-Nasa’ee #1009, Saheeh]

There are many other ahadeeth and athaars from our aslaaf who used to invoke Allah alot during their prayers for prayer means to converse with your Lord.

Similarly invoking Allah during sujood is also highly recommended: The Prophet ﷺ said, ‘The closest one of you comes to his Lord is while he is prostrating (Sujood); (therefore) make many supplications therein.’ And he ﷺ also said, ‘….. During the bowing, Glorify the Lord. During the prostrations, strive your hardest in making supplications (Dua). Most likely, you will be listened to.”     

[Narrated in the hadith books compiled by Imam Ahmad and Imam Muslim. and others ]

9. Some of the Sunan of the Salah and Salat Al-Duha

From ‘A’ishah radhiallahu Ta’aalaa ‘anhaa, who said: The Messenger of Allah  ﷺ prayed the Duhaa prayer, and then said: (Allahummagh-firlee wa tub ‘alai, Innaka Antat-Tawwaabur-Raheem) until he said it one hundred times. Its Isnad is Sahih. Authenticated by the Imam Al-Albani

10. Wearing Shoes while Praying

The Prophet said: “Act differently from the Jews who do not pray in their leather socks or their shoes.” [Abu Daawood] 

But the condition is that the shoes must be taahir (pure, clean). If there is any najaasah (impurity) or dirt on the shoes, then one should not pray wearing them

11. Types of Witr

It is known as Witr (Odd Number) prayer because of its nature, in that, it is completed in units (rakaats) of odd numbers, thus, 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, and 11. The minimum number of rakaats in the Witr Prayer is one and the maximum which the Prophet (ﷺ) used to perform was eleven.

However, Muslims largely performed this prayer in three units (rakaats) which may be performed in either of the following methods:

  1. Offering two Rakah and then one
  2. Offering all the three rakaats continuously without break (ie not sitting for Tashahud for the Second Rakah).

Please join our free online certificate course SUNNAH PRAYERS, to learn to learn more about the virtues, Fiqh and faqs about all the Sunnah prayers that were offered by the Prophet ﷺ.


Note these are not part of the ongoing course, it is an independent course that can be done at your own pace and at your own convenience.

12. Reciting different Duas after Takbeer-Ihram

Majority of are just used to reciting Subhanakal-lahumma wabihamdika… 

There are other authentic supplications as well can be found in the Book “Hisnul Muslim (Fortress of a Muslim)”. A Muslim is expected to alternate between the Duas which keeps the Sunnah alive and also keeps helps bring in Khushoo in the prayer as it doesn’t just come out as a habit rather the heart is alive.

13. Keeping a Flat back in Rukoo, and reciting different Duas in Rukoo & Sujood

Hadith: If the Prophet  was in ruku he would straighten his back that if water was poured on his back it would remain. (Ibn Majah 872) 

 Again one should try and memorise other Duas to be recited in Ruku and Sujood (can be found in Hisnul Muslim).

14. In the last Rakat of the Prayer for the last Tashahud bring the left foot further ahead (below the shin of Right leg) and rest on the Hip.

15. Sutra

The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, If someone passing in front of a person performing the prayer knew of the penalty for it, it would be better for him to wait for forty.”  (Bukhari)

Whether the Prophet  ﷺ said, forty days, months or years was not mentioned by the narrator.

The sutrah is mustahabb according to the majority of fuqaha’, and some of them are of the view that it is obligatory. 

The Prophet  ﷺ said: When one of you prays, let him pray facing towards a sutrah and draw  close to it, and not let anyone pass in front of him. And he  ﷺ saidLet one of you use a sutrah when he prays, even if it is an arrow. This includes when one is travelling and when one is at home, and it includes both obligatory and naafil prayers. 

16. Remember Death while praying

The Prophet  ﷺ said: “Remember death in your prayer, for the man who remembers death during his prayer is bound to pray properly, and pray the prayer of a man who does not think that he will pray any other prayer.” (al-Silsilat al-Saheehah by al-Albaani, 1421. It was reported from al-Suyooti that al-Haafiz ibn Hajar classed this hadeeth as hasan).

17. Dry Spitting on the Left to Ward off Shaitaan

Abu’l-‘Aas (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported that he said, “O Messenger of Allaah, the Shaytaan interrupts me when I pray, and I get confused in my recitation.” The Messenger of Allaah ﷺ said, “That is a shaytaan whose name is Khanzab. If you sense his presence, seek refuge with Allaah from him, and spit [dry spitting] towards your left three times.” [Abu’l-‘Aas] said: “I did that and Allaah took him away from me.” (Reported by Muslim, no. 2203)

Note: There are probably hundreds of Sunan which aren’t practiced today and maybe according to some scholars even those that can be found in parts of the world, may be extinguished in others parts.

Like for e.g, the saying of “Aameen” loudly in audible salaah is hardly to be seen in India/Pak/Bangladesh ! So we have only enlisted a few Sunnah which come under the category of being neglected or forgotten in today’s time in the Ummah in a major way. Secondly, we have tried to enlist those Sunan which can easily be followed , so atleast we start our way by doing these first and then we could further learn more and more and in sha allah follow more and more 🙂

Please join our free online certificate course(s) mentioned below , to learn to learn more about the Fiqh, rulings, pillars, waajibaat, Sunnahs of Salah and to learn about the spiritual side of each of the movements in Salah, to get out of Autopilot mode and make it more heartfelt. (available online now, register and learn).

Note these are not part of the ongoing course, it is an independent course that can be done at your own pace and at your own convenience.