Sunnah Prayers with Great Rewards
The purpose of our creation is to Worship Allah – this is clear, but if we ponder about the obligatory deeds that we need to do, it is just the five obligatory prayers that are to be done daily, apart from that we have no other strict obligations in our daily lives – so how is it that, if we were created to worship our Lord, we can simply get away with the Salah? Every fardh prayer combined does not usally exceed more than an hour of our day; even if one is to include fasting, giving zakah, or doing Hajj, none of those obligations are required to be fulfilled except for once a year or once in a lifetime.
So if the target is a higher place in Jannah, it is essential for us to do more than the prescribed prayers (Fard Salahs).
VIRTUES OF SUNNAH PRAYERS
Allah says in Hadith Qudsi: “And My slave keeps on coming closer to Me through performing Nawafil (voluntary deeds) until I love him, so I become his sense of hearing with which he hears, and his sense of sight with which he sees, and his hand with which he grips, and his leg with which he walks; and if he asks Me, I will give him, and if he asks My Protection, I will protect him.” [Bukhari]
Ranks are raised and Sins are forgiven
The Prophet ﷺ said, “Make a lot of sajdah (i.e. make a lot of prayer) because for every time you make a prostration to Allāh, your rank is raised and your sin is forgiven.” [Muslim]
Mi‘daan ibn Abi Talhah, who said: I met Thawbaan, the freed slave of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ and said: Tell me of a deed that I may do, by which Allah may admit me to Paradise – or he said: Tell me of the most beloved of deeds to Allah. He remained silent. I asked him (again) and he remained silent. I asked him a third time and he said: I asked the Messenger of Allah ﷺ about that and he ﷺ said: “You should prostrate to Allah a great deal, for you will not perform one prostration to Allah but Allah will raise you one degree in status thereby and erase one sin for you.” (Sahih Muslim).
Rabee‘ah ibn Ka‘b al-Aslami (may Allah be pleased with him), who said: I used to stay overnight with the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) and bring him water for wudoo’ and whatever he needed. He ﷺ said to me: “Ask.” I said: I ask to be with you in Paradise. He ﷺ said: “Is there anything else?” I said: That is all. He ﷺ said: “Help me to do that for you by prostrating a great deal.” (Sahih Muslim).
Compensates for anything lacking in obligatory Salah
Prophet ﷺ said: The first of his deeds for which a person will be brought to account on the Day of Resurrection will be his prayer. If it is good, then he will have succeeded and prospered, but if it is lacking, then he will have lost and failed.
If anything is lacking from his obligatory prayer, Allah, will say: Look and see, does My slave have any voluntary prayers, which could make up for what is lacking from his obligatory prayer? Then all of his deeds will be dealt with in a similar manner. (at-Tirmidhi, classed as Sahih)
DO NOT BELITTLE THE OPTIONAL PRAYERS
Aboo Hurairah said: “Allaah’s Messenger ﷺ passed by a grave in which a person had been newly buried, and he ﷺ said: “Two light rak`ahs, which you would regard as being something slight, and which you pray as something extra; if he- and he pointed to his grave- were able to add them to his deeds it would be more beloved to him than (having) everything in your world.” (Classed as Sahih by Albani)
Sunnahs Prayers with Great Rewards
12 Sunan Rawatib
The Prophet ﷺ said: “Allaah will build a house in Heaven for whoever is diligent in observing 12 Sunnah Rak’aat (as follows): 4 Rak’aat before and 2 after the Dhuhr (Midday) Prayer, 2 after the Maghrib (Sunset Prayer), 2 after the Ishaa (Evening) Prayer and 2 before the Fajr (Dawn) Prayer.” [at-Tirmidhi].
If we think about it, most of us who are consistent in our obligatory prayers, also offer the two rak’aat of sunnah for Fajr, Dhuhr, Maghrib and Isha more often than not. So it is usuallt the four rak’aat before Dhuhr that is neglected.
Think about it – just four extra rak’aat, in addition to the sunnah prayers that many of us already offer, and Allah will build a house for us in Jannah! How much easier can the glorious Deen of Allâh be?
Two Rakahs before Fajr
Aisha radhiyallahu ‘anha narrated that the Prophet ﷺ said : “The two rakaats before dawn (fajr) prayer are better than the world and all that it contains.” (Sahih Muslim).
Aisha radhiyallahu ‘anha narrated that the Prophet ﷺ was never more regular and strict in offering any Nawafil than the two rakaats (sunnah before) dawn (fajr) prayer. (Al-Bukhari and Muslim). He ﷺ would not leave these two rakahs even while he was travelling.
It is Sunnah to Surah Kaafiroon in the first Rakah and Surah Ikhlas in the second Rakah of this Sunah prayer. (Reported in Sahih Muslim)
Similarly it Sunnah to recite the same in the Two Rakahs Sunnah after Maghrib (Ibn Majah & Tirmidhi)
Four Rakahs before & Four after Zohr
Aishah (May Allah be pleased with her) reported: The Prophet ﷺ never omitted four Rak`ah supererogatory prayer before Zuhr prayers. [Al-Bukhari].
Umm Habibah (May Allah be pleased with her) reported: The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “Whoever observes the practice of performing four Rak`ah before Zuhr prayer and four after the Zuhr prayer, Allah will shield him against the Fire (of Hell). [Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhi].
`Aishah (May Allah be pleased with her) reported: If the Prophet ﷺ could not perform four Rak`ah before Zuhr prayer, he would perform them after it (i.e., after the obligatory prayer). [At-Tirmidhi].
Four Rakahs before Asr
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].
Offering Sunnah Prayers at Home
Zaid bin Thabit (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Prophet ﷺ said, “O people! perform your (voluntary) Salat (prayers) in your homes because the best Salat of a man is the one he performs at home, except the obligatory Salat.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].
Ibn `Umar (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: The Prophet ﷺ said, “Observe part of the [Nawafil (voluntary)] Salat (prayers) in your homes. Do not turn your homes into graves.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].
Jabir (May Allah be pleased with him)reported: The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “When you have finished your (Fard) Salat (prayer) in the mosque, you should observe some of your (Sunnah and Nawafil) Salat at home; Allah will bless your homes because of your Salat (in your homes).” [Muslim]
QIYAAM UL LAYL / TAHAJJUD
Allah says in Surah Imran Ayahs 15-17 (interpretation of the meaning):
15. “Say: shall I inform you of things far better than those? For the pious ones, there are gardens (Paradise) with their Lord, underneath which rivers flow. Therein is their eternal home and purified wives. And Allaah will be pleased with them. And Allaah is All-Seer of the slaves.
16. Those who say: Our Lord! We have indeed believed, so forgive us our sins and save us from the punishment of Fire.
17. They are those who are the patient ones, those who are truthful and obedient with sincere devotion in worship to Allaah. Those who spend (in the way of Allaah) and those who pray and beg Allaah’s pardon in the last hours of the night.” (Aal ‘Imraan: 15-17).
The Prophet ﷺ encouraged us to pray qiyaam al-layl in many ahaadeeth, such as the following:
Al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar said: From Soorat Tabaarak [al-Mulk] to the end of the Qur’aan is one thousand verses. Whoever prays qiyaam reciting from Soorat Tabaarak to the end of Qur’aan has prayed qiyaam with one thousand verses.
Witr prayer is one of the greatest acts of worship that draw one closer to Allaah. The Prophet never neglected it, he ﷺ even prayed Witr when travelling.
The Messenger of Allaah ﷺ said:
It is proven from authentic hadeeths that Witr can be offered as 1, 3, 5, 7 or 9 rakahs.
Salat al Duha
The Prophet ﷺ said: “In a human (body) there are 360 joints and man must make a charity for each one.” The people said: “Who can do that, O Messenger of Allâh?” He ﷺ responded: “One may cover the mucus that one finds in the mosque or remove something harmful from the road. If one could not do that, he could pray two rak’at of duha and that will be sufficient for him.” (Ahmad & Abu Dawood; classed as Sahih by Albani)
It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allâh be pleased with him) said: “My close friend [ the Prophet ﷺ] advised me to do three things which I will never give up until I die: fasting three days each month, praying Duha, and sleeping after praying Witr.” (Bukhari & Muslim)
Ishraq prayer is Duha (chast) prayer offered at the beginning of its time. These are not two different prayers. It is called Ishraq because it is done immediately after sunrise (shuruq) when the sun has risen to a certain height.
The Prophet ﷺ said: “Whoever prays Fajr in congregation, then sits remembering Allah until the sun rises, then prays two rak‘ahs, will have a reward like that of Hajj and ‘Umrah, complete, complete, complete.”
Narrated by at-Tirmidhi (586), from Anas ibn Maalik (may Allah be pleased with him).
There is a difference of scholarly opinion as to the soundness of this hadeeth. It was classed as da‘eef (weak) by some scholars and classed as hasan (good) by others. Among those who classed it as hasan was al-Albaani (may Allah have mercy on him) in Saheeh Sunan at-Tirmidhi.
Salatul Janazah (Funeral Prayer)
There is great reward in it. It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah ﷺ said: “Whoever attends a funeral until he offers the (funeral) prayer will have one qiraat (of reward) and whoever attends until the burial is done will have two qiraats.” It was said: “What are the two qiraats?” He said: “Like two great mountains.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1261; Muslim, 945)
The scholars are unanimously agreed that the prayer of repentance is prescribed in sharee’ah. The Messenger of Allaah ﷺ said: “There is no one who commits a sin then purifies himself well and stands and prays two rak’ahs, then asks Allaah for forgiveness, but Allaah will forgive him. Then he recited this verse: ‘And those who, when they have committed Faahishah (illegal sexual intercourse) or wronged themselves with evil, remember Allaah and ask forgiveness for their sins; — and none can forgive sins but Allaah — and do not persist in what (wrong) they have done, while they know’ [Aal ‘Imraan 3:135].” (Abu Dawood, classed as sahaah by al-Albaani in Saheeh).
RULING ON MAKING UP MISSED SUNNAH PRAYERS
Qays ibn ‘Amr said: The Prophet ﷺ saw a man praying two rak‘ahs after Fajr. The Prophet ﷺ said: “Fajr prayer twice?” The man said to him: I did not pray the two rak‘ahs that come before it, so I prayed them (now). And the Prophet ﷺ did not say anything. (Ibn Majah; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani).
‘Aa’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) that if the Prophet ﷺ did not pray four rak‘ahs before Zuhr, he would pray them afterwards. (Tirmidhi, classed as hasan by al-Albaani).
The Muslim should not be careless with regard to offering the regular Sunnah prayers, or delay them from the appropriate time, unless he has an excuse, such as if he forgot or is sick or is distracted with something that cannot be avoided, because this will cause him to miss out on the great reward that is bestowed upon the one who regularly offers these Sunnah prayers.
But if he did not have an excuse, then it is not prescribed to make them up, because if an act of worship is connected to a specific time, once that time is over it cannot be made up.
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) said: That is, if he misses any of these regular Sunnah prayers, it is Sunnah for him to make them up, on condition that he had a valid excuse for missing them.
Please join our free online certificate course “SUNNAHS PRAYERS”, to learn more about all the Sunnah Prayers, their virtues, timings and rulings. https://learn-islam.org/sunnah-prayers (available online now, register and learn).
Note these are not part of the course, it is an independent course that can be done at your own pace and at your own convenience.
In tomorrow’s class we will InShaAllah study about various Sunnahs Ibaadaat with great rewards.