Volume - V / CHAPTER - 2 / LESSON NO: 7
ABOUT "NAFIL" PRAYERS
Q 1: How many Nafl prayers are there and which are those ones?
A. "Nafl" (supererogatory) prayers are numerous which one can offer, as many as he likes, any time except for odious timings. Some of them, as examplified by the Holy Prophet and "Aaimah" (Muslim leaders) are: "Tahi-yatul Masjid" (prayer for the dignity of mosque), "Tahi-yatul Wudu" (prayer for the dignity of ablution), Salaatul Ishraaq, Salaatud Duha (Chasht), prayer for journey, prayer on return from journey, Salaatut Tahajjud, Salaatut Tasbih, Salaatul Haajat (prayer for fulfillment of needs), Salaatul Awwaabeen, Salaatul Ghousiyah, Salaatut Tauba (prayer of repentance), "Salaat Hifzul Eimaan" (prayer for protection of Islamic faith) etc.
Q2: How many "Rakahs" are there in Tahi-yatul Masjid?
A. The one who enters the mosque for preaching or remembrance of Allah should offer two Rakahs of Tahi-yatul Masjid which is Sunnah, provided it is not odious time and if he enters the mosque with the intention to join congregation (Jama'at) or to offer obligatory prayer or he offers any prayer (Fard or Sunnat) immediately after entering the mosque then Tahi-yatul Masjid will be deemed to have been offered by him even though he did not intend to. And in case time is there i.e. he has to wait for the intended prayer then he should offer it.
Q 3: Which prayer is Tahi-yatul Wudu?
A. It is commendable to offer two Rakahs of Tahi-yatul Wudu before the washed parts of the body dry up after performance of ablution. The excellence of this prayer is proved by Hadees. However, offering obligatory prayer soon after ablution or bath will serve as its substitute. Offering two Rakahs prayer after "Ghusl" (bath) is also a commendable act.
Q 4: When and how many Rakahs of Salaatul Ishraaq are offered?
A. Ishraaq time begins when the sun is high in the morning after twenty minutes of sun-rise. Offering two or four Rakahs prayer this time is highly rewarding. A Hadees says that the one who sits and busies himself in remembrance of Allah after finishing Fajr prayer in Jama'at till he offers two Rakahs prayer after sunrise will earn reward of Hajj and Umrah.
Q 5: How many Rakahs are there in Salaatut Duha (Chasht) and which time it is offered?
A. Chasht prayer comprises at least two Rakahs and at the most twelve. Its time begins after sunrise and ends at meridian. It is better to offer Salaatul Duha (Chasht) when one-fourth of the day comes off. A Hadees says that (minor) sins of the one who is very particular about i.e. does not miss Chasht prayer will be forgiven him even if they are equal to the foam of a sea.
Q 6: How many Rakahs are offered for undertaking journey and on return?
A. One should offer two Rakahs at home to set off on a journey and on return (from journey) he should offer two Rakahs in mosque.
Q 7: What is the time of Tahajjud prayer and how many Rakahs thereof are offered?
A. One should go to bed after having offered 'Ishaa prayer (Fard) and then whenever he wakes up in the night before the dawn of Fajr is Tahajjud time for him. He should perform Wudu and offer at least two Rakahs. Eight Rakahs (of Tahajjud prayer) are Sunnat.
However, twelve Rakahs are in practice of"Mashaa-ikh" (saintly guides). One is at liberty to recite which Surah and verses he likes from the Holy Quran in this prayer. In case, the Holy Quran is not committed to one's memory then it is better for him to recite "Surah Ikhlaas" thrice in every Rakah which will earn him the reward of (equal to the) recitation of the whole Quran. The excellences of Tahajjud prayer have been delineated by Ahaadees. The face of the believer who offers this prayer extensively and regularly becomes more beautiful and bright. He will also be admitted into heavens without any reckoning.
Q 8: What is "Salaatul Laiel"?
A. The "Nafl" (supererogatory) prayer which is offered after 'Ishaa prayer is called Salaatul Laiel. Nawaafil (pi.of Nafl) offered in the night are better than those offered during day time. Tahajjud is a kind of Salaatul Laiel.
A Hadees in this respect says that the two Rakahs Nafl prayer which is offered after^ Witr prayer would substitute for Tahajjud if one could not wake up in the night.
Q 9: In which nights are keeping awake commendable?
A. Keeping awake in the nights of Eids, 15th Sha'baan and the first ten nights of Zil-Hijj is commendable. Keeping awake in the nights of Eidul Fitr and Eidul Adha is that one should offer 'Ishaa and Fajr prayers in Jama'at and rest content with it as keeping awake during night may cause him difficulties in the performance of Eid prayer and sacrifice otherwise it is highly rewarding to keep awake. To offer Nafl prayers by oneself, recite the Holy Quran, read or listen to Ahaadees, invoke Allah's blessings on the Holy Prophet (Durood Shareef) or to do other remembrance in these nights serve the purpose of keeping awake. To keep awake without "Zikr-o-'Ebaadat" (remembrance of Allah and worship) is of no use.
Q10: When and how is Salaatut Tasbih offered?
A. Salaatul Tasbih can be offered any time except for odious times. It is better to offer this prayer before Zuhr prayer. This prayer is highly rewarding. Some Muslim scholars and researchers say that none but lethargic one will miss Salaatut Tasbih on knowing its excellences.
A Hadees stresses the importance of this prayer saying "offer Salaatut Tasbih daily if you could do, if not then once a week, if not then once a month, if not then once a year if it is not possible even, then at least once in lifetime.
We the followers of Hanafi creed offer Salaatul Tasbih as has been reported in "Tirmizi Shareef i.e. one should stand up for four Rakahs prayer as per the rules; say Allah-o-Akbar and fold the hands below his navel; recite "Sana" followed by this Tasbih i.e. "Subhaanal Laahi wal-Hamdu Lillaahi walaa Ilaaha Illal-Laahu wal-Laahu Akbar" (Glory be to Allah, Praise be to Allah. There is no deity but Allah. Allah is the Most Great) fifteen times and then recite "Ta'awuz", "Tasmiyah", "Surah Faateha" and any other Surah and then recite the same Tasbih ten times; perform "Rukoo" and recite the same Tasbih ten times after "Subhaana Rabbiyal Azeem"; rise from Rukoo reciting "Sami Allaahu Liman Hamedah" and "Allaa Humma Rabbanaa wa Lakal Hamd" and then recite the same Tasbih ten times; observe "Sajdah" and recite the same Tasbih after "Subhaana Rabbiyal A'laa"; rise from Sajdah and sit in "Jalsah" and recite the same Tasbih ten times; perform second Sajdah and recite the same Tasbih ten times after "Subhaana Rabbiyal A'laa" and then complete the remaining three Rakahs in the similar way. Thus, this Tasbih is recited 75 times in one Rakah and 300 times in all four Rakahs. It is better to recite Surah "Al-Takaasur" in the first Rakah after Surah Faateha, Surah "Al-Asr" in second, Surah "Al-Kaafiroon" in third and Surah "Al-Ikhlaas" in fourth Rakah.
Q11: How is "Salaatul Haajat" offered?
A. If one wants Allah Almighty to fulfill his need or to meet his want he should offer two or four Rakahs "Nafl" prayer after 'Ishaa prayer. He should, according to Hadees, recite "Ayatul Kursi" (throne verse) thrice after Surah Faateha in the first Rakah, Surah Al-Ikhlaas in second, Surah Al-Falaq in third and Surah Al-Naas in fourth Rakah, which is tantamount to offering four Rakahs in "Qadr" night and then "Du'aa" (supplication) for the fulfillment of his need. By the grace of Allah Almighty his Du'aa will be answered. "Mashaa-ikh" (religious leaders) say that they offered Salaatul Haajat and their needs were fulfilled.
Q12: Which prayer is Salaatul Awwaabeen?
A. Offering six Rakahs after obligatory prayer of Maghrib is commendable. This prayer is called Salaatul Awwaabeen. It is optional to offer it either with one Salaam or two Salaam or with three Salaam. But it is better to say Salaam after every two Rakahs. If all six Rakahs are offered jointly i.e. with one Salaam then the first two will be deemed "Sunnat-e-Muakkadah" and the rest four as Nafl. A Hadees says that the one who offers six Rakahs prayer after Maghrib prayer speaking nothing but what is good in between the two prayers, will earn reward equal to the worship of twelve years.
Q13: How is "Salaatul Ghousiyah" offered?
A. "Salaatul Asraar" is an effective prayer for the fulfillment of needs. This prayer has been related by Hadrat Saiey-yidina Ghous A'zam (may Allah be pleased with him) that is why it is regarded as Salaatul Ghousiya.
The method of offering this prayer is that one should, after having offered Sunnat of Maghrib prayer, offer two Rakahs Nafl in which he should better recite Surah Ikhlaas eleveen times after Surah Faateha in every Rakah and complete the prayer as per the rules. Then he should praise Allah Almighty, invoke Allah's blessings on the Holy Prophet (Durood Shareef) eleven times and say "Yaa Rasoolal Laahi Yaa Nabiyal Laahi Aghisni wamdudni Fee Qadaa'i Haajati. Yaa Qaadiyal Haajaat" (O'Messenger of Allah! O'Prophet of Allah! come to my succour and help me in fulfilling my need. O'the fulfiller of all needs!) eleven times and then walk eleven steps towards (the direction of) Baghdad Shareef (Iraq) saying "Yaa Ghousas Saqalaieni wa yaa Kareemat Tarafaieni Aghisni wamdudni fee Qadaai Haajati. Yaa Qaadiyal Haajaat". Thereafter make Du'aa i.e. pray to Allah Almighty through His Beloved Prophet Hadrat Muhammad Mustafa (may Allah's choicest blessings & peace be upon him).
Q14: What is Salaatut Tauba?
A. If one commits a sin (intentionally or unintentionally) he must hurry to offer prayer after performing ablution and do "Istighfaar" i.e. to repent and beg forgiveness of Allah and resolve not to repeat the sin.
Q15: When and how is prayer "for protection of Islamic faith" offered?
A. One should offer two Rakahs Salaat-o-Hifzul Eimaan (prayer for protection of Islamic faith) after Maghrib prayer reciting Surah Al-Ikhlaas seven times and Surah Al-Falaq once after Surah Faateha in the first Rakah and Surah Al-Ikhlaas seven times and Surah Al-Naas once after Surah Faateha in second Rakah and complete the prayer as per the rules. Then prostrate and recite this Du'aa: "Yaa Haie-yu Yaa Qaie-yumu Sabbitni 'Alal Eimaan" (O'Living! O'Eternal! keep me steadfast in Islamic faith).