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 The Prophet's (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam) Guidance regarding Sunan and Supererogatory Prayers

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PostSubject: The Prophet's (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam) Guidance regarding Sunan and Supererogatory Prayers   The Prophet's (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam) Guidance regarding Sunan and Supererogatory Prayers EmptySun Dec 08, 2013 3:39 pm

As Salamu Alaikum 

The Prophet's (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam) Guidance regarding Sunan and Supererogatory Prayers

Excerpt from the Book: Provisions for the Hereafter
Mukhtasar Zaad-al-Maad
by Ibn Qayyim

He would always pray ten Rak'ahs while he was at home and it is these regarding which Ibn 'Umar radiyallahu anhu said: "I have continued to observe the performace of ten rak'ahs which I learnt from the Messenger of Allah Sallalahu aleihi wa Two Rak'ahs before Zuhr and two Rak'ahs after it, two Rak'ahs after Maghrib and two Rak'ahs after 'Isha' in his house and two Rak'ahs before the Fajr prayer. " [1] If he missed the two Rak'ahs before the Zuhr prayer, he would make up for them during the time when it is prohibited to pray after Asr.  Sometimes he used to offer four Rak'ahs before Zuhr. As for the two Rak'ahs before Maghrib, it  has been authentically reported from him that he said: ''Pray two Rak'ahs before Maghrib ( and he repeated it three times); after the third time he Sallalahu aleihi wa  said: "For whomsoever wishes," because he disliked that the people should take them as a Sunnah. [2] This is the correct view, that they are recommended and not a regular Sunnah.

In general, he used to offer the Sunan and the supererogatory prayers for which there was no reason in his house, particularly the Sunnah of Maghrib, for it has not been transmitted from him that he ever; performed it in the mosque, but he sometimes performed (the other Sunan and supererogatory prayers) in the mosque And his observation of the Sunnah of Fajr was stricter than that of all of the supererogatory prayers; likewise, he never failed to observe it and the Witr prayer regardless of whether he was at home or traveling, and it has not been transmitted from him that he offered any regular Sunnah prayers when traveling other than these.

Scholars of Islamic Jurisprudence have differed as to which of them is tnore strongly confirmed; the Sunnah of Fajr is the first act of the day and Witr is the last, which is why he used to offer them by reciting therein the two Surahs of Sincerity (Ikhlas }, [3] because they combine Tawheed of knowledge and Tawheed of action, Tawheed of knowledge  of Allah) and Tawheed of (Allah's) Will, Tawheed of belief and (the slave's) intention. So Say: ''He is Allah, One" [4] includes the Oneness which negates all manner of Shirk, which must be confirmed for Him, Most High and the negation of begetting or being begotten, which confirms the completeness of His Self-sufficiency and freedom from all needs and His Oneness and the negation of anything like unto Him, which includes the negation of anything similar to him or resembling Him and that includes the affirmation of every perfection and the negation of every in1perfection and the invalidity of affirming anything similar, equal or comparable to Him in His Perfection and the negation of all manner of Shirk.

These fundamental principles combine (all aspects of) Tawheed of knowledge by which the one who holds them differs from all of the misguided sects and the polytheists. For this reason, it is said that it (Surah Al-Ikhlas) is equivalent to one third of the Qur'an, for it revolves around two main points: Khabar (information) and lnsha' (imperatives); Insha' is of three types: (i) Command, (ii} negation and (iii) permissibility, while Khabar is of two types: (i) Information about the Creator, Most High, His Names and Attributes and His Judgements and (ii) information about His creation (mankind, the jinn, animals, the earth, Paradise, the Hellfire, the Universe etc.) and Surah Al-lkhlas concentrates on information about Him and about His Names and Attributes, and so it is equivalent to one third of the Qur' an and it purifies the one who recites it from Shirk in matters of knowledge just as the Surah: Say: "Oh, you disbelievers" [5] purifies him from Shirk in actions; and since knowledge precedes action and it is what leads him and drives him and controls him, {Say: "He is Allah, One"} is equivalent to one third of the Qur' an; and since Shirk in actions is caused by people following their own whims and fancies, and many of them follow them even though they know that they are harmful- and eradicating it is more difficult than eradicating Shirk in matters of knowledge, for that may be removed by evidence and appeal to reason and it is not possible for the person who holds such ideas to know something which is clearly not so - this is the reason for the emphasis and repetition in: Say: "Oh, you disbelievers" and this is why he Sallalahu aleihi wa used to recite them in the two Rak' ahs of Tawaf, [6] because Hajj is one of the signs of Tawheed and the day's deeds are begun with them and the deeds of the night are closed with them.

He used to lie on his right side after offering the Sunnah of Fajr [7] and regarding this action two factions held extreme views: One of them from among the Zahiris [8] declared it to be obligatory to do so, while another group mentioned it, saying that it is an innovation. Imam Malik and others held the middle view, considering that there is no objection if a person does it in order to rest, while disliking that anyone should do it as a Sunnah.


[1] Narrated by Al-Bukhari, Muslim, At-Tirmidhi, Abu Dawfid, Malik and Ahmad.
[2] Narrated by Al-Bukhari, Abu Dawud and Ahmad.
[3] That is, Surah Al-Ikhlas and Surah Al-Kafirun.
[4] Surah Al-Ikhlas: 112: I
[5] Surah Al-Kafirun:109: I
[6] Tawaf: Circumambulation of the K'abah during the rites of Hajj and 'Umrah.
[7] Narrated by Al-Bukhari and Muslim, on the authority of A'ishah:radiyallahu an 
[31 Zahiris: A sect who interpreted the Qur'an strictly according to its literal meaning.

Pages 52-54

bluearmchair  Provisions for the Hereafter -Zaad-al-Maad by Ibn Qayyim can be downloaded here bluearmchair 

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