Kitab Al-Salaah (The book of Prayer)


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  • Kitab Al-Salaah (The book of Prayer)




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    Voluntary
    Prayers

               
    Besides the prescribed obligatory prayers, a person may come up with as
    many voluntary prayers as is possible. Through voluntary prayers a
    person receives additional rewards and through them he draws closer to
    Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala) although a person will not be punished for
    neglecting to perform voluntary prayers.

               
    However, the Prophet (peace be upon him) had set a tradition of
    practicing certain voluntary prayers before and/or after the obligatory
    prayers and every Muslim is strongly recommended to perform them. These
    are as follows:

    1. DHUHR (NOON) PRAYER: Four (4) rakaats before (with each two
      rakaats performed separately) and two (2) rakaats after.
    2. MAGHRIB (SUNSET) PRAYER: Two (2) rakaats after.
    3. ISHA (EVENING) PRAYER: Two (2) rakaats after.
    4. FAJR (DAWN) PRAYER: Two (2) rakaats before.

               
    These Voluntary prayers are known in Arabic Language as (Rawatib) which
    may be construed to mean definite practices and the Prophet (peace be
    upon him) used to preserve their performance continuously whenever in
    residence. However, during his travels he used to omit their practice
    except the two rakaats before the Fajr prayer. Performance of these two
    rakaats is so important that the prophet (peace be upon him) said:
    “These two Rakaats are more important to me than the whole world”

    (Reported by imam Muslim).

               
    While there is no objection to perform these optional prayers at the
    mosque, it is preferred to perform them at home in view of the
    following saying of the Prophet (peace be upon him): “The best
    of
    the prayers are those which are fulfilled at one's home, with the
    exception of the obligatory prayers (which are to be performed with the
    congregation at the Mosque)”
    (Reported by Imam Abu Dawoud).

               
    Fulfilling these twelve (12) voluntary prayers is a means to gain
    admission to paradise as can be noted from the following saying of the
    Prophet (peace be upon him): “Whoever prays optionally twelve
    rakaats every one day and night, Allah will reward him by an
    established dwelling in the paradise”
    (Reported by Imam
    Bukhari).

               
    Besides the above twelve definite voluntary prayers, the person may
    also pray four optional rakaats before Asr (Afternoon) prayer, and two
    before Isha (Evening) prayer, because these were also reported to have
    been practiced by the Prophet (peace be upon him).


    Times When Performance of Voluntary Prayers is Prohibited

               
    There are certain times when voluntary prayers are not allwoed to be
    performed and these are as follows:

    1. In between the Fajr Prayer and the rising of the sun.
    2. In between when the sun is close to its zenith and the Dhuhr
      Prayer.
    3. In between the Asr Prayer and until sunset.

               
    However, a person can perform the two rakaats prayed as salutation to
    mosques whenver a person enters a mosque even though the time of
    entering the mosque may coincide with one of the above stated timings.
    This is accordance with the following Prophetic (peace and blessings of
    Allah be upon him) saying: “Anyone of you entering a mosque,
    should not sit until after perfoming two rakaats”
    (Reported by
    Imam Al-Bhukari).

     

     

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