Desirability of offering Nawfil (Voluntary or Optional) Prayers at Home
1128. Zaid bin Thabit (May Allah be pleased with him)reported: The Prophet (PBUH) 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].
Commentary: This Hadith tells us that the Nawafil and Sunnah prayers should be performed at home. It goes without saying that all the Fard constituents of every Salat are to be performed in the mosque (Masjid) in congregation. The order to perform the Nawafil prayers at home shows its merits. Firstly, it saves a person from showing off, and secondly, houses are blessed due to them.
1129. Ibn `Umar (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: The Prophet (PBUH) said, "Observe part of the [Nawafil (voluntary)] Salat (prayers) in your homes. Do not turn your homes into graves.''
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].
Commentary: "Observe part of the Salat (prayers) in your homes'' here means Nawafil and Sunnah. The houses in which Nawafil are not performed are like graveyards. Such houses are like graves which have no scope for action and worship and are thus deprived of their reward, which is a great deprivation indeed.
1130. Jabir (May Allah be pleased with him)reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) 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).''
Commentary: This Hadith has the same message which is conveyed by the preceding Ahadith namely that the Fard Salat should be performed in the Masjid (mosque) while some of the supererogatory, optional and voluntary prayers should be performed at home.
1131. `Umar bin `Ata reported that Nafi` bin Jubair sent him to Sa'ib bin Ukht Namir to ask him about something that Mu`awiyah had seen him doing in Salat (prayer). He said: "Yes, I performed the Friday prayer along with him in the enclosure (Maqsurah), and when the Imam concluded the Salat with Taslim, I stood up in my place and performed the Sunnah prayer. When Mu`awiyah went home, he sent for me (and when I came) he said: "Never do again what you have done. When you have observed the Friday prayer, you must not start another Sunnah prayer till you have spoken to some one or have shifted your place; because the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) ordered us not to follow up the congregational Salat with any other Salat until we have talked (to some one) or moved from the place."
Commentary: "Maqsurah'' was an enclosure in a mosque or a place which was made there for the security of rulers. When Muslim caliphs and rulers used to perform their prayers in congregation, they would occupy this place. The word "Friday" (Jumu`ah) has been mentioned here because of the incident reported in it, otherwise, this order applies to every Salat and is not restricted to Jumu`ah alone. There is a standing order that one must separate the Fard and the Sunnah of a Salat by some means, like conversation, changing place of the Salat, going out of the Masjid, etc., as has been mentioned in a Hadith narrated earlier. What Muawiyah has stated here is in the light of this Hadith.