Salat Ad-Duha is a prized prayer and whoever wishes to earn reward should pray it, while there is no blame upon the one who does not pray it.
The Excellence of the Duha Prayer
Many hadiths describe the excellence of the Duha (Forenoon) prayer as follows:
Abu Dharr (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Charity is required from every part of your body daily. Every saying of ‘Glory be to Allah’ is charity. Every saying of ‘Praise be to Allah’ is charity. Every saying of ‘There is no God but Allah’ is charity. Every saying of ‘Allah is the Greatest’ is charity. Ordering the good is charity. Eradicating the evil is charity. And what suffices for that (as a charity) are the two rak`ahs of Duha. (Ahmad, Muslim, and Abu Dawud)
Buraidah narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) 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 Allah?” He 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`ahs of Duha and that will be sufficient for him.” (Ahmad and Abu Dawud)
Talking of the legal import of these hadiths, Ash-Shawkani says: “These two hadiths point to the greatness, excellence, and importance of the Duha prayer, stressing its legality as its two rak`ahs suffice for 360 charities. Something like this should be performed regularly and persistently.
The hadiths also establish the importance of saying ‘Glory be to Allah’, ‘Praise be to Allah’, and ‘There is no God but Allah.’ And [the importance of] ordering the good, eradicating the evil, removing the spittle, removing what is harmful from the path, and such other acts that will fulfill what is required of a person of daily charities.”
An-Nawas ibn Sam`an (may Allah be pleased with him) related that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Allah said: ‘Son of Adam, do not fail in performing four rak`ahs in the early day as it will be sufficient for the latter part of the day.”‘ ( Al-Hakim and At-Tabarani )
Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “My friend [the Messenger of Allah] advised me to do three things: fasting three days of every month, praying the Duha prayer, and praying the witr prayer before I sleep.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “During a journey, I saw the Messenger of Allah pray eight rak`ahs in the early day. When he finished, he said: ‘I prayed my prayer wishing and fearing. I asked my Lord for three things and He gave me two and withheld one. I asked Him not to put my Ummah to trial by famine and He granted that request. And I asked that they would not be overtaken by their enemies and He granted that request. And I asked that they not be split into groups and parties and He refused that request.”‘ (Ahmad, An-Nasa’i, and Al-Hakim)
Salat Ad-Duha is a prized prayer
Salat Ad-Duha is a prized prayer and whoever wishes to earn reward should pray it, while there is no blame upon the one who does not pray it.
Abu Sa`id Al-Kudhri (may Allah be pleased with him) reported: “The (peace be upon him) would pray Duha until we thought he would never abandon it. And he would abandon it to the point that we thought he would no longer perform it.” ( At-Tirmidhi )
Recommended time for the Duha prayer
The time for Duha begins when the sun is about a spear’s length above the horizon and it continues until the sun reaches its meridian. It is preferred to delay it until the sun has risen high and the day has become hot.
Zaid ibn Arqam (may Allah be pleased with him) relates: “The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) went to the people of Quba’, and they were performing Duha, and he said: ‘The prayer of devotion should be observed when the young weaned camels feel the heat of the sun.’” ( Ahmad, Muslim, and At-Tirmidhi)
Number of rak`ahs for the Duha prayer
The minimum number of rak`ahs to be prayed is two, as was mentioned in the hadith of Abu Dhar. The most that the Prophet (peace be upon him) performed was eight rak`ahs, whereas, the most he mentioned was twelve rak`ahs.
Some people, such as Abu Ja`far At-Tabari, Al-Mulaimi, and Ar-Ruwyani, who subscribes to the Shafi`i school, say there is no maximum limit to the number of rak`ahs that one may perform for Duha.
Al-`lraqi says, in the commentary on Sunan At-Tirmidhi: “None of the companions or followers are known to have restricted it to twelve rak`ahs.” As-Syuti agrees with it.
Sa`id ibn Mansur records that Al-Hassan was asked: “Did the companions perform it?” He answered: “Yes . . . some of them would pray two rak`ahs and some of them would pray four rak`ahs. And some of them would continue until half the [early] day [had passed].”
Ibrahim An-Nakha`i reports that Al-Aswad ibn Yazid was asked: “How many rak`ahs are to be prayed for Duha?” He answered: “As many as you wish .”
`A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with him) reports: “The Prophet (peace be upon him) would pray four rak`ahs for Duha and would add to it whatever Allah willed.” ( Ahmad, Muslim, and ibn Majah)
Source: Quoted with slight modifications from Sayyid Sabiq’s Fiqh As-Sunnah
The Difference between Shaf` and Witr
Almighty Allah says:
“And [by] the even [number] and the odd”. (Al-Fajr 89:3)
Witr Prayer is a single prayer (an odd number of rak`ahs) performed during the time between `Isha’ (Night Prayer) prayer and Fajr prayer. It must be the last prayers to be offered before the Fajr prayer (Dawn). It is also preferred to be offered at the last third of the night.
Shaf` in Arabic refers to pairs or even numbers, and is the opposite of witr which means odd-numbered.
Ibn Hibban narrated from Ibn `Umar (may Allah be pleased with them) that he used to separate between his even-numbered prayer (shaf`) and odd-numbered prayer with a tasleem, and he said that the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to do that.
This hadith indicates that what is meant by shaf` is two rak`ahs before the one rak`ah (unit of prayer) of witr.
To know more about the rulings of shaf` and witr, watch this interesting talk with Dr. Muhammad Salah.
Source: Huda Youtube Channel.
Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, “He who observes Tarawih prayer (night prayer during Ramadan) throughout Ramadan, out of sincerity of Faith and in the hope of earning reward will have his past sins pardoned..” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
Taraweeh prayer is one of the highlighted acts of worship that is offered during the nights of Ramadan after performing the obligatory `Isha’ and before the witr.
Sheikh Ismail Rufai talks in brief about the virtues and excellence of the night prayer in light of the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him).
Source: Huda TV.
The Last 10 Nights of Ramadan
`A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) used to strive more in worship during Ramadan than he strove in any other time of the year; and he would devote himself more (in the worship of Allah) in the last ten nights of Ramadan than he strove in earlier part of the month.” (Muslim)
In another hadith, `A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) said: “With the start of the last ten days of Ramadan, Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) would pray all the night, and would keep his family awake for the prayers. He tied his lower garment (i.e., avoided sleeping with his wives) and devoted himself entirely to prayer and supplication.” (Agreed Upon)
When do the last 10 nights begin? Do the last 10 days mean the same thing? People do tend to get confused. Also regarding itikaf, when do people begin? When do the last 10 nights end? Watch this short video to get the answer with Sheikh Abu Eesa.
Source: Faithiq Youtube Channel.
It is highly recommended that if one has to choose between two permissible alternatives, one should offer two recommended rak`ahs during any time of the day or the night, and recite therein whatever one wishes from the Qur’an after reciting Surat Al-Fatihah.
Jabir (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to teach us the Istikharah Prayer for each and every matter as he used to teach us the Surah from the Qur’an. (He used to say), “If anyone of you intends to do something, he should offer a two rak`ahs (units of prayer) prayer other than the obligatory prayer, and then say: ‘O Allah, I seek Your counsel by Your knowledge and by Your power I seek strength and I ask You from Your immense favor, for verily You are able while I am not and verily You know while I do not and You are the Knower of the unseen. O Allah, if You know this affair -and here he mentions his need- to be good for me in relation to my religion, my life, and end, then decree and facilitate it for me, and bless me with it, and if You know this affair to be ill for me towards my religion, my life, and end, then remove it from me and remove me from it, and decree for me what is good wherever it be and make me satisfied with such.’” Then he should mention his matter (need). (Al-Bukhari)
In this short talk, Dr. Ahmad Saqr explains the rulings and etiquettes of the Istikharah Prayer (Prayer for seeking guidance) in the light of the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
The prayer for rain is taken recourse to when seeking rain from Allah during times of drought.
This prayer is taken recourse to when seeking rain from Allah during times of drought. It may be performed in one of the following manners:
1- The imam (leader of prayer) prays, with the followers, two rak`ahs (units of prayer) during any time except those times in which it is not desirable to pray. In the first rak`ah, the imam recites Surat Al-A`la (the 78th chapter of the Qur’an) after Surat Al-Fatihah (the first chapter of the Qur’an). And in the second rak`ah, he reads Surat Al-Ghashiyah (the 88th chapter of the Qur’an) after Al-Fatihah, and he delivers a khutbah before or after the Salah.
As soon as he finishes the khutbah, the people present should turn their outer garments around, each placing its left side on his right side and its right side on his left, face the qiblah (direction of the Ka`bah), supplicate to Allah and raise their hands while doing so.
Ibn `Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) reported: “The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) went out [to make the Salat Al-Istisqa’] wearing old clothes, in a humble and lowly manner, and prayed two rak`ahs as he prayed the `Eid, but he did not give a similar khutbah.” (Agreed upon)
`A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) says: “The people complained to the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) about lack of rain, so he gave orders for a pulpit, and when it was set up for him, he appointed a day for the people to gather. He came out on that day when the sun had just appeared and sat down on the pulpit. He extolled Allah’s greatness and praised Him. Then he said: ‘You have complained of drought in your areas and of delay in receiving rain at the beginning of its season, but you have been ordered by Allah to supplicate Him and He has promised that He would answer your prayers.’ Then he said: ‘All praise is for Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful, the King of the Day of Judgment. There is no God but Allah Who does what He wishes. O Allah, there is no God except You. You are the Self-sufficient and we are the poor. Send down rain upon us and make it a source of strength for us and satisfaction for us.’ He then raised his hands and kept raising them till the whiteness of his armpits could be seen.
After this, he turned his back to the people and inverted his cloak, keeping his hands raised. Finally, he faced the people, descended from the pulpit, and prayed two rak`ahs. At that time Allah produced a cloud, thunder, and lightning. And, by Allah’s permission, it rained and before he reached the mosque there was flooding. Then he saw how quickly the people were running for shelter, he laughed until his molar teeth could be seen. He said: ‘I bear witness that Allah has power over all things and I am Allah’s slave and Messenger.’” (Al-Hakim and Abu Dawud)
2- The supplication for rain can also be made on the occasion of Salat Al-Jumu`ah (Friday Prayer). In this case, the imam makes supplications during khutbat Al-jumu`ah with the people of the congregation saying (Ameen).
Shuraik narrated on the authority of Anas ibn Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) that a man entered the mosque on Friday while the Prophet (peace be upon him) was addressing the people. The man said: “O Messenger of Allah, our wealth has been destroyed and we have no transport to the market place. Supplicate for us for rain.” The Prophet raised his hands and said: “O Allah, give us rain. O Allah, give us rain. O Allah, give us rain.”Anas said: “By Allah, at that time there were no clouds in the sky and there was no house or building between us and the mountain. From behind the mountain came a cloud looking like a shield. By the time it reached the middle of the sky, it burst and started to rain. By Allah, we did not see the sun for one week. Then, on the next Friday, a man entered the mosque from that (same) door while the Prophet was making the address. The man faced the Prophet and said: ‘Our livestock is dead and the paths are unpassable. Ask Allah to make it stop.’ The Prophet raised his hands and said: ‘O Allah, around us and not upon us. O Allah, make it upon the hills, small mountains, bottom of the valleys, and plantations.’ The rain stopped and we walked out in the sunshine.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
3- One may also make a supplication (for rain) without it being Friday and regardless of whether or not the prayer takes place inside or outside the mosque.
Shurahbil ibn As-Simt said to Ka`b ibn Murrah (may Allah be pleased with them): “O Ka`b, relate to us something from the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him).” Ka`b said: “When a man came and said to the Prophet of Allah, ‘Seek rain for the tribe of Mudar,’ I heard the Prophet say: ‘You are a bold man. You want me to seek rain for the tribe of Mudar?’ The man said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, you have sought victory from Allah and He gave you victory. You supplicated Allah and He answered you.’ The Messenger of Allah raised his hands and said: ‘O Allah, give us a saving rain, good and productive, general and heavy, now and not later, beneficial and not harmful.’ Allah responded to his supplication. It was not long before the people came complaining about the profusion of rain, and damage to their dwellings. The Messenger of Allah raised his hands and said: ‘O Allah, around us and not upon us.’ The clouds began dispersing left and right.” (Ahmad and Ibn Majah)
Some supplications for rain:
The following are some of the supplications that have been transmitted.
Ash-Shafi`i states that it has been related from Salim ibn `Abdullah, on the authority of his father that the Prophet (peace be upon him) would say for istisqa’: “O Allah, give us a saving rain, productive, plentiful, general, continuous. O Allah, give us rain and do not make us among the despondent. O Allah, (Your) slaves, land, animals, and (Your) creation all are suffering and seek protection. And we do not complain except to You. O Allah, let our crops grow, and let the udders be refilled. Give us from the blessings of the sky and grow for us from the blessings of the earth. O Allah, remove from us the hardship, starvation, and barrenness and remove the affliction from us as no one removes afflictions save Thee. O Allah, we seek Your forgiveness as You are the Forgiving, and send upon us plenteous rains.” Ash-Shafi`i said: “I prefer that the imam would supplicate with that (prayer).”
Sa`d reported that for istisqa’, the Prophet would supplicate: “O Allah, let us be covered with thick clouds that have abundant and beneficial rain, frequently making a light rain upon us and sprinkling upon us with lightning. O Allah, You are full of majesty, bounty and Honor.” (Abu `Awanah in his Sahih collection)
`Amr ibn Shuaib relates from his father, on the authority of his grandfather (may Allah be pleased with them), that for istisqa’, the Prophet would say: “O Allah, provide water for Your slaves and Your cattle, display Your mercy and give life to Your dead lands.” (Abu Dawud)
It is preferred for the one who is making this supplication to raise his hands with the back of his hands toward the sky. Muslim records from Anas that the Prophet (peace be upon him) would point with the back of his hands during istisqa’.
It is also preferred, upon seeing the rain, to say: “O Allah, make it a beneficial rain” and he should uncover part of his body to the rain. On the other hand, if one fears that there is too much rain, one should say: “O Allah give us mercy and do not give us punishment, calamities, destruction or flooding. O Allah, make it upon the woods, farms and trees. Make it around us and not upon us.” All of this is authentic and confirmed from the Prophet (peace be upon him).
Source: Quoted with slight modifications from Sayyid Sabiq’s Fiqh As-Sunnah.