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In Islam, a nafl prayer (Arabic: صلاة نفل, ṣalāt al-nafl) or supererogatory prayer is a type of optional Muslim salah (formal worship). As with sunnah prayer, they are not considered obligatory but are thought to confer extra benefit on the person performing them. An example is the offering of duha prayers. According to the following hadith, nafl not only draws one closer to Allah but also helps one attain the better success in the afterworld i.e. Paradise:
- "Rabi'ah ibn Malik al-Aslami reported that the Prophet said: "Ask [anything]." Rabi'ah said: "I ask of you to be your companion in paradise." The Prophet said: "Or anything else?" Rabi'ah said: "That is it." The Prophet said to him: "Then help me by making many prostrations [i.e. supererogatory prayers]"." (sahih)
Tahiyatul wudu is the nafl prayer after doing wudhu.
Tell me that deed of yours which is most hopeful (for reward) after embracing Islam, for I heard your footsteps in front of me in Paradise (in my dream).
I have not done anything extra ordinary except that whenever I perform wudu during the day or night, I salah (tahiyatul wudu) after that, as much as was written or granted for me."
Abu Hureyrah narrated that Muhammad said to Bilal
Tell me about the most hopeful act (i.e one which you deem the most rewarding with Allah) you have done since your acceptance of Islam because I heard the sound of the steps of your shoes in front of me in paradise.
Bilal said :
I do not consider any act more hopeful than that whenever I make ablution (wudu) at any time of night or day, I offer salah (prayer) for as long as was destined for me to offer.
The time for the Ishraq prayer begins fifteen to twenty minutes after sunrise and consists of two Raka'ahs. Praying ishraq is considered to yield greater rewards than performing the lesser Umrah according to some traditions.“According to majority of scholars of Hadith and Fiqh, Duha Prayer and Al-Ishraq Prayer are all names of the same salah (ritual Prayer). It is a recommended Prayer without any fixed number of raka'ahs, and its time proper starts a little after sun rise (approximately fifteen minutes after sunrise) and extends up to the time of the declining of the sun from the meridian.
Duha prayer begins after sunrise and ends at meridian, and is generally thought to include at least two raka'ahs, though in some traditions the number is four or even twelve. According to the Sunni thought, performing this prayer is believed to be effective in seeking forgiveness for one's sins.
Chasht prayer begins when the sun rises a quarter in the morning, and it ends before the time of Dhuhr prayer (i.e. obligatory prayer). It has been said that the one who performs chasht nafls, has a reward of 1 castle of Gold in Jannah. i.e. 1 Chasht prayer = 1 gold castle. Fatima used to be regular in this supererogatory prayer. The supererogatory morning prayer has been narrated from Muhammad, through paths that have reached mass-narration levels - from 19 to over 30 Companions - according to Imam al-Tabari, al-`Ayni in `Umdat al-Qari, al-Haytami, al-Munawi, and al-Qari in Sharh al-Shama'il, Ibn Hajar in Fath al-Bari, al-Kattani in Nazm al-Mutanathir, and as per the monographs compiled by al-Hakim and al-Suyuti as well as the recensions of Abu Zur`a al-`Iraqi in Tarh al-Tathrib, Ibn al-Qayyim in Zad al-Ma`ad, and al-Shawkani in Nayl al-Awtar. According to the vast majority of the Ulema of the Salaf and Khalaf it is a desirable and recommended prayer.
Four Rak'aah Sunnah of Zuhr
Muhammad is reported to have said that Whoever performs the four rakaats before and after the Zuhr salah with constancy, Allah Ta'ala makes the fire of Hell haram (forbidden) for him. [Mishkat,(Hasan-Chain) p. 104; Tirmizi, Abu Da'ud, Nisai, Ibn Majah]
Muhammad is reported to have said that after the worshipper prays the four rakaats of Zuhr salah, the doors of heaven are opened, i.e. the salah becomes accepted by Allah, and the cause of its acceptance comes down on the worshipper as rays of mercy. [Mishkat, p. 104]
4 Rak'aah Sunnah of Asr Muhammad said: "May Allah have Mercy on the one who offers four (rak'ahs) before 'Asr prayer." (Abu Dawud)
Tahiyyatul Masjid (Nafl prayer when entering Masjid)
Abu Qatada narrated that Muhammad said: “If any one of you enters a mosque, he should pray two raka’ats before sitting.”Narrated by Al-Bukhari and Muslim(Sahih)
- This is a 2 Rak'aah Nafl prayer which one should perform as one enters the Masjid and on proper times.
The supererogatory morning prayer has many names. Among them:
- Salat al-Duha or Sibhat al-Duha - Sibha meaning a supererogatory prayer in general and Duha meaning morning, mid-morning, or late morning. This is the name that reoccurs the most in the narrations. It is the late morning prayer when the sun is very hot. The reason for this name is that one leaves dunya at that time to return to Allah Most High and makes up for the Night prayer that he missed. Hence Salat al-Duha is even more stressed for those who miss tahajjud and is its replacement.
- Salat al-Awwabin - is the "prayer of the Oft-Returning" as specified by Muhammad and is offered between Maghrib prayer and Isha prayer.
- Salat al-Ishraq - is the "sunrise prayer" or the prayer performed very shortly after sunrise.
- Salat al-Fath - is the "victory prayer" as it was established that Muhammad prayed it the morning he entered Makka (in al-Bukhari and Muslim) and this has become the Sunna of military leaders upon entering a newly conquered region.
- Mohammad, Mamdouh N. (2003). Salat: The Islamic Prayer from A to Z. Dr Mahmdouh N Mohammad. p. 14. ISBN 978-0-9652877-4-6.
- Targhib p. 427. vol. I ref. Abu Yate ba Isnad-e-Sahib
- Al-Sunan al-Sughra #1,659
- Sahih Muslim #1,175
- Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal #23,317
- Sunan Ibn Majah #1,371
- Mishkaat pg.116
- Sunan al-Tirmidhi #438
- Kanz al-Ummal #23437, 23461
- Ibn al-Qayyim, Zad al-Ma`ad (1:356)
- Itr, I`lam al-Anam Sharh Bulugh al-Maram, p. 628