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Reciting Small Surah in Night Prayer

Question 573: In the other salats of Nafilah of Layl, any small surahs can be recited after Sura al-Hamd.

Answer 573: You are allowed to recite other small Surahs of the holy Quran in each Raka’at of the Night Prayer, however it is said that if you recite Surah al-Ikhlas (Tawhid) after Surah al-Hamd in Shaf’a and Witr prayers you would be given the reward of reciting the whole Quran.[1] Because, the both prayers have 3 Rak’ats and if you recite surah al-Ikhlas three times it would be regarded as reciting the whole Quran.

When it comes to the rak’ats of Shaf’a prayer, it is better to recite Surah al-Falaq after Surah Hamd in the first rak’at and to recite Surah Naas after Surah al-Hamd in the second rak’at. There remains one rak’at of witr prayer in which it is better to recite Surah al-Tawhid thrice after Surah al-Hamd along with Surah al-Falaq and Surah Naas. One can suffice to reciting only Surah al-Tawhid and then perform Qunut.

For further information in this regards, please refer to the following answer:

Index: The night prayer or Salat al-Layl (Tahajjud), answer 234.

Index: Number of things which invalidate the prayer, answer 547.

Index: The Secret of Prayer / Sirr us-Salat, answer 589.

Index:  Do we have to pray in Arabic language, answer 010.

Index:  Saying Āmīn during prayer in validate the prayer, answer 017.

Index: Reciting Dua or Dikr in any language during the Prayer, answer 579.

[1] . Bahrani, al-Burhan, Tehran, Bonyad Beathat, 1416 A.H, Vol. 5, Pg. 797; al-Da’awat, Pg. 218.

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Praying for non-Muslims in Qunoot of Witr prayer

Question 197: Asslamoalakum! Could we add the names of non-muslim people while mentioning the names of 40 people dead/alive in Qunoot of Witr in Namaz-e-shab (nawafilatu-layl)? Also, could we recite Sura Fatiha while passing through the graves of non-Muslims? This include mentioning name of non-Muslims among 40 names in qanoot of witr too, only if they were harmless towards Muslims right? What if that non-Muslim is alive, could we mention him/her in qunoot of Witr?

Answer 197:  Given the supposition made in the answer, there is no difference between mentioning them in Qunut. According to the verses of the Holy Quran, if those non-Muslim who have not fought Muslims on the account of Religion and have not driven us out of our Homeland, Allah (SWT), the Almighty does not forbid us from doing good and regarding justice to them. Therefore, we can visit their graves and ask Allah, the Almighty for His forgiveness and pray for them. However, Allah (SWT) forbids us only from having Friendship with those who fought us on the account of Religion and Drove us out of our homeland; and helped one another in driving us out; We are forbidden to have friendly Relation with them; and whoever among us does so, then he is regarded as One of the disbelievers. Because, in the Holy Quran Allah (SWT) says: “The Prophet and the faithful may not plead for the forgiveness of the polytheists, even if they should be [their] relatives, after it has become clear to them that they will be the inmates of hell”.[1]

Our maraja have different opinions in this regards:

Sayyid Sistani: You are not allowed to pray for non-Muslim in order that Allah (swt) don’t punish them.

Makarem Shirazi: There would be no problem to recite surah al-Fatihah and pray for them if they have not fought Muslims on the account of religion.

Khameneni: There would be no problem in it per se.

Safi Golpayegani: Reciting salawat and seeking Allah (swt) for his forgiveness is not permissible.

The qunut of witr prayer is one of the highly rewarded mustahab acts and stress has been laid on prolonging it. It has been narrated from the Holy Prophet, peace be upon him and his family, that he said: “Whoever prolongs the qunut of his witr prayer in the world, will be at ease at the station of judgment.”[2] In Qunut, first pray for forgiveness of forty or more Mu’mineen who are either dead or living in the following manner. For example, you should say:

“اللهم اغفر لفلان

“Allahumma ighfir li-fulan”.

Instead of ‘fulan’, you should mention the name of the individual whom you want to pray for. Or recite:

اللهم اغفر للمؤمنین و المؤمنات

Allahumma ighfir lil-mo’meneen wal-momeenat.

“استغفر الله ربی و اتوب الیه‌”

Then recite seventy times “astaghfirullah rabbi wa atubu elayh.” Then recite:

“هذا مقام العائذ بک من النار”

Haza maqamul a’eze bika minan nar.

Then say three hundred times:

“العفو”

Al-Afw. Then the following dhikr is recited:

“رب‌ّ اغفرلی و ارحمنی و تب علی‌ّ انک انت التواب الغفور الرحیم‌”

Rabbi ighfirli wa irhamni wa tub ‘alayya innka antat tawwab al-ghafoor al-rahim.[3]

 

For further information in this regards, please refer to the following answer:

Index: Praying for non-Muslim Parents, answer 516.

Index: Ways to Greet in Islam with Muslims and Non-Mahram, answer 369.

Index: The night prayer or Salat al-Layl (Tahajjud, Night Prayer), answer 234.

Index: Reciting Dua or Dikr in any language during the Prayer, answer 579.

[1] . Surah Mumtahina, verses 8 & 9; Surah Tawbah, verse 113.

[2] . Tabatai Yazdi, Muhammad Kazem, Urwat al-Wuthqa, vol.1, p. 544 – 545, Dar al-Tafsir.

[3] . Adopted from answer: The night prayer or Salat al-Layl (Tahajjud, Night Prayer), answer 234.

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The night prayer or Salatul Layl (Tahajjud)

Question 234:  Please let me know about tahajad namaz time and tarika??

Brief answer 234: There are eleven Rak’ats of supererogatory for the night, of which eight Rak’ats are called (mid) night (Tahajjud) then two Rak’ats are called Shaf’ (or couple) and one Rak’at called Vitr (single) prayer which along with the Shaf’ prayer is the preferable prayer, while the two Rak’ats of Morning Prayer are even more preferable than both. It is permissible to confine oneself to Shaf’ and Vitr only; rather particularly to Vitr in case the time is too short, while in case otherwise, it may be offered with the hope (of being desirable to Allah).

The due time for the (mid) night (Tahajjud) prayer is from the mid-night to the actual dawn (Subh-I Sãdiq), while morning (Sahar) is preferable than any other time, the last one-third of the night being entirely morning (Sahar), while its preferable time is one close to the dawn (Fajr), and even more preferable than that is the early morning (Tafriq) as was the practice of the holy Prophet, Allah’s Blessing be on him and his Progeny.[1]

Detailed answer 234: The night prayer or Salat al-Layl is one of the acts of worship and prayers which have been greatly stressed upon and recommended. With this prayer in the middle of the night close to dawn when there is utter silence and the daily uproar and commotion have seized, one gets a very special state of concentration and excitement which is unique and indescribable. That is, the friends of God always choose the pre-dawn moment for invocation and supplication for they are composed and at rest at this time and there is no intention of showing off. At this time, one gets the best of concentration which extraordinarily helps build and revive the spiritual self. That is why the Holy Quran has promised those who offer the night prayer to grant them a position of great glory (maqam mahmood):
“وَمِنَ اللَّیْلِ فَتَهَجَّدْ بِهِ نَافِلَةً لَّکَ عَسَىٰ أَن یَبْعَثَکَ رَبُّکَ مَقَامًا مَّحْمُودًا”

 

“And during a part of the night, pray Tahajjud beyond what is incumbent on you; maybe your Lord will raise you to a position of great glory.”[2]

How to offer the Night Prayer: The night prayer consists of eleven rak’ats. Out of the 11 Rak’ats of the night Nafilah, 8 Rak’ats should be offered with the niyyat of the Nafilah, 2 Rak’ats with the niyyat of Shaf’a, and 1 Rak’at with the intention of Witr. All of these eleven rak’ats can be offered in short and long forms.

Short form:  In the short form of the night prayer, one can suffice to reciting only Hamd, the opening chapter (without Surah) in the prayers.

Long form: In this method, in the first initial rak’ats one should recite Hamd followed by a Surah (like Surah al-Kafiroon, Tawhid etc. which have been recommended). Indeed, according to some traditions, the Surah of Tawhid has been recommended to be recited up to ten times.

When it comes to the rak’ats of Shaf’a prayer, it is better to recite Surah Falaq after Surah Hamd in the first rak’at and to recite Surah Naas after Surah Hamd in the second rak’at. There remains one rak’at of witr prayer in which it is better to recite Surah Tawhid thrice after Surah Hamd along with Surah Falaq and Surah Naas. One can suffice to reciting only Surah Tawhid and then perform Qunut.
Qunut: The qunut of witr prayer is one of the highly rewarded mustahab acts and stress has been laid on prolonging it. It has been narrated from the Holy Prophet, peace be upon him and his family, that he said: “Whoever prolongs the qunut of his witr prayer in the world, will be at ease at the station of judgment.”[3] In Qunut, first pray for forgiveness of forty or more Mu’mineen who are either dead or living in the following manner. For example, you should say:
“اللهم اغفر لفلان

“Allahumma ighfir li-fulan”.

Instead of ‘fulan’, you should mention the name of the individual whom you want to pray for. Or recite:
اللهم اغفر للمؤمنین و المؤمنات

Allahumma ighfir lil-mo’meneen wal-momeenat.
“استغفر الله ربی و اتوب الیه‌”

Then recite seventy times “astaghfirullah rabbi wa atubu elayh.” Then recite:

“هذا مقام العائذ بک من النار”

Haza maqamul a’eze bika minan nar.

Then say three hundred times:

“العفو”

Al-Afw. Then the following dhikr is recited:

“رب‌ّ اغفرلی و ارحمنی و تب علی‌ّ انک انت التواب الغفور الرحیم‌”

Rabbi ighfirli wa irhamni wa tub ‘alayya innka antat tawwab al-ghafoor al-rahim.

Then you should bend for ruku and go down for prostration (sajda) and salam.

Indeed, there are many mustahab dhikr and supplications which one can recite in all the rak’ats of the night prayer. Should you like to learn more about those recommended dhikr.

Every Nafilahs and all mustahabb prayers in general are two rak’ats. if you dont have enough time to offer all eleven rak’ats, there would be no problem to offer 2 rak’ahs of the shaf’ prayer and 1 rak’ah of the watr prayer. if not you can offer the one rak’ah of the watr prayer, only.

[1] . Tahrir al-Wasilah of Imam Khomeini (ra), Vol. 1, rules concerning Preliminaries of Prayer.

[2] . Al-Isra (17): 79.

[3] . Tabatai Yazdi, Muhammad Kazem, Urwat al-Wuthqa, vol.1, p. 544 – 545, Dar al-Tafsir.

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The Daily Nafilah Prayers & Their due time

Question 018: I want to ask the basic problem of my Salat (Prayer). How many nafal and sunnat are in the 5 prayers. For example: If there are 2 rak’at of fajr but before offering fajr prayer I offer 2 rak’at nafal. What are all the rak’at with nawafil of 5 prayers? I need to know the timings of daily Nafilah prayers?

Answer 018: There are two kinds of Prayer: Obligatory (Wãjib) and Recommended (Mandüb).

The recommended prayers are innumerable. Among them are the daily supererogatory (Nafilah) prayers which are eight Rak’ats for Zuhr (noon), eight for Asr (after noon), four for Maghrib (Evening) and two Rak’ats for Ishã’ prayers, which are offered while sitting and are, therefore, counted as one Rak’at, and are called Vatirah, and their due time is extended with the extension of their principal prayer ( the Ishà’ prayer), and two Rak’ats for the morning (Fajr) prayer before the obligatory one, their due time being early dawn and is extended upto when the due time of morning prayer lasts until the appearance of the redness (or twilight). It is permissible to offer them with the midnight prayer (Tahajjud) before dawn even at the middle of the night. Rather, it is not far from being better to offer them some time after offering the midnight prayer after mid-night, but it is more cautious to offer both of them before the early dawn except by inserting them in the night prayer.

There are eleven Rak’ats of supererogatory for the night, of which eight Rak’ats are called (mid) night (Tahajjud) then two Rak’ats are called Shaf’ (or couple) and one Rak’at called Vitr (single) prayer which along with the Shaf’ prayer is the preferable prayer, while the two Rak’ats of Morning Prayer are even more preferable than both. It is permissible to confine oneself to Shaf’ and Vitr only; rather particularly to Vitr in case the time is too short, while in case otherwise, it may be offered with the hope (of being desirable to Allah).

The due time for the (mid) night (Tahajjud) prayer is from the mid-night to the actual dawn (Subh-I Sãdiq), while morning (Sahar) is preferable than any other time, the last one-third of the night being entirely morning (Sahar), while its preferable time is one close to the dawn (Fajr), and even more preferable than that is the early morning (Tafriq) as was the practice of the holy Prophet, Allah’s Blessing be on him and his Progeny.

Thus, the number of the supererogatory prayers (daily Nafilah prayers) after counting Vatirah as one Rak’at comes to thirty four Rak’ats, double of the (daily) obligatory prayers. Of these supererogatory Rak’ats, eight Rak’ats are dropped for Zuhr during a journey causing Qasr (reducing the number of Rak’ats of prayers), eight for Asr and the rest remain intact, while it is more cautious to offer the Vatirah with the intention of hope (of being desirable to Allah).

According to the stronger opinion, it is established that the Ghafilah prayer is recommended, though it is not among the daily supererogatory prayers. It has two Rak’ats which, according to the stronger opinion, is offered between the evening (Maghrib) prayers and the disappearance of the western twilight.

In the first Rak’at, after the Surah Al-Hamd (Chapter 1 of the Quran), one must recite (in Arabic): “When Dhu al-Nun went off in anger and deemed that We had no power over him, but he cried out in the darkness, saying: “There is no god but Thou. Be Thou glorified, and verily I was among the wrong-doers.” Then We accepted his prayer and saved him from the anguish. Thus we save the believers.” (Chapter 21, Verse 87)

In the second Rak’at, after the Surah Al-Hamd (Chapter 1 of the Qur’àn), one must recite (in Arabic): “And with Him are the keys of the Invisible. No one but He knows them. And He knows what is in the land and the sea. Not a leaf falls, but He knows it, there is not a grain in the darkness of the earth, nor anything fresh or dry except that it is (noted) in the true Book.” (Chapter 6, Verse 59).

After having finished it, one must raise both his hands, and say (in Arabic): “O Allah, ask Thee by the keys of the Invisible which no one knows but Thou to send Blessing on Muhammad and the Progeny of Muhammad, and do for me such and such”. (In the last sentence) must pray as one intends to do, and then must say, “O Allah, Thou art my benefactor and has power to grant my demand. Thou knowest my needs. So I ask in the name of Muhammad and the Progeny of Muhammad, Peace be upon him and them, (to grant me) what Thou hast decided for me.” Then he must ask Allah whatever one wants. God willing, it shall be bestowed upon him by Allah, the Exalted and Glorified.

It is permissible to offer the supererogatory prayers etc. in a sitting posture even when he is able to offer them in a standing posture, but it is better to count every two Rak’ats as one Rak’at even in case of Vitr, so that one must offer it twice, each time one Rak’at.[1]

[1] . Tahrir al-Wasilah of Imam Khomeini (ra), Vol. 1, Chapter on Preliminaries of Prayer; Tawdhihul-Masa’el (annotated by Sayyid Roohullah al-Moosavi al-Khomeini), vol. 1, pg. 425, issue 746. Muntahal-Amal, Imam Sajjad’s (as) life, using the Porseman software. Usul Kafi, vol. 2, pg. 352, hadith 7. Seyyid ibn Tawus, Iqbalul-A’mal, pg. 452. Tawdhilhul-Masa’el (Sayyid Roohullah al-Moosavi al- Khomeini’s annotations), vol. 1, pg. 426. Tawdhilhul-Masa’el (Sayyid Roohullah al-Moosavi al- Khomeini’s annotations), vol. 1, pp. 427-429.