Imam Al-Nawawi’s Riyad-us-Saliheen Chapter 195 The Excellence of Optional Prayers (Sunnah Mu’akkadah) along with the Obligatory Prayers

1097. Umm Habibah (May Allah be pleased with her) the Mother of the Believers reported: I heard the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) saying, “A house will be built in Jannah for every Muslim who offers twelve Rak`ah of optional Salat other than the obligatory Salat in a day and a night (to seek the Pleasure of Allah).”

Commentary: Tatawwu` means to offer more Nawafil (optional prayers) on one’s own after performing the Faraid (obligatory prayers). Thus, this Hadith tells us the merits of optional prayers and holds promise of (Jannah) for those who make it a practice.

1098. Ibn `Umar (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: I performed along with the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) two Rak`ah of optional prayers before Zuhr and two after the Zuhr (noon prayer), and two after the Friday prayer, and two after the Maghrib (evening) prayer, and two after the `Isha’ (night) prayer.”
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Commentary: There are two kinds of Nawafil which are performed before or after the obligatory prayer. Firstly, the one which were performed by the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) more frequently. According to the present Hadith, their total comes to ten Rak`ah while in other Ahadith their total is twelve or fourteen Rak`ah. They are called Sunnah Mu’akkadah or As-Sunnan Ar-Rawatib That is, the Rak`ah which are proved from the saying and practice of the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) and which were performed by him usually. These are said to be Compulsory prayers. Secondly, such Nawafil which were not performed by the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) regularly. These are called Sunnah Ghair Mu’akkadah and are said to be Optional prayers. In any case, Nawafil have great importance in creating a special link between the worshipper and Allah, and for this reason the believers do not neglect them. But their status in Shari`ah is of Nawafil the performing of which is rewarding and omission of which is not sinful. One thing that should be borne in mind in respect of As-Sunnan Ar-Rawatib or Mu’akkadah is that it is better to perform them at home. This was the usual practice of the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam), and this is what he ordained the Muslims.

1099.`Abdullah bin Mughaffal (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “There is a Salat (prayer) between every Adhan and Iqamah; there is a Salat between every Adhan and Iqamah.” (While saying the same for the) third time (he (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) added), “It is for him who desires (to perform it).”

[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].
Commentary: The two Adhan here means Adhan and Iqamah, as has been elucidated by Imam An-Nawawi. That is, offering of two Rak`ah between Adhan and Iqamah is Mustahabb (desirable). It comes in the category of Ghair Ratiba or Ghair Mu’akkadah Nawafil. These Nawafil can be performed after the Adhan of every Salat before the congregation stands for the obligatory Salat.

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Change Your Life With 7 Spiritual Habits Tips and Advice

In these blessed days of Rajab, we are supposed to focus on the spiritual build up for Ramadan.

You should aim to develop the following 7 spiritually productive activities into habits so that you can hopefully continue benefiting from them throughout your life. I consider these activities as the spiritual ‘bread and butter’ of any productive Muslim.

To develop them as habits is the essence of embarking on your journey towards the love of Allah and constantly increasing in your faith, inshaAllah:

1) Do Sunnah prayers before and/or after prayer:

I know it’s easier to just pray the obligatory prayers and rush out of the mosque! However, when we realize the rewards we’re missing from not praying these Sunnah prayers we won’t leave them.

Over the years I have learnt there’s only one way of getting yourself to pray these Sunnah prayers constantly: Get into the habit of praying them! They’ll soon become part and parcel of your prayer, which in turn will feel incomplete without performing these acts.

2) Remembrance of Allah after prayer:

Again, it’s easy to rush out after prayer due to our busy lives, though if we are honest, how long does it take to recite the supplications after prayer? The Answer: 5-7 minutes!

If you’re not sure what I’m referring to, you may find the supplications at Nowadays you’ll find pocket notebooks/or phone applications with these supplications. Get into the habit of reciting them daily after each prayer to enrich your worship experience.

3) Morning/Evening Remembrance of Allah:
Step 2 is also included in this habit. There exists a beautiful set of du`aa/remembrances from the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) which he used to say before sunrise and after sunset. They are true stress relievers and energy boosters which never fail to make my days and evenings feel blessed. [You can find the du`aas at]

4) Night Prayer:

Hamdulillah, during Ramadan we have the wonderful Taraweeh prayers to attend. However, outside of Ramadan there are many opportunities to still obtain the reward of the night prayer. If you’re new to night prayer or you don’t pray it constantly during the year, make sure you try to attend prayers each and every night in congregation at the mosque (particularly brothers), and give yourself a ‘no-excuse’ policy.

Develop a habit of praying Tahajjud and continuing to pray them for an entire 30 days; this will set you on better footing to continue with the Night Prayer for the rest of the year inshaAllah.

5) Duha Prayer:

Here’s a productive Muslim’s top secret to a productive day: 2 rak’ahs known as the Duha prayer which you may pray at anytime after sunrise till before the sun reaches its zenith (around 30 minutes before Dhuhr).

The reward of this prayer is similar to giving charity on behalf of every bone in your body, and the energy and buzz you feel during the day is amazing.

6) Supplications before you sleep:

You’ve just had a long day and you’re super tired. You climb into bed and you want to hit the sack… but wait! Before you do, can you give yourself just 10 more minutes to recite the supplications before sleeping? That’s all.

Try them and find yourself experiencing the most beautiful sleep ever and waking up for Fajr easily.

For more information on waking up for Fajr, constantly, everyday, without fail Read How to Wake up for Fajr.

7) Reciting one hour of the holy Qur’an each day:

Notice: I said here recite one hour of Qur’an each day and not one juz’ or one surah. The amount of Qur’an you read is not as important as the quality of your understanding.

If you spend one hour reciting one verse but understand it fully, that’s more important and beneficial then reciting lots of Quran at break-neck speed yet not understanding a word.

So there you go, 7 spiritually productive habits you can develop throughout the year starting from TODAY!

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I ran downstairs taking the steps four at a time. The air was choking me, I couldn’t breathe. All I wanted to do was to get enough distance between myself and the crime scene. I opened the door and by now it has started raining lightly but I didn’t feel anything. Luckily I saw a tricycle (keke-napep) man who just dropped someone off at the next block and I practically ran into it before he could even ask me any questions.
‘where to oga’ he finally asked in that thick yoruba accent of his.
‘just drive out of this place’ I repliied panting as if i’m been chased by Boko Haram boys.
‘oga na drop u dey take ba?’ He asked again after starting the keke and I replied ‘yes’.

I looked back at my house and saw her standing at the door crying and calling my name, while he was standing at the bedroom window looking down at me, and at that point tears that I have been holding in since came flooding down my eyes as his name slips from my mouth “James….”

What irritated me the most in the entire situation was the fact that I wasn’t feeling humiliated or annoyed or even fooled. Betrayal was what I felt, my heart broken not only by the woman I was in love with, but also by as I once believed a true friend and a brother.

I finally told the driver to take me to one of the hotels along independence way, it’s not really far from my parents place, I couldn’t call anybody because the only person I could stay with in the kind of situation was in my house with my wife on my bed.

While we were going my mind went back to the scene I just witness in my own home. James wasn’t just a friend but a brother. We grew up together, the same neighbourhood, primary school, secondary and university. The only difference was that he studied Electrical engineering but we stayed in the same house because our parent won’t have it any other way. He is the only boy in the family of seven, while I had two elder sisters, so we became the brother we never had. We were partners in crime.

While at the university he was the outgoing type while I was contented at been in the shadow. Even though I was the better looking of the two of us, he was the ladies man. I can’t even count the number of night I was locked outside just because my guy was busy. I cook while he eats; I fetch water while he uses them. Don’t get me wrong, James was not all bad, infact he is one of those people that hates cheating, bullying and injustice so much that he became a politician/activist on campus. From our second year in school he started running for different posts, state post, department post, SUG post until he finally became the SUG president during our final year but he has to stay behind a year for mobilisation for NYSC due to his unionism wahala.

After finishing his service in Calabar, he was lucky to run into an old friend of ours who works with one of the telecommunication outfit and one thing led to another and he got a job. He was posted to Lagos where he stayed for like three years befor returning to the north and finally to kaduna. He was my bestman nd the godfather of my daughters.

I was jolted back to reality when the keke-napep driver announced our arrival and from his stare it seems as if he has been talking to me for quiet awhile and I didn’t respond. I asked him how much and he told me and I paid and he zoomed off.

I got to the security pist and was scanned with their metal detector machine and was directed towards the reception. Due to the fact that Mr. President was in kaduna for campaign hotels around kaduna metropolis were booked, so I took was was available and paid for two nights.

I got to the room, dropped my bags and headed straight for the bathroom, stripped naked and enter the shower. Water is my only friend now and its the only one that can cool me down. As water runs down my body I remembered the day I introduced Shade to James.

It was two days to our wedding, James couldn’t come earlier because of his service, Dayo too was in town. We all went out Shade and I, Dayo and his fiancee Kemi while James came with ifeoma – his girlfriend as at the time. There was enough laughter and drinks. Gist of our past escapades were shared, the good, the bad, and the not so good. James and Shade got along well and were even poking fun at me.

When I stood up to go get us more pepper soup and drinks, James said he was coming along. While waiting for our drinks he said to me ‘O’boy u lucky o… That babe fine and she is lively too”
‘thanks bro, am happy u approve. Of her..’ I replied sheepishly and add ‘when you go bring your woman come for introduction na’,
‘Guy allow me see land before I go build house na, shoooo’ he replied with one of those his usual proverbs as he called them.
‘Hahaha guy you no well at all o’ I said and we both laughed and collect our drinks while the waitresses carried the pepper soup back to our table. It was in the early hours of the morning we left the joint, even though I have quit drinking and smoke back in school, I couldn’t resist their plead to join in the fun and moreover it was going to be my last day as a bachelor so I joined in.

Up to the wedding, James and I were always together planning anf if he is not with me he is with Shade filling her up on the rest of things she doesn’t know about me. James did everything possible to make the wedding a success. The bachelor’s eve was the talk of the town, it was full of women and booze courtesy my one and only bad friend, James. After the wedding he stayed for one more week before returning to Lagos. We kept in touch all the time nd during the naming of our first daughter he came around and with yet another lovely girl by his side. Shade asked him if he would love to be the godfather of our child and he was very happy and since then he has never stop spoiling them (including our second daughter).

I was once again brought back to reality for the second time that night. But this time it was my phone that has been ringing since. It could be work or it could be HER. After some hesitation, I came out of the shower with towel round my waist, water dripping from my body as I search for the phone. As I picked up the phone and looked at the caller ID it was as if my entire problem was halved…………..

(watch out for Part 3)

He Missed ‘Ishaa in the Masjid and Finds the People Praying Taraaweeh: What does He Do? – Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih Al-‘Uthaymeen


What is the ruling of establishing a second congregation while the people are praying the Taraaweeh prayer in Ramadan? This is because I have heard some of the people say that it is an innovation, while some of them say in the (last) ten nights then there is no problem, as for other that, then it is an innovation; such as if one were to do it in the beginning of Ramadan or the middle part.


That which is correct is that if a person enters the Masjid, whether he is alone or there is a group along with him, and the people are praying the Taraaweeh prayer they are to enter (the prayer) along with the Imaam intending ‘Ishaa. Then when the Imaam makes the Tasleem they are to perform that which remains from the ‘Ishaa prayer; each doing so individually and not as a congregation. This is that which is correct.

As for establishing a second congregation in one Masjid, this is not legislated, without doubt. However, we say: enter along with the Imaam, intending ‘Ishaa.

If one were to say: Is it correct for one praying an obligation prayer to do so along with one praying a superogatory prayer? We say: Yes. This occurred during the time of the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam). Mu’aadh ibn Jabal, may Allaah be pleased with him, used to pray the ‘Ishaa prayer along with the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) then go to his people and lead them in the same prayer. So it was superogatory for him and for them it was obligatory. This was during the time of the Messenger, upon him be prayers and peace. Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, approved of this. Rather, what is apparent is that the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) knew about that and approved of it. Imaam Ahmad ibn Hanbal, may Allaah have mercy upon him, textually mentioned that if a man were to enter while the Imaam is praying Taraaweeh then he is to enter (the prayer) along with him intending ‘Ishaa.

Translated by Raha ibn Donald Batts
Source: Silsilah Al-Liqaa’ Ash-Shahree No. 32

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Women Praying in the Basement or Upper Levels of Masjid – Shaykh al Albaani

Question: There are some masjids in which the women pray below the actual masjid, such as in the basement or in an upper level (above the masjid). We are women who pray in these masjids, at times following the Imaam from a point where we are not able to see him nor the male followers. And sometimes there is a large empty space left over in the area of prayer for the men. Is our prayer valid if we cannot see the Imaam or any of the (male) followers, and while knowing that sometimes we enter the masjid and don’t know what rak’ah he is in. Is it allowed in this situation to follow (the Imaam) by (hearing) the raised voice only? And is it correct for us to follow the Imaam while we are on an upper or lower level knowing that at times there is ample room in the masjid (floor)?

Answer: The answer is in two parts.

The first is that the prayer and the mentioned scenario is valid so long as the women pray in the masjid, regardless of whether it is in the upper or lower level. And it is so long as they are able to hear the takbeers from the Imaam indicating the change in position, such as from standing to bowing to prostrating.

The second part is that it is not proper for the women to pray like this unless the area for the men is filled with people and they (the women) cannot find a place behind the rows for them to pray in. In these circumstances, it is permissible for the women to pray in the upper or lower level of the masjid. But if this masjid, where the Imaam and the men behind him pray, has ample room left over, then it is not allowed for the women to go up to the upper level or down to the lower level where they won’t be able to see the movements of the Imaam or the movements of the men praying behind him.

The reason for this goes back to two matters:

1. When the Prophet, sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: “The best rows for the men are their first ones and their worst (rows) are their last ones. And the best rows for women are their last ones and the worst (rows) are their first ones“, he meant by it the same ground that the Prophet, sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and his Companions behind him used to pray on. The women were not in upper or lower levels.

2. The underlying reason for this is that the speakers at times can be low and at other times they are not working. So the prayer of the women who are following him from an upper or lower level, from which they cannot see the prayer of the Imaam or those behind him, is subject to becoming invalid.

To summarize this answer:

The prayer that is performed while on an upper or lower level is valid. However, it is not permissible to designate those places for prayer when there is enough room in the prayer place (musalla), such that the women are able to pray in the back of it.

[Al-Asaalah, Issue #19]

Source : Fataawaa of Shaikh Al-Albaanee (rahimahullaah) – From Al-Asaalah Magazine Issues 1-21 – Translated and Arranged by: Isma’eel Alarcon

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