What is the mandub? What does mandub means in islam? What is the mandub prayers in islam? What are mandub actions in islam?
Apart from the sunnah cycles attached to the five daily obligatory prayers, some other supererogatory prayers are called mustaḥab, mandūb, or ṭaṭawwu’.
1) The Tahajjud Prayer
The word tahajjud means “to both sleep and wake up”. As a term, it means “to wake up in the middle of the night and perform a prayer as well as the midnight prayer”. The supererogatory prayer to be performed after ʿishā (night) prayer without sleeping or after sleeping a short time is generally called “mid-night prayer (Ṣalāt al-Layl)”. If, after sleeping for a while, one wakes up after midnight and performs the prayer until true dawn, then this prayer is called “tahajjud”. The number of cycles of tahajjud prayer varies from two cycles to eight cycles. It is more virtuous to offer greetings at the end of every two cycles.
The following is stated in the Qur’an regarding the tahajjud prayer, “(O Muhammad!) rise from your sleep and pray during part of the night [as well], as a free offering from you, and your Lord may well raise thee to a glorious station (in the life to come).”
Some various Qur’anic verses and hadiths encourage believers to pray tahajjud. Allah Almighty says, “O Muhammad! Surely your Lord does know that you stand forth (to prayer) nigh two-thirds of the night, or half the night, or a third of the night, and so does a party of those with you.” In other verses, Allah Almighty explains the situation of those who wake up for the night prayer as follows, “Their limbs do forsake their beds of sleep, the while they call on their Lord, in Fear and Hope…”, “And the servants of (Allah) Most Gracious are those who walk on the earth in humility, and when the ignorant address them, they say, ‘Peace!’; Those who spend the night in adoration of their Lord prostrate and standing”, and “They were in the habit of sleeping but little by night, And in the hour of early dawn, they (were found) praying for Forgiveness.” In another verse, it is stated that those who attain ṭaqwā (piety) are those who seek forgiveness from Allah at the time of dawn. The dawn time is the last one-sixth of the night. However, according to the Ḥanafis when the time for the dawn prayer comes, it is makrūḥ to perform any supererogatory prayer other than its sunnah.
Abdullah Ibn Umar (r. anhuma) narrates an event that happened to him as follows, Ibn Umar sees himself in a hell hole in a dream. An angel approaches and says, “do not be afraid, you will get out of this hole”. Upon conveying the dream to the Messenger of Allah, the Prophet (saw) said: “What a good servant Abdullah is! But it would be better if he got up and made it a habit to pray at night!” Abdullah Ibn Umar reduced his night sleep after this incident. According to this narration, it is understood that every individual who sincerely continues the tahajjud prayer deserves to be called a “good servant”.
Bilal (ra) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said: “Hold fast to qiyām al-layl, for it is the practice of the righteous before you, and indeed qiyām al-layl is a means of nearness to Allah, a means of prevention from sin, an expiation for bad deeds, and a barrier for the body against disease.” The following is stated in another hadith, “The most excellent prayer after what is prescribed is prayer during the night.”
Upon Abdullah Ibn Umar’s question, Aisha (r. anha) described the nighttime ritual of the Messenger of Allah (saw) as follows, “One night, he (saw) asked for permission and performed ablution, prayed, recited the Qur’an, cried for a long time, and then Bilal (ra) came for the dawn prayer. When asked why he was so sad even though his past and future sins had been forgiven, the Prophet (saw) said, “Shouldn’t I be a grateful servant? Moreover, this night, Allah revealed the last ten verses of the chapter Āl ‘Imrān,” and added, “Woe to those who read these verses or chew them between their jaws and do not think about them!”
Abdullah Ibn Abbas (r. anhuma) also described the night worship of the Messenger of Allah when he stayed as a guest in the house of Maymūna (r. anha), his aunt and the wife of the Messenger of Allah, with the following words, “In the last third of the night, the Prophet (saw) got up, looked at the sky, recited the last ten verses of chapter Āl ‘Imrān, performed ablution, I did what he did, he wept, and performed thirteen cycles, including twelve cycles in twos and a cycle of witr prayer, then when Bilal recited the adhān, he performed two cycles, then went out and led the morning prayer.” In another narration, it is stated that he got up at midnight or a little before or after midnight, recited ten verses from the end of chapter Āl ‘Imrān, then performed wuḍūʾ and prayed thirteen cycles, then leaned on the bed until the muezzin came.
Furthermore, it is considered mandūb to spend the nights of the last ten days of Ramaḍān in order to revive the night of Qadr, the fifteenth night of the month of Sha’ban, the nights of Ramaḍān and Eid al-Aḍḥā. This can be done in the form of worship that involves the whole night or most of the night and there are various hadiths about this subject.
It is also considered mandūb to recite the following supplication, which is called sayyid al-istighfār (the Master Supplication for Seeking Forgiveness) at the time of dawn.
“Allāhumma anta Rabbī lā ilāha illā anta. Khalaqtanī wa ana ʿabduka wa ana ʿalā aḥdika wa waʿdika ma’staṭaʿtu. Aūdhu bika min sharri m ṣanaʿtu, abūu laka bi niʿmatika (ʿalayya) wa abūu bi dhanbī, faghfirlī, fa innahū lā yaghfiru’dh-dhunūba illā anta.”
“O, Allah! You are my Lord! None has the right to be worshipped but You. You created me and I am Your slave, and I am faithful to my covenant and my promise as much as I can. I seek refuge with You from all the evil I have done. I acknowledge before You all the blessings You have bestowed upon me, and I confess to You all my sins. So, I entreat You to forgive my sins, for nobody can forgive sins except You”
It is makrūḥ to gather in mosques or gather in a place other than the mosques in order to spend the nights mentioned above with such acts of worship. For neither the Prophet (saw) nor his Companions did this in their lifetime. There is no special worship specific to these nights. However, making up missed prayers and performing night prayers as much as desired, reciting the Qur’an, and keeping oneself busy with the remembrance and glorification of Allah, contemplation, and supplication are among the possible acts of worship for such nights.
2) Duha (Mid-Morning) Prayer
The midmorning prayer is called “ḍuḥā prayer”. Various hadiths have been reported that the Prophet prayed between two cycles and twelve cycles in the mid-morning period and encouraged the believers to perform this prayer. In a hadith narrated by Abu Huraira, it is stated,“Whoever continues to perform the two-cycle mid-morning prayer, his sins will be forgiven, even if they are as much as the foam of the sea.” Anas Ibn Malik narrated that the Prophet (saw) said, “Whoever prays twelve cycles of the mid-morning prayer, Allah will build a mansion in Paradise for him.” To Abdullah ibn Shaqīq’s question whether the Prophet (saw) used to perform the mid-morning prayer, Aisha (r. anhâ) gave the following response, “No, he did it only when he returned from a journey.” To a question about how many cycles of mid-morning prayer the Prophet (saw) performed, Muādha’s (r. anhâ) replied by saying, “The Messenger of Allah (saw) used to observe four cycles in the forenoon prayer and he sometimes observed more as Allah pleased.” Umm Hani bint Abī Talib (r. anha) reported that the Prophet (saw) performed the mid-morning prayer as eight cycles on the day of the conquest of Mecca, and that no one saw him performing this prayer afterwards.
It is mustaḥab to perform the mid-morning prayer, and it can be performed within the period from when the sun rises the length of a spear, that is, 45-50 minutes after sunrise, until the time of zawāl.
3) Awwabin Prayer
Awwāb means “repentant, one who seeks refuge”. Awwābīn, which is the plural of the word awwāb, means the prayer of those who repent and seek refuge in Allah. This prayer is at least two and at most six cycles and is performed after the evening prayer by breaking the six cycles into one, two, or three salutations. The word “awwābīn” is mentioned in the Qur’an as follows, “Your Lord knows best what is in your hearts: If you do deeds of righteousness, verily He is Most Forgiving to those who turn to Him again and again (in true penitence) (awwābīn).” The following hadith is reported from ʿAmmār ibn Yāsir (r. anhuma), “Whoever prays six cycles after the evening prayer, Allah will forgive his sins, even if they are as much as the foam of the sea.”
It is reported that the Prophet (saw) performed a six-cycle prayer after the evening prayer and informed the people that the person who performed this prayer would be counted among the awwābīn. Abu Hurayra (ra) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said, “Whoever prays six cycles after the maghrib (evening) prayer and does not speak evil between them, this prayer will be made equivalent for him to twelve years worship.”
4) Greeting the Masjid (Taḥiyyat al-Masjid) Prayer
Taḥiyya means to offer greetings. Taḥiyyat al-Masjid means to greet the mosque. For those who enter a mosque, it is mandūb to perform a two-cycle prayer in order to greet and glorify Allah, the owner of the mosque. It is sufficient for a person who enters the mosque several times in a day for reasons such as education, training, cleaning, and repair to perform this prayer once.
Taḥiyyat al-Masjid prayer should be performed in a mosque before sitting down. That is the virtuous way. however, it can also be performed after sitting down. Narrated from Abū Qatada, the Messenger of Allah (saw) said, “When one of you enters a mosque, he should pray two cycles before sitting down.” However, the Masjid al-Ḥarām is an exception, because tawāf around the Ka’ba is the taḥiyya for the Masjid al-Ḥarām.
According to the Ḥanafis and the Malikis, it is makrūḥ for a person who enters the mosque to perform this prayer at times of karāḥa. However, according to the Shafiʿis, it is mustaḥab to perform taḥiyya prayer whenever one enters the mosque.
It is recommended that a person who enters the mosque during normal times and cannot perform taḥiyyat al-masjid due to his busyness or due to reasons such as time-lapse, should recite the following prayer instead:
“Subhānallahi wa’l-ḥamdu lillāhi wa lā ilāha illallāhu wallāhu akbar”
“Allah is free from all kinds of deficient attributes and imperfections. All praise belongs to Allah, there is no god but Allah. Allah is the Greatest.”
On the other hand, according to the Ḥanafis, entering a mosque with the intention to perform any ritual prayer in a congregation or to perform a farḍ prayer in a mosque is also considered a replacement for the taḥiyyat al-masjid prayer.
5) Prayer after Wudu and Ghusl:
According to the Ḥanafis, if there is enough time, it is mandūb, and according to the Shafiʿis, it is sunnah to perform a two-cycle prayer after wuḍūʾ or ghusl before the wetness of the limbs dries.
On the other hand, if another sunnah or obligatory prayer is to be performed immediately after performing wuḍūʾ, this also replaces the ablution prayer. This is similar to the situation to the first sunnah cycles of the obligatory prayers performed in the masjid replacing the taḥiyyat al-masjid prayer.
The Prophet said, “If a person performs ablution well, then gets up and prays two cycles in awe, his past sins will be forgiven.” Here, attention is drawn to the greatness of the reward. In the narration of Muslim, “If any Muslim performs ablution well, then stands and prays two cycles setting about them with his heart as well as his face, Paradise would be guaranteed to him.” In another hadith, it is stated that when an obligatory prayer is performed after ablution, it will be an expiation for minor sins between prayers, as long as no major sin is committed.
Moreover, one day at the time of the dawn prayer the Prophet (saw) asked Bilal, “Tell me of the best deed you did after embracing Islam, for I heard your footsteps in front of me in Paradise.” Bilal replied, “I did not do anything worth mentioning except that whenever I performed ablution during the day or night, I prayed after that ablution as much as was written for me.”
It is recommended to perform a two-cycle prayer in order to enter the state of iḥrām.
6) Prayer Performed at the Setting out on a Journey and upon Returning
It is mandūb for a Muslim to pray two cycles when he sets out or returns from a journey. It is more virtuous to pray at home when setting out on the journey, and in a mosque when returning from it. The Prophet (saw) would return from his journey in mid-morning, go to Masjid an-Nabawi, pray two cycles and sit there for a while.
The purpose of this prayer is in a way to invoke Almighty Allah to make things easier on the journey and to bring the person home safely. Performing it after returning home is a type of expression of gratitude to Allah.
7) Prayer Performed for the Fulfillment of a Need (Ṣalāt qaḍā al-khawā’ij):
A person who has a worldly and otherworldly need performs ablution, prays two or four cycles, or twelve cycles according to another view, after the night prayer, then praises Allah Almighty and sends blessings upon the Messenger of Allah (saw). He beseeches Allah for the fulfillment of his need.
According to a marfū hadith, in the first cycle of this prayer, Fatiḥa is recited once and the Verse of the Throne (2:255) is recited three times. In each of the remaining three cycles, the chapter Fatiḥa and then the chapters of al-Ikhlas (112), al-Falaq (113), and al-Nās (114) are recited once.
According to what al-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah narrated from Abdullah Ibn Abi Awfā (ra), the Messenger of Allah (saw) said, “Whoever needs something from Allah, or from one of the sons of Adam, then let him perform Wuḍūʾ, performing it well, then pray two rak`ah, then praise Allah and send peace and blessings upon the Prophet (saw). Then let him say,
“Lā ilāha illallāhu’l- ḥalīmu’l- karīm. Subhānallahi Rabbi’l-ʿarshi’l-ʿaẓīm. al-Ḥamdu lillāhi Rabbi’l-ālamīn. Allāhumma, innī as’aluka mūjibāti raḥmatika wa ʿaẓāima maghfiratika wa’l-ghanīmata min kulli birrin, wa’s-salāmata min kulli ithmin. Lā tadaʿ lī dhanban illā ghafartahū, wa lā hamman illā farrajtahū, wa lā ḥājatan hiya laka riḍan illā qaḍaytahā. Yā arḥama’r-rāḥimīn.”
“None has the right to be worshiped but Allah. Al-Halim (the Forbearing) Al-Karim (the Generous). Glorious is Allah, Lord of the Magnificent Throne. All praise is due to Allah, Lord of the worlds. I ask You for that which warrants Your mercy, and that which will determine Your forgiveness, and the spoils (fruits) of every righteous deed, and safety from every sin; do not leave a sin of mine without forgiving me for it, nor a worry without relieving it. Or a need that pleases you without granting it. O Most-Merciful of the merciful.”
According to another narration transmitted from Uthmān ibn Ḥunayf (ra), a blind man came to the Prophet (saw) and asked him to pray to Allah for his recovery. Messenger of Allah said, “If you wish to store your reward for the Hereafter, that is better, or if you wish, I will supplicate for you.” The man said: “Supplicate.” So Allah’s Messenger (saw) told him to perform ablution and do it well, to perform a two-cycle prayer, and to say the following supplication:
“Allāhumma! Innī as’aluka, wa atawajjahu ilayka bi Muḥammedin Nabiyyi’r-raḥmah. Yā Muḥammadu! Innī qad tawajjahtu bika ilā Rabbī fī ḥajatī hādhihi li tuqḍā. Allāhumma! Fa Shaffiʿhu fiyya.”
“O Allah, I ask of You and I turn my face towards You by virtue of the intercession of Muhammad the Prophet of mercy. O Muhammad, I have turned to my Lord by your intercession concerning this need of mine so that it may be met. O Allah, accept his intercession concerning me”
It is reported that at the end of this prayer and supplication, the Companion’s eyesight was restored.
8) The Prayer to Request for Divine Guidance (Ṣalat al-Istikhāra)
Istikhāra means asking for what is good. Istikhāra prayer is a two-cycle prayer that is performed in order to seek spiritual guidance in permissible matters about which one does not know what would be the correct action. It is sunnah for a person to consult with people who are knowledgeable and trusted about important matters that he has to decide about. The Qur’an states: “…and consult them in affairs (of the moment). Then, when you have taken a decision put your trust in Allah. For Allah loves those who put their trust (in Him).”, and “…Those who (conduct) their affairs by mutual Consultation.” If at the end of the consultation it is concluded that a certain way of action will be appropriate and beneficial, there will be no need for istikhāra. In such a case, consultation takes precedence over istikhāra. However, if a decision cannot be reached at the end of the consultation, then istikhāra is carried out. However, it is also possible to employ both consultation and istikhāra together. It is mustaḥab to recite the surah “al-Kafirūn (109)” in the first cycle of the istikhāra prayer and the surah “al-Ikhlas (112)” in the second cycle. After the prayer, the special supplication of “istikhāra” is recited, then the person goes to bed facing the qibla. Seeing white or green in a dream is good and indicated a good choice whereas if black or red is seen, it indicates evil. The evidence for the istikhāra prayer and supplication is the following hadith:
According to what was narrated from Jābir Ibn Abdillah (ra), he narrated as follows, “The Messenger of Allah (saw) used to teach us the supplication for istikhāra (seeking what us beneficial from Allah) as he would teach us a surah (chapter) from the Qur’an. He would tell us, When one of you intends to do a work, he should offer two supererogatory cycles of prayer, and then say (at the end of the prayer):
“Allāhumma, innī astakhīruka bi ʿilmika, wa astaqdiruka bi qudratika. Wa as’aluka min faḍlika’l-ʿaẓīm. Fa innaka taqdiru wa lā aqdiru. Wa taʿlamu wa lā aʿlamu wa anta ʿallāmu’l-ghuyūb. Allāhumma, in kunta taʿlamu anna hādha’l- amra khayrun lī fī dīnī wa maʿāshī wa ʿāqibati amrī (aw qāla ʿājili amrī wa ’ājilihī) faqdirhu lī wa yassirhu lī, thumma bārik fīhi lī. Allāhumma wa in kunta taʿlamu anna hādha’l- amra sharrun lī fī dīnī maʿāshī wa ʿāqibati amrī (aw qāla ʿājili amrī wa ’ājilihī) faṣrifhu ʿannī waṣrifnī ʿanhu, faqdir lī al-khayra haythu kāna, thumma raḍḍinī bihi.”
“O Allah, I seek Your choice on the better (of the two matters) based upon Your knowledge, and I seek Your decree based upon Your power, and I ask You for Your great bounties. For Indeed, You are the One Who Decrees, and I do not decree, and You know, and I do not know, and You are the Knower of the Unseen. O Allah, if you know this, and You are the Knower of the Unseen. O Allah, if you know this – here he should name exactly what he wishes – is better for me with regard to my religion, and my life, and my afterlife, and the end result of my affairs – Another version goes: “If the work is good immediately or subsequently” – then decree it to me, and make it easy for me, and bless me on it. O Allah, and if You know this to be evil for me – and he says just as he said the first time – then avert it for me, and avert me from it. And decree for me good wherever it might be, then make me content with it.”
If istikhāra is done sincerely, hope is given that Allah will grant the best, and it can be divulged into the heart. If comfort and relief are felt in the heart with certain signs, it is interpreted that the intended action will be beneficial, whereas if distress and tightness are felt, it will be the opposite. If no sign is felt during the first time, it can be repeated three times or seven times. This supplication can be recited in Arabic as well as in the native language. If a person cannot do istikhāra through performing two cycles of supererogatory prayer, then he or she can do the istikhāra by only reciting the above invocation.
9) Prayer of Repentance
A Muslim must refrain from committing acts deemed sinful and disagreeable. However, it is often not possible for a person to completely abstain from sinning. For this reason, it is stated in the Qur’an and the Sunnah that a person should repent immediately by not insisting on continuing the sin and that Allah will accept sincere repentance. Even a person who thinks he has no sin may repent. As a matter of fact, the Prophet repented seventy times a day and prayed until he got tired, even though it is known that all his past and future sins were forgiven.
Although there is no specific time and place for repentance, particularly blessed days and nights, times of pre-dawn and after prayers should be preferred for repentance due to the hope given that supplications are accepted at these times.
In a hadith narrated by Abu Huraira (ra), the Messenger of Allah (saw) said, “Our Lord, the Blessed and the Exalted, descends every night to the lowest heaven when one-third of the latter part of the night is left and says: Who supplicates Me so that I may answer him? Who asks Me so that I may give to him? Who asks Me forgiveness so that I may forgive him?” In other narrations, it is stated that this descent occurs “after the first third or two-thirds or half of the night”. Since the expression of the last “one-third” is unanimous, the majority of Islamic scholars are of the opinion that the times of pre-dawn covers the period from the last third of the night until the time of true dawn.
Moreover, that repentance is accepted when it is accompanied by ritual prayer and hope. This is reported together in a hadith as follows, “If a servant commits a sin, then gets up, performs ablution well and prays two cycles and asks Allah for forgiveness, Allah will definitely forgive him.” After that, the Prophet recited the following verse, “And those who, having done something to be ashamed of, or wronged their own souls, earnestly bring Allah to mind, and ask for forgiveness for their sins, and who can forgive sins except Allah? and are never obstinate in persisting knowingly in (the wrong) they have done.”
10) The TasbihPrayer
The tasbīḥ prayer is recommended for a worshipper to pray at least once in a lifetime. It can be performed alone or in a congregation.
One day, the Prophet said to his uncle, Abbas Ibn Abdilmuṭṭalib, “Abbas, my uncle, shall I not give you, shall I not present to you, shall I not donate to you, shall I not produce for you ten things? If you act upon them, Allah will forgive you your sins, first and last, old and new, involuntary and voluntary, small and great, secret and open.”, then he advised him of the tasbīḥ prayer and taught him how to perform it. When Abbas (r.a) said that they could not do this every day, the Prophet (saw) stated that it would be sufficient to perform this prayer once a week, once a month, once a year, or once in a lifetime.”
The tasbīḥ prayer consists of four cycles. In each cycle, the chapter Fatiḥa and an additional surah are recited. It is completed with one or two greetings. According to a narration by Abu Wahb from Abdullah ibn Mubarak, the way of performing this prayer is as follows: One begins the prayer with the intention of performing it for the sake of Allah. After the supplication of subḥānaka, the following supplication of tasbīḥ is recited “subhānallahi wa’l-ḥamdu lillāhi wa lā ilāha illallāhu wallāhu akbar” 15 times. After reciting aūdhu–basmala, chapter Fatiḥa and an additional surah, this supplication of tasbīḥ is recited 10 times, followed by 10 times when carryıng out the rukūʿ, 10 times when standing up from rukūʿ, 10 times during the first prostration, 10 times when standing up from the prostration, and 10 times during the second prostration. Thus, the supplication of tasbīḥ is recited 75 times in the first cycle. In each of the remaining three cycles, the supplication of tasbīḥ is recited 15 times when standing up, ten times after the Fatiḥa and the additional surah, and 10 times in the other positions, which makes a total of 75 tasbīḥs in each cycle and the number of the tasbīḥs in the whole prayer reaches three hundred. Abu Wahb stated that the supplication of tasbīḥ will be recited after the utterance of normal tasbīḥs recited in the position of rukūʿ and prostration three times.
In the narrations of tasbīḥ prayer by Ibn Abbas and Abu Rafiʿ (r. anhuma), although the number of the supplication of tasbīḥ and the way it is performed are the same, the place of reciting the supplication of tasbīḥ for the first 15 times is after the Fatiḥa and the additional surah, and when one raises the head from the second prostration, there is the additional supplication of tasbīḥ for 10 times. The total number is again three hundred.
If one makes a mistake in the tasbīḥ prayer, it is no longer necessary to recite these additional tasbīḥs during the prostrations. If the one who prays can remember these tasbīḥs, he or she will not count them with his fingers. If the imam leads the tasbih prayer, he recites it aloud and repeats the tasbīḥs aloud as well. A woman can also lead the tasbih prayer in a women’s congregation by standing in the middle of the fırst row.
11) The Prayer for Rain (Istisqa)
The prayer for rain is carried out in certain situations such as no rain, little rain, cessation of groundwater, and the emergence of the need for water for agriculture and animals. This is because people become heedless of their Lord and sins spread among them, and Allah Almighty sometimes creates droughts to test people. To change this situation, it is necessary to repent and seek forgiveness from Allah. As a matter of fact, the Qur’an mentions the supplication of the prophets such as Noah, Moses, and Hud (alayhimu’s-salām) to provide rain to their people.
For instance, Noah (as) tells Allah about his people with the following words, “Further I have spoken to them in public and secretly in private, saying, ‘Ask forgiveness from your Lord’; for He is Oft-Forgiving; He will send rain to you in abundance; Give you increase in wealth and sons, and bestow on you gardens and bestow on you rivers (of flowing water).” Speaking of Moses, Almighty Allah says, “And remember Moses prayed for water for his people; We said: “Strike the rock with thy staff.” Then gushed forth therefrom twelve springs.”
According to the Shafiʿis, the prayer for rain consists of two cycles which are to be performed in the congregation. The manner in which the prayer for rain is to be performed is like that of the Eid prayers. In this regard, the Hanbalis have a similar view and they hold the view that the prayer for rain is performed in exactly the same way as the Eid prayers. According to the Malikis, the prayer for rain is performed in the same manner as the Eid prayers with the exception that, unlike the Eid prayers, the prayer for rain does not involve any additional utterances of the phrase Allāhu Akbar. On this point, the Malikis are in agreement with the Ḥanafis and in disagreement with the Shafiʿis and the Hanbalis.
According to Abu Ḥanīfa, it is not sunnah to perform the prayer of rain in a congregation. If people pray separately in the prayer of rain, it will be permissible without reprehensibility. This is because ‘istisqā (prayer for rain) consists of supplication and asking for forgiveness. Therefore, this prayer is performed without a congregation and without a sermon.
According to Abu Yusuf and Imam Muhammad, it is mandūb to perform the prayer for rain, if needed, by residents and travelers. This prayer is established by the sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (saw) and the practices of the righteous caliphs. If it does not rain, the prayer for rain is repeated several times throughout the day. This is because Allah loves those who are persistent in prayer.
Anas Ibn Malik (ra) narrates, “A man entered the mosque through the door on the side of Dār al-Qaḍā during the Friday (prayer) and the messenger of Allah (saw) was delivering the sermon while standing. He came and stood in front of the Messenger of Allah (saw) and said,
‘Messenger of Allah, the camels died and the passages were blocked; so supplicate Allah to send down rain upon us.’
The Messenger of Allah (saw) raised his hands and then said:
“Allāhumma, asqinā! Allāhumma, asqinā! Allāhumma, asqinā!”
‘(O Allah, send down rain upon us; O Allah, send down rain upon us; O Allah, send down rain upon us.)’
Anas said, By Allah, we did not see any cloud or any patch of it, and there was neither any house or building standing between us and the hillock. There appeared a cloud in the shape of a shield from behind it, and as it came high in the sky it spread, and then there was a downpour of rain. By Allah, we did not see the sun throughout the week. Then that same man came on the next Friday through the same door while the Messenger of Allah (saw) was standing and delivering the sermon. He stood in front of him and said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, our animals died and the passages blocked. Supplicate Allah to stop the rain for us.’ The Messenger of Allah (saw) again raised his hands and said:
“Allāhumma hawalayna wa lā ʿalayna. Allāhumma! ʿala’l-ākām wa’ḍ–ḍirāb wa buṭūni’l-awdiya wa manābiti’sh-shajar.”
‘O Allah, let it (rain) fall in our suburbs and not on us, O Allah (send it down) on the hillocks and small mountains and the riverbeds and at places where trees grow.’
The rain stopped, and as we stepped out we were walking in the sun-shine.”
The prayer of the Messenger of Allah (saw) for rain, which is mentioned in the sources of hadith, is as follows:
“Allāhumma, asqinā ghaysan, mughīsan, marīʿan ṭabaqan, marīʿan ghadaqan, ʿājilan ghayra rāithin. Allahumma, asqi ʿibādaka wa bahāimaka wa’nshur raḥmataka wa aḥyi baladaka al-mayyita.”
“O Allah, send upon us all abundant, wholesome rain, productive and plentiful, sooner rather than later. Provide water for Your servants and Your cattle, display Your mercy and give life to Your dead land.”
The rain prayer is performed aloud like the Friday prayer. After the prayer, the sermon is delivered like the Eid sermon, but the orator does not go up to the pulpit, but stands on the ground, and leans on something like a sword, arrow, or walking stick.
If it does not start raining the people wear old clothes and bring their families out to the countryside together with children, and domestic animals. The children and cubs are taken away from their mothers for a while, and the weak and the old are asked to pray. Thus, it is hoped that Allah’s mercy and compassion will be summoned.
Prayer for rain is not an obstacle to taking some natural and technical measures to irrigate and provide abundant water. Actions such as planting trees in the countryside, building dams, extracting groundwater, and using sea water for irrigation can be counted among such technical measures.
12) The Kusuf Prayer
A solar eclipse is called “kusūf” and a lunar eclipse is called “khusūf”. When the sun is eclipsed, the imam who leads the Friday prayer in a town leads at least a two-cycle prayer without calling the adhān or the iqāmah. According to the Shafiʿis, the Hanbalis, and the Malikis, the prayer performed for the solar eclipse consists of only two cycles. If one completes these two cycles before the eclipse is over, one is to utter supplications to God until it has passed. Moreover, each cycle of this prayer consists of two bows and twice returning to a standing position rather than the usual one bow and one return to a standing position in each cycle.
The Ḥanafis, by contrast, hold that the prayer for the solar eclipse is not valid if each cycle contains two bows and twice returning to a standing position; rather, they insist that each cycle should be restricted to a single bow and a single return to a standing position just as in all other voluntary prayers. According to Abu Ḥanīfa, in each cycle, the extended recitation is done silently, but according to Abu Yusuf and Imam Muhammad, it is done aloud. There is no sermon in the kusūf prayer
It is stated in a hadith transmitted by Abu Dawūd, “There was an eclipse of the sun in the time of the Prophet (saw). He stood for a long time, accompanied by the people. He then bowed, then raised his head, then he bowed and then he raised his head, and again he bowed and prayed two cycles of prayer. He performed the prayer until the sun became bright. then he said: “The sun and the moon are not eclipsed on account of anyone’s death or on account of anyone’s birth, but they are two of Allah’s signs, He produces dread in His servants by means of them. When they are eclipsed, perform a prayer just like the last prayer you performed.” Ibn al-Humam said the last prayer of the Companions was the dawn prayer since the kusūf prayer was performed during the sun rising two spear lengths.
It is an emulation of the Sunnah to prolong the recitation of the Qur’an, to do the bows, and the prostrations in the kusūf prayer.
Regarding the moon and the sun, Allah Almighty says: “Among His Signs are the Night and the Day, and the Sun and the Moon. Do not prostrate to the sun and the moon, but prostrate to Allah, Who created them, if it is Him ye wish to serve.” The command “prostrate” in this verse refers to performing prayers when the sun and moon are eclipsed.
The Prophet (saw) said on the eclipse of the sun on the day his son Ibrahim died, “The sun and the moon are two of God’s signs, and neither of them is eclipsed due to anyone’s birth or death. If you see either of them in eclipse, perform ritual prayer and call upon God in supplication until the event passes.” When some of the Companions had said that the sun had joined in the Prophet’s sadness and that he had been in mourning, the Messenger of Allah said these words to change this false way of thinking.
It is more virtuous to perform the kusūf prayer in a large mosque. It can also be performed in a square or in a field outside the settled areas. The reason why the khusūf and kusūf prayers are not obligatory even though they are established by sound hadiths is the hadith mentioned in the previous subjects in which the Bedouin asked the Prophet, “Is there any obligation other than the five daily prayers?” and in response to this question, the Prophet said, “No, except if you perform it as nāfilah.”
After the kusūf prayer, the Imam supplicates standing facing the qibla or sitting facing the opposite direction of the congregation until the sun rises and the congregation says “amīn”. If there is no imam, everyone prays alone in their own individual houses.
According to the Ḥanafis, the Hanbalis, and the Malikis, it is not permissible to deliver a sermon during the prayer for the solar eclipse. According to Imam Shafiʿi and some hadith scholars, it is mustaḥab to deliver a sermon after the prayer.
13) Khusüf Prayer
When the moon is eclipsed, it is mandūb for Muslims to perform a two or four-cycle prayer in their homes, one by one, with recitation, like the kusūf prayer, either silently or aloud. This is called the “khusūf prayer”. According to Abu Ḥanīfa, it is not a sunnah to perform this prayer in a congregation in the mosque. However, if it is done, it will be considered permissible. Perhaps since the lunar eclipse may be at night, it is difficult for the congregation to gather in the mosque and perform it in a congregation.
According to Imam Shafiʿi and Aḥmad Ibn Ḥanbal and some hadith scholars, it is performed in congregation. According to Imam Malik, it cannot be performed in congregation.
It is also considered appropriate to perform prayers such as kusūf and khusūf prayers in times of fear such as earthquakes, lightning strikes, strong winds, darkness during the day, fear of light spreading at night, falling stars, continuous rain and snow, epidemics, fear of the enemy and similar fearful times. In this regard, a comparison is made to the kusūf prayer. It is narrated that the Messenger of Allah (saw) invoked as follows when a strong wind blew, “O Allah, indeed, I ask You for its good, the good of what is in it, and the good of what it has been sent with. And I seek refuge in You from its evil, the evil of what is in it, and the evil of what it has been sent with” The value of this invocation of the Messenger of Allah (saw) can be better understood when one thinks about the severe hurricanes, typhoons, and tornadoes that are common in some countries today and cause the death of thousands of people. In the case of such a disaster, there is nothing left to do but seek refuge in Allah. However, it is also necessary to take all kinds of measures and precautions for protection and rescue before and after the storm.
 Al-Isrā, 17: 79. Al-Muzzammil, 73: 20. Al-Sajda, 32: 16. Al-Furqān, 25: 63-64. Al-Dhariyat, 51: 17-18. Āl ʿImrān, 3: 16, 17. Al-Zabidī, Sahih-i Buhari Mukhtaṣarı, Tecrid-i Sarih Tercemesi, 7th ed, 1982,Ankara, IV, 29, 30, Hadith No: 576.8] Al-Tirmidhī, Daʿawāt, 101, Hadith No: 3549. Muslim, Ṣiyām, 202; al-Tirmidhī, Mawāqīṭ, 207; al-Nasā’ī, Qiyām al-Layl, 6; Aḥmad ibn Ḥanbal, II, 344. See al-Bukhari, TaḤajjud, 6; Muslim, Munafiqūn, 79-81; al-Tirmidhī, Ṣalāh, 187. Al-Bukhari, Tafsīr, Surah 3, bab:17, 18. See al-Bukhari, Tafsīr, Surah 3, bab:19, 20. See al-Zuhaylī, ibid, II, 47, 48, footnote, 1. Al-Bukhari, Daʿawāt, 2, 16; al-Tirmidhī, Daʿawāt, 15; Istiādha, 57. Ibn Maja, ‘Iqāmah, 187, Hadith No: 1382. The same hadith was also narrated by Abu Hurayrah. See al-Tirmidhī, Witr, 15, Hadith No: 476. Ibn Maja, ‘Iqāmah, 187, Hadith No: 1380; al-Tirmidhī, Witr, 15, Hadith No: 473. Al-Tirmidhī called this hadith “gharīb”. Muslim, Musāfirīn, 75, 76. Muslim, Musāfirīn, 75, 76; Ibn Maja, ‘Iqāmah, 187, Hadith No: 1381. Muslim, Musāfirīn, 80-83. Al-’Isrā, 17: 25. Al-Haythamī, Majma al-Zawā’id, II, 230. Al-Isrā, 17: 25; See Ibn Kathīr, Tafsīr, Istanbul, 1985, V, 64, 65; Al-Shawkanī, Nayl, III, 64. Ibn Maja, ‘Iqāmah, 185, Hadith No: 1374; al-Tirmidhī, Ṣalāh, 204, Hadith No: 435. Al-Tirmidhi called the Abu Hurayra’s hadith “gharīb” because regarding ‘Umar Ibn Has’am existing in the chain of this hadith’s narrators, M. Ibn Ismail said “munkar al-ḥadīth” and considered it seriously weak. Al-Bukhari, Ṣalāh, 60, TaḤajjud, 25; Muslim, Misafirin, 69, 70; al-Tirmidhī, Ṣalāh, 118; al-Nasā’ī, Masājid, 37; Ibn Maja, ‘Iqāmah, 57; Malik, Muwaṭṭā’, Safar, 57. Al-Bukhari, Wuḍūʾ, 24; Muslim, Ṭaḥāra, 5, 6, 17; Abū Dawūd, Ṭaḥāra, 65. Muslim, Ṭaḥāra, 17. Muslim, Ṭaḥāra, 7. Al-Bukhari, TaḤajjud, 17. See al-Bukhari, Ṣalāh, 59; Jihād, 198; Muslim, Musāfirīn, 72-74; al-Tirmidhī, Daʿawāt, 42, Hadith No: 3440, 3441. Al-Tirmidhī, Witr, 17, Hadith No: 479. Ibn Maja, 189, Hadith No: 1384. Ibn Maja, ‘Iqāmah, 189, Hadith No: 1385. Ibn Maja characterized this hadith as “ṣaḥīḥ.” Āl ʿImrān, 3: 159. Al-Shūrā, 42: 38. Al-Bukhari, TaḤajjud, 25; Daʿawāt, 49, Tawḥīd, 10; Abū Dawūd, Witr, 31, Hadith No: 1538; al-Tirmidhī, Witr, 18, Hadith No: 480; Ibn Maja, ‘Iqāmah, 188, Hadith No:1383; Aḥmad ibn Ḥanbal, III, 344. Al-Tirmidhī called the hadith narrated by Jābir as “ḥasan, ṣaḥīḥ, gharīb”. Muslim, Musāfirīn, 168. See Muslim, Musāfirīn, 169-172. See Muslim, Ṭaḥāra, 5-16. Āl ʿImrān, 3: 135. This verse, together with the previous two verses, covers the summary of Islamic morality. See Abū Dawūd, Ṭaṭawwū’, 14, Hadith No: 1297; Ibn Maja, ‘Iqāmah, 190, Hadith No: 1386, 1387; al-Tirmidhī, Witr, 19, Hadith No: 481. See al-Tirmidhī, Witr, 19, Hadith No: 481. See Abū Dawūd, Ṭaṭawwū’, 14, Hadith No: 1297; Ibn Maja, ‘Iqāmah, 190, Hadith No: 1386, 1387. Nūḥ, 71: 9-12. Al-Baqara, 2: 60. See al-Kāsānī, ibid, I, 282, Ibn al-Humām, Fatḥ al-Qadīr, I, 437; Ibn Abidīn, ibid, I, 790 ff.; Ibn Rushd (Averroes), Bidāyat al-Mujtahid, II, 209. Al-Bukhari, Istiṣqā, 6; Muslim, Istiṣqā, 2, 8. Ibn Maja, ‘Iqāmah, 154; Abū Dawūd, Istiṣqā, 2; Aḥmad ibn Ḥanbal, IV, 395. See al-Bukhari, Kusūf, 1, 17; Abū Dawūd, Istiṣqā, 4, 9, Sunnah, 9; al-Nasā’ī, Kusūf, 5, 12, 14, 16, 24; Ibn Maja, ‘Iqāmah, 152. See al-Kāsānī, ibid, I, 280; Ibn al-Humām, ibid, I, 432; Ibn Abidīn, ibid, I, 788 ff. Fussilat, 41: 37. Al-Bukhari, Kusūf, 1, 15; Abū Dawūd, Istiṣqā, 4; Aḥmad ibn Ḥanbal, II, 222, III, 318, V, 62, 428. See al-Bukhari, Imān, 34, Ṣawm, 1, Shahadāt, 26; Muslim, Imān, 8; Abū Dawūd, Ṣalāh, 1; al-Tirmidhī, Zakāt, 2; Al-Nasā’ī, Ṣalāh, 4. Al-Kāsānī, ibid, I, 282; al-Shurunbulālī, Marāq al-Falaḥ, 92. See al-Kāsānī, ibid, I, 282; al-Shurunbulālī, ibid, 92; Qudama, Mughnī, II, 429; al-Zaylaī, Naṣbu’r-Raya, II, 234-235. Al-Tirmidhī, Daʿawāt, 48, 88; Muslim, Istiṣqā, 15.
Source: Basic Islamic Principles (ilmiḥal) According to the Four Sunni Schools With Evidence From The Sources of Islamic Law, Prof. Hamdi Döndüren, Erkam Publications