Some Supererogatory (Reghaib) Prayers (Shafii)


What are some supererogatory prayers? What is reghaib in islam?

A believer gets closer to Allah with voluntary acts of worship. Allah says the following in a hadīth qudsi: “..My slave comes closer to Me through performing Nawafil (praying or doing extra deeds besides what is obligatory) till I love him, so I become his sense of hearing with which he hears, and his sense of sight with which he sees, and his hand with which he grips, and his leg with which he walks; and if he asks Me, I will give him, and if he asks My protection (Refuge), I will protect him; …”[1]

The following are some of the primary nawafil prayers accepted as recommended by the Prophet (pbuh).

Tahiyyat al-Masjid (Greeting the Mosque):

It is Sunnah for a person to perform the two cycle prayer upon entering a mosque, for the purpose of performing a prayer, spiritual retreat (itikaf), visiting the mosque, acquiring knowledge etc. before he sits down.

This prayer signifies an act of respect to Allah. The Prophet (pbuh) has said: “When any one of you enters the masjid, let him pray two rak’ah before he sits.”[2] According to the Shafi’i School, there is no reprehensible time to perform this prayer (It can be performed any time of the day).

Duha (Forenoon or mid-morning) Prayer:

It is recommended to pray the midmorning prayer (duha), which minimally consists of two rak’ahs, is optimally eight rak’ahs, and maximally twelve. One finishes each pair of rak’ahs with Salams. Its time is after the sun is well up until just before the Noon prayer (zuhr). Performing it as eight cycles is more virtuous. A’isha (r.anha) narrates: “I saw the Prophet one time praying the duha prayer. Upon this, I continued to always pray it.”[3]

Awwabin Prayer:

It is a two, four or six-cycle prayer performed between the Evening and the Night prayers. It is stated in a hadith: “Whoever performs a prayer between the Evening and the Night prayers, it is the prayer of awwabin (the prayer of those who turn to Allah).”[4]

Tahajjud prayer (Qiyam al-layl) – Mid-Night prayer:

This prayer is performed after the Night prayer. It is performed by waking up during the middle of the night. The minimum amount of this prayer can be two cycles and there is no restriction for the maximum limit. Salam is given at the end of every two cycles. It is better to perform it during the last third of the night. The Prophet (pbuh) said: “If a man awakens his wife at night, and then both offer two rak’ahs together, they will be recorded among those who mention the name of Allah much …”[5]

The Prayers of Kusuf and Khusuf:

Kusuf prayer is performed when a solar eclipse takes place, while khusuf prayer is performed when a lunar eclipse occurs.

These are the prayers performed in two cycles. In each cycle, there are two standings. It is the norm to prolong the recitation from the Qur’an during the standings and the statements of glorification of Allah in the positions of ruku’, while keeping short the statements of glorification of Allah in the positions of prostration. The recitation of the Prayer of lunar eclipse is recited out aloud, while it is recited quietly during the prayer of the solar eclipse. The imam delivers a sermon after the prayer.

Prayer Performed in Times of Fear (Salat al-Khawf):

In times of war, the believers perform salat al-khawf (the prayer of fear or peril) in congregation. When the enemy is not in the direction of prayer (qiblah), the imam divides the Muslim force into two groups. One group faces the enemy while the other prays a rak’a behind the imam. When the imam rises for the second rak’ah, the group makes the intention to cease following his leadership in the prayer and then finishes their second rak’ah alone as individuals while the imam remains standing at the beginning of his second rak’ah reciting the Qu’ran and awaiting the second group.

Then this first group goes to relieve the others in facing the enemy, and the others come and begin their group prayer behind the imam, who is still standing and who remains so long enough for the second group to recite the Fatiha and a short chapter from the Qur’an. At the end of this rak’a when the imam sits in the Testification of Faith (Tashahhud), the group rises and performs their second rak’ah without him (while he remains sitting at the end of his second rak’a waiting for them to reach the same point in their own prayer). When they catch up with him, he closes the prayer with Salams.

If this prayer is the sunset prayer (Maghrib), the first group prays two rakahs following the imam’s lead and the second group follows him in the third rak’ah. If it is a prayer with four rak’ahs, then each group follows the imam for two rak ‘ahs. The imam may also divide the Muslim force into four groups and have each group pray one rak’ah behind him.

When the peril is great, in actual combat, Muslims may pray walking or riding, facing the direction of prayer (qiblah) or not, in a group or singly, and nodding in place of bowing and prostration when they are unable to perform them, nodding more deeply for prostration than for bowing. The same rulings are applicable in cases of disasters such as fire, flood, or when there is danger of wild animals, or one who is in debt fears to be caught and put into a prison by his creditor. It is recommended to seek refuge with Allah Almighty and perform a two-cycle prayer when the fear is from natural disasters such as earthquake, lightning, storm, plague, etc.

Prayer performed after Ablution:

This prayer is performed in two cycles with the intention of ablution prayer after performing the minor or the major ablution.

Salat al-Safar:

One may perform a two-cycle prayer before setting out on a journey and after coming back from it. This prayer is called, “salat al-safar.” Performing this prayer when coming back from the journey in a mosque rather than at home is more virtuous.

Tasbih Prayer:

Salat al-Tasbih is a four-cycle prayer performed individually and recommended to be performed at least once in a lifetime. It is performed in two by two cycles.

After the recitation is completed while standing, it is said “Subhanallahi wal-hamdu lillahi wa la ilaha illallahu wallahu akbar” fifteen times. The same statement is uttered ten times in each one of the following positions: in the position of ruku’, while standing after the ruku’, in both prostrations, while sitting between the prostrations and in the final sitting. It is recommended to add the phrase “Wa la hawla wa la quwwata illa billahil-aliyyil-azim” to the last one of the recitation of the above-mentioned statement. In this way, one utters a total of 75 times of the above-mentioned statement in each cycle and 300 times in the whole prayer.

Salat al-Tawba (Repentance Prayer):

When a Muslim sins, he should repent and ask for forgiveness from Allah. It is recommended (mandub) to perform ablution and pray two raka’ah for forgiveness. The Prophet (pbuh) said: “There is no one who commits a sin, goes and performs ablution and then prays two raka’ah after which they seek Allah’s forgiveness except that Allah forgives them.”[6]

Istikhara Prayer (Salat al-Istikhara):

This is a two-cycle prayer performed before going to bed, in order to seek Allah’s guidance and to ask Him to help making a decision. Istikhara is performed when one is not sure whether a decision will be good or bad. Following the istikhara, the person follows his heart’s intuitions. Jabir b. Abdullah (r.a.) said: “The Prophet (pbuh) taught us the istikhara as he teaches us a surah (chapter) from the Qur’an …”[7]

The Prayer for Requesting Rain (Salat al-Istisqa)

It is a Sunnah prayer performed when there is famine and drought. It is a two-cycle prayer performed in congregation. After the prayer, the imam delivers a sermon.

Hajah Prayer (Salat al-Hajah):

It is a two-cycle prayer. The Prophet (pbuh) said, “Whoever has a need with Allah, or with any human being, then let them perform ritual ablution well and then pray two cycles of prayer. After that, let them praise Allah and send blessings on the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace). After this, let them read the hajah supplication… “[8] The Arabic wording of supplication of hajah is as follows: “La ilaha illallahu al-halim al-karim. Subhanallahi Rabbi al-arshi al-azim. Al-Hamdu lillahi Rabbi al-alamin. As’aluka mujibati rahmatik. Wa azaima maghfiratik. Wa’l-ghanimata min kulli birrin wa’s-salamata min kulli ism. La tada’li zanban illa ghafartah. Wa la hamman illa farrajtah. Wa la hajatan hiya laka ridan illa qadaytah. Ya arhama’r-Rahimin.”

(There is no god but Allah, the Clement and the Wise.

There is no god but Allah the High and the Mighty.

Glory be to Allah, Lord of the Tremendous Throne.

All praise is to Allah, Lord of the worlds.

I ask you (O Allah) everything that leads to your mercy, and your tremendous forgiveness, enrichment in all good and freedom from all sin.

Do not leave a sin of mine (O Allah), except that you forgive it, nor any concern except that you create for it an opening, nor any need in which there is your good pleasure except that you fulfill it, O Most Merciful!”)

[1] Al-Bukhari, Rikâk, 38[2] Al-Bukhari, Salât, 60[3] Al-Bukhari, Muslim[4] Ibn-i Mubarak, al-Raqâiq[5] Abû Dawud, Salat 307[6] İbn Mace, Salat 193[7] Al-Bukhari, Tahajjud, 28[8] Al-Tirmidhi, Salat 348

Source: Fiqh1 (According To The Shafi’i School Of Islamic Law), Erkam Publications

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