Nafl prayer

Optional Islamic prayers
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In Islam, a nafl prayer (Arabic: صلاة النفل, ṣalāt al-nafl) or supererogatory prayer, also called as Nawafil Prayers, 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 four raka'ahs of "nafl" before the compulsory Zuhr prayers.

According to the following Hadith, "nafl" not only draws free closer to Allah but also helps one attain the better success in the Afterworld i.e. Jannah (Paradise).

Rabi'ah ibn Malik al-Aslami reported that the Prophet (PBUH) said: "Ask (anything)."  Rabi'ah said: "I ask of you to be your companion in paradise."  The Prophet (PBUH) said: "Or anything else?"  Rabi'ah said: "That is it."  The Prophet (PBUH) said to him: "Then help me by making many prostrations (Supererogatory prayers)".

— Sahih Muslim

Tahiyatul Wudu

Tahiyatul wudu is the nafl prayer after doing wudhu.

Abu Hureyrah narrates that once the Islamic prophet Muhammad asked Bilal at Fajr salah:

O Bilal 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.

Bilal replied:

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.

— Sahih al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim

While during wudhu, a prayer (Salat) of two rakats is full of blessings (sawāb).

It should not be performed during the improper (makruh) times; when the sun rises, when it is at zenith and when it sets.

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)

Ishraq prayer

The time for the Ishraq prayer begins fifteen to twenty minutes after sunrise and consists of two Raka'ahs.[1] Praying ishraq is considered to yield greater rewards than performing the lesser Umrah according to some traditions.[2] 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 approximately fifteen minutes after sunrise and extends up to the time of the declining of the sun from the meridian.[citation needed]

Duha or Chasht prayer

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.[3][4][5][6][7][citation needed] According to the Sunni thought, performing this prayer is believed to be effective in seeking forgiveness for one's sins.[8]

The Ishraq or Chasht or Duha 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.[citation needed]


Salat al-Awwabin - is the "prayer of the Oft-Returning" as specified by Muhammad and is offered between Maghrib prayer and Isha prayer. However, many scholars say the there are no sahih hadiths confirming that Salat al-Awwabin is to be prayed between Maghrib and Isha prayers and are they are of opinion that in fact it is the same prayer as Duha tan ta n

Four Rak'aah Sunnah of Dhuhr

Muhammad (pbuh) is reported to have said that whoever performs the four rakaats before or after the Dhuhr prayer with constancy, God makes the fire of Hell haram (forbidden) for him. [Mishkat,(Hasan-Chain) p. 104; Tirmizi, Abu Da'ud, Nisai 1814, Ibn Majah]

Muhammad (pbuh) is reported to have said that after the worshipper prays the four rakaats of Dhuhr salah, the doors of heaven are opened, i.e. the salah becomes accepted by God, and the cause of its acceptance comes down on the worshipper as rays of mercy. [Mishkat, p. 104]

'Aishah, the wife of Muhammad: The Prophet (ﷺ) never omitted four rak'ahs before the noon (Dhuhr) prayer, and two rak'ahs before the dawn prayer. (Abi Dawud - 1253)

Four Rak'aah Sunnah of Asr

Muhammad said: "May Allah have mercy on the one who offers four (rak'ahs) before 'Asr prayer." (Abu Dawud - 1273)

Muhammad said: "May Allah have mercy upon a man who prays four (rak'ahs) before Al-Asr." (Jami` at-Tirmidhi - 430)

Two Rak'aah Sunnah of Maghrib

Before prayer

Muhammad said: "Pray before Maghrib, pray before Maghrib" then he said at the third time, "Whoever wishes (to)". He said so, because he did not like the people to take it as a Sunnah. (Bukhari - 1183)[9]

After prayer

Muhammad said: "Whoever persists in performing twelve Rak’ah from the Sunnah, a house will be built for him in Paradise: four before the Zuhr, two Rak’ah after Zuhr, two Rak’ah after Maghrib, two Rak’ah after the ‘Isha’ and two Rak’ah before Fajr." (Sunan Ibn Majah - 1140)

Two Rak'aah Sunnah of Isha

After prayer

"I memorized from the Prophet (ﷺ) ten (voluntary) Rak'at - two Rak'at before the Dhuhr prayer and two after it; two Rak'at after Maghrib prayer in his house, and two Rak'at after 'Isha' prayer in his house, and two Rak'at before the Fajr prayer. " (alBukhari - 1180) (Muslim - 729)

Forbidden times

There are times when it is forbidden for one to perform supererogatory prayers. During these times, supererogatory prayers are either makrooh (disliked) or haram (forbidden). The forbidden times are after performing the Fajr prayer, after Asr prayer, when the sun is still rising or setting and during a Friday sermon. Exceptions are made when the prayer is Tahiyyat masjid, when making up missed prayers and when the prayer is performed in Masjid al-Haram where prayers are valid at any hour of the day and night.[10][11]

See also


  1. ^ Mohammad, Mamdouh N. (2003). Salat: The Islamic Prayer from A to Z. Dr Mahmdouh N Mohammad. p. 14. ISBN 978-0-9652877-4-6.
  2. ^ Targhib p. 427. vol. I ref. Abu Yate ba Isnad-e-Sahib
  3. ^ Al-Sunan al-Sughra #1,659
  4. ^ Sahih Muslim #1,175
  5. ^ Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal #23,317
  6. ^ Sunan Ibn Majah #1,371
  7. ^ Mishkaat pg.116
  8. ^ Sunan al-Tirmidhi #438
  9. ^ Fiqh Us Sunnah
  10. ^ فتح الباري. Archived 2015-02-02 at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ نهاية المحتاج Archived 2016-10-25 at the Wayback Machine
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