Thursday, 20 October 2011

Nafl Salaah's (Optional Prayers)

The Naf’l (Optional) Prayers

On the Day of Judgment every human being,
from Adam to the last man, woman or child born on earth,
will be brought back to life.
And they will, all of them, assemble before Allah.
Whatever had been their mode of death:
whether they were buried
or had drowned
or had been swallowed
 or eaten alive by any being
or had disappeared without trace
or were cremated
and their ashes scattered in far corners of the earth,
every one of them will, doubtless,
 be resurrected by Allah’s Command
and called to account
 for their deeds through life.

On a balance will be weighed everyone's good and bad deeds. These acts had been meticulously recorded by angels for every human being created since time immemorial.  Two angels are permanently assigned to each person.  The angel to his/her right, records the good deeds.  The angel to the left records the bad deeds. 

On this seemingly endless Day, even our hands, our legs and other limbs will testify against us. So too for the good deeds, their correct testimonies will be heard.  Every spot of earth that we stood on for prayer to Allah or for performing a good act, will vouchsafe in our favor. So too will be its declamation for the misdeeds we committed on it.

Mostly the scales will tilt against us.  The incontrovertible record of evil deeds, the sins of commission, the rebellion against God, the wrongs done to others and unto ourselves, will be there for us to see and remember and repent.

Then as our good deeds are weighed in, the scale will tilt a little in our favor. Even as an infinitesimal good act is cited, such as a Salaah or a good deed or a recital of the Holy Qur’an or even a mention of the name of Allah on such and such an occasion, it will bring us a glimmer of hope.

Every human being will wish, in that hour of despair, if only he/she could have the chance to live that moment again, he/she would add one more Salaah, one more charity or yet another good deed to his/her record and be saved from being doomed to hell.

It is then that the record of our Salaah’s will come to our rescue. They will secure us Allah’s Gracious Pardon of our sins.

All our good deeds will bring us, by Allah’s Grace, rewards much greater than what we strictly deserve.
And our Naf’l prayers will win the day for us, insha Allah.

Any time anywhere, we can perform Naf’l Salaah’s.  In fact, the best way to seek Allah's blessings for the success of any of our projects, is:

We make a vow that when the project we have on hand is blessed with success by Allah, we will perform a specified number of Rakaah’s (ten, twenty, fifty, one hundred, one thousand and even more!) of Naf’l Salaah’s of Gratitude to Allah.

As soon as success is gained, we keep our promise and perform the Salaah’s in full. If we fail, we fall real low in our judgment of ourselves and  feel we are not worthy any more of seeking Allah’s help.

May Allah kindly bless us to be grateful to Him always and to be worthy of Him and His Chosen Prophet Syedina Mohammed S.A.W.S.  A’meen!

A Selection from the Prophet S.A.W.S.’s Naf’l  Salaah’s

Thahiy’yathul Wudu: Immediately after making the ablutions, Wudu, we perform two Rakaah’s Naf’l as Thahiy’yathul Wudu. This helps to merge our "inward and outward consciousness" into a deep devotion to Allah.  This entitles us to Paradise, according to the Mishk’ath  Hadith.

Thahiy’yathul Masjid: According to the Saheeh Bukhari collection of Hadith, the Holy Prophet S.A.W.S. has advised us that whenever we go to any Masjid (before the usual Far’d prayer or the Juma’a Sermon has begun), we must peform two rakaah’s Naf’l as Thahiy’yathul Masjid.
This prayer is also for Allah.  It is an expression of our esteem for the Masjid. Every Masjid is the House of Allah. It is indeed for Allah that we perform this and every other Salaah.

Salaathul Ishraaq: Half an hour or so after dawn, when the sun has risen to the “Height of a Spear” above the horizon, Salaahul Ish'raaq is performed as Naf’l. It can be of two or four rakaah’s.

Salaathud Duhaa: About three hours after the above, the Salaathud Duhaa  is performed with 2, 4 or 8 Rakaah’s, as Naf’l.  The Mother of Momineen Syedathi Aayesha R.A.A. Radhi Allahu An'haa used to perform this Salaah  regularly.

The Holy Prophet S.A.W.S. has said that whoever makes it his practice to perform this Salaah every day will have all his sins pardoned by Allah, even if they are like "the froth of sea waves".

Salaathul Aw’wabeen: This Naf’l Salaah is performed after Maghrib prayers.  We are informed from Hadith that whoever performs this in six Rakaah’s (three pairs of two Rakaah’s each) and refrains from evil in between, will be blessed with rewards equal to twelve years of devout prayer. We are also informed that if a person performs twenty Rakaah’s instead, in this Salaah, he/she will secure a mansion in Paradise.

Allahu Rabbul Izzat prefers regularity in our Salaah. For those performing Naf’l prayers regularly, the rewards from Allah are bountiful.

Salaathuth  Thahajjud

This is an important Naf’l (optional) Salaah that brings in countless blessings.  Foremost is the good news that our Duaa’yaen (prayers) to Allah are fulfilled soonest.

An hour or two before the Azaan of Salaathul Fajr, we wake up and make Wudu and we perform this Salaah  in two to twelve Rakaah’s.

Those who cannot wake up and perform this Salaah at these hours, may perform it earlier, after the Salaathul Ishaa  and earn sawaab.

It is masnoon (the Holy Prophet S.A.W.S.’s practice) to perform as many rakaah’s as we can, in pairs of two rakaah’s each.

They bring us immense rewards from Allah.

We recite longer Surath's in each Rakaah, like Surath's Ya'seen, Ar Rahmaan, Vaakhiyah, Al Saj’dah, Al Kahaf and so on, if we can recite them from memory.

It may appear difficult at first but once we get accustomed to it, we will be performing this Salaah with zest and real devotion.  We will be spiritually and emotionally uplifted by this Salaah at an hour most auspicious  for Duaa’yaen.

The Du’aa (invocation) made to Allah after this Salaah is granted as Allah's Rahmath is closest to us at this hour when we are in devout prayer to Our Creator, seeking His Pardon, His Compassion and the Blessings that only Allah awards.

We need limitless and ever increasing ney’maath, the bounties of inestimable value from Allahu Sub’hanahu va tha Aalaa.  Let us then, offer limitless Salaah and good deeds and make heartrending Duaa’yaen to Allah and become worthy of these blessings.

When the entire city is in deep slumber, we are praying to Our Glorious Creator to pardon our sins and grant us fulfillment of our cherished aims and bless us and our near ones with the best of health and happiness and harmony in our family life.

The glory of this Salaah may be seen in the Hadith from Mishkaath: The Holy Prophet S.A.W.S. has informed us that:

In the last third of the night,
Allah welcomes those who pray to Him.
He asks, "Who is it who prays to Me?  I will grant his prayer. 
Who is it who seeks My favor?  I will fulfill his need.
Who is it who seeks My pardon? I will forgive his sins.
Who is it who lends something to (Allah), the One Who has everything and is neither miserly nor harsh."
This drama of asking for, and being granted favors,
goes on and on till  daybreak.

We conclude this Salaah and perform the Salaahul With’r al Wa’jib, the last prayer of the night.

Even if we had performed this Salaah  earlier, with the Ishaa prayers, we may now perform it again and this will bring us greater sawaab.