Ramadan 2011 Prep Tip #5: Increase in the voluntary prayers – Part 2
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
[Here's Part 1.]
[Note: I haven't mentioned the ahadeeth in this part either. If anyone wants a particular reference, please feel free to ask.]
Okay, suppose you’re already doing the fard and rawatib prayers.
What else can you do?
Note: Once again, you don’t have to do all of them at once. Start step by step and increase in them as much as you are able to do so.
These are the supererogatory prayers. [Look, this is what they're officially called. I don't even know the meaning of that word.]
They are less important than the rawatib. The four rakahs before Asr fall under this category, as do the two rakah before Maghrib.
The two rakahs after the two rakahs of rawatib after the Dhuhr (that was a mouthful) are also nawafil.
Are there more nawafil? I think so and I also read about there being some differences of opinion on which ones they are. However, these are the only ones that I am sure of.
As for the four rakahs that many people pray before Isha, I tried to find the evidence for it, but thus far have been unable to do so.
There is evidence for two of those rakahs, if they are prayed between the adhan and the iqaamah (as there is a well-known authentic hadeeth on this issue).
If anyone has more information on this issue, then please do share it with us.
This prayer starts about 20 minutes after sunrise and ends about 15-20 minutes before Dhuhr.
The minimum number of rakahs is 2.
What about the maximum, you ask? Well, there is a difference of opinion on this. Some scholars say 8, others say 12 and yet others say that there is no upper limit.
If you’re not sure, don’t exceed 8 rakaahs.
The best time to pray Dhuha is in its latest time.
Here’s a short article on the Dhuha prayer.
3) Tahajjud / Qiyam Al-Layl
Yes, they’re both the same prayer.
The time starts after Isha prayer* until the adhan of Fajr. [Witr is part of Qiyam al-Layl.]
[In two places, I've heard that it starts after Maghrib. I need to do more research on this issue though, insha-Allah.]
When is it best to do it? Well, in the last third of the night. [The night lasts from Maghrib until Fajr.]
Qiyam Al-Layl is the best prayer after the fard prayers. It’s also one of the most difficult prayers because of its timing.
However, I think everyone will agree that it is also the most satisfying prayer (when we actually manage to crawl out of bed and actually do it, I mean).
These days, we seemed to have singled out Ramadan for Qiyam Al-Layl which is most unfortunate.
The early Muslims were OBLIGATED to spend the WHOLE night in prayer. [Please read the explanation of Surah Al-Muzzammil.]
Why? In order to strengthen them.
Subhan Allah, we are so worried about not getting enough sleep. Due to this, we don’t pray Qiyam Al-Layl and we sleep after Fajr.
And we really don’t have much time in the day nor do we have that much energy.
All of this, despite us “taking care of our sleep”.
The early generations on the other hand, seemed to be more concerned about worshipping Allah. Because of this, it seems that the little sleep that they got was more blessed than the huge amount of sleep that we get.
Despite their “little” sleep, they didn’t have to sleep after Fajr, they had lots of time and lots of energy.
So, perhaps this Ramadan, we should worry less about our sleep and more about worshipping Allah and pleasing Him, and insha-Allah, we will see a big difference.
To be continued…