Tuesday, February 11, 2014


1174.  Ibn Mas`ud (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: One night I joined the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) in his (optional) Salat. He (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) prolonged the Qiyam (standing) so much that I made up my mind to commit an act of wrong. He was questioned: "What did you intend to do?'' He replied: "I intended to sit down and stop following him (in Salat).''
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Commentary: We learn from this Hadith that:

1. Qiyam-ul-Lail (Tahajjud prayer) must be fairly long and every constituent of it should be performed with full peace of mind.

2. It is permissible to perform Nafl Salat in congregation.

3. In case an Imam inordinately lengthens a Salat, it is permissible for his followers to detach themselves from the congregation. But Ibn Mas`ud has regarded his intention to do so as bad, and for this reason its justification becomes doubtful. Since the Imam has been exhorted to take care of his followers in Salat, this apparently furnishes justification for the detachment.

1175.  Hudhaifah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: I performed Salat with the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) one night, and he started reciting Surat Al-Baqarah. I thought that he would go in Ruku`(bowing posture in Salat) at the end of one hundred Ayat, but he continued (reciting); and I thought that he would perhaps recite (this Surah) in the whole Rak`ah (prayer), but he continued the recitation; I thought he would perhaps bow on completing (this Surah). He (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) then started reciting Surat An-Nisa' which he followed with Surat Al-Imran. He recited leisurely. When he recited an Ayah which mentioned the tasbeeh, he would say Subhan Allah and when he recited the Ayah which tells how the Rubb is to be asked, the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) would then ask from Him; and when he (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) recited an Ayah asking one to seek Protection Allah, he would seek Protection of Allah. Then he bowed and said, "Subhana Rabbiyal-Azim (My Rubb the Great is free from imperfection)''; his bowing lasted about the same length of time as his standing, (and then on returning to the standing posture after Ruku`) he would say, "Sami' Allahu liman hamidah, Rabbana lakal-hamd (Allah listens to him who praises Him. Praise be to You, Our Rubb!),'' and he would then stand about the same length of time as he had spent in bowing. He would then prostrate himself and say, "Subhana Rabbiyal-A`la (My Rubb the Supreme is free from imperfection),'' and his prostration lasted nearly the same length of time as his standing (Qiyam).

Commentary:  This Hadith has already been mentioned. In his commentary on Sahih Muslim, Imam An-Nawawi has interpreted the words (occuring in this Hadith) as "I thought he would perhaps recite in the whole Rak`ah.'' Here Rak`ah means complete Salat (two Rak`ah). This interpretation is necessary for the reason that in its absence, the meanings of the next sentence go wrong. Due to this reason, we have kept these meanings in view in our translation. In any case, it furnishes justification for the desirability of long Qiyam (standing in Salat), the desirability of congregation in Nafl Salat, and the maintenance of the correct sequence in the recitation of the Surah of the Qur'an in prayers, which is not accepted by many people.

1176.  Jabir (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) was asked: "Which Salat is the best?'' He replied, '' The best Salat is that in which Qiyam (the duration of standing) is longer.''

Commentary:  We learn from this Hadith that of all the articles of Salat (Ruku`, Sujud, etc.), it is best to lengthen the Qiyam because the greater the Qiyam is, the longer the recitation of the Qur'an will be. Since the recitation of the Qur'an is the best form of remembrance of Allah, the lengthening of the Qiyam is also most meritorious.

1177.  `Abdullah bin `Amr (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, "The Salat which is dearest to Allah is that of (Prophet) Dawud; and As-Saum (the fasting) which is dearest to Allah is that of (Prophet) Dawud. He used to sleep half the night, get up to perform Salat for one-third of it, then sleep through the remaining one-sixth of it; and he used to observe Saum on alternative days.''
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Commentary:  Since Islam has strictly forbidden self-affliction to the extent that it has forbidden hardship even in worship, compulsory awakening for Salat at midnight and observing Saum (fasting) for the whole month (except of the month of Ramadan) is disapproved. The model set by the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) is the ideal pattern of moderation in this respect. In this Hadith the fasting and the prayer of Prophet Dawud have been regarded most pleasing to Allah, because their conduct had a moderation which is enjoined by Islam.

1178.  Jabir (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: I heard the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) saying, "Every night there is a special time during which whatever a Muslim asks Allah of any good relating to this life or the Hereafter, it will be granted to him; and this moment comes every night.''

Commentary: Like the special moment in Jumu`ah, the time when this special moment occurs every night is not determined. But it is generally in the late hours of the night because that is the best time for worship. As in the case of Lailat-ul-Qadr the wisdom of keeping it secret lies in the inducement to search it by means of worship and prayer, praise and remembrance of Allah.

1179.  Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, "When one of you gets up at night to perform (Tahajjud) prayer, let him start Salat with two short Rak`ah.''

1180.  `Aishah (May Allah be pleased with her) reported: Whenever the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) stood for Salat at night, he would start his prayer with two brief Rak`ah.

Commentary:  These two Ahadith point out the desirability of performing two brief Rak`ah before one embarks on Tahajjud prayers, as this was the practice of the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam). The wisdom behind this is to drive away laziness and pave the way for the nocturnal prayers in a proper manner. Allah knows better.

1181.  `Aishah (May Allah be pleased with her) reported: If the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) missed his night (Tahajjud) Salat because of indisposition or the like, he would perform twelve Rak`ah during the day.

1182.  `Umar bin Al-Khattab (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said: "If anyone falls asleep and therefore fails to observe his Hizb (share) or part of it, if he observes it between the Fajr and the Zuhr prayers, it will be recorded for him as though he had observed it during the night.''

Commentary:  This Hadith has already been mentioned. The word "Hizb'' literally means "share'' and "turn''. Here it means that (daily round of recitation) which a person determines for himself, such as prayer or recitation of the Qur'an. For instance, if a person decides that he will perform eight Rak`ah in Tahajjud, recite one Juz` (part) of the Qur'an everyday, remember Allah in such and such form for so many times etc., etc. And then he makes every possible effort to put into practice his decision, but if casually he is unable to fulfill his routine, he should do it afterwards. This action of his will be credited to his account by Allah as if he completed it at the appointed time. This Hadith furnishes justification for the performance of optional righteous acts even after their due time.

1183.  Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, "May Allah show mercy to a man who gets up during the night and performs Salat, awakens his wife to pray and if she refuses, he sprinkles water on her face (to make her get up). May Allah show mercy to a woman who gets up during the night and performs Salat, awakens her husband for the same purpose; and if he refuses, she sprinkles water on his face.''
[Abu Dawud].

Commentary:  This Hadith tells us about the conduct of pious husbands and wives. Its outstanding feature mentioned here is that they help each other in acts of virtue and obedience of Allah.

1184.  Abu Sa`id and Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, "When a man awakens his wife during the night and they both perform two Rak`ah Salat together, they are recorded among the men and women who celebrate remembrance of Allah.''
[Abu Dawud].

Commentary:  This Hadith points out the excellence of performing Tahajjud prayers with one's wife. Those who do so will be recorded as (the men and the women who remember Allah much, with their hearts and tongues). For such people, as the Verse concludes [Allah has prepared for them forgiveness and a great reward (i.e., Jannah)]. (33:35)

1185.  `Aishah (May Allah be pleased with her) reported: The Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, "When one of you dozes off while performing Salat, he should lie down till his drowsiness has gone away from him. When one of you performs Salat while dozing, he may abuse himself instead of seeking pardon (as a result of drowsiness).''
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

1186. Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, "When anyone of you stands up for Salat at night and finds it difficult to recite the Qur'an accurately and he is unaware of what he is reciting, he should go back to sleep.''

Commentary:  Since peace of mind and concentration are essential for performing Salat, it should be performed when one is fresh and free from tiredness and drowsiness. This is the reason Muslims have been prohibited through these two Ahadith from performing Salat when they are overwhelmed by sleep. In such conditions one cannot make proper expression of one's humility before Allah, which is the essence of Salat. Therefore, in such conditions one should first have some sleep because only then one will get real pleasure from the recitation of the Qur'an, prayer and praise of Allah, and will be in a position to beseech Him earnestly for pardoning one's sins.

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