Prayer and its rules Part 3


Mustahab prayers

– There are many Mustahab prayers which are generally called Nafilah, but more stress has been laid on the daily Mustahab prayers. The number of the Rak’ats everyday excluding Friday, is 34. It is as follows:

* 8 Rak’ats Nafilah for Zuhr

* 8 Rak’ats Nafilah for Asr

* 4 Rak’ats Nafilah for Maghrib

* 2 Rak’ats Nafilah for Isha

* 11 Rak’ats Nafilah for Tahajjud (Night Prayer)

* 2 Rak’ats Nafilah for Fajr


As an obligatory precaution, the Nafilah for Isha prayers should be offered while sitting, and therefore its 2 Rak’ats are counted as one. But on Friday, 4 Rak’ats are added to the 16 Rak’ats of the Zuhr and the Asr Nafilah, and it is preferable that all these 20 Rak’ats are offered before the Zuhr sets in.

– Out of the 11 Rak’ats of the night Nafilah, 8 Rak’ats should be offered with the niyyat of the Nafilah, 2 Rak’ats with the niyyat of Shaf’a, and 1 Rak’at with the Niyyat of Witr. Complete instructions regarding Night Prayer are given in the book of prayers.

– All Nafilah prayers can be offered while sitting, but then, certain Fuqaha say that 2 Rak’ats prayed sitting should be counted as one Rak’at. For example, if a person wishes to offer Zuhr Nafilah which consists of 8 Rak’ats, in a sitting position, he should offer 16 Rak’ats. And if he wishes to offer Witr prayers while sitting, he should offer two prayers of 1 Rak’at each. This later preference is not known from any sources; however, they may be followed with the hope of earning divine pleasure.

– Zuhr Nafilah and Asr Nafilah should not be offered when one is on a journey, and one may offer Isha Nafilah with the intention of Raja’.


The timings of daily Nafilah prayers

– The Zuhr Nafilah is offered before Zuhr prayers. Its time is from the commencement of the time of Zuhr, up to the time when the shadow of indicator equals 2/7th of its length. For example, if an indicator is 7 yards long, and the shadow appearing after Zuhr reaches 2 yards, the Nafilah time would end. He should now offer Zuhr prayers.

– The Asr Nafilah are offered before Asr prayers, and its time is till the moment when the shadow of an indicator appearing after Zuhr, reaches of 4/7th of its length.

In case a person wishes to offer Zuhr and Asr Nafilah after their recommended time, he can offer the Zuhr Nafilah after Zuhr prayers, and the Asr Nafilah after Asr prayers, but as a precaution, he will not make niyyat of Ada or Qadha.

– The Maghrib Nafilah should be offered after Maghrib prayers, and one should make an effort to offer it in time after Maghrib. However, if one delays offering Maghrib Nafilah till redness in the western sky disappears, then it would be better to offer Isha prayers at that moment.

– The time for Isha Nafilah is from the completion of Isha prayers till midnight. It is better to offer it immediately, after Isha prayers.

– The Fajr Nafilah is offered before the Fajr prayers, and its time commences when Night Prayer has been completed, till the time of Fajr Prayer draws near. But if someone delays it till redness is seen in the eastern sky, then it is better to pray Prayer of Fajr.

– The time for Night Prayer is from midnight till Adhan for Fajrprayers, and it is better to offer it closer to the time of Fajr prayers.

–  A traveler (i.e. one on a journey), and a person who finds it difficult to offer Night Prayer after midnight, can offer it before midnight.


Ghufayla prayer

– Ghufayla prayer is one of the Mustahab prayers which is offered between Maghrib and Isha prayers. In its first Rak’at after Surah al-Hamd, instead of any other Surah, the following verses should be recited: Wa zannuni iz zahaba mughadhiban fazanna anlan naqdira ‘alayhi fanada fiz zulumati an la ilaha illa anta subhanaka inni kuntu minazzalimin fastajabna lahu wa najjaynahu minal ghammi wa kazalika nunjil mu’minin.

In the second Rak’at after Surah al-Hamd, instead of other Surah, the following verse should be recited: Wa ‘indahu mafatihul ghaybi la ya’lamuha illa huwa wa ya’lamu ma fil barri wal bahri wa ma tasqutu min waraqatin illa ya’lamuha wa la habbatin fi zulumatil ardh wa la ratbin wa la yabsin illa fi kitabim mubin.


And in Qunut this Dua be recited:

Alla humma inni as’aluka bi mafatihli ghaybil lati la ya’lamuha illa anta an tusalliya ‘ala Muhammadin wa Ali Muhammad wa an taf’al bi………..

(Here one should mention his wishes).


Thereafter, the following Dua should be read: Allahumma anta waliyyu ni’mati wal qadiru ‘ala talabati ta’lamu hajati fa as’aluka bihaqqi Muhammadin wa Ali Muhammadin ‘alayhi wa ‘alayhimu salamu lamma qazaaytaha li.


Rules of Qibla

– Our Qibla is the holy Ka’bah, which is situated in Makkah, and one should offer one’s prayers facing it. However, a person who is far, would stand in such a manner that people would say that he is praying facing the Qibla, and that would suffice. This also applies to other acts which should be performed facing the Qibla like, while slaughtering an animal etc.

– A person offering obligatory prayers while standing should have his chest and stomach facing the Qibla, and his face should not digress from Qibla, and the recommended precaution is that the toes of his feet should also be facing Qibla.

– If a person offers prayers while sitting, it is necessary that his face, chest and stomach face the Qibla.

– If a person cannot offer prayers in the sitting position, he should lie on the right hand side in such a manner that the front part of the body would face the Qibla. And if that is not possible, he should lie on the left hand side in such a manner that the front part of his body would face the Qibla. And if even that is not possible, he should lie on his back in such a manner, that the sole of his feet face the Qibla.

– Prayer of Ihtiyat, and forgotten Sajdah, and forgotten tashahhud should all be offered facing the Qibla, and on the basis of recommended precaution, Sajda-e-Sahv should also be offered facing the Qibla.

– A Mustahab Prayer can be offered while one is walking, or riding, and if a person offers Mustahab prayers in these two conditions, it is not necessary that he should be facing the Qibla.

– A person who wishes to offer prayers, should make efforts to ascertain the direction of Qibla, and for that, he has to either be absolutely sure, or acquire such information as may amount to certainty, like testimony of two reliable persons. If that is not possible, he should form an idea from the Niche (Mehrab) of the Masjid or from the graves of the Muslims, or by other ways, and act accordingly. In fact, if a non-Muslim who can determine Qibla by scientific method, indicates Qibla satisfactorily, he can be relied upon.

– If a person, who has a mere surmise about Qibla, and is in a position to have a better idea, he should not act on that guess work. For example, if a guest has an idea about the direction of Qibla on the statement of the owner of the house, but feels that he can acquire a firmer knowledge about Qibla by some means, he should not act on his host’s words.

– If a person does not possess any means of determining the direction of Qibla, or in spite of his efforts, he cannot form an idea about it, it will be sufficient for him to offer his prayers facing any direction. And the recommended precaution is that, if he has sufficient time at his disposal, he should offer the same prayers 4 times, each time facing every one of the four directions.

– If a person is sure or guesses that Qibla is on one of the two directions, he should offer prayers facing both.

– If a person has to offer prayers facing a few direction, and wants to offer two prayers like Zuhr prayers and Asr prayers, which should be offered one after the other, the recommended precaution is that he should offer the first Prayer facing those few directions, and then commence the second prayers.

– If a person who is not certain about the direction of Qibla, wishes to perform acts other than Prayer, which should be done facing the Qibla like, slaughtering an animal, he should act according to his surmise about the direction of Qibla , and if that does not seem possible, then performing the act facing any direction will be valid.


Covering the body in prayers

– While offering prayers, a man should cover his private parts even if no one is looking at him, and preference is that he should also cover his body from the navel up to the knee.

– A woman should cover her entire body while offering prayers, including her head and hair. As a recommended precaution, she should also cover the soles of her feet. It is not necessary for her to cover that part of her face which is washed while performing Wudhu, or the hands up to the wrists, or the upper feet up to the ankles. Nevertheless, in order to ensure that she has covered the obligatory parts of her body adequately, she should also cover a part of the sides of her face as well as lower part of her wrists and the ankles.

– When a person offers the forgotten Sajdah or tashahhud, he should cover himself in the same manner as in prayers, and the recommended precaution is that he should also cover himself at the time of offering Sajda-e-Sahv.

– If while offering prayers, a person does not cover his private parts intentionally, or on account of not having cared to know the rule, his prayers is void.

– If a person realizes while offering prayers, that his private parts are visible, he must immediately cover them, and it is not necessary for him to repeat the prayers. As a measure of precaution, he should not continue performing any part of the prayers, as long as the private parts are visible. If he learns after the completion of prayers that his private parts were visible, his prayers would be deemed valid.

– If the dress of a person covers his private parts while he stands, but it may not cover them in another posture like in Ruku or Sajdah, his Prayer will be valid if he manages to conceal them by some other means. However, the recommended precaution is that he should not pray in such dress.

– One is allowed to cover oneself at the time of offering prayers with grass, and the leaves of the trees, but as a recommended precaution, these should be used only when there is no any alternative.

– In a state of helplessness, when one has nothing to cover one’s private parts, one may, while offering prayers, use mud to conceal one’s private parts.

– If a person does not have anything with which to cover himself while offering prayers, but has a hope that he may get some cover, then it is better to delay offering the prayers. However, if he does not get anything, he should offer prayers discharging his obligation at the end bit of the time. And if he prayed in the prime time, and his excuse did not continue till the end, then as an obligatory precaution, he should repeat his pray again.

– If a person who intends offering prayers does not have anything, not even leaves, or grass, or mud to cover himself, and if he has no hope of acquiring any of them, if there are no people looking, he should pray normally, performing Ruku and sajdah etc. as usual. And if there are people watching, then he should pray in such a way that his private parts remain hidden from the viewers, by praying on sitting position, and performing Ruku and Sajdah by signs.

– As an obligatory precaution in Prayer, an unclothed person should cover his private parts with the parts of his own body, say, while sitting with the thighs, and while standing with his hands.