The Excellence of Optional Prayers

The Excellence of Optional Prayers

Ibn Salleh

All the Praise be to Allah subhanahu wata’ala, the Lord of al’alameen. Peace and Blessing be upon his Messenger.

There are several hadith that indicates the virtues and excellence of (Nawafil Solah) Optional Prayers.

The mother of the faithful Umm Habibah Ramlah binti Abu Sufyan (radiallahu ‘anha) narrated that she heard the Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wassallam) saying: “A house will be built in paradise for every Muslim who offers twelve Raka’ah of optional salah other than the obligatory salah in day and night, to seek pleasure of Allah.” 


According to Imam Nasa’i and Tirmidzi these extra 12 raka’ats of optional prayers are : 2 raka’ats before the obligatory prayer of Early morning (fajar), and 4 raka’ats before (Zuhur) and 2 raka’ats after it ,and 2 raka’ats after the obligatory of early evening prayer (maghrib) and 2 raka’ats after the obligatory prayer of night (Isya’) prayer.

Abu Hurairah (radhiallahu ‘anhu) said:

 “My Khalil (friend) – the Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wassallam) advised me to observe three things and I shall not leave them till I die: 1. To observe Saum (fasting) three days every (lunar) month; 2. To offer the Duha prayer; 3. To offer Witir prayer before sleeping.”

[Bukhari and Muslim]

‘Aishah (radiallahu ‘anha) narrated that the Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wassallam) said:

“The two raka’ahs before dawn (fajar) prayer are better than the word and all that it contains.”


‘Aishah( radiallahu ‘anha) narrated: “The Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wassallam) was never more regular and strict in offering any Nawafil than the two raka’ahs (Sunnah before) dawn (fajar) prayer.”

 [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Umm Habibah (radiallahu ‘anha) narrated that the Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wassallam) said:

“Whoever, observes the practice of offering four rak’ahs before Zuhur prayer and four raka’ahs after it. Allah will shield him against the fire of hell.”

[Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidzi]

One should make Witir as the last solah (prayer) (at night).

Abdullah bin Umar (radiallahu ‘anhu) narrated that the Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wassallam) said:

Perform Witir as your last solah (prayer) at night.”

[Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

If anyone enters a mosque, he should offer two raka’ah before sitting.

Abu Qatadah (radiallahu ‘anhu) narrated that the Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wassallam) said: “If any one of you enters a mosque, he should pray a two rak’ats before sitting.”

 [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Abu Hurairah (radiallahu ‘anhu) narrated that Allah’s Messenger (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wassallam) said to Bilal (radiallahu ‘anhu):

“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 (wudhu’) at any time of night or day, I offer solah (prayer) for as long as was destined for me to offer.”

[Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

 Allah the Exalted Knows Best

[Excerpted from the Islam Q&A]


About Md Radzi Ahmad
A retired Malaysian civil servant. Served the Malaysian government for thirty-one years. Posted to London, Rangoon, Johannesburg, Pretoria and Bangkok. Born in Kampong Hutan Kandeh, Alor Star, Kedah. Educated at Sultan Abdul Hamid College, Alor Star and University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur. Currently resides in Subang Jaya, Selangor Darul Ehsan,Malaysia.Blessed with three children, a son, two daughters, daughter in law and two grandaughters.

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