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Salat or Prayers

In Islam, Salat (prayer) is a fundamental act of worship and has various forms, including Fard (obligatory), Sunnah (voluntary but recommended), Nafl (voluntary), Witr (odd-numbered after Isha), and Wajib (necessary).

Prohibited Salat Times:

It’s important to be aware of the specific times when performing Salat is prohibited according to shari’i teachings. To help you understand these times more clearly, we’ve organized them in a simple table: 

Fard Salat

Fard Salat, the obligatory prayers, are a crucial component of our faith and practice. The command to perform these prayers comes directly from the Qur’an. Allah says:

وَأَقِيمُوا۟ ٱلصَّلَوٰةَ وَءَاتُوا۟ ٱلزَّكَوٰةَ وَٱرْكَعُوا۟ مَعَ ٱلرَّٰكِعِينَ ٤٣

Establish prayer, pay alms-tax, and bow down with those who bow down.

Al-Baqarah 2:43

Also, there are several hadiths that reinforce the importance of Fard Salat. For example:

أَخْبَرَنَا أَبُو دَاوُدَ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا شُعَيْبٌ، – يَعْنِي ابْنَ زِيَادِ بْنِ مَيْمُونٍ – قَالَ كَتَبَ عَلِيُّ بْنُ الْمَدِينِيِّ عَنْهُ – أَخْبَرَنَا أَبُو الْعَوَّامِ، عَنْ قَتَادَةَ، عَنِ الْحَسَنِ، عَنْ أَبِي رَافِعٍ، عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، أَنَّ النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ ‏ “‏ إِنَّ أَوَّلَ مَا يُحَاسَبُ بِهِ الْعَبْدُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ صَلاَتُهُ فَإِنْ وُجِدَتْ تَامَّةً كُتِبَتْ تَامَّةً وَإِنْ كَانَ انْتَقَصَ مِنْهَا شَىْءٌ قَالَ انْظُرُوا هَلْ تَجِدُونَ لَهُ مِنْ تَطَوُّعٍ يُكَمِّلُ لَهُ مَا ضَيَّعَ مِنْ فَرِيضَةٍ مِنْ تَطَوُّعِهِ ثُمَّ سَائِرُ الأَعْمَالِ تَجْرِي عَلَى حَسَبِ ذَلِكَ ‏”‏ ‏.‏

It was narrated from Abu Hurairah that the Prophet (ﷺ) said: “The first thing for which a person will be brought to account on the Day of Resurrection will be his Salah. If it is found to be complete then it will be recorded as complete, and if anything is lacking He will say: ‘Look and see if you can find any voluntary prayers with which to complete what he neglected of his obligatory prayers.’ Then the rest of his deeds will be reckoned in like manner.”

Sunan an-Nasa’i 466
Chapter 9: Being Brought To Account For The Salah, Book 5: The Book of Salah

These are the obligatory prayers performed five times a day:

  • Fajr: 2 Rakats (Units) – before dawn. This prayer signifies the beginning of the day with the remembrance of Allah.
  • Dhuhr: 4 Rakats – after midday. Commemorates when daily activities are momentarily paused to focus on Allah.
  • Asr: 4 Rakats – late afternoon. Helps to rekindle the spirit of the faithful towards the end of the working day.
  • Maghrib: 3 Rakats – right after sunset. Marks the transition from day to night with gratitude.
  • Isha: 4 Rakats – night. The day concludes with this prayer, entrusting Allah for protection throughout the night.

Sunnah and Nafl Salat

Sunnah salat are highly recommended prayers that the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ often prayed in addition to the Fard prayers. Nafl Salat, on the other hand, refers to additional voluntary prayers that you can perform at any time of the day or night, outside of the obligatory and Sunnah prayers (not in the periods when salat is prohibited). These prayers are a means to seek Allah’s favour, ask for His guidance, and attain spiritual tranquillity. They are an excellent way to increase your acts of worship and draw nearer to Allah, especially during times of need or gratitude (i.e. you can make dua al-istikhara with a nafl salat).

Sunnah prayers are well-documented in various Hadith collections, for example:

حَدَّثَنَا مُسَدَّدٌ، حَدَّثَنَا يَحْيَى، عَنْ شُعْبَةَ، عَنْ إِبْرَاهِيمَ بْنِ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ الْمُنْتَشِرِ، عَنْ أَبِيهِ، عَنْ عَائِشَةَ، أَنَّ النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم كَانَ لاَ يَدَعُ أَرْبَعًا قَبْلَ الظُّهْرِ وَرَكْعَتَيْنِ قَبْلَ صَلاَةِ الْغَدَاةِ ‏.‏

Narrated ‘Aishah: The Prophet (ﷺ) never omitted four rak’ahs before the noon prayer, and two rak’ahs before the dawn prayer.

Sunan Abi Dawud 1253
Chapter 441: Chapters Regarding The Voluntary And Sunnah Prayers, Book 5: Prayer (Kitab Al-Salat): Voluntary Prayers

حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو بَكْرِ بْنُ أَبِي شَيْبَةَ، حَدَّثَنَا إِسْحَاقُ بْنُ سُلَيْمَانَ الرَّازِيُّ، عَنْ مُغِيرَةَ بْنِ زِيَادٍ، عَنْ عَطَاءٍ، عَنْ عَائِشَةَ، قَالَتْ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ ـ صلى الله عليه وسلم ـ ‏ “‏ مَنْ ثَابَرَ عَلَى ثِنْتَىْ عَشْرَةَ رَكْعَةً مِنَ السُّنَّةِ، بُنِيَ لَهُ بَيْتٌ فِي الْجَنَّةِ. أَرْبَعٍ قَبْلَ الظُّهْرِ، وَرَكْعَتَيْنِ بَعْدَ الظُّهْرِ، وَرَكْعَتَيْنِ بَعْدَ الْمَغْرِبِ، وَرَكْعَتَيْنِ بَعْدَ الْعِشَاءِ، وَرَكْعَتَيْنِ قَبْلَ الْفَجْرِ ‏”‏ ‏.‏

It was narrated that ‘Aishah said: “The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: ‘Whoever persists in performing twelve Rak’ah from the Sunnah, a house will be built for him in Paradise: four before the Zuhr, two Rak’ah after Zuhr, two Rak’ah after Maghrib, two Rak’ah after the ‘Isha’ and two Rak’ah before Fajr.’”

Sunan Ibn Majah 1140
Chapter 100: What was narrated concerning twelve Rak’ah from the Sunnah, Book 5: Establishing the Prayer and the Sunnah Regarding Them

The sunnah prayers are:

  • Fajr: 2 Rakats – before Fard. Performed to seek blessings at the start of the day.
  • Dhuhr: 4 Rakats – before Fard and 2 Rakats – after Fard. A practice to gain extra rewards and seek Allah’s blessings in midday.
  • Asr: 4 Rakats – before Fard. It strengthens one’s faith and consciousness of Allah during the afternoon period.
  • Maghrib: 2 Rakats – after Fard. Helps in showing gratitude to Allah as day turns into night.
  • Isha: 2 Rakats – after Fard. Add extra spiritual fortification before sleep.

Nafl prayers are commonly performed two Rakats each at Dhuhr, Maghrib, and Isha times.

Witr Salat

An odd-numbered prayer performed after Isha, often observed as the closing prayer of the night:

  • Isha: Typically 3 Rakats. Witr prayer is a confirmed Sunnah and the Prophet emphasized its importance.

عن علي رضي الله عنه قال‏: ‏ الوتر ليس بختم كصلاة المكتوبة ولكن سن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال‏: ‏ ‏ “‏إن الله وتر يحب الوتر، فأوتروا يا أهل القرآن‏”‏‏.‏ ‏(‏‏(‏رواه أبو داود والترمذي‏)‏‏)‏‏.‏ وقال‏: ‏ حديث حسن‏.‏

‘Ali (bin Abu Talib) (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Witr prayer is not obligatory as the prescribed Salat (prayers), but the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) observed it as his regular practice (Sunnah). He (ﷺ) said, “Allah is Witr (single, odd) and loves what is Witr. So perform Witr prayer. O followers of Qur’an, observe Witr (prayer).” [At-Tirmidhi and Abu Dawud].

Riyad as-Salihin 1132
Chapter 205: Witr Prayer, its Time and Ruling, Book 8: The Book of Virtues

Wajib Salat

Necessary prayers include:

  • Eid Salat: Performed on Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha. It includes special Takbeers and is performed in large congregations.
  • Salat al-Witr: After Isha. Considered necessary by many Islamic scholars, reinforcing the need for night-time worship.

Jummah Salat

The Friday prayer holds special significance and is performed in congregation:

  • Khutbah (sermon): An integral part of the Jummah prayer.
    • The first part of the khutbah should begin with praise of Allah and be followed by advice to the congregation.
    • The second part of the khutbah should include supplications (dua) for the Muslim community.
  • Jummah: 2 Rakats – offered just after noon, replacing the regular Dhuhr prayer on Fridays.
    • Performing Ghusl (ritual purification) before going to the mosque.
    • Wearing clean and good clothes.
    • Using perfume (for men).
    • Arriving early at the mosque to engage in voluntary prayers and recitations.
    • Listening attentively to the Khutbah without talking or getting distracted.

Travelling Salat

When traveling, one may shorten (Qasr) the Dhuhr, Asr, and Isha prayers to 2 Rakats each due to the hardship of travel.

أَخْبَرَنَا عِمْرَانُ بْنُ مُوسَى، قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا يَزِيدُ بْنُ زُرَيْعٍ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا سُفْيَانُ بْنُ سَعِيدٍ، عَنْ زُبَيْدٍ الأَيَامِيِّ، عَنْ عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ بْنِ أَبِي لَيْلَى، ذَكَرَهُ عَنْ عُمَرَ بْنِ الْخَطَّابِ، – رضى الله عنه – قَالَ صَلاَةُ الأَضْحَى رَكْعَتَانِ وَصَلاَةُ الْفِطْرِ رَكْعَتَانِ وَصَلاَةُ الْمُسَافِرِ رَكْعَتَانِ وَصَلاَةُ الْجُمُعَةِ رَكْعَتَانِ تَمَامٌ لَيْسَ بِقَصْرٍ عَلَى لِسَانِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏.‏

It was narrated that ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab said: “The prayer of Al-Adha is two rak’ahs, the prayer of Al-Fitr is two rak’ahs, the prayer of the traveler is two rak’ahs and the jumu’ah prayer is two rak’ahs, complete and not shortened, upon the tongue of the Prophet (ﷺ).

Sunan an-Nasa’i 1566
Chapter 11: The number (of rak’ahs) in ‘Eid prayer, Book 19: The Book of the Prayer for the Two ‘Eids
  • The general ruling is if your trip covers a distance of approximately 48 miles (77 km) or more, you qualify to shorten your prayers. This applies regardless of whether the journey is continuous or broken over periods.
  • You can shorten the four rakat Fard prayers—Dhuhr, Asr, and Isha—to two rakat’s each. Maghrib stays three rakat, and Fajr stays two.
  • You can shorten your prayers for up to four days while traveling. If you stay longer, most scholars say you should go back to the full prayers as if you were at home.

Additional Types of Salat

Dhuha Salat

Dhuha Salat, also known as the forenoon prayer, is performed after the sun has risen high in the sky but before the Dhuhr prayer. It consists of at least 2 Rakats and can be extended to 4, 6, or even 8 Rakats. The Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) encouraged this prayer, saying it brings abundant rewards. 

وعن عائشة رضي الله عنها قالت‏: ‏ كان رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يصلي الضحى أربعًا ويزيد ما شاء الله ‏.‏ ‏(‏‏(‏رواه مسلم‏)‏‏)‏‏.‏

‘Aishah (May Allah be pleased with her) reported: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) used to perform four Rak’ah of Duha prayer (at the forenoon) and would add to them whatever Allah wished. [Muslim].

Riyad as-Salihin 1141
Chapter 206: Merit of the (Optional) Duha (Forenoon) Prayer, Book 8: The Book of Virtues

Salat al-Tawbah

Salat al-Tawbah, or the prayer of repentance, is performed when a believer seeks forgiveness for their sins. It consists of 2 Rakats followed by sincere supplication asking for Allah’s mercy. This prayer is a humble way to return to Allah after committing a wrongdoing. 

It can be prayed anytime, even during the periods where prayers aren’t usually allowed, to seek Allah’s forgiveness and return to Him sincerely.

حَدَّثَنَا مُسَدَّدٌ، حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو عَوَانَةَ، عَنْ عُثْمَانَ بْنِ الْمُغِيرَةِ الثَّقَفِيِّ، عَنْ عَلِيِّ بْنِ رَبِيعَةَ الأَسَدِيِّ، عَنْ أَسْمَاءَ بْنِ الْحَكَمِ الْفَزَارِيِّ، قَالَ سَمِعْتُ عَلِيًّا، – رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ – يَقُولُ كُنْتُ رَجُلاً إِذَا سَمِعْتُ مِنْ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم حَدِيثًا نَفَعَنِي اللَّهُ مِنْهُ بِمَا شَاءَ أَنْ يَنْفَعَنِي وَإِذَا حَدَّثَنِي أَحَدٌ مِنْ أَصْحَابِهِ اسْتَحْلَفْتُهُ فَإِذَا حَلَفَ لِي صَدَّقْتُهُ قَالَ وَحَدَّثَنِي أَبُو بَكْرٍ وَصَدَقَ أَبُو بَكْرٍ – رضى الله عنه – أَنَّهُ قَالَ سَمِعْتُ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَقُولُ ‏”‏ مَا مِنْ عَبْدٍ يُذْنِبُ ذَنْبًا فَيُحْسِنُ الطُّهُورَ ثُمَّ يَقُومُ فَيُصَلِّي رَكْعَتَيْنِ ثُمَّ يَسْتَغْفِرُ اللَّهَ إِلاَّ غَفَرَ اللَّهُ لَهُ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ ثُمَّ قَرَأَ هَذِهِ الآيَةَ ‏{‏ وَالَّذِينَ إِذَا فَعَلُوا فَاحِشَةً أَوْ ظَلَمُوا أَنْفُسَهُمْ ذَكَرُوا اللَّهَ ‏}‏ إِلَى آخِرِ الآيَةِ ‏.‏

Narrated AbuBakr as-Siddiq: 
Asma’ bint al-Hakam said: I heard Ali say: I was a man; when I heard a tradition from the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ), Allah benefited me with it as much as He willed. But when some one of his companions narrated a tradition to me I adjured him. When he took an oath, I testified him.
AbuBakr narrated to me a tradition, and AbuBakr narrated truthfully. He said: I heard the apostle of Allah (ﷺ) saying: When a servant (of Allah) commits a sin, and he performs ablution well, and then stands and prays two rak’ahs, and asks pardon of Allah, Allah pardons him. He then recited this verse: “And those who, when they commit indecency or wrong their souls, remember Allah” (Al-Qur’an 3: 135).

Sunan Abi Dawud 1521
Chapter 512: About Seeking Forgiveness, Book 8: Prayer (Kitab Al-Salat): Detailed Injunctions about Witr

Salat al-Shukr

Salat al-Shukr, the prayer of gratitude, is performed to thank Allah for His countless blessings. This prayer can be performed at any time and consists of 2 Rakats. It is a manifestation of a believer’s gratitude and acknowledgment of Allah’s generosity. Additionally, there is Sujud al-Shukr, the prostration of thankfulness, which is done whenever you receive good news, taken out of a clamaity or are blessed with something special.

حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدَةُ بْنُ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ الْخُزَاعِيُّ، وَأَحْمَدُ بْنُ يُوسُفَ السُّلَمِيُّ، قَالاَ حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو عَاصِمٍ، عَنْ بَكَّارِ بْنِ عَبْدِ الْعَزِيزِ بْنِ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ أَبِي بَكْرَةَ، عَنْ أَبِيهِ، عَنْ أَبِي بَكْرَةَ، أَنَّ النَّبِيَّ ـ صلى الله عليه وسلم ـ كَانَ إِذَا أَتَاهُ أَمْرٌ يَسُرُّهُ أَوْ يُسَرُّ بِهِ خَرَّ سَاجِدًا شُكْرًا لِلَّهِ تَبَارَكَ وَتَعَالَى ‏.‏

It was narrated from Abu Bakrah that when the Prophet (ﷺ) heard news that made him happy, or for which one should be happy, he would fall down prostrate in gratitude to Allah, the Blessed and Exalted.

Sunan Ibn Majah 1394
Chapter 192: What was narrated concerning Prayer and prostration at times of gratitude, Book 5: Establishing the Prayer and the Sunnah Regarding Them

Similar, to Sujud al-Shukr is Sujud al-Tilawah, the prostration of recitation, which is performed upon reading or hearing specific verses of the Qur’an that invoke a sajdah (prostraton). This is mustahabb (recommended – not obligatory or fard).

To perform both Sujud al-Shukur and Tilawah: 

  • The most common believe amongst scholars is that you you can offer the sujud’s when menstruating, you are not in the state of wudhu and you don’t have to face the qibla.
  • Cover yourself and wear your full hijab.
  • Make a sincere intention.  
  • Say “Allahu Akbar” and go into a single prostration. 
  • Go into sujud once, placing your forehead, nose, hands, knees, and toes on the ground.
  • In sujud, you can recite any dua or dhikr in addition to reciting:

My Rubb the Supreme is free from imperfection | Subhana Rabbiyal-A’la | سبحان ربي الأعلى

اللّهُـمَّ لَكَ سَـجَدْتُ وَبِـكَ آمَنْـت ، وَلَكَ أَسْلَـمْت ، سَجَـدَ وَجْهـي للَّـذي خَلَقَـهُ وَصَـوَّرَهُ وَشَقَّ سَمْـعَـهُ وَبَصَـرَه ، تَبـارَكَ اللهُ أَحْسـنُ الخـالِقيـن

Allāhumma laka sajadtu wa bika āmantu, wa laka aslamtu, sajada waj’hiya lilladhī khalaqahu, wa ṣawwarahu, wa shaqqa sam`ahu wa baṣarahu, tabārakallāhu ‘aḥsanul-khāliqīn.

O Allah, to You I prostrate myself and in You I believe. To You I have submitted. My face is prostrated to the One Who created it, fashioned it, and gave it hearing and sight. Blessed is Allah, the Best of creators.

Reference: Muslim 1/534 and others.Hisn al-Muslim 44
Chapter 19: While prostrating, Book: Fortress of the Muslim (Hisn al-Muslim)
  • For Sujud al-Tilawat:

 حَدَّثَنَا قُتَيْبَةُ، حَدَّثَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ يَزِيدَ بْنِ خُنَيْسٍ، حَدَّثَنَا الْحَسَنُ بْنُ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ عُبَيْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ أَبِي يَزِيدَ، قَالَ قَالَ لِي ابْنُ جُرَيْجٍ أَخْبَرَنِي عُبَيْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ أَبِي يَزِيدَ، عَنِ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ، قَالَ جَاءَ رَجُلٌ إِلَى النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَقَالَ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ رَأَيْتُنِي اللَّيْلَةَ وَأَنَا نَائِمٌ كَأَنِّي أُصَلِّي خَلْفَ شَجَرَةٍ فَسَجَدَتِ الشَّجَرَةُ لِسُجُودِي وَسَمِعْتُهَا وَهِيَ تَقُولُ اللَّهُمَّ اكْتُبْ لِي بِهَا عِنْدَكَ أَجْرًا وَضَعْ عَنِّي بِهَا وِزْرًا وَاجْعَلْهَا لِي عِنْدَكَ ذُخْرًا وَتَقَبَّلْهَا مِنِّي كَمَا تَقَبَّلْتَهَا مِنْ عَبْدِكَ دَاوُدَ ‏.‏ قَالَ ابْنُ جُرَيْجٍ قَالَ لِي جَدُّكَ قَالَ ابْنُ عَبَّاسٍ فَقَرَأَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم سَجْدَةً ثُمَّ سَجَدَ ‏.‏ قَالَ ابْنُ عَبَّاسٍ فَسَمِعْتُهُ وَهُوَ يَقُولُ مِثْلَ مَا أَخْبَرَ الرَّجُلُ عَنْ قَوْلِ الشَّجَرَةِ ‏.‏ قَالَ أَبُو عِيسَى هَذَا حَدِيثٌ غَرِيبٌ لاَ نَعْرِفُهُ إِلاَّ مِنْ هَذَا الْوَجْهِ وَفِي الْبَابِ عَنْ أَبِي سَعِيدٍ ‏.‏

Al-Hasan bin Muhammad bin Ubaidullah bin Abi Yazid said: “Ibn Juraij said to me: “Ubaidullah bin Abi Yazid informed me that Ibn Abbas said: “A man came to the Prophet and said: ‘O Messenger of Allah! I had a dream at night while I was sleeping, in which I was praying behind a tree, when I prostrated, the tree prostrated along with me. Then I heard it saying: “O Allah! Record for me a reward with You for it, remove a sin from me by it, and store it away for me with You for it, and accept it from me as You accepted it from Your worshipper Dawud (Allāhumma uktub lī bihā `indaka ajran, waḍa` `annī bihā wizran, waj`alhā lī `indaka dhukhran, wa taqabbalhā minnī kamā taqabbalta min `abdika Dāwūd).” Al-Hasan said: “Ibn Juraij said to me: ‘Your grandfather said to me: “Ibn Abbas said: ‘So the Prophet recited (an Ayah of) prostration, then prostrated.’” [He said] “So Ibn Abbas said: ‘I listened to him, and he was saying the same as the man informed that the tree had said.’”

Jami` at-Tirmidhi 3424

You don’t have to say “Allahu Akar” when coming up, don’t pray the tahajjud when you sit up and you dont say the salam either. 

Tarawih Salat

Tarawih Salat is a special prayer performed during the month of Ramadan after the Isha prayer. It consists of even number of prayers performed 2 Rakats at a time and usually performed in congregation. This prayer adds to the spiritual atmosphere of Ramadan, helping to reinforce your connection with the Quran and Allah. 

Tarawih Salat is a special prayer performed during the month of Ramadan after the Isha prayer. It consists of an even number of prayers performed 2 Rakats at a time and is usually performed in congregation. The number of Rakats for Tarawih can vary. The Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) is reported to have performed 11 Rakats, including Witr. But, it is permissible to pray more, and some follow the practice of performing 20 Rakats. The most important aspect is the consistent devotion and intention behind each Rakat, contributing to the spiritual enrichment of Ramadan.

Tahajjud Salat

Tahajjud Salat is a night prayer performed after Isha and before Fajr. It consists of any even number of Rakats and is very encouraged as a voluntary act of worship. Rising in the night to pray shows dedication and is believed to bring numerous spiritual benefits.  

حَدَّثَنَا الْقَعْنَبِيُّ، عَنْ مَالِكٍ، عَنِ ابْنِ شِهَابٍ، عَنْ أَبِي سَلَمَةَ بْنِ عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ، وَعَنْ أَبِي عَبْدِ اللَّهِ الأَغَرِّ، عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ ‏ “‏ يَنْزِلُ رَبُّنَا تَبَارَكَ وَتَعَالَى كُلَّ لَيْلَةٍ إِلَى سَمَاءِ الدُّنْيَا حِينَ يَبْقَى ثُلُثُ اللَّيْلِ الآخِرُ فَيَقُولُ مَنْ يَدْعُونِي فَأَسْتَجِيبَ لَهُ مَنْ يَسْأَلُنِي فَأُعْطِيَهُ مَنْ يَسْتَغْفِرُنِي فَأَغْفِرَ لَهُ ‏”‏ ‏.‏

Narrated Abu Hurairah: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) as saying: Our Lord who is blessed and exalted descends every night to the lowest heaven when the last one-third of the night remains, and says: Who supplicated Me so that I may answer him ? Who asks of Me so that I may give to him ? Who asks My forgiveness so that I may forgive him ?

Sunan Abi Dawud 1315
Chapter 462: What Part Of The Night Is Best (For Prayer) ?, Book 5: Prayer (Kitab Al-Salat): Voluntary Prayers

If you intend to wake up for Tahajjud, it is recommended not to pray Witr after Isha. Rather, you should wait and perform witr after completing Tahajjud Salat. This way you can end your night prayers with Witr, as it is regarded as the final prayer of the night.

Salat al-Istikharah

Salat al-Istikharah is a prayer for seeking guidance from Allah when making a significant decision. You pray 2 Rakats of voluntary salat, then make a specific dua asking Allah to guide you to the best course of action:

حَدَّثَنَا مُطَرِّفُ بْنُ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ أَبُو مُصْعَبٍ، حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ الرَّحْمَنِ بْنُ أَبِي الْمَوَالِ، عَنْ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ الْمُنْكَدِرِ، عَنْ جَابِرٍ ـ رضى الله عنه ـ قَالَ كَانَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم يُعَلِّمُنَا الاِسْتِخَارَةَ فِي الأُمُورِ كُلِّهَا كَالسُّورَةِ مِنَ الْقُرْآنِ ‏ “‏ إِذَا هَمَّ بِالأَمْرِ فَلْيَرْكَعْ رَكْعَتَيْنِ، ثُمَّ يَقُولُ اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْتَخِيرُكَ بِعِلْمِكَ، وَأَسْتَقْدِرُكَ بِقُدْرَتِكَ، وَأَسْأَلُكَ مِنْ فَضْلِكَ الْعَظِيمِ، فَإِنَّكَ تَقْدِرُ وَلاَ أَقْدِرُ، وَتَعْلَمُ وَلاَ أَعْلَمُ، وَأَنْتَ عَلاَّمُ الْغُيُوبِ، اللَّهُمَّ إِنْ كُنْتَ تَعْلَمُ أَنَّ هَذَا الأَمْرَ خَيْرٌ لِي فِي دِينِي وَمَعَاشِي وَعَاقِبَةِ أَمْرِي ـ أَوْ قَالَ عَاجِلِ أَمْرِي وَآجِلِهِ ـ فَاقْدُرْهُ لِي، وَإِنْ كُنْتَ تَعْلَمُ أَنَّ هَذَا الأَمْرَ شَرٌّ لِي فِي دِينِي وَمَعَاشِي وَعَاقِبَةِ أَمْرِي ـ أَوْ قَالَ فِي عَاجِلِ أَمْرِي وَآجِلِهِ ـ فَاصْرِفْهُ عَنِّي وَاصْرِفْنِي عَنْهُ، وَاقْدُرْ لِيَ الْخَيْرَ حَيْثُ كَانَ، ثُمَّ رَضِّنِي بِهِ‏.‏ وَيُسَمِّي حَاجَتَهُ ‏”‏‏.‏

Narrated Jabir: The Prophet (ﷺ) used to teach us the Istikhara for each and every matter as he used to teach us the Suras from the Holy Qur’an. (He used to say), “If anyone of you intends to do something, he should offer a two-rak`at prayer other than the obligatory prayer, and then say: ‘Allahumma inni astakhiruka bi’ilmika, wa astaqdiruka biqudratika, wa as’aluka min fadlika-l-‘azim, fa innaka taqdiru wala aqdiru, wa ta’lamu wala a’lamu, wa anta’allamu-l-ghuyub. Allahumma in kunta ta’lamu anna hadha-lamra khairun li fi dini wa ma’ashi wa ‘aqibati `Amri (or said, fi ‘ajili `Amri wa ajilihi) fa-qdurhu li, Wa in kunta ta’lamu anna ha-dha-l-amra sharrun li fi dini wa ma’ashi wa ‘aqibati `Amri (or said, fi ajili `Amri wa ajilihi) fasrifhu ‘anni was-rifni ‘anhu wa aqdur li alkhaira haithu kana, thumma Raddani bihi,” Then he should mention his matter (need).

Sahih al-Bukhari 6382
Chapter 48: The invocation on making Istikharah, Book 80: Invocations

After performing Salat al-Istikharah, you might expect to feel a certain way or receive a clear sign. However, the scholars explain that feeling a specific emotion or seeing a sign isn’t always necessary. Sometimes, the answer to your istikharah is found in the unfolding of events. Allah may make the path easier or present obstacles, guiding you subtly through these indications. 

It’s important to remain patient and continue making duaa, trusting that Allah’s guidance will manifest in the best possible way for you. Allah knows what is hidden and what is beneficial, even if it’s not immediately clear to you. Inshallah, maintaining a heart full of trust, faith, and reliance on Allah will undoubtedly lead you to the right decision. 

Remember, the process of istikharah is not just about immediate feelings but about seeking Allah’s help and accepting His decree with contentment. This humble approach will bring peace and assurance, knowing that Allah’s plan is always the best for you.

Salat Tahiyyat al-Masjid

Salat Tahiyyat al-Masjid, the prayer of greeting the mosque, is performed upon entering the mosque. It consists of 2 Rakats: 

حَدَّثَنَا إِبْرَاهِيمُ بْنُ الْمُنْذِرِ الْحِزَامِيُّ، وَيَعْقُوبُ بْنُ حُمَيْدِ بْنِ كَاسِبٍ، قَالاَ حَدَّثَنَا ابْنُ أَبِي فُدَيْكٍ، عَنْ كَثِيرِ بْنِ زَيْدٍ، عَنِ الْمُطَّلِبِ بْنِ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ، عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ ـ صلى الله عليه وسلم ـ قَالَ ‏ “‏ إِذَا دَخَلَ أَحَدُكُمُ الْمَسْجِدَ فَلاَ يَجْلِسْ حَتَّى يَرْكَعَ رَكْعَتَيْنِ ‏”‏ ‏.‏

It was narrated from Abu Hurairah that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: “When anyone of you enters the mosque, let him not sit down until he performs two Rak’ah.”

Sunan Ibn Majah 1012
Chapter 57: The one who enters the mosque should not sit down until he performs some Rak’ah, Book 5: Establishing the Prayer and the Sunnah Regarding Them

Salat al-Kusuf and Khusuf

Salat al-Kusuf and Khusuf are eclipse prayers performed during solar and lunar eclipses, respectively. These prayers consist of 2 Rakats and are performed to seek Allah’s forgiveness and demonstrate awe of His creations. The parayer lasts the duration for the eclipse.

حَدَّثَنَا عَمْرُو بْنُ عَوْنٍ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا خَالِدٌ، عَنْ يُونُسَ، عَنِ الْحَسَنِ، عَنْ أَبِي بَكْرَةَ، قَالَ كُنَّا عِنْدَ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَانْكَسَفَتِ الشَّمْسُ، فَقَامَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَجُرُّ رِدَاءَهُ حَتَّى دَخَلَ الْمَسْجِدَ، فَدَخَلْنَا فَصَلَّى بِنَا رَكْعَتَيْنِ، حَتَّى انْجَلَتِ الشَّمْسُ فَقَالَ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ “‏ إِنَّ الشَّمْسَ وَالْقَمَرَ لاَ يَنْكَسِفَانِ لِمَوْتِ أَحَدٍ، فَإِذَا رَأَيْتُمُوهُمَا فَصَلُّوا، وَادْعُوا، حَتَّى يُكْشَفَ مَا بِكُمْ ‏”‏‏.‏

Narrated Abu Bakra: We were with Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) when the sun eclipsed. Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) stood up dragging his cloak till he entered the Mosque. He led us in a two-rak`at prayer till the sun (eclipse) had cleared. Then the Prophet (p.b.u.h) said, “The sun and the moon do not eclipse because of someone’s death. So whenever you see these eclipses pray and invoke (Allah) till the eclipse is over.”

Sahih al-Bukhari 1040
Chapter 1: As-Salat (the prayer) during a solar eclipse, Book 16: Eclipses

To perform Salat al-Kusuf and Khusuf, follow these steps: 

  1. Intention: Start with the intention to pray the eclipse prayer. This is done silently in your heart.
  2. Takbir: Begin the prayer with the opening Takbir (Allahu Akbar) and dua al-istiftah.
  3. Recitation: Recite Surah Al-Fatihah followed by a long recitation of another Surah, preferably Surah Al-Baqarah or similarly lengthy verses.
  4. Ruku: Perform a prolonged Ruku (bowing).
  5. Standing: Rise from Ruku, saying sami‘a Allahu liman hamidah, Rabbana wa laka Al-hamd (Allah hears those who call upon him; our Lord, praise be to You). Recite Surah Al-Fatihah again followed by another long recitation of a Surah, though slightly shorter than the first.
  6. Second Ruku: Perform another bowing (Ruku) for a duration shorter than the first one.
  7. Sujud: Rise up again, saying sami‘a Allahu liman hamidah, Rabbana wa laka Al-hamd and stand for a long time. And then go into a your first prolonged Sujud (prostration).
  8. Sitting: Sit briefly between the two Sujuds, then go into your second Sujud, prolonging it slightly less than the first.
  9. Second Rakat: Rise from Sujud and start the second Rakat, repeating the same steps as the first Rakat, but with slightly shorter recitations and bowings.
  10. Tashahhud and Tasleem: Complete the prayer with Tashahhud (the final sitting) and end with Tasleem (turning the head to the right and then to the left) to conclude the prayer.

This special prayer is meant to be performed in congregation, though it can be done individually if necessary. The prayers acknowledge Allah’s greatness and seek His forgiveness and protection.

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