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CHAPTER ON THE WORSHIP AND DEVOTIONS OF SAYYIDINA RASULULLAH SALLALLAHU 'ALAYHI WASALLAM


Every deed and action of Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam is divine worship. Every word and quietness is dhikr (remembrance of Allah). As an example and being part of the Shamaa-il, the author has mentioned, a few acts of worship, from where it may gauged that Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam, although being sinless and assured of forgiveness and high status, which no wali of Allah can attain, nor any previous nabi has attained; did not stop at that, but gave much importance and attention to voluntary devotions. We who are called his ummah and claim to follow his path, how much importance do we attach to these acts when we are more sinful and lax. In relation to our sins, and for the mizaan (scale), we are more in need of worship than Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam. Then, our prayers are such, leaving aside the full remuneration, if only a minute remuneration is received, it would be considered a blessing and good fortune. Every deed is rewarded by Allah Ta'aala according to the sincerity attached to it. The more the sincerity, the greater the reward will be. Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam has said: "When a person completes a. salaah; a tenth (portion) in reward is written for that, for some ninth,, likewise some are rewarded an eighth; seventh; sixth; fifth; quarter; third; half etc, (portion)".-Abu Daawud. The tenth portion is mentioned as an example, otherwise the reward may be less than that too. In another hadith it is mentioned that the first question that will be asked on the day of qiyaamah will be regarding salaah. Allah Ta'aala will command the m'alaa-ikah (angels): "See the prayers of my servants, are they fulfilled completely or are they incomplete? If it is complete a full reward must be written. If it is incomplete, then see if there are any voluntary (nawaafil) prayers, if there are, add them to the obligatory prayers and complete them. Then in the same manner, one shall be questioned regarding other deeds like zakaah etc.-Abu Daawud. We know well how our obligatory prayers are performed. It is of utmost importance that one performs voluntary acts to safeguard one's salaah, or other acts of sadaqah and devotions be performed in great quantity with care and sincerity. That time shall be difficult when we will have to present ourselves in the court of the Almighty. The two overseers of our deeds are always with us. This is not enough, but every portion of a humans body will testify as to the good and bad deed committed by man. Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam has advised us to count the recitation of the Kalimah Tayyibah -(La ilaha illallaah) and the Tasbeehaat (Praises of Allah) on the fingers, for on the day of qiyaamah the fingers shall also be questioned, and asked to reveal the deeds committed by it.The fingers will be given the power of speech. May my mother and father be sacrificed on Sayyidina 'Rasuluilah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam, for his example of everything is before us. Twenty four ahaadith are mentioned in this chapter.

(248) Hadith Number 1:
Mughirah bin Shu'bah Radiyallahu 'Anhu reports that Rasuluilah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam performed such lengthy nafl prayers, that his mubaarak legs became swollen. The Sahaabah said : "You undergo such great difficulties, where Allah had forgiven your past and the future sins."Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam said: "(When Allah Ta'aala has blessed me so much) should I not be a grateful servant?"

Commentary:
Apparently the questioner thought that prayers are for the forgiveness of sins. When Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam is sinless, how could he commit sin? Why should he voluntarily undergo such difficulties? Sayydina Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam replied the object of worship is not only this, but has several reasons. When Allah Ta'aala has forgiven all my sins, then the correct  and most appropriate thing is that I constantly worship Him and thank Him for His grace and blessings.Sayyidina 'Ali Radiyallahu 'Anhu says: "Ibaadah is something performed because the object is Jannah, that is a businessman's 'ibaadah. The 'ibaadah is meant for purchasing. The price is paid here and the articles obtained there. Sometimes 'ibaadah is because of fear this is a slave's 'ibaadah. Ibaadah is performed for fear of punishment, as is the custom of the servant. One 'ibaadah is that which is performed without any future need or fear. It is solely for the gratitude of Allah's abudant blessings".
It is mentioned in the above hadith that Allah Ta'aala has forgiven all the sins of Sayydina Rasullullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam. A doubt may arise here, that he committed a sin, but Allah Ta'aala forgave him. Whereas all the Ambiyaa (prophets) are sinless. They do not commit sins. The 'ulama have given many answers to this question, which are mentioned in their respective places. Especially many answers have been given in tafseer (commentary) Sura Fath.According to this Humble servant  the easiest is: The deeds of the pious are regarded as a sin for the near one's to Allah. One commits a sin according to one's status. According to the status of Sayydina Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam, that which is considered to be shortcoming, is of such a nature, that for the rest of us they are the very essence of devotion. As an example: Sayydina Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam was conferring with the leaders of the kuffar (non believers) in the hope that they might except Islaam. Which in essence is the core of the deen. At that moment a blind Sahaabi, Sayydina Ibn Ummi Maktum Radiyallahu 'Anhu came to Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallamand said something. Due to the importance of the discussion, Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam felt annoyed at the Sahaabi's intrusion. On that Allah Ta'aala admonished Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam in the Sura of 'Abas. In the same manner after the Battle of Badr, Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallhu 'Alayhi Wasallam treated the prisoners of war with great kindness and mercy, in the hope that they would eccept Islaam, or their offspring would eccept Islaam. He took fidyah (ransom) from them and freed them. He was cautioned in the Qur-aan on this. These are such cases, which due to high rank of Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam, are regarded as shorcomings.

(249) Hadith Number 2:
Abu Hurayrah Radiyallahu 'Anhu says: "Rasulullah Sallallhu 'Alayhi Wasallam performed so many nawaafil prayers that his legs swelled. Someone said to him, you take so many pains, wheras you have been given the good news that your past and present sind have been forgiven? He replied: "Should I not be grateful servant".

Commentary:
A detailed narration has been narrated from Sayyiditina 'Aayeshah Radiyallhu 'Anha regarding this thanks-giving. Sayyidina 'Ataa Radiyallahu 'Anhu says: "I once requested 'Aayeshah to a surprising incident of Rasulullah Sallallhu 'Alayhi Wasallam?. 'She replied: 'Which act of Rassulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam was such that it was not surprising'. Thereafter she said: 'One night Rasulullah Sallallhu 'Alayhi Wasallam returned  home to sleep and slept with me in my blanket. After a little while, as he was sleeping he said: 'Forget it, let me worship my creator'. Saying this he got up, performed wudhu and began to perform salaah. He began weeping till the tears flowed on to his mubaarak chest. He then performed ruku', and continued crying in this posture. Then performed sajdah and kept on weeping in this posture too. He stood up from the sajdah and remained crying. He remained in this state till the morning when Bilaal came to call out the adhaan. I said: O Messenger of Allah, why did you cry so much? Allah Ta'aala has forgiven all your past and future sins'. Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallhu 'Alayhi Wasallam replied: 'Should I not be a thankful servant of Allah? Then said: 'Why should I not do so, when these aayaat were revealed to me today, and recite the aayaat of the last ruku' of Sura Aali 'Imran".

(250) Hadith Number 3:
It is also narrated from Abu Hurayrah Radiyallahu 'Anhu that Rasulullah Sallallhu 'Alayhi Wasallam performed such a long salaah that his mubaarak legs became swollen. He was asked: "You perform such long prayers, whereas all your past and future sins have been forgiven?. "Rasulullah Sallallhu 'Alayhi Wasallam replied: "Should I not be an appreciative servant?"

Commentary:
Due to its importance Imaan Tiridhi had mentioned this hadith from three sources. A question may arise on these narrations that Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam had many a time forbidden that one should exert one's self more than one can bear. The fact is, that humans have been created soley for the worship of Allah. Allah Ta'aala says in the Qur-aan 'I created the jinn and mankind only that they might worship Me'.-Surah Dhaariyaat,56. When this is the sole reason for creating man, then the more importance it is given and the more one woships, the more will it be desirable and praiseworthy. Whenever it was prohibited, it was because of some obstacle and trouble. Where it creates an obstacle or an obstacle exists, there it is undesirable. Among such obstacle may be boredom, confusion and perplexity, as a result it is left to altoghether. There is a famous proverb in Urdu. 'Do not run and walk. nor tear up and fall'. The ahaadith wherin it has been prohibited are because of the reason mentioned already. Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallhu 'Alayhi Wasallam has said: 'Practice only the amount that can be borne'. Allah Ta'aala does not withhold the granting of ajr (thawaab-reard) till one does not become bored of 'amal (practice). For this reason the 'ulama prohibit one from exerting one's self. It is possible that one will become bored and leave it completely. The attributes and qualities of Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallhu 'Alayhi Wasallam is much higher than this. There was no probability of his becoming bored or tired. Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallhu 'Alayhi Wasallam has said: 'The coolness of my eyes is in salaah'. Why should it not be, when salaah is a secret link with Allah? The amount of enjoyment a pious and sincere person like Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam may experience, cannot be imagined. Only those who are unlucky become bored.
In the same manner the second prohibition that has been mentioned in the ahaadith, is because of negligence in fulfilling the compulsory rights and duties. By exerting one's self, weakness is felt. As a result one becomes negligent in fulfilling the rights of others. The question does not rise for Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallhu 'Alayhi Wasallam, for such a great and venerated holy personage, who while performing such great endeavours and eating less, could also fulfil the desires of nine wives.
Therefore the question of weakness does not arise. Likewise, this is the case with all other obstacles. Which benefited Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu'Alayhi Wasallam. Therefore there are no perplexities in these types of ahaadith.

(251) Hadith Number 4:
Aswad bin Yazeed Radiyallahu 'Anhu says he enquired from 'Aayeshah Radiyallahu 'Anha regarding the salaah of Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam at night. She replied: "Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam slept (after 'eshaa) for the first half portion of the night. He then awakened (and performed the tahajjud prayers) till the time of suhur (sehri), thereafter he performed the witr salaah. He then went to his bed. If he had a desire, he went to his wife. When he heard the adhaan, he got up. If he was in a state of janaabah (requiring ghusl) he performed ghusl. If not, he performed wudu and went for salaah".

Commentary:
The physicians say the best time for intercourse is the last part of the night. At that time the stomach is mild and both parties are fresh with regained strength. In the first part of the night, the stomach is full. In such a state it is detrimental to have intercourse. It is more detrimental when one is hungry. In the last portion of the night the stomach is not too full, nor is it very empty so that one feels hungry. All this is medically speaking. In the shari'ah it is permissible to have intercourse with the wife at other times. This is evident that Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam had relations in the first part of the night and at different times of the day. Some mashaa-ikh have written that if one has intercourse with the wife at the time of salaah, resulting in her falling pregnant, the child from that union will be disobedient to the parents. ( Because of the disobedience of the parents in not fulfilling salaah).

(252) Hadith Number 5:
Ibn 'Abbaas Radiyallahu 'Anhu reports that he once slept at the house of his aunt Maymunah (during his childhood). She slept on the width of the cushion and Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallarn slept on the length of the cushion. (Qaadi 'Iyaad and others have translated pillow as a bed. When the original word means pillow and it is possible to use it in such a manner, it is not necessary to translate it as a bed. For instance, Sayyidina Rasulullah Saliallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam must have slept on the length of the pillow facing the qiblah, and Sayyidina Ibn 'Abbaas Radiyallahu 'Anhu on the breadth of it, putting his head on the
qiblah side). Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam (after having a little conversation with his wife) slept till the middle of the night, or till a little before that. Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam then awakened and began wiping off the signs of sleep from his face. He then recited the last ten aayaat of  Surah Aali 'Imraan (Inna fi khalqis samaawaati wal ard). (The 'ulama say a little of the Qur-aan should be recited after awakening, as this creates strength and it is mustahab to recite these aayaat). He got up and went to a leather bag that was hanging and (took water in a utensil from it) performed wudu from it. He then commenced his salaah. 'Abdullah bin 'Abbaas Radiyallahu 'Anhu says: 'I also got up (performed wudu) and stood next to-him (on his left). Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam put his right hand on my head and caught my ear and twisted it (A muqtadi should stand on the right side of an Imaam. The ear was twisted to remind him. In one narration it is stated that, I began to sleep, so Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam caught my ear. In another narration it is stated he caught my ear and pulled me to his right side, so that I might stand on the right according to the sunnah). He performed two rak'ahs, then two rak'ahs, then two rak'ahs, then two, rak'ahs, then two rak'ahs, then two rak'ahs. Ma'n (a narrator of this hadith) says Rasulullah Sallallahu'Alayhi Wasallam recited two two rak'ahs six times (the total of twelve rak'ahs. Mulla 'Ali Qaari has written that according to the madh-hab of Imaam Aa'zam Abu Hanifah, in tahajjud prayers there are twelve rak'ahs). He then performed the witr salaah and slept. When the mu-adh-dhin (Sayyidina Bilaal Radiyallahu'Anhu) came to him, he got up and recited two short rak'ahs and went for the fajr salaah.

Commentary:
It is stated that Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam performed different amounts of rak'ahs in tahajjud. These are according to different times. If there was time he performed more rak'ahs, otherwise less rak'ahs were performed. There are no specified amount of rak'ahs for tahajjud. Many a time Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam performed less rak'ahs, although there was time to Perform more rak'ahs. He certainly recited lengthy portions from the Qur-aan, as is mentioned in the different ahaadith in this chapter.

(253) Hadith Number 6:
Ibn 'Abbaas Radiyallahu 'Anhu says: "Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam sometimes performed 13 rak'ahs of tahajjud (including witr)".

Commentary:
He performed ten rak'ahs of tahajjud and three rak'ahs witr salaah. Some of the 'ulama have included the two sunnahs of fajr salaah too. In that case tahajjud will be eight rak'ahs.

(254) Hadith Number 7:
'Aayeshah Radiyallahu 'Anha reports that whenever Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam could not perform the tahajjud because of some reason. He performed twelve rak'ahs in the day (at the time of chaasht-before midday).

Commentary:
If tahajjud was fard on Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam then it is apparent that he performed qadaa. If it was not fard then he performed qadaa because of it being meritorious and full of virtue.'In the Sahih Muslim, Sayyidina 'Umar Radiyallahu 'Anhu relates a saying of Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam that 'If a person could not fulfil his wird (daily practices) and ma'mul (regular practices) at night, one should complete them anytime in the morning before noon. It will be just as if he had completed them at night'. The mashaa-ikh of suluk (spiritual guides) take from this that if one cannot get through one's daily and regular practices at night, one should complete them in the morning. Because of the time passing by, one should not ignore it, otherwise the nafs will become accustomed to it.

(255) Hadith Number 8:
Abu Hurayrah Radiyallahu 'Anhu says that Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam said: "When one awakens at night (for-tahajjud salaah), two short rak'ahs should, be performed at the beginning".

Commentary:
So that one may not become tired quickly by beginning to perform lengthy rak'ahs. Some 'ulama have written that these two rak'ahs are that of tahiyyatul wudu, it is preferable to shorten these rak'ahs as we have been commanded to do. Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam also shortened the rak'ahs of this prayer. Haafiz Ibn Hajar has written a fine point in his commentary on the Bukhaari. He says that it is stated in a hadith that when a man sleeps, the shaytaan fastens three knots in the hair like a magician, in which this spell is cast that the night is still very long, keep on sleeping. When one gets up and recites the name of Allah, i.e. a du'aa etc., the first knot loosens. When wudu is performed the second knot opens. Therefore it has been commanded that two short rak'ahs be performed, so that the third knot also opens. The remaining portion of the salaah will be performed, whilst one is free from the deceits of the shaytaan. Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu' Alayhi Wasallam was free from the guile of the shaytaan, but as an example for the ummah, he considered their necessities and to teach them, many a time he shortened these rak'ahs as has been mentioned in the narrations.

(256) Hadith Number 9:
Zayd bin Khaalid Al-Juhani Radiyallahu 'Anhu says: "I once made up my mind that today I will closely study how Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam performed his prayers. I lay down on the threshold of the house or a tent of Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam (so that I may have a chance to observe with close attention). Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam first performed two short rak'ahs. After that he performed long, long, long rak'ahs. (Long is mentioned thrice because of the lengthy periods spent in the rak'ahs). He then performed two rak'ahs shorter than the previous one's. Then performed two rak'ahs shorter than that. And again performed two rak'ahs shorter than the previous one. He again performed two rak'ahs shorter than that. He then performed the witr. All these (amounted to) thirteen rak'ahs".

Commentary:
Those who are of the opinion that witr is one rak'ah, say that two rak'ahs nafl were performed six times and one rak'ah witr. The total of which is thirteen. Those who are of the opinion that witr is three rak'ahs, say that a total of fifteen rak'ahs were performed. Thirteen rak'ahs are counted in this manner, that the first two rak'ahs of tahiyyatul wudu are not included in a few narrations. "Then he Performed two rak'ahs shorter than the previous one". This instead of being mentioned four times, is only mentioned thrice. In this case besides the two short rak'ahs of tahiyyatul wudu which is mentioned in the beginning, the total amounts to ten nafl rak'ahs. In such a case there is no other way but to accept witr as three rak'ahs. If witr is taken to be one rak'ah, then the total shall not amount to thirteen rak'ahs.
In this hadith it is mentioned that Sayyidina Zayd bin Khaalid, ,AI-Juhani -Radiyallahu 'Anhu slept on the threshold of the house or a tent of Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam. A narrator of this hadith is in doubt that did the teacher say the threshold of the house or that of the tent. The muhadditheen always took great care to convey the correct wordings. When in a little doubt, they always made this clear. It is evident that this was on the threshold of a tent, as this incident took place on a journey. When Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam was in Madina, he slept at the house of one of his wives, and Sayyidina Zayd bin Khaalid Radiyallahu 'Anhu did not get a chance to observe this here. On a journey Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam may have slept alone in a tent, it is possible that none of his wives were accompanying him. In such as instance this probability is understood. Therefore this is most correct. The majority of the 'ulama say, this incident was at the time of a journey.

(257) Hadith Number 10:
Abi Salamah bin 'Abdurrahmaan Radiyallahu 'Anhu says he asked 'Aayesha Radiyallahu 'Anha "How was the salaah (how many rak'ah tahajjud was performed) of Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam in Ramadaan? "She replied: "Rasulullah Sallallhu 'Alayhi Wasallam did not perform more than eleven rak'ahs during Ramadhaan or after Ramadhaan. (Eight rak'ahs tahajjud and three rak'ahs witr). He performed four rak'ahs. Do not ask of its length or how wounderfully (i.e. with humbellness and concentration) it was performed. In the same manner he performed four more rak'ahs. In the same manner he again performed four rak'ahs, and do not ask of its length or how wounderfully it was performed. After that he performed three rakahs witr". Aayesha Radiyallahu 'Anha says "I said: "O Messenger of Allah. Do you sleep before you perform witr?" He repiled: "O Aayesha, my eyes sleep, but my heart remains awake". (This is a special gift to the ambiyah (prophets) that their hearts remain awake at all times)

Commentary:
There are very few important points in this hadith, of which two have been discussed already. Firstly, that Sayyidina Aayesha Radiyallahu 'Anha says that Sayyidina Rasullullah Sallallhu 'Alayhi Wasallam did not perform more than elevn ra'kahs in tahajjud in Ramadhaan or out of Ramadhaan. Whereas in the narration of Sayyidina ibn Abbas Radiyallahu 'Anhu, Sayyidina Zayd bin Khaalid Radiyallahu 'Anhu and other Sahaabah Radiyallahu 'Anhum, it s stated that Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam performed thirteen ra'kahs. In a narration mentioned  in Abu Daawud, Sayyiditina Aayesha Radiyallahu 'Anha in reply to a question from Sayyidina 'Abdullah bin Abi Qays Radiyallahu 'Anhu himself counted the rak'ahs of tahajjud as follows: that four and two is six, and two equals eight, and two ten, plus three is thirteen. It is even narrated by Sayyiditina Aayesh Radiyallahu 'Anha herself that Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam performed thirteen rak'ahs. Abu Daawud informs us in a narration that it is reported from Sayyiditina 'Aayeshah Radiyallahu 'Anha that: "Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam did not perform (tahajjud) less than seven rak'ahs, or more than thirteen rak'ahs". In the Muwatta Imaam Maalik, it is narrated that Sayyiditina Aayeshah Radiyallahu 'Anha said: "Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam performed thirteen rak'ahs at night. Then performed two short rak'ahs after the adhaan for the morning prayers were heard". Some'ulama, after having seen the various ahaadith on this subject said the ahaadith of Sayyiditina 'Aayeshah Radiyallahu 'Anha on this subject is confusing, which means it is weak. There is no necessity to say they are confusing. What perplexity can there be if eleven rak'ahs .Were performed generally? Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam may have at times performed more, or less rak'ahs than these, as is evident from a few ahaadith.
The second discussion is that a few people derive the mas'alah from this hadith, that taraweeh is eight rak'ahs. Whereas from this narration it also cannot be said that tahajjud is only eight rak'ahs, as has been mentioned previously. This hadith has nothing to do with Taraweeh. The literal meaning of salaatul layl is the prayers of the night. By it nothing besides tahajjud is meant. If every prayer of the night is intended, then with the taraweeh, the faraa-id and sunan of maghrib and 'eshaa, all will be excluded, of which no solution can be found. In this only the tahajjud is mentioned, and the question is only intended for this salaah, which Sayyiditina 'Aayeshah Radiyallahu 'Anha kindly replied. The reason for asking is clear, that did Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam perform more acts of worship in Ramadaan than at normal times, as has been mentioned in several narrations. Therefore Sayyidina Abu Salamah Radiyallahu 'Anhu thought that it might be possible that more rak'ahs of tahajjud were performed. Upon inquiring, Sayyiditina 'Aayeshah Radiyallahu 'Anha replied in the negative. Otherwise it was also not the intention of Sayyiditina 'Aayeshah Radiyallahu 'Anha to leave aside the taraweeh. The rak'ahs of tahajjud were never more than eleven rak'ahs. The performing of thirteen rak'ahs has been confirmed Sayyiditina 'Aayeshah Radiyallahu 'Anha herself. On the subject of taraweeh, Maulana-Rashid-Ahmad Gangohi has written a detailed booklet 'Ar Ra'y an Najeeh in Urdu. Those who wish may refer to it. Briefly, in the ahaadith tahajjud is termed as salaatul layl (The prayer of the night), and taraeeh as Qiyaami Ramadhaan (The standing-in prayer-of Ramadhaan). These are two separate prayers. The consensus of many 'ulama is that by Qiyaami Ramadhaan, taraweeh is meant. Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam paid much importance to the Qiyaam of Ramadhaan. In many ahaadith the importance of it has been stressed and practised also. Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallhu 'Alayhi Wasallam has said: "The one that stands in prayer in Ramadhaan with sincere faith and hope, all his sins are forgiven". ( 'The ulama say by sins only the minor ones are intended). Sayyidina Abu Hurayrah Radiyallahu 'Anhu reports that Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallhu 'Alayhi Wasallam did not enforce a command that qiyaam should be made in Ramadhaan, but rather persuaded or commanded one to do so. Sometimes Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam performed this salaah (Taraweeh) with a large congregation, and excused himself for not performing it continously, saying that it become fard. There are many reason for it possibly becoming fard by Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallhu 'Alayhi Wasallam performing it regulary. Certainly the Sahaabah Radiyallahu Anhum, some individually and some in congregation performed this salaah till about the middle of the night, and at times a little longer. Sayyidina Umar Radiyallahu 'Anhu instructed the people in the time of his khilaafah to perform taraweeh with jamaa'ah (congregation) and not individually to avoid confusion. Sayyidina Saa-ib Radiyallahu 'Anhu says: "The Imaam generally recited those surahs that consists of a hundred aayaat. We use to lean on something because of the standing for lenghty period and the tiredness that resulted. This salaah ended before suhur (sehri)". Many 'ulama have written the consesus of the Ahlus-Sunnah wal Jamaa'ah that tarweeh is sunnah. From among the Ahlul-Qiblah (The people of the Qibila) none besides tha Rawaafid (Shi'ah) deny this. The four Imaams, viz Imaam Abu Hanifa RA, Imaam Shaafi'ee RA, Imaam Maalik RA, Imaam Humbal RA, all have mentioned this in their kitaabs of Fiqh (jurisprudence), that tarawee is twenty rak'ahs sunnah mu-akkidah. Acording to Imaam Maalik RA, a famous saying of his is that tarawee is thirty six rak'ahs.In the 'Mughni' a famous kitaab on Humbali fiqh, it is stated that the view of Ahmed bin Humbal RA is, that the most accepted saying is that taraweeh is twenty rak'ahs. This is also the madh-hab of Sufyaan Thaury RA, Imaam Abu Hanifa RA, and Imaam Shafi'ee RA. The madh-hab of Imaam Malik RA, is that it is thirty six rak'ahs. Imaam Malik RA said: "An envoy of the king came to me, that a concession be given in the rak'ahs of taraweeh. I rejected this ". A student of Imaam Maalik RA says : "Thirty nine rak'ahs were performed in Madinah. i.e. Thirty six for taraweeh, and three witr". This subject has been discussed in detail in the kittab 'Awjaz'. My respected tutors said: 'The thirty six rak'ahs that were performed in Madina, of those, twenty were of taraweeh, between every Sayyidina (stop after every four rak'ahs) it is mustahab to rest the time it too to complete the four rak'ahs. Therefore the people performed four rak'ahs nafl in the Sayyidina. Hence the sixteen rak'ahs performed in the four taraweehs become extra. Anyhow, this is the madh-hab of the Maaliki's. The most eccepted adh-hab of the remaining three Imaams are that it is twenty rak'ahs.

(258) Hadith Number 11:
'Aayesh Radiyallahu 'Anha say "Rasulullah Sallallhu 'Alayhi Wasallam performed eleven rak'ahs at night, of which one was a rak'ah of witr. When he completed this he slept on the right side".

Commentary:
This hadith contradicts the previous one, in which eight rak'ahs have been mentioned. For this reason some 'ulama have commented on the ahaadith of Sayyiditina 'Aayesha Radiyallahu 'Anha on this subject, which has already been discussed in the previous hadith. As a further explanation, this could also be said that this happened at different occasions. At a time Sayyidina Rasulullah Salallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam performed eight rak'ahs and a time more or less. The second question is about witr been mentioned as one rak'ah. There exists some differences regarding this salaah, the first is in its ordinance. The Hanafis say it is waajib and some Imaams say it is mustahab. As the hadith does not mention this, this question is omitted. Another difference is regarding the rak'ahs of witr. The madh-hab of Imaam Abu Hanifa RA is that witr consists of three collective rak'ahs with one salaam. Other Imaams are of the opinion that it is performed in a single rak'ah. Some say it is one rak'ah with two separate wajib rak'ahs and a salaam before it. Various narrations have been mentioned regarding this. The difference among the a-immah are, on which of these is preferable. The Hanafis support their view with a few ahaadith:
1. The narration of Sayyidina 'Abdullah bin Abi Qays Radiyallahu 'Anhu that has been mentioned by Abu Daawud and others, which has been discussed already in the previous hadith, where Sayyiditina 'Aayesha Radiyallahu 'Anha has mentioned that the salaah of Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam consisted of four and three, six and three, eight and three and ten
and three. To mention this with such trouble and at every place mention three without increasing or decreasing the number of witr rak'ahs, is a clear proof that in this salaah there is no increase or decrease and remains three rak'ahs. Otherwise Sayyiditina 'Aayeshah Radiyallahu 'Anha would have said seven, nine, eleven, and not six and three etc.
2.   Mulla'Ali Qaari has written that the proof of the Hanafiyyah is that there is a consensus among the Sahaabah Radiyallahu 'Anhum that it is jaa-iz (permissible) and preferable that witr is three rak'ahs and there is a difference of opinion in rak'ahs less than this. Some say one rak'ah is also jaa-iz, others say it is altogether not jaa-iz. It is apparent that the consensus of the Sahaabah Radiyallahu 'Anhum is stronger and better than the one wherein there exist discordant views. Sayyidina Hasan Basri Radiyallahu 'Anhu, a famous muhaddith and one of the great sufis, say that there is a consensus among the Muslims that witr consists of three rak'ahs. Umar bin 'Abdul'aziz RA. - the second 'Umar- passed a law after consulting the 'ulama of Madinah, that witr must be performed in three rak'ahs. Hasan RA. was asked a question that 'Abdullah bin 'Umar performed three rak'ahs of witr with a salaam at the end of the second rak'ah and performed the third rak'ah separately? He replied: "His father 'Umar performed the three rak'ahs of witr with one salaam, and he (Sayyidina'Umar Radiyallahu'Anhu) was more learned".
3.   It has been prohibited in the ahaadith to perform only a single rak'ah. Sayyidina 'Abdullah bin Mas'ud Radiyallahu 'Anhu was informed that Sayyidina Sa'd Radiyallahu 'Anhu performed only a single rak'ah of witr. He said: "A single rak'ah is not valid in salaah". The Hanafis put forth many proofs from different sources. The 'ulama have written many books on it. In this chapter the fiqhi angle has not been discussed. It is briefly and sufficiently highlighted.

(259) Hadith Number 12:
'Aayeshah Radiyallahu 'Anha reports that: "Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam performed nine rak'ahs at night".

Commentary:
In the madh-hab of the Hanafis this is six rak'ahs tahajjud and three rak'ahs witr. In a narration from Sayyidina 'Abdullah bin Abi Qays Radiyallahu 'Anhu, Sayyiditina 'Aayeshah Radiyallahu 'Anha herself has said the words: 'Six and three'.

(260) Hadith Number 13:
Hudhayfah bin Al Yamaan Radiyallahu 'Anhu says he performed salaah with Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam one night. (It has been reported in a few narrations that this incident took place during a night of Ramadaan. It is possible that this was tahajjud or Taraweeh salaah). After commencing the salaah he recited:

Allahu Akbar, dhul malakuti wal jabaruti wal kibri-yaa-i wal a-za-mati
Translation: Allah is supreme! Lord of Dominion, Power, Majesty, and Magnificence.

He then recited (after the Faatihah) Surah Baqarah, and performed ruku'. The length of the ruku' was as long as the qiyaam (standing posture). (The 'ulama give two meanings to this and both are possible. The first is that the ruku' was as long as the qiyaam. For example, if the qiyaam was for one hour, the ruku' was also for about one hour. Accordingly, this mas-alah is established, that if the ruku' and sajdah are longer than normal, the salaah will be valid. The second is that the qiyaam was longer than normal. In this instance if the qiyaam was for an hour, and the ruku' for fifteen minutes, then too it will be truly explaining this hadith. According to this saying the salaah remains in the normal manner. i.e. a fundamental action of salaah that was long, like qiyaam, remained long. And those that were short, like ruku' or sajdah, remained short. But certainly every fundamental action was longer than normal). Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam repeated:
    Subhaana rabbiyal azimi-Subhaana rabbiyal azimi
    Translation: Glory be to my Lord the Magnificient.

He lifted his head from the ruku' and stood. This standing was also long like that of the ruku'. At this moment he repeated:

    Li rabbiyal hamdu-Li rabbiyal hamdu.
    Translation: All praises are for my Lord. All praises are for my Lord.

He then performed the sajdah. The sajdah was as long as the qawmah (standing in between the ruku' and sajdah). and he recited:

    Subhaana rabbiyal aa'laa-Subhaana rabbiyal aa'laa
    Translation: Glory be to my Lord the Exalted. Glory be to my Lord the Exalted.

He then sat up from the sajdah. This sitting was also long as that of the sajdah. Here he repeated:

    Rabbigh-fir lee-Rabbig-fir lee
    Translation: O Lord forgive me. O Lord forgive me.

Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam recited in this salaah Surah Baqarah, Surah Aali 'Imraan, Surah Nisaa, Surah Maa-idah or Surah An'aam. The narrator (Sayyidina Shu'ba Radiyallahu'Anhu) is in doubt regarding the last two surahs, whether is it Maa-idah or An'aam.

Commentary:
This hadith apparently indicates that these four surahs were recited in four rak'ahs. The narration of Abu Daawud is more detailed and it is stated therein that Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam performed four rak'ahs wherein he recited these four surahs. But in a narration of Sahih Muslim and others it is mentioned that Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam recited Surah Baqarah, Surah Nisaa and Surah Aali 'Imraan, all three in one rak'ah. The narration of Abu Daawud and Muslim apparently seem to be on different occasions. Although it may also be possible that this is the same event and an error may have occurred in transmission. It is not necessary to suppose it is an error, as Sayyidina. Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam daily performed lengthy prayers. There could be no perplexity if four surah' were recited in four rak'ahs once, and three surahs in one rak'ah at another time.

(261) Hadith Number 14:
'Aayeshah Radiyallahu 'Anha says: "Once at night (salaah time), Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam kept on repeating one aayah."

Commentary:
The aayah is the last aayah of Surah Maa-idah:

    In tu-adh-dhib-hum fa-innahum 'ibaaduk. Wa in tagh-fir lahum fa-innaka antal azizul hakim
    Translation.. "If Thou punish them, lo! they are Thy slaves, and if Thou forgive them, (lo! the are Thy slaves).Lo! Thou, only Thou, art Mighty, the wise".Surah Maa-idah, 118.

The Being that possesses great power, if He wills, He may forgive the criminal. The One that is all Wise, there is Wisdom and benefit in every act of His. The reason for Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam reciting this aayah while standing and also in the ruku and sajdah, and repeating it many times, is to bring to mind the two attributes of Allah, namely the attributes of justice and forgiveness. The whole scene on the day of qiyaamah will be of these two things. It is stated that Imaam Aa'zam Abu Hanifah RA. also recited the following aayah the whole night:
    Wamtaazul yauma ayyuhal mujrimun
    Translation. "But avaunt ye, O ye guilty, this day!" SurahYaseen, 58.

In this aayah too the scene of qiyaamah is portrayed. That today the sinners should separate and distinguish themselves. What a severe and nerve-chilling  command this is. Today they are together with the pious and holy people and benefiting from the barakaat (blessings) they receive,  but at this moment the sinners will be separated from them. May the Most Merciful Allah with His Grace keep those pious souls under His shadow, otherwise it is really a time for great trials.

(262) Hadith Number 15:
'Abdullah bin Mas'ud Radiyallahu 'Anhu reports: "Once at night I performed salaah with Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam. Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam stood for such a long time that I intended to commit an evil deed". Someone asked him what deed did you intend to commit? He replied. "To sit down and leave Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam alone".

Commentary:
This may have two meanings. If I sit and perform salaah Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu'Alayhi Wasallam will remain standing alone.This was said to be a bad action and a sign of disrespect. There is a possibility that by saying 'sit down, he meant ending his prayer. It is clear that this is rude, bad and shows disrespect and carelessness, that while performing salaah with Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi  Wasallam to end the niyyah and sit down. While standing he became tired, then this type of thoughts entered his mind.

(263) Hadith Nuinber 16:
'Aayeshah Radiyallahu 'Anha says: "Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam Performed salaah (in old age) in a sitting posture (due to reciting lengthy portions) When about thirty or forty aayaat were left  he stood up and recited (completed) these. He then performed the ruku' and sajdah. He did the same in the second rak'ah".

Commantary:
A group among the 'Ulama have stated that it is not jaa-iz for a person performing salaah in a sitting posture to stand up - then perform the ruku'and sajdah. The majority of the 'ulama including the four a-immah say it is jaa-iz (permissible) to do so. Likewise it is also jaa-iz to stand and perform these. This applies only to nafl salaah. It is not permissible for the able-bodied who can stand, to sit and perform the fard salaah.

(264) Hadith Number 17:
'Abdullah bin Shaqeeq Radiyallahu' 'Anhu reports that he asked 'Aayeshah Radiyallahu 'Anha regarding the nawaafil prayers. She replied: "Rasulullah Sallallahu'Alayhi Wasallam performed nawaafil in the long part of the night whilst standing, and performed nawaafil in the long part of the night whilst sitting. His noble habit was that if he stood and recited (the Qur-aan) he performed ruku' and sajdah in a standing posture. If he recited whilst sitting, he performed the ruku' and sajdah in a sitting posture".

Commentary:
The 'ulama give two meanings of the phrase 'long part of the night'. One is that a long portion was recited whilst standing and a long portion whilst sitting. The second is that this is the description of different nights. On some nights he recited lengthy sections whilst standing and on some nights he recited lengthy sections whilst sitting. The second explanation is more appropriate, which means it was the practice of Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam always to recite lengthy sections in the rak'ahs of tahajjud. If he sometimes felt weak he sat and performed the tahajjud, otherwise he stood and performed it.
The last section of this hadith seems to contradict the previous one. The 'ulama have mentioned that both incidents are on separate occasions. The stipulation of nawaafil is on strength, willingness and hapiness. Whatever strength and temperament was experienced at  the time, salaah was performed accordingly. Besides, many acts of Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam were meant to educate. He performed many deeds to let the people know that certain deeds could be performed in a particular manner. This is known as bayan jawaaz (sign of permissibility). Therefore Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam received the full reward for performing salaah in a sitting posture. Others will receive full reward for performing salaah in a standing posture and only half for sitting and performing salaah. The reason being that by Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam sitting and performing salaah, he was fulfilling an object of the nubuwwah (prophethood). The aim and mission of a nabi is to give a practical demonstration on how deeds are to be performed.

(265) Hadith Number 18:
Hafsah Radiyallahu 'Anha, the wife of Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam reports: " Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam performed while sitting. He recited surah in it, and recited with such tarteel (distinct and clear intonation), that the surah became longer than one that is lengthier".

Commentary:
A small surah recited with tarteel and qira-ah, can take the same time as it takes to recite a longer surah (if recited in an ordinary manner). Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam recited the Qur-aan with calmness and little by little. He did not recite with haste. The time it took him to recite a small surah, takes another person the same time to recite a long surah. The reason his feet swelled, was due to standing for long periods.

(266) Hadith Number 19:
Aayesha Radiyallahu 'Anha reports: "Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam performed most of his (nafl) salaah in a sitting posture before he passed away".

Commentary:
This was the period when Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam had become weak and he recited lengthy portions of the Qur-aan, as has been mentioned previously. He performed the major part of the nafl salaah whilst sitting for this reason. The ajr (thawaab- reward) for sitting and performing salaah is half that of performing salaah in a standing posture. Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam is exempted from this rule. For Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam to sit and perform salaah, is the same in reward as that of standing and performing salaah as mentioned above. A narration has been mentioned in the Abu Daawud and other kitaabs that Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam has said: "I am not like you in this manner. I receive the same amount of ajr (thawaab-reward) when sitting and performing salaah".

(267) Hadith Number 20:
Ibn 'Umar Radiyallahu 'Anhu reports: "I performed two rak'ahs before and after zuhr, and two rak'ahs after maghrib with Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam in his house, and (also) two rak'ahs after 'eshaa in his house".

Commentary:
The sunnah prayers are mentioned in this hadith. The importance of sunnah mu-akkidah according to the Hanafis are the same as that mentioned in the hadith of Sayyidina Ibn 'Umar Radiyallahu 'Anhu. The sunnah of zuhr are four instead of two according to the Hanafis. Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam has said in many ahaadith: "The one that continually and habitually performs twelve rak'ahs every day and night, Allah Ta'aala creates for him a house in Jannah". The. details of the twelve rak'ahs have been mentioned in many ahaadith from Sayyiditina 'Aayeshah Radiyallah 'Anha and Sayyiditina Umm Habibah Radiyallahu'Anha, in which the same view is mentioned as the one narrated by Sayyidina Ibn 'Umar Radiyallahu
'Anhu. Certainly in these narrations it is stated that four rak'ahs were performed before the zuhr fard. It is reported in a hadith: "The one that performs four rak'ahs with one salaam before zuhr, the doors of the heavens open up for that person", which means it is quickly accepted. Bukhaari and Muslim narrate a hadith that Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu'Alayhi Wasallam never omitted the four rak'ahs before zuhr. Musnad Ahmad, Abu Daawud and others have written a hadith of Sayyiditina 'Aayeshah Radiyallahu 'Anha that: "Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam performed four rak'ahs in the house before going for salaah". Apparently it seems Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam performed the sunan at home, then went into the masjid, as mentioned by Sayyiditina 'Aayeshah Radiyallahu 'Anha and others. A detailed narration of Sayyiditina 'Aayeshah Radiyallahu 'Anha is mentioned in the Abu Daawud, wherein she states: "Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam performed four rak'ahs in my house, then went to the masjid and led the fard salaah. Thereafter he returned to the house and performed two rak'ahs    '. He came to my house after maghrib salaah and performed two rak'ahs. He also came after the 'eshaa salaah and performed two rak'ahs, and after the subh saadiq performed two rak'ahs, then went for (the fajr) salaah". From this detailed hadith we find that the sunan were often performed at home. When he did come to the masjid, it is probable that the tahiyyatul masjid was performed. Sayyidina Ibn 'Umar Radiyallahu 'Anhu reports, and this may be possible, that Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam some- times because of necessity may have performed only two rak'ahs sunnah. Sayyidina Ibn 'Umar Radiyallahu 'Anhu saying in the hadith under discussion: "That he performed salaah with Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam", does not mean that he performed them with jamaa'ah (in congregation). Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam performed his sunan and I (Sayyidina Ibn'Umar Radiyallahu 'Anhu) also performed my sunan. It has not been ascertained that sunnah prayers were performed with jamaa'ah (besides the taraweeh in Ramadaan).

(268) Hadith Number 21:
Ibn 'Umar Radiyallahu 'Anhu reports.. "Hafsah (my sister, Ummul Mu-mineen) related to me that when the time of fajr began (subh saadiq), and the mu-adh-dhin called out the adhaan, Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam performed two short rak-'ahs".

Commentary:
Regarding the sunnah of fajr, it has been stated in most of the narrations that Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu'Alayhi Wasallam short- ened its rak'ahs. To the extent that some 'ulama say, only the Faatiha (Alhamdu) should be recited and it is not necessary to add a surah to it. The fact is, that it has been ascertained that Sayyidina Rasulullah sallallahu'Alayhi Wasallam recited a surah therein. Certainly it is better to recite a short surah. A narration in the Sahih Muslim is mentioned that Sayyidina Rasullullah Sallallahu 'Alayh Wasallam recited the surahs of Kaafirun and AI-Ikhlaas in this sunnah. Other surahs have also been reported in the ahaadith. Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam has said. "How wonderful these two surahs are, that they are recited in the sunnahs of the fajr salaah".

(269) Hadith Number 22:
Ibn 'Umar Radiyallahu 'Anhu says: "I memorised from Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam eight raka-aat; two before zuhr and two after zuhr; two rak'ahs after maghrib and two after 'eshaa". Ibn 'Urnar Radiyallahu'Anhu said.. "Hafsah related to me about the two rak'ahs of the morning, which I did not observe from Rasulullah Sallallahu'Alayhi Wasallam".

Commentary:
Since these two rak'ahs were almost always performed in the house and mostly at the time of fajr the mind is not attentive, therefore, it is not impossible for Sayyidina Ibn 'Umar Radiyallahu 'Anhu to say this. Some 'ulama are of the opinion that the meaning of 'not observing it', is that he had not seen it at the time Sayyiditina Hafsah Radiyallahu 'Anha had seen it. He had the opportunity of observing it later as we find in a few narrations, where Sayyidina Ibn'Umar Radiyallahu 'Anhu describes his observance of these sunan. Of all the sunan, the one of the fajr is the most emphasised. Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam many a time emphasised its importance. For this reason some 'ulama have declared it waajib. Particular importance should therefore be attached to it.

(270) Hadith Number 23:
'Abdullah bin Shaqeeq Radiyallahu'Anhu reports: "I asked 'Aayesah about the (nawaafil) prayers of Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam?". She replied: "He used to perform two rak'ahs before and two after zuhr. Two after maghrib and two after 'eshaa, and two before fajr".

Commentary:
Besides the two rak'ahs before the zuhr, the rak'ahs mentioned are the same as that of the Hanafi madh-hab. The view of the Hanafis is that the sunnah before zuhr consists of four rak'ahs. This has been mentioned previously in the commentary of the hadith narrated by Sayyidina Ibn 'Umar Radiyallahu 'Anhu. A hadith of Sayyiditina, 'Aayeshah Radiyallahu 'Anha is mentioned in the Bukhaari that: "Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam did not neglect the performing of four rak'ahs before zuhr, and two rak'ahs before fajr". Meaning he performed them regularly. Therefore, it shall be said that this (performing of two rak'ahs) was because of some necessity.

(271)Hadith Number 24:
'Aa-sim bin Damrah Radiyallahu'Anhu says: "We asked'Ali about the nawaafil that Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam performed in the day". (He must have known already about the nawaafil of the night i.e. tahajjud etc. Many well known narrations have been narrated regarding the tahajiud) 'Ali Radiyallahu 'Anhu replied: "You do not have the strength to perform these." (i.e. The importance, punctuality, humility and humbleness Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam attached to performing these prayers, cannot be fulfilled. The reason for saying this was to admonish, as what benefit is there simply by asking and investigating, until an effort is not made to practise these) We replied: "The one amongst us who has the strength, will perform it"., (Those who do not possess the strength, will learn so that others could be guided and an effort will be made to practise). 'Ali Radiyallahu 'Anhu said: "In the morning when the sun rises to the height of that, the same as it is at the time for 'asr. At that time Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam performed two rak'ahs (Salaatul ish-raaq). When the sun rose in the east to the height, where it is in the west at the time of zuhr salaah, he performed four rak'ahs (salaatut duha-chaast-, this will be explained in the ensuing chapter). He performed four rak'ahs before the salaah of zuhr, and two.after (These six rak'ahs are sunnah mu-akkidah). Four rak'ahs were performed before 'asr. In between the four rak'ahs he sat and sent salutations on the malaa-ikah.muqarrabeen, the ammbiyaa and the mu-mineen".

Commentary:
The tashahhud (At-tahiyyaat) may be referred to here, as in it the words "Assalamu'al'ayka ayyuhan nabiyu are mentioned. In this case where four rak'ahs are mentioned, all are included herein. This may also be possible that it means salaam was made after two rak'ahs. The aim will then be that in the four rak'ahs before 'asr two salaarns were made. It has been ascertained that both types, two and four rak'ahs were performed before 'asr. Sayyidina 'Ali Radiyallahu 'Anhu has himself also narrated both hadith.

 Article taken (with Thanks) from Darul-uloom Bury


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