Fard, Sunnah and their Qada

Written by Admin ImanNest
Published on 20 October 2022

Fard, Sunnah and their Qada

Written on 16/10/2022 | Last Updated on 19/10/2022 at 5pm

Table of Content

Some Reasons Muslims are Required to Pray the Ritual Prayers

  1. Allah created us, keeps us alive, thus we owe it to do with our bodies what Allah wants from them. Allah wants us to, and commanded us to, perform ritual worship 5 times a day, and encouraged us to do extra prayers. From the generosity of Allah, whatever Allah directed us to do is for our own good in this life and the next everlasting life.
  2. Secondly, we pray because it is so helpful for us in this life and the everlasting life. Allah promised much good in the everlasting life for Prayers performed in this life. That good is firstly because of being dutiful (ie worshipping) Allah. And secondly, the ritual prayers are so incredibly beneficial even for this life - beneficial for a greater quality of thus life and to help us fulfil the purpose of this life in the best manner.

Some Purpose of Islamic Ritual Prayer and Benefits Even in this Life

  1. Ritual Prayer primarily is to remember Allah round the clock, which then helps us psychologically to feel the most comforted and in optimum state of mind to live the life at its best for the purpose it is made for. Allah said in the Quran, "And establish the Prayer for my remembrance." As we remember Allah the Almighty, we remember to be humble towards others; as we remember Allah the Sustainer Provider, we feel reassured of provisions and thus not anxious; as we remember Allah the Just, we feel humbled to act justly towards all and not anxious of people's injustices towards us; as we remember Allah the most forgiving, we feel empowered to keep trying despite mistakes; and so on and so forth.
  2. A secondary benefit of the ritual Prayer follows from the primary purpose of the prayer and that is as Allah says in the Quran, "Indeed the Prayer stops from obscenities and objectionable, and the remembrance of Allah is the greatest." As we remember Allah round the clock, as mentioned in point one above, it humbles us to behave humbly, it scares us from doing the harmful things that Allah prohibited us, it reminds us of the reward of doing good - and in this manner, the ritual Prayer helps to deter us from obscenities and the objectionable actions.The better we pray following the guidance of Islam on how to Pray and the more sincere in submission (khushu) we are in the prayer, the greater are the effects of Prayer on us and its benefits.

How much ritual prayer is required? Understanding Why Some are Fard, Sunnah Raatibah Muakkadah, or Just Sunnah Not Muakkadah

There is a absolute minimum amount of Prayer required for at least the minimum benefit that we need from the Prayer. This much that we need is made as Fard compulsory prayer. Beyond this, some more prayers are highly beneficial and that much amount of extra prayers are very strongly encouraged and known as Sunnah Muakkadah (ie emphasised) or Sunnah Raatibah (ie Regular). There are still more other prayers that truly make life enjoyable to the highest degree and those are the highly encouraged Sunnah that are not made compulsory nor as emphasised as the previous ones to make it easy and manageable. These include Qiyamulayl or Tahajjud prayer at night. Next in emphasis are Sunnah prayers that are mildly encouraged for extra benefit for whoever finds the time to pray those, such as the Duha prayer. And finally a Muslim may do as much more as he or she likes to and find the means to Pray, and those are the Nafil (optional extra) prayers that are not specifically encourage but generally are beneficial.

Fard (Compulsory) Prayers

  1. Fair Prayer 2 Rak'ah
  2. Dhuhr Prayer 4 Rak'ah
  3. Asr Prayer 4 Rak'ah
  4. Maghrib Prayer 3 Rak'ah
  5. Isha Prayer 4 Rak'ah

Sunnan Raatibah (ie Regular) or Sunnah Muakkadah (ie Very Strongly Encouraged) Prayers

  1. Fajr Time: 2 Rak'ah before Fard
  2. Dhuhr Time: 4 Rak'ah before Fard and 2 Rak'ah after Fard
  3. Asr Time: No Sunah Raatibah
  4. Maghrib Time: 2 Rak'ah after Fard
  5. Isha Time: 2 Rak'ah after Fard

Highly Encouraged Sunnah Prayers

  • With Prayer (3 Rak'ah) as last prayer in the night anytime from after Isha Fard, its Sunnah and Qiya-ul-Layl/Tahajjud prayers up to just before beginning of Fajr time at dawn. (see more below in 'Rewards' section).
  • Qiyam-ul-Layl, What is Qiyam-ul-Layl? Qiyam-ul-Layl means the standing up in prayer at night. It is the extra Night Prayer anytime after Isha and before time of Fajr. If a person sleeps and then wakes up to pray Qiyamulayl, then it is also called Tahajjud Prayer (Tahajjud means to leave ie leave bed and sleep). The Qiyamulayl prayed in Ramadan is called the Taraweeh prayer. Taraweeh means to give rest, ie in between long Qiyamulayl prayers. How many Rak'ah? Qiyam-ul-Layl is performed as two rak'ah, two rakah, and so on. The minimum is 2 rak'ah and there is no limit to maximum. Our beloved Prophet Muhammed (ص) used to perform 8 rak'ah as Qiyam-ul-Layl and since he would perform it after sleep leaving the bed, it was also the Tahajjud prayer. What is Time for Qiyam-ul-Layl Prayer? The time for Qiyamulayl prayer is from after the Fard and Sunnah of Isha prayer up to before the beginning of Fajr prayer time at dawn. The best time for Qiyam-ul-Layl prayer, whether after sleep or before sleep, is during the last one third of the night. Note the night begins at sunset and ends when the time of Fajr commences at dawn. Hundred Verses in Qiyamulayl: Our beloved Prophet Muhammed (ص) informed us that whoever recites 100 verses each night at night (during Qiyam-ul-Layl prayer), such a person will be regarded as one of the devout worshippers (Qaaniteen).
  • Friday Sunnah: After the two rak'ah Fard prayer of Friday (Jumu'ah) Prayer, the Prophet's Sunnah is to perform 4 rak'ah Sunnah if the Sunnah is performed at the Masjid, and 2 rak'ah Sunnah if the Sunnah is performed after returning home.

Mildly Encouraged Sunnah Prayers

  • Even 2 Rakah More Sunnah after Fard of Dhuhr: The Prophet informed us that whoever (so long as he doesn't do shirk and) performs 4 Rakah Sunnah before the Fard prayer of Dhuhr and 4 rakah sunnah after the Fard of Dhuhr Prayer, such a person is prohibited from hell-fire! That is truly an eternal life-saver!
  • Duha Prayer: Time for Duha prayer starts after sunrise by a short time when the sun has risen in the horizon approximately by the length of a spear. Its time remains till few minutes prior to when the sun is at its zenith (ie uppermost just prior to Dhuhr time). Duha prayer can be 2 rak'ah or more. For regular performers of Qiyamulayl who missed on occasions, they can pray it as 12 rak'ah at time of Duha Prayer. A good ideal for Duha prayer is 4 rak'ah when the ground is hot prior to Dhuhr prayer time. The Prophet called this ideally performed 4 Rak'ah of Duha Prayer as the Prayer of the Awwabeen, ie those who constantly and eagerly turn to Allah in worship and obedience.
  • Between Adhan and Iqamah, two Rak’ah Sunnah prayer.

Some of Special Occasion Fard or Encouraged Prayers

  1. Friday (Jumu'ah) Prayer: Two (Compuslory) Khutbah (Sermons) followed by 2 Rak'ah Fard prayer offered instead of dhuhr prayer on Friday during the time of Dhuhr prayer. Friday Prayer must be performed in a (large) congregation and no other Friday Prayer is allowed in its vicinity to unite all people in one congregation. After the Fard prayer, our beloved Prophet Muhammed (s.a.w) would perform 4 Rak'ah Sunnah if performing the Sunnah at the Masjid and/or 2 Rak'ah Sunnah if performing at home upon return. Friday Prayer is highly compulsory upon all adult Muslim males who are neither ill nor on a journey while it is permissible for Muslim women but neither comouslory nor encouraged.
  2. Eid Prayer: This is performed at the two Eids of the Muslims, ie Eid ul Fitr and Eid ul Adha. Some Sholars considered this as compulsory while all Scholars agreed that it is atleast an extremely highly encouraged Sunnah for all able Muslims, be they male or female, and even menstruating women to attend without praying. Eid Prayer consists of 2 Rak'ah prayer followed by 2 Khutbah (Sermons) and is to be performed in a Congregation, with only one Eid Prayer congregation allowed for one city or atleast one large part of the city to unite the entire city at one place.
  3. Tahiyyatul Masjid, meaning greetings for when entering a Masjid, is a highly encouraged 2 Rak'ah of Prayer upon entering a Masjid.
  4. Eclipse Prayer: It is an recommended (Sunnah) prayer performed at time of an eclipse in congregation. It is a special 2 Rak'ah prayer with 2 praial Rak'ah (without sajdah) within each of the two complete Rak'ah that have sujud.
  5. Salat-ul-Istisqa (Prayer to Seek Rain from Allah when in desperate need): This is a recommended (Sunnah) Prayer offered in congregation. It consists of a 2 Rak'ah Prayer like the Eid prayer followed by a Khutbah with humble dua therein for rain, recited (if possible) while turning the ends of upper garment symbolically.
  6. Salat-ut-Tawbah (Repentance): The Prophet (ص) said, "No slave (of Allah) commits a sin, so then nicely performs purification (ie wudu ablution) well, then stands up and prays two Rak'ah, then asks Allah for forgiveness (istighfar), except that He (ie Allah) forgives him." {Sunan Tirmidhi, Abu Dawud, Ibn Majah, Ahmed | Sahih Authentic} See full hadith with Arabic text at https://sunnah.com/abudawud:1521
  7. Salat-ul-Istikharah (ie prayer followed by dua to ask from Allah's knowledge which is the better course of action): The Prophet (ص) said, "If one of you is considering a matter, then let him perform two rak'ah other than a fard (compulsory) prayer, then let him say, 'Allahumma innee astakheeruka …" {Sahih Bukhari} See full hadith at https://sunnah.com/bukhari:1166

Number and Tremendous Reward of Sunnah Raatiba (& few other) Prayers!

  • 12 Sunnah Raatibah daily: The Prophet (ص) said, "Whoever patiently persevered praying 12 Rak'ah of Sunnah (ie daily), Allah will build for him a house in Paradise: 4 Rakah before Dhuhr, 2 Rakah after it, 2 Rakah after Maghrib, 2 Rakah after Isha, and 2 Rakah before Fajr." {Sunan Tirmidhi | Hasan} See hadith at https://sunnah.com/tirmidhi:414
  • 14 Rakah Daily, ie 2 Extra Sunnah at Dhuhr: The Prophet (ص) said, "Whoever guarded praying 4 Rakah before Dhuhr and 4 Rakah after it, he is forbidden on hell-fire," {Sunan Abu Dawud | Sahih} See hadith at https://sunnah.com/abudawud:1269
  • 2 Sunnah of Fajr: The Prophet (ص) was the most keen of all Sunnah prayers to not miss the 2 Rak'ah Sunnah of Fajr. He said, "The 2 Rakah of Fajr are better than the world and that which is in it!" {Sahih Muslim} See hadith at https://sunnah.com/muslim:725a
  • Witr Prayer: The Prophet (ص) said, "The Witr is a duty upon every Muslim, so whoever liked to do witr with 5 (rakah), may do so; whoever liked to do witr with 3 (rak'ah) may do so, and whoever liked to do witr with 1 (rakah) may do so." {Sunan Abu Dawud | Sahih Authentic} See arabic text at https://sunnah.com/abudawud:1422

Important: Qada of Sunnah Prayers (ie. making up missed Sunnah later)

  1. Given the importance of these above mentioned Sunnah prayers that have tremendous reward, such as reward of 8 Sunnah at Dhuhr means never have hell-fire touch us, fortunately, these regular Sunnah prayers can be made up later, if missed earlier, as follows.
  2. Qada of Witr During Fajr Time before Fajr Fard: If a person missed the Witr prayer, he can perform it after Fajr time begins and before the actual Sunnah and Fard prayers of Fajr, as done by some Sahabah.
  3. Qada of Qiyam-ul-Layl and Witr in Duha Time: If a person slept in and missed the Qiyam-ul-Layl and/or Witr, the Prophet's said it can be made up as an even number of 12 Rak'ah during the Duha Prayer time. [Some scholars understood it to be allowed even after Dhuhr prayer till Asr or even sunset. But a witr prayer cannot be made up as an odd number after Maghrib because two witr should not be prayed in the same one night].
  4. Qada of Fajr Sunnah Can be Done after Fajr Fard: A Companion of the Prophet missed the 2 Sunnah of Fajr and joined the Congregation for the Fard of Fajr. So he made up the 2 Sunnah by praying them after the Fard well before Sunrise. The Prophet saw that, enquired, and then approved it.
  5. Qada of Fajr Sunnah Can be Done Even after Sunrise: When the Prophet and Sahabah missed the Sunnah of Fajr prayer on an occasion while on travel due to sleep, he made up by praying the 2 Sunnah of Fajr followed by the 2 Fard of Fajr when he woke up after sunrise.
  6. Qada of 4 Sunnah before Dhuhr Can be Done Afterwards: When the Prophet had missed the 4 Sunnah before Fard of Dhuhr, he made them up later after the Fard of Dhuhr.
  7. Qada of Sunnah after Dhuhr Fard Can be Done Later in Asr Time: When the Prophet missed the Sunnah after the Dhuhr due to people asking him questions, and then Asr prayer was also performed, the Prophet made up the missed Sunnah of after Dhuhr Fard by performing it after Asr prayer due to its importance.
  8. Qada of all Sunnah Prayers: Based on the above, some Scholars used Qiyas (analogous cases) and said that it is permissible to make up any of the missed Sunnah Raatibah / Muakkadah during the rest of that day just as the Prophet made up not only the Sunnah Raatibah but he also made up the highly encouraged Qiyam-ul-Layl and allowed the rest of us to make it up as well. All this shows the extreme importance of ensuring that we perform the Sunnah Raatibah / Muakkadah and the other recommended and encouraged (Sunnah) prayer.
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