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She Prays Sunnah and Nafil Prayers

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She Prays Sunnah and Nafil Prayers

Post by Ithar Ghada Faied on Tue Apr 27, 2010 5:33 pm

The Muslim women does not limit herself to the five daily obligatory prayers; she also prays those sunnah prayers which the Prophet (PBUH) used to perform regularly (al-rawatib), and prays as many of the nafil (supererogatory) prayers as her time and energy allow. These prayers include salat al-duha, sunnah prayers following maghrib, and prayers offered at night. Nafil prayers bring a person closer to Allah (SWT), earn him or her the love and pleasure of Allah (SWT), and make him or her one of the victorious, obedient and righteous ones. There is no clearer indication of the great status attained by the believer who draws closer to Allah (SWT) by performing nafil deeds than the hadith qudsi:

"My servant continues to draw near to Me with supererogatory works so that I will love him. When I love him, I am his hearing with which he hears, his seeing with which he sees, his hand with which he strikes, and his foot with which he walks. Were he to ask [something] of Me, I would surely give it to him; and were he to ask Me for refuge, I would surely grant him it."43

Because of Allah's (SWT) love for His servant, that person will be loved by the inhabitants of heaven and earth, as is described in a report narrated by Abu Hurayrah in which the Prophet (PBUH) said:

"When Allah (SWT) loves one of His servants, He calls Jibril and tells him: `I love so-and-so, so love him.' Then Jibril will love him, and will proclaim to the inhabitants of heaven: `Allah (SWT) loves so-and-so, so love him.' So the inhabitants of heaven will love him too, and he will be well accepted by the inhabitants of the earth. If Allah (SWT) hates one of His servants, He calls Jibril and tells him: `I hate so-and-so, so hate him.' Then Jibril will hate him and will proclaim to the inhabitants of heaven: `Allah (SWT) hates so-and-so, so hate him.' Then the inhabitants of heaven will hate him and he will also be detested by the inhabitants of earth."44

The Prophet (PBUH) used to pray so much at night that his feet would become swollen. `A'ishah (May Allah be pleased with her) asked him: "Why do you do this, O Messenger of Allah (PBUH), when has forgiven all your past and future sins?" He answered, "Should I not be a grateful servant?"45

The Prophet's wife Zaynab (May Allah be pleased with her) used to perform nafil prayers, and make them lengthy. She put up a rope between two columns (in the mosque), so that when she felt tired and exhausted she could lean against it and restore her energy. The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) entered the mosque, saw the rope, and asked, "What is this?" The people told him, "It belongs to Zaynab: she prays, and when she feels tired, she leans against it." He said, "Untie it; let any of you pray as long as he has the energy to do so, and if he feels tired, he can sit down (or: let him sit down)."46

A woman of Banu Asad, whose name was al-Hawla' bint Tuwayt, used to pray all night, and never sleep. One day she called on `A'ishah when the Prophet (PBUH) was present. `A'ishah told him, "This is al-Hawla' bint Tuwayt. They say that she never sleeps at night." The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said: "She never sleeps at night! Do only as much as you can, for by Allah (SWT), Allah (SWT) never gets tired, although you do."47

The Prophet (PBUH) encouraged Muslim men and women to do more nafil deeds, but at the same time he told them to be balanced in their approach to worship, and disliked exaggeration therein. He wanted the Muslims to have a balanced personality, so that their worship would be enthusiastic, but consistent, and would not be so burdensome that people would not be able to persist in it. He also taught that the most beloved deed in the sight of Allah (SWT) is that which is done continuously, even if it is a little, as is stated in the hadith in which `A'ishah (May Allah be pleased with her) said:

"The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said: ` The most beloved deed to Allah (SWT) is that which is continuous, even if it is little.'" If `A'ishah started to do something, she would adhere to it.48

This attitude of keeping up the habit of doing righteous deeds was not confined to `A'ishah alone; it was the attitude of all members of the Prophet's household, and of those who were nearest and dearest to him. We see this in the hadith reported by Muslim from `A'ishah (May Allah be pleased with her):

"The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) had a mat which he used for making a compartment at night in which he would pray, and the people began to pray with him; he used to spread the mat during the day time. The people crowded around him one night. He then said, `O people, perform only such acts as you are capable of doing, for Allah (SWT) does not grow weary but you will get tired. The acts most pleasing to Allah (SWT) are those which are done continuously, even if they are small.' And it was the habit of the family of Muhammad (PBUH) that whenever they did any deed they did it continuously."49
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