Saturday 14 Muḥarram 1446 - 20 July 2024
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Can We Single out Some Nights for Prayer That Were Not Narrated from the Prophet?

Question

Lately I have encountered that some people pray nawafil prayers other than the usual on days like last 10 days of Ramadan,shab e qadr and shab e mairaj.for example salul nazbi and prayers in which surah iklas is read once and other surah 100 times followed by surah fateha.

Summary of answer

Singling out some nights for prayer, such as the night of Al-Isra’ wal Mi`raj or the night of the Prophet’s birth is not prescribed; rather this is an innovation, and the best of guidance is the guidance of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him). Similarly, singling out some prayers for the recitation of Surat Al-Ikhlas and repeating it is not prescribed.

Praise be to Allah.

Singling out some nights for prayer that were not narrated from the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him)

The prayers that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) used to offer every day and night are well known. They include the regular Sunnah prayers (As-Sunan Ar-Rawatib ) offered before and after the obligatory prayers, Qiyam Al-Layl , Witr, Duha prayer and others. 

The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) did not single out some nights for prayer or striving in worship except the last ten nights of Ramadan, which the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) used to single out for extra effort in praying Qiyam Al-Layl. 

On those nights, he would make the prayer so long that he spent all or most of the night in prayer, but he (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) did not recite any specific Surahs of the Quran in those prayers and he did not repeat Surat Al-Ikhlas or any other Surrahs. This is the Sunnah concerning which there is no difference of scholarly opinion. Whoever wants to follow the example of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), this is his guidance and his Sunnah. 

With regard to singling out some nights for prayer, such as the night of Al-Isra’ wal Mi`raj (the Prophet’s Night Journey and Ascent to heaven), or the night of his birth, this is not prescribed; rather this is an innovation, and the best of guidance is the guidance of Muhammad (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him). Similarly, singling out some prayers for the recitation of Surat Al-Ikhlas and repeating it is not prescribed. 

Ash-Shatibi (may Allah have mercy on him) said: 

“If when offering regular Sunnah prayers, people started offering them in congregation in mosques in which the obligatory prayers are offered, this is an innovation. The evidence for that is the fact that there is no report from the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) or from his Companions or from those who followed them in truth that they prayed the Sunnah and the obligatory prayer in congregation.” (Al-I`tisam, p. 345-346) 

Ash-Shatibi (may Allah have mercy on him) regarded offering the regular Sunnah prayers in congregation as an innovation, because it is not narrated from the Messenger (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him). 

Although the regular Sunnah prayers are definitely proven from the Messenger (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), he used to pray them on his own and not in congregation. Therefore, whoever invents a prayer and encourages people to offer it in congregation, this is a worse type of innovation and farther removed from the guidance of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him). 

Is the night of the Isra’ superior to Laylat Al-Qadr?

Ibn Al-Qayyim (may Allah have mercy on him) said: 

Shaykh Al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him) was asked about a man who said: The night of the Isra’ is better than Laylat Al-Qadr, and another man said: No, Laylat Al-Qadr is better; which of them is correct? 

He replied: 

“Praise be to Allah. As for the one who says that night of the Isra’ is better than Laylat Al-Qadr :

If what he meant was that the night on which the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) was taken on the Night Journey and similar nights of every year are better for the ummah of Muhammad (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) than Laylat Al-Qadr in that praying qiyam and offering supplication on this night is better than doing that on Laylat Al-Qadr, this is false. None of the Muslims said that and it is well known that this view is incorrect. 

This applies if it is known which night is the night of the Isra’ , so how about if there is no known evidence of which month it happened in or which part of the month or which night? Rather the reports concerning that are Munqati` and contradictory, and there is nothing that can be taken as definitive. 

It is not prescribed for the Muslims to single out the night which is thought to be the night of the Isra’ for Qiyam or anything else, unlike Laylat Al-Qadr. It is not known that any of the Muslims ascribed to the night of the Isra’ any superiority over other nights, especially Laylat Al-Qadr. 

The Companions and those who followed them in truth did not single out the night of the Isra’ in any way and they did not mention it. Hence it is not known what night it was. If the Isra’ was one of the greatest virtues of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) but despite that it is not prescribed to single out that time or that place for any prescribed act of worship, or to single out the day on which the Revelation came down for any act of worship or anything else, or to single out the place and time in which the Revelation began for anything. The one who singles out places or times on the basis of his own ideas for acts of worship for this and similar reasons is like the People of the Book who make the times of the life of the Messiah into special occasions for worship, such as the day of his birth, the day of his baptism and so on.” (Zad Al-Ma`ad fi Hadi Khayr Al-`Ibad, 1/56-58) 

And Allah knows best.

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Source: Islam Q&A