Often during the month of Ramadan, the subject of Tarawih, a prayer that is considered to be sunna, but one that the Prophet, alayhi salat wa salam, never left, often comes up. Many students are then eventually led to ask: what about the sunna prayers more generally? What about the tahajjud; or the sunna prayers before and after the fard prayers? How ought we to consider their priority?
To that end, the below indicates, according to the relied opinion of the Shafi’i school/madhhab, what the most prioritised of the nafila/sunna/mandub prayers, in order, with some further notes. May Allah bless us all abundantly in this month and out of it: amin!
- the ‘Eid al-Adha prayer, and then
- the ‘EId al-Fitr prayer, and then
- the prayer of the solar eclipse (kusuf), and then
- the prayer of the lunar eclipse (khusuf), and then
- the prayer for rain (istisqa), and then
- the Witr (the absolute minimum of which is 1 raka’, and the minimum optimal amount is 3 raka’at), and then
- the two Raka’s preceding the fard of the morning prayer (Subh), and then
—[note: all of the above from 1-7 are considered mu’akkada, which means that the Prophet, ‘alayhi salat wa salam, generally did not leave them, whether he was a traveller or a resident]
- the rest of the Rawatib, whether the Mu’akkada [which are two raka’at before Dhuhr, two after Dhuhr, two after Maghrib, two after Isha’]; or the ghayr Mu’akkada [which are two additional before Dhuhr, two additional after Dhuhr, four (2×2) before ‘Asr; two before Maghrib; two before Isha’] and all of Rawatib are of the same rank, and then
- the Tarawih, and then
- the Duha (which is considered to be mu’akkada), and then
- the Tawaf (the two raka’as that are prayed following the completion of the Tawaf), and then
- the Tahiyyat (the two raka’as that are prayed for greeting the masjid), and then
- the the two raka’as that are prayed after making the intention to enter into Ihram, and then
- the two raka’as that are prayed after making Wudu’
- And then thereafter, the remaining Nafila prayers, including Tahajjud (considered to be mu’akkada, although for the Prophet, it was wajib), Istikhara, Hajja, and so forth.
An extra note, which relates to Qiyam al-layl and Tahajjud:
Tahajjud is the name given to any prayer performed after one has performed the Isha prayer, if one has slept, even for moment, after Isha’. Any prayer at all – including makeups of fard prayers.
Qiyam al-layl is exactly the same as tahajjud, except that sleeping is not a condition.
OTHER DEEN DISCOURSES