Sunnah Prayers - Salatul Duha
This is In Sha Allah the first of a three part series on Sunnah Prayers.
There was a period during which the Prophet Muhammed (SAW) stopped receiving revelations of the Quran and the disbelievers especially the wife of Abu Lahab began mocking him, claiming he had been forsaken by his Rabb. Then the following verses were revealed:
"By the midmorning. And by the night when it is still. Your Lord has neither forsaken you, nor is He displeased (with you.)...." - Q93:1-3
The fact that Allah (SWT) swears by the midmorning in this verse, a period in which Salatul Duha is recommended to be observed shows just how important that period of time really is. Salatul Duha is an often neglected salah hence the commonly associated tag - 'the forgotten prayer'. It is attributed numerous names such as the Sunrise Prayer, the Victory Prayer or the Morning prayer to name but a few. This prayer should not to be confused with Fajr (the dawn prayer which is obligatory) as Salatul Duha is a desired sunnah prayer. Salatul Duha remains an important prayer and while it isn't compulsory, the benefits of just two rakahs of it make it worthwhile. It should also not be continually said as even the Prophet (SAW) did not always offer it.
Abu Al-Kudhri (RA) reported: “The Prophet Muhammed (SAW) would pray Duha until we thought he would never abandon it. And he would abandon it to the point that we thought he would no longer perform it.” - At-Tirmidhi
It can be offered anytime between Fajr (after sunrise) and Dhuhr (when the sun passes crosses the meridian) - usually around when a quarter of the day has passed. Most scholars agree that one can pray it right until 60 minutes before the Athan of Dhuhr. It consists of a minimum of 2 rakahs with 12 being the maximum by consensus, although there are narrations citing one can continue as many as one so wishes.
Aisha (RA) said: "Yes, the Messenger of Allah (SAW) used to pray Duha in 4 rakahs. After that he may add whatever Allah wishes." - Muslim, Ahmad
The Prophet (SAW) said: “Whoever prays Fajr in Jammah and stays in the Masjid glorifying Allah until after the sunrise. Then stands up and pray two rakah (Duha), he will have the reward of performing a complete Hajj and Umrah with me…” - Tirmidhi
The Prophet Muhammed (SAW) said: "In the morning, every single joint must pay sadaqah. Every tasbih is a sadaqah, every tahmid is a sadaqah, every tahlil is a sadaqah, every takbir is a sadaqah, every commanding good is a sadaqah and every forbidding evil is a sadaqah; and all this is accomplished through two rakahs one can pray in duha." - Muslim
There are numerous benefits to Salatul Duha
- It is a charity as each prayer counts as 360 charities for each joint in the body as narrated in the previous hadith
- It was prescribed by the Prophet (SAW) himself as the following narration proves:
Abu Hurayra (RA) said: "My Prophet (SAW) has advised me to do three things: Fast three days every month, two rakahs of Salatul Duha and observing Witr prayer before going to bed." - Muslim, Bukhari, Ahmad
- Rewards are likened to that of Umrah (see hadith above)
- It is the prayer of the righteous
- It leads to the forgiveness of one's sins
- It is recommended for those who miss the night prayer
We can all start this supererogatory sunnah today. One can begin with 2 rakahs and increase it with time. The recommended way is to pray Fajr and its sunnah and wait for about 30 minutes after sunrise (while doing some sort of dhikr) and then stand to pray your intended number of rakahs of Salatul Duha. Hopefully, we can add Salatul Duha and make it a sunnah we are eager to revive.
Abu Hurayra narrated that The Messenger of Allah (SAW) said: "Whosoever regularly prays the two rakahs of Duha, his sins are forgiven even if the are as numerous as the foams of the sea." - Tirmidhi, Ahmad
And Allah knows best. May Allah forgive me if I am wrong and guide us all unto the right path. Ameen.