The prayer was prescribed as consisting of two rak'ahs
both when one was resident and when travelling. The prayer
while travelling was left according to the original
prescription and the prayer of one who was resident was
I heard the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) say:
Allah is pleased with a shepherd of goats who calls to
prayer at the peak of a mountain, and offers prayer,
Allah, the Exalted, says: Look at this servant of Mine; he
calls to prayer and offers it and he fears Me. So I
forgive him and admit him to paradise.
When the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) halted at
a certain place (while on a journey), he would not leave
that place till he offered the noon prayer. A man said to
him: Even if in the middle of the day? He replied: Even if
in the middle of the day.
Ibn Umar was informed about the death of Safiyyah (the
wife of the Prophet) when he was at Mecca. He proceeded
till the sun set and the stars shined. He said: When the
Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) was in a hurry about something
while on a journey, he would combine both these prayers.
He proceed till twilight had disappeared. He then combined
both of them (the prayers).
On the expedition to Tabuk if the sun had passed the
meridian before the apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him)
moved off, he combined the noon and the afternoon prayers;
but if he moved off before the sun had passed the
meridian, he delayed the noon prayer till he halted for
the afternoon prayer. He acted similarly for the sunset
prayer; if the sun set before he moved off, he combined
the sunset and the night prayers, but if he moved off
before sunset, he delayed the sunset prayer till he halted
for the night prayer and then combined them.
Abdullah ibn Waqid said: The mu'adhdhin of Ibn Umar
said: prayer (i.e. the time of prayer has come). He said:
Go ahead. He then alighted before the disappearance. He
then offered the night prayer. He then said: When the
Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) was in a hurry about
something, he would do as I did. Then he travelled and
covered a distance of three days' journey on the day.
Abdullah ibn Dinar said: The sun set when I was with
Abdullah ibn Umar. We proceeded, and when we saw that the
evening came, we said prayer. He went on travelling until
the twilight disappeared and the stars became thick. He
then slighted and combined the two prayers. Then he said:
I saw the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him); when he
hastened his travelling, he would pray like this prayer of
mine. He said: He would combine the two prayers after the
passing of a part of night. AbuDawud said: This has been
transmitted by Asim ibn Muhammad from his brother on the
authority of Salim and this has also been narrated by Ibn
AbuNajih from Isma'il ibn AbdurRahman ibn Dhuwayb saying
that Ibn Umar would combine the two prayers after the
disappearance of twilight.
The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) was engaged in the
Battle of Tabuk. If he moved off before the sun had
declined, he would delay the noon prayer till he would
combine it with the afternoon prayer and would offer them
together. If he moved off after the sun had declined, he
would combine the noon and afternoon prayers, and then he
proceeded; if he moved off before the evening prayer, he
would delay the evening prayer; he would offer it along
with the night prayer, he would delay the evening prayer;
he would offer it along with the night prayer. If he moved
off after the evening prayer, he would offer the night
prayer earlier and offer it along with the evening prayer.
When the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) was on a
journey and wished to say voluntary prayer, he made his
she-camel face the qiblah and uttered the takbir (Allah is
most great), then prayed in whatever direction his mount
made his face.
The Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) sent me on
some business, and when I came to him he was praying on
(the back of) his riding beast (moving) towards the east
and making the prostration lower than the bowing.
Ata' ibn AbuRabah asked Aisha: Can women offer prayer
on a riding beast? She replied: They were not permitted to
do so in hardship or comfort. Muhammad ibn Shu'ayb said:
This (prohibition) applies to the obligatory prayers.
I went on an expedition with the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him),
and I was present with him at the conquest. He stayed
eighteen days in Mecca and prayed only two rak'ahs (at
each time of prayer). And he said: You who live in the
town must pray four; we are travellers.
The Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) had a stop of
seventeen days in Mecca and he shortened the prayer (i.e.
prayed two rak'ahs at each time of prayer). Ibn Abbas
said: He who stays seventeen days should shorten the
prayer; and who stays more than that should offer complete
Muhammad reported from his father, Umar, on the
authority of his grandfather, Ali ibn AbuTalib: When Ali
travelled, he continued to travel till it became nearly
dark. He then alighted and offered the sunset prayer. Then
he would call for his dinner and eat it. Then he prayed
the night prayer and then moved off.
He would say: This is how the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him)
used to do.
Usamah ibn Zayd reported from Hafs ibn Ubaydullah, the
son of Anas ibn Malik: Anas would combine them (the
evening and night prayer) when the twilight disappeared.
He said: The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) used to do so.
Az-Zuhri also reported similarly on the authority of Anas
from the Prophet (peace_be_upon_him).
We accompanied the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him)
at Usfan, and Khalid ibn al-Walid was the chief of
unbelievers. We offered the noon prayer.
Thereupon, the unbelievers said: We suffered from
negligence; we became careless. We should have attacked
them while they were praying. Thereupon the verse was
revealed, relating to the shortening of the prayer (in
time of danger) between the noon and afternoon (prayer).
When the time of the afternoon prayer came, the Apostle
of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) stood facing the qiblah, and
the unbelievers were standing in front of him. The people
stood in a row behind the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him)
and there was another row behind this row. The Apostle of
Allah (peace_be_upon_him) bowed and all of them bowed. He
then prostrated and also the row near him prostrated. The
other people in the second row remained standing and stood
guard over them. When they performed two prostrations and
stood up, those who were behind them prostrated. The
people in the front row near him then stepped backward
taking the place of the people in the second row and the
second row took the place of the first row.
The Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) then bowed and
all of them bowed together. Then he and the row near him
prostrated themselves. The other people in the second row
remained standing and stood guard over them. When the
Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) and the row near him
(i.e. the front row) were seated, the people in the second
row behind them prostrated themselves. Then all of them
were seated. (He (the Prophet) then uttered the salutation
upon all of them. He prayed in his manner at Usfan as well
as at the territory of Banu Sulaym.
Urwah ibn az-Zubayr reported that Marwan ibn al-Hakam
asked AbuHurayrah: Did you pray in time of danger with the
Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him)?
AbuHurayrah replied: Yes. Marwan then asked: When?
AbuHurayrah said: On the occasion of the Battle of Najd.
The Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) stood up to offer
the afternoon prayer. One section stood with him (to pray)
and the other was standing before the enemy, and their
backs were towards the qiblah. The Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him)
uttered the takbir and all of them too uttered the takbir,
i.e. those who were with him and those who were facing the
enemy. Then the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him)
offered one rak'ah and the section that was with him also
prayed one rak'ah. He then prostrated himself and those
who were with him also prostrated, while the other section
was standing before the enemy.
The Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) then stood up
and the section with him also stood up. They went and
faced the enemy and the section that was previously facing
the enemy stepped forward. They bowed and prostrated while
the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) was standing in
the same position. Then they stood up and the Apostle of
Allah (may peace be upon) prayed another rak'ah and all of
them bowed and prostrated along with him. After that the
section that was standing before the enemy came forward
and they bowed and prostrated, while the Apostle of Allah
(peace_be_upon_him) remained seated and also those who
were with him. The salutation then followed. The Apostle
of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) uttered the salutation and
all of them uttered it together. The Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him)
prayed two rak'ahs and each of the two sections prayed one
rak'ah with him (and the other by themselves).
We went out with the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him)
to Najd. When we reached Dhat ar-Riqa at Nakhl (or in a
valley with palm trees) he met a group of the tribe of
Ghatafan. The narrator then reported the tradition to the
same effect, but his version is other than that of Haywah.
He added to the words "when he bowed along with those who
were with him and prostrated" the words "when they stood
up, they retraced their footsteps to the rows of their
companions". He did not mention the words "their back was
towards the qiblah".
The Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) uttered the
takbir and the section that was in the same row with him
also uttered the takbir. He then bowed and they also
bowed, and he prostrated and they also prostrated. Then he
raised his head and they also raised (their heads). The
Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) then remained seated.
They prostrated alone and stood up and retraced their
footsteps and stood behind them.
Then the other section came; they stood up and uttered
the takbir and bowed by themselves. The Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him)
prostrated himself and they also prostrated with him. Then
the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) stood up and they
performed the second prostration by themselves. Then both
the sections stood up and prayed with the Apostle of Allah
(peace_be_upon_him). He bowed and they also bowed, and
then he prostrated himself and they also prostrated
themselves. Then he returned and performed the second
prostration and they also prostrated with him as quickly
as possible, showing no slackness in quick prostration.
The Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) then uttered the
salutation. After that the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him)
stood up. Thus everyone participated in the entire prayer.
The Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) led us in
prayer in the time of danger. They (the people) stood in
two rows. One row was behind the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him)
and the other faced the enemy. The Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him)
led them in one rak'ah,and then the other section came and
took their place; they went and faced the enemy. The
Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) led them in one rak'ah and
uttered the salutation. They stood up and prayed the
second rak'ah by themselves and uttered the salutation and
went away; they took the place of the other section facing
the enemy. They came back and took their place. They
prayed one rak'ah by themselves and then uttered the
Tha'labah ibn Zahdam said: We accompanied Sa'd ibn
al-'As at Tabaristan. He stood and said: Which of you
prayed along with the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him)
in time of danger? Hudhayfah said: I then he led one
section in one rak'ah and the other section in one rak'ah.
They did not pray the second rak'ah by themselves.
The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) offered the noon prayer
in time of danger. Some of the people formed a row behind
him and others arrayed themselves against the enemy. He
led them in two rak'ahs and then he uttered the
salutation. Then those who were with him went away and
took the position of their companions before the enemy.
Then they came and prayed behind him. He led them in two
rak'ahs and uttered the salutation. Thus the Apostle of
Allah (peace_be_upon_him) offered four rak'ahs and his
companions offered two rak'ahs.
Al-Hasan used to give legal verdict on the authority of
Ziyadah al-Kindi reported on the authority of Bilal
that he (Bilal) came to the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him)
to inform him about the dawn prayer. Aisha kept Bilal
engaged in a matter which she asked him till the day was
bright and it became fairly light. Bilal then stood up and
called him to prayer and called him repeatedly. The
Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) did not yet come out.
When he came out, he led the people in prayer and he (Bilal)
informed him that Aisha had kept him engaged in a matter
which she asked him till it became fairly light; hence he
became late in reaching him (in time). He (Bilal) said:
Apostle of Allah, the dawn became fairly bright. He said:
If the dawn became brighter than it is now, I would pray
them (the two rak'ahs of the sunnah prayer), offer them
well and in a more beautiful manner.
The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said: If any of you
prays two rak'ahs before the dawn prayer, he should lie at
his right side.
Marwan ibn al-Hakam said to him: Is it not enough that
one of us walks to the mosque until he lies at his right
side? According to the version of Ubaydullah, he (AbuHurayrah)
This statement (of AbuHurayrah) reached Ibn Umar. He
said: AbuHurayrah exceed limits on himself. He was asked:
Do you look askance at what he says? He replied: No, but
he dared and we showed cowardice. This (criticism of Ibn
Umar) reached AbuHurayrah. He said: What is my sin if I
remembered and they forgot?
I came out with the Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) to
offer the dawn prayer. When he passed by a sleeping man he
called him for prayer or moved him with his foot. The
narrator Ziyad said: This tradition has been reported to
us by AbulFadl.
The Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) saw a person
praying after the congregational prayer at dawn was over.
The Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) said: There are
two rak'ahs of the dawn prayer (i.e. the prescribed
rak'ahs). The man replied: I did not pray the two rak'ahs
before the dawn prayer. Hence I offered them now. The
Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) kept silent.
Some reliable people testified before me, and among
them was Umar ibn al-Khattab, and most reliable in my eyes
was Umar: The Prophet of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) said:
There is no prayer after the dawn prayer until the sun
rises; and there is no prayer after the afternoon prayer
until the sun sets.
I asked: Apostle of Allah, in which part of night the
supplication is more likely to be accepted?
He replied: In the last part: Pray as much as you like,
for the prayer is attended by the angels and it is
recorded till you offer the dawn prayer; then stop praying
when the sun is rising till it has reached the height of
one or two lances, for it rises between the two horns of
the Devil, and the infidels offer prayer for it (at that
time). Then pray as much as you like, because the prayer
is witnessed and recorded till the shadow of a lance be-
comes equal to it. Then cease prayer, for at that time the
Hell-fire is heated up and doors of Hell are opened.
When the sun declines, pray as much as you like, for
the prayer is witnessed till you pray the afternoon
prayer; then cease prayer till the sun sets, for it sets
between the horns of the Devil, and (at that time) the
infidels offer prayer for it. He narrated a lengthy
Abbas said: AbuSalam narrated this tradition in a
similar manner from AbuUmamah. If I have made a mistake
unintentionally, I beg pardon of Allah and repent to Him.
Yasar, the client of Ibn Umar, said: Ibn Umar saw me
praying after the break of dawn. He said: O Yasar, the
Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) came to us while we
were offering this prayer. He (the Prophet) said: Those
who are present should inform those who are absent: Do not
offer any prayer after (the break of) dawn except two
Dhakwan, the client of Aisha, reported on the authority
of Aisha: The Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) used to
pray after the afternoon prayer but prohibited others from
it; and he would fast continuously but forbid others to do
The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said: If anyone sits in
his place of prayer when he finishes the dawn prayer till
he prays the two rak'ahs of the forenoon, saying nothing
but what is good, his sins will be forgiven even if they
are more than the foam of the sea.
I heard the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) say:
Allah, the Exalted, says: Son of Adam, do not be helpless
in performing four rak'ahs for Me at the beginning of the
day: I will supply what you need till the end of it.
The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said: Prayer is to be
offered in two rak'ahs; and you should recite the
tashahhud at the end of two rak'ahs, and express your
distress and humility and raise your hands and say
praying: O Allah, O Allah. He who does not do so does not
offer a perfect prayer.
The Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) said to
al-Abbas ibn AbdulMuttalib: Abbas, my uncle, shall I not
give you, shall I not present to you, shall I not donate
to you, shall I not produce for you ten things? If you act
upon them, Allah will forgive you your sins, first and
last, old and new, involuntary and voluntary, small and
great, secret and open.
These are the ten things: you should pray four rak'ahs,
reciting in each one Fatihat al-Kitab and a surah. When
you finish the recitation of the first rak'ah you should
say fifteen times while standing: "Glory be to Allah",
"Praise be to Allah", "There is no god but Allah", "Allah
is most great". Then you should bow and say it ten times
while bowing. Then you should raise your head after bowing
and say it ten times. Then you should kneel down in
prostration and say it ten times while prostrating
yourself. Then you should raise your head after
prostration and say it ten times. Then you should
prostrate yourself and say it ten times. Then you should
raise your head after prostrating and say it ten times in
every rak'ah. You should do that in four rak'ahs.
If you can observe it once daily, do so; if not, then
once weekly; if not, then once a month; if not, then once
a year; if not, then once in your lifetime.
AbulJawza' said: A man who attended the company of the
Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) narrated to me (it is thought
that he was Abdullah ibn Amr): The Prophet
(peace_be_upon_him) said to me: Come to me tomorrow; I
shall give you something, I shall give you something, I
shall reward you something, I shall donate something to
you. I thought that he would give me some present.
He said (to me when I came to him): When the day
declines, stand up and pray four rak'ahs. He then narrated
This version adds: Do not stand until you glorify Allah
ten times, and praise Him ten times, and exalt Him ten
times, and say, "There is no god but Allah" ten times.
Then you should do that in four rak'ahs. If you are the
greatest sinner on earth, you will be forgiven (by Allah)
on account of this (prayer).
I asked: If I cannot pray this the appointed hour,
(what should I do)? He replied: Pray that by night or by
day (at any time).
The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) came to the mosque of
Banu AbdulAshhal. He prayed the sunset prayer there. When
they finished the prayer, he saw them praying the
supererogatory prayer after it. He said: This is the
prayer to be offered in the houses.
Shurayh ibn Hani said: I asked Aisha about the prayer
of the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him). She said: The
Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) never offered the
night prayer and thereafter came to me but he offered four
or six rak'ahs of prayer. One night the rain fell, so we
spread a piece of leather (for his prayer), and now I see
as if there is a hole in it from which the water is
flowing. I never saw him protecting his clothes from the
earth (as he did on that occasion).