Saying Nafl or voluntary prayers was a regular and unchanging practice of the Prophet (pbuh). These are very beneficial and important in our life. It draws us closer to Allah (SWT) and helps us to attain better success in this life and also in the hereafter. Out of our five times obligatory prayers and Witr (wajib prayer which is offered after Eisha prayer), we can obtain extra benefits by performing many types of voluntary prayers. There are various types of Nafl prayers. Some of these are described below:
Ishraq prayer: The word ‘Ishraq’ means rising or being enlightened. According to Islamic Shariyah, the post-sunrise prayer that is performed at the time when the full light is dispersed after sunrise is called Ishraq prayer. According to Hadith Qudsy (Sayings of Allah that is revealed to the prophet and the prophet narrated it by his own words), whoever offers four Rakat Ishraq prayer at the beginning of the day, his daily needs will be fulfilled by Allah (SWT). Uqbah Ibn Amir (Ra) reported that Rasulullah (Pbuh) said, “Verily Allah (SWT) says, ‘O Son of Adam, suffice me [by offering] four Rakahs of prayer at the beginning of the day, I will suffice for you [your needs] till the end of the day in exchange of those four Rakahs.’” (Musnad Ahmad). According to another Hadith, one who prays Ishraq, he will receive the reward of one complete Hajj and one complete Umrah. Anas ibn Malik (Ra) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said, "Whoever prays Fajr in congregation then sits remembering Allah until the sun has risen then he prays two Rak'ah, then for him is the reward like that of a Hajj and Umrah." He said that the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said, ‘Complete, complete, complete (complete Hajj and Umrah).’” (Jame Tirmiji). The time for the Ishraq prayer begins from 23rd minutes after sunrise.Duha (Chasht) prayer: The word Duha means an hour of the day (Persian synonym of Duha is ‘Chasht’). The prayer that is performed just before noon is called Duha prayer. The greatness and importance of the Duha prayer is mentioned in a Hadith which is narrated by Abu Hurayra (Ra). He said, “My friend [the Messenger of Allah] advised me to do three things: fasting three days of every month, praying the Duha prayer and praying the with prayer before I sleep." (Sahih Bukhari and Muslim). Whoever offers Duha prayer Allah will build for him a palace in Paradise. The Prophet (pbuh) said, "Whoever does Duha prayer four Rakats and four Rakats before, then he will build a house in Heaven.” Duha prayer is sufficient as a charity on behalf of every joint of the body. Abu Dharr (Ra) narrated that Allah's Messenger (pbuh) said, “In the morning charity is due from every bone in the body of every one of you. Every utterance of Allah's glorification is an act of charity. ……, and two rakats which one prays (Duha) in the forenoon will suffice.” (Sahih Muslim). The preferred time for Duha (Chasht) prayer begins after one-quarter of the day has passed and extends until just before the sun passes its zenith (when the time for Zuhr prayer begins).
Tahajjud prayer: The word ‘Tahajjud' means awake at night. The prayer which is performed from midnight up to the appearance of the early dawn called ‘Tahajjud'. It is the most rewarding prayer after the obligatory prayers. Abu Huraira (Ra) reported that the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) was asked as to which prayer was most excellent after the obligatory prayers. He said, ‘Prayer offered in the depths of the night'. (Sahih Muslim).
Awwabeen prayer: After performing the fard and Sunnah of Maghrib, one may perform six Rakats of prayer. This prayer is called Awwabin. One who prays Awwabin he will get best rewards. Abu Hurairah (Ra) narrated that Allah's Messenger (pbuh) said, "Whoever prays six Rakats after Maghrib prayer and he does not speak about anything between them it would be equivalent to twelve years of worship for him.” (Jame Tirmiji).
The writer is a national award winner Qari and Khatib of Baitush Shafique Mosque (near National University), Gazipur.