What is the meaning of Nafilah Prayer?

Are you interested to know about Nafilah Prayer? What is the purpose of this website? Then you are welcome. 

In this article we discuss Nafilah Prayer in detail. The discussion is about Nafila Namaz; when and how to read it?

And Islamic Significance of Nafal pray in Islam. Stay tuned to this article for details.

What is the meaning of Nafilah Prayer?

The word Nafila is Arabic. It means extra.  Nafilah, in Islamic terms is extra prayer than obligatory. That is, a prayer that Allah Ta’ala has not made obligatory on Muslims. 

But Muslims willingly perform the prayer in the hope of reward. Allah will give good reward to the person who willingly performs Nafilah Prayer. 

But the person who does not perform the nafal prayer will not be reprimanded or punished.

On the authority of Rabi’a bin Malik Al Aslami – Radiyallahu Anhu -. Once he spent the night with Prophet Muhammad – may God bless him and grant him peace.

Then the following conversation took place between them.

فيقول ربيعة: كُنْتُ أبِيتُ مع رَسولِ اللهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عليه وسلَّمَ فأتَيْتُهُ بوَضُوئِهِ وحَاجَتِهِ، فَقالَ لِي: سَلْ فَقُلتُ: أسْأَلُكَ مُرَافَقَتَكَ في الجَنَّةِ. قالَ: أوْ غيرَ ذلكَ قُلتُ: هو ذَاكَ. قالَ: فأعِنِّي علَى نَفْسِكَ بكَثْرَةِ السُّجُودِ

Translation: Rabia said, I was with Rasulullah – may God bless him and grant him peace. Then I presented him water for ablution and necessary things. 

At that time, he said, you ask me. I said, I want to be your companion in paradise.  He said what else? I said, that’s it.  He said, ” Then help yourself with more Sijda (i.e. Nafal Namaz). (Sahih Muslim)

Difference between Nafl and Sunnah prayers

There is no difference between Nafilah Prayer and Sunnah prayers in one aspect. Except for the obligatory prayer, all other prayers are Nafal.

Because the prayer that is specifically ordered in the Qur’an and Hadith is obligatory, and other than that, all kinds of prayers are optional for Muslims.

كما قال شيخ الأزهر السابق في كتابه “التفسير الوسيط للقرآن الكريم”: “والنافلة: الزيادة على الأصل. ولذا سميت صلاة السنن نافلة، لأنها زيادة على الصلوات المفروضة.

Translation : As the former Sheikh of Al-Azhar said in his book “The Interpretation of the Interpretation of the Holy Qur’an”:

“The supererogatory prayer: an addition to the original. That is why the Sunnah prayer was called a supererogatory prayer, which is an addition to the obligatory prayers.

However, in terms of importance, there is a difference between Nafal and Sunnah.

The Sunnah is the prayer that Rasulullah – may Allah bless and grant him peace – encouraged. And he did not pay suddenly but consistently. 

For example, two rakats after Fajr.  Four rakats before Zuhr and two rakats after it.  Two rakats after Maghrib fard.  Two rakats after Isha fard. These prayers are Sunnah.  Special notice has been given to collect them.

Also there are some other prayers which are called sunnat gair muakkadah.  For example, four rakats before Asr and Isha.  All prayers outside of this are in vain. 

A Muslim can pray as much as he wants by doing two rakats, two rakats at the end of every prayer.

Except only after Fajr and Asr prayers. Because there is no reference to performing nafal prayers during these two times.

Virtues of nafal prayer

The significance and virtue of Nafilah Prayer in the life of a believer is immense. Every believer can increase his spiritual strength through Nafal Ibadah.

And can deepen the relationship with Allah. Moreover, several virtues of Nafal Namaz are described in the hadith.

As narrated by Abu Hurairah – may Allah be pleased with him – who said: I heard the Messenger of Allah – may Allah bless him and grant him peace – say,

“إِنَّ أَوَّلَ مَا يُحَاسَبُ بِهِ الْعَبْدُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ مِنْ عَمَلِهِ صَلَاتُهُ فَإِنْ صَلُحَتْ فَقَدْ أَفْلَحَ وَأَنْجَحَ وَإِنْ فَسَدَتْ فَقَدْ خَابَ وَخَسِرَ ، فَإِنْ انْتَقَصَ مِنْ فَرِيضَتِهِ شَيْءٌ قَالَ الرَّبُّ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ : انْظُرُوا هَلْ لِعَبْدِي مِنْ تَطَوُّعٍ فَيُكَمَّلَ بِهَا مَا انْتَقَصَ مِنْ الْفَرِيضَةِ ؟ ثُمَّ يَكُونُ سَائِرُ عَمَلِهِ عَلَى ذَلِكَ

Translation: “On the Day of Resurrection, the prayer will be counted first from the servant’s deeds. If the prayer is correct, he will succeed and be released. And if the prayer is not correct, then he will fail and suffer.

If there is a deficiency in his duty, Allah will say, “Find and see if my servant gets any good deeds.” Then the nafal will be completed by joining the forgen. In this way the entire period will be calculated.”

In another hadith, Umm Habiba – Radiyallahu Ta’ala Anhua – said, I heard the Messenger of Allah, may God bless him and grant him peace, say,

من صلَّى في يومٍ وليلةٍ اثنتي عشْرَةَ ركعةَ تطوعًا غيرَ فريضةٍ بنى اللهُ له بيتًا في الجنَّةِ

Translation: I heard the Messenger of God, may God’s prayers and peace be upon him, say: “Whoever prays twelve voluntary units in a day and night, not obligatory, God will build for him a house in Paradise.”(Sahih Muslim)

From these two hadiths, we understand the importance and virtues of nafal prayers. Through this prayer, we will attain Paradise, Inshallah.

The Optimal Time to Offer Nafal Prayer

Nafilah Prayer can be read at any time of the day. It depends on each person’s time availability and mentality.

A person may like to pray Nafal after Maghrib. And another person may feel boring at this time. So every person will perform this prayer as per his wish.

However, the best time for Nafal Namaz is the time of Tahajjud. In the last night he will prostrate silently to Allah Ta’ala. Will express his neediness and helplessness to him.

Nafilah Prayer : Your Guide to Observing the Rules

There is no separate rule for Nafilah Prayer. Nafl Prayer should be performed like the obligatory prayers. That is, two rakats will be performed in two rakats. Every rakat will start with Surah Fateha.

And Then recite another Surah along with Surah Fateha. Then bow down and stand. Then standing up and reciting Surah Fateha, another Surah will join it.

After that, he will finish the prayer by prostrating himself with Attahiyatu, Durood and Dua.

In this way, you can pray two rakats, two rakats, as many rakats as you want. However, large Surahs should be worn in Nafilah Prayer.

Because the Messenger of Allah – may God bless him and grant him peace – his Companions used to recite the Qur’an more often in Nafal prayers.

Nafilah Prayer

Moments to Pause: Understanding When Nafal Prayer is Inappropriate

Nafilah Prayer can be read at any time of the day. However, the Nafilah Prayer of three times cannot be offered. All types of nafal prayers are prohibited in the hadith during these times. The three times are –

Uqba bin Amer Al Juhani – Radiyallahu Anhu – said, ‘The Messenger of Allah – may God bless him and grant him peace – forbade us to pray three times and to bury the dead.

  1. When the sun rises, until it is completely high.
  2. The time from when the sun rises overhead to when it falls to the west.
  3. And from the time the sun turns yellow until it sets.’ (Sahih Bukhari, Hadith Number – 551)
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