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Salat al-Duha - Awwabin

The Supererogatory Morning Prayer

by Sh. G. F. Haddad

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On the huge merit of the Duha prayer


- Its name
- Its legal status and time
- Its length
- Its immense merit and required character
- Addressing some misunderstandings
- About Salat al-Awwabin
- A question about the Salat ad-Duha

The supererogatory morning prayer has been narrated from the Prophet ﷺ through paths that have reached mass-narration levels - from 19 to over 30 Companions - according to Imam al-Tabari, al-ʿAyni in ʿUmdat al-Qari, al-Haytami, al-Munawi, and al-Qari in Sharh al-Shama'il, Ibn Hajar in Fath al-Bari, al-Kattani in Nazm al-Mutanathir, and as per the monographs compiled by al-Hakim and al-Suyuti as well as the recensions of Abu Zurʿa al-ʿIraqi in Tarh al-Tathrib, Ibn al-Qayyim in Zad al-Maʿad, and al-Shawkani in Nayl al-Awtar. According to the vast majority of the Ulema of the Salaf and Khalaf it is a desirable and recommended prayer. The following post is an overview of the name, legal status, time, length, and immense merit of this important voluntary prayer.

I. Its name

The supererogatory morning prayer has many names. Among them:

(a) Salat al-Duha or Sibhat al-Duha, Sibha meaning a supererogatory prayer in general and Duha meaning morning, mid-morning, or late morning. This is the name that reoccurs the most in the narrations.

(b) Salat al-Awwabin ("Prayer of the Oft-Returning"), thus specified by the Prophet ﷺ for the late morning prayer when the sun is very hot as per the hadith of Zayd ibn Arqam in Sahih Muslim cited below; the narration of ʿAli who saw a group of people praying Duha immediately after sunrise and advised them to delay it, saying:

"It would be best if they left it until the sun was one or two spear-lengths high for that is Salat al-Awwabin."Ibn Abi Shayba and al-Tabari, cf. Kanz al-ʿUmmal #23437, 23461.

And ʿAwn al-ʿUqayli in explanation of the verse

{ فَإِنَّهُ كَانَ لِلْأَوَّابِينَ غَفُورًا }

{ innahu kana lil-awwabina ghafura- verily He is most forgiving to those who turn to Him again and again (in true penitence)} (17:25): "Meaning those who pray Salat al-Duha." Narrated by al-Asbahani in al-Targhib as cited by al-Shawkani in Nayl al-Awtar. See more evidence for this appellation below [II.6(a-c)].

The reason for this name is that one leaves dunya at that time to return to Allah Most High and makes up for the Night prayer that he missed. Hence Salat al-Duha is even more stressed for those who miss tahajjud and is its replacement, cf. Ibn al-Qayyim, Zad al-Maʿad (1:356) as cited in ʿItr, Iʿlam al-Anam Sharh Bulugh al-Maram (p. 628). Note: ʿUbayd ibn ʿUmayr defined al-Awwabin as "Those who remember their sins when all alone, then ask Allah forgiveness." In al-Qurtubi's Tafsir for the verse

{ رَّبُّكُمْ أَعْلَمُ بِمَا فِي نُفُوسِكُمْ إِن تَكُونُوا صَالِحِينَ فَإِنَّهُ كَانَ لِلْأَوَّابِينَ غَفُورًا }

{ Rabbukum aʿlamu bima fi nufusikum in takunu salihina fa'innahu kana lil-awwabina ghafura - Your Lord is best aware of what is in your minds. If you are righteous, then lo! He was ever Forgiving unto those who turn (unto Him)} (17:25).

(c) Salat al-Ishraq ("Sunrise Prayer") i.e. very shortly after sunrise, and this is its Qur'anic name as per the narration of Ibn ʿAbbas in the Sunan of Saʿid ibn Mansur: "I searched for Salat al-Duha in the Qur'an and found it in the verse { yusabbihna bil-ʿashiyyi wal-ishraq - Lo! We subdued the hills to hymn the praises (of their Lord) with him [Dawud] at nightfall and sunrise} (38:18). Cf. also Ibn Abi Shayba in his Musannaf and al-Bayhaqi in Shuʿab al-Iman from Ibn ʿAbbas: "Verily it [Salat al-Duha] is in the Book of Allah, nor can they penetrate it who attempt to penetrate it! [i.e. without knowledge] Then he recited: { In houses which Allah has allowed to be exalted and that His name shall be remembered therein. Therein do they offer praise to Him at morn and evening} (24:36)."

(d) Salat al-Fath ("The Victory Prayer") because it is established that the Prophet ﷺ prayed it the morning he entered Makka (in al-Bukhari and Muslim) and this has become the Sunna of military leaders upon entering a newly-conquered region.

II. Its legal status and time

1. Fiqh al-ʿIbadat ʿala al-Madhhab al-Shafiʿi: Kitab al-Salat: Al-Salawat al-Masnuna:

"Salat al-Duha has the status of a Sunna mu'akkada (emphasized Sunna)... and its time is from the rising of the sun a spear-length from the horizon until it passes its zenith, while the preferred time is that one begins it after one quarter of the day has passed due to the hadith of Zayd ibn Arqam [see below]."

2. Al-Fiqh ʿala al-Madhahib al-Arbaʿa: Kitab al-Salat: Salat al-Tatawwuʿ: Salat al-Duha:

"Salat al-Duha is a Sunna acording to three of the Imams while the Malikis differed and said it is a stressed mandub prayer but not a Sunna.

"Its time is from the rising of the sun about a spear-length from the horizon until it passes its zenith, but the preferred time is that one begins it after one quarter of the day has passed, while the Malikis prefer its delay for the same span of time as passes between the beginning of ʿasr and sunset."

However, on the Day of ʿEid it the preferred time for Salat al-Duha is the earliest time:

3. Fiqh al-ʿIbadat ʿala al-Madhhab al-Shafiʿi: Kitab al-Salat: Al-Salawat al-Masnuna:

"Salat al-ʿEid does not dispense from Salat al-Duha but the latter remains sunna whether before of after Salat al-ʿEid; however, it is preferable to pray it before Salat al-ʿEid, so as to avoid the difference of opinion of the Ulema."

4. One of the most complete collections of hadiths on Salat al-Duha is in Nayl al-Awtar (2:73-74): Kitab al-Salat: Salat al-Tatawwuʿ: Salat al-Duha:

- The Prophet ﷺ said: "Whoever prays the dawn prayer in congregation then waits patiently until he offers the Duha prayer, there shall be for him the reward of a pilgrim for both the major and minor pilgrimages, complete and not missing anything." Narrated from ʿUtba ibn ʿAbd by al-Tabarani and confirmed by a similar narration from Abu Umama in Sunan Abi Dawud. I first heard this hadith from Mawlana al-Shaykh Husayn al-Kurdi, in the Maqam of his Shaykh, Mawlana al-Shaykh ʿAbd Allah al-Daghistani- Allah sanctify their secrets and bless our Shaykh Mawlana al-Shaykh Nazim al-Haqqani.

- The Prophet ﷺ also said: "Whoever prays the Fajr prayer then sits in his place of prayer remembering Allah until sunrise, then prays two rakʿats of Duha, Allah shall make him forbidden to the Fire, nor shall it touch him nor consume him." Narrated from al-Hasan ibn ʿAli by al-Bayhaqi.

- The Prophet ﷺ also said: "Your Lord said: 'O son of Adam, pray for Me four rakʿats at the beginning of the day and I shall take care of your needs the rest of it.'" Narrated from Nuʿaym ibn Hammar by Abu Dawud, Ahmad, and al-Darimi; and from Abu Dharr or Abu al-Darda' by al-Tirmidhi (hasan gharib). Al-ʿIraqi said: "The beginning of the day is the dawn and so is the time of sunrise, the latter being the apparent meaning of this narration, those four rakʿats being Salat al-Duha." In Tarh al-Tathrib, which contains probably the most thorough discussion on the topic (3:60-72).

- The Prophet ﷺ said: "Whoever gets up when the sun is before his eyes, performs a thorough ablution then stands and prays two rakʿats, his sins are forgiven as when his mother gave birth to him." Narrated by Abu Yaʿla as cited by Shaykh ʿAbd Allah Siraj al-Din in the chapter on Salat al-Duha of his book al-Salat fi al-Islam (p. 129).

5. Al-ʿIraqi in Tarh al-Tathrib (3:61) said: "The time of Duha is the beginning of the day". Al-Nawawi in al-Rawda narrated from al-Shafiʿi's companions that the time of Duha enters upon sunrise together with the desirability of waiting for it to elevate a little. This shows that it is permissible not to wait for the sun to rise a spear-length before praying, although it is preferable. However, al-Rafiʿi, Ibn al-Rifʿa, and other of the Shafiʿi authorities asserted that Duha enters only from the time the sun is elevated [from the horizon] and ʿItr in Iʿlam al-Anam (p. 629) adduces the hadith of Zayd ibn Arqam to assert that the preferred time is midmorning while the permitted time is when the sun is one or two spear-lengths above the horizon.

6. The name Awwabin applies more specifically to it when it is prayed at its midmorning time i.e. before Zuhr by one or two hours:

(a) the hadith of the Prophet ﷺ : "Salat al-Awwabin is when the young camels' hoofs burn from the heat" (hina tarmadu al-fisaal). Sahih Muslim from Zayd ibn Arqam with two chains. The occasion for this hadith was Zayd's reminder to those he had seen pray it early, that it was preferable to wait until later for greater merit.

(b) the Prophet ﷺ also said: "None is assiduous in keeping Salat al-Duha except one who is oft-repentent (awwab), and it is the prayer of the oft-repentent (wa hiya Salat al-Awwabin)." Narrated from Abu Hurayra by Ibn Khuzayma in his Sahih, al-Hakim who graded it sahih as per Muslim's criterion, al-Tabarani in al-Awsat, al-Bukhari in his Tarikh, and Ibn Marduyah.

(c) "My beloved instructed me never to leave three things until I die: fasting three days of the month, praying Salat al-Witr before sleep, and praying the 2 rakʿats of Salat al-Duha, which is Salat al-Awwabin." Narrated from Abu Hurayra by Ahmad in his Musnad.

(d) Something similar is narrated from Anas by al-Asbahani in al-Targhib and al-Bazzar in his Musnad as cited by Ibn Kathir in his Tafsir and al-Suyuti in al-Jamiʿ al-Saghir (#5012).

7. Al-Haytami said in al-Minhaj al-Qawim (p. 249): "Its time is after the elevation of the sun from the horizon about a spear-length and until it reaches its zenith, while waiting for the end of the first quarter of the day is best due to a sound hadith to that effect." He means the hadith of Zayd ibn Arqam. Al-Ghazzali in the Ihya' pointed out that this preference is in keeping with the fact that all four quarters of the day and night contain a prayer.

8. Abu Zurʿa al-ʿIraqi said in Tarh al-Tathrib (3:71): "Our Shafiʿi colleagues said that Duha is the best voluntary prayer after those regularly offered with the fard prayers (rawatib) but al-Nawawi in al-Majmuʿ put Tarawih before it, i.e. between the Rawatib and Duha." So did al-Hadrami in his Muqaddima. Shaykh al-Islam al-Haytami his commentary on al-Muqaddima al-Hadramiyya entitled al-Minhaj al-Qawim (p. 248-249) explained that this is due to the fact that Tarawih is prayed in congregation.

III. Its length

Its length is between 2 as in most of the narrations - and this is its minimum by Consensus - to 12 rakʿats, although the basis seems 4 as per the hadith of ʿA'isha in Muslim, Ibn Majah, Ahmad, and others: "Yes, the Messenger of Allah ﷺ used to pray Duha in 4 rakʿats. After that he may add whatever Allah wished" and other narrations, and this is the best number according to a number of the Imams of Hadith, among them al-Hakim and al-Kattani; 8 - as per the hadith of Umm Hani' in al-Bukhari and Muslim - being the best number according to the majority of the Fuqaha' and the maximum for most of the Shafiʿis according to al-Nawawi in al-Majmuʿ and for the Hanbalis as per Ibn Qudama in al-Mughni; while the Jumhur said it is up to twelve as chosen by al-Ruwyani in al-Hilya, al-Rafiʿi in al-Sharh al-Saghir and al-Muharrar, al-Nawawi in al-Rawda and al-Minhaj, and others so as to take into consideration the weak marfuʿ narrations that mention twelve rakʿats from Abu Dharr, Abu al-Darda', and Anas narrated by al-Tirmidhi (gharib), Ibn Majah, al-Bayhaqi, al-Tabarani, and others. Cf. Tarh (3:71), Iʿlam (p. 624), Nayl and Fath al-Bari; while al-Tabari narrates from al-Aswad that there is no limit to their number, and attributes it to a number of the Salaf. And Allah knows best.

IV. Its immense merit and required character

There is a sadaqa incumbent* upon every limb and joint of a servant who wakes up in the morning, which is remitted by praying Salat al-Duha as per the following narrations:

(a) Muslim in his Sahih from Abu Dharr: The Prophet ﷺ said: "In the morning every single joint of yours must* pay a sadaqa. Every tasbih is a sadaqa, every tahmid is a sadaqa, every tahlil is a sadaqa, every takbir is a sadaqa, every commanding good is a sadaqa, and every forbidding evil is a sadaqa, and all this is accomplished through two rakʿats one can pray in Duha."

(b) Abu Dawud in his Sunan and Ahmad in his Musnad from Abu Burayda: The Prophet ﷺ said: "There are three hundred and sixty joints in a human being, and he must* pay a sadaqa for each one of them." They said: "Who can do such a thing, O Messenger of Allah?" He replied: "Bury the dirt [lit. sputum] you see in the Mosque; remove a dangerous object from the road; and, if you unable, then the two rakʿas of duha accomplish it for you." Its chain is strong as per Shuʿayb al-Arna'ut in Sahih Ibn Hibban (4:520 #1642) and al-Tahawi's Sharh Mushkil al-Athar (#99).

*I.e. it is mustahabb as stated in Tarh al-Tathrib (3:69).

The above two hadiths are proofs of the huge merit of the Duha prayer as they indicate that it fulfills the performance of three hundred and sixty charities. Ibn ʿAbd al-Barr said these hadiths are the most emphatic evidence that has reached us concerning the immense merit of Salat al-Duha. Tarh (3:71).

(c) The Prophet ﷺ said: "Whoever regularly prays the two rakʿats of Duha, his sins are forgiven even if they are as numerous as the foam of the sea." Narrated from Abu Hurayra by al-Tirmidhi, Ibn Majahm and Ahmad.

(d) It is a Sunna of the Prophets as narrated in explanation of the verse { And Ibrahim who paid his debt} (53:37): i.e. he paid his daily debt with 4 rakʿats he prayed in Duha. Narrated by al-Tabari and Ibn Abi Hatim in their Tafsirs. Similarly, al-Qadi Ibn al-ʿArabi al-Maliki in ʿAridat al-Ahwadhi adduced the verse of Dawud already cited above [I (c)] to conclude: "It used to be the prayer of all the Prophets before Muhammad - upon him and them blessings and peace - after which Allah Most High let the ʿAsr prayer remain in the evening and abrogated the sunrise prayer." Cf. Tarh al-Tathrib (3:64). Dawud, Sulayman, and Ayyub are all called awwab in the Qur'an - upon our Prophet and upon them blessings and peace.

V. Addressing some misunderstandings

Some people with scant knowledge of hadith assert that Salat al-Duha is an innovation (bidʿa) on the basis of the reports from ʿA'isha in al-Bukhari and Muslim that "I never saw the Prophet ﷺ pray Salat al-Duha" and from Ibn ʿUmar also in the Sahihayn: "It is a bidʿa." However, these only mean that they did not see the Prophet ﷺ pray it (a) in the Mosque (b) on a regular basis (c) in congregation (d) for more than 2 or 4 rakʿats lest it be imposed on the Umma as an obligation.

In addition, the two principles must be applied that "the narrations of affirmation take precedence over those of negation" and that "those who know are a proof over those who do not know." This view was expounded by the Imams of Fiqh and Hadith Masters such as al-Bayhaqi in al-Sunan al-Kubra, Qadi ʿIyad in Sharh Sahih Muslim, al-Nawawi in Khulasat al-Ahkam and Sharh Sahih Muslim, al-Zayn al-ʿIraqi in Sharh Sunan al-Tirmidhi, Abu Zurʿa al-ʿIraqi in Tarh al-Tathrib, and others.

This is established by the following evidence:

1. ʿA'isha not only did narrate its performance by the Prophet ﷺ as cited above [sec. III] but also prayed it assiduously herself as narrated in the Muwatta': "I would not leave the 8 rakʿats of Salat al-Duha even if my father and mother rose from the dead." The same maximum emphasis is narrated in the famous narrations from Abu Hurayra in al-Bukhari, Muslim, al-Tirmidhi, al-Nasa'i, Abu Dawud, Ahmad, and al-Darimi and from Abu al-Darda' in Muslim, Abu Dawud, al-Nasa'i, and Ahmad: "My beloved instructed me never to leave three things until I die: fasting three days of the month, praying Salat al-Witr before sleep, and praying Salat al-Duha." Some versions add after the last clause: both at home and in travel." On that basis alone, praying it can never be declared a bidʿa in absolute terms.

2. Both ʿA'isha and Ibn ʿUmar stated that "the Prophet ﷺ would not pray Duha except when returning from a trip." Narrated among others by Muslim, Abu Dawud, Ahmad, al-Nasa'i, Ibn Khuzayma, and Ibn Hibban with sound chains. The latter explained in his Sahih (6:270) that "this means he did not pray Duha in the mosque among people rather than in the house except upon returning from a trip." This clarification is vital in view of his ﷺ prohibition to travellers from returning to their homes at night - the Prophet ﷺ returned from his trips mostly in the early part of the day - and his emphasis in the Nine Books - except Ibn Majah - that "Your best Salat is that prayed in your homes other than the prescribed one." Meaning: Other than at that time, he ﷺ would pray Duha at home, in private. However, the marfuʿ narrations of ʿUtba ibn ʿAbd, Abu Umama, and al-Hasan ibn ʿAli cited above are clear - if authentic - as to the desirability of praying the two rakʿats of Duha in the same place as the congregational Fajr prayer.

3. This is further confirmed by the statement of ʿUrwa that "ʿA'isha would say that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ did not pray Duha but she herself prayed it, and she would say that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ left out many good deeds lest people took them as their regular practice, then they would be imposed as fard." Narrated by al-Bukhari and Muslim, Abu Dawud, Malik in his Muwatta', Ahmad, and others. The Ulema explained that this fear no longer applies after the time of the Prophet ﷺ and it should be prayed on a regular basis as long as people pray it individually and understand its status as that of desirability, not obligation.

4. This is further confirmed by the authentic report of Abu Saʿid al-Khudri in al-Tirmidhi (hasan gharib) and Ahmad: "The Messenger of Allah ﷺ used to pray Duha to the point that we said he shall never leave it, and he used to leave it to the point that we said: he never prays it."

5. This is further confirmed by Ibn ʿUmar's reply when asked about Salat al-Duha: "It is an innovation and what a fine innovation it is!" (bidʿatun wa niʿmati al-bidʿatu hiya). Narrated from al-Hakam ibn al-Aʿraj by Ibn Abi Shayba in his Musannaf (2:172) with a sound chain according to Ibn Hajar in Fath al-Bari (1959 ed. 3:52) and from Mujahid by Ibn al-Jaʿd in his Musnad ( p. 314) and al-Tabarani in al-Muʿjam al-Kabir (12:424).

Another reply to the same question by Ibn ʿUmar: "At the time ʿUthman was killed no-one considered it desirable [in the Religion] (ma ahadun yastahibbuha), and the people did not innovate anything that is dearer to me than that prayer." Narrated from Salim ibn ʿAbd Allah ibn ʿUmar by ʿAbd al-Razzaq with a sound chain according to Ibn Hajar in Fath al-Bari (1959 ed. 3:52). Both reports mean: Salat al-Duha as prayed on a regular basis in the Mosque, possibly in congregation as I witnessed it among Borneo Peninsula Shafiʿis at the end of post-Fajr Fiqh gatherings.

6. In exact illustration of the above understanding there is a report from Masruq that Ibn Masʿud prayed Fajr as Imam then left, and people would wait for sunrise then get up and pray Salat al-Duha. When news of this reached Ibn Masʿud he said: "You shall not impose upon the servants of Allah what He Himself did not impose upon them! If you must pray it, pray it in your houses." Ibn Battal said: "And the madhhab of Ibn Mijlaz and the Salaf was the observance of strict privacy for it lest the public mistake it for an obligation." It is also narrated that ʿA'isha prayed Salat al-Duha in the strictest privacy, as in Tarh al-Tathrib (3:63-64).

7. ʿUmar said, as in Ibn Abi Shayba's Musannaf: "O servants of Allah! Pray the duha prayer." It is unthinkable that after this instruction from the Commander of the Faithful, one of the Rightly-Guided Caliphs, and one of the foremost people of knowledge among the senior Companions, his son should declare it a bidʿa in absolute terms.

Q. What about the appellation Salat al-Awwabin for the nafl prayers offered between Maghrib and ʿIsha?

Answer: The evidence for this appellation is as follows:

1. A marfuʿ hadith from Ibn ʿUmar, from the Prophet ﷺ but found only in the 6th-century Tarikh Jurjan (1:74) states: "For whoever follows up [with worship] between Maghrib and ʿIsha shall be built in Paradise two palaces at one hundred years' distance one from another, with enough trees to cover the people of both East and West in fruit: it is called Salat al-Awwabin and it is verily the heedlessness of the heedless. And truly there are supplications that are answered only between Maghrib and ʿIsha."

2. A mursal hadith is narrated from the Tabiʿi Muhammad ibn al-Munkadir, from the Prophet ﷺ that the latter said: "Whoever prays between Maghrib and ʿIsha, [let him know that] this is Salat al-Awwabin." Ibn al-Mubarak in al-Zuhd wa al-Raqa'iq (p. 445 #1259) and Ibn Nasr in Qiyam al-Layl as stated respectively by al-ʿIraqi in Takhrij Ahadith al-Ihya' and al-Ghumari in al-Mudawi (6:346 #8804). Ibn Kathir cites it in al-Baʿith al-Hathith (p. 48) and al-Suyuti who declared it daʿif in al-Jamiʿ al-Saghir (#8804).

3. A mawquf report from ʿAbd Allah ibn ʿUmar states: "Salat al-Awwabin is [during] the gap between Maghrib and ʿIsha, until the time people spring to Salat." Ibn Abi Shayba in his Musannaf (2:14 #5922). The same is attributed to ʿAbd Allah ibn ʿAmr ibn al-ʿAs by Ibn al-Mubarak in al-Zuhd (p. 445) and al-Qurtubi in his Tafsir, apparently a confusion of identities.

4. The same as #1 is attributed maqtuʿ to Ibn al-Munkadir and Abu Hazim in al-Bayhaqi's al-Sunan al-Kubra (3:19) and Shuʿab al-Iman (3:133).

5. Abu Nuʿaym in Hilyat al-Awliya' (1985 ed. 5:200) narrated with his chain from the Tabiʿi ʿAta' al-Khurasani that he named the nawafil prayers between Maghrib and ʿIsha: Salat al-Awwabin. Ibn al-Jawzi also cites it in Sifat al-Safwa (4:152).

6. It is said that Imam Jaʿfar al-Sadiq extended it to both the morning and the evening on the basis of the verses { Lo! We subdued the hills to hymn the praises (of their Lord) with him at nightfall and sunrise, And the birds assembled; all were turning (awwabun) unto Him} (38:18-19).

There is no stronger evidence for this appellation nor is it applied to the Maghrib-to-ʿIsha nafl other than in the very late books of Fiqh such as al-Bajuri's Hashiya in Shafiʿi Fiqh (1:135) and Ibn ʿAbidin in his Hashiya (2:12-13) although the latter does not name it as such but only states: "And six rakʿats after Maghrib so that he will be recorded among the oft-returning (liyuktab min al-awwabin)."

There is no question that unlimited nafl after Maghrib is recommended in the Sunna and the commentaries of Qur'an unanimously refer to it in explanation of the verse { They forsake their beds to cry unto their Lord in fear and hope} (32:16), its best number being six rakʿats as per the evidence listed in the relevant sections of Tarh al-Tathrib, Nayl al-Awtar, etc. (cf. ʿAbd al-Qadir ʿIsa Dyab's al-Mizan al-ʿAdl p. 352-353).

In conclusion, the appellation Awwabin is firmly established for the Duha prayer but less so for the post-Maghrib nafl although there is sufficient evidence to silence those who call the latter appellation an innovation. "Nor is Ibn al-Munkadir's report contradicted by its use in the Sahih [for Salat al-Duha] since there is no objection to calling both prayers by the name Salat al-Awwabin." Al-Shawkani, Nayl al-Awtar (3:66). Furthermore, the sense of Oft-Returning is perfectly applicable in the evening Nawafil and the analogy with the morning ones is clear enough since both prayers take place at the extremities of the day, both vary from 2 to several rakʿats, both are non-rawatib Sunnas, and both carry immense rewards. Al-Nawawi in al-Maqasid said none of the people of Wilaya reached high levels except by adhering firmly to these two prayers. And Allah knows best.

Blessings and peace on the Prophet, his Family, and his Companions.

Hajj Gibril
GF Haddad ©

A question about the Salat ad-Duha:

Now we know that the Prophet ﷺ ʿalayhi salat wa salam) used to pray it; but after knowing this, how can we understand statements such as these and put them in right context?

Bukhari and Muslim in their Sahih collections (and others) narrate that Sayyida Aʿisha (radiyallahu ʿanha) stated: "i never saw the Prophet ﷺ pray the Duha prayer, but i myself always pray it."

Also, Ibn ʿUmar (radiyallahu anhu) was asked about the salat ad-Duha, and he said, "it is an innovation, and how fine an innovation it is!" and in another riwaya, "the people have invented nothing more beloved to me than it" (narrated by Abdur-Razzaq and Ibn Abi Shayba in their Musannaf collections, and Tabarani in his Kabir).

How did the scholars reconcile statements such as these, from personal testimony, and the other narrations which state that salat ad-Duha is an established Sunna?

The denials presuppose the qualifiers "on a regular basis," "in congregation," or "in the mosque," or any two of the above, or all together, and Allah knows best. See text above.
- gfh

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