Fiqh As-Sunnah
Prayer (Salah)

Sunnah acts of prayer, What Is Said Upon Rising From Bowing and Standing:
It is preferred for the one who is praying, whether he be the imam, follower or praying by himself, to say, "Allah hears him who praises Him," upon coming up from the bowing. When he is standing straight, he should say, "Our Lord, and to You is the praise," or "O Allah, Our Lord, and to You is the praise." Abu Hurairah reported that when the Prophet, upon whom be peace, rose from bowing he would say, "Allah hears him who praises Him," and while standing (straight) he would say, "Our Lord, and to You is the praise." (Related by Ahmad, al-Bukhari and Muslim.)

Al-Bukhari records in the hadith from Anas, "When he says, 'Allah hears him who praises Him,' you say, 'O Allah, our Lord, and to You is the praise." Ahmad and others record a hadith from Abu Hurairah in which the Prophet, upon whom be peace, is quoted as saying, "When the imam says, 'Allah hears him who praises Him,' you say, 'O Allah, our Lord, and to You is the praise.' If one's statement corresponds to that of the angels, all of his previous sins will be forgiven." The Prophet said, "Pray as you have seen me pray." This applies to all of his glorifying and praise statements, even if the person is following the imam. The answer to those who say, 'One should not combine both of these sayings' ('Allah hears him...' and 'O Allah, our Lord...') but only say the one of praise, has been given by an-Nawawi who said, "Our companions say that the mentioning of the command, 'And you should say, O Allah, our Lord...' is in conjunction with 'Allah hears him who praises him.' But the Prophet, upon whom be peace, only mentioned the statement, 'O Allah, Our Lord, to you is the praise,' because they had already heard the statement, 'Allah hears him who praises Him' aloud from him. It was his sunnah to say that phrase aloud, but they did not hear him say, 'Our Lord, to You is the praise' because he said it in a subdued voice. They knew the Prophet's words, 'Pray as you have seen me pray,' and knew that it was to be taken in the general sense without any restrictions. They used to say, 'Allah hears him who praises Him,' and therefore there was no need for the Prophet, upon whom be peace, to order them to say it again. But they did not know, 'Our Lord, to You is the praise,' and therefore he ordered them to say it." The two phrases are the least that one should say while standing. But one may add any of the supplicatory words mentioned in the following hadith:

1. Said Raf ah ibn Rafa', "One day we prayed behind the Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace. When he raised his head from bowing, he said, 'Allah hears him who praises Him,' and a man behind him said, 'Our Lord, to You is the praise, as much as it can be and as blessed as it can be.' When the Prophet, upon whom be peace, finished the prayer he said, 'Who said that phrase earlier?' A man said, 'I did, O Messenger of Allah.' The Prophet said, 'I saw more than thirty angels chasing after you to see who would record it first."' (Related by Ahmad, al-Bukhari, Malik and Abu Dawud.)

2. 'Ali reported that when the Prophet raised his head from bowing he would say, "Allah hears him who praises Him, and to You is the praise filling up the heavens and the earth, what is between them and filling up whatever You wish in addition to that." (Related by Ahmad, Muslim, Abu Dawud and at-Tirmidhi.)

3. 'Abdullah ibn Abu 'Aufa reported that when the Prophet raised his head from bowing he would say, "O Allah, to You is the praise filling up the skies and the earth and filling up whatever You wish in addition to that. O Allah, purify me with snow, hail and cold water. O Allah, purify me from sins and cleanse me from them as one cleans a white garment from filth." (Related by Ahmad, Muslim, Abu Dawud and Ibn Majah.)

4. Said Abu Sa'eed al-Khudri, "When the Prophet, upon whom be peace, would say, 'Allah hears him who praises Him,' he would (also) say, 'O Allah, to You is the praise filling up the skies and the earth, and filling up what You wish in addition to that. You are the One who is worthy of praise and glory. This is the most correct statement that a slave could make. And we are all slaves unto You. There is no one who can prevent what You have given. And there is no one who can give what You have prevented. No one can benefit from fortune (in the face of) Your fortune."' (Related by Muslim, Ahmad and Abu Dawud.)

5. It has also been authentically reported from the Prophet, upon whom be peace, that after saying "Allah hears him who praises Him," he would say, "To my Lord is the praise, to my Lord is the praise," until he would be standing for as long as he was bowing.

Sunnah acts of prayer, How To Prostrate:
Most scholars prefer that one place his knees on the floor before his hands. Ibn al-Mundhir related this from 'Umar an-Nakha'i, Muslim ibn Yasar, Sufyan al-Thauri, Ahmad, Ishaq and other jurists including Ibn al-Mundhir himself. Abu at-Tayyeb said that most jurists agree with this. Ibn al-Qayyim said, "When the Prophet, upon whom be peace, prayed, he would place his knees (on the floor) before his hands, then his hands, his forehead and nose. This is what is authentic and has been related by Shuraik from 'Asim ibn Kaleeb on the authority of his father from Wa'il ibn Hajr who said, 'I saw the Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace, while prostrating, placing his knees (on the floor) before his hands. Upon getting up, he would raise his hands before his knees. I never saw him do otherwise." Malik, al-Auza'i, Ibn Hazm and Ahmad maintain that it is preferred to place the hands down first and then the knees. Says al-Auza'i, "I saw the people placing their hands on the floor before their knees." Ibn Abu Dawud comments, "That is the statement of the people of hadith." There is also a difference of opinion concerning how one should stand up from the prostration after the first (or third) rak'ah. Some say one should raise the hands from the floor first while others say that one should raise the knees first. It is preferred for the one who is prostrating to follow the following points:

One should place one's nose, forehead and hands upon the floor, They should be separated from the sides of the body. Wa'il ibn Hajr reported that when the Messenger of Allah prostrated, he would place his forehead between his palms and separate his arms from the sides of his body. (Related by Abu Dawud.) Abu Humaid reported that when the Prophet, upon whom be peace, prostrated, he would place his nose and forehead upon the floor, keep his arms away from his sides, and place his hands parallel to his shoulders. This is related by Ibn Khuzaimah and at-Tirmidhi, who called it hassan sahih.

One should place one's hands parallel to one's ears or shoulders As both of these acts have been related. Some scholars combine these two acts by placing the ends of the thumbs parallel to the ears and the palms parallel to the shoulders. One should have one's fingers together and stretched out.

AlHakim and Ibn Hibban record that when the Prophet, upon whom be peace, bowed he would have his fingers separated and when he prostrated he would keep his fingers together.

One should have one's fingers facing the qiblah Al-Bukhari recorded from Abu Humaid that when the Prophet, upon whom be peace, prostrated, his fingers would be neither spread out nor clasped together, and his toes would be directed toward the qiblah.

Sunnah acts of prayer, The length of time of the prostration and what is to be said therein:
It is preferred for the one who is prostrating to say Subhana Rabiyy al-A'la (Glory to my Lord, the Most High). 'Uqbah ibn 'Aamr related that when, "Glorify the name of your Lord, the Most High" was revealed, the Prophet, upon whom be peace, said, "Do so in your prostrations." This is related by Ahmad, Abu Dawud, Ibn Majah and al-Hakim. Its chain is good.

Hudhaifah reported that when the Prophet, upon whom be peace, prostrated, he would say "Subhana Rabiyy al-A'la. " This is related by Ahmad, Muslim, Abu Dawud, an-Nasa'i, Ibn Majah and at-Tirmidhi, who called it hassan sahih. It is a must that one not repeat these sayings less than three times during the bowings and prostrations. Says at-Tirmidhi, "The scholars prefer the one bowing or prostrating to make the glorifications at least three times." According to the majority, the minimum that is sufficient for the prostrations or bowings is one glorification. We have already mentioned that "calmness" is obligatory, and this requires a time of at least one glorification.

According to some scholars, the complete glorification is ten. This is based on the following hadith: Sa'eed ibn Jubair related that Anas said, "I have not seen anyone being more similar to the Prophet's prayer than this boy ('Umar ibn 'Abdul-'Aziz). We estimated the number of the glorifications that he made during his bowing to be ten and in his prostrations also to be ten." This is related by Ahmad, Abu Dawud and an-Nasa'i with a good chain.

Commenting on the subject, ash-Shaukani says, "Some hold that this proves that the complete (number of) glorifications is ten. The more sound opinion is that an individual who is praying may offer as many glorifications as he wishes. There are authentic hadith that state that the Prophet, upon whom be peace, elongated his glorifications during prostrations. The imam may also do so if he knows the followers will not get tired by making it longer."

Says Ibn 'Abdul-Barr, "It is a must that every imam should be easy (by not making the prayers too long) as has been ordered by the Prophet, even if he knows that those behind him are strong, because he does not know what may have happened to them and what needs they may have to tend to." Ibn al-Mubarak maintains, "It is preferred for the imam to make five glorifications. Therefore, all the people behind him would be able to make (at least) three. It is preferred that one not limit his remembrance during the prostrations to just the glorifications, but he should add some supplications to it. In an authentic hadith, it is recorded that the Prophet said, 'The closest one of you comes to his Lord is while he is prostrating, (therefore) make many supplications therein.' And he also said, 'I have prohibited you from reciting while bowing or prostrating. During the bowing, glorify the Lord. During the prostrations, strive your hardest in making supplications. Most likely, you will be listened to." This was related by Ahmad and Muslim.

Many hadith are related on this topic, including:

1. 'Ali reported that when the Prophet prostrated he would say, "O Allah, to You have I prostrated, in You have I believed, and to You have I submitted. I have prostrated my face to the One who created me and formed me in the best of forms. He is the One who gave it hearing and sight. Blessed be Allah, the Best of Creators." (Related by Ahmad and Muslim.)

2. While describing the Prophet's late night prayers, Ibn 'Abbas said, "Then he would go to pray and during his prayer or prostration, he would say, 'O Allah, place light in my heart, in my hearing, in my sight, on my right, on my left, in front of me, behind me, above me, below me, and make me light." Reported Shu'bah, "Or he said, 'And make for me light." (Related by Muslim, Ahmad and others.)

Talking of light, an-Nawawi observes, "The scholars say that asking for light for all organs and sides means (asking) to have the truth and guidance made clear for one's self. He asked for this so that there would be no deviation or misguidance left in him."

3. Reported 'Aishah, "I once noticed the Prophet missing from his place of sleep. I felt over his place with my hand and found him prostrating. He was saying, 'O Lord, give my soul God-consciousness and purify it, for You are the best of those who purify. You are its Guardian and Protector." (Related by Ahmad.)

4. Abu Hurairah reported that the Prophet, upon whom be peace, would say while prostrating, "O Allah, forgive all of my sins, the small and large, the first and last, the public and private." (Related by Muslim, Abu Dawud and al-Hakim.)

5. Reported 'Aishah, "One night I missed the Prophet from his bed. I looked for him and found him praying. He was prostrating, his feet were in an upright position and he was saying, 'O Allah, I seek refuge in Your pleasure from Your anger. I seek refuge in Your granting of well-being from Your punishment. I seek refuge in You from You. The praise cannot encompass You and You are as You have praised Yourself." (Related by Muslim, Abu Dawud and an-Nasa'i.)

6. She also reported that one night he was missing and she suspected that he had gone to another one of his wives. She found him while he was bowing or prostrating, and he was saying, "Glory be to You, O Allah, and to You be praise. There is no god besides You." She said, "May my father and mother be sacrificed for you. I thought you were doing something and you were doing something else." (Related by Muslim, Ahmad and an-Nasa'i.)

7. While prostrating the Prophet, upon whom be peace, would say, "O Allah, forgive me (those things that I have been) mistaken in or ignorant, and the action that I have been extravagant in, for You are more knowledgeable of them than me. O Allah, forgive me my serious mistakes and my joking mistakes, my mistakes (that I was unaware of) and of my intentional mistakes, and everything of that which I have done. O Allah, forgive me my past sins and later sins and what was private and what was public. You are my God, and there is no god except You."

Sunnah acts of prayer, Sitting Between the Two Prostrations:
It is sunnah to sit "spread out" between the two prostrations (to put the left foot down and to sit upon it and to keep the right foot upright with the toes pointing toward the qiblah). 'Aishah reported that the Prophet would lay out his left foot and keep his right foot upright. (Related by al-Bukhari and Muslim.) Ibn 'Umar reported that it is from the sunnah to keep the right foot upright, with its toes pointing toward the qiblah, and to sit upon the left foot. (Related by an-Nasa'i.) Reported Nafa', "When Ibn 'Umar prayed, he would face the qiblah, even his shoes." (Reported by al-Athram.) In the hadith of Abu Humaid, in which he described the prayer of the Prophet, he stated, "Then he would lay down his left foot and sit upon it until all of his bones were in place, and then he would go to make the prostration (again)." (Related by Ahmad, Abu Dawud, and at-Tirmidhi who classified it as sahih.)

It has also been related that ifa'a (laying out both feet and sitting upon one's heels) is a preferred act. Comments Abu 'Ubaidah, "This is the statement of the people of hadith." Abu az-Zubair related that he heard Tawus say, "We asked Ibn 'Abbas about ifa'a, and he said, 'It is sunnah to do so.' We said, 'We think it to be too harsh for the man.' He said, 'It is a sunnah of your Prophet, upon whom be peace." (Related by Muslim.)

Ibn 'Umar reported that when the Prophet rose from the first prostration, he would sit upon his toes. He used to say, "That is from the sunnah." Reported Tawus, "I saw the 'Abdullahs ('Abdullah ibn 'Abbas, 'Abdullah ibn 'Umar and 'Abdullah ibn az-Zubair) sitting with their feet laid flat." The last two reports were related by al-Baihaqi. Talking of its authenticity, Ibn Hajr says, "Its chain is sound."

Concerning iqa'a--sitting with the buttocks on the ground and with the thighs straight on the ground--it is disliked by all scholars. Said Abu Hurairah, "The Prophet prohibited us from three things: pecking like a rooster (making the prostration very quickly), sitting like a dog (iqa 'a), and not turning one's whole head like a fox." This is related by Ahmad, al-Baihaqi, at-Tabarani and Abu Tala with a hassan chain. It is preferred for the one who is sitting between the two prostrations to put his right hand on his right thigh and his left hand on his left thigh with the fingers stretched out and directed toward the qiblah. The fingers should be slightly separated and should not go beyond the knees.

Sunnah acts of prayer, Supplications Between the Two Prostrations:
It is preferred to make one of the following supplications between the two prostrations. One may repeat them more than once if one wishes to do so. An-Nasa'i and Ibn Majah recorded that Hudhaifah reported that between the two prostrations, the Prophet would say, "O Lord, forgive me." Abu Dawud recorded from Ibn 'Abbas that while prostrating, the Prophet, upon whom be peace, would say, "O Allah, forgive me, have mercy on me, grant me well-being, guide me and provide for me."

Sunnah acts of prayer, The Sitting of "Rest":
This refers to a quick sitting that one makes after the second prostration of the first and third rak'ah. The scholars differ over this regulation due to the differing hadith. Says Ibn al-Qayyim, "The jurists differ over this act. Is it a sunnah of the prayer that one should perform, or is it only done due to some necessity? There are two statements on this question and two narrations from Ahmad. Said al-Khallal, 'Ahmad referred to the hadith of Malik ibn al-Huwairith regarding the intermediate position of rest (between the two prostrations). He said, 'Yusuf ibn Musa informed me that Abu Umamah was asked about standing up (in the prayer) and he said, 'It should be done on the tops of the feet according to the hadith of Rafa'.' In the hadith of Ibn 'Ajlan there is no proof that he would stand on the tips of his feet. Many of the companions and others who described the prayers of the Prophet did not mention this sitting, except in what is related by Abu Humaid and Malik ibn al-Huwairith. If it was part of his guidance, he would always do it, and those who described his prayers would have mentioned it.

The fact that he may have done so does not necessarily make it one of the sunnahs of the prayer, unless he did it as a regular practice for the people to follow. Otherwise, he may have done it out of some need to do so, and this would not prove that it is a sunnah of the prayer.~"

Sunnah acts of prayer, Sitting for Tashahud:
One should sit for the tashahud and place his hands in the following manner:

1. Ibn 'Umar reported that when the Prophet sat for the tashahud, he would place his left hand on his left knee and his right hand upon his right knee, and he would form a ring like (fifty-three) and point with his index finger. In another narration it is reported, "He would close his hand and point with his index finger." (Related by Muslim.)

2. Wa'il ibn Hajr reported that the Prophet would place his left palm on his left thigh and knee. He would place the end of his right elbow upon his right thigh and would then close his right hand, forming a circle. In another narration it states, "He would make a circle with his middle finger and thumb and point with his index finger. Then he would raise his finger, and (Wa'il) saw him moving it to make supplications." (Related by Ahmad.) Explaining the hadith, al-Baihaqi says, "The implication of 'he would move it' is that he would point with it, not that he would continue to move it." This would be in agreement with the narration of Ibn az-Zubair who reported, "The Prophet would point with his finger while supplicating, and he would not move it." This is related by Abu Dawud with a sahih chain. An-Nawawi also mentioned it.

3. Reported az-Zubair, "When the Prophet sat for tashahud, he would place his right hand on his right thigh and his left hand on his left thigh. He would point with his middle finger, and would not look beyond his pointing." (Related by Ahmad, Muslim and anNasa'i.) This hadith shows that one is to place the right hand on the right thigh without closing the hand (making a fist), and that he is not to look beyond his pointing.

The preceding three hadith are all authentic, and one may act by any of them.

One should point with one's right index finger, bending it a little, until one says the salaams at the end of the prayer. Reported Numair al-Khaza'i, "I saw the Messenger of Allah sitting in the prayer with his forearm along his right thigh. His index finger was raised, curved (or bent) a little, and he was supplicating." This is related by Ahmad, Abu Dawud, an-Nasa'i, Ibn Majah and Ibn Khuzaimah with a good chain.

Said Anas ibn Malik, "The Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace, passed by Sa'd while he was making supplications (and using) two fingers. The Prophet said to him, 'Just one, Sa'd"' This is related by Ahmed, Abu Dawud, an-Nasa'i and al-Hakim.

Ibn 'Abbas was asked about a man who pointed with his finger while supplicating, and he said, "This is sincere devotion." Says Anas ibn Malik, "That is imploring." Mujahid maintains "Doing this hinders Satan." According to the Shai'iyyah, one points with the finger only once, when saying "except Allah" in the statement bearing witness. The Hanifiyyah raise the finger in the denial part of the statement (there is no god) and put it back down during the confirmation part (except Allah). The Malikiyyah move the finger to the left and right until they finish the prayer. The Hanbaliyyah point with the finger every time they mention Allah, as a reflection of the oneness of Allah, and they do not move it.

Sunnah acts of prayer, Sitting for the First and Second Tashahud:
When Abu Humaid described the prayer of the Prophet, upon whom be peace, he said, "When he sat after two rak'ah, he would sit upon his left leg and keep his right foot upright. When he sat for the last rak'ah, he would pull over his left foot and put his right foot upright (over the left foot) and sit upon his entire posterior." (Related by al-Bukhari.)

Most scholars say that the first tashahud is sunnah.

This is based on the hadith of 'Abdullah ibn Buhainah who reported that once the Prophet stood during the noon prayer when he should have sat ( for the first tashahud). When he finished the prayer, he made two prostrations. He made a takbir for each prostration (and it was) while he was sitting before he made the tasleem. He made those two prostrations because he had forgotten to sit (for the first tashahud). (Related by "the group.")

In Subul as-Salaam, it is stated that this hadith proves that one who forgets the first tashah ud must make the prostrations of forgetfulness. The Prophet is, however, reported to have said, "Pray as you have seen me pray." This would point to the first tashahud being obligatory, and one would have to do some act to make up for it. But, this also proves that it is not obligatory, for if one misses an act that is obligatory, the two prostrations of foregetfulness are not sufficient to make up for it. That is what Ibn Hajr says in Fath al-Bari.

Says Ibn Batal, "The proof is that the two prostrations due to forgetfulness cannot replace something that is obligatory. If one forgets the opening takbir, they will not replace it. In the case of the tashahud, it is a remembrance that is not said aloud and it is not obligatory." Some say otherwise, because the Prophet used to perform it and, as such, he let others follow him in performing it after he found out that they were leaving it intentionally. But there is some doubt about this argument. Those who say that it is obligatory include al-Laith Ibn Sa'd, Ishaq, ash-Shaf'i and the Hanafiyyah. At-Tabari argues that it is obligatory because originally only two rak'ah and the tashahud were obligatory. When they were made longer, the original obligations were not done away with. Therefore, it is still obligatory.

It is preferred to make the first tashahud quickly.

Reported Ibn Mas'ud, "When the Prophet sat after the first two rak'ah, it seemed as if he was (sitting) on hot stones." This is related by Ahmad, Abu Dawud, an-Nasa'i, at-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah. At-Tirmidhi grades it as hassan and says, 'Ubaidah (ibn 'Abdullah ibn Mas'ud) did not hear (hadith) from his father. He also says, "The scholars act according to this hadith. They prefer that one should not sit too long after the first two rak'ah, and that he should not add anything to the tashahud."

Says Ibn al-Qayyim, "It is not reported from the Prophet that he would say prayers upon himself or his family during the first tashahud. Nor would he seek refuge from the torment of the grave or the Hell-fire, or from the test of life, death and of the false Messiah. Those who say such supplications are deducing their arguments from the general application (of the supplications and the word tashahud), but the correct position is that their proper place is in the last tashahud.

Sunnah acts of prayer, Prayers upon the Prophet, Upon Whom Be Peace:
In the last tashahud, it is preferred for the person to say prayers upon the Prophet in one of the following manners:

1. Reported Mas'ud al-Badri, "Basheer ibn Sa'd said, 'O Messenger of Allah, we have been ordered to make prayers upon you. How are we to do it?' The Prophet was quiet and then said, 'Say, O Allah, shower blessings upon Muhammad and upon the family of Muhammad as you showered blessings upon the family of Abraham. And grant favors to Muhammad and to the family of Muhammad as you granted favors to the family of Abraham in this world. You are the Praiseworthy and Glorious.' And make the salutations as I have taught you." (Related by Muslim and Ahmad.)

2. Reported Ka'b ibn 'Ajazah, "We said, 'O Messenger of Allah, show us how we are to make salutations and prayers upon you.' He said, 'Say, O Allah, shower blessings upon Muhammad and upon the family of Muhammad as you have showered blessings upon the family of Abraham. You are the Praiseworthy, the Glorious. O Allah . grant favors to Muhammad and the family of Muhammad as you granted favors to the family of Abraham.''

The salutations upon the Prophet, upon whom be peace, is a preferred act and is not obligatory. This contention is based on a hadith recorded by at-Tirmidhi (who said it is sahih), Ahmad and Abu Dawud from Fidhalah ibn 'Ubaid who said, "The Messenger of Allah heard a man supplicating in his prayer and he did not make the prayers on the Prophet. The Prophet said, 'He has hastened.'

Then he called him and said, 'When one of you prays, begin with the praise and lauding of Allah. Then make prayers upon the Prophet, and supplicate whatever you wish of Allah." The author of al-Muntaqi says, "This is a proof for those who say that the prayers upon the Prophet are not obligatory, because he did not order the one who did not do it to repeat his prayer. This is supported by his statement to Ibn Mas'ud, after mentioning (only) the tashahud, 'Then choose whatever you wish to ask (of Allah)." In his comments on this hadith, ash-Shaukani observes, "In my opinion, there is no confirmed proof that it is obligatory."

Sunnah acts of prayer, Supplications After the Last Tashahud and Before the Tasleem:
It is preferred for the person to supplicate after the final tashahud and before making the final salutations (that end the prayer). The person may ask for whatever he wishes of the good of this life and the hereafter. Ibn Mas'ud reported that the Prophet, upon whom be peace, taught him the tashahud and then said, "Then choose whatever you wish to ask (of Allah)." (Related by Muslim.)

Supplications are preferred acts in general, regardless of whether they are reported from the Prophet or not, although supplications authenticated by the sunnah are better. Some of these are:

1. Abu Hurairah reported that the Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace, said, "When one of you finishes the final tashahud, he should say, 'O Allah, I seek refuge in You from the torment of the Hell-fire and the grave, from the trials of life and death, and from the trials of the false Messiah." (Related by Muslim.)

2. 'Aishah reported that the Messenger of Allah would supplicate in his prayer, "O Allah, I seek refuge in You from the torment of the grave, from the trials of the anti-Christ, and from the trials of life and death. Allah, I seek refuge in You from sin and debt." (Related by Muslim and al-Bukhari.)

3. 'Ali reported that when the Prophet prayed, the last thing he would say between the tashahud and the tasleem was, "O Allah, forgive my past and later sins, what was in private and what was in public, and what I have been extravagant in. You are more knowledgeable of it than I. You are the Promoter and the Retarder. There is no god except You." (Related by Muslim.)

4. 'Abdullah ibn 'Amr reported that Abu Bakr said to the Messenger of Allah, "Teach me a supplication that I may use in my prayers." He told him, "Say, O Allah, I have wronged my soul a great wrong and no one forgives sins except You, so forgive me with such forgiveness that only comes from You and have mercy on me. Verily, You are the Oft-Forgiving, the Oft-Mercful." (Related by al-Bukhari and Muslim.)

5. Handhalah ibn 'Ali said that Muhjan ibn al-Adra' related to him that the Prophet entered the mosque while a man was just about to finish his prayer. The latter made the tashahud and said, "O Allah, I am asking You, O Allah, the One, the Only, the Absolute, who begets nor is begotten, nor is anyone like Him, to forgive my sins, for You are the Forgiving, the Merciful." The Prophet then said three times, "He has been forgiven." (Related by Ahmad and Abu Dawud.)

6. Shaddad ibn Aus reported that during his prayer, the Prophet would say, "O Allah, I ask You to confirm me in the affairs, to keep me on the correct path, to make me thankful for your blessings and excellent in Your worship. O Allah, I ask You for a tranquil heart and truthful tongue. O Allah, I ask You for the good of what You know, and I seek refuge in You from the evil of which you are aware, and I ask Your forgiveness from what You know." (Related by an-Nasa'i.)

7. Said Abu Mijlaz, " 'Ammar ibn Yasar led us in the prayer and he made it very short. The people blamed him for that and he told them, 'Did I not complete my bowings and prostrations ... and did I not supplicate therein what the Prophet used to supplicate, saying, 'O Allah by Your knowledge of the unseen and Your power over the creation, let me live if You know that living is best for me, and let me die if You know that dying is better for me. I ask You (to forgive me) for fear of You in what is not seen and what is seen, to make my speech truthful while angry or pleased, and to have the same aim in poverty and riches. Grant me the pleasure of looking to Your face and of the longing to meet You. I seek refuge in You from a harmful loss and from the trials of a misguider. O Allah, embellish me with the beauty of faith, and make us of the guided of the guiders." This is related by Ahmad and an-Nasa'i with a good chain.

8. Abu Saleh related from one of the companions that the Prophet said to a man, "What do you say in your prayer?" He said, "I say the tashahud and then I say, 'O Allah, I ask of you Paradise and seek refuge in You from Hell-fire.' But I cannot murmer as good as you or Mu'adh (as eloquent as you are)." The Prophet said, "We ask concerning Paradise and the Hell-fire." (Related by Ahmad and Abu Dawud.)

9. Ibn Mas'ud reported that the Prophet taught him to say this supplication: "O Allah, bring our hearts together and make our relations good. Guide us to the paths of peace and bring us out of the darkness and into the light. Keep us away from lewdness, both hidden and open. O Allah, bless us in our hearing and our sight, in our hearts, our wives and our offspring. Turn unto us, for You are the Oft-Turning, the Oft-Merciful. Make us thankful for Your blessings and complete it upon us." (Related by Ahmad and Abu Dawud.)

10. Said Anas, "We were sitting with the Prophet and a man stood up and prayed. When he bowed and made the tashahud, he would supplicate, 'O Allah, I ask of You, for to You is the praise. There is no god except You, the Giver without question, the Creator of the heavens and the earth. O Sublime and Honorable One, O Living and Sustaining One, I ask of You.' The Prophet said to his companions, 'Do you know who he made his supplication with?' They said, 'Allah and His Messenger know best.' He said, 'By the One in whose hand is the soul of Muhammad, he supplicated Allah by His greatest name. If one supplicates by that name, it will be listened to. If he asks by it, it will be given." (Related by an-Nasa'i.)

11. 'Umair ibn Sa'd said, "Ibn Mas'ud used to teach us the tashahud of the prayer and then he would say, 'When one of you finishes the tashahud, he should say: O Allah, I ask you for all good, that which I am aware of and that which I am not. I seek refuge in You from all evil, that which I am aware of and that which I am not. O Allah, I ask you for the good that your devoted servants asked for. I seek refuge in You from all evil, that which I am aware of and that which I am not. O Allah, I ask you for the good that your devoted servants asked for. I seek refuge in You from the evil that your devoted servants sought refuge for. Our Lord, give us the good of this life and the good of the Hereafter.' He said, 'No prophet or righteous person supplicated for anything except that it is contained therein." (Related by Ibn Abu Shaibah and Sa'eed ibn Mansur.)

Sunnah acts of prayer, Words of Remembrance and Supplications After the Tasleem:
It is sunnah for the person to use a number of words of remembrance and supplications which have been related from the Prophet. The many reports include the following:

1. Reported Thauban, "When the Prophet would finish his prayer, he would seek Allah's forgiveness three times and then say, 'O Allah, You are the peace, and from You is peace. You are filled with good, O Sublime and Honorable One." This is related by "the group," except for al-Bukhari. Muslim has the addition, "Waleed said, 'I asked al-Auza'i, 'How did he seek Allah's forgiveness?' He said, 'By saying, 'I seek Allah's forgiveness, I seek Allah's forgiveness, I seek Allah's forgiveness."

2. One day the Prophet took Mu'adh ibn Jabal's hand and said to him, "O Mu'adh, I love you." Mu'adh responded, "May my father and mother be sacrificed for you, O Messenger of Allah, I love you." Then the Prophet said, "I advise you, O Mu'adh, say at the end of every prayer, 'O Allah, aid me in Your remembrance, Your thanks, and in perfecting Your worship." This is related by Ahmad, Abu Dawud, an-Nasa'i, Ibn Khuzaimah, Ibn Hibban and al-Hakim, who said it is sahih according to al-Bukhari's and Muslim's criterion. Abu Hurairah reported that the Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace, said, "Do you strive your utmost in making a supplication? Then say, 'O Allah, aid us in making Your remembrance, in giving You thanks and in perfecting Your worship."

3. Reported 'Abdullah ibn Zubair, "When the Prophet made the tasleem at the end of the prayer, he would say, 'There is no god but Allah the One. There is no partner with Him, to Him belongs the sovereignty and to Him is the praise. He has power over all things.

There is no might or power save with Allah. We do not worship any but Him. To Him belongs the fortune, the grace and the best praise. There is no god except Allah, and religion is sincerely for Him even if the disbelievers abhor it." (Related by Ahmad, al-Bukhari and Muslim. )

4. Al-Mughirah ibn Shu'bah reported that the Prophet would say at the end of every obligatory prayer, "There is no god except Allah, the One. There is no partner with Him. To Him is the dominion and the praise. He has power over all things. O Allah, none can withhold what You have conferred, nor can one confer what You have withheld. A fortune does not benefit its owner against You." (Related by Ahmad, al-Bukhari and Muslim.)

5. Abu Umamah reported that the Prophet said, "For whoever recites the verse of the throne al-Baqarah:244 at the end of every prayer, nothing will prevent him from entering Paradise except that (he must) die (first)." (Related by an-Nasa'i and at-Tabarani.)

'Ali reported that the Prophet, upon whom be peace, said, "Whoever recites the verse of the throne at the end (after) of every obligatory prayer will be in Allah's protection until the next prayer." This is related by at-Tabarani with a hassan chain.

6. Abu Hurairah related that the Prophet said, "Whoever glorifies Allah after every prayer thirty-three times, and praises Allah thirty-three times and extols Allah's greatness thirty-three times and then says, 'There is no god except Allah, the One. There is no partner with Him. His is the dominion and His is the praise, and He has power over all things,' is forgiven, even if his sins are as abundant as the foam of the sea." (Related by Ahmad, al-Bukhari, Muslim and Abu Dawud.)

7. Ka'b ibn 'Ajrah related that the Prophet said, "There are certain statements which, if one were to utter or observe them at the end of every obligatory prayer, one would not be dismayed. (They are) glorifying Allah thirty-three times, praising Allah thirty-three times and extolling His greatness thirty-four times." (Related by Muslim. )

8. Sumayy reported from Abu Saleh on the authority of Abu Hurairah that the poor emigrants went to the Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace, and said, "The wealthy have gotten the high ranks and everlasting bounties." The Prophet said, "Why is that?" They said, "They pray as we pray and they fast as we fast. (But) they give in charity and we do not give in charity. They free the slaves and we do not free the slaves." The Messenger of Allah told them, "Shall I teach you something by which you may overtake those who surpass you, by which you will surpass those who will come after you, and none will then be better than you except if he does what you do?" They said, "Certainly, O Messenger of Allah." He told them, "Glorify Allah thirty-three times, praise Him thirty three times, and extol His greatness thirty-four times." So I returned to Abu Saleh and told him what they had said. He took my hand and said, "Allahu akbar, subhaan Allah, al-hamdu lillah, Allahu akbar, subhaan Allah, al-hamdu lillah..." until all of them reached thirty-three." (Related by al-Bukhari and Muslim.)

9. The Prophet would say each of the following twenty-five times: Subhaan Allah, al-hamdu lillah, Allahu akbar and La ilaha illa Allah, wa ashadu anna la shareeka lahu. Lahu al-mulk wa lahu al-hamd wa huwa 'ala kulli shaian qadeer (There is no god except Allah, the One. He has no partner. His is the dominion, His is the praise, and He has power over all things.)

10. 'Abdullah ibn 'Amr reported that the Prophet, upon whom be peace, said, "There are two characteristics which, if one observes them, will cause him to enter Paradise. They are very easy actions, but very few perform them." The people said, "What are they, O Messenger of Allah?" He said, "To praise Allah, extol His greatness and glorify Him at the end of every obligatory prayer ten times each. When one goes to bed, he should glorify Allah, praise Him and extol His greatness one hundred times each. Those are, in total, only 250 actions of the tongue, yet they are equal to 2500 on the scale. Does any of you commit 2500 sins during one day and night?" They asked, "How come those easy actions are performed by so few?" He said, "Satan comes to one during his prayer and reminds him of such and such need, and he fails to say the (above). He comes to him in his bed and makes him sleep so that he can not say them." 'Abdullah said, "I have seen the Messenger of Allah counting them on his fingers.'' This is related by Abu Dawud and at-Tirmidhi, who called it hassan sahih.)

11. It is related from 'Ali that he and Fatimah were seeking a servant to make their work easier. The Prophet refused and said to her, "Shall I tell you of something better than what you have asked for?" They said, "Certainly." He said, "These are words that were taught to me by Gabriel, peace be upon him. Glorify Allah at the end of every prayer ten times, praise Him ten times and extol His greatness ten times. When you go to bed, glorify Allah thirty-three times, praise Him thirty-three times and extol His greatness thirty-four times." Said 'Ali, "By Allah, I never neglected to do what the Messenger of Allah taught us."

12. 'Abdurahman ibn Ghanim reported that the Messenger of Allah said, "Whoever says, 'There is no god but Allah, the One. There is no partner with Him. His is the dominon and His is the praise. In his hand is all the good. He gives life and death, and He has power over all things,' ten times after the sunrise and dawn prayer, before turning away and lifting his leg, will have written for him for each repetition ten good deeds, and will have erased for him ten evil deeds. He will also be raised ten degress, will be protected from every plot, and he will be protected from the outcast Satan. No sin will lead to his destruction except idolatry, and he will be the person with the best deeds, surpassed only by the one who does more and says more than what he has said." This is related by Ahmad and at-Tirmidhi, but without "In His hand is all the good."

13. Muslim ibn al-Harith reported that his father said, "The Messenger of Allah said to me, 'When you pray the morning prayer, before you talk to anyone say, 'O Allah, I seek your protection from the Hell-fire' seven times. If you should die on that day, Allah will record for you protection from the Hell-fire. When you pray the sunset prayer, say before you speak to anyone, 'O Allah, I ask Paradise of You. O Allah, I seek Your protection from the Hell-fire' seven times. If you die during that night, Allah will record for you protection from the Hell-fire." (Related by Ahmad and Abu Dawud.)

14. Al-Bukhari and at-Tirmidhi related that Sa'd ibn Abu Waqqas used to teach the following words to his children, "The Messenger of Allah would seek refuge at the end of every prayer (by saying), 'O Allah, I seek refuge in you from cowardice. I seek refuge in You from miserliness, I seek refuge in You from senility, and I seek refuge in You from the trials of this world, and I seek refuge in You from the torment of the grave."

15. Abu Hatim related that the Prophet would say, upon finishing his prayers, "O Allah, make my religion, which encompasses all of my affairs, good. O Allah, make this world of mine in which I live good. O Allah, I seek refuge in Your pleasure from Your anger. I seek refuge in Your pardoning from your vengeance. I seek refuge in You from You. None can withhold what You have conferred, no one can confer what You have withheld. No possesser of fortune can benefit from his fortune against you."

16. Abu Dawud and al-Hakim recorded that at the end of every prayer the Prophet would say, "O Allah, give me well-being in my body. O Allah, give me well-being in my hearing. O Allah, give me well-being in my seeing. O Allah, I seek refuge in You from disbelief and poverty. O Allah, I seek refuge in You from the torment of the grave. There is no god but You."

17. Ahmad, Abu Dawud and an-Nasa'i recorded, with a chain containing Dawud at-Tafawi who is a weak narrator, from Zaid ibn Arqam that the Prophet would say at the end of his prayers, "O Allah, our Lord, Lord of everything. I bear witness that You are the Lord, You are One, You have no partner. O Allah, Our Lord, Lord of everything. I bear witness that Muhammad is Your servant and Messenger. O Allah, our Lord, the Lord of everything. I bear witness that all of your worshippers are brethren. O Allah, our Lord, Lord of everything. Make me and my family sincere to you during every moment of this life and the Hereafter. O Sublime and Honorable One, listen and respond. Allah is the greatest of the greatest, the light of the heavens and the earth. Allah is the greatest of the greatest, Allah is sufficient for me and He is the most blessed guardian. Allah is the greatest of the greatest.''

18. Ahmad, Ibn Shaibah and Ibn Majah recorded, with a chain that contains an unknown narrator, from Umm Salamah, that the Prophet would say after the tasleem of the morning prayer, "O Allah, I ask of You beneficial knowledge, sufficient provisions, and acceptable deeds."

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