Muhammad Ibn AbdulWahhab رحمه الله began his book Al Qawaa’id Al-Arba’a with the following Du’aa’ and Sheikh Salih Al Fawzan explained it. From it, we can deduce the description of the student of knowledge:
“I ask Allah, the Most Generous, Lord of the great Throne to take care of (protect) you in this world and the hereafter. And (I ask Allah) to make you blessed wherever you are. And (I ask Allah) to make you of those who are grateful when provided, patient when tested, and of those who repent when they fall into a sin, for these three issues are the core of happiness.”
The most important thing a person should focus on when studying ‘Aqeedah is Belief in Allah. If you spend your entire life studying the names, attributes, and actions of Allah, and die upon it, it will be sufficient for you to enter Paradise. Because the purpose behind our existence in life is to know Allah, and when we know Him, to accordingly worship Him.
Sheikh AbdulRazaq Al Badr advised the Students of Knowledge saying:
Imaam Ahmad رحمه الله stated:
“(There) is nothing equal to knowledge, for the one who makes his intention correct (i.e. sincere).”
[Aadaab Ash-Sharee’ah’ 2/45, by Ibn Muflih رحمه الله]
Acquiring knowledge, like any other action, requires a good intention; it requires sincerity. And just like any other action – it may be directed to the wrong gate by the person having different intentions like seeking knowledge for the sake of fame or just for the sake of associating with people.
These intentions corrupt seeking knowledge, which is a very noble act with Allah.
Seeking Knowledge will not be in the cause of Allah (في سبيل الله) except if the intention is purely for Allah.
The Importance of Learning about Allah (Tawheed)
1) The entire Religion of Islam is based on Tawheed.
The entire Religion of Islam is based on Tawheed; A person will not be considered a مؤمن (Believer) without لا اله الا الله.
2) A person will not be kept firm in his grave without it.
We will be asked three questions in our grave. The person will not be kept firm in answering these questions unless he knows who Allah is, who the Prophet ﷺ is, and what his religion is.
- Separating the Obligatory Prayer from the Voluntary:
Mu‘aawiyah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: When you have prayed Jumu‘ah, do not follow it immediately with another prayer until you speak or leave (the masjid), because the Messenger of Allah ﷺ instructed us to do that, not to follow one prayer immediately with another until we spoke or left (the masjid).
An-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said in his commentary on Saheeh Muslim:
This offers proof for the view of our companions – i.e., the Shaafa‘i fuqaha’ – that in the case of naafil prayer, both those that are offered regularly (Sunnah prayers) and others, it is mustahabb to move from where one offered the obligatory prayer to another spot, and the best is to move to one’s home; otherwise one may move to another spot in the masjid or elsewhere, so as to increase the number of places in which one prostrates, and so as to separate the naafil prayer from the obligatory one.
The words “until we spoke” indicate that separating the prayers may also be done by speaking, but doing it by moving is preferable because of what we have mentioned. And Allah knows best.
Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him) said in al-Fataawa al-Kubra (2/359):
The Sunnah is to separate obligatory and naafil prayers, in the case of Jumu‘ah and otherwise, as it is proven in as-Saheeh that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) told people not to follow one prayer immediately with another until they separated them by moving or speaking.
So one should not do what many people do, when they follow the salaam immediately with two rak‘ahs of Sunnah prayer, because this is going against the prohibition of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him).
The wisdom behind that is to distinguish between that which is obligatory and that which is not obligatory, and also to differentiate between that which is worship and that which is not worship.
Hence it is mustahabb to hasten to break the fast, delay the sahoor and to eat before the prayer on the day of Eid al-Fitr. It is also disallowed to anticipate Ramadaan by fasting one or two days before it.
All of that is in order to separate between what is enjoined of fasting and what is not enjoined, and to separate between the acts of worship and other acts. It is also to distinguish between Jumu‘ah, which Allah has made obligatory, and other prayers.
Ibn Baz mentioned that this can be done by making Istighfar, remembering Allah, or changing his position.
The Prophet prayed the afternoon prayer and right afterward a man stood up to pray. ‘Umar saw him and told him: “Sit, the People of the Book were destroyed because they did not differentiate between their prayers.” The Prophet said: “Well said, Ibn al-Khattab [i.e., ‘Umar].”
[Ahmed; Authenticated by Al-Albani #2549]
- Raising the hands for making Du’aa’ after offering the voluntary prayer:
Ibn Baz said that there is no harm in raising your hands while making Du’aa’ occasionally, but this should not be all the time such that it becomes a Sunnah. It has not been quoted that the Prophet ﷺ raised his hands after the prayer, nor the companions after him.
Ibn ‘Uthaymeen said there are some in the Masjid, whom when the imam calls to the obligatory prayer whilst they are praying voluntary prayer, they raise their hands and wipe their faces when they finish, even without making Du’aa, then join the obligatory prayer. This is Bid’ah.
- It is permissible for the voluntary prayer to be offered whilst sitting/riding even if the person is able to stand, but the person will only receive half of the reward:
The obligatory prayers have to be offered standing, as it is one of the pillars of the prayer. As for the voluntary, the Prophet ﷺ used to offer Witr while riding his camel and the Sunnah of Fajr even.
Narrated Sa`id bin Yasar: “I was going to Mecca in the company of `Abdullah bin `Umar and when I apprehended the approaching dawn, I dismounted and offered the witr prayer and then joined him. `Abdullah bin `Umar said, “Where have you been?” I replied, “I apprehended the approaching dawn so I dismounted and prayed the witr prayer.” `Abdullah said, “Isn’t it sufficient for you to follow the good example of Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ)?” I replied, “Yes, by Allah.” He said, “Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) used to pray witr on the back of the camel (while on a journey).””
- Offering the Voluntary Prayer in Congregation:
Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
Voluntary prayers done in congregation are of two types, one of which it is Sunnah to do in congregation, such as the eclipse prayer, prayers for rain, and qiyaam during Ramadaan (Taraweeh). These are always done in congregation as it is the Sunnah.
The second type are not done in congregation, such as qiyaam al-layl, the regular Sunnah prayers, Duha prayer, tahiyyat al-masjid (greeting the masjid) and so on. But if they are done in congregation occasionally, that is permissible. As for doing them in congregation on an ongoing basis, that is not prescribed, rather it is a reprehensible innovation.
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and the Sahabaah and Taabi’een were not accustomed to offering naafil prayers in congregation. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) only rarely offered voluntary prayers in congregation. He used to pray qiyaam al-layl on his own, but when Ibn ‘Abbaas stayed overnight with him, he prayed with him.
On another occasion, Hudhayfah prayed with him, and on another occasion Ibn Mas’ood prayed with him. Similarly he prayed at the house of ‘Utbaan ibn Maalik al-Ansaari, in a place that he (‘Utbaan) took as a prayer place for himself, so he prayed with him, and he also led Anas and his mother and the orphan in prayer. However, in general, his voluntary prayers were offered alone.
Majmoo’ al-Fataawa (23/414).
There is nothing wrong in offering some naafil prayers in congregation, but this should not be a regular habit such that every regular Sunnah prayer is offered in congregation, because that is not prescribed.
- Translation of the lecture “Ramadan is an opportunity of a lifetime” by Dr. Nawal al-‘Eid
- Saheeh at-Targheeb by al-Albaani
- Riyadus-Saliheen by Daar-us-Salaam
Read the article: “Ramadan is the opportunity of a life time” (part 1)
Third: Establishing the night with Qiyaam (Voluntary Prayers)
The Prophet (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “Whoever establishes the night of Ramadan with voluntary prayer (i.e. Taraweeh or Qiyaam) with sincere faith and Ihtisaab [i.e. hoping for the reward from Allaah (Ta’ala)], all his past sins will be forgiven.” [Al-Bukhaari]
Sincere faith means to believe in the promise of Allaah’s granting reward for establishing the night with prayers sincerely for His Sake only.
Ihtisaab is to hope for the reward from only Allaah (Ta’ala) and no one else. It is to hope for the forgiveness of past sins, to hope for attaining Allaah’s love for following the Sunnah of the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), to hope for entering Paradise in peace, and so forth.
Abu Dhar al-Ghifaari (Radia-Allaahu ‘anhu) narrated that the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “Whoever establishes the night prayer with the Imaam till he (the Imaam) finishes, it will be written for him the reward of establishing the whole night [with prayer].” [At-Tirmidhi and authenticated by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jamie’ no. 2417]
Allaah (Ta’ala) praises those who establish the night with prayers in Surat as-Sajdah (32:16) and witnesses for them the complete and perfect faith:
“Their sides forsake their beds, they supplicate their Lord in fear and aspiration, and from what We have provided them, they spend.”
They forego sleep and the desire for resting on a comfortable bed in fear of Allaah’s punishment and in hope of His reward and mercy.
“No person knows what is kept hidden for them of joy as a reward for what they used to do.” [32:17]
Allaah (Ta’ala) will grant them the everlasting joy and delight in Paradise, a fitting reward which suits their deeds. Because they concealed their good deeds, Allaah conceals the reward for them which no eyes have seen and what has never crossed the mind of any man.
The following Ahadeeth indicate the virtue of establishing the nights with Qiyaam: Read the rest of this entry