Answered by: Alimah Fatima Begum
It was my intention to pray certain rakaats of Nafl after my prayers are granted. Alhamdulillah, they are.
Hence I want to fulfill the intention of performing nafals. Can I offer them breaking them in 4 rakats with one salam?
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
There are two kinds of a vow (Nadhr):
- Conditional vow, for example, one says: “If I recover from my illness, it will be obligatory upon me to do a certain worship for the pleasure of Allah.” When this condition is found that act of worship will become obligatory.
- Absolute or unconditional vow; in this case, one says without any conditions: “I make a vow for the pleasure of Allah to offer two rakaats, Salah.” As soon as he makes this vow, it becomes obligatory to perform it.
There is one opinion of Imam Abu Hanifa that a vow whether it is conditional or unconditional it becomes obligatory to fulfill. (Mukhtasar Quduuri p.204)
The vow which was made must be fulfilled. In regards to giving the salam after two or four rakahs, the following points need to be observed:
It is advised to pray four rakaats of voluntary prayer in the daytime with only one salaam. Meaning, after reading four rakaats, one should separate it with one salaam. To offer more with only a single pair of salaams at the end is disliked.
With regards to the voluntary prayer in the night, then to read more than eight rakaats with one salaam is disliked.
The best practice in the day and night with respect to voluntary prayer is to perform them in fours with one salaam according to Imam Abu Hanifa (RA). (Nurul Idah p.94 and Raddul Muhtar p.455 v.2)
It is mentioned in a hadith that the Prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alahi Wasalam was diligent in performing Salatul Duha as four rakaats and diligent in performing four at nighttime. (Sahih Muslim)
However, Imam Abu Yusuf (RA) and Imam Muhammed (RA) say that the best practice in the day is four and in the night is two. Some have said that the fatwa is upon this view. (Raddul Muhtar p.455 v.2)
The Prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alahi Wasalam has said, “The night prayer is offered as two rakaats followed by two rakaats.” (Sahih Bukhari p.155 v.1)
With regards to your question, the aforementioned view of Imam Abu Yusuf (RA) and Imam Muhammad (RA)- [highlighted in bold] is based upon which is preferable i.e. it is more virtuous to read Nafl prayers during the night in pairs. You can pray in either fours or two’s, but if you pray during the day, fours are more virtuous and if you pray during the night, twos are more virtuous.
Only Allah knows best.
Written by Alimah Fatima Begum
Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham