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Can Duas to be made in Fardh or Nafl Salah (e.g in Ruku, Sajdah etc)? Is there any distinction between them?

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by DarulUloomTT.net

I have seen that you have said that Dua is not to be made in the fard salaah but only in the Nafl or Sunnah Salaah. When I mentioned it to my other teachers (who taught me duas that the Rasul recited in Ruku and Sajdah and between the two sajdahs etc) they asked me what daleel was used and I said i did not see any. They indicated that there is no distinction made between the fard and nafl salaah.Can you please provide me with the daleel that says that duas cannot be made in the fard salaah?

Assalaamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullah,

Duas and certain Adhkaar etc. which are mentioned in the narrations regarding Salah, can be read in the Fard, Sunnah and Nafl Salaah. This refers to such duas and dhikr that are commonly recited by all Muslims, and are mentioned in many books that teach about Salah. For example, to recite ‘Subhana Rabiyal Adheem’ in Ruku; to recite ‘Rabana Wa Lakal Hamd’ after coming from Ruku; to recite ‘Subhana Rabiyal A’la’ in Sujud; to recite ‘Allahummagh Firlee War hamni’ between the two Sujuud. All these are from the Adhkaar and Duas that are normally read by all Muslims and are well known.

With respect to reciting long duas in the ruku, after ruku, sujood or between the two sujuud, these have been narrated in traditions that describe the Tahajud/Qiyamul Lail Salah/Nafl Salah of the Prophet (S.A.W). As for the Fardh Salah, the Prophet (S.A.W) himself disliked lengthening this Salah in congregation.

Generally, when Muslim males perform the Fardh Salah, they may either be from among those who lead others in Salah or they are led in Salah.

If they lead others, then the guidance of the Prophet (S.A.W) in this regard is, ‘When one of you leads others in Salah, then let him be light/short in his Salah. For certainly, from among the Muqtadis, there are those who are weak, sick and old, and when one of you performs Salah for himself (and he is alone by himself), then let him lengthen his Salah as he wishes.’ (Sahih Al Bukhari).

The above narration has given general instructions of the Prophet (S.A.W) that one who leads others in Salah, which is the Fardh Salah, he must shorten his Salah.

This is also highlighted in the narration recorded by Abu Dawood in which it states that the Prophet (S.A.W) said ‘When one of you leads others in Salah, then lighten the Salah, for there are amongst them the weak, sick and old people.’ (Sunan Abu Dawood Hadith No.795)

The Hadith recorded by Imam Bukhari also mentions that the Prophet (S.A.W) used to become very angry when one lengthened the Salah for the people. In this regard, Abu Masood (R.A) stated that a man came to the Prophet (S.A.W) and said ‘By Allah, O Messenger of Allah! I delay from coming for Fajr Salah because of So and So, who lengthens the Salah with us.’ Abu Masood then said, ‘I have not seen the Prophet (S.A.W) more angry in admonishing a person than on that day.’ He then said, ‘Verily from among you there are those who drive people away. Whoever from you leads people in Salah, then let him lighten/shorten, for certainly, among them are the weak, old and those who are in need.’ (Sahih Al Bukhari)

These narrations have been mentioned to show that in the matter of the Fardh Salah, the instruction of the Prophet (S.A.W) was that it be short and light, and must not be lengthy and burdensome upon the congregation. Males, who are ordered to perform Salah in Congregation, will either be leaders in Salah, or they may be led by others. If they lead others in Salah, they are required to lighten their Salah and be short. And if they are led by others, they are required to move with the pace of the Imam and follow him.

With respect to the duas that are narrated in Ruku, Sujuud and between the Sujuud postures, there are many of these, which are also long. If one begins to recite these duas in the Fardh Salah, he will not be able to follow the instruction of the Prophet (S.A.W), in making the Fardh Salah light and short. If the Muqtadi (follower of the Imam) in the Fardh Salah engages in reciting such duas, then he will not be able to catch up with the Imam in the different postures, which will mean that he will not be following the Imam.

With respect to what must be recited in Ruku and Sujuud, as per the instruction of the Prophet (S.A.W), this is evident in many traditions. In this regard, Abdullah Ibn Masood (R.A) narrates that the Prophet (S.A.W) said, ‘When one of you performs Ruku and says in his Ruku ‘Subhana Rabbiyal Adheem’ three times, then he has completed his Ruku, and this is the minimum. When one of you performs Sajdah and says in his Sajdah ‘Subhana Rabbiyal ‘Ala’ three times, then he has completed his Sajdah, and this is the minimum.’ (Tirmidhi – Chapter of what comes about the Tasbeeh in Ruku and Sujuud)

It is also narrated that Huzaifa (R.A) said, ‘I performed Salah behind the Prophet (S.A.W), and he used to say in his Ruku ‘Subhana Rabbiyal Adheem’ and say in his Sajdah ‘Subhana Rabbiyal ‘Ala’.’ (Tirmidhi – who said it was Saheeh)

Based on these traditions, the Imams of Fiqh have stated that these are the Tasbeehaat that are to be recited in Ruku and Sujuud. Imam Malik and Shafi (A.R) have stated that one should add the word ‘Wa Bi Hamdihi’ with the above Tasbeehaat in Ruku and Sujuud.’ (Al Fiqh Al Islam Wa Adilatihi Vol.2, Pg. 890-923,929 Maktaba Rasheediya Queta Pakistan)

It is on account of these narrations and the fact that the Prophet (S.A.W) instructed the Iman to lighten his Salah, the Jurist experts have stated, ‘And if one is an Imam, he must not increase these Tasbeehaat (of Ruku and Sujuud) in a manner that causes the followers to become tired.’ (Al Hidaya Vol. 1, Pg.110 Maktaba Shirka Ilmiya Multan)

The Fuqaha have also stated that one can increase to seven times in the Tasbeehaat, since the Prophet (S.A.W) said that ‘three times’ was the minimum amount. In this regard, the great Scholars of Fiqh have written ‘ it is Mustahab (Commendable) that one increases upon ‘three times’ in the Tasbeehaat of Ruku and Sajdah,  but must complete it in an odd number, since the Prophet (S.A.W) himself used to complete it in odd numbers. However, if one is the Imam, he should not increase it in a manner that makes it difficult for his followers. (Al Hidaya Vol. 1, Pg.110 Maktaba Shirka Ilmiya Multan, Pakistan.)

With respect to the different duas that were recited by the Prophet (S.A.W) in Ruku and Sujuud and are mentioned in the ahadith, it is to be noted that these duas are mentioned about the Tahajjud/Qiyam Al Lail Salah of the Prophet (S.A.W).  In fact, Imam Muslim has mentioned a chapter in his Sahih which reads, ‘The Chapter of the Salah of the Prophet (S.A.W) and his Dua at Night.’ In this, he narrated the tradition which states that in the Tahajjud Salah, the Ruku and Sujuud of the Prophet (S.A.W) used to be very long as the Qiyam’.

Imam Ahmad has also narrated a tradition which states, ‘Huzaifa Ibn Al Yaman (R.A) said, ‘I stood together with the Prophet (S.A.W) one night and he recited the Seven long Surahs in Seven Rakaats. When he raised his head from Ruku, he said, ‘Sami Allahu Liman Hamida’ and then said, ‘Alhamdulillahi Dhil Malakoot Wal Jabaroot wal Kibriya Wal Adhmah.’ His Ruku used to be as long as his Qiyam (standing), and his Sujuud used to be as long as his Ruku. He ended his Salah, and I felt as if my feet were broken apart.’ (Ahmad).

In another tradition of Abu Dawood, Nasaii and Tirmidhi in his Shamaa’il, when narrating the night pray (Tahajjud) of the Prophet (S.A.W), Huzaifa (R.A) said, ‘He (the Prophet (S.A.W)) used to sit between the two Sujuud for the duration that he will make a Sajdah and recite, ‘Rabbigh Fir Lee, Rabbigh Fir Lee.’

In another tradition, it is mentioned that Aisha (R.A) said, ‘One night, I missed the Prophet (S.A.W), and I searched for him (with my hand, because it was dark). My hand then touched the bottom of his feet (while he was in Sajdah) in the Masjid. At that time, he was saying, ‘Allahuma Inni A’ouzu Bi Ridhaka Min Sakhatika Wa Bi Mu’afatica Min Uqoobatika. Wa A’ouzu Bika Minka. Laa uhsi Thana’a Alaika Anta Kama Athnaita ala nafisika.’ (Muslim)

Therefore, with respect to reciting duas in Ruku and Sujuud and between the two Sajdahs, these should not be read in the Fardh Salah as they will cause these postures to be lengthened (which will make Salah long). From the traditions mentioned before, it is clearly evident that the Prophet (S.A.W) instructed the one who leads Salah to make it light/short, and not to cause difficulties upon the followers, since there are those who are weak, old and sick among them. It was also seen that the Prophet (S.A.W) became extremely angry with a companion when he heard that he used to lengthen his Fardh Salah while leading the people.

To recite only the Tasbeehaat in Ruku and Sujood was also the practice of the Salaf As Saliheen (Pious Predecessors). While mentioning about the practice of the great Tabi’ee Scholars who were Imams Of Fiqh and Hadith, Allama Shami writes, ‘it is narrated in Al Hilya from Abdullah Bin Mubarak (R.A), Ishaaq Bin Rahway (R.A), Ibraheem Bin Yazeed An Nakhi (R.A) and Sufyan Ath Thawri (R.A) that it is Mustahab for the Imam to say the Tasbeeh (of Ruku and Sujuud) five times so that those behind him (of the followers) will have sufficient time to recite it three times.’ (Raddul Muhtar Ala Ad Durr Al Muktar (Shami) Vol.1, Pg. 495, H.M Saeed Company, Karachi, Pakistan 1406 A.H)

In the famous compendium of Fatawa, Khulasatul Fatawa written by the great Sixth Century Jurist and Imam, Tahir Bin Abdur Rasheed Al Bukhari (died 542 A.H), it is stated, ‘If one increases upon three times (saying the Tasbeeh of Ruku and Sujood), then this is better (more virtuous), when he completes it in odd numbers, five, seven or nine times. However, if he is an Imam, he must not lengthen it. Sufyan Thawri (R.A) said, ‘it is proper that the Imam recites it five times so that the followers will be able to say it three times (properly).’ (Khulasatul Fatawa Vol.1, Pg.54 Maktaba Rasheediya Queta Pakistan).

While discussing this Mas’ala, the great Allama, Khalid Saifullah Rahmani wrote, ‘It is understood that when the Prophet (S.A.W) used to be the Imam, then his general practice was to recite the tasbeeh three times. About this, Abu Bakr (R.A) narrates that the Prophet (S.A.W) used to recite the Tasbeeh of Ruku three times, and the Tasbeeh of Sajdah three times.’ (Majma Az Zawaid).

‘However, in Tahajjud Salah the amount of Tasbeehaat used to be more, because the Ruku and Sajdah of the Prophet (S.A.W) (in this Salah – Tahajjud) used to be very long. The duration of his Ruku and Sujuud used to be almost the duration of his standing.’ (Kitabul Fatawa Vol.2, Pg.177, Zam Zam Publishers, Karachi, Pakistan 2007),

From the explainations given above, it is clearly seen that there is a difference between the length of the Ruku and Sajdah of the Fardh Salah and that of the Sunnah and Nafl Salah. The ahadith, statements of the Salaf As Saliheen (Pious Predecessors) and the Fatawa of the early Jurists of Islam show that the Tasbeehaat (three, five or seven) is what is required for the Fardh Salah, and it is also evident that in the Tahajjud (Sunnah and Nafl) Salah, extra duas and Adhkaar used to be recited.

And Allah Knows Best.

Mufti Waseem Khan.


This answer was collected from DarulUloomTT.net, which is operated under the supervision of Mufti Waseem Khan from Darul Uloom Trinidad and Tobago.

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