Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by DarulUloomTT.net

As Salaamu Alaikum,


Hazrat, the nafl you read at the end of Maghrib (after the 3 fardh and 2 sunnah), is this mentioned in Hadith? If so, can you provide the source? Also, the nafl in Isha Salah which, completes the entire 7 rakaats.

Neither of the above nafl are mentioned in the Hadith where the Prophet (SAW) makes a generic mention of the 12 rakaats which, will get you a house in Jannah. I know there are “specific” Ahadith pertaining to the Sunnahs in Fajr, Asr and Zuhur, but I can’t find anything that talk about the nafl in reference.


Wa Alaikum As Salaam,


Generally, it is encouraged for one to perform nafl (optional salah) after Magrib (that is, after the 3 fardh and 2 sunnah). A number of traditions speak about these, and it is evident from the actions of the Prophet (S.A.S) that at times, he will perform nafl salah after Magrib until Isha time entered. Regarding this, Hudhaifah (R.A) states, ‘I came to the Prophet (S.A.S) and performed Magrib salah with him. He then performed nafl salah until the time for  Isha salah’. (Nasai recorded it with a good sanad; At Targheeb wa At Tarheeb by Al Mundhiri).

In another tradition, Abu Hurairah (R.A) narrates that the Prophet (S.A.S) said, ‘Whoever performs six rakaats after Magrib Salah and does not speak of any bad thing between them, he will get the reward of twelve years of Ibadah (worship). (Recorded by Ibn Majah, Tirmidhi and Ibn Khuzaimah in his Saheeh). Regarding this, Al Mawardi said, ‘The Prophet (S.A.S) used to perform these Salah and say, ‘This is Salah Al Awwabeen’. Based on this, some scholars have mentioned that Salah Al Awwabeen refers to these six rakaats after Magrib Salah, and also  to the Salah Adh Dhuha as mentioned in other traditions.

On account of these traditions which speak about nafl Salah after Magrib, the four renowned Imams have considered it Mustahab for one to perform nafl Salah between Magrib and Isha Salah.

Allama Ash Shawkani has also mentioned in Nailul Awtar, ‘Ahadith on this topic indicate that one should increase the performance of nafl Salah between Magrib and Isha. Even though a number of the ahadith have weakness in them, yet, all combined together indicate towards virtuous actions which is acceptable. Al Iraqi says, ‘From among the Sahabahs who used to perform nafl Salah between Magrib and Isha are Abdullah bin Masood, Abdullah bin Umar, Salman Al Farsi, Ibn Malik and others. Those who used to perform these from among the Tabi’een are Aswad bin Yazeed, Uthman  An Nahdi, Ibn Abi Mulaikah, Saeed bin Jubair, Muhammad bin Munkadir, and many others including Sufyan Thawri.

From the above, it is evident that nafl Salah was performed by the Prophet (S.A.S) after Magrib Salah. As such, a person can perform 2,4,6 or even more of these nafl Salah in twos, since it is evident that the Prophet (S.A.S) used to sometimes engage in nafl Salah until the time for Isha.

With respect to nafl Salah in Isha or after Isha, this is also evident in ahadith. Regarding this, it is narrated from Aisha (R.A) that she said, ‘The messenger of Allah (S.A.S) did not ever perform Isha Salah and then came to me except that he performed four or six rakaats’. (Abu Dawood).

While explaining the above tradition, the great scholar, Allama Zafar Uthmani writes in his famous work,  Ila’us Sunan that two of  these four or six rakaats were Sunnah Al Mu’akadaah, and the other two or four were Mustahab rakaats (which are categorized as nafl salah). Aisha (RA) mentioned that these extra rakaats were performed at her home after he (the Prophet S.A.S) completed his Isha Salah at the Masjid. (Ila’us Sunan vol.7 pg 19 Idaratul QuranKarachi 1415 AH).

While commenting on the above hadith of Aisha (R.A) which has been recorded by Abu Dawood, the great scholar of Hadith, Shaikh Ahmad Khaleel (A.R) writes in his famous commentary of Sunan Abu Dawood, ‘From the four rakaats which the Prophet (S.A.S) performed after Isha (that is, after the four fardh of Isha), two were Sunnah Mu’akadah and two were Mustahab. In the case where he performed six rakaats (as mentioned in the tradition) after Isha, two were Sunnah Mu’akadah and four rakaats were nafl Salah’. (Bazlul Majhood – Sharh of Abu Dawood Vol. 5 page. 543 Dar Al Basha’ir Al Islamiyah Beriut 2006).

The same has also been mentioned by Mullah Ali Qari in his famous commentary of Mishkaat (Mirqat Al Mafateeh Vol.3 page.227 Faisal Publishers New Delhi).

From the above explanation, it is evident that the Prophet (S.A.S) performed nafl Salah after the Magrib, and Isha Salah. The Isha Salah which is mentioned in the tradition refer to the four fardh of Isha which does not include three witr Salah, as may be understood by some. It is so because the Prophet (S.A.S) used to perform the witr Salah after his tahajud in the last part of the night. Therefore, when Aisha (R.A) narrated that the Prophet (S.A.S) performed the Isha Salah and then performed four or six rakaats when he come to her house, it means that after the four fardh of Isha Salah in the masjid, he would come to her home and perform four or six rakaats of Salah.

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.