Is the following Hadith authentic?
Sayyiduna Abu Hurayrah (radiyallahu ‘anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (sallalahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:
“Whoever offers six rakats after Maghrib Salah, without evil talk in between, a reward equivalent to twelve years of worship is given to him”
Imams Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah (rahimahumallah) have recorded this narration. However Imam Tirmidhi has indicated towards the extreme weakness of this Hadith and has quoted Imam Bukhari (rahimahullah) who has discredited one of it’s narrators.
(Sunan Tirmidhi, Hadith: 435 and Sunan Ibn Majah, Hadith: 1167)
Although the above Hadith has been classified as very weak, it will not render the practice of Salah after Maghrib as incorrect, as the verses of the Quran and other narrations clearly support it. It is only the authenticity of this specific Hadith, with this specific virtue that has been dismissed.
1) Allah Ta’ala says:
‘They hardly rest at night’
(Surah:51 verse: 17)
‘Indeed the worship at night is difficult and speech is most correctly spoken then’
(Surah: 73 verse: 6)
‘They separate from their beds, to worship their Allah’
(Surah: 32 verse: 16)
Sayyiduna Anas (radiyallahu ‘anhu) and others have interpreted these verses to be in reference to the (nafl) Salah between Maghrib and ‘Esha and those who offer it.
(Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah, Hadith: 5981)
Hafiz ‘Iraqi (rahimahullah) has classified one of the chains as good (jayyid)
(Naylul Awtar vol. 3 pg. 58)
2) Sayyiduna ‘Ammar ibn Yaasir’s (radiyallahu ‘anhuma) son, Muhammad says:
‘I saw my father performing six rak’ats after Maghrib, and he said: “I saw my Beloved (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) offering these six rak’ats and he (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said:
‘Whoever performs six rak’ats after Maghrib, will get all his sins forgiven, even if they equal the foam of the ocean’
(Tabarani; Majma’uz Zawaid, vol. 2 pg. 230, Ibn Mandah;Kanzul ‘Ummal , Hadith: 19454)
3) Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah Ibn ‘Umar (radiyallahu ‘anhu) reports that Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:
‘Whoever offers six rak’ats after Maghrib before speaking to anyone, his sins of fifty years will be forgiven.’
(Mukhtasar Qiyamul Layl, pg.73)
Although the above narrations are also weak, they support and lend strength to each other.
‘The verses of the Quran and the Hadiths quoted in this chapter all point out to the validity of this Salah’
He also says:
‘These narrations do acquire collective strength, and are definitely acceptable for purpose of establishing the virtue of this and other deeds’. He then Quotes ‘Allamah ‘Iraqi (rahimahullah) who has cited approximately fifteen eminent Sahabah and Tabi’un, whose routine was to offer optional prayers between Maghrib and Esha.
(Refer: Naylul Awtar vol. 3 pg. 59/60. Also see Targhib, vol. 1 pg. 404/405 for similar supporting narrations)
The name for this Salah
1. Imam Muhammad ibn Al Munkadir (rahimahullah) –a Tabi’i- reports that Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:
‘Whoever offers Salah between Maghrib and ‘Isha is actually performing the ‘Salatul Awwabin’ (The salah of those who frequently turn to Allah Ta’ala)
(Mukhtasar Qiyamul Layl pg.73)
2. Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah Ibn ‘Amr ibnul ‘Aas (radiyallahu ‘anhuma) says:
‘Salatul Awwabin is the salah between Maghrib and ‘Esha’
(Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah, Hadith: 5973 and Mukhtasar Qiyamul Layl, pg.73)
3. Abu Hazim (rahimahullah) –another Tabi’i- is also reported to have labelled this salah as: ‘Salaatul Awwabin’
Note: Other Hadiths have also termed the Salatud Duha (mid-morning prayer) as ‘Salatul Awwabin’. ‘Allamah Shawkani (rahimahullah) says this is not a case of contradiction, rather an example of this term being shared by both.
(Naylul Awtar, vol. 3 pg. 59)
In conclusion, The offering of optional prayers between Maghrib and ‘Isha is supported through Verses of the Holy Quran and other narrations, although the authenticity of those narrations which specifically mention a virtue is questionable.
Update [4/2/17]: Also see Hukmul ‘amal bil Hadithid Da’if of Shaykh ‘Awwamah, pg.105-106.
And Allah Ta’ala Knows best
Answered by: Moulana Suhail Motala
Approved by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar
Checked by: Moulana Haroon Abasoomar