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RE: can one intend to pray salat adh-dhuha or tahajjud and salat at-tawbah together

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Qibla.com

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Can one intend to pray 2-rak’a nafl with multiple intentions (i.e. Salat at-Tawbah and adh-Dhuha all in one 2-rak’a prayer), or must each salah have their own separate niyyah (i.e. intention for salat at-tahajjud and not salat at-tawbah must be present before commencing salat at-tahajjud)?

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said,

“Actions are by their intentions, and each person shall only have what they intended.”

[Bukhari & Muslim]

Walaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

Multiple intentions are valid for voluntary prayers; they have greater reward then a single intention, but less reward than performing each prayer separately.

Imam Abu Sa`id al-Khadimi quotes one of the commentators on the Tariqa al-Muhammadiyya of Imam Barkawi as saying,

“The benefit and reward of actions is multiplied through multiple intentions. An example of this is when one performs ritual ablution (wudu’) with the intention of performing prayer, reciting the Qur’an, maintaining one’s ritual ablution, and also a prostration of recital that is due on him.”

Then Imam Khadimi commented,

“The detail of this is as follows:

If the multiple intentions are in means [wasa’il; f: those actions, such as ritual ablution, which are not sought in themselves but, rather, as a way to fulfil actions considered ‘ends’], then they are always permitted. An example of this is someone who performs a ritual bath (ghusl) on Friday intending to lift major ritual impurity as well as to fulfil the sunna of the Friday ritual bath (ghusl)—they will have the reward of [both intending to lift the ritual impurity and] the sunna of the Friday ritual bath.

If the multiple intentions are in ends [maqasid; f: those actions outwardly sought in of themselves in the Shariah], then:

If it is between two supererogatory (nafl) actions—such as the sunna of Fajr and the mosque-greeting prayer (tahiyyat al-masjid)—then it is valid.

If it is between two obligatory actions, or between an obligatory act and a supererogatory act (nafl or sunna), then there is detail regarding this….” [Khadimi, al-Bariqa 2.113]

The detail is basically that one cannot lift two specific duties (such as the obligatory Zuhr prayer and the post-Zuhr sunna) by combining intentions. However, one can combine intentions between a specific duty and a general recommendation (such as joining between the intention of the obligatory Maghrib prayer, and to also intend the sunnas of wudu, greeting the mosque, istikhara, repentance prayer, and thankfulness prayer).

Intention, Validity & Sincerity: Important Points

And Allah alone gives success.


Faraz Rabbani


This answer was indexed from Qibla.com, which used to have a repository of Islamic Q&A answered by various scholars. The website is no longer in existence. It has now been transformed into a learning portal with paid Islamic course offering under the brand of Kiflayn.

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