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The Length of Recitation in Tahajjud Prayer and Reading Sura Yasin at Graves

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Seekersguidance.org

Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas

Question: 1. It is my regular habit to wake up about an hour before Fajr and pray Tahajjud then pray witr then go pray Fajr at the masjid. I like to pray the first 2 rakas with short suras and then each of the next 6 with long suras before praying witr. Sometimes though sleep overtakes me and I don’t wake up with enough time to pray tahajjud and witr the way I like to pray them. If this happens is it better for me to pray as many rakas as I can before Fajr comes in with short suras or should I pray fewer rakas with longer suras and then go to pray Fajr?

2. Is it better to recite or read sura Ya Sin at someone’s grave.

Answer: assalamu `alaykum

1. According to a number of scholars, lengthening one’s recitation in prayer is superior to praying numerous shorter cycles of prayer. This is the position of both the Hanafi and Shafi`i schools. [Mawsili, Ikhtiyar; Haskafi, Durr al-Mukhtar; Nawawi, Sharh Sahih Muslim]

This is based on the narration of the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace), “The best prayer is one with the longest standing.” [Muslim] This is because within prayer the Qur’an is recited during the standing (qiyam), and the Qur’an is the best form of remembrance (dhikr).

Here it should be noted that though this was the position chosen by numerous scholars, perhaps the most important aspect of prayer is presence of heart and connecting with one’s Lord. As such, if one finds more presence, concentration, and serenity in the performance of prayer with shorter recitation than longer ones then this would perhaps be more optimal for that individual.

2. It is recommended to read or recite Ya Sin at the grave of the deceased with the intention of donating the reward for them. This is the position held by the vast majority of Sunni scholars. [Ibn `Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]


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