Salat al Duha

“Its time is from the rising of the sun about a spear-length from the horizon until it passes its zenith, but the preferred time is that one begins it after one quarter of the day has passed, while the Malikis prefer its delay for the same span of time as passes between the beginning of `asr and sunset.”

However, on the Day of `Eid it the preferred time for Salat al-Duha is the earliest time:

3. Fiqh al-`Ibadat `ala al-Madhhab al-Shafi`i: Kitab al-Salat: Al-Salawat al-Masnuna:

Salat al-`Eid does not dispense from Salat al-Duha but the latter remains sunna whether before of after Salat al-`Eid; however, it is preferable to pray it before Salat al-`Eid, so as to avoid the difference of opinion of the Ulema.”

4. One of the most complete collections of hadiths on Salat al-Duha is in Nayl al-Awtar (2:73-74): Kitab al-Salat: Salat al-Tatawwu`: Salat al-Duha:

- The Prophet (saws) said: “Whoever prays the dawn prayer in congregation then waits patiently until he offers the Duha prayer, there shall be for him the reward of a pilgrim for both the major and minor pilgrimages, complete and not missing anything.” Narrated from `Utba ibn `Abd by al-Tabarani and confirmed by a similar narration from Abu Umama in Sunan Abi Dawud. I first heard this hadith from Mawlana al-Shaykh Husayn al-Kurdi, in the Maqam of his Shaykh, Mawlana al-Shaykh `Abd Allah al-Daghistani- Allah sanctify their secrets and bless our Shaykh Mawlana al-Shaykh Nazim al-Haqqani.

- The Prophet (saws) also said: “Whoever prays the Fajr prayer then sits in his place of prayer remembering Allah until sunrise, then prays two rak`ats of Duha, Allah shall make him forbidden to the Fire, nor shall it touch him nor consume him.” Narrated from al-Hasan ibn `Ali by al-Bayhaqi.

- The Prophet (saws) also said: “Your Lord said: ‘O son of Adam, pray for Me four rak`ats at the beginning of the day and I shall take care of your needs the rest of it.’” Narrated from Nu`aym ibn Hammar by Abu Dawud, Ahmad, and al-Darimi; and from Abu Dharr or Abu al-Darda’ by al-Tirmidhi (hasan gharib). Al-`Iraqi said: “The beginning of the day is the dawn and so is the time of sunrise, the latter being the apparent meaning of this narration, those four rak`ats being Salat al-Duha.” In Tarh al-Tathrib, which contains probably the most thorough discussion on the topic (3:60-72).

- The Prophet (saws) said: “Whoever gets up when the sun is before his eyes, performs a thorough ablution then stands and prays two rak`ats, his sins are forgiven as when his mother gave birth to him.” Narrated by Abu Ya`la as cited by Shaykh `Abd Allah Siraj al-Din in the chapter on Salat al-Duha of his book al-Salat fi al-Islam (p. 129).

5. Al-`Iraqi in Tarh al-Tathrib (3:61) said: “The time of Duha is the beginning of the day”. Al-Nawawi in al-Rawda narrated from al-Shafi`i’s companions that the time of Duha enters upon sunrise together with the desirability of waiting for it to elevate a little. This shows that it is permissible not to wait for the sun to rise a spear-length before praying, although it is preferable. However, al-Rafi`i, Ibn al-Rif`a, and other of the Shafi`i authorities asserted that Duha enters only from the time the sun is elevated [from the horizon] and `Itr in I`lam al-Anam (p. 629) adduces the hadith of Zayd ibn Arqam to assert that the preferred time is midmorning while the permitted time is when the sun is one or two spear-lengths above the horizon.

6. The name Awwabin applies more specifically to it when it is prayed at its midmorning time i.e. before Zuhr by one or two hours:

(a) the hadith of the Prophet (saws):  “Salat al-Awwabin is when the young camels’ hoofs burn from the heat” (hina tarmadu al-fisaal). Sahih Muslim from Zayd ibn Arqam with two chains. The occasion for this hadith was Zayd’s reminder to those he had seen pray it early, that it was preferable to wait until later for greater merit.

(b) the Prophet (saws) also said: “None is assiduous in keeping Salat al-Duha except one who is oft-repentent (awwab), and it is the prayer of the oft-repentent (wa hiya Salat al-Awwabin).” Narrated from Abu Hurayra by Ibn Khuzayma in his Sahih, al-Hakim who graded it sahih as per Muslim’s criterion, al-Tabarani in al-Awsat, al-Bukhari in his Tarikh, and Ibn Marduyah.

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