How to pray tahajjud?
Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,
As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)
One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:
1. Can u please mail me how to perform Tahajjud Namaaz i.e I read in Divine path that we should offer 12 Rakaat (in 6 sets) in the first Rakaat we should recite Surah Al-Fatiha then we should recite Sura Al-Ikhlaas for 12 times, in second Rakaat we should reciete Surah Al-Fatiha once and then Surah Al- Ikhlaas 11 times. Like that we should decrease for every Rakaat.
2. I was taught by my elders that in Tahajjud Namaaz we should offer 12 Rakaat ( in 6 sets) in each Rakaat we should recite Sura Al-Fatiha and Sura Ikhlaas once and then for Second Rakaat we should Recite Surah Al-Fatiha and Sura Al-Falaq or Sura An-Nas. Like that wise do we should complete our namaaz by reciting Sura Al-Falaq and Sura An-Naas?
So now I got confused can you please explain it to me how to offer Tahajjud Namaaz in a correct way. If u can help me I will be thankful to u.
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In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol, no person, no grave, no prophet, no imam, no dai, nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.
Abu Hurairah reports that the Messenger of Allah (saws) said: "Our Lord descends to the lowest heaven during the last third of the night, inquiring: 'Who will call on Me so that I may respond to him? Who is asking something of Me so I may give it to him? Who is asking for My forgiveness so I may forgive him?"'
Related by Bukhari and Muslim.
Salman al-Farsi relates that the Prophet (saws) said: "Observe the night prayer, it was the practice of the rightous before you and it brings you closer to your Lord and it is penance for evil deeds and erases the sins and repells disease from the body."
Al-Bukhari and Muslim who relate that al-Qasim ibn Muhammad said that he heard 'Aishah say: "The Messenger of Allah's (saws) prayer during the night would be ten rak'at and then he would make witr with one rak'ah."
Samurah ibn Jundub says: "The Messenger of Allah ordered us to pray during the night, a little or a lot, and to make the last of the prayer the witr prayer."
Related by at-Tabarani and al-Bazzar.
Fiqh-us-Sunnah Fiqh 2.13
Nature and number of rak'at for witr
It is permissible to perform the witr by praying two rak'at [and concluding them] and then praying one rak'ah with one tashahud and taslim. Likewise, it is allowed to pray all the rak'at with two tashahuds and one taslim. One may pray a number of rak'at, one after another, without making any tashahud, save in the one before the last rak'ah in which case one makes the tashahud and then stands to perform the last rak'ah wherein one will make another tashahud and end the prayer with the taslim. One may also make only one tashahud and the taslim, in the last rak'ah of witr. All of that is permissible and can be traced to the Prophet (saws).
The number of rakah for Tahajjud have not been fixed. There is an authentic narration that the Messenger of Allah (saws) used to pray 11 rakahs including witr, and there is also another narration that states that he (saws) prayed 13 rakahs including witr.
The Messenger of Allah (saws) used to pray the Tahajjud in the last third part of the night, and he would perform it in a two rakah combination and advised the believers to do the same. There is no minimum set, thus the minimum if one wishes to pray the superogatory night prayers would be two rakahs. And there is no maximum set, thus one can pray any number of rakahs in a two rakah combination and end it with the witr prayers. The Tahajjud or night prayers are voluntary and the more one prays, the more reward he/she will earn from Allah Subhanah.
The Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (saws) while praying Tahajjud was to recite the Surah Al-Fatihah and some verses of another Surah in each Rakah of his tahajjud prayers. To the best of our knowledge, there is no mention in any authentic hadith regarding repeating one Surah for a n number of times in each rakah of his tahajjud prayers, thus the believers, who sincerely wish to follow the Sunnah of the Prophet (saws), must abstain from doing so.
One may pray as many two-rakah combinations as is easy for them in their tahajjud or late night prayers, praying Surah Al-Fateha and some other verses of the Quran in each rakah; and conclude the tahajjud prayer with the performance of a one-rakah prayer of witr.
Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allahs Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.
Your Brother in Islam,