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I would like to know are there 17 rakahs for the Isha prayer? Can they be performed in any order or one has to perform them in a set order?

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As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.  (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)

 

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Brother I would like to know are there 17 rakahs for the Isha prayer? Can they be performed in any order or one has to perform them in a set order?


How did the Prophet (SAW) perform the Isha prayers?

I have came to learn that you perform them in the order: 4sunna-mukkayda, 4fard, 2sunna-mukkayda,


2nafl. 3witr and 2nafl is this the correct order and rakahs? 

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Answer:

 

17 Rakah Isha Prayers

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.

 

Firstly, please allow us to clarify the difference between Fard, Sunnah and Nafl prayers.

 

Fard prayers: These are the five obligatory prayers at their appointed times of the day. If one prays them, he will earn a huge reward from Allah Subhanah; and if one does not pray them, it will be considered a grave sin.

 

Nafl prayers: These are the voluntary prayers. If one prays them, he will earn a huge reward from Allah Subhanah; and if one does not pray them, there is no sin.

 

Sunnah prayers: These are the Nafl or voluntary prayers which were prayed by the Messenger of Allah (saws), and thus they become his (saws) Sunnah for us. If one prays them, he will earn a huge reward from Allah Subhanah; and if one does not pray them, there is no sin. The most that can be said of one who does not pray the Sunnah prayers is that he lost a great opportunity to earn huge rewards from Allah Subhanah.

 


Your Question: Brother I would like to know are there 17 rakahs for the Isha prayer?

The Isha or obligatory night prayer does not consist of 17 rakahs, but the Lord Most Gracious has Commanded and made obligatory on the believers only the four rakahs of Isha prayers.

 

It was the practice of the Messenger of Allah (saws) that he would offer an additional two rakah voluntary prayers after the obligatory four rakah of Isha prayers, thus it would be preferred and considered Sunnah for the believers to offer an additional two-rakah prayer after their Isha prayers, if they wish to do so.

 

There is absolutely no limit to the number of rakahs one may pray as nafl or superrogatory prayers in Islam. If one wishes not to pray any number of nafl prayers for any reason, there is absolutely no sin upon him; and if one wishes to offer the nafl prayers, he will earn extra rewards from the Merciful Lord.

 

Thus we reiterate again that the obligatory Isha prayers consists of only four-rakahs; and if one wishes to follow the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (saws) one may offer an additional two rakah voluntary prayer after their obligatory Isha prayers. If one wishes to further offer prayers, one may pray any number of supererogatory (nafl) prayers as one may wish, or is easy for them.

 

Your Question: Can they be performed in any order or one has to perform them in a set order?

Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 4 Surah Nisaa verse 103:

Indeed the Salaat is a prescribed duty that should be performed by the believers at (their) appointed times.

 

It is an obligatory duty upon the believers to offer their obligatory prayers at their fixed and appointed times.

 

There is absolutely no harm if one wishes to offer any number of nafl or supererogatory prayers before and after their obligatory four-rakah Isha prayers. The Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (saws) was that he (saws) would almost always offer a two-rakah voluntary prayer after the completion of his four-rakah obligatory Isha prayer, and the believers who wish to follow his (saws) Sunnah should strive to do the same.

 

Your Question: How did the Prophet (SAW) perform the Isha prayers?

Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith 2.275B Narrated by Ibn Umar

I remember ten Rakah of voluntary prayers from the Prophet (saws): two Rakah before the Zuhr prayer and two after it; two rakah after Maghrib prayer in his house; two rakah after 'Isha' prayer in his house, and two rakat before the Fajr prayer and at that time nobody would enter the house of the Prophet. Hafsa told me that the Prophet (saws) used to offer two Rakah (Sunnah of Fajr) after the caller to prayer had made the Adhaan and the day had dawned.

 

The general tradition and practice of the Messenger of Allah (saws) was that he (saws) would lead the believers in congregation for the four-rakah obligatory Isha prayers in his Mosque, and then pray a two-rakah voluntary prayer when he reached home.

 

Then if he (saws) wished he would offer extra supererogatory prayers, and if he wished, he would abstain. Then he (saws) would sleep and rest, and wake up in the last third part of the night and offer his tahajjud or night prayers and end it with the witr prayer; and that would complete the night prayers of the Prophet (saws).

 

Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith 2.105 Narrated by Ibn Umar

Once a person asked Allah's Messenger (saws) about the night (tahajjud) prayer. Allah's Messenger (saws) replied, "The night (tahajjud) prayer is offered as two Rakah, followed by two Rakah, and so on; and if anyone is afraid of the approaching dawn (Fajr prayer) he should pray one Rakah, and this will be a Witr for all the Rakahs which he has prayed before."

Your Statement: I have came to learn that you perform them in the order: 4sunna-mukkayda, 4fard, 2sunna-mukkayda, 2nafl. 3witr and 2nafl is this the correct order and rakahs? 

 

Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 33 Surah Ahzab verse 21:

There is indeed the best example for you to follow in the Messenger of Allah, for every such person looks forward to Allah and the Last Day, and remembers Allah much.

 

The Messenger of Allah (saws) would offer the four-rakah obligatory Isha prayer in congregation in his mosque, and pray a two-rakah voluntary prayer after it when he (saws) reached home; and that would complete his prayers during the Isha hours. If the Prophet (saws) wished he would offer more supererogatory (nafl) prayers after it, and if he willed, he would abstain. Then he (saws) would go to sleep and wake up in the last third of the night to offer his tahajjud or late night prayers and end it with the witr prayer.

 

If one wishes to follow the Sunnah of the Prophet (saws) he may do as the Prophet (saws) did; for indeed in him (saws) is the best example to follow for every such person who looks forward to Allah and the Last Day and Remembers Allah much. And if one wishes to follow what one has heard or learnt from any other source other than the Messenger of Allah (saws), then his accounting is with Allah Subhanah.

 

If one trusts, obeys, and follows the guidance and commands of Allah and His Messenger (saws), one can be assured of never ever being misled; but if one believes, obeys and follows any other guidance, other than that of Allah and His Messenger (saws), one can be assured of being led astray.

 

Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allahs Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me alone. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.

Your brother and well wisher in Islam,

 

 

Burhan

 


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