How is intention made for sunnah prayers?
Since the Prophet (pbuh) did not say, "I intend to perform sunnah prayer", how should we make intention for sunnah prayers?
Submitted by on Tue, 13/03/2018 - 11:13
Dear Brother / Sister,
The Prophet (pbuh) did not use the term “sunnah” when he performed prayers. However, we can say we intend to perform sunnah prayer while applying his sunnah.
Niyyah (intention) is one of the pre-requisites of prayer; it means to want to perform a prayer for Allah’s sake and to know what prayer to perform. Niyyah is fard in order to separate worshipping from customary deeds and to worship sincerely. This makes it necessary to worship only for Allah. The following is stated in a verse:
"And they have been commanded no more than this: To worship Allah, offering Him sincere devotion." (al-Bayyina, 98/5)
"Deeds depend upon the intentions." (Bukhari, Badul-Wahy, 1)
The hadith above is another evidence.
Intention belongs to the heart. However, it is better to say the intention by the tongue too. This is mustahab. For, the tongue helps the heart here like saying, “I intend to perform the fard of the noon prayer today.” It is necessary to mention the type of the prayer in the niyyah of a fard prayer, or a wajib prayer like witr, sajdah at-tilawah, vow and eid prayers.
It is necessary to determine both the time and the day for qada prayers like saying, "I intend to perform the first or last missed (qada) prayer". For instance, intention can be made as follows: "I intend to perform the fard of Friday prayer or eid prayer." It is not enough to make a general niyyah like "fard prayer". Niyyah is made as follows: for nafilah prayers: "I intend to perform the first or last sunnah of this time." However, a general niyyah is valid in nafilah prayers. It is not necessary to say sunnah muakkadah or ghayr muakkadah, or to mention the number of rak’ahs. However, it is more appropriate in terms of caution make niyyah as follows: for tarawih prayer: "I intend to perform tarawih prayer or the sunnah of this time."
Questions on Islam
- If a person cannot wake up for the morning prayer (fajr), if he, say, gets up at 9 o’clock, how can he perform the morning prayer?
- Is determining the time for prayers when uttering intention (niyyah) essential while praying with jamaah (in congregation) or singly?
- Is it permissible not to perform the sunnah prayers? We are sometimes very tired. They say the Prophet (pbuh) sometimes abandoned the sunnahs of the afternoon and night prayers. Is it true? How often did he abandon them?
- Why do we need to read Subhanaka supplication when we stand up for the third rak’ah after the first sitting when we perform the sunnah prayers of the afternoon (asr) and night (isha) prayers?
- What is the decree about missed (qada) prayers? When and how are they performed? How should one say niyyah (intention) for them?
- Can qada (missed) prayers be performed instead of sunnah prayers? It is said that the sunnah prayers of a person are not accepted if he has qada prayers to perform.
- How Many Pillars (Essential Parts) are there in a Prayer?
- What is the time to make intention for fasting according to Shafii madhhab? Is it fard to make intention?
- How to make niyyah (intention) for performing missed fasting?
- Is it permissible to unite the intention (niyyah) for a supererogatory prayer and a missed prayer? That is, is it permissible to make intention for both a missed prayer and a supererogatory prayer while starting a prayer?