I have heard that the fards of daily prayers consisted of two rak'ahs and that it is sunnah to perform them as four rak'ahs. Will you give information regarding the issue?
Submitted by on Sat, 15/12/2018 - 10:10
Dear Brother / Sister,
Hz. Aisha narrates:
"Allah enjoined the prayer as two rak`ahs only. Then, He increased it to four for residents. Prayers for travelers remained the same as two rak’ahs." [Bukhari, Salah 1, Taqsirus-Salah 5, Manaqibul-Ansar 47; Muslim, Salatul-Musafirin 2, (685); Muwatta, Qasrus-Salah 8, (1, 146); Abu Dawud, Salah 270, (1198); Nasai, Salah 3, (1, 225).]
1. When prayer was rendered fard, all daily prayers were rendered fard as two rak'ahs. The evening prayer is stated to be an exception as three rak'ahs in a narration by Ahmad Ibn Hanbal.
In another narration included in Bukhari, it is stated that prayers were increased to four rak'ahs after the Migration. Hz. Aisha clarifies the issue as follows in a narration by Ibn Huzayma, Bayhaqi and Ibn Hibban:
"Prayers were rendered fard as two rak'ahs for both residents and travelers in Miraj (Ascension). When the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) settled in Madinah, two more rak’ahs were added to the prayers for residents. Only the morning prayer was left as two rak'ahs since qira’ah in it is long. The evening prayer was left as three rak'ahs as it was because it is the witr of daytime."
After the fard prayers were increased to four rak’ahs, the following verse was sent down:
"When ye travel through the earth, there is no blame on you if ye shorten your prayers, for fear the Unbelievers May attack you..." (an-Nisa, 4/101)
According to what Ibnul-Athir writes in Sharhul-Musnad, prayers were shortened for travelers in the fourth year of the Migration. However, it is also stated that the verse in question was sent down in the second year of the Migration.
2. Acting upon the hadith reported by Hz. Aisha above, Hanafis regard shortening prayers while travelling as azimah (strict rule), not rukhsah (permission). Those who oppose it and Shafiis regard shortening prayer (as two rak'ahs) as rukhsah for travelers acting upon the verse above.
(Prof. Dr. İbrahim Canan, Kütüb-i Sitte)
Questions on Islam
- Have prayers been performed as the same number rak’ahs since prayers were rendered fard? I heard that prayers were performed as two rak’ahs when prayers were first rendered fard.
- Prayers of a Traveler (Musafir)
- Why are fard prayers shortened but sunnah prayers not shortened while travelling (when a person is musafir)?
- Is there any objection for a musafir (traveler) to perform his/her prayers fully instead of shortening 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?
- The Witr prayer
- Why do we read salli-barik prayers in the first sitting of the first sunnah of the afternoon and night salahs? In case of forgetting to read them, do we have to make sajda as-sahw?
- When was prayer rendered fard?
- If we perform more rak'ahs than necessary in the fard of a salah, what must we do? Can we perform more rak'ahs than necessary in the fard of a salah intentionally?
- How to perform the night (isha) prayer (The First Sunnah)