It is stated in verse 78 of the chapter of al-Isra that the morning prayer carries testimony (is witnessed). Are the other prayers not witnessed?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

The verse in question is as follows:

“Establish regular prayers - at the sun´s decline till the darkness of the night, and the morning prayer and reading: for the prayer and reading in the morning carry their testimony.” (al-Isra, 17/78)

According to the majority of scholars, the morning prayer has a feature that the other prayers do not have: both the night and day angels are ready and they witness that prayer together.

There are two angels that record our deeds in the other prayers and at other times. During the morning prayer, the handover of the night and day angels takes place; so, there are four angels at that time. Therefore, the morning prayer is witnessed.

After this handover following the salutation of the imam, the night angels ascend to the sky and say, “O Lord! We left Your slaves while they were worshipping/praying.” The day angels, who start their duty say, “O Lord! We found Your slaves worshipping/praying when we relieved guard.” Thereupon, Allah says to His angels, “Witness that I have forgiven My slaves.” (see Razi, Ibn Kathir, the interpretation of the verse in question)

According to what Tirmidhi narrates from Abu Hurayra –stating that it is sahih (sound) - , when the Prophet (pbuh) explained which prayer “the witnessed prayer” mentioned in the verse was, he said, “It is the morning prayer because both night and day angels come together and witness it.” (see Tirmidhi, Tafsir, 18/Tafsiru Suratil-Isra)

Bukhari also narrated a hadith with similar meaning. (see Bukhari, Tafsir,10)

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