Will you give information about performing sunnah prayers at home?

Details of the Question

Will you give information about performing the sunnah of the morning prayer at home and go to the mosque to perform the fard prayer?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

Some customs that are mustahab related to worshipping have been forgotten or left in the course of time due to various reasons. Therefore, a person who tries to do one of those mustahab things is regarded as doing something wrong by other Muslims.  The issue of performing prayers especially the sunnah of the morning prayer at home is something like that.

There are hadiths encouraging nafilah, that is sunnah, prayers to be performed at home. The Prophet (pbuh) said, 

“Do not transform your houses into graves.”

In another hadith, the Prophet (pbuh) said,

“The most virtuous prayer (except fard prayers) that a person performs is the one that he performs at home.”(Muslim, Salatul-Musafirin: 212-213)

Thus, he states that it is more virtuous to pray nafilah prayers at home.

The custom of performing sunnah prayer at home and going to the mosque to perform the fard prayer is still practiced in some regions; however, it is not always possible for everybody; therefore, both sunnah and fard prayers are performed in the mosque today. If sunnah prayers are performed at home, a mustahab deed that is the custom of the Prophet (pbuh) is done and its thawab is gained. However, when both of them are performed at home, there is no drawback to it.

Besides, there are two wisdoms behind performing sunnah prayers at home. The first is that when a person always performs prayers in the mosque, he abandons performing prayers at home. For, the house of a Muslim is like his mosque. Therefore, he must not stop performing prayers at home; at least, he must sometimes perform nafilah prayers at home. However, we sometimes perform daily fard prayers at home because of business, because of living in a place away from the mosque or due to other obstacles; thus, our houses are not transformed into graves and the first wisdom is fulfilled.

The second wisdom can be mentioned as follows:

It is more appropriate to perform nafilah prayers or rawatib sunnahs of prayers at home in terms of sincerity. That is, a person does not commit hypocrisy when he does so. There cannot be hypocrisy in fard prayers; therefore, it is more virtuous to perform them in the mosque; furthermore, according to some scholars, it is wajib to perform fard prayers in congregation. However, nobody thinks of hypocrisy when they perform sunnah prayers in the mosque today; and they do not show off. Nevertheless, it is more virtuous to perform the sunnah prayers other than the ones performed before and after daily fard prayers like awwabin prayer and other nafilah prayers at home.

However, it is better to perform sunnah prayer at home and go to the mosque for the fard prayer if the people in the congregation do not accuse a person of not performing sunnah prayers. Nevertheless, if it is possible for the people to talk like that, it is better to perform both sunnah and fard prayers in the mosque. In that case, it is all right when some people in the mosque sit and others perform the sunnah prayer in the mosque.

Besides, there is no drawback to performing sunnah prayers in the mosque due to the reasons like houses being away from the mosque, performing the fard prayer after the sunnah prayer without being busy with worldly affairs and missing the congregation because of performing the sunnah at home, etc.

Questions on Islam

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