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    An important point to remember, when one decides to engage in nawâfil prayers or other forms of worship is that one should only begin that which he or she can reasonably handle. It is not part of Islâm to put excessive burden on oneself and in fact, this can lead to despair when one is not able to fulfill all that one has intended to do. Thus, it is more important to be sincere and consistent on a given amount of worship, even if it is small, and then increase it slowly if one feels the strength to do more. On more than one occasion, the Prophet ( ) spoke disapprovingly of people who began offering some form of nafl prayers regularly and then later on gave it up.

    Furthermore, it is related from Hadrat ‘Â’ishah (Allâh be pleased with her) that:

    “The most beloved actions to Allâh are the most consistent, even if they are small.” [M-1242, agreed upon]

    Hadrat Abu Hurairah (Allâh be pleased with him) relates that the Prophet ( ) said: “The practicing of the religion is easy and nobody indulges in extremes in matters of faith except that it will overwhelm him; So be moderate, and practice in proportion to your capacity, and have good cheer and seek Allâh’s help [through extra prayers] in the morning, evening and part of the night.” [RS-145, from Bukhari] In another version: “Be moderate, practice according to your capacity and [offer extra prayers] sometimes during the day, evening and part of the night. The middle course! The middle course! And you will reach [your goal].”

    Also, as mentioned earlier, one should make sure that he or she is practicing upon the compulsory and emphasized sunnah prayers before engaging overmuch in superogatory worship. When one does not fulfill the rights of Allâh which are due to Him through the obligatory prayers, then there is no benefit in nafl. And Allâh knows best.

    In conclusion, we have summarized in this article the various types of prayers which are established from the life and practice of the Prophet ( ). Several of these prayers are to be performed in special ways which we have not included here but can be found in any reliable Islamic textbook.

    Any good and benefit in this work is from Allâh through His Mercy and any errors are a result of our shortcomings and the evil of the shaytân. And the last of our prayers is that, “All praise is for Allâh, the Lord of the Worlds.”



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Last modified 08/12/05 09:25 AM - Iqra - ISSN #1062-2756