Actions and Sunan in the Morning


Every morning signifies the beginning of a new day that offers the Muslim another opportunity to continue forging forward, closer to his Creator. Allah has filled the dawn of each day with boundless blessings for the believers. The Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) prayed and asked Allah to bless the morning of the Ummah as narrated in the hadeeth below.

عَنْ صَخْرٍ الْغَامِدِيِّ رَضِيَ الله عَنْهُ قَالَ: قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: “اللَّهُمَّ بَارِكْ لِأُمَّتِي فِي بُكُورِهَا”. وكان إذا بعث سريَّة أو جيشا بعثهم أول النهار. (أبو داوود)

It is narrated by Sakhr al-Ghaamidi that the Prophet said: “O Allah, bless the early mornings for my Ummah.” When he sent out a detachment or an army, he sent them at the beginning of the day. (Sunan Aboo Daawood).

The blessing of the morning does not only relate to worldly matters. It is the fertile soil of the hereafter for the believer who wishes to sow the seeds of good deeds and reap great rewards in the afterlife. The Qur’aan mentions that the believers should remember Allah abundantly in all conditions, however specific mention is made of the morning and the evening as times of dhikr. The following aayaat are particularly relevant in this regard.

( وَسَبِّحْ بِحَمْدِ رَبِّكَ قَبْلَ طُلُوعِ الشَّمْسِ وَقَبْلَ الْغُرُوبِ) (سورة طه أية ١٣٠)

’’And exalt (Allah) by praising of your Lord before the rising of the sun and before its setting…’’  (Soorat Taa Haa : 130)

On awakening, the Muslim should recite the relevant dhikr in imitation of the Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him). These would include the following: The remembrances for awakening; the remembrances for entering and leaving the toilet; the remembrances
before, during, and after performing wudoo’ and all other relevant adhkaar.
When arising from sleep, the believer should wash his hands first and it is recommended that he uses the toothbrush to clean his mouth. He / She should then complete the wudoo’ in preparation for the Morning Prayer.
Alter the call to prayer, the Muslims should perform two-rak’ah voluntary prayer, which is strongly recommended by the Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him). There are many ahaadeeth supporting the importance of these prayer. The Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) was very concerned with performing the two rak’aat prayer before Fajr.

عن عائشة رضي الله عنها عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قال ” ركعتا الفجر خير من الدنيا وما فيها”. رواه مسلم

‘Aa’ishah narrated that the Prophet said: «The two rak’aat of Fajr are better than this world and all it contains.»  (Muslim)

The above statement of the Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) is sufficient in illustrating the importance of the two raka’aat before the compulsory Fajr prayer. The significance of these two rak’aat is further supported by the fact that the Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) and his Companions would pray it after the compulsory prayer of Fajr if they have missed it The Muslim should thus consistently pray these two rak’aat in accordance with the injunctions of the Sunnah of the Prophet.

These two rak’aat should preferably be short as the Messenger of Allah Mohammad (peace be upon him) always prayed two very short rak’aat before Fajr. Aaishah narrated that the Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) used to pray two very short rak’aat before Fajr. She said that these rak‘aat were so short that she thought that he only recited al-Faatihah in them. In fact, the Messenger of Allah recited Soorat al- Faatihah and two short soorahs along with it. The following hadeeth serves as evidence for it.

عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ رضي الله عنه : أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ[ قَرَأَ فِي رَكْعَتَيْ الْفَجْر: {قُلْ يَا أَيُّهَا الْكَافِرُونَ} و{قُلْ هُوَ اللَّهُ أَحَد}. (إبن ماجه)

It is reported by Aboo Hurayrah that the Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him). used to recite ‘Soorat al-Kaafiroon and Soorat al-Ikhlas’, in the two rak’aat before Fajr.  (Ibn Maajah )

The most important act of the morning activities is the two compulsory rak’aat of Fajr. The following hadeeth illustrates the merit of the Fajr prayer as a means of entering into Allah’s protection. The hadeeth is also a warning to those who intend to harm a Muslim who performs the Fajr prayer.

عن أنس ابن سيرين قال: سمعت جندب بن عبدالله يقول قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: «من صلى الصبح فهو في ذمة الله»

It is narrated by Jundub ibn Abdullah that the Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) said, “He who performs Fajr is under the protection of Allah.”

After praying the two compulsory raka‘aat of Fajr, the Prophet Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) used to sit down in the same place where he prayed and did not move from there until sunrise. After the sun has risen the height of two lances, the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) used to pray the Duhaa prayer.

عَنْ أَبِي ذَرٍّ رضي الله عنه: عَنْ النَّبِيّ صلى الله عليه وسلم أَنَّهُ قَالَ: «يُصْبِحُ عَلَى كُلِّ سُلَامَى مِنْ أَحَدِكُمْ صَدَقَةٌ، فَكُلُّ تَسْبِيحَةٍ صَدَقَةٌ، وَكُلُّ تَحْمِيدَةٍ صَدَقَةٌ، وَكُلُّ تَهْلِيلَةٍ صَدَقَةٌ، وَكُلُّ تَكْبِيرَةٍ صَدَقَةٌ، وَأَمْرٌ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ صَدَقَةٌ ، وَنَهْيٌ عَنْ الْمُنْكَرِ صَدَقَةٌ، وَيُجْزِئُ مِنْ ذَلِكَ رَكْعَتَانِ يَرْكَعُهُمَا مِنْ الضُّحَى». (مسلم)

Aboo Dharr t reported the Prophet r as saying, “In the morning charity is due from every bone in the body of every one of you. Every tasbeehah (saying Subhaanallaah) is an act of charity. Every tahmeedah (saying Al-Hamdu lillaah) is an act of charity. Every tahleel (saying Laa ilaaha illallaah) is an act of charity, every takbeer (saying Allaahu Akbar) is an act of charity, enjoining good is an act of charity, forbidding evil is an act of charity, and two raka‘aat which one prays in the forenoon serve instead of all that.”  (Muslim)

عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ رضي الله عنه قَالَ : (أَوْصَانِي خَلِيلِي بِثَلَاثٍ لا أَدَعُهُنَّ حَتَّى أَمُوتَ : صَوْمِ ثَلاثَةِ أَيَّامٍ مِنْ كُلِّ شَهْرٍ ، وَصَلاةِ الضُّحَى ، وَنَوْمٍ عَلَى وِتْرٍ). (البخاري)

Aboo Hurayah t said, “My friend (the Prophet) advised me to do three things and I shall not leave them till I die, these are: To fast three days every month, to offer the Duhaa prayer, and to offer Witr before sleeping.”


Actions and Sunan in the Afternoon


(فَسُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ حِينَ تُمْسُونَ وَحِينَ تُصْبِحُونَ (17) وَلَهُ الْحَمْدُ فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَعَشِيًّا وَحِينَ تُظْهِرُونَ) (سورة الروم اية ١٧ و١٨)

So exalted is Allah when you reach the evening and when you reach the morning. And to Him is (due all praise throughout the heavens and the earth. And [exalted is He] at night and when you are at noon’’  (Soorat al-Room : 17 – 18)

A true believer glorifies Allah at all times and under all conditions. The above aayah mentions different times of the day, which are represented by the five daily prayers. The times of the five obligatory prayers are landmarks in the day of the believer. They serve to guide the believer to plan his or her daily activities. The time for each of the prayers has its own particular actions.

The time of the noon and afternoon prayers are mentioned in many other aayaat of the Qur’aan and ahaadeeth.

عن عبد الله بن عمرو رضي الله عنه أن رسول الله – صلى الله عليه وسلم – قال :  وقت الظهر إذا زالت الشمس وكان ظل الرجل كطوله ما لم يحضر العصر ووقت العصر ما لم تصفر الشمس…)   (مسلم)

Abdullaah ibn Amr narrated that the Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) said: “The time of Dhuhr (noon) prayer Is when the sun passes its meridian and a man’s shadow is the same length as his height. It lasts until the time of the ‘Asr (afternoon) prayer. The time of the ‘Asr prayer remains as long as the sun has not turned yellow.”  (Muslim)

The time of the noon prayer (Dhuhr), therefore is from the time the sun reaches its zenith until the length of a person’s shadow is equal to his/her height. The ‘Asr prayer sets in at the end of Dhuhr time, and lasts until the sun appears yellowish. It is prohibited to pray while the sun is at its zenith; therefore the time of Dhuhr sets in after the sun has declined. It is also not allowed to perform any prayer after ‘Asr while the sun is setting.

عن موسى بن علي عن أبيه قال سمعت عقبة بن عامر الجهني يقول (ثلاث ساعات كان رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ينهانا أن نصلي فيهن أو أن نقبر فيهن موتانا حين تطلع الشمس بازغة حتى ترتفع وحين يقوم قائم الظهيرة حتى تميل الشمس وحين تضيف الشمس للغروب حتى تغرب) مسلم

‘Uqbah ibn ‘Aamir narrated: “There are three times at which Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) used to prohibit us to pray and bury our dead – at sunrise until the sun has completely risen, when the sun is at its apex at noon until it declines, and when the sun starts setting until it has completely set.”  (Muslim)

This hadeeth mentions the three times during the day when it is prohibited to pray, at sunrise, noon and sunset. It also mentions that it is prohibited to bury the dead during these times, however the hadeeth prohibits the funeral prayers during these times and not the funeral itself. It is therefore permitted to observe funerals during these times. In complying with the above restrictions, the afternoon prayers, whether compulsory or voluntary, commence when the Dhuhr prayer sets in and ends promptly after the ‘Asr prayer.

The Dhuhr prayer is preceded by four rak‘aat of voluntary prayer, which is performed between the adhaan and the iqaamah. It is extremely important to perform these prayers regularly, even though they are not compulsory, because the Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) never discarded them. `Aa’ishah said: “The Prophet (peace be upon him) never left praying four rak’aat before Dhuhr and two rak’aat before Fajr under any condition.’’ (Al-Bukhaari) These types of prayers are known as sunan mu’akkadah or emphasized voluntary prayers.

It is related that during those four rak‘aat the Prophet (peace be upon him) would remain for long in the qiyaam position and perform the rukoo‘ and sujood perfectly. There are many ahaadeeth supporting the lengthening these sunnah prayers. In one such narration, some people asked Aboo Ayyoob al-Ansaari why he has lengthened the sunan raka‘aat before Dhuhr. He replied that he saw the Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) doing the same. He further said that when he inquired from the Prophet about this, the Messenger of Allah replied that at that time, the doors of heaven are open and he wanted his good deeds to be raised to heaven during that time.

It is preferred to pray the four raka‘aat before or after Dhuhr in two sets consisting of two raka’aat each, although it is permissible to make them together with only one tasleem at the end of the four raka‘aat, as the Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) said: “The prayers of the night and day are in twos.’’ (Aboo Dawood) Although Muslim men are required to perform the compulsory Salah in congregation in the masjid, it is recommended that they pray some of the sunnah prayers at home. Aa’ishah said that the Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) used to pray four rak‘aat before Dhuhr prayer at home and then go to the masjid.

It is recommended to pray four raka‘aat before ‘Asr prayer. These rak‘aat are not emphasized sunan. Ibn ‘Umar reports that the Prophet said: “May Allah have mercy on a person who prays four rak‘aat before ‘Asr prayer.’’ (Ahmad, Aboo Dawood, At-Tirmidhi).








ICO’s Publications – Islamic Studies curriculum – Grade 10/ Part1