Fatwa: # 15881
Category: Daily
Country: South Africa
Date: 19th November 2007

Title

Please referance the proof of the four rakaats sunnah before the esha salaah

Question

it will be highly appreciated if hz mf saheb could kindly answer the following questions :

Please referance for the proof of the four rakaats sunnah before the esha salaah

jazaakalah

Answer

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Assalaamu `alaykum waRahmatullahi Wabarakatoh

There is no Hadith that explicitly proves that 4 raka’ts before the prayer of Isha is sunnah. However, there is a Hadith reported in Sahih Al Bukhari, narrated by Abdullah bin Mughaffal (Radhiyallahu Anhu) that Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said:

باب بين كل أذانين صلاة لمن شاء

Between every two calls of prayer, there is a prayer for the one who wishes to perform it.

Sahih Al Bukhri Vol.1 Pg.174 (Darul Fikr)

It is unanimously accepted by the commentators of Ahadith that the words, “two calls of prayer”, mentioned above, refer to Adhan and Iqamah. Therefore, we understand that it is advisable to read some kind of Salaah between the Adhan and Iqamah of every Salaah.

On the basis of this Hadith, Muslim Jurists have inferred that it is mustahab (desirable) to perform some prayer, nafl or sunnah, before every obligatory prayer, except before Maghrib, according to the Hanafi Mazhab. The rak’ats performed before Fajr and Zuhr are sunnah muwakkadah, whilst the ones performed before the rest of the prayers are either nafl or sunnah ghair-muwakadah.

No mention has been made about the number of rak’ats in the abovementioned Hadith, meaning that praying any number of rak’ats will serve the purpose of the Hadith. However, a large number of scholars have preferred to perform 4 rak’ats before Isha on the analogy of Fajr, Zuhr and Asr. It may be seen in the case of these three prayers that the number of sunnah and nafl performed before each of them correspond to the number of obligatory prayers respectively. On this analogy, the said scholars have preferred to perform 4 rak’ats before Isha, as it corresponds to the 4 obligatory rak’ats of Isha.

However, it should be borne in mind that these 4 rak’ats should not be taken as determined by Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), nor as a specific Sunnah.

Ref. Contemporary Fatawa – Mufti Taqi Uthmani Saheb Pg.303 (Idara-e-Islamiyat)

And Allah knows best

Wassalam

Ml. Abu Yahya,
Student Darul Iftaa

Checked and Approved by:

Mufti Ebrahim Desai
Darul Iftaa

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