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Posted By Topic: Forgotten Sunnah: Different Lengths of Recitation in the Maghrib Prayer

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01-01-2010 @ 7:11 AM    Notify Admin about this post
Abul-'Abbaas Moosaa ibn John Richardson (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
Posts: 1280
Joined: Sep 2002
In the Name of Allaah, the Most Merciful...

Today we live in a time when most of the Muslims believe that Maghrib Prayer is supposed to be short, and that the Sunnah is to keep the recitation from the shorter soorahs of Juz' 'Amma.  Many times if an imaam recites something like a page of the mus-haf or longer, the followers will complain and believe that he has gone against the Sunnah.

This is an understanding that has its origin in the lifetime of the Companions, yet they rejected it openly, as will be shown in the hadeeth of Zayd ibn Thaabit shortly.

While it is true that the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu 'alayhe wa sallam) used to recite shorter soorahs of Juz' 'Amma in Maghrib Prayer - so short that the Companions would be able to shoot an arrow after the prayer and still see where it landed because of the remaining light of the sunset glow, as found in al-Bukhaaree and Muslim - it is also true that he used to recite some very long passages of the Qur'aan as well.

For example, he used to recite Soorah at-Toor (Ch.52). [Bukhaaree & Muslim]

He also read al-Mursalaat (Ch.77) in the last Maghrib prayer he prayed. [Bukhaaree & Muslim]

He also used to read al-A'raaf (Ch.7) in two rak'ahs! [Bukhaaree & others]

There is another report that he read al-Anfaal (ch.8) in two rak'ahs! [Al-Kabeer of At-Tabaraanee; Al-Albaanee said its chain is saheeh in Sifat as-Salaah (2/487)]

Al-Albaanee said:
This hadeeth (the first one mentioned above) proves that short soorahs have not been designated specifically for Maghrib prayer, as many people think.  Instead, it is recommended to read from the tiwaal al-mufassal (from Soorah Qaaf to al-Mursalaat) sometimes, and soorahs even longer than them...
Source: Sifat as-Salaah (2/479)

Ibn al-Qayyim said:
Sticking to the routine of short soorahs only was the invention of Marwaan ibn al-Hakam, which was rejected by Zayd ibn Thaabit, who said to him: "What is it with you that you (only) read short soorahs in Maghrib?!  I saw the Messenger of Allaah (sallaahu 'alayhe wa sallam) reading the longer of the two long soorahs in Maghrib (meaning: Al-A'raaf, the other being An'aam)... So keeping to short verses and soorahs for it (Maghrib) is a contradiction to the Sunnah, one initiated by Marwaan ibn al-Hakam...
Source: Zaad al-Ma'aad (1/204-205)

And Allaah knows best.

Moosaa ibn John Richardson

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01-01-2010 @ 10:27 AM    Notify Admin about this post
Abu Aaliyah Abdullah ibn Dwight Lamont Battle (Doha, Qatar)
Posts: 41
Joined: Jul 2005
As-salaamu alaykum,

Barakallahu feekum Moosa. Excellent, Excellent,Excellent. Could you please post more forgotten Sunnah.

Your brother in Islam,
Abu Aaliyah Abdullah ibn Dwight Battle

The Messenger (Sallallaahu ılayhi Wasallam) said, "Whoever revives a Sunnah from my Sunnah and the people practise it, s/he will have the same reward of those who practise it without their reward diminishingı" [Sunan ibn Maajah (209)].

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