What is the significance of the prayer of al-Awwabeen and what is the reward for that?
Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds; and may His blessings and peace be upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon all his Family and Companions.
The prayer of Awwabeen is the Duha (forenoon) prayer or the one which is performed between Maghrib (sunset) prayer and Isha (evening) prayer.
In ‘At-Targheeb book’, there are many Prophetic Traditions concerning those two prayers, among them are:
Ibn Khuzaimah and Al-Hakim reported from Abu Hurairah that the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) said: "Whoever keeps performing the forenoon prayer is Awwab – oft serving and turning to Allah -. It is the prayer of Awwabeen." [Improved by Al-Albani]
Muslim reported from Zaid bin Arqam that the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) visited people of Qu’ba while they were praying Duha, and he said: 'The prayer of devotion should be observed when the young weaned camels feel the heat of the sun.'" i.e. when the sun is high up in the sky but before noon.
Abu Dharr reports that the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) said: "You are required to give Sadaqa (charity) on behalf of every joint in your bones. Every Tasbeeha (saying Subhana Allah) is a charity, every Tahmeeda (saying Al Hamdu Lillah) is a charity, every Tahlila (saying La Ilaha Illa Allah) is a charity. Every Takbeera (saying Allahu Akbar) is a charity. Enjoining the good and forbidding the evil is a charity. But it is sufficient from all this to pray the two Rak’ah of Dhuha." [Reported by Imams Muslim and Abu Dawud]
These are some of the Prophetic Traditions concerning the prayer of Awwabeen which point out the greatness, excellence and the reward (in the Hereafter) of such a prayer.
As for the Prophetic Traditions concerning the prayer between Maghrib (sunset) and Isha (evening) are: An-Nasa’e relates with a good chain, as Al-Mun’thiri records in At-Targheeb Wal-Tarheeb from Hu’thaifa (Radiya Allahu Anhu) that he said: "I performed Al-Maghrib prayer with the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam), then he continued praying till Al-Isha prayer."
Ash-Shaukani (Rahmathu Allah Alaihi) said in ‘Nail Al-Awthar’: 'Verses and Traditions in this respect indicate legitimacy of offering more prayers between Al-Maghrib and Isha. Although most of the traditions are weak (in chain of narrators), they are compatible with the virtues of deeds as a whole.'
Al-Iraqi said: 'Among the companions who used to perform prayer between Al-Maghrib and Isha were Abdullah bin Masoud, Abdullah bin Amr, Salman Al-Farisi and Anas bin Malik. Among At-Tabi’een: Al-Aswad bin Yazeed, Uthman An-Nahdi, Bin Abi Malikah, Saeed bin Jubair, Muhammed bin Al-Mun’kedir, Abu Hatim, Abdullah bin Sakhbarah, Ali bin Al-Hussein, Abu Abdel-Rahman Al-Ahbali, Shuraih Al-Qadi, Abdullah bin Mughafal and others. And among the grand Muslim scholars: Suffian Ath-Thau’ri. The four religious schools of Islamic jurisprudence: Al-Hanafiah, Al-Malikiah, Ash-Shafi’eah and Al-Hanabilah commended prayers between Maghrib and Isha due to the Prophetic traditions and rulings of the companions and their students indicated above. Al-Hanabilah considered it as the last-night prayer because night extends from sunset to the dawn-break. But some jurisprudents named it, together with the forenoon prayer, Al-Awwabeen prayer. In ‘Mughni Al-Muhtaj’ – 1/459 (Al-Awwabeen prayer is also called prayer of the “unmindful” because people usually neglect performing it due to having supper or sleeping and the like. It is twenty Rak’ahs between Maghrib and Isha owing to a tradition narrated by At-Tirmizi: The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) said, "Whoever prays six Rak’ahs between Maghrib and Isha, is counted for him/her as the observance of 12 years of worship."'
Al-Ma’wardi also said: '"The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) used to pray between Maghrib and Isha. He used to call it Al-Awwabeen prayer." It is deduced from this tradition and the previous saying that Al-Awwabeen prayer is a combination of this prayer (between Maghrib and Isha) and the forenoon’s.'
It is also mentioned in ‘Majma’a Al-Anhur (Hanafi fiqh)– 1/132: 'Six Rak’ahs after Maghrib are called: Al-Awwabeen prayer.' The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) said: "Whoever prays six Rak’ahs after Maghrib prayer it is equal in reward to praying for twelve years." This tradition is narrated by Ibn Majah . It is very weak as judged by Al-Albani (Rahmathu Allah Alaihi).
Allah knows best.
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