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Section II: Rulings Related to Optional Prayers

Firstly: Offering Sunnah Prayers at Home
Offering additional prayers at home is superior to offering them in a mosque by agreement of the four schools of jurisprudence.
Secondly: Following Through with Optional Acts Once Started
It is not necessary to follow through with optional acts once started. It is also not necessary to make up missed optional acts if one abandons them. This is the position of the Shafi`i and Hanbali schools [458] Though making up missed optional acts is mustahabb according to them. and the position of choice of Ibn `Uthaymin.
Thirdly: Sitting During Optional Prayers
This has been covered when discussing standing for optional prayers in the section on how to pray.
Fourthly: Lying on One’s Side During Optional Prayers
It is not permissible to offer optional prayers while lying on one’s side. This is the position of the majority: the Hanafis, Malikis, Hanbalis, and one position among Shafi`is.
Fifthly: Optional Prayers are Offered Two Units at a Time
The night and day prayers are offered in pairs (i.e. two units at a time). This is the position of the majority: the Malikis, Shafi`is, [459] The exact wording of Shafi`is is: “It is better for one offering optional prayers during the night or day to give salams after every two units. It is permissible to combine many units of prayer, whether at night or during the day.” and Hanbalis. [460] The Hanbali school holds that it is not permissible to offer optional prayers at night other than two units at a time. If one offers four units of optional prayer during the day, there is no harm in that. It is also the position of Dawud al-Zahiri.
Sixthly: The Ruling of Offering a Single Unit of Optional Prayer Other than Witr
It is not permissible to offer a single unit of optional prayer other than witr. This is the position of the Hanafi and Maliki schools and one narration from Ahmad. It was selected by Ibn Qudamah, Ibn Baz, and Ibn `Uthaymin.
Seventhly: Making Up Sunnah Prayers for a Purpose that no Longer Exists
Sunnah prayers that are legislated for a particular purpose are not made up after that purpose is no longer relevant, such as the eclipse prayer, the prayer for rain, and similar prayers. Consensus on this was related by al-Nawawi. Consensus on the issue of the eclipse prayer not being made up after the eclipse passes has been related by Ibn Hajar and al-Shawkani.
Eighthly: Offering Optional Prayers in a Different Place than Wajib Prayers The imam moving from the place he offered the wajib prayer to offer an optional prayer
It is mustahabb for the imam to move from the place in which he offered the wajib prayer when intending to offer an optional prayer. This is by agreement of the four schools of jurisprudence and is a position of a group of the Salaf. The follower moving from the place he offered the wajib prayer to offer an optional prayer
It is optimal that the follower move from the place in which he offered the wajib prayer when intending to offer an optional prayer. This is the position of the Maliki and Hanbali schools, a group of the Salaf, and it is the position of choice of al-Shawkani and Ibn `Uthaymin.
Ninthly: Busying Oneself with Remembrance of Allah after Prayer and Before Optional Prayers
After completing one’s prayers, one begins by reciting prescribed invocations and then offers optional prayers if the prayer is one after which optional prayers are offered. This is the position of the majority: the Malikis, Shafi`is, and Hanbalis. The majority act upon this position.
Tenthly: Offering Optional Prayers in Congregation
It is permissible to offer sunnah prayers in congregation as long as doing so is not taken as an established sunnah. This is the position of the majority: the Malikis [461] Malikis stipulate that permissibility holds if the congregation is not large and is not held in a popular location. , Shafi`is, and Hanbalis.
Eleventhly: The Ruling of Reciting Quietly During Daytime Prayers
It is sunnah to recite quietly during optional daytime prayers. This is the position of the majority: the Malikis, Shafi`is, and Hanbalis.
Twelfthly: The Ruling of Reciting Out Loud During Night Prayers
One praying alone is free to choose between reciting quietly or out loud during night prayers. This is the position of the Hanafi and Hanbali [462] The optimal way to recite according to them is to do what is most beneficial. If reciting out loud gives one greater energy, or if there is someone in the proximity who might listen to the recitation or benefit from it, then it is better to recite out loud. If someone in the proximity is also praying at night or might be harmed by raising the voice in recitation, then reciting quietly is preferred. schools. It is the position of choice of Ibn Hazm, Abu al-Waleed al-Baji, and Ibn `Uthaymin. The Permanent Council’s verdict is in accordance with this view.



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