Date: 12th June 2015, 24th Shaban 1436
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Allah has given us the month of Ramadan as a blessing for the Ummah of Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) so that we get a chance to draw ourselves closer to Him.
One popular Hadith in our culture being:
The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: “Whoever draws near to Allah during it (Ramadan) with a single characteristic from the characteristics of (voluntary) goodness, he is like whoever performs an obligatory act in other times. And whoever performs an obligatory act during it, he is like whoever performed seventy obligatory acts in other times.”
References: Sahih Ibn Khuzaymah, Hadith 1887
Few things need to be discussed about this Hadith. The fact is that we should NEVER enumerate the blessing of Allah as Allah is the Most Bountiful and He does not measure our blessing with numbers. This is because deeds are measured by quality, not quantity.
Abu Haatim al-Raazi judged the Hadith to be munkar (a kind of weak Hadith). Al-‘Ayni said likewise in ‘Umdat al-Qaari’, 9/20, as did Shaykh al-Albaani in Silsilat al-Ahaadeeth al-Da’eefah wa’l-Mawdoo’ah, vol. 2/262. no. 871. So it becomes clear that the isnaad of this Hadith and similar reports are all da’eef (weak), and that the muhadditheen (scholars of Hadith) judged it to be munkar, in addition to the fact that it contains some phrases whose authenticity is subject to further examination, such as its dividing the month into three parts, saying that the first ten days are mercy, then forgiveness, then ransom from the Fire. There is no evidence for this, rather the bounty of Allah is immense, all of Ramadan is mercy and forgiveness, and there are those whom Allah ransoms from the Fire every night and at the time of breaking the fast, as is proven by the Hadith.
Moreover, in this Hadith it says, “Whoever draws near to Allah during this month by doing some good deeds is like one who does an obligatory action.” There is no evidence for this, rather nafl actions are nafl and obligatory actions are obligatory in Ramadan and at other times. This Hadith also says, “and the one who does an obligatory action during this month is like one who does seventy obligatory actions at any other times.”
This number is subject to further examination, because a good deed earns a reward between ten and seven hundred times in Ramadan and at other times, and nothing is exempted from that apart from fasting, for its reward is immense and unlimited, because of the Hadith Qudsi:
Narrated by Abu Hurairah (Radi Allahu ‘Anhu), the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: “Allah said, ‘Every deed of the son of Adam is for him except fasting; it is for Me and I shall reward for it’”
References: Sahih al-Bukhari, Hadith 1761 & Sahih Muslim, Hadith 1946.
In this month, we must all attempt to increase are Nafl Ibadah as this will ensure we are making the fullest use of this month. Remember, our blessings will be measured by the quality of our deeds and quality can only be fostered from sincerity.
We are commanded by Allah to pray the five prescribed Salahs duly. Apart from that we had the Sunnat-al-Mu’akkadah. Hadith says:
The Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) in which he said: “Allah will build a house in Heaven for whoever is diligent in observing 12 Sunnah Rakat (as follows): 4 Rakat before and 2 after the Dhuhr (Midday) Prayer, 2 after the Maghrib (Sunset Prayer), 2 after the ‘Ishaa’ (Evening) Prayer and 2 before the Fajr (Dawn) Prayer.”
References: Jami at-Tirmidhi, Hadith 379 & Sahih al-Jami, Hadith 6183. This Hadith has been graded Sahih.
Last week, we discussed about the virtue of reciting the Quran, this week, let’ discuss about some of the authentic types of Nafl Salahs which will enrich our month of Ramadan.
- NIGHT’S PRAYER- TAHAJJUD
This is the best among all the Nafl Salahs and prayed by every Prophets of Allah. Hadith says:
Abu Hurairah (Radi Allahu ‘Anhu) reports that the Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said, “The best prayer after the obligatory prayers is the night prayer.”
Reference: Sahih Muslim
During Tahajjud the servants of Allah are in fact the closest to Him and seek forgiveness from Him.
Amr Ibn Abasah (Radi Allahu ‘Anhu) reported that he heard the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) say: “The closest that a slave comes to his Lord is during the middle of the later portion of the night. If you can be among those who remember Allah, the Exalted One, at that time then do so.”
References: Mustadrak al-Hakim, Jami at-Tirmidhi and Sunan an-Nasaa’i
Abu ad-Darda’ (Radi Allahu ‘Anhu) relates that the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: “Whoever goes to his bed with the intention of getting up and praying during the night, and sleep overcomes him until the morning comes, he will have recorded for him what he had intended, and his sleep will be a charity for him from his Lord.”
References: Sunan an-Nasaa’i and Sunan ibn Majah. This Hadith has a Sahih Isnaad.
The Time for Tahajjud Prayer: This starts after the Isha prayer up to the time of Fajr prayer.
Abu Basrah (Radi Allahu ‘Anhu) reported that the Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: “Indeed Allah added a prayer for you, it is Witr (Witr is one of the names for Tahajjud), so pray it between Isha and Fajr.”
References: Saheeh by Shaykh al-Albani (Rahmatullah Allaih) in As-Saheehah (108)
The night prayer may be performed in the early part of the night, the middle part of the night, or the latter part of the night, but after the obligatory Isha prayer.
Ibn Hajar (Rahmatullah Allaih) said: “There was no specific time in which the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) would perform his late night prayer; but he would do whatever was easiest for him.”
However, it is best to delay this prayer to the last third portion of the night due to this Hadith:
Abu Hurairah (Radi Allahu ‘Anhu) reports that the Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: “Our Lord descends to the lowest heaven during the last third of the night, inquiring: `Who will call on Me so that I may respond to him? Who is asking something of Me so I may give it to him? Who is asking for My forgiveness so I may forgive him?”
References: Sahih al-Bukhari & Sahih Muslim
Number of Ra’kahs in the Tahajjud Prayer: The Tahajjud prayer does not entail a specific number of rak’ah which must be performed nor is there any maximum limit which has to be performed.
Narrated Nafi: Ibn ‘Umar (Radi Allahu ‘Anhu) said, “While the Prophet was on the pulpit, a man asked him how to offer the night prayers. He replied, ‘Pray two Rakat at a time and then two and then two and so on, and if you are afraid of the dawn (the approach of the time of the Fajr prayer) pray one Rak’a and that will be the witr for all the Rakat which you have offered.” Ibn ‘Umar said, “The last Rakat of the night prayer should be odd for the Prophet ordered it to be so.”
Reference: Sahih Bukhari, Volume 1, Hadith Number 461
Narrated Masruq: I asked Aisha (Radi Allahu ‘Anha) about the night prayer of Allah’s Apostle (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) and she said, “It was seven, nine or eleven rakah besides the two rakah of the Fajr prayer (i.e. Sunnah).”
References: Sahih al-Bukari, Volume 2, Book 21, Number 240
With Ramadan, our prayer at night has been made easy as we wake up for Sehri. Therefore, one should make use of this grandiloquent month as much as possible.
It is mustahabb to stay in the mosque after Fajr prayer until the sun rises, because this is what the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) and his companions did, and because there is great reward in that. Hadiths say:
Abu Hurairah (Radi Allahu ‘Anhu) relates that our Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) has said that “He who says Ishraq prayers without fail shall have his lesser sins forgiven even though they may be as numerous as foam specks on the surface of the sea.”
The Time for Ishraq Prayer: When the sun has completely arisen, i.e. length of a spear from the horizon, after 20 minutes of sunrise.
Number of Rakahs in the Ishraq Prayer:
Anas ibn Malik (Radi Allahu ‘Anhu) said: The Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: “Whoever prays Fajr in congregation then sits remembering Allah until the sun rises, then prays two rak’ahs, will have a reward like that of Hajj and ‘Umrah.” He said: The Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: “In full, in full, in full.”
References: Jami at-Tirmidhi. This Hadith was classed as Hasan by Shaykh al-Albani (Rahmatullah Allaih) in Sahih al-Tirmidhi.
Sayyiduna ‘Uqbah ibn ‘Amir Al Juhani (Radi Allahu ‘Anhu) reports that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: Verily Allah Ta’ala says: ‘O Son of Adam, suffice me [by offering] four rakats of salah at the beginning of the day, I will suffice for you [your needs] till the end of the day in exchange of those four rakats’
References: Musnad of Imam Ahmad (Rahmatullah Allaih), Volume 4 & Musnad of Imam Abu Ya’la (Rahmatullah Allaih), Hadith: 1757.
From the above Hadiths, we learn that the number of rakahs to be performed is 2 or 4 rakahs, and the Mustahab method of performing it is to remain seated in your place of Salah after Fajr and engage in Dhikr, Quran recitation until sunrise. Then, approximately, 15-20 minutes after sunrise perform 2-4 Rakahs. If a person gets occupied in some worldly activity after the Fajr Salah, and after sunrise he offers Ishraq Salah, this will also be permissible although the reward will be less.
Many people tend to mix up Salat-ul-Duha with Salat-ul-Ishraq. But there are differences regarding the timing of these prayers.
In a lengthy Hadith, Ali (Radi Allahu ‘Anhu), is reported to have said, ‘In the morning when the sun rises to the height of that the same as it is at the time of Asr, the (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) used to perform 2 rakahs (Salat-ul-Ishraq). When the sun rose in the east to the height where it is in the west at the time of Dhuhr Salat, he performed 4 Rakahs (Salat al-Duha, Chast).’ (Shamail Tirmidhi, Hadith No. 271).
According to the Fuqahaa (jurists) and Muhadditheen (scholars of Hadith), the time for Salat al-Duha is from the morning after the Makrooh time passes till Zawal. But according to the Sufis this period covers the time for two separate Salats, one is Ishraq and the other is Duha. The Sufis substantiate their view from the above mentioned Hadith of Ali (Radi Allahu ‘Anhu) and other narrations. (Khasaail Nabawiy page 292)
Anas (Radi Allahu ‘Anhu) reported that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said, ‘Whoever performs 12 Rakaats of Salat ul-Duha, Allah Ta’ ala will build for him a castle of gold in Jannah.’
Reference: Mishkat, page 116
Abu Hurairah (Radi Allahu ‘Anhu) related that Muhammad (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) said, “Whoever adheres to the Duha prayer shall have his sins forgiven, even if they are like the foam of the sea.”
Reference: Jami at-Tirmidhi, Hadith 438
Timing of Salat-ul-Duha:
The Mustahabb (preferred) time of performing Salat al-Duha is after 1/4 of the day has passed. This is deduced from a Hadith of Muslim. (Halabi; Sharah Kabeer pg. 390). From many Hadiths, we understand that Salat al-Duha should be performed after the sun has risen quiet high. Because the Fuqahaa and Muhadditheen are of the opinion that the commencement of the time of Salat-ul-Duha is the same as that of Ishraq (i.e. immediately after sunrise), the Ulama have stated that ‘if due to lack of time, one performs the Salat of Ishraq and Duha together at one time, that too will be correct.’ (Our Namaas pg.44)
Number of Rakahs in the Salat-ul-Duha:
Abu Hurairah (Radi Allahu ‘Anhu) said, Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) said “My Dear One enjoined me with three: to sleep having performed the witr prayer; to fast three days every month; and the two rakats of Duha.”
Reference: Sunan an-Nasa’i, Hadith 1659
Mu`adha said that she asked `A’isha (Radi Allahu ‘Anha), “How many rakahs did the Messenger of Allah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) pray for the Duha prayer?” She replied, “Four rakats, and he would add what he wanted.”
Reference: Sahih Muslim, Hadith 1175; Musnad of Imam Ahmad (Rahmatullah Allaih), Hadith 23317 & Sunan Ibn Majah, Hadith 1371
Salat-ul-Duha can be performed being at a minimum of two rakats, and its maximum is twelve rakats. Its time is from after sunrise to when the sun is at its zenith (Zawal) (al-Fatawa al-Hindiyya, 1/112)
According to scholars, it is preferable to perform 8 rakahs. (Raddul Mukhtaar vol.1 pg. 505)
- NAFL SALAH AFTER DHUHR
One Hadith states:
The Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) is reported to have said, “Whoever performs the four rakaats before and after the Zuhr salat with constancy, Allah Ta’ala makes the fire of Hell haram (forbidden) for him.”
References: Mishkat, page 104; Jami at-Tirmidhi; Sunan Abu Dawood; Sunan an-Nasaa’i & Sunan Ibn Majah
The 4 Rakat before and 2 after the Dhuhr prayer are Sunnat-al-Mu’akkadah Salahs and the other 2 rakah Salah is the Nafl Salah. However more rakahs of Nafl Salahs are also permissible.
Salat ul-Awabeen is also known as Salat al-Duha, and may consist of 2, 4, 6 or 8 rak’ahs, prayed after the sun has risen and before the time for Dhuhr approaches. It is better to delay it until the day is hotter, the evidence for which is as follows:
From Zayd ibn Arqam (Radi Allahu ‘Anhu) who said: ‘The Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) went out to the people of Qubaa’ and found them praying. He said: “Salat al-Awabeen is when the young camels lift up their feet (because of the heat of the sand).’
References: Sahih Muslim, Hadith 1238
Imam Al-Nawawi (Rahmatullah Allaih) said: “The phrase ‘Salaat al-Awaaben is when the young camels lift up their feet (because of the heat of the sand)’ refers to when the sand becomes unbearably hot from the sun’s heat, and burns the soles of the young camels’ feet, so they alternately raise and lower their feet in response to the heat of the sand. ‘Al-Awwaab’ means one who is obedient, or one who turns to obedience. The hadeeth also refers to the best time to offer this prayer, although it is permissible to pray it any time after the sun has risen and before it reaches its zenith.” (Sharh Muslim li‘l-Nawawi).
Reported by Abu Hurairah (Radi Allahu ‘Anhu) that the Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: “Whoever keeps performing the forenoon prayer is Awwab – oft serving and turning to Allah – It is the prayer of Awabeen.”
References: Ibn Khuzaimah and Mustadrak Al-Hakim
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 (Rahmatullah Allaih) 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 (Rahmatullah Allaih): ‘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-Awabeen prayer. In ‘Mughni Al-Muhtaj’ – 1/459 (Al-Awabeen 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-Tirmidhi:
Narrated by Abu Hurairah (Radi Allahu ‘Anhu) that the Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: “Whoever prays six Rak’ahs between Maghrib and Isha, is counted for him/her as the observance of 12 years of worship.”
Reference: Jami at-Tirmidhi
Al-Ma’wardi (Rahmatullah Allaih) also said: “The Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) used to pray between Maghrib and Isha. He used to call it Al-Awabeen prayer.” It is deduced from this tradition and the previous saying that Al-Awabeen 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 (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) 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 (Rahmatullah Allaih).
Timing of Salat-ul-Awabeen:
- Same timing as Chast/Salat-ul-Duha
- It should be read straight after Maghrib (3 rakah Fardh & 2 rakah Sunnah), before conversing and talking with anyone.
Number of Rakahs in Salat-ul-Awabeen:
- Same as Chast/Salat-ul-Duha
- From 6 rakahs to 20 rakahs after Maghrib
Tahiyyat-ul-Wudu is a Nafl (optional) Salah. It is of two Rakats and is offered whenever ablution is performed. Great virtue with regard to this Salah has been mentioned in the Hadith. Although not compulsory it has great reward.
After completion of Wudhu, performance of two rakats nafl is full of blessings. “Paradise becomes obligatory for a person who prays this“. (Sahih Muslim).
The method of performing this nafl is as follows: After completing Wudhu do not dry yourself and start your Salah straight away so that water from your Wudhu is still dripping off you.
Abu Hurairah (Radi Allahu ‘Anhu) reports that the Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) once said to Bilal (Radi Allahu ‘Anhu) at Fajr Salah: ‘O Bilal! Tell me of the most hopeful act you have done in Islam, for indeed I heard the sounds of your footsteps in front of me in Paradise.’ He replied: ‘There is no hopeful act more than the fact that I do not perform Wudu in the day or night except that I read with that Wudu what has been decreed for me to read.’
Reference: Sahih al-Bukhari, Book of Tahajjud, Hadith 1149
Abu Qatada (Radi Allahu ‘Anhu) reported Allah’s Messenger (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) as saying: When any one of you enters the Masjid, he should observe two rak’ahs (of Nafl prayer) before sitting.
Reference: Sahih Muslim
However, there are differences among the scholars concerning praying Tahiyyat-ul-Masjid after the time of Fajr or Asr. The differences arose due to these Hadiths:
Narrated ‘Umar (Radi Allahu ‘Anhu): “The Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) forbade praying after the Fajr prayer till the sun rises and after the ‘Asr prayer till the sun sets.”
References: Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 10, Hadith Number 555
Narrated Hisham’s father: Ibn ‘Umar (Radi Allahu ‘Anhu) said, “Allah’s Apostle (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) said, ‘Do not pray at the time of sunrise and at the time of sunset.’ ” Ibn ‘Umar said, “Allah’s Apostle said, ‘If the edge of the sun appears (above the horizon) delay the prayer till it becomes high, and if the edge of the sun disappears, delay the prayer till it sets (disappears completely).”
Reference: Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 10, Number 557
While the Hanafis have taken the Hadith (of prohibition) on its face value and applied it since the Hanafis don’t consider Tahiyyatul-Masjid an obligation, in summary since it isn’t obligated you don’t go against the command of prohibition and perform it.
Shaf’is and Hanbalis overwrite the prohibition because to them Tahiyyatul-Masjid isn’t just or ordinary Nafl (like Hanafis).
Before ending this week’s Khubah, let’s explain the number of rakahs of the Tarawi prayer. It should be noted that the view that Imams- Abu Hanifah, Malik, Shafi’i, Ibn Hanbal and Dawud al-Zahiri (Rahmatullah Allaih) all preferred 20 rak’ahs of Tarawi excluding the Witr has been mentioned by Qadi Ibn Rushd in Bidayat al-Mujtahid (1/239).
Abu Tahir al-Faqih -> Abu Uthman al-Basri -> Abu Ahmad Muhammad ibn Abdal Wahhab -> Khalid ibn Mukhallad -> Muhammad ibn Ja’far -> Yazid ibn Khaseefah -> Sa’eeb ibn Yazid, who said: ‘In the time of Umar ibn al-Khattab (Radi Allahu Anhu) the people used to observe 20 rak’ahs and the witr.’ Al-Nawawi said in al-Khulasa: ‘Its Isnad is Sahih.”
The people who argue Tarawi being eight rakahs have misunderstood the following Hadith:
Narrated Abu Salma bin Abdur Rahman: I asked Aisha (Radi Allahu ‘anha), “How is the prayer of Allah’s Apostle (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) during the month of Ramadan.” She said, “Allah’s Apostle (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) never exceeded eleven Rakahs in Ramadan or in other months; he used to offer four Rakats do not ask me about their beauty and length, then four Rakats, do not ask me about their beauty and length, and then three Rakah.” Aisha (Radi Allahu ‘anha) further said, “I said, ‘ O Allah’s Apostle (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam)! Do you sleep before offering the Witr prayer?’ He replied, ‘O ‘Aisha! My eyes sleep, but my heart remains awake!’
Reference: Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 2, Hadith No. 1147
This Hadith actually refers to the eight Rakah Tahajjud prayer of Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam), not the Tawari prayer.
The evidence which proves that Umar (Radi Allahu Anhu) ordered the practice of 20 rakahs has been recorded by Shaykh Ali al-Muttaqi al-Hindi in the largest collection of Hadith available today: Kanz al-Ummal fi Sunan al-aqwal wal Af’al, as follows from Ubayy ibn Ka’b (Radi Allahu Anhu):
“Umar (Radi Allahu Anhu) ordered him (Ubayy) to lead the people in prayer at night in Ramadan, because the people fast during the day and cannot recite (the Qur’an) well, therefore it is better that you should recite (the Qur’an) during the night. I (Ubayy) asked: “O commander of the believers, this thing was not done before.” He said: “I know, but it is a good practise”, and so (Ubayy) led (the Companion’s) for 20 rak’ahs.”
We should understand that the more we pray, the more blessings we are going to get, if we pray eight Rakahs can’t we get more blessings if we pray more 12 Rakahs because of more Rukus and Sujood. Also Umar (Radi Allahu Anhu) was the second Caliph of Islam and have also prayed behind the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) and so he would not recommend the Ummahs of Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) to perform twenty Rakah Tawari without thinking so I (the Imam) would suggest everyone not to get confused when someone claims Tarawi to be actually eight Rakahs.
In this blessed month we should all attempt to increase our amount of good deeds rather than commit any sin. As Allah chains Shaitan during Ramadan, we are free to do good deeds which will definitely help our Akhirah. This is the month of patience, the patience comes from the restraint of sinning, and by doing so we are habituating ourselves to be better Muslims.