Could you advise me on whether it is OK to pray whilst sat in a car?
Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,
As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)
One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:
Salaam Brother Burhan,
Firstly, please could you advise me on whether it is OK to pray whilst sat in a car?
Secondly, I was taught and have always prayed Ishaa prayer in the order of 4sunnat, 4Fard, 2sunnat, 2nafl, 3witr and 2nafl. However, I recently learned from your site that Witr is to be the last prayer of the night. Does that mean that i ought not to offer the final 2 rakats of nafl during my Ishaa prayer? (I do not pray these in the form of Tahajjud).
Also, when performing Salatul Isthikhara, would one pray Witr before or after it?
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Witr last prayer of night
In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is none worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.
Your Question: Firstly, please could you advise me on whether it is OK to pray whilst sat in a car?
Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith 1.393 Narrated by Jabir
Allah's Messenger (saws) used to pray (optional, non-obligatory prayer) while riding on his mount (camel-Rahila) wherever it turned, and whenever he wanted to pray the obligatory prayer, he (saws) dismounted and prayed facing the Qibla.
Dear and beloved sister in Islam, it is permissible in Islam to offer ones voluntary (Sunnah or Nafl) prayers whilst moving on a mount or in a vehicle, but when one wishes to offer ones obligatory prayers and has the physical ability to do so, one must dismount from their vehicle and offer their prayers.
Your Question: Secondly, I was taught and have always prayed Ishaa prayer in the order of 4sunnat, 4Fard, 2sunnat, 2nafl, 3witr and 2nafl.
Firstly, please allow us to clarify the difference between Fard, Sunnah and Nafl prayers.
Fard prayers: These are the five obligatory prayers at their appointed times of the day. If one prays them, he will earn a huge reward from Allah Subhanah; and if one does not pray them, there will be a severe accounting and punishment.
Nafl prayers: These are the voluntary prayers. If one prays them, he will earn a huge reward from Allah Subhanah; and if one does not pray them, there is no sin.
Sunnah prayers: These are the Nafl or voluntary prayers which were prayed by the Messenger of Allah (saws), and thus they become his (saws) Sunnah for us. If one prays them, he will earn a huge reward from Allah Subhanah; and if one does not pray them, there is no sin. The most that can be said of one who does not pray the Sunnah (or Nafl) prayers is that he lost a great opportunity to earn huge rewards from Allah Subhanah.
Thus beloved Sister, Allah Subhanah has Commanded, Demanded, and made it a duty and responsibility upon the believers to offer their obligatory fard prayers.whatever extra one prays from the nafl or Sunnah are non-obligatory and voluntary; thus in essence, the obligatory Isha prayers for which one will be accountable for consist of only four rakahs.everything else one prays is extra and voluntary.
Your Question: However, I recently learned from your site that Witr is to be the last prayer of the night. Does that mean that i ought not to offer the final 2 rakats of nafl during my Ishaa prayer? (I do not pray these in the form of Tahajjud).
It is reported that Hadrat Ali (r.a.) said: "The witr prayer is not required like your obligatory prayers, but the Prophet (saws) would perform the witr prayer and say: 'O you people [followers] of the Qur'an, perform the witr prayer, for Allah is One and He loves the witr.'"
The Prophet (saws) said: 'The night prayer is sets of two rak'at. If one fears the coming of the dawn, he should perform one rak'ah, thereby making all of them odd [witr].'
Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith 2.112 Narrated by Abdullah bin Umar
The Prophet (saws) said, "Make Witr as your last prayer at night."
The witr prayers are not obligatory, but an extremely preferred Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (saws), and he (saws) time and again exhorted the believers to offer the witr prayers and make it the last prayer of the night.
Beloved Sister, if you are amongst those fortunate people who have a habit of offering their voluntary tahajjud or late night prayers, then it would be best to abstain from offering the witr prayers after your obligatory Isha prayers, and pray the witr after your tahajjud prayers, thus making the witr the absolute last prayer of the ngiht.
But if one does not intend to offer their tahajjud prayers later in the night, then one is at liberty, if one wills and wishes, to offer as many nafl or supererogatory prayers after their obligatory Isha prayers..and finally end their prayers with the witr, thus making the witr the last prayer of the night.
Your Question: Does that mean that i ought not to offer the final 2 rakats of nafl during my Ishaa prayer?
Beloved Sister, instead of dropping or reducing the two-rakahs of nafl prayers which you offer after your obligatory Isha and voluntary Sunnah prayers, it would be better to continue praying the extra two rakahs of nafl, and end your prayer with the witr, thus making the witr the last prayer of the night.
Your Question: Also, when performing Salatul Isthikhara, would one pray Witr before or after it?
It is permissible for one to offer their salat-ul-Istikhara prayers anytime in the day or night; and if one wishes to offer their istikhara prayers after their Isha prayers, there is absolutely no harm.
Regardless of which prayer one wishes to offer after their obligatory Isha prayers: Sunnah, Nafl, Istikhara, tahajjud, etc.; it would always be best to pray their witr prayer at the very end of all their night prayers, thus making the witr prayer the absolute last prayer of the night.
Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allahs Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me alone. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.
Your brother and well wisher in Islam,