How to Pray Nafl Prayer according Authentic Hadiths

Nafl prayer are the 2 rak’ah prayers which you can pray any time whenever time and you can prayer as much as you can bye dividing in to two-two Rak’ahs.

What are Nafl Prayers?

Nafl prayers or not obligatory prayers as the nafl means extra which is not obligatory but voluntary or optional. if you pray the nafl Namaz you will get extra reward from the Allah SWT but if you don’t pray that doesn’t mean you are sinful because its optional.

Time for Nafl Prayers?

There is no significant time of praying Nafl prayers you can pray any time whenever you want in the morning n the evening in the night whenever want. but there are some forbidden time at that you should not pray Nafl Prayers.

  • From when dawn breaks until approximately a quarter of an hour after the sun has risen . You can find out the time of sunrise from the timetables that are available in all countries. 
  • Approximately a quarter of an hour before the time for Zuhr prayer begins, until the time for Zuhr begins. 
  • After you have prayed `Asr – even if it is an hour after the time for it began – until the disk of the sun has set completely. So the beginning of the time when prayer is forbidden is when one has prayed `Asr, not the beginning of the time for `Asr prayer, because the Muslim may offer `Asr prayer some time after the time for it begins. In that case the Muslim may offer voluntary prayers so long as he has not yet prayed `Asr, even if the time for `Asr has begun. Ibn Qudamah (may Allah have mercy on him) said in al-Mughni (1/429): “We do not know of any difference of opinion concerning that among those who say that prayer is not allowed after `Asr.”


The evidence for these times is mentioned in several hadiths, among the clearest and most comprehensive of which is the lengthy hadith which was narrated by Imam Muslim in his Sahih (832) from `Amr ibn `Abasah (may Allah be pleased with him), that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said to him: 

“Pray Fajr, then refrain from praying until the sun has risen and becomes high, for when it rises, it rises between the horns of the Shaytan and at that time the disbelievers prostrate to it. Then pray, for the prayer is witnessed and attended until the shadow of a spear falls directly north (i.e., noon). Then refrain from praying, for at that time Hell is stoked up. Then when the shadow moves forward, pray, for the prayer is witnessed and attended, until you have prayed `Asr. Then refrain from praying until the sun has set, for it sets between the horns of the Shaytan and at that time the disbelievers prostrate to it.” 

How to pray nafl Prayers?

the way of performing nafl prayer is same as the performing of Fard Prayer(Two Rak’ah) click below to know how to perform the prayer.

1. Standing (Qiyam) :-

It is obligatory to a person to pray the Salah in Standing position as This is clearly mentioned in the Quran (Surah al-Baqarah verse 238) and many authentic hadiths (Sahih Bukhari: 6667)

Observe the ˹five obligatory˺ prayers—especially the middle prayer—and stand in true devotion to Allah. (Surah al-Baqarah verse 238)

And this is a Pillar of Salah for those who are able to stand if he or she is unable to stand due to physical disability or any other reason then he or she should pray while sitting if he or she is unable to sit then he or she should pray while lying on one side or any position whom he or she able to capable of praying. and this is mention in many authentic hadiths (Sahih Bukhari: 1117)

Narrated `Imran bin Husain:

had piles, so I asked the Prophet (ﷺ) about the prayer. He said, "Pray while standing and if you can't, pray while sitting and if you cannot do even that, then pray Lying on your side." (Sahih Bukhari 1117)

2. Intension (an-Niyah) for Prayer

Intension of the Salah is basically that you have to know what you are doing because we have to know that what i am praying i.e. Zuhr, Asr etc. unlike we can not just directly say Allahuakbar and starts praying this is invalid. So, the Intension is very important.

"The reward of deeds depends upon the intention and every person will get the reward according to what he has intended." (Sahih al- Bukhari 54 and 1)

The Prophet (S.A.W.) never instructed us to audibly or inaudibly state intentions for any act of worship, and the Companions (R.A.) did not do this either. So we should make the intension(Niyyah) of the prayer in our hearts.

2. Takbeer-e-Tehrima (Opening Takbeer- saying Allahu akbar) :-

Now i am standing up, i do intension(niyyah) for prayer and now we say takbeer i.e. Allahu akbar (Allah is greatest) (Reference- Sahih Bukhari 6251) and raise our both hands up to the level of shoulders or ears and then fold our hands over chest, right hand over the left hand while in the standing position.(Reference- Sahih Bukhari 740, Sahih Muslim 401, ibn khuzaimah 1/243, Abu Dawood 726 and 759)

Narrated Sahl bin Sa`d:
The people were ordered to place the right hand on the left forearm in the prayer. Abu Hazim said, "I knew that the order was from the Prophet (ﷺ) ."(Sahih Bukhari 740)
Wa'il b. Hujr reported:
He saw the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) raising his hands at the time of beginning the prayer and reciting takbeer, and according to Hammam (the narrator), the hands were lifted opposite to ears. He (the Holy Prophet) then wrapped his hands in his cloth and placed his right hand over his left hand. And when he was about to bow down, he brought out his hands from the cloth, and then lifted them, and then recited takbeer and bowed down, and when (he came back to the erect position) he recited:" Allah listened to him who praised Him." And when he prostrated, he prostrated between his two palms.(Sahih Muslim 401)
Narrated Tawus:

The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) used to place his right hand on his left hand, then he folded them strictly on his chest in prayer.(Abu Dawood 759)

Some Questions you may have:-

Q1:- where to raise hand (shoulder or ear)?

There are two authentic hadiths in Sahih Muslim the first one is Sahih Muslim 390a (next to the shoulder) and second one is Sahih Muslim 390b (next to the ears) so you have question which one is right? simple the palm should be next to your shoulders and fingers should be at the level of ears this is how we combine two authentic hadiths(Confirmed by many scholars).

>> The most authentic way to put your hand is on chest according to many scholars and authentic hadiths (hadiths given above)

3. Looking at the Place of Prostration:-

A person who is praying should have attentiveness in his prayer and should avoid everything that may divert his/her attention because we are facing Allah. And as it is ordered by our prophet Mohammad SAW that he or she should look towards the place of his prostration. He or she should not look to the right or the left.(Sahih Bukhari 3291, 750)

Narrated `Aisha(R.A.):
I asked the Prophet (ﷺ) about one's looking here and there during the prayer. He replied, "It is what Satan steals from the prayer of any one of you."(Sahih Bukhari 3291)
Narrated Anas bin Malik:

The Prophet (ﷺ) said, "What is wrong with those people who look towards the sky during the prayer?" His talk grew stern while delivering this speech and he said, "They should stop (looking towards the sky during the prayer); otherwise their eyesight would be taken away."(Sahih Bukhari 750)

4. Read Dua of Istiftah (Opening Dua):-

After holding Hand and seeing towards the place of prostration we have to read dua of Istiftah there are many dua of istiftah which you can read one of the most popular dua of istiftah is :-

سُبْحَانَكَ اللّٰهُمَّ وَبِحَمْدِكَ ، وَتَبَارَكَ اسْمُكَ ، وَتَعَالَىٰ جَدُّكَ ، وَلاَ إِلٰهَ غَيْرُكَ
Subḥānaka Allāhumma wa bi-ḥamdika wa tabāraka-smuka wa taʿālā jadduka wa lā ilāha ghayruk.
How Perfect are You O Allah, and all praise is Yours. Your Name is most blessed, Your majesty is exalted and there is no god worthy of worship except You. (Tirmidhi 243)

There are a lot of dua of Istiftah, wanna read all Click Here…

Reading this dua of Istiftah is sunnah if you skip this your prayer will be valid.

5. Taawudh:-

After Reading dua of Istiftah you should recite Taawudh there are a lot of dua for Taawudh some of are following:-

أَعُوذُ بِاللَّهِ مِنَ الشَّيْطانِ الرَّجِيْمِ
Audhu billahi mina shaitaan nir rajeem
I seek refuge in Allah from the rejected Satan.


 أَعُوذُ بِاللَّهِ السَّمِيعِ الْعَلِيمِ مِنَ الشَّيْطَانِ الرَّجِيمِ مِنْ هَمْزِهِ وَنَفْخِهِ وَنَفْثِهِ 
A'udhu Bilahi As-Sami'il-Alimi min Ash-Shaitanir-Rajimi, min Hamzihi Wa Nafkhihi wa Nafthihi
I seek refuge in Allah the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing, from the cursed Shaitan, from his madness, his arrogance, and his poetry


Abu Sa’eeed Al Khudri narrated: After reciting dua of istiftah our prophet Mohammad SAW recites the [above dua]. (Jami` at-Tirmidhi 242)

Reading this Taawudh is sunnah if you skip this your prayer will be valid.

6. Tasmiyah:-

After reciting the Taawudh you should recite Tasmiyah:-

بِسْمِ ٱللَّهِ ٱلرَّحْمَٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
Bismillah ir-Rahman ir-Rahim
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, and the Most Merciful.


Anas narrated: I observed prayer along with the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) and with Abu Bakr, Umar and Uthman (may Allah be pleased with all of them), but I never heard any one of them reciting Bismillah-ir-Rahman-ir-Rahim loudly. (Sahih Muslim 399a)

It means you should recite the Taawudh and Tasmiyah silently (in your hearts).

Reading this Tasmiyah is sunnah some if you skip this your prayer will be valid.

7. Surah-al-Fatiha:-

After reciting Taawudh and Tasmiyah you should recite Surah-al-Fatiha and it is the pillar od Salah(Namaz) so if you don’t read Your Salah will be invalid.

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْمِ اَلْحَمْدُ للهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِيْنَ. الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيْمِ. مَالِكِ يَوْمِ الدِّيْنِ . إِيَّاكَ نَعْبُدُ وَإِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِيْنُ. اِهْدِنَا الصِّرَاطَ الْمُسْتَقِيْمَ. صِرَاطَ الَّذِيْنَ أَنْعَمْتَ عَلَيْهِمْ غَيْرِ الْمَغْضُوْبِ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا الضَّآلِّيْنَ
Bismi-llāhi-r-Raḥmāni-r-Raḥīm Alḥamdu-lillāhi Rabbi-l-ʿālamīn, ar-Raḥmāni-r-Raḥīm, Māliki yawmi-d-dīn, iyyāka naʿbudu wa iyyaka nastaʿīn, ihdina-ṣ-Ṣirāṭa-l-Mustaqīm, ṣirāṭa-ladhīna anʿamta ʿalayhim ghayri-l-maghḍūbi ʿālayhim wala-ḍ-ḍāllīn.
In the name of Allah, the Extremely Merciful, the Especially Merciful. All praises and thanks are for Allah, The Extremely Merciful, The Especially Merciful, Master of the Day of Judgement. You Alone we worship, You Alone we ask for help. Guide us on the Straight Path, the path of those whom You have favoured, not of those who incur (Your) anger nor of those who have gone astray. (Quran 1:1-7)


Narrated ‘Ubada bin As-Samit: Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “Whoever does not recite Al-Fatiha in his prayer, his prayer is invalid.” (Sahih al-Bukhari 756)

8. Recite Any Surah or verse:-

After reciting the Surah al-Fatiha you should recite any Surah from Quran or any verse of the Quran. this is a sunnah from Prophet Mohammad SAW but if you don’t recite any Surah and directly gone to Ruku then Your prayer will be valid.

And The Sunnah is also to make the recitation of surah in the first Rakaat longer than the recitation in the second Rakaat.


‘Ata’ narrated on the authority of Abu Huraira who said that one should recite (al-Fatiha) in every (rak’ah of) prayer. What we heard (i. e. recitation) from the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ), we made you listen to that. And that which he (recited) inwardly, we (recited) inwardly for you. A person said to him: If I add nothing to the (recitation) of the Umm al Qur’an (Surat al-Fatiha), would it make the prayer incomplete? He (AbuHuraira) said: If you add to that (if you recite some of verses of the Qur’an along with Surat at-Fatiha) that is better for you. But if you are contented with it (Surat al-Fatiha) only, it is sufficient for you. (Sahih Muslim 396b)

Abu Qatadah (R.A.) reported that: The Prophet (S.A.W.) would recite Al-Fatihah and some surah in the first two Rakaat of the noon prayer, and only Al-Fatihah in the last two Rakaat. Sometimes he would recite some verses. The first Rakaat’s recital would be longer than the second. That was how it was done in the afternoon and morning prayers. (Abu Dawud: 78)

9. Rukoo (The Bowing) :-

After reading the Surah a person offering prayer should raise his hands, in the manner described previously with regard to the initial Takbeer (Raful-yadain) and also say the Takbeer (i.e., Allaahu Akbar)(while moving).

Then a person will perform the Rukoo (bowing) in such a manner that all his joints are settled, and each part of the body is at rest. This is a pillar of Salah.

The Sunnah way of performing Rukoo (bowing), the person should place his hands firmly upon his knees, spread his fingers, as if he were grasping his knees, stretch out one’s back and make it level and then it would settle upon it. Person should neither cause his head to droop lower than his back, nor should he raise it above it. Rather he should make it level with his back. Person should also keep his elbows (straight and) apart from his sides. After that, person should say, three times, or more, in the Rukoo:

سُبْحَانَ رَبِّيَ الْعَظِيمِ
Subhaana Rabbiyal-'Adheem
Glory to my Lord the Exalted.
(An-Nasai: 1046)


For Raful-Yadain

Narrated Nafi`: Whenever Ibn `Umar started the prayer with Takbir, he used to raise his hands: whenever he bowed, he used to raise his hands (before bowing) and also used to raise his hands on saying, “Sami`a l-lahu liman hamidah”, and he used to do the same on rising from the second rak`a (for the 3rd rak`a). Ibn `Umar said: “The Prophet (ﷺ) used to do the same.” (Sahih al-Bukhari 739)

Palms Grabbing your knees

‘Amr al-Amiri said: When he(Prophet Mohammad SAW pbuh) bowed he clutched his knees with his palms, and he opened his fingers; (Abu Dawud 731)

For Straight Back

It was narrated that Abu Mas’ud said: “The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: ‘The prayer is not valid if a man does not bring his backbone to rest while bowing and prostrating.'” (Sunan an-Nasa’i 1027)

10. Qawmah (Straightening Up from the Rukoo):-

After above step,the person must raise up and straighten his back from the Rukoo (the standing after Rukoo is Called Qawmah in Arabic). He should say, while raising his back,

سَمِعَ اللَّهُ لِمَنْ حَمِدَهُ
Sami' Allaahu liman hamidah
 Allah heard those who sent praises to Him. (Sahih Bukhari: 795)

Person should raise his hands when he rises up,(Sahih Muslim 390) in the manner that has preceded (Takbeer-e-Tehrima). Then the person should stand straight up and remain still, such that every bone returns to its place and say while standing:

رَبَّنَا وَلَكَ الْحَمْدُ
Rabbanaa wa lakal-hamd
O our Lord! And all praise is for You. (Sahih Bukhari: 795)

you can say many things in Arabic, one of them is given above (Sahih Bukhari 789, Sahih Muslim 415, Sahih bukhari 795)

This is obligatory upon everyone praying, even if a person praying behind Imam.

11. First Prostration (Sajda):-

After the perfect ‘Qawmah’ the person praying should move to perform Sajdah (prostration).

Condition of Prostration

Narrated Ibn `Abbas: The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “I have been ordered to prostrate on seven bones i.e. on the forehead along with the tip of the nose (1 Bone) and the Prophet (ﷺ) pointed towards his nose, both hands (2 Bones), both knees (2 Bones) and the toes of both feet (2 Bones) and not to gather the clothes or the hair.” (Sahih Bukhari 812)

Way of Prostration

During prostration, the forehead and the nose both should touch the surface of place where you are praying your hand’s fingers should be facing towards the direction of Qiblah(Abu Dawood 732), you can place your palms either next to your shoulders or little bit close to your ears (Sahih Muslim401), your knees should not be so close and your toes (that are bendable) should be facing towards Qiblah (Sahih Bukhari 828), Arms should be wide and spread (should not touch your body) (Sahih Bukhari 390) and your stomach should not touch your thighs (Abu Dawood 735) and famous mistake that your feet should not dangling.

Person should say: “Allah-u-Akbar” while going for the prostration. In the prostration position, person should say (at-least three times):

سُبْحَانَ رَبِّيَ الأَعْلَى
Subhaana Rabbiyal-Alaa
Glory is to my Lord, the Most High. (Abu Dawud: 857)

After performing one/first Prostration perfectly and calmly, the person who is praying should raise his head form Prostration saying “Allah-u-Akbar” bending the left foot and sitting on it while keeping the right foot propped up with its toes pointing towards the Qiblah, the palms of his hands should rest on his thighs and knees, the back should be straight so that the joints go back in place. (Sunan An Nasai 1159)

“The prayer is not valid if a man does not bring his backbone to rest while bowing and prostrating.” (An-Nasai: 1027)

So, it is important to sit as straight as possible during two prostrations

Jalsah(Sitting between two prostration):- And between two prostration you should say(minimum 1 time):

رَبِّ اغْفِرْ لِي، رَبِّ اغْفِرْ لِي ‏”‏ ‏.‏
“Rabbighfir li, Rabbighfir li
O Lord forgive me, O Lord forgive me(Sunan Ibn Majah 897)

There are also many other Duas which you can read.

12. Second Prostration (Sajdah):-

Then the person should perform the second Prostration(Sajdah) saying “Allah-u-Akbar” and repeat what he did in the first Prostration(Sajdah).

13. Jalsah-e-Istarahat (Sitting for Rest):-

After performing both prostration, person should raise his head up saying “Allah-u-Akbar” and sit for a short while as he did in ‘Jalsah’ (stay between prostrations). Person should do this before standing up for the second Rakaat (second unit of Prayer).


Narrated Malik bin Huwairith Al-Laithi (R.A.) said:“ I saw the Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.) praying and in the odd Rakaat, he (S.A.W.) used to sit for a moment before getting up.” (Sahih Bukhari: 823)

14. Second Rakaat (2nd unit of prayer) :-

 After standing up for the second Rakaat, person should fold his hands over his chest as he did in the first Rakaat and start recitation by reciting “Bismillah ir-Rahman ir-Rahim” and Surah Al-Fatiha followed by any surah or a verse of the Holy Quran.” Then he should complete his second Rakaat in the manner of the first one. 

15. Tashahud (sitting for the declaration of Faith):

So when a person finishes the second Rakaat, he/she sits to perform the Tashahud. He/she sits upon the left foot laid flat, as preceded with regard to the sitting between the two prostrations. However, it is not allowed to sit upon the two heels for this sitting and also not allowed for him/her to sit whilst resting upon his hand, especially the left hand.(Allowed in some cases if you are not comfortable due to injury or anything else)


Abu Humaid As-Saidi (R.A.) said: "I remember the prayer of Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.) better than any one of you. …... On sitting in the second Rakaat, he (S.A.W.) sat on his left foot and propped up the right one; and in the last Rakaat, he pushed his left foot forward and kept the other foot propped up and sat over the buttocks." (Sahih Bukhari: 828)

Person should clench all the fingers of his/her right hand, placing his/her thumb onto his/her middle finger sometimes, he/she may make a circle with his/her thumb and middle finger together. He/She should point his/her forefinger towards the Qibla (Direction of Prayer) and fix his/her gaze upon his/her forefinger (it is Sunnah act to see forefinger while moving or pointing the forefinger in Tashahud). He/She should agitate (up and down) it, making supplication with it, from the start to the end of the Tashahud.


Wa'il bin Hujr said: "I am going to watch the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) and see how he prays. So, I watched him." And he described (his prayer): "Then he sat and lay his left foot on the ground, and placed his left hand on his left thigh and knee. He put his right elbow on his right thigh, then he made a circle with two fingers of his (right) hand, then he raised his finger and I saw him moving it, supplicating with it." (Sunan an-Nasa'i 1268 &1160&890, Sahih Muslim 580b, Abu Dawood 726)

So after completing 2nd Rakaats, person offering prayer should sit in a position mentioned in the above Hadith and then recite the following:

التَّحِيَّاتُ للهِ، وَالصَّلَوَاتُ، وَالطَّيِّبَاتُ،السَّلَامُ عَلَيْكَ أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ وَرَحْمَةُ اللهِ وَبَرَكَاتُهُ، السَّلَامُعَلَيْنَا وَعَلَى عِبَادِ اللهِ الصَّالِحِينَ. أّشَْدُ أَنْ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللهُوَأَشْهَدُ أَنَّ مُحَمَّداً عَبْدُهُ وَرَسُولُهُ
Attahiyyaatu lillaahi wassalawaatu , wattayyibaatu , assalaamu 'alayka 'ayyuhan-Nabiyyu wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuhu, assalaamu 'alaynaa wa 'alaa 'ibaadillaahis-saaliheen. 'Ash-hadu 'an laa 'ilaaha 'illallaahu wa 'ash-hadu 'anna Muhammadan 'abduhu wa Rasooluhu
All greetings of humility are for Allah, and all prayers and goodness. Peace be upon you, O Prophet, and the mercy of Allah and His blessings. Peace be upon us and upon the righteous slaves of Allah. I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship but Allah, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and His Messenger. (Sahih Bukhari 7381)

After reciting the above dua person should send blessing on Prophet Mohammad SAW by reading below:

اللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ عَلَى مُحَمَّدٍ وَعَلَى آلِ مُحَمَّدٍكَمَا صَلَّيْتَ عَلَى إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَعَلَى آلِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ، إِنَّكَ حَمِيدٌ مَجِيدٌ،اللَّهُمَّ بَارِكَ عَلَى مُحَمَّدٍ وَعَلَى آلِ مُحَمَّدٍ كَمَا بَارَكْتَ عَلَى إِبْرَاهِيمَوَعَلَى آلِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ، إِنَّكَ حَمِيدٌ مَجِيدٌ
Allaahumma salli 'alaa Muhammadin wa 'alaa 'aali Muhammadin, kamaa sallayta 'alaa 'Ibraaheema wa 'alaa 'aali 'Ibraaheema, 'innaka Hameedun Majeed. Allaahumma baarik 'alaa Muhammadin wa 'alaa 'aali Muhammadin, kamaa baarakta 'alaa 'Ibraaheema wa 'alaa 'aali 'Ibraaheema, 'innaka Hameedun Majeed
O Allah, bestow Your favor on Muhammad and on the family of Muhammad as You have bestowed Your favor on Ibrahim and on the family of Ibrahim, You are Praiseworthy, Most Glorious. O Allah, bless Muhammad and the family of Muhammad as You have blessed Ibrahim and the family of Ibrahim, You are Praiseworthy, Most Glorious. (Sahih Bukhari 3370)

Then you may choose, in this Tashahud, any of the reported supplications , and supplicate to Allah with that.

Click Here for All the Duas.

17. The Salutation (Tasleem) (Ending The Prayer):-

After completing the ‘Final Tashahud’, person should give salutations to his right side, turning his face such that the whiteness of his right cheek can be seen, by saying:

السلام عليكم ورحمة الله
Assalam-u-alaykum wa raḥmatulllah
Peace and blessings of Allah be unto you.

Then he/she will give salutations to his left side, turning his face such that the whiteness of his left cheek can be seen, by saying:

السلام عليكم ورحمة الله
Assalam-u-alaykum wa raḥmatulllah
Peace and blessings of Allah be unto you.


It was narrated from Abdullah (R.A.) that: “The Prophet (S.A.W.) used to say salam (Taslim) to his right and to his left: As-salamu 'alaykum wa rahmatullah, as-salamu alaykum wa rahmatullah (peace be upon you and the mercy of Allah, peace be upon you and the mercy of Allah) until the whiteness of his cheek could be seen from here, and the whiteness of his cheek from here. (An-Nasai: 1324)

Undoubtedly, the fulfillment of all the necessary conditions for the Prayer enhances its chances of receiving the best recognition and full reward of Allah.

May Allah accept Prayer, Supplications and all other good deeds of all our Muslim brothers and sisters all over the world.

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