The separation between the obligatory prayers voluntary and either by talking or stepping out of the Masjid

As-Saa’ib ibn Yazid (Radia-Allaahu ‘anhu) narrated that Mu’awiyah (Radia-Allaahu ‘anhu) told him, “

If you offer the Friday prayer do not connect it with another prayer unless you talk or go out. Allaah’s Messenger (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) had commanded us that we should not connect a prayer to another prayer unless we talk or go out (in be- tween them).

” [Reported by Muslim]

This Hadeeth emphasizes that in case someone offers a certain prayer at a certain place, he should not offer another prayer at the same time and at the same place.

There must be a separation in between the two prayers either by way of a change in the place or by talking. [Subul as-Salaam]

This is not just particular to the Sunnahs of Jumu’ah (Friday) prayer, because the narrator mentioned a general Hadeeth as an evidence that includes the Jumu’ah prayer and other prayers.

The wisdom behind that is to distinguish between the obligatory from the voluntary act, and because doing that (not separating the two prayers) is a means of destruction.

It is narrated that once after the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) finished offering Asr prayer, a man stood up to pray. ‘Umar (Radia-Allaahu ‘anhu) saw him and said to him:

Sit down. Indeed, the people of the scriptures were destroyed because they did not separate between their prayers.”

The Prophet (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said:

What Ibn al-Khat- tab said is good.”

[Ahmad]

Shaikh Ibn Baaz (Rahimahullaah) said about the wisdom behind this prohibition is because joining the Sunnah (voluntary) prayer with the obligatory without separation in between indicates as if the Sunnah prayer is a part of the obligatory prayer, and this is in Jumu’ah prayer and other prayers. If one separated between them by talking or step- ping out or remembrance or asking forgiveness then it is separated.” [Commentary of Shaikh Ibn Baaz on Hadeeth no. 485 in Bulugh al-Maram]

As-Sana’ani (Rahimahullaah) said: “

The Scholars mentioned that it is recommended to change the place of offering the Salaat when one intends to offer the Sunnah prayer. It is more preferable (for men) to move to one’s home for offer- ing the Sunnah prayer, or to another place in the Masjid (or prayer place). The well-intended motive behind that is that his record of actions and deeds must either reflect that he has offered his prayers in many places or that he has of- fered it many times.”

[Subul as-Salaam]

Abu Dawoud reported that Abu Hurairah (Radia-Allaahu ‘anhu) narrated that the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said:

Does anyone of you fail to proceed forward or move back or move towards the right or left in the prayer (in the voluntary prayer).” [

Authenticated by al-Albaani in Sunan Abu Dawoud 1/188]

The above is also affirmed by the action of Ibn ‘Umar (Ra- dia-Allaahu ‘anhuma), when he used to stay in Makkah and after offering Jumu’ah (Friday congregational) prayer he proceeded forward and offered two Rak’aat, then he pro-ceeded further and offered four Rak’aat.
When he used to stay in Madinah, after offering Jumu’ah prayer he returned to his home and offered two Rak’aat and did not pray in the Masjid. When he was asked he replied: “

The Messenger of Allaah (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) used to do like this.”

[Sunan Abu Dawoud and authenticated by al-Albaani 1/210]

This above Hadeeth points to the preference and excellence of offering the voluntary prayers in other than the Masjid even if one is in Makkah or Madinah.

When the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) was in Madinah he used to say:

The best Salaat (prayer) of a person is that when he prays in his house except the obligatory congregational prayers.”</strong

> [Al- Bukhaari]

Despite its permissibility, especially the voluntary prayers that should be offered after the obligatory prayer, many people, nowadays, offer the Nawafil (voluntary) prayers in the Masjid and this is contrary to the most virtuous state.

One of the benefits of offering the Salaat in the house is being away from show off, and the children will learn the Salaat and get used to it.

This is why the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said:

Offer some of your Salaat (voluntary) at home, and do not make your houses as graves.

[Al-Bukhaari]

What is better for a woman when she is in Makkah and Madinah: to offer the obligatory prayers in her house or in the Haram?
Shaikh Ibn ‘Uthaimeen (Rahimahullaah) said: “In her house.”

Shaikh Ibn ‘Uthaimeen (Rahimahullaah) said: “Don’t join ob- ligatory prayer with Sunnah (voluntary) prayer directly until you talk or go out. Talking can be either with others or by Dhikr (remembering Allaah). The wisdom behind that is to avoid confusing the person between the obligatory and voluntary acts, and in order to prevent anyone who intends to add to the obligatory acts that are enjoined by Allaah, rather to make them clear and distinct. Therefore, the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said:

Do not fast for a day or two days ahead of Ramadan except a person who is in the habit of observing a particular fast; he may fast on that day.”

[Agreed upon]

In order to keep Ramadan distinct from the voluntary fast it is not allowed to fast on the day just prior to the commencement of Ramadan, except for the one who is in the habit of fasting on a particular day which incidentally hap- pens to fall just before Ramadan.

Sources:
1) Sharh Bulugh al-Maraam by Shaikh Ibn ‘Uthaimeen.
2) Salaat at-Tatawwu’ by Shaikh Sa’eid al-Qahtani.
3) Bulugh al-Maraam by Darus-Salam.

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