Some Sunnahs Are More Difficult Than Others
I received a lot of positive feedback from an article I wrote about 5 Simple Sunnahs you should be doing. Those were pretty lightweight things that you could easily make part of your routine.
But there’s no reason you can’t kick it up a notch. So, I decided to give you a list of slightly more difficult Sunnahs to take on – simply because I want to challenge you and myself.
Read through this list and make a mental note of which actions you’re already doing. And make a note of the ones you think you could begin to do without too much hardship. Come on. Isn’t it time to take your Islam to the next level?
A word of caution: Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Take your time and realistically figure out what you can and cannot do. Then when you’ve made up your mind about what you can do, take it all the way.
Stick with it. Don’t give up. Don’t feel too boastful. Don’t feel overwhelmed.
Inshallah, you’ll find these difficult sunnahs becoming easy in no time.
1. Praying Tahajjud or the Night Prayer.
Oh yeah, this one is difficult. It’s hard enough for many Muslims to even get up for Salaatul Fajr (the Dawn Prayer) which is mandatory. It’s certainly no easy thing waking up even earlier for the night prayer. Establishing and maintaining this wonderful act takes great sacrifice and patience.
Which is why the rewards are so plentiful.
Arise to (pray) the night except for a little. Half of it or subtract from it a little. Chapter 73, verse 2-3.
And from the hadith:
One night Allah’s Apostle came to me and Fatima, the daughter of the Prophet and asked, “Won’t you pray (at night)?” I said, “O Allah’s Apostle! Our souls are in the hands of Allah and if He wants us to get up He will make us get up.” When I said that, he left us without saying anything and I heard that he was hitting his thigh and saying, “But man is more quarrelsome than anything.”
Of course praying half the night was a command from Allah to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). You do not have to pray so much. In fact, I’d strongly suggest you only pray as much as you really think you can handle; even if that is just two rakaah (units of prayer).
2. Making All of The Sunnah Prayers
This one certainly isn’t easy. Most Muslims don’t even know all of the Sunnah prayers. These are the voluntary prayers said before and after the obligatory prayers in Islam.
In case you do not know, here they are:
- Two Rakaah before Salaatul Fajr; none after.
- Four Rakaah before Salaatul Dhuhr; two Rakaah after.
- Four Rakaah before Salaatul Asr; none after. *I’ve recently found out the hadeeth prescribing this sunnah is weak. May Allah forgive me; I’m still learning also.*
- None before Salaatul Maghrib; two Rakaah after.
- None before Salaatul Isha; two Rakaah after.
- It is also recommended that you make Salaatul Witr before going to bed. This can also be combined with Tahajjud instead.
3. Fasting on Mondays and Thursdays
Generally, fasting is difficult no matter when you do it. It’s difficult to do it for thirty days straight during Ramadan. And it’s difficult to do it twice a week outside of Ramadan.
But it is an act that is loved by Allah. So, it is something you should try to make part of your life. After all, this is one action that no one except you and Allah knows about.
People can see you pray. And they can see you give charity. And they can see you read Quran.
But no one can “see” you fast. Even if you tell someone you’re fasting, no one knows the truth except you and Allah. That’s one of the reasons Allah loves this deed so much.
4. Reciting Suratul Kahf on Fridays
Suratul Kahf (the Chapter of the Cave) is a very intersting chapter. It is the 18th chapter of the Quran and includes many lessons and stories. Some of the stories included are:
- The story of the Companions of the Cave.
- The story of Musa and Khidhr.
- The story of Dhul Qarnain and Gog and Magog.
Some of the lessons included are:
- Leaving the land of disbelief if oppressed for your beliefs.
- Understanding that all pleasures in this world are temporary.
- Being patient with Allah’s decree.
- Signs of the Last Day.
Whoever reads Suratul Kahf on Friday, he will be illuminated with light between the two Fridays. Narrated by Al-Hakim
It’s easy to see the benefits of reciting suratul Kahf every Friday. But actually doing so is not so easy. Some reasons I think many people neglect this action:
- It’s a fairly long chapter. It takes me about forty minutes to read the entire chapter in Arabic with proper Tajweed. Even someone who reads better than I do would probably take at least half an hour.
- You have to know how to read Arabic and read it pretty well. If you don’t know how to read Arabic or if you’re not very good at it, you’re going to find what takes me forty minutes will probably take you a couple of hours. Not trying to discourage you. Just keeping it real. And no, you can’t read it in English and expect the same reward.
- People forget. It’s not easy to remember to do something once a week, week in and week out. If it’s done every day, it might be easier to remember. My suggestion, program your cell phone calendar to remind you that it’s Friday and you have to read Suratul Kahf.
- People are lazy. Plain and simple.
5. Making Two Rakaahs After Every Wudu
Seriously? This one is not even all that difficult. But I’m sure many people don’t do it.
Abu Hurairah reported that the Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace, said to Bilal, “O Bilal, tell me what good deed you have done in Islam that I hear the sound of your footsteps in Paradise?” Bilal said, “That after I purify myself during the day or night, I pray with that purification as much as Allah has destined for me.” Related by Bukhari
I can understand why you might want to neglect this deed. If you work in an office building or are in school, it may not be so easy to find a place to make a two rakaah several times a day.
But this is a list difficult Sunnahs, isn’t it?
Don’t be too hard on yourself if you’re not fulfilling any of these. Even though there is great reward in doing them, they are voluntary acts. So there is no punishment if you decide not to do them.
However, rather than neglect them altogether, pick out the ones you think you can do. And then, do it.
It’s really that simple.