Do not make your houses like graves: Sharh al-Nawawi

‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar narrates that the Prophet (ﷺ) said:

اجعلوا من صلاتكم في بيوتكم ولا تتخذوها قبوراً

“Observe some of your prayers in your houses and do not make them (like) graves.”

[Muslim #777]

Imam al-Nawawi, in his explanation of Saheeh Muslim, writes:

باب استحباب صلاة النافلة في بيته وجوازها في المسجد

The chapter on the desirability of optional [nawaafil] prayer in one’s house and the permissibility of it in the masjid

 وسواء في هذا الراتبة وغيرها إلا الشعائر الظاهرة وهي العيد والكسوف والاستسقاء والتراويح وكذا ما لا يتأتى في غير المسجد كتحية المسجد ويندب كونه في المسجد هي ركعتا الطواف . ـ

[And just as this applies to optional (nawaafil) prayers] this also applies routine optional prayers (al-rawaatib) and others, except for those prayers which are the outward rituals, and they are the ‘eid prayer, and al-kusoof (eclipse prayer), and al-istisqaa’ (prayer for rain), and al-taraaweeh (night prayer during Ramadhaan), and others such as those which cannot be done except in the masjid such as tahiyyah al-masjid (prayer for greeting the masjid) and those whose performance is relegated to the masjid such as two raka’aat of Tawaaf.

قوله – صلى الله عليه وسلم – : ( اجعلوا من صلاتكم في بيوتكم ولا تتخذوها قبورا ) معناه : صلوا فيها ولا تجعلوها كالقبور مهجورة من الصلاة ، والمراد له صلاة النافلة ، أي : صلوا النوافل في بيوتكم . ـ

And his statement (ﷺ) “Observe some of your prayers in your houses and do not make them (like) graves” – meaning: pray in them and do not make them like graves, devoid of prayer. And the intended meaning of it is optional (naafilah) prayers, meaning: pray the optional prayers in your houses.

وقال القاضي عياض : قيل هذا في الفريضة ، ومعناه : اجعلوا بعض فرائضكم في بيوتكم ليقتدي بكم من لا يخرج إلى المسجد من نسوة وعبيد ومريض ونحوهم . قال : وقال الجمهور بل هو في النافلة لإخفائها وللحديث الآخر : ( أفضل الصلاة صلاة المرء في بيته إلا المكتوبة ) ـ

And al-Qaadhi ‘Iyaadh said, “It is said that this is referring to the obligatory prayers, and the meaning is: make some of your obligatory prayers in your houses in order to provide an example for those who do not go out (to pray) at the masjid, such as the women, slaves, the sick and so on. He [al-Qaadhi] said: And the majority (of scholars) said, no, rather this is referring to the optional prayers in order to conceal them, and according to another hadeeth, “the best prayer is the prayer of a person in his house, except for the compulsory prayers” [al-Bukhari #731].

  قلت : الصواب أن المراد النافلة ، وجميع أحاديث الباب تقتضيه ، ولا يجوز حمله على الفريضة وإنما حث على النافلة في البيت لكونه أخفى وأبعد من الرياء ، وأصون من المحبطات ، وليتبرك البيت بذلك وتنزل فيه الرحمة والملائكة وينفر منه الشيطان ، كما جاء في الحديث الآخر ، وهو معنى قوله – صلى الله عليه وسلم – في الرواية الأخرى : ( فإن الله جاعل في بيته من صلاته خيرا ) .

I (al-Nawawi) say: The correct position is that it means the optional prayers, and there are many ahaadeeth on this subject which confirm that. And it is not permissible to apply this to the obligatory prayer for this is only an encouragement for performing the optional prayers in the house in order that they should be concealed and far removed from riyaa’ (showing off), and a safeguard from the hellfire, and in order to bless the house by that and the descending of mercy and the angels in the house, and driving away the shaytaan from the house, as has come in another hadeeth. And that is the meaning of his (ﷺ) statement in another narration, “for Allah would make the prayer as a means of betterment in his house.

[Sharh al-Nawawi ‘alaa Muslim #777]

See also: Reserve a part of your prayers for your house

See also: The First Deed to be Reckoned

See also: The reward of Salaah while sitting: Ibn Taymiyah

See also: Praying the Voluntary Prayers in the Home: Ibn Qudaamah

See also: Du’a or Dhikr after the Salaah?: Ibn Taymiyah


4 thoughts on “Do not make your houses like graves: Sharh al-Nawawi

  1. Pingback: Reserve a part of your prayer for the house | Tulayhah

  2. Pingback: The first deed to be reckoned | Tulayhah

  3. Pingback: Du’a or dhikr after the salaah?: Ibn Taymiyah | Tulayhah

  4. Pingback: Praying the voluntary prayers in the home: Ibn Qudaamah | Tulayhah

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