1 . أَخْبَرَنَا الْحَسَنُ بْنُ الْقَاسِمِ الطِّهْرَانِيُّ، قَالَ: ذُكِرَ عِنْدَ الْمَنْصُورِ رَجُلٌ مِنْ أَصْحَابِنَا، فَقُلْتُ: إِنَّهُ كَسْلَانُ، فَقَالَ: مَا هُوَ بِكَسْلَانَ وَلَكِنَّ الْكَسْلَانَ مَنْ يَتْرُكُ النَّافِلَةَ!
Translation of the saying:
Hasan ibn Qasim al-Tehrani informed us, he said: A man from our companions was mentioned in the presence of Mansoor, then I said: “He is lazy.” So he said: “He is not lazy, but rather one who abandons the nafilah prayer is lazy!”
2 . أَخْبَرَنَا أَحْمَدُ بْنُ عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ الطَّالَقَانِيُّ، قَالَ: كُنْتُ جَالِسًا عِنْدَ الْمَنْصُورِ، فَأَقْبَلَ عَلَيَّ فَقَالَ: إِنِّي لَأُحِبُّكَ يَا أَحْمَدُ! قُلْتُ: الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ الَّذِي حَبَّبَنِي إِلَى وَلِيِّهِ وَلَكِنْ لِمَاذَا؟! قَالَ: لِأَنَّكَ تَقْضِي مَا فَاتَكَ مِنَ النَّوَافِلِ وَلَا يَقْضِيهِ إِلَّا ذُو حَظٍّ عَظِيمٍ!
Translation of the saying:
Ahmad ibn Abd al-Rahman al-Taloqani informed us, he said: I was sitting with Mansoor, then he looked at me and said: “I indeed like you Ahmad!” I said: “Praise be to God Who endeared me to His friend, but why?!” He said: “Because you make up for the nawafil that you miss, and none but the owner of great fortune makes up for them!”
3 . أَخْبَرَنَا عِيسَى بْنُ عَبْدِ الْحَمِيدِ الْجُوزَجَانِيُّ، قَالَ: سَأَلْتُ الْمَنْصُورَ عَنْ نَوَافِلِ اللَّيْلِ وَالنَّهَارِ، فَقَالَ: ثَمَانٌ إِذَا زَالَتِ الشَّمْسُ وَثَمَانٌ بَعْدَ الظُّهْرِ وَأَرْبَعٌ بَعْدَ الْمَغْرِبِ وَرَكْعَتَانِ بَعْدَ الْعِشَاءِ وَثَمَانٌ صَلَاةُ اللَّيْلِ وَثَلَاثٌ صَلَاةُ الْوَتْرِ وَرَكْعَتَانِ قَبْلَ صَلَاةِ الْفَجْرِ، قُلْتُ: إِنِّي رُبَّمَا أَشْتَغِلُ فَلَا أُطِيقُ ذَلِكَ، فَقَالَ: مَهْمَا تَرَكْتَ مِنْهَا فَلَا تَتْرُكْ أَرْبَعًا قَبْلَ الظُّهْرِ وَرَكْعَتَيْنِ بَعْدَهُ وَرَكْعَتَيْنِ قَبْلَ الْعَصْرِ وَرَكْعَتَيْنِ بَعْدَ الْمَغْرِبِ وَصَلَاةَ اللَّيْلِ وَرَكْعَتَيِ الْفَجْرِ وَلَيْسَ عَلَيْكَ جُنَاحٌ أَنْ تُقَدِّمَ بَعْضَ نَوَافِلِ الظُّهْرِ فَتُصَلِّيَهَا قَبْلَ الزَّوَالِ فَإِنِّي رُبَّمَا أَفْعَلُ ذَلِكَ، قُلْتُ: كَيْفَ تُقَدِّمُهَا عَلَى الْوَقْتِ؟! قَالَ: لَا أَرَى بِذَلِكَ بَأْسًا، أَمَا قَالَ اللَّهُ: ﴿فَاسْتَبِقُوا الْخَيْرَاتِ﴾؟!
Translation of the saying:
Isa ibn Abd al-Hamid al-Jowzjani informed us, he said: I asked Mansoor about the nafilah of night and day, so he said: “Eight rak‘ats after the sun passes (meridian), eight rak‘ats after the noon prayer, four rak‘ats after the sunset prayer, two rak‘ats after the night prayer, eight rak‘ats for the (recommended) prayer of the night, three rak‘ats for the witr prayer, and two rak‘ats before the morning prayer.” I said: “Sometimes I get busy and cannot afford it.” So he said: “Whatever you abandon of it, do not abandon four rak‘ats before the noon prayer and two rak‘ats after it, two rak‘ats before the evening prayer, two rak‘ats after the sunset prayer and the (recommended) prayer of the night, and two rak‘ats (the nafilah of) the morning, and there is no sin on you if you perform some of the nawafil of noon sooner, so you may perform it before the sun passes (meridian); because I might as well do that.” I said: “How do you perform it sooner (than its time)?!” He said: “I see nothing wrong with it. Has God not said: ‘Hasten to (do) good deeds’?!”
4 . أَخْبَرَنَا هَاشِمُ بْنُ عُبَيْدٍ الْخُجَنْدِيُّ، قَالَ: سَأَلْتُ الْمَنْصُورَ عَنِ السُّنَنِ الرَّوَاتِبِ، فَقَالَ: مَهْمَا تَرَكْتَ مِنْ شَيْءٍ فَلَا تَتْرُكْ أَرْبَعَ رَكَعَاتٍ قَبْلَ الظُّهْرِ وَرَكْعَتَيْنِ بَعْدَهَا وَرَكْعَتَيْنِ قَبْلَ الْعَصْرِ وَرَكْعَتَيْنِ بَعْدَ الْمَغْرِبِ وَرَكْعَتَيْنِ قَبْلَ صَلَاةِ الصُّبْحِ وَلَا تَتْرُكْ صَلَاةَ الْوَتْرِ وَلَئِنْ صَلَّيْتَ بَعْدَ الْعِشَاءِ رَكْعَتَيْنِ لَكَانَ خَيْرًا لَكَ، قُلْتُ: مِنْهُمْ مَنْ يُصَلِّي قَبْلَ الظُّهْرِ ثَمَانَ رَكَعَاتٍ، فَقَالَ: لَا يُصَلِّيهَا إِلَّا ذُو حَظٍّ عَظِيمٍ وَسَأَلْتُهُ عَنِ الرَّوَاتِبِ فِي السَّفَرِ، فَقَالَ: لَا تَتْرُكْ رَاتِبَةَ الْفَجْرِ وَالْمَغْرِبِ وَلَا تَتْرُكْ صَلَاةَ الْوَتْرِ وَسَأَلْتُهُ عَنْ صَلَاةِ اللَّيْلِ، فَقَالَ: كَانَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَآلِهِ وَسَلَّمَ يُصَلِّي مِنَ اللَّيْلِ إِحْدَى عَشْرَةَ رَكْعَةً يُوتِرُ مِنْهَا بِوَاحِدَةٍ فَإِذَا فَرِغَ مِنْهَا اضْطَجَعَ عَلَى شِقِّهِ الْأَيْمَنِ حَتَّى يَأْتِيَهُ الْمُؤَذِّنُ فَيُصَلِّي رَكْعَتَيْنِ خَفِيفَتَيْنِ، قُلْتُ: فَالْإِضْطِجَاعُ عَلَى الشِّقِّ الْأَيْمَنِ سُنَّةٌ؟ قَالَ: نَعَمْ وَسَأَلْتُهُ عَنْ صَلَاةِ الضُّحَى، فَقَالَ: مَا صَلَّاهَا رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَآلِهِ وَسَلَّمَ، قُلْتُ: أَلَمْ يُصَلِّهَا يَوْمَ الْفَتْحِ؟! قَالَ: مَا يُدْرِيكَ لَعَلَّهَا كَانَتْ صَلَاةَ الشُّكْرِ وَلَا بَأْسَ لِلرَّجُلِ أَنْ يُصَلِّيَ مَتَى شَاءَ إِذَا لَمْ يَتَّخِذْهُ سُنَّةً.
Translation of the saying:
Hashim ibn Ubaid al-Khujandi informed us, he said: I asked Mansoor about the confirmed Sunnah prayers, so he said: “Whatever you abandon, do not abandon four rak‘ats before the noon (prayer) and two rak‘ats after it, two rak‘ats before the evening (prayer), two rak‘ats after the sunset prayer, and two rak‘ats before the morning prayer, and do not abandon the witr prayer, and it is better for you if you perform two rak‘ahs after the night (prayer).” I said: “There are some who perform eight rak‘ats before the noon (prayer).” So he said: “None but the owner of great fortune performs it,” and I asked him about the confirmed Sunnah prayers in travel, so he said: “Do not abandon the confirmed Sunnah prayers of morning and sunset and do not abandon the witr prayer,” and I asked him about the (recommended) prayer of the night, so he said: “The Messenger of God, peace and blessings of God be upon him and his family, would perform eleven rak‘ats at night, which he would make it witr (i.e., uneven) with one rak‘at, and when he finished them, he would sleep on his right side until the muezzin came to him. Then he would perform two light rak‘ats.” I said: “So is it Sunnah to sleep on the right side?” He said: “Yes,” and I asked him about the Duha (i.e., morning and after the sunrise) prayer, so he said: “The Messenger of God, peace and blessings of God be upon him and his family, did not perform it.” I said: “Did he not perform it on the day of the conquest (of Mecca)?!” He said: “How do you know? Perhaps it was the prayer of gratitude, and there is nothing wrong with a person performing prayer whenever he wants if he does not take it as Sunnah.”
5 . أَخْبَرَنَا عَبْدُ السَّلَامِ بْنُ عَبْدِ الْقَيُّومِ الْبَلْخِيُّ، قَالَ: سَمِعْتُ الْمَنْصُورَ يَقُولُ لِأَصْحَابِهِ: عَلَيْكُمْ بِصَلَاةِ اللَّيْلِ فَإِنَّهُ مَنْ لَمْ يُصَلِّ صَلَاةَ اللَّيْلِ فَلَيْسَ مِنِّي، قُلْتُ: جُعِلْتُ فِدَاكَ، إِنِّي أَعْرِفُ رَجُلًا مِنْ أَصْحَابِكَ لَا يُصَلِّيهَا وَهُوَ أَشَدُّ شَيْءٍ مَحَبَّةً لَكَ! قَالَ: لَا وَاللَّهِ إِنَّهُ لَا يَسْتَطِيعُ مَعِيَ صَبْرًا، فَلَمْ يَلْبَثِ الرَّجُلُ إِلَّا قَلِيلًا فَعَرَضَتْ لَهُ شُبْهَةٌ فَذَهَبَ!
Translation of the saying:
Abd al-Salam ibn Abd al-Qayyum al-Balkhi informed us, he said: I heard Mansoor say to his companions: “You shall perform the (recommended) prayer of the night; because whoever does not perform the (recommended) prayer of the night is not from me.” I said: “May I be sacrificed for you, I know a man from your companions who does not perform it while he likes you more than anything!” He said: “No, I swear to God, he cannot wait patiently with me.” So the man did not stay but a short time, then a doubt came to him, so he left!
Explanation of the saying:
Non-obligatory prayer is called “nafilah” because it is besides obligatory prayer, and it is of two types: non-obligatory prayer that the Prophet, peace and blessings of God be upon him and his family, would preserve, and therefore, it is considered as “Sunnah,” and non-obligatory prayer that the Prophet, peace and blessings of God be upon him and his family, would not preserve, and therefore, it is not considered as “Sunnah,” but considering the generalities of God’s words about adding to good deeds, it is considered “recommended,” provided that it is not treated as legislation or innovation; in the sense that it does not have an invented manner, nor is it taken as Sunnah.
Undoubtedly, the best of nawafil are those that the Prophet, peace and blessings of God be upon him and his family, would preserve, and in this respect, they are considered as Sunnah; because His Excellency has not abandoned anything of good unless he has performed it, and he is an excellent model for Muslims. Therefore, there are many recommendations from the Ahl al-Bayt and the Sahabah to preserve these nawafil, but rather preserving them has long been the manner of the righteous, and abandoning them has been considered abhorrent and a sign of weakness in religion.
But undoubtedly, the most important of these nawafil is the nafilah of the night, which is the comfort of those who stay awake at night, and God has commanded His Prophet to perform it and said about it: ﴿وَمِنَ اللَّيْلِ فَتَهَجَّدْ بِهِ نَافِلَةً لَكَ عَسَى أَنْ يَبْعَثَكَ رَبُّكَ مَقَامًا مَحْمُودًا﴾; “And some part of the night awake for it, a nafilah for you, may it be that your Lord will raise you to a Praiseworthy Position”; as He has said: ﴿الصَّابِرِينَ وَالصَّادِقِينَ وَالْقَانِتِينَ وَالْمُنْفِقِينَ وَالْمُسْتَغْفِرِينَ بِالْأَسْحَارِ﴾; “The patient, the truthful, the obedient, the charitable, and those who ask for forgiveness at dawn,” and said: ﴿وَبِالْأَسْحَارِ هُمْ يَسْتَغْفِرُونَ﴾; “And at dawn they ask for forgiveness.” Therefore, there are many narrations from the Prophet, the Ahl al-Bayt, and the Sahabah that recommend preserving the nafilah of the night, especially at dawn, and inform about its many blessings, such as forgiveness of sins, fulfillment of needs, and expansion in sustenance, and accordingly, it has been emphasized a lot in the sayings of Mansoor Hashemi Khorasani, may God protect him; as in addition to the above sayings, it has been stated in one of his letters: “Do not abandon the nafilah of the night and ask for forgiveness at dawn”, and it has been stated in one of his sayings: «صَلَاةُ اللَّيْلِ حَيَاةٌ لِقُلُوبِكُمْ»; “The (recommended) prayer of the night is life for your hearts,” and it has been stated in one of his letters: “The helpers of the Mahdi are not those who disobey God; his helpers are those who avoid major and minor sins; they get up at night to pray and spend the day gaining knowledge and teaching it to others”, and it has been stated in one of his sayings: “Do you not see those who stay awake at night in anticipation of death and weep for fear of fire? They believe in the Hereafter as if they see it. Their desire for paradise is the desire of those who walk through its green fields, sit by its beautiful rivers, and rest in the everlasting shade of its fruitful trees, while they know that they will not die after the first death, and will live beside God forever”, and it has been stated in one of his sayings: “How many nights they are unable to sleep and sit in a dark and lonely corner, hugging their knees and thinking! Sometimes they stand up for the prayer, and sometimes they prostrate, and sometimes they stare at the sky with eyes overflowing with tears, as if they are looking for something among its stars. If the veil is lifted from before your eyes, you will see the Angels have descended upon and surrounded them, and the doors of the sky have opened to them, and Heavens full of blessings have been prepared for them. Oh, how I long for them”, and it has been stated in one of his letters: “They were like honey beehives during the night! They spent nights performing prayer, asking for forgiveness, and reciting the Quran and spent days acquiring knowledge, performing jihad, and serving people. They neither got tired nor hesitated. May God have mercy on them”.