Is it wrong to pray Salatul Tasbeeh in Jamah?

ⓘ Supported by Al Medina 313.



Islamic Text

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ

In the Name of Allah Most Merciful Most Kind

Short Answer

Yes, it is wrong to pray Salatul Tasbeeh in Jamah. This is because it is Makruh to pray Sunnah or Nafl pray in Jamah unless we have specific evidence permitting it.

عَائِشَةُ أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ: مَنْ عَمِلَ عَمَلًا لَيْسَ عَلَيْهِ أَمْرُنَا فَهُوَ رَدٌّ

(Sayidah) Aisha (May Allah Most High be pleased with her) narrated that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, ‘Whoever innovates something in this matter of ours, that is not of it, will have it rejected.’ (Sahih Muslim, 1718 – 18).

In the Hadith above, the blessed Prophet warns against religious innovation (Bidah). Many Hanafi scholars considered praying Nafl in congregation (Jamah) to be Bidah. Therefore, they would consider Salatul Tasbeeh in Jamah to be Bidah and hence Makruh. Salatul Tasbeeh is sometimes called the Tasbih prayer. It is a four Rakah Nafl prayer.

نَعَمْ إنْ كَانَ مَعَ الْمُوَاظَبَةِ كَانَ بِدْعَةً فَيُكْرَهُ. (رد المحتار على الدر المختار)

Yes, if it is done with regularity, it is an innovation and is disliked (Makruh). (Imam Ibn Abideen, Radd al-Muhtar).

فإن قلت: كيف يجوز أداء النفل بالجماعة وإنه بدعة. قلت: أداء النفل بالجماعة بلا أذان ولا إقامة بواحد أو اثنين، يجوز. (البناية شرح الهداية)

If you say: How is it permissible to perform voluntary prayers in congregation, even though it is an innovation (Bidah)? I say: Performing the voluntary prayer in congregation without the Adhan or Iqamah, with one or two people is permissible. (Imam Badr al-Deen al-Ayni, al-Binayah Sharh al-Hidayah).

وَأَوْرَدَ كَيْفَ جَازَ النَّفَلُ بِجَمَاعَةٍ وَهُوَ بِدْعَةٌ. أُجِيبُ بِأَنَّ أَدَاءَهُ بِلَا أَذَانٍ وَلَا إقَامَةٍ بِوَاحِدٍ أَوْ اثْنَيْنِ يَجُوزُ. (فتح القدير)

It is argued, how it was permissible to perform voluntary prayers in a group, when it is an innovation (Bidah)? I answer: It is permissible to perform it without the Adhan or Iqamah, with one or two people. (Imam Ibn al-Humam, Fath al-Qadeer Sharh al-Hidayah).

In the Nusoos (texts) above, we find leading Hanafi Imams confirming that Nafl prayer in congregation is Bidah. However, they do mention exceptions to this general rule.

Misunderstanding Bidah

Many Muslims, in our time, misunderstand Bidah. It is due to their confusion that they will struggle to recognise why leading Hanafi scholars have considered Nafl prayer in Jamah to be Bidah. And by extension they consider Salatul Tasbeeh in Jamah to be Bidah.

Those who misunderstand would say, there is nothing intrinsically wrong with praying in Jamah. Therefore, there is no reason to consider it Bidah. They do not understand Bidah. So, we must explain to such people that the Islamic law has restricted certain aspects of worship and rendered others unrestricted. If something is restricted, then you need specific evidence to do it. Otherwise, it is Bidah.

Examples to clarify

Tawaf is restricted to the Holy Kabah in Makka. If someone were to do it elsewhere it would not be permitted. The argument that there is nothing intrinsically wrong with Tawaf, and he is intending worship would not be upheld. Similarly, the rites of Hajj would not be acceptable anywhere else. So, if someone made Wuqoof in another place it would be rejected. Or introduced the ritual of pelting (Rami) somewhere else, it would be rejected.

Another example would be Adhan (call to prayer). In the Hanafi Madhab it is restricted. You cannot make Adhan for Sunnah or Nafl prayers. There is no Adhan for Eid or the solar eclipse prayer. This is because Adhan is restricted. You need specific evidence permitting Adhan in any given situation. Without such evidence it is not permitted.

Prayer in congregation (Jamah) is restricted. Therefore, it is only permitted with prayers that have explicit evidence allowing it. There is no such evidence for Salatul Tasbeeh. Thus, Salatul Tasbeeh in Jamah is Makruh.

Unrestricted worship

Some acts of worship are generally encouraged. So they are unrestricted. Consequently, the rule is the opposite of the above. Thus, with such acts they are permitted unless specific evidence restricts it. For example, fasting is generally encouraged. So, you can fast on any day. If someone were to say that you cannot fast on a particular day, then the onus would be upon him to provide evidence restricting you.

This ignorance of restricted and unrestricted acts of worship causes great confusion for many. They completely misjudge Bidah because they do not have the correct framework. This is largely due to sectarianism in our societies. We have extreme notions of Bidah. With some being overzealous and considering everything Bidah. And others being unconcerned and almost rejecting the concept of Bidah.

Earliest Imams

It is surprising to see that so many Hanafis are unaware that Salatul Tasbeeh in Jamah is Makruh in the Hanafi Madhab. This really should not be the case because it was expressly mentioned by some of our earliest Imams.

قلت فَهَل تكره الصَّلَاة فِي التَّطَوُّع جمَاعَة مَا خلا قيام رَمَضَان وَصَلَاة كسوف الشَّمْس قَالَ نعم. (الأصل)

I said: Is it disliked to pray voluntary prayers (Nafl) in congregation, except for the Ramadan prayer and the solar eclipse prayer? He (Imam Abu Hanifah) said: Yes. (Imam Muhammad al-Shaybani, Kitab al-Asl).

وَالْأَصْلُ فِي التَّطَوُّعَاتِ تَرْكُ الْجَمَاعَةِ فِيهَا مَا خَلَا قِيَامَ رَمَضَانَ لِاتِّفَاقِ الصَّحَابَةِ عَلَيْهِ وَكُسُوفَ الشَّمْسِ لِوُرُودِ الْأَثَرِ بِهِ. (المبسوط)

The basic principle regarding voluntary prayers (Nafl) is to avoid congregation (Jamah). With the exception of the Ramadan prayers. Due to the agreement of the Companions (Sahabah). Likewise, the solar eclipse. Due to a narration for it. (Imam Muhammad bin Ahmad al-Sarakhsi, al-Mabsoot)


According to the Hanafi Madhab, all Sunnah and Nafl prayers are to be prayed alone and not in congregation. Therefore, Salatul Tasbeeh in Jamah is not permitted. They considered it to be Makruh. However, there are exceptions to this general rule. For example, the Tarawih prayer and the solar eclipse prayer. These are considered exceptions since we have specific evidence permitting them in Jamah. No such evidence exists for Salatul Tasbeeh.

And Allah Most High Knows Best.

Answered by Shaykh Noorud-deen Rashid (02.04.24)