Never leave these three until you die


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Narrated Abu Huraira: My friend (the Prophet :saw:) advised me to do three things and I shall not leave them till I die, these are: To fast three days every month, to offer the Duha prayer, and to offer Witr before sleeping.
{Bukhari & Muslim}

This hadith carries a lot of meanings, but let us look at the advice the Prophet :saw: gave Abu-Huraira:

Fasting three days
Allaah rewards a fasting person without measure, it all depends on your effort and patience.

Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet :saw: said, "Allah said: The Fast is for Me and I will give the reward for it, as he (the one who observes the fast) leaves his sexual desire, food and drink for My Sake. fasting is a screen (from Hell) and there are two pleasures for a fasting person, one at the time of breaking his fast, and the other at the time when he will meet his Lord. And the smell of the mouth of a fasting person is better in Allah's Sight than the smell of musk. {Bukhari}

Allaah mentions two pleasures for fasting, yet these two pleasures seem so out of balance, how can they compare? Yet Allaah presents them in unison to show the greatness of an accepted fast.

Duha prayer (forenoon prayer)
Abu Dharr narrated that the Messenger of Allaah said: “In the morning charity is due from every joint of your body. Every tasbeeh (saying glory be to Allaah) is charity. Every tahmeed (saying all praise is due to Allaah) is charity. Every tahleelah (saying none has the right to be worshipped except Allaah) is charity. Every takbeerah (saying Allah is the Greatest) is charity. Enjoining the good is charity. Forbidding the evil is charity; and performing two rak’ah of Duha suffices all of this." {Muslim}

The timing for this prayer is, as estimated by Shaikh Ibn Uthaymeen, 20 minutes after sunrise and 10 minutes before Dhuhr prayer.

What is amazing about this Sunnah is that it's timing is very flexible and it is neither done after nor before any obligatory prayer. It is a test to the believer, can he maintain this act of performing two Rak'aahs outside of what is obligatory at an irregular time, that he must set for himself? Not an easy thing to remain consistent upon, but it's reward is great. Remembering Allaah in the best of manners on your own time.

Witr Prayer
The Witr prayer is a unique naafilah (optional) prayer that the Prophet :saw: rarely left. For more information on the Witr prayer, click here.

There is no better way to conclude our day than with the Witr prayer, with the remembrance of Allaah subhanahu wa talaa, just before we retire to bed. When we miss this prayer, we are indeed missing out on many great rewards.

But there is still one very important lesson in this hadith


The Prophet :saw: said:
“The most beloved actions to Allah are those performed consistently, even if they are few" {Bukhari}

My advise to those who practice none of the above, including myself, is to take them up one at a time. Start with whatever seems easiest, and once that becomes regular in your life you can move on to the next one.

InshaAllaah we can all benefit from these simple acts that might not even take up 2 minutes of our time.