'Abdullah bin Abbas said that he had passed a night in the house of Maimuna the mother of the faithful believers , who was his aunt. He said, "I slept across the bed, and Allah's Apostle along with his wife slept lengthwise. Allah's Apostle slept till mid-night or slightly before or after it. Then Allah's Apostle woke up, sat, and removed the traces of sleep by rubbing his hands over his face. Then he recited the last ten verses of Surat-Al Imran (2). Then he went towards a hanging leather water-container and performed a perfect ablution and then stood up for prayer." 'Abdullah bin Abbas added, "I got up and did the same as Allah's Apostle had done and then went and stood by his side. Allah's Apostle then put his right hand over my head and caught my right ear and twisted it. He offered two Rakat, then two Rakat, then two Rakat, then two Rakat, then two Rakat, then two Rakat and then offered one Raka Witr. Then he lay down till the Muadh-dhin came and then he prayed two light Rakat and went out and offered the early morning (Fajr) prayer."
We used to greet the Prophet while he was praying and he used to answer our greetings. When we returned from AnNajashi (the ruler of Ethiopia), we greeted him, but he did not answer us (during the prayer) and (after finishing the prayer) he said, "In the prayer one is occupied (with a more serious matter)."
In the life-time of the Prophet we used to speak while praying, and one of us would tell his needs to his companions, till the verse, 'Guard strictly your prayers (2.238) was revealed. After that we were ordered to remain silent while praying.
The Prophet went out to affect a reconciliation between the tribes of Bani 'Amr bin 'Auf and the time of the prayer became due; Bilal went to Abu Bakr and said, "The Prophet is detained. Will you lead the people in the prayer?" Abu Bakr replied, "Yes, if you wish." So Bilal pronounced the Iqama and Abu Bakr led the prayer. In the meantime the Prophet came crossing the rows (of the praying people) till he stood in the first row and the people started clapping. Abu Bakr never looked hither and thither during the prayer but when the people clapped too much, he looked back and saw the Prophet in the (first) row. The Prophet waved him to remain at his place, but Abu Bakr raised both his hands and sent praises to Allah and then retreated and the Prophet went forward and led the prayer. (See Hadith No. 295 & 296)
We used to say the greeting, name and greet each other in the prayer. Allah's Apostle heard it and said:--"Say, 'At-tahiyyatu lil-lahi was-salawatu wat-taiyibatu . Assalamu 'Alaika aiyuha-n-Nabiyu wa-rahmatu-l-lahi wa-barakatuhu. _ Assalamu alaina wa-'ala 'ibadi-l-lahi as-salihin.. Ashhadu an la ilaha illa-l-lah wa ashhadu anna Muhammadan 'abdu hu wa Rasuluh. (All the compliments are for Allah and all the prayers and all the good things (are for Allah). Peace be on you, O Prophet, and Allah's mercy and blessings (are on you). And peace be on us and on the good (pious) worshipers of Allah. I testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and that Muhammad is His slave and Apostle.) So, when you have said this, then you have surely sent the greetings to every good (pious) worship per of Allah, whether he be in the Heaven or on the Earth . "
The Prophet said, "The saying 'Sub Han Allah' is for men and clapping is for women." (If something happens in the prayer, the men can invite the attention of the Imam by saying "Sub Han Allah". And women, by clapping their hands).
While Abu Bakr was leading the people in the morning prayer on a Monday, the Prophet came towards them suddenly having lifted the curtain of 'Aisha's house, and looked at them as they were standing in rows and smiled. Abu Bakr tried to come back thinking that Allah's Apostle wanted to come out for the prayer. The attention of the Muslims was diverted from the prayer because they were delighted to see the Prophet. The Prophet waved his hand to them to complete their prayer, then he went back into the room and let down the curtain. The Prophet expired on that very day.
Allah's Apostle said, "A woman called her son while he was in his hermitage and said, 'O Juraij' He said, 'O Allah, my mother (is calling me) and (I am offering) my prayer (what shall I do)?' She again said, 'O Juraij!' He said again, 'O Allah ! My mother (is calling me) and (I am offering) my prayer (what shall I do)?' She again said, 'O Juraij' He again said, 'O Allah! My mother (is calling me) and (I am offering) my prayer. (What shall I do?)' She said, 'O Allah! Do not let Juraij die till he sees the faces of prostitutes.' A shepherdess used to come by his hermitage for grazing her sheep and she gave birth to a child. She was asked whose child that was, and she replied that it was from Juraij and that he had come out from his hermitage. Juraij said, 'Where is that woman who claims that her child is from me?' (When she was brought to him along with the child), Juraij asked the child, 'O Babus, who is your father?' The child replied, 'The shepherd.' " (See Hadith No 662. Vol 3).
I used to stretch my legs towards the Qibla of the Prophet while he was praying; whenever he prostrated he touched me, and I would withdraw my legs, and whenever he stood up, I would restretch my legs.
The Prophet once offered the prayer and said, "Satan came in front of me and tried to interrupt my prayer, but Allah gave me an upper hand on him and I choked him. No doubt, I thought of tying him to one of the pillars of the mosque till you get up in the morning and see him. Then I remembered the statement of Prophet Solomon, 'My Lord ! Bestow on me a kingdom such as shall not belong to any other after me.' Then Allah made him (Satan) return with his head down (humiliated)."
We were at Al-Ahwaz fighting the AlHaruriya (tribe). While I was at the bank of a river a man was praying and the reins of his animal were in his hands and the animal was struggling and he was following the animal. (Shu'ba, a sub-narrator, said that man was Abu Barza al-Aslaml). A man from the Khawarij said, "O Allah! Be harsh to this sheik." And when the sheik (Abu Barza) finished his prayer, he said, "I heard your remark. No doubt, I participated with Allah's Apostle in six or seven or eight holy battles and saw his leniency, and no doubt, I would rather retain my animal than let it return to its stable, as it would cause me much trouble. "
Once the sun eclipsed and Allah's Apostle stood up for the prayer and recited a very long Sura and when bowed for a long while and then raised his head and started reciting another Sura. Then he bowed, and after finishing, he prostrated and did the same in the second Raka and then said, "These (lunar and solar eclipses) are two of the signs of Allah and if you see them, pray till the eclipse is over. No doubt, while standing at this place I saw everything promised to me by Allah and I saw (Paradise) and I wanted to pluck a bunch (of grapes) therefrom, at the time when you saw me stepping forward. No doubt, I saw Hell with its different parts destroying each other when you saw me retreating and in it I saw 'Amr bin Luhai who started the tradition of freeing animals (set them free) in the name of idols."
The Prophet saw some sputum on the wall facing the Qibla of the mosque and became furious with the people of the mosque and said, "During the prayer, Allah is in front of everyone of you and so he should not spit (or said, 'He should not expectorate')." Then he got down and scratched the sputum with his hand. Ibn 'Umar said (after narrating), "If anyone of you has to spit during the prayer, he should spit to his left."
The Prophet said, "Whenever anyone of you is in prayer, he is speaking in private to his Lord and so he should neither spit in front of him nor on his right side but to his left side under his left foot."
The people used to offer the prayer with the Prophet with their waist-sheets tied round their necks because of the shortness of the sheets and the women were ordered not to lift their heads till the men had sat straight.
I used to greet the Prophet while he was in prayer and he would return my greeting, but when we returned (from Ethiopia) I greeted the Prophet (while he was praying) but he did not return the greeting, and (after finishing the prayer) he said, "In the prayer one is occupied (with a more serious matter)."
Allah's Apostle sent me for some job and when I had finished it I returned and came to the Prophet and greeted him but he did not return my greeting. So I felt so sorry that only Allah knows it and I said to myself,, 'Perhaps Allah's Apostle is angry because I did not come quickly, then again I greeted him but he did not reply. I felt even more sorry than I did the first time. Again I greeted him and he returned the greeting and said, "The thing which prevented me from returning the greeting was that I was praying." And at that time he was on his Rahila and his face was not towards the Qibla.
The news about the differences amongst the people of Bani 'Amr bin 'Auf at Quba reached Allah's Apostle and so he went to them along with some of his companions to affect a reconciliation. Allah's Apostle was delayed there and the time for the prayer became due. Bilal came to Abu Bakr! and said, "O Abu Bakr! Allah's Apostle is detained (there) and the time for the prayer is due. Will you lead the people in prayer?" Abu Bakr replied, "Yes, if you wish." So Bilal pronounced the Iqama and Abu Bakr went forward and the people said Takbir. In the meantime, Allah's Apostle came piercing through the rows till he stood in the (first) row and the people started clapping. Abu Bakr, would never look hither and thither during the prayer but when the people clapped much he looked back and saw Allah's Apostle. The Prophet beckoned him to carry on. Abu Bakr raised both his hands, praised Allah and retreated till he stood in the row and Allah's Apostle went forward and led the people in the prayer. When he had finished the prayer, he addressed the people and said, "O people! Why did you start clapping when something happened to you in the prayer? Clapping is for women. Whenever one is confronted with something unusual in the prayer one should say, 'Sub Han Allah'." Then the Prophet looked towards Abu Bakr and asked, "What prevented you from leading the prayer when I beckoned you to carry on?" Abu Bakr replied, "It does not befit the son of Al Quhafa to lead the prayer in the presence of Allah's Apostle
I offered the 'Asr prayer with the Prophet and after finishing the prayer with Taslim he got up quickly and went to some of his wives and then came out. He noticed the signs of astonishment on the faces of the people caused by his speed. He then said, "I remembered while I was in my prayer that a piece of gold was Lying in my house and I disliked that it should remain with us throughout the night, and so I have ordered it to be distributed."
Allah's Apostle said, "When the Adhan for the prayer is pronounced, then Satan takes to his heels passing wind so that he may not hear the Adhan and when the Muadh-dhin finishes, he comes back; and when the Iqama is pronounced he again takes to his heels and when it is finished, he again comes back and continues reminding the praying person of things that he used not to remember when not in prayer till he forgets how much he has prayed." Abu Salama bin 'Abdur-Rahman said, "If anyone of you has such a thing (forgetting the number of Rakat he has prayed) he should perform two prostrations of Sahu (i.e. forgetfulness) while sitting." Abu Salama narrates this from Abu Huraira.
People say that I narrate too many narrations of the Prophet; once I met a man (during the life-time of the Prophet) and asked him, "Which Sura did Allah's Apostle s recite yesterday in the 'Isha' prayer?" He said, "I do not know." I said, "Did you not attend the prayer?" He said, "Yes, (I did)." I said, "I know. He recited such and such Sura."
Allah's Apostle once led us in a prayer and offered two Rakat and got up (for the third Raka) without sitting (after the second Raka). The people also got up with him, and when he was about to finish his prayer, we waited for him to finish the prayer with Taslim but he said Takbir before Taslim and performed two prostrations while sitting and then finished the prayer with Taslim.
Allah's Apostle got up after the second Raka of the Zuhr prayer without sitting in between (the second and the third Rakat). When he finished the prayer he performed two prostrations (of Sahu) and then finished the prayer with Tasllm.
Once Allah's Apostle offered five Rakat in the Zuhr prayer, and somebody asked him whether there was some increase in the prayer. Allah's Apostle said, "What is that?" He said, "You have offered five Rakat." So Allah's Apostle performed two prostrations of Sahu after Taslim.
The Prophet led us in the 'Asr or the Zuhr prayer and finished it with Taslim. Dhul-Yadain said to him, "O Allah's Apostle! Has the prayer been reduced?" The Prophet asked his companions in the affirmative. So Allah's Apostle I offered two more Rakat and then performed two prostrations (of Sahu). Sad said, "I saw that 'Ursa bin Az-Zubair had offered two Rakat in the Maghrib prayer and finished it with Taslim. He then talked (and when he was informed about it) he completed the rest of his prayer and performed two prostrations, and said, 'The Prophet prayed like this.' "
Once Allah's Apostle offered two Rakat and finished his prayer. So Dhul-Yadain asked him, "Has the prayer been reduced or have you forgotten?" Allah's Apostle said, "Has DhulYadain spoken the truth?" The people replied in the affirmative. Then Allah's Apostle stood up and offered the remaining two Rakat and performed Taslim, and then said Takbir and performed two prostrations like his usual prostrations, or a bit longer, and then got up.
The Prophet offered one of the evening prayers (the sub-narrator Muhammad said, "I think that it was most probably the 'Asr prayer") and he finished it after offering two Rakat only. He then stood near a price of wood in front of the Mosque and put his hand over it. Abu Bakr and 'Umar were amongst those who were present, but they dared not talk to him about that (because of excessive respect for him), and those who were in a hurry went out. They said, "Has the prayer been reduced?" A man who was called DhulYadain by the Prophet said (to the Prophet), "Has the prayer been reduced or have you forgotten?" He said, "Neither have I forgotten, nor has the prayer been reduced." He said, "Certainly you have forgotten." So the Prophet offered two more Rakat and performed Tashm and then said Takbir and performed a prostration of Sahu like his ordinary prostration or a bit longer and then raised his head and said Takbir and then put his head down and performed a prostration like his ordinary prostration or a bit longer, and then raised his head and said Takbir.
(the ally of Bani 'Abdul Muttalib) Allah's Apostle stood up for the Zuhr prayer and he should have sat (after the second Raka but he stood up for the third Raka without sitting for Tashah-hud) and when he finished the prayer he performed two prostrations and said Takbir on each prostration while sitting, before ending (the prayer) with Taslim; and the people too performed the two prostrations with him instead of the sitting he forgot.
Allah's Apostle said, "When the call for prayer is made, Satan takes to his heels passing wind so that he may not hear the Adhan and when the call is finished he comes back, and when the Iqama is pronounced, Satan again takes to his heels, and when the Iqama is finished he comes back again and tries to interfere with the person and his thoughts and say, "Remember this and that (which he has not thought of before the prayer)", till the praying person forgets how much he has prayed. If anyone of you does not remember whether he has offered three or four Rakat then he should perform two prostrations of Sahu while sitting.
Allah's Apostle said, "When anyone of you stands for the prayers, Satan comes and puts him in doubts till he forgets how many Rakat he has prayed. So if this happens to anyone of you, he should perform two prostrations of Sahu while sitting.
I was sent to Aisha by Ibn Abbas, Al-Miswar bin Makhrama and 'Abdur-Rahman bin Azhar . They told me to greet her on their behalf and to ask her about the offering of the two Rakat after the 'Asr prayer and to say to her, "We were informed that you offer those two Rakat and we were told that the Prophet had forbidden offering them." Ibn Abbas said, "I along with 'Umar bin Al-Khattab used to beat the people whenever they offered them." I went to Aisha and told her that message. 'Aisha said, "Go and ask Um Salama about them." So I returned and informed them about her statement. They then told me to go to Um Salama with the same question with which t sent me to 'Aisha. Um Salama replied, "I heard the Prophet forbidding them. Later I saw him offering them immediately after he prayed the 'Asr prayer. He then entered my house at a time when some of the Ansari women from the tribe of Bani Haram were sitting with me, so I sent my slave girl to him having said to her, 'Stand beside him and tell him that Um Salama says to you, "O Allah's Apostle! I have heard you forbidding the offering of these (two Rakat after the 'Asr prayer) but I have seen you offering them." If he waves his hand then wait for him.' The slave girl did that. The Prophet beckoned her with his hand and she waited for him. When he had finished the prayer he said, "O daughter of Bani Umaiya! You have asked me about the two Rakat after the 'Asr prayer. The people of the tribe of 'Abdul-Qais came to me and made me busy and I could not offer the two Rakat after the Zuhr prayer. These (two Rakat that I have just prayed) are for those (missed) ones.
The news about the differences amongst the people of Bani'Amr bin 'Auf reached Allah's Apostle and so he went to them along with some of his companions to affect a reconciliation between them. Allah's Apostle was delayed there, and the time of the prayer was due. Bilal went to Abu Bakr and said to him, "Allah's Apostle has been delayed (there) and the time of prayer is due. So will you lead the people in prayer?" Abu Bakr said, "Yes, if you wish." Bilal pronounced the Iqama and Abu Bakr, went forward and said Takbir for the people. In the mean-time Allah's Apostle came crossing the rows (of the praying people) and stood in the (first) row and the people started clapping. Abu Bakr, would never glance side-ways in his prayer but when the people clapped much he looked back and (saw) Allah's Apostle . Allah's Apostle beckoned him to carry on the prayer. Abu Bakr raised his hands and thanked Allah, and retreated till he reached the (first) row. Allah's Apostle went forward and led the people in the prayer. When he completed the prayer he faced the people and said, "O people! Why did you start clapping when something unusual happened to you in the prayer? Clapping is only for women. So whoever amongst you comes across something in the prayer should say, 'Subhan-Allah' for there is none who will not turn round on hearing him saying Subhan-Allah. O Ab-u Bakr! What prevented you from leading the people in the prayer when I beckoned you to do so?" Abu Bakr replied, "How dare the son of Abu Quhafa lead the prayer in the presence of Allah's Apostle ?"
Allah's Apostle during his illness prayed in his house sitting, whereas some people followed him standing, but the Prophet beckoned them to sit down. On completion of the prayer he said, "The Imam is to be followed. So, bow when he bows, and raise your head when he raises his head." (See Hadith No. 657 Vol 1 for taking the verdict).