My fellow Muslims, Allaah The Almighty commanded His servants to obey him and promised to give them great rewards for their good deeds. As long as deeds cannot be accepted except after meeting two conditions; offering worship with full sincerity to Allaah Alone and complete following of the Messenger of Allaah, peace and blessing be upon him, getting rewards differs according to their inward and outward attributes. In spite of such fact, one may get more rewards in some deeds because of what accompanies them. Therefore, scholars stated that reward of the worshipper is greatly multiplied if such deed is accompanied with some characteristics that distinguish it from other deeds.
My fellow Muslims, amongst the reasons of multiplying the reward of the Muslim worshiper is to do an act of worship that most people neglect due to obstacles and impediments. This was proved by the statement of the Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him: "Worship at times of turmoil is like Hijrah (i.e. migrating) to me." [Reported by Muslim]
The reward of the worshiper became like that of the migrant because the time of turmoil and fear may make one forget worship, even forget what Allaah The Almighty have obligated him to do and do much of the things other than that. This, and Allaah Knows best, is a clear proof that the servant is attached to his Lord in the most difficult condition and because of this, his reward is increased and multiplied.
This is exactly like what was narrated about the invocation of the market, according to the those who deemed the following Hadeeth authentic. It was narrated that the Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him, said: “Whoever enters the marketplace and says: Laa ’ilaaha ’illallaahu wahdahu laa shareeka lahu, lahul-mulku wa lahul-hamdu, yuhyee wa yumeetu, wa Huwa hayyun laa yamootu, biyadihil-khayru, wa Huwa ‘alaa kulli shay’in Qadeer (None has the right to be worshipped but Allaah alone, Who has no partner. His is the dominion and His is the praise. He brings life and He causes death, and He is living and does not die. In His Hand is all good, and He is Able to do all things) Allaah will write for him a million good deeds, erase a million of his bad deeds and raise him million greater degree.” [Reported by At-Tirmithi]
Having multiple rewards for Remembering Allaah The Almighty at the marketplaces is because such places are full of vain talks and many oaths and thus hearts of many people there neglect Remembering Allaah The Almighty. So, if one remembers to mention his Lord in such places and keep his tongue moist with the Remembrance of Allaah, this will be a great proof that his heart is attached to his Lord and thus He The Exalted will multiply for him many rewards and remove from him many sins.
My fellow Muslims, amongst the reasons that multiply the rewards of the worshiper are the acts that bring benefits for others. For example, the one who digs a well in the desert not like the one who digs a well near by a river. Also, whoever builds a mosque that protects people from heat and coldness not like the one who builds a mosque that lacks such benefits.
My fellow Muslims, amongst the reasons that multiply the reward of the worshiper is to manifest one of the rituals of the religion before those who deny or ignore it. Actually, this implies two great benefits: Firstly, confirming manifesting such ritual, raising high its banner, declaring it openly and affirming rejecting the plots of those who deny or ignore it. Secondly, following the Sunnah in oneself and applying it, for example, whoever wipes over Khuff (i.e. leather socks) before the one who denies wiping over Khuff does not like the one who does that before the one who view the permissibility of wiping over it.
My fellow Muslims, amongst the elements of multiplying the reward of the worshipers is to do openly one of the Islamic rituals that is rarely or hardly performed, because many people do not know it or neglected it to the extent that some of them may criticize the one who does it. Thus, doing such Sunan openly and explaining it to the people raises one's degrees and remove the effect of ignorance and division.
Shaykh Al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah, may Allaah have mercy upon him, said: "In order to follow the Sunnah completely we should do it one way one time and the other way another time, this way in one place and the other way in another place, because forsaking what was narrated in the Sunnah and adhering to something else may lead to regarding what is Sunnah as Bid’ah (i.e. innovation) and regarding something that is Mustahabb (i.e. recommended) as obligatory, and that would lead to division and disputes." [Al-Majmoo‘ 22/67]
My fellow Muslims, amongst the Sunan that are rarely performed regarding Salaah (i.e. prayer) is to offer it in shoes, but not doing that in mosques that are furnished with carpets, warding off evil and considering the circumstances for people. Amongst the greatest words expressed regarding the evil that may occur in this regard is what was reported by Al-Winshrisi in his book Al-Mi‘iyaar Al-Mu‘arab that Hadaaj, who is the head of the bedouins of Africa, entered mosque while wearing his shoes and thus common people revolt against him and killed him.
Accordingly, Muslim individual should follow and offer this Sunnah if he offers prayer in the mosques that are not furnished with carpets, in his house or in the desert to get the reward of following such Sunan that many people have neglected.
It was reported that Abi Maslamah i.e. Sa‘d ibn Yazeed, may Allaah be pleased with him, narrated: "I said to Anas ibn Maalik, may Allaah be pleased with him: Did the Messenger of Allaah, peace and blessing be upon him, pray while putting on the shoes?" He, may Allaah be pleased with him, said: "Yes." [Reported by Al-Bukhaari]
It was narrated that ‘Abdullaah Ash-Shikheer, may Allaah be pleased with him, said: "I saw the Messenger of Allaah, peace and blessing be upon him, praying wearing shoes." [Reported by ‘Abdur-Razzaaq in Al-Musanaf]
My Fellow Muslims, if you would like to fulfill such Sunnah you have to make sure of its purity for it was narrated that the Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him, said: "When one of you comes to the mosque, let him check his shoes, and if he seeds any dirt on them, let him wipe them and pray in them."
Anyway, offering prayer in shoe is one of the acts that multiply rewards for there are only few people who do it. Muslim ibn Yasaar, may Allaah have mercy upon him, said: "I offer prayer in my shoes and taking them off is actually easier for me, but I only seek following the Sunnah." [Reported in Tabaqaat ibn Sa‘d 7/187]
My Fellow Muslims, amongst the Sunan that many people do not know regarding prayer is reciting some verses after Al-Faatihah in the third and fourth Rak‘ahs of Zuhr prayer. Some people remain silent after reciting Al-Faatihah in such two Rak‘ahs until the Imam (i.e. the one who leads people in prayer) bows, believing that reciting some verses after Al-Faatihah is not allowed and something against Sunnah; but rather, Sunnah is to recite as much as possible until the Imam bows. It was proved that he used to recite in the last two Rak‘ahs from Zuhr prayer about fifteen verses. So, if Faatihah is seven verses, then this actually means that he used to recite after it some other verses.
My Fellow Muslims, amongst the Sunan that many people do not know is the permissibility of returning greeting in prayer by making a gesture with one's hands (in order to respond to the greeting). So, if someone is offering prayer and a comer greets him, then it is recommended for the one who is in prayer to return greeting by making a gesture with his hands. To explain that from Sunnah, returning greeting verbally was something permissible at first and then it was abrogated to be replied with making a gesture with one's hands. To prove this, it was narrated that ‘Abdullah ibn Mas‘ood, may Allaah be pleased with him, said: "We used to greet the Messenger of Allaah, peace and blessing be upon him, when he was praying, and he would return the greeting. When we came back from being with the Negus, we greeted him and he did not respond. We said: O Messenger of Allaah, we used to greet you when you were praying and you would return the greeting. He said: “One should concentrate fully in prayer.” [Reported by Muslim]
This Hadeeth stated that returning greeting was allowed before migration and then abrogated.
As for the proof of returning greeting for the one who is in prayer by making a gesture with his hands, it was narrated that ‘Abdullaah ibn ‘Umar, may Allaah be pleased with him, said: "I asked Suhayb, may Allaah be pleased with him, how did the Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him, respond to them as they greeted him while he was performing prayer)? Thereupon he said: "He only made a gesture with his hands (in order to respond to the greeting)." [Reported by Imam Ahmad]
Ibn ‘Umar, may Allaah be pleased with them, adhered firmly to that Sunnah through learning, performing and teaching it to others. It was narrated that Naafi‘, may Allaah be pleased with him, said: "‘Abdullaah ibn ‘Umar passed by a man who was praying and said, "Peace be upon you," and the man replied to him (verbally with the usual words). ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar returned to him and said, "When someone says, 'Peace be upon you' to you while you are praying do not reply, but give a signal with your hand." [Reported by Imam Maalik in Al-Muwatta']
My Fellow Muslims, as for how one should return greeting by making gesture, it was narrated that Ibn ‘Umar asked Bilaal, may Allaah be pleased with him: "How did you find the Messenger of Allaah, peace and blessing be upon him, responding to them when they gave him a salutation while he was engaged in prayer. He replied: In this way, and Ja‘far ibn ‘Awn (one of the men of transmission) demonstrated by spreading his palm, and keeping its inner side below and its back side above." [Reported by Abu Daawood and At-Tirmithi].
My Fellow Muslims, Amongst the Sunan that many people do not know is spitting dryly to one's left three times and seeking refuge with Allaah from the devil when the devil throw his whispers for the one who is praying. It was narrated that ‘Uthmaan ibn Abi’l-‘Aas, may Allaah be pleased with him, came to the Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him, and said: "O Messenger of Allaah, the shaytaan (i.e. devil) interferes between me and my prayer and my recitation, and he makes me confused. The Messenger of Allaah, peace and blessing be upon him, said: “That is a devil called Khinzab. If you feel that, then seek refuge with Allaah from him and spit dryly to your left three times.” He said: I did that and Allaah took him away from me." [Reported by Muslim]
Imam An-Nawawi, may Allaah have mercy upon him, said: "This Hadeeth indicates that seeking refuge with Allaah The Almighty from the whispers of the devil and spiting dryly to one's left three times is something recommended."
My Fellow Muslims, amongst the Sunan that are rarely performed is offering two Rak‘ahs whenever one returns from a journey. To explain this, it was narrated that Ka‘b ibn Maalik, may Allaah be pleased with him, said: "Whenever the Messenger of Allaah, peace and blessing be upon him, returns from a journey., he used to visit the Mosque first of all and offer a two-Rak‘ahs prayer therein." [Reported by Al-Bukhaari and Muslim]
My Fellow Muslims, amongst the Sunan that are related to those who lead people in prayers in mosques and many of them neglected is being keen on straightening row or rows. Some of those who lead people in prayer make the first Takberr immediately after reciting Iqaamah (i.e. immediate call of prayer). Some others used to say: Straighten your rows while looking in front of them and then say the first Takbeer directly, without affirming the command of straightening rows or being keen on that by words and action. Anyway, the one who leads people in prayer should pay much attention to instructing his followers to straighten their rows, looking at the rows and being keen on making the rows straight verbally and practically, adhering to the acts that the Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him, have recommended in such cases such as his saying: “Straighten your rows, for straightening the rows is part of perfecting prayer.” [Reported by Al-Bukhaari and Muslim]
He, peace and blessing be upon him, also said: "Make your rows straight." [Reported by Al-Bukhaari]
He, peace and blessing be upon him, also said: "Make the shoulders parallel." [Reported by Imam Ahmad and An-Nasaa'i], and the like of what was proved authentic in that regard.