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Al-Shafʿ prayer (Arabic: صلاة الشَفع) is a two-rak'a prayer included in night prayer. Al-Shaf' prayer is performed at the end of night prayer, after performing four two-rak'a prayers. After al-Shaf' prayer, one rak'a is performed called al-Watr prayer with which night prayer ends. Al-Shaf and al-Watr prayers are considered the most rewarded parts of the night prayer.
Cause of Naming
The word "shaf'" means appending something to something else and means even, against al-Watr which means odd.
Method of Performing
Al-Shaf' prayer has two rak'as. This prayer is a part of night prayer, performed at the end of it, before al-Watr prayer. Night prayer has eleven rak'as and is comprised of four two-rak'a prayers, one two-rak'a prayer of al-Shaf' and one rak'a prayer of al-Watr.
According to some hadiths, it is recommended to recite Qur'an 112 after Qur'an 1 in al-Shaf' prayer. In some hadiths, it is advised to recite Qur'an 113 in the first rak'a and Qur'an 114 in the second rak'a after Qur'an 1.
Time of Performing
Al-Shaf' prayer together with al-Watr prayer make the most rewarded parts of the night prayer. In Imam Khomeini's Tahrir al-wasila, it is mentioned that a person who does not have time to perform all eleven rak'as of the night prayer, can suffice to perform al-Shaf' and al-Watr prayers.
Supplication after al-Shaf' Prayer
According to Shaykh Abbas Qummi in Mafatih al-jinan, after al-Shaf' prayer, it is recommended to recite the supplication beginning with "Ilahi Ta'arrad-a lak-a…" (الهی تَعَرَّضَ لَکَ) which is among the supplications of the eve of the mid-Sha'ban.
- The material for this article is mainly taken from نماز شفع in Farsi WikiShia.