Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition

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(736 words)

(a.), pl. nawāfil , from n-f-l “to give something freely”, a term of law and theology meaning’ supererogatory work.

1. The word occurs in the Ḳurʾān in two places. Sūra XXI, 72, runs: “And we bestowed on him [viz. Ibrāhīm] Isaac and Jacob as an additional gift” ( nāfilatan ). In XVII, 81, it is used in combination with the vigils, thus: “And perform vigils during a part of the night, reciting the Ḳurʾān, as a nāfila for thee”. In ḥadīt̲h̲ it is frequently used in this sense. “Forgiveness of sins past and future was granted to him [Muḥammad] and his works were to him as supe…

Cite this page
Wensinck, A.J., “Nāfila”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition, Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs. Consulted online on 25 October 2020 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1573-3912_islam_SIM_5738>
First published online: 2012
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004161214, 1960-2007

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