Hasan bin Saalih (rahimahullah) was a pious person who was born in the year 100 A.H. and passed away in the year 169 A.H. Hasan (rahimahullah), his twin brother, ‘Ali (rahimahullah), and their mother, would divide the night into three portions between them. They would then take turns to perform salaah, thus ensuring that throughout the night there was one person standing in salaah in their home. After their mother passed away, Hasan (rahimahullah) and his brother divided the night into two portions between them, taking turns to stand in salaah. Finally, when his brother ‘Ali (rahimahullah) passed away, Hasan (rahimahullah) began to stand for the entire night performing salaah.
Hasan bin Saalih (rahimahullah) once sold his slave girl to a certain household. That night, while the entire household was asleep, the slave girl awoke them calling out, “O household! Salaah! Salaah!”
The members of the household awoke in a state of confusion asking, “Has the time of fajr already dawned?” The slave girl asked them, “Do you people only perform the fardh salaahs?” When they replied in the affirmative, and confirmed that they did not perform nafl salaah such as Tahajjud Salaah, she went back to Hasan bin Saalih (rahimahullah) and pleaded with him, “O master! You sold me to a household who only perform the fardh salaah! Please take me back from them!” Understanding her distress and pitying her, Hasan bin Saalih (rahimahullah) purchased her back.
(Siyaru Aa’laamin Nubalaa vol. 7 pg. 361, 369 & 371 and Lataaiful Ma‘aarif pg. 278)
1. The very first effort in a person’s life, after bringing imaan, is to establish the five daily fardh salaah. After establishing the punctual performance of the five daily salaah, the next effort is for one to perform the qadhaa for all the salaahs that he had missed. Finally, once the fardh salaah are correctly established and the qadhaa salaahs are completed, we should not become complacent. Rather, we should strive to also perform the various nafl salaah through which Allah Ta‘ala will bless us and make us His beloved servants.
2. When a person remains with pious, saintly people, his Deen and imaan accordingly benefit, as their company motivates him towards righteousness. Hence, even the slave girl in the above incident understood the value of remaining in the company of pious people. As a result, she did not wish to remain in a house which was void of nafl salaah.