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PRAYERS GENERAL.

1)          Traveling every-day and shortening prayers

2)          TRAVELER PRAYING IN HOUSE OR IN THE MOSQUE?

3)         TRAVELER PRAYING BEHIND A IMAM WHO IS A TRAVELER

4)          OFFERING SHORTEN PRAYERS EXAMPLE

5)         PRAYER SHORTENING AND COMBINING

6)          COMBINING TWO PRAYERS

7)          SOMETIMES COMBINING TWO PRAYERS AND SOMETIMES NOT, DURING TRAVELLING

8)          COMBING MAGHRIB AND ISHA PRAYERS

9)          RECITING SOME PRAYERS ALOUD AND SOME SILENT

10)          RECITING SURAH FATIHA BEHIND IMAM

11)          SAYING "AAMEEN" AFTER THE IMAM

12)      Prayers: Two congregations in a mosque

13)      Praying BEHIND WHO WORKS IN RIBA-BASED BANK

14)       Prayer & supplication: Must it be in Arabic?

15)      CONGREGATION Prayer REWARD

 

16)      OBLIGATORY PRAYING IN THE MOSQUE

 

17)      Reward for prayers in Haram and in the Prophet's Mosque

 

18)      PRAYER IN PROPHET MOSQUE WITH PROPHET GRAVE

 

19)      FORTY DAYS PRAYING IN PROPHET MOSQUE

 

20)      PRAYING WITHOUT HAVING ANY MEMORIZATION

 

21)      DUA IN CONGREGATION & INNOVATIONS

 

22)      PRAYING ALONG HUSBAND

 

23)      PRAYER IN PICTURED ROOM

 

24)      PRAYER TIMINGS

 

25)      CRITERIA TO LEAD PRAYER AS IMAM

 

26)      CONDITIONS OF PRAYERS BEING VALID

 

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1. Traveling every-day and shortening prayers

Question :

Our water desalination plant is about 140 km from Jeddah on the Gizan Road. More than half of its staff comes daily from Jeddah. People have expressed different viewpoints on whether to shorten their prayers when they are at the plant and whether to combine Zuhr and Asr together. Please explain.

Answer :

Although fast cars could cover the distance between Jeddah and this place in little over an hour, still the distance is a bona-fide travel which means that the concessions given to travelers apply to people who travel there from Jeddah, whether daily or occasionally. When we consider a concession given by God, we must remember that this is something that He has granted in order to make things easier for people when certain elements or factors apply to them. Going from Jeddah to this desalination plant at Shoaiba qualifies as travel even by our modern standards and fast means of transport.

A daily trip is no less valid for the exercise of a concession than a weekly or a monthly one. If we take the distance, then it is longer by at least 50 km than the distances scholars have mentioned as the minimum amount of travel. However, some scholars are of the view that the distance is immaterial, but the actual travel is the thing that counts. They say that any trip that people consider as travel qualifies for the exercise of the relative concessions. Before the introduction of the modern means of transport, a trip of 20 or 25 km qualified as travel, if it was between two villages or two towns. Covering a similar distance may not be considered as travel if it involves going from one end of the city to another. This opinion has considerable validity. Any person who travels daily from Jeddah to this desalination plant is considered a traveler. He may exercise all the concessions that travelers have.

With regard to prayer, one concession that all schools of thought approve is the shortening of every obligatory prayer consisting of four rak'ahs to two rak'ahs only. The concession of combining the two prayers of Zuhr and Asr or the two evening ones of Maghrib and Isha is also approved by most schools of thought. Some say that it is applicable when needed, while others say that it applies all the time [during travel]. Whichever view you take will have its valid evidence.


Our Dialogue ( Source : Arab News - Jeddah )

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2.  traveller prayING in house or in the mosque?

Question :

If I stay in a city for a temporary period whilst travelling, is it better to offer the prayers in shortened form in my house or to offer them in complete form in congregation in the mosque?

Answer:  Praise be to Allah.  

Prayer in congregation is obligatory and it is not permissible for a Muslim not to do that unless he has an excuse. Based on this, you have to offer the prayers in congregation in the mosque. If the imam is a resident (is not travelling) then you should offer the prayer in full with him, and not shorten it. 

Shaykh Ibn Baaz was asked: If a person travels to Jeddah, for example, is he allowed to shorten his prayers or does he have to pray with the congregation in the mosque? 

He replied: 

If the traveller is still en route, it does not matter, but if he has reached his destination then he should not pray on his own, rather he has to pray with the people and offer the prayer in full. But if he is still on the road and is alone and the time for prayer comes, there is nothing wrong with him praying on his own and shortening the prayers whilst travelling, making the four-rakah prayers two rak’ahs. 

Majmoo Fataawa wa Maqaalaat Mutanawwi’iah li’l-Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz (12/297). 

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen was asked: when and how should a traveller pray? 

He replied: 

The traveller may pray two rak’ahs from when he leaves his city or town, until he returns to it, because ‘Aa’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) said: “When the prayer was first enjoined it was two rak’ahs, then the prayer of the traveller remained like that but the prayer of one who is not travelling was increased to four.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1090; Muslim, 685.  

And Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “We went out with the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) from Madeenah to Makkah, and we prayed two rak’ahs each time, until we came back to Madeenah. Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1081; Muslim, 693.   

But if a traveller prays with an imam he should pray four rak’ahs, whether he catches up with the prayer from the beginning or he misses part of it, because the general meaning of the Prophet’s words: “When you hear the iqaamah, then walk to the prayer, and you should be tranquil and dignified, and not rush. Whatever you catch up with, pray, and whatever you miss, complete it.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 636; Muslim, 602.

The general meaning of the phrase “Whatever you catch up with, pray, and whatever you miss, complete it” includes travellers who pray behind an imam who is offering a four-rak’ah prayer, and others. 

Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allah be pleased with him) was asked why a traveller should pray two-rak’ahs when he is alone and four when he prays behind a resident. He said: “That is the Sunnah.” Narrated by Muslim, 688; Ahmad, 1865.  

The obligation to pray in congregation is not waived for the traveller, because Allah has enjoined that even in the case of fighting. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“When you (O Messenger Muhammad) are among them, and lead them in As-Salaah (the prayer), let one party of them stand up [in Salaah (prayer)] with you taking their arms with them; when they finish their prostrations, let them take their positions in the rear and let the other party come up which have not yet prayed, and let them pray with you…”   (An-Nisa’ 4:102) 

Based on this, if the traveller is in a city or town other than his own, he has to attend prayers in congregation in the mosque if he hears the call to prayer, unless he is far away or fears that he may miss meeting up with his travelling companions, because of the general meaning of the evidence which indicates that the one who hears the adhaan or iqaamah is obliged to pray in congregation. 

Majmoo’ Fataawa wa Rasaa’il al-Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, 15/252. 

He was also asked: 

If I am travelling and I hear the call to prayer, do I have to pray in the mosque? If I pray in the place where I am staying, is there anything wrong with that? If the duration of my trip is more than four consecutive days, should I shorten my prayers or offer them in full? 

He replied: If you hear the adhaan when you are in the place where you are staying, then you have to attend the mosque, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said to a man who asked him for permission not to pray in congregation: “Can you hear the call?” He said, “Yes.” He said: “Then answer it.” Narrated by Muslim, 6533. And he (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:  “Whoever hears the call and does not come, there is no prayer for him (i.e., his prayer is not valid), except for one who has an excuse.” Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 217; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi. 

There is no evidence to indicate that this ruling applies only to the traveller, unless your going to the mosque will cause you some problems in your journey, such as if you need to rest and sleep and you want to pray in the place where you are staying so that you can sleep, or you are afraid that if you go to the mosque the imam will delay the prayer, and you want to leave and you are scared that you may miss the train or plane, etc. 

Majmoo’ Fataawa wa Rasaa’il al-Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, 15/422.

 

Excerpted,  from: http://www.islamqa.com/

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3. Non-traveler praying behind a imam who is a traveler

Question :

What is the ruling regarding the traveller leading the congregational prayer with the residents praying behind him? So for instance, in Isha prayer the traveller will lead and give salaam after 2 rakahs, and the residents following with continue to prayer after salaam. Is this correct?

Answer:  Praise be to Allah.  

The Sunnah indicates that it is permissible for a non-traveller to pray behind a traveller, so long as the non-traveller offers his prayer in full and does not shorten it when the traveller imam does so. This was narrated in a hadeeth which is attributed to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and in which there is some weakness, but it is in accordance with what is understood by the four madhhabs and others. 

It was narrated that ‘Imraan ibn Husayn (may Allah be pleased with him) said: I went out on campaign with the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and I was present with him at the conquest [of Makkah]. He stayed in Makkah for eighteen days, praying only two rak’ahs [in each four-rak'ah prayer], and he said: ‘O people of the city, pray with four rak’ahs, for we are people who are travelling.’”  Narrated by Abu Dawood (no. 1229); classed as da’eef (weak) by al-Albaani in Da’eef Abi Dawood. 

The scholars are unanimously agreed that if the non-resident prays behind a traveller, and the traveller says the salaam after two rak’ahs, the non-traveller must offer the prayer in full. It was narrated that ‘Imraan ibn Husayn said:  I was present with the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) at the conquest [of Makkah]. He stayed in Makkah for eighteen days, praying only two rak’ahs [in each four-rak'ah prayer], and he said: “ O people of the city, pray with four rak’ahs, for we are people who are travelling.’” Narrated by Abu Dawood. 

And because the prayer was obligatory for him with four rak’ahs, so he does not have the right to omit any of its rak’ahs, as would also have been the case if he had not been led in prayer by a traveller. End quote. 

Al-Mughni (2/64). 

Al-Kaasaani al-Hanafi (may Allah have mercy on him) said: 

A non-traveller following a traveller (in prayer) is valid … then when the imam says the salaam after praying two rak'ahs, the non-traveller should not say the salaam, because he still has to complete his prayer, and if he were to say the salaam (at this point) his prayer would be invalidated. Rather he should stand up and complete the prayer with four rak’ahs, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Complete it, O people of Makkah, for we are people who are travelling.” 

Shaykh Ibn Baaz (may Allah have mercy on him) said: 

If a non-traveller offers an obligatory prayer such as Zuhr or ‘Asr or ‘Isha’ behind a traveller, then he must pray four rak’ahs. Hence he must complete his prayer after the traveller says the salaam following two rak’ahs. End quote. 

Majmoo’ Fataawa Ibn Baaz (12/259). 

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) said: 

It is permissible for the traveller to be an imam for non-travellers, and when he says the salaam, the non-travellers should stand up and complete the prayer after he has finished. But the traveller who leads non-travellers in prayer should tell them before he prays, “We are travelling so when we say the salaam, complete the prayer,” because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) prayed in Makkah after the conquest and said: “Complete [your prayers] O people of Makkah, for we are people who are travelling.” And he would lead them in praying two rak'ahs, and they would complete their prayers after he had finished. End quote. 

Majmoo’ Fataawa wa Rasaa’il al-Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (15/153) 

See also Nayl al-Awtaar (3/199), al-Mawsoo’ah al-Fiqhiyyah (6/33). 

And Allah knows best.

 Excerpted, from: http://www.islamqa.com/

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4. OFFERING SHORTEN PRAYERS EXAMPLE

Question:

My question is about the qasar Namaz. My home town is in Peshawar where my parents live and my job location is Islamabad which is about 200 Km from each other. Usually I have to go to my home town every week end and I usually come on Monday morning and leaves on Friday evening to Peshawar. Means I have only five days to spend over here in Islamabad. Do I have to pray qasar in Islamabad or Peshawar because I have to stay five days in Islamabad and two days in Peshawar? Kindly give me the detail answer for this. I follow Hanifi School. Thanking in anticipation.

Answer:

You should pray Qasr salah in Islamabad and Four Rakats in Peshawar, even if you are there only for one day, since it is your home town. 

A traveller may shorten his salah as long as he is on a journey. Likewise if he stays in some place for business or some other affair, then he may shorten his salah as long as he is there, even for years. If the person intends to stay in a place for a certain amount of time then, according to Ibn al-Qayyim, he remains a traveler, regardless of whether he plans to stay there for a long or short time, as long as he does not plan to stay [i.e., reside and not return] in the place that he has traveled to. The scholars differ on this point. Summing up and giving his own opinion, Ibn al-Qayyim says: "The Messenger of Allah stayed in Tabuk for twenty days and during that time he shortened his salah and he did not say that one may not shorten his salah if he stays longer than that, although there is agreement that he did stay there for that period of time." 
 
Abu Hanifah holds: "If one intends to stay for fifteen days, he should not do the QASR. If he intends to stay for less than that, he should shorten the salah." This is also the opinion of al-Laith ibn Sa'd, and it has also been related from three companions: 'Umar, ibn 'Umar, and Ibn 'Abbas. 

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5. PRAYERS SHORTENING AND COMBINING.

Question :

                                                                                                                                      

1) What is correct number of days that shortening of the prayers is applicable while traveling?

2) What is the most accurate way to count the number of days that a person is on journey?

3) What prayers can be combined in shortening?

 

Answer :

In his response to the question you posed, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and an Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states:

1) There is general consensus among scholars that if a traveling person is determined to return as soon as his work is done and does not know when that will be, then he may continue to pray Qasr as long as he is on travel.

If, however, a person decides to settle down in a city, the moment he does so, he ceases to be a traveler, and, therefore, he must pray full.

If, on the other hand, one is determined to stay only for a few days the number of which he knows precisely, then he should pray full, according to a great number of scholars, if his stay exceeds more than four days. The Hanafi School, however, puts the number of allowable days at fifteen, while a third group of scholars put it at eighteen.

The first view seems to be the safest view to follow, as it has been based on the Prophet’s practice. According to authentic reports, he stayed in Makkah for four days, and during his stay he prayed Qasr; he had already known in advance how many days he would be staying. He is reported to have prayed Qasr for eighteen and twenty days on two different occasions, when, most likely, he had no idea as regards the number of days he would be staying.

Having said this, I should rush to state that if anyone follows the position of the Hanafi School, he should not be blamed for his action, for theirs is a Fiqh- ruling based on acceptable practices of the Salaf as-Salih (pious predecessors). Since it is merely a question of differences of interpretation based on valid Ijtihad (creative exercise of reasoning), one should never make a big issue out of such differences of opinion among Imams.

2) The most accurate way to count the number of days for a traveler is to consider oneself a Musaafir (traveler) only after one has crossed the boundaries of his city of residence.

3) According to vast majority of scholars and Imams, it is perfectly allowed for a traveler to combine Zuhr and `Asr , and Maghrib and `Isha. This ruling (known as Jam`) is based on the authentic traditions which clearly state that the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, had combined Zuhr and `Asr as well as Maghrib and `Isha on a number of occasions while traveling.

According to Hanafi School, however, combining prayers is allowed only during Hajj while performing the rite of standing in `Arafah. At other times they allow only what is often termed as Jam suwari (a kind of combining): By this they mean to say that you are allowed, for instance, to delay Zuhr and pray it at the last time of Zuhr and then pray `Asr at the first time of `Asr.

The majority view allowing combining of prayers as mentioned earlier has been considered to be the most authentic; it has been adopted later by many scholars belonging to Hanafi School as well.

4) While combining prayers, you are allowed to make either taqdim (advancing) or ta’khir (delaying): In other words, you are allowed to advance the second prayer to the time of the first prayer. Thus, if you are combining Zuhr and `Asr , you can first pray Zuhr at the time of Zuhr, and then advance `Asr by praying immediately, or if you wish you can defer praying Zuhr until the time of `Asr arrives, in which case, you will first pray Zuhr and then pray `Asr afterwards. The same procedure applies to combining Maghrib and `Isha as well.

An important word of caution concerning Jam` is that there is no combining of Fajr with Zuhr, or `Asr with Maghrib, or ‘Isha with Fajr.

It is also worth mentioning that while praying Qasr during travel is highly recommended—some Imams such as Abu Hanifah even consider it as obligatory—during travel, praying Jam’ is only allowed while one is actually traveling or pre-occupied with pressing circumstances. Jam’ is rare, while Qasr is common.

A final remark to be made is that if a person is aimlessly wandering, he is not considered a traveler and is, therefore, not allowed to make use of the allowances of Qasr and Jam`.

Excerpted, with slight modifications, from: www.islamonline.net

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6. COMBINING TWO PRAYERS

Question :          

I have read that the prophet (SAS) has once made dhohr and assr prayers together (jemaa) without reason. As he was asked for the reason, the answer’s meaning was that he did not want to make it hard for his Ummah ("haraj"). Does this mean that we can make dhohr and aasr from time to time together (Jemaa takdim ew teekhir) if this does not become the rule, without having bad conscience? (I am asking because of the difficulty to make prayer at my job; therefore I sometimes use this solution)

Answer :             

Yes, the hadith you referred to is authentic and it aims at removing pain and trouble from people. However, you have to seek practical solution instead of seeking easiness. It’s your duty to offer Prayers in time, you can take permission from your boss to offer Prayer on time and compensate the work for the time taken in offering the Prayer and be generous as regards the time taken in Prayer. Offering Prayer in their due times is of great virtue, so you have to stick to offering them on time.

Following is the Fatwa issued by the eminent Muslim scholar, Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, on combining prayers:


Salah (prayer) is a religious duty that has specified times. Allah says:
“…. Verily, the prayer is enjoined on the believers at fixed hours.” (An-Nisa’ 4:103)


These fixed hours have come to be recognized by way of following the actual practice of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). So, each of the five prayers has its own time limit that should not be violated, whether by doing the salah ahead of it, which, is prohibited and categorically unacceptable, or by exceeding it and doing the salah after it unless there is an acceptable excuse. Otherwise, one commits a sin by so doing.


Anyhow, it is out of this religion's ease and practicality that it makes it permissible to combine two prayers, i.e., Zuhr and `Asr together and Maghrib and `Isha’ together, whether by offering the second at the time of the first or by delaying the first to the time of the second, on account of some reasons, including travel, as proven by the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). Following are some other reasons accepted for such permissibility:


1. Rain, mud, snow, violent wind and storms, as well as any similar inclement weather conditions or natural disasters that prevent people from performing each salah on time except through formidable pain and trouble.


2. Need or fear. This is meant to remove pain and trouble from people, as indicated in the hadith, narrated by Ibn `Abbas. Imam Muslim narrated on the authority of Ibn `Abbas (may Allah be pleased with them both) that he said,
“The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) has often combined Zuhr and `Asr, and Maghrib and `Isha’, for no fear or travel.”


Another version of the hadith reads,
“The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) combined Zuhr and `Asr, and Maghrib and `Isha’, in Madinah under no circumstances of fear or rain.” Ibn `Abbas was asked, “So, why did he do that?” He answered that he (the Prophet) wanted to remove hardship and troubles off his nation”


In the version of `Abdullah Ibn Shaqiq, it was stated that
Ibn `Abbas one day delivered a sermon in the afternoon until the sun set and the stars began to appear in the sky, so people kept saying: “The prayer! The prayer!” And a man from the tribe of Tamim walked towards him and said vehemently: “The prayer! The prayer!” Ibn `Abbas replied: “Are you going to teach me the Sunnah? What a fool you are!” Then he said: “I've seen the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) combine Zuhr and `Asr, and Maghrib and `Isha’.” The narrator, `Abdullah Ibn Shaqiq, went on to say: “I felt uneasy, so I went to Abu Hurayrah and asked him about that and he confirmed the validity of what Ibn `Abbas said.” (Sahih Muslim)


This explanation from Ibn `Abbas means that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) wanted to allow his nation more ease and facility rather hardship, since Allah the Almighty has not laid upon Muslims in religion any sort of hardship and He intends for them ease and does not want to make things difficult for them.
This hadith also stands as explicit evidence for the permissibility of combining two prayers for necessity.


Imam Ibn Sireen was reported as saying that he did not see any objection to doing so, as long as there is a need for it, unless people turn it into a habit. Likewise, Ibn Shibrima held the same opinion. In his Fath Al-Bari, Ibn Hajar said that many Imams — including Ibn Sireen, Rabi`a, Ash-hab, Ibn Al-Mundhir and Al-Qaffal Al-Qabir — held the opinion that the tradition in question may be applied literally; hence they saw it permissible for any Muslim to combine prayers while not traveling for whatever genuine need without restrictions, but on the condition of not taking it as a habit in itself.


The Hanbali jurists have permitted for the Muslim to combine prayers once in a while due to certain excuses. So, if there is a burden in praying the obligatory prayers at the appointed time, combining is allowed, on the condition that the person does not take it as habit or as something done every two or three days or whenever he wants to go out on different occasions, a few times a week or a number of times a month. But this is permitted only some of the time, not all of the time, so that it can remove the burdens and hardships which face the people.


For example, if a traffic policeman has his shift beginning before Maghrib and continues until after `Isha', then he can combine Maghrib and Isha'. Similarly, if a doctor has to perform an urgent medical operation, he is allowed to make an early or delayed combination.”

An eminent scholar of Bahrain, Sheikh Nizam Ya`qubi, adds:


“Allah states clearly in the Qur'an that each prayer has its own prescribed time,
Verily, the prayer is enjoined on the believers at fixed hours.” (An-Nisa’ 4:103) So this means that each prayer must be performed at its own prescribed time.


However, this rule is relaxed in cases of necessity and ample need. For example, traveling, sickness, warfare, rain and bad weather, etc. I must emphasize here that this rule should be taken only in difficult situations and not to make it a regular habit. There are many hadiths which mention punishment for those who delay their prayers without acceptable reason.”

Excerpted, with slight modifications, from: www.islamonline.net

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7. SOMETIMES COMBINING TWO PRAYERS AND SOMETIMES NOT, DURING TRAVELLING

Question:

Is it permissible for a traveller to join two prayers together sometimes and not join them at other times?

Answer:  Praise be to Allah .

The Sunnah indicates that it is permissible for a traveller to join prayers. Muslim (705) narrated that Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allah  be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah  (peace and blessings of Allah  be upon him) joined Zuhr and ‘Asr, and Maghrib and ‘Isha’, in Madeenah when there was no fear and no rain. [According to another report: and no travelling.]: It was said to Ibn ‘Abbaas: Why did he do that? He said: So that his ummah would not be subjected to hardship 

When Ibn ‘Abbaas said that he joined the prayer despite the absence of these three things – travelling, fear and rain – that indicates that they are known reasons for joining prayers. What Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allah  be pleased with him) meant was that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah  be upon him) joined prayers for a reason other than these three. 

It is permissible for the traveller to join prayers, or to offer each prayer at its own time, as he wishes, but it is better for the traveller not to join prayers unless it will be too difficult for him to offer the prayers at their own times. 

Hence the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) did not join prayers on all his journeys, rather he joined them sometimes and sometimes he did not join them. Some scholars are of the view that it is not permissible for the traveller to join his prayers unless he is on the road, but if he has made a stop then it is not permissible for him to join them. 

But the correct view is that it is permissible for the traveller to join prayers whether he is on the move or has made a stop. It is proven that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah  be upon him) joined prayers during the campaign to Tabook when he had made a stop. Narrated by Ahmad and Abu Dawood; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in al-Silsilah al-Saheehah (164). 

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah  have mercy on him) quoted some of the ahaadeeth which indicate that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah  be upon him) joined prayers whilst travelling when he had made a stop, then he said: 

The apparent meaning of these ahaadeeth is that he used to join prayers when he had made a stop. That was either to show that it is permissible, or because there was a need to join prayers, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah  be upon him) did not join his prayers during Hajj when he stopped at Mina. 

Based on that, we say: It is better for the traveller who has made a stop not to join prayers, but if he does join his prayers there is nothing wrong with it. But if he needs to join his prayers, either because he is too tired and needs to rest, or because it is too hard to find water every time, and so on, then it is better for him to join them, and avail himself of the concession. End quote from the essay Mawaaqeet al-Salaah

Shaykh Ibn Baaz (may Allah  have mercy on him) said:  

The traveller who has made a stop has the choice: if he wishes he may join the prayers at the time of the later prayer or at the time of the earlier prayer. But it is better for him to offer each prayer at its proper time, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah  be upon him) did in Mina during the Farewell Hajj. He offered every prayer at its proper time because he was staying there. But if there is a need to join prayers, there is nothing wrong with it, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah  be upon him) joined prayers during the campaign to Tabook when he made a stop. End quote. 

Majmoo’ Fataawa Ibn Baaz (12/281, 282) 

Based on this, the traveller has the choice between joining prayers or doing each prayer at its own time, but it is better for him not to join prayers unless it is too difficult for him to offer each prayer at its own time. 

But, it should be noted that prayer in congregation is obligatory for the traveller and it is not permissible for him to join prayers and pray alone. 

Excerpted, with slight modifications, from: http://www.islamqa.com/

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8. COMBINING MAGHRIB AND ISHA PRAYERS

Question:

As-Salamu `alaykum. I live in the UK. The time for the Maghrib prayer now is 9.37 and the `Isha is 11.32. I find it very difficult to stay awake for `Isha prayer as I am usually too tired to stay up late. Can I pray Maghrib and `Isha together and then go to sleep? Is it permissible for me to pray `Isha one hour after Maghrib? Can I combine both Maghrib and `Isha prayers when driven by the same necessity?

Answer:  Praise be to Allah.  

Before attempting to answer this question, let us refer to the fact that although prayers have to be performed in fixed times, the flexibility of Islamic teachings tends not to impose hardship on Muslims, especially those living in countries where there is a great time gap between Maghrib and `Isha prayers. Such easiness and flexibility is best demonstrated in the Qur’anic verse that reads:

”And strive for Allah with the endeavor which is His right. He hath chosen you and hath not laid upon you in religion any hardship; the faith of your father Abraham (is yours). He hath named you Muslims of old time and in this (Scripture), that the messenger may be a witness against you, and that ye may be witnesses against mankind. So establish worship, pay the poor due, and hold fast to Allah. He is your Protecting Friend. A blessed Patron and a blessed Helper!” (Al-Hajj 22:78)

Tackling the first point raised in the question, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a Senior Lecturer and an Islamic Scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states:

The time for `Isha, as has been stated clearly in the authentic traditions, starts as soon as the red rays of sun disappears from the horizon, and night creeps in.

It is all well known that the time for Maghrib starts as soon as the sun sets. Unlike other prayers such as Dhur and `Asr, there is not much gap between Maghrib and `Isha. Stated differently, the time for `Isha starts as soon as Maghrib’s time expires.

Based on the above evidence, Imams such as Shafi`e concluded that the time of Maghrib lasts only as much as one can perform ablution well and pray five rak’ahs of Prayer comfortably. This can be estimated conservatively as not more than half-hour. Accordingly, based on this, one is allowed to pray `Isha half an hour after Maghrib.

From what has been stated above, it is reasonable to deduce that one is allowed to pray `Isha one hour after Maghrib without incurring sin, especially if he/she has to go bed early in summer when Maghrib’s time is somehow late or in such places where there is no much gap between `Isha and Fajr.

Students, and people who are in dire need of going to bed early because of their studies or job situations can readily make use of this relaxed rule. So are those who are elderly, sick and weak who may be experiencing hardship in putting off their fixed time for sleep.

Having said this, we must add: If a person does not experience any of the time constraints described above, and has the leisure of delaying `Isha, it is preferable for him/her to delay ‘Isha for some time- although not later than midnight -as the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) is reported to have said “If it would not have been hard on my Ummah, I would have ordered them to delay `Isha Prayer.”

The same conclusion drawn by Sheikh Ahmad Kutty is also maintained by the prominent Azharite scholar Sheikh `Abdul-Majeed Subh, who adds:

One can, as long as he is driven by necessity, pray Maghrib, then wait for one hour and perform `Isha afterwards. This ruling is special to Muslims living in the West who find it very difficult to stay awake for `Isha prayer.

Tackling the last point concerning the possibility of combining both Maghrib and `Isha prayer in the given case, the eminent Muslim scholar Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, concludes:

“Originally, Muslims are required to perform prayer at their appointed times. However, the case of Muslims living in the West may necessitate them to get up early in the morning to reach their work on time. With this, they find it difficult to stay up late to perform `Isha at its appointed time. If we force people to perform `Isha at its appointed time, then we are ordering them to do something beyond their capability.

It stands to reason that Islam is the religion of easiness. It tends to remove hardship from its followers. Thus, Muslims living in the West who face such difficulty may be allowed to combine both Maghrib and `Isha together. However, the issue of necessity is left to the conscience of those Muslims, and Allah will reward each according to his intention

Thus, it has become clear after reading the above opinions of scholars that there are two opinions regarding the issue raised in the question. The first one states that Muslims who face such a difficulty in the West can wait one hour after performing Maghrib and then perform `Isha prayer. The other opinion states that those Muslims can combine both Magrib and `Isha, if they are deriven by the same necessity. Thus, you can choose the opinion that best suit your case, keeping in mind that Islam is the religion of easines.

Excerpted, with slight modifications, from: www.islamonline.net

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9. RECITING SOME PRAYERS ALOUD AND SOME SILENT

Question :      

Dear scholars! I would like to know why some prayers are recited loudly (Jahri) such as Maghrib and `Isha while others are silent (Sirri) as is the case with Zuhr and `Asr? Is there any wisdom behind this?

Answer :

In the first place, we would like to note that a Muslim should show complete surrender to Allah’s will and His great commands. On receiving a Divine command, a Muslim should respond: “We hear and obey.” This complete surrender is the sign of true faith and real submission. It is also a reflection of deep-rooted belief in Allah and strict following of His teachings. By the same token, a Muslim abides by the Prophet’s instructions in all aspects of his life. This abidance comes in tune with Allah’s command: “….And whatsoever the Messenger giveth you, take it, and whatsoever he forbiddeth, abstain (from it)…..” (Al-Hashr 59:7) and “Whoso obeyeth the Messenger obeyeth Allah, and whoso turneth away: We have not sent thee as a warder over them.” (An-Nisa’ 4:80) The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, taught his Companions how to pray. He, peace and blessings be upon him, commanded them to pray in the same way they saw him praying. Therefore, we pray in the same way the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, offered Prayer.

Addressing the point of loud and silent prayers, here is the Fatwa issued by Sheikh `Atiyyah Saqr, former Head of Al-Azhar Fatwa Committee, in this regard:

“The wisdom behind making Zuhr and `Asr silent, may be traced to the situation of the early Muslims in Makkah. During that period, Muslims were subject to persecution and torture. Thus, they were commanded to make their prayers silent in order to evade the torturing of the disbelievers who used to harm them. At the early morning, when the whole Makkah was sleeping, Muslims could make their prayer loud. Also, after sunset, the Quraish used to be busy with their social gatherings or celebrations where they used to drink wine or the like. So that time also was suitable for Muslims to make their prayer loud.

It is thus clear that silent recitation in both Zuhr and `Asr was just to evade the harm of the unbelievers. After their migration to Madinah, Muslims were no more subject to harm. However, the ruling of silent recitation for both Zuhr and `Asr was kept in force as a reminder for all Muslims that one day they were offering silent prayer out of fear of persecution. This also serves as an encouragement for all Muslims to praise Allah for His everlasting blessing and the overwhelming victory He granted them. Almighty Allah gives us a clear reminder of His grace in this respect when saying: “ And remember, when ye were few and reckoned feeble in the land, and were in fear lest men should extirpate you, how He gave you refuge, and strengthened you with His help, and made provision of good things for you, that haply ye might be thankful.” (Al-Anfal 8:26)

Almighty Allah knows best.

Excerpted, with slight modifications, from: www.islamonline.net

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10. RECITING SURAH FATIHA BEHIND IMAM

Question :

One of my friends showed me a hadith stating that reciting surat Al-Fatihah is compulsory in all prayers even if one is lead in prayer by another person (i.e., Imam). Whereas, I have read a hadith stating that behind an Imam, one should keep quiet and listen to his recitation and that there is no need for him to recite it himself. Would you please make the issue clearer? Thank you very much.

Answer :

Scholars unanimously agree on that one's prayer is not accepted unless Al-Fatihah is recited in every rak`ah (Prayer Unit). But, one who is praying behind an Imam is to keep quiet while the Imam is reciting aloud, as Allah says in the Glorious Qur'an: "When the Qur'an is recited, listen and remain silent that you may attain mercy." (Al-A`raaf 7:204)

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) also said: "When the Imam makes the takbir, (you too) make the takbir. When he recites, be silent." (Related by Imam Muslim)

Another hadith also states: "Whoever is praying behind an Imam, the Imam's recital is his recital. If the Imam reads quietly, then all of the followers must also make their own recital. If one cannot hear the Imam's recital, he must make his own recital."

Commenting on this subject, Abu Bakr Al-`Arabi says: "What we see as the strongest opinion is that one must recite during the prayers in which the Imam's recital is subdued. But, during the prayers where the Imam recites aloud, one may not recite."

This is based on the following three proofs:

1.  This was the practice of the people of Madinah.

2.  It is the ruling of the Qur'an, as Allah says: "When the Qur'an is recited, listen and remain silent….." (Al-A`raaf 7:204)

3.  This is supported by two hadiths: one from `Imran Ibn Hussain states: "I know that some of you compete with me (in my recital...),' and 'If it is recited, you should listen." The preceding hadith is the weightiest position according to the following argument:

If one cannot recite along with the Imam, then when can one recite? If one says: "While he is silent," then we say: "It is not necessary for him to be silent," so how can something that is obligatory be dependent on something that is not obligatory?

But we have found a way in which the person may 'recite' with the Imam, and that is the recitation of the heart and of concentrating on what is being recited. This is the method of the Qur'an and the Sunnah, and the way the worship has been preserved. It is also part of following the Sunnah. One is to act by what is the strongest (opinion). This was also the choice of Az-Zuhri and Ibn Al-Mubarak, and it is a statement from Malik, Ahmed and Ishaq. Ibn Taimiyyah supports it and shows it to be the strongest opinion.”

Excerpted, with slight modifications, from: www.islamonline.net

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11. SAYING “AAMEEN” AFTER THE IMAM

Question :                                                                                                  

I would like to ask you some questions regarding Salah and some of its practices. 1. I have heard in Salah we do not say “Aameen” after the imam says amen, Is that true?

Answer :

Thank you. I shall inform you that there is a disagreement among schools of thought about saying “Aameen” behind imam or at the end of al-Fatihah.

For Malikis, one should not say it at all. For Hanafis, you should say it but in secret not loudly. As for Shafi`ies and Hanbalis you should say it loudly. Each of this opinion has its sources and evidences. However, all schools agreed that saying it or missing it doesn't affect your prayer. Hence, it is considered as a recommended act according to the Shafi`ies and Hanbalis, while the Malikis don't recommend it.

Having said that, I can tell you that I do recommend saying it, thus there are few hadiths in Muslim authentic book of hadith and other hadith collections which strongly recommend it based on the practice of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). Yet, I shall call upon you and all beloved Muslims to tolerate and accept the different opinions in regard to this issue. This is due to that fact that the issue is considered as ijtihadic and we need to forgive and tolerate one another in such issues.

The same thing applies to the issue of performing two Rak`ahs when you enter the Mosque on Friday and you find the imam delivering his sermon. For those who are willing to do so, they shouldn't prevent from doing. At the same time, those who are not willing to perform it they should not be forced to do so.

Furthermore, the closeness or farness of the person to Sunnah should not be measured according this single issue. In other words, we should not evaluate the love of someone to Sunnah through this isolate action. Thus, no body can not claim that he or she can do all the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). Therefore, we should not condemn or reject someone because of missing or not performing a Sunnah especially when that Sunnah is subject to disagreement of the scholars.

Excerpted, with slight modifications, from: www.islamonline.net

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12. PRAYING BEHIND WHO WORKS IN A RIBA-BASED BANK

Question :  

Can we pray behind a person who is an employee of a bank which deals in riba.

Answer:  Praise be to Allah.

The Standing Committee was asked a similar question, and they replied: 

Working in a riba-based bank is haraam, and the one who does that is disobeying Allaah, but prayer offered behind him is still valid, because he is a Muslim. His prayer itself is valid, if he meets all the conditions and does all that Allah has prescribed in the prayer, according to the more correct of the two scholarly opinions. If you can manange to pray behind someone else who is righteous and pious, then that is better.

And Allah knows best. 

Excerpted, with some modifications, from: http://islamqa.com/en/

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13. Prayers: Two congregations in a mosque

Question :

In a mosque in our town, the followers of the Hanafi and Shaf'ie sects offer their prayers in two congregations, which are held separately but simultaneously, following two imams. Is this allowed?

Answer :

This is an ugly aspect of ignorance which must be stopped altogether. When a person does not join a congregation, he must have serious doubts about the faith of the imam leading that congregation. If these doubts are based on the fact that the imam belongs to a different school of thought, then this attitude shows how ignorant the person is about the differences between the various schools of thought in Islam. If the two congregations start at the same time, both are invalid. If one starts after the other, then the second is invalid. What we know of the history of Imam El-Shaf'ie is that he went to Baghdad where he met with the leading figure of the Hanafi school and discussed important issues with Imam Abu Yousuf and others.

As you are aware, Imam Abu Yousuf was the most important figure in the Hanafi school of thought following the death of his mentor, the founder of the school, Imam Abu Hanifa. Imam El-Shaf'ie joined the congregations there without any question. What you should try to achieve is for the two imams in your local mosque to learn more about their schools of thought and how they differ from each other. Once they get to know more, they will feel that their attitude is ludicrous.


Our Dialogue ( Source : Arab News - Jeddah )

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14Prayer & supplication: WHY Must it be in Arabic? 

Question :

Many of us speak little Arabic. Is it permissible to use one's mother tongue in saying our supplication during various stages of prayer? A friend of mine says that all supplications during prayer must be in Arabic. Can it be read in one's mother tongue i.e. English or whatever?

I feel that the Prophet and his companions used Arabic because it was their mother tongue. Please comment. If a person does not speak Arabic at all, but has learned the meaning of the Qur'an in his language, can he use such translation in his prayer?

Answer :

The reason why prayer is to be read in Arabic is that it contains the recitation of the Quran and therefore cannot be read in any other language because it won't be the recitation of the Quran but the reading of the meaning and interpretation of the divine message which can have many versions. The Quran was revealed in the Arabic language as confirmed in Surah Yusef verse 2: “Verily, We have sent it down as an arabic Quran in order that you may understand”. (Yusef 12:2)

Also if you are anywhere in the world you will be able to understand, what is being recited by Imam.  Also you may differ with translation of Quran and get confused. There are different translators of different languages, who will give authority to read a particular translation. Therefore, praying in Arabic is the only way to keep the prayer as pure as possible.

All scholars agree that anyone who offers prayers must read the Al-Fatihah and the Qur'an in Arabic. It is not possible to use translation, as I have explained on several occasions. If a person does not know the Fatihah, but knows another passage of the Qur'an, he is required to say in each rak'ah a passage of similar length to the Fatihah. If he does not know any part of the Qur'an in Arabic, he must learn. If he fears that he would miss his prayers before he could learn, he should glorify Allah, using the well known formula: Subhan Allah, Alhamdulillah, La ilaha illa Allah, Allahu Akbar, la hawla wala qowwata illa billah. If a person cannot learn all these five phrases, he learns what he can of them and repeats them.

This is the case of a man who could not learn any verse of the Qur'an; the Prophet taught him a few simple phrases in Arabic to repeat them in his prayers. He did not tell him to glorify Allah in silence. Therefore, when you offer your prayer, you should say the Qur'an in Arabic and also any glorification or supplication. When you have finished your prayers, you can say any supplication in your language. Supplication in prayer can concentrate on what you have learned to say in Arabic. If you learn one sentence, to appeal to Allah to admit you into heaven and spare you any punishment in the hereafter, that is more than sufficient.

You can include everything else in your supplication after prayer in your language. It is not true that the Prophet and his companions used Arabic because it was their mother tongue. The Prophet used Arabic in prayer because he had to read the Qur'an in prayer and the Qur'an, Allah's words, is in Arabic.

Any translation of it is not the Qur'an, but an explanation of its meaning. That translator may have to change the order of the original text in order to fit his text with the grammar into which he is translating. No one can change the order of the Qur'anic words. Had Allah wanted the Prophet to offer his prayers in any other language, He would have told him so and would have made it easy for him to learn that language. But Allah wants us to use His Book in our prayer. As it is well known to everyone, His Book has been revealed in Arabic.


Our Dialogue ( Source : Arab News - Jeddah )

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15. CONGREGATION Prayer REWARD

Question:

What is reward offering prayer in congregation?

Answer:

Reward for praying in congregation is 27 times higher than offering alone. (In another hadith it is said that it is 25 times)

Narated by Abdullah Bin Umar (RTU), Allah messenger said,”The salat in congregation is twenty seven times superior in degree to salaat offered by a person alone”   Book 1: 618 Bukhari

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16. OBLIGATORY PRAYING IN THE MOSQUE

Question :

I know it is compulsory for men to pray at the Masjid thier 5 daily prayers. But when a person lives a distance away from the Masjid at what distance is he not required to go to the masjid for every prayer?
Example, if it took someone one hour per trip to the masjid and back to work or home. (That is 20 minutes to go to masjid, 20 minutes at masjid and 20 minutes back to work or home.) Also this is the only masjid in the city.

Answer :  Praise be to Allah.  

Firstly:

It is obligatory for men to attend the prayer in congregation in the mosque. Not praying in congregation is one of the signs of hypocrisy.

The further away one’s house is from the mosque, the greater the reward. 

It was narrated that Abu Moosa said: The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “The people who will have the greatest reward for prayer are those who come the furthest distance. Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 623; Muslim, 622. 

Secondly:

Prayer in congregation is obligatory for those who live close to the mosque, not for those who live far away.  

The Sunnah describes those who are regarded as living close to the mosque as being those who can hear the call to prayer. 

What is meant is those who can hear the call to prayer from the mosque with no amplification of the muezzins’s voice, when the muezzin raises his voice, and there is no wind or noise etc to interfere with hearing it. 

Muslim (653) narrated that Abu Hurayrah said: A blind man came to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and said, “O Messenger of Allah, I do not have anyone to guide me to the mosque,” and he asked the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) to grant him a concession allowing him to pray in his house, and he granted him that. Then when he turned to leave, he called him back and said, “Can you hear the call to prayer?” He said, “Yes.” He said, “Then respond to it.” 

Ibn Maajah (793) narrated from Ibn ‘Abbaas that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever hears the call to prayer and does not respond, there is no prayer for him (i.e., his prayer is not valid), except for the one who has an excuse.” Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami’, 637. 

Al-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said in al-Majmoo’, 4/353: 

What is meant by hearing the call to prayer is when the muezzin stands at the edge of the town and other sounds are silent and the wind is still, and one is listening out. If a person can hear him, he is obliged (to attend prayers in congregation), and if he cannot hear him then he is not obliged. 

The Standing Committee was asked: If I can hear the muezzin from a distance of eight hundred meters, should I pray where I am or go to the mosque where the call to prayer was made? 

They replied: 

You have to go to this mosque and pray there with the congregation, or in any other mosque that may be easier for you, so long as you are able to do that… then the Committee quoted as evidence the two ahaadeeth mentioned above. 

The Committee was also asked about a man who lives on the eighth floor and the mosque is about 500 meters away from him. Is it permissible for him to offer the prayers in congregation with his family members in his apartment? 

They replied: 

Congregational prayer in the mosque is obligatory, so you have to attend the mosques and pray the obligatory prayer there with the Muslims. You do not have the right to a concession allowing you to pray at home with your family because of this distance. 

Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah, 8/59 

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen was asked: 

Is there any definition of the distance between one’s house and the mosque? 

He replied: 

There is no specific distance defined in sharee’ah, rather that depends on ‘urf (custom) or the distance within which the adhaan can be heard without a microphone. 

As’ilah al-Baab al-Maftooh, question no. 700. 

Shaykh Ibn Baaz said: 

The one who can hear the call to prayer given in a regular voice without amplification is obliged to respond and to come and pray in congregation in the mosque in which the call is given… 

But for those who live far away from the mosque and cannot hear the call to prayer except with amplification do not have to come to the mosque. They and those who are with them may pray in a separate congregation. If they take the trouble to attend the prayer with the congregation in the mosque whose call to prayer they cannot hear except with amplification because they are too far away, that will bring them a greater reward.  

Majmoo’ Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him), 12/58. 

And Allah knows best.

Excerpted, with some modifications, from: http://islamqa.com/en/

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17. Reward for prayers in Haram and in the Prophet's Mosque

Question :

I have read a Hadith which states that prayer in the Prophet's Mosque in Madinah is equal to one thousand prayers elsewhere, with the exception of the Haram in Makkah. It is also stated that prayer in the Haram in Makkah is equal to one hundred prayers in the Prophet's Mosque. That makes it equivalent to a hundred thousand prayers anywhere else. Does this apply to the whole Haram area of Makkah? Are sins also punished at one hundred thousand times their punishment elsewhere?

Answer :

The Hadith you have mentioned is authentic. It is true that the reward we receive for a single prayer in the Prophet's Mosque is equivalent to the reward of one thousand prayers elsewhere. Similarly, a prayer in the Haram in Makkah earns a reward equivalent to one hundred thousand prayers elsewhere. That is one aspect of Allah's grace and limitless bounty with which He favors His servants.

Some scholars say that this high reward is applicable throughout the Haram area, but perhaps it is more correct to say that it applies to the Grand Mosque itself, i.e. the Haram. [This is] because the Hadith mentions "Al-Masjid al-Haraam" which refers to the mosque itself. Perhaps it is important to add that this generous reward does not exempt the worshipper from offering his obligatory prayers at their times every single day of his life.

Suppose a person stays in Makkah for a month and offers all his five daily prayers throughout the month in the Haram Mosque before returning home. He has earned the reward of prayers in one hundred thousand months. It may occur to him that he will not live for 8,000 years, so he need not offer any more prayers. This is a totally mistaken notion. If he deliberately omits to offer one obligatory prayer, he commits a sin.

Punishment for sins committed in the Haram area are not multiplied by the same figure. Allah states in the Qur'an that whoever is guilty of a bad deed will not incur any punishment more than which is equal to his bad deed. It is indeed a manifestation of the grace of Allah that we are rewarded generously for the good we do, but we earn no more punishment except what is equal to our misdeeds. Moreover, even these are forgiven when we repent having committed them.


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18.  PRAYER IN PROPHET MOSQUE WITH PROPHET GRAVE

Question:

You have pointed out that it is not acceptable that a person faces a grave when he prays. In Prophet's Mosque, part of the congregation faces the Prophet's grave. How is this allowed?

Answer:

It is correct that it is forbidden to face a grave during a prayer. It is also not permissible to build a mosque at the place of a grave or at the graveyard. However, at the Prophet's Mosque, no one faces his grave, because his grave is not raised over the ground. Besides, there is a wall built around it, to separate it from a portion of the mosque. The wall serves as a separating area, which does not allow the grave to be in view of the worshipers.

Moreover, we should not imagine the Prophet's grave as a tomb or something built high over the ground, or that cement or bricks or any other building material is used with its construction. The whole thing is made according to the Sunnah which recommends that grave is only slightly higher than the ground. With the passage of the years, the Prophet's grave and those of his two companions, Abu Bakr and Umar have become level with the ground and no one is allowed inside the built-up area around. There are specific instructions in Islam against giving graves any sort of association with worship in order not to allow any habit or practices of other religions, which give the dead a saintly position, to creep into our faith. No dead person could be of any benefit to a living one. That is the Islamic view.

 

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19. FORTY DAYS PRAYING IN PROPHET MOSQUE

Question:

I heard that whoever prays forty prayers in the Prophet’s Mosque, it will be recorded that he is free of hypocrisy. Is this hadeeth saheeh?.

Answer: Praise be to Allah.  

This hadeeth was narrated by Ahmad (12173) from Anas ibn Maalik from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), who is reported to have said, “Whoever prays forty prayers in my Mosque, missing no prayer, it will be recorded that he is safe from the Fire, is saved from punishment and is free of hypocrisy.” This is a da’eef (weak) hadeeth. 

This was mentioned by Shaykh al-Albaani in al-Silsilah al-Da’eefah (364), who said: It is da’eef. He also mentioned it in Da’eef al-Targheeb (755) and said, it is munkar (a kind of weak hadeeth). 

Al-Albaani said in his book Hujjat al-Nabi (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) (p. 185) that it is an innovation (bid’ah) to visit Madeenah and tell the visitors to Madeenah to stay there for a week so that they will be able to offer forty prayers in the Prophet’s Mosque so that they will be free from hypocrisy and saved from the Fire.” 

Shaykh Ibn Baaz said: 

With regard to the widespread idea that the visitor should stay for eight days so that he can offer forty prayers in the Mosque is wrong. Although it says in some ahaadeeth “Whoever offers forty prayers therein Allah will decree that he is safe from the Fire and free from hypocrisy,” this hadeeth is da’eef according to the scholars and cannot be taken as proof or relied upon. There is no set limit for visiting the Prophet’s Mosque. If a person visits for an hour or two, or a day or two, or for more than that, there is nothing wrong with that. 

Fataawa Ibn Baaz, 17/406 

Instead of this hadeeth we should look at the hasan hadeeth narrated by al-Tirmidhi (241) concerning the virtue of always being present for the opening takbeer of prayer in congregation. It was narrated that Anas ibn Maalik said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “Whoever prays for forty days with the congregation, always being present for the first takbeer, it will be written that he will be safe from two things: he will be safe from the Fire and safe from hypocrisy.” Classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi, 200. 

The virtue mentioned in this hadeeth is general and applies to any mosque where prayers are offered in congregation, in any land; it does not apply only to al-Masjid al-Haraam [in Makkah] or al-Masjid al-Nabawi [in Madeenah]. 

Based on this, whoever consistently prays forty prayers in congregation in which he is present for the first takbeer, it will be recorded that he will be safe from two things: safe from the Fire and safe from hypocrisy, whether the mosque is in Madeenah, Makkah or anywhere else. 

And Allah knows best.

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20. PRAYING WITHOUT HAVING ANY MEMORIZATION

Question:

There is a woman who does not know how to read or write, and she wants to pray. What should she do?

Answer: Praise be to Allah.  

You should note, may Allah guide you, that this religion is a religion of ease, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Religion is very easy and whoever overburdens himself in his religion will not be able to continue in that way. So you should not be extremists, but if you cannot be perfect, then try to be near to perfection and receive the glad tidings that you will be rewarded; and what helps you to persist in worship is to do it at times when you have most energy, such as at the beginning of the day, after the sun has passed its zenith and at the end of the night.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari in his Saheeh, no. 39). 

If a person cannot read and write, then he has to learn what he should say in his prayer, and how to pray. The fact that he cannot read or write does not mean that he is unable to do that, because that is easy, praise be to Allah. Most of the Sahaabah could not read or write, but they were able to pray well. 

But if a person says, someone may be new in Islam, and if he wants to learn what he should say in his prayer, he needs time; the same applies if he is unable to memorize al-Faatihah. So how should he pray? 

The answer is: He should pray, and when he comes to the place where Qur’aan is to be recited, he should glorify Allah, praise Him, magnify Him and proclaim His Oneness, i.e., he should say Subhaan Allah, wa’l-hamdulillah wa Allahu akbar wa laa ilaaha ill-Allah (Glory be to Allah, praise be to Allah, Allah is Most Great and there is no god but Allah). 

The evidence for that is the saheeh hadeeth narrated from Rafaa’ah ibn Raafi’ – the hadeeth about the one who did not pray properly – according to which the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said to him: “If you have memorized some Qur’aan, then recite it, otherwise praise Allah, glorify Him and proclaim His Oneness.” (Narrated and classed as hasan by al-Tirmidhi, al-Jaami’, no. 302. Also narrated by Abu Dawood in his Sunan, no. 858; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani, see Saheeh Abi Dawood, no. 767). 

And Allah knows best. 

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21. DUA IN CONGREGATION & INNOVATIONS

Question :

I am a student in a country of kuffar where Muslims are weak minority. There is a masjid without an imam near where I live. The worshippers there feel very happy when I lead the congregation; especially that I am an Arab and Arabic speaker.  

After every obligatory prayer they start mentioning Allah in a group then they communally make du’a. This is an innovation not taken from the prophet’s Sunnah. I fear they dislike me and become upset if I try to stop them doing this, what shall I do in this case? Shall I stay with them hoping I will benefit them? I feel they miss the right Sunnah, and I feel that I may be able to benefit them so that Allah may soften their hearts and make them accept the right approach of following the prophet’s Sunnah .

Answer :  Praise be to Allah.

Firstly: 

You have done well to ask before doing something that may have a negative impact on those worshippers, and may also backfire on you, in your prayer in particular and in your life in general. 

Among the most important attributes of the one who calls people to Allah are: knowledge and wisdom, with which the daa’iyah can achieve that which many others fail to achieve who lack the blessing of knowledge or wisdom and the skill to deal properly with those who differ in some way. 

Wisdom does not mean being lenient or forsaking any aspect of the truth, rather it means adopting the appropriate approach so that one may succeed in leading people from ignorance and innovation to knowledge and the Sunnah.  

The wise daa’iyah knows that these worshippers refer for their fatwas to imams and scholars whose religious commitment and knowledge they trust, so how can he want them to turn away from them and turn directly to him without paving the way? 

The one who wants to call people to Islam should know that surprising people with the Sunnah of which they are unaware and denouncing them for what they are doing may cause them to hate the Sunnah and those who follow it, and this is what creates barriers between the daa’iyahs and some of the people when they try to teach them and explain the Sunnah to them. This does not mean that he should stop trying to advise them, rather it means that he should adopt a gradual approach in calling them. 

Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) said, explaining the words of ‘Ali ibn Abi Taalib, “Talk to the people about what they appreciate and accept; do you want them to reject Allah and His Messenger?’ (narrated by al-Bukhaari) as follows: 

The words in the report of ‘Ali (may Allah be pleased with him), “Talk to the people” means when preaching and otherwise. “What they appreciate and accept” means, what they may understand, so that they will not be confused. Hence it was narrated that Ibn Mas’ood (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “You will never tell a people anything that they do not understand but it will be a cause of confusion for some of them.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari.  

Hence it is wise when calling people to Islam not to overwhelm the people with things that they cannot understand, rather one should call them gradually, so that they may gradually comprehend what you are telling them.  

The phrase “do you want them to reject Allah and His Messenger?” means: If you tell the people things that they do not appreciate, do you want them to reject Allah and His Messenger? Because if you say “Allah said such and such and His Messenger said such and such,” they will say, This is a lie, if it is beyond their comprehension, and in that case they will not be disbelieving Allah and His Messenger, rather they will be disbelieving you and the words you attribute to Allah and His Messenger, thus they will be ultimately disbelieving Allah and His Messenger, not directly but via the one who told them that.  

 If it is said: Should we forego speaking of that which people do not understand even though they are in need of that? My answer is: We should not forego that, but we should tell them in a way that is acceptable to them, by telling them gradually, until they accept this idea and feel at ease with it, and we should not ignore that which they cannot understand and say that this is something objectionable so we should not speak of it. 

For example: Following the Sunnah which the people are not used to and find objectionable. We should follow it, but after we tell them of it, until their hearts accept it and feel at ease with it. 

It may be understood from this report the importance of wisdom in calling people to Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, and that the daa’iyah must have insight into the mentality of the people he is calling, and use a different approach for each individual. 

Majmoo’ Fataawa al-Shaykh al-‘Uthaymeen (10/774, 775). 

So you have to follow the path of wisdom in calling these people to give up communal dhikr and the other innovations that they do, and to follow the Sunnahs that they are ignoring. We think that you should do the following: 

1 – Continue to lead them in prayer as an imam, and seek to draw closer to their hearts by leading the prayers, and do not leave it for someone else to take charge of their prayer and ‘aqeedah. 

2 – Do not join them in their dhikr and other innovations, but remember that it is essential for you to remain in the place where you prayed so that you may recite the prescribed dhikrs by yourself. 

3 – Give them daily lessons that take up only a little time, as this may be a way of stopping their innovations as well as calling them and teaching them. 

4 – Focus on the importance of the Sunnah and of following proper evidence, and mentioning the examples of the Sahaabah, Taabi’een and prominent imams, especially those whom you see that they love and respect. 

5 – Do not object to their innovations directly, and do not criticize the contemporary imams and scholars whose opinions they follow. 

6 – Pay attention to the leaders and knowledgeable ones among them who have an influence on them, and try harder with them than with others. 

7 – Give them gifts occasionally, such as books, tapes and pamphlets, whilst also honouring them by offering food and drink as much as you can. 

8 – Join them on permissible occasions, and try to draw close to them by having a good attitude towards them. 

This does not apply to you alone, rather it applies to every daa’iyah who wants to succeed in a community where there is a great deal of innovation and where the people do not respect or follow the Sunnah a great deal.  

Do not forget to seek the help of Allah in your du’aa’, and be sincere in doing it, seeking thereby the countenance of Allah. You should focus on the idea that these people are sick and need the remedy that you possess, but they do not realize that they are sick, so how can you deliver the remedy to them in a wise manner? 

And Allah knows best.

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22. PRAYING ALONG HUSBAND

Question :      

Is it permissible for me to pray alongside my husband (standing beside him) to pray Jama`a? We have no mosque in our town and my husband ends up doing most of his prayers on his own.

Answer :

There is nothing wrong, as far as Islam is concerned, with the husband and wife praying together. Thus, both you and your husband can pray together and for sure your husband will be the imam. When the husband wife pray together, the wife should stand behind the husband and not beside him.

Excerpted, with slight modifications, from: www.islamonline.net

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23. PRAYER IN PICTURED ROOM

Question :

Is salah permissible in a room where there are pictures and photographs of living things on the wall?

Answer :                                                                                                                      

Yes, the salat is valid, but it is makruh to have any distraction in the direction of the qibla of the musaleen (people making prayer).

Excerpted, with slight modifications, from: www.islamonline.net

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24. PRAYERS TIMINGS

Question :

Please shed light on the times of the five daily prayers as illustrated by the Sunnah.

Answer :                                                                                                                  

As far as the times of the five daily prayers are concerned, Sheikh M. S. Al-Munajjid, a prominent Saudi Muslim lecturer and author, points out:

"Allah has enjoined upon His servants five prayers throughout the day and night at specific times decreed by the wisdom of Allah so that the servant may be in contact with Him in these prayers throughout all of these times. Part of the wisdom behind doing the prayers at these times is so that people will not get bored or find it difficult, which would happen if they all had to be done at once.

The times of the prayers were mentioned by the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) in the hadith that reads: “The time for Zuhr is from when the sun has passed its zenith and a man’s shadow is equal in length to his height, until the time for ‘Asr comes. The time for ‘Asr lasts until the sun turns orange. The time for Maghrib lasts [from sunset] until the twilight has faded. The time for ‘Isha’ lasts until midnight. The time for Subh (Fajr) prayer lasts from the beginning of the pre-sunrise twilight so long as the sun has not yet started to rise. When the sun starts to rise then stop praying, for it rises between the two horns of the Shaytan (Satan).” (Reported by Muslim, 612)

This hadith explains the timings of the five daily prayers. As for defining them by the clock, that varies from one city or country to another. We will define each in more detail as follows:

1. The time of Zuhr

According to the above-mentioned hadith, the time of Zuhr starts when sun passes its zenith, i.e., passes the highest part of the sky, and starts to descend towards the west.

Practically, one can know when the zenith has been passed (and the time for Zuhr has begun) by putting a stick or pole in an open place. When the sun rises in the east, the shadow of this stick will fall towards the west. The higher the sun rises, the shorter the shadow will become. So long as it keeps growing shorter, the sun has not yet reached its zenith. The shadow will keep on growing shorter until it reaches a certain point, then it will start to increase, falling towards the east. When it increases by even a small amount, then the sun has passed its zenith. At that point the time for Zuhr has begun.

Also, to know the time of the zenith by the clock, you have to divide the time between sunrise and sunset in half, and that is the time of the zenith. If we assume that the sun rises at 6 a.m. and sets at 6 p.m., then the zenith is at 12 noon. If it rises at 7 a.m. and sets at 7 p.m., then the zenith is at 1 p.m., and so on.

The end of the time for Zuhr is when the shadow of everything is equal in length to the object itself plus the length of the shadow of the object at the time of the zenith.

As a practical way of knowing when the time for Zuhr has ended, you can go back to the stick or pole which we described above. Let us assume that its length is one meter. We will notice that before the sun reached its zenith, the shadow decreased gradually until it reached a certain point (make a mark on the ground at this point), then it started to increase, at which point the time for Zuhr began. The shadow will continue to increase, falling towards the east until the length of the shadow is equal to the length of the object itself, i.e., it will be one meter long, starting from the point marked at the zenith. As for the shadow before the mark, that is not counted, and it is called fay’ az-zawal (the shadow of the zenith). At this point the time for Zuhr ends and the time for ‘Asr begins straight away.

2. The time of ‘Asr

In the light of the above-mentioned hadith, we conclude that the time for ‘Asr begins when the time for Zuhr ends, i.e., when the length of an object’s shadow becomes equal to the length of the object itself plus the length of its shadow at the zenith. There are two times for the end of ‘Asr as follows:

a) The preferred time: This lasts from the beginning of the time for ‘Asr until the sun begins to turn orange, because the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “The time for ‘Asr lasts until the sun turns orange.”

b) The time of necessity: This lasts from the time the sun turns orange until sunset, because the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “Whoever catches up with one rak`ah of ‘Asr before the sun sets has caught up with ‘Asr.” (Reported by Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

3. The time of Maghrib

The time for Maghrib starts immediately after the time for ‘Asr ends, which is when the sun sets, until the twilight or red afterglow has faded. When the red afterglow has disappeared from the sky, the time for Maghrib ends and the time for ‘Isha’ begins.

4. The time of ‘Isha’

The time for ‘Isha’ begins immediately after the time for Maghrib ends (i.e., when the red afterglow disappears from the sky) until midnight. If you want to calculate when midnight is, then calculate the time between sunset and sunrise then divide it in half; that halfway point is the end of the time for praying ‘Isha’ (and that is midnight). So if the sun sets at 5 p.m., and Fajr begins at 5 a.m., then midnight is 11 p.m. If the sun sets at 5 p.m. and Fajr begins at 6 p.m., then midnight is 11:30 p.m., and so on.

5. The time of Fajr

The time for Fajr begins with the onset of the “second dawn” (al-fajr al-thani) and ends when the sun starts to rise. The “second dawn” is the brightness that appears along the horizon in the east and extends north to south. The “first dawn” (al-fajr al-awwal) occurs approximately one hour before this, and there are differences between the two as follows:

a) In the “first dawn” the brightness extends from east to west, and in the “second dawn” it extends from north to south.

b) The “first dawn” is followed by darkness, i.e., the brightness lasts for a short period then it becomes dark. The “second dawn” is not followed by darkness, rather the light increases.

c) The “second dawn” is connected to the horizon, with no darkness between it and the horizon, whereas the “first dawn” is separated from the horizon with darkness between it and the horizon."

Excerpted, with slight modifications, from:
www.islam-qa.com

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25. CRITERIA TO LEAD PRAYER AS IMAM

Question :

What are the general conditions for an imam to lead the prayer? What about of an imam, who is quite young, not married, not coming regularly in other prayers, but sometime he leads the prayer in the presence of other more matured people who memorize the Qur’an better?

Answer :                                                                                                                  

Generally speaking, the person who knows the Qur’an more should be given preference in leading prayer. If they are all almost equal in their knowledge of the Qur’an, then the person who knows more about the Sunnah should be given preference. Otherwise the most senior person can be chosen to lead the prayer. These are recommendations only. It is permissible for a less knowledgeable (even less pious) person to lead in prayer those who are more knowledgeable (or more pious) than him, as long as he knows the basic rules and method of prayer. The following hadith of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) gave the guidelines in this regard:

Abu Mas`ud Al-Ansari reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “The person who can best read the Book of Allah will lead the people (in prayer). If they are equal in reading (the Qur’an), then the one who has more knowledge of the Sunnah. If they are equal in the knowledge of Sunnah, then the one who was first in making the Hijrah (from Makkah to Madinah). If they are equal in that then the one who is more senior (or older) in Islam. Let not a person lead the prayer in the place of the authority of another person and let him not sit in his house in his place of honor, except by his permission.” (Reported by Muslim)”

Thus standards about leading prayer are the knowledge of Islam, specifically the Qur’an, and the acceptance of the congregation in the mosque. As for the first criterion, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “One who leads people in prayer must be the most knowledgeable about the Book of Allah among them.”

As for the second criterion, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said:
“Someone may not lead the prayer against the consent of the congregation.”

Age and marriage are not criteria in this matter. If there is a young man who leads the prayer in your mosque is knowledgeable about the Qur’an and is accepted by the majority of the community to be imam, then he is a legitimate imam. If there is more than one competent imam, then the community acceptance is the criterion in this case.

It is good to pray in jama`ah (congregation). Wherever there are two or more Muslims together, they should pray in jama`ah. The imam should be an adult if he is leading the prayers of adults. Minors (i.e., those who have not reached puberty) are not allowed to lead obligatory prayers. They can lead voluntary prayers if they know about purification and can read the Qur’an well. It is good to ask young children of seven years or older to lead voluntary prayers sometimes to encourage and teach them how to lead prayers.

When praying in jama`ah at someone’s home, the owner of the house has the right to lead the prayer, if he knows how to do it. The lady of the house can also lead the prayer if there are only ladies praying together. The outsiders should not lead prayer in someone’s home without his permission.

Excerpted, with slight modifications, from: www.islamonline.net

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26. conditions of prayers being valid

Question :

What are the conditions of prayer being valid?

Answer: Praise be to Allah .

“Condition” in the terminology of usool al-fiqh (principles of jurisprudence) means that which is essential and without which a thing is not valid.

So the conditions of prayer being valid refer to that on which the validity of prayer depends, such that if one of these conditions is broken, then prayer is not valid as a result. These conditions are:

1.   That the time for prayer has begun. This is the most important condition. A prayer offered before its time has begun is not valid, according to scholarly consensus, because Allah  says (interpretation of the meaning):

“….. Verily, As‑Salaah (the prayer) is enjoined on the believers at fixed hours”  (An-Nisaa’ 4:103)

2.   Covering the ‘awrah. If a person prays with his ‘awrah uncovered, his prayer is not valid, because Allah  says (interpretation of the meaning):

Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr (may Allah  have mercy on him) said: They are unanimously agreed that the prayer of one who does not wear his clothes when he is able to cover himself with them, and prays naked, is invalid. End quote.

 Awrah (to b e covered) for men for the age of ten and above, is between the navel and the knee.

Awrah for woman is all body except her hands and face. The scholars differed with regard to showing the feet.

3. Tahaarah (purity), which is of two types: purity from ritual impurity (hadath) and purity from tangible impurity (najas).

(i) Purity from major and minor ritual impurity (hadath). If a person prays when he is in a state of ritual impurity, then his prayer is invalid according to scholarly consensus, because of the report narrated by al-Bukhaari “Allah  does not accept the prayer of one of you if he becomes ritually impure, unless he does wudoo’.”

(ii) Purity from najaasah or tangible impurity. If a person prays with some impurity on him, and he is aware of that and remembers it is there, then his prayer is not valid.

(4) The worshipper should avoid najaasah in three places:

(a) The body. There should not be with any najaasah or impurity on his body. As per hadith: The Messenger of Allah  (PBUH) passed by two graves, and he said: “They are being punished, but they are not being punished for anything that was difficult to avoid. One of them used to walk around spreading malicious gossip, and the other did not protect himself from his urine.”

(b) The clothing. Clothes should be clean from any najjasah of urine, sperm, stool and menstruation blood

(c) The place where prayer is offered should be clean from najasah (and if there had been any najasah some times before then it should be dried and no traces).

5. Facing towards the qiblah is one of the conditions of prayer without which the prayer is not valid, except in case when a person makes a mistake after doing his best to find it out.

 “…. so turn your face in the direction of Al-Masjid Al-Haraam (at Makkah). And wheresoever you people are, turn your faces (in prayer) in that direction” (Al-Baqarah 2:144)

6. Intention (niyyah). One must have intention that he is praying for particular salat. If a person prays without forming the proper intention then his prayer is invalid, because of the report narrated by Bukhaari  from ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab (RTU) who said: I heard the Messenger of Allah  (peace and blessings of Allah  be upon him) say: “Actions are but by intentions and each person will have but that which he intended.”

Allah does not accept any deed unless it is carried out by the right intention as directed by prophet  and Himself.

Based on this, the conditions of prayer being valid are nine in all:

Being Muslim, being of sound mind, discernment, being free of ritual impurity, removal of tangible impurity, covering the ‘awrah, the time for that prayer should have begun, facing the qiblah, and the right intention.

In addition all scholars agree that anyone who offers prayers must read the Al-Fatihah and the Qur'an in Arabic.

And Allah knows best.

Excerpted, with some modifications, from: http://islamqa.com/en/

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