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PRAYERS IMPORTANCE.

 

1)          Prayer: importance AND ITS DETAILS

2)          Prayers: Punishment for not praying?

3)          NEGLECTING PRAYER OUT OF LAZINESS

 

4)          PRAYERS OF ONE WHO DRINKS ALCOHOL

 

5)          READING QURAN BUT NOT PRAYING

 

6)          deliberately omits to offer obligatory prayers

 

7)          differences concerning one who does not pray

8)          Prayer: Missed

9)          PRAYING DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SUNNI & SHI’TE

 

10)      Prayer: THOUGHTS

11)      Offering only obligatory prayers & the time range

12)      LEADING PRAYERS

13)      PRAYER IN ENGLISH

 

 

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1. Prayer: importance AND ITS DETAILS

Question:

Why is it important to offer prayer? Please detail all prayers.

Answer:

Regular praying is so important that a short or even long reply over the internet will never be enough. It is sufficient to mention that prayer has been established as one of the pillars upon which Islam is founded, and how can anyone build a building without foundations, and how secure is a building without its foundations?

On the Day of Judgment, every Muslim will be first accounted for his prayers. Imagine, failing in the first paper, how you will give account for other deeds, which are more difficult to answer.

Prayer has been mentioned in the Qur'an along with giving Zakat over eighty times. Those who neglect it are promised to get major punishments on the Day of Judgment. Some Muslim scholars have asserted that if a person leaves prayer on purpose, he is a Kafir, and they have compared him to the Mushriks.

"Those who believe, and do deeds of righteousness, and establish regular prayers and regular charity, will have their reward with their Lord: on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve." (Al-Baqarah 2:277)

Prayer is extremely important because it purifies the souls, and is a tool for people to get their sins forgiven everyday five times. It is one of the very intimate moments between a servant and His Lord. Besides the shahada (or the affirmation of the existence of Allah and His prophet), prayer is the only pillar in Islam that cannot be waived under any circumstances, unless a person is mentally handicapped. It has to be performed, whether a person is traveling, sick, poor, rich, married, pregnant, old, etc..., unlike other pillars (fasting, pilgrimage, and zakat), that can be waived under certain conditions.

In prayer there are four type of rakats, they are :

Fard : These are Obligatory and included in all obligatory prayers. Missing it, means that prayer has not been offered.

Sunna Muakadda: "Muakkadah" is that which the Prophet (PBUH) regularly did [and encouraged].

Sunna Ghair Muakadda: That sunna which Prophet (PBUH) did not offer regularly. If you offer it, you will be rewarded, but if not, there is no sin.

Nafl : These are additional rakats which are non obligatory, and if you offer it you will be rewarded, but if not, there is no sin. On Day Of Judgment, if you will be having deficiency in Fard Rakat, Allah may compensate from these.

Witr : These are Wajib, and prophet (PBUH) was always offering it.

DETAILED OF PRAYERS :

There are Five Obligatory daily prayers and Friday's noon congregation prayer. They are as follows with order in day and rakats in each prayer.

Fajr Prayer (Early Morning)

Time Duration : After Dawn and until before sunrise

Rakats             :   2 Sunna (Muakadda) + 2 Farad

Zuhr Prayer (Just after noon)

Time Duration : After the sun begins to decline from its zenith until it is about midway on its course to set.

Rakats             :   4 Sunna (Muakadda) + 4 Farad + 2 Sunna (Muakadda) + 2 Nafl (Non obligatory)

Asr Prayer (Mid After Noon)

Time Duration : After the expiration of the noon prayer time until sunset.

Rakats             :   4 Sunna (Ghair Muakadda) + 4 Farad

Maghrib Prayer (After sunset)

Time Duration : After the sunsets until all reddish of sun finishes (about an hour and half)

Rakat                : 3 Farad + 2 Sunna (Muakadda)+ 2 Nafl (Non obligatory)

Isha Prayer (After Maghrib Time)

Time Duration : After the expiration of the Maghrib prayer time until dawn.

Rakat               : 4 Sunna (Ghair Muakadda) + 4 Farad + 2 Sunna (Muakadda) + 2 Nafl (Non obligatory)+ 3 Witr (Wajib)

Jumma Prayer (Just after noon)

It is part of Zuhr prayer. On this day, 4 Zuhr Fard are replaced with 2 Fard of Jumma.

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2. Prayers: Punishment for not praying?

Question :

In a program on prayer broadcast in our country a religious teacher said that if a person does not pray five times daily for three consecutive days, he may be executed. Please comment.

Answer :

The suggestion you have quoted is preposterous. To suggest that a person who does not pray for three days can be taken and sentenced to death and executed straight-away is to betray one's ignorance of Islam and its teachings. But I can imagine the line of thinking which leads this man to say what he said, that is, if he is quoted correctly.

Some scholars argue that a person who does not pray is a non-believer. If he was a Muslim and then reached that stage, then some people argue, he is an apostate and apostasy may incur capital punishment. But this line of thinking is not much different from the one which leads to the following conclusion: What is white is milk; eggs are white, so egg is milk. Let us now examine the position of a person who does not pray for three days. Scholars have distinguished between two types of disbelief: one which relates to action or lack of it.

The first is concerned only with what a person believes in or denies. It is unanimously agreed by all scholars that if a person denies something which is essentially known as an integral part of the Islamic faith, he is a disbeliever. If we are to apply this principle to prayers, we say that if a person claims to be a Muslim and denies that prayers are part of Islam, or says that it is part of it but not necessarily in the number or the manner which the Prophet has taught us, then he is a disbeliever. If his denial has come shortly after he had been a Muslim, then he is an apostate.

In a Muslim state, an apostate is given a fair hearing before Muslim judges who may order that scholars should come and explain to him the Islamic faith and argue with him about his beliefs. If he insists on maintaining his apostasy, he is given three days to recant. If he does not, then he may incur the capital punishment, as happened indeed in Sudan recently when a man who claimed to be god was executed. I would like to point here that this is not a simple case, but a very complicated one.

To start with, the person concerned should have publicized his beliefs which are contrary to Islam in a way which is likely to undermine Islamic society. If he keeps his beliefs to himself, nobody will question him about them. When he is questioned about them, every opportunity is given to make him realize his mistake. Scholars of the highest caliber are brought to argue with him. In the end, if he is so stubborn, he is sentenced, but given three days to recant. He can easily escape punishment by publicly saying that he has renounced his erroneous beliefs. What I would like to emphasize here is that a Muslim government is not at all interested in discovering who is following the right faith and who has funny ideas. It does not follow people into their homes to discover what they actually believe in. Therefore, a person may entertain the most preposterous thoughts and beliefs, without having any fear that anyone will question him about his ideas. The principle is clearly stated in the Qur'an: "No compulsion is admissible in matters of faith."

If a person who has much deviant ideas starts to publicize them and calls on others to share his beliefs, he is actually starting a rebellion against the very fabric of Islamic society and its basic concepts. His action is likely to result in division and conflict. When this happens, Islam moves to nip such a detrimental offshoot when it is still in the bud. Its method is to give the person concerned every chance to stop his seditious action. To escape punishment, that person need not do more than to state that he withdraws his earlier statements, even if he still believes in them himself. What Islam achieves by this is to stop the act of sedition which could cause public disorder.

If the person still maintains his ideas but keeps them to himself, no one is going to bother about him. The other type of disbelief is that which relates to action, or the lack of it. Certain actions of disobedience to Allah have been described by the Prophet as actions of disbelief. A person who is guilty of any of these is questioned about his actions and the Islamic attitude is explained to him. If he has committed an act of disobedience for which a particular punishment is prescribed by Allah and this is proven either by the testimony of the required number of witnesses or by free confession, then the punishment is carried out. No authority can stop it. In the case of a person who does not pray, there is no prescribed punishment.


Our Dialogue ( Source : Arab News - Jeddah )

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3. Neglecting prayer out of laziness

Question:

If you do not pray salat out of laziness on purpose, are you a kafir or just a bad Muslim? Please answer.

Answer: Praise be to Allah

Imaam Ahmad said that the one who does not pray because of laziness is a kaafir. This is the more correct view and is that indicated by the evidence of the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger, and by the words of the Salaf and the proper understanding. (Al-Sharh al-Mumti’ ‘ala Zaad al-Mustanqi’, 2/26).

Anyone who examines the texts of the Quran and Sunnah will see that they indicate that the one who neglects the prayer is guilty of Kufr Akbar (major kufr) which puts him beyond the pale of Islam.

Among the evidence to be found in the Quran is:

The aayah (interpretation of the meaning):

“But if they repent [by rejecting Shirk (polytheism) and accept Islamic Monotheism], perform As-Salaat (Iqaamat-as-Salaat) and give Zakaat, then they are your brethren in religion.”  (At-Tawbah 9:11)

The evidence derived from this aayah is that Allah defined three things that the Mushrikeen have to do in order to eliminate the differences between them us: they should repent from shirk, they should perform prayer, and they should pay zakaah. If they repent from shirk but they do not perform the prayer or pay zakaah, then they are not our brethren in faith; if they perform the prayer but do not pay zakaah, then they are not our brethren in faith. Brotherhood in religion cannot be effaced except when a person goes out of the religion completely; it cannot be effaced by fisq (immoral conduct) or lesser types of kufr.

Allah also says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Then, there has succeeded them a posterity who have given up As-Salaat (the prayers) [i.e. made their Salaat (prayers) to be lost, either by not offering them or by not offering them perfectly or by not offering them in their proper fixed times] and have followed lusts. So they will be thrown in Hell. (59) Except those who repent and believe (in the Oneness of Allah and His Messenger Muhammad), and work righteousness. Such will enter Paradise and they will not be wronged in aught.”  (Maryam 19:59-60)

The evidence derived from this aayah is that Allah referred to those who neglect the prayer and follow their desires, Except those who repent and believe, which indicates that at the time when they are neglecting their prayers and following their desires, they are not believers.

The evidence of the Sunnah that proves that the one who neglects the prayer is a kaafir includes the hadeeth of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him): “Between a man and shirk and kufr there stands his neglect of the prayer.” (Narrated by Muslim in Kitaab al-Eemaan from Jaabir ibn ‘Abd-Allah from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)).

It was narrated that Buraydah ibn al-Husayb (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “I heard the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) say: ‘The covenant that distinguishes between us and them is the prayer, and whoever neglects it has disbelieved (become a kaafir).’” (It was narrated by Ahmad, Abu Dawood, al-Tirmidhi, al-Nisaa’i and Ibn Maajah). What is meant here by kufr or disbelief is the kind of kufr which puts a person beyond the pale of Islam, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) made prayer the dividing line between the believers and the disbelievers. It is known that the community of kufr is not the same as the community of Islam, so whoever does not fulfil this covenant must be one of the kaafireen (disbelievers).

There is also the hadeeth of ‘Awf ibn Maalik (may Allah be pleased with him), according to which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “The best of your leaders are those whom you love and who love you, who pray for you and you pray for them. The worst of your leaders are those whom you hate and who hate you, and you send curses on them and they send curses on you.” He was asked, “O Messenger of Allah, should we not fight them by the sword?” He said, “Not as long as they are establishing prayer amongst you.”

This hadeeth indicates that those in authority should be opposed and fought if they do not establish prayer, but it is not permissible to oppose and fight them unless they make a blatant show of kufr and we have evidence from Allah that what they are doing is indeed kufr. ‘Ubaadah ibn al-Saamit said: “The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) called us and we gave bay’ah (oath of allegiance) to him. Among the things that we pledged to do was to listen and obey him both when we felt enthusiastic and when we were disinclined to act, both at times of difficulty and times of ease, and at times when others were given preference over us, and that we would not oppose those in authority. He said: ‘unless they made a blatant show of kufr and you have evidence from Allah that what they are doing is indeed kufr.’” (Agreed upon).

 On this basis, their neglecting the prayer, for which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said we should oppose them and fight them by the sword, constitutes an act of blatant kufr for which we have evidence from Allah that it is indeed kufr.

If someone were to say: is it not permissible to interpret the texts about a person who neglects prayer being a kaafir as referring to the one who neglects the prayer because he does not think it is obligatory?

We would say: it is not permissible to interpret the texts in this way because there are two reservations about this interpretation:

it involves ignoring the general description that the Lawgiver took into consideration and to which the ruling was connected. The ruling that the person who neglects prayer is a kaafir is connected to the action of neglecting prayer, not to his denial of it being obligatory. Brotherhood in religion is based on performing the prayer, not on whether a person declares it to be obligatory. Allah did not say, “If they repent and state that the prayer is obligatory”, and the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) did not say “Between a man and shirk and kufr there stands his denial that the prayer is obligatory” or “The covenant that distinguishes between us and them is our statement that the prayer is obligatory, so whoever denies that it is obligatory has disbelieved.” If this is what Allah and His Messenger had meant, then not stating it clearly would have contradicted what is said in the Qur’aan. For Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“…. And We have sent down to you the Book (the Qur’aan) as an exposition of everything….” (An-Nahl 16:89)

“…. And We have also sent down unto you (O Muhammad) the Dhikr [reminder and the advice (i.e. the Quran)], that you may explain clearly to men what is sent down to them ….”  (An-Nahl 16:44)

It is not correct to refer to a reason which the Lawgiver did not make a factor in ruling a person to be a kaafir, because if a person who does not have the excuse of ignorance denies that the five daily prayers are obligatory then he is deemed to be a kaafir, whether he prays or not. If a person performs the five daily prayers, fulfilling all the conditions of prayer and doing all the actions that are obligatory or mustahabb, but he denies that the prayers are obligatory with no valid reason for doing so, then he is a kaafir, even though he is not neglecting the prayers. From this it is clear that it is not correct to interpret the texts about neglecting the prayers as referring to denying that they are obligatory.

The correct view is that the person who neglects the prayer is a kaafir who is beyond the pale of Islam, as is clearly stated in the report narrated by Ibn Abi Haatim in his Sunan from ‘Ubaadah ibn al-Saamit (may Allah be pleased with him), who said: “The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) exhorted us: ‘Do not associate anything in worship with Allah, and do not neglect the prayer deliberately, for whoever neglects the prayer deliberately puts himself beyond the pale of Islam.”

Moreover, if we interpret the ahaadeeth about neglecting the prayer as referring to a denial that it is obligatory, there would be no point in the reports referring specifically to the prayer, because this ruling applies equally to zakaah, fasting and Hajj – whoever neglects any of these, denying that it is obligatory, is a kaafir, if he does not have the excuse of ignorance.

Just as the one who neglects the prayer is deemed to be a kaafir on the basis of the evidence of the texts and reports, so he may also be deemed to be a kaafir on the basis of rational analysis. How can a person be a believer if he neglects the prayer which is the pillar of religion, and when there are aayaat and ahaadeeth urging us to perform prayer which make the wise believer rush to do the prayer, and when there are aayaat and ahaadeeth warning against neglecting it, which make the wise believer scared to ignore the prayer? Once we have understood this, a person cannot be a believer if he neglects the prayer.

If a person were to say: can we not interpret kufr in the case of one who neglects the prayer as meaning a lesser form of kufr (kufr al-na’mah) rather than the kind of kufr which puts a person beyond the pale of Islam (kufr al-millah)? Or can we not interpret it as being less than Kufr Akbar (major kufr) and more like the kufr referred to in the ahaadeeth, “There are two qualities that exist among people which are qualities of kufr: slandering people’s lineage and wailing over the dead” and “Trading insults with a Muslim is fisq (immoral conduct) and exchanging blows with him is kufr”, etc.?

We would say that this interpretation is not correct for a number of reasons:

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) made prayer the dividing line between kufr and faith, between the believer and the disbeliever. This is where he drew the line, and the two things are quite distinct and do not overlap.

Prayer is one of the pillars of Islam, so when the person who neglects it is described as a kaafir, this implies the kind of kufr that puts a person beyond the pale of Islam, because he has destroyed one of the pillars of Islam. This is a different matter from attributing kufr to a person who does one of the actions of kufr.

There are other texts which indicate that the kufr of the one who neglects the prayer is the kind of kufr which puts a person beyond the pale of Islam, so what is meant here by kufr should be interpreted according to the apparent meaning, so as avoid contradictions between the texts.

The description of kufr in those ahaadeeth is different. Concerning neglecting the prayer, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Between a man and shirk and kufr.” Here the word kufr is preceded in the original Arabic by the definite article “al”, which indicates that what is referred to here is the reality of kufr. This is in contrast to the other ahaadeeth where kufr is referred to without the definite article, or in a verbal form, which indicates that this is a part of kufr or that the person has disbelieved by doing this action, but it is not the absolute kufr which places a person beyond the pale of Islam.

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah said in his book Iqtidaa’ al-Siraat al-Mustaqeem (p. 70, Al-Sunnah Al-Muhammadiyyah edn.), concerning the hadeeth of the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) ““There are two qualities that exist among people which are qualities of kufr”:

“The phrase ‘which are qualities of kufr’ means that these two qualities which exist among people are qualities of kufr because they are among the deeds of kufr and they exist among people. But not everyone who has a part of kufr becomes a kaafir because of it, unless there exists in his heart the reality of kufr. Similarly, not everyone who has a part of faith becomes a believer because of it, unless there exists in his heart the essential reality of faith. So there is a distinction between kufr that is preceded [in the original Arabic] by the definite article “al”, as in the hadeeth ‘Between a man and shirk and kufr there stands nothing but his neglecting the prayer’, and kufr that is not preceded by the definite article but is used in an affirmative sense.’”

So it is clear that the person who neglects the prayer with no excuse is a kaafir who is beyond the pale of Islam, on the basis of this evidence. This is the correct view according to Imaam Ahmad, and it is one of the two opinions narrated from al-Shaafa’i, as was mentioned by Ibn Katheer in his tafseer of the aayah (interpretation of the meaning):

“Then, there has succeeded them a posterity who have given up As-Salaat (the prayers) [i.e. made their Salaat (prayers) to be lost, either by not offering them or by not offering them perfectly or by not offering them in their proper fixed times] and have followed lusts ….”  (Maryam 19:59)

Ibn al-Qayyim mentioned in his book Al-Salaah that it was one of the two views narrated from al-Shaafa’i, and that al-Tahhaawi narrated it from al-Shaafa’i himself.

This was also the view of the majority of the Sahaabah, indeed many narrated that there was consensus among the Sahaabah on this point. ‘Abd-Allah ibn Shaqeeq said: the companions of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) did not think that neglecting any deed made a person a kaafir, apart from neglecting the prayer. This was reported by al-Tirmidhi and al-Haakim, who classed it as saheeh according to the conditions of (al-Bukhaari and Muslim). Ishaaq ibn Raahawayh, the well known imaam, said, It was reported with a saheeh isnaad from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) that the one who neglects the prayer is a kaafir.

This was also the view of the scholars from the time of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) until the present day: that the person who deliberately neglects the prayer with no valid excuse, until the time for that prayer is over, is a kaafir. Ibn Hazm said that it was reported from ‘Umar, ‘Abd al-Rahmaan ibn ‘Awf, Mu’aadh ibn Jabal, Abu Hurayrah and others among the Sahaabah. He said: “We do not know of any opposing view among the Sahaabah.” Al-Mundhiri narrated this from him in Al-Targheeb wa’l-Tarheeb, and added more names of Sahaabah: ‘Abd-Allah ibn Mas’ood, ‘Abd-Allah ibn ‘Abbaas, Jaabir ibn ‘Abd-Allah and Abu’l-Dardaa’ – may Allah be pleased with them. He said: apart from the Sahaabah, there are also Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Ishaaq ibn Raahawayh, ‘Abd-Allah ibn al-Mubaarak, al-Nakha’i, al-Hakam ibn ‘Utaybah, Ayyoob al-Sakhtayaani, Abu Daawood al-Tayaalisi, Abu Bakr ibn Abi Shaybah, Zuhayr ibn Harb and others.

And Allah knows best.

Reference: Risaalah fi Hukm Taarik al-Salaah (Paper on the ruling on one who neglects the prayer) by Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen.

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

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4. PRAYERS OF ONE WHO DRINKS ALCOHOL

Question :

Is the report narrated from the Messenger of Allah Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), which says that whoever drinks alcohol, his prayers will not be accepted for a period of forty days, saheeh?

Answer : Praise be to Allah.  

Yes, there are many saheeh ahaadeeth concerning the punishment for one who drinks alcohol, which say that his prayers will not be accepted for forty days. This was narrated from ‘Amr ibn al-‘Aas, Ibn ‘Abbaas, Ibn ‘Umar and Ibn ‘Amr. 

See al-Silsilah al-Saheehah, 709, 2039, 2695, 1854. 

One of these ahaadeeth was narrated by Ibn Maajah (3377) from ‘Abd-Allah ibn ‘Amr who said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever drinks alcohol and gets drunk, his prayer will not be accepted for forty days and if he dies he will go to Hell. But if he repents, Allah will accept his repentance. If he again drinks alcohol and gets drunk, his prayer will not be accepted for forty days and if he dies he will go to Hell. But if he repents, Allah will accept his repentance. If he again drinks alcohol and gets drunk, his prayer will not be accepted for forty days and if he dies he will go to Hell. But if he repents, Allah will accept his repentance. If he commits (this sin) again, then Allah pledges to make him drink the mud of khabaal on the Day of Resurrection.” They asked, “O Messenger of Allah, what is the mud of khabaal?” He said, “The juices of the people of Hell.” 

Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Ibn Maajah. 

The fact that his prayers are not accepted does not mean that they are not valid, or that he should give up praying, rather it means that he will not be rewarded for them. 

So the benefit of praying will be that he will have discharged his duty and will not be punished for not doing it. 

Abu ‘Abd-Allah ibn Mandah said: The words “his prayer will not be accepted” mean that he will not be rewarded for his prayer for forty days, as a punishment for his drinking alcohol, just as they say that the one who speaks on Friday when the imam is delivering the khutbah should pray Jumu’ah but there is no Jumu’ah for him, meaning that he will not be given the reward for Jumu’ah as a punishment for his sin. 

Ta’zeem Qadr al- Salaah, 2/587, 588.

Al-Nawawi said: 

With regard to his prayer not being accepted, what this means is that he will not be rewarded for it, even though it is valid in the sense that he has discharged his duty and does not need to repeat it. End quote. 

No doubt the person who drinks alcohol still has to perform the prayers on time. If he were to delay any of his prayers, he would be committing a grave major sin, which is worse than the sin of drinking alcohol. 

This punishment for drinking alcohol applies to the one who does not repent. But if he repents to Allah and turns to Him, He will accept his repentance and accept his good deeds, as it says in the hadeeth quoted above: “… but if he repents, Allah will accept his repentance.” And the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “The one who repents from sin is like one who did not commit sin.” Narrated by Ibn Maajah, 4250; classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh Ibn Maajah. 

And Allah knows best.

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

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5. READNIG QURAN BUT NOT PRAYING

Question:

I used to read Quran every day but I did not pray. I heard some people say that it is haraam for a person who does not pray to read Quran, so I stopped reading Quran. Is this right?

Answer: Praise be to Allah. 

Prayer is the greatest pillar of Islam after the Shahaadatayn. The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Between a person and kufr and shirk stands the abandonment of prayer.” (Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 2766. Classed as saheeh by Ibn Maajah, 1078,  and by al-Albaani).

Salaah is so called because it is a connection (silah) between a person and his Lord. Whoever does not pray, his zakaah, fasting, Hajj, jihaad, enjoining of what is good, forbidding of what is evil, reading of Quran and upholding of family ties will not be accepted. Indeed, all his good deeds will be rejected if he does not pray.

The scholars, including Imaam Ahmad, said that whoever does not pray should be executed as a kaafir, and his body should not be washed or shrouded, the funeral prayer should not be offered over him, he should not be buried in the Muslims’ graveyard and his Muslim heirs cannot inherit from him.

It is not permissible for you to abandon prayer, because you never know when death will catch you unawares.

The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said at the end of his life, during his final sickness:

“(Adhere to) prayer, (adhere to) prayer and (take care of) those whom your right hands possess (i.e., slaves).”

(Narrated by Imaam Ahmad, 3/117; Ibn Maajah, 2697; Ibn Hibbaan, 1220. Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in al-Irwaa’, no.2178).

 Prayer is the pillar of Islam. Imaam Ahmad said: Your share of Islam is according to your share of prayer. What we want for you is for you to pray regularly, doing the prayers on time with the Muslims in their mosques. It is haraam for you to abandon prayer, for abandoning it is kufr. This issue has been discussed in great detail by the scholars in their books. And it was said that (the one who abandons prayer) is to be executed as a punishment, as is well known. And Allah knows best.

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6. deliberately omits to offer obligatory prayers

Question:

In a discussion with a friend, I told him that a person who deliberately omits to offer obligatory prayers is considered a non-Muslim. I have heard from scholars that the criterion which distinguishes Muslims from non-Muslims is prayer. My friend argues that we cannot call anyone a 'kafir'. Please explain.

Answer:

A person who denies the obligation of prayer is certainly a non-believer, or 'kafir'. We have no hesitation in describing him as such because he denies an essential point of our religion which is commonly known to all. A person who omits to offer one prayer every now and then cannot be described as a non-believer or a 'kafir', because he acknowledges the duty of prayer and he practices it. Its omission is certainly a sin of which he should repent properly. Such a repentance cannot be described as proper unless it is accompanied by stopping the omission completely. Your friend is correct in being careful with regard to who can be described as non-believer. He is not right, however, in saying that we cannot call a non-Muslim a 'kafir', because the term 'kafir' means a non-Muslim.

Anyway, to label Muslims as Kafirs is one of the most dangerous symptoms that can appear in the Islamic society. Every Muslim should be aware and careful about doing so, especially that it is not his right to decide who is a Muslim and who is not; for he is not the khalifah on earth nor a judge and he does not have any religious authority. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said 'He who says about a Muslim that he is a Kafir, is himself a Kafir'; which means that if you accuse a Muslim of being a Kafir without having evidence then it turns back on you.

Thus a Muslim cannot be labeled a disbeliever or kafir unless he totally denies the obligation of prayer. However, if a Muslim abandons prayer out of laziness, he is not considered a kafir according to the majority of Muslim scholars, but rather a sinner.

In his response to the question, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a Senior Lecturer and Islamic Scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states the following:

"As stated in the `Aqeedah At-Tahawiyyah, which represents the standard belief of the majority of Muslims or Ahlu-Sunnah wal-Jama'ah, a person goes out of Islam by denouncing Islam just as he enters Islam by pronouncing the kalima (also known as the shahadah: there is no god but Allah; Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah). So, he enters and exits from the same door.

Having said that, we must add that if a person denies the obligation to pray, or fast, or pay Zakah, or make Hajj, then he goes out of the fold of Islam. However, that is different from someone who simply refuses to pray out of laziness; he will be still considered a Muslim if he does not deny the obligation of prayer”

Moreover, we would like to cite for you the following fatwa issued by the prominent Muslim scholar Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, in which he states the following:

"Muslim scholars unanimously agree that the person who abandons prayer while totally denying its obligation is a kafir. However, they disagree regarding the one who does not perform prayer out of laziness. The majority of them consider him a fasiq (sinner), and they say that the fate of that person is left to Allah, Who will judge him according to His Will.

It is the duty of Muslims, especially those concerned with calling others to Allah, to invite the one who abandons prayer to perform it, and they should use wisdom and fair exhortation in their approach in order to wisely invite him to accept the truth. If he insists on his wrong attitude, Muslims should sever their ties with him in a bid to inform him about the sin he is committing.

Thank you for asking and God knows best

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7. differences concerning one who does not pray

Question:

I was told in the time of the Salaaf they would differ on issues such as the one who did not perform prayer and the on the one who ruled by laws other than what Allah has revealed, is it true this is called Khilaf Al Mu`tabar (A difference which is taken into consideration)?. If the Salaaf did differ may I please ask whom of the Salaaf differed on both of these issues? May Allah increase you my beloved shaykh in good and give you the ultimate reward, heaven with the messenger of Allah (Sal`Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam).

Answer: Praise be to Allah.

There are differences between the Islamic madhhabs whose views may be taken into consideration concerning the ruling on one who does not pray. The dispute is only with regard to the one who does not deny that the prayer is obligatory. The person who denies that prayer is obligatory is definitely a kaafir.

The majority of the Salaf, of the Sahaabah and Taabi’een, were of the view that the person who does not pray is a kaafir, because of the saheeh texts which clearly state that. The dispute arose after their time, but the scholars who examined this issue said that the opinion stated is the more sound view, that the person who does not pray is guilty of major kufr which puts him beyond the pale of Islam. This is the opinion according to which fatwas are issued nowadays.

With regard to ruling according to laws other than those revealed by Allah, whilst acknowledging that the ruling of Allah is more complete and more perfect, and more beneficial to mankind than any other (law), a group of scholars said that this is a lesser form of kufr. But giving preference to man-made laws and giving them precedence over the laws (sharee’ah) of Allah, and believing that the laws of Allah are not suitable for our times, for example, this is a form of major kufr which puts a person beyond the pale of Islam.

The dispute among the scholars in this case has to do with the person who judges according to laws other than those revealed by Allah, whilst still believing that the laws of Allah are more perfect and more fitting – is he guilty of major kufr or a lesser form of kufr? Because Allah has described those who rule according to laws other than His in different ways, sometimes as kaafirs, sometimes as faasiqoon (evildoers), sometimes as zaalimoon (wrongdoers). This is to be interpreted either as referring to different cases in which people rule according to laws other than those revealed by Allah, or as meaning one and the same thing, because the kaafir is also a faasiq and a zaalim.

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8. Prayer: Missed

Question:

When you are in a public place and is unable to pray prayer, can you pray the full prayer when you come home, or do you have to pray Qaza?

Could left over prayers of a dead person, be offered on his behalf? What way we can offer leftover prayers?

Answer:

Prayer is one of the most important obligations of Islam, being one of the five pillars of Islam. A Muslim should not miss any prayer; and all prayers should be performed in their appointed times. Allah says in the Quran:

"....Indeed the prayers are enjoined on Believers at stated times." (An-Nisa'4:103)

In a hadith the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, "Allah has made five prayers obligatory upon His servants. So whosoever will perform them and will not miss any of them out of negligence, he has the pledge of Allah that He will enter him in Paradise. And whosoever will not perform them, Allah has no pledge with him. If He wills He may punish him, and if He wills He may forgive him." (Reported by An-Nasa'i, Abu Dawud and Ahmad).

Salah is the most important pillar of Islam. It is in fact the first religious duty prescribed on every single prophet from Adam to Muhammad, second only to testifying the Oneness of Allah.

The Prophet (PBUH) further narrates in a hadith Qudsi: Allah said: "The covenant between Us and them is Salah; so whoever establishes it, establishes religion; whoever undermines it, undermines religion."  
 
It is therefore important that we never become slack in performing salah; if we miss any salah for whatever reason, we must pray it immediately without further delay. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said,
"Whoever oversleeps and misses his prayer or forgets to do it, let him pray as soon as he remembers it. “ (Related by al-Bukhari and Muslim.)  

MISSED PRAYERS OF LIFE

The vast majority of scholars and imams are of the opinion that one must make up for all of the prayers one has missed in life, no matter how many they are. So according to them, you should make up for all of these prayers. One of the best ways to do this—as has been suggested by one scholar—is to pray with each fard that you perform another fard in lieu of what you missed in the past. Thus, for instance, before or after praying Zuhr, pray another four rak`ahs of Zuhr as qadha’, and pray another four rak`ahs of `Asr every time you pray `Asr; you should continue to do this until such time that you can be pretty sure that you have made up for all of the missed prayers.

However, the above view has been rejected by scholars such as Imam Ibn Taymiyah, Shawkani, and Ibn Hazm. They are of the view that a person who has deliberately missed his prayers can never make up for them. Therefore, the only option left for him is to repent, ask forgiveness of Allah, and do lots of good works; by doing so he can hope to receive Allah’s mercy.

Ibn Taymiyyah, while advancing this point of view, further states: “To insist that a person who has strayed away from Islam for a number of years and then returns to the fold of Islam must make qadha’ of all his missed prayers serves only as a deterrent against his repentance, and thus it amounts to limiting the infinite mercy of Allah.” He, therefore, dismisses this view and rules that it is sufficient for him to repent, make lots of istighfar (asking forgiveness) and good works.

The Azan and Iqamah for those who missed the Proper Time of Prayer:
One who sleeps through the time of a prayer or who forgets a prayer may make azhan and iqamah when he desires to pray. In a story recorded by Abu Dawud, when the Prophet, upon whom be peace, and his companions slept through the time of the morning prayer, he ordered Bilal to make the azhan and iqamah for the prayer. If one has missed many prayers, it is preferred to make one azhan at the beginning followed by an iqamah for each prayer. Says al-'Athram, "I heard Abu 'Abdullah (Ahmad) being asked what a man who had missed a prayer should do about the azan. He mentioned the hadith of Hushaim from Abu az-Zubair... that the idol-worshippers kept the Prophet busy during four of his prayers during the Battle of the Clans. When part of the night had passed, he ordered Bilal to make the azhan and the iqamah and they prayed the afternoon, sunset, and night prayers in succession, each time followed by the iqamah.

(Vol 1, Book 7. Azhan, Call To Prayer.Fiqh 1.104. (Fiqh-us-Sunnah) ) 
 
Based on this if one missed the prayer then he/she should make up that. If the time interval of that salah has gone then it will be called Qadah. If it is still  in the prescribed time interval, then it will not be called Qadah. 

MISSED PRAYERS OF LIFE

Whatever the case, it is not permissible to offer anybody missed prayers (dead or alive) by anyone even son, daughter, mother or father, because no one can pray on behalf of anyone else. The basic principle is that offering prayer cannot be delegated as advice or will.

If some one live has missed many many numbers of daily obligatory prayers (months and years), then it is better for him/her to offer those missed prayers so that on Day Of Judgment, at least he/she has no missing prayers.

For this one has to calculate all missing days (months and years), multiply by five. For example for one year missing, 365X5=1825 has to offer. You have to offer only Fard Rakats of all daily prayers with addition of Witr for Isha. So for one day you have to offer as follows :

Fajr Prayer :               Rakats :      2 Farad

Zuhr Prayer :              Rakats :      4 Farad

Asr Prayer :                Rakats :      4 Farad

Maghrib Prayer :       Rakat :        3 Farad  

Isha Prayer :               Rakat :        4 Farad + 3 Witr

So totally you have to offer 20 Rakats for each day. You can pray missed prayer any time, after or before offering regular prayer. You can also pray all 20 in one, two or three steps or many days pray in one day. It is all upto your convenience.

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9. PRAYING DIFFERENCE BETWEE SUNNI & SHI’TE

Question:

I am confused between the way a Sunni prays and the way a Shi'te prays. My father is a Shi'te and he has taught me to pray with my hands on my sides but I do not know what is the difference? Why is there such difference between the two? Also, I would be very grateful if you tell me which form was used originally by Mohammad.

Answer: Praise be to Allah.  

1 – The difference between the Shi’ah (Raafidis) and Sunnis (Ahl al-Sunnah) is very great, because of the difference in the sources to which each group refers. The Shi’ah rely on books and scholars who are insignificant in the eyes of the Sunnis. 

For example, after the Qur’aan, the Sunnis rely on Saheeh al-Bukhaari, but the Shi’ah do not regard it as a reference and they do not regard its author as significant. They even differ from us with regard to the Sahaabah. The Shi’ah regard all the Sahaabah as kaafirs apart from a few of them. Some of them even claim that the Qur’aan which is in circulation among the Sunnis is missing some parts and has been altered; those who do not say that the Qur’aan is missing some parts and has been altered say that it has been misinterpreted and reject the tafseer (interpretation) that has been narrated from our imams. 

Al-Shu’bi said: I warn you against misguided groups, the worst of which are the Raafidis. ‘Ali ibn Abi Taalib burned them with fire and expelled them from the land, and the proof of that is that the ideas of the Raafidis are like the ideas of the Jews. 

The Jews said that only a man from the family of Dawood could be a leader, and the Raafidis say that only a man from among the descendents of ‘Ali ibn Abi Taalib could be a leader. 

The Jews said that there can be no fighting for the sake of Allah until the Dajjaal (“Antichrist”) appears and some support comes down from heaven, and the Raafidis say that there can be no fighting for the sake of Allah until the Mahdi appears and a voice calls out from heaven. 

The Jews delay the evening prayer until the stars appear, and the Raafidis do likewise. According to a hadeeth narrated from the Prophet (PBUH): “My ummah will continue to adhere to the fitrah (sound natural disposition of man) so long as they do not delay Maghrib prayer until the stars appear.” (Abu Dawood, 418; Ibn Maajah, 689; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood, 444). 

The Jews turned away slightly from their direction of prayer, as do the Raafidis. 

The Jews sway back and forth in prayer, as do the Raafidis. 

The Jews regard it as permissible to shed the blood of every Muslim, as do the Raafidis. 

The Jews do not observe any ‘iddah (waiting period) when a woman is divorced or widowed, and neither do the Raafidis. 

The Jews reject the idea of three-fold talaaq (divorce), as do the Raafidis. 

The Jews altered the Tawraat (Torah), as the Raafidis altered the Qur’aan. 

The Jews hate Jibreel and say, “He is our enemy among the angels.” Some of the Raafidis do likewise and say that he made a mistake by giving the Revelation to Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). 

Al-Sunnah by al-Khallaal, 3/497-498. 

These are some of the misguidance and myths of the Shi’ah. Hence it is no surprise that they put their arms at their sides when praying, which is clearly contrary to the saheeh Sunnah.

With regard to the evidence for placing the right hand over the left when praying, there is a great deal of such evidence.  For example: 

It was narrated that Sahl ibn Sa’d said: The people were commanded to put the right hand over the left forearm when praying. 

Abu Haazim said: I only know that this is attributed to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 707). 

“[The Prophet] (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to place his right hand on his left hand.” (Narrated by Muslim, 401). 

The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) passed by a man who was praying, and who had placed his left hand on his right hand. He grabbed his arms and put his right hand on his left.” (Ahmad, no. 12671) 

It was narrated from Waa’il ibn Hajar that he saw the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) raise his hands when he started to pray and say Takbeer, and according to Hammaam he raised his hands level with his ears.  Then he wrapped his hands in his garment, putting his right hand on his left. When he wanted to bow in rukoo’ he took his hands from beneath his garment, raised them, then said Takbeer and bowed. When he said “Sami’a Allah liman hamidah,” he raised his hands, and when he prostrated, he prostrated between his two hands.” (Narrated by Muslim, 401).

It was narrated that Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “We Prophets have been commanded to hasten the breaking of our fast and to delay our suhoor, and to put our right hands over our left when praying.” (Narrated by Ibn Hibbaan, 3/13. This hadeeth was classed as saheeh by Shaykh al-Albaani in Sifat al-Salaah, p. 87). 

Ibn Hajar said: 

Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr said: There is no different report narrated from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), and this is the view of the majority of the Sahaabah and Taabi’een. This is what was mentioned by Maalik in al-Muwatta’, and Ibn al-Mundhir and others did not narrate anything different from Maalik. Ibn al-Qaasim narrated that Maalik had said that the arms should be held at the sides, and most of his companions followed him. And it was narrated that he said there is a difference between obligatory and naafil prayers. Some of them regarded it as makrooh to hold one hand with the other. Ibn al-Haajib narrated that this means it is makrooh when one does it for the purpose of resting the hands.”  Fath al-Baari, 2/224.

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10. Prayer: Thoughts

Question:

I want to know about the thoughts that come in mind while praying. What is there reason remedy? Will that prayer accepted by Allah Almighty?

Answer: Allah says: 

"Allâh burdens not a person beyond his scope.... " (Al-Baqarah 2:286)

"....And there is no sin for you in the mistakes that ye make unintentionally, but what your hearts purpose (that will be a sin for you). Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. (Al-Ahzab 33:5) 

Prophet (pbuh) is reported to have said: "The reward of deeds depends upon the intentions and every person will get the reward according to what he has intended."(BukhariBukhari, Vol 2, Book 22.

Actions While Praying. Hadith 313: 
Narrated By Abu Huraira: Allah's Apostle said, "When the Adhan for the prayer is pronounced, then Satan takes to his heels passing wind so that he may not hear the Adhan and when the Muadh-dhin finishes, he comes back; and when the Iqama is pronounced he again takes to his heels and when it is finished, he again comes back and continues reminding the praying person of things that he used not to remember when not in prayer till he forgets how much he has prayed."

Abu Salama bin 'Abdur-Rahman said, "If anyone of you has such a thing (forgetting the number of Rakat he has prayed) he should perform two prostrations of Sahu (i.e. forgetfulness) while sitting." Abu Salama narrates this from Abu Huraira.  Bukhari, Vol 2, Book 22. Actions While Praying. Hadith 324: 

Narrated By Abu Huraira: Allah's Apostle said, "When anyone of you stands for the prayers, SATAN COMES and puts him in doubts till he forgets how many Rakat he has prayed. So if this happens to anyone of you, he should perform two prostrations of Sahu while sitting”.  

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11. Offering only obligatory prayers & the time range

Question :

Could you please comment on the practices of people who are lack with their Sunnah prayers in conjunction with their obligatory ones. Some people offer only two rak'ahs of Sunnah with the obligatory two rak'ahs of Friday prayer. What I have learned is that one should offer a total of 17 rak'ahs. Other people are in the habit of delaying Isha prayer till after mid-night, due to laziness or attending to business. Others rarely wake up for Fajr prayer.

Can we neglect Sunnah Ma’akkdah?

Answer :

The importance of praying Sunnah, or voluntary prayer, can be appreciated when we look carefully at this authentic Qudsi Hadith in which the Prophet is quoted to have said:

"Allah, the Almighty says: Whoever shows enmity to a friend of Mine, I shall be at war with him. My servant does not draw near to Me with anything more loved by Me than the religious duties I have imposed upon him, and My servant continues to draw near to Me with supererogatory works so that I shall love him. When I love him I am his ear with which he hears, his eyes with which he sees, his hand with which he strikes, and his leg with which he walks. Were he to ask something of Me, I would surely give it to him; and were he to ask Me for refuge, I would surely grant him it." (Related by Al-Bukhari).

What is meant by "supererogatory works" mentioned in this Hadith is any voluntary action which is added over and above the religious duties Allah has imposed. This relates particularly to prayers, since the Hadith uses in Arabic the same word [nafl] we use to refer to voluntary prayers. However, what the Prophet has recommended or encouraged us to do, by way of offering voluntary worship, remains voluntary. It is not obligatory. Hence, it is not for anyone to demand it of others.

Allah will question us on the day of judgment about any obligatory prayer we deliberately miss. But He will not question us about Sunnah we do not do. He will reward us for the Sunnah we do, but He does not punish anyone for omitting any voluntary action [though we may be reproached for not following the recommended practice of the Prophet, peace be upon him]. When a man told the Prophet that he was not prepared to add anything to what Allah has made a binding duty on him, the Prophet commented: "(The man) will prosper if he fulfills what he says."

Allah has given us a time range for each prayer. It is far more preferable to offer Isha prayer before midnight, but if one delays it after that, it is acceptable. Some people prefer to delay Isha in order to conclude their day's activity with a prayer. While it is more preferable to offer Isha prayer with the congregation at the beginning of its time, the thought of concluding one's day with it is [also] fine.

Making a habit of missing Fajr prayer is certainly very serious. One has to take every precaution in order to offer it on time. For this reason, it is better to go to bed early and make sure of waking up to offer Fajr before sunrise. If occasionally one oversleeps he should pray Fajr immediately on waking up. When a prayer is deliberately missed, it cannot be offered because its time has lapsed. Only when it is missed through oversleep or loss of consciousness, can it be offered when consciousness is regained. If one has not prayed for several years, one should repent, seek Allah's forgiveness, resolve not to miss any single prayer again and offer as much in Sunnah as possible.

The Sunnah Ma’akkdah should not be neglected without any valid reason. According to the Hanafi School, one who regularly neglects this Sunnah without any valid reason incurs blame.


Our Dialogue ( Source : Arab News - Jeddah )

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12. LEADING PRAYERS

Question :      

What are the qualifications of a person who is supposed to lead people in prayer?  

Answer :         

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.

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)

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

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13. PRAYER IN ENGLISH

Question:

I recently spent some time with a Muslim family in which the husband was a convert to Islam. I was surprised to find that he hasn’t missed a single Prayer (Salah) in 5 years, ma sha’ Allah. However, he told me that he doesn’t do the prayers in Arabic, instead, completely in English. Is this allowed?

Answer :

Bear in mind that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Prayer is the cornerstone of religion…” Prayer stands as the second pillar of Islam after testifying that there is no god but Allah and Muhammad is His final Messenger. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Islam is built upon five pillars: testifying that there is no true god except Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, performing Prayer, paying the Zakah, making the pilgrimage to the Sacred House (Hajj), and fasting the month of Ramadan.” (Reported by Al-Bukhari)

Responding to your question, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states:

“Prayer (the word as commonly understood by the English speaking people) is of two kinds in Islam: One is the formal daily act of worship called Salah, and the other is the more informal act of remembrance of Allah through supplications, entreaties, meditations, etc. The second is variously called dhikr and du`a’. Whereas the formal act of worship (i.e., Salah, including the obligatory, recommended and the optional) must be said in Arabic, which is the language of the Qur’an, the informal prayers can be said in any language of one’s choice.

The formal worship (Salah) is governed by strict rules; the informal prayer (du`a’ and dhikr, etc.) is, however, fairly flexible. As regards Salah, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) repeatedly told the faithful: “Perform Salah as you have seen me performing.” In conformity with this dictum, whenever people embraced Islam he insisted that they stay with him in order to learn the rules of Salah. Thanks to his great example, which was diligently followed by his companions who carefully passed on the rules of Salah to the posterity, there is extraordinary uniformity in the manner of performing Salah among Muslims throughout the world.

Salah must be performed as specifically taught and demonstrated by the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). It must be done in Arabic. Du`a’ and dhikr, however, can be said in any language. It is, therefore, imperative on every new Muslim to learn the rules of Salah; it is the priority of priorities for him/her to do so. It must also be equally stressed that every Muslim who facilitates the conversion of anyone to Islam has an obligation to acquaint him/her with the basic rules of Salah.

It is understandable that it is rather difficult for those who do not speak Arabic to say all of the Salah in Arabic. But since Islam is flexible, the new Muslim can go about learning it in a gradual way. She/He can first start saying some tasbihs (formulas of glorification of Allah) such as the words of subhana Allah, al-hamdu lillah, la ilaha illla Allaha, etc.), followed by memorizing surat al-Fatihah, and later on the last short surahs of the Qur’an (surahs 112, 113, 114). All of this, in sha’ Allah (Allah willing), should be fairly easy for him/her with Allah’s help and with a bit of help from fellow Muslims.

So Prayers has to be offered in Arabic. Anyone who is new convert or even already Muslim, if he still not memorized then he should try hard to memorize some little Quran verses e.g. Surah “Al Kafroon”, “Al Akhlas”, Al Kausar  along with Surah “Fateha”. However, temporary solution is given by a hadith but this relief should not be taken as permanent.

Narrated Abdullah bin Abi Aufa (RTU), A man came to the prophet “I cannot memorize anything from Quran, so teach me something which can be substitute for me”. He said “Say Subhan  (glory to ) Wal hamdu lillah (and praise to ) wa la illaha il laah (and there is no God except Allah), wu akbar  (and  is the most Great) wa la hawla wa la quwwata illah billah (and there is no might and no strength but in )  (Reported by Ahmed, Abu daud, An Nisai)

So with this relief one should take benefit initially but everyone can memorize Quranic verses easily by reading Arabic words in their language writing. (not the translation)

Excerpted, with slight modifications, from: www.islam.ca

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