By: Sayyid Saabiq
Prayer is one of the most important acts in Islam, and thus it requires a special guidance. Ibrahim asked his Lord to give him descendants who abided by their prayers:
Not praying and denying its obligation is seen as disbelief.
My Lord! Cause me and (some) of my offspring to remain constant in prayer. And O our Lord! Accept my supplication. (Ibrahim 14:40)
Those Who Tamper with Their Prayers
Allah also strongly warns those who tamper with their prayers or are heedless. Allah says in the Qur’an:
Now there has succeeded them a later generation who have ruined their prayers and have followed lusts. But they will meet deception. (Maryam 19:59)
Ah, woe unto worshipers who are heedless of their prayers. (Al-Ma`un 107:4-5)
One Who Ignores His Prayers
Not praying and denying its obligation is seen as disbelief and places the person outside the religion of Islam. All scholars agree on this point. They base their opinion on several hadiths, some of which are:
Jabir reports that the Prophet (peace be on him) said, “Between a person and disbelief is discarding prayer.” (Ahmad, Muslim, Abu Dawud, At-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah)
Buraidah reported that the Prophet (peace be on him) said, “The pact between us and them is prayer. Whoever abandons it is a disbeliever.” (Ahmad, Abu Dawud, At-Tirmidhi, An-Nas’i and Ibn Majah)
`Abdullah ibn `Amr ibn Al-`Aas reported that the Prophet one day mentioned the prayer and said, “Whoever guards and observes his prayer, they will be a light and a proof and a savior for him on the Day of Resurrection. Whoever does not guard and obvserve them, they will not be a light or a proof or a savior for him. On the Day of Resurrection, he will be with Qarun (Korah), Fir`awn, Haman and Ubay ibn Khalaf.” (Ahmad, At-Tabarani and Ibn Hibban)
That one who does not pray will be with the leaders of the unbelievers in the Hereafter makes it evident that such a person is an unbeliever. Says Ibn Al-Qayyim,
“The one who does not pray may be preoccupied with his wealth, kingdom, position or business. If one is kept away from his prayers by his wealth, he will be with Qarun. One whose kingdom keeps him away from the prayers will be with Haman, and one whose business keeps him away from the prayers will be with Ubay ibn Khalaf.”
Says `Abdullah ibn Shaqiq Al-`Aqeely, “The Companions of Muhammad (peace be upon him) did not consider the abandonment of any act, with the exception of prayer, as being disbelief.” (At-Tirmidhi and Al-Hakim, who said it met Al-Bukahri’s and Muslim’s conditions)
Says Muhammad ibn Nasr Al-Mirwazi, “I heard Ishaq say, ‘It is authentic (that) the Prophet (said or ruled): One who does not pray is an unbeliever.” It is from the Prophet himself that one who intentionally does not pray until the time for the prayer is over is an unbeliever.
The article is an excerpt from the author’s translated book “Fiqh Us Sunnah”.
By Editorial Staff
We, as Muslims, have to purify ourselves before offering prayer. Therefore, a Muslim is required to follow certain purification procedure known as wudu’ (ablution). The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Allah does not accept prayer of anyone of you if he does hadath (passes wind) till he performs the ablution (anew). (Al-Bukhari)
Point the index finger straight in the direction of the qiblah and move it through the recitation of the Tashahhud.
But before ablution, you have to perform Istinja’ whenever one passes impurity from any of passages (front & back). One can use either stone (tissue in modern times) or water. To perform it with water is preferred. The best is to combine both water and tissue, first by wiping with the tissue and then washing.
How to Perform Istinja’
First it is preferred to use toilet paper three times. If Istinja’ is being done on a hot day, then the person should start from the front to the back and then from the back to the front and the third time from the front to the back. If Istinja’ is being done on a cold day, then he should begin from the back to the front.
The female would always wipe first from the front (part closest to the vagina) wiping towards the back, and with the second stone (tissue) wiping from the back to the front and so on.
Then, one should wash both his/her hands in case of any impurity that could be on the skin.
After that, one should pour water over the anus area and rub the area using the inner part of one’s fingers. One should continue until all the impurity and smell is removed. (Nur Al-Idhah, pp. 27-30)
This completes the first step of purification that precedes the prayer. Now, you are ready to perform ablution
Wudu’ or ablution means using clean and cleansing water on certain parts of the body.
How to Perform Ablution
1- Make intention (niyyah) to perform ablution for prayer.
2- Say, “Bismillah” (In the name of Allah).
3- Wash both hands up to the wrist three times and make sure that water has reached between fingers.
4- Take a handful of water; rinse your mouth three times and spit it out every time.
5- Inhale water into your nostrils and then exhale it, three times.
6- Wash your face three times from one ear to the other, and from the forehead to the chin.
7- Wash both your arms up to the elbows, starting with the right and then the left three times.
8- Wipe over head with your wet palms from the top of the forehead to the back of the head.
9- Wash the front and back of your ears by using your index and thumb fingers.
10- Finally, wash both feet to the ankles starting from the right, making sure that water has reached between the toes and all other parts of the feet.
Note: You do not have to repeat ablution unless it is nullified.
Note: Hadath refers to what emanates from the body of wind, urine, stool, seminal fluids, menstrual blood or post-natal bleeding.
How to Offer Prayer in Islam
There are five obligatory prayers that are offered at certain times during the day and the night. They are called Fajr (Dawn) prayer, Zhuhr (Noon) Prayer, `Asr (Afternoon) Prayer, Maghrib (Sunset) Prayer, and `Ishaa’ (Night) Prayer. These five daily prayers become obligatory once a person converts to Islam.
After performing ablution, make sure that you are covering your `Awrah (what is between navel and knees for male, and the whole body including the head except the face and hands for female). You have to make sure that your clothes and the place of prayer are free from impurities.
Now You Are Ready to Pray;
- Make the intention in your heart for the prayer you want to pray.
- Stand up right and face the Qibla (direction of the Ka`bah).
- Raise your hands to your shoulder or ears level and say in a moderate voice “Allahu Akbar” which means Allah is the greatest.
- Place your right hand over the left on your chest. Look downward at the place of prostration.
- Recite the opening supplication in the first rak`ah only, “Subhanaka allahumma wa bi hamdika wa tabara kasmuka wa ta’ala jadduka wa la ilaha ghairuka.” It means, “O Allah, how perfect You are and praise be to You. Blessed is Your name, and exalted is Your majesty. There is none worthy of worship except You.”
Then recite, “A`udhu billahi mina Ash-shaitan Ar-rajim.”
Then, recite, “Bismillah Ar-rahman Ar-rahim.”
- Recite Surat Al-Fatihah (the Opening Chapter of the Qur’an).
“Al-hamdu lillahi rabbil-`alamin, ar-rahma nir-rahiem, maliki yawmiddin, iyyaaka na’budu wa iyyaaka nastain, ihdinas-siraatal mustaqim, siraatallazina anamta alaihim, ghairil maghdoobi alahim wa ladalin.”
- Bend down and place your palms on your knees (ruku`) while your head and back are straight. Look downward at the place of prostration. Then recite silently, “Subhana Rabbiyal `Azhim” (How Perfect is my Lord, the Supreme) three times.
- Stand up from bowing (ruku`) and say, “Sami` Allahu liman hamidah” (Allah hears the one who praises Him). Then say, “Rabana Walak Al-hamd (Our Lord, Praise be to You), just one time.
- Prostrate and place your forehead, nose, palms, knees, and toes on the floor (sujud) while saying, “Allahu Akbar”. Then say, “Subhana Rabbiyal Al-`Ala” (How Perfect is my Lord, the Highest) three times.
- Rise from prostration while saying, “Allahu Akbar”. Sit on your left foot and place your right foot upright, and place your palms flat on your knees. Then say, “Rabb ighfir li” (O my Lord! Forgive me.)
- After that, make another prostration in the same manner
Now, you complete one rak`ah (unit of prayer). Stand up while saying “Allahu Akbar” and perform another rak`ah. Do it in the same manner as you did the first one, but without reciting the opening supplication.
- After the second prostration of the second rak`ah, sit on your left foot and place your right foot upright. Place your palms on your thighs with all fingers together in a fist except the index finger. Point the index finger straight in the direction of the qiblah and move it through the recitation of the Tashahhud:
“At-Tahiyatu lillahi Was-Salawatu Wat-Tayyibatu. As-Salamu `alaika ayiuh-annabiyu wa-rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu. Assalamu `alaina wa`ala ibadil-Lahi As –Salihin. Ash-hadu an la ilaha illallah wa-ash-hadu anna Muhammadan `abduhu wa rasuluh.”
“All respect, worship and all glory is due to Allah alone. Peace be upon you, O Prophet, and the Mercy and Blessings of Allah be upon you. Peace be on us and on those who are the righteous servants of Allah. I testify that there is no one worthy of worship except Allah, and I testify that Muhammad is His Servant and Messenger”.
- In the three-rak`ah prayer (as in Maghrib) or the four-rak`ah prayer (Zhuhr, `Asr and `Ishaa’), after performing the second rak`ah and the first tashahhud, stand up while raising your hands and say, “Allahu Akbar” and perform another rak`ah. In case you are performing a four-rak`ah prayer, you perform two rak`ahs after the first
- In case of Fajr (Dawn) Prayer, after offering two rak`ahs and reciting tashahhud, you recite “Allahumma salli `ala Muhammad wa-`ala aali Muhammad kama sallaita `ala Ibrahim wa-`ala aali Ibrahim innaka Hamidun Majeed, wabaarik `ala Muhammad wa `ala aali Muhamad kama barakta `ala Ibrahim wa `ala aali Ibrahim innaka Hamidun Majeed.”
“O Allah! Praise Muhammad, and on the family of Muhammad, as You Praised Ibrahim, and the family of Ibrahim; You are indeed Worthy of Praise, Full of Glory. And send blessings on Muhammad, and on the family of Muhammad, as you sent blessings on Ibrahim, and the family of Ibrahim; You are indeed Worthy of Praise, Full of Glory.”
- After that, you turn your face the right side saying, “As-salamu `alikum wa Rahmatullh” (peace and mercy of Allah be upon you) and then to the left repeating the same words.
- In case of the three-rak`ah prayer (as Maghrib), you recite the full tashahhud and make tasleem after the third rak`ah.
- In case of the four-rak`ah prayer (Zhuhr, `Asr and `Ishaa’) you recite the full tashahhud and make tasleem after the fourth rak`ah.
Times and Number of Rak`ahs of Each Prayer
|Fajr (Dawn) Prayer
||From dawn to sunrise.
|Zhuhr (Noon) Prayer
||From noon until mid-afternoon.
|`Asr (Afternoon) Prayer
||When the shadow of a vertical stick equals its length to sunset.
|Maghrib (Sunset) Prayer
||From sunset to the disappearance of red twilight (glow) in the sky.
|`Ishaa’ (Night) Prayer
||From the disappearance of red twilight (glow) in the sky to dawn.
By: Sayyid Saabiq
Wudu’ (ablution) means to wash one’s face, hands, arms, head and feet with water.
Wudu’ means to wash one’s face, hands, arms, head and feet with water.
Part of Islamic law
This is proven from the three major sources of Islamic law:
1- The Qur’an
Allah Says in the Qur’an:
O you who believe, when you rise for prayer, wash your faces and your hands up to the elbows and lightly rub your heads and (wash) your feet up to the ankles. (Al-Ma’idah 5:6)
Abu Hurairah reported that the Messenger of Allah said, “Allah does not accept the prayer of one who nullified his ablution until he performs it again.” (Al-Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhhi.)
3- The Consensus
There is a consensus of scholarly opinion that ablution is part of Islamic law.
Therefore, it is a recognized fact of the religion.
Many hadiths state the virtues of ablution. We shall mention just a few:
– `Abdullah ibn As-Sunnabiji stated that the Messenger of Allah said, “When a slave makes ablution and rinses his mouth, his wrong deeds fall from it. As he rinses his nose, his wrong deeds fall from it. When he washes his face, his wrong deeds fall from it until they fall from beneath his eyelashes. When he washes his hands, his wrong deeds fall from them until they fall from beneath his fingernails. When he wipes his head, his wrong deeds fall from it until they fall from his ears. When he washes his feet, his wrong deeds fall from them until they fall from beneath his toenails. Then his walking to the mosque and his prayer give him extra reward.” (Malik, An-Nasa’i, Ibn Majah and Al-Hakim)
– Anas reported that the Messenger of Allah said, “If good characteristics exist in a person, Allah makes all of his acts good. If a person purifies himself for prayer, he expiates all of his sins and his prayer is considered an extra reward for him.” (Related by Abu Ya`la, Al-Bazzar and At-Tabarani in Al-Ausat)
– Abu Hurairah reported that the Messenger of Allah said, “’Shall I inform you (of an act) by which Allah erases sins and raises degrees?’ They said, ‘Certainly, O Messenger of Allah.’ He said, “Perfecting the ablution under difficult circumstances, taking many steps to the mosque, and waiting for the (next) prayer after the (last) prayer has been performed. That is ribat. (Malik, Muslim, At-Tirmidhi and An-Nasa’i)
(Ribat is a term that normally denotes guarding the army from enemy attack, which has great reward in Islam. Here the Prophet has likened the waiting for the coming prayer to be ribat)
– Abu Hurairah also reported that the Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace, passed by a grave site and said, “Peace be upon you, O home of believing people. Allah willing, we shall meet you soon, although I wish I could see my brothers.” They asked, “Are we not your brothers, O Messenger of Allah?” He said, “You are my companions. My brothers are the ones who will come after (us).” They said, “How will you know the people of our nation who will come after you, O Messenger of Allah?” He said, “If a man has a group of horses with white forelocks amidst a group of horses with black forelocks, will he recognize his horses?” They said, “Certainly, O Messenger of Allah.” He said, “They (my brothers) will come with white streaks from their ablutions, and I will receive them at my cistern. But there will be some who will be driven away from my cistern as a stray camel is driven away. I will call them to come. It will be said, ‘They changed matters after you,’ then I will say, ‘Be off, be off.” (Muslim)
The article is an excerpt from the author’s translated book “Fiqh Us Sunnah”.
How fortunate are these souls who are blessed with the following words from the Prophet (peace be upon him):
The sign of an ‘accepted Hajj’ is that upon one’s return, his life changes from worst to good.
“Whoever performs Hajj for the Pleasure of Allah and therein utters no word of evil, nor commits any evil deed, shall return from it (free from sin) as the day on which his mother gave birth to him. (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
“Verily there shall be no reward for a mabroor (accepted) Hajj except Paradise.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
It is hoped that all the pilgrims were sincere in their intentions and had traveled thousands of miles only to secure the pleasure of Allah by fulfilling the obligation laid down upon them. May Allah the Almighty grant all the pilgrim’s acceptance and grant them opportunity again and again to visit the Sacred bud. Ameen.
Nevertheless, we wish to draw the attention of the pilgrims towards certain points which are necessary and of utmost importance to observe and for which many pilgrims are seen neglectful of their significance.
Firstly, the sincerity of intention should remain even after the performance of Hajj. There should be no pomp or show. One should not wish to be called or recognized as a hajji (pilgrim).
Many people adopt the habit of talking frequently about their journey in order that people may come to know of their Hajj. They talk about the expenses incurred in the way of Allah, their charity amongst the poor and needy, their devotion and worship, their assisting the weak and old, etc.; and all is mentioned only with the intention of gaining fame. This is a deceit from Satan who ruins the `ibadat (acts of worship) without the person even knowing.
It is therefore of great importance that the pilgrim does not talk about his Hajj without necessity as it may lead to riyaa’ (show, insincerity). However, if necessity arises and one must talk about his Hajj then he is at liberty to do so. But, he must not indulge in this type of conversation unnecessarily.
Secondly, it is noted through experience, that many pilgrims return with only the bad side of the journey and make it a habit of talking about nothing except the hardships they have encountered during Hajj. The pilgrims should strictly refrain from this.
On the contrary they should talk about the greatness of the sacred places, the spiritual gains, the enjoyment in devotions of Haramayn (the sacred sanctuaries of Makkah and Madinah; `Umrah, Tawaf, feeling of peace at the Prophet’s grave, salah in Masjid All-Haram and Masjid-un-Nabawi etc).
If one looks at his journey of Hajj carefully he will find that the good things far outweighs the bad. Every second spent in these sacred places is incomparable with anything in the world.
The journey of Hajj is a long journey; one has to travel by air, pass the immigrations, go through the customs, encounter people who speak foreign languages, etc. In these circumstances, difficulties are certain to arise. when we travel in our country do we always travel with comfort and ease? Do we never encounter difficulty? Do we not find ourselves held up in traffic for hours on a motorway?
Considering the fact that 2-3 million pilgrims perform the rituals of Hajj at one time, in one place and that they all come from different countries and backgrounds and that many of them have never before used or seen the facilities available to them.
We think the difficulties encountered are insignificant. Moreover, the pilgrims are rewarded abundantly by Allah (Exalted be He) upon every difficulty encountered in their journey whereas tile same is not tile case whilst we are on another journey.
Those people who engage in these types of conversation become the cause of discouragement to others who have not yet had the opportunity to perform Hajj. These unfortunate pilgrims fall into the category; … and would keep back (men) from the Way of Allah, and from the Sacred Mosque,… (Al-Hajj 22:25). They should take heed that if people are discouraged by their conversation and postpone their Hajj then those who have discouraged them will be equally responsible.
Thirdly, the sign of a ‘mabroor Hajj’ or an ‘accepted Hajj’ is that upon one’s return, his life changes from worst to good. He becomes totally punctual in fulfilling the commands of Allah. His love and inclination towards the Hereafter increases and love for the worldly pleasures decline.
Therefore, it is essential that the pilgrim is watchful over his actions and should try his utmost to instill in himself good characters and refrain from all types of evil. He should try his best to fulfill the obligations laid down by Allah and avoid all the things forbidden by Him.
Allah has chosen certain days over others, and on top of these days are the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “There are no days in which righteous deeds are more beloved to Allah than these ten days.” The people asked, “Not even jihad for the sake of Allah?” He said, “Not even jihad for the sake of Allah, except in the case of a man who went out to fight giving himself and his wealth up for the cause, and came back with nothing.” (Al-Bukhari)
What is specific about such days, and how should we make use of them?
In the this video Sheikh Yasir Qadhi talks about the status and merits of such blessed ten days, how to seize the chance of them, and the advantages of extra effort in worshiping during them.