Mental Disorders That Affect My Religious Duties

Answered by Ustadh Farid Dingle

Question: The discharges I experience are very confusing, and I’m not sure whether or not I should make wudu. Sometimes while checking, I have ended up masturbating, which I know is wrong. The whole situation is making me suicidal. Can you advise me?

Answer: Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

Dear questioner,

Thank you for your really important questions. I pray that Allah gives you clarity, ease and happiness in your religious and worldly life.

Unless you are absolutely certain that the discharge is a sexual discharge, then just ignore it. There is no need to check.

If you have sexual thoughts of the opposite sex, just put the thoughts away and see protection in Allah from the Devil.

If ever you feel the desire to harm yourself or anyone else, you have to speak to someone. If you can’t speak to your parents, then speak to a friend or teacher at highschool. Don’t deal with it by yourself.

Breaking Wudu

If you experience a feeling of moisture coming out of your private parts, you do not have to assume that it is filthy. Rather you should assume the opposite, and just continue with your prayer, etc. For more detail, please see: Do I Need to Renew My Wudu at the Slightest Sexual Thought?

There is no need to check or continually touch yourself to see exactly what it looks like.

I also advise that you take this course: Absolute Essentials of Islam (Hanafi): Getting Started With Your Belief and Practice

Thoughts of the Opposite Sex

It is perfectly normal and Islamically healthy to be attracted to the opposite sex. That said, out of kindness and concern for us, Allah Most High has given us clear guidelines on how to use this attraction.

And the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, ‘O youth, whichever of you is able to get married, let him do so, because it will help him lower his gaze and protect his chastity.’ (Bukhari and Muslim)

Allah Most High has said, ‘And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and protect their private parts.’ (24: 31)

This verse means that one cannot look at the opposite sex in a lustful way and that one must not use one’s private parts in a way that is forbidden. (al-Lubab, Maydani) This also applies to look at images on TV or on one’s computer or iPhone.

If you are in your late teens, and perhaps will soon be moving to go to college/university, it might be an idea to consider talking to your parents about marriage. It can be a benefit for some young people to have a spouse and a bedmate during that time of their lives. It does however require a lot of thought, and you should never jump into it if you think you are not ready.

Please have a read of this for detail: Feeling Discouraged about Marriage


Masturbation is forbidden, and you should avoid checking the discharge that you see if it may lead to you doing that.

For more detail, please see: Is Masturbation Sinful? How Do I Stop?

Sometimes people who suffer from depression are tempted to masturbate as some sort of relief, like binging on chocolate, or alcohol, etc. This of course is not halal. The key is to work out other ways to escape the pain of emotional lows, as discussed below. Turning to Allah in dua [prayer] is the first port of call.

Over Concerned about Small Things

Sometimes we have a tendency to get too carried away about small things. It is normal, but we can’t let it rule our lives. At the end of the day, we are worshipping Allah, our cherishing and kind God, and we are not worshipping filth and discharges.

Please have a read of these: A Reader on Waswasa (Baseless Misgivings)

Building Relationships

Reading your questions, it sounds like you don’t have a deep relationship with your mother. Perhaps it is also true to say that you don’t have a deep relationship with many other females. This is concerning, because we all need emotional and familial support, especially in our teens.

I would advise trying to build deeper friendships with religious Muslim girls of your age. You need to have a solid network to get you through your trials.

I’m not an advocate of Stephen King — horror literature at all — but the idea of the protagonists coming together as a united front against the enemy is something noticeably repeated: in It the children agree to tackle the monster together and they have to hold hands to stay strong; similarly, in The Institution the children escape by uniting their psychic forces. Together, put very simply, we are strong. And this is just how Allah has made us.

So you really need to reach out, build strong relationships that you sacrifice time and effort for, so that you can talk about these problems through with someone close to you. Trawling through the internet for help is really no substitute for a good friend.

Suicidal Thoughts

If you are having suicidal thoughts, you must reach out to someone physically near you. It can be at school, the local police station, or your friends. Don’t try these ideas tackle by yourself.

I pray this helps.

[Ustadh] Farid Dingle

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Farid Dingle has completed extensive years of study in the sciences of the Arabic language and the various Islamic Sciences. During his studies, he also earned a CIFE Certificate in Islamic Finance. Over the years he has developed a masterful ability to craft lessons that help non-Arabic speakers gain a deep understanding of the language. He currently teaches courses in the Arabic Language.

Is It Permissible to Work for a Women Who Doesn’t Actually Need It?

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad

Question: Assalamu alaikum, Is it permissible to work for women who don’t actually need it because her husband earns enough? Some workplaces even require women to show their faces. Also, some of my relatives live in the West and work in places that require women not to wear abaya. Is it permissible to work there even if she doesn’t need the money?

Answer: Assalamu alaykum sister,

Thank you for your question. What you ask is a sensitive question, especially considering different cultures and customs around the world.

Women Working

The short answer is yes. It is permissible for a woman to work with her husband’s permission, even if he earns enough to support her.

The Prophet’s wife, may Allah bless him and give him peace, Khadijah was a wealthy businesswoman when she married the Prophet, may Allah bless him and give him peace, and she wasn’t shunned for it.

Islam has not prohibited women to work. Think of a woman who is single and has no family; is she left to take charity or welfare with no recourse? No, rather, she is encouraged to make a living. Even if she is in this state, and has parents (who need support) with no one else to help, she must also provide for them!

Here is a detailed article about gender interaction whether at work or not, which every Muslim woman and man should read to know the limits in Islam: Mixed Gatherings: A Detailed Response Regarding Gender Interaction

Loose outer garment and face veil (Abaya and Niqab)

You ask about whether a woman can show her face at work or remove her abaya.

In terms of her clothing, the minimum obligation is that her clothing is not tight-fitting nor transparent to the skin and that she covers everything except the face and hands. More often than not, it is a woman’s attitude at work that that is more important: her modesty, manner of speech, lowering of the gaze, etc. These elements can cause much attraction or eliminate them completely.

Please read this informative essay by Imam Zaid Shakir about the legal rulings of the face veil (niqab) in the different schools.

The Lawful Nature of Niqab (Face Veiling)

Please also see this excellent and practical answer on the face veil (niqab) by Sheikh Faraz Rabbani.

Is It Necessary for Women to Wear the Niqab in the Hanafi School?

May Allah give you success and may He help you follow a path that is best for you and your family.

[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, Tafseer and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.

Important Traits to Look for in a Prospective Spouse

Answered by Ustadh Farid Dingle

Question: Given that religious practice is the most important trait to look for in a prospective spouse, how relevant (or irrelevant) are looks?

Answer: Although the religious practice is indeed the most important trait to look for in a prospective spouse, one should not completely ignore looks. It is also recommended to marry someone that is good looking. However, one should not give it so much importance that one accepts marrying someone who is not religious.

The key is to have a pure intention, and strike an intelligent and godly balance.

Religiousness as a Priority

The Messenger of Allah to me and you, and to all those who wish to get married, told us, ‘Women are married for four reasons: for their wealth, their status [lineage], their beauty, and for their religiousness. Make sure you get a really religious woman. Otherwise, may you come to misfortune!’ (Bukhari and Muslim)

This hadith clearly tells us that marrying a woman who is a practicing Muslim is more important than marrying a woman who is not “really religious” for any other reason.

Allah Most High also tells us in the Quran not to prioritize looks, status and wealth, and look rather to the religiousness of our prospective spouses:

‘And a bondswoman [a slave] who believes is better than a [free] pagan woman, even if you really like her looks … And a bondsman who believes is better than a [free] pagan man, even if you really like him. Those invite to the Hell-Fire, while Allah invites to Paradise and forgiveness with His permission.’ (Qur’an, 2: 221)

This the end of this verse is very, very powerful. Notice how Allah mentions that the pagan spouse calls us to the Hell-Fire, while He does not mention that the believing spouse calls to Paradise; rather, He puts His name [Allah] in place of the believing spouse. This is as if to say that the righteous believing spouse is almost Allah’s agent and spokesman, calling those He permits to Paradise on His behalf. This is a very important point indeed.

So it is clear from the hadith and Qur’anic verse above that marrying someone (the bride or the groom) who is Muslim and religious is a priority.

Autumn Leaves

Because the believer lives for the Next Life, he is always forward-thinking. While he invests his actions at the moment, he is not blind to the long-term.

Marriage is a long-term plan: it is not a just halal fling. Someone who looks at marriage thus will naturally think about how their prospective spouse will be in ten, twenty, fifty years and beyond.

In this light, marrying someone who is religious and actively working to become more so, is quite likely to be a better long-term partner in whom one will find more beauty, and indeed attraction, than someone who is a Helen of Troy on the outside, but a Medusa within.

‘Marriage,’ as an old German Sufi once told me as he watered some plants, ‘cannot work on sex alone.’

And the beauty and attraction of religiousness is often something far more satisfying than mere appearance. Imam al Shafi’i said, ‘See well to abstinence [zuhd], because the abstinence in the abstinent one is more beautiful than jewelry on a buxom maid.’ (Siyar Alam al Nubala, Dhahabi)

Sexual Pragmatism

Notwithstanding the foregoing, prioritizing religiousness overlooks does not mean that looks are ignored. Indeed it is recommended [sunna] to marry someone who is good-looking. (Mishkat al Misbah, Ba Fadl)

The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, ‘When you [wish] to propose to a woman, then if you are able to look at her to see if you want to marry her, then do so.’ (Abu Dawud)

The encouragement to look tells us quite clearly that looks are important. Indeed it is quite clear from the Prophet’s actions (Allah bless him and give him peace) and teachings that although looks are not a priority, they are not irrelevant at all.

If we reflect on the Prophet’s multiple marriages (Allah bless him and give him peace), we see that beauty, although by no means a priority, is given consideration.

Our Mother Aisha (Allah be well-pleased with her) tells us that when Our Mother Juwayriyya came knocking on the Prophet’s (Allah bless him and give him peace), ‘She was a very beautiful woman.’ She added, ‘I knew the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) would see in her what I had seen.’ (Tahdhib Sirat Ibn Hisham, Abd al Salam Harun)

Now we know Our Mother Juwayriyya was very religious, and explicitly chose Allah and His Messenger (Allah bless him and grant him peace) over her previous husband, and spent hours in worship. (Tahdhib al Kamal, Mizzi; Muslim and others) But to say that her looks had nothing to do with it at all would be far-fetched, just as it would be far-fetched, or rather downright wrong, to say that her looks were all that he saw!

So too, when he (Allah bless him and grant him peace) married a woman from the Ghifar tribe, on the wedding night he saw a white mark on near her hip and distanced himself from her. He then told her to go back to her family, letting her take the entire dowry. (Ahmad, Hakim, and others; Subul al Huda wa al Rashad, Salihi) Now it is of course possible that he did this for fear that it was leprosy, but it is also quite possible that he felt that as a mortal man, the purely aesthetic defect was too much for him.

The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) also asked one of his companions if he had seen his prospective bride. Upon responding in the negative, he advised him to do so, explaining that some of the Medinan Helpers (from whom the bride was amongst) had something odd about their eyes. (Muslim) Clearly he was advising his followers to be wise and not marry someone whom they had never seen before because, from a purely aesthetic point of view, they might be disappointed.

This of course also applies to women. Sayyidna Ali said, ‘Women should not marry men that are not like them [in age and looks]. After all, they like in you [men] what you like in the [women]. Similarly, Sayyidna Umar said, ‘Does one of you really go out and find an old, ugly man for his daughter?! They love for themselves what you [men] love for yourselves!’ (Adab al Nisa, Ibn Habib)

Good Looks

As mentioned before, scholars tell us that it is recommended to marry someone who is good looking. What does that actually mean?

The late Shafi’i scholars actually debated this. Ibn Hajar al Haytami was of the opinion that it meant marrying someone whom you personally found good looking. Others opined that what was relevant was that the person was generally considered good looking. (al Manhal al Naddakh, Qarahdaghi)

This is a very interesting debate and applies to other things one might look for in a spouse. Do you marry someone you personally feel attracted to or someone your peers would otherwise be interested in? Do you marry a doctor because you like doctors, or because your extended family values doctors? From an individualistic point of view, it might seem like a silly question, but we cannot ignore the fact that our values, and therefore what we value in other people, are clearly affected by our surroundings. One would do well to think hard about this.


One should definitely prioritize religiousness overlooks, but one should also follow the advice of the Sacred Law and find someone one can live with and keep one chaste. Allah Most High says,

‘The believers have already succeeded–those who humble themselves in awe in prayer, who turn away from nonsense, who give in alms, and who protect their private parts.’ (Qur’an, 23: 1-5)

I pray this helps.

[Ustadh] Farid Dingle

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Farid Dingle has completed extensive years of study in the sciences of the Arabic language and the various Islamic Sciences. During his studies, he also earned a CIFE Certificate in Islamic Finance. Over the years he has developed a masterful ability to craft lessons that help non-Arabic speakers gain a deep understanding of the language. He currently teaches courses in the Arabic Language.

What Will Be the Punishment for Those Who Are Cruel to Animals?

Answered by Ustadh Mohammed Tayssir Safi

Question: What will be the punishment for those who are cruel to animals? For example, those who cut their body parts when they are alive and enjoy their misery and pain?

Answer: As-salaamu ‘alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakaatuh,

May Allah reward you for your concern for Allah’s creation. The Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace), prohibited the harming or killing of animals unless done for legitimate reasons that were designated and sanctioned by the sacred law. Furthermore, all such actions must be done in a manner that is ethically outlined by the Lawgiver.

The ḥadīth corpus is replete with various testimonies commanding the believers to avoid harming animals without justification. For example:

Bukhari narrates on the authority of Sa’id ibn Jubayr who said: I was with Ibn Umar as they passed a group of young men who had bound a chicken that they were taking shots at. When they saw Ibn Umar, they dispersed, and Ibn Umar said: “Who did this? The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) cursed whoever does such a thing.”

In the same section, Bukhari narrates another ḥadīth on the authority of Anas, where he says, “the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), prohibited,” such actions.

As for your question concerning the type of punishment one will receive for such sinful behavior, that is not something we can opine about. Unless there is revelation indicating that a given sinful action will be punished in a particular way, we are not in a position to guess what the punishment will be. Rather, we affirm the sinfulness of the deed and stop short of commenting beyond that.

There is a ḥadīth narrated in the Musnad of Imam Ahmad and elsewhere that states: “Whosoever mutilates anything with a soul and does not repent thereafter, Allah will mutilate him on the Day of Resurrection.” However, the report cannot be considered to have reached a level of authenticity which qualifies it to be treated as creedal for us to then include it among our formal beliefs. Rather, we take it as a warning of what could possibly be done as a punishment and we seek Allah’s protection from harming others or from ourselves being harmed.

One who truly recognizes that animals are Allah’s creation will treat them gently and show them respect, since respecting them and all of Allah’s creation is a means of showing respect to Allah. We ask Allah that He make us of the people described in His Generous Book:

“The servants of the Lord of Mercy are those who walk humbly on the earth, and who, when the foolish address them, reply, ‘Peace.’” (The Differentiator 25:63)

Allah knows best,

[Ustadh] Mohammed Tayssir Safi

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Mohammed Tayssir Safi was born in Dubai and moved to the United States six months after he was born. In 1994, the Safi family settled in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He graduated from the University of Michigan–Ann Arbor in 2006 as a double major in Political Science and Middle Eastern and North African Studies. He spent the next 3 years of his life traveling the Middle East, completing the Arabic program, CASA, in Egypt, and pursuing private studies in Arabic linguistics and introductory Islamic sciences. His brief introduction to Islamic studies continued for another year at the Dar al-Mustafa Institute in Tarim, Yemen. He is currently enrolled in an MA program at the University of Michigan titled, Teaching Arabic as a Foreign Language. He will be finishing the MA in April of 2013, God willing. Mohammed also teaches Arabic at the University of Michigan. Apart from classes at the University of Michigan, Mohammed studies at the hands of Muslim scholars privately in multiple sciences including linguistics, law, and theology.

Changing my Intention While Fasting

Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch

Question: If I begin a make-up fast, then change my intention to a voluntary fast, does that affect the type of fast?

Answer: Jazak Allah Khairan for your question.

Your change of intention, after having started a fast, will not harm or alter your fast, whatsoever. The original intention upon which the fast was started will remain.

“…the fasting person, who is making up an obligatory fast, if after having started the fast, he intends to start a different fast, it would not harm (the original fast).” [Maraqi al-Falah]

Allahu ‘Alam

[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Yusuf Weltch is a graduate from Tarim; a student of Habib Umar and other luminaries; and authorized teachers of the Qur’an and the Islamic sciences.

What Is the Proof That Prayer Is Not Permissible When the Sun Is at Its Zenith?

Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch

Question: What is the textual evidence that prayer is not permissible when the sun is at its zenith?

Answer: In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate

The Messenger of Allah said, “The prayer is witnessed and attended (i.e. by Angels) until the mid-day and it is certainly a time when the doors of Hell are opened and its fire kindled. So leave the prayer until the shadow appears. [Nasaai]

Uqbah bin Amir al-Juhani narrates, “There are three times which the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and give him peace) would prohibit us from praying or burying our deceased therein: When the sun clearly begins to rise until it has fully risen, when the sun reaches its peak till it begins to decline, and when the sun’s light begins to weaken till it fully sets.” [Muslim]

There are many other narrations in this regard as well.

May Allah bless you
Allahu A’alam

[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Yusuf Weltch is a graduate from Tarim; a student of Habib Umar and other luminaries; and authorized teachers of the Qur’an and the Islamic sciences.

Have My Words Made Me Leave Islam?

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad

Question: I think I said blasphemous words and realized it only later. Am I not Muslim now?

Answer: Assalamu alaykum sister,

The words that you uttered are not blasphemous and you have not renounced your religion. You did not say anything against Allah and His Messenger, may Allah bless him and grant him peace.

Your instant repentance is a sign of your strong faith and devotion to Islam and this can serve a good lesson for you to always think before you speak. ‘Uqbah bin ‘Amir narrated, “I said, ‘O Messenger of Allah! What are the means to salvation?’ He said: ‘That you control your tongue, suffice yourself your house, and cry over your sins.'” [Tirmidhi]

Please see the following link for more information on blasphemy and apostasy.

I Think I’ve Committed Apostasy. How Do I Repent?
Types of Thought, Blasphemy, and Sin

May Allah purify all our tongues and souls.

[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafseer, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.

My Best Friend Is Non-Muslim and Respects My Islam, but She Is Openly Lesbian. What Do I Do?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: My best friend is non-Muslim and respects my Islam, but she is openly lesbian. What do I do?

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you well. May Allah reward you for reaching out to us.

Honest Conversation

Dear sister, you are in a very challenging situation.

It sounds like your best friend values your friendship, and respects your Islam. As you would with any other sensitive topic, I recommend that you speak honestly with her. Talk to her about how stressed you feel, and how you do not want to lose her as a friend.

I pray that you can both brainstorm solutions together. This will be an excellent opportunity for you to show her the kindness and mercy so in-built in our deen.

Concern for children

It is natural and healthy for you to want to protect your children’s innocence. However, it is impossible to completely shield our children from the outside world. The best protection you can offer your children is a deep, trusting, and loving connection with you, Allah, and His Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him).

As your children grow older, they will probably come across same-sex couples and same-sex families with children. It is important for you to lead that conversation about how that displeases Allah, instead of avoiding it, and letting their peers/popular media/social media dictate their beliefs.


“And whoever submits himself to Allah and is good in deeds, he in fact holds on to the strongest ring. Towards Allah is the ultimate end of all matters.” [Qur’an, 31:22]

Whether we like it or not, in the West, your best friend’s life choices are accepted and even aggressively encouraged – this is the flood of our time. Please keep in mind that your friend’s disbelief is a much greater sin than her relationship with a transgender woman.

The reality is that in West and elsewhere, there are many Muslim men and women who are tested with this tribulation. That struggle is their road to Jannah.

Possible outcomes

I see a few options.

1) Explain to your friend that you are struggling, apologize, and grow distant from her.
2) Slowly distance yourself from your friend with no explanation. I do not recommend this, because it would hurt both of you.
3) Continue to be part of her life, hate her sins, but continue to treat her, her partner, and her future children with kindness and respect. Every step of the way, talk to your children about this topic. Use this as a teaching opportunity. This would take tremendous courage, patience, and perseverance on your part. Perhaps your good character with your best friend is what will soften her heart towards Islam. There is no greater good you can offer her.

Protection and prayer

I recommend that you perform the Prayer of Guidance about how to move forward with your friendship.

Please see: A Reader on Patience and Reliance on Allah

I pray this helps.

[Ustadha] Raidah Shah Idil

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil has spent almost two years in Amman, Jordan, where she learned Shafi’i’ fiqh, Arabic, Seerah, Aqeedah, Tasawwuf, Tafsir and Tajweed. She continues to study with her Teachers through Qibla Academy and SeekersHub Global. She also graduated with a Psychology and English degree from the University of New South Wales.

What Is the Ruling of the Prostration of Forgetfulness?

Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch

Question: What Is the Ruling of the Prostration of Forgetfulness?

Answer: You will only need to perform Sajdah al-Sahw if you left out a necessary action in the prayer. If you did leave out such action then you should make Sajdah al-Sahw whether people are watching or not.

You should understand that Allah, Most High is certainly watching and His knowledge and opinion of you is more important than that of the people.


If you are constantly doing Sajdah al-Sahw because of doubts regarding the number of units of prayer (rakah) that you have done, then you should only consider the doubt if it is substantial.

If you are 50/50 then you should continue your prayer based on the lesser number of units then end the prayer with Sajdah al-Sahw. [Maraqi al-Falah]

If this doubt occurs are the salaam or after having already sat in the final sitting the length of time it takes to recite the tashahud supplication, then you should not pay the doubt any mind. That is until and unless you have absolute certainty that you left out something. [Maraqi al-Falah]


For the one who is constantly in doubt abandoning caution is sometimes the best cure.

“As for the one who is often inflicted with waswasa, it is necessary for them to sever the cause of the waswasa and not to give it any consideration. This is because it is the doing of Shaytan and we have been commanded to oppose him.” [Hashiyah Ibn Abidin]


The long-term cure for these constant doubts is to seek a deeper understanding of Islamic Knowledge. With knowledge, Shaytan can not deceive you with his whispers and plots. I would advise that you find authentic scholars in your area and study with them a basic text in Islamic Jurisprudence.

Please note that has classes available in Islamic Jurisprudence and many other subjects.

May Allah ease all of your affairs and protect you and us from the plots of Shaytan

Allahu A’alam

[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Yusuf Weltch is a graduate from Tarim; a student of Habib Umar and other luminaries; and authorized teachers of the Qur’an and the Islamic sciences.

Is It Permissible to Just Read the Qur’an Until I Learn How to Pray?

Answered by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Question: Assalamu ‘Alaykum, I just converted to Islam. Is It Permissible to Just Read the Qur’an During the Prayer Time until I Learn how to pray?

Answer: Wa ‘alaykum assalam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh.

I pray you are well. Congratulations! I pray Allah makes your faith thrive and that He makes you embody the beauty of this religion such that you are pleasing to Him.

Start Now

You should pray the five daily prayers in their time. This is quite simple as you only need to do the bare minimum of actions for the obligatory prayers (2 units for fajr, 4 for Zuhr, 4 for ‘Asr, 3 for Maghrib, 4 for ‘Isha, 3 for witr). This can be learned in five minutes.

You should get someone who prays to help you with the following, but it is fairly straight forward. Start a minimal wudu: wash you face, arms up to the elbows, and feet unto the ankles once; and wipe a moist hand over a 1/4 of your head,

Then, face the Qibla, intend the prayer you are praying, and say ‘Allahu Akbar’. If you do not know the Arabic pronunciation you can say ‘God is the greatest.’

Then recite just one verse in Arabic – which shouldn’t be difficult to learn (try ‘Allah-us-Samad’). Then bow (ruku’) and stay there for a couple of seconds, stand for a second, and go down in to the prostration (sujud). Sit up, and then do another sujud.

This is one unit complete. Stand for the next. For fajr, sit for about 30 seconds after the second unit, then look at your shoulders and say ‘salam’ to end the prayer.

For the rest of the prayers, you will sit after the second unit and then stand for the third or the last unit. Repeat what you did earlier to end when the number of units for the prayer are done.

One last thing – in the witr prayer, in the third unit, after reciting a verse, raise your hands and say ‘Allahu Akbar’ once more before bowing.

Doing the above will give mean that your prayers are valid, and as you learn the elements of the prayer you can add to the above formula as you go. Learning the above is not difficult, and you’ll find it very easy with the help of another.

Go Slow

The prayer is a great source of benefit for a believer, and a means of showing gratitude to Allah for what He gives us. Getting it going will aid you in strengthening your faith – but take it easy. Learning about the details of the religion can be overwhelming, and sometimes adding new practices is very tempting too.

Please take our course on the Absolute Essentials of Islam. It will help you build your practice in a balanced way.

May Allah grant you the best of both worlds.

[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. After graduating with a degree in English and History he moved to Damascus in 2007 where, for 18 months, he studied with many erudite scholars. In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years in Sacred Law (fiqh), legal theory (Usul al-fiqh), theology, hadith methodology, hadith commentary, and Logic. He was also given licenses of mastery in the science of Qur’anic recital and he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Qur’anic sciences, tafsir, Arabic grammar, and Arabic eloquence.