Zubair ibn `Abdul Muttalib, the Uncle of the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace)

Answered by Sidi Wasim Shiliwala

Question: Zubair ibn Abdul Mutalib, the uncle of the Prophet (saw), was known as a monotheist in pre-Islamic times. I just wanted to know whether he passed away before Islam or if he was alive and did he accept Islam?

Answer: As-salamu Alaikum, and Jazakum Allahu Khairan for your question!

You raise an intriguing topic, since not much is known about the Prophet (pbuh)’s uncle, Zubair ibn Abd al-Muttalib.  In fact, many of the sources of the tradition (seerah, hadith, and biographical literature) have very little to say about this important figure of the Pre-Islamic jahiliyya period.  This is because he was one of many uncles of the Prophet (pbuh), and because he didn’t seem to play as major a role in the Prophet’s life as some of his brothers, such as Abu Talib, Abu Lahab, Abbas, and Hamza.  However, what the scholars did mention is enough to give us a brief understanding of who he was and what he did.

Zubair ibn Abd al-Muttalib: A Brief Sketch

One of the elder sons of Abd al-Muttalib (the Prophet’s grandfather), Zubair served as one of the leaders of Bani Hashim.  He led his clan in the Fijar (Sacrilege) War, so named because fighting during the war continued during the sacred months.  He also participated in the Hilf al-Fudul (Alliance of Virtue), wherein the leaders of Mecca agreed to establish in their territory principles of justice that transcended tribal allegiances.  Of this pact, the Prophet (pbuh) would later say that if he could, he would have joined it as well, indicating that it was consistent with the principles of Islam.  In addition to his noble character, Zubair was known for his poetry, and several of his poems have been preserved to this day.

Zubair’s Relationship with the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace)

As for Zubair’s association with the Prophet (pbuh), very few incidences of interaction are explicitly mentioned, aside from a trip they took to Yemen together.  We do know, however, that the Prophet (pbuh) was alive for much of Zubair’s life, so the two probably knew each other very well.  This raises an important question: if Zubair was older than Abu Talib and was alive throughout the Prophet’s youth, why did Abu Talib, and not him, take custody of the Prophet (pbuh)?

In his work on the companions of the Prophet, ‘Izz al-Din ibn al-Athir discusses this question in detail.  He mentions that after the death of Abd al-Muttalib, who had taken custody of the Prophet (pbuh) after the death of his parents, the custody either had to go to Zubair or Abu Talib.  Ibn al-Athir then mentions several narrations concerning how the matter was settled:

1. that Zubair and Abu Talib drew lots to see who would take custody,

2. that the Prophet (pbuh) chose to stay with Abu Talib, who was gentler than Zubair, and

3. that Abd al-Muttalib, before his death, specifically chose Abu Talib for the task [Usd al-Ghaba fi Ma’rifat al-Sahaba].

However, a fourth narration, mentioned by Muhammad al-Zarqani, mentions that custody was shared between the two, but that Abu Talib is mentioned more often than Zubair as the Prophet’s guardian because he outlived Zubair, who “did not live to see the age of Islam” [Sharh al-Mawahib al-Ladunniyah].

Did Zubair Live to See the Prophecy?

Based on al-Zarqani’s quote above, it is therefore the case that Zubair passed away before Muhammad (pbuh) received revelation.  This is supported by other sources, which state that only four of the Prophet’s uncles lived to see the Prophecy: Abu Talib, Abu Lahab, Abbas, and Hamza [Ibn al-Qayyim, Zad al-Ma’ad; al-Salihi, Subul al-Huda wa al-Rashad; al-Tabari, Dhakair al-Uqba].

A second opinion, mentioned by historians al-Baladhuri and al-Wazir al-Maghribi, is that Zubair died during the period of revelation.  However, they deemed this opinion to be weaker; after all, if such an important figure in Meccan tribal politics had witnessed the Prophet (pbuh)’s first calls to Islam, his reactions and positions would have been recorded in the seerah literature.  Rather, we find that narrations describing this time period focus on the Prophet (pbuh)’s other uncles.  This indicates that by the time of the revelation of the Qur’an, Zubair ibn Abd al-Muttalib had already passed away.

In terms of when he specifically died, no exact dates are given.  Muslim historian al-Baladhuri mentions that Zubair died while the Prophet (pbuh) was in his thirties.  We know at the very least that the Prophet was in his twenties during the Hilf al-Fudul, so it is not possible for Zubair to have died before then.  This means he must have passed away sometime between the years 590-610 CE.  And Allah knows best.

Jazakum Allah Khairan,

Wasim

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Performing the Funeral Prayer for Someone Who Committed Suicide

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: Are there any restriction performing janaza for a brother who has committed suicide?

Answer: Walaikum assalam,

The sounder opinion, which is chosen for fatwa in the Hanafi school is that the one who commits suicide is considered a sinful believer, and is washed, prayed over, and buried with the believers.

The Texts of the Hanafi School

The Prophet (Allah bless him & give him peace) did not pray over an individual who committed suicide, [Muslim, Tirmidhi, Abu Dawud, and others] but this is interpreted by the majority of scholars as being out of warning, not to indicate impermissibility; it is not understood that his Companions (Allah be pleased with them) did not pray over that individual. This also shows the importance of fiqh, and not merely relying on the outward purport of hadiths related to legal rulings.

It is mentioned in al-Fatawa al-Hindiyya, which is a major fatwa reference authored by a committee of top scholars led by Nidham al-Din al-Balkhi under the instructions of the righteous Moghul sultan, Aurangzeb,

“The one who kills himself intentionally is prayed over, according to Abu Hanifa and Muhammad [ibn al-Hasan al-Shaybani, the second major student of Abu Hanifa] (Allah have mercy on them). This is the sounder (asahh) position, as mentioned in [Imam al-Zayla`i’s] Tabyin.” [al-Fatawa al-Hindiyya, 1.163]

Imam Tumurtashi (Allah have mercy on him) said in his Tanwir al-Absar:

“The one who kills himself intentionally is washed and prayed over.”

Imam Haskafi (Allah have mercy on him) explained, in his commentary, Durr al-Mukhtar:

“This is the fatwa position. This is even though it is a greater sin than killing another.”

He then explains that,

“Kamal [ibn al-Humam] chose the position of Abu Yusuf [f: that he is washed, but not prayed over], because of the hadith in [Sahih] Muslim that, ‘The Prophet (Allah bless him & give him peace) did not pray over a man who had killed himself.'”

Imam Ibn Abidin (Allah have mercy on him) explained in his supercommentary (hashiya), Radd al-Muhtar that Ibn Nujaym said in his al-Bahr al-Ra’iq that,

“There is difference regarding the sounder position, though the second position [f: that of Abu Yusuf] is reinforced by the hadith.”

Ibn Abidin objected, though,

“I say: It can be said that there is no indication in the hadith about this, because all it says is that he (Allah bless him & give him peace) did not pray over him. It would appear that he did not pray over him to warn others from such actions, in the same way that he did not pray over the one in debt. It is not entailed from this that none of the Companions prayed over that individual… this is also what was researched [by Imam Ibrahim al-Halabi] in Sharh al-Munya.

… Know, too, that this [difference of opinion] is regarding one who killed himself intentionally. As for the one who did so by mistake, there is no difference of opinion that they are prayed over, as mentioned explicitly in al-Kifaya [f: a major commentary on Imam Marghinani’s Hidaya] and elsewhere…” [Ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar `ala al-Durr al-Mukhtar `ala Tanwir al-Absar, 1.572, Bulaq ed.]

The Position of the Shafi`i School

This is also the position of the Shafi`i school.

Imam Nawawi said in his Minhaj al-Talibin:

“The one who kills himself is like others in being washed and being prayed over.”

Imam Ibn Hajar al-Haytami said in his commentary, Tuhfat al-Muhtaj, that the hadith in Sahih Muslim is,

“…Understood to be in order to warn against such actions. Actually, Ibn Hibban [f: a great hadith expert] said in his Sahih that the hadith was abrogated.” [Ibn Hajar al-Haytami, Tuhfat al-Muhtaj fi Sharh al-Minhaj, 3.28]

Suicide is Not An Option

Imam Ibn Hajar al-Haytami (909-974 AH) wrote in his al-Zawajir `an Iqtiraf al-Kaba’ir, which lists and explains the major sins (kaba’ir),

“The 314th Major Sin: Killing oneself.

Allah Most High said, “Do not kill yourselves. Verily, Allah is ever Merciful unto you. Whoever does that through aggression and wrongdoing, We shall cast them into Fire, and that is ever easy for Allah.” [Qur’an, 4: 29-30]…” [Haytami, al-Zawajir `an Iqtiraf al-Kaba’ir]

After this, he cites numerous hadiths that indicate the tremendousness of the sin of suicide.

May Allah give life to our hearts, minds, and souls, through true love for Him and His Beloved Messenger, Sayyiduna Muhammad (Allah bless him & give him peace).

Walaikum assalam,

Faraz Rabbani.

Was Hawa’ (Eve) Created from the Rib of Adam?

Answered by Ustadh Faraz A. Khan

Question: On the creation of Adam and Eve, where in the Qur’an or hadith is it stated that she was created from Adam’s rib?

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

I pray this reaches you in the best of health and faith.

The Qur’an does not mention anything explicit with regards to our mother Hawa’ (Eve) being created from the rib of our father Adam (peace be upon them both). Rather, it states for example, “And from amongst His signs is that He created for you mates from among yourselves, so that you may dwell in tranquility with them” [30:21]. Many exegetes did interpret the phrase “from among yourselves” to mean that Hawa’ was created from the rib of Adam (peace be upon them both), yet Imam Qurtubi and others interpreted “from among yourselves” as meaning “from the same species,” that is, human mates. [al-Jami` li Ahkam al-Qur’an]

According to Imam Razi, this is a sounder interpretation than the oft-cited “from the rib of Adam” opinion. It is similar to the expression “There has indeed come to you a messenger from among yourselves” [9:128], i.e., a messenger from the same people as to whom he is sent.

This interpretation is also proven by the next phrase in the verse “so that you may dwell in tranquility with them.” That is, the primary reason according to the verse for creating mates “from among yourselves” is so that spouses may be drawn to each other and find tranquility together. This supports the interpretation of “from among yourselves” meaning “from the same species,” since if the mates given to man were from a different species, neither spouse would find repose and comfort with the other. [Mafatih al-Ghayb]

The same two possible interpretations would apply to similar verses, such as “O humanity, fear your Lord Who created you from one soul, and created from it its mate…” [4:1]. Again, many  scholars and exegetes understood this to mean that Allah Most High first created Adam (upon whom be peace), and then from him, i.e., from his rib, our mother Hawa’ (upon whom be peace).

Yet Imam Razi and others mention that the other interpretation is also possible, namely, that the meaning is “Who created you from one soul” i.e., “starting from one soul” since “from” in Arabic could indicate the starting point of something [ibtida’ al-ghaya], and then “created from it its mate” i.e., “created from that same species, its mate.” [Mafatih al-Ghayb]

The Narrations of the Prophet (Allah bless him) on the Issue

As for sayings of our Beloved Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him), there is no sound narration that mentions her being created specifically from the rib of Adam, but rather “from a rib.” [Bukhari]. There were many interpretations classically as to what that means exactly. Many scholars did hold the opinion that the meaning is “from the rib of Adam,” yet again there is no explicit evidence of this from the Qur’an or sound hadith literature.

In his masterful commentary of Sahih Bukhari, ‘Allama Anwar Shah Kashmiri mentions that it was popular opinion that she was created from “a left rib,” and that this phrase could in fact be a metaphor, as the story of her creation is that Adam once woke up from sleep and – lo and behold – found her sitting on his left side. Hence, “created from a rib” was used in the hadith to mean that Adam saw her created [i.e., immediately after having been created by Allah] in the direction of his left side (peace be upon them both). [Fayd al-Bari]

And Allah alone gives success.

wassalam

Faraz A. Khan

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Maintaining Family Ties & Obeying Parents

Answered by Ustadh Faraz A. Khan

Question: My sister was having relations with a non-Muslim boy. When told to stop because it was not allowed, she decided to leave Islam, go away from home with this boy, and have a restraining order placed against the parents. We’ve now discovered that she has been communicating with other relatives who have been supporting her and helping her out, even getting her married to this boy (who is of very bad character and degrades Islam) without the permission fo the parents. Now, my parents want nothing to do with them. They say they have forgiven much but this is the last straw. They have told us not to have any contact them. What should I do? Is this breaking kinship ties?

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

I pray this finds you in the best of health and spirits.

May Allah give you strength in this trial and reward you abundantly.

Prioritizing Your Concerns

I think your primary concern should be maintaining a strong relationship with your sister. The most important thing in all of this is her returning to Islam. You should keep in touch with her and uphold good character. One particular trait that you should display to your sister is gentleness [rifq]. Our Beloved Messenger [peace and blessings be upon him] said, “Verily Allah is Gentle and loves gentleness in all matters” [Bukhari, Muslim], as well as “Gentleness is not found in something except that it adorns it, and is not removed from something except that it ruins it” [Muslim].

Be her friend, and let her see the beauty of our faith. This could be a long-term effort, but persevere and be patient. Our Beloved Messenger [peace and blessings be upon him] waited patiently for many disbelievers of Mecca before their entrance into Islam, all the while praying for them and displaying his superb character despite their animosity towards him and the religion. That is the prophetic sunna that we have been commanded to emulate. Your sister is the primary kinship bond that you should be concerned about.

With respect to your mother’s relatives, it seems like any attempt by you to maintain those ties will only lead to more familial tension and discord [fitna]. Two of the most important principles in Islamic law are “The lesser of two harms is to be chosen” and “Warding off harm takes precedence over acquiring benefit.” [Majalla al-Ahkam al-Adliyya; Articles 29, 30]

While normally you are required to maintain kinship ties with all your relatives, it would be better in your case to avoid contact with your mother’s relatives due to the expected harmful consequences entailed therein, namely, the spread of that tension to within your immediate family, between yourself and your parents. Leave that matter to them, and pray that Allah Most High heals their past wounds and reunites their hearts for His sake.

Patience and Trust

Allah Most High states in the Qur’an, “And be patient, and your patience is not except through Allah” [Nahl:127]. The trial you describe is a true test of patience, and the only way to actualize this virtue is through Allah alone, for He is the Provider of all virtues. Seek His aid in being patient and realize that, as our Prophet taught us, “No one has been given a better and more expansive gift than patience” [Bukhari, Muslim].

Place your complete trust in Him, and know that He is All-Wise and the Best of planners. “And trust in the Living, Who dies not” [Furqan:58]. As Imam Biqa’i explains in his masterful tafsir: “Trust” means “show Allah your utter incapacity and weakness, submit wholeheartedly to His decree, and rely on Him in all your affairs” [Nazm al-Durar].

We cannot handle our trials alone; we are weak and incapable. Our only recourse is to submit and consign our affairs over to Allah Most High. We take the means with full effort and diligence to fulfill our duties and persevere in our trials, yet our reliance all throughout is in Allah alone. As one of the early Imams states, “Whoever relies on Allah becomes free of need, while whoever does not rely on Him will be exhausted.”

And Allah alone gives success.

wassalam

Faraz A. Khan

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

The Fiqh of Eid al-Fitr & Eid al-Adha

Answered by Ustadha Umm Ihsan

Bismi Llahir Rahmanir Rahimi

The Companion Anas (Allah be pleased with him) said, “The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) migrated to the city of Medina and saw the people celebrating two days of festivities. He said, ‘What are these two days?’ The people of Medina replied, ‘They were days of festivities in the pre-Islamic era (jahaliyya).’ Then he said, ‘Verily Allah has replaced these two days with (what) is better for you—the day of Adha and the day of Fitr.’” [Abu Dawud]

After much reflection upon the meanings and actions surrounding Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha, the depth of the Prophet’s words befit a striking reality. These two days are not ‘holidays’ in the sense that Muslims take the ‘day off’ from worship, but they serve as yet another opportunity for the believer to excel in devotion and rejoice in praise of the Lord of the Worlds. There is an inspiring message and strong, spiritual motivation behind each of these days as they both mark the remembrance of a major act of worship.

Eid al-Fitr is a time of celebration that follows after a month of refraining from indulging in worldly human desires from dusk to dawn out of pure submission to God. Eid al-Adha comes after the day of Arafa, which is the most significant day of the ritual pilgrimage (hajj). It is a day full of worship, repentance, tears, hope, supplication, and forgiveness. A day every Muslim longs to behold at least once in a lifetime.

The sacrifice of Eid al-Adha also symbolizes the enormous act of obedience performed by Prophet Abraham (Allah bless him) who was prepared to sacrifice his own beloved son for the sake of his Lord. After showing his unwavering conviction in God’s command, God replaced Prophet Abraham’s son with an animal to slay instead. This is the reason why Muslims sacrifice for Eid al-Adha. It is done in an effort to recall the strength of submission that one of the greatest Prophets ever to live exemplified for mankind.

These two holidays are void of the detriments of commercialism and self-absorbed gifts. Instead, they replace the holiday ‘season’ with acts of giving to the poor and spending one’s free time with the entire community. For Eid al-Fitr, there is a mandatory charity given to the poor from those who meet certain requirements, and it remains an overall recommendation for everyone to give in charity beyond their normal habit. For Eid al-Adha, the same recommendation for charity remains in addition to sharing a third of one’s sacrificial meat with the poor and hosting one’s community with another third of the animal. One is encouraged to show one’s happiness to others and thank God for all the blessings He bestowed upon one.

Not to mention, both of these holidays begin the day with an act of worship, which is the required communal prayer, of which the details are outlined below for those servants of God who seek to celebrate the two greatest holidays bestowed upon humanity.

What are the Eid Holidays that Muslims Celebrate?

The two Eid holidays that Muslims celebrate are Eid al-Fitr (1st of Shawwal), which follows the month of Ramadan, and Eid al-Adha (10th of Dhul Hijjah), which follows the day of Arafa. The three days following Eid al-Adha are known as the days of tashriq (11th, 12th, and 13th of Dhul Hijjah).

Who Must Attend the Congregational Eid Prayer?

The congregational Eid prayer is necessary (wajib) upon the same individuals who are obliged to attend the Friday congregational prayer. These individuals are:

* Sane, adult men, which excludes women and children
* Residents, which excludes travelers
* Those in good health, which excludes genuinely sick people

It should be noted that if women, children, travelers or sick individuals attend the Eid prayer, they are rewarded for their attendance. The aforementioned point is merely illustrating that it is not incumbent upon them to attend, which means that they are not sinful if they miss the prayer.

[Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah; Ala al-Din Abidin, al-Hadiyya al-Alaiyya; Shurunbulali, Imdad al-Fattah]

When Is the Eid al-Fitr Prayer Performed?

The Eid al-Fitr prayer may be performed any time after the sun completely rises up to just before the entering of the Dhuhr prayer time on Eid day (1st of Shawwal).

* It cannot be delayed beyond this day without a shariah compliant excuse.
* If an excuse is present, the prayer can only be offered the day after (2nd Shawwal) during the aforementioned time. Thereafter, it cannot be performed.
* If an excuse is not present, the prayer is not valid if it is delayed to the next day.

[al-Maydani, al-Lubab; Shurunbulali, Imdad al-Fattah]

When is the Eid al-Adha Prayer Performed?

The Eid al-Adha prayer may be performed any time after the sun completely rises up to just before the entering of the Dhuhr prayer time on Eid day (10th of Dhul Hijjah).

* It can be delayed beyond this day with or without a shariah compliant excuse, though the later is disliked.
* If an excuse is present, then it is permissible to pray it during the aforementioned time the following day (11th of Dhul Hijjah) or the day after that day (12th of Dhul Hijjah) without dislikedness. Thereafter, it cannot be performed.
* If an excuse is not present, it is still valid to delay the prayer up to the 12th of Dhul Hijjah but with dislikedness. Thereafter, it cannot be performed.

[al-Maydani, al-Lubab; Shurunbulali, Imdad al-Fattah]

Can the Eid Prayer Be Delayed for a Short Period of Time?

The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Hasten (the prayer of) al-Adha and delay (the prayer) of al-Fitr,” [al-Bayhaqi] Thus, it is recommended for the Imam to delay commencing the Eid al-Fitr prayer for a short period and to hasten to pray the Eid al-Adha prayer. [Tahtawi, Hashiyyat al-Tahtawi]
What If One Prays the Eid Prayer in a Prohibitively Disliked Time?

If either Eid prayer is performed before the sun completely rises, then the prayer does not count as the Eid prayer. Rather, it counts as a nafl prayer and one is sinful for praying within a prohibitively disliked time. [Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah; Shurunbulali, Imdad al-Fattah; al-Haskafi, Durr al-Mukhtar]

If while praying either Eid prayer the sun reaches its zenith, then the prayer does not count as the Eid prayer. Rather, it counts as a nafl prayer and one is sinful for praying within a prohibitively disliked time. [Ala al-Din Abidin, al-Hadiyya al-Alaiyya; al-Haskafi, Durr al-Mukhtar]

Is A Sermon (Khutba) Given for the Eid Prayer?

It is sunna for the Imam to give two short sermons after the performance of the Eid prayer. It is permissible to give the sermon before the Eid prayer, but it is offensive because one left the sunna. If the Imam does not give a sermon at all, the Eid prayer is still valid but it is offensive because one left the sunna. [Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah; Shurunbulali, Imdad al-Fattah; Tahtawi, Hashiyyat al-Tahtawi]

During the sermon for Eid al-Fitr, the Imam reminds the community of the rulings related to Sadaqat al-Fitr (Zakat al-Fitr). For Eid al-Adha, the Imam teaches the community the rulings related to sacrificing an animal and the invocation said on the days of tashriq (takbir al-tashriq). [Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah; Ala al-Din Abidin, al-Hadiyya al-Alaiyya]

Some scholars note that the Imam should teach the rulings related to the takbir al-tashriq during the Friday congregational prayer the week before Eid al-Adha because it becomes necessary (wajib) to say the takbir al-tashriq before the Eid al-Adha prayer is performed (i.e. it begins after the Fajr prayer on the day of Arafa). [Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah; Shurunbulali, Imdad al-Fattah] The details related to the takbir al-tashriq are forthcoming.

It is necessary (wajib) for followers to listen to the Eid sermon, and everything disliked during the Friday sermon is disliked during the Eid sermon. [al-Haskafi, Durr al-Mukhtar]

How Does One Perform the Eid Prayer as the Imam?

Both Eid prayers are only 2 prayer cycles (rakats). It is necessary (wajib) for both the imam and follower to give the additional takbirs for Eid during the prayer. [Ala al-Din Abidin, al-Hadiyya al-Alaiyya]

To perform the prayer as the Imam:

1. One makes the intention in his heart to be the leader of the Eid prayer. It is recommended to say the intention with one’s tongue.

2. One says the opening takbir (Allahu Akbar) in order to commence the prayer.

3. One says the opening supplication quietly to oneself.

4. One gives three additional takbirs (Allahu Akbar) for Eid.

For each additional takbir, one raises his hands like the opening takbir, says the takbir out loud, returns his hands to his sides, and pauses for a brief moment before proceeding with the other takbirs.

After the third and final takbir, one places one’s hands together, right on top of left under the navel.

5. One seeks refuge from Satan and recites ‘Bismi Llahir Rahmanir Rahimi’ quietly.

6. One recites the Fatiha and an additional sura out loud. It is recommended to recite Surat al-‘Ala (Chapter 87) in full.

7. One says the sunna ‘Allahu Akbar’ while moving into the bowing position and completes the prayer cycle (raka’) like usual. One does not raise his hands when saying ‘Allahu Akbar’ as he moves into the bowing or prostrating position.

8. In the second prayer cycle (raka’), one recites ‘Bismi Llahir Rahmanir Rahimi’ quietly upon standing up from prostration.

9. One recites the Fatiha and an additional sura. It is recommended to recite Surat al-Ghashiyya (Chapter 88).

10. One gives three additional takbirs (Allahu Akbar) for Eid.

For each additional takbir, one raises his hands like the opening takbir, says the takbir out loud, returns his hands to his sides, and pauses for a brief moment before proceeding with the other takbirs.

After the third and final takbir, one places his arms next to his sides.

It is permissible to give the additional takbirs before reciting the Quran in the second prayer cycle. The difference of opinion regarding this matter relates to optimality, not validity.

11. One says the sunna ‘Allahu Akbar’ while moving into the bowing position and completes the prayer cycle (raka’) like usual. One does not raise his hands when saying ‘Allahu Akbar’ as he moves into the bowing or prostrating position.

12. One sits for the tashahud, gives blessings upon the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), and says the two final salams.

[Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah; Ala al-Din Abidin, al-Hadiyya al-Alaiyya; Shurunbulali, Imdad al-Fattah; Tahtawi, Hashiyyat al-Tahtawi; al-Haskafi, Durr al-Mukhtar]

How Does One Perform the Eid Prayer as a Follower?

Both Eid prayers are only 2 prayer cycles (rakats). It is necessary (wajib) for both the imam and follower to give the additional takbirs for Eid during the prayer. [Ala al-Din Abidin, al-Hadiyya al-Alaiyya]

To perform the prayer as a follower:

1. One makes the intention in one’s heart to perform the Eid prayer as a follower of the Imam. It is recommended to say the intention with one’s tongue.

2. One gives the opening takbir (Allahu Akbar) with the Imam.

3. One says the opening supplication quietly to oneself.

4. One gives three additional takbirs (Allahu Akbar) with the Imam.

For each additional takbir, one raises the hands like the opening takbir, says the takbir out loud with the Imam, returns the hands to one’s sides, and pauses for a brief moment before proceeding with the other takbirs with the Imam.

For a man, after the third and final takbir, he places his hands together, right on left under the navel. For a woman, she places her hands upon her chest.

5. One listens to the Imam recite the Fatiha and an additional sura.

6. One says the sunna ‘Allahu Akbar’ while moving into the bowing position with the Imam and completes the prayer cycle (raka’) like usual. One does not raise the hands when saying ‘Allahu Akbar’ as one moves into the bowing or prostrating position.

7. In the second prayer cycle (raka’), one listens to the Imam recite the Fatiha and an additional sura upon standing up from prostration.

8. One gives three additional takbirs (Allahu Akbar) with the Imam.

For each additional takbir, one raises the hands like the opening takbir, says the takbir out loud with the Imam, returns the hands to one’s sides, and pauses for a brief moment before proceeding with the other takbirs with the Imam.

After the third and final takbir, one places one’s arms next to one’s sides.

9. One says ‘Allahu Akbar’ while moving into the bowing position with the Imam and completes the prayer cycle (raka’) like usual. One does not raise the hands when saying ‘Allahu Akbar’ as one moves into the bowing or prostrating position.

10. One sits for the tashahud, gives blessings upon the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), and says the two final salams with the Imam.

[Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah; Ala al-Din Abidin, al-Hadiyya al-Alaiyya; Shurunbulali, Imdad al-Fattah; Quduri, al-Kitab; Tahtawi, Hashiyyat al-Tahtawi; al-Haskafi, Durr al-Mukhtar]

What If the Imam Pronounces More Than Three Takbirs?

One simply follows the imam with regards to the number of takbirs. One can follow him up to 16 takbirs. [Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah]  The sunnah practice has been reported in different ways, and the difference between the schools of thought on this is in terms of optimality, not validity. [Tahtawi; Hashiyyat al-Tahtawi]

What If the Imam Forgets to Pronounce the Additional Takbirs for Eid?

If the Imam bows before saying any of the additional takbirs for Eid, then he says them while in the bowing position. He does not return to the standing position to say them, but if he does stand up, the prayer is still valid. [Tahtawi; Hashiyyat al-Tahtawi]

What If One Joins the Eid Prayer As a Latecomer?

Whoever joins the Eid prayer as a latecomer must still say the additional takbirs for Eid in what was missed with the Imam. There are a few possible scenarios.

Scenario A: If one joins a prayer cycle (raka’) after the Imam has said the additional takbirs for Eid but the Imam is still standing for recitation, then one:

1. pronounces the opening takbir standing, and

2. says the additional takbirs for Eid, even if the Imam is reciting the Quran.

Scenario B: If one joins the first prayer cycle (raka’) while the Imam is bowing (ruku’) and one does not fear missing bowing with the Imam, then one:

1. pronounces the opening takbir standing,

2. remains standing and says the additional takbirs for Eid, then

3. joins the Imam in the bowing position.

Scenario C: If one joins the first prayer cycle (raka’) while the Imam is bowing (ruku’) but fears missing bowing with the Imam, then one:

1. pronounces the opening takbir standing,

2. bows with the Imam, and

3. says the additional takbirs for Eid while in the bowing position before giving the tasbihs of ruku` and without raising the hands.

If the Imam begins to stand up while one is still saying the additional takbirs for Eid, then what remains of the additional takbirs are dropped, even if it is all of them. One does not make them up in the second prayer cycle (raka’).

Scenario D: If one joins the first prayer cycle (raka’) after the Imam has bowed or joins in the second prayer cycle, then after the Imam gives the final salams one makes up the first prayer cycle (raka’) missed. As such, one:

1. stands up,

2. recites the Fatiha and a short sura, then

3. says the additional takbirs for Eid.

The reason one recites the Quran before saying the additional takbirs in this situation is due to the fact that none of the Companions (Allah be pleased with them all) have related otherwise.

[Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah; Ala al-Din Abidin, al-Hadiyya al-Alaiyya; Shurunbulali, Imdad al-Fattah; Tahtawi, Hashiyyat al-Tahtawi; al-Haskafi, Durr al-Mukhtar]

Can One Perform Tayammum (Dry Ablution) for the Eid Prayer?

Yes, if one fears that by busying oneself with ablution (wudu) one will miss the congregational Eid prayer, one can resort to tayammum. This ruling applies even if one is performing the Eid prayer in a city and is not ill. [al-Maydani, al-Lubab]

This is an exception to the general rule as one is normally obliged to perform ablution (wudu) when sufficient water is present. The reason for the permissibility of tayammum in this circumstance is because the Eid prayer does not have a replacement prayer if missed. This ruling does not apply to the Friday congregational prayer or other prayers. [ibid]

What If One Misses the Eid Prayer? Can One Perform the Eid Prayer Alone?

No, the Eid prayer is only performed in a formal congregation. [Ala al-Din Abidin, al-Hadiyya al-Alaiyya]

If one misses the Eid prayer, one does not make it up. Likewise, if one joins the Eid prayer but for some reason one’s prayer becomes invalid, then one cannot makeup the Eid prayer by oneself nor will a makeup be necessary. [ibid]

For those who missed the Eid prayer, it is recommended to pray the supererogatory Duha prayer with four rakas. This was related by the Companion ibn Mas’ud (Allah be pleased with him). [Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah]

If it was incumbent upon one to attend, then one must repent for missing a necessary (wajib) prayer.

What is Recommended On the Day of Eid al Fitr?

* To wake up early, preferably before Fajr or at the entering of Fajr
* To pray the Fajr group prayer in the masjid
* To eat something sweet after the Fajr prayer before going to the Eid prayer area
* To eat dates if one can find them, and to eat them in amounts of odd numbers
* To perform the purificatory bath (ghusl) before the Eid prayer, even for a person who is not attending the prayer
* To clean one’s teeth with a siwak or similar object as much as possible
* To wear scented perfume (women do not wear strong scented perfume outside of their homes)
* To wear the best of one’s clothes, which consist of the most beautiful, cleanest or newest garments, even if they are not white
* To make one’s happiness and joy apparent, thanking Allah for one’s blessings
* To smile and display one’s happiness when meeting others
* To give much in non-obligatory charity, more than one’s usual habit
* To direct oneself to the Eid prayer area, while saying ‘Allahu Akbar’ quietly to oneself and to stop saying it when the Imam begins the Eid prayer
* To go to the Eid prayer area by foot
* To pay the sadaqat al-fitr (zakat al-fitr) if it is necessary for one to do so
* To arrive early at the Eid prayer area so one can pray in the first line
* To return from a different direction after performing the Eid prayer

[Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah; Ala al-Din Abidin, al-Hadiyya al-Alaiyya; Shurunbulali, Imdad al-Fattah; al-Haskafi, Durr al-Mukhtar]

How Does Eid al-Adha Differ From Eid al-Fitr?

The prayer and the recommendations for Eid al-Fitr are the same for Eid al-Adha, except:

* One delays eating after the Eid al-Adha prayer, whereas for Eid al-Fitr it is recommended to eat before the Eid prayer
* One says ‘Allahu Akbar’ out loud when going to the Eid al-Adha prayer, whereas for Eid al-Fitr it is recommended to say it quietly to oneself
* There is no sadaqat al-fitr, rather one sacrifices an animal if financially able

[Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah; Ala al-Din Abidin, al-Hadiyya al-Alaiyya; Shurunbulali, Imdad al-Fattah]

What is Disliked to Do on the Day of Eid?

* To perform supererogatory (nafl) prayers before the Eid prayer in the Eid prayer area or one’s house
* To perform supererogatory (nafl) prayers after the Eid prayer in the Eid prayer area, but praying them in one’s house is not disliked
* To fast (this is prohibitively disliked and one is sinful for doing it; one must break one’s fast)

[Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah; Ala al-Din Abidin, al-Hadiyya al-Alaiyya; Shurunbulali, Imdad al-Fattah]

What is the Takbir al-Tashriq?

Allah Most High says in the Quran, “Celebrate the praises of God during the Appointed Days…” [Baqara: 203] The Qur’anic exegetes explain that the phrase ‘appointed days’ is referring to the days of tashriq. [Shurunbulali, Imdad al-Fattah]

The takbir al-tashriq is an invocation that is said once, out loud, immediately after performing each obligatory (fard) prayer starting from the Fajr prayer on the day of Arafa (9th of Dhul Hijjah) up to the Asr prayer five days later (13th of Dhul Hijjah). This equals 23 prayers: 5 on the 9th-12th, which equal 20, and 3 on the 13th. This includes the Friday congregational prayer if it falls within these days.

The takbir al-tashriq is not said for the supererogatory (nafl) prayers, the witr prayer, or the janaza prayer. There is no harm in saying it after both of the Eid prayers.

[Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah; Ala al-Din Abidin, al-Hadiyya al-Alaiyya; Shurunbulali, Imdad al-Fattah]

Who Must Say the Takbir al-Tashriq?

The Hanafi School follows the position of Imam Abu Hanifa’s two companions, Abu Yusuf and Muhammad, in this matter because it is more precautionary.

According to the two companions, chanting the takbir al-tashriq is necessary (wajib) upon every man and woman who performs the obligatory (fard) prayer in these days regardless if:

* they are the imam,
* they are a follower in the group prayer,
* they are a latecomer of the group prayer,
* the imam forgets to say it after the group prayer,
* they are praying alone,
* they are traveling, or
* they are residents of a village.

[Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah; Ala al-Din Abidin, al-Hadiyya al-Alaiyya; Shurunbulali, Imdad al-Fattah; al-Haskafi, Durr al-Mukhtar]

How Does One Say the Takbir al-Tashriq?

One says at least once, out loud, immediately after each obligatory prayer:

‘Allahu Akbar. Allahu Akbar. La ilaha illa Llah. Wa Llahu Akbar. Allah Akbar. Wa liLlahil-Hamd.’

‘Allah is the Greatest. Allah is the Greatest. There is no God save Him. And Allah is the Greatest. Allah is the Greatest. And to Allah belongs all praise.’

Women should say the takbir al-tashriq in a soft voice and not loudly.

It is optimal to say the takbir al-tashriq more than once according to the Imam al-‘Ayni.

[Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah; Ala al-Din Abidin, al-Hadiyya al-Alaiyya; Shurunbulali Imdad al-Fattah; al-Haskafi, Durr al-Mukhtar]

What If One Does Not Say the Takbirs Immediately After Prayer?

It is necessary (wajib) to make the takbirs immediately after the final salams of the obligatory (fard) prayer. If one talks purposely or forgetfully, loses one’s wudu, or performs other actions completely foreign to the prayer, one has missed the wajib. [ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]

What is Sadaqat al-Fitr (Zakat al-Fitr)?

The rulings of sadaqat al-fitr are usually found in the chapter of zakat in the works of the jurists. However, after realizing that many people are not aware of the sadaqat al-fitr and the right of the poor to receive it, its details has been included in this article.

Sadaqat al-Fitr is a required charity on the occasion of Eid al-Fitr given to the same poor individuals who are allowed to receive zakat.

It is related by the Companion Abdullah ibn Umar and his father Umar ibn al-Khattab (Allah be pleased with both) that “…the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) obligated (the payment) of zakat al-fitr in Ramadan (with) a sa’ of dates or a sa’ of barley upon every free person and slave, (whether) man or woman, from the Muslims.” [Bukhari; Muslim]

How Does One Pay Sadaqat al-Fitr?

The one who must pay sadaqat al-fitr gives one of the following:

a) half a sa’* of wheat or similar food grains,

b) a full sa’ of dates, barley, raisins or similar food grains,

c) or the equivalent monetary value of either a or b.

It is actually better to pay the monetary value when the goods are widely available. If they are not widely available, it is better to pay in the form of goods rather than by money.

*Half a sa’ is approximately 2 kilos (4.5 pounds). A full sa’ is approximately 4 kilos (9 pounds).

[Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah; Ala al-Din Abidin, al-Hadiyya al-Alaiyya]

Who Must Pay Sadaqat al-Fitr?

Sadaqat al-fitr is necessary (wajib) upon:

* any free Muslim, regardless if they are male, female, adult, child, sane, or not sane,
* who possesses the zakatable minimum (nisab) in any form of wealth,
* in excess of their immediate needs and debts,
* on the morning Eid al-Fitr arrives (i.e. entering of Fajr),
* regardless if an entire lunar year has passed upon this wealth or not.

For sadaqat al-fitr, the zakatable minimum (nisab) is the same as the annual zakat, which is 612 grams of silver or 87.48 grams of gold or their equivalent monetary value. However, for sadaqat al-fitr, one calculates the nisab according to any form of wealth one owns beyond one’s basic needs and immediate debts. The details related to this difference are forthcoming.

Immediate needs refer to one’s normal living expenses for oneself and one’s dependents, such as money for food, shelter, furniture, clothing, transportation, immediate debts, and books for those who use them.

[Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah; Ala al-Din Abidin, al-Hadiyya al-Alaiyya]

Does One’s Husband Pay For One’s  Sadaqat al-Fitr?

No, one’s husband is not obliged to pay one’s sadaqat al-fitr. However, if he voluntarily decides to do so out of his generosity, then it counts on one’s behalf.

[Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah; Ala al-Din Abidin, al-Hadiyya al-Alaiyya]

Does One Pay Sadaqat al-Fitr For One’s Children?

Yes, if the child does not have the wealth to pay for sadaqat al-fitr and owes it, the father (or legal guardian) pays for the child. If the father (or legal guardian) does not pay on behalf of the needy child, the child does not owe this amount after reaching adulthood.

If the child has the wealth to pay for it, sadaqat al-fitr is paid from the child’s wealth. If the wealthy child does not pay it, the child still owes this amount to the poor after reaching adulthood.

It should be noted that a child is someone who has not reached puberty. After reaching puberty, each person is responsible for the payment of his/her sadaqat al-fitr. However, if an adult’s legal guardian still pays for his/her sadaqat al-fitr, it counts on his/her behalf.

[Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah; Ala al-Din Abidin, al-Hadiyya al-Alaiyya; ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]

How is the Calculation of the Nisab of Sadaqat al-Fitr Different From the Annual Zakat?

Calculating the nisab of sadaqat al-fitr differs from calculating it for the annual zakat. With the annual zakat, one must own the nisab by means of specific forms of wealth (like gold, silver, cash, livestock, or trade goods) in excess of one’s basic needs and a lunar year passes upon this wealth.

With sadaqat al-fitr, the nisab is calculated by means of any form of wealth one has in excess of one’s basic needs and immediate debts, regardless if a lunar year passed upon this wealth or not. If this excess wealth reaches the nisab on the morning of Eid al-Fitr (i.e. entering of Fajr), then it is necessary (wajib) for one to pay sadaqat al-fitr. It is quite possible that someone may not have to pay the annual zakat but at the same time be required to pay the sadaqat al-fitr.

For example, someone who does not have any zakatable items in his possession, like cash or trade goods, does not have to pay zakat. But this same person owns other assets equal to the value of the nisab and these assets are in excess of his personal needs, such as having a surplus car, surplus televisions, or surplus computers. In this case, he does not pay the annual zakat but he does pay sadaqat al-fitr.

[Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah; Ala al-Din Abidin, al-Hadiyya al-Alaiyya]

When Does One Pay Sadaqat al-Fitr?

It becomes necessary (wajib) to pay sadaqat al-fitr when Fajr enters on Eid al-Fitr (1st of Shawwal).

It is recommended to pay sadaqat al-fitr after Fajr enters before heading to the Eid prayer area.

It is valid to pay sadaqat al-fitr before Fajr enters on Eid al-Fitr or after it.

[Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah; Ala al-Din Abidin, al-Hadiyya al-Alaiyya]

What If One Never Paid Sadaqat al-Fitr?

If one never paid sadaqat al-fitr in the past and was required to pay it, one still owes this amount to the poor. The time for paying the sadaqat al-fitr is not limited to the day of Eid al-Fitr itself; rather the time for payment is unconditioned. Thus, the obligation to pay is not lifted if delayed, although there is dislikedness in delaying.

[ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar; Tahtawi, Hashiyyat al-Tahtawi; Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah; al-Maydani, al-Lubab]

What if One’s Wealth Diminishes After One is Obliged to Pay Sadaqat al-Fitr?

If one’s wealth diminishes after it became obligatory for one to pay sadaqat al-fitr, the obligation to pay is not lifted. This differs from the rulings on the annual zakat.

[Tahtawi, Hashiyyat al-Tahtawi; Ala al-Din Abidin, al-Hadiyya al-Alaiyya]

May Allah bless the entire ummah with a joyous Eid, inshaAllah.

Ustadha Umm Ihsan is a female student of Islamic knowledge from the US. She studies with leading Hanafi scholars from Syria and elsewhere.

Why Does the Qur’an Say Allah Misguides the Disbelievers? The Question of Free Will

Answered by Shaykh Idris Watts

Question: Why does the Qur’an say that Allah subhanuhu wa ta’ala misguides the disbelievers? I was under the impression that they chose disbelief. Or is Allah subhanuhu wa ta’ala saying that he sends Shayateen or Shaitan after these people?

Answer: Allāh misguides people due to His knowledge of their states and due to the choices that they make and act upon in their lives. Hence, this does not contradict freewill. Allah all-Mighty says in the Holy Quran:

“Allāh does not disdain to use the similitude of a gnat or something greater. Those who believe know that it is truth from their Lord; but those who reject Faith say: “What does Allāh mean by this similitude?” By it He causes many to stray, and many He leads onto the right path; but He causes not to stray, except those who forsake (the path), Those who break Allāh’s Covenant after it is ratified, and who sever what Allāh as ordered to be joined, and do mischief on earth: These cause loss (only) to themselves. How can you reject the faith in Allāh?- seeing that you were without life, and He gave you life; then will He cause you to die, and will again bring you to life; and again to Him will ye return.” (Quran: 2/26-28)

The following verses from Sura al-Baqarah clarify that Allāh sends tests to individuals in order to manifest their true nature before the people. In doing so, their misguidance is shown to others and they are led further astray, but Allāh does not force them to choose misguidance; rather the tests He sends them are a means for them to either turn back to Allāh or increase in their path of misguidance. Therefore, the reality is, yes, Allāh misguides them, but it is only due to the decisions and actions that they make in their lives. It is important not to read isolated verses and take them out of context. Many times you have to read on to understand what Allāh wants to convey to us. In the above verses, He says that He misguides them because they break their promises with Him, and sever their ties with the prophets who were sent to them and ordered them to obey Allah, or they sever their ties with their kin, and they sow dissension on the earth.

Allāh most-High also says:

“Allāh has placed a seal over their hearts and their hearing and there is a cover over their vision and they will be subject to a great chastisement.” (Quran: 2/7)

Some people object to this verse and claim that if Allāh has placed veils over their hearts and has declared that they will not accept Islam, how do they have the choice to become Muslims? Does this not negate free-will?

In answering this question, we can compare this case to a doctor who proclaims that a patient’s illness is now incurable. Is the illness incurable because the doctor has declared so, or is it because the patient is now so late in the stages of his illness that there is no cure? Obviously, the answer is the latter. The doctor is merely informing the patient of his critical condition. Similarly, the infidels that Allāh is describing here were such staunch enemies of Islam due to the arrogance, jealousy and contempt they held within their hearts for the believers and the Revelation which was sent to them that they could never have had accepted the Message. They neglected the diseases within their hearts and instead of seeking a remedy to rectify their state they carried on fueling the cancer to the extent where there was no longer a cure for them. Hence, the doctor is merely informing the patient of his critical state. This does not negate the freewill that they had.

Idris
Abu Zahra Foundation

Shaykh Idris Watts accepted Islam in 1998 in the first year of his Arabic Language Degree at the University of Leeds. In the second year of the degree programme, he set off to the ancient city of Fez, Morocco to further his Arabic Language studies. During this period he attended circles of knowledge and zawiyahs around Fez. Shaykh Idris graduated in 2002 from the University with First Class Honors and also received an award of excellence for his language skills. He moved back to Fez to embark on an intensive period of study. He attended classes at the Qarawiyeen University in the Old City for the next four years studying with the likes of the adept grammarian Shaykh Abdel-Hayy al-‘Amrāwī and many other teachers. He also had the opportunity of sitting with the students of the late Shaykh Makkī bin Kīrān, (may God bless his soul), who was a master of the ten variant recitations of the Qurān and studied Tajwīd and four of the variant recitations with them.

He returned to England in 2007, and recently took up the full-time post of Resident Scholar at the Abu Zahra Foundation.

Drinking Alcohol: Are My Prayers Not Valid for 40 Days?

Answered by Ustadha Umm Ihsan

Question: In the past I have drunk alcohol. Would my prayers be accepted? I have heard that alcohol stays in the blood for 40 days, will I have to make up these prayers? Is it the same principle for marijuana?

Answer: Bismi Llahir Rahmanir Rahimi

Assalamu alaykum

Ramadan Mubarak.

I apologize for the delay in responding.

There are a few narrations similar to what you have mentioned. The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Whoever drinks wine, his prayer is not accepted from him for 40 days. If he repents, Allah forgives him…” [Tirmidhi]

Drinking wine or other intoxicants is a major sin. In order for one to eradicate the sin, one engages in a sincere repentance. Legally speaking, one does not have to make up the prayers performed if the prayers were valid. “Not accepted” in the hadith means that the prayers are not accepted in terms of reward. As such, one can make up these prayers as part of the remorse felt for committing such a sin, though it is not an obligation.

Prohibition of Drinking Intoxicants & Using Drugs

Drinking wine is a major sin, even if one consumes only a drop. [Dhahabi, Kitab al-Kaba’ir] This ruling is established by scholarly consensus. Allah says in the Quran:

“O ye who believe! Intoxicants and gambling, (dedication of) stones, and (divination by) arrows, are an abomination of Satan’s handwork: eschew such (abomination), that ye may prosper. Satan’s plan is (but) to excite enmity and hatred between you, with intoxicants and gambling, and hinder you from the remembrance of God, and from prayer: will ye not then abstain?” [The Table: 90-91]

“They will ask you about wine and gambling. Say: There is great sin therein.” [Baqara: 219]

Scholars determine that the legal reason for the prohibition of drinking wine is because it is a drink that intoxicates. Thus, any drink that results in intoxication is also forbidden to consume, like many modern-day alcoholic beverages. [al-Asadi, al-Mujiz]

Smoking marijuana is also prohibited “…because it corrupts the mind and diverts one from remembering Allah and the prayer…” [al-Nakhlawi, al-Hadhr wa al-Ibaha]

Explanation of the Hadith

The prayer is the best form of worship performed by the body. Therefore, if it is not accepted, then what is lesser than this in worship is also intended. The reason 40 days were specified is because wine is said to stay in the body, the veins, and the nerves for this amount of time. [al-Manawi, Fayd al-Qadir]

Acceptance of Prayers

There is a distinction scholars like to make between acceptance in terms of validity and acceptance in terms of reward. Acceptance in terms of validity means that one performed all of the prayer’s conditions, pillars, and necessary actions outlined by the jurists. Consequently, the prayer is valid and it does not need to be made up. Acceptance in terms of reward means that one may have performed the prayer in the correct manner but it is dependent upon Allah’s generosity if its performance is rewarded.

The aforementioned hadith indicates that one who drinks intoxicants will not receive the reward for the prayers performed for 40 days unless one repents. It does not mean that the prayers are invalid and need to be made up because they are missing a condition of validity. [ibn al-Najar, al-Kawkab al-Munir] Rather, it demonstrates the beauty of Islam because even if one wronged themselves, there is still hope for forgiveness and making a new beginning.

Allah says in the Quran, “Say: Oh my slaves who have transgressed against yourselves, do not despair of the mercy of Allah, verily, Allah forgives all sins.” [Throngs: 53]

Engage in Repentance

If one commits a major sin, a sincere repentance is the only thing that can absolve one from it. A sincere repentance entails four conditions:

a. One leaves the sin,
b. One feels remorse for the action committed,
c. One resolves to not return to it, and
d. One pays back or returns what one owes if the sin involves the rights of others.

[Nawawi, Riyad al-Salihin]

No one should ever despair Allah’s mercy if they’ve truly repented. He is the only One who can forgive us for the wrong we willingly commit. He is oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

Allah says in the All-Mightly Quran:

“And those who, when they do an evil thing or wrong themselves, remember Allah and implore forgiveness for their sins – Who forgives sins save Allah only? – and will not knowingly repeat (the wrong) they did.” [Ali Imran: 135]

“Ask your Lord for forgiveness and then turn in repentance to Him.” [Hud: 3]

“O you who believe! Turn in sincere repentance to Allah.” [The Forbidding: 8]

Please read the following:

Riyad al-Salihin Chapter on Repentance

Barak Allah fikum

Ustadha Umm Ihsan is a female student of Islamic knowledge from the US. She studies with leading Hanafi scholars from Syria and elsewhere.

Circumcision & Piety: Are These Conditions for the Validity of a Marriage?

Answered by Sidi Waseem Hussain

Question: I want to know if a lady got married to a man who had not done circumcision is the marriage still valid? Also what if he doesnt follow the religion and drinks? Is the nikah still valid or not?

Answer: Assalamu Alaykum Warahmatullah,

Being circumcised is neither a condition for being Muslim nor a condition for the validity of marriage.

Therefore, a marriage with a uncircumcised Muslim is valid.

Similarly, being free from sins is not at a condition for the validity of marriage.

Therefore, being married to someone who drinks or engages himself in other sinful activities will not render the marriage invalid.

However, as a caring wife, she should have concern for her husband and try to help him follow the religion. A key goal of marriage is mutually assisting one another in roder to become better muslims. If the spouse does not show concern for the religion, then one needs to try to help him gain that concern by positively addressing the issues and with a sense of love and care.

The proudness of a man will often make him disregard efforts from a confronting wife that tries to correct his errors. Therefore confrontational arguments about the issue may not bear any fruit. Rather, one has to try to use wisdom and perhaps demonstrate the many problems that are associated with drinking by showing, for example. the great damages drinking do.

But the issue should not be left untouched. Being Ramadan it may be a good time to try talking with the spouse about it.

May Allah give you success in your efforts,

Wassalam,
Waseem Hussain

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Asking Allah for Well-Being: The Sunna of the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace)

Answered by Sidi Waseem Hussain

Question: I was wondering do you know if there’s a hadith about a companion who was really sick and the Prophet prayed for his good health and then and told him never to pray for calamities because I think he had prayed for hardship. The thing is I have a friend who has been praying for tribulations and hardships. The first time she told me she had made this du`a in Makkah. She says it’s because she knows so many people who have suffered in life and she has life too easy. She says Allah tests people He loves and she thinks she’s a bad Muslim therefore being punished will help her feel good. Recently what’s come up is symptoms which the doctor has indicated could be cancer. Now she’s making du`a she gets cancer. I’m just very worried and tried explaining it to her, but if I can get a hadith I know she’ll take it to heart.

Answer: Assalamu Alaykum Warahmatullah

We always ask Allah for forgiveness and wellbeing. This is clearly stressed in many hadith.

There is a story quite close to the one mentioned that Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) visited a person from amongst the Muslims, in order to inquire about his health, who had become weak like a small bird. Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) said, “Did you supplicate for anything or ask Allah for something?” The man said, “Yes. I used to say: “Oh Allah, what you are going to punish me with in the Hereafter then hasten it for me in this life”. Thereupon, Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) said, “Glory be to Allah, you don’t have the ability to take it [the burden of His Punishment] upon yourself. Why did you not say, Oh Allah, grant us good in the world and good in the Hereafter, and save us from the torment of Fire?” The Prophet (may peace be upon him) made this supplication for him and he became well. [Muslim 2688, Tirmidhi 3487]

There are many other hadith, that stress the importance of always asking for wellbeing. Below are a few examples demonstrating this:

1. The Prophet (may Allahs peace and blessings be upon him) overheard a man asking for patience, so The Prophet (may peace be upon him) said to him, “You have asked Allah for a trial [to be patient in], rather ask for wellbeing.” [Tirmidhi 3527]

2. A man came to The Prophet (may peace be upon him) and asked him, “What supplication (du`a) is the best?” The Prophet (may peace be upon him) said, “To ask for wellbeing and cure in this world and the next”

The man came the next day and asked, “What supplication is the best?” The Prophet (may peace be upon him) answered the same as before. The man came the next day and asked the same thing. The Prophet (may peace be upon him) said, “If you are given wellbeing in this world and the next then you have succeeded.” [Tirmidhi 3512]

3. The Prophet (may Allahs peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Allah is not asked for anything more beloved to him than [being asked about] wellbeing” [Tirmidhi 3515]

4. The Prophet (may peace be upon him) ascended the mimbar crying and said, “Ask Allah for forgiveness and wellbeing, since no one has been given anything better than wellbeing after being given belief [in Islam].” [Tirmidhi 3588]

The above are examples of the sunna of the Prophet (may Allahs peace and blessings be upon him) and what he advised us to do. As it can be seen then we are not advised to supplicate for trials, tribulations and calamities upon ourselves. Rather we are advised to ask Allah to protect us and never to allow these aspects to befall us, and only when they befall us do we ask Allah to help us through them.

May Allah accept our prayers and grant you and your friend wellbeing in this world and the next,

Wassalam,

Waseem Hussain

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

عن أنس أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم عاد رجلا من المسلمين قد خفت فصار مثل الفرخ فقال له رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم هل كنت تدعو بشيء أو تسأله إياه ؟ قال نعم كنت أقول اللهم ما كنت معاقبي به في الآخرة فعجله لي في الدنيا فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم سبحان الله لا تطيقه – أو لا تستطيعه – أفلا قلت اللهم آتنا في الدنيا حسنة وفي الآخرة حسنة وقنا عذاب النار؟ قال فدعا الله له فشفا

عن معاذ بن جبل سمع النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم رجلا وهو يقول اللهم إني أسألك الصبر فقال سألت الله البلاء فسله العافية

عن أنس بن مالك: أن رجلا جاء إلى النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم فقال يا رسول الله أي الدعاء أفضل ؟ قال سل ربك العافية والمعافاة في الدنيا والآخرة ثم أتاه في اليوم الثاني فقال يا رسول الله أي الدعاء أفضل ؟ فقال له مثل ذلك ثم أتاه في اليوم الثالث فقال له مثل ذلك قال فإذا أعطيت العافية في الدنيا وأعطيتها في الآخرة فقد أفلحت

عن ابن عمر قال قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم : ما سئل الله شيئا أحب إليه من أن يسأل العافية

قام أبو بكر الصديق على المنبر ثم بكى فقال قام رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم عام الأول على المنبر ثم بكى فقال اسألوا الله العفو و العافية فإن أحد لم يعط بعد اليقين خيرا من العافية

Neutering Animals: Permissible or Not?

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: I would like to ask about neutering cats, as pets, they can make house najis so some poeple solve it with neutering them, but would this be ok, as it means we rid them of something Allah created them with.

Answer: Walaikum assalam,

In the Hanafi school, it would be permitted to do so if there is a clear benefit in doing so.

It is mentioned in the Fatawa al-Hindiyya, one of the most definitive works in Hanafi fiqh and used as an authority by Hanafi scholars everywhere,

“If there is a [clear] benefit or aversion of harm in castrating a cat, there is nothing wrong with it, as mentioned in al-Kubra.” [5.357]

This is also confirmed by Imam Haskafi in Durr al-Mukhtar.

Walaikum assalam,

Faraz Rabbani.