Sincere Memorization of Quran

Answered by Ustadh Farid Dingle

Question: Is it considered shirk [polytheism] or even being insincere to tell someone that you are going to memorize some of the Quran?

Answer: It is not shirk [polytheism] but could be considered showing off [riya]. You shouldn’t get too tied up in it.

Developing innate sincerity takes time and effort. You should work on that as a universal goal, and not get bogged down with the specifics of what you just said or meant.

Shirk-like Things

There are no such things as Shirk-like things: one either worships something besides Allah or does not. It is very clear.

In your case, you are clearly not worshiping your father or teacher, so there is no question as to whether or not your actions or words constituted shirk.

The hadith that says that ‘Shirk [polytheism] is more hidden among my nation than the crawling of ants over a smooth boulder on a dark night.’ (Hakim) does not mean that every Muslim is accidentally committing shirk every now and then. Rather it is referring to the propensity of people to show off in good deeds. (Sharh Umdat al Ahkam, Ibn Taymiyya)

The Graveness of Showing Off

Showing off in good deeds is a very natural thing. After all, we grow up “showing off” to our parents and teachers trying to please them by doing good things. That said, upon the onset of puberty we are obliged to re-tune our psyches such that the driving force behind all good deeds — indeed deeds as a whole — is Allah Most High alone.

Allah Most High says, ‘And all they were ordered to do was to worship Allah, keeping religion purely for Him, as men by nature upright, and to establish worship and to pay the poor-due. That is true religion.’ (Qur’an, 98:5)

And the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) explained in a lengthy Hadith Qudsi that the very first people for whom judgment will be made on the Day of Rising with be the martyr, the scholar, and the philanthropist who only did their good deeds out ostentation and showing off. All of whom will find their fate in the Hell-Fire. (Muslim)

So ostentation is no small matter.

Being Realistic

That said, completely purity of heart does not come overnight, and it takes work and perseverance. As the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said when they complained to him of their late of sincerity, ‘I swear by Him in whose hand is my soul, were you to be forever as you are will me in remembrance [of Allah and the Next Life], why, the very angels would be shaking your hands as you lay in bed or walk down the street! But, O Handhala [the questioner], sometimes [you are one way], and sometimes [you are another]! (Muslim)

This means we cannot expect to be perfect all the time. Rather we should resolve to try to be perfect: ‘But rather aim right, try your best, and “travel” in the morning, in the afternoon, and a little bit at night. Stick to moderation … Stick to moderation, and you will get where you need to be.’ (Bukhari and Muslim)

So we must strive to remove the cancerous diseases that we have in our hearts while bearing in mind that it is not flick-of-a-switch operation. As described by Imam Junayd, ‘Spiritual change [tasawwuf] is a war of attrition with no cease-fire.’ (al Risala al Qushayriyya, Qushayri)

Baby Steps

There are two simple things to ward off ostentation.

The first is to decide on a certain regular system of worship etc., and not change it no matter where you are or whom you are with.

The second is to watch the motives that come to your heart, and whenever you see that you are about to show off, stop yourself and make a new sincere intention to do the action purely for Allah’s sake.

This takes a lot of work, and it helps a lot to keep the company of people who have done this to themselves or are at least working on it too.

For more detail, please see: Imam Nawawi On Fighting The Ego (Nafs)

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.

Best Order To Study The Step One Courses

Answer by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Question: What is the best order to study the step-one courses?

Answer: Wa ‘alaykum as-salam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh

I pray you are well.

The step one courses are best studied in the following order:

1. Absolute Essentials of Islam (Hanafi or Shafi’i)

2. What Muslims Believe and Why: Dardir’s Kharida al-Bahiyya

3. How Islam Works: What is Religion, and How It Is Preserved, Transmitted, and Interpreted

4. On Worship (Purification, Prayer, Fasting, Zakat, and Hajj) – Hanafi, or Shafi’i

5. On Spirituality: Living the Sunna, Leaving Sin, and Acquiring Good Character: Ghazali’s Beginning of Guidance

6. Living Right: Halal and Haram and Living Prophetic Excellence (Hanafi or Shafi’i).

7. On Spirituality: Living the Sunna, Leaving Sin, and Acquiring Good Character: Ghazali’s Beginning of Guidance

The supplementary, self-study courses can be taken in any order. Whatever works best for you.

We only provide these courses in English, but you are welcome to study them elsewhere in Arabic if you have the opportunity. We also have a number of courses in Arabic in our Arabiyya catalog.

For spirituality, in addition to the courses in this step, there are a number of courses in our On-Demand library. Please consult those. You ask to contact your course instructor for more information.

I hope that helps. May Allah bless you with 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 erudite scholars such as Shaykh Adnan Darwish, Shaykh Abdurrahman Arjan, Shaykh Hussain Darwish, and Shaykh Muhammad Darwish. 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 with teachers such as Dr. Ashraf Muneeb, Dr. Salah Abu’l-Hajj, Dr. Hamza al-Bakri, Shaykh Ahmad Hasanat, Dr. Mansur Abu Zina, and others. He was also given licenses of mastery in the science of Qur’anic recital by Shakh Samir Jabir and Shaykh Yahya Qandil. With Shaykh Ali, he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Qur’anic sciences, tafsir, Arabic grammar, and Arabic eloquence.

Doubts About My Tawaf During Hajj

Answered by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Question: I have a constant gas problem, and I have recently performed Hajj. I’m having doubts about my tawaf al ziyara. Please advise.

Answer: Wa ‘alaykum as-salam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh.

I pray you are well.

Your tawaf is fine and perfectly valid. You can relax, and thank Allah for the opportunity of going.

Certainty is Not Removed by Doubt

The basic understanding is that you performed wudu and nothing which invalidates wudu occurred. You did not hear a sound nor did you smell anything. Therefore, the certainty of your being in a state of wudu is not removed by the doubts you had. (Zarqa, Sharh al Qawa’id al Fiqhiyya)

What you should do is busy yourself with what the prophets Ibrahim and Isma’il said when building the blessed Ka’ba, “O Dear, Loving Lord; accept [this] from us. Indeed, you the All-Hearing, All-Knowing.” (Qur’an, 2:127) An accepted Hajj will be priceless on the Day of Judgement.

May Allah accept your Hajj and that of everyone else who went this year. Amin.

[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim

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 erudite scholars such as Shaykh Adnan Darwish, Shaykh Abdurrahman Arjan, Shaykh Hussain Darwish, and Shaykh Muhammad Darwish. 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 with teachers such as Dr. Ashraf Muneeb, Dr. Salah Abu’l-Hajj, Dr. Hamza al-Bakri, Shaykh Ahmad Hasanat, Dr. Mansur Abu Zina, and others. He was also given licenses of mastery in the science of Qur’anic recital by Shakh Samir Jabir and Shaykh Yahya Qandil. With Shaykh Ali, he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Qur’anic sciences, tafsir, Arabic grammar, and Arabic eloquence.

Working With Non Halal Food

Answered by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Question: Is it permissible to deliver non-halal foods? I am considering working as a food delivery driver. This may involve having to deliver food and drink such as pork and alcohol.

Answer: Wa ‘alaykum as-salam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh.

My dear brother, I pray you are well.

Assisting in Sin

This issue returns to the fiqh principle of assisting in sin. According to Imam Abu Hanifa, the actual form of employment is permissible. Whoever the food or wine got to would ingest it voluntarily, through personal choice – which you are not responsible for. (Zayla’i, Tabyin al Haqa’iq)

However, given that Imam Abu Yusuf and Muhammad – the most prominent students of Imam Abu Hanifa – and the other three schools of fiqh consider it impermissible, it would be superior for you to seek alternative forms of employment.

It is better for your source of income to be a profession that all of the righteous mujtahid imams agreed on. This would be better for your relationship with Allah if it is something that is achievable in your situation.

Please refer to our archived answers on assisting in sin.

The Virtue of Asking

May Allah reward you abundantly for making the effort to ask before accepting the job. This is one of the implications of the verse ”Ask those who know the reminder if you do not.” (Qur’an,16:43) Doing so ensures that you have a sound answer to present on the Day of Judgement, and you have the reward of others who benefit from the answer.

May Allah reward you with 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 erudite scholars such as Shaykh Adnan Darwish, Shaykh Abdurrahman Arjan, Shaykh Hussain Darwish, and Shaykh Muhammad Darwish. 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 with teachers such as Dr. Ashraf Muneeb, Dr. Salah Abu’l-Hajj, Dr. Hamza al-Bakri, Shaykh Ahmad Hasanat, Dr. Mansur Abu Zina, and others. He was also given licenses of mastery in the science of Qur’anic recital by Shakh Samir Jabir and Shaykh Yahya Qandil. With Shaykh Ali, he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Qur’anic sciences, tafsir, Arabic grammar, and Arabic eloquence.

Make Up For Missing Prayers

Answered by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Question: Assalamu Alaikum, How does one make up for a large number of prayers (let’s say, years of them)? Does he/she have to make up for each individual prayer? Would they have to make up for all those prayers or would a general tawbah be required in such a case?

Answer: Wa ‘alaykum as-salam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh

I pray you’re well.

The Importance of the Prayer

The prayer is of central importance in Islam, and trying to perfect one’s prayer is a life-long objective of every believer. It is the purest act of worship through which slavehood to Allah Most High is expressed.

From puberty onwards, every believer is expected to perform the five fard prayers – and the wajib witr prayer for Hanafis – every day. If any of these are missing then one will be accountable for them on the Day of Judgement.

Therefore, all missed prayers must be made up – regardless of the reason behind them being missed. One must also repent from any prayers missed due to negligence.

The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, said, “The first thing a servant will be taken to account for on the Day of Judgement from his deeds is the prayer. If it is right he is successful and saved. Otherwise, he is ruined and has lost out.

The Lord – Infinitely Generous and Lofty is He – will say [to the angels], ‘Look; does my servant have any voluntary worship which can compensate for the deficiencies in his obligatory worship?’ Then the rest of his works will be treated in the same way.” (Abu Dawud).

This narration also highlights the importance of  the sunna prayers and voluntary worship.

How To Make Up Missed Prayers

The simplest way is to start from the point you reached puberty. If you do not know the precise month and year then make a good guess.

Once you have this date calculate the number of years, months, and days from puberty until you started to consistently pray properly. It might be wise to add 2% of this figure as a backup.

At this point you should start to make up the prayers. You do need to pray them in order, and there is no rush.

The easiest way is to start making up one day’s worth of prayers a day. The order can be mixed up to facilitate the process, though it is better to pray maghrib and the witr prayer in a place where no one can see you. This is to avoid letting others know that you missed prayers in the past. The other prayers can be passed of as voluntary prayers.

It is also important that you keep on top of your current prayers – they are a priority. Also, do not miss the emphasised sunnas: the two before fajr; the four before zuhr, and the two after it; the two after maghrib, and the two after ‘isha.

A sample routine could be that you make up:

before/after fajr – a previous zuhr

after sunrise until noon – a previous maghrib

after zuhr – a previous asr

before (ideally) / after asr (before the sun goes reddish) – a previous ‘isha

after maghrib – a previous fajr

before bed/tahajjud time – a previous witr.

This way you’ll be able to place the missed prayers in the slots of the recommended voluntary prayers without disrupting your routine much. Alternatively, you could find a 20 minutes slot in the day and pray them all back to back.

The Intention

The simplest intention is to say “I intend to make up the last fajr/zuhr/asr, etc prayer that I missed and have not prayed yet.” Do this for every prayer, and each time you perform a prayer one will be knocked off the list and the one prior to it will become ‘the last prayer you missed’

Keep a separate written record of how many days you have made up, ideally in a place you won’t lost it, such as iCloud.

Beware Of Burnout

The Devil will undoubtedly come and make you rush through the prayers, and also make you think the number you are doing isn’t enough. Ignore him. Start with making up one day a day, and when you have consistently done this for three months consider adding another day to the routine.

This way you will keep advancing. A small amount over a long period of time is better than a big sudden splash and then nothing. I know many people who have built up to consistently making up five days worth of prayers a day, and kept at it. This requires a bit of sacrifice but the fruits are well worth it.

As with everything, ask Allah for help, and tell Him you are doing this to please Him, and to fulfil His rights that you were deficient with. This way you will be rewarded for it all even if you die before completing them all. Allah is very kind and generous.

(Shurubnulali, Maraqi al Falah)

May Allah facilitate all matters for you.

[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 erudite scholars such as Shaykh Adnan Darwish, Shaykh Abdurrahman Arjan, Shaykh Hussain Darwish and Shaykh Muhammad Darwish. 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 with teachers such as Dr Ashraf Muneeb, Dr Salah Abu’l-Hajj, Dr Hamza al-Bakri, Shaykh Ahmad Hasanat, Dr Mansur Abu Zina, and others. He was also given licences of mastery in the science of Qur’anic recital by Shakh Samir Jabir and Shaykh Yahya Qandil. With Shaykh Ali, he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Qur’anic sciences, tafsir, Arabic grammar, and Arabic eloquence.

Prayer Timings In Places Far From the Equator

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question:

Assalamu alaikum, I’m considering moving to Anchorage, Alaska in a few months and i’m concerned about prayer timings. I know that fatwas have been issued about fasting in such regions, but I’m curious as to how prayer works in general. Have any fatwa in the Hanafi school been issued on this matter?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

Praying in the summertimes is a challenging issue for those who live in higher latitudes across the world. Given that Anchorage is situated beyond approximately fifty degrees north of the equator, the days are very long in summer, and consequently, prayer times are very close together through the night.

The first thing which becomes clear is that there is an actual sunset on every day of the year. Accordingly, the sunset prayer (maghrib) would need to be prayed at its proper time, and nothing else will do. This is because the prayer only becomes due when the legal cause (sabab) is realised, namely, the setting of the sun.

Determining ‘Isha and Fajr Times

The difficulty arises in determining the beginning times for both the nightfall (‘isha) and dawn (fajr) prayers. The reason for this is that the normal signs for both are absent, or at least unclear for the latter prayer. The later Hanafi school concluded that the nightfall prayer (‘isha) remains binding even in places where the legal cause isn’t found. This is what Muslims in such latitudes do, and it is the more precautionary position.

Given that is the case, the question is how to calculate the beginning of the time. If the shift to the position of Imam Abu Hanifa’s two companions (sahibayn) isn’t possible or practical, which is clearly the case because of your geographical location, then an alternative would be to follow a dispensation (rukhsa) from another legal school (madhhab) in order to pray without much delay after sunset. Thereafter, if you would like to uphold precaution (ihtiyat), you may make up (qada’) one nightfall prayer (‘isha) after the summer period is over, and when actual times have returned. The reason for this is that the prayer would only enter your dues on the first day of the period after the entry of the dawn prayer (fajr), and thus praying before the legal cause has been met would have been invalid. According to the Hanafis, in the case that the prayer time does not enter, the nightfall prayer (‘isha) would enter your dues after the entry of the dawn prayer (fajr), but determining if this is in fact the case is normally a little more complex.

As for the dawn prayer (fajr), there are two primary methods proposed by senior contemporary scholars: (a) closest day (aqrab al-ayyam), where the last real time for dawn is maintained, and (b) half the night (nisf al-layl), where the night is split into two halves. For all intents and purposes, the difference between these positions is nominal, and both are acceptable to follow. The latter position is arguably more precautionary, but the common Muslim won’t be held responsible on the Final Day for scholarly differences of opinion as the expectation is merely that he follows upright, learned, righteous, respected scholars.

Resting Well and Planning Ahead

Practically, and if we take the summer solstice as an example, you could sleep till midnight, then rise to awaken for the sunset prayer (maghrib). According to my calculations, the second half of the night would begin at approximately 2am. Thus, you’d only be up for about two hours at this time, give or take some, in order to pray these three prayers. This could incidentally be the time you engage in remembrances (adhkar), recitation, supplication or other acts of devotion too. Alternatively, you could pray the sunset (maghrib), and then arise for the dawn prayer (fajr) later and towards the end of its respective time, ensuring to pray the nightfall (‘isha) prayer before it.

So this is certainly something that you should consider well as being able to take care of your religious duties is important. If you have decided to move, then consider researching how the local community deals with this issue, and pray the Prayer of Need (salat al-hajah) regularly, seeking divine facilitation in fulfilling your obligations. I’d also suggest following the sunnas of sleep with greater rigour, taking a midday nap (qaylula), resting well after work, and trying out alternative medicines, if needed, to help find a suitable cure for your condition. Allah Most High says, “And whoever is mindful of Allah, He will make a way out for them.” (Sura al-Talaq 65:2)

If, despite trying, you find much hardship in following all of this, you can consider following a different legal school (madhhab) in this matter, if there is more leeway therein, in order to make your religious life more manageable. Undoubtedly, matters like this are more difficult for some than others, and you aren’t bound by a particular position, as long as, at the end of the day, you follow sound, reliable scholarship correctly by meeting all conditions (shurut) and integrals (arkan).

Finally, there are many nuances to this discussion, and differing possibilities, so the aforementioned is clearly not an exhaustive study of the topic. In the context of community prayers and the mosque, there may be other factors which need to be taken into consideration, so please bear that in mind. For a detailed and comprehensive treatment of this issue, I’d recommend Dr. Asim Yusuf’s “Shedding Light on the Dawn.”

(Ibn ‘Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar ‘ala al-Durr al-Mukhtar (2.506); Marjani, Nazurat al-Haqq; Tahtawi, Hashiyat al-Durr al-Mukhtar)

Please also see: How Should I Pray in a Country Where the Sun Doesn’t Set? and: How Can I Know the Time for Fajr in a Country Where There Is No Real Darkness? and: Fasting in Extreme Latitudes

And Allah Most High knows best.

Wassalam,

[Ustadh] Tabraze Azam

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Tabraze Azam was born and raised in Ipswich, a small town on the east coast of England. He memorized the Qur’an in his youth and has led congregations in tarawih prayers at home and abroad. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and Management from the University of Leicester, serving as the head of the university’s Islamic Society. Shortly thereafter, he moved to Amman, Jordan, to study the Islamic sciences full-time with a variety of distinguished traditional scholars. He is now an experienced teacher himself, answering religious questions regularly, and teaching students of knowledge privately and online. Presently, he is pursuing advanced studies and specialization in Amman where he resides with his wife and children.

Can Muslim Women Be Imams?

Answered by Ustadh Farid Dingle

Question: assalam alaykum, I´m from Italy and here some people think that Islam is for man and the woman have a second place in Islam. I see a program on tv, about women can be Imam, and they say this is a revolution inside Islam. So my question are: woman can be Imam in a community? She can be Imam for women and men? Where in the Holy Qur’an say that woman can’t be Imam for the Ummah?

Answer: Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

Dear questioner,

Gender equality in Islam

Allah looks at everyone equally and everyone is welcomed to draw near to Him in sincerity, dedication, fear and hope. Whoever excels another in these is greater in Allah’s eyes, regardless of race or gender.

Allah Most High says, ‘Verily, Muslim men and Muslim women, believing men and believing women, worshipful men and worshipful women, true men and true women, patient men and patient women, humbled men and humbled women, men and women who give in charity, men who fast and women who fast, men who protect their chastity and women, and men who remember Allah much and women, Allah has prepared for them [indescribable] forgiveness and a tremendous reward.’ [33: 35]

So All men and women are equal before Allah, irrespective of gender.

That said, Allah has also told us in the Quran that He has not given everyone in this life the same provision, and rights and responsibilities:

´It is We who have divided up each person’s livelihood in the Lower Life, and we have raised some over other whole categories such that some should be subject to others. And your Lord’s mercy is better than that which they amass’ [43: 32]

Some people are rich, and that gives them the right to buy things that others can’t; that also gives them the responsibility to support others. Some people are strong and healthy, and that gives them the right to enjoy their health, and the responsibility to defend the weak. Some people are really intelligent and have the ability and therefore the responsibility to fulfill certain communal obligations, such as being a brain surgeon or a mufti. Some others do not have such capabilities, such opportunities, etc., and this is all from the wisdom and mercy of Allah.

None of this “favouritism” reflects how Allah looks at His slaves: they are all equal and their true and ultimate rank is how they are morally.

And one such way that Allah has apportioned and organised temporal life in this “Lower Life” is that He has not made men and women the same, and has not given them the same rights and responsibilities.

Allah has said in the Quran, ‘Men are in charge of women because We have given more to some than others.’ [4: 34]

Men are not women, and women are not men. Allah has made two genders to compliment one another, and has put one in charge of the other in this life, even though they are equal before Allah’s eyes in the next.

Well, to what degree are men in charge of women?

Generally speaking, no man has any control or say in what another man or woman does. However the general tack in Islam is that men are in charge of leadership roles, such as being the caliph, judgeship, leading the household, and leading the Eid and Friday prayers.

Woman can be and do many things: they can be politicians, muftis, CEOs, millionaires, writers, revolutionists, mothers, astronauts, you name it! But there is a general hierarchy in things that touch the structure and performance of the Muslim community.

This responsibility, dictates that one follow the other, and the other show mercy, consideration, stewardship to the other in light of the grave responsibility that rests on his shoulders. This hierarchy is for everyone’s benefit: emotionally, physically, financially, politically, economically …

Responsibility means answerability: so men, or women, who abuse their rights and do not fulfill their what is required of them, must provide an answer for their transgressions before a Sharia court in this life, and Allah’s court in the next.

For more details on Women’s active role in the authority, please see: Do the Hadiths Say Women Can’t Be Leaders?

Can women lead the prayer

Please see: How a Female Imam Should Lead a Congregation of Women in Prayer? [Shafi’i School]

An Explanation of the Hanafi School’s Position on Women’s Congregational Prayer

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 crafts lessons that help non-Arabic speakers gain a deep understanding of the language. He currently teaches courses in the Arabic Language.

Ghusl and Make Up Prayers

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam alaykum

Alhamdulillah after many years I finished my make ups. I didn’t know that scholars mention to put your finger in your bellybutton when making ghusl. It seems even without this though in modern showers plenty of water gets into my bellybutton. Is it pretty safe (ghalabat dhann) to assume that water got in and I can consider all my prayers done?

Answer:

Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

Given the amount of water used in prevalent, powerful showers, it would seem to be safe to assume that water reached the area, even if you didn’t specifically wash the navel.

The basis is that you have to ensure that water reaches your entire outer body, yet including mouth and nose as they are legally both from the inner and outer body. Allah Most High says, “If you are in a state of full impurity, then take a full bath.” (Sura al-Ma’ida 5:6) And it is reported that the Blessed Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) used to rinse his mouth and nose in his ritual bath (ghusl) without fail. (Bukhari)

Keep in mind that there is a difference between bathing or showering to lift major ritual impurity (janaba), and merely doing so for cleanliness or to attain a sunna. In the latter case, rinsing your mouth and nose, and getting water to your navel would be from completion, and a sunna, but not an obligatory duty.

Now that you’ve finished making up your missed prayers, you should strive to ensure you have no other religious debts due, such as missed fasts, zakat or end of Ramadan charity (sadaqat al-fitr) and the like. Thereafter, work on lifting your monetary debts, if any, and learning about the unlawful (haram) and removing it from your life. Continue to ask Allah Most High to grant your facilitation and sincerity in seeking His pleasure.

(Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah, with Tahtawi’s Gloss (1.152/156); al-Fatawa al-Hindiyya)

And Allah Most High knows best.

Wassalam,

[Ustadh] Tabraze Azam

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Tabraze Azam holds a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Leicester, where he also served as the President of the Islamic Society. He memorised the entire Qur’an in his hometown of Ipswich at the tender age of sixteen, and has since studied the Islamic Sciences in traditional settings in the UK, Jordan and Turkey. He is currently pursuing advanced studies in Jordan, where he is presently based with his family.

Performing Eid Prayers at Home

Answered by Shaykh Salman Younas

Question: Assalam aleykum

Given the current situation with COVID-19 and the closures/restrictions on mosques and public gatherings, is it permitted to perform the ʿĪd prayer at home individually or in congregation?

Answer: assalamu alaykum

There is a difference of opinion between the various schools on this issue. Given the current situation, people are permitted and encouraged to perform the ʿĪd prayer at home.

The Ḥanafī School

According to the Ḥanafī school, the ʿĪd prayer is not performed at home by individuals. Rather, it is a communal event similar to the Friday prayer that needs to fulfil the same conditions as the latter including being performed in congregation, with the community and its designated imam(s), and in a publicly accessible area. (al-Kāsānī, Badāʿi al-ṣanā’iʿ, 1:275; Ṣadr al-Sharīʿa, Sharḥ al-wiqāya, 1:183; Ibn al-Humām, Fatḥ al-qadīr, 2:29)

Three further questions arise following this relevant to the current situation:

(a) If one is unable to perform the ʿĪd prayer, or misses its performance with the community, should he perform another prayer? All major texts of the school state that it is recommended in this case to perform a normal supererogatory prayer instead at home, which may be two or four cycles and can count as ṣalāt al-ḍuḥā.

(b) Can this prayer be performed in congregation? The general rule in the Ḥanafī school is that it is neither recommended nor a sunna to perform supererogatory prayers in congregation and it may actually be disliked. However, some jurists mention that it would be permitted without dislikedness to perform supererogatory prayers in congregation if it is (i) done only on the rare occasion and (ii) in small congregations not involving openly inviting large numbers of people to the prayer. (Ibn ʿĀbidīn, Radd al-muḥtār, 2:500-01; Ḥanafīs usually define the second condition as a congregation of less than four individuals, but the applicability of this to a very limited and restrictive household setting performing a one-off prayer is arguable).

(c) Is there any difference of opinion in the Ḥanafī school on the ruling of performing ʿĪd at home? Yes, there are scholars in the school who interpret the conditions for the ʿĪd prayer in a manner that would permit the performance of this prayer at home with a minimum congregation of four people. This is not my preferred reading of the school.

Other Schools

The Shafiʿī school permits ʿĪd prayer at home – whether individually or as part of a congregation – because they deem the ʿĪd prayer as similar to any other supererogatory prayer. It is performed as two cycles with twelve extra takbīrāt – seven in the first cycle immediately after the opening supplication (istiftāḥ) and five upon rising for the second cycle before the taʿawwudh. (al-Nawawī, Rawdat al-ṭālibīn, 1:578).

The Mālikī and Ḥanbalī schools also have mainstream and relied-upon views permitting ʿĪd at home. For details, one should consult scholars from these schools.

COVID-19, ʿĪd Prayer, & Festivities

In light of the difference of opinion on the issue, the unprecedented situation Muslim are facing, and the need for many to maintain the performance of ʿĪd and make it a day of joyous celebration, gratitude to Allah, and worship for one’s family, individuals are permitted and in fact encouraged to perform ʿĪd prayers at home – whether individually or in congregation with their families.

If someone chooses to follow the stronger Ḥanafī view that ʿĪd is not permitted in the home, they may perform a normal supererogatory prayer with their family, i.e. even as a congregation, but they should not add any extra takbīrāt. This would be permitted as it is a rare and one-off occurrence with the limited members of one’s household.

It is also recommended for people to continue honouring this day by taking a bath, wearing one’s best clothing, applying fragrances, maintaining familial ties, and, importantly, making efforts to make the day memorable for children by partaking in things that elicit happiness and jubilation. As the Prophet (blessings upon him) said, “Every nation has its day of celebration, and this is our day of celebration.” (al-Bukhārī) The reality of this day as one of celebration where we express thankfulness to Allah remains even if we are unable to proceed with ʿĪd in the manner normally done in the past.

And Allah alone knows best

[Shaykh] Salman Younas

May 11th, 2020
17th Ramadan, 1441

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Salman Younas  graduated from Stony Brook University with a degree in Political Science and Religious Studies. After studying the Islamic sciences online and with local scholars in New York, Ustadh Salman moved to Amman where he spent five years studying Islamic law, legal methodology, belief, hadith methodology, logic, Arabic, and tafsir. He is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Oxford and continues his traditional studies with scholars in the United Kingdom.

Zakat and Loans

Answered by Shaykh Salman Younas

Question: Assalam aleykum

One of my friends is a University student and he has to take a loan to complete University. So, last year he took a loan and finished his first year but he did not use all of the loan money. The loan money he had on January 3, 2019 on his bank account was more than the Nisab and he kept the loan money for a year unused. He is currently on second year and he is planning on paying all the loan all together once he finishes University which is in 2 more years. Does my friend has to pay Zakat because he kept the loan money for a year without using it and it was above the Nisab amount for a year?

Answer: assalamu alaykum

When calculating one’s nisab, one includes any cash/money that they possess as part of their zakatable assets. This also applies to loan money that has been dispersed to a person’s bank account.

Even though one is meant to deduct debts owed when calculating the nisab, this will not apply in this case as the individual in question is not required to pay back anything at the moment but only after finishing university. At that point, one can deduct any immediate payments he owes.

[Shaykh] Salman Younas

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Salman Younas  graduated from Stony Brook University with a degree in Political Science and Religious Studies. After studying the Islamic sciences online and with local scholars in New York, Ustadh Salman moved to Amman where he spent five years studying Islamic law, legal methodology, belief, hadith methodology, logic, Arabic, and tafsir. He is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Oxford and continues his traditional studies with scholars in the United Kingdom.