Witr Prayer Time

Question: Is it true that Witr prayer must be finished at least 10-12 minutes before Fajr time enters?

Answer: 

In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate

The Witr prayer is valid if performed anytime between the performance of ‘Isha and the entering of the Fajr prayer [Tahtawi/Shurunbulali, Hashiyat Maraqi al-Falah].

There is no stipulation that the Witr prayer must be complete 10 minutes before the Fajr prayer. Your prayers are thus valid and do not require repeating.

Hope this helps.

Allah knows best
[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch

 

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

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

Mispronunciation of the Fatiha

Question: I am a non-Arab who has OCD. After learning that mistakes in the Fatiha can invalidate salah, prayer is a burden and I get waswasa to stop praying. I spend about 10 to 12 minutes to pray my fard. I repeat many words of the Fatiha. My letter `ayn is not very good, does this invalidate the prayer? If I mispronounce in the first rak`ah but realize it in the 3rd or 4th rak`ah, what should be done? Are the following points true? A: Interchanging the ﻕ and ﻙ does not nullify salat. B: Likewise for interchanging ﺱ and ﺹ. C: Reciting “iyaka na’budu” in place of iyyaaka na’budu does not nullify the prayer. D: Pronouncing the letter ﻆ like a ﺯ during the ruku` nullifies the prayer because it changes the meaning. (Radd-ul-mukhtar) E: If I mispronounce a letter of the Fatiha is it obligatory to go back and pronounce it correctly even though it wasn’t intentional? F: If I say arrrahman nirrrahim instead of what I am supposed to say, would it invalidate it?

Answer:

Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. I empathize with your frustration and distress and I pray that you can resolve this soon. Allah has not placed a burden on people to be perfect, but rather Muslims should learn their religion and do the best they can. It will not go unrewarded, by His grace. This is the upshot.

Here is the section on mistakes in the Fatiha, from the Reliance of the Traveller, to give you an overall idea of the ruling:

“If one omits one of the Fatiha’s letters (Ar. harf, a consonant or long vowel (A: mistakes in a short vowel (haraka) do not harm as long as they do not alter the meaning)), fails to double a letter that should be doubled, or substitutes a wrong letter for the right one, it invalidates (0: one’s recital of that particular word and one must recite the word again (dis: s3.3). But it does not invalidate one’s prayer unless it changes the meaning and was done deliberately)”[f18.8].

The letter `Ayn

Your pronunciation of this letter is acceptable according to your description and you should no longer worry about it. Don’t allow waswasa to make your decisions for you.

Interchanging the letters Qaf & Kaf and Sad & Sin

Your prayer remains valid if you have interchanged the letters above during the Fatiha, as long as the meaning hasn’t changed and you did not do it deliberately. If you do notice some errors, you should go back and fix them once, but you are excused otherwise because you are learning. Do sit with a tajweed teacher in order to learn how to pronounce them correctly and not overthink it.

Realizing a mistake later on

In your case, if you have made a mistake in the first rak`ah and realize in the third, I would attribute this to waswasa (baseless misgivings) and it should be ignored. As long as you are working on improving your pronunciation with a teacher, you don’t need to repeat prayers or rak` ahs.

Doubling the ya’

If you mispronounced ‘iyyaka‘, by not doubling the ya’, you should go back and pronounce it with a shadda, but not more than once. Don’t let waswasa take hold of you. This shadda will quickly become a habit and you won’t forget it again, by the grace of Allah.

The Basmala

As for your last point, it is obligatory to say the Basmala as it is considered one of the verses of the Fatiha: Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem. Also be sure to recite the Ta`awwudh before the Fatiha so the Devil doesn’t whisper to you about your pronunciation: A`udhu biLahi minash Shaytanir rajeem.

Please see this answer for more detailed answers to your question:
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/prayer-shafii-fiqh/invalidation-prayer-inaccurate-pronunciation/

And finally, see below an excerpt from the Reliance of the Traveller about delusions and how they are seen by traditional scholars:

“s3.3 Others are so bedeviled by inner misgivings at their initial Allahu Akbar in the prayer that they may miss a rak’a with the imam. And like them are those with obsessive doubts about the proper pronunciation of the letters of the Fatiha and other spoken elements of the prayer. One of them may take precaution upon precaution in doubling the doubled letters, distinguishing ض from ظ, and so forth, beyond the necessary, until he is finally so concerned about it that he does not think about anything else, neglecting the meaning of the Koran and the lessons he should be taking from it. And this is among the ugliest forms of delusion, for people are not required to pronounce the letters when reciting the Koran with more precision than that with which classical Arabic is normally spoken. Such people are as if delivering a message to a ruler, the messenger fastidiously pronouncing each letter and repeating those he is unsatisfied with, having quite forgotten the purpose of the message and the dignity of the assembly before whom he is delivering it. How richly such a person deserves to be thrown out and taught a lesson.”

The Prophet, may Allah bless him and give him peace, said, “One who is skilled in the Qur’an is associated with the noble, upright recording angels, and he who falters when he recites the Qur’an and finds it difficult for him will have a double reward [Abu Dawud].

May Allah reward you for your efforts!

[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad

 

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

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

Praying Behind Imam

Question: How do I know if I caught the rak’a with the Imam?
Answer: 

In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate
You have caught the unit of prayer (rak’a) with the Imam if you reach the minimum bowing while the Imam is still bowing. The minimum bowing is such that your hand could reach your knees [Tahtawi/Shurunbulali, Hashiyat Maraqi al-Falah].
Ibn ‘Umar is narrated to have said, “If you reach the Imam while he is bowing, and you bow before he rises, you have caught (i.e. that cycle of prayer). If he raises before you bow then you have missed it” [Abd al-Razzaq, Musannaf].
Summary

If you are reasonably sure that you reached the minimum bowing whilst the imam has not raised from the bowing – you have caught that unit of prayer with the Imam.The basis is that the Imam is in the bowing position. If you are not sure that he left that position, assume that he hadn’t.Hope this helps.

Allah knows best
[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

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

 

Sending Prayers on The Prophet (may Allah bless him and give him peace)

Question: What is the ruling of sending prayers on the Prophet (may Allah bless him and give him peace) in the prostration?

Answer:

In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate

Sending prayers on the Prophet (may Allah bless him and give him peace) in the prostration would take on the same ruling as supplicating in the prostration.

This is because sending prayers on the Prophet is a supplication for him.

Supplicating in the Prostration

Supplicating in the prostration is seen as a great deed and the Prophet (may Allah bless him and give him peace) encouraged it.

The Prophet (may Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “The closest a slave is to his Lord is when he is prostrating. So make abundant supplication (therein)” [Muslim].

Limited to Voluntary Prayers

However, supplicating in the prostration should be done when one is prayer voluntary prayers [Ibn ‘Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar citing Fath al-Qadir].

To do so in congregational prayers, especially when leading, may entail difficulty on the followers as is expressed in the following Prophetic narration:

“If any of you leads the people in prayer, let them be brief – for verily amongst them are the weak, the sick, and the elderly. And if any of you is praying alone, let them extend as they wish” [Bukhari].

[Tahtawi/Shurunbulali, Hashiyat Maraqi al-Falah]

Following the Sunna Takes Precedence

Even though sending prayers on the Prophet (may Allah bless him and give him peace) is one of the greatest good deeds, it is better to follow the practice of the Prophet (may Allah bless him and give him peace) himself.

The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “When any of you bows, let them say, three times, – Subhana Rabbi al-Adhim; and when any of you prostrates, let them say – Subhana Rabbi al-A’ala – three times and that is the least” [Tirmidhi, Abu Dawud].

Summary

If you are praying alone, it is permissible to supplicate in the prostration which includes sending prayers on the Prophet (may Allah bless him and give him peace); otherwise one sticks to the practice of the Prophet – saying Subhana Rabbi al-Adhim thrice.

Hope this helps.

Allah knows best
[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

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

Missing Prostrations in Quran Recitation

Question: How do I calculate and make up missed prostrations of the recital?

Answer: 

In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate

Making an exact calculation of your years of missed prostrations of the recital will be difficult and nearly impossible. For this reason, take the following steps:

(1) Come up with an estimate that you are reasonably sure covers the amount of missed prostrations
(2) Add a little more to that number for certainty
(3) Take a practical amount of prostrations to do daily in order to slowly chip away at the number owed
(4) Start making up your determined amount daily while having the strong resolve to eventually, even if in the distant future, make them all up.

Note that if you recite new verses of prostration, you should do the prostration immediately and strive not to put it off as this will only add to your prostrations.

Hope this helps.

Allah knows best
[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

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

Praying Friday Prayer

Muslims

Question: I work in logistics and transportation. Am I obliged to pray Jumuah every week without exception?

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

Dear questioner,

Thank you for your important question.

Praying the Friday Prayer is very, very important, and takes precedence over earning money. Allah Most High says:

O believers! When the call to prayer is made on Friday, then proceed diligently to the remembrance of Allah and leave off business. That is best for you, if only you knew.
Once the prayer is over, disperse throughout the land and seek the bounty of Allah. And remember Allah often so you may be successful.
When they saw the fanfare along with the caravan, they ˹almost all˺ flocked to it, leaving you [O Prophet] standing [on the pulpit]. Say, ‘What is with Allah is far better than amusement and merchandise. And Allah is the Best Provider.

(Qur’an, 62: 9-11)

At the same time, Allah does not ask us to starve or beg from other people. If it really is the case that the only way one can earn money for one’s basic needs is to work on a Friday, and at a time when one would miss the Friday Prayer, then one is excused from attending (Kashaf al Qina, Bahuti). This would apply whether or not one was physically close to the mosque.

No one has to be very, very careful here. Just because it is awkward, impractical, annoying, or “not done” to go to prayer while at work, that does not mean that one is excused. Rather it means that the company one works for flat out refuses and only gives the option of skipping the Friday Prayer or losing one’s job. Similarly, it could be the very nature of the task, such as a surgery that has to happen at that very time that no one else could do. Normally, where there is a will, there is a way, and people (particularly in the West) are considerate about personal religious obligations.

Please also see:
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/hanafi-fiqh/is-it-permissible-to-miss-the-friday-prayer-due-to-an-exam/

When working in transport and delivery etc., there is a separate dispensation that applies. If one is driving a long distance from one’s city (more than 50 miles), then one is not obliged to pray the Friday Prayer, to begin with.

This is assuming one left one’s city before Fajr on Friday, and that one does not intend to stay at the destination for four full days (Bushra al Karim, Ba Ishn).

Please also see:
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/shafii-fiqh/friday-prayer-and-travel-shafii/

If one leaves after Fajr, then one is still obliged to pray the Friday Prayer, either in one’s town or somewhere else. The only excuse would be if the nature of the work wouldn’t allow one to do so, as mentioned above.

In summary, while traveling for work, one is either excused to pray to begin with or when one’s sole source of essential income could not possibly be earned if one were to attend the Friday Prayer.

Please also see:

https://seekersguidance.org/answers/hanafi-fiqh/is-it-permissible-to-miss-the-friday-prayer-in-the-west-because-of-work/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NKhTP6BGtTo

I pray this helps.

[Ustadh] Farid

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

Permissible Times for Make Up Prayers

Difficult Mercy

Question: Is it permissible to make up of the Witr prayer in times when voluntary prayers (nafl) are not allowed, such as after Fajr?

Is there any basis in the Hanafi school for wiping the elbows before washing the feet?

Answer:

In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate

Making up the Witr prayer or any other obligatory prayer after the Fajr or Asr prayers – is permissible and the prayer is valid without dislike [Tahtawi/Shurunbulali, Hashiyat Maraqi al-Falah].

The prohibition in these times is for voluntary prayers. The Prophet (may Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “There is no prayer after the Asr prayer until the sun sets and there is no prayer after the Fajr prayer until the sun rises” [Muslim].

The reasoning behind the prohibition is that these times are solely meant for the obligatory prayer specific to that time. This is why other obligatory (or necessary) prayers do not go against this reasoning and thus are not prohibited [Tahtawi/Shurunbulali, Hashiyat Maraqi al-Falah].

Note:

It is important to note that it is not permissible to perform any prayers in the following three times if the prayer entered into one’s obligation before the entering of these times. The three times are:

(1) When the sphere of the sun appears over the horizon until it fully rises a spear’s length.

(2) When the sun is at its zenith in the sky until it begins to decline – signifying the entrance of the Dhuhr prayer.

(3) When the sun’s light weakens and the color of the sky changes prior to Maghrib prayer until the sunsets. Note the current days Asr prayer is valid in this time, yet delaying it till such a time is prohibitively disliked if without excuse.

[Tahtawi/Shurunbulali, Hashiyat Maraqi al-Falah]

Hope this helps.

Allah knows best
[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

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

 

 

Reciting the Qur’an in the Ritual Prayer (Salat)

Question: Is reciting the Qur’an in the ritual prayer (salat) the same as praying outside of the ritual prayer?

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

Dear questioner,

Thank you for your important question.

Reciting the Qur’an in the ritual prayer (salat) is different from reciting it normally, and that is for a number of reasons.

Firstly, by opening the prayer with the takbir (saying Allahu akbar) one is in a sacred state (much like pilgrim sanctity), and that makes everything one does far greater on a spiritual level.

Secondly, reciting (a certain amount) of the Qur’an in the prayer is an obligation, while reciting the Qur’an normally is a sunna. This means that reciting Qur’an in prayer is more in Allah’s eyes and the reward He gives for it is more.

Also, there are many hadiths that mention the merit of reciting the Qur’an, and many of them mention the context of reciting the Qur’an specifically in prayer. For example, one hadith mentions how the angels descended around the Companion Usayd ibn Khudayr as he recited Qur’an at night in prayer (Bukhari and Muslim).

So reciting Qur’an is an amazing thing, but greater still is reciting it in prayer.

I pray this helps.

[Ustadh] Farid

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

Washing the Face in Wudu

Question: How do you wash your face in wudu? Do you have to scrub your eyebrows and beard to make sure water gets underneath?

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

Dear questioner,

Thank you for your important question.

Allah Most High tells in the Qur’an, ‘When you get up to pray, wash your faces …’ (Qur’an 5: 6).

It is really that simple. Wash your face.

All the fuqaha explain is that if one had exceptionally thick and dense eyebrows and mustache, you would have to make sure the water reached the skin. This is normally not the case and any normal washing would do the job.

Similarly, with the beard, the fuqaha are just saying that because it is hard to get inside the beard, one is excused if it is thick. The skin under a thin beard would naturally get washed along with washing the face in a normal way.

There is no need to get complicated or over-concerned about things.

A book like Reliance read with a teacher will show you that. Without a teacher, you can get really lost.

Please see this video on how to make wudu:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gR7jJP4bl8A

I pray this helps.

[Ustadh] Farid

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

Losing Wudu While Praying

Question:  I came home from my university and went to the toilet to answer call of nature. After cleaning myself (istinja) I performed my wudu and started praying the maghrib prayer. The time left was short. However, during probably 2nd or 3rd rakah, I felt that a drop of urine had come out suddenly (I’m 100% sure it had come out ). I continued my prayer nonetheless. Was my prayer valid?

Answer:
In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,

Assalam’aleykum, I pray this finds you in the best of states.

Jazakum Allah khayr for your question!

Of the conditions for a valid prayer is to maintain a state of ritual purity for the full duration of the prayer [ Maraqi Al Falah].

This would entail that your prayer was not valid and needs to be repeated as you are sure that your wudu was broken during the prayer.

Having said this please don’t fall prey to misgivings regarding your state of purity.

Please see:

https://seekersguidance.org/answers/hanafi-fiqh/ritual-purity-urine-leakage-and-misgivings/

And Allah knows best. I hope that the above answers your question. If something is unclear please don’t hesitate to ask again.

May  Allah Most High grant you the best of this world and the next. Please keep us in your du’as!

Wassalam

[Ustadh]  Sufyan Qufi

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani