Istikhara Prayer for Marriage

Question: How do you read the signs for the istikhara prayer for marriage? Can you pray the prayer of need as well?

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

Dear questioner,

Thank you for your important question.

For the istikhara prayer, you should first ask all the relevant people all the relevant questions. Find out how this person is as a Muslim, a man, a breadwinner, a friend, etc.

Once the picture looks good and you personally feel that you could live with him as your husband, the istikhara helps to give you the good or protect you from the harm. There may not be particularly clear signs.

Please see:
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/hanafi-fiqh/istikhara-the-prayer-of-seeking-guidance/

With the Prayer of Need, you should be asking for a righteous and suitable husband, not for the man you want to marry. Let Allah decide for you.

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

My Dawn Prayer Entered Into the Sunrise

Question: If Fajr ends at 7:45 a.m, and I begin praying at 7:43 and finish at 7:45, is my prayer valid?

Answer: Yes, your dawn (fajr) prayer is considered valid as for the current performance, according to the Shafi`i school, although you incurred the sin (haram) of praying it partially during sunrise.

If less than one rak’a of one’s prayer occurs within the proper time (A: meaning that one does not lift one’s head from the second prostration of the rak’a before the time ends) and the remainder takes place after it, then the whole prayer is considered a make-up. If one rak’a or more takes place within the prayer’s time and the remainder is after it, then the prayer is considered a current performance, though it is unlawful to intentionally delay the prayer until part of it occurs after the time is finished. [The Reliance of the Traveller, f2.3]

As for the Hanafi school, this answer indicates that your fajr prayer was invalid and has to be made up. Fajr Prayer and Sunrise

I recommend this du’a to you from the Qur`an,

Lord, grant that I and my offspring may keep up the prayer. Our Lord, accept my request. [Qur`an, 14:40]

[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.

Pronouncing the Integrals of the Prayer Incorrectly

Question: If someone mispronounces the integrals of the prayer, is there prayer valid? Is the prayer of those who pray behind them valid?

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

Dear questioner,

Thank you for your important question.

If one has genuinely tried one’s best to pronounce the integrals of the prayer, and after trying for sometime one genuinely cannot physically pronounce it, then one is excused, and the prayer is valid (Bushra al Karim, Ba Ishn).

‘Allah does not burden any soul with more than it can bear’ (Qur’an, 2:286).

Being unable to pronounce such letters of the Fatiha would mean that one could not lead to prayer unless those following also could not pronounce such letters (Minhaj al Talibin, Nawawi). ‘Let him among you who recites the Book of Allah the best lead you in prayer’ (Muslim).

As for the opening takbir and the tashahhud, there is room for error in their pronunciation if one is generally incapable of pronouncing them correctly, and the prayer of the follower will still be valid (Taliqat Bughyat al Mustarshidin; Tuhfa al Muhtaj, Ibn Hajar).

However, if one prays in a country or locality where people generally cannot, or simply do not, pronounce the integrals of the prayer properly, then as long as their prayer is valid according to one of the Four Schools, one should pray behind them and not worry about making up any prayers.

The general rule is that whatever takes you away from the mosque is something bad and satanic.

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

 

In What Circumstances Is One Permitted to Break Their Prayer?

Question: Salam, I just wanted to know under what circumstances are you allowed to break your Salah?

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

It is not permissible to break the prayer without need. Allah Most High says, “O you who believe! Obey Allah and obey the Messenger and do not invalidate your deeds” [Qur’an; 47:33].

However, some situations permit one to break the prayer. Other situations could even make this necessary [Shurunbulali, Maraqi al -Falah].

Circumstances That Necessitate Breaking the Prayer

It is necessary to break the prayer, even if it be an obligatory prayer, in case of the following:

(1) If a person in danger calls for help and the one praying is able to help.

For example: If while one is praying they hear the cries of help of a person being oppressed and one is able to assist, it is necessary for them to break the prayer.

(2) If one is reasonably sure that a person will be harmed if one does not assist them.

For example, if a blind person is walking toward a hole or the edge of a rooftop and the one praying has the ability to stop them from falling, it is necessary for them to break their prayer and intervene.

Circumstances That Permit the Breaking of the Prayer

It is permissible to delay the prayer or break the prayer in the following cases:

(1) If one fears being robbed of their wealth.
(2) Due to the fear of a dangerous animal. This includes fear for one’s self or one’s flock.
(3) If the mid-wife fears for the child during pregnancy. This is if she is reasonably sure of imminent harm to the mother or the child due to her absence.
(4) For the traveler who fears highway robbers.

Summary

As is clear from the above, breaking the prayer is not permitted except in extraordinary circumstances. But if the need arises, such as the above examples, it may be obligatory for one to break their prayer.

Note that if one breaks an obligatory prayer before its completion it remains obligatory for them to pray. If one breaks a Nafl (voluntary) prayer it becomes necessary to make up that prayer from anew.

[The above is taken from – Tahtawi, Hashiya al-Tahtawi ‘ala 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 Qur’an and the Islamic sciences.

Proper Method of Performing the Supererogatory Prayers Before Midday and Afternoon Prayers

Question: As’Salamu Alaikum wa Rahmatullah, According to Hanafi Fiqh, how are the four Sunnah before Zohar and Asar to be offered? Is it two cycles each with separate Tasleem or four with one Tasleem? 

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

The four raka’a of sunna before dhuhr and asr is to be performed as four straight units ending with one salam. In the first sitting, one will stand up immediately after the tashhahud supplication. The Darood/salat on the Prophet (may Allah bless him and give him peace) will not be read except in the final sitting.

It has been narrated from the Prophet (may Allah bless him and give him peace) that He used to pray four raka’a after zawal (upon the entering of dhuhr time). He would not make salam except at the end [Tirmidhi].

Abu Ayyub al-Ansari (may Allah have mercy on him) narrates that the Prophet (may Allah bless him and give him peace) used to pray four raka’a before dhuhr prayer, when the sun would decline (i.e. upon the entering of dhuhr time). He would not separate them with a salam. And He (may Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Verily the doors of the heavens open when the sun declines” [Ibn Majah].

Hope this helps
Allahu A’alam

[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

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

How Do We Deal With Blameworthy Thoughts, Especially in Prayer?

Question: Is it considered ascribing partners to Allah (shirk) if one has the thought in their heart that they are prostrating to the person sitting in front of them? How do we deal with blameworthy thoughts, especially in prayer?

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

If one is praying toward the back of someone in front of them and the thought comes to their mind that they are prostrating to that person – one should immediately disregard such a thought. Such thoughts are from Satan and one is not held accountable for such thoughts.

“There is no harm in praying toward the back of someone sitting and talking…” [Murghinani, al-Hidaya].

However, it is prohibitively disliked to pray toward the face of someone in front of the one praying [Murghinani, al-Hidaya].

Hope this helps
Allahu A’alam

[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

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

Can I Make Personal Supplication During My Prayer After the Fatiha?

Question: It is said that when reciting the Qur’an one should pause at certain verses and ask for heaven and seek refuge from hell and make certain supplications and so forth. Is this when reciting outside of prayer or even in prayer? 

Answer: Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. The du`a that you refer to should be done outside of the prayer. This is one of the benefits of learning Arabic. One can understand at what point to supplicate.

Stopping in between one’s Qur`an recitation to make du`a while standing in Qiyam (standing position) of the prayer is not the correct time for this du`a. Please see the following article about the rulings on supplications during the prayer:

What are the Legal Rulings and Conditions for Supplications During the Prayer?

[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.

Is the Friday Prayer an Individual Obligation or a Communal Obligation?

Question: Is the Friday Prayer (Jumu’a) an individual obligation (Fard Ayn) or a communal obligation (Fard Kifaya)?

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

The Friday prayer (Jumu’a) is individually obligatory on everyone who fits the following seven conditions:

(1) Male
(2) Free
(3) Residing in a city
(4) Healthy (enough that attending the Jumu’a would not cause undue hardship)
(5) Safe from oppressors
(6) Able to see
(7) Able to walk

[Shurunbulali, Maraqi al -Falah]

Hope this helps
Allahu A’alam

[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

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

Can One Be Forgiven for Not Praying Properly in the Past?

Question: Can one be forgiven and still be able to go to paradise if they started praying properly recently but hasn’t prayed properly, if at all, in the past 5 years? Also, even if they fasted during Ramadan, will their fasts be counted if they didn’t pray. If not, what can they do to make it up?

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

Know that the mercy of Allah is open to all who sincerely repent. Sincere repentance is achieved by fulfilling the following conditions:

(1) Sincerely regretting one’s actions
(2) Desisting from the sin (in your case not missing any more prayers)
(3) Having a strong resolve to never repeat the sin

[Nawawi, Riyadh al-Salihin]

The fasts that you have done are still valid regardless of whether you were praying or not. They are two distinct obligations.

Seeking Knowledge

The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Seeking knowledge is obligatory on every Muslim” [Ibn Majah].

It is obligatory that you seek knowledge on how to perform the prayer properly.

Consider the StepsCertificate program here at SeekersGuidance.org

Hope this helps
And 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.

Can I Pray Tarawih in Congregation Over the Internet?

Question: I hope you are well inshallah. With Ramadan fast approaching and mosques closed due to the current situation, would it be permissible to pray Taraweeh over video conferencing?

Answer: Assalamu alaykum

It is not valid to perform congregational prayer over the internet and through video conferencing.

Legal Reasoning

The reason for this is that the imam and follower being in the same physical locality (ittihad al-makan) is a condition for the validity of a congregation. The act of following entails being dependent upon and subordinate in prayer, i.e. to the prayer of the imam. When an imam performs a prayer, a physical location is a necessary concomitant of it. Thus, in order to be validly deemed a ‘follower’ of someone in prayer, one must ‘follow’ the imam in terms of the physical area in which he prays. It is only then that the meaning of the following is fully realized (al-Kasani, al-Bada’i al-Sana’i).

If it were valid to perform prayers in the way you describe, it should actually be irrelevant whether an excuse exists or not. Rather, it should be deemed valid even in contexts where no pressing excuse exists. This is something no one states though because everyone recognizes that a virtual congregation does not fulfill the basic meaning of being a ‘follower’ in a traditional congregational setting (jama’a), and nor does this type of prayer fulfill the function a congregation is meant to serve.

In light of this, one should either perform tarawih in the congregation with the members of one’s household or pray by oneself.

Rewards are by Intentions

Undoubtedly, the inability to perform tarawih in the congregation at the mosque will greatly affect many people. But it should be noted that Allah rewards people for their intentions. If one intended to perform tarawih in the mosque but is unable to do so now because of COVID-19, he or she will have the reward of the congregation written down for him/her, inshallah.

Testing our Resolve and Sincerity

This is also a test for us: is our prayer purely for Allah? Will we continue bowing our heads to Him in the absence of others and the good feeling of belonging that we gain when performing prayer in the congregation in Ramadan when spirituality is everywhere in the air? We should ask Allah to grant us sincerity and the ability to worship Him no matter the circumstances we find ourselves in.

[Ustadh] Salman Younas

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Salman Younas was born and raised in New York and 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. There he studies Islamic law, legal methodology, belief, hadith methodology, logic, Arabic, and tafsir. Ustadh Salman’s personal interests include research into the fields of law/legal methodology, hadith, theology, as well as political theory, government, media, and ethics. He is also an avid traveler and book collector. He currently resides in Amman with his wife.