I Am Afraid That I Am Losing My Faith Because I Am Not Establishing My Prayer. What Do I Do?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: I have been spending hours watching TV and ignoring my prayers. I made the Umra for the first time recently. But even after coming back missing my prayers seems not to bother me at all.

I am really afraid that I have lost my faith. I love Islam. I don’t want to lose it at any cost. What can I do to turn to Allah?

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

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

Ramadan

Alhamdulilah, the fact that you have written in to ask about your state is a sign that Allah wants good for you.

It’s extremely important that you renew your intention to commit to Allah, and to establishing prayer the minute you read this. Following the guidelines of the Shari’ah is your path to attaining Allah’s Mercy. Turn to Allah in sincere repentance, and ask Him to keep you guided.

Alhamdulilah, the blessed month of Ramadan is right around the corner. I urge you to make the most of the winds of mercy throughout Ramadan. Ensure that you revise the fiqh of fasting (Shafi’i school of thought or Hanafi school of thought) and set the intention to draw closer to Allah through obligatory acts of worship, especially prayer and fasting.

Please bear in mind that it is obligatory for you to pay back your missed obligatory prayers, instead of praying tarawih. I repeat – do not pray tarawih until you have paid back your missed obligatory prayers. It would be sinful for you to pray tarawih instead of paying back your missed obligatory prayers.

Prayer

Is better to uphold the prayer even if your heart is not in it, compared to leaving it completely. None of us will ever truly worship Allah in the way He deserves. All we can do is spend our lives trying our best, and picking ourselves up when we fall. Don’t fall for the trap of trying to be the ‘perfect’ Muslim, and then abandon prayer when it doesn’t feel good enough for Allah. Do your part, and leave the rest to Allah.

Dua

Please recite this beautiful dua every day, after every prayer, with the intention of strengthening your faith.

Shahr ibn Hawshab (may Allah be pleased with him) said, “I said to Umm Salama, ‘O Mother of the believers! What was the most frequent supplication of the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and give him peace) when he was with you?’ She said, “His most frequent supplication was, ‘O Turner of the hearts, make my heart firm in Your deen!’” [Tirmidhi]

‏يا مقلب القلوب ثبت قلبي على دينك‏
Ya muqallibal-qulubi, thabbit qalbi ‘ala deenika

Reflection

“Who have believed and whose hearts have rest in the remembrance of Allah. Verily in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest!” [Qur’an, 13:38]

Is there something in your life you are trying to avoid? Is there something causing you pain or discomfort? I encourage you to sit out in nature and reflect on what could be causing your state of heedlessness. Look carefully at the source of your income, the food you are eating, and the company you keep.

Please see:
How Do I Raise My Resolve to do Good & Overcome Hardness of the Heart?
How Do I Strengthen My Faith and Truly Repent?

Wassalam,
Raidah

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Should I Pray the 2 Cycles of Greeting the Mosque When I Enter the Prayer Room of My University?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question:Assalam alaykum,

Should I pray the 2 cycles of greeting the mosque before praying my prayers when I enter the prayer room of my university?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

No, the sunna of praying two cycles (rak`ats) of greeting the mosque (tahiyyat al-masjid) is specific to mosques, and not all prayer spaces. As such, you do not need to pray such a prayer. However, and in a general sense, you should still give the area the respect and dignity you would give a mosque as veneration for the sacred is a part of our religion.

Allah Most High says, “Whoever honours God’s symbols shows the piety of their hearts.” [22.32]

Please also see: The Prayer of Greeting the Mosque (tahiyyat al-masjid)

And Allah Most High alone knows best.
wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Photo: Chongkian

Is It Recommended to Raise My Hands in Supplication After the Call to Prayer?

Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas

Question: I was told to not raise my hands in supplication after giving/hearing the call to prayer. Is it recommended to raise my hands in supplication after the call to prayer?

Answer: Assalamu alaykum

Raising the hands when engaging in supplication is established from the sunna.

The Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him) said, “God is shy to return His servant empty handed when he raises his hands to Him in supplication.” [al-Tirmidhi, Sunan]

In another tradition, the Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him) mentions a “disheveled man who raises his hands to the sky saying, ‘My Lord!'” [Muslim, Sahih]

Imam al-Suyuti gathered a number of other traditions on the issue in a treatise entitled al-Fadd al-wi`a’ fi ahadith raf` al-yadayn fi al-du`a. Consequently, scholars identified raising the hands during supplication as a general adab/sunna with the exception of a few occasions, such as certain supplications while in prayer. [al-Haytami, al-Fatawa al-Fiqhiya al-Kubra (1:252-53); Ali al-Qari, Mirqat al-Mafatih (5:126-27)]

Supplicating Between the Adhan and Iqama

Following from the above, supplication between the adhan and iqama is affirmed in the primary texts. Anas ibn Malik relates that the Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him) said, “Supplication between the adhan and iqama is not rejected.” [al-Tirmidhi, Sunan; Abu Dawud, Sunan; Ahmad, Musnad (rigorously authentic according to Shu`ayb Arna’ut and with the addition at the end, ‘so supplicate’)]

Given that (a) supplicating between the adhan and the iqama is established in the primary texts, and (b) the general rule is that it is sunna to raise the hands for supplication unless the contrary is affirmed by the texts, it can be stated that it is (c) recommended to raise the hands when supplicating between the adhan and iqama.

While there are other specifics to the issue, the above should suffice in answering your question.

Salman

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Photo: Ikhlasul Amal

Can I Pray the Witr Prayer Before Finishing the Tarawih?

Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas

Question: My sister can become very tired in Tarawih. She takes regular breaks. This has meant that she has had to pray the Witr just before dawn, meaning she has fasted on an empty stomach. Can such a person pray some Tarawih, then the Witr and then see if they have the energy to complete the remaining Tarawih prayers?


Answer:
assalamu alaykum

This would be permitted.

Your sister’s desire to pray all the Tarawih prayers is commendable. I would, however, advise her to not neglect her health. Aside from making the Tarawih prayers short, your sister may also perform them sitting down (with an actual prostration) if she feels that performing them standing up will cause fatigue.

I would also advise that she divide the prayers, such as initially praying half, followed by sleep, and then praying the rest sometime before suhur. If she fears not waking up in time or that she may not be able to complete the remaining Tarawih prayers due to fatigue, she should pray Witr before sleeping.

Our religion teaches us to be balanced. Our Lord has placed obligations upon us. Among these obligations are the rights our bodies have upon us. While we recognize that worship demands some degree of sacrifice, God out of His mercy has also legislated ease for us: “God intends for you ease.” (2:185) Further, the Prophet (God bless him) said, “None makes the religion difficult except that it overcomes him. So, aim for what is right, stick to the moderate way…” [Bukhari]

I would continue to encourage your sister to try her best to perform her Tarawih prayers. However, this needs to be balanced with her taking care of her health, ensuring she is eating a proper suhur, resting properly, and so forth. Continue to ask God for well-being and health, as well as the strength to worship Him.

Salman

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Photo: PRIMAVERA®

What Is the Best Time to Perform the Two Cycles of Prayer After Performing the Ritual Ablution?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam’aleykum,

What is the best time to perform the two cycles of prayer after performing the ritual ablution?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

It is from the sunna to perform two cycles (rak`ats) of prayer (tahiyyat al-wudu) after performing the ritual ablution (wudu), as long as it is not a disliked time to pray. [see attached article]

The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Bilal, tell me that action that you have done since entering Islam which gives you the most reason to hope, for I heard the sound of your sandals ahead of me in the Garden.” He said, “I have done no action which gives me more reason to hope than that of never purifying myself at any time of the night or day without then praying after that purification as much as is written for me to pray.” [Bukhari]

The proper time for this prayer is to pray it before your limbs would dry under normal conditions. Further, Ibn `Abidin quotes from Ghaznawi’s Diya’ that a person should recite Surah al-Kafirun and Surah al-Ikhlas in its two cycles.

Some scholars also mention that a person who immediately performs an obligatory (fard) [or any other] prayer after his wudu would also attain the virtue of praying this prayer at the same time. However, this is not the akin to the one who does so out of humble worshipfulness and with a specific intention.

[Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah, with Tahtawi’s Gloss (1.537); Ibn `Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar `ala al-Durr al-Mukhtar (1.458)]

Please also see: Prohibited times for Prayers and Makeup Prayers and: The Prayer of Greeting the Mosque (tahiyyat al-masjid)

And Allah Most High alone knows best.

wassalam,
Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

My Husband Is No Longer Praying After a Knee Injury. How Should I React?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: I married a few months ago and in my second month of marriage, my husband had an operation on his knee. Since then he has stopped praying.

Are my relations with him are still permissible?

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you well. Dear sister, may Allah grant you patience and lift this trial from you.

Prayer

It is still obligatory for your husband to pray. He must take whatever means are necessary for him to pray, such as sitting on a chair.

Marital relations

Please rest assured that your marital relations are still halal. He is still Muslim, and your marriage contract remains valid.

Solutions

It was narrated from Ibn ‘Umar that the Messenger of Allah (upon him be blessings and peace) said: “The believer who mixes with people and bears their annoyance with patience will have a greater reward than the believer who does not mix with people and does not put up with their annoyance.” [Sunan Ibn Majah]

Please perform the Prayer of Need in the last third of the night and beg Allah to guide your husband back to establishing prayer. Do not lose hope in Allah’s Mercy, and have patience with His Decree. This is a test of your patience, your good character, and your trust in Allah.

You are the best judge of your husband’s character. Ask yourself what would help encourage him to prayer. Does he respond to being told what to do? Or does he respond better by watching you establish prayer? Use wisdom, tact, and gentleness when you give him advice.

Do what you can to bring barakah to your home. Ensure that you establish the prayer, read Qur’an, give in zakat, and other acts of worship. By being steadfast on your acts of worship, you are already part of the solution.

Please read this inspiring answer by Ustadh Abdullah Anik Misra and see how you can apply it in your own life – My Husband Doesnt Pray: How Do I Advise Him?
Please refer to these following links:

Guiding One’s Family Towards the Good: Advice & Tips
Positive Spiritual Thinking: Choosing Mindfulness (taqwa) and Embracing Trust (tawakkul) by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Wassalam,
Raidah

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Photo: Anthony Crider

Where Should the Follower Stand When He Is Alone With the Imam in Prayer?

Answered by Shaykh Umer Mian

Question: Assalam’aleykum,

Where should the follower stand when he is alone with the Imam in prayer?

Answer:Wa alaikum as-salam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu

Short answer:

If there is only one male follower behind an imam, he should stand to the right of the imam with his heel alongside (i.e. parallel to) the heel of the imam. This is not only permissible, but it is the correct way to stand according to the relied upon position in the Hanafi madhab. Those Hanafi scholars who wrote otherwise (i.e. that the follower in such a situation should stand slightly behind the imam) were probably doing so out of precaution.

Detailed Answer:

“Muhadhiyan” in Arabic means “alongside of, parallel to.” It is stated in al-Durr al-Mukhtar:

(ويقف الواحد)
ولو صبيا، أما الواحدة فتتأخر (محاذيا) أي مساويا (ليمين إمامه) على المذهب، ولا عبرة بالرأس بل بالقدم (الدر المختار، كتاب الصلاة، باب الإمامة)

“A single male (follower in the prayer), even if a child, should stand alongside the right side of his imam, according to the relied upon position of the madhab. No consideration is given to the head (i.e. in determining what’s deemed “alongside”), but rather consideration is given to the foot. As for a single female (follower in the prayer), she should stand (completely) behind her imam.” (al-Durr al-Mukhtar, Kitab al-Salah, Bab al-Imamah).

In Radd al-Muhtar, Ibn Abideen explains the above statement by adding:

a) Since consideration is given only to the placement of the feet (and not the head), there is no harm in the follower’s head being farther out than the imam’s head while in sajdah (of course, as long as their feet are parallel).

b) Being “alongside” the foot of the imam, means that that follower’s heel should be alongside the heel of the imam. If this is done, then there’s no harm in the follower’s toes extending out a little farther than the imam’s toes (for example, if the follower has large feet).

( قَوْلُهُ بَلْ بِالْقَدَمِ )
فَلَوْ حَاذَاهُ بِالْقَدَمِ وَوَقَعَ سُجُودُهُ مُقَدَّمًا عَلَيْهِ لِكَوْنِ الْمُقْتَدِي أَطْوَلَ مِنْ إمَامِهِ لَا يَضُرُّ ؛ وَمَعْنَى الْمُحَاذَاةِ بِالْقَدَمِ الْمُحَاذَاةُ بِعَقِبِهِ ، فَلَا يَضُرُّ تَقَدُّمُ أَصَابِعِ الْمُقْتَدِي عَلَى الْإِمَامِ حَيْثُ حَاذَاهُ بِالْعَقِبِ مَا لَمْ يَفْحُشْ التَّفَاوُتُ بَيْنَ الْقَدَمَيْنِ ، حَتَّى لَوْ فَحُشَ بِحَيْثُ تَقَدَّمَ أَكْثَرُ قَدَمِ الْمُقْتَدِي لِعِظَمِ قَدَمِهِ لَا يَصِحُّ كَمَا أَشَارَ إلَيْهِ بِقَوْلِهِ مَا لَمْ يَتَقَدَّمْ إلَخْ . (رد المحتار، كتاب الصلاة، باب الإمامة)

Finally, note that some texts of Hanafi fiqh seem to indicate that a single follower should stand to the right of the imam, with feet slightly behind the imam. Perhaps the most prominent text to state this is Nur al-Idah and it’s commentary Maraqi al-Falah, which state the following:

( وشروط صحة الاقتداء أربعة عشر شيئا )
تقريبا
( وتقدم الأمام بعقبه عن )
عقب ( المأموم ) (مراقي الفلاح، كتاب الصلاة، باب الإمامة)

“The conditions for correctly following an imam in prayer are about 14 things…Among them is the imam’s heel being ahead of the follower’s heel” (Maraqi al-Falah, Kitab al-Salah, Bab al-Imamah).

However, in his super-commentary on Maraqi al-Falah, al-Tahtawi comments on this line, stating:

قوله ( حتى لو تقدم أصابعه ) … واعلم أن ما أفاده المصنف من إشتراط التقدم خلاف المذهب لأنه لو حاذاه صح الإقتداء

“The author’s indicating that the imam must be ahead of the follower contradicts the relied upon position of the madhab. If the follower stands alongside his imam, his following (of his imam) is correct.”

Some have speculated that those Hanafi scholars (such as Imam al-Shurunbilali, author of Nur al-Idah and Maraqi al-Falah, quoted above) who required the follower to stand slightly behind the imam did so in order to prevent errors in people’s prayers. That is, if the awamm (laymen) are instructed to stand exactly parallel to the imam, their laxity in carrying out the rulings of the Sacred Law may lead to them getting slightly ahead of the imam, which would invalidate their prayers. In order to avoid this, some Hanafi scholars may have deemed it preferable to instruct the awamm to stand slightly behind the imam. See ‘Ila al-Sunan, Kitab al-Salah, Bab Mawqif al-Imam wal Ma’munin (Idaratul Qur’an print, vol. 4, pp. 246-247).

Wassalam,

Umer

Photo: Lokantha

Has My Father’s Joke Made Him a Disbeliever?

Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas

Question: Once I was leading my father in prayer and I accidentally said something in English. I have since repeated the prayer but when I asked him about it he jokingly told me not to worry as Allah does not speak English. Is my father Muslim after this joke?

Answer: assalamu `alakum

Your father is certainly a Muslim. Alhamdulilah. His statement is not one that renders him a disbeliever, nor one that is disbelief.

Islam is not something that individuals can be “removed” from so casually. When someone enters Islam, that person becomes inviolable; his/her person, his/her honor, his/her wealth etc.. This inviolability is magnanimous in the eyes of God, His Prophet (God bless him), and the early Muslims. Indeed, as the Prophet, Ibn Umar and others gazed upon the Ka’aba they would state, “the inviolability of a believer is greater with God than your inviolability.” [Sunan al-Tirmidhi; Sunan Ibn Majah]

Those who are quick to engage in throwing people outside the fold do not understand this inviolability. Given the various prophetic traditions in explicit condemnation of anathema (takfir), such as, “accusing a believer of disbelief is akin to killing him,” it is often surprising to see how individuals can entertain it so easily

This manner of thinking is not only contrary to the religion of Islam because it fails to recognize the rank of the believer, but it it also involves ill-opinion, false testimony, suspicion, causing division, and much more that the religion warns against. This is why we must always be cautious and circumspect when it comes to such judgments, which, for the most part, do not concern us as laymen.

For some more details on this issue, please refer too:
What Takes a Person Out of the Fold of Islam?

What Are the Consequences of an Oath of Disbelief?

Please also not that the reproachful nature of the answer is not meant to be directed at you as an individual but simply to get across the seriousness of engaging in takfir.

Salman

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

What Are the Rulings Related to Loud Recitation, and Being Joined by Someone If I Pray Alone?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: As salam ‘alaykum,

1) If someone is praying alone with the intention of being his own imam, should he recite aloud for Fajr, Magrib and isha?

2) Can a man join someone in congregation who has started on his own with the intention of being his own imam?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

(1) Yes, reciting aloud during the Fajr prayer, and the first two cycles (rak`ats) of the Maghrib and `Isha prayers, would be superior, yet it is not a requirement, because the basis is that the men’s prayer is prayed in congregation and reciting aloud here bears a stronger resemblance to the congregational prayer.

(2) Yes, because the basis for the men’s prayer, as before, is that it is prayed in congregation, and here, he is the imam of himself. Thus the man does not need a specific intention to lead other men. However, the same is not true for leading congregations that include women. In this situation, the imam does have to make a separate intention.

[Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah, with Tahtawi’s Gloss (1.346)]

Please also see: Reciting Aloud in Quiet Prayers

And Allah Most High alone knows best.

قال في الطحطاوي على مراقي الفلاح: ((قوله : والمنفرد بفرض مخير فيما يجهر فإن شاء جهر لأنه إمام نفسه لكن لا يبالغ في الجهر مثل الإمام لأنه لا يسمع غيره وجهره هكذا أفضل ليكون الأداء على هيئة الجماعة)) اهـ.

wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Is the Supplication at the End of the Funeral Prayer Obligatory?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam’aleykum,

Has the funeral prayer any wajib (compulsory components)?

Is the du’a considered obligatory or an emphasized sunnah?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

The only necessary (wajib) component of the funeral (janaza) prayer is the closing salams. Otherwise, the remaining actions are integrals (fard), such as the takbirs and the standing; or sunnas, such as the supplication after the third takbir. Some held the supplication at this point to be obligatory, such as Ibn al-Humam and those who followed him, yet this is not the relied upon position in the Hanafi school.

[Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah (2.226-227); Fath al-Qadir (2.81)]

Please also see: Reader on the funeral prayer

And Allah Most High alone knows best.

wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Photo: Al Jazeera English