Is My Prayer Still Valid If I Fail to Recite the Tashahud Correctly?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Is my prayer still valid if I recite the tashahud erroneously in one place, like saying the letter “alif” instead of the letter “ayn”?

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

Yes, your prayer would be valid as the vast majority of pronunciation errors don’t affect the validity or soundness of the prayer. Work on your pronunciation (tajwid) outside of the prayer. As for during the prayer. just pray. You and I, thankfully, won’t be the judges of our prayers, so learn what is required of you and then do the best you can, relying on Allah Most High and hoping in His Mercy. Remember that there is no necessary correlation between validity and reward; thus, even if you recited with perfect tajwid, that does not guarantee for you an accepted prayer that is pleasing to Allah Most High.

The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Seek what is balanced and correct and draw near. Know that none of you will enter the Garden on account of his deeds. The most beloved of actions to Allah are those which are the most constant, even if they are little.” [Bukhari]

Please also see: Do Grammatical and Pronunciation Mistakes While Reciting the Qur’an Invalidate Your Prayer? and: What Can I Do About Anxiety in Prayer and Waswas Regarding My Pronunciation?

Consider taking the following free class at SeekersHub: Absolute Essentials of Islam: Basic Hanafi Jurisprudence (STEP)

And Allah Most High alone knows best.

wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Should I Follow the School of the People of My Local Mosque When Praying With Them?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam aleykum,

I usually go to a nearby mosque. In the congregational prayer after Sura Fatiha the people there say ameen loudly and at the end of the prayer they give salam after the imam gave salam to his right and left. As I follow the Hanafi school should I do the above mentioned things different than them?

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

Yes, you should continue to follow the dictates of our school, namely, by saying the “amin” quietly. As for the salams, doing so with everybody else in this case would be fine as the expectation is to follow the imam (1) at the same time as him, as per the position of Imam Abu Hanifa (Allah Most High be pleased with him), or (2) immediately thereafter, as per the position of Qadi Abu Yusuf and Imam Muhammad (Allah be pleased with them both), remaining behind him in both cases.

[Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah (1.375)]

And Allah Most High alone knows best.

wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Photo: Shaeekh Shuvro

Do I Need to Send Blessings Upon the Prophet During the Prayer When I Hear His Name?

Answered by SeekersHub Answers Service

Question: Do I need to say “sall Allahu alayhi wa sallam” when hearing the Prophet’s name recited in prayer? Is my prayer invalidated by merely thinking about him (peace be upon him)?

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you well.

1. When the Qur’an is recited, the sunna is to be silent and attentive—and one doesn’t send blessings upon the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) when his noble name is mentioned in the Qur’an, though there is no harm in doing so later, after the prayer. [Ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar;Shurunbulali, Imdad al-Fattah]

2. Building focus and concentration in prayer here is the desired goal, as prayer is truly beneficial when one’s heart and body work in concert, not when one is distracted by outside concerns. The Qur’an says, “Successful are believers; those who are attentive in their prayers” (Qur’an; 23.1-2).

However, while one should work on building this presence of mind, one should recognize that being distracted is a good sign that the devil is attempting to come between you and your Lord.

Please see: Am I a Hypocrite for Losing Focus in Prayer?

Wassalam,
SeekersHub Answers Service

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Photo: Evgeni Zotov

Should I Make up the Prayers I Missed Because of My Periods?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: I recently learned that islamically, menstruations do not last more than 10 days. My periods usually last for 8 days. Someone told me that if my period happens to last for 10 days, then I will have to make up the prayers for the extra 2 days as well. Is this true?

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

No, you do not need to make up up the prayers you didn’t pray during your menstrual period because such prayers were not obligatory upon you in the first place. [Mawsili, al-Ikhtiyar]

This is due to the hardship normally entailed in making up so many prayers on a recurring basis, and the fact that the female companions of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) didn’t used to do so.

It is related from Mu’adha that a woman asked ‘A’isha, “Should we make up the prayer when we become clean?” She said, “Are you from Harura’? [i.e. are you a Kharijite? ] When we were with the Prophet, we got our menstrual periods and he did not command us to do that.” (or she said, “We did not do that.”) [Bukhari]

Please also see: Making Up for Fasts Missed Due to Illness and Menstruation

ِAnd consider getting hold of Ustadha Hedaya Hartford’s: Coming of Age, A Muslim Girl’s Guide.

And Allah Most High alone knows best.

قال في المختار: ((وهو يسقط عن الحائض الصلاة أصلا))

wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Photo: Charles Roffey

Can I Pray in Public With a Man Who Is Not Related to Me?

Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas

Question: As a woman, is it permissible to pray with a non-mahram man when it is just the two of us and we are in a public area (not secluded) but relatively empty?

Answer: assalamu alaykum

The basis is that such a prayer would be valid and permitted in light of it being in a public place provided the interaction between the two individuals is appropriate and adheres to Islamic norms of gender interaction. [Ibn Abidin, Hashiya (1:381)]

With this said, it may still be best to avoid this unless there are other factors involved, such as concern for safety in public when praying alone or the like.

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

Photo: Heather Anne Campbell

Can I Pray in the Mosque During the Imam’s First Friday Sermon Which Is Not in Arabic?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam’aleykum,

Some mosques have two speeches on Friday. The first one is given by the Imam after the first call to prayer in Urdu. The actual Friday sermon is in Arabic and takes place after the second call to prayer.

Would it still be disliked to offer a voluntary prayer when the Imam is giving the first speech?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

You should treat such a lecture as you would treat the official sermon (khutba).

However, if you need to make a missed prayer or prayers, and you have less than six in your dues, then this would take precedence, as it does in the official sermon, because the Friday prayer would not be valid without it.

[Tahtawi, Hashiyat al-Tahtawi `ala Maraqi al-Falah (2.134)]

Please see: Friday: Praying sunnas upon entering after the khutba starts

And Allah Most High alone knows best.

wassalam,
Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Photo:  Radomil

Should a Woman Cover Her Feet During Prayer?

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: Assalam’aleykum

Should a woman cover her feet during prayer?

Answer: Walaikum assalam,

I pray this finds you in the best of health and spirits. This is a matter in which there is legitimate difference of opinion within mainstream Sunni scholarship.

The prevalent opinion in the Hanafi school is that the feet (below the ankles) are not from areas of the body a woman must cover (i.e. her awra)—both within the prayer and outside the prayer. [Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah; Ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]

However, in some other schools of Sunni scholarship, the feet are necessary for women to cover. Thus, it can be an expression of caution (wara`) to cover the feet—particularly for prayer. (This is not, however, obligatory.)

When advised about matters of difference of opinion, thank the person advising, but don’t feel obligated to follow the advice.

Please see: A Detailed Exposition of the Fiqh of Covering One’s Nakedness (awra)

And Allah is the giver of success and facilitation.

wassalam,
Faraz Rabbani

Photo: Chris Lewis

Why the Traveler Can’t Shorten the Sunna Prayers as Well?

Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas

Question: For many years, I have been confused by the idea of a traveller shortening the obligatory prayers, but then continuing to pray the sunnah prayers.

1. What is the wisdom in shortening the prayer for a traveler?

2. Why doesn’t that wisdom spill on to the sunna prayers, as well?

Answer: assalamu `alaykum

Sunna Prayers When Traveling

It is not completely accurate that one must always pray the sunna prayers when in a state of travel. Rather, alongside shortening the obligatory prayers, the scholars have stated that:

– when one is in a state of rest and non-travel then one should continue performing the confirmed sunna prayers, and
– when one is in a state of non-rest and travel then one can leave the confirmed sunna prayers with the exception, according to some, of the sunna of Fajr.

This is generally the chosen position in the Hanafi school. [Ibn `Abidin, Hashiya]

A Matter of Divergence

However, other scholars have disagreed with this position for the very reasons you mention: it makes little sense to shorten the obligatory prayers as a dispensation but continue praying all the sunna prayers, since one might as well pray the obligatory in full. This position is justified by scholars through the tradition of Ibn `Umar who disproved of people praying their sunna prayers when travelers for the same reason mentioned above and because he did not witness the Prophet (God bless him) performing them. [Ibn al-Qayyim, Zad al-Ma`ad]

A number of other scholars, perhaps a majority, stated that it would merely be recommended to perform sunna prayers while traveling – whether those connected to the prayer or otherwise. [al-Nawawi, al-Majmu`]

Leaving aside some of the finer details of these latter positions, the Hanafi view is based on a fundamentally different understanding than some of the other schools. This view does not consider the obligatory prayers of a traveler to be a “shortened” form of the obligatory prayers of a resident. Rather, the Hanafi view is that God initially legislated prayer as two cycles, as narrated by Ibn Abbas and others. This was then increased to four cycles for obligatory prayers in a state of non-travel but the original rule of two cycles was maintained for the traveler. In other words, the prayer of the traveler is not a real dispensation i.e. it is not God legislating the “shortening” of the obligatory prayer, and it is for this reason that people are obligated to pray two as travelers (as opposed to other schools that provide a choice).

The Basis of the Hanafi Position

In light of this, although there is an element of outward ease and flexibility in the travelers prayers, the Hanafis actually view it simply as a maintaining of the original prayer that God legislated and later expanded for the resident. Consequently, looking at the issue from the perspective of ease and dispensation is not entirely accurate. Thus, the question you posed about sunna prayers and where it falls into the equation would only apply if we first accept the premise that the travelers prayer is a dispensation to facilitate ease. [al-Kasani, Bada`i al-Sana`i; Ibn `Abidin, Hashiya]

I hope this sheds some light on the issue.

Salman

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Photo: v i p e z

Can I Perform the Prayer of Seeking Guidance (Salat Al-Istikhara) More Than Once?

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: Assalam’aleykum,

Something is bothering me concerning a very important decision I need to make. Can I perform the Prayer of Seeking Guidance more than once?

Answer: Walaikum assalam,

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

It is permitted to repeat the Prayer of Seeking Guidance (Salat al-Istikhara)—as it is a prayer (dua) of turning to Allah, and it is encouraged to turn repeatedly to Allah for one’s needs.

However, this is balanced with the sunna of being decisive—and leaving indecisiveness, doubts, hesitations—and trusting in Allah.

Thus, the early Muslims would recommend not repeating the Salat al-Istikhara more than seven times, as a general guideline. [Ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar, others]

Please see: Istikhara: The Prayer of Seeking Guidance and: The Reality of Istikhara

wassalam,
Faraz Rabbani

Photo: PnP!

Are My Prayers on a Chair Due to an Injury Valid?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam’aleykum,

I had a knee operation a few years back. I would sit on a chair and prostrate by leaning slightly forward because I was unable to bend my knee. Was it valid?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

Yes, your prayers and your makeups were valid as long as you were not able, actually or effectively, to prostrate on the ground. This is because you are only responsible to the extent of your ability.

[Razi, Tuhfat al-Muluk]

Please also see: The Fiqh of Praying Sitting Down and: The sunna way of praying when injured or unable to stand – Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

قال في التحفة: ((ويقضي المريض فائتة الصحّة على حسب حاله)) اهـ.

And Allah Most High alone knows best.

wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Photo:  Jorge Royan / http://www.royan.com.ar