Posts

Is the Specification Of Intention Necessary For Voluntary Prayers (Nafl)? 

Question: What is the intention of nafl prayers?
Answer:
In the Name of Allah, Most Merciful and Compassionate,
Assalamu ‘alaykum dear brother/ sister in faith,
The specification of the intention in prayer is required only for the five daily prayers (fard) and necessary prayer (wajib). It is not a requirement for voluntary prayers (nafl).  Your prayer is valid. [Shurunbulali, Nur al-Idah pg. 127]
Please see:
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/hanafi-fiqh/the-status-of-confirmed-sunna-prayers/
Allah, Most High, knows best.
[Ustadha] Iman Badawi
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Where Do Women Place Their Feet In Prayer?

Question: As a female, how should I position my feet in prayer?

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

Dear questioner,

Thank you for your important question.

When praying, the most important sunna is to focus on what we are doing: thanking Allah, glorifying Him, and pleading for His good pleasure. Thinking too much about where one’s feet should be can make one miss the point completely.

I remember learning that for a man, our feet should be one handspan apart. I put the knowledge into practice, and put my hand between my two feet. Upon seeing this, my older brother (who was also my first fiqh teacher) laughed and said, “It is not like that!” He obviously understood something from his teachers that had escaped me.

Nevertheless, the ritual prayer (salat) does have a particle form, and it is recommended for women to stand in prayer with their feet and knees together. Other than that, the foot positions in the rest of the prayer are the same as men: feet facing the qibla while standing and iftirash in all sitting positions except the final sitting in which one does tawarruk.

As long as one stands when one has to and sits when one has to, the foot position does not affect the validity of the prayer. (al-Muqaddima al-Hadramiyya, Ba Fadl) Please also see:
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/shafii-fiqh/is-bending-the-toes-of-both-feet-when-prostrating-an-integral-in-the-shafii-school/

Please also consider taking the following course:
https://seekersguidance.org/courses/absolute-essentials-of-islam-shafii-habshis-encompassing-epistle-explained-getting-started-with-your-belief-and-practice/

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.

What Is the Ruling Regarding Performing the Sunna Prayers Immediately After the Obligatory Prayer?

Question: What is the ruling regarding performing the sunna prayers immediately after the obligatory prayer without pausing for supplications and remembrances?

Answer:

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

 

Praying Sunna Prayers First

It is recommended to pray the sunna prayers immediately following the obligatory prayers and then to do make the supplications and remembrances thereafter. [Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah]

There are 12 units of prayer that comprise the emphasized sunna prayers. They are listed as follows:

2 before Fajr
4 before Dhuhr
2 after Dhuhr
2 after Maghrib
2 after ‘Isha

The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “No Muslim slave (of Allah) prays for Allah, each day, twelve supererogatory units of prayer, other than the obligatory, except that Allah builds for them a house in Paradise…” [Muslim]

 

The Prophetic Practice

The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) is described by A’isha (Allah be pleased with her) as praying the sunna prayers right after the prayer. She said, “Then he would go and lead the people in prayer; He would then return home and pray two units. He would lead the people in Maghrib prayer then return home and pray two units. He would lead the people in the ‘Isha prayer then return to my home and pray two units….” [Muslim]

The home of A’isha was attached to the Mosque of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace).

 

Performing Remembrances First

Performing the supplications and remembrances directly after the prayer is allowed but not the ideal method. [Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah citing al-Halwani]

 

Secondary Considerations

However, if doing the remembrances first entails a greater good it is preferred. Doing this may serve as a means for the congregants not to neglect the supplications and remembrances.

If the imam stands to pray the sunna prayers, the congregants may succumb to laziness and leave without sitting for the post-prayer remembrances and maybe even leave the sunna prayers.

 

Disliked Elements

What is discouraged is doing actions that are foreign to the prayer, such as eating, drinking, or worldly speech. Doing so diminishes one’s reward. [Ibid.]

I hope this helps,
Allah knows best.
[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Yusuf Weltch is a teacher of Arabic, Islamic law, and spirituality. After accepting Islam in 2008, he then completed four years at the Darul Uloom seminary in New York where he studied Arabic and the traditional sciences. He then traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he stayed for three years studying in Dar Al-Mustafa under some of the greatest scholars of our time, including Habib Umar Bin Hafiz, Habib Kadhim al-Saqqaf, and Shaykh Umar al-Khatib. In Tarim, Shaykh Yusuf completed the memorization of the Qur’an and studied beliefs, legal methodology, hadith methodology, Qur’anic exegesis, Islamic history, and a number of texts on spirituality. He joined the SeekersGuidance faculty in the summer of 2019.

How Do We Pray In Rows?

Question: Can you pray with the imam at the front, one follower to his right, and then the rest of the followers in the second row?

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

Dear questioner,

Thank you for your important question.

When three or more people are praying together, the imam should be in the front with the two or more followers forming a line behind him. If they do not do this, it is offensive, and those who do not observe it will not have the reward of the group prayer. It is not, however, sinful per se. [Bushra al-Karim, Ba ‘Ishn]

Please also take the following course:
https://seekersguidance.org/courses/absolute-essentials-of-islam-shafii-habshis-encompassing-epistle-explained-getting-started-with-your-belief-and-practice/

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.

How Can I Make Up a Large Number Of Missed Fasts?

Question: How can I make up a large number of missed fasts?
Answer: 
Dear questioner,
Thank you for your important question.
May Allah reward you for your pious intentions and resolve.
As you know, these are fasts that you must make up (qada’), and making expiatory payments (fidya) will not suffice.
My advice is that you take some time out to calculate to the best of your ability how many fasts you have missed. Write down or create a document with this information then make a schedule for how you can gradually make up these fasts.
Take advantage of fasting on the blessed days such as; the tenth Muharram, the day of `Ashura, the six days of Shawwal, the first nine days of Dhu’l Hijjah, the white days, Mondays and Thursdays, and a number of other occasions.
Read about the merits of fasting from books such as “The Book of Fasting” from Imam al-Ghazali’s “Revival of The Religious Sciences”.
Pray the Prayer of Need (Salat al-Hajah) [see: How Does One Perform the Prayer of Need], and ask Allah, Most High for success.
Please see:
Remember that the most beloved deeds to Allah, Most High are those that are obligatory. By completing these missed fasts, you obtain the love of Allah, Most High.
May Allah, Most High reward you for your desire to perfect your relationship with him.
And Allah alone knows best.
[Ustadh] Omar Popal
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Is the Prostration Of Forgetfulness Necessary If the Imam Is Reminded?

Question: Is the Prostration of Forgetfulness necessary if the imam is reminded?
Answer:
Dear questioner,
Thank you for your important question.
In this situation, the Prostration of Forgetfulness (Sajda al-Sahw) is not required.
“The Imam who forgets to sit in the 2nd unit of prayer but then remembers and is closer to the ground returns to sitting and recites the tashahhud (i.e. al-tahiyyatu lillahi.…)” [Razi, Khulasa Al-Dalail]

The Reminder: “Allahu Akbar” does not necessitate the prostration of forgetfulness.

And Allah alone knows best.
[Ustadh] Omar Popal
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Should I Follow an Unlearned Imam?

Question: What should we do if the imam of our mosque is unlearned and makes mistakes in the Fatiha?

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

Dear questioner,

Thank you for your important question.

If one is in an area replete with the ulema, one should not pray behind someone who does not recite the Fatiha correctly or does not follow one of the Four Schools.

If however, one lives in an area or country where one frequently has to pray behind people who cannot recite the Fatiha correctly or who do not follow one of the Four Schools, then as long as their prayer is valid according to one of the Four Schools and valid in their own opinion, one can pray behind them. This is not the relied upon position in the Shafi’i school but can be followed where there general difficulty in finding proper imams. [Rawdat al-Talibin, Nawawi; al-Majmu’, Nawawi]

Allah Most High says, “Hold fast to the rope of Allah all together, and do not be divided [into sects]. And remember Allah’s blessing upon you when you were enemies, then He brought your hearts together, so you became brothers by His grace.” [Qur’an, 3: 103]

Please see:

https://islamqa.org/shafii/qibla-shafii/33263

 

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.

When Am I Considered a Traveler In Order To Shorten My Prayer?

Question: If I intend to stay at a place more than 80km away for 14 days then travel to another place, also more than 80km away for 7 days then return to the first place, am I considered a traveler in all the above-mentioned places?

Answer:

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

Yes. You are considered a traveler in both places for the following reasons.

If one is traveling, (i.e. they have left their hometown intending a distance of 48mi (77km) or more), they remain so unless they intend to remain in a specific place for 15 days or more without initiating another journey from that place. [Tahtawi/Shurunbulali, Hashiyat Maraqi al-Falah; Ibn ‘Abidin, [Radd al-Muhtar]

In the example you gave, you only intended to stay in the first place for only 14 days. Furthermore, you journeyed from that place to another place. For these reasons, you are considered a traveler during the entire period. [Ibid.]

I 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

How Do I Following an Imam In the Shafi’i School?

Question: Should a Shafi’i repeat every takbir of the Imam loudly? Should he reply to the Imam’s ‘Sami` Allahu liman hamidah or just repeat it? Should he say the final Salam? Are there book recommendations about learning what to do as an imam and follower?

Answer:

Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. You can learn all of your basics by taking a free course here at Seekers on your personally obligatory knowledge of worship. We have a series of fiqh courses so that you can develop your knowledge and learn in more detail with each course. See the link here:
https://seekersguidance.org/courses/absolute-essentials-of-islam-shafii-habshis-encompassing-epistle-explained-getting-started-with-your-belief-and-practice/

1) It is sunna for the follower to repeat every takbir of the prayer, not loudly, but audible enough to hear oneself.

2) It says in the Reliance of the Traveller, “f12.14 It is obligatory for one to follow the imam’s leadership in prayer actions, such that each of one’s movements begins after the imam begins it and before he finishes (N: the following integral). (0: It is highly desirable that) one follows the imam’s spoken integrals in the same way, with the sole exception of saying” Ameen” (def:f8.19), which should be simultaneous with his. It invalidates one’s prayer to say one’s opening Allahu Akbar simultaneously with the imam or to be uncertain as to whether one did so or not. It is offensive to perform some other part of the prayer simultaneously with the imam, and one thereby loses the merit of group prayer.“

As such, it is sunna for you to say “Sami`Allahu liman hamidah” after the imam and then reply to it. Although, not saying them or only saying one of them will not invalidate the prayer.

3) Your answer is found here:
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/hanafi-fiqh/saying-final-salams-prayer-behind-imam/

4) I recommend that you take the course mentioned above and that you try to obtain a copy of these two books for reference:
https://www.meccabooks.com/50-reliance-of-the-traveler-a-classic-manual-of-islamic-sacred-law-9789159577281.html

https://www.meccabooks.com/43-al-maqasid-imam-nawawi-s-manual-of-islam-9781590080115.html?search_query=Maqasid&results=7

[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.

What Is the Purpose Of Worship?

Question: What is the purpose of worship?

Answer:

Thank you for your question.

 

Acts Of Worship and Their Purpose

You should remember that worshipping Allah Most High is at times difficult on the self. It takes time and effort to get to a level where it becomes sweet and easy.  One of the scholars once said, “we struggled with [ the difficulty] of prayer for 20 years and then we enjoyed it for another 20 years.
Prayer and remembrance of Allah are incredible gifts that Allah has granted us to earn His pleasure and draw near to Him. At times we may not want to pray or remember Allah, but those are the times where you get the most reward.

 

Attaining Peace and Tranquility

One way you may increase your tranquility and peace while you pray is to learn and read about the virtue and merits of dhikr and prayer. By learning them, you will increase in understanding and deeper meaning of worship.
This is a good reader on prayer – https://seekersguidance.org/tag/khushu-in-prayer/
Even before that, you may want to consider if you have fulfilled the requirement of learning the foundations of our creed.

 

Noble Company

Try to be with others who will encourage you or whom you will feel comfortable and tranquil in their presence.

Allah says in the Quran, “O believers! Be mindful of Allah and be with the truthful.” [Surat al-Tawba 9:119]

 

Dua

I recommend after every prayer you recite the following prayers which were instructed by the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) himself to his companion Mu’adh bin Jabal;

Allahumma a’inni a’la dhikrika, wa shukrika, wa husni ‘ibadatika

(O Allah, help me remember You, to be grateful to You, and to worship You in an excellent manner).
[Abu Dawud]

Finally, everything at times requires struggle and hard work. Remember to keep your primary focus on fulfilling your duties, and let the feelings of peace and tranquility be secondary, as that comes in time. And it will, Insha’ Allah.

Allah alone grants success.

[Imam] Yama Niazi