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Is it necessary to pause when raising one’s hands for the opening takbir?

Question Summary
Is it necessary to pause when raising one’s hands for the opening takbir?
In which parts of the prayer must one have a moment of stillness?
Is it permissible to pray the four rak’at sunna prayers in pairs of two?
Is it permissible to make a very short pause between the recitation of Fatiha and a Sura and between the Tashahhud and the prayer on the Prophet – as this greatly helps my constant forgetfulness?
Answer
In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate
It is not necessary to pause when raising one’s hands in the opening takbir.

Stillness in the prayer is necessary (according to the more cautious opinion) when standing from the bowing position when sitting between the two prostrations. [Tahtawi, Shurunbulali; Hashiyat Maraqi al-Falah]

Pausing Between Recitations

If taking slight pauses in the prayer assists you in performing the prayer correctly, it is allowed as long as the pause is not the length of one integral (i.e., the extent of saying SubhanAllah three times.) [Ibn ‘Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]

Hope this helps
Allah knows best
[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch

If I accidentally recited SubhanAllah instead of reciting the Fatiha right away must I perform the prostrations of forgetfulness?

Question Summary

If I accidentally recited SubhanAllah instead of reciting the Fatiha right away, must I perform the prostrations of forgetfulness?

Answer

In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate

If you unduly delayed the recitation of Sura al-Fatiha such that you were not engaged in any of the actions of prayer in the period of that delay, the prostrations of forgetfulness are necessary. [Tahtawi,Shurunbulali; Hashiyat Maraqi al-Falah]

However, if the delay is short or you were engaged in some actions of the prayer (such as saying SubhanAllah) in that period of delay this does not necessitate a prostration since such delays are excused. [Ibn ‘Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]

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 several texts on spirituality. He joined the SeekersGuidance faculty in the summer of 2019.

What is the ruling of keeping social distancing during the prayer due to the Covid-19 pandemic? Is this bid’a?

Question Summary

What is the ruling of keeping social distancing during the prayer due to the Covid-19 pandemic? Is this bid’a?

Answer

In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate

It is prohibitively disliked to leave empty a gap in the row that a person could fit in in normal circumstances. [Ibn ‘Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]

Leaving a Sunna is Not Innovation

Even though this is disliked, it is not considered an innovation. Innovation applies to something newly introduced in the Religion that goes against the teaching of the Qur’an and the Sunna. [Birgiwi, al-Tariqa al-Muhammadiyya]

Merely leaving out a Sunna is not innovation.

Praying While Social Distancing

However, due to the gravity of the current global health crisis, the great scholars and jurist of our time, such as Shaykh Khalid Kharsa, Shaykh Hassan Hindi, and Mufti Taha Karaan, encourage to follow the regulations of social distancing, even if this entails leaving the Sunna of filling the rows.

See the following links for more details:

Guidance on the Coronavirus & Attending the Mosque
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/guidance-on-the-coronavirus-attending-the-mosque/

Dealing with the Coronavirus – Mufti Taha Karaan
https://seekersguidance.org/podcast-feeds/dealing-with-the-coronavirus-mufti-taha-karaan/

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 several texts on spirituality. He joined the SeekersGuidance faculty in the summer of 2019.

Is there evidence that standing ahead of the Imam invalidates prayer?

 

Question:

Firstly I’d like to say I am an adherent of the Shafi’i madhab. When praying side by side with only the Imam, I was taught to stand slightly behind the Imam in prayer and that if my feet were to go slightly in front of the Imam’s feet, it would invalidate my prayer. Someone told me this is baseless as there is no proof and should stand in line with the Imam. I read that standing slightly behind the Imam is the adopted position of the madhab, but I could not find any evidence for it. I would greatly appreciate it if you can provide some evidence for this.

Jazakallah Khayran

Answer:
Assalamu alaykum

Shukran for writing to us.

The preponderant view in the Shafi’i school holds that if the follower (ma’mum) stands in front of the Imam in prayer, his salah will be invalid. Standing ahead of the Imam is determined by placing one’s heels in the standing position and not toes, as you stated.  [Kifaya al-Akhyar]

Taqi al-Din al-Hisni’s commentary on the Mukhtasar Abu Shuja is an excellent resource when looking for the proofs of the Shafi’i madhhab. He says therein that this ruling mentioned above is deducted from the practice of the companions with the Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace) and the companions/successors with the rightly guided caliphs. In those eras, the followers never stood ahead of the Imam.

Nonetheless, it is crucial to appreciate that scholars differed regarding this ruling and that the evidence in itself is not definitive. The Maliki communities around the globe often have a large portion of the congregation praying in front of the Imam. As followers of the Shafi’i madhhab, we should have confidence and practice the views expressed by our scholars. At the same time, we should have respect for others that may adopt a different opinion. Likewise, in turn, those who hold an opposing view of our school should similarly respect the stance taken by our scholars.

And Allah knows best.
[Shaykh] Abdurragmaan Khan

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Abdurragmaan received ijazah ’ammah from various luminaries, including but not restricted to: Habib Umar ibn Hafiz—a personality who affected him greatly and who has changed his relationship with Allah, Maulana Yusuf Karaan—the former Mufti of Cape Town; Habib ‘Ali al-Mashhur—the current Mufti of Tarim; Habib ‘Umar al-Jaylani—the Shafi‘i Mufti of Makkah; Sayyid Ahmad bin Abi Bakr al-Hibshi; Habib Kadhim as-Saqqaf; Shaykh Mahmud Sa’id Mamduh; Maulana Abdul Hafiz al-Makki; Shaykh Ala ad-Din al-Afghani; Maulana Fazlur Rahman al-Azami and Shaykh Yahya al-Gawthani amongst others.

Repenting from praying against others

 

Question: What do I have to do if I have made a prayer against someone (badua)?

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

Dear questioner,

Thank you for your important question.

You should repent and make a sincere prayer for them. If they know you that said those words, you should apologize to them.

That’s all. Don’t get caught up with this. Prayer is not a magic spell. It is an earnest cry to our powerful and merciful Creator.

Please also see:
seekersguidance.org/show/22-guarding-speech-condemnation-envy-rancour-renewing-religion-overview-ghazalis-ihya-shaykh-walead-mosaad/
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/cursing-disbelievers-and-the-companions-of-the-prophet/

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.

Why is it that males and females cannot pray together in Islam?

Question Summary

Why is it that males and females cannot pray together in Islam?

Question Answer

In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate

It is completely permissible for males and females to perform the prayer together. In fact, if a man chooses to pray alone or with their spouse (or other female family members), it is superior for him to pray in congregation with them. [Tahtawi/Shurunbulali, Hashiyat Maraqi al-Falah]

In the Prophet’s time (may Allah bless him and give him peace), both men and women would pray in the congregation.

However, Sayyida ‘Aisha (Allah be pleased with her) said, “Had the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and give him peace) seen what has happened with the women (of today), He would have prevented them from the Mosque just like the women of the Children of Israel were prevented…” [Muslim]

Sayyida ‘Aisha was so adamant was due to the actions of the women of that time when they would attend the Mosques. They would wear perfume and beautify themselves before unrelated men, and they would mix with unrelated men. Thus she said what she said even though the Prophet (may Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Do not prevent your women from the Mosques.” [Lashin, Fath al-Mun’im Sharh Sahih Muslim]

Thus, Islam encourages that unrelated women and men do not freely mix unnecessarily. For this reason, it is superior for a woman to pray at home and not in the congregation of the mosque with the men.

Summary
 
There is no injunction of Islam specifically preventing men and women from praying together; rather, any Islamic injunction that purports otherwise is merely due to secondary factors.

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, Quranic exegesis, Islamic history, and some texts on spirituality. He joined the SeekersGuidance faculty in the summer of 2019.

Finding blood after the prayer

Question:  I felt something weird in my stomach during Isha and thought it might be gas or an urge to use the toilet, and I just tried to ignore that urge thinking it was that, but now I realize that it may have been the cramps a part of my period. While I didn’t recognize the blood till after I had finished my prayers for that day, what if some blood was there before I prayed Isha in a small amount, and I didn’t know it? But I didn’t see any blood while making wudu. Are my prayers and fast valid that day?

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!

Yes, your prayers and your fast were valid because the certainty of you being in a state of purity is not lifted by your subsequent doubts.

“Certainty is not lifted by a doubt.”

[Ibn Nujaym, al-Ashbah wa’l Nadha’ir; Majallat al-Ahkam al-`Adiliyya]

This means that if one is certain about something, such as the validity of our worship, with this being the basic assumption for all human actions, then we will keep assuming it valid until certain that it was not. Mere possibilities and even likelihoods do not change this.

And Allah knows best.

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

The sitting between the two prostrations

Question:  What should be the minimum time span during which one must remain seat between the two prostrations in prayer? Does hasting between the first and the second prostration and not properly stopping invalidate one’s prayer? Does the back have to be straight between the two prostrations, or can it be a bit bent?

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!

Remaining motionless between the two prostrations

It is necessary (wajib) to remain motionless  in the sitting between the two prostrations for the duration of saying a glorification (“Subhan Allah”). [Radd al-Muhtar; Ascent to Felicity]

Another strong opinion deems this to be an emphasized sunna. [Radd al-Muhtar]

This position could be used to avoid worrying about mistakes in the past regarding this issue.

In any case, failing to do so won’t invalidate the prayer. Nonetheless, it will be necessary to perform the prostrations of forgetfulness if one forgot about it. Failing to do so willingly would entail a sin, and it would be necessary to repeat this prayer even though the defective prayer was valid the first time. [Nur al-Idah]

Raising from the first prostration.

It is necessary (wajib) to raise oneself from the first prostration to perform the second prostration. The slightest elevation is enough to fulfill this duty. But it is prohibitively disliked (i.e., sinful) to suffice oneself with this. [Radd al-Muhtar]

It is an emphasized sunna to sit down between the two prostrations fully. [Maraqi al-Falah]

And Allah knows best.

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

Reciting the Fatiha behind the Imam

Question: Does the follower have to recite the Fatiha after the Imam recites it?

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

Dear questioner,

Thank you for your important question.

Yes, even if the imam recites the Fatiha aloud, the follower must still recite the Fatiha at some point before he goes into the bowing position. This could be before, during, or after the imam’s recital of the Fatiha. (Minhaj al-Talibin, Nawawi)

Some of the Prophetic Companions were reciting behind the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) as he was reciting in prayer. He noticed and said, ‘Perhaps you recite behind your imam?’
‘Yes, O Messenger of Allah,’ they responded.
‘Do not do that, except for the Opening of the Book, for indeed there is no prayer for the one who does not recite it.’ (Ahmad, Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi, Ibn Hibban and others; al-Qira’a Khalf al-Imam, Bukhari)

It is recommended for the imam to pause after he recites the Fatiha so that the follower can recite the Fatiha to himself. (Fath al-Mu’in, Millibari) Even if he doesn’t do that, the follower still has to recite the Fatiha one way or the other.

Please also see:
https://islamqa.org/shafii/seekersguidance-shafii/108309

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.

Ramadan Guide For Menstruating Women

Although we all know that it’s really the inward that matters, sometimes the outward helps us get there. But when we lose certain acts of worship in Ramadan, it doesn’t mean we have to lose out. Here is a handy resource list for menstruating women to get the best out of Ramadan.

The Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, said about menstruation, “Verily this is a matter Allah has written upon the girls of Prophet Adam [peace be upon him].” [Bukhari] Those who claim that menstruation is like a punishment because one cannot perform acts of worship are severely mistaken. On the contrary, there are many forms of worship that a woman can do while menstruating aside from what is legally prohibited.

Allah says in the Qur’an, “He who obeys Allah and His messenger, and fears Allah, and keeps duty [unto Him]: such indeed are the victorious.” [Qur’an 24:52] Allah Most High has commanded menstruating women and women in a state of lochia (post-natal bleeding) to refrain from the ritual prayer and ritual fasting. Thus, if a menstruating woman fulfills this command with the intention to submit to Allah’s order, she is actually worshiping Allah the entire time that she refrains from the ritual prayer and ritual fasting.

It has been said, “Her praying while pure is worship (ibada), and her refraining from prayer while menstruating is worship. All of it is worship.” Therefore, there’s nothing dreadful or awful about menstruation or lochia (post-natal bleeding), rather it is a person’s attitude towards it that matters.

Suggested Acts of Worship

  1. Listen to the Qur’an
  2. Make remembrance (Dhikr) of Allah. See: Selected Supplications.
  3. Send blessings on the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace). See: Selected Prophetic Prayers for Spiritual, Physical and Emotional Wellbeing by Chaplain Ibrahim Long.
  4. Give generously in charity. See: How Much Should I Give In Charity?.
  5. Be kind to others, including spouses and family members. See: Prophetic Guidance: On Forbearance, Patience, and Kindness.
  6. Make Dua for the Umma. See: Remembering the Umma in Prayers.
  7. Make much repentance. See: Chapter on Repentance-Imam Nawawi.
  8. Feed fasting people. See: Feed the People – Shaykh Faid Mohammed Said.
  9.  Carry out any righteous deed. See: Easy Good Deeds by Mufti Taqi Usmani.
  10. Gain Islamic knowledge. See: Nine On Demand Courses for Ramadan.
  11. Babysit to help mothers worship. See: Making the Prophet Real for Children.