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Understanding the Answer to My Istikhara

Question: A guy proposed to me and I don’t like him because he has an anger issue. But my parents insisted, especially my mother. I was told to obey so I gave my consent and continued praying for khair. I did istikhara countlessly. He sent his father’s cousin and his boss to meet my dad, but not his uncle, whom my father knows very well. When my dad did see the uncle, he asked him why he didn’t come, the uncle said the boy isn’t a good person and my father shouldn’t give out his daughter to him. So my dad didn’t accept the proposal. Was my prayer accepted? Now my mom started saying that his uncle is envying him. I am scared now I can’t accept the proposal again.

Answer:

Assalamu alaykum,

Istikhara and its signs

Thank you for your question. When it comes to istikhara, one thing that is the most important is your gut feeling.  I feel that you knew, deep down, that he was not right for you, so I commend you for following your heart. See these links:
https://seekersguidance.org/articles/general-artices/the-reality-of-istikhara/
https://seekersguidance.org/articles/prophetic-guidance/the-reality-of-istikhara-2/

Your prayer was answered

I feel that this situation gave you two signs that you should not marry him. First, your gut was right to tell you no, from what you know about his temper, and secondly, your father was given sound, fair, and honest advice from his uncle. This only confirms what you were feeling before. Assuming the worst of his uncle is not right or fair.

Don’t obey

As for the future, please understand that you don’t need to obey your parents if they force you to accept a proposal. You are free to say yes or no, and you cannot be compelled to marry someone of their choosing, even if it upsets them. This is a God-given right and no one can take it away from you. Although children are expected to obey their parents and be good to them, it is not unconditional, especially if their choice of spouse is questionable.

May you continue to put your trust in Allah, as you did, and may you find the best spouse suited for you, where you dwell together in peace, tranquility with iman and taqwa.

[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.

Pausing in Prayer

Question: What is the ruling on standing up and pausing after bowing (ruku) and sitting and pausing between the two prostrations (sujud)?

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

Dear questioner,

Thank you for your important question.

The ruling on standing up and pausing after bowing (ruku) and sitting and pausing between the two prostrations (sujud) in the Shafi’i school is that they are integral to the prayer (fard). If someone does not do them, they simply have not prayed (Minhaj al Talibin, Nawawi).

The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) saw someone praying without doing these and told him to repeat his prayer (Bukhari).

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

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.

What Should I Do if I Fear That My Prayer and Ghusl are Not Accepted?

Question: What should I do if I fear that my prayer and ghusl are not accepted?
Answer: 
In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate
Your fear of your deeds not being accepted is a good feeling to have as it shows humility and an acknowledgment of our shortcomings in worshipping Allah Most High as He deserves to be worshipped.
However, fear of this nature can become excessive and therefore detrimental to a person. Consider the following steps to determine whether your fear is good or excessive.
Validity of Actions
Being afraid that one’s actions are not accepted because they don’t meet the requirements of validity is problematic for many reasons. The believer is commanded to seek knowledge.
The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Seeking knowledge is obligatory on every Muslim” [Ibn Majah].
The knowledge referred to in this narration is a level of knowledge by which one can fulfill their religious obligations in a correct and sound manner [Birgivi, al-Tariqa al-Muhammadiyya].

For this reason, the Believer has no right to merely fear that their deeds are invalid, rather they are obliged to make their actions valid in accordance with the sound teachings of the Prophet (may Allah bless him and give him peace).

Misgiving and Doubts (Waswasa)
If one’s fear is merely due to baseless doubts, what-ifs, and conjectures about their deeds they must abandon such doubts and act only on the basis of reasonable surety and certainty.
For the one who is constantly in doubt abandoning caution is often the best cure.
“As for the one who is often inflicted with misgivings (waswasa), it is necessary for them to sever the cause of the waswasa and not to give it any consideration. This is because it is the doing of Shaytan and we have been commanded to oppose him” [Ibn ‘Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar].
Allah Most High tells us, “…for ˹it is˺ He ˹Who has chosen you, and laid upon you no hardship in the religion…” [Qur’an; 22:78].
If you find yourself in undue hardship in the religion, it is a sign that something is wrong and you should consult a local scholar regarding the issue.
Fear of Acceptance

It is a good quality for the Believer to have a level of fear in regard to their deeds not being accepted. This fear stems from our belief that no matter what we do of righteous works, Allah Most High deserves greater than that. However, if this fear becomes excessive, it may lead one to despair.It is sufficient as a consolation that Allah Most High says, “Say, ˹O Prophet, that Allah says,˺ “O My servants who have exceeded the limits against their souls! Do not lose hope in Allah’s mercy, for Allah certainly forgives all sins. He is indeed the All-Forgiving, Most Merciful” [Qur’an; 39:53].

For this reason, it is important for the Believer to have both hope and fear. We hope that Allah, out of His Divine Mercy, accepts our deeds, however, we fear that our deeds were deficient and could have been performed better, with more presence of heart or more sincerity etc…

This brings us to one last point which is that the Believer must have a good opinion of Allah Most High.

Having a Good Opinion of Allah

The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and give him peace) narrates that Allah Most High says, “I am according to My slave’s opinion of Me; So let them think of Me as they wish…” [Tabarani].

In another narration, Allah Most High says, “I am according to My slaves’ opinion of Me. If they think of Me in a good way, then they have it (i.e. good) and if they think of Me in a bad way, they have it (i.e. bad)” [Ahmad].

Summary

Remind yourself that Allah Most High wants you to succeed and He wants to show you His mercy. The fact that you are concerned about your faith shows that He has concern for you. Had He not cared about you, He would have made your concern about otherworldly things.

Strive to learn your faith, start with the basic foundation of knowledge regarding Islamic beliefs, Worships, and Spirituality, and strive to implement what you learn.

Whenever you slip, turn back to Allah Most High, ask for forgiveness, and return to striving.

May Allah grant you the success of this life and the next and bless you with that which only He can give.

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

May I Continue Praying Friday Prayer at Home even after Mosques Open?

Question: In light of the current pandemic, is it permissible to stay at home to pray salah including jummah salah (zuhr if not enough family members) and eid salah even if masjids are open again?

My concern is, is that there is still a chance of getting the virus as it hasn’t been confirmed to be eradicated completely yet and so there is still a risk to one’s health to go to the masjid despite them following protocols – compared to praying at home where this isn’t an issue.

Answer:

Assalamu Alaykum

The answer to this question would depend on the potential risk posed by the coronavirus in the area one is living in. This also takes into account a number of factors, such as the reproduction rate and growth rate of the coronavirus, the advice of experts, the safety measures that mosques and other public places are implementing or are able to implement, the background of the individual (such as age, health, etc.), and more.

If your mosque is in an area where health experts have permitted controlled gatherings and the mosque is able to effectively implement all required safety measures, which includes that their guidance is being followed by fellow congregants, and you are someone who is otherwise healthy and pose minimal risk to others (such as an elderly family member living with you), then you should go to the mosque for Friday prayers.

If, however, you are in an area where the coronavirus is still spreading significantly, or your mosque is not able to implement the required safety measures, or they advise the necessary precautions to be taken but members of the congregation attending are not following them, or if you have health problems that put you at greater risk than others, or if you pose a real risk to vulnerable people around you, then you may (and in some of these cases should) pray Zuhr at home.

These are simply general pointers. Individuals are responsible for exercising their best judgment in these cases.

[Ustadh] Salman

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.

Sudden Fear of Dying

Question: Suddenly I got thinking that I will die tomorrow and I can’t stop crying. I prayed two Rakats, but I only fell asleep after hearing a dua and a surah. Today I feel the same and I’m confused whether it is from Allah or the Shaytan.

Answer:

Assalamu alaykum Sister,

Thank you for your honest question. You sound like you are in much pain. May Allah guide you through this and relieve your heart.

I want to let you know that no one can tell you when you are going to die. This has been written in the Tablets, from the time that you were in the womb, and you must not preoccupy your mind with it. Every soul will taste death, as it says in the Qur’an, but we must focus on preparing for it.

If I were in your shoes, I would do the following:

1) Pray on time, five times a day
2) Read some Qur`an with the meaning every day
3) Give charity or do service every day
4) Exercise in the fresh air and eat healthy every day, especially drop the sugar
5) Keep the company of good, religious friends and family
6) Learn your personally obligatory Islamic Knowledge; it is your best weapon against anxiety and worry.

Allah, Most High, says, “those who believe and whose hearts find comfort in the remembrance of Allah. Surely in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find comfort.“ [Qur`an, 13:28]

Please regularly invoke the Du`as in the links below, may Allah give you every success and relief!

Abu Zayd Balkhi on Depression – Shaykh Dr. Asim Yusuf
Depression and Sadness
Selected Prophetic Prayers for Spiritual, Physical and Emotional Wellbeing by Chaplain Ibrahim Long

[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.

Does Mistakes During Recitation Invalidate My Prayers?

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad

Question: I was on my way home from work during `Asr time. I got home after Maghrib so I prayed and made up `Asr with it. Then I realized I’ve been mispronouncing a letter in the Fatiha. Do I have to make up the `Asr and Maghrib prayers again? And the whole day’s prayers, too?

Answer: Assalamu alaykum, Sister,

The answer to your question is found in the link below. The short answer is that you don’t need to make up the prayers. Try to practice your tajweed when you are outside of the prayer. The more you practice, the better it will get, by the grace of Allah.

The Prophet, may Allah bless him and give him peace, said, “One who is skilled in the Qur’an is associated with the noble, upright recording angels, and he who falters when he recites the Qur’an and finds it difficult for him will have a double reward. [Abu Dawud]

Does a Mistake in the Recitation of the Fatiha Invalidate My Prayer?

May Allah enable us all to recite the Qur`an as the Prophet did, may Allah bless him and give him peace.

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. Afterwards, 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.

Do Mistakes in Recitation Invalidate the Prayer?

Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch

Question: Do mistakes in recitation invalidate the prayer?

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

Your mispronunciation or mistakes does not invalidate your prayer.

What Types of Mistakes Invalidate the Prayer

The scholars have discussed this issue in a great deal and have mentioned that any mistakes made in the pronunciation of the Arabic do not break the prayer unless the change of the meaning is drastic, such that the meaning is tantamount to disbelief. [Hashiyah Ibn Abidin]

Others have mentioned that no mistakes invalidate the prayer because many people are unlearned and would often make pronunciation mistakes.

There is expansiveness in the matter.

Allah, Most High has not placed any undue hardship in the religion. Sometimes we overburden ourselves with doubts that may lead to waswasa.

How To Deal With Waswasa

For the one who is constantly in doubt abandoning caution is sometimes the best cure.

“As for the one who is often inflicted with waswasa, it is necessary for them to sever the cause of the waswasa and not to give it any consideration. This is because it is the doing of Shaytan and we have been commanded to oppose him.” [Hashiyah Ibn Abidin]

Knowledge

The long-term cure for these constant doubts is to seek a deeper understanding of Islamic Knowledge. With knowledge, Shaytan can not deceive you with his whispers and plots. I would advise that you find authentic scholars in your area and study with them a basic text in Islamic Jurisprudence.

Please note that SeekersGuidance has classes available in Islamic Jurisprudence and many other subjects.

May Allah ease your affairs

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.