Prayers

QUESTION: Can you pray Salah at home even though you live nearby to a mosque?

ANSWER:

Praying in congregation is a Sunnah Mu’akkadah or Wajib. The latter being the stronger opinion and that which is held by Imam Ahmed Rida Khan (رحمة الله عليه) in his Fatawa. Therefore one should try to attend the congregation prayer but if he prayed at home the prayer will be done.

The Hadith, “There is no Salah for the neighbour of the Masjid but in it.” is a negation of the virtues of such prayer rather than a negation of its actual validity. This is the explanation given by the Ulama.

Allah knows best

Answered by Shaykh Naveed Jameel

QUESTION: Can we pray Jummah in school?

ANSWER:

In principle the Jum’ah prayer may be held in a place other than the Masjid in Hanafi fiqh as long as the conditions are met. One such condition is that Jum’ah cannot be held in a village, also another condition is that there should be general permission for the Muslims to attend. The latter is a condition the Ulama said is not met in a prison and therefore have not allowed Jum’ah prayers to take place there.

I assume most schools in the United Kingdom do not have a open door policy for the general public to attend and use there facilities for the Jum’ah prayer. Therefore it may be best avoided.

Allah knows best.

Answered by Shaykh Naveed Jameel

QUESTION: Can I close my eyes during Salah?

ANSWER:

The Sunnah is to place the sight, when standing, on the place of prostration. Therefore closing the eyes should be avoided.

[Imama Kasahani – al Bada’i]

But if there is a distasteful sight or something that will draw your attention then it is permissible to close your eyes to retain the presence of the heart.

Allah knows best.

Answered by Shaykh Naveed Jameel

QUESTION: During prayer I find it very difficult to concentrate and my mind always go towards other things. Even when I try my best to concentrate I still find it difficult. It has come to a stage were I sometimes i think i should stop praying because of these thoughts. What can I do to stop these thoughts and am I sinful to have these evil thoughts?

ANSWER:

Developing humility, presence and concentration in prayer is something that one should strive for and develop. Prayer is an obligation and contemplating leaving it is from the shaytaan in his attempt to destroy a slave do not pay attention to his deceptions. Learn the rules related to prayer and correct its outward form and delivery. Learn the meanings of what you recite to increase concentration. Avoid sins outside of the prayer and accompany the righteous, engage in dhikr of Allah, salawat and salam, seek knowledge and fight satanic whispers and your lower self. Ask Allah to free you from these thoughts that plague you. If these thoughts are not intentionally instigated during prayer you are not accountable, may Allah give you success.

Allah knows best.

Answered by Mawlana Ibrar Shafi

QUESTION: Due to work and studies I travel a lot and sometimes spend the entire prayer time on the train or plane. During these times I find it difficult to pray as there is no space to pray. In these circumstances what shall I do?

ANSWER:

Whenever one plans a journey one should always plan it around ones prayers such that each prayer is delivered in its time. One should reflect on the purpose of one’s creation and final destination. If the importance of prayer is understood one will make time wherever he is.

Note: On a plane one should inform the cabin crew who should be able to show him a place where he can pray standing facing in the direction of the Qiblah. Obligatory prayers cannot be prayed on a moving train so one should account for this in planning his journey so he can deliver the prayer in its time off the train.

After which if he still finds himself in such a situation where the time of prayer is escaping him whilst travelling in a bus, train or plane in which he is not allowed to stand by the cabin crew then he should pray in the best way possible trying to fulfil as many act as he can for the ihtiram ul waqt. He must then repeat this prayer when possible.

Allah knows best.

Answered by Mawlana Ibrar Shafi (Approved by Shaykh Naveed Jameel)

QUESTION: 1.) Is it permissible to say jumu’a mubarak please help out in this query because someone I know from a misguided sect has said it is a biddah? 2.) If it is allowed to say then please provide its reference or explain.

ANSWER:

First and foremost one should understand that the salaf of this ummah have explained bid’ah (innovation) as being of two fundamental types:

In the Sahih of al-Imam al-Bukhari it is mentioned that Sayyiduna ’Umar ibn al-Khattab (رضي الله عنه) stated concerning the 20 rak’ats of tarawih prayer, in congregation, behind one imam:

“What a good bid’ah it is!” (ni`mati al-bid`atu hiya).”

Al-Hafizh al-Imam al-Bayhaqi (رحمة الله عليه) narrates through a sahih isnad (authentic chain of transmission) in Manaqib al-Imam al-Shafi`i, that:

“Muhammad ibn Musa ibn al-Fadl narrated to us that Abu al-`Abbas al-Assam narrated to him that Rabi` ibn Sulayman narrated to him that al-Imam ash-Shafi`i informed him:

“The newly-invented matters from the affairs are of two kinds: One of them is whatever is innovated contravening [a matter from] the Book, or [a matter from] the Sunnah, or a narration, or a [matter of] consensus, then this is an innovation of misguidance (al-bid`atu al-dalalatu). The second is whatever is innovated of the good which does not contravene any of these, then this is an innovation which is not blameworthy (ghayru mahzmumatin).”

Regarding congratulating one another on the day of ‘eid, al-Sayyid ibn ‘Abidin al-Shami (رحمة الله عليه) relates from al-Muhaqqiq ibn ‘Amir Hajj (رحمة الله عليه) that he considered it: ‘ja’iz’ (permissible) and ‘mustahabb’ (commendable) in general. He also considered the wording popular in his time: ‘eidun mubarakun alayka’ (a blessed eid upon you) to take the same rule. He has mentioned: “Supplication for barakah (blessing) in many affairs has reached us, thus the commendability of supplication for it here (on the day of ‘eid) can be taken from that.”

[Radd al-Muhtar 2/169]

The barakah of Jumu’ah and its being a day of eid is clear in the Prophetic Ahadith such as in the hadith of the Sahih of ibn Hibban where it is mentioned that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وصحبه وسلم) said regarding the day of Jumu’ah:

“Verily it is a day of eid.”

[Sahih of ibn Hibban, Hadith 3610]

In a further hadith of the Sunan of ibn Majah it is mentioned that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وصحبه وسلم) said:

“Verily the day of Jumu’ah is the master of days.”

[Sunan ibn Majah, Hadith 1084]

The barakah of jumu’ah is such that al-Hafizh Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti (رحمة الله عليه) has gathered 100 special qualities related to it with supporting evidences in his work al-Lumu’ah fi Khasa’isil Jumu’ah.

If one greets his brother with salam and then supplicates for him on the day of Jumu’ah saying ‘Jumu’ah Mubarak’, then there is nothing in that which goes against the principles of the shari’ah which would make it a reprehensible bid’ah. In fact it is established that from the blessings of Jumu’ah is a hidden time in which the du’a of a slave is answered as in the hadith of the Sahih of al-Imam Muslim:

“Verily there is a time in the day of Jumu’ah, that no Muslim coincides with it supplicating to Allah for good except that Allah bestows it upon him”

[Sahih Muslim Hadith 852]

The opinion of those who are not upon the Aqidah of the Ahl al-Sunnah wal Jama’ah is of no value in matters of Deen.

Allah knows best.

Answered by Mawlana Ibrar Shafi

QUESTION: If I am going to pray Namaz (Salah) with my friend and he has a number two sized beard but mine is full length then my understanding is that I need to lead the prayer as it won’t count behind him because he is an open sinner. If I read behind him I have to repeat my namaaz. Am I correct? And what about a different scenario; some people say knowledge comes before the beard. So if I was with someone knowledgeable who has a small beard can I read behind him regardless of his beard because obviously his knowledge is more or should someone with a full beard lead? But what if his qiraat is not good. Very confusing.

ANSWER:

ibn Umar Allāh Almighty be pleased with him narrates that,

ان رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم امر باحفاء الشوارب و اعفاء اللحى

“The Messenger of Allāh (صلى الله عليه وآله وصحبه وسلم) had commanded to shorten the moustaches and lengthen the beards.”

The jurists of the Hanafi fiqh have concluded from the above hadith and others the necessity (wujoob) of lengthening the beard to a fists length detail of which may be found in the books of fiqh. The one who openly disregards a wajib is a fasiq (open-sinner). Praying behind such a imam is disliked (makrooh) as clearly stated in the books.

Ibn Abideen mentions that a prayer performed with a makrooh tahrimi is wajib to repeat and only recommended (to repeat) if the makrooh is tanzihi.

As for the question ‘what if the certain individual is superior in knowledge and has better recitation skills?’ then such qualities with the continuation of open fisq doesn’t make the prayer free of dislike (makrūh).

Imam Shurunbulali states,

كره امامة (الفاسق) العالم لعدم احتمامه بالدين و تجب اهانته شرحا فلا يعظم بتقديمه للامامة

“What is disliked also is the leading of a prayer by a fasiq Alim. This is due to his lack of concern in practising the religion. Therefore the Sharia holds that he be disgraced and not be respected by being brought forward as the Imam.”

[Maraqi al-Falah]

There may be certain factors why certain individuals don’t allow a person to follow this ruling like in certain Arab countries I know of Ulamah (Scholars) being arrested and harassed for having lengthy beards and some forced to shave. There may also be a valid interpretation in different schools of fiqh about the length of the beard all of which I can’t comment on and they are better placed to give answers for.

I have here stated the Hanafi position as agreed by the overwhelming number of scholars adhering to this blessed school. This is the positioned held for centuries by our teachers and communities.

Imams and Pirs (spiritual guides) should be very cautious about introducing new opinions which may contradict well established and detailed fatawa of the Ulamah, especially if there isn’t a need for them or it leads to the Sunnah not being practised, as all agree that to lengthen the beard to a fist is without doubt a blessed Sunnah.

This is not to say that they don’t have the right to disagree, if they have the skills and qualities of ijtihad, but each opinion has its importance and the collective opinion of the school can’t be challenged with the opinion of an individual especially when the likes of Imam Muhammad Shaybani have stated it to be the opinion of the entire school and that one most important individual the great Imam Abu Hanifa himself held so.

[Kitab ul A`thaar]

The ruling to pray behind such a individual has been given but I would humbly request that such a person not put himself forward in a community that sees a shortening of the beard as a fisq. Imam Abdul Gani Nabalusi (رحمة الله عليه) in his great commentary to the Tariqah Muhammadiyah mentions this as a sin and a crime of the hand on the body to shorten the beard less than a fist.

One should remember the hadith reported by Ibn Hibban which states,

“There are three people whose prayer isn’t accepted. A Imam disliked by his congregation, a women who spends the night whilst her husband is angry with her and two feuding brothers.”

In the commentary of Hadiya ibn Ammad by Imam Al Nabalusi Ashami it mentions, “It is makrūh tahrimi for a Imam to lead a a group of people who hold a dislike to him because of a short coming understood to be found in him.”

Allāh Almighty knows best.

Answered by Shaykh Naveed Jameel

QUESTION: How do a husband and a wife pray together in Jama’ah? Would the wife pray beside the husband, similar to when two brothers pray in congregation, with the one leading slightly ahead of the other, yet still touching? If this is not permissible, why?

ANSWER:

It is wājib to perform salāh in jamā’at (congregation) for all males who are sane, adult, independent and capable. Those who miss it even once without any excuse are sinners.

[Radd al-Muhtār]

When praying with one’s wife, it is best for the wife to stand completely behind her husband, as to opposed to level to him because that will lead to the issues of muhazaat taking place, which in turn will invalidate the husbands prayer.

Allāh knows best.

Answered by Shaykh Naveed Jameel

QUESTION: What is the ruling for travellers Salah for instance if you are away from home and you pray the full prayer rather than shortening it are you sinful?

ANSWER:

وَإِذَا ضَرَبْتُمْ فِي الْأَرْضِ فَلَيْسَ عَلَيْكُمْ جُنَاحٌ أَن تَقْصُرُوا مِنَ الصَّلَاةِ

“When you travel on the earth it is no fault on you if you shorten prayer.”

[Surah Nisa 4 : 101]

It is wājib according to the Hanafi school for a traveller to perform qasr (shorten his prayer). This is understood to mean that a traveller must perform two rak’āts fardh as opposed to four rak’āts.
If a traveller deliberately performs four rak’āt namāz (for example with the intention of achieving more reward) and sat for qa’dah after the second rak’āt then his fardh is fulfilled and the last two rak’āt are counted as nafl (supererogatory) but he will be a sinner and deserve punishment as he has forgone a wājib. It is necessary for such a person to repent.

In the event that the traveller did not sit for qad’ah after the second rak’āt then his fardh have not been fulfilled and all four rak’āt will be counted as nafl. The exception to this is:-

  • If he made intention for residing [for a period of the next fifteen days] before the sajdah [prostration] of the third rak’āt then his fard will not be voided but he will have to revert back to the standing position of qiyām and should repeat the ruku [bowing postion] for his third rak’āt. If however, his intention was made during the sajdah of the third rak’āt or after this, then his fardh are void and null. Similarly if he omitted recitation in any of his first two rak’āt his prayer will be void.

If a traveller made an intention to offer four rak’āt of fard instead of qasr [shorten prayer] and thereafter realised and offered salām after two rak’āt, his prayer has been accomplished. To make an error in specifying the number of rak’āt in the intention in not harmful and the prayer is still valid.

[Al Durr al Mukhtār]

Allāh knows best.

Answered by Shaykh Naveed Jameel

QUESTION: Can one pray behind a person who doesn’t have a fistful beard and also if you don’t have good thoughts/opinions on the person who leads the prayer?

ANSWER:

It is makrūh tahriman (severely disliked) to pray behind a person who openly disregards a fardh or wājib, such an individual is termed a fāsiq in the books of fiqh.

A Muslim should have only good thoughts about his Muslim brother and many a bad or evil thought may be considered a sin as we know from the teachings of Qur’an and Sunnah. To avoid praying behind a Sunni who outwardly fulfils the conditions of imāmat (leading the prayer) without solid evidence of him being from the people of bidah or fisq is incorrect.

Allāh knows best.

Answered by Shaykh Naveed Jameel

QUESTION: I frequently have doubts as to if I have broken my wudu or not. Should I take precaution by repeating wudu or should I ignore the doubts? Please advice. Thanks.

ANSWER:

If the doubt becomes a harj (problematic) and frequent one may ignore it and maintain himself to be in the state of wudu, this is in line with the fiqh rule “certainty does not perish due to doubt”.

Allāh knows best.

Answered by Shaykh Naveed Jameel

QUESTION: What is the fiqh of wearing leather socks?

ANSWER:

The wiping of the footgear (footgear typically worn are ankle-high leather socks that are worn inside the shoes) has been established by the Prophet صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم saying and action.

It is valid for both men and women to wipe the khuf (footgear) to obtain cleanliness from the state of minor impurity (one is not permitted to wipe the footgear to acquire cleanliness from major impurity), even if the wiping is on something thick other than leather, and it is the same of the sole is made of leather or not.

Seven conditions are required to validate the wiping.
1)    The first requires that they be worn after washing the feet.
2)    They must cover the feet up to and including the ankle.
3)    One must be able to continuously walk in them. It in not permissible for one to wipe on footgear that have been made from glass, wood or steel.
4)    Each khuff must be free from a tear the size equivalent to three of the smallest toes.
5)    They must be able to hold to the feet without being tied.
6)    They must prevent water from reaching the skin.
7)    When wiping the front part of the foot must be physically present.

A non-traveller is permitted to wipe his footgear for one day and one night (24 hours).A traveller is permitted to wipe his footgear for three days and three nights (72 hours).

It is obligatory to wipe the area equivalent to the three smallest fingers of the hand over the top part of each foot. It is sunnah to begin the wiping from the toes of the feet up to the shin with the fingers spread.

Things which nullify the wiping are four.
1.    Wiping is nullified by all things that nullify wudu
2.    The removal of the khuffs invalidates the wiping. The same applies even if the majority of the foot is exposed.
3.    When the majority of one of the feet becomes wet with water, the wiping is ruined.
4.    When the period for wiping expires.

Allāh knows best.

Answered by Ustadh Abu Dihh’ya Asid Shafait

Checked by Shaykh Naveed Jameel

QUESTION: Are women allowed in the masjid to pray jum’ah, attend an event or pray in congregation?

ANSWER:

The ulema of the Hanafi school have stated it is not permissible for women to attend the congregation of prayer at the mosque. Some have held the position of distinguishing between old and young women and certain prayers within which they can partake, all of these positions have been revised in the Hanafi school due to our corrupt times to the position of being out rightly prohibited.

It is permissible for her to attend a gathering of knowledge or lessons within the mosque if there be a need to do so. For remaining ignorant of the basics of Islam is far worse.

Allāh knows best.

Answered by Shaykh Naveed Jameel

QUESTION: What is salatul awabeen and how can I pray it?

ANSWER:

Salātul auwabīn encompasses six rak’āts of supererogatory (naf’l) namāz to be performed after namāz e maghrib in three sets of two rak’at each. The Prophet of Allāh صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم has said, “whatsoever the sins are, all (even if they are equal to foam the sea) will be forgiven for who perform six salāt auwabīn after maghrib.”

Allāh knows best.

Answered by Shaykh Naveed Jameel

QUESTION: Please explain the ruling of reciting Surah Fatihah in the last two rak’ahs of the fardh prayer.

ANSWER:

In the last two rak’ahs of a fardh prayer you have a choice to either;

  1. Recite Surah al-Fatiha, or
    2. Recite tasbih, or
    3. Remain silent – and then do ruku (bow) and sujood (prostration).

It says in Quduri:

و هو مخير في الأخريين إن شاء قرأ الفاتحة و إن شاء سبح و إن شاء سكت

It says in Nur al-Idah and its commentary Maraqi:

تسن قراة الفاتحة فيما بعد الأوليين

This statement proves that it is better to recite Surah Fatihah (in the last two rak’ahs).

To recite another Surah after Surah Fatihah in that last two rak’at of a fardh prayer is makruh-e-tanzihi (disliked) because it is against the Sunnah, but if someone does then he doesn’t need to do sajdah sahw (prostration of forgetfulness).

ضم سورة في الأ خريين المختار لا يكره تحر يما بل تنزيها لأ نه خلاف السنة وفي أظهر الروايات لا يجب عليه سجدتا السهو

[Radd-ul-Mukhtar vol 1 pg 338]

Allah knows best.

Answered by Mufti Shams ul Huda [taken from Fatawa Kanzul Imaan]

QUESTION: Should women place their hands on their chests or below their chests during prayer?

ANSWER:

Women should place their hands just below their chests during the prayer.

Shaykh Abdul Ghani al-Ghanimi writes, “and women should place palm (right) over palm (left) below the chest.”

[al-Lubab fi Sharahil Kitaab, volume 1 page 67]

Allah knows best.

Answered by Mufti Mohammed Kashif

QUESTION: In congregation – if the imam recites so slowly that between every ayah of the Qur’an that he recites there is a silence greater than the length it takes to recite 3 tasbihs – would such prayer be valid or would it have to be repeated?

ANSWER:

The prayer would be makruh-e-tahriman (severely disliked) and it would be required to repeat it again.

Imam Haskafi writes, “Understand! If thinking keeps him busy for a period, in which a rukan can be done, and he hasn’t been reciting qir’aat or tasbeeh (i.e. he was quiet whilst thinking), sajda-e-sahw (prostration of forgetfulness) is wajib upon him.”

[al Durr al-Mukhtar, Page 101]

Allah knows best.

Answered by Mufti Mohammed Kashif

QUESTION: Is it wajib to recite any dua in the witr prayer or do we have to recite the dua ‘Allahumma inna nasta’eenuka wa nastagh-firuka…’?

ANSWER:

It is wajib to read du’a in the third rak’ah of Witr Salah. However to pray the du’a mentioned in the question is not wajib, but Sunnah. So by not praying the du’a though Salah will be valid, but there will be a reduction in reward as a Sunnah was omitted. One should try and memorise the du’a so that one can attain reward of acting upon the Sunnah.

The great Hanafi Imam, Imam Ahmad Rida Khan (رحمة الله عليه) states:

“To pray the specific du’a (as mentioned in the question) is Sunnah. If one does not know that du’a then one can pray ‘Allāhumma Rabbanā Ātinā Fi al-Dunyā Ĥasanah Wa Fi al-Ākhirati Ĥasanah Wa Qinā ‘Adhāba al-Nār’. If one does not know this either, he can pray, ‘Allāhummaghfirlee’ three times. If one does not know this, then praying ‘Ya Rabb’ three times will fulfil the necessity (Wajib).”

[Fatawa al-Ridawiyyah, vol. 7, p. 485]

It is recommended to read Salat (Durūd) upon the beloved (صلى الله عليه وآله وصحبه وسلم) after the completion of Du’a al-Qunūt.

“To send salutations and blessings is recommended after the Du’a al-Qunūt”

[Bahar-e-Shari’ah with reference to Ghuniyyah and Radd al-Muhtar]

Allah knows best.

Answered by Mawlana Mohamed Husein Qadri

QUESTION: If a traveller is going from hometown A to town B and back again on the same day, and the distance between these towns is less that the distance of qasr but more than half of qasr (such that a round-trip would amount to over the distance of qasr), would he be considered a musafir for the purpose of his salah?

ANSWER:

وَإِذَا ضَرَبْتُمْ فِي الْأَرْضِ فَلَيْسَ عَلَيْكُمْ جُنَاحٌ أَن تَقْصُرُوا مِنَ الصَّلَاة

“And when you travel throughout the land, there is no blame upon you for shortening the prayer…”

[Surah Nisa 4:101]

No. He would not be considered as a traveller as according to Islāmic Jurisprudence, an individual is considered to be a traveller who leaves point A with an intention to travel a distance of 57.5 miles to point B with the conditions that it is an uninterrupted journey along with being less than fifteen days. Since the journey from A to B is less than 57.5 miles it does not meet the conditions of Qasr.

Allāh knows best.

Answered by Shaykh Naveed Jameel

QUESTION: What is the ruling for wearing a hat in Salah for men? Is is sunnah or wajib? Also what is the ruling for the hair being uncovered at the front (next to the forhead)? Does it invalidate the Salah?

ANSWER:

One should be aware that covering the head is a sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وآله وصحبه وسلم) both inside and outside of the prayer.

Imam Zahid al-Kawthari (رحمة الله عليه) has mentioned: “The prayer of one who is bare headed, without a valid excuse, is valid if his prayer has brought together all the necessary conditions and pillars, but doing so is in opposition to the inherited sunnah and the inherited practise in every land from the Muslim lands successively century after century.”

[Maqalat al-Kawthari, pg 165]

Imam Amjad Ali al-A’zhami (رحمة الله عليه) has mentioned: “Praying bare headed out of laziness, considering it to be a burden or that it is making oneself feel hot, is Makruh Tanzihi (minor dislike).”

[Bahare Shari’at vol 2 pg 631]

A man should wear an imamah or hat in such a way that the forehead remains uncovered so that one prostrates with ones forehead touching the ground directly. However, if the hair of the forelock remained uncovered it would not invalidate one’s prayer.

Allāh knows best.

Answered by Mawlana Ibrar Shafi

QUESTION: I would like to ask does applying hair gel on after doing wudu break your wudu? Also does applying aftershave break the wudu?

ANSWER:

Applying hair gel or aftershave does not invalidate the wudu (ablution). Wudu is invalidated only when:

  1. Anything exits from the two private parts of the body.
  2. Impure substances such as blood or pus flow from their point of exit and encroach on a place which it is incumbent to purify.
  3. Vomiting, if it was a mouthful (this is determined by whether you were able to keep your mouth closed or not)
  4. Sleeping lying down so that the rear is not firmly seated, or leaning [on one’s side] or reclining on something such that if it were removed he would fall.
  5. Loss of consciousness through fainting or insanity.
  6. Laughter in any prayer containing ruku` and sujud.

[Mutoon-e-Mazhab]

Allah knows best.

Answered by Mufti Mohammed Kashif

QUESTION: In a 4 rak’ah Sunnah prayer do you have to read a Surah after reciting Surah al-Fatihah? I know that when you are praying a 4 rak’ah farD prayer you don’t have to recite anything in the 3rd and 4th rak’ah but I want to know if it is the same case when reading the Sunnah prayer.

ANSWER:

It is wajib (necessary) to add any Surah (or 3 short ayahs or one long ayah) after Surah al-Fatihah in all the rak’ahs of the Sunnah and Nawafil prayers.

To recite at least one ayah in the first two rak’ahs of a fa​rD prayer, and every rak’ah of Witr, Sunan and Nawafil prayer is wajib for the Imam as well as the Munfarid (one praying alone)​.

[Hashiyah al-Tahtawi alal Maraqi pg 226]

Allah knows best.

Answered by Mufti Mohammed Kashif

QUESTION: In one of your answers [Q-ID0002] you stated that praying in congregation is wajib. However in my local area, the Imam who leads the prayer has very bad tajweed, and he also makes many mistakes ie missing wajibat and doing actions that are makruh tahriman in prayer (sometimes reciting the Qur’an in reverse order in each rak’ah etc). This is pretty much the same for any other masjid in my locality. Would I still be sinful if I do not pray in jam’ah behind such people? And is it okay for me to pray home alone in this situation?

ANSWER:

Praying with congregation is wajib (necessary) upon Muslim men. However, if you do not find any Masjid near your area with the Imam praying correctly, you can pray at home.

In-order for one to be an Imam, one of the compulsory pre-requisites is that he must know all the fara’id (compulsory) and wajibaat (necessary) pillars of the prayer and all the points that nullify or makes the prayer makruh (disliked) .

Reciting the Qur’an incorrectly may lead to the incorrect meaning being said and it is even possible for the prayer to become nullified.

Al-Ikhtiyaar states: {the most preferred among people for imamat (leading the prayer) is the one who is most knowledgeable of the Sunnah} and that he recites good enough for Salah to be valid, and he does not make grave mistakes in the recitation. Abu Yusuf narrates: the Imam should be the most knowledgeable in Qir’at (recitation) amongst the people because the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وصحبه وسلم) said,

“The one who is most well versed in recitation of Qur’an should lead the prayers.”

And we say – knowledge (of fiqh) is very much required so this is the most preferred. And during the period of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وصحبه وسلم) people used to recite Qur’an with the rulings hence best reciters amongst them were the most knowledgeable.

[Al-Ikhtiyaar vol 1, page 199]

However, if it is possible to inform the Imam about his incorrect recitation or mistakes, either by talking to him or giving him a note, it should be done.

Allah knows best.

Answered by Mufti Mohammed Kashif

QUESTION: I am wanting to ask is it permissible to pray in a room with photographs.

ANSWER:

It is makruh tahriman (prohibitively disliked) to pray in a room that contains photographs if one of the following conditions is met:

1) the picture is placed at head height or is hanging from or on the roof (in front of him) or;
2) the pictures is at where the sujud (prostrations) are done or;
3) the picture is placed left, right or in front of the one praying (meaning in his eyesight).

The prayer in the above cases are required to be repeated.

The famous Hanafi text al-Hidayah states,

یکرہ ان یکون فوق راسہ فی السقف او بین یدیہ اوبحذائہ تصاویر اوصورۃ معلقۃ لحدیث جبریل انا لاندخل بیتا فیہ کلب وصورۃ

And it is makruh (tahrimi) that a photo is above his head, on the roof or in front of him or there are photos in hanging in front of him because of the hadith of Sayiduna Jibra’eel (عليه السلام) that, “We do not enter a home which has dog or photo.”

[al-Hidayah vol 1, page 122]

Allah knows best.

Answered by Mufti Mohammed Kashif

QUESTION: Can a person only do the farz of wudu if there is minimal time left for salah? And will the prayer still be accepted?

ANSWER:

If there is not much time remaining for prayer, it is permissible to perform only the fara’id (compulsory) acts of wudu. The salah would be valid.

The compulsory acts of wudu are to 1) wash the face completely, 2) wash both the hands to and including the elbow, 3) masah (wipe) over 1/4th of the head and 4) wash feet (including the ankles).

Allah knows best.

Answered by Mufti Mohammed Kashif

QUESTION: Is it obligatory for an Imaam leading the prayer to wear an Imamah Shareef?

ANSWER:

Wearing the Imamah shareef is a virtous act that has many blessings however it is not obligatory for an Imam to wear an Imamah shareef to lead the prayer (although the reward for the prayer does increase if he does).

Imam Ahmad Rida Khan (رحمة الله عليه) writes, “There will not be an issue in anyone’s Salah (if the Imam isn’t wearing an Imamah), the Imamah is from the mustahabaat (things which are liked) of Salah and leaving the mustahabbaat doesn’t even make the Salah makruh (disliked). This is because tying the Imamah is from the sunan-e-zawaid (acts which the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وصحبه وسلم) did as a habit) and acting upon sunan-e-zawaid is like mustahab.”

[Fatawa Ridawiyyah vol 7, page 392]

Allah knows best.

Answered by Mufti Mohammed Kashif

QUESTION: I have a question which I can see is very controversial between the Ummah. What is the real Hanafi ruling on spraying perfume that contains Alcohol (such as Alcohol Denat)? Will our Wudu and Salah be accepted with it on our body or clothes?

ANSWER:

It will be allowed to offer Salah and make wudu with perfumes containing alcohol over the body.

In today’s day and age, the use of alcoholic medicines and sprays have become so common that not only the general public but even the Scholars are using them due to the need and because there is no other option available. This condition in Fiqh is called ‘Umoom-e-Balwa’, and Umoom-e-Balwa is one of the factors used to dilute the Islamic Law.

Imam Ahmad Rida Khan (رحمة الله عليه) writes, “Umoom-e-Balwa is, by Islamic rule, a factor to dilute the rule.”

[Fatawa Ridawiyyah vol 25, page 82]

However, we would still ask the people to avoid these things, if possible.

Allah knows best.

Answered by Mufti Mohammed Kashif

QUESTION: Is it permissible for women to pray whilst wearing makeup that does not contain alcoholic substances?

ANSWER:

Yes, it is allowed to pray your salah whilst wearing makeup, provided the wudu and ghusl was performed correctly.

Extra care should be taken when performing wudu/ghusl with makeup on yourself as some cosmetics create a layer over the skin which doesn’t allow water to reach the skin. If there is a layer preventing the water from touching the skin then your wudu/ghusl will not be valid nor will your prayer be.

For a prayer to be valid, the body and clothes of the person and where the salah is offered should be clean. So if the makeup is clean and its ingredients are not haraam then the prayer will be valid.

Imam Abdullah bin Mahmood Moosli states, “and there are six obligations (before starting the prayer); (one of which is) purification of the body from the two filths (hukmi & haqeeqi) and purification of the clothes and purification of place of Salah.”

[al Ikhtiyar vol 1, page 146]

Allah knows best.

Answered by Mufti Mohammed Kashif

QUESTION: Sometimes if we wear a white Jubbah or Kurta, we can usually see a vest underneath due to the white colour of the Jubbah. If the vest is not worn, then the shade of the skin or skin colour is seen if one looks through the white Jubbah carefully. Most people I have seen wear such white Jubbahs. Will the Salaah be valid in such clothing?

ANSWER:

If the skin colour is visible from below the navel till and including the knees (for men), then Salah will not be valid. If the actual skin colour is not visible, then Salah will be valid. Note that it is not allowed to wear such see-through clothes exposing the awrah even outside of prayer.

It is from the pre-requisite of Salah that Sitr is completely covered. Sitr for man is from below navel till and including the knees.

Hanafi texts clearly states 6 pre-requisite of Salah:
1) Purification (of body, clothes & place of worship)
2) Sitr e Awrah
3) Facing Qibla
4) Time
5) Intention
6) Takbeer-e-Tahreemah

[Mutoon]

Allah knows best.

Answered by Mufti Mohammed Kashif

QUESTION: What is the way to perform qunoot in witr salah?

ANSWER:

As per the Hanafi school of thought, the witr is wajib and it is three rak’ahs with salams at the end of the 3rd rak’ah.

After reciting the tashahud ‘at-tahiyat’ at the end of the second rak’ah, the person should stand up for the third rak’ah. After reciting Surah al-Fatiha and another Surah, he should raise his hands till his ear lobes reciting Allahu Akbar (as done for the takbeer e tahrima when starting the prayer) and then place the hands again below the navel and recite the Du’a al-Qunūt. After this he should go to ruku and complete the salah as he normally would.

Imam al-Mawsuli (رحمة الله عليه) writes:

الوتر واجب . وهي ثلاث ركعات كالمغرب لا يسلم بينهن ، ويقرأ في جميعها ، ويقنت في الثالثة قبل الركوع، ويرفع يديه ويكبر ، ثم يقنت، ولا قنوت في غيرها 

“The witr is wajib and it is 3 rak’ahs like Maghrib and there is no salam in between (i.e after the second rak’ah) and qirat (recitation of the Qur’an) will be done in all three rak’ahs and the qunut should be recited in the 3rd rak’ah before the ruku (bowing), and the hands should be raised and takbeer said and then qunut should be recited. And qunut should not be read in any other salah (except wit’r).”

[al-Ikhtiyar li-Taleelil Mukhtar – Kitabus Salat – Babu Salatul Wit’r]

Allah knows best.

Answered by Mufti Mohammed Kashif

QUESTION: Does yawning in prayer invalidate the prayer?

ANSWER:

Yawning doesn’t invalidate the prayer but one should try their best to suppress the yawn, and by placing their hand over the mouth if necessary.

Imam Ahmed Rida Khan (رحمة الله عليه) in al-Malfooz states, “Whilst standing in prayer, the back of the right palm should be placed on the mouth (when yawning) and in other arkaans (positions), the back of the left palm should be placed over the mouth.”

The Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وآله وصحبه وسلم) said, “Yawning is from Satan and if anyone of you yawns, he should check his yawning as much as possible, for if anyone of you (during the act of yawning) should say: ‘Ha’, Satan will laugh at him.”

[Bukhari Book 59, Hadith 98]

Ibn Abbas said, “When someone yawns, he should place his hand over his mouth. Yawning comes from Shaytan.”

[Al-Adabul Mufrad Book 40, Hadith 950]

Allah knows best.

Answered by Mufti Mohammed Kashif

QUESTION: I asked a brother: “will you not go to the Jumu’ah prayer?” – He replied jokingly: “aaj chutti hai.” – I said to him: “it is really harsh/problematic to say such things.” – He replied: “aaj Pakistan mai to chutti ka din hai.” What is the hukm on this? Waslaam.

ANSWER:

If the person said the statement ‘Aaj Chutti hai (today is a holiday)’ meaning the Jumu’ah prayer is not important then this leads to kufr (disbelief) and it is compulsory on him to repent and do both tajdeed-e-iman and tajdeed-e-nikah if he is married (meaning to repeat his shahadah and nik’ah with his wife). If this was not the intention, still the sentence remains very disrespectful hence he should repent for this.

Jumu’ah prayer is more emphasized than Dhuhr prayers.

عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ ـ صلى الله عليه وسلم ـ ‏ “‏ أَلاَ هَلْ عَسَى أَحَدُكُمْ أَنْ يَتَّخِذَ الصُّبَّةَ مِنَ الْغَنَمِ عَلَى رَأْسِ مِيلٍ أَوْ مِيلَيْنِ فَيَتَعَذَّرَ عَلَيْهِ الْكَلأُ فَيَرْتَفِعَ ثُمَّ تَجِيءُ الْجُمُعَةُ فَلاَ يَجِيءُ وَلاَ يَشْهَدُهَا وَتَجِيءُ الْجُمُعَةُ فَلاَ يَشْهَدُهَا وَتَجِيءُ الْجُمُعَةُ فَلاَ يَشْهَدُهَا حَتَّى يُطْبَعَ عَلَى قَلْبِهِ ‏”‏‏

The Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وآله وصحبه وسلم) said: “What if one of you were to take a flock of sheep and look for grass for them one or two miles away, but he cannot find any at that distance, so he goes further away? Then (the time for) Friday comes but he does not attend it, then (another) Friday comes but he does not attend it, and (another) Friday comes but he does not attend it, until Allah places a seal on his heart.”

[Ibn Majah Book 5, Hadith 1127]

Allah knows best.

Answered by Mufti Mohammed Kashif

QUESTION: In the Hanafi madhab there is a difference in the way women and men pray as proven thought various narration’s however some people quote the Hadith of The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) “Pray as you see me pray” therefore concluding there is no difference please can you explain

ANSWER:

Verify the Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وآله وصحبه وسلم) said,

صلوا کما رایتمونی اصلی – “Pray as you see me praying.”

But when we study the books of Ahadith, we find that the Prophet’s (صلى الله عليه وآله وصحبه وسلم) prayer changed over time and hence we have many different narrations reported regarding this. For example, the Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وآله وصحبه وسلم) would do raf’a yadain and later he left it.

Islam strongly advises upon the covering and modesty of women therefore where uncovering may happen, there is difference in the way the prayer is performed.

The Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وآله وصحبه وسلم) said,

المراۃ عورۃ – ”Women is a thing of covering.”

There are many examples to this which prove that the prayer of women is different to that of men.

1) It is wajib upon men to offer the prayer in congregation but it is best for a woman to offer it at home.

The Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وآله وصحبه وسلم) said “I should burn the houses of men who don’t come for prayer”

[Sahih al-Bukhari 1/95]

However for women, the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وصحبه وسلم) said, “It is better to a woman to pray inside her room than her common room (drawing room) and it is better for her to pray inside ‘makh d’a’ (room inside room) than to pray in her room.”

[Abu Dawud 1/96]

2) A women cannot lead men in prayer but a man can lead the prayer for all. Even if a woman leads prayer for other women she can’t stand in the front but has to stand within the row of women.

Rabta Hanfia narrates that Lady Aisha (رضي الله عنها) led them in prayer, so she stood with them (in saf) in fard prayer.

[Musannif Abdul Razzaq 3/40]

3) Though makruh (disliked), a man can pray without covering the head but it is prohibited for a woman to do the same.

The Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وآله وصحبه وسلم) said, “A woman whose head is not covered, her prayers will not be accepted.”

[Abu Dawud 1/73]

4) Men should have their ankles exposed whereas women have to cover the ankles in prayer.

The Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وآله وصحبه وسلم) said, “A woman who has complete ‘qamees’ (dress wore on top) should cover the exposed part of foot.”

[Abu Dawud 1/73]

5) Men should raise the hands in takbir-e-tahrima till the ears whereas women should raise it till their chest.

Wa’il bin Hajar narrates that the Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه وآله وصحبه وسلم) raised his hands till the ear lobes.

[Musnad Imam-e-Azam 47]

At’a was asked how the women should raise their hands in Salah he said they should raise till their breasts (i.e chest).

[Musannaf ibn abi Shaiba 1/239]

6) Men should place their hands below the navel in Salah but women should place them on their chest

It is Sunnah to place the right hand over left hand below the navel.

[Musannaf ibn abi Shaiba 1/427]

Allah knows best.

Answered by Mufti Mohammed Kashif

QUESTION: If we start our 4 rakah fard salah at the very end time of zuhr, is the prayer valid? And is there any dislike? Is this same for all prayers?

ANSWER:

The prayer will be valid without any karahah (dislike).

This is not the case for all of the prayers but only for Fajr & Dhuhr. For the other prayers i.e Asr, Magrib & Isha, delaying it for a long of period of time is makruh, though the time may remain.

Al-Imam Amjad Ali al-A’zhami (رحمة الله عليه) writes from the authority of al-Bahrur Raiq:

فجر اور ظہر کے پورے وقت اوّل سے آخر تک بلا کراہت ہیں۔ یعنی یہ نمازیں اپنے وقت کے جس حصے میں پڑھی جائیں اصلاً مکروہ نہیں-

“The Fajr & Dhuhr prayer, from the beginning till the end time, is valid without any dislike – that means these prayers (can be prayed) at any point of time during their allotted time and will not be makruh (disliked).”

[Bahar-e-Shari’ah 3/457]

Allah knows best.

Answered by Mufti Mohammed Kashif