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Loud Recitation In Individual Ṣalāh

If a person is saying his prayer alone can he recite the Qur’anb with a loud voice not so loud to disturb anyone and also with close eyes to seek concentration? I am asking about any of the five prayers.

Answer:

Ideally one whispers the recitation in individual ṣalāh. However, if one is alone he may slightly raise his voice in order to concentrate. It is not desirable that one closes one's eyes. Some even forbid it. But we believe for the sake of concentration that is required in the ṣalāh one may close his eyes.



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Islamic Calendar

Why should we call lunar calendar as Islamic calendar? Is it really Islamic or just lunar?

Answer:

Lunar Calendar is not Islamic. It is Muslim caendar. Islamic is something that is part of the religion. Time and its various units and divisions are not religious in nature. The Islamic sources had to refer to the times in the known terms in those days. This does not make those time marks Islamic.



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Language Of Friday Sermon

Has the second portion of Friday Congregation Sermon to be in Arabic or can it be said in English or any other language? I ask this because in Atlanta USA some new Mufti's say your Friday Prayer is not complete if the second portion of the sermon is said in a language other than Arabic.

Answer:

Mr Ghamidi believes that the problem you are confronting is because of the Hanafi understanding about Friday Sermon. Their opinion is that it should all be in Arabic. The rest understand that the sermon is meant to deliver a message to the participants and therefore it should be in the language they understand.

There is no problem whatsoever in delivering sermon in English or any other language. Even the prayers in the sermon can be in…

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Our View On Witr Prayer

I totally disagree with your point of view on witr prayer and I respectfully submit my reservations over it. Indeed it was the first opinion about Witr I ever heard from anybody else. It raises many questions in my mind regarding it and have totally surprised me. I am astonished with your views about the Witr, my queries are as follows:

1. Tahajjud is not a Farz prayer, and there is no compulsion over its offering. We will not be questioned if we skip it, then why you are attaching the farz content with the Non-Farz ṣalāh. Don’t we offer witr if we are in travel?

2. If Witr is part of tahajud then why in Ramadan we offer it after Tarawi?

3. If Witr is part of tahajud then why in all Islamic countries like KSA, Indonesia, Malaysia, it is offered after Isha Prayer?

Answer:

Thank you for writing back. I believe you are well aware of the fact that it is only Imam Abu Hanifah who held that witr prayer is wajib. You may also note that this wajib is a fiqhi term in a very specific meaning used by the ahnaf. You seem to be well aware of the source of Imam Abu Hanifah's view and why the rest of the scholars of the ummah do not consider…

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Obligation Of Wudu For A Bedridden

I am almost a bedridden patient for last five month, barely able to go to washroom once in a day. During night I have to use bed pan, which sometimes spoil my clothes. I want to offer my prayers but feel that I am not clean enough to offer prayers. Please tell what should I do?

Answer:

The Almighty Allah has ordained that He would no subject His servants to religious duties that they cannot discharge. Therefore, the Islamic Sharia'h contains the principle of "doing away with a hardship" which means that we are not obliged to carry out impossible tasks. We can eat prohibited food when we are starving. We are not obliged to make ablution when our health does not allow it and instead make a dry ablution.

Therefore, you…

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Commodes And Urinals

Can we remain ritually pure after using the western style commodes? Can we use them and still say our prayers and do ablutions etc? This I ask because in using them our body comes in direct contact with these commodes. My second question is also related one and that is pertaining to use of urinals. They are again very convenient to use and at times at many places like hotels and airports, we often find only them. Obviously one is standing while urinating but astonishingly I have noticed that one remains quite clear of any urinary drop whatsoever while using them. So can we use them and still say our prayers...because traditionally as far as I know, standing while urinating is quite prohibited.

Answer:

We believe that only thing required by the Shari'ah is that we use a posture that saves us from the filth and drops. Therefore, if this purpose is fulfilled by commodes or the urinals then there is no problem with using them. It is not urinating while standing that is ḥarām but urinating in a careless manner without taking care to keep the body and clothes safe from drops and filth.

I am sorry I…

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Meaning Of The Term Ṣalāh

The Qur’an uses hundred of times the words "Aqīmū al-ṣalāh". Does it mean, only to make a line and perform stand and sit? Please clarify. The Prophet (sws) and the Companions are thought only to have permission for this 'Yoga' or something meaningful later hidden by history.

Answer:

We believe that when the Qur'an commands the believers aqīmū al-ṣalāh or uses the word ṣalāh and its cognate terms it means to diligently offer the ṣalāh. What is ṣalāh? The Prophet Muhammad (sws) and the Muslim community of his time took it to mean the same ṣalāh the Muslims offer all over the world. It has not been constructed on the basis of isolated ḥadīth reports but the entire Muslim generation of the Prophet's…

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Creed Of Prayer Imam

Is it appropriate to ask an imam about his "creed/belief" to determine if one should follow him in congregational prayer?

Answer:

I think asking the Imam his creed before taking part in the congregational prayer is an act that cannot be condoned. Difference of opinion should not lead us to that kind of dissention.We should try to talk such people out of this attitude wisely and educate people to avoid extremism. Dialogue would better solve the matter and create an atmosphere of agreement and acceptance among the different sects of the Muslims. We should focus on…

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Supplications Adding Adversities

I have noticed that whenever I start reciting the Qur’an for nonstop hours or engage in optional prayers or invoke Allah’s names for the achievement of my supplications Allah tests me more and more and does not answer my prayer urgently. Moreover I face a lot of problems, obstacles or pains in my day to day life. I guess when I try to be near to Him my grades starts getting higher and that is why He makes me feel tested. So, as a result I leave all above mentioned "things". People tell me that why more worship brings more tests and problem. I am already tired of tests so I can’t bear more and am about to leave all good things I do in order to avoid further tests by Allah.

People also say that if one keeps on thinking about one particular prayer or runs after one thing all the time Allah never grants so. It is better to be care free. Soon you will see that your prayer will reach point of achievement. Is all that true? Am I doing right by leaving all good things? I am a person who thinks instead of watching Tv, watching movies on cable or listening to music it is better to worship Allah. But when I spend my most of time in reciting Quran or offering optional prayers I face a lot of tests. I can’t face tests. I am already going through a tough time so then what should I do to utilize my time. Life is spent useless.

Answer:

The Holy Qur’an says that prayer is a very important shield against the difficulties and hardships we face in this world. Seek help through perseverance and the Salah. (Qur’an 2:155)

The Almighty says that if one perseveres and seeks Allah’s help through prayer he is aided by the faith in God and his abounding help. It does not mean that the difficulties are curtailed and the problems are solved as by magic. It means that it…

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Lack Of Punctuality In Praye

I live and work in Canada. It is getting very difficult for me to be punctual in Salat that leaves unrest in my heart all the time. I have heard that in this kind of difficult situation I can perform Zuhr and Asr and Maghrib and Isha Salat at a time. Meaning from the start of Zuhr time to end of Asr time I can perform both the Salats. Same for Maghrib and Isha. Please correct me or verify it? Secondly can I perform all Salats at night after getting back to home?

Answer:

Preferably one has to read each of his daily prayers on time and during their respective times. As long as you can, with a reasonable effort, read your prayer within its specific time, you should do that, even if it means that you have to read it later in its time (i.e. not on time).

However in the situation where this creates much difficulty, one may combine his Zuhr and Asr and combine his Maghrib and…

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Penalty For Leaving Obligatory Prayers

I wanted to know what is the punishment for leaving the obligatory prayer. Also explain how to atone for sinning after repentance.

Answer:

The prayer is so central and foundational an obligation that a believer cannot be imagined to have missed it. The Sharia’h has not devised any punishment. However, if a believer who has missed prayers repents and shows commitment and diligently offers the salah later on can hope to be rewarded and forgiven. Allah Almighty has most mercifully declared that He accepts our true repentance. Breaking the commitment with God (tobah) is a great sin. However,…

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Are The Mentally Handicapped Liable To Pay Zakah?

Do mentally handicapped people need to give zakah?

Answer:

Zakah is a form of Worship and like all other obligations, it is something which is incumbent upon people who can comprehend and discharge their duties while being aware of them. Thus, according to our understanding of Islam, every sane person is obliged to pay Zakah on the assets he owns.

If an individual does not have the sense of a duty and cannot understand the meaning and importance of religion and religious obligation…

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The Poor And The Duty To Offer Hajj?

Hajj has been prescribed for every Muslim who is financially well-off and physically fit to undertake the journey, meet the financial costs and be able to perform the rituals. It is a common observation that majority of the people going for Hajj come from the lower income groups and they bear lot many hardships in raising money for the Hajj. But out of sheer reverence they sacrifice their primal needs at the altar of religious devotion. Do you think that such people who have to struggle to earn their livelihood, better not be allowed to perform Hajj? Is it permissible for an Islamic government to draft a Hajj Policy (as drafted by the Pakistani government regularly) that would only allow people with fiscal soundness to perform hajj? e.g only those would be allowed who earn, lets suppose, 100,000Rs annually or more. Will such a restriction be in accordance with Islam?

Answer:

I do not believe that it would be appropriate to restrict the devotees from performing Hajj on the given ground. After all these people struggle hard in the way of God and sacrifice in order to please God. They prefer the everlasting bliss of the Hereafter over joys of the ephemeral world. Such restrictions are prone to transferring their attention from pleasing God to other worldly affairs. We cannot decide on the behalf of the…

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Limits Of Infaaq

My father wants to donate 1/3 of his total property except home as Infaaq (Spending in the way of the Almighty). The idea in his mind is to support a set up or institute like AL-MAWRAD working for the right understanding of ISLAM. My father's query is 'can he does so?'

Answer:

There can be two implications to your question: a) whether a father can do so ignoring the will of his family sons etc and their needs and b) whether he is right in his thinking that he should donate the money to a organization rather than individual needy persons.

A father has absolute right over his wealth. He can spend any part of the wealth for benevolent causes. He however, should keep in mind…

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Can Women Offer The Funeral Prayer?

What is status of women offering the funeral prayer? Are they allowed to so? If no, why and if yes then can you give examples from the Prophet's life for this? If possible, please also let me know the view of the Hanafite jurists.

Answer:

Yes, women can offer the funeral prayer. They have not been stopped form doing so. A woman, like a man, may offer a funeral prayer, singly or in a congregation.

It is reported that once when Umm 'Abdallah offered the funeral prayer for 'Utbah, 'Umar waited until she finished. ' (indicating that women could offer this prayer individually). A'ishah (rta) ordered the body of Sa'd ibn Abi Waqqas to be brought to her…

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Sunnah: Some Clarifications

On several articles on your website you talk about tawatur with reference to sunnah. You say that collection of hadith is not sunnah. Is not hadith a source of sunnah? How else would we know how much to pay in zakat, how to do salat or do sawm? If you claim that sunnah is passed on generation to generation and preserved, then how come the shias offer salat differently from sunis, how come their fast has different times for breaking and starting than sunni's fast? Where did the change come from? Obviously passing down the sunnah generation to generation has not worked very well, otherwise we would be offering the rituals in the same way. Has Allah promised to preserve the sunnah?

Answer:

There is no denying the fact that the basic contents of Islam have been preserved and passed down to us through generation to generation mode of transfer. This makes it secure and keeps it from any alteration and renders it authentic at the ultimate level. None can raise a question on the authenticity of the Qur'an and the Sunnah.

The Hadith is of course a very important source of details and the prophetic…

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Zakah To Relatives

I have learnt your stance as regards disbursement of due Zakah. One thing I would like to clarify that in case a married person is living independently with his/ her family ( spouse & children), then is it justified to disburse the due zakah to needy near relatives even to the extent of real brothers etc?

Answer:

Muslims pay the Zakah money to their near relatives whom they do not provide like and who are not their dependents like wives and children. Sometimes, parents also become dependent on them.

The Holy Prophet (sws) has praised disbursement of the money among the near kindred. The Qur’an also exhorts the believers to give Zakah beginning with the near relatives.



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Fasting First Six Days Of Shawwāl

Someone has asked me about the opinion of various Imams, particularly Imam Abu Hanifa, regarding the 6 days of fasting during the month of Shawwaal.Obviously, for me it is a tough question as I have no knowledge of Fiqa as such, so I thought may be I should ask you. Also let me know about your opinion on this.

Answer:

As for the hanafi’s view on the six days fasts of shawal, they consider them Sunnah (as their own term: http://www.understanding-islam.com/related/text.asp?type=question&qid=1810). By Sunnah they mean supererogatory worship acts.

The Shari'ah only requires us to fast during the month of Ramadan. There is no requirement regarding fasting other than this. However, we can observe as much supererogatory fasts as we can. The fasts of Shawal have not been constituted as the obligatory Sunnah. Whoever observes fasts…

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Worship On Shab-e Mihraaj And Shab-e Baaraat

Should one pray specifically on shab-e-mairaaj (night of accession) and shab-e-baarat or does that fall under "bid’ah" (innovations in religion) as I could not find any Ahadith regarding praying specifically on these nights. And as far as it comes on praying on shab-e-qadr is concerned I'm aware that it is a very blessed night as mentioned in the Holy Quran itself and also Ahadiths. Could you please clarify the matter now and let me know whether praying on shab-e-mairaaj and shab-e baraat fall under 'bid’ah"?

Answer:

We know that the Prophet (sws) offered supererogatory prayers and encouraged others on doing the same. Therefore, offering supererogatory prayers cannot be considered to be a Bid`ah. One can worship his Lord as much as one can. And it is up to the individual to ascertain when to offer supererogatory prayers. He can offer as much as he can for example during Ramadan or any other time, which seems more appropriate time for the purpose.…

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Quranic Ruling Regarding Inebriation

According to a verse in the Quran you should not come closer to the prayers in an intoxicant state. This implies that at the rest of the moments you can stay in such state. While as per other verse intoxicant is haram at all moments. Is this a contradiction?

Answer:

The Holy Qur’an was not revealed overnight. It was revealed piecemeal over a period of time. It does not end an evil prevalent in the society with a single stroke rather it adopts the very natural way of gradual elimination of the evil and its replacement with the right. Therefore, we see that the Most Wise did not order the Muslims to stop drinking at once. First the Muslims were required not to intake liquor…

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