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Part IV: Ta’leemul-Arkaan or Islamic A’maal (Islamic Actions)

Rules About Qiraa’ah (Recitation in prayer)

Q.        Is it waajib to recite qiraa’ah aloud in Fajr, Maghrib and ‘Isha prayers even if one is saying them alone?
A.        It is not waajib to read qiraa’ah loudly in these prayers in such case, but it is certainly better.

Q.        What is the ruling if these prayers are said qadaa (makeup for missed prayers)?
A.        The imaam should read them in a loud voice. For the munfarid there is a choice to say the qadaa aloud or in a low voice.

Q.        How much qiraa’ah is sunnah in the fard prayers?
A.        While on a journey, there is a choice to recite any small or big surah[7] after Surah Faatihah. For one who is in residence (that is, not on a journey), there is a quantity of masnoon[8] qiraa’ah.

Q.        What is the masnoon qiraa’ah in prayers when one is in residence?
A.        It is sunnah to recite Tawaal-e-mufassal in Fajr and Zuhr prayers, Qasaar-e- mufassal in Maghrib prayers, and Awsaat-e- mufassal in ‘Asr and ‘Isha prayers.

Q.        What are Tawaal-e-mufassal, Qasaar-e- mufassal, and Awsaat-e- mufassal?
A.        The surahs of the Holy Qur’aan from al-Hujuraat (49) to al-Burooj (85) are called Tawaal-e-mufassal. The Awsaat-e- mufassal includes surahs from at-Taariq (86) to al-Bayyinah (98). The surahs from az-Zilzaal (99) to the end of the Holy Qur’aan are in the Qasaar-e- mufassal.

Q.        Is this qiraa’ah the sunnah for the imaam only or for the munfarid as well?
A.        It is sunnah for both the imaam and the munfarid.

Q.        What if one leaves this sunnah qiraa’ah while in residence?
A.        It is allowed.

Q.        Is a particular surah fixed for a particular prayer in such a way that qiraa’ah of any other surah is not permitted?
A.        No. No surah is fixed in this way. The Shari’ah gives permission to recite whatever surah one likes. Fixing certain surahs for some particular prayers by someone is against the Shari’ah.

Q.        Recitation of what surahs is masnoon in the sunnah prayers of Fajr?
A.        In the first rak’ah of sunnah the Holy Prophet () used to recite Surah al-Kaafiroon -  (109), and Surah Tawheed -  (or Ikhlaas – 112) in the second rak’ah.

Q.        Recitation of what surah is sunnah in Witr?
A.        Reading in the first rak’ah of Surah al-A’laa -  (87), al-Kaafiroon in the second rak’ah, and Surah at-Tawheed in the third rak’ah have been attributed to the Holy Prophet ().



Description of Jamaa’at and Imaamat

Q.        What is Imaamat?
A.        Imaamat means to be at the head of something. One who leads the prayers with all others following him is called the “Imaam”.

Q.        What is Jamaa’at?
A.        Jamaa’at is the saying of prayers by many persons together in which the leader is the imaam and the others who follow him are called muqtadi.

Q.        Is Jamaa’at a fard, waajib, or sunnah?
A.        Jamaa’ah is Sunnah Mu’akkadah (for men). It is very much emphasized. Some of the ‘ulamaa even consider it fard and some waajib. There is no doubt that Jamaa’ah is most beneficial.

Q.        What are the benefits of performing prayers in Jamaa’at?
A.        First of all, one gets 27 times more blessings for only one prayer when it is offered in jamaa’at at a mosque. Muslims meet five times a day and this creates mutual love and unity. People develop love for worship and prayers, taking the example of others. One who says prayers in jamaa’at puts his heart into namaaz. The prayers of the sinful become more acceptable by joining the praying with other pious and devoted persons. The ignorant can easily learn about the rules of Shari’ah from the learned. It gives the opportunity to know better about the poor and needy people of the community. It also enhances the dignity of the prayers. There are many other benefits also.

Q.        Who are not required to attend the Jamaa’at?
A.        Women, children, sick persons, those nursing the sick, the lame, the maimed, very old people and the blind are not bound to attend the jamaa’at.

Q.        What are the excuses which permit healthy persons not to attend Jamaa’at?
A.        Heavy rains, dirty and muddy roads, extremely cold weather, a stormy night, travel when the time for departure of the train or ship is near, the need to urinate or pass stool, and also when one is very hungry and food is served. All these excuses remove the emphasis of attendance in jamaa’at.

Q.        In which prayers Jamaa’at is sunnah mu’akkadah?
A.        It is sunnah mu’akkadah in all fard prayers. For Taraaweeh of Ramadaan it is sunnah kifaayah. Jamaa’at for the Witr prayer in Ramadaan is mustahab.

Q.        What is the least number for Jamaa’at?
A.        Two people- one to be the imaam and the other muqtadi. The muqtadi should stand to the right of the imaam. The imaam should stand ahead in front of the row when there are two or more muqtadis.

Q.        In what manner should people stand for Jamaa’at?
A.        People should stand close to each other and in a straight row. There should be no space left in between. Small children should stand in the back row. It is makrooh to include children in the men’s row. The women’s row should come behind the children.

Q.        If the imaam’s prayer becomes faasid (invalid), will the prayers of the muqtadis be all right?
A.        When the imaam’s prayer becomes faasid, the prayers of the muqtadis also suffer the same result. It is necessary for the muqtadis to repeat the prayers.

Q.        Who deserves to be the imaam?
A.        In order: first an ‘aalim, or a man who knows the rules of prayers best and is also a man of good deeds; then a person who can recite the Holy Qur’aan nicely; then a pious person; then the oldest person; then the noblest and kindest; then the most dignified and best-looking; and last of all, the man of a high family.

Q.        If there is a fixed imaam in a mosque and a better man turns up at the time of jamaa’at, who deserves to be the imaam?
A.        The already in-charge imaam will deserve the honor.

Q.        Saying prayers behind what sort of people is makrooh?
A.        Those indulging in bid’ah, a faasiq, an ignorant person, a slave, blind person, one who is not very careful in observing the rules of Shari’ah, an illiterate and bastard. To perform prayers behind these persons is makrooh. But if the slave is a man of knowledge; and if the blind person is careful in the observance of Shari’ah and has good knowledge or recites the Qur’aan Shareef nicely; and if a bastard is an ‘aalim (scholar) and good-natured – when a better person is not available we can say prayers behind any of them without any hesitation.

Q.        Behind whom is prayer not acceptable at all?
A.        The prayer is not accepted if it is offered following a mad or drunken person, or a kaafir or mushrik.

Saying prayers by a major (adult) person behind a minor (child) person is not acceptable. Also, men’s prayers said behind a woman are also not acceptable.

The prayers of one who has done wuduu’ or taken bath properly is not accepted if he says it behind a person who has not done the same (for example, has done tayammum).

The prayers of one whose satar (private parts) is covered is not accepted if said behind one who has satar uncovered. One who is able to do rukuu’ and sajdah cannot say prayers behind one doing these things by gestures.

One who is saying fard prayers cannot say prayers behind one who is saying nafl. In the same way, one cannot say fard for Zuhr behind one who is saying the fard for ‘Asr.

Q.        Is Taraaweeh allowed if said behind a minor boy?
A.        It is not allowed. If a boy is 15 years old, even though without any outward signs of majority, both Taraaweeh and fard are allowed behind him.




Q.        What are the Mufsidaat of salaah?
A.        Mufsidaat-e-salaah are the factors which break the prayer (make it faasid), and make it necessary to be repeated.

Q.        What are these mufsidaat?
A.        They are:

(1)      To talk in prayer, knowingly or unknowingly, a few words or many.
(2)      To greet a person by “as-salaamu ‘alaykum” or by any other word of salutation and greeting while saying prayers.
(3)      To reply to greetings or saying “yarhamukallaah” to one who sneezes. Also saying “aameen” to a du’aa not connected with one’s own prayer.
(4)      To say “innaa lillaahi wa innaa ilayhi raaji’oon” on some sad news, or “alhamdulillaah” or “subhaanallaah” on hearing some good or strange news.
(5)      To make noise or say, “Oh,” due to pain or something else.
(6)      Reminding and prompting a person other than his own imaam in his qiraa’ah (recitation).
(7)      To recite the Qur’aan while looking at the text.
(8)      Making some great mistake in the recitation of the Holy Qur’aan.
(9)      Doing so much of an action that it gives the impression to onlookers that one is doing something other than saying prayers. This is called ‘Amal katheer.
(10)  Eating or drinking, knowingly or unknowingly.
(11)  To walk to the extent of the distance between two rows of jamaa’ah.
(12)  To turn the chest away from the Qiblah without any reasonable excuse.
(13)  Doing sajdah at an impure (dirty) place.
(14)  Delay in covering the private parts of the body to the extent of doing one rukuu’ if they become uncovered for some reason.
(15)  Requesting Allaah for such a thing in du’aa as is generally asked from human beings. For example, to say “Oh Allaah! Give me $100 today!”
(16)  Utterances of pain or trouble.
(17)  The laughter of an adult (mature) person.
(18)  To move ahead of the imaam during the prayer.




Q.        How many things are makrooh (detested) in prayers?
A.        Some of the makroohaat in salaah are:

(1)      Sadal, or hanging of cloth. For example, one leaves ends of a sheet hanging loosely after placing it on the head, or putting a gown on the shoulders instead of wearing it properly.
(2)      To sweep with the hands to prevent the soiling of clothes.
(3)      Playing with the clothes or with parts of the body.
(4)      Saying prayers in clothes in which people do not ordinarily like to go out in.
(5)      Saying prayers while having a coin or something else in the mouth. If this prevents one from qiraa’ah then the prayer will become faasid (invalid).
(6)      Saying prayers bare-headed (for men), due to laziness or carelessness.
(7)      Saying prayers when one needs to use the bathroom.
(8)      Gathering the hair on the head and making a pig-tail of it.
(9)      To remove the pebbles, but this can be done one time if it causes inconvenience in sajdah.
(10)  To crack one’s fingers or put the fingers into the fingers of the other hand.
(11)  To put the hands over the waist or back hips.
(12)  Turning the face away from the Qiblah and looking here and there.
(13)  Sitting like a dog by putting things near the belly and the knees touching the chest while the hands are on the ground (for men).
(14)  It is makrooh for men to lay both the arms and the wrists on the ground in sajdah.
(15)  Saying prayers while another person sits in front facing one.
(16)  Replying to greetings with the motion of the head or hand.
(17)  Sitting cross-legged without an excuse.
(18)  Yawning knowingly and not trying to stop it as much as possible.
(19)  Closing the eyes; but if it is done to put one’s heart into the prayer it is allowed.
(20)  The imaam’s standing under the mihraab (arch); but it will not matter if his feet are outside it.
(21)  Standing of the imaam by himself only at a height of one handspan; but it is not makrooh if a few muqtadis are also standing with him at that level.
(22)  Standing alone behind a row when there is still a vacant place in the front row.
(23)  Saying prayers in clothes with pictures of living things on them.
(24)  Saying prayers at a place where there is a picture above or on the right or left side of the musalli (namaazi), or on the place where one does sajdah.
(25)  To count the aayaat, surahs, or tasbeehs on the fingers.
(26)  Saying prayers with sheet or clothes wrapped on the body in such a way that it makes it difficult to free the hands quickly.
(27)  To yawn and stretch the arms to remove laziness.
(28)  Doing sajdah on the rolls of the turban.
(29)  Doing something against the Sunnah in the prayer.



Witr Prayer

Q.        Are Witr prayers waajib or sunnah?
A.        Witr is waajib. It is emphasized as much as fard prayers. If one misses it, one must say its qadaa (makeup) afterwards. It is most sinful to leave it without an excuse or knowingly.

Q.        How many rak’aat are there in Witr prayer?
A.        Three rak’aat. After two rak’aat, sit in qa’dah and stand up after reciting at-tahiyyaat. Then again sit in qa’dah (after the third rak’ah) and turn for salaam after at-tahiyyaat, darood shareef and du’aa.

Q.        What is the difference between Witr and other prayers?
A.        In Witr prayers Du’aa-e-Qunoot is said in the third rak’ah. The order is like this: After Surah Faatihah and another surah in the third rak’ah, say Allaahu akbar, raising the hands up to the ears and folding them again. Then read Du’aa-e-Qunoot, and after that perform rukuu’ and complete the prayer as usual.

Q.        Should du’aa-e-qunoot be said in a loud or low tone?
A.        Whether the imaam, munfarid, or muqtadi, one should recite du’aa-e-qunoot in a low voice.

Q.        What if one has not learnt du’aa-e-qunoot by heart?
A.        One may say any other du’aa, for example,

Our Lord! Grant us the good of this world and the good of the Hereafter and save us from the torment of the hell-fire.[9]

Q.        If the muqtadi has not completed the du’aa-e-qunoot and the imaam goes into rukuu’, what should the muqtadi do?
A.        He should leave it and go into rukuu’ with the imaam.



Sunnah and Nafl Prayers

Q.        How many prayers are Sunnat-ul-Mu’akkadah?
A.        Two rak’aat before Fajr’s fard; four rak’aat with one salaam before fard of Jumu’ah (Friday) and Zuhr prayers; two rak’aat after the fard of Zuhr; four rak’aat with one salaam after Jumu’ah prayers; two rak’aat after fard of Maghrib prayers; two rak’aat after ‘Ishaa’s fard; and twenty rak’aat of Taraaweeh in the month of Ramadaan are Sunnat-ul-Mu’akkadah.

Q.        How many prayers are Sunnat Ghayr Mu’akkadah?
A.        Four rak’aat before ‘Asr; two rak’aat after ‘Ishaa’s sunnat mu’akkadah; six rak’aat after Maghrib’s sunnat mu’akkadah; two rak’aat after Jumu’ah’s sunnat mu’akkadah; two rak’aat of Tahiyyat-ul-Wuduu’; two rak’aat of Tahiyyat-ul-Masjid; four or eight rak’aat of Chaasht (Duhaa) prayers; two rak’aat after Witr; four, six or eight rak’aat of Tahajjud prayers; Salaat-ut-Tasbeeh; Salaat-ul-Istikhaarah; Salaat-ut-Tawbah; Salaat-ul-Haajah; etc.- all these prayers are Sunnat Ghayr Mu’akkadah.

Q.        Where is it better to say sunnah prayers – at home or in the mosque?
A.        It is better to say all sunnah and nawaafil at home, except some like Taraaweeh, Tahiyyat-ul-Masjid, and prayers of solar eclipse.

Q.        At what time is it makrooh to say nafl prayers?
A.        After subh-e-saadiq and before the two rak’aat of fard of Fajr it is makrooh to say nafl: only two rak’aat of sunnah should be said before then.

After the fard of Fajr prayers until sunrise nafl are makrooh.

After the fard of ‘Asr until the time of the fading of the sun all nafl are makrooh.

On all these three occasions, qadaa (makeup) for fard and waajib prayers, prayers for the dead, and sajdah tilaawah are allowed.

But from the time the sun rises until it is a spear-length high, all prayers are makrooh. It is also makrooh to say any prayers exactly at midday, and from the time the sun begins fading until it sets. But if ‘Asr prayers of that day have not been said by then, it is allowed to say them even if the sun has faded or is setting down.

Sunnah and nafl prayers are makrooh at the time of the khutbah.

Q.        What is meant by the changing of color, or the fading, of the sun?
A.        When the sun’s glow becomes red and one can fix one’s eyes upon it without difficulty, it means the sun is fading.           



Taraaweeh Prayers

Q.        Is Taraaweeh prayer sunnah or nafl?
A.        It is sunnat mu’akkadah for men and women both and to say it in jamaa’ah is sunnat kifaayah. That is, if a person says Taraaweeh at his home, while Taraaweeh prayers are said in the neighboring mosque, the person who says it alone will not be sinful. But if all the Muslims of the neighboring vicinity offer it alone in their homes, all of them will be sinful (for not holding congregation).

Q.        What is the time of Taraaweeh prayers?
A.        The time for Taraaweeh begins after ‘Ishaa prayer and lasts until before Fajr prayer. It can be said before and after the Witr also (preferably before). If one fails to complete one’s Taraaweeh along with the imaam, he can join the Witr prayer in jamaa’ah and complete the Taraaweeh after the Witr.

Q.        How many rak’aat are there in Taraaweeh? Please explain in detail.
A.        Twenty (20) rak’aat with ten (10) salaam are masnoon. That is, one should have niyyah for two rak’aat of Taraaweeh each time. And after every four rak’aat of Taraaweeh it is mustahab to sit a while and take a rest.

Q.        Should one recite something or remain silent while one is sitting?
A.        It is open to choice. One may remain silent or recite Qur’aan Shareef or the tasbeeh of Taraaweeh in a low voice, or say nafl prayers separately.

Q.        How is it to complete the Holy Qur’aan in the qiraa’ah of Taraaweeh prayers?
A.        It is sunnah to complete the Holy Qur’aan once in the whole month. It is even better (afdal) to do it twice; thrice is even better. But the blessings of completing the Holy Qur’aan twice or thrice depend on the fact that this much recitation does not cause inconvenience to the musallis. In completing it once, however, inconvenience of the worshippers is of no consideration (in that it should be done).

Q.        Can we say Taraaweeh sitting?
A.        It is makrooh to say Taraaweeh sitting if one has the strength of qiyaam (standing up) and can say them standing.

Q.        While saying Taraaweeh some people do not join the prayers from the beginning but at a time when the imaam prepares to go into rukuu’- what sort of practice is this?
A.        To do so is makrooh. One should join at the beginning.

Q.        If one does not get the jamaa’ah for the fard of ‘Ishaa, is it allowed for him to say the fard alone and then join the jamaa’ah for Taraaweeh?
A.        It is allowed.



Qadaa (Make-up) Prayers

Q.        What is Adaa and Qadaa?
A.        Adaa is to say prayers at the time fixed for them. Qadaa is saying fard or waajib prayers after the time for them has passed. For example, Zuhr prayers said at the time of Zuhr will be called Adaa; if said after the Zuhr time, they will be Qadaa.

Q.        Qadaa of what prayers is waajib?
A.        Qadaa of fard is fard; of waajib is waajib; and of sunnah is sunnah.

Q.        What sort of practice is it to miss and to not say fard or waajib at the time fixed for it?
A.        It is very sinful to intentionally not say the fard, waajib, or sunnah mu’akkadah prayers at the fixed time without any strong reason. The sin of not saying fard at the correct time is extremely great. Then comes the sin for missing sunnah. It is not, however, sinful if the time of prayers passed unknowingly- that is, if one is asleep or even just forgot to say the prayers.

Q.        When should one say the Qadaa for fard or waajib?
A.        When one remembers or when one wakes up. It is a sin to delay. If one wakes up or remembers at a makrooh time (of prayer), then let the makrooh time pass and then say the Qadaa.

Q.        How to do niyyah for Qadaa?
A.        This should be done in this way: “It is my intention to say the Qadaa of such-and-such day’s Fajr or Zuhr fard.” Merely intending to say Qadaa of Zuhr(or whatever it is) prayer, without making it definite, is not enough.

Q.        What to intend if there are plenty of missed prayers due and one does not remember the days? For example, one has not said any prayers for one or two months and he remembers only that some Fajr or Zuhr prayers are Qadaa, yet he does not remember the month in which the prayers were missed.
A.        In such a case, to say Qadaa of Fajr prayers, he should will, “I am going to say the Qadaa of the first or second or the last Fajr prayers from the dues of all the Fajr prayers from me.” Niyyah for all Qadaa prayers should be like this.

Q.        Where is it better to say Qadaa prayers, in a mosque or at home?
A.        When one has to say his Qadaa prayers, it is better to say them at home. They can also be said in a mosque. But he should not tell others that he has said Qadaa prayers. It is makrooh to talk to others about one’s Qadaa prayers.

Q.        What are those sunnahs whose Qadaa is also sunnah?
A.        If the sunnahs of Fajr along with the fard are Qadaa, they should be said as Qadaa along with the fard, but before the sun crosses the meridian (zawaal). If said after zawaal, only the Qadaa of the fard will be said. If only the sunnahs are Qadaa, there is no need to say them. It is makrooh to say them after the fard of Fajr but before the sunrise. If they are said after sunrise, then it is not makrooh but they will be treated as nafl, not as sunnah.

Q.        What is the order for the four Zuhr sunnahs if they are not said before the fard?
A.        The sunnah of Zuhr or Jumu’ah prayers, if not said before the fard, can be said after it, either before the two sunnah following the fard or after them. Both of these ways are allowed. But it is better to say them after the two sunnah.



Mudrik, Masbooq and Laahiq

Q.        Who is called a mudrik?
A.        One who says full prayers from the first rak’ah to the last behind the imaam is called a mudrik.

Q.        Who is a masbooq?
A.        Masbooq is one who has missed one or more rak’aat before he joined the jamaa’at behind the imaam.

Q.        Who is called laahiq?
A.        Laahiq is one who joined the jamaa’at in the beginning, and later on missed one or more rak’aat. For instance, one fell asleep and slept so long that during this time the imaam completed one or two more rak’aat.

Q.        When and how should a masbooq say his missed rak’aat?
A.        He should continue to say the prayers with the imaam till the end. When the imaam turns for salaam, the masbooq should not do so but stand up and complete the missed rak’aat. This should be done in a way as if he had begun the prayers afresh. For example, if you miss only one rak’ah, stand up after the imaam turns for salaam and first read thanaa, ta’awwudh, and bismillaah, and recite Surah Faatihah and another surah. Then sit in qa’dah as usual. After completing one rak’ah, turn for salaam. This method is to be followed for every missed rak’ah of prayers.

And when you miss two rak’aat in Zuhr, ‘Asr, ‘Ishaa, or Fajr prayers, say thanaa, ta’awwudh, and tasmiyah and recite Faatihah and any other surah in the first rak’ah. In the second rak’ah, after Faatihah and another surah, perform rukuu’, sajdah, and qa’dah and turn for salaam.

If you got only one rak’ah in Zuhr, ‘Asr, or ‘Ishaa with the imaam, then perform your three rak’aat in this way: Say the first rak’ah with Faatihah and another surah and then do qa’dah. Then say the other rak’ah with Faatihah and any other surah and finish one more rak’ah with the recitation of only Faatihah. Then sit in qa’dah and turn for salaam.

If you get only one rak’ah in Maghrib with the imaam, then say one rak’ah with Faatihah and a surah and do qa’dah and then again say the second rak’ah with Faatihah and a surah and after performing qa’dah, turn for salaam.

So, if you get only one rak’ah with the imaam then do qa’dah after one more rak’ah, no matter what prayer it is.

Q.        What should the masbooq do if he stands up as the imaam turns for salaam but the imaam does Sajdah Sahw (discussed next)?
A.        He should return and join in sajdah sahw with the imaam.

Q.        What is the order if the masbooq forgets and turns for salaam with the imaam?
A.        If he does so with the imaam or even before, then no sajdah sahw is waajib on him and he should complete his prayer. But if he turns for salaam after the imaam has done so, it is waajib for him to do sajdah sahw at the end of completing his prayer.

Q.        What and how should the laahiq complete his missed rak’aat?
A.        If the laahiq misses any rak’aat due to certain reason, for example, sleep, he should say the rak’aat he missed separately, when he wakes up, in the way as he is still saying his prayers behind the imaam. That is, he should not read qiraa’ah. After completing the missed rak’aat he should join the imaam and complete the remaining prayer. But if the imaam has finished his prayers, then he should complete his remaining rak’aat separately as if he was saying his prayers behind the imaam. During this time, if he commits any mistake unknowingly, he should not do sajdah sahw, because he is still a muqtadi and no sajdah sahw is done by a muqtadi alone for any mistake.



Sajdah Sahw

Q.        What is Sajdah Sahw?
A.        Sahw means forgetting. Sometimes due to forgetfulness there is some addition or deletion which causes a deficiency in the prayer and to make up for the deficiency two sajdahs are done in the last qa’dah. This is called sajdah sahw.

Q.        How is Sajdah Sahw done?
A.        In the last qa’dah after tashahhud turn for salaam on the right, then say takbeer and do two sajdahs. Say tasbeeh three times in each sajdah. After the first sajdah raise the head saying takbeer. Sit up straight and then do the second sajdah. After saying takbeer and sitting up straight again, say at-tahiyyaat (tashahhud), darood shareef and du’aa and then turn for both the salaam.

Q.        How is it if one also says darood shareef and du’aa after tashahhud, before the salaam for sajdah sahw?
A.        Some ‘ulamaa (scholars) consider as a precaution that one should say tashahhud, darood and du’aa all before sajdah sahw and then read all the three again after it. Thus, it is better to say them but there is no harm even if it is not done.

Q.        Is Sajdah Sahw waajib in all prayers or only in fard prayers?
A.        The ruling is the same for all the prayers.

Q.        What if one does not turn for salaam even to one side before doing the sajdah sahw?
A.        To do so is makrooh tanzeehi.

Q.        What is the ruling if Sajdah Sahw is done after turning for both the salaams?
A.        According to one narration it is allowed. But the more certain way is to turn for salaam only to one side. If one has turned to both sides then one should not do sajdah sahw but repeat the prayer.

Q.        What makes Sajdah Sahw waajib?
A.        If any waajib of the prayer is delayed or missed, or there is delay in a fard, or wrong priority was given to any fard or a fard was repeated (like doing rukuu’ twice), or by changing the manner of any waajib, sajdah sahw becomes waajib (necessary).

Q.        What if these things which make Sajdah Sahw waajib are done knowingly?
A.        If done knowingly, sajdah sahw will not remove the deficiency. It will be waajib to repeat the prayer.

Q.        If a number of things, each of which causes sajdah sahw to become waajib, occur in a single salaah, then how many times should sajdah sahw be done?
A.        Only once. The two sajdahs of sahw are enough (for all such deficiencies).

Q.        What changes in qiraa’ah cause sajdah sahw to become waajib?
A.        Sajdah sahw is waajib (1) if Surah Faatihah is left out in the first or second, or both the rak’aat of a fard prayer, or in one or more rak’aat of waajib, sunnah or nafl prayer. (2) By reciting all over again the Surah Faatihah or a large part of it in these rak’aat. (3) To read a surah before Surah Faatihah. (4) By not reciting a surah with Surah Faatihah in all the rak’aat of every fard, waajib, sunnah, or nafl, except the third and fourth rak’aat of fard prayer, on the condition that all these things mentioned have been done unintentionally.

Q.        If one forgets to do ta’deel of arkaan, will sajdah sahw be waajib or not?
A.        Sajdah will be waajib.

Q.        What if the first qa’dah is forgotten?
A.        If one is going to stand up but is almost in a sitting posture, then he should sit down and needs no sajdah sahw. If one has almost risen, he should leave the qa’dah and stand up. He should then do sajdah sahw in qa’dah akheerah. This will complete the prayer.

Q.        What other things make Sajdah Sahw waajib?
A.        (1) Doing rukuu’ twice in one rak’ah. (2) Doing three sajdahs. (3) Leaving out tashahhud in the first or the last qa’dah. (4) To recite darood shareef after tashahhud in the first qa’dah up to or beyond “Allaahumma salli ‘alaa muhammadin,” or by sitting silent up to this point. (5) If the imaam says the prayers in a low voice when it should be said aloud. (6) If the imaam says the prayers aloud when it should be in a low voice. Sajdah sahw becomes waajib on the condition that any of these have happened unintentionally.

Q.        What if the muqtadi commits a sahw in his prayers behind the imaam?
A.        Sajdah sahw is not waajib on a muqtadi for his sahw (forgetfulness).

Q.        What if a masbooq commits a sahw in completing his remaining prayer?
A.        It is waajib on him to do sajdah sahw in the last qa’dah of his prayer.



Sajdah Tilaawah

Q.        What is Sajdah Tilaawah?
A.        Tilaawah means recitation. There are certain points in the Noble Qur’aan the reading or hearing of which necessitates sajdah. This sajdah is called Sajdah Tilaawah.

Q.        How many points are there, the hearing or reading of which makes a sajdah waajib?
A.        There are fourteen points in the whole of the Holy Qur’aan. They are also called the Fourteen Sajdahs.

Q.        If one reads an aayah of sajdah outside of prayer when and how should he do the sajdah?
A.        It is better to do sajdah when the aayah of sajdah is read or heard, but it is not a sin if one does not do it at that time. Yet, much delay is makrooh.

The preferred way of doing sajdah outside of prayer is to stand up and then, saying takbeer, go into sajdah. Then stand up again, saying takbeer again. Sajdah will be complete even if one goes to sajdah while sitting and stands up after performing sajdah.

Q.        What are the conditions of Sajdah Tilaawah?
A.        The conditions of sajdah tilaawah are the same as those of salaah:

bullet(1-3) Cleanliness of body, place and clothes;
bullet(4) Covering of satar;
bullet(5) Facing the qiblah; and
bullet(6) Niyyah for sajdah tilaawah.

Q.        What makes Sajdah Tilaawah faasid (null and void)?
A.        The same things which make the prayer faasid also make the sajdah tilaawah faasid.

Q.        What is the ruling if one recites an aayat of sajdah two times or more than that?
A.        If one reads or hears some particular aayah of sajdah two or more times in a gathering, only one sajdah tilaawah will be waajib.

Q.        What if two aayaat of sajdah are read in one gathering or one aayah is read in two different gatherings?
A.        A sajdah will be waajib for every different aayah of sajdah read in one gathering, or as many times as one aayah has been read in different gatherings.

Q.        How is it if one skips the aayah of sajdah while reading the Holy Qur’aan and only reads the parts before and after it?
A.        Such an act is makrooh (extremely hated).

Q.        How is it if a person reading the Holy Qur’aan is sitting at a place where many people can hear him, and he reads the aayah of sajdah in a low voice so that the other people do not hear?
A.        It is allowed and in such a situation it is even better to read it in a low voice.



Prayer of a Sick Person

Q.        In what conditions is a sick person allowed to say his or her prayers sitting?
A.        When the sick person has not strength enough to stand up or it causes him great pain, or it may aggravate the trouble, or he staggers and there is possibility of his falling down, or when he has the strength to stand up but cannot go into rukuu’ or sujood: in all these conditions he can say the prayer sitting. And if one can do rukuu’ and sajdah and not other things with rukuu’ and sajdah then he can say his prayers by making gestures for rukuu’ and sajdah by bending his head. For the gesture for sajdah he should bend his head more than for rukuu’.

Q.        What if a person cannot do full qiyaam but can stand up for a while?
A.        He should stand up as long as he can.

Q.        What if a patient cannot say his prayers even sitting down?
A.        He should say it lying down, like this: Lie down on your back with legs towards the qiblah. Do not stretch them. Knees should be vertical, with a pillow under the head to rest it at a higher level. Say your prayer by making gestures. Bend your head for rukuu’ and sajdah. This is the best and preferred posture. It is also allowed to lie on the right side with face towards the qiblah or on the left side similarly and say the prayer with gestures. But the better posture of these two is to lie down resting on the right side.

Q.        What is the ruling if the patient has no strength even to move his head?
A.        If the patient has no strength even to move his head for gestures, he should delay the prayers. If this condition continues for more than a day and night, he will not be bound to say qadaa for those prayers, but if within a day and night, or a lesser period than that, he gains the strength of moving his head for gestures, he will have to say qadaa for those (five or less) prayers.



Prayer of a Musaafir (Traveler)

Q.        What is the length of journey which makes a person a musaafir (traveler)?
A.        One who takes a journey which can be covered in three days walking is a musaafir in the eyes of Sharee’ah. Three days do not mean that one travels all day long, but each day’s journey is taken from the morning till noon. The speed is normal and day means the smallest day.

Q.        What is meant by normal speed and how many miles do the three days traveling make?
A.        Normal speed means the speed of walking. It is right to calculate three days of traveling as three manzil, but to make it easy, this is regarded as equal to 48 miles.

Q.        What if one travels by train, horse, car, etc. with the intention of going to a distance where one on foot reaches in three days?
A.        He will be a musaafir, however much faster he may reach that distance.

Q.        In what ways are the musaafir’s prayers different?
A.        The musaafir says only two rak’aat instead of four in Zuhr, ‘Asr, and ‘Ishaa. There is, however, no change in Fajr, Maghrib, and Witr prayers. They remain the same.

Q.        What is saying of two rak’aat, instead of the prayer of four, called?
A.        It is called Qasr (shortened).

Q.        From when should a musaafir begin qasr?
A.        From the time when he is out of his home town.

Q.        For how long should a musaafir do qasr?
A.        One should do qasr as long as he is traveling and does not intend to stay in a city or village for a period of 15 days. But from the very moment he intends to stay for 15 days (or more) at any place he should start saying prayers in full.

Q.        What if one originally intended to stay for three or four days at a place, but the work did not finish and his stay was prolonged to two or three more days and again the work was not finished and he again intended to stay for two or three more days and in this way fifteen days elapsed?
A.        Prolonged stay does not matter when the intention in the first instance was for less than fifteen days. One should continue qasr till he is sure that he will have to stay for more than fifteen days.

Q.        What if the traveler says the prayer of four rak’aat in full?
A.        If one sat in qa’dah after the second rak’ah, the prayers may be corrected by sajdah sahw in the qa’dah akheerah. But one who does it intentionally will be sinful. If done unknowingly, then there is no harm. In such cases the first two rak’aat will be treated as fard and the last two as nafl. But if one did not sit in qa’dah after the second rak’ah then all the four rak’aat will be treated as nawaafil. The fard should be said all over again.

Q.        What if a musaafir says his prayers behind a muqeem (one who is in his home town)?
A.        A musaafir saying prayers behind a muqeemimaam should say four rak’aat.

Q.        What if the imaam is a musaafir and the muqtadi is muqeem?
A.        The musaafir imaam should complete his prayers with salaam after two rak’aat and should tell the muqeem muqtadis to complete their prayers, saying, “Complete your prayers; I am a musaafir.” Then the muqtadi should stand up without salaam and complete the other two rak’aat. They should not recite Faatihah and another surah in these two rak’aat and no sajdah sahw should be done for any sahw.

Q.        Is saying prayers allowed on a moving train or a ship?
A.        It is allowed. If one can say prayers standing up without fear of wheeling or falling down, the prayers should be said standing up. If this is not possible, prayers can be said while sitting down. If the train or ship turns in a way that the musalli’s face is turned away from the qiblah, he should at once turn the face towards the qiblah, otherwise the prayers will not be accepted.



Jum’ah (Friday) Prayers

Q.        Are Jum’ah (or Jumu’ah) prayers fard, waajib, or sunnah?
A.        Jum’ah prayers are fard and more emphasis has been laid upon them than on Zuhr. There are no Zuhr prayers on Friday. The Jum’ah prayer has been fixed in place of Zuhr prayer.

Q.        Are Jum’ah prayers fard on all Muslims?
A.        They are fard on all free, adult, mentally fit, healthy, and muqeem (non-travelling) men. They are not obligatory upon the children, slaves, mad persons, sick, blind, maimed, and others with similar excuse, musaafir, and women.

Q.        Will the prayers be valid if travelers, blind, maimed, or women join them?
A.        It will be all right and those people will also be free from their responsibility of saying Zuhr prayers.

Q.        What are the conditions for Jum’ah prayers?
A.        There are several conditions for Jum’ah prayers:

(1)      The Jum’ah prayers should be conducted in a city, big village or a town like the city, or at a populated place surrounding a city having a cemetery attached or a cantonment. It is not proper to say the Jum’ah prayers in a small village.
(2)      Should be offered at Zuhr time.
(3)      Khutbah (address or speech by the imaam) should be delivered before the prayer.
(4)      Should be offered in jamaa’ah (congregation).
(5)      There should be idhn-e-‘aam (open permission for anyone who wishes to attend and join).

If all these five conditions are found, the saying of the Jum’ah prayers will be valid.

Q.        What is the masnoon method of delivering the khutbah?
A.        Before the prayers, the imaam should sit on the mimbar (pulpit- a raised platform in the mosque) and the mu’adhdhin should call out the adhaan in his presence. Then the imaam should stand up and deliver the khutbah, facing the people. After the first khutbah, he should sit down for a while, then stand up again for the second khutbah. After this, the imaam should step down from the mimbar and stand in front of the mihraab (arch). The mu’adhdhin should then say takbeer (iqaamah) and those present should stand up and offer the prayers with the imaam.

Q.        At what place should the adhaan for the khutbah be said?
A.        In front of the khateeb (the one who gives the khutbah): near the mimbar, or from the second or third row of musallis, or at the end of the rows or from outside the mosque. It is allowed in all the ways (as long as it is in front of the khateeb).

Q.        How is it to deliver the khutbah in English or any other language, or to quote in other languages during the khutbah?
A.        Delivering the khutbah in any language except Arabic is makrooh. The fard is fulfilled but such practices result in great loss of blessings.[10]

Q.        What things are not allowed during the khutbah?
A.        (1) Talking, (2) offering sunnah and nafl prayers, (3) eating, (4) drinking, (5) replying to any talk, and (6) reciting Qur’aan. All those things which disturb khutbah become makrooh from the minute the imaam prepares to deliver the khutbah.

Q.        What is meant by the condition of jamaa’ah for saying Jum’ah prayers?
A.        In Jum’ah prayers, it is compulsory to have at least three men and the imaam to offer the prayers, otherwise the Jum’ah prayers will not be valid.

Q.        What is meant by idhn-e-‘aam?
A.        Idhn means permission. Idhn-e-‘aam means permission to everyone who wishes to join in with the prayers. It is not proper to say Jum’ah prayers at a place where only some particular persons, not everybody, are allowed to join the prayers.[11]

Q.        How many rak’aat are there in the fard prayer of Jum’ah?
A.        Two rak’aat, whether one joins from the beginning or in the second rak’ah, or in the last qa’dah: In every case, only two rak’aat should be completed.



Prayers of the ‘Eidayn (Two Eids)

Q.        What things are mustahab or sunnah on the ‘Eid days?
A.        (1) To take a bath and do miswaak.
            (2) To put on one’s best clothes.
            (3) To use scent.
            (4) To eat dates or any other sweets before going for the ‘Eid-ul-Fitr prayer.
            (5) To give sadaqat-ul-fitr before going for the prayer.
            (6) To eat the meat of sacrifice of one’s own offering, after the ‘Eid-ul-Adha prayer.
            (7) To say the ‘Eid prayer at the Eidgah (the large place fixed for ‘Eid prayers).
            (8) To go on foot.
            (9) To go by one route to the prayer and return by a different one.
            (10) Not to say any nafl at home or at the Eidgah before the ‘Eid prayers, nor to say any nafl at the Eidgah after the ‘Eid prayers.

Q.        How is it to say takbeer while going for ‘Eid-ul-Fitr prayers?
A.        On ‘Eid-ul-Fitr, one should say takbeer in a low voice. It is mustahab (for men) to say takbeer aloud while going for ‘Eid-ul-Adha prayers.

Q.        Are ‘Eid prayers waajib or sunnah?
A.        Prayers for both the ‘Eid are waajib for all those on whom the Jum’ah prayers are fard. The conditions for ‘Eid prayers are the same as those for Jum’ah. But the khutbah for ‘Eid is not fard nor is it to be said before the prayers. The khutbah after the prayers is sunnah.

Q.        How many rak’aat are there for both the ‘Eid prayers and how are they said?
A.        There are two rak’aat in each of the two ‘Eid prayers. There is no adhaan or takbeer (iqaamah) before. First of all the niyyah should be made, for example, “I am going to say ‘Eid-ul-Fitr (or Adha) prayers, which are waajib, along with six extra takbeeraat, behind this imaam.” Fold the hands after the takbeer-e-tahreemah and say the thanaa. Then, raising both hands up to the ears, bring them down (let them hang), after saying another “Allaahu akbar.” Do the same a second time. For the third time, raise the hands up to the ears and while saying takbeer fold them again. The imaam then reads ta’awwudh, tasmiyah, Surah Faatihah (aloud), and another surah (aloud) and then goes into rukuu’.

When everyone stands up for the second rak’ah, the imaam should do the qiraa’ah and after that says takbeer. Everyone should raise their hands up to their ears and let them down, and again the hands should be raised up to the ears for the second takbeer and let down. For the third takbeer the hands should be raised to the ears and let down. Then, saying a fourth takbeer (without raising hands), everyone should go into rukuu’ and complete the prayer as usual. After the prayer is complete, the imaam should stand up and say the khutbah and everyone should sit silently and listen.

There are two khutbahs also for the ‘Eid and the sitting of the imaam for a little while in between the two is masnoon.

Q.        What are the special instructions for ‘Eid-ul-Adha?
A.        (1) Saying takbeer aloud on the way to the Eidgah.
            (2) Not to eat anything before the prayers.
            (3) The takbeeraat-e-tashreeq are waajib.

Q.        What is meant by takbeeraat-e-tashreeq?
A.        Those takbeeraat which are said after the fard prayers during the days of Tashreeq.

Q.        What are the days of Tashreeq?
A.        The 11th, 12th, and 13th of Dhul-Hijjah are the days of Tashreeq.

Q.        When are the takbeeraat-e-tashreeq waajib?
A.        The day of ‘Arafah, the day of Nahr (sacrifice), and the three days of Tashreeq are the five days in all, during which they are waajib. The day of ‘Arafah is the 9th of Dhul-Hijjah and the day of Nahr is the 10th. The takbeer begins from the Fajr of the 9th of Dhul-Hijjah and it is waajib to say it after the fard of every prayer up until the ‘Asr of the 13th. The takbeer should be said aloud just after the salaam of the fard prayers. Women should not say it aloud. The muqtadis should say the takbeer even when the imaam forgets.

Q.        What is the takbeer-e-tashreeq and for how many times is it waajib to say these?
A.        Takbeer-e-tashreeq is:

Allâh is the greatest; Allâh is the greatest; There is no god except Allâh; And Allâh is the greatest; Allâh is the greatest; And for Allâh is all praise.

It is waajib to say this once after every fard prayer.



Prayers for the Dead

Q.        Is it waajib, sunnah, or fard to say prayers for the dead?
A.        The Janaazah prayer (prayer for the dead) is fard kifaayah. If one or more people say it, it will absolve the responsibility of all others. But everyone will be sinful if nobody says it.

Q.        What are the conditions for saying the prayer for the dead?
A.        (1) The dead person should be Muslim.
            (2) The body should be taahir.
            (3) The kafan (shroud) should be taahir.
            (4) The satar should be covered.
            (5) The body of the dead person should be in front of the musallis.

These are the conditions for the dead person’s body. For the one who says these prayers, all the conditions of ordinary prayers hold, except for any specific time.

Q.        What is the method of saying the Janaazah?
A.        Stand in a row for the prayer. If there are many people, it is better to have three, five or seven rows. After the rows are formed, make the niyyah for the Salaat-ul-Janaazah, for example, “I pray to Allâh for this dead person behind this imaam.” Then the imaam should say the takbeer aloud and the muqtadis in a low voice, raising both hands up to the ears. Fold them below the navel. Then the imaam and muqtadis should both say the thanaa in a low voice. In thanaa, it is better to add,

wa jalla thanaa-uka
“And exalted be Your praise,”

after “ - wa ta’aalaa jadduka.” Then the imaam should say the takbeer aloud and the muqtadis in a low voice, this time without raising the hands. The imaam and muqtadis should then say the darood which are recited in the last qa’dah of other prayers in a low voice. Then, like the second takbeer, the third takbeer should be said (without raising hands). If the dead person is an adult man or woman, the imaam and muqtadis should read this du’aa:

O Allâh! Forgive our living and our dead; our present and our absent; our big and our small; our men and our women. O Allâh! Whoever among us You keep alive, keep them alive on the path of Islam. And whoever You cause to die, let him die with faith.


If the Janaazah is of a minor boy, this du’aa should be recited:

O Allâh! Make this child a source of our salvation and the pain of his parting a source of reward and benefits for us. Make him an intercession for us, the intercession which You have accepted.


If the Janaazah is for a minor girl, recite the same du’aa with these little changes (for “her” instead of “him”): Instead of the three phrases of “ - waj-‘alhu”, say “ - waj-‘alhaa,” and say “ - shaafi’ata(n)w-wa mushaffa’atan” instead of “shaafi’a(n)w-wa mushaffa’an.” The meaning of the du’aa remains the same.

After this the imaam should say a fourth takbeer aloud and the muqtadis in a low voice. Lastly, the imaam should turn for salaam in a loud voice and the muqtadis in a low voice, first to the right and then to the left.

               (Note, the entire prayer is said standing.)

Q.        What to do after completing the Salaat-ul-Janaazah?
A.        Carry the Janaazah (bier) away as soon as the prayer is completed. If one reads the kalimah when one is carrying the dead, it should only be said in one’s heart. To say it aloud is makrooh. One should ponder over the first stage of the dead, the grave, the taking of account by Allâh, and the undependability of this world. And one should also pray for the salvation and peace of the dead in one’s heart. After reaching the graveyard, the dead should be buried.


[7] Although commonly spelled “surah” in English, it is pronounced “soo-rah”.

[8]Masnoon” = established in the Sunnah.

[9] Surah 2, Ayaah 201.

[10] This is the most lenient ruling. According to many scholars, it is not permissible at all to deliver the khutbah in any language other than Arabic.

[11] Such as a private, closed residence or a prison.



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Last modified 02/14/03 10:49 AM