Juristic Rulings Relevant to Purification, Prayer, and Funerals

Author : Muhammad ibn Saleh al-Othaimeen

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Juristic Rulings Relevant to Purification, Prayer, and Funerals

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 Juristic Rulings Relevant to Purification, Prayer, and Funerals

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 Introduction

All praise is due to Allah. We praise Him, seek His help and forgiveness, and repent to Him.We seek refuge with Allah from the evil of our souls and from our bad deeds.Whoever Allah guides, none can lead astray, and whoever He leads astray, none can guide.I bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah alone, Who has no partner,and I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and messenger;may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him, his family and Companions and those who follow them with good conduct until the Day of Judgment.Indeed, the worship of Allah is not complete or accepted until it is based on two main things: sincerity to Almighty Allah, and following His Messenger (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him).Allah Almighty said: {And they were not commanded except to worship Allah, being sincere to Him in religion, inclining to truth} [Al-Bayinah: 5]Sincerity to Allah means that the deeds of a person are done solely for the sake of Allah Almighty and to comply with His commands.Following the Messenger of Allah is to act in accordance with the directives of the Messenger of Allah (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him), without adding to them or eliminating from them. Such would not be achieved without learning his Sunnah (his words, actions, and way of doing things).

Therefore, it is crucial for the individual to be keen on basing all his acts of worship on proof from the Book of Allah Almighty (the Qur’an) and the Sunnah of His Messenger (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) so that he worships Allah with insight, without doubting the correctness of the path he is following, and so that he is mindful that the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) is his leader and role model in the deed he is doing. This would increase his love for Allah and His Messenger and make him feel that he is drawing close to Allah Almighty by virtue of that deed.

It should be noted that some acts of worship have diverse forms, especially the repetitive ones such as ablution, bathing, and prayer.

The wisdom behind this (and Allah knows best) is in the following aspects:

First: to make it easy for the religiously-accountable person to choose any of those forms and still be a follower with whichever form he chooses and performs.

Second: to ward off the boredom of observing one form of worship.

Third: to enliven the heart in fulfilling the act of worship, because regular observance of one form of worship turns it into a habit,

which may cause the individual to do it or say it without being fully conscious of it given the repetition of the action. By contrast, moving from one form to another induces activeness of the heart to fulfill worship to Allah Almighty and to follow His Messenger (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him).

Scholars (may Allah have mercy upon them) differed over this type of worship: should the individual adhere to one form of worship whereby he chooses the most inclusive or most authentic and commit to it?Or is it better that he alternates between the different forms of worship?The preponderant view is to alternate between them. This way he would be observing all forms of worship in addition to adhering to the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him), unless one form is peculiar to a specific situation, in which case this particular form is to be observed such as some forms of the prayer of fear.Under this category of acts of worship that have various forms are some rulings related to purification, positions of prayer, and what is recited in it.

We have compiled what was written in summary or revised of juristic rulings relevant to the topics of purification, prayer, and funerals, relying therein on verses from the Qur’an or the authentic Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him).

We ask Allah Almighty to make our work sincere for His sake alone, and to make it a means for the preservation of His Shariah (Islamic law) and the benefit of mankind; for He is, indeed, All-Generous and All-Kind.

All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the worlds. May Allah’s peace and blessings be upon His slave and Messenger our Prophet Muhammad, his family, his Companions, and those who follow them with good conduct until the Day of Judgment.

Muhammad ibn Sālih Al-‘Uthaymīn

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 Chapter One

Purification:

- Ablution

- Ritual Bath

- Dry Ablution

- Wiping over Leather Socks

- Wiping over Turbans

- Wiping over a Splint

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 Ablution

Ablution is to worship Allah Almighty by washing four parts [of the body] in a specific manner.

It is obligatory upon any ritually impure individual who wishes to pray, based on the saying of Allah Almighty:{O you who believe, when you rise to perform prayer, wash your faces and your forearms to the elbows and wipe over your heads and [wash] your feet to the ankles} [Al-Mā’idah: 6]It is a condition for the validity and acceptance of prayer, based on the saying of the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him):“Allah does not accept the prayer of anyone of you who is in the state of ritual impurity until he performs ablution.”[Narrated by Al-Bukhāri and others on the authority of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him)]

Some of the reports highlighting the virtue of ablution:

‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said:“If anyone of you performs ablution thoroughly then says: ‘I bear witness that there is no true god but Allah alone without any partner and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger. O Allah, make me one of those who oft repent and make me one of those who purify themselves,’ the eight gates of Paradise would be opened for him and he may enter from whichever of them he wishes.”‘Uthmān (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said:“He who performs ablution perfectly, his sins will leave his body until they come out from under his fingernails.” [Narrated by Muslim]‘Ali ibn Abi Tālib (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said:“Performing ablution perfectly despite difficulties, taking many steps to mosques, and waiting for the next prayer after the last prayer, (all this) washes sins away thoroughly.”

Manner of Ablution:

1) That one intends in his heart, without pronouncing the intention audibly, to remove the minor ritual impurity or to make ablution to do a deed that ablution is legislated for; because Allah, Exalted and Glorified, knows what is in his heart, and because the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) did not pronounce the intention audibly before his ablution, prayer, or any other act of worship;

2) then says: “In the name of Allah”;

3) then washes hands thrice;

4) then rinses his mouth and sniffs water into and out of his nostrils thrice using three handfuls of water;

5) then washes his face thrice. The face extends from the hairline to the bottom of the chin lengthwise and between the ears crosswise;

6) then washes his right hand then his left hand thrice, starting from the fingertips to and including the elbows;

7) then wipes his head with water once by wetting his hands and wiping his head from front to back and back to front. The head starts from the hairline at the front till the top of the neck at the back lengthwise and between the two ears crosswise;

8) then wipes his ears with his hands once by inserting the tips of his index fingers in his ear-holes while wiping the outside of the ears with the thumbs;

9) then washes his right foot then his left foot three times each, starting from the toe tips to and including the ankles.

In parts that are washed thrice, it is also permissible to wash only once or twice.

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 Ritual Bath

A ritual bath is to worship Allah by purifying the entire body. It is obligatory upon anyone in a state of major ritual impurity or any other state that requires a ritual bath,based on the saying of Allah Almighty: {And if you are in a state of janābah (major impurity), then purify yourselves} [Al-Mā’idah: 6]

Manner of the Ritual Bath

1) That one intends by heart, without pronouncing it audibly, to remove the major ritual impurity or to make the ritual bath for the causes it is legislated for such as the Friday prayer;

2) then says: “In the name of Allah”;

3) then washes his hands three times;

4) then washes his private parts;

5) then makes a complete ablution like the one he makes for prayer;

6) then washes his head by running his wet fingers through his hair until the water reaches its roots, and then he pours water over his head thrice;

7) then washes the rest of his body.

If there is a fracture or wound on his body that requires placing a bandage or a splint on it, he may place it and wipe over it instead of washing the part underneath it,because when one is unable to wash a part due to a barrier placed over it, it is sufficient to wipe over itbased on the saying of Allah Almighty: {So fear Allah as much as you are able} [Al-Taghābun: 16]This is a necessary wiping, thus it is assessed in view of its area and the length of time one needs to use it. The barrier should not exceed the area that needs to be covered, and it must be removed once the fracture or the wound is healed.If there is a fractured or wounded area on his body that would be harmed by washing and is not covered by a barrier, then he may wipe over it with water instead of pouring water on it. If it is harmed by wiping, then he may perform dry ablution for it,based on the saying of Allah Almighty: {So fear Allah as much as you are able} [Al-Taghābun: 16]and His saying: {He has chosen you and has not placed upon you in the religion any difficulty} [Al-Hajj: 78]

Wiping, whether over the barrier or the sick part directly, substitutes washing whereby purification is complete without the need to rewash it after healing.

If the water available is sufficient for washing some parts of the body only, one should use it and make dry ablution for the rest of his body.

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 Dry Ablution

Dry ablution is to worship Allah by purifying oneself with soil by wiping over the face and the hands with it when it is difficult to use water owing to its nonexistence or the harm that may be caused by using it due to an illness or otherwise.

It substitutes purification using water from major or minor impurity.Allah Almighty said: {O you who believe, when you rise to perform prayer, wash your faces... But if you are ill or on a journey or one of you comes from the place of relieving himself or you have contacted women and do not find water, then seek clean earth and wipe over your faces and hands with it. Allah does not intend to make difficulty for you, but He intends to purify you and complete His favor upon you that you may be grateful.} [Al-Mā’idah: 6]Dry ablution is a full purification that removes ritual impurity until one is able to use water,based on the saying of Allah Almighty: {but He intends to purify you} [Al-Mā’idah: 6]and the saying of the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him): “The earth has been made for me a place of worship and (a means of) purification; so, anyone of my Ummah should pray wherever he may be when the time of prayer is due.”[Narrated by Al-Bukhāri]Purification (in the hadith) refers to the means by which purification is achieved.

Accordingly, if one makes dry ablution for a supererogatory prayer, it is also valid for obligatory prayer. Dry ablution is valid before the time of prayer is due and is not invalidated when the time of prayer ends. If dry ablution is made to remove a minor impurity, it is valid unless invalidated by another minor impurity. Likewise, if it is made to remove a major impurity, it is valid unless invalidated by another major impurity.

However, dry ablution is invalid once the difficulty is alleviated. So, it is invalid when water becomes available or upon healing from sickness whether it was performed to remove a minor or major impurity. One must then perform ablution to remove the minor impurity that he was performing dry ablution to remove and take a ritual bath to remove the major impurity that he was performing dry ablution to remove.

Any type of soil is valid for dry ablution, whether it is dusty, sandy, or stony and anything sharing its natural origin like the wall,based on the saying of the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him): “The earth has been made for me a place of worship and (a means of) purification.” [Narrated by Al-Bukhāri]Abu Juhaym ibn al-Hārith ibn al-Simmah al-Ansāri (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) was met by a man who greeted him with Salām, but the Prophet did not return the greeting until he turned to the wall and wiped his face and hands, then he returned the greeting. [Narrated by Al-Bukhāri]

Manner of Dry Ablution

That he intends in his heart to remove the ritual impurity in order to pray or perform other acts of worship for which dry ablution is legislated; then he says: “In the name of Allah,” and strikes the earth once with both palms and wipes over his face and hands with them.

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 Wiping over Leather Socks

The term "leather socks" refers to footwear made of leather or similar material, while [regular] socks is footwear made of cotton or similar material.

Ruling on wiping over leather socks and [regular] socks:

Wiping over them is an act of Sunnah practiced by the Messenger of Allah (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him). So, if someone is wearing them, it is better to wipe over them than to take them off to wash the feet.

Proof of this is the following report by Al-Mughīrah ibn Shu‘bah (may Allah be pleased with him): “The Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) was performing ablution so I bent down to take his leather socks off but he said: ‘Leave them for I have put them on after performing ablution,’ and he wiped over them.”

The legitimacy of wiping over the leather socks is established in the Qur’an and Sunnah of the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him).

Proof from the Qur’an is in the saying of Allah Almighty: {O you who believe, when you rise to perform prayer, wash your faces and your forearms to the elbows and wipe over your heads and wash your feet to the ankles} [Al-Mā’idah: 6]Allah’s saying: {your feet} is read with a difference in diacritical marks in two authentic modes of recitation both ascribed to the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him). The first: using "your feet" in conjunction with "your faces" that precedes it, in which case it means the feet are to be washed just like the faces.The second: "your feet" is in conjunction with "your heads", in which case the feet are to be wiped over.What determines that the feet may be washed or wiped over is the practice of the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him). He used to wash his feet if they were uncovered and wipe over them if they were covered with leather socks.As for the proof from the Sunnah, there are successively transmitted reports from the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) in this regard. Imām Ahmad (may Allah have mercy upon him) said: “I have no doubts in my heart about wiping (over the leather socks).”There are 40 hadiths reported from the Messenger of Allah (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) and his Companions relevant to wiping. In poetry, a poet composed the following verses (translated):

Among the successively-transmitted hadiths are “whoever lies” *** and “whoever builds a house for Allah while awaiting the reward”

and seeing Allah, the intercession, the fountain *** and wiping over the leather socks among others

Conditions for wiping over leather socks:

There are four conditions for wiping over the leather socks:

First condition: One must wear them while in a state of ritual purity (i.e. after performing ablution or ritual bath), based on the reply of the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) to Al-Mughīrah ibn Shu‘bah: “Leave them for I have put them on after performing ablution.”

Second condition: the leather or regular socks themselves must be pure/clean. If they are impure, it is impermissible to wipe over them. The Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) led his Companions one day in prayer while wearing sandals but he took them off during prayer.He said that [Archangel] Gabriel told him the sandals had filth on them. This proves that it is impermissible to pray wearing something stained with impurity. Also, if something impure is wiped with water, the wiping medium will be contaminated with the impurity and will not be valid as a purifier.Third condition: they are to be wiped over when one is in a state of minor ritual impurity, not major ritual impurity which requires a ritual bath.The proof is the following hadith of Safwān ibn ‘Assāl (may Allah be pleased with him): “The Messenger of Allah (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) instructed us that during travel, we need not take off our leather socks for up to three days and nights except in case of major ritual impurity, but not after defecating, urinating, or sleeping.”According to this hadith, wiping over the leather socks must be in the case of minor, not major, impurity.Fourth condition: wiping is to be done within the legislated period, which is a single day and night for a resident and three days with their nights for a traveler.The proof is the following hadith of ‘Ali ibn Abi Tālib (may Allah be pleased with him): “The Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) fixed the period of wiping over the leather socks to be three days and nights for the traveler and one day and night for the resident.” [Narrated by Muslim]This period begins at the first incident of wiping after incurring a minor impurity and expires after 24 hours for a resident and 72 hours for a traveler. For example, if a person purified himself for the Fajr prayer on Tuesday morning and retained his purification until he prayed ‘Ishā’ at night then he slept then woke up for the Fajr prayer on Wednesday morning and wiped over the leather socks at 5 a.m.,his wiping-over-the-socks period begins at 5 a.m. on Wednesday and ends at 5 a.m. on Thursday.So if he wiped over the leather socks on Thursday before 5 a.m., he may perform the Fajr prayer of Thursday and any other prayers he wishes to perform as long as he retains his purification,because his ablution is not invalidated by the expiry of the period allowed for wiping according to the preponderant view of scholars.This is because the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) did not assign a time limit for the state of purification; rather, he assigned a time limit for wiping over the socks. Once that limit is reached, wiping may not be done; but if one is still in a state of purification, then his purification is intact,because it is a purification which is established by a valid proof (from Shariah) and it cannot be repudiated except by another valid proof.In addition, there is no proof that ablution is invalidated upon the expiration of the wiping period. The principle ruling dictates that a state remains intact until it is clearly invalidated.

These are the conditions for wiping over the leather socks. There are other conditions that some scholars mentioned but some of them are debatable.

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 Questions on wiping over the leather socks, turbans, and splints

In the Name of Allah, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful.

All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the worlds. May Allah’s peace and blessings be upon His servant and Messenger, our Prophet Muhammad, his family, his Companions, and those who follow them with good conduct until the Day of Judgment.

I have listened to the answers of the questions I was asked regarding wiping over the leather socks, turbans, and splints. They match the answers I gave on the recorder. I have added some slight modifications to themand gave permission of printing to anyone who wishes to print them provided that proper editing is done and without retaining any copyrights for himself or others.

I ask Allah to grant everyone success and acceptance. Those words spoken by:

The writer of this text/ Muhammad ibn Sālih al-‘Uthaymīn

19/05/1410 A.H.

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 Wiping over Leather Socks

Question (1):Some jurists stipulated that the leather socks must cover the area that must be washed in ablution; how valid is this condition?Answer (1):This condition is invalid because it lacks evidence. As long as it [the footwear] is referred to as leather socks or [regular] socks, then it is permissible to wipe over it, because the reports address wiping over leather socks in the general sense.Any general command in Shariah cannot be restricted unless another Sharia ruling or text indicates the restriction. Hence, wiping over torn leather socks is permissible.It is also permissible to wipe over light socks, because socks are not meant to cover the skin but, rather, to give warmth and protection to the feet.Wiping over the socks was permitted because it is burdensome to take them off, and there is no difference in this respect between light and heavy socks or intact and torn socks. As long as they are called socks, it is permissible to wipe over them.

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Question (2):A man who made dry ablution and put on leather socks, is it permissible for him to wipe over the socks if he finds water, taking into consideration that he was in a state of purification when he put them on?Answer (2):It is impermissible for him to wipe over the leather socks if purification was through dry ablution,based on the saying of the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him): “I had put them on after performing ablution.”

Purification with dry ablution is not related to the feet but, rather, related to the face and the hands only. Following this reasoning, if a man has no water or is sick and cannot use water for ablution, he is permitted to wear the socks even without making ablution beforehand. He may wear them for an unlimited period of time until he has access to water or is healed from his sickness, because the feet have no relevance to the purification with dry ablution.

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Question (3):Is the intention obligatory? In other words, if an individual wants to wear the socks or sandals, must he have the prior intention of wiping over them? Also, the intention of wiping as a resident or a traveler, is it obligatory or not?

Answer (3):

Intention is not obligatory in this case, because the ruling is based on the mere presence of this deed, thereby no need for a prior intention. Similarly, when one wears a garment, it is not a condition to intend to cover oneself with it during prayer, for example. So, intention of wiping over the socks beforehand is not a condition for it.

The same applies to the intention of the permitted period. If he is traveling, the period of wiping is three days whether or not he made the intention for it, and if he is a resident, then the period is a day and a night whether or not he made the intention for it.

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Question (4):What is the minimum distance of traveling beyond which wiping over the socks for three days and nights is permitted?Answer (4):The traveling in which prayer may be shortened is the one in which wiping over the socks is permitted for three days and nights,because the hadith of Safwān ibn ‘Assāl mentioned above states, in general, that they were traveling. So, as long as the individual is traveling and shortening the prayer, he may wipe over the socks for three days.

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Question (5):If a traveler arrives or a resident travels after they had started wiping over the socks, how is their period of wiping calculated?Answer (5):If a resident started wiping then traveled, he is to wipe as though he is a traveler, according to the preponderant view;and if he was traveling then reached his destination, he is to wipe as though he is a resident, according to the preponderant view. Some scholars held that if he wiped while residing then traveled, he is to wipe as a resident; however, the earlier view is the preponderant one,because there is still a remaining time in the period allowed for the resident who then traveled. But after he traveled, he became a traveler whose period of wiping is three days.

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Question (6):Someone had doubts about the exact time he started wiping; what should he do?Answer (6):In this case, he should follow what he is certain of. If he doubts whether he wiped over his socks for Zhuhr or ‘Asr prayer, then he should start calculating the period of wiping from the ‘Asr prayer,because the principle ruling is the absence of wiping.This is based on the ruling that the ruling stands on its original case. In this case, the original state is the absence of wiping. A complaint was made to the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) about the person who doubts that he has broken his ablution in prayer. He said: “He should not leave (his prayer) unless he hears a sound or perceives a smell (of passing wind).”

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Question (7):A man wiped over the socks after the expiration of the wiping period; what is the ruling on his prayer (is it valid or not)?Answer (7):If he wiped after the expiration of the wiping period, whether he is a resident or a traveler, the prayer he performed with this purification is invalid because his ablution is invalidated by wiping beyond the wiping period. He must make a new and complete ablution in which he washes his feetand repeat the prayers he performed with that invalid ablution in which he wiped after the expiration of the wiping period.

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Question (8):If a man took off the socks after performing ablution but then put them on again before his ablution was invalidated, is he permitted to wipe over them?Answer (8):If he took off the socks then put them on again while his ablution was still intact (not invalidated), then if this is the initial ablution – meaning that he did not break his ablution after putting the socks on – there is no harm in putting them on again and wiping over them when making ablution.But if he had wiped over his socks in the [first] ablution, it is impermissible to wipe over them if he took them off and put them on again, because wiping is valid only if he put them on while in a state of purification with water,not with wiping. This is the known view of scholars.However, if any scholar held that putting the socks on again in a state of purification - even if it were purification with wiping (not washing) - permits wiping for the remaining length of the wiping period, then this is a strong view.But I do not know of anyone who held this view, which forbids me from proposing it. If a scholar happened to propose it, then I would consider it to be the correct view,because the purification with wiping is a complete one. So, the view should be: that if one wipes over what he had put on in a state of purification with washing, he should likewise wipe over what he put on in a state of purification with wiping. But once again, I have not heard of anyone held this opinion.

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Question (9):So, (based on the last answer) we should not say that taking the socks off is one of the invalidators of wiping (over the socks)?Answer (9):If one took off his socks, his state of purification is still valid though the wiping (over the socks) becomes invalid. If he puts them on again then broke his ablution, he must take the socks off and wash his feet (when making a new ablution). The important thing that we should know is that the socks must be worn while one is in a state of purification in which he washed his feet. This is as far as we know from the statements of scholars in this regard.

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Question (10):A man wiped over the sandals in the first time but then took them off and wiped over the socks in the second time; is his wiping valid or must he wash his feet?Answer (10):Scholars held different opinions in this regard. Some held that wiping over one of the layers of socks, either the top or the bottom layer, links the ruling to the wiped layer and it is not transferred to the other.Other scholars held that it is permissible to wipe over the second layer as long as it is done within the wiping period. For example, if someone wiped over the sandals then took them off and wanted to make ablution, he may wipe over the socks underneath, according to the preponderant view.Furthermore, if one wiped over the socks then wore other socks or sandals over them and wiped over the top ones, there is no harm in doing so, according to the preponderant view, as long as the wiping period has not expired. However, the period is calculated starting from wiping over the first layer, not the second one.

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Question (11):People often ask about the proper manner of wiping over the socks and the area to be wiped?Answer (11):The manner of wiping is to run the fingers from the tips of the feet to the shin only, which is the topside of the socks. Wiping should be done over both feet with both hands; meaning that the right hand wipes over the right foot and the left hand wipes over the left foot simultaneously just like wiping the ears.This is the apparent meaning found in the tradition of the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him). Al-Mughīrah ibn Shu‘bah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet “wiped over them”. He did not say that he started with the right foot but, rather, “wiped over them," so this is the apparent meaning. If someone is unable to use one of his hands, then he begins with the right foot then the left.

Many people wipe with both hands over the right foot and with both hands over the left foot. This has no foundation as far as I know. Rather, scholars said: he wipes with the right hand over the right foot and with the left hand over the left foot.

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Question (12):We have seen people wiping over the socks from the topside and the underside as well; what is the ruling on such action? And what is the ruling on their prayer?Answer (12):Their prayer is valid as well as their ablution, but they should be made aware that wiping the underside [of the socks] is not consistent with the Sunnah.It is reported in the books of Sunnah that ‘Ali ibn Abi Tālib (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “If religion was based on reason, then wiping the underside of the leather socks would be more appropriate than wiping its topside, and I have seen the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) wiping the topside of his leather socks.” This proves that wiping the topside of the socks is the only legitimate manner of wiping.

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Question (13):How do you interpret the statement of Ibn ‘Abbās (may Allah be pleased with him): “The Messenger of Allah (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) did not wipe [over the leather socks] after the [revelation] of Al-Mā’idah,” and the statement reported by ‘Ali (may Allah be pleased with him): “The revelation overruled [wiping over] the leather socks.”?Answer (13):I do not know if these reports are authentic or not.I have mentioned before that ‘Ali ibn Abi Tālib (may Allah be pleased with him) was one of the narrators of the hadiths addressing wiping over the leather socks as reported from the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him), and he continued to narrate them after the Prophet’s death.He explained that the Prophet set a time limit for the wiping, thus proving his belief in the continuation of the ruling after the death of the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him), which rules out the possibility that the ruling was abrogated, since abrogation was not possible after the Prophet’s death.

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Question (14):Are the rulings pertaining to wiping over the leather socks applicable to women just as men? Is there a difference in this regard?Answer (14):There is no difference between men and women in this regard. Generally speaking, the principle rule is that any instruction given to men extends to women,and any instruction given to women extends to men unless there is proof indicating otherwise.

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Question (15):

What is the ruling on taking off the sock or a portion of it to scratch the foot or remove something like a small stone or the like?

Answer (15):

If the person slips his hand inside the socks, there is no harm. But if he takes part of the socks off, then it depends on the extent of that part. If it is a small part, there is no harm; if it is a large part such that most of the foot is exposed, then wiping over the socks afterwards becomes invalid.

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Question (16):It is popular among laymen to wipe over the leather socks for five prayers only and then they repeat it again. What is the ruling on this action?Answer (16):Yes, this is popular among laymen. They believe that wiping for a day and a night means to wipe for five prayers only, which is incorrect. Instead, a day and a night means that the individual can wipe over the leather socks for a day and a night whether he prayed five prayers or more, and the period of wiping begins with the [first] time he wipes over them.As mentioned above, the person might pray ten prayers or more. If, for instance, a man wears the leather socks for Fajr prayer on Monday and remains in a state of purification until he goes to sleep at night and then wiped over the leather socks to pray Fajr on Tuesday morning, he is allowed to wipe until the Fajr prayer of Wednesday. In this instance, he prayed Fajr, Zhuhr, ‘Asr, Maghrib, and ‘Ishā’ while wearing the leather socks on Monday. This whole period is discounted because it preceded the wiping. On Tuesday, starting at Fajr prayer, he wiped [the first time] then he wiped at the next four prayers.Furthermore, he may wipe for the prayers of Wednesday if he wiped [the first time] before the wiping period expires. For example, he wiped at 5 a.m. for Fajr prayer on Tuesday. On Wednesday, he wiped at 4:45 a.m. and remained in a state of purification until he prayed ‘Ishā’ on the eve of Thursday (i.e. Wednesday night).That person has prayed with this ablution the prayers of Wednesday (Fajr, Zhuhr, ‘Asr, Maghrib, and ‘Ishā’), thus raising the total count to 15 prayers since he put on the leather socks at the Fajr prayer of Monday and retained his purification until the Fajr prayer of Tuesday for which he wiped over the socks at 5 a.m. He then wiped again for the Fajr prayer of Wednesday at 4:45 a.m., then retained his purification until ‘Ishā’ prayer. This makes a total of 15 prayers.

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Question (17):If a person made ablution and wiped over the leather socks but he took them off during the wiping period before ‘Asr prayer, for example, should he pray and his prayer would be valid or is his ablution invalidated by taking off the leather socks?Answer (17):The preponderant view of scholars which was chosen by Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah and a group of scholars (may Allah have mercy upon them) is that ablution is not invalidated because of taking off the leather socks. If he takes them off while retaining his state of purification after wiping over them, his ablution is not invalidated.This is because by wiping over the socks his purification is complete based on established proof from Shariah. If he were to take them off, this established purification cannot be invalidated except by another proof from Shariah; and there is no proof that taking off wiped-over socks invalidates ablution.Hence, his ablution is intact, but if he puts on the socks again and wants to wipe over them in the future, then it is impermissible as far as I know based on the statements of scholars in this regard.

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 Wiping over Turbans

Question (18):Is it permissible to wipe over turbans? What are the limits of this wiping? And what is the compatible description of turbans?Answer (18):Wiping over the turban is reported to have been practiced by the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him), so it is permissible to wipe over it entirely or most of it. It is also recommended to wipe over the visible parts of the head like the forelock, the sides of the head, and the ears.

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Question (19):Does the [ruling of] turbans extend to the Shimāgh (male headdress) and the woman’s headcover?Answer (19):As for the Shimāgh and the hat or cap, they are definitely not considered similar to the turban. As for the headdress worn in winter such as the cowl covering the head and ears and possibly a part to be wrapped around the neck, this shares the same ruling of the turban given the difficulty of removing it; and therefore it is permissible to wipe over it.

Women, on the other hand, are permitted to wipe over their veils according to the prominent opinion of the [Hanbali] school of Imam Ahmad (may Allah have mercy upon him), as long as they are wrapped under their chins, because this was reported to have been done by some of the female Companions (may Allah be pleased with them).

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Question (20):The Tarbūsh [also called fez] is worn on the head unattached to the neck; is it permissible to wipe over it?Answer (20):If the Tarbūsh is easy to take off, it is impermissible to wipe over it because it is similar to the hat in some respects. The principle rule dictates the obligation of wiping over the head [in ablution] until one becomes certain that it is permissible to wipe over that kind of headdress.

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 Wiping over the Splint

Question (21):What is the ruling on wiping over a splint and similar covers? And what is the proof from the Qur’an and Sunnah?Answer (21):First, we must define the splint.In principle, the splint is what is used to heal a bone fracture. According to jurists, it refers to what is placed on a part of the body that must be purified [in ablution or ritual bath] for a certain need,such as the cast dressed on a fracture and the bandage placed on a wound or a spot of back pain or the like. Wiping over it is sufficient as a substitute for washing.For example, if there is a bandage covering a wound on a person’s arm that he is in need of, he is permitted to wipe over it instead of washing. This is considered complete purification, which means that if he removes this splint or bandage afterwards, his purification is still valid,because it was done in a Shariah-approved manner. In addition, there is no proof that removing the bandage invalidates ablution or the state of purification.None of the reports concerning the splint is free of some objection supported by weak reports which some scholars used and said that the collective number of those reports make them sufficient as valid evidence.Other scholars held that those reports are not reliable owing to their weakness and they differed among themselves. Some of them held that one is exempted from purifying that body part or the place where the splint is worn given his inability to purify them. Others held that one should perform dry ablution for it and not wipe over it.

However, the most plausible opinion irrespective of the relevant reports is that wiping over the splint/bandage is permitted without the need for dry ablution.

Hence, we say that if there is a wound in one of the body parts that must be purified, then there are levels for it:

First level: the wound is exposed and unharmed by washing, in which case washing is obligatory.

Second level: the wound is exposed and harmed by washing but not by wiping, in which case wiping over it is obligatory without the need for washing.

Third level: the wound is exposed and harmed by washing and wiping, in which case dry ablution is to be performed instead.

Fourth level: the wound is covered with a bandage or a similar dressing, in which case wiping over this cover is sufficient and there is no need for washing that part.

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Question (22):Are there any conditions for wiping over the splint, like, for example, if it outlasts the need for it?Answer (22):The splint is not to be wiped over except when there is a need for that, so this need must be estimated by the extent thereof. The need is not limited to the site of the wound or pain only but, rather, extends to anything necessary to hold this splint or bandage in place.

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Question (23):Does the [ruling] of splint extend to similar dressings like gauze among others?Answer (23):Yes, it shares the same ruling. It should be known that the splint is not similar to wiping over the leather socks in terms of the specified wiping period. Instead, wiping over the splint can extend as long as the need for it is present.Furthermore, wiping over it is valid in both major and minor impurities [i.e. in both ablution and ritual bath], unlike the leather socks as mentioned earlier. If a person must take a ritual bath, he may wipe over the splint just as he does during ablution.

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Question (24):What is the manner of wiping over the splint? Should one wipe it entirely or some portion of it? Kindly, provide a detailed answer.Answer (24):Yes, one must wipe over it entirely, because the principle rule dictates that an alternative shares the identical ruling of the original case unless the Sunnah reports indicate otherwise. In this case, wiping is the alternative to washing, so just as washing must cover the entire body part,wiping must cover the entire splint. As for wiping over the leather socks, it is a concession and the hadiths indicate that it is sufficient to wipe them partially.

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 Chapter Two

Prayer :

- Importance and Merit

- Manner of Prayer

- Prostration of Forgetfulness

- Prostration of Recitation

- Prayer and Fasting of Travelers

- Illness and what the ill person should be aware of

- How an ill person purifies himself, prays, and fasts

- Voluntary Prayer

- Prohibited times of prayer

- Ruling on person who does not pray

- Repentance

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 Prayer

Importance and Merit:

Prayer is the second pillar of Islam and the most crucial pillar after the two testimonies of faith.Anyone who denies its obligation is a disbeliever because he has belied Allah, His Messenger, and the consensus of Muslims.As for the one who affirmed its obligation but neglects it and abandons it, there is difference of opinion among scholars regarding his situation,but the preponderant view is that he is a disbeliever in a way that takes him out of the fold of Islam.Prayer is a connection between the servant and his Lord.The Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said: “When one of you prays, he is privately conversing with his Lord.”In a Qudsi hadith, Allah Almighty said: “I have divided prayer between Myself and My slave into two halves, and My slave shall have what he asks for. When the slave says: Al-hamdu lillahi rabb al-‘ālamīn (All praise is due to Allah, Lord of the worlds), Allah Almighty says: My slave has praised Me. And when he says: Ar-Rahmān ar-Rahīm (the Most Compassionate, Most Merciful), Allah says: My slave has extolled Me. And when he says: Māliki yawm ad-dīn (Master of the Day of Judgment), Allah says: My slave has glorified Me. And when he says: Iyyāka na‘budu wa iyyāka nasta‘īn (You alone we worship and You alone we ask for help), He says: This is between Me and My slave, and My slave shall have what he asks for. And when he says: Ihdina as-sirāt al-mustaqīm, sirāt alladhīna an‘amta ‘alayhim ghayr al-maghdūbi ‘alayhim wa la ad-dāllīn (Guide us along the Straight Path, the Path of those You have blessed — not those You are displeased with or those who are astray), He says: This is for My slave, and My slave shall have what he has asked for.”

Prayer is a garden of worship full of everything beautiful. At its onset, Takbīr initiates it, followed by recitation of the speech of Allah during standing, exaltation of Allah during bowing, praise of Allah after rising from bowing, glorification and supplication to Allah during prostration,Tashahhud and supplication during sitting, and ending with salutation of peace.

Prayer provides aid amidst ordeals and deters one from indecency and wrongdoing;Allah Almighty said: {And seek help through patience and prayer} [Al-Baqarah: 45]And: {Recite [O Muhammad] what has been revealed to you of the Book and establish prayer. Indeed, prayer prohibits immorality and wrongdoing.} [Al-‘Ankabūt: 45]Prayer is the light for the believers in their graves and resurrection;the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said: “Prayer is light,”and: “Whoever guards it, it will be light for him, an argument [in his favor], and salvation on the Day of Judgment.”Prayer is delight and joy for the believers;the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said: “The delight of my eye is in prayer.”Prayer is a means whereby sins are erased and wrongdoings are expiated;the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said: “Say, if there were a river at the door of one of you in which he bathes five times a day, would any soiling remain on him?” They replied: “No soiling would remain on him.” He said: “That is the example of the five (obligatory) prayers. Allah obliterates sins therewith.”He (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) also said: “The five (daily) prayers and the Friday prayer to the next Friday prayer are expiation of the sins committed in between them, so long as major sins are avoided.”And: “Praying in congregation is twenty-seven degrees better than praying alone.”[Reported by Ibn ‘Umar from the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him)]And Ibn Mas‘ūd (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “He who likes to meet Allah tomorrow (i.e. on the Day of Judgment) as a Muslim, should observe those prayers when the call to prayer is made,for Allah has legislated for your Prophet the ways of right guidance, and these (the prayers) are among the ways of right guidance. If you prayed in your houses, like this man who did not attend prayer (in the mosque) and performed prayer in his house, you would be abandoning the Sunnah of your Prophet;and if you abandoned the Sunnah of your Prophet, you would go astray. There is no man who purifies himself, and does it well, and comes to the mosque and prays, but for every step he takes, Allah raises him in status one degree thereby and takes away one of his sins.I have seen the time when no one stayed behind except a hypocrite known for his hypocrisy. A man would be brought swaying (on account of weakness), supported by two men on his sides till he was set up in a row (in the mosque).”Humility in prayer is to have a conscious mindful heart during prayer. Guarding that state of humility is one of the causes of success and admission to Paradise.Allah Almighty said: {Successful indeed are the believers. They who are during their prayer humbly submissive. And they who turn away from ill speech. And they who are observant of Zakah. And they who guard their private parts, except from their wives or those their right hands possess, for indeed, they will not be blamed. But whoever seeks beyond that, then they are the transgressors. And they who are to their trusts and promises attentive. And they who carefully maintain their prayers. Those are the inheritors. Who will inherit the highest level of Paradise. They will abide therein eternally.} [Al-Mu’minūn: 1-11]The two principle conditions for the acceptance of prayer are sincerity to Allah Almighty therein and performing it in consistency with the Sunnah;the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said: “Verily, the reward of deeds depends upon the intentions; and, indeed, each one will be rewarded according to his intention.”And he said: “Pray as you have seen me pray.”

Definition of Prayer:

It is to worship Allah by standing, sitting, bowing, and prostrating while reciting Dhikr [mention of Allah] in a specific manner. Before starting to pray, the conditions that precede prayer must be fulfilled, like purification, covering the parts of the body that must be covered in prayer, and the start of its time if it is one of the timed prayers.

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 Manner of Prayer

Once those conditions are met and the individual is ready to pray, he should do the following [in succession]:

1) He faces the Qiblah (direction of prayer towards Makkah) with his entire body without any deviation or turning head.

2) He makes the intention to perform the due prayer in his heart without pronouncing the intention audibly.

3) He makes the opening Takbīr by saying 'Allahu Akbar' (Allah is the Most Great) while raising his hands up to the level of his shoulders or his earlobes.

4) He places his right palm on the back of his left hand over his chest.

5) He opens the prayer with the following supplication: “Allāhumma bā‘id bayni wa bayna khatāyaya kama bā‘adta bayna al-mashriqi wal-maghrib. Allāhumma naqqini min khatāyaya kama yunaqqa ath-thawbu al-abyadu min ad-danas. Allāhumma ighsilni min khatāyaya bilmā’i wath-thalji wal-barad” (O Allah, distance me from my sins as You have distanced the east from the west. O Allah, purify me from my sins as a white garment is purified from dirt. O Allah, wash out my sins with water, snow, and hail).

6) Or he says: “Subhānak Allāhumma wa bihamdika wa tabārak-asmuk wa ta‘āla jadduka wa la ilāha ghayruk” (Glory be to you, O Allah, and all praises are due unto You, and blessed is Your name, and high is Your majesty, and none is worthy of worship but You).

7) He then seeks refuge by saying: “I seek refuge in Allah from the cursed devil.”

8) He says 'In the name of Allah' and recites the chapter of al-Fātihah in full, followed by saying Āmīn (Amen), which means: O Allah, accept [the supplication].

9) He recites whatever he can from the Qur’an, and recites at length in the Fajr prayer.

10) He then bows in veneration of Allah while saying 'Allahu Akbar' and raising the hands up to shoulder level. It is recommended that he bends his back, keeping his head at the same level of his back, and places his hands on his knees with spread out fingers.

11) He says during bowing 'Subhāna Rabbi al-Azīm' (Glory be to my Lord, the Majestic) three times. It is also good if he adds the following supplication: “Subhānaka Allāhumma Rabbana wa bihamdika, Allāhumm-ighfir li” (Glory be to You, O Allah Our Lord, and praise. O Allah, forgive me),” and “Subbūhun Quddūsun Rabb-ul-malā’ikati war-rūh”(Most Glorious, Most Holy, Lord of the angels and of the Spirit).

12) He raises his head from bowing while saying: “Sami‘ allahu liman hamidah (Allah hears those who praise them),” and raising his hands to shoulder level.

13) The person led in prayer does not say: “Sami‘ allahu liman hamidah”. Instead, he says: “Rabbanaa, wa laka al-hamd” (Our Lord, and Praise be to You).

14) After raising his head from bowing, he says: “Allahumma rabbana laka al-hamdu mil’a as-samāwāti wal-ardi wa mil’a ma shi’ta min shay’in ba‘d” (Our Lord, praise is due to You, (praise) that fills the heavens and the earth, that fills what exists between them, and that fills anything You desire afterward). It is good if he adds the following supplication: “Ahl ath-thanā’i wal-majd, ahaqqu ma qāl al-‘abd wa kulluna laka ‘abd. Allahumma la mani‘a lima a‘tayta wa la mu‘tiya lima mana‘ta wa la yanfa‘u dhal-jaddi minka al-jadd” (O Worthy of praise and glory, that is the most truthful thing to be said by a slave and we all are slaves to You. There is none who can withhold what You give, and none can give what You withhold, and the greatness of the great will be of no avail to them against You).

15) He then performs the first prostration to Allah with humility while saying 'Allahu Akbar' as he goes down to prostrate. One must prostrate on seven body parts: the forehead along with the nose, the two palms, the two knees, and the tips of both feet. He must keep his arms away from his sides and not rest his forearms on the ground, and his fingertips should face the prayer direction.

16) He says during prostration: “Subhāna rabbi al-A‘la” (Glorified is my Lord, the Most High) three times. It is good if he adds the following supplication: “Subhānaka Allāhumma Rabbana wa bihamdika, Allāhumm-ighfir li” (Glory be to You O Allah, Our Lord, and praise. O Allah, forgive me); and: “Subbūhun Quddūsun Rabb-ul-malā’ikati war-rūh” (Most Glorious, Most Holy, Lord of the angels and of the Spirit).

17) He raises his head from prostration while saying: 'Allahu Akbar'.

18) He then sits between the two prostrations on the left foot while erecting the right foot in an upright position. He places the right hand on the edge of the right thigh just before the knee then retracts the small finger and ring finger and raises the index finger and moves it while supplicating. He joins the tip of the thumb with the tip of the middle finger to form a circle; and he places the left hand, with spread out fingers, on the edge of the left thigh just before the knee.

19) He says in the sitting between the two prostrations: “Allāhumma ighfir li, warhamni, wahdini, warzuqni, wa āfini, wajburni” (O Allah, forgive me, have mercy on me, guide me, give me provision, give me support, and protect me).

20) Then he prostrates the second prostration with humility to Allah in exactly the same manner as the first with regards to what is said and what is done, and he says “Allahu Akbar” when transitioning to prostration.

21) He rises from the second prostration while saying 'Allahu Akbar' and performs the second Rak‘ah (unit of prayer) in exactly the same manner with regards to what is said and what is done except that he does not say the opening supplication.

22) He sits after ending the second Rak‘ah while saying 'Allahu Akbar', and the manner of sitting is the same as that between the two prostrations,

23) and he reads the following Tashahhud: “At-Tahiyyātu lillahi wa as-salawātu wa at-tayyibāt. As-Salāmu ‘alayka ayyuha an-Nabiyy wa rahmatullahi wa barakātuh. As-Salāmu ‘alayna wa ‘ala ‘ibādillah as-sālihīn. Ashhadu an la ilaha illa Allah, wa ashhadu anna Muhammadan Abduhu wa rasūluh. Allahumma salli ‘ala Muhammadin wa ‘ala Āli Muhammad, kama sallayta ‘ala Ibrahim wa ‘ala Āli Ibrahim; innaka Hamīdun Majīd. Allahumma bārik ‘ala Muhammadin wa ‘ala Āli Muhammad, kama bārakta ‘ala Ibrahim wa ‘ala Āli Ibrahim; innaka Hamīdun Majīd” (Greetings are due to Allah and prayers and good things. May the peace, mercy, and blessings of Allah be upon you, O Prophet. Peace be upon us and upon the righteous slaves of Allah. I bear witness that there is no true god but Allah, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger. O Allah, bestow Your peace upon Muhammad and upon the family of Muhammad as You bestowed Your peace upon Ibrahim and upon the family of Ibrahim; indeed, You are Praiseworthy, Glorious. O Allah, bestow Your blessings upon Muhammad and upon the family of Muhammad as You bestowed Your blessings upon Ibrahim and upon the family of Ibrahim; indeed, You are Praiseworthy, Glorious. O Allah, I seek refuge with You from the punishment of the Hellfire, the punishment of the grave, the trials of life and death, and the trial of the Anti-Christ).

24) Then he supplicates Allah with what he wishes of good for himself in this life and the hereafter;

25) and finally he makes Taslīm by turning his head to the right and saying: “As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa rahmatullāh” (Peace be upon you and the mercy of Allah); and he does the same to the left.

If it is a three-Rak‘ah or four-Rak‘ah prayer, he stops at the end of the first Tashahhud; i.e. after saying “I bear witness that there is no true god but Allah, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger;”

then he stands up while saying 'Allahu Akbar' and raising his hands to the level of his shoulders,

then he performs the rest of the prayer in the same manner he performed the second Rak‘ah except that he only recites Al-Fātihah.

He then sits in the 'Tawarruk' position by resting the left posterior on the ground with his right foot placed vertically with toes pointing towards the direction of prayer and the left foot on its side emerging from under the right leg. He places his hands on his thighs in the same manner as in the first Tashahhud.

In this sitting, he reads the Tashahhud in full,

31) and finally he makes Taslīm to the right, saying: “As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa rahmatullāh (Peace be upon you and the mercy of Allah), and he does the same to the left.

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 Disliked actions during prayer

1) It is disliked to turn the head right and left or to look around during prayer. As for looking up to the sky, it is prohibited.

2) It is disliked to fidget or move unnecessarily during prayer.

3) It is disliked to bring what may cause distraction like a heavy or a colorful object that attracts attention.

4) It is disliked to place the hands on the waist (akimbo) while standing in prayer.

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 Invalidators of prayer

1- Talking intentionally during prayer even if it is a few words.

2- Deviating from the direction of prayer with the entire body.

3- Passing wind from the anus and any other reason that necessitates ablution or ritual bathing.

4- Moving excessively without need.

5- Laughing even if it is slightly.

6- Performing extra bowing, prostration, standing, or sitting intentionally.

7- Going ahead of the Imām intentionally (i.e. making prayer movements ahead of him).

8- Wearing [thin] garments that reveal the color of the skin (as clearly explained in the answer to the following question):

His Eminence Sheikh Muhammad ibn Sālih Al-‘Uthaymīn

May the peace, mercy, and blessings of Allah be upon you. Kindly answer this question:

Many people pray in light clothes that show their skin, and they wear underneath them short pants that only cover the upper half of the thigh. So the lower half of the thigh could be seen through the garment; what is the ruling on the prayer of those people?

In the Name of Allah, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful.

And may the peace, mercy, and blessings of Allah be upon you.

The ruling on the prayer of such people is the same as those praying without any garments except short pants, because transparent garments that show the skin do not cover sufficiently as if one is wearing nothing to begin with.Accordingly, their prayer is invalid, based on the sounder of the two opinions of scholars in this regard.This is the prominent opinion of the [Hanbali] school of Imam Ahmad (may Allah have mercy upon him). The rationale being the necessity of covering between the navel and the knees for males;which is the least form of compliance with the saying of Allah, Exalted and Glorified:{O children of Adam, take your adornment [i.e. wear your beautiful apparel] at every place of worship} [Al-A‘rāf: 31]

They must do one of the following: either wear pants that cover what is between the navel and the knees or wear a thick garment that does not show the skin over these short pants.

The conduct highlighted in the question is wrong and serious. They must repent to Allah Almighty from it and be keen on properly covering what must be covered during their prayer.

We ask Allah Almighty to give us and our fellow Muslims guidance and success towards what He loves and is pleased with; for indeed He is All-Generous and All-Kind.

Written by/ Muhammad ibn Sālih Al-‘Uthaymīn

Ramadān 5th, 1408 A.H.

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 The Reported Supplications after the Obligatory Prayer:

One should say:

“Astaghfirullah, astaghfirullah, astaghfirullah; allahumma anta as-salām, wa minka as-salām, tabārakta ya dhal-jalāli wal-ikrām” (I seek Allah’s forgiveness, I seek Allah’s forgiveness, I seek Allah’s forgiveness. O Allah, You are the One free from imperfections, and peace and perfection come from You. Blessed are You, the Owner of Majesty and Honor).

“La ilāha illa Allah wahdahu la sharīka lah lahu al-mulku wa lahu al-hamd wa huwa ‘ala kulli shay’in qadīr. La hawla wala quwwata illa billah, la ilāha illa Allah wa la na‘budu illa iyyah lahu an-ni‘mah wa lahu al-fadl wa lahu ath-thanā’u al-hasan. La ilāha illa Allah mukhlisīna lahu ad-dīna wa law kariha al-kāfirūn” (None has the right to be worshiped but Allah alone; He has no partner. For Him is the Kingdom and all the praises are due to Him. He is over all things Omnipotent. There is neither Might nor Power Except with Allah. There is no true god but Allah, and we worship none but Him. To Him belong blessings and to Him belongs favor and to Him good praise is due. There is no true god but Allah; we are sincere to Him in religion, however much the disbelievers may be averse).

“La ilāha illa Allah wahdahu la sharīka lah lahu al-mulku wa lahu al-hamdu wa huwa ‘ala kulli shay’in qadīr. Allahumma la mani‘a lima a‘tayta wa la mu‘tiya lima mana‘ta wa la yanfa‘u dhal jaddi minka al-jadd” (None has the right to be worshiped but Allah alone; He has no partner. For Him is the Kingdom and all the praises are due to Him. He is over all things Omnipotent. O Allah, there is none who can withhold what You give, and none can give what You withhold, and the greatness of the great will be of no avail to them against You).

One should keenly follow what is reported from the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) in this regard, like saying “Subhānallah” (glory be to Allah), “Alhamdulillah” (praise be to Allah), and “Allahu Akbar” (Allah is the Most Great). There are many ways reported of saying such Dhikr, so it is better to say them in alternation to one another.

First alternate: to say “Subhānallah” thirty-three times, “Alhamdulillah” thirty-three times, “Allahu Akbar” thirty-three times, and to complete them by saying once: “La ilāha illa Allah, wahdahu la sharīka lah, lahu al-mulku wa lahu al-hamdu, wa huwa ‘ala kulli shay’in Qadīr.” (there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah. He is One and has no partner with Him. To Him belongs sovereignty and to Him belongs praise, and He is over everything Omnipotent)

Second alternate: to say “Subhānallah” thirty-three times, “Alhamdulillah” thirty-three times, “Allahu Akbar” thirty-four times.

Third alternate: to say “Subhānallah” ten times, “Alhamdulillah” ten times, “Allahu Akbar” ten times.

Fourth alternate: to say “Subhānallah wal-hamdulillah wa-la ilaha illa-Allah wallahu Akbar” (Glory be to Allah, and praise be to Allah, and there is no true god but Allah, and Allah is the Most Great) twenty-five times.

One should also recite the verse of al-Kursi [Al-Baqarah: 255],and the chapters of Al-Ikhlās, Al-Falaq and An-Nās.

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 Rulings pertaining to the Prostration of Forgetfulness

There are three reasons for making the prostration of forgetfulness: addition, omission, and doubt.

Addition: it is to add to the prayer. For example, that someone adds one bowing thus making two bowings in a single Rak‘ah, or adds one prostration thus making three prostrations in a single Rak‘ah, or stands up for a fifth Rak‘ah in a four-Rak‘ah prayer then remembers and sits down again. If this is the reason for performing the prostration of forgetfulness, then it is to be done after Taslīm.In other words, you recite Tashahhud then make Taslīm then you perform two prostrations and then Taslīm again;This was what the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) did when he prayed five Rak‘ahs and they [the Companions] reminded him after he made Taslīm, so he prostrated [for forgetfulness] after Taslīm.It cannot be said that the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) prostrated after Taslīm only because he did not know about the addition except after Taslīm.Though this was the case, we say: had the ruling been different from his action, he would have instructed them to make the prostration of forgetfulness before Taslīm if they realized the addition before making Taslīm. However, since he approved the action as it was, it becomes known that the prostration of forgetfulness due to addition is to be done after Taslīm.As proof of this, when the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) was reminded that he prayed two Rak‘ahs only for the Zhuhr or ‘Asr prayer, he completed the remaining two Rak‘ahs and made Taslīm then he made the two prostrations of forgetfulness then made Taslīm again, because making a mistimed Taslīm during prayer is considered an addition, so he made the prostration of forgetfulness for it after Taslīm.Just as this conclusion is entailed by the Prophetic reports, it is also entailed by reason. If one were to make the prostrations of forgetfulness before Taslīm in case of an addition in prayer, this would result in two additions in prayer; and if one were to make the prostrations of forgetfulness after Taslīm, this would result in only a single addition that happened out of forgetfulness.Omission: the prostration for this type is made before Taslīm; for example, if one forgets to sit for the first Tashahhud or forgets to say “Subhāna rabbi al-A‘la” while prostrating or “Subhāna rabbi al-Azeem” while bowing. In this case, prostration of forgetfulness is to be made before Taslīm,because there was an omission of one of the obligatory acts, thus requiring a prostration of forgetfulness before Taslīm to make up for the omission before the conclusion of prayer.

The proof is in the hadith of ‘Abdullah ibn Buhaynah who reported that the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) led them in Zhuhr prayer and stood up after the second Rak‘ah without sitting [for Tashahhud]. Before he concluded the prayer, while the people waited for him to do the Taslīm, he made two prostrations and followed them with Taslīm.

Doubt: whether there was an addition or omission:

If one doubts whether he prayed three or four Rak‘ahs, then there are two possible cases:

The first case is that he is more inclined to either the addition or the omission, in which case he should follow his predominant inclination and do the prostration of forgetfulness after Taslīm,as evidenced by the hadith of Ibn Mas‘ūd (may Allah be pleased with him) that reads: “If anyone of you is doubtful about his prayer, he should estimate what is most likely to be correct and complete his prayer accordingly, then make Taslīm then offer two prostrations.”This is what the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said or something along those lines.

The second case is if one doubts whether he made an addition or an omission without inclining more to either of them. In this case, he should follow the safer option, which is the lesser number of Rak‘ahs and complete the prayer accordingly then offer the two prostrations of forgetfulness before Taslīm; this is the reported practice of the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him).

Rulings pertaining to the Prostration of Forgetfulness:

1- If one does Taslīm intentionally before the completion of prayer, his prayer is invalid.

2- If one intentionally added in his prayer the action of standing, sitting, bowing, or prostration, his prayer is invalid.

3- If one leaves out a pillar of the prayer; if it is the Opening Takbīr, then his prayer is annulled whether he left it out intentionally or forgetfully, because his prayer has not validly started in the first place. But if the missed pillar is other than the Opening Takbīr, the prayer is invalid if it was left out intentionally.

4- If one omits an obligatory act of the prayer intentionally, his prayer is invalid.

5- If the prostration of forgetfulness is offered after Taslīm, then Taslīm must be done again after the prostration.

 Summary of the rulings pertaining to the prostration of forgetfulness

1- Making Taslīm before the conclusion of prayer: if one forgetfully made Taslīm before completing the prayer.

If he remembers after a long time, he should start the prayer from the beginning, but if he remembers after a short time, like five minutes or so, he should complete his prayer and make Taslīm.

After Taslīm, he should offer the two prostrations of forgetfulness and then make Taslīm again.

2- In the case of addition in prayer: if one intentionally added one action of standing, sitting, bowing, or prostration,

if he remembered the addition after completing the additional action, he only has to offer the prostrations of forgetfulness; but if he realized the addition in the course of doing it, he should stop doing the additional action.

In this case, he should offer the prostrations of forgetfulness after Taslīm and concludes them with Taslīm once more.

3- Leaving out a pillar of prayer: If one forgetfully left out one of the pillars of prayer other than the Opening Takbīr.

In this case, if he reaches that pillar in the following Rak‘ah, then the present Rak‘ah cancels the previous Rak‘ah that had the omission and replaces it. But if he had not reached that pillar in the following Rak‘ah, he must return to the pillar and redo everything following that pillar once again.

In both cases, he must offer the prostration of forgetfulness after Taslīm.

4- Doubt in prayer: If one doubts the number of Rak‘ahs he offered, whether it was two or three, there is only two possibilities:

The first: that he inclines more to either of the two options, in which case he acts upon what he inclines more toward and completes the prayer then make Taslīm.

The second: that he does not incline more to either option, in which case he should follow the safer option of a lesser number of Rak‘ahs and completes the prayer accordingly.

In the first case, he should offer the prostration of forgetfulness after Taslīm.

In the second case, he should offer the prostration of forgetfulness before Taslīm.

In the case of forgetfully leaving out the first Tashahhud, this shares the same ruling of leaving out any other obligatory act of prayer.

If one remembers after standing up straight, he is to continue the prayer without going back to make Tashahhud.

But if he remembers after getting up but before standing up straight, he goes back to sitting down for Tashahhud then completes his prayer.

If he remembers while his thighs are still in contact with his legs, he should settle down again in his sitting position and recite the Tashahhud then complete his prayer without offering the prostration of forgetfulness because there was neither addition nor omission.

[In the first two cases] He should offer the prostration of forgetfulness before Taslīm.

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 Prostration of Recitation

The reason for it is that one recites a verse containing a prostration [of recitation]. In the Qur’an, the prostrations are marked in the margins of the Qur’an pages. If the person passes by a verse containing a prostration, he is strongly advised to prostrate to Allah, Exalted and Glorified. Some scholars held that the prostration of recitation is obligatory, but the sounder opinion is that it is not;because the Commander of the Believers ‘Umar ibn al-Khattāb (may Allah be pleased with him) once delivered the Friday sermon and recited the verse containing a prostration in the Chapter of al-Nahl so he prostrated after reciting it. Then he recited the same verse in another Friday without offering the prostration. Then he (may Allah be pleased with him) said:“Allah has not made it obligatory on us to offer the prostration [of recitation] unless we want to.”The exception here means that offering the prostration depends on our wish whether or not to offer it.His words do not mean “unless we want it to be obligatory”, because obligatory acts cannot be based on our will. ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) did this in the presence of other Companions and no one objected given their keenness on objecting to what is wrong. Their tacit approval to something the rightly-guided Caliph ‘Umar ibn al-Khattāb (may Allah be pleased with him) did in such a big gathering proves that the prostration of recitation is not obligatory. This is the sound opinion whether the individual is praying or not.

 Manner of performing the prostration of recitation:

One says “Allahu Akbar” and prostrates in the same manner he does in prayer on the seven body parts, and he says:“Subhāna rabbi al-A‘la” (Exalted is my Lord, the Most High), and “Subhānaka Allāhumma Rabbana wa bihamdik, Allāhumm-ighfir li (Glory be to You O Allah, Our Lord, and praise. O Allah, forgive me).”And he recites the famous supplication:“Allahumma laka sajadt, wa bika amant, wa ‘alayka tawakkalt. Sajada wajhi lilladhi khalaqahu wa sawwarahu wa shaqqa sam‘ahu wa basarahu, bihawlihi wa quwwatihi. Allāhumma uktub lī bihā ajran, warfa‘ ‘annī bihā wizran, waj‘alhā lī ‘indaka dhukhran, wa taqabbalhā minnī kamā taqabbaltaha min ‘abdika Dāwūd.” (O Allah, to You I prostrate, in You I believe, and in You I repose my trust. I have prostrated my face to the One Who created it and made its hearing and vision, by His Might and Power. O Allah, record for me a reward for it, remove a sin for me by it, and store it away for me with You, and accept it from me as You accepted it from Your servant [Prophet] David)

Then he stands up without saying “Allahu Akbar” or making Taslīm.

In case the prostration is during prayer, he is to say “Allahu Akbar” when he goes down to prostrate and when he gets up from it, because everyone who described the prayer of the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said that he used to say “Allahu Akbar” every time he went down and got up.

The Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) used to offer the prostration of recitation during prayer as reported authentically by Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet recited the chapter of Al-Inshiqāq during the ‘Ishᾱ’ prayer and offered the prostration of recitation therein.

Those who described the Takbīr in the prayer of the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) did not exempt the prostration of recitation, thus proving that it is observed exactly like the regular prostration in prayer, because he used to say “Allahu Akbar” when he goes down to prostrate and when he gets up from it. There is no difference whether the prostration was at the last verse he recited or in the middle of recitation.So he says “Allahu Akbar” when he prostrates and when he stands up from prostration, then he says “Allahu Akbar” when he bows. There is no problem in saying “Allahu Akbar” twice successively given that they are said for different reasons.As for what some people do when they recite a verse containing a prostration in prayer, so they say “Allahu Akbar” when they go down to prostrate but do not say “Allahu Akbar” when getting up from it, I do not know of any proof to support it. The only difference of opinion in this regard is related to the prostration of recitation outside prayer.As to the prostration of recitation inside prayer, it shares the same ruling of regular prostration in prayer; i.e. one says “Allahu Akbar” when going down and when getting up from the prostration.

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 Prayer and Fasting of Travelers

The prayer of the traveler is two Rak‘ahs starting from the time he leaves his hometown until he returns to it, based on the saying of ‘Ā’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her):“The first time the prayer was enjoined, it was two Rak‘ahs. It remained as such when traveling and was made complete while resident.”Another narration reads: “and an addition was made to the prayer of the resident.” Anas ibn Mālik (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “We left Madinah along with the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) heading to Makkah, so he (the Prophet) offered the prayer in two Rak‘ahs until we returned to Madinah.”But if the individual prays behind an Imām who prays four Rak‘ahs, he must complete the prayer whether or not he caught up with the prayer at the beginning or missed part of it,based on the generality of the saying of the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him):“When you hear the Iqāmah (second call to prayer), proceed to offer the prayer with calmness and solemnity and do not make haste. Pray what you caught up with and complete what you missed.”The generality of his statement “pray what you caught up with and complete what you missed” includes the travelers who pray behind an Imām who offers a four-Rak‘ah prayer and any others.Ibn ‘Abbās (may Allah be pleased with him) was asked: “How come a traveler prays two Rak‘ahs when he prays alone but four when he prays in congregation behind a resident Imām?” He replied: “That is the practice of the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him).”The obligation of the congregational prayer remains in effect while traveling because Allah Almighty commanded it even during battle, by saying:{And when you [i.e. the commander of an army] are among them and lead them in prayer, let a group of them stand in prayer with you and let them carry their arms. And when they have prostrated, let them be in position behind you and have the other group come forward which has not yet prayed and let them pray with you} [Al-Nisā’: 102]Accordingly, if a traveler is in a town/country other than his own, he is obliged to attend the congregational prayer at the masjid when he hears the call to prayer unless he is in a distant place or fears losing his company;based on the generality of the available proofs that indicate the obligation of the congregation prayer upon anyone who hears the call to prayer or the Iqāmah (second call to prayer).

As for voluntary prayer, the traveler can pray any of them except the regular supererogatory prayer of Zhuhr, Maghrib, and ‘Ishā’. He can pray the Witr prayer, night prayer, Duha prayer, the supererogatory prayer of Fajr, and any other voluntary prayer except the ones mentioned above.

As for combining prayers, if he is on the road, it is better for him to combine Zhuhr with ‘Asr and Maghrib with ‘Ishā’,either in advance or delayed depending on what is easier for him.If the traveler is staying in a place during his journey, it is better not to combine prayers though it is permissible to combine them as both actions were authentically reported form the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him).

As for the fasting of the traveler during Ramadān, it is better to fast though it is also permissible not to fast provided that he later makes up for the days he missed, unless it is easier for him to break his fast, because Allah loves for His concessions to be taken; and all praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the worlds.

Written by/ Muhammad ibn Sālih Al-‘Uthaymīn

5/12/1409 A.H.

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 How does one pray when he travels by plane?

1- He can offer the supererogatory prayer on the plane while sitting in his seat regardless of the direction of the plane. He nods or bends over for bowing and prostrating and makes the prostration lower than the bowing.

2- He does not offer the obligatory prayer on board unless he is capable of facing the prayer direction throughout the entire prayer, and is also capable of bowing, prostrating, standing, and sitting.

3- If he is incapable of doing so, he is to delay the prayer until landing and prays on land. If he fears that the due time of the prayer will expire before landing, he may delay it until the time of the following prayer if it can be combined with it, like Zhuhr with ‘Asr and Maghrib with ‘Ishā’.If he fears that the due time of the following prayer will also expire before landing, he may pray them on the plane before the time expires provided that he does his best to meet the conditions, pillars, and obligations of prayer.For example, if the plane took off before sunset and he was in the air after sunset, he should not pray Maghrib except after he lands in the airport and prays on land. If he fears the time of Maghrib will expire, he may delay it until ‘Ishā’ and combine them together after landing.But if he fears that the time of ‘Ishā’ might also expire, which is at midnight, he may offer both prayers on the plane before the time expires.

4- The manner of offering the obligatory prayer on the plane is to stand up and face the prayer direction, followed by making the Opening Takbīr and reciting Al-Fātihah preceded by any opening supplication and followed by any part of the Qur’an. Then he does the bowing then rises from bowing to stand up straight. Next, he prostrates then sits back up comfortably and returns to prostration for the second time. He follows this order throughout the prayer.

If he is incapable of prostration, he can sit down and nod or lean forward to indicate the prostration. Also, if he does not know the prayer direction and there is no one trustworthy to tell him where it is, he endeavors to find out its direction then prays according to the result of his endeavor.

5- The prayer of the traveler on the plane is shortened such that he offers two Rak‘ahs for the four-Rak‘ah prayer like any other traveler.

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 How does one traveling by plane assume Ihrām for either Hajj or ‘Umrah?

1- He takes a ritual bath in his house and remains in his regular clothes or he wears the Ihrām clothing if he so wishes.

2- When the plane is near the location of the Miqāt, he puts on the Ihrām clothing if he had not worn it earlier.

3- When the plane is in line with the Miqāt, he makes the intention to begin the ritual and pronounces his intention for either Hajj or ‘Umrah.

4- If he assumed Ihrām before reaching the Miqāt out of fear of heedlessness or forgetfulness, it is permissible.

Written by/ Muhammad ibn Sālih Al-‘Uthaymīn

2/5/1409 A.H. All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the worlds.

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 Illness and what the ill person should be aware of

Illness is a health disorder and an irregular condition of the body.

An ill person should be aware of the following:

1- To believe that his illness was decreed and destined by Allah. His Lord Almighty is the One who decreed this, for He is his creator and owner. This will comfort his heart and make him content and he will submit to the will of his Lord.

2- To believe that this is his fate and fate is unchangeable.

3- To have patience, in compliance with the command of Allah Almighty: {and be patient. Indeed, Allah is with the patient} [Al-Anfāl: 46]

4- To place his hope in his Lord and await alleviation from Him, Exalted and Glorified, based on the saying of Allah in the Qudsi hadith: “I am as my servant expects me to be,” as well as the saying of the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him): “And know that with distress comes relief and with hardship comes ease.”

5- To seize his chance of having spare time and fill it with frequent remembrance of Allah, recitation of the Qur’an, repentance, and asking Allah for forgiveness.

6- To avoid complaining about his illness to other than his Creator who is able to cure him. There is no harm in letting others know of his illness to report it, not to complain about it.

7- To realize the value of Allah’s bounty of health upon him so that he treats other ill persons kindly.

8- To know that Allah expiates sins through the illness and erases bad deeds thereby. It is authentically reported that the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said: “No Muslim is afflicted with illness or any inconvenience but that Allah will remove his sins thereby just as a tree sheds its leaves.” Another authentic narration reads: “No calamity befalls a Muslim but that Allah expiates some of his sins because of it.”

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 How does an ill person purify himself?

1- He must purify himself with water by making ablution to remove minor impurity and ritual bathing to remove major impurity.

2- If he cannot purify himself with water due to his inability, fear of health deterioration, or fear of delaying his recovery, he is to perform dry ablution.

3- The manner of performing dry ablution is to strike the pure ground with his palms only once then wipes with them his entire face then wipes his hands with one another.

4- If he cannot do so himself, someone else should help him make the regular or dry ablution.

5- If there is a wound on one of the body parts that must be purified, he should wash it with water unless water would harm it, in which case he should wipe over it by wetting his hand and passing it over that part. If wiping as well would harm it, he can perform dry ablution for that part.

6- If there is a splint or a bandage covering a fractured part of the body, he is to wipe over it with water instead of washing. This case does not require dry ablution because wiping replaces washing.

7- It is permissible to perform dry ablution on the wall or anything else that is pure and has dust on it. If the wall is covered with something other than an earthly material, like paint, he may not perform dry ablution on it unless there is dust on it.

8- If dry ablution cannot be made using the ground, the wall, or anything else that has dust, there is no harm in putting some dust in a bowl or a handkerchief and perform dry ablution from it.

9- If he made dry ablution for a prayer and retained his purification until the time of the next prayer is due, he can offer it with the first dry ablution without having to repeat it, because nothing has invalidated his purification. If he made dry ablution to purify himself from a major impurity, he needs not repeat the dry ablution unless he incurred another major impurity. However, he makes dry ablution meanwhile to purify himself from minor impurity.

10- The ill person must purify his body from all impurities, but if he is not able to do so, he may pray in the state he is in and his prayer is valid without having to repeat it.

11- The ill person must pray in clean clothes. If his clothes were soiled with impurity, they must be washed or replaced with clean ones. If this is not possible, he may pray in the state he is in and his prayer is valid without having to repeat it.

12- The ill person must pray on something clean. If his place was soiled with impurity, it must be washed or replaced with something clean. If this is not possible, he may pray in the state he is in and his prayer is valid without having to repeat it.

13- It is impermissible for the ill person to delay prayer beyond its due time because of inability to purify himself; rather, he should purify himself to the best of his ability then offer the prayer within its due time even if there is impurity on his body or clothes or place of prayer that he is incapable of removing. Allah Almighty said: {So fear Allah as much as you are able.} [Al-Taghābun: 16]

Written by/ Muhammad ibn Sālih Al-‘Uthaymīn on 9/1/1403 A.H.

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 How does an ill person pray?

1- The ill person must offer the obligatory prayer in a standing position even if he has to bend or lean on a wall or a cane to help himself stand.

2- If he cannot pray standing, he may sit, preferably cross-legged when he should be standing or bowing.

3- If he cannot pray in a sitting position, he may pray on his side, preferably the right one, facing the prayer direction. If he is unable to face the prayer direction, he may pray towards whichever direction he is facing and his prayer is valid without having to repeat it.

4- If he cannot pray on his side, he may pray lying on his back with his legs towards the prayer direction. If he cannot place his legs in the prayer direction, he may pray towards whichever direction his legs are facing without having to repeat the prayer.

5- The ill person must bow and prostrate in his prayer but if he cannot, he may nod with his head while marking the prostration with a lower nod. If he can bow but cannot prostrate, he bows at the time of bowing and nods with his head at the time of prostration.If he can prostrate but cannot bow, he prostrates at the time of prostration and nods with his head at the time of bowing.

If he can prostrate but cannot bow, he prostrates at the time of prostration and nods with his head at the time of bowing.

6- If he cannot nod with his head in place of bowing and prostrating, he may gesture with his eyes by closing his eyes slightly to express bowing and closing them more to express prostration. As for pointing with the finger that some ill persons do, it is incorrect and I do not know of any proof to support it from the Qur’an or the Sunnah or the statements of scholars.

7- If he cannot nod with the head or gesture with the eyes, he may pray with his heart. He makes Takbīr and recites and makes the intention in his heart for bowing, prostration, standing, and sitting; and every person shall be rewarded according to what he intended.

8- The ill person must offer each prayer at its due time. He must observe the obligatory aspects of prayer to the best of his ability. If it is difficult for him to offer each prayer on time, he may combine Zhuhr with ‘Asr and Maghrib with ‘Ishā’, either in advance, by praying ‘Asr after Zhuhr at the time of Zhuhr, and ‘Ishᾱ’ after Maghrib at the time of Maghrib, or he delays by praying Zhuhr before ‘Asr at the time of ‘Asr and Maghrib before ‘Ishᾱ’ at the time of ‘Ishᾱ’. He may do whichever is easier for him. The Fajr prayer, however, may not be combined with the prayer preceding or following it.

9- If the ill person is traveling abroad for treatment, he may shorten the four-Rak‘ah prayer, so he offers two Rak‘ahs each for Zhuhr, ‘Asr, and ‘Ishā’ until he returns to his town/country irrespective of how long he stays abroad.

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 How does an ill person fast?

1- There are three cases regarding the fasting of an ill person:

First: that it is not difficult for him to fast and it does not harm him; in this case he must fast.

Second: that it is difficult for him to fast, in which case it is disliked for him to fast because he has not accepted the concession granted by Allah Almighty.

Third: that it is harmful for him to fast, in which case it is prohibited for him to fast and he would be committing a sin if he fasted,based on the saying of Allah Almighty: {And do not kill yourselves [or one another]. Indeed, Allah is to you ever Merciful} [Al-Nisā’: 29],and the saying of the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him): “Your self has a right over you.” [part of long hadith narrated by Al-Bukhāri and Muslim]

based on the saying of Allah Almighty: {And do not kill yourselves [or one another]. Indeed, Allah is to you ever Merciful} [Al-Nisā’: 29],

and the saying of the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him): “Your self has a right over you.” [part of long hadith narrated by Al-Bukhāri and Muslim]

2- The ill person must make up for the days of fasting he missed when Allah Almighty heals him without delaying it to the next Ramadān.

3- If he cannot make up for it in the future due to a chronic illness, he may feed a needy person for each day of Ramadān, either day by dayor all at once on the last day of the month by making enough food to feed a number of needy people equal to the number of days of the month [of Ramadān]. He may also feed ten needy people every ten days.

or all at once on the last day of the month by making enough food to feed a number of needy people equal to the number of days of the month [of Ramadān]. He may also feed ten needy people every ten days.

4- If the ill person recovered after the end of Ramadān and he became capable of fasting but did not fast until he died, his guardian should fast on his behalf. If he does not, he should feed a needy person for each day from the estate of the deceased. It is also permissible for the guardian to donate the food [from his own money].

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 Voluntary Prayer

Its merit: one of the aspects of Allah’s mercy upon His servants is that He made a voluntary act for each type of the obligatory acts, such as the voluntary prayer which is similar to the obligatory prayer.Likewise, Zakah has a voluntary form called charity, and fasting has a voluntary form that is similar to it.Even Hajj has a voluntary form. Such is an aspect of Allah’s mercy upon his servants. The purpose is to increase the reward and nearness to Allah Almighty, in addition to making up for the shortcomings committed in the obligatory acts, because voluntary acts complement the obligatory ones on the Day of Judgment.

Likewise, Zakah has a voluntary form called charity, and fasting has a voluntary form that is similar to it.

Even Hajj has a voluntary form. Such is an aspect of Allah’s mercy upon his servants. The purpose is to increase the reward and nearness to Allah Almighty, in addition to making up for the shortcomings committed in the obligatory acts, because voluntary acts complement the obligatory ones on the Day of Judgment.

Some forms of voluntary prayers:

1- The regular supererogatory prayers affiliated to the obligatory ones. They are:

Four Rak‘ahs before Zhuhr prayer with two Taslīms [i.e. two then two], and their time is at the start of the due time of Zhuhr; and two Rak‘ahs after Zhuhr, thus totaling six supererogatory Rak‘ahs for Zhuhr. ‘Asr, however, has no supererogatory prayer affiliated to it.And two Rak‘ahs after Maghrib, two after ‘Ishā’, and two before Fajr. With regard to the two Rak‘ahs before Fajr, it is better to make them short and recite therein the chapter of Al-Kāfirūn in the first Rak‘ahand the chapter of Al-Ikhlās in the second Rak‘ah.Also, one may recite the verse: {Say, O believers, “We have believed in Allah and what has been revealed to us...} in the chapter of Al-Baqarah [2: 136] in the first Rak‘ah and the verse: {Say, "O People of the Scripture, come to a common term between us and you...} in the chapter of Āl-‘Imrān [3: 64] in the second Rak‘ah.The regular supererogatory prayer of Fajr is to be observed during both residence and traveling. It involves great merit, regarding which the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said: “The two Rak‘ahs of Fajr are better than the world and what is in it.”

And two Rak‘ahs after Maghrib, two after ‘Ishā’, and two before Fajr. With regard to the two Rak‘ahs before Fajr, it is better to make them short and recite therein the chapter of Al-Kāfirūn in the first Rak‘ah

and the chapter of Al-Ikhlās in the second Rak‘ah.

Also, one may recite the verse: {Say, O believers, “We have believed in Allah and what has been revealed to us...} in the chapter of Al-Baqarah [2: 136] in the first Rak‘ah and the verse: {Say, "O People of the Scripture, come to a common term between us and you...} in the chapter of Āl-‘Imrān [3: 64] in the second Rak‘ah.

The regular supererogatory prayer of Fajr is to be observed during both residence and traveling. It involves great merit, regarding which the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said: “The two Rak‘ahs of Fajr are better than the world and what is in it.”

2- Witr prayer:

It is one of the most emphasized supererogatory prayers to the extent that some scholars deemed it obligatory.Imām Ahmad (may Allah have mercy upon him) said about the Witr prayer: “Anyone who abandons the Witr prayer is a wicked person whose testimony should not be accepted.”Witr concludes the night prayer, so if one fears oversleeping and missing the night prayer, he offers Witr before sleeping. But if he feels he can wake up in the last part of the night, he offers Witr at the end of the night after offering his voluntary night prayer.The Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said: “Make the Witr the last of your prayer at night.”The minimum number is a single Rak‘ah and the maximum is eleven. Offering three Rak‘ahs is the minimum perfection of Witr. In doing so, he has the choice either to pray the three Rak‘ahs as one unit ending with one Tashahhud or make Taslīm after two Rak‘ahs then conclude with a single Rak‘ah.If one forgot the Witr or overslept, he makes up for it during the day with an even, not odd, number of Rak‘ahs. If he is used to pray Witr as three Rak‘ahs, he makes up for it with four; and if he is used to pray Witr as five Rak‘ahs, he makes up for it with six, and so on,because it is authentically reported in the Sahih collection: “The Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) would pray twelve Rak‘ahs during the day if sleep or pain prevented him from offering the night prayer.”

Imām Ahmad (may Allah have mercy upon him) said about the Witr prayer: “Anyone who abandons the Witr prayer is a wicked person whose testimony should not be accepted.”

Witr concludes the night prayer, so if one fears oversleeping and missing the night prayer, he offers Witr before sleeping. But if he feels he can wake up in the last part of the night, he offers Witr at the end of the night after offering his voluntary night prayer.

The Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said: “Make the Witr the last of your prayer at night.”

The minimum number is a single Rak‘ah and the maximum is eleven. Offering three Rak‘ahs is the minimum perfection of Witr. In doing so, he has the choice either to pray the three Rak‘ahs as one unit ending with one Tashahhud or make Taslīm after two Rak‘ahs then conclude with a single Rak‘ah.

If one forgot the Witr or overslept, he makes up for it during the day with an even, not odd, number of Rak‘ahs. If he is used to pray Witr as three Rak‘ahs, he makes up for it with four; and if he is used to pray Witr as five Rak‘ahs, he makes up for it with six, and so on,

because it is authentically reported in the Sahih collection: “The Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) would pray twelve Rak‘ahs during the day if sleep or pain prevented him from offering the night prayer.”

3- Duha (Forenoon) prayer.

The minimum number is two Rak‘ahs without a maximum, because the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) used to offer four Rak‘ahs for the Duha prayer and adds as many as he could.

Its prescribed time starts when the sun has risen by the length of a spear; i.e. approx. fifteen minutes after sunrise, until shortly before the sun reaches its zenith, which is about ten minutes or so before it reaches its zenith.

The proof of its legitimacy is the following report by Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him):

“My close friend [meaning the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him)] advised me to do three things: fast three days of every month, perform the two Rak‘ahs of Duha (forenoon prayer), and perform the Witr prayer before I go to sleep.”

Also, Abu Dharr (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said:

“Every morning, charity is due on every joint in the body of each of you. Every utterance of Allah’s exaltation (saying subhānallah) is an act of charity, and every utterance of praising Him (saying Al-hamdulillah) is an act of charity, and every utterance of profession of Faith (saying La ilaha illa Allah) is an act of charity, and every utterance of Allah’s glorification (saying Allahu Akbar) is an act of charity; and enjoining good is an act of charity, and forbidding evil is an act of charity; and a two-Rak‘ah prayer which one offers in the forenoon (Duha) suffices for all this.”

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 Prohibited times of prayer

The prohibited times of prayer are three:

First time: begins after offering the Fajr prayer until the sun has risen the length of a spear, which is approximately fifteen minutes after sunrise. The time of Fajr prayer meant here is the time the individual person offers the prayer.

Second time: is when the sun is at its highest point until it passes its zenith, which is at midday approximately ten minutes or so before the sun passes its zenith.

Third time: begins after ‘Asr prayer until sunset. The start of this time is determined according to the prayer of the individual person. So, once a person prays ‘Asr, he is prohibited from praying until sunset.

The exceptions are:

1- Obligatory prayers, such as making up for an obligatory prayer that one missed and remembered it during those times,based on the generality of the Prophet’s saying: “Whoever oversleeps and thus misses a prayer or forgets it should pray it once he remembers it.”2- Another exception, according to the preponderant opinion, is every supererogatory prayer that is offered for a specific reason, because such prayer is tied to its reason which makes the wisdom behind prohibiting prayer at such times non-applicable to it.For example, if you enter a masjid after ‘Asr prayer, you pray two Rak‘ahs, based on the saying of the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him):“When anyone of you enters the masjid, let him offer two Rak‘ahs before he sits down.” You should do the same if you enter the masjid after Fajr prayer or before the sun passes its zenith.Likewise, if there is a solar eclipse after ‘Asr prayer, one should pray the eclipse prayer because it is tied to a reason. Also, if one comes across a verse including a prostration, he offer a prostration of recitation even if it is during one of the prohibited times because it is tied to a reason.

based on the generality of the Prophet’s saying: “Whoever oversleeps and thus misses a prayer or forgets it should pray it once he remembers it.”

2- Another exception, according to the preponderant opinion, is every supererogatory prayer that is offered for a specific reason, because such prayer is tied to its reason which makes the wisdom behind prohibiting prayer at such times non-applicable to it.

For example, if you enter a masjid after ‘Asr prayer, you pray two Rak‘ahs, based on the saying of the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him):

“When anyone of you enters the masjid, let him offer two Rak‘ahs before he sits down.” You should do the same if you enter the masjid after Fajr prayer or before the sun passes its zenith.

Likewise, if there is a solar eclipse after ‘Asr prayer, one should pray the eclipse prayer because it is tied to a reason. Also, if one comes across a verse including a prostration, he offer a prostration of recitation even if it is during one of the prohibited times because it is tied to a reason.

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 Ruling on the person who abandons prayer

Question:What should a man do if he instructs his family to pray yet they do not listen to him? Should he continue living and mixing with them or move out of the house?The answer:If this family never offers the obligatory prayers, they are disbelievers and apostates who are outside the fold of Islam. It is impermissible for him to live with them, yet he must continue to preach to them and insist on it, perhaps Allah guides them,because the person who abandons prayer is a disbeliever; we seek refuge in Allah from that. The proof is taken from the Qur’an, the Sunnah, the statements of the Companions, and sound reasoning. This entails caution against this abominable deed.The proof from the Qur’an is Allah’s saying about the polytheists:{But if they repent, establish prayer, and give Zakah, then they are your brothers in religion} [Al-Tawbah: 11]The implied meaning the verse suggests is that were they to refrain from doing such deeds, they are not our brothers. Notably, however, religious brotherhood is not negated by sins, even if they are major, but, rather, by leaving the fold of Islam.The proof form the Sunnah is the Hadith narrated by Muslim on the authority of Jābir (may Allah be pleased with him) where the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said:“What stands between a man and polytheism and disbelief is abandonment of prayer.”And his saying in the Hadith reported by Buraydah (may Allah be pleased with him) in the Sunan (Compilations of Prophetic Hadith):“The covenant between us and them is the prayer; so whoever abandons it has disbelieved.”An example of the statements of the Companions in this regard is the saying of the Commander of the Believers, ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him):“There is no share in Islam for whoever abandons prayer.”The word 'share' is indefinite in a negative context, thus rendering its meaning inclusive to any type of share, small or big.Abdullah ibn Shaqīq said:“The Companions of the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) did not consider the abandonment of any deed as disbelief except for prayer.”

What should a man do if he instructs his family to pray yet they do not listen to him? Should he continue living and mixing with them or move out of the house?

The answer:

If this family never offers the obligatory prayers, they are disbelievers and apostates who are outside the fold of Islam. It is impermissible for him to live with them, yet he must continue to preach to them and insist on it, perhaps Allah guides them,

because the person who abandons prayer is a disbeliever; we seek refuge in Allah from that. The proof is taken from the Qur’an, the Sunnah, the statements of the Companions, and sound reasoning. This entails caution against this abominable deed.

The proof from the Qur’an is Allah’s saying about the polytheists:

{But if they repent, establish prayer, and give Zakah, then they are your brothers in religion} [Al-Tawbah: 11]

The implied meaning the verse suggests is that were they to refrain from doing such deeds, they are not our brothers. Notably, however, religious brotherhood is not negated by sins, even if they are major, but, rather, by leaving the fold of Islam.

The proof form the Sunnah is the Hadith narrated by Muslim on the authority of Jābir (may Allah be pleased with him) where the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said:

“What stands between a man and polytheism and disbelief is abandonment of prayer.”

And his saying in the Hadith reported by Buraydah (may Allah be pleased with him) in the Sunan (Compilations of Prophetic Hadith):

“The covenant between us and them is the prayer; so whoever abandons it has disbelieved.”

An example of the statements of the Companions in this regard is the saying of the Commander of the Believers, ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him):

“There is no share in Islam for whoever abandons prayer.”

The word 'share' is indefinite in a negative context, thus rendering its meaning inclusive to any type of share, small or big.

Abdullah ibn Shaqīq said:

“The Companions of the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) did not consider the abandonment of any deed as disbelief except for prayer.”

As for sound reasoning, one may say: is it plausible that a person who has a grain of faith in his heart, who knows the great status of prayer and the care that Allah gave it, then he insists on abandoning it altogether? This is impossible.

I have contemplated the evidence cited by those who hold that such a person is not ruled to be a disbeliever. All of them involve one of the following five possibilities:

1) They are devoid of any proof to begin with;

2) or they are restricted with a description that makes abandonment of prayer inconceivable;

3) or restricted to a situation in which abandoning a specific prayer is excusable;

4) or they are general, which requires their specification with the Hadiths stating that the one who abandons prayer is a disbeliever;

5) or they are weak and are outweighed by the authentic Hadiths.

None of the available texts state that the prayer abandoner is a believer, or that he will be admitted to Paradise and saved from the Hellfire. Nor do they have any indication that requires interpreting the disbelief of the prayer abandoner as a rejection of Allah’s graces or a minor disbelief.

If it is clear that the prayer abandoner is a disbeliever in a way that makes him an apostate, this results in applying the rulings of apostates to him, such as:

First: he cannot be married to a Muslim woman. In the instance of concluding a marriage contract with him while he abandons prayer, this marriage is invalid and the wife is not lawful for him, based on Allah’s saying about the female migrants:{And if you know them to be believers, then do not return them to the disbelievers; they are not lawful wives for them, nor are they lawful husbands for them.} [Al-Mumtahanah: 10]

{And if you know them to be believers, then do not return them to the disbelievers; they are not lawful wives for them, nor are they lawful husbands for them.} [Al-Mumtahanah: 10]

Second: If the prayer abandoner neglected prayer after the marriage contract has already been concluded, then the marriage is to be annulled and the wife becomes unlawful for him, based on the verse mentioned above and according to the detailed ruling known among scholars as to whether this took place before or after consummation of the marriage.

Third: if this person who abandons prayer slaughtered an animal, it is not to be eaten [by Muslims]; but why?Because it is unlawful, whereas if a Jew or a Christian slaughtered an animal, it is permissible for us to eat from it. Hence, his slaughtering is more evil than that of the Jew and the Christian; we seek refuge in Allah from such consequence.Fourth: He is forbidden from entering Makkah or the borders of its sanctuary, based on the saying of Allah Almighty:{O you who believe, indeed the polytheists are unclean, so let them not approach the Sacred Mosque after this year of theirs} [Al-Tawbah: 28]Fifth: he does not retain any right of inheritance if one of his [Muslim] relatives died. For instance, if a man who prays died while having a son who does not pray and a distant paternal cousin; who inherits from that man?The distant paternal cousin and not his son, based on the saying of the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) as reported by Usamah:“A Muslim does not inherit from a disbeliever and a disbeliever does not inherit from a Muslim.” [Al-Bukhāri and Muslim]He also said: “Give the prescribed shares of inheritance to their rightful beneficiaries, and whatever remains after that should be given to the closest male relative.” [Al-Bukhāri and Muslim]This is an example that applies to all heirs.Sixth: if that person dies, he is not to be washed, shrouded, offered the funeral prayer over, nor buried in the Muslim graveyard. So, what should we do with him?We take him out to the desert, dig a hole there, and bury him in his clothes because he has no sanctity. Accordingly, anyone with a deceased relative who abandoned prayer should not bring him to Muslims to offer the funeral prayer over him.Seventh: he will be gathered on the Day of Judgment with the heads of disbelief such as Pharaoh, Haman, Korah, and Ubayy ibn Khalaf; we seek refuge in Allah from such company. He will not be admitted to Paradise and none of his relatives is permitted to invoke Allah’s mercy and forgiveness for him, because he is a disbeliever and unworthy of this invocation,based on the saying of Allah Almighty: {It is not for the Prophet and those who believe to ask forgiveness for the polytheists, even if they were relatives, after it has become clear to them that they are companions of the Hellfire.} [Al-Tawbah: 113]

Because it is unlawful, whereas if a Jew or a Christian slaughtered an animal, it is permissible for us to eat from it. Hence, his slaughtering is more evil than that of the Jew and the Christian; we seek refuge in Allah from such consequence.

Fourth: He is forbidden from entering Makkah or the borders of its sanctuary, based on the saying of Allah Almighty:

{O you who believe, indeed the polytheists are unclean, so let them not approach the Sacred Mosque after this year of theirs} [Al-Tawbah: 28]

Fifth: he does not retain any right of inheritance if one of his [Muslim] relatives died. For instance, if a man who prays died while having a son who does not pray and a distant paternal cousin; who inherits from that man?

The distant paternal cousin and not his son, based on the saying of the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) as reported by Usamah:

“A Muslim does not inherit from a disbeliever and a disbeliever does not inherit from a Muslim.” [Al-Bukhāri and Muslim]

He also said: “Give the prescribed shares of inheritance to their rightful beneficiaries, and whatever remains after that should be given to the closest male relative.” [Al-Bukhāri and Muslim]

This is an example that applies to all heirs.

Sixth: if that person dies, he is not to be washed, shrouded, offered the funeral prayer over, nor buried in the Muslim graveyard. So, what should we do with him?

We take him out to the desert, dig a hole there, and bury him in his clothes because he has no sanctity. Accordingly, anyone with a deceased relative who abandoned prayer should not bring him to Muslims to offer the funeral prayer over him.

Seventh: he will be gathered on the Day of Judgment with the heads of disbelief such as Pharaoh, Haman, Korah, and Ubayy ibn Khalaf; we seek refuge in Allah from such company. He will not be admitted to Paradise and none of his relatives is permitted to invoke Allah’s mercy and forgiveness for him, because he is a disbeliever and unworthy of this invocation,

based on the saying of Allah Almighty: {It is not for the Prophet and those who believe to ask forgiveness for the polytheists, even if they were relatives, after it has become clear to them that they are companions of the Hellfire.} [Al-Tawbah: 113]

This issue, my Brothers, is quite serious; yet, unfortunately, some people underestimate the gravity of this situation,

but the door of repentance is open; and all praise is due to Allah.Allah Almighty said: {But there came after them later generations who neglected prayer and pursued desires; so they are going to meet evil, except those who repent, believe and do righteousness; for those will enter Paradise and will not be wronged at all. Therein are gardens of perpetual residence which the Most Merciful has promised His servants in the unseen. Indeed, His promise has ever been eminent. They will not hear therein any ill speech - only greetings of peace - and they will have their provision therein, morning and afternoon.} [Maryam: 59-62]

Allah Almighty said: {But there came after them later generations who neglected prayer and pursued desires; so they are going to meet evil, except those who repent, believe and do righteousness; for those will enter Paradise and will not be wronged at all. Therein are gardens of perpetual residence which the Most Merciful has promised His servants in the unseen. Indeed, His promise has ever been eminent. They will not hear therein any ill speech - only greetings of peace - and they will have their provision therein, morning and afternoon.} [Maryam: 59-62]

We ask Allah Almighty to guide us and our fellow Muslims to obey Him in the manner that pleases Him.

And Allah knows best. May Allah’s peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and all of his Companions.

Muhammad ibn Sālih Al-‘Uthaymīn

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 Repentance

Repentance is to turn back from the disobedience of Allah to His obedience.

Repentance is obligatory upon every believer:{O you who believe, repent to Allah with sincere repentance} [Al-Tahreem: 8]Repentance is beloved to Allah, Exalted and Glorified:{Indeed, Allah loves those who are constantly repentant and loves those who purify themselves.} [Al-Baqarah: 222]Repentance is one of the causes of success:{And turn to Allah in repentance, all of you, O believers, that you might succeed.} [Al-Noor: 31]Success is that a person attains what he hopes for and is saved from what he fears.Through repentance, Allah expiates sins regardless of how grave and how numerous they are:{Say, “O My servants who have transgressed against themselves by sinning, do not despair of the mercy of Allah. Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Indeed, it is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful.} [Al-Zumar: 53]My Brother who sins, do not despair of the mercy of your Lord, for the door of repentance is open until the sun rises from the west.The Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said:“Verily, Allah stretches out His Hand during the night so that the sinner of the day may repent, and stretches out His Hand in the day so that the sinner of the night may repent. He keeps doing so until the sun rises from the west.” [Muslim]Many are those who repented from numerous grave sins and Allah accepted their repentance.Allah, Exalted and Glorified, said: {And those who do not invoke with Allah another deity or kill the soul which Allah has forbidden to be killed, except by right, and do not commit unlawful sexual intercourse. And whoever should do that will meet a penalty. Multiplied for him is the punishment on the Day of Resurrection, and he will abide therein humiliated. Except for those who repent, believe, and do righteous work. For them Allah will replace their evil deeds with good. And ever is Allah Forgiving and Merciful.} [Al-Furqān: 68-70]

{O you who believe, repent to Allah with sincere repentance} [Al-Tahreem: 8]

Repentance is beloved to Allah, Exalted and Glorified:

{Indeed, Allah loves those who are constantly repentant and loves those who purify themselves.} [Al-Baqarah: 222]

Repentance is one of the causes of success:

{And turn to Allah in repentance, all of you, O believers, that you might succeed.} [Al-Noor: 31]

Success is that a person attains what he hopes for and is saved from what he fears.

Through repentance, Allah expiates sins regardless of how grave and how numerous they are:

{Say, “O My servants who have transgressed against themselves by sinning, do not despair of the mercy of Allah. Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Indeed, it is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful.} [Al-Zumar: 53]

My Brother who sins, do not despair of the mercy of your Lord, for the door of repentance is open until the sun rises from the west.

The Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said:

“Verily, Allah stretches out His Hand during the night so that the sinner of the day may repent, and stretches out His Hand in the day so that the sinner of the night may repent. He keeps doing so until the sun rises from the west.” [Muslim]

Many are those who repented from numerous grave sins and Allah accepted their repentance.

Allah, Exalted and Glorified, said: {And those who do not invoke with Allah another deity or kill the soul which Allah has forbidden to be killed, except by right, and do not commit unlawful sexual intercourse. And whoever should do that will meet a penalty. Multiplied for him is the punishment on the Day of Resurrection, and he will abide therein humiliated. Except for those who repent, believe, and do righteous work. For them Allah will replace their evil deeds with good. And ever is Allah Forgiving and Merciful.} [Al-Furqān: 68-70]

A sincere repentance is the one in which the following five conditions are met:

1- Sincerity to Allah Almighty by seeking with it the Countenance of Allah Almighty, His reward, and salvation from His punishment.

2- Regretting the sin one committed such that he feels sadness for committing it and wishes he had never done it.

3- Immediate abandonment of the sin. If it is a sin against Allah Almighty, one must leave it if it is something prohibited or rush to observe it if he abandoned something obligatory. On the other hand, if it is a sin against a human being,one must rush to rid himself of it either by restoring to that person his rights or asking him to forgive him and absolve him of them.

one must rush to rid himself of it either by restoring to that person his rights or asking him to forgive him and absolve him of them.

4- To strongly determine never to return to this sin in the future.

5- Repentance must be made before passing its deadline which is the sinner’s death or the rise of the sun from the west.Allah Almighty said: {But repentance is not accepted of those who continue to do evil deeds up until the death comes to one of them, he says, “Indeed, I have repented now.”} [Al-Nisā’: 18]The Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said: “Whoever repents before the sun rises from the west, Allah will accept his repentance.” [Muslim]

Allah Almighty said: {But repentance is not accepted of those who continue to do evil deeds up until the death comes to one of them, he says, “Indeed, I have repented now.”} [Al-Nisā’: 18]

The Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said: “Whoever repents before the sun rises from the west, Allah will accept his repentance.” [Muslim]

O Allah, guide us to sincere repentance and accept [our deeds] from us, for, indeed, You are All-Hearing All-Seeing.

Written by/ Muhammad ibn Sālih Al-‘Uthaymīn

on 17/4/1406 A.H.

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 Chapter Three

Funerals

- Rulings on washing the deceased

- Manner of washing the deceased

- Manner of shrouding the deceased

- Manner of offering the funeral prayer over the deceased

- Manner of burying the deceased

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 Rulings on washing the deceased

All praise is due to Allah, Lord of the worlds.I bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah alone, Who has no partner,the God of past and future nations.And I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and messenger, the seal of prophets and the leader of the righteous.May Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him, his family, and his Companions and those who follow them with good conduct until the Day of Judgment.To proceed:

I bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah alone, Who has no partner,

the God of past and future nations.

And I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and messenger, the seal of prophets and the leader of the righteous.

May Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him, his family, and his Companions and those who follow them with good conduct until the Day of Judgment.

To proceed:

This is a short account explaining how to wash, shroud, and bury a deceased person. Before we address the topic, I shall present the following points:

1- Washing, shrouding, and burying a deceased Muslim is a communal obligation, so anyone performing this should intend that he is observing this obligation in order to obtain the reward from Allah Almighty.

As to the non-Muslim, it is not permissible to wash him or shroud him or bury him in the Muslim graveyard.

2- The washer is entrusted with the deceased Muslim, thus he is required to do what is necessary with regard to washing and other [relevant] issues.

3- The washer is entrusted with the deceased Muslim, thus he is required to conceal anything displeasing that he saw in the corpse.

4- The washer is entrusted with the deceased Muslim, thus he must not let anyone be present except the persons he needs to help him turn the body, pour water, etc.

5- The washer is entrusted with the deceased Muslim, thus he must be gentle and respectful. He cannot be violent or grudgeful against the deceased when he is removing his clothes and washing him.

6- A man cannot wash a deceased female unless she is his wife, nor a woman is allowed to wash a deceased male unless he is her husband except those under the age of seven. In this case, either a man or a woman can wash this deceased whether it is a boy or a girl.

7- After finishing, it is recommended for the washer to take a ritual bath just like the one taken for a major impurity. However, there is no harm if he does not take a ritual bath.

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 Manner of washing the deceased

The obligation in washing the deceased is to pour water over the entire body until it is completely clean. The best manner of doing so is as follows:

1- The washer places the deceased on a flat surface slanting [slightly] downward at the end where his legs are [to let the water run down].

2- He wraps a cover around the deceased's ‘Awrah; from the navel to the knees, before taking off his clothes so that his ‘Awrah would not be exposed after stripping him.

3- He gently removes the deceased’s clothes.

4- He wraps a rag around his hand to wash the ‘Awrah of the deceased without exposing it until it is clean, then he throws away the rag.

5- He wets a rag with clean water to clean therewith the deceased’s teeth and nostrils.

6- He washes the deceased’s head, his hands up to the elbows, his head, and his legs up to the ankles. He starts with the right hand before the left, and the right leg before the left.

7- He does not insert water into the mouth or nose of the deceased as it is sufficient to clean them with a rag.

8- He washes the entire body of the deceased three or five or seven times or more than this depending on the need of the body to become fully clean. He starts with the right side of the body before the left one.

9- It is better to mix the water with Sidr (lote tree leaves), because it is more effective in cleansing. He should blend them thoroughly until they foam. He uses the foam to wash the head and beard of the deceased and the rest to wash the rest of the body.

10- In the final wash, it is better to mix the water with camphor (a known fragrance).

11- If the deceased has hair, it should be combed without matting or cutting anything thereof.

12- If the deceased is a female, her hair should be undone if it was braided. After washing and cleaning it, it is to be braided into three braids behind her back.

13- If some parts of the deceased’s body are detached, they are to be washed and gathered with the body.

14- If the deceased is severely damaged by burns or otherwise and the washing is not possible, many scholars held that the deceased is to receive a dry ablution. The person performing the dry ablution should strike the ground with his palms and wipe with them over the face and hands of the deceased.

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 Manner of shrouding the deceased

The obligation in shrouding the deceased is to cover him with a cloth that covers his entire body. However, it is better to do the following:

1- Shrouding should be in three white cloths, layered over each other, and the deceased laid on top of them. Then the edge of the topmost cloth by the deceased’s right side is folded over his chest and then its edge by his left side is folded over it. The same procedure is to be followed for the second and third cloths. At the end, the edges of the sheets at the head are to be gathered and tied into a knot and the same is done with the edges at the legs.

2- Apply incense on the shrouds and spread some embalming scent (a mix of fragrances made for the dead) in-between them.

3- Apply embalming scent on the deceased’s face, joints, and parts of prostration.

4- Apply embalming scent on a piece of cotton over his eyes, nostrils, and lips.

5- Apply embalming scent on a piece of cotton between his buttocks to be strapped by a rag.

6- The deceased female is to be shrouded in five pieces of cloth: a waist wrapper, a head veil, a shirt, and two wraps. If she is shrouded in the same manner as the male, it is also permissible.

7- The two knots of the shroud are to be untied upon laying the deceased in the grave.

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 Manner of Praying over the Deceased

1- Pray over the deceased Muslim whether young or old, male or female.

2- In the instance of miscarriage, a four-months fetus and older is to be prayed over. The same procedure of washing and shrouding an adult is to be followed before the funeral prayer.

3- No funeral prayer is to be offered for a miscarried fetus of less than four months, because life has not been blown into it yet. Such fetus is not to be washed nor shrouded but rather buried anywhere.

4- At the funeral prayer, the Imām is to stand by the head of the deceased male and by the waist of the deceased female, and the people should pray behind him.

5- The funeral prayer consists of four Takbīrs. After the first Takbīr, one reads the chapter of Al-Fātihah after seeking refuge in Allah and Basmalah (saying Bismillah Al-Rahmān Al-Rahīm). After the second Takbīr, he invokes peace and blessings upon the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) by saying:“Allahumma salli ‘ala Muhammadin wa ‘ala āli Muhammadin kama sallayta ‘ala Ibrahim wa ‘ala āli Ibrahim, innaka Hamīdun Majīd. Wa bārik ‘ala Muhammadin wa ‘ala āli Muhammadin kama bārakta ‘ala Ibrahim wa ‘ala āli Ibrahim, innaka Hamīdun Majīd” (O Allah, exalt the mention of Muhammad and the family of Muhammad as you exalted Ibrahim and the family of Ibrahim, You are Praised and Glorious. O Allah, bless Muhammad and the family of Muhammad as You blessed Ibrahim and the family of Ibrahim, You are Praised and Glorious).After the third Takbīr, he supplicates for the deceased, and it is better to supplicate with what is reported from the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him). If he does not know the reported supplication, he supplicates with what he knows.After the fourth Takbīr, he pauses a little while then ends the prayer with Talsīm. It is permissible to say before Taslīm: “Our Lord, give us in this world good and in the Hereafter good and protect us from the torment of the Fire.”

“Allahumma salli ‘ala Muhammadin wa ‘ala āli Muhammadin kama sallayta ‘ala Ibrahim wa ‘ala āli Ibrahim, innaka Hamīdun Majīd. Wa bārik ‘ala Muhammadin wa ‘ala āli Muhammadin kama bārakta ‘ala Ibrahim wa ‘ala āli Ibrahim, innaka Hamīdun Majīd” (O Allah, exalt the mention of Muhammad and the family of Muhammad as you exalted Ibrahim and the family of Ibrahim, You are Praised and Glorious. O Allah, bless Muhammad and the family of Muhammad as You blessed Ibrahim and the family of Ibrahim, You are Praised and Glorious).

After the third Takbīr, he supplicates for the deceased, and it is better to supplicate with what is reported from the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him). If he does not know the reported supplication, he supplicates with what he knows.

After the fourth Takbīr, he pauses a little while then ends the prayer with Talsīm. It is permissible to say before Taslīm: “Our Lord, give us in this world good and in the Hereafter good and protect us from the torment of the Fire.”

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 Manner of burying the deceased

1- It is mandatory to bury the deceased in a grave protected against wild animals, and he is to be laid facing the direction of prayer. The deeper the grave, the better.

2- It is better for the grave to be a Lahd (niche) by digging a side hole deep down the grave in the direction of prayer.

3- It is also permissible that the grave is a Shaqq (trench) by digging a hole in the center of the grave (not the side) if it is necessary, like in cases where the soil is soft.

4- The deceased is to be laid in the grave on his right side facing the direction of prayer.

5- Bricks are to be laid on the deceased and the cracks filled with moist mud to avoid spilling the soil on the deceased.

6- The grave is to be leveled with the ground afterwards. Nothing should be built with gypsum or any other material above the grave.

7- Burial is prohibited at three times: when the sun rises until it has risen by the length of a spear, at the time the sun reaches its zenith until it passes it, and when the sun sets by a height of a spear until it sets completely. The estimated length of the first and third times is about fifteen minutes while the estimated length of the second time is about ten minutes or so.

8- A non-Muslim may not be buried in the Muslim graveyard. He may not be washed, shrouded, or prayed over. Instead, he should be buried in a place not owned by anyone or taken to his country.

All praise is due to Allah, Lord of the worlds, and may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and all of his Companions.

Written by the one who is in need of Allah:

Muhammad ibn Sālih Al-‘Uthaymīn

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Juristic Rulings Relevant to Purification, Prayer, and Funerals............................................................

Introduction.................................................................................................................................

Chapter One................................................................................................................................

Ablution...................................................................................................................................

Ritual Bath...............................................................................................................................

Dry Ablution.............................................................................................................................

Wiping over Leather Socks.......................................................................................................

Questions on wiping over the leather socks, turbans, and splints................................................

Wiping over Leather Socks.......................................................................................................

Wiping over Turbans.................................................................................................................

Wiping over the Splint...............................................................................................................

Chapter Two................................................................................................................................

Prayer......................................................................................................................................

Manner of Prayer......................................................................................................................

Disliked actions during prayer...................................................................................................

Invalidators of prayer................................................................................................................

The Reported Supplications after the Obligatory Prayer:.............................................................

Rulings pertaining to the Prostration of Forgetfulness................................................................

Summary of the rulings pertaining to the prostration of forgetfulness..........................................

Prostration of Recitation...........................................................................................................

Manner of performing the prostration of recitation:.....................................................................

Prayer and Fasting of Travelers.................................................................................................

How does one pray when he travels by plane?...........................................................................

How does one traveling by plane assume Ihrām for either Hajj or ‘Umrah?...................................

Illness and what the ill person should be aware of......................................................................

How does an ill person purify himself?......................................................................................

How does an ill person pray?....................................................................................................

How does an ill person fast?.....................................................................................................

Voluntary Prayer.......................................................................................................................

Prohibited times of prayer.........................................................................................................

Ruling on the person who abandons prayer................................................................................

Repentance..............................................................................................................................

Chapter Three...........................................................................................................................

Rulings on washing the deceased..............................................................................................

Manner of washing the deceased..............................................................................................

Manner of shrouding the deceased............................................................................................

Manner of Praying over the Deceased.......................................................................................

Manner of burying the deceased...............................................................................................

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