Fiqh of The Sunna (Nafl) Prayers

An exposition of the sunna prayers not directly related to the obligatory prayers

Answered by Sidi Fadi Qutub Zada

In the name of Allah, Most Merciful and Compassionate.

All praise is to Allah, Lord of the worlds.

And all blessings and peace to our Master Muhammad, his family, and companions

The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) related from Allah Most High that He said,

“… And my servant continues to draw closer to me by voluntary actions until I love him…” [Bukhari]

There are ten main voluntary prayers not directly related to the obligatory prayers.

The Salutation of the Mosque Prayer (Tahiyyat al-Masjid)

On the authority of Abu Qatada (Allah be pleased with him) he said, “The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said: ‘If any of you enters the Mosque, let him not sit until he prays two rakats.'” [Bukhari & Muslim]

And on the authority of Abu Dhar (Allah be pleased with him) he said, “I entered the mosque, and there was the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) sitting alone, so he said: ‘Oh Abu Dhar, Truly the mosque has a greeting, and indeed its greeting is two rakats, so stand up and pray them.'”[Reported by Ibn Hiban in his Sahih]

Ibn Abidin explains in his commentary Radd al-Muhtar on al-Durr al-Mukhtar that, “What’s intended by it (i.e. greeting the mosque) is drawing nearer to Allah not to the mosque, because a man if he enters the house of a king greets the king not his house.” [Radd al-Muhtar ‘ala al-Durr al-Mukhtar, 1:456] Continue reading

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The Fiqh of Sending Peace and Blessings on the Prophet

( Allah bless him with the best of blessings and give him the most perfect of peace)

Answered by Shaykh Sohail Hanif, SunniPath Academy Teacher

In the name of Allah, the inspirer of truth. All praise is to Allah, Most Merciful and Compassionate, and all blessings and peace to our Master Muhammad, his family, companions, and those who follow them.

Allah most high says “Allah and his angels send blessings on the prophet, o you who believe, send blessings on him and salute him with all respect.” [Qur’an, 33:56]

The messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said “the one in whose presence I am mentioned and does not send blessings on me is a miser.” [reported by Tirmidhi, who declared it well and rigorously authenticated]. The meaning of sending blessings on the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace)

The great 19thCentury Shaykh al-Azhar, Imam Bajuri mentions in his supercommentary (hashiya) on the Sanusiyyain aqida,

“There are three meanings for salat (‘sending blessings’):

The first is purely linguistic and it is prayer (du`a) in it’s most general sense.

The second is purely legal and it is the spoken elements and physical actions that start with the saying Allahu Akbar(‘Allah is most great’) and ends with the greetings of peace (taslim), with specific preconditions. [f: Namely, the ritual prayer.]

The third is both linguistic and legal. According to the majority, it is mercy when attributed to Allah; and seeking forgiveness (istighfar) when attributed to any other than Him, whether angels and others…

As for the word ‘salam’, it’s meaning is security. The purpose of this is to reassuring the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) about what he fears for his nation…Some have explained it as greeting, meaning, when attributed to Allah, that He address him with His beginninglessly eternal speech to indicate the loftiness of his immense rank.” [Ibrahim al-Bajuri, Hashiya al-Bajuri `ala al-Sanusiyya, pg 7, Mustafa al-Babi al-Halabi] Continue reading

The Fiqh of Right and Wrong: How to command the good and forbid the wrong

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question:

If one is teaching a classroom filled with male and female youths that belong to Muslim parents, it would be permissible to teach them, regardless if one or two of them were adults but not wearing hijab?

Answer:

Walaikum assalam,

I pray this finds you in the best of health and spirits.

This follows the ruling of commanding the good and forbidding the wrong. The essential purpose of commanding the good and forbidding the evil is to increase the good, and reduce wrong.

As such, it must be done after clear thinking and proper assessment of the situation, and possible outcomes. Until reasonably sure that one’s words or actions will be of benefit (the least of which would be to affirm the truth, even if it is not heeded), and bereft of harm, one should not act. The scholars deduce this from the Prophet’s words (Allah bless him and give him peace), “Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him say what is good or remain silent.” [Bukhari and Muslim]

Imam Nawawi (Allah have mercy on him) said,

“Every legally responsible person should refrain from saying anything except when there is a clear advantage to speaking. Whenever speaking and not speaking are of equal benefit, it is sunna to remain silent, for permissible speech easily leads to that which is unlawful or offensive, as actually happens much or even most of the time – and there is no substitute for safety. The Prophet (Allah) bless him and give him peace) said,

“Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him say what is good or remain silent.”

This hadith, whose authenticity Bukhari and Muslim concur upon, is an explicit legal text indicating that a person should not speak unless what he intends to say is good, meaning that the benefit of it is apparent to him. Whenever one doubts that there is a clear advantage, one should not speak. Imam Shafi`i (Allah have mercy on him) said, “When one wishes to speak, one must first reflect, and if there is a clear interest to be served by speaking, one speaks, while if one doubts it, one remains silent until the advantage becomes apparent.” [Nawawi, al-Adhkar, as translated by Shaykh Nuh Keller, Reliance of the Traveller, r.1.1] Continue reading

The Fiqh of Itikaf (spiritual retreat)

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

The Fiqh of I`tikaf (spiritual retreat)

Based on Shurunbulali’s Imdad al-Fattah, and other Hanafi texts

In the Name of Allah, Most Merciful and Compassionate. May His abundant blessing and most perfect of peace be on His Beloved Prophet, the best of creation, and his family, companions and followers.

I`tikaf means ‘remaining’ somewhere.

The technical usage of the term is:

a) for men: to remain in the mosque, with an intention,

b) for women: to remain in their designated prayer area (musalla) at home, with intention, or at the mosque (though it is normally somewhat disliked for them to do so).

I`tikaf is a means of great reward. It says in the Fatawa Hindiyya,

“Its excellence is obvious, for the one make such a spiritual retreat:

  • Has submitted their entire person to the worship of Allah Most High;
  • seeks closeness;
  • distances themselves from the worldly distractions that prevent one from proximity;
  • drowning their entire time in actual or effective worship, for the basis of its legislation is to wait from one prayer time to the next prayer in congregation;
  • it also makes the one is retreat resemble the angels who do not disobey the command of Allah and do what they are commanded, while glorifying Allah by night and day without tiring…” [1.212] Continue reading

The Fiqh of Sports and Games

Answered by Shaykh Muhammad ibn Adam al-Kawthari

Question:

Is the playing of sports such as Rugby League or American football permissible in Islam?

Answer:

In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,

Islam is a very moderate religion that is free from any type of extremism or laxity. It disapproves of useless and futile entertainment that has no worldly or religious benefit, and at the same time encourages relaxing the body and refreshing the mind to a certain limit with the various means of enjoyment.

We see for example in the book of Allah the condemnation of useless entertainment

Allah Most High says:

“There are among men, those who purchase idle tales without knowledge to mislead from the path of Allah and throw ridicule. For such there will be a humiliating penalty”. (Surah Luqman, 6).

And:

“Never comes (aught) to them of a renewed message (verses of the Qur’an) from their lord, but they listen to it in jest while their hearts toying as with trifles”. (Surah al-Anbiya, 2).

And:

“So leave them to plunge in vain talk and play about, until they encounter that day of theirs which they have been promised”. (Surah al-Ma’arij, 42).

And:

“Or, did the people of the towns feel secure against the coming of our punishment in broad daylight while they played about”. (al-A’raf, 98).

The above and many other verses of the Qur’an indicate that useless play and entertainment (lahw & la’ib) is severely disapproved. Islam emphasises a life to be spent with a true purpose and aim wherein each moment is spent in some beneficial manner. For this reason, the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said:

“From the beauty of one’s Islam is to leave things that have no benefit in them”. (Sunan Tirmizi & Sunan Ibn Majah).

However, at the same time, Islam does not totally prohibit every form of enjoyment and means of satisfaction; rather, it encourages relaxing the body and refreshing the mind. It recommends removing boredom from one’s self and gain alertness and agility in order to focus fully towards the main objectives of life. This enjoyment, however, must be within the limits and boundaries laid down by Islam and not fall within the category of useless entertainment (lahw & la’ib).

Such beneficial means of entertainment are not only permissible, but have been proven from the practice of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace), his Companions (Allah be pleased with them all) and scholars of this Umma. Continue reading