The Excellence of the Mosques

Imam Muslim related that the Messenger of Allah, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, said what means “The best of the places on Earth are the mosques.” Muslims pray the five prayers in the mosques. They also become acquainted with each other in the mosques and thereby love each other. Allah loves the mosques, as do the prophets and the righteous Muslims.  

Hajj and ^Umrah

  Allah said, in Ayah 97 of Surat Al-^Imran, what means: “Allah made Hajj to the Ka^bah obligatory upon those who are able.” Hajj is among the most important matters of Islam. Performing Hajj and Umrah once in a lifetime is obligatory upon the Muslim who is free, accountable, and able. Performing them repeatedly after that time is considered sunnah. Hajj has a special merit that other acts of obedience do not have, in that it clears one of all sins, enormous and small. The Prophet, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, said what means: “Whoever performs Hajj without copulating or committing enormous sins is clear of his sins, as he was on the day his mother gave birth to him.” For this special merit to hold, one’s intention must be sincere to Allah, ta^ala; one’s...

Zakah

Allah said, in the Quran in Ayah 43 of Suratul-Baqarah, what means: “Perform the prayers and perform Zakah.” According to the Arabic language, Zakah means purification and growth. Islamically, it is the name for that which is paid in a specific way, as a result of having money, or one being alive. It was given this name because money grows by the blessing of giving Zakah, and because it purifies the one who gives it from being sinful. Zakah is among the major matters of Islam. During the second year after the migration, Allah made it obligatory. Among the items that Zakah is obligatory on are: Camels, cattle, sheep, and goats;   The staple crops. These are crops that one stores to eat in other than times of necessity, like wheat, barley, and corn;  ...

Fasting

Allah made it obligatory upon every accountable and able Muslim to fast the month of Ramadan. Allah said in the Quran, in Ayah 183 of Suratul Baqarah, what means “He (Allah) made fasting obligatory upon you.” Fasting the month of Ramadan was made obligatory during the month of Sha^ban in the second year after immigration. It is a great obligation and among the most important matters of Islam. The Muslims look forward to this month because it is the month of goodness, obedience, and blessings. It is also the best month of the year, and in it is the best night of the year, the Night of Qadr. Fasting is abstaining from anything that invalidates the fast during the day, along with having made the intention during the night. It is an obligation upon every pubescent,...

The Friday Prayer

Friday is the best day of the week. In a Hadith narrated by Muslim, the Prophet, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, said what means: “Friday is the best day on which the Sun ever rose. In it Adam was created, admitted into Paradise, and taken out of it.” Allah, ta^ala, made it obligatory to pray the Friday prayer during this day. As a result, the Muslims in all the different countries gather in the main masjid of their town to pray this prayer. The Friday Prayer is a personal obligation upon the free, residing, pubescent, and unexcused males. Among what is considered an Islamic excuse is for the person to be sick, in a way that going to the mosque is a serious hardship on him. It is an obligation to pray the Friday Prayer in congregation if the free, pubescent, and...

Congregational Prayer

The Prophet, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, encouraged performing the congregational prayer. He ordered the people to pray the five prayers in congregation in a way that anyone who wants to pray in congregation can easily find the place to do so. When people gather in obedience to Allah, great benefits do occur. Ibn Majah, at-Tirmidhiyy, and Ahmad ibn Hanbal related that the Prophet, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, said what means: “The congregational prayer has 27 times more reward than the prayer of an individual.” Praying every obligatory prayer in congregation is a communal obligation upon the free, residing, pubescent, and unexcused men. Whoever wants to pray the congregational prayer steps forward to lead the others in prayer. He is called the imam—the leader....

Invalidators of Prayer

During prayer, the Muslim should be God-fearing and should avoid anything that invalidates his prayer. The invalidators of the prayer include: The praying person uttering words which do not include mentioning Allah. Uttering two letters or any letter that carries a meaning, while remembering that one is praying, invalidates one’s prayer;   Performing many moves that last for the duration of one rak^ah. According to some scholars, three consecutive moves invalidate the prayer;   Eating, even if it is little, like a sesame seed, except if one forgets;   Drinking while remembering that one is in the prayer, even if it is little, like swallowing a drop of water on one’s lips;   Performing one move, with the purpose of playing;   Performing an...

Conditions for the Validity of the Prayer

The conditions of prayer are the matters that are not party of the prayer, but must be satisfied before starting the prayer. There are eight conditions. The first is Islam: prayer is not valid from a blasphemer;   The second is to be mumayyiz; in other words, to be at the age of mental discrimination, the age at which the child understands when addressed and answers when asked;   The third is to be pure from both ritual impurities. One must have wudu’ and be clear of the states of minor and major ritual impurity;   The fourth is having one’s clothes, body, place, and what one is carrying be pure. If one prays while carrying in one’s pocket a piece of cloth that had najas­-filth on it, one’s prayer is invalid;   The fifth is to cover one’s...

The Integrals of Prayer

Prayer has integrals and recommended matters. The integrals are those matters that are part of the prayer, and if not done, the prayer is invalid. The recommended matters are the rewardable matters which, if left out, do not invalidate the prayer. They are done following in the footsteps of the Prophet, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam. There are 17 integrals of prayer. First, to have the intention in the heart of performing the prayer and of its obligation when obligatory, and to specify the prayer which is performed for a particular reason or time; Second, to say “Allahu abkar,” hearing oneself while having the intention in the heart; Third, to stand for the obligatory prayer, when able. If unable, one prays sitting. If unable, one prays lying on one’s side. If...

Times of Prayer

Allah, ta^ala said, in Ayah 103 of Suratun-Nisa’, what means: “Certainly, the [obligatory] prayers have been prescribed to the believers to be performed at specific times.” After the belief in Allah and His Messenger, the prayer is the best deed. Allah made five prayers obligatory upon every pubescent, sane Muslim within the night and day. One has to be keen to perform them. Also, one must learn how the time of each prayer begins and how it ends. The Noon Prayer (Dhuhr) begins when the sun declines westward from the middle of the sky. It ends when the shadow of an object becomes equal to the length of that object, plus the length of its shadow, when the sun has reached its zenith. The object may be a straight wooden stick that is plunged upright into the ground....

The Ritual Impurity

The ritual impurity is of two kinds: minor ritual impurity and major ritual impurity. The minor ritual impurity is the occurrence of whatever invalidates the wudu’, such as emitting gas, urine, or feces. The major ritual impurity is the occurrence of any of the five matters that mandate the purifactory bath, which are: Emitting maniyy (semen) Sexual intercourse Menstruation Postpartum bleeding, or Giving birth There are two integrals for the purifactory obligatory bath. The first is the intention, when the water touches the first part of the body. So one intends for example: “I intend to do the obligatory purifactory bath,” or “I intend to remove the state of major ritual impurity.” The second integral is washing the entire body with water, both the skin and...

Instinja’

It is obligatory to make istinja’ from every wet material emitted from the eliminatory outlets, like urine or feces. Istinja’ is performed using pure and purifying water or a solid, dry, uprooting and unrespectable material, like a stone or paper. If one wishes to perform istinja’ by water, then, when cleaning oneself from feces, one pours the water on the outlet and rubs with one’s left hand until the najas-filth is removed. This makes the place pure. If one is performing istinja’ using rocks and the like, such as paper, one must be using a solid, dry, uprooting, pure, unrespectable material, such as a rock or paper, and wipe the outlet three times. If the three wipes are not enough to clean the area, one wipes more until the place becomes clean. One may use...

The Invalidators of Wudu’

The invalidators of wudu’ are matters which break wudu’. When one’s wudu’ is invalidated, one must make wudu’ again to pray. The invalidators are several. Materials exiting from the eliminatory outlets, such as urine, feces, gas, or stomach worms, all invalidate the wudu’. Touching the anus, vagina, or penis with one’s bare palm, or touching the skin of the marriageable woman without a barrier, also results in one’s wudu’ being invalidated. In addition, losing one’s mind by craziness, fainting, or intoxication, or sleeping without having ones buttocks firmly seated, are invalidators. If, however, one slept without a gap between one’s buttocks and the floor, then one’s wudu’ would not be invalid. The person who loses his wudu’ is prohibited to perform the...

Ablution: Its Integrals

Ablution is a condition for the validity of prayer. Allah said in the Quran, in Ayah 6 of Suratul Ma’idah, what means, “When you want to pray, wash your face, your hands and forearms up to and including your elbows, wet wipe your heads, and wash your feet up to and including the ankles” Wudu’ has six integrals. It is not valid if any of them are left out. The first integral is the intention, which takes place in the heart. It should also be simultaneous with washing the first part of the face. One says: “I now intend to make wudu’,” or the like. Next, one washes the entire face, from the normal hairline to the chin, and from one ear to the other. After, one washes the hands, up to and including the elbows. The elbow is the bone where the forearm and upper arm...

Purification from Najas-Filth

Among what is considered najas-filthy are urine, feces, blood, pus, vomit, alcohol, and the maytah, including its bones and hair. The corpse of a dead human is not najas-filthy. The najas-filth is divided into two types: detectable and undetectable. Detectable najas-filth is the najas-filth, the entity, color, taste, or smell of which is detectable, such as a drop of blood on clothing. This najas-filthy area can be purified by pouring water on it, which is pure and purifying, until the entity and properties of the najas-filth are removed. Undetectable najas-filth is the type of najas-filth that no longer has a color, taste, or smell. An example is urine that has dried on clothing without leaving any of its properties; in other words, this dry urine no longer has...

The Actions of the Accountable

The Islamic Judgments are divided into seven types: The obligatory, recommended, prohibited, disliked, permissible, valid, and invalid. The obligatory judgment is that which the doer will receive the reward for, and the neglector of which deserves punishment. This, in turn, is divided into two subdivisions: the personal obligation and the communal obligation. The Personal Obligation is what is obligatory upon every accountable person, like the five prayers. The Communal Obligation is also an obligation. If some perform it, then others would be relieved from it. Examples are: the congregational prayer, memorizing the entire book of the Qur’an, and working in the beneficial handiwork that the Muslims need. The judgment of the recommended matters is that the one who...

Zakah

Allah said in Surat an-Nur, Ayah 56, what means: “Perform the prayers and pay Zakah.” Allah has ordered the Muslim who has money, on which Zakah is due, to pay a small amount from that money to the poor Muslims and others whom Allah has mentioned in the Qur’an. Allah, ta^ala, said in Surat at-Tawbah, Ayah 60, what means: “Zakah is to be paid to faqirs, miskins, the Zakah workers, the Muslims whose hearts need reconciliation, the slaves who made the mukatabah contract for their freedom, the Muslims who cannot pay their debts, the volunteer fighters, and the Muslim traveler who does not have enough money to return to his hometown.” The Faqirs are the Muslims who have less than half of their basic needs. The Miskins are Muslims who have more than half but not all of...

Fasting the Month of Ramadan

Allah said in Suratul Baqarah, Ayah 185, what means: “The month of Ramadan is the month in which the Qur’an with all the clear guidance it contains was sent down in full (from the guarded tablet to the first sky, and then to the Prophet little by little). So whoever among you is alive in the month of Ramadan must fast it.” Fasting is a great act of worship that Allah ordained on Muslims to do in the month of Ramadan of every year. Fasting Ramadan will be rewarded greatly by Allah, the Exalted. Fasting is refraining from eating and drinking and all other things that may invalidate the fast in the time between dawn and sunset. The intention to fast has to be made before dawn. One says in the heart, “I intend to fast tomorrow the obligatory fast of Ramadan of this...

Making Up Prayers

Al-Bukhariyy related that the Messenger of Allah said what means: “Whoever misses a prayer due to sleep or forgetting, let him pray it when he remembers it. Nothing else can be done to make up for it.” So, if a person slept through the whole time of a prayer, he still has to do the prayer when he wakes up. Also, if a Muslim forgets to do a prayer and remembers after the time of that prayer has passed, then the Muslim must still make up that missed prayer. However, if a Muslim misses many prayers the number of which he does now know exactly, he is obliged to make up the missed prayers until he is almost sure that there are no more prayers that are due on him. The good, pious Muslim does not neglect making up the prayers he has missed. He hastens to make them up....

The Prayer of the Late Follower

The Prophet, may Allah raise his rank and protect his nation from which he fears for them, urged us to do our prayers in congregation and showed its merit over praying individually. In a Hadith related by al-Bukhariyy and Muslim, he said what means: “The reward of the prayer conducted in congregation is equivalent to 27 times the reward of praying alone.” The masbuq—also known as the late follower—is the person who joins the congregational prayer while the imam is still standing for the recitation, but at a time that is not enough for this person to finish reciting the Fatihah before the imam bows for ruku^. Also, he is one who catches up with the imam after the first standing position, such as in ruku^, sujud or tashahhud. The follower can still get the extra...

The Friday Prayer

The Friday prayer is a personal obligation upon the free, residing, pubescent, sane and unexcused Muslim males, if they are forty or more in number. They must also be living in buildings, and not in tents. This means that if the number of these Muslim men was under 40 or they live in tents, like the Bedouins, then performing the Friday prayer is not an obligation upon them. An Islamically acceptable excuse for missing the Friday prayer is if the person is very sick, and finds it very hard to get to the place where the Friday prayer is performed. The Friday prayer is two rak^ahs prayed instead of the Dhuhr prayer, but loudly. Its conditions are: For it to be prayed after the noon prayer time has set in and within its time; For the two speeches to be given before...

The Congregational Prayer

Every day, Muslims pray five prayers in congregation in the mosques. There are some rules of the congregational prayer that should be observed. The follower must stand behind the leader—their imam—in prayer, and must not say the first takbirah, except after the imam says it. The follower should make the intention to pray in congregation by saying in the heart, for example, “I now intend to pray the obligatory Noon prayer, in congregation.” If praying a soft-recitation prayer, the follower and the imam recite with a low voice in their prayer. In the loud recitation prayer (after the imam finishes reciting the Fatihah), the follower recites the Fatihah with a low voice, and then he listens to the remaining loud recitation of the imam. As for the imam, he says the...

The Soft-Recitation Prayer

The prayers with the loud recitation are the Dawn, Sunset and Nightfall prayers. In these prayers, the person praying alone says the Fatihah, the word “Amin” after it and the verses afterwards, in a loud voice, in the first two rak^ahs. The two prayers with the soft recitation are the Noon and Mid-Afternoon prayers. In these prayers, the person does not say anything in a loud voice. However, he has to hear his recitation. If a prayer was not done in its due time, the person has to make it up. If a person missed one of the loud-recitation prayers like the Dawn prayer, and prayed it at the time of a soft-recitation prayer, like the Noon prayer, he does it with a low voice, before praying the Noon prayer. But if a person who missed a loud-recitation prayer, like the...

The Invalidators of the Prayer

There are matters that invalidate the prayer. These matters should be known, in order to avoid them. Some of these invalidators are. Speaking on purpose: this means if a person who is praying says other than the prayer’s statements, even two letters or one meaningful letter (unless one forgets and speaks a little), one’s prayer becomes invalid. However, mentioning Allah does not invalidate the prayer;   Eating or drinking also invalidates the prayer: this means if a person, while remembering that he is praying, eats or drinks on purpose, the prayer becomes invalid even if he ate something as tiny as a sesame seed;   Also among the invalidators is moving a lot: this means if a person who is praying moves a lot in his prayer such as if he makes three...

The Recommended Deeds of Prayer

The recommended deeds in the prayer are many. If a person leaves them out, his prayer is still valid. However, if a person does the recommended deeds in the prayer, he will have reward of doing them. That is why the Muslim should do them in the prayer. Some of the recommended deeds are: Placing the right hand over the left hand while placing both over the navel and under the chest; Reciting the opening du^a—supplication—in the first rak^ah before saying the Fatihah; Reciting from the Qur’an, even if it is a short surah or even one ayah after saying the Fatihah, in the first two rak^ah. This is for a person who is praying alone, or following the imam but does not hear the imam’s recitation; Saying “Allahu Akbar” when moving from one integral of action to another...

The Integrals of Prayer

Each prayer has integrals and recommended matters. The prayer is not valid without its integrals. The recommended matters are rewardable matters within the prayer, which, if left out, does not invalidate the prayer valid, but lessens the reward. The integrals of prayer are seventeen: To have intention in the heart of performing the prayer. One has to intend that the prayer is an obligatory prayer if it is so, and to specify the prayer that is performed for a particular reason or time; To say “Allahu Akbar” loud enough to hear oneself; To stand for the obligatory prayer when able; To recite al-Fatihah including “Bismillah ar-Rahman ar-Rahim,” doubling the letters properly and avoiding the error (lahn) whether or not it breaches the meaning. An error which does not...

The Conditions for the Validity of Prayer

The conditions of the prayer are matters that must be met by the performer of the prayer before starting it. Some of these conditions are: Islam: this means that the prayer performed by a non-Muslim is not valid; Reaching the age of mental discrimination. This is the age at which the child can understand when spoken to and can answer when asked; Ablution is a must for the person who wants to pray; otherwise the prayer will not be valid; Having purity in the clothing, body, and place is important, because the place where the person is praying should be pure from any non-exempt najas-filth. One must also cover the unlawful nakedness. This means for the male to cover between his navel and knees. For the female, it means to cover all of her body, except her face and...

The Obligatory Prayers and Their Times

The prayers that are obligatory for every day and night are five. The first is the Noon Prayer (Dhuhr). It is four cycles and its time begins when the sun has declined westward from the middle of the sky. It remains until the length of the shadow of an object becomes equal to that of the object, in addition to the length of the shadow cast by the object when the sun was at its zenith. The second is the Mid-Afternoon Prayer (^Asr), which is also four cycles and its time begins after Dhuhr ends, and remains until sunset. The third is the Sunset Prayer (Maghrib), which is three cyles; its time begins after the sunset—in other words, when ^Asr ends—and remains until the redness disappears in the western horizon. The fourth is the Nightfall Prayer (^Isha’), which is...

The Call for the Prayer

When the prayer time sets in, it is a rewardable deed for a Muslim to call for the prayer with a raised voice. This is called the Adhan. The person who calls Muslims for prayer stands, after performing ablution, in a high place facing the Qiblah and says the Adhan. In the call for the dawn prayer (Fajr), the caller adds after saying the second Hayya ^alal Falah, what means: “Prayer is better than sleep; prayer is better than sleep.” “As-Salatu khayrum-min anawm; As-Salatu khayrum min- anawm.” It is a rewardable deed for the Muslims hearing the call to the prayer to repeat after the caller the same words, except when he says “Hayya ^alal Salah” and “Hayya ^ala al-Falah”; instead, one would say: “La hawla wala Quwata illa Billah.” After the person calling the...

Invalidators of Wudu’

Among the matters that invalidate the wudu’ are: Materials exiting from the eliminatory outlets, such as urine, feces, gas, or stomach worms. Touching the private parts of a human i.e., the penis, vagina or anus with the inner part of the hand, without a barrier, also invalidates wudu’. If one sleeps in a position where the buttocks are not tightly placed on the floor or sitting place, one’s wudu’ would be invalidated. However, dozing such that one can still hear the words said around one, even if one does not understand, without seeing a dream, does not make the wudu’ invalid. If a person faints or becomes insane, even for a little time, his wudu’ is invalidated. Among the disliked matters when performing wudu’ are: Starting with the left part before the right...

Ablution (Wudu’)

Allah, the exalted said in Surat-Ma’idah, Ayah 6, what means: “O you who believed, if you want to perform prayers, then wash your faces and your hands up to (and including) the elbows, wet wipe your heads and wash your feet with the ankles.” The integrals of ablution are six. First, to have the intention in the heart upon washing the face. One says in the heart: “I now intend to perform wudu’ (ablution)” or the like. Second, to wash the whole face, from the normal hairline to the bottom of the chin and from the ear to the ear. Third, to wash the hands from the tips of the fingers then up to and including the elbows. Fourth, to wet-wipe part of the head. Fifth, to wash the feet, with the ankles included. And finally, to do all previous acts in order. This means,...

Cleaning Oneself after Urination -Istinja’-

It is an obligation to make istinja’ from the wet najas-filth after it has passed from any of the eliminatory outlets. This means if urine or the like passes out of a person, the person must clean himself from the najas-filth before praying, otherwise the prayer will not be valid. However, one does not have to make istinja’ after passing gas. Istinja’ can be done either by using water or by using a material that is pure, solid, dry, uprooting and unrespected. Such materials are like rocks, tissues or papers that do not have any Islamic material on them. Performing istinja’ using water is done by pouring the purifying water over the contaminated place until it becomes pure. As for performing istinja’ with other than water, it is done by wiping the outlet 3 times...

Conditions of Purification

Allah said in Surat Al-Baqarah, Ayah 222, which means: “Surely Allah loves those who repent of their sins and perform the purification as they should.” In a Hadith related by Muslim, the Messenger of Allah, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, said what means: “Purification is a very important matter in Islam.” Purification means lifting off the states of major and minor ritual impurity and removing najas-filth. The conditions for one’s purification to be valid are five. First, the person purifying themselves has to be Muslim. The purification act done by a non-Muslim is not valid. Second, the person must be at the age of mental discrimination. This means for one to be in a stage where they can at least understand when spoken to and can answer properly when asked....

Purification from Najas-Filth

Najas-filth is of two types: detectable (^Ayniyya) and undetectable (Hukmiyyah) Detectable najas-filth is the najas-filth whose entity, color, taste or smell is detectable, such as a drop of blood on clothing. This najas-filthy area can be purified by pouring on it water, which is pure and purifying, until the entities and properties of the najas-filth are removed. Undetectable najas-filth is the type of najas-filth that no longer has a color, taste, or smell, such as urine that has dried on clothing without leaving any of its properties. In other words, this dry urine no longer has a smell color or taste. The place that is contaminated with najas-filth can be purified by pouring purifying water on it. If the najas-filth from a dog or a pig, such as their saliva,...

Types of Water

Water is divided into three types. They are: Pure and purifying water; Pure but not purifying water; and Najas-filthy water Regarding pure and purifying water, it is the absolute water; that is, pure in itself and purifying when it is used in purificatory bathing, wudu’, and ridding of najas-filth. Examples of such water are rain, ocean, river, well and spring waters. On the other, pure but not purifying water is used water. It consists of two types: the water that has been used for lifting off a major impurity or a minor one, and water that has been used for the ridding of najas-filth, but none of whose properties—color, taste, smell, etc.—have changed. This water is still pure in itself, but not purifying. So, if this used water is collected, it cannot be used...

Hajj

Allah said in the Qur’an, in Ayah 97 of Al ^Imran, what means that Allah made it an obligation, on the capable person, to make Hajj to Makkah, where the Ka^bah is located. Hajj is one of the most important matters of Islam. The person who has the capability to perform it has to perform it once in one’s lifetime. Hajj has six integrals and it is not valid without one completing all of them. 1. The first is Ihram, which is the intention to perform Hajj; 2. The second is to be at ^Arafah at a specific time; 3. The third is to go around the Ka^bah seven times in due time, observing its required conditions; 4. The fourth is walking between Safa and Marwah seven times; 5. The fifth is removing the hair by shaving or trimming; in other words, the man removes all or some...

Zakah

Allah said in the Qur’an, in Ayah 43 of Suratul-Baqarah, what means: “Perform the prayer and fulfill Zakah.” Zakah is one of the most important matters of Islam. Allah obligated the financially sound Muslims to pay a specific amount of their money to specific categories of people, determined by Islamic Law. Among those people who may receive Zakah are the poor Muslims. The poor Muslims are those who cannot fulfill all their basic needs. Zakah is due on items such as: Camels, cattle, sheep and goats;   Gold and silver;   Staple crops, like wheat and rice; and   Trade articles. The Zakah of Fitr is also an obligation to fulfill. It is paid after the month of Ramadan starts, and before the sunset of the ^Id day. This Zakah has its own conditions that...

Fasting Ramadan

Allah said in the Qur’an, in Ayah 183 of Suratul-Baqarah, what means: “O believers, fasting (Ramadan) is ordained upon you as it was ordained (obligatory) upon the (Muslims) before you to earn piety.” Fasting is to abstain from eating, drinking and other things that break fasting from dawn to sunset with an intention made during the night before. For example, one says in his heart: “I intend to fast tomorrow to fulfill the obligatory fast of Ramadan this year, seeking the reward of Allah.” Some of the invalidators of fasting are: Intentionally eating or drinking while remembering that one is fasting, even if it was little. However, the fasting of one who eats or drinks while forgetting is not invalidated;   Intentionally vomiting such as to introduce one’s...

The Friday Prayer

Allah made fulfilling the Friday prayer an obligation on every Muslim who is male, free, pubescent, sane, residing, and unexcused. The woman, slave person, boy, insane, traveler, and the one who has a valid excuse are not obligated to pray the Friday prayer. The valid excuse is like when the Muslim is so sick that it is intolerable for him to go to the masjid while in this state. The Friday prayer is composed of two rak^ahs. In the Friday prayer one must observe: Praying the two rak^ahs after the time of Dhuhr has set in, and after the conclusion of the two speeches; Forty men have to pray the two rak^ahs in congregation; It must also be noted the one who misses the Friday prayer prays Dhuhr, because one cannot make up the Friday prayer by praying two rak^ahs. It...

Congregational Prayer

Imam Muslim related that the Prophet, sallalahu ^alayhi wa sallam, said what means: One’s reward for praying in congregation is better by twenty-seven times than that of his prayer by himself.” Congregational prayer is a communal obligation. In other words, it is not obligatory upon each Muslim to pray in congregation; rather some Muslims are obligated to perform the congregational prayer for each of the five obligatory prayers. The one who wishes to pray in congregation needs to follow certain rules. One must be standing behind the imam, and must not say the opening “Allahu Akbar” except after the imam completes saying his opening “Allahu Akbar” in full. One also intends to pray in congregation. He says in his heart, for example: “I intend to pray the obligatory...

Invalidators of Prayer

The prayer of the Muslim is invalidated if he does matters which render the prayer invalid. Such matters include: Speaking intentionally, and not while forgetting that one is performing prayer, what is considered normal speech. However, if one forgets and utters a few statements, one’s prayer is not invalidated;   Eating and drinking even a little amount, unless one forgets and it is little, also invalidates the prayer;   Performing three consecutive movements;   Jumping an excessive jump or moving one’s hand or eye, for example, with the intention of playing;   Adding an extra integral which involves action, such as to perform sujud three times in one rak^ah, invalidates the prayer;   Losing one’s wudu’, by releasing gas, for example, is...

The Integrals of Prayer

Prayer contains integrals and recommended matters. The integrals are the parts of the prayer that, if left out, the prayer would be invalid. However, the prayer is valid without one performing the recommended matters. The person who does not perform the recommended matters will lose the reward that otherwise one acquires for performing it. The integrals of the prayer are seventeen they are: Having the intention in the heart;   Saying the opening Allahu Akbar at the beginning of prayer; this is also called the opening takbirah;   Standing for the obligatory prayer when able;   Reciting the Fatihah, starting with “Bismillah” and articulating the letters properly;   To perform ruku^, by bowing until one’s palms could reach one’s knees;  ...

The Conditions for a Valid Prayer

Before performing the prayer, the person who is praying has to fulfill the conditions for the validity of the prayer so that one’s prayer is correct. Among these conditions are: Being a Muslim. The blasphemer’s prayer is not valid. One must also be on wudu’. The person who is praying has to have wudu’ or else the prayer is not valid. One must be in a state of taharah; in other words, to be clear from the najas-filth that is not overlooked. One has to be clear of such filthiness in the body, clothing, place of prayer and what one carries while praying, such as a tissue contaminated with najas-filth in one’s pocket. To cover the unlawful nakedness: The male covers the area between the navel and the knees. The woman covers all her body except the face and the hands....

The Obligatory Prayers and Their Times

The prayer is the best of the deeds after believing in Allah and His Messenger. Every accountable Muslim has to fulfill the prayers on time and learn when the time of each prayer sets in and ends. The prayers that are obligatory for every day and night are five. The Noon prayer, adh-Dhuhr, is four rak^ahs, or cycles. Its time begins when the sun has declined westward from the middle of the sky. It remains until the length of the shadow of an object becomes equal to that of the object, in addition to the length of the shadow cast by that object when the sun was at its zenith. The Mid-afternoon Prayer, al-^Asr, is also four rak^ahs. Its time begins after Dhuhr ends, and remains until sunset. The Sunset Prayer, al-Maghrib, is three rak^ahs. Its time begins after...

The Adhan and the Iqamah

When the time of the prayer sets in, it is sunnah to call adhan. To call adhan, one of the Muslims calls with a loud voice for the performance of prayer by saying specific statements in the mosque or outside of it. The meaning of the adhan is: “Allah is greater (in status) than any great one (twice) I bear witness that no one is God except Allah (twice) I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah (twice) Come to the prayer (twice) Come to success and guidance (twice) Allah is greater than any great one (twice) No one is God except Allah.” (once) For the adhan of the Dawn Prayer, it is sunnah for the caller, after the second “Come to success and guidance” phrase, to say, “Prayer is better than sleeping,” twice. After the one who calls the adhan...

Istinja’

Allah said in the Qur’an, in Ayah 222 of Suratul-Baqarah what means that Allah loves those who repent and those who fulfill purification. If someone released any moist feces or urine and did not perform istinja’, then made wudu’, and prayed, then one’s prayer is not valid. It is an obligation to perform istinja’; in other words, removing the najas-filth after the emission of the wet najas-filth, such as urine and feces, from one of the eliminatory outlets. When performing istinja’ from feces, it is enough for one to pour, with the right hand, pure water on the place of the najas-filth. One would meanwhile rub the exit with the left hand until the place becomes tahir—in other words, pure. To perform istinja’ from urine, one would just pour water on the place of...

The Invalidators of Wudu’

Among the invalidators of the ablution are: Emitting urine, feces, or gas;   Sleeping on the stomach, back, right, or left side;   Touching the part from which the urine exits or the anus with the inner part of the bare hand without a barrier;   Becoming insane and/or losing consciousness. The person whose wudu’ is invalidated is not permitted to pray unless one performs wudu’ again. Some of the things which are disliked when making wudu include: Repeating an act of wudu’ more than three times when washing or wet wiping;   Saying a non-beneficial statement while making the wudu’;   To use an excessive amount of water for...

Ablution (Wudu’)

Allah said in the Qur’an, in Ayah 6 of Suratul-Ma’idah, what means: “O believers, when you are ready to pray, you must wash your faces, hands and forearms including the elbows, wet wipe your heads, and wash your feet up to and including the ankles.” The integrals of ablution (wudu’) are six. The first is having the intention in the heart when washing the face. One says in his heart: “I intend to perform wudu’ (ablution)” or any equivalent intention;   The second integral is washing the face from the normal hairline to the chin and from one ear to the other ear;   The third integral is washing the hands and the forearms up to and including the elbows;   The fourth is wet-wiping the head or part of it;   The fifth is washing the feet with the...

Fasting the Month of Ramadan

Fasting is a great worship and one of the greatest matters of Islam. Allah made fasting the month of Ramadan obligatory on every Muslim who is pubescent, sane, and able to fast. Fasting requires intention. Hence, the person would intend in his heart after sunset, and before dawn, “I intend to fast tomorrow, to fulfill the obligation of fasting Ramadan of this year, and out of belief in Allah, seeking the reward from Allah, ta^ala. Fasting is abstaining from dawn until sunset from the things that break one’s fast, such as intentionally eating, even a bite of bread; drinking, even a small sip of water; or letting anything that has volume into the head, stomach, or intestines through any open inlet like the mouth and nose. The person who drinks or eats while...

How I Pray the Nightfall Prayer

I perform the ^Isha’ Prayer exactly as I perform the Noon Prayer. However, the intention should be: “I now pray the obligatory ^Isha’ Prayer.” Moreover, I recite the Fatihah and the surah after it loudly in the first two rak^ahs.