Salaat with Shoes??

QUESTION

Is  it  permissible  to  perform  Salaat  with  shoes  on?  A  radio  molvi  propagates  that  it  is  permissible  since  it  is  proven  from  the  Hadith although  he  says  that  one  should  not  enter  a  Musjid  with  shoes  for  fear  of    the  carpets  becoming  dirty.  He  contends  that  outside  the Musjid  it  is  a  Sunnah  to  perform  Salaat  with  shoes.  He  mentioned  some  Ahaadith  in  support  of  performing  Salaat  with  shoes.  He  cites Ibn  Taimiyyah  as  his  Imaam  in  support  of  his  view.  Although  it  is  Sunnah,  he  says  that  because  of  the  carpets  this  Sunnah  should  not  be  observed.  Please  comment.  Something  does  not  seem  right  in this molvi’s reasoning.

ANSWER [By Mujlisul Ulama]

Everything  in  his  warped  and  spurious  argument  is  wrong.  The  brains of  radio  molvis  are  convoluted  with  fisq  and  fujoor.  In  addition  they  are  plain  morons  lacking  in  knowledge.  With  the  smattering  of  defective  knowledge  contaminated  with  their  fisq  and  fujoor  they  wander aimlessly  from  one  stupid  blunder  to  another. 

Let  us  momentarily  assume  that  it  is  permissible.  What  need  did  this  moron  molvi  see  in  embarking  on  this  futile  topic  and  making  a  stupid  contention  which  is  in  conflict  of  the  unanimous  fourteen  century  practice  of  the  entire  Ummah,  right  from  the  era  of  the  Sahaabah  to  this  day  in  all  lands  of  Islam  and  among  all  persuasions  and  sects?  While  there  are  a  hundred  important  issues  affecting  the  community,  the  jaahil  digs  up  futility  to  create  an  unnecessary  controversy  and  to  waste  time  with  his rodomontade  display  of  stupid  ‘erudition’.

The  fourteen  century  Tawaaruth  of  the  Ummah  is  more  than  sufficient  evidence  for  the  validity  of  the  practice  of  removing  shoes  when performing  Salaat.  But  stupid  molvis  who  hallucinate  that  they  are  ‘mujtahids’  ignore  the  rulings  of  the  Fuqaha  and  dig  out  Ahaadith  of which  they  lack  understanding  and  expertise.  The    function  of  the muqallid  is  to  adhere  to  the  Taqleed  of  the  Math-hab,  not  to  dig  Ahaadith  from  the  kutub  to    bolster  his  corrupt  opinion  which  conflicts  with  the  Ijma’ of  the  Ummah.

When  someone  asked  Hadhrat  Abu  Hurairah  (Radhiyallahu  anhu)  whether  Rasulullah  (Sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  had  performed  Salaat  with  na’lain,  he  replied:  “Yes.”  Firstly,  the  na’lain  which  they  wore fourteen  centuries  ago  were  not  the  type  of  shoes  which  we  wear today.  The  shoes  of  that  era  were  soft,  open  sandals  with  the  toes exposed.  With  such  sandals  valid  Sajdah  could  be  performed,  not  so with  today’s  shoes  and  boots.

Secondly,  what  had  constrained  the  man  to  pose  this  question  to  Hadhrat  Abu  Hurairah  (Radhiyallahu  anhu)?  If  it  was  the  norm  to  perform  Salaat  with  shoes,  then  what  need  did  he  have  to  ask  what  is  already  a  known  and  established  fact?  Why  did  he  not  ask:  ‘Did Rasulullah  (Sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  perform  Salaat  without  shoes?’  He  had  no  need  to  pose  this  question  because  it  was  the  normal  and permanent  practice  to  perform  Salaat  bare-footed,  not  with  shoes.  The  tenor  of  the  question  clearly  indicates  that  the  question  relates  to    an exception,  not  to  the  norm.   

Performing  Salaat  with  shoes  was  the  exception,  and  that  exception  was  constrained  by  the  need  to  oppose  the  Yahood,  hence  Rasulullah  (Sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam),  said  in  this  regard, ‘Oppose the Yahood.’ Performing  Salaat  with  shoes  has  no  bearing  on  the  significance  and  perfection  of  Salaat.  The  perfection  of  Salaat  and  the  attainment  of  Khushu’  and  Khudhu’  in  Salaat  are  not  reliant  on  wearing  shoes  in Salaat.  It  has  been  occasioned  by  an  external  factor.  It  was  temporarily  ordered  as  a  measure  of  opposition  to  the  Yahood.  However,  the  Fuqaha  have  ruled  that  since  the  Ahl-e-Kitaab  no  longer  enter  their  churches  and  temples  without  shoes,  this  raison  d’etre  (Illat)  no  longer  exists  to  justify    performing  Salaat  with  shoes.  On  the  contrary,  in  this  era  and  since  many  centuries  ago,  opposing  the  Ahl-e-Kitaab  is  in performing  Salaat  without  shoes,  for  their  practice  is  to  pray  with  shoes. The  Fuqaha  have  clarified  this  aspect.  

“Those  who  have  said  that  wearing  shoes  is  Mustahab  said  so  on  the  basis  of  opposing  the  Yahood.  However,  the  Ahl-e-Kitaab  now  pray  with  their  shoes.  Thus  opposition  to  them  is  by  means  of  removing  the shoes,  not  in wearing  the  shoes.”  [Bazlul  Majhood].

On  the  occasion  of  the  Conquest  of  Makkah,  Rasulullah  (Sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  removed  his  shoes  for  Salaat.  Thus  the  Fuqaha  say  that  this  is  the  last  of  the  two  acts,  and  it  has  precedence  over  the occasional  performance  of  Salaat  with  shoes  which  was  the  effect  of  an  external  factor.

The  contention  that  there  is  a  difference  between  performing  Salaat with  shoes  outside  the  Musjid  and  inside  the  Musjid,  is    baseless.  The  moron  says  that  the  shoes  will  dirty  the  carpets.  This  means  that  according  to  the  jaahil,  Salaat  may  be  performed  outside  the  Musjid  with  dirty  shoes  and  boots.  The  only  difference  is  that  the  Musjid  has  greater  reverence  and  demands  greater  respect  than  other  places.  But  the  rule  pertaining  for  Salaat  with  and  without  shoes  remains  the  same  for  both  the  Musjid  and  other  venues.  If  entry  into  the  Musjid  is precluded  because  of  dirty  shoes,  then  why  does  the  moron  not  contend  the  permissibility  with  clean  shoes?  So  how  does  he  accept  dirty  shoes  for  Salaat  on  the  outside,  but  not  for  the  inside of  the  Musjid? 

Performing  Salaat  with  shoes  on  is  disrespectful.  The  permission  granted  was  temporary  and  occasioned  by  a  specific  reason,  viz., opposing  the  Yahood.  But  this  is  no  longer  applicable  today.  Allaamah Anwar Kashmiri said:  

“There  is  no doubt  that  adab  (respect)  and  tawaadhu’  (humility)  are  in removing  the  shoes,  not  wearing  it  (i.e.  when  performing  Salaat).”  – [Ma-aarifus Sunan Sharh Sunan Tirmizi]

In  Umdatul  Mufti,  it  appears: “Verily  entry  (into  the  Musjid)  with  shoes  is  evil  mannerism.”

Ibn  Daqeequl  Eed  said:  “Salaat  with  shoes  is  not  Mustahab  because  it  is  not  included  in  the  objectives  of  Salaat.”

Allaamah  Shabbeer  Ahmad  Uthmaani  says  in  Sharh  Muslim,  and  similarly  is  it  in  Bazlul  Majhood:  “The  Hadith  indicates  that  Salaat  with  shoes  was  ordered  in  opposition  to  the  Yahood.  However,  in  our  age  it  is  proper  for  the  order  to  be  to  perform  Salaat  without  shoes  in  opposition  to  the  Nasaara,  for  they  pray  with shoes.”

Allaamah  Shaikh  Muhammad  Zaahid  Al-Kauthari  says  in  his Maqaalaat:

“Salaat  with  shoes  will  be  valid  if  they  are  taahir  (clean)  and  do  not prevent  placement  of  the  base  of  the  toes  on  the  ground  as  this  is  of  the  completion  of  Sajdah  as  explained  by  Al-Khataabi  and  others.  The shoes  during  the  era  of  Nabi  (Sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  were  soft  (i.e.  sandals  with  the  toes  exposed  and  free).  On  the  contrary,  the  solid (firm/hard)  shoes  of  this  age  do  not  allow  the  Musalli  to  perfect  Sajdah in  them.  Furthermore  the  Musjid  of  Nabi  (Sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam) was  strewn  with  pebbles…….It  was  inconceivable  for  filth  to  be attached  to  the  shoes  of  Nabi  (Sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam),  for  he  did  not  walk  in  filthy  streets.  The  alleyways  of  Madinah  were  clean,  devoid  of  filth  as  a  result  of  the  obedience  of  the  Sahaabah  to  the  command  of Rasulullah  (Sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  to  adopt  total  cleanliness  in the  homes  and  outside  the  houses,  and  to  a  greater  extent    the  Homes of  Allah  (i.e. the  Musaajid).  

Thus  it  was  simple  for  one  to  walk  without  trampling  on  filth. Furthermore,  the  ground  was  sandy  and  soft  preventing  any  splatter  (of  moisture)……….On  the  contrary,  the  roads    and  toilets  of  today  —  it  is not  possible  to  completely  avoid    trampling  on  filth  and  being    safe  from  splattering  (of  filthy  water)  on  to  shoes  because  the  floors  of  toilets  are  firm  (tiled,  cemented).  This  is  further  aggravated  when  one  stands to urinate  in  western  style  (high toilets  and  urinals). 

It  is  authentically  reported  that  on  the  occasion  of  the  Conquest  of  Makkah,  Nabi  (Sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  had  removed  his  shoes  for  Salaat.  Thus,  this  is  the  last  of  the  two  acts  (i.e.  with  shoes  and  without shoes). 

The  one  who  avers  that  wearing  shoes  (for  Salaat)  is  Mustahab,  i.e.  when  the  conditions  for  permissibility  are  found,  regards  it  as  Mustahab  because  of  opposition  to  the  Yahood.  But  today  the  Ahl-e-Kitaab  enter  their  temples  and  pray  with  their  shoes.  Therefore,  opposing  them  is  in removing  the  shoes,  not  in wearing  them.  

The  response  of  Anas  (Radhiyallahu  anhu),  i.e.  him  saying  ‘Yes’,  to  the  question:  ‘Did  he  perform  Salaat  with  shoes?’,  does  not  imply  that this  was  always  so.  This  has  been  explained  in  Sharh  Muslim  of Nawawi………In  fact,  today  it  is  regarded  as  evil  mannerism  to  enter  the  Musaajid  with  shoes  as  mentioned  by  Nawawi  and  Al-Ubbi  in  Sharh  Muslim,  and  Ali  Qaari  in  Sharh  Mishkaat,  and  Muqri  in  Fathul Muta-aal,  and  Al-Lakhnowi  in    Ghaayatul  Maqaal,  and  Ibn  Abi  As-Sijistaani  in  Munyatul  Mufti,  and  Al-Hamawi  in  Al-Ashbaah.  In  fact  for them  there  is  a  precedent  in  the  Sahaabah  (Radhiyallahu anhum)…………..

In  fact,  one  should  not  enter  the  Musjid  with  the  shoes  taken  off  except  that  they  are  covered  (e.g.  in  a  packet,  for  it  is  disrespectful  to  walk  in  the  Musjid  with  the  shoes  exposed  in  one’s  hands)…….In  Kitaabul Umm,  Imaam  Shaafi’  said:  ‘I  prefer  that  one  should  not  make  Sajdah  with  shoes  which  prevent  contact  of  the  feet (toes)  with  the  ground.”

The  moron  radio  molvi  and  all  of  these  so-called  ‘deobandi’  facebook  juhala  molvis  being  extremely  defective  in  Knowledge,  are  affected and influenced  by  the  Salafi  morons  who  cite  some  Ahaadith  which  they  interpret  according  to  their  whimsical  and  nafsaani  fancies.  It  is  for  this reason  that  this  radio  molvi  cites  Ibn  Taimiyyah  who  had  deviated  from the  Path  of  the  Ahlus  Sunnah  by  having  abandoned  the  Taqleed  of  the Mathaahib.  The  moron  radio  molvi  had  no  one  better  to  present  as daleel  other  than  Ibn  Taimiyyah.  This  amply  illustrates  his  bankruptcy in the academic field.

Furthermore,  the  moron  radio  molvi  has  simply  lapped  up  what  Salafis  propagate  via  the  internet.  He  has  disgorged  nothing  but  the  spurious and  baseless  ‘proofs’  of  the  Salafis  in  his  bid  to  bolster  the  Salafi teaching  of  the  ‘sunnah’  of  performing  Salaat  with  shoes.  In  so  doing he has displayed stark intellectual density.

Performing  Salaat  without  shoes  which  is  the  standard  fourteen  century  practice  of  the  Ummah  right  from  the  time  of  Rasulullah  (Sallallahu alayhi  wasallam),  is  based  on  Adab  (Respect),  Tawaadhu’  (Humility) and  cleanliness.  On  the  occasion  when  Musaa  (Alayhis  salaam)  was  appointed  the  Nabi,  Allah  Ta’ala  commanded him:

“Verily,  I  am  your  Rabb.  Remove  your  shoes,  for  verily,  you  are    in  the  holy  Valley  of  Tuwa.”  [Taahaa,  Aayat  12]

In  the  tafseer  of  this  Aayat,  Hadhrat  Mufti  Muhammad  Shafi’  says  in Ma-aariful  Qur’aan:       

“The  command  to  remove  shoes  was  either  because  the  place  was  a  venue  of  Adab  (Respect).  Removing  the  shoes  and  walking  barefoot  are  the  demands  of  Adab,  or  the  command  was  because  the    shoes  were  made  of  the  skin  of  dead  animals  as  is  mentioned  in  some  narrations. However,  Hadhrat  Ali,  Hasan  Basri  and  Ibn  Juraij  (Radhiyallahu anhum)  narrate  the  first  reason  (i.e.  to  observe  respect  for  the  place  of holiness).

Another  reason  for  removing  the  shoes  was  for  the  bared  feet  to  acquire  the  benefit/barkat  of  the  holy  ground.  According  to  some,  this command  was  for  the  purpose  of  Khushu’  and  Tawaadhu’.  And  this  was  the  practice  of  the  Salafus  Saalihen  when  they  would  make  Tawaaf  of  Baitullah.    
Once  when  Rasulullah  (Sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  saw  Bishr  Bin  Khasaasiyah  (Radhiyallahu  anhu)  walking  in  the  graveyard  with  shoes on,  he  (Nabi  –Sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  said:  “When  you  are  in  a  place  of  this  kind (i.e. a holy  place),  then  remove  your  shoes.” That  is, a  place  which  has  to  be  honoured / respected / revered.

The  issue  is  not  the  validity  of  Salaat  performed  with  shoes  on.  There  is no  gainsaying  that  Salaat  performed  with  shoes  will  be  valid  on  the basis of two conditions:

(1)  The  shoes  must  be  taahir  (paak/clean).
(2)  There  must  be  contact  between  the  base  of  the  toes  and  the ground.

Generally,  in  these  times  both  these  conditions  are  lacking.  It  is  standard  practice  to  go  into  the  toilets  with  shoes.  People  walk  all  over  the  show  with  their  shoes.  There  is  overwhelming  certitude  for  the impurity  of  the  shoes.  Then,  the  type  of  shoes  which  people    generally  wear  nowadays,  prevent   contact   between  the  toes  and  the  ground.  The  toes  are  suspended  in  mid-air  inside  the  shoes/boots  rendering  the  Salaat  invalid.

Furthermore,  the  validity  of  Salaat  on  the  basis  of  the  two  conditions  does  not  render  Salaat  with  shoes  Sunnah.  Only  radio  and  facebook  molvis  and  Salafis  who  suffer  from  the  mental  malady  of  ghabaawat (density  in  the  brains)  believe  that  performing  Salaat  with  shoes  is  Sunnah.  The  Qur’aan  as  well  as  the  aforementioned  Hadith  categorically  command  the  removal  of  shoes  when  in  a  place  of  holiness.  This  applies  to even  the  Qabrustaan,  and  to  a  greater  degree  to the  Musaajid.

With  shoes  on  was  a  temporary  measure  occasioned  by  a  specific  purpose  which  was  opposition  to  the  Yahood.  This  objective  no  longer exists,  and  even  whilst  it  was  still  in  existence,  the  normal  practice  of  the  Sahaabah  was  removal  of  shoes.  And,  this  was  the  practice  of  the  Auliya  whilst  making  Tawaaf  at  the  time  when  there  were  no  carpets  and  no  tiles  in  the  Mataaf  area.  Even  whilst  the  entire  area  was  sandy  and  strewn  with  pebbles,  they  would  remove  their  shoes  because  this  is  the  demand  of  respect and  humility  (Adab  and Tawaadhu’). 

There  is  no  Adab  and  Tawaadhu’  performing  Salaat  with  the  shoes  with  which  one  enters  the  toilet  and  tramples  on  najaasat.  Commenting  on  this  issue,  Al-Ubbi  says:  

“Regarding  taking  uncovered  shoes  into  the  Musjid  (i.e.  carrying  the  shoes  in  the  hand  without  it  being  covered):  Ash-Shaikh  As-Saalih Abu  Ali  Al-Qarwi  asked  Ash-Shaikh  Al-Faqeeh  As-Saalih  Abul  Hasan Al-Muntasir  about  this.  He  (i.e.  Shaikh  Al-Muntasir)  said:  ‘O  Sayyidi, did  you  not  inform  me  that  my  Sayyid  Abu  Muhammad  Az-Zawaawi  had  seen  you  placing  your  shoes  uncovered    by  the  pillar,  then  he  said: ‘O  Rahat  (Rahat  is  a  group  of  men  not  exceeding  ten)!  People  follow  you,  therefore  do  not  do  so. (i.e.  do  not  place    uncovered  shoes  in  the  Musjid).’       
Thereafter  Shaikh  Al-Qarwi  would  narrate  (this  issue)  by  saying: ‘Al-Muntasir  narrated  to  me  from  me  that  Az-Zawaawi  disapproved  of  it  (i.e.  of  taking  shoes  uncovered  into  the  Musjid).’    

Similar  to  this  is  stated  in  Mudkhal  of  Ibnul  Haaj  Al-Maaliki.  In  this  manner  would  the  Maaliki  Ulama  observe  good  moral  character  with  their  brother  Ulama  of  the  other  Math-habs.  Opposing  all  of  these  Ulama  is  not  an  insignificant  issue  for  those  who  have  baseerat  (Deeni wisdom).

“Ibn  Hajar  Al-Makki  says  in  Sharhil  Mishkaat  in  the  commentary  of  the  Hadith:  “Oppose  the  Yahood”:  “Its  effect  (i.e.  the  effect  of  this command)  is  the  preference  of  Salaat  with  shoes.  However,  Al-Khattaabi  said:  ‘It  is  narrated  from  Imaam  Shaafi’  that  Adab  (Respect)  is  to  remove  the  shoes  for  Salaat.’  It  is  appropriate  to  reconcile  (the conflict,  i.e.  between  the  Hadith  and  Imaam  Shaafi’s  view)  by  saying  that  the  order  in  the  Khabr  (to  wear  shoes  in  Salaat)  is  when  there  is certitude  regarding  the  purity  of  the  shoes  and  the  fulfilment  of  Sajdah  by  being  able  to  make  Sajdah  on  all  the  toes    (by  means  of  the  toes touching    the  ground)  whereas  the  view  of  Imaam  Shaafi’  (i.e.  it  is  Adab  to  remove  shoes  for  Salaat)  relates  to  the  contrary  of  this  (i.e. when  any  of  the  two  essential  conditions  is  lacking).”

“However,  Mulla  Ali  Qaari  in  Sharhul  Mishkaat  refuting  this reconciliation,  says:  “This  (interpretation)  is  a  manifest  error  because  the  (logical)  conclusion  is  that  if  there  is  certitude  on  the  impurity  of the  shoes,  and  fulfilment  of  Sajdah  is  not  possible,  then  removing  the  shoes  will  not  be  Adab.  On  the  contrary,  it  will  in  fact  be  Waajib  to  remove  the  shoes.  It  is  therefore  best  to  say  that  the  view  of  Shaafi’  is  that  Adab  is  due  to  the  last  of  the  two  acts  of  Rasulullah  (Sallallahu alayhi  wasallam)  and  that  is  the  removal  of  shoes.  Or  to  say  that  Adab  in  our  age  in  the  absence  of  the  Yahood  and  Nasaara  or  when  they  no longer  observe  the  practice  (of  removing  shoes)  is  to  remove  the shoes.”

“Among  the  evidences  that  removal  of  shoes  (for  Salaat)  is  the  last  of  the  two  acts  is  the  Hadith  of  Abdullah  Bin  Saa-ib  (Radhiyallahu  anhu)  that  he  saw  during  the  year  of  the  Conquest  (of  Makkah)  Rasulullah (Sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  removing  his  shoes  for  Salaat………… There  is  unanimity  of  the  Ulama  that  today  Salaat  in  street  shoes  is  in  conflict  with  Adab,  even  if  they  are  clean.  In  fact,  it  is  soo’  adab  (evil mannerism).  See  detailed  elaboration  in    Munyatul  Mufti  of  Sijistaani, Fathul  Muta-aal  of  Allaamah  Al-Muqri,  Sharhul  Mishkaat  of  Mulla Ali  Qaari,  Ghaayatul  Maqaal  of  Allaamah  Abdul  Hayy  Lucknowi, etc.”         [Ma-aarifus Sunan] 

The  aforementioned  reconciliation  attempted  by  Al-Khattaabi  is  baseless  for  the  simple  reason  that  it  will  not  be  merely  Adab  to  remove  the  shoes  if  any  one  of  the  two  essential  conditions  is  lacking.  On  the  contrary,  it  will  be  Waajib.  Hence,  Imaam  Shaafi’s    unequivocal  contention  of      removing  the  shoes  being  Adab  relates  to  the  scenario  of  the  fulfilment  of  both  conditions,  i.e.  even  if  both  conditions  are fulfilled,  then  too  it  is  Adab  to  remove  the  shoes  for  Salaat  since  this  was  the  last  act  of  Rasulullah  (Sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  regarding  this  matter.  Furthermore,  the  former  act  of  keeping  the  shoes  on  was  a temporary  measure  occasioned  by  a  specific  reason,  viz.,  opposing  the  Yahood.  Thus  it  is  Ma’moor  bil  Illat  –  the    disappearance  of  the  Illat cancelling  the  hukm.  And,  this  has  been  practically  demonstrated  by  the  Tawaaruth  of  the  Ummah  since  the  very  age  of  Rasulullah  (Sallallahu alayhi  wasallam).  Thus,  although  initially  there  was  Nudb  (but  not  Adab)  in  keeping  the  shoes  on,  the  temporary  abandonment  of  the  Adab  stated  by  all  the  Fuqaha  was  tolerable  on  account  of  the    need  to fulfil  the  command  of  opposing  the  Yahood.

In  denunciation  of  those  who  persist  in  contending  the  ‘sunniyat’  of  Salaat  with  shoes  despite  the  changed  circumstances  and  conditions prevalent  in  these  times  regarding  the  filth  of  roads  and  toilets,  and  the  type  of  shoes  preventing  proper  Sajdah,  Allaamah  Yusuf  Bin-Noori (Rahmatullah  alayh)  said  that  they  are  people  who  are  mareedhul  qalb (diseased  in    their    hearts),  zanikhul  aql  (rancid  in  the  brains  –  mentally deranged),  muta’aamin  anil  haqaaiq  (blind  to  the  realities),  and  arrogant.  They  do  not  deserve  any  attention.

These  epithets  and  brief  character  sketch  adequately  apply  to  the  radio  molvi  and  to  all  facebook  juhala  molvis.  Allaamah  Anwar  Kashmiri (Rahmatullah  alayh)  concluding  his  elucidation  on  this  topic,  says: “Verily,  the  views  of  the  Ahl-e-Ilm  unanimously  agree  that  in  this  age,  Salaat  with    shoes  (the  type  of  today’s  shoes)  is  in  conflict  with  Adab even  if  they  are  taahir  (clean/paak).  In  fact  it  is  soo-e-adab”   (evil / rotten manners). 

It  has  always  been  the  belief  and  practice  of  the  Ummah  that  Adab  is  in  removal  of  shoes,  not  only  when  entering  the  Musjid,  but  for  all  places of  respect  –  the  Qabrustaan,  the  Mataaf,  the  Musaajid  and  even  homes. The  practice  of  Hadhrat  Bishr  Haafi  (Rahmatullah  alayh)  is  well-known. He  is  called  haafi  (bare-footed)   because  he  perceived  the  entire  earth  to  be    a  carpet  spread  by  Allah  Ta’ala,  hence  it  was  not  befitting  to  walk  on  Allah’s  Carpet  with  shoes.  Allah  Ta’ala  ordered  the  birds  to  ensure  that  their  droppings  do  not  fall  in  the  places  where  Bishr  Haafi walked.  The  point  here  is  not    the  imposition  of  Hadhrat  Bishr  Haafi’s  perception  and  ‘sunnat’  on  anyone.  The  issue  is  that  removal  of  shoes  is  Adab.

In  Ihyaaul  Uloom,  Imaam  Ghazaali  states  that  Hadhrat  Abdullah  Ibn ‘Umar  (Radhiyallahu  anhu)  used  to  remove  his  shoes  from  Zee  Tuwa  before  entering  the  Haram  Shareef.  At-Tabraani  has  narrated  this  from  Ibn  Az-Zubair.  The  pious  Hujjaaj  of  bygone  times  on  their  way  to  Makkah  would  remove  their  shoes  at  Zee  Tuwa  in  respect  of  the  Haram.  From  Zee  Tuwa  they  would  walk  all  the  way  bare-footed  to  the Haram  Shareef.  Thus,  humility,  respect  and  reverence,  are  in  removing  shoes  when  performing  Salaat.  The  temporary  measure  in  the  initial phase  of  Islam  does  not  negate  the  standard  practice  of  the  Ummah  in  vogue  since  the  age  of  Rasulullah  (Sallallahu alayhi  wasallam).

SUMMARY

(1)  Performing  Salaat  in  shoes  was  a  temporary  measure  to  oppose  the Yahood. This cause for the order no longer exists in this age.

(2)  Before  the  order  to  don  shoes  as  well  as  thereafter,  the  standard practice was always to perform Salaat without shoes.

(3)  The  last  act  of  Rasulullah  (Sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  as  observed on  the  occasion  of  the  Conquest  of  Makkah,  was  the  removal  of  shoes at the time of Salaat.

(4)    The  shoes  which  were  permissible    to  wear  in  Salaat  were  soft, flexible  leaving  all  the  toes  open    and    allowing  the    proper performance of Sajdah. 

(5)   The  streets  in  the  desert  terrain  of  Madinah  were  sandy  and exceptionally  clean.  There  was  no  waste  and  filth  in  the  streets  as  is generally the case nowadays.

(6)    Performing  Salaat  with  the  type  of  shoes  we  wear  is  stupidly incongruous and  prevents  the proper  performance of  Sajdah.

(7)  It is highly disrespectful to perform Salaat with shoes on.

(8) The kuffaar pray with their shoes on.

(9)  According  to  Islamic  culture  (i.e.  the  Sunnah)  observance  of  respect and  humility  is  in  removing  shoes,  not  in  wearing  shoes  when performing Salaat or when in holy places. 

(10)  Just  as  it  is  haraam  to  enter  the  Musjid  with  dirty  shoes,  so  too  is  it haraam to perform Salaat outside the Musjid with dirty shoes.

(11)  Radio  and  facebook  moron  molvis  have  become  the  muqallideen of  the  Salafis  whose  arguments  they  lap  up  from  the  internet  which  is the  limit  of  their   defective   knowledge.

‘Kun Faya koon’ [Be! and it Comes to be] in the Light of Philosophy

[Mufti Muhammad Shafi’ Usmani (rahimahullah)]

As  for  creation  taking  place  through  the  Divine  Command,  “Be”,  we  would  like  to  add  a note,  following  the  example  of  Maulana  Ashraf  ‘Ali  Thanavi  in  his  “Bayan  al-Qur’an”,  for  the benefit  of  those  who happen to be  interested  in Western  philosophy,  or  in  Christian  theology,  or,  worst  of  all,  in  the  writings  of  the Orientalists  and  their  translations  of  Sufi texts. 

Let  us  begin  by  saying  that  it  is  a  mystery  —  and  we  are  using  the  word  “mystery”, not  in  the  debased  and  the  modern  sense,  but  in  the  original  meaning  of  the  term  which  implies  that  certain  realities  are  altogether  beyond  the  reach  of  human  understanding,  and  that  certain  other  realities  cannot  and  must  not,  even  when  partially  or wholly  understood,  be  given  out  to  those  who  have  no  aptitude  for  receiving  them,  and  that  with  regard  to  them  it  is  advisable  “to  keep one’s  lips  closed.”  In  these  matters,  when  and  what  one  chooses  to reveal  is  ultimately  not  the  question  of  liberalism  or  democratism  or  egalitarianism,  but  that  of  “spiritual etiquette.”  Having  repeated  the warning  given  by  Maulana  Thanavi himself,  we  shall  do  no  more  than  explaining  what  “Bayan al-Qur’an”  says  on  the  subject.

Regarding  this  particular  mystery,  there  is  a  difference  of  approach  between  the  two  groups  of  the  Mutakallimin  (the  masters  of  al-‘Ilm al-Kalam  or  dialectical  theology).  According  to  the  Asha’ri  group,  “Be,  and  it  comes  to  be”  (Kun  fa  Yakoon)  is  a  metaphorical  or allegorical  expression.  That  is  to  say,  the  phrase  does  not  signify  that  Allah  actually  addressed  an  existent  and  commanded  it  “to be”,  but  it  is an  allegorical  illustration  of  His  omnipotence,  suggesting  that  there  is  no  interval  between  an  act  of  will  on  His  part  and  its  realization.  The  commentator  al-Baydawi  has  adopted  this  view.  But,  according  to  the Maturidi  group,  the  phrase  literally  means  what  it  says.  This  approach  to  the  subject,  however,  produces  a  difficult  problem.  A  command  is  given  only  to  an existent.  If  a  thing  does  not  exist  at  all,  how  can  Allah  address  it?  On  the  other  hand,  if  a  thing  does  already  exist,  it  is  superfluous  to  command  it  “to  be.”  The  problem  can  easily  be  resolved  if  we  keep  two  considerations  in  mind.  Firstly,  this  command  does  not  belong  to  the  order  of  Tashri’ (legislation)  which  requires  the  addressee  to  exist  in  actual)  fact  and  to  possess  understanding;  it  belongs  to  the  order  of  Takween: (creation)  which  is  concerned  with  giving  existence  to  non-existents.

This  explanation,  in  its  turn,  brings  us  into  the  thick  of  a  controversy  that  has  muddled  a  great  deal  of  Western  philosophy  and  theology.  We refer  to  the  question  of  “creation  arising  out  of  nothingness”  (Ex Nihilo), and  the  second  of  our  two  considerations  will  clarify  it.  It  is  usual enough  to  place  “existence”  (Wujud)  in  opposition  to  “nothingness  or non-existence”  (Adam).  But  it  has  also been  said  that  non-existence  does  not  exist.  For,  Allah  is  omniscient,  and  Divine  Knowledge  comprehends  everything  that  has  been,  or  is,  or  will  be,  so  that  what  does  not  yet  exist  according  to  our  reckoning,  does  already  exist  in Divine  Knowledge.  To  use  a  different  expression,  everything  past,  present  or  future  has  its  “pure”  and  “subtle”  counterpart  in  Divine  Knowledge.  If  Western  terminology  should  be  more  easily  comprehensible  to  some  of  our  readers,  we  can  call  these  Prototypes,  Numbers,  or  Essences,  or  Ideas  or  Archetypes,  but  each  time  we  will  have  to  give  a  more  refined  and  a  higher  signification  to  these  terms than  Pythagoras  or  Plato  ever  did.  The  Sufis,  however,  call  them “Al-A’yan al-Thabitah.”  With  the  help  of  this  explanation  we  can  see  that  when  Allah  wishes  to  create  a  thing,  He  commands  its  Essence, which  already  exists  in  His  Knowledge,  “to  be”,  and  it  “comes  to  be”  — that  is  to  say,  comes  to  be  actualised  in  the  world.  Thus,  “creation”  does  not  arise  out  of  “nothingness.”  Before  a  thing  comes  to  exist  as  an  “actuality”  in  the  world,  it  already  exists  as  a  “potentiality”  in  Divine Knowledge.  It  is  this  “potentiality”  to  which  the  Divine  Command  “Be” is  addressed.  Hence,  it  is  equally  true  to  say  that  Essences  do  not  exist,  and  to  say  that  Essences  do  exist.  The  first  statement  pertains  to  the knowledge  of  the  creatures,  and  the  second  to  the  Divine  Knowledge.

At  the  end,  we  shall  again  insist  that  no  good  can  come  out  of  unnecessarily  meddling  with  such  delicate  questions,  specially  if  the  purpose  is  no  more  than  to  seek  a  new  sensation.

[Taken from Ma’ariful Qur’an]

Six Fasts of Shawwaal

[Jamiatul Ulama Gauteng]

HOW TO GET THE REWARD OF FASTING FOR THE WHOLE YEAR!!!

The Month of Shawwal begins with one of the most auspicious days – Eid ul Fitr. Eid ul Fitr is a day of great ibaadah and a day of immense happiness.

The month of Shawwal is further enhanced by the six voluntary fasts which can be kept within it.

Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) reports that: “Whoever completes the fasts of Ramadan and then follows it with the six fasts of Shawwal, it will carry the thawaab (reward) of fasting for the whole year.” (Muslim)

Scholars have commented on the six fasts stating that every good deed is multiplied by ten, therefore the reward of 30 days of Ramadan amounts to the reward of 300 days of fasting.

The six fasts of Shawwal amounts to the rewards of 60 more days, hence raising the aggregate reward to 360 – a whole year’s reward of fasting!

This hadith has described the great thawab of six fasts of this month. Therefore, the Muslims should take this opportunity of acquiring such an enormous reward from Allah. It is more preferable to start these fasts from the 2nd of Shawwaal and keep fasting up to the 7th of it. However, if, they are kept in other days, it is hoped that the requirement of the above hadith may also be fulfilled.

Proofs for the Hanafi Procedure of Salat al-‘Id

[By Mufti Zameelur Rahman]

Hadith One: A Sahih Marfoo‘ Hadith

Near the end of his Sharh Ma‘ani al-Athar (2:371, Maktabah Haqqaniyyah), Imam al-Tahawi (d. 321 H) narrates:

علي بن عبد الرحمن ويحيى بن عثمان قد حدثانا قالا: ثنا عبد الله بن يوسف عن يحيى بن حمزة قال: حدثني وضين بن عطاء أن القاسم أبا عبد الرحمن حدثه قال: حدثني بعض أصحاب رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال:

صلى بنا النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم يوم عيد، فكبر أربعا أربعا، ثم أقبل علينا بوجهه حين انصرف، فقال: لا تنسوا كتكبير الجنائز، وأشار بأصابعه وقبض إبهامه

Translation

‘Ali ibn ‘Abd al-Rahman and Yahya ibn ‘Uthman narrated to us, they said: ‘Abd Allah ibn Yusuf narrated to us: From Yahya ibn Hamzah, he said: Wadin ibn ‘Ata’ narrated to me that al-Qasim Abu ‘Abd al-Rahman narrated to him, he said: One of the companions of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) narrated to me, he said:

“The Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) prayed with us on the day of ‘Id, so did takbir, four [in the first rak‘ah] and four [in the second], and then he turned to us with his face when he finished and he said: ‘Do not forget, [the takbirs of ‘Id are] like the takbir of janazah.’ And he gestured with his fingers and clutched his thumb (signalling the number four).”

Meaning

The “four” takbirs of the first rak‘ah mentioned in this narration includes the opening takbir (takbirat al-iftitah) as the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) drew a comparison with the takbirs of Janazah in which one of the four takbirs is also of the opening  takbir. Furthermore, the four takbirs in the second rak‘ah  includes the takbir said when going into ruku‘. Hence, the additional takbirs are in fact six. This meaning is clear from other narrations, some of which are reproduced below.

Authenticity

‘Allamah Badr al-Din al-‘Ayni (d. 855 H) said about this narration: “And this is a sahih chain and its narrators are trustworthy.” (Nukhab al-Afkar, 16:442)

Here is a brief analysis of the narrators in the chain:

‘Ali ibn ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Muhammad ibn al-Mughirah al-Kufi (d. 272 H), the shaykh of al-Tahawi, known by the agnomen “‘Allan,” was also a shaykh of Imam al-Nasa’i, and he is trustworthy (thiqah). He was declared “trustworthy” (thiqah) by Ibn Yunus and is mentioned in al-Thiqat of Ibn Hibban (Tahrir al-Taqrib, 3:49). ‘Abd Allah ibn Yusuf al-Tinnisi (d. 218 H) is an undisputed Madinan Hadith authority, whose narrations are found in Sahih al-Bukhari, and the Sunans of Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi and Nasai. He is one of the most reliable transmitters of Malik’s Muwatta’ (Tahrir al-Taqrib, 2:288-9). Yahya ibn Hamzah ibn Waqid al-Hadrami (d. 183 H) is thiqah and his narrations are found in all six of the famous hadith collections (Tahrir al-Taqrib, 4:82). Al-Wadin ibn ‘Ata’ ibn Kinanah (d.156) is at least saduq (reliable) if not thiqah. Ahmad, Ibn Ma‘in, Abu Zur‘ah, Ibn Shahin, al-Dhahabi and others declared him thiqah. Although some critics said he is weak, this was due to his beliefs associated with qadar (predestination), which does not detract from his strength as a hadith narrator (Tahrir al-Taqrib, 4:59-60). Al-Qasim ibn ‘Abd al-Rahman Abu ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Dimashqi (d. 112) was a companion of the famous Sahabi, Abu Umamah al-Bahili, and he is thiqah, described so by al-Bukhari, Ibn Ma‘in, al-Tirmidhi, Juzjani and others (Tahrir al-Taqrib, 3:171). Although the Sahabi in this chain is unknown, this does not affect the authenticity of the chain as all Sahabah are trustworthy and reliable by consensus of the Ahl al-Sunnah wa l-Jama‘ah.

Imam al-Tahawi said after narrating the above hadith:

هذا حديث حسن الإسناد وعبد الله بن يوسف ويحى بن حمزة والوضين والقاسم كلهم أهل رواية معروفون بصحة الرواية

“This is a hadith with a hasan chain. ‘Abd Allah ibn Yusuf, Yahya ibn Hamzah, al-Wadin and al-Qasim are all people of transmission, recognised for authenticity in transmission.” (Sharh Ma‘ani al-Athar, 2:371)

Salafi scholar, Al-Albani, said after quoting this statement of al-Tahawi, “It is as he said.” (Silsilat al-Ahadith al-Sahihah, no. 2997)

Hadith Two: The View of Major Sahabah

‘Abd al-Razzaq al-San‘ani narrates in his Musannaf:

عبد الرزاق عن معمر عن أبي إسحاق عن علقمة والأسود بن يزيد قال:

كان ابن مسعود جالسا وعنده حذيفة وأبو موسى الأشعري فسألهما سعيد بن العاص عن التكبير فى الصلاة يوم الفطر والأضحى، فجعل هذا يقول: سل هذا، وهذا يقول: سل هذا، فقال له حذيفه: سل هذا – لعبد الله بن مسعود – فسأله، فقال ابن مسعود:

يكبر أربعا ثم يقرأ فيركع ثم يقوم فى الثانية فيقرأ ثم يكبر أربعا بعد القراءة

Translation

‘Abd al-Razzaq from Ma‘mar (ibn Rashid) from Abu Ishaq (al-Sabi‘i) from ‘Alqamah and al-Aswad ibn Yazid, he said:

Ibn Mas‘ud was sitting and next to him was Hudhayfah (ibn al-Yaman) and Abu Musa al-Ash‘ari, whereupon Sa‘id ibn al-‘As asked these two (i.e. Hudhayfah and Abu Musa) about the takbir in the Salah of the day of Fitr and Adha. So this one began to say, ‘Ask this one,’ and this one to say, ‘Ask this one.’ Then Hudhayfah said to him: ‘Ask this one’ – [pointing] to ‘Abd Allah ibn Mas‘ud. So he asked him. Ibn Mas‘ud said:

“One does takbir four times and then he recites, then he bows, and then he stands in the second (rak‘ah) and he recites, and then he does takbir four times after recitation.” (Musannaf ‘Abd al-Razzaq, no. 5687, 3:293-4, al-Majlis al-‘Ilmi)

Authenticity

This is a very strong chain of narration, with all the narrators being known hadith authorities, found in all six of the famous hadith collections.

Comment

This proves ‘Abd Allah ibn Mas‘ud prayed in the way described in the above hadith, and he issued fatwa on it. And major Sahabah agreed with him. It is also established in other narrations that Ibn Mas‘ud’s students, like ‘Alqamah, Aswad, Masruq and others, would also pray in the same way.

Hadith Three: A Clearer Description

If there is some confusion and ambiguity in the above descriptions regarding the tabkirs, the following hadith makes the procedure completely clear:

Ibn Abi Shaybah narrates:

حدثنا وكيع عن سفيان عن أبي إسحاق عن عبد الله بن أبي موسى…أن أميرا من أمراء الكوفة…بعث إلى عبد الله بن مسعود وحذيفة بن اليمان وعبد الله بن قيس فقال: إن هذا العيد قد حضر فما ترون؟ فأسندوا أمرهم إلى عبد الله، فقال:

تكبر تسعا: تكبيرة تفتتح بها الصلاة‘ ثم تكبر ثلاثا، ثم تقرأ سورة، ثم تكبر ثم تركع ثم تقوم فتقرأ سورة ثم تكبر أربعا تركع بإحداهن

Translation

Waki‘ (ibn al-Jarrah) narrated to us from Sufyan (al-Thawri) from Abu Ishaq (al-Sabi‘i) from ‘Abd Allah ibn Abi Musa…that an emir from the emirs of Kufah…sent for ‘Abd Allah ibn Mas‘ud, Hudhayfah ibn al-Yaman and ‘Abd Allah ibn Qays (i.e. Abu Musa al-Ash‘ari) and he said: ‘Indeed ‘Id has come, so what is your opinion?’ They deferred their matter to ‘Abd Allah, and he said:

“You do nine takbirs: one takbir  with which to open the Salah, and then you do three takbirs, and then you recite a surah, and then you do takbir  and then you bow, and then you stand (in the second rak‘ah) and you recite a surah, and then you do four takbirs and bow with one of them.”

Comment

This is a very clear description of the Hanafi procedure of Salat al-‘Id.

Authenticity

Again, this is an authentic chain. ‘Abd Allah ibn Abi Musa is a very senior Tabi‘i whose narrations are found in Sahih Muslim, and he is thiqah (Taqrib, no. 3547).

Concluding Remarks

Further Support

Furthermore, there is an authentic narration in Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah (no. 5757) that ‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Abbas, the great Makkan Sahabi, also prayed in this way.

Hadiths on the Other Opinion of “Seven and Five” Takbirs

Finally, Imam al-Tahawi criticises all the narrations that say the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) prayed “seven and five,” as they all have problematic narrators in the chains like Kathir ibn ‘Abd Allah, ‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Thaqafi and Ibn Lahi‘ah, and some have inconsistency (idtirab) in the chain. And he says the narration above (hadith one) is free of these defects that are found in those narrations that mention “seven and five.”

Furthermore, the narration above (hadith one) also contains a verbal instruction from the Prophet (peace be upon him) i.e. his saying, “Do not forget, four like the takbirs of Janazah.” And it is known that a verbal hadith is given priority over ones that only describe a practice.

Hadiths on the Position of ‘Abd Allah ibn Mas‘ud in this Ummah

Another important fact that gives support to the Hanafi method is that it was championed by the eminent Sahabi, ‘Abd Allah ibn Mas‘ud (may Allah be pleased with him). Consider the following two narrations:

Al-Hakim narrates in his  Mustadrak (3:319) with his chain that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

رضيت لكم ما رضي لكم ابن أم عبد

“I am pleased for you with what Ibn Umm ‘Abd (i.e. Ibn Mas‘ud) is pleased for you.”

Al-Hakim said it is sahih and al-Dhahabi agreed with him. Muhammad ‘Awwamah analysed the chain and showed it is authentic (footnotes to Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah, 17:193) Al-Albani also deemed it authentic (Silsilah Ahadith Sahihah, no. 1225).

And the Prophet (peace be upon him peace) said:

وتمسكوا بعهد ابن أم عبد

“Hold fast to the instruction of Ibn Umm ‘Abd (i.e. Ibn Mas‘ud).”

It was narrated by al-Tirmidhi, Ahmad, al-Tahawi, Ibn Abi Shaybah and others. Shu‘ayb al-Arna’ut stated it is a “sahih hadith” (footnotes to Sharh Mushkil al-Athar, no.1224)

This, therefore, is a validation from the Prophet (peace be upon him) himself to follow the verdicts and teachings of ‘Abd Allah ibn Mas‘ud.

Eid Mubaarak – Gift of Maghfirah (Forgiveness)

[Mujlisul Ulama]

WHAT IS EID?

Eid is the day of happiness and peace of Muslims or so it should be. Unlike the days of festivity of other nations and religions, the Islamic Eid is not a day of raucous Joy and debauchery which marks the festival occasions of non-Muslims. When Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi wasallam) migrated from Makkah Muazzamah to Madinah Munawwarah, he learnt of the two days of festivity which the people had inherited from the time of jaahiliyyah (ignorance).These days of festivals were days of sport, amusement and the usual acts of the lust associated with customs of paganism, shirk and kufr. Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi wasallam) changed these two days and substituted them with Eid ul fitr and Eidul Adhaa.

IBAADAT

Unlike the festivals of joy, Merry making and revelry of other nations, the days of Eid of Muslims are adorned with Ibaadat, meditation, resolution to be virtuous, charity and kindness. These are among some of the salient features of the days of Islamic festivals. Along with joy and happiness is Ibaadat (worship) and moral reformation. Those who spend the days of Eid in the way members ofother religions do, have no idea of the meaning, significance and sacredness of Eid. Eid is undoubtedly a joyous occasion, but our joy has to be within the limits prescribed for joy by the Shari’ah. If happiness or joy transgresses the bounds of the Shari’ah, it will no longer bedescribed as joy, but will be sin inviting the wrath of Allah Ta`ala. It will then cease to be a day of happiness. On the contrary, it will be transformed into a day of punishment. It does not behove the Muslim to court the displeasure and wrath of Allah Ta`ala on this auspicious day of Eid. It is a day of great thawaab and barakaat. While it is a day of lawful festivity, this happiness should be adorned with obedience and Ibaadat to ensure that we gain the maximum benefits of this wonderful occasion of Eid.

SINNING ON EID

Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi wasallam) said: “He who disobeys Allah on theday of Eid is like a person who disobeys Allah on the day of Qiyaamah.”

Sin is evil, loathsome and punishable at all times.  But to sin on a holy occasion or in a sacred place is extremely abominable and warrants severe punishment in the curse of Allah Ta`ala. Sinning on the day of Eid is like sinning in the presence of Allah Ta’ala on the day of Qiyaamah.

Extraneous and un-Islamic influences coupled with ignorance induce many Muslims to behave like non-Muslims on the days of Eid. They emerge from the month-long Fast of Ramadhaan with the idea that the happiness of the occasion justifies abandonment of the restraints on the nafs applied in the month of Ramadhaan. They feel that Eid is a license of fulfilling the sinful desires of the nafs–the desires which were held in control during the month of Ramadhaan.

They emerge from Ramadhaan as if they have been liberated from a prison. In consequence theyallow the nafs a free run to dominate their intelligence and trample on the demands of Imaan.Many who had abandoned evil places and evil acts during the month of Ramadhaan undo all theirspiritual gains with their indulgence in haraamandfutility on the Day of Eid. It is for this veryreason that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi wasallam) made specific reference to the gravity of sin on the Day of Eid–it is like sinning in front of Allah Ta’ala on the Day of Qiyaamah.

Sin transforms Eid into a day of mourning. With sin, Eid ceases to be a Day of Joy for the punishment. May Allah Ta’ala save us all from such a calamity.

THE DAY OF MAGHFIRAH AND RAHMAT

Eid is the Day when the Allah Ta’ala announces to the Malaa-ikah that He has forgiven the Fasting Mu’mineen and that He has become pleased with them, and that He has bestowed His special mercy (Rahmat) on them.

Eid is the Day when Malaa-ikah descends on this earth in their multitudes to announce these glad tidings to the Believers wherever they may be. It will indeed be a sad and a ruinous day if these Malaa-ikah find Muslims groveling in sin and disobedience. They deprive themselves of the special rahmat and Maghfirat (forgiveness) which Allah Ta’ala sends as gifts of Eid for this Ummah. It is indeed an unfortunate person who is deprived of these divine gifts on the day of the Eid. The rahmat which descends on the day of Eid multiplies and increases in proportion to the Ibaadat and goodness of conduct displayed on this auspicious occasion. It should be the wish and effort of every Mu’min to be in the state of Ibadat when visited by the Malaa-ikah. And, Ibadat is not confined to only acts of ritual worship. While acts of ritual worship are great and wonderful acts of Ibaadat, acts of kindness, charity and service are likewise wonderful acts of Ibaadat which invite the pleasure of Allah Ta’ala. Thus, this great day of Eid should be spent in only acts which invite Allah’s pleasure and which bring us closer to him.

Our eating, drinking, wearing clothes, walking, speaking and sleeping should all become acts of Ibaadat inviting the pleasure and rahmat of Allah Ta’ala. If carried out in accordance with the Sunnah, then all our worldly and physical acts too will be recorded as acts of Ibaadat. It is therefore necessary to be conscious of our activities, of our statements and of our thoughts. It is the day to reflect and to understand that perhaps you will not have again the opportunity to see Eid next year. Take lessons from those who were here last Eid but are absent today.

THE COMMENCEMENT OF EID

Every holy occasion has its own specialties of blessings, Mercies and benefits. Ramadhaan camewith its wonderful spiritual gifts from Allah Ta’ala’s rahmat on Muslims is perpetual. He does not deprive us of His rahmat. When Ramadan departs, he bestows the special occasion of Eid with all its wonderful spiritual gifts and blessings which also result in worldly goodness for us. With the ending of Ramadan when the crescent moon of Shawwaal is sighted, the special rahmat of Eid ushers in.The fortune of Eid commences from the very night–from the very moment the Eid hilaal (crescent moon) is sighted.

In this regard Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi wasallam) said: “The heart of the one who remains awake (in Ibaadat) during the night of Eid-ul-fitr and Eid-ul-Adhaa will not die on the day when hearts will be dead”

On the day of Qiyaamah, the fear and chaos of the occasion will shock the hearts of men and jinn. A death like fear will pervade them. But the hearts of those who spend time during the nights of Eid will remain fresh and alert. They come within the purview of the Qur’aanic Aayat:

“(There will be no fear on them nor will they grieve)”

The night of Eid is the night which precedes the day of Eid,i.e. the night after sunset of the last of Ramadan. The nights of Eid are wonderful nights of Ibaadat. In a narration it is mentioned that the nights of Eid are like the nights of Qadr or even greater.

The night of Eid should not be squandered in preparation for the next day of festivity. While it is permissible to make preparations for the happiness of the next day, this auspicious night should not be devoted to worldly acts to the exclusion of Ibaadat. Our women folk deprive themselves of the great barakaat of the nights of Eid by spending the greater part of the night in making preparations for the next day of Eid. The nights of Eid are rare occasions of Ibaadat and rahmat. It should be used to gain maximum reward for us.

THE SUNNAT ACTS TO OBSERVE ON EIDUL FITR

It is important that the Masnoon acts of this great occasion be observed. Observance of the Sunnah acts even if these are in worldly form, brings about great blessings and Noor. There is much  in the Sunnah of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhiwasallam). No matter how insignificant a Sunnah act may appear to us, it should not be unnecessarily neglected. The Sunnah acts to observe on the day of Eid-ul-fitr is as follows:

(1) To rise early and perform Ibaadat on Eid night (I.e. Before subuh saadiq)

(2) To offer Tahajjud Salaat. Tahajjud Salaat consists of eight raka`ts, and according to some narrations 12 raka`ts

(3) To engage in reciting takbeer silently fromsubhasaadiq until arrival at the Eidgah

(4) To perform Fajr Salaat in the Musjid of your neighbour

(5) To clip the moustache

(6)To remove pubic hairs

(7)To have a bath

(8)To use a MISWAAK

(9)Wearing new or clean clothes, the best one possesses

(10) Dressing according to the Sunnah.This entails Kurtah, turban, jubbah, etc. Since this was the type of dress Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi wasallam) always wore

(11) To apply perfume

(12) To eat dates in odd numbers before leaving for the Eid Salaat. If the dates are not available then anything sweet will suffice

(13) To offer Eid Salaat at the musallah (Eidgah) even if the Musjidcan accommodate the whole congregation

(14) To proceed to the Eidgah on foot if it is in walking distance

(15) To go to the Eidgah by one routes and return by another

(16) Two set off early for the Eid Salaat

(17) To perform the Salaat first and then the khutbah, without Athaan and Iqaamah

(18) To give sadaqah in abundance

(19) To pay the sadaqatul fitr before the Salaat

(20) To offer 2 or 4 raka`ts nafl Salaat at home after returning from the Eidgah.

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On reaching the Eidgah, continue with the takbeer silently until commencement of the Eid Salaat.

THE EID SALAAT

The Eid Salaat consists of 2 raka’ts which are waajib (compulsory). The Eid Salaat has an extra six waajib tak-beers (i.e.Allahu Akbar). It is a Salaat of shukr (gratitude). We offer this Salaat of gratitude for the wonderful bounties of Ramadhaan and Eid–for Allah’s kindness in seeing us safely through the month of Ramadhaan–for keeping our imaan intact.

The same shuroot (conditions) necessary for the validity of Jumuah Salaat are necessary for the validity of Eid Salaat as well. Thus, Eid Salaat is not performed in a small village, jail or in any place from which the general populace is debarred.

During the Eid Salaat there is neither Athaan nor Iqaamah. The Eid Salaat is performed before the khutbah unlike Jumuah.

The method of the Eid Salaat

1.) The performance of two raka`ts of Salaat on the occasions of Eid-ul-fitr and Eid-ud-dhuhaa is waajib

2.) the two raka`ts Salaat of Eid is followed by two khutbahs which are Sunnah, but to listen to them is waajib

3.) HOW TO PERFORM THE EID SALAAT

i) Niyyat: “I intend to perform 2 raka`ts Eid-ul-fitr (or Eid-ud-dhuhaa) Salaat with 6 waajib takbeers behind this imam”

ii) After Niyyat the imam will proclaim “Allahu–Akbar”. Reciting: ”Allahu–Akbar” silently the muqtadi raises his hands to the ears and folds them as usual. Recite Thana in this position.

iii) After Thana, the imam will proclaim “Allahu–Akbar” thrice, each time raising the hands to the ears and then releasing them along the sides reciting “Allahu–Akbar” silently each time, the muqtadi follows the imam and raises his hand with each takbeer to the ears and then releases them on the sides.

iv) After the third takbeer the hands are folded as is usual in qiyaam, and the imam will now commence the qiraat i.e. Surah Fatiha and some verses of theQur’aan

v) After qiraat, the rakaa`t will be completed as usual with ruku and 2 sajdahs

vi) In the second rakaa’t after the qiraat, the imam will proclaim “Allahu–Akbar” and raise his hands to the ears and release them. The muqtadi should do likewise. The imam will recitealtogether three takbeer after the qiraat in the second rakaa’t when the imam says “Allahu–Akbar” the fourth time (in the second raka’ts) then do not raise the hands, but go immediately into ruku. The rest of the raka`ts is completed as usual.

EID SALAAT MASAA-IL

1) If one joins the Eid Salaat after the imam has already recited the Eid takbeer’s OF the first raka’ts, then:

a) If one has confidence that after reciting the takbeer’s one will be able to join the imam in ruku,then make the Niyyatfor the Salaat and recite the takbeers in qiyaam.

b) if one fears that by reciting that takbeers in qiyaam one will not be able to join the imam in ruku then immediately after Niyyat, join the imam in ruku and recite the takbeers (silently) in ruku instead of the normal ruku tasbeeh, but do not raise the hands (in ruku) while reciting takbeers. If the imam emerges from the ruku before you could complete the takbeer’s, join him. The balance of the takbeers are waived.

2) If one has missed a complete raka’ts of the Eid Salaat, it should be fulfilled as follows: after the imam makes the salaams, rise and recite qiraat. After the qiraat recite the takbeers and completed the Salaat as usual.

3) If one misses the entire Salaat, there is no Qadha and no way of performing this Salaat. One only has two repent and seek forgiveness from Allah Ta’ala for this misfortune one has suffered.

4) On the day of Eid it is not permissible to perform ishraaq or any other nafl Salaat before the Eid Salaat whether in the Eidgah or at home or anywhere else. Ishraaq should be performed at home, not in the Eidgah, after the Eid Salaat.

5) It is not permissible to perform any Nafl Salaat in the Eidgah throughout the day of Eid.

The Musallah-Eidgah

The Musallah or Eidgah is an open field on the outskirts of the town or city where the Eid Salaat is performed. The practice of the Musallah is Sunnatul Muakkadah. It is sinful to want only abandon this Sunnat practice. Abandonment of a Sunnatul Muakkadah practice is Fisq (flagrant violation of the Shari’ah).

The Musallah need not be Waqf ground. Any open land on the outskirts where the buildings cometo an end, will be a Shar’i Musallah if the Eid Salaatis performed there. Open fields in built up areas, with buildings surrounding, are not proper Shar’i Eidgahs. In some places sports fields or school grounds are used for Eid Salaat. While the Salaat performed on such land is valid the Sunnatul Muakkadah requirement of the Musallah is not discharged.

Sports field

A sports field or a school playground inside a city or built-up area is not a Musallah because it is not land located on the outskirts of the town/city. The discussion in this booklet pertains to thevalidity of a Musallah, not the validity of the Eid Salaat. While the Eid Salaat will be valid if performed anywhere, the Shar’i requirement of the Eidgah is not discharged by performing the Eid Salaat on such a sports field or school playground for the simple reason that such ground is not a valid Shar’i Musallah.

The Fadhielat (virtue) of the Musallah is not acquired by performing the Eid Salaat on a sports field or a school playground which is located within the built up area.

The books of the Shari’ah explain clearly that a Musallah is located on the outskirts. This has been the practice of the Ummah since the time of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi wasallam). There is absolutely no reason now in this belated century to diverge from that Mubaarak Sunnah of Nabi-e-Kareem (Sallallahu Alayhi wasallam) and the Salf-e-Saaliheen.

Those who perform Eid Salaat on the sports fields should not labour under the notion that they are fulfilling the Sunnah of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi wasallam). In fact, in having established sports fields as Eidgahs, the actual Sunnah practice has been displaced. Far from receiving the Sunnah, the sponsors of this type of assumed Eidgah are guilty of destroying the Sunnah. By propagating the idea of a sports field being, adequate for a Musallah, the ordinary Muslims are misled to believe that the Sunnah requirement is being upheld at the sports fields.

Sports fields or the Musjid

Where the Muslim community has failed in its duty of establishing Salaat in an Eidgah, the Eid Salaat should be performed in the Musaajid, not on the sports fields of the Kuffaar nor on the playgrounds of the Kuffaar schools nor on any vacant land in the built-up area surrounded by buildings. Such grounds do not have a greater Fadhielat than the Musaajid. Undoubtedly in terms of the Shari’ah, the Musaajid are the holiest grounds on earth. However, on account of the permanent practice  of  Rasulullah  ( Sallallahu Alayhi wasallam), the  Musallah is adopted for the Eid
Salaat despite the greater excellence of the Musaajid. The same significance  cannot be accorded to the grounds which are not proper Shari Musallah.  Opinion cannot be utilized to  confer the Fadhielat of the Eidgah  to a place which is not an Eidgah.

It is unreasonable to assert that  a sports field of the Kuffaar has greater significance than a Musjid. On these sports fields of the Kuffaar a variety of Kabeerah sins are perpetrated.

Among these evils is the  intermingling of sexes with various degrees of zina acts,  consumption of liquor, evil  displays such as drum  majorettes, rags, Kuffaar sports,  etc. are organized on these fields.

These fields are places of divine  Ghadhab (wrath). How can  Maghdhoob alayh places have  greater significance than the  Musaajid of Allah Ta’ala? These  sports fields are established for  haraam. They are used exclusively  for haraam. How then can Muslims seek to confer sanctity  reverence to such evil places by performing the Eid Salaat thereon?

Deceive

If Muslims wantonly refuse to establish the Eidgah, they should  not deceive themselves into believing that they are executing the demand of the Shari’ah by  performing Eid Salaat on a sports field or a  playground. When they refuse to honour the Shari’ah’s command for the Musallah, then rather let them perform Eid Salaat in the Musaajid. 

Baseless Arguments

Several baseless arguments are  tendered for the misconceived idea of sports fields being  adequate Musallahs.

1.  It is contended that in some  big cities vacant land on the outskirts of the cities is not available, hence and Eidgah cannot be established there. This is incorrect. Firstly, it is false to make such a claim. Every town or city has ample vacant lands on the outskirts where the Eid Salaat may be performed.  Secondly, the  land need not be Waqf nor is it necessary to be owned by Muslims. Municipal grounds may be used. Thirdly, the establishment of a Musallah does not mean that the ground should  be used exclusively for Eid Salaat.  The venue may be shifted from year to year if necessary. Plenty vacant land for this purpose is available on the outskirts of all towns and cities.

2. It is argued that in very big cities it is difficult for the people to go to the boundaries of the town/city for the purpose of the Eid Salaat. This argument too has to be dismissed as baseless. In large cities, people commute great distances twice a day to go  to work and to return home. Daily  they travel 30, 40, 50 and even up  to 100 kilometers. They accomplish this daily, without fail, whether it hails, snows, rains or whether it is hot or cold and whether they are healthy or sick. For the sake of their daily bread, they undertake great difficulties, travelling great distances twice a day, but they are not prepared to travel to the Eidgah twice a year  to gain the pleasure of Allah Ta’ala.

The truth is that the overwhelming majority of the community will be too willing to attend the Eidgah if those in charge of the affairs become more dedicated Muslims and become more concerned with the  Sunnah. If they show greater concern for the Deen and  establish a proper Shar’i Eidgah, the rank and file will attend for  the Eid Salaat. But, because the leadership is unconcerned about the revivication of the Sunnah, the masses are being deprived of  the Sunnah of the Eidgah. These  arguments are presented to cover up for the apathy of those who  are not interested in establishing  the Eidgah. Muslims can make their way to the Eidgah twice a year in the same way as they make their way to work twice a day. 

Assuming that there are genuinely those who are just not able to go to the Eidgah, then for  the sick, the weak and those who cannot make their way to the  Eidgah, the Musjid will serve their purpose. This too has been the practice from the earliest days of Islam. Although the community performed the Eid Salaat at the Eidgah, some Musaajid would be operative to cater for the weak, sick, infirm and aged. But for the sake of a few weak ones, it is not permissible to abandon the Sunnatul Muakkadah practice of the Musallah. If a few cannot attend Jumuah, it does not justify the entire community performing Zuhr.

Difficulty

Privately owned vehicles and  public transport are available in  abundance. The argument of distance is therefore self-deception. The argument of difficulty is the flimsiest and not worthy of consideration in our context. While this purported difficulty is non-existent in the  South African context, it may have validity in India, hence some    venerable Muftis have presented the argument of the difficulty of travelling distances to the Eidgah.  The situation in India differs vastly from the South African situation. The huge crowds in the  streets and on the railway stations transform these places  into josting scenes of pushing, chaos and tumult when the trains  pull into the stations. The extent of and chaos is unbelievable and beyond description. There is real hardships on the trains which are the main means of public transport. But, inspite of this real difficulty and utter chaos and confusion, people commute daily twice to work and back home.  They undergo all these hardships for their daily bread, but are not prepared to undergo similar or the same hardship for their Deen and Imaan only twice a year. The nafs and shaitaan present a variety of baseless excuses to deter Muslims from the Sunnah of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi wasallam). Anyhow, we can still uphold the difficulty argument in relation to India, but never to South Africa.

Boundaries

The claim that the city boundaries are at a great distance is not valid. This cannot be cited as a valid reason for abandoning the Musallah. For the purposes of establishing a Musallah there is  no need to consider the municipal boundary

The Shari’ah simplifies this issue by defining the boundaries to be the place where the ‘abaadi (settlement or the buildings end). The Fina-e-misr (the vacant land of the city) in this context refers     to vacant land at the end of the  abaadi. Every suburb can be treated as a separate settlement if needs be or adjoining suburbs could arrange a common Eidgah at one of the vacant sites at the end of the abaadi of any particular suburb. Thus, in a place like Johannesburg, there is no need to travel 100km to the end of the municipal boundaries for  the Eid Salaat. Different suburbs can have their own Eidgahs if they find it too difficult to have  one Eidgah for the entire Johannesburg.

Consider the suburb of lenasia. The overwhelming majority commutes daily great distances to Johannesburg central and other nearby towns where they work. But, for the Eidgah, a venue  in walking distance can be established. At the end of Lenasia on different sides, much vacant  land is available for the Eid Salaat.  This  argument of the boundary being at a great distance is therefore fallacious.

In order to extract a fatwa to conform to Fictitious desires, people tend to feed fictitious information to senior Muftis abroad. On the basis of misinformation a fatwa is obtained to suit ones desires. We can safely say that we are more aware of the conditions in South Africa than our venerable Muftis abroad who have to rely on the  information or misinformation fed to them by persons who are not really interested in reviving the Sunnah of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi wa sallam).

In this regard the fatwa’s of Hadhrat Mufti Nizaamuddeen Sahib and Hadhrat Mufti Paalanpuri Sahib are cited.

Virtues of the Musallah

The view that the same virtues of the Musallah are obtainable by  performing the Eid Salaat on a sports field or university ground within the abaadi is not based on  any Shar’i  proof. It is an opinion which is not acceptable because  it conflicts with the teaching and  spirit of the Sunnah.

Firstly, the Sunnah commands that the Eidgah be on the outskirts while the sports is locatwd within the abaadi.  Secondly, there is no valid reason for substantiating the Eidgah with a sports field located within  the abaadi. All reasons tendered are baseless as explained earlier. Thirdly, these fields are used for undesirable haraam activities. Fourthly, the actual Sunnah of the true Musallah is displayed by establishing a venue inside the built up area. This is Bid’ah. People become accustomed to the notion that the sports field is an adequate Eidgah fulfilling the  Sunnah requirement. The true Musallah is consequently obliterated from their minds. Thus, the practice of the Musallah  will be killed off. Infact, it has already been killed off in many parts of the country.

Virtues

It is, therefore, incorrect to opine that the virtues of the Masnoon Eidgah are being attained from a place on which the Wrath of Allah Ta’ala settles. Thus, the opinion is  in conflict with the teaching and spirit of the Sunnah.

The only alternative to the Eidgah is the Musjid. But, performing Eid Salaat unnecessarily in the Musjid is sinful.

It is essential that Muslims establish proper the Eidgahs to conform to the Sunnah in every town/city/suburb. This is not a mammoth task. Experience has proven that it is extremely  simple. The only requirement is a vacant site on the outskirts of the  abaadi which will be used for about an hour. Cleaning such a site does not require much time.  After the Eid Salaat, there is no  litter to clean up as some persons  have contended. Only the carpets/ mats have to be rolled up and carried away.

May Allah  Ta’ala grant us all good Hidaayat to understand the value of Rasulullah’s (Sallallahu Alayhi wasallam) Sunnah practices:

Nabi-e-Kareem (Sallallahu Alayhi wasallam) said: “Whoever adheres the value of my Sunnah at a time when my Ummah has become corrupt, will obtain the thawaab of a hundred Shuhadaa.” 

Sadaqatul Fitr

Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi wasallam) said:  Fast remains suspended between heaven and earth until the Fitrah is paid.”
Once the Fitrah Sadaqah is paid, the Fasts proceed to their abode in the heavens for acceptance by Allah Ta’ala . 

Rules of Sadaqatul fitr

1 . Sadaqatul fitr or Fitrah is waajib (compulsory) upon all Muslims – male, female and children who on the Day of  Eid-ul-fitr are owners of the Nisaab  of Zakaat. I.e. approximately the rand value of the current price of  19.6875 troy ounces or 612g of silver  (Hanafi Mathhab). According to the Shaafi mathhab, Fitrah becomes obligatory, if one has sufficient food for one’s household for one day and one night (24 hours). Thus, if one is not the owner of the Zakaat  Nisaab value, Fitrah will yet be compulsory according to the  Shaafi Math-hab. 

2 . According to the Hanafi Math- hab, the Fitrah becomes Waajib when the Day of Fitr dawns with the commencement of Fajr time. Therefore, if someone died before  entry of Fajr on the day of Eid,  Fitrah will not be paid out of his  (the deceased’s) estate, since the  Fitrah is not Waajib upon him.  And, if a child is born before the rising of Fajr, Fitrah will be paid on his behalf. If the child is born after the entry of Fajr (on the day  of Eid), Fitrah is not Waajib on his  behalf.

3. According to the Shaafi Math-hab, Fitrah becomes incumbent with the commencement of the night of Eid-ul-fitr, i.e. the moment  the sun sets on the last day of Ramadhaan. Thus, if someone dies after sunset on the last day of Ramadhaan (i.e. the first of Shawwaal) Fitrah shall be paid out of his estate. Fitrah will not be waajib upon a child born after sunset of the last day of Ramadhaan.

4. According to the Hanafi math-hab, the father has to pay the Fitrah on behalf of his minor children, i.e. those who have not yet attained the age of puberty.

5. According to the Hanafi Math-hab, it is not obligatory upon the husband to pay the Fitrah on behalf of his wife. If she is the owner of the Nisaab, she shall pay her own Fitrah.

6. According to the Shaafi Math-hab, it is obligatory upon the man to pay the Fitrah on behalf of his minor children as well as his wife.

7. If a minor is the owner of wealth to the amount of Nisaab, then payment of Fitrah on behalf of the minor could be made from his (minor’s) wealth. This is according to both Hanafi and Shaafi Math-hab.

8. The Fitrah should preferably be paid before the Eid Salaat.

9. It is not permissible to delay the Fitrah later than the day of Eid. However, if it was not paid on the day of Eid or before, the obligation remains and the Fitrah will have to be paid.

10. It is permissible to pay the Fitrah in advance at anytime during the month of Ramadhaan. This is according to both Hanafi and Shaafi math-hab. However according the Hanafi Math-hab, Fitrah could be paid even before Ramadhaan whereas according to the Shaafi Math-hab, payment of Fitrah before Ramadhaan is not valid.

11. Sadaqatul Fitr is Waajib upon all those who fasted as well as those who did not fast for some reason or the other. This is according to both Hanafi and Shaafi Math-hab.

12. Fitrah amount is the price of approximately 1.75kg flour according to the Hanafi Math-hab. According to the Shaafi Math-hab it is 3.5kg of Flour.

13. Instead of cash, Flour may be given.

14. Fitrah can only be paid to the “poor”. Those who are entitled to accept Zakaat.

15. Fitrah cannot be utilized for any charitable purpose other than the poor. Therefore, if Fitrah money are accumulated and then spent on some other charitable cause, the Fitrah obligation of the Fitrah payers will not be discharged.

The Nights of Eid

Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi wasallam) said: “The heart of the person who remains awake (in Ibaadat) during the night of Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Adhaa will not die on the day when the hearts will be dead, i.e the day of Qiyaamah”.

The Nights of both Eids i.e.the nights proceeding the days of Eid are auspicious occasions which should be observed with reverence and worship. Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi wasallam) said that these are great occasions of Ibaadat and of gaining the proximity and special mercy of Allah Ta’ala. These holy night therefore should not be allowed to be passed in futility. Full advantage should be taken of these opportunities by offering obedience and Ibaadat unto Allah Ta’ala to the best of one’s ability. Istighfaar (seeking forgiveness for sins), Tilaawat (reciting theQur’aan), Nafl Salaat,Durood, etc should be profusely offered on these holy nights.

Amongst the reward which will be obtained for observing the sanctity of the glorious Eid nights, the greatest reward is the good news conveyed to us by Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi wasallam) in the above mentioned Hadith, viz the heart will not be smitten with terror and fear on the Day of Qiyaamah when the upheavals of the day will be so fearsome that men will appear to be intoxicated.

Eid cards

Eid cards or the sending of Eid cards  to friends and relatives is a custom which is widely observed by the Muslim community of today. For the guidance of Muslims it has become necessary to explain this practice of Eid cards in the light of the Shari’ah of  Islam. According  to  the Shari’ah the  custom  of  Eid cards is not permissible. There are several factors prohibiting this practice.

1. TASHAABBUH BIL KUFAAR: 
The practice of Eid cards is in emulation of the Kuffaar customs of Christmas cards and the like. It has no association with Eid or any Islamic practice. Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi wasallam) said: “whoever imitates a people becomes of them.”

2. WASTE
It is a wasteful practice. Large sums of money are wasted in the acquisition of fancy and  expensive Eid cards which are  disposed by receiving them. These cards are not treasured.   Money which is a Ni’mat of Allah Ta’ala should be constructively spent in Allah’s path to aid the suffering servants of Allah Ta’ala.  The Qur’aan Majeed criticizing the  people of waste says: “do not waste. wasters are brothers of  the shayaateen.”

3. DEFILEMENT OF THE QUR’AAN  Verily the Qur’aanic verses are  printed on many Eid cards which  are generally discarded and thrown away. In this manner the sanctity of the Qur’aan Majeed is defiled.

Muslims should reflect before they indulge in any practice. The Shari’ah has fixed a small sum known as Sadaqatul Fitr for the benefit of the poor. But Muslims  in their state of Gaflat (obliviousness) are uncaring for the poor, hence they spend even more money on this wasteful haraam practice then  what  many  spend  on  Sadaqatul Fitr.

If the intention is sincere and if  there is a genuine desire to gain the pleasure of Allah Ta’ala then his bounties will not be wasted on upholding a Kuffaar custom. On the contrary the money be contributed to bring some relief to the destitute servants of Allah Ta’ala thereby should gaining the everlasting pleasure of our creator.

EID HANDSHAKING?

Rasulullah (sallalahu Alayhi wasallam) said: “Beware of  innovations! Every innovation (Bid’ah) is deviation (from the straight path), and every deviation leads into the fire (of  Jahannum).”

Musafahah or hand shaking is a  meritorious and Sunnah act. However, to fabricate a custom, and to present it as if it is a  Sunnah, is Bid’ah. Bid’ah (innovation) is evil. While hand  shaking is a lawful Islamic practice, the custom of almost  compulsory hand shaking on the  Days of Eid after Eid Salaah is Bid’ah and not permissible. This was  ever the practice of Rasulullah (sallalahu Alayhi  wasallam) and his Sahaabah.

EIDGAH AND FEMINISM

Source: http://reliablefatwas.com/eidgah-and-feminism/

The following quotes from the Fuqaha of all Four Madh-habs, regarding women’s Haraam presence at the Eidgah, represent the view of the whole Ummah for 1400 years prior to these worst of ages, in which most of the minor signs prophecised by Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallama) have already manifested themselves, including the extreme abundance of Ulama who will have been influenced by foreign and deviant ideologies.

Anyone who is still in a desperate state of denial regarding the pervasive influence of Kufr ideologies such as modernism and feminism on this Ummah, need only to observe the undeniably stark contrast between the “official” ruling issued by the droves of feminist-influenced Ulama who dominate the “scholarly” scene today, and the 1400-year official ruling as represented by the quotes below:

We shall begin with Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal who had memorized and understood only around a million Hadiths, including ALL the Hadiths pertaining to this issue, many of which he narrated in his own Musnad.

Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal’s son narrates:

*“My father (i.e. Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal) was asked regarding the emergence of women for the Eid prayers. He replied: “As for this age of ours, No. For indeed they (the women) are a fitnah.” [Ahkham-un-Nisaa of al-Khalaal]*

For support, Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal (rahmatullahi alayhi) quotes, with an authentic chain, the following factual observation of one of the great students of the Sahabah (radhiyallahu anhum), Hadhrat Matar al-Warraq (d. 129) (rahmatullahi alayh), which demonstrates that the prohibition had already been initiated by none other than the Sahabah (radhiyallahu anhum):

*“Indeed the women used to come to the same gathering as men’s. However, as for now (i.e. in the presence of the Sahabah (radhiyallahu anhum)), verily, a single finger from the fingers of a woman casts (a man) into fitnah (i.e. stirs lust/temptation).” [Ahkaam-un-Nisaa]*

Here is the ruling of the greatest of the Fuqaha after the Sahabah (radhiyallahu anhum), Imam Abu Hanifah, along with his two major students:

*“What is your opinion on women, is it binding on them to come out for the two Eids?” [Abu Hanifah, Abu Yusuf and Muhammad] said: “There used to be concession (rukhsa) for them in that. But today, I consider that FORBIDDEN for them.” [al-Asl]*

The Shafi’i Faqeeh, Allamah Ibn Hajar al-Haythami states that only a Ghabi (stupid moron) enslaved to his desires will fail to understand the reasons for the prohibition that was initiated by none other than the Sahabah (radhiyallahu anhum):

*“There is CONSENSUS (Ijma’) on the prohibition of women going to the Masjid, Eid Salaat and visiting the graves in view of the absence of the conditions of permissibility which had existed during the age of the Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wasallam)….Only a Ghabi (stupid moron) following his lowly (nafsaani) desires will not accept this..”*

The famous Maliki authority, Khaleel al-Jundi (d. 767) states:

*”What is stipulated in this era of ours is Prohibition, and this is proven by Aisha’s famous statement…” (al-Tawdih)*

The renowned Hanafi jurist, Imam Badr al-Din al-Ayni states:

*“Know that this (initial permissibility) was for that age (i.e. the age of Rasulullah – sallallahu alayhi wasallam) when there was no corruption relating to them (women) as prevails in this age, hence Aishah (radhiyallahu anha) said: ‘If Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) had to see what the women have introduced, then most certainly he would have forbidden them from the Masjids just as the women of Bani Israaeel were forbidden.’ Thus, if the situation had already changed during the age of Aishah (radhiyallahu anhu) to compel her to make this statement, then what shall we say about this age (i.e. 8th century AH – 600 years ago) when fasaad (corruption) has become prevalent, and disobedience has overtaken both the young and the old? We supplicate for forgiveness and taufeeq.” [Umdatul Qari]*

Imam al-Kasani (d. 587) is amongst the many Fuqaha who have transmitted Hadhrat Umar’s initiation of the prohibition – based on the reason which Hadhrat Aisha (radhiyallahu anhum) stated i.e. the failure of women to meet the pre-conditions for permission which Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) himself set: 

*“Women are not allowed to attend Salaat with Jamaa’at — the proof is in that narration of Hadhrat ‘Umar (radhiyallaahu ‘anhu) wherein he prohibited women from emerging from their homes. The prohibition was for the reason that their emergence is a cause of Fitnah — and Fitnah is Haraam — therefore whatever leads to Fitnah also becomes Haraam.” (Bada’i Sanaa’i)*

The following ruling of Fakhrul Islam al-Bazdawi (d. 482) has been re-iterated by REAL Fuqaha for nearly a thousand years, until these worst of ages in which there exists an abundance of FAKE “Fuqaha”:

*“The Fatwa today is on the impermissibility of women attending ALL prayers because of the pervasiveness of corruption. Since it is impermissible for them to attend the Masjid for prayer, there is all the more reason for it to be impermissible for them to attend gatherings of knowledge…”*

The Shaafi’ authority, Shaikh Sulaiman  Bujairmi states:

*“Today the Fatwa is on total prohibition in all Salaats. This includes Jumuah, Eid,  Istisqaa’, and  gatherings  of  lectures,..” (Tuhfatul Habeeb)*

The Maliki authority, Qadhi Iyadh (d. 544) states:

*”When they are prohibited from the Masjid, then to a greater extent they will be prohibited from attending other places.” (Mawahibul Jaleel)*

The Maliki authority, Ibnul Hajj (d. 737) states:

*“Aisha Radhiyallahu Anha said: ‘if Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam were to see what the women had introduced after him, he would have prevented them from the Masjids just as the women of Bani Israaeel were prohibited’. And when the situation is like that, then such a ruling of prohibition will be applied. Thus, the prohibition of women (attending Masjids and other public places) is categorical in this era under all circumstances because in there emergence from their homes, there is fitnah which is not hidden.” (Al-Madkhal)*

Allamah Ibnul Attar states in his Musannaf:

* “It is only proper for a woman that she does not emerge from her home, but remains glued to the innermost recess of the home. Verily, her whole body is Aurah. It is Waajib to conceal the Aurah. Regarding women’s emergence in the darkness to go to the Masjid, this was in the absence of harm and mischief, as was the case during the age of the Nabi  (sallallahu  alayhi wasallam), and the age of certain Sahaabah. Thereafter, emergence was prohibited because of the fitnah which women had introduced.”*

Allamah Bukhari (616) states:

*“There is no concession for women to attend any Salaah whatsoever….Our companions have taken proof from Hazrat Umar Radhiyallahu Anhu’s prohibition of women emerging from their homes based on the fitnah which he had observed.” (Muheetul Burhaani)*

Hazrat Ibn Mas’ud (radhiyallahu anhu) was amongst the greatest Jurist from the Sahabah, and the most learned of the Qur’an according to Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). The following incident authentically related from him, is further proof that it was none other than the Sahabah (radhiyallahu anhum) who had initiated this prohibition, based on the failure of women to meet the pre-conditions set by Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) himself, even during the blessed era of the Sahabah (radhiyallahu anhum):

*“I saw Ibn Mas’ud throw small pebbles at women expelling them from the masjid on the Day of Jumu’ah.” [Musannaf Abi Shayba – Saheeh]*

In another version of this narration it states that Hadhrat Ibn Mas’ud (radhiyallahu anhu) would call out while throwing the small pebbles:

*“Your Salah in your houses is better!”*

After describing what the women of Bani Israeel introduced which resulted in their expulsion from the Masjid, Hadhat Ibn Mas’ud (radhiyallahu anhu) issues the following explicit command to the Sahabah (radhiyallahu anhum) and Tabi’een of his era:

*“Keep them out from where Allah had expelled them from.” [Tabarani – Saheeh]*

Regarding Rasulullah’s (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) explicit declaration that the woman is Aurah (to be concealed in entirety), the first and primary level of concealment is confinement to the home. Hence, in an authentic (Saheeh) variant of the same Hadith found in the Musannaf of Abi Shayba, Hazrat Ibn Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu) issues the following emphatic command:

*“Keep the women confined (احبسوا) to the home, for indeed the woman is Aurah (must be concealed in entirety). Verily, when a woman emerges from her home, shaytaan surreptitiously pursues her and says to her: “You will not pass by any [man] except that he will be attracted to you.”*

Hadhrat Ibn Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) narrates that Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) stated:

*“Women have no share in emerging (from their homes) except in emergencies (i.e. genuine needs defined and explained by the Fuqaha)” (Tabaraani — Mu’jamul Kabeer)*

Other authentic narrations found in reliable Hadith collections state that a woman merely staying firmly within her home accrues for her the same reward men can ONLY acquire by fighting Jihaad in the battlefield! For example, it is narrated in Musnad al-Bazzaar:

*On the authority of Anas (radiyallahu ‘anhu): The women came to the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) and said: “O Messenger of Allah, the men have taken [all] virtue and Jihad in Fee Sabeelillah (in the Path of Allah), so what action is there for us by which we [too] can acquire the [reward of the] action of the Mujahideen in the Path of Allah.” The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) replied: “Whoever stays” – or a word similar to it – “from amongst you in her house, she [too] will acquire the [reward of the] action of the Mujahideen in the Path of Allah.”*

Hence, Ibn Khuzaimah, one of the very early Shafi’i authorities, states that ONLY ulterior motives can be the cause of a woman’s abandonment of the greatest reward and Pleasure of Allah that can be easily acquired in the comfort of her own home, in favour of her sinful transgression of the clear-cut 1400 year ruling of the Shariah:

*”The Salaat of a woman in her home is superior to her Salaat in the Musjid of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam)…. Now when her Salaat at home is superior, then it is either pride or show which brings her out of her home (to go to the Musjid), and this is Haraam.” [Fataawa Kubra of Ibn Hajar al-Haythami]*

PLEASE FORWARD AND PROPAGATE THE HAQQ NO MATTER HOW BITTER, UNPALATABLE AND GHAREEB (LONE, STRANGE, FORLORN) IT BECOMES.

How Much Is Sadaqah Fitr??

[Mujlisul Ulama]

There  is  some  unneeded,  superfluous  difference  of  opinion regarding  the  Sadqah  Fitr  amount.  One  Molvi  Sahib  stating  his opinion says:

“One  of  the  purposes  of  Sadaqatul  Fitra  is  that  the  less fortunate  be  enabled  to  enjoy  some  of  the  same  benefits  of  Eid  as  their  more  entitled  Muslim  brethren.”  

The  Molvi  Sahib  has  misunderstood  the  objective  of  Sadqah  Fitr.  Primarily,  Sadqah  Fitr  consists  of  a  measure  of    the  staple  food  of  the  poor.  Thus,  the  Shariah  has  explicitly  ordered  that  Sadqah  Fitr  be  primarily  paid  with  grain  –  wheat,  rice,  or dates  and  the  like. 

Sadqah  Fitr  is  not  to  provide  a  sumptuous  meal  of  meat,  pies,  samoosas,  biryaani,  cakes,  deserts,  etc.  This   is  not  the  objective  of  Sadqah  Fitr.  The  Maqsad  is  to  ensure  that  every  poor  Muslim  has  sufficient  food  on  the  Day  of  Eid.  The  fact  that  it  is  permissible  to  distribute  one  Sadqah  Fitr  amount  to  more  than  one  Faqeer  adequately  nullifies  the  contention  of  the  Molvi  Sahib.

The  Shariah  has  stipulated  one  Sa’  (a  measure  of  approximately  3.5  kilograms)  of  grain  (Shaafis)  or  half  a  Sa’ (Hanafis)  as  the  Sadqah  Fitr  amount.  This  is  a  Mansoos  Alayh  Hukm.  This  measure  has  been  explicitly  confirmed  by  all  the  Math-habs  and  it  has  been  in  operation  in  the  Ummah  since  the  age  of  Rasulullah  (Sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam).  As  far  as  we  are  aware,  it  is  only  in  South  Africa  where  some    Molvis  have  differed  with  this  14  century  Ijmaa’i   law  of  the  Shariah. It  is  indeed  most  audacious  to  venture  an  opinion  which  conflicts  with  a  law  on  which  there  has  been  Consensus  of  the  entire  Ummah  for  more  than  fourteen  centuries.

The  insistence  on  giving  only  specific  grain,  not  flour,  not bread,  not  money,  etc.  as  Sadqah  Fitr  is  remarkable  in  the Hambali  and  Shaafi’  Math-habs.  The  Sadqah  is  not  discharged  if  cash  or  biryaani  or  rice  or  meat  or  samoosas  or  any  other  type  of  food  is  given  even  if  the  monetary  value  is  in  excess of  any  value/amount  suggested  by  the  Molvi  dissenters  who  have  broken  from  the  Ijmaa’ of  the  Ummah.

The  Molvi  Sahib  avers: “The  amount  touted  this  year  is  the  lowly  sum  of  R22.  How  can  this  figure  be  justified,  especially  when  comparing  it  against  our  laden  tables  on  Eid  day?”  

The  Molvi  Sahib  has  missed  the  bus.  He  is  way  off  the Shar’i  track.  This  erroneous  conclusion  is  the  product  of  his  primary  erroneous  premiss  which  has  been  rebutted  above.  Comparison    with  the  laden  tables  of  the  wealthy  is  not  the  standard  for  calculating  Sadqah  Fitr.  The  Shariah  does  not  debar  anyone  from  contributing  such  funds  to  the  poor  which  could  procure  for  them  the  sumptuous,  albeit  physically  and spiritually  ruinous  dishes  which  Muslims  devour  nowadays.  People  are  free  to  give  voluntary  Sadqah  in  any  amount  they  desire.  But  to  tamper  with  the  laws  of  the  Shariah  is  neither  permissible  nor  acceptable.  In  the  attempt  to  provide  luxury  food  items,  it  is  highly  improper  to  seek  a  re-interpretation  of  the  fourteen  century  law.  Rather,  the  Molvi  Sahib  should encourage  and  exhort  Muslims  to  open  up  their  hearts  and  to contribute  Sadqah  generously.

If  people  contribute  even  a  small  percentage  of  the  huge amounts  which  they  squander  in  unnecessary  luxuries,  haraam  functions,  etc.,  then  there  will  be  ample  funds  available  to  feed  the  poor  with  the  type  of  sumptuous  dishes  mentioned  by  the  Molvi  Sahib.  To  say  the  least,  it  is  indeed  peculiar  to    seek  a  re-interpretation  of  a  law  of  the  Shariah  cast  in  rock.  It  is essential  to  remember  that  the  objective  of  Sadqah  Fitr  is  not  biryaani,  samoosas,  pies,  carrion  chickens  and  the  mounds  of processed  flotsam  ‘foods’  with  which  Muslims  are  destroying  themselves  physically  and  spiritually.  The  Shariah  has  selected  for  the  poor  their  staple  diet  which  is  best  for  their  general  health.

The  Molvi  Sahib,  campaigning  for  a  change  to  the  Shariah’s  ruling,  cries:  “I  appeal  to  all  Muslim  brothers  and  sisters  to  do  some  introspection  –  per  portion  of  what  your  Eid  meals  cost.”   The  Molvi  Sahib   has  calculated  that  for   their  ‘huge  breakfasts,  biryani,  braais  and   suppers”  it  costs  about  R100  per  person,  hence  this  is  his  criterion  for  determining  the  Waajib  Sadqah  Fitr.  

Payment  of  Sadqah  Fitr  is  Waajib.  Non-payment  is  sinful,  and  the  fasts  of  Ramadhaan  are  suspended  between  the  earth  and  heavens  as  long  as  the  Fitrah  remains  unpaid.  Now  if  someone  does  not  pay    R100,  will  he  be  sinful?  Will  he  be  perpetrating  a  major  sin,  the  consequence  of  which  is  Hell-Fire?  If  the  answer  is  no,  then  the  imposition  of  R100  is  a  stupid  futility.  If  the  answer  is  yes,  then  we  ask:  Did  the Molvi  Sahib  receive  Wahi  to  fix  this  amount?  Has  he  solid Shar’i  substantiation  to  impose  his  R100  as  a  Waajib  obligation  on  the  Ummah?  It  is  quite  obvious  that  the  R100  is  the  Molvi’s  personal  opinion  unbacked  by  any  Shar’i  daleel.

Furthermore,  the  Molvi’s    determination  is  in  flagrant  conflict  with  the  Shariah’s  ruling  of   one  or  half  Sa’  of  grain.  The  biryani  and  braai  aspects  play  absolutely  no  role  in  the determination  of  Sadqah  Fitr.    The  criterion  is  the  measurement   and  the  staple  food  of  the  Fuqara  in  particular.  The  measurement  is  the  Sa’,  and  the  staple  food  is  generally  wheat  or  rice,  etc.  Any  conflicting  view  is  to  tamper  with  the  Shariah.

In  our  environment,  there  are  hardly  any  Fuqara  who  qualify  for  Sadqah  Fitr.  While  there  are  many  who  qualify  to  accept Zakaat,  there  are  almost  none  for  Sadqah  Fitr.  Genuine  Fuqara  and  Masaakeen  are  in  other  lands  where  a  single Fitrah  amount  is  greatly  appreciated  and  where  it  can  feed  a  family  for  the  day  with  their  staple  food.  Even  the  ‘poor’  here  own  cell  phones    for  savouring  pornography.  The  R22  Fitrah  will  suffice  for  a  couple  of  cell  phone  cards.  The  ‘poor’  here  are  not  in  need  of  staple  food  for  which  R22  is    more  than  adequate.  Yes,  it  is  not  adequate  for  haraam  braais  and  carrion  chickens, but  such  issues  are  unrelated  to  Sadqah  Fitr.

The  Molvi’s  mention  of  the  ‘Pleasure  of  Allah’  in  the  context  of  Sadqah  Fitr  is  misplaced.  Muslims  are  always  encouraged  to  spend  on  the  poor  generously.  This  is  not  reliant  on  Sadqah  Fitr  nor  restricted  to  the  Day  of  Eid.  There  is  absolutely  no  need  to  tamper  with  the  Sadqah  Fitr  law  for  exhorting  people  to  be  kind,  generous  and  helpful  to  the  poor  and  destitute.  Such  kindness  is  Waajib  all  year  round  and  is  unrelated  to  Sadqah  Fitr.

Unthinkingly,  the  Molvi  Sahib  says:  “For  anyone  objecting  to this  (i.e.  to  the  R100  fitrah  opined  by  the  Molvi  Sahib),  there  is  also  a  mention  in  the  Hadith  about  one  Sa’a  of  dates (approximately  2  kilograms). How  much  is  that  today?”  

If  the  Molvi  Sahib  had  applied  his  mind,  he  would  not  have  made  this  futile  observation.    The  Sa’  of  dates  is,  firstly, optional.  The  Ahaadith  allow  several  options.  Payment  of  Fitrah  is  not  fixed  with  dates  or  wheat  or  barley,  etc.  It  is  the  staple  food  of  a  community.  Secondly,  dates     for  South  African  Muslims,  including  the  very  poor,  is  not  a  food  consumed  to  fill  the  stomach.  It  is  not  their  staple  food.  In  fact,  even  in  Arabia, it is  no  longer  the  staple  food.    Thirdly,  there  is  no  Shar’i  obligation  to  compute  the  Sadqah  Fitr  amount  with  the dates  yardstick.  The  criterion  is  the  staple  food  of  a  people.

In  South  Africa,  during  every  Ramadhaan,  tons  of  dates  are  distributed  to  the  poor,  apart  from  Sadqatul  Fitr.  Half  a  kilogram  is  not  used  by  most  people  over  an  entire  month. Towards  the  middle  of  Ramadhaan,  we  hand  boxes  of  dates  to  brothers  to  seek  out  takers.  While  people  will  devour  many  kilograms  of    halaalized  diseased  carrion  chickens,  they  consume  dates    frugally  in  South  Africa.  It  is,  therefore,  not  a  standard  for  the  calculation  of  Sadqah  Fitr.

A  campaign  to  encourage  Muslims  to  contribute  money  for  the  needs  of  the  poor  is  always  welcome  and  an  act  of  great  merit.  But  the  basis  for  such  campaigns  should  not  be  mutilation  of  the  Shariah’s  ahkaam  by  self-opinion  and  baseless  interpretation  stemming   from  fancy  and  whim.  Today  the  desire  is  to  tamper  with  the  Shariah’s  stipulated  Fitrah  amount.  Tomorrow  this  satanic  re-interpretation   will  be  extended  to  Zakaat.  Instead  of  2.5%,  some  Molvi  Sahib  will  suggest  that  it  should  be  5%.

Let  us  now  see  what  the  Fuqaha  of  Islam  say  regarding  Sadqah  Fitr.

“Regarding  that  which  is  Waajib:  The  Waajib  amount  is  half  Sa’  of  wheat  or  one  Sa’  barley  or  one  Sa’  of  dates according  to  us  (i.e.  the  Hanafis).”  Ash-Shaafi  said:    One  Sa’ of  wheat…….The  flour  of  wheat  and  barley  is  the  same  according  to  us  (Ahnaaf).”     [Badaaius Sanaa’] 

If  the  Sadqah  is  paid  with  raisins,  the  ruling  according  to  the  Ahnaaf  vacillates  between  a  Sa’  and  half  a  Sa’.  The  reasoning  underlying  the  half Sa’  of  raisins,  is:

“The  price  of  raisins  is  normally  more  than  the  price  of  wheat,  hence  half  Sa’  raisins  suffices……..It  is  possible  to  reconcile  the  two  different  views  (Imaam  Abu  Hanifah’s  view  and  the  view  of  Saahibain  regarding  raisins)  by  means  of  determining  the  Waajib  amount  on  the  basis  of  the  price.  During  the  era  of  Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  the  price    (of  raisins)  was  the  same  as  that  of  wheat,  and  during  the  time  of  Saahibain  the  price  was  as  the  price  of  barley  and  dates.”  [Badaaius Sanaai’]

The  wheat  standard  adopted  by  our  Fuqaha  is  most  significant  in  understanding  the  wisdom  underlying  the    obligation  of  Sadqah  Fitrah.    In  terms  of  value,  a  Sa’  of  raisins  was  higher  than  the  value  of  a  Sa’  of  wheat.  Despite  payment  of  Fitrah being  of  greater  merit  in  terms  of  money  than  grain  according to  the  Ahnaaf,  and  despite  the  value  of  a  Sa’  of  raisins  being having  a  higher  monetary  value,  our  Fuqaha  reduced  the   quantity  to  the  equivalent    of  the  value  of  wheat.  Although    it  would  have  been  in  the  interests  of  the  Fuqara  to  have  retained  a  Sa’  for  raisins,  this  principle  of  Anfa’lil  fuqara  (That  which  is   more  beneficial  for  the  Fuqara),  which  is    utilized  for  calculating  the  Zakaat  Nisaab,  has  been  discarded  for  determining    Sadqah  Fitr.  It  is  thus  clear  that  the  standard  is  the  staple  food  of  a  community  and  the  Sa’  measure.

The  Shaafi’  Math-hab  has  an  even  narrower  and  more  rigid  concept  of  Sadqah  Fitr

“That  which  is  Waajib  is  a  Sa’  according  to  the  Sa’ of Rasulullah  (Sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  because  of  the  Hadith  of  Ibn  Umar  (Radhiyallahu  anhu)……….Abul  Abbaas  and  Abu  Ishaaq  said  that  it  is  incumbent  with  the  staple  food  of  a  community…..  If  in  a  city  there  is  no  specific  staple  food,  then  it  (Sadqah  Fitr)  shall  be  paid  with    the  staple  food  of  the  nearest  city. …..

Our  Ashaab  (i.e.  the  Shaafi’  Fuqaha)  say  that  the  condition (for  the  discharge  of)  of  Sadqah  Fitr  by  means  of      the  staple foods  (of  communities)  is  that  it  should  be  (such  products)  in which  Ushri  is  Waajib.  Therefore  anything  besides  this  will  not be valid…….
Al-Maawardi  said  that  similarly  (i.e.  will  not  suffice  for  Sadqah  Fitr)  fish  and  eggs  even  if  these  are  the  staple  food  of some islanders.  In  this  there  is  no  difference  of  opinion.

With  regard  to  meat  (as  Sadqah  Fitr),  the  correct  view  is  that  As-Shaafi’  has  stated  explicitly    thereon  and  the  Ashaab  in  all  narrations  have  emphatically  said  that  it  is  not permissible…….. Similarly,  even  if  the  staple  food)  of  some  community  is  fruit  on  which  there  is  no  Ushri  such  as  figs,   etc.,  then  this  will  not  suffice  (for  Sadqah  Fitr).

Ash-Shaafi’  and  the  Ashaab  said  that  flour  and  saweeq  (barley  cereal)  will  not  suffice  just  as  the  value  (monetary value)  will  not  suffice.”  [Kitaabul Majmoo’]

The  above  is  a  very  brief  summary  of  the  Shaafi’  viewpoint.  There  is    considerable  elaboration  and  differences  regarding the  details  of  Sadqah  Fitr  in  the  Shaafi’  Math-hab.  However, the  differences  all  pertain  to  the  ‘staple’  food  and    the  measure of  the  Sa’.  But  the  staple  food  and  the  Sa’   are  the  two fundamentals  of  Sadqah  Fitr.

In  terms  of  the  Hambali  Math-hab  too,  the  criterion  is  the  Sa’  and  the  staple  food.

“(It  is)  the  Sa’  according  to  the  Sa’  of  Nabi  (Sallallahu  alayhi wasallam).  One  Sa’ is  Waajib  for  every  person….

Sadaqatul  Fitr  is  discharged  by  means  of  the  dominant staple  food  of  the  city….It  is  (also)  fulfilled  by  means  of  every  type  of  grain  which  is  the  staple  food  when  the  mansoos alay  types  are  not  available  (i.e.  wheat,  barley,  dates,  etc. mentioned  by  Rasulullah  –  Sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam).  From this  it  is  apparent  that   (other  items)  besides  this,  is  not  sufficient,  e.g.  meat  and  milk  (do  not  suffice  for  Sadqah  Fitr).

If  one  is  able  to  give  dates  or  raisins  or  wheat  or  barley  or iqat  (a  kind  of  cheese),  and  he  gives  something  else  besides (any  of  these  mansoos  alay  items),  then  it  will  not  suffice  (for  the  discharge  of  Sadqah  Fitr)  according  to  the  Zaahir  Mathhab.  Diverson  from  these  kinds  (mentioned  in  the  Hadith)  is  not  permissible  when  one  has  the  ability  to  (discharge  the  Sadqah)  with  it  regardless  of  the    ma’dool  ilayh  (the  other  item)  being  the  staple  food  or  not……..

Maalik  said  that  it  should  be  paid  with  the  dominant  staple food  of  the  city,  and  Ash-Shaafi’  said  that  any  staple  food  which  is  dominant  for  a person….

It  is  permissible  to  pay  (Sadqah  Fitr)  with  flour  and  saweeq  (a  cereal    of    barley).    Maalik  and  Shaafi’  said  that  it  is  not  permissible  with  these  two  items……………….

It  is  not  permissible  to  pay  Sadqah  Fitr  with  bread,  hareesah  (a  biryani  kind  of  dish),  kaboola  (oats)  and  their  like  (such  as  the  Molvi’s  biryaani,  braai,  pies,  carrion   chickens,  etc.)  because  it  (Sadqah  Fitr)  is  paid  by  means  of  measure  (i.e. the  Sa’)  and  items  which  are  not  perishable.  Nor  can  it  be  paid with  vinegar  and  dabs  (molasses)  because  these  are  not  staple  foods.

Imaam  Ahmad  said  (regarding  paying  Sadqah  Fitr    with money):  “I  fear  that  it  will  not  suffice  because  it  is  in  conflict with  the  Sunnah  of  Rasulullah  (Sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam).  ……Maalik  and  Shaafi’  held  the  same  view.”  [Al-Mughni – Ibn Qudaamah]

There  is  likewise  difference  of  opinion  on  the  details  of  staple  food,  nevertheless,   the  criterion  according  to  the Hambali  Math-hab  is  also  Sa’  and  staple  food,  not  biryaani,   braai  meat  and  carrion  chickens  which  has  become  a  kind  of  ‘staple  food’  for  the  Molvis  of  this  era.

According  to  the  Maaliki  Math-hab,  the  fundamentals  are  the same,  namely,  Sa’  and  the staple  food.

“The  dominant  staple  food  from  wheat,  barley,  rice,  corn, dates,  raisins,  and  cheese,  is  Waajib………. Paying  (the  Sadqah  Fitr)  with  that  which  is  not  the  dominant  staple  food  is not  valid  except  if  it  is  of  a  superior  kind,  for  example  if  the  staple  food  is  barley,  and  they  pay  with  wheat,  it  will suffice.”  [Al-Mathaahibul Ar-ba’ah] 

It  will  be   clear  from  the  aforementioned  citations  that  according  to  all  four  Math-habs,  the  determinants  for   Sadqah  Fitr  are  the  Sa’  and  the  staple  food  of  a  community.  In  all  the  Math-habs,  the  differences  centre  around  these  two  essential  requisites.  This  has  been  the  position  of  the  Shariah  since  the  time  of  Rasulullah  (Sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam).  It  is  only  in  our  time  that  some  Molvis  lacking  in  proper  understanding,  are  advocating  a  new  carrion  standard  which  is  in  total  conflict  with  the  Ijma’  (Consensus)  of  the  Ummah.

While  promoting  and  propagating  generosity  for  the  Fuqara   are   most  welcome,    this  should  not  be  at  the  expense  of  interfering  with  the  ahkaam of  the  Shariah.

Some rules of Sadaqah fitr

1.  Sadaqatul  fitr  or  Fitrah  is  waajib  (compulsory)  upon  all Muslims-  male,  female  and  children  who  on  the  Day  of Eid-ul-fitr  are  owners  of  the  Nisaab  of  Zakaat.  I.e. approximately  the  rand  value  of  the  current  price  of 19.6875  troy  ounces  or  612g  of  silver  (Hanafi  Math-hab). According  to  the  Shaafi  math-hab,  Fitrah  becomes  obligatory,  if  one  has  sufficient  food  for  one’s  household for  one  day  and  one  night  (24  hours).  Thus,  if  one  is  not  the  owner  of  the  Zakaat  Nisaab  value,  Fitrah  will  yet  be  compulsory  according  to  the  Shaafi  Math-hab.

2.  According  to  the  Hanafi  Math-hab,  the  Fitrah  becomes Waajib  when  the  Day  of  Fitr  dawns  with  the  commencement  of  Fajr  time.  Therefore,  if  someone  died  before  entry  of  Fajr  on  the  day  of  Eid,  Fitrah  will  not  be  paid  out  of  his  (the  deceased’s)  estate,  since  the  Fitrah  is  not  Waajib  upon  him.  And,  if  a  child  is  born  before  the  rising  of  FajrFitrah  will  be  paid  on  his  behalf.  If  the  child  is  born  after  the  entry  of  Fajr  (on  the  day  of  Eid),  Fitrah is not Waajib on his behalf.

3.  According  to  the  Shaafi  Math-hab,  Fitrah  becomes incumbent  with  the  commencement  of  the  night  of  Eidul-fitr,  i.e.  the  moment   the  sun  sets  on  the  last  day  of Ramadhaan.  Thus,  if  someone  dies  after  sunset  on  the  last day  of  Ramadhaan  (i.e.  the  first  of  Shawwaal)  Fitrah  shall be  paid  out  of  his  estate.  Fitrah  will  not  be  waajib  upon  a  child  born  after  sunset  of  the  last  day  of  Ramadhaan.

4.  According  to  the  Hanafi  math-hab,  the  father  has  to  pay  the  Fitrah  on  behalf  of  his  minor  children,  i.e.  those  who  have  not  yet  attained  the  age  of  puberty.

5.  According  to  the  Hanafi  Math-hab,  it  is  not  obligatory upon  the  husband  to  pay  the  Fitrah  on  behalf  of  his  wife. If  she  is  the  owner  of  the   Nisaab,  she  shall  pay  her  own  Fitrah.

6.  According  to  the  Shaafi  Math-hab,  it  is  obligatory  upon the  man  to  pay  the  Fitrah  on  behalf  of  his  minor  children  as  well  as  his  wife.

7.  If  a  minor  is  the  owner  of  wealth  to  the  amount  of  Nisaab, then  payment  of  Fitrah  on  behalf  of  the  minor  could  be  made  from  his  (minor’s)  wealth.  This  is  according  to  both  Hanafi  and  Shaafi  Math-hab.

8.  The  Fitrah  should  preferably  be  paid  before  the  Eid Salaat.

9.  It  is  not  permissible  to  delay  the  Fitrah  later  than  the  day of  Eid.  However,  if  it  was  not  paid  on  the  day  of  Eid  or  before,  the  obligation  remains  and  the  Fitrah  will  have  to be paid.

10.  It  is  permissible  to  pay  the  Fitrah  in  advance  at  anytime during  the  month  of  Ramadhaan.  This  is  according  to  both  Hanafi  and  Shaafi  math-hab.  However  according  the Hanafi  Math-hab,  Fitrah  could  be  paid  even  before Ramadhaan  whereas  according  to  the  Shaafi  Math-hab,  payment  of  Fitrah  before  Ramadhaan  is  not  valid.

11.  Sadaqatul Fitr  is  Waajib  upon  all  those  who  fasted  as  well  as  those  who  did  not  fast  for  some  reason  or  the  other. This  is  according  to  both  Hanafi  and  Shaafi  Math-hab.

12.  Fitrah  amount  is  the  price  of  approximately  1.75kg  flour according  to  the  Hanafi  Math-hab.  According  to  the  Shaafi  Math-hab  it  is  3.5kg  of  Flour.

13. Instead  of  cash,  Flour  may  be  given.

14.  Fitrah  can  only  be  paid  to  the  “poor”.  Those  who  are  entitled  to  accept  Zakaat.

15.  Fitrah  cannot  be  utilized  for  any  charitable  purpose  other  than  the  poor.  Therefore,  if  Fitrah  money  are accumulated  and  then  spent  on  some  other  charitable  cause,  the  Fitrah  obligation  of  the  Fitrah  payers  will  not  be  discharged.

HOW MANY RAK’ATS IN WITR? [Hanafi]

[Mufti Abdur-Rahman Ibn Yusuf Mangera]

WITR HAS BEEN noted to be one of the most complex issues of prayer. There are approximately seventeen aspects concerning the witr prayer around which there lie differences of opinion. However, in this chapter we will focus on the following three issues: (1) How many rak’ats is the witr prayer? (2) How many salams in the witr prayer? (3) Is performing one rak’a sufficient for witr?.

There are numerous hadiths which report the number of rak’ats to be performed in witr. However, due to many inconsistencies found in them. It becomes very difficult to formulate an opinion that is in complete agreement woth the literal meaning of each narration. It is therefore necessary to interpret some of these narrations in order to harmonize their meaning with other similar narrations.

In this chapter, various narrations on the witr prayers will be analyzed in-depth in an attempt to establish those procedures of performing witr that are most in conformance with the sunna.

HOW MANY RAK’ATS IS THE WITR PRAYER?

The first discussion is concerning the number of rak’ats that should be performed for witr.

THE VARIOUS OPINIONS

According to Imam Shafi’i, witr should be performed in the units of one, three, five, seven, nine or even eleven rak’ats. He states in his book Kitaab al-Umm that one rak’a can be performed as witr. However, ‘Allama Qastalani relates in his commentary of Sahih al-Bukhari, Irshad al-sari, that Qadi Abu’l Tayyib was of the opinion that it is undesirable [makruh] to perform just one rak’a for witr. (Irshad al-sari 2-259)

Qadi Abu’l Tayyib is regarded as one of the greatest scholars of Shafi’i fiqh and is also one of its main teachers in Iraq during his time. He studied under Imam Daraqutni, and among his students were the likes of Khatib al-Baghdadi and Abu Ishaq al-Shirazi.

Following this, there is a difference of opinion among the Shafi’is as to how the rak’ats of witr should be performed. One opinion is that during Ramadan, three rak’ats should be performed with one set of salams, and in other months with two sets – one in the second rak’a and the other in the third. Another opinion states that one set of salams should be made if the witr is being performed in congregation, and two sets if it is being performed individually.

The opinions of Imam Malik and Ahmad are similar to that of Imam Shafi’i with just a few minor differences. The commentator of sifr al-sa’ada relates an opinion of Imam Ahmad which states that a single rak’a of witr is undesirable [makruh]. According to the Imam, a person must perform some rak’ats before performing the witr. A similar opinion has been narrated from Imam Malik as well. He relates a hadith in his muwatta on the authority of Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas in which the Companion is described as performing a single rak’a for witr. Following this narration, Imam Malik states:

Our practice is not based on this, since witr [in our opinion] is atleast three rak’ats. (Muwatta Imam Malik 77)

The above review of opinions can be concluded as follows. According to Imam Shafi’i, witr can be performed in any number of odd rak’ats, ranging from one to eleven. Imam Ahmad’s main and more popular view is that the witr be performed as one rak’a and the rak’ats performed prior to it be considered as Qiyam al-layl or tahajjud [night-vigil prayer] (al-Mughni). Imam Malik also does not recommend performing a single rak’a for witr. He recommends that at least three rak’ats be performed. Imam Abu Hanifa’s opinion is simply that witr should be performed as three continuous rak’ats with two sittings – one in the second rak’a and the other in the third – with salams to be performed in the final sitting only.

THE HADITHS ON THIS ISSUE

Before looking at the apparently conflicting hadiths, we will first look at those hadiths which clearly state that witr consists of three rak’ats.

1. It is reported from Abu Salama that

He asked Aisha (radhiyallahu anha) regarding the prayer of the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) during Ramadan. She explained, “The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) would not perform more than eleven rak’ats, neither in Ramadan nor out of it. He would perform four rak’ats, and do not ask of their beauty and length; followed by another four; and do not ask of their beauty and length; after which he would perform three [witr].” Aisha (radhiyallahu anha) continued, “I asked, O Messenger of Allah! Do you sleep before you perform witr.” He replied, “O Aisha! My eyes sleep but my heart does not.”‘ (Sahih Bukhari 1:154, Sahih Muslim 1:254, Sunan al-Nasa’i 1: 248, Sunan Abi Dawud 196).

In this narration Umm al-mu’minin [Mother of the Believers] ‘A’isha (radhiyallahu anha) mentions that the witr prayer performed by the Allah’s Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) consisted of three rak’ats.

2. Sa’d bin Hisham (radhiyallahu anhu) relates that,

‘Aisha (radhiyallahu anha) informed him that the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) did not make salams in the second rak’a of witr. (Sunan al-Nasa’i 1:248, Muwatta Imam Muhammad 151)

3. This narration has also been mentioned by Imam Hakim with a slight variation:

The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) would not make salams in the first two rak’ats of witr. (al-Mustadarak 1:304)

Imam Hakim then states “[This Narration is] authentic according to the conditions of Imam Bukhari and Muslim.” ‘Allama Dhahabi agreed with him.

4. The following is another variation of the above narration related by Imam Hakim:

The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) would perform three rak’ats of witr making salams only at the end [in the final rak’a]. This was the practice of the Leader of the Faithful ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab (radhiyallahu anhu) and it is from him that the people of Madina acquired this practice. (al-Mustadarak 1:304).

5. Sa’d ibn Hisham (radhiyallahu anhu) narrates:

The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), after completing the ‘Isha prayer, would enter his home and perform two rak’ats, followed by another two more lengthier than the first. Thereafter, he would perform the witr prayer without any interval in between [i.e. without salams in the second rak’a]. He would then perform two rak’ats sitting down with the bowing and prostration also sitting down. (Musnad Ahmad 6:156).

6. ‘Abdullah ibn Qays narrates:

I asked ‘A’isha (radhiyallahu anha), “How many rak’ats of witr did the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) perform?” She replied, “Four with three, six with three or eight with three. He would not perform more than thirteen rak’ats for witr or less than seven.” (Sunan Abi Dawud 1:200)

In this hadith, the whole tahajjud prayer has been described as witr, whereas in reality only three rak’ats were witr, and the four, six or eight rak’ats were tahajjud. This is the reason why Umm al-mu’minin ‘A’isha (radhiyallahu anha) distinguished the three rak’ats of witr and the various other rak’ats in the above narrations.

7. ‘Abd al-‘Aziz ibn Jurayj narrates:

I asked ‘A’isha (radhiyallahu anha) regarding the chapters the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) would recite in witr. She replied, “He would recite, ‘Sabbih isma rabbik al-A’la’ [Surat al-A’la] in the first rak’a, ‘Qul ya’ayyuha’l-kafirun’ [Surat al-Kafirun] in the second, and ‘Qul huwallahu ahad’ [Surat al-Ikhlas] along with ‘Mu’awwadhatayn [Surat al-Falaq and al-Nas] in the third.” (Sunan Abi Dawud 1:208, Sunan al-Tirmidhi 1:106, Sunan ibn Majah 1:82)

Imam Tirmidhi has declared this hadith to be sound [hasan].

8. Imam Hakim has related a very similar narration from ‘A’isha (radhiyallahu anha) through ‘Amra bint ‘Abdul Rahman and has stated it as being in accordance with the strict conditions of both Imam Bukhari and Muslim. ‘Allama Dhahabi has also verified this by stating that the hadith has been transmitred through a reliable chain of narrators. (al-Mustadarak 1:305)

9. Muhammad ibn ‘Ali reports from his father, who narrates on the authority of his father, ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas (radhiyallahu anhu), that

the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) rose at night, cleaned his teeth with a siwak [toothstick], and then performed two rak’ats of prayer, then went back to sleep. He again rose,  used the siwak and made wudu’, and thereafter performed another two rak’ats of prayer, [on and on] until he has completed six rak’ats [in this manner]. He then performed three rak’ats witr followed by two rak’ats [nafl]. (Sahih Muslim 1:261, Sunan al-Nas’ai 1:249)

10. ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas (radhiyallahu anhu) has also reported the following narration regarding the Messenger’s (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) witr prayer:

During the night before dawn, the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) would perform eight rak’ats [tahajjud] and three rak’ats witr, followed by two rak’ats [nafl]. (Sunan al-Nas’ai 1:249)

11. ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas (radhiyallahu anhu) narrates:

The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) would perform three rak’ats witr. He would recite, ‘Sabbih isma rabbik al-A’la’ [Surat al-A’la] in the first rak’a, ‘Qul ya’ayyuha’l-kafirun’ [Surat al-Kafirun] in the second, and ‘Qul huwallahu ahad’ [Surat al-Ikhlas] in the third. (Sunan al-Tirmidhi 1:106, Sunan al-Nas’ai 1:249, Sunan ibn Majah 82)

Numerous other Companions in their narrations have also mentioned the Messenger’s (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) recitation of these three surats [chapters] during witr in the above mentioned order:

(1) ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn ‘Abza (radhiyallahu anhu) (Musannaf ibn Abi Shayba 2:298)

(2) ‘Ubay ibn Ka’b (radhiyallahu anhu) (Musannaf ibn Abi Shayba 2:300)

(3) ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib (radhiyallahu anhu) (Sunan al-Tirmidhi 1:106)

(4) ‘Abdullah ibn Abi ‘Awfa (radhiyallahu anhu) (Majma’ al-zawa’id 1:241)

(5) ‘Abdullah bin Mas’ud (radhiyallahu anhu) (Majma’ al-zawa’id 1:241)

(6) Nu’man ibn Bashir (radhiyallahu anhu) (Majma’ al-zawa’id 1:241)

(7) Abu Hurayra (radhiyallahu anhu) (Majma’ al-zawa’id 1:241)

(8) ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) (Majma’ al-zawa’id 1:241)

(9) ‘Imran ibn Hussain (radhiyallahu anhu) (Musannaf ibn Abi Shayba 2:298)

(10) Abu Khaytama through his father Mu’awiya ibn Khadij (radhiyallahu anhu) (Majma’ al-zawa’id 1:241)

The narrations of these Companions further support the opinion that witr consists of  three rak’ats.

12. Thabit al-Bunani reports that Anas bin Malik (radhiyallahu anhu) addressed him saying:

O Thabit! Take this from me, for you will not hear it from anyone more trustworthy than myself, since I heard it from the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), who acquired it from Jibril, and Jibril acquired it from Allah Ta’ala. The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) performed the ‘Isha prayer when I was in his company, followed by six rak’ats [nafl], during which he made salams at every second rak’a. Thereafter, he performed three rak’ats witr with salams at very end (Kanz al-‘ummal 4:196)

The great historian and Hadith master Ibn Asakir has narrated this hadith through a reliable chain.

From the above narrations, a number of points are derived: (1) it is established that witr is three rak’ats; and (2) that the three rak’ats are to be performed together and concluded with salams at the end of the third rak’a.

THE COMPANIONS AND THE FOLLOWERS ON THIS ISSUE

1. Miswar ibn Makhrama reports:

We finished burying Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu), when ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhi) remembered that he had not yet performed witr. He stood up and we formed rows behind him. He lead us in three rak’ats and made salams only at the end [in the third rak’a] (Musannaf ibn Abi Shayba 2:293 U, Musannaf ‘Abd al-Razzaq 3:20 U)

2. Ibrahim al-Nakh’ay reports that ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab (radhiyallahu anhu) said:

I would not neglect the three rak’ats of witr, even if I were to receive red camels in exchange (Muwatta Imam Muhammad 150)

In those times red camels were considered valuable assets.

3. Hasan al-Basri was informed that

‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) would make salams in the second rak’a of witr. Hasan al-Basri informed that ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) was a greater jurist than [his son], and his practice was to say the takbir and stand from from the second rak’a [for the third without making salams] (al-Mustadrak 1:304)

4. Makhul reports:

‘Umar ibn al-Khattab (radhiyallahu anhu) would perform three rak’ats of witr without salams inbetween (Musannaf ibn Abi Shayba 2:295)

5. ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ud (radhiyallahu anhu) says,

The rak’ats of witr are similar to the daytime witr prayer (i.e. Maghrib) [(Muwatta Imam Muhammad 150, Majma’ al-Zawa’id 2:242U)]

6. Ibrahim al-Nakh’ay reports that ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ud (radhiyallahu anhu) said:

One rak’a does not suffice for witr (Muwatta Imam Muhammad 150)

7. It is reported from Anas (radhiyallahu anhu) that

Witr is three rak’ats (Musannaf ibn Abi Shayba 2:293)

8. Abu Mansur reports:

I asked Ibn ‘Abbas (radhiyallahu anhu) regarding the number of rak’ats in witr. He replied, “Three rak’ats” (Sharh Ma’ani’l Athar)

9. ‘Ata’ reports that ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas (radhiyallahu anhu) said:

Witr is similar to the Maghrib prayer (Muwatta Imam Muhammad 150)

10. Hasan al-Basri reports,

Ubay ibn Ka’b (radhiyallahu anhu) would perform three rak’ats for witr and would make salams only at the end of the third rak’a (Musannaf ‘Abd al-Razzaq 2:294)

11. Abu Ghalib reports that

Abu Umama (radhiyallahu anhu) would perform three rak’ats for witr (Musannaf Ibn Abi Shayba 2:294)

12. ‘Alqama, the student of ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ud reports that

Witr is three rak’ats (Musannaf Ibn Abi Shayba 2:294)

13. It is reported that Ibrahim al-Nakh’ay would so:

There is no witr consisting less than three rak’ats (Musannaf Ibn Abi Shayba 2:294)

14. Abu’l-Zanad reports:

‘Umar ibn ‘Abd al-‘Aziz designated the rak’ats of witr to be three  based on the ruling of the jurists, with salams to be made only at the end (Sharh Ma’ani’l Athar)

15. It is reported that Hasan al-Basri said:

The Muslims have reached a consensus concerning witr being three rak’ats with salams only at the end (Musannaf Ibn Abi Shayba 2:294)

The reason for quoting the statements of so many Companions and Followers [tabi’in] is that their opinions and practices hold a high status in Islamic law. Whenever a conflict is found between the hadiths concerning a certain issue, the scholars turn to the actions and statements of the Companions to remedy that conflict. The Companions undoubtedly possessed great insight into the reality of these issues, to to them being blessed with the close company of the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). The scholars therefore hold their opinion in high regard and normally adopt those hadiths which conform to their practice. Likewise the opinions of the Followers are also regarded since they succeeded the companions and were the bearers of their knowledge.

The more prominent Companions like Sayyidina ‘Umar, ‘Ali, ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ud, ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar, Anas ibn Malik, ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas, ‘A’isha, ‘Ubay ibn Ka’b and Abu Umama (radhiyallahu anhuma) all stated in clear terms that witr consists of three rak’ats. Those who came after them, like Ibrahim al-Nakh’ay, ‘Alqama, Abu Ishaq, Qasim ibn Muhammad and others held the same opinion. Even the renowned fuqaha sab’a “the seven great jurists” of the earlier (will follow later), concluded that the witr has three rak’ats . This was such a widely accepted opinion that Hasan al-Basri reported consensus [‘Ijma] on it.

HOW MANY SALAMS IN THE WITR PRAYER?

The Hanafi opinion in this matter is that, like every other prayer, only one set of salams be made in witr. According to this opinion, one must not make two sets of salams and cause the third rak’a to be performed separately.

The opinion of the other scholars is that the musalli [person praying] should first perform two rak’ats and then, after terminating them with salams, perform the third rak’a separately with another set of salams.

There are a number of reasons which establish the superiority of the Hanafi position on this issue.

(1) None of the narrations mentioned above declare that two sets of salams should be made within the three rak’a prayer. On the contrary, many of them have stated that the three rak’ats are to be performed continuously without any break in between. It is quite evident that if there had been an interval in between the second and the third rak’ats, the narrators would have certainly mentioned it.

(2) The narrations of ‘A’isha (radhiyallahu anha) portray witr to be like any other set of three rak’ats, as they do not mention the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) making an extra set of salams in the second rak’a. It should be noted that ‘A’isha (radhiyallahu anhu) is considered as the most knowledgeable person regarding the Messenger’s (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) witr prayer. This is due to her close observance of the Messenger’s (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) witr prayer while at home, where he was habitually performing it. Hence, without further debate, her explanation that witr consists of three rak’ats should be accepted.

(3) Some narrations, which have been reported from ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu), state that the witr was performed as a single rak’a. Many scholars claimed that Ibn ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) never actually saw the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) performing the witr prayer, and that his narrations cannot be preferred over those of ‘A’isha and Ibn ‘Abbas (radhiyallahu anhum), both of whom were known to have seen Allah’s Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) performing the prayer.

(4) One narrations states:

The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) prohibited the “incomplete prayer” [butayra’ lit. an animal which has had its tail cut off] – where a person performs a single rak’a as witr.

Although this narration is said to contain some weaknesses, its prohibition of performing witr as one rak’a holds; due to it being authentically transmitted through a number of reliable chains [asnad]. In his Lisan al-Mizan, Hafiz Ibn Hajar has related this narration through a strong chain under the biography of ‘Uthman ibn Muhammad, one of its narrators. With the exception of ‘Uqayli – known for his extreme strictness in the criticism of narrators (even though his criticism here is only of a mild nature) – most scholars of hadith have judged ‘Uthman ibn Muhammad to be reliable. Hakim al-Naysaburi has related a narration from him in his Mustadarak and called it authentic, which ‘Allama Dhahabi has verified. Hence, the status of the hadith can be no lower than hasan [sound], and the prohibition mentioned in it of performing one rak’a separately will stand as a strong command [see Fath al-Mulhim 2:309]

(5) Many of the elect Companions, like ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab, ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib, Ibn Mas’ud, Ibn ‘Abbas, Hudhayfa ibn al-Yaman, Anas ibn Malik, Ubay’ ibn Ka’b (radhiyallahu anhum) all performed witr with only one set of salams at the end of the salat. Some of their narrations have been mentioned above and others can be found in the numerous collections of hadith; the chapters (on witr) of which are especially replete with the narrations of ‘A’isha (radhiyallahu anha) on witr. Therefore, the sunna method of performing witr would be to perform them as a continuous set of three rak’ats as practised by these great Companions.

(6) In some hadiths, the Maghrib prayer, with contains only one set of salams at the end, has been called “the witr prayer of the day.” Therefore, “the witr prayer of the night” should also be offered like the Maghrib Salat – with only one set of salams in the last rak’a.
There is a report which mentions that the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) prohibited that the witr be performed like the Maghrib prayer. What this actually means is that one should not perform the witr alone, like Maghrib, without performing any dual set of rak’ats [Shuf’a] before it. The report does not mean that one must make salams in between and separate the last rak’a from the first two.

(7) The “seven great jurists” [fuqaha sab’a] all agreed that the witr was to be performed as three rak’ats with salams only at the end. These seven jurists would be consulted by the people on various issues, and whatever the majority of them agreed on would be accepted as the legal ruling [fatwa]. In his book, Imam Tahawi has related their unanimous opinion that witr should be performed as three rak’ats with salams made only in the last rak’a. The seven jurists were: Sa’id ibn al-Musayyib, ‘Urwa ibn al-Zubayr, Qasim ibn Muhammad, Abu Bakr ibn ‘Abd Rahman, Kharija ibn Zayd, ‘Ubaydullah ibn Abdillah and Sulayman ibn Yasar (may Allah be pleased with them all) [(Awjaz al-Masalik 1:434)].

(8) Hasan al-Basri reported a consensus [‘Ijma] on the opinion that witr was three continuous rak’ats without any intervals in between; which means that is was a widely accepted view.

These points make it easy to conclude that the witr is indeed three rak’ats with a single set of salams to be performed in the third, and the final, rak’a. This was the widely held opinion among the Companions and the Followers (may Allah be pleased with them).

SOME CONFUSING NARRATIONS

1. Sa’d ibn Hisham asked ‘A’isha (radhiyallahu anha) to describe for him the witr prayer of the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). She replied:

We would prepare his siwak [toothstick] and water for his ablution [wudu’]. Allah would have him wake up during the night whenever He willed, and the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) would clean his teeth with the siwak and complete his ablution. He would then perform nine rak’ats and would sit on the eighth rak’a only, in which He would remember Allah, praise Him, and invoke [du’a] Him. Thereafter he would stand up without making salams abd perform the ninth rak’a, then he would sit down, and [again] he would remember Allah, praise Him, and invoke Him. He would then make the salams [loud enough] for us to hear. After salams, he would perform another two rak’ats sitting down. So, my son, these were eleven rak’ats.
When the Messenger became of age and heavier, he would perform [only] seven rak’ats, abd his practice in the [final] two rak’ats  would be the same as his earlier practice [of performing them seated]. So these were [in total] seven rak’ats. (Sahih Muslim 1:256)

The apparent wording of this narration suggests that the Messenger’s (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) witr prayer was a total of nine rak’ats, in which he would sit only at the end of the eighth rak’a and complete the prayer with salams in the ninth. The hadith then states that this was his earlier practice, for later on he reduced the rak’ats to seven, sitting briefly in the sixth and ending with salams in the seventh.

In Sunan al-Nasa’i, Muwatta Imam Malik and a number of other hadith collections, the same narration has been transmitted through the same chain with the following addition, “The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) would not make salams in the second rak’a of witr.”  In the version of al-Mustadarak, it states, “The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) would perform three rak’ats witr with salams only at the end.” In Musnad Ahmed, it states:

After the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) had performed the ‘Isha prayer, he would enter his home and perform two rak’ats, followed by another two lengthier than the first. He would then perform witr without any interval in between, after which he would perform a final two rak’ats seated.

The following points come to light after studying the various transmissions of this narration:

(a) At most, the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) would perform a total of eleven rak’ats at night. Included in this were the witr and the two rak’ats that succeeded it.

(b) Three rak’ats out of eleven were witr.

(c) He would sit in the second rak’a of witr without making any salams.

(d) After witr, he would perform two rak’ats seated.

(e) He would sit at the end of every second rak’a.

From these points we learn that the various narrations concerning witr are indeed describing the same procedure of performing witr. The reason why they appear to be conflicting is due to the different words used in most of them.

The version in Sahih Muslim only states that the total number of rak’ats performed, without offering much detail as to how they were performed in connection with the tahajjud prayer. The reason for this is that ‘A’isha (radhiyallahu anha) was specifically asked about the witr prayer and not about tahajjud. Hence, she did not feel it was necessary to provide any details about the rak’ats of tahajjud performed before the witr. So, providing details about the witr, she said, “The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) would sit without making salams on the eighth rak’a.” This eighth rak’a was in reality the second rak’a of witr, which was being performed after the six rak’ats of tahajjud; then, on the ninth rak’a (the third rak’a of witr), he would make salams and thus completing his witr prayer.

It was common knowledge at that time that the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) always performed his tahajjud prayer in sets of two; so ‘A’isha (radhiyallahu anha) did not provide any detail about them and thus mentioned the total number of rak’ats together. Lastly, she ended by saying that the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) would perform yet another two rak’ats seated after performing the ninth rak’a, bringing the total number of rak’ats to eleven.

This is most like the soundest interpretation for this hadith, as it encompasses all the variations of Sa’d bin Hisham’s narration, and at the same time reconciles the apparent conflicts between them. In summary, the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) would perform the tahajjud prayer in sets of two, as stated in the above-mentioned narration in Musnad Ahmad (and probably all other narrations on tahajjud); and thereafter perform the three continuous rak’ats of witr, with salams made only at the end. After the final salams, he would then perform two more rak’ats sitting down.

2. ‘A’isha (radhiyallahu anha) narrates:

The Messenger’s (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) prayer at night would be thirteen rak’ats, five of which would be witr; and he would sit only at the end.

The apparent wording of this hadith describes the witr prayer of the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) as being a continuous set of five rak’ats. However, just as in the previous narration, the apparent meaning in this narration  is not to be taken as an implied meaning. The reason for this is that ‘A’isha (radhiyallahu anha) only specified the total number of rak’ats performed by the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) at night and included in it the two rak’ats the two rak’ats of nafl performed sitting down after the three rak’ats of witr. This is what she refers to when she says, “Five of which would be witr” (i.e. including the two rak’ats of witr).

When she says, “he would sit only in the end,” it means that he would not sit for any lengthy period of time during the prayer to make extra supplicarion [du’a’] and remembrance [dhikr] except at the very end. He sat only briefly in every other rak’a to recite the tashahhud. Furthermore, she did not even mention that he made salams in the third rak’a of witr, as it was common knowledge that salams has to be made in the third rak’a. What ‘A’isha (radhiyallahu anha) was referring to when she said, “he would sit only in the end,” was the final sitting of the Messenger’s two rak’ats nafl salah that follpwed his witr. (the Messenger would only sit for an extended period of time in the final sitting of his last set of two rak’ats nafl salat).

Some Hanafi scholars have explained this narration in a slightly different way. They state that it is known that the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) would perform the rak’ats of tahajjud standing up or sitting down, and the witr prayer he would always perform standing up, while the two rak’ats following the witr he would mostly perform sitting down. Hence, if the hadith is approached with these points in mind, the apparent meaning of this hadith cannot be taken.

What really happened, they explain, is that the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), according to his normal routine, performed the witr along with the tahajjud prayer standing up and then sat down to perform the two nafl rak’ats. ‘A’isha (radhiyallahu anha) described his prayer by saying, “he would sit only in the end,” – that the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), after having performed the first eleven or so rak’ats (tahajjud and witr) standing, sat down and performed the last two rak’ats of nafl. She states that he sat down to perform the last two rak’ats of nafl after having performed all the other prayers standing up. [See Darse Tirmidhi 2:210-220, Fath al-Mulhim 2:219]

This makes the above narration of ‘A’isha (radhiyallahu anha) very clear and dispels the nption that the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) performed a lengthy prayer comprised of many rak’ats, with only one sitting at the end and no sitting postires in between the various postures he performed. The following narration of Ibn ‘Abbas (radhiyallahu anhu) further corroborates this explanation:

The Messenger of Allah performed eight rak’ats and seven rak’ats in Madina, i.e. Zuhr and ‘Asr [together] and Maghrib and ‘Isha [together] (Sahih Muslim 1:246)

No scholar has taken this statement to imply that each of the four rak’ats of Zuhr and ‘Asr, and the three of the Maghrib and four of the ‘Isha were combined together in such a way that there was no interval between them.

The reason why the scholars have disregarded such an interpretation is because it suggests a new method of prayer that is inconsistent with the normal method of prayer used regularly by the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) and his Companions (radhiyallahu anhum). In the same way, those narrations which apparently suggest a new method for witr contrary to the normal practice of prayer being a minimum of two rak’ats, will have to be interpreted accordingly and not taken literally.

IS ONE RAK’A SUFFICIENT FOR WITR??

‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) narrates:

Someone asked the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) about prayer at night. The Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said, “The prayer at night should be performed in sets of two. Then, when one anticipates the break of dawn, he should perform one more rak’a which will convert what he has performed into witr for him.” (Sahih Bukhari 1:135, Sahih Muslim 1:257)

In another version of this narration it states, “Witr is a single rak’a performed towards the end of the night.” The version in Sunan Ibn Maja states, “The prayer of the night is [performed] in sets of two, and the witr is a rak’a [performed] before dawn.”

Some scholars have deduced from these narrations that the witr is a single rak’a to be performed on its own separately. This deduction however does not bring out the real meaning of this hadith as all the characteristics of prayer have not been taken into consideration. The following points should be considered:

(a) May Allah Ta’ala bless the great Shafi’i scholar Hafiz Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani, who states in his Fath al-Bari:

It could be contended that this [hadith] is not absolutely clear with regards to the intervals [between the second and third rak’ats of witr]. It is possible that the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) intended by his statement, “he should perform one more rak’a,” that this rak’a should be performed together [Mudafatan] with the two rak’ats before it (Fath al-Bari 2:285U)

Hence, the real meaning of this hadith is that a person should perform the tahajjud prayer in sets of two throughout the night, and upon reaching the end of his vigil [qiyam al-layl], he should add an extra rak’a to the final set of two and make it three rak’ats. This way, the rak’ats of his tahajjud and witr prayer will add upto an odd number and thereby be in accordance with the Messenger’s (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) statement:

Then, when one anticipates the break of dawn, he should perform one more rak’a, which will convert what he has performed into witr for him (Sahih Bukhari 1:135, Sahih Muslim 1:257)

(b) The Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said regarding the sacred pilgrimage [haj]:

The pilgrimage is ‘Arafa (Sunan al-Tirmidhi, ibn Maja, al-Daraqutni)

This narration is also not to be taken literally, as it would mean that a person’s pilgrimage is completed by him merely proceeding to the plain of ‘Arafat, standing there for sometime, and then returning home without even entering into pilgrim sanctity [ihram]. This is obviously not a valid interpretation since it has neglected many integral aspects of the worship. In actuality, the hadith is only expressing the importance of standing [wuquf] in ‘Arafat, as it is one of the integrals of the pilgrimage; and not that it is an only integral act to be performed for haj.

Similarly, by stating that the witr is one rak’a performed before the end of the time, the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) is only defining the distinctive factor between witr and two rak’ats of tahajjud; that adding an extra rak’a to the last two rak’ats of tahajjud would render all three rak’ats into witr, thus allowing the person to fulfill his requirement of witr.

(c) The personal practice of Ibn ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu), although appearing otherwise from the above hadith, was to perform three rak’ats of witr together; as is indicated in the following narration of Imam Malik:

Ibn ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) would state that the Maghrib prayer is the witr of the day (Muwatta Imam Malik 77)

If the Maghrib prayer (which everyone agrees is three continuous rak’ats) has been stated as being the witr of the day, then it follows that the witr prayer itself should be performed as three continuous rak’ats as well.

In the light of the above, it is very difficult to establish that the witr could be performed as just one rak’a. Hafiz Ibn Hajar relates in his Fath al-Bari that Ibn al-Salah said:

We cannot infer from the narrations of witr, despite their being so many, that the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) only performed a single rak’a for witr (Fath al-Bari 2:15)

Hence, any narration which states that the witr prayer was anything but three rak’ats cannot be taken literally. Instead, it has to be analyzed and suitably interpreted so as to draw out its true meaning and harmonize it with other narrations that mention the witr as being three rak’ats.

A FINAL QUESTION

After reading the hadiths of this chapter, one might ask why these narrations differ from one another in describing the witr prayer? The answer to it is very simple. There are two types of narrators. Firstly, there are those who refer to the whole combination of the night prayer [tahajjud] and witr as being witr, and do not mention any distinction between the two. They state only the total number of rak’ats the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) performed at night, since it was common knowledge anyway that the final three rak’ats of the tahajjud prayer would be set aside for witr. Hence, they include the whole night-vigil [tahajjud] prayer when mentioning the witr prayer. Examples of this can be found above in the section titled “Some Confusing Narrations.”

As opposed to this, the second type of narrators do not refer to all of the rak’ats as being witr, but rather describe the tahajjud and witr prayers separately in terms of the number of rak’ats performed for each. Hence, they do not leave any room for speculation. The majority of the second type of narrations state very clearly that the witr consists of three rak’ats. Examples of this can be found above in the section titled “The Hadiths on This Issue.” Imam Tirmidhi, quoting the words of Ishaq ibn Rahway [or Rahuya] concludes:

The narrations that state that the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) performed thirteen rak’ats witr actually mean (as Ishaq says) that he performed thirteen rak’ats including the three rak’ats of witr, and [it follows from this] that the whole night prayer was refferred to as witr. (Sunan al-Tirmidhi 1:105)

Imam Abu Muhammad al-Manbaji, a Hanafi jurist and hadith scholar, writes:

One way of reconciling between the [conflicting] narrations is to say that [initially] the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) ised to perform one rak’a as witr and even instructed others in this; but his final position was to perform [the witr as] three rak’ats (al-lubab fi’ l-jam’i bayn al-sunnati wa’ l-kitab 1:173).

CONCLUSION

In conclusion, the witr should be performed as three rak’a prayer, since that is how, according to the majority of the narrations, the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) performed his witr prayer. These three rak’ats should be performed together without separating the third rak’a from the first two. Performing one rak’a witr has been classified as being an incomplete prayer by the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). Evidence of this is the fact that there is no other example of a prayer consisting of just one rak’a in Islamic jurisprudence. Hence, the witr prayer should be performed continuously just like the Maghrib prayer and not on its own as a single rak’a.

Furthermore, it has been made clear that the practice of the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) was to perform witr at night after the tahajjud prayer. He would perform the tahajjud prayer in sets of two rak’ats until the time of Fajr drew close, at which time he would add an extra rak’a to the final set, thuse converting both the last two rak’ats set and the additional rak’a into witr. Surely, this explanation is what the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) intended when he said,

Then, when one anticipates the break of dawn, he should perform one more rak’a, which will convert what he has performed into witr for him (Sahih al-Bukhari 1:135, Sahih al-Muslim 1:257).

And Allah Ta’ala knows best.

I’TIKAAF, LAILATUL QADR & EID UL FITR

[Darul Uloom Sabeelur Rashad]

I’TIKAAF

Ramadaan is a time of Ibaadah to Allah and gaining closeness to Him. Among the many ways leading to His closeness is the act of I’tikaaf. I’tikaaf is to seclude oneself in the Masjid with the intention of I’tikaaf (seclusion) for the sake of Allah.

I’tikaaf can include such seclusion for which the period is fixed as well as when it is not fixed. Based upon this the scholars have considered three types of I’tikaaf; Wajib, Sunnah and Nafl.

Wajib I’tikaaf refers to that essential seclusion in the Masjid which comes into effect through a vow/promise/oath, or as the Qadaa of a Sunnah I’tikaaf which became null. The least period for this type of I’tikaaf is one day and its night, and must be accompanied by fasting of the day with expressed intention.

The Sunnah I’tikaaf refers to that seclusion in the Masjid during the last ten days of Ramadaan which must also be observed along with fasting of the days. It begins before the sunset of the 20th day of Ramadaan, i.e. before the 21st night, and ends when the moon of Shawwaal is seen.

Nafl I’tikaaf refers to optional seclusion in the Masjid for any amount of time. The period is not fixed and fasting is not a condition for its observance.

So long as a person remains in the Masjid with the intention of seclusion as a form of worship to Allah it will constitute I’tikaaf.

I’tikaaf is indeed a great and significant form of worship to Allah for which He bestows an abundance of rewards and benefits. It was also an established practice of the Holy Prophet (Sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) which he used to perform frequently, especially in the Holy month of Ramadaan. Sometimes, he would even remain in I’tikaaf for the entire month of Ramadaan in order to achieve rewards of Lailatul Qadr and closeness to Allah. This has been mentioned in an authentic Hadith narrated by Abu Saeed Khudri who said that “Rasuulullah (SA) once performed I’tikaaf in a tent (inside the Masjid) for the first ten days of Ramadaan and then extended it to the middle ten days. Thereafter, he put his head out of the tent and said: ‘Verily in search of Lailatul Qadr did I perform I’tikaaf for the first ten days and extended it to the next ten days for the same purpose; then I was told that this night is in the last ten days, so those with me should also continue the I’tikaaf.” (Bukhaari and Muslim)

Every year after the Hijrah (migration) to Madinah until his departure from this world, the Prophet (Sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) remained in I’tikaaf for the last ten days of Ramadaan. In fact, in the last year of his blessed life, he remained in I’tikaaf for the last twenty days of Ramadaan.  This is seen from several Ahaadith as follows:

Aishah (Radhiyallahu anha), the blessed wife of the Prophet (Sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) relates that, “Rasuulullah (Sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) used to perform I’tikaaf regularly during the last ten days of Ramadaan until he passed away. Then his wives observed this practice after him.” (Bukhaari and Muslim)

It has also been reported by Abu Hurairah (Radhiyallahu anhu) that, “Rasuulullah (Sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) performed I’tikaaf for ten days every year in the month of Ramadaan. In the year he passed away, he observed it for twenty days.” (Bukhaari)

Therefore, in conformity with the continuous practice of the Prophet (Sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  and those after him, the Jurists of Islam have considered I’tikaaf performed in the last ten days of Ramadaan as ‘Sunnah Muakkadah ‘alal Kifaayah’, i.e. an Emphasized Sunnah upon a sufficing basis. Therefore, if at least one sane, adult Muslim, male or female, observes it in a locality, then all the other Muslims would be saved from the sin of neglecting this emphasized Sunnah. If however, no one from the locality performs it, then all would be guilty of neglecting the emphasized Sunnah of I’tikaaf.

The author of Hidaya (an authoritative text on Fiqh) writes, ‘It is correct to say that it is Sunnah Muakkadah because Rasuulullah (Sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) regularly performed I’tikaaf in the last ten days of Ramadaan, and doing something with regularity is a proof of it being Sunnah.” (Hidaya Vol. 1 Pg. 229)

The Sunnah I’tikaaf would not be fulfilled for a period less than ten days and must be accompanied with fasting. Therefore, if one remained in I’tikaaf only a few days of the last ten days and did not remain for the other days, the Sunnah will not be achieved. Likewise, if one did not fast in these days whether out of negligence or because of valid excuses like sickness or journey, the Sunnah I’tikaaf will also not be achieved and in both cases it will be regarded as Nafl I’tikaaf.

REWARDS AND VIRTUES

There are many traditions which have mentioned the excellent virtues and benefits of observing I’tikaaf. In one Hadith, Ibn Abbas (Radhiyallahu anhu) said, “The person performing I’tikaaf remains free from sins, and he is indeed given the same reward as for those who do righteous deeds.” (Ibn Majah)

By remaining in the Masjid, the right atmosphere is created for doing good actions, and at the same time, it serves as a protective shield for the person against the evils and sinful temptations that lurk outside. The one observing I’tikaaf has been prevented, by the Shariah, from performing other good actions out of the Masjid, like Janaazah, visiting the sick, etc. The Hadith gives the good tidings to those in I’tikaaf, of the rewards of these actions in spite of not doing them. This is because the person in I’tikaaf remains in the house of Allah as His guest to engage in His worship, and to seek His pleasure only. As such he does not leave the Masjid for his own needs or desires. Thus Allah, Who is the Giver of rewards to those who engage in actions outside the Masjid becomes pleased with those inside the Masjid in I’tikaaf and may give them the same rewards, out of His great bounty and mercy.

In another narration, it has been reported by Hazrat Ibn Abbaas (Radhiyallahu anhu) that the Prophet (Sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said, “Whosoever performs I’tikaaf for a day (thereby seeking Allah’s pleasure), Allah will place three trenches between him and the fire of Hell, the width of each trench being greater than the distance between the Heaven and the Earth.” (Tabrani, Baihaqi, Hakim)

Aisha (Radhiyallahu anha) narrates that Rasuulullah (Sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said, “If a Muslim performs I’tikaaf with the hope of gaining reward, then all his previous sins are forgiven.” (Dailami)

In another Hadith reported by Hazrat Husain (Radhiyallahu anhu), the Prophet (Sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said, “Whoever performs I’tikaaf for the final ten days of Ramadaan, for him is the reward of two Hajj and two Umrahs; and whoever performs I’tikaaf from Maghrib until Ishaa, doing nothing except performing Salaah and reciting the Holy Quraan, Allah will prepare a place for him in Jannah.” (Baihaqi and Tabrani)

Besides these virtues, I’tikaaf creates a bond between a servant and Allah. This has been elucidated by Allaamah Ibn Qayyim as follows: “The basic purpose of I’tikaaf is that the heart gets attached to Allah, and with it, one attains inner composure and self-control; pre-occupation with the mundane things of life ceases; absorption in the eternal reality takes its place. The state is reached whereby all fears, hopes and apprehensions are superseded by the love and remembrance of Allah; every anxiety is transformed into the anxiety for Him; every thought and feeling is blended with the eagerness to gain His nearness and to earn His good favour;  devotion to the Almighty is generated instead of devotion to the world, and it becomes a provision for the grave where there will be neither a friend nor a helper. This is the high aim and purpose of I’tikaaf which is the speciality of the most sublime part of Ramadaan, i.e. the last ten days.”

The similarity of the person in I’tikaaf is like a beggar who has knocked at the door of someone very generous and is determined not to leave and not to stop knocking until he receives what he desires. The author of Maraqiul Falah has mentioned that, ‘what actually takes place in I’tikaaf is that the heart is drawn away from everything else except the Creator, while his soul is actually laid at His door-step.’

Allah, Who is Most Merciful and Relenting, will surely fulfill the needs of His servants, answer their calls, and quench their thirst for forgiveness, rewards and mercy while they are in this state of devotion and worship during I’tikaaf.

While in I’tikaaf, one receives the additional benefits and virtues of: Lailatul Qadr (better than one thousand months in rewards); congregational Salaah (25 to 27 times more reward); performance of Salaah in the first row (great rewards so much so that people would fight for it if it is known); waiting for Salaah before its time and from one Salaah to  the other (angels supplicate for mercy and forgiveness for him); a person’s heart becomes attached to the Masjid (one of those who will be shaded on the Day of Judgement from the burning sun); and it becomes easy to perform other Sunnah and Nafl acts of I’baadah like Tahajjud, Ishraaq, recitation of Quraan, Dhikr, etc., for which there are  special rewards.

PLACE OF I’TIKAAF

I’tikaaf of males must be performed in the Masjid. The most preferred place for I’tikaaf is Al Masjidul Haram in Makka, then Masjid an Nabawi in Madinah, then Masjidul Aqsaa in Jerusalem, then the Jami’ Masjid (main congregational Masjid) in one’s town, then the Masjid with the most amount of worshipers where the five daily Salaah are performed in congregation. If the five congregational Salaah are observed only during the days of I’tikaaf, then I’tikaaf will be allowed in it. To do I’tikaaf in Masaajid in which the five congregational Salaah are not performed even during the days of I’tikaaf is not preferred.

It should be noted that the Masjid refers to the area of the building which was fixed as Masjid by the persons or organization who erected the Masjid and demarcated its boundaries. Any extended hall, annexed building, etc. even under the same roof of the fixed Masjid area will not be considered as Masjid. If one who is performing I’tikaaf goes to that area knowingly or unknowingly, without a valid Shariah excuse, the I’tikaaf is rendered null. It is therefore important for those intending the performance of I’tikaaf to enquire and know the boundaries of the Masjid where he is performing his I’tikaaf.

I’tikaaf by women will be performed in the prayer room/area of their home. If such a place is not fixed then she should demarcate an area fixed for the purpose. It is Makruuh (disliked) for women to observe I’tikaaf in the Masjid.

LAWS PERTAINING TO LEAVING THE MASJID

A person performing I’tikaaf must spend all his time in the Masjid and should not venture outside for even a moment except to fulfill those religious/Shariah and natural necessities which cannot be fulfilled within the Masjid.

The valid reasons for leaving the Masjid which will not nullify the I’tikaaf are as follows:

To answer the call of nature.

One should go to the nearest facility which can fulfill his need. If the toilet is occupied then it is permissible to wait until it is vacant. However to delay unnecessarily after using it  would render the I’tikaaf null. It is permissible to talk briefly, to give or return Salams, to enquire of the sick, on one’s way to and from the toilet without halting for these reasons. It is also permissible if incidentally, on the way, without intent, there was Janaazah Salaah being performed and he joined its performance.

To take an obligatory bath.

It is not allowed to leave the Masjid with the intention of taking a bath for Jum’ah or to refresh or cool oneself. If however one leaves the Masjid for a valid reason, like answering the call of nature, and washes himself or takes a refreshing bath while using the toilet, not taking additional time, it will be allowed.

To make Wudu.

It is not allowed to leave the Masjid for Wudu only for recitation of Quraan since one can read Quraan without touching it. If however, Wudu is performed for the performance of any Salaah, the reading of Quraan by touching it will also be achieved. If facilities are provided inside the Masjid for Wudu then one is not allowed to leave for that reason, but should ensure that droplets do not fall onto the Masjid floor while making Wudu.

To call the Adhaan.

It is permissible for the Muadh-dhin,  as well as for another person desirous of calling the Adhaan, to leave the Masjid to call the Adhaan, but they must return immediately.

For organizing meals.

If no one is available to organize food and drink for the person in I’tikaaf he is allowed to leave, organize quickly his meals, and thereafter return in the Masjid to eat and drink therein. If someone is available then it is not permissible for him to leave. It should be noted that to assist someone in I’tikaaf brings great rewards.

Proceeding to another Masjid.

If Jum’ah is not performed in the Masjid where I’tikaaf is being performed then one in I’tikaaf is allowed to leave for another Masjid in which it is being observed. He must leave his Masjid at such a time that would allow him to reach and perform his Sunnah Salaah at the next Masjid just before the commencement of the Khutbah.

BREAKERS OF I’TIKAAF

Only Wajib and Sunnah I’tikaaf are rendered invalid. Nafl I’tikaaf is not considered null by any act.

–  To leave the Masjid without a valid Shariah reason for even a moment, whether intentionally, unintentionally, by mistake or under compulsion will render the I’tikaaf null.

–    If the fast is broken during the day of I’tikaaf, whether for a valid or an invalid reason, the I’tikaaf will become null. If one forgot that he was fasting and ate or drank something then neither the fast nor the I’tikaaf will be broken, provided that he did not continue eating or drinking when he remembered.

–   Having intimate relationship with a woman/wife with or without emission, as well as kissing, fondling and other such acts which leads to emission will nullify the I’tikaaf.

PERMISSIBLE FACTORS TO BREAK THE I’TIKAAF

The following are factors/reasons which may occur which makes it permissible to break the I’tikaaf. However the Qadaa of it must be performed.

–   To seek medical treatment if a disease emerges which cannot be cured except by leaving the Masjid

–   To save a person who is drowning or burning or to prevent a fire (or other great disasters)

–   To take care of one’s parents, wife or children if they are afflicted with an extreme sickness and have no one to tend to them

–   If one is compelled to leave such as in the case of a government’s warrant of arrest

–   If a Janaazah arrives and there is no one else to perform it.

MAKRUUH (DISLIKED) ACTS WHILE OBSERVING I’TIKAAF

–    To maintain total silence

–    To indulge in waste and idle talks

–   To engage in excessive sleeping so as to waste away the time

–  To unnecessarily pass wind in the Masjid

–    To read books or magazines which are not Islamic in nature

–   To set up the partition for those in I’tikaaf in such a way that it inconveniences others

–  To engage in worldly activities unnecessarily

LAILATUL QADR

THE NIGHT OF POWER

Allah in his infinite mercy has showered his bounties and favors upon the Muslims in the holy month of Ramadaan.

Not a day or night goes by except that Allah multiplies the reward for the one who performs good deeds in this holy month.

From among the special nights of this month, there is one which is known as Laylatul Qadr (The Night of Power). A person who engages in  worship on this particular night will be given a reward better than that one who has performed worship for one thousand months.

Allah has named a Surah after this night in the Holy Quraan, and in it He mentions the great virtue of this night when He says: “The Night of Power is better than one thousand months.” (Surah 97.V 3)

Allah has been very kind to the Ummah of Muhammad (Sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) whereby because of the virtue and blessings of this night we are able to compete with the previous nations in doing good deeds even though our life span may be shorter.

In this regard, Ibn Abi Hatim has reported from Mujahid that the Messenger of Allah (Sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) was told about a person from among the Bani Israeel who used to worship Allah throughout the night and fought in the path of Allah during the day for one thousand months.

Upon hearing this, the Sahabas, (Radhiyallahu anhum) though amazed at the actions of such a devout servant became despondent, as it would have been impossible for them to attain such rewards. Allah then revealed Surah Qadr as a mercy and consolation to the believers that whosoever stands on the Night of Power in the worship of Allah will be given a reward better than that one who worships Allah for one thousand months.

Another great significance of the Night of Power as mentioned in Surah Qadr is that the Holy Quraan was sent down from the Preserved Tablet to the lowest Heaven and then revealed to the Prophet (Sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) in that very month. On this night, Angel Jibraeel along with other angels descend, making Dua of mercy for those believers whom they find busy in the worship of Allah.

Lastly, Allah mentions in this Surah that on the Night of Power, one will be able to experience a sort of peace and tranquility until the break of dawn, a night of complete goodness having no evil in it.

Hazrat Abu Hurairah (Radhiyallahu anhu) reports that the Messenger of Allah (Sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said, “Whosoever stands in worship on the Night of Power with sincere faith and hope of gaining reward all his previous (minor) sins will be forgiven.” (Bukhaari and Muslim)

The commentators mention about this Hadith that the Messenger of Allah (Sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) exhorts the believers not only to stand in Salaah but also to perform all other types of worship.

Therefore, one who performs worship on this night solely to gain the pleasure of Allah and not for any worldly gain and benefit with the belief and hope that Allah will reward him for his good deeds will Inshallah have his previous (minor) sins forgiven.

It should also be noted at this point that this night does not have any specific form of worship nor does it have a fixed amount. We should therefore exert ourselves on this night in Nafl Salaah, recitation of the Holy Quraan, doing the Zikr of Allah, making Dua etc. to the best of our abilities.

As for the actual date of the Night of Power, it lies only in the knowledge of Allah Ta’aala. The Messenger of Allah (Sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) himself searched for this night as it is mentioned in a tradition, “The Messenger of Allah (Sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) secluded himself for the first ten nights of Ramadaan. Then he secluded himself for the middle ten nights. Then he raised his head and said, “Verily I secluded myself in the first ten nights of Ramadaan seeking this night. Then I secluded myself in the middle ten nights. Then I was approached and told that it is in the last ten nights.” (Bukhaari)

He (Sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) has also stated in another tradition: “Search for the Blessed Night in the odd nights from the last ten nights of Ramadhan. (Bukhaari)

The scholars are of different opinions as to which night is actually the Night of Power because of the various traditions that have reached them from the Messenger of Allah (Sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  and his Companions (Radhiyallahu anhu). However, it is necessary for us to search for the Night of Power in the odd nights from the last ten nights of Ramadaan as indicated to us from the above mentioned traditions.

One should therefore not think that the Night of Power must be on a particular night but one must search for it, as this is what the Messenger of Allah (Sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  has taught us to do.

While we do not know which night is the Night of Power, there are some signs given to us by the Messenger of Allah (Sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) in a narration of Ubaadah bin Saamit (Radhiyallahu anhu) reported by Imam Baihaqi, which can give us an indication to it.

They are as follows:

The night will be very quiet and serene.The moon will be bright and radiant.The temperature of the night will be neither too hot nor too cold.No shooting stars will be flung at the Shayateen until the break of dawn.The sun will rise in that morning without any radiant beams of light.

In an authentic tradition Hazrat Aisha (Radhiyallahu anha) said, “O Messenger of Allah, inform me what I should say if I recognize the Night of Power. He said, “Say : Al-laa hum-ma in-naka ‘afuw-wun kariimun tu hib-bul ‘afwa fa’fu an-ni.” (O Allah! You are forgiving. You love to forgive, so forgive me. ) (Imam Ahmad, Ibn Majah and Tirmizi)

We as believers, in trying to find the Night of Power should also say this Dua in abundance acting upon the advice of the Messenger of Allah (Sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) hoping to gain the forgiveness of Allah.

Finally the Messenger of Allah (Sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said in a tradition, “The one who has deprived himself of this night has deprived himself of everything good. And none is deprived of its good except he who is completely unfortunate.” (Ibn  Majah)

This means that if Allah has given us an opportunity to gain the reward which is more virtuous than eighty-three years and four months, and due to our negligence we are devoid of the blessings of this night, then surely we are from among the unfortunate ones.

May Allah give us the ability to search for and find the Night of Power. Ameen.

EID UL FITR

Eid ul Fitr (Festival of the Breaking of the Fast) is the first day of the 10th lunar month, Shawwaal.  It marks the end of the holy month of Ramadaan.

Eid ul Fitr is one of the two days of festivity in Islam. The other being Eid ul Adhaa. This has been established from an authentic Hadith narrated by Anas (Radhiyallahu anhu) that upon arriving in Madinah, the Prophet (Sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  found its people celebrating two days, which were upheld from the Days of Jaahiliya (Ignorance).  The Prophet (Sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said: “When I came upon you, you had two days that you continued to celebrate from Jaahiliya. Indeed Allah has substituted them for you with what is better, the Day of Sacrifice and the Day of Fitr.” [Ahmad, Abu Daud]

In another Hadith, the Prophet (Sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said referring to Eid ul Fitr: “Certainly for every community there is a day of Eid and this is our Eid”. [Bukhari, Muslim]

The word Eid literally means ‘recurrence’.  Thus Eid is, an occasion, which returns and recurs at specified times with renewed happiness and joy.  Muslims will return to the gathering of Eid with renewed zeal and enthusiasm and Allah returns to His servants with renewed bounties and rewards.

Even the nights which precede the Days of Eid, have also been marked as a time of great virtue and the scholars have considered it Mustahab (desirable) to do lbaa-dah on these nights. Rasulullah (Sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said:

“The heart of the person who remains awake (in lbaadah)- during the night of Eid ul Fitr and Eid ul Adhaa will not die on the Day when hearts will be dead, i. e. the Day of Qiyaamah “[Tibrani]

The Day of Eid follows its night with the blessings, forgiveness and mercy of Allah to His servants who fasted during the day and who stood up at night in prayer.  Allah rewards them immensely for having fulfilled their duties to him by adhering to restraint and guarding against evil; who endeavored in acts of piety and righteousness; who became engrossed in dua, dhikr and recitation of Quraan; who displayed kindness, love and compassion for others, and who spent the month of Ramadaan seeking His pleasure.

The Day of Eid is also spent in thankfulness to Allah.  Muslims will perform the Eid Salaah, which is Wajib (incumbent) and listen to the Khutba (sermon), which is Sunnah (commendable).

To give general charity on this day is commendable and rewarding.  However, Sadaqatul Fitr (Charity of Eid) is Waajib (incumbent) and must be given before the Eid Salaah.  It is especially meant for the poor and the needy so that they too can celebrate Eid.  It becomes binding to be given by all adults for themselves as well as all their dependents when one possesses  wealth beyond his needs for the day.

SOME COMMENDABLE ACTS FOR THE DAY OF EID

To rise as early as possible;

To perform Ghusl (bath);

To use miswaak;

To apply ‘Itr (Halaal, non-alcoholic perfume);

To wear ones best clothes;

To eat something sweet (such as dates) before departing for Eid Salaah;

To give Sadaqatul Fitr before leaving for the Musallah (Eid­ Ghah or Masjid);

To walk to the Musallah.  However, there is no harm in using any means of conveyance if the Musallah is a distance or there is an excuse;

To go to the Musallah using one route and to return by another route;

To recite the Takbeer while going to the Musallah. The takbeer is –

Al-laa hu akbar, al-laa hu akbar, laa ilaaha il-lal­laa hu wal-laa hu akbar, wa lil­laa hil hamd

The Day of Eid is indeed a joyous day and one should beware of his action not to displease Allah.

LITTLE CHILDREN IN THE MUSAAJID

[Majlisul Ulama]

Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “Keep your children and insane people away from your Musaajid.

The Musaajid are the Houses of Allaah Ta’ala and they deserve the utmost respect and reverence. We have been created for the worship of Allah Ta`ala, and the highest form of worship is Salaat. The Musaajid are the structures built specifically to execute this highest form of Ibaadat. The sanctity of the Musaajid cannot be overemphasised.

Not only is purity and cleanliness imperative in the Musaajid, they are also abodes of peace and tranquillity.

Little children pose a grave threat to both – the purity and tranquillity – of the Musaajid. It is for this reason that Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) expressly forbade their entry.

When the Shariah prohibits an Ibaadat such as thikr and even the Qur’aan Shareef to be recited loudly in the Musaajid, what then can be said of the raucous behaviour created by delinquent children!

A Hadith explains that when people speak (worldly or futile speech) in a Musjid, the angels curse such a person. Do parents who bring their little children into the Musjid desire that the curse of Allah Ta’ala and His angels fall on their children? In fact, the parent are liable for the disturbances created by their children.

It is stated in Al Ashbaah wan Nazaa`ir  that it is HARAAM to bring such children into a Musjid who have no perception of ritual cleanliness and who are themselves impure. If they are not impure and have some perception of ritual cleanliness, then too, it is Makrooh to bring them to the Musjid. [In the vocabulary of the Fuqahaa, ‘Makrooh’ denotes Tahreem. This means that to regularly bring small children (younger than the age of 7, who may even be well-behaved) to the Musjid is Makrooh Tahreemi – in other words – HARAAM).

When a child reaches the age of 7 and he is properly trained (at home) regarding cleanliness and he understands and respects the sanctity of the Musjid, he may be brought into the Musjid, otherwise not!

Children (who qualify to be brought into the Musjid) should also be taught to stand in a separate saff behind the adults. Children who stand amongst the adults, break the saff, thereby causing a deficiency in the Salaat of the adults.

Besides what has been explained above regarding small children, today there is a greater problem than the small children, and that is the unruly behaviours of  baaligh ‘children’ in the Musjid. They show no respect for the Salaat, the Musjid and the musallis. Many teenagers have absolutely no perception of the sanctity of the Musjid, and their parents display no concern for the misbehaviours of their baaligh ‘children’. Despite them being adults in terms of the Shariah, their behaviour at times is worse than the nabaaligh children. It is the incumbent obligation of parents to instil in their children the significance and importance of the House of Allah Ta’ala.

May Allah Ta`ala grant us all the proper understanding of the Deen.