Category Archives: Salaat/Namaaz

Straightening the Sufoof

By Mujlisul Ulama

Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: ‘Straightening the saff is of the completion of Salaat.”

Spiritually the Salaat is incomplete if the saff (row of musallis) is crooked. It is incumbent to form straight rows for the Jamaat Salaat. In most Masaajid the saff situation is deplorable. The saff should be straightened by placing the heels in line. Musallis tend to straighten the saff by lining up their toes. But, this is incorrect. In view of the differences in the sizes of the feet, the saff cannot be straightened correctly by attempting to have the toes in line. If the heels are in line, an observer from behind will see a straight line.

Nowadays it has become a common practice for invalids as well as those who imagine themselves to be invalids to sit on chairs while performing Salaat. Sometimes the chairs are placed incorrectly in the saff. The chairs interfere with the straightness of the saff if placed incorrectly. If invalids use chairs, they should ensure that the legs of the chair or the back of the chair is in line with the heels of the musallis. Only then will the saff be straight.

It is better to line the chairs in a row at the extremities of the saffs, not all over the show among the musallis in the saff. If there are several rows, then it is preferable to place a chair at the end of the saff against the wall, another chair behind it in the second saff, another chair behind it in the third saff and so on, one behind the other at both ends of the saffs if there are so many saffs.

If a person is unable to perform ruku and sajdah normally, but is able to perform qiyaam, he should sit and perform Salaat. This is the best method.

SALAAT AND SAUM IN ABNORMAL TIME ZONES

QUESTION

How should people perform Salaat and fast in such places where the day is 23 hours long, or in places where the sun does not set for six months? In these places of abnormal times, I have been confused by some weird ‘fatwas’ issued recently by a sheikh. Another person writes the following:

“Now in the UK, as well as Canada, Norway and any country above 48.5 degrees latitude, the whiteness never actually disappears at some times of the year. Also, for any place above 54.5 degrees latitude, which includes my birth town of Middlesbrough, the redness in the sky also does not disappear. This happens from around May 18th until July 25th (depending on where you are located.”

In the sixth Islamic century, Muhammad ibn Abi Qasim al-Baqali al-Khawarizmi issued the following ruling (‘fatwa’) “The time of Isha does not occur and therefore there is no Isha prayer”, Shams al-Aimmah al-Hilwani al-Bukhari disagreed and said that “there is Isha prayer because there is compulsion of prayer within the religion and this (compulsion) is not lifted due to the time (not occurring).” Imam Baqali responded by giving the following pertinent example: “When a person has his hand cut off, does he need to do ablution [ritual washing] on it? When a person has no hand, compulsion to wash that limb is removed and therefore when there is no time, compulsion to prayer Isha is also removed”. Imam Shamsul al-Aimmah, who was a famous and highly respected scholar throughout the Muslim world, to the extent that he was given the title of the ‘Sun of all Imams’, took back his own ruling (‘fatwa’) and issued a new ruling which supported the position of Imam Baqali. Fortunately, we had some genuine scholars at that time, something we are seriously lacking today, where people see correcting themselves as a sign of weakness and fight for their entrenched positions regardless of their absurdity or harm caused to the Muslim laity. This became the relied upon opinion (‘Mu’tamad’) within the Hanafi School which is narrated by huge number of Hanafi Scholars and can be found in the famous and authoritative books of that school, such as ‘Nur al Idah’, ‘Fatwa Shaamia’, ‘Fatwa Hindiyyah’ etc.

Of course, people will keep insisting on their own entrenched views and confusing the lay Muslims by trying to make it look as if the opposite is the true opinion of the Hanafis. Towards this end they often quote that the foregoing opinion was not accepted by Imam Kamal al Deen Muhammad bin Humam who is Sahibul Ikhtiyaar  (which means he is, due to his seniority, allowed to leave the relied upon opinion or ‘Mu’tamad’ of the School – but others are forbidden from following this opinion as that of the School in any case). His point was that prayer is known by consensus (‘Ijma’) and therefore its compulsion should not be removed. This is a weak position because washing your hands as a part of ablution is also Ijma but its compulsion can be removed as explained earlier. This opinion was incorrectly accepted and taken by some of the contemporary Hanafi scholars.

Kamal ibn Humam was a Hanafi scholar from the 15th century and was the first person to apply a numerical value to the ‘whiteness’ of the post sunset sky (aside from modern astronomers of course), which he ascertained as ‘18 degrees’. In this matter he doesn’t really leave the position of the Hanafi school as he is still following the position of the whiteness disappearing, he merely applies a numerical value to the situation. However, it is illustrative to note that there is the famous position of Imam Abu Hanifa that one does not apply a numerical value to something which has not been mentioned in the Quran or Sunnah. An example of this is the matter of what exactly is considered as a ‘large body of water’ (mentioned in the Islamic sources), whereas Imam Muhammad applies a numerical value to his position of how much this amount is, Imam Abu Hanifa does not. Therefore ‘18 degrees’ is a numerical estimation of the disappearing of whiteness, and the actual position of the Hanafi school is that Isha begins when the whiteness disappears. Fajr prayer begins when there is a thin white Horizontal line in the sky. As the whiteness never disappears this light is always present and this thin line does not appear after the darkness. Therefore Fajr prayer also does not begin.

Now even though we know that the time of the Isha prayer does not in fact occur in certain climes, yet there are some weak opinions about how one should calculate when to read Isha prayer irrespective of this reality. Aqrabul Ayyam (‘nearest day’), this is when you look use the time of the last day when the whiteness did actually disappear and one reads Isha prayer based on this time. Aqrabul Bilaad (‘nearest city’), which is to find the nearest city below 48.5 degrees, where the whiteness does disappear and use that time to establish the time of Isha prayer in your own city. Nisful Layl (‘half of the night’). This is when the night divided into two parts. In the first part one prayer Maghrib and Isha and this is also divided into two parts. There is also the opinion of Imam Shafi where he divides the night into seven parts. People are free to follow these but they are not licit within the Hanafi school (at least), and to mandate them upon people is an interesting example of a peculiar modern notion of ‘non-sectarianism’ or ‘non-partisanship’, where respect for other opinions and ‘unity’ in fact leads to the enforcement of just one opinion, often incongruent with Hanfism, upon its followers. If however the followers of a Madhab (school of thought such as Hanafi, Shafi etc) try to pick and choose between the madhabs by themselves, they are accused to ‘taking the easy way out’. So in reality, we see people who advocate a traditional point of view are accused of reviving rivalries between Madhabs and sectarianism, but this is just a means to unite everyone under the puritan or Salafi opinion, which itself is sectarian, as dissent from it is paradoxically labelled ‘sectarianism’ and ‘dividing the Ummah’ (community of believers). (End of letter)

Is what he said correct and is it true that if the whiteness cant be seen then we cant do isha prayer? In all masaajid here they specifically do Isha an hour and a half after Maghrib time but if the whiteness can’t be seen in the summer months does that mean our isha wont be valid what do we do?

ANSWER

The conundrum is the effect of modernists latching on to technicalities to find the easiest way out, and the easiest way in terms of the technicalities of some  Ulama is  that in certain abnormal times zones Salaat is Fardh five times in the whole year.

We are simple people and we set aside the technicalities for it is easy for us to understand that one of the fundamental articled of Imaan is the performance of five Fardh Salaat in 24 hours.

Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) had informed the Sahaabah that Dajjaal will dwell on earth for 40 days. One day will be as long as a year, one day as long as a month, one day as long as a week, and the balance of the days will be as normal. They asked whether Salaat on the day equal to a year will be only five times (in that whole year). Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) responded: “NO!” Calculate the time.” That is, in the 24 hours perform the five Salaat. Divide the time suitably to accommodate the five Salaat.

How should this time be calculated? The Fuqaha have explained several ways. One way is to take the times of the nearest location in that region where sunrise, sunset, etc. are normal. This is the simplest solution. In short, the people could use any method of convenience to fix the times for the five Salaat, and for Fasting.

In places where there is normal sun rise, sunset, etc., the Salaat and Fasting times will be as usual regardless of the length of the day. It will remain Fardh to fast. Assuming that some people are genuinely unable to fast for 22 or 23 hours – they would collapse or faint or become ill – then they should make Qadha in the next season when the normal days are extremely short. But the modernist theory of ending the fast before sunset simply because of the length of the day is baseless and haraam.

The writer has baselessly accused the Hanafi Ulama of acting in terms of a non-Hanafi tenet in this regard, but do not allow others to select from other Math-habs. It has always been a principle in the Hanafi Math-hab to adopt from any valid Math-hab a ruling when there is a dire need. But to decide and adopt this ‘dire need’ are not for laymen, least of all for deviate modernists. The authoritative Ulama will decide what is need. On other issues too, the Hanafi Ulama have adopted the rulings of other Math-habs in time of need. This is not an unknown or hidden principle of the Hanafi Math-hab.

We are under no obligation to follow the view of any particular Faqeeh as quoted by the writer. We are not the muqallideen of a particular Faqeeh. We are followers of the Hanafi Math-hab and we act within the latitude permitted by the Math-hab.

Deviated modernists and those whose ties with the Deen are extremely slack are kicking up a lot of dust and blowing hot hair full of sound and fury signifying nothing regarding this issue. This matter has been decided many centuries ago by the Fuqaha, in fact by Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) himself in his fatwa in the Hadith pertaining to Dajjaal.

SALAATUL ISTISQA’ – ITS METHOD AND CONDITIONS

Istisqa’ in the Shariah means to supplicate to Allah Ta’ala in a special form for rainfall. This dua is in the form of Salaatul Istisqa’. The following conditions necessitate performance of Salaatul Istisqa’:

⚫ Severe drought – total cessation of rain.
⚫ Lack of other sources of water such as wells, dams, streams, rivers.

When the water supply is adequate for the needs of the people, Salaatul Istisqa’ should not be made. Before proceeding to perform Istisqa’, Taubah and Istighfaar are necessary. Huqooqul Ibaad (rights of people) which had been violated or not discharged, should be fulfilled. Prior to emerging for performing Istisqa’ in the fields on the outskirts of the town/city, it is Sunnat to fast for three days. Istisqa’ will be performed on the fourth day, i.e. after completing three consecutive days of fasting. During the three day period Sadqah should be given. This Sadqah should be given on each of the three days.

On the fourth day, all the males and children of the Muslim community together with their domesticated animals (sheep, goats, cattle, etc.) should go walking to the outskirts of the town. It is not permissible to take non-Muslims with them. The people should walk with humility, with lowered heads making Thikr. They should be dressed simply, not in the manner people dress for Eid occasions. Ibn Humaam (rahmatullah alayh) explaining the etiquettes and rules of Salaatul Istisqa’ said: “People should emerge (from their houses) for three days. More than three days have not been narrated (i.e. it is not the Sunnah). They should come out (from their homes) and walk humbly and with fear. They should be dressed in old garments. On each of the three  consecutive days, they should give Sadqah after making Taubah.”

This Salaat will be performed in an open field on the outskirts of the town except in Makkah and Baitul Maqdis where it will be performed inside the Musjids.

Drought is the consequence of abundance of sins and flagrant transgression. It is a manifestation of the Wrath of Allah Ta’ala. Therefore, before performing Salaatul Istisqa’ it is essential to engage in a three day period of repentance (Taubah), charity (Sadqah) and fasting. The presence in the Salaat of unrepentant sinners and those who have not made amends for their acts of violation of the rights of others, and those who harbour animosity for Muslims, are impediments which prevent rainfall.

THE METHOD OF ISTISQA’

Istisqa’ is Dua for rain. It consists of two raka’ts which are performed in jamaa’t. There is neither Athaan nor Iqaamah. The Qiraa’t will be recited audibly by the Imaam. After the Salaat, two Khutbahs will be recited. Thereafter the Imaam will stand with hands raised, facing the Qiblah and implore Allah Ta’ala to send the rain. All present should also supplicate for rain.

While making dua for rain after the two Khutbahs, the Imaam should invert his shawl (turn the inside out). This process of Salaat and Dua should be repeated for three consecutive days.

Even if the rain falls on the first day, then too, the Salaah and Dua should continue for three days. The Salaat will then be an expression of shukr (gratitude). 

ISTISQA’ AND REPENTANCE

A severe drought was ravaging the region of Lucknow in India. There was intense suffering. Livestock was perishing. Water for even drinking was available with great difficulty. The community assembled outside the city to petition Allah Ta’ala for rain. The essential conditions for Salaatul Istisqa’ were observed. Adults and children altogether supplicated to Allah Ta’ala for rain. The only answer from the Heaven was fiercer heat from the blazing sun and clearer skies. There were absolutely no signs of the drought abating.

The suffering of the people and animals worsened. Finally, a group of prostitutes came to the administrator of the region and said: “We know that our evil is the cause of the drought. We all are now suffering. Make the necessary arrangement for us to perform Salaatul Istisqa’. Institute measures to prevent any man from looking at us while we proceed towards the outskirts to petition Allah for rain. No man should accompany us.”

The administrator made the necessary Purdah arrangements. The group of prostitutes proceeded to the outskirts of the town. There, they poured out their hearts to Allah Ta’ala. They repented and pledged never to return to their evil ways. They acknowledged that they were the cause of the people’s suffering. They now cried with sincerity and humility to Allah Ta’ala. And while they were repenting and crying, the rain clouds gathered. The skies darkened and the Mercy of Allah came in torrents. Rain was falling on all sides. The drought was broken.

This action of the ‘prostitutes’ is what the Shariah recognizes as a valid Salaatul Istisqa’. The community of Lucknow had also performed Istisqa’. Numerous Ulama and Sulaha had participated. But the rain did not come. Yet Allah Ta’ala answered the cries of the ‘prostitutes’.

The effect of a maqbool (accepted) Istisqa’ is immediate rainfall. The presence of unrepentant sinners and flagrant transgressors prevents the procession of the Istisqa’ into the Court of Divine Acceptance. Since there was a group of prostitutes who had not yet repented when the community had performed Istisqa’, the rain was withheld. When they repented, their powerful repentance pierced the heavens and reached the Divine Court of Acceptance, hence the drought was broken.

The Mas’alah of Standing at Hayya Ala al-Salah during Iqamat

Issues Related to Standing at Hayya Ala al-Salah

[By Maulana Zainul Abidin al-Qasmi, Jamia Arabia Rashidia Taajwid al-Quran, Jama Masjid, Nawabganj Aliabad, Dist. Bahraich]  

The followers of Barelwi sect are very strict regarding standing at Hayya ala al-Salah during iqamat (takbir) for Salah. If a person stands while the iqamat starts, they try to make him sit down. This issue has become a point of dissent between Barelwis and Deobandis; therefore many a times the Barelwis challenge their opponents to have debate over the issue.

Let us have a look at the books of Barelwis which prove that there is no scope of strictness in this regard; neither has it deserved the importance that they have given nor should it be made a point of dissent. Moreover, it would be proved that the Barelwi Muftis and ‘Ulama have deceived their people in this regard.

Great scholar of Barelwi Sect, Mufti Amjad Ali Ghoswi (Khalifa of Molvi Ahmad Raza Khan Barelwi) says in his book ‘Bahar-e-Shari’at’ under the title: Namaz ke Mustahabbat i.e. the desirable acts of Salah: “(11) To stand at Hayya ala al-Falah during takbir.” (Bahar-e-Shari’at, 3/107)  

This quote says that standing for Salah is mustahab at Hayya ala al-Falah, and in the same book he defines mustahab: “Mustahab is an act desired by Shari’ah, but causes no displeasure if left; if done will bring reward and if left then no reward at all.” (Bahar-e-Shari’at, 2/5)

It shows that there is neither an undesirability in standing at Hayya ala al-Falah according to Shari’ah nor any sin as it is mustahab and not standing at Hayya ala al-Falah is leaving a mustahab act and there is neither undesirability nor sin as per the Shariah in leaving a mustahab act. So there is no room for strictness in this issue and those who do not stand on Hayya ala al-Falah deserve no curse, as Molvi Ahmad Raza Khan himself has admitted in an issue that a person not practicing upon mustahab act is not to be condemned; since this is the status of mustahab. (Fatawa Rizwiyah, 5/414) 

Since standing on Hayya ala al-Falah was mustahab, there was no sense for strictness, so the Barelwi Ulama and Muftis diverted it to other direction and started saying that “it is Makrooh to listen takbir in standing position.” So Molvi Ahmad Raza Khan Barelvi wrote: “Listening takbir in standing position is makrooh.” (Fatawa Rizwiyah, 5/419)

Similarly, a fatwa issued by Darul Ifta Bareilly says: “Listening takbir in standing position is makrooh.” (Fatawa Bareilly Sharif, p. 66) 

It is obvious that one who will stand at the beginning of takbir instead of standing on Hayya ala al-Falah he will listen takbir in standing position, so the Barelvi Ulama regarded it as makrooh. But here what they mean by makrooh; makrooh tanzihi or tahrimi? Molvi Ahmad Raza Khan Barelvi has written: “When makrooh is general, it means makrooh tahrimi.” (Fatawa Rizwiyah, 1/911, 916)

Now let us see whether it is makrooh to listen takbir while standing or the Barelvi Ulama and Muftis have deceived their people?

It has previously been mentioned with reference to Bahar-e-Shari’ah that standing at Hayya ala al-Falah is mustahab, it means that whoever will stand on Hayya ala al-Falah he will listen takbir sitting, so listening takbir in sitting position will be mustahab; therefore Molvi Ahmad Raza Khan has written that “Listen the takbir sitting and stand for Salah at Hayya ala al-Falah.” (Fatawa Rizwiyah, 5/421)

So one who listens takbir standing he leaves a mustahab  act (listening takbir sitting). Nowwe have to confirm “whether leaving mustahab act is makrooh tahrimi?”  Molvi Ahmad Raza Khan Barelwi himself has written that “leaving mustahab is not even makrooh tanzihi let alone makrooh tahrimi.” (Fatawa Rizwiyah, 6/64) So now the question is: how listening takbir in standing position is makrooh tahrimi when it is mustahab act. This is only a mischief created to deceive the people; since it is already proved that listening takbir sitting is mustahab and leaving mustahab is neither makrooh tahrimi nor makrooh tanzihi

Now let us analyze the proof of Molvi Ahmad Raza Khan Barelwi which he gave to consolidate his claim that listening takbir standing is makrooh. He writes: “It is mentioned in Jam’i al-Muzmarat, Fatawa Alamgiriya and Radd al-Muhtar that if a person comes for Salah during takbir, it is makrooh for him to wait [for Salah] standing, rather he should sit down and stand at Hayya ala al-Falah. (Fatawa Rizwiyah, 5/380)
This quote mentions nowhere that listening takbir standing is makrooh, rather it says that waiting in standing position is makrooh. However, if it is supposed that waiting in standing position includes listening takbir standing, then also the aforementioned text of the books (Jam’i al-Muzmarat, Fatawa Alamgiriya and Radd al-Muhtar) denote that it is neither makrooh tanzihi nor tahrimi; since it is already said that leaving mustahab is not makrooh, so makrooh here will imply ‘tark-e-afzal’ (leaving a better act) which is in fact not ‘makrooh’ in real term. Therefore it is mere deception to present the texts of Jam’i al-Muzmarat, Fatawa Alamgiriya and Radd al-Muhtar in order to prove that listening takbir in standing position is makrooh.  

If someone objects that listening takbir in standing position is not makrooh tahrimi, rather tanzihi, then we can reply that it is already mentioned with the reference of Fatawa Rizwiyah that leaving mustahab act is not even makrooh tanzihi, so how listening takbir in standing position be called makrooh tanzihi? However, if someone insists to call it makrooh tanzihi then also there is no room for strictness in this issue; since Molvi Ahmad Raza Khan Barelvi writes: “It is better not to commit makrooh tanzihi, but there is no sin if committed.” (Ahkam-e-Shari’at, 3/284) So when it is not sin to stand on Hayya ala al-Salah it is not all right to observe strictness on it. Molvi Ahmad Raza Khan Barelvi himself used to commit makrooh tanzihi act as he writes about smoking huqqah that “it can be called makrooh tanzihi due to some reason” (Ahkam-e-Shari’at, 3/284) and he used to smoke huqqah as he himself says: “I do not recite bismiAllah while smoking huqqah.” (Malfoozat Ala Hadhrat, 2/199) If Molvi Ahmad Raza Khan Barelvi commits makrooh act, there is no problem, but if someone else does so why the Barelwis fight with him? Whereas listening takbir in standing position is not even makrooh tanzihi, while smoking huqqah is makrooh in the opinion of many Ulama. For this you can refer to Ahkam-e-Shari’at itself.

So far I have established the above-mentioned points from the books of Barelwi Ulama. It shows very clearly that the Barelwi Ulama and Muftis write something at a place and contradict it at another place, and as a result they are caught in the cobweb of their own writings. One more example of it is that Molvi Ahmad Raza Khan Barelwi writes at a place: “Imam and musallis should stand at Hayya ala al-Salah” then at the next page he says: “the imam and musallis should stand when the muezzin says Hayya ala al-Falah during the takbir.” (Fatawa Rizwiyah, 5/380)

While replying to a question whether Imam and muqtadi should sit down or stand up during takbir, he replies: “there is no special ruling for imam, but the muqtadis are asked to listen the takbir sitting and stand at Hayya ala al-Falah”. (Fatawa  Rizwiyah, 5/421) But he writes at another place: “After the khutba of Jumu’ah, the imam is at liberty either to sit down after the khutbah and stand at Hayya ala al-Salah or remain standing. There is no proof that he [the Prophet peace be upon him] used to sit down and wait for takbir, rather this ruling  (of sitting till Hayya ala al-Salah) is for the musallis only.” (Fatawa Rizwiyah, 5/419) See he writes at two places that Imam and muqtadi both should stand on Hayya ala al-Salah, while at two other places he says that there is no ruling for  imam in this issue, the ruling of standing at Hayya ala al-Salah is only for muqtadis. This is the condition of Ala Hadhrat!!!

Interesting point: Iqamat (takbir) is composed of 17 phrases from Allahu Akbar to La Ilaha Illa Allah, so one who stands at Hayya ala al-Salah he also listens much of takbir (9 phrases) in standing position. So on one hand you ask people to stand at Hayya ala al-Salah and at the other hand you say that listening takbir in standing position is makrooh, so the question is whether the phrases after Hayya ala al-Salah are not part of takbir, whether those are not listened in standing position?  

Those who emphasize on standing at Hayya ala al-Salah should know that as standing at Hayya ala al-Salah is mustahab, in the same way starting Salah at Qad Qamat al-Salah is also mustahab. (Bahar-e-Shari’at 3/538; Fatawa Rizwiyah 5/380) Is there any Barelwi mosque where the Salah is started at Qad Qamat al-Salah or they emphasize starting Salah at it? Is it not strange that they emphasize on a mustahab to an extent of fight, while they avoid acting the mustahab next to it?

Finally, I wish to state whether those who stand in the beginning of takbir instead of standing at Hayya ala al-Salah have any reason for doing so? There are two important things to note:

(1) standing at Hayya ala al-Salah and it is mustahab act,

(2) straightening the rows and filling the gap, this is Sunnah Mu’akkadah which is greater in rank than mustahab, so the mustahab act is left in order to act upon Sunnah Mu’akkadah; since leaving mustahab is neither makrooh tahrimi nor makrooh tanzihi, while it is bad to leave Sunnah Mu’akkadah which is bigger than makrooh tanzihi.  (Bahar-e-Shari’at 2/5)

Moreover, the mosques where people stand at Hayya ala al-Salah, the imam starts Salah while the muqtadis are still busy straightening the rows, whereas starting Salah with imam is also mustahab. While, those who stand up with the beginning of takbir they usually straighten the rows before the takbir completes and then start the Salah with imam. 

ADDENDUM

When should one stand up during the Iqamah?

By Mufti Muhammad Shafi’
(From Deoband.org)

When should the muqtadis stand up for salah in congregation? Should they stand before the iqamah begins, when the iqamah begins or when the words hayya ‘ala al-falah are reached?

The answer to this question lies in the practice of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) and the Noble Companions (may Allah be pleased with them).

Practice of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace)

(1) Sayyiduna Bilal (may Allah be pleased with him) would render the adhan for Zuhr after zawal (i.e., when the sun reaches its zenith or midway point). He would not say the iqamah until the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) emerged from his quarters. When he emerged and he saw him, the iqamah would begin. (Muslim)

(2) The people would stand for salah in preparation for the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace). The people would take their place in the prayer rows (saffs) before the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) stood up from his place. (Muslim)

(3) Sayyiduna Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) says that once they stood up for salah and straightened the rows even before the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) emerged from his quarters. (Muslim)

(4) The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) told the Companions: “Do not stand for salah until you see me”. (Al-Bukhari)

(5) Ibn Shihab narrates that the people would stand up for salah when the muezzin would say Allahu Akbar Allahu Akbar. The rows would be straightened before the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) reached his place [to lead prayer]. (Musannaf ‘Abd al-Razzaq)

(6) The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) would stand up from his place when Sayyiduna Bilal (may Allah be pleased with him) would say: “qad qamat al-salah“. (Majma’ al-Zawa’id)

These are six narrations describing the practice of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace).

The first narration explains that the general habit of Sayyiduna Bilal (may Allah be pleased with him) was to keep an eye on the quarters of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace). When he emerged from his quarters, Sayyiduna Bilal would commence the iqamah. ‘Allamah Zurqani in his commentary of the Muwatta of Imam Malik and Qadi ‘Iyad in Sharh al-Shifa have mentioned the above-mentioned explanation.

The words of ‘Allamah Zurqani:

“Sayyiduna Bilal would await the appearance of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace). As soon as he saw him, he would begin the iqamah; and this was even before most of the people saw him. The people would stand as they saw him. He would not stand in his (Allah bless him and give him peace) position until the rows were straightened.” (Sharh al-Zurqani, 1:214)

The second and third narrations substantiate that the Companions (may Allah be pleased with them) would usually stand up when the iqamah started and would begin straightening the rows.

Explaining the words “straightening the rows” in the third narration, Imam Nawawi writes in the commentary of Sahih Muslim: “There is an indication (in the words ‘straightening the rows’) that they considered this a Sunnah. The ‘ulama are unanimous on the merits of straightening the rows.” (Sharh al-Nawawi ‘ala Muslim, 5:103)

The fourth narration is indicative that at times Sayyiduna Bilal would commence with the iqamah even before the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) emerged from his quarters and the Companions would stand up and prepare the rows when the iqamah started. The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) for some reason got delayed in emerging from his quarters so he advised them not to stand before he came out. Obviously this was to save the people from the inconvenience of waiting while standing for a long period of time.

The words “do not stand until you see me” means that do not stand until I emerge from my quarters. It is also indicative that there is no harm in standing as soon as he emerged from his quarters.

The fifth narration explains the common routine; Sayyiduna Bilal would commence with the iqamah when he saw the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) emerging from his quarters and the people would stand up as soon as the iqamah commenced and begin straightening the rows.

The sixth narration makes clear that at times the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) would be present in the masjid well before the commencement of salah. In this case he would stand up for the salah when the muezzin said qad qamat al-salah. It seems that in this case the Companions stood up when he stood up.

The common factor derived from these narrations is that when the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) was not present in the masjid beforehand but would come out from his quarters, Sayyiduna Bilal would commence with the iqamah as soon as he emerged from his quarters and the Companions (may Allah be pleased with them) would stand immediately on hearing the iqamah and straightened their rows and the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) never forbade this practice.

Yes, he did discourage them from commencing the iqamah and standing up before his appearance from his quarters and this was because of his consideration for them, and if done, it is termed makruh tanzihi (slightly disliked) by the jurists [because of his discouragement].

Practice of the rightly-guided Caliphs

(1) Sayyiduna Nu’man ibn Bashir (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) would straighten our rows when we stood up for salah and only said the takbir  (i.e.,Allahu Akbar) for salah after we were straight [in the rows]. (Sunan Abu Dawud)

(2) Sayyiduna ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) would appoint people to straighten the rows. He would not begin the salah until he was told that the rows were straight. Imam Tirmidhi has recorded this narration and he has also written that this was also the practice of Sayyiduna ‘Ali and Sayyiduna ‘Uthman (may Allah be pleased with them both). (Nayl al-Awtar, 2:187)

The first narration explains the method of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) and the second narration the method of Sayyiduna ‘Umar, Sayyiduna ‘Ali and Sayyiduna ‘Uthman (may Allah be pleased with them). They would also themselves check on the rows and would not begin the salah until they were satisfied that the rows were straight, i.e., there were no gaps in-between the rows and all were in a straight line. They would not begin the salah until then.

This is possible when the people stand up for salah from the commencement of the iqamah, as mentioned in the narrations above that this was the usual procedure of the Companions (may Allah be pleased with them). If they had stood when the muezzin said hayya ‘ala al-salah or hayya ‘ala al-falah or qad qamat al-salah, and thereafter the straightening of the rows took place, the salah would have been delayed for a long period after the completion of the iqamah, which is unanimously condemned by the ‘ulama.

Rulings of the jurists

The jurists (fuqaha) have included this issue under the heading Adab al-Salah, i.e., Etiquette of Salah. Etiquettes are those factors that if a person leaves them out, he is not committing a makruh (disliked) act nor is he worthy of reproach. Fulfilling the etiquettes is best but to reproach a person who fails to fulfil them is not permissible and in fact a bid’ah.

The following is recorded in Al-Durr al-Mukhtar:

“The salah consists of a few etiquettes. No sin is incurred by leaving them out nor is reproach like leaving the Sunan al-Zawa’id but to act upon them more virtuous.” (Al-Durr al-Mukhtar, 1:477)

Regarding the views of the mujtahid Imams, Imam Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) writes in the commentary of Sahih Muslim:

“According to Imam Shafi’i (may Allah have mercy on him) and a group of scholars, it is mustahabb (recommended) not to stand up until the muezzin has completed the iqamah. Qadi ‘Iyad has related from Imam Malik (may Allah have mercy on him) and from many ‘ulama  that it is mustahabb to stand up when the muezzin commences the iqamah. Sayyiduna Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) would stand up when the muezzin said qad qamat al-salah and Imam Ahmad (may Allah have mercy on him) is of the same view. The view of Imam Abu Hanifah and the ‘ulama of Kufah is the people should stand when the muezzin says hayya ‘ala al-salah.” (Sharh al-Nawawi ‘ala Muslim, 5:103)

The details of the Hanafi madhhab are recorded in Al-Fatawa al-Hindiyyah (or Fatawa Alamgiri):

“If the muezzin and the imam is not the same person and the imam and muqtadis are in the masjid, the imam and muqtadis will stand when the muezzin says hayya ‘ala al-falah, according to our three ‘ulama (Imam Abu Hanifah, Imam Abu Yusuf, Imam Muhammed) and this is the correct view.

“If the imam is outside the masjid and he enters from behind the rows, each row [of muqtadis] will stand when he passes that particular row. This is the opinion of Shams al-A’immah Al-Halwani, Al-Sarakhsi and Shaykh al-Islam Khuwahar Zadah. If the imam enters the masjid from the front, the people will stand as soon as they see the imam. They will not stand before he enters the masjid.” (Al-Fatawa al-Hindiyyah, 1:57).

The following is recorded in Al-Badai’ al-Sanai’:

“The qiyam (standing) is for the purpose of salah [in Congregation] and it is not possible without the imam. Thus, standing [without the presence of the imam] is not beneficial. If the imam enters from the front of the masjid, the people will stand as soon as they see him because when he enters he will directly proceed to the place of leading the salah (imamah). If he enters from the back of the masjid [from behind the rows], the correct view is that each row [of muqtadis] will stand as he passes the particular row, for by his passing of each row it becomes valid for that row to follow him in salah. It is as if the imam is already on his place [in front of them] for each row passed.” (Al-Badai’ al-Sanai’,1:200)

Imam Malik himself has expressed his view in his compilation Muwatta in reply to a question:

“Imam Malik was asked when is it necessary for the people to stand for salah. He replied: ‘I have not heard of any definite ruling regarding this, but I suppose that this is according to the strength of the people. For, among them are those who are heavy and those who are light-bodied. All of them are not the same [and cannot stand at the same time]’”. (Muwatta Imam Malik, 2:96)

The views of the four Imams have been mentioned above. The summary is as follows: According to Imam Shafi’i it is mustahabb to stand after the completion of the iqamah. According to the statement of Qadi ‘Iyad, the view of Imam Malik is that it is mustahabb to stand from the commencement of the iqamah. But according to the statement in Muwatta, there is no fixed ruling for this and people should stand up according to their ability, respectively. A heavy-bodied person takes longer to stand up compared to a light-bodied person. A sick person also takes longer to stand up. A light-bodied person can stand up quickly.

The view of Imam Ahmad is to stand when the muezzin says qad qamat al-salah. The details of the view of the madhhab of Imam Abu Hanifah is explained in Fatawa Alamgiri and Al-Badai’ al-Sanai’ (above). If the imam and muqtadis are present in the masjid, then according to the reliable narration, they should stand when the muezzin says hayya ‘ala al-falah. If the imam is entering from outside then there are two scenarios: (a) if he is entering from the front of the masjid, themuqtadis will stand upon seeing the imam and (b) if the imam enters from the back of the masjid, each row will stand as he passes it.

Where the Hanafi madhhab is explained in Al-Bahr al-Ra’iq that if the imam and muqtadis are present in the masjid before time, the imam and muqtadis will stand when the muezzin says hayya ‘ala al-falah, the following reason is furnished:

“It is better to stand up on the words of hayya ‘ala al-falah because these words carry an instruction [to come to success]. Therefore on these words a person will make an effort and hasten [towards success]”. (Al-Bahr al-Ra’iq, 1:321)

This implies that those who are of the opinion that it is mustahabb to stand at hayya ‘ala al-falah and qad qamat al-salah because of the instruction contained in it, consider it against etiquette to still be seated thereafter but do not consider standing up before these words to be against etiquette, because standing before these words are said is also hurrying [towards success] on a greater level.

Thus, those who consider it mustahabb to stand at hayya ‘ala al-salah are not saying that to stand before it is contrary to mustahabb, but to remain seated after those words is against etiquette, for this will be against hastening towards obedience.

After pondering it will be realised that the four Imams are unanimous on two aspects:

(a) The differences of opinion is based on better and best and not a matter of impermissibility and blameworthiness (makruh). Thus, no one has the right to object or oppose anyone in this regard. The followers of the four madhhabs do not oppose each other in this matter.

(b) The consensus of the Companions, Followers (tabi’un) and unanimity of the four Imams proves that it is wajib (compulsory) to straighten the rows which should be attained before the salah commences and this can be easily achieved when the people stand up at the commencement of the iqamah. According to Imam Malik, there is no harm if the weak and the ill stand up a bit later.

The essence of this is as follows: When the Imam and muqtadis are present in the masjid before time, it is best to stand at hayya ‘ala al-falah and qad qamat al-salahaccording to Imam Abu Hanifah and Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal, and according to Imam Shafi’i after the iqamah is complete. According to Imam Malik, at the beginning of the iqamah and the general practice of the rightly-guided Caliphs and most Companions substantiate this view. Thus, the ruling of Sa’id ibn al-Musayyab is that to stand up at the beginning of the iqamah is not onlymustahabb but wajib.

Not one of the four Imams have ruled that it is necessary for the imam to first sit on the place of prayer to reprimand those who are standing and to consider those standing wrong. It is not the madhhab of any Imam to consider standing from the beginning as makruh or to or to think ill of or to insult such people.

The authentic views of the Hanafi madhhab has been mentioned in Fatawa Alamgiri and Al-Badai’ al-Sanai’ which have been approved by Shams al-A’immah al-Sarakhsi and other Hanafi scholars. No one among the Hanafi scholars in their books, commentaries and fatwa compilations have written that it is makruh to stand from the beginning except in the narration of Al-Mudmarat which has been related by Al-Tahtawi. No one else has said that it is makruh, and how could they say so whereas standing from the beginning [of the iqamah] has been proven from the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace), the rightly-guided Caliphs, the other Companions and Followers.

As far as the narration of Al-Mudmarat is concerned, Al-Tahtawi has recorded it as follows:

“If a person enters the masjid when the muezzin has begun the iqamah, the person will sit and will not wait while standing”. (Hashiyah al-Tahtawi ‘ala Maraqi al-Falah, 1:186)

This narration can clearly imply that the person will not wait while standing if the iqamah has begun before the imam has entered the masjid, which has been discouraged by the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) as mentioned earlier. The words “do not wait” means not to wait for the imam while standing. By taking this meaning of this narration, it now complies with the other narrations of the Hanafi madhhab and does not oppose the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) and of the Companions.

On the other hand, if it is interpreted that it is makruh for a person entering to stand while the iqamah is being said [but should first sit] and the imam is present in the masjid, then because it is contrary to the other texts and commentaries of the Hanafi madhhab, this narration will be ignored, because it is also contrary to the Sunnah and because the narration can be interpreted (to comply) as mentioned above.

Al-Tahtawi has interpreted the narration of Al-Mudmarat in this manner which opposes the common texts and commentaries of the Hanafis and also the Sunnah of the Companions in this regard. The greatness and knowledge of ‘Allamah Al-Tahtawi is in its place, but to interpret the narration in this manner is reason in itself to discard it.

In fact ‘Allamah Al-Tahtawi has recorded the same view as mentioned in Fatawa Alamgiri and Al-Badai’ al-Sanai’ in his commentary on Al-Durr al-Mukhtar, i.e., if the imam enters from the front of the masjid, the people will stand on seeing him, and if he enters from the back, each row will stand as he passes it.

It is recorded in Al-Durr al-Mukhtar that if the imam himself also renders the iqamah, the people will not stand until the completion of the iqamahAl-Durr al-Mukhtar narrates this with reference to Zahiriyyah.

Al-Tahtawi has written the following under this issue:

“From this previous discussion, sometimes some people understand (i.e., misunderstand) it to mean that it is makruh to stand from the beginning”. (Al-Tahtawi ‘ala al-Durr, 1:245)

The words “sometimes some people understand” used by ‘Allamah al-Tahtawi shows that to believe it as makruh is not a weighty opinion and he did not say that this is his opinion but said that some people take this meaning from the text.

To sum up, among all the Hanafi texts on this discussion, the text of only Al-Mudmarat is unclear and it can also be interpreted according to the views of the majority and the common texts of the Hanafi books. If the meaning of makruh is taken from it, then because it is contrary to the view of the Imams of the madhhab and texts and commentaries, it will be thrust aside.

Concluding remarks

It has been elucidated that the practice of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace), the rightly-guided Caliphs and the majority of the Companions and Followers was that when the imam enters the masjid people would stand from the beginning of the iqamah and straighten the rows.

If the imam is present in the masjid before time, it is mustahabb to stand at hayya ‘ala al-falah, meaning that it is against etiquette to remain seated after these words because it will be against the instruction of hastening towards success but not against etiquette to stand up before these words because it is hastening towards success even earlier.

In some masjids there is a custom that at the time of iqamah the imam emerges from one of the corners, considers it necessary to sit on the place of prayer (musallah) first, instructs those standing to be seated and censures them, this is not the view of any Imam or jurist of this Ummah but is a pure innovation (bid’ah).

Important advice

The purpose of this article was to clarify and explain this issue. Although the last method is contrary to the view of majority of the jurists and abominable, fighting and arguing over this issue is far worse. It is not appropriate to fight and argue over this issue. With affection and kindness, explain the issue to those whom there is hope that they will accept otherwise silence is better. Align your own actions according to the Sunnah and do not oppose others.

Allah Most High knows best.

Jawahir al-Fiqh, vol. 1, p. 309, Maktabah Dar al-‘Ulum Karachi, Karachi

The Sunnah Procedure After Fardh Salaat

By Mujlisul Ulama

After Fajr and Asr Fardh, the Imaam should turn either sideways – any side – or face the muqtadis. Everyone should then engage in his own thikr and dua silently. Tasbeeh Faatimi should be recited during this time. It is meritorious to also recite Aayatul Kursi. The duration of sitting and engagement in Thikr and Dua is left to the discretion of the musallis. It is highly meritorious to remain in Thikr and Dua until sunrise, and after Asr until sunset. The longer, the better. But no one has the right to castigate a musalli for not sitting as long as he (the castigator) chooses to sit. The loud congregational dua is bid’ah.

After the Fardh of the other three Salaat, the Imaam should not turn facing the muqtadis as promoted by some. The Imaam as well as the muqtadis should engage very briefly in Istighfaar and a short dua the length of the customary, Allaahumma antas salaam……. 

It is in conflict with the Sunnah to get up immediately after the Salaam and rush out of the Musjid without valid reason. The above-explained procedure should be adhered to. However, if someone has a valid reason for leaving immediately after the Salaam, it will be permissible. Obviously this will be an exceptional case.

After the short dua following the three Fardh Salaat (Zuhr, Maghrib and Isha), the musalli should  immediately engage in the Sunnatul Muakkadah. Other athkaar and lengthy dua should be after completing the Sunnat and nafl Salaat.

Salaat & The Treachery of the Ummah

“Salaat is the (central) pillar of Deen.”  

“Whoever neglects Salaat intentionally, has committed kufr.” [Rasulullah – sallallahu alayhi wasallam]

AFTER IMAAN, THE first and foremost fundamental and practical obligation on all Muslims – males and females – is the regular and punctual performance of Salaat. The importance of Salaat is borne out by the fact that its imposition on the population by force is the first duty of the Islamic governed Nation. Thus, the Qur’aan-e-Hakeem states:

“Most certainly Allah will aid those who aid Him (His Deen). Verily Allah is powerful and mighty. They are those – if We establish them on earth (to rule), they establish regular Salaat, pay Zakaat, command righteousness and prohibit evil. And, the ultimate decree of all affairs is for Allah.”  [Surah Al-Hajj]

This gracious aayat of the Qur’aan Majeed sets out the first and primary obligations of the Islamic  Nation. The very first command imposed on the Islamic rulers is the enforcement of Salaat.

There is nothing as demanding and as important as Salaat in the life of the Mu’min. The act which tilts the Mu’min to Kufr is abandonment of Salaat, as the aforementioned Hadith states with emphasis.

There can never be any measure of success if Salaat is abandoned. The entire Structure of Imaan caves in and collapses when Salaat is abandoned. A Mu’min who abandons Salaat or who is not a regular performer of the Five Fardh Salaat is a baaghi (rebel/traitor) unto Allah Ta’ala. He becomes the enemy of Allah Ta’ala and the Islamic Shariah orders to imprison, and finally execute him if he persists in his abandonment.

The Shariah commands that Salaat be performed with Jama’ah even on the battlefield. Qadha of Salaat even while facing the enemy is intolerable. Yet, despite this great and vital importance and the fact that without steadfast adherence to regular performance of Salaat there is no practical Islam, over 90% of the Ummah all over the world, have abandoned Salaat. The humiliation and misfortunes which have overtaken the Ummah should now not be surprising.

A survey of Musjid attendance for Fajr and Isha when almost all Muslims are at home, will reveal that between 2% and at the maximum, 10%, of the males in a community perform Salaat. And, of this hopelessly negligible number, half join the Salaat after its commencement, many missing even the first raka’t. This is the putrid state of the regular musallis, even of the Ulama and Imaams of Musjids. This 2% – 10% figure is the current norm all over the world.

No one should be deceived by the abundance of musallis during Zuhr and Asr in business areas, and in Muslim countries. Relative to the population, the packed Musjid reflects the same lamentable percentage of musallis. In a business area, the musallis are from the entire city. They are not residents of the locality, hence the false perception conveyed by a full Musjid in such areas. The barometer is the Musjid in the residential area at the time of Fajr and Isha.

This evil condition of the Ummah is more lamentable even on Hajj and Umrah journeys. The vast majority of those proceeding for Hajj and Umrah abstain from Salaat on the plane. In terms of their ‘math-hab’ of the nafs, safar (journey) abolishes Salaat. When the Battlefield does not permit laxity, how is it possible that a journey of comfort absolves one of Salaat?

The very first step in the sojourn of Islaah (moral reformation) of the Ummah of this age is observance of Salaat. Without rectifying this Pillar, everything else is futile. The question of reforming moral character does not remotely develop for a person in whose life regular Salaat is not the primary practice of ibaadat. There is no difference between such a person and a kaafir. The issue of Islaah-e-Nafs concerns those who regularly perform Salaat, but whose moral life and character are absolutely disgraceful. Their family, social and business life in general is no better than the lifestyle and character of the kuffaar. Even regular musallis are bereft of Islamic morality. No one should therefore be in any quandary regarding the avalanche of miseries and misfortunes which have become our lot. The cause is no mystery.

Forbidden Hours of Offering Salah in the Day

Maulana Najeeb Qasmi

There are five forbidden hours during a day in which Salah is not to be performed. Out of these, there are three periods during which offering of both obligatory and supererogatory prayers is forbidden. Those three forbidden hours are the following:

1) At the time of sunrise,

2) At the time of Zawal (when the sun is at its absolute zenith or midday), and

3) At the time of sunset. Note: In case, someone has not offered the ’Asr prayer and the sun is about to set, in that case, with a sense of despise and shame, the person could offer that day’s ’Asr prayer even at the time of sunset.     

Other than these three, there are two other forbidden hours in a day during which offering of supererogatory prayers is  Makrooh (detestable). However, during these two hours one could offer obligatory prayer that is due on him or her (one he/she could not perform on time)

4) From offering of Fajr Salah till sunrise, and

5) From offering of ’Asr Salah till sunset.

’Amr Salmi (Radhiyallahu anhu) says that he asked Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), “O Messenger of Allah! Tell me something that Allah has informed you about and I am unaware of that. Tell me something especially in relation to Salah”. Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said,
“After offering the morning prayer, refrain from offering any other prayer till the time the sun rises properly because the sun comes out from between the two horns of Satan and at that very moment non-believers who worship sun prostrate before it. You can pray only after the sun has risen a bit from the ground because each and every Salah is presented in Allah’s court. However, do not offer Salah when the spear loses its shadow (at midday) because this is the time when Hellfire is fed with fuel. And, after midday, as the shadow gets bigger and bigger, you can once again offer Salah because it is presented before Allah. When you have performed the ’Asr Salah then you should once again refrain from offering any other Salah until sunset because the sun sets between the two horns of Satan and at that very moment non-believers who worship sun prostrate before it” [Muslim].

Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhu wasallam) said, “After the morning prayer there is no prayer to be offered till the time the sun has risen a little above the ground and after offering ’Asr prayer it is not appropriate to offer any other prayer till sunset” [Bukhari].

Few questions have been raised in relation to the afore-mentioned information regarding five forbidden hours during which no Salah is to be offered. Following are the responses to those questions:                      

1. The Fajr Salah can be offered till the time for Fajr prayer ends (till the time of sunrise). Once the time for Fajr Salah is over, no prayer is to be offered for about 15 minutes because Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) has instructed believers to not offer any prayer at the time of sunrise [Bukhari and Muslim].

2. When the sun is at its zenith (midday) it is called the time of Zawaal; after that point the sun starts going down. The Zawaal is for few minutes. As per the instructions of Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), no prayer should be offered for approximately ten minutes ahead of the afternoon prayer timing (when the time for the prayer starts). It implies that in case the time for afternoon prayer starts at 12 noon then between 11:50 AM and 12:00 noon, no prayer is to be offered. Just to be on a safer side, there are few learned scholars who held Zawaal duration for 15 minutes. With reference to entering the mosque at the time of Zawaal and offering two rak’at of Tahiyatul Masjid (supererogatory prayer offered upon entering the mosque to express gratitude to Lord Almighty for bestowing His favour on the person), there is difference of opinion among the learned scholars. Maintaining that Prophet Muhammad’s (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) saying was of a general and common nature, learned scholars of Hanafi persuasion hold that no prayer is to be offered at the time of Zawaal, not even two rak’at of Tahiyatul Masjid.

3. As per the directions of Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), just the way it is in the case of sunset and midday, one should not offer any prayer at the time of sunset too. In case someone has not offered the ’Asr prayer and the sun is about to set, in that case, the person should offer that day’s ’Asr prayer. However, what needs to be understood is that it is improper to offer ’Asr prayer that late (one should make it a point to offer it on time).

4. During these three forbidden hours one should not even perform prostration of the reading Quran (prostration a believer is required to perform after reading or listening one of the 14 verses of the Holy Quran that are known as prostration verses) or burial prayer. However, the dead can be buried during these hours.

5. As per the teachings of Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), between day break and sunrise one should perform no prayer other than the Sunnah and obligatory Fajr prayers. However, one could offer a missed obligatory prayer in that duration. In case a person misses his Fajr Sunnah prayer (to be performed before the obligatory prayer) then according to the instructions of Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) it should be offered only after sunrise. Similarly, in case someone misses his/her Witr prayer, then according to the instruction of Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) he/she should offer the missed Witr prayer after sunrise.

6. Once the ’Asr prayer is offered, no supererogatory prayer is to be offered till sunset. However, one could offer a missed obligatory prayer during that hour.

7. In the Grand Mosque, the ’Asr prayer is offered early which is why two Rak’at of Tawaaf can be offered after the ’Asr prayer. However, in case the sun is about to set then one should not perform the same. In case, due to some reason, one is not able to perform two Rak’at of Tawaaf immediately after performing  Tawaaf, then it could be offered later as well.