• The Prayer for Seeking Rain

    According the founder of the Hanafi school, and the massly transmitted narrations (dhahir al-riwaya), there is no sunna prayer to be performed in congregation for the purpose of seeking rain (istisqa’).

    Rather, it is a supplication and seeking of forgiveness. The basis of which are the words of Allah Most High, “Seek pardon of your Lord. Lo! He was ever Forgiving. He will let loose the sky for you in plenteous rain.” [Qur’an, 71:10-11]
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  • Supplication While Sitting Between Prostrations

    According to the Hanafi school, there is no specific sunna supplication to recite between the prostrations. However, it would be considered good to make a supplication for forgiveness here in order to avoid the difference of opinion. [Ibn `Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar; Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah]

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  • Do We Need to Remove Makeup When Making Wudu?

    Water must reach all of the areas that are washed in ablution in order for it to be valid.
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  • Joining Prayers While Traveling (Maliki)

    According to the Maliki madhab, it is a permissible dispensation (rukhsa) to join prayers while traveling. The travel does not have to be one where the distance allows you to shorten the prayer, you merely have to be out of your city limits. Once you are out of your city limits, and traveling to do something that is not disobedience, then you can either bring Asr (or Isha) forward or delay Dhuhr (or Maghrib) depending on your situation. If you are in a resting place when Dhuhr enters, and you intend to be traveling until Maghrib, then you can bring Asr forward. In the case of Maghrib, if you are resting while it enters and you will then travel past fajr time, then you can bring Isha forward.

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  • The Narration (hadith)

    The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, ‘The most beloved prayer to Allah was the prayer of Dawud (upon him be peace) and the most beloved of fasting to Allah was that of Dawud; he used to sleep half the night, stand for a third of it and sleep a sixth of it; and he would fast a day and not fast the next’ [Bukhari]

    The Legal Night

    In order to understand what is meant, we must first define what is understood by ‘night’ in the narration (hadith) above. Hence, the legal (shar`i) night is between the Maghrib prayer and the Fajr prayer.

    The Prayer of Dawud (upon him be peace)

    The Prophet Dawud (upon him be peace) would break his night up into parts: a portion for his Lord and a portion for himself. The reason he would sleep during the first half of the night was in order to strengthen himself for worship in the latter half. He would then rise for a third of the night. This third of the night is of the greatest of times for worship and of the best of the moments of the day and night. Finally, he would sleep for the last sixth of the night in order to rest and refresh himself for worship at dawn. [Ibn Hajar al-`Asqalani, Fath al-Bari Sharh Sahih al-Bukhari; Munawi, Fayd al-Qadir Sharh al-Jami` al-Saghir]

    Moreover, Ibn Daqiq al-`Id indicated to the fact that sleeping the last sixth of the night was closer to hiding one’s spiritual works from other people because it seems as though one has just awakened. [ibid.]

    And Allah knows best.

  • The Reward of Prayer in Masjid al-Aqsa

    The narration (hadith) mentioning the reward, in number, of praying within Masjid al-Aqsa is recorded by Imam Ibn Majah in his Sunan.
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  • The fatwa position in our times is that such mistakes in recitation do not nullify the prayer.

    Ibn `Abidin states in his Radd al-Muhtar, the central reference for fatwa in our times:

    “As for the later scholars… then they agreed that mistakes in declension (i`rab) never invalidates [the prayer] even if the belief [entailed by the change in meaning] is disbelief (kufr). This is because most people do not differentiate between the various declensional perspectives.”

    A mistake in declension is to alter the final vowel of a word. Thus, if a word is supposed to end in a fatha but is pronounced as ending in a kasra, this would be a mistake in declension. As is clear from the words of Ibn `Abidin above, it would not invalidate the payer.

    He continues by stating:

    “If the mistake is in altering one letter for another, then if it is possible to differentiate the two [when reciting] without difficulty, such as the letter al-saad and al-taa’ when one recites al-talihat in place of al-salihat, then they agree that it invalidates the prayer. If it is not possible to differentiate, such as al-daad and al-zaa or al-saad and al-sin, then most of them state that it does not invalidate the prayer due to general hardship (`umum al-balwa).”

    Based on this, common mistakes in pronunciation of certain letters is also overlooked. It does not invalidate the prayer even if there occurs a change in meaning. An example of such a mistake in pronunciation is the oft-occurring recitation of “walad ḍāllīn” as “walad zallin”.

    To summarize, we can say that the following, when not done willfully, do not invalidate the prayer.:

    a. Grammatical mistakes, such as those relating to the declension of words, and

    b. Common mistakes in the pronunciation of certain letters and words.

    Of course, we cannot stress enough the importance of learning correct pronunciation of the Qur’an. It is Allah’s book and among the rights due to it is to recite it as it was revealed, in a beautiful and sound manner.

  • Prayer of Repentance: Salat al-Tawba

    Allah Most High says,

    “Turn towards Allah, O believers, every one of you, so that you may be successful.” (24:31)
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  • Riyad al-Salihin: On the Virtues of Prayer

    187. Chapter: On the excellence of the prayers

    1042. Abu Hurayra said, “I heard the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, ‘What do you think would happen if there was a river by someone’s door in which he washed five times every day? Do you think that any dirt would remain on him?’ They said, ‘Not a scrap of dirt would remain on him.’ He said, ‘That is a metaphor of the five prayers by which Allah wipes out wrong actions.’” [Agreed upon]
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  • It is a confirmed sunna in the final sitting, before the final salams, to make supplications (dua), after reciting the tashahhud (which is wajib), and sending blessings on the Prophet (which is a confirmed sunna).

    It is mentioned in by Imam al-Tumurtashi in this Tanwir al-Absar:

    “And [it is from the confirmed sunnas of the prayer] to supplicate”

    Imam al-Haskafi clarified and conditioned this by saying, in his Durr al-Mukhtar, “(to supplicate) with that which is not possible to ask from humans.” [Durr al-Mukhtar, on the margins of Ibn Abidin’s Radd al-Muhtar, 1: 321]

    Later in the text, he explains that,

    “(and to supplicate) in Arabic, and it is not permitted (H: makruh tahriman) in another language – Nahr. [It is recommended to supplicate] for oneself, one’s believing parents, teachers, [H: and all believers].” [Durr, 1: 350-352]

    One makes these supplications, as well as supplications in prostration (sujud) using that which is mentioned in the Qur’an and Sunnah or that which is not normally possible to ask other humans for, because the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “No human speech befits this prayer of ours.” (Related by Imam Muslim in his Sahih, from Sayyidina Ma`awiya (Allah be pleased with him))

    Making supplications with that which is normally possible to ask humans for invalidates the prayer. So beware!

    Therefore, instead of making specific worldly supplications, such as, “O Allah, marry me to Layla,” or, “O Allah, give me a red Honda Civic,” or, “Allah, I want mansaf tonight,” which would invalidate the prayer, one makes general supplications in Arabic, such as, “O Allah, I ask You of your bounty,” (Allahumma innee as’aluka min fadlik) with specific intentions in one’s heart.

    If you don’t know Arabic, and want to supplicate for specific matters, then just say, “Ya Allah” or “Ya Rabb” repeatedly, intending the specific matters you are supplicating for.

    In general, though, while there is no specific supplication that is a confirmed sunna, though if one recites one of the duas that are transmitted from the Beloved of Allah (upon him be blessings and peace), this is best.
    And Allah knows best.

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