The virtues of Sunnah Mu’akkadah Prayers

 

The Virtue and times of Regular Sunnah Mu’akkadah

I would like to know whether you wait for the time of the prayer before praying any Sunnah which comes before it; or whether these Sunnah are prayed before the time for the prayer enters. If so; how long before a prayer can you pray the Sunnah which comes before it? For example, could I pray the 4 rak’ah Sunnah which comes before Asar 3 hours before the time for Asar enters? Or do I wait for the time of Asar to enter and then pray the 4 Sunnahs after the time for Asr has entered and follow them immediately by the fardhu rak’ats?.

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful;

All the praise and thanks are due to Allah, and Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon His Messenger.

Categories of regular Sunnah Mu’akkadah prayers

The regular Sunnah prayers fall into two categories:

  • Sunnahs which are done before the fardhu prayer i.e two rak’ahs before Fajr and four before Zuhur.
  • Sunnahs which are done after the fardhu prayer i.e two rak’ahs after Zuhur, two rak’ahs after Maghrib and two rak’ahs after ‘Isha’.

Many hadiths mentioned the virtues of optional Solah as the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said:

  • “Prostrate as much as you can, because whenever you prostrate, Allah elevates your rank by a degree and wipes out a sin from your record” (Muslim).
  • In another narration: “Whenever a servant prostrates to Allah, Allah writes a reward for him, wipes out one of his sins and elevates his rank by one degree; so prostrate as much as you can” (Ibn Majah).

The way to perform Solah is as the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alaihi wa sallam) described:

  • “The night Solah is done two (raka’ahs) at a time” (Al-Bukhari)
  • “The optional Solah at night and during the day is done two Raka’ahs at a time” (Ahmad, Ibn Majah and others).

Virtues of Sunnah Mu’akkadah Prayers

In term of its virtue, Umm Habibah (radiallahu `anha) narrated that The Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alaihi wa sallam) in which he said:

“Whoever is regular with twelve Rak’ah of Sunnah (prayer, Allāh will build a house in Paradise:  (as follows): 4 Rak’at before and 2 after the Dzuhur (Midday) Prayer, 2 after the Maghrib (Sunset Prayer), 2 after the ‘Ishā’ (Evening) Prayer and 2 before the Fajr (Dawn) Prayer.”

[Hadith sahih narrated by at-Tirmidzi No. 415 (Sahih) and by others. Hadith No. 6183 in Sahih al-Jāmi’]

The time frame for a Sunnah

The time frame for a Sunnah prayer that comes before a fardu prayer is from the beginning of the time for that prayer, until the iqāmah.

The time for a Sunnah prayer that comes after a fardu prayer is from after the Salam at the end of the fardhu prayer until the end of the time for that prayer.

Ibn Qudāmah (rahimallah) said: “The time for every Sunnah prayer that comes before a fardhu prayer is from the beginning of the time for that prayer, until the prayer is done, and the time for every Sunnah prayer that comes after a fardhu prayer is from after the prayer is done until the end of the time for that prayer.”

[Al-Mughni, 2/544]

Based on this, it is not correct to pray the Sunnah prayer before the time for the fardhu prayer begins; rather you should wait until the time for that prayer comes, then pray it.

The ‘Asar (Late-Afternoon) Prayer

The ‘Asar (Late-Afternoon) Prayer has no routine Sunnah (basic recommended voluntary prayer). However, it is mustahab (preferable and recommended) that one prays 4 rak’at before the ‘Asar Prayer. The 4 rak’ahs are of less reward and significance in importance of adhering to them compared to the “Sunnan al-Rawātib” described above. The 4 rak’at are the ones intended by the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alaihi wa sallam) in saying:

“May Allāh have mercy on one who prays 4 raka’at before the ‘Asar Prayer.”

[Narrated by at-Tirmidzi no. 430, reported by Ibn Umar and he declared it a Hassan and gharīb Hadith. Al-Albāni rated the Hadith as Hassan in Sahih al-Jami’ No. 3493]

All the foregoing 4-rak’ah voluntary prayers are to be prayed two at a time according to Imam ash-Shafi’ie and Imam Ahmad (rahimahumullah).

And Allaah Almighty Knows best.

[Adapted from the Islam QA (Fatwa Nos: 33779; 1048)]

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The Issue raising voice in dzikir after Solah

The Issue raising voice in dzikir after Solah

[I acquire this article on the issue which I would like to share with my fellow visitors; so much has been spoken about the issue but I found it rather as  a non-issue]

Ruling on raising the voice in dzikir after the Solah

Some brothers raise their voices in dzikir after the solah, especially Fajar prayer, based on the hadith of Ibn ‘Abbas and others, to such an extent that they disturb other worshipers. When they are reminded about it they say: They are following the Sunnah we would not be disturbing others. Are they correct? Should the others raise their voices when among them there are uneducated people and elderly people who cannot keep up with the group? How much the voice should be raised?

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

All the praise and thanks is due to Allah, Subhanahu wata`ala. Peace and blessings be upon His Messenger and his family.

The fuqaha’ differs in opinion with regard to raising the voice in dzikir after the solah. Some were of the view that it is Sunnah and some regarded it as makruh and said that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) did not do that all the time; he only did that in order to teach people, then he would stopped doing it.

The difference of opinion stemmed from the reports narrated from Abu Ma’bad, the freed slave of Ibn ‘Abbas, that Ibn ‘Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) told him that people used to raise their voices in dzikir when they completed an obligatory prayer at the time of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).

Ibn ‘Abbas said: “I used to know when they had finished (the prayer) by that, when I heard it”. [Al-Bukhari (805) and Muslim (583)] According to another report from Ibn ‘Abbas who said:”We knew when the prayer of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) had finished from the takbir”. [Narrated by al-Bukhari (806) and Muslim (583)]

They also differed as to whether this indicated something that was done all the time or otherwise, and whether it went against the command of Allah which says: “And remember your Lord within yourself, humbly and with fear and without loudness in words in the mornings and in the afternoons, and be not of those who are neglectful” (al-A’raf 7:205).

But among those who favoured raising the voice in dzikir after prayer were al-Tabari, Ibn Hazam, Shaikh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah and others.  And among those who were of the view that it was for teaching were al-Shafi’e and the majority.

Al-Shafi’e (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

My view is that the imam and the person praying behind him should remember Allah after they finish praying, but they should recite dzikir in a low voice unless he is an imam who is to be learned from, in which case he should recite in a loud voice until he thinks that it has been learned from him, then he should recite quietly, because Allah says: “And offer your solah (prayer) neither aloud nor in a low voice” [al-Isra’ 17:110] , meaning – and Allah knows best –it is the dua’; “neither aloud” means do not raise your voice and “nor in a low voice” means, so low that you cannot hear yourself.

I think that what Ibn al-Zubayr narrated about the tahlil (reciting Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah) of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), and what Ibn ‘Abbas narrated about his takbir is like what we have mentioned above. Al-Shafi’e said: I think he only raised his voice a little in order to teach the people, because most of the reports that we have quoted do not mention reciting tahlil or takbir after saying the taslim.

Some reports say that dzikir was recited after the prayer, as I have described, and some say that he did not recite any dzikir after prayer.

Umm Salamah stated that the Prophet s.a.w would stay after the prayer and she did not refer to any dzikir out loud, and I think he s.a.w only stayed to recite some dzikir that was not done out loud.

[Al-Umm (1/127)]

Ibn Hazam (may Allah have mercy on him) said: Raising the voice in takbir following every prayer is good.

[Al-Muhalla (3/180)]

Al-Bahooti said in referring to Ibn Taymiyyah view regarding reciting dzikir out loud as mustahabb:  Ibn Taymiyah said: It is mustahabb to recite tasbih, tahmid and takbir out loud following every prayer. [Kashshaf al-Qina’ (1/366]

A contemporary scholar Shaikh Muhammad ibn Salih al-‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) was asked about the ruling on this issue and he replied:

It is a Sunnah to recite dzikir out loud following the obligatory solat.

This is indicated by the report narrated by al-Bukhari from the hadith of ‘Abdallah ibn ‘Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him), that the people used to recite dzikir out loud when they finished obligatory prayers at the time of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). He said: I used to know when they finished (the solat) by that, when I heard it.

This was also narrated by Imam Ahmad and Abu Dawud. In al-Saheehayn it is narrated that al-Mughirah ibn Shu’bah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: I heard the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) say when he finished the prayer: “Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah wahdahu laa shareeka lah… (There is no god but Allah alone, with no partner or associate…).”

And words cannot be heard unless the speaker says them out loud.

Shaikh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him) and a number of the earlier and later generations favoured this view, based on the hadiths of Ibn ‘Abbas and al-Mughirah (may Allah be pleased with them). Reciting out loud is general and applies to every dzikir that is prescribed after solah, whether it is tahlil (saying Laa ilaaha ill-Allah (there is no god but Allah), tasbih (saying Subhaan Allah (Glory be to Allah), takbir (saying Allahu akbar (Allah is Most Great) or tahmid (saying Al-hamdu Lillaah (praise be to Allah), because of the general meaning of the hadith of Ibn ‘Abbas. There is no report from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) to suggest differentiating between tahlil and other dzikir, rather in the hadith of Ibn ‘Abbas it says that they would know that the prayer of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) had ended from the takbir. Thus, the view of those who say that the voice should not be raised in tasbih, tahmid and takbir is refuted.

With regard to those who say that raising the voice in these dzikir is an innovation (bid’ah), they are wrong. How can something that was known and practiced at the time of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) be a bid’ah?

Shaikh Sulayman ibn Sahman (may Allah have mercy on him) said: It has been proven that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) did that and approved of it, and the Sahabah used to do that at the time of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) after he taught it to them, and he approved of them doing it, so they acted upon the teachings of the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him); they did it and he approved of that after teaching them and he did not criticize them.

As for the argument that reciting out loud is disapproved because of the verse “And remember your Lord within yourself, humbly and with fear and without loudness in words in the mornings and in the afternoons” [al-A’raf 7:205], we say: the one who was enjoined to remember his Lord within himself, humbly and with fear, was the same one who used to recite dzikir out loud following obligatory prayers. Does the one who says this know better what Allah meant than His Messenger did?  Or does he believe that the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) knew what was meant but went against it? Moreover, the verse speaks of dzikir at the beginning and end of the day (“in the mornings and in the afternoons”), not the dzikir that is prescribed following prayers.

In his Tafsir, Ibn Kathir interpreted reciting out loud as meaning too loud or extremely loud.

As for the argument that reciting out loud is disapproved because of the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him): “O people, take it easy”, the one who said “O people, take it easy” is the same one who used to recite dzikir out loud following the prescribed prayers. There is a place for each situation, and truly following means following every text when appropriate.

Moreover, the context of the phrase “take it easy” indicates that they used to raise their voices in a manner that caused them hardship, hence he said “take it easy”, i.e., be kind to yourselves and do not exhaust yourselves; there should be no hardship or undue effort in reciting dzikir out loud.

As for the one who says that it disturbs others, it may be said to him: If you mean that it disturbs those who do not have the habit of doing that, once the believer understands that it is Sunnah, it will no longer disturb him. If you mean that it disturbs other worshipers, then if there is no one among the worshipers who joined the prayer late and is making up what he missed, then the raising of voices will not disturb them at all, which is what actually happens, because they are all taking part in it. But if there is someone among them who joined the prayer late and is making up what he missed, if he is so close to you that you will be disturbing him, then you should not recite so loudly as to disturb him, so that he will not become confused in his prayer, but if he is far away from you then he will not be disturbed by your reciting out loud.

It is clear that the Sunnah is to raise the voice in dzikir following the obligatory prayers, and that does not go against any sahih text or sound opinion.

When voices are mingled with one another then there will be no disturbance, as you can see on Fridays when the people all read Qur’an out loud, then someone comes and prays and he is not disturbed by that.

What matters is the correct view. It is a Sunnah to recite the dzikir following the prayers in the manner prescribed, and it is also a Sunnah to recite it out loud not in the manner it would not annoys others or that is an impropriate. During the time of the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him); when the people raised their voices in dzikir when they were coming back from Khaibar, he (s.a.w) said: “O people, take it easy.” The hadith indicate that raising the voice that that does not cause hardship or annoyance.

[Majmu’ Fatawa al-Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (13/247, 261)]

It is clear that the matter is broad in scope, and that the difference of opinion is an ancient matter. The view mentioned by the Shaikh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) about raising the voice is a sound. It should be raised in a manner that does not cause annoyance to others.

We must recognize the dividing line what is the Sunnah and what is not; the Sunnah must be always upheld.

May Allah Guide us  towards the Right Path.

And Allah knows best.

[Via Islam Q&A (87768) with minor modification]

It’s equivalent to spending the whole night in prayer.

Whoever stands with the imam until he has completed Solah al-Tarawih; it is equivalent to spending the whole night in prayer.

One of the imams stated that it is essential to complete Tarawih prayer with the imam and not to leave halfway through, because what you have done with him, whether it is a two raka’ahs or four, will not count for you. Is this correct?

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful;

All the praise and thanks is due to Allah, Subhanahu wata`ala. Peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

It is undoubtedly incorrect for the imam to hold the view that it is essential to complete solat al-Taraweeh with the imam and not to leave halfway through because what you have done with him will not be counted. Such an action is not permissible for anyone to attribute to something that is not part of it. Allah has forbidden us to speak of Him without knowledge, as He says:

“Say (O Muhammad): (But) the things that my Lord has indeed forbidden are Al Fawahish (great evil sins and every kind of unlawful sexual intercourse) whether committed openly or secretly, sins (of all kinds), unrighteous oppression, joining partners (in worship) with Allaah for which He has given no authority, and saying things about Allah of which you have no knowledge”

[Al-A’raf 7:33]

But it is whoever stands with the imam until he has completed Solah al-Tarawih; it is equivalent to spending the whole night in prayer.

The hadith was narrated that Abu Dharr (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:

“Whoever stands with the imam until he finishes, it is equivalent to spending the whole night in prayer.”

[Narrated by al-Tirmidzi, 806; Abu Dawud, 1375; al-Nasa’ie, 1605; Ibn Majah, 1327; Classified as sahih by al-Tirmidzi, Ibn Khuzaymah (3/337), Ibn Hibban (3/340) and al-Albani in Irwa’ al-Ghalil, 447]

This reward (the reward of spending the whole night in prayer) is not attained by anyone except the one who stands with the imam for the whole prayer, until he completes it, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said.

As for the one who prays as much as he can and then leaves before the imam has completed his prayer, only what he has prayed will be recorded for him, but it will not be recorded as if he spent the entire night in prayer.

Allah says:

“So whosoever does good equal to the weight of an atom (or a small ant) shall see it. And whosoever does evil equal to the weight of an atom (or a small ant) shall see it”

[Al-Zalzalah, 99:7-8]

And Allah knows best.

[Excerpted from Islam QA (65501)]

He may still qasar while waiting matters to be resolved

If a traveller unspecific stays in a place awaiting something to be f resolved may still Shorten the Prayers

Sayyid Sabiq

Question: I am travelling for a month and then going back home; am I allowed to pray qasar (to shorten my  prayer), taking into consideration that I know in advance that I am going for a defined period, or should I pray in the normal way?

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful;
All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

The basic principle is that the traveller who is actually travelling is the one who is granted a concession allowing him to shorten the four-rak’ah prayers.

Allah subhanahu wata`ala says:

“And when you (Muslims) travel in the land, there is no sin on you if you shorten As-Salah (the prayer)”

 [Al-Nisa’, 4:101]

And Ya’la ibn Umayyah (radiallahu’anhu) said: I said to ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab (radiallahu`anhu):

 “ ‘And when you (Muslims) travel in the land, there is no sin on you if you shorten As-Salah (the prayer) if you fear that the disbelievers may put you in trial (attack you),’” ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab said: I wondered the same thing as you, and I asked the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam ) about it, and he said: “It is a charity that Allah has bestowed upon you, so accept His charity.”

 [Narrated by Muslim]

 If a traveller unspecific, stays in a place awaiting something to be fulfilled or resolved, he still may shorten his prayer, for he is considered a traveller.

 Generally speaking, the shortening or qasar the prayer while travelling is a legal concession provided by syari’ah that portrays tolerance and simplicity in matters of worship. The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) used to shorten his prayer whenever he was on a journey. He (s.a.w) is reported to have said:

“Allah likes His servants to undertake the legal concessions given to them in the same way as He likes them to observe their obligations.”

 The late Azharite scholar Sheikh Sayyid Sabiq (rahimahullah) states the following: A traveller is allowed to shorten his prayer. If he stays in a place awaiting something to be fulfilled, he still may shorten his prayer, for he is considered a traveller, even if he stayed for years.

Ibn Al-Qayyim (rahimahullah) maintains that if a traveller intends to stay in a place for a specific period, he may shorten the prayer, because staying in a place during the journey for either a long or a short period does not nullify the state of travelling. This is provided that the traveller did not intend to reside in the place permanently.

 There are many legal opinions and they are summed up by Ibn Al-Qayyim (rahimahullah), who finally confirms his own opinion saying:

“It is proven that the Prophet (s.a.w) stayed in Makkah during the year of the Conquest for nineteen days, during which he shortened his prayers, and he stayed in Tabuk for twenty days to fight the Christians, and he led his companions in shortened prayers, because he had not resolved to stay, rather his intention was to leave once he had finished his business”

The Sahabah (radiallahu’anhum) Qasar solah when travelled for jihad

 The Sahabah (radiallahu’anhu) did not travel for a vacation for months. Rather they would travel for jihad for the sake of Allah, or to seek knowledge, or to seek a halal provision, and other religious and worldly interests, such as Ibn ‘Umar (radiallahu’anhu) who stayed in Azerbaijan for six months, and snow kept him from entering, and he shortened his prayers.

Thus, staying in a place, in the course of travelling, whether for a long or a short period, is considered part of the journey of the traveller, so long as he does not intend to stay in such a place on a long-term basis.

 This is an issue of debate between both precedent and antecedent jurists and scholars.

 Imam Ahmad maintains that if a traveller intends to stay in a place for four days, he has to perform the whole prayer. And if he intends to stay for a shorter time, he may shorten it.

The Malikis and the Shafi’es considers that if a traveller intends to stay in a place for more than four days, he has to perform the whole prayer. If he intends to stay there for less than four days, he is allowed to shorten it.

Imam Abu Hanifah and Al-Layth Ibn Sa`ad (rahimahullah) agree that a traveller has to perform the whole of his prayer if he intends to stay in a place for fifteen days, and he may shorten if he stays for less than that.

 The four main schools of fiqh agree that if a traveller stays in a place awaiting something but he doesn’t know when it will be done, he can shorten his prayer.

 But, the Shafi’es maintains that in such a case, a traveller can shorten his prayer for a period up to seventeen or eighteen days, but no more.

Now, you can shorten your prayer until you return to your home.

 As for joining two prayers in the time of one of them, it is allowed by all jurists except those pertaining to the Hanafi School. They agree that performing two prayers in the time of one of them is permissible in three cases: while travelling, when the weather conditions are bad and rainy, and when people gather at `Arafat and Muzdalifah during Hajj.

 Accordingly, a traveller may join Zuhur and `Asar prayers in the time of one of them, and Maghrib and `Isha’ in the time of one of them, all in the course of his journey.

 No need to make up the shortened prayers.

 The Standing Committee was asked about a person who was sent by Europe, who stayed there for nearly one and half years and he shortened his prayer.

 They replied: You do not have to make up the prayers that you shortened or delayed or joined with other prayers, because it is possible that you may come under the heading of travelling.

[And there is no makeup for solah, for those negligently missed it. Solah is done within the appointed time. Qasar is a concession within a frame of time, either taqdim or ta’khir]

But in the future you should pray the four-rak’ah prayers in full and offer every prayer on time, because the ruling of travel no longer applies to you, because you have resolved to stay, and you have resolved to stay for more than four days. So you have to pray in congregation if possible, and do not pray alone.

 [Fatawa al-Lajnah al-Da’imah (8/155)]

 And Allah Almighty knows best.

 [Excerpted with modification from Islam Online, Ask about Islam, published April 7, 2003]

The Jama’ and Qasar Solah

The difference between Jama’ and Qasar of Solah

What is the difference between combining and shortening of Solah?

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

All the praise and thanks is due to Allah, Subhanahu wata`ala. Peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

There are many differences between combining (jama’) and shortening (qasar) prayers, including the following:

1. Definition

Qasar Solah is the shortening prayers the four-rak’ah prayers: Zuhur, ‘asar, and ‘Isha, turning it to a two rak’ahs when one is travelling (musafir) [on a good cause free of maksiat]. It is not applicable to Maghrib and Fajar Prayers.

Allah says:

“And when you (Muslims) travel in the land, there is no sin on you if you shorten As-Salah (the prayer) if you fear that the disbelievers may put you in trial (attack you), verily, the disbelievers are ever unto you open enemies”

[Al-Nisa, 4:101]

And the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “The prayer when travelling is a two rak’ahs.”

[Narrated by al-Nasa’ie, 1420; classified as sahih by al-Albani in Sahih al-Nasa’ie]

The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said: “Allah has waived half the prayer for the traveller.”

[Narrated by al-Nasa’ie, 2275; classified as hasan by al-Albani in Sahih al-Nasa’ie]

Anas bin Malik (radiallahu’anhu) said: “We went out with the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) from Madinah to Makkah, and we prayed two rak’ahs each time, until we came back to Madinah”.

[Narrated by al-Bukhari, 1081; Muslim, 693]

As for jama’ (combining) solat means the worshipper combine or join up two prayers, Zuhur and ‘Asar, or Maghrib and ‘Isha’, at the time of the earlier or later of the two solah [zuhur and ‘asar at zuhur or ‘asar; Maghrib and isya’ at maghrib or at isya’].

Anas ibn Malik (radiallahu’anhu) said: “The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) joined Maghrib and ‘Isha’ prayers when travelling.”

[Al-Bukhari (1108)]

Mu’adz (radiallahu’anhu) said: We went out with the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) on the campaign of Tabuk, and he used to pray Zuhur and ‘Asar together, and Maghrib and ‘Isha’ together.

[Muslim (706)]

It was narrated that Ibn ‘Abbas (radiallahu’anhu) said:

The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) joined Zuhur and ‘Asar, and Maghrib and ‘Isha’, in Madinah when there was no fear and no rain.

[Muslim (705)]

2. Ruling of Shari’e

The scholars unanimously agreed that shortening (qasar) the prayers is mustahab for the traveller (musafir) than offering them in full, because the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) shortened (qasar) prayers during all his journeys, and there is no sahih report that he offered the prayers in full [ the four rak’ah solah] whilst travelling.

Ibn ‘Umar (radiallahu`anhu) said: “I accompanied the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) and he did not do more than two rak’ahs [i.e the four rak’ahs solah] whilst travelling, and the same applies to Abu Bakar, ‘Umar and ‘Uthman (radiallahu`anhum)”.

[Al-Bukhari (1102)]

The Hanafis are of the view that it is obligatory for the traveller to shorten his prayers. But the correct view is that of the majority [the Hanbalis, Malikis and Shafi’es], that shortening (qasar) the prayers is Sunnah Mu’akkadah (a confirmed Sunnah), and that it is better (mustahab) than offering the prayers in full.

[See: al-Ijma’ by Ibn al-Mundhir (27); al-Mughni (1/382); al-Mawsu’ah al-Fiqhiyyah (27/274)]

Some scholars view that it is not permissible to combine prayers anywhere except in the case of the pilgrim in these two places, ‘Arafah and Muzdalifah.

The correct view is that of the majority of scholars, which is that it is permissible to combine (jama’) prayers if there is a valid situation and need for doing so, because it is proven that the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) did it in places other than ‘Arafah and Muzdalifah.

3. Reasons which make it permissible to jama’ and qasar prayers

The reasons which make it permissible to combine (jama’) prayers are broader than those which make it permissible to shorten (qasar) them.

Jama’ or combining prayers is permissible for the travellers and for the non-travellers if it is too difficult for him to offer every prayer on time, such as one who is sick, or if there is rain, or he is busy with some work that he cannot delay in order to pray, such as a student taking an exam or a doctor who is doing surgery and so on.

With regard to the qasar (shortening) prayers, it is only permissible when travelling on good cause not involving maksiyat.

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (rahimahullah) said:

The reason for shortening (qasar) prayers is travelling only, and it is not permissible in situations other than travelling. As for combining (jama’) prayers, the basis for it is the necessity and valid situations. So if a person find it necessary and needs it he may jamak, or do both qasar and full-length prayers whilst travelling, and he may jamak prayers when it is raining and so on, or because of sickness and the like, and for other reasons, because the purpose behind it is to spare the ummah hardship.

[Majmu’ al-Fatawa (22/293)]

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen said:  Jamak (combining) prayers are broader in scope than shortening (qasar) them, i.e., the reasons for doing so are more numerous.

[Al-Liqa’ al-Shahri (60/11)]

And Allah knows best.

[Excerpted with modifications from No: 105109 Islam Q&A]

Solah While Traveling

Solat While Musafir

To Shorten or Complete Prayers While Traveling

Question: I was on a trip and when the Prayer was due I performed it in its shortened form (qasar). Some of my friends did so, while others opted for completing the Solat, arguing that this is the preferable act. What is the Shari`ah ruling in this regard? And what is the better choice for a traveler: to complete the Solat or to shorten it? Jazakumullah khayran.

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful;

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

Many thanks for your question, which emanates from a God-fearing heart, since it shows your commitment to Solat, the cornerstone of Islam.

Solat While Musafir (Traveling)

The view held by the majority of scholars that Qasar, shortening the solat is proper for a traveler, since the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) and the caliphs used to shorten their solat while traveling. This opinion, in addition, spares us the controversy whether qasar the solat is obligatory or not. However, a traveler is permitted either to shorten his solat or complete it, according to a group of scholars. Other scholars deem completing the Prayer while traveling as reprehensible since traveler who completes the Prayer does not follow the Sunnah.

This debate is applicable if the traveler prays alone or is led by another traveler. If a traveler is led by a resident, then the preponderant opinion is that he should complete the Prayer (pray in full).

To elaborate on the subject, we cite the scholars’ arguments in this regard:

In his book Al-Majmu`, Imam An-Nawawi (Rahimahullah) says:

If the travel continues for three days, then the shortening would be better. `Imran ibn Husain (radialahu`anhu) said, “I performed Hajj with Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam), and he used to pray two rak`ahs. And I traveled with Abu Bakar (radialahu`anhum) and he used to pray two rak`ahs until he died. Also, I traveled with `Umar (radialahu`anhum) and he used to pray two rak`ahs until he died. I traveled also with `Uthman (radialahu`anhu). He used to perform two rak`ahs for six years, then he performed the whole Prayer in Mina.” Thus, to follow the footsteps of the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) is the better choice.

However, the traveler is permitted to complete the Prayer, as `A’ishah (radiallahu’anha) reported that she traveled with Allah’s Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) in Ramadan to perform `Umrah. He did not fast but she did. He shortened the Prayer and she performed the whole Prayer. Then `A’ishah (radiallahu’anha) said, “O Messenger of Allah, you did not fast but I did, and you shortened your Prayer and I completed it.” He (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) replied, “You did well, `A’ishah.”

In fact, shortening the Prayer is rukhsah (a legal concession) that can be abandoned, exactly as is the ruling of with wiping over leather socks in ablution.

Imam Ibn Taymiyah (Rahimahullah) says:

Some scholars deem completing the Prayer in travel better than shortening it. Others prefer shortening but they see no harm in completing the Prayer. Rather, they consider it the apparent ruling and they say that one should not shorten his Prayer unless he intends to do so. Still others argue that completion is not permissible, and the Sunnah is to shorten the Prayer while traveling. According to them, it is reprehensible for a traveler to complete his Prayer. These scholars hold that shortening the Prayer is a permanent Sunnah for the traveler, while combining the Prayers (jama`) is a temporary legal concession. In fact, this opinion seems to be the closest one to Sunnah.

[Majmu’ al-Fatawa]

Shedding more light on the question, the Kuwaiti Encyclopedia of Fiqh states:

The Maliki, Shafi`ie, and Hanbali (Rahimahullah) scholars maintain that the original ruling is the completion of the Prayer, and the shortening is a legal concession. They corroborate their argument with the hadith narrated by Imam Muslim to the effect that shortening the Prayer is “an act of charity which Allah has done to you.”

Yet, the prevalent view in the Shafi`ie School is that, in case a travel should last three days, shortening the Prayer is better than completion as it conforms to the Sunnah of the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam ), and spares us the controversy introduced by those maintaining the obligation of shortening the Prayer, such as Imam Abu Hanifah (Rahimahullah). In this context, some cases are exceptional, such as the crew of a ship accompanied by their families in their travels overseas, and one who is in permanent travel with no specific homeland. Such people are recommended to perform the whole Prayer to avoid the controversy introduced by a group of scholars, including Imam Ahmad (Rahimahullah), who hold that people in such cases should complete their Prayer.

On the other hand, the view in the Shafi`ie School is that completing the Prayer is better in all circumstances, due to the fact that it is the original ruling and the oft-repeated practice. Yet if a travel would not last for three days, then completing the Prayer is deemed better since it is the original ruling.

Hanbalis maintain that shortening is better than completing the Prayer, as the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) and the caliphs always shortened the Prayer while traveling. Yet there is no harm in completing the Prayer for those originally allowed to shorten the Prayers.

Hanafis, on their part, have the view that qasar is the original ruling of the Prayer. Prayer was initially composed of only two rak`ahs for both travelers and residents. This is indicated by the hadith that `A’ishah narrated: “The Prayer was prescribed as two rak`ahs, both in journey and at the place of residence. The Prayer while traveling remained as it was (originally prescribed), but an addition was made in the Prayer (observed) at the place of residence.” As a matter of fact, this cannot be known except through tawqif (revelation). Thus, performing only two of the four rak`ahs by the traveler is not originally considered a kind of shortening (qasar). In fact, this is the original and complete ruling as far as the traveler is concerned. Also, completing the Prayer would not be deemed as rukhsah for a traveler, but rather an act of disobedience to the Sunnah.

Moreover, shortening the Solah is an `azimah, an established and confirmed ruling. It is known that `azimah is better than rukhsah, and the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) used to choose the best of deeds. He would abandon the better deeds once or twice only to teach his Ummah the legal concessions. He (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) shortened his Solat in Makkah and said to the Makkans, “Complete your Solat.” If the completion of the Solat had been permissible, he would not have performed only two rak`ahs.

Allah Almighty knows best.

[Excerpted with modifications from Islam Online, Ask the Scholar, published on October3, 2004]

Making Up Missed Ramadhan in the Second Half of Sha’ban

Making Up Missed Ramadhan Fasts in the Second Half of Sha’ban

I had many days owing the Ramadhan fasts because of pregnancy and giving birth, which coincided with the time of Ramadhan. I have made them up, praise be to Allah, with the exception of the last seven days.

I fasted three of them in the second half of Sha’ban, and I want to do the rest before Ramadhan begins.

But I read on your site that it is not permissible to fast in the second half of Sha’ban, except for a person who habitually fasts. Please advise me, may Allah reward you. I want to know whether I should fast the rest of these days that I owe, or not. If the answer is no, then what is the ruling on the three days that I have already fasted – do I have to make them up again or not?

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

It was proven that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “When Sha’ban is halfway through, do not fast.”

[Narrated by Abu Dawud (3237); Ibn Hibban (1651); classified as sahih by al-Albani in Sahih al-Tirmidzi].

There are some exceptions from this prohibition, as follows:

1 – One who observe the fasting on Mondays and Thursdays, which he may do even after halfway through Sha’ban. The evidence for that is the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), “Do not anticipate Ramadan by fasting one or two days before it, except a man who fasts regularly, who should observe his usual fast.”

[Narrated by al-Bukhari, 1914; Muslim, 1082].

2 – A person who started fasting before halfway through Sha’baan, and connects what comes after the halfway point to what came before. This is not included in the prohibition either. The evidence for that is the words of ‘Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) who said: “The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to fast all of Sha’ban and fast all of Sha’ban except a little.”

[Narrated by al-Bukhari, 1970; Muslim, 1165. This version narrated by Muslim].

Al-Nawawi said: “He used to fast all of Sha’ban and fast all of Sha’ban except a little.” The second phrase is an explanation of the first, pointing out that by “all” what is meant is “most”.

This hadith indicates that it is permissible to fast after halfway through Sha’ban, but only for one who joins that to what came before the halfway point.

3 – An exception from this prohibition is also made for one who is making up missed Ramadan fasts.

Al-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said in al-Majmu’ (6/399):

Our companions said: it is not correct to fast on the “day of doubt” just before Ramadhan, and there is no difference of scholarly opinion on this point … But if a person fasts it to make up a missed day or to fulfil a vow, or as an expiation, that is acceptable, because if it is permissible to observe a voluntary fast on that day, it is more likely to be permissible to observe an obligatory fast… and if a person has to make up a day from Ramadhan, then he has to fast it, because the time left for him to make it up has become very short.

The “day of doubt” is the thirtieth of Sha’ban if it has not been possible to sight the moon of the thirtieth because of cloud, fog, etc. It is called the “day of doubt” because there is some doubt concerning it – is it the last day of Sha’baan or the first day of Ramadhan?

In conclusion, there is nothing wrong with making up a missed Ramadhan fast in the last half of Sha’ban. This is not included in the prohibition of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) on fasting after halfway through Sha’ban.

So your fasting of those three days is valid, and you have to fast the remaining days before Ramadhan begins.

And Allah knows best.

[Excerpted from Fatwa No:49884 published in Islam Q&A]