formal prayer (salah)

Is it permissible to write down prayer words when learning how to pray (salah)?

hey, I'm struggling with myself. I want to start praying , but i don't know how to pronounce the things. And the other thing is if I can't remember the sayings can I write it down and read it or is it not focusing on Allah and the praying then and when do I have to say sws?

It is universally accepted that a person can read from a book of Quran during the prayer, so I see no issue with reading the other parts of the prayer from a piece of paper until you learn them (but I cannot find official opinions on this). There is no issue with having difficulty pronouncing the words as it takes time to learn them, the Prophet says in regards to reciting the Quran (but it can be applied to the rest of the prayer as well):

The one who is proficient in the recitation of the Quran will be with the honorable scribes (the Angels) and he who recites the Quran and finds great difficulty in reciting it, doing his best to recite it in the best way possible, will have a double reward. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Book 65, Hadith 4937)

The sunna prayer of dhuhr (ẓuhr) can be prayed in units of two or four

I'm fairly new to praying and was wondering how should the four sunnah rakats before zuhr be prayed? I've heard it can either be four or two by two with two tasleems. Which method is correct?

Both of them are considered acceptable by the majority of scholars, but praying them in units of two has stronger evidence behind it.1

The Saudi-educated scholar Bilāl al-Sālimī (born 1970) has performed a detailed study of this issue in his book al-Ḥāfil fi Fiqh al-Nawāfil (2003) and his conclusion is that the evidence is overwhelmingly in support of praying the ẓuhr sunna prayer in units of two rather than four.

On raising the hands during salah as a Hanafi

As a Hanafi would it be wrong for me to raise my hands during salah?

The Hanafi opinion is that you shouldn’t do that, so if you respect the Hanafi school and try to follow their opinions then you shouldn’t raise your hand.

You may also research the topic yourself and follow the opinion that sounds best to you. In the past, the schools of jurisprudence (madhhabs) were like guilds. Those who belonged to a school had to act according to the scholars of that school in order to be accepted by the community around the school, and the scholars themselves had to strictly adhere to the school, otherwise would have lost their jobs as teachers in the madrasas and imams in school-associated mosques. But the guild-like nature of the schools has today disappeared in many parts of the world today, especially in large, cosmopolitan cities. People instead follow the opinions of the scholars they respect most without caring very much about the scholar’s school, and the scholars themselves often combine opinions from multiple schools.

Ideally, Muslims should follow the opinions that have the most reliable evidence behind them regardless of what school the opinion comes from. But we cannot all research each and every topic as that would take most of our time, so in general it is reasonable to follow the opinions of scholars you know and respect.

On praying (making dua) during salah and whether one can do it in English

What is the correct way to make dua during salah? For example if I wanted to make dua for someone or ask Allah for something how and when would i do that? I've been told saying it in English invalidates salah

There isn’t sufficient evidence from the Quran and the Sunnah to make a conclusive judgment about the issue of making dua in a non-Arabic language during salah.1 It doesn’t seem to me that there would be any harm in it. This only applies to additional duas a person adds to the salah, the salah’s required parts should be conducted in Arabic.

As for when to make dua during salah, it can be done during prostrations (rukūʿ and sujūd) after saying the required words. For example, when you are making sujūd, say the required part (subḥāna rabbī al-aʿlā or any variant you have been taught) then make any dua you want before getting up. You can also do it when get up after the first sujūd and before the second one. You can also do it after getting up from rukūʿ and saying samiʿa llāhu li-man ḥamida but before going down to sujūd. Another time is before saying the salām at the very end of the prayer.

Do Muslims need to make up prayers intentionally missed for years?

I have a question to ask and i don't really know where and whom to ask about it. So, I’ve been neglecting salah for 24 years of my life, I’ve started to pray fully 5x times a day and I’ve been wondering how do i replace all the salah that I’ve been neglecting before. How do i know the numbers to replace, and what should i do? From what i heard, even if you seek for His forgiveness, you still have to pay back all the salah that you’ve missed out. Same goes to fasting.

Short answer: No, you do not need to make up those missed prayers.

The opinion of the founders of the four schools (Malik, al-Shafi`i, Ahmad and Abu Hanifah) is that a Muslim should make up any prayers missed after puberty even if this amounts to decades worth of missed prayers. Their reasoning is that since the prayer is obligatory on every Muslim, a missed prayer is like debt that one has to pay back.

Comparing a missed prayer to debt is known as qiyas (‘analogy’). The Islamic texts do not give us any clear pointers toward whether a person who habitually abandons the prayer should make them all up or not, this is an issue that is never mentioned in the Quran or hadith.

Ibn Taymiyyah rejects the debt analogy and provides a better analogy, that of intentionally missing the Friday prayer. People who intentionally delay the Friday prayer by not performing it in its proper time are not allowed to hold the Friday prayer later on to make up for it. The Friday prayer has a set time and it is only valid during that time.

As for making up missed prayers, according to Ibn Taymiyyah this only applies to cases when one’s daily life is interrupted by something that prevents them from praying in its proper time. Those who intentionally abandon the prayer cannot make it up; they have sinned, and once they repent, they should simply resume a Muslim’s life.

If you miss the Friday prayer intentionally by praying at home, there is no way to make it up, you cannot go to extra Friday prayers since there is no such thing as extra Friday prayers. I think this might be Ibn Taymiyyah’s point regarding the Friday prayer analogy. It appears that in Ibn Taymiyyah’s view the prayer is like a train that you either catch or miss. If you miss it by performing it defectively (such as by praying the Friday prayer at home) or by simply abandoning it, then you miss the train and there is no way to get back on it, since the prayer for each time period belongs to that time period and cannot be prayed outside of it. The noon prayer for March 5, 2018 belongs to a set period in time (say 12:30 PM to 4:00 PM), if one intentionally misses the prayer belonging to this period of history, then there is no way for them to make it up (unless they get on a time machine).

 

Ibn Taymiyyah’s view seems more like common sense and is, of course, far more humane, therefore I prefer it.

Ibn Taymiyyah’s view regarding missed fasts is similar; if the fast is intentionally abandoned, one is not required to make it up.

How to pray on an airplane when you do not know the qibla

How do we actually perform our salah in the airplane without knowing the qibla?

You can pray in your seat facing directly ahead, since it is often difficult and inconvenient to pray out of the seat. And if it is possible and convenient, you can face in the direction of the qibla if you can determine where you are on the globe (some airplanes have a screen that shows your current location). If you know where you are, you’d face in the general direction of Mecca from that location.

Source: Ibn Baaz, fatwa 6293.

 

What are the manners and rules of performing wudu and prayer?

What are the manners and rules of performing wudu and prayer (for a female)?

Learning how to perform ablution and pray properly requires a lot of detail and I cannot give it in an answer or two. Please check out Asad Tarsin’s book Being Muslim: A Practical Guide, which mentions all the details of praying and other Islamic acts of worship, and inshaAllah you will find it highly useful.

On intentionally delaying the isha prayer

I've read that it's best to delay isha namaz I was wondering exactly how long should it be delayed for?

What to recite next after finishing salah

After finishing salah what should be reciting next? and are you meant to do dhikr after each fard prayer?

You can do various forms of dhikr or dua. The most common dhikr, which is done after every prayer, is to say subhanAllah 33 times, alhamdulillah 33 times, and allahu akbar 33 times, mentioned in Sahih Bukhari. You can also shorten these to ten each, aslo mentioned in Sahih Bukhari.

You can also recite any other dhikr words you know if you choose.

After that, you can perform dua, or stand up to pray the voluntary salah, if there is a voluntary salah associated with the obligatory one.

When to stand up during the iqamah, at the beginning, a specific point or at the end?

In our part of the world, I have noticed a few people standing up for the salah when the caller pronounces the words “Haiya as Salah” during the iqamat and most stand up from the beginning of the iqamat. Which is correct?

There is no specific evidence on the right time to stand up once the iqamah starts, and this is what Ibn Uthaymeen says. The various schools have used different arguments to justify different times for standing up. But since there is no strong evidence on any of these opinions, you are free to stand whenever it suits you. There is a hadith in Sahih al-Bukhari in which the Prophet says not to stand up until the crowd sees him stand up, therefore if there is a specific person who is meant to lead the prayer, then the rest should wait for that person to stand up before standing up themselves.

The Hanafi opinion is to stand up when the athan reaches “hayya alas salat”.

The Shafiee opinino is to stand up once the athan is finished.

The Maliki opinion is that you can stand any time, at the beginning, middle or end of it.

The Hanbali opinion is to follow what the imam does. The imam is supposed to stand up once the athan reaches “qad qamatis salat”. But if the imam takes longer to stand up, then the rest will wait until the imam stands up.

However, if there is a specific imam who is meant to lead the prayer, and the imam is late, and the iqama is said, the rest should wait for the imam to arrive before standing up.

What to do if you make a mistake during salah (formal prayer)?

What would one do if they make a mistake during salah. For example I think I forgot to read a surah so I stopped praying and started my salah again. I know you're not meant to stop but I though my prayer would be invalid, have I committed a sin by doing that?

Will one’s prayers be valid if they unknowingly make an error in them for a long period of time?

In the first rakah of fajr I have been saying the tashahhud and for the 2nd rakah. I didn't realise this mistake and now know it's only meant to be said in the 2nd. Will my prayers still be valid as I'm fairly new to praying

According to Ibn Qudamah (12th century CE Hanbali jurist) doing something additional in the prayer that is part of the prayer (such as tashahhud) does not nullify it if it is not intentional, but only requires that one perform two extra prostrations at the end of the prayer to make up for the mistake. These extra prostrations are known as sajdat al-sahwu, and they are considered voluntary, rather than obligatory, by the Shafi`ite and Malikite schools.

From these it appears that your prayers are valid and that there might be nothing more you should do, unless you follow a different school of thought. But I recommend that you ask your local imam, since I couldn’t find any rulings that apply exactly to your situation (adding something extra to a prayer and repeating this mistake long-term).

How long can you delay the isha prayer?

When does maghrib and isha prayer become qaza? and when should they be prayed when missed

Maghrib’s time is until the Isha athan. There is difference regarding when the time for Isha ends. The four schools recommend that it should be prayed in the first third of the night (with “night” defined as the time between the isha athan and the fajr athan), but that the prayer is not missed as long as it is prayed before the fajr athan, while others (like Ibn Baaz) say that it is sinful to delay it beyond the middle of the night.

A missed prayer should be performed as soon as one is able, it is considered highly sinful to delay performing a missed prayer when one is able to do it.

Raising and lowering the finger during salah (formal prayer)

I want to ask about when should you raise your finger during salah and when should it be lowered?

The Hanafi method is to lift the index finger when you reach “la ilaha” during tashahhud and to lower it once one reaches “illallah”.

The Shafi`i method is to lift it when one reaches “illallah” until the end of the tashahhud (until one finishes saying “rasulullah”).

The Hanbali method is to lift the finger then lower it again every time the word “Allah” is mentioned (thus doing it twice, ashhadu an la ilaha illallah wa ashahu anna muhammadan rasul allah) (al-Albani recommends this method too and says this has the most evidence behind it).

These three methods are the most common. From what I have read, none of these three schools recommend moving the finger repeatedly, one only lifts it then lowers it.

The Maliki method is to move the finger left and right (not up and down) repeatedly from the beginning of the tashahhud to its end. Some Malikis however say to lift it up and down.

How soon are the sunnah prayers performed after the fard prayers?

I have a question regarding sunnah prayers. How are they preformed? For example, maghrib you pray 3 fard do you then stand up straight away and pray the two rakat or are you meant to wait?

You do not need to perform the sunnah prayer immediately after the fard prayer. Each fard prayer can be followed by voluntary dhikr, and this is recommended to be performed before the sunnah prayer.

The most recommended form of dhikr is to say subhanAllah 33 times, alhamdulillah 33 times, and allahu akbar 33 times after every fard prayer.

As for supplication, it is recommended to be performed during the final sujood, and it can also be performed before the end of the prayer (before you say salam). One can also perform supplication after the prayer, although some modern Saudi scholars discourage lifting the hands up in supplication after the fard prayers, saying it is a bid`ah (”innovation”), while Ibn Baaz (a Saudi scholar) says it is permitted but not recommended. To be safe from criticism, it is best to not do this form of supplication until after the sunnah prayer.

It is recommended that you do not speak to anyone or do anything non-worship-related between the two prayers.

Why do different Muslims (such as Hanafis) follow different prayer timings?

I have a confusion brother ! Please clear my mind of it. Im born in a hanafi family. Living in dubai, i see different kind of muslims praying differently, which gets me so confused that i think iam on the wrong way . Just wanna ask u why these hanafi shaifee hanbali and all others firqa's were not in the time of Prophet (pbuh) and the sahabas?? Why do we even have these

A hundred years after the Prophet’s death , the number of narrations claiming to be from him multiplied, going from a few thousand to close to a hundred thousand. At this time, Imam Malik started the process of verifying the authenticity of narrations claiming to be from the Prophet and created his collection al-Muwatta’. The Persian scholars Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawood, Tirmidhi, Nasa’i and Ibn Majah continued this work.

What we are left with are tens of thousands of narrations. Unlike the Quran, these narrations always contain an element of doubt, they are not guaranteed to be true, especially since we have “authentic” narrations the clearly contradict one another.

The times of the prayers is one of those matters where authentic narrations exist supporting different opinions, that is, different timings for the asr and isha’ prayers. Which timings one goes with depends on which narrations they prefer over the rest.

We believe that God could have made all matters, like prayer times, perfectly clear to us, but He didn’t out of His wisdom, as tests and lessons. The most important matters in Islam are all clarified in the Quran and well-established narrations. What remains are technical details that do not deserve fussing over. Staying united as a community is a Quranic principle, while the differences in prayer timings are matters of technical detail within hadith narrations, so the Quranic principle takes precedence. It is best to pray with the rest of the community instead of separating oneself, as long as the community is not doing something entirely unsupported by evidence.

When living in a cosmopolitan place like Dubai with many different Islamic groups living there, at home you could continue praying according to the Hanafi school. The Hanafi timings are compatible with mainstream timings, so anyone can pray at the Hanafi times without issue.

The difference is that Hanafis reject the mainstream timings, saying they are too early for asr and isha’, so that they refuse to pray at a mosque that performs these two prayers too early in their opinion. This means that you would only have an issue if you wanted to pray asr or isha’ at the mosque and the mosque holds these prayers too early.

Large mosques sometimes hold the same prayer multiple times as different groups of people arrive, so if the first time it is too early, you could pray with a second group. And sometimes while the athan is early, the iqama time is late, so that the prayer is actually held at a time that fits Hanafi opinions.

How to make up multiple missed prayers (salah)

Can you please explain Qaza Namaz? And when it can be read. For example today I missed asr, magrib and Isha so when would I be able to make them up?

You should make them up as soon as you are able, and perform them in the order they would have been performed normally (asr, then maghrib, then isha). The majority opinion is that it is obligatory to pray missed prayers in order, while Imam al-Shafi`ee considers it recommended.

Imam Malik and Abu Hanifah are of the opinion that if more than five prayers are missed, then it is not necessary to pray them in order.

What to do if you have intentionally missed many days of prayers

Asalam alaykum I have not competed two days worth of prayers how do I seek forgiveness/ good deeds and rewards I'm fearful of the punishment I felt lazy them two days that I was staying at a friends house Am I able to make up for it 🙁 May Allah reward you

Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,

Ask for forgiveness and redo as much of the prayers as you can as soon as you can.

Think of God as a kind teacher who wants you to do what is best for yourself. He will not abandon you just because you’ve made a mistake or did wrong toward yourself. He is always ready to forgive you, as long as you do not rebel against Him, as long as you do not make sinning and disobedience a habit that encircles your life.

You will sin many more times throughout your life. What matters is to always return to God, instead of living in sin perpetually, risking the possibility that you may die without repenting.

53. Say, “O My servants who have transgressed against themselves: do not despair of God’s mercy, for God forgives all sins. He is indeed the Forgiver, the Clement.”

54. And turn to your Lord, and submit to Him, before the retribution comes upon you. Then you will not be helped.

55. And follow the best of what was revealed to you from your Lord, before the punishment comes upon you suddenly, while you are unaware.

56. So that a soul may not say, “How sorry I am, for having neglected my duty to God, and for having been of the scoffers.”

57. Or say, “Had God guided me; I would have been of the pious.”

58. Or say, when it sees the penalty, “If only I had another chance, I would be of the virtuous.”

59. Yes indeed! My Verses did come to you, but you called them lies, turned arrogant, and were of the faithless.

[The Quran, verses 39:53-59]

Back to the question of not completing the 2 days worth of prayers am I able to pray now If so do I start with fajr and end at isha or start at isha then finish at fajr? May Allah reward you

There is difference among scholars on what is best to do in your case, since you intentionally stopped praying. As far as I know, there is no clear text (Quran or hadith) that deals with your specific case. Many scholars say the prayers should be redone, with the important exception of Ibn Taymiyyah, Ibn Hazm and some of Imam al-Shafi`i’s followers, who say that when the prayer is abandoned intentionally, there is no need to redo them, that one should only repent and start praying again from that point on.

Personally I would redo the prayers, since it is only 2 days worth of prayers, just to be on the safe side. I would start from the earliest missed prayer to the latest.

If it had been many months worth of prayers, I wouldn’t redo them, I would do the sunnah prayers and pray tahajjud every night for months to make up for it.