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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Khutbah of Jum'ah in the Arabic language

Is it necessary that the Khutbah of Jum'ah is given in Arabic language or can it be given in some other language also? Some people say that if it is given in a local language it may be more useful to the audience. (S A, Toronto)

The Khutbah of Jum'ah is not essentially a lecture meant for the people. Rather, it is a part of the prayer of Jum'ah. It is evident that the numbers of rak'at in a zuhr prayer is four. On the day of jum'ah, the number of rak'at has been reduced to two only and the remaining two rak'ats have been substituted by a khutbah, which is basically a form of dhikr (ritual recitation of Allah's name), and by this name it has been referred to in the Holy Qur'an (Surah al-Jum'ah).

Therefore, being a part of the prayer of dhikr, it can only be performed in Arabic, and just as the prayer of jum'ah cannot be performed in a local language, the khutbah cannot be given in any language other than Arabic. The companions of the Holy Prophet, salla-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, went to a number of places outside Arabia and preached Islam there, but they never used a local language while offering a khutbah of jum'ah. They used the local language in other lectures and sermons, but not in the prescribed khutbah on Friday. This helps the Muslims being in at least verbal contact with Arabic, the language of the Holy Qur'an and Sunnah.

Fatawa by Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani.

Doubt in Salah

It frequently happens during Namaz (Salah) that I forget the correct number of Rak'at I have performed. For example, I get confused during the Salah whether I have performed two Rak'ats or three Rak'ats. Normally in such a situation I repeat my Prayer all over again. Is this what we are supposed to do or is here any other solution to this problem? Please enlighten me in this respect.

You need not repeat the prayer every time you face such a situation. If a person has experienced this confusion for the first time, he or she is required to repeat the Salah. However, if this confusion occurs frequently, as in your case, you are not required to repeat the prayer. Instead, whenever you are confused during your Prayer, you should guess and should act according to the number which appears to you more probable. For example, if you are confused in the Zuhr Prayer whether you have performed two Rak'ats, or three Rak'ats, and after reflection it seems to you more probable that you have performed three Rak'ats, you should act accordingly and after adding one more Rak'at, your four Rak'at will be deemed to have been complete.

But even after reflection, you cannot recollect the actual number of Rak'ats, both possibilities are equal and you cannot prefer one of them over the other, then you should act according to the lesser number. For example, if you caanot reflect whether you have performed two Rak'ats or three Rak'ats, you should presume that you have prayed only two Rak'ats and should add two more Rak'ars to complete your Zuhr prayer.

However, in this case (i.e. when acting according to the lesser number) one should sit for tashahhud after each Rak'at which could possibly be his last Rak'at. Therefore, in the above example, (when one is confused about two or three Rak'at, and takes it to be his second rak'at) he should sit after his next Rak'at and should recite tashahhud, because there is a possibility that it is his fourth and last Rak'at. Then after reciting tashahhud, he should stand up and should complete the four Rak'at according to his presumption, and should perform a sajdah of sahw in the last.

Take another example : Suppose, you are saying the Prayer and get confused whether it is your first Rak'at or the second one. Both possibilities are equal. Now you should take it as your first Rak'at. Normally it means that you should not sit for tashahhud after Sajdah but since there is a possibility that it is your second Rak'at i.e. the last Rak'at in the fair prayer, you should sit after sajdah and after reciting tashahhud should you stand up again and perform another Rak'at with a sajdah of sahw at its end.

In this manner, you can resolve the problem without repeating the prayer.

Fatawa by Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani.

Du'a e Qunoot

(a) Why is du'a of qunoot prayed during the 'Isha' Prayers (specially in the Witr)? There must be a reason behind it.

(b) Since du'a qunoot is a du'a, can we use it in other prayers i.e. after finishing Fajr prayer?

A. The forms of worship are prescribed by Allah Almighty and have been conveyed to us through the Holy Prophet, sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam. No doubt, every form or method of worship so prescribed has some wisdom behind it, but that wisdom has not been expressly mentioned in the Holy Qur'an and Sunnah in every case. We can attribute certain reasons for certain acts, but it will be a hypothetical exercise which may or may not be correct, because the real wisdom is best known to Allah alone. The number of Rak'ats in the Fajr prayer is two while it is four in Zuhr, Asr and 'Isha' and three in Maghrib.

The reason for these different numbers different prayers is never mentioned in the Holy Sources of Islamic teachings. The recitals of prayer also very from act to act. We are directed to recite the Qur'anic verses while standing in the prayer, but we have been forbidden from doing so in the states of ruku' and sajdah, likewise, Tashahhud has been prescribed in the qa'dah (state of sitting) and not in the ruku' or sajdah. the exact reasons for these directions are not expressly mentioned in the Qur'an or in the Sunnah, because the essence of worship is nothing but to obey the divine commands and to follow the prophetic practices even if their reasons are unknown.

Similar is the case of the du'a of qunoot. It has been prescribed in the last Rak'at of witr without giving any reason. Therefore, we must follow it even though its exact reason is not known to us.

One can say that since the prayer of witr, is the last prayer performed by a Muslim at night, a comprehensive du'a has been prescribed in its last rak'at so that one's daily activities may end with this prayer which ecompasses all his needs, both in this world and in the Hereafter.

But, as mentioned earlier, this is only a possible reason. Some other person may adduce another reason, the real wisdom being known to Allah alone.

(b) Yes, there is no harm against reciting this du'a after prayers also. But it should not be recited during the Salah except in the Witr Prayer.

Fatawa by Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani.

Commiting a mistake Jama'ah

If one is offering prayers (salah) in congregation (Jama'ah) and he commits a mistake under which sajdah for repentence becomes mandatory, then, can he offer such a sajdah at the end of the prayers (salah)? If yes, please specify the correct procedure for the same and clarify the situations under which one must perform such a sajdah while in congregational prayers.

If a person offering his salah with jama'ah commits a mistake behind his Imam which is normally remedied by the sajdah of sahw, he need not, and should not, offer the sajdah of sahw, because the sajdah of sahw is obligatory only on a person praying individually or on a person leading the prayer. As for a person praying behind his Imam as a muqtadi, the rules of sajdah of sahw are not applicable on him. His salah will be valid without the sajdah of sahw, unless he leaves an obligatory (Fard) act altogather, like the sajdah, or ruku' etc. In which case the sajdah of sahw will not be sufficient to correct the error, but his salah will be void and he will have to offer the prayer once again.

As for those mistakes which are remedied by the sajdah of sahw for an Imam or for a person praying individually they are forgiven for a person praying behind the Imam, and his salah is deemed to be complete without the sajdah of sahw.

However, if the person has missed one or two rak'at from the jama'ah and he is offering the missed rak'at on his own after the congregational prayer is over, and he makes a mistake for his duration, he will have to offer the sajdah of sahw, because, while completing the missed raka'at he is deemed to be a person who offers the prayer individually, and the sajdah of sahw is obligatory on him like any other individual.

Fatawa by Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani.

Joining the congregational prayer late

If one joins the congregational prayer late ( 3rd or 4th rakah) what is the proper way to complete the prayer? in Which rakah he has to recite a surah and in which rakah he has to sit after Sajdah?

A person who has not joined a prayer in the first rakah is called a 'Masbuq'. He has to complete his prayer after the Imam has finished his prayer. A 'Masbuq' has to observe the following rules while completing his prayer :-

1. He should not make salam with his Imam ; rather as soon as Imam completes his first Salam he should stand up to complete his prayer.

2. By completing his own prayer, a 'Masbuq' shall perform all the acts of prayers in the same manner as he has to perform while praying individually.

3. In the matter of recitation of surah he shall follow his own number of rakah i.e. if he has missed two rakah with the Imam and has stood up to complete these remaining rakah, he will have to recite surah in both of them because these rakah will be deemed to be his first and second rakah and his performance with the Imam will be deemed to be third and fourth. Likewise, if he has missed three rakah and performed only one rakah with the Imam, then while performing the remaining three rakah, he will recite surah in the first two rakah only and will not recite in the third.

4. However, in the matter of Qa'dah (sitting for Tashahhud), he will follow the number of rakah he has actually perfor med whether with the Imam or on his own. Therefore, if he has missed three rakah and has performed only one rakah with the Imam, then he will have to sit for Qa'dah right in the first rakah whike completing his own prayer, because this is actually his second rakah as combined with the one performed with the Imam, and since Qa'dah is obligatory after every two rakah he has two make Qa'dah right there and he will not sit in the next rakah because it is actually his third rakah.

In the light of aforesaid rules, if a person has missed three rakah and joined only in the fourth rakah with the Imam, he will not follow the Imam in his salam and will stand up to complete his remaining three rakah and in the first rakah will recite surah and after completing sajdah he will sit down to recite tashahhud, then he will rise up and will recite the surah again. He will not sit in this second individual rakah. Then in the third, he will not recite a surah and will sit down after sajdah to complete his Tashahhud and salam.

I hope this will be enough to explain the way in which a 'Masbuq' has to complete his prayer.

Fatawa by Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani.

Making Dua in Sajda

Is it permissible, under the Shariah, to make supplication (Du'a) while one is in Sajdah? It is commonly observed that some people after completing their prayer (salah) fall in sajdah and offer supplications in that position. Please explain the correct way in this respect.

Supplication during sajdah is permissible, but the following points should alway be kept in mind:

(a) While offering sajdah in a regular prayer (salah) the medium of supplication should always be Arabic language. It is not permissible to use any other language during salah.

(b) One should restrict himself, as far as possible, to the supplications contained in the Holy Qur'an and Sunnah. How ever, if one likes to pray in his own Arabic words, the prayers should be restricted to those things only which cannot be asked from a human being, such as
اللهم اغفرلي ولزوجتي ولأولادي

"O Allah, forgive my sins and the sins of my wife and my children."

This Arabic supplication is permissible because forgiveness of sins can be asked from a human being cannot be asked in a prayer offered while performing salah, such as (O Allah, make me marry such and such women). If somebody prays for such mundane things which can be asked from a human being also, the salah will be rendered void, even if the medium of prayer is Arabic language.

(c) Although offering supplications during sajdah is permissible with the conditions mentioned above, it is more advisable to avoid it during the Fard salah, and restrict it to the Nawafil only.

All the rules mentioned above relate to the supplications offered in a sajdah which forms part of salah. However, if someone makes a sajdah out of salah for the purpose of supplication only, there is no prohibition, nor is it necessary to observe the conditions mentioned in (a),(b) or (c) above. In such a position one can pray in whatever language one deems fit.

It is, therefore, permissible to make sajdah for the purpose of supplication after the salah is over. However, this should not be made a permanent practice after every salah, because the Holy Prophet, salla-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, used to make dua after salah in a sitting position, and it is in no way advisable to leave this sunnah of the Holy Prophet, salla-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, forever.

Fatawa by Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani.

Sunnah Sallah between the Azaan and Fard of Maghrib

Q: As you know, in Saudi Arabia, Magreb prayers are usually offered ten minutes after the call for prayers. I have recently seen one Hadith which can be rendered into English as "No one should sit in the mosque until he has offered two rakah. "Agreed by all. Also, I have heard a Hadith which can be rendered into English as "Supplication between the azan and the call for the prayers is always answered.

Does that mean that we should or we can offer two Rakah prayer after the call for the Magreb prayer but before the congregation starts and suplicate? (Ibid)

A: The Holy Prophet (S.A.W) has emphasized in a number of ahadith that the maghrib prayer should be offered as soon after the sunset as possible. On this basis the Hanafi jurists are of the view that the maghrib prayer should be offered immediately after adhan without any intervening prayer as nafl. However, other jurists are of the opinion that it is advisable to offer two ra'kat as nafl before the maghrib prayer. The present practice in Makkah and Madinah is based on this latter view. Now, when the gap of about ten minutes is, in any case, available for every person who prays in the haram, one can avail of this opportunity by praying two rak'ats before the jama'ah, and there is no bar against it in Shari'ah, even in the Hanafi school, because they prefer to avoid any nafl before the maghrib prayer only to refrain from delaying the obligatory prayer. But when the obligatory prayer is bound to be delayed, according to the current practice in haram, pointless, to avoid the nafl prayer. So one can offer nafl before maghrib while praying in haram.

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