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Rules of Salat (Part I of III)

Salat is the best among all acts of worship. If it is accepted by the Almighty Allah, other acts of worship are also accepted. And, if prayers are not accepted, other acts are also not accepted.

Offering of prayers five times during day and night purifies us of sins in the same manner as bathing five times during day and night makes our body clean of all filth and dirt.

It is befitting that one should offer prayers punctually. A person who considers prayers to be something ordinary and unimportant is just like one who does not offer prayers at all. The holy Prophet has said that a person who does not attach any importance to prayers and considers it to be something insignificant deserves chastisement in the hereafter.

Once, while the holy Prophet was present in the Mosque (i.e. Masjidun Nabi), a man entered and began offering prayers but did not perform the Ruku' and Sajdah properly. The holy Prophet said: “If this man dies and his prayers continue to be this way, he will not depart on my religion”. Hence, one should not offer one's prayers hurriedly. While offering prayers one should remember Allah constantly and should offer the prayers humbly and with all solemnity. One should keep in mind the Greatness of Almighty Allah with whom one communes while offering prayers and should consider oneself to be very humble and insignificant before His Grandeur and Glory. And if a person keeps himself absorbed in these thoughts while performing prayers he becomes unmindful and oblivious to himself, just as when an arrow was pulled out of the foot of the Commander of the Faithful, Imam Ali (peace be on him) while he was offering prayers but he did not become aware of it.

Furthermore, one who performs prayers should be repentant and should refrain from all sins and especially those which are an impediment in the way of acceptance of one's prayers (e.g. jealousy, pride, backbiting, eating haraam things, drinking intoxicating beverages, non-payment of Khums and Zakat). In fact, he should refrain from all sins. Similarly, he should avoid acts which diminish the reward for prayers like praying when one is drowsy or restless because of an urge to urinate, and while offering prayers he should not look up towards the sky. On the other hand, one should perform such acts which increase the reward like wearing an Aqiq, wearing clean clothes, combing the hair, brushing the teeth and using perfume.

Obligatory Salat

The following six prayers are obligatory:

• Daily Salat .

• Salat al-Ayaat.

• Salat al-Mayyit.

• Salat for the obligatory Tawaf of the holy Ka'bah.

• Qadha Salat of father which are, as a precaution, obligatory upon his eldest son.

• Salat which become obligatory on account of hire, vow or oath.

Salat al-Jumuah is included in the Daily Salat .

Obligatory Daily Salat

It is obligatory to perform the following five prayers during day and night:

• Dawn prayers (Fajr) - 2 Rak'ats.

• Midday (Zuhr) and Afternoon prayers ('Asr) - each one consisting of 4 Rak'ats.

• Dusk prayers (Maghrib) - 3 Rak'ats and Night prayers ('Isha) - 4 Rak'ats.

Issue 736: While travelling, a traveller should reduce the prayers of 4 Rak'ats to 2 Rak'ats. The conditions under which the Rak'ats are reduced will be mentioned later.

Time for Zuhr and Asr Prayers

Issue 737: If a stick, a pole, or anything similar to it, which acts as an indicator (shakhis) is made to stand on a level ground, its shadow will fall westwards when the sun rises in the morning, and as the sun continues to rise the shadow cast by the indicator will reduce in size. And in our cities it becomes smallest at the time of the commencement of Zuhr. And as Zuhr passes the shadow cast by the indicator turns eastwards, and as the sun moves towards west the shadow gets longer. Based on this, when the shadow is the shortest, and it begins getting longer again, it is known that Zuhr has taken place. However, in other cities like in Mecca, the shadow disappears totally, so, when it reappears it indicates Zuhr.

Issue 738: * The time for Zuhr and Asr prayers is from when the sun starts declining at midday till sunset. But, if a person intentionally offers Asr prayers earlier than Zuhr prayers, his prayer is void. However, if a person had not prayed Zuhr till the end of time, and the time left before Qadha allows only one Salat to be prayed, he will first offer Asr prayers in time and then his Zuhr will be Qadha. And if before that time a person offers complete Asr prayers before Zuhr prayers by mistake, his prayer is valid. But as a recommended precaution, he should treat that Salat as Zuhr and should offer 4 more Rak'ats of prayers with the intention of relieving oneself of responsibility, if any (Ala mafi zzimmah).

Issue 739: If a person begins offering Asr prayers forgetfully before Zuhr prayers and during the prayers he realises that he has committed a mistake, he should revert his Niyyat to Zuhr prayers i.e. he should intend that from now onwards till the end of the prayers, it would be Zuhr prayers. After completing the prayers, he will offer Asr prayers.

Salat al-Jumuah

Issue 740: * Friday prayers consists of 2 Rak'ats like Fajr prayers. The difference between these two prayers is that Salat al-Jumuah has two sermons before it. Salat al-Jumuah is Wajib Takhyiri, which means that we have an option to offer Jumuah prayers, if its necessary conditions are fulfilled, or to offer Zuhr prayers. Hence, if Salat al-Jumuah is offered then it is not necessary to offer Zuhr prayer.

The following conditions must be fulfilled for Jumuah prayers to become obligatory:

• The time for Jumuah prayers should have set in. And that means that the midday time should have begun to decline. The time for Salat al-Jumuah is the earliest part of Zuhr. If it is very much delayed, then Salat al-Jumuah time will be over, and Zuhr Salat will have to be prayed.

• The number of persons joining Salat al-Jumuah should be at least five, including the Imam. If there are less than five people, Salat al-Jumuah would not become obligatory.

• The Imam should fulfil the necessary conditions for leading the prayers. These conditions include righteousness ('Adalat) and other qualities which are required of an Imam and which will be mentioned in connection with the congregational prayers. In absence of an Imam qualifying to lead, Salat al-Jumuah will not be obligatory.

The following conditions should be fulfilled for the Salat al-Jumuah to be correct:

• The prayers should be offered in congregation. Hence, Salat al-Jumuah cannot be prayed alone. If a person joins Salat al-Jumuah before the Ruku of the second Rak'at his prayers will be valid and he will have to add another Rak'at to complete it. But, if he joins the Imam in the Ruku of the second Rak'at then the prayers may not suffice, and as a measure of precaution Zuhr Salat should be prayed.

• Two sermons should be delivered before the prayers. In the first sermon the preacher should praise Allah and exhort the people to observe piety, and then he should also recite a short chapter (Surah) from the holy Qur'an. Thereafter he should sit down for a while and then stand up again. This time also he should praise Allah and invoke peace and blessings upon the holy Prophet and the holy Imams and, as a recommended precaution, seek forgiveness for the believers. It is necessary that the two sermons should precede the Salat . It will not be correct to offer the prayers before the two sermons. And, it is not permissible to deliver the sermons before Zuhr time has set in. It is also necessary that the preacher should be standing while delivering the sermons. Hence, if he delivers sermons while sitting, it will not be in order. It is also necessary and obligatory that there should be a break between the two sermons by way of sitting down during the interval for a while. It is also necessary that the preacher who delivers the sermons should also lead the prayers. Taharat may not be a condition for delivering the sermons, but as a precaution, it should be maintained. As far as the glory of Allah, invocation of prayers and mercy upon the Prophet and the Imams are concerned, it must be rendered in Arabic, but the rest of it need not be in Arabic. In fact, if the majority in the audience are non-Arabs, then as an obligatory precaution, words of admonition and exhorting people to be pious and virtuous should be delivered in their language.

• The distance between the two places where Salat e-Jumuah are offered should not be less than one Farsakh (3 miles). Hence if the distance between the two places is lesser and both the prayers commence at one and the same time both will be void. And if one of those prayers precedes the other (even to the extent of Takbiratul-ehram i.e. the first Takbir) the one which precedes will be in order and the other will be void. If, it transpires after the Salat al-Jumuah is over that another Salat al-Jumuah had commenced earlier or simultaneously at a distance of less than farsakh, it will not be obligatory to offer Zuhr prayers. It is immaterial whether this information is received within the time or later. Moreover, a Salat al-Jumuah can stop another from being held within the stipulated distance only if it is itself valid, comprising of all conditions, otherwise it cannot have any prohibitive effect.

Issue 741: * When Salat al-Jumuah, with all its requirements is held, it will be obligatory to attend it if one who established it is Imam (A.S.) or his representative. But in a situation other than this, joining or attending it is not obligatory.

When attending is obligatory, the following points must be considered:

• The person joining should be man. Presence in Jumuah prayers is not obligatory for women.

• Freedom. Hence it is not obligatory for a slave to be present in Jumuah prayers.

• Not being a traveller. Hence Jumuah prayers is not obligatory for a traveller, regardless of whether the traveller prays Qasr or full prayers, as he would do if he intends staying for 10 days or more.

• Being free from ailment and blindness. Hence it is not obligatory for a sick or a blind man to offer Jumuah prayers.

• Not being old. Hence Jumuah prayers is not obligatory for old men.

• That the distance between the place a person is and where Jumuah prayers is going to be held should not be more than 2 farsakh (11 Km) and it would be obligatory for a person who is at the end of 2 farsakh to join the Salat . And similarly, participation in Jumuah prayers will not be obligatory for a person who finds it extremely difficult, because of rains, severe cold and so on.

Issue 742: * A few rules concerning Jumuah prayers:

• It is permissible for a person, who is exempted from Jumuah prayers, and for whom presence in Jumuah prayers is not obligatory, to hasten for Zuhr prayers in the early part of its time.

• It is Makrooh to talk while Imam delivers the sermon. And if the noise created by talking prevents others from listening to the sermon, then it is haraam, regardless of whether the attendance is the minimum required or more.

• As an obligatory precaution, it is wajib to listen to both the sermons. However, listening to the sermons is not obligatory upon those, who do not understand their meanings.

• The second Adhan on Friday is an innovation. And it is the same Adhan which is usually called the third Adhan.

• It is not obligatory for a person wishing to join Jumuah Salat to be present while Imam is delivering the sermon.

• Conducting purchase and sale at the time when people are called to Jumuah prayers is haraam, if it hinders the prayers, and not if it does not hinder. And inspite of it being haraam, the transaction done would not be void.

• When it was obligatory for a person to be present in Jumuah prayers and he abandoned it, and offered Zuhr prayers, his prayers would be in order.

Time for Maghrib and Isha Prayers

Issue 743: The obligatory precaution is that as long as the redness in the eastern sky appearing after sunset has not passed overhead, Maghrib Salat should not be performed.

Issue 744: * In normal circumstances, the prescribed time for Maghrib and Isha prayers is till midnight. But if forgetfulness, oversleeping or being in Hayz and similar unusual situations prevent one from performing the prayers till midnight, then for them the time will continue till Fajr sets in. In all the cases, Maghrib must be prayed before Isha, and if one contradicts their sequence purposely or knowingly, the Salat will be void. However, if the time left over is just enough for Isha prayers to be offered within time, then Isha will precede Maghrib prayers.

Issue 745: * If a person offers Isha prayers before Maghrib prayers by mistake and takes notice of this after completing the prayers, his prayers will be valid, and then he should offer Maghrib prayers after it.

Issue 746: * If a person begins Isha prayers by mistake before Maghrib prayers and realises during the prayers that he has made an error, and if he has not yet gone into Ruku of the 4th Rak'at he should turn his Niyyat to Maghrib prayers and complete the prayers. Thereafter he will offer Isha prayers. However, if he has entered Ruku of the 4th Rak'at he can continue to complete the Isha prayers and thereafter pray Maghrib.

Issue 747: * In normal circumstances, the end of the time for Isha prayers is midnight; and the night will be calculated from dawn (Subh al-Sadiq).

Issue 748: * If a person in normal circumstances does not offer Maghrib or Isha prayers till after midnight, he should, as an obligatory precaution, offer the prayers in question before the dawn prayers, without making a Niyyat of Ada (i.e. in time) or Qadha (i.e. after the lapse of time).

Time for Fajr Prayers

Issue 749: Just before dawn a column of whiteness rises upwards from the east. It is called the first dawn. When this whiteness spreads, it is called the second dawn, and the Prime time for Subh prayers. The time for Subh prayers is till sunrise.

Rules Regarding Salat Times

Issue 750: * A person can start offering prayers only when be becomes certain that the time has set in or when two just (Adil) persons inform that the time has set in. In fact, one can rely upon the Adhan, or on advice of a person who knows the timings and is reliable.

Issue 751: * If a person cannot be certain about the Prime time for prayers due to a personal handicap like blindness or being in the prison cell, he should delay the prayer till such time when he feels sure that the time has set in. And as an obligatory precaution, he should act the same way when there are general hindrances like dust or clouds.

Issue 752: * If a person is satisfied on the basis of any one of the above methods that the time for prayers has set in and he begins offering prayers, but then realises during the prayers that the time has not yet set in, his prayer is void. And the position is the same if he realises after the prayers that he has offered the entire prayers before time. However, if one learns as he prays that the time has just entered or if he learns after the prayers that the time entered while he was in the process of praying, his Salat will be valid.

Issue 753: If a person is heedless of the fact that he should pray after ensuring that the time has set in, and if he realises after the prayers that he had offered the entire prayers in time, his prayer is in order. And if he realises that he had offered his prayers before time or does not realise whether he had offered the prayers within time or not, his prayers will be void. In fact, if he realises after offering prayers that the time for prayers had set in while he was praying, he should offer that prayers again.

Issue 754: If a person was certain that the time for prayers had set in, and began offering prayers but while praying, he doubted whether or not the time for it had actually set in, his prayers would be void. However, if he is certain while offering prayers that the time for it has set in, but doubts whether what he has already performed in the prayer, has been in time or not, his prayer is valid.

Issue 755: If the time left for Salat is so little that if we perform some Mustahab acts of the prayers, an obligatory part of the prayers will fall beyond the prescribed time, one should not perform those Mustahab acts. For example, if on account of reciting qunut a part of the prayers will lapse beyond time, one should do without qunut.

Issue 756: If the time at the disposal of a person is sufficient for performing one Rak'at only he should offer the prayers with the Niyyat of Ada, i.e. offering the same in time. However, one should not delay offering prayers intentionally.

Issue 757: * If a person who is not a traveller has at his disposal time for offering five Rak'ats till sunset he should offer both Zuhr and Asr prayers. And if he has less time than that he should offer only Asr prayers, and thereafter he should give Qadha of Zuhr prayers. Similarly if he has sufficient time upto midnight for offering five Rak'ats, he should offer Maghrib and Isha prayers and if he has less time than that he should offer only Isha prayers and then offer Maghrib prayers, without making a Niyyat of Ada (i.e. being in time) or Qadha.

Issue 758: * If a person who is a traveller has sufficient time at his disposal till sunset for offering three Rak'ats he should offer Zuhr and Asr prayers and if he has lesser time than that, he should offer only Asr prayers and then offer Qadha of Zuhr prayers. And if he has time enough for offering 4 Rak'ats till midnight he should offer Maghrib and Isha prayers, and if he has just enough time for three Rak'ats he should offer Isha first and then Maghrib so that at least one Rak'at falls within time. And if the time is for lesser than three Rak'ats, then he should first offer Isha prayers, followed by Maghrib without the Niyyat of Ada or Qadha. However, if he learns after completing Isha prayers that there is still time for at least one Rak'at, or more, he should hasten to offer Maghrib with the Niyyat of Ada.

Issue 759: It is Mustahab that a person should offer prayers at the Prime time prescribed for it, and great emphasis has been laid on it; alternatively, the nearer the prayers are to its Prime time, the better, except where there is good reason for delay, like, waiting to join the prayers in congregation (Salat al-Jamaat).

Issue 760: * If a person has a justifiable excuse for offering prayers with tayammum and he wishes to offer it at the Prime time knowing that his excuse will continue till the end of the prescribed time, or having no hope for redress, he can offer prayers in the early part of the time. But if he has a hope that the excuse will cease to exist, he should wait till his excuse is removed. In case his excuse is not removed, he would offer prayers in the last part of the time. But, in so doing, it is not necessary that he should wait so much that he may be able to perform only the obligatory acts of the prayers. In fact, if he has time for the Mustahab acts like Adhan, Iqamah and qunut as well, he can perform tayammum and offer prayers along with these Mustahab acts. As for other excuses which do not justify tayammum, it is permissible for him to offer prayers at its Prime time, even if he has not lost hope about redress. However, if the excuse actually ceases to exist while he is praying, he must repeat the prayers.

Issue 761: * If a person does not know the rules about prayers, doubts occurring in it, or about the forgotten parts, and if he feels that such problems would probably arise in his Salat , he should defer from its Prime time so as to learn the relevant rules. However, if he is hopeful that he can offer prayers correctly he may pray at its Prime time. And if no problem arose during the prayers, his prayers would be correct and valid. But if a problem arose and the rules relating to it were not known to him, he would be allowed to act on one of the two probabilities and complete the prayers. And, after the prayers, he should enquire about the rule so that if his prayers had been void he would offer it again, and if it had been valid, he need not repeat.

Issue 762: If there is ample time for prayers, and at the same time his creditor demands repayment of his loan from him, he should repay the loan first, if possible, and then offer prayers. Similarly, if there emerges another obligatory matter which demands immediate attention, like if a man sees that the Masjid is Najis he should make it Clean (tahir/pak) first and then offer prayers. And in both the cases if he offers his prayers first he commits a sin but his prayer is in order.

The Prayers which should be Performed in Sequence

Issue 763: One should always offer Asr prayers after the Zuhr prayers, and the Isha prayers after the Maghrib prayers. If one intentionally offers Asr prayers before Zuhr prayers, or Isha prayers before Maghrib prayers, one's prayers would be void.

Issue 764: If a person starts Salat with the niyyat of Zuhr prayers, and during the prayers he recollects that he has already offered Zuhr prayers, he is not allowed to change the niyyat to the Asr prayers.He should abandon that Salat , and start Asr Salat . And the same rule applies to the Maghrib and the Isha Salat .

Issue 765: * If a person somehow becomes sure while offering the Asr prayers that he has not offered the Zuhr prayers, and changes niyyat to the Zuhr prayers, but later he recollects that he has infact already offered the Zuhr prayers, he can again revert to Asr, and complete the prayers, provided that he has not performed important parts like Ruku', Sajdah or any other part with the niyyat of Zuhr, otherwise his prayers will be void, and he has to offer all over again.

Issue 766: If, while offering the Asr prayers, a man doubts whether he has offered the Zuhr prayers, he should complete his Salat with the same niyyat of Asr, and then pray Zuhr. However, if the time is so short, that that the sun would set by the time he finishes the prayers, and there would be no time left even for one Rak'at, then it is not necessary to pray Zuhr Salat as Qadha.

Issue 767: * If, while offering the Isha prayers, a man doubts whether he has offered Maghrib prayers, he should complete the Salat with the same niyyat of Isha. But if the time is short, and he will not be able to perform even one Rak'at after completion of Isha, it is not necessary to pray Maghrib as Qadha.

Issue 768: * If while offering Isha prayers, a person doubts after reaching the Ruku of the 4th Rak'at, whether he has offered Maghrib prayers, he should complete the Isha Prayers. Thereafter, he should pray Maghrib, if the time for it is still available (i.e. if it is not Qadha).

Issue 769: If a person is praying a particular Salat again as a precaution, and during the prayers he recollects that he has not offered the preceding Salat , he cannot change niyyat to that prayers. For example, when offering the Asr prayers again as a measure of precaution, he recollects that he has not offered the Zuhr prayers, he cannot change niyyat to Zuhr prayers.

Issue 770: It is not permissible to change niyyat from Qadha to Ada (i.e. prayers which is offered within the prescribed time), nor from Mustahab to obligatory prayers.

Issue 771: * If a person has sufficient time at his disposal to offer prayers within the time, he can, while offering the prayers, change niyyat to Qadha prayers, provided that it is possible to do so. For example, if he is offering Zuhr prayers, he can change to Qadha of dawn prayers, only when he has not entered the Ruku of the third Rak'at.

Mustahab Prayers

Issue 772: There are many Mustahab prayers which are generally called Nafilah, but more stress has been laid on the daily Mustahab prayers. The number of the Rak'ats everyday excluding Friday, is 34. It is an follows:

• 8 Rak'ats Nafilah for Zuhr

• 8 Rak'ats Nafilah for Asr

• 4 Rak'ats Nafilah for Maghrib

• 2 Rak'ats Nafilah for Isha

• 11 Rak'ats Nafilah for Tahajjud (Salat al-Shab)

• 2 Rak'ats Nafilah for Fajr

• As an obligatory precaution, the Nafilah for Isha prayers should be offered while sitting, and therefore its 2 Rak'ats are counted as one. But on Friday, 4 Rak'ats are added to the 16 Rak'ats of the Zuhr and the Asr Nafilah, and it is preferable that all these 20 Rak'ats are offered before the Zuhr sets in.

Issue 773: Out of the 11 Rak'ats of the night Nafilah, 8 Rak'ats should be offered with the niyyat of the Nafilah, 2 Rak'ats with the niyyat of Shaf'a, and 1 Rak'at with the Niyyat of Witr. Complete instructions regarding Salat al-Shab are given in the book of prayers.

Issue 774: * All Nafilah prayers can be offered while sitting, but then, certain Fuqaha say that 2 Rak'ats prayed sitting should be counted as one Rak'at. For example, if a person wishes to offer Zuhr Nafilah which consists of 8 Rak'ats, in a sitting posture, he should offer 16 Rak'ats. And if he wishes to offer Witr prayers while sitting, he should offer two prayers of 1 Rak'at each. This later preference is not known from any sources; however, they may be followed with the hope of earning divine pleasure.

Issue 775: Zuhr Nafilah and Asr Nafilah should not be offered when one is on a journey, and one may offer Isha Nafilah with the intention of Raja'.

The Timings of Daily Nafilah Prayers

Issue 776: * The Zuhr Nafilah is offered before Zuhr prayers. Its time is from the commencement of the time of Zuhr, up to the time when the shadow of indicator equals 2/7th of its length. For example, if an indicator is 7 yards long, and the shadow appearing after Zuhr reaches 2 yards, the Nafilah time would end. He should now offer Zuhr prayers.

Issue 777: * The Asr Nafilah are offered before Asr prayers, and its time is till the moment when the shadow of an indicator appearing after Zuhr, reaches of 4/7th of its length.

In case a person wishes to offer Zuhr and Asr Nafilah after their recommended time, he can offer the Zuhr Nafilah after Zuhr prayers, and the Asr Nafilah after Asr prayers, but as a precaution, he will not make niyyat of Ada or Qadha.

Issue 778: * The Maghrib Nafilah should be offered after Maghrib prayers, and one should make an effort to offer it in time after Maghrib. However, if one delays offering Maghrib Nafilah till redness in the western sky disappears, then it would be better to offer Isha prayers at that moment.

Issue 779: The time for Isha Nafilah is from the completion of Isha prayers till midnight. It is better to offer it immediately, after Isha prayers.

Issue 780: * The Fajr Nafilah is offered before the Fajr prayers, and its time commences when Salat al-Shab has been completed, till the time of Salat al-Fajr draws near. But if someone delays it till redness is seen in the eastern sky, then it is better to pray Salat of Fajr.

Issue 781: * The time for Salat al-Shab is from midnight till Adhan for Fajr prayers, and it is better to offer it nearer the time of Fajr prayers.

Issue 782: A traveller (i.e. one on a journey), and a person who finds it difficult to offer Salat al-Shab after midnight, can offer it before midnight.

Ghufayla Prayers

Issue 783: Ghufayla prayers is one of the Mustahab prayers which is offered between Maghrib and Isha prayers. In its first Rak'at after Surah al-Hamd, instead of any other Surah, the following verses should be recited: Wa zannuni iz zahaba mughaziban fazanna an lan naqdira 'alayhi fanada fiz zulumati an la ilaha illa anta subhanaka inni kuntu minazzalimin fastajabna lahu wa najjaynahu minal ghammi wa kazalika nunjil mu'minin. In the second Rak'at after Surah al-Hamd, instead of other Surah, the following verse should be recited: Wa 'indahu mafatihul ghaybi la ya'lamuha illa huwa wa ya'lamu ma fil barri wal bahri wa ma tasqutu min waraqatin illa ya'lamuha wa la habbatin fi zulumatil arz wa la ratbin wa la yabisin illa fi kitabim mubin. And in Qunut this Dua be recited: Alla humma inni as aluka bi mafatihli ghaybil lati la ya 'lamuha illa anta an tusalliya 'ala Muhammadin wa Ali Muhammad wa an taf'al bi ...........

(here one should mention his wishes).

Thereafter, the following Dua should be read: Alla humma anta waliyyu ni'mati wal qadiru 'ala talabati ta'lamu hajati fa as aluka bihaqqi Muhammadin wa Ali Muhammadin 'alayhi wa 'alay himussalamu lamma qazaaytaha li.

Rules of Qibla

Issue 784: Our Qibla is the holy Ka'bah, which is situated in Makkah, and one should offer one's prayers facing it. However, a person who is far, would stand in such a manner that people would say that he is praying facing the Qibla, and that would suffice. This also applies to other acts which should be performed facing the Qibla like, while slaughtering an animal etc.

Issue 785: * A person offering obligatory prayers while standing should have his chest and stomach facing the Qibla, and his face should not digress from Qibla, and the recommended precaution is that the toes of his feet should also be facing Qibla.

Issue 786: * If a person offers prayers while sitting, it is necessary that his face, chest and stomach face the Qibla.

Issue 787: * If a person cannot offer prayers in the sitting posture, he should lie on the right hand side in such a manner that the front part of the body would face the Qibla. And if that is not possible, he should lie on the left hand side in such a manner that the front part of his body would face the Qibla. And if even that is not possible, he should lie on his back in such a manner, that the sole of his feet face the Qibla.

Issue 788: Salat al-Ihtiyat, and forgotten Sajdah, and forgotten tashahhud should all be offered facing the Qibla, and on the basis of recommended precaution, Sajda al-Sahv should also be offered facing the Qibla.

Issue 789: A Mustahab Salat can be offered while one is walking, or riding, and if a person offers Mustahab prayers in these two conditions, it is not necessary that he should be facing the Qibla.

Issue 790: * A person who wishes to offer prayers, should make efforts to ascertain the direction of Qibla, and for that, he has to either be absolutely sure, or acquire such information as may amount to certainty, like testimony of two reliable persons. If that is not possible, he should form an idea from the Niche (Mehrab) of the Masjid or from the graves of the Muslims, or by other ways, and act accordingly. In fact, if a non-Muslim who can determine Qibla by scientific method, indicates Qibla satisfactorily, he can be relied upon.

Issue 791: If a person, who has a mere surmise about Qibla, and is in a position to have a better idea, he should not act on that guess work. For example, if a guest has an idea about the direction of Qibla on the statement of the owner of the house, but feels that he can acquire a firmer knowledge about Qibla by some means, he should not act on his host's words.

Issue 792: If a person does not possess any means of determining the direction of Qibla, or in spite of his efforts, he cannot form an idea about it, it will be sufficient for him to offer his prayers facing any direction. And the recommended precaution is that, if he has sufficient time at his disposal, he should offer the same prayers 4 times, each time facing every one of the four directions.

Issue 793: If a person is sure or guesses that Qibla is on one of the two directions, he should offer prayers facing both.

Issue 794: If a person has to offer prayers facing a few direction, and wants to offer two prayers like Zuhr prayers and Asr prayers, which should be offered one after the other, the recommended precaution is that he should offer the first Salat facing those few directions, and then commence the second prayers.

Issue 795: If a person who is not certain about the direction of Qibla, wishes to perform acts other than Salat , which should be done facing the Qibla like, slaughtering an animal, he should act according to his surmise about the direction of Qibla , and if that does not seem possible, then performing the act facing any direction will be valid.

Covering the Body in Prayers

Issue 796: While offering prayers, a man should cover his private parts even if no one is looking at him, and preference is that he should also cover his body from the navel up to the knee.

Issue 797: * A woman should cover her entire body while offering prayers, including her head and hair. As a recommended precaution, she should also cover the soles of her feet. It is not necessary for her to cover that part of her face which is washed while performing Wudhu, or the hands up to the wrists, or the upper feet up to the ankles. Nevertheless, in order to ensure that she has covered the obligatory parts of her body adequately, she should also cover a part of the sides of her face as well as lower part of her wrists and the ankles.

Issue 798: When a person offers the forgotten Sajdah or tashahhud, he should cover himself in the same manner as in prayers, and the recommended precaution is that he should also cover himself at the time of offering Sajda al-Sahv.

Issue 799: If while offering prayers, a person does not cover his private parts intentionally, or on account of not having cared to know the rule, his prayers is void.

Issue 800: * If a person realises while offering prayers, that his private parts are visible, he must immediately cover them, and it is not necessary for him to repeat the prayers. As a measure of precaution, he should not continue performing any part of the prayers, as long as the private parts are visible. If he learns after the completion of prayers that his private parts were visible, his prayers would be deemed valid.

Issue 801: If the dress of a person covers his private parts while he stands, but it may not cover them in another posture like in Ruku or Sajdah, his Salat will be valid if he manages to conceal them by some other means. However, the recommended precaution is that he should not pray in such dress.

Issue 802: * One is allowed to cover oneself at the time of offering prayers with grass, and the leaves of the trees, but as a recommended precaution, these should be used only when no alternative is available.

Issue 803: * In a state of helplessness, when one has nothing to cover one's private parts, one may, while offering prayers, use mud to conceal one's private parts.

Issue 804: * If a person does not have anything with which to cover himself while offering prayers, but has a hope that he may get some cover, then it is better to delay offering the prayers. However, if he does not get anything, he should offer prayers discharging his obligation at the end bit of the time. And if he prayed in the prime time, and his excuse did not continue till the end, then as an obligatory precaution, he should pray again.

Issue 805: * If a person who intends offering prayers does not have anything, not even leaves, or grass, or mud to cover himself, and if he has no hope of acquiring any of them, if there are no people looking, he should pray normally, performing Ruku and sajdah etc. as usual. And if there are people watching, then he should pray in such a way that his private parts remain hidden from the view, by praying while sitting, and performing Ruku and Sajdah by signs.

As an obligatory precaution in Salat , an unclothed person should cover his private parts with the parts of his own body, say, while sitting with the thighs, and while standing with his hands.

Conditions for Dress Worn during Prayers

Issue 806: There are six conditions for the dress used in Salat :

• It should be Clean (tahir/pak).

• It should be mubah (permissible for him to use).

• It should not be made of the parts of a dead body.

• It should not be made of the carcass, whose meat is haraam.

• If a person who offers prayers is a male, his dress must not be made of pure silk.

• If a person who offers prayers is a male, his dress must not be embroidered with gold. The details of these will follow later.

Issue 807: The dress of a person who offers prayers should be Clean (tahir/pak). Therefore, if he prays with najis body, or dress, in normal situations, his prayers would be void.

Issue 808: * If a person did not care to know that Salat offered with najis body or dress is void, and he prayed in that state, his prayers is void.

Issue 809: * If a person did not care to learn the rule that a particular thing is najis, like, if he does not know that the sweat of a Kafir is najis, and he prayed with it, his prayer is void.

Issue 810: * If, a person was sure that his body or dress was not najis, and came to know after Salat , that either of them was najis, the prayers are in order.

Issue 811: * If a person forgets that his body or dress is najis, and remembers during Salat , or after completing Salat , as an obligatory precaution, he should offer the prayers again, if his forgetting was due to carelessness. And if the time has lapsed, he should give its Qadha. If it was not due to carelessness, it is not necessary to pray again, except when he remembers during Salat , in which circumstances, he will act as explained below.

Issue 812: * If a person has ample time at his disposal while offering prayers, and he realises during the prayers that his clothes are najis, and suspects that they may have been najis before he started the prayers, he should wash it, or change it, or take if off, provided that in so doing, his Salat does not become invalidated, and continue with the Salat to its completion. But if he has no other dress to cover his private parts, or washing the dress, or taking it off may invalidate his Salat , he should, as an obligatory precaution, repeat his Salat with Clean (tahir/pak) clothes.

Issue 813: * When a person is praying, and the time at his disposal is short, and during the prayers he realises that his clothes are najis, and suspects that they may have been najis before he started the prayers, he should wash it, change, it or take it off provided that in so doing his Salat is not invalidated, and complete the Salat . But if he has no other clothes which would cover his private parts if he took off the dress, nor can he wash or change it, he should complete his Salat with the same najis dress.

Issue 814: * When a person is praying, and the time at his disposal is short, and during the prayers he realises that his body has become najis, suspecting that it may have been so before he started the prayers, he should wash that najasat off his body, if in so doing his Salat is not invalidated. But if it invalidates, then he should complete his Salat in the same state, and his Salat will be valid.

Issue 815: * If a person doubts whether his body or dress is Clean (tahir/pak), and if he did not find anything najis after investigation, and prayed, his Salat will be valid even if he learns after Salat that his body or dress was actually najis. But if he did not care to investigate, then as an obligatory precaution, he will repeat the prayers. If the time has lapsed, he will give its Qadha.

Issue 816: If a person washes his dress, and becomes sure that it has become Clean (tahir/pak), and offers prayers with it, but learns after the prayers that it had not become Clean (tahir/pak), his prayers are in order.

Issue 817: If a person sees blood on his body or dress, and is certain that it is not one of the najis bloods, like, if he is sure that it is the blood of a mosquito, and if after offering the prayers, he learns that it was one of those bloods with which prayers cannot be offered, his prayers are in order.

Issue 818: If a person is sure that the blood which is on his body or dress, is a type of najis blood which is allowed in Salat , like, the blood from wound or a sore, but comes to know after having offered his prayers, that it is the blood which makes prayers void, his prayers will be in order.

Issue 819: If a person forgets that a particular thing is najis, and his wet body or dress touches that thing, and then he offers prayers forgetfully, recollecting after the prayers, his prayer is in order. In such situation, if he does Ghusl without first making his body Clean (tahir/pak), and then proceeds to pray, both his Ghusl and Salat will be void, unless he is sure that in the process of doing Ghusl, his body also became Clean (tahir/pak). Similarly, if any part of Wudhu is washed without first making it Clean (tahir/pak), and prayers are offered, both Wudhu and the prayers will be void, unless he is sure that in the process of Wudhu, that part, which he had forgotten to be najis, had become Clean (tahir/pak).

Issue 820: * If a person possesses only one dress, and if his body and dress both are najis, and if the water in his possession is just enough to make one of them Clean (tahir/pak), the obligatory precaution is to make the body Clean (tahir/pak), and offer prayers with the najis dress. It is not permissible to wash the dress, and pray with najis body. However, if the najasat of the dress is more, or intense, then he has an option to make either of them Clean (tahir/pak).

Issue 821: A person who does not have any dress other than a najis one, should offer prayers with that najis dress, and his prayers will be in order.

Issue 822: If a person has two sets of dresses, and knows that one of them is najis, but does not know which, and has sufficient time at his disposal, he should offer prayers with each one of them. For example, if he wishes to offer Zuhr and Asr prayers, he should offer one Zuhr prayer and one Asr prayer with each set. However, if the time at his disposal is short, he may offer the prayers with either of them, and it will be sufficient.

Issue 823: * The dress which a person uses for offering prayers should be Mubah. Hence, if a person knows that it is haraam to use an usurped dress, or does not know the rule on account of negligence, and intentionally offers prayers with the usurped dress, as a precaution, his prayers would be void. But if his dress includes such usurped things which alone cannot cover the private parts, or even if they can cover the private parts, he is not actually wearing them at that time (for example, a big handkerchief which is in his pocket) or if he is wearing the usurped things together with a Mubah covering, in all these cases, the fact that such extra things are usurped would not affect the validity of the prayers; although, as a precautionary measure, their use should be avoided.

Issue 824: * If a person knows that it is haraam to wear usurped dress, but does not know that it makes prayers void, and if he intentionally offers prayers with usurped dress, as a precaution, his prayers will be void, as explained in the foregoing article.

Issue 825: * If a person does not know that his dress is usurped, or forgets about it being usurped, and offers prayers with it, his prayers is in order, provided that he himself is not the usurper. If he himself is the usurper, his Salat , as a precaution, will be void.

Issue 826: If a person does not know or forgets that his dress is a usurped one, and realises it during prayers, he should take off that dress, provided that his private parts are covered by another thing, and he can take off the usurped dress immediately without the continuity of the prayers being broken. And if his private parts are not covered by something else, or he cannot take off the usurped dress immediately, or the continuity of the prayers is not maintained if he takes if off, and if he has time for at least one Rak'at, he should break the prayers and offer prayers with a dress which has not been usurped. But if he does not have so much time, he should take off the dress while praying, and complete the prayers according to the rules applicable to the prayers by the naked.

Issue 827: If a person offers prayers with a usurped dress to safeguard his life or, for example, to save the dress from being stolen by a thief, his prayers are in order.

Issue 828: If a person purchases a dress with the particular sum of money whose khums has not been paid by him, then Salat in that dress will amount to the Salat in a dress which has been usurped.

Issue 829: * The dress of the person, including those which alone would not cover the private parts, as an obligatory precaution, should not be made of the parts of the dead body of an animal whose blood gushes when killed. And the recommended precaution is that even if the dress is made of the parts of the dead body of an animal whose blood does not gush (for example, fish or snake), it should not be used while offering prayers.

Issue 830: * If the person, who offers prayers, carries with him parts from a najis carcass, which are counted as living parts, like, its flesh and skin - the prayers will be in order.

Issue 831: If a person who offers prayers has with him parts from a carcass, whose meat is halal, and which is not counted as a living part, e.g. its hair and wool, or if he offers prayers with a dress which has been made from such things, his prayers are in order.

Issue 832: * The dress of one who is praying, apart from the small clothes like socks which would not ordinarily serve to cover the private parts, should not be made of any part of the body of a wild animal, nor, as an obligatory precaution, of any animal whose meat is haraam. Similarly, his dress should not be soiled with the urine, excretion, sweat, milk or hair of such animals. However, if there is one isolated hair on the dress, or if he carries with him, say, a box in which any such things have been kept, there is no harm.

Issue 833: * If the saliva, or water from the nose, or any other moisture, from an animal whose meat is haraam to eat, like that of a cat, is on the body or the dress of a person in Salat , and if it is wet, the Salat will be void. But if it has dried up, and if its substance has been removed, then the prayer is valid.

Issue 834: If hair and sweat and saliva of another person is on the body, or the dress of a person offering prayers, there is no harm in it. Similarly, there is no harm if animal products, like wax, honey or pearls are with him while he prays.

Issue 835: If the person offering prayers, doubts whether his dress is made of the parts of an animal whose meat is halal, or with the parts of the animal whose meat is haraam, he is allowed to offer prayers with it, irrespective of whether it has been made locally or imported.

Issue 836: It is not known whether a pearl oyster is one of the parts of an animal whose meat is haraam, therefore it is permissible to offer prayers with it.

Issue 837: There is no harm in wearing pure fur, and similarly the fur of a grey squirrel, while offering prayers. However, recommended precaution is that one should not offer prayers with the hide of a squirrel.

Issue 838: If a person prayed with a dress about which he did not know that it was made of the parts of an animal whose meat is haraam, or if he forgot about it, he should, as a recommended precaution, pray again.

Issue 839: The use of a dress embroidered with gold is haraam for men, and to pray in a such a dress will make Salat void. But for women its use, whether in prayers or otherwise, is allowed.

Issue 840: It is haraam for men to wear gold, like hanging a golden chain on one's chest, or wearing a gold ring, or to use a wrist watch or spectacles made of gold, and the prayers offered wearing these things will be void. But women are allowed to wear these things in prayers or otherwise.

Issue 841: If a person did not know, or forgot that his ring or dress was made of gold, or had a doubt about it, his prayers will be valid if he prayed wearing them.

Issue 842: * In Salat , the dress of a man, even his small scalp cap, or the laces for fastening the pyjama, or trousers, should not be made of pure silk. The latter two are as a measure of recommended precaution. However, for men it is haraam to wear pure silk at any time.

Issue 843: If the entire lining of a dress or a part of it is made of pure silk, wearing it is haraam for a man, and offering prayers with it will make it void.

Issue 844: If a man does not know whether a particular dress is made of pure silk, or of something else, it is permissible for him to wear it, and there is also no harm in offering prayers wearing it.

Issue 845: There is no harm if a silken handkerchief, or anything similar is in the pocket of a man, it does not invalidate the prayers.

Issue 846: A woman is allowed to wear silken dress in Salat , and at all other times.

Issue 847: When one is helpless, having no alternative, one can wear usurped dress, or dress made of gold fabrics, or of silk. Similarly, if a person is obliged to wear a dress, and has no other dress but one of those mentioned, he can offer prayers with such dresses.

Issue 848: * If a person does not have any dress but the usurped one, and if he is not forced to put on that dress, he should pray according to rules prescribed for the one who has to offer Salat unclothed.

Issue 849: * If a person does not have a dress, except the one made of the parts of the wild animal, and if he is obliged to put on that dress, he is allowed to pray with that dress. But if it is not necessary for him to put on a dress, he should act accordingly to the rules for the unclothed. But if the dress available is not from a wild beast, but from the parts of an animal whose meat is haraam, and if he is not in anyway obliged to wear it, then, as an obligatory precaution, he should pray twice; once with that dress, and again according to the rules applicable to unclothed person.

Issue 850: If a person does not have a dress other than a dress which is made of pure silk or is woven with gold, and if he is not obliged to wear any dress, he should offer prayers in accordance with the rules applicable to the unclothed.

Issue 851: * If a person does not have anything with which he may cover his private parts in Salat , it is obligatory on him to procure such a thing on hire, or to purchase it. However, if it is going to cost him more than he can afford, or, if he spends for the clothes, it would cause him some harm, he can offer Salat according to the rules prescribed for the unclothed person.

Issue 852: If a person does not have a dress, and another person presents or lends him a dress, he should accept it, if the acceptance will not cause any hardship to him. In fact, if it is not difficult for him to borrow, or to seek a gift, he should do so, from the one who may be able to give.

Issue 853: * Wearing a dress whose cloth, colour, or stitch, is not befitting to the status of a person, or is unusual for him, is haraam if it is undignified or humiliating. But if he offers Salat with such a dress, even if it is only enough to cover his private parts, his prayers will be valid.

Issue 854: * If a man wears the dress of a woman, or a woman wears the dress of a man, adopting it as a usual garb, as a precaution, this is haraam. But praying in that dress, in any situation, will not invalidate Salat .

Issue 855: * For a person who has to pray while lying down, it is not permissible in Salat to use a blanket or a quilt made of the parts of a wild beast, or, as an obligatory precaution, an animal whose meat is haraam, or of silk, or if it is najis, if he wraps it around in such a way that it can be seen as worn. But if he only draws it upon himself, there will be no harm, and his Salat will not be affected. As for the mattress, there is no objection at all, except when he wraps a part of it around his body, making it to look like wearing. If he does so, then the same rule as that of quilt will apply.

Exceptional Cases

Issue 856: * In the following three cases, the prayers offered by a person will be valid, even if his body or dress be najis:

• If his body or dress is stained with the blood discharged from a wound or a sore on his body.

• If his body or dress is stained with blood, spread over a space lesser than a dirham (which is almost equal to the upper joint of the thumb).

• If he has no alternative but to offer prayers with najis body or dress. Further, there is one situation in which, if the dress of one who prays is najis, the Salat will be valid. And that is, when small clothes like socks, scalp caps are najis. Rules of these four situations will be explained in details later.

Issue 857: * If the body or the dress of a person wishing to pray is stained with blood from wound or sore etc, he can pray Salat with that blood as long as the wound or the sore has not healed up. And the same applies to pus, which may flow out with blood, or any medicine which became najis, when applied to the wound or the sore.

Issue 858: If blood on the dress or the body of a person who is praying, originates from a small cut or wound which can be healed easily, and which can be washed clean, then his Salat is void.

Issue 859: If any part of the body, or the dress, which is away from the wound, becomes najis owing to the fluid which oozes out from the wound, it is not permissible to offer prayers with it. However, if a part of the body or dress around the wound becomes najis, owing to suppuration, there is no harm in offering prayers with it.

Issue 860: If the body or dress of a person is stained with blood from internal piles, or from a wound which is within one's mouth, nose etc., he can offer prayers with that blood. But if the blood is from external piles, then it is obviously permissible to offer prayers with it.

Issue 861: * If a person has a wound on his body and he sees blood on his body or dress which is bigger than the area of a dirham and does not know whether it is from his wound or some other blood, as an obligatory precaution, he should not pray with it.

Issue 862: If a person has several wounds, but they are so near one another that they may be treated as one, there is no harm in offering prayers with their blood, as long as they have not healed. However, if they are separate, each one as an independent wound, he should wash and make Clean (tahir/pak) body and dress, each time when a wound is healed up.

Issue 863: If the clothes or the body of a person praying, is stained with the blood of Hayz, however little, the Salat will be void. And as a precaution, the same rule applies to the blood of Nifas, Istihaza and the blood from sources which are essentially najis, like a pig, a carcass, or an animal whose meat is haraam. As regards other bloods, like the blood from a human body, or from an animal whose meat is halal, there is no harm in offering prayers with them, even if they are found at several places on the dress or the body, provided that, when added together, their area is less than that of a dirham.

Issue 864: * If blood stains one side of the dress, and then seeps through to the other side, it will be considered as one. However, if the other side of the dress gets smeared with blood separately, each one will be considered as a separate blood. Therefore, if blood on both sides is less than a dirham in area when put together, Salat will be valid with them. But if it exceeds the area, then Salat will be void.

Issue 865: * If blood falls on a dress which has a lining, and reaches it, or falls on its lining and reaches the upper part of the dress, each of them will be considered separate blood, unless they are so joined together, that it would be customarily be considered as one blood. Hence if the area of the blood of the dress and that of the lining, when added together, are less than the area of a dirham, the prayers offered with them will be in order, and if they are more, the prayers offered with that blood will be void.

Issue 866: If the area of the blood on one's body or dress is less than that of a dirham, and some moisture reaches it and spreads over its sides, the prayers offered with that blood is void, even if the blood and the moisture which has spread there, is not equal to the area of a dirham. However, if the moisture reaches the blood only, without wetting its edges, then there is no objection in offering prayers with it.

Issue 867: If there is no blood on the body or dress of a person, but it becomes najis because of contact with some moisture mixed with blood, prayers cannot be offered with it, even if the part which has become najis is less than the area of a dirham.

Issue 868: * If the area of the blood present on the body or dress of a person is less than that of a dirham, but another najasat reaches it, like when a drop of urine falls on it, it is not permissible to offer prayers with it, regardless of whether this extraneous najasat reaches the body or the dress or not.

Issue 869: * If small dresses belonging to a person offering prayers, like his socks or scalp cap, which would not ordinarily cover his private parts, become najis, and if they are not made of the parts of a carcass or an animal whose meat is haraam to eat, the prayers offered with them will be in order. And there is also no objection if one offers prayers with a najis ring.

Issue 870: It is permissible for a person in Salat to carry with him najis things, like najis handkerchief, key and knife. Similarly, if he has a separate najis dress which he is carrying, it will not affect the validity of his prayers.

Issue 871: If a person knows that the area of the blood stain on his body or dress is less than that of a dirham, but suspects that it may be one of those blood (e.g. Hayz, Nifas, Istihaza) which are not excused in Salat , he is permitted to offer prayers with that blood, and it will not be necessary to wash it off.

Issue 872: If the area of blood stains on the dress, or body of a person, is less than that of a dirham , but he is not aware that it is one which is not excused in the prayers, and learns later after Salat , that it was the blood which are not excused, it is not necessary for him to offer the prayers again. Similarly, if he believes that the span of the blood is less than that of a dirham and offers prayers, then comes to know later, that it was equal to or more than the area of a dirham, it is not necessary to offer the prayers again.

Mustahab Things

Issue 873: A number of things are Mustahab for the dress of a person who offers prayers. Some of these are: Turban, along with its final fold passed under the chin; loose garment on the shoulder ('Aba); white dress; and cleanest dress; use of perfume, and wearing an Aqeeq (Agate).

Makrooh Things

Certain Items are Makrooh for the Dress of One who Prays:

Issue 874: To wear a black, a dirty, or a tight dress, or to put on a dress of a person who is a drunkard, or of one who is careless about najasat. Similarly, to wear a dress which has images printed or drawn on it, to keep the buttons open, to wear a ring which has images engraved on it.

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