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Prayer (Salat): According to Five Islamic Schools of Law Part 2

By: ‘Allamah Muhammad Jawad Maghniyyah

Translated from the Arabic by Mujahid Husayn

بِسْمِ اللَّـهِ الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ

The Essentials (Arkan) Of Salat

The validity of the Salat is dependent upon purity (Tahara from both hadath and khabath), the time of performing it, facing the Qibla, and wearing sufficient clothing. The fulfilment of these conditions (Shurut) before starting the salat is necessary, and they have been discussed in details in the preceding sections. Salat also comprises certain essentials (arkan wa fara’id) which are performed as parts of salat.

They are many, and among them are the following:

1. Intention (Niyyah)

The Schools -- or rather the legists of each school among themselves -- differ regarding the content of the niyyah (intention) required for salat, that is, whether it is necessary to specify the salat (such as its being zuhr or asr prayer), whether it is obligatory or supererogatory, complete (tamam) or shortened (qasr), in time (ada’) or late (Qada’), and so on. . .

the essence of the niyyah, as mentioned in the chapter on ablution is the intention to perform an act with the motive of obedience to a command of Almighty God. Specification of a particular salat, whether it is obligatory or supererogatory, ada’ or qada’, is dependent upon the intention of the musalli. Thus if he intends to perform a supererogatory salat at the beginning and performs it with this intention, it will be supererogatory; if he intends to perform an obligatory salat, such as zuhr or asr prayers, it will be so.

But if he does not intend anything it will be a waste of labour, though it is possible for one not to intend anything. Because any act performed by a sane person can not be without an intention regardless of whether he expresses it in specific words or not, and irrespective of whether he is attentive to his intention or not. Therefore, all the schools concur that expressing the niyyah in words is not necessary. Similarly, it is also ordinarily impossible for one who knows the difference involved to intend zuhr while performing asr and an obligatory salat while performing a supererogatory one.

However discusions regarding niyyah and its various forms were not in vague among the pioneering scholars of the shari’ah. It would be good to quote here the observations of two great sscholars, Ibn al-Qayyim from among the Sunni legists, and sayyid Muhammad, the author of al-Madarik, from the Imamiyyah.

The former observes in his "Zad al-Ma’ad”as quoted in the first volume of ibn Qudamah’s "al-Mughni": "The prophet (S) used to say ‘Allahu Akbar’ when he stood for prayer and did not say anything before it. He did not expresss the niyyah in words, such as saying: ‘I perform such and such prayer in four rak’ahs facing the qibla as an imam or ma’mum. Neither did he mention whether it was ada’ or qada’ nor its time. These ten are later elaborations and no one has ever narrated them from him (S) in either sahih or da’if form. And neither the tabi’un nor the four imams have opted for them."

The latter, in Madarik al-Ahkam observes: "That which is inferable from the sources of the shari’ah is that niyyah is a simple matter and all that it involves is the intention to perform an act in obedience to God, the Exalted. This is something which no sane person can do without while turning to perform an act of worship (Ibadah)."

2. Takbirat al-’Ihram

Salat does not materialize without ‘takbirat al-’ihram.’ Its name derives from the statement of the Prophet (S):

Purity (taharah) is the key to salat; its start (tahrim) is the takbirah (i.e., saying only one time Allahu Akbar); and its termination (tahlil) is taslim (i.e., saying Assalamu Alaykum).

It means that with takbirat al-’ihram it becomes haram to speak and perform any act incompatible with salat, and by reciting taslim those acts which were prohibited after reciting the takbir become permissible again.

Its formula is ‘Allahu akbar", and according to the Imamis, Malikis and Hanbalis no other form is permissible. The Shafi’is observe: Both "Allahu akbar", and "Allahu al-’akbar”(with the addition of alif and lam to "akbar") are permissible. The Hanafis state: Any other synonymous words such as ‘Allahu al-’a’zam’ and ‘Allahu al-’ajall’ will do it.

All the schools, excepting the Hanafi, concur that it is wajib to recite it in Arabic, even if the performer is a non-Arab. If he cannot, it is obligatory for him to learn it; and if he cannot learn, he may translate it into his own tongue. The Hanafis observe: it is valid to recite it in any language even if one can recite it in Arabic.

There is consensus among the schools that at the time of reciting takbirat al-’ihram all the conditions necessary for salat (such as purity, facing the qiblah, covering the body etc.) should be present, and that it should be recited-- when one has the ability to do so--while standing stationarily, and in a voice that he can hear. The word Allah’ should precede ‘akbar’, and the reverse, ‘akbar Allah’, will not suffice for entry into qiyam.

3. Qiyam (standing)

The schools concur that qiyam is wajib in the obligatory salats from the beginning of takbirat al-’ihram until going to ruku’, and that standing uprightly, stationarily and independently are its requisites.

Hence it is not valid to recline on any support when one is able to stand without it. If one cannot stand, he may perform salat sitting, and if this too is not possible, while laying down on the right side facing the qiblah (in the same position that a dead body is placed in the grave).

This is the opinion of all the schools except the Hanafis, who state: A person who cannot sit will perform salat laying down on his back with his feet pointing towards the qiblah, so that his gestures in lieu of ruku’ and sajdah are made towards the qiblah.

If it is not possible to perform salat while laying on the right side, the Imamis, Shafi’is and Hanbalis permit him to perform salat laying on his back by making gestures with his head. If gesturing with the head is not possible, he will gesture with the eyelids.

The Hanafis say: If his state is as bad as that, the duty of salat will no longer apply to him, though he will have to perform it qada’ when his condition improves and the hindrance is removed.

According to the Malikis, a sick person such as this, is not required to perform salat and it is also not wajib for him to perform its qada’

The Imamis, Shafi’is and Hanbalis state: The duty of salat does not disappear in any situation; if he is unable to gesture by blinking his eyes he will pass the salat through his mind and move his tongue for reciting the qira’ah and dhikr. If he is unable to move the tongue he will imagine it in his mind as long as his mind works. To sum up, salat is wajib upon those who are fully capable and those who are not so capable. It may not be neglected in any situation, and every person must perform it in accordance with his ability.

Hence it is performed while standing, then sitting, then laying down on one’s side, then laying down on one’s back, then gesturing by blinking the eyes, and passing it through the mind, in that order. A fully capable person as well as one not capable will move from the previous state to the new situation which has come into existence. Hence if a fully capable person loses his ability during salat or one not capable regains it, either of them will perform the remaining part in accordance with his ability.

Therefore, if he performs one rak’ah (unit) standing and is then unable to stand, he will complete it sitting, and if he performs the first rak’ah sitting and then regains the strength to stand, he will complete the remaining salat standing.

4. Qira’ah (reciting)

The schools differ whether the recitation of Surat al-Fatihah is wajib in every rak’ah (unit), or in the first two rak’ahs, or in all the rak’ahs without there being any other alternative. They give different answers to the following questions: Is the bismillah an essential part of al-Fatihah or is it valid to omit it? Is it wajib or mustahabb to recite aloud or in a low voice? Is it wajib to recite another surah after al-Fatihah in the first two rak’ahs? Can the tasbih replace the surah? Is takattuf (the folding of arms during salat) a sunnah or is it haram?

And so on.

(‘tasbih’ means: saying "subhanallah wal-hamdu lillah wala ilaha illallah wallahu akbar”which is usually recited three times in the third and the forth rak’ahs (units). Also ‘qunut’ means rasing both hands toward the sky and holding them in front of the chest or face and then reciting a supplication, like asking for forgiveness. It could be some verses of Qur’an or not. However it should be in Arabic for obligatory prayers.)

The Hanafis observe: It is not compulsory to recite only Surat al-Fa-tihah in the daily obligatory salats, and anything recited from the Qur’an may take its place, because God the Exalted, says:

‘Therefore recite of the Qur’an so much as is feasible’ (73:20) (Bidayat al-mujahid, v1, p 122 and al-Shi’rani’s , "bab sifat al-salat").

The recital from the Qur’an is wajib in the first two rak’ahs; but in the third rak’ah of the maghrib prayer and the last two rak’ahs of ‘asr and ‘isha’ prayer there is an option between reciting from the Qur’an or saying the tasbih or keeping quiet (al-Nawawi, Sharh al-Muhadhdhab, v3, p361).

Moreover, the Hanafis say: It is valid to skip the bismillah because it is not a part of any surah. Neither reciting aloud nor in a low voice are mustahabb, and a performer praying alone is free to recite in a voice that he alone can hear or in a voice hearable to others. There is no qunut in salat with the exception of salat al-watr. As to takattuf, it is masnun (a sunnah) but it is not wajib, and its preferable form is for a man to place the palm of his right hand on the back of his left hand, and for a woman to place her hands on her chest.

The Shafi’is state: Surat al-Fatihah is wajib in every rak’ah, without there being any difference in this regard between the first two rak’ahs and the other rak’ahs and between wajib and mustahabb salats.

The bismillah is a part of the surah and cannot be omitted in any circumstance. The recitation should be aloud in the morning prayer and the first two rak’ahs of maghrib and ‘isha’ prayers; the remaining recitals are to be in a low voice. The qunut is mustahabb only in the morning prayer, and is to be performed after rising from the ruku’ of the second rak’ah. Similarly, it is mustahabb to recite another surah after al-Fatihah only in the first two rak’ahs. Takattuf is not wajib but a sunnah for both the sexes, and its preferable form is to place the right hand palm on the back of the left hand between the chest and the navel and towards the left side.

According to the Malikis, reciting Surat al-Fatihah is necessary in every rak’ah, without there being any difference in this regard between the earlier and later rak’ahs and between fard and mustahabb salats, as observed earlier by the Shafi’is. It is mustahabb to recite another surah after al-Fatihah in the first two rak’ahs.

The bismillah is not a part of the surah and it is mustahabb to omit it altogether. Reciting aloud is mustahabb in the morning prayer and the first two rak’ahs of maghrib and ‘isha’ prayers. Qunut is to be recited only in the morning prayer.

Takattuf is valid in their opinion, though it is mustahabb to keep the hands hanging freely in the fard prayers.

The Hanbalis consider al-Fatihah to be wajib in even rak’ah, and to recite a surah after it in the first two rak’ahs as mustahabb. The morning prayer and the first two rak’ahs of maghrib and ‘isha’ prayers are to be recited aloud. The bismillah is a part of surahs though it will be recited in a low voice and not aloud. Qunut is to be recited in Salat al-watr and not in any other salat. Takattuf is a sunnah for both men and women and its preferable form is to place the right hand palm on the back of the left hand below the navel.

It is evident that takattuf, which the Sunni legists call it ‘qabd’ and the Shi’a legists call it ‘takfir’--i.e. to conceal, is not wajib in the opinion of any of the four Sunni schools.

The Imamis state: Reciting Surat al-Fatihah is necessary in the first two rak’ahs of every salat and no other surah can replace it. But it is not wajib in the third rak’ah of maghrib and the last two rak’ahs of four-rak’ah prayers; rather, one has an option between it and tasbih, though even once is sufficient. It is wajib to recite another complete surah in the first two rak’ahs, and the bismillah is a part of the surahs which cannot be omitted in any circumstance. It is wajib to recite aloud only the surahs and not the other recitations in the morning prayer and the first two rak’ahs of maghrib and ‘isha’ prayers.

except for the bismillah, the recitation in zuhr and asr prayers is to be done in a low voice in their first two rak’ahs and also in the third rak’ah of maghrib and the last two rak’ahs of ‘isha’ prayers.

Qunut is mustahabb in the five daily prayers and its place is the second rak’ah after the recital of the surahs and before ruku’ . The minimum level of voice considered ‘Hud’ is that a person nearby be able to hear it, and the minimum for ‘low’ voice is that the person himself be able to hear it. The schools concur that reciting aloud is not prescribed for women, nor is reciting in a voice lower than what can be heard by herself. If a performer voluntarily recites loudly something which is to be recited in a low voice and vice versa, his/her salat will be invalid, if this is not done due to ignorance or forgetfulness.

The Imamis also considers saying "Ammin”(Amen) during salat to be haram and doing so invalidates the salat, irrespective of whether one is praying individually or in group prayer as an imam or ma’mum, because it is something adopted by the people, and nothing adopted by people is capable of being included in the salat.

The four Sunni schools concur that it is mustahabb in accordance with the narration of Abu Huraira that the Prophet (S) said:

When the imam says, "ghayr il maghdubi ‘alaymhim wa la-ddallin,’ then say: "Ammin"

The Imamis negate the authenticity of the above tradition.

Also most Imamis consider takattuf (putting hands over each other) renders the salat invalid (batil) because there is no explicit text (nass) in support of it. However, some of them say: Takattuf is haram and the one who does it has committed sin, though his salat is not invalid. A third group from among them observe: It is makruh (discouraged) and not haram.

To be continued Ensha Allah...

This is written by a Sunni brother about Qunoot:

Qunoot:

Qunoot is an established practice of the prophet, and is accepted as such by all 4 Sunni schools. According to Malikis it is performed in the Fajr prayer before rukoo`. Hanafis have it in the witr prayer before rukoo`.

Shafi`is have it in the fajr prayer after rukoo`, and in the witr prayer in the last half of ramadhan. Many sunni scholars have seen it as recommended to perform qunoot in times of trouble and affliction (nawaazil), especially in the fajr prayer, and also in the maghrib and eshaa prayer.

According to the shafi`ee school it shoould be done in every prayer under such circumstances. It was reported that ABu Hurayra used to perfrom Qunoot even in the Afternoon prayer, and there was no mention of affliction.

Ibn Abbas performed it before rukoo` in the fajr prayer. Abdullah ibn Mas`ood performed it before rukoo` in the 3rd rak`ah of witr.

I do not ‘belong’ to any school of thought as such - I I belong to the Ummah of Islam. However, as far as practicing particulars, I follow for the most part the fiqh of Abdullah ibn Mas`ood and the other jurists who later moved to Kufa, notable among them being Imam Abu

Haneefah (incidentally a student of Imam Ja`far al-Sadiq), Imam Muhammad ibn allHasan al-Shaybaanee, and Imam Abu Yusuf al-Ansaree.

Wassalam

5. Ruku’(bowing)

There is consensus among the schools that ruku’ is obligatory (wajib) in salat but they differ regarding the extent to which it is wajib and the necessity of staying motionless in that position. The Hanafis observe: What is obligatory is to bend down in any possible manner, and staying motionless is not obligatory. The remaining schools consider it obligatory to kneel down until the palms of the hands of the performer reach his knees and to stay motionless during bowing.

The Shafi’is, Hanafis and Malikis state: It is not obligatory to recite anything during ruku’, though it is sunnah that the performer say: "Sub- hana Rabbl al-’azim. “The Imamis and the Hanbalis consider tasbih to be obligatory during ruku’ and its formula in the opinion of the Hanbalis is "Subhana Rabi al-’azim", and according to the Imamis "Subhana Rabbi al- ‘azim wa bi hamdih”or just "SubhanAllah”thrice. It is encouraged (mustahabb) in the opinion of the Imamis to add after the tasbih, to ask for belssing of Allah on Muhammad (S) and his Family (Allahumma sali ‘ala Muhammadin wa ‘‘Ali Muhammad).

The Hanafis say: It is not obligatory to return to the standing position after ruku’, and it is sufficient, though makruh (discouraged), to perform sajdah (prostration) straight-away. The other schools consider it obligatory to return to the standing position and mustahabb to recite the tasmi’, which is to say: "Sami ‘allahu li man hamidah”(God hears one who praises Him). According to the Imamis, it is obligatory to stay motionless in this standing (qiyyam) too.

6. Sujud (prostration)

There is consensus among the schools that sujud (prostration) is obligatory twice in each rak’ah. They differ regarding its details, as to whether it is obligatory to prostrate with all the seven parts of the body touching the ground while performing it or if it is sufficient to lay on the ground only some of them. These seven parts are; the forehead, the palms, the knees and the big toes. The Malikis, Shafi’is and Hanafis state: It is obligatory to lay only the forehead on the ground in sujud, and laying down the other parts is encouraged (mustahabb). The Imamis and the Hanbalis observe:

It is obligatory to lay on the ground all the seven parts while performing sujud. It has been narrated from the Hanbalis that they add the nose to these seven, thus making them eight. The difference of opinion regarding reciting tasbih and being motionless during sujud is similar to the difference mentioned concerning ruku’. Those who consider them obligatory there, consider them here as well.

The Hanafis do not consider it obligatory to sit between the sajdahs; the remaining schools consider it obligatory.

7. Tashahhud

Tashahhud is at most recited twice in salat; the first, after the second rak’ah of zuhr, ‘asr. maghrib and ‘isha’ prayers, which is not followed by taslim; the second in the last rak’ah of the two-, three-, and four- rak’ah prayers, which is followed by taslim. The Imamis and the Hanbalis state:

The first tashahhud is obligatory. The remaining schools consider it mustahabb and not obligatory. The second tashahhud is considered obligatory by the Shafi’is, Imamis and Hanbalis, and mustahabb by the Malikis and Hanafis (Bidayat al-mujtahid, v1, p125).

The following are the forms of tashahhud observed by the differentschools:

The Hanafis

"attahiyyatu lillahi wassalawatu wattayyibatu wassalamu ‘alayka ayyuha annabiyyu warahmatullahi wabarakatuhu, assalamu ‘alayna wa ‘ala `abadillahi assaliheena, ash-hadu anna la ilaha illa Allah, waAsh-hadu anna Mohammmedan ‘abduhu warasuluhu."

The Malikis

"Attahiyyatu lillah, azzakiyyatu lillah, attayyibatu assalawatu lillah. Assalamu alayka ayyuha annabiyyu warahmatu allahi wabarakatuhu, assalamu alayna wa ‘ala ‘abadi Allahi assaliheena, ash-hadu anna la ilaha illa Allah, wa ash-hadu anna muhammadan ‘abduhu warasuluhu.

The Shafi’is

"Attahiyyatu almubarakatu assalawatu attayyibatu lillah, assalamu ‘alayka ayyuha annabiyyu warahmatu allahi wabarakatuhu, assalamu alayna wa ‘ala ‘abadi allahi assalaiheena. Ash-hadu anna la ilaha illa Allah, wa ash-hadu anna sayyidana muhammadan rasulu Allah."

The Hanbalis

"Attahiyyatu lillahi wa-assalawatu wa-attayyibatu. assalamu ‘alayka ayyuha annabiyyu warahmatu allahi wabarakatuhu, assalamu alayna wa ‘ala ‘abadi allahi assalaiheena. Ash-hadu anna la ilaha illa Allah, wahdahu la shareekalah, wa ash-hadu anna sayyidana muhammadan ‘abduhu wa- rasuluhu. Allahumma salli ala Muhammadin."

The Imamis

"Ash-hadu anna la ilaha illa Allah, wahdahu la shareeka lah, wa ash- hadu anna muhammadan ‘abduhu wa-rasuluhu. Allahumma salli ala Muhammadin wa ‘‘Ali Muhammad."

8. Tasleem (farewell)

The Shafi’is, Malikis, and Hanbalis observe: Tasleem is obligatory. The Hanafis do not consider it obligatory (Bidayat al-Mujtahid, v1, p126).

The Imamis differ among themselves, a group considers it obligatory, while others, including al-Mufid, al-Shaykh al-Tusi and al-’Allamah al-Hilli, regard it as mustahabb.

Tasleem (farewell) has only one form in the opinion of the four Sunni schools, and it is "Assalamu alaikum warahmatu allah".

The Hanbalis say: It is obligatory to recite it twice. The others consider reciting once as sufficient.

The Imamis state: Tasleem (farewell) consists of two formulas; the first is: "Assalamu alaina wa ‘ala ‘abadi allahi assaliheen".

The second: "Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatu allahi wa barakatuh".

One of them is obligatory. Hence if a person recites the former, the latter will be mustahabb, and if he recites the latter, he will stop at it. As to "Assalamu alaika ayyuha annabiyyu wa rahmatu allahi wa barakatuhu", it is not a part of tasleem, and is a mustahabb addition to the tashahhud.

9. Sequence (tartib)

Proper Sequence (tartib) is obligatory between the different parts of salat. Hence the takbirat al-’ihram must precede reciting (qira’ah), the qira’ah must precede ruku’, the ruku’ must come before the sujud, and so on.

10. Continuity

Continuity (muwalat and tatabu’, i.e. to occur one after another) is Obligatory between the parts of salat and between the different portions of a part. Therefore, the reciting (qira’ah) must begin immediately after the takbirah and ruku’ must similarly follow the qira’ah, and so on. The verses, words and letters must not be recited in a manner breaking continuity.

Error And Doubt During Salat

The schools concur that a willful violation of any obligatory (wajib) act in prayer invalidates it. However mistake (sahw) can be compensated by performing sujud al-sahw as described below.

The Hanafis state: The form of sujud al-sahw is that the performer should perform two sajdahs followed by the recitation of tashahhud and taslim, prayer and blessing for the Prophet (S). This sujud should be performed after the termination of prayer (taslim), provided there is sufficient time (for that).

Hence if, for instance, someone makes an involuntary error in al-fajr prayer and finds that the sun has risen before his performing sujud al-sahw, he is not required to perform it any more. The cause necessitating sujud al-sahw is the performer’s omitting a obligatory part or repeating an essential part(rukn) --such as ruku’ or sujud. If numerous lapses occur (in a single), the two sajdahs will suffice for them all, because their repetition is not valid in their opinion. And if there occurs a lapse in the sujud al-sahw it requires no rectification (Majma’ al-’anhur, v1, "bab sujud al-sahw").

The Malikis observe: In its form, sujud al-sahw consists of two sajdahs followed by tashahhud without any supplication and benediction for the Prophet (S). As to the place of this sujud, in the event that it is on account of an omission or due to both an omission and an addition, it will be performed before the taslim; but if the cause is only an addition, then after the taslim.

Moreover, sujud al-sahw compensates for an involuntary omission of a mustahabb part; hence if the omitted part is a obligatory part, it cannot be compensated by sujud al-sahw and must be performed.

However, if the mistake is one of in voluntary addition -- such as an extra ruku’ or two, or one or two additional rak’ahs -- it is atonable by sujud al-sahw.

The Hanbalis say: It is valid to perform sujud al-sahw before or after the taslim. It consists of two sajdahs followed by tashahhud and taslim. Its causes are involuntary addition or omission as well as doubt. An example of addition is to perform an additional qiyam (standing) or qu’ud (sitting). One who sits where he is supposed to stand or vice versa will perform sujud al-sahw. Where there is an omission, the following procedure is to be followed in their opinion.

If he remembers the omission before starting the qira’ah of the next rak’ah, it is wajib for him to perform the part omitted as well as sujud al-sahw; and if he comes to remember it only after starting the qira’ah of the next rak’ah, the former rak’ah will be annulled and the latter will take its place and sujud al-sahw will also be performed.

To illustrate the same, if a person forgets ruku’ in the first rak’ah and becomes aware of it after performing the sujud (of the same rak’ah), he will perform the ruku’ and then repeat the sujud, and if he becomes aware of it only after starting the qira’ah of the second rak’ah, the former rak’ah will be considered null and void and the second rak’ah will take its place.

An example of doubt necessitating sujud al-sahw is the case when one doubts whether he has performed the ruku’, or has a doubt regarding the number of rak’ahs performed. Here he will consider that portion of the salat he is sure of having performed as the basis and will perform the remaining, and carry out sujud al-sahw on finishing it. Two sajdahs suffice for several mistakes, even if their causes differ, and a lapse committed by someone prone to making mistakes will not be considered a lapse.

According to the Shafi’is, the place of sujud al-sahw is after the tashahhud and benediction of the Prophet (S) and before the taslim. Its mode of performance is like the one prescribed by the above-mentioned schools. The reasons for its performance are: omission of an emphasized (mu’akkadah) sunnah, a little additional recital, the recital of al-Fatihah by mistake, the following of an imam whose has vitiated, a doubt in the number of rak’ahs, and the omission of a specific part.

The Imamis differentiate between the rules applicable to cases of doubt and those applicable to errors. They state: No attention will be paid to a doubt arising concerning any act of salat after its completion, or the doubt of a ma’mum regarding the number of rak’ahs if the imam has ascertained their number and vice versa, with each of them referring to the memory of the other.

No significance is attached to the doubts of a person who doubts excessively, and similarly to a doubt with respect to any act of salat arising after entry into its subsequent act. Hence if a doubt occurs regarding the reciting (qira’ah) of al- Fatihah after starting the reciting (qira’ah) of the subsequent surah, or regarding the surah after having gone into the ruku’, or with respect to the ruku’ after having entered the sajdah, the salat will be continued without any consideration to the doubt.

But if the doubt occurs before starting the performance of the subsequent act, it is obligatory (wajib) to rectify it. Hence a person who has doubt regarding the correct recital of al-Fatihah before starting the subsequent surah, will recite it again correctly, and similarly he should recite the surah again if he has a doubt concerning its recital before entering the ruku’.

As to sujud al- sahw, it should be done for every omission and addition, except for reciting aloud instead of in a low voice and vice versa -- as it does not entail anything -- and except for any omission or addition to the essencials (arkan) of salat.

In fact, any omission or addition of arkan invalidates the prayer irrespective of being intentionally or by mistake, and can not be compensated by sujud al-sahw. The arkan, in their opinion, are the following five: intention (niyyah), takbirat al- ‘ihram, standing (qiyam), bowing (ruku’) and the two sajdahs of each unit (rak’ah). it is not obligatory to perform any part omitted by mistake after the salat except sajdah and tashahhud, which are required to be performed out of all the forgotten parts.

These will be performed after the completion of the salat followed by sujud al-sahw, which consists of making two sajdahs and reciting Salawat (blessing of Muhammad and his progeny), in the state of prostration, followed by tashahhud and taslim.

Imamis consider the mistake of a person committing excessive mistakes and a mistake committed while rectifying it in its place, as no mistake.

Doubt in the Number of Prayer Units (Rak’ahs)

The Shafi’is, Malikis and Hanbalis observe: If the performer has a doubt regarding the number of rak’ahs performed, he will consider the number of rak’ahs he is certain of having performed as the base and will complete the salat by performing the rest.

The Hanafis state: If the performer’s doubt in salat is for the first time in his life, he will repeat it from the beginning. But if it occurs to him that he has doubted in earlier as well, he will think for quite a while and will act in accordance with what seems more probable to him. But if the doubt remains (even after thinking), he will consider the number of rak’ahs he is certain of having performed as the base.

The Imamis state: If the doubt concerning the number of rak’ahs performed occurs in a two-rak’ah prayers (such as al-Fajr, the of a traveler, Friday, al-’idayn (two festivals) and al- kusuf (eclips of sun)) or in al-maghrib or in the first two rak’ahs of ‘isha’, zuhr and ‘asr prayers, the prayer will become invalid and it will be wajib to start it again from the beginning. But if the doubt occurs in the rak’ahs subsequent to the first two rak’ahs of the four-rak’ah prayers, he will perform cautionary extra units) al-’ihtiyat after completing the prayer and before performing any act incompatible with.

For example, if a doubt arises after the completion of the two sajdahs of the second unit (rak’ah) as to whether it is the second or the third rak’ah he will take the greater number of rak’ahs as his basis and complete the. He will then perform as ihtiyat (caution) a single rak’ah while standing or two rak’ahs while sitting. If the doubt concerns his being in third or fourth rak’ah, he will consider it the fourth rak’ah and complete the and follow it up with a single rak’ah standing or two rak’ahs sitting by way of caution.

If the doubt concerns his being in second or fourth rak’ah, he will consider it the fourth rak’ah. He will then offer two rak’ahs standing. If there is a doubt regarding its being second, third or fourth rak’ah, he will assume it to be the fourth rak’ah, and offer following it two rak’ahs standing and two rak’ahs sitting both.

According to them, the reason for performing these rak’ahs is to preserve the prescribed form of and avoid additions and omissions. Their point is illustrated by the example of a person who has a doubt between its being third or fourth rak’ah. He will consider it to be the fourth rak’ah and perform a single rak’ah separately after completing the salat. If his salat has been complete, the additional rak’ah performed separately will be considered as nafilah, and if the salat had been incomplete, the separate rak’ah will complement it.

However, this manner of performing al- ‘ihtiyat (cautionary prayer) is particular to the Imamis. They limit this procedure to the obligatory salats, and among them to zuhr, ‘asr and ‘isha’ prayers only. As to the nafilah prayers, the performer is free to consider the minimum or maximum rak’ahs probably performed as the basis, provided such supposition does not invalidate the (such as where he doubts his being in second or third rak’ah; due to the fact that the nafilah comprises only two rak’ahs; here he will consider the minimum number of rak’ahs probably performed as the basis). It is better in all mustahabb prayers to consider the minimum ascertainable number of rak’ahs as the basis...

The Festival (‘Id) Prayers

The schools differ concerning the prayers performed on the two festivals (‘Ids), al-Fitr and al-’Adha, as to whether they are obligatory (wajib) or recommended (mustahabb). The Imamis and the Hanafis observe: It is wajib for every individual if the conditions mentioned in Friday prayer are fulfilled. If some or all of these conditions do not exist, there is no obligation in the opinion of the two schools, except that the Imamis add:

In the absence of conditions necessary for its wujub, one can perform it as mustahabb either singly or in group prayer, during both journey and stay.

According to the Hanbalis it is fard kifa’i. The Shafi’is and the Malikis consider it a highly recommended practice (sunnah mu’akkadah).

In the opinion of the Imamis and the Shafi’is its time is from sunrise until the sun crosses the meridian. According to the Hanbalis, its time is from when the sun rises to the height of a spear until it crosses the meridian.

The Imamis say: Delivering of two sermons is wajib here as in the Friday prayer. The other schools consider it as mustahabb. All the schools concur that the sermons are to be delivered after the salat, as against the Friday prayer, in which they are delivered earlier.

According to the Imamis and the Shafi’is it can be validly per formed individually as well as in group prayer. The other schools consider perfoming in group is necessary for salat al-’ld.

As to the mode of its performance, it comprises two units (raka’ahs) performed differently by the various schools in the following manner:

The Hanafis: Takbirat al-’ihram will be said after making the niyyah, followed by the praise of God. Then will follow three more takb’irahs, with an interval of silence equaling three takb’irahs, and it is also correct to say: "Subhana Allahi wa alhamdu lillahi wa la ilaha illa Allah wa Allahu Akbar".

Then will follow the recital of Surat al-Fatihah, another surah, then ruku’ and sujud, in that order. The second rak’ah will begin by reciting Surat al-Fatihah, which will be followed by another surah, three takb’irahs, ruku’ and sujud. After this the salat will be completed. The Shafi’is: After saying the takbirat al-’ihram, the

Du’a’ al ‘Istiftah will be recited, followed by seven takbirahs, reciting after every two of them in a low voice: "Subhana Allahi wa alhamdu lillahi wa la ilaha illa Allah wa Allahu Akbar”; then after ta’awwudh (A’udhu billahi mina al-shaitani al-Rajeem), al-Fatihah and Surat Qaf will be recited, followed by ruku’ and sujud. After standing up for the second rak’ah and saying a single takb’irah for it, five more takb’irahs will be added, reciting after every two of them: "Subhana Allahi wa alhamdu lillahi wa la ilaha illa Allah wa Allahu Akbar". This will be followed by al-Fatihah and Surat Iqtarabat, and then the salat will be completed.

The Hanbalis: The Du’a’ al-’Istiftah will be recited followed by six takbirahs reciting after every two of them in a low voice: "Allahu akbaru Kabeera, wa alhamdu lillahi katheera, wa subhana allahi bukratan wa aseela, wa salla allahu ala Muhammadin wa alihi wa sallama tasleema". This will be followed by ta’awwudh, basmalah, al-Faitihah and Surat Sabbihisma Rabbik.

The rak’ah will be then completed. Upon standing up for the second rak’ah, five takbirahs, apart from the takbirah for the qiyam, will be said, reciting after every two of them what was mentioned concerning the first rak’ah. Then the basmalah, will be followed by Surat al-Ghashiyah and ruku’ and the salat will then be completed.

The Malikis: After the takbirat al-’ihram, six more takbirahs will be said, followed by al-Fatihah, Surat al-’A’ala, ruku’ and sujud. Then standing up for the second rak’ah and saying the takbirah for it, five more takb’irahs will be said, followed by al-Fatihah, Surat al-Shams or a similar surah; the salat will then be completed.

The Imamis: The takbirat al-’ihram will be followed by al- Fatihah and another surah. Then five takbirahs will be said with qunut (raising and holding hand in front of body for supplication) after each of them, there is a ruku’, and finally sujud will follow. After standing up for the second unit (rak’ah), al-Fatihah and another surah will be recited, followed by four takbirahs, each of them followed by qunut. Then the ruku’ will be performed and the salat completed.

The Friday Prayer

Its necessity (Wujub)

There is consensus among all the Muslims regarding the Friday prayer (salat aljumu’ah) being wajib in accordance with the words of God, the Exalted:

O believers, when proclamation is made for prayer on the Day of Congregation (yawm aljumu’ah) hasten to God’s remembrance and leave trading aside, (Qur’an 62:9)

as well as the mutawatir traditions narrated both by Shi’i and Sunni sources. They differ as to whether its wujub is conditional to the presence of the ruler or his deputy in it or if it is wajib unconditionally.

The Hanafis and the Imamis state: The presence of the ruler or his deputy is necessary; the Friday prayer is not wajib if neither of them is present. The Imamis require the ruler to be just (‘adil); otherwise his presence is equal to his absence. To the Hanafis, his presence is sufficient even if he is not just.

The Shafi’is, Malikis and Hanbalis attach no significance to the presence of the ruler, and a large number of Imamis observe: In the absence of a ruler or his representative and the presence of a just faqih, there exists an option between performing either the Friday or the zuhr prayer, although preference lies with the performance of Friday prayer.

Conditions

The schools concur that the requirements for other salats (such as taharah, covering the body, and facing the qiblah) also apply to Friday prayers, that its time is from when the sun crosses the meridian up to when the shadow of an object equals its height, and that it can be performed in a mosque as well as any other place, except in the opinion of the Malikis who don’t consider it valid except in a mosque.

There is also consensus that it is wajib for men and not for women, and that one who performs is not required to perform the zuhr prayer, and that it is not wajib for the blind, and that it is not valid except when performed in jama’ah (congregation).

They differ regarding the minimum number of persons required to form a jama’ah; the Malikis state: Its minimum is 12, excluding the imam. The Imamis consider it to be 4, excluding the imam. In the opinion of the Shafi’is and Hanbalis, it is 40, including the imam; according to the Hanafis it is 5, though some of them say it is 7.

The schools, except the Hanafi, concur in its being prohibited for someone upon whom the Friday prayer has become wajib and its conditions fulfilled, to travel after the sun has crossed the meridian before performing it. The Hanafis allow it.

The Friday Sermons

There is consensus that the two sermons are required for convening the Friday prayer and that they are to be delivered before the salat, though after the setting in of its time and not earlier. They differ regarding the wujub of standing while delivering them. The Imamis, Shafi’is and Malikis require it, but not the Hanafis and Hanbalis.

As to their content, the Hanafis say: The sermon will be considered delivered even by a minimal dhikr, such as uttering "al-hamdu lillah”or "astaghfirullah", though such brevity is makruh.

The Shafi’is observe: It is necessary in both the sermons to praise God, invoke blessings on the Prophet (S), to exhort to piety, to recite a verse in at least one of the sermons, though reciting it in the first is better, and to supplicate for the faithful in the second sermon.

According to the Malikis anything considered by custom as a sermon suffices, provided it includes exhortation and announcement of good news.

The Hanbalis consider it essential to praise God, invoke blessings on the Prophet (S), recite a verse and counsel piety.

The Imamis state: It is wajib in each of the sermons to praise and extol God, invoke blessings on the Prophet (S) and his Family (A), preach, and recite something from the Qur’an, and in the second sermon, to implore God’s forgiveness and to pray for the faithful.

The Shafi’is and Imamis observe: It is wajib for the preacher to separate the two sermons by sitting down for a short while between them.

The Malikis and Hanafis consider it mustahabb.

According to the Hanbalis, the sermon should be delivered in Arabic, if possible.

The Shafi’is consider Arabic necessary if the people are Arabs, and if they are non-Arabs, the preacher should preach in their language even if he is well-versed in Arabic.

The Malikis say: It is wajib to preach in Arabic even if the people are non-Arabs and do not understand a word of Arabic. If there is no one among them who knows Arabic, there is no obligation to perform the Friday prayer.

The Hanafis and the Imamis do not consider Arabic a condition for delivering the sermons.

Its Mode of Performance

The Friday prayer comprises two units (rak’ahs), just like the morning prayers. The Imamis and the Shafi’is observe: After Surat al-Hamd of each rak’ah, it is mustahabb to recite Surat al-Jumu’ah in the first rak’ah and Surat al- Munafiqun in the second.

The Malikis state: Surat al-Jumu’ah will be recited in the first rak’ah and Surat al-Ghashiyah in the second. According to the Hanafis it is makruh to confine to a particular surah.

Prayer For Rain

Prayer for rain (salat al-’istisqa’) has been expressly mentioned in the Qur’an and the Sunnah, and there is consensus concerning it. God Almighty says:

When Moses prayed for water for his people,... (Qur’an 2:60)

And I said: ‘Ask forgiveness of your Lord;surely He is ever All-forgiving, and He will lose heaven upon you in torrents. (Qur’an 71:10-11)

A tradition reports that once when the people of Madinah were facing drought and the Prophet (S) was delivering a sermon, a man stood up and said: "Horses and women have perished. Pray to God to give us rain.”The Prophet (S) extended his hands and prayed.

Anas narrates: "The sky was (clear) like a piece of glass. Then the wind began to blow. The clouds emerged and gathered and the sky poured forth its blessings. We went forth wading through the pools till we reached our homes. It continued to rain till the next Friday, and the same person stood up again and said: ‘O Prophet of Allah, houses have fallen and the caravans have been detained.

So pray to God to stop it. The Prophet (S) Smiled and then said: ‘O God, make rain around us, not upon us.’ Then I looked at the sky and saw it (i.e. the clouds) split and form a garland around Madinah."

The occasion for this salat is drought, scanty rainfall, and drying up of springs. The schools concur that if rain is delayed even after performing the salat, it is mustahabb to repeat it. If it is preceded by three days of fasting and the people go forth on foot, in a humble and supplicating manner, accompanied by their women and children, their elderly, men and women, and cattle, it will be more conducive for invoking Divine mercy.

There is consensus that it is valid to perform it individually as well as in jama’ah, and that it does not, have an adhan and iqamah; it is mustahabb for the imam to deliver a sermon after the salat. As to its mode, the schools concur that it comprises two rak’ahs, to be per formed like the two rak’ahs of salat al-’id in accordance with what each school specifies in that regard. The Malikis and the Hanafis say: It is like salat al-Eid though without the additional takbirat.

The Imamis observe: It is mustahabb after every takbirah to recite qunut imploring the mercy and blessing of God and seeking rainfall.

The four Sunni schools state: This kind of supplication will be mentioned by the preacher after the salat during the sermon, not in the salat itself.

The Prayer Of The Eclipses

The four Sunni schools observe: The solar- and lunar-eclipse prayer is an emphasized sunnah, but not wajib. The Imamis state: It is obligatory for every mukallaf (sane mature person).

It does not have a special form in the opinion of the Hanafis; rather it is to be performed in two rak’ahs like a nafilah prayer, each rak’ah comprising a single qiyam and ruku’. The performer is free to perform it in two, four, or more rak’ahs.

According to the Hanbalis, Shafi’is ant Malikis, it has two rak’ahs, with each rak’ah having two qiydms ant two ruku’s. After the takbirat al-Ihram, al-Fatihah and another Surah will be recited, followed by ruku: After rising from the ruku al-Fatihah and another surah will be recited, followed by ruku’ and sujud. Then standing up for the second rak’ah, it will be performed like the first, and the salat completed. It is also valid to perform it in the manner of a nafilah salat.

There is consensus that it can be performed singly as well as in jama’ah, except that the Hanafis observe regarding the lunar eclipse prayer: It has not been enacted for jama’ah, and has to be performed singly, at home.

As to its time, all the schools excepting the Malikis concur that it begins and ends with the eclipse. The Malikis say: Its time begins when the sun is at a spear’s height above the horizon and continues until noon.

The Hanafis and the Malikis say: A two-rak’ah salat is recommended at the time of any fearsome incident, such as an earthquake, thunderbolt, unusual darkness, epidemic, etc.

According to the Hanbalis, it is recommended only for earth quakes. The schools concur that this salat does not have an adhan and Iqamah, though an announcer will call out "al-salat”three times according to the Imamis, and "al-salat jami’ah”according to the other schools.

The Imamis observe: The salat is wajib upon every individual during solar and lunar eclipses, earthquakes, and on the occurrence of all unsettling celestial phenomena such as the sky’s darkening or being extraordinary red, strong winds, big sounds, etc.

If performed in jama’ah, the imam will recite only the surahs on behalf of those following him, just as in the daily prayers. The time for performing the salat for solar and lunar eclipses is the period of their occurrence, and one who does not perform. them at that time will perform them later as qada’.

There is no specific time for salats to be performed consequent to earthquakes and similar fearsome incidents; rather, it is wajib to perform these salats as soon as they occur, though in the event of delay they can be performed as ada’ as long as one is alive.

Its mode of performance is that after takbirat al-’ihram, al-Fatihah and another surah are recited, followed by ruku’. Upon rising from the ruku al-Fatihah and a surah will be repeated, followed again by ruku’. This will continue until five ruku’s are performed, and they will be followed by two sajdahs. On standing up for the second rak’ah, al-Fatihah and another surah will be recited, followed by a ruku’, this will be repeated till five ruku’s are performed in the second rak’ah as well. Then will follow two sajdahs, tashahhud, and tasleem.

Thus altogether there are ten ruku’s, and every five of them is followed by two sajdas, both in the first and the second rak’ahs. (another permissible way is to eliminate al-Fatiha for the last four Ruku’ and to recite 1/5 of a surah before each ruku’ spreading the Surah to five parts)

Courtesy of Islamic World Journal
The International Muslim Students Union
EMail: imnet1@u.washington.edu
P.O.Box 85720, Seattle, WA 98105 Phone:(206)685-3309

O’ Lord!

Bless Muhammad and his family and make us know what we are ignorant of, and teach us what we do not know, and show us what we do not see. Help us die guided (righteous) and not misled, obedient and not unwilling, repentant not sinning and not persisting in sin. O’ Lord! Bless Muhammad and his family and make us one of the number of his followers, and raise us (in the day of judgment) amoung his Shiats (followers).

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