Rulings regarding Prayer- Intention (Niyyah)
Niyyah means that one should intend at the beginning of prayer to perform it for the sake of Allah, and if they perform a prayer with the intention of ostentation or pretention, not only is their prayer invalid but they have also committed an unlawful sin . Even if one performs a prayer for the sake of Allah and people at the same time, their deed is still invalid and considered a grave sin.
Niyyah, however, does not require particular etiquette or a specific utterance. For one to fulfill their intention properly, they should perform their prayers with the intention of seeking nearness (qurbah) to Allah, or complying with Allah's commands, and it is not even necessary for one to mention their intention or make it pass through the heart; rather, for Niyyah to be fulfilled, it is sufficient that if they were asked as to what they’re doing they could answer that they’re performing, for example, the Ẓuhr prayer for the sake of Allah.
However, in addition to seeking Allah's pleasure, the type of prayer to be performed should also be clear in niyyah. For instance, if it is midday, the individual should specify whether they are performing the Ẓuhr prayer or the ʿAṣr prayer, and it would not suffice to solely have the intention of performing a four-rak'ah prayer. The obligatory precaution even demands that one specify whether the prayer is a missed (Qaḍa) or a punctual (Ada') prayer.
After one has made their intention, they must maintain it up to the end of prayer, meaning that if they are so distracted while performing the prayer that they have no idea what they are doing and which prayer they are performing, they will lose their intention and their prayer will be invalidated.
The Rulings of Ṣalāt: The Obligatory Acts of Ṣalāt
Ṣalāt is a series of acts and recitations which need to be done in a certain order. These acts and recitations are called the obligatory acts of Ṣalāt.
The obligatory acts of Ṣalāt are of two kind: fundamental acts and secondary acts.
The fundamental obligatory acts of Ṣalāt, like Rukūʻ, are the acts or recitations which if one does not perform or perform more or less than prescribed, their prayer will be invalidated regardless of whether it is done inadvertently, intentionally, or because of not knowing the related religious rulings.
But failing to perform the secondary obligatory acts of prayer, like the recitation during Rukūʻ, will invalidate Ṣalāt only when they are done intentionally. However, if they are done more or less than prescribed unintentionally or mistakenly, the Ṣalāt will not be invalidated. Even if one does this because of lack of knowledge regarding the related religious rulings, their Ṣalāt will not be invalid on the condition that they did not neglect trying to learn these rulings.
The fundamental obligatory acts of prayer are the following 5: 1. Niyyah 2. Takbirah al-Ihram 3. Qiyām 4. Rukūʻ 5. Two Sujūds.
The secondary obligatory acts of prayer are the following 6: 1. Qirā’ah 2. The recitation during Rukūʻ and Sujūd 3. Tashahhud 4. Salām 5. Observing the prescribed sequence of acts 6. maintenance of succession.
Rulings Regarding Prayer
Adhān and Iqāmah: Part 2
The Adhān consists of 18 sentences:
“الله اکبر” [meaning “Allah is greater than being described”] recited 4 times.
“اشْهَدُ انْ لا الَهَ إِلَّا اللَّهُ” [meaning “I bear witness that there is no deity but Allah”] recited twice.
“اشْهَدُ أَنَّ مُحَمَّداً رَسُولُ اللَّهِ” [meaning “I bear witness that Muhammad is the Prophet of Allah”] recited twice.
“حَىَّ عَلَى الصَّلاةِ” [meaning: “Hasten to Prayer”] recited twice.
“حَىَّ عَلَى الْفَلاحِ” [meaning “Hasten to salvation”] recited twice.
“حَىَّ عَلى خَيْرِ الْعَمَلِ” [meaning “Hasten to the best of deeds”] recited twice.
“اللَّهُ اكْبَرُ” recited twice and “لا الَهَ إِلَّا اللَّهُ” recited twice.
The Iqāmah consists of 17 sentences which must be recited in correct Arabic and in the following sequence:
“اللَّهُ اكْبَرُ” recited twice.
“اشْهَدُ انْ لا الَهَ إِلَّا اللَّهُ” recited twice.
“اشْهَدُ أَنَّ مُحَمَّداً رَسُولُ اللَّهِ” recited twice.
“حَىَّ عَلَى الصَّلاةِ” recited twice.
“حَىَّ عَلَى الْفَلاحِ” recited twice.
“حَىَّ عَلى خَيْرِ الْعَمَلِ” recited twice.
“قَدْ قامَتِ الصَّلاةُ” recited twice.
“اللَّهُ اكْبَرُ” recited twice.
“لا الَهَ إِلَّا اللَّهُ” recited once.
The sentence “اشْهَدُ أَنَّ عَلِيَّاً وَلِىُّ اللَّهِ” which means “I bear witness that Ali is the appointed vicegerent of Allah” is not a part of the Adhān or the Iqāmah. However, it is recommended to recite it after the sentence “اشْهَدُ أَنَّ مُحَمَّداً رَسُولُ اللَّهِ” in both the Adhān and the Iqāmah with the intention of blessing. But it must be recited in a way that shows it is not a part of them.
Rulings of Prayer
Adhān and Iqāmah: Part 1
Adhan and Iqāmah are two set of supplicatory recitations which are recited before Prayer. It is considered recommended to recite the Adhān and Iqāmah before the obligatory daily Prayers and their Qaḍā Prayers. It has also been emphasized that people at least do not forget to recite the Iqāmah before performing their Prayers.
In addition to their recitation before Prayers, it is a recommended to recite the Aḍān in the right ear of the newborns and the Iqāmah in their left ear on the first day that they are born in order to bless them with these sacred supplications.
The Aḍān needs to be recited in correct Arabic and the following are considered recommended for a person who recites it: 1. To stand on a high place 2. To stand facing the Qiblah 3. Having Wuḍū while reciting it 4. To recite the sentences of the Aḍān in a loud and clear voice 5. To pause between different sentences of the Aḍān and 6. To not say anything else amid the recitation of the Aḍān.
It is also considered recommended for other people who hear the Aḍān to repeat its sentences after the Mu’adhin; likewise, it is recommended for the people who are present in the mosque to repeat the sentences of the Iqamah with the intention of reaching Devine reward.
As for the Iqāmah, it needs to be recited after the Aḍān and it had better be recited 1. In a calm and peaceful state, 2. In a lower voice than the Aḍān, 3. And with shorter pauses in between its sentences than those of the Aḍān.
It is not necessary for everyone in the mosque to recite the Aḍān and the Iqāmah. If a person arrives in the mosque in the middle of the Prayer or even after the Prayer is over but people are still sitting in their rows, precaution demands that they should not recite the Aḍān and the Iqāmah again for their prayer as the Aḍān and the Iqāmah recited at the beginning of the congregational prayer suffices for them.
In the next episode we will see how the Aḍān and the Iqāmah are actually recited.
Rulings of Prayer
The Place of Prayer: Part 2
In the previous episode, two of the necessary conditions for the place of Prayer were explained. The rest of these conditions are as follows:
3. One must be able to perform the obligatory acts of Prayer in the place chosen for performing it. For example it is not permissible to perform Prayer in a car where there is not enough room for one to stand up, perform Rukūʻ, or perform Sajdah unless one has no other choice but to do so.
4. Men must necessarily stand in the front and women in the back while performing Prayer. This means that women must always stand behind men and the place of Sajdah of men must be a little ahead of that of women while performing Prayer. If this rule is not observed, then the Prayer of the person who first began performing theirs is valid and the Prayer of the other person is invalid and they begin their Prayer simultaneously, both of their Prayers will be invalid.
This rule has some exceptions: first, if there is a wall, a screen, or things like that separating the man and the woman, man standing ahead is not necessary.
Second, if the man and the woman are standing at least ten Ḍirāʻs [approximately 5 meters] away from each other.
And third, in great chambers of the holy shrines where there are lots of people performing Prayer and it is extremely difficult to observe this rule, it is not necessary for all men to stand ahead of all women while performing Prayer.
5. The place of one’s forehead at the time of Sajdah must not be higher than the place of one’s feet in a way that it is no longer considered a normal act of Sajdah. The obligatory precaution demands that the place of Sajdah must not be higher than the place of one’s feet more than the breadth of four fingers together approximately 8 cm.
*The Rulings of Prayer _ the place of Prayer: part 2
* The conditions for the place of Prayer: 1. it must be Mubah 2. it must be static
*3. One must be able to perform the obligatory acts of Prayer there
*4. Men must stand ahead of women in Prayer
* 5 meters
* the place of Sajdah must not be higher than the place where one stands for Prayer.
The Rulings Regarding Prayer
The Place of Prayer: Part 1
One must be careful to choose a suitable place for performing one’s prayer. There are 5 necessary conditions for the place of prayer:
The place of Prayer can be considered usurped even when the prayer is performed in the mosque; for example, if one takes the place of another person in the mosque without their permission and performs his Prayer there, the obligatory precaution dictates that they must re-perform their Prayer.
It is even possible for one’s own house to be considered usurped. This happens, for example, if one has bought the house with money that have not all been legitimately-earned. Even if the money of the house had been legitimately-earned but one has not paid the Khums or Zakāt of the money with which he bought the house, the house is considered to be usurped. In order to resolve this problem, one needs to refer to the office of the Marājiʻ.
There is one exception to this rule and it is in regard to the huge farms or lands without any walls or fences. One can perform one’s Prayer on such lands without obtaining their owners’ permission on the condition that they are not working farms or in use in some other way.
However, if the moving vehicle allows for performing the different parts of Prayer in an ordinary way, performing Prayer on it will be permissible. For instance, performing Prayer on huge vehicles like trains and ships where all parts of Prayer can be done ordinarily is permissible on the condition that the direction of the Qiblah does not change on them in the middle of Prayer.
However, if the time is short or one has no other way, one must perform their Prayer even on such moving vehicles but one must take care to be facing the Qiblah at all times. This means that as the vehicle turns, one must also turn in the middle of Prayer to keep facing the Qiblah but one must stop the recitation while moving.
We will discuss the other conditions for the place of Prayer in the next episode.
*The Rulings of Prayer, The Place of Prayer: Part 1
* One must perform Prayer in a suitable place
* There are 5 necessary conditions for the place of Prayer:
* 1. It must not be usurped
* Buying a house with illegitimately-earned money
* Buying a house with money whose Khoms and Zakat has not been paid
* 2. it must be static
* We will discuss the other conditions for the place of Prayer in the next episode.
Rulings of Prayer
Dress code: Part Eight
In the previous episodes, we covered five rulings regarding dress code while performing prayers. Now let’s have a look at the last ruling. One must not perform prayers in clothing which might entail some corruption or is degrading or else their prayer will not be valid. For example, if a person wears torn clothes or clothes that will make them stand out in the crowd, they have committed an unlawful act AND their pray is void.
Moreover, the person praying should not wear shuhra clothes. In other words, wearing clothes as a means of show off or hypocrisy will invalidate the prayer.
Notice: some clothes are recommended to wear while performing prayers because wearing them will lead to gaining more thawab or otherworldly reward. These clothes are as follows:
1. white clothes
2. clean clothes
3. aba (cloak)
4. wearing a turban [ʻAmmāmah] and passing one of its folds under the chin;
also, it is recommended to wear perfume and rings while praying.
On the other hand, wearing some clothes while performing prayers is considered to be Makrūh [abominable] because they will decrease the reward of praying. These clothes are as follows:
1. dirty clothes
2. tight clothes
3. wearing the clothes of someone who does not avoid ritual impurities (nijāsah)
4. leaving the clothes unbuttoned
5. wearing something with the a portrait or picture of a face
6. wearing a ring with a picture of the face of a human or animal on it
7. wearing black clothes unless it is for certain ceremonies; other exceptions to this rule are the black chador (full covering for women), the aba (cloak) and black Turban (ʻAmmāmah) for men who are sayyid (descendants of Prophet Muhammad (ṣ))
Rulings of Prayer
Dress code: Part Seven
In the previous episode we explained that the clothes of men while performing prayers must not be made of pure silk. But the last condition for men's clothes while performing prayers is that they must not be woven with gold either because wearing anything made of gold is impermissible for men and, since wearing such clothing while performing prayer constitutes an impermissible act, their prayer will also be void.
The same rule applies to yellow and white gold. But wearing anything made of platinum creates no problem [although it looks like white gold] and is permissible for men.
However, it is permissible for women to wear gold-woven clothes while performing prayer or otherwise on the condition that they are not being extravagant in the usage of these clothes. Besides clothes, wearing a gold watch or ring is also permissible for women while performing their prayers.
The prohibition of usage of gold for men is a general rule. In other words, all jewels, clothes, and accessories that are made of gold, whether a ring, glasses or any other similar things, are impermissible for men to wear and wearing them will invalidate their prayer. Even using gold crowns or dental caps for the front teeth impermissible for men and will invalidate their prayer because they are considered to be embellishments. The only exceptions to this rule are when they had no other choice but to use gold dental caps for their front teeth or if they only use gold crowns for their back teeth, something that is not considered to be a case of embellishment .
However, if a man was unaware of the fact that wearing pure silk, gold woven clothes, and the usage of gold accessories for impermissible for me or if they did now know that the usage of these will invalidate the prayer, his previous prayers are valid and do not need to be redone.
Rulings of Prayer
Dress code: Part Six
Just as the clothes of the person praying must not be made out of the living parts of an animal whose meat is Halal, it must not be made with the living or dead parts of animals whose meat is not Halal to eat either. So, if the person praying carries even one strain of hair from an animal whose meat in not Halal such as the tiger, lion, or cat on their prayer is void.
In the case a person is in doubt whether their clothes are made with the wool or hair of an animal whose meat is Halal or not, they can perform their prayer in those clothes, Whether those clothes are purchased from an Islamic country or a non-Islamic one.
The next condition is specific to men. The clothes of men while praying should not be made with pure silk. Wearing clothes made with pure silk is generally prohibited for men and wearing such clothing for prayer will also invalidate the prayer.
Even if the amount of pure silk in men's clothes is as small as a shoe lace or a patch it will nullify the prayer altogether.
It should be noted that it is permissible for both men and women to wear clothes that are made with fabric which is a mixture of silk and some other material. But if the amount of silk is so little that is can be disregarded, it is not permissible for men to perform their prayer in such clothing.
Women on the other hand, are allowed to wear clothes made with pure silk both in prayer and otherwise.
Rulings of Prayer
Dress code: Part Five
One of the other necessary conditions for the clothes that are worn during prayer is that they must not have been made with parts of the body of Maytah. In other words, the clothes in which one intends to perform their prayer must not have been made with the skin or other parts of the corpse of an animal whose blood gushes out and which has died, has been killed or has not been slaughtered based on the Islamic laws.
Also, if the person praying is wearing clothes made of parts of a corpse of an animal whose blood does not gush out such as a snake or a fish, according to obligatory precaution the prayer will still be invalid.
However, parts of an animal's corpse which do not have a soul (such as the hair or fur of sheep) will not create a problem for the prayer. So, one is allowed to make clothes with the hair and fur of dead animals whose meat is Halal and perform prayers in them. But it is still impermissible to make clothes out of skin taken from the corpse of these animal.
Cow skin is an exception to this rule and praying with clothes made of cow leather is permitted under the condition that one has purchased them from a Muslim market. In this case, even if one is unaware if the animal was slaughtered properly according to Islamic laws or not, they can still perform their prayers in those leather clothes.
Even if one does not know if the leather has been brought from Islamic countries or not, they can still perform their prayers in those clothes. But if one is certain that the leather used in their clothes is from non-Islamic countries or they are certain that the shop owner is an irresponsible person and has not done any research about the source of the leather, it will not be permissible for them to perform prayers in those clothes.
Rulings of Prayer
Dress code: Part four
One of the necessary conditions of the clothes worn during prayer is that they must be Mubāḥ (not Ghaṣbī).
Meaning they should not have been seized from another person unlawfully or used without their consent.
Also it should not be obtained with money earned through illegitimate means or with money the Khums or Zakat of which have not been paid.
In case one buys some clothes on credit but they intended not to pay their debt the clothe are considered Ghaṣbī and prayer in such clothes is void.
If a person purposefully performs prayers in Ghaṣbi clothes even as small as a button or a piece of a thread, their prayer is void and must be reperformed.
However, if a person was unaware that their clothes where Ghaṣbi, the prayer is valid.
Also, if a person was aware that their clothes were Ghaṣbi but they had forgotten about it, their prayer is valid unless they themselves were the actual person who had committed Ghaṣb (unlawful seizure) in which case, based on the obligatory precaution, the prayer needs to be reperformed.
It is noteworthy that a prayer performed wearing a Ghaṣbi belt or ring is valid (because they are not clothes), however the person committing Ghaṣb still has perpetrated a Harām act.
Rulings of Prayer
Dress code: Part Three
A person who is about to stand before Allah in prayer should first purify their clothes of any kind of Najāsa or else their prayer will be void.
However, if someone's body or clothes become Najis during prayer, their prayer is not necessarily invalidated rather they should act as follows:
1. If the time for prayer is so short that if they change or clean their clothes, the time for prayer will expire, they should perform their prayer as is and the prayer will be valid.
2. If there is time and they have immediate access to pure water or clothes and also changing the clothes or purifying them will not make the person exit from the state of prayer, they are expected to clean or change their clothes while praying and then continue with the prayer.
3. If there is time and pure water or clothes are available, however, changing clothes or cleansing them will bring the person out of the state of prayer, or if water or clean clothes are not accessible, the individual should stop the prayer, change their clothes or make them pure and then reperform their prayer.
Rulings of Prayer
Dress Code: Part Two
As previously discussed prayer performed with a Najis body or in Najis clothes is void. However, there are some exceptions. Let's have a look at these exceptions:
1. If the body or clothes are stained with blood and the stain is smaller than a finger phalanx, it is ok to perform prayer with it.
2. If one’s small pieces of clothing such as socks or hat are Najis, they can be worn during prayer regardless of the amount or kind of Najāsa (impurity) on them.
3. If one’s body or clothes become Najis due to the bloody scar of a wound or a pimple and one performs prayers like that, the prayer will be valid.
4. If, during prayer, one carries a small Najis item in one’s pocket -so small that the private parts could not be covered with it- like a handkerchief, the prayer is valid even though the recommended precaution demands that even this little bit of impurity be avoided; However, if the Najāsa of this item comes in contact to the clothes the prayer is invalidated.
5. In the case someone is stuck somewhere with a Najis body or in Najis clothes and changing or purifying the body or clothes is not possible or the time for prayer is so short, they are permitted to perform their prayer in that condition.
6. When a nanny is unable to easily find pure clothes for prayer. This case has some details though so you may refer to Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi’s Practical Laws of Islam for further information.
Rulings of Prayer
Part One: Dress code
In the previous episodes we reviewed the extent of covering required in prayer for both men and women.
Today, we will discuss the necessary conditions of the clothes worn while performing prayer.
2. must not contain parts of a corpse
3. be made of the Harām meat animal’s skin
4. be made of pure silk or woven with gold (only for men)
5. They must not be najis
meaning that they must not be polluted by ritually impure items such as blood, urine, etc.
Now, if someone performs prayer while wearing Najis clothes or while their body is Najis, their prayer is void even if they did so because they failed to learn the ruling
However, if a person is doubtful whether or not their clothes are Najis, they can perform their prayer with the same clothes and there is no need to change or wash their clothes.
If someone was unaware that the clothes they were praying in had actually been Najis and realized this later, their prayer is valid.
However, if they knew that their clothes have become Najis but then they forgot it and performed prayer in those clothes, they are required to reperform that prayer, even if they are in the midst of the prayer. Likewise, If they remember this after the time for prayer is up, they still are required to perform the Qaḍā prayer.
there are some exceptions though, where one is allowed to perform prayer in Najis clothes or with a Najis body which will be explained in the next episode inshaAllah. Stay tuned.
The Rulings of Prayer: Dress Code Part 2
Women are to observe full hijab while performing their prayer like a pearl in the oyster shell.
It is befitting that they wear a chador while performing prayer
Performing prayers without chador or with a transparent chador is permissible only if one has observed full hijab beneath the chador meaning that the entire body except for the face, hands down to the wrist and feet down to the ankles has been covered, also the clothes should not be too tight or transparent to reveal the shape of the body.
However, if a lady was unaware of this ruling and thus she has been performing their prayers without wearing a proper chador or observing full hijab, their past prayers are valid as long as they were not negligent in learning the related religious rulings.
In addition to all this, covering all jewels and ornament, even a wig, is obligatory while performing prayers even if a non-mahram is not present. It is not necessary, however, to cover rings while praying. In the case that a lady was unaware of this ruling and thus have not been covering their ornaments during prayer, their prayers are valid.
All men and women must observe the necessary dress code in all obligatory prayers, including Iḥtiyāṭ prayer as well as while performing Sahw prostration, Qaḍa prostration or Qaḍa Tashahhud.
However, while performing obligatory prostration outside of prayer such as obligatory prostration for certain verses of the Quran, it is not obligatory to observe hijab if there is no non-Mahram present.
The Rulings of Prayer: Dress Code Part 1
One of the obligatory rules of prayer is observing a dress code while performing the prayer.
It is important to keep in mind that there is a difference between the dress code of men and women for prayer.
It is obligatory for men to cover their private parts when performing prayer.
It is better that they cover themselves at least from the navel down to the knees.
It is more advisable to wear the complete clothes they would wear when in the presence of a respected person.
Women on the other hand must cover their entire body including their head and hair. However, covering the face, the hands up to the wrists and the feet up to the ankles is not necessary. But the obligatory precaution requires that, in order to make sure that all parts that are to be covered are in fact covered, women should cover a little more of the sides of their face and a little lower than the wrists and ankles as well.
Stay tuned for more explanation about women’s dress code in prayer in the next episode.
The Rulings of Prayer: The Qiblah (Direction of Prayer)
The Kaʿba -which is located in Mecca- is the Qiblah of all Muslims, the direction towards which all Muslims must perform their prayers; otherwise their prayer is invalid.
Therefore, one should find the direction of the Qiblah before starting the prayer.
There are four ways to determine the direction of Qiblah:
However, in the case a Muslim is not able to determine the Qiblah through any of these ways, they should choose one direction and perform their prayer.
Prayer is the way of connecting to our Creator, purifying our heart and cleansing our soul
This precious means of connecting to the Creator has been called the firm pillar of the religion of Islam
And among the different acts of worship, it is the one that is of great importance and every Muslim is obligated to perform it through a series of actions.
Prayer is of such great importance that according to the Islamic narrations, its acceptance by Allah is the prerequisite of the acceptance of all other deeds.
Therefore, it is super important that we as Muslims learn each and every ruling regarding prayers.
Prayers are basically categorized in to two groups:
Nafilah (night) prayer, Ghufaylah prayer and Jafar al-Ṭayyār prayer are among the most well known recommended prayers.
Now let’s also have a look at the blessed obligatory prayers which are six in number:
We all know that daily prayers are those that are to be performed on a daily basis which are : Fajr Prayer, Dhuhr Prayer, ʻAsr Prayer, Maghrib Prayer and ʻIsha Prayer.
Stay tuned for more videos regarding Islamic Rulings