Questions On Salâh
Raja'ib and other prayers
NN wrote in a message
Wa `alaykum as-Salam wa rahmatullah:
1) Lailat ar-Raja'ib
The night of the first friday of this holy month - is this based on
anything authentic, even if not as far as the Nabi SAW -then to the salaf
No, it is based on a spurious report as shown by Imams al-Nawawi and Ibn `Abd al-Salam in their fatwas.
Many ulema have stressed the virtue of this month and recommend nafil
ibadat, such as fasting and prayer.
However, is there a particluar prayer such as on the first Friday night
of this month?
Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jilani (RA) in his al-Ghunya li-Talibi Tariq al-Haqq
mentions a narration attributed to the Prphet SAW through Salman (RA) of
prayer in the mid of this month with 10 cycles - is this a recommended
Extra nafl, including fasting, and good deeds are recommended in the sacred months generally speaking, and Rajab is one of them, but unspecifically of date and number. The Ghunya is a book filed with blessings and light, as are Qut al-Qulub and Ihya' `Ulum al-Din, all three of which list certain devotions pertaining to each Islamic month, but an isnad-reliable book on the same subject would be Lata'if al-Ma`arif by Ibn Rajab. Nevertheless, prayer is an absolute good as established in the Qur'an and Sunna, and this was Imam Ibn al-Salah's argument in his lone defense - among the hadith Masters - of Salat al-Ragha'ib and other similar prayers.
I have heard that some have said to perform a 100 rakats on Lailatul Barat
( the mid of Shaban ) is virtuous then some have rejected saying the
traditions are spurious.
However, then people like Imam Ghazali (RA) & Sheikh Abdul Qadir Gilani
(RA) have been attributed to recommend it, even al-Hasan Al Basri (RA) -
did they?, please can you bring me the truth
and your recommendation.
Al-Suyuti says in "Haqiqat al-Sunna wal-Bid`a aw al-Amr bil-Ittiba` wal-Nahy `an al-Ibtida`" (1405/1985 ed. p. 58):
"As for the night of mid-Sha`ban, it has great merit and it is
desirable (mustahabb) to spend part of it in (supererogatory)
worship. However, this must be done alone, not in congregation."
3) Is it permissible to refer to Sheik Abdul Qadir Jilani (RA) as 'Al
Gawth-ul -azam' ?
What is the view and practice of the ahl-ul-sunna-wa-jammat?
I have no knowledge of a reliable Scholar of Ahl al-Sunna wal-Jama`a past or present who prohibited such a title.
4) I now understand that the wisal of some great awliya kareem is refered
to as 'urs' due to a beautiful tradition in sunnan Ibn Majah - likening to
the awakening of a bride for the pious in the grave.
Can you explain with evidence is it permissible to hold an annual 'urs' of
a sahaba (RA) or other awliya as long as no neglect of fard/wajib/sunnat
amal? what has been the practice through time of the ahl-ul-sunnah in
respect of this through time?
The term `urs, although an Arabic word for marriage, is not known in the above sense in the Arab world to my knowledge. Such celebrations are usually called Mawlids, the practice of which is allowed and encouraged from East to West with the conditions you mentioned. The life of Barzakh is a reality as are the God-given benefits and blessings of the righteous in Barzakh. The evidence for this can be read in the specialized books such as Sharh al-Sudur by al-Suyuti and al-Ruh by Ibn al-Qayyim. WAllahu a`lam.
GF Haddad ©
if due to work schedule one is unable to pray asr salaah, is one allowed
pray the asr salaah at zuhr time with zuhr salaah. would it be better to
make qadha of the asr salaah after maghrib. what is the earliest that asr
salaah can be prayed in relation to zawwal time?
One is not allowed to pray the `asr Salat at Zuhr time together with Zuhr on
such grounds. Work is not one of the circumstances the Shari`a considers an
excuse for a dispensation in joining prayers. To join prayers in the manner
described on the grounds of work, does not fulfill the obligation to pray
`Asr in its time and one still has to pray it. If one does not, then he must
make Qada' at the earliest time possible and he will have committed a sin.
The earliest that `Asr Salat can be prayed is when the shadow of an object
is at least equal to the object.
GF Haddad ©
Taqwiyat al-Iman on prostration
In reply to the following:
that sujood to a grave is not part of any Islamic etiquette of visiting
grave be it any Prophet, Awliya Allah or commoners like us. It is plain
I had said:
The first sentence is correct. The second is dangerous fanaticism.
Since then I read the following in the Darussalam (Ryadh) English
translation of Taqwiyat al-Iman (p. 97):
If someone maintains that making a prostration to a creature was
permissible in the earlier religions, for instance, the angels prostrated to
Adam (as) and Prophet Jacob (as) prostrated to Prophet Joseph (as) and hence
there is no harm if we make a prostration to a saint as a token of showing
our respect to him. We must remember that such a thing proves and confirms
one's Shirk and thoroughly deprives him of faith.
Note that the author of the above lines:
(1) confuses Laws with Religion. The Divine Laws or Dispensations may be put
in the plural, but the Religion of the Prophets and Messengers is One -
Islam - and it is impermissible to treat it as several religions.
(2) attributes to the Prophets of Islam an act which today "confirms one's
Shirk and thoroughly deprives him of faith." This attribution is of course
But I can see better from what well the author of the original lines had
Another passage of this Taqwiyat al-Iman (p. 138-139) with the heading
"Prostration to Allah and paying due respect to a Messenger" states:
was sitting with a group of Muhajirin and Ansar. A
camel came walking all the way / to the Prophet
and prostrated before
him. Upon observing this spectacle, his Companions said: "O Allah's
The animals and trees prostrate before you! And as long as
they do it, we are more rightful in doing this to you (i.e. to prostrate
before you)." The Prophet
answered: "You must worship your Lord and
pay due respect to your brothers." (Musnad Ahmad)
It means that all the human beings are brothers to one another. The one
who is the most elderly and the most pious is an elder brother. We should
respect such a person just like our elder brother. Allah is the Rabb of all
and therefore, we should worship none but Him alone. Thus we understand that
all the people who are close to Allah, regardless of whether they are
Messengers or saints, are none but the helpless slaves of Allah, and are our
brothers, and as long as Allah has bestowed on them marks of greatness, they
are like our brothers and we are instructed to obey them.
Below is the correct translation of the hadith quoted from Musnad Ahmad:
The Messenger of Allah was in the midst of a group of the Muhajirin
and Ansar when a camel came over to him and prostrated before him. Seeing
this, his Companions said, "O Messenger of Allah! the beasts and trees
prostrate to you, and it is even more right that we should prostrate to
you." He replied, "Worship your Lord, respect your brother, and if I were
to order anyone to prostrate to anyone, I would order woman to prostrate to
her husband; and if he were to command her to heave rocks from a yellow
mountain to a black mountain and from a black mountain to a white mountain,
she should do it."
This specific hadith is weak for several reasons. First of all, its chain
comes only through `Ali ibn Zayd ibn Jud`an and al-Dhahabi said he is too
weak to accept a ruling of halal and haram on the basis of something
narrated only through him - let alone `aqida or iman. Second, Ibn Majah's
and and Ibn Abi Shayba's narration of the same hadith with the same chain
does NOT contain the clause Worship our Lord and respect your brother."
Lastly, `Affan ibn Muslim, Ahmad's Shaykh together with `Abd al-Samad
al-Tannuri, explicitly states "akhbarana al-ma`na" - "he narrated to us the
meaning" - i.e. he warns that this hadith was conveyed to them (by Hammad
ibn Salama) paraphrased and not in its actual wording.
Still, every clause of this hadith is confirmed or strengthened separately
by other narrations which I will list in a separate posting insha Allah,
*except* for the clause "Worship your Lord and respect your brother" from
which some people attempt to infer a ruling or an appellation pertaining to
the Prophet or to Prophets in general.
Nevertheless, even if we were to consider the chain strong and the wording
authentic, it would not have the meaning that the author of Taqwiyat al-Iman
claims, due to many reasons:
1. The Prophet said "your brother" and he neither used the plural nor
said "your big brother."
2. The Prophet is not necessarily referring to himself. Rather, it
makes more sense that he is saying: worship belongs to Allah while every
human being is deserving of respect, in the sense established by the hadith:
"You all come from Adam (as)."
3. There is no actual prohibition of prostrating to him in this
particular hadith. He only says to "worship Allah and respect our
brother," alluding to the fact that prostration can denote both worship and
respect, although human beings are too honorable to prostrate to other than
Allah Most High.
4. Even if it were authentic, the sentence "Worship your Lord and respect
your brother" would actually be a Prophetic nass explicitly distinguishing
between the two types of prostration: the prostration of worship and the
prostration of respect, not a stipulation that we are permitted to call the
Prophet our brother or our big brother; even less a proof that the
prostration of respect is shirk.
5. In the more authentic version of this hadith with a sound chain from Anas
in Musnad Ahmad, Musnad al-Bazzar, and elsewhere, he merely states:
"It is not appropriate (la yasluh) that any human being should prostrate to
another human being." If it were shirk he would have emphasized it and not
used the understatement "it is not appropriate."
6. In yet another authentic hadith where Mu`adh prostrates to him , he
says: "What is this, Mu`adh?" Then after hearing Mu`adh's explanation he
simply orders: "Do not!" Narrated from `Abd Allah ibn Abi Awfa by Ibn Majah
and Ahmad and from Mu`adh ibn Jabal by al-Bazzar and Ahmad with chains of
trustworthy narrators as per al-Haythami (4:309) and by al-Hakim (4:172=1990
ed. 4:190) who declared it sahih. as per the criteria of al-Bukhari and
Muslim, al-Dhahabi concurring. The Prophet neither called it shirk
nor asked Mu`adh to reiterate the shahada, contrary to the claim that such a
7. Nor did the Prophet call it shirk when Qays ibn Sa`d affirmed his
desire to prostrate to him as narrated by Abu Dawud in his Sunan in the
"satrap" hadith recently posted, nor did he ask him to reiterate the
8. In a highly authentic hadith he referred to himself as the Master
(Sayyid) of all human beings, and Allah Most High in His Book forbids us to
call him in the same way as we call one another.
9. Are we to call the wives of the Prophet "our mothers" while we
call him "our brother"?? and are we to call Sayyidina Ibrahim our
father, and sayyidina Adam also, but Sayyidina Muhammad "our
brother"? A ridiculous and truly impious notion.
10. The whole gist of this narration is to stress that men are custodians
over creation deserving of its respect beginning with their wives, but due
to their cruelty have become unworthy of this recognition from their wives
and even their beasts of burden, although the Prophet has stressed
that it would not be excessive for a wife to give her husband the respect
that a prostration connotes, even an undeserving wrongdoer. In fact, an
analysis of the entirety of the narrations in this chapter - forthcoming -
indicates that the main issue stressed by the Prophet here is the
respect of wives for their husbands, not the status of the prostration to
other than Allah Most High.
These are some reflections that come to mind upon a quick reading of this
book, and Allah knows best.
GF Haddad ©
Addendum On Prostration
A followup on my post "Taqwiyat al-Iman on Prostration"
Imam al-Dhahabi wrote in the compendium of his shaykhs entitled Mu`jam
al-shuyukh (1:73) in the entry devoted to his shaykh Ahmad ibn `Abd
al-Mun`im al-Qazwini (#58):
Don't you see that the Companions, in the excess of their love for the
Prophet, asked him: "Should we not prostrate to you?" and he replied no, and
if he had allowed them, they would have prostrated to him as a mark of utter
veneration and respect, not as a mark of worship, just as the Prophet
Yusuf's brothers prostrated to Yusuf u. Similarly the prostration of the
Muslim to the grave of the Prophet e is for the intention of magnification
and reverence. One is not imputed disbelief because of it whatsoever (la
yukaffaru aslan), but he is being disobedient [to the Prophet's injunction
to the Companions]. Let him therefore be informed that this is forbidden.
Similarly in the case of one who prays towards the grave.
nafl at fajr time?
The time for night-time nafl is from after the `Isha prayer until Fajr
enters, all of it being called Qiyam al-Layl. The most meritorious time for
`Isha prayer is the first half of the night and the most meritorious time
for night-time nafl - what is usually called tahajjud and is a regular Sunna
mu'akkada - is the last third, after sleeping first. It is offensive
(makruh) to stay up all the way from `Isha to that time or stay up late
after `Isha so as to routinely doze through tahajjud and/or Fajr. I am not
aware that Mawlana al-Shaykh Nazim - hafizahullah - ever missed tahajjud and
Fajr Salat in Jama`a with all its awrad (dhikr and supplications) since the
time I have known him although I have seen others miss them routinely.
There is no nafl from the moment Fajr enters its time, except the two Sunna
rak`ats which are at the top of the list of "stressed regular Sunna prayers"
(rawatib al-sunan al-mu'akkada) and should not be neglected even at the time
of travel. However, at the time of Iqama of Fajr it is no longer allowed to
initiate the two Sunna rak`ats and their time is gone for those present.
There is no nafl after the Fard either, until after sunrise at which time
Duha is prayed - between 2 and 12 rak`ats. What is sometimes called Salat
al-Ishraq or Shuruq is actually the Duha prayer, which is Sunna mu'akkada
and extends until the time of Zuhr. Its best number is 8 rak`ats and it is
even more stressed for those who missed praying tahajjud at night.
However, if one was up praying then hears the Fajr adhan or realizes Fajr
has just entered and has not yet prayed Witr - also a top regular Sunna
mu'akkada and wajib in the Hanafi madhhab -, it is allowed to pray it at
that time as narrated in the Muwatta'.
Note: In the Shafi`i madhhab, it is preferred to pray the "nafl with an
immediate cause" (nawafil al-asbab), namely, tahyyat al-wudu' and tahiyyat
al-masjid, at all times without offensiveness, including (a) after Fajr
before Shuruq and after `Asr before maghrib; (b) at sunrise, noon, and
sunset, which two sets of times may be respectively offensive and forbidden
in other madhhabs due to different understandings of the same evidence,
which is not explicitly worded. And Allah knows best.
A couple of things: Mawlana Shaykh and all our mashaykh pray
salat al-ishraq shortly after sunrise, THEN pray salat al-Duha
at around 10 or 11. Here you are saying something completely
different, something I've only heard from Salafis; why?
The comment "although I have seen others miss them routinely"
I am not aware of what you've heard or not heard Salafis say and it doesn't
really matter, does it? What matters is the fiqh and its sources according
to the Schools of Ahl al-Sunna, of which knowledge you and I stand in need.
What conforms with it or not among this or that sect or in our minds does
not amount to a helpful judgment if only it were relevant in the first
place. But if you must, then you may complain to your nafs's content that I
sound Salafi , after I've blackened thousands of pages refuting them with or
without your approval.
As for what Mawlana al-Shaykh Nazim - Hafizahullah - "and all our Mashayikh"
do, they pray Salat al-Duha at Shuruq time AND later. As I said, what is
called Salat al-Shuruq is another name for Salat al-Duha, and the time for
the latter is from sunrise to before Zuhr. You've embraced names and balk at
whoever tries to understand the thing being named; while Mawlana - if you
but knew - has not left either of these two ends of morningtime - Duha-
except he built it up with worship, reserving the greater part of that same
worship for the preferred time, nearer to Zuhr.
As for the comment "although I have seen others miss them routinely" seeming
inappropriate, I am glad that this at least means it is accepted as
accurate. But I am sad that it is perceived as an undue criticism of those
who sleep (including myself) - although they are excused by the Law - rather
than praise of Mawlana's vigilance and `azima. The saddest thing of all
is a one-sided sense of propriety and there is definitely no merit in sleep.
GF Haddad ©