teacher and student


1. Qibla of toilets
2. mistake in Salaat
3. single mother travelling by aeroplane

Q: A toilet inside the house faces the Qiblah. Is it permissible to use the toilet, or should the direction be changed? A: Hadhrat Abu Hurayra (Radhiallaahu ʿanhu) narrates that Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) said, 'I am to you like a father to a son, do not face the front or back towards the Qiblah (when relieving onself).' (Tirmidhi vol.1 pg.8; HM Saeed Company). According to the above Hadith, when relieving oneself, it is not permissible to face the front or back towards the Qiblah. Therefore, the direction of the toilet should be changed. However, if that is not possible, one should sit in a posture, away from the actual direction of the Qiblah. (Ibid)

Malik, al-Shafiʿi, and - in one of two narrations - Ahmad ibn Hanbal said that the meaning of this prohibition applies to open-air - desert - settings only, not to a place that has a barrier between it and the Qibla as in toilets inside houses. This is also the position followed by al-ʿAbbas ibn ʿAbd al-Muttalib, ʿAbd Allah ibn ʿUmar, al-Shaʿbi, and Ishaq ibn Rahuyah.

This is the sound position according to al-Nawawi in Sharh Sahih Muslim as it applies all the evidence that came to us in this respect without leaving out any of it. Ibn Hajar similarly said in Fath al-Bari: "This is the fairest of rulings as it takes into account the totality of the evidence in this regard."

For there is evidence in Sahih Muslim as well as Abu Dawud and al-Tirmidhi with fair chains from Ibn ʿUmar, ʿA'isha, and Jabir that in a private setting the Prophet ﷺ did both face and turn his back to the Qibla in later life.

Nevertheless the prohibition came by way of spoken declaration while the dispensation came by way of action, and declaration takes precedence as Abu Bakr ibn al-ʿArabi said. It would seem evident that in our time the best ruling is that it is disliked but not prohibited to face or turn one's back to the Qibla while relieving oneself in a built-up space, and Allah knows best.


Q: What is the ruling if one forgets or makes a mistake in Salaat, must he make Sajda-e-Sahw? A: If a person forgetfully omits a Waajib in a Fardh, Waajib or Sunnat Salaat, he can compensate for it by performing a Sajda-e-Sahw at the end of the Salaat. However, if he intentionally omits a Waajib act of Salaat or intentionally or unintentionally omits a Fardh act of Salaat, he cannot compensate for it. He must repeat the entire Salaat.

In the Shafiʿi school one does not have to repeat the entire Salat but may go back to the integral before the one which he left out then accomplish it, then continue from that point. For example if in the second sajda he remembers he did not do rukuʿ he stands up immediately, then goes down into rukuʿ, then proceeds normally. At the end he must make two sajdas of sahw, and Allah knows best.


Q: Can a single mother who lives far away travel by aeroplane without a Mahram? Modern modes of transport are safe for a female to travel alone. A: Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) said, 'It is not permissible for a female to travel for three days and nights (equivalent to 88 kms.) unless she is accompanied by her husband or her permanent Mahram (a male person whom she cannot marry, e.g. father, mature son, brother, etc.)

The Prophet ﷺ made it clear in one of his narrations that the reason for the prohibition was the woman's safety. If the conditions for security are met -- as in the vast majority of cases in air transportation -- then there is no harm in such travel provided it is done for a cause approved by the Law,
and Allah knows best.

GF Haddad ©





latest update: Thu, 12 Feb 2009
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