Fiqh-us-Sunnah
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Fiqh 2.31: Salatul duha is a prized prayer

Salatul duha is a prized prayer and whoever wishes to earn reward should pray it, while there is no blame upon the one who does not pray it.

Abu Sa'id reports: "The Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam would pray duha until we thought he would never abandon it. And he would abandon it to the point that we thought he would no longer perform it." This is related by at-Tirmizhi who says it is hasan.

Anas relates that the Messenger of Allah said: "Prayer in my mosque is equal to ten thousand prayers [elsewhere]. And prayer in the inviolable mosque is equivalent to one hundred thousand prayers [elsewhere]. And prayer in the battlefield is equivalent to one million prayers [elsewhere]. And what is more than all of that is two rak'at by a slave [of Allah] during the middle of the night." This is reported by Abu ash-Shaikh, Ibn Hibban in his work ath-Thawab, and al-Munzhiri, in his book at-Targhib watTarhib, is silent about it.

Fiqh 2.31 a: Recommended time for the duha prayer

The time for duha begins when the sun is about a spear's length above the horizon and it continues until the sun reaches its meridian. It is preferred to delay it until the sun has risen high and the day has become hot.

Zaid ibn Arqam relates: "The Messenger of Allah sallallahu alehi wasallam went to the people of Quba', and they were performing duha, and he said: 'The prayer of devotion should be observed when the young weaned camels feel the heat of the sun.'" This is related by Ahmad, Muslim, and at-Tirmizhi .

Fiqh 2.31 b: Number of rak'at for the duha prayer

The minimum number of rak'ah to be prayed is two, as was mentioned in the hadith of Abu Zharr. The most that the Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam performed was eight rak'at, whereas, the most he mentioned was twelve rak'at. Some people, such as Abu Ja'far at-Tabari, al-Mulaimi, and ar-Ruwyani, who subscribes to the Shafi' school, say there is no maximum limit to the number of rak'at that one may perform for duha.

Al-'lraqi says, in the commentary on Sunan at-Tirmizhi: "None of the companions or followers are known to have restricted it to twelve rak'at." As-Syuti agrees with it.

Sa'id ibn Mansur records that al-Hassan was asked: "Did the companions perform it?" He answered: "Yes . . . some of them would pray two rak'at and some of them would pray four rak'at. And some of them would continue until half the [early] day [had passed]."

Ibrahim an-Nakha'i reports that al-Aswad ibn Yazid was asked: "How many rak'at are to be prayed for duha?" He answered: "As many as you wish ."

Umm Hani narrates that the Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam prayed eight rak'at of duha and made the taslim after every two rak'at. This is related by Abu Dawud with a sahih chain.

'Aishah reports: "The Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam would pray four rak'at for duha and would add to it whatever Allah willed." This is related by Ahmad, Muslim, and ibn Majah.

Fiqh 2.32: Salatul Istikharah

It is a sunnah that, if one must choose between permissible alternatives, one may pray two non-obligatory rak'at, even if they are of the regular sunnah prayers or a prayer for entering the mosque, and so on, during any time of the day or night, and to recite therein whatever one wishes of the Qur'an after reciting al-Fatihah. Then one praises Allah and sends salutations to the Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam and recites the following supplication which has been recorded by al-Bukhari in Jabir's narration: "The Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam would teach us al-istikhara for all of our affairs as he would teach us a surah from the Qur'an. He said: 'If one of you is deliberating over an act, he should pray two non-obligatory rak'at and say:

"O Allah, I consult You as You are All-Knowing and I appeal to You to give me power as You are Omnipotent, I ask You for Your great favor, for You have power and I do not, and You know all of the hidden matters . O Allah ! If you know that this matter (then he should mention it) is good for me in my religion, my livelihood, and for my life in the Hereafter, (or he said: 'for my present and future life,') then make it (easy) for me. And if you know that this matter is not good for me in my religion, my livelihood and my life in the Hereafter, (or he said: 'for my present and future life,') then keep it away from me and take me away from it and choose what is good for me wherever it is and please me with it."

There is nothing authentic concerning something specific that is to be recited in the prayer nor is there any authentic report concerning how many times one should repeat it.

An-Nawawi holds that "after performing the istikharah, a person must do what he is wholeheartedly inclined to do and feels good about doing and should not insist on doing what he had desired to do before making the istikharah. And if his feelings change, he should leave what he had intended to do, otherwise he is not completely leaving the choice to Allah, and would not be honest in seeking aid from Allah's power and knowledge. Sincerity in seeking Allah's choice, means that one should completely leave what he himself had desired or determined."

Fiqh 2.33: Salatul Tasbih

'Ikrimah reports from Ibn 'Abbas that the Messenger of Allah said to 'Abbas ibn 'Abdal-Mutalib: "O 'Abbas, O Uncle, shall I not give you, shall I not present to you, shall I not donate to you, shall I not tell you ten things which, if you do, Allah will forgive your first and last sins, past and present sins, intentional and unintentional sins, private and public sins? The ten actions are: pray four rak'at, reciting in every rak'ah al-Fatihah and a surah. And when you finish the Qur'anic recitation of the first rak'ah, say, while standing, 'Subhanallah, al-hamdulillah, wa la ilaha illallah, wa Allahu Akbar' ['Glory be to Allah. All praise is due to Allah. There is no God except Allah. Allah is the greatest.'] fifteen times. Then make ruku', and while you are in ruku', say the same ten times; then stand, and say the same ten times. Then go down and make sajdah, and while you're in sajdah, say the same ten times. Then sit after the sajdah, and say the same ten times. Then make sajdah, and say the same ten times. Then sit after the second sajdah, and say the same another ten times. That is seventy-five [repetitions of the phrases] in each rak'ah. Do that in each of the four rak'at. If you can pray it once a day, do so. If you cannot, then once every Friday. If you cannot do that, then once a year. And if you cannot do that then once in your life." This is related by Abu Dawud, Ibn Majah, Ibn Khuzaimah in his sahih, and at-Tabarani. About this hadith al-Munzhiri says: "This hadith has been related through many chains and from a number of companions. The best of them is this one from 'Ikrimah. A group of scholars have graded it to be sahih, including al-Hafez Abu Bakr al-'Ajari, (al-Munzhiri's teachers), Abu Muhammad 'Abdurrahim al-Misri, and Abu al-Hassan al-Maqdisi." Ibn alMubarak says: "The tasbih prayer is a greatly desired act and it is desirable that one should punctually observe it and never neglect it.

Fiqh 2.33 a: Salatul Hajah, the prayer for need

Ahmad has on sound authority reported from Abu Darda that the Prophet Sallallahu Alehi wasallam said: "He who makes wudu, and does it properly, then prays two rak'at, Allah will grant him whatever he may pray for, sooner or later."

Fiqh 2.34: Salatul Taubah, the prayer of penitence

Abu Bakr reports: "I heard the Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam saying: 'Allah forgives the man who commits a sin (then feels ashamed), purifies himself, offers a prayer and seeks His forgiveness.' Then he recited the 'ayyah: 'And those who, when they do an evil thing or wrong themselves, remember Allah and implore forgiveness for their sins - and who can forgive sins except Allah? - and will not knowingly repeat (the wrong) they did. The reward of such will be forgiveness from their Lord, and gardens underneath which rivers flow, wherein they will abide forever- a bountiful reward for workers."' [al-'lmran: 135-136]. This is related by Abu Dawud, an-Nasa'i, Ibn Majah, al-Baihaqi, and at-Tirmizhi who calls it hasan.

At-Tabarani records in al-Mu'jam al-Kabir, with a hasan chain, from Abu ad-Darda' that the Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam said: "Whoever makes wudu' and perfects the wudu' and then stands and prays two rak'at or four rak'at, obligatory or non-obligatory, and perfects therein his ruku' and sujjud and then asks for Allah's forgiveness, he will be forgiven."

Fiqh 2.34 a: Salatul Kasuf, prayer of the solar and lunar eclipse

The scholars agree that the prayer of the eclipses is a sunnah mu'akkadah, a stressed one, which is to be performed by both men and women. It is best to pray it in congregation although the congregation is not a condition for it. The people are called to it by announcing as-salatu jami'ah "prayer in congregation." The majority of the scholars hold that it is to consist of two rak'at and that in every rak'ah one is to perform two bowings (ruku') instead of the customary one.

'Aishah narrates: "There was a solar eclipse during the time of the Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam and the Prophet went to the mosque, and he stood and made the takbir, and he put the people in rows behind him, and he made a lengthy recital during the salah. Next, he made the takbir and made a long ruku', but it was not as long as the recital. Following that, he raised his head, saying: 'Allah hears him who praises Him. And to You, our Lord, belongs the praise.' Afterward, he stood and made another long recital but it was shorter than the first one. Again, he made the takbir and made a ruku' that was shorter than the first one. Then, again he said: 'Allah hears him who praises Him. And to You, our Lord, belongs the praise.' After this, he prostrated. He did the same in the next rak'ah and finished four ruku' and four sujjud. The sun appeared again before he finished. Finally, he stood and addressed the people and praised Allah as He deserves it and said: 'The sun and the moon are two signs from among Allah's signs and there is no eclipse due to someone's death or life. If you see them occurring, hurry to pray.'" This is related by alBukhari and Muslim.

Bukhari and Muslim also record that Ibn 'Abbas said: "There was a solar eclipse during the life time of the Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam and he prayed with a long standing, similar to what it takes to recite alBaqarah. Then, he made a long ruku'. After which, he stood and made another long recital but shorter than the first one. Again he went into ruku', but for a shorter time than in the first one. Following this, he made sajdah [twice]. Next he made another long standing (qiyam) which was also not as long as the first. After that, he made another lengthy ruku' but it was not as long as the first one. Again, he made another long qiyam [and recital] but it was not as long as the first one. After which, he made another lengthy ruku' but it was not as long as the previous one. Following this, he went into sajdah [and so on]. When he had finished, the sun had appeared. He concluded his prayer and said: 'The sun and the moon are two signs from the signs of Allah, and there is no eclipse due to the death or life of anyone. If you see it, make remembrance of Allah.'" Grading these reports, Ibn Abdul Barr says: "These two hadith are the most authentic reports on this topic."

Ibn al-Qayyim observes: "The authentic, clear, and prepondering sunnah concerning salatul kasuf is that the ruku' is to be repeated [twice] in every rak'ah. This is based on the hadith from 'Aishah, Ibn 'Abbas, Jabir, Ubayy ibn Ka'b, 'Abdullah ibn 'Amr ibn al-'Aas, and Abu Musa alAsh'ari. They all report that the Prophet repeated the ruku' in one rak'ah. Those who mention the repeating of the ruku' are more in number, weightier, and closer to the Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam than those who do not mention it." This is the opinion of Malik, ash-Shaf'i, and Ahmad.

Abu Hanifah is of the opinion that salatul Kasuf consists of two rak'at, similar to salatul 'id and jumu'ah, based on the hadith of An-Nu'man ibn Bashir who says: "The Messenger of Allah sallallahu alehi wasallam prayed the salatul kasuf with us like one of your prayers. He went into ruku' and performed sajdah, praying two rak'at by two rak'at, and supplicated to Allah until the sun reappeared clearly again."

In the hadith from Qabsah al-Hillali, the Prophet said: "If you see that [i.e., an eclipse], pray as you pray the obligatory prayer." This is related by Ahmad and an-Nasa'i.

The reciting of al-Fatihah is obligatory in each rak'ah, and one may recite whatever one wishes to, after Al-Fatihah. It is allowed to make the recital audible or silent, but al-Bukhari says: "Audible recital is more proper. "

Fiqh 2.36: The time for al-kasuf is from the beginning of the eclipse until the eclipse finishes

The prayer of the lunar eclipse is similar to that of the solar eclipse. Al-Hassan al-Basri reports: "There was a solar eclipse and Ibn 'Abbas, the governor of Basra, went out and prayed two rak'at with two ruku' in each rak'ah. Then, he mounted his mount and said: 'I prayed as I have seen the Prophet praying.'" This is related by ash-Shaf'i in his Musnad.

Fiqh 2.36 a: It is preferred to make the takbir, supplications, to give charity, and ask Allah for forgiveness during the eclipse

Al-Bukhari and Muslim record from 'Aishah that the Messenger of Allah said: "The sun and the moon are two signs from among Allah's signs and there is no eclipse due to the life or death of anyone. If you see that [an eclipse] supplicate to Allah, extol His greatness, give charity and pray." They also record from Abu Musa that there was a solar eclipse and the Prophet said: "If you see something of this nature, rush to the remembrance of Allah, supplicating Him and asking His forgiveness."

Fiqh 2.36 b: Salatul Istisqa, prayer for rain

This prayer is taken recourse to when seeking rain from Allah during times of drought. It may be performed in one of the following manners:

1 The imam prays, with the followers, two rak'at during any time except those times in which it is not desirable to pray. In the first rak'ah, the imam recites al-A'la after al-Fatihah. And in the second rak'ah, he reads al-Ghashiyah after al-Fatihah, and he delivers a khutbah before or after the salah. As soon as he finishes the khutbah, the people present should turn their outer garments around, each placing its left side on his right side and its right side on his left, face the qiblah, supplicate Allah and raise their hands while doing so.

Ibn 'Abbas reports: "The Messenger of Allah went out [to make the salatul istisqa'] wearing old clothes, in a humble and lowly manner, and prayed two rak'at as he prayed the 'id, but he did not give a similar khutbah." This is related by the five. At-Tirmizhi, Abu 'Awanah, and Ibn Hibban grade it sahih.

'Aishah says: "The people complained to the Messenger of Allah about lack of rain, so he gave orders for a pulpit, and when it was set up for him, he appointed a day for the people to gather. He came out on that day when the sun had just appeared and sat down on the pulpit. He extolled Allah's greatness and praised Him. Then he said: 'You have complained of drought in your areas and of delay in receiving rain at the beginning of its season, but you have been ordered by Allah to supplicate Him and He has promised that He would answer your prayers.' Then he said: 'All praise is for Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful, the King of the Day of Judgment. There is no God but Allah Who does what He wishes. O Allah, there is no God except Thee. You are the Self-sufficient and we are the poor. Send down rain upon us and make it a source of strength for us and satisfaction for us.' He then raised his hands and kept raising them till the whiteness of his armpits could be seen.

After this, he turned his back to the people and inverted his cloak, keeping his hands raised. Finally, he faced the people, descended from the pulpit, and prayed two rak'at. At that time Allah produced a cloud, thunder, and lightning. And, by Allah's permission, it rained and before he reached the mosque there was flooding. Then he saw how quickly the people were running for shelter, he laughed until his molar teeth could be seen. He said: 'I bear witness that Allah has power over all things and I am Allah's slave and Messenger.'" This is related by al-Hakim who classifies it to be sahih and by Abu Dawud who says: "This hadith is ghareeb and its chain is good."

It is furthermore related from 'Ibad ibn Tamim from his uncle 'Abdullah ibn Zaid al-Mazni that the Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam went out to pray salatul istisqa' and prayed two rak'at reciting them aloud. This is related by the group. And Abu Hurairah says: "The Prophet of Allah went out one day to make salatul ishtisqa' and prayed two rak'at with us without any azhan or iqamah. Then, he addressed us and supplicated Allah and turned his face toward the qiblah, with his hands raised. Next, he reversed his cloak, placing its left side on his right side and its right side on his left side." This is related by Ahmad, Ibn Majah, and al-Baihaqi.

2 The supplication for rain can also be made on the occasion of salatul jumu'ah. In this case, the imam makes supplications during khutbatul jumu'ah with the people of the congregation saying (Ameen).

Al-Bukhari and Muslim record from Shuraik on the authority of Anas that a man entered the mosque on Friday while the Prophet was addressing the people. The man said: "O Messenger of Allah, our wealth has been destroyed and we have no transport to the market place. Supplicate for us for rain." The Prophet raised his hands and said: "O Allah, give us rain. O Allah, give us rain. O Allah, give us rain." Anas said: "By Allah, at that time there were no clouds in the sky and there was no house or building between us and the mountain. From behind the mountain came a cloud looking like a shield. By the time it reached the middle of the sky, it burst and started to rain. By Allah, we did not see the sun for one week. Then, on the next Friday, a man entered the mosque from that (same) door while the Prophet was making the address. The man faced the Prophet and said: 'Our livestock is dead and the paths are unpassable. Ask Allah to make it stop.' The Prophet raised his hands and said: 'O Allah, around us and not upon us. O Allah, make it upon the hills, small mountains, bottom of the valleys, and plantations.' The rain stopped and we walked out in the sunshine."

3 One may also make a supplication (for rain) without it being Friday and regardless of whether or not the prayer takes place inside or outside the mosque. Ibn Majah and Abu 'Awanah record that Ibn 'Abbas said: "A Bedouin came to the Messenger of Allah and said: 'O Messenger of Allah, I come to you from a people whose shepherds do not have any fodder and whose prize stallion cannot move its tail due to the [drought].' The Prophet mounted the pulpit, praised Allah and said: 'O Allah, give us saving rain which leads to something good and which is productive - a general heavy rain - now and not later.' Then, he descended from the pulpit. People came from every direction saying that it was raining." This is reported by Ibn Majah and Abu 'Awanah and its chain is sound, but Ibn Hajar is silent about it in his Al-Talkhis.

Shurahbil ibn as-Simt said to Ka'b ibn Murrah: "O Ka'b, relate to us something from the Messenger of Allah." Ka'b said: "When a man came and said to the Prophet of Allah, 'Seek rain for the tribe of Muzhar,' I heard the Prophet say: 'You are a bold man. You want me to seek rain for the tribe of Muzhar?' The man said: 'O Messenger of Allah, you have sought victory from Allah and He gave you victory. You supplicated Allah and He answered you.' The Messenger of Allah raised his hands and said: 'O Allah, give us a saving rain, good and productive, general and heavy, now and not later, beneficial and not harmful.' Allah responded to his supplication. It was not long before the people came complaining about the profusion of rain, and damage to their dwellings. The Messenger of Allah raised his hands and said: 'O Allah, around us and not upon us.' The clouds began dispersing left and right." This is related by Ahmad, Ibn Majah, al-Baihaqi, Ibn Shaibah and al-Hakim. The later grades this hadith as hasan sahih and holds that its chain meets the conditions of al-Bukhari and Muslim.

Ash-Sha'biy says: "'Umar went out to make ishsqa' and he did no more than seeking Allah's forgiveness. The people said: 'We did not see you making ishsqa'.' He said: 'I sought rain by what makes it descend (i.e., istighfar or seeking forgiveness of Allah), unlike those (Arabs of days of ignorance) who sought it by the stars of the sky.' Then, he recited the following two 'ayat: 'Seek forgiveness of your Lord. Lo! He is Ever-Forgiving. He will let loose the sky for you in plenteous rain.' and: 'Ask forgiveness of your Lord, and turn to Him (in repentance): He will send you the skies pouring abundant rain.'" This is related by Abu Sa'id in his Sunan, 'Abdurrazzaq, al-Baihaqi, and Ibn abi Shaibah.

Fiqh 2.39: Some supplications for rain

The following are some of the supplications that have been transmitted.

Ash-Shaf'i states that it has been related from Salim ibn 'Abdullah, on the authority of his father that the Prophet would say for ishsqa': "O Allah, give us a saving rain, productive, plentiful, general, continuous. O Allah, give us rain and do not make us among the despondent. O Allah, (Your) slaves, land, animals, and (Your) creation all are suffering and seek protection. And we do not complain except to You. O Allah, let our crops grow, and let the udders be refilled. Give us from the blessings of the sky and grow for us from the blessings of the earth. O Allah, remove from us the hardship, starvation,and barrenness and remove the affliction from us as no one removes afflictions save Thee. O Allah, we seek Your forgiveness as You are the Forgiving, and send upon us plenteous rains." Ash-Shaf'i said: "I prefer that the imam would supplicate with that (prayer). "

Sa'd reported that for ishsqa', the Prophet would supplicate: "O Allah, let us be covered with thick clouds that have abundant and beneficial rain, frequently making a light rain upon us and sprinkling upon us with lightning. O Allah, You are full of majesty, bounty and Honour." This is related by Abu 'Awanah in his Sahih.

'Amr ibn Shuaib relates from his father, on the authority of his grandfather, that for istisqa', the Prophet would say: "O Allah, provide water for Your slaves and Your cattle, display Your mercy and give life to Your dead lands." This is related by Abu Dawud.

It is preferred for the one who is making this supplication to raise his hands with the back of his hands toward the sky. Muslim records from Anas that the Prophet would point with the back of his hands during ishsqa '.

It is also preferred, upon seeing the rain, to say: "O Allah, make it a beneficial rain" and he should uncover part of his body to the rain. On the other hand, if one fears that there is too much rain, one should say: "O Allah give us mercy and do not give us punishment, calamaties, destruction or flooding. O Allah, make it upon the woods, farms and trees. Make it around us and not upon us."

All of this is authentic and confirmed from the Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam.

Fiqh 2.40: The Prostration During the Qur'anic Recitation

Whoever recites an "'ayyah of prostration (sajdah)" or hears an "'ayyah of prostration" should preferably pronounce the takbir and prostrate and then make the takbir again and rise from the prostration. This is called "the prostration of recital." There is no tashahud or taslim with the sajdah. Naf'i relates that Ibn 'Umar said: "The Prophet would recite the Qur'an to us and when he came to an ''ayyah of sajdah,' he would make the takbir and go into sajdah and we would make the sajdah." This is related by Abu Dawud, al-Baihaqi, and al-Hakim. The later holds it to be sahih according to al-Bukhari's and Muslim's criteria. Abu Dawud says: "Abdurrazzaq said: 'At-Thauri was amazed by that hadith.' He was amazed by it because it mentions the takbir." 'Abdullah ibn Mas'ud said: "If you read an 'ayyah of sajdah', then make the takbir and prostrate. And when you raise your head, make the takbir."

Fiqh 2.41: Excellence of prostration during the Quranic recitation

Abu Hurairah narrates that the Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam said: "If a son of Adam recites an 'ayyah of prostration and prostrates, the Satan departs from him and cries: 'O woe, he was ordered to prostrate and he did, so for him is paradise. I was ordered to prostrate and I disobeyed, so for me is the Hell.'"

Fiqh 2.41 a: Ruling concerning prostration during the Quranic recitation

The majority of the scholars say that prostrations for the "'ayyat of sajdah" are sunnah for the one who recites the 'ayyah and for the one who hears it. This is based on what al-Bukhari recorded from 'Umar who recited an-Nahl upon the minbar one Friday, until he came to the "'ayyah of sajdah," and he descended from the pulpit and prostrated along with the people. On the next Friday, he recited the same and when he came to the 'ayyah of sajdah, he said: "O people, we have not been ordered to prostrate. Whoever does so has acted correctly, while, there is no sin upon one who does not do so." In another narration it is stated: "Allah has not forced upon us the sajdah but if one wishes to do so (he may make a prostration.)"

In addition, the group, except for Ibn Majah, records that Zaid ibn Thabit said: "I recited an-Najm to the Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam and he did not prostrate during it." Ad-Daraqutni records it and observes: "None of us prostrated during it."

Ibn Hajar al-Asqallani says that the strongest opinion is that he left it to show that it is permissible not to do it. Shaf'i holds a similar view. This opinion is supported by what is recorded by al-Bazzar and adDaraqutni from Abu Hurairah who says: "The Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam recited an-Najm and prostrated and we prostrated with him." (In Fath al-Bari, Ibn Hajar holds that its narrators are trustworthy.) Ibn Mas'ud moreover reported that the Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam recited anNajm and prostrated, and all of the people with him prostrated, save one old man from the Quraish who simply lifted some pebbles or dirt to his forehead and said: "That is sufficient for me." Ibn Mas'ud said: "After [some time] I found that he was killed while still an unbeliever." This is recorded by al-Bukhari and Muslim.

Fiqh 2.42: The "ayyah of prostration"

There are fifteen places in the Qur'an at which one is to prostrate. 'Amr ibn al-'Aas relates that the Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam recited fifteen 'ayyat of prostration in the Qur'an, three coming from the Mufassal and two from surah al-Hajj. This is related by Abu Dawud, Ibn Majah, al-Hakim, and ad-Daraqutni. Al-Munzhiri and an-Nawawi say it is hasan. The fifteen 'ayyat are:

1 "Lo! Those who are with thy Lord are not too proud to do Him service, but they praise Him and prostrate to Him" (al-A'raf 206).

2 "And unto Allah falls prostrate whoever is in the heavens and the earth, willingly or unwillingly, as do their shadows in the morning and the evening hours" (ar-Ra'd 15).

3 "And unto Allah does whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth of living creatures make prostration, and the angels (also) and they are not proud" (an-Nahl 49).

4 "Say: Believe therein or believe not, lo! Those who were given knowledge before it, when it is read unto them, they fall down prostrate on their faces, adoring" (al-lsra' 107).

5 "When the revelations of the Beneficent were recited unto them, they prostrated, adoring and weeping" (Maryam 58).

6 "Haven't you seen that unto Allah prostrates whoever is in the heavens and whoever is in the earth, and the sun, and the moon, and the stars, and the hills, and the trees, and the beasts, and many of mankind, while there are many unto whom the doom is justly due. He whom Allah scorns, there is none to give him honor. Lo! Allah does what he wills" (al-Hajj 18).

7 "O you who believe, bow down and prostrate yourselves, and worship your Lord and do good, that you may prosper" (al-Hajj 77).

8 "And when it is said unto them: 'Prostrate unto the Beneficent,' they say: 'And what is the Beneficent'? Are we to prostrate to whatever you bid us?' And it increases aversion in them" (al-Furqan 60).

9 "So they prostrate not to Allah! [He] who brings forth the hidden in the heavens and the earth. And He knows what you hide and what you proclaim" (an-Naml 25).

10 "Only those who believe in Our revelations who, when they are reminded of them, fall down prostrate and hymn the praise of their Lord and who are not scornful" (as-Sajdah 15).

11 "And David guessed that we had tried him, and he sought forgiveness of his Lord, and he bowed himself and fell down prostrate and repented" (Sad 24).

12 "And of His portents are the night and the day and the sun and the moon. Prostrate not to the sun or the moon, but prostrate unto Allah who created them, if it is Him you worship" (Ha-Mim 37).

13 "Rather prostrate before Allah and serve Him" (an-Najm 62).

14 "And, when the Qur'an is recited unto them, they do not prostrate (unto Allah)" (al-Inshiqaq 21).

15 "But prostrate yourself and draw near (unto Allah)" (al-'Alaq 19).

Fiqh 2.43: The conditions for Prostration of Recital

The majority of the scholars lay down the same conditions and prerequisites for the prostration of recital as they do for the salah, with respect to purity, facing the qiblah, and covering the 'aurah. Ash-Shaukani says: "There is no hadith concerning prostrations of recital which proves that to prostrate one must be in a state of purity [free from major or minor defilements]. The people who were with him [the Prophet] prostrated with him and he did not order any of them to perform ablution, and it is hard to believe that they all were in a state of purity. Furthermore, the polytheists prostrated with him and they are impure, and their ablution would not be acceptable. Al-Bukhari relates from Ibn 'Umar that he would prostrate even when not free of minor impurities. Ibn Abi Shaibah recorded the same from him. As for the report from al-Baihaqi, (with a chain that Ibn Hajar calls sahih), which says: 'A man is not to prostrate unless he is in a state of purity.' These reports can be reconciliated by Ibn Hajar's statement that this (either) refers to a major defilement or when an option is available, whereas in the first case it depends on (presence of defilement and) the need to wash. Similarly, there is no hadith which states that the clothes or place need to be pure. Concerning covering the 'aurah and facing the qiblah if possible, there is no disagreement.

Ibn Hajar said in Fath al-Bari: "No one agrees with Ibn 'Umar that one may make the sajdah without being clean of minor impurities, save ashSha'biy. Ibn Abi Shaibah related it from him with a sahih chain. He also recorded from Abu 'Abdurrahman as-Salmi that he would recite an 'ayyah of sajdah and then he would prostrate without ablution or facing the qiblah and while walking and just motioning only. Some among the Prophet's household agree with Ibn 'Umar.

Fiqh 2.44: Supplications during the prostration

Whoever makes this prostration may supplicate whatever he wishes. There is nothing authentic from the Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam on this point except for the hadith from 'Aishah who said: "When the Prophet made the sajdah of the Qur'anic recital, he would say: 'I have prostrated my face to the One Who created it and brought forth its hearing and seeing by His might and power. Blessed be Allah, the best of Creators.'" This is related by the five, except Ibn Majah, and al-Hakim. At-Tirmizhi and Ibn as-Sakan grade it sahih. The later however adds that at the end the Prophet would say, three times, what he always said in his sujjud: "Glory be to my Lord, the Most High," that is, if he was making the sujjud of recital during a prayer.

Fiqh 2.44 a: Prostration of recital during the prayers

It is allowed for the imam or the one praying individually to recite "'ayyah of sajdah" during the salah, even if the recital is audible (jahriyyah) or inaudible (siriyyah), and he should prostrate, during the salah, after reading such 'ayat. Al-Bukhari and Muslim record from Abu Raf'i who said: "I prayed salatul 'isha with Abu Hurairah and he recited Izhas-sama'u un-shaqqat [al-Inshiqaq] and he prostrated during the prayer. I asked: 'O Abu Hurairah, what prostration is this?' he said: 'I made a prostration when reciting (this surah) behind Abu al-Qasim (Prophet), and since then I never stopped making a sajdah whenever I recite it."' Al-Hakim relates, from Ibn 'Umar, with a sound chain that meets the criteria of al-Bukhari and Muslim, saying that the Prophet sallallahu alehi wassalam made a sajdah during the first rak'ah of the noon prayer and his companions were of the opinion that he had recited surah as-Sajdah.

An-Nawawi says: "It is not disliked for the imam to recite 'ayat of sajdah, according to our school, or for the one who prays individually. And it does not matter if the recital is audible or inaudible. And he should make sajdah after he recites them."

Malik holds: "In general it is disliked." Abu Hanifah's opinion is that: "It is disliked during the silent recitals but not during the audible recitals." The author of al-Bahr maintains: "According to our school, it is preferred to delay the sajdah until after he [the imam] makes the taslim in order not to confuse the people praying behind him."

Fiqh 2.45: Combining a number of sujjud

One may combine a number of sujjud and make only one sajdah if one recites an "'ayyah of sajdah" over and over, or one hears it being recited over and over, provided one delays the sajdah until all the recitals are finished. Some say that if one prostrates after the first recital, it will be sufficient. Others hold that one should prostrate again since the cause for the prostration is reintroduced.

Fiqh 2.45 a: Performing sajdah after recital

The majority of the scholars are of the opinion that the sajdah is to be performed right after the recital or hearing of the 'ayyah. Delaying such a sajdah does not rescind it. If an extended period of time lapses between recitation of an 'ayah and the actual sajdah, one need not do it, for it does not have to be made up for.

Fiqh 2.45 b: The Prostration of Thankfulness (Sajdat ush-Shukr)

The majority of the scholars say that it is preferred to make prostrations of thankfulness (shukr) when one receives a bounty or is rescued from some trial. Abu Bakr reports that, when the Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam received something which pleased him or some glad tidings, he would make the sajdah in thanks to Allah. This is related by Abu Dawud, Ibn Majah, and at-Tirmizhi who says it is hasan.

And al-Baihaqi records, with a chain that meets al-Bukhari's conditions, that when 'Ali wrote to the Messenger of Allah, informing him that Hamazhan had embraced Islam, the Prophet prostrated, and when he raised his head, he said: "Peace be upon Hamazhan, peace be upon Hamazhan."

'Abdurrahman ibn 'Auf relates that the Messenger of Allah went out once and he followed him until he entered a grove of palm trees and prostrated. His prostration was so long that 'Abdurrahman feared that Allah had taken his soul. 'Abdurrahman came to look at him and he raised his head and said: "What is wrong, Abdurrahman'?" Abdurrahman mentioned what had happened, and he said: "Gabriel alehi as-salam came to me and said: 'Shall I not give you glad tidings'? Allah says to you, Whoever prays upon you, I pray upon him. Whoever salutes you, I salute him.' Therefore, I prostrated to Allah in thanks." This is related by Ahmad and by AlHakim who says: "It is sahih according to the criterion of al-Bukhari and Muslim. And I do not know anything more authentic than that."

Al-Bukhari records that Ka'b ibn Malik made a sajdah when he received the news that Allah had accepted his repentance. Ahmad records that 'Ali performed the sajdah when he heard the news that Zhul-Thudayyah of the Khawarij was killed. Also, as mentioned before, Sa'id ibn Mansur recorded that Abu Bakr made sajdah in thankfulness when Musailimah was killed.

The prostration of thankfulness is bound by the same requirements as the prostration in prayer, while some disagree as it is not a prayer. The author of Fath al-'Alam remarks: "This latter opinion is closer to being correct." Ash-Shaukani said: "There is nothing in the hadith to prove that ablution and purity of the clothes and place are required for sajdat-ushshukr. And that is the opinion of Imam Yahya and Abu Talib. And these hadith are silent about any takbir being made with the prostration. In alBahr it is stated that there is a takbir. Imam Yahya says: 'One is not to make the prostration of thankfulness during a prayer as it is not part of the prayer.'"

Fiqh 2.46: Prostrations of forgetfulness during the prayer

It is confirmed that the Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam sometimes forgot something in the salah. It is also true that he said: "I am a human being and forget like you forget. If I forget, remind me." There are specific points concerning such prostrations and they are presented below.

Fiqh 2.46 a: How to perform these prostrations of forgetfulness

The "prostrations of forgetfulness" (sujjud us-sahu) are two prostrations which a person makes before the taslim. All of this has been confirmed from the Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam. In the sahih, it is recorded from Abu Sa'id al-Khudri that the Prophet said: "If one of you has some doubts during his salah and he does not recall (the number of rak'at) he has prayed, three or four, then he can put an end to his doubt by performing salah according to what he was certain of [the lesser amount] and then making two sujjud before the taslim." In the story of Zhul-Yadain, in the two Sahihs, we are told the Prophet sallallahu alehi wassalam made the prostrations after the taslim.

Ash-Shaukani says: "The best that is stated on this subject is that one must follow what the Prophet said or did, respecting the sujjud before or after the taslim. If one does something that necessitates sujjud before the taslim, one should make them before the taslim, and if one does something requiring sujjud after the taslim, then one should make them after the taslim. As for those acts of forgetfulness that are not related to any specific time either before or after the taslim, one may choose to make the prostrations before or after the taslim in cases of addition or reduction in the salah. This is based on what Muslim recorded in his Sahih from Ibn Mas'ud that the Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam said: 'If one adds or decreases something from his salah, he should make two sujjud."'

Fiqh 2.47: When to perform these prostrations of forgetfulness

The "sujjud us-sahu" are to be performed in the following circumstances:

1 If a person makes the taslim before he actually completes the prayers. Ibn Sireen relates from Abu Hurairah who said: "The Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam prayed either zuhr or 'asr salah with us and he prayed only two rak'at and made the taslim. He got up and leaned against a piece of wood in the mosque as if he was angry. He put his right hand on his left and interlocked his fingers. Then, he placed his cheek on the back of his left hand. And some people left the mosque in a hurry. And they said: 'The prayer has been shortened?' Among the people were Abu Bakr and 'Umar, and they were shy to speak to him. One of the people, who was called Zhul-Yadain, said: 'O Messenger of Allah have you forgotten or has the prayer been shortened?' He answered: 'I have not forgotten and it has not been shortened.' Then he asked: 'Is it as Zhul-Yadain has said?' The people answered in the affirmative...At that, he led the people in what he had ommitted and made the taslim. After which he made the takbir and prostrated the way he usually prostrated or perhaps even longer. Next, he raised his head and made the takbir. Then, he made the takbir [again] and prostrated, like one of his customary sujjud or perhaps even longer, and finally, he raised his head." This is related by al-Bukhari and Muslim.

'Ata' relates that Ibn az-Zubair prayed maghrib and made the taslim after two rak'at and then he stood up and wanted to kiss the black stone, when the people tried to correct him he said: "What is the matter with you?" Then he prayed what he had left out and performed two sujjud. When this was mentioned to Ibn 'Abbas, he said that it was not far from the sunnah of the Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam. This is related by Ahmad, al-Bazzar, and at-Tabarani.

2 In the case of an addition to the prayer. Ibn Mas'ud narrates that the Prophet prayed five rak'at and the people asked him: "Has there been an addition to the prayer?" He asked: "Why do you say that?" They replied: "You prayed five rak'at" Then he made two sujJud after he had made the taslim. This is related by the group. This hadith proves that the prayer of one who prays five rak'at out of forgetfulness, without sitting during the fourth rak'ah, is acceptable.

3 In the case of forgetting the first tashahud or one of the other sunnah acts of the prayer. Ibn Buhainah narrates that the Prophet stood after two rak'at. The people tried to correct him but he continued. When he finished his salah, he made two sujjud and made the taslim. This is related by the group.' This hadith shows that one who forgets the first sitting but is reminded of it and he recalls it before he completely stands should return and sit, but if he is already completely standing, he should not sit down. This is supported by what Ahmad, Abu Dawud, and Ibn Majah recorded from al-Mughirah ibn Shu'bah, that the Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam said: "If one of you stands after two rak'at and he has not completely stood, then he should sit. If he is already completely standing, he should not sit and he should make two sujjud of forgetfulness."

4 In the case of doubt over whether or not one performed some act of the prayer. 'Abdurrahman ibn 'Auf reported that he heard the Prophet say: "If one of you has some doubt during his salah and he does not know if he prayed one rak'ah or two, he should take it to have been just one. If he does not know if he prayed two rak'at or three, he should take it to have been just two. If he does not know if he prayed three rak'at or four, he should take it to have been just three. [In all such cases] at the end of his prayer, while sitting, he should make two sujjud before the taslim." This is related by Ahmad, Ibn Majah, and at-Tirmizhi. The latter grades it sahih.

In one narration, it is stated: "Whoever prays and has some doubt that he was short of the complete prayer, he should continue praying until he suspects that he has added something to the prayer [with respect to the number of rak'at that he has prayed]." Abu Sa'id al-Khudri narrated that the Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam said: "If one of you has some doubts during his prayer and does not know if he prayed three or four [rak'at], then he should remove his doubt by praying according to the amount that he is certain he had performed and then make two sujjud before the taslim. If he had prayed five rak'at, the two sujjud would make it even. If he had prayed a complete four rak'at [when he had finished], they would be in defiance of the Satan." This is related by Ahmad and Muslim. These two ahadith prove what the majority of the scholars have said, namely, if one has some doubt concerning the number of rak'at one has prayed, one should act according to the amount that one is certain to have prayed (the lesser amount) and then make two sujjud before the taslim.

Fiqh 2.49: Congregational Prayer

Performing the prayers in congregation is a sunnah mu'akkadah. Many ahadith discuss the superiority and excellence of prayers in congregation. Such ahadith include the following:

Ibn 'Umar reports that the Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam said: "Prayer in congregation is superior to a prayer performed individually by twenty-seven degrees." This is related by al-Bukhari and Muslim.

Abu Hurairah reports that the Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam said: "The prayer of a man in congregation is twenty-five times more superior (in reward) to his prayer in his house or market - and this is because he makes the wudu' and perfects it and goes to the mosque with the sole purpose of performing the salah. He does not take a step without being raised a degree and having one of his sins erased. When he prays, as long as he does not lose his wudu, the angels keep on praying [for him] 'O Allah, bless him. O Allah, have mercy on him.' And he is considered in salah as long as he is waiting for the salah." This is related by al-Bukhari and Muslim, and it is presented in al-Bukhari's wording.

Abu Hurairah also reports that a blind man said to the Prophet: "O Messenger of Allah, I have no guide to guide me to the mosque." He asked the Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam for permission to pray in his house and the Prophet gave it to him. Then, when he turned to go, the Prophet called him and said: "Do you hear the call to prayer?" The blind man said "yes." The Prophet then said: "Then respond to it!" [by coming to the mosque.] This is related by Muslim.

Abu Hurairah also reports that the Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam said: "By Him in whose hand is my soul! I have considered ordering a fire to be kindled and then ask someone to lead the people in salah. And then go to the men [who did not attend the prayer] and burn their houses over them." This is related by al-Bukhari and Muslim.

'Abdullah ibn Mas'ud says: "If anyone would like to meet Allah tomorrow as a Muslim, he should persevere in abserving these five prayers whenever the call for them is made, for Allah has chosen for your Prophet the way of right guidance. And the [five prayers in congregation] are part of this right guidance. If you were to pray them in your houses, as this man who stays behind in his house, you would be leaving a sunnah of your Prophet. If you leave the sunnah of your Prophet, you would go astray. Verily, I have seen a time when no one stayed away from them [the congregational prayers] except for the hypocrites who were well known for their hypocrisy. A man would be brought, supported by two people [due to his weakness] until he was placed in a row." This is related by Muslim.

Abu ad-Darda' reports that the Messenger of Allah sallallahu alehi wasallam said: "If there are three men in a village or desert and salah is not established among them, then the Satan takes mastery over them. So be with the congregation since the wolf devours the remote (stray) sheep." This is related by Abu Dawud with a hasan chain.

Fiqh 2.50: Women and congregational prayers

It is better for women to pray in their houses than to attend congregational prayers. However, they may go to the mosque and attend the congregational prayer if they avoid wearing or using any attractive or tempting adornment or perfume.

Ibn 'Umar reports that the Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam said: "Do not prevent the women from going to the mosques, although their houses are better for them." Abu Hurairah relates that the Prophet said: "Do not keep the slave girls of Allah from the mosques of Allah. And they are to go out unperfumed." These two ahadith were related by Ahmad and Abu Dawud. Abu Hurairah also reports that the Prophet said: "Any woman who uses some scent should not be present with us during the night prayer." This is related by Muslim, Abu Dawud, and an-Nasa'i with a hasan chain.

As stated earlier, it is better for women to pray in their houses. Ahmad and at-Tabarani record that Umm Humaid as-Sa'diyah came to the Messenger of Allah and said: "O Messenger of Allah, I love to pray with you." The Prophet said: "I am aware of that, but your salah in your residence is better for you than your salah in your people's mosque. And your salah in your people's mosque is better than your salah in the [larger] congregational Mosque."

Fiqh 2.51: Praying at a larger and more distant mosque

It is preferable to pray in a mosque that is farther away and that has a larger congregation.

Muslim records from Abu Musa that the Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam said: "The one who gets the greatest reward for a prayer is the one who walks the farthest distance." Muslim also records that Jabir said: "The area around the mosque became vacant and the tribe of Salamah wanted to move there. When this news reached the Messenger of Allah, he said: 'It has reached me that you want to move closer to the mosque?' They said: 'Yes, O Messenger of Allah, we desire that.' The Prophet said: 'O tribe of Salamah, your dwellings will record your steps.'" Al-Bukhari, Muslim, and others have recorded this on the authority of Abu Hurairah.

Ubayy ibn Ka'b reported that the Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam said: "The salah of a man with another man is purer than the salah of a man by himself. [In the same way,] his salah with two men is purer than his salah with only one man, and what is more, it is most dear to Allah." This is related by Ahmad, Abu Dawud, an-Nasa'i, Ibn Majah and Ibn Hibban. Ibn as-Sakin, al-'Uqaily and al-Hakim classify it as sahih.

Fiqh 2.51 a: Going to the mosque with calm and dignity

It is preferred for one to walk to the mosque with calm and dignity and not in a hurry or rushing. This is because the person is considered to be in prayer when he is going to the salah (and also while he is waiting for it). Abu Qatadah says: "We were praying with the Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam when we heard the clamoring of some men. When they had prayed, the Prophet inquired: 'What was the matter with you?' They answered: 'We were hurrying for the salah.' He said: 'Do not do that...when you come to the salah come in peace and calm, and pray what you can with congregation and complete what you have missed.'" This is related by al-Bukhari and Muslim.

Abu Hurairah narrates that the Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam said: "When you hear the iqamah, proceed to the prayer with calm and dignity and do not rush. Pray what you can (with congregation) and complete what you miss." This is related by the group except for at-Tirmizhi.

Fiqh 2.51 b: The imam should be "easy" on his followers

Abu Hurairah reports that the Prophet said: "If one of you leads the people in prayer, he should be "easy," on them for among the people are the weak, sick, and aged. If one prays by himself, one may make it as long as one wishes." This is related by the group. It is narrated from Anas that the Prophet sallallahu alehi wassalam said: "Sometimes I enter prayer and I intend to prolong it, but then I hear a child crying, and I shorten my prayer thinking of the distress of the child's mother."

Al-Bukhari and Muslim record that Anas said: "I have not prayed behind anyone who prayed a lighter salah or a more complete prayer than that of the Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam." Abu 'Umar ibn Abdul Barr said: The scholars agree that it is preferable for an imam to make the prayer light while preserving the minimum without which salah is incomplete and without leaving off any part of the salah or shortening part of it [not performing it properly]. The Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam prohibited the pecking like a crow. Once he saw a man who did not complete his ruku' and he told him: 'Go back and pray for you have not prayed.' And he said: 'Allah does not look to one who does not straighten his back during ruku' and sujjud.' I do not know of any difference of opinion among the scholars concerning the fact that it is preferred for an imam to be 'easy' on his followers while making the prayer properly. It is related that 'Umar said: 'Do not make people dislike Allah, by making the salah so long that it should become hard on those praying behind you."'

Fiqh 2.52: The imam may prolong the first rak'ah to allow others to join

It is permitted for the imam to prolong the first rak'ah while waiting for others to join the congregation. In the same way, it is preferred for him to wait for people who are coming during the bowings and during the final sitting.

Abu Qatadah reports that the Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam would prolong the first rak'ah and the people suspected that he did it to allow the late-comers to join the first rak'ah. Abu Sa'id says: "If the (congregational) salah was begun, one could go to al-Baqi', relieve himself, make wudu', and return and find the Prophet still in the first rak'ah for he would prolong it (first rak'ah)." This is related by Ahmad, Muslim, Ibn Majah, and an-Nasa'i.

Fiqh 2.52 a: It is obligatory to follow the imam and forbidden to precede him

Abu Hurairah reports that the Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam said: "The imam is selected to be followed; therefore, do not differ with him. When he makes the takbir, make the takbir, when he goes into ruku', make ruku'. When he says 'Allah hears him who praises Him,' say 'O Allah, our Lord, to You belongs the Praise.' When he goes into sajdah, make sajdah. If he prays sitting, then all should be sitting." This is related by the group. In the version by Ahmad and Abu Dawud, the wording is "the imam is to be followed. If he makes the takbir, make the takbir, and do not make the takbir until he does so. When he goes into ruku', make ruku', and do not perform ruku' until he does so. When he goes into sajdah, make sajdah, and do not make sajdah until he does so."

Abu Hurairah reports that the Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam said: "Do you not fear that if you raise your head before the imam Allah may change your head into that of a donkey!" This is related by the group.

Anas reports that the Messenger of Allah sallallahu alehi wasallam said: "O people, I am your imam, so do not precede me in ruku' or in sujjud or in qiyam or in sitting or in finishing." This is related by Ahmad and Muslim .

Al-Bara' ibn 'Azib says: "We prayed with the Messenger of Allah and when he said 'Allah hears him who praises Him,' none of us would bend his back until the Messenger of Allah had put his forehead upon the ground." This is related by the group.

Fiqh 2.53: Consitution of a congregation

One person with the imam would constitute a congregation even if the other person is a child or a woman.

Ibn 'Abbas says: "I stayed with my Aunt Maimunah and the Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam got up to pray during the night. I got up to pray with him and stood on his left and the Prophet took me by my hand and put me on his right side."

Sa'id and Abu Hurairah both report that the Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam said: "Whoever gets up during the night and wakes up his spouse and they pray two rak'at together, they both will be recorded among those (men and women) who remember Allah much." This is related by Abu Dawud . Abu Sa' id narrates that a man entered the Mosque, and the Prophet and his companions had already prayed. The Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam said: "Who will give charity to him by praying with him?" So, a man from the people stood and prayed with him. This is related by Ahmad, Abu Dawud, and at-Tirmizhi who calls it hasan. Ibn Abi Shaibah relates that it was Abu Bakr who stood and prayed with the man. At-Tirmizhi uses this hadith as proof that a group can pray in congregation in a mosque in which the congregational prayer had already been made. He says that this is the opinion of Ahmad and Ishaq. Other scholars say that they should each pray individually and this is the opinion of Sufyan, Malik, Ibn al-Mubarak and ash-Shaf'i.

Fiqh 2.54: An imam may change his place and become a follower

If the regular imam or appointed imam is not present, it is permissible to appoint someone else to perform the duty of imam. If the regular imam appears during the prayers, the substitute imam may move back to the rows and allow the regular imam to take over. Al-Bukhari and Muslim record that Sahl ibn Sa'd said: "The Messenger of Allah sallallahu alehi wasallam went off to take care of the affairs of the tribe of 'Amr ibn 'Auf. The time for salah came and the mu'azhzhin went to Abu Bakr and said: 'Will you lead the people in salah and I shall make the iqamah?' Abu Bakr agreed. [While he was] leading the prayer, the Messenger of Allah appeared and joined the rows. The people clapped [their thighs with their hands] but Abu Bakr would not turn around during the prayer. When most of the people began clapping, he turned and saw the Prophet...[who] pointed to Abu Bakr to stay in his place. Abu Bakr raised his hands and praised Allah because of what the Prophet had told him. Then, Abu Bakr moved back until he joined the rows and the Prophet stepped forward [to lead]. After he had prayed, he went to Abu Bakr and said: O Abu Bakr, what prevented you from staying there when I told you to do so?' Abu Bakr said: 'It is not fit for the son of Abu Quhafah to lead the Prophet in prayer.' Then the Messenger of Allah said: 'Why did I see most of you clapping? If you find something in the prayer you should say subhanallah, for when you say it, it will attract his (i.e. imam's) attention and clapping [thighs with hands] is for the women.'"

Fiqh 2.54 a: Catching up with imam or the congregation

Whoever joins a congregation, he should perform the opening takbir while standing and then move directly to the act that the congregation may be performing, for instance, if the congregation is prostrating one should perform the opening takbir and then join it in the prostration. However, such a person is not considered as having performed the rak'ah unless he performs the ruku' (bowing), even if he just bows and puts his hands on his knees, when the imam is finishing his ruku'.

Abu Hurairah reports that the Messenger of Allah sallallahu alehi wasallam said: "If you come to the salah and we are in sajdah, then make sajdah with us but do not count it [as a rak'ah]. And whoever 'catches' the ruku', he catches the salah." This is related by Abu Dawud, Ibn Khuzaimah in his Sahih, and by al-Hakim, who considers it sahih, in his Al-Mustadrak.

Fiqh 2.55: When it is permissible to not attend Congregation

Ibn 'Umar narrated that the Prophet ordered the mu'azhzhin to say: "Pray in your places," on a cold, stormy night during a journey. This is related by alBukhari and Muslim.

Jabir said: "We went on a journey with the Prophet and it rained upon us, so he said: 'Whoever wishes may pray in his stopping place.'" This is related by Ahmad, Muslim, Abu Dawud, and at-Tirmizhi.

Ibn 'Abbas said to the mu'azhzhin, on a rainy day: "When you say 'I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah,' do not say 'Come to the prayer,' but instead say 'Pray in your houses."' The people didn't seem to like it, so he asked: "Are you surprised by that? One better than me did it [the Prophet]. The congregational prayer is a strict order but I hated that you should go out and walk in the mud and on slippery ground." This is related by al-Bukhari and Muslim. According to Muslim's version, this occurred on a Friday.

What applies in case of cold would also apply in cases of extreme heat, darkness, and fear of an oppressor. Ibn Batal writes: "The scholars are agreed on the permissibility of not attending the congregation due to heavy rain, darkness, wind, and so on."

Ibn 'Umar reports that the Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam said: "If the food is presented to one of you, do not rush but fulfill your need of it even if the salah has begun." This is related by al-Bukhari.

'Aishah narrates that she heard the Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam say: "There is no prayer when the meal is presented nor when one needs to answer the call of nature." This is related by Ahmad, Muslim, and Abu Dawud.

Abu ad-Darda' says: "It is a sign of the understanding of a person that he fulfills his needs first in order to make his prayer with a clear mind." This is related by al-Bukhari.

Fiqh 2.56: The one who should be imam is the one who is the most versed in the Qur'an

If two or more are equal in this, then it is the one who has the most knowledge of the sunnah. If they are equal in that, then it is the one who performed the migration first. If they are equal in that, then it should be the eldest.

Abu Sa'id narrates that the Prophet said: "If you are three in number, then one of you should be the imam. And the one who has the most right to it is the one who is the most versed in the Qur'an." This is related by Ahmad, Muslim, and an-Nasa'i. The meaning of "most versed in the Qur'an" is the one who has more of the Qur'an memorized. This interpretation is based on the hadith from Amr ibn Salamah which says: "Your imam should be the one who is most versed in the Qur'an."

Ibn Mas'ud reports that the Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam said: "The imam of a people should be the one who is the most versed in the Book of Allah. If they are equal in their recital, then the one who is most knowledgeable of the sunnah. If they are equal in the sunnah, then [it is] the one who migrated first. If they are equal in that, then [it is] the eldest. And no man should be an imam for another man if the other holds authority [i.e., a leader in any capacity or ruler of the Muslim people]. And one should not occupy his place of honor in his house without his permission." In another narration it is stated: "No man should be the imam for another while with the other's family or where the other is in authority." This is related by Ahmad and Muslim.

As stated earlier, it is better for women to pray in their houses. Ahmad and at-Tabarani record that Umm Humaid as-Sa'diyah came to the Messenger of Allah and said: "O Messenger of Allah, I love to pray with you." The Prophet said: "I am aware of that, but your salah in your residence is better for you than your salah in your people's mosque. And your salah in your people's mosque is better than your salah in the [larger] congregational Mosque."

Sa'id ibn Mansur says: "A person should not be an imam for another where the other is in authority except with his permission." The meaning of this is that the one in authority, owner of a house, leader of a meeting, and so on, has more right than others to be the imam if he has not granted the permission to any of the others. Abu Hurairah reports that the Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam said: "It is not allowed for a man who believes in Allah and the last day to be an imam for a people, except with their permission, nor may he specifically make supplications for himself without including them. If he does so, he is disloyal to them." This is related by Abu Dawud.

Fiqh 2.56 a: Whose imamate is acceptable

The imamate of all the following is acceptable: a discerning boy, a blind person, a standing person for those who are sitting, a sitting person for those who are standing, a person praying fard for people who are praying nafl, a person praying nafl for people who are praying fard. Likewise, a person who has performed ablution can be imam for people who have performed tayammum, as can be a person who has performed tayammum for people who have performed ablution, a traveler for the resident, a resident for the travelers, and a less qualified person for people who are more qualified.

'Amr ibn Salamah led his people in salah while he was six or seven years old. The Messenger of Allah sallallahu alehi wasallam twice appointed Ibn Umm Maktum, a blind man, to lead the people of Medinah in prayer. The Messenger of Allah, during his last illness, prayed behind Abu Bakr in a sitting position. And he prayed in his house in a sitting position while those behind him were standing. He pointed to them to sit and when he had finished the prayer he said: "The imam has been appointed to be followed. If he goes into ruku', then make ruku'. When he raises his head, raise your head. If he prays sitting, then pray sitting behind him."

Mu'azh would pray 'isha with the Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam and then return to his people and lead them in the same prayer, it being nafl for him and fard for the others.

Muhjan ibn al-Adra' reports: "I came to the Messenger of Allah in the mosque and they prayed and I did not. He said to me: 'Why didn't you pray?' I said: 'O Messenger of Allah, I prayed in my place and then came here.' He then said: 'When you come [to the mosque], pray with them and make it supererogatory."'

The Messenger of Allah saw a man praying by himself and said: "Who will give charity to this person by praying with him?" 'Amr ibn al-'Aas led others in prayer when he had made tayammum only and the Prophet approved of it.

The Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam, after the conquest of Makkah, led the people in prayer by praying two rak'at (except for maghrib) and said: "O people of Makkah, stand and pray the last two rak'at as we are travelers."

If a traveler prays behind a resident, he must complete the whole four rak'at even if he only prayed part of a rak'ah behind the resident imam. Ibn 'Abbas was asked: "Why is the traveler to pray two rak'at if he prays by himself and four rak'at if he prays behind a resident?" He answered: "That is the sunnah." In another version, Musa ibn Salamah said to him: "If we pray with you, we pray four rak'at otherwise we pray two?" He told him: "That is the sunnah of Abu al-Qasim [the Prophet]." This is related by Ahmad.

Fiqh 2.57: Whose imamate is not acceptable

It is not allowed for one who has a health problem which does not allow him to remain in a state of purity to be an imam for others who do not have such a problem. This is the opinion of the majority of the scholars. According to the Maliki school, such a person's imamate will be valid, but it is disliked to make such a person the imam.

Fiqh 2.58: It is preferred to have a woman imam for women

'Aishah used to lead the women in salah and stand with the women in the middle of the first row. Umm Salamah would also do so. The Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam appointed Waraqah to go and make the azhan for her while he instructed her to lead the women of her household in the obligatory prayers.

Fiqh 2.58 a: A man leading a group of women in prayer

Abu Ya' la and at-Tabarani, in al-Ausat, record, with a hasan chain, that Ubayy ibn Ka'b came to the Messenger of Allah and said: "O Messenger of Allah, I did something last night." The Prophet asked: "What was that?" He said: "The women in my house said, 'You recite and we do not recite so lead us in salah. ' So I prayed eight rak'atand witr (with them)." The Prophet remained silent, and Ka'b said: "We took his silence as a sign of his approval."

Fiqh 2.58 b: Evildoer or innovator forbidden to lead prayer

Al-Bukhari records that Ibn 'Umar prayed behind al-Hajjaj. Muslim records that Abu Sa'id al-Khudri prayed salatul 'id behind Marwan.

Ibn Mas'ud once prayed four rak'at of fajr, behind al-Walid ibn 'Uqbah ibn Abu Ma'it who used to drink wine, and 'Uthman ibn 'Affan had him flogged. The companions and their successors prayed behind Ibn 'Ubaid who was accused of propagating heresies. According to the scholars, anyone whose prayer is valid on an individual basis, his imamate is also valid for others. However, they dislike to pray behind an evildoer or innovator.

As-Sa'ib ibn Khilad relates that a man was leading the people in salah and he spat in the direction of the qiblah. The Messenger of Allah saw this and said: "Do not let him lead you in salah." After this, the man wanted to lead the people in salah but they prevented him and told him what the Prophet had said. The man went to the Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam, to ask him about that, and the Prophet said: "Yes, [it is true] for you have offended Allah and His Messenger." This is related by Abu Dawud and Ibn Hibban. Abu Dawud and al-Munzhiri are silent about it.

Fiqh 2.58 c: Permission to leave the congregational prayer

If the imam makes the salah too long, it is permissible, under certain circumstances, to leave the salah with the intention of performing it individually. The following are examples of when this may be done: becoming ill, fearing that one's wealth may be lost or destroyed, missing one's companions or traveling group, being overcome by sleep, and so on. This is based on the following hadith related by Jabir: "Mu'azh would pray 'isha with the Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam, and then go and lead his people in salah. One night, the Prophet delayed salatul 'isha and Mu'azh prayed with him and then went to his people and led them in the night prayer by reciting alBaqarah. One man left the salah and prayed by himself. The people said to him: 'O so and so, you have become a hypocrite.' He said: 'I have not become a hypocrite but I shall surely go to the Prophet and inform him of what has happened.' He told the Prophet what had happened and the Prophet said to Mu'azh: 'You put people to trials, Mu'azh! You put people to trials, Mu'azh. Recite such and such surah.'" This is related by the group.

Fiqh 2.59: Repeating a salah with a congregation

Yazid al-Aswad says: "We prayed dawn prayer (fajr) with the Messenger of Allah at Mina and two men came and stopped at their resting places. The prophet ordered for them to be brought and they came shaking with fear. The Prophet said to them: 'What prevented you from praying with the people? ...Are you two not Muslims?' They answered: 'Certainly we are, O Messenger of Allah, but we had prayed in our resting place.' The Prophet told them: 'If you pray in your resting places and then come upon an imam, pray with him, and it will be nafl for you.'" This is related by Ahmad and Abu Dawud. An-Nasa'i and at-Tirmizhi record it in these words: "lf you pray in your resting places and then you come to a mosque with a congregation, pray with them, and it will be nafl for you." At-Tirmizhi calls it hasan sahih and Ibn as-Sakin says it is sahih.

This hadith shows that it is correct for one to repeat a salah as a nafl with a congregation even if he has already performed it, individually or with a congregation.

It is related that Huzhaifah repeated the zuhr, 'asr, and maghrih prayers although he had prayed them in congregation. It is also related that Anas prayed fajr behind Abu Musa at the place where fruits are dried and then he went to the congregational mosque and repeated the salah behind alMughirah ibn Shu'bah. Nevertheless, this action contradicts authentic hadith of the Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam in which he reportedly said: "Do not pray the same salah twice in one day." The apparent conflict has been resolved by Ibn 'Abdul-Barr who writes, "Ahmad and Ishaq agree that this refers to praying an obligatory salah and then, after a while, repeating it as the obligatory prayer. Now, as for the one who repeats the salah with a congregation with the intention that the second prayer is not a repeat of the obligatory salah but that it is simply a voluntary prayer, he obeys the Prophet's order of not making the same salah twice, as the first salah was obligatory and the second was nafl; hence, there is no repetition."