Lesson 20 : Ghusle - Jum'uah

Islam is a religion that gives much importance to both physical cleanliness and spiritual purity. Muslims are advised to always wear clean clothes. Washing ones hands before and after every meal and brushing ones teeth after every meal are also acts that are greatly recommended.

A Muslim must take a bath everyday, so as to remain fresh and clean. It is commonly said that "CLEANLINESS IS NEXT TO GODLINESS". How true! If we think about it, we will appreciate the fact that it is only through the physical, mental and spiritual purity that we can attain nearness to Allah (S.W.T.).

In Islam, the word Ghusl means 'the washing of one's body in a manner that is defined.' This is considered as one form of Ebadah (Worship) in Islam. In some cases Ghusl becomes obligatory and is supposed to be performed in a specific way as prescribed by the Islamic law. At other times Ghusl is Mustahab.

This means that it is highly recommended and given much reward but is not mandatory.Amongst these Mustahab Ghusl, one of the most highly recommended is Ghusle-Jum'uah (Friday Bath).

According to our sixth Holy Imam, Al-Sadiq (a.s.), "It is highly recommended to participate in the Friday prayers, wearing one's best, clean and perfumed clothes."

The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.w.) advised Imam Ali (a.s.) as follows:

"One should never miss the opportunity of performing Ghusle-Jum'uah, even if one has to spend away hi money for food to buy the water for performing the Ghusl because Ghusle-Jum'uah is one of the exalted and the best recommended acts of worship in Islam."

PERFORMING GHUSLE-JUM'UAH

First and foremost, you must wash and remove all the dirt and impurities from your body with soap and water. Then, perform the Ghusl in the following manner:

  1. First make a Niyyah that you are performing Ghusle-Jum'aah to seek the pleasure and happiness of Allah (S.W.T.).

  2. After that, run water over your head and neck with water, so that all the parts are washed - back and front.

  3. Next wash the right side of your body beginning from the neck downwards including shoulders, arms, hands and the lower body down to the soles of your feet. Leave no part of your body dry or unwashed.

  4. Finally, wash the left side of your body, in the same manner as the right. Remember, no part of your body should be left unwashed.

SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT…

  1. When performing Ghusl, one must ensure that no parts are left dry and the whole body is washed thoroughly. However, it is not necessary to run water inside the ears or eyes!

  2. Sometimes it happens that while washing one part of the body, water may run onto parts that have already been washed e.g. when washing the left side, water will run onto the already washed right side. There is no problem in that matter.

  3. While performing Ghusl, it is only necessary that the three major steps be followed. However, within the steps it is not necessary that the Ghusl be performed from the top of the body to the bottom (neck to legs), one can wash the body in any manner as long as water reaches all parts of the body required.

  4. All the Ghusl have the same sequence, it is only the niyyah that changes.

  5. The water used for Ghusl must be Mubah (Pure) and should not be Ghasbi (unlawfully acquired). If it is not so, then the Ghusl will automatically become null and void.

Think and Answer

  1. How should one perform Ghusle-Jum'uah?
  2. What did the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.w.) recommend to Imam Ali (a.s.) concerning this Ghusl?
  3. How should one prepare to attend Salatul Jum'uah? Quote any hadith you know of regarding your answers.

LESSON 21 : HOW SHOULD WE PRAY?

Salaat (Prayer) is one of the most profound acts of worship. It is the strongest pillar of Islam and the best of all acts of worship. In order to gain closeness to Allah (S.W.T.), one of the pre-requisites is that one must have a pure heart so as to be able beseech Him in prayer and open one's heart to Him sincerely.

The Holy Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.w.) advised all Muslims, "Praying is like getting rid of all the dirt and becoming clean and pure. For every prayer, one has to cleanse oneself with water to be able to pray. If a person purifies himself five times in a day, is it possible for him to remain dirty and impure?"

It is obligatory for every Muslim to pray five times a day, in this regard, the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.w.) has stressed: "ONE WHO IS NIGGARDLY OF PRAYERS, WILL BE AWAY FROM ME (on the Day of Judgement)."

The practical actions and Adaab (etiquettes) of prayer are very important and we must be careful to perform them properly. Before we describe the details of these adaab, we must know that all the acts must be performed step by step, one after the other. This is called Tartib.

METHOD OF PRAYER

(We will use the four-rakaat (unit) Dhohr prayers for our example.) 1. Face the Qiblah and recite Niyyat with absolute concentration. Remind yourself that you are of the fact that you are standing before the Almighty Lord and entering into a communication with Him. Your niyyat should be as follows:

"I am performing 4 rakaat Salaat of Dhohr for seeking the pleasure of and nearness to Allah (S.W.T.)."

  1. After the intention, recite "Allaho Akbar" and simultaneously raise your hands, palms forward, and thumbs touching your ears. This is called Takbiratul - Ehraam.

  2. You are now in the state of Qiyam. Here, recite Sura Fateha and any other small Sura e.g. Sura Ikhlaas.

  3. When you have completed Qiyam by reciting the two Surahs, then bend down for Ruku. Make sure that your hands reach the knees and recite the following dhikr:

"Subhaanaa Rabbi al-Adhimi wa Bihamdihi" "Samii- Allahu Liman Hamidaah" 5. Stand up from Ruku and say:

  1. Now prepare to go into Sajdah. This is an important part of prayer because a person places his forehead on the earth with an intention of showing humility before the Almighty. While performing Sajdah during prayers, it is obligatory that both the palms and the knees, and both the big toes are touching the ground. The Shiites use Khaake Shafaa (Earth from of Karbala) or any other sand from Holy places on which to place their foreheads.

During the Sajdah recite:

"Subhaana Rabbi Al-Aa'laa Wa Bi Hamdihi."

"Astaghfirullaha Rabbi wa Atoobu Ilay" 7. After the first sajdah, sit up with your legs folded under you and recite:

  1. Go down into the second Sajdah and recite the same dhikr as in the first one. After the completion of both sajdah, stand up smoothly for the second rakaat while reciting:

"Bihawlilaahi Wa Quwwatihi Aquumu Wa Aq'uud"

  1. The Qiyam of the second rakaat is identical to the first one except that after the second surah, you must raise your hands in du'a and recite the Qunut. Any du'a may be recited but the most common one is:

"Rabbanna Aatinaa Fi-Dunya Hassanatanw Wa Fil Akherati Hassanatanw Wa Qinaa Adhabun-Naar."

  1. Continue the rakaat in the same manner as the first one until you finish the second sajdah. This time instead of standing up straight away, sit (as between the sajdah) and recite Tashahud in the following manner:

"Alhamdu Lilaah, Ashhadu An Laa Illaha Illa Allahu Wahdahu Laa Sharika Lahu wa Ashhadu Anna Muhammadan Abduhu wa Rasuluhu Allahumma Swalli Alaa Muhammadin Wa Ali Muhammad."

After Tashahud, recite the same dhikr as before while standing up for the third rakaat.

  1. In the third rakaat, in place of the two surahs recite Tasbihaate Arba'a, which is the recitation of the following statement three times: "Subhaana Lahii Wal Hamdu Lilaahi Wa Laa Illaha Illa Lahu Wallahu Akbar"

  2. Complete the third rakaat in the same manner as the first one, standing up for the fourth rakaat immediately after the two sajdah.

  3. The fourth rakaat is identical to the third rakaat until the point at which you complete the two sajdah. After that sit up and recite Tashahud as in the second rakaat and after that begin your Salaam reciting:

"Assalamu Alaika Ayyuhan Nabbiyu Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuhu, Assalamu Alaina Wa A'la Ibaadilaahi- Saalihin Assalamun Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuhu" With the finishing of Salaam, your salaat is completed.

DIFFERENCES IN THE WAJIB SALAAT

Fajr consists of two rakaats, prayed as the first two of Dhohr except that the Salaam is recited after the Tashahud of the second rakaat. The Salaat of Asr and Isha are just like that of Dhohr except that their niyyat is different.

Maghrib has three rakaats. The three rakaats are same as those of Dhohr prayers but after the two sajdah in the third rakaat, sit up and recite Tashahud and Salaam to complete the prayer.

THE TIMINGS OF PRAYERS

The time for Fajr commences from the first appearance of whiteness in the morning till the rising of the sun.

Salaatul-Dhohr and Asr start from Dhohr (mid-day) till the dusk. Maghrib and Isha start from the beginning of dusk (sunset) till midnight.

Think and Answer

  1. Between what times do we pray Fajr prayers?
  2. From what time to what time do we pray Dhohr and Asr prayers?
  3. When do we perform the Maghrib and Isha prayers?