Q 70: Why Pray One Salah Soon After the Other?

The Muslims have to pray five times a day. But it has been conventional in the Shi'a world to pray 3 times a day, i.e., in the morning, afternoon (Zuhr + Asr); and at night (Maghrib & Isha) Why is this so?

A. It is better (and it earns more thawab) to say the five prayers separately; but it is also allowed to pray 'Asr soon after Zuhr and 'Isha soon after Maghrib. The Shi'as generally takes advantage of this permission,

Q71: PRAYER OF A MAN WHO ATE "NAJIS" FOOD

Eating Najis food has a penalty of 40 days prayers, isn't it? For a man who is to live in boarding house where there is a common mess, what will happen? Is it that he will be penalised 3 (least number of meals a day) x 40 penalties (for each food) X2 (No. of years he is supposed to be there) X 365 (No. of days in a year), i.e. 3 x 40 x 365 x 2 days penalty. (One of the traditions says "Go even upto China in search of knowledge") A. For your information, this tradition is about the knowledge of religion only.

So far as the eating of Najis food is concerned, it has its own penalty. But it does not mean that you should neglect your prayer for so many days. It is one thing to say, "Your prayers will not be rewarded"; and quite another to say, "you did not pray".

Because if you did not pray then you would be liable to punishment for "not praying", which is one of the most serious sins in Islam. On the other hand, if you prayed but your prayers were "not accepted" (i.e. not rewarded) at least you would be immune from the punishment of "not having said your prayers".

Q72: HOW TO THANK ALLAH?

Please show me some ways of expressing thanks to Allah, that is if there is any particular way of prayer or reading, Du'a for shukr (Thanking Allah)?

A. The easiest way of thanking Allah is to say "Al-Hamdu Lillah". Also; you may do Sajdah of "Shukr" or recite 2 Rak'ah prayer of "Shukr". If Allah has given you something, then the best way of thanking Him is to share it with His servants with open heart i.e. not for making a show but only for the Love of Allah.

Q 73: MEANING OF SOME ARABIC PHRASES

What is the meaning of the following words and phrases which are commonly used by the Muslims?

Phrase Astaghfirullah Barakallah Fi Sabilillah Tawakkaltu 'Alallah Bismillah Subhanallah Li Hubbillah Insha-Allah Fi Amanillah Masha-Allah Al-Hamdu Lillah Inna Lillahi wainna ilayhi Raji'un Yarhamukallah La-illaha illallah 'Amantu Billah Wallahi / Billahi / Tallahi Ya Allah 'Amin Jazakallah Q74: COLOUR OF SHROUD (KAFAN) If white colour cotton is not available, can we use any other colour in cotton, like cream, or can we use any other material in white. A. You may use any material (except silk) for Kafan, and it is mustahab (but it is not necessary) that it should be of white colour. Meaning I seek Pardon from Allah May Allah Bless (You) In the way of Allah On Allah I rely In the Name of Allah Glory be to Allah For the Love of Allah If Allah wills; God willing In the protection of Allah As Allah wishes Praise be to Allah To Allah we belong and unto Him do we return Allah's mercy be on you There is no God but Allah I believe in Allah (I swear) by Allah O Allah May it be so May Allah reward you

Q75: KAFAN IMPORTED FROM KARBALA

It is said that we should not use Karbala's Kafan, because there is a possibility of its becoming Najis after some days in the grave, and there are so many "Ayats" written on the "Kafan". Is this correct?

A. Yes, you should not use that cloth as Kafan, because of the difficulty mentioned in your question. But you may put that "Kafan" on the chest of "Mayyit" above the usual Kafan.

Q 76: ONE KAFAN AND TWO MAYYITS

I have one person's kafan, and there are two deaths in house, mother's and wife's. Now to whom should I give kafan first, and why?

A. Kafan of a wife is wajib (obligatory) on the husband. Other people's Kafan is wajib from the inheritance left by them. Therefore, in the situation mentioned in the question, that Kafan would be given to the wife. So far as the mother is concerned, if she has left money or a thing sufficient for the Kafan, then the Kafan would be provided from it. Otherwise, the same clothes she had at the time of death should be used as Kafan for her.

Of course, it is an act of highest thawab to give Kafan to a believer. That is doubly emphasized in the case of relatives. Therefore, you should obtain her Kafan even if you have to take loan. Otherwise, other believers should give her Kafan.

Q77: WHY POUR WATER ON GRAVE?

What does it mean to pour water, or to plant flowers or plants, on the graves? A. To pour water on the grave after burial is Sunnah. According to some Ahadith, it is Sunnah to do so upto 40 days. It has one pragmatic and one spiritual significance. Water strengthens the grave; and also it is a symbol of the Mercy of Allah. Planting flowers or plants has no basis in Shari'ah. It is an innovation which should be avoided.

Q 78: CEMENTED GRAVE

Why do we build graves with cement etc.? Is it not a loss of cement and bricks which we can use for building say, a school?

A. In Islam to build graves in such a way is frowned upon (Makruh). Of course the earth should be filled in the grave firmly. So that there is no danger of incursion from animals etc.; but building it with bricks, cement etc. is disliked.

When a grave begins to cave in it is 'Makruh' to repair it. Nature should be left to take its course. (Of course, if any part of the dead body is still intact, then the grave should be refilled with earth). The graves of the prophets. Imams, martyrs etc. do not come under this rule. They should be repaired.

Q79: IS FATEHA KHWANI AN ISLAMIC CUSTOM?

Is fateha Khani" an Islamic custom? A poor man has to arrange a decent tea for all those who come to console on the sad demise of his relative. Is this fair? Further, can we celebrate the 20th, 30th or 40th of the death anniversary of a person or even of an Imam? A. Fateha Khwani means reciting Sura-e-Fatiha (and the Holy Qur'an) for the thawab of the deceased.

It is not only allowed but also is very highly recommended. And it can be performed on any day. If someone offers tea etc., to the participants, it is his own generosity. If he does not have money to offer any refreshment it, he should not take loan and should not burden himself in any way.