A Brief of Islamic Law

Rules of Salat

380.Salat is the best among all acts of worship. If it is accepted by the Almighty Allah, other acts of worship are also accepet ed. And, if prayers are not accepted, other acts are also not accepted.

Offering of prayers five times during day and night purifies us of sins in the same manner as bathing five times during day and night makes our body clean of all filth and one dirt.

It is befitting that one should offer prayers punctually. A person who considers prayers to be something ordinary and unimportant is just like one who does not offer prayers at all.

The holy prophet has said that a person who does not attach any importance to prayers and considers it to be something insignificant deserves chastisement in the hereafter.

Once, while the holy prophet was present in the Mosque (i.e. Masjid-un-Nabi, a man entered and began offering prayer but did not perform the Ruku’ and Sajdah properly. The holy prophet said: If this man dies and his prayers continue to be this way, he will not depart on my religion. Hence, one should not offer one’s prayer hurriedly. While offering prayer one should remember Allah constantly and should offer the prayers humbly and with all solemity. One should keep in mind the Greatness of Almighty Allah with whom one communes while offering prayers and should consider oneself to be very humble and insignificant before His Grandeur and Glory. And if a person keeps himself absorbed in these thoughts while perfoeming prayer he becomes unmindful and oblivious to himself, just as when an arrow was pulled out of the foot of the commander of the faithful, Imàm Ali (peace be on him) while he was offering prayer, but he did not become aware of it.

Furthermore, one who performs prayer should be repentant and should refrain from all sins and especially those which are an impediment in the way of acceptance of one’s prayer (e.g. jealousy, pride, backbiting, eating Halal (allowed) things, drinking intoxicating beverages, non-payment of khums and Zakat). In fact, he should refrain from all sins. Similarly, he should avoid acts which diminish the reward for prayers like praying when one is drowsy or restless because of an urge to urinate, and while offering prayer he should not look up towards the sky. On the other hand, one should perform such acts which increase the reward like wearing an ‘Aqiq ring (a ring with a signet of agate), wearing clean clothes, combing the hair, pushing the teeth and using perfume.

Obligatory prayers

The following six prayers are opligatory:

· DailySalats. · Salatt-ul-A yat (signs pryar). · Salatt-ul-Mayyit (funeral prayer). · Salatt for the obligatory I`awàf (circumambulation of the holy ka’bah). · Salatt-ul-Qad a’ of father which is, as a precaution, obligatory upon his eldest son. · Salatt which becomes obligatory on account of hire, vow or oath. · Salatt-ul-jumu’ah (Friday prayer) is included the DailySalat.

Obligatory DailySalats

  1. It is obligatory to perform the following five prayers during day night:

· Dawn prayer (Fajr)- 2 Rak’ahs. · Midday (Tuhr) and Afternoon (‘A?r) prayers-each one consisting of 4 Rak’ahs. · Dusk prayer (Maghrib)- 3 Rak’ahs and Night prayer (‘Isha’)- 4 Rak’ahs. 382. While traveling, a traveller should reduce the prayers of 4 Rak’ahs to 2 Rak’ahs. The conditions under which the Rak’ahs are reduced will be mentioned later.

Time for Tuhr and ‘Aar prayers

  1. The time for Tuhr and ‘A?r prayers is from when the sun starts declining (Ziwal)[^1] at midday till sunset. But, if a person intentionally offers ‘Aar prayer earlier than Tuhr prayer, his prayer is void. However, if a person had not prayed Tuhr till the end of time, and the time left before the end allows only one Salat to be prayed, he will first offer ‘A?r prayer in time and then his Tuhr prayer will be Qaèà’. And if before that time a person offers complete ‘A?r prayer before Tuhr prayer by mistake, his prayer is valid and he or she should offer Tuhr prayer after it.

  2. If a person begins offering ‘A?r prayer forgetfully before Tuhr prayer and during the prayer he realises that he has committed a mistake, he should revert his intention to Tuhr prayer, i.e. he should intend that those parts offered before and those offered from now onwards till the end of the prayer, would be Tuhr prayer After completing the prayer, he will offer ‘A?r prayer.

Friday prayer

  1. Friday prayer consists of 2 Rak’ahs like Fajr prayer. The difference between these two prayers is that Friday prayer has two sermons before it.Salat-ul-jumu’ah is obligatory in choice (Wajib-ut-takhyiri), and we have an option to offer jumu’ah prayer, if its necessary conditions are fulfilled, or to offer Tuhr prayer. Hence, ifSalat-ul-jumu’ah is offered then it is not necessary to offer Tuhr prayer.

The following conditions must be fulfilled for jumu’ah prayer to become obligatory:

*The time for jumu ah prayer shoyer set in. And thet means that the middaytime should have begun to decline. The time for salat-ul-jumu ‘ah is the earliest part of zuhe. If it is very much delayed, then salat-ul-jumu ah time will beover, and Zuhr salat will hove to be prayed

· The number of persons joiningSalat-ul-jumu’ah should be at least five, including the Imàm. If there are less than five people,Salatul-jumu’ah would not become obligatory.

· The Imàm should fulfil the necessary conditions for leading the prayer.

These conditions include righteousness (‘Adalah) and other qualities which are required of an Imàm and which will be mentioned in connection with the congational prayer. In absence of an Imàm qualifying to lead,Salat-ul-ujmu’ah will not be obligatory.

The following conditions should be fulfilled for theSalat-ul-jumu’ah to be correct:

· The prayer should be offered in congregation. Hence, Friday prayer cannot be prayed alone. If a person joinsSalat-ul-jumu’ ah before the Ruku of the second Rak’ah his prayer will be valid and he will have to add another Rak’ah to complete it. But, if he joins the Imàm in the Ruku of the second Rak’ah then as an obligatory precaution the prayer may not suffice, and Tuhr prayer should be prayed.

· Two sermons should be delivered before the prayer by Imàm. · The distance between the two places whereSalat-ul-jumu’ah are offered should not be less than one Farsakh (3 miles).

A Few Rules concerning jumu’ah prayer are as follows:

· As mentioned before,Salat-ul-Jumu’ah is not absolutely obligatory during the time of Imàm’s (A.S.) absence. Then it is permissible Tuhr prayer in the early part of its time. · It is Makruh to talk while Imàm delivers the sermom. And if the noise created by talking prevents others from listening to the sermon. Then it is Halal (allowed) as a precaution.

· As an obligatory precaution, it is obligatory to listen to both the sermons.

However, listening to the sermons is not obligatory upon those, who do not underhand their meanings.

· It is not obligatory for a person wishing to join jumu’ah Sal at to be present while Imàm is delivering the sermon.

Time for Maghrib and ‘Isha’ prayers

  1. If a person doubts about sunset, and considers it probable that the sun may be hidden behind mountains, buildings or trees, as long as the redness in the eastern sky appearing after sunset has not passed overhead, MaghribSalat should not be performed by him. However, as an obligatory precaution, one should wait till that time, even if he or she does not have any doubt about sunset.

  2. In normal circumstances, the prescribed time for Maghrib and ‘Isha’ prayers is till midnight and night is from early sunset till rising of fajr. But if forgetfulness, oversleeping or being in Haydh and similar unusual situations prevent one from performing the prayers till midnight, then for them the time will continue till Fajr sets in. In all the cases, Maghrib must be prayed before ‘Isha’, and if one contradicts their sequence purposely or knowingly, theSalat will be void. However, if the time left over is just enough for ‘Isha’ prayer to be offered within time, then ‘Isha’ will precede Maghrib prayer.

  3. If a person begins ‘Isha’ prayer by mistake before Maghrib prayer and realises during the prayer that he has made an error, and if he has not yet gone into Ruku of the 4th Rak'ah he should turn his intention to Maghrib prayer and complete the prayer. Thereafter he will offer ‘Isha’ prayer. However, if he has entered Ruka of the 4th Rak ah he can continue to complete the ‘Isha’ prayer and thereafter pray Maghrib.

  4. If a person in normal circmstances does not offer Maghrib or ‘Isha’ prayer till after midnight, he should, as an obligtoty precaution offer the prayer in question before the dawn Adhan, without making an intention of Ada’ (i.e in time) or Qaèà’ (i.e after the lapse of time).

Time for Subh (Fajr = Dawn) prayer

  1. Just before dawn a column of whiteness rises upwards from the east. It is called the first dawn. When this whiteness spreads, it is called the second dawn, and the prime time for Subh prayer. The time for Subh prayer is till sunrise.

Rules RegardingSalat Times

  1. A person can start offering prayer only when he becomes certain that the time has sat in or when two just (‘Adil) persons inform that the time has set in. In fact, one can rely upon the Adhan, or on advice of a person who knows the timings and is reliable.

  2. If a person is satisfied on the basis of any one of the above methods that the time for prayer has set in and he begins offering prayer, but then realises during the prayer that the time has not yet set in, his prayer is void.

And the position is the same if he realises after the prayer that he has offered the entire prayer before time. However, if one learns as he prays that the time has just entered or if he learns after the prayer that the time entered while he was in the process of praying, hisSalat will be valid.

Mustahab Prayers

  1. There are many Mustahab prayers which are generally called Nàfilah but more stress has been laid on the daily Mustahab prayers. The number of their Rak'ahs everyday excluding Friday, is 34. It is as follows:

* 8 Rak'ahs Nàfilah for Tuhr * 8 Rak'ahs Nàfilah for A?r * 4 Rak'ahs Nàfilah for Maghrib * 2 Rak'ahs Nàfilah for Isha * 11 Rak'ahs Nàfilah midnight (Nafilat-ul-layl, Shaf and Watr) * 2 Rak'ahs Nàfilah for Fajr

As an obligatory precaution, the Nàfilah for Isha prayer should be offered while sitting, and therefore its 2 Rak'ahs are counted as one. But in Friday, 4 Rak'ahs are added to the 16 Rak'ahs of the Tuhr and the A?r Nàfilahs, and it is preferable that all these 20 Rak'ahs are offered before the Tuhr sets in, except for two Rak'ahs of it, which is better be offered in the time of Ziwal.

  1. Out of the 11 Rak'ahs of the midnight Nàfilah, 8 Rak'ahs should be offered with the intention of the midnight Nàfilah, 2 Rak'ahs with the intention of Shaf, and 1 Rak'ah with the intention of Watr (odd). Complete instructions regarding Nafilat-ul-layl are given in the books of supplications.

  2. All Nàfilah prayers can be offered while sitting, even by persons with option, and it is not necessary to count 2 Rak'ahs prayed while sitting as one Rak'ah while standing. But it is better to perform all Nàfilah prayers while standing, except for the Nàfilah for ‘Isha, while showld, as an obligatory precaution, be performed while sitting.

  3. Tuhr Nàfilah and A?r Nàfilah should not be offered when one is on a journey, and one may offer Isha Nàfilah with the intention of Raja’.

The Timings of the Daily Nàfilah Prayers

  1. The Tuhr Nàfilah is offered before Tuhr prayer. Its time is from the commencement of the time of Tuhr, up to the time when it is possible to offer it before Tuhr prayer.

  2. The A?r Nàfilah is offered before A?r prayer, and its time is till the moment when it is possibe to offer it before A?r prayer.

  3. The Maghrib Nàfilah should be offered after Maghrib prayer, and its time is till the moment when it is possible to offer it after Maghrib prayer in time.

  4. The time for ‘Isha Nàfilah is from the completion of Isha prayer till midnight.

  5. The Fajr Nàfilah is offered before the Fajr prayer, and its time commences when a time required for offering Nafilat-ul-layl has been passed from its time, till the time when it is possible to offer it before Fajr prayer.

  6. The time forSalat-ul-layl is from the begining of night till Adhan for Fajr prayer, and it is better to offer it nearer to the time of fajr prayer.

  7. If a person gets up at the time of rising of fajr, he or she can offerSalat-ul-layl without an intention of Ada or Qada.

Ghufaylah Prayer

  1. Ghufaylah prayer is one of the Mustahab prayers which is offered between Maghrib and Isha prayers. In its first Rak'ah after Surat-ul-Hamd instead of the other Surah, the following verse should be recited: Wa dhannuni idh dhahaba mughad iban fa-zanna an lannaqdira alayhi Ahaadfa-nada fi-zulumati an la ilaha illa anta subhanaka innikuntu min-az-zalimin, fa-stajabna lahu wa najjaynahu min-al-ghammi wa kadhalika nunj-il-muminin. In the second Rakah after Surat-ul-Hamd, instead of other Surah, the following verse should be recited: Wa indahu mafatih-ul-ghaybi la ya'lamuha illa hu wa ya' lamu ma fil-barri wal-bahri wa ma tasqutumin waraqatin illa ya-lamuha wa la habbatin fi zulumat-il-wa laratbin yabisin illa fi kitabi mubin. And in Qunut this suppliceation be recited:Allahumma inni as'aluka bi-mafatih-il-ghybi-llati la ya'lamuha illa ant, an tusalliya'ala Muhammadin wa ali Muhammad, wa an taf, ala bi..... (here one should mention his wishes).

Thereafter, the following suppliceation should be read: x Allahumma anta waliyyu ni'mat wal-qadiru'ala talibati, ta'lamu hajati fa-as'aluk bihaqqi Muh mmadin wa ali Muhammad, alayhim-us-salam, lamma qad aytaha li.

Rules of Qiblah

  1. Qur Qiblah is the site of the holy Ka'bah ' which is situated in Makkah, and one should offer one's prayers facing it. However, a person who is far, would stand in such a manner that people would say that he is praying facing the Qiblah, and that would suffice. This also applies to other acts which should be performed facing the Qiblah, like while slaughtering an animal etc.

  2. A MustahabSalat can be offered while one is walking, or riding and if a person offers Mustahab prayer in this two conditions, it is not necessary to be facing the Qiblah.

  3. A person who wishes to offer prayer, should make efforts to ascertain the direction of Qiblah, and for that, he has to either be absolutely sure, or acquire such information as may amount to certainty, like testimony of two reliable persons. If that is not possible, he should form an idea from the prayer niches (Mihrab) of the Masjid or form the graves of the Muslims, or by other ways, and act acordingly. In fact, if a non-Muslim who can determine Qiblah by scientific method, indicates Qiblah satisfactorily, he can be relied upon.

  4. If a person, who has a mere surmise about Qiblah, and is in a position to have a better idea, he should not act on that guess work. For example, if a guest has an idea about the direction of Qiblah on the statement of the owner of the house, but feels that he can acquire a firmer knowledge about Qiblah by some means, he should not sct on his host's words.

  5. If a person does not possess any means of determining the direction of Qiblah, or in spite of his efforts, he cannot from an idea about it, it will be sufficient for hom to offer his prayers facing any direction.

  6. If a person is sure or guesses that Qiblah is on one of the two directions, he should offer pyayer facing both.

  7. If a person who is not certain about the direction of Qiblah, wishes to perform acts other thanSalat, which suold be done facing the Qiblah like, slaughtering an animal, he should act according to his surmise about the direction of Qiblah, and if that does not seem possible, then performing the act facing any direction will be valid.

Covering the Body in Prayers

  1. While offering prayer, a man should cover his private parts even if no one is looking at him and preference is that he should also cover his body from the navel to the knee.

  2. A woman should cover her entire body while offering preayer, including her head and hair. As an obligatory precaution, she should cover herself even for her. Therefore, if she covers herself with a veil in such a manner that she may see her body, it will be with an Ishkal. It is not necessary for her to cover her face, or the hands up to the wrists, or the upper parts of feet up to the ankles. Nevertheless, in order to ensure that she has covered the obligatory parts of her body adequately, she should also cover a part of the sides of her face as well as lower part of her wrists and the ankles.

Conditions for Dress Worn during Prayer

The first condition:

The dress of a person who offers prayer should be Tahir. Therefore, if he prays with Najis body, or dress, in normal situations, his prayer would be void.

  1. If a person did not care to know thatSalat offered with Najis body or dress is void or that semen is Najis, and he prayed in that state, his prayer, as an obligatory precaution, should be offered again, and if its time had lapsed, he should offer its Qada.

  2. If a person who who does not know the rule prays with Najis body or dress, he does not have to offer it again or give its Qada, provided that he has not been negligent to learn the rule.

  3. If a person was sure that his body or dress was not Najis, and came to know afterSalat that either of then was Najis, the prayer is in order.

  4. If a person forgets that his body or dress is Najis, and remembers duringSalat, as or after completing salat an obligatory precation, he should offer the prayer again, if his forgetting was due to carelessness. And if the time has lapsed, he should give its Qada’. If it was not due to carelessness, it is not necessary to pray again, except when he remembers duringSalat, in which circumstances, he will act as explained below.

  5. If a person has ample time at his disposal while offering prayer, and he realises during the prayer that his clothes are Najis, and suspects that they may have become Najis after he started the prayer, he should wash it, or change it, or take it off, provided that in so doing, hisSalat does not become invalidated, and continue with theSalat to its completion. But if he has no other dress to cover his private parts, or washing the dress, or taking it off may invalidate hisSalat, he should, as an obligatory precaution, repeat hisSalat with Tahir clothes.

  6. If a person doubts whether his body or dress is Tahir, and if he did not find anything Najis after investigation, and prayed, hisSalat will be valid even if he learns afterSalat that his body or dress was actually Najis. But if he did not care to investigate, then as an obligatory precaution, he will repeat the prayer, and if the time has lapsed, he will give its Qada.

  7. If a person washes his dress, and becomes sure that it has become Tahir, and offers prayer with it, but learns after the prayer that it had not become Tahir, his prayer is in order.

  8. A person who does not have any dress other than a Najis one, should offer prayer with that Najis dress, and his prayer will be in order.

422. The second condition:

The dress which a person uses for covering the private parts, while offering prayer should, as an obligatory precaution, be Mubah. Hence, if a person knows that it is Halal (allowed) to use a usurped dress, or does not know the rule on account of negligence, and intentionally offers prayer with the usurped dress, as a precaution, his prayer would be void. But if his dress includes sush usurped things which alone cannot cover the private parts, or even if they can cover the private parts, but he is not actually wearing them at that time (for example, a big handkerchif which is in his pocket) or if he is wearing the usuped things together with a Mubah covering, in all these cases, the fact that such extra things are usurped would not affect the validity of the prayer ; although, as a precautionary measure, their use should be avoided.

  1. If a person purchases a dress with a sum of money whose Khums has not been paid by him, but the transaction on the whole is in debt, like most of transactions, the dress will beHalal (allowed) for him, but he owes the Khums of the money paid by him. However if he purchases a dress with the particular sum of money whose Khums has not been paid by him then without the permission of a Mujtahib,Salat in that dress will amount to theSalat in a dress which has been usurped.

424. The third condition:

The dress of the person which alone can cover the private parts, and also, as an obligatory precaution, those which alone would not cover the private parts, should not be made of the parts of the dead body of an animal whose blood gushes when killed.

  1. If the person, who offers prayer, carries with him parts from a Najis carcass, which are counted as living parts, like, its flesh and skin, the prayer will be in order.

  2. If a person who offers prayer has with him parts from a carcass, whose meat is lawful to eat, and which is not counted as a living part, e.g. its hair and wool, or if he offers prayer with a dress which has been made from such things, his prayer is in order.

  3. The fourth condition: The dress of one who is praying, apart from the small clothes like socks which would not ordinarily serve to cover the private parts, should not be made of any part of the body of a wild animal, nor, as an obligatory precaution, of any animal whose meat is Halal (allowed). Similarly, his dress should not be soiled with the urine, excretion, sweat, milk or hair of such animals. However, if there is one isolated hair on the dress, or if he carries with him say, a box in which any such things have been kept, there is no harm.

  4. If the person offering prayer, doubts whether his dress is made of the parts of an animal whose meat isHalal (allowed), or with the parts of the animal whose meat is Halal (allowed), he is allowed to offer prayer with it, irrespective of whether it has been made in Islamic country or in non-Islamic country.

  5. The fifth condition: The use of a dress empoidered with gold is Halal (allowed) for men, and to pray in such a dress will makeSalat void. But for women its use, whether in prayer or otherwise, is allowed.

  6. It is Halal (allowed) for men to wear gold, like hanging a golden chain on one's chest, or wearing a gold ring, or to use a wrist watch made of gold, and the prayers offered while wearing these things will be void. But women are allowed to wear these things in prayers or otherwise.