A Brief of Islamic Law

Exceptional Cases

  1. In the following three cases, the prayer offered by a person will be valid, even if his body ordress be Najis:

* If his body or dress is stained with the blood discharged from a wound or a sore on his body.

* If his body or dress is stained with blood, spread over a space lesser thana Dirham (which, as an obligatory precaution, is equal to the upper joint of the thumb).

* If he has no alternative but to offer prayer with Najis body or dress. Further, there is one situation in which, if the dress of one who prays is Najis, theSalat will be valid. And that is, when small clothes like socks, skull-caps are Najis.

  1. If the body or the dress of a person wishing to pray is stained with blood from wound or sore etc, he can praySalat with that blood as long as the wound or the sore has not healed up. And the same applies to pus, which may flow out with blood, or any medicine which became Najis, when applied to the wound or the sore.

  2. If blood on the dress or the body of a person who is praying, is equal to or more than a Dirham, and it originates from a small cut or wound which can be healed easily, and which can be washed clean, then hisSalat is void.

  3. If any part of the body, or the dress, which is away from the wound, becomes Najis owing to the fluid which oozes out from the wound, it is not permissible to offer prayer with it. However, if a part of the body or dress around the wound becomes NAjis, owing to suppuration, there is not harm in offering prayer with it.

  4. If the body or dress of a person is stained with blood from piles (whether internal or external), or from a wound which is within one's mouth, nose etc, he can offer prayer with that blood.

  5. If the clothes or the body of a person praying, is stained with the blood of Haydh, however little, theSalat will be void. And as a precaution, the same rule applies to the blood of Nifas, Istihadah and the blood from sources which are essentially Najis, like a pig, a carcass, or an animal whose meat is Halal (allowed). As regards other bloods, like the blood from a human body, or from an animal whose meat is lawful to eat, there is no harm in offering prayer with them, even if they are found at several places on the dress or the body, provided that, when added together, their area is less than that of a Dirham.

  6. If the area of the blood on one's body or dress is less than that of a Dirham, and some moisture reaches it and spreads over its sides, the prayer offered with that blood is void, even if the blood and the moisture which has spread there, is not equal to the area of a Dirham.

  7. If there is no blood on the body or dress of a person, but it becomes Najis because of contact with some moisture mixed with blood, prayer cannot be offered with it even if the part which has become Najis is less than the area of a Dirham.

  8. If small dresses belonging to a person offering prayer, like his socks or skull-cap, which would not ordinarily cover his private parts, become Najis, and if they are not made of the parts of a carcass or an animsl whose meat is Halal (allowed) to eat, the prayer offered with them will be in order. But if they are made of the parts of a carcass or a Najis animal, as an obligatory precaution, the prayer offered with them will be void. And there is no objection if one offers prayer with a Najis ring.

Place WhereSalat Can Be Prayed

There are seven conditions for the place where one can offer prayer on:

First: The place where the prayer is offered should, as an obligatory precaution, be Mubah.

  1. If a person prays on a usurped property, then as an obligatory precaution, his prayer is void, even if he prays on a carpet, or a couch, or similar object.

  2. Prayer offered in a property whose use and benefit belongs to someone elso, will be like the prayer offered on a usurped property, unless permission is taken from the entitled person. For example, if a house has been rented out, and the owner of the house, or anyone elso offers prayer in that house without permission of the tenant, then as a measure of precaution, his prayer is void.

  3. If a person sitting in a mosque, is made to quit his place by someone who then occupies his place, the prayer offered there will be valid, though he will have committed a sin.

  4. If a person purchases a property with the sum of money from which Khums has not been paid by him but the transaction on the whole is in debt, like most of transactions, using that property will be lawful, but he owes the Khums of the money paid by him. However if he purchases a property with a particular sum of money whose Khums has nat been paid by him, then his use of that property, without the permission of a Mujtahhid, is Halal (allowed) and as an obligatory precaution the prayers which he offers in it are void.

  5. Use of a property which belongs to a dead person, who has not paid Zakat (alms) or owes a debt, is allowed with the permission of the heirs, provided that such a use does not in any way prevent from obligations. So a person wishing to pray in such property can do so, with the permission of the heirs.

  6. If some of the heirs of a dead person are either minor, or insane, or absent, then use of that property without permission of the guardian of those heirs, is Halal (allowed), and it is not permissible to offer prayers in it. But usual uses, which are made in order to perpare the dead body for burying, will be in order.

  7. The second condition: The place for obligatory prayers should not have such a vigorous movement which would make normal standng, Ruku or Sajdah impossible. In fact, as an obligatory precaution, it should not prevent the body from begin at ease. But if one is forced to pray at such places, due to shortage of time, or any other reason, like in a car, on a ship or on train, the one should try to remain still, and to maintain the direction of Qiblah, as much as possible. And if the vehicles move away from the direction, he should return to Qiblah. If maintaining the exact direction of Qiblah is not possible, then one should try to keep the deviation in an angle less than go degrees, and if this again is impossible, he should keep the direction of Qiblah only while offering Takbirat-ul-iharm. But if this is not impossible either, considering the direction of Qiblah will be not necessary.

  8. There is no harm in offering prayers in a car or a boat, or on railway train or other vehicles, while they are motionless. And if they do not cause excessive swaying to the body when they are in motion, one can pray in them in motion.

The third condition: The ceiling of the place where one prays should not be so low, that one may not be able to stand erect, nor should the place be so small, that there may be no room for performing Ruku or Sajdah.

The fourth condition: If the place where one wishes to pray is Najis, it should not be so wet that its moisture would reach the body or the dress of the person praying, provided that the Najasah is of that kind which invalidates the prayer. But, if the place where one places one's forehead while performing Sajdah, is Najis, the prayer will be void, even if that place is dry.

The fifth condition: As an obligatory precaution, women should stand behind men while praying. At least, her place of Sajdah should be in line with his knees, when he is in Sajdah.

  1. If a woman stands in line with a man, or in front of him in prayer and both of them begin the prayer together, they should, as an obligatory precaution, repeat their prayers. And the same applies if one of them starts earlier than the other.

  2. If a man and a woman are standing side by side inSalat, or woman is in front, but there is a wall, curtain, or something else separating them, so that they cannot see each other, the prayers of both of them are in order. Similarly, the prayers of both will be valid if the distance between them is more than ten cubits.

The sixth condition: The place where a person places his forehead while in Sajdah, should not be a span of four fingers or more higher or lower than the place of knees or toes. The details of this rule will be given in the rules relating to Sajdah.

  1. For a Non-Mahram man and woman to be inprivate at a place, where there is a possibility of falling into sin is Halal (allowed). And as a recommended precaution, one must avoid praying at such places.

Rules Regarding a Mosque

  1. It is Halal (allowed) to make the floor, roof, ceiling and inner walls of a Masjid Najis, and when a person comes to know that any of these parts has become Najis, he should immediately make it Tahir. And the recommended precaution is that the outer part of the wall of a mosque, to

o should not be made Najis. And if it becomes Najis, it is not obligatory to remove the Najasah. But if someone makes it Najis to violate its sanctity, that act is Halal (allowed), and the Najasah should be removed.

  1. It is Halal (allowed) to make the precincts (Halal (allowed)) of the Holy Shrines of Imam Najis, and if anyone of these precincts becomes Najis, and if its remaining in that state affects its sanctity, then it is obligatory to make it Tahir. And the recommended precaution is that it should be made Tahir, even if no desecration is involved.

  2. If the mat or carpet of a masjid becomes Najis, it should be made Tahir.

  3. It is Halal (allowed) to carry any Najis -ul-Ayn or a thing which has become Najis, into a mousque, if so desecrates the mosque.

  4. If a mosque is draped with black cloth or covered with a marquee in preparation of Majlis (recication of the sufferings of holy martyrs), and tea is prepared, there will be no objection to all that, if thay do not have any harmful effect on the mosque, and if it does not obstruct those who come to pray.

Adhan and Iqamah

  1. It is Mustahab for man and woman to say Adhan and then Iqameh before offering daily obligatory prayers, but for other Mustahab or obligatory prayers, they are not prescribed.

  2. It is recommended that Adhan be pronounced in the right ear of the child, and Iqamah in its left ear, on the day it is born or before the umbilical cord is cast off.

  3. Adhan consists of the following 18 sentences:

¨ Allahu Akbar (four times). ¨ (Allah is greater than any description.) ¨ Ashhadu an la ilaha illa-llah (twice). ¨ (I testify that no one deserves to be worshipped but Allah.) ¨ Ashhadu anna Muhammadan Rasul-u-llah (twice). ¨ (I testify that Muhammad is Allah's Messenger.) ¨ Hayya alas-Salah (twice) ¨ (Hasten to prayer.) ¨ Hayya alal-Falah (twice). ¨ (Hasten to deliverance.) ¨ Hayya ala Khayr-il-Amal (twice). ¨ (Hasten to the best act.) ¨ Allahu Akbar (twice). ¨ (Allah is greater than any description.) ¨ La ilaha illa-llah (twice). (No one deserves to be worshipped.)

As regard to Iqamah, it consists of 17 sentences. In Iqamah, Allahu Akbar is reduced in the beginning to twice, and at the end, La ilaha illa-llah to once, and after Hayya ala Khiyr-il-Amal, Qad qamatis-Salah (i.e. the prayer has certainly been established) must be added two times.

  1. Ashhadu anna Amir-al-Mu'minina Aliyyan Waliyyu-llah (I testify that the Commander of the faithful, Imam Ali (A.S.) is the vicegerent of Allah for all people) is not a part of either Adhan or Iqamah. But it is preferable that it is pronounced after Ashhadu anna Muhammadan Rasul-u-llah with the intention of Qurban.

  2. There should not be an unusual interval between the sentences of Adhan or Iqamah, and if an unusual gap is allowed between them, the Adhan or Iqamah will have to be repeated.

  3. Whenever a person offers two prayers with one common time together, one after the other, Adhan is not necessary for the second prayer, if he has said it for the first one.

  4. If Adhan and Iqamah have been pronounced for congregational prayer, a person joining that congregation should not pronounce Adhan and Iqamah, for his own prayer.

  5. Adhan and Iqamah should be pronounced in correct Arabic. Hence, if they are pronounced in incorrect Arabic, or one lettrer is uttered for another, or if, for example, its translation is pronounced, it will not be valid.

  6. Adhan and Iqamah for a prayer should be pronounced when the time for that prayer has set in. If a person pronounces them before time, whether it be intentionally or due to forgetfulness, his action is void, except when if the time ofSalat sets in during the prayer being offered, then that will be valid, as explained in (rule 752.)

Obligatory Acts Relating toSalat

There are eleven obligatory acts for prayers:

* Niyyah (intention) * Qiyam (standing) * Takbirat-ul-Ihram (saying Allahu Akbar while commencing the prayer) * Ruku (bowing) * Sajdatayn (two prostrations) * Qira'ah (recitation of Surat-ul-Hamd and another surah) * Dhikr (prescribed recitation in Ruku and Sajdah) * Tashahhud (bearing witness after completing the Sajdah of the second and the last Rak'ah) * Salam (Salutation) * Tartib (sequence) * Muwalat (to perform the different acts of prayer in regular succession).

  1. Some of the opligatoy acts of prayers are elemental (Rukn). Hence, a person who does not offer them, whether intentionally or by mistake, his prayer becomes void. Some other obligatory acts of prayers are not essential. Therefore, if they are omitted by mistake, the prayer does not become void.

The elementals ofSalat are five:

* Intention (Niyyah) * Takbirat-ul-Ihram * Standing before the Ruku * Ruku * Two Sajdahs in every Rak'ahn

Any addition made to these elemental (Rukn) acts, intentionally, will render the prayer void. If the addition is done by mistake, the prayer does not become void except when a Ruku is added, or more than two Sajdahs are offered in one Rak'ah, in which cases as an obligatory precaution the prayer is void.


  1. A person should offer prayer with the intention of Qurban, that is, paying homage to the Almighty Allah. It is not, however, necessary to make the intention pass through his mind, or, for example, utter: I am offering four Rak'ahs of Tuhr prayer Qurbatan ila-llah.

  2. If a person stands for Tuhr prayer or for A?r prayer, with intention to offer four Rak'ahs without specifying whether it is Tuhr or A?r prayer, his prayer is void ; but it is enough, while specifying the prayers, to consider Tuhr prayer as the first and A?r prayer as the second prayer. Similarly, if he wants to offer a Qada'Tuhr prayer at the time of Tuhr, he should specify whether he is offering the Tuhr prayer of the day, or the Qada.’

  3. A person shuold be sonscious and aware of his intention, from the beginning of the prayer till its end. Hence, if during the prayer he becomes so lost that he is unable to say what he is doing, if asked, his prayer is void.

  4. A person should offer prayer to pay homage to the Almighty Allah only. So, if a person prays to show off to the people, his prayer is void. It will be void even if he couples the intention of showing off, with the performance for the pleasure of allah.