Punishment of the one who leaves Islaam

I am currently in a philosophy of religion class and my teacher is an atheist. He claims that under an Islamic state if a born Muslim converts to another religion he is killed. Please tell me if this is true.

Praise be to Allaah.

The punishment for apostasy (riddah) is well-known in Islaamic Sharee’ah. The one who leaves Islaam will be asked to repent by the Sharee’ah judge in an Islaamic country; if he does not repent and come back to the true religion, he will be killed as a kaafir and apostate, because of the command of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): “Whoever changes his religion, kill him.” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, 3017).

It is well-known in Sharee’ah that the punishments (hudood) are not carried out on minors, because they have not yet reached the age of responsibility; but in the case of those who have reached the age of responsibility, the punishment (hadd) applies, without a doubt.

The person who knows the truth and believes in it, then turns his back on it, does not deserve to live. The punishment for apostasy is prescribed for the protection of the religion and as a deterrent to anyone who is thinking of leaving Islaam. There is no doubt that such a serious crime must be met with an equally weighty punishment. If the kuffaar do not give people the freedom to cross a red light, how can we give freedom to people to leave Islaam and disbelieve in Allaah when they want to?

It seems that the intention of the teacher mentioned in the question was to shock the students with news of this ruling, in order to mislead them from the way of Allaah. You must respond and explain to him and the other students as much as you can.

May Allaah make you and us bearers of His Message and defenders of His Sharee’ah. Continue reading

Holding the Mus-haf for one who is following an imaam is contrary to the Sunnah

What is the ruling on holding the Mus-haf in the case of one who is following an imaam in praying Taraaweeh in Ramadan, on the grounds that he is following the imaam’s recitation?

Praise be to Allaah.

Holding the Mus-haf for this reason is contrary to the Sunnah, for several reasons:

1.                 It prevents a person from placing his right hand over his left when standing.

2.                 It leads to a lot of unnecessary movements, such as opening the Mus-haf, closing it, and placing it under one’s arm.

3.                 These movements are very distracting to the worshipper.

4.                 It prevents the worshipper from looking at the place of sujood. Many scholars say that looking at the place of sujood is Sunnah and is better.

5.                 The one who does that may forget that he is in prayer, unless his heart is properly focused upon his being in prayer, unlike when he is standing in a humble and focused manner with his right hand upon his left, tilting his head towards the place of sujood. In this case he will be more likely to remember that he is praying and that he is behind the imaam. Continue reading

One goes out for salaat il-istisqa’ and it rains

What should one do if people go out to congregate for salaat il-istisqa’ (prayer asking for rain) and it rains?

If the people went out for the prayer for rain (istisqa’) or intended to do so and it rained, then there can be two cases:

If they were prepared to go out and it rained before they left, then they should thank Allah (subhanahu wa ta‘ala) for His blessings and not leave. If they had already come out, they should pray in thankfulness to Allah (subhanahu wa ta‘ala). (Al-Mughni, 2/296) Continue reading

When one comes to the mosque and finds the last row full

What should a person who comes to the Prayer late and finds that there is no space in the rows do?; does he pray by himself due to the weakness of the hadeeth which demands that the person pulls a person from the row? What about a person from the filled row backing up himself for the person who is praying alone in the back?

Praise be to Allaah.

The following questions were put to the Standing Committee for Academic Research and Issuing Fatwas (al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah li’l-Buhooth al-‘Ilmiyyah wa’l-Iftaa):

A person comes to the prayer and finds the rows full, and the last person in the row is a boy. Can he pull him back to pray beside him, or what?

If he comes and finds that the people are doing rukoo’, is it correct for him to pull someone back when he is in rukoo’, or what?

If the rows are full, and he cannot find anyone to pray with him except for young boys, some of whom have reached the age of discernment and some have not, is it OK for him to pray with them in that row?

The committee replied:

If he finds the row is full, he should wait until someone else comes to stand beside him, and should not pull anyone out of the row. If he can join the row or pray on the imaam’s right, he should do so. As for standing in the row with the boys, if they are of the age of discernment, then it is OK to join their row, because of the reports in al-Saheehayn and elsewhere from Anas (may Allaah be pleased with him) who said:

“The orphan and I formed a row behind him, and the old lady stood behind us” – referring to their praying behind the Messenger of Allaah SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), when he visited him in his house one morning. If the boys are not yet of the age of discernment, then then praying with them behind the last row is like praying standing alone, and it is not correct to pray standing alone behind a row, because the Prophet SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “There is no prayer for the one who stands alone behind the row.”

And Allaah is the source of strength. May Allaah bless our Prophet Muhammad and his family and companions, and grant them peace.

Al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah li’l-Buhooth al-‘Ilmiyyah wa’l-Iftaa, Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah, 8/706

If it is feared that he will miss the prayer and there is no place in the row, and no one else comes along to pray behind the imaam, then his prayer standing alone is valid, because Allâh says (interpretation of the meaning):
“So keep your duty to Allaah and fear Him as much as you can” [al-Taghaabun 64:16]. This was the fatwa of Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah, may Allaah have mercy on him. And Allaah knows best. Continue reading

If the imam recites for too long in a prayer in which Qur’aan is recited silently, what should the one who is praying behind him do?

When you are in a prayer in which Qur’aan is recited silently, should the person praying behind the imam stop reciting after he finishes reciting al-Faatihah and a soorah in the first and second rak’ah and after he finishes reciting al-Faatihah in the third and fourth rak’ah? If he should not be silent, what should he recite?.

Praise be to Allaah.


What is prescribed for the worshipper in a prayer in which Qur’aan is recited silently is to recite al-Faatihah and whatever he can of Qur’aan, in the first two rak’ahs, whether he is leading the prayer or praying behind an imam, because of the report narrated by Ibn Maajah (843) from Jaabir ibn ‘Abd-Allaah (may Allaah be pleased with him) who said: We used to recite the Opening of the Book and a soorah behind the imam in the first two rak’ahs of Zuhr and ‘Asr, and in the last two rak’ahs (we would recite) the Opening of the Book. This hadeeth was classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Ibn Maajah.

The worshipper – whether he is leading the prayer or praying behind an imam – can recite more than one soorah after al-Faatihah in the first two rak’ahs, because of the report narrated by al-Bukhaari (775) and Muslim (822) from Ibn Mas’ood (may Allaah be pleased with him) who said: I know the pairs that the Messenger of Allaah (S) used to put together. And he mentioned twenty soorahs of al-mufassal, two by two, in every rak’ah.

For example, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) recited al-Rahmaan and al-Najm together in one rak’ah, and al-Qamar and al-Haaqqah together, and al-Toor and al-Dhaariyaat together, and al-Waaqi’ah and al-Qalam together.

Sifat Salaat al-Nabi (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) by al-Albaani, p. 104.

The fact that it is permissible to recite two soorahs in after al-Faatihah is also indicated by the report narrated by al-Bukhaari in The Chapter on reciting two soorahs together. From Anas ibn Maalik (may Allaah be pleased with him) who said: A man from among the Ansaar used to lead them in prayer in the mosque of Quba’, and every time he started a soorah to recite for them in prayer, he would start by reciting Qul Huwa Allaahu Ahad, until he finished it, then he would recite another soorah with it. He used to do that in every rak’ah. His companions spoke to him about that and said: You start with the soorah then you do not think that it is sufficient and you recite another. Either recite it or leave it and recite something else. He said: I will not give it up. If you wish me to lead you in prayer on this basis, I will do so, and if you do not like it I will leave you. They thought that he was the best of them and they did not want anyone else to lead them in prayer. When the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) came to them, they told him the story and he said: “O So and so, what is keeping you from doing what your companions told you to do? What is making you adhere to this soorah in every rak’ah? He said: I love it.” He said: “Your love for it will earn you admittance to Paradise.”

See: Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah, 6/403 Continue reading

Reciting only the verses that one knows?

During recitation, is it permissable to recite what you know of one surah? For example, you only know three ayats of Suratal Qariah because you are in the process of learning it, is it permissable to recite just the three ayats you know until you have learnt the whole surah?.

Praise be to Allaah.


Reading Qur’aan is one of the greatest of good deeds and acts of worship for which a Muslim will be rewarded. There are many texts which speak of the virtue of that, such as the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): “Read the Qur’aan, for it will come on the Day of Resurrection interceding for its companions.” Narrated by Muslim (804) and by al-Bukhaari in a mu’allaq text.

It was narrated that ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Mas’ood said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever reads one letter of the Book of Allaah will have one hasanah for it, and each hasanah is a tenfold reward. I do not say that alif-laam-meem is a letter, rather alif is a letter, laam is a letter and meem is a letter.” Narrated by al-Tirmidhi (2910) who aid: it is hasan saheeh. Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi.


It is permissible for a person to recite whatever he can of what he knows of the Qur’aan –according to his ability.

It was narrated from ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The one who recites the Qur’aan and learns it by heart, will be with the noble righteous scribes (in Heaven) and the one who exerts himself to learn the Qur’aan by heart and recites it with great difficulty, will have a double reward.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari (4937).

The hadeeth indicates that the one who finds it difficult to read Qur’aan will be rewarded for his reading. This is all aimed at encouraging one to read Qur’aan and not to forsake the Qur’aan.

So there is nothing wrong with a person reciting the verses that he knows, whether it is three verses or more or less.

If he can read but he has only memorized a few verses, then he is advised to devote some of his time for memorization and some for reading from the Mus-haf so as to attain the reward for reciting, so that he may combine the two: memorization and recitation.

We ask Allaah to help us and you to memorize His Book and to read it during some hours of the night, and at the ends of the day (cf. Ta-Ha 20:130), for He is Able to do that.

And Allaah knows best. Continue reading

One praying behind the imam misses a rukn (obligatory part) of the prayer

What should one do if one is praying behind an imam and one misses one of the obligatory parts (arkaan)of the prayer?

If someone is praying in a congregation and the loud speaker stops working or the person is drowsy, and he lags behind the Imam by one or more obligatory acts (arkaan) of prayer (i.e., the Imam performed it and he could not because of not hearing the Imam’s voice), then when he returns to consciousness or the sound of the speaker returns back, he should complete the missed obligatory acts and then continue with the Imam. This situation has many cases. Take for example the following case: the Imam recited a verse that contains the word of prostration (sajdah) and the people misunderstood it to be an actual verse of prostration while in reality it is not, so when the Imam says takbeer for ruku‘ at the end of the verse and performs ruku‘, some of the followers (especially those towards the rear of the rows) take it to be the takbeer for the prostration of recital, thus going into prostration. When the Imam stands up from the ruku‘ saying “sami‘a Allahu li man hamidah”, they return back (stand up) from their prostration. Thus, they missed the act of ruku‘ and standing up from it. So it is incumbent on them to complete what they missed and then catch up with the Imam. This is because they did not do it intentionally. However, for the one who intentionally lags behind the Imam (e.g., someone who prolongs his prostration to make a long supplication such that he misses the obligatory act which is after the prostration) the majority of the scholars say that the prayer of someone who misses two consecutive obligatory acts of prayer without a valid excuse, is void and he is sinful.1 However, in principle the Imam must be followed as said by the Prophet (peace be upon him):

The Imam is selected to be followed; the, do not differ with him. When he makes the takbeer, make the takbeer, when he goes into ruku‘, make ruku‘. When he says “samia‘ Allahu li man hamidah” (Allah hears he who praises Him), say “Rabbanaa lakal Hamd” (O our Lord! To You belongs the Praise). When he goes into sajdah, make sajdah. If he prays sitting, then all should be sitting. Continue reading

Should he pray behind those who pray Witr with three rak’ahs and two tashahhuds and one salaam, and they recite qunoot before bowing?

In the Islamic centre where I pray, they follow the Hanafi madhhab, and they pray witr with three rak’ahs, separated by a tashahhud in the second rak’ah, after which they do not say salaam, rather they stand up for the third rak’ah, and after reciting al-Faatihah and another soorah, they say takbeer but they do not bow, rather they recite du’aa’ al-tahajjud silently, then they say takbeer and bow. Is this valid? If not, what should we do?.

Praise be to Allaah.Firstly: 

What the imam and the worshippers did, praying Witr with three rak’ahs, two tashahhuds and one salaam, and reciting qunoot before bowing, are issues concerning which there is a well-known scholarly difference of opinion between the Hanafis and the majority of scholars. There is something makrooh about praying Witr in this manner. Praying Witr with three rak’ahs may be done in two ways, both of which are Islamically acceptable. They are as follows:

1 – Praying the three rak’ahs one after another, with one tashahhud and one tasleem.

2 – Praying two rak’ahs then saying the salaam, then praying one rak’ah on its own.

You will find a detailed discussion of both ways, along with the evidence for them, in the answer to question no. 46544.

As for praying three rak’ahs with two tashahhuds and one salaam, it is narrated that this is not allowed and at the very least it is makrooh. We have quoted the fatwas of scholars forbidding this in the answers to questions no. 72246 and 26844.

With regard to reciting qunoot before bowing, there is evidence for this in the saheeh Sunnah. Those who say that qunoot should be recited after bowing also have evidence. There is no reason for denouncing, let alone disputing, let alone doing what is worse than that, namely refusing to pray behind that imam.

The issue of qunoot in Witr has been discussed in the answer to question no. 14093. Continue reading

Adding another rak’ah to the imaam’s witr because one wants to pray some more

Some people, when they pray witr with the imaam and he says salaam, they get up and do another rak’ah, because they want to do more prayers before praying witr later in the night. What is the ruling on this action? Is it considered to be forsaking the prayer with the imaam?

Praise be to Allaah.

We do not see anything wrong with this, and the ‘ulama’ stated that there is nothing wrong with doing this, so that his witr will be at the end of the night. He will be considered to have prayed with the imaam until he finished, because he stayed with him until he finished, and added another rak’ah for a shar’i reason, which was so that he could pray witr later in the night. There is nothing wrong with this, and it does not mean that he did not stay with the imaam until he finished, but he did not finish with him – he delayed it a little longer. Continue reading

If there are two who came late to the prayer can one of them be an imam and lead the other?

We have a musallah at our compagny where we perform daily prayer and Friday prayer.
I realized the following : Some times some brothers when they came late and before the Imam has finished, they join the jamaa prayer behind the Imam and after the imam has finished the prayer, they stand up to continue the prayer ( normal). It happens that one brother decide to follow another one ( late ) in his left who becomes a new Imam ! Question : Are situation allowed ? Is there some thing in the Coran or Sunna that justify practice such in the above situation ?.

Praise be to Allaah.This is the issue of one who came late to the prayer being joined by another who also came late. There is a difference of opinion among the scholars as to whether this is allowed or not. Shaykh Muhammad ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) was of the view that it is permitted. There follows the text of his comments: 

“If two people who came late to the prayer enter (the mosque), and one says to the other, ‘When the imam says the salaam, I will be your imam,’ and the other says, “O.k.,’ then when the imam says the salaam, one of the two becomes the imam for the other. He moves from following an imam to leading the prayer, and the other moves from following one imam to following another. Continue reading