Attending prayers in congregation in a mosque where women are uncovered when doing wudoo’

In our Muslim country at most of the masajid here, when I go for prayer I see some women who enter the masjid after they take off their shoes in front of men. Also when they make wudu’ the fold their sleeves up and uncover apart of their lower legs and stand beside men for wudu’. What should I do? Shall I pray at home and stop going to the masjid? Especially that we are young men and have strong desires.

Praise be to Allaah.

Attending prayers in congregation with the Muslims is obligatory, as we have stated in many answers. See no. 8918 and 120. You should strive to pray in congregation in a mosque in which the call to prayer is given and you should try to do wudoo’ in your house or place of work. If you have to do wudoo’ in the mosque, then you should lower your gaze and try to keep away from places where women are, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Tell the believing men to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts). That is purer for them”

[al-Noor 24:30]

We also advise  believing women to fear Allaah with regard to coming to the mosque. They should realize that they are coming to a place that is one of the noblest places on earth to perform an act of worship that is one of the greatest acts of worship. So it is not befitting for them to disobey their Lord by uncovering that which He has commanded them to cover, and it is not right for her to crowd with men in the place where they do wudoo’. If they cannot find a place to do wudoo’ then they should pray in their homes and that is better for them and brings a greater reward, as it says in Sunan Abi Dawood (570) and elsewhere. It was narrated from ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Mas’ood (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “A woman’s prayer in her house is better than her prayer in her courtyard, and her prayer in her cabinet is better than her prayer in her courtyard.” Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood. Continue reading

He feels khushoo’ when on his own but not in the mosque

I have a bit of a problem when I pray with others. Many times, when I pray in a group, whether I am the iman or just part of the jemaah, I find I lack in ‘khushoo’. This is not the case when I pray alone, though. Alone, I believe my ‘khushoo’ is more. Is it okay for me to opt to pray alone, even when there is a jemaah waiting or in progress?

Praise be to Allaah.

What you have mentioned, that you feel khushoo’ when you pray on your own but not when you pray in jamaa’ah, is the temptation of the Shaytaan which we are told not to fall prey to. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“and follow not the footsteps of Shaytaan (Satan). Verily, he is to you an open enemy” [al-Baqarah 2:168]

Prayer in jamaa’ah is obligatory and the Shaytaan wants to distract you from fulfilling this obligation by making you doubt about your khushoo’. He makes the idea of praying alone so that you can have more khushoo’ appear attractive, but in fact he wants to keep you away from the house of Allaah and from the jamaa’ah of your Muslim brothers who pray in the mosque, so that you will be alone. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) explained that the Shaytaan has control over those who neglect praying in congregation. According to a hasan hadeeth narrated by Abu Dawood (may Allaah have mercy on him), Abu’l-Dardaa said: “I heard the  Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say, ‘There are no three people in a town or in the countryside who do not establish (congregational) prayer, but the Shaytaan has gained control over them. You must adhere to jamaa’ah, for the wolf eats the sheep that wanders off alone.’” (Sunan Abi Dawood, 547; see also Saheeh al-Jaami’. Zaa’idah said, al-Saa’ib said, jamaa’ah refers to praying in jamaa’ah). Continue reading

A woman walked in front of our row when we were praying in jamaa’ah

A sister walked in front of a row of sisters praying behind the imaam. (There were only a few of us in the row and the sister walked so quickly that we could not stop her before she took her place in line.)I understand that three things invalidate the prayer if they pass between the praying person and the sutra, which are the donkey, black dog, and a woman . How should we start our prayer again and still follow the imaam ?

Praise be to Allaah.

With regard to the idea that a person’s prayer is invalidated if a woman, donkey or black dog passes in front of him, this is correct.

It was reported from ‘Abd-Allaah ibn al-Saamit that Abu Dharr said: “The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ‘If any one of you stands up to pray, then he has a sutrah [an item placed in front of a praying person as a “screen”] if he has something the height of the back of a saddle in front of him. If he does not have something the height of the back of a saddle in front of him, then his prayer is invalidated if a donkey or a woman or a black dog passes in front of him.’” I [‘Abd-Allaah] asked, “O Abu Dharr, what is the difference between a black dog and a red or yellow dog?” He said, “O son of my brother, I asked the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) the same question, and he said, ‘The black dog is a shaytaan (devil).’” (Narrated by Muslim, 510).

The height of the back of a saddle is one cubit or 2/3 of a cubit. Continue reading

When do the first and second “hours” on Friday begin?

In the hadeeth about the virtue of coming early to Jumu’ah prayer it says that the one who comes in the first “hour” will have a reward like that of one who sacrifices a camel, and the one who comes in the second “hour” will have a similar reward. I hope that you can tell me when the first “hour” begins and ends, so that the second “hour” begins.

Praise be to Allaah.

It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever comes (to the mosque) in the first hour, it is as if he sacrificed a camel. Whoever comes at the second hour, it is as if he sacrificed a cow. Whoever comes at the third hour, it is as if he sacrificed a horned ram. Whoever comes at the fourth hour, it is as if he sacrificed a chicken. Whoever comes at the fifth hour, it is as if he sacrificed an egg. Then when the imam comes out, the angels come in to listen to the reminder (khutbah).”

Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 841; Muslim, 850

The scholars differed as to the definition of these hours. There are three opinions.

1 – That they start when dawn breaks

2 – That they start when the sun rises. This is the view of al-Shaafa’i, Ahmad, and others.

3 – That these ‘hours’ all fall within one period of time, which is after the sun has passed its zenith. This is the view of Maalik, and was favoured by some of the Shaafa’is.

The third view is weak, and was refuted by many.  Continue reading

When is one counted as having caught up with the prayer in jamaa’ah?

I have some problems regarding prayer in jamaa’ah, and hope that you can answer the following questions: If I join the prayer in the last tashahhud, am I considered to have caught up with the prayer in jamaa’ah or not? If I cannot recite al-Faatihah even once during prayer in jamaa’ah, because the imaam reads too fast or because there is no pause in which I can recite it, is there anything wrong with that? If I reach the mosque and the iqaamah has already been recited, should I join the jamaa’ah when the iqaamah is recited or when the imaam does rukoo’?

Praise be to Allaah.

According to the correct view, you can only catch up with the prayer in jamaa’ah if you catch up with and do a rak’ah with the imaam. Merely catching up with the tashahhud or what comes before the tashahhud, but not with the rak’ah, does not count as having caught up with the prayer in jamaa’ah. I offer you my condolences for your great loss if you have caught up with nothing of the prayer except the tashahhud. The evidence (daleel) for this is the hadeeth of Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him), who said that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever catches up with a rak’ah of the prayer has caught up with the prayer.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari in al-Mawaaqeet, Baab man adraka min al-salaah rak’ah, 580; Muslim, Kitaab al-masaajid, 607).

This is the correct scholarly view; and it is the view of Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him), and is the view favoured by Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah preserve him). It is the view which is supported and strengthened by the evidence.

With regard to reciting al-Faatihah in the prayer, this is one of the most important of the arkaan al-salaah (pillars or essential parts of the prayer), and the prayer is not valid without it, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “There is no salaah for the one who does not recite the Opening of the Book.” But if a person is praying with the imaam and catches up with him during the rukoo’, for example, and he does rukoo’ without reciting al-Faatihah, this is OK, and the imaam’s recitation will count as his recitation, because of the famous hadeeth of Abu Bakrah (may Allaah be pleased with him), “May Allaah increase your keenness, but do not do this again.”

But if the imaam is clearly rushing, as you say, then the essential element of tranquillity and measured pace is not there (such as the prayer of some of the Hanafis), so the prayer offered behind him is not valid, because he is not qualified to lead it and because one of the essential elements of the prayer – that of a measured pace – is lacking. This condition is based on the famous hadeeth about the one who did not pray properly. But if it is only the case of the imam reciting relatively fast and he is able to maintain the required measured pace, in this case it is usually possible to recite Soorat al-Faatihah behind him, and if you can recite it faster, there is nothing wrong with that. But if you are not reciting al-Faatihah for another reason, such as laziness or forgetfulness, or because you joined the prayer late, then this does not affect your prayer, which is still valid, and the imaam’s recitation counts as your recitation. Continue reading

If he enters the mosque when the imam has stood up from bowing, what should he say?

If I come to the mosque and the imam has stood up from bowing, what should I say at this point? Should I say “Rabbana wa laka al-hamd” or what?.

Praise be to Allaah.

If you enter the mosque when the imam has stood up from bowing, then you should say the dhikr that is prescribed at this point, which is Rabbana wa laka’l-hamd, and you should not say the opening du’aa’, because its place is the beginning of the prayer, and you should not say A’oodhu Billaahi min al-shaytaan il-rajeem, because its place is before recitation.

Al-Bukhaari (689) and Muslim (411) narrated from Anas (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The imam has been appointed to be followed, so when he says takbeer, then say takbeer; when he prostrates, then prostrate; when he rises, then rise, and when he says, Sami’a Allaahu liman hamidah, then say Rabbana wa laka’l-hamd. And if he prays sitting, then you should all pray sitting.”

For more information, please see the answer to question no. 33592 and 43574.

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked: If I join the imam when he is bowing, when I stand up for the second rak’ah should I recite the opening du’aa’ or not?

He (may Allaah have mercy on him) replied: If a person who joins the prayer late joins the imam when he is bowing, then he should say the opening takbeer first (takbeer al-ihraam) before bowing, then he should bow, but in this case if he says the takbeer for bowing it is better, but if he does not say it, it does not matter. This is the view of the scholars (may Allaah have mercy on them). Then when he gets up for the second rak’ah, he should not say the opening du’aa’ because the opening du’aa’ should only be said at the beginning of the prayer, and the beginning of the prayer has already passed. It is a Sunnah and he has missed its place, so he should not make it up at a point which is not the right place for it. But he should seek refuge with Allaah from the accursed shaytaan before reciting. End quote from Fataawa Noor ‘ala al-Darb.

To sum up: If a person catches up with the imam at some point, he should recite the dhikr that is prescribed at that point, such as if he catches up during the sitting between the two prostrations, he should say Rabb ighfir li, and if he catches up during the tashahhud he should recite it, and so on.

See also the answer to question no. 69821.

And Allaah knows best. Continue reading

Is it permissible for him to complete the purchase when he can hear the call to prayer?

Sometimes when I’m in the market place and I am in a store and have chosen something and am at the checkout, the call to prayer is given. Is it permissible for me to complete the purchase or is that haraam?
Also, sometimes we are in the car and the muezzin has already given the call to prayer, and we stop at the grocery and my brother asks the shopkeeper to sell him something. Does this also come under the prohibition?.

Praise be to Allaah.

If that is the adhaan for Jumu‘ah prayer that comes after the khateeb has ascended the minbar, then it is haraam to buy and sell at that time, because Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): “O you who believe (Muslims)! When the call is proclaimed for the Salaah (prayer) on Friday (Jumu‘ah prayer), come to the remembrance of Allaah [Jumu‘ah religious talk (Khutbah) and Salaah (prayer)] and leave off business (and every other thing). That is better for you if you did but know!” [al-Jumu‘ah 62:9].

The words “O you who believe (Muslims)! When the call is proclaimed for the Salaah (prayer) on Friday (Jumu‘ah prayer), come to the remembrance of Allaah [Jumu‘ah religious talk (Khutbah) and Salaah (prayer)] and leave off business” mean: stop dealing with trade and come and listen to the khutbah and perform Jumu‘ah prayer in the mosque with the imam. This means that it is haraam to buy and sell after the second adhaan which comes when the khateeb sits on the minbar, until the prayer ends, unless there is a case of necessity which calls for buying or selling, such as buying water for the purpose of purification or a garment to cover one’s ‘awrah for prayer. End quote.

Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah, 13/101-102 Continue reading

They got a shock when their imaam recited al-Faatihah in English

What should be done if a brother puts himself forward to lead the salat, and then he begins to read the Al-fatiha in english. Should those behind him leave the salat or continue to pray with him.

Praise be to Allaah.

You should say “Subhaan Allaah!” to him. If he pays attention, then all well and good, otherwise you should leave the salaah and pray on your own. It is not permissible for you to continue praying behind him. And Allaah knows best. Continue reading

Where should a woman stand when she prays in jamaa’ah with her husband?

i have recently got married alhumdulillah and could you tell me can one pray jamat with his wife and if so how?

Praise be to Allaah.It is permissible for a man to lead his wife in prayer, and the woman should stand behind the man, because it is not permissible for her to stand with him, because when the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) led Anas and the orphan in prayer, he made Umm Sulaym – who was the mother of Anas – stand behind them. 

It is also indicated by the report narrated from Anas ibn Maalik, that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) led him and his mother or maternal aunt in prayer. He said, “He made me stand to his right and he made the woman stand behind us.” (narrated by Muslim, al-Masaajid wa Mawaadi’ al-Salaah, 1056).

Al-Kaasaani said: If there is a woman praying with the imaam, he should make her stand behind him.

Ibn Rushd al-Hafeed said: there is no dispute concerning the fact that a lone woman may pray behind the imaam and that if there is also a man present, the man should pray beside the imaam and the woman should pray behind him.

See Ahkaam al-Imaamah wa’l-I’timaam by al-Muneef, p. 319-320

And Allaah knows best. Continue reading

Did it ever happen that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) started to pray when he was junub by mistake?

We seek a detailed answer about this Hadeeth:
Narrated by Abu Hurairah, may Allah be pleased with him, that the prophet (PBUH) went out to pray, and when he said Allahu Akbar, he left and referred to them to stay as they are. Then he left, had ghusl and came back with his hair dripping of water, and led the prayer. After he fished the prayer he said: “I was junub and forgot to make ghusl” narrated by Ahmed.

Praise be to Allaah.Firstly: 

This incident was narrated from the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) in the books of Sunnah. To sum up, the people had formed their rows to pray behind the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and he stood before them as if he was going to lead them in prayer, then he remembered that he was junub, so he gestured to them to stay where they were, and he went and did ghusl, then he came back to them with his head dripping with water.

But there are some differences in the reports:

Did the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say takbeer and then remember that he was junub? Or did he remember before the opening takbeer?

The reports may be summed up as follows:

1 – A version which clearly states that he remembered that he was junub before he started to pray:

This version was narrated by ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Wahb from Yoonus from al-Zuhri from Abu Salamah ibn ‘Abd al-Rahmaan ibn ‘Awf from Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him), as was narrated in Saheeh Muslim (605), where it says: The iqaamah for prayer was given, and we stood up and made the rows straight before the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) came out to us. Then the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) came and stood in his prayer place before saying the takbeer, then he went away and said to us: “Stay where you are.” We remained standing, waiting for him, until he came out to us. He had done ghusl, and his head was dripping water. Then he said takbeer and led us in prayer.

Saalih ibn Kaysaan narrated from al-Zuhri – as was recorded by al-Bukhaari (639) as follows:

… until, when he was standing in his prayer place and we were waiting for him to say takbeer, he turned and said, ‘Stay where you are.’ We stayed where we were until he came out to us with his head dripping with water, as he had done ghusl. Continue reading