Can he be alone with a woman to lead her in prayer?

Is it permissible to be alone with a woman in order to lead her in prayer?.

Praise be to Allaah.It is not permissible for a man to be alone with a woman who is not his mahram. 

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “No man should be alone with a woman unless there is a mahram with her.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari (5233) and Muslim (1341).

And he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “No man is alone with a (non-mahram) woman but the shaytaan is the third one present.” Narrated by Ahmad (178) and classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Irwa’ al-Ghaleel (1813).

These ahaadeeth are general in meaning and indicate that it is haraam for a man to be alone with a non-mahram woman under any circumstances, even if that is for the purpose of prayer. The scholars have stated that this is forbidden.

Al-Nawawi said in al-Majmoo’ (4/174):

Our companions said: If a man leads his wife or a mahram of his in prayer, and he is alone with her, that is permissible and is not makrooh, because it is permissible for him to be alone with her when not praying. But if he leads a non-mahram woman in prayer and is alone with her, that is haraam for him and for her, because of the saheeh ahaadeeth which I shall quote below insha Allaah … then he quoted the ahaadeeth that we have mentioned above. End quote.

It says in al-Mawsoo’ah al-Fiqhiyyah (19/267):

The fuqaha’ are unanimously agreed that being alone with a non-mahram woman is haraam. They said: No man should be alone with a woman who is not his mahram or his wife, rather she is a non-mahram, because the shaytaan may whisper to them when they are alone, inciting them to do that which is not permitted. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:  “No man is alone with a (non-mahram) woman but the shaytaan is the third one present.”  And they said: If he leads the non-mahram woman in prayer and is alone with her, that is haraam for him and for her. End quote. Continue reading

Imaam with a beautiful voice that motivates the worshippers

We are in charge of a large number of students in their residences, and we have devised a special program for them to raise their Islamic awareness. This includes inviting one of the imams of the mosques in the city who is known for his beautiful voice, to lead them in Fajr prayer, hoping that this will motivate them with the Qur’aan. Please note that the regular imam of the mosque has agreed to this. What is the shar’i ruling on this?

Praise be to Allaah.What I think is that there is nothing wrong with that, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) listened to the recitation of Abu Moosa al-Ash’ari (may Allaah be pleased with him) and liked it, and said to him, “You have been given a beautiful voice like that of Dawood.” He [Abu Moosa] asked, “Were you listening to that, O Messenger of Allaah?” He said, “Yes.” He said, “If I had known that you were listening I would have tried to make it more beautiful for you.” (Muslim, Salaat al-Musaafireen, 793). 

So if this imam has a beautiful voice and recites well, and that will motivate these students, then there is nothing wrong with that, especially since the regular imam has given permission for that. The regular imam is to be thanked for giving his permission as that serves an interest. Continue reading

Should a traveler pray four rak’ahs with the congregation or pray two rak’ahs on his own?

I was traveling, then whilst I was on a journey, I stopped to pray Maghrib and ‘Isha’ together and shortened in one of the mosques. After I had prayed Maghrib and intended to pray ‘Isha’, I found that a group had given the iqaamah to pray ‘Isha’ in the mosque. Should I have prayed four rak’ahs with that congregation, or should I have prayed two rak’ahs on my own as I had intended to, and completed my journey?.

Praise be to Allaah.Prayer in congregation is obligatory for men whether they are at home or traveling. If you find a group of travelers, you should pray ‘Isha’ with them, in the shortened form, otherwise you should pray four rak’ahs in congregation with the people who live there.

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: “The obligation to pray in congregation is not waived for the traveler, because Allaah has enjoined it (prayer in congregation) even at the time of battle, as He says (interpretation of the meaning):

“When you (O Messenger Muhammad) are among them, and lead them in As-Salaah (the prayer), let one party of them stand up [in Salaah (prayer)] with you taking their arms with them; when they finish their prostrations, let them take their positions in the rear and let the other party come up which have not yet prayed, and let them pray with you”

[al-Nisa’ 4:102]

Based on this, if the traveler is in a country other than his own, he has to attend prayer in congregation in the mosque if he hears the adhaan, unless he is far away from the mosque or fears that he will lose his traveling-companions, because of the general meaning of the evidence which indicates that it is obligatory to pray in congregation for the one who hears the adhaan or iqaamah.

From Majmoo’ Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, vol. 15, question no. 1085. and Allaah knows best. Continue reading

When should he pray witr when Maghrib is combined with ‘Isha’?

What is the ruling on praying witr at the time of ‘Isha’ when travelling and shortening the obligatory prayers?

Praise be to Allaah.This question deals with two matters. 

1 – Shortening prayers whilst travelling.

“Travelling is a reason which permits the four-rak’ah prayers to be shortened to two rak’ahs, rather it – i.e. travel – is the reason which dictates shortening four rak’ah prayers to two rak’ahs, and this is either obligatory or recommended, depending on the differences in scholarly opinion.

The correct view is that shortening prayers is recommended and is not obligatory; although there are some texts which apparently indicate that it is obligatory, there are other texts which indicate that it is not obligatory.”

The four-rak’ah prayers are Zuhr, ‘Asr and ‘Isha’, and the evidence for that is the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and the consensus of the ummah.

In the Qur’aan, Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And when you (Muslims) travel in the land, there is no sin on you if you shorten As-Salaah (the prayer) if you fear that the disbelievers may put you in trial (attack you)”

[al-Nisa’ 4:101]

And evidence is to be found in the actions of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): “When the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) traveled, he would pray two rak’ahs. It was not narrated from him that he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) ever prayed four rak’ahs whilst travelling, rather during all of his journeys, long and short, he would pray two rak’ahs.”

With regard to the consensus of the Muslims: this is something which is a well-known and well-established part of the religion, as Ibn ‘Umar said: “I prayed behind the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and Abu Bakr, ‘Umar and ‘Uthmaan, and they never prayed more than two rak’ahs when travelling.” And the Muslims are agreed upon that.

2 – Praying witr when combining ‘Isha with Maghrib and praying them at the earlier time (i.e., the time of Maghrib).

The traveler may pray witr after praying ‘Isha’ with Maghrib and praying them at the time of Maghrib.”

See Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, vol. 1, p. 412; al-Sharh al-Mumti’, vol. 4, p. 502; Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah, vol. 8, p. 144. Continue reading

If he prays ‘Isha’ with Maghrib at the time of Maghrib, he can pray Witr immediately after that.

If I join Maghrib and ‘Isha’ at the time of Maghrib because of traveling, when should I pray Witr? Should I pray it straight after ‘Isha’ or wait until the time for ‘Isha’ begins?.

Praise be to Allaah.You can pray it straight after praying ‘Isha’. 

It says in Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah (8/144):

It is prescribed for travellers and those who are sick to join prayers, and also for non-travellers to join prayers on a rainy night. They may then pray Witr immediately after praying ‘Isha’ when it is joined to Maghrib at the time of Maghrib. Continue reading

Is it permissible to join ‘Isha’ with Maghrib in countries where ‘Isha’ is very late

I have a son who is twelve years old and he is asking: Is it permissible for him to join ‘Isha’ with Maghrib and pray it immediately after Maghrib, because he gets up very early to pray Fajr before the sun rises, then he goes to school and in a few months from now the time for Fajr will be very early and the time of ‘Isha’ will be very late for him because of his studies, it will be at 11.45 p.m.

Praise be to Allaah.

The basic principle is that each prayer should be offered at the time appointed for it by sharee’ah, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Verily, As‑Salaah (the prayer) is enjoined on the believers at fixed hours”

[al-Nisa’ 4:103]

Joining two prayers is not permissible unless there is a reason such as travelling, rain or hardship. If the time for ‘Isha’ is very late and the time for Fajr is early, such that it will cause hardship to offer ‘Isha’ on time, in that case there is nothing wrong with joining it to Maghrib at the time of the earlier prayer.

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked about a country in which the disappearance of the red afterglow which signals the onset of the time for ‘Isha’ comes very late and it is too hard for them to wait for it.

He replied:

If the red afterglow does not disappear until dawn comes, or it disappears at a time when there is not enough time to pray ‘Isha’ before dawn comes, then they come under the rulings of those who have no time for ‘Isha’. They should estimate its time based on the nearest country to them where there is considerable time to pray ‘Isha’, and it was also suggested that they should base it on the prayer times in Makkah, because it is the mother of cities (Umm al-Qura).

If the red afterglow disappears a long time before ‘Isha’ and there is enough time to pray ‘Isha’, then they must wait until it disappears, unless waiting for it will cause them hardship. In that case it is permissible for them to join ‘Isha’ with Maghrib at the time of the earlier prayer, so as to ward off hardship and difficulty, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Allaah intends for you ease, and He does not want to make things difficult for you”

[al-Baqarah 2:185]

“and [Allaah] has not laid upon you in religion any hardship”

[al-Hajj 22:78]

In Saheeh Muslim it is narrated from ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) joined Zuhr and ‘Asr, and Maghrib and ‘Isha’, in Madeenah at a time when there was no fear and no rain. They said: What did he intend by that? He said: “He intended that his ummah should not be put in difficulty” i.e., that they should not be faced with hardship due to not joining prayers. May Allaah help us all to do that which is good and right. End quote from Majmoo’ Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (12/206).

And Allaah knows best. Continue reading

Ruling on a doctor who misses the prayer because he is busy with surgery

There is a doctor who does emergency surgery, which sometimes means that he is too busy to pray until the time of the prayer ends. What should he do? He has been told that in that situation he must offer the prayer in any way. What is this way? May Allah reward you.

Praise be to Allaah.

What the Muslim is obliged to do is to offer the prayer on time and not let himself be distracted from it by anything, unless it is something urgent that he cannot do anything about, such as saving a person from drowning or rescuing people from a burning house, or warding off the attack of an enemy that is feared. In such cases there is nothing wrong with delaying the prayer for that reason, even if the time for the prayer ends. But with regard to ordinary matters in which no danger is involved, it is not permissible to delay the prayer because of them.

It is proven that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), when the people of Makkah besieged Madeenah on the day of al-Ahzaab, delayed Zuhr and ‘Asr prayer until after Maghrib. According to another report, he delayed ‘Asr prayer until after Maghrib, because he was preoccupied with fighting. It is also proven that when the Sahaabah besieged Tastar, dawn came when the fighting was still going on and the people were scaling the walls and were at the gates of the city, and they delayed Fajr prayer until conquest was granted to them, then they prayed at the time of duha (forenoon) so that they would not miss out on the opportunity to conquer the city. In such situations it is permissible to delay the prayer. If there is a fire in which Muslim people are trapped, it is permissible to focus on rescuing them, even if that means that you will miss offering a prayer on time, because saving Muslim lives which are protected by sharee’ah is very important, and because it may not be possible to deal with this danger except by delaying the prayer; the prayer is being missed for a valid reason, so it is permissible to delay it. A person may also delay the prayer and join prayers because of sickness and travelling, so it is permissible to delay prayers until after their time or to delay ‘Asr or Fajr prayers from their times in order to save one who is drowning or burning and so on. End quote.

Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz (may Allah have mercy on him). Continue reading

Should a latecomer count an extra rak’ah done with the imam?

If a latecomer joins the prayer with the imam in the second rak’ah, and the imam forgets and does an extra rak’ah, what should the latecomer do? Should he say the salaam with the imam or stand up after the imam says the salaam and do another rak’ah?.

Praise be to Allaah.

He should say the salaam with the imam, because his prayer is complete. With regard to the imam, he is excused for this extra rak’ah.

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen was asked: If the imam prays five rak’ahs by mistake, what is the ruling on his prayer and the prayer of those behind him? Should a latecomer count this extra rak’ah?

He replied: if the imam prays five rak’ahs by mistake, his prayer is valid, and the prayer of those who followed him by mistake or out of ignorance is also valid.

But if a person knew that this was something extra, when the imam stood up for the extra rak’ah, he should have sat and said the salaam, because in this case he thought that the prayer of his imam was invalid, unless he feared that his imam stood up for the extra rak’ah because he did not recite al-Faatihah properly (for example) in one of the two rak’ahs. In that case he should wait and not say the salaam.

With regard to the latecomer who joined the imam in the second or subsequent rak’ah, this extra rak’ah counts for him. So if he joined the imam in the second rak’ah, for example, he should say the salaam with the imam who prayed an extra rak’ah. If he joined in the third rak’ah, then he should do another rak’ah after the imam says the salaam following the additional rak’ah. That is because if we say that the extra rak’ah does not count for the latecomer, he would have to add another rak’ah deliberately, which would mean that the prayer was invalid. As for the imam, he is excused for the extra rak’ah, because he forgot (and did it by mistake), so his prayer is not invalidated.

Majmoo’ Fataawa Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, 14/20. Continue reading

What to do with a Guide Dog when entering a Mosque

Assalaam alaikum
I am desiring to embrace Islam, however I have a slight concern. I am legally blind and use a guide dog for mobility purposes. I have been informed that I have no problems being a Muslim and having a guide dog due to my disability. However, I am concerned at the reaction that I get from other Muslims when I approach an Islamic Center. I do not want to offend but without the assistance of the guide dog I am unable to travel to a Masjid or Islamic center alone. With who should I discuss this situation i.e., an Imam? I sometimes feel I am at a “stalemate” .
Thank you for your help.

Al-hamdu lillaah. (All praise be to God Almighty, Allaah.)

To the dear noble inquirer:

You have reached the doorstep of entering into Islam and are hesitant due to concern over what you may face vis-à-vis the response of fellow Muslims regarding the dog you use to guide you to the masjid or Islamic center. Let me assure you that the matter is simple and much easier to deal with than you may think.

You are a man for whom Allaah has ordained blindness as a trial, and there is little or no practical recourse for your daily movement, coming and going, other than a trained guide dog. Whereas keeping a dog without due need is censured and objectionable according to Islamic shari’ah (due to its filth and uncleanness), in your case keeping a dog is clearly for an urgent need and not out of custom, tradition, or love for owning the dog itself. So perhaps you have a valid excuse regarding this issue, Allaah willing.

I can’t imagine that you would require to enter the mosque or Islamic center with the dog; rather, you most likely would leave him outside and enter for worship, attending a religious gathering, or to learn and ask about matters concerning your religion. As long as the case is as such, the issue is solved and the matter is settled. If you leave the dog at a distance from the entrance to the mosque, then whoever among the Muslim does not welcome you warmly would clearly be committing a mistake. You could also contact the director of the Islamic center or whoever fills such a position, in order to explain to him your situation. I would expect him to assume the responsibility for informing those who administer as well as attend the mosque. If you like, feel free to take this response as a letter to him and ask him to peruse it, and I am confident you will find only goodwill and cordiality, Allaah willing.

In closing I would like to welcome you to the religion of Islam and send you a warm salutation and an extraordinary congratulations on your desire to accept the religion. I urge you to hasten in taking the greatest step of your life since your mother gave birth to you, and would like to leave you with glad tidings regarding the disability with which you are afflicted. In fact, you will receive a great reward for your blindness if you accept Islam, as per the saying of our Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) [translation of the meaning]:

“Verily Allaah has said, ‘If I afflict one of My worshippers with a trial regarding his two dearest ones (i.e., his eyes) and he is patient and perseveres, I will compensate him for them Heaven.’ ” (Hadeeth al-Bukhari, Fath ul-Baari #5653)

We ask Allaah to open your heart to the truth and to assist you in holding fast to it, and Allaah is the One Who Guides to the true path of righteousness. Continue reading

Ruling on preventing women with improper hijab from entering the mosque

Is it permissible to prohibit women who are not covered in the proper islaamic covering from entering the masjid ? (after they have been given the proper naseeha) Please advise the daleel.
Jazzakallahu khayrun

Praise be to Allaah Alone, and peace and blessings be upon him after whom there is no Prophet.

If a woman comes to the mosque wearing improper hijab, then according to Islam she should be advised and have explained to her – with the daleel or proof – the fact that hijab is obligatory, and the seriousness of neglecting it. If she then complies, then praise be to Allah. If she does not comply, then do not let her enter, because of the fitnah (temptation) and evil involved in her actions. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Any woman who has put on bukhoor (incense, fragrance) should not attend this ‘Isha’ prayer with us.” (Reported by Muslim, 675). And he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said concerning women’s going out to the mosque: “Let them go out unperfumed” (reported by Abu Dawood, 478), i.e., not wearing any perfume. Women have to go out wearing complete Islamic hijab, and not wearing adornment or perfume. And Allaah knows best. Continue reading