Part II: Prayer (As-Salat)
During every year, the followers of Islam all over the world celebrate two religious festivals, Eidul Fitr on the first of Shawal and Eidul Adhha (or Azha) on the tenth of Dhil Hajjah, respectively the tenth and twelfth months of Islamic Lunar calendar. On both these occasions, in addition to celebrations the Muslims perform prayers which are respectively called Eidul Fitr Prayer and Eidul Adhha Prayer. These prayers are largely attended and even those persons join in these prayers who hardly perform any prayer during the whole year.
Some of the important rules and regulations of these prayers are as under:
1. Preparations for prayer: One must take bath, brush teeth, apply perfume and wear new or clean clothes to prepare himself for any of these prayers.
2. Time: Both the prayers of Eid are offered when the sun has arisen and is well above the horizon, say two hours after sunrise. Prayer of Eidul Azha is offered a little earlier than the prayer of Eidul Fitr as according to Hadhrat Jundab it was the practice of the Prophet.
3. Eating something: Eating some sweet thing before going to the Prayer of Eidul Fitr and eating something after the Prayer of Eidul Azha preferably meat of the sacrificed animal is Sunnah (practice) of the Prophet.
4. Place: Eid Prayer must be offered outdoor in the open e.g. in a park or in a place specified for the purpose called Eidgah. However, on valid excuse such as rain, wind or extreme cold or heat, it can be offered in the mosque or in a hall.
5. Walking on foot: It is better if you walk to place of Eid prayer on foot, but in case of valid reason you can use conveyance. Going to the place by one way and returning to home by another way is recommended as Sunnah of the Prophet.
6. Participation of Women and Children: Participation of women and children is encouraged in the Eid prayer as the Prophet used to exhort his companions to bring their women and children, while he himself used to take his wives and daughters with him.
7. No Adhaan and Iqaamah: No Adhaan is called for this prayer, and no Iqaamah is said before this prayer. However, people can be called to mosque or Eidgah by making informal announcement.
8. Rakaahs of Eid Prayer: There are only two Rakaahs of this prayer. No optional or voluntary Rakaahs are offered before it or after it. Ibn Abbas reported that Prophet Muhammad used to pray two Rakaahs only for Eid Prayer. He did not pray anything before or after that.
9. Procedure: In both the Rakaah of Eid prayer, recitation of Surah al-Fatihah and some other Surah or passage of the Qur’an is made by the Imam in loud voice such as in Fajr Prayer. However the Eid Prayer is offered with additional takabir, 12 according to Imam Malik and Imam Ahmad, 7 in the first Rakaah before recitation and five in second Rakaah before recitation. But Imam Abu Hanifa holds that 3 Takabir should be said before recitation in the first Rakaah and 3 Takabir in the second Rakaah after recitation. While saying takabir (Allahu Akbar), hands should be raised to the level of shoulders or ears as in Takbir-e-Tahreema.
10. Khutbah: Unlike Jumuah (or Friday Prayer), there is only one Khutbah (not two) for this prayer which is delivered not before the congregation of prayer but after it. There is no sitting in between this Khutbah. Listening to this Khutbah is voluntary and not obligatory.
11. Miscellaneous: (a) Eid prayer according to Hanfees is Wajib, according to Malikees and Shafaees and Ahl-e-Hadith it is Sunat Muakkadah, but according to Hanblees it is Fard Kafayyah (i.e. if performed by some, others are exempted).
(b) Eid prayer can be offered only in congregation and not individually. So if you miss the congregation, you miss the prayer.
(c) There is no Qadha (late offering) of this prayer.
Chapter – 17
Some of the voluntary prayers which piety or need persuades a believer to offer are as under:-
1. Tahayyat-ul-Wudu (Prayer to greet Ablution)
This is a two Rakaah Nafl Prayer which is offered immediately after performing Wudu (Ablution) before the limbs get dry. The Prophet is reported to have said: He who offers two Rakaahs with devotion after performing the Wudu well, Paradise becomes sure for him (Muslim). The Jurists say that this prayer may be offered after performing the Ghusl (full bath) also as it includes Wudu.
Abu Hurairah reported that the Prophet asked Bilal: “Tell me your action which you have done as a Muslim and of which you have high expectations of reward as I have heard the sound of your shoes walking before me in the Paradise”. Bilal said: “My action which I hope would fetch me great reward is that whenever I performed Wudu in the day or night I offered Nafl prayer as much as was destined for me” (Bukhari).
2. Tahayyat-ul-Masjid (Prayer to greet the Mosque)
This is a Prayer which is offered immediately after entering the mosque. Abu Qattadah reported that the Prophet said: When anyone of you enters the mosque, he should not sit till he has offered two Rakaahs (Nafl prayers) -- ( Bukhari, Muslim).
According to Ulema and Jurists if a person offers Sunat or Fard prayer, it would suffice for the purpose.
3. Ashraaq Prayer
Ashraaq means sunrise. It is a Nafl prayer, generally of four Rakaah which is offered daily after the sun has well arisen i.e. an hour or so after sunrise. It carries rewards of one Hajj and one Umrah. The Prophet reportedly said: Allah says: O son of Adam! Perform four Rakaah prayer devotedly for Me in the early day, I will be sufficient for you till the evening of that day (Abu Daud).
4. Chasht Prayer
This Nafl (according to some people, sunat) prayer is offered after the sun has brightened up and arisen one spear’s height and ends before noon i.e. say between 9:00 A.M. to 11:50 A.M. According to Hadhrat Ayesha, the Prophet used to pray four Rakaah. (of this prayer). However, its number of Rakaah is not fixed. Anas reports that the Prophet said: He who prays twelve Rakaah of Chasht prayer, Allah builds for him a palace of gold (Tirmizi). According to some people, this prayer eliminates poverty.
5. Salatul Awwabeen
This is Mustahib (preferred) Prayer which has been highly commended and recommended by the Prophet. It is offered just after Maghrib Prayer and consists of six Rakaahs, to be performed in three sets of two Rakaahs.
6. Tasbeeh Prayer
Abdullah bin Abbas reported that the Prophet taught this prayer to his uncle Abbas bin Abdul Mutalib and told him to pray it daily or once in a week or once in a month or once in a year or once in lifetime as it carries great merits.
It is a four Rakaah prayer in which following Tasbeeh is to be recited 300 times (75 times in each Rakaah).
Subhan-Allah wal Hamdu lillahi wa la ilaha ill-Allahu wa-Allahu akbar.
Glory be to Allah and all praise is due to Allah. There is no god except Allah, and Allah is the Most Great.
The procedure in brief of this prayer is as under: In the first Rakaah, recite the above Tasbeeh 15 times after recitation of al-Fatihah and passage of Quran, then go to Ruku and repeat this Tasbeeh 10 times, then stand up in Qawmah and repeat this Tasbeeh 10 times, then go to Sajdah and repeat this Tasbeeh 10 times, then rise from Sajdah and sit in Jalsah and repeat this Tasbeeh 10 times, then go to second Sajdah and repeat it 10 times and then in Jalsah Ishtrahat repeat it ten times. It makes 75 times in the first Rakaah. Repeat it 75 times in second, third and fourth Rakaah, in second and fourth Rakaahs offer this Tasbeeh in Qaadah 10 times instead of Jalsah Istrahat.
7. Salatul Istikhara
Istikhara means to seek welfare or pray for goodness. When a person wants to do a thing but is undecided whether he should do it or not, or when he is unable to decide between two alternatives regarding some important thing, he should seek help of Allah and Allah’s guidance in such situations. He should offer two Rakaahs of Nafl prayer, glorify Allah, send Darud on the Prophet and then read the following Dua:
Allahumma inni as-takhiruka bi’ilmika wa as-taqdiruka bi-qudratika wa as’aluka min fadlik-al-‘azim. Fa-innaka taqduru wa la aqduru, wa ta’lamu wa la a’lamu wa anta ‘Allam-ul-ghuyub. Allahumma in kunta ta’lamu anna hazal-amra khair-ul-li fi dini wa ma’ishati wa ‘aqibat-i amri faqdura-hu-li wa yassirhu-li thumma barik-li fih; wa in kunta ta’lamu anna hazal-amra sharra-ul-li fi dini wa ma’ishati wa ‘aqibata-I amri fasrif-hu ‘anni wasrif-ni ‘an-hu aqdur-li-al khaira haith-u kana thumma ardi-ni bih.
“O Allah! I seek good from Thee on the basis of Thy knowledge and implore Thee for Thy high grace through Thy great power for Thou art Powerful and I have no power, Thou hast knowledge, and I have no knowledge, and Thou art knower of the unseen. O Allah! If in Thy knowledge, this thing is good for me, spiritually and materially, with regard to its ultimate results, ordain it for me and make its attainment easy for me, and bless it for me and if in Thy knowledge it is harmful for me, spiritually and materially, with regard to its ultimate results, keep it away from me, and protect me from it; ordain for me what is good and beneficial, wherever it be, and then cause me to be satisfied and content with the same”.
After reciting the above Dua, he should leave the matter to Allah and trust in Him. Allah will guide him and put right decision in his mind. You can repeat the prayer again and again till you get Allah’s guidance.
The Prophet is reported to have said: “The one who observes Istikhara is never disappointed, and the one who takes counsel never regrets, and the one who spends economically never stands in need of other’s help”. He is also reported to have said: “The good fortune of the Children of Adam is to seek guidance from Allah through Istikharah and to be pleased with Allah’s will ……” – (Ahmad)
8. Salatul Istasqaa
Istasqaa means to demand water. Salatul Istasqaa means to offer prayer and demand rain from Allah in case of draught or famine. The Prophet used to offer this prayer on different occasions in different ways and recited various supplications (Dua) seeking rain from Allah. So there is no prescribed procedure or number of Rakaahs of this prayer. In the light of Ahadith, men including children and old persons go out of city or village, the Imam should lead prayer of two Rakaah of Nafl, and then he should deliver a sermon. Then all should humbly make supplication to Allah raising their hands towards heaven demanding rain of blessing saying:
Allahumma asqina, Allahumma asqina, Allahumma asqina,
O Allah! Give us water. O Allah! Give us water. O Allah! Give us water.
9. Solar and Lunar Eclipse Prayers
To offer a two Rakaah prayer on solar or on lunar eclipse is the Sunnah of the Prophet. Prayer on the occasion of solar eclipse is offered in congregation while prayer on the occasion of lunar eclipse is offered individually.
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