“Shafi’i Salah Fiqh Series; Lesson 1: The First Pre-Condition of Salah, Covering the ‘Awrah”
Compiled by Abul Layth
Updated April 18th 2009
Download Lesson in Pdf: [download#21#size]
This is lesson one of the SeekingIlm Shafi’ī Salah Fiqh Series. The first lessons will cover the pre-conditions of prayer. Imām An-Nawawī states in his Minhāj that there are five shurūt (pl. of Shart) for Salāh
Imām Al-Mahāmilī says there are seven.
As you can see, the only difference for numbering is the fact that Imām An-Nawawī abridged the last three conditions of Mahāmilī’s classification into one condition by simply saying: Being pure of Najasah – طهارة النجس. So nothing is truly different, it’s simply an organizational difference. I will utilize Imām Al-Mahāmilī’s order but not his categorization. So we will be starting with “Covering of the ‘awrah” then moving to “Facing the Qiblah” etc.
This lesson covers the first pre-condition of prayer, covering the ‘awrah. I have taken care to bring the Arabic narrations so that the student of the Shafi’ī school can memorize the proofs, or at least begin to recognize words in the language of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam). I have used the authentic literature of the Shafi’ī school, relying on the Mu’tamad (established and relied upon opinion) of the madh-hab. However, throughout the series, and including in this lesson, I will make mention of the minority view of the school so that the student can understand that such exists, and in case they ever need to utilize the secondary opinion for whatever need they have. I will occasionally point out the opposition’s view on the topic, so that the student knows the other schools basic opinion.
I have tried to quote the most eminent scholars of the school and reference all quotes and narrations. You will see that beneath each narration I have included the “takhrīj“, or the research regarding the sources and ways of the transmission. I ask Allāh to allow this series to benefit the student, and to bless our beloved Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam).
The Pre-Conditions of Prayer
Lesson 1: What is to be Covered in the Salāh
A shart (شرط) or precondition is an act that must be done for the validity of the entire prayer. According to Imām Al-Mahāmilī in his Al-Lubāb fi Fiqh there are seven conditions to the Salāh.
Comment by Shaykh Abdul-Karīm Al-‘Umarī: “This is the correct of the two views [of the school]. The second view is that the person prays in a garment that has impurity on it, and then there is no making up of the missed prayer (See Ar-Rawdah 1/288).”
The proof that a person must cover their ‘awrah is established in the following narration:
From Bahz ibn Hakīm from his father from his grandfather who said, ‘I said: Oh Rasūlullāh! Who is permitted to see our ‘awrah and who is not?’ Rasūlullāh (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said,
”Keep your ‘awrah clothed except from your spouse or your right hand possessions.”
The man asked, “What if men are amongst men?” He (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said,
“If you are able for your ‘awrah not to be seen, then do so.”
The man asked again, “What if one is alone?” Rasūlullāh said:
“Then Allāh has more right that you be modest in front of Him [than in front of people].”
Takhrīj: This hadīth is reported by At-Tirmidhī who said it was “Hasan”, Abu Dāwūd, Ahmad, Ibn Mājah, An-Nasā’ī, and Al-Hākim who said, “It is Sahīh” and Adh-Dhahabī agreed. Al-Bukhārī mentioned it in his Sahīh in Mu’allaq form. The words [than in front of people] is reported in a narration of this found in Al-Hilyat-Al-Awliyā’ 7/121.
What is the ‘awrah of a man and a woman?
“So verily, what is between the navel to the knees is of the ‘awrah.”
And also the Prophet said that when someone marries off his slave or laborer he is not to look at what is between the navel and knees for:
“For what is between the navel and knees is from the ‘awrah.”
Takhrīj: Reported by Ad-Dāraqutnī in his Sunan 1/132 and Al-Bayhaqī in his Kubrā 2/229.
The following hadīth proves that the thigh is from the ‘awrah of a man:
The Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said, “Cover your thigh, for certainly it is of the ‘awrah.”
Takhrīj: This hadīth is reported by At-Tirmidhī who said, “It is Hasan.” Al-Bukhārī in his Sahīh in Mu’allaq form, though he weakens it due to mingling in its chain in his Tārīkh Al-Kabīr 2/248. Imām Ahmad in his Musnad 3/479, Abu Dāwūd 4014 and Al-Hāfith Ibn Hajr responds to those who criticize its chain in his Taghliq at-Ta’liq by quoting many different follow up chains. Imām Al-Bukhārī states in his Sahīh, “It is reported from Ibn ‘Abbas, Jarhad, Muhammad ibn Jahsh that the Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said the thigh was ‘awrah.”
Also the hadīth of Ma’mar reported in the Musnad of Imām Ahmad that goes:
The Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) came into the Masjid and Ma’mar was uncovering a part of his thigh. So the Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said, “Cover your thigh Oh Ma’mar! For verily, the thigh is ‘awrah!”
Takhrīj: Reported by Imām Ahmad in his Musnad and Al-Haythamī said in his Majma’: “Its men are all impeccably trustworthy (thiqāt).” It is also reported in At-Tārīkh Al-Kabīr of Al-Bukhārī, and Al-Hākim in his Mustadarak while Adh-Dhahabī remained silent concerning it.
Also the hadīth of Ibn ‘Abbās (radhiya Allahu ‘anhu) that states:
The Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) saw a man exposing his thigh. The Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said to him, “Cover your thigh! For the thigh of a man is from his ‘awrah.”
Takhrīj: Reported by Imam Ahmad in his Musnad 5/290 and At-Tirmidhī in his Sunan; however, he remained silent regarding its level of authenticity. It was also reported by Imām Al-Bukhārī in his Sahīh in Mu’allaq form. In the chain of this narration is a man named Abū Yahyā Al-Qattāt who is weak according to the majority of scholars, though this hadīth is used as supportive proof.
The opinion that the thigh is ‘awrah opposes the Mālikī and [minor] Hanbalī view. Imām An-Nawawī stated, “A large number of scholars state that the thigh is ‘awrah, though Ahmad and Mālik in a report from him state that the ‘awrah [for a man] is only the genitalia and buttocks.” This was also said by the Thāhiri madh-hab, Ibn Jarīr (although Al-Hāfith Ibn Hajr casts aspersions on the report from him, see Nayl Al-Awtar where he is quoted Vol. 1 524), and Al-Istakhrī. The above proofs are utilized by the Shāfi’ī school in response to their opponents.
”…and as for the free woman, her ‘awrah is everything save her face and hands. And it is a condition of her clothing that the color of her skin cannot be seen.”
Shaykh Sulaymān Al Jamal in his Hāshiyah explaining the words of Imām An-Nawawī says,
“And this is her ‘awrah in Salah. And her ‘awrah amongst the Muslim women and the mahārim men (fathers etc) is what is between her navel and knees. As for her ['awrah] in front of ajānib (foreign) men it is all of her body.” (Hāshiyat Al-Jamal ‘Alal Sharh Al-Minhāj)
The great Shāfi’ī jurist, Imam Taqiyud-Dīn Al-Hisnī said,
”And it is makrūh (hated) that one makes Salāh in a garment with pictures on it, and that a woman wear niqāb, unless she is in the masjid and in it are men who are ajānib, and they are not caring about looking, so if she fears that they are looking at her, it is harām for her to lift the niqāb, and this happens in a lot of places such as the going to Bayt Al Maqdis (Jerusalem)…” [Kifāyatul Akhyār 1/181]
Ash-Shaykh Muhammad ibn Al Qāsim Al Ghazzi Ash-Shafi’i said,
“And the entirety of the free woman is ‘awrah except her face and hands, and this is her ‘awrah in Salāh. As for her ‘awrah when she leaves Salah, then her ‘awrah is all of her body.” [Fat-hul Qarīb bi Sharh Al-Faath At Taqrīb page 19]
Shaykh Zakariya Al-Ansāri (rahimahullāh) stated, when discussing Salāh, “And the ‘awrah of a free woman is everything save the face and the hands.” Shaykh Ash-Sharqāwi states in his explanation of this,
”And this is her ‘awrah in Salāh. As for her ‘awrah outside of it, when the ajnabi (unrelated marriageable man) can look at her, then all of her body including the face and the hands, even if there is security from fitnah.” (Tuhfat At-Tullāb pg. 174)
Imām Taqiyud-Dīn As-Subkī said,
“And what is the closest (in opinion), from what our companions have produced is that the face and the hands of a woman are ‘awrah in nathr (i.e. looking) and not in the Salāh.” (Quoted by Al-Khatīb Ash-Shirbinī in his Mughnī Al-Muhtāj)
The proof that the woman’s face is not ‘awrah in Salāh is what is reported from ‘A’ishah (radhiya Allahu ‘anha):
“Rasūlullāh (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said, ‘The Salāh of the mature woman is not accepted except when she is wearing a khimār (veil on the head that covers her hair and neck).”
Imām At-Tirmidhī grades this hadīth hasan and then says, “Imām Ash-Shāfi’ī said, ‘It is not permitted for a woman to expose her skin and hair in Salāh.” It was authenticated by Ibn Khuzaymah in his Sahīh, reported by Abu Dāwūd, Ahmad, Al-Hākim in his Mustadarak saying, ‘It is Sahīh upon the conditions of Imām Muslim’ and Adh-Dhahabī agreed.
To read more on the ‘awrah of a woman in the Shāfi’ī school please see the following article: http://seekingilm.com/archives/167
The Woman’s Feet
There is disagreement regarding a woman’s feet. Are they ‘awrah or not? Imām Al-Ghazzālī states in his “Al-Wasīt”,
“And the tops of the feet are ‘awrah, and regarding the soles of the feet, then there is two views (i.e. they are and they are not).” [Vol 2, page 174]
There is a minority view reported from Imām Al-Muzanī, the early erudite student of Imām Ash-Shāfi’ī, wherein he stated, “The feet of a woman are not ‘awrah.” (Recorded by Imām Al-Khatīb Ash-Shirbīnī in his Mughnī Al-Muhtāj, Taqiy-ud-dīn Al-Hisnī in his Kifāyat Al-Akyār, as well as others.)
The living Shafi’ī jurist Amjad Rashīd stated in one of his fatāwa,
“Our madh-hab is that the woman covering her feet is obligatory (wājib).” Although he does give minor dispensation for the opinion of Al-Muzanī (see: http://qa.sunnipath.com/issue_view.asp?HD=3&ID=3747&CATE=387 )
The argument that the woman’s feet are ‘awrah stems from the principle that the entirety of a woman is ‘awrah, unless proof is given otherwise, as the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said, “The woman is ‘awrah.” (Tirmidhi who said ‘Hasan Sahīh’ and Ibn Khuzaymah in his Sahīh) Furthermore, there is a specific text regarding this issue reported from Umm Salamah (radhiya Allahu ‘anha) that states,
From the mother of Muhammad ibn Zayd who said I asked Umm Salamah (radhiya Allahu ‘anha)as to what clothing a woman should wear while praying. She said, “Pray in the Khimār (that which overs the head) and the Dir’a that is long enough to cover the tops of the feet.”
This is also reported from Umm Salamah as a question to the Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) although the majority of scholars say that it is weak because nearly everyone who narrated the report did not mention the Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) therein, and the one who was mistaken in this report was a man by the name of Abdur-Rahmān ibn Abdullah ibn Dīnār who has criticisism against him (as said by Imam Al-Mundhirī). So the strongest report is that this is a statement of Umm Salamah and her verdict, which the majority of Shāfi’ī jurists cling to.
“O Children of Adam! Wear your beautiful garments at every time and place of prayer: eat and drink: But waste not by excess, for Allah loveth not the wasters.” [Al ‘Arāf, 7:31]
May Allāh bless our beloved Sayyid An Nabi Muhammad, his family, companions, & followers. Amīn!