Written by Abul Layth
Lesson 2: Continuing the Pre-Conditions of Salāh
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This lesson will cover the rest of the issues of Shurūt As-Salāh (the pre-conditions of prayer). The first condition that we will elaborate upon is the necessity of facing the Qiblah. “Facing the Qiblah” includes two sub-issues: not facing the Qiblah due to Extreme peril (al-Khawf , fear) and not facing it in supererogatory Prayers (Tattawwu’ / Nāfil) performed while travelling. The second condition that we will cover is Al-Waqt, that the time for Salāh must be in for the validity of the prayer. This has three sub issues: rain, Hajj, traveling. Then we will briefly go over the necessity of one being pure of Hadath and Najāsah.
Precondition for Salāh: استقبال القبلة Facing the Qiblah
There is consensus (ijmā’) of the Muslim Ummah that the one praying must face the Ka’bah (See Imām Ash-Shawkānī’s Nayl-Al-Awtār Vol. 1 664). The proof for facing the Qiblah from the Qur’ān is the following verse,
“We see the turning of thy face (for guidance to the heavens: now Shall We turn thee to a Qiblah that shall please thee. Turn then Thy face in the direction of the sacred Mosque: Wherever ye are, turn your faces in that direction. The people of the Book know well that that is the truth from their Lord. Nor is Allāh unmindful of what they do.” (Baqarah: 144)
From the Sunnah we find a large multitude of narrations. We will only quote a few used by the Shāfi’ī jurists:
Proof: The hadīth of the “Mistaken man who prayed” wherein the Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam)instructed him,
“When you stand for prayer, complete your wudu’, then face the Qiblah, then say Allāhu Akbar.” (Reported in Sahīh Muslim)
Proof: The Hadith that Abrogated the Qiblah Being Jerusalem
Narrated Al-Bara’ (bin ‘Azib): When the Prophet came to Medina, he stayed first with his grandfathers or maternal uncles from Ansār (the residents of Medinah). He offered his prayers facing Baitul-Maqdis (Jerusalem) for sixteen or seventeen months, but he wished that he could pray facing the Ka’ba (at Mecca). The first prayer which he offered facing the Ka’ba was the ‘Asr prayer in the company of some people. Then one of those who had offered that prayer with him came out and passed by some people in a mosque who were bowing during their prayers (facing Jerusalem). He said addressing them, “By Allāh, I testify that I have prayed with Allāh’s Messenger facing Mecca (Ka’ba).’ Hearing that, those people changed their direction towards the Ka’ba immediately. Jews and the people of the scriptures used to be pleased to see the Prophet facing Jerusalem in prayers but when he changed his direction towards the Ka’ba, during the prayers, they disapproved of it.
“Before we changed our direction towards the Ka’ba (Mecca) in prayers, some Muslims had died or had been killed and we did not know what to say about them (regarding their prayers.) Allāh then revealed: And Allāh would never make your faith (prayers) to be lost (i.e. the prayers of those Muslims were valid).’ ” (2:143).
According to the Jurists of the Shāfi’ī school, there are two (and in another view three) reasons one does not have to face the Qiblah in prayer. Imām Ibn Nāqib Al-Misrī states in ‘Umdat As-Sālik,
“Facing the direction of prayer is a necessary condition for the prayer’s validity, with the sole exceptions of praying in extreme peril and nonobligatory prayers performed while travelling.”
Imām Al-Mahāmilī states a third reason,
“That one is not certain which direction the Qiblah is, though when one finds out for certain, he is to repeat his Salāh according to one of the two opinions reported from the school (See Al-Lubāb).”
In his gloss of Al-Lubāb, Shaykh Abdul-Karīm Al-‘Umarī writes,
“And [repeating it when one becomes certain] is the verdict of Imām Ash-Shāfi’ī in the new madh-hab (Al-Jadīd), as for the old madh-hab (Al-Qadīm) then he stated that one does not repeat it (See Al-Umm 1/115-116, Al-Majmu’ of An Nawawī 3/225, Hilyat Al-‘Ulamā’ 2/63).”
Sub-Issue 1: Not facing the Qiblah due to Extreme peril (al-Khawf , fear).
”When thou (O Messenger) art with them, and standest to lead them in prayer, let one party of them stand up (in prayer) with thee, taking their arms with them: When they finish their prostrations, let them take their position in the rear. And let the other party come up which hath not yet prayed – and let them pray with thee, taking all precaution, and bearing arms: the unbelievers wish, if ye were negligent of your arms and your baggage, to assault you in a single rush. But there is no blame on you if ye put away your arms because of the inconvenience of rain or because ye are ill; but take (every) precaution for yourselves. For the unbelievers Allāh hath prepared a humiliating punishment.” (4:102)
And Allāh’s words,
“And if you fear [an enemy, then pray] on foot or riding. But when you are secure, then remember Allah [in prayer], as He has taught you that which you did not [previously] know.”(2:239)
Entire chapters in the canonical texts of hadīth have been written on this issue. See Sahīh Al-Bukhārī chapter “The Prayer of Fear”, as an example.
Sub-Issue 2: Non-Obligatory Prayers (Tattawwu’ / Nāfil) Performed While Travelling
“From Abdullah ibn ‘Amir from his father who said, ‘I saw the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) praying upon his mount in whatever direction it took.’” (Bukhārī 1093)
“From Jābir ibn Abdullah (radhiya Allahu ‘anhu) who said that the Prophet used to pray the Tatawwu’ (optional prayers) while riding, facing other than the Qiblah.” (Bukhārī 1094)
“Narrated from Nāfi’ who said that Abdullah Ibn ‘Umar (radhiya Allahu ‘anhu) use to offer the Witr prayer on his mount and he informed us that the Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) used to do so as well.” (Bukhārī 1095)
Imām Al-Bukhārī has a chapter on this issue in his Sahīh.
Pre-Condition for Salāh: الوقت The Time for the Prayer Must be In
As quoted in lesson one, both Imām An-Nawawī, Mahāmalī and the rest of the Shāfi’ī jurists maintain that the time for Salāh must be in for the Salāh to be acceptable. The proof is Allāh’s statement,
“When ye pass (Congregational) prayers, celebrate Allāh’s praises, standing, sitting down, or lying down on your sides; but when ye are free from danger, set up Regular Prayers: For such prayers are enjoined on believers at stated times.” (4:103)
Note: A man came to the Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and asked him, “What act is most beloved to Allāh?” The Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:
“Prayer at its prescribed time!” (Reported by Bukhārī in his chapter on the Times of Prayer)
There are exceptions of praying at the established time. Imām Al-Mahāmilī states in his Al-Lubāb,
”The third pre-condition for prayer is that the time for it must be in, except in three cases: in travelling, in rain, and in Hajj.” (Also see Kifāyat Al-Akhyār 1/88-89 and Mughnī Al-Muhtāj 1/272)
In the case of rain, Jama’ (combining) the Salāh was done by the beloved Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), whereas in travel He (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) both shortened (qasr) the 4 raka’āt (unit) prayers as well as combined Thuhr & ‘Asr and Maghrib & ‘Ishā’.
Ibn ‘Abbās (radhiya Allahu ‘anhumā) said, “The Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) prayed eight raka’at for the Thuhr and ‘Asr prayers, and seven for the Maghrib and ‘Ishā’ prayers in Medinah. Ayyūb said, “Perhaps those were rainy nights!” Anas said “Perhaps!” (Bukhāri Hadith number 543 Dar-us-Salām, English Trans.)
Abu Dāwūd reports in his Sunan:
From Ibn ‘Abbās (radhiya Allahu ‘anhu) who said, ‘Rasūlullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) prayed Thuhr and ‘asr combined then Maghrib and ‘Ishā’ combined without fear and without travelling.’ Imām Mālik said, “I see that as being in the time of rain.” (Sunan: 1024, Chapter of Salāh with a Sahīh chain through Imām Mālik.)
Note: More proofs than what I have produced exist on this topic. Imāms Mālik, Shāfi’ī, and Ahmad agree that combining the Salāh in rain is permitted, while Abu Hanīfah says it is not.
Hajj & Travelling
Abdullah ibn ‘Umar (radhiya Allahu ‘anhu) said, “The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) combined Maghrib and ‘Ishā’ at Jama’ (i.e. Muzdalifa) with a separate Iqāma for of them and did not offer any optional prayers in between them or after each of them.” [Bukharī, Book of Hajj, chapter ‘Whoever combined the two prayers and did not offer tatawwu' (optional prayers)]
There are numerous other reports for this occurrence.
Ibn ‘Umar said, “I saw Rasūlullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) delaying the Maghrib prayer till he offered it along with the ‘Ishā’ prayer when he was in a hurry during a journey. Sālim said, “Ibn ‘Umar used to do the same whenever he was in a hurry during a journey.” [Sahīh Al-Bukhārī number 1091, Dār-us-salam]
From Anas who said ‘The Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) when wanting to combine the two Salāhs when travelling would delay Thuhr until the beginning of the time of ‘Asr arrived, then he would combine them. (Sahīh Muslim 1144)
Pre-Conditions for Salāh: Tahārah min Al-Hadath & Tahārah min An-Najāsah
The goal of these lessons is not to explain Tahārah (purification), but to explain the rulings of Salāh itself. Thus, I will not be covering this topic in-depth, such as how to make wudu’ etc. The term “Hadath” is a “state of impurity”. It is the “state” one is in after, for example, having passed wind or urinating etc. It is not the physical impurity, such as the urine itself. It is the ACT OF URINATING that places one in the state of “Hadath”. The term Hadath was used by the Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) as shown below.
The first type of purification is Tahārah from Al-Hadath:
“O you who have believed, when you rise to [perform] prayer, wash your faces and your forearms to the elbows and wipe over your heads and wash your feet to the ankles. And if you are in a state of janabah, then purify yourselves. But if you are ill or on a journey or one of you comes from the place of relieving himself or you have contacted women and do not find water, then seek clean earth and wipe over your faces and hands with it. Allah does not intend to make difficulty for you, but He intends to purify you and complete His favor upon you that you may be grateful.” (5:6)
From the Sunnah
From Abu Hurayrah that the Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said, “Verily Allāh does not accept the Salāh of one of you when he does hadath until he performs Wudu’.”
This hadīth is reported by Imām Al-Bukhārī in his Sahīh, Muslim, Tirmidhī, Abu Dāwūd, Ahmad and others.
If the person must be pure, the clothes one is wearing as well as the place of prayer must also be pure, as stated by the Shāfi’ī jurists. It should also be noted that in the old school of Imām Ash-Shāfi’ī did not deem it a condition for the validity of the Salāh that the clothes be free of impurities . The proofs for the later schools opinion is:
Jābir ibn Samurah (radhiya Allahu ‘anhu) reports that a man came to the Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and asked him if he could pray in garment he went to his family in. The Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said, “Yes! Except that you look to see if there is anything that you may have to wash off.”
This hadith is also reported by Ibn Mājah. Imām Ash-Shawkānī states regarding it, “The chain with Ibn Mājah contains only impeccably trustworthy men (Nayl Al-Awtar, pg 599).” It states in Az-Zawā’id, “Its chain is Sahih, and its men are all thiqāt.”
Another proof is the following hadīth
Abu Sa’īd Al-Khudrī reports that while Rasūlullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) was leading his companions in prayer, he took off his sandals and laid them on his left side; so when the people saw this they removed their sandals. When Rasūlullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) finished his prayer, he asked: ‘What made you remove your sandals?’ They said, “We saw you remove your sandals, so we removed our sandals.” The Prophet then said, “Jibrīl came to me and informed me that there was filth on them. When anyone of you comes to the masjid, he should see if he finds filth on his sandals, he should wipe it off and pray in them.”
This hadīth is reported by Abu Dāwud with this wording (#655 in the English print: Ahmad Hasan). Imām Ahmad reports it with the wording, “He should wipe it with earth…” It is also reported by Al-Hākim who said it was Sahīh and Adh-Dhahabī agreed with him. Ibn Khuzaymah and Ibn Hibbān report in their Sahīhs. Al-Bazzār reports this from Abu Hurayrah with a weak chain. Ad-Dāraqutnī reports it from Ibn ‘Abbas and Abdullah ibn Shakh-khīr and both chains are weak according to Al-Hāfith Ibn Hajr (See At-Talkhīs). This hadīth proves that the clothing and place of a person must be pure.
This ends our lessons on the preconditions of Prayer. May Allah send his abundant mercy and blessings upon the Prophet Muhammad, his family and followers. Amin!