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The Five Daily Prayers (Part I)

It is fard [1] for every Muslim who is sane and has reached the age of puberty to perform the five daily prayers. When a prayer time comes, it becomes fard for him/her the moment he/she begins performing the prayer. If he/she has not performed it and if there is time left enough to make an ablution and begin the salat before the prayer time is over, it becomes fard for him/her to perform it. If the prayer time is over before he/she has performed it without a good excuse not to do so, he/she will have committed a grave sin. Whether he/she has had a good excuse or not, qada [2] will be necessary. The same applies to situations such as when a child reaches puberty, when a disbeliever or a renegade becomes a Muslim, when a woman becomes canonically clean, when an insane or unconscious person recovers, and when a sleeping person wakes up.

It is fard for a new Muslim to learn the principles of salat first. After learning them, it becomes fard to perform salat. Sleep is not a good excuse if it begins after the prayer time has begun. If a person does so, it is fard for him to make sure that he will wake up before the prayer time is over, while it would be mustahab [3] for him to make sure to wake up before the end of the prayer time if he were to go to sleep before the beginning of the prayer time. These five daily prayers add up to forty rak’ats (units), out of which seventeen are fard, three are wajib (essential, almost obligatory), and twenty are sunnat [4] , as follows:

1 – Morning prayer [Salat-ul-fajr] consists of four rak’ats. First, two rak’ats of the sunnat prayer are performed. Then two rakats of the fard prayer are performed. The sunnat (the first two rak’ats) is very important. Some scholars classify it as wajib.

2 – Early afternoon prayer [Salat-uz-zuhr] consists of ten rak’ats, the initial sunnat consisting of four rak’ats, the fard consisting of four rak’ats, and the final sunnat consisting of two rak’ats. The early afternoon prayer is performed in this order.

3 – Late afternoon prayer [Salat-ul-‘asr] consists of eight rak’ats. First the sunnat, which consists of four rak’ats, and then the fard, which consists of four rak’ats, are performed.

[1] fard: an act or thing that is commanded by Allahu ta’ala in the Qur’an al-karim. Fard (or fard) means (any behaviour or thought or belief which is) obligatory. Islam’s open commandments are called fard (pl. faraid).
[2] qada’: i) decree of a qadi (Muslim judge); ii) performance of an ‘ibada after its due time.
[3] mustahab: (act, thing) deserving thawab if done but no sin if omitted, nor disbelief if disliked.
[4] sunnat: i) act, thing that was, though not commanded by Allahu ta’ala, done and liked by the Prophet (‘alaihi ‘s-salam) as an ‘ibada (there is thawab if done, but no sin if omitted, yet it causes sin if continually omitted and disbelief if disliked; the Sunna; i) (with fard) all the sunnas as a whole; ii) (with the Book or Qur’an al-karim) the Hadith ash-sharif; iii) (alone) fiqh, Islam.

Faith And Belief

In order to be a Muslim it is essential for a man to believe (have faith) in the principles, rules and commandments of Islam. It is also necessary for the one who believes to appreciate and like these principles and rules. Belief (faith) is quite important. Belief is not possible with even a small degree of doubt. Anyone who has doubt should clear his doubt by asking the appropriate questions to religious scholars. Otherwise, he will lose the blessings of being a Believer.

A non-believer is the most unfortunate person in the world; he is doomed to be burned endlessly in the torment of Hell.

Real belief does not consist of believing in some of the commandments and rules while not believing in others. Your faith must be complete.

There are six essentials for having belief:

1) To believe in Allahu ta’ala;
2) To believe in angels;
3) To believe in the holy books;
4) To believe in the Prophets ‘alaihimussalam’;
5) To believe in the next world (resurrection after death);
6) To believe in fate and that all good and evil deeds come from Allahu ta’ala. Anyone who does not believe in even one of them will be a non-believer. If he dies in this state (may Allahu ta’ala protect us all), his place will be Hell eternally.

Following The Qur’an Al-Karim

The mercy, the favors, and the blessings of Allahu ta’ala are so great that they are actually unlimited. Because He felt pity for His born servants, He revealed through an angel to His Prophets the good deeds to be done and the evil deeds to be avoided. He also revealed the holy books wherein His orders were sent to them so that they could live on the earth brotherly, happily and in comfort, and thereby attain eternal happiness, and the endless blessings of the Hereafter.

Only the Qur’an al-karim has remained uncorrupted, but all the other books were changed by malevolent people. The more you observe the fards (obligatory duties) and harams (prohibitions), that is, the principles (ahkam) in the Qur’an al-karim, the happier and the more comfortable a life you can lead, no matter whether you are an atheist or not, a believer or not, aware or not. This is similar to the fact that a good medicine enables everybody to get rid of his pain and problem, if it is used. That is why those who are non-Muslims, or even atheists, and some nations that are the enemies of Islam are successful in many of their businesses, and lead a very happy and comfortable life by working in conformity with the laws in the Qur’an al-karim.

On the other hand, many people who claim to be Muslim, and who do their worships as a mere formality, are living in misery and discomfort because they do not follow the divine rules and the high morality written in the Qur’an al-karim. To attain eternal happiness in the Hereafter by following the Qur’an al-karim, it is necessary to believe in it first, and then to follow it consciously and intentionally.

The Intention Of Getting Married

A person who gets married should do so with the intention of protecting himself from fornication, from looking at harams [1] . He should make his niyyat (intention) to raise salih [2] children, to contribute to the multiplication Muhammad’s ‘alaihis-salam’ Ummat [3] , and to adapt himself to his Sunnat [4] in nikah (marriage). To attempt to hoard property through haram, and to adduce one’s household as an excuse for this illegitimate way of earning, betrays the fact that one has not made one’s nikah compatibly with the Sunnat.

[1] haram: an action, word or thought prohibited by Allahu ta’ala.
[2] salih: (pl. sulaha’) one who is pious and abstains from sins, (opposite: fasiq); see Wali.
[3] umma(t) followers of Muhammad (‘alaihi ‘s-salam); the community, body of believers, of a prophet.
[4] sunnat: i) act, thing that was, though not commanded by Allahu ta’ala, done and liked by the Prophet (‘alaihi ‘s-salam) as an ‘ibada (there is thawab if done, but no sin if omitted, yet it causes sin if continually omitted and disbelief if disliked; the Sunna; i) (with fard) all the sunnas as a whole; ii) (with the Book or Qur’an al-karim) the Hadith ash-sharif; iii) (alone) fiqh, Islam.

Explanation Of An Islamic Marriage

For an Islamic marriage to be sahih (valid), both the groom and the bride have to be Muslims. That is, they have to know and believe the tenets of belief (iman) [1] and Islam. If there is doubt concerning their iman, the person who will perform the nikah [2] , after saying the Basmala [3] , the (prayers of) hamd [4] and salawat [5] , mentions the six tenets of iman and the five principles of Islam one by one and has the groom and the bride say them, too. Then he states the Sifat-i-dhatiyya and the Sifat-ithubutiyya of Allahu ta’ala, the important attributes of Prophets and angels, the teachings pertaining to grave and the Hereafter, respectively, and has them repeat. He has them say, “We believe, we have iman,” “I am a Believer, I am a Muslim.” Then he must perform the nikah, beginning with the groom or his wakil (proxy). It is stated as follows in Radd-ul-mukhtar: “When both the woman and the man are present, it is not permissible for them to perform the nikah by writing. When they are not together, it is permissible for one of them to send a letter and the other read the letter in the presence of two witnesses and accept it orally. It is not permissible if both parties state their parts in written form. The woman reads or explains the letter she has received from the man to two witnesses and says, ‘Be my witnesses! I have accepted to be his wife.’ The woman’s reading the letter to the witnesses is equivalent to the man’s proposing orally in the presence of the witnesses.”

[1] iman: faith, belief, beliefs of Islam; kalam, i’tiqad.
[2] nikah: Islamic act of engagement for marriage.
[3] basmala: the phrase “Bismi’illahi ‘r-rahmani ‘r-rahim” (In the Name of Allahu ta’ala the Compassionate, the Merciful).
[4] hamd: glory, glorification; gratitude and praise. : thanksgiving
[5] salawat: (pl. of salat) special prayers in which blessings and high ranks are invoked on the Prophet (‘alaihi ‘s-salam).