What is the Best Prayer Before Allah?

Bismillah.

What is the best prayer before Allah?

It was narrated that Ibn ‘Umar said: The Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The best prayer before Allaah is Fajr prayer on Friday in congregation.”

Narrated by al-Bayhaqi in Shu’ab al-Eemaan; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami’, 1119

Remember that Prophet [SAWS] said that if a person knew the merits of salah of Fajr and Isha in congregation, they would crawl to it if they had to. The Fajr of Friday is even better since the Prophet called it the best prayer before Allah.

What are some steps to ensure that we never miss Fajr in the masjid, in particular the best prayer before Allah?

  1. Realize the importance of this deed and prioritize it over everything else. For example, is checking email really that important late at night?
  2. Set an alarm. If one is not sufficient, set multiple alarms. This is a handicap, but insha Allah, eventually a person starts waking up on their own without an alarm.
  3. Sleep early if you have trouble waking up for Fajr. Again, realize the importance of the Fajr prayer in the masjid and ask yourself, “Is staying up late chilling out better, or sleeping early and praying Fajr in the masjid?”
  4. Sleep light. Don’t make your bed super-comfortable. Tune-in to the sound of the alarm or adhan and wake up as soon as you hear it.
  5. Read the Prophetic adhkar and sleep on your right side as in the sunnah.

Any more suggestions? Please feel free to comment.

Q&A: Can I Make Up Sunnah Prayers?

Bismillah.

Question:

I missed my sunnah prayers because I was in a rush. Can I make them up later on just like we make up the obligatory prayers?

Answer:

Regular sunnah prayers are a way to Paradise and one of the most beloved actions to Allah [SWT] that we can do. So, it makes a lot of sense that it is preferred to make up the missed sunnah prayers.

According to Umm Salamah [RA], the Prophet [SAWS] prayed two rak’ahs after ‘Asr. He was asked about them and he said:

“O daughter of Abu Umayyah, you asked about the two rak’ahs after ‘Asr. That is because some people from ‘Abd al-Qays came to me and distracted me from the two rak’ahs that come after Zuhr; these are they (i.e., I prayed them just now).”

[Bukhaari and Muslim]

From this, we know that the Prophet [SAWS] would make up his missed sunnah prayers. He was busy with people after Zuhr, so missed his sunnahs but he remembered them and made sure that he completed them whenever he got the chance. This is what we should do too, in sha Allah.

A final point, there is a scholarly difference of opinion on whether we are allowed to pray voluntary prayers between Asr and Maghrib (after Asr salah). Both sides have their proofs, but its safe to say that its best to avoid the conflict and not pray after Asr (even though we know the Prophet [SAWS] did so from the above hadeeth). And Allah [SWT] knows best.

Revive a Sunnah: Using the Right Hand

Bismillah.

Hafsah [RA], the wife of the Prophet [SAWS], reported that the Prophet [SAWS] used to use his right hand for eating, drinking and getting dressed and his left hand for everything else.

[Abu Dawood]

Imam Nawawi [RA] explains that every honorable thing should be performed with the right hand, and every thing that is not honorable should be performed with the left hand. For example, eating should be done with the right hand, whereas cleaning ourselves after using the washroom should be done with the left hand.

Also, the inverse of something honorable should be done with the left hand or left side. For example, putting shoes, we should begin with the right shoe and taking them off, we should begin with the left shoe. And so on.

Some things we should do (or begin with) the right hand:

  • eating
  • putting on shoes (right shoe first, then left)
  • clothes (right side first, then left side)
  • glasses (open the right flap first, then the left…and close the left first and then the right)
  • brushing teeth
  • receiving something
  • giving something

What are some other things that we can add to this list?

Continue reading “Revive a Sunnah: Using the Right Hand”

Revive a Sunnah: Feet Together in Sajdah

Bismillah.

The Mother of the Believers Aaishah [RA] said: I noticed that the Messenger of Allaah [SAWS] was not there and he had been with me in my bed. I found him prostrating, with his heels together and his toes turned towards the qiblah, and I heard him saying, “I seek refuge in Your pleasure from Your wrath, and in Your forgiveness from Your punishment, and in You from You; I praise you and I cannot praise You enough.”

[Sahih – IslamQA]

Keeping the feet together is a sunnah of the Prophet [SAWS] that is proven from this hadith. So when we go into a sajdah, we should put our feet together while ensuring that the thighs and knees stay apart, like in this picture below:

Continue reading “Revive a Sunnah: Feet Together in Sajdah”

Revive a Sunnah: Sitting Mutawarrikan

Bismillah.

What is Sitting Mutawarrikan?

Al-Bukhaari narrated from Abu Humayd al-Saa’idi (may Allaah be pleased with him), a description of the prayer of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), in which he said: “And when he sat in the final rak’ah, he put his left foot forward and held the other foot upright, and sat on his behind.

Sitting mutawarrikan means sitting in the tashahhud as described above in the hadith found in Bukhari. For the visual learners:

So, sitting mutawarrikan is sitting in tashahhud as described above in the last rak’ah of prayer. This is the same for both genders. Unlike the normal method of sitting, the butt of the musalli (person who is praying) is on the ground and his/her left foot is snugged under his/her right shin.

When to Sit Mutawarrikan?

This should be done in the final tashahhud if there are two tashahhuds in the prayer. But if the prayer has only one tashahhud, such as Fajr prayer or Sunnah prayers that are offered two by two, then one should sit muftarishan (i.e. the normal way).

So, in conclusion:

Fajr – Normal | Dhuhr/ZuhrMutawarrikan | AsrMutawarrikan |

MaghribMutawarrikan | IshaMutawarrikan |

The sunnahs offered two-by-two (e.g. sunnah of Maghrib) – Normal

Continue reading “Revive a Sunnah: Sitting Mutawarrikan”

Wiping Over Socks or Washing Feet?

Bismillah.

Recently, a very interesting question (and consequently, fatwa) came to my attention:

Assume that I satisfy the conditions for wiping over socks. Now, if I’m at home and I can easily wash my feet (while making wudu’u), but I have socks on. Should I wipe or should I wash my feet?

Also, what if I go to sleep wearing my socks and then wake up for Fajr, is it permissible for me to wipe over my socks? What is better, wiping over the socks or washing the feet?

I found a very interesting and (alhamdulillah) useful fatwa that has simplified my life greatly (especially here in bitterly cold Canada):

The majority of scholars, including Abu Haneefah, Maalik and al-Shaafa’i, are of the view that it is better to wash the feet. They said: that is because the basic principle is washing the feet, so that is better.

See al-Majmoo’, 1/502

So far, nothing surprising. However, here comes something very interesting from our beloved Imam Ahmad [RA]:

Imam Ahmad was of the view that wiping over the socks is better. He gave the following evidence for that:

1 – It is easier, and the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was never given the choice between two things but he chose the easier of the two, so long as it was not a sin; if it was a sin he would be the furthest removed of the people from it. Narrated by al-Bukhaari (3560) and Muslim (2327).

2 – It is a concession, and the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Allaah loves concessions to be taken as He hates sin to be committed.” Narrated by Ahmad, 5832; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Irwa’ al-Ghaleel, 564.

3 – Wiping over the socks involves being different from the people of bid’ah who reject it, such as the Khaarijis and Raafidis.

OK, so 3 of the major Imams said that washing the feet is better whereas 1 of them said wiping over socks is better. So I can’t conclusively say which one is better, Allahu alam.

But generally speaking, should I wipe or should I wash my feet? The answer is in the middle of the two afore-mentioned opinions and (not surprisingly), it comes from the one who placed so much emphasis on the importance of the wasat (middle) path – Shaikh Al-Islam ibn Taymiyya [RA]:

Continue reading “Wiping Over Socks or Washing Feet?”

Revive a Sunnah: The Takbeer of Dhul Hijjah

Bismillah.

The Takbeer is an aspect of the Sunnah of the Prophet [SAWS] that has been forgotten in recent times, so much so that we hardly see people making the takbeer. In fact, if you ask someone “Why aren’t you making takbeer during the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah?” they’d probably say “The first ten days are here already?!”

Watch this video to learn all about the Takbeer of Dhul Hijjah, in sha Allah:

Continue reading “Revive a Sunnah: The Takbeer of Dhul Hijjah”