Pre-Conditions of the Solāt
In the name of Allāh, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful;
All the praise and Thanks is due to Allāh, the Lord of al-'ālameen. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allāh, and that Muhammad, Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam is His Messenger.
According to Shafi’ie School the Solāt is made of parts which are As-Shārāt (The pre-Conditions); Arkān (Pillars); Wajibāt (Requirements); Sunnah (Recommended); and things that are Makrūh (Disliked). The parts are necessary for the authentication of the Solāt and for this reason a believer should not remain ignorant about them.
The Conditions are prerequisites for the Solāt. They have to be met in order for the Solāt to be valid. If a person does not fulfill any of these pre-conditions for any reason, whether it is due to ignorance, forgetfulness, or intentionally does not do them, then their Solāt is invalid. Once a person realises that he or she missed a condition they should repeat that Solāt, even if a long period passes.
The three general pre-conditions of Acts of Worship which form the pre-condition of Solāt:
1 – ‘Al-Islām’: a Muslim
2 – ‘Al- ‘Aql: sane and conscious mind.
3 – ‘At-Tamyīz’: reached an age of maturity, the extent of which is 7 years
The specific pre-conditions (sharat) of the Solāt:
4- Knowledge That The Time For Solāt Has Begun
It is when the time commences and time frame. This is the most important condition. A Solāt offered before its time has begun is not valid, according to scholarly consensus, because Allāh says: “Verily, As-Solāt (the Solāt) is enjoined on the believers at fixed hours” [Al-Nisā’, 4:103]
Allāh has mentioned the times of Solāt in brief terms in al-Qur’an. He says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Perform As-Solāt (Iqāmat-as-Solāt) from mid day till the darkness of the night (i.e. the Zuhur, `Asar, Maghrib, and ‘Ishā’ Solāt), and recite the Qur’ān in the early dawn (i.e. the — Fajar Morning Solāt). Verily, the recitation of the Qur’ān in the early dawn (i.e. the morning — Solāt Fajar) is ever witnessed (attended by the angels in charge of mankind of the day and the night)” [Surah Al-Isrā’, 17:78].
The “mid-day’ means when the sun passes its zenith. “The darkness of the night” means in the middle of the night. This time, from halfway through the day until halfway through the night, includes the time of four Solāt: Zuhur, ‘Asar, Maghrib and ‘Isha’.
If one is certain or fairly certain that the time has begun, he may pray. How he reached his decision is not important.
5 -Tahārah (Purity) From Ritual Impurity (Hadath)
Allāh says in the Qur’ān, “O you who believe, when you rise for the Solāt , wash your faces, your hands up to the elbows, and lightly rub your hands and (wash) your feet up to the ankles. If you are unclean, purify yourselves.” If a person observe Solāt when he is in a state of ritual impurity, then his Solāt is invalid according to scholarly consensus, because of the report narrated from Abu Hurayrah (radiyallāhu‘anhu) from the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) who said: “Allāh does not accept the Solāt of one of you if he becomes ritually impure, unless he does wudhu’.” [Al-Bukhari (6954)]
Ibn 'Umar (radiyallāhu’anhu) reported that the Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said, “Allāh does not accept any Solāt that was not performed while in a state of purity, nor does he accept charity from what has been stolen from booty.” (Recorded by “the group.”)
6 -Tahārah (Purity) From Ritual Impurity (Hadath).
Such objects should be clean of physical impurities as much as possible. If one cannot remove them, he may pray with the impurities present and does not have to repeat the Solāt later. If a person observes Solāt with some impurity on him, and he is aware of that and remembers it is there, then his Solāt is not valid. The worshipper should avoid najāsah in three places:
6.1 -The Body.
There should not be any najāsah or impurity on his body. This is indicated by the report from Ibn ‘Abbas (radiyallāhu’anhu) who said: The Messenger of Allāh (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) passed by two graves, and he said: “They are being punished, but they are not being punished for anything that was difficult to avoid. One of them used to walk around spreading malicious gossip, and the other did not protect himself from his urine.” [Narrated by Muslim (292)]
Concerning bodily purity, Anas bin Mālik (radiyallāhu’anhu) related that the Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam)said, “Stay clean of urine, as the majority of punishment in the grave is due to it.” This is related by ad-Daraqutni, who said it is hassan.
Reported ‘Ali, I used to have a great deal of prostatic fluid flowing, so I asked a man to ask the Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) about it (as I was shy to ask him, due to my relationship with him through his daughter). He asked him and the Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam), said, “Make ablution and wash your penis.” (Recorded by al-Bukhari and others.)
‘Aishah (radiyallāhu`anha) also related that the Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam)said to women with a prolonged flow of blood, “Wash the blood from yourself and pray.”
6.2 - The Clothing.
This is indicated by the report from Asma’ bint Abu Bakar (radiyallāhu‘anha) who said: A woman came to the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) and said: If one of us sees menstrual blood on her garment, what should she do? He said: “Scratch it, then rub it with your fingers whilst pouring water on it and continue to pour water on it (until it is clean), and then pray in it.” [Recorded by al-Bukhari (337)]
Jabir ibn Sumrah (radiyallāhu’anhu) reported that he heard a man ask the Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam), "May I pray in the same clothes that I had on during intercourse with my wife?" He said, “Yes, but if you see some stains on it, you must wash it.” This hadith is related by Ahmad and Ibn Majah. Its narrators are trustworthy.
Mu'awiyyah reported, "I asked Umm Habibah (radiyallāhu`anha), ‘Did the Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam)pray in the same clothes that he wore when he had intercourse?’ She said, ‘Yes, if there were no stains on it.’”' (Recorded by Ahmad, Abu Dawud, an-Nasā’ie and Ibn Mājah)
6.3 - The Place In Which Solāt Is Offered.
Concerning purity of clothing, we have the following: Says Allāh, "And purify your raiment" (al-Muddathir 4). Al-Bukhari recorded from Anas ibn Mālik (radiyallāhu‘anhu) who said: A Bedouin came and urinated in the mosque. The people rebuked him but the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) told them not to do that. When (the man) had finished urinating, the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) ordered that a bucket of water be poured over it.
Abu Sa'eed Al-Khudri (radiyallāhu’anhu) reported that the Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam)removed his shoes and the people behind him did likewise. When he finished the Solāt , he asked, "Why did you remove your shoes?" They said, "We saw you remove yours." He said, "Gabriel came to me and informed me that there was some filth on them. Therefore, when one of you comes to the mosque, he should turn his shoes over and examine them. If one finds any dirt on them, he should rub them against the ground and Solāt with them on." The hadith is related by Ahmad, Abu Dawud, al-Hakim, Ibn Hibban and Ibn Khuzaimah. The latter grades it as sahih.
This hadith shows that if one enters the mosque (with his shoes on) and is unaware of some impurity or has forgotten it, and he suddenly remembers it during the Solāt , he must try to remove it and proceed with the Solāt . He does not have to repeat it later on.
Concerning the purity of the place where one is performing Solāt, Abu Hurayrah (radiyallāhu’anhu) said, "A bedouin stood and urinated in the mosque. The people got up to grab him. The Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam)said, 'Leave him and pour a container full of water over his urine. You have been raised to be easy on the people, not to be hard on them." (Recorded by "the group," except for Muslim)
Commenting on this subject, ash-Shawkani (rahimallāh) says, “If what has been produced of proof is firmly established, then one would know that it is obligatory to have one's clothes free of impurities. Whoever prays and has impurities on his clothing has left one of the obligations of the Solāt . But his Solāt would not be voided.”
In ar-Rauzhat an-Nabiyyah it states, “The majority of scholars are of the opinion that it is obligatory to purify three things: the body, the clothes, and the place of Solāt . Some are of the opinion that this is a condition for the soundness of the Solāt , and others say that it is just a Sunnah. The truth of the matter is that it is obligatory. Whoever intentionally prays with impurities on his clothing has left one of the obligations (of the Solāt ), but the Solāt is still valid.”
7 - Covering The ‘Awrah
Allāh Says, "O Children of Adam take your adornment (by wearing proper clothing) for every mosque" (al-A'raf 31). The meaning of "adornment" here is the covering of the 'awrah. The meaning of "mosque" is "Solāt ." Therefore, it means "Cover your 'awrah for every Solāt ." Salamah ibn al-Aku’ said to the Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam), "O Messenger of Allāh, may I pray in a long shirt?" He said, "Yes, but button it, even with just a thorn." (Recorded by al-Bukhari in his Tarīkh.)
‘Awrah for people who are praying fall into several categories:
(i) Minimum ‘awrah. This is the ‘awrah of a male between the ages of seven and ten; his ‘awrah is the two private parts only, front and back.
(ii) Moderate ‘awrah. This is the ‘awrah of one who has reached the age of ten and above, between the navel and the knee.
(iii)Maximum ‘awrah. This is the ‘awrah of an adult, free woman. All of her body is ‘awrah when praying, except for her hands and face. The scholars differed with regard to showing the feet.
There is disagreement about the navel, thighs and knees. The reports seem to contradict each other. The following hadith are used to prove that such parts are not part of the man's 'awrah:
‘Aishah (radiyallāhu’anha) says, “The Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) was sitting with his thigh exposed when Abu Bakar asked, and received, permission to enter. The same thing happened with ‘Umar. However, when ‘Uthman sought permission to enter, the Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam)covered himself with his clothes. When they left, I said, ‘O Messenger of Allāh, you permitted Abu Bakar and ‘Umar Al-Khattab to enter while your thigh was exposed. When ‘Uthman bin Affan asked permission to enter, you covered yourself with your clothes.’ He said, ‘O ‘Aishah! Should I not be shy of a man who, by Allāh, even the angels are shy of'?” (Recorded by Ahmad and al-Bukhari in mu'allaq form.)
Says Anas bin Mālik (radiyallāhu’anhu), "During the battle of Khaibar, the Prophet's gown was withdrawn from his thigh until I could see its whiteness." (Recorded by Ahmad and al-Bukhari.)
Says Ibn Hazm, “It is correct to say that the thigh is not part of the `awrah. If it were so, why would Allāh allow His Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam), who is protected (from sin), to uncover his so that Anas and others could see it? Allāh would have kept him from doing this. According to Jabir bin ‘Abdullāh (radiyallāhu’anhu) as recorded in the two Sahihs, when the Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam)was young (before his prophethood), he was one time carrying the stones of the Ka`abah, wearing only a loincloth. His uncle al-`Abbas said to him, 'O nephew, why don't you untie your waistcloth and put it on your shoulder for padding?’ The Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam)did so and fell unconscious. He was never seen naked again after that."'
Muslim records from Abu al-‘Aliya that ‘Abdullah ibn as-Samit struck his thigh and said, "I asked Abu Dharr, and he struck my thigh as I struck yours, and he said, 'I asked the Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam), and he struck my thigh as I have struck yours and said, 'Perform the Solāt in its time..." Ibn Hazm said, "If the thigh was 'awrah, why would the Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam)touch it?" If the thigh was 'awrah according to Abu Dharr (radiyallāhu’anhu), why would he have struck it with his hand? The same can be asked for 'Abdullah ibn as-Samit and Abu al-‘Aliya. It is not allowed for a Muslim to strike with his hand another man's pubic area, or the clothes over the pubic area. Nor can a man touch the clothing over a woman's ‘awrah.
Ibn Hazm mentions that Hubair ibn al-Huwairith looked at Abu Bakar’s thigh when it was uncovered, and that Anas ibn Mālik (radiyallāhu’anhu) came to Qas Ibn Shamas when his thigh was uncovered.
However, the following hadith are used to show that the thighs and so on are part of the 'awrah:
Muhammad Jahsh reported, “The Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam), passed by Ma’mar while his thighs were uncovered. He said, to him, ‘O Ma'mar, cover your thighs, for they are (part of the) 'awrah.’” This is related by Ahmad, al-Hakim and al-Bukhari in Tarīkh and in mu'allaq form in his Sahih.
Jurhad reported, “The Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam)passed by me when the cloak I was wearing did not cover my thigh. Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam)said, ‘Cover your thigh, for it (is part of the) 'awrah.’” This is recorded by Ahmad, Abu Dawud and at-Tirmidzi, who called it hassan, and by al-Bukhari in mu'allaq form in the Sahih.
There is no such dispute over what constitutes a woman's ‘awrah. It is stated that her entire body is `awrah and must be covered, except her hands and face. Allāh Says in the Qur’an, "And to display of their adornment only that which is apparent (do not expose any adornment or beauty save the hands and face)." It has been authentically related from Ibn ‘Abbas, Ibn ‘Umar and ‘Aishah that the Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam)said, "Allāh does not accept the Solāt of an adult woman unless she is wearing a head covering (khimar, hijab)." This is recorded by "the five," except for an-Nasa`ie, and by Ibn Khuzaimah and al-Hakim. At-Tirmizhi grades it as hassan.
It is related from Umm Salamah (radiyallāhu’anha) that she asked the Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam); "Can a woman pray in a long shirt (like a night shirt) and head covering without a loincloth?" He said, “If the shirt is long and flowing and covers the top of her feet.” This is related by Abu Dawud. The scholars say it is sahih in mauqūf form (as a statement of Umm Salamah (radiyallāhu’anhu) and not that of the Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam).)
It is also related that ‘Aishah (radiyallāhu’anha) was asked, “In how many garments is a woman to pray?” She answered, “Ask ‘Ali ibn Abu Talib and then return to me and tell me what he said.” `Ali's answer was, "In a headcover and a long flowing shirt." This was told to ‘Aishah (radiyallāhu’anha) and she said, "He has told the truth."
The clothes worn must cover the `awrah, even if they are tight enough to highlight those features. If the clothes are so thin that one's skin color can be seen, they are not suitable for Solāt .
It is preferred for a person to wear at least two garments, but he can wear just one if that is all he has. Ibn 'Umar (radiyallāhu’anhu) reported that the Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam), said, “If one of you is going to pray, he should wear two garments, for Allāh has the most right that you should look good for Him. If one does not have two garments, he should cover himself with a cloak when he prays, but not like the Jews do.” (Recorded by at-Tabarāni and al-Baihaqi.)
‘Abdurazaq related that Ubayy ibn Ka’ab (radiyallāhu’anhu) and `Abdullah ibn Mas`ud had an argument. Ubayy thought it was permissible to pray in one garment, while Ibn Mas'ud said that that was allowed only if one had no other clothes. `Umar Al-Khattab (radiyallāhu’anhu) mounted the pulpit and said, "The correct position is: If Allāh gives you more provisions, you should wear more clothes. A man can gather his clothes about him, or pray in a waist cloth and a cloak, or in a waist cloth and a shirt, or in a waist cloth and a caftan, or in trousers and a cloak, or in trousers and a shirt, or in trousers and a caftan, or in leather trousers and a caftan, or in leather trousers and a shirt.' And I (a narrator) think he said, 'Leather trousers and a cloak."
Buraidah reported that the Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) forbade one to pray using an improperly-affixed sheet to cover his ‘awrah, and to pray in trousers while not wearing a cloak. (Recorded by Abu Dawud and Al-Baihaqi) It is related that when al-Hassan ibn ‘Ali prayed, he would wear his best clothes. He was asked about that and he said, "Verily, Allāh is beautiful and He loves beauty, so I beautify myself for my Lord." Such a view is in accord with Allāh’s words, “And wears your adornment for every Solāt ."
Ibn 'Asakir related that the Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) would sometimes remove his cap and place it in front of him as a sutrah. According to the Hanifiyyah, one can Solāt with his head uncovered. In fact, they prefer this if it is done out of a sense of humility and awe. There is no evidence whatsoever that it is preferred to cover one's head while Solāt .
All scholars agree that one must face the Masjid al-Haram (in Makkah) during every Solāt. Allāh Says, “Direct your face to the Masjid al-Haram. Wherever you may be, turn your faces to it” (al-Baqarah 144).
Reported al-Barra', “We performed Solāt with the Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam), for about sixteen or seventeen months towards Jerusalem, after which time he turned towards the Ka`abah.” (Related by Muslim.)
If he cannot see it, he must turn in its direction, as this is all that he is able to do. Abu Hurairah (radiyallāhu’anhu) reported that the Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam)said, “The qiblah is between the East and the West.” This is recorded by Ibn Majah and at-Tirmidzi. The latter considers it hassan sahih. This hadith refers to the people of Madinah and whoever has a position similar to them (i.e., the people of Syria, the Arabian Peninsula and Iraq. For the people of Egypt, the qiblah is between the East and the South.)
He should ask one who knows. If he finds no one to ask, he should try his best to determine it. In such a case, his Solāt will be valid, and he need not repeat it even though he discovers later on that he had faced in the wrong direction. If it is made clear to him while he is praying that he is facing the wrong direction, he need only turn in the proper direction without stopping his Solāt. This is based on the following incident: Ibn 'Umar (radiyallāhu’anhu) reported that the people were praying the Morning Solāt in the Quba' mosque when a person came to them and said, "Allāh has revealed some of the Qur'ān to the Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam)in which we have been ordered to face the Ka’bah, so face it." They immediately turned their faces from Syria to the Ka’bah." (Related by al-Bukhari and Muslim.)
If one prays according to what he determined and then wants to make another Solāt, he should again try to determine the Qiblah's direction. If it turns out to be different from what he had determined earlier, he should pray in the new direction without repeating his earlier Solāt.
The first one is performing voluntary Solāt while riding (an animal, car and so on). The rider may bend his head slightly for the bowings and prostrations of the Solāt, but he should bend a little bit lower for the prostrations. He may face in whatever direction his ride is going.
‘Amr ibn Rabi’ah reported, "I saw the Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam), pray while riding, and he faced the direction in which he was going." This hadith is related by Muslim, at-Tirmidzi and al-Bukhari. The latter added that "he bent his head slightly."
He did not, however, do this for the obligatory Solāt. Ahmad, Muslim and at-Tirmidzi recorded that he would pray on his mount while travelling from Makkah to Madinah, facing away from Makkah. Upon this, Allāh revealed, "Wherever you turn, you will find Allāh's face." Says Ibrahim an-Nakha’ie, "They would pray on their mounts and animals in the direction in which they were facing." Ibn Hazm comments, "This has been related from the companions and those of the following generation, during travel and residence.”
The second case is praying while having to deal with forced conditions, illness and fear. Under such circumstances, it is allowed to pray without facing the qiblah. The Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said, “If I order you to do something, do what you are capable of doing." Allāh Says, "If you go in fear, then (pray) standing or on your mounts...” (Al-Baqarah,2: 239). Ibn 'Umar (radiyallāhu’anhu) added, “Facing the Qiblah or not facing it.” (Related by al-Bukhari.)
9 - Intention (Niyyah):
There is a difference between the Hanbali and Shafi’ie School. Hanbali regard Niyyah (Intention) as a condition while The Shāfi`ie School regarded it as the Pillar (Rukun) of the Solāt. If a person observe Solāt without forming the proper intention then his Solāt is invalid, because of the report narrated from ‘Umar Ibn Al-Khattab (radiyallāhu‘anhu) who said: I heard the Messenger of Allāh (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) say: “Actions are but by intentions and each person will have but that which he intended.” [Al-Bukhari (1)]
Allāh does not accept any deed unless it is accompanied by the right intention.
The fuqahā’ were consensus that intention consist of ta’rub and ta’yin with sincerity for the sake of Allāh; formed in the heart; parallel to the commencement of the Solāt when saying the Takbiratul Ihram, “Allāhu Akbar” and raising the hands at shoulder level. Scholars viewed it as recommended (mandub) act to articulate or lafaz it as to assist the Niyyah in heart.
Thus the kaifiyat of the Niyyah should include the following, “I’m observing Solāt fardhu Zuhur four raka`at for the sake Allāh”. The lafaz is a recommended act; one either can do it or leave it according to one’s choice; without making an issue about it.
If a person does not fulfill any of the conditions then their Solāt is invalid. Once a person realises that he or she missed a condition they should repeat that Solāt, even if a long period passes
And Allāh Almighty Knows best.
[Excerpted from ‘A Comprehensive Prayer Formula by Zaharuddin Abd Rahman’;Islam Q&A (Fatwa: No: 107701);Fiqh-us-Sunnah, Volume “Prerequisites of the Solāt ”, By Sayyid Sābiq Fiqh
All About The Solah
6. The Adzān;
13. Places Where Offering Solāt Is Prohibited ; 14. Placing a Sutrah In front of One Who is Performing Solah;
15. What is permissible During the Solāt?; 16. The Acts that Renders Solāt Invalid; 17. Disliked Actions during the Solāt; 18. The Solāt in Times of Fear or Danger; 19. The Solāt of a Sick Person ;
29. Solāt al-Jumu’ah; 30. The Sanctified Hour of Jumu’ah.
42. Solāt al-Janāzah; 43. Solāt al-Kasuf ; 44. Solāt al-Khauf ; 45. Solāt al-Marid; 46. Solāt al-Tahajjud ;