Thursday, March 15, 2012

What is permissible During the Solāh ?

What Is Permissible During The Solāh?

By Sayyid Sābiq

In the name of Allāh, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful;
All the praise and thanks is due to Allāh, the Lord of al-`ālamīn. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allāh, and that Muhammad, Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam is His Messenger.

1 - Crying due to a fear of Allāh is permissible during the Solāh

Crying, is due to a fear of Allāh or to any other reason (e.g., a moan due to some pain or injury that one cannot contain), is permissible. This is based on the Qur'anic verse: “When the revelations of the Merciful were recited unto them, they fell prostrating and adoring.” This verse is general and includes one who is Solāh

`Abdullah Ibn Ash-Shakir related: “I saw the Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) observing solāh and his chest was ‘buzzing’, like the buzzing of a cooking pot, due to crying.” This is recorded by Ahmad, Abu Dawud, An-Nasā`ie, and At-Tirmidzi. The latter classifies it as sahih. 

`Ali Ibn Abi Talib (radiyallāhu`anhu) reports: “There was no horseman among us at the battle of Badr save al-Miqdad Ibn al-Aswad. I saw that not one of us was standing save the Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) who was observing Solāh under a tree and crying until the dawn.” This is related by Ibn Hibban. 

`Aishah (radiyallāhu`anha) relates the incident that occurred during the fatal illness of the Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam). The Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu `alayhi wa sallam) said: “Order Abu Bakar (radiyallāhu`anhu) to lead the people in Solāh.” `Aishah responded: “O Messenger of Allah, Abu Bakar is a very soft-hearted man and he cannot control his tears, and if he recites the Qur`ān, he cries.” `Aishah later admitted: “I said that only because I hated that the people should blame Abu Bakar for being the first to take the place of the Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam).” The Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) said: “Order Abu Bakar to lead the people in solah. You women are like the companions of Yusuf.” This is related by Ahmad, Abu Dawud, Ibn Hibban, and At-Tirmidzi who call it sahih. The fact that the Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) insisted that Abu Bakar lead the solāh after he was informed that he would be overcome by weeping proves that it is permissible to cry while praying. 

`Umar Ibn Al-Khattab (radiyallāhu`anhu) observed Solāh Fajar and recited Surah Yusuf, and when he reached the verse “I expose my distress and anguish only unto Allah,” he raised his voice in crying. This is related by al-Bukhari, Sa`id ibn Mansur, and Ibn Al-Munzhir. In `Umar's raising his voice in crying is a refutation of those who say that crying invalidates the solāh if it causes a sound from the mouth, regardless of whether it is due to the fear of Allāh or not. They argue that sound from the mouth due to crying is like speaking, but this is not acceptable as crying and speaking are two different things. 

2 - Turning to a side due to some need 

Ibn Abbas (radiyallāhu`anhu) related: “The Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu`alayhi wasallam) would turn to his right and left he would not turn his head to see behind him.” This is recorded by Ahmad. 
Abu Dawud records that when the Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) Solāh, “he looked toward a valley because he had sent some horsemen to guard the valley.” 

Anas Ibn Sireen (radiyallāhu`anhu)says: “I saw Anas ibn Mālik (radiyallāhu`anhu) lift his eyes to something while he was solāh.” This is related by Ahmad. 

3 - Unnecessary turning during Solāt 

Turning to look at something without any genuine need is disliked, for it is against the etiquettes of humility while facing Allāh in Solāh. 

`Aishah (radiyallāhu`anha) says: “I asked the Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu `alayhi wa sallam) about turning in solah and he said: ‘It is the portion that the Satan steals from the slave's Solāt.’” This is related by Ahmad, Al-Bukhari, an-Nasa`ie, and Abu Dawud. 

Abu Ad-Darda' (radiyallāhu`anhu) narrates from the Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam): “O people, be careful about turning for there is no solāh for the one who turns. If you must do it, do it in the voluntary Solāh and not in the obligatory solāh.” This is related by Ahmad. 

Anas (radiyallāhu`anhu) related that the Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) said to him: “Be careful about turning during the Solāh as turning in the solāh is disastrous. If you must do it, then do it in the voluntary solāh but not in the obligatory Solāh.” This is related by at-Tirmidzi who calls it sahih. 

In the hadith of Al-Harith Al-Ash`ari, the Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu `alayhi wa sallam) said: “Allāh gave Yahya, son of Zakariyah, five commands that he was to abide by and was to order the tribe of Isra`1l to abide by...” One of them was, “Verily, Allāh orders you to perform solāh, and when you pray, do not turn for Allāh looks to the face of His slave in solāh as long as he does not turn"." This is related by Ahmad and an-Nasā`ie. 

Abu Dharr (radiyallāhu`anhu) reported that the Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) said: “Allāh faces the slave while he is in the solāh and keeps facing him as long as he does not turn. If [the slave] turns, [Allāh] turns away from him.” This is related by Ahmad and by Abu Dawud who said its chain of narrators (isnād) is sahih. The preceding hadith is concerned with turning the face during the solah. If one turns the whole (upper) body away from the Qiblah, then the solāh is invalidated, for not fulfilling the requirement of facing the Qiblah. On this point, there is no difference of opinion. 

4 - Killing a snake, scorpion or other harmful animals 

If killing these would only require a small action on the part of the person in solah, then there is no harm in doing it. Abu Hurairah (radiyallāhu`anhu) reported that the Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) said: “Kill the snake and the scorpion during the solah.” This is related by Ahmad, At-Tirmidzi, Abu Dawud, An-Nasā`ie, and Ibn Mājah. The hadith is hasan sahih. 

5 - Taking a few steps due to some necessity 

`Aishah (radiyallāhu`anha) said: “The Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) was offering solāh in the house and the door was locked. I came and knocked on the door and he walked over to open it for me and then he returned to his place of Solāh. The door was in the direction of the Qiblah.” This is related by Ahmad, Abu Dawud, An-Nasā'ie, and At-Tirmidzi. The latter calls it hasan. It may be observed that in this hadith, he did not turn away from the Qiblah either in opening the door, or in returning to his place. This is supported by what has been related that the Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam)  would pray and if anyone knocked on the door, he would open the door provided the door was in the direction of the Qiblah or on his right or on his left, but he would not turn his back to the Qiblah. This is related by Ad-Daraqutni. 

Al-Azraq Ibn Qais related: "Abu Barzah Al-Aslami was at Al-Ahwas, at the bank of a river, and he prayed while holding the reins of his horse. The horse started going back, and he (i.e. Abu Barzah) followed the horse. A man from the Khawarij said: 'O Allāh, be rough on this man, see how he is doing his Solāh.' When Abu Barzah finished his Solāh, he said: 'I heard your statement. Certainly, I participated in six or seven or eight battles with the Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam), and I am certainly aware of his leniency. Certainly, I would rather restrain my animal than let him run off loose as that would have caused me a great deal of trouble.' It was `Asar Solāh that Abu Barzah offered, and he observed solāh two raka`at." This is related by Ahmad, Al-Bukhari, and Al-Baihaqi. 

Concerning taking a lot of steps, Ibn Hajar says in Fathul-Bāri: “The jurists are agreed that taking many steps invalidates an obligatory Solāh. They interpret the hadith of Abu Barzah as referring to taking just a few steps.” 

6- Carrying and holding a child during the solā

Abu Qatadah (radiyallāhu`anhu) reports that the Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu `alayhi wa sallam) was offering solah and Umamah bint Zainab was on his neck [shoulder]. When he performed ruku', he put her down, and when he got up from his sajdah, he would place her back on his neck. `Amr inquired during which solāh this happened. Ibn Juraij said that it is related from Zaid Ibn Abu `tab from `Amr Ibn Salim that this happened in the Morning Solāh. This is related by Ahmad, An-Nasa`ie, and others. Al-Fakihani comments: "The purpose behind the action of the Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) of carrying Umamah in the solāh was to set an example before the Arabs who considered having daughters and carrying them around as something bad or shameful. The Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) acted differently from them, and carried a girl on his neck in the Solāh, and making something clear by example is much more effective than a mere precept." 

`Abdullah Ibn Shidad relates that his father said: "The Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu `alayhi wa sallam) came to us either during the noon or afternoon Solāh and he was carrying Hassan or Hussain. The Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) proceeded to the front and put him down and made the takbir for the solāh. During the solah, he made a long sajdah. I raised my head and saw the child on the back of the Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) while he was in sajdah. I returned to my sajdah. When the Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) finished the solāh, the people said to him: 'O Messenger of Allah, you prostrated during your solāh so long that we suspected you were thinking about some matter or you were receiving some revelation.' Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) said: 'None of that happened but my son was resting and I hated to rush him until he had finished what he desired."' This is related by Ahmad, An-Nasā'ie, and Al-Hakim. 

An-Nawawi observes that this, according to the opinion of Ash-Shāfi`ie and those who agree with him, points to the permissibility of carrying or holding a young child, male or female, or any pure animal during an obligatory Solāh, and that it is permissible for both the imam and the followers. The companions of Mālik say that the permissibility is only for voluntary solāh and not for obligatory Solāh. This interpretation is incorrect as it is clear that the Prophet was leading one of the obligatory solāh, and as stated earlier it was the Solāh Fajar. Some followers of Mālik claim that its permissibility has been abrogated, while others say it was only permissible for the Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam), and yet others hold that it was due to some necessity. All of this is wrong and to be rejected as there is no proof for any of it or any necessity. The authentic hadith clearly states that it is permissible and there is nothing in that ruling which contradicts any basic principle of the shari'ah as a human being is pure and what is in his or her abdomen is not relevant in this regard, as it remains within the stomach, its natural receptacle. Also, the clothing of a child is considered pure and the shari'ah is quite explicit on this point. Actions during the solah do not invalidate it if they are minor or few or dispersed. The fact that the Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) did this is an exposition of its permissibility, and this argument is built upon the principle which we have mentioned before. This refutes what Abu Sulaiman al-Khattabi says, namely, that the Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu `alayhi wa sallam) did not carry the child intentionally but the child was holding onto the Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu `alayhi wa sallam), and when he stood the child remained with him. He said: "Do not think that he held him again intentionally as that would be too much action and would distract the heart. If a curtain distracted him, how could [the child] not distract him?" This statement by al-Khattabi, (rahimahullāh), is incorrect and to be rejected. Among the things that refute it are the statements in Sahih Muslim, "when he stood, he carried him." And, "when he got up from his sajdah, he would return [the child to his place]." Further refutations are derived from a version other than Sahih Muslim, "He came to us while carrying Umamah and prayed..." Concerning the ruling about the curtain, it distracts the heart without there being any benefit to it. Concerning carrying Umamah, we are not convinced that it distracts the heart, and even if it does, it is allowed due to its benefit and the principles that we have mentioned. The source of that preoccupation is that benefit, which differs from the incident concerning the curtain. Thus, the correct position is that the hadith is a clear exposition that it is permissible to carry a child in solāh and this will continue to be part of the Islamic law until the Day of Judgment. And Allāh knows best. 

7 - Returning a Greeting by a motion 

The one in Solāh who is greeted or spoken to may reply to the one who greets or speaks to him by making some motion. 

Jabir bin `Abdullah (radiyallāhu`anhu) said: "The Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) sent me somewhere while he was going to the tribe of Mustaliq. I came to him and he was praying while on the back of his camel. [When] I spoke to him, he and Zubair motioned with their hands. I heard him reciting and saw him gesturing with his head. When he finished, he said: 'What have you done about the thing I sent you for? Nothing kept me from talking to you save that I was in Solāh .'" This is related by Ahmad and Muslim. 

'Abdullah Ibn `Umar (radiyallāhu`anhu) narrated that Suhaib said: “I passed by the Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) while he was offering solāh. I greeted him and he responded to me by only signaling.” `Abdullah said: "The only thing that I know is that he said he signaled to him with his finger." This is related by Ahmad and by at-Tirmidzi. The latter calls it sahih. 

`Abdullah Ibn `Umar (radiyallāhu`anhu) says: "I asked Suhaib: 'How did the Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) respond to the people when they greeted him while he was praying?' He said: 'He would signal to them with his hand.'" This is related by Ahmad, At-Tirmidzi, Abu Dawud, An-Nasa`ie, and Ibn Mājah. 

Anas (radiyallāhu`anhu) says that the Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) would signal while offering solah. This is related by Ahmad, Abu Dawud, and Ibn Khuzaimah and its isnad is sahih. 

The same applies to signaling with one's finger or hand or by nodding the head. All of these actions have been related from the Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam). 

8 - Saying Subhānallāh and clapping 

It is allowed for men to say 'Subhānallāh' and for women to clap if there is some need to do so (such as alerting the imam to a mistake or informing someone that he or she may enter the room or to warn a blind person, and so on). Sahl ibn Sa'ad as-Sa’di relates that the Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) said: “If someone is faced with something during the solah, he should say ‘Subhānallah.’ Clapping is for the women and saying Subhānallāh is for the men.” This is related by Ahmad, Abu Dawud, and An-Nasā`ie. 

9 - Correcting the imam's mistake 

If the imam forgets a verse, it is permissible for a follower to remind him of it, regardless of whether the recitation is a part of the obligatory recitation or not. Ibn `Umar (radiyallāhu`anhu) reported that the Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) solāh and had some confusion in his recitation. When he finished, he said to `Umar: "Were you present with us [during the Solāh]?" He replied: "Yes." So, the Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) asked him: "What prevented you from correcting me?" This is related by Abu Dawud and others and its narrators are trustworthy. 

10 - Praising Allāh when one sneezes or recalls minding a blessing 

Rifa'ah ibn Rafi' (radiyallāhu`anhu) relates: "I prayed behind the Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam), and I sneezed and said, 'Praise be to Allah, a great deal of praise, beautiful and blessed, as our Lord loves and is pleased with.' [Afterward,] the Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) asked: 'Who spoke during the solah?' No one said anything. He asked again, and no one said anything. He asked again, and I said: 'It was I, O Messenger of Allah!' He then said: 'By the One in whose hand is Muhammad's soul, thirty some odd angels raced to get that phrase to raise it [to the Lord].'" This is related by An-Nasā`ie and At-Tirmidzi, and by Al-Bukhari with a different wording. 

11 - Sujud upon one's clothing or headdress due to some excuse 

Ibn 'Abbas (radiyallāhu`anhu) reported that the Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) prayed in one garment and covered his face with a portion of it to avoid the heat or coldness of the ground. This is related by Ahmad with a sahih isnad (chain). It is disliked if it is done without any genuine reason. 

12 -A summary of other acts which are permissible during the Solāh

Ibn al-Qayyim has summarized some of the acts which are permissible during the solah and which the Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) used to perform at times. He writes: 

The Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) would pray and 'Aishah (radiyallāhu`anha) would be lying between him and the Qiblah. When he performed sajdah, he would signal to her with his hand and she would pull back her leg and when he would stand she would stretch out her leg again. The Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) was praying and the Satan came to him to disturb his solah and the Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) choked until his saliva came upon his hand. And the Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) would pray upon the pulpit, making ruku' there, but when the time came to perform sajdah, he would descend, moving backward, and prostrate upon the ground, and then return to the pulpit. He once prayed toward a wall and an animal tried to pass between him and the wall. The Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) prevented the animal from passing to the extent that its stomach was against the wall. Once he was praying, two girls from the tribe of 'Abd al-Muttalib were fighting behind him and he separated them with his arms while he was praying. Ahmad's version says that they grabbed unto his knees and he separated them without leaving the solah. 

On another occasion, when he was praying, a boy came to him and he motioned to him to move back, and he moved back. Then a girl tried to pass in front of him, he beckoned her to move back, but the girl passed, and when he finished, he said: "They are more determined." Ahmad recorded it and it is also in the Sunan. He would also puff out air while praying. The hadith which states: " Puffing out is speech" cannot be traced to the Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam), but Sa'id related it in his Sunan from Ibn 'Abbas (radiyallāhu`anhu) as one of Ibn 'Abbas' statements - if it is authentic. The Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) would cry during his solah and would also clear his throat while praying. 'Ali ibn Abi Talib (radiyallāhu`anhu) said: "I had a certain time at which I would visit the Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam). When I came to him, he would permit me to enter. If I found him praying, he would clear his throat and I would enter. If he was free, he would give me permission to enter." This is recorded by Ann-Nasā`ie and Ahmad. Ahmad's version says: "I could enter upon the Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) during the day or night. If I came to him while he was praying, he would clear his throat [as a sign that I may enter]. This was related by Ahmad who used to act by it and he was not of the opinion that clearing one's throat invalidated the solah. Sometimes the Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) would pray barefoot and sometimes while wearing shoes. This is what `Abdullah Ibn `Umar (radiyallāhu`anhu) said and he ordered people to pray with shoes on in order to differ from the Jews. Sometimes he would pray in one garment and sometimes in two garments and [this latter] were the majority of the cases. 

13 - Reciting from a copy of the Qur`an 

Zhakwan, the protégé of `Aishah (radiyallāhu`anha), would lead her in Solāh during Ramadan while reciting from a copy of the Qur`an. This is related by Malik. Ash-Shāfi`ies opinion is that it is allowable. An-Nawawi holds: "If one sometimes turns pages during a solah, it does not invalidate it. If he looks at something that is written which is not the Qur`an and he reads it to himself, it does not invalidate the solah, even if it is done for a long period of time, nevertheless, it is a hated act." Ash-Shafi`ie has made a statement about it in  Al-Imla’. 

14 - Occupying the heart with something other than the affairs of the Solāh

Abu Hurairah (radiyallāhu`anhu) reports that the Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) said: "When the call to Solāh is made, the Satan takes to his heels... and when it is finished, he returns. He flees again when the iqamah is made and when it is finished, he returns until he comes between the man and his thoughts, saying: 'Remember this and remember that,' which he had not recalled, until the person does not know how much he has prayed, [i.e.,] three or four raka`at. Then, he makes two prostrations while sitting." This is reported by Al-Bukhari and Muslim. 

Al-Bukhari also records that `mar (radiyallāhu`anhu) said: "I arrange the troops [in my mind] during the Solāh." Although it is true that such a solah is valid and sufficient, it is a must for the person in Solāt to keep his mind and heart attuned to the solah and his Lord and to keep his thoughts on the meaning of the Qur`anic verses and the significance of the different acts of the solah since a person has for him only that portion of the solah which he is fully aware of [while performing it]. 

Abu Dawud, An-Nasā`ie, and Ibn Hibban record from `Ammar ibn Yasir that he heard the Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) say: “A man may complete the solāh and only have recorded for himself one-tenth or one-ninth or one-eighth or one-seventh or one-fifth or one-fourth or one third or one-half.” 

Al-Bazzār records from Ibn '`bbas (radiyallāhu`anhu) that the Allāh’s Messenger  (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) said: “Allah, the Glorious, said: ‘I accept the solāh of one who humbles himself during it to My Greatness; and who does not perform the solāh just for show; and who does not spend the night in disobedience to Me; and who spends the day remembering Me; and who is merciful to the poor, the wayfarer and the widows; and who is merciful to one who is suffering from an infliction. He has a light like the light of the sun. I protect him by My Glory and the angels guard over him. I give him light in darkness and sobriety in the presence of ignorance. And his similitude in My creation is like All-Firdaus in Paradise."' 

Abu Dawud records from Zaid ibn Khalid that the Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) said: “Whoever makes ablution and perfects it and then prays two raka`at, without being unheedful during them, forgiven for him will be his previous sins.” Muslim records that `Uthman Ibn Abi al-`Aas said: “O Messenger of Allah, the Satan comes between me and my Solāh and my recitation, confusing me therein!” The Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) said: "That Satan is called Khanzab. If he affects you seek refuge in Allāh from him and ‘spit out’ on your left side three times." 

Muslim records from Abu Hurairah (radiyallāhu`anhu) that the Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) said: “Allah, the Glorious, said: ‘I have divided the solāh [i.e., al-Fatihah] into two halves, between Me and My slave, and my slave shall receive what he asks for.’ When the slave says ‘All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds,’ Allah, the Exalted, says ‘My slave has praised Me.’ When he says ‘The Compassionate, the Merciful,’ Allāh, the Exalted, says ‘My slave has lauded Me.’ When he says ‘Master of the Day of Judgment.’ Allāh, the Exalted says ‘My servant has glorified Me and entrusted his affairs to Me’ And when he says ‘It is Thee we worship and from Thee that we seek aid,’ Allāh, the Exalted, says ‘This is between Me and My slave. And for My slave is what he asks.’ And when he says ‘Guide us to the straight path, the path of those whom you have blessed and not of those with whom you are angry or of those who have gone astray.’ Allāh says ‘That is for My slave and My slave shall get what he asks for.’” 

It is disliked for anyone to leave any of the Sunnah acts described earlier 

And Allāh Almighty Knows best.

[Excerpted from Fiqh-As-Sunnah, volume 2  ‘What is allowed during the Solāh By Sayyid Sābiq ]

All About The Solah

4. Al-Wudhu’ ; 5. Tayammum;
29.   Solāh al-Jumu`ah; 30. The Sanctified Hour of Jumu’ah.

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