FAQ in the category of Salat (prayer) and Its Bases

1 How is Istikhara prayer (Salat) performed?

The prayer that is performed in order to understand whether something to be done will be good or bad or whether that thing should be done immediately or should it be postponed is called salat istikhara. It consists of two rakats. A person who wants to make istikhara should perform that salat before going to bed; he should read chapter al-Kafirun after al-Fatiha in the first rakat and chapter al-Ikhlas in the second rakat. After the salat, he should recite the istikhara prayer. He should have wudu and lie down turning towards qiblah. If he sees white or green in his dream, it indicates that it is good for him; if he sees black or red, it indicates that it is bad for him. Salat istikhara is ordered to be performed 7 nights and then one should decide about the thing that comes to his heart. Istikhara is performed for the things that cannot be decided or that are hesitated. Istikhara is only performed when one thinks of doing something but cannot decide how to do it or hesitates.  If something is definitely known to be correct, or if something is consulted and a decision is made about it, then istikhara is not performed about it. When what is right is found and decided, there is no need for istikhara. The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) adviced his companions to make istikhara. Those who cannot perform salat istikhara due to an excuse can only recite the istikhara prayer. The following is stated in a hadith: "He who makes istikhara will not be harmed; he who consults will not regret;..." The prayer of istikhara that our Prophet recited is as follows:

اَللّهُمَّ إِنِّى أَسْتَخِيرُكَ بِعِلْمِكَ وَأَسْتَقْدِرُكَ بَقُدْرَتِكَ وَأَسْأَلُكَ مِنْ فَضْلِكَ الْعَظيمِ فَإِنَّكَ تَقْدِرُ وَلاَ أَقْدِرُ وَتَعْلَمُ وَلاَ أَعْلَمُ وَأَنْتَ عَلاَّمُ الْغُيُوبِ اَللّهُمَّ إِنْ كُنْتَ تَعْلَمُ أَنَّ هذَا اْلاَمْرَ خَيْرٌ لى فِى دينى وَمَعَاشِى وَعَاقِبَةِ أَمْرِى فَاقْدُرْهُ لى وَيَسِّرْهُ لى ثُمَّ بَارِكْ لى فيهِ وَإِنْ كُنْتَ تَعْلَمُ أَنَّ هذَا اْلأَمْرَ شَرٌّ لى فِى دينى وَمَعَاشِي وَعَاقِبَةِ أَمْرى فَاصْرِفْهُ عَنِّى وَاصْرِفْنى عَنْهُ وَاقْدُرْ لِى الْخَيْرَ حَيْثُ كَانَ ثُمَّ أَرْضِنى بِه

Allahumma inni astakhiruka bi-ilmika wa astaqdiruka bi-qudratika wa as`aluka min fadlika`l-azim. Fa-innaka taqdiru wa la akdiru wa ta`lamu wa la a`lamu wa anta allamu`l-ghuyub. Allahumma in kunta ta`lamu anna haza`l-amra khayrun li fi dini wa maashi wa aqibati amri faqdurhu li wa yassirhu li. Summa barik li fih. Wa in kunta ta`lamu haza`l-amra sharrun li fi dini wa maashi wa aqibati amri, fasrifhu anni wasrifni anhu waqdur li`l-khayra haythu kana. Summa ardini bih...
Translation of the prayer: Oh Allah! I seek Your guidance by virtue of Your knowledge, and I seek ability by virtue of Your power, and I ask You of Your great bounty. You have power; I have none. And You know; I know not. You are the Knower of hidden things Oh Allah! If in Your knowledge, this matter is good for my religion, my livelihood and my affairs, immediate and in the future, then ordain it for me, make it easy for me, and bless it for me. And if in Your knowledge, this matter is bad for my religion, my livelihood and my affairs, immediate and in the future, then turn it away from me, and turn me away from it. And ordain for me the good wherever it may be, and make me content with it.
Mehmet Dikmen

2 What is the difference between muakkadah sunnahs and non muakkadah sunnahs?

 

3 What is the age of starting Obligatory Prayer (salat)? How should we compensate our Qadha prayers?

Because it is only possible to know right from wrong in human after reaching pubescence, Allah Almighty does not call children to account when they are in their childhood. After reaching pubescence asks for the obligations such as fast, prayer etc. So our religious obligations start after reaching pubescence. And it is known that the time (age) of pubescence is not definite. After the Boy (12) and girl (9) years old, there may be a feeling to reach pubescence till (15). And it shows itself in boy with nocturnal emission, in girls with menstruation. After that human and carnal feeling has appeared, every obligation is recorded as “has been done” or “has not been done”.

For your third question we recommend you not to listen that thoughts and to pray in awe. For a detailed information about it, we are translating an answer, after it has been finished, insaallah we will send it to you. Here you can get some information about your other related questions.

At what age did our Prophet (bpuh) advise to start prayer?

What is the correct method of offering Qaza Namaaz? In what way is it beneficial?
How can the prayer and fasting debt of a deceased Muslim be paid?

4 What is the correct method of offering Qada Prayer? In what way is it beneficial?

Performing an obligatory prayer (salah) in time is called execution, performing it after its specified time has elapsed is called compensation (qada); performing a prayer again that has been spoiled is called repetition.

A binding prayer (salah) is either intentionally not performed in its specified time, or it isn’t performed in time because of an excuse. It is a great sin not to perform intentionally a daily prayer in time. Man must stay away from such an act. If such a mistake was made, the prayer must be compensated at once to be completed with the duty. Because, death can come at any moment. If death comes and catches man unprepared, man will go to the hereafter under obligation.

Although one gets free from the obligation when he compensates the prayer that he has failed to perform in time, he must ask Allah for His forgiveness for the sin he has committed. So one must both compensate that prayer and also ask for Allah’s forgiveness. 

Prayers that haven’t been performed owing to forgetting, sleeping or a legitimate excuse must be performed later at once when they are remembered or must be performed after the legitimate excuse terminated.

There are some excuses such that the prayers that weren’t performed in these times aren’t to be compensated later. Women’s menstruation and period of confinement after childbirth; epilepsy or insanity enduring in five prayer times are from these kinds of excuses. In fact, it isn’t religiously permissible for the women menstruating or for the women in the period of confinement after childbirth to perform prayers; it is forbidden for them.

Compensating later the five daily prayers that haven’t been performed in time is obligatory, the salat al- witr is compulsory and the sunnah is sunnah. Only the compensation of the salat al- fajr’s sunnah is sunnah. In case salat al- fajr (the morning prayer) haven’t been performed in time, then its sunnah is also performed with its fard if it is performed before noon time. If the compensation is left after noon time, then sunnah isn’t performed anymore, but only the fard is performed.

Some sunnah of the daily prayers that couldn’t been performed in time are compensated by performing them later. For example, in case the former sunnah of the salat al-zuhr (the prayer of the midday) couldn’t be performed to catch the congregation, then it is performed separately after fard and the latter two rak’ats of sunnah. If the former sunnah of the Friday prayer couldn’t been performed before the Friday sermon, then it is compensated by performing it after the two rak’ats of fard of the Friday prayer. The former sunnahs of the mid-day prayer and the Friday prayer that have been half finished by being performed as two rak’ats are also compensated later as four rak’ats in the same way. The sunnahs of the daily payers except these two sunnahs aren’t performed later if they haven’t been performed in time. For example, the sunnahs of salat al- asr (the mid-afternoon prayer) and salat al- isha’ (the prayer performed two hours after sunset) aren’t performed later if they haven’t been performed before fard.

The prayers of compensation will be executed like the daily fards. Compensation for the prayer of morning is performed as 2, of mid-day as 4, of mid-afternoon is as 4, of evening as 3 and of isha’ as 4 and of witr as 3.

There is no particular time or place for any of the compensation (qada) prayers. This is, there is no restriction that the compensation prayer of mid-afternoon is to be performed in the mid-afternoon. It can be performed when ever you want. When performing the compensations of prayers, there is no provision that compensation of mid-afternoon must be performed before compensation of isha’ or compensation of mid-day must be performed after the compensation of morning.

However, one must be careful not to perform the compensations prayers during the times called kerahat. It isn’t tolerated to perform a prayer in these times: 45 min. of duration after the sun has risen, the 45 min. of duration prior to the sunset and when the sun is just at the top (the 30 min. duration of time prior to mid-day prayer). Compensation prayers can be performed in any time except these times.

How are the compensation prayers (qada prayers) performed?

One, whose prayers that he hasn’t performed in time are 6 times or more, doesn’t regard a sequence in performing them and also he doesn’t regard a sequence between his compensation prayers and his daily prayers. He can perform his compensation prayers in any time he wants and is convenient except the three kerahat times when performing a prayer is religiously reprehensible. Because, compensation prayers have no particular times. For example, a mid-afternoon prayer that hasn’t been performed in time can be performed after the prayer of isha’, and a prayer of isha that hasn’t been performed in time can be performed after the prayer of noon. 

When performing compensation prayers, there is no need to determine to which date they belong. Since this is very difficult, it is convenient to apply the easier one. A compensation prayer is performed by intending (making the niyyah) as the following:
For example: “I have intended to perform the first mid-day prayer I couldn’t perform in time for the pleasure of Allah” or “I have intended to perform the last mid-day prayer I couldn’t perform in time for the pleasure of Allah.” Then, in this way the compensation prayers are begun to be performed from the first one that hasn’t been performed in time or from the last one that hasn’t been performed in time; in both ways, the previous prayers are diminished by compensating them in an order.
Since it is easier, it is also adequate to intend as “I compensate a mid-day or a mid-afternoon prayer on me”.
When performing a compensation prayer, first the adhan (the call to prayer) and then kamet (a phrase recited before the fards indicating that the prayer is beginning) are recited and then the prayer is performed. If more than one compensation prayers will be performed, one adhan is sufficient for all of them, but it is Sunnah to recite separate kamets for every distinct fard.
One who doesn’t know precisely how many compensation prayers he has to perform behaves according to his superior prediction. If he can not predict the number of his compensation prayers, he continues to perform compensation prayers until he believes that he has no compensation prayers on him any more.

Ones who have the same prayers to be compensated (for example, all of them have to compensate a mid-day prayer) can perform this prayer with congregation. But, ones who have to compensate different prayers can not constitute a unique congregation; they have to perform their prayers separately.

Compensation prayers must be preferred to be performed at home if it is possible. If these prayers were disregarded without an excuse, since this is a sin, it is inconvenient to expose this.

Mehmed Paksu

5 How the Witr prayer is performed?

This information is not correct. According to the Shafii Sect the Witr Prayer is not performed in that way, either. After the two rak'ats (parts) one rak'at is performed. However, though it is a sin, not sitting in the first Tashahhud does not annul the prayer.

According to the Shafii Sect:

The Witr Prayer is the most muakkad (strong) and most important of the sunnats (practices of The Prophet) added to the obligatory prayers. It is performed after the fard (obligatory part) of the Night Prayer. The least of it is one rak'at, the most is eleven.

As a virtue, the least of it is three rak'ats. The most virtuous form of performing it is making salam (ending by saying assalamu alaykum wa rahmatullah) every two rak'ats and performing the remaining one rak'at at the end with a separate word of intention.

When the Witr Prayer is performed as three rak'ats, it is sunnat to recite the surah of “Sabbihisma rabbika'l ala” in the first rak'at after Fatiha Surah, to recite “Kafirun” Surah in the second rak'at, and in the last rak'at to recite the surahs of “Ikhlas, Falaq and Nas”. It is also sunnat to recite the mentioned surahs in the last three rakats when it is performed as 5 or more rak'ats.

The Witr Prayer is performed individually rather than in congregation as is the case for the other sunnats added to obligatory prayers. However, from the 16th night of Ramadan onwards till the last night, it is sunnat to recite the prayers of Qunut in the state of 'itidal' after standing up after the ruku of the last rak'at.

It is also sunnat to recite this before that prayer:

“Allahumma inna nasta'inuka wa nastaghfiruka, wa nu'minu bika, wa natawwakkalu alayika, wa nusni alayikal khaira, wa nashkuruka wa la nakforuka wa nakhla'u wa natruku manyafjoruk. Allahumma iyyaka na'budu wa laka nusalli wa nasjudu wa ilayika nasa wa nahfidu, wa narju Rahmataka wa nakhsha 'adhzabaka; inna adhabaka bi al-kuffari mulhiq.”

The translation of it is as follows:

“O Allah! We seek Your assistance and ask for Your guidance, and we beseech Your forgiveness and return to You in repentance. We cherish faith in You and place our trust in You. We attribute all goodness to You. We are grateful to You and refuse to be ungrateful to You. We abandon and forsake all those who reject You. O Allah, You alone we worship, unto You alone we pray; unto You alone we prostrate, and for You alone we strive. Unto You alone we flee for refuge. We cherish hope in Your mercy and we fear Your retribution. Verily, Your punishment is bound to catch up with those who reject the truth.”

The Prayer of Qunut recited in the Shafii Sect:

“Allahumm-ahdina fiman hadait, wa 'afina fiman 'aafait, wa tawallana fiman tawwallait, wa barik lana fima a'atait, wa qina sharra ma qadaiyta, fainnaka taqdina wa la yuqdha 'alaika, wa innahu la yadhillu man walaiyt, wa la yai'izzu man 'aadait, tabarakta Rabbana wa ta'aalaita. Falakal hamdu ala ma kadayta. Nastagfiruka wa natuwbu ilayka. Wa sallallahu ala sayyiddina Muhammedin wa ala alihi wa sahbihi wa sallam."

This is translated as follows:

“O Allah! Guide me with those whom You have guided, and strengthen me with those whom You have given strength, take me to Your care with those whom You have taken to Your care, Bless me in what You have given me, Protect me from the evil You have Ordained. Surely You command and are not commanded, and non whom You have committed to Your care shall be humiliated and non whom You have taken as an enemy shall taste glory. You are Blessed, our Lord, and Exalted...”

6 Surah in 3rd and 4th Rakat

In the third and fourth rakahs of Sunnah and Nafila prayers, reciting a surah after Fatiha is wajib (necessary) according to Hanefi sect, but it is sunnah according to Shafi sect. That is to say, when it is not recited, the prayer is valid but sahiw sajdah (forgetfulness prostration) is needed.

As for your second question, after Friday Prayer the salat of Dhuhr ul Akhirah (Last dhuhr prayer) is performed. But it is not compulsory to perform it. Detailed explanation is given below.

Is it necessary to perform salat of Dhuhr ul Akhirah (Last dhuhr prayer) after the salat of Jum’a (Friday prayer)?

One of the purposes of the Jum’a prayer is to make Muslims come together and strengthen their relationships and friendships. Because of this, the scholars in the early times of Islam wanted all the Muslims to perform the Jum’a prayer in the same mosque even if there were more than one mosque in their environs.

But Muslim population increased in time and it became impossible for the Muslims in a town or city to come together and perform the Jum’a Prayer all together.

This situation caused some different views between the after times scholars. Some of them stated that “if the Jum’a prayer is performed in more than one mosque in a city, only the one who started first is valid.” (1)

But there are more scholars including Imam Muhammad and Imam Sarakhsi stating that the Jum’a prayer can be performed in any mosque. (2) Imam Sarakhsi says:

“As transmitted from the school of Abu Hanifa it is permissible to perform the Jum’a in more than one mosque in a city. We believe in this.”
Ibn Abidin says on this subject:
“It is obvious that it is very hard to perform the Jum’a prayer in one location. Whereas there is no evidence that it can not be performed in more than one location.” 3
Also when Imam Shafi saw that Jum’a prayer was being performed in more than one mosque in the city of Baghdat, he didn’t raise an objection against this.

Therefore, actually there is no need to perform an additional prayer named Dhuhr ul Akhirah apart from the Jum’a prayer. But some people perform ittaking some above-mentioned scholars' view into consideration. The reason for performing such a prayer is:
“If the Jum’a prayer is not valid, this additional prayer serves as the Dhuhr prayer.”
This additional prayer is performed like the fard(compulsory part) of the Dhuhr prayer.

However this additional prayer was not transmitted from any of Imam Al Azam, Imam Muhammad or Imam Abu Yusuf.

Even if this prayer is performed, it can be performed intending for a qaza salat (a salat that we couldn’t perform in time).

                          Mehmed Paksu, İbadet Hayatımız (Our Prayer Life)

References:
1. Shur un bilal and Abu Zayd as Shibli. al-Miftah Sharh u Nur ul Izah. p. 98.
2. Fatawa Hindi, 1:145.
3. Ibn Âbidin, 1:541.

7 What are the hadiths related to sunnah/nafilah prayers and their virtues?

Author: Hamdi Döndüren (Prof.Dr.), 12-6-2009

Sunnah lexically means grant, donation, booty, something done voluntarily. As a term, it means prayers other than fard and wajib prayers that the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) is reported to have performed. They are divided into two as nafilahs that are sunnah and nafilahs that are mandub (recommended). Nafilahs that are sunnah are deeds or prayers that the Messenger of Allah generally performed but rarely abandoned. The reason why he sometimes abandoned them is to show people that they are not fard. Nafilahs that are mandub are deeds or prayers that Hazrat Prophet sometimes did and sometimes abandoned; they are sunnahs that are not so strong. Mustahab is also used instead of the word mandub.  

In the methodology of fiqh, the terms nafilah, sunnah, tatawwu, mustahab and ihsan are used synonymously with mandub. Nafilah worshipping can be classified as follows:  

A. Sunahs that are muakkadah: Parts of the five daily prayers and Friday prayer are sunnah al-muakkadah. Those kinds of sunnahs are determined as follows in a hadith: "Allah will build a house in Paradise for a person who performs twelve rak’ah of prayers other than fard prayers during the day and night. They are the following prayers: two rak’ahs before the morning prayer, four rak’ahs before the noon prayer, two rak’ahs after the noon prayer, two rak’ahs after the evening prayer and two rak’ahs after the night prayer." (Tirmidhi; Salat, 189; Nasai, Qiyamul-Layl, 66; Ibn Majah, Iqama, 100).

The sunnahs that are muakkadah and that are parts of five daily prayers are as follows:

1. The sunnah of two rak’ahs performed before the morning prayer: It is the strongest sunnah. Hazrat Prophet stated the following about it: "Do not abandon the two-rak’ah sunah of the morning prayer even if horses run after you." (Ahmad b. Hanbal, II, 405). "The two-rak’ah sunah of the morning prayer is better than the world and everything that is in the world." (Muslim, Musafirin, 96, 97; Tirmidhi, Salat, 190). Hazrat Aisha stated the following: "Hazrat Prophet did not perform any nafilah prayer more regularly than the two-rak’ah sunah of the morning prayer." (Bukhari, Tahajjud, 27; Muslim, Musafirin, 94; Abu Dawud, Tatawwu', 2; Ahmad b. Hanbal, VI, 43, 54, 170).

No sunnah prayer is performed as qada when it is missed except for the sunnah of the morning prayer until due to the hadith mentioned above; a person who misses the morning prayer, has to perform it as qada together with its sunnah if he performs it on the same day until noon. On the other hand, if a person realizes that he can catch up with the imam even in the second rak’ah, he performs the sunnah first and follows the imam later.

2. The four-rak’ah prayer performed before the noon or Friday prayer. Hazrat Aisha said, "The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) did not abandon performing the four rak’ah of sunnah before the noon prayer and the two rak’ah sunnah before the morning prayer." (Nasai, Qiyamu'l-Layl, 56).

3. The two rak’ah prayer performed after the noon prayer. That two rak’ahs of sunnah is sunnah al-muakkadah; it is mandub to perform it as a four-rak’ah prayer. The four rak’ah nafilah prayer performed after the Friday prayer is sunnah al-muakkadah. The following is stated in a hadith:

"Hazrat Prophet would perform two rak’ahs before Friday prayer and four rak’ahs after it; he would not divide those prayers by salutation." (Zaylai, Nasbur-Rayah, II, 206).

4. The two rak’ah prayer performed after the evening prayer. It is also one of the sunnahs that the Messenger of Allah regularly performed.

5. The two rak’ah prayer performed after the night prayer. Its evidence is the hadith stating that Allah will build a mansion for a person who regularly perform the twelve rak’ah of nafila prayers during the day and night. (Tirmidhi; Salat, 189; Nasai, Qiyamul-Layl, 66; Ibn Majah, Iqama,100).

6. Tarawih prayer: This prayer is sunnah al-muakkadah for both men and women because Hazrat Prophet, caliphs that came after him and the Companions performed it regularly in Ramadan. Afterwards, the Prophet did not perform it in congregation in the mosque for fear that it would be fard for believers (Zaylai, ibid, II, 152; ash-Shawkani, Naylul-Awtar, III, 50 ff.; az-Zuhayli, al-Fiqhul-Islami wa Adillatuh, Damascus 1405/1985, II, 43).

Tarawih prayer is performed only in Ramadan; it is performed after the night prayer and before the witr prayer. It is mustahab to delay this prayer after midnight of after the one third of the night passes. Tarawih prayer can be performed individually but it is more virtuous to perform it in congregation.

According to Hanafis, tarawih prayer is performed as twenty rak’ahs; it is based on the application of Hazrat Umar because Hazrat Umar led this prayer as twenty rak’ahs in Masjid an-Nabawi as the head of the state toward the end of his caliphate. None of the Companions opposed to twenty rak’ahs. Hazrat Prophet said, "Do not leave my sunnah and the way of my rightly guided caliphs after me." (Abu Dawud, Sunnah, 5; Tirmidhi, Ilm, 16; Ibn Majah, Muqaddima, 6; Darimi, Muqaddima, 16). When Abu Hanifa was asked about the application of Hazrat Umar, he said:

"Tarawih is a strong sunnah. Hazrat Umar did not invent something new. He did it based on some evidence that he knew. He did it as something based on the Messenger of Allah (pbuh)." (az-Zuhayli, ibid, II, 44).

Some hadith scholars determined that the Messenger of Allah performed tarawih prayer as eight rak’ahs in Ramadan. Their evidence is the following hadith reported by Bukhari and other hadith scholars from Hazrat Aisha:

"Hazrat Prophet did not perform any nafilah prayers more than eleven rak’ahs in Ramadan or outside Ramadan." (Bukhari, Tahajjud, 16; Tarawih, 1; Muslim, Musafirin, 125; Tirmidhi, Mawaqit, 208). Ibn Hibban reported the following hadith from Jabir (may Allah be pleased with him) in his book Sahih: "Hazrat Prophet lead us eight rak’ahs of tarawih and then the witr prayer" (ash-Shawkani, ibid, III, 53). Then, there is no doubt that the eight rak’ahs of tarawih prayer is sunnah al-muakkadah. Some scholars like Ibnul-Humam said the rak’ahs after the first eight rak’ahs are mustahab. It is like praying four rak’ahs of sunnah instead of two after the fard of night prayer; in this case, the first two rak’ahs are sunnah al-muakkadah and the last two rak’ahs are mustahab. (Ibnul-Humam, Fathul-Qadir, Egypt 1316/1898, I, 333, 334).

B. Sunnahs that are ghayr al-muakkadah: They are the sunnahs that Hazrat Prophet did not perform regularly and that sometimes abandoned; they are also called mandub. They are the following prayers:

1. The four-rak’ah prayer performed before the afternoon prayer with one salutation. The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said the following about this prayer: "May Allah have mercy on a person who performs four rek’ahs before the afternoon prayer." (Tirmidhi, Salat, 301).

2. The four-rak’ah prayer performed before the night prayer. The following is reported form Hazrat Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her):

"Hazrat Prophet would perform four rak’ahs before the night prayer." (Zaylai, ibid, II, 145 ff.; ash-Shawkani, ibid, III, 18).

3. Awwabin prayer: The word awwabin is the plural form of awwab, which means a person who turns toward Allah a lot. It can be performed as two, four or six rak’ahs. It can be performed with one salutation, or two or three salutations. Hazrat Prophet said that a person who performed six rak’ahs after the evening prayer would be regarded among awwabin and recited the following verse: " if ye do deeds of righteousness, verily He is Most Forgiving to those who turn to Him again and again (in true penitence)" (al-Isra,17/25; Ibn Kathir, Tafsir; İstanbul 1985, V, 64, 65; ash-Shurunbulali, Maraqil-Falah, İstanbul 1984, p. 74).

They are nafilah prayers performed before or after fard prayers.

C. Independent Nafilah (Mandub) Prayers:

There are some more nafilah prayers apart from the sunnahs of five daily prayers; they are nafilahs that are called mustahab, mandub or tatawwu:

1. Duha prayer

It is at least two rak’ahs; according to the sound view, it can be performed as four or up to eight rak’ahs. It is mandub. Its time starts when the sun rises about a spear's length above the horizon and it continues until twenty or thirty minutes before the sun reaches its zenith (zawal). The following is reported from Hazrat Aisha: "The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) performed the duha prayer in twos as four rak’ahs and did not speak about worldly issues after the first salutation." (as-San'ani, Subulu's-Salam, Cairo 1950, II, 16). Muslim's narration about the issue as follows: "Hazrat Prophet performed the duha prayer as four rak’ahs and added as many rak’ahs as Allah wished."

2. Tahajjud prayer

The nafilah prayer that is performed after the night prayer without going to sleep or after a short sleep is called salat al-layl. The nafilah prayer that is performed after sleeping for a while and waking up beginning from after midnight to the time of imsak is called tahajjud prayer. Tahajjud prayer can be prayed as two rak’ahs up to eight rak’ahs. It is more virtuous to give salutation after each two rak’ahs.

Tahajjud prayer is fard for the Prophet. The following is stated in the Quran: "(O Muhammad!) And pray in the small watches of the morning: (it would be) an additional prayer (or spiritual profit) for thee: soon will thy Lord raise thee to a station of Praise and Glory!“ (al-Isra,17/79). This prayer is sunnah or mustahab for other Muslims.

There are verses (see al-Muzzammil, 73/20; as-Sajda, 32/16; al-Furqan, 25/63, 64; adh-Dhariyat, 51/17, 18; Aal-i Imran, 3/16, 17) and hadtihs that encourage other believers to perform tahajjud prayers. When Abdullah b. Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) saw himself in Hell in his dream and an angel approached him and say, “do not fear”, and told the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) about his dream, the Messenger of Allah said,:" Abdullah is a very good man. However, it would be better if he practiced performing tahajjud prayer." Abdullah b. Umar lessened his sleep at night after that. It is understood from the hadith that a person who regularly performs tahajjud prayer is worth being mentioned as a good person. (az-Zabidi, Sahih-i Buhârî Muhtasarı Tecrid-i Sarih Tercemesi, Ankara 1982, IV, 29, 30, H. No: 576). The following is stated in another hadith:

"Perform tahajjud prayer regularly because tahajjud prayer is the practice of the righteous slaves before you. It means worshipping your Lord; it covers the evil deeds and prevents one from committing sins." (Tirmidhi, Daawat, 101).

3. Wudu prayer

It is mandub to perform two rak’ahs after wudu or ghusl if the time is convenient before the wetness dries. The following is stated in a hadith:" If a person makes a nice wudu and then performs two rak’ahs and turns toward this prayer with his heart, Paradise becomes wajib for him." (Bukhari, Wudu, 24; Muslim, Taharah, 5, 6,17; Abu Dawud, Taharah, 65).

4. Tahiyyah al-Masjid prayer Tahiyyah means to greet, to salute. Tahiyyah al-Masjid means to salute the mosque. It is mandub for a person who enters a mosque to perform two rak’ahs of prayer in order to salute and elevate the Lord of the mosque. For people who enter a mosque several times during the day for reasons like teaching, learning, etc, it is enough to perform it the first time they enter the mosque.  

The following is stated in a hadith: "If you enter a mosque, do not sit down before praying two rak’ahs." (Bukhari, Salat, 60, Tahajjud, 35; Muslim, Musafirin, 69, 70; Tirmidhi, Salat, 118).

If a person enters a mosque but cannot perform tahiyyah al-masjid prayer due to his occupation or lack of time or karaha, it is enough and mustahab for him to say the following prayer:  

Subhanallah wal-hamdulillah wa la ilaha illallahu wallahu akbar"

It means: "Glory be to Allah; praise be to Allah, there is no god but Allah; Allah is the greatest." On the other hand, to perform any prayer in a mosque, or to enter a mosque in order to perform a fard prayer with the intention of following the imam is regarded to have replaced tahiyyah al-masjid.

5. İstikhara prayer

Istikhara means to ask for the good aspects of something. Istikhara prayer is a two-rak’ah prayer that is performed in order to receive a spiritual sign that will guide somebody for a permissible issue about which a person cannot decide what to do. Jabir b. Abdullah (may Allah be pleased with him) said, "Hazrat Prophet would teach us how to make istikhara for each issue as if he was teaching us a verse from the Quran; he would say: "When you want to do something, pray two rak’ahs apart from the fard prayer and read the prayer of istikhara." (see Bukhari, Tahajjud, 25; Daawat, 49; Tawhid,10; Tirmidhi, Witr, 18; Ibn Majah, Iqama, I, 18; Ahmad b. Hanbal, III, 344).

After reading the prayer of istikhara, it is necessary to lie down by turning to the qiblah. (For the prayer (dua), see "istihare" item; Hamdi Döndüren, Delilleriyle İslâm İlmihali, İstanbul 1991, 350, 351).

6. Tasbih (glorification) prayer

It is a four-rak’ah prayer; al-Fatiha and a surah are read in each rak’ah. It is completed with one or two salutations. The following tasbih is read three hundred times in it. " Subhanallahi wal-hamdulillahi wa la ilaha illallahu wallahu akbar wa !a hawla wala quwwata illa billahil-aliyyil-azim "

It means: “Glory be to Allah; praise be to Allah, there is no god but Allah; Allah is the greatest. There is no power other than Allah, who is lofty and great."

Hazrat Prophet taught Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him), his uncle, the tasbih prayer to inform him about a deed that will make him approach to Allah; he said Allah would forgive his sins even if his sins were as much as sand piles if he performed that prayer. The Prophet advised us to perform that prayer every day, or every Friday, if we cannot do it, once a month or once a year, and in another narration, at least once a year. (Tirmidhi, Witr,19; Ibn Majah, Iqama,190; Abu Dawud, Tatawwu', 14 and "Namaz" item)

7. Prayer of Haja (Need)

A person who has a worldly or otherworldly wish makes wudu and performs two or four rak’ahs, or according to another view, twelve rak’ahs after the night prayer; then, he praises Allah and sends salawat to Hazrat Prophet; after that, he says the prayer of need and asks Allah to realize his wish. 

According to what is reported from Abdullah b. Abi Awfa (may Allah be pleased with him), the Messenger of Allah said, “If a person has a wish from Allah or a request from people, let him make wudu and perform two rak’ahs first, and praise Allah and send salawat to Prophet after that. Then, let him say the following prayer: "La ilaha illallahul-halimul-karim. Subhanallahi Rabbil-arshil-azim. Al-Hamdu lillahi Rabbil-alamin, nas'aluka mujibati rahmatika wa azaima maghfiratika wal-ghanimata min külli birrin wa's-salamata min kulli ithmin. La tada'li dahnban illa ghafartahu wa la hamman illa mazahtahu wa la hajata hiya laka rizan illa qadaytaha ya arhamarrahimin ".

It means: "There is no god but Allah, the Forbearing (al-Halim), the Generous (al-Karim). Glory be to Allah, Lord of the Tremendous Throne. All praise is to Allah, Lord of the worlds. O Allah! I ask from you everything that leads to your mercy, and your tremendous forgiveness, enrichment in all good, and freedom from all sins. Do not leave a sin of mine, except that you forgive it, nor any concern except that you create for it an opening, nor any need in which there is your good pleasure except that you fulfill it, O the Most Merciful! " (Tirmidhi, Witr,17; Ibn Majah, 189; Hamdi Döndüren, ibid, p. 352, 353).

8. Journey (Safar) Prayer

It is mandub for a Muslim to perform two rak’ahs when he sets off for a journey or returns from a journey. The Prophet usually returned from a journey in the late morning, before noon; he would go to Masjid an-Nabawi, perform two rak’ahs and sit there for a while.” (see Bukhari, Salat, 59; Jihad, 198).

9. Istithqa (Asking for rain) prayer

When there is a severe drought, istithqa prayer is said because the prayers said by Noah, Moses and Hud for rain for their nations are mentioned in the Quran (see Nuh, 71/10-12;. al Baqara, 2/60).

According to what Anas b. Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated, while the Messenger of Allah was reciting the khutbah (sermon) on a Friday, a man said there was a drought and his crops and animals were destroyed; thereupon, the Prophet prayed, “O Allah! Send us water! O Allah! Send us water!” Then, although there were no clouds in the sky, some clouds suddenly appeared and it started to rain. When the rain that continued for a week started to cause floods, the same man asked the Messenger of Allah to pray for the to stop. Then, the Messenger of Allah prayed as follows: “O Allah! Send the rain to the mountains, hills, valleys and woods around us not on us." After this prayer, the rain stopped. (Bukhari, Istithqa, 6; Muslim, Istithqa, 8)

According to Abu Hanifa, istithqa consists of saying prayers and asking for forgiveness. Therefore, it can be done without performing a special prayer or reciting a sermon. According to Abu Yusuf and Imam Muhammad, it is mandub to perform the istithqa prayer if there is a need whether people are resident or traveling. If rain is delayed, the prayer is repeated every day because Allah likes those who insist on saying prayers. (see al-Kasani, al-Badayi', I, 282; Ibnul-Humam, Fathul-Qadir, I, 437; Ibn Abidin, Raddul-Mukhtar, I, 790 ff.; Hamdi Döndüren, Delilleriyle İslâm İlmihali, İstanbul 1991, p. 353 ff.).

10. Solar Eclipse (Kusuf) Prayer: The solar eclipse is called "kusuf", and the lunar eclipse is called "khusuf". When there is a solar eclipse, the imam who leads the Friday prayer in a town, leads a prayer of at least two rak’ahs without adhan or iqamah. According to Abu Hanifa, in this prayer, the qiraah (reading the Quran) is silent but according to Abu Yusuf and Imam Muhammad, the qiraah is loud.

When there was a solar eclipse, the Prophet lead a prayer of two rak’ahs and then said, "These events are evidence that shows the magnificence of Allah. Allah wants to intimidate His slaves with it. When you observe them, perform a prayer like the last fard prayer that you performed." (Bukhari, Kusuf, 1,17; Abu Dawud, Istithqa, 4, 9, Sunnah, 9; Nasai, Kusuf, 5, 12, 14, 16, 24).

11. Lunar Eclipse (Khusuf) Prayer When there is a lunar eclipse, it is mandub for Muslims to perform a prayer of two or four rak’ahs in their houses individually, reading silently or aloud like the kusuf prayer. According to Abu Hanifa, performing this prayer in the mosque in congregation does not exist in the sunnah. According to Imam Shafii and Ahmad b. Hanbal and some hadith scholars, it is performed in congregation.

Since the lunar eclipse takes place at night, it is difficult to gather in a mosque and perform prayer in congregation. (al-Kasani, ibid, I, 282; ash-Shurunbulali, Maraq al-Falah, 92).

Ash-Shatibi explains the aims of the deeds that are regarded as nafilah or mandub as follows: 

1. Every mandub that has come from Hazrat Prophet as sunnah is helpful in the completion and protection of fard and wajib worshipping because nafilah worshipping prepares a person for the fard prayer. A person who neglects nafilah prayers happens to neglect fard prayers, too. Some mandubs have the same kinds of fards, for instance, the sunnah prayers of the five daily prayers, nafilah fasting, nafilah hajj and nafilah sadaqah. Some of them do not have fard counterparts, for instance, putting on nice clothes for the prayer, to hurry in order to break the fast (iftar) when the time is due, to delay the sahur meal. It is seen that they support the fard worshipping. For instance, to hurry in order to break the fast when the time is due and to delay the sahur meal makes fasting easier and enables a person to perform it regularly. Regular worshipping is more valuable in the presence of Allah even if it is little.

2. Mandub is a sunnah that is necessary to perform as a whole, not one by one. As a matter of fact, Hazrat Prophet occasionally abandoned the sunnahs that are muakkadah. Thus, a person can abandon them when there is a necessity or difficulty. the fact that they are not performed when they are missed proves it. However, they cannot be abandoned as a whole. For instance, it is not permissible to abandon adhan constantly. If the people of a country give up reciting adhan, it is necessary to make them recite it by force. A person cannot give up performing prayers in congregation because the Prophet said, "If a person abandons the prayer in congregation for more than three days, his heart is sealed." (Ibn Majah, Masajid, 17) Marriage is like that. Some individuals might not marry in some cases; however, the community cannot stop marrying as a whole; otherwise, the community will disappear. (ash-Shatibi, al-Muwafaqat, Tijariya impression, Cairo, n.d., I, 132, 133, 151; M. Abu Zshra, Usulul-Fiqh, n.d., 40 ff)

8 Salat
9 How many rakats are there in Witr prayer? (a necessary prayer performed between night prayer and dawn prayer) When should we perform the witr prayer?

- According to Hanafi madhhab, witr prayer has three rak’ahs. According to Shafiis, it has at least one rak’ah and at most eleven rak’ahs. According to Malikis and Hanbalis, witr prayer has one rak’ah.  (İslam Fıkhı Ansiklopedisi Prof. Dr. Wahba Zuhayli)

- The time of witr prayer continues until the time of imsak. It is more virtuous to perform witr prayer late at night. However, if a person fears that he cannot wake up, he had better perform it after the night (isha) prayer.

10 Sunnah
11 When did the five daily prayers become fard?

In the previous sharia, there were not five daily prescribed prayers. However, there was general Salah whose time was unclear. Salah became fard (obligatory) on the day of Mir’aj a half and year ago before Hegira. Anas bin Malik reported that event as follows briefly: 

"Allah enjoined fifty prayers on my followers on the night of Isra. Then, it was reduced to five prayers. Then, the Prophet was addressed as follows: O Muhammad! These are five prayers for you and they are all (equal to) fifty (in reward) for My Word does not change." (Bukhari, Sala, 76. Anbiya, 5; Muslim, Faith, 263; Ahmad bin Hanbal, V, 122, 143). That Verse tells us that it will be given tenfold reward for a good deed we do: "He who brings a good deed shall have tenfold of its like," al-Anam 6/160; see. an-Naml, 27/89; al-Qasas, 28/84). 

Before the five daily prayers became fard, the worship of the Prophet was to think on Allah's Glory and what He created. It is also said that the Prophet performed two daily Salahs, one in the morning and one in the evening, each of which contained two rakats. The previous ummahs also performed Salah. We can give examples of it; for instance Luqman ordered his son to perform Salah (Luqman, 31/17);  Abraham mentioned Salah while praying for the security of Hejaz (Abraham, 14/37), that Allah wanted Moses to perform Salah (Taha, 20/14) during the first revelation in the mount of Tur.

That Salah must be performed is based on the Qur'an, Sunnah, and Ijma (consensus).

12 Why does passing wind (gas) invalidate the wudu? If it becomes necessary to take wudu after passing wind (gas) then, isn't it a waste of time and water?

1. Our Prophet said, “A person must make wudu (ablution) if he hears a sound or perceives a smell of passing wind (gas).” (Muslim, Hayd 26; Nasai, Taharah: 115) in a hadith, stating that passing wind invalidates wudu.
Water and time spent for worshipping is not waste; it is worship. If there is no water or if it is only enough for obligatory requirements, one can make tayammum. 
Wudu becomes invalidated when someone passes wind but it is not necessary to wash that part if no stool comes out.
2. The fard parts of wudu are mentioned in the Quran but the things that invalidate wudu are not mentioned. Our Prophet explained the things that invalidated wudu and mujtahid imams reached some conclusions based on those hadiths.

Please click on the links given below;

Wudu’ (Ablution)

How is wudu (ablution) performed?

13 Can we use deodorants that contain alcohol when we are on wudu and then worship?

First of all, it is necessary to know that no matter what kind it is, alcohol does not invalidate wudu when it is wiped or spread on the clothes. Wudu is invalidated only when something comes out of the body of a person.

However, it is not permissible for man to perform prayers when there is something dirty on his body or clothes because along with wudu, having clean clothes on is one of the conditions of the prayer. According to some imams of Hanafi madhhab, the alcohol in deodorants and perfumes is not the kind of alcohol that is dirty; therefore they do not prevent performing prayers. However, since they are regarded as dirty by other madhhabs, it will be more appropriate to wash the places that alcohol has touched before performing a prayer. The same thing can be said about eau de cologne and spirit.

14 Is it obligatory to recite Surah Al-Fatiha in each rakat behind the Imam?

According to Hanafi school, the people performing their prayers behind Imam (a person who leads the congregational prayer) do not recite al-Fatiha at any rakats. Nevertheless, according to Shafi'i school, it is necessary to recite it at each rakat.

15 Can you recite the same Surah (chapters of the Holy Qur’an) in every Rak'ah?

If you do not know any other surahs (chapters of the Holy Qur’an) you can recite it. However, if you know any other surahs, you have to recite different surahs in every rak’ah (a unit of the salat (prayer)).

If an ayah (verse) has been repeated in a salat or a surah has been recited twice in a rak’ah or a surah has been recited in two rak’ahs, it depends on the kind of salat whether it is makrooh or not. If that salat performed alone is a nafila salat, it is not makrooh (abominable). However, if it is a fard (obligatory) salat, it is makrooh unless there are excuses such as forgetting or not knowing any other surahs.

16 imam

If the community (jamaat) learned that ımam was without wudu, they must repeat the prayer (salat). However, if they don't be aware of the case there is no problem.

If Imam recognized later that he performed the prayer without wudu, he must repeat he prayer (salat). But, if informing the community will be difficult or cause a confusion, it may not be said.

17 What is the importance of Friday prayer?

Friday and the Friday prayer are among the greatest principles and signs of Islam. The greatest meeting of Muslims is on the day of Arafa, one day before the eid al-adha on Arafat for hajj; a huge group of Muslims from all over the world comes together there every year. Other big gatherings of Muslims are eid prayers and Friday prayers. Since Friday prayer is performed every week, it is of great importance for Muslims because it makes them come together like an eid (festival) day.

It is fard for men to go to mosque for Friday prayer when the adhan is called at noon on Friday. God Almighty states the following regarding the issue: "O ye who believe! when the call is proclaimed to prayer on Friday (the Day of Assembly), hasten earnestly to the Remembrance of Allah, and leave off business (and traffic): that is best for you if ye but knew! And when the Prayer is finished, then may ye disperse through the land, and seek of the Bounty of Allah: and celebrate the Praises of Allah often (and without stint): that ye may prosper." (al-Jumu'a, 62/9­10)

Therefore, it is stated in hadiths that those who are not conscious about the worshipping of that great day and who act indifferently are regarded as heedless people. As a matter of fact, our Prophet (pbuh) himself stated that it was a great sin to abandon Friday prayer. Our Prophet stated the following regarding the issue: "There are some people who abandon Friday prayer; they should stop it and start to perform Friday prayer; otherwise, Allah will seal their hearts and they will definitely be heedless people." (Muslim, Jumu'a, 40) "Allah seals the heart of a person who abandons Friday prayer three weeks on end without heeding it." (at­Taj, I, 273)

To say salawat for our Prophet (pbuh) on Friday and the night before has great rewards and merits because they owe the belief and bliss of Islam to him. God Almighty granted Muslims the bliss both in this world and in the hereafter. The divine blessings and grants to be given to the believers will be obtained by them on Friday, and they will be sent to their places in Paradise on Friday. When the believers enter Paradise, it will be “the day of mazid”, when they will be given the divine blessings abundantly, more than they would expect. In addition, Friday is an eid day for believers in the world; the hands that are opened toward God Almighty, praying sincerely that day will not be left empty because the hour of ijabah (time when prayers and wishes are answered) is on that day. The houses of those who spend that day with the consciousness of eid day will be filled with blessings and delight. They are the favorable fruits of approving Hazrat Prophet and following his track without leaving it. It will be appropriate for believers to say salawat a lot for Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh), the Master of the Universe, who is the cause of their happiness, on Friday and the previous night within this consciousness. As a matter of fact, according to what is reported in the religious sources, Hazrat Prophet (pbuh) advised Muslims to say salawat a lot for him on Friday and said that they would be presented to him on Friday.

In short, Friday is the weekly eid day of Muslims; the rewards and merits of that day are too many to count. Therefore, Muslims should pay attention to their worshipping on Friday and say salawat for the Prophet. Besides, they should love him more and try to understand the hadiths. Those who read the chapter al-Kahf on Friday are given the glad tidings that they will be rewarded in the hereafter and that each Friday prayer would cause the sins to be forgiven until the next Friday. The reward of helping the poor and giving them money is a lot. Friday is the day of preaching. The issues mentioned in the preaching before the adhan and in the sermon (khutbah) on Friday should shed light on the important problems of Muslims and everybody should try to correct their mistakes and complete their deficiencies during this spiritual enlightenment.

God Almighty chose Ramadan among the months, the Night of Power (Laylatul Qadr) among the nights, Makkah among the cities in the world, Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh) among people and Friday among the days.

Mübarek Gün ve Geceler (Holy Days and Nights)

 Hüseyin Algül

18 How is a nawafil prayer is performed?

The best way to perform nafl* prayers is to perform them in two rakats and it is performed like the last sunnah of noon prayer (Dhuhr). However, nafl prayers can also be performed in four rakats. If performed in four raka’ats, then it should be performed like sunnah of afternoon prayer (Asr). When in qa’da (sitting) of the second rakat, prayers (dua) of salli and barik should be recited and then rise to qiyam (standing). In the third rakat, subhanaka is recited and after basmala, Fatiha and a short sura of three verses (zamm-i sura) should be recited.

Moreover, the last sunnah of Dhuhr and the last sunnah of Isha’a can also be performed in four rakats. If they are performed in four rakats, they are performed like the sunnah of Asr.

Nafl*

Donation, grant, captured property, a voluntary work. It means the prayers except fard and wajib prayers and narrated to be performed by the Messenger of Allah (pbuh). These are divided into two: sunnah nafls and mandub nafls. Sunnah nafl means the strong acts which the messenger of Allah continued to perform and rarely quitted. The reason for that he did not perform them sometimes is to show people that they are not fards. Mandup nafl means weak acts, which the Prophet sometimes performed and sometimes did not perform. Mandub is also called mustahabb.

19 How to wake up for Salat Al-Fajr (Fajr Prayer)?

The things you’ve said do not solve your problem. We advise you to go to bed after you have prayed the Isha'a prayer and take the necessary measures in order to get used to praying fajr prayer.

Timely performance is so important thus as Muslims we should pray on time even by someone riding a horse being pursued by an enemy. Every Muslim has to pray on time, and any work or an activity should be abandoned.

First of all you should have a sincere determination and intention so that you can wake up for the Fajr prayer. Please look at the tips given below. 

Tips for Waking Up for Fajr Prayer:

1-      Go to sleep on time (Sleep early, make it a routine to sleep early everyday)

2-      Pray Inwardly and Sincerely

3-      Set your Alarm clock (you can use more than one alarm clock)

4-      Assign someone the responsibility for waking up (family members or friends)

5-      Get help from “Wake Up Call Services” 

6-      Avoid eating too much before going to bed. 

20 Blessed Night
21 The Kaaba is on the earth. If we prayed in the space, how would we pray?

Questions like that had been directed at previous scholars; for instance, how to pray and fast in the poles. In general, the decree about issues like that is as follows: If the time for prayers and fasting does not occur in places where we live, we are to act in accordance with the times for the countries on the same meridian; or, if we are in the space, we are to act in accordance with the calendar of Makkah in terms of prayers and fasting.

It is enough to turn to the direction of the world while praying.

22 Can you give the number of "Sunnah Mu'akkadah" in each of 5 salats during a day?

Two rakats before the fardh of fajr (morning) prayer, four rakats before the fard of zuhr (noon) prayer, two rakats after the fardh of maghrib (evening) prayer and two rakats after the fard of isha (night) prayer are sunnah muakkad (al-Mawsili, al-Ikhtiyar, İstanbul 1987, 465; Alauddin al-Haskafî, ad-Durrul-Muntaka (Majma'ul-anhur marginal note) I,130).

23 If a person cannot wake up for fajr prayer, what can s/he do for it?

The time for the Morning Prayer starts with imsaq (the time when fasting starts) and ends with sunrise. However, for those who follow the Hanafi sect, it is more virtuous to delay it until there emerges a bit of light; and according to the Shafii sect, it is more virtuous to perform it early while it is dark. If the sun rises while praying and before the prayer is finished, the Prayer is annulled, according to the Hanafi sect. In that case, one should perform the prayer again after the time of Karahat (the time after the Sunrise when it is religiously abhorred to perform prayer) is over. If the one who cannot perform the Morning Prayer on time performs its compensatory prayer after Sunrise and after the time of Karahat, and before the Noon Prayer, s/he performs the compensatory prayer with both its sunnah and obligatory parts. 

There are tips for waking up for the Fajr Prayer, please click on the link given below;

How to wake up for Salat Al-Fajr (Fajr Prayer)?

24 Is it permissible to pray in a house having a dog?

You can live and worship in a house having dog. It is enough for the floor that you perform salah on, to be clean.
Hz. Muhammad (pbuh) says: “Some rewards of a dog raising person that he won for his good deeds decrease everyday except that it is for hunting, for the sheep, or as a guard for gardens or fields.” (Bukhari, Zabaih, 6; Muslim, Musakhat, 46,50,56-58)

Raising dog at home without a necessity like protection or hunting is banned in Islam
For further information about this subject please click on the links given below;

Is there a drawback in raising dog? Can we raise dog in the garden?

Is it forbidden to feed dog in Islam? 

25 At what age are Muslims obligated to pray five times daily?

Since people can differentiate between the good and the bad, the right and the wrong after they become baligh (reach the age of puberty), our Lord does not question us about the age of childhood but He questions us beginning from the age of puberty about our obligations like prayers and fasting; thus our religious obligations start from the age of puberty. 
– However, the starting point of the age of puberty is not definite. It may start any time for a boy beginning from the age of 12 and for a girl from the age of 9 until they become 15 years old.
It starts with a wet dream or ejaculation for a boy and with menstruation for a girl; beginning from that day when the sexual feeling starts, all of the religious obligations start to be recorded in the book of deeds one by one as “fulfilled” or “not fulfilled”.

26 What is the rule of delaying prayers beyond their proper times at particular times of education and training at school, what should be done? Is it permissible to perform prayers by combining two prayers?

Salah (Prayer) is one of the most important worships ordered to be performed by our religion, Islam. After reciting the kalima shahadah, it is the first one of the five principles upon which Islam is founded. It is obligatory without an exception to every Muslim who is sane and has reached the age of puberty. Its obligation is explicit in the Holy Book, Sunnah (the sayings and living habits of Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h)) and ijma (consensus of scholars). It is one of the great sins to skip or delay a prayer beyond its proper time and to make up for it at a later time without an excuse. Therefore, it is important for every Muslim to perform daily prayers at designated times and not to delay a prayer beyond its proper time unless there is a legitimate excuse that makes delaying permissible.

According to Islamic principles, no one is enjoined to exercise something that s/he is not able to fulfill and no one will be held responsible for that. As a matter of fact, the following is stated in the Qur’an:

On no soul doth Allah Place a burden greater than it can bear” (al-Baqara, 2/286)

Therefore, a person who is not able to perform a prayer at its designated time with a valid excuse and then make up for it at a later time will not be held responsible from religious viewpoint. However, those who do not perform prayers at their designated times without a valid excuse and make up for it at a later time will not escape the responsibility for carrying out the order of performing prayers at designated times. These people need to repent for their sins and, perform good deeds and extra worships to compensate their responsibility.

In Islam, specific times are designated for worships such as prayers and fasting. In case of missing any one of designated times for worships, not performing the worship but making up for it will be in question. It is mandatory to perform mandatory prayers at their designated times. It is considered a great sin to miss a prayer without an excuse. Even though making up for a prayer that has been missed removes the duty of the prayer, the sin caused by delaying the prayer beyond its proper time still proceeds. For this reason, a person who has made up for a prayer s/he missed needs to repent to Allah. With excuses such as fear of enemy or a pregnant woman being afraid of her child’s death, mandatory prayer may be delayed beyond its proper time to be made up for at a later time. Fear of a thief and a highwayman for a passenger is included in the scope of the fear of enemy. (1)

Daily tasks, jobs and occupations, and journeys cannot be regarded as excuses for delaying prayers beyond their proper times. The following is stated in the Qur’an:

Those men, whom neither any bargain nor any trade distracts from the Remembrance of Allah and from establishing the prayer and from paying the charity – they fear the day when the hearts and the eyes will be overturned” (an-Nur, 24/37). 

When Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h) was asked about what deed was more virtuous, he responded that it was the prayer performed at the first part of its designated time. (2)

The Messenger of Allah was prevented from performing four prayers by Mushriks (polytheists) during the Battle of Khandaq, even some part of night had already passed. Finally, the Messenger of Allah, ordered Bilal Habashi to recite the adhan. Bilal recited the adhan, then the iqama and they performed the zuhr (noon) prayer. Then, he recited the iqama and they performed the asr (afternoon) prayer; then he recited the iqama and they performed the maghrib (evening) prayer, and then he recited the iqama and they performed the isha (night) prayer. Abu Said al-Khudri (may Allah be pleased with him) said that the following verse was sent down in the meantime:

And Allah turned back the Unbelievers for (all) their fury: no advantage did they gain; and enough is Allah for the believers in their fight. And Allah is full of Strength, able to enforce His Will” (al-Ahzab, 33/ 25)

However, during the Battle of Khandaq, the verse concerning the fear prayer had not been sent down yet. Allah, the Almighty, states the following in that verse:

But if you are in danger, [pray] walking or riding; and when you are again secure, bear God in mind - since it is He who taught you what you did not previously know.” (al-Baqara 2/239: see also an-Nisa 4/101-103)

Accordingly, it is not permissible for a student to miss a prayer for school. It is necessary to pay attention to prayer times, perform ablution beforehand if possible and at least perform the mandatory part of prayers. If there is no possibility of performing prayers during breaks, it is necessary to ask permission from teachers or authorized people to perform prayers at designated times. If that prayer has not been performed, then one needs to consider it as a sin and ask for repentance as soon as possible, and make up for the prayer and be careful not to delay a prayer beyond its proper time again.

That being said, if there is no possibility at all and it is not possible to resolve it, then it will be permissible for them to intend to combine prayers and perform one prayer after the other at home.

Footnotes:

(1)  See Ibnu'l Humam, Fathu'l-Qadir, Egypt 1389/1970, I, 485 ff.; al-Fatawa'l Hindiyya, Beirut 1400/1980, I, 121 ff.; Ibn Abidin Raddu'l-Mukhtar ala'd-Durri'l-Mukhtar, İstanbul 1984, II, 62.

(2) See Abu Dawud, Salah, 9; Tirmidhi, Mawarid, 13; Ahmad b. Hanbal, Musnad, VI, 374, 375, 440

27 DIRECTION FOR SALAT(QIBLA)

One who does not know the direction of qiblah; firstly should ask around and make a search about where the qibla is. If there is no chance to ask someone else, s/he himself/herself makes a search and performs the prayer (salat) to the direction s/he is convinced to be it is. If the direction s/he faced for salat is understood to be wrong direction after salat is performed. There is no obligation for reperforming it. However, if there is a possibility to ask for the right direction to someone else and witout asking and searching if s/he had performed; it is compulsory to reperform the salat after learning the right direction (qibla).
If you inform us in which state and city you live, we can send you the qibla hour of that place. During the qibla hour, when you face to the sun, the direction you faced is qibla.

28 When should the congregation stand for the prayer? (Before the Iqama (call to prayer) or after it)

The answer according the school of Hanafi (A school of Islamic jurisprudence named after Imam Abu Hanifa):
1- The congregation and the prayer-leader (imam) stand up when the Muazzin (the man who calls the Adhan) recites “Hayya ala-s-Salah”. The prayer-leader walks towards the mihrab (prayer niche of a mosque, in front of which the Imam stands) and the congregation forms the lines since that sentence has the meaning “come to prayer”. Not standing up presents a situation like being unwilling to the invitation for the salah.
2- When he recites “Qad qamatis salah”, the prayer-leader says the first takbir (Allah is the Greatest) and the congregation follows him. Thus, the salah (prayer) begins. However, if the prayer-leader does not begin when Qad qamatis salah” is recited and he concentrates on his intention and defers the salah till the iqama finishes, it does not harm the salah. That is, it is permissible. Beginning the salah at the end of the iqama means complying with the opinions of the three Hanafi imams, and it is deemed to be convenient.
3- Since standing up when the sentence “Hayya ala-s-Salah” is recited and beginning the salat when the sentence “Qad qamatis salah” is recited is mustahab (recommended), standing of a person who has entered the mosque at the time the iqama has begun is considered to be “makrooh (abominable)”. He should sit down and wait till the sentence we have mentioned above is recited and he should stand up when the sentence “Hayya ala-s-Salah” is recited.
All those decrees are valid when the prayer-leader is close to the mihrab.  
If the prayer-leader is at the back of the congregation, the congregation stands up when the prayer-leader comes to the alignment of their line; thus the congregation, who stands up when the prayer-leader comes to the alignment of their line, forms the lines as the prayer-leader enters the mihrab.

If the prayer-leader is at a place where he cannot be seen, the congregation stands up when the prayer-leader is seen at the front. Actually, the prayer-leader starts to move while the sentences of the iqama mentioned are being recited. His deferring is incongruous with the conducts of the salah.  
Here, I think it is useful to remind a point.
For the Hanafis, the salah starts immediately after the iqama ends, it is not postponed anymore.
However, for Shafiis, it is Sunnah to recite the prayer of “adhan” both after the adhan and the iqama.
In this respect, the Shafiis do not begin the salah just after the iqama ends; they also recite the prayer of adhan. They begin the salah when that prayer ends.
That prayer beginning as “Allahumma Rabba hadhihid- Da’wat- it- Tammah” is recited after the adhan by the Hanafis. It is regarded as a sunnah of the adhan. Since it is recited after the iqama by Shafii’s, the salah is started after it is recited at the end of the iqama.Inshaallah the information required has been achieved from that detailed information.
Those decrees are written in detail in Zuhayli’s book called al-Fiqh al-Islami.

29 Can qada (missed) prayers be performed instead of sunnah prayers? Can a person who has to perform qada prayers perform sunnah prayers?

A person who misses a prayer without having a legitimate excuse is regarded to have made a mistake and committed a sin. Therefore, a person who has missed a prayer has to perform it as soon as possible. Performing missed (qada) prayers is fard just like performing fard prayers. When a person performs a missed prayer later, he is regarded to have paid his debt. He also has to repent and ask for forgiveness for the sin to be forgiven.

It is more appropriate to perform qada prayers instead of nafilah (supererogatory) prayers about which there are no hadiths of the Prophet (pbuh). However, according to Hanafis, it is not appropriate to perform qada prayers instead of nafilah prayers about which there are hadiths. The following decree is present in Hanafi fiqh books:  

“It is more important and more appropriate to perform qada prayers than to perform nafilah prayers except the sunnahs of five daily prayers, duha, tasbih, tahiyyah al-masjid and awwabin prayers. That is, those sunnah and nafilah prayers are not abandoned to perform qada prayers."1

Above all, the sunnah prayers performed before and after fard prayers are complementary to fard prayers and they are means of intercession (shafa’ah) of the Prophet (pbuh). Therefore, a person who has missed his prayers should perform those prayers in order to be freed from debt; on the other hand, he should perform the sunnah prayers in order to show his commitment to the Prophet (pbuh).

It is the view of Hanafi madhhab; however, according to the other three madhhabs, it is not permissible but haram for a person who has to perform qada prayers to perform nafilah or sunnah prayers.

According to Malikis, it is haram for a person who has to perform qada prayers to perform nafilah prayers. However, it is permissible to perform the sunnahs of the five daily prayers and tahiyyah al-masjid. If such a person is engaged with performing other prayers, for instance, tarawih prayer, he will gain rewards but he will be regarded to have committed a sin because he postpones the qada prayers.

According to Shafii madhhab, it is abominable (makruh) for a person who has to perform qada prayers to perform the sunnahs of the daily prayers and other nafilah prayers till he performs his qada prayers because it is necessary to finish performing qada prayers as soon as possible. 

According to Hanbali madhhab, it is haram for a person who has to perform qada prayers to be engaged in nafilah prayers. However, it is permissible for him to perform witr prayer and sunnahs of five daily prayers. However, if he has to perform a lot of qada prayers, it is better for him to be engaged in qada prayers instead of sunnah prayers. However, the sunnah of the morning prayer is excluded; it is necessary to perform it.2

In conclusion, it cannot be said that a Hanafi person will be responsible if he performs qada prayers instead of sunnah prayers. To say that it is not appropriate or not better to perform qada prayers instead sunnah and nafilah prayers does not mean that “it is not permissible to perform qada prayers instead sunnah prayers.”

However, if a person does not have to perform many qada prayers it is better for him to perform one qada prayer after each fard prayer. Besides, it should not be forgotten that there are hadiths informing us that God Almighty will complete the incomplete fard prayers with sunnah prayers on the Day of Judgment.

Footnotes:

1. Mawlana ash--Shaykh Nizam. al-Fatawal-Hindiyya. (Bulaq: Matbaa al-Amiriyya, 1310), 1:125; Ibn Abidin. 1493; al-Madhahibu’l-Arbaa, 1:492; Halabi as-Saghir, p.349.

2. al-Madhahibu’l-Arbaa, 1:492.

30 It is narrated that prophets other than the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) used to perform salah. Was there the worship of Salah in other religions, too?

From Hz. Adam to the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), the fundamentals of Belief that all prophets conveyed are the same. This quality is a common characteristic of all true religions that prophets conveyed. No prophet changed the fundamentals of belief; did they not make an addition to them, either. The last prophet, Hz. Muhammad (PBUH), called his community to believe the same fundamentals as Hz. Adam called his people to believe.

There is no difference between the fundamentals of belief of divine religions; similarly, there is no difference about basic worshipping among the religions.

Salah, which is considered as the pillar of religion, is a kind of worship that was made obligatory for all prophets and their communities. However, the difference is only in their time and the number of rakats. For Muslims, it has been ordered to perform five times a day, which is equal to fifty times a day in terms of thawab. (reward given by Allah)   

It is clearly narrated in the Qur’an that salah was ordered to previous communities. For example, in a verse, it has been reported that Hz. Ibrahim used to perform prayers regularly and he wanted it to be practiced by his generation as follows:

O my Lord! make me one who establishes regular Prayer, and also (raise such) among my offspring O our Lord! and accept Thou my Prayer. (Ibrahim, 40)

Hz. Musa was also ordered to perform salah. In the 12th verse of the Surah of Al-Maeda, it is narrated that there was a certain promise by Israelites about performing salah.

Hz. Shuayb used to pray a lot. Even because of this, his community wanted to insult him. This is narrated in the Qur’an as follows:

They said: "Oh Shuayb! does thy (religion of) prayer command thee that we leave off the worship which our fathers practised or that we leave off doing what we like with our property? (Surah Hud, 87)

Again, it is narrated in the Qur’an that Hz. Ishaq and Jacob, Hz. Zakariya and Jesus prayed.

On the other hand, worships like fasting and zakat do not only belong to the community of our prophet (BPUH). As a matter of fact, it has been narrated that these worships are ordered as fard for other communities, too. For example, in the 183th verse of Surah of Al-Baqara, the following is stated:

O ye who believe! fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you that ye may (learn) self-restraint.―

Yes, salah, fasting, zakat and many other kinds of worship do exist in the shariah of other prophets. However, in the course of time, Jews and Christians gave up performing these worships or changed them.

So, it is much better to say; Almighty Allah (SWT) ordered Jews and other communities to perform salah instead of saying, ”Muslims copied salah from Jews.”

31 QIBLA

Sorry, but we don't know any country in this name, please clarify.

If one person does not know the direction of qiblah; firstly should ask around and make a search about where the qibla is. If there is no chance to ask someone else, that person oneself makes a search and performs the prayer (salat) to the direction s/he is convinced to be it is. If the direction that person faced for salat is understood to be wrong direction after salat  had been performed,  there is no obligation for reperforming. However, if there is a possibility to ask for the right direction to someone else and witout asking and searching if  one had performed; it is compulsory to reperform the salat after learning the right direction (qibla).

32 What are the virtues of Tahajjud Prayer?

There are so many narrated hadiths (Our Prophet’s (pbuh) sayings and deeds) about the virtue of the tahajjud prayer. One of the meanings of a hadith among them is as follows:
When one third of the night remains, every night, Our Lord, Allah, the All-Mighty says as follows till the dawn to break:
‘Whoever wants me something, I shall give. Whoever supplicates to me, I shall accept his/her pray. Whoever repents, I shall forgive him/her
.’”
The narrator of that hadith Hazrath Ebu Hurayra (may Allah grant him peace) adds the following sentence:
For this reason, the companions of Our Prophet (pbuh) used to prefer performing prayer at the end of the night rather than before the night.” (Ibni Mace, Ikamatu’s-Salat: 182).
Generally, there are so many sound and actual Sunnah narrations in the hadith books about reviving the nights with worship. One part of those narrations are generally about the virtue of the night prayers (Muslim, 1163; Tirmizi, 438...)

For more Information about "Tahajjud Prayer", please click on the links given below;

Tahajjud Prayer (The Night Prayer)

About Tahajjud

33 kaaba

If one person does not know the direction of qibla, firstly should ask around and make a search about where the qibla is. If there is no chance to ask someone around, that person oneself makes a search and performs the prayer (salat) through the direction s/he has convinced to be it is. If the direction that person faced for salat is understood to be wrong direction after salat had been performed, there is no obligation for reperforming. However, if there is a possibility to ask for the right direction to someone around and without asking or searching if the salat is performed, it is compulsory to perform the salat again after learning the right direction (qibla).

How is the direction of the qibla found?

If there is no qibla compass, the direction of the qibla is found by a scheduled hour called the qibla clock. At that time if you turn your face to the sun, you will have been directed to the direction of Mecca. If you send us in which country, and city you live, we can find the qibla time and the times of prayer as well.

34 I perform prayers. However I cannot perform them properly. Will performing prayers like this be of any use to me?

Never say, "What are my prayers in comparison with the reality of the prayers?", because like the seed of a date-palm describes the full-grown tree, your prayers describe your tree. Similarly the prayers of a great saint, the prayers of ordinary people like you or me - even if they are not aware of it - have a share of that light. There is a mystery in this truth, even if the consciousness does perceive it. However the unfolding and illumination differ according to the degrees of those performing them. As there are many stages and degrees from the seed of a date-palm to the mature tree, so the stages in the degrees of  prayers may be even more numerous. However, in each degree, the basis of that luminous truth is present.

35 athan

Our Prophet (pbuh) consulted to the opinion of his Companions in order how to use a method for calling them to prayer. And the Companions of him offered many a choise:
-Oh the Massanger of Allah, can we ring a gong.
- No, it is peculiar to the Christians.
- We can blow horn.
- No, it is Jew’s custom.
-What about making a fire?   
- No, it is Magi’s custom.

...

Once they offered planting a flag, Our Prophet (pbuh) fond it unsuitable ,so the meeting ended without co-decision. Abdullah b. Zeyd, like other Companions sadly returned his home and went to the bad. Then Abdullah tels as follows:
“ I had gone to bad sadly as well. While between sleep and awareness, a green-dressed man approached to me and stand on a wall. There was a gong in his hands. There had been this conversation between us:
- Would you like to sell it to me?
- What will you do with it?
- We may ring it for calling to prayer.
- If I give you something better than this on this matter, is it ok?
- I said ok. Then he, at once standed towards to the qibla and started to recite these words.
“Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar
Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar

Ash-hadu an la ilaha illallah   
Ash- hadu an la ilaha illallah
        
Ash-hadu anna Muhammadan rasullullah
Ash-hadu anna Muhammadan rasullullah

Hayya’alas-salah
Hayya’alas-salah

Hayya’alal-falah
Hayya’ alal-falah

Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar
La ilaha illallah        
  
Next morning Abdullah b. Zeyd told to the Massanger of Allah what he saw. The same night several Companians told to have seen smilar dreams. There was no difference among recited azans. Hazrath Omar was, though, among them. Hazrath Muhammad (pbuh) after listening each of them, turned to Zeyd and told him “Tell what you saw to Bilal, because his voice is louder than yours.” When the time for prayer came up, Bilal ascended to the highest place of Medine and with his sonorous voice recited the first azan of Islam.

Concerning with how to announce the time for prayer has not been expressed in the Qur’an, but has been revealed to Our Prophet (pbuh) by Gabriel. These verses demonstrate that azan has been revealed by Allah:
“When ye proclaim your call to prayer they take it (but) as mockery and sport; that is because they are a people without understanding.” [The Table Spread (Al-Maida), 5/58]
O ye who believe! When the call is proclaimed to prayer on Friday (the Day of Assembly), hasten earnestly to the Remembrance of Allah, and leave off business (and traffic).  [The Assembly (Friday) Prayer (Al- Jumua)]. In these verses the phrases of ‘when ye proclaim your call’ and ‘when the call is proclaimed’ are interpretted as “azan”.

36 Can I perform the witr prayer that belongs to the night prayer as one rakat?

The prayer of witr consists of three rakats. "Witr is right. He who wants to pray witr as five rakats can pray it so. He who wants to pray witr as three rakats can pray it so. He who wants to pray witr as one rakat can pray it so. " (Nasai, Qiyamu'l-Layl, 40; Abu Dawud, Witr, 3; Ibn Majah, Iqamah, 123).

Hazrat Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) said, "Hazrat Prophet prayed witr as three rakats and recited salam." (az-Zaylai, Nasbu'r-Raya, II, 118). Ibn Umar and Ibn Abbas said, "The prayer of witr is performed at the end of the night as one rakat (Muslim, Musafirun, 153; Abu Dawud, Witr, 3 ; Nasai, Qiyamu'l-Layl, 34).

According to Hanafis, the prayer of witr is three rakats and salam is necessary at the end of it. They give the hadith narrated by Hazrat Aisha as evidence for it. According to Malikis, the prayer of witr is one rakat. Before the witr, there exists two-rakat sunnah performed after the fard of the night prayer. Salam separates them. According to Hanbalis, the prayer of witr is one rakat, too. However, it can be performed as three or more rakats as well. According to Shafiis, the prayer of witr is at least one and at most eleven rakats. If one wants to pray more than one rakat, he should intend to pray two rakats and recite salam at the end of it.  (al-Kasani, Badaiu's Sanai' Beirut, 1974, I, 270 ff.; az-Zuhayli, al-Fiqhu'l-Islami wa Adillatuhu, Damascus, 1984, I, 820).

37 What are the reasons behind the fact that daily prayers were ordered in the Quran and performed at certain times?

It is definite through the Book, the Sunnah and ijma (consensus) that performing five daily prayers is fard (obligatory) for Muslims that have certain conditions. It was indicated concisely in some verses of that Quran when and how to perform the five daily prayers; those indications became clear with the oral and practical sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh). As it is known, the authority to explain the concise orders and judgments in the Quran belongs to the Prophet (pbuh), who is appointed to convey it to people. He taught people how to perform prayers by performing prayers himself and by leading prayers; he also showed the times of prayers. The application of the Prophet regarding how and when to perform prayers reached today through practical tawatur (recurrent transmission of reports).
The following is stated in the 130th verse of the chapter Taha, one of the verses indicating five daily prayers concisely:
"...Celebrate (constantly) the praises of thy Lord before the rising of the sun, and before its setting; yea, celebrate them for part of the hours of the night, and at the sides of the day: that thou mayest have (spiritual) joy."; praising Allah, that is, performing prayers is ordered before the sun rises and sets, in the hours of the night and at the two sides of the day.
In the 238th verse of the chapter al-Baqara: "Guard strictly your (habit of) prayers and the middle prayer” the word prayers (salawat) is plural. In Arabic, plural words mean at least three; the word “tathniya” is used for two things; two prayers is expressed as “salatayn” That is, at least three prayers is meant by the word salawat. There also exists the middle prayer because after salawat the word wa (and) is used. Therefore, the “middle prayer” is not included in the word “salawat”; and since the numbers in both sides are not equal, it is not possible to name a prayer that is located among three other prayers as the middle prayer. Therefore, the word salawat expresses at least four prayers. When the middle prayer is added, five daily prayers appear. It is explained in some hadiths that the middle prayer is the afternoon (asr) prayer.
The following is stated in the114the verse of the chapter Hud, "And establish regular prayers at the two ends of the day and at the approaches of the night..."
The word “zulaf” used in the verse is the plural of “zulfa”, which means the approaches of the night. As it is stated above, it means at least three. According to that verse, there are at least three prayers at the approaches of the night (evening, night and morning prayers). There are also two prayers at the two ends of the day. Thus, it is understood from that verse that there are five daily prayers.
There are also expressions indicating concisely the five daily prayers or their times in the following chapters and verses: an-Nisa, 4/103; al-Isra, 17/78; arRum, 30/17-18; an-Nur, 24/36; Qaf, 50/39-40; ad-Dehr (al-Insan) , 76/25-26. Those concise expressions and indications were explained by the words and practices of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh); they were carried out for centuries by Muslims and reached today as they were explained and practiced by the Prophet. Muslims have prayed five times a day since the Era of Bliss and nobody said the opposite. Therefore, the claim that five daily prayers do not exist in the Quran has no scientific value.   
Prayer is the order of Allah. We perform it because He ordered it. However, there are thousands of reasons and wisdom behind each order and prohibition of Allah. There are many reasons why the prayers are ordered to be performed at certain times.
Morning time
We start the morning with the brightness of the sun and with the joy of reaching a luminous day; we say that we were born on a day like that. This new day reminds us of the day we were sent to the mother’s womb and the first day of the six days when the universe was created. After a certain lane, we start to ascend toward the great hour; that is, from the morning of a day that rises we go to the moment we were sent to the mother’s womb and then to the first day the universe was created; we remember the days Allah creates and the bounties he grants us. Then, although we are far away from Him, we go to his presence with the morning prayer to be close to him by respecting, praising and glorifying Him. The morning prayer performed with those feelings is a timely and appropriate prayer.
Man feels as if he has been given life again in the morning; he has the vigor to start the activities to earn a living. The being that gives him the vitality and vigor and that makes him successful in his efforts to earn his living is only Allah. Therefore, man is obliged to perform the morning prayer in order to thank Him for the health He has given him and in order to summon His help.    
Noon time
Man uses the bounties of life, health and the mind given by Allah from the morning to the evening. He succeeds in the worldly affairs thanks to those bounties. The noon and afternoon prayers have been made obligatory for man so that he will thank Allah for his achievements and he will prevent his spirit from being in a state of heedlessness and grief.
We take refuge with Him when there is a lot of work to do. The noon time reminds us of the moment that daily tasks reach perfection and the bounties of Allah reach the summit. Man feels as if he will be suffocated due to the depression of the work at that time. He goes to the mosque in order to get rid of the stress and problems and to thank Allah for the bounties that He has sent down to him up to that time; thus, he has the opportunity to have a rest and to be temporarily freed from the worldly affairs. It is such a break for the spirit that if the becomes able to listen to his spirit and hears hi heartbeat, he will notice the excitement and joy of a student who has been bored in the classroom having a break .  Going to the mosque when the intense heat of the noon affects man as the Prophet stated, “The severity of the heat is from the raging of Hell..” (Bukhari, Mawaqit, 9, 10; Adhan 18; Badu’l-Khalq 10; Muslim, Masajid 184; Abu Dawud, Salat 4; Tirmidhi, Salat 119) gives man the relief and comfort of being under the shade of His names and attributes and under liwa al-hamd (the Flag of Praise) of the Messenger of Allah on the day when everyone surrenders to Allah and when there is no shade.
Afternoon time
The afternoon time reminds us of old age. It is the time when the sun tends to set. Therefore, that period of time also reminds us the moment that humankind gets old and the rise of the Messenger of Allah together with his setting. When we perform the afternoon prayer, we realize that everything tends to set and that in a few hours, everything on the earth will disappear that we are ephemeral, approaching our end with the pain in our legs, the ache in our backs and the grey hair on our heads. At a time when we are about to fall into hopelessness, we hear the sound of adhan (call to prayer) and we become happy to have found the way to make life eternal and go to the mosque joyfully.
Evening time  
The evening prayer has been made obligatory because it will end the daily activities and efforts that are about to finish due to the approaching of the evening with a spiritual worship and it will express gratitude for the profits made that day.
A day is about to end; death is near us. The evening time is the time of the sunset; the day ends; the sun sets; and we enter a different period of time. That state informs us the death of a twenty-four hour day and our death; one day we will die, be covered in a shroud and be put into the grave. A piece of stone will be put on the grave to determine our place; our family and friends will leave us and we will be left alone there... The movement of the minute hand indicates the movement of the hour hand; similarly, the setting of the sun indicates the setting of every thing, every system; we witness the reality expressed by the following verse: “When the sun (with its spacious light) is folded up; when the stars fall, losing their luster; when the mountains vanish (like a mirage);..” (at-Takwir, 81/1-3). We go to the mosque to perform the evening prayer in order to console our grieving heart and to relieve our spirit. The evening time is the expression of either crying or experiencing the excitement of improving our position in the hereafter. The adhans heard in the uproar when everything and everybody says farewell to each other and when they want to express their sorrow with screams and yelling inform us about a new dawn within the dusk; we experience strongly in our spirit a new revival together with death. As Hazrat Ibrahim said, “…I love not those that set” (al-An’am, 6/76), it means tending toward Allah, who says, “I am not content with those who are not together with me in the morning and in the evening and who is the Everlasting One and who does not set or disappear.
Night time
Man will enter the realm of sleep later. Before reaching that realm,  which is regarded as a sample of death in a sense and a period of calm and in another sense resting, it will be the sign of a happy ending to end that day with a holy worship, to go to that realm with a divine enjoyment and spiritual awakening, to take refuge with the pardoning and mercy of Allah; the night prayer is performed to attain it.
The life ends like the day. The time of the night is the time when the dusk blackens and no sign of the sun is seen. There is nothing left to remind us of the existence of the daytime that passed. When the daytime ended, it was replaced by the dusk in the form of brightness or redness and it said, “remember me a bit more”. When that redness disappears, everything is gone and everything finishes.  The night time reminds us the end of the human life together with the end of everything. Thus, as the years pass by, man feels as if he has not lived at all. The night time reminds us of a moment when everything finishes and when man will be deprived of all kinds of lights and brightness in the grave.
On the other hand, there exist five different phases in the life of both man and the other beings around him: birth, growth, coming to a standstill, getting old and dying. Our Creator ordered us to pray 5 times a day that correspond those phases so that we will establish a nice balance between the material and spiritual parts of man and his work.  
It will not suffice no matter how much we thank Allah because he has obliged us to perform a worship that includes such holy, material and useful things. The reasons and wisdoms why prayers were divided into five times are not only the ones that we have mentioned.  (See Nursi, Sözler (Words), 9. Söz)

38 Why do we lack of character, despite performing salat?

Some narrations (hadiths) concerning the issue are as follows:
“The screams of the people of Hell result from delaying their good deeds and procrastination.” (Hafiz Iraqi said that he did not find the source of that hadith. See “Takhriju ahadisil ihya, together with ihya” 3/117).
“Do not be someone who boast, become arrogant and cause mischief; and do not trade except for the trade of good things. Doubtlessly, they are those who delay their deeds and procrastinate.” (Musnad, 1/129; This hadith is sound. See Majmau’z-Zawaid, 5/172).
Procrastination, which is one of the diseases of modern man, has become an important problem for a believer who is in an effort of struggling against his/her soul (nafs). Thus, a simple task becomes a grave matter that gets more and more difficult to overcome day by day. Just as what is related in the book of “Mathnawi” of Hazrat Mawlana :
“A man plants some thorns at a roadside. At first, those thorns appear as if they are harmless. However, when they start to disturb people who pass by in the course of time, complaints start to increase. However, the man pretends not to have heard them. Then, a saint slave of Allah comes to that man and tells him to remove those thorns. Thereupon, the man says: “There are a great many days, father. If not today, it will be tomorrow; definitely one day I will remove those thorns.” Thereupon, the friend of Allah tells the man this: ‘Every time you say tomorrow, you delay it. However, you should know that, day by day these thorns grow up, become stronger, but you become weaker. Thorns become young, but you become old...’”
So, our deeds are the same as that man’s. The sins that we insist on committing are similar to the thorns of that man. Unless we firmly grip the rope of “repentance”, sins settle much more insistently in our lives...
We always delay our tasks... And what a pity that, we do not realize that what we delay is our own life! There are so many mothers and fathers who delay their children’s religious education to the next summer... So many young girls delay covering herself to after finishing school... So many young boys delay starting prayers (salat) to another Friday...?
Those who delay reading a guide book or a belief book, or learning to read the Qur’an, those who delay attending religious talks which are the doors of mercy of Allah to another week...
O my soul! Delay whatever Satan (Shaytan) commands you to do in order to detain you from your way! But, do not delay good deeds, charities, learning and assuming te ethics of The Prophet (pbuh), following someone who follows Allah and do not delay repenting for your rooted sins!..
“Every day is a new day for an intelligent person.” Life is the time we live in. It is in every day. However, we learn it very late. We always say tomorrow. The child says, “when I get older”; the youth says “when I get married”. And the time passes by. In this respect, Our Prophet’s saying “those who say that I will do tomorrow get perished” is what a meaningful reality. One day will come, but the tomorrow of that day will not appear... The day is in the moment we live...

39 What should i do if my hair was appearing during namaz?

Men and women are expected to cover their ‘awrah’ parts during salat. ‘Awrah’ parts are different for men and women.
For men it is between the belly hole and the knees. For women it is all the body except the hands and the face. If these ‘awrah’ parts are opened during the salat, the salat becomes invalid. But there are some details.
According to the Hanafi sect, if someone starts the salat having the necessary covering and then an ‘awrah’ area of his or her body is opened accidentally, the amount of the opened area and the period it remains open is taken into consideration when making a decision. If less than one fourth of a limb remains open for a time in which one can say “Subhan'Allah” three times, then the salat does not become invalid; but if it lasts longer, it makes the salat invalid.
We kindly request you to decide according to this criterion.

40 Isn't it difficult to perform daily prayers five times every day? What is your advice?

One time, a man great in age, physique, and rank said to me: " The Prayers are fine, but to perform them every single day five times is a lot. Since they never end, it becomes wearying."

A long time after the man said these words, I listened to my soul and I heard it say exactly the same things. And I looked at it and saw that with the ear of laziness, it was receiving the same lesson from Satan. Then I understood that those words were as though said in the name of all evil - commanding souls, or else they had been prompted. So I too said: " Since my soul commands to evil, one who does not reform his own soul cannot reform others. In which case, I shall begin with my own soul. "

I said: O soul! Listen to Five Warnings in response to those words which you uttered in compounded ignorance, on the couch of idleness, in the sleep of heedlessness.

· FIRST WARNING

O my wretched soul! Is your life eternal, I wonder? Have you any incontrovertible document showing that you will live to next year, or even to tomorrow? What causes you boredom is that you fancy you shall live for ever. You complain as though you will remain in the world for pleasure eternally. If you had understood that your life is brief, and that it is departing fruitlessly, to spend one hour out of the twenty-four on a fine, agreeable, easy, and merciful act of service which is the means to the true happiness of eternal life, surely does not cause boredom, but excites a real eagerness and agreeable pleasure.

· SECOND WARNING

O my stomach-worshipping soul! Every day you eat bread, drink water, do they cause you boredom? They do not, because since the need is repeated, it is not boredom, but pleasure, that they give. In which case, the five daily prayers should not cause you boredom, for they attract the sustenance, water of life, and air of your friends in the house of my body, my heart, spirit, and subtle faculties. Indeed, the sustenance and strength of a heart which is afflicted with infinite griefs and sorrows and captivated by infinite pleasures and hopes may be optained by knocking through supplication on the door of One All-Compassionate and Munificent. And the water of life of a spirit connected with most beings, which swiftly depart from this transitory world crying out a separation, may be imbibed by turning towards the spring of mercy and Eternal Beloved through the five daily prayers. And a conscious inner sense and luminous subtle faculty, which by its nature desires eternal life and was created for eternity and is a mirror of the Pre-Eternal and Post-Eternal One and is infinitely delicate and subtle, is surely most needy for air in the sorrowful, crushing, distressing, transient, dark, and suffocating, conditions of this world and can only breathe through the window of the prayers.

· THIRD WARNING

O my impatient soul! Is it at a11 sensible to think today of past hardships of worship, difficulties of the prayers, and troubles of calamities and be distressed, and to imagine the future duties of worship, service of the prayers, and sorrows of disaster and display impatience? In being thus impatient you resemble a foolish commander, who, although the enemy's right flank joined his right flank and became fresh forces for him, he sent a significant force to the right flank, and weakened the centre. Then, while there were no enemy soldiers on the left flank, he sent a large force there, and gave them the order to fire. The centre was then devoid of all forces. The enemy understood this and attacked the centre and routed it.

Yes, you resemble this, for the troubles of yesterday have today been transformed into mercy; the pain has gone while the pleasure remains. The difficulty has been turned into blessings, and the hardship into reward. In which case, you should not feel wearied at it, but make a serious effort to continue with a new eagerness and fresh enthusiasm. As for future days, have not yet arrived, and to think of them now and feel bored and wearied is a lunacy like thinking today of future hunger and thirst, and starting to shout and cry out. Since the truth is this, if you are reasonable you will think of only today in regard to worship, and say: "I am spending one hour of it on a agreeable, pleasant, and elevated act of service, the reward for which is high and whose trouble is little." Then your bitter dispiritedness will be transformed into sweet endeavor.

And so, my impatient soul! You are charged with being patient in three respects. One is patience in worship. Another is patience in refraining from sin. And a third is patience in the face of disaster. If you are intelligent, take as your guide the truth apparent in the comparison in this Third Warning. Say in manly fashion: "O Most Patient One!", and shoulder the three sorts of patience. If you do not squander on the wrong way the forces of patience Almighty God has given you, they should be enough for every difficulty and disaster. So hold out with those forces!

· FOURTH WARNING

O my foolish soul! is this duty of worship without result, and is its recompense little that it causes you weariness? Whereas if someone was to give you a little money, or to intimidate you, he could make you work till evening, and you would work without slacking. So is it that the prescribed prayers are without result, which in this guest-house of the world are sustenance and wealth for your impotent and weak heart, and in your grave, which will be a certain dwelling-place for you, sustenance and light, and at the Resurrection, when you will anyway be judged, a document and patent, and on the Bridge of Sirat, over which you are bound to pass, a light and a mount? And are their recompense little? Someone promises you a present worth a hundred liras, and makes you work for a hundred days. You trust the man who may go back on his word and work without slacking. So if One for Whom the breaking of a promise is impossible, promises you recompense like Paradise and a gift like eternal happiness, and employs you for a very short time in a very agreeable duty, if you do not perform that service, or you act accusingly towards His promise or slight His gift by performing it unwillingly like someone forced to work, or by being bored, or by working in halfhearted fashion, you will deserve a severe reprimand and awesome punishment. Have you not thought of this`? Although you serve without slacking in the heaviest work in this world out of fear of imprisonment, does the fear of an eternal incarceration like Hell not fill you with enthusiasm for a most light and agreeable act of service?

· FIFTH WARNING

O my world-worshipping soul! Does your slackness in worship and deficiency in the prescribed prayers arise from the multiplicity of your worldly occupations, or because you cannot find time due to the struggle for livelihood? Were you created only for this world that you spend ail your time on it? You know that in regard to your abilities you are superior to all the animals and that in regard to procuring the necessities of worldly life you cannot reach even a sparrow, so why can you not understand that your basic duty is not to labour like an animal, but to expend effort for a true, perpetual life, like a true human being. In addition, the things you call worldly occupations mostly do not concern you, and which you meddle in officiously, trivial matters which you confuse. You leave aside the essential things and pass your time in acquiring inessential information as though you were going to live for a thousand years. For example, you squander your precious time on worthless things like, what are the rings around Saturn like, and how many chickens are there in America? As though you were becoming an expert in astronomy or statistics...

I f y o u s a y : "What keeps me from the prayers and worship and causes me to be slack is not unnecessary things like that, but essential matters like earning a livelihood," then my answer is this: if you work for a daily wage of one hundred cents, and someone comes to you and says: "Come and dig here for ten minutes, and you will find a brilliant and an emerald worth a hundred dollars." If you reply: "No, I won't come, because ten cents will be cut from my wage and my subsistence will be less," of course you understand what a foolish pretext it would be. In just the same way, you work in this orchard for your Iivelihood. If you abandon the obligatory prayers, all the fruits of your effort will be restricted to only a worldly, unimportant, and unproductive livelihood. But if you spend the rest periods on the prayers, which are the means to the spirit's ease and heart's taking a breather, then you will discover two mines which are an important source, both for a productive worldly livelihood, and your livelihood and provisions for the hereafter.

First Mine: Through a sound intention, you will receive a share of the praises and glorifications offered by all the plants and trees, whether flowering or fruit-bearing, that you grow in the garden.

Second Mine: Whatever is eaten of the garden's produce, whether by animals or man, cattle or flies, buyers or thieves, it will become like almsgiving from you. But on condition you work in the name of the True Provider and within the sphere of His leave, and see yourself as a distribution official giving His property to His creatures.

So see what a great loss is made by one who abandons the prescribed prayers. What significant wealth he loses, and he remains deprived of those two results and mines which afford him great eagerness in his effort and ensure a strong morale in his actions; he becomes bankrupt. Even, as he grows old, he will grow weary of gardening and lose interest in it, saying, "What is it to me? I am anyway leaving this world, why should I endure this much difficulty?" He will cast himself into idleness. But the first man says: "I shall work even harder at both worship and licit endeavours in order to send even more abundant light to my grave, and procure more provisions for my life in the hereafter. "

I n S h o r t : O my soul! Know that yesterday has left you, and as for tomorrow, you have nothing to prove that it will be yours. In which case, know that your true life is the present day. So throw at least one of its hours into a mosque or prayer-mat, a coffer for the hereafter like a reserve fund, set up for the true future. And know that for you and for everyone each new day is the door to a new world. If you do not perform the prayers, your world that day will depart as dark and wretched, and will testify against you in the World of Similitudes. For everyone, each day, has a private world out of this world, and its nature is dependent on each person's heart and actions. Like a splendid palace reflected in a mirror takes on the colour of the mirror, if it is black, it appears as black, and if it is red, as red. Also it takes on the qualities of the mirror; if the mirror is smooth, it shows the palace to be beautiful, and if it is not, it shows it to be ugly. Like it shows the most delicate things to be coarse, you alter the shape of your own world with your heart, mind, actions, and wishes. You may make it testify either for you or against you. If you perform the five daily prayers, and through them you are turned towards that world's Glorious Maker, all of a sudden your world, which looks to you, is lit up. Quite simply as though the prayers are au electric lamp and your intention to perform them touches the switch, they disperse that world's darkness and show the changes and movements within the confused wretchedness of worldly chaos to be a wise and purposeful order and a meaningful writing of Divine power. They scatter one light of the light-filled verse,

God is the Light of the Heavens and the Earth

over your heart, and your world on that day is illuminated through the reflection of that light. And it will cause it to testify in your favour through its luminosity.

B e w a r e, d o n o t say : "What are my prayers in comparison with the reality of the prayers?", because like the seed of a date-palm describes the full-grown tree, your prayers describe your tree. The difference is only in the summary and details; like the prayers of a great saint, the prayers of ordinary people like you or me - even if they are not aware of it, have a share of that light. There is a mystery in this truth, even if the consciousness does perceive it... but the unfolding and illumination differs according to the degrees of those performing them. However many stages and degrees there are from the seed of a date-palm to the mature tree, in the degrees of the prayers the stages may be even more numerous. But in each degree the basis of that luminous truth is present.

O God! Grant blessings and peace to he who said: "The five daily prayers are the pillar of religion", and to all his Family and Companions.

41 I would like to get some information about Tahajjud.

About the time of the tahajjud (the night pray which is performed by getting up after sleeping a while during night), according to the coming narrations it is advised to revive the night with supplications, repentance and performing prayer in the middle of the night or last part. About this subject in many narrations which mentions about actual Sunnah (the sayings and doings of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), which form a basis for much of Islamic law) it is stated that Our Prophet (pbuh) used to perform the isha prayer (night prayer) and go to the bad without performing the witr prayer (a prayer performed after the late evening or night prayer until dawn). And used to wake up again towards the middle of the night or just after the midnight, and then begin to worship. And after performing prayer for a while, used to perform the witr prayer, then the first sunnah prayer of the fajr prayer (the dawn or early morning prayer).
It is better for one who has a fear of not being able to wake up at night to perform the witr prayer just after the isha prayer (salath) then go to sleep. After performing the tahajjud prayer, one may go to sleep again and get up for the fajr prayer. There is no drawback for that. 

For further information about tahajjud see the link below.

Tahajjud Prayer (The Night Prayer)

42 prayer behind other sects

According to Sunni School scholars two different decrees are claimed about a person who obeys a school imam who is not that person’s main school imam indeed.

According to Hanefi and Shafi’i scholars belief of the congregation is the main base in the prayer. That is to say, the prayer of imam must be sound according to the belief of a person who participate the praying congregation. With respect to the owners of this comment; prayer of a Shafi’i follower is not sound when he performs his prayer under the imamate of a man who touched his hand to a woman or prayer of a Hanefi School follower is not sound when he performs his prayer with a Shafi’i imam whose body has bled. (el-Fıkhu’l-İslamî, II/180-181, 207; Ibn Abidîn,I/563).
As for the decree of Malikhi and Khanbeli School scholars the belief of the imam is the main base. Referring to this consideration, does there exist nothing which harms the prayer in reference to the school of imam, this prayer is sound even if an error exists according to the schools of congregation. Considering this comment the prayer of a Shafi’i follower is sound under the imamate of a man who touched his hand to a woman or prayer of a Hanefi School follower is sound when he performs his prayer with a Shafi’i imam whose body has bled. (el-Fıkhu’l-İslamî, II/180-181).

To our knowledge, -especially on account of the unity of Islam- the decrees of Malikhi and Khanbeli School scholars should be preferred. For according to the belief of an imam –for example- is he ritually cleaned then he is ritually cleaned.
Thus, according to the decree which Ibn Âbidin, one of the Hanefi School scholars, preferred as long as fulfilling the obligations of prayer there is no inconvenience in the dependence of a Hanefi follower to a Shafi’i follower in the prayer or vice versa. As a matter of fact, although many people among the Companions of the Prophet (PBUH) or the descendant following the companions were interpreters of Islamic law and had different opinions, they used to perform their prayers in the dependence of same imam. (Ibn Abidîn, I/564).
The indicated considerations above are valid for Shi’a School too. In other words, they can perform their prayers in the dependence of a Sunni imam.

43 What is the wisdom behind the acts in the prayer?

The Meaning of the Acts in the Prayer: Each pillar and part of the prayer has separate wisdoms. 

One of the names of Allah is al-Hakim (the All-Wise). That is, He definitely arranges and creates many wisdoms, interests and aims in every act of His. It is certain that there are thousands of wisdoms in His order and prohibition. There are many meanings in every act of the prayer, which is the most important worshipping.

We can list some of them as follows:

The prayer is the pillar of the religion. If we think that the Kaaba is the pillar of the universe, we will understand the wisdom behind turning to the direction of the Kaaba in the prayer.

To raise our hands while saying the takbir (Allahu akbar) means we throw the worldly things behind our back and stand for the prayer for Allah.

When we stand on our feet, we represent the worshipping of trees, mountains and the angels that always worship by standing.

When we bow down, we represent the worshipping of animals like the camel, the goat and the sheep, and the angels that always worship by bowing down.

When we prostrate, we represent the worshipping of reptiles, grass and the angels that always worship by prostrating. 

When we sit, we present the worshipping of all creatures to Allah on our own behalf. In the end, when we salute the right and the left, we salute the whole universe.

Besides, when we pray, we make our body and each organ in it worship.

Standing and reading the Quran in the prayer are also meaningful. There is a wisdom behind bowing down after standing and prostrating after bowing down, being in the closest state to Allah...

Man, who is in a state of representing the general worshipping performed universally, presents the worshipping that continuously takes place in his own body together with the worshipping of the living realm and the realm that we regard as non-living to the All-Merciful Lord five times a day.

1.STANDING (QIYAM)

First, we stand, raise our hands and say Allahu akbar (Allah is the greatest). Thus, man throws everything except Allah behind his back and becomes subject to His order and will. Servitude and slavery are registered like that. Thus, the worshipping of all of the beings is represented.   

2. BOWING DOWN (RUKU)

After praising Allah as He deserves, man feels so weak in the presence of that loftiness that he bows down to show it and lowers his head as a sign of respect and says ‘Subhana Rabbiyal-Azim (Glorious is my Lord, the Great). The believer represents the worshipping of all beings that bow down by doing so.   

3. SUPPLICATION (DUA)

Then, he straightens up, and thanks and praises Allah because He guided him to the right path. For a moment, he contemplates, while standing, the loftiness and grandeur of Allah and the simplicity and meanness of his act, then, he becomes terrified and appalled.

4. PROSTRATION (SAJDAH)

He prostrates and puts his forehead down feeling the modesty and weakness fully and says,

‘Subhana Rabbiyal-Ala (Glorious is my Lord, the Highest).

5. SITTING AND SALUTATION

After repeating those acts in a series, he finds himself directly in the presence of Allah without any intermediaries and asks help from Him.

When two beings meet, a salutation takes place between them. In one part of the prayer (sitting), the person who prays repeats the same expressions of salutation that took place between Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh) and Allah during Miraj (ascension):

"At-Tahiyyatu lillahi, was-salawatu wattayyibatu. As-Salamu alayka ayyuhan-Nabiyyu, wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh. As-Salamu alayna wa ala ibadillahissalihin”

(All kinds of Greetings, prayers and goodness belong to Allah. Peace be on you, O Prophet and the mercy of Allah and His blessings. Peace be on us and on the righteous servants of Allah!)

The acts of the body in the prayer:

There are 4 acts in the prayer. The first one is qiyam, that is, standing. The second one is ruku (bowing down). The third one is the first sajdah (prostration) and the fourth one is the second prostration. (Fususulhikam,  2/476-477)

In qiyam in praying, the head denotes the Lord and the feet denote the people. Man, who combines them in qiyam, reads the Quran (qira’ah), which is fard, in this position. He fulfils two fards: qiyam and qira’ah.

As for ruku’, it means practicing the situation of animals in prayer. In this position, the feet of animals look at the center of the earth, and the direction of their bodies is horizontal. That is, the animal stands parallel to the gravity of the earth. While standing like that, the head of the animal looks neither at the space nor at the gravity of the earth. It is a situation between them. Why do we practice it though we are human beings? A question like, ‘What is the animal to us?” may arise. The answer is as follows: the human body, which is the summary of 18 thousand animals, has an animal spirit that lives the worldly life. That spirit, which is called the soul in terms of desires, cannot be upgraded to the human spirit unless it is cleaned. He should eat a little, sleep a little and have sexual intercourse a little in order to be away from the animal side, which is close to the world. Then, he will be in the situation of being cleaned. Salah (prayer), which is a comprehensive worshipping, has to practice the animal present in it. 

The wisdom of sajdah; when a person prostrates, the head goes down to the level of the feet. Man practices the situation of the plants in prostration.

The second prostration is lifeless. It has no action in itself. That is, it has no action coming from inside. It acts as a result of external forces. The ores in the stones and the ground are included. The ore belongs to the thing that keeps it unless it is smelted since it exists in a dispersed state among non-living things. The element of each ore has a spirit in terms of its atoms.   

The second prostration is like the first one because the plants and non-living things are together; they are not in action like animals. Every globe, star and similar body in the space is non-living. The prostration is as big as their amount.

To sum up, the prayer (salah) is a kind of worshipping that contains man, animals and all creatures. However, it is understood when it is fulfilled heartily and spiritually not in appearance.

44 Could you please give information about the leather-made socks (Khuffs) ?

A light-weight shoe with a short leg, which is worn in the house and worn in the shoes outside and made of soft leather. It can be wiped over for ablution. As a term of Islamic Law, “mast” (khuff) has the meaning of a sort of shoe which is worn on the foot covering the heel, and which has a certain length and durable for long trips and which is thick enough to stand without laces, which does not let the water in the feet immediately and which is made of substances like leather or felt.

Wiping over such shoes is permissible for any Muslim whether male or female, who may be travelling or settled. A majority of the Honored Companions and scholars of Islamic Jurispuridence are in an agreement on this. A well-known hadith “A settled person can wipe over a ‘khuff’ for a day and a night and a travelling person can do it for three days and nights”, reported by a community who narrated from the Prophet (pbuh) stands as a proof for this. Besides, the Honored companions came to an agreement on the legality of wiping over ‘khuff’ and they applied it. Moreover, Imam Karhi stated “ I am afraid that those who regard it unacceptable to wipe over leather-made socks will fall into unbeief”.  Hasan al-Basri also said, “ Some seventy of Honored Companions informed me that they saw the Prophet (pbuh) wipe over his leather-made socks”. (as-Sarakhsi, al-Mabsut, Cairo 1324, 31, I, 97-98; al-Kasani, Badayius-Sanayi, Cairo, 1327-28 / 1910, I, 7-8; Ibnu’l Humam, Fathu’l Qadir, Bulak 1319, I, 126-127; for Hadiths, see Wensinck, Muccem, Leiden 1943, II, 51-52; VI, 210-214).

The following conditions need to be complied with for the validity of wiping over leather-made socks:

1. Such socks should be worn after the feet have been washed as a part of ablution. Wiping over a foot or a bandage on the foot due to an excuse is under the decree of washing. Wiping over leather-made socks which have been worn in this way is acceptable.

2. Ablution should be broken due to a different reason than impurity (due to ejaculation etc.), menstruation and puerperium. The validity of wiping over leather-made socks is broken if impurity, menstruation or puerperium occurs and  these socks can be worn after a complete cleansing of the body.

3. These socks must cover the heels.

4. If there is a rip over a leather-made sock three toes long according to the size of the small toes smallest finger of the foot, it is not acceptable to wipe over them. The decree does not change whether the rips are under or over, whether they are on the side of a leather-made sock or not. This amount is defined not according to the total size of the rips on different socks but on either of them. For example, if there is a two-finger-sized rip on one sock and one-finger-sized on the other one, then it is acceptable to wipe over those socks. If one of the socks has a one-finger-sized rip in the front and, another one-finger-sized on the rear and another one on the side, it is acceptable to wipe over those pair of socks. Here is the decree of rips that hinders the validity of wiping : Rips, which open and display beneath or which stay together; however, displaying beneath while walking is deemed as hindrance to wipe over leather-made socks. Even if a rip is bigger or longer than three-fingers’ size if it does not display the foot, it is not regarded as a hindrance for wiping. If a sock is ripped but has a lining to hinder this rip to display beneath or if the hole or rip is sewn, it is not an hindrance for wiping.

5. Such wiping needs to be done over leather-made socks. Wiping underneath is not acceptable.

6. Obligatory amount of wiping over leather-made socks is there-finger-sized place in the front part of the socks as measured according to the smallest finger of a hand. Wiping from the tips of the feet upwards is appropriate to sunnah. However, it is also acceptable to pour water on such socks or wetting them with a sponge or a piece of cloth or wiping over the socks horizontally or beginning to wipe from the leg of a sock. However, such wiping is not in accordance with the sunnah.

7. Such socks need to be durable and strong enough to allow walking twelve thousand consecutive steps.

8. At least three-finger-sized space should be available in the front part of the feet.

9. These socks should stand without laces.

10. These socks should not allow the water in.

11. They should not be too transparent to display the feet. (as-Sarakhsi, ibid, I, 99-101; al-Kasani, ibid, I, 9-12; Ibnu’l-Humam, ibid, I, 128-134; Tahtawi, Hashiya Ala Maraqil Falah, Istanbul, 1095, p. 103-105; al-Fatawa’l Hindiyya, Bulaq 1315, I, 32-34).

The time limit for the validity of such wiping is one day and a night for the settled people and three days and nights for the travelling people. Intention is not necessary in wiping.  Wiping over the socks with wet hands and by putting right hand fingers over the right sock and the left fingers over the left sock and by wiping from down the tips of socks up to the ankles with fingers open is what is appropriate to the sunnah. This time limit commences right after the ablution is broken. For example, if a person has worn leather socks complying with the conditions of the noon prayer and his ablution is broken in the time of the afternoon prayer, the period begins after the time of the afternoon prayer. A person who is afraid of getting frozen by cold can continue wiping over the socks even if the deadline ends. For a person whose deadline of wiping ends and who still preserves his ablution, it is sufficient to wash his feet by putting off the socks; he does not need to make an ablution again. A settled person who goes on a trip before the period of wiping ends is subject to the time limit of wiping on travel. A person who travels and finishes a day and a night and becomes settled, then his period of wiping ends. A person whose deadline ends and goes on a trip should take his socks off and make an ablution and then wear the socks. (as-Sarakhsi, ibid, I, 98-99, 103-104; al-Kasani, ibid, I, 8-9; Ibnu’l Humam, ibid, 130-131; al-Fatawa’l Hindiyya, I, 33-34,36; Mulla Khusraw, Duraru’l Hukkam, Istanbul, 1979, I, 35; Tahtawi, ibid, p.105).

Wiping over socks:

It is acceptable to wipe over thick socks which are durable and strong enough to walk with. It is also acceptable to wipe over felt-made socks. According to the general aspect, it is not acceptable to wipe over socks which are permeable to water. (as-Sarakhsi, ibid, I, 102-103; al-Kasani, a.n.b, I, 10; al-Fatawal-Hindiyya, I, 32)

Wiping over boots:

It is acceptable to wipe over boots or shoes resembling boots worn over leather-made socks after socks are worn and without having wiped over socks and if they are worn without the ablution being broken. If they are worn after the ablution is broken, it is not acceptable to wipe over them.

It is not acceptable to wipe over gloves, veils, fez, hats and turbans. (as-Sarakhsi, ibid, I, 101-103; al-Kasani, ibid, I, 10-11; Mulla Khusraw, ibid I, 36; al-Fatawal-Hindiyya, I, 32)

Things that break the validity of wiping:

Anything that breaks the ablution also breaks the validity of wiping. For this reason, if the deadline has not ended yet, one should wipe over the socks and bandages in the next ablution.

The validity of wiping breaks due to the conditions listed below:

1. Exceeding the deadline of wiping. When the deadline ends, if a person does not have ablution, he should take the socks off and put them on back again with a new ablution. If a person still preserves his ablution even if the deadline of wiping ends, then he should only take the socks off and wash his feet and wear them back on.

2.  One or both of the socks coming out of the feet. When one sock comes out, a person should take the other one off and take ablution or if he has ablution, he should wash his feet and put them back on. Feet coming out up to the leg of the socks means it has completely come out.

3. If one of the feet becomes mostly wet in the socks due to water entering in the socks.

4. The case of impurity, menstruation and puerperium, which necessitates a complete ablution (ghusl) of the body.

5. Having a three-finger-sized rip on the socks as measured according to the size of the smallest finger on a foot. (al-Kasani, ibid, I, 12-13; Ibnu’l Humam, ibid, I, 134-135; Molla Khusraw, a.n.b, I, 37; Tahtawi, ibid, p. 105-107; al-Fatawa’l-Hindiyya, I, 34-35).

Wiping over a bandage:

Wiping over bandages over body parts which have been injured or wounded or cut is acceptable if washing them is harmful. If a bandage covers more place than the wound, one should wash the extra parts and if this is harmful, though, wiping over the bandage is sufficient. If wiping over the wound is not harmful, it is not acceptable to wipe over the bandage. If wiping over the bandage is also harmful, then wiping should be quitted. It is sufficient to wipe over the most parts of the bandage while wiping.

If the bandage comes out over the wound, if it comes out while praying without the full recovery of the wound, then one can continue to pray. If it comes out when a person does not pray, then he should wrap it again and he does not need to wipe over it again. The time limit of wiping over a bandage depends on the full recovery of the wound. Also, one does not have to have ablution while wrapping the bandage. In wrapping a bandage, a person without ablution is the same as an impure person (due to ejaculation etc.) After the recovery of the wound, if the bandage comes out while praying, the prayer becomes invalid.

If something leaks through the bandage over a wound, it breaks the ablution.

It is not acceptable to wear a sock on a foot while another one has a bandage over it and to wipe over it. It is acceptable to wipe over the socks  worn after that the bandage is wiped and the other foot is washed.

Intention is not necessary while wiping over the bandages. ( al-Kasani, ibid, I, 13-15; Ibnu’l Humam, ibid, I, 140-141; Molla Kusraw, a.n.b, I, 38-39; Tahtawi, ibid, p. 107-110; al-Fatawa’l Hindiyya, I, 35-36).

Saffet KÖSE

Author: Islamic Encyclopedia,

To have more information, please click on the links given below;

What are the necessary conditions for the validity of wiping over (Leather- Made) Socks (Khuffs) ?

Ablution is a problem for working women. Is it sufficient to wipe over thin socks while taking ablution, like wiping over the top of the feet without a complete wash of the feet?

45 When does the time of morning prayer start and end? If I miss the morning prayer, when should I perform it?

The time of morning prayer starts with imsak time and ends when the sun rises. However, it is more virtuous to delay it until it slightly gleams according to Hanafis, but to perform it early when it is still dark according to Shafiis. If the sun rises while one performs a prayer and before he finishes it, the prayer becomes invalidated according to Hanafis. It becomes necessary to perform it again when the time of karahah ends.

If a person who misses the morning prayer performs it after the sun rises and when the time of karahah ends and before the time of karahah for the noon prayer starts, s/he performs both the sunnah and fardh of the morning prayer.

Please click on the link given below;

How to wake up for Salat Al-Fajr (Fajr Prayer)?

46 Could you please give information about “Salah” from the time of prophets up to now? Did other prophets and their Ummahs (community) perform salah?

The times and forms of salah can be different during the time of the other prophets. However, there are hadiths about salah that it has been a kind of worship from the very beginning and there are also verses which tell us that there have been bowing (ruku`) and prostrating (sajda). Some of the verses are as follows:

Hz. Ibrahim prays:

O our Lord! I have made some of my offspring to dwell in a valley without cultivation, by Thy Sacred House; in order, O our Lord that they may establish regular prayer: so fill the hearts of some among men with love towards them, and feed them with Fruits: so that they may give thanks.

O my Lord! make me one who establishes regular Prayer, and also (raise such) among my offspring O our Lord! and accept Thou my Prayer. (Surah Ibrahim, 14/37 and 40).

The following information is given about the prophets Ibrahim, Lot, Ishaq and Jacob:

And We made them leaders, guiding (men) by Our Command, and We sent them inspiration to do good deeds, to establish regular prayers, and to practise regular charity; and they constantly served Us (and Us only). (al-Anbiya, 21/73).

He (Ismail) used to enjoin on his people Prayer and Charity and he was most acceptable in the sight of his Lord. (Maryam, 19/55).

Hz. Luqman advises his child as follows:

O my son! Establish regular prayer, enjoin what is just, and forbid what is wrong. (Luqman, 31/17)

They said:

Oh Shuayb! does thy (religion of) prayer command thee that we leave off the worship which our fathers practised or that we leave off doing what we like with our property? Truly, thou art the one that forbeareth with faults and is right-minded! (Hud, 11/87)

“We inspired Moses and his brother with this message:

Provide dwellings for your People in Egypt, make your dwellings into places of worship, and establish regular prayers: and give Glad Tidings to those who believe! (Surah Yunus, 10/87)

O children of Israel!... Be steadfast in prayer; give Zakat, and bow down your heads with those who bow down (in worship). (Al-Baqara, 2/40-43)

O Mary! worship thy Lord devoutly; prostrate thyself, and bow down (in prayer) with those who bow down. (Surah Aal-e-Imran, 3/43)

He (Jesus) said: I am indeed a servant of Allah: He hath given me revelation and made me a prophet; And He hath made me Blessed wheresoever I be, and hath enjoined on me Prayer and Charity as long as I live. (Surah Maryam, 19/30-31).

They (The Book of People) have been commanded to establish regular prayer.

Nor did the people of the Book make schisms, until after there came to them Clear Evidence. And they have been commanded no more than this: to worship Allah, offering Him sincere devotion, being True (in faith); to establish regular Prayer; and to practise regular Charity; and that is the Religion Right and Straight. (Surah Al-Bayyina, 98/4-5).

47 Why are prayers allocated to five times?

Each time of prayer is the beginning of an important revolution and also a mirror of the divine disposition. It is necessary to glorify and honor Allah more at those times. Prayer, which means thanking and praising, was ordered for the numerous bounties accumulated between two times.

For instance, at the time of the morning prayer, there is a huge day and a lot of tasks awaiting man.  It is an essential need of the spirit to take refuge in Lord and ask for His help for the coming troubles. Man is weak and poor. The weight of those burdens overwhelm him. To know and ask for the help of his Lord gives man peace. Therefore, from this aspect, it is an essential need of the spirit to perform the morning prayer.  

Noon is the time when the spirit of man that is spiritually overwhelmed by the tiring and suffocating weight of the worldly works. So the spirit attains the peace through the noon prayer by turning towards Allah.

Afternoon is the time when the day starts to end and reminds partings. The sun goes away gradually. The day is leaving, the life is going, the world is going towards the Day of Judgment. The heart and the spirit always feel pain due to the partings, they do not want to leave the things that they are interested in and they do not even want to think of it. So, to perform the afternoon prayer at that time is an essential need of the heart and the spirit.

Evening prayer reminds man that with the end of the day life will also end and the Day of Judgment will come. It is shown at the time of evening prayer that the spirit of man is need of taking refuge in Allah’s presence and man is reminded that the world and the worldly things that man is interested in are not of help to him and will leave him alone. 

The time of night prayer is the time when the day closes and it reminds man the silence of the grave and his loneliness. Man is in need of taking refuge in a Lord that will console him and will free him of his loneliness. So by performing night prayer he ascends to His presence.

It is understood from the explanation above how wise it is that five obligatory prayers are allocated to certain times of the day.

48 In places where the time of salat isha (night prayer) does not start or starts but there is very little time, when will the night prayer be performed?

The explanation of the Religious Affairs High Council is given below as a summary – technical terms were omitted because they are not understood easily:

Regions where the day or the night does not appear

Since waqt (time) is a necessary condition and reason of salat (prayer), there are some scholars who hold the view that in places where one or two of the times for prayer does not appear, those prayers are not fard. However, most of the Islamic scholars say that although time is a necessary condition and reason of prayer, the main reason is divine command. Due to the divine command, all of the Muslims are obliged to perform prayers 5 times a day (24 hours). Even if in some regions in the world, some waqts do not appear, and in the regions near the poles, the sun does not rise for days or even for months, a day is 24 hours and the date changes in accordance with it. Therefore, if the time of a prayer does not appear in a region or cannot be determined exactly, prayers are performed by estimating (taqdir).  

When Hazrat Prophet said that Dajjal would stay on the earth for 40 days in the hadith known as Dajjal hadith and that one day of those 40 days would be like one year, another day would be like one month, another like one week and the others would be like ordinary days, the companions asked if it would be enough to perform prayers of one day in those long days. Thereupon, Hazrat Prophet said that it would not be enough and that the prayer times should be estimated.  (Muslim, Kitabu'l-Fitan wa Ashratu's-Sâat, 20).

That hadith clearly shows that the fact that the time of prayer does not appear will not annul the prayer and that in regions and at times when the time of prayer does not appear, prayers should be performed by estimating.  

When the time of isha (night) prayer starts very late and the working people have difficulty, then the prayers of maghrib (evening) and isha (night) can be combined and performed at the time of evening prayer.

It is mentioned in sound (sahih) hadiths that Hazrat Prophet (pbuh) combined zuhr (noon) and asr (afternoon) prayers and evening and night prayers with jam taqdim (early combination) and jam ta’khir (late combination) in extraordinary situations like traveling, rain, mud, etc (Bukhari, Taqsiru's-Salat, 15; Muslim, Salatu'l-Musafirin, 5-6; Tirmidhi, Salat, 282; Abu Dawud, Salat, 274).

Abdullah b. Abbas reported that the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) combined noon and afternoon prayers, and evening and night prayers in Madinah without any compulsory reason like fear or rain to show that there was no trouble for his umma Rasulullah (Muslim, Salatu'l-Musafirin, 6; Tirmidhi, Salat, 26; Abu Dawud, Salat, 274; Ahmad, Musnad, I/223, 251, 283, 346, 354, H.No:1953, 2265, 2557, 3235, 3323).

It is accepted with some small differences in all the sects except Hanafi that noon and afternoon prayers and evening and night prayers can be performed with jam taqdim and jam ta’khir in extraordinary situations like traveling, illness, rain, snow, sleet, fear (Shirbini, Mughni'l-Muhtaj, I/271 et al.; Shirazi, al-Muhazzab, I/104; Ibn Qudama, Mughni, 2/112; Dardir, ash-Sharhu'l-Kabir, I/368; Ibn Hazm, al-Muhalla, III/165-166).

It should be accepted that in places where dusk disappears very late, the difficulty and trouble that is faced while waiting the dusk to disappear is much harder than the difficulties for which mujtahids permitted the combination (jam) of prayers. Since the aim of combining prayers is to eliminate the difficulty, Muslims living in those regions may combine the prayers when necessary.

Accordingly, those who do not have any difficulty can pray at the time stated in calendars. Those who have difficulty can combine the evening and night prayer. 

In addition, it is necessary to show respect to people who perform prayers in compliance with the applications accepted by the majority of Muslims.

49 Does Allah accept the worshipping of a person which is performed incorrectly but sincerely?

Allah accepts every form of worshipping which a person performs incorrectly but sincerely. However, we need to comply with the criteria He sets. Avoiding the obligatory parts of the prayer knowingly and deliberately is against the validity of the prayer and makes a person responsible. Nonetheless, if they are committed unintentionally, our Lord still grants the reward for that prayer. If we make a mistake in obligatory parts of the prayer and we notice this later, we should perform that prayer again. The prayer performed incorrectly in the obligatory parts is considered as a supererogatory prayer. If the parts of the prayer other than the obligatory parts are performed incorrectly, we do not need to perform it again.

50 Since Allah is everywhere, what is the reason why we turn toward the Kaaba while worshipping?

"To Allah belongs the East and the West; whithersoever ye turn, there is Allah's countenance. For Allah is All-Embracing All-Knowing." (al-Baqara, 2/115)

The phrase, "Allah's countenance” is a figurative expression meaning "Allah’s mercy, consent and bounty".

When a person attempts a kind of worshipping or deed in any part of the world, he will find Allah’s grace and mercy there.

The Kaaba does not consist of the stone building only. The Kaaba is like a luminous pole extending from the underground to the sky. The intention of those who turn to the Kaaba is not worshipping the stone but obeying the order of Allah that they worship and turning to the direction that they are ordered because the one that orders us to turn to the direction of the Kaaba when we perform prayers is Allah.

Interpreters agree on the fact that the deeds of Allah cannot be attributed to a certain reason but they also argue about the existence of a certain qiblah and some wisdoms behind the change of the qiblah.

The most important wisdom about determining a certain qiblah is regarded to be the realization of the unity and harmony among Muslims. Accordingly, Allah determined a certain direction and ordered the believers to turn to that direction in order to rule out the delusion that there is a conflict among Muslims, and to enable them to worship in unity and harmony. The fact that Bayt al-Maqdis (Masjid al-Aqsa) was chosen as the qiblah in Makkah was based on the wisdom of discriminating believers from polytheists and the fact that the direction of the Kaaba was changed as it is stated in the following verse: "and We appointed the Qiblah to which thou wast used, only to test those who followed the Messenger from those who would turn on their heels (from the faith). " (al-Baqara, 2/143) was based on the wisdom of discriminating believers from Jews.

51 Could you please give tell me about the Importance of the Prayer and Our Duty toward God?

Unawareness of its importance

The most important reason why a person does not pray is his unawareness of its importance. A number of Muslims who are unaware of how important and precious it is to pray use sentences like “you have got work to do, you can perform it later.” Or “ anyway, you can pray later”. However, praying is so important that it is the most important reason for the creation of humans. Just think about this for once: God states in the Qur’an : “I have not created the jinn and humankind but to (know and) worship Me (exclusively).” (the Qur’an, adh-Dhariyat, 51:56). Who on earth can say a word over this? Both our Lord and the Prophet (pbuh) indicate that praying is the most important way of worshipping. Is it possible to think about something different when such a fact has been clearly given? Allah, Who is the creator of us and everything and Who gives us life and makes us die and Who will call us to account for our deeds and give infinite rewards or punishment in the end, states very clearly that He has created us so that we will worship and pray and He insistently commands the prayer. By abandoning the prayer due to various excuses, we deceive ourselves and we bury our heads into sand, Let us wake up from the heedlessness we are in. Let us perform our prayers on time, without a delay, as soon as the adhan is recited, correctly and properly. If we do not wake up right now, we should know that it will be too late when we wake up in Hell.

It never ends, we get bored of it

Perhaps, our souls might say, “Praying never ends. We get bored because we perform it constantly”. Such words are games our souls play on us. We eat every day, we drink and breathe. Do we get bored of them? Have you ever heard anyone say, “I got fed up with eating”? It is impossible because we take pleasure from them. Do we not get pleasure from praying? Coming into the presence of the One, The Creator of All, telling Him about our problems and asking help from Him, attaining the conformity for our hearts and tranquility for the spirit He granted, are these not the greatest pleasures? Have you ever met anyone who performs the prayer but still complains? Can we find just a single person who says, “I have become so tired, I have felt distressed. I performed my prayers but I ended up in evil deeds.”? On the contrary, whoever performs the prayer is in peace and comfort because praying is the nourishment for our minds, hearts and spirits. For this reason, no one should get bored with praying. The mind, the heart and the spirit are pleased with praying. Only our souls who listen to satan may deny it. It is necessary to fight with him, tame our souls and even force them to come into the presence of Allah.

I have too many things that hinder me from praying…

Do not stop at anything that may hinder you from praying. You can be sure that if you do not stop, Allah, Who calls you for the prayer, will make any obstruction which you may encounter servile under your feet. Try it. Which army can stop you when you have God, Who seizes the universe from its carotid artery, by your side! Which satan will be able to block you from that great meeting? I know, we all confront many excuses. Perhaps, the reason why we cannot perform our prayer is not always our interest in it. Are you totally worn out? Are you completely sick? Are your time and seconds stuck in a press? You can at least perform the obligatory parts of the prayer. Obligation is the minimum limit that keeps our connection with Allah. You may fall in a void if you are to cut this connection. We are not strong wirewalkers that are so strong as to remain unaffected by any wind. We are walking on this wire of life under the hail of bullets that target our hearts. If we are to quit obligations that connect us with the infinity of heavens, there is a possible danger of not re-clutching the rope that we have fallen down from. If you do not perform a prayer on time, you may possibly not perform the other. Once disconnected, you are prone to hit the ground unless the forgiving mercy seizes you. Those who left the hold of the parachute of prayer hit the ground so severely that their bodies could not recover after hitting the rocks.  

The soul never gets full and satisfied; it continues asking for more. It will ask for more as soon as you make a small concession. If it takes the hold of your hand, it will seek to chop your head off. Those who greets the soul, will be indebted to it. The choice is yours. Whose mercy will you expect to take the hold of your heart of which you do not stretch? If one day, satan marches over you with his tanks he made from all of the excuses and if your soul wants to drift your heart away with its chains on it, remember then from whom you are desired to be detached. This detachment is not like the one from parents, from lovers or the motherland. Detachment from the very reason of life could not be more sorrowful. See whom you are desired to be detached from. Then you will find out how you are going to become as strong as a lion and to have a will as strong as steel. Then no obstruction will be able to detach you from your Creator. For the prayer, you must act like a forward player or a goalkeeper. The eyes of both of these are on the ball. The player watches the ball thinking “ How can I score a goal?”. And likewise, the goalkeeper watches the ball thinking “I must not let the ball in the goal”. They consider losing the chance to score a goal or letting the ball in the goal to be as painful as death. They know millions of football fanatics are watching them. They will become happy by their success and grieved by their failure.

Have you ever thought who watches us when adhan is recited for the prayer? Our Lord waits for us at first. Angels, prophets, saints whom we do not see but whose spiritual presence we feel around want us to run for the prayer. They become happy if we come into presence of Allah in excitement but if we ignore praying, they fall into sadness. Would you then ignore?
Considering that in our religion the greatest truth after belief is the prayer, our minds, our hearts, spirits and emotions must be filled with the prayer and must be satisfied with it; and the joy and excitement of meeting Allah should fill all of our cells. Pay attention: I am writing these with a mentality which refuses even a single delay and neglect of the prayer. I am not addressing only those who never pray. In this case, none of us can leave aside with a consideration “ we are already performing our prayers”. Look at the things we present as excuses for lateness, ignoring, and careless performing of the prayer! Could you tell me please which one is indispensable, for the sake of God?

The prayer should fill our personality so much that we should arrange our time and place and work according to it. The first thing that my dear mother used to put in her bag when she went to hospital for treatment was her prayer rug. No matter how hard the conditions were and how busy she was, the first thing she did was performing the prayer when its time came. What would we lose if we acted like that?

So as not to be defeated by things which may hinder you from praying, you should prepare a sustainable defense lest the soul should score a goal against you. If you wear such an armor of mentality, you then should have no doubt that Allah will create opportunities that you cannot even imagine.  If you desire to be subject to him and live with the excitement of praying, He then grants you time, place and opportunity. He even makes people serve for you.

52 Is it permissible for a Muslim to close his/her eyes without any excuse while praying?

Closing eyes while praying is makrooh. In one of the hadiths, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said, “When you stand for prayer, do not close your eyes.''

It is Sunnah to look at the place of prostration, with closing eyes, this Sunnah will be abandoned. However, here what is makrooh is tanzihan makrooh that is it is not a great sin.

However, eyes can be closed in order to achieve khushoo and spiritual zest so that one can avoid looking at a thing which is not permissible or when there are things that may distract him/her from his/her prayer or with the aim of disconnecting him/her from visible things.

Mehmed Paksu Aileye Özel Fetvalar

53 What is the reason why Shafiis raise their hands when they stand up after bowing down (ruku’)?

According to Hanafis and Malikis, it is not sunnah to raise hands before ruku’ or after ruku’ except the takbir of iftitah because there is not a sound hadith reported from Hazrat Prophet (pbuh) regarding the issue. The evidence they base their view on is this hadith, reported by Ibn Umar: “Hazrat Prophet (pbuh) raised his hands when he started the prayer and he did not raise his hands after that.”(1)

The second evidence is the act of Ibn Masud (may Allah be pleased with him). He said, “Shall I lead the prayer for you as the Messenger of Allah did?” He led the prayer; he did not raise his hands except for the takbir of iftitah. In another narration, the following is stated: “He raised his hands at the beginning; he did not raise them again after that.”(2)

The following is also reported: “I performed prayers together with the Messenger of Allah (pbuh). I also performed prayers with Abu Bakr and Umar. They did not raise their hands except for the takbir of iftitah.”(3)

According to Shafiis, and Hanbalis, it is sunnah to raise both hands, while bowing down and after bowing down along with the takbir of iftitah because it is definite by the narration reported from twenty-one companions in mutawatir sunnah.(4)

One of them is the hadith of Ibn Umar, which are agreed on unanimously. He said, “When Hazrat Prophet (pbuh) stood for the prayer, he raised his hands up to his shoulders and then uttered takbir. When he wanted to bow down, he raised his hands like the first takbir and said, “Sami allahu liman hamidah. Rabbana wa lakal hamd.” (Allah has heard the one who praised Him. O our Lord! praise be to you!) (5)

Shafiis also added the following to the statement that is true according to them: As a matter of fact, it is also the view of Nawawi: “It is mustahab (recommended) to raise the hands after standing up from the first sitting (tashahhud).

The evidence for it is the hadith of Nafi. Nafi said, “When Ibn Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) started the prayer, he uttered takbir and raised his hands. When he bowed down, he raised his hands. Ibn Umar attributed it to Hazrat Prophet (pbuh)” (6)

Footnotes:

(1) Hafiz Ibn Hajar said, “That hadith is bu hadis maqlub (changed) and mawdu (fabricated)”. Naylu’l-Awtar

(2) That hadith was reported by Abu Dawud, Nasai and Tirmidhi. Tirmidhi said the hadith was hasan (good and acceptable but not as strong as sahih (sound)). Nasbu’r-Raya,I,394.

(3) That hadith was reported by Daraqutni and Bayhaqi and it is weak. In fact, it is mursal (hurried). ibid I, 396

(4) an-Nazmu’l-Mutanasir Minal-Hadithi’l-Mutawatir, 58,

(5) Naylu’l-Awtar, II, 179-182

(6) Bukhari reported it in his Sahih. Al-Majmu”, III, 424

İslam Fıkhı Ansiklopedisi (Prof. Dr. Vehbe Zuhayli), Volume II

54 Parents and the orders of Allah

Parents are not obeyed about the issues that are contrary to the orders of Allah. A child is not obliged to perform prayers before he reaches puberty. Puberty starts when a boy has a wet dream (ejaculation) or when he becomes 15.

Our Prophet ordered parents to make their young children familiar with prayers when they become 7 years old. They were advised to give more importance to it and beat them slightly if necessary when they become 10 years old. 

When we take into consideration that hadith and the recommendations of scholars based on the hadith, we can say that it is not right for parents to prevent their children from praying. Naturally, it is also necessary to take into consideration the body structure and health of the child.

55 How old should one start to perform prayers?

Islam advises that a child should be made used to praying when he is seven and should be made pray when he is ten. In order to have a career or job, a person starts school at the age of six or seven. He faces all kinds of troubles in order to obtain knowledge, attain worldly ranks, and to earn money. Since all of these are done in order to live comfortably in this world, isn’t it necessary to work harder for the eternal life? Isn’t it necessary to endeavor to obtain the high ranks, eternal tastes and pleasures of Paradise?
The way to do it is to know Allah, which is the aim of the creation of man, to believe in Him and to worship him. To this end, man should try to learn the fundamentals of belief, the pillars of Islam, the sunnah of the Prophet (PBUH), who was sent as the unchangeable guide, before pubescence. When he enters the pubescent age, he should carry out the orders of Allah and avoid His prohibitions and apply what he learnt. To learn and apply them is not something that man cannot do; Allah burdens no man beyond his capacity. (al-Baqara, 286)
A person who obeys Allah will attain the eternal Paradise, a person who disobeys Him, will suffer punishment and will feel the discomfort and uneasiness in the world.
“You can't teach an old dog new tricks” is a famous proverb. Therefore a person who does not learn the orders of the religion and who does not get used to applying them when he is young will have great difficulty in learning them when he is old. He will find them very hard to do. He will have difficulty in reciting. Therefore it is necessary to say to the children, “Come to prayer” and make them get used to praying before they reach pubescence.
If a person does not receive a strong belief lesson when he is a child, later he can embrace the principles of Islam and belief with great difficulty. It will be as difficult as a non-Muslim’s embracing Islam; he becomes somewhat wild. Especially if he does not see anything about religion from his parents and if he is educated only through worldly sciences, he will get wilder (Nursi, Emirdağ Lahikası, rnk Neşriyat, İstanbul, 2005).

56 Is it a sin to perform the prayer at the end of the time for that prayer? Can the prayer be performed as soon as the adhan is recited?

When a Companion asked the Prophet what the most virtuous deed was, he said, "It is the prayer performed on time." (Bukhari, Mawaqit 162)

"Allah’s contentment and pleasure is present for the prayer performed at the beginning of the time for that prayer and Allah’s forgiveness is present for the prayer performed at the beginning of the time for that prayer." (Tirmidhi, Mawaqit 13)

In fact, as it is understood from the hadiths above, in general, we can say that it is mustahab (recommended) to perform the prayer at the beginning of the time for that prayer. However, in the sunnah of the Prophet, it is regarded more virtuous to perform some prayers at a later time than the beginning of the time for those prayers taking into consideration the season, climate and similar causes. For instance, some of the narrations regarding the night (isha) prayer are as follows:

“The Prophet Loved to delay the night prayer to the time called atama (the time when the first one-third of the night passed) and he disliked sleeping before it and speaking after it." (Bukhari, Mawaqit 13-20,  Muslim, Masajid 218-225; Nasai, Mawaqit 20)

“Allah’s Messenger once delayed the night prayer to the half of the night. Then he came to us turning his face toward us – it is as if I see the brightness of his ring now – and said, "People performed the prayer and went to sleep. You get the reward of the prayer as long as you stay awake and wait for the prayer." (Bukhari, Mawaqit 25, 40; Muslim, Masajid 223)

"If I did not want to cause trouble for my ummah, I would order them to delay the night prayer until the first one-third of the night passed." (Tirmidhi, Mawaqit 10)

Accordingly, Hanafis regard it mustahab to delay the night prayer until the first one-third of the night passed, mubah (permissible) until half of the night passed and makruh (abominable) after half of the night passed. Some Hanafi scholars regard it makruh tahrimi while others regard it makruh tanzihi. However, it is necessary to state that delaying it is mustahab in winter. In summer, it is mustahab to perform the night prayer at an earlier time since the nights are short in summer.

As for the other issue in the question,

When the time for a prayer starts, the prayer of the previous time is missed. When that prayer is performed, it is performed as missed (qada) prayer. That is, when the time ends, the time for that prayer ends, too.

One of the fards (conditions) of prayer is the starting of the time for that prayer. For instance, we cannot perform the noon prayer before the time for the noon prayer starts. The time for performing a prayer starts with the starting time for that prayer and ends when the time for the next prayer starts. We can perform the prayer between those two times.

Suppose that you delayed the noon prayer. The time for the afternoon prayer was near. You started to perform the noon prayer. While performing the first rakah of the noon prayer, the time for the afternoon prayer started. What should you do? You should complete the prayer because the following is stated in a hadith, “A person who reaches one rakah of a prayer is regarded to have reached that prayer.” According to Hanafi and Hanbali madhhabs, if a person reaches the takbir of iftitah at the stated fixed time of a prayer, he is regarded to have reached the whole prayer. (Vehbe Zuhayli, İslam Fıkhı Ansiklopedisi, v. 1 p. 400.)

However, it is necessary t be careful when one performs the morning prayer and the afternoon prayer. It is not permissible to perform prayers while the sun is rising in the morning and when it is setting in the evening so as not to resemble those who worship the sun. Therefore, it is necessary to finish the morning prayer 1 or 2 minutes before the sun rises and the afternoon prayer before the sun sets.    

It is necessary to be careful not to delay the afternoon prayer near the sunset. It is makruh to perform the afternoon prayer when the time for the sunset is near. Although it is abominable, it is permissible.  

The time for the morning prayer starts with imsak and ends with the sunrise. However, according to Hanafis, it is better to perform it near the sunrise; according to Shafiis, it is better to perform it a little while after imsak.  

If the sun rises while performing the morning prayer and before it finishes, the prayer is invalidated according to Hanafis. It is necessary to perform it again after the time of karahah. 

If a prayer is performed in the last ten minutes of that prayer time and when the next prayer time starts, the next prayer is performed, it becomes valid for the noon prayer and the evening prayer. If someone does so due to a necessity, the prayer is regarded valid. Our Prophet delayed the noon prayer and then performed the afternoon prayer just after it during a journey.  

However, it is more virtuous to perform prayers at the beginning of the fixed prayer time. One can perform the prayer even at the latest time; it is necessary to miss a prayer.

57 The Prayers are fine, but to perform them every single day five times is a lot. Since they never end, doesn’t it become wearying?

Answer: Listen to the four reasons below and then decide.

1.      Your life is not eternal. You may die next year, maybe tomorrow. What causes you boredom is that you fancy you shall live for ever. You complain as though you will remain in the world for pleasure eternally. If you had understood that your life is brief, and that it is departing fruitlessly, to spend one hour out of the twenty-four on a fine, agreeable, easy, and merciful act of service, that is, prayer, which is the means to the true happiness of eternal life, surely does not cause boredom, but excites a real eagerness and agreeable pleasure.   

2.      Every day you eat bread, drink water, do they cause you boredom? They do not, because since the need is repeated, it is not boredom, but pleasure, that they give. In which case, the five daily prayers should not cause you boredom, because they are the food of your heart, life source of you spirit, and the development of your subtle faculties. Indeed, the sustenance and strength of a heart which is afflicted with infinite grief and sorrows and captivated by infinite pleasures and hopes may be obtained by knocking through supplication on the door of One All-Compassionate and Munificent.

3.      Yes, man who, by its nature, desires eternal life and was created for eternity and who is a mirror of the Pre-Eternal and Post-Eternal One and who has a conscious inner sense which is infinitely delicate and subtle, is surely most needy for air in the sorrowful, crushing, distressing, transient, dark, and suffocating, conditions of this world and can only breathe through the window of the prayers.

O man who is weary of performing prayers! The troubles of yesterday have today been transformed into mercy. The pain has gone while the pleasure remains and the hardship turned into reward. In which case, you should not feel wearied at it, but make a serious effort to continue with a new eagerness and fresh enthusiasm. As for future days, have not yet arrived, and to think of them now and feel bored and wearied is a lunacy like thinking today of future hunger and thirst, and starting to shout and cry out. Since the truth is this, if you are reasonable you will think of only today in regard to worship. And say: "I am spending one hour of it on a agreeable, pleasant, and elevated act of service, the reward for which is high and whose trouble is little." Then your bitter dispiritedness will be transformed into sweet endeavor.

4.      O man who is weary of performing prayers! Is this duty of worship without result? Is its recompense little that it causes you weariness? Whereas if someone was to give you a little money, or to intimidate you, he could make you work till evening, and you would work without slacking. So is it that the prescribed prayers are without result, which in this guest-house of the world are sustenance and wealth for your impotent and weak heart, and in your grave, which will be a certain dwelling-place for you, sustenance and light, and at the Resurrection, when you will anyway be judged, a document and patent, and on the Bridge of Sirat, over which you are bound to pass, a light and a mount?

Someone promises you a present worth a hundred liras, and makes you work for a hundred days. You trust the man who may go back on his word and work without slacking. So if One for Whom the breaking of a promise is impossible, promises you recompense like Paradise and a gift like eternal happiness, and employs you for a very short time in a very agreeable duty, if you do not perform that service, or you act accusingly towards His promise or slight His gift by performing it unwillingly like someone forced to work, or by being bored, or by working in halfhearted fashion, you will deserve a severe reprimand and awesome punishment. Have you not thought of this`? Although you serve without slacking in the heaviest work in this world out of fear of imprisonment, does the fear of an eternal incarceration like Hell not fill you with enthusiasm for a most light and agreeable act of service, that is, prayer?

With the right intention, all the other acts of someone who performs prayers become like worship. He can make over the whole capital of his life to the hereafter in this way. He can make his transient life permanent in one respect.

58 Is there a hadith meaning a person who accounts for daily prayers will attain salvation?

The hadith regarding the issue is as follows:

"The first thing about which a person will be called to account out of his actions on the Day of Judgment is prayer. If the prayers are perfect, things will be good for him and he will benefit from it. If his prayers are defective, he will lose and suffer. If some of his fards are missing, Our Lord, the Exalted, will say to the angels, “See if he has some optional prayers. If there are optional prayers, the missing parts of fards will be completed by them. Then, all the actions will be considered similarly." (Tirmidhi, Mawaqit 188; see Abu Dawud, Salat 149; Nasai, Salat 9; Ibn Majah, Iqamah 202)

The fact that man will be accounted for daily prayers first on the Day of Judgment shows the importance of daily prayers among the kinds of worship. In fact, it is clear that prayer, which makes a person stand in the presence of God five times a day, cannot be compared to anything.  

To put it as the Messenger of Allah said, Prayer is the ascension (miraj) of a believer. (Suyuti, Sharhu Ibn Majah, 1/313) It can be considered as the indicator of the salvation of man and his state in other fields of life. For, "Prayer restrains from shameful and unjust deeds." (al-Ankabut, 29/45) A person who performs prayers five times a day performs material and spiritual cleansing.

If a believer spends his life with this consciousness and performs prayers properly, he will account for his prayers easily; and it is understood that he will account for the other issues easily, too. A believer who spends his life with consciousness of prayer will be responsive in other fields of life and lead a life in compliance with the consent of his Lord. 

On the other hand, prayer is a fard that is the right of Allah; a person performs it only due to his responsibility toward Allah. However, there are many duties that we need to fulfill so that this fard will be accepted by Allah. Avoiding violating other people’s rights has an important place among them. 

We can say that the reason why a person is accounted for his duties and responsibilities toward Allah is that his violation of other people’s rights will be paid from his rewards. 

Accordingly, it is understood that a person who has performed his prayers properly and has accounted for them easily will account for other kinds of worship easily, too. It does not mean that a person who has accounted for prayers will not be accounted for other kinds of worship.

As a matter of fact, the phrase,“then, all the actions will be considered similarly” in the hadith shows clearly that he will be accounted for other actions. That is, the other fards like zakah (alms), fasting, hajj will also be accounted and if they there are any missing parts in them, they will be atoned by the optional kinds of prayers like sadaqa, supererogatory fasting, hajj, etc. Allah’s grace and grant are abundant.  

This hadith states how important it is to fulfill fards fully and properly along with keeping performing supererogatory worship. Supererogatory worship can be related to all kinds of worship. Supererogatory prayers, fasting, hajj, sadaqa except zakah and several other charities are included in this group. Some scholars say that what is meant by supererogatory worship here is the awe in daily prayers, dhikr and supplication of a person because all of them are deeds that are rewarded by Allah.

To sum up:

-    The first deeds that a person will be accounted for by Allah are the worship called huququllah (rights of Allah), which we are responsible to Allah only.

-    The first deed to be accounted for among huququllah is five daily prayers.

-    The missing parts of fard prayers are completed by supererogatory worship.

-    To keep performing supererogatory worship is beneficial for believers both in the world and in the hereafter.

-    On the Day of Judgment, people will be accounted for what they have done in the world.

59 How would you answer the claim that the word salah mentioned in the Quran does not mean daily prayers?

- First of all, it is necessary to know that the terminological meanings not lexical meanings of the commands and prohibitions in Islam are essential. Lexical meanings can be used to clarify issues. 

Otherwise, a word has several lexical meanings. Which meaning shall we act upon? For instance, one of the important meanings of “salah” is “dua” (prayer, supplication). Can supplication replace daily prayers? It can’t. It has other meanings, too. Which one shall we prefer?

Our method here is the sunnah of Hazrat Prophet. We will look at how he performed prayers. As a matter of fact, in all fiqh books, the form of prayers is taken from the following hadith: “Perform prayers in the same way as you see me.” (Bukhari, Kitabu’l-Adhan, 18; Darimi, Salat, 43; Ibn Hanbal, 5/52)

- The meaning of the wordhajj is to intend to do something, to orientate toward something. If someone says, “I intend to perform hajj”, will he regarded to be a hajji?  The Prophet said, while performing hajj, “I might not come to hajj again; I may die; I might not meet you here again. Therefore, learn the worship of hajj from me.” (Kanzu’l-Ummal, h. no: 12302)

- All of the words that are used to express commands and prohibitions have both lexical and terminological meanings. What is essential is the meaning put forward by the Quran, Sunnah and the scholars of Ahl as-Sunnah.

A person who denies that 17 rak’ahs of prayers, which are fard every day and which have certain parts, exits Islam because there is no other issue that has been presented as clearly as daily prayers for fourteen centuries.

There is nothing hidden about the principles, rak’ahs, prostrations and similar parts of the prayer that Hazrat Prophet performed every day and thousands of people performed together and millions of Muslims performed every day throughout history.

- The best  answer to the question is as follows: "If anyone contends with the Messenger even after guidance has been plainly conveyed to him, and follows a path other than that becoming to men to Faith, We shall leave him in the path he has chosen, and land him in Hell,-what an evil refuge." (an-Nisa, 4/115)