Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Night Of Power And Destiny


The last of the Meccan phase of Muhammad's life is noted for alternate fortunes ranging between two extremes: gradual success and continual persecution. However, glimpses of favorable lights were appearing manifest on the distant horizon, to ultimately materialize in the event of the Prophet's Night Journey to Jerusalem and then Ascension through the Spheres of the Heavens.

As for its exact date, there is a difference of opinion about it. The following are the views about when it occurred:
  1. The Night Journey occurred during the year in which Allah honored Muhammad with Prophethood.
    This view was chosen by Imam at-Tabari.
  2. It occurred five years after the beginning of his Prophethood.
    This is the view preferred by Imam an-Nawawi and al-Qurtubi.
  3. It was the night of the 27th of Rajab during the tenth year of Prophethood.
    This view was chosen by 'Allamah al-Mansurpuri.
  4. It was sixteen months prior to the Migration to Medina,
    during Ramadan of the twelfth year of Prophethood.
  5. It was one year and two months prior to the migration to Medina
    meaning al-Muharram during the thirteenth year of Prophethood.
  6. It was one year prior to the migration,
    during Rabi'ul-Awwal in the thirteenth year of Prophethood.

The first three views are to be dismissed on the basis of the death of Sayyiduna Khadijah which was in Ramadan during the tenth year of Prophethood. She died before the five daily prayers were made obligatory, and there is no difference of opinion over the fact that the five prayers were made obligatory during the Night Journey.

As for the remaining three views, there is no sign indicating a preference for one over the other, except that the context of Surat al-Isra' supports that the Night Journey was very late on the timeline.

The Imams of Hadith narrate a number of details about this event the following of which is a summary:

ibn al-Qayyim said, "Allah's Messenger was carried physically — according to the most correct view — from the Sacred Mosque in Mecca to Baytul-Maqdis in Jerusalem, riding on al-Buraq in the company of Archangel Gabriel. There, he alighted, tied the horse to a ring in the gate of the Mosque and led the Prophets in prayer.


Then, he ascended above Baytul-Maqdis to the lowest Heaven. Angel Gabriel sought permission to enter.


It was opened and he saw Adam, the Forefather of Mankind. The Prophet greeted him and Adam welcomed him, returned his greeting, expressed his faith in Muhammad's Prophethood. He saw the souls of martyrs on his right and those of the wretched on his left.


Gabriel then ascended with the Prophet to the second Heaven, sought entry and there he saw and greeted peace unto John, son of Zechariah, and Jesus, son of Mary. They returned his greeting, welcomed him and expressed their faith in his Prophethood.


Then they reached the third Heaven where they saw Joseph, son of Jacob, and greeted him.
The latter welcomed the Prophet, returned his greeting, and expressed faith in his Prophethood.


The Prophet, in the company of Gabriel, then reached the fourth Heaven where he met Enoch and greeted him. Enoch returned the greeting and expressed faith in his Prophethood.


Then he was carried to the fifth Heaven where he met Aaron and greeted him.
The latter returned the greeting and expressed faith in his Prophethood.


In the sixth Heaven he met Moses and greeted him. The latter returned the greeting and expressed faith in his Prophethood. Muhammad on leaving, saw that Moses began to weep. He asked about the reason. Moses answered that he was weeping because he witnessed a man sent after him as a Messenger who was able to lead more of his people to Paradise than he himself did.

Then Prophet Muhammad reached the seventh Heaven and met Abraham and greeted him.
The latter returned the salutation and expressed faith in his Prophethood.


Then he was carried to as-Sidrat al-Muntaha, the remotest Lote Tree in Paradise, and was shown al-Bayt al-Ma'mur, the Oft-Frequented House, encompassed daily by seventy thousand angels, so that the angels who once encompassed it would not have their turn again till the Resurrection.


He was then presented before Allah. He was brought near such that he was at the distance of two bow's length or less. Allah revealed to His servant as He willed, ordaining fifty daily prayers for him. On his return, he spoke to Moses, informing him that his followers had been enjoined to pray fifty times a day. Moses addressing the Prophet said, 'Your followers cannot perform so many prayers. Go back to your Lord and ask for a decrease in number.'
The Prophet turned to Gabriel, he nodded, 'Yes, if you desire,' and ascended with him back to the Court of Allah, Almighty, Glorious and Exalted is He, where He reduced the prayers by ten.
The Prophet then descended and reported that to Moses, who again urged him to request a further reduction. Muhammad once more begged his Lord to reduce the number still further. He went again and again at the suggestion of Moses for reduction in the number of prayers till these were reduced to only five.
Moses again asked him to implore for more reduction, but he said,
'I feel ashamed now of repeatedly asking my Lord for reduction. I accept and resign to His Will.'
When Muhammad went farther, a Caller was heard saying,
'I have imposed My Ordinance and lightened the burden of My servants.'"

ibn al-Qayyim and ibn Taymiyyah mentioned that there is some difference over whether the Prophet saw Allah or not. The result of the research into this matter being that seeing Him with the eye is not confirmed as a saying of any of the Companions, and that what is reported from ibn Abbas is seeing in general does not negate the first view. As for the saying in Surat an-Najm,

"Then he approached and came closer." [53:8]
The general consensus is that it is not the approach of the story of the Night Journey and Ascension, because, the approach mentioned in the Chapter of the Star relates to Archangel Gabriel and his coming closer to him, as stated by 'Aisha and ibn Mas'ud, and the rest of it supports that. As for the approach and coming closer that is mentioned in the Hadith of the Ascension, that clearly is about the Lord, Blessed and Most High, and his coming closer to Him. This is not contradicted by Surat an-Najm. Rather it merely that he saw him another time at Sidratul-Muntaha, and the 'him' in question is Archangel Gabriel, since Muhammad saw him manifested in his true holy visage twice: once on Earth, and once at Sidratul-Muntaha. Allah knows best.


In some of the narrations it is reported that his chest was also split on this occasion. Among the things the Prophet witnessed during this event are the following:

He was presented with milk and wine. He chose the milk, and it was said,
"You have chosen wisely. Had you selected the wine, your nation would have been misled."


The Prophet saw two manifest rivers, — the Nile and the Euphrates  — and two hidden ones. It appears that the signification of the two manifest rivers, the Nile and the Euphrates, is that they symbolically describe the area in whose fertile valleys, Muhammad's Message would settle, the two hidden rivers being those in Paradise.


He had the opportunity to see Moloch, the Keeper of Hell, guarding the Gates with a terrifying frowning face. He saw Paradise and the Fire. He saw those who unjustly consume the property of orphans. They had snouts similar to those of camels, swallowing red-hot stones and then issuing it out of their backs. There were also people who take interest and usury with bellies too big to be able to move around; they are trodden by the people of Pharaoh when these are admitted into Hell. In the same abode, he saw the adulterers and fornicators offered a tasty fatty meat and a rotten smelly one but they always chose the latter. The licentious women were made to hang from their breasts.


The Night Journey raised a good deal of stir among the people and the disbelieving audience plied Muhammad with all sorts of questions. He told them that he saw the camels of Meccan merchants going to and fro. He also guided them to some of their animals that went astray. He informed them that he had drunk some of their water while they were fast asleep and left the container covered.


The disbelievers, however, found it a suitable opportunity to laugh at the Muslims and their creed. They pestered the Prophet with questions as to the description of the Mosque at Jerusalem, where he had never gone before and, to the astonishment of all, the Prophet's replies furnished the most accurate information about that city. He supplied them with all the news about their caravans and the routes of their camels.

However, all this increased in them nothing but flight from the Truth, and they accepted nothing but disbelief.

For the true Muslims, however, there was nothing unusual about the Night Journey. The Almighty, Allah, Who is Omnipotent, capable of creating the Heavens and the Earth by the mere act of His Will, is surely Powerful enough to take His Messenger beyond the Heavens and show him those signs of His directly, which are inaccessible and unseen to Man otherwise — the Ghaib.


The disbelievers, on their part, when to see Abu Bakr on account of this event, and he readily said,
"Yes, I do verify it."
It was on this occasion that he earned the title as-Siddiq  — the One who verifies the Truth.

The most eloquent and most concise justification of this Journey is expressed in Allah's Words:

"...in order that We might show him Our Signs." [Quran 17:1]
The Divine rules as regards the Prophets are as follows:

"Thus did We show Abraham the Kingdom of the Heavens and the Earth that he be of those who have affirmed Faith." [Quran 6:75] 
To Moses, his Lord said:
"That We may show you some of Our Greater Signs," [Quran 20:23]
In order that:
"...he be of those who have affirmed Faith." [Quran 6:75]
The Prophets, after seeing Allah's Signs, will establish their Faith on solid certainty too immune to be parted with. Indeed, actual observation is not the equal to mere information. They are in fact eligible for this Divine Privilege because they are ones who will bear burdens too heavy for other ordinary people to carry, and in the process of their mission, they will regard all worldly trials and sufferings too small to care about.

There are simple facts that emanate from this blessed Journey, and flow along into the flowery garden of the Prophetic biography, peace and blessings of Allah be upon its subject, Muhammad. The story of the Night Journey as we see in the Noble Quran is summarized in the first Verse of Suratul-Isra' and then there is a quick shift to uncover the shameful deeds and crimes of the Jews, followed by an admonition saying that the Qur'an guides to that which is most Just and Righteous. This arrangement is not in fact a mere coincidence. Jerusalem was the first scene of the Night Journey, and herein was the Covenant with the Jews which clearly laid out that they would be removed from Divine Favor and the Office of Leadership of Mankind due to the crimes they had committed against God, which no longer justified their occupation of that position.


The Message suggested significantly that the Office of Leadership would be taken over by Allah's Messenger, Muhammad, to hold in his hand both, headquarters of the Abrahamic Faith, the Sacred Mosque in Mecca and the Farthest Mosque in Jerusalem. It was high time for the Spiritual Authority to be transferred from a nation whose history was pregnant with treachery, covenant-breaching and aggression towards another nation blessed with piety and dutifulness to Allah, with a Messenger who enjoys the Privilege of the Quranic Revelation.


There, however, remains a crucial question waiting to be answered: How could this foreseen transition of Authority be effected while the Champion himself was left deserted and abandoned in the hillocks of the Arabian Peninsula?


This question in itself uncovered the secrets of another issue which referred to a phase of the Islamic Call and the appearance of another role it was about to take up, different in its course and noble in its approaches. The forerunners of that new task took the shape of Quranic Verses bearing the direct and unequivocal Warning accompanied by a severe Ultimatum directed to the polytheists and their agents:

"And when We decide to destroy a town, We send a definite Order to those among them who are given the good things of this life. Then, they transgress therein. Thus the Word is justified against them, and We destroy them with Complete Annihilation. 
And how many generations have We destroyed after Noah!
Sufficient is your Lord as Omniscient and Beholder of the Sins of His servants"
[Quran 17:16-17]
Together with these Verses, there were others revealed to show the Muslims the rules and items of the civilizations upon which they could erect their Muslim community, and foretelling their ownership of a piece of land, exercising full freedom over it and establishing a rightful society around whose axis the whole humanity would rotate. Those Verses in reality implied better prospects for the Prophet comprising a secure shelter to settle in, and headquarters safe enough to empower and embolden him to communicate his Message to the entire world as a whole: that was in fact the inner secret of the Blessed Journey. For this very Wisdom and the like we consider it appropriate to suggest that the Night Journey took place either before the First Pledge of 'Aqabah or between the two. Allah knows best.



 — Abu Hisham Safiur Rahman al-Mubarakpuri, ar-Raheeq al-Makhtum

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Essentials Of Islam — Pillars Of Faith

Assalam Walaikum.

In the last article we looked into the fundamentals of the Islamic faith and the tenets of belief that constitute our religion. In this article, I will be presenting an expository of the fundamental pillars of our faith and the rulings of the Sharia regarding them. The article will be covering the following topics:
  • Categories of rulings in Fiqh and Sharia (Islamic Law and Jurisprudence)
  • Principles of Purification, the definition of filth, ritual impurity and ritual purity
  • How to perform wudu, ghusl and tayammum in accordance to the Sunnah
  • Rulings regarding Worship and Salah (ritualistic prayer)
  • How to perform Salah (ritualistic prayer) in accordance to the Sunnah
  • Principles of Zakat and the Fiqh of Fasting
  • A short description of Hajj (the pilgrimage to Mecca)

First and foremost, we start off with the question: who does the rulings of fiqh and sharia apply to? The rulings of fiqh and sharia apply to those members of an Islamic society, community or household who are considered to be morally responsible. Now, what is the definition of a morally responsible person in Islam? In Islam, the definition of a morally responsible person is such that they are a sane human being of absolutely sound mental faculties to whom the Message of Islam has reached in a clear and convincing way. A child or someone autistic, therefore, is not under the jurisdiction of the sharia. However, this does not mean the child in a Muslim family should be absolutely exempt from praying or fasting. Rather, from the age of seven, it is recommended to teach the child of a Muslim family to learn of his moral responsibilities and by the age of ten they are to live by it so when they reach adulthood they are ready, willing and able to carry out their duties as a member of the ummah of Prophet Muhammad.


Now, let us move on to the categories of the rulings of fiqh and sharia. The scholars of Islam have divided these rulings into several categories depending upon their severity and how often their recommendation or prohibition is mentioned and/or repeated in the Quran and Ahadith, and how much weight and pressure is emphasized upon them. Starting off with acts that are recommended, these are of two main categories,
  1. Fard: This is a strict command and it is obligatory. A ruling that is Fard is derived off an authentic and decisive text that is not open to interpretation such as an explicit ordainment from the Quran or a unanimously accepted, mass transmitted Hadith that is Sahih.
  2. Wajib: This is a strict command and it is necessary. A ruling that is Wajib is derived off an authentic yet non-decisive text that is open to interpretation such as an ambiguous verse of the Quran or a Sahih Hadith that is not mass transmitted or even one that is Hasan and not unanimously accepted.
Next, we look at the rulings in regards to acts that are prohibited or discouraged. These are of three categories:
  1. Haram: To avoid it is a firm command and to act upon it is forbidden and sinful. Similar to Fard, the ruling that something is Haram is derived off an authentic and decisive text that is not open to interpretation.
  2. Makruh Tahriman: To avoid it is a firm command and to act upon it is prohibitively disliked and sinful but to a lesser degree than it would be to act upon something Haram. Acting upon something Makruh Tahriman on a regular basis to the point that it becomes habitual is as great a sin as acting upon something that is Haram. Akin to Wajib, the ruling of something to be declared as Makruh Tahriman is based off of an authentic but non-decisive text that is open to interpretation.
  3. Makruh Tanziman: To avoid it is preferable and to act upon it is disliked but not sinful unless done repetitively. The ruling is based off non-decisive and sometimes weak sources. Averting from a Makruh Tanziman action reaps rewards while acting upon it does not incur any punishment if done rarely every once in a while.
The next category of actions is the Sunnah. These are ways of doing everyday things following the method as per the Prophetic Tradition and that of the Righteous Predecessors (as-Salaf as-Saliheen). There are two levels of Sunnah,
  1. Muwaqadah: This is the emphasized Sunnah, that is, actions that the Prophet never used to leave behind and pushed the people to keep. These actions are that which are not from the Prophet's worldly behaviors. Leaving them is blameworthy and leaving them without a valid reason is close to sinful.
  2. Mustahabb: This is the recommended Sunnah, that is, actions that the Prophet frequently did but sometimes left out. Doing them earns rewards. Leaving them is neutral. They are of the Prophet's worldly behaviors.
Imam Ghazali has written about the importance of following the Sunnah and states that if one cannot perform the actions which are of the Sunnah then that person should at least supplicate to God that He may make it easy for them to perform it.

The final category of actions is the Mubah. These are actions that are permitted but they bear no reward nor punishment. However, with the proper intention of wanting to seek the Pleasure of Allah, what is Mubah can be converted into an act that bears reward, that is, it can be made an act of Ibadah (worship). This is why it is said that the most important phase of performing an action is the phase that immediately precedes the action, that is the moment before it when one pauses and clarifies his intentions to please Allah and do it for the Sake of Him. Regarding this, Imam Sufyan ath-Thawri said,
"How many a great action is rendered paltry by their intention and how many a mundane act are exalted to great heights because of their intention."
Even a few words can lead one to committing something great or heinous as the Prophet Muhammad said,
"Sometimes, a little, heedless word may cause one to rise unto Heaven or descend unto Hell."
We have now reached the conclusion of the categorization of deeds and actions in Islam. Following this we will be discussing the Pillars of Islam and the sharia rulings regarding them. It is important to note as of this point that the myriad of classifications and groupings regarding the rulings exist so that the religion may be easier for us to take up and follow. Those who are newly getting into incorporating their deen into their daily lives, they can start with the acts that are strictly Fard and refrain from those that are strictly Haram. Then they can move up the ladder and slowly transition forward at their own pace. May Allah subhana wa ta'ala make our journey for us. Ameen.


The first pillar of Islam is the Shahada, that is, to bear witness that there is no other deity but God and Muhammad is His Messenger. What this entails has been thoroughly explained in the previous article. For now, we will be moving on to the second pillar, the ritual prayer, also known as the Salah. The most important act that precedes the prayer is the ritual purification, also known as ablution or lumination.


The Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, has said,
"Cleanliness is half of faith."
And,
"Islam is clean. So, you should keep yourselves clean. Only the clean people can enter Paradise."
Allah subhana wa ta'ala has said in the Quran,
"Allah loves those who turn to Him constantly and those who keep themselves pure and clean" (2:222)
To establish and preserve a state of cleanliness and purity are important because it is an obligatory requirement for one who intends to perform worship.
"The key to the ritual prayer is cleanliness, its beginning is the takbir and its ending is salam."
Imam Ghazali writes, regarding cleanliness and purification, that every action has two dimensions: the inward and the outward. The outward dimension of purifying oneself constitutes of removing tangible filth from the body whereas the inward dimension of it constitutes of removing the intangible filth such as emotions like anger and hate from the heart and soul. He further divides purification into four categories:
  1. Purification of the Body, that is, cleaning the physical body of dirt and grime;
  2. Purification of the Limbs, that is, cleaning one's deeds and actions of that which is sinful;
  3. Purification of the Heart, that is, cleaning one's emotions of vice and resentment;
  4. Purification of the Soul, that is, cleaning one's desires and intentions of all worldly things leading to distracting the mind away from God.

Purifying ourselves in these four fonts is what shall then allow us to ascend unto a level of consciousness that will present us with the opportunity to gaze upon the Glory and Grace of Allah subhana wa ta'ala.

Starting off the topic of purification, it is important to enlist the focal points of the subject one by one and tackle them subsequently:
  • First of all, we will look into a series of important definitions and terminologies related to the issue of ritualistic purification in Islam,
  • Secondly, we will look into the two states of ritual impurity that require one to perform the ritualistic acts of purification to cleanse oneself before prayer and worship,
  • Thirdly, we will look into the two ritualistic acts of purification in more details, and,
  • Finally, we will look into matters of exception related to the topic of purification in Islam.

In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful, let us begin. The first definition we encounter when it comes to the topic of purification in Islam is that of filth, also known as najasat. What is defined as filth in the field of Islamic Law and Jurisprudence? Filth, in Islam, is defined as all those things coming into physical contact of which makes one ritualistically impure. These are:
  • Urine
  • Feces
  • Semen
  • Blood
  • Corpses
  • the Saliva of Dogs
  • the Flesh of Swine
  • Intoxicating Beverages

Regarding filth, absence of it from the body, clothes and the immediate spot of one's worship is obligatory for the act of worship to be accepted. However, if one is doubtful regarding if the place of worship or the clothing one is wearing for worship actually contains filth or not, then the act of worship is valid since according to the Hanafi School of Law doubtfulness and misgivings do not amount to confirmation hence when one is in doubt about a certain thing, it is best to ignore the doubt and perform the action with resolve since doubts and misgivings are the handiwork of Satan.

The above also applies if one is splashed or smudged by a substance they are not sure of. If whatever solid or liquid is splattered onto one's body or clothes, the default position in the Hanafi school is to assume that the substance is not filth and their state has not been made impure by it.

It is important to note here that in Islamic Law, filth is considered to be of two varieties: visible and invisible. Regarding the former, the ruling is to try to clean as much of it as possible with three washes of water without the need to heat the water or add soap or detergent or any other such material. This much is valid and praying with whatever of the substance remains after such procedures is an accepted act of worship.

Regarding invisible filth, the ruling, due to the difficult nature that this poses for one to find the area of the filth, is that it is accepted for one to merely wash over the area where one thinks it may have been most probable for the filth to have dropped. The washing is to be done thrice with regular water and nothing more is required. After it, the cleaning is considered valid and any act of worship following it is valid.

One final note on the topic of filth that is important to be imparted upon the Seeker is the subject of exemption which dictates that one is exempted from being rendered to a state of impurity from purity if one is dabbed by a mass of five grams of solid filth or a drop of a five centimeter diameter of liquid filth. This amount of filth also does not render water to be used for ghusl or wudu as impure. Nonetheless, it is best to be as free of filth as possible since God surely loves purity and cleanliness.

Next, we look into the definition of two acts that constitute the performance of ritual purification: washing and wiping.


According to the Hanafi School of Fiqh and Sharia, washing pertains to letting water flow over a body part to such an extent that at least two drops of it drip. Wiping refers to gently touching the body part with a wet hand.

Now let us move into the states of impurity that require one to ritualistically purify themselves in Islam. According to the Hanafi School of Law, there are two of these: major and minor. The former requires one to perform ghusl and the latter requires only wudu.

Regarding the major state of impurity, it is called janabah. The actions that lead one to being in a state of janabah are two general for both genders and two specific only to women: the two general ones are intercourse and ejaculation, and the two specific only to women are menstruation and childbirth.

Regarding the minor state of impurity, this is any time when one invalidates their ghusl or wudu by performing an action not among the four listed above. This necessitates one to perform wudu to renew their state of purity before taking part in any act of worship.

It is also a recommended sunnah to perform ghusl before donning the ihram or meeting new people, going to the Jumu'ah prayer, or after committing a major sin and seeking repentance.


For any act of purification to be valid one has to wash thoroughly and not be hasty. Ghusl is basically a shower with the intention of purifying oneself for the sake of Allah. Preceding the ghusl, the sunnah is first to make the intention, then remove all visible filth and wash the private parts, and then perform wudu, following which one starts the ghusl.

During the ghusl the sunnah is to wash the whole body three times, rinse the mouth with gurgling, rinse the nose and the navel. When performing ghusl it is asked of one to not face the Qibla if fully naked and not recite the Quran or any du'a nor make dhikr out loud. It is also highly emphasized not to waste too much water. The Prophet Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wasalam used only two to three liters.


Now we will look at the wudu. The word "wudu" comes from the root word "Wada'a" meaning "radiance," "cleanliness," and "beauty." The concept of wudu is to wash certain parts of the body decreed by Allah.

Once, the Companions asked the Prophet, peace be upon him, how he will recognize his followers on the Final Day that he has not met yet. He told them,
"My people will come with illuminated faces, hands and feet on account of the marks of ablution."
[Sahih Muslim]
The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, also stated that when a person perfects their wudu, their sins shed from their body with the droplets of water dripping off it. Wudu is a necessary condition for one to perform the ritualistic prayer.

According to the Hanafi School of Law, a wudu is considered valid as long as one washes the face from chin to forehead and earlobe to earlobe, washes both hands from the fingertips up to the elbows, wipes the head from the hairline to the neck, and washes the feet up to the ankles. For the men, the water, when washing the face, must reach all the way down to the roots of the beard. This is the skeletal obligations of the wudu. Everything else is sunnah with varying degrees of necessity.

Regarding the sunnah acts of the wudu: it is to start with the niyat (intention); wash the hands up to the wrists three times, first the right and then the left; say bismillah; then rinse the mouth, thrice, brushing the teeth if possible; rinse the nose, thrice; wash the face, thrice; wash the two arms up to the elbows, thrice, first the right and then the left; wipe the head from where the hair begins at the edge of the forehead to where it ends at the neck, then the neck itself and rinse the ears, once; then, finally, wash the feet covering all the way throughout heels and ankles, once.
On a side note, maintaining this order for the washing is sunnah but not fard. This is the Hanafi ruling.

The water for the wudu is to be pure, it must touch the skin of all the mentioned body parts and the person in question cannot be in a state of janabah, which will require ghusl first and then wudu.

When one is in a rush, tired, traveling or merely renewing wudu, then it is advisable for them to complete the four obligatory acts only while the sunnah acts are to be reserved for when at ease.

Finally, we have the matters of exception in purification where we will talk about:
  • The dry ablution, tayammum, and,
  • Wiping over footgear

The dry ablution, that is, the tayammum, is an exception when one cannot find themselves a usable source of water for wudu or if one does not have the physical capability to acquire it. For such circumstances, Allah has allowed us to use dry earth to perform the act of tayammum. This requires full attention of intention to be purified unlike wudu, i.e. if one accidentally falls into a puddle of water and it washes all the required parts of the body then the person's wudu is valid but such is not the case with tayammum.


In order to perform tayammum one must first find a piece of earth free of najasat. They must then say bismillah and make the niyat (intention) for purification following which they strike the earth, life the hands with the palms facing downward, rub them together if there is any dust on it, and then wipe the face. The action is then to be repeated and this time the arms are wiped instead of the face, first the right and then the left. The piece of earth can be of any size. Even a small pebble is acceptable. Walls of brick or stone work too.

All of the rulings regarding wudu and tayammum are derived from the following Quranic Verse:
"O you who have believed, when you rise to perform prayer, wash your faces and your forearms to the elbows and wipe over your heads and wash your feet to the ankles. 
And if you are in a state of janabah, then purify yourselves. 
However, if you are ill or on a journey or one of you comes from the place of relieving himself or you have contacted women and do not find water, then seek clean earth and wipe over your faces and hands with it. 
Allah does not intend to make difficulty for you, but He intends to purify you and complete His Favor upon you that you may be grateful." [5:6]


Next, we will talk about the exceptional case of wiping over footgear. It has been narrated that the Prophet and his Companions used to wipe over their khuffs for wudu during times of travel. In line with that the Hanafi School of Law allows wiping over footgear instead of washing the feet for wudu given that the footgear has the same characteristics as the khuffs which was footworn accessory made of leather.


Therefore the conditions to be met for wiping over the footgear are that it has to be sturdy enough so much so that no water permeates through it. Therefore, the Hanafi madhhab does not allow wiping over cotton or woolen socks.


Regarding the circumstances, the person in question has to be a traveler, that is, he or she must be at the very least forty-eight miles away from their place of residence. The wiping of the footgear is valid from the instance they are wiped for up till the next seventy-two hours.

These are all the matters regarding purification in the Hanafi School of Law. Now we will move on to the subject of the ritualistic prayer, that is, the Salah.


Regarding the Salah, Allah has revealed in the Quran:
"Verily, I am God, there is no deity but Me.
Therefore, serve Me and establish the Prayer for My Remembrance" [20:14]
The two dimensions of the Ritual Prayer, that is, the Salah, is derived and understood from this Verse. The phrase "establish the Prayer" tells us that this is a physical act and this is the outward dimension. The latter portion of the Verse, specifically the word "Remembrance" tells us that this is a spiritual act where one connects their heart and soul to their Lord and this is the inward dimension. It is one of the oft-repeated Commandments in the Quran and its virtues are manifold. If only we knew then we would understand that it is a favor from our Lord and not a duty.

Allah has asked us to pray in His Remembrance and it is to make ourselves humble to Him, sacrificing our dignity and pride to Him by prostrating our head down unto the ground. This how we offer and affirm our Slavehood to God.


This is the central and most serious act of our faith. The Prophet described it as a running river by one's house where one washes themselves of their sins five times a day. He said,
"The example of the five prayers is that of a river running at the door of one of you in which he cleanses himself five times a day." [Sahih Muslim 668]

Prayers must be established out of sincerity and must be done out of the intention to seek God's Pleasure otherwise it, and any other deed devoid of faith, are like filthy rags and dust in the wind.

The validity of the prayer rests upon the conditions that are to be met before the prayer and integrals that are to be acted out during the prayer. There are seven conditions and five integrals. Out of the seven conditions, three relate to the body, two relate to the circumstances and two relate to actions preceding the prayer.

The first condition relating to the body is ritual purity. The second condition relating to the body is that one's body, clothes and immediate place of worship is free of all najasat. The third condition of the body is to cover one's 'awrah: for the men, as per the Hanafi madhhab, it is from below and excluding the navel down to and including the knees; for the women, it is all of the body except for the face, the hands from the fingers up to the wrists and the feet from the toes up to the ankles.


It is a sunnah to stand in prayer wearing one's most modest and dignified of clothing because when praying one is standing before their Lord and since we wear the best of clothing in front of respectable people, it is only sensible to wear such clothing in front of the most Supreme, Magnificent and Exalted of All, Almighty Allah subhana wa ta'ala. Such is the Way of the Prophets and the Salaf as-Salehin.


Next we discuss the two conditions of circumstances. First is to face the direction of the Kaaba. Now, here it is of importance to note that we are asked to face in the direction of the structure and not the structure itself, that is to say, that if, hypothetically, the structure of the Kaaba were to be removed from its place and dislocated somewhere else we will still be praying in the same direction and not in the direction of the new location of the Kaaba. Turning towards the Kaaba is a symbol of our unity that Muslims across all nations, of all tribes and languages turn towards one direction and prays in one tongue whether they be rich or poor, black or white, red or blue. The Kaaba is also a symbol of God's Covenant with Man, specifically Prophet Adam, and is to be revered as such but never worshiped.
As Muslims, we worship none but Allah subhana wa ta'ala alone, Exalted and Most Majestic is He.


The second condition in respect to circumstances is that of time. Regarding the timing of the prayers there are two things that are to be taken into consideration. First, the time has to be in. That is, a prayer cannot be prayed before its prescribed time has arrived. Second, one has to have firm assurance that the time is in. For example, let's say the only way one knows about the timing of the prayers is through an alarm they have set in their phone's clock and the phone's battery just died out. Assuming that the person remembers the timing for the Duhr prayer the previous day was sometime around one fifty or one fifty-five in the afternoon and looking at the clock in their house they see that the time is one fifty-three. However, the person cannot remember the exact time of Duhr the day before and hence they are still unsure. In this scenario, if the person prays now the prayer would be invalid. Rather, it would be best to wait until two and perform the prayer so the person is sure without any misgivings and the worship is valid.
This is the ruling of the Hanafi school of fiqh.


Regarding the conditions to be met before the prayers, the first is the pronunciation of the intention (niyat). The intention consists of three considerations. First is to have firm resolve to perform the action for the Sake of Allah. Second is to have the hope of gaining the Reward of Allah. Third is to have the intention specified before the prayer addressing which prayer is being performed. The particular specification of the prayer is obligatory for the fard prayers. For any other prayer it is only required to make the intention of praying to God.

The best way to make the intention is to pause for a moment before beginning the prayer and bring to mind and heart what one is doing and Who are they about to be facing. It is advisable to not get too caught up with the intention and babble on with long incantations of many words. The locus of the intention is the heart, not the tongue. It will simply suffice to say, "I intend to pray so-and-so many raka'at of so-and-so prayer." As an example, one can just say for the Maghrib prayer, "I intend to pray three raka'at of Maghrib prayer."

The second condition that has to be met before the prayers is the vocal pronunciation of the words, "Allahu Akbar" meaning "God is Great." This is not an integral of prayer but an obligatory action preceding it.


Now we move on to the five integrals of prayer. These are the obligatory actions within the prayer. The first of these is to stand in prayer, if one is physically capable. The second is the reciting of at least one verse of the Quran in the first two raka'at of the fard prayers. Third is the bowing down for ruku to the minimum extent that if one stretches their arms it reaches their knees. The fourth integral action of prayer is complete prostration to the extent that at the very least one hand, the forehead, a knee and the toes of one foot are touching the ground. The fifth and final integral action of prayer is the last sitting which at least has to be the length of time for the tashahhud.

These are the arkan-e-namaz. Performing all of these is obligatory for the prayer to be valid. Everything else is wajib or sunnah. Performing a prayer without those details, as long as these conditions and integrals are met, the prayer is valid but deficient, like a skeleton without flesh, as per the rulings of the Hanafi madhhab of Islamic fiqh.

Regarding the specific rulings of the integrals, the legal ruling of standing is that one has to stand up if one is able. Regarding the inability to stand, these are of two types: actual and effective. The former is when the person in question has no means of standing. The latter is when the person in question is faced with incredible discomfort or unbearable pain when standing. During such circumstances one is allowed to pray sitting on the ground and if even that is impossible then it is asked of them to pray via head movements.

The legal ruling considering the reciting of the Quran: it is obligatory to recite at least one verse of the Quran during the first two raka'at of the prayer. This is the condition for one leading prayer or one praying individually. To do at least this much is fard. As for the one praying behind an Imam, it is makruh tahriman to recite the Quran when praying behind an Imam. The Hanafi school allows one to recite the Quran in their native tongue or whatever language they know the Quran in given that they do not yet know how to recite the Quran in Arabic.


Considering the bowing for ruku, the optimal level of bowing is that if one stretches their hands, the hands reach the knees. For men, it is asked the back is leveled parallel to the ground. For women, the bowing is required to be such as that whichever much is comfortable for them as long as the condition of the hands reaching the knees is met.


Considering the prostration, the optimal level of it is that the forehead touches the ground along with at least one hand, one knee and the toes of one foot.


As for the final sitting, it should be long enough to recite the tashahhud,
"At-taḥiyyātu lillāhi, wa-ṣ-ṣalawātu wa-ṭ-ṭayyibātu as-salāmu ʿalayka ayyuhā n-nabīyyu wa-raḥmatu llāhi wa-barakātuh as-salāmu ʿalaynā wa-ʿalā ʿibādi llāhi ṣ-ṣāliḥīn ašhadu an lā ilāha il-Allāhu wa-ašhadu anna Muḥammadan ʿabduhu wa-rasūluh"
Meaning,
"All prayers, salutations and good deeds are for God. Peace, Blessings and Mercy of God be upon you, O Prophet. Peace be on us and on the Righteous Servants of God. I testify that there is no deity but God, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His Servant and His Messenger."

Now that we have looked into the fard arkan of the prayer, let us look into the wajib. The fard actions and conditions, as mentioned above, make up the skeletal framework of the prayer while the wajib is like the flesh. If a fard is missed out, whether intentionally or mistakenly, then the prayer is invalid and has to be repeated; in the case of an error, this has to be done if and when one remembers. As for the wajib, if it is missed out mistakenly then the prayer is deficient but not invalid whereas if it is missed out intentionally then the prayer is invalid and has to be repeated. If a wajib is missed out by mistake and the person praying notices it while still in prayer then it is asked of them to perform the two prostrations of forgetfulness at the end of the prayer in between the two salams.

The wajib actions of prayer can be classified in a number of ways. The first three are in respect to recitation. The minimum of recitation that is obligatory is to recite at least one verse of the Quran in the first two raka'at of the salah. However, the wajib of recitation dictates that one must recite the Fatiha and then something more to the extent of at least three short verses from the Quran. These are the first two wajib of recitation. The third wajib is to recite the Fatiha and then something to the extent of three short verses from the Quran specifically in the first two raka'at of the obligatory prayers.

What happens if someone fails to recite three verses from the Quran in the second or the first? In such a scenario the person has failed to keep the third wajib but his or her prayer is still valid. He or she, however, must perform the prostrations of forgetfulness at the end of the prayer. Also, in order to make sure the second wajib, that is, to recite the Fatiha and the extent of three short verses from the Quran in two raka'at of the prayer, the person will have to do it in the following raka'at whether it be the third or the fourth. Under ordinary circumstances, though, one does not require to recite other than the Fatiha in the third or fourth raka'ah of the prayer for the fard prayers. In all other prayers, nonetheless, whether they be sunnah, nafl or wajib, one has to recite the Fatiha and something to the extent of at least three short verses of the Quran in all raka'at of the salah.

The fourth and fifth wajib of prayer are to first, perform two successive prostrations in every single raka'ah of the prayer, and, second, remain motionless for every posture of the prayer at least for a moment. The sixth wajib is to sit for the extent of the tashahhud every two raka'at of the prayer. In a four raka'at prayer the final sitting is obligatory and the sitting after the second raka'ah is wajib.

For the conclusion of the prayer, it is wajib to say salam twice, facing the right shoulder first and then the left. It is wajib to at least say "as-Salamu aleykum" and sunnah to add "wa Rahmatullah."

Reciting quietly during the Duhr and 'Asr prayers is wajib. As for every other prayer, when leading a jama'ah, it is wajib for the Imam to recite the surat of the first two raka'at out loud. When praying individually, it is mustahabb for men to recite out loud. The witr prayer is wajib and the qunoot of the witr is the third is wajib. These are the necessary actions of prayer.

Next, we will discuss the sunnah actions of prayer and how to pray perfection according to the sunnah of Rasulullah. Praying according to the sunnah is the key to reaching perfection in prayer. If the fard of the prayer are like the bones of the skeleton and wajib is the flesh, then the sunnah are like the delicate nerves and blood vessels that complete the anatomy.


Missing a sunnah out does not require one to repeat their prayer or perform prostrations of forgetfulness but rather missing them out leads one to miss out the extra rewards of acting out the Prophetic tradition. Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, said,
"Pray as you have seen me pray."
Now, we will learn exactly how this is achieved. The sunnah is of two types: the inward and the outward. The inward sunnah of prayer is to have presence of heart. There are three ways of attaining this. First of all, we have to focus on the meaning of what we are saying when reciting. Second, we have to pay attention to what we are doing. We are bowing before Allah, the Exalted. Third, we have to bring to mind why we are praying. We have to pay attention to what our actions are leading us towards. We have to fill our hearts with Ihsan, find peace in it. This is the spiritual sunnah of the prayers. Next, we will look into the external sunnat of the salah, that is, the physical dimensions of it.

Regarding the physical sunnat of salah, first, we stand in prayer, legs slightly apart, back straight, eyes focus downward, and we say "Allahu Akbar" divorcing all matters of this temporary world for the Sake of Allah as we ascend towards Him. This is physically signified by the raising of the hands, palms open and facing forward, a universal gesture of surrender. For men, this raising of the hands has to be such that the thumbs are in level with the ears. For women, it has to be such that the fingers are in level with the shoulders. The palms are to be open but not too widely nor closed completely.

For men, as the hands are lowered, they are folded below the navel, right hand clasping over the wrist of the left.


For women, they are to place the palm of their right hand over the back of their left at chest level.


Having done this, one opens the prayer with the thana,
"Subhanaka Allahumma wa bihamdika wa tabara kasmuka wa ta'ala jadduka wa la ilaha ghairuka"
Meaning,
"Glorified beyond all imperfections are You, God.
All praises be unto You. Blessed is Your Name and Exalted is Your Majesty."
Following this, one seeks protection from the Devil reciting the ta'awwudh, which is,
"A'udhu Billahi min ash-Shaytan-i'r Rajeem"
Meaning,
"I take refuge in God from the Accursed Satan." 
Next, one recites the Quran as per the rulings of fard and wajib mentioned above. In addition to that, it is of worth to note that it is a sunnah to try to recite one whole surah after the Fatiha  as long as one is not reciting the more lengthy ones such as al-Baqarah or Ma'idah.

Following the recitation of the Quran comes the bowing of the ruku. The sunnah of bowing is to recite the following tasbih three times,
"Subhana Rabbi al-'Azim"
Meaning,
"Glory be unto my Lord, Most Grand."

After this, one raise themselves back to standing saying, if one is leading a jama'ah,
"Sami Allahu li man hamida"
Meaning,
"God hears those who praise Him." 
The jama'ah, in response, declares,
"Rabbana lakal hamd" 
Meaning,
"Our Lord, Yours is all Praise." 
When praying alone, one says both all by themselves.

Next comes the prostration. The proper way of doing this is to go down elegantly with the back straight, then placing the knees onto the ground, then the hands, then the face in such a manner that the bridge of the nose and the forehead touches the ground at the same time. For men, the hands are to be in level with the head whereas for women, it is to be in level with the shoulders.


The palms are to remain open, facing the ground, fingers close together facing the Qibla, that is, the direction of the Kaaba. During the prostration, one recites the following tasbih three times,
"Subhana Rabbi al-'Ala"
Meaning,
"Glory be to my Lord, Most High."
After reciting this invocation one may make supplication. This is the most recommended position to make supplication as it is said that the servant is closest to their Lord during prostration. My favorite supplication to make during this phase of the prayer is,
"Allahumma innaka 'affuwun tuhibbul 'afwa fa'fu annee" 
Meaning,
"O God, You are the Pardoner and You love to pardon so pardon me."
Following the prostration, one sits up with their hands on the edges of the knees and, after a short pause, prostrates again mirroring the movements and invocations of the first. Then, if it is an odd numbered raka'ah, returns to standing preparing to mimic the motions all over again excluding the recitation of the niyat, thana and ta'awwudh. If, however, it is an even numbered raka'ah, then, one sits for the tashahhud, and, if it is the final raka'ah, one recites the durood following it, which is,
Allahumma swalli ala Muhammadiwu wa ala aali Muhammadin kama swallaitah ala Ibrahima wa ala aali Ibrahima innaka hamidun majid 
Allahumma baarik ala Muhammadiwu wa ala aali Muhammadin kama barakta ala Ibrahima wa ala aali Ibrahima innaka hamidun majid
Meaning,
O God, send peace upon Muhammad and upon the family of Muhammad as You sent peace upon Abraham and upon the followers of Abraham; indeed, You are Praiseworthy and Glorious.
O God, send blessings Muhammad and upon the family of Muhammad as You have sent blessings upon Abraham and the family of Abraham; indeed, You are Praiseworthy and Glorious.
After this, one turns towards their right shoulder and says,
"as-Salamu 'aleykum wa Rahmatullahi"
And then turns left and repeats the same, meaning,
"Peace and Mercy of God be unto you." 
This salutation of Peace and Mercy is meant to be addressed towards all creatures in existence that surrounds the one praying and this is one of the many purposes of a Muslim in this world, to send greetings of Peace and Mercy to the worlds as we are agents of Peace and Mercy sent unto creation by God to deliver the glad-tidings from Him.

Now we will look into the actions that are disliked and those that invalidate the prayer. The ultimate goal of prayer is to create a connection between the servant and the Lord established on awed reverence. Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, said that if one's heart is reverent then their limbs will also be reverent. This is the primary deciding factor for categorizing which actions are disliked and which actions invalidate the prayer. As a rule of thumb, all of it entails actions that sacrifice the sense of reverence in one's prayer.

Regarding the categories of disliked actions, these are of two grades: prohibitive and somewhat. Actions that are prohibitively disliked, that is, the makruh tahriman, are sinful whereas actions that are somewhat disliked, that is, the makruh tanziman, are blameworthy.

Omitting a wajib, that is, the necessary action of a prayer, is prohibitively disliked while leaving out an emphasize sunnah is blameworthy. Praying in clothing depicting images of animals or humans that would be visible if the clothing was placed on the ground and looked at from standard standing posture is prohibitively disliked while praying in clothing that one would not wear in front of dignified people is blameworthy.

Yawning and stretching in prayer is prohibitively disliked. Praying while holding in the urge to use the bathroom or pass wind is prohibitively disliked. Draping something over the body in such a way that it requires fidgeting to keep it on is prohibitively disliked. Not having both feet on the ground when prostrating is prohibitively disliked. Prostrating on a fully covered forehead without reason is prohibitively disliked. Praying with a fully uncovered head is somewhat disliked. Closing the eyes in prayer without need is somewhat disliked.

Regarding the invalidating actions of the prayer, the first of this is excessive actions which includes all actions that if an onlooker sees a person performing they will not think that the person is praying. Second is speaking and anything that falls under the category of speech directed at any phenomenon, a person or event, that is of worldly nature. This includes laughter, crying and moaning for a reason that is worldly other than if the latter two are caused involuntarily by pain in the body.

Coughing without need invalidates the prayer. Turning completely away from the Qibla invalidates the prayer. Reciting the Quran from a text in prayer, in the Hanafi school, also invalidates the prayer.

Regarding mistakes made in prayer, if the mistake entails missing out an obligatory action then the prayer needs to be repeated, if the mistake entails missing out a necessary action then the prostrations of forgetfulness need to be performed, and if the mistake entails missing out a sunnah then one should ignore it resolving not to miss it out again. Similarly, if the mistake is one where the person performs an action that nullifies the prayer they should repeat the prayer again, if it is one where the person performs an action that is prohibitively disliked then the person should perform prostrations of forgetfulness and if it is one where the person performs an action that is somewhat disliked then they should ignore it resolving never to commit the mistake again.


Now, we will look at the sunnah prayers. The sunnah prayers are key to having a meaningful relationship with Allah subhana wa ta’ala. These are the supergatory prayers that the Prophet encouraged us to establish in order to rectify the shortcomings that one may have in their obligatory prayers, to train oneself spiritually and to increase focus in one’s obligatory prayers. It is the means for one to draw close to Allah subhana wa ta’ala.

It has been mentioned in a Hadith Qudsi that Allah has proclaimed,
"My servant draws close to me by nothing more beloved than what I’ve made obligatory upon them.
And My servant continues to draw close to me by voluntary good works until I love them."

From this we deduce that we attain Allah’s Pleasure by conforming to what has been made obligatory upon us and we attain Allah’s Love by enjoining unto us the supergatory and the voluntary.

The Fard prayers are the prayers that is one’s duty towards their Lord whereas the sunnah prayers are the extra mile for one to cover in order that they may advance nearer to Eternal Beloved. The sunnah prayers redress deficiencies in one’s obligatory prayers, helps to increase focus and attain a greater level of piety.

The scholars have said,
"The obligatory are the Right of Allah’s Majesty, and the supergatory are the Right of Allah’s Beauty."

Now, if we look at the sunnah prayers, they can be divided into two types. First, we have the sunnah prayers related to the fard prayers and, then, we have the sunnah prayers not related to the fard prayers. As for the sunnah prayers related to the fard prayers, these are of two types. First, we have the emphasized sunnah and then we have the recommended. As for the sunnah prayers not related to the fard prayers, these are of two types. First, we have the specific ones that the Prophet particularly mentioned and, then, we have the general Nafl prayers that one can pray for the Sake of Allah at any time except for the times disliked.

The emphasized sunnah prayers are blameworthy to leave without excuse. Therefore, after one has established the fard prayers in one's life, it is the next order of business to establish the emphasized sunnat. 

It has been mentioned on the authority of the Mother of the Believers, Umm Habibah Ramla bint Abi Sufyan,
"I heard the Messenger say that there is no Muslim servant of Allah who prays twelve raka'at of other than the obligatory prayer for the Sake of Allah Most High except that Allah makes them a resting house in Paradise."
This is related to us by Imam Muslim. In the narration of Imam Tirmidhi, these twelve raka'at are elaborated to be four before Duhr and two after it, two after Maghrib, two after Isha and two before Fajr. These are the emphasized sunnah of Prayers.

Then we have the recommended sunnat which are not blameworthy to leave but the Prophet often performed them and it is better for one if he or she does so also the same. These are four raka'at after Duhr, four or two before 'Asr, six after Maghrib and four after Isha. The recommended and the emphasized sunnat can be combined together but if they are done separately then there is extra Reward.


The Fajr sunnah is the most emphasized of all the emphasized sunnah. During Fajr time we perform no other sunnah, not even the two raka'at prayers of greeting the mosque. Next, we have the Fajr sunnah which are four before the prayer, four after and then two. The latter can be combined as one four raka'at prayer but the Reward is more if it is separated. For 'Asr, there is no emphasized sunnah and the recommended is four raka'at or two raka'at before the fard. No supergatory prayers are to be performed after 'Asr and before Maghrib.


The sunnah for Maghrib is two emphasized and six recommended after the fard. These six and two can be combined. The six raka'at sunnah is called Salatul Awwabin. It is mentioned in a hadith related by Imam Tirmidhi and ibn Majah that whoever prays this prayer and does not speak ill afterwards, it is equivalent to twelve years of continuous worship. At Isha time, it is emphasized to pray two raka'at after the fard. The recommended is four before the fard.


Then, we have the nawafil prayers. First of these is the sunnah of greeting the mosque. It is narrated on the authority of Abu Qatadah that the Prophet, peace be upon him, said,
"If any of you enters the mosque, let them not sit down until they've prayed two raka'at."
One is asked not to pray this, however, during the disliked times. These are the times of sunrise, right when the sun is at its zenith and the period between 'Asr and Maghrib.


Next, we have the nawafil sunnah of wudu which is prayed after ablution. This, akin to the other recommended sunnat, can be combined with an emphasized one. In Sahih al-Bukhari and Muslim, there is a hadith related by Hazrat Abu Huraira that the Prophet asked the great muadhin of Islam, Hazrat Bilal ibn Rabah al-Habashi,
"O Bilal, tell me what of a work you are most hopeful to be rewarded for from your works in Islam, because I heard the footfalls of your sandals before me in Paradise?"
Sayyiduna Bilal answered,
"I did not do anything I am more hopeful of than I never performed wudu at any time of the day or night except that I pray with that ablution whatever was decreed of me to pray."
The Prophet, peace be upon him, encouraged this prayer.


Another nawafil prayer that the Prophet instructed us to perform is the Duha prayer. Optimally, it is performed an hour or two after Fajr. It can be prayed anytime after Fajr until the sun is at its peak in the sky. A hadith narrated by Abu Huraira states that the Prophet said whoever prays the Duha prayer consistently will have all their sins erased even if they were as numerous as the foams of the sea. This is two raka'at.


Another of nawafil sunnat is the prayer of the journey which is encouraged to be prayed before heading out to a journey and when returning from a journey. This is two raka'at.


The greatest of the nawafil sunnat is Qiyamul Layl. The Prophet, peace be upon us, told us, in a hadith related by Imam Tirmidhi and al-Hakim,
"Adhere to the night prayers, for it is the Way of the Righteous before you, and a means of drawing near to your Lord. It is an expiation for sin and a deterrent from wrong."
Minimally, it is any two raka'at prayed at nighttime after the fard prayers, though, ideally, it is eight raka'at. And a special type of the night prayers is the Night Vigil, Tahajjud. The difference between Qiyamul Layl and Tahajjud is that the latter is the supererogatory prayer that one prays after having slept following Isha and waking up later at night. It is best to be prayed at the last third of the night as it is then that the Gates to the Bounties of Reward in Heaven are open for all those who seek it.

The reward for the Tahajjud prayers is tremendous. It was a consistent practice of the Prophet. In fact, in Surah Muzammil, Allah commands the Prophet to pray at night. The Prophet used to pray so much at night that his feet used to swell up and ache. Sayyiduna 'Aisha once asked the Prophet,
"O Prophet, why do you continue to do this when Allah has already sanctified you from all sin?"
The Prophet replied,
"Should I not be thankful to my Lord?" 
It is related to us in a Hadith that Allah descends to the lowest Heaven in the depths of the night asking who He should reward from among His servants.


Finally, there is the nawafil prayer of Istikhara and the prayer of need. The first is prayed when one is seeking to make a decision or a choice and he or she prays to seek assistance that Allah may make the deed easy. The latter is when one is distressed and they need to be relieved of the stress.


The third pillar of faith is Zakat, that is, charity. One aspect of Zakat is that it is a means of showing gratefulness for the earning of wealth by sharing the wealth with those servants of Allah who have less. The second aspect of Zakat is the cleansing of one's capital, that is, it purifies the monetary income of a person. Thirdly, it is a means to finding Allah's Mercy by showing mercy to His creations.

Linguistically, "Zakat" means "increase" and "purification." One way of looking at it is to relate the second meaning with the first because purification is the increase of the object's quality. Hence, "Zakat" is the increase of something in quantity and quality. It is a prophetic promise that Zakat, charity, never causes one to decrease in wealth or bounty. Because, the little good that we do, Allah subhana wa ta'ala multiplies its reward and blessing manifold.

The consequences of not spending in Zakat are plenty. The first of it is the stern warning of Allah that the one who hoards their wealth will appear on the Day of Judgment with what they had hoarded chained around their necks. It has also been said in the Quran that one who hoards wealth are deprived of His Mercy while one who spends in charity are rewarded by His Grace.

Zakat has been defined by the great Hanafi scholar Imam Tumurtashi in his text Tanwirul Absar as,
The transfer of ownership of an amount of material wealth specified by the lawgiver to a poor Muslim who is not a Hashemite without the material benefit returning to the giver for the Sake of Allah.
Let us expound on this definition. According to it, Zakat has to be given and it cannot be a waived loan or anything akin to that. It has to be specified by a mufti or qadi and the object of charity has to be given to someone who is eligible, that is, someone who is poor and needy. The difference between Zakat and charity is that the former can only be transferred from a Muslim to a Muslim whereas charity can be bestowed upon a non-Muslim by a Muslim.

Now, let's look at the definition more closely. Firstly, the Zakat has to be the transfer of property, directly done by the giver or through an agent indirectly on the giver's behalf. Second, the person who is being given the Zakat has to be a poor Muslim. Legally, a poor person is someone who does not possess a net Zakat-able minimum. Third, Zakat is due on specific types of wealth that are subject to increase, not on property like cars, house or land but rather one's money, income of gold or silver, investments, stocks, trade goods, cattle and agriculture, etc. Generally, what is due from these is 2.5% of the annual profit.


The Zakat year, hawwul, for a person, that is, the time from when one is obligated to pay Zakat, begins when a person accumulates enough wealth to meet the minimum Zakat-able amount, that is, the nisab. This amount is equivalent to the worth of 87.49 grams of gold or 613 grams of silver. We will be looking at it in more details in a minute. This amount is excluded from one's debts and immediate expenses. The Zakat is due on whatever a person has on the due date of their Zakat.

The fourth condition that we will be exploring now is that the person receiving the Zakat cannot be a Hashemite, that is, they cannot be from the bloodline of the Prophet. The family of the Prophet Muhammad cannot receive Zakat. It is only acceptable, according to the Hanafi school, to grant Zakat to a family member of the Prophet during exceptional condition when that family member has no other means of sustenance and cannot be helped in any other dignified way than to receive Zakat.

The fifth condition of Zakat, in conjunction to the first that it has to be a transfer of property, dictates that one cannot give Zakat to one's own immediate family such as their parents, children or spouse. This is because wealth between these agents are shared and if any of them is needy then the person giving Zakat already has an obligation to fulfill their rights as they are family.

Sixth, Zakat cannot be in return for a service or any other benefit, that is, one cannot give Zakat to another who is their employee in exchange for their duty. Seventh, it has to be for the Sake of Allah and the one paying Zakat should be grateful that they are being able to give Zakat and earn rewards, he or she should not see it as a burden. Also, to fulfill this condition of giving Zakat for the Sake of Allah, one has to make intention, niyat.

Now, we will look into who is obligated to pay the Zakat. Zakat is obligated to be paid by a Muslim person who is morally sane and responsible possessing the amount of the nisab following the subtraction of expenses for their immediate needs and their debts after a year has passed.

Let us expound on the above definition. The first condition that has to be met is that the person has to meet is that the person has to be a morally sane and responsible adult, that is, he or she cannot be suffering from an impairment that makes them incapable of upholding legal responsibility, who have hit puberty, that is, the person is capable of ejaculation and has had a wet dream.

The second condition is that Zakat is a Muslim-specific responsibility, that is, the transfer of ownership of wealth is to be between two Muslims. This is unlike charity which can be given to non-Muslims as well. Thus, Zakat is obligated upon a sane adult Muslim who is capable of ejaculating and understanding the law, and possesses a surplus of wealth equivalent to 87.49 grams of gold or 613 grams of silver barring the expenditure on one's immediate expenses and repayment of debts. Possession of this amount is absolutely necessary.


Now we look into the three considerations of hawwul: when does it begin, when does it end and what is due. Hawwul, the Zakat year, begins when, after subtracting one's debts and expenditure, one possesses the nisab. It ends one lunar year later, which is thirteen days shorter. What is due as Zakat at this point is what one possesses immediately on the last day of the year.

Next, we will look into what kinds of property Zakat is due on. Zakat is due, firstly, on money. Secondly, Zakat is due on gold and silver but not any other forms of jewelry such as ruby, diamonds or emerald. Thirdly, it is due on investments and trade goods. Fourthly, it is due on crops and cattle. Zakat is only due on property such as land only if one is a real estate agent. Zakat is not due on personal property or business assets.

Regarding Zakat on stock, one minority position is that stocks are considered to be tradeable goods and thus the person giving Zakat has to pay on the whole amount. Most scholars agree that Zakat is only due on stocks on the Zakat-able value of the holdings of the company which would be on the cash receivables and inventories.

There are issues one needs to consider in relation to paying the Zakat. One should not delay it. It is recommended to pay it as soon as it is due. A slight delay due to a valid excuse is fine, though. However, delaying without excuse is disliked, but not sinful. The sinful delay is that which is late by an entire year without excuse.

A note of caution is that the transfer of ownership to a poor Muslim is a condition so one should be careful how and where the wealth is being discharged on their behalf. Some Muslim charities, unfortunately, follow modern fatwas that basically one can do whatever they want with the Zakat but this position is aberrant not agreed but any of the four Sunni schools of Islamic law and jurisprudence.

Another thing to be careful of is that these modern charities that they do not specifically give it to the poor and needy. Instead, they stash it together with all other forms of welfare fund to be used for maybe building reservoirs or activism which is not a proper transfer of ownership of wealth to the poor as dictated for the Zakat by the Sharia.

Regarding the person who is eligible for receiving Zakat, the person has to be poor and needy of the wealth or property, that is, they have to be of the masakeen. The Quranic definition for the one worthy of receiving Zakat is outlined in Surah at-Taubah, Verse 60:
Zakah expenditures is only for the poor and for the needy and for those employed to collect it and for bringing hearts together and for freeing captives or slaves and for those in debt and for the Cause of Allah and for the wayfarer — an obligation imposed by Allah. And Allah is Knowing and Wise.
The Hanafi madhhab categorizes the following groups of people as qualified to receive Zakat:
  1. The person who possesses the nisab of either gold or silver, or trade goods which equal the nisab of either gold or silver is regarded as a rich person in the Sharia. It is not permissible to give zakat money to him. Nor is it permissible for him to accept or consume zakat money.
    Similarly, the person who has belongings which are not for the purposes of trade but are over and above his basic needs, is also considered to be a rich person. It is not permissible to give zakat money to such a person as well. Furthermore, although he is regarded as a rich person, zakat is not wajib on him.
  2. The person who has very little wealth or has no wealth at all to the extent that he does not have sufficient food for one day is regarded as a poor person. It is permissible to give zakat to such a person. It is also permissible for him to accept zakat money.
  3. Large utensils, expensive carpets, etc. which are very occasionally used in weddings and other functions are not regarded as necessary items. The following things are regarded as necessities of life: a house to stay in, clothes that are worn, slaves for domestic purposes, and furniture that is in use.
    If a person possesses just these things, he will not be regarded as a rich person irrespective of the value of these items. It is therefore permissible to give zakat to such a person. In the same way, the books and other essentials of a learned person are also included among the necessities of life.
  4. A person owns several properties from which he receives rent. The income of these properties is used to run his own home. Alternatively, a person possesses a few cows from which he receives a certain amount of income. Despite this, he has a very large number of dependents whereby he cannot live a comfortable life and always finds himself in difficulties. Nor does he have any wealth upon which zakat could be wajib. It is therefore permissible to give zakat to such a person as well.
  5. A person has a thousand dollars in cash with him. However, he is also in debt for an amount of over a thousand dollars. It is permissible to give him zakat as well.
    However, if his debt is less than the money he has, then this amount that he is owing will be subtracted from the cash that he possesses. Thereafter we will have to see whether the balance that he has is more than the nisab of zakat or less than it.
    If the balance is more than the nisab, zakat cannot be given to him; if it is less, zakat can be given to him.
  6. A person may be a very rich person at home. However, while on a journey, all his money got stolen or exhausted in some other way to such an extent that he does not even have sufficient funds to reach his eventual destination. It will be permissible to give zakat to such a person.
    Similarly, a person who is travelling for hajj and who may be a rich person can also be given zakat money if all his money gets spent.
  7. Zakat cannot be given to a non-Muslim. It will have to be given to a Muslim. All forms of charity can be given to a non-Muslim except the following: zakat, ushr, sadaqat al-fitr, nazr, and kaffarah.
  8. Zakat funds cannot be used for the building of a masjid, for the shrouding and burial of a deceased person, for the payment of debts on behalf of a deceased person, or for any other noble purpose.
    As long as zakat is not given to the rightful person, it will not be considered to be fulfilled.
  9. Zakat cannot be given to one's ascendants. That is, to one's parents, maternal and paternal grandparents and even great grandparents.
    In the same way, zakat cannot be given to one's descendants. That is, to one's children, grandchildren, etc.
    In the same way, the husband and wife cannot give zakat to each other.
  10. Apart from the above mentioned, it is permissible to give zakat to all other relatives such as one's brothers, sisters, nephews, nieces, maternal and paternal uncles and aunts, stepfather or stepmother, father-in-law, mother-in-law, etc.
  11. It is not permissible to give zakat to immature children if their father is rich. If the children are mature and poor, but their father is rich, it will be permissible to give zakat to them.
  12. If the father of an immature child is not rich but the mother is, it will be permissible to give zakat to that child.
  13. It is not permissible to give zakat to the progeny of the Ahlul Bayt. The Shiites have a category of charity devoted for them called the khums.
    Similarly, the charities which have been made wajib by the sharia cannot be given to the progeny of the above Sahaba. Such charities are: nazr, kaffarah, ushr, sadaqat al-fitr.
    Apart from these, all other charities can be given to them.
  14. It is permissible to give zakat to one's Muslim servants, workers, employees, etc. However, this zakat should not be included in their wages or salaries. Instead, it should be given separately as a gift. At the time of giving this gift to them, one should have the intention in his heart that he is giving zakat.
  15. It is permissible to give zakat to one's foster mother and foster children.
  16. The mahr of a woman was fixed at a thousand dollars. However, the husband cannot fulfill this due to poverty. It will be permissible to give zakat to such a woman. It will also be permissible to give zakat to her if her husband is rich but refuses to give, or if she has absolved him from giving the mahr.
    If the woman knows that if she had to ask her husband for her mahr, he will give it to her without hesitation, it will not be permissible to give zakat to her.
  17. A person gave zakat to another person thinking that he is poor. Later, he learnt that this person was rich or he was a sayyid. Alternatively, he gave it to someone on a dark night and later realized that the person to whom he had given the zakat was actually his mother or daughter, or any other relative to whom zakat is not permissible. In all these cases, zakat will be considered to be fulfilled and there will be no need to repeat the payment of zakat.
    However, if the person to whom the zakat was given learns that this was actually zakat money and that he is not eligible to receive zakat, he should return the zakat money. If the person who gave the zakat learns that the person to whom he had given the zakat was actually a non-Muslim, he will have to give zakat again.
  18. A person has a doubt as to whether a certain person is rich or poor. Zakat should not be given to him until it has been ascertained whether he is eligible to receive zakat or not.
    If zakat is given to him without ascertaining his financial position, the person should check with his heart and see to which side his heart is more inclined. If his heart tells him that the person is poor, zakat will be fulfilled. If his heart tells him that the person is rich, zakat will not be fulfilled and will therefore have to be repeated.
    However, if he establishes the fact that he is indeed a poor person after having given the zakat to him, then he does not have to give the zakat again.
  19. At the time of giving zakat and all other forms of charity, one should first take one's relatives into consideration. However, when giving them this zakat, they should not be told that it is zakat so that they do not feel offended.
    It is mentioned in the hadith that by giving charity to one's relatives one receives a double reward: one reward for giving charity, and one for showing kindness to one's relatives.
    After giving the relatives, if there is any remainder, it should be given to outsiders.
  20. It is makruh to send the zakat of one place to another place. However, it will not be makruh to do so in the following instances:
    1. If one's poor relatives live at another place,
    2. If the inhabitants of that place are more deserving than the inhabitants of this place,
    3. If the inhabitants of that place are more involved in religious activities.
    There is great reward in sending zakat to students of religious knowledge and pious scholars.

The section concerning fasting in Hanafi fiqh is being covered by Ustadha Naielah Ackbarali with the utilization of a different series of texts. Fasting the month of Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam. Abdullah ibn Umar said,
I heard the Messenger of Allah say:
The religion of Islam is based upon five: testifying that there is no deity except God and Muhammad is the Messenger of God; establishing the prayer; giving zakat; making pilgrimage; and fasting the month of Ramadan.
[Bukhari; Muslim]


In truth, fasting the month of Ramadan is one of the greatest acts of worship a believer can perform. It is an act that cleanses one’s mind, body, and soul from the spiritual and physical impurities of this world. It is an act that brings the hearts of Muslims together on a worldwide level as they endeavor to practice the virtue of self-discipline in unison. And it is an act that satiates the hungry soul for its eagerness to please the Lord of the Worlds.

The act of fasting was also practiced by previous religious communities. Likewise, it has been ordained for the followers of the Prophet Muhammad. Allah Almighty says in the Quran,
“O ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed onto you as it was prescribed onto those before you, that perhaps ye may learn self-restraint.
[Quran 2:183]

Linguistically, the word fasting in the Arabic language means unconditional ‘restraint’ (imsak) from any action or speech during any time.

According to the Sacred Law, fasting is the act of:
  • refraining from engaging in sexual activity, and
  • refraining from entering anything into the body cavity,
  • whether deliberately or accidentally,
  • from the time the sun begins to rise to the time the sun sets
  • accompanied with the intention of fasting
  • from individuals who are permitted to fast.
‘Refraining from engaging in sexual activity’ includes actual sexual intercourse and ejaculation cased by foreplay.
‘Refraining from entering anything into the body cavity’ refers to the acts of entering food, drink, or medicine into the body cavity, regardless of whether this is a typical item one would enter into the body cavity or not. Entering any of these substances inside the body cavity means that the substance enters into the throat, the intestines, the stomach, or the brain by way of the nose, the throat, the private parts, or open wounds.
‘Whether deliberately or accidentally’ excludes forgetful acts of eating, drinking, or sexual activity.
‘From the time the sun begins to rise to the time the sun sets’ refers to the true entering of the Fajr time to the entering of the Maghrib time.
‘Accompanied with the intention of fasting’ means that one must intend to fast in order to distinguish if one is really performing an act of worship or not when one refrains from eating, drinking, or having sexual intercourse.
For example, if one were to merely stay away from food, drink, or sexual activity without an intention to fast, then this fast is not valid and does not count.
‘For individuals who are permitted to fast’ means that one must be free from a situation that would prevent the validity of one’s fast, such as menstruation or post-natal bleeding.
[Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah; Ala'd-Din Abidin, al-Hadiyya al-Alaiyya; Shurunbulali, Imdadul-Fattah]

Regarding the obligation of fast, fasting the month of Ramadan is obligatory upon every Muslim, male and female, who is sane and pubescent. This ruling also applies to making up any unperformed Ramadan fasts whether due to an excuse or one’s own remissness. Therefore, a person is obliged to makeup missed Ramadan fasts.
[Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah]

A male child becomes pubescent when he experiences a wet dream or ejaculation. A female child becomes pubescent when she experiences a wet dream or her first menstruation. If by the age of fifteen lunar years neither male nor female has undergone these experiences, then they are considered legally pubescent and are must fast.

Fasting the current month of Ramadan is obligatory upon the aforementioned individuals if they are physically able to fast, free from menstruation and post-natal bleeding, and resident.
[Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah]

Regarding those who are exempted from obligatory fasts, fasting the month of Ramadan is not obligatory upon a menstruating woman or a woman in the state of post-natal bleeding because fasting is not permitted while they are in this state. [Shurunbulali, Imdadul-Fattah]

Sick people and women who are pregnant or breastfeeding are obliged to fast. However, illness can excuse a person from fasting if one reasonably fears that the act of fasting would increase the sickness or slow the recovery process. The same ruling applies to a woman who is pregnant or breastfeeding and reasonably fears that fasting will harm her or her baby. Reasonable fear is known by:
  1. manifest signs
  2. a relevant past experience
  3. the notification of an upright, Muslim doctor or physician.
[Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah]

A traveler is also excused from fasting if he initiates his journey before the time of Fajr enters. However, it is better that he fasts providing that this does not cause undue hardship. If a person begins fasting a day of Ramadan and then travels, he is obliged to complete his fast.
[Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah]

All of the aforementioned individuals are obliged to make up their missed fasts once Ramadan has ended in a time that they are able. There is no expiation for a person who delays making up their missed fasts, though it is superior to make them up immediately if they are able.
[Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah]

Regarding the types of fast within the fold of Islam, there are essentially nine types of fasts:
  • Specified Obligatory (fard) fasts:
    • the current month of Ramadan
  • Non-Specified Obligatory (fard) fasts:
    • make up fasts from a past Ramadan
  • Specified Necessary (wajib) fasts:
    • specified vowed fasts
  • Non-Specified Necessary (wajib) fasts:
    • non-specified vowed fasts
    • expiation fasts
    • make up fasts for any vowed, sunna, nafl, or expiation fast that one vitiated
  • Emphasized Sunna fast:
    • the ninth of Dhul-Hijjah (the Day of Arafat)
    • the tenth of Muharram (the Day of ‘Ashura) along with either the ninth or eleventh day
  • Recommended fasts:
    • thirteenth, fourteenth and fifteenth days of each lunar month (full moon days)
    • every Monday and Thursday of each month
    • six days of the month of Shawwal; it is best to perform them consecutively
    • any other fast established by a request or promise of reward from the sunna,
      like the Fast of David, which is said to be the most beloved fast to Allah
  • Voluntary (nafl) fasts: any fast other than the aforementioned as long as it is not disliked
  • Slightly Disliked (makruh tanzihi) fasts:
    • only fasting tenth of Muharram without the ninth or eleventh day
    • singling out Friday if one specifically thinks that there is reward in it,
      otherwise there is no dislikedness
      singling out Saturday, though there is no dislikedness if it coincides with another type of fast
    • continuously fasting without breaking one’s fast in the evening (wisal)
  • Prohibitively disliked (makruh tahrimi), sinful fasts:
    • the Day of Eid-ul-Fitr
    • the Day of Eid-ul-Adha and the three days that follow (al-Ayyam at-Tashriq)
[Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah; Ala'd-Din Abidin, al-Hadiyya al-Alaiyya;
Tahtawi, Hashiyya at-Tahtawi; Shurunbulali, Imdadul-Fattah]

Regarding the specified fast, it means that there is a specific time designated for performing this fast.
As such, one is obliged to fast this day, and one cannot intend to fast a different type of fast.
[Raddul-Muhtar]

Non-Specified fast means that there is not a specific time designated for performing this fast. Therefore, it is possible to choose when to fast it. The distinction between specified and non-specified also returns to rulings related to the intention which is forthcoming.

Regarding the stipulations of a valid fast, the stipulations for a valid fast are:
  1. the intention,
  2. to be free from menstruation and post-natal bleeding, and
  3. to be free from anything else that would break the fast.
[Shurunbulali, Nurul-Iydah]

It is not a condition for the validity of the fast that a person be free from the state of major ritual impurity (janaba). The mother of the believers, Aisha said,
“Fajr would enter during the month of Ramadan and the Messenger of Allah would be in a state of major ritual purity from other than a sexual dream, i.e. because of sexual relations. He would perform the purification bath, ghusl, and fast that day.”
[Muslim]

Likewise, if one intended to fast during the night and woke up within Fajr time in a state of major ritual impurity, then one must perform the purification bath, ghusl, for the sake of the validity of one’s prayers, fast this day, and the fast is considered valid. [Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah; Shurunbulali, Imdad al-Fattah]

Regarding the intention of the fast, the intention is needed for each day one fasts, even in the month of Ramadan.
[Shurunbulali, Imdadul-Fattah; Ala'd-Din Abidin, al-Hadiyya al-Alaiyya]

The intention is the determination one feels in the heart to do something.
[Ala'd-Din Abidin, al-Hadiyya al-Alaiyya]

A way to envision this point is if a person was to ask one what they are doing, one would affirm that they are fasting. Practically-speaking, it is nearly impossible to not have the intention in the Hanafi madhhab. One does not have to verbally state the intention, though it is better.
[Ala'd-Din Abidin, al-Hadiyya al-Alaiyya]

Regarding the timing of making, it depends on the type of fast. For the specified obligatory, specified necessary, emphasized sunna, recommended, and nafl fasts, the following rulings apply to the intention:
  1. One must make the intention in the appropriate time in order for the fast to count.
  2. The time of the intention is from Maghrib of the previous night to before the Islamic midday of the following day. This is providing that one did nothing that would invalidate the fast from the start of Fajr time.
  3. Scholars confirm that it is superior for one to make the intention the night before one fasts (i.e. any time from Maghrib to the entering of Fajr) due to the difference of opinion from other schools on this point.
  4. It is sufficient to intend to fast without specifying if the fast is fard, mustahabb, sunna, wajib, or nafl.
[Shurunbulali, Imdadul-Fattah; Ala'd-Din Abidin, al-Hadiyya al-Alaiyya; al-Fatawa al-Hindiyya]

For non-specified obligatory and non-specified necessary fasts, the following rulings apply to the intention:
  1. One must make the intention in the appropriate time in order for the fast to count.
  2. The time for the intention is from Maghrib of the previous night to the entering of Fajr.
  3. One must also specify the type of fast when intending.
  4. If one made the intention after the entering of Fajr to before the Islamic midday, then this fast counts as a voluntary (nafl) fast instead.
[Shurunbulali, Imdadul-Fattah; Ala'd-Din Abidin, al-Hadiyya al-Alaiyya]

When is the Islamic midday? The Islamic midday (al-Dahwa al-Kubra) is the half-way point between the entering of Fajr time to the entering of Maghrib time. It does not mean noon, nor does it mean the zawal.
[Mulla Khusru, Durarul-Hikam Sharh Ghurarul-Ahkam; ibn Abidin, Raddul-Muhtar]

For example, if Fajr entered at 5 am and Maghrib entered at 5 pm, then the Islamic midday would be the half-way point between this twelve hour time span, which is 11 am. Thus, in this example, a person would have from the entering of Maghrib of the previous night to before 11 am of the next day to make the intention.

The intention must be made ‘before’ the Islamic midday because one needs to fast with the intention for the majority of the day. According to the Sacred Law, this would be akin to fasting the entire day.
[Mulla Khusru, Durarul-Hikam Sharh Ghurarul-Ahkam; ibn Abidin, Raddul-Muhtar]

What Happens If One Decides Not to Fast? It is a condition that the intention to fast remains with one. If during the night one decides to not fast the next day after previously intending to fast it, then one is not considered to be fasting for that day. If one renewed the intention, however, then one is considered to be fasting.
[Shurunbulali, Imdadul-Fattah; Ala'd-Din Abidin, al-Hadiyya al-Alaiyya]

The following are some recommended acts for fasting:
  • Eat the meal before dawn (suhur) before Fajr time enters
  • Delay the meal before dawn until closer to the time before Fajr enters
  • Hasten to break the fast at the entering of Maghrib
[Shurunbulali, Nurul-Iydah]

The following are some recommended du'aas to recite while fasting:
Allahumma laka sumtu wa bika aamantu wa ‘alayka tawakkaltu wa ‘ala rizqika aftartu wa sawm al-ghad min shahr Ramadan nawaytu faghfir li ma qaddamtu wa ma akh-khartu 
“Oh Allah, for You I fasted, and in You I believe, and on You I place my reliance, and on Your provision I break my fast. And I intend the fasting of tomorrow for the month of Ramadan. Forgive me for what I did before and what I do after.” 
Allahumma laka sumtu wa ‘ala rizqika aftartu 
“Oh Allah for You I fasted and upon Your provision I break my fast.” 
Allahumma laka sumna wa ‘ala rizqika aftarna fataqabbal minna innaka Anta al-Sami’ al-‘Alim 
“Oh Allah for You we fasted, and upon Your provision we break our fasts. Accept this from us. Verily, You are All-Hearing, All-Knowing.”
[Nawawi, al-Adhkar; Tahtawi, Hashiyya at-Tahtawi]

Regarding women and menstruation, if a woman's menstruation starts in Ramadan during the night, that is, any time from the entering of Maghrib to before the entering of Fajr, then she refrains from fasting the following day and for the duration that she is menstruating. [Hedaya Hartford, Birgivi’s Manual Interpreted]

If her menstruation starts in Ramadan during the day, that is, any time from the entering of Fajr to the entering of Maghrib, then her fast is vitiated and it does not count. She must make up this day after Ramadan has ended in a time when she is able. She must refrain from fasting for the duration that she is menstruating.
[Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah; Shurunbulali, Imdadul-Fattah; Tahtawi, Hashiyya at-Tahtawi]

A menstruating woman can eat and drink during the day in Ramadan. If she believes that it is unlawful for her to eat or drink, then it is necessary for her to do so as refraining from food or drink with the intention of fasting is unlawful for her. [Tahtawi, Hashiyya at-Tahtawi; Shurunbulali, Imdadul-Fattah]

A menstruating woman should record the number of days she missed while fasting and make them up after Ramadan ends in a time when she is able. The same rulings apply to a woman in a state of post-natal bleeding.
If her menstruation stops in Ramadan during the night, any time from the entering of Maghrib to before the entering of Fajr, then she performs a purification bath, ghusl, begins her obligatory worship, and she is obliged to fast the remainder of Ramadan. [Hedaya Hartford, Birgivi’s Manual Interpreted]

Note that there are details to this point if her menstruation ends before the menstrual maximum of ten complete days and the ghusl time finishes within the Fajr time. Please refer to Hedaya Hartford’s ‘Birgivi’s Manual Interpreted.’

If her menstruation stops in Ramadan during the day, any time after the entering of Fajr up to the entering of Maghrib, then she performs a purification bath, ghusl, begins her obligatory worship and she acts like a fasting person until the Maghrib time enters due to the sacredness of the month of Ramadan.
[Hedaya Hartford, Birgivi’s Manual Interpreted]

It is necessary for her to abstain from eating and drinking for the remainder of the day. She is sinful if she does not do so. However, this day of acting like a fasting person does not count as a fast. She must make up this day after Ramadan has ended in a time when she is able. She is obliged to fast the remainder of Ramadan.
[Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah; Shurunbulali, Imdadul-Fattah]

A menstruating woman should record the number of days she missed while fasting and make them up after Ramadan ends in a time when she is able. The same rulings apply to a woman in a state of post-natal bleeding.

Regarding the actions that invalidate the fast, yes, there are actions that can vitiate the fast. These actions fall under two categories:
  1. that which vitiates the fast and requires a makeup along with expiation
  2. that which vitiates the fast and requires makeup only.
[ibn Abdin, Raddul-Muhtar]

For the first category, the principle returns to deliberately performing an act that vitiates the fast by one’s own free will and without a valid reason. Deliberately means that one remembers that one is fasting and purposely performs an action that breaks the fast. [ibn Abdin, Raddul-Muhtar]

These actions are outlined below in the section ‘category 1.’

For the second category, the principle returns to accidentally performing an act that vitiates the fast. It also includes acts performed by force of a third party. Accidentally means that one remembers that one is fasting but broke the fast by one’s own doing without the intention to purposely break the fast.
[Tahtawi, Hashiyya at-Tahtawi; Related in Raddul-Muhtar]

These actions are outlined below in the section ‘category 2.’

If any of the actions from category 1 are performed forgetfully, then they do not vitiate the fast. Forgetfully means that one does not have the presence of mind that one is fasting when performing the action.
[Shurunbulali, Imdadul-Fattah]

The Prophet, peace be upon him, said,
“Whoever forgets that he is fasting and eats or drinks, then he still completes his fast.
It is only Allah who fed him and gave him drink.”
[Bukhari]

In another narration, the Prophet, peace be upon him, said,
“If a fasting person eats forgetfully, it is only provision from Allah and there is no makeup for him.”
[Bukhari]

Category 1 of acts that vitiate the fast and require makeup and expiation only relate to the current Ramadan fasts. Otherwise, if one performs any of the following actions while performing a fast outside of the current month of Ramadan, such as a makeup, then the fast is vitiated and only a makeup is required. One does not owe expiation.

If done deliberately, by one’s own free will, and without a valid reason while fasting a current Ramadan fast, the following acts invalidate the fast and require a makeup along with expiation:
  1. eating or drinking something that humans would normally consume and this consummation nourishes, medicates, r pleases the body in some way
  2. actual sexual intercourse, in the front or rear private part, regardless if one ejaculated or not
  3. swallowing the saliva of one’s spouse
[Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah; Ala'd-Din Abidin, al-Hadiyya al-Alaiyya]

Please note that it is impermissible and a grave crime to engage in sexual intercourse from the rear private part. The Sharia unconditionally prohibits this type of sexual activity whether during or not during the month of Ramadan.

What is the expiation of the category 1 acts being performed willfully during Ramadan? The expiation is to fast sixty consecutive days in the year without any interruption. One must choose a time where one can fast these sixty days without the two days of Eid or the three days after Eid-ul-Adha (al-Ayyam at-Tashriq) interrupting the fasts because of the prohibition of fasting on these days. [Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah]

If one does not fast them consecutively, then one must restart the sixty day period each time the continuity of the fasts is broken. [Tahtawi, Hashiyya at-Tahtawi]

The only exceptions to this rule are if one is menstruating or in a state of post-natal bleeding. A menstruating woman must continue to fast after she becomes pure, and she cannot delay the completion of the expiation. If she does delay fasting after becoming pure, then she must restart the sixty days of fasting.
[Tahtawi, Hashiyya at-Tahtawi]

The same ruling applies to a woman in the state of post-natal bleeding.

If one is genuinely unable to perform the sixty consecutive fasts based on reasonable surety, then one must either:
  • feed the same sixty, poor people to their fill for two meals, or
  • feed one poor person to his fill for two meals a day for sixty days, or
  • give sixty poor people half a sa’ of wheat (or similar food grains) or its monetary value, or
  • give sixty poor people a sa’ of dates (or similar food grains) or its monetary value, or
  • give one poor person either c or d for sixty days.
Half a sa’ is approximately 2 kilos (4.5 pounds). A full sa’ is approximately 4 kilos (9 pounds).

It is important to note that one does not have a choice between fasting sixty days and feeding sixty poor people. Rather, one is obliged to fast sixty days, unless one is genuinely unable to perform all of these fasts based on reasonable surety.

Reasonable surety is known by:
  1. manifest signs,
  2. a relevant past experience,
  3. the notification of an upright, Muslim doctor or physician.

One expiation suffices for all previous violations performed, even if they occurred in separate Ramadans. However,
if one performed a future violation after the performance of the expiation, then a new expiation is owed.
[Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah; Ala'd-Din Abidin, al-Hadiyya al-Alaiyya; Shurunbulali Imdadul-Fattah]

Category 2 acts that vitiate the fast and require makeup but do not require expiation includes any act that vitiates the fast if done accidentally (see aforementioned definition) or by force of another.

It also includes any makeup fast one vitiated while trying to make it up. These acts are:
  • eating or drinking accidentally
  • eating or drinking because one thought Maghrib entered but Maghrib did not enter
  • eating or drinking because one doubted that Fajr entered but Fajr really did enter
  • eating or drinking forgetfully and thereafter thinking that the fast is broken, to deliberately eat/drink again
  • swallowing what is between the teeth, on the condition that it is the size of a chickpea or bigger
  • swallowing a pebble or other items that people would not typically eat
  • swallowing water by accident when gargling for wudu or ghusl (with the exception of water that remains in the mouth—see below)
  • swallowing blood that exits from the gums and preponderates over the saliva
  • swallowing toothpaste or mouthwash
  • deliberately swallowing vomit that reaches a mouthful
  • deliberately vomiting a mouthful, regardless if one swallows it or not
  • vomiting and thereafter thinking that the fast is broken, to deliberately vomit again
  • smoke that enters the throat by one’s doing, on the condition one’s body does not benefit from it
  • kissing that causes one to ejaculate, on the condition one did not swallow the other’s saliva
  • engaging in sexual intercourse because one still thinks Fajr has not entered but it really has
  • engaging in sexual intercourse forgetfully and thereafter thinking that the fast is broken, to deliberately have sexual intercourse again
  • entering a suppository into the anus
  • entering something dry into the anus and it completely disappears inside the body
  • entering something wet or oiled into the anus, even if it does not completely disappear inside of the body
  • entering a wet tissue or a wet piece of cotton into the vagina, even if it does not completely disappear inside of the body
  • entering a dry tissue or a dry piece of cotton into the vagina and it is completely inserted inside of the body without any part remaining outside
  • pouring water or oil into the anus and it reaches the distance of the mihqana
  • pouring water or oil into the vagina and it reaches the distance of the mihqana
  • water used to clean the nose for wudu or ghusl reaches the throat or the brain
  • inhaling medicine into the nostrils
  • inhaling smoke by one’s doing, on the condition one’s body doesn’t benefit from it
  • touching that causes one to ejaculate (this includes masturbation)
  • applying medicine to an open abdominal or head wound and it reaches the stomach or the brain
[Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah; Ala'd-Din Abidin, al-Hadiyya al-Alaiyya; Shurunbulali Imdadul-Fattah]

The mihqana, or huqna in other relations, is a device used to insert medicine into the body by way of the anus (medical term: enema). In our day, a mihqana is similar to a rectal syringe or a clyster-pipe. 
The distance that breaks the fast is determined by when the top of mihqana reaches the place where medicine is released from it to the intestines. [Raddul-Muhtar]

The following are acts that do not break the fast:
  • eating or drinking something forgetfully (see aforementioned definition)
  • eating what is between the teeth if it is less than the size of a chickpea
  • tasting the leftover traces of medicine in the mouth or throat
  • chewing on a sesame seed without swallowing it, if its taste does not reach the throat
  • dust or smoke (including smoke from ‘ud or incense) entering one’s throat without one’s doing
  • a mosquito, fly, or any other object entering one’s throat without one’s doing
  • swallowing the wetness that remains after washing one’s mouth for wudu or ghusl
  • swallowing one or two drops of sweat or tears that enter the mouth and mixes with one’s saliva, on the condition that one cannot taste its saltiness
  • swallowing one’s own saliva
  • swallowing one’s own phlegm after clearing the throat
  • swallowing vomit that emerges in the mouth without one’s doing, even if it is a mouthful
  • deliberately vomiting less than a mouthful, regardless if one swallows it or not
  • using a miswak or toothbrush
  • wetting one’s lips with one’s saliva while speaking and swallowing it
  • swallowing blood that exits from the gums and does not preponderate over the saliva on the condition one cannot taste it
  • pulling back saliva into one’s mouth that flows to the chin like a string on the condition that it stays connected and does not break off
  • backbiting
  • performing sexual intercourse forgetfully
  • the state of major ritual impurity (janaba) suddenly befalls one, such as from a wet dream
  • ejaculation caused by looking or thinking
  • entering a dry finger into the anus
  • pouring water or oil into the male urethra
  • entering tissue or a piece of cotton into the male urethra, even if it completely disappears inside the body
  • entering a dry finger into the vagina
  • entering a dry tissue or a dry piece of cotton into the vagina upon the condition that part of it remains outside of the body
  • performing istinja with water, providing that the wetness does not reach the distance of the mihqana
    (see aforementioned definition)
  • mucus descending from the nose
  • sniffing up mucus that is in the nose and it descends to one’s throat
  • inhaling smoke, perfume, or incense without one’s doing
  • smelling an odor
  • applying kohl in the eyes, even if one finds its taste in the throat or its color in the saliva or phlegm
  • dripping eye drops or contact solution into the eyes
  • wearing contact lenses
  • water entering the ears from a bath
  • scratching the inside of one’s ear with a q-tip, even if dirt exits and one reinserts it into the ear
  • rubbing oil or cream on the body or hair
  • applying deodorant
  • performing a bath and finding its coolness penetrating into one’s body
  • withdrawing blood, such as in a blood test
  • blood cupping
  • intending to break one’s fast but not actually doing it
[Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah; Ala'd-Din Abidin, al-Hadiyya al-Alaiyya; Shurunbulali Imdadul-Fattah]

The following are acts that are disliked when fasting:
  • tasting or chewing something without an excuse, provided that its flavor is not swallowed
  • chewing flavorless gum
  • kissing with desire in which one fears falling into sexual intercourse or ejaculation, on the condition one did not swallow the other’s saliva
  • gathering saliva in the mouth and then swallowing it
  • to gargle excessively when making wudu or ghusl for fear of breaking the fast
  • to sniff water excessively when cleaning the nose in wudu or ghusl for fear of breaking the fast
  • doing things that would weaken one while fasting, like cupping or withdrawing blood
  • brushing the teeth with toothpaste or using mouthwash, on the condition one does not swallow it
[Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah; Ala al-Din Abidin, al-Hadiyya al-Alaiyya; Shurunbulali Imdad al-Fattah]

Can one be affectionate with their spouse while fasting spouse while fasting?
There are different rulings related to this question due to the various ways one can be affectionate.
Following is a list of physical contact that does not vitiate the fast:
  • Non-passionate kissing in which one is free from swallowing the saliva of one’s spouse and free from the fear of falling into sexual intercourse or ejaculation
  • Non-passionate touching in which one is free from the fear of falling into sexual intercourse or ejaculation, such as hugging or holding hands
  • Looking at one’s spouse, even if one ejaculates

Following is a list of physical contact that does not vitiate the fast but is prohibitively disliked:
  • Kissing with desire in which one fears falling into sexual intercourse or ejaculation
  • Touching with desire in which one fears falling into sexual intercourse or ejaculation
  • Anything sexual that one fears will lead to sexual intercourse or ejaculation

Following is a list of physical contact that vitiates the fast and requires makeup only:
  • Ejaculation from masturbation
  • Kissing and touching (i.e. no actual penetration took place) that causes ejaculation

Following is a list of physical contact that vitiates the fast and requires makeup and expiation:
  • Deliberate passionate kissing that causes one to swallow the saliva of one’s spouse
  • Deliberate sexual intercourse in one of the private parts with ejaculation
  • Deliberate sexual intercourse in one of the private parts without ejaculation
The person who involved himself in the above-mentioned situations should refrain from eating, drinking, and sex for the remainder of that day, as well as repenting for the severity of the sin.
Outside the month of Ramadan, if one breaks a fast deliberately through any the acts listed requiring expiation, then the expiation is not required. [Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah; Ala'd-Din Abidin, al-Hadiyya al-Alaiyya]

Regarding the I’tikaf, that is, the Spiritual Retreat, the mother of the believers, Hazrat Aisha said,
“The Prophet would always go on I’tikaf in the last ten days of Ramadan until Allah reaped his soul.”
[Bukhari]

The scholar az-Zahidi said,
“It is strange how the people have left performing the I’tikaf. The Messenger of Allah performed some actions and left them, but he never left the practice of performing I’tikaf from the time he entered Medina to the moment he died.”

The I’tikaf is entering the masjid with the intention to remain there for worship.
The masjid must be one where the group prayer is offered for the five obligatory prayers.


The I’tikaf is permissible if one is free from a state of major ritual impurity, menstruation, and post-natal bleeding.


The conditions for a valid vowed I’tikaf are:
  • the intention,
  • to be Muslim,
  • sanity,
  • to be free from menstruation and post-natal bleeding.
[Ala'd-Din Abidin, al-Hadiyya al-Alaiyya]


What are the types of I’tikaf?
  1. Necessary (wajib): the vowed I’tikaf
    The vowed I’tikaf is an oath to make i`tikaf for a specified time. It must be at least an entire day and night. One is obliged to fast during it in order for the vowed I’tikaf to count.
  2. Emphasized sunna: the last ten days and nights of Ramadan
    Performing I’tikaf in the last ten days and nights of Ramadan is a strongly emphasized communal sunna. It is blameworthy upon the community as a whole to not perform the I’tikaf. If some people perform the I’tikaf and others do not, then they raise the blameworthiness from the entire community.
    The scholars do not stipulate that one must fast during the emphasized sunna I’tikaf because it is performed during Ramadan and the assumption is that the person will be fasting anyway.
  3. Recommended: any times other than the aforementioned
  4. For the recommended I’tikaf, its minimum duration is a moment, even if it’s when one passes through the mosque. Fasting is not a condition for the recommended I’tikaf.
[Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah; Ala'd-Din Abidin, al-Hadiyya al-Alaiyya]


Can a Woman Perform I’tikaf? Yes, a woman can perform I’tikaf. A woman’s I’tikaf is best performed in the prayer area of her house. The prayer area is the place where she has designated to pray her obligatory and nafl prayers.
It is disliked for a woman to perform I’tikaf in the masjid.
It is not valid for men to perform I’tikaf in other than the masjid.
[Ala'd-Din Abidin, al-Hadiyya al-Alaiyya]


Regarding leaving the masjid during I’tikaf, leaving the masjid without an excuse ends the I’tikaf. This ruling also applies to a woman performing I’tikaf in the prayer area of her house. If one does leave because of an excuse, the excuse must be due to a shariah-compliant need, or to use the restroom if unable to use the masjid facilities, or out of necessity. [Shurunbulali, Imdadul-Fattah]


What Does a Person Do During I’tikaf? One is encouraged to busy oneself with worship and anything beneficial, such as praying, reciting the Qur’an, making much dhikr, speaking of the good, and gaining beneficial knowledge.
A person performing I’tikaf can eat, drink, sleep, talk, and do everything that is normally permissible, except for the obvious restrictions on sexual intercourse, kissing, and touching with desire. [Shurunbulali, Nurul-Iydah]


Allah Most High says,
“And do not approach your women while you are performing the spiritual retreat in the mosques.”
[Quran 2:187]

Engaging in these acts end the I’tikaf whether inside or outside of the masjid. For example, if one left the masjid for a shariah-compliant need and fell into sexual intercourse with one’s spouse, then this act ends the I’tikaf. Engaging in these actions end the I’tikaf, regardless of whether one did them during the day or the night.
[Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah; Tahtawi, Hashiyya at-Tahtawi; Shurunbulali Imdadul-Fattah]


During the I’tikaf, it is disliked to believe that remaining silent is a form of worship.
It is also disliked to engage in work or trade. [Shurunbulali, Nurul-Iydah]

May Allah accept our fasts and any act of worship that we perform for His sake.



Finally, we have the last pillar of Islam, Hajj.
Hajj is wajib for the one who meets the following criteria:
  • He is free (not a slave).
  • He has reached puberty.
  • He is sound minded (not crazy).
  • He is healthy enough to perform the hajj.
  • He has enough money for food, necessities and transportation for the trip beyond his financial obligations to his dependents as well as his house and other basic necessities.
  • His road to hajj is safe.

The prerequisites of Hajj are the following:
  • Proscription (Ihram)

The requisites of Hajj are the following:
  • Being at Arafah between the sun's zenith on the day of Ararah, and the start of Fajr on the day of Eid.
  • Most of Tawaf-uz-Ziyarah (with intention) after Fajr on Eid.

The duties of Hajj are the following:
  • Starting Tawaf from the Black Stone
  • Going counter-clockwise around the Kaaba seven times
  • Ritual purity during Tawaf
  • Covering the 'awrah during Tawaf
  • Walking in Sa'y if able
  • Making Sa'y after Tawaf (it is invalid alone)
  • Being at Muzdalifah after Fajr time enters
  • Sa'y between Safa and Marwah
  • Throwing the pebbles
  • The farewell Tawaf for strangers
  • Shaving (men only) or cutting (about 1 inch of) one's hair (at least 1/4 of all the head, but preferably all)
  • Remaining at 'Arafah until Maghrib enters
  • Slaughtering for Tamattu' and Qiran
  • Order between throwing and shaving for regular single Hajj
  • Order between throwing, slaughtering and shaving for Tamattu' and Qiraan
  • Tawaf-uz-Ziyarah between Fajr on Eid until the entry of Maghrib on the twelfth (third day of Eid)
  • Shaving or cutting one's hair in the Haram area.

Leaving any wajib requires atonement, but ones Hajj is valid without it.


Following are the Sunnat of Hajj:
  • The Tawaf of entering Mecca for the stranger
  • If a man (not a woman) has the intention of Sa'y after Tawaf: to walk fast with a strut in three rounds, uncover the right shoulder and cover the left
  • Going to Mina on the eighth and staying until having prayed Fajr on the ninth
  • Exiting from Mina after sunrise
  • Staying at Muzdalifah the night of Eid
  • Taking ghusl in 'Arafah
  • Spending the nights of Eid in Mina

Following are the directions for the Tamattu' pilgrimage:
  1. One must proscribe before or at the Miqat.
    When one wants to make proscription, one takes a full shower and ablution, puts one's pilgrimage clothes (sandals, rida' and izar for men), prays two subsets and then intends to make Umrah, saying:
    "O Allah, I have hereby intended to make Umrah, so make it easy for me!"
    Following this, one immediately says the Talbiyah:
    "Labbayk Allahumma labbayk, labbayka la sharika laka labbayk.
    Innal-Hamda wanni'mata laka wal-mulk, la shariika lak!"
    This must be done loudly for the man, quietly for the woman.
    One continues to say this until one reaches the doors of Masjid al-Haram. 
  2. When one first sees the Kaaba one should say
    "Allahu-Akbar! La ilaha il-Allah!"
    Following this, one should supplicate. 
  3. Head towards the Black Stone and proscribe for Tawaf by saying "Allahu-Akbar" lifting your hands as in prayer. Stretch your right hand towards the Black Stone saying "Bismillahi Allahu Akbar" then kiss the inside of your hand. Every time you pass by the Stone do the same. Don't try to touch or kiss the Stone unless you can do it without harming anybody. 
  4. Complete three rounds walking fast, strutting, then four at normal pace.
    Uncover the right shoulder during all rounds, and cover the left shoulder. 
  5. After completing seven rounds, pray the two subsets of Tawaf.
    This is a duty anytime one makes Tawaf. The best place to do it is behind Maqam-e-Ibrahim. 
  6. Drink some Zamzam water. 
  7. Go to as-Safa intending as-sa'y, face the Kaaba when you reach and say
    "Allahu-Akbar, la ilaha il-Allah" and "Allahumma salli 'ala Muhammad"
    Then, supplicate as you wish while lifting your hands. 
  8. Go from as-Safa to al-Marwah. Walk fast with a strut between the green pillars.
    When you reach al-Marwah, say
    "Allahu-Akbar, la ilaha il-Allah" and "Allahumma salli 'ala Muhammad"
    Then, supplicate as you wish while lifting your hands.You have now completed one round. 
  9. Complete seven such rounds, ending finally at al-Marwah. 
  10. Cut your hair (women and men) or shave your head (men only).
    You have now completed the Umrah. 
  11. Proscribe for Hajj on the day before Arafah at Mecca. 
  12. Go to Mina during the day before the standing on Arafah and stay there at night. 
  13. Go to Arafah after Fajr prayer in Mina and stay until after Maghrib.
    Pray Duhr and 'Asr together at Duhr time if you like and keep busy with worship. 
  14. Go to Muzdalifah. Pray Maghrib and 'Isha together there in the time of 'Isha as a duty.
    Stay there until after midnight. It is better to stay until after Fajr prayer. 
  15. Go to Mina and throw the seven stones of 'Aqabah, lifting the hand and throwing seven pebbles saying "Bismillahi Allahu-Akbar." Avoid harming others by pushing and the like. 
  16. Slaughter a lamb at Mina or Mecca. You may ask a trustworthy person to do it for you, but you cannot cut your hair until you are sure it has been done. 
  17. After the slaughter has been done, cut or shave you hair. You can now wear normal clothes, put on perfume, anything normally allowed, except what pertains to sex. 
  18. Make the obligatory Tawaf of Ziyarah and sa'y as delineated in steps two to ten.
    This can be done any time after sunrise the first day of Eid until Maghrib enters the third day of Eid.
  19. After the Tawaf you are now allowed everything a normal person can do. 
  20. Stay in Mina at night until after Fajr the second day of Eid, and likewise the next night.
    There is no sin if you stay until midnight only, or don't stay at all. 
  21. Throw the seven pebbles of the smaller, medium and larger stoning places both on the second and third days of Eid. It must be done after Duhr time enters until Fajr time enters to be valid.
    After finishing the smaller and medium stonings it is good to stop and supplicate, but not after the larger, that is, after it, you do not stop but keep moving. 
  22. If one stays until Maghrib enters in Mina on the third day of Eid, then one should stay and throw on the thirteenth as well.
    If one stays until Fajr enters on the thirteenth, then it is a duty to throw on this day also. 
  23. Before leaving Mecca one should make the Tawaf of Farewell as a duty.
    This Tawaf is with regular clothing and at a regular pace. There is no sa'y after it.



— Fahim Ferdous Promi