Cii Radio| Ayesha Ismail|11 May 2018| 24 Shabaan 1439

As the blessed month of Ramadaan approaches, alhamdulillaah, many Huffaz will have the yearning to recite the Qur’an in Taraweeh salāh and gain the rewards of acting upon a very important and blessed sunnah. Carrying out this blessed sunnah enables the Huffaz to refresh and strengthen their memorisation of the Glorious Qur’an.

However, leading a congregation in salāh holds a great responsibility. Ibn ‘Umar radhiyallāhu ‘anhu relates that the Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam said, “Each one of you is a guardian, and each one of you will be questioned regarding those under your care; an imām is responsible [and will be questioned] with regards to his followers…….” (Al-Bhukārī, Muslim)

As an imam, whether there are one or two individuals standing behind him or many, whether the congregation is in a masjid, house or even a factory, the responsibility of every individual standing behind him lies solely on his shoulders. If the imam’s salah is not valid, neither will the salah of the muqtadis (followers) be valid. Keeping this in mind, below are a few points for our beloved Huffaz to keep in mind in order for them to ensure that throughout the year whenever an opportunity arises to lead a congregation – and more specifically, in the month of Ramadan – they carry out this responsibility in the best manner possible in order to acquire the highest reward in the Court of Allah ta’ala.

1) Cleanliness

Outer Cleanliness:

Cleanliness is one of the most important aspects in Islām, regarding which Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam mentions in a hadīth, “Cleanliness is a part of Īmān (Faith).” (Muslim)

Similarly, Allāh ta’ālā praises those who love to keep clean and pure in the Qur’ān by stating, “Surely Allāh loves those who are most repenting, and loves those who keep themselves pure.” (2:222)

“… In it there are people who like to observe purity; and Allāh loves those observing purity.” (9:108)

One aspect of cleanliness which requires importance and attention, but is often overlooked, is the aspect of urine drops splashing onto one’s clothes and/or body. Negligence in this aspect invalidates one’s salāh – as one of the prerequisites of salāh is that one’s body and clothes must be pure from any filth. A grave punishment has been appointed for such a person who does not pay heed to this and is careless in this regard.

‘Abdullah Ibn ‘Abbas radhiyallāhu ‘anhumā has narrated that as the Messenger of Allah sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam passed by two graves and remarked, “The occupants of these two graves are being punished, and this punishment is not owing to a sin that was a difficult matter. The sin of one of them was that he never tried to save himself from being soiled with urine…” (Al-Bukhārī, Muslim)

Therefore, whilst relieving oneself, one must pay attention and be cautious of droplets of urine splashing onto the body or clothes. Moreover, after relieving oneself, he must ensure that all drops of urine have left the private parts. In order to do this, many methods have been mentioned by the fuqaha’; for example, one method is to keep some layers of toilet tissue around the private parts and walk around for a while. This then triggers the body to remove any last remaining drops which may still be in the urinary tract. Thereafter, once one is totally satisfied that no more urine drops will come out, wudu should be performed, paying much attention to the fara’id, sunan and mustahabbat. The reason behind this is that wudu is the key to salah, and salah is the key to Jannah. When one is not careful regarding urine drops, not only will this invalidate his wudū, but in turn his salah will also be rendered invalid.

Inner Cleanliness:

Mentioned previously, was with regards the outer cleanliness of a person (zāhir). But there is also another aspect of cleanliness; this is the cleanliness of the inner self (bātin). Inner cleanliness, with reference to salāh, means that a person needs to be mindful of the fact that when standing on the musallā to lead the congregation, he should be focussed towards the Pleasure of Allāh ta’ālā and not towards any worldly gain or fame. Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam has mentioned in a hadīth with regards that person who performs salāh in order to show people, “Whoever offered salāh for show is guilty of polytheism (shirk) …” (Ahmad)

An earnest effort also needs to be made to stay away from all types of sin; minor and major, as the effect of the Qur’ān from a pure clean heart has a more telling effect on the hearts of the followers.

2) Clothes

If a common citizen was to receive an invitation to visit the King or Queen, he would go to all lengths to ensure that the clothing he adorns himself with is of a high standard and appropriate to the occasion. So, when a person is engaged in salah, he is presenting himself before the King of all kings. So then, what should our level of appropriate adornment be?

Another aspect of clothing to be kept in mind is that the trousers or any garment which is worn (including a robe/jubbah, etc.) does not hang below the ankles. There are stark warnings regarding this in the ahadith of the Prophet of Allāh sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam one of which is, Abū Hurayrah radhiyallāhu ‘anhu says that Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam said to a person who was reading salāh with his lower garment hanging [below his ankles], “Go and perform your ablution again.” The man went and came back after having done so. The Prophet sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam again said,

“Go and make your ablution.” Someone present said to the Prophet, “O Messenger of Allāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam! Why did you ask him to perform ablution then remain quiet?” Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam replied, “He is offering his salah with his lower garment hanging, and Allāh does not accept the salah of a man who lets his lower garment hang.” (Abū Dāwūd)

The Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam also said, “What hangs below the two ankles is in the Fire.” (Al-Bukhārī)

Note: Many Fuqaha’ have said it is makrūh tahrīmī (highly disliked) for a person to perform salāh in a manner that his clothes hang below his ankles. (Fatāwā ‘Uthmānī by Muftī Muhammad Taqī Al-Uthmānī, Ash-Shāmī, ‘Ahsanul Fatawa’ by Muftī Rashid Ahmad Ludhiyanwī)

3) Beard

It is related by Ibn ‘Umar radhiyallāhu ‘anhu that the Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam is reported to have said, “Oppose the idolaters; lengthen your beards and trim your moustaches.” (Al-Bukhārī, Muslim)

Ibn ‘Umar radhiyallāhu ‘anhu has also narrated, “The Prophet ordered us to trim our moustaches and grow the beard.” (At-Tirmidhī)

From these, and many other ahādīth, it can be learnt that the prophet s ordered the growing and lengthening of the beard. The ‘Ulamā’ have unanimously ruled that it is obligatory for a man to grow his beard, and it is harām for him to shave it or trim it below the shar’ī limit.

The sin of not growing a beard is particularly dangerous because:

It is a sin which is recorded 24 hours of the day, unlike zina (fornication) -for example- wherein the sin is recorded only for the period of time he engages in it.

It is an open rebellion against the Law Maker (Allāh ta’ālā), for the sign of His disobedience is being put on public display for all to witness. The Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam warned against open sinners stating, “All of my ummah will be forgiven except those who sin openly.”(Al-Bukhārī)
(Taken from ‘The Beard: only a Sunnah?’ by Mawlānā Sulayman Bhula)

Note: It is stated in many books of masā’il that it is makrūh tahrīmī for a person who trims or shaves his beard to lead salāh. (As-Shāmī, ‘Ahsanul Fatawa’ by Mufti Rashid Ahmed Ludhiyanwi)

4) ‘Isha’ Salah with Jama’ah in the Masjid

It is important to note that the congregation of ‘Isha’ salah and Taraweeh salah have different rulings. The ruling for ‘Isha’ salah is that it should be performed in the masjid where everyday congregation takes place. After one has performed his ‘Isha’ salah, he may perform Taraweeh salah at another location. It is an incorrect assumption that the congregation of ‘Isha salāh should take place where Taraweeh salah is going to be performed, despite not being a masjid, for the sake of convenience. Our beloved Shaykh Mawlana Muhammad Saleem Dhorat hafizahullah mentions how easily we are deprived of multiple rewards in the month of Ramadan, when we should be aiming to maximise benefit. In this blessed month, where each fard is equivalent to seventy fara’id (in reward) and with salah with jama’ah in the masjid being more rewarding, we deprive ourselves of these rewards by performing our Isha’ salah at home or at our place of Taraweeh (which is often not a shar’i masjid). He advises that one should perform the ‘Ishā’ salāh in a nearby masjid and then perform his Taraweeh salāh wherever he is appointed.

Note: Mufti Rashid Ahmad Ludhyanwi states in his fatāwā ‘Ahsanul Fatawa’ that it is only permissible to perform Tarawih salah at home or anywhere else, if you have read your ‘Isha salah with jama’ah in the masjid.

5) Perfection of Salāh

Salah is a direct conversation with Allah ta’ala and thus, should be performed with utmost humility and humbleness, keeping in mind all the fara’id, sunan, wājibāt and mustahabbāt pertaining to salah. Our pious elders would perform each ṣalah as if it would be their last salah before leaving this world.

We also need to adopt this concept in our salāh. The misconception of people nowadays, especially in the month of Ramadān, and in particular with Tarāwīh salāh, is to perform it as quickly as possible, with it being a race against the clock! Due to this we become very neglectful of the sunan of salāh, and sometimes even the wājibāt or farā’id of salāh, due to which our salāh may even become invalid, or at the least be extremely degraded and of a poor quality.

Note: One very important wājib of salāh which is often neglected at such times is ta’dīl-al-arkān, i.e. to pause after each posture in such a manner that the body becomes still and motionless before proceeding to the next posture.

It is narrated by Abū Hurayrah radhiyallāhu ‘anhu that a man came into the masjid whilst the Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam was sitting in the corner of the masjid and performed salāh. Thereafter, he came and made salām to the Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam. The Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam said,

“May the peace of Allah be on you also. Return and perform your salah again because you have not performed your salah.” He returned and performed his salah and then came and made salaam to the Prophet sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam. The Prophet sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam said, “May the peace of Allah be upon you also. Return and perform your salah again because you have not performed your salah.” Then upon the third occurrence or after that he said,

“O Prophet of Allāh! Teach me!” So the Prophet of Allāh said, “When you stand up for salāh, do wudū properly then face towards the qiblah, read the takbīr and thereafter recite
what is easy for you from the Qur’ān. Then perform rukū’ until you are content that you have performed rukū’. Then stand until you are completely straight. Then perform sajdah until you are content that you have done a sajdah. Then sit until you are content that you have sat. Then perform another sajdah until you are content that you have perform sajdah…” (Al-Bukhārī, Muslim)

6) Recitation of the Glorious Qur’an

This is amongst the most virtuous acts during the month of Ramadān, as it is in this very month that the Qur’an was revealed. We should ensure that we fulfil the rights of the Qur’an by reciting it with tajweed and ensuring that each letter is read clearly and distinctly from the other. However, as mentioned above, many try to recite as fast as possible attempting to complete the taraweeh salah as fast as possible; in doing so becoming negligent of correct pronunciation and the other rules of tajweed. Moreover, we unfortunately do not realise that by doing this we may be incurring the curse of Allah ta’ala, and we may, without realising, be changing and distorting the meaning of the Qur’an, which could invalidate the salah.

It is related on the authority of ‘Abdullāh bin ‘Amr radhiyallāhu ‘anhu that he heard the Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam saying,

“The fast and the Qur’ān will both plead on behalf of the bondsman. The fast will say, ‘My Lord! I had held him back from food, drink and sexual satisfaction. Accept my intercession for him today [and treat him with mercy and forgiveness].’ And the Qur’ān will say, ‘I had held him back from taking rest and sleeping in the night. O Allāh! Accept my intercession for him today [and treat him with mercy and forgiveness]…'” (Al-Bayhaqī)

If we have not recited the Qur’ān correctly then how can we expect its intercession! Many people give preference to the tune of recitation over tajwīd, and the rules of tajwīd are flagrantly disregarded. A hadīth narrated by Imām Al-Bayhaqī rahimahullāh states that the Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam said,

“Recite the Qur’an with the modulation and tone of the Arabs and refrain from the modulation of those who recite love poetry and the modulation of the people of the two books. Some people will come after me who will recite the Qur’an in a singing and wailing manner but it will not go beyond their throats, and the hearts of those who are charmed by their performance will be caught by temptation.”

May Allah ta’ala grant us the tawfīq to act upon these points and make our Ramadaan and our Taraweeh as rewarding as possible. Ameen.

By Mawlānā Dawood Abowath – Riyādul Jannah (Volume 23 Issue 5)
Source – Mufti says .com


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