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بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيْم

اَلْحَمْدُ لِلّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِيْن،وَالصَّلاۃ وَالسَّلامُ عَلَی النَّبِیِّ الْکَرِيم وَعَلیٰ آله وَاَصْحَابه اَجْمَعِيْن۔

Rulings Pertaining to Ablution, Tayammum, Ghusl (bath) and Salah

Obligatory acts in Ablution: Four acts are obligatory in Ablution; missing any of them will invalidate the salah. (1) washing face from the hairline down to the chin and from one earlobe to another, (2) washing both arms up to the elbows, (3) performing mas’h (moving wet palm) on one-fourth area of the top head, and (4) washing both feet up to the ankles.

Sunnah acts in Ablution: Missing a Sunnah act does not invalidate the Ablution but it does decrease its virtue. (1) Making intention, (2) Beginning with Bismillah, (3) Washing both hands up to the wrists three times, (4) Rinsing the mouth three times, (5) Using Siwak, (6) Sniffing water into the nostrils thrice with fresh water, (7) Washing the face three times, (8) Washing both arms up to the elbows three times, (9) Performing mas’h on the entire head including ears, (10) Combing with fingers (doing Khilal) the beard with the fingers and passing fingers of both hands, against each other, and also passing them through the toes (Khilal of fingers and toes), (11) Continuity in washing different parts of the body i.e. washing each part, one after the other, without pause, to ensure that no part dries up before the next step., (12) Washing the prescribed parts in right order; firstly the face, then the arms, then performing the mas’h and then finally washing both feet.

Desirable acts in Ablution: In addition to Obligatory and Sunnah there are some other desirable actions (Mustahabbat) in Ablution that promise great reward.(1) Facing the Qiblah while performing ablution, (2) Sitting on a clean and elevated place, (3) Beginning with the right side, (4) Avoiding help from others as much as possible, and (5) Drinking the remaining water in standing position.

Detestable acts in Ablution: These are the things that should be avoided as much as possible. (1) Performing Ablutionat a dirty place, (2) Using right hand while sniffing water into the nostrils, (3) Wasting water by pouring more than what’s required, (4) Talking about worldly affairs while performing Ablution, (5)Performing Ablution against the Sunnah way, and (6) Splashing water forcefully.

Things that invalidate Ablution: (1) Passing stool or urine, (2) Passing air (farting), (3) Blood or pus discharging from any part of the body, (4) Mouthful vomiting, (5) Sleeping flat or relying against anything, (6) Losing consciousness due to intoxication, and (7) Laughing loudly in a prayerthat has  Ruku’ and Sujud(prostration) in it.

Obligatory acts in Ghusl (bath): Three acts are obligatory in Ghusl; missing any of them will invalidate the bath. (1) Rinsing mouth with mouthful of water, (2) Cleansing the nose with sniffing water to the soft portion, and (3) Pouring water on the entire body ensuring that no spot is left dry.

Sunnah acts in Ghusl: Missing a Sunnah act does not affect the Ghusl, but it decreases its reward. (1) Washing both hands up to the wrists, (2) Removing physical impurity, (3) Making intention of Ghusl, (4) Performingablution, (5) Rubbing the body, and (6) Pouring water thrice on the entire body.

Detestable acts in Ghusl: The following acts should be avoided as much as possible while taking bath. (1) Using water excessively, (2) using too less water to bath properly, and (3) talking to someone while bathing in anude state.

Tayammum: method and obligatory acts: There are three acts obligatory in Tayammum; (1) making theintention, (2) striking both palms on clean soil and then rubbing them on the face, (3) striking both palms on the soil and then rubbing both forearms up to the elbows. The Tayammum has been introduced in place of ablution if one is unable to use water due to sickness or lack of water. One should, first of all, make the intention of removing impurity. Then he should strike both his palms on pure soil or something similar and then rub them on his face. He should then strike both palms on the soil and rub both his forearms with them up to the elbows.

Timing for five daily prayers:

Fajr Prayer: From the rise of dawn till sunrise

Zuhr Prayer: From decline of the sun till the beginning of the time for Asr

Asr Prayer: When the shadow of everything becomes two folds of the actual length.

Maghrib Prayer: From the sunset till nearly one and a half hour. Delaying the Maghrib Salahfor long is detestable (makruh).

Isha Prayer: From nearly one and a half hour after sunset till the rise of dawn. However, offering Isha Salah after midnight is detestable.

Rak’ahs for the five daily prayers:

Four Rak’ahs for Fajr Salah: Firstly, two Sunnah and then two obligatory.

Twelve Rak’ahs for Zuhr Salah: Firstly, four Sunnah, then four obligatory and then two Sunnah and two Nafl.

Eight Rak’ahs for Asr Salah: Firstly, four Sunnah (un-emphasized) and then four obligatory.

Seven Rak’ahs for Maghrib: Three obligatory followed by two Sunnah and two Nafl

Seventeen Rak’ahs for Isha: Firstly, four Rak’ahs Sunnah (un-emphasized) and then four Rak’ahsobligatory followed by two Sunnah, two Nalf, three Witr and two Nalf.

Thus, one has to offer total seventeen Rak’ahsobligatory (Fardh), three Rak’ahsWitr (wajib), twelve Rak’ahs Sunnah (emphasized) and eight Rak’ahs Sunnah (un-emphasized) in a day.

Ruling: On Friday, the Zuhr Salah will be replaced with the Friday Prayer (two obligatory Rakahs with Imam). The Friday Prayer is not obligatoryfor women. Hence, they should offer the usual Zuhr salah instead. If a person could not offer the Friday Prayer with Imam, he will have to offer the four Rak’ahs of Zuhr Salah. In case, he is a traveler, he will have to offer two Rak’ahs of Zuhr. The fourteen Rak’ahs of the Friday Prayer are as follows: four Rak’ahs Sunnah, two obligatory, four Sunnah, two Sunnah and two Nafl.

The Nafl and Sunnah (un-emphasized) prayer, if observed, bringsreward. But there will be no accountability if it is missed. However, the emphasized Sunnah should not be missed without any valid excuse, because much emphasis has been laid on it in ahadith.

Conditions, Obligatory and Wajib acts of Salah:

Conditions of Salah:(1) Purity of body, (2) Purity of clothes, (3) Hiding of Satr: Man will hide from his navel up to the knees.A woman will hide her entire body excepther face, palms and feet. (4) Purity of the place of salah, (5) Falling of the prescribed time, (6) Facing the Qiblah, and (7) Making the intention of offering Salah.

Obligatory acts of salah: (1) Reciting of Takbir Tahrimah, (2) Observing Qiyam (standing straight), (3) Reciting one large or three small verses, (4) Performing Ruku’ (bowing down), (5) Prostration, (6) Observing the last Qa’dah (sitting), and (7) Ending the Salah deliberately. The salah will not be valid if any of these conditions and the Obligatory acts is missed intentionally or forgetfully.

Wajib acts of Salah:(1) Reciting Al-Fatihah, (2) Adding any Surah to Al-Fatihah, (3) Reciting the Holy Quran and first two Rak’ahs of the Obligatory Salah, (4) Reciting the Al-Fatihah before the Surah, (5) Standing upright after the Ruku’, (6) Sitting between the two prostrations, (7) Observing the first Qa’dah, (8) Reciting Al-Tahiyyat, (9) Ending the Salah with Tasleem, (10) Reciting the Quransilently in the Zuhr and Asr Salah, (11) Imam reciting the Quranloudly in the first two Rak’ahs of Maghrib and Isha, and in both Rak’ahs of the Fajr, Friday Prayer, two Eid prayers and Tarawih. If someone forgetfully misses any of these wajib acts, he is required to perform the Sajdah Sahw. But in case he missed it deliberately, he will have to perform the Salah again.

Sunnah acts in Salah: The following acts are Sunnah in Salah; missing any of them will not affect the salah. But it will indeed decrease its virtue.(1) Man should lift his both hands up to his ears when pronouncing TakbirTahrimah, while a woman should lift them up to her chest. (2) Man should place his hand below his navel, while a woman should fold them on her chest. (3) Reciting Al-Thana completely, (4) Reciting A’udhuBillah till end, (5) Reciting Bismillah completely, (6) SayingAllahu Akbar while moving towards the next act from the previous one, (7) Reciting Subhana Rabbi al-Azim thrice in the Ruku’, (8) Reciting Samia’ Allahu Li Man Hamidah and Rabbana Laka al-Hamd while rising from the Ruku’, (9) Reciting Subhana Rabbi al-A’lathrice in the prostration, (10) Between the two Sujud and in Al-Tahiyyat, man should sit on his left feet and keep the right feet standing on toes. A woman should sit on her bottomwhile positioning both her legs to the right side of her body. (11) Reciting Salawat, (12) Reciting MasnunDua after Salawat, (13) Turning face right and left while saying Salaam, and (14) Intending the Salam for the angels, other people following the Imam in Salah and the righteous jinns who may be present.

Desirable acts of Salah: (1) If a man is wearing a shawl, he should take out his hands out of it so that he may raise them up till the shoulder. (2) Suppressing the cough as much as possible, (3) Closing the mouth in case of yawning (4) Keeping eyes at the place of prostration in the state of standing, on feet in the state of Ruku’, at nose in the state of prostration, in the lap in the state of sitting, and on the shoulders while saying Salam.

Detestable acts in Salah: The following acts are considered detestable in Salah. (1) Adjusting the clothes, (2) Playing with the body or clothes,  (3) Snapping the fingers (4) Turning the head right and  left, (5) Stretching the limbs(6) Spreading armsup to the  elbows on the floor in the state of prostration for male, (7) Touching the belly with the thighs in prostration for male, (8) Sitting on crossed-legs (9) Imam leading the Salah standing in the Mehrab, (10) Standing alone out of the queue, (11) Keeping pictures in the front or hanging it up to the head, (12) Offering Salah in the clothes with pictures, (13) Hanging shawl or any piece of cloth on the shoulder, (14) Offering Salah in the state of pressing call of nature or when too much hungry, (15) Offering Salah with naked head. (This is meant only for man. A woman should cover her entire head.) (16) Offering salah with closed eyes.

Method of offering Salah: Man should, first of all, wear pure clothes, performablution and stand facing the Qiblah. The distance between the two legs should be like four fingers or so. He should make intention of Salah, raise his hands up to the earlobes and reciting Allahu Akbar place them below the navel. The right hand should be placed above the left one. The eyes should be kept at the place of prostration. He should stand in a humble manner remembering Allah should avoidturning right or left. After that, he should recite Al-Thana till the end followed by Ta’audh and Tasmiya. After that, he should recite al-Fatihah. After completing it, he should say‘Amin’silently followed by any small Surah or any verse from the Quran. After therecitation of the Quran, one is required to utter Allahu Akbar and bow down in Ruku’ by catching both knees in hands. In the Ruku’, the person should recite Subhana Rabbi al-Azim three, five or seven times. Then, he should recite Sami’ Allahu Liman Hamidah and stand upright followed by reciting Rabban Lak al-Hamd. After that, one will have to make prostration by reciting Allahu Akbar. While going in prostration, one should first place his knees on the floor, then his hands, then his nose between the two hands and at last his forehead.In prostration, one should recite Subhana Rabbi al-A’lathree, five or seven times. After doing this, he should raise his head by reciting Allahu Akbar and sit. After that, he should again make prostration as the first one. With this, he will complete one Rak’ah.

He will then rise for the second Rak’ah by reciting Allahu Akbar. In this Rak’ah, he will recite the Al-Fatihah and a portion of the Quran with Bismillah. He will perform all the acts as earlier. But after completing his second Rak’ah, he should sit. In this sitting, he should recite At-Tahiyyat, Salawat and Dua and then end his Salah with Salam towards right and left. By this, he will be completing two Rak’ah Salah.

If one intends to offer three or four Rak’ah salah, he should recite only Al-Tahiyyat in sitting after two Rak’ah. After that, he should stand upby reciting Allahu Akbar. In these Rak’ah, he should recite Bismillah and Al-Fatihah and then perform Ruku’ and Sujud. If he intends to offer three Rak’ahs, he should sit after three and finish his salah as earlier. But in case, he wants to offer four Rak’ahs, he should stand up for the fourth one directly without sitting after thethird. He will then complete his fourth Rak’ah as earlier and finish his salah.

Ruling: In the third and fourth Rak’ahs of Nafl Salah, one should recite Al-Fatihah along with some portion of the Quran. Every Rak’ah of the salah, except in the case of Obligatory Salah, one is required to add some portion of the Quran after reciting Al-Fatihah.

Ruling: If one is offering salah behind the Imam, he should not recite anything after the Tahrimah except the Thana. It is Imam alone who will recite Ta’auwudh, Tasmiya, Al-Fatihah and a portion of the Quran. He should likewise stay silent behind the Imam in the second, third and fourth Rak’ah. However, he is required to offer the Tasbih of Ruku’, Sujud, Al-Tahiyyat, Salawat and Dua behind the Imam too.

Ruling: The Ruku’ should be performed the way that the waist and the head become in straight level.The head should neither be higher than the waist, nor should it be lower than it. The arms should be kept aloof from the ribcage and the fingers of both hands should hold the knees.

Ruling: In prostration, the palms of the hand should be placed on the floor with fingers spread but not wide apart from each other.All the fingers should face the direction of Qiblah. The wrists should not touch the floor. The belly should not touch the thighs and similarly, a gap should be maintained between the elbows and the ribcage. The toes should be turned ahead to make them face the direction of the Qiblah. But the stomach of a woman should touch her thighs and her arms her ribcage.

Ruling: While rising from the Ruku’, the Imam alone will recite Samia’ Allahu Liman Hamidah. The followers will recite Rabbana Lak al-Hamd. The person offering Salah alone will recite both.

Ruling: While sitting between the two Sujud and after two or the last Rak’ah of the Salah, man should spread his left foot to sit on and keep his right foot standing on toes.Both knees should be facing the direction of Qiblah. The toes of the right foot should be turned well so that they may face the direction of Qiblah. However, a woman should take both her feet out from the right side and then sit on the floor.

Note: In the disputed issues related to Salah, the opinions of Imam Abu Hanifah, born in theeightieth century after Hijrah, and the Hanafi scholars based on the Quran and ahadith have been adopted in this article.To know their arguments and the evidence they bring forth in support of their respective opinions, one may refer to the books of Hanafi School of Islamic Jurisprudence on the subject.

Mohammad Najeeb Qasmi (