Taraweeh, Shab-e-Qadar and other issues
  • Asalamalaikum,
    I hope this finds you in the best of health. My queries are:
    1) What is the ruling on Taraweeh prayer and how many rakats to pray - 8 or 20 as there are many differences of opinions and it permissible to take a moderately long break after every 4 rakats? Is fasting acceptable without prayer?
    2) What is the rulling on Shab-e-Qadr, how many rakats to pray and should it prayed on the 27th or 21st, 23rd, 25th, 27th and 29th?
    3) Should one continue to pray in the dark when lights go out during prayer or what is the ruling regarding this?
    4) Sometimes I get overwhelming / overpowering doubts about wudu and during prayer whether I prayed 3 or 4 rakats and this causes me to repeat both many times, even though I don't know if the wudu has actually broken or I think I have prayed correctly but repeat so what to do in these situations?
    5) Is it permissible to put on black mehendi when one is mensturating?
    6) What is the ruling on learning karate and other forms of martial arts as there is bowing to the Master or Instructor and greeting them in a manner such as with two palms of the hands together in front of the chest similar to or like "namaste"? Is this allowed or how should the greeting be done?
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  • Walikum Salaam Waramatullah Barkatu. Thank you for your question.

    1) Taraweeh is originally 20 rakats now it is up to you to pray 8 or 20. If you can pray the full 20 rakats then you should but if you cannot and could only pray 8 for some particular reason then he could as well. At the time of the Prophet Muhammad (Sallalahu Alayhi Wassalam) the prophet used to pray sometimes 8 or 20 for there was not any established ruling to just pray 20 or to just pray 8. It was after the demise of the Prophet (peace be upon him) that Hazrat Umar (Radiallahu tala anhu) who had established to pray 20 rakats of taraweeh in the masjid and this ruling has been established and has been the same for centuries. Eventhough it maybe a bidah (innovation) to establish 20 rakat but it is well agreed upon to be a good bidah known as (bidat-e-hasanah).

    Sayyidina Abdur Rahman bin Abdul Qari (Radiallahu tala anhu) reports, “I went out in the company of Umar bin Al-Khattab (Radiallahu tala anhu) one night in Ramadan to the Masjid, and found the people praying in different groups; a man praying alone or a man praying with a little group behind him. So, Umar said, ‘In my opinion, I would better collect these (people) under the leadership of one Qari (recitor) [i.e. let them pray in congregation].’ So, he made up his mind to congregate them behind Ubayy bin Kaab. Then on another night, I went again in his company and the people were praying behind their Qari. On that, Umar remarked, ‘What an excellent Bid’ah (i.e. innovation in religion) this is...’” [Bukhari, Vol. 3, Book 32, Hadith no. 227]

    Holy Prophet (May Allah's Peace and Blessings be upon him) said: Hold firmly onto my sunnah "And the Sunnah of Khulafa ar-Rashideen (the four rightly-guided caliphs)"(Narrated in Sunnan Abu Dawood, Volume No. 2, Page No. 635. Sunnan Tirmidhi Volume No.2, Page No.108, Sunan Darimi vol.1 pg.43, Ibn Majah and others)

    There are numerous hadith relating to pray 20 rakats.

    Sa'eeb ibn Yazid: who said: 'In the time of Umar ibn al-Khattab (Allah be pleased with him) the people used to observe “20 rak'ahs” (Tarawih) and the witr.' [Marifat-us-Sunan wa'l athar - Imam Bayhaqi, Volume 004, Page No. 42, Hadith Number 5409]

    Imam al-Bayhaqi (peace be upon him) has also reported another version of the above narration through a different channel of transmission.

    Sa'eeb bin Yazeed (Radiallahu tala anhu) who said: "In the time of Umar ibn al-Khattab (Allah be pleased with him), they would perform “20 rak'ahs” (Tarawih) in the month of Ramadan. He said (also): And they would recite the Mi'in, and they would lean on their sticks in the time of Uthman ibn Affan (Allah be pleased with him), from the discomfort of standing." [Bayhaqi Sunan al-Kubra Volume 002, Page No. 698-9, Hadith Number 4617] Click here for Scanned Page (114)

    Imam al-Nawawi said: 'Its Isnad is Sahih'. (بإسناد صحيح) [Al-Khulasa al-Ahkam, Hadith Number 1961]

    Imam Badr ud din Ayni (peace be upon him) states:

    Translation: Imam al-Bayhaqi has narrated with “SAHIH CHAIN” from the companion Sai’b bin Yazid (Radiallahu tala anhu) who said: During the tunure of Umar (Radiallahu tala anhu) people used to stand for 20 Rakahs (of Tarawih), same was done in the time Uthman (ra) and Ali (ra) [Umdat ul Qari, Sharh Sahih ul Bukhari, Volume No. 5, Page No. 264, Published by Dar ul Fikr, Beirut, Lebanon]

    Al-Mubarakfuri the famous Salafi scholar also declared the Sanad of this hadith as “Sahih” and he cited Imam al-Nawawi (rah)’s authentication [Tuhfa Tul Ahwadhi, Volume No. 3, Page No. 453, Published by Dar ul Fikr, Beirut, Lebanon]

    Yahya (Radiallahu tala anhu)related to me from Malik that Yazid ibn Ruman said, "The people used to watch the night in prayer during Ramadan for twenty-three rakahs in the time of Umar ibn al-Khattab." [Muwatta Imam Malik, Book : As Salah Chapter : Ma Ja-a Fi Qayam e Ramzan Volume : 1 Page : 159 Hadith number : 380] Click here for Scanned Page (116)

    Note: 3 Rakahs were of Witr

    Imam Tirmidhi (Radiallahu tala anhu)'s opinion:

    وأَكْثَرُ أهْلِ العِلمِ على ما رُوِيَ عن عليٍّ وعُمر وغَيْرِهِمَا مِنْ أَصحابِ النبيِّ عِشْرِينَ رَكْعَةً. وَهُوَ قَوْلُ الثَّوْرِيِّ وابنِ المُبَارَكِ والشَّافِعيِّ رحمه الله. وقَالَ الشَّافِعيُّ: وهَكَذَا أدْرَكْتُ بِبَلَدِنَا بِمَكَّةَ، يُصَلُّونَ عِشْرِينَ رَكْعَةً

    The Majority amongst People of Knowledge, (agree) upon praying 20 Rakahs (of Tarawih) as is narrated from Umar (Radiallahu tala anhu), Ali (Radiallahu tala anhu) and other Sahaba of Prophet (Salallaho alaihi wasalam) Sufyan Thawri (Radiallahu tala anhu), Abdullah Ibn Mubarak(Radiallahu tala anhu) and Imam Shafi’i (Radiallahu tala anhu) said the same, Imam Shafi'i (Radiallahu tala anhu) said that he saw people of Makkah praying 20 Rakahs (Tarawih) [Sunnan Jami’i al Tirimdhi, Book of Fasting, Chapter on Qiyaam in Ramadan Volume 3 Page No. 169 Hadith No. 806]

    The Shafiis agree with the Hanafis, Hanbalis, and Malikis that tarawih is 20 rakats. Many great scholars consider there to be scholarly consensus (ijma`) of the Companions regarding this.

    The word Tarawih means the act of taking rest. After every 4 rakahs, it is recommended (mustahhab) to rest and do dhikr. Some scholars mention the duration of the rest to the extent of praying 4 rakahs while others say it can be shortened. After every fourth rakat you should read the following dua or any dua but this dua is recommended

    Subhana ZilMulki wal Malakuti, Subhana ZilIzzati wal Azmati wal Haybati wal Qudrati, Wal Kibriyaa'i wal Jabaroot Subhanal Malikil Hayyil Ladhi, la Yanaamu wa la Yamutu,
    Subbuhun, Quddusun, Rabbul Malaa'ikati war-Ruh, La Ilaha Illal Lahu, Nastaghfirullahi
    Nas 'alukul Jannati, Wa Na-udhubika Minan-Naar Ya Mujiru, Ya Mujiru, Ya Mujir

    Translation: Glorified is the Owner of the Kingdom of the earth and the heavens; Glorified is the Possessor of Honour and Magnificence and Awe, and Power and Greatness and Omnipotence Glorified is the Sovereign, the Living, Who does neither sleep nor die O all Glorious, All Holy one, Our lord and the Lord of the Angels, And the soul. There is no God but You, Forgive us, Grant us Paradise, and save us from (hell) fire.

    After every fourth rakats there should be atleast 2-3min break it should not be too long.

    Is fasting acceptable without prayer? -

    You should be praying your 5 times prayer while fasting and performing as much good deeds as possible because this is one of the most blessed months. Prayer and fasting are both two different types of worship. Prayer is a physical worship and visible and fasting is not visible. Your fast will be accepted but you will not get the full reward of fasting. In order to recieve the full reward you should be steadfast in your prayer and perform as much good deeds as possible.

  • 2) The Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Whoever prays on Laylat al-Qadr out of faith and sincerity, shall have all their past sins forgiven.” [Bukhari and Muslim, from Abu Hurayra (Allah be pleased with him)]

    The Prophet (Allah bless him & give him peace) also said, “Seek it in the last ten days, on the odd nights.” [Bukhari and Muslim from Abu Sa`id al-Khudri (Allah be pleased with him)]

    The scholars affirm that it is the best of nights, [al-Fatawa al-Hindiyya, quoting Mi`raj al-Diraya, 1.216] because of Allah Most High’s words,

    “Lo! We revealed it on the Night of Power.

    Ah, what will convey unto thee what the Night of Power is!

    The Night of Power is better than a thousand months.

    The angels and the Spirit [Jibril] descend therein, by the permission of their Lord, will all decrees.

    (That night is) Peace until the rising of the dawn.”

    (Qur’an, Surat al-Qadr: 97)

    Imam Nawawi and others explain that ‘The Night of Power is better than a thousand months,’ means that it is better than a thousand months without it.

    Given the tremendousness of this night, it is recommended to seek this night, and to worship Allah in it, with prayer, supplication (du`a), remembrance (dhikr), and other actions. [Ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar, quoting Mi`raj al-Diraya, and Nawawi, al-Majmu`] Because obligatory acts are more beloved to Allah than supererogatory ones, the most important thing for men is to pray both Isha and Fajr at the mosque.

    Laylat al-Qadr is to be found in the last five odd nights of Ramadan. There is no history in the Quran as to when the specific date is. Therefore in the Sunni communities of all the Islamic countries, the Laylat al-Qadar is found to be on the last 10 nights of Ramadan. Mostly it is on one of the odd nights, i.e. the 21st (means the night that follows the day number 20), 23rd, 25th, 27th or 29th night. Many traditions insist particularly on the night before the 27 of Ramadan. So we should perform as much ibadah on the last ten days of Ramadan.

    In this night (27th of Ramadan), the Holy Quran was sent down from LOH-E-MEHFOOZ (the Preserved Tablet) to the earth. Messenger of ALLAH (Blessings of Allah and peace be on him) told us to search for Shab-e-Qadr in the odd numbered nights, in the last ten days of Ramzan. So, the 21st, 23rd, 25th, 27th or 29th night of Ramadan could be Shab-e-Qadr.

    Hazrat Aisha (Radiallah tala Anha) stated that Rasool Allah peace be upon him said, "Look for Lailat-Ul-Qadr in the odd nights of the last ten days of Ramadhan." (Bukhari)

    Hazrat Aisha (Radiallah tala Anha) stated that as much Prophet Allah peace be upon him tried (Ibadat) in the last Ashra (ten days) of Ramadhan, did not try in any of the Ashra." (Muslim)

    Hazrat Aisha (Radiallah Anha) stated that I asked Rasool Allah peace be upon him, "If I find Lailatul Qadar then what should I do? HE peace be upon him said, recite this Dua."ALLAH HUMMA INNAKA A’FUVUN TOHIB BUL AFVA FA’AFU ANNI" (Tirmidhi)

    Muslims often pray extra prayers on this day, particularly the night prayer. They awake, pray, and hope God will give them anything they may desire on this night. Mostly, they perform tilawat (reading the Quran).

    Those who can afford to devote their time in the remembrance of God stay in the mosque for the final ten days of Ramadan. This worship is called Iʿtikāf (retreat). They observe a fast during the day and occupy themselves with the remembrance of God, performing voluntary prayers and studying the Quran, day and night, apart from the obligatory prayers which they perform with the congregation. Food and other necessities of life are provided for them during their stay in the mosque. Devoting time to remember God, Muslims also hope to receive divine favors and blessings connected with Lailat ul-Qadr.

    What you could do:

    Offer 2 cycles of nafl prayer (raka’t)
    In each raka', after Surah FATIHA, recite Surah QADR once and Surah IKHLAS three times. After completion of this salah, recite any Astaghfar seventy times.
    Astaghfar: "Allah Hummagh Fir Li Wa Tub A'laiyya Inna Ka Innta Tawwabur Raheem" OR "Astaghfirullah Rabbi Min Kulli Zambiyon Wa Atoobu ilaiyh"
    Benefit: Effective for forgivness of sins.

    Read Durood Ibraheem


    Recite the Quran

    Make lots and lots of Duas
  • 3) Shari’ah does not prohibit performing the Salah in the dark. In the early period of Islam, Salah’s like Fajr and Isha were mostly read in the dark or dim light because there was not an abundance of artificial lighting like we have today.

    However, there is a report in which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) forbade Muslims from performing Salah near a danger, like an open fire. On that basis, if reading in the dark is a danger then it should not be performed in this manner. Otherwise, there is no reason why it is forbidden, especially when it leads to added concentration during the prayer.

    Light is not an essential condition of prayer or an obligatory part of the prayer. But if the darkness is a cause of fear which disturbs a person to the point that he cannot have the necessary presence of mind and humility (khushoo’) in prayer, then it is makrooh for him to pray in the dark.

    If lights do go out you can wait till the lights do come back on.
  • 4) Be attentive in your prayer. Concentrate in your prayer. When before praying you always make the intention of how many rakats or which prayer your about to pray. For example if your about to pray Zuhr 4 rakats fard you would make the intention and you would know how many rakats your praying beforehand and while praying. Forgetting the number of rak`ahs that one has prayed does not automatically invalidate one's prayer.

    Rather, if one forgets how many rak`ahs one has prayed, one goes on the assumption that he has prayed the least number that he is certain of. For example, if I'm unsure whether I've prayed two or three rak`ahs, then I assume that I've only prayed two and then complete my prayer based on that assumption.

    If one's doubt persists until the end of the prayer, then it would be recommended (but not obligatory) to perform two prostrations of forgetfulness at the end of the prayer.

    If one remembers the correct number of rak`ahs before the end of the prayer, then in certain cases, it would be recommended to perform the forgetfulness prostration.

    IF YOU ARE NOT SURE that you passed wind (after performing wudu''), then you assume that you did not pass wind. [Ibn `Abidin, "Radd al-Muhtar," and Ibn Nujaym, "Al-Ashbah"]

    Thus, if you are in the process of making wudu'' at the time, then you continue with your wudu''; or if you already made wudu; and had started praying, then continue with the salah. As long as it is mere doubt, and you are not certain that any wind has exited, you should not heed it, for it is likely to be Satan trying to distract you from the worship.

    The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and his Household and grant them peace) has said, "If any of you feels something in his stomach such that it is unclear to him, whether something has come out or not, then he should certainly not leave the mosque, unless he hears a sound or smells an odour."
    [Narrated by Muslim]
    And in another hadith we find:
    "Satan may come to one of you in salah and blow air in his bottom, making him imagine that he has lost his wudu. So, when one experiences that, he should not turn away [from the salah] unless he hears a sound or smells an odour." [Narrated by Bazzar as in Bulugh al-Maram]

    IF YOU ARE SURE that you have passed wind, your wudu'' is invalidated, whether there is a smell or sound, or neither. If this happens while you are still performing wudu'', then you need to re-start the wudu''
    (over again). If it happens during salah, you need to break off the salah and go and repeat your wudu.

    However, if the problem if chronic, such that at no time can you quickly perform the necessary acts of wudu'' and the necessary (fard and wajib) parts of salah without passing wind, then you have the concessions of an excused person (ma`dhur)
  • 5) It is permissible for a woman to put henna on her hands and nails during her menstrual period and at other times. Indeed, a number of the fuqaha’ regarded it as mustahabb for a woman to dye her hands with henna at the time of her menses, because then she does not need to remove the paste for the purpose of doing wudoo’.

    In al-Mawsoo‘ah al-Fiqhiyyah (2/283) it says: The majority of fuqaha’ are of the view that it is permissible for a menstruating women to use henna, because it was narrated that a woman asked ‘Aa’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) about that, saying: Can a menstruating woman dye (her hands) with henna? She said: We were with the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) and we used to dye our hands, and he did not tell us not to do that. And because it is narrated that the womenfolk of Ibn ‘Umar used to dye their hands with henna when they were menstruating. Ibn Rushd said: There is no difference of opinion that it is permissible for women who are menstruating or junub to dye their hands with henna, because the colour on the hands that results from it does not impede the removal of janaabah and menses by means of ghusl when she does ghusl. And there is no basis for the view that it is makrooh.

    The hadeeth of ‘Aa’ishah mentioned above was narrated by Ibn Maajah (656) and classed as saheeh by al-Busayri in al-Zawaa’id and Ibn Maajah.
  • 6) Karate is one of the martial arts, a form of self-defence using one’s hands, without any kind of weapon. It allows hitting with the foot, fist or edge of the hand, focusing on concentrating all one's energy in that blow.

    The shar’i viewpoint of this sport:

    The sport includes numerous physical, psychological and mental benefits, and it is in accordance with sharee’ah in some ways, and goes against it in others. Among the ways in which it is in accordance with Islam are:

    The concealing garments which cover all the ‘awrah completely. The rules of this sport require wearing covering garments composed of a shirt of thick white cotton, and trousers made of the same material, which have to be wide to allow movement of the legs and feet.

    Combatants are forbidden to direct blows that will cause harm to their opponents. The rules of the game dictate that attacks must be restrained, and must not cause harm to one's opponent, unlike the rules of boxing, for example.

    But on the other hand this sport is not free of things that go against sharee’ah, such as allowing blows to the face.

    In addition, it includes some religious rituals that are derived from local Indian religions, such as the exchange of greetings between the combatants, which take the form of bows that are similar to rukoo’ (the Muslim does not bow to anyone except Allaah), and the exercises such as keeping silent and focusing or meditating, which are derived from the religious rituals of Buddhism, etc. All of these are totally rejected by Islam.

    But it is not forbidden to practise this sport once these issues have been eliminated. It is possible to eliminate them on an unofficial level, even if it is not possible to do so on an official and international level. It is not essential to learn these skills at the level of championships and clubs which adhere to these matters and view them as an essential part of the sport which everyone who practises it must adhere to.

    My friend Shaykh Hasan Raza Qadri his son is in a karate class and his teachers respects the fact that as a Muslim he is not allowed to bow, and hence makes sure that he does not bow. Perform two rak'ats prayer and then go and discuss the issue with your instructor, and it is hoped that he will be understanding of your situation.
  • If I have missed a question please do tell me. If you have any more questions please do not hesitate on asking.

    And Allah Knows Best.
  • Asalamalaikum,
    Thank you for the above suggestions. They are or will be a big help In Sha Allah.

    Another query I had:
    Q7. How to perform sajda for women? Will the forearms be close to the body and will they will touch the ground and what about the feet pointing? I saw some videos that show feet pointing to the right but some say that its wrong, now I'm confused which to follow and how can one ascertain something is authentic or taken from Quran or Sunnah? A correct picture or video link would be useful in this case.
  • Walikum Salaam


    Hanafi Fiqh:

    Women placing her forearms on the ground in sajda is understood from the following:

    Rasullullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) said:

    عن يزيدَ بن أبي حبيب أنَّ رسولَ الله مَرَّ عَلَى امرأتينِ تصليانِ، فقال : «إذَا سَجَدْتُمَا فَضُمَّا بعضَ اللحمِ إلى الأرضِ، فإنَّ المرأةَ لَيْسَتْ في ذلِكَ كالرجلِ

    “When you make prostration, keep your body attached to the ground because a woman has not been created like a man” [1]

    If a woman raises her elbows from the ground, her body will not be attached to the ground. Thus she will go against the dictates of the Hadeeth.

    The narrators of the above Hadeeth have not been classified as weak and not acceptable. In fact, Imam Baihaqi (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) has classified this Hadeeth as the best “Mawsool” Hadeeth on this topic.[2]

    عن أبى سعيد الخدرى رضى الله عنه صاحب رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم عن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم أنه قال خير صفوف الرجال الصف الاول وكان يأمر الرجال أن يتجافوا فى سجودهم ويأمر النساء ينخفضن فى سجودهن وكان يامر الرجال أن يفرشوا اليسرى وينصبوا اليمنى فى التشهد ويأمر النساء أن يتربعن وقال يا معشر النساء لا ترفعن أبصاركن فى صلاتكن تنظرن إلى عورات الرجال

    Abû Saîd Khudrî (Radhiyallahu Anhu) says that Rasûlullâh (Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) said, "The best saff for the men is the front saff while the best saff for the women is the last saff. He used to command the men to completely stretch out when performing sajdah while he ordered the women to completely contract during the sajdah. He used to command the men to lay down the left foot and make the right foot upright during tashah-hud. And he used to order the women to practise tarabbu' (to sit cross legged) and he said, "O women, do not raise your glances in salâh in order to look at the satr of the males.[3]

    If a woman raises her elbows in Sajdah, she will not be contracting herself as ordered in the Hadeeth.

    Imâm Abdur Razzâq (211 A.H) رحمه الله has quoted the following hadîth in his Musannaf:

    وعن على قال إذا سجدت المرأة فلتحتفز ولتلصق فخذيها ببطنها

    Alî (Radhiyallahu Anhu) says, “When a woman prostrates, she must practise ihtifâz and keep her thighs close to her stomach.”[4]

    Spreading her elbows will be against Ihtifaaz.

    Imâm Abû Bakr Ibn Abî Shaybah (235 A.H) رحمه الله narrates the following statement:

    عن ابراهيم قال إذا سجدت المرأة فلتزق بطنها بفخذيها ولا ترفع عجزتها ولا تجافى كما يجافى الرجل

    “Ibrâhîm رحمه الله says that when a woman prostrates, she should join her thighs to her stomach without raising her posterior and without stretching her limbs out like a male.”[5]

    The above will not be fulfilled if a woman raises her elbows in Sajdah.

Assalam Alaykum

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