Assigning someone to recite the daily Wird of the morning and the evening

Question 183: When some Muslim brothers set out on a journey or to perform ‘Umrah, they ask one of them to recite the Wird (portion recited with consistency) of the morning and the evening reported from the Messenger of Allaah (peace be upon him), while the rest of the group listen to him. What is the ruling on this?

Answer: The Messenger of Allaah (peace be upon him) used to say certain forms of Dikr (Remembrance of Allaah) and Du’aa’ (supplication) through which he supplicated to Allaah every night and day in private. His Sahaabah (Companions) heard them and learned them from him, and they used to supplicate to Allaah through them every night and day, each one in private, following the example of the Messenger of Allaah (peace be upon him). As far as we know, it was not authentically reported that he (peace be upon him) or his Sahaabah (may Allaah be pleased with them) used to say these Adkaar (Remembrances of Allaah) and Du’aa’s collectively, where all of them read simultaneously, or one of them read and the others listened. A Muslim should follow the example of the Messenger of Allaah (peace be upon him) and his Sahaabah (may Allaah be pleased with them) in their Dikr, Du’aa’ and all what he (peace be upon him) has ordained. All goodness lies in following him, and all evil lies in contradicting him and taking this as a regular habit and a Bidd`ah (innovation in religion)... read more here.

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Changing one’s name after performing Hajj

Question 182: What is the ruling on changing one’s name like most of the Indonesian pilgrims do? Indonesians usually change their names when they go to Makkah Al-Mukarramah or Al-Madeenah Al-Munawwarah. Is this Sunnah (action following the teachings of the Prophet) or not?

Answer: The Prophet (peace be upon him) used to change bad names to good ones. If the Indonesian pilgrims are changing their names for this purpose, and not for finishing the rituals of Hajj or their visiting Al-Masjid Al-Nabawee (the Prophet’s Mosque in Madeenah) and offering Salaah (Prayer) therein, then this is permissible. On the other hand, if they are changing their names because they are in Makkah or Al-Madeenah or for finishing the rituals of Hajj, for example, then this is a Bidd‘ah (innovation in religion) and not an act of Sunnah... read more here.

Setting aside a certain bed until a pilgrim comes back to use it

Question 181: In our country, the family of a pilgrim sets aside for him a bed or a sofa. They cover it with clean and perfumed coverlets and place money and bottles of perfume around it. They prevent people from using it telling them that they cannot sit on it until the pilgrim returns from Hajj and use it first. After the pilgrim uses it, others may then sit on it. I hope that you can inform us about this practice. Many thanks to you, may Allaah benefit Muslims with your knowledge!

Answer: The actions mentioned above done by the family of a person intending to perform Hajj is a Bidd`ah (innovation in religion). Setting aside a bed, washing it, covering and perfuming it and preventing people from sitting on it till the pilgrim returns from Hajj to be the first to sit on it, are acts of Bidd`ah and instituting in religion that which Allaah has not ordained. Allaah (Exalted be He) says: Or have they partners (with Allaah — false gods) who have instituted for them a religion which Allaah has not ordained? It is authentically reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: He who innovates something which is not in harmony with the principles of our religion, that thing is rejected. Related by Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim. The Prophet (peace be upon him) also said: He who does any act for which there is no sanction from our behalf, that is to be rejected. Related by Muslim... read more here.

Singling out the month of Rajab with fasting all its days

Question 180: I know people who always perform Sawm (Fast) for the whole months of Rajab and Sha‘baan until Ramadaan without break. Is there any Hadeeth regarding this practice? If there is any, kindly provide the text?

Answer: It is not authentically reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) or any of the Sahaabah (Companions of the Prophet, may Allaah be pleased with them) used to fast the entire month of Rajab or Sha‘baan. It is not authentically reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) observed Sawm for a complete month except Ramadaan. ‘Aa’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) is authentically reported to have said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace be upon him) used to observe Sawm until we thought that he would always fast, and he would stop Sawm until we thought he would not fast. I never saw the Messenger of Allaah (peace be upon him) fast any month in full except Ramadaan, and I never saw him fasting in any month more than in Sha‘baan. (Related by Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim) Moreover, Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him and his father) narrated, saying: The Prophet (peace be upon him) never fasted any month in full except Ramadaan. He (peace be upon him) used to fast until one would say, ‘By Allaah, he will always fast,’ and he (peace be upon him) would stop fasting until one would say, ‘By Allaah, he will not fast.’ (Related by Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim) Based on this, fasting the entire months of Rajab and Sha‘baan voluntarily is inconsistent with the guidance and Sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him). Moreover, this act counts as a Bidd‘ah (innovation in religion). The Prophet (peace be upon him) is reported to have said: Anyone who introduces anything into this matter of ours (Islaam) that is not part of it will have it rejected. (Related by Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim)... read more here.

Singling out the days of the month of Rajab with observing Sawm

Question 179:  There are days on which we voluntarily observe Sawm (Fast) during Rajab. Should these days be in the beginning, middle, or end of the month?

Answer: No specific Hadeeths were authentically reported about the merit of Sawm in Rajab, except that which was related by Al-Nasaa’ee and Aboo Daawood, and ranked as Saheeh (authentic) by Ibn Khuzaymah, on the authority of Usamah who said: I asked, ‘O Messenger of Allaah, I have not seen you fast in a month as much as you fast in Sha‘baan.’ He (peace be upon him) said, ‘This is a month between Rajab and Ramadaan that people overlook. It is a month in which deeds are raised to the Lord of the worlds, and I love that my deeds be raised while I am fasting.’ General Hadeeths were mentioned about encouraging Sawm for three days of every month; Sawm on the White Days,which are the 13th, 14th, and 15th of every Hijree (lunar) month; Sawm in the Sacred, Inviolable Months; and Sawm every Monday and Thursday. The same applies to the month of Rajab. If you are keen on choosing some days to fast on, you can fast on the White Days or Mondays and Thursdays. Otherwise, the matter is open to choice. As for dedicating certain days in Rajab to Sawm, we do not know of any basis for it in Sharee‘ah (Islaamic law)... read more here.

Fasting 13th, 14th, and 15th of every Hijree month

Question 178:  There are days on which we voluntarily observe Sawm (Fast) during Rajab. Should these days be in the beginning, middle, or end of the month?

Answer: No specific Hadeeths were authentically reported about the merit of Sawm in Rajab, except that which was related by Al-Nasaa’ee and Aboo Daawood, and ranked as Saheeh (authentic) by Ibn Khuzaymah, on the authority of Usamah who said: I asked, ‘O Messenger of Allaah, I have not seen you fast in a month as much as you fast in Sha‘baan.’ He (peace be upon him) said, ‘This is a month between Rajab and Ramadaan that people overlook. It is a month in which deeds are raised to the Lord of the worlds, and I love that my deeds be raised while I am fasting.’ General Hadeeths were mentioned about encouraging Sawm for three days of every month; Sawm on the White Days,which are the 13th, 14th, and 15th of every Hijree (lunar) month; Sawm in the Sacred, Inviolable Months; and Sawm every Monday and Thursday. The same applies to the month of Rajab. If you are keen on choosing some days to fast on, you can fast on the White Days or Mondays and Thursdays. Otherwise, the matter is open to choice. As for dedicating certain days in Rajab to Sawm, we do not know of any basis for it in Sharee‘ah (Islaamic law)... read more here.

Doing tawaaf of a Masjid seven times after completing its construction

Question 177:  When people in the north of our country build a Masjid (mosque), they perform Tawaaf (circumambulation) seven times around it on the day they inaugurate it. Is this an act of Bidd`ah (innovation in religion) or not? What is the evidence?

Answer: Performing Tawaaf around a Masjid seven times is an abominable act of Bidd`ah, whether this is done on the opening day or any other day. Tawaaf is only lawful when performed around the Ka`bah (in Makkah) and nowhere else. Therefore, performing it seven times around any place other than the Ka`bah is equating it to the Ka`bah and this has not been permitted by Allaah. The Prophet (peace be upon him) built Masjid Qoobaa’ and Al-Masjid Al-Nabawee (the Prophet’s Mosque in Madeenah), and the Sahaabah (Companions of the Prophet, may Allaah be pleased with them) also built Masjids in many Muslim countries, but it is not known that any of them performed Tawaaf around the Masjids they built seven times, or more or less times than that. They only made the seven rounds of Tawaf around the Ka`bah during Hajj and `Umrah for Allaah (Glorified be He) and to worship Him; and all good lies in following their examples... read more here.

Rubbing oneself against the walls of the Masjids at the mountains in `Arafah

Question 176:  In the area of Al-Rahmah Mount in `Arafah there are three adjacent Masjids (mosques) with their Mihraabs without ceilings. The pilgrims go to these Masjids to rub themselves against their walls and Mihraabs. Sometimes, they put money at the Mihraabs. They offer two Rak`ahs at each one of these Masjids. Sometimes they perform Salaah at these Masjids at times when prayer is prohibited. Also men and women mingle in crowds there. The pilgrims do all these acts during the days immediately preceding the ninth day of Dul-Hijjah. We hope that Your Eminence will inform us of the legal ruling on these acts, may Allaah reward you with best reward!

Answer: First, `Arafah is a place where one of the rituals of Hajj is to be performed according to Allaah’s orders. This ritual is staying at `Arafah on the ninth day of Dul-Hijjah and the night of `Eed-ul-Ad-haa (the Festival of the Sacrifice). However, it is not a place for people to dwell in. So there is no need for building Masjids at its well-known mountain (Al-Rahmah Mountain). Masjid Namirah is located at that area where the Prophet (peace be upon him) offered the Duhr and `Asr Prayers in the Farewell Pilgrimage. So, pilgrims may pray in it when they come to stay at `Arafah. In that Masjid, people may offer Duhr and `Asr Prayers on that day. Also, we do not know that the Salaf (righteous predecessors) built Masjids in the area known as Al-Rahmah Mountain. Therefore, building one Masjid or more there is an act of Bidd`ah (innovation in religion). Likewise, offering two Rak`ahs (units of Prayer) or more at these Masjids is another act of Bidd`ah as well as offering Salaah at the times when optional Prayer is prohibited. 

Second: Going to these Masjids, rubbing one’s self against their walls and Mihrabs to attain blessings is Bidd`ah. It is similar to the acts of Shirk (associating others with Allaah in His Divinity or worship) which the disbelievers used to do in the Pre-Islaamic period to attain blessings from their idols. So, it is the duty of the rulers and officials to destroy these Masjids to block the means leading to this evil. This way the pilgrims will not find any reason to go to that mountain to receive blessings or perform Salaah there... read more here.

Building Masjids in ‘Arafah and seeking blessings in them

Question 175:  In the area of Al-Rahmah Mount in `Arafah there are three adjacent Masjids (mosques) with their Mihraabs without ceilings. The pilgrims go to these Masjids to rub themselves against their walls and Mihraabs. Sometimes, they put money at the Mihraabs. They offer two Rak`ahs at each one of these Masjids. Sometimes they perform Salaah at these Masjids at times when prayer is prohibited. Also men and women mingle in crowds there. The pilgrims do all these acts during the days immediately preceding the ninth day of Dul-Hijjah. We hope that Your Eminence will inform us of the legal ruling on these acts, may Allaah reward you with best reward!

Answer: First, `Arafah is a place where one of the rituals of Hajj is to be performed according to Allaah’s orders. This ritual is staying at `Arafah on the ninth day of Dul-Hijjah and the night of `Eed-ul-Ad-haa (the Festival of the Sacrifice). However, it is not a place for people to dwell in. So there is no need for building Masjids at its well-known mountain (Al-Rahmah Mountain). Masjid Namirah is located at that area where the Prophet (peace be upon him) offered the Duhr and `Asr Prayers in the Farewell Pilgrimage. So, pilgrims may pray in it when they come to stay at `Arafah. In that Masjid, people may offer Duhr and `Asr Prayers on that day. Also, we do not know that the Salaf (righteous predecessors) built Masjids in the area known as Al-Rahmah Mountain. Therefore, building one Masjid or more there is an act of Bidd`ah (innovation in religion). Likewise, offering two Rak`ahs (units of Prayer) or more at these Masjids is another act of Bidd`ah as well as offering Salaah at the times when optional Prayer is prohibited. 

Second: Going to these Masjids, rubbing one’s self against their walls and Mihrabs to attain blessings is Bidd`ah. It is similar to the acts of Shirk (associating others with Allaah in His Divinity or worship) which the disbelievers used to do in the Pre-Islaamic period to attain blessings from their idols. So, it is the duty of the rulers and officials to destroy these Masjids to block the means leading to this evil. This way the pilgrims will not find any reason to go to that mountain to receive blessings or perform Salaah there... read more here.

Ruling on reciting Qur’aan before the arrival of the Imaam on Friday

Question 174: Is it permissible for a person to recite Qur’aan in the Masjid (mosque) on Friday before the arrival of the Imaam (the person who leads congregational Salaah)? Is this one of the polite manners of Jumu’ah (Friday) Prayer, or a denounced Bidd`ah (innovation in religion)?

Answer:  There is no evidence on the legitimacy of a person reciting Qur’aan on Friday before the arrival of the Imaam while people listen to him, and when the Imaam arrives, that person stops recitation. The original rule concerning the acts of ‘Ibaadah (worship) is that they are Tawqeefiyyah (bound by a religious text and not amenable to personal opinion). The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, If a person does any act for which there is no sanction from our behalf, that is to be rejected. Narrated by Muslim in his Saheeh (authentic) Book of Hadeeth... read more here.

Ruling on invoking blessings on the Prophet loudly before or after the Athaan

Question 173: Even though Pakistan, our country, is a Muslim state, some Imaams insist on saying: “Peace and blessings of Allaah be upon you, O Messenger of Allaah, and beloved to Allaah” before they say the Athaan (call to Prayer). They never stop doing so. I pray behind those Imaams. Is my Salaah (Prayer) behind them valid or not? What should I do? What is the ruling on these Imaams?

Answer:  Firstly, invoking Allaah’s peace and blessings upon the Messenger before and after the Athaan and saying it aloud after or during the Athaan is one of the innovated Bid`ahs in religion. It is authentically reported from the Prophet (peace be upon him) that he said, He who innovates things in our affairs for which there is no valid (reason) (commits sin) and these are to be rejected. Narrated by Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim. According to another narration, Anyone who does an act for which there is no sanction on our part, will have it rejected. Narrated by Muslim. Secondly, whoever commits a Bid`ah, approves of it or does not change it while being able to do so, is a sinner... read more here.

Pronouncing additional words before or after Athaan

Question 172: We notice that when Fajr Prayer time is due, and prior to the Athaan (call to Prayer), some Mu’aththins (callers to Prayer) on the mosque’s minaret pronounce some words like: “Pray” or “Prayer” two or three times; afterwards, they begin pronouncing the Athaan. Is their act valid? Or should they be reprimanded?

Answer:  It is well known that Islaam is based on adherence rather than innovation. This is supported by the Prophet’s statement (peace be upon him): Whoever introduces a practice into this affair of ours that is not of it, it is to be rejected. According to another narration: If anybody introduces a practice which is not religiously authenticated, it is to be rejected. He also stated: Beware of novelties (in religion) for every novelty is a Bidd`ah (rejected innovation). As we know, the legislated Athaan consists of seventeen words in Fajr Prayer and fifteen in other prayers.

Therefore, any addition to what is authentically proven, before or after Athaan, is considered a repudiated act of Bidd`ah, and whoever practices it should be reprimanded. The words of the Athaan are much more eloquent and inspiring. They are also more effective in awakening worshippers than such words. How powerful and effective when a Mu’aththin proclaims: “Hayyi `alaa al-Salaah” (Come for prayer) twice and “Hayyi `alaa Al-Falaah” (Come to success) twice after reminding of Allaah’s Might and Esteem. Accordingly, if a Mu’aththin pronounces such additional words like “Pray”, or “Prayer” while pronouncing the Athaan, he should be confronted in order to protect what is sound from what is a baseless act of Bidd`ah and innovation…. read more here.

Ruling on Nafilah prayer offered on the last Wednesday of Safar

Question 171: Some of the scholars in our country claim that in Islaam there is a Nafilah (supererogatory Prayer) offered on the last Wednesday of Safar, at the time of Salaat-ul-Duhaa (supererogatory Prayer before noon). This Salaah consists of four Rak‘ahs (units of Prayer) with one Tasleem (salutation of peace ending the Prayer). In each Rak‘ah a person should recite Soorah Al-Faatihah and Soorah Al-Kawthar seventeen times, Soorah Al-Ikhlaas fifty times and Al-Mu‘awwidhatayn (Soorahs Al-Falaq and Al-Naas) one time each. This is done in each Rak‘ah, then one says Tasleem after which it is prescribed to recite: And Allaah has full power and control over His Affairs, but most of men know not. 360 times, and Jawharat-ul-Kamaal (a special Sufi formula) three times, and to conclude by saying: “Glorified be your Lord, the Lord of Honor and Power. Exalted is He from all that they ascribe to Him. And peace be on the Messengers. And all the praises and thanks be to Allaah, Lord of the worlds.” They should also give some bread to the poor as a charity. They say that this Aayah is especially recited for warding off the calamities that are send down on the last Wednesday of Safar. They say that every year 320,000 calamities come down, and all of them come down on the last Wednesday of Safar. Therefore, that day is regarded as the most difficult day throughout the year. But whoever offers this Salaah in the above mentioned manner, Allaah will protect them by His Bounty from all the calamities that come down on that day. They, as well as those who could not offer it, such as children, will benefit from this Salaah. Is this permissible or not?

Answer: There is no evidence from the Qur’aan or Sunnah that supports the validity of the Nafilah mentioned in the question. We have no proof that anyone among the Salaf (righteous predecessors) of this Ummah (nation based on one creed) or the righteous people of the later generations performed this Nafilah. Rather, it is a reprehensible Bidd‘ah (innovation in religion). It was authentically reported that the Messenger of Allaah (peace be upon him) said: Anyone who does an action that is not in accordance with this matter of ours (Islaam) will have it rejected. He (peace be upon him) also said: Anyone who introduces something into this matter of ours (Islaam) that is not part of it will have it rejected. Anyone who attributes this Salaah and other practices related to it, to the Prophet (peace be upon him) or to any of the Sahaabah (may Allaah be pleased with them) is fabricating serious lies, and Allaah will inflict on them the punishment that liars deserve... read more here.