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Allah have Mercy on Him

Category: Fasting

Al-Albaani on People Giving Reminders After Every Four Rak’ahs in Taraweeh


The Imaam said, “Standing to pray in Ramadan was legislated only to increase one’s closeness to Allaah عزوجل, for that reason we hold that we do not mix Taraweeh prayer with anything to do with knowledge or teaching and so on, rather the night prayer should be pure worship. As for knowledge, then it has its time, and it is not restricted by time but [instead] what is taken into consideration concerning it is the well-being of the people who are being taught, and this is the foundational principle, and what I mean by this is that whoever makes it a habit/custom where they teach the people between every four rak’ahs, for example, during the night prayer, whoever makes that a habit/custom—then that is a newly invented matter in opposition to the Sunnah. But if it is concerning a situation that happened to occur, like what Ustaadh Ibrahim just spoke about and it is not made into a habit/custom then in that case it is ok and permissible and I agree with him in what he mentioned, but I just wanted to point out that this is something which is not to be taken as custom, what is taken as custom/habit is standing for the night prayer …”

Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, 693.

Also see here, here and here.

The Ruling on Giving a Reminder During Taraweeh Prayer


Questioner: Is it allowed for the Imaam of a mosque or a daa’ee … and he is leading the people in prayer for taraweeh … between rak’ahs there is a break … and he gives them a reminder about certain issues, about performing the prayer well, for example, and following the Prophet ﷺ, and bringing their attention to innovations and issues related to shirk, giving them a reminder, ya’ni?

Al-Albaani: The answer is that it is allowed and not allowed. If the admonition or warning or the order to do good or forbid evil is concerning an incident that happened to occur, then this is a must.

As for doing it as a routine or habit after every four rak’ahs, for example, or more than that or less where the Imaam gives a dars, then this is against the Sunnah.

If a situation happens to occur then it is wajib to warn people of it, as for making that a habit/custom, then standing or praying taraweeh is an unadulterated form of worship, where a Muslim turns to Allaah عز وجل with all his body, his core, his intellect and heart, this is the goal of the night prayer, the prayer in Ramadan.

As for making it a habit to have a sitting [to give a reminder] after every two rak’ahs or four, then this is something the Prophet ﷺ did not do.

Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, 656. [3/7/125]

Also see here and here and here.

A Man who Never Used to Pay Zakaat but who Then Repents and Wants to Pay It


 

Questioner: A man who was disobeying Allaah, very rich, then some years later he repents to Allaah, does he have to pay the zakaah of the previous years?

Al-Albaani: He must.
Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, 23.

Questioner: Okay, regarding zakaah, maybe the answer will become clear with this question, a man never gave zakaah for many years, then he repented and turned back to Allaah and wanted to give zakaah, so naturally, it is waajib for him to give the zakaah [for those years]?

Al-Albaani: He must.

Questioner: But he had agricultural land, and he doesn’t know how much it yielded, he’s forgotten, so how much zakaah is he to give?

Al-Albaani: According to the best estimate [he can make], as is the case with all matters that are unclear like this, he makes the best estimate he can, he calculates an amount, he strives, ya’ni, [to come to the best estimate he can], there is no specific amount that has been set.
Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, no. 31.

Questioner: A man stayed seven years, his wife has a lot of valuable gold, this ornamental gold, he doesn’t know what the ruling is, for seven years he didn’t pay the zakaah?

Al-Albaani: He pays the zakaah for those seven years even if [in the process] he were to lose all his house.
Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, no. 41.

On the Hadith, “Fast and You Will be Healthy.”


Questioner: Is the hadith, ‘Fast and you will be healthy,’ authentic? If it isn’t how so?

Al-Albaani: This hadith differs totally from the one we mentioned before it, that last hadith about which we said that its chain of narration was weak and [along with that] the text itself was untrue [as well].

This hadith [however] is weak in terms of its chain of narration but correct in its meaning, ‘Fast and you will be healthy,’ as a hadith reported from the Prophet ﷺ according to the scholars of hadith its chain of narration is not authentic, but the state of affairs shows, and, before that, general hadith like his saying ﷺ, ‘It is enough for the Son of Adam to eat a few small bites that strengthens his spine. If he must have more, then let him fill a third with food, a third with drink and leave a third for his breathing,’ … so hadiths like this confirm, and as occurs in another hadith which has no basis whatsoever but which does contain fine wisdom, ‘Prevention is the best cure, and the stomach is the home of disease,’ for this reason, this hadith, ‘Fast and you will be healthy,’—its attribution to the Prophet ﷺ is not correct but, due to what we mentioned, its meaning is.

And what I mean when I say, ‘Its attribution to the Prophet ﷺ is incorrect,’ is that it is not allowed for a Muslim to say, ‘Allaah’s Messenger ﷺ said, ‘Fast and you will be healthy,’’ as you may have heard on some radio stations, this is not allowed. Why? Because the Prophet ﷺ said, ‘Whoever attributes to me something that I have not said, let him take his place in Hell.’

So it is not allowed for a Muslim to say a sentence, even if in and of itself it is a piece of wisdom and is acceptable in the view of other general, legislated proofs, [yet] it is [still] not allowed for a Muslim to say, ‘Allaah’s Messenger ﷺ said,’ unless it has, according to the scholars of hadith, been confirmed through the ways which establish the hadiths of the Prophet ﷺ.

Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, no. 692.

On Fasting While Travelling


The Imaam said, “And the scholars have differed about fasting while on a journey in Ramadaan, there being a number of opinions, and there is no doubt that not fasting during a journey is allowed, and doing that is the preferred option in our opinion if the person not keeping it doesn’t find it difficult to make it up [later], otherwise [i.e., if he does find it difficult to make up later] we prefer that he fasts, and Allaah knows best. And whoever wants to delve further into this topic should refer to Nailul-Awtaar or other books of the people of knowledge.”

Ad-Da’eefah, vol. 2, pp. 336-337.

Commenting on al-Mundhiri’s statement on whether or not to fast when on a journey, the Imaam said, “And he, may Allaah have mercy on him, spoke the truth [when he said], ‘And the better of the two options is the one that is easier.’ People’s strength and circumstances differ, let each one do what is easier for him, and that is why it has been authentically reported that the Prophet ﷺ, when asked about fasting on a journey, said, ‘Fast if you want, or break it if you want.’ (Reported by Muslim 3/145). And from another authentic path [of narration] with the wording, ‘Whichever is easier for you, do it,’ and it has been checked in As-Saheehah, 2884.”

At-Ta’leeq alat-Targheeb wat-Tarheeb, 1/456.

Making Up Previous Ramadaan Fasts Missed with a Valid Excuse


Al-Albaani: Another Ramadaan has come round and you haven’t made up for the [Ramadaan] fasts you missed from the previous year?

There is no harm in that, [but] you should begin making them up at the first opportunity that arises, even if many Ramadaans have passed you by.

Questioner: Yes.

Al-Albaani: There is no harm in that but it is better for a person to be quick to make up missed fasting days, whether a man or a woman, due to the Most High’s Statement, “And hasten to forgiveness from your Lord and a garden [i.e., Paradise] as wide as the heavens and the earth.” [Aali-Imraan 3:133]

But if he isn’t quick, then, firstly, that doesn’t take that obligation away from him, so he must [still] make them up, and [secondly], he doesn’t have to do anything more than simply making them up.

Al-Hudaa wan-Noor: 81.

The Fasting Person Should Open His Fast with a Few Small Bites, Then Get up to Pray and then Come Back to Eat Without Being Excessive


The Imaam said, “It has been related from the Prophet ﷺ that he said, “There are three people who will not be called to account regarding what they eat, as long as it is halal: a fasting person, and the person eating the suhoor meal and the one guarding the frontier in the way of Allaah.” [Hadith grading:] Fabricated.

The Imaam said, “And maybe one of the bad effects of this [fabricated] hadith is the [resultant] state of the Muslims today—for when they sit to break their fast in Ramadan, a person won’t know to get up [and step away] from the food except just before Ishaa due to how many various types of food, drink, fruit and desserts he devours! And how can this not be the case when the hadith says that such a person is one of those who will not be called to account over what he eats!

So due to that they combined the excessiveness which one has been prohibited from in the Book and the Sunnah with the delaying of Maghrib which has [also] been prohibited in his saying, “My nation will remain in good …” or he said, “… upon the Fitrah, as long as they do not delay Maghrib until the stars appear.” (Al-Haakim declared it to be authentic and adh-Dhahabi agreed with him and it is as they both said, for it has other paths and supporting proofs which I pointed to in Saheeh Sunan Abi Daawood, no. 444).

An encouragement to hasten in opening the fast has also been reported in many hadiths, like, “The people will continue to be fine as long as they hasten the opening of the fast.” So both hadiths must be implemented in a manner where one doesn’t negate the other, and that is done by starting iftaar with a few small bites of food by which one’s hunger is calmed down, and then he gets up to pray and then, if he wants, he can come back to the food until he fulfils his need therefrom.

Some of this has been demonstrated in the practical Sunnah, for Anas said, “The Messenger of Allah ﷺ used to break his fast before praying with some fresh dates, but if there were no fresh dates, he had a few dry dates, and if there were no dry dates, he took some mouthfuls of water.” (Reported by Abu Daawood and at-Tirmidhi and he said it was hasan, and it is in Saheeh Abi Daawood, no. 2040, and the one before it is agreed upon and it has been checked in Al-Irwaa, 899).”

Ad-Da’eefah, 2/92-93.

Accidentally Drinking Water While Fasting



Questioner:
A fasting person is rinsing his mouth out and accidentally drinks some of the water, what is the ruling on his fast?

Al-Albaani: His fast is correct, and in that [mistake of his] is aafiyah [for him]—it is but Allaah who has fed him and given him something to drink.

Questioner: Isn’t that about a person who forgot?

Al-Albaani: I know, and what’s the difference between someone who forgets … “Our Lord, do not impose blame upon us if we forget or make a mistake …” [Baqarah 2:286]

Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, 321.

On Breaking An Obligatory Fast on Purpose


Questioner: Does [extra] optional fasting help someone who has broken his [obligatory] fast intentionally, since there is no proof that breaking an obligatory fast can [actually] be made up for?

Al-Albaani: There is no doubt that it will help him, just like someone who missed lots of [other] obligatory duties, compensating for what he missed by performing supererogatory prayers will help him.

There is no way for a person who breaks his [obligatory] fast on purpose to make up for it, and he is extremely sinful [for doing that] until he truly repents to Allaah عزو جل. He should [try and] offset the good deeds that he has missed out on because of breaking the fast on purpose by performing lots of supererogatory prayers until he make amends for some of what he has missed.

Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, 19.

The Wisdom Behind Fasting


The Imaam said, “I start by opening with something appropriate to the time and place we’re in, in that we all know the Statement of Allaah تبارك و تعالى, “… decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you, that you may become righteous,” [Baqarah 2:183] you’ve heard commentary and beneficial comments concerning this verse and things connected to it many times, but I believe that you will have seldom heard commentary on its last part, “… that you may become righteous.”

Why was this fasting decreed? “That you may become righteous.” This is one of the rare verses, in fact one of the rare legislated provisions that links the legislated order with an explanation of the intended goal and the reason it was legislated.

There is a declaration here of the obligation of fasting Ramadan, and Muslims should apply themselves to adopting and implementing this order without asking why or how and so on, something which is common now in terms of questioning the legislated orders, [such that] you will often hear some people [saying], “Why this? Why that? Why this?”—we don’t approve of exhaustively searching for the wisdom behind legislation, except what has been expounded on [itself] in it, like what we’re discussing now [i.e., fasting].

“Decreed upon you is fasting,” why? He تعالى said, “… that you may become righteous,” i.e., the point of fasting is for it to be a means for the fasting person to increase his taqwa of Allaah عز وجل and for him to get closer to Him.

If he fasts but does not improve compared to how he was before, i.e., before Ramadan, then it means that this person has not accomplished the desired goal wanted from the implementation of fasting.

There are some authentic hadiths, from the Prophet ﷺ of course, which explain and confirm this objective which the verse has stated, for example, the hadith qudsi which the Prophet ﷺ relates from his Lord عز وجل, in which He said, “Whoever does not leave false speech, and acting according to it, then Allaah is not in any need of him leaving his food and his drink,” this is a very great hadith, and goes completely with the end of the verse, “… that you may become righteous.”

So, when we look at both the verse and the hadith, the aim is not—the only aim is not, and I [purposefully say] ‘the only aim’ so that some people don’t misunderstand me—the only aim for the fasting person is not to refrain from eating, drinking and intercourse based upon the fact that they are listed as things which break the fast in the Quraan and the Sunnah, (leaving aside [for now, mention of] the other things which also break it concerning which there is a big difference of opinion amongst the scholars of fiqh), the aim is not to only refrain from these things which break the fast, but rather [to be aware] that there are other obligatory things which a Muslim must stop himself from too just like he did with these things.

In light of the explanation mentioned in the verse and the clear, authentic hadith just now, I can say something to you which might be new in terms of how it’s expressed but is not new in the ahkaam because it is mentioned in the Quran and the Sunnah, this new phrasing is [concerning the fact] that the books of fiqh, without exception mention the things which break the fast, and this is something that must be done, but, to explain and clarify what was previously mentioned in the verse and the hadith, I say: those things which break the fast are of two types, and this correct division [which I am about to mention] must be rooted in everyone’s mind, because of how important it is.

The first type: the material things which break the fast, and they are the things listed in the books of fiqh as was mentioned just now.

The second type: let’s call them the abstract things which break the fast, these are the things that the verse referred to, “… that you may become righteous,” and his ﷺ statement from His Lord تبارك و تعالى clarified that, “Whoever does not leave false speech, and acting according to it, then Allaah is not in any need of him leaving his food and his drink.”

Thus, along with leaving his food, drink and intercourse, to that he must also add refraining from what Allaah عز وجل has forbidden and what He has ordered every Muslim to be far from.

From the Prophet ﷺ that he said, “Fasting is not leaving food and drink but rather fasting is refraining from what Allaah عز وجل has prohibited,” or as he ﷺ said in words of a similar meaning, and whoever wants to read these hadiths and those like it where the Prophet ﷺ warned the fasting person from committing sins and [where it shows] that this forbiddance comes under the generality of His Statement تبارك و تعالى, “… that you may become righteous,” whoever wants to read these types of hadiths should refer to At-Targheeb wat-Tarheeb of al-Haafidh al-Mundhiri, may Allaah have mercy on him.

To conclude I say, fasting, in terms of how it was legislated in order for a Muslim to get closer to Allaah and increase his taqwa of Him, is just like the prayer, prayer whose only purpose is also not that a Muslim just performs its conditions, pillars and requirements, but that he should also pay heed to the purpose and wisdom due to which Allaah عز وجل  legislated five of them, day and night, on His believing servants, that is what Our Lord عز وجل alluded to in His Statement, “Indeed, prayer prohibits immorality and wrongdoing …” [Al-Ankabut 29:45], so a Muslim’s prayer is accepted by Allaah عز وجل in accordance with how much it prevents him from immorality and wrongdoing.

The Prophet ﷺ pointed to this fact connected to prayer in an authentic hadith, where he ﷺ said, “Verily the slave prays a prayer of which nothing is written down for him …” i.e., completely, but rather it is written as deficient according to how discrepant it is, he ﷺ explained that in the rest of the hadith where he said, “Verily the slave prays a prayer of which nothing is written down for him except a tenth, a ninth, an eighth, a seventh, a sixth, a fifth, a quarter, a third or half of it,”—and he stopped here, indicating that a complete prayer is very, very rare, a Muslim is not able to perform it, the best of them is the one for whom half is written and so on until a tenth, and [even then] a tenth is only if the prayer is [actually] accepted by Allaah عز وجل, otherwise many of a person’s prayers are those which he will have his face struck with on the Day of Judgement, and refuge is sought with Allaah, and that is because the Prophet ﷺ pointed to two realities.

The first is what we have spoken about connected to fasting, and the other is connected to prayer, for he ﷺ said, “How many a fasting person there is who has nothing but hunger and thirst from his fasting,” why? Because he never stopped doing what Allaah عز وجل forbade him from, he [i.e.,, this fasting person] only restricted himself to what we [earlier] called the material things which break the fast—yet he thinks he is fasting—about such a person we say, “He fasted but didn’t fast,” he fasted in terms of refraining himself from the material things which break the fast but he didn’t [really] fast because he didn’t withhold from the abstract things which break the fast, that is why he ﷺ said, “How many a fasting person there is who gets nothing but hunger and thirst from his fast, and how many a praying person there is who gets nothing but a sleepless night and fatigue from his standing in prayer.”

So, we hope that Allaah تبارك و تعالى inspires us to refrain from both types of thing which break the fast, the material and the abstract, and that He inspires us [to perform] prayers that are accepted by Him تبارك و تعالى, prayers which prevent one from immorality and wrongdoing.”

Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, 692.

On Eating Dates for Suhoor


The Prophet ﷺ said, “How excellent are dates as the believer’s Sahoor [pre-dawn meal].” [Abu Dawud, no. 2345, Al-Albaani said: “Saheeh”]

Al-Albaani Fasting Mondays and Thursdays


“From the day I met him, and maybe this is also true before my meeting him, I never knew him to miss fasting Mondays and Thursdays whether in summer or winter, unless he was travelling or sick.”

Muhaddithul-’Asr, Muhammad Naasirud-Deen al-Albaani, p. 40.

The Supplication said Upon Completing the Recitation of the Quraan During Taraawih Has No Basis Whatsoever



Questioner:
The supplication said upon completing the recitation of the Quraan, especially during taraawih, does it have any basis?

Al-Albaani: No, it has no basis.

Questioner: The supplication said when one finishes reciting the Quraan?

Al-Albaani: Upon completing the recitation of the Quraan … when a Muslim finishes [reciting all of it], it is a Sunnah for him to, or it is mustahab for him to supplicate and gather his family to do so.

As for when the Quraan is completed like this in the prayer, in the night prayer, then this long, extensive du’aa has no basis whatsoever.

Rihlatun-Noor, 19.

Also see Shaikh Uthaimeen’s answer on the same topic here.

On the Permissibility of Sending Salaah on the Prophet in the Du’aa al-Qunut but the Innovation of Extending it Beyond That


 

Questioner: About the Du’aa al-Qunoot in the witr prayer, sending salaah on the Prophet ﷺ is not authentically established, ya’ni, mentioning salaah?

Al-Albaani: The additional part of the narration which is in Sunan an-Nisaa’i is not authentic, but later it became clear to me that some of the Imaams did it in the time of ’Umar ibn al-Khattaab, may Allaah be pleased with him, without any criticism from anyone, and so I say it is legitimate.

[But] I still say, [that] because it hasn’t been established in the hadith [specific] about the Qunoot [that] there is a difference between what is negated and what is established: what is negated is that a mention of sending salaah on the Prophet ﷺ is established in the hadith about the qunoot which the Prophet ﷺ taught al-Hasan ibn Abi Taalib. And what is established is that some of the Imaams who used to lead the people in the night prayer in Ramadaan during the time of Umar, may Allaah be pleased with him, [used to say it], so we said that that alone [i.e., the addition of the salaah] was permissible.

Questioner: Ya’ni, for example when a person says, “اللهم إني أسألك” (O Allaah! I ask You …)

Al-Albaani: “اللهم اهدني فيمن هديت، وعافني فيمن …” (O Allaah! Guide me among those whom You have guided, and pardon me among those whom …)

Questioner: “اللهم إني أسألك خير ما سألك منه عبدك ونبيك محمد ﷺ، وأعوذ بك من اشر ما استعاذ بك منه عبدك ونبيك محمد ﷺ” (O Allaah! I ask You for the good that Your slave and Prophet has asked You for, and I seek refuge with You from the evil which Your slave and Prophet sought refuge.), if a person says that in the qunoot, and supplicates with a lot of du’aas is that permissible for him or …

Al-Albaani: Such things have not been mentioned in the qunoot, the du’aa al-qunoot is only, “اللهم اهدني فيمن هديت” (O Allaah! Guide me among those whom You have guided.) this is the qunoot of witr.  [See the footnote at the end for the full du’aa al-qunoot the Shaikh is referring to, here he only quotes the first line for the sake of brevity].

Questioner: For example, [in] Ramadaan they read lots of du’aas.

Al-Albaani: Yes, and that has no basis unless a calamity has befallen the Muslims … as for what is to be read as a set routine then the du’aa al-qunoot is, “اللهم اهدني فيمن هديت” (O Allaah! Guide me among those whom You have guided.), and it is not legislated to …

Questioner: Ya’ni, me, for example, at home after rukoo’ can’t I supplicate … after saying, “Sami’Allaahu liman hamidah,” for example, I say, “اللهم إني أسألك خير ما سألك منه محمد ﷺ” or for example I say, “اللهم صل على محمد وآل محمد” at the end of the qunoot, or I make a du’aa saying, “اللهم اجعل القرآن ربيع قلبي” (O Allaah! Make the Quraan the spring of my heart.) or something like that?

Al-Albaani: Nothing is legislated in the [du’aa] al-qunoot of witr except the du’aa al-qunoot which the Prophet ﷺ taught al-Hasan, in this du’aa it is permitted to send salaah on the Prophet ﷺ in accordance with some of the Salaf who were just mentioned, as for adding to this supplication by way of a desire to increase in making du’aa, then this is not legislated … saying unrestricted du’aas, we do not add to the teaching of the Prophet ﷺ.

Questioner: Ya’ni, is this a bid’ah or something of the sort?

Al-Albaani: Of course. Everything which is an addition to the teaching of the Prophet which doesn’t have an extenuating circumstance which permits us to make a supplication like we said concerning [the exception about] calamities, then it is an addition, and additions in matters of worship are innovations.

Questioner: Ya’ni, as you know, for example, in Ramadaan, all the mosques …

Al-Albaani: How can I not know? The Masjid al-Haraam spread this bid’ah in all countries, I know this. So it is not allowed to add anything except due to an extenuating circumstance.

Questioner: There are people whose supplication goes up to half an hour.

Al-Albaani: Yes, there is no doubt or uncertainty that that is an innovation, there is no doubt about it. And people follow what they become accustomed to, so we must return to the Sunnah.

Questioner: What, O Shaikh, what is the form [of the salaah that is said] after, “اللهم اهدني فيمن هديت” (O Allaah! Guide me among those whom You have guided.), ya’ni, we want the complete form …

Al-Albaani: After the well-known qunoot1 [you can say]: “وصلى الله على محمد النبي الأمي وعلى آله وصحبه وسلم”, only.

Fataawaa Raabigh, 6.

1 Which is:

اللَّهُمَّ اهْدِنِي فِيمَنْ هَدَيْتَ، وَعَافِنِي فِيمَنْ عَافَيْتَ، وَتَوَلَّنِي فِيمَنْ تَوَلَّيْتَ، وَبَارِكْ لِي فِيمَا أَعطَيْتَ، وَقِنِي شَرَّ مَا قَضَيْتَ، فَإِنَّكَ تَقْضِي وَلَا يُقْضَى عَلَيْكَ، إِنَّهُ لَا يَذِلُّ مَنْ وَالَيْتَ، [وَلَا يَعِزُّ مَنْ عَادَيْتَ]، تَبَارَكْتَ رَبَّنَا وَتَعَالَيْتَ

“O Allaah! Guide me among those whom You have guided, and strengthen me with those whom You have given strength. Take me to Your care with those whom You have taken to Your care. Bless me in what You have given me. Protect me from the evil You have ordained. Surely, You command and are not commanded, and none whom You have committed to Your care shall be humiliated [and none whom You have taken as an enemy shall taste glory]. You are Blessed, Our Lord, and Exalted.”

On Holding the Mushaf During Taraaweeh, A Mention of the Narration of Aaishah and also on Someone Holding the Mushaf Behind the Imaam to Correct Him


 

Al-Albaani: There is an issue which occurs frequently every Ramadaan, i.e., that when many mosque Imaams stand to lead the people in prayer they read from a mushaf directly. This must happen where you are as it does here?

Okay, so I say: is this legislated? As for me, then my answer is no. There are some noble scholars who permit it, saying that it is allowed, and their proof in that is an authentic narration which states that Aa’ishah, may Allaah be pleased with her, used to have a servant who would lead her in prayer in Ramadaan who would recite from the mushaf, this is an authentic narration.

My answer to this is that this narration does not represent the general manhaj of the Salaf, it represents the opinion of the Mother of the Believers, the [noble] lady Aa’ishah—and she is one for whom it was not obligatory to go to the mosque to pray the obligatory prayers in congregation, let alone the night prayer which is supererogatory. Not only was it not obligatory for her, it was in fact more desirable for her to pray at home. So firstly, this, as I said, does not represent the salafi understanding in this issue in terms of the Salaf comprehensively, men, scholars, students of knowledge and so on. Secondly, this case was specific to Aa’ishah and her servant. So if someone were to say that, “In situations like this it is permitted,” we say that, “It is allowed in compliance with the Mother of the Believers.” As for it to be made a general sunnah for mosque Imaams who lead men in prayer in the mosques, then this is in opposition to what the Salaf were on … …

So the rule is that the Imaams of the mosques lead the people in prayer from what they have memorised, from memory … and in addition to that I say that opening the door to allow mosque Imaams to read from mushafs in the night prayer in Ramadaan leads to the cancellation of an established, legislated Sunnah from the Prophet ﷺ, which is his saying ﷺ, “Keep refreshing your knowledge of the Quraan and make your voice melodious in reciting it, for by the One in Whose Hand is the soul of Muhammad, it is more inclined to escape from the breasts of men than a camel from its rope.”

“Keep refreshing your knowledge of the Quraan,” means devote your attention to memorising and studying it, because if you don’t it will be lost and go.

So if it is said to mosque Imaams, “There is no need for you to memorise the Quraan … just open the mushaf and put it on a high table and read from it and turn its pages as you pray,” this is a practical dissuasion for them to refresh their knowledge of the Quraan which they had been ordered to do by the Prophet ﷺ.

Thus, this would be from the innovations [bid’ah] which oppose the Sunnah—not only an innovation—but rather an innovation which opposes the Sunnah, and opinion is united in battling against innovations which oppose the Sunnah, if only they knew.

For this reason I do not hold this situation which has now become widespread to be permissible, especially in the Masjid al-Haraam and other mosques around it, [i.e.,] where the Quraan is read from directly, from the noble mushaf.

Questioner: Sometimes a qaari will stand behind them [i.e., behind the Imaam] holding a mushaf so that if the Imaam makes a mistake [he can correct him], so does this have the same ruling?

Al-Albaani: Naturally it has the same ruling. In fact, this is one of the bad results of that practice.

Yes, one time I prayed, I think it was in Taaif, Allaah knows best, behind an Imaam who was reading from the Mushaf—look subhaanallaah, every time when talking about innovations I remember the narration [which says], “No innovation was ever made up except that a Sunnah was wiped out,”what would this Imaam do? When he’d finish [reciting] and wanted to bow, he would put the mushaf under his armpit, picture that, how do you think his rukoo’ would be, his prostration? Like that of a woman according to some madhhabs. What led him to oppose this sunnah or sunnahs? It is the introduction of this innovation, “No innovation was ever made up except that a Sunnah was wiped out.”

Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, 544.

On Imaams Leading the Night Prayer whilst Reading from a Mushaf


Questioner: During the night prayer is it allowed to read the Quraan from a copy of the mushaf?

Al-Albaani:

And all good is in following those who preceded us
All evil in the innovations of those who came after

Imagine yourselves right now praying the night prayer in the time of ’Umar, who would be leading you? Ubaiy ibn Ka’b.

Questioner: We don’t have an Ubaiy with us.

Al-Albaani: That’s why we must produce an Ubaiy.

Questioner: Until we do, what should we do?

Al-Albaani: Such a method [of holding and reading from the mushaf] will not bring about an Ubaiy or even half an Ubaiy, for this reason, I remind you of the famous hadith, “Keep refreshing your knowledge of the Quraan, for by the One in Whose Hand is the soul of Muhammad, it is more inclined to escape than a camel from its rope,” keep refreshing your knowledge of the Quraan.

Those people who lead the prayers in the mosque [while reading] from a mushaf, and [I mean] no offense [here] and with respect for any Imaam who leads the people in prayer from a mushaf—I don’t say that these people are lazy [but] I say that at the very least they didn’t carry out this Prophetic order, “Keep refreshing your knowledge of the Quraan.” What does, “keep refreshing,” mean? It is explained in the remainder of the hadith.

If a haafidh does not repeat what he has memorized from the Quraan day and night, it will escape from him just as a runaway camel does from its rope. It is well known amongst camel herders that parallels are coined about a camel’s disposition, such that you have sayings such as, ‘[So and so] is more spiteful than a camel,’ for camels are extremely spiteful, [likewise they are] greatly prone to escaping, even cutting their ropes no matter how strong they may be. That is why addressing the Arabs, camel herders, he  said, “it is more inclined to escape from the breasts of men than a camel from its rope.”

So if Muslims don’t give due care [to memorising the Quraan]and this is a communal obligation, if some people carry it out others don’t need to[if they don’t give due care] then they will be forced to read from the mushaf.

Were the Salaf as-Saalih like that? Of course not.

So, we must produce students who memorise the Quraan and recite it well, and who subsequently lead the people in prayer even if they are young children and those who pray behind them are old men, because priority is given to the one who has memorized it and not the scholar.

For this reason, many times Iand you can see that I am in my eighties nowwill pray behind the youth, because they have memorized more of the Quraan than me, doing so as an implementation of his saying , “The people should be lead by the one who is most well-versed in recitation of the Book of Allaah. If they are equal in recitation, then they should be led by the one who is most knowledgeable of the Sunnah. If they are equal in their knowledge of the Sunnah, then they should be led by the eldest.” Where was I [in this ranking]? In third place [i.e., the eldest]. “If they are equal in age, then they should be led by the one who emigrated first.”

So, the people should be lead by the one who is most well-versed in recitation of the Book of Allaah. So during taraaweeh the people must be lead by the one who is most well-versed in recitation of the Book of Allaah.

And when I say this I know that there could be young children who have memorised more than grown men, but these young children might not pray properly, [but] following this path and implementing this hadith is a legislated way to teach some of these children who have memorised the Quraan the [correct] method of praying, such that they pray it in congregation and lead the people in it, doing so proficiently as ordered by the Messenger of Allaah .

In conclusion I remind you of the hadith of a young boy from the Companions whose name was ’Amr ibn Abi Salamah, his father Abu Salamah was one of the earliest people of the Ansaar to believe in Allaah’s Messenger before he migrated to Medinah. These Ansaar used to go to Makkah on ’Umrah in order to meet the Prophet and to learn what new legislated rulings had been revealed to him. So one time his father travelled and then he and some of the elders from the Ansaar came back with a new ruling which the Prophet had taught them, which was to pray in congregation. Prior to that they would pray individually, so they came back with this new ruling, to pray in congregation, the Prophet having taught them this hadith, “The people should be lead by the one who is most well-versed in recitation of the Book of Allaah …”

[This young boy] ’Amr said, “So they looked around Medinah and didn’t find anyone more well-versed in the recitation of the Quraan than me, nor anyone who had memorised more than me,” and ’Amr’s age was between seven and nine, that’s what is mentioned in the narrations, i.e., at the most he was nine years old, so he said they put him forward to lead them in prayerelderly, grown men with beards praying behind a young boy of nine years at the most.

And as is mentioned in the hadith he was wearing a mantle, i.e., a loincloth made out of a heavy, velvety material. When he would prostrate it would raise up above him, and the women were praying behind the men as is the Sunnah, and some of his ’awrah would show. And so this boy had barely given salaam from the prayer when a woman called out from behind the men, “Won’t you cover the buttocks of your reciter from us?” The boy went on to say, “So they bought a thawb for me, and I had never been so happy with anything before as I was with that thawb.”

Thus, we must give due care to memorizing the Quraan and copying our Salaf as-Saalih.

Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, 694.

On Holding the Mushaf Whilst Praying Taraweeh Behind the Imaam


Questioner: Is it allowed for someone who is following the Imaam in prayer, especially in taraweeh, standing behind the Imaam obviously, [is it allowed for him] to hold the mushaf [while praying] behind the Imaam so that he can look at it?

Al-Albaani: No, no that is not from the Sunnah.

Questioner: If he does it, is his prayer valid [though]?

Al-Albaani: His prayer is valid.

Questioner: But in opposition to the Sunnah?

Al-Albaani: Yes.

Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, 679.

On Extending the Du’aa al-Qunoot in Witr


 

Questioner: Okay, is it allowed for the du’aa al-qunoot … because in the sunnah it is reported as being before the rukoo’, if we do it after the rukoo’  that would be …

Al-Albaani: … that would be following ’Umar etc., but the sunnah is dearer to us.

Questioner: Yes, doing it before the rukoo’ is better?

Al-Albaani: Yes.

Questioner: Okay, if we added an [additional] supplication to the du’aa al-qunoot which has been reported [in the Sunnah], is it allowed? The du’aa al-qunoot well-known as, ‘Allaahummahdini fi man hadaita …,’  if I add other supplications to that of my own accord?

Al-Albaani: No, it’s not allowed, except rarely.

Questioner: Only rarely.

Al-Albaani: Yes.

Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, 326.

Also see here.

Dividing the Night Prayer into Two Sessions During the Last Ten Days of Ramadaan


 

Questioner: What happens these days, O Shaikh, during the last ten days of Ramadaan, where they split the prayer, the night prayer [tarawih], into two, [praying ten rak’ahs] at the start of the night [after ishaa] and [then ten more a few hours later] at the end [‘qiyaam al-lail’], this having become something permanent?

Al-Albaani: It’s an innovation.

Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, 719.

Al-Albaani On Whether Long Fasting Hours Should Be Shortened—Part 2


See part one here.

Questioner: Fasting in countries where the day is long, more than twenty or twenty-two hours, some people say that it is permissible to fast according to the closest country to them.

Al-Albaani: Why do they say that?

Questioner: They’re going according to the hadith of Dajjaal …

Al-Albaani: And does that hadith

Questioner: They are performing qiyaas

Al-Albaani: Qiyaas of what to what?

What is better than that is for you to ask, ‘What is the correct opinion on this issue?’ [And] in order to facilitate the correct opinion which I will soon mention, [I ask]: is it possible for someone whose fast is twenty hours to do it, is it possible or not? This is the first thing.

Secondly, the sun rises where they are and sets, does it not? …

If the question were: what is the ruling [concerning people for whom] it is [constant] daylight for six months, as is the case in a certain country, and where after these six months, what takes its place? Night for six monthsit is here that what you alluded to earlier in terms of the qiyaas of forty days as in the time of Dajjaal [comes in to play], a day which will be like a year, another like a month, and the rest of his days will be like your [normal] days.

Okay, but your question was, [and] I don’t know whether it was intentional or not, … … if it wasn’t unintentional then [I say to you that] using the hadith of Dajjaal here is not possible because [in the case of those people who have a long day and have to fast long hours] the sun does [actually] rise and setthe most that can be said in this circumstance is [to ask] whether those who are required to fast [those] twenty hours can actually do it?

The answer, in my opinion, is that they can, and this is a general answer, maybe some of them can’tfor now we’re talking about those who can, it’s not allowed for these people to be given a fatwa that they are to fast in accordance with the hours of the country closest to them, bearing in mind the fact that this issue [of the hours] will differ from country to country and does not have a set yardstick by which to go … but [in contrast is] His Saying, “Fear Allah as much as you are able,” [Taghaabun 64:16] which is a precise, unabrogated principle.

So if the fast is sixteen hours long in some countries and shorter in others, the ruling doesn’t vary as regards the obligation of fasting due to the number of [such] hours being long or shortthus the regulating principle is that: if they see daybreak [fajr] they stop eating, and when they see the sun setting, they eat, this is what is obligatory on them.

And what may come to one’s mind is not said here, i.e., ‘That this is akin to oppression,’ far be it, because in response we will say that they will get their due in days to come, where instead of fasting twenty hours they might be fasting for ten, as is the [cyclical] nature of seasons.

Thus, the ruling is that whoever is able to is obligated to fast.

It is not allowed for them to align themselves to another country for the rising and setting of the sun.

And I believe, through personal experience, that a person has the strength and power, if he responds favourably to legislated rulings, to fast day and nightnot only to fast for twenty hours and eat during four, no, rather that he fasts day and night continuously [without eating at all], indeed some of the Companions of the Prophet ﷺ wanted to fast continuously without a break so the Prophet ﷺ forbade them from doing so, to which they responded, ‘O Messenger of Allaah! You fast continuously without a break.’ So he said, ‘I spend the night while my Lord provides me with food and drink.’

So if there are people who are able to carry out an unlegislated fast, which is to fast continuously night and day without a break, then it is more fitting that they are able to do this [normal] fast if their country according to the legislation obligates them to refrain from eating at daybreak and to eat at sunset, this is possible.

And I myself, since some of you may have read in my books, fasted for forty days not having any food or drink except a few sips of water. You all know through everyone’s experience that whoever eats a lot drinks a lot, and that whoever stays hungry and doesn’t eat doesn’t long for water except for only a very little which will keep him aliveand this is how I was for forty days, nothing entered my stomach except for very, very little water, so how can I not fast … [a normal fast which is long] … especially with the kinds of iftaar which we have been tested with nowadays, i.e., what we lost in the day we have there in the iftaar.

For this reason, I hold it to be a glaring error in such an instance where the sun can be seen rising and setting that we turn to [the timings of] another country.

As for the other situation where there is no day or night … and this is present in the North Pole a lot, then for this circumstance we say that they fast according to the nearest possible country to them, it is possible to say this [in such a situation]. And it is possible here that we take the hadith [of Dajjaal] concerning the prayer times, “You must make an estimate of its extent,” … because they [at the poles] have a day which is very, very long at half a year, and a long, long night for the other half, so it is possible to say that they make a moderate estimate, for example, and fast for twelve hours only … as for where the sun rises and sets, then it is not allowed.

Fataawa Jeddah, 3.

Al-Albaani On Whether Long Fasting Hours Should Be Shortened


Questioner: The Muslims in Sweden, a European country, in Ramadaan they have only three hours to eat after opening their fast, i.e., the sun sets at ten o’clock and rises at one.

Al-Albaani: Where?

Questioner: In Sweden.

Al-Albaani: In Sweden, yes.

Questioner: Yes there are Muslims …

Al-Albaani: Yes … yes ma’roof.

Questioner: They only have three hours during which to eat, and they fast for twenty-one, so they find it difficult. One brother told me that some people gave them a fatwa that they can start and break the fast according to the time in Makkah, so this fatwa ya’ni

Al-Albaani: I don’t hold … I don’t hold this fatwa to be correct. Since we can flip the situation and say that a season will come where the situation will be the opposite, where they will fast for three hours or thereabouts and they will be able to eat for the remainder of those twenty four hours, clear?

Questioner: I don’t think …

Al-Albaani: Have you studied any geography?

Questioner: No, only a little.

Al-Abaani: Do you know that the sun, ya’ni, is hidden in the North Pole for half the year such that they don’t see it, and in the other half it’s the opposite of that totally, are you aware of that or not?

Questioner: My hold on geography [is weak], O Shaikh.

Al-Albaani:  So you don’t know that, it is something well-known.

Questioner: Yes.

Al-Albaani: And [then] between this and that [i.e., between the North and South poles] you have seasons in those countries, ya’ni, in the two poles you have night for half the year and day for half, [it is] in such a situation [that] the question as to what should be done is posed.

But those who are closer to us, [closer] to the equator, the closer they get to us the more uniform time becomes for them, you know that at the equator day and night are totally equal?

Questioner: Yes.

Al-Albaani: Yes, but it changes totally the higher or lower you go, so that you get a period in those countries where instead of the twenty or twenty-one hours they fast and the three hours they can eat, about half a year later it’s the total opposite of that.

That’s why I say to them your account is being accumulated in terms of what is coming [i.e., a time will come when your fast will be very short], and I do not give them a fatwa that they should fast according to [the timings of] their neighbouring countries, because the [following] aayahs apply to them: And eat and drink until the white thread of dawn becomes distinct to you from the black thread [of night], [Baqarah 2:187] in contrast to those we told you about in the North Pole who do not see the sun at all, there is no morning, no ’ishaa, nothing, [it is] these people [who] estimate the value as has been clearly stated in the authentic hadith about the Dajjaal in which the Prophet ﷺ upon informing his Companions that the Dajjaal would be there for how many days? Thirty or forty?

Questioner: Forty.

Someone else: Forty days.

Al-Albaani: Forty days. One of his days will equal a year, the next a month, the third a week and the rest will be like these days of yours. The question arose as to how they should pray [during that time]? He said, “You must make an estimate of its extent.”

So, making an estimate in that long year, what will the Muslims want to base that estimate on? On what they were accustomed to.

Now with the presence of watches it is very easy for them to estimate … if we supposed that the Muslims had a year-long dark night such that day and night were combined [into one], which happens at the two poles as we mentioned, in such an instance they have to make an estimate.

As for every country in which the sun can be seen setting and rising, and what that results in in terms of fajr­—then these people have to fast even if the duration of the fast seems long to them, and our Lord عز وجل says in the Noble Quran: And if Allaah had willed, He could have put you in difficulty, [Baqarah: 2:220] [but] He didn’t will difficulty for us, alhamdulillaah.

If such a situation does occur in some countries then soon enough they will get copious amounts of ease in place of that increased discomfort [when the day becomes short and their fasting becomes easier].

This is my answer and it is correct, inshaa Allaah.

Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, 237.

See part two here.

The Fast of ’Aashuraa and Responding to an Invite


Questioner: Ustaadh, supposing that it’s ’Aashuraa, the fast of [the Day of] ’Aashuraa, and a person close to you has called you over for lunch, if you don’t go, he’ll get upset, so should you take up his invite or complete your fast?

Al-Albaani: If you don’t go he’ll get upset?

Questioner: He’ll get upset.

Al-Albaani: Go, but if there’s no harm [in not going] and he won’t get upset then he supplicates for him and completes his fast.

Questioner: So ’Aashuraa is like other optional acts of worship.

Al-Albaani: Optional, but it has special merit.

Questioner: Responding to an invite is regarded as being obligatory?

Al-Albaani: Yes.

Questioner: When a Muslim invites you then you must respond to his invitation, so the thing which is obligatory is given precedence over that which is optional.

Al-Albaani: That’s it, but if he accepts the excuse then he supplicates for him and asks Allaah to forgive him, if he doesn’t accept [his refusal] then he goes.

Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, 25/2.

An Abandoned Sunnah When Opening Fasts


 

“From Anas in marfoo’ form, ‘He used to open his fast with fresh dates before he would pray and if there were no fresh dates then he would open it with dry dates and if there were none then he would take a few sips of water.’

The Imaam said, ‘The purpose of me mentioning this hadith whilst being brief in a discussion of its chain of narration is only to remind people of this Sunnah which most of those who fast have neglected, especially during common invitations in which all manner of delicious and pleasant food and drink is prepared, but as for fresh dates or at the very least dry dates then they have no mention, and even worse than that is their neglect of breaking the fast with some sips of water—so glad tidings for whoever is from those, ‘who listen to speech and follow the best of it. Those are the ones Allaah has guided, and those are people of understanding.”” [Az-Zumar 39:18]

As-Saheehah, vol. 6/2/821.

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