The Albaani Site

Translation from the Works of the Reviver of this Century

Tag: optional prayers

Should You Complete Your Sunnah Prayer if You Hear the Iqaamah for the Prescribed Prayer?


When a person is praying the [the two units of] Sunnah prayers before fajr or [any prayer] other than fajr, and while doing so the iqaamah for the prayer is announced while he has still not yet finished praying his sunnahs, should he break his prayer in order to pray with the Imaam or should he complete his Sunnah [prayers first]?

Al-Albaani: The principle in this issue is the Prophet’s saying (صلى الله عليه وسلم), “When the iqaamh for prayer is called, there is no prayer except the prescribed prayer.” [Muslim, no. 1644].

So from this hadith it is clear that the [sunnah] prayer is nullified just by the fact that the prescribed prayer has been established–but the scholars differed as to whether the hadith is general without exception and whether it can be understood that a person can continue [to pray] in some circumstances to complete his sunnah prayer and then join the congregational prayer.

What appears to me [to be the answer] based upon what I have read from Imaam An-Nawawee’s book [called] Al-Majmoo’, is that what is intended by this hadith is to encourage the Muslim who prays the optional prayers to catch the [prescribed] prayer with the Imaam from the very start, i.e., that he should not miss the first saying of Allaahu Akbar which begins the prayer [takbeeratul-Ihraam].

So if the iqaamah for the [prescribed] prayer is called and the person is praying the optional prayer in the final sitting before giving salaam [i.e., tashahhud], and all that remains [for him to complete his optional prayer] is to give salaam, and that he thinks it is more than likely that he will be able to catch the first takbeer–then in this case he can complete his prayer, and finish it even if only with the first salaam [to the right] at the very least.

In contrast, if he said the takbeer to start praying his sunnah for fajr for example, and at the same time the iqaamah for the prescribed prayer is called such that if he were to continue until he completed his optional prayer it would mean that, at the very least, he would miss the first takbeer which begins the prayer with the Imaam [takbeeratul-Ihraam], then in this situation he should break his prayer, i.e., without giving salaam. And between these two situations are many others.

In summary, the person who is praying optional prayers when the iqaamah is called should make an effort to consider whether or not by continuing the optional prayer he will catch the initial, first takbeer which starts the prescribed prayer.

If he thinks it more than likely that he will catch it, he complete his prayer and keeps it short, and if he thinks it more likely that he will miss the first takbeer that commences the [prescribed] prayer, he breaks off his optional prayer and joins the row.

Al-Masaa’il al-‘Ilmiyyah wal-Fataawaa ash-Shar’iyyah, Fataawaa ash-Shaikh al-Allaamah Muhammad Naasirud-Deen al-Albaani, fil-Madeenah wal-Imaaraat, of Amr Abdul-Mun’im Saleem, pp. 100-101.

Why Al-Albaani almost felt like wishing for death …

As-Sadhaan said, quoting from Saheeh Mawaarid adh-Dham’aan, “And he, may Allaah have mercy on him, said concerning the hadith, “The life spans of my Ummah are between sixty and seventy. Few of them pass that,” Ibn Arafah said, “And I am from those few.”

So Shaikh al-Albaani said commenting on the saying of Ibn Arafah, “And I too am from those few. For I have passed eighty-four years in age, all the while asking the Protector [mawlaa], far removed be He from all defects, that I be from those whose lives are prolonged and whose actions get better.

And yet along with that I almost wish for death due to the deviation from the religion that has afflicted the Muslims.

But far be it that I wish for death when the hadith of Anas has been before me since childhood, so it is not for me but to say as my Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) ordered me to, “O Allaah, give me life as long as life is better for me. And take my soul if death is better for me,’” [also] supplicating with that which he (صلى الله عليه وسلم) taught me, “O Allaah! Let us enjoy our hearing and vision and strength for as long as You grant us life and make it our legacy.”

And He, the One free of all defects, has favoured me and responded, allowing me to enjoy all of that. So here I am still researching and verifying, still writing actively the like of which is rarely seen, and I pray the optional prayers standing, and I drive my car for long distances by myself, and at a speed which some of those dear to me advise me to reduce, and I have an elaboration for that which some of them know!

And I say all of this by way of, “And as for the favour of your Lord, then proclaim [it] …” [Ad-Duhaa 93:11], hoping that the Protector, free is He from all defects and the Most High, increases the Bounty He has bestowed upon me, and that He makes all of it my legacy. And that He takes my soul as a Muslim upon the Sunnah which I dedicated my life to, calling to it and writing about it. And that He gathers me with the martyrs and the righteous, and what an excellent company that is. Indeed He is the All-Hearer, the One who answers supplications.””

Al-Imaam al-Albaani, Duroos, wa Mawaaqif, wa Ibar, of Abdul-Aziz ibn Muhammad Abdullaah as-Sadhaan, pp. 286-287.

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