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Islamic Fiqh- Ritual Acts of worship- Salat (prayer)- Lesson (3): Requisites of Salat- The Good Manners of Reciting Quran- Reciting out Loud and Reciting Secretly in Salat.
In the Name of Allah, The Most Gracious, Most Merciful  

The requisites (Shuroot) of Salat:

1- Cleanness of the body, garment and place of salat besides covering Awrah:

 Dear brother, in order to offer salat rightly, you should follow 27 matters which are mentioned in Maraqi Al-Falah (Ranks of Success), and I explained this book previously in this Masjid, but I would like to explain it one more time due its importance since it revolves around salat, Sawm, Zakat and Hajj which are the acts of worship in Islam, and as you know salat is the major pillar in Islam. Let me first talk about Shuroot (requisites) of salat.

 salat will be valid when 27 matters are met by the Musalli (the performer of salat): The first requisite is purity from Hadath (impurity) which is of two types: minor (It is the state of hadath that is eliminated by making wudu), and Major (It is the state of hadath that occurs due to janabah, menstruation and puerperium; it can be eliminated only by ghusl). When scholars say that salat entails a state of purity of Hadath, they indicate the minor and the major one, in addition to the purity of the body, the garment and the place of salat.

 Being in a state of Taharah (purity) in the body is not enough, for the place where the Musalli prays must be clean as well, so is the garment he puts on. This purity is from Najas (all the dirty things) that is not pardoned, for there is a kind of Najas that is pardoned; when it is small in amount and dry, whereas the Najas that is not pardoned and which needs cleaning is the place where the Musalli stands and offer Sujood on his knees and forehead.

((Narrated Ibn 'Abbas: The Prophet (PBUH) said, "I have been ordered to prostrate on seven bones i.e. on the forehead along with the tip of the nose and the Prophet (PBUH) pointed towards his nose, both hands, both knees and the toes of both feet and not to gather the clothes or the hair."))

[Muslim by Ibn Abbas]

 Among the requisites is to cover Awrah in the sense that the Musalli should not show the color of the skin (due to transparent fabrics) or the size of the body (due to the tight clothes). Unfortunately these are the kinds of clothes people wear these days, but they are unacceptable in salat, for they show the details of the body. Hence, putting on baggy clothes (like the one worn by women during salat) is the best one for covering Awrah, because it does not show the curves of the body or the color of the skin.

2- Facing the Qiblah:

 Among the requisites of salat is to face Qiblah, and there are many ways to face Qiblah. The Makkian (the one who lives in Makkah) who is offering salat around Ka'bah should face Qiblah with his eyes, and if his eyes do not face Ka'bah we say to him, "You are not facing Qiblah". As for other people around the world, they should face the direction of Ka'bah (meaning Makkah) while they are offering salat.

3- Ascertaining the right time for salat:

 The third requisite is ascertaining the right time for salat. Scholars said, "Being in the time of salat is the reason of offering it". It is unacceptable for someone to say, "I am about to travel, so I will offer salat 15 minutes before Adhan", because if he does so, his salat is invalid since its time has not arrived yet. If the Musalli follows Ash-Shafi'i School of Thought and he combines two salats early or late, this will be another issue. However, if you are in your town, you should offer salat after its time arrives, and this should not be according to you as long as you live in a Muslim community and there are calendars, Masajid and Adhan, so the Muslim should not say, "I see that the red twilight has set, so I can offer Ishaa' salat", because he should only offer salat after hearing Adhan Al-Ishaa'.

 Some towns (like Biqqin or Madaya which are located in the suburb of Damascus) are surrounded with high mountains, and thus the set of the sun is not the real set, because it is hidden behind the mountains, and the inability to see it does not mean that Maghrib time arrives, so the Adhan starts 15 minutes after it sets (goes behind the mountain). Sometimes there might be heavy clouds in coastal cities, and they act like a mountain, so when the sun hides behind them, it does not mean that Maghrib time arrives. Hence, man is not qualified to appoint the times of salat according to his observation of the sun, and he should follow Adhan. However, when someone is traveling through the desert where there is neither Masajid nor Adhan to tell him when Maghrib arrives, he can use his observation of the sun to know the times of salat which I taught you before in this Masjid.

 One more point, doubting the arrival of salat time makes man's salat doubted as well, and this doubt nullifies the act of worship. Therefore, there are two requisites with regard to salat time, the first one is that the time of salat arrives, and the second is to believe beyond doubt that its time has arrived. For this very reason, it is better to wait few minutes to make sure that the time of salat arrives.

4- The intention and the enunciation of Takbir Al-Ihram:

 The intention which includes appointing the kind of salat the Musalli is offering, mentioning the number of its Rak'at, saying that it is offered during its time (Hader) and mentioning whether he is praying alone or behind Imam has to be followed directly with saying loud Takbir Al-Ihram, so there should be no break between the two (the intention and the Takbir). Hence, man cannot offer Niyah (intention), ask his wife to make tea, and then say Takbir Al-Ihram, for the Niyah and Takbir Al-Ihram should be offered without any break between the two.

 Also, when someone enters the Masjid and the Imam is in Ruku', he cannot rush and offer Takbir Al-Ihram while he is bowing just to follow the Imam in this Rak'ah, and his salat in this case is invalid. Hence, Takbir Al-Ihram should be offered while the Musalli is standing upright. Unfortunately this is done by the majority of Musalleen (plural of Musalli), while Takbir Al-Ihram should be offered in a standing position, and it should come after Niyah (not the other way around). Also, Takbir Al-Ihram should be said loud enough at least to be heard by the Musalli himself.

 When someone is offering salat in a place where there is a religious session, it is unacceptable to say Takbir Al Ihram very loud, and it is enough for him to hear himself. Also, when the Musalli is in a congregation salat, he should include that in his intention. For example, he says, "I intend to offer three Rak'at Fard Al-Maghrib behind Imam". As for Imam, he should also include being the Imam of this salat in his intention.

5- Specifying the Fard:

  Specifying Fard is one of the requisites of salat. Therefore, if someone intends to offer Zuhr Nafl salat, but while he is in the second Rak'ah, he realizes that the time of Asr is about to arrive, and so he changes his intention in the third Rak'ah to make this Nafl as Fard, this salat is not valid, because he starts it as Sunnah, so it should stay Sunnah, and when he intends salat as Fard, it stays Fard. Hence, specifying Fard is a requisite for salat. Scholars said, "The Musalli should specify in his intention if he is offering Fard (like Fajr, Zuhr, Asr, Maghrib and Ishaa') or Wajib (like the Two Eids salat, Janazah salat (funeral prayers), or Witr), whereas Nafl does not entail specifying, like when someone gets up to offer night prayers; in this case he is offering Nafl, and there is no need for specification in his Niyah. Hence, specification is a requisite in Fard and Wajib salat.

6- Qiyam, which is the ability to stand upright in the Fard:

 Qiyam is needed for Fard (not Nafl), so it is not acceptable to offer Fard while sitting without any excuse. The accepted excuse is like having arthritis, but being tired after a long day, and then offering Ishaa' while sitting is not enough reason. Unlike Far, Nafl salat can be offered while the Musalli is sitting. If someone has a health problem, he can offer Fard while sitting.

7- Reciting at least one Ayah in the first two Rak'at of every Fard:

 Reciting a short Surat, or one, two or three Ayat of a long Surat in the first two Rak'at of every Fard and in all Rak'at of Nafl after Al-Fatihah is a requisite of offering salat. If man offers 4 Nafl Rak'at of Zuhr salat, he should read after Al-Fatihah a short Surat or three Ayat of a longer Surat in every Rak'ah of this Nafl. Offering salat alone without moving the lips is not considered salat, for the Musalli should hear himself while reading at least one Ayah in the first two Rak'at of Fard salat.

 It is worth mentioning that scholars did not consider "Alif-Lam-Mim" or "Kaf- Ha-Ya-'Ain-Sad" as one Ayah to be reauthord after Fatihah, for it is not enough. Once, the Imam read, "Mudhammatan (Dark green (in colour).) [Ar-Rahman, 64]" in one Rak'ah, so a Masalli behind him said after salat was over, "You took so long in this Rak'ah", to which the Imam said, "All I read is "Mudhammatan", but the ignorant Musalli said, "If you had read one Mudhammah in each Rak'ah that would have been swifter". Hence, it is not accepted to read an Ayah like "Alif-Lam-Mim" or "Kaf- Ha-Ya-'Ain-Sad" or "Mudhammatan", for there must be one meaningful clause as a second Ayah after Al-Fatihah. Allah says:

﴾So reauthor as much of the Qur'an as may be easy (for you)﴿

[Al-Muzzammil, 20]

8- Saying part of salat loudly:

  Saying part of salat loudly is a must, but some scholars said, "It is not always the case, for the Musalli behind the Imam reads nothing and the reading of Imam is enough for him". In other cases, if the Musalli offers Takbir Al-Ihram then catches up with the Imam in Ruku' and is able to say one Tasbeeh only with him, his Rak'ah is accepted as a whole Rak'ah though he says nothing and hears nothing at the beginning of that Rak'ah. For this reason scholars said, "Reading the Quran is a requisite, while sh3er considered it allowed only, because an entire Rak'ah is considered (like the case I have already mentioned) though the Musalli reads nothing in it. If the Musalli hears the Imam reading, the latter's reading is a reading for the former, and it is enough.

9- Offering salat rightly is not linked to reciting specific Ayat of Quran:

 Offering salat rightly is not linked to reciting specific Ayat of the Quran. However, scholars said, "Memorizing the entire Quran is Fard Kifayah ( if some of Muslims do it, the rest are pardoned from doing it). Hizb (five pages of the Quran) is the least that should be memorized by the Muslim", and memorizing Al-Fatihah, Al-Mu'awazat (Al-Falaq, An-Nas and Al-Ikhlas), Al-Kawthar, Al-Qari'ah and other short Suwar are the least that should be memorized by the Musalli. The Musalli will be able to choose reading whatever short Surat he memorizes. For instance, he can read Az-Zalzalah, Al-Asr, Al-Qari'ah, Al-Humazah or Al-Masad. As I see it, every Muslim should at least memorize Juz' Amma (which starts with Surat An-Naba' and ends with Surat An-Nas), and it is the least amount that should be known by All people, given this Juz' is all about faith and believing in Allah, and had the Quran had a summary, Juz' Amma would have been its summary.

((Abu Ad-Darda' reported Allah's Apostle (PBUH) as saying: "Is any one of you incapable of reciting a third of the Qur'an in a night?" They (the Companions) asked: "How could one reauthor a third of the Qur'an (in a night)?" Upon this he (the Holy Prophet) said: "'Say: He is Allah, One' (Qur'an. cxii) is equivalent to a third of the Qur'an."))
((The Prophet PBUH said, "If you read Ikhlas 3 times is like reading all the Quran"))

  Once someone asked another one to read Khitmah (the entire Quran) for his mother's soul and gave him 100 Liras, so the man read Al-Ikhlas three times and he took the money (which is a misconception of the meaning of the Hadith). In Al-Ikhlas the Deity of Allah is mentioned, so are His Creation and His Shari'ah (Islamic law). Thus, the Prophet PBUH considered Al-Ikhlas one third of the Quran, which indicates that the "third" denotes the Beautiful Names of Allah when Allah says in Al-Ikhlas:

﴾Say (O Muhammad PBUH): "He is Allah, (the) One* "Allah-us-Samad (The Self-Sufficient Master, Whom all creatures need, He neither eats nor drinks﴿

[Al-Ikhals, 1-2]

 However, considering that reading Al-Ikhlas three times is as reading the entire Quran is a misunderstanding of the meaning of the previous Hadith.

10- The Ma'mum should not read anything but rather he should listen to Imam:

 The Ma'mum (the one who prays behind Imam) should not read, but rather he should listen to Imam's reading according to Hanafi School of Thought which we consider a reference in teaching.

((Yahya related to me from Malik from Ibn Shihab from Ibn Ukayma al-Laythi from Abu Hurayra that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, finished a prayer in which he had reauthord aloud and asked, "Did any of you reauthor with me just now?" One man said, "Yes, I did, Messenger of Allah." The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "I was saying to myself, 'Why am I distracted from the Qur'an?' " When the people heard the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say that, they refrained from reciting with the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, when he reauthord aloud.))

[Ibn Katheer by Abi Hurairah]

 When he did so, he caused distraction. According to Hanafi School of Thought, the Ma'mum should listen to the Imam due to the following Ayah:

﴾So, when the Qur'an is reauthord, listen to it, and be silent that you may receive mercy. [i.e. during the compulsory congregational prayers when the Imam (of a mosque) is leading the prayer (except Surat Al-Fatiha), and also when he is delivering the Friday-prayer Khutbah]. [Tafsir At-Tabari, Vol.9, Pages 162-4]﴿

[Al-A'raf, 204]

 It is Makrooh Tahriman (strictly abominable) to read with Imam according to Al-Hanafi School of Thought. However, if we go deeper with the Schools of Thought concerning this point, the one who is praying behind Imam in a congregation salat in a big Masjid where power goes off and the sound of Imam cannot be heard by this Musalli, we should not say to him, "You are Hanafi, so stay still without any move and stop reading", but rather we say to him, "Read (imitating Ash-Shafi' School of Thought)". However, if this Musalli is close to Imam, and he can hear his voice despite the black out, should he read too (like the Musalli who cannot hear his voice)? No, he should not. The distant Musalli can read, because he cannot hear the Imam's voice, whereas the close one should not read, because he can hear the Imam's voice, and both cases are supported in the Prophetic Sunnah. This indicates that the Schools of Thought complete one another and do not contradict with one another. Thus, the disagreements amongst scholars are but mercy on all Muslims, whereas their agreement upon something is but an irrefutable proof.

 At-Taqleed (Adhering to the rulings of a trustworthy, reliable and authentic scholar in matters of the religion) in Madhahib (Schools of Thought) is allowed, but At-Talfeeq (when one does not follow any particular Imam and gets bits and bats from the four Madhahib and mixes them up which would be against their rules is not allowed. At-Talfeeq is manifested if someone wants to follow one Madhhab when it comes to avoid paying Zakat of jewelry, and when he follows another Madhab when it comes to considering pronouncing three words of divorce as one divorce only. Doing this is not permitted. Talfeeq is but hunting down Rukhas (Exceptions to a general law), so that man leads easy life, and it is unacceptable unlike Taqleed which is permitted.

 If the husband follows the Shafi'i School of Thought, and he touches his wife's hand and feels nothing, he could choose whether to reoffer Wudu according to Shafi'i, or to remain in the state of Wudu by following the Hanafi School of Thought (since he felt nothing). On the other hand, if the husband follows the Hanafi School of Thought, and he touches his wife's hand, and he feels something, he should follow the Shafi'i School of Thought and redo his Wudu (since he feels something).

 Some scholars said, "If the performance of whatever act of worship accords with any School of Thought, it is valid whether the performer knows that or not." Concerning this point, we can get back to the example of touching the hand; when the husband touches his wife's hand and does not redo his Wudu, and he does not know whether he follows Shafi'i School of Thought or Hanafi one, his Wudu is valid since it accords with Hanafi School of Thought. This but mercy upon people, given Taqleed is permitted whereas Talfeeq is not permitted, and when scholars agreed upon something, their agreement is irrefutable evidence, whereas their disagreement (and their different opinions) is but mercy upon this Ummah, for their disagreement is not controversial, but rather it gives room for diversity.

Scholars' agreement is an irrefutable proof and their disagreement is mercy:

 The disagreement between the four Imams makes all cases included. For example, Imam Abu Hanifah, may Allah be pleased with him, lived in Baghdad, and one of his opinion is, "Zakat should be paid in cash", whereas Imam Ash-Shafi'i lived in Egypt, so his opinion is that Zakat should be paid as food stuff (like wheat), and both Imams were right. Some scholars said, "Had Imam Abu Hanifah lived in Egypt, he would have adopted Ash-Shafi'i's opinion, and had Ash-Shafi'i lived in Baghdad, he would have adopted Abu Hanifah's opinion. If we apply this opinion to our daily life, the man who lives in a city would not be able to make use of the bag of wheat if someone says to him, "I will give you my Zakat as a bag of wheat", because he needs a cart to carry it, a mill to grind it and an oven to bake it, so this Zakat will be a burden he carries on his shoulder. If he is given him 200 Liras instead of wheat, it will be more beneficial to him. On the other hand, if someone lives in the suburb or in the desert where you can find a mill and an oven, giving him your Zakat as wheat is beneficial to him more than 1000 Liras, for in those areas not everything can be bought by money (like bread).

 Let me give you another example. If the head of a family is not an upright person (he will waste the money if you give your Zakat to him in cash), it is preferable to give your Zakat to his family as food stuff like sugar, rice or oil. On the other hand, if the head of the family is a wise upright person, giving him your Zakat in cash will solve a thousand problems for him, for he might use the money for Eid supplies, for stationeries or for solving other problems he has. Giving him rice, for example, might not be suitable, and it might decay slowly, but giving him money will solve his problems. Therefore, the disagreement amongst scholars is but mercy upon this Ummah.

 Let us go back to the Ma'mum, he should not read while the Imam is reading, but rather he should listen silently, and if he reads then this is Makrooh Tahreeman (strictly abominable).

11- Ruku' and Sujood on whatever the forehead settles:

 One of the requisites is offering Ruku' and Sujood on whatever the Musalli's forehead settles, even if he does Sujood on the back of his hand or part of his garment (given it should be clean). It is Wajib (mandatory) to touch the ground with the forehead and the nose altogether in Sujood, so the forehead alone is not enough and the nose alone is not enough either. However, if there is an excuse like having undergone a surgery in the nose, and the bandages prevent him from touching the ground with his nose, touching the ground with the forehead alone is enough.

12- The place of Sujood should not be higher than the level of the feet:

  The place of Sujood should not be higher than the level where the feet stand by more than Half Zira' (one ell which equals 45 inches). Hence, it is not allowed for the Musalli who is offering salat in the yard of the Masjid to offers Sujood on a very high step in front of him. However, if the Masjid is too crowded, or if the Musalli is offering salat during Hajj when it is too crowded, he is allowed to offer Sujood on the back of the Musalli in front of him, and this situation is unavoidable when it is crowded.

13- Ruku' should precedes Sujood:

  Ruku' should be offered before Sujood, and when the Musalli sits up from the position of Sujood, he should sit up all the way, and then he offers the second Sujood. Therefore, a slight lift from the first Sujood is not enough. The last sit should be offered at last and its time is as long as full Tashahhud takes. One more thing is that the Musalli should be fully awake when he offers salat, and knowing how to offer salat is one of the requisites of its validity.

The Rukn (pillar) and the Shart (requisite):

  I have mentioned Shuroot As-salat (requisites) so far including Arkan (the pillars). Let me summarize them: Arkan As-salat are five: Qiyam, reciting the Quran, Ruku', Sujood and the last sitting, and the rest are Shuroot. Some of Shuroot As-salat are demandable for starting it, like facing Qiblah and purity of the body, the garment and the place of salat, while sh3er are for its validity when it goes on.

 What catches the attention is that Takbir Al-Ihram according to Imam Abi Hanifah, may Allah be pleased with him, is considered Shart (requisite) not Rukn (pillar), whereas the other Imams considered it Rukn. This issue raises the question: What is the difference between Shart and Rukn? Shart goes on as salat goes on, like purity for example. Therefore, if someone nullifies his Wudu while praying, his salat is nullified as well, so are facing Qiblah, cleanness of the place, the body and the garment and covering Awrah, whereas Rukn is done when it is offered, and then the Musalli moves to another Rukn. Therefore, if we say Takbir Al-Ihram is Shart, this means that the Musalli should recall the Greatness of Allah (since At Takbeer is to say "Allah is Great") all salat long, and in this case it is like the purity of the Musalli's body, the garment and the place. As for those who say that Takbir Al-Ihram is Rukn, which is done by offering it, they are adding it to the other Arkan of salat like Ruku', Sujood and standing upright.

 Next lecture insha Allah (if Allah wills), we will move to other chapters of salat, its Sunnah and the dislikeable matters while offering salat.

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