(Chapter 5c contd.)

EID PRAYER

PLACE FOR EID PRAYER

Eid prayer should be offered outdoor in the open, e.g. in a park, field, or a desert etc. If it is wet or not possible to find a suitable outdoor place it can be prayed in a mosque or a large hall. (Abu Dawud)

TIME OF EID PRAYER

Eid prayer should be offered when the sun is obvious, above the horizon.

NUMBER OF RAKATS OF EID PRAYER

Eid prayer is 2 rakats. There is no nafl-prayer before off after the Eid Prayer. There is no Iqamah or Azan for Eid Prayer. Ibn Abbas (ra) reported: "No doubt, Prophet Muhammad (saw) used to pray 2 rakats only for Eid Prayer. He did not pray anything before or after that. (Bukhari, Muslim)

CONDUCT OF END PRAYER

2 rakats of Eid prayer should be offered in the same manner as the 2 rakats of the usual prayer except that there are 7 takbirs in the first rakat and five takbirs in the second rakat. With each extra takbir the hands should be raised up to the shoulder level (as in Takbir Tahrima).

All extra takbirs should be pronounced before starting Q'irat (recitation).

Kathir bin Abdullah reported from his father and his father from grandfather that Prophet (saw) said 7 takbirs in the first rakat of Eid prayer and 5 takbirs in the second rakat of Eid Prayer before beginning of the recitation. (Tirmizi, Ibn Majah,Darmi)

END PRAYER IS OFFERED BEFORE KHUTBAH

Jafar bin Muhammad (ra) reported:- "No doubt, Prophet Muhammad (saw), Abu Bakr (ra) and Umar (ra) said 7 extra takbirs in the first rakat of their Eid and Rain Prayer and five extra takbirs in the second rakat of their Eid and Rain Prayer. Prophet (saw) offered Eid Prayer before Khutbah and recited aloud." (shafaee)

 

JANAZAH PRAYER (FUNERAL PRAYER)

It is a right of a Muslim that when he passes away other Muslims should pray Janazah prayer for him. Janazah prayer is supererogatory prayer. If no one from the whole of the Muslim Community prayed the Janazah prayer; then the whole community would be considered sinful in the sight of Allah. If some of the people prayed the Janazah prayer then the whole community is saved from the anger of Allah (swt) even though the reward will only be given to the participants only.

In hadiths Prophet Muhammad (saw) emphasized and encouraged the Muslims to attend funeral ceremonies. So, every Muslim male should try his best to fulfill his duties for one deceased.

1. Janazah prayer should be prayed in congregation as this is most rewarding. It can be prayed in more than one congregation but by different people.

2. Janazah prayer should be offered in an open place but in case of rain or bad weather or any other reason it can be prayed in a mosque or a hall etc.

WHILE PRAYING JANAZAH PRAYER

If the body is that of a male, the Imam should stand level with the head and shoulders of the dead body. Imam should stand level with the middle part of the body if it is a female.

WHERE JANAZAH PRAYER DIFFERS

Janazah prayer is only slightly different from other prayers in that there is no ruku, no sajdah, and no Tashahud in it. There is no fixed time for offering this prayer. It has to be prayed in a standing position only. Other conditions like purification, facing Qiblah, sutra, dress etc. have to be satisfied as in the usual prayers.

CONDUCT 0F THE JANAZAH PRAYER

a) Like other prayers facing Qiblah is a necessary condition. The Imam should ask the people to straighten their rows. There should be an odd number of rows as it is more regardful.

b) Making intention is necessary in Janazah prayer as it is necessary in other prayers. Before beginning prayer the intention should be made in the heart as uttering any words of niyat aloud was not the practice of Prophet Muhammad (saw) or of his companions.

FIRST TAKBIR OR TAKBIR TAHRIMA

Janazah prayer Contains 4 Takbirs. First Takbir is Takbir Tahrima. The Imam says, "Allahu-akbar" and raises his hands up to the shoulder level with fingers stretching to the earlobes and the congregation does the same.

Then the Imam folds his hands on his chest right hand over the left.

DU'A OF STARTING

Then the person can read one of those du'as which are recommended in the first rakat of the usual prayer before recitation of Fatihah. For example :-

Subhana Kallah humma wabi hamdika ma tabara kasmuka wata 'aala jad-duka wala ilaha ghayruk."

"Glory be to you, O Allah, and all praises are due unto you, and blessed is your name and high is your majesty and none other is worthy of worship but you."

Or he can say other du'as. Some scholars do not recommend du'a of starting in Janazah prayer but reading it is preferable. However, if someone does not read it, it does not affect his prayer. Both ways are practiced by Muslim scholars.

Then the person should say :-

"A'uzu bil-lahi minash shayta nir rajeem, Bismillah hir-rahma nir-raheem"

and then he should recite Surah Fatihah.

Some people do not read surah Fatihah in Janazah prayer but surah Fatihah is necessary for the validity of any type of prayer as Prophet Muhammad (saw) has said that no prayer is valid without surah Fatihah. Hadiths proves that reciting surah Fatihah is necessary in Janazah prayer as well.

RECITATION OF A SURAH

A chapter or part of a chapter can be read after the recitation of surah Fatihah but it is not essential to read it.

SECOND TAKBIR

Then the Imam should say the second takbir and the congregation should follow but it is not necessary to raise the hands up to the shoulder level but if someone does, it is alright. Both ways are practiced by great ulamas and scholars.

AFTER THE SECOND TAKBIR :

After the second takbit the person praying Janazah should recite dar'ud in his heart. It is preferable to read the dar'ud which a person reads in Tashahud of his usual prayer.

THIRD TAKBIR

Then the Imam should say the third takbir and the congregation should follow. Now, each person should pray for the deceased. Alternatively, the Imam should can pray out loud and the congregation can say, "Aameen", after him. All kinds of duas for the benefit of the deceased can be said. Some of these are :-

"Allah hum maghfirlahu warhamhu wa'fu 'anhu wa 'afihee wa-akrim nuzuluhu wa was-si' mudkhalahu, waghsilhu bil maee wath thalji wal bardi, wa naq-qihi minal 'khataya Kama yunaq- qath thawbul abyadu minad danasi, wa abdilhu daran Khayram min darihi, wa ahlan Khayram min ahlihi wa zawjan khayrum min-zawjihi, wa adkhil hul jan-nata,  waqihi fitnatal qabri wa 'Azaban nar."(Muslim)

"O Allah, forgive him, have mercy on him, pardon him, grant him security, provide him a nice place and spacious lodgings, wash him (off from his sins) with water, snow and ice, purify him from his sins as a white garment is cleansed from dirt, replace his present abode with a better one, replace his present family with a better one, replace his present partner with a better one, make him enter paradise and see him from the trials of grave and the punishment of hell."

Abu Hurairah (ra) said that the messenger of Allah (saw) prayed and said :-

"Allah humma anta rab-buha, wa-anta Khalaqtaha, wa anta razaqtaha,

wa anta hadaytaha lil islam, wa anta qabadta ruhaha, wa anta a'lamu bisir-riha

wa 'ala niyyatiha, ji'naa shufa'a, faghfir lahu Zan - bahu " (Abu Dawud, Ahmad).

"O Allah, you are its Lord, you have created it, and you have guided it towards Islam, and you have taken out his soul and you know best about its secret and open deeds. We have come as intercessors, so forgive him."

One thing we can see clearly from the above mentioned hadiths that every companion who narrated the du'as of Janazah prayer says that he had heard the Prophet (saw) saying the words of du'a in Janazah prayer. This proves that the Messenger of Allah (saw) used to pray the Janazah prayer or at least the du'as in Janazah prayer aloud. Therefore, there should not be any objection or confusion if the Imam recites aloud in Janazah Prayer.

ENDING THE JANAZAH PRAYER (FOURTH TAKBIR)

Then the Imam should say the fourth takbir and the congregation should follow and after that the Imam should say "Assalamu 'alaykum wa rahmatul-lah" turning his face to the right first and then to the ieft; and the congregation should do the same.

Note:- Some people stress a lot on saying du'as after the completion of Janazah prayer but we did not find a single hadith supporting this idea. Janazah prayer is designed so that all the du'as a person wants to say for the deceased can be said after the third takbir. This was the authentic practice of Prophet Muhammad (saw) and his companions.

Also see: A very detailed site dealing with step step depiction on the conduct of Janazah prayer.

PRAYER DURING A JOURNEY

Islam is a practical way of life and considers the situations in which its followers may face difficulties. So Allah has made the things easy for the believers in some situations. Included in the facilities is the permission for shortening and combining daily prayers during a journey.

1. QASR PRAYER (SHORT PRAYER).

When a Muslim is on a journey he should pray 2 rakats fard for Zuhr, Asr and Isha. Fajr and maghrib prayers remain as they are.

2. IT IS MORE REWARDING TO PRAY A QASR PRAYER (SHORT PRAYER)

It is more rewarding to pray a Qasr Praver while on a journey. The Messenger of Allah (saw) said: "It is a gift from Allah which he has bestowed upon you, so you should accept it." (Muslim)

3. COMBINING PRAYERS.

A person on a journey can combine Zuhr and Asr prayers together praying them both at Zuhr or Asr time. He can also combine Maghrib and Isha prayers together praying them both at Maghrib or at Isha time.

Ibn Abbas (ra) says that the Messenger of Allah (saw) used to combine Zuhr and her together when he was on a journey and also he used to combine Maghrib and Isha. (Bukhari)

Mu'az (ra) says that the Messenger of Allah (saw) was on a journey for the Battle of Tabook. If the sun had already declined when he wanted to start his journey after having camped somewhere, he would combine his Zuhr and Asr prayers together and pray them both at Zuhr time, and if he decided to move before the sun had declined then, he delayed the Zuhr prayer and prayed it combined with Asr prayer at Asr time. And if the sun had already set when he wanted to move he would combine Maghrib and Isha together at Maghrib time. And if the sun had not set when he wanted to move he would delay Maghrib and pray it with Isha at Isha time.           (Abu Dawud, Tirmizi)

These hadiths are very clear in their meaning and prove that combined prayers while on a journey is a proved and a regular practice of Prophet Muhammad (saw). Still there are people who do not believe in combining prayers together while they are travelling. However, this is a gift from Allah (swt) which the believers should accept gratefully and if someone wants to reject Allah's and his Messenger's offer it is up to him.

4. DURATION OF JOURNEY

A person can pray Qasr and combine his prayers for as long as he remains on a journey, whether it takes weeks, months or years.

Even if he stays put in one place to fulfil the purpose of his journey he can continue to pray Qasr and combine his prayers. However, if he intended to stay in a place for a fixed number of days then the opinions differ on how long he can go on combining and shortening his prayers, e.g. 4 days, 10 days, 17days, 18 days etc.

After a careful study of hadiths we can say that when someone stays in a fixed place temporarily he would be considered a traveler on a journey, and there is no limit on the number of days he can pray Qasr and combine his prayers.

5. NAFL PRAYER ON A JOURNEY

Prophet (saw) always offered Witr prayer during his journey and he emphasized and expressed the importance of 2 rakat sunnat of the Fajr prayer. Therefore, the believers should pray these, while on a journey.

But what about any other nafl and sunnat prayer?

The following hadith answers this question.

Hafs bin Asim says, "I accompanied Abdullah bin Umar (ra) on a journey to Mecca. On the way to Mecca he led us in the Zuhr prayer and offered 2 rakats. Then he went to sit in his tent. He saw some people praying and asked me what they were doing. They are praying nafl', said I. Then he said, 'If I could pray nafl then I should have prayed the complete fard prayer ' Then he continued, 'I accompanied the Messenger of Allah on a journey. He did not pray during his travels more than 2 rakats. Then I accompanied Abu Bakr, Umar and Uthman and thev did the same as Prophet Muhammad (saw)'. There is a good example for you in the practice of Prophet Muhammad (saw). (Bukhari).

There are some other hadiths which prove that some of the companions used to pray nafls during their journey. It is better not to pray nafls while travelling but if you stay somewhere and have time you may do so.