Fiqh Lesson ( 29th of January, 2013) Questions and Answers

In the name of Allah
Assalamu aleikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu

Join the Fiqh class every Tuesday 9:00pm Egypt time by Amirah / Umm Ahmad

Matters Relating to Prayer

Question 79: Is it all right for a Muslim to say his/hers prayer in a languages other than Arabic? Can he/she read surah al-fatiha (the opening chapter of the Qur’an) and any other (short) surah in a different language than Arabic? Also, is it obligatory to supplicate and revere God in Arabic only?

Answer 79: Saying one’s prayer cannot not be considered acceptable unless it is read in Arabic. Every non-Arab Muslim should learn some Arabic so that he/she could at least perform his obligatory religious rituals. Arabic is the language of the Qur’an and Islam. However, it is possible only temporarily to read the meaning of the surat al-fatiha in another language (other than Arabic) until the person has learnt to read it in Arabic. It should be emphasized at the same time that learning to read Arabic is easy, especially the Noble Qur’an. Almighty God says: “And We have indeed made the Qur’an easy to understand and remember; then is there an one who will remember (or receive admonition)?” (Holy Qur’an: 54: 17).
As to supplication and glorification in languages other than Arabic it is lawful, though it is preferable to be performed in the language of the Qur’an itself.

Question 80: What is the divine rule regarding a non-committed Muslim who does not perform his/her prayer, not out of denial, but negligence? Is he/she considered to be an infidel?

Answer 80: Prayer is one of the basic pillars of Islam, if not the most important one. It comes second to the declaration of faith (the two testimonies). It is the pillar, which distinguishes the Muslim from the infidel. It is usually the last thing that Muslims maintain from Islam. Any Muslim who abandons it becomes so close to infidelity, if not considered an infidel indeed. Some scholars believe that when a Muslim neglects prayer because of laziness, he/she becomes an infidel. Others regard it as sinful and very close to infidelity, so long as this lazy Muslim recognizes it and believes it is obligation.

Question 81: Is the prayer performed when one is absent-minded or busy about worldly affairs considered to be invalid?

Answer 81: Prayer is not considered invalid when one is absent-minded or busy, but the worshipper will not obtain the reward of this prayer. Full reward cannot be achieved except through humble and content prayer.

Question 82: Does it suffice a Muslim to perform his/her prayer only verbally? Are the physical movements (of bowing, prostrating, etc.) integrated in the prayer itself?
Answer 82: Prayer is worshipping God, and it is made in a particular manner which Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) taught us. Almighty God instructed the prophet to perform it this manner through the revelation of angel Gabriel. The prophet (pbuh) said: “Pray in the manner you saw me doing.” Following the prophet’s tradition is an Islamic obligation, whether we realize the purpose of some of his deeds or not. However, when we do not fully comprehend the purpose and surrender to God’s commands, that is a kind of belief in the unseen and a testimony to the belief in God—although we can never see Him.

Question 83: Is it permissible for a Muslim to pray in a church if he/she does not have time or could not find a more appropriate place?

Answer 83: Praying in a church is undesirable because it is a place for non-Muslims. A Muslim can perform his/her prayer in any other place on earth, so long as it is clean pure. The prophet says that whole of the globe has been made a place for worshipping. A Muslims who does not have enough time to pray while he is in a church for some reason could go out and pray nearby the church, in the street, or in any other clean place. However, prayer in a clean church for a Muslim can still be valid though it may not be favourable.

Question 84: What is the divine rule concerning the convert’s past obligatory prayers, which he had missed before conversion? She he/she perform them all?

Answer 84: Islam is a religion of tolerance. “It nullifies everything before it,” as related by Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu aleihi wa salam).[1] Accordingly, a person who has embraced Islam is not required to compensate for any Islamic obligations before embracing Islam.

Question 85: Is the prayer of someone who has converted but not yet circumcised, acceptable?

Answer 85: The prayer of one who has embraced Islam and has not been circumcised is acceptable if he insures that he cleans the circumcision location properly, i.e. if he is sure that he has cleaned the inner part of the piece to be cut in circumcision, and he has to do circumcision as soon as possible, for it is one of the requirement of Islam.


[1] Cited in sahih al-Jame’ by Al-Allabani, hadith No. 3777.


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