Fatawa >Section Two: Prayer -- Chapter Two : Other Prayers


Section Two: Prayer -- Chapter Two : Other Prayers

By ’other prayers’, we mean those which are not required on a daily basis. Some of these are wajib, yet the majority are mustahab.

1. Prayer for Unusual Natural Phenomena (Ayat)      

Ayat is the [Arabic] plural for Ayah which means a sign or a miracle. Allah says, "And among His signs are the night and the sun and the moon.. (37/41(.This prayer is called thus because of the reason it is held for. It is among obligatory prayers).

The Reasons Why it is Obligatory

185. These are the reasons that the Ayat prayer becomes obligatory:

a. An eclipse of the sun, be it total or partial.

b. An eclipse of the moon, be it total or partial.

c. Earthquakes.

d. Events which may create fear and concern, [such as severe darkness in day light], wild wind, or thunder.

186. Should any of those four events occur, Ayat prayer becomes obligatory on every mukallaf who is in a position to say prayer, except women who are menstruating (haydh) or who are bleeding after childbirth ( nifas).

187. When any of the first three events takes place, Ayat prayer becomes obligatory, regardless of whether the fear of the occurrence happened to took hold over the majority of people. However, the obligation to say the prayer is confined to those people directly affected by the event, although they might have not noticed it because they were asleep, for example.

188. In order for the fourth event to warrant Ayat prayer, it has to cause alarm among most people. If not, it does not become obligatory to perform. What we mean by ’alarm or fear’ is not necessarily that the person becomes worried about the fate of the world or the country, rather the psychological tension they are in.

189. Should the cause for concern, as a result of the occurrence of the fourth event, arise in the minds of most people of a particular town, Ayat prayer becomes wajib on its people. If the concern is widespread, so much so that it engulfs residents of nearby areas and towns, they should do the same.

190. The obligation to say Ayat prayer should recur according to the cause. So, if there was an eclipse of the sun and a scaring lightening at the same time, two separate Ayat prayers have to be performed. In such a case, it is recommended that the worshipper should bear in mind that they are saying these two prayers for their own respective reasons.

191. Certitude that the event did happen could be achieved either directly by the worshipper themselves or through the testimony of a person of an impeccable character or that who is trustworthy, or by the forecast of meteorologists, should it inspire confidence and peace of mind.

The Format of Ayat Prayer

192. This prayer consists of two ruka’s, each of which entails five ruku’ and two sujoods. To inaugurate it, one has to recite takbiratul ihram with the niyyah of qurbah. The worshipper should then recite Suratul Fatiha, then another Surah, following which the first ruku’ should be performed. Then, after they have risen, al-Fatiha is recited, then another surah and so on until the five ruku’s are performed; they should rise again and go for sujood. On performing the two sujoods, they should rise to begin the second ruka’, whose five ruku’s are performed in the same way as those of the first. After that tashahhud and tasleem are recited.

193. This prayer may be said in a shortened form. After reciting al-Fatiha, the second surah may be divided into five parts, one part being recited before each of the five ruku’s; the basmalah is considered an ayah. Should any part be left from the surah the worshipper chose to read, it must be recited fully before the fifth ruku’. On performing ruku’, the worshipper should do the two sujoods. After performing the two sujoods, the second ruka’ can be performed in exactly the same way.

194. If, for example, after the second ruku’ of this short form of prayer, the worshippers completed reciting the surah they started prayer with and did not confine it to one ayah only, they have, after the third ruku’, to recite al-Fatiha again, and start another surah after that. That is, regardless of whether the second surah was that he had just finished reciting. They should then recite one ayah or more of this surah and perform the fourth ruku’, then rise again to finish reciting it, provided that one complete ayah or more is left of it.

195. To sum up, there are four points worth noting in the shortened form of Ayat prayer; these are: (a) _ Any recitation short of one complete ayah is not acceptable, ( b) At least, one surah must be completed in any of the two ruku’s the prayer consist of, (c) On completing the surah before the fourth ruku’, the worshipper has to resume reciting al-Fatiha in the ruku’ that follows it, and( d) No part of the surah should be left unrecited prior to performing th e fifth ruku’.

Like any other obligatory prayer, all the general guidelines have to be observed in Ayat prayer, such as facing the qiblah and covering oneself.

The Time of Ayat Prayer

196. The time for the prayer in the case of an eclipse is from the beginning of the eclipse till the time when it begins to recede. Thus, it is permissible to take to this prayer at the outset of the eclipse. Its time becomes shorter as the eclipse begins to recede. However, its is preferable to start praying from the beginning of the eclipse. That said, it is not permissible for the mukallaf to delay it until such time that there is no room for accommodating but one ruka’. Yet, should anyone do such a thing either for a valid reason or for being intent on not upholding the obligation, he should still have to start praying immediately; in so doing, he would earn the reward as though he has said it in full, as is the case in an obligatory daily prayer.

197. The prayers for other unusual natural phenomena have no time span, especially when the time of the occurrence is so short that it is impossible to perform the prayer within it. Thus, it should be said as soon as the event takes place.

198. The same goes for an earthquake. Should the worshipper delay the prayer for the earthquake or any other dreadful event either for a valid reason or for ignoring the obligation so much so that the time is up, it is obligatory, in order to discharge one’s duty, to say it, specifying neither ada’ nor qadha’.

You may ask: Should there still be time to perform the prayer while the eclipse still receding, yet the worshipper did not do so, are they liable to say it qadha?

A. The answer to this question shall be discussed in the section dealing with qadha’. However, in short, no qadha’ is required only in certain cases. You may refer to para. (15). of the section entitled, "Qadha’ Prayer.

2. Prayer for the Two Eids                            

199. Muslims celebrate two great eids )feasts( which are considered among the most important of celebrations. They are: Eidul Fitr )the day after the end of the fasting month of Ramadhan(, and Eidul Adhha )the day pilgrims offer their sacrifices at Mina, i.e. 10 th Thil Hijjah; also known as the Festival of Sacrifice).

Allah, the Exalted, has ordained that a special prayer be performed marking these two festivals; it is called the prayer of eid. This prayer is obligatory if it is convened by the followers of the just Imam. Conversely, it is mustahab to say it; in this case, it is permissible to say it individually or in congregation. If it is the latter, there are no restrictions as to the number of worshippers performing it; similarly, there is no problem in holding it in as many places as can be, i.e. unlike Juma’ prayer.

It is not obligatory on a traveling person, who is entitled to say qasr prayer, to say eid prayers at any circumstance whether or not it is held under a just Imam. However, it is mustahab for the person in question to perform it.

200. How is it performed?

Eid prayer consists of two ruka’s, like Subh prayer. However, in addition to the usual two-raka’ prayer there are other things that should be done. That said, a super form of this prayer is thus that in the first rak’a’ after takbiratul ihram, al-Fatiha and another surah are recited. Then five takbirs (Allahu Akbar) are pronounced followed by five qunoots. After the fifth qunoot another takbir should be recited, i.e. before bowing down for ruku’؛ once the latter is performed, i.e. with its requisite sujood, the worshipper should rise for the second ruku’؛ after the recitation of al-Fatiha and a second surah, four takbirs followed by four qunoots should be performed; a fifth takbir should then follow prior to bowing down for the second ruka. thus by finishing the complementary parts of the second ruk’a’ the prayer comes to an end.

That said, in the last qunoot of each ruk’a’, it should be present in the worshippers mind that they are performing it in the belief that it be a requirement of a Shri’a injunction.

201. After the recitation of al-Fatiha and a second surah, the worshiper could confine the number of takbirs, and qunoots, to three in each of the two-r uka’ prayer.

202. It is more superior and meritorious (mustahab) for the worshipper to recite in the first ruk’a, after al-Fatiha, surah ash-Shams ()91(, and in the second, again after al-Fatiha, surah al-Ghashiyah )88)..

203. It is also mustahab to recite this famous supplication, i.e. in qunoot, "Allahuma ahlal kiriya’i wal adhamah, wa ahalal joodi wal jabaroot, wa ahalal afwi war rahmah, wa ahalal taqwa wal maghfirah, as’aluka fi hathal yawmil lathi ja’altahu lil Islam eida, w’ali Mohammadin salal Lahu alaihi w’alihi wasalam, thukhran wamazida, an tusaliya ala Mohammain wa’ali Mohammad, ka’afdhala ma sallayta ala abdin min ibaadik, wa salli ala mala’ikatika wa rusulik, waghfir lil mo’minina wal mo’minat al ahya’ minhum wal amawat, Allahuma inni as’aluka khaira ma sa’alaka ibadukas salihoon, wa a’udhu bika min shari masta’atha bika minhu ibadukal mukhlasoon".

Should not be able to memorize this du’a, you can recite it out from a book or the like.

204. By way of mustahab also, the Imam should address the congregation by delivering two sermons separated by a short pause, as is the case in the ceremony of Jum’a prayer.

205. Should the worshipper say eid prayer in congregation, they are not required to recite al-Fatiha and the second surah in both the ruka’s; however, they have to deal with the rest of recitations and acts.

206. There is neither adhan nor iqamah in this prayer; it is mustahab though, that the caller repeats the word "as-Salah" - prayer - three times.

207. The time for this prayer is from sunrise till midday; once its time is over, there is no qadha’ for it.

208. Among its mustahab acts are ghusl, ahead of it, reciting audibly and raising the hands in tandem with the takbirs.

3. The Remaining Obligatory  and Voluntary Prayers            

a. Tawaf Prayer

209. This prayer is obligatory. It is usually performed after the pilgrims finish their tawaf around the Holy Ka’ba. A detailed account of this prayer has been given in our "Manual of Hajj Rituals". However, an outline of its rules shall be given in the Chapter on Hajj and Umrah of this book.

b. Wahshah Prayer

210. Literally, wahshah means loneliness, desolation, or melancholy It is also known as "a present for the deceased or their graves". It is called for in a number of credible reports. The time for this mustahab prayer is the night after the burial.

It consists of two ruka’s, i.e. similar to Subh prayer. In the first, Suratul Fatiha and Ayatul Kursi, from ayah 255( to ayah 257 of Suratul Baqarah are recited and in the second ruk’a’, al-Fatiha and Suratul Qadir the latter should be repeated ten times. On completion, the worshipper can say, "Allahuma Salli Ala Mohammadin Wa’ali Mohammad - Peace be with Mohammad and his Household - and May Allah benefit the deceased with its reward, i.e. naming the dead person".

In another report it is related that after reciting al-Fatiha in the first ruk’a’, at-Tawhid/al-Ikhlas Surah is recited twice, and in the second ruk’a’ at-Takathur ten times. Then, say a supplication for the soul of the dead person.

c. Special Prayer on the First Day of Every Month

211. According to handed down tradition, performing special prayer on the first day of every month is mustahab. It consists of two ruka’s. In the first one, after reciting al-Fatiha, at-Tawhid Surah is recited thirty times; in the second, after al-Fatiha, al-Qadr Surah , is recited thirty times. Then, you may give something away in charity.

After the prayer has been said, it is mustahab to recite the following ayahs: (6/11,10/107,6/17), and these ayahs - in part - (.. Allah brings about ease after difficulty,7/652, )It is as Allah has pleased, there is no power save in Allah..,18/139، )Allah is sufficient for us and most excellent is the Protector, )173/300(, and I entrust my affair to Allah, Surely Allah sees the servants, 44/402, )There is no god but Thou, glory be to Thee; surely I am of those who make themselves to suffer loss,, 87/212, My Lord! surely I stand in need of whatever good Thou mayest send down to me, ’24/282, )O my Lord! leave me not alone; and Thou art the best of inheritors.

The time for this prayer starts at dawn till the sunset of that day.

d. Prayer of

212. This is one of the mustahab prayers. It has been related in a hadith that it earns the [person] who performs it the domain of honor. Its time is during the first hours of the evening, i.e. between maghrib and isha’ prayers. It may be considered as a daily prayer.

Ghufailah, prayer consists of two ruka’s. As has been related, the way to perform it is such that in the first ruk’a’, the worshipper should recite, after al-Fatiha, )And when Yunus went away in wrath, so he thought We would not straiten him, so he called out among afflictions: There is no god but Thou, glory be to Thee; surely I am of those who make themselves to suffer loss")78/12).

In the second ruk’a’, after al-Fatiha, )With Him are the keys of the Unseen, none knows them but He. He knows what is on the earth and in the sea. Not a leaf falls, but He knows it; not grain in the darkness of the earth, nor anything fresh or withered, but it is in a Book Manifest".)95/6).

The following qunoot is then recited,”(Allahumma inni as’aluka be mafatihil ghaibil lati la ya’lamuha illa anta, an tusalliya ala Mohammadin wa ’ali Mohammad(, after which you may ask your particular need. You can then say, "Allahuma anta waliyu ni’mati wal qadiru ala talibati ta’lamu hajati, f’as’aluka bihaqi Mohammadin wa ’ali Mohammad, alayhi wa alayhimus salam, illa qadhaytah lee). You are then free to invoke Allah’s glory and mercy with any form of supplication.

Anyone performing this prayer, shortly after maghrib prayer, may confine it to two ruka’s of maghrib supererogatory prayer, i.e. maghrib’s sister. As has already been discussed, this prayer consists of two two-rak’a’ prayer. That is, you can reserve one of them for Ghufailah prayer.

e. The Special Prayer as Used to be Performed by Imam Ja’far

213. This prayer is also known as ’the prayer of Tasbih’. It is one of the mustahab prayers. It consists of two prayers of two-ruka’ each; where it diverges from the usual two-ruka’ prayer, [i.e. that of Subh], is that you should say, "Subhanal Lah wal Hamdu Lillah, wala Illaha Illallah, wal Lahu Akbar", fifty seven times; that is, fifteen times in each ruka’ after reciting al-Fatiha and a second surah, ten times during ruku’ ten times after rising from ruku’, i.e. while standing, ten times while performing the first sujood, ten times after lifting your head from sujood, i.e. while seated, before going for the second sujood, during which another ten times of the phrase should be recited, and ten times after performing the second ruka’.

The same routine should be applied in the second ruk’a’, leading to tashahhud and tasleem.

The second prayer is a repeat of the procedure followed in the first prayer.

The believers have been enjoined to make a habit of saying this prayer every week or every month, it is said that Allah, the Most High, shall, for the sake of observing this prayer, forgive the worshippers their sins.

It is permissible that anyone performing another supererogatory or a qadha prayer can introduce the special features of Ja’far prayer into them, thus reaping the reward for both the prayers.

f. Prayer for Istikharah (Seeking Allah’s Guidance)

214. This prayer is among the mustahab prayers. Through which the worshippers ask their Lord to provide them with guidance and resolve their affair for that which is good. It has been related from Imam as-Sadiq (a.s. ) that he said, "When anyone of you feels the need to ask for something to be fulfilled, let them perform a two-ruk’a prayer. After that, praise Allah and thank Him, ask Allah to bless Mohammad and his pure progeny and say, ’Allahumma In Kana Hathal Amr Khayran fi Dini wa Dunyay, fa Yasirhu Lee wa Qaddirh; wa In Kana Ghayra Thalik, fas Rifhu Anni, meaning, ’O Lord! should this affair be of any good to me in my life and religion, then resolve it for me. If it is anything else, I pray to you to steer it away from me’"

g. Prayer for a Need to be Satisfied

215. It is mustahab to say a two-ruk’a prayer when someone stands in need of something to be considered sympathetically. There are numerous versions of how it should be conducted. However, one of these is that the person concerned with the request should perform wudhu, then give something away in charity, and go to the mosque to say a two-ruk’a prayer; after the prayer they should say a special invocation whereby they should recite the praise of Allah and glorify Him, call for peace to be with the Prophet (p) and his pure progeny, and then ask Allah for their request to be fulfilled, pledging that they would perform a certain devotion as a way of thanks giving when He answers their prayers, which could be any one of these: Fasting the Month of Rajab, giving alms to the poor, or contributing to a charitable cause.

h. Prayer for Rainfall

216. This prayer is mustahab when there is a dire need for water due to lack of rain. It consists of two ruka’s. It is identical to Eid prayer both in form and procedure, including the sermon after the prayer.

However, in qunoot, it is more appropriate to ask of the Almighty to send the rain down and satisfy the need for water.

Istisqa’, lit. Request for irrigation, prayer can be held in congregation only; all those taking part in it, including the Imam, should implore Allah before, during and after prayer, to alleviate their situation.