Friday, August 8, 2008

It is not prescribed to intentionally over-exhaust yourself in worship, seeking reward thereby

Q) Is it prescribed to over exert efforts intentionally in worship seeking reward, to make wudu’ using cold water while ward water is available for example, or seeking a further Masjid while there is a close one? I am asking because I read that imam Ash-Shatiby mentioned that a person who intentionally over-exhausts himself in worship, will not be rewarded for intentional hardship.

A) Praise be to Allaah.

The one who deliberately over-exhausts himself will not be rewarded if his aim is hardship, rather he will be rewarded if hardship accompanies an action that he is required to do. That is because hardship is not to be sought in and of itself.

Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in Sharh Nuzum Qawaa’id: Once this is established, that Islam does not seek hardship in and of itself, then we should not seek hardship. If an action may be done without hardship, then seeking hardship is not prescribed. For example: if a person says I will go for Hajj on foot so that I may be exhausted in Hajj and my reward will be greater, it should be said to him: Seeking hardship is not prescribed, because the Lawgiver does not intend hardship, so by your action you are going against the aim of the Lawgiver.

If someone were to say: It says in the hadeeth that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Your reward will be commensurate with your effort”, our response is: The meaning of the word effort in this hadeeth does not mean exhausting oneself intentionally, rather what it means is the exhaustion that results from a certain act of worship which the worshipper does not intend to seek. End quote.

The scholars of the Standing Committee for Issuing Fatwas were asked:

What kind of water is it mustahabb to use when doing ghusl from janaabah – cold water or warm water?

They replied: Praise be to Allaah alone and blessings and peace be upon His Messenger and his family and companions.

The Muslim may use warm or cold water, according to what is in his best interests. The matter is broad in scope and the religion of Allaah is easy, as He says (interpretation of the meaning): “Allaah intends for you ease, and He does not want to make things difficult for you” [al-Baqarah 2:185].

And Allaah is the Source of strength. May Allaah send blessing and peace upon our Prophet Muhammad and his family and companions. End quote.

Shaykh ‘Abd al-Azeez ibn Baaz, Shaykh ‘Abd al-Razzaaq ‘Afeefi, Shaykh ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Ghadyaan, Shaykh ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Qa’ood

Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah (5/328)

And Allaah knows best.

Islam Q&A

She is pregnant and cannot bow or prostrate

Q) I am pregnant, and now i have concerns about praying sitting down. Usually i am able to do ruku, sit on the ground and almost complete the salah, except for sujud which may not be completely correct as it is very uncomfortable. so i am wondering, should i sit and pray even though i am capable of praying most of the salah, or should i pray the best i can. also what is the proper way of praying sitting down, is it in a chair or on the ground? Also, if i can stand and do ruku, but i cannot go down, should i stand for the standing parts and sit in a chair for the sitting parts. please answer soon, since i cannot find any information on this and am confused as what to do.

A) Praise be to Allaah.

The basic principle concerning the prayer of one who is sick is that he should do whatever he is able to of the essential parts of the prayer, and he does not have to do what he is unable to do. This is indicated by a great deal of evidence from the Qur’aan and Sunnah. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“So keep your duty to Allaah and fear Him as much as you can”

[al-Taghaabun 64:16]

“Allaah burdens not a person beyond his scope”

[al-Baqarah 2:286]

And the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “If I command you to do a thing, then do as much of it as you can.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 7288; Muslim, 1337.

It was narrated that ‘Imraan ibn Husayn (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: “I was suffering from haemorrhoids and I asked the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) about praying. He said, ‘Pray standing, and if you cannot, then sitting down, and if you cannot, then lying on your side.’” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1117.

Based on the above, if you are able to pray standing up then you have to stand. Then if you become unable to stand or it is too difficult for you to stand, then you can sit down whilst praying.

It is permissible to sit on a chair or on the ground, depending on what you are able to do and what is easy for you. But it is better to sit on the ground, because the Sunnah is for a person to sit cross-legged in the place where one would stand and bow, and this is not easy to do on a chair.

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen said:

If a person cannot pray standing, he should pray sitting, but it is better to sit cross-legged in the place of standing and bowing.

From his essay, Tahaarat al-Mareed wa Salaatuhu

This sitting cross-legged is not obligatory; he may sit however he wants because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “If he cannot then sitting,” and he did not explain how he should sit.

See al-Sharh al-Mumti’, 4/462.

If it is too difficult for you to prostrate and bow, then you can lean forward and make the leaning for sujood deeper than that for rukoo’.

If you can stand, then lean forward for rukoo’ whilst standing, and lean forward for sujood whilst sitting, then you should do that, because standing is closer to bowing than sitting, and sitting is closer to sujood than standing.

Shaykh Ibn Baaz said:

Whoever is able to stand but is unable to bow or prostrate is not relieved of the obligation to stand, rather he should pray standing up, then lean forward for rukoo’ (i.e., whilst standing) then sit and lean forward for sujood… and he should make leaning for sujood deeper than that for rukoo’. If he is only unable to prostrate then he should do rukoo’ and then lean forward for sujood.

If during the prayer the sick person becomes able to do something that he was unable to do, such as standing, sitting, bowing or prostrating, he should start to do that and continue from whatever he has already completed of his prayer.

From his essay Ahkaam Salaat al-Mareed wa Tahaaratihi.

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen said:

Whoever is not able to bow should lean forward whilst standing, and whoever is not able to prostrate should lean forward whilst sitting.

Al-Sharh al-Mumti’, 4/475

And Allaah knows best.

Islam Q&A

Women using black dye on their hands

Q) Is it permissible for women to draw on their hands using a black dye?

A) Praise be to Allaah.

There is nothing wrong with using the black dye that is called dooj, but if the dooj has any substance that prevents the water from reaching the skin, it must be removed when doing ghusl from janaabah or following menses and nifaas, and when doing wudoo’.

And Allaah is the Source of strength. May Allaah send blessings and peace upon our Prophet Muhammad and his family and companions.

Standing Committee for Academic Research and Issuing Fatwas

Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz, Shaykh ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Ghadyaan, Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan, Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez Aal al-Shaykh, Shaykh Bakr Abu Zayd

IslFataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah li’l-Buhooth al-‘Ilmiyyah wa’l-Ifta, 24/36.

Doing Hajj with money he earned by working in a company that produces tobacco

Q) I work as an engineer in a company that produces molasses tobacco. My wife works in the same company as well. There is an association that helps others who can’t afford able to do Hajj; I have participated in it long time ago. Alhamdulillah now we are able to go. We do not have any other source for living apart from our salaries from the tobacco company; we both are now over 50. Is it halal for us to perform hajj using this money? All our income is just from this work. My wife and I have received the tickets for hajj and we cannot return them. Please answer quickly, and do not be eager to make it haram, for everything is in the hands of Allah.

A) Praise be to Allaah.


Smoking tobacco and shisha (hookah, hubble-bubble) is haraam, because they are harmful and filthy. This has been discussed in the answer to question no. 45271.

If it is haraam to consume or use a thing, it is not permissible to manufacture or sell it, or to help with that.

Based on that, working in a company that produces tobacco is haraam work, and the salary that results from that is also haraam.

What you must do is repent to Allaah and give up this job, regret what has happened in the past and resolve not to do it again in the future.

If you did not know that consuming tobacco is haraam, or you were following a mufti who is lenient on this issue, then we hope that there will be no blame on you for what is past, and the wealth that you have is permissible for you.

But if you knew that consuming tobacco is haraam, then you have to get rid of this wealth by spending it on charitable causes and in the public interests of the Muslims, unless you need it, in which case you may take as much as you need. See the answer to question no. 78289.


If a person wants to do Hajj, his money must be pure and halaal. There is the fear that if a person does Hajj with haraam wealth, Allaah may not accept his Hajj, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Allaah is Good and does not accept anything but that which is good.” Narrated by Muslim (1015).

But if you have already obtained permission to go for Hajj and tickets that you cannot return, then we think that you should do Hajj, and regard this money as a loan and pay an equivalent amount on charitable causes when Allaah blesses you – even if it is after a while. Thus we hope that your Hajj will be accepted. You must also repent to Allaah and resolve to give up the haraam work.

It is no secret to you that provision is in the hand of Allaah, and that He gives to His righteous slaves and close friends who fear Him. Place your hopes in that which is with Allaah. We ask Allaah to accept your repentance and your Hajj, and to grant you more of His bounty and kindness.

And Allaah knows best.

Islam Q&A

Arranging the rows during prayer

Q) Many people do not know that it is from the sunnah to stand feet to feet and so during a jamaa'h, they leave a small gap in between. To what extent are we obliged to try and fill the gap by spreading our feet further apart? If the line is not straight, do we align ouselves to the person on our right, or the one on the left?

A) Praise be to Allaah.

It is obligatory for the Muslims to make their rows straight and compact and to close the gaps between them. That is done by standing shoulder-to-shoulder and foot-to-foot.

It was narrated from Anas ibn Maalik that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Make your rows straight for I can see you behind my back.”

Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 686; Muslim, 425.

It was narrated from ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Umar that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Make your rows straight, stand shoulder to shoulder and close the gaps, and do not resist your brothers’ hands. Do not leave any gaps for the Shaytaan. Whoever complete a row, Allaah will reward him, and whoever breaksa row, Allaah will forsake him.

Abu Dawood said: What is meant by “Do not resist your brothers’ hands” is that a man should be easy-going if his brother pushes him forwards or backwards to make the row straight. (‘Awn al-Ma’bood).

Narrated by Abu Dawood, 666; al-Nasaa’i, 819. Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood, 620.

It was narrated that al-Nu’maan ibn Basheer said:

“The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) turned to face the people and said, ‘Straighten your rows,’ three times, ‘for by Allaah either you straighten your rows or Allaah will create division among your hearts.’ And I saw men standing shoulder to shoulder, knee to knee, ankle to ankle.”

Narrated by Abu Dawood, 662; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood, 616.

Should a man look to his right or his left so that he can make the row straight?

The Sunnah is for the imam to stand in the front, in line with in the middle of the row, then the rows should start from behind the imam, not from the right hand side of the mosque or the left, as some people do. Rather they should start from behind the imam, then the row should be completed to both the right and the left, so as to follow the Sunnah of having the imam in the middle.

Based on this, then whoever is in the right half of the row should look to his left and align himself with whoever is on his left and whoever is in the left half should look to his right and align himself with whoever is on his right.

With regard to the gaps between the feet, the worshipper should stand in a moderate fashion, neither standing with his feet together nor making them too far apart, because the further apart he makes them, the further his shoulders will be from his neighbour’s shoulders. Making the rows straight and compact is achieved by standing foot-to-foot and shoulder-to-shoulder.

Shaykh Bakr Abu Zayd said:

One of the new things that we see some people doing, with no evidence in sharee’ah, is that in prayer they try to align themselves with a person on the right if they are on the right hand side of the row, or to align themselves with a person on their left if they are on the left hand side of the row, and they turn their feet inward so that their ankles are touching the ankles of the people next to them.

This is something for which there is no basis in sharee’ah and it is going to the extreme in implementing the Sunnah. This is wrong on two counts.

The alignment of the row should begin from where the imam is standing. Whoever is on the right of the row should align himself by looking at those who are to his left (i.e., closer to the imam). Thus the line will be straightened and the gaps will be filled. Alignment is done by lining up necks, shoulders and ankles, and by completing the front rows.

But to try to spread the legs wide and turn the feet inward so that one's ankles touch one’s neighbours’ ankles is an obvious mistake and an exaggeration, and a new interpretation which is indicative of going to extremes in trying to apply the Sunnah. It causes annoyance and is not prescribed in sharee’ah, and it widens the gaps between people standing in prayer.

That becomes apparent when the people prostrate, and when they stand up again they become distracted in trying to fill the gaps and turning their feet to make their ankles touch their neighbours’ ankles, which makes them miss out on what they should be doing, which is to make the toes point in the direction of the qiblah.

Doing that is like competing with one’s neighbour and trying to take his place. All of that is not prescribed in sharee’ah.

Laa jadeed fi Ahkaam al-Salaah, 12. 13.

Islam Q&A

Eclipse prayer after dawn

Q) We went out to pray Fajr prayer last Thursday, the fourteenth of Ramadaan, and we saw that the moon was eclipsed. What should we have done?

A) Praise be to Allaah.

The sun and moon are two of the signs of Allaah. By means of lunar and solar eclipses, Allaah reminds His slaves of the Day of Resurrection, the Day on which their light will disappear. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“So, when the sight shall be dazed.

8. And the moon will be eclipsed.

9. And the sun and moon will be joined together (by going one into the other or folded up or deprived of their light)”

[al-Qiyaamah 75:7-9]

So by means of this sign Allaah reminds us of that Day. See also question no. 5901. And the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) hastened to pray when that happened.

When you saw the eclipse when you were going out for Fajr prayer, you had the choice of starting with the eclipse prayer, as suggested by some scholars, because of the command narrated from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) to hasten to do that. But if you started with Fajr first, this is also good because the obligatory prayer should come first. This may also serve an interest, especially since the eclipse could not be seen except at the time of the iqaamah, so it may have been too difficult for the people, especially those who had stayed up at night during the blessed month, if the imam had started with the eclipse prayer. So he started with Fajr prayer, to enable those who wanted to leave to do so, as that would be easier for the people; this is also less likely to cause confusion, especially for those who had come for Fajr and did not know that the imam was going to offer the eclipse prayer.

Islam Q&A

He did ghusl just to be clean, and he did not realize that he was junub. Should he repeat his ghusl?

Q) I woke up and made ghusl and prayed as I usually do every morning. Two hours later I found out that I was junub. Should I repeat my ghusl in this case or the first ghusl is enough? Bearing in mind that I did not intend to clear the janaba while making ghusl.

A) Praise be to Allaah.


If a person prays then realizes that he was junub, he must do ghusl and repeat the prayer; his first ghusl does not count that he did as a habit or to keep clean, without the intention to remove janaabah, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Actions are but by intentions and each person will have but that which he intended.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari (1) and Muslim (1907).

Ibn Qudaamah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in al-Mughni (1/158): If he intended to do an act of purification for something for which purification is not prescribed, such as to cool down, and he did not intend the purification that is prescribed in sharee’ah, then the impurity is not removed because he did not have the intention of purification, so it does not count as anything.

End quote.

Islam Q&A

She asked for divorce and he said: “If this is really what you want in your heart then it is as you wish”

Q) I had an argument with my husband; and I asked for divorce, while I did not really want. I just wanted to know how much he loves me and how much he needs me with him. He said to me: “if you really want this by your heart then as you wish”. As I mentioned before, I did not want this at all. And I am asking Allah to forgive me for what I said. What is the ruling on this? Is it considered oath or a single divorce?

A) Praise be to Allaah.


It is not permissible for a woman to ask for divorce unless there is a reason for that, such as bad treatment from the husband, because of the report narrated by Abu Dawood (2226), al-Tirmidhi (1187) and Ibn Maajah (2055) from Thawbaan (may Allaah be pleased with him) who said: “Any woman who asks her husband for a divorce when it is not absolutely necessary, the fragrance of Paradise will be forbidden to her.” Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood.

This has been discussed in the answer to question no. 117185. The mere fact that there is an argument between the couple does not justify asking for divorce, and that applies even less to asking for a divorce in order to test the husband and find out the wife’s position with him. This is wrong. In such cases the shaytaan may succeed in tempting the husband to issue a divorce, or may convince him that his wife hates him and dislikes him.

Divorce should not be mentioned between husband and wife, either in jest or in earnest. Rather they should avoid even thinking of it, so long as their relationship is good, so that it will not become easy to think of taking that step.

Hence we say: Ask Allaah for forgiveness for this action, and apologize to your husband for what you pushed him to do.


If your husband said “If you really want a divorce in your heart then you are divorced”, and in fact you did not want a divorce, then this does not count as a divorce, and it is not an oath.

But your husband did not say that, rather he said something that was less serious than that, namely “If you want … then it is as you want.” This is not a clear statement of divorce, rather it is like a hint and a divorce does not take place unless the husband intends it.

See also the answer to question no. 98670.

Moreover, he made that conditional upon something that did not happen, which was your wanting a divorce.

So divorce did not take place when the husband said these words. And there is no need to offer expiation for breaking an oath (kafaraat yameen).

And Allaah knows best.

Islam Q&A