From: A Reader on Islam: Passages from Standard Arabic Writings Illustrative of the Beliefs and Practices of Muslims,
Edited by Arthur Jeffery, Mouton & Co · 1962 · ‘S-Gravenhage
Catechisms for the instruction of youth in the principles and practices of their religion are in use in Islamic countries as they are in Christian lands. There are, however, no official Islamic Catechisms formally sanctioned as authoritative by religious bodies and corresponding to such documents as the Westminster Catechism, the Augsburg Confession or the Full Catechism of Philaret. Many Muslim theologians of repute have prepared such catechisms, some of which have had wide use throughout the world of Islam. In more modem days, with the reorganization of the educational system in Muslim countries, what may be regarded as semi-official Catechisms have been issued for use in Schools and given the sanction of local Ministries of Education. A good example is the Turkish Mfishiman focukunun kitabi, compiled by Nurettin Artam and Nurettin Sevin, and printed at Istanbul in 1948 by the Press of the Ministry of Education. Many of these modern Catechisms show an awareness of Western criticism of Islam, but that here translated, the popular al-Ajwiba al-jaliya, (the Clear Answers), by Mubammad b. ‘Abdallah al-Jurdani, an Egyptian religious leader from Damietta, represents the old standard orthodoxy of the Shafi’ite rite, little affected by modem ideas. The edition from which the translation has been made is that edited and published by the Cairo bookseller Abmad al-Maliji, bearing the imprint: “Fifth edition. Cairo, 1328 A.H.” (1910 A.D.). 8vo. 72 pp.
to Religious Questions according to the Authorities of the Shafi’ite Rite
It is an excellent book, of benefit to every student, but especially to the pupils in the higher and elementary Schools, composed by Muhammad ibn ‘Abdallah al-Jurdani of Damietta, the Shafi’ite, whom may Allah – exalted be He – pardon.
In the Name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate
Praise be to Allah for the gracious gift of Faith and Islam, and blessings and peace be upon our Master, Muhammad, who made clear to us the principles [of religion] and its rules.
He who hopes to attain those things that are desired, Muhammad ibn ‘Abdallah al-Jurdani, says:
This book, a work that should be useful to every student, and particularly to the pupils of the higher and elementary Schools, is something that one of my beloved friends has been urging me to write. May Allah grant both him and me a good end. I have named it Clear Answers to Religious Questions according to the Authorities of the Shafi’ite Rite, and I beg Allah-exalted be He-to grant me success in this endeavour by the favour of His Prophet and all his family and Companions. He has power to do whatever He wishes, and to answer He is able.
An exposition of faith
Question: What is Faith (iman)?
Answer: Faith is that you should believe in Allah-exalted be He -and in His angels, His Books, His Apostles and the Last Day, and that you should believe in the predestination of both good and evil.
What is the meaning of faith in Allah – exalted be He?
A.: It is that you should believe firmly in your heart, be convinced of and confidently affirm that He is the true God who brought into existence all created things, that to Him are to be ascribed the attributes of perfection, that He is free from all defects and inabilities, and that some of His attributes must be known in particular.
What are those attributes?
A.: They are: existence, primordialness, everlastingness, non-phenornenality, self-subsistence, oneness, power, will, knowledge, life, sensibility, speech, and it is not possible that there be attributed to Him the opposites of these.
What are those opposites?
A.: They are: non-existence, recentness, ephemeralness, phenomenality, need of anything, plurality, inability, unwillingness, ignorance, death, insensibility, speechlessness. He-may He be exalted-may,in His own right, do everything that is possible or may leave it undone. Nothing is by any means incumbent on Him-exalted be He. The Most High has said (XXVIII, 68): “Thy Lord creates what He wills, and exercises choice.”
What is the meaning of faith in the angels?
A.: It is that you should firmly believe in and confidently affirm their existence; that they are honoured servants of light nature who never disobey Allah in what He commands them but do what they are bidden; that they are bodies of light, i.e. are created from light, able to take various forms and cover great distances in but a moment of time, and so numerous that Allah Himself-exalted be He-alone knows their number. There are ten of them it is necessary to know by their names.
Who are the ten?
A.: They are: Gabriel, the one entrusted with revelation; Michael, who is in charge of the rains; Israf il, who has charge of the Trump; ‘lzrai’il, who has charge of the taking of [men’s] spirits;
Munkar and Nakir, who are entrusted with the questioning [of the dead] in the grave; Ridwan, who is the Grand Chamberlain (khazin) of the Garden (i.e. Paradise); Malik, who is the Grand Chamberlain of the Fire (i.e., Hell); the two recorders of good and evil deeds, whose names are Raqib and ‘Atid. Among them also are the Throne Bearers who at present are four, but to whom four will be added on the Day.
What is the meaning of faith in the Books?
A.: It is that you should firmly believe and confidently affirm that they are the speech of Allah – exalted be He – sent down to His Apostles upon whom be blessings and peace- and that all that they contain is truth. Among them are the Torah of our Master Moses, the Injil of our Master Jesus, the Zabur of our Master David, and the Furqan,
i.e. the Qur’an of our Master Muhammad. May Allah’s blessing and peace be upon him and upon them all.
What is the meaning of faith in the Apostles?
A.: It is that you should firmly believe and confidently affirm that Allah -exalted be He -sent them to mankind to guide them to the way of the truth, and that four things must be rightly asserted of them, and four things declared impossible on their part.
What are the four things that must be rightly asserted of them?
A.: They are truthfulness, faithfulness, intelligence and delivery of the message.
What are the four things that must be declared impossible on their part?
A.: They are untruthfulness, unfaithfulness, stupidity and the concealment of the message. It is permissible to assert of them that they are subject to such human traits as would not lead to any shortcoming in [the fulfilment of] their high office, e.g. [need for] food and drink, any sickness which is not repulsive, walking in the streets, buying and selling, lawful marital intercourse with women, and sleeping with the eye though not with the heart. Allah-exalted be He-supported them by wondrous miracles, such as our Master Moses’ changing a staff into a serpent, or water bursting from the fingers of our Prophet -on whom be Allah’s blessing and peace. The greatest of his (i.e. Muhammad’s) miracles is the Qur’an, which men and jinn were incapable of imitating.
What is the number of the Apostles?
A.: They are many. None knows their number save Allah-exalted be He. Nevertheless it is incumbent to recognize twenty-five of them by their names.
Who are these twenty-five?
A.: They are Adam, Idris, Noah, Hud, Salih, Lot, Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Shu’aib, Aaron, Moses, David, Solomon, Job, Dhu’l-Kifl, Jonah, Elijah, Elisha, Zachariah, John, Jesus and Muhammad. May Allah’s blessing and peace be on them all.
What is the Last Day, and what is meant by faith in it?
A.: The Last Day is the Day of Resurrection, and the meaning of faith in it is confident assertion of its reality as a coming event, and of all that it will comprise, such as the resurrection of created beings, their giving an account [of deeds done in the flesh], the weighing of their deeds, their passing over the Bridge, and the entering of some of them justly into the Fire, and some of them by grace into the Garden.
What is the meaning of faith in predestination?
A.: It is that you should firmly believe and confidently affirm that Allah -exalted be He-decreed both good and evil before the creation, that all that has been and all that will be is by the predetermination of Allah-exalted be He-by His decree and will. In the Traditions [there is a saying] that faith in this drives away both anxiety and grief.
An exposition of Islam
What is Islam?
A.: It is that you should bear witness that there is no deity save Allah,
and that you should bear witness that Muhammad is the Apostle of Allah; that you should perform the prayers, pay the legal alms, fast [during] Ramadan, and go on pilgrimage to the House (i.e. the Meccan shrine) if you are able to make the journey thereto.
What is the meaning of the two acts of witnessing?
A.: The meaning of the first is that you should know, confidently affirm and acknowledge that there is no true object of worship in existence save Allah-praised and exalted be He. The meaning of the second is that you should know, confidently affirm and acknowledge that Muhammad is the Apostle of Allah, whom He sent to all mankind. His age at that time was forty years. He is the most excellent of created beings, be they in heaven or be they on earth. He-upon whom be Allah’s blessing and peace-was born in Mecca, the ennobled city, which he left not till he had reached the age of fifty-three years, when Allah-exalted be He-bade him emigrate from it to Madina, the illuminated. So he emigrated from it to Madina where he died at the age of sixty-three.
An exposition of his genealogy, his progeny, his wives and his concubines-upon him be Allah’s blessing and peace
What was his genealogy on his father’s side?
A.: He was the son of ‘Abdallah, son of ‘Abd al-Muttalib, son of Hashim, son of ‘Abd Manaf, son of Qusaiy, son of Hakim, son of Murra, son of Ka’b, son of Lu’ay, son of Ghalib, son of Fihr, son of Malik, son of an-Nadr, son of Kinana, son of Khuzaima, son of Mudrika, son of Ilyas, son of Mudar, son of Nizar, son of Ma’add, son of ‘Adnan.
What was his genealogy on his mother’s side?
A.: He was the son of Amina, daughter of Wahb, son of ‘Abd Manaf, son of Zuhra, son of Hakim, the one mentioned above in the genealogy of his father.
How many children did he have?
A.: Seven, three males and four females. In order of their birth they were: Al-Qasim, then Zainab, then Ruqaiya, then Fatima, then Umm Kulthum, then ‘Abdallah, then Ibrahim. All of them were by his wife Khadija, save Ibrahim, who was by his concubine, Mary the Copt.
How many wives did he have?
A.: They were twelve: Khadija daughter of Khuwailid, Sawda daughter of Zam’a, ‘A’isha daughter of Abu Bakr, Hafsa daughter of ‘Umar, Zainab daughter of Khuzaima, Hind daughter of Abu Umaiya, Zainab daughter of Jahsh, Juwairiya daughter of al-Harith, Raihana daughter of Zaid, Ramla daughter of Abu Sufyan, Safiya daughter of Huyaiy, and Maimuna daughter of al-Harith. Some hold that Raihana belongs to the concubines not to the wives.
How many concubines did he have?
A.: They are three: Mary the Copt, who was presented to him by the Muqawqas, ruler of Egypt; Nafisa, whom Zainab daughter of Jahsh gave to him, and a third; Zulaikha of the Quraiza. According to those who hold that Raihana was a concubine they would have been four.
An exposition of prayers services
What are prayers, and what is the meaning of performing them?
A.: Salat is the technical expression for the words and the acts beginning with the takbir and ending with the taslim, [gone through] in accordance with special regulations. The meaning of performing them is the carrying them through without omitting any of the proper and approved essentials, and avoiding anything that would invalidate [the prayers].
On the number of obligatory prayers and an exposition of the times for them, and the customs to be observed both before and after them
How many prayer services is it necessary to observe each day and
A.: Five prayer services are incumbent upon every Muslim who is of age and in the possession of his proper senses. Children should be bidden observe them at the age of seven, and at the age of ten should be beaten for omitting them, that thus they may become accustomed to observe them.
What is the first prayer service?
A.: It is the morning prayer. The number of its rak’as is two, but they are customarily preceded by two rak’as The time for it is [the period] from the breaking of the true dawn till the rising of the sun.
What is the second prayer service?
A.: It is the midday prayer. The number of its rak’as is four, which are customarily preceded by four and followed by four. The time for it is from the [commencement of the] decline of the sun until the shadow of any elongated object reaches the length of that object.
What is the third prayer service?
A.: It is afternoon prayer. The number of its rak’as is four, which are customarily preceded by four. The time for it is the period from the end of the noon period till the setting of the sun.
What is the fourth prayer service?
A.: It is the evening prayer. The number of its rak’as is three, which are customarily preceded by two and followed by two. The time for it is from the setting of the sun till the redness of the evening twilight disappears.
What is the fifth prayer service?
A.: It is the night prayer. The number of its rak’as is four, which are customarily preceded by two and followed by two, and then by the witr, the least number [of rak’as] for which is one rak’a and the most is eleven. The time for it is from the disappearance of the redness of the evening twilight till the breaking of the true dawn.
An exposition of the conditions for the validity of a prayer service
What are the conditions for the validity of a prayer service?
A.: They are five: that the body of the one who prays be in a state of ritual purity from hadath; that his body and clothing and the place where he is be in a state of ritual purity from uncleanness; that his pudenda be covered; that he be facing the qibla,
and that he has entered one of the [prayer] periods explained above.
An exposition of hadath, its causes and what is made unlawful by it
What is hadath?
A.: It is of two kinds, a lesser, which makes wudu’ or tayammum obligatory, and a greater, which makes ghusl or tayammum obligatory. There are causes for both kinds.
What are the causes of the lesser?
A.: They are five: (1) anything coming out of the rectum, and anything save semen from the genitals; (2) sleep, save what is possible while sitting upright on the ground; (3) unconsciousness caused by drunkenness, sickness, madness or swoon; (4) touching the human pudenda by the inner palm or the fingers; (5) the coming together of the epidermis of male and female who have reached the age of lustful
desire and are not [within the] prohibited [degrees of relationship]. These five things make wudu’ necessary and render five things unlawful [till wudu’ is performed].
What are those five things?
A.: Prayers, circumambulation, [listening to] the Friday sermon, touching the Holy Book (mushaf) and carrying the same.
What are the causes of the greater hadath?
A.: Six things: (1) the emission of semen. This may be recognized either by its [actual] ejaculation, or by the pleasure felt at its emission, or by the presence of its smell, which when it is moist is like the smell of dough or date-palm pollen and when it is dry like the smell of white of egg. (2) Sexual intercourse by the insertion of the penis into the vulva or anus, whether of human or animal, and even if no semen descends. (3) Childbirth. (4) Menstruation, namely the blood which comes from the vagina of any female who has reached the age of nine years, the shortest [period of whose flow] is a night and a day and the longest fifteen days, though usually [it lasts] six or seven [days]. (5) After-birth, namely the blood which comes as a consequence of giving birth to a child, the shortest [period of whose flow] is a moment, and the longest sixty days, though usually [it lasts] forty days. (6) Death. These six make ghusl necessary, and the first three of them render eight things unlawful until ghusl has been performed.
What are those eight things?
A.: They are the five things already mentioned which are rendered unlawful by the lesser [hadath, to which are to be added] reading the Qur’an tarrying in a mosque, or even frequenting one. Menstruation and afterbirth render twelve things unlawful.
What are those twelve things?
A.: They are the eight things already mentioned together with fasting, divorce proceedings, marital intercourse, and fondling between the navel and the knees.
An exposition of ritual purification
What is ritual purification?
A.: It is of five kinds: viz. wudu’, ghusl, tayammum, removal of filthiness, and purification after natural evacuations.
An exposition of wudu’
What is wudu’?
A.: It is the use of pure water on particular bodily members. With regard to it there are elements that are obligatory and others that are customary, and there are things which render it invalid.
What is pure water?
A.: It is that which has not been defiled, has not been used already for some [other] incumbent duty, whose taste and colour and smell have not been altered by mixture with any other pure thing such as musk, saffron, rosewater or flowers.
What are the elements in wudu’ which are obligatory?
A.: They are six: (1) the intention (niyya), whose place is in the heart. It is customary for this to be uttered, e.g. by saying: “It is my intention to remove hadath” or “to perform the incumbent duty of wudu’” (2) the washing of the whole face; it is necessary for the intention to accompany the beginning of the washing as a part thereof; (3) the washing of the hands [and arms up] to the elbows; (4) wiping part of the head [with the wet hand]; (5) washing the feet and the ankles; (6) [doing all this in proper] order, so that a beginning is made with the washing of the face contemporaneously with the [expression of] intention, then washing the hands, then wiping the head and then washing the feet. It is also laid down as a condition of its validity that there be no interruption, and that the water flow upon the members.
What are the customary elements in wudu’?
A.: They are many. Among them are the cleansing of the teeth with the tooth-stick and washing the palms of the hands at the beginning, and commencing the washing by [pronouncing] the tasmiya with the tongue, and expressing intention in the heart of [performing] the customary elements of wudu’ and then uttering it. Among them are the rinsing of the mouth, snuffing water up the nostrils, wiping the whole of the head, washing the ears along with the face-[washing], and wiping them along with the head-[wiping], and likewise after it, with fresh water. [Among them also are] finger-combing the thick hair of the beard and cheeks, though the thin hair needs must be combed with the fingers. Among them is giving precedence to the right over the left in washing the hands and the feet, and rubbing the members and contiguous parts during the washing, and going over whatever has to be washed three times. Also among them is the use of adhkar (invocations) over the prominent members.
What are those invocations?
A.: They are that one should say at the washing of the hands, after the basmala: “Praise be to Allah for Islam and for His grace. Praise be to Allah who has made water a purifying agent and Islam a light. O Lord, with Thee I take refuge from the evil suggestions of the satans, and with Thee, O Lord, I take refuge should they be present. Allahumma, preserve my hands from all disobedience to Thee.” So at the time of the rinsing of the mouth one should say: “Allahumma, keep me occupied with remembering Thee and thanking Thee and worshipping Thee in goodly wise.” At the snuffing of water into the nostrils [one should say]: “Allahumma, grant that I may smell the perfume of Paradise.” At the washing of the face [one should say]: “Allahumma, make my face white on the Day when Thou whitenest and blackenest faces.” At the washing of the right arm [one should say]: “Allahumma, grant that I may receive my book in my right hand, and give me an easy accounting.” At the washing of the left arm [one should say]: “Allahumma, give me not my book in my left hand or behind my back.” At the wiping of the head [one should say]: “Allahumma, forbid my hair and skin to the Fire [of Hell].” At the wiping of the ears [one should say]: “Allahumma, make me one of those who hearken to what is said and follow what thereof is best.” At the washing of the two feet [one should say]: “Allahumma, make my feet firm on the Bridge on that Day when feet shall slip.” It is also good that one should say after completing it (i.e. the wudu’ ablution): “I bear witness that there is no deity save Allah, the One who has no partner, and I bear witness that our Master Muhammad is His servant and His Apostle. Allahumma, make me one of those who repent, make me one of those who are purified. Glory be to Thee, Allahumma! By Thy praise I bear witness that there is no deity save Thee. Thy forgiveness do I seek. To Thee do I turn in penitence.” Then one should recite Sura XCVII: “We, indeed, sent it down”, together with the Throne Verse (11, 255/256), and then pray two rak’as, expressing in both of them the intention to observe the sunna elements of wudu’, and the same in the case of ghusl.
What are the things which render wudu’ invalid?
A.: They are the five things which are its cause, as above mentioned. The occurrence of any one of these will make it invalid.
An exposition of ghusl
What is ghusl?
A.: It is bathing the body with pure water along with an expression of intention. Thus one who is polluted [from sexual intercourse] expresses the intention of removing the legal impurity, one who is [impure because] menstruating [expresses the intention] of removing the legal impurity of] menstruation, the one with after-birth that of removing the legal impurity of] after-birth. It is quite correct for each one to express the intention of removing all the greater hadath (i.e. without specifying which particular kind). Conditional for its validity is the running of the water on the body, and the absence of any impediment which would interfere with its reaching it. Among its customary elements are the washing of the palms of the hands beforehand, along with pronunciation of the tasmiya by the tongue and an expression of intention in the heart to observe the customary elements of ghusl. Then one should rinse the mouth, snuff water into the nostrils, perform a complete wudu’, and then pour the water on the body, rubbing it and washing it thrice and finger-combing the light hairs. The heavy hair must needs also be finger-combed if otherwise the water would not get well into it.
An exposition of tayammum
What is tayammum?
A.: It is the use of sand (turab) on the face and hands to take the place of [the water of normal] wudu’ or ghusl when water is unavailable, or is needed for satisfying the thirst of a venerated animal, or when there is fear of harm arising from its use in cases of sickness or wounds.
How is it performed?
A.: It is performed by smiting your two palms on the ground or on a pillow or some such mat so that the turab may adhere to them, while you express the intention of doing what is permitted for the requirements of prayer. Then with it you wipe your whole face, occupying your mind the meanwhile with the intention. Then you smite a second time and wipe your arms to the elbows. Conditional for its validity is that it be performed within the proper times for prayer, be preceded by the removal of whatever uncleanness there may be on the body, that this be only by pure sand which itself is dusty, and that there be no impediment which would hinder it from reaching the members. Sunna elements in it are that but little sand be used, that the fingers be separated during the process of smiting, and that the fingers comb one another after the wiping. Any ring [on the fingers] must be removed so that the sand may reach what is beneath it.
What invalidates it?
A.: It is invalidated by whatever invalidates wudu’, by the disappearance of that which prevented the use of water, and by the sight of water if tayammum was being performed for lack thereof.
What is accomplished by a single performance of tayammum?
A.: By it is accomplished [the fulfilment of the] preliminaries for a single obligatory cult performance, whether it be of prayer or circumambulation or Friday sermon. If a second such is desired there must be [separate] tayammum for it. As regards the supererogatory (i.e. non-obligatory) cult performances a single performance of tayammum suffices for them all, and a tayammum performed for an obligatory cult performance may include them also.
Is there any condemnation for one who practises tayammum?
A.: Yes, if he practises tayammum because of the cold, or if [he uses the excuse that there is] lack of water and then goes and prays in a place where water will normally be found, though if he prays in a place here water is generally lacking, or where its presence or absence is equally likely, there is no condemnation.
An exposition of [what is meant by] uncleanness and how it may be removed
What is najasa (uncleanness)?
A.: It is of three kinds: (1) gross-namely the uncleanness of the dog or the pig or what comes from them; (2) light-namely the urine of a child under two years and whose nourishment has not gone beyond milk; (3) medium-what is other than these, which covers various things.
What are these various things?
A.: They are many. Among them are manure, urine, blood, pus, vomit, all kinds of fluid intoxicants, milk that is not used for human consumption, wada and madha the former of which is a thick, pearly-white fluid which exudes [from the genitals], usually after urination, but also when one is carrying something very heavy, and the latter thin, whitish or yellow fluid which exudes [from the genitals], usually when there has been a stirring of lustful desire which has not gone as far as [the orgasm of] pleasure. Among them are any dead save [the dead bodies of] humans, fish or locusts. Some include among them hair, fur, wool, feathers, since such things have a certain uncleanness. Any part which may be removed from a living animal [to be treated] like the dead thereof, unclean [if it is unclean], clean if it is clean], but any part which may be removed from a human, fish or a locust is clean. Any part which may be separated from other things is unclean save the hair, fur, wool and feathers of what is used as food, for they are clean.
How may gross [uncleanness] be removed?
A.: Its removal may be effected by washing what has been in contact seven times in pure water, using pure sand (turab) in one [of the seven washings]. Those washings which remove the traces of the thing itself are to be counted as one [washing], and there needs must be six washings after it.
How may light [uncleanness] be removed?
A.: Its removal may be effected by sprinkling pure water on whatever has been in contact, till it is all covered, even though [the water] does not flow off, provided that the traces of the thing itself had been removed from the place before the sprinkling either by drying it off or by giving a powerful squeeze so that there remain no moisture which can be separated out.
How may the middling [uncleanness] be removed?
A.: Should it be invisible, namely [an uncleanness] which leaves no certain sign or trace in the way of taste or colour or odour, then its removal may be effected by the running of pure water once over that which has been in contact. Should it, however, be noticeable, namely something that has left a clear sign or trace as described above, then its removal may be effected by the removal of what is noticeable from the place where it has been in contact, even though it be necessary to use some such thing as soap. It is no matter if there remain a colour or an odour which resists removal.
An exposition of istinja’
What is the ruling about istinja’?
A.: It is necessary after every voiding of excrement from the anus or the genitals, though not in the case of semen. It is effected by [the use of] water or stones, and the combination of the two is preferable. If one should desire to confine oneself to one of the two then water is preferable. The essential thing in istinja’ is to use a sufficient quantity in cleansing the parts that it may reasonably be assumed that the uncleanness has been removed. The sign of this is generally the appearance of hardness after softness. If the istinja’ has been by means of stones, because one was confined to that, purification is conditional on five things.
What are those five things?
A.: They are: (1) that the excrement be not allowed to dry or transferred from the place where it came to rest; (2) that there be no foreign matter added thereto; (3) that [the rubbing by the stones] does not proceed beyond the orifice in question; (4) that it be a triple wiping each one of which goes over the place with three clean stones or with three applications of one clean stone; (5) if cleansing is not effected by the three applications then as many more must be applied as will effect it. It is no matter if some trace is left which can only be removed by water or by small pebbles, for that is pardonable.
An exposition of the covering of the pudenda
What are the pudenda which must be covered during prayer services . and likewise during Circumambulation [of the Ka’ba]?
A.: In the case of a male or a slave-girl they are whatever is between the navel and the knees. In the case of a free woman it includes all her body save the face and the hands. The covering should be so complete as to prevent any glimpse of its colour. The incumbent thing is that the covering should be from above and from the sides not from below, so that should they be seen from his collar-opening when he is bowing [in the prayer service], for example, that would be harmful, in contradistinction to their being seen from below his gown when he is prostrating, for that would do no harm. It is needful, however, for a woman to cover her legs from below, for were they to be seen from below the bed while she is standing thereon it would be harmful.
I have come to know about the [covering of the] pudenda during prayers and Circumambulation, but what about the pudenda on other occasions?
A.: In the case of a man; as concerns his privacy they are the genitals and the anus, as concerns the view of his women-folk who are forbidden to him and his fellow males they are whatever is between the navel and the knees, as concerns the view of strange women it is his whole body even though he be a decrepit old man. In the case of a woman; as concerns her privacy and the view of men who may [legitimately] enter the harim, and her fellow believing women, they are whatever is between the navel and the knees, as concerns the view of unbelieving women it is all her body save what is normally visible during the daily tasks, viz. the head, the face, the neck, the two arms as far as the upper arm, and the legs as far as the knees, as concerns the view of strange men it is her whole body without anything at all being excepted even though she be an old woman ugly to behold. Everything the viewing of which is forbidden when it is attached [to the person] is equally forbidden when it is unattached, so men are forbidden to look at a woman’s hair when it is unattached and vice versa. Everything which is forbidden to the sight is also forbidden to the touch, so a man is forbidden to touch the hand of a woman and vice versa.
An exposition of the qibla and of having it before one
What is the qibla which it is necessary to have before one at the time of prayer services?
A.: It is the illustrious Ka’ba, which it is necessary to have one’s breast facing while standing and sitting [during prayers], which one would have before one’s face and breast when reclining, before one’s face and soles, i.e. the soft lower parts beneath the feet, when lying on one’s back. What is taken into account here is a true, accurate facing, with a drawing near to it in thought though far from it in body. [The qibla] may be recognized by various things.
What are these things?
A.: They are many. One of them is to watch for the official mihrabs which are set up to be seen by the one possessing sight, or to be touched by the blind or [by one who is] in the dark. Another is to keep the star called Qutb behind the left ear if you are in Egypt, behind the right ear if you are in Iraq, but the one who is in Yemen keeps it in front of him somewhat to his left, and one who is in Syria puts it behind him somewhat to his left.
An exposition of the essentials of prayer
What are the essentials (arkan) of prayer?
A.: They are thirteen. The first is the standing (qiyam), which is incumbant on one who is able. If one is unable [to stand upright] let him pray sitting, if he is unable [to do that] then let him pray reclining, and if he is unable [even to recline] let him pray lying on his back. The second is the intention (niyya), namely that one should say: “I express my intention of praying the obligatory morning prayer”, or “I express my intention of praying the obligatory noon prayer”, and so on. The third is the takbira of making sacred at the first rak’a. It [consists of saying]: “Allah is most great.” Needs must the intention be in mind at the time of this takbira. The fourth is the recitation of the Fatiha (i.e. the opening Sura of the Qur’an) during the standing position for every rak’a. The fifth is the bowing (ruku’) at every rak’a, in which one must bend till his palms reach his knees, and pause quietly with his limbs resting in this position at least long enough for [him to say]: “Subhanallah” (glory be to Allah). The sixth is the straightening up at every rak’a so that one resumes the standing position and pauses quietly therein. The seventh is the prostration (sujud), twice in every rak’a, in which one places his forehead, his knees, the inner part of his palms and the inner part of his toes to the ground. Needs must the forehead be uncovered and press heavily upon [the ground], while the buttocks are raised higher and he pauses there quietly. The eighth is the sitting (julus) between the two prostrations in every rak’a, and pausing quietly therein. The ninth is the sitting at the final rak’a, viz. the second at morning prayers, the third at evening prayers, and the fourth at the others. The tenth is the testifying (tashahhud) during the above-mentioned sitting. It consists in saying tahiyyat to Allah, then: “Peace be upon thee, O Prophet, and Allah’s mercy and blessing. Peace be upon us and upon all pious worshippers of Allah. I bear witness that there is no deity save Allah, and that Muhammad is the Apostle of Allah.” The eleventh is [calling down] blessings on the Proplict–upon whom be Allah’s blessing and peace–after finishing the testifying. It [consists in saying]: “Allahumma, grant blessing to Muhammad.” The twelfth is the taslim, which consists in saying once: “Peace be upon you.” The thirteenth is that all the above should be done in proper order as we have mentioned them.
An exposition of the customary elements in prayer
What are the customary elements in saying prayers?
A.: They are of two kinds, known respectively as ab’ad and hay’at.
What are the ab’ad?
A.: They are five things. The first is testifying (tashahhud) during the second rak’a of every prayer that has three or four rak’as. The second is to pray for blessings on the Prophet after it. The third is to pray for blessings on the Prophet’s family after praying for blessings on him in the final act of testifying. The fourth is [to say] the qunut at the rising erect in the second rak’a of the morning prayer every day, and at the rising erect during the final rak’a of the witr during the second half of the month of Ramadan The fifth is to ask blessings and peace on the Prophet, his family and his Companions after the qunut.
What is the qunut?
A.: It may consist in any formula containing eulogy and supplication, such as: “Allahumma! forgive me, O Forgiving One”, but the form preferred is that you should say: “Allahumma! guide me among those whom Thou hast guided; pardon me among those whom Thou hast pardoned; take me as a friend among those whom Thou hast taken as friends; give me blessing in what Thou has bestowed; preserve me from the evil of that which Thou hast decreed, for Thou dost prescribe but no one prescribes to Thee. No one may be humbled whom Thou dost take in charge, nor may any one to whom Thou art hostile be exalted. Blessed art Thou, O our Lord, and exalted. To Thee be praise for what Thou hast prescribed. I seek forgiveness from Thee, and to Thee do I turn in penitence.” Then you should say: “May Allah’s blessing and peace be upon our Master Muhammad, and upon his family and his Companions.”
An exposition of what is required in a prostration of unmindfulness
If any one should omit any of the above-mentioned ab’ad, what should he do?
A.: There is no obligation in such a case. His prayers are valid whether the omission was witting or unwitting. In either case, however, it is customary for him to perform a prostration of unmindfulness at the end of his prayers before saying the salam. This consists of two prostrations with an expression of intention in his heart before prostrating.
Is this prostration [of unmindfulness] customary on any other occasion?
A.: Yes. It is customary where [the worshipper is afraid that] something may have dropped out, though [in such a case] the doing of it in addition would be unobjectionable. For example, suppose that in a prayer of four rak’as doubt arises [in the worshipper’s mind] whether he has performed the rak’as three or four times, since [the validity of the prayer] depends on the correctness of the number, three would be short, so [to make sure] he ought to add a rak’a. In such a case a prostration of unmindfulness would be customary. It is customary also in other situations, as for example in the case of the mutawwalat.
What are the hay’at of a prayer service?
A.: They are many, but should the one praying omit any of them his prayer service is still valid, and he should make no prostration of unmindfulness on account of them. Among them are the raising of the hands at the takbira of sanctification, and [a similar raising of the hands] at every bowing (ruku’) and rising erect, also at the standing for the first testifying. Among them is the placing of the palm of the right hand on the back of the left hand below the heart but above the navel during the standing. Another is to sit for a rest each time one rises from a second prostration. Another is to say after the takbira of sanctification: “Great is Allah; very great, and greatly to be praised. Glory be to Allah both in the morning and in the evening.” Another is to say the ta’awwudh before repeating the Fatiha, and the ta’min after [repeating it], at every rak’a. Another is to recite some verses of the Qur’an after the ta’min at morning prayers and at the beginning rak’as of all other prayer services. Another is to recite with a loud voice both the Fatiha and the portion from the Qur’an which is recited after it at night and at morning prayers, but to recite them softly during the daytime prayers. Another is to pronounce the takbir fi ‘l-hawa’ at every bowing (ruku’) and every prostration (sujud), at the rising from each prostration, and at the first testifying. Another is that at each bowing (ruka’) one should say three times: “Glory be to my Lord, the Mighty One”, and at the rising therefrom: “May Allah give ear to him who praises Him”, at the coming erect: “O our Lord, to Thee be praise”, at the prostration: “Glory be to my Lord, the Highest One,” three times, and at the sitting between the prostrations: “O Lord, forgive me, have mercy on me, restore me, raise me up, give me sustenance, guide me, preserve me and pardon me.” Another is to use the completest [possible] form of testifyingand praying for blessings on the Prophet-upon whom be Allah’s blessing and peace-at the final rak’a.
What is this completest form?
A.: It is that one should request of Allah tahiyyat, mubarakat, salawat, tayyibat, [saying]: “Peace be upon thee, O Prophet, and Allah’s mercy and blessing. Peace be upon us and upon all pious servants of Allah. I bear witness that there is no deity save Allah, and I bear witness that our Master, Muhammad, is the Apostle of Allah. Allahumma! send blessings on our Master Muhammad, and on the family of our Master Muhammad, as Thou didst send blessings on our Master Abraham, and on the family of our Master Abraham; and send blessedness on our Master Muhammad and on the family of our Master Muhammad, as Thou didst send blessedness on our Master Abraham and on the family of our Master Abraham in the worlds. Thou art the Praiseworthy, the Glorious One.” It is customary that, after [having said] that, one should make in one’s own words petition for whatever one may wish, though [to make use of a form of supplication that has been] handed down by tradition is preferable. Such a [traditional] form is: “Allahumma! I take refuge with Thee from the torment of the tomb, from the torment of the Fire, from the trials (fitna) of both life and death, and from the fitna of the false Messiah. Then one should salaam to his right and to his left, saying at each salaam: “Peace be upon thee and the mercy of Allah.”
An exposition of the things which invalidate prayers
What are the things which invalidate prayers?
A.: They are ten things. (1) The first is the greater or lesser hadath. (2) The second is the body or clothes of the one who prays or the place [where he is praying] being affected by uncleanness (najasa). (3) The third is the uncovering of his pudenda in any way. (4) The fourth is the utterance of any intelligible sound, or two sounds should they be unintelligible, other than [words of] recollection and supplication. (5) The fifth is the occurrence of [any one of] a number of actions, such, for example, as three steps, or three movements of the foot or the hand or the head. [In this connection] the putting out and drawing back of the hand, if uninterrupted [continuous motions], are counted as one movement, as likewise the raising and lowering of it, even though it is to some other place. The putting out of the foot, however, and the drawing it back are counted as two movements, even though it is an uninterrupted continuous motion, as likewise raising it and putting it down in another place. (6) The sixth is eating or drinking, inserting a pick in the ear, or any such thing as that, which in the case of one fasting would be considered as breaking the fast. (7) The seventh is any turning away from the qibla. (8) The eighth is altering the intention. (9) The ninth is the addition of any action to those that are prescribed. (10) The tenth is interrupting [the prayers] even though only by speaking.
An exposition of congregating for prayers
What is the ruling about congregating for prayer services?
A.: It is a fard kifaya on adult free men who are performing prayers. The meaning of its being a fard kifaya is that so long as some do it there is no sin resting on the others [who omit it]. In a big town, however, the disposition [on the part of each believer] to perform it is stipulated, so that the rites of religion may be publicly manifested.
Are there reasonable excuses which would make its omission lawful?
A.: Yes. The sudden occurrence of rain or sickness or strong winds at night or early morning, or if it is very muddy or very hot or cold, or in the case of one being very hungry or thirsty when food and drink are there ready prepared, or if one has eaten something that causes an unpleasant odour which is hard to remove, or has been busied with preparing a corpse for burial, or with getting rid of hadath, or where there is a lack of suitable clothes.
What are the conditions for prayers in congregation?
A.: They are eleven. (1) The first is [an expression of] intention by the one who stands behind the Imam (i.e. the prayer-leader), to imitate or follow or accompany the Imam [in his leadership of the prayers], as though he should say: “[I am] following or imitating the Imam [in this prayer service].” (2) The second is that each should be aware of the actions of his Imam which he must copy, either by seeing [the Imam himself], or seeing the person who is behind [the Imam], or by hearing his voice or the voice transmitted from him. (3) The third is that there should be a possibility of reaching him (i.e. the Imam) by ordinary motion, even though it means turning one’s back on the qibla if one should be in a mosque, or without turning one’s back on the qibla if neither are in a mosque. (4) The fourth is that no one should take a position in advance [of the Imam]. (5) The fifth is that no one should be more than three hundred cubits (dhira’) behind him, if in any place other than a mosque. (6) The sixth is that no one should get ahead of [the Imam] in the performance of the prescribed actions more than two of such actions. (7) The seventh is that no one should lag behind him for more than that. This is not serious, however, if one has an excuse, such as being slow in recitation, in which case one may be excused for being three of the longer prescribed actions behind him, namely, the bowing (ruku’) and the two prostrations. (8) The eighth is that the Imam should not be an aratt, i.e. one who employs idgham where idgham is not called for, and so causes a change in consonants, as e.g. if one should say al-muttaqim with doubled t [instead of saying al-mustaqim]. (9) The ninth is that he should not be an althagh, i.e. one who changes one consonant for another without idgham, as, e.g. one who pronounces al-hamd with a h instead of with a h, or one who says nathta’in with th instead of [nasta’in] with an s. However, if the worshipper is suffering from the same defects there is no harm. (10) The tenth is that there be no cause why the prayers would have to be repeated, as is the case where one performs tayammum for lack of water and then prays in a place where water is normally to be found. (11) The eleventh is that there should be no increase in any rak’a provided that whoever follows behind the Imam be aware of what the Imam is going to do.
An exposition of the ruling with regard to the masbuq and the muwafiq
(This short section is concerned with those who come late to congregational prayers and find the Imam has already got so far with the service. It tells them how and where to join in and how much of the service they may count as legally fulfilling their duty to pray. It is not possible, however, to translate it intelligibly into English for those who are not intimately familiar with the various parts of a Muslim prayer service.)
An exposition of Friday prayers
What is the ruling about Friday prayers?
A.: They are a fard ‘ain on every responsible free male in residence who has no excuse by reason of illness or any of the other excuses mentioned under Prayer in Congregation. A journey which would involve missing them is forbidden after dawn on Friday. It consists of two rak’as performed at the time of noon prayers and in substitution therefor. Thus it counts among the five of its day, though if it should be held in a place where there was no need for it then the midday prayers must be performed after it.
Are there requirements for it beyond the requirements for other prayer services?
A.: Yes. It is conditional on there being an assembly of forty to form a congregation, and that [these forty] be free responsible males of those who habitually dwell in the place, i.e. that they do not [customarily] depart from it either winter, or summer save for some special need. [It is conditional also on the prayers] being performed in a building, and that it be preceded by two khutbas, each of which has its own essentials and requirements.
What are their essentials (arkan)?
A.: They are five. (1) Praising Allah-exalted be He. (2) Prayer for blessings upon His Prophet Muhammad-upon whom be Allah’s blessing and peace. (3) Exhortation to piety. These three are common to both of them. (4) The fourth is the reciting of a verse [from the Qur’an] at the beginning of both, though it is sunna for it to be [recited again] at the end of the first. (5) Supplication for believers in the second.
What are the requirements for them?
A.: They are nine, viz. that they both be in Arabic; that they be at noon; that they be listened to by forty persons assembled for them; that the congregation rise for them and sit between them; that they be continuous with the prayer service; that all pudenda be covered; and that there be ritual purity from hadath and purity from any filthiness of body, clothes or place; that when the preacher mounts the pulpit (minbar) those present in the mosque be forbidden from going on with their prayers even though they be obligatory prayers. However, should anyone enter just at that moment, if it is in a mosque he should pray two brief rak’as and then take his seat, and should he not have already prayed the earlier prayer service of Friday then let him pronounce the intention of two rak’as, thereby observing proper respect. It is customary to bathe on Friday and to adorn oneself with one’s best clothes, of which white are the preferred. [Customary also] are the use of such good perfumes as one may have, getting early to prayers, reciting the Sura of the Cave (XVIII), and calling down numerous blessings upon the Prophet-upon whom be Allah’s blessing and peace.
An exposition of prayers for one travelling
How does one who is travelling perform the prayer services?
A.: It is permissible for him to shorten the midday, afternoon and night prayers by performing two rak’as for each, and for him to combine noon, afternoon and evening prayers with the night prayer at the time for whichever of them he wills, anticipating in the case of the first of them and delaying in the case of the second, but on condition that his journey be a legitimate one for a proper purpose, and that it be two stages or more in length, as, for instance, a journey from Damietta to ar-Rahibain. Friday [prayer] is like the noon prayer-time in the matter of lumping together the prayers ahead of time if it is put instead of it. To both the shortenings and the combinings, however, there are conditions.
What are the conditions for the shortening?
A.: They are (1) his expression of intention at the time of the taharrum, (i.e. his putting himself in a state of remoteness from profane things), (2) the continuance of the journey during the whole of the [time for the] prayer service, (3) that he does not take as prayer-leader anyone who is ignorant about his journey, nor someone who is completing [prayers previously missed]; (4) that he guard against anything which would invalidate his intention to shorten, [and keep so guarding] during the continuance of the prayer.
What are the conditions for combining in advance?
A.: They are that he have the thought to perform the first completely, and, beginning with that, make the intention to combine with it; that he perform the prayer services continuously allowing for no break between them; and that the journey continue till the contractual time of the last of them.
What are the conditions for delayed combination?
A.: They are that he express intention to delay at the time of the first [of them], and that the journey continue till the completion of the two prayer services.
An exposition of prayers for the two feasts
What is the ruling for prayer services for the two Feasts ?
A.: They are a verified sunna. The [proper] time for them is the period between the rising of the sun and when it commences to decline, but it is customary for them to be performed after the sun has risen about a spear’s length, i.e. seven cubits as judged by the eye. It is desirable that they be performed even if the [proper] time for them has gone by. They consist of two rak’as, with an expression of intention to fulfil the sunna of the ‘id al-fitr or the sunna of the ‘id al-adha.
How are they performed?
A.: In the same way as ordinary prayers save that in the first rak’a there are customarily seven takbirs in addition to the takbira of consecration, after the introductory procedures, and before the ta’awwudh, and in the second [rak’a] five times after the takbira of arising and before the ta’awwudh. It is customary also to intercalate between the two takbiras the baqiyat salihat, i.e. the phrases: “Glory be to Allah”; “praise be to Allah”; “there is no deity save Allah”; and “Allah is most great”. It is customary for them to be performed as congregational prayers, and for them to be followed by two khutbas in form like the two Friday khutbas. It is customary for the preacher (khatib) to pronounce nine takbirs at the opening of the first and seven at the opening of the second, and at the ‘id al-fitr to expound to the congregation the regulations about almsgiving at the Feast, and at the ‘id al-adha the regulations about offering sacrifice. Bathing is customary for both of the Feasts, as well as perfuming the person with the finest of scents, adorning oneself with one’s best and most expensive clothes, and enlivening the night preceding each of them with the well-known takbir. It is also customary to introduce this [takbir] after every prayer from the dawn of the day of ‘Arafat until sunset on the last of the days of tashriq.
What is the form of this takbir?
A.: This much beloved [takbir] is as follows: “Allah is most great! Allah is most great! Allah is most great! There is no deity save Allah. Allah is most great! Allah is most great! To Allah be praise. Allah is most great! Allah is most great! Very great [is He]. Much praise be to Allah. Glory be to Allah, morning and evening. There is no deity but Allah alone. He fulfilled His promise and aided His servant, strengthened his army and alone put the squadrons to flight. There is no deity save Allah. We will worship none save Him, keeping religion exclusively His even though the unbelievers abhor it.” Then one should say: “Allahumma! grant blessings upon our Master Muhammad, on the Companions of our Master Muhammad, on the Helpers of our Master Muhammad, on the wives of our Master Muhammad, on the descendants of our Master Muhammad, and peace, even great peace.”
An exposition of what needs must be done for a dead person
What is it that should be done for one who has deceased?
A.: Four things are necessary. The first is that he should be washed, which is done by his whole body being bathed once with pure water. The second is that he should be shrouded after he has been washed. If his estate can afford it there should be three wrappers, each of which covers his whole body, but if that cannot be afforded, then one only. The third is that there should be a prayer service over him. The fourth is that he should be buried in a grave of such a kind as will prevent the smell of his decomposition being noticeable, and will guard him from being dug up and devoured by wild beasts. These four things, however, are obligatory only in the case of a Muslim, other than one who has fallen a martyr on the field of battle, or an untimely birth. In the case of an unbeliever who is a dhimmi, or in the case of a martyr who has fallen in battle, only two things are obligatory, viz. the shrouding and the burying. Prayer over them is forbidden, as is also washing in the case of a martyr. As for the untimely birth, if its life has been apparent, then it is treated as though it were an adult, but if life was not apparent, even though its form was apparent, everything save prayer is obligatory. If [it had developed so little that] neither were apparent then nothing is obligatory.
An exposition of prayers over a dead person
How are prayers for the dead performed?
A.: You should stand facing the qibla, with pudenda covered, ritually pure from all hadath and uncleanness, having the corpse in front of you. Then you should say: “I express intention of praying four obligatory takbiras over this dead person”, or “over such deceased Muslims as are present”. Then you should say: “Allah is most great”, while keeping in mind this intention. Then you should recite the Fatiha, and then say: “Allah is most great”, and call down blessings upon the Prophet-upon whom be Allah’s blessing and peace-in any form [you please], though it is preferable for it to be [in the form of] the Abrahamic prayer. After this you make supplication for the deceased. Then you should say: “Allah is most great”, and salaam to your right and to your left.
How is supplication made for the deceased person?
A.: It is effected by any form of supplication which has reference to the after life, such as: “Allahumma! have mercy on him”, or “Allahumma! forgive him.” The most perfect form, however, if it is an adult, is to use the well-known supplication: “Allahumma! this is Thy servant, and the son of Thy two servants, who has departed from the joy and ampleness of this world, from his beloved and his friends therein, into the darkness of the tomb and what will meet him there. He has been wont to testify that there is no deity save Thee alone, that Thou hast no partner, and that Muhammad is Thy servant and Thy Apostle. Thou knowest better about him than we do. Allahumma! he comes as a guest to Thee, and Thou art the best One to whom to come as guest. He has become a poor man seeking Thy mercy, and Thou hast no need to punish him. We have come to Thee now in earnest supplication as intercessors for him. Allahumma! if he was one who did good increase his good works, and if he was one who did evil then overlook it in his case and meet him with Thy mercy. In Thy good pleasure protect him from the distress (fitna) of the tomb and its torment. Enlarge for him his grave, moving back the earth from his sides. Meet him with Thy mercy,which keeps one safe from Thy punishment, till Thou dost resurrect him in safety for Thy Paradise, by Thy mercy, Thou most merciful of those who show mercy.”‘ You should make masculine the pronoun in the case of a male and feminine in the case of a female, save the pronoun for Him to Whom men come as guests, for it is always masculine, since it refers back to an unexpressed attribute, viz. Him who is the most generous of those to Whom men come as guests. If it is the funeral of an infant one should say instead: “Allahumma! make him a predecessor of his parents, an advance payment, a treasure laid up, an exhortation, an object of reflection, an intercessor, and by him make heavy their balances [at the weighing]. Pour out upon their hearts patient endurance, deprive them not of remuneration for him, and distress them not after him.” It is also customary that before the salam in the case of a funeral prayer, both for an adult and for a child, one should say: “Allahumma! deprive us not of remuneration for him, and distress us not after him, but forgive both us and him.”
An exposition of legal alms (zakat)
What is zakat?
A.: It is a portion of one’s wealth given to the poor and such like, with intent to seek the favour of Allah-exalted be He-in a particular way. It is of two kinds, zakat of property, and zakat of body.
An exposition of zakat of property
What is the property on which zakat must be assessed?
A.: It must be assessed on camels, cattle and flocks, provided that they are pasturing, i.e. that they are going out to pasture on common herbage land and are not being used for cultivation or such things, that they reach the assessable number (nisab), and that they have been owned for a year. It must be assessed also on gold, silver and moveable trade goods, provided that they reach the assessable amount (nisab) and have been owned for a year. It is assessable also on the fruit of the date-palm, the grape-vine, the grain of the greater fodder plants such as capers, barley, dhurra, rice, lentils, broadbeans, chickpeas, kidney-beans, Indian peas, provided that they appear to be in a healthy condition and reach the assessable amount. In all the above it makes no difference whether they are the property of a mature adult or not.
An exposition of the assessable amount and what is obligatory thereon
What is the nisab in the case of camels, and what is the assessment thereon?
A.: For five [camels] the assessment is a year old ewe from the sheep or a two year old she-goat. For ten the [assessment] is two ewes; for fifteen three ewes; for twenty four ewes; for twenty-five a year old pregnant she-camel; for thirty-six a two year old she-camel in milk; for forty-six a hiqqa, i.e. a three year old she-camel; for sixty-one a jadha’a, i.e. a four year old she-camel; for seventy-six two milch camels; for ninety-one two hiqqas; for a hundred and twenty-one three milch camels; for a hundred and thirty a hiqqa and two milch camels; and thereafter for every forty a milch camel and for every fifty a hiqqa.
What is the nisab for cattle and what is the assessment thereon?
A.: For thirty of them, whether full-blooded cattle or water-buffaloes (jawamis) a tabi’ i.e. a one year old calf; for forty a musinna, i.e. two year old calf; for sixty-two tabi’s, thereafter for every thirty tabi’ and for every forty a musinna.
What is the nisab for flocks and what is the assessment thereon?
A.: For forty of them, whether sheep or goats, a ewe; for a hundred and twenty-one two ewes; for two hundred and one three ewes; for four hundred four ewes; and thereafter for every hundred a ewe.
What is the nisab for gold and what is the assessment thereon?
A.: Its nisab is twenty mithqals free from alloy and worth twelve Egyptian guineas save an eighth. The assessment on this nisab is the fourth of a tenth, i.e. half a mithqal. What is above that is at the same rate.
What is the nisab for silver and what is the assessment thereon?
A.: Its nisab is two hundred dirhams pure, and worth twenty-seven new Egyptian riyals save a third. The assessment on this nisab is the fourth of a tenth, i.e. five dirhams. What is above that is at the same rate.
What is the nisab for trade goods and what is the assessment thereon?
A.: Its nisab is as the nisab for gold and silver in the matter of value. The assessment is that you evaluate at the end of the year in which you bought [the goods]. If it was at gold standard you evaluate by that and take the zakat from it, and if it was at silver standard you evaluate by that and take the zakat from it.
What is the nisab for fruits and grain and what is the assessment thereon?
A.: The nisab for them is five camel-loads. The assessment thereon is two tenths for land watered without trouble, otherwise the half thereof. What is above that is at the same rate.
What is the measure of these five [camel-loads]?
A.: In Egyptian ratl it is one thousand four hundred and twenty-eight and four sevenths; or in Egyptian measure (kail) it is four irdabs and a sixth, which is fifty Damietta kails. [Such measures really concern] fruits in their dried state, such as dried dates and raisins, but fruits that are not dried are measured as though they were dry. In the case of the grain it means grain free from rubbish, dirt and the husks that are uneatable.
An exposition of zakat of the body, which is also called zakat of breaking the fast (fitr)
What is zakat of the body?
A.: It is a sa’ of the usual provisions of a country, which each person gives for himself. The requirement is that it be his own possession and that it be in excess of his mouth-provisions and the mouth-provisions of those whom he has to feed on the feast and its final night. Also it must be in excess of what [he needs to sell so as to provide for] his clothing and his dwelling, his domestic servant, furniture, coverings and vessels.
Is he obliged to give on the part of others than himself?
A.: Yes. It is an obligation on him to give on the part of his wife, his slaves, his poor relations, his domestic servant and the servant of his wife, if they have nothing appointed to them in the way of spending money, clothes or wages.
What are the conditions for its being obligatory?
A.: Its conditions are that part of Ramadan and part of Shawwal have been reached, though it is valid even if it has been given at the beginning of Ramadan The preferable time for it to be given is after the dawn prayer and before the prayer of the feast (at the close of Ramadan].
What is the amount of the sa’?
A.: It is four handfuls with the palms held level and joined. Its amount in Egyptian rails is four and a half and a quarter and a seventh of an ounce. In Egyptian kail measure it is two qadahs by the old kail, which today is larger than it used to be, as is proved by what the Malikite as-Safati quotes from al-Ujhuri to the effect that the Egyptian kail is a qadah and a third and that the Egyptian rub’ equals three [qadahs]. Now the Egyptian rub’ is half a Damietta kail. It is manifest that what is meant is sound grain free from clay and other such [impurities].
An exposition of those to whom zakat gifts may be given
Who are the recipients of the various forms of zakat?
A.: It may be given to the eight classes mentioned in the Qur’an (Sura IX, 60). The first group among them and the one most commonly to be found in this country [consists of] four: The poor (faqir), the unfortunate (miskin), the debtor (gharim), and the traveller (ibn as-sabil). An opinion that finds much favour is that zakat of the body may be given to three poor [persons] or unfortunates, though others say that it may be given only to one. It has been handed down from the three Imams and from later authorities that it is permissible to give the zakat from property also to three of any of those who may have a share. This was the opinion favoured by ar-Ruyani, whence the fatwa declaring this usage in our rite to be free from blame.
Who is a poor man (faqir)?
A.: He is one who possesses nothing and can earn nothing at all, or he is one who possesses or earns less than half of what would be sufficient for him and for those in his keeping to live in a state that is not immoderate [on the one hand], nor bare subsistence [on the other].
Who is an unfortunate (miskin)?
A.: He is one who possesses or earns only half of what he needs, or more than half so long as it does not reach the amount that would be sufficient for him. The meaning of “sufficient” in the case of one who is earning is “sufficient for day by day”, or in the case of one not earning sufficient for the rest of his life”, which normally lasts sixty-two years.
Who is a debtor (gharim)?
A.: There are four kinds. The first is he who puts himself into debt in order to prevent dissension between litigants in a crime against body or property. The second is he who has borrowed money for some matter of general advantage such as entertainment of a guest, or the building of a bridge or a mosque. He may be given [from zakat] what he has borrowed for that [purpose], provided that the debt has fallen due and he has not paid it. The third is he who has borrowed for himself in connection with some [pecuniary] embarrassment that was nothing illegal. He may be given [from zakat] the amount of his debt if it has fallen due and he is unable to pay it. The fourth is one who [is in debt because he] has given a guarantee. He may be given [zakat money] if he is in difficulties and the debt is due, whether he was guarantor to a destitute fellow or to a person in easy circumstances who does not pay what he owes, if his guaranteeing was without this person’s permission.
Who is a traveller?
A.: He is one who is passing along, that is, who is going by the town where the zakat is, or one who is starting on a journey from it. He may be given [from zakat] if he has need, in that he cannot find the wherewithall to provide what he needs for his journey.
Are there any conditions [laid down] about the one who receives the zakat?
A.: Yes. It is laid down that he must be a Muslim, a free man, not someone dependent on a subvention from a relative or a spouse, and not a member of the Houses of Hashim or al-Muttalib, for [zakat] is not given to an unbeliever or to a slave or to one dependent on a subvention from a male, nor is it given to a Hashemite or a Muttalibite even though they are not able to draw their dues from the public Treasury. Some, however, say that it is permissible to give to them if they are unable [to get their dues].
Is there any need to express intention (niyya) when giving zakat?
A.: Yes. It needs to be expressed when giving it, for it is not valid without the expression of intention by the almsgiver as he pays it or sets it aside out of his property. It is sufficient [if the intention is expressed] after [the withdrawal] and before the payment. Expression of intention by one of two partners dispenses the other [from having to express it]. Moreover, expression of intention need only be in the heart, though it is customary to pronounce it aloud. For zakat of property one should say: “This is zakat from my property”, and for zakat of body one should say: “This is zakat of my body” or “of my breaking the fast”. Should there be some doubt about the intention after it has been paid it is no matter.
An exposition of fasting
What is fasting (saum) ?
A.: It is the refraining from breaking the fast for the whole of the day, along with expression of intention.
What are its regulations?
A.: It is obligatory during Ramadan, also for [expiating] a vow, and for atonement, and is approved in other cases.
How is Ramadan recognized?
A.: It is recognized by seeing the new moon [of that month], or by the completion of the thirty days of Sha’ban.
An exposition of the essential conditions for the observance of the Ramadan fast
What are the essential conditions for its observance?
A.: They are three, viz. residence [in a place], having strength for it, and not being in a state of menstruation or going through childbirth. It is permissible for a traveller to break it if he is on a long and lawful journey, and he suffers no disability thereby provided that his journey had begun before the fast, i.e. that he had commenced journeying before dawn [on any day of Ramadan], but he must redeem it after completing [the journey]. Also it is permissible for it to be broken by one who is incapable [of carrying it through], if it has caused him some serious indisposition owing to his being sick or old, or a woman being pregnant or nursing. However, an expiation for it is obligatory on the elderly person, or the one who is sick and whose cure is not to be hoped for, and this [expiation] is a mudd of food of the usual provisions of the country for every day [of the days he has missed fasting]. If the case is that of a sick person whose cure may be hoped for, [the fast] must be redeemed. The same holds in the case of a pregnant woman or one nursing, if [they break the fast] out of fear for themselves, even though [they may have feared] also for the child. If the fear was only for the child they must make an expiation along with redeeming [the fast]. It is permissible for a woman in menstruation or childbirth to break it for so long as the conditions of being in menstruation or childbirth continue, and such must redeem it after they are ritually purified, but without any expiation.
An exposition of the conditions for the validity of the fast, its essentials, its customary elements, and the things that are considered reprehensible during it
What are the conditions for the validity of the Fast?
A.: They are four, viz. that one be a Muslim, in possession of his faculties, free from [the impurities] of menstruation or childbirth for the whole day, and unaffected by swooning or drunkenness for any part thereof.
What are the essentials (arkan) of fasting?
A.: They are two, viz. an expression of intention, and abstaining between dawn and sunset from the things that would break it.
What is the time for the expression of intention?
A.: The time for it embraces the whole night during an incumbent fast, so it is allowable for the expression of intention to be made at any point therein, but it is not allowable during the day, so were one to forget it at night and dawn breaks while he is still forgetful that day cannot be counted for him [as a fast day], so he must refrain during it if it is in Ramadan and redeem it after the Feast. In the case of an incumbent fast it is obligatory to particularize the expression of intention, i.e. to mention expressly whether it is [the fast of] Ramadan or [a fast] in expiation of a vow, or as an atonement. As for the supererogatory fasts it is allowable to express the intention for them either by night or by day before it passes away, on condition that there does not precede it anything that would invalidate the fast. In their case it is not obligatory to particularize, and some doubt after sunset about the expression of intention for the previous day is no matter [for concern]. As for doubt during the day, it is harmful if one does not recollect that he has expressed intention, even after some days.
What are the things that break a fast?
A.: They are four things. The first of them is vomiting. The second is coition in either orifice before or behind. The third is the emission of semen, whether by masturbation or by contact with a female. This breaks it absolutely if [the contact has been such as would] invalidate one’s wudu’ ablution, and breaks it even when [the contact was of a kind that] would not have invalidated a wudu’ ablution if [the contact] was with lustful desire. The fourth is the appearance of any flux from what is called the hollow of an orifice, such as the mouth, the ear, the nose, the genitals, the anus, the breasts. A breach of the fast by any one of the above is conditional upon its being deliberate, conscious and by choice. For such a breach redemption only is obligatory, save in the case of coition where it is obligatory for the active participant to make an atonement as well as a redemption.
What is an atonement?
A.: It is the setting free of a healthy believing slave. If that is not possible let him fast for two months in succession. Should he be unable [to do that] let him give in charitable alms sixty mudd of the normal provisions of the country to sixty unfortunates or poor persons with expression of the intention to make atonement [for a broken fast].
What are the customary elements in fasting?
A.: They are three. The first of them is hastening with the breaking [of the fast] when it is evident that evening has come . The preferable thing is to have this precede the evening prayer service even though it be only by some little thing such as ripe dates or dry dates or water or a sweetmeat. The second is to have the tasahhur after half the night [has gone], with a view to helping with the fasting, and sufficing with a little food or drink. What is preferable is that it should be with what breaking the fast calls for, and that it be delayed till near the dawn, so that one is finished with it while there are still five degrees of the night remaining. The third is to restrain the tongue from what does not concern one, and to restrain the soul from its lustful desires.
What are the things disapproved of during a fast?
A.: They are five. The first is chewing, as e.g. the chewing of gum, for whatever crumbles from it and is swallowed with the spittle would cause a breaking of the fast. The second is tasting food even though none of it reaches the stomach, for it might and that would be breaking the fast. The third is frequenting the public baths, for luxury of that kind is out of harmony with fasting. The fourth is the use of the toothpick (siwak) from noon till sunset, because it removes the food particles which ought to be left. The fifth is kissing, embracing and fondling, even though it does not bring on an emission, for it might and that is one of the things forbidden during an incumbent fast.
An exposition of the regulations concerning one who delays redeeming a fast, or who dies without redeeming it
What is the regulation concerning one who has delayed redeeming a fast which he missed in Ramadan till the next [Ramadan] has come?
A.: If the delay was inexcusable then along with the redemption he must make an expiation of a mudd for each day [he did not fast], and this will accumulate as the years do.
What is the regulation concerning one who dies with a Ramadan fast unredeemed?
A.: Should he die after it had been possible for him to have redeemed it, his heir (wali) shall undertake the fast for him, or [alternatively] shall set apart every day a mudd, if he has not delayed the redemption till another Ramadan has come, but should he have [so delayed it], then two mudd are obligatory, a mudd for the delay and a mudd for the omission, i.e. if he has not undertaken a [redemptive] fast for him.
An exposition of the days on which fasting is forbidden and those on which it is customary
What are the days on which fasting is forbidden?
A.: They are the day of the ‘Id al-Fitr and the day of the ‘Id al-Adha, along with the three following days, the day when there is doubt (see p. 492) without any reason, and likewise the second half of [the month of] Sha’ban, in which fasting is forbidden unless there is some reason other than just that of uniting it to what precedes it.
What are the days on which fasting is customary?
A.: They are many. Among them are the Monday and Thursday of each week, the white days of each month, i.e. the thirteenth and following days, six days of Shawwal each year, the days of ‘Arafat and ‘Ashura’ also, though the fasting of the former covers two years but that of the latter one year.
An exposition of the greater and lesser pilgrimage
What are the greater and lesser pilgrimage?
A.: They are the visitation of special places for the performance of special rites.
What are the regulations for them?
A.: The regulations for them are that they are obligatory once in a lifetime if circumstances permit, and each has its essentials (arkan) and its obligatory rites.
What are the conditions under which they are obligatory?
A.: They are five, viz. that one be a Muslim, a free man, of adult standing, in possession of his faculties, and able.
What is [the meaning of being] able?
A.: It means having sufficient to defray the expenses of the journey [to the Holy City] over and above one’s normal obligations, one’s dwelling, provision for one’s children for the period of going and returning, for the stay in Mecca and the other places for the customary time. It also means that the way must be safe for [the journey to and fro]. In the case of a woman it is laid down that she be accompanied by her husband, or some male who can be with her lawfully, or by two or more trustworthy women. In the case of a blind man [it is conditional] on his ability to procure a guide who will keep with him, lead him and guide him, whether he is mounted or dismounted.
How are they performed?
A.: They may be performed in [any one of] three ways. The first is [the way of] ifrad, i.e. you perform the Hajj first and after finishing it you perform the ‘Umra the same year. This is the preferred way. The second is [the way of] tamattu’, i.e. you perform the ‘Umra first, and then after finishing it perform the Hajj It comes next in preference to the ifrad The third is [the way of] qiran, i.e. you perform both of them together, or [start] with an ‘Umra, and then perform the Hajj before beginning its circumambulations, going through the rites of the Hajj so that both are completed together. It is incumbent on everyone who does it by way of tamattu’ or qiran to offer blood, if he is not among those present in the sacred mosque and does not return to the stations (mawaqit) of the Hajj. The ‘Umra of him who performs by way of tamattu’ must take place during the pilgrimage month and he must perform the Hajj the same year.
What is this [offering of] blood?
A.: It is a sheep or goat appropriate for sacrifice, i.e. without defect, a year old if it is a sheep, or two years if it is a goat. What is obligatory is that it be sacrificed and its flesh distributed among the poor and the unfortunate who are on pilgrimage. If [such a sacrificial offering] is beyond the person’s means he must fast for ten days, three during the pilgrimage and seven when he returns home to his own land.
An exposition of the essentials (arkan) of the Hajj and the ‘Umra and their obligations
What are the essentials of the Hajj?
A.: They are six: (1) sacralization (ihram) during it; (2) standing at ‘Arafat; (3) circumambulating the Ka’ba; (4) running between Safa and Marwa; (5) shaving the hair from the head; (6) doing these important things in the proper order. [This latter] means that the putting on the ihram should have precedence over everything else, that the standing should precede the circumambulation and the shaving off of the hair, that the circumambulation should precede the running, if this has not been performed after the circumambulation of arrival.
What are the essentials (arkan) of the ‘Umra?
A.: They are the same as the arkan of the Hajj, save the standing [at ‘Arafat]. [To observe] proper order is incumbent in all the arkan namely that one put on the ihram, then circumambulate, then do running, then remove the hair.
What are the obligations of the Hajj?
A.: They are five: (1) to maintain the sacralization (ihram) throughout it from the station (miqat) onwards; (2) to pass the night at Muzdalifa; (3) to pass the night at Muna; (4) to cast the pebbles; (5) refraining from prohibited things (i.e. things which would invalidate the sacral character caused by the assumption of the ihram). Some add a sixth, namely the farewell circumambulation, but it is generally agreed that this is a lesser obligation demanded of everyone who wants to leave Mecca whether he be a pilgrim or not. Its omission may, be made good by [an offering of] blood similar to the blood [offering] of the tamattu’.
What are the obligations of the ‘Umra?
A.: They are two: (1) to maintain the sacralization throughout it from the station onwards; (2) refraining from forbidden things.
What is the difference between an essential and an obligation?
A.: An essential is an element on which the validity [of the performance] depends and such cannot be made good by an [offering of] blood, whereas an obligation does not have the validity dependent upon it, though he who omits one [of these obligations] is a sinner and must offer blood for his omission.
An exposition of the sacralization
What is the ihram which is the first essential element of both the Hajj and the ‘Umra?
A.: It consists in an expression of intention to enter into a state of godliness (nusk), an expression made in the heart, though it is customary for it to be pronounced aloud, the one intending to make the pilgrimage saying: “I express intention of pilgrimage and to that end have devoted myself to Allah-exalted be He.” In like manner the one who is intending to perform the ‘Umra says: “I express intention of visitation, and thereby have devoted myself to Allah-exalted be He.” He who is intending to perform by way of qiran says: “I express intention of both pilgrimage and visitation, and thereby have devoted myself to Allah-exalted be He.” Needs must this expression of intention be at its proper time, viz. from the beginning of [the month of] Shawwal to the dawn of the day of sacrifice (yaum an-nahr). Were one to express the intention at some other time it would be a compact [only] for an ‘Umra. Certain things are customary for one who intends to enter on [this state of] sacralization.
What are these things?
A.: They are that he should perform a ghusl with an expression of intention to perform ghusl for the purpose of entering [into a state of] sacralization. Then he should clothe himself in a lower wrap (izar) and an upper wrap (rida’), both of them white and new. Then he should pray two rak’as as a sunna of the sacralization at some time other than the karaha. Then he should express [his] intention, and introduce the talbiya immediately after expressing the intention, pronouncing it frequently as long as he is in the state of sacralization, especially at any change of position such as mounting or dismounting, going up or coming down, coming together or separating, welcoming night or welcoming day. The form [of the talbiya] is: “Labbaika Allahumma! labbaika! labbaika! Thou hast no partner. Labbaika! Praise and grace are Thine, as is the kingdom. Thou hast no partner.” Then when he reaches the sacred area of Mecca, if he is making a Hajj or a qiran it is customary that he should make a circumambulation of arrival, and if he is making the ‘Umra he should make the circumambulation of the ‘Umra, which is one of its essential elements.
An exposition of the standing at ‘Arafat
What is the standing (wuquf) at ‘Arafat, which is the second of the essentials of the Hajj?
A.: What is desired is the presence of the person in a state of sacralization on part of its soil, whether sitting, riding or walking, for what is desired is not actual standing in the usual sense of the word [but rather being there]. The time for it is from the passing away of the Day of ‘Arafat till daybreak of the Day of Sacrifice. It is sufficient to be present for any part of this time even if only for a moment. It is customary, however, to remain there until sunset in order to have both night and day share in the standing. [The pilgrim] is urged to occupy himself [during the standing] with ejaculations of tasbih, tahmid, tahlil, takbir, istighfar and talbiya along with recitation of the Qur’an, and calling down blessings and peace upon the Prophet, the Chosen one.
Should one miss this standing by not reaching ‘Arafat before daybreak, what should he do?
A.: It is obligatory for him to expiate by performing an ‘Umra, a redemption which must be made the following year, and an [offering of] blood similar to the blood-offering of the tamattu’.
An exposition of the circumambulation
What is the circumambulation of the Ka’ba which is the third of the essential elements of the Hajj and the second of the essentials of the ‘Umra?
A.: It consists in circling around it. In [the case of] the ‘Umra it comes after assuming a state of sacralization for it, but in the [case of the] Hajj it comes after the standing when the first half of the night of sacrifice has passed. It has its conditions and its customary elements.
What are its conditions?
A.: They are that it be performed seven times within the mosque area in which are the Ka’ba the Shadharwan and the stone of Ishmael, with the pudenda covered, as is the case for performing prayers, and the purification of the body from hadath, along with the purification of the body, the clothing and the place of circumambulation from all uncleanness. It should begin at the Black Stone, with the left side of the body opposite it, and walking in the direction of the door of the Ka’ba, keeping it at the left at every step. These conditions are not peculiar to the tawaf on this occasion, but are general for every tawaf, even if one is not in a state of godliness (nusk), as, for example, a tawaf [in fulfilment] of a vow, or a supererogatory [tawaf] other than that of arrival. There needs must be an expression of intention [in such cases], though for a tawaf in a state of godliness there is no need for any expression of intention, though one is customary, as a recognition that this is an essential element of a Hajj or an ‘Umra. One’s purpose to make a tawaf, however, must needs be expressed, for were one to make a circuit around the Ka’ba without being aware of it, that, [though actually a circumambulation], would not be a valid tawaf. So there needs must be an expression of intention, whether for an obligatory or for an approved [tawaf], when one is opposite the Black Stone at the beginning of a circumambulation.
What are its customary elements?
A.: They are many. Among them is that the walking should be done barefooted, unless there is the excuse of severe heat. Another is that there should be no talking save about things that are good. Another is to get near to the Ka’ba so long as this is not harmful and does not cause distress by crowding. Another is to touch the Black Stone with the right hand, to kiss it and to place one’s forehead on it at the beginning of each circuit. If, because of the crowding, it is not possible to kiss it and place [the forehead on it], then one may confine oneself to touching it, or if that is not possible, then to point one’s hand towards it from a distance and kiss the hand after the touching or pointing. Another is to touch the Yemenite corner with one’s right hand at each circuit, or if this is not possible to point one’s hand towards it from a distance and kiss it after the touching or the pointing. Another is uniting the circuits and dividing them up. Another is to walk quickly, to have the left shoulder covered and the right uncovered, and to interpolate remembrances and traditional supplications, so let any one who desires them seek for them in the manasik. It is customary after [the circumambulation] to pray a prayer of two rak’as with expression of intention [to fulfill] the customary elements of tawaf. It is preferable that [this prayer] be performed behind the maqam.
An exposition of the running
What is the running between as-Safa and al-Marwa, which is the fourth of the essentials of the Hajj and the third of the essentials of the ‘Umra?
A.: It consists in going back and forth between the two, either walking or riding. In the ‘Umra it takes place after the circumambulation thereof, and in the Hajj after the tawaf of arrival and before the standing at ‘Arafat. Should one not do it then he may delay it until after the essential circumambulation which is called the tawaf al-ifada. It has its conditions and its customary elements.
What are its conditions?
A.: They are: (1) that it be performed seven times. The going from asSafa to al-Marwa is counted as one, and the return therefrom to as-Safa as another; (2) that it be in the track for running recognized at the present time; (3) that it start from as-Safa on the odd numbers and from al-Marwa on the even; (4) that the whole distance between them be accomplished, either walking or riding, for if a single step be omitted the rite is invalid.
What are its customary elements?
A.: They are many. Among them is going out to it from the Gate of as-Safa immediately following the circumambulation and such things as are connected therewith. Others are the covering of the pudenda, being pure from hadath and any uncleanness, walking on foot if one is able, doing the times continuously and dividing each time. Another is for a male [but not a female pilgrim] to mount to the height of a man’s stature up both as-Safa and al-Marwa, turn towards the qibla, and there pronounce the traditional commemoration. This may be done likewise during the walking [between them]. So let anyone who wishes look for it in the manasik.
An exposition of the removal of the hair
How is the hair removed from the head in this which is the fifth essential of the Hajj and the fourth of the ‘Umra?
A.: There is no special method. It may be done by any one of the various methods of removing hair, such as shaving, cutting or plucking, but the preferred way is shaving for the male and cutting for the female. The obligation is satisfied by the removal of only three hairs, but it is customary to go over the whole head, shaving it for a male and cutting it for a female to finger-tip length with the exception of the hanging locks (dhawa’ib), which are not cut. The time for the removal [of the hair] in the case of one performing the ‘Umra is at the time of his completing the running, and it is preferable that it be at Marwa. In the case of one performing the Hajj [the time for it] is half way through the night of Sacrifice after the standing, and it is preferable that it be done at Muna early in the forenoon after the casting of the pebbles (jamrat al-‘Aqaba), and before the tawaf al-ifada.
An exposition of the stations
What is the station at which it is obligatory to assume a state of sanctification whether for the Hajj or for the ‘Umra?
A.: For people coming from Madina it is Dhu’l-Hulaifa called [nowadays] ‘Ali’s Wells. For those coming from Egypt it is al-Juhfa, better known as Rabigh. For those coming from Najd of the Hijaz, and from Yemenite Najd it is Qarn, a mountain in [the neighbourhood of] at-Ta’if. For those coming from Yemenite Tihama it is Yalamlam, the mountain better known as as-Sa’diya. For people coming from ‘Iraq and Khurasan it is Dhat ‘Irq, a ruined village on one of the roads from at-Ta’if
Are these five stations especially for the people above mentioned?
A.: No. They are for them and for anyone else who passes that way. When folk reach [these stations] it is obligatory that they put themselves in sacral state there, or when they come over against them to the right or to the left.
What does a man do who does not come by way of any of these stations that have been mentioned?
A.: If his place of residence is between the sacred precincts and one of these stations it is obligatory for him to put himself in sacral state in his residence, whether for the Hajj or for the ‘Umra. If he is in Mecca, and wants to make the Hajj, his station is Mecca itself, so he is under obligation to put himself in sacral state at any place therein [where he may be]. Anyone who is in [Mecca], or on the sacred territory, and wants to perform the ‘Umra, his station is the area outside the sacred boundaries of the city, so he must go out there from wherever he is when he wishes to put himself in sacral state. The preferable thing is that he prepare himself for the sacral state at al-Ji’rana, a place between at-Ta’if and Mecca. The place next most preferable is at-Tan’im, known as ‘A’isha’s mosques, and the next al-Hudaibiya, a place on the Jidda road.
What is the regulation about one who puts himself in a sacral state after passing beyond one of the stations?
A.: His ihram is legal though he has sinned and must make [an offering of] blood like the blood offering of the tamattu’. This is if he has passed beyond it while desiring to be in a state of godliness. If he passed beyond it without having had any such desire, but then came to desire it, he is to put himself in a sacral state at the point where the desire came upon him, and there is [in that case] no sin on his part and no need of [an offering of] blood.
An exposition of passing the night at Muzdalifa
What is this passing the night at Muzdalifa which is one of the obligatory elements of the Hajj?
A.: What is intended [by the regulation] is the arrival at any part of it after the standing at ‘Arafat, even though only for a moment, during the second half of the night of sacrifice. It is not laid down as a condition that one should stay there, so it suffices to have passed by it at this [specified] time, and it is customary for women and feeble persons to hurry on with the journey from it to Muna, but for others it is customary to remain there so as to be able to perform the morning prayers there. Then they stand at al-mash’ar al-haram, which is a small hill at its extremity, busying themselves with commemorations and supplications until the day is bright, and only then go on to Muna. When they enter [Muna] they lose no time in casting the jamrat al-‘Aqaba and then have their heads shaved or cropped, whereby they secure the first desacralization by which they are released from all the prohibitions of the state of sacralization save those connected with women, viz. contracting a marriage, coition, or the preliminaries thereto. The preferable thing is, for one who is able, to go on to Mecca after this in order to perform a circumambulation and a running [between Safa and Marwa] after it, if he did not perform the running after the tawaf of arrival. In this way he secures the second desacralization whereby he is released from the rest of the prohibitions. Then after that he may return to Muna in order to pass the night there and cast the pebbles. It is permissible, however, to omit the return to Mecca and to remain in Muna till one has fulfilled all the requirements of passing the night there and casting [the pebbles]. Then when one has finished with that and has entered Mecca he should perform the circumambulation and the running. To delay these beyond the day of sacrifice, however, is disapproved.
What is the ruling concerning the one who has omitted passing the night [at Muzdalifa]?
A.: His pilgrimage is valid, though he has sinned and must make [an offering of] blood, like the offering of the tamattu’.
An exposition of the passing of the night at Muna
What is this passing of the night at Muna, which is one of the obligatory elements of the Hajj?
A.: It consists in being there for the major part of each night of nights preceding the three days of tashriq, assuming one has not made the first return [to Mecca], but should one have made that return he drops the third night and likewise the casting of the day following. The major part of each night is interpreted as anything more than half, even if only a moment [or so more than half].
What is the first return?
A.: It is the journeying from it on the second of the days of Tashriq. Conditional for its validity are that one make the journey after the sun has begun to decline yet before sunset, that it be after the completion of [the rite of] casting, and that one express the intention of returning before departing from Muna. It is thus evident that anyone who wishes to do this will return to Muna after the casting of the jamrat al-‘Aqaba and then express his intention, for the jamra is not a part of this [rite], but is outside it.
What is the ruling concerning one who omits this passing the night at Muna?
A.: His pilgrimage is valid though he has sinned. For [his] omission of the three nights he must make [an offering of] blood, like the blood offering of the tamattu’; for omission of one night [he must distribute] a mudd, and for two nights two mudd.
An exposition of the jimar and the casting of pebbles at them
What are the jimar at which [pebbles] are to be cast?
A.: They are well known places at Muna, three in number. The first is the jamra which is just behind the mosque at al-Khaif. The second is the middle jamra, and midway between these there is a pillar that has been built up. The third is the jamrat al-‘Aqaba, which is a wall contiguous to the hill.
What is meant by casting at them?
A.: It is the throwing of stones. This is obligatory at the jamrat al-‘Aqaba only on the day of sacrifice, but at all three each day of the three days of tashriq provided one has not made the first return. Should one have done that he is released from the throwing on the third day, as you have already learned from what was said above. The [proper] time for the casting on the day of sacrifice is entered when half the night that precedes it has elapsed, after the standing at ‘Arafat. It is preferable, however, that it be done after the sun has risen a spear’s length. The [proper] time for the casting on each of the days of tashriq is entered when the sun has begun to decline. It is preferable however, to do it immediately after the sun has begun to decline, before the noon prayers. The time during which it is permissible to do the casting at all the jimar extends to the last of the days of tashriq, so that should one omit the casting on one day it may be made up during what remains of the three days, though it is not valid to make it up after that.
Are there conditions for the validity of the casting?
A.: Yes. They are: (1) that there be seven [castings] at each jamra, even though it be by a single stone which is cast and then picked up [and cast again], though that may not be desirable; (2) that [the casting] be by hand; (3) that it be at the target, which is what is in front of the jamrat al-‘Aqaba, and what is around the pillar in the case of the other two, and that it be accurate within three cubits (adhru’) ; (4) that the jimar be stoned in proper order during the days of tashriq, beginning with casting at that which is behind the mosque of al-Khaif till its [seven] are completed, then at the middle one in the same manner, and then at the jamrat al-‘Aqaba.
What is the ruling with regard to one who omits this casting?
A.: His pilgrimage is valid, but he has sinned, and must make [an offering of] blood, like the blood-offering of the tamattu’, if he has omitted it entirely, or has omitted as many as three castings. If, however, he has omitted only one [casting] then [he must distribute] a mudd, or if [he has omitted] two, then two mudd.
An exposition of things forbidden to one who is in a state of sacralization
What are the things which the assumption of the ihram makes forbidden, and which one in a sacral state must leave undone?
A.: They are: (1) the use of perfume for his body or his clothes; (2) anointing the hair of his head or his face with anything that comes under the name of unguent (duhn), such as olive-oil; (3) the removal of anything from his nails or hair from any part of his body; (4) contracting a marriage; (5) marital intercourse or indulging in any of the preliminaries thereto; (6) taking part in hunting free wild animals which are edible, whether killing or [only] injuring; (7) participating in any despoiling of trees or vegetation on the sacred territory, whether by cutting or plucking. In these prohibitions no distinction is made between male and female [for both must observe them]. In addition, however, a male is forbidden in particular to cover any portion of [his] head with anything that could be considered as a recognizable covering, even though it be unsewn. He is also forbidden to cover any [other] member of his body with anything that has been sewn, whether by thread or not. For women there is a special prohibition against covering any part of the face with anything that would touch it, even though it be [something] unsewn. She is also forbidden to cover her arms with long felt gloves though other covering is unobjectionable. An expiation is obligatory for [the violation of] any of these prohibitions, save that [which concerns contracting] a marriage, [for which no expiation is possible].
An exposition of expiation
What is this expiation?
A.: It varies according to the different things that are forbidden. In the case of [an act of) coition which spoils [the valid performance of] the Hajj or the ‘Umra, what is obligatory is [the offering of] a badana on the part of the active participant. If that is beyond his means then [let him offer] a cow, or if that is not possible then seven sheep or goats, or if that is not possible let him distribute in charity food to the value of a badana, or if that is not possible let him fast a day for every mudd [he should have distributed]. Coition which spoils a Hajj is that which takes place before the two acts of desacralization, and coition which spoils an ‘Umra is that which takes place before [the ‘Umra] has been completed. One who has [thus] spoiled his Hajj must complete it by repeating it the following year, and one who has [thus] spoiled his ‘Umra must complete it by repeating it immediately. In this obligation to complete [a spoiled Hajj or ‘Urnra] there is no distinction between the active participant in the [act of] coition and the passive, [though the expiation is demanded only of the active participant]. One who has killed [animals] by hunting is under obligation to present as sacrifice the like number [of animals] from the flocks and give [the flesh] in charity, or to reckon up their value and give food to that amount for distribution, or fast the number [of days to which] the mudd would have amounted. One who has not the like number [of animals from the flock] may choose instead between giving in charity the amount of their value or fasting [in days] the equivalent number of mudd. The obligation on one who despoils a tree belonging to the sacred territory is that if it should be a big one [he must offer] a cow, or if it were a small one, about a seventh the size, [he must offer] a sheep. The one who did the despoiling may choose whether he sacrifices the cow or the sheep and gives [its flesh] in charity, or reckons up its value and distributes food to that amount, or fasts for the number [of days] its mudd [would have amounted to]. One who perfumes his body or clothes, or anoints the hair of his head or face with an unguent, or cuts three nails or body hairs, or a woman who veils her face or wears gloves, or a man who covers his head or wears on his body anything sewn, or indulges in the preliminaries to coition, or in an [act of] coition after that coition which spoiled [the validity of his performance], or in between the two acts of desacralization, [any one of these] is under obligation [to offer] a sheep which is to be sacrificed and its flesh distributed, or instead to give in charity three sa’ to six unfortunates, each of whom must receive half a sa’ or to fast for three days. A person who may have removed only one nail or one hair is under obligation [to offer] one mudd of food, and for two hairs or two nails two mudd. It should be noted that in the case of a real loss, such as in hunting, expiation therefor is obligatory even though it were done in ignorance or forgetfulness, but in the case of a mere ministering to personal pleasure, such as perfuming or clothing, an expiation is obligatory [only when it was done] with intention and knowledge. In cases where there is a mixture of the two, as in coition, shaving and paring nails, there is a difference of opinion [among the learned theologians], the correct opinion, however, is that coition falls with perfuming, whereas shaving and nail-paring fall with hunting.
An exposition of blameworthy and praiseworthy habits
I beg of thee to bring this book to a close with the mention of those blameworthy habits which one ought to avoid, and the praiseworthy habits with which one ought to endue oneself.
A.: This, indeed, is a shoreless sea, but there is no harm in mentioning a number of both kinds to the best of one’s ability, and maybe I shall thereby attain both reward and forgiveness.
Among them are believing oneself to be perfect, and considering that one has no further need of being instructed or given advice. Another is seeking out peoples’ defects, doing them harm, making mock of them, insulting them and besmirching their honour. Another is giving aid in evil, favouring dissensions, open disobedience and persisting therein hoping to be forgiven. Others are covetousness, miserliness, the magnification of anything that one gives [in charity], wastefulness, idleness, pretending poverty when one has sufficient, abasing oneself in the presence of the rich because of their riches. [Others] are pretending great piety but being remiss in worship, immoderate laughter, injustice, proneness to suspicion, frittering away time at meaningless things. [Others are] making accusations of lying or of acting foolishly, name-calling, acting crossly before people, postponing a fixed term, going back on a promise, wrongfully assuming the appearance of the pious. [Others] are love of wicked men and taking them and unbelievers as examples, ignorance, abjuring the truth, quarrelling, unjustly passing judgment, cowardice and rancour. [Others are] profligacy, envy, cheating, love of the world, treachery, hypocrisy, self-admiration, backbiting, slandering, love of leadership, high rank, and fame, thinking oneself superior to one’s fellows, evil-thinking, rejoicing in another’s evil, gluttony, greediness, too high expectations, being obedient to women, seeking compensation for obedience where there is no need. [Others are] carelessness about remembering Allah-exalted be He, despairing of His mercy, considering oneself secure from His devices, disregard of relatives, disobedience to parents, undue indulgence in sleep, excessive indulgence in joking, shunning a fellow Muslim, sitting in evil company, and others from which we beg Allah that we may be kept by His grace and favour.
Among them are keeping silent about what is none of one’s business, lowering the eyes from things at which it is not lawful to look, abstaining from unlawful things, being satisfied with what one has, seeking forgiveness oft, reading (or reciting) the Qur’an and learning what is needful thereto, following the Prophet’s customary way of acting, modelling one’s conduct on that of pious men, being zealous in religious matters, having regard for relatives and being filially obedient to parents, doing good to one’s relatives and neighbours, ministering to the necessities of [Allah’s] creatures, acting correctly towards both enemy and friend. (Others are] humility, gentleness, compassion, bearing injuries, overlooking the slips of one’s brethren, avoiding interference in what occurred among the Companions, leaving the company of the heedless, refraining from slandering anyone’s honour, refraining from any calumny against kings but rather praying for their good estate and uprightness. [Others are] having high regard for learned scholars and people of religion, honouring the grey-headed, proper conduct towards Allah-exalted be He-and towards all that He has created, rejecting any word of slander against the honour of a fellow Muslim, honouring the elderly and being merciful towards the young, visiting those in need, providing for guests, spreading peace without rejoicing in the good that arises therefrom, abandoning the world and taking no joy in what it brings. [Others are] treating folk without bias, returning greetings smilingly, being uncovetous of what [you see] in the hands of others, refraining from sitting in the marketplaces, restraining oneself from interferring in what is due to the dead, being watchful to fulfill all cult duties at their proper time, exerting oneself earnestly in faithful counsel, taking account with oneself for one’s actions, being regretful for remissness in commission and omission, banishing ignorance by being instructed and instructing, honouring knowledge and him who seeks it, withdrawing oneself from [indulgence of] one’s personal desires. [Others are] compensating for injustices to those who suffered them, peace-making, loving what Allah loves and hating what He hates, fearing Him and showing affection to the kindred of His Apostle-upon whom be Allah’s blessing and peace, maintaining friendly relations with pious people, making humble supplication to Allah-exalted be He-and submitting oneself to Him in all circumstances. [Others are] giving assistance in works of goodness and piety, responding to supplication, aiding the oppressed, relieving those stricken by loss, fasting oft, rising at night [for prayers], being ever mindful of death and preparing oneself for it by performing good deeds and avoiding such as are forbidden, attending funerals and saying prayers thereat, visiting graves and taking warning therefrom, visitation of the sick, stroking the heads of orphans, being well-pleased with Allah’s decrees and judgments, exerting oneself to one’s utmost in what will be pleasing to Allah, keeping oneself free from what is wicked, loving one’s country and exerting oneself for its improvement, being anxious for the benefit of its inhabitants, being serviceable to the poor, sitting with them and helping them financially. [Others are] praying for Muslims that [to them] the hidden may be revealed, rejoicing in the improvement of the community and sorrowing at its corruption, giving first place to what Allah-exalted be He-has advanced and last to what He has given last place, seeking refuge with Him from the fires [of Hell], and seeking His Paradise with yearning. May Allah-exalted be He-make us inhabitants thereof, and grant us the joy therein of looking upon His noble face, by the influence of the high rank of His Prophet-upon whom be the most excellent of blessings and peace.
This is the end of what Allah-exalted be He-has, by His grace and favour, made easy of production by the hand of His poor servant Muhammad b. ‘Abdallah al-Jurdani of Damietta, the Shafi’ite May Allah, Most High, grant forgiveness to him and to his parents and to all Muslims. Peace be upon the Messengers, and praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds. This was brought to completion on Friday, that exalted day, the 28th of the noble [month of] Sha’ban in the year 1328 of the Hijra of the Master of all creatures-upon whom be Allah’s blessing and peace-as well as upon his family and his companions and their followers, until the Last Day. Amen.