Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Preferred and disliked prayer times

The Preferred Prayer Times

  • Its better (mustahabb) to postpone the Fajr Prayer until light appears in the sky, but there should be time enough left (so that it would be hypothetically possible) to pray fajr in the sunnah manner twice and perform all of the prerequisites of prayer once. This is to ensure that there is enough time to repeat the prayer if something should happen that invalidates the first one.
  • It's mustahabb (virtuous) to delay the Early Afternoon (Thuhr) Prayer in the summer to avoid the strong heat. However in the winter it is a virtue to pray it urgently.
  • It's mustahabb (virtuous) to postpone the Asr Prayer, as long as the color of the sun does not change to the extent that on can look at it without difficulty to the eyes. This is to increase the amount of optional prayers, because optional prayers are makruuh after the completion of Asr Prayer.
  • It's virtuous to pray the Maghrib Prayer urgently, and disliked to delay it.
  • It's mustahabb (virtuous) to postpone the Eishaa prayer until 1/3 of the night has passed. This is to avoid idle talk after Eishaa prayer. However, it has been said that its better to pray it early in the summer in order to maximize the number of people showing up for prayer in the mosque. There is no problem in postponing the Eishaa prayer until midnight, but beyond that is makruuh since few people will show up and most idle conversing has already ended.
  • For the one who is used to getting up at night to pray, it is virtuous to delay Witr Prayer until the end of the night. Otherwise, one should pray before sleeping.
  • On cloudy days, because it is difficult to keep track the prayer times, it is mustahabb to postpone Fajr Prayer, Thuhr Prayer and Maghrib Prayer. However, one should pray Asr Prayer and Eishaa prayer urgently, to avoid postponing Asr Prayer to the makruuh time and avoid reducing the number of people showing up for Eishaa Prayer in the Mosque. According to Abu Hanifa, all prayers are postponed on cloudy days, because no prayer is valid before its time, but all regular obligatory prayers are valid after their time.

The times in which it's disliked to pray all prayers

  • when the sun rises before it has risen the length of a spear
  • when the sun is at midpoint in the sky before Thuhr Prayer
  • when the sun becomes easy to look at before sunset until the sun has set. The only exception here is the Asr Prayer of the same day (i.e. not one that was missed)
  • The Burial Prayer and the Prostration of Reciting the Quran are valid (but disliked) if performed in these three times. All other prayers in these times would be invalid

Times in which it's disliked to pray optional prayers

  • After Fajr Prayer before the sun has risen
  • After Asr Prayer before the time when one is able to look at the sun.
  • After the leader of the prayer has come out for the Friday Prayer Speech.
  • Before the Fajr Prayer it's disliked to pray more than the sunnah (two subsets) of the Fajr Prayer
  • Note that:
    1. In these times one also does not pray the two subsets of Tawaaf, interrupted Optional Prayers or Vowed Prayers (vowed to be prayed)
    2. It is not disliked in these times to: pray missed obligatory prayers, make the Prostration of Recitation or pray the Burial Prayer.
    3. It's also disliked to start any optional prayer during the call to stand to pray (iqaamah). The exception here, as long as one does not fear missing both subsets of the group prayer, is the two subsets before Fajr Prayer.

The calls for prayer

The call for prayer ('athaan)

  • The call for prayer is a ascertained merit (sunnah) for the five obligatory prayers and the Friday Prayer only.
  • In the call for the Fajr Prayer the words "assalaatu-khayrum-min-annaum" are added twice.
  • The call for prayer is not made before the time of the prayer has entered, because its purpose is to make the entry of the prayer time known.
  • Abu Yusuf and al-Shafi3y said that it's allowed to call for prayer in the second half of the night before the Fajr Prayer.

The call to stand up to pray (iqaamah)

  • The call to stand up to pray is like the call for prayer, but its performed to announce for people to get ready to pray and stand in rows.
  • Unlike the call for prayer it is done quickly. The words "qad-qaamat-issalaah, qad-qaamat-issalaah" are added also.

How to call for prayer

  • This preferred for the caller for prayer to be a good, knowledgeable Muslim.
  • In both of the above calls, the caller should face in the same direction as one does in prayer. It's disliked not to do that.
  • One does not whisper the two professions of Islam before they are said loudly in the call for prayer.
  • When one says "hayya-3ala-ssalaah" one should turn towards the right without moving one's feet. When one says "hayya-3ala-lfalaah" one should turn towards the left without moving one's feet.
  • It is good for the one who is performing the call for prayer to put his right index finger in the right ear, and likewise on the left side.
  • It is a merit to have ablution when calling for prayer.
  • It is disliked to make the call to stand up to pray without ablution.
  • If the call to stand up to pray is made by someone in greater ritual impurity (in need of ghusl), then it needs to be repeated. However, if it is not repeated the prayer is still valid.

Calling for prayer during travel, alone and for missed prayers

  • If someone wants to pray obligatory prayers that he has missed, then he should make the call for prayer and the call to stand up to pray, even if he is alone.
  • If he wants to pray several missed prayers then one call for prayer is enough, but he should make the call to stand up to pray for each one.
  • The traveler calls for prayer and makes the call to stand up to pray when he wants to pray. It is disliked to not make any call, but enough if he just makes the call to stand to pray.

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Prerequisite of prayer: To face in the direction of the Kaabah

The one who is in Mekkah must face the Kaabah exactly.

The one outside Mekkah only needs to face in its direction, because that's all he is able to do.

The one who is afraid of facing in its direction, for example during a battle, faces wherever he is able. He is excused, like the one who does not know the direction and makes an effort to find it, then prays.

The one who does not know the direction and finds no one to ask about that, makes an effort to make up his mind about the where he thinks it is, then prays. Note that:
  • If he finds out later that he was wrong then he does not have the repeat the prayer, because the religion only orders to do what one is able to do, and all he can do is face in the direction he finds most likely.
  • If he finds out during the prayer that he was wrong, or changes his mind about where it is, then he turns towards the new direction and continues from where he was in the prayer. This is what the Prophet's (may allah raise his rank) companions did when the direction changed from Jerusalem to Mekkah while praying.

The Prayer Times

The Fajr Prayer Time

It begins at the end of the night when the horizontal line of light appears in the horizon. Not the earlier vertical light. The Fajr Prayer time hands when the disk of the sun first appears on the horizon with reference to a flat landscape.

The Thuhr Prayer Time

It begins once the sun has passed the midpoint of the sky, and the shadow has started moving towards the east. The Thuhr Prayer time ends when the length of the shadow of all things becomes equal to the length of the thing itself, after having subtracted the length of the shadow when the sun is in the midpoint of the sky. Abu Hanifa said that its time does not end until the shadow becomes equal to twice the length of the thing itself after subtracting the shadow at the sun's midpoint.

The Asr Prayer Time

It begins when Thuhr ends. The Asr Prayer time lasts until the disk of the sun disappears completely in the west with reference to a flat landscape.

The Maghrib Prayer Time

It begins when Asr ends. The Maghrib Prayer ends when the white light in the western sky disappears, after all the redness has already disappeared. According others it ends when the redness disappears.

The Eishaa’ Prayer Time

It begins when the Maghrib Prayer ends. The end of the Eisha Prayer is when the Fajr Prayer begins.

The Witr Prayer Time

Its time is like the time of Eishaa prayer, but it's not prayed until after the Eishaa prayer.

Wiping the Khuff

The khuff is a footwear one wipes instead of washing the foot in ablution. The khuff prevents the state of "lesser hadath" (lesser ritual impurity - the one removed by ablution) from reaching the feet for 24 hours (72 hours for the traveler.)

Conditions for Wiping the Khuff

The khuff must be worn after washing the feet, and one must complete the ablution before anything that breaks it happens. In addition, the khuff worn must meet all the following conditions:
  1. It is suitable for traveling, which means it meets the following 3 conditions:
    1. Water resistance: its material does not let wetness through to the skin when wiping. Most cotton socks will therefore not be suitable*.
    2. Firmness: if placed on the floor like a pair of shoes, then the khuff stands by itself unsupported. This includes the part going up the shin until above the ankle (i.e. it remains upright, like the leg of a leather boot)
    3. Suitability for walking: they should not be made from iron, wood or glass, since one cannot walk significant distances in these.
  2. It covers all of the area that is obligatory to wash in ablution for the foot (i.e. including the ankle.) Two important exceptions are:
    • It is allowed for each khuff to have a hole or holes that do not, when added together, exceed the size of the 3 smallest toes on the foot.
    • It is OK if one can see the ankles from above if the khuff goes above the level of the ankle and covers all sides. An example: wearing tall rubber boots.
*Note: the imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal said that one can wipe socks if nothing appears from the skin through them. Thin socks will not do, because the skin appears through the material, especially when being stretched while doing something like putting shoes on.

Invalidators of Wiping the Khuff in Ablution

  1. Doing something that requires a complete body wash (ghusl), i.e. causes greater ritual impurity
  2. Taking one single khuff off
  3. Having most of one single foot reach the (tall) shin of the khuff
  4. Having worn the khuff for more than 24 hours after breaking ones ablution with the khuff on if one is not a traveler. In other words, if someone took a complete ablution and put the khuff, he starts counting the 24 hours from the moment he broke this ablution. The traveler counts 72 hours (The traveler is someone has exited from the place he was settled, by a distance of about 1 kilometer without buildings, and is intending to travel over 98 kilometer from that breakpoint.). Note that:
    • If someone wore the khuff and was not a traveler and then left before the 24 hours were up, he continues to wear them for 72 hours.
    • If someone wore the khuff as a traveler and then became a non traveler after 24 hours had past, then he cannot continue wiping the khuff

Using socks over the Khuff

If someone wears a sock on top of the khuff before breaking ones complete ablution (washing the feet) then it is allowed to wipe the sock instead of the khuff. This is provided that wetness from the wiping reaches the khuff underneath.

Monday, November 29, 2004

The five kinds of water

I. Pure (Taahir), purifying (muTahhir/Tahuur) and not disliked (not makruuh)

This is the pure water of rain, rivers, lakes, wells, dew or the sea. It can be used for wuduu' (ablution) and ghusl (Complete Body Wash).

II. Pure, purifying and disliked.

This water is makruuh to use for wudu' or ghusl IF one has other water. It is like the water above (pure, purifying and liked), but it is little (see below for the definition of little water) and one of the following animals drank from it:
  • A domesticated cat (not a wildcat) because it eats najis meat.
  • An uncaged hen or rouster because it eats najaasah
  • A gecko or a domesticated snake or mouse because their meat is najis, but the water they drink from does not became najis due to domestication (they live in peoples houses.)
  • A animal whose meat is edible (not najis), such as a cow or a sheep, but it is in the habit of eating animal feces.
Important Notes:
  • If humans or edible animals drink from little water then the water is still considered pure unless one knows there is filth in their mouth, such as alcohol.
  • If the domesticated cat licks ones hand, then it is disliked to pray without washing it.
  • If the domesticated cat eats from one's food, then it is disliked to eat it unless one is poor.

III. Pure but not purifying

This water cannot be used for wudu' or ghusl but can be used to remove najis. This water is of two kinds:

First kind: used water

a. Water that has been used for sound worship* with the intention of worship, such as all the three washes in wudu', or washing ones hands before and after food.
(* Note: Repeating ones wudu' in a single seating is not sound unless one broke it. In such an unsound case the second wudu' will not make the water used, because the second wudu' was makruuh and not valid worship.)

b. Water that washed the hadath (ritual impurity) of wudu' or ghusl, even if it was without the intention of worship. An example would be someone washing dirts off his hand after breaking his wudu'.

Note that water becomes used by leaving the surface of the body in case a and b above.

Second kind: Water that has been changed substantially by a pure substance (not najis)

"Changed substantially" means that the water is no longer called "water" or it becomes viscous or loses its flow. This happens in the following cases:
  • by being absorbed by plants - water from plants is not allowed to use for wudu' or ghusl
  • water which's natural viscosity or flow was lost by cooking, such as soup
  • water which lost its name through cooking, such as tea
  • water which was mixed without cooking with a solid matter, so that it lost its viscosity and flow. NOT if it only changed color, smell and/or taste
  • water that was mixed or cooked with something meant for cleaning, such as soap, to the extent that it became like shampoo. Not otherwise
  • water that was mixed with a fluid that has two characteristics (smell, taste or color) so that one of them appeared in the water. E.g. if the taste OR color of milk appeared in the water, since it has taste and color but no (significant) smell
  • water that was mixed with a fluid that has three characteristics (smell, taste and color) so that two of them appeared in the water. An example would be vinegar that has color, taste and smell; if only one of these characteristics appeared in the water, then it can still be used for wudu' and ghusl
  • water that was mixed with a fluid that has the same smell, taste and color as water (such as used water) so that its weight was greater than the water it was mixed with.

IV. Filthy (najis) water.

This water is not used for wudu', ghusl, washing najaasah or human drinking. Water becomes najis in two ways:
  1. by direct contact with najaasah if the water is little. Water is considered little if it is either less than approx. 7 meters across or it is not flowing. Water is considered flowing if it can carry a straw away.

    It is important to note that:
    • water that is little does not become najis unless one is sure that najaasah came in direct contact with it. Sureness is not achieved unless one is informed by a trustworthy muslim or sees it by ones own eyes. One does not have to ask anyone about the state of the water one wants to use.
    • Note that if a dog, wildcat or beast of pray drink from water that is little, it becomes najis. Any contact with a pig makes water najis if it is little. The details of what is considered najis has been mentioned in detail elsewhere.
  2. by contact with najaasah so that the water changes in either color, smell or taste - even if it is flowing or in a large quantity.

V. Water which's purifyingness is doubted (not its purity).

This is the water that was little and a mule or a donkey drank from it. If one only has this type of water, then one makes ablution with soil AND water.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Pearls of Monotheism from Islamic History

Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him)

Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) said about the stars in the sky that his people were worshipping, "I don't like those who go away."(suurah 6, 76-78) He said this becasue going away is an event and an obvious sign that the star is a creation; it needs someone to specify its time, and it makes blatantly obvious its possibility of non-existence. He also said about the sun "this is bigger!". He was pointing out to his people that what is attributed with a limit (size needs a limit) is an event (something that has a beginning), because it needs someone to specify its size, like anything else with a size.

The Prophet Muhammad (may Allah raise his rank

Al-Bayhaqiyy, may Allah have mercy on him, related the hadith of the Messenger of Allah, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam: "You are adh-Dhahir (the One Whose existence is obvious by proofs). Hence there is nothing above You, and You are al-Batin (the One Who is clear of the delusions of bodily attributes). Hence there is nothing underneath You." Then he said: "Some of our companions took that hadith as a proof to Allah's transcendence of place. If there is nothing above Him and nothing underneath Him, then He is not in a place." This hadith is also related by Muslim and others. Al-Bukhariyy, al-Bayhaqiyy and Ibn al-Jarud related that the Messenger of Allah, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, said: "Allah existed and there was nothing else existing." In other words, Allah existed eternally and there was no place or any other creation. After creating place, Allah, subhanahu, did not change from what He was. From this hadith and what is similar among the texts, Ahlus-Sunnah took their saying that Allah's existence is not in time or place. He is transcendent of them. Al-Tabaraaniyy, related that someone was praising Allah in his supplication, and said, "events do not change you," among other things. The Messenger of Allah, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, gave him some gold because of the way he had praised Allah. From this we know that Muslims must believe that Allah is not something that changes or exists in time. Prophet Muhammad -may Allah raise his rank- recited his revelation, the Quran, to humankind. A subtle but powerful Quranic proof of Allah's transcendence is in the story of the Israelites who started worshipping a statue of a calf that they had made from their jewelry. Allah told us that they worshipped 'a calf, a body that makes the sound of cattle.' This description of their idol pointed out the flaws in this idol that should have made it obvious to them that it did not deserve to be worshipped, and one of these flaws is that it was 'a body', or 'jasad'in Arabic.

Umm Salamah and Rabi^ah Ibn Abi ^Abdar-Rahman

Imam al-Lalaka'iyy narrated from Umm Salamah and Rabi^ah Ibn Abi ^Abdar-Rahman a saying which means: "The attribute of istiwaa' is not unknown, because it is mentioned in the Qur'an. Al-­kayf,( that is, the how of it) is inconceivable," because its applicability to Allah is impossible. In other words, istawaa ^ala-l-^arsh does not mean 'to establish himself on the throne' or the like, because the concept of establishment is a bodily attribute and therefore has a temporal and spatial description, that is, "a how".

^Aliyy Ibn Abi Talib and His descendants

Abu Nu^aym in his book Hilyat-ul-Awliyaa’, in the biography of ^Aliyy Ibn Abi Talib, reported that Nawf Ibn ^Abdullah entered the quarters of the Emirate in Kufah (the house of ^Aliyy Ibn Abi Talib) and said: "O Amir of the Believers, there are forty Jews at the door." To this, ^Aliyy replied: "Let them in." When they entered, they said to ^Aliyy: "Describe your Lord for us, the One Who is in the sky. How is He? How was He? When was He? On what is He?" ^Aliyy sat up and said: "You Jews, hear me out and you would not have to ask anyone else. My Lord, the Exalted, is al-'Awwal (i.e., the One Whose Existence is without a beginning). He is not from anything, nor mixed with anything, nor deluded about, nor a person that would be sought, nor is he veiled, thus contained, nor did He exist after non-existence." And he said: "Allah spoke to Moses without limbs or instruments or lips nor uvulas.............. He who claims that our God is limited, is ignorant of the Creator Who is worshipped." Ar-Ramliyy and others narrated the saying of ^Aliyy Ibn Abi Talib, may Allah honor him: "Allah existed eternally without a place, and now He is as He was." Az-Zabidiyy narrated in the explanation of al-'Ihya' by a continuous chain of narration to ^Aliyy, Zayn al-^Abidin: "O Allah, the One Who is clear of non-befitting attributes, You are not contained in a place." ^Aliyy, Zayn al-^Abidin was the best of the family members of the Prophet at his time. Moreover, this statement was made by many other Muslim scholars like Abu Hanifah, Ibn Jarir at-Tabariyy, al-Maturidiyy, al-'Ash^ariyy, and others. Moreover, at-Tamimiyy related the consensus of Ahlus-Sunnah that Allah exists without a place. He mentioned it in his book, Al-Farqu Bayn al-Firaq.

Ibn ^Abbas

Al-Bayhaqiyy related that Ibn ^Abbas said: "Think of the creation of Allah and do not think of the Self of Allah.”

The Imam Abu Haniifah

In al-Fiqh-ul-'Akbar" he said: "He has been, unceasing, and He is, unceasing, with His names and attributes; both His attributes of self and those referring to His acts.... His attributes are eternal without a beginning and are not created. Whoever says that they are created or have a beginning, or is uncertain about the attributes or doubts them, is an unbeliever in God." He also said: "He is existing , but unlike other existing things; by saying "existing," we intend merely to affirm the reality of his existence without a body, substance, bodily property, limit, opposite, like or similitude."

The Imam Maalik Ibn Anas

Maalik Ibn Anas explaining the hadith where the Prophet -may allah raise his rank" ordered, "Don't prefer me over Yunus..." said, "He specifically mentioned Yunus to point out Allah's transendence (of direction or place), because He (may Allah raise his rank) was raised to the Arsh ("throne"), while Yunus was down in the sea (inside the whale), and despite of that their relationship to the Creator, as far as direction is concerned, is the same. If there was a preference as far as direction was concerned, then he (may Allah raise his rank) would have been better by that and would not have ordered against this."

When Maalik was asked "How did he istawaa" about the Aayah "Ar-rahmaan ^alaa al-^Arsh istawa" Maalik answered "the how of it is impossible" and said to the one who asked, "I think you are a deviant". This clearly shows that Maalik did not understand this Aayah literally.

The Imam Ash-Shafi^iyy

Al-Shaafi^iyy said, "Whoever seeks to know his Creator, and concludes that his Creator is something that exists which his mind can imagine, then he is a person who likens Allah to the creation. If he settles on pure non-existence, then he is an atheist. If he concludes that He exists, and admits that his mind cannot conceive Him, then he is practicing tawhid." Since no one knows the Reality of Allah except Allah, the Salaf prohibited thinking about the Self of Allah in an attempt to seek the Reality of Allah. In "ithaaf saadatu-l-muttaqiin" relates that al-Shaafi^iy said: "He existed and there was no place, then He created place and He was attributed then with eternal existence, just as He was before creating place. It is impossible that He should change or have one attribute substituted by another."

The Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal

Ahmad Ibn Hanbal used to denounce those that used to use the word 'body' about Allah and said, "Adjectives are taken from the sacred law and the language, and the linguists assigned this adjective for something that has length, width, thickness, assemblage, shape and formation; Allah transcends all these meanings, so it is not allowed to call him a "body", because the meanings do not apply to Him, and since the word has not come with the sacred law."

The Imam Al-Bukhaariy

In the section explaining the aayah, "ta^ruju al-malaa'ikatu wa-r-ruuh 'ilaihi" (70,4)which the ignorant and careless Pickthall translated as "the angels and the Spirit ascend unto Him," al-Bukhaariy says, "ta^ruj (linguistically speaking) means 'they ascend', and al-ruuh is Gabriel, and other meanings (of al-ruuh) have been said (by scholars)." Ibn Hajar al-^Asqalaaniy in his famous explanation of al-Bukhaariy related and approved the saying of some scholars that al-Bukhariy wanted in this section to reject the antropomorphists who believe that Allah is in a physical direction.

The Imam Ibn Jariir At-Tabariy

This famous mujtahid, explainer of the Quran, hadith master and historian, said in his book on world history, "He is the Creator of all beginnings...and there is nothing in the observable world except bodies (i.e. something that fills space) and what exists via bodies (i.e. things like color).... and anything that has this meaning must be created." Then he said, "It is clear from what we have said that the Creator of all things and the one who give all events their beginning existed before anything else...and that night, day, time and periods are all created... and that the createor does not resemble any of what He has created." He also said in his history "He existed before anything else... He existed and there was no time, no night, no day, no darkness, no light, no sky, no earth, no sun, no moon, no stars, and anything other than Him has a beginning, and is created. He alone created everything without a helper or a partner."

The Imam At-Tahaawiy

This Imam said in his summary of the sunni muslim beliefs: "Allah is clear of and above limits, ends, corners, limbs and instruments. Unlike all created things, He is not surrounded by the six directions".

The Imam of Hadith Ibn Hibbaan

He said, "Allah existed and there was no place or time."

Ibn Hazm of Andalus (Spain)

Ibn Hazm is a controversial figure among the scholars and was a fanatical literalist - he refuted analogical reasoning in Islamic jurisprudence lock, stock and barrel. Yet despite his literalist tendencies, he said in his al-Muhallaa, "Allah is not in place or time... place is only for bodies."

Abu Haamid Al-Ghazaaliy

This Imaam, who is the only scholar ever to receive the nickname "The Proof of Islam" said, "He is clear of and above being contained in a place or bounded by time."

The Imaam Al-Nasafiy

He said, "we have affirmed by aayas that allow no interpretation and by proofs of reasoning that it is impossible that Allah should settle in a place or be in all places."

Abu Ya^laa the Hadith Scholar and Hanbali Jurist

Abu Ya^laa was an antropomorphist at one stage in his scholarly career, but in his book "Al-Mu^tamad" he states, "It is impossible for Him to have a limit, an end, a beginning, an after, an under, a front or a behind, because these attributes have not been related in the sacred law, and because such attributes necessarily carry the meaning of location." We hope that this is what he settled upon as his belief. This hope is aided by the fact that he lived for 30 years after he was trialed for antromorphism.

Ibn ^Uqail the Hanbaliy scholar

He was the head of the Hanbaliy school (died 513 hijri), and said "Allah is clear of and above having attributes of pertaining to place".

The Hadiith Master Al-Qaadiy Ibn al-Arabiy of Andalus (not the sufi)

He said, "Allah is greater than to be limited by directions" and in another place "He is clear of being attributed with movement, because he is not bounded by space, just as He is not contained in time."

The Hadiith Master Qaadiy Ayaad of Andalus

"Allah's nearness is not of place and distance, because as we have related from Jaafar Ibn Muhammad al-Saadiq 'it is not a nearness of limits'."

The Hadiith Master and historian Ibn ^Asaakir

He related from another scholar and affirmed that "Allah is as He was before the creation of space."

The Imaam Al-Raaziy

Ayah 93 of Surat Maryam means: "All those in the heavens and earth must come to Allah as a slave." In his Tafsir (book of explaining the Qur'an), Imam ar-Raziyy said: "... and since it is affirmed by this ayah that everything that existed in the heavens and earth is a slave to Allah, and since it is obligatory that Allah is clear of being a slave, thus He is clear of being in a place or direction, or on al-^arsh or al-kursiyy."

In another place in his explanation of the Quran he said: "The earth is round, so it is impossible that Allah should be in the direction up." What al-Razi said is true, because what is "up" on one side is "down" on the other.


From this we know that the ahadith and the ayat that attribute aboveness to Allah, refer to the aboveness of status and not the aboveness of place, direction, touching or suspending. Know beyond doubt that the question 'how' does not apply to Allah, because this is a question about shapes, bodies, places, depths and dimensions; Allah is clear of all of that. Be firm that it is invalid to say about Allah’s attributes "... but we do not know how” because it falsely indicates that Allah has a color, shape, dimensions, body, place, movement, etc., except that one is ignorant of the 'how' of it.

The questions “How was he?”, “When was he?” and “Where was he?” do not apply to Allah

Removing filth and cleaning in the bathroom

Removing filth happens by:

  • Washing filth with water (even if used for ablution ) or non-oily liquids (e.g. vinegar):
    1. 3 different vessels of water for invisible filth with a wringing, OR dipping it once in running water without wringing.
    2. Filth that is visible is cleaned by removing it, even by one wash. It makes no difference if a trace of it is left (color, taste or smell) that other than water would be needed to remove, e.g. soap.
  • Wiping anything with a polished surface in which the filth is not soaked up or enters cracks e.g. mirrors/ knives.)
  • Shaving the surface of new (old wood is washed and left to dry 3 times.)
  • Rubbing filth off leather footwear on dry ground if the filth has a body or has been covered with clay.
  • Scratching and rubbing dry semen off clothes (unless it is mixed with other filthy fluids or is wet.
  • The trace of filth disappearing from the ground after drying or from plants after the filth has dried. It is allowed to pray there, but not to use this ground for ablution by soil (tayammum.)
  • The original filth changing into something else. E.g. Wine changing into vinegar, or dung into soil or ashes, or filthy olive oil into soap.
  • If the filth comes from a dog, then it is an Ascertained Merit to wash it 7 times, including one time with water and soil mixed.

Useful questions regarding removal of filth

  • Oil that was originally filthy never becomes clean. This is provided that the oil itself was not originally filthy, such as lard or the fat of a dead animal that had not been slaughtered correctly. However, if there was filthy oil on one's body that was NOT originally filthy (such as olive oil that had come in contact with something filthy,) then the trace of oil left after washing 3 times is not considered filthy.
  • Meat cooked in something filthy cannot be cleaned. However, the poultry that has been put a little in hot water in order to take its feathers out is cleaned by washing it.
  • Similarly, oil that was not originally filthy but comes in contact with filth is cleaned by pouring water on it and then separating it three times.
  • Honey that has become filthy is boiled with water and left to solidify three times (while pouring the water off each time.)
  • A cloth that has been pigmented with filth, such as blood, becomes clean when the water being used to wash it no longer changes color.
  • The woman’s breast is purified from the baby’s vomit by the saliva of the baby when drinking milk.
  • The mouth of the one who has drunk wine becomes pure through the flow of new saliva several times.
  • What has been distilled from filth is itself filthy.
  • Clothing with dry semen that has been cleaned by scratching it off, dry earth which's trace of filth has disappeared, or tanned leather that has been tanned by the sun, do not become filthy again by contact with water.
  • In addition, one should mention that urine drop splashes the size of needle heads are excused. The same is the case for the used water of the Complete Body Wash (ghusl) for the dead as long as the washing is ongoing, but not after the water has settled.
  • Likewise exempted is the filthy clay and clay-water of the streets unless one sees the filth itself in it.
  • If a filthy mattress or soil became wet from the sweat from someone sleeping on it, then the filth is not considered as transferred to that person unless its smell, taste or color is apparent on him. The same is the case if someone's foot was moist and he stepped on a filthy mattress or soil, or if a moist cloth was put on filthy dry ground.
  • If the wind blows over filthy ground before hitting some clothing, then the clothing does not become filthy unless the filth appears in it.
  • If a dry clean cloth was wrapped in a filthy wet cloth, but it was not so wet that water could be wringed out of it, then the former does not become filthy unless the filth appears in it (odor, taste, color.)
  • If someone was wearing wet clothing and had flatus, then the clothing does not become filthy.

Regarding cleaning oneself in the toilet (istinjaa’):

  • Say "A^uuthu-billaahi-min-al-khubthi-wal-khabaaa'ith" then the basmalah ("bismillaah-ir-Rahmaan-ir-Rahiim"), then enter the bathroom with the left foot.
  • It is disliked to face or turn one’s back to the direction of prayer during defecation/ urination.
  • It is a merit to clean the exit place with water or something uprooting, but if it has spread to an area of more than one dirham (Equivalent to the area in which water would remain if the hand was held open and flat with water in it) it is obligatory to wash until clean by the left hand.
  • If using stones, toilet paper or the like, there is no prescribed number of wipes. One wipes until it is clean. It is better to use both stones/paper/etc. than water.
  • It is disliked to make to wipe with something of respectable value (e.g. food or coal), manure or bones.
  • It is disliked to uncover the between the navel to below the knee without a reason, so minimize the time.
  • It is disliked to make istinjaa' with one’s right hand.
  • To wet ones hand with water before istinjaa' is an etiquette.
  • To wipe oneself dry after washing is an etiquette.
  • It is disliked to mention Allah’s name by the lips in the bathroom (but not in the heart.)
  • After exiting say "Ghufraanaka" and "Al-hamdu lillahi-llathii athhaba ^annii al-athaa wa ^aafaanii"