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Ramadan Sunnah 9: Pray with the Imam Until He Concludes the Prayer

July 4, 2014

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

The Prophet (pbuh) said:

‘Whoever stands in prayer with Imam until he (the Imam) concludes the prayer, it will be recorded for him that he prayed the whole night…” [Abu Dawud]

Sometimes during Ramadan it is tempting to pray a few unite of prayer with the Imam and then leave, or pray all of taraweeh but leave out the witr prayer so you can pray it at home alone. But in this narration, the Prophet (pbuh) tells us to pray with the imam until the end and that is better. We can still make our own du’a when we go home inshAllah.


Sunnah 162: Pray ‘Isha and Fajr in Congregation

June 29, 2014

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم


The Prophet (pbuh) said: “Whoever prays ‘Isha’ in congregation, it is as if he spent half the night in prayer, and whoever prays ‘Isha’ and Fajr in congregation, it is as if he spent the (whole) night in prayer.” [Tirmidhi, Abu Dawud]


Many of us find Qiyaam (the night prayer) difficult. But if we can make an effort to pray isha and fajr in congregation, then it as though we prayed the entire night! Try to make this a habit especially this Ramadan.

Sunnah 26: Salaam to everyone!

June 24, 2014

A Sunnah A Day

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

The Prophet (pbuh) said:

“…give the greeting of salaam to those whom you know and those whom you do not know” [Bukhari]

Part of a longer hadith:

The Prophet (pbuh) was asked: “What is the best thing in Islam?” He said, “Feeding others and giving the greeting of salaam to those whom you know and those whom you do not know.”

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Sunnah 161: The du’a of laylat al-qadr

August 6, 2012

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Aisha (ra) asked the Prophet (pbuh): “O Messenger of Allah, if I know what night is the night of Qadr, what should I say during it?” He said: ‘Say:

اللهم إنك عفو تحب العفو فاعف عني

Allahumma innaka ‘afuwwun, tuhib al-‘afwa fa’fu ‘anny

O Allah, You the One who pardons, and You love to pardon, so pardon me.’ [Bukhari]

Laylat al-Qadr (the Night of Qadr) is anticipated as being in one of the last 10 nights of Ramadan. It is most likely in the odd nights, and this is according to the saying of the Prophet (pbuh) [found in Bukhari].

This du’a is beautiful and different because we do not simply ask Allah for ‘magfira’ (forgiveness). Maghfira is a covering up of the sin, so Allah covers up your sin and forgives you, inshAllah. This could mean that on the Day of Judgment, you have a mountain of sins, but Allah says to you “I have forgiven you”.

But ‘afw (pardoning) linguistically refers to the erasure of something, such that even the traces of its existence are removed. So what does this mean for us? This night is so great that we ask for ‘afw- our slate is wiped clean. It is as if we never committed the sin, not even the Angels remember it, and you do not see the sin on the Day of Judgment. Allah will not ask you about it. So let’s start on a new page by pleading for ‘afw!

Ramadan Sunnah 8: Watch what you say

August 4, 2012

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

The Prophet (pbuh) said: “Whoever does not abandon falsehood in word and action, then Allah Mighty and Majestic has no need [i.e. will not accept] that he should leave his food and drink” [Bukhari]

Let us remember that fasting during Ramadan is not simply a fasting of the stomach, but it must be combined with the ethics of fasting. Fasting was prescribed for us so that we would learn- it does not give us an excuse to be cranky. Rather be the best person you can be while abstaining from food and drink.

Sunnah 160: Qunoot an-Nawazil

May 27, 2012

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم


When great calamity struck, such as the betrayal and massacre of the Prophet’s (pbuh) companions, the Prophet (pbuh) would perform the Qunoot, making du’a to Allah because of the calamity. This is called Qunoot an-nawazil. After that massacre, the Prophet (pbuh) did qunoot an-nawazil for one month [Muslim].

Qunoot, according to the definition of the fuqaha’, “is the name of a du’a (supplication) offered during prayer at a specific point while standing.”

Qunoot an-nawazil is specific to when a calamity strikes. Some scholars state that the qunoot can be done in any of the obligatory prayers, others say they are restricted to maghrib and fajr, while the hanafis hold that it can only be prayed during the fajr prayer. It is established the the most common time the Prophet (pbuh) prayed it was during fajr, but there are reports that he did qunoot at other times too.


How to perform qunoot


Qunoot an-nawazil is similar to the qunoot of witr. It is performed after standing up from rukoo’ and saying “sami’a Allahu liman hamidah”. After that, a person makes du’a for Allah to remove the calamity, to help those who are oppressed and to defeat the oppressors. The du’a should be specific to the situation. For example, the Prophet (pbuh) prayed specifically against those who had massacred the 70 Companions (Abu Dawud). He also prayed for the salvation of the weak and oppressed in Makkah, saying: “O Allah, O Allah, save al-Waleed ibn al-Waleed, Salamah ibn Hishaam, ‘Ayyaash ibn Abi Rabee’ah and the weak and oppressed believers.” [Muslim]


The Ummah is in dire need of our prayers. Try to get together with friends and family at fajr at least and ask the Imam to perform the qunoot for the oppressed, particularly in Syria.

Sunnah 159: Toilet Etiquette

July 27, 2011

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

The Prophet (pbuh) said: “Allah detests it when two people relieve themselves uncovered and have a conversation.” [Abu Dawud]

Today’s sunnah is taken from by Imam Mustafa Umar:


It has become a common practice in many parts of the world for men to stand and urinate. The presence of urinals in almost every male bathroom has not only taught, but also encouraged people to stand up while relieving themselves. What does Islam say about this behavior?

First of all, we must remember that our ability to digest food and drink is a great blessing from Allah. We would not be able to survive without a digestive system. However, with every blessing comes a responsibility. Since human waste is classified as impure, Islam teaches us a few rules about how to relieve ourselves with dignity.

So what’s the problem?

There are many Islamic guidelines about how to use the restroom. We will only focus on those that pertain to standing and urinating. This common practice has led to the following unethical practices:

1. Shamelessness. One bad habit that has resulted from using of public urinals is the loss of personal modesty in the restroom. It is very common to see two men using the bathroom while having a conversation at the same time. Had they peeked over just a little they would have be able to see one another’s private parts. This is abhorrent. The Prophet ﷺ (Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said,

“Allah detests it when two people relieve themselves uncovered and have a conversation.”1

The Prophet ﷺ would take so much care to seclude himself that Al-Mughīrah ibn Shu’bah said, “I was travelling with the Prophet. When he needed to relieve himself, he went far away from me.”2

2. Increase in impurity. How many urinals have you ever seen that provide wuū’ facilities, water fixtures or even toilet paper? Probably none. This results in people leaving the restroom without an appropriate level of cleanliness or washing their hands.  The Prophet ﷺ said,

“When you go to the restroom, take three stones with you to clean yourself. That will suffice.” 3

Salman al-Fārisī, the Companion from Persia, was told, “Your Prophet has taught you everything, even how to use the bathroom.” He responded, “That is right. He ﷺ told us not to…use our right hand when cleaning and to not use less than three stones to clean ourselves after we finish.”4

‘Ā’ishah (ra), the Prophet’s ﷺ wife, said to a group of women, “Tell your husbands to clean themselves with water because I am embarrassed to tell them. This is what the Prophet ﷺ used to do regularly.”5 Cleaning yourself, with either a solid substance or with water, is so important in Islam that once when the Prophet ﷺ passed by a man’s grave he told Ibn ‘Abbās (ra) that the deceased man is being tortured, but not for a major sin: “He didn’t used to clean himself after urinating.”6

3. Disrespect for others. One of the common habits we find in people who regularly use urinals is that they also stand up while using a lavatory. This can result in an unsanitary seat covered with urine and germs. Very few people care to clean the seat, let alone the toilet area after leaving, so, the next person entering has to deal with that disgusting mess. In this regard, the Prophet ﷺ said,

“Beware of the cursed ones.” Some people asked, “Who are the cursed ones?” He replied, “People who relieve themselves in public pathways or in shaded areas.”7

Public pathways and shaded areas are two areas where people would be offended from excrement and filth because they use them so often. The same curse would apply to those who leave filth behind for the next person. The curse, in this context, has two meanings: people are cursed by the one who has to deal with the dirt they left behind and they are cursed by Allah for their careless and disgusting habits.

Are there any exceptions?

The Prophet ﷺ always sat down to relieve himself. This is proven by ‘Ā’ishah (ra), who was constantly in his presence. She said, “Don’t believe anyone that tells you the Prophet ﷺ used to stand while urinating. He always used to sit down.”8 The only person who ever contradicted her statement was Hudhayfah when he said, “The Prophet ﷺ [while traveling] approached a garbage dump and stood while urinating. Then, he called me to bring some water for him, so I did, and he performed wuū’.”9 This is clearly an exception to the rule because the Prophet ﷺ was in a very dirty place. Hudhayfa’s description of the place being a garbage dump reveals to us the context and makes it clear that ‘Ā’isha’s (ra) challenge was referring to people who claimed the Prophet ﷺ did it often as a habit. Her challenge still stands today. When someone tries to misquote the statement of Hudhayfah in order to prove that the Prophet ﷺ used to stand and urinate just as people do today, we should correct it.

What should a Muslim do?

Muslims should try to combat this immorality in their own community by encouraging good standards of hygiene. We live in societies which claim to be clean and advanced, yet their toilets – the most basic of sanitary developments – are among the filthiest in the world. Visit any gas station, high school, theme park, etc. and experience what happens to the restrooms when there is no full time janitor to clean up afterwards.

People of the world still have much to learn from Islam’s frank information on cleanliness. Purity has an environmental impact and is strongly connected to worship; without a clean body, a Muslim cannot pray. It is such an important principle in Islam that the Prophet ﷺ said,

“Cleanliness is half of faith.” 10

The messenger of Allah ﷺ has taught us certain rules to observe which benefit both society and ourselves. It is up to us to be aware of this guidance, learn it and apply it.

  1. Abū Dāwūd 15, Ahmad 10884.
  2. Tirmidhī 20.
  3. Abū Dāwūd 36.
  4. Tirmidhī 16.
  5. Tirmidhī 19.
  6. Bukhārī 211.
  7. Muslim 269.
  8. Nasā’ī 29, Ibn Mājah 303, Aḥmad 23894.
  9. Bukhārī 217.
  10. Muslim 328.