Monthly Archives: September 2009

Desirable Acts For Eid al-Fitr From The ‘Fatawa al-Hindiyyah’

eid in india


I found the following extract of benefit in the classic fiqh compendium compiled by the committee of scholars under the orders of the Moghul Emperor Aurangzeb.  Some brief notes have been appended at the end of the extract, and clarifications have been made by myself in the form of brackets in the main text.  We ask Allah (Most High) to give us the tawfiq to be able to practice as many of these desirable acts as possible this coming Eid.

The authors of the ‘Fatawa al-Hindiyyah’ (1/165) in “Chapter 17 – Regarding The Two Eid Prayers” outline some of the desirable acts for the day of Eid as the following:

“It is desirable (mustahab) on the day of Fitr for a person to bathe, use a toothstick and wear their best clothing as mentioned in ‘al-Quniyah’, whether they are new or (K:old clothes which) have been washed as mentioned in ‘Muhit al-Sarakhsi’.

It is desirable to wear a ring and apply perfume, tabkir – which is to wake early, ibtikar -which is to hasten to the prayer area (مصلى), to give charity (sadaqat ul-fitr) before the prayer, to offer the morning prayer in the masjid of ones area, going out to the prayer place (مصلى) walking and to return via another route as mentioned in ‘al-Quniyah’.

There is no harm in riding to the Friday (Jumah) prayer and the two Eid prayers, however walking is superior in relation to the one who is able to do so as mentioned in ‘al-Zahiriyah’.

It is desirable in the Eid al-Fitr to eat before going out to the prayer place (مصلى) three, five or seven dates more or less as long as they are an odd number, and if they are not available then that any sweet thing that he wishes as mentioned in ‘al-Ayni Sharh al-Kanz’.

If he does not eat before the prayer he is not sinful and if he does not eat after it all the way to Isha, then perhaps he will be sinful[1] for this.  Al-Adha is like al-Fitr in these matters except that he refrains from eating until he offers the Eid prayer as mentioned in ‘al-Quniyah’.

And in ‘al-Kubra’ it is mentioned that: Is eating before the prayer on the day of Adha disliked (makruh)?  There are two narrations regarding it.  The chosen one is that it is not disliked however it is desirable that he does not do so…

Going out to the Eidgah for the Eid prayer is recommended (sunnah) even if the Jami Masjid can accomodate them all, upon this are the generality of the scholars.  This is the correct view as mentioned in ‘al-Mudmirat’

A person should go out walking to the prayer area with tranquillity and reverence, lowering their gaze from all that should not be seen as mentioned in ‘al-Mudmirat’.

To recite the Takbir loudly on route in the al-Adha and to halt it when he reaches the prayer place, and this is the view which has been adopted.Iin al-Fitr the chosen view of the madhab is that he does not recite loudly and this is the adopted opinion as mentioned in ‘al-Ghiyathiyyah’, as for reciting silently then it is desirable as mentioned in ‘al-Jawharah alNayyirah’.

Issue 7: Optional (nafl) before the Eid prayer is absolutely disliked whether it be in the Eidgah or at home, whether the Eid prayer is compulsory on them or not, to the point that if a woman wishes to offer the Chasht prayer at home  she should pray after the Eid prayer has been offered.  To offer optional prayers after the Eid prayer is disliked in the Eidgah, however, he may offer them at home rather it is desirable that he offers four rakahs.  These rulings are related to the elite (khawas) if the common people (awam) offer nafl before the Eid prayer even in the Eidgah they will not be forbidden. (Dur al-Mukhtar, Rad al-Muhtar 1/777,779)

Addendum: [Regarding the rulings related to optional (nafl) prayers on the day of Eid]

Mawlana Amjid Ali al-Azami details the following in his Hanafi Fiqh compendium ‘Bahar al-Shariah’ volume 4:

Issue 7: Optional (nafl) before the Eid prayer is absolutely disliked whether it be in theEidgah or at home, whether the Eid prayer is compulsory on them or not, to the pointthat if a woman wishes to offer the Chasht prayer at home she should pray after the Eidprayer has been offered. To offer optional prayers after the Eid prayer is disliked in theEidgah, however, he may offer them at home rather it is desirable that he offers fourrakahs. These rulings are related to the elite (khawas) if the common people (awam)offer nafl before the Eid prayer even in the Eidgah they will not be forbidden. (Dur al-Mukhtar, Rad al-Muhtar 1/777,779)

[1] Al-Azami in his ‘Bahar al-Shariah’ uses the term عتاب meaning the person would be reproached or deserving of blame, whilst the edition of the ‘Fatawa al-Hindiyyah’ referred to uses the term عقاب which has been translated above.  As is evident both words have a similar spelling in Arabic which is open to the possibility of being misread by scribes or typists and thus leading to a difference of meaning, and Allah (Most High) knows best.

Advice For Laylat al-Qadr [Pearls from Tafsir al-Mazhari (3)]

27 night


Qadi Thanaullah al-Uthmani in his magnificent ‘Tafsir al-Mazhari’ at the end of his commentary on the Surah al-Qadr (Ch.97) mentions some beneficial points regarding this night, may we have tawfiq in implementing this in our lives.  He said (10/316):

Benefit: It is said that on Laylat al-Qadr all things are seen to be prostrating, and  dazzling lights (anwar) are seen in all places.  The greetings (salam) and conversation of the Angels is heard.  I say:  this matter may become apparent by means of the unveiling vision (nazar al-kashf) for some of the greats, but not all of them. Nor is the manifesting of any of these during it a condition for the attainment of reward.  For if the manifestation of these things was a universal or predominant occurrence it cannot be imagined that it (Laylat al-Qadr) would have been hidden or unknown to the Muslim community (ummah), not least the Companions, their students, those that follow them and the great Awliyah.  However the worship of Allah (Most High) is a condition for the attainment of reward on the Laylat al-Qadr as indicated to by His words (Upon him be peace) “Whoever spends the night of Laylat al-Qadr (in worship) with faith…” and His (Upon him be peace) words “They send blessings upon every servant standing or sitting remembering Allah”

Issue: Whoever offers the Isha and Fajr prayers during this night in congregation has attained the reward of that night, and whoever increases upon this will be given more by Allah.  It is reported from Uthman (Allah be pleased with him) that he said:  The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said:  “Whoever prays Isha in congregation is as if he spent half of the night in worship, and whoever prays the morning prayer in congregation is as if he prayed all of the night”, reported by Muslim.  Meaning whoever prays the morning prayer in congregation after his praying Isha is as if prayed all of the night, for each of the prayers is equivalent to half of the night, for they are both the obligatory prayers of the night.  As for Maghrib it is the Witr of the day.  It is desirable to make plentiful (recitation) in Laylat al-Qadr of:

اللَّهُمَّ إِنَّكَ عَفُوٌّ كَرِيمٌ تُحِبُّ الْعَفْوَ فَاعْفُ عَنِّي

Due to the hadith of Aishah that she said:  O Messenger of Allah! What if I knew which night Laylat al-Qadr was, then what should I say in it?” He said.- “Say.- (Allahumma innaka Affuwun…” reported by Ahmad, Ibn Majah and al-Tirmidhi- And Allah (Most High) knows best.

Addendum: The full version of a hadith mentioned briefly by the author is:  “Whoever spends the night of Laylat Al-Qadr (in worship) with faith and seeks divine reward, then his previous sins are forgiven.” (Al-Bukhari.)

Making Mistakes And Forgetting [Pearls From Tafsir al-Mazhari (1)]


Whilst browsing through the wonderful ‘Tafsir al-Mazhari’ of Qadi Thanaullah al-Uthmani (1/444-445) I came across the following discussion which happens to relate to the legal consequences of making a mistake or forgetting in an act of worship. It also links in with the previous post related to fasting, and hopefully will help in clarifying the position of the Hanafi scholars on this issue. Qadi Thanaullah said (note: Quranic verses are in bold, the remaining text is taken from the Tafsir):

Allah does not obligate anyone beyond his capacity. For him is what he has earned, and on him what he has incurred. “Our Lord, do not hold us accountable,- meaning do not punish us

If we forget meaning we left a thing which was compulsory upon us due to forgetfulness which is the opposite of remembrance (dhikr)

Or make a mistake, – in performing the correct action due to lack of attention. This verse indicates that being taken to account for a mistake and forgetfulness is not rationally impossible, for sins are like poison, just as consuming poison leads to destruction even if by mistake, likewise the committing of sins leads to punishment if not forgiven by Allah even if not done deliberately or results in the constriction of the chest and hardness of the heart.

Hadrat Shaykh al-Shahid [K:Mirza Mazhar Jan-e-Janan] (Allah be pleased with him) relates from his Shaykh, Sayyid al-Sanad: Nur Muhammad al-Budanawi (Allah be pleased with him) that if he was gifted with food or any other thing he would focus towards it with the look of insight (basirah) if he did not see darkness in it he would eat it or use it or give it to someone else. And perhaps he would bury some food that was gifted to him such that someone without insight would say to him: “O Shaykh What are you doing, why do you not feed others with it?”

So he would say: “Glory be to God (Subhan Allah) is it permitted for a Muslim who sees poisoned food and does not eat it to give it to someone else to eat?”

These men are those addressed by his (Allah bless him and give him peace) words: “Seek judgment from your heart even if your are given fatwas by muftis.” However it is established from the sunnah, and consensus has formed that Allah (Glorified is He) due to his Generosity and Mercy has pardoned this community (ummah) for its mistakes and forgetfulness… The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said: “Raised from my community are their mistakes, forgetfulness and that which they are forced to do” which is reported by al-Tabarani from the hadith of ibn Umar…and the meaning of his (Allah bless him and give him peace) words “Raised from my community are their mistakes, forgetfulness…the hadith” is that it’s sin is raised and Allah the (Most High) does not take account for it in the next world. But there is no impact of this raising in this world, for making a mistake, forgetfulness, and being compelled is present and tangible and not raised in this world, the abode of action.

For if any of these occur it is necessary for the responsible person to follow it up (tadarak) as much as possible. It was due to this that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said: “Whosoever slept through his prayer or forgot it then let him perform it when he remembers it.” Therefore the making up of the prayer, fasting and their like is not cancelled due to reasons such as making a mistake or forgetfulness by consensus (ijma). Likewise the two prostrations of forgetfulness in the prayer by consensus and the mistakenly killing of someone necessitates expiation (kaffarah) and being deprived of inheritance by consensus.

Note: The above is a rough draft and a work in progress. A number of other selections from this Tafsir are under preparation (Insha-Allah)

The Fasting Person Who Eats After Fajr or Before Maghrib – Sh. Abd al-Hayy al-Luknawi


In light of the recent publishing of Shaykh al-Qaradawi’s legal verdict related to fasting (which contravenes the ruling of the four Sunni schools of law) by our respected brother Shaykh Suhaib Webb, it was thought that the following brief extract would be of benefit. It was chosen primarily for its succinctly outlining the position of the Sunni schools without delving too deeply into the subject matter.  The article is taken from Shaykh Abd al-Hayy al-Luknawi’s commentary on the Muwatta of Imam Muhammad named ‘Taliq al-Mumajjad’. (Thanks to Turath publishing for allowing the use of their translation of the hadith).

Presented below is the narration from the Muwatta followed by Shaykh al-Luknawi’s comments.

باب الرجل يفطر قبل المساء  ويظن أنه قد أمسى

A Man who Breaks the Fast before Evening, Thinking that Evening has Come

أخبرنا مالك أخبرنا زيد بن أسلم : أن عمر بن الخطاب رضي الله عنه أفطر في يوم رمضان في يوم غيم  ورأى  أنه قد أمسى أو  غابت الشمس فجاءه رجل فقال : يا أمير المؤمنين قد طلعت الشمس قال : الخطب يسير وقد اجتهدنا

قال محمد : من أفطر وهو يرى أن الشمس قد غابت ثم علم أنها لم تغب لم يأكل بقية يومه ولم يشرب وعليه قضاؤه  وهو قول أبي حنيفة – رحمه الله

365. Malik informed us: “Zayd ibn Aslam informed us that Umar ibn al-Khattab  broke the fast on a day of Ramadan, an overcast day, thinking evening had come, the sun having disappeared. A man came to him and said, ‘Amir al-Muminin, the sun has appeared. He said, ‘It is simple; we had tried our best.’”

Muhammad said: “Whoever breaks the fast thinking that the sun has set, and then learns that it has not set, should not eat for the rest of that day, nor drink, and he must make up that day. That is the verdict of Abu Hanıfah, may Allah have mercy on him.”

Shaykh Abd al-Hayy al-Luknawi commenting on this said:

And this is the view of the other Imams and the majority (jamhur) due its being clearly stated in the story of the breaking of the fast (iftar) of Umar. Ibn Abi Shaibah narrates from Hanzalah that he said:

“I saw Umar in Ramadan and a drink was placed near him. Some of the people drank thinking that the sun had set. When the Muadhin climbed up he said: O Commander of the believers, by Allah the sun is still present and has not set. Umar said: Whoever broke their fast then let them fast a day in its place, and he who did not break their fast then let them complete their fast until the sun set…”

It is supported by that which is in Sahih al-Bukhari from Muammar from Hisham bin Urwah from his father from Asma that she said:

“We broke our fast during the time of the Messenger of Allah on an overcast day, the sun then appeared. It was said to Hisham: Were they ordered to make it up? He replied: It had to be made up for.”

A group were of the view that it was not necessary to make up in a scenario such as this basing it on that which is related in some of the versions of the story of Umars breaking the fast that he said: “We do not make up”.

However Ibn Abd al-Barr and others said: This is a weak transmission and that which is correct is the transmission of the trustworthy narrators.