Shawwal / Dhu'l-Qa'dah 1423 H
Volume 16-01 No : 193
Camps \ Workshops
Beginning this issue, Dr Zakir Naik will answer queries on religion from readers.
Q1. My son is working in Japan. He attends the Tarawih prayer at a mosque, where two imams lead the Tarawih prayer on alternate days. One is an Egyptian and another one is from some Arab country. This imam is not a professional imam. He is a wealthy person in the city where my son resides. The imam has not sported the beard. Some Pakistanis do not pray behind him when he leads the Tarawih prayer, objecting that it is not right for a person to pray behind an imam, who does not sport a beard. But my son prays behind that imam and he is very much puzzled over this matter whether to pray or not to pray behind the imam who does not sport the beard. My son has sent this query over the phone seeking clarification.
Q2. In Japan, only eight rakat Tarawih is followed. Can my son pray individually the remaining 12 rakat at the mosque or at home or is it also right to perform 8 rakat only.
G.A. Basheer, Bangalore
A1. Shaving beard is Fisq and the one who does that is Fasiq. It is preferable to have an Imam having a beard. However, if such an Imam is not available, then it is allowed to offer Salah behind a beardless Imam. It is agreed upon by the Ahle- Sunnah-Wal- Jam’ah that offering Salah behind every righteous or Fasiq Muslim is allowed and his Salah is valid so that there is unity amongst the Muslims, in order to avoid any conflict. Therefore, your son is correct in offering Salah behind the Imam. Infact, those who do not offer Salah behind him should also start doing so, in order to avoid any conflict. However, as soon as an Imam with beard is available, you may start offering Salah behind him, and Allah knows the best.
A2. Regarding the Salah, offered after the Isha Salah (i.e.Tarawih), in Ramadan, the right opinion is that one can offer as many number of Rakats as one wishes because there is no fixed limit on it.
Ibn ‘Umar said, “While the Prophet was on the pulpit, a man asked him how to offer the night prayers. He replied, ‘Pray two Rakat at a time and then two and then two and so on, and if you are afraid of the dawn (the approach of the time of the Fajr prayer) pray one Rak’at and that will be the Witr for all the Rakat which you have offered.” Ibn ‘Umar said, “The last Rakat of the night prayer should be odd, for the Prophet ordered it to be so. (Sahih Bukhari, Vol.1, Hadith No. 461).
Narrated Amr ibn Anbasah as-Sulami
I asked: “Apostle of Allah, in which part of the night the supplication is more likely to be accepted? He replied: In the last part: Pray as much as you like, for the prayer is attended by the angels and it is recorded till you offer the dawn prayer. (Abu-Dawood, Vol. 1, Hadith No. 1272).
We also find that some of the Taba’een used to pray 20 and some used to pray 36 Rakats in Tarawih. (Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaiba, Vol. 2, Pages 165 &166).
However, it is preferable to offer it the way Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) did. He used to offer 11 or 13 Rakats, as mentioned in the following Hadith.
Narrated Abu Salma bin Abdur Rahman
I asked Aisha, “How is the prayer of Allah’s Apostle during the month of Ramadan.” She said, “Allah’s Apostle never exceeded eleven Rakats in Ramadan or in other months; he used to offer four Rakats do not ask me about their beauty and length, then four Rakats, do not ask me about their beauty and length, and then three Rakat.” Aisha further said, “I said, ‘O Allah’s Apostle! Do you sleep before offering the Witr prayer?’ He replied, ‘O ‘Aisha! My eyes sleep, but my heart remains awake!’ (Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 2, Hadith No. 1147). From all the above-mentioned Hadith, it is clear that there is no fixed limit for the Tarawih prayer; therefore, one should refrain from getting into any controversy in this regard. However, in mosques, where eight congregational Rakats are offered, it is advisable not to offer further 12 Rakats in congregation, thus avoiding any unwanted disputes amongst the Muslims. For those who wish to offer more Rakats can very well do so at their homes. Similarly, in mosques, where 20 congregational Rakats are offered, it is advisable not to offer 8 Rakats in different congregation so that there is no conflict among the Muslims.
Please tell us the exact reference in the Quran and Hadith where the patients with ulcer are exempted from fasting in Ramadan and the remedial/ compensatory acts suggested for the same.
Abdulrehman Bello krzysiek, email@example.com
A. It is not obligatory upon a person suffering from Ulcer to fast during the month of Ramadan if fasting is likely to cause increase in his disease, however he has to complete his fasts after recovering. Allah says in the Qur’an in Surah Baqarah, 2:185:
“But if anyone is ill or on a journey the prescribed period should be made up by days later. Allah intends every facility for you He does not want to put you to difficulties.” And Allah knows the best.
Q. I would like to know that if we read Quran and ask Allah to send sawab to all Muslims and my relatives including my parents who are no more, will the sawab only go to my parents or to all the rest too?
Abdulla Aminuddin, firstname.lastname@example.org
A. It is Bid’ah (innovation) to recite the Qur’an for Isaal-e-Sawab of those who have passed away, regardless whether the deceased is your parent or relative. There is no evidence supporting this practice in the authentic sources of Islam, in the Seerah of the Prophet (pbuh) or the life of his companions. Didn’t deaths occur during the time of the companions? Why then, we do not find any such evidence from their lives? All those things that benefit the living and the dead have already been shown by the Prophet (pbuh), as Deen has been completed. Therefore, it is inappropriate to innovate anything in the religion.
Narrated Aisha (R.A.): Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) said, “ If somebody innovates something which is not present in our religion, then that thing will be rejected.” (Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 3, Hadith No. 2697 & Sahih Muslim, Vol. 3, Hadith No. 4266).
However, it is allowed to pray for the deceased and give charity for him, as there is no difference of opinion in this regard.
The Writer is President,
Islamic Research Foundation,
Mumbai & can be reached at