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MARCH 2001

MONTHLY    *    Vol 15-03 No:171    *   MARCH 2001 / ZIL-HIJJA 1421H
  email: editor@islamicvoice.com

OUR DIALOGUE


Qaza is the Best Alternative
Hazrat Ayesha was 17 at Nikah, Not 7
Valid Reasons Must for not Marrying
Fast During Pregnancy
Disobedience to Allah

Qaza is the Best Alternative

Q. 1. Is it necessary to perform sunnah namaz? Will it be a sin if we leave them? 2. Should we do the qaza of sunnah namaz also? 3. Is qasr also applicable to sunnah namaz, or can we leave sunnah altogether and make just the farz namaz half?

(Habib Khan ; habib30in@yahoo.co.in)

A. 1. Following are a few Hadiths regarding Sunnah of the Prophet, peace be upon him: “I am leaving amongst you two things. You will not go astray as long as you hold them tight. They are The Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Prophet,” (Muatta Malik)

“Whoever held dear my Sunnah he held me dear and whosoever held me dear he will be in my company in paradise.” (Tirmizi)

“Whoever held tight my Sunnah at the time of sedition in my Ummah, he will get reward equivalent to a hundred Shaheeds.” (Baihaqi quoted in Mishkaat)

The word Sunnah in the above Hadiths is general and is applicable to sunnah Salat also.

There is no Hadith explicitly stating that leaving the sunnah salat is a sin but most Fiqh scholars decree that it is a sin not to execute Sunnah at its time without a valid (Sharai) excuse. However the sin of leaving a sunnah salat, according to them, is lesser than that of leaving Farz. Some scholars are of the opinion that though one should not leave sunan-e-rawakib (sunnah salats that the Prophet always performed except in special circumstances), it is not a sin if one leaves it occasionally. The author of famous Mazahir-e-Haq (translation and commentary of Mishkaat) has written: “Know also that all these words sunnah, nafil, tatawwa’, mandoob, mustahab and hasan, are synonyms and their meaning is same. They are those salats whose execution has been preferred by the framer of the Shariah (i.e. the Prophet) over their non-performance though among these salats there are some which are more emphasized sunnahs (sunnat-e-muakkidah) compared to others.” (Mazahir-e-Haq, Bab-us-Sunan)

It must be understood that namaz must be discharged as a farz within the recommended time. Nowhere in the Hadith, qaza has been mentioned. But what better way could there be other than doing its qaza when it is left out

2. According to most scholars, there is no qaza of sunnah salat. However there is difference of opinion regarding the sunnah of Faj’r. There is a Hadith stating that qaza of sunnah of Faj’r should be performed.

“Narrated Abu Hurairah that the Prophet (Pbuh) said: whoever did not discharge the sunnah of Faj’r he should perform them after the sun-rise.” (Tirmizi)

The above Hadith is the basis of Maliki and Hambali Fiqh schools. Ahle Hadiths and Shafa’is opine that qaza of sunnah of Faj’r should be performed after the Farz (before sun-rise) as a companion Qais bin Umar did it in the presence of the Prophet (Pbuh) and he did not forbid him from doing so. According to Hanafis, there is no qaza of sunnah of Faj’r, neither before sunrise nor after it.

As there is a Hadith in clear-cut words, I think qaza of Fajr sunnah is advisable.

You have asked, “Should we accomplish the qaza of sunnah also”? ‘Also’, in your question indicates that you are certain about the qaza of farzh salat. A brief discussion on qaza of farz here will not be out of order.

Apart from the sunnah of Faj’r and Vit’r there is no mention of qaza salat in Hadith. Not even qaza of Farz is mentioned (if farz is left without any valid Shara’i reason). Because qaza of Faj’r sunnah and Vit’r is required, all the four main Fiqh schools unanimously deduce that the qaza of farz salat is obligatory but Ibne Hazm and some other scholars contend that there is no qaza of any farz salat that is left wilfully without any valid Shara’i excuse. The Prophet (Pbuh) said:

“There is no laxity in sleep. The negligence is in the state of wakefulness, so when any of you remain asleep (without intending to) at the time of a salat or he forgets (to offer a salat), then he must perform it when he remembers it.”(Tirmizi)

There is no mention of qaza of a salat in Quran whereas for missed fasts Quran directs faithfuls to keep qaza later. Women are required to complete their missed fasts of Ramadan later while they do not have to offer salat they miss during their periods. Even for Hajis who are unable to reach Mecca after sporting Ahram, Quran has recommended an alternative but there is no mention of alternative for missed Salat. The Quran declares: “...Salat at the appointed hours has been enjoined on the believers.” (4:103)

When in journey, fasting can be abandoned but not salat. It is halved.

“When ye travel through the earth there is no blame on you if you shorten your prayers for fear that the unbelievers may attack you...” (4:101)

In the event of fear of any kind it has been advised that direction of Qiblah and the proper postures of standing, bending, prostrating, sitting and gazing at the place of prostration may be accommodated according to situation of walking or riding (or driving) a vehicle but salat is not to be wilfully postponed beyond its appointed hour.

“If you (have reason for) fear, pray (while walking) on foot or riding (as may be most convenient) but when you are (again) in security, offer remembrance of Allah in the manner He has taught you which you knew not (before).” (2:239)

Were qaza provided it would have been permitted to abandon salat at the battleground to be offered later. In battlefields, it is recommended that a group offer one Rakat while the others keep guard. Then after one rakat, the groups interchange and the other group offers the other rakat.

These are very sound arguments indeed in favour of leaving a fazh salat wilfully being a sin, whether its qaza is provided or not. What should one do when one has sinned and left a salat without being left asleep or forgotten? “He should ask forgiveness through various acts of virtue”, say Ibne Hazm and Zahiriya and some others.

But since the Prophet (Pbuh) directed to perform salat left in a state of sleep and forgetfulness and since he recommended the qaza of Fajr sunnah and Vit’r, what better way is of asking forgiveness other than offering salat for the purpose? The Prophet (Pbuh) informed: “...in case of lack of farz salats in the account of His bondsman, Allah will ask the angels to check if there is any extra (other than Farz) salat in his account. If found, then Allah will say: Complete the (quota of) farz salat of my bondsman with the extra (sunnah nafils etc) salat he offered...” (Abu Dawood, Ahmad)

This Hadith highlights the necessity and importance of sunnah (and nafil) salats. Whether leaving a sunnah is a sin or not, this Hadith lays the importance of offering a qaza salat for a left out farz salat.

3. There are two views on this matter. One is that only farz salat is to be offered by a traveller even if he is staying somewhere during his travel. Some Hanafi scholars say that while during a journey, a traveller will offer only farz but when he is staying somewhere and has time it is better to offer sunnah as well.

“Narrated Hafs Ibne Asim that he accompanied Abdullah Ibne Umar in a journey to Makkah. He led him (and others with them) in two rakats of Zuhar. When he came back to the tent he saw people offering salat and asked what they were doing. Hafs answered they were offering nafils. Ibne Umar said: If I had to offer nafil also I would have preferred to offer my farz (of four rakats). I have accompanied the Prophet (Pbuh) and he did not offer more than two rakats (of Zohar, Asr and Isha). Abu Bakr, Umar and Usman also practised likewise”. (Bukhari, Muslim)

“Narrated Nafe’ that Ibne Umar saw his son Ubaidullah offering nafil in journey and did not stop him from it”. (Malik) 

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Hazrat Ayesha was 17 at Nikah, Not 7

Q. I am a devout Muslim but I get deeply disturbed at the thought of 53 year old prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) marrying Hazrat Ayesha who was just nine years old. We are unable to explain this in the present society. Surely the reason for this marriage cannot be blatant sensuality. But please tell me how can we explain this to non-Muslims? The age difference defies all logic. It involves questions of pre-puberty alliance, question of psychological incompatibility.

(XXX ; Srinagar)

A. It is widely believed that Hazrat Ayesha’s age was seven years when she was married to the Prophet (Pbuh) and she was 9 when she came to live with him but this is wrong. The fact is that she was 17 when married and 19 at the time of her rukhsati (departure from her home to the husband’s house). There are too many indisputable evidences in favour of this. A few of those are listed below:

1. Imam Waliuddin Muhammad Abdullah Al-Khateeb, the author of famous work on Hadith, namely Mishkaat was also an acknowledged expert of Asma-ur-Rijal (the unique art of research on people). He registered the following about Hazrat Asma at the end of Mishkaat.

“She is Asma, the daughter of Abu Bakr Siddiq...She is the mother of Abdullah Bin Zubair...She was 10 years older than her sister Ayesha...She died at the age of 100 in Makkah in 73AH...”(Mishkaat, Asma-ur-Rijal)

There is unanimity among all the scholars of Asma-ur-Rijal and historians on the above-mentioned facts.

It can be easily computed from above that being 100 years old in 73 AH, Hazrat Asma, daughter of Hazrat Abu Bak’r was at least 27 (100-73) years old at the time of Hijrah of the Prophet (Pbuh). If she died in the beginning of 73 AH, then her age was (100-72) 28 years at Hijrah. It is stated above that she was 10 years older than Hazrat Ayesha. It means Hazrat Ayesha was 18 years old at Hijrah. She came into the Nikah of the Prophet (Pbuh) one year before Hijrah and she shifted to the Prophet’s house two years later. Clearly, she was 17 at the time of nikah and 19 at her rukhsati.

2. The historians have placed Hazrat Ayesha between No. 17 and 20 in the list of those who were earliest to embrace Islam. Ibne Ishaq, the earliest authentic Islamic historian has placed her at No. 18. We also know that Hazrat Umar was the 40th person to embrace Islam and he entered into the faith in the first year of prophethood. It means Hazrat Ayesha was among those few who embraced Islam almost immediately after the declaration of prophethood. She must have been at least 5 years old to be categorized in the list of those who embraced Islam. Therefore her age was 18 when Hijrah came about 13 years later.

Examination of Hazrat Ayesha’s biography through accounts of Asma-ur-Rijal reveals that she was 17 when married to the Prophet and 19 when she came to live with him

Now imagine this. The saying goes that she was 7 at her nikah i.e. 8 at Hijrah that occurred 13 years after the declaration of prophethood. If it were true the declaration of prophethood occurred 5 years before her birth. Did she embrace Islam 5 years prior to her birth?

3. There are indications that she was among those who went to war of Badar but her presence in the battleground of Uhad is beyond doubt. It is in many authentic books of Hadiths and history that she was among those women in Uhad who were carrying water to the injured Sahaba. Now remember the incident of two young boys Rafe and Samra who were 13 and the Prophet (Pbuh) was not permitting them to join forces for their age but later agreed to their pleading as they were very enthusiastic. If Hazrat Ayesha was 10 when Uhad came about in 2 AH, was it possible that a new bride of 10 would have been permitted while the young boys of 13 were refused permission to go to Uhad? On the contrary if she was 18 at Hijrah her age was 20 and fit to take care of the injured in the battlefield when Uhad took place.

There are quite a number of other irrefutable evidences of her age being 19 when she entered into the Prophet’s home 2 years after her Nikah to him.

The wrong notion of her being 7 at marriage is widely accepted (and many Fiqh deductions are erroneously made on its basis) as there is a false report narrated by Hashsham bin Urwah in all the six most authentic collections of Hadith i.e. Sihah-e-Sittah! Hashsham bin Urwah was a very reliable narrator according to all scholars but this fact skipped the scrutiny of the famous Muhaddiseen of Sihah-e-Sittah that Hashsham became forgetful and unbalanced at his old age when he shifted to Iraq. The said report was narrated by him while he was in Iraq. Hashsham was the teacher of Imam Malik and he has accepted a number of Hadiths narrated by him in his collection of Hadith, Muatta. It was none other than Imam Malik, Hahsham’s disciple who declared after Hashsham shifted to Iraq that none of his former teachers’ statements were reliable any more because of his mental condition. The compilers of Sihah-e-Sittah, all being non-Arabs were not aware of it.

Now you know that when Hazrat Ayesha came to the Prophet’s house she was a major. The age difference is still considerable but no law of any land objects to the union of mutual wilful consent of two majors. Remember also that the Prophet (Pbuh) possessed exceptional health at 53 with all his hair black and he being stronger than most youngsters. Besides he was an ideal husband and the history testifies to his ideal care of his young wife with all the psychological considerations. 

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Valid Reasons Must for not Marrying

Q. I want to know if it is obligatory to marry. If one does not wish to marry, what is there in Quran about him?

(Syed Abdul Aleem, Bangalore)

A. The Quran says: “You have indeed in the Apostle of Allah an ideal pattern of (conduct)...” (33:21) And the Prophet’s famous saying is usually reminded in most sermons of Nikah: “The Nikah is my Sunnah and whoever turned away from this Sunnah of mine is not from me”. We know of a few pious Muslims who did not marry but we presume that they must have had a valid Shara’i reason for that. Besides the ideal conduct is of Prophet (pbuh) of Allah and we may not look towards anyone else when we know of his practice and order. Celibacy is a form of recluse, which Islam dislikes. However if one cannot afford to sustain and feed himself and his family or cannot pay Mehar of his wife or is sexually disabled or has some fatal disease or has some other such Shara’i excuse, then he should not marry till he is fit to discharge his responsibilities as husband. The Qur’an says: “If any of you have not the means wherewith to wed free believing women... it is better for you that you practice self-restraint: and Allah is Oft-forgiving Most Merciful”. (4:25) The last part of the verse, ‘Allah is Oft-forgiving Most Merciful’ implies that in case of genuine excuse, Allah will forgive and show mercy for one’s remaining unmarried which otherwise is not desirable.

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Fast During Pregnancy

Q. Can pregnant ladies keep Fast? Is it compulsory for them or are they exempted? Is Namaz compulsory for them?

(S. Aliya Ansari, Tirupathi West)

A. Those pregnant ladies can skip fasting for whom it is not medically advisable. They will have to keep qaza fasts later when they are fit to keep fasts. The Quran says: “...So everyone of you who is present (at his home) during that month (of Ramadan) should spend it in fasting but if anyone is ill or on a journey the prescribed period (should be made up) by days later...” (2:185) There is no such leave for namaz. She has to offer namaz at the appointed hours. If she cannot stand she may offer salat while sitting. If she cannot even sit she is required to offer namaz while lying on bed. Till she is well in control of her mental senses she is required to offer namaz on time.

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Disobedience to Allah

Q. This is a question posed to me by a non Muslim. If God says everything obeys him in the heavens and the earth then why is Shaitan or evil people disobey God.

(y95.alib@bishopgore.org.uk)

A. Every creation is bound to obey God except those to whom He has Himself given the limited free will of choosing between obedience and disobedience. The Quran says: If it had been the Lord’s Will they would all have believed; all who are on earth! Wilt thou then compel mankind against their will to believe! (10:99) forcible obedience of man and some invisible beings (Jinns) was against Allah’s Will and His Plan of creation.

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