ONE must begin Tawaf of the Ka’bah (circumambulation) with one’s right shoulder uncovered, (for men only) and the Ka’bah on one’s left side, while facing the Black Stone, which you should kiss, if possible, touch with one’s hand, or point in its direction. In this regard, we cite what Sheikh Sayyed Sabiq states in his well-known book Fiqh As-Sunnah: One must begin Tawaf (circumambulation) with one’s right shoulder uncovered, (for men only) and the Ka’bah on one’s left side, while facing the Black Stone, which you should kiss, if possible, or touch with your hand, or point in its direction, saying, Bismillah wallahau akbar Allahumma imanan bika wa tasdiqan bikitabika wa wafa’an bi ahdika wa ittiba’an li sunnati nabbiyyika sallalahu alaihi wa sallam (In the Name of Allah. Allah is the Greatest. O Allah! [I begin this Tawaf] believing in You, affirming the truth of Your Book, fulfilling my covenant with You, and following the example of the Prophet (peace be upon him).”
It is encouraged to jog slowly through the first three rounds around the Ka’bah. One should walk quickly, keeping close to the Ka’bah as much as possible, while taking short steps.
During the next four rounds, one should walk at a normal pace. If one is unable to jog or get close to Ka’bah, because of the area being overcrowded, one may perform one’s Tawaf in any way possible.
Touching the Yemeni corner (Ar-Ruknu Al-Yamani) is encouraged, and so is kissing or touching the Black Stone in each of the seven rounds of Tawaf, if possible.
Remembering Allah and supplicating to Him as much as possible is also encouraged. For this purpose, one may choose any supplication that one feels comfortable with, without restricting oneself to any particular supplications or repeating what others may be saying. There are no set supplications prescribed for this purpose.
The supplications that some people consider to be prescribed for various rounds of Tawaf are not authentic. There are no such supplications reported from the Prophet (peace be upon him).
One should pray for oneself, for one’s family and for the Muslims for anything that is good in this life or in the Hereafter.
A BURGLAR scaled the wall of Maalik Bin Dinar’s house one night and easily managed to get inside. Once inside the house, the thief was disappointed to see nothing worth stealing. Maalik was busy performing prayer. Realizing he was not alone, he quickly ended his prayer and turned around to face the thief. Without showing any signs of shock or scare, Maalik calmly extended greetings of peace and said, “My brother, may Allah forgive you. You entered my home and found nothing worth taking, yet I do not want you to leave without taking away some benefit.”
He went in another room and came back with a jug full of water. He looked into the eyes of the burglar and said, “Make ablution and perform two units of prayer, for if you do so, you will leave my home with a greater treasure than you had initially sought.”
Humbled by Maalik’s manners and words, the thief said, “Yes, that is a generous offer indeed.”
After making ablution and performing two units of prayer, the burglar said, “O Maalik, would you mind if I stayed for a while, for I want to stay to perform two more units of prayer?”
Maalik said, “Stay for whatever amount of prayer Allah decrees for you to perform now.”
The thief ended up spending the entire night at Maalik’s house. He continued to pray until morning. Then Maalik said, “Leave now and be good.”
But instead of leaving, the thief said, “Would you mind if I stayed here with you today, for I have made an intention to fast?”
“Stay as long as you wish,” Maalik said.
The burglar ended up staying for a number of days, praying during the late hours of each night and fasting in the day. When he finally decided to leave, the burglar said, “O Maalik, I have made a firm resolve to repent for my sins and for my former way of life.”
Maalik said, “That is in the Hand of Allah.”
The man did mend his ways and began to lead a life of righteousness and obedience to Allah. Later on, he came across another burglar who asked him, “Have you found your treasure yet?”
He replied, “My brother, what I found is Maalik Bin Dinar. I went to steal from him, but it was he who ended up stealing my heart. I have indeed repented to Allah, and I will remain at the door (of His Mercy and Forgiveness) until I achieve what his obedient, loving slaves have achieved.”
(Al-Mawaa’idh wal-Majaalis: 85)
– Adapted from ‘Stories of Repentance’ published by Darussalam
From the lives of our pious predecessorsAL-Qasim Bin Muhammad said, “Whenever I went out in the morning, I used to visit Ayesha (may Allah be pleased with her), (his aunt and the wife of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and greet her.
One day I found her performing Ad-Duha prayer, reciting this verse repeatedly, crying and invoking Allah:
“So Allah has been gracious to us, and has saved us from the torment of the Fire.” (Qur’an, 52:27)
I stood there until I felt bored, so I left and went to the market (for some work). When I finished and went back to her, I found her still standing in prayer, reciting the same verse, crying and invoking Allah.'” (Al-Ihya 4/436)
NARRATED Abu Dhar (Allah be pleased with him): Allah’s Apostle (peace be upon him) said, “While I was at Makkah the roof of my house was opened and Gabriel descended, opened my chest, and washed it with Zam-Zam water. Then he brought a golden tray full of wisdom and faith and having poured its contents into my chest, he closed it. Then he took my hand and ascended with me to the nearest heaven. When I reached the nearest heaven, Gabriel said to the gatekeeper of the heaven, ‘Open (the gate).’ The gatekeeper asked, ‘Who is it?’ Gabriel answered: ‘Gabriel.’ He asked, ‘Is there anyone with you?’ Gabriel replied, ‘Yes, Muhammad is with me.’ He asked, ‘Has he been called?’ Gabriel said, ‘Yes.’ So the gate was opened and we went over the nearest heaven and there we saw a man sitting with some people on his right and some on his left. When he looked towards his right, he laughed and when he looked toward his left he wept. Then he said, ‘Welcome! O pious Prophet and pious son.’ I asked Gabriel, ‘Who is he?’ He replied, ‘He is Adam and the people on his right and left are the souls of his offspring. Those on his right are the people of Paradise and those on his left are the people of Hell and when he looks towards his right he laughs and when he looks towards his left he weeps.’
Then he ascended with me till he reached the second heaven and he (Gabriel) said to its gatekeeper, ‘Open (the gate).’ The gatekeeper said to him the same as the gatekeeper of the first heaven had said and he opened the gate. Anas said: “Abu Dhar added that the Prophet met Adam, Idris, Moses, Jesus and Abraham. He (Abu Dhar) did not mention on which heavens they were but he mentioned that he (the Prophet) met Adarn on the nearest heaven and Abraham on the sixth heaven. Anas said, “When Gabriel along with the Prophet passed by Idris, the latter said, ‘Welcome! O pious Prophet and pious brother.’ The Prophet asked, ‘Who is he?’ Gabriel replied, ‘He is Idris.” The Prophet added, “I passed by Moses and he said, ‘Welcome! O pious Prophet and pious brother.’ I asked Gabriel, ‘Who is he?’ Gabriel replied, ‘He is Moses.’ Then I passed by Jesus and he said, ‘Welcome! O pious brother and pious Prophet.’ I asked, ‘Who is he?’ Gabriel replied, ‘He is Jesus.
Then I passed by Abraham and he said, ‘Welcome! O pious Prophet and pious son.’ I asked Gabriel, ‘Who is he?’ Gabriel replied, ‘He is Abraham. The Prophet added, ‘Then Gabriel ascended with me to a place where I heard the creaking of the pens.” Ibn Hazm and Anas bin Malik said: The Prophet said, “Then Allah enjoined 50 prayers on my followers when I returned with this order of Allah, I passed by Moses who asked me, ‘What has Allah enjoined on your followers?’ I replied, ‘He has enjoined 50 prayers on them.’ Moses said, ‘Go back to your Lord (and appeal for reduction) for your followers will not be able to bear it.’ (So I went back to Allah and requested for reduction) and He reduced it to half. When I passed by Moses again and informed him about it, he said, ‘Go back to your Lord as your followers will not be able to bear it.’ So I returned to Allah and requested for further reduction and half of it was reduced. I again passed by Moses and he said to me: ‘Return to your Lord, for your followers will not be able to bear it. So I returned to Allah and He said, ‘These are five prayers and they are all (equal to) 50 (in reward) for My Word does not change.’ I returned to Moses and he told me to go back once again. I replied, ‘Now I feel shy of asking my Lord again.’ Then Gabriel took me till we reached Sidrat-il-Muntaha (the utmost boundry) which was shrouded in colors, indescribable. Then I was admitted into Paradise where I found small (tents or) walls (made) of pearls and its earth was of musk.”
Sahih Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 8, Number 345.
- Niyyat – Make intention to perform Wudu in one’s mind for the purpose of worshipping Allah Subhanahu wa ta’ala.
- Bismillah – Invoking Allah at the start of Wudu by saying Bismillah (in the Name of Allah)
- Hands – Wash the hands 3 times up to the wrists with water, allowing water to run between the fingers.
- Mouth – Rinsing the mouth with water three times. The mouth must be empty of food.
- Nose – Cleaning one’s nostrils by sniffing water in then out 3 times.
- Face – Clean the face 3 times from the top of the forehead down to the chin and from ear to ear.
- Arms – Wash the arms three times, from the elbows. Right arm first, then left.
- Head – Moisten the hands and pass them over the head from the forehead to the back of the neck (over the head), and from there back to the forehead. Never wet the neck. Then wipe the earlobes with the fore-fingers cleaning the inside of the ears and the thumbs cleaning the external side.
- Feet – Finally wash both feet beginning with the right first, up to the ankles. The feet should be rubbed whilst washed and water must run between the toes. No part of the foot remains dry.
We truly appreciate the value of something when we are deprived of it – either temporarily or irrevocably. Owing to a recent accident, I was compelled to say my prayers while sitting down, and like many others who are unable to bow down due to physical disabilities or old age, I realized the value of one of the pillars of prayer which many of us tend to rush through or neglect in ordinary circumstances: the Ruku’ (bowing/genuflection).
Obligation of Ruku
The acts of bowing and prostrating in prayer are commanded in the Qur’an and made obligatory upon the believers:
“O you who believe! Bow down and prostrate yourselves and serve your Lord.” (Qur’an, 22:77)
“Behold! The angels said: ‘O Mary! Allah has chosen you and purified you – chosen you above the women of all nations. O Mary! Worship your Lord devoutly: Prostrate thyself, and bow down (in prayer) with those who bow down.’” (Qur’an, 3:42-43)
In a Hadith (narration) the Prophet (peace be upon him) advised “the one who prayed badly”, saying, “Indeed, the prayer of one of you is not complete until he makes an excellent ablution as Allah has commanded him to … then he celebrates Allah’s greatness, praises and glorifies Him, then recites the Qur’an as much as is easy for him from what Allah has taught him and allowed him, then says Takbeer (Allahu-Akbar) and makes Ruku’ (and places his hands on his knees) until his joints are at ease and relaxed.” (Abu Dawood and An-Nasai’)
In another narration, Abu Qatadah (may Allah be pleased with him) related that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “The worst people are the thieves who steal part of the prayer.” He was asked how this was done, and he replied, “The one who does not complete his bowings and prostrations,” or he said, “The one who does not straighten his back during his bowings and prostrations.” (Ahmad, At-Tabarani, Ibn Khuzaimah and Al-Hakim)
Abu Mas’ud Al-Badri (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “The prayer of one who does not straighten his back in his bowing and prostration is not accomplished.” [Narrated by “the five,’’ [narrators] and Ibn Khuzaimah, Ibn Hibban, at-Tabarani and al-Baihaqi]
The Companion Hudhayfah Bin Yaman (may Allah be pleased with him) saw someone who did not straighten his back during his bowings and prostrations, and told him, “You have not prayed. And if you were to die, you would not die on the way of Allah and His Messenger.” (Al-Bukhari)
Say (O Muhammad, peace be upon him): “Verily, my Salat (prayer), my sacrifice, my living, and my dying are for Allah, the Lord of the Alamin (mankind, jinn and all that exist). He has no partner. And of this I have been commanded, and I am the first of the Muslims.“ (Qur’an, 6:162-163)
In defining Ikhlas (sincerity), Al-Jurjani said it is not to seek any audience for your deeds other than Allah.
Allah said: “Who has created death and life that He may test you which of you is best in deed. And He is the All-Mighty, the Oft-Forgiving.” (Qur’an, 67:2)
Commenting on this verse, Al-Fudayl Ibn ‘Iyaadh said, “It is those deeds that are most correct and most sincere.”
The students asked, “What are deeds that are correct and sincere?”
He replied, “If a deed is done sincerely, yet is not done correctly, it will not be accepted. And if a deed is done correctly, but not sincerely for Allah, it will not be accepted. It must be done sincerely and correctly. Sincerely – for Allah alone. Correctly – in accordance with the Sunnah.”
What contradicts Ikhlas
Riyaa’ – to perform an act of worship with the intention of showing it off to people, seeking their praise.
Sum’ah – verbal statements that a person makes for the sake of people. An example of someone making ballooned talks just so others will think high of him.
‘Ujb – when a person becomes impressed with the ‘great’ deeds he has done.
All these are viruses that can kill our deeds and turn them against us on the Day of Resurrection.
Ya’qoob Al-Makfoof Rahimahullah used to say, “The sincere one is he who hides his good deeds in the same way that he would hide his bad.”
Insincerity is something very dangerous and can lead a person to ruin.
Ibnul Qayyim Rahimahullah said, “Deeds without sincerity are like a traveler who carries dirt in his water-jug. The carrying of it burdens him and it brings no benefit.”
May Allah make us all from those whose deeds are done in accordance with the Sunnah, deeds that are done sincerely for His sake alone.
Jabir ibn Abdullah quotes the Prophet (peace be upon him) as saying: “I have been given five privileges which were not given to anyone before me: I have been supported by fear traveling a month ahead of me; the earth has been assigned to me as a place of worship and a source of purification.
“Anyone from my community may pray wherever he is when prayer is due. War gains have been made lawful to me while they were not made lawful to anyone before. I have been allowed to intercede on behalf of my followers. Prophets before me used to be sent to their own local communities while I am sent to all mankind.” (Related by Al-Bukhari).
The Prophet outlines these five privileges, acknowledging God’s favors and expressing his gratitude. He is in no way boasting about them. He is also highlighting them to his community so that they will remain grateful to God for them.
The first privilege is that the Prophet was supported with fear being struck into the hearts of his enemies.
A question arises here: Is this privilege special for the Prophet only or extended to his community in later generations? There is no clear indication given by the Prophet on this point.
Many scholars are of the view that it is special for the Prophet only, but some of them say that it applies to the Muslim community in all generations, provided that it adheres to Islam in all its affairs.
The second privilege concerns prayer, which is an essential element in all divine religions. The Prophet says: “There is no goodness in a religion that does not include prayer.”
The Prophet stresses here the fact that Muslims offer their prayers anywhere and can use the earth for dry ablution, if they have no water.
This is an important privilege because earlier prophets had to offer their prayers in their temples or special places of worship. We all make use of this privilege all the time.
We conduct our congregational prayers in mosques, as well as in our places of work, schools, colleges or at home.
A Muslim who works all day long in an office or a factory where there are hundreds of employees who are non-Muslims can easily take a few minutes to offer his prayers at his place of work, without disrupting his work.