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Fiqh of Salaah: Divine Link

29 May

Expect your child to lose interest in salaah if you lose interest.

Let them know when you’re on your period the reason behind why you are not praying. don’t lie. kids are smart.

Q: Answer: Teach your children the rituals of salaah. Designate a special thawb or jilbab for them. Let them pray Sunnah first. Teach them to make duaa. Let them here you say, “Allahuma faghfirlana” Oh Allah forgive me.

Assign a duaa leader. Take turns, so everyone will learn. Teach them to be patient. Make it a family event. Don’t let them get up immediately. Read from the stories of the companions, Sahih al-Bukhari. Create a family environment, a family ritual.

This is for the young ones. For the teenagers, it is more difficult. Once they hit this age, they become rebellious and stubborn. They see they are bigger and stronger, and when they defy your rules they want to see how much they can get away with. Do your best, as long as they live under your rule, they are under your command.

Make sure they are trained in how to make salaah. If you can’t deal with them personally, have the imams or leaders teach them. By doing so, bring the good. Don’t put lazy kids with good kids, organize by skill level. Kids will learn form other people, not their own family in some cases. The last person who would learn from the Imam is his own family. Why? Your family doesn’t see you as a shaykh. They just see you as a spouse.

When I teach my child the Quran, he gives me a hard time. “You’re not the Shaykh, you’re my father.” Once he stopped me during the khutbah so I could help him put his shoes on. He just sees me as Baba.

During Eid salaah, everyone was all dressed up, I was in the middle of the takbir, he pulled my thobe, asked me something. The kids don’t benefit much from the parents. If you are inconsistent. If you are very well disciplined, then they will take you seriously. If you maintain a good companionship with your children in teen years, they will become better later. Do your best, be honest. You have to be engaged in their life. You can’t just think you did your part by sending them to shaykh. Sometimes they just drop the kids off like it is baby sitting at weekend school. They don’t engage with their kids. As they drive them to the sunday school, they play a DVD. They just want them to keep their mouths shut.

Any questions? ONce the child reaches the age of puberty, they are held accountable. You have no idea the challenges they will face in college. Talk to your kids. Be around them, help them. Make sure you check on them, not to spy or investigate. You did your part when they were young, and when they continue alhamdulillah. If they don’t, you did your best.

Dealing with errors in salaah. We’re gonna finish at 1:15.

How do I fix errors if I make a mistake, forget? We’re going to divide this in two.

  1. Acts that nullify salaah
  • Foreign Speech. Anything not part of salaah. Assisting the Imam, tasbeeh doesn’t count. Don’t converse with the Imam. “You need to go back to rukuh!” This is a long conversation. Some fuquhah say you can say “Rukooh, sujood” to remind the Imam. If you clear your throat with no syllables, some people say this is fine if you don’t insert syllable sounds. Don’t say alhamdulillah when you sneeze. How about speaking in a foreign language. It should not be done in a foreign language except in the sujood, and the end of the slaah for the duaa.
  • Eating and Drinking. you can’t sip at water, or eat. You cannot chew anything in salaah, including gum. Some ladies store the gum up there, and you see them chewing gum while making their dhikr. Where did it come from? Sometimes in taraweeh you hear people swallowing the meat that was stuck in their teeth from iftar. This is gross. You should spit it out, to the left side. If there is no one there. Bury it with your foot. If you can’t do that, spit it into your sleeve, and wash it after salaah. I know it is disgusting, but that is what they had to do. Now we can use a tissue. What if I can’t find one? I have to look all over my body. That is fine. If you must, go spit it out, make the salaah over. Can you borrow a napkin sticking out of your neighbor’s pocket? I don’t know if it will be clean, but sure. If someone hands you the napkin, it’s none of their business. Allahu ‘aalam, I don’t know what to say on this. Should we get back (to the topic)
  • Continuous foreign acts. When your cellphone is ringing, some people have the worst ringtones, that i never thought in my mind that music would be playing in the masajid. Now we have them. Some people act like it is not mine. They think they will break their salaah if they move, not taking into account the peace of mind of everyone around them. Just before we finished salatul isha, one time there was the worst ringtone, very suggestive language and arabic music. The guy was so embarassed. How could you use this ringtone in the first place, much less bring it in the masjid? As I was giving the advice, the phone rings again. My advice to you, is don’t worry about your phone reflecting your personality, c’mon. just use it for the purpose it was made for: communication. Do not use quran or duaa as a ringtone. What if you were in the bathroom? My advice don’t have a ringtone at all. For the two years I have been using this phone, it does not ring. I keep it on vibrate. Cell phones are the most annoying device man has ever created. You interrupt your life just to see who is calling. If i don’t know the number, I don’t even answer. Because I don’t care, and if he is really serious, he will leave a message. If it is something really important, i will call you back.
  • Exposing the ‘awrah’ deliberately. A lady wearing a short arm shirt, a man wearing a tight short shirt. He will go into rukuh and expose his awrah.
  • Losing the state of purification. What do you do? Your salaah is lost in the wind. Leave and run for your life. Take the cleaning process again. When you come back, start over.
  • najasa. Let us say you feel something wet on your arm while carrying your baby. You stop, change your clothes, start over.
  • Laughing. It breaks your salaah. Is this smile laughing? What about this (big smile). Your salaah is still valid. What if you start giggling and bending over? Then it is invalid. If someone laughs in salaah, in one opinion, it breaks the wudhu. Abu Haneefah, very exclusive.
  • hesitation regarding intention. You need to have firm intention in the beginning and continue with your salaah
  • omitting a rukun w/o turning back. just because you are in a rush doesn’t mean you can skip a rukun.
  • racing the imam. don’t jump ahead of the imam. i have seen people, the imam is saying sami alahu liman hamida, and they are already like this, (leans forward) The sahabah never touched down before the imam. Ensure that the imam reaches there first. also, you cannot go too slow. Don’t try to act all spiritual. Try to stay at the pace of the imam.
  • Arrival of water for someone who prays with tayammum. Once they say, ‘We have water!” your salaah is invalid. Break your salaah, make wudhu, pray. If the water comes after you finish, no need to repeat salaah
  • to give salaam deliberately before end. No can do.
  • To return to the middle tashahud after standing up for the third rakaah.

Acts that allow departure of Salah

  1. Rescue someone in harm’s way. A child, not just if they are running around.
  2. to protect property. If someone steals your purse, you say, stop theif! Not, Oh subhanallah. Face the direction of your clothes when you bathe.
  3. If your food is smoking. Stop your salaah. Don’t say, I’m going to die a shaheed.
  4. An urgent need for the bathroom. The imam starts surah albaqara. Oh my God. Just leave, answer the call, and come back.
  5. to answer the call of parents (in nafl) Answering parents is more important than your nafl salaah. In your time, try to let your parents know.

Question: Crying in Salaah. The prophet SAW would cry such that you could hear the heaving of his breath. If some people exagerrate with wailing, that is too much. Try to control it. One time there was a guy who was too emotional, crying in a very loud voice, everyone was annoyed. Did not sound authentic. The shaykh had to finish the rakaah early. If you cannot control yourself, please leave and come back was his announcement. Everyone was disturbed. If you are at home, go for it.

Sisters? Yes. (nvm, brother question)

If you start your fard salaah, and a jamaah starts, what do you do? You cannot start your fard salaah before the official start. You stop your salaah and join jamaah for the first jamaah.

Q: If  I am cooking, should i leave my food to go pray with the jamaah? You don’t have to, you can pray at a later time if you are a sister.

Q: Can I switch between the two Jama’a? Yes.

Q: If my child hits puberty at 8, are they still accountable? Yes, for salaah. Not financial. They must develop rushd, age of maturity.

Q: Can you recite Qunoot in English? Yes.

Q: Can women who are about to or have given birth shorten their salaah? The ones who have given birth don’t have to pray, and expecting women who find the salaah difficult, can combine. If they find they cannot keep wudhu, they are exempt and can make it up later.

Q: if i give money in charity, will I get it back in this life? If you give for the sake of Allah, don’t expect anything in return except that which Allah gives you back. It may not be cash, it could be blessings, being safe from fitnah or disease. You have a lot of opportunities to receive things back from Allah. Don’t expect a million dollars from 10 dollars. IN chicago we had a fundraising event, and I gave a strong powerful speech about giving, and competing with one another. So one of the girls, 9 years old, she gave all her savings, about $200. She believed she wanted to be like Abu Bakr as Siddiq. SubhanAllah at the end of the same event, she won a huge plasma screen TV. I don’t know ifthis is good or bad, she got a $600 TV. Sometimes, you need to encourage your children to do things like that. One day I got mail during the emergency situation in Gaza, urgent appeal. My son asked me what it was. I came back and saw piles of money. The three of my kids gathered all their money. I gave them each $100. I don’t want them to feel it’s a lie that they won’t get anything back, so I told me wife I would give them each $1000 later. When you give, don’t just expect cash, expect blessings.

Tayb, insha Allah. Messing up in Salaah. (cell phone goes off) Whoever that phone is, remember what I said? Jazakullah khair.

We learned earlier about mistakes that nullify the salah. Now, these things are mistakes, but you need to work something in salaah to fix it. HOw do we fix our salaah? What are some of these mistakes that mandate Sujood as Sawh? If you make a mistake because you forgot, or your mind wandered away. If you do this, u must do Sujuud as Sawh. There are actually three opinions on how to perform it. It is done all the way at the end. You perform two sajdah, it is exactly like every sujood you do in salaah. Like any other regular sujood. You do it in the same format. It is done at the end in a special way. The Prophet (SAW) did it for a few reasons. You forgot that you need to do one more rakaah but you did tashahuud twice in a row. He stood up right away. Or you add what is not from salaah.

Like, you find yourself saying fatiha in the middle of tashahud? It will not nullify. Sometimes in the first rakaah you find yourself reading tashahud when you should be reading fatiha.

To prolong the sitting position between two sajdahs. You forgot you have to go down again. Or if you stood up for a third rakaah in Fajr. It doesn’t matter if you are halfway up, sit down right away when you remember. One of the reasons to make sujood as sawh is when you forget how many raka’ah you made. This is the most common reason.

Prophet SAW: If one of you is doubtful in your salaah, cast off your uncertainty and count it as second rakaah if you are doubtful of 2 or 3. (paraphrased)

If you are doubtful if your fourth rakaah is actually your fourth, complete it as your fourth and make sujood as sawh.

The two formats:

  • Abu Haneefah: Once you are done with Tashahud, you give salaam on your right side, 2 times sajdah? then one more time tashahud, and complete your tasleem. The third opinion…I’m confused.

Finish tashahud, give salaah, do your sajdah twice, then give full salaam. IS that clear? This is the strongest opinion.

The first opinion, you do sujood as Sawh before the salaam. Just before you give your salaam, you do your two sajdah.

The second opinion (Abu Haneefah) After tashahud, give salaam to the right side, do SaS twice, then do full salaam.

If you omit anything from the salaah, you do before the salaam. If you added anything extra, so you do sujood as sawh after the salaam. <–This is the third opinion.

Q: If I miss the first rakaah of Jumah, and I forget and complete the last rakaah? Yes, you do SaS. If you are with the Imam, you don’t do SaS, you follow the Imam.

Q: It doesn’t matter, Asr, Maghrib, Fajr. If I forgot something, I do SaS. But what if I forgot SaS? Do I do SaS for SaS? No. What about my salaah? It is still valid.

Next, how do I make up for the expired time? By unanimous agreement, you are obligated to make up for the missed salaah. If you miss Fajr, you must make it up. You don’t go and start from tomorrow, you start from right now. The Messenger of Allah (SAW) said, “Whoever oversleeps, or forget, and then remember later, this person should make it up. There is no expiation except for making it up at that time.” What if I just overslept, even with all the precautions? What do I do in this case. This following is the hadith that you apply in your life. A man came to Rasulullah who said he had a very deep sleep. There is no negligence in sleeping. The negligence is when you are awake. Delaying delaying delaying until the time expires.

Once you remember, or once you wake up. What if I need a cup of coffee? Do I get coffee first, or pray first? What about a shower? Yes, for both. If you need to take another measure to help you perform salaah better, do it. The prophet SAW, he overslept. It was when they were traveling all night and most of the day. When they decided to camp, the Prophet SAW asked, “Who will guard us for Fajr salaah?” Bilal volunteered. Everyone went to sleep, even Rasulullah. This of Bilal’s POV, the majestic desert. It is absolutely majestic and miraculous. So Bilal is going back and forth to keep him from sleeping. So he felt temptation to go to bed. Then he came close to his camel, and said, I’ll just sit down. Like we say, just give me five minutes. So he leans against his warm, fluffy camel, so he closed his eyes, and that was it. The first person to wake up was Omar ibn al-Khattab, he sees the sun, OMG. Such a major sin.

They were like, OMG the messenger of Allah! Wake up, wake up! It’s bright! We’re in big trouble. What to do?

The prophet, they didn’t know if they should wake him up, maybe he is receiving revelation. Omar ibn al-Khattab wakes him up, and he asks, Where is Bilal. Bilal must’ve thought be was in big trouble. He must’ve been so embarassed. He said, “I was overtaken with slumber” There was no punishment, Rasulullah just said, “This is the spot where the shaytaan was, let us move.” So they walked for some distance, they settled down, made wudhu, called adhan, prayed sunnah, made the iqamah, and recited outloud, even though it was bright. And that was it. So all was forgiven. If you miss your salaah, that is how you should be performing your salaah. Qadha is when you do salaah when the time expires.

If the intention is in the heart, it doesn’t matter. You don’t need to say it out.

Q: If someone repents after a long time of not praying, what do they do? Like 20, 30 years? Is this person obligated ? 2 Major opinions.

  • Yes. In theory. You are obligated, so you must. but in practicality, you must do estimation.
  • The other opinion, which I believe is the strongest. They are not obligated, because if you deliberately wait, without a legal excuse, that is a major sin. You are refusing to bow down. The only thing that can compensate is sincere repentance. You must go and study what is sincere repentance. So you must take every opportunity to perform other salaah.

Q: If someone falls into a coma, for two or three days, they make up. If longer than that, they don’t have to. How do you make it up? With every salaah, pray one or two fard. You don’t have to do it in more than one day.

Which salaah do I start with when I am making up? I missed Zuhr, it is time for Asr. Do I start with Zuhr or Asr? Do I maintain the order? Here is the answer: If there is enough time to maintain the order and sequence, then start with Zuhr. If you have ample time for Asr, go for it. If you delayed Asr ten minutes before sunset, then do Asr first so you don’t end up missing two salaah.

If a group of people all miss Zuhr, then you can make it up in congregation.

What do we learn from this? Alhamdulillah, even in making Ibadah, and you think you are running out of time, don’t ever thing you will never been able to pray on time. Remember that Allah knows you are a human being. It is not the end of the world, just make up and move on. That doesn’t mean you deliberately try to delay or miss. Some people “zip” all their salaah in one file, and at the end of the day they unzip the file.

Some people say, Im better than people who don’t pray at all! Don’t compare yourself to losers. The salah must be done in the same order as it was ordained.

I want from you to stat a group conversation. I hope you all came from these different masajid in this area. We have in our mind complaints about our masajid. I would love if we could discuss the situation of the congregational prayer in the masajid, problems we observe, one from the sisters and one from the brothers. And tell me the reason behind it. Like, “Lot of kids” or “people don’t line up well” Let’s get the top ten.


Divine Link

23 May

Salaams. These past three days have been a whirlwind of knowledge. I can’t believe tomorrow, I will be back at the same university, except  surrounded by thousands of random people who won’t have a clue about what just took place this weekend.

Now it’s back to work, back to school, back to the dunya. *sigh*

ETA: How could I neglect to mention this? We are now…



14 Apr

Finally, a post about actually working out!

I worked out today!

I’m so proud of myself…I just made myself go and now I’m hooked again. I’ve been dragging these past few weeks and feeling like I’m not in control of my body. I took a pretty big step today in taking back my personal efficacy.

I did brisk walking for about 30 minutes, then stretched and did about 10 minutes on the elliptical. I then did pull ups and dips on the Gravitron and some ab work on the balance ball.

It wasn’t as hard as I thought…although I could tell how out of condition my body has become. I think I was dreading not being able to do what I used to. 30 minutes completely wiped me out, but I am determined to not fall off the bandwagon again.

Went to the last MSA Islam Awareness Month event today. Dr. Altaf Husain spoke, and it was amazing…it was about fundamental Islamic values and even though I kinda knew about most of what he was saying, hearing him describe things like family and modesty and chastity and respect and tolerance…it just was so much more sweeter and descriptive than I could ever have phrased it. He really captured the tenderness of our deen, masha Allah. I’m glad I was able to attend.

In other news, I’m almost done with my captioning training. \o/ Alhamdulillah.

Stereotypes: Eastern Girls vs. Western Girls

8 Jan

In the last few days, I’ve come across some pretty one-sided articles purporting the supposed East vs. West dichotomy among Muslim women. The overwhelming attitude seems to be this:

Western Muslim women:

  • domineering
  • man-hating
  • can’t cook
  • anti-domestic
  • too focused on career
  • ‘hos

Eastern Muslim women

  • submissive
  • shy
  • great cooks
  • domesticated
  • family-oriented
  • angels


Has it ever occurred to anyone that all of us women, regardless of which religion, race, or creed we come from, are the combined total of our life experiences? And that regardless of where we grew up or come from, be it “East” or “West” (and even this differentiation is subject to debate) we all have unique characteristics and values?

We’ve heard the song and dance before: “Oh, Muslim girls here are too wild, we need to go back home and find us a nice, ‘gaow-wali/village’ girl.”

But that’s all it is, a song and dance. And I think people repeat this just to repeat it, because it’s catchy and it’s what they’ve heard, and it’s what everyone is saying. But honestly, I don’t think anyone, Muslim man or woman, really believes it.

Just today, I had a delightful lunch with a friend of mine and her lovely co-worker, who I met recently at an office party where my friend works. All three of us (I feel safe to include myself in this group 😛 ) are educated, intelligent, and gainfully employed…and guess what we talked about? COOKING! It started with my Mediterranean Veggie sandwich, and from there escalated into an exchanged of recipes, the similarities between Columbian, Arab and Indo-Pak cooking, and the power of knowing exactly what you’re eating and how it was prepared.

Not a single one of us felt like we were discussing an inferiority-inducing topic, or that a village fairy would descend from on-high and with a touch of her magic wand banish us to some fictional village where we would be chained to a tandoori oven.

It’s funny, but so many of these articles I read focus so much on MEN do this and WOMEN do that…doesn’t anyone remember we’re all people, too?

There is an amazing vidder out there, named Lim. She made an amazing video, called Us. It put whatever is coming out of these cutting-edge studios to shame. Someone commented and said, This is fantastic. Which company do you work for? She quite succinctly replied, I’m a housewife. 🙂

It’s unjust to box Eastern Muslim women into this category of submissive, shy doormats whose only existence is to serve her man and keep her mouth shut.  It’s unjust to box Western Muslim women into this category of loud, overtaking, domineering you-know-whats who hate men and hate anything to do with domesticity and spit on babies and tea-cozys alike. I’ve noticed so many Muslims here in the ‘States and abroad, men AND women, have this attitude and it simply isn’t true.

Every Muslim woman I meet is a complete, multi-faceted creature unto herself. We’re all struggling to be good Muslims, insha Allah, and it’s unfair to try to box us into a single category and call it the truth. It’s not.


In other news, I walked and ran almost 4 miles today. Feel grrrrreat. That, my friends, is what’s up. 🙂

Roti and Dhaaga.

6 Jan

Just had me some Bread and Thread.


5 Jan

Today was cold enough–as the Desi people say–to turn your blood to kulfi, an otherwise delicious frozen treat made from milk, sugar and natural flavorings like coconut, mango, pistachio, strawberries, etc. In this context it means, “It’s cold like nobody’s business, yo!”

After staying awake post-Fajr, I was crazy enough to brave the freezing cold and head to the UCF gym at 8 AM. To my utter sadness, the gym was not opening until 11 AM.

I headed to the virtually deserted student union to thaw out, and struck up a random and delightful conversation with one of the employees workin’ on the second floor. She saw me peering at the closed computer lab, and with a smile said, “Sorry, everything is closed.” From there we stumbled from polite conversation about the weather, to the similarities between Desi and Puerto Rican cookin’, to the etymology of language, to the quirks of her son before and after he was born, to the correlation between spices and prevention of memory loss. It was…one of those little moments that only happen in the morning. I think we talked for a good half an hour, just with me standing on the stairs of the second floor while she leaned over the banister.

I decided to drop by work and take care o’ some bidness, then puttered around in the library for a bit, and by the time I was done it was  5 minutes to 11 AM.

I headed to the now open gym, and walked/jogged about a 2 mile loop around the indoor track, (took me about 30 minutes) followed by some sets on the Gravitron, my favorite machine ever.

Just got back from spending a few hours with my Nani and Nana…which was interesting 😛

Seerah Path review session tonight! Woohoo.

Curled up and comfortable.

4 Jan

So here I am, curled up under a comforter, after having finished a cup of slightly-too-sweet chai, due to overenthusiastic addition of honey.

I have rented all my textbooks for the upcoming semester, and arranged a meeting with my supervisor this Wednesday to go over the details of my new job at UCF. Everything pressing has been pressed.

Something really slightly awesome happened a few days ago. Up until now, every time I logged into my school account, I would have these messages under my ‘To-Do” list regarding scary form things that were “In Progress.” Everyday I would say to myself, Well, better call admissions about this. But everyday I would put it off because I remembered already submitting the forms, and the “In Progress” did have a somewhat hopeful ring to it.

A few days ago I checked, and it was all. Gone! The message, “There are no items in your To-Do list” made me so happy. I wish it applied to my entire life.

Now, a list.

Things I am putting off today that I could be doing right now.

  • Folding that pile of laundry sitting in my eyesight.
  • Cleaning up the cast away clothes, books, pens, kohl-ridden QTips, etc. that are cluttering up my room.
  • Doing dishes
  • Going for a walk
  • Heading over to UCF to start C-Print training again
  • Familiarizing myself with my classes at UCF
  • learning Urdu
  • learning Arabic
  • reading Quran
  • brushing my teeth (again)
  • finding the cure for cancer
  • saving the world

My response to all this, But baby, it’s cold outside!