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The Benefits of Salāh in Congregation

Saturday 16 Dec 2017

The Benefits of Salāh in Congregation Allāh

  • The Congregational prayer is legislated to be performed in the obligatory prayers
  • Some optional prayers e.g. the eclipse prayer, the Eid prayers and the Taraweeh prayers are also prayed in congregation
  • The night prayer (tahajjud) and the morning prayer (duha) may be prayed in congregation , however this should not be the norm and they should normally be prayed alone
    • For example, the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) prayed the night prayer with Ibn Abbās and Hudhaifah Ibn Yamān amongst others (however this was not his habit)
  • What are the benefits of the congregational prayer?
    • It is a means of uniting the Muslims
      • Supplications made in the congregational prayers benefit everyone (e.g. those with shortcomings who attend benefit from making supplication alongside and with those who are righteous) present and there is great reward in it
      • Allah forgives those who are present in the congregational prayer
    • Praying in congregation distances the shaitaan (devil)
      • When one is alone in prayer shaitān whispers to him and distracts him, and when one is in congregation this is greatly reduced
      • Likewise, the Messenger of Allāh (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said the wolf eats the lone sheep
      • NOTE: it is important to stand side by side and not to leave gaps as these gaps leave openings for the shaitān to enter
    • Praying in congregation is educational for the one not aware
      • Many people make mistakes in their prayers and they don’t notice at all. Praying in congregation will highlight to such a person mistakes they may have e.g. one may notice this himself or be reminded by others
    • Praying in congregation establishes a sense of community and connection
      • For example, the one who regularly prays in congregation, if he was to become absent people would ask about him. If such a person was ill or had difficulties the others from the congregation would come to help, and if such a person was absent due to negligence then people would approach him to advise him
  • Allāh has legislated certain times for the Muslims to congregate and among them is the congregational prayer.
  • When the Prophet(صلى الله عليه وسلم) arrived in Madinah he immediately started work on building the mosque so that the believers can come to the congregational prayers.
  • Not attending the congregational prayer is a large deficiency for a Muslim as he loses out on the unity, and shaitān has more openings to attack him
  • Other times of congregation:
    • The Friday prayer is likewise an important opportunity to unite in the week and pray with the other Muslims
    • The Eid prayers are major opportunities to unite in congregation twice a year and the gathering on the Eid days are larger than during the daily congregation (the five prayers) and the weekly congregation (Friday)
    • Likewise Hajj is a once in the year opportunity for Muslims from all over the world to gather
  • The above shows that Islam is a religion of unity
  • Hadith of Abdullāh Ibn Umar The reward of the congregational prayer is twenty seven times greater (than that of the prayer offered by a person alone) [Al-Bukhāri]. In the Narration of Abū Hurairah congregational prayer is better by 25 times.
    • Which is one more accurate (27 or 25 times?). Some scholars say there is no difference as the main point is that the congregational prayer is superior. Other scholars say originally the factor was 25 times more however by the mercy of Allāh this later became 27. Either way this hadith indicates to us the superiority of the congregational prayer over the solitary prayer

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Fiqh | Lesson 47: Shedding tears, Supporting the Family of the deceased, making Duā for the deceased

Saturday 9 Dec 2017

Chapter of Prayer: Funeral Prayer

Lesson 47: Shedding tears, Supporting the Family of the deceased, making Duā for the deceased

Note: the hadiths from this lesson were taken from the Book Bulūghul Marām

  • Anas (may Allāh be pleased with him) narrated, “I attended the burial of one of the daughters of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم). He was sitting by the side of the grave and his eyes were shedding tears” [Related by Al-Bukhārī ]
    • Note: All of the children of the Messenger of Allāh (صلى الله عليه وسلم) (may Allāh be pleased with them all) died before him except Fatima (may Allāh be pleased with her).
    • The scholars have differed over which daughter it is in this hadith as there were several daughters (Ruqayya, Umm Kulthuum, and Zainab) who died before him. However, it is mentioned that it being Ruqayya mentioned here is unlikely as the messenger of Allāh (صلى الله عليه وسلم) was away at the battle of Badr.
    • This hadith also shows that shedding tears at the death of someone is NOT classed as being the same as wailing (see lesson 46). This hadith is mentioned here to show that shedding of tears is permissible and is part of the compassion one has for the deceased and one may not be able to control that emotion.
    • Likewise, when the son (Ibrahim) of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) died, The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said “Indeed the eyes shed tears and the heart is saddened but we do not say anything except that which pleases our Lord and Indeed we are saddened by your departure O Ibrahim”
    • Likewise, the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) also said Allāh does not punish one on account of grief in his heart or for his tears but rather for what he says with his tongue
    • Likewise, one of the grandchildren of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) was dying and the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) shed tears
  • Jābir ibn ‘Abdullāh (may Allāh be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger of Allāh (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said “Do not bury your dead during the night unless you have to do so.” [Related by Ibn Mājah. Muslim reported a similar narration, Jābir said in his narration, “The Prophet disapproved that someone is buried at night, unless the funeral prayer has been offered for him”]
    • What is the ruling on burying at night? (e.g. Harām/forbidden vs makruuh/disliked). Shaykh Al-Fawzān says it is not impermissible to bury someone at night, Abu Bakr was buried at night and also Fatima (may Allāh be pleased with her) was buried by Ali (her husband, may Allāh be pleased with him) also at night. Therefore, these examples indicate that it is not harām/forbidden to bury at night, and the wording of the hadith itself indicates that it is not impermissible (as one can still do it if necessary) but that burial during daytime is better.
    • If burying the deceased at night is going to cause problems with shortcoming such as difficulties with the washing, shrouding or the funeral prayer, then it is disliked doing this at night.
    • However, if there are no such shortcomings when burial at night then it is possible to do it (as it was done for some companions as mentioned)
    • There are also narrations that the prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) also buried some companions at night
  • Hadith of ‘Abdullāh ibn Ja’far (may Allāh be pleased with him) narrated, “When we received news of Ja’far’s death; when he was killed (in the Battle of Mu’tah), the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said, “Prepare some food for the family of Ja’far, for what has befallen them is keeping them preoccupied” [Reported by the five Imams except for An-Nasāī]
    • The story of Ja’far Ibn Abī Tālib (The brother of Ali Ibn Abī Tālib) and his battle with the Romans. Ja’far was form among the early companions and also migrated to Abyssinia. The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) sent an army of the Muslims (approx. 3,000 men) to fight the Romans (approx. 100,000 men) and leadership was given to Ja’far. He died and was succeeded by Zaid ibn Hāritha (the freed slave of the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وسلم)) as leader. When Zaid died, he was succeeded by Abdullāh Ibn Rawāha as leader. When Abdullāh died he was succeeded Khalid Ibn Walīd.
    • The hadith indicates that the neighbours should look after the family of the deceased (e.g. making food for them, taking are of any guests etc).
    • NOTE: in some Muslim groups, they do the OPPOSITE, that when someone dies the family of the deceased is made to cook food for everyone else! This is a sin, an opposition to the sunnah and is also a very large burden for the family of the deceased in such a difficult time. This is NOT how it should be.

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FIQH | Lesson 46: Matters surrounding graves, The Life + trial of the grave and the issue of Wailing

Saturday 2 Dec 2017

Chapter of Prayer: Funeral Prayer

Note: the hadiths from this lesson were taken from the Book Bulūghul Marām

Lesson 46:

  • Sa’d Ibn Abī Waqqās (may Allāh be pleased with him) said (during his death illness) “Make a lahd for me and cover it with un-burnt bricks, as you did with the grave of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم).” [Related by Muslim]
    • Who was Sa’d Ibn Abii Waqqaas?
    • What did this request mean? What is a Lahd?
  • Al-Baihaqī translated on the authority of Jābir (may Allāh be pleased with him) a similar narration and added, “and his grave was raised one span from the ground.” [Ibn Hibbān graded it as Sahiih]
    • NOTE: the surface of the grave is raised one span above the ground so that its location can be known.
    • This hadith shows that the graves of the Muslims may be as the hadith mentions (i.e.one hand span). HOWEVER, going beyond this is not legislated nor permissible
    • This (i.e. raising the grave by a hand span) marks it as a grave and prevents people from walking over it or digging into/around it by accident.
    • Note: This is also how the grave of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) was made. Allah made the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) the best of creation and choose for him the best, then how about the one who says elevating graves beyond this is better?!
  • Jābir (may Allāh be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) prohibited whitening a grave with plaster, to sit on it or to build over it (such as a dome). [Related by Muslim]
    • Whitening a grave with plaster: i.e. beautifying it. Modern day examples include using marble material etc. Beatifying a grave can lead to exaggeration in the matter of the grave as it becomes closer to a shrine and attracts people.
    • NOTE: Building upon a grave includes headstones (this is a very common modern day occurrence na’uudhubillaah).
    • It is also impermissible to sit on top of the grave area as this is against the honour of the deceased.
    • Islam allows us to bury the person, raise the grave by a hand span, and use some rocks or stone to identify where the head is. This is how the early Muslims including the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) were buried.

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