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Lesson 33 | The Prayer of Riders and the Fear Prayer

Saturday 29 July

Chapter of Prayer: Prayer of Riders

  • Recap of those who are excused from the normal performance of the prayer (e.g. the one who is ill or the traveller)
  • Another type of situation where there is leeway in the performance of the prayer is the case of the Rider
    • It could be that if the rider were to get off his riding animal he would not be able to mount it again
    • Or he fears that if he gets of his riding animal that he will fall behind his company or be subject to some danger
  • Narration that the prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) led the prayer whilst still on his riding animal
  • A rider must still face towards the Qiblah, due to the verse of the Quran (2:144)
  • Whatever you can do of the prayer then a Muslim should try to fulfil that, what one is restricted from doing due to his/her situation then that is outside of one’s control
  • In these days, examples of being a rider would include:
    • Situations where the rider does not have much control
      • Aeroplane
      • Boat
      • Train
    • Situations where one has more freedom
      • Car (e.g. to stop and pray if it is safe)
    • Question about rain: what qualifies as enough rain for combining in congregation?
    • Question about driving to masjid during rain: should one go to mosque during rain if he has a car?

Chapter of Prayer: The Fear Prayer

  • The Fear Prayer is ordained for:
    • When Muslims fear to be attacked whilst Praying as Allah states “… if you fear that those who disbelieve may disrupt [or attack] you…” (Surah An-Nisa: 101)
    • During permissible fighting (Jihad),  as Allah states  “…those who disbelieve wish that you would neglect your weapons and your baggage so they could come down upon you in one [single] attack…” (Surah An-Nisa: 102)
  • Evidence for the Fear prayer is in the Quran and Sunnah
  • Imam Ahmed said: “Five or Six ways of performing the fear prayer are authentically narrated about the prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم)”
  • The different ways of praying the Fear Prayer take into account things such as the direction from which the danger is likely to come (e.g. towards qiblah or in opposite direction?) and whether or not the prayer can be shortened (e.g. four rak’ah prayer or 2 rak’ah prayer)
  • Can be performed when one has fear, whether journeying or resident
    • If journeying, then the number of rak’ahs in the fear prayer is shortened e.g. from 4 to 2 rak’ah
    • If resident, then the number of rak’ahs cannot be shortened however the fear prayer itself can be prayed in a short manner
  • FIRST WAY: Hadith on the authority of Sahl Ibn Abu Hathmah Al-Ansari describing the fear prayer during the prophet’s time at the battle of Dhatur-Riqa
    • “One row lined up behind him (صلى الله عليه وسلم) while another row (lined up) facing the enemy. The prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) led the row that was with him in one rak’ah (unit of prayer), and he stayed in the standing posture while that row performed (another rak’ah) by themselves and went away, lining in the face of the enemy. The other group came and he (the Prophet) offered his remaining rak’ah with them, and then, remained sitting until they completed their prayer by themselves, and he then finished the prayer along with them”
    • Narrated by Al-Bukhari and Muslim
    • Imam Ahmed considers this to be the predominant way of performing the fear prayer for its similarity to the way mentioned in the Noble Quran

  • SECOND WAY: Muslim narrated another way of performing the Fear Prayer on the authority of Jabir (may Allah be pleased with him)
    • “ I witnessed the Fear Prayer with Allah’s Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم). We drew ourselves up in two rows, while the enemy was between us and the qiblah. Allah’s Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) pronounced takbir and we all pronounced it. He then bowed and we all bowed. He then raised his head from bowing and we all raised (our heads). He then went down in prostration along with the row close to him, and the rear row faced the enemy. When Allah’s Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) completed the prostration and stood up and the row near him also did this, the rear row prostrated themselves; then they stood up. Then the rear row went to the front and the front row went to the rear. Then Allah’s Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) bowed and we raised (our heads). He and the row close to him, which was in the rear (in the first rak’ah), went down in prostration, whereas the rear row faced the enemy. When Allah’s Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) completed the prostration and stood up and the row near him also did this, the rear row prostrated themselves. Then Allah’s Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) pronounced the final salutations and we all pronounced the salutation”
    • Narrated by Muslim
  • THIRD WAY: Narrated on the authority of Ibn Umar (may Allah be pleased with him)
    • “The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) led one of the two groups in one rak’ah (unit of prayer) in the Fear prayer, performing bowing once and prostration twice, while the other group faced the enemy. Then the members of the first group went back and replaced their companions, facing the enemy. Then they came and the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) led them in one rak’ah. Then he pronounced the taslim, and the members of the first group performed one rak’ah and those (i.e. the members of the second group) performed one rak’ah”
    • Related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim
  • FOURTH WAY: Ahmed, Abu Dawud and An-Nasa’i relate a fourth way of performing the Fear Prayer in which the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) performed the Fear Prayer leading each group separately and pronouncing taslim (with every group)
  • FIFTH WAY: Narrated on the authority of Jabir (may Allah be pleased with him) who said;
    • ”We went with the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) until we reached Dhatur-Riqa’…”
    • Jabir continued the narration until he said:
    • “Then the immediate prayer call (iqamah) was announced and the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) performed two rak’ahs (of the Fear Prayer) with one of the two groups, and that batch went back, and he performed two rak’ahs with the other group. Thus, Allah’s Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) performed four rak’ahs but the people performed two rak’ahs only”
    • Related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim
  • The above ways of performing the fear prayer are to be done as long as fear does not increase. If fear increases, e.g. fighting, attacking, retreating etc., and it becomes impossible to divide the Muslims for the fear prayer then one should do what is possible in that situation to perform prayer.
  • The fear prayer indicates the importance of the prayer, that the prayer is to be performed even in such difficult times
  • If the prayer is to be prayed and upheld in such hard circumstances, then what about the one who does not pray due to his or her laziness?

Q&A:

  • Question: is it permissible to break the prayer due to a necessity? + examples
    • If one can avoid breaking it buy resolving the situation with small movements, then it is better to keep the prayer and make those movements
    • If one cannot avoid breaking the prayer due to necessity, then one is allowed to break his/her prayer
  • Question: about the importance for men to pray in congregation
    • Hadith about missing prayers
    • Importance to do your best to pray in the masjid of the people of Sunnah
  • Question about traveller and prayer (when to combine and when to shorten)
  • Question about breaking prayer during necessity and why Uthmaan didn’t break his prayer when he was attacked
  • 2 Questions about combining maghrib and Isha in some countries due to extreme/difficult prayer times
  • Question on which prayers can be combined
  • Question about summer time when twilight does not disappear, can one estimate isha?

 

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