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

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