Ramadan Q & A #2
by: Ahmad Musa Jibril

QA1: Some sisters during Taraweeh leave a Qu'ran in front of them and after the Imam recites the Fatiha they step forward, bend over, pick up their Qu'ran and then follow along with the Imam. Once the Imam finishes and says "Allahu Akbar" they again bend down, place the Qu'ran in front of them and then step back and go into rukoo3. Is this ok?

There are two reasons for one to carry the Qur'an.
1. To correct the Imam if the Imam is not good in memorization and this may be slightly more tolerable than the 2nd.
2. To follow with the recitation.

In the situation carrying the mus-haf and then following, as in the scenario you mentioned, should be avoided but may not reach the point of haram.

Those who carry the Qur'an during taraweeh do not realize what they are missing out on:

a) The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) said specifically about the prayer that if the Imam reads then (ansit), which means "listen" and not "read along", preoccupy yourself and follow the verses physically. How do we follow the verses correctly? We follow these verses correctly by our eyes focusing on the floor (which give more khushoo3). This is the appropriate place for the eyes during prayer.
c) Looking at Qur'an following along usually takes from thinking of the verses.
d) Flipping pages are additional unnecessary movements and take from the khushoo3 of the prayer.
e) Carrying the Qur'an is an unnecessary movement and can take from the khushoo3
f) Not placing the right hand over left hand on the chest appropriately as we must do because one carries the Qur'an
g) Possibly not making rukoo3 and sujood right if one places the Qur'an under his armpits (as some do)
h) taking a step forward or backward as you mentioned is also additional movements that are necessary and take from one's khushoo3.

All of these actions take away from the khushoo3 of the prayer.

Although there are madhabs like the later Hanafy scholars who consider one's prayer void for carrying the mus-haf, I don't think it will reach that ruling. But by all means it is best not to carry the Qur'an and instead just listen and try to understand the meaning.

QA2: If a person prays Taraweeh behind the Imam and he or she knows they will InshaAllah wake up in the middle of the night to pray do they still pray Witr with the Imam or should they not pray with the Imam and wait until they have completed their prayers in the middle of the night to pray their Witr? Also, if the answer is that one should not pray Witr with the Imam and instead pray their witr at home when they've completed all their night prayers then how do they get the reward of 'praying with the Imam all night' as you stated the hadith says: "Whomever stays with his Imam in night prayer until his Imam leaves, Allah will write him as though he prayed the entire night."?

In such scenario one would pray the witr with the Imam with the intention of a Sunnah, when the Imam gets to the last rak3ah of witr do not make salam with him, but rather get up when he makes salam and do another rak3ah to make it two rather than one.

That is permissible to do and by that you would have not made witr, but still follow the Imam until he has completed his prayer.

If one happens to pray witr and then decides later on to pray more, then there are two opinions on that. Both initially agree that one cannot and should not do two witr in one night:
1) That one gets up and prays one raka'at to make previous witr as a two raka'at Sunnah, then prays as much as he wants then prays witr. This is the opinion of some sahabah and adopted by Ishaq.
2) That one gets up after witr and prays more night prayers, and does not make witr again because his previous witr is sufficient. This is the opinion of Sufyan, Malik, Ahmad, and Ibn AlMubarak.

QA3: On the Ramadan charts the Masjid is handing out they have a time written for Fajr and a time about 10 minutes before that for Imsak. They said you are to stop eating for Suhor at the Imsak time. Is this correct or do we stop eating at Fajr?

One should stop at fajer time, stopping before that or encouraging others to stop before fajer is unnecessary wara3. A Muslim has the right to eat and drink until fajer.
There is no recommendation by scholars to refrain earlier than fajer time.

Ibn Hajar (rahimahu allah) in Fath AlBary said, "Among the evil bida3 (innovations) is what people innovated today of making a precautionary athan claiming to be precautious in the worship of fasting, getting them by that athan to start the fast prior to fajer, and turning lights off as an indication that its haram to eat or drink. They delay the futoor and make fasting start earlier to the point they began to make athan for maghrib way after the real time for maghrib without men knowing that. By getting people to eat after the maghrib time and getting them to stop before fajer time they went against the sunnah. That is why it has become a small amount of good in them and a lot of evil." Fath AlBary 5/102

QA4: At our Masjid, every 4 rak3ahs the Imam in our community starts chanting Surat al-ikhlas 3 times and the community join him and they all say it out loud together. After which at some times he either reads some hadith or has our Qari recite some ayahs from the Qu'ran. What should be done about this? Should we leave during the chanting? Or is it ok to do any of this?

Chanting suret al ikhlas in the congregational manner and time you indicated constitutes a bid3ah (innovation). We know the prophet (sallah allahu alieh wasalam), the sahabah, the four great Imams, and others Imams of the early centuries prayed taraweeh and never did this. We should follow their method. That in itself should be sufficient for someone not to do that which was done. We need proof on everything we do in ibadah, and consequently there is no proof on what is being described above. Many think they discovered an area of ajer (reward) that the pious salaf or the prophet (sallah allahu alieh wasalam) missed out on. But, in actuality, these are actions that bring them farther from the truth.

What should be done about this?
A Muslim should try to ordain the good and forbid the evil as long as forbidding the evil does not lead to a bigger one. However, I think there will a major fitnah in forbidding that evil if the Imam is directly approached. And, Allah knows best. This has happened in the past in a similar situation where the Imam was approached in the best manner by a dear brother who is a visiting professor several years ago. The Imam became loud and aggressive. He claimed he would bring proof but never did. He went on for weeks making it the topic of his lectures. What is best is to individually tell brothers or sisters who are open minded to the Qur'an and Sunnah that this is wrong and not to participate.

Should you leave during chanting?
Possibly. Or you could occupy yourself with other than what the people are doing, maybe read Qur'an on your own and do your own personal dhikr.

And, Allah knows best.

-Ahmad Musa Jibril

 
 

 

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