Ramadan Q & A #4
by: Ahmad Musa Jibril

Q1: After praying, can I make extra sajdah just for dua' as the sajdah is the best place for dua' ? Can I just make sajdah and dua' outside of prayer too?

A1: The sujood is among the best places for dua' a. However, we cannot perform an additional sujood in the name of just dua' .

There are prescribed sujood outside of prayer. For example there are verses in the Qur'an that requires the reader after reading the verse to make sujood both in and out prayer.

There are also sujood outside of prayer for thanking Allah. When one is given good news and wants to show his thanks to Allah for that news, he can make sujood outside of prayer.

While there is proof to support these actions, there is no proof to make sujood outside of prayer just for the purpose of dua'.

If a person wants to make dua' in sujood, he should perform 2 raka'at of Sunnah thereby giving the person four sajdah to make his dua'!

When the prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) had a trial befall him, he was known to turn to prayer. Among the reasons he turned and performed his prayer was of course to make dua' in his sujood.

Q2: Is there more ajer for being at the front of taraweeh prayer? (ie being in the first row).

A2: Yes, there is. The closer you are (in terms of rows) to the Imam, the more reward.

Narrated in AlBukhary, The prophet (sallallahu aleih wasalam) said, "If people know the reward of the first row and calling athan they would compete like arrows shooting for it." Meaning, they would say whoever is a sharper shooter gets that place.

In another hadith, in the Sunnah al tirmithi, the prophet (sallallahu aleih wasalam) said, "Allah and His angels make salah on those in the front rows." (#602, also in Sunan Ahmad in an authentic chain)

The prophet (sallallahu aleih wasalam) used to ask Allah for forgiveness for those in the first row three times, and one time for those in 2nd row." (Narrated by Nasa'i and Ibn Majah)

It is very rewarding to pray in the first row in all congregational prayers, as the hadith do not distinguish between fard congregational and Sunnah ones. One should be eager to get this reward especially since it does not require much effort. In fact you notice most people today are hesitant to fill the gaps in front of them, even encouraging his brother to go for it while he stays back and looses out on the reward. In these types of matters, one should be selfish and competitive in trying to get the ajer of the first row.

Q3: Should we pray our extra salah (Sunnah) with the same amount of concentration as our fard salah?

A3: Yes, khushoo3 and concentration must be in all our salah, both fard and Sunnah. There is no difference amongst the two in regards to concentration because the proofs on khushoo3 are general, not distinguishing between fard and Sunnah. And more so, you are standing communication to Allah in both types of prayers.

Q4: Yesterday when we were praying taraweeh in *****.....the Imam forgot that he was already on his 2nd raka'at. He got up to make a third raka'at.....everyone followed him up, and he began to recite surat al-fatiha....apparently he caught himself in his mistake (he had already recited a couple of ayat from surat alfatiha), and sat down right away for tashahud.....and again, we all followed him down. I have heard that if you make a mistake, but you have already gotten up for the raka'at that you have to finish the raka'at, and make sujood alsahu for it.....is this right? Or is what the Imam did correct, by when he caught himself, right away he sat down?

A4: Just as a real female cook can tell how professional another female cook is by her handling of kitchenware, matters like these are what distinguish a fakeeh Imam from a very ignorant one.

It's not the duty of every Muslim to know these detailed rules of fikh but it is necessary for an Imam who leads salah to know them especially that these are very common errors. Nearly everyone who performs taraweeeh falls in them; therefore he should know what to do.

When an Imam forgets to sit to tashahud and adds an additional raka'at there are three scenarios:

First, he remembers before he "fully stands up". Meaning, he remembers on his way up. Then this person should sit right back down to tashahud. (Dahak, Qatadah, Alawzay and Alsahafy)

Malik (rahimahu Allah) said if his buttocks depart the floor, he should just continue on.

Hassan ibn Atieh said if his knees leave the floor then he should continue on.

Here, they just differ slightly in the degree of whether he should sit back down or not, as this is a person who did not stand up completely.

The proof is the prophet (sallallahu aleih wasalam)said in hadith narrated by Almughreeah bin Shubah hadith, "If any get up (like in the scenario we mentioned) and does not fully stand up then let him sit down, if he fully stands up then he should not sit down and let him make sujood alsahu. (Sujood for error at the end of the prayer) (narrated by abu dawoud and ibn majah)

Second, he remembers his error after he fully stands up, but before he begins to recite.

This person should remain standing and continue on with his rak3ah. There is a very slight dispute in this case. The true opinion backed by clear proof and adopted by the great vast majority of the scholars, is that he should not sit back down because of hadith Almughreeah that was just mentioned.

The third scenario is that he remembers he added an additional rak3ah after he began reciting as you mentioned.

He should not sit down but rather he should continue in his recitation.

This is the opinion of Umar, Saed bin Abay Waqqas, Ibn Masood, Almughreeah bin Shubah, Alnu3man bin Basher, Ibn Alzubier, Aldahak bin Kais, Ukbah ibn Amer, and it is the opinion of the great vast majority of the fukaha.

The proof is clearly in the hadith Almughreeah that we mentioned because this person not only fully stood up but instead started his recitation.

Abu Baker Al-ajury narrated that Mu3awieh (radia Allah u anh) led prayer and stood after the 2nd raka3ah where he was to sit for tashahud, people said "subhanAllah" yet he refused to sit back down. After his tashahud he performed sujood alsahu (sujood for error), then after prayer, he said I have seen the prophet (sallallahu aleih wasalam) do this.

When a sahabah says that, it has the ruling as though the prophet (sallallahu aleih wasalam) did it because we hold the sahabah in the highest status of credibility any human can be.

A third proof is that the prophet (sallallahu aleih wasalam), in a hadith narrated in both Bukhari and Muslim, prayed the dhuhur prayer and stood fully without making middle tashahud. The people followed him when he was done with tashahud. They waited for his tasleem then he made two sujood for an error.

These are matters Muslims should know because we all tend to fall in them one time or another in our life. As the above rules apply for additional raka3ah to both Sunnah and fard prayers, it also applies for standing up when forgetting the middle tashahud for prayers over 2 raka3t.

One thing to keep in mind for those who pray behind the Imam , when he makes his mistake not sitting for tashahud they should let him know by tasbeeh (subhanAllah ). They all should then follow in his error in such a matter. They should not make tasbeeh then refuse to get continue on with him, rather make tasbeeh and follow along, then he will make up for it by two sajdah alsahu.

I suggest you print this for your Imam so he will not fall in this common error which anyone is rarely freed from.

Q5: I know that your father said that during khutbah aljumuah, when the Imam is making dua' ...that we do not raise our hands with him....is this the same for witr? I know that when one prays witr, and the Imam is making dua', that we raise our hands and say ameen.....where is the hadith to back this up?

A5: In jumua one should not raise his hands when the khateeb makes dua' a, it's an innovation in other than asking for istiskaa (rain). In fact Abu Awanah narrates that Husein bin Abdelrahman said "I have seen Bishr bin Marwan raise his hands in dua' on jumua Friday." Umarah bin Ruwaibah said, "May Allah curse those two hands for I have never seen the prophet (sallallahu aleih wasalam)do more than this." ( point with his finger during the Friday khutbah.)

Our rules in Ibadah are consistent in that we require proof for everything. That is why we live in the peace and guidance of Allah and his prophet Muhammad (sallallahu aleih wasalam). In prayer of Qunoot one may raise his hands along with Imam , but in jumua he cannot unless it is for istiskaa. There is proof for one, and no proof for the other.

The Qunoot of witr and Qunoot for hardships are identical in manner and hukm (ruling) We know the prophet (sallallahu aleih wasalam)raised his hands in Qunoot of hardship in an authentic hadith in Musnad Ahmad and Sunan Albaihaky.

Also, An-Nawawy mentions that Abu Uthman narrated that Umar used to raise his hands in Qunoot dua' .

Also, Alaswad narrated that Ibn Masood used to raise his hand in the Qunoot prayer.
The last two hadith are narrated by Albukhary.

Q6: Parts of the dua' for witr (qunoot), the Imam says "Allahumma..." and we say ameen...but other parts of the dua' ..he is just praising Allah ...not necessarily making a direct dua' ...so I have heard people answer by saying "ya Allah " or even "subhanAllah "
what should we say during the parts of the dua' , where the Imam is not asking something directly, but rather is just praising Allah ?

A6: The ta'meen (saying ameen to the dua' of the Imam is appropriate because Ibn Abbas (radia Allahu anhuma) narrated that the prophet (sallallahu alieh wasalam) performed Qunoot and those behind him said 'ameen' to his dua' a. (narrated by ahmad and abu dawood).

During the dua' a of the Imam , Albaghwy (rahimahu Allah) said that one can say 'ameen' throughout the entire dua'- the part that is actual dua' a, and to the praise of Allah (subhanu wa ta'ala).

Or, one can can say 'ameen' to the dua' and remain silent during the praise parts of Allah (subhana wa ta'ala).

Or, one can repeat the praise of Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) during the praise and remain silent during the prayer.

One should stick to the above scholarly methods.

And, Allah knows best.

-Ahmad Musa Jibril



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