6 Islamic Rulings You Probably Didn’t Know

I love articles with these types of titles. They are the main attractions among my RSS feeds and I frequently check them to see whether anyone has written a new article like that.

Take for example: 10 things you can do to NOT be a Terrorist and Top 10 Terrible Khuthbahs (and what I learned from them) both by Dr. O on MuslimMedicine; Ten Things You Didn’t Know About The Kaaba and 9 Things You Didn’t Know About The Prophet’s Mosque both by Muhammad Wajid Akhter on MuslimMatters.  All these are very interesting reads, especially the Dr. O ones—that guy is hilarious.

Anyway, about these rulings—I have managed to compile about 6 of these rulings. Yeah, yeah, some of them you already know, but hey, who knew that! Maybe I will write an article on what I didn’t know that you already know.

Here they are:

1.      It is okay to cross in front of someone praying behind an Imaam.

Yeah, pretty much. The Sutrah—I hope you know what that is—of those who are praying behind the Imaam is the Sutrah of the Imaam (i.e. the Sutrah of the Imaam acts as the Sutrah of those praying behind him). Imam al-Bukhari named a chapter in his Saheeh: The Sutrah of the imam is the Sutrah of those who are behind him). 

In other words, the rulings narrated regarding the one who crosses in front of the one praying  has to do with one who is praying alone or is leading others in prayer.

Abdullah bin ‘Abbaas (may Allah be pleased with him) said: Once I came riding a female donkey and had (just) attained the age of puberty. The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) praying at Mina, and there was no wall in front of him. I passed in front of part of the row while they were praying. Then I let the donkey loose to graze and joined the row, and nobody objected to it. (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 76; Muslim, 504)

2.      It is permissible to greet (i.e. say Assalaam Alaikum to) someone who is praying.

This is based on the majority view, which also stipulates that it should not lead to spoiling of the prayer of the one who is ignorant (i.e. who doesn’t know what invalidates the prayer and what doesn’t). Simply put, if you think somebody might get confused, you should not greet him when he is praying. He might reply to you by saying Wa alaikum-us-Salaam and consequently invalidate his prayer. Sheikh ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) also favored this view.

However, the Hanafis regard it as makrooh and hold the view that returning the greeting in that case is not obligatory (see Tabyeen al-Haqaa’iq).

Well, what about returning the greeting? Like I implied before, not by saying Wa alaikum-us-Salaam, but by means of a gesture of the hand—by raising the hand so that the one who greeted him will know that he has returned the greeting.

Ibn ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) said:

“I asked Bilaal, How did the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) return their salaam when they greeted him whilst he was praying? He said: With a gesture of his hand.”

(Narrated by Ahmad, 6/12; Abu Dawood, 1/569, no. 927; al-Tirmidhi, 2/204, no. 368; al-Bayhaqi, 2/262.)

Bottom line, there is nothing wrong with greeting the one who is praying, but if it is going to disturb the worshippers, such as greeting when the imam is reciting, then one should not greet them.

3.      You can move to the next row if there is a vacant space during prayer.

This is mustahabb (recommended). Same is when there is a vacant space in your row and you move to fill that space. This is recommended because it allows one to do a recommended movement during the prayer. This makes the prayer more perfect and complete.

4.      You will be executed if you impugn the Prophet (peace be upon him) even if you repent.

The scholars of this Ummah are unanimously agreed that the one who impugns the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) is a kaafir and apostate who has gone beyond the pale of Islam.

Allah says in the Qur’aan:

“If you ask them (about this), they declare: We were only talking idly and joking. Say: Was it at Allah and His Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) and His Messenger (SAW) that you were mocking?

Make no excuse; you have disbelieved after you had believed. If We pardon some of you, We will punish others amongst you because they were Mujrimoon (disbelievers, polytheists, sinners, criminals, etc.)”

[at-Tawbah 9:65-66].

If he is an apostate, then the punishment prescribed for him in sharee‘ah is execution.

The scholars differed whether the repentance of the one impugns the Prophet (peace be upon him) is accepted. Sheikh ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) favored the view that his repentance will be accepted. The Sheikh adds, however, that he must (still) be executed (see Majmoo‘ Fataawa ash-Shaykh al-‘Uthaymeen, 2/150-152).

The reason behind that is that the person has transgressed against the rights of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and after his death, no one has the right to waive his rights. So he will be executed even if he repents, but he will be regarded as a Muslim, washed, shrouded, funeral prayer prayed upon and buried in a Muslim graveyard.

This is unlike the one who impugns Allah, may He be exalted. As for the one who impugns Allah, if he repents, he cannot be executed. That is because Allah has told us that He forgives transgressions against His rights if the person repents, and that He forgives all sins.

5.      The only parts of Ka’bah which you should come in contact with are the Black Stone, the ar-Rukn-ul-Yamaanee and the Multazam.

The part about Black Stone and ar-Rukn-ul-Yamaanee is widely known, so I will leave that off for now.

As for the Multazam, the ahaadeeth narrated about the Prophet (peace be upon him) touching the Multazam are weak. However, there are saheeh reports narrated from the Sahaabah that they used to do that. The one who does that places their chest, face, forearms and hands against it and makes du’aa’ and ask Allah for what he needs.

When and if you do that, make sure you refrain from annoying others. The area is pretty crowded around there most of the time.

Oh, yeah—the Multazam is the part of the Ka’bah between the Black Stone and the door.

6.      You need wash the hands (again) while you wash your arms when you perform ablution.

We all know how to perform ablution.

Do we? Let’s see.

First comes the intention, then you wash your hands, then you rinse your nose and mouth, then you wash your face, then you wash your arms…hold on. Do you wash your hands again?

You actually have to.

The first time you washed your hands at the beginning was Sunnah (recommended). Despite the fact that you washed your hands at the beginning, you have to wash it again when you wash your arms because that is Fard (obligatory). Whoever only washes the arms between the wrists and elbows has not completed the obligatory action that is required of him (see Al-Lu’lu’ al-Makeen min Fataawaa al-Shaykh Ibn Jibreen, page 77).

This is because the one who is performing ablution has to follow a certain order of washing his organs, which are stated in the following verse:

“O you who believe! When you intend to offer As-Salat (the prayer), wash your faces and your hands (forearms) up to the elbows, rub (by passing wet hands over) your heads, and (wash) your feet up to ankles” [al-Maa’idah 5:6].

The arms come after (washing) the face and washing the arms cannot be done except by washing the hands too.

This is the view of the majority of the scholars, but the Hanafis differed. And as for the issues concerning which the scholars differed, there are some guidelines on what do in such a situation. Maybe I will right about that one day—in sha Allah. For now, follow the majority and be on the safe side.

And my Lord knows best.

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