Basic Lessons

by Abdul Aziz S. Al Shoumar


Lesson 1: The Meaning of "La Ilaha Ill-Allah, Muhammad Al Rasool Allah" and The Condition of "La Ilaha Ill-Allah."

The Meaning of the Testimony of Faith:

The testimony (La Ilaha Ill-Allah) comprises of two concepts; Denial and Affirmation.


The testimony of faith denies the attribute of divinity to anyone and anything other than Allah `The Exalted'. All others, besides Allah, such as the angels, the prophets, and the rest of mankind, let alone the idols, and the political regimes in the world, are not gods nor do they deserve to be worshipped. Thus denial in this respect is not a denial of the existence of the alleged gods, rather than denial of the divinity which is attributed to them.


The testimony of faith affirms and restricts divinity to Allah alone. That is, the slave must believe that Allah is the only true God, and accordingly dedicate no act of worship to any, other than Allah.

The Meaning of Muhammad Al -Rasool Allah:

A confession with your heart that you have to say, "O Allah! I testify that Muhammad (saas) is Your Messenger." That means that none has the right to be followed after Allah, but the Prophet Muhammad (saas) as he is the Last of His Messengers. As Allah says:

"Muhammad (saas)' is not the father of any man amongst you but he is the Messenger of Allah and the last [end] of the Prophets and Allah is Ever All-Aware of everything". (Qur'an 33:40)

"And whatsoever the Messenger Muhammad(saas)gives you, take it and whatsoever he forbids you, abstain from it". (Qur'an 59:7)

And Allah says:

"Say [O' Muhammad(saas) to mankind] if you [really] love Allah, then follow me". (Qur'an 3:31)

As for the others, i.e. other than Muhammad(saas) their statements are to be taken or rejected in accordance with Allah's Book (i.e. the Qur'an) or with the Sunnah (legal ways, orders, acts of worship, statements etc,) of the Prophet.

Conditions of "La Ilaha Ill-Allah:"

  1. Knowledge, which consists of recognizing Allah as the only true God to Whom worship must be dedicated, and denouncing all the other gods worshipped besides Allah as false, and that they can neither extend benefit nor cause harm.
  2. Certainty, that the belief in Allah must be unblemished and without any doubt.
  3. Acceptance: that is to accept all its conditions, meaning etc.
  4. Submission: that is to fulfill its conditions submissively and willingly being content with Allah as the Rubb (only Lord) and Muhammad(saas), as His slave and last Prophet and Messenger.
  5. Truthfulness: that is to fulfill its requirements truthfully.
  6. Sincerity: that is to be sincere in worshipping Allah, dedicating all acts of worship to Him alone.
  7. The love of Allah, and the love of His Messenger Muhammad(saas), and the love of Allah's devotees and the people of His obedience, which means love of all Muslims.

Finally, it should be borne in mind that Allah must be obeyed, by following His commands and refraining from His prohibitions. Obedience to Allah must be associated with loving Him, fearing His punishment, and hoping for His reward, seeking His forgiveness and adhering to the teachings of His Messenger Muhammad(saas), who is the last of Allah's Messengers and his Shari'ah, i.e. the laws and religious rites, that abrogate all other preceding laws and religious rites, as Islam comprises the best of every preceding Shari'ah or religion.  Back

Lesson 2: The 5 Pillars of Islam

  1. To testify that there is no true God but Allah and that Muhammad(saas), is His last Messenger and the last of prophets.
  2. To perform the obligatory Prayers (5 times a day).
  3. To Pay ZAKAT (Poor-due once a year).
  4. To Fast during the month of Ramadan.
  5. To perform Hajj and Umrah (Pilgrimage - Once in lifetime, if one is capable of).    Back

Lesson 3: The Fundamental Articles of Iman (Faith)

To believe:

  1. In Allah.
  2. In His Angels.
  3. In His revealed Books.
  4. In His Messengers.
  5. In the Last day or Resurrection.
  6. In al-Qadr - Pre-ordainments [i.e. whatever Allah has ordained must come to pass - in other words, fate and destiny].    Back

Lesson 4: Tawheed (Islamic Monotheism)

Tawheed (Islamic Monotheism) has three aspects:

  1. Oneness of [the Lordship of Allah] - "Tawheed al Rububiyyah". To believe that there is only one Lord for all the universe, Its Creator, Organizer, Planner, Sustainer and Giver of Security etc., and that is Allah.
  2. Oneness of the worship of Allah - "Tawheed al Uluhiyyah". To believe that none has the right to be worshipped (e.g. by praying, invoking, asking for help (from the unseen), swearing, slaughtering sacrificing, giving charity, Fasting, and Pilgrimage etc,) should only be directed to Allah.
  3. Oneness of the Names and the qualities of Allah, "Tawheed al Asma was-Sifat". To believe that:
  1. We must not name or qualify Allah except with what He or His Messenger, has named or qualified Him.
  2. None deserve to be named or qualified with the Names or Qualifications of Allah; e.g. Al-Karim (All-Generous).
  3. We must confirm all of Allah's Qualifications which Allah has stated in His Book (the Holy Qur'an) or mentioned through His Messenger Muhammad(saas), without changing them or ignoring them completely or twisting the meanings or giving resemblance to any of the created things. Allah is present over His Throne, as mentioned in the Qur'an (20:5).

The Most Beneficent Allah "Istawa" (rose over) the (Mighty) Throne, and that Allah descends to the (nearest) Heaven to us on the Day of 'Arafat' (i.e. the 9th of Dhul Hijja), and also during the last third part of the night as mentioned by the Prophet, but He is with us by His Knowledge, not by His Supreme Entity (Bi Dhatihi).

"There is nothing like unto Him and He is All-Hearer, the All-Seer". (Qur'an 42:11)

This Ayah (verse) confirms the quality of hearing and the quality of the sight of Allah without any resemblance to others.

He, also says:

"To one whom I have created with Both My Hands". (Qur'an 38:75)

and He, Says:

"The Hand of Allah is over their hands". (Qur'an 48:10)

This confirms two Hands for Allah, but there is no similarity for them. This is the faith of all the true believers, and was the faith of all the prophets of Allah, from 'May Peace be upon him' Noah, Abraham, Moses and Jesus till the last of the Prophets Muhammad(saas). It is not like as some people think that Allah is present here, there and everywhere. This is not true. Allah tells us that He is above Heaven, over His Throne.

These three aspects of Tawheed are included in the meaning of "La ilaha ill-Allah" [None has the right to be worshipped but Allah].

It is essential to follow Allah's Messenger Muhammad(saas), in the right path and it is a part of Tawheed al Uluhiyyah.

This is included in the meaning,

"I testify that Muhammad(saas), is Allah's Messenger", and this means, "None has the right to be followed after Allah's Book (the Qur'an) but Allah's Messenger ". (Qur'an 59:7 and 3:31)    Back

Lesson 5: Shirk [Association of others With Allah in Worship]

Shirk is divided into two categories:

  1. Major Shirk.
  3. Minor Shirk.

1. Major Shirk (Major Polytheism)

It necessitates failure of deeds and remaining for ever in the hell-fire as per Qur'an.

"But if they had joined in worship others with Allah, what they used to do would have been of no benefit to them". (Qur'an 6:88)

Allah says:

"It is not for the Mushrikun [polytheists, idolaters, pagans, disbelieves in the Oneness of Allah], to maintain the Mosques of Allah [i.e. to pray and worship Allah therein, to look after their cleanliness and their building etc.], while they witness against their own selves of disbelief. The works of such are in vain and in fire shall they abide". (Qur'an 9:17)

Whoever dies in a state of Shirk, will not be forgiven and will not be allowed into Paradise, pursuant to Allah saying,

"Verily Allah forgives not [the sign of] setting up partners in worship with Him but He forgives, whom He Pleases, sins other than that". (Qur'an 4:116)

and Allah says:

"Verily whosoever sets up partners in worship with Allah then Allah Has forbidden Paradise for him and the fire will be his abode; and for the zalimun [polytheists and wrong-doers] there are no helpers". (Qur'an 5:72)

Shirk categorized under this type includes calling those who are dead, praying to idols for help and for relief, make vow to them and offering animals for slaughter as a sign of obedience to them etc.

2. Minor Shirk

It is the type proved by the texts of Qur'an and Sunnah to be called Shirk, but it is not categorized under Major Shirk such as hypocrisy in some deeds, to swear by something other than Allah and saying "Allah Willed and so and so willed", and the like. According to some of the following Hadith of our Prophet:

"What I fear most for you is the Minor Shirk". When asked what is Minor Shirk, he said "Disguised Shirk" reported by Mahmoud ibn Labeed al Ansari, ('May Allah be pleased with him') (Ahmed, Tabrani, and Bayhaqi)

"He who swore by something other than Allah shall be regarded as Mushrik." reported by Omar ibn al-Khattab (Ahmed)

"He who swore by other than Allah had fallen in Kufr or Shirk" reported by Ibn Omar (May Allah be pleased with both of them) (Abu Dawood and Tirmidhi)

"Do not say Allah willed, and so and so willed, but say Allah willed, then so and so willed." reported by Hudhayfah ibn al Yaman (Abu Dawood)

This type of Shirk does not necessitate apostasy of lasting in Hell, but it affects the perfection of the obligatory Tawheed.

Disguised Shirk

Disguised Shirk may be Major Shirk or Minor Shirk. It may fall in the major shirk such as the shirk of hypocrites, because they conceal their bad faith and pretend to be Muslims to cover themselves.

Disguised shirk may also fall in the category of minor shirk such as "Riya", (to do good deeds or beautify them to be seen by men) as stated in the following Hadith of Mahmoud ibn Labeed al Ansari. Its proof is the saying of the Prophet:

"May I tell you of what I fear very much, that might harm you more than Al Masih al Dajjal?"(Pseudo-Christ) The audience said, "Yes, O' Prophet of Allah ". He said, "The disguised shirk, that is, when a man gets up to pray and strives to beautify his prayer, because people are looking at him." reported by Abi Sa'eed al Khudri (Ahmed)

May Allah grant us success in escaping from these dangers.   Back

Lesson 6: To Wear a Ring, Twine, or anything Similar for Protection From or Removal of Harm or Affliction, is an act of Shirk

Allah said:

"Say: Tell me then, the things that you invoke besides Allah, - if Allah intended some harm for me, could they remove His harm, or if He [Allah] intended some mercy for me, could they withhold His Mercy? Say: Sufficient for me is Allah; in Him those who trust [i.e. believers] must put their trust" . (Qur'an 39:38)

Imran ibn Husain narrated:

The Prophet, once saw a man with a brass ring on his hand and asked him, "What is this?" The man replied, "To overcome the weakness of old age." He said, "Remove it, for, it can only add to your weakness. Should death overtake you while you are wearing it, you would never succeed." (Ahmad)

He also recorded in a Marfu' Hadith (tradition traced to the Prophet, himself): Uqbah ibn Aamir narrated that Prophet Muhammad(saas), said:

"Whoever wears a talisman or an amulet would never see his wish fulfilled by Allah. And whoever hangs a sea-shell would never get peace and rest."

In another version the Prophet, is reported to have said: "Whoever wears a talisman has committed Shirk."

Ibn Abi Hatim reported about Hudhaifah: He saw a man with a piece of twine on his hand (as protection or cure from fever) so he cut the twine and read the Ayah:

"Most of them believe in Allah and still practice shirk [polytheism]". (Qur'an 12:106)

Important points of the Lesson

  • It is strictly forbidden to wear rings, twines and the like seeking protection.
  • If, even the Companions had died wearing such a thing, would not have succeeded (in the Hereafter). This is a confirmation to the statement of the Companions that minor Shirk is greater (worse) than major sins.
  • Ignorance is no excuse.
  • Wearing any such article will not benefit this life. Indeed, it is harmful as was stated by the Prophet, "It will do nothing except increase your weakness."
  • The intense disapproval and censure of whoever does such a deed.
  • The declaration that whoever attaches something to himself will have that thing put in charge of him.
  • The declaration that whoever wears an amulet has committed Shirk.
  • Hudhaifah's reciting the Ayah of Qur'an is a clear proof that Companions used to recite the Ayah dealing with the major Shirk to condemn minor Shirk. Ibn Abbas did so, by reciting the Ayah from Surah al-Baqarah.(Qur'an 2:165)
  • Seeking cure from fever or relief from evil eye by using talisman, amulets etc. is Shirk.
  • Curse is upon those who use amulets, that their wishes should not be granted by Allah and those who use shells will neither get rest nor peace. That is, Allah has left them.    Back

Lesson 7: Ruqa (Incantation), Talismans and Amulets

Narrated Abu Bashir Al-Ansari: He was in the company of Allah's Messenger, on one of his journeys. Allah's Messenger, sent a messenger ordering:

"There shall not remain any necklace of bowstring or any other kind of necklace round the necks of camels except it is cut off" (Bukhari and Muslim)

Ibn Mas'ud narrated that he heard Allah's Messenger, saying:

" Al-Ruqa, Al-Tima'im and Al-Tiwalah are all acts of Shirk (Polytheism)." (Ahmad, Abu Dawood)

Al Ruqa or al Aza'im is the act of reciting incantations, charm etc. Those are allowed in which there is no trace of Shirk (Polytheism). Prophet Muhammad(saas), has permitted it in case of being bitten by poisonous insects or disturbed under the effect of an evil eye.

Al Tama'im is the act of putting an amulet around the necks of children to protect them from effects of evil eyes. If the amulet contains the Ayah of the Qur'an or Allah's Names and Attributes then it is allowed by some ancestors and disallowed by some. Ibn Mas'ud was among those who disapproved it.

Al Tiwalah (bewitch) is something done by those who claim they can cause a woman to become more fond of her husband or vice-versa.

Abdullah ibn Ukaim narrated the following Marfu' Hadith:

"Whoever uses, attaches to himself or wears a talisman, will be left alone with that talisman put in charge of him." (Ahmad & Tirmidhi)

Ruwaifi' said that Allah's Messenger, said to him:

"O' Ruwaifi', it may be that you live long after me, so inform people that whoever ties a knot in his beard, places any string or cord around his neck (as a charm), or cleans himself (after toilet) with animal dung or bone, Muhammad(saas), has nothing to do with him." (Ahmad)

Sa'id ibn Jubair said: "Whoever cut an amulet or talisman from anyone, it would be equal to liberating a slave."

It was Waki' who recorded it, and he reported from Ibrahim Nakh'i that they used to dislike every type of amulets and talismans whether they contained the Ayah of Qur'an or anything else. [They were the Companions of Abdullah ibn Mas'ud ]

Important issue of the Lesson

  • All the three above-mentioned acts are Shirk without exception.  Back

Lesson 8: Whoever seeks blessing through a tree, a stone, etc.

Allah said:

"Have you then considered Al-Laat and Al-Uzzah". "And Manaat [idols of the pagan Arabs] the other third?" (Qur'an 53:19,20)

Tirmidhi reported and declared as Sahih (authentic), that Abu Waqid Al-Laithi said: We went out with Allah's Messenger, on the campaign to Hunain while we had just left disbelief (Kufr) for Islam. The Mushrikun had a Sidr (lote-tree) that they would stay there and hang their arms (weapons) on, called Dhat Anwat. When we passed a Sidr, we asked, "O' Messenger of Allah, won't you make for us another Dhat Anwat just like their Dhat Anwat?" Allah's Messenger, said, "Allahu Akbar [Allah is the All-Great]! By the one Allah Who holds my soul in His hand, verily these are the ways of earlier nations; You have said exactly as the Children of Israel said to Musa [Moses] make for us a god just as their gods. He recited:

"Verily you are a people who know not". (Qur'an 7:138)

and added: "Certainly you will follow the ways of those who went before you."

Important Points of the Lesson

  • The request by the Companions, May Allah be pleased with them, regarding a tree similar to Dhat Anwat.
  • Their intention was to become closer to Allah by their act, as they thought He would like it.
  • The Prophet, rejected their request by saying: "Allahu Akbar, these are the ways of earlier nations, thereby expressing the gravity of the matter.
  • If some Companions [May Allah be pleased with them all] were unaware of the nature of their intended acts, it is reasonable to assume that later generations (of much lesser status) are more likely to fall into ignorance.
  • The negation of this act is in the very meaning of "There is no true God except Allah ", which is subtle and hidden, and this was not perceived by them.
  • Shirk is of two types, i.e. major and minor because the Companions were not turned apostate due to their request alone.
  • It is essential to put an end to all possible ways leading to Shirk (polytheism) and to prohibit any resemblance of people of ignorance (disbelievers).
  • The general tendency of mankind has been expressed by the Prophet, by saying: "These are the ways."
  • At every place where Allah has censured the Jews and the Christians in the Qur'an He has also warned us against those deeds.
  • The one who has moved from falsehood (i.e. became Muslim) and get accustomed to certain beliefs or habits is not totally safe from having remnants of these habits, as is evidenced in the Companions' words "and we had just left disbelief (Kufr)." Back

Lesson 9: Slaughtering for other than Allah

Allah said:

"Say: Verily my prayer, my sacrifice, my living, and my dying are for Allah, the Lord of the worlds"." He has no partner. And of this I have been commanded, and I am the first of the Muslims" . (Qur'an 6: 162,163)

"Therefore turn in prayer to your Lord and sacrifice [to Him only]". (Qur'an 108:2)

Ali ibn Abi Talib, said: "Allah's Messenger, informed me about four Judgments [of Allah]:

  1. Allah's curse is upon the one who slaughters (his sacrifice) for anything other than Allah
  2. Allah's curse is upon the one who curses his own parents (by cursing the parents of others)
  3. Allah's curse is upon the one who shelters an heretic (who has brought a Bid'ah in religion)
  4. Allah's curse is upon the one who alters the landmarks (who changes boundary lines)

Ahmed reports that Tariq ibn Shihab narrated that Allah's Messenger, said:

"A man entered Paradise because of a fly, and a man entered Hell-fire because of a fly. The Companions asked, "How was that possible O' Messenger of Allah?" He said, "Two men passed by some people who had an idol by which they would not allow anyone to pass without making a sacrifice to it. They ordered one man to make a sacrifice. He said, 'I have nothing to present as an offering.' The people told him, 'Sacrifice something, even if it be a fly.' So he presented a fly (to their idol). They opened the way for him, and thus he entered the Hell-fire. They said to the other, Sacrifice something.' He said, I will never sacrifice anything to anyone other than Allah, All-Majestic and All-Glorious. So they struck his throat and killed him, and he therefore, entered Paradise."

Important points of the Lesson

  • The curse is on those who sacrifice to anything other than Allah.
  • Curse is upon those who curse their parents (by cursing others' parents and in turn, the latter curse their parents).
  • Curse is upon the person who shelters a heretic person (Muhdith) in religion. That is, a person innovates something that is necessarily the sole right of Allah to do and then seeks shelter with someone who assists him in it.
  • Curse is upon him who unjustly alters the landmark, i.e. the boundaries that differentiate one person's land from his neighbour's, and changes them to encroach upon that land or obstruct it.
  • The simple but tremendous story of the fly is very useful.
  • The person who presented a fly to the idol went to Hell though, Indeed, he did it to save himself from the threat of idolaters [but he let down his religion].
  • Knowing how hated Shirk is to the hearts of the believers in the case of the man who was patient in facing execution and did not give-in to their demand in spite of the fact that they demanded only a fly from him.
  • This is a confirmation of the Hadith "Paradise is closer than the laces of your shoes and the Hell-fire is likewise."
  • The action of the heart is aimed at, even among the idol worshippers.   Back

Lesson 10: To vow to other than Allah is an act of Shirk

Allah said:

"They [are those who] fulfill [their] vows, and they fear a Day whose evil will be Wide-spreading". (Qur'an 76:7)

"And whatever you spend for Charity [for Allah's cause] or whatever vow you make, be sure Allah knows it all". (Qur'an 2:270)

Narrated 'Aishah (May Allah be pleased with her) that Allah's Messenger, said:

"Whoever vows that he will be obedient to Allah, should be obedient to Him, and whoever made a vow that he will disobey Allah, should not disobey Him" (Bukhari)

Important points of the lesson

  • Fulfillment of the vow is obligatory. Since making a vow is an act of worship to Allah, then directing a vow to other than Allah is committing a Shirk. Any vow, if based on disobedience [to Allah] it is not permissible to carry out.  Back

Lesson 11: To Seek refuge in others than Allah is Shirk

Allah said:

And verily, there were men among mankind who took shelter with the male Jinns, but they [Jinn's] increased them [mankind] in sin and disbelief". (Qur'an 72:6)

Muslim reports that Khawlah bint Hakim (May Allah be pleased with her) said, I heard Allah's Messenger , say:

"Whoever goes into a dwelling and says (while entering it): 'I seek refuge in Allah's perfect words from the evil (of the creatures) which He has created', no harm shall befall him until he departs from that place." (Muslim)

Important points of the Lesson

  • Seeking refuge in other than Allah is a form of Shirk (Polytheism).
  • It may be that one achieves some worldly benefit from a thing, such as prevention from a harm or evil, or gaining some advantage or good, it does not mean that dependence on such) is not Shirk.
  • The scholars use this Hadith to prove that the Words of Allah are not creatures; But to seek refuge in created things is Shirk.
  • The superiority of this invocation despite its being short.  Back

Lesson 12: To Seek help in other than Allah (Istighatha) or to Invoke other than him is an act of Shirk

Allah, said:

"And invoke not beside Allah any that will neither profit you nor hurt you, but if [in case] you did so, you shall certainly be one of the Zalimun [polytheists and wrong doers]"." And if Allah touches you with hurt, there is none who can remove it but He; and if He intends any good for you, there is none who can repel His Favours which he causes it to reach whomsoever of His slaves He will. And He is the Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful". (Qur'an 10:106,107)

"You worship besides Allah only idols, and you only invent falsehood. Verily, those whom you worship besides Allah have no power to give you provision, so seek your provision from Allah [alone] and worship Him [alone] and be grateful to Him. To Him [Alone] you will be brought back". (Qur'an 29:17)

"And who is more astray than who calls [invokes] besides Allah, such as will not answer him till the Day of Resurrection; and who are [even] unaware of their calls [invocations] to them"?" And when mankind are gathered [on the Day of Resurrection], they [false deities] will become enemies for them and will deny their worshipping". (Qur'an 46:5,6)

"Is not He who responds to the distressed one, when he calls Him; and who removes the evil, and makes you inheritors of the earth, generations after generations? Is there any god with Allah? Little is that you remember!" (Qur'an 27:62)

Tabarani narrates: During the days of the Prophet, there was a hypocrite who used to harm the believers. Some of the believers said,

"Come: we appeal to Allah's Messenger, for assistance against this hypocrite."

The Prophet replied,

"Verily, no one should seek relief from me. Indeed, it is Allah Who is to be sought for relief."

Important points of the Lesson

  • It is greater Shirk to call upon anything, other than Allah. Even the most pious person calls others for help (supernaturally) rather than Allah becomes one of the Zalimun (wrong-doers, polytheists).
  • Calling others for help besides Allah is of no benefit in this world and it leads to disbelief (Kufr).
  • Requests for sustenance and provision should not be made to any one other than Allah, Just as Paradise can be requested from none but Allah.
  • There is none more misguided than the one who calls on others than Allah.
  • To whom the call is made (beside or/and besides Allah is unaware of the supplication of the caller; he knows nothing about it.
  • The call will be the cause for anger and enmity of the one called towards the caller.
  • The call is regarded as worship of the one called upon.
  • The one called upon will deny and reject this act of worshipping towards him (on the Day of Judgment).
  • This is why such a supplicant is the most astray of the people.
  • Astonishing admission of the idolaters that none relieves any one in distress other than Allah. That is why, they used to call upon Him in times of extreme difficulty with the utmost religious sincerity. Back

Lesson 13: The Condemnation of the one who worships Allah at the Grave of a righteous man. This amounts To Worship of man

Aishah, May Allah be pleased with her, reported: "Umm Salamah mentioned to Allah's Messenger, that in Abyssinia she saw a church full of pictures and statues. He said:

"When a righteous man or pious worshipper among them dies they build a place of worship over his grave and set up all kinds of pictures and statues. They are the worst of all creatures before Allah. They combine two evils; a) worshipping at the graves and b) making images and statues." (Bukhari and Muslim)

Again, 'Aishah, May Allah be pleased with her, narrated:

"When the death approached Allah's Messenger, he began to draw a piece of cloth (bed sheet) over his face, sometimes covering and sometimes removing because of distress. He, said in that state: "Allah's curse be upon the Jews and the Christians for taking the graves of their Prophets as places of worship", and he warned the people about their actions. Had there not been any fear of making the Prophet's grave a place of worship, his, grave would have been as open as the graves of his Companions." (Bukhari and Muslim)

Jundub bin AbdAllah, narrated:

I heard the Prophet, say only five days before his death: "I deny having any of you as my Khalil (most loved friend). Verily, Allah has taken me as His Khalil just as He had taken Ibrahim [Abraham] as Khalil, otherwise I would have taken Abu Bakr, as Khalil. Beware of those who preceded you. They used to make their Prophets' graves places of worship, I forbid you to do so." (Muslim)

He, forbade this at the end of his life. After this [forbidding of taking graves as Masjid (mosque - place of worship)], he cursed anyone who did any such deed within this context. Prayer at the graves is one of these deeds, even if no Masjid has been built. This is the meaning of his, words "He feared (his grave) would be taken as a Masjid ". The Companions never built any place of worship around his grave. Any place which is intended for prayer or where prayer is performed has indeed been taken as a Masjid. Just as the Prophet, said: "The whole earth has been made for me a Masjid and it is pure and clean (and a purifier)."

Ahmad has reported with a good chain of narrators that Ibn Mas'ud, narrated

"The Most evil men are those upon whom the (signs of) the Hour (of Resurrection) comes, while they are still alive, and those who take graves as places of worship (Masjid)." (This is also reported by Abu Hatim)

Important Points of the Lesson

  • The warning of Allah's Messenger, against building a mosque to worship Allah by the graves of righteous persons even with good intention.
  • Prohibition of statues and the like and the gravity of the matter.
  • Prophet, strongly prohibited the turning of his grave into a Masjid.
  • It was the practice of the Jews and the Christians to turn the graves of their Prophets into places of worship.
  • His curse on the Jews and the Christians for this practice.
  • His intention in saying so was a warning to us regarding his grave.
  • The reason for not raising his grave.
  • The meaning of taking the graves as Masjid.
  • The Prophet, linked those who took the graves as Masjid to those upon whom the Hour will occur while they are still alive. He mentioned the means to Shirk before its actual occurrence along with its final consequence.
  • The mentioning of Prophet, in his speech a refutation of the two worst sects of bid`ah (innovators) just five days prior to his death. Some scholars have not included these two sects in the 72 Muslim sects. These sects are Rafidah and Jahmiyah. The occurrence of Shirk and grave worshipping was due to Rafidah sect, and they were the first to build Masjid over the graves.
  • Suffering of the Prophet, from pains and affliction of death Allah awarded the favour of making him a Khalil (most loved friend) which is a clear declaration being a khalil is something more valuable than love.
  • A clear declaration that Al-Siddiq [Abu-Bakr], was the best Companion.
  • The Indication to him [Abu-Bakr] as caliph [successor to the Prophet ]    Back

Lesson 14: Exaggerations in The Graves of righteous persons tend to make them like idols, Worshipped besides Allah

Imam Malik, May Allah be merciful to him, recorded in his book Muwatta that the Prophet, said: "O Allah! Never turn my grave into an idol to be worshipped. Allah's wrath intensified on a people who turned their Prophet's grave into Masjid." Concerning the Ayah:

"Have you then considered al-Laat and al-Uzza [idlos]". (Qur'an 53:19)

Ibn Jarir (Tabari) reported from Sufyan, from Mansur, from Mujahid:

"He (Laat) used to serve the pilgrims by preparing Saweeq (fine flour of barley or wheat mixed with water and - butter oil) for them. After his death, people began to stay confined at his grave for the purpose of reward."

The same was reported by Abul-Jawza, May Allah be merciful to him, from ibn Abbas. Ibn Abbas, reported:

"Allah's Messenger, cursed the women who visit the graves. He, also cursed those who set up mosques and put lights over graves." (This Hadith is confirmed by Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah and Nasa'i)

Important points of the Lesson.

  • Explanation of Idols.
  • Explanation of worship.
  • The Prophet, did not seek refuge in Allah except from that which he feared would occur.
  • The Prophet's joining the supplication i.e. "O Allah! Never turn my grave." with the statement on people making the graves of Prophets as Masjid (mosque).
  • Mention of the intense wrath of Allah on those who indulge in such activities.
  • of most importance is the description how the worship of Laat, one of the major (pre-Islamic) idols, started.
  • Laat was the name of a righteous person buried in that grave, and the mention of the meaning behind (idol) being named as such.
  • Curse of the Prophet, on the women who visit the graves and upon those who put lights on the graves Back

Lesson 15: Al-Mustafa blocked every path leading to Shirk to Protect Tawheed

Allah, said:

"Verily, there has come unto you a messenger [Muhammad(saas)] from among yourselves. It grieves him that you should receive any injury or difficulty. He [Muhammad(saas)] is anxious over you [to be rightly guided, to repent to Allah, and beg Him to pardon and forgive your sins, in order that you may enter Paradise and be saved from the punishment of the Hell-fire], for the believers He is full of pity, kind, and merciful". "But if they turn away, say [O Muhammad (saas)]: Allah is sufficient for me. La ilaha illa Huwa [none has the right to be worshipped but He], in Him I put my trust and He is the Lord of the Mighty Throne". (Qur'an 9:128,129)

Abu Huraira, narrated that Allah's Messenger, said:

"Do not make your homes graves (i.e. Pray in them). Do not make my grave a place of celebration. Send your Salat (blessings, graces, honours and mercy) on me. Your Salat will be conveyed to me, from wherever you may be." (Abu Dawud recorded this Hadith with reliable chain of narrators")

And Ali bin Hussain narrated: He saw a man at a place that was at the grave of the Prophet, he would go in it and supplicate. So he (Ali bin Husain) prevented the man and instructed him saying, "Should I not tell you a Hadith which I heard from my father who in turn heard it from my grandfather [Ali] who reported from Allah's Messenger. He, said:

"Do not take my grave as place of celebration, nor your homes as graves, make Salat upon me, for, it will be conveyed to me from wherever you are." (Al-Mukhtarah the collection of Imam Al-Maqdassi)

Important points of the Lesson

  • The Prophet, did his best to keep his Ummah outside the boundaries of Shirk, as far away as possible.
  • The Prophet's concern for our well-being and success and his compassion and mercy.
  • The Prophet, forbade visiting his grave in a certain and specific manner, though visiting the grave is among the best of deeds.
  • The Prophet, forbade us from making excessive visits to graves.
  • He urged people to perform voluntary (nafil) prayer at home.
  • It is established among Companions, that performing Salat in the cemetery is prohibited.
  • The explanation that a person's invocation of Salat and salam upon the Prophet, is conveyed to him even if he be far away. As such, there is no necessity to be in close proximity (to his grave) as some people misconstrue.
  • The Prophet, is in Al-Barzakh (the state of after-death and pre-resurrection) where the Salat and Salam of his Ummah are conveyed (to him). Back

Lesson 16: Types of Water & Impurities

Water can be divided into 2 categories:

  1. PURE (Tahur) Water which is permissible for Wudu;
  2. IMPURE (Tahur [SEE NOTICE OF CORRECTIONS BELOW)) water which is not permissible for Wudu.

Tahur Water:

  1. Mutlaq Water i.e., Natural water such as Rain water, Sea water and altered water because of its being in a place for a long time, like a pond or lake and is mixed with algae, tree leaves etc., which cannot be removed from it.
  2. Water even though has been mixed with clean elements such as, flour or salt etc. to some extent, can still be called water.
  3. A large quantity of water, which is equal to or more than 2 Qullas.

    Water, even if mixed with impure substances, but does not change taste, color or odour, is considered Tahur water.

    1 Qulla is equivalent to about 95.62 liters.

Najis Water:

  1. If any impurities is mixed with a small quantity of water, - which is less than 2 Qullas, the water is considered Tahur, regardless of whether there is change in taste, colour or odour of water.
  2. If any of the impurities is mixed with a large quantity of water - 2 Qullas or more, but the taste, colour or odour of water is changed. It can not be good for wudu, but may be used for drinking.


  1. Excrement of People
  2. His urine.
  3. Shed blood. - Blood shed under any circumstances.
  4. Dog's saliva.
  5. The urine & stool of animals that are not permissible to eat.
  6. Pig.
  7. Dead animals except the following:
  1. Dead animals of the Sea and Locusts.
  2. Dead animals that have no running blood e.g. fly.
  3. Hair furs, feathers, bones, horns and claws of dead animals, if they are permissible to eat when alive. Back

Lesson 17: How to Perform Wudu & Wiping over the Socks

The essential and voluntary acts are integrated here to demonstrate how the Prophet, used to perform wudu.

  1. Making the intention (Niyyah) to perform wudu as an act of sincere worship for the pleasure of Allah. The intention is not to be uttered but it should be kept in mind during the wudu.
  2. Invoking Allah, at the start of the wudu by saying "Bismillah" [In the Name of Allah].
  3. Washing the hands up to the wrists three times, while rubbing them and allowing the water to reach between the fingers.
  4. Rinsing the mouth with water thrice, preferably after using "miswak" - (tooth stick), tooth brush or fingers to brush the teeth and the gum. Regarding the importance of miswak, the Prophet, is reported to have said, "If it had not been a great burden on my Ummah, I would have ordered them to use miswak at every wudu." (Imam Malik)
  5. Cleaning the nostrils by sniffing water in and out three times.
  6. Washing the entire face thrice using both hands from the top of the forehead down to the bottom of the chin and from ear to ear.
  7. Washing the arms three times up to the upper end of elbows; right arm first and then the left arm. Arms should be rubbed while being washed.
  8. Wetting both hands and passing them over the head starting from above the forehead down to the back of the head and from there bringing the hands forward up to the forehead. Do not wet the neck.
  9. From the head, without wetting the hands again wipe the earlobes, using the forefingers to wipe the inner part of the lobes and the thumbs for the outside part.
  10. Washing both feet up to the ankles three times, beginning with the right foot and then the left foot. Both feet should be rubbed while they are being washed and water should freely pass between the toes.

Wiping over the Socks

  1. If someone's "wudu" gets nullified, then, while performing a fresh wudu, it is allowed to wipe over the socks with wet hands, instead of washing both feet, on condition that the socks were put on after washing the feet in the first wudu and before the same was nullified.
  2. A traveller may avail himself of this privilege continuously for five consecutive prayers, three consecutive days and nights (72 hours), but a resident may do so for only one day and one night continuously (24 hours).

How to Wipe over the Socks:

Wiping is done according to the traditions of the Prophet, as follows:

  • After removing the shoes, wet hands are passed only over the upper surface of the socks (without wiping the bottom part - sole).

When the Wiping Privilege Ceases:

The wiping privilege becomes invalid in the following cases.

  1. When the maximum timing allowed, as discussed above, has lapsed.
  2. The moment the socks are removed.
  3. When any of the cases requiring "ghusl" occur. Back

Lesson 18: Wudu Conditions

  1. Islam.
  2. Sanity.
  3. Consciousness.
  4. Intention (niyyah). The intention need not be uttered, but is kept in mind during the wudu.
  5. Purifying oneself from urine, excrement by istinja, using water, or by istijmar ' using stones or tissue and also purifying from all kinds of impurities.
  6. Using clean and lawful (halal) water.
  7. Ensuring that the water reaches the skin.

In cases of those who are afflicted with physical condition of permanent wetting of urine, frequent passing of wind or for women suffering from prolonged flows of blood, they should make wudu when prayer time is due. Their wudu is not nullified, even if any of the above things occur, while they are in prayer. Back

Lesson 19: Essential Acts of Wudu

  1. Washing the entire face once (including rinsing of the mouth and cleaning of nostrils).
  2. Washing each arm once.
  3. Wiping the whole head once.
  4. Washing both feet up to the ankles.
  5. Ensuring that the above (4) acts are performed in the given sequence.
  6. Performing the wudu acts continuously and without unnecessary let-ups until completion. Back

Lesson 20: Matters that invalidate the Wudu

The person will remain in a state of wudu until any of the following occurs:

  1. Passing of excrement, urine or wind. When someone passes urine and/or excrement, it becomes mandatory upon such person to remove the foulness of these things before performing wudu. Clean water should be used for this purpose. The person may also resort to the use of certain dry objects, such as stones, dry wood or tissue to remove the filth. This is known as "istijmar". While using these dry objects, it is preferable to use them in odd numbers, such as 3 or 5 etc. The person should ensure that no drops of urine, stains, foulness remain on his/her body or clothes.
  2. However, in case of persons afflicted with permanent wetting, or frequent passing of wind and women suffering from prolonged flows of blood, wudu is required to be performed only once, immediately before the start of prayer. Their wudu would remain valid, even if the above problems occur, while that person is in the middle of prayer.
  3. Eating of camel's meat.
  4. Sleeping, during which a person loses consciousness.
  5. Loss of consciousness from insanity, fainting etc.,
  6. Touching of sexual organs intentionally, directly and unclothed (skin to skin). Back

Lesson 21: The Earth to be used for Tayammum

Tayammum is dry cleaning in lieu of wudu when water is not available or sickness etc. prevents use of water for prayers, reciting Qur'an etc. Earth, sand or stone is used in lieu of water.

The earth, sand or stone should be clean in Islamic the sense.

How to Perform Tayammum

  1. The person should, first of all, have intention (by heart) to perform Tayammum.
  2. Strike the earth with the palms of both hands.
  3. Wipe the face using both palms once.
  4. Thereafter, the person uses the left palm to wipe the back of the right hand up to the wrist, and then uses the right palm to wipe over the back of left hand up to the wrist. Back

Lesson 22: Occasions when Ghusl (obligatory bath) is required

  1. After the discharge of semen, as a result of stimulation, whether one is asleep or awake, (i.e. in wet dream). This state is known as "junub" in Arabic. If no wetness is traced in one's clothing, bathing is not obligatory. But, in case wetness is found without recalling any dream, ghusl becomes obligatory.
  2. After sexual intercourse (or the mere coming together of the organs of the man and woman, even though there may be no actual ejaculation), Ghusl is obligatory.
  3. A woman has to perform Ghusl, after the menstruation period.
  4. A woman has to perform ghusl, at the end of postnatal blood.
  5. When a disbeliever embraces Islam, he has to perform ghusl after uttering the testimony - kalimah.
  6. When a Muslim dies, Ghusl is required for him/her. Back

Lesson 23: How Ghusl is performed

Both the essential and voluntary acts are now integrated hereunder to demonstrate how the Prophet, used to perform ghusl:

  1. Intention, by heart, to perform ghusl - and say bismillah.
  2. Washing both hands up to the wrists three times.
  3. Washing the sex organs.
  4. Performing wudu as usual in the manner already discussed, except that the washing of feet would be delayed until later, when the rest of the body is washed.
  5. Pouring water over the head three times, massaging the hair to allow the water to reach its roots.
  6. Pouring water liberally over the entire body, starting with the right side and then the left, ensuring that no part of the body is left untouched by water, including armpits, inside the earlobes, inside the navel, between fingers and toes etc.,


  1. A woman will perform ghusl just as the man does, except that if she has plaited hair, she need not undo it. She only needs to throw three handfuls of water over her head.
  2. After completing the ghusl a person may recite the supplication for concluding the ghusl, which should be recited outside the bathroom/toilet, the same supplication recited after completing wudu.
  3. When water is nearby, but the person could not fetch it, due to fear for his/her life, family and wealth (e.g. danger from beasts or humans in the vicinity) then, tayammum can be performed.
  4. When there is not enough water and one is forced to save what is available for drinking and/or cooking, then tayammum is allowed. Back

Lesson 24: Pillars of Salat (Arkan Al-Salat)

The prayer has obligatory pillars, which must be fulfilled for its validity. They are:

  1. "Al Qiyam" - prayer is to be performed in a standing position if a person is physically capable.
  2. "Takbeer al Ihram", that is saying "Allahu Akbar", at the commencement of the prayer.
  3. " Al Fatihah" - that is reciting the opening chapter of the Holy Qur'an in every rak'at (unit).
  4. "Ruku'" - this is the bowing posture wherein the head and back are positioned at the same level and both hands are rested on the knees with the fingers spread apart.
  5. Raising up from ruku' position.
  6. It is required to stand up from the ruku' position in such a way that the person feels that all his/her backbones are straightened.
  7. "Sujud" - that is prostrating oneself in such a way that the following seven parts of the body are firmly placed on the ground. i.e. forehead together with the tip of the nose, both palms, both knees, the bottom surface of toes of both feet.
  8. Raising the head from the sujud position.
  9. It is required to sit upright during the pause between the two prostrations.
  10. Taking a sitting position for the recitation of "tashah-hud" ' words of witness.
  11. Reciting of "Tashah-hud" - words of witness.
  12. Reciting the words of supplication - sal't and sal'm ' for the Prophet.
  13. "Tasleem" - that is Concluding the prayer with the words "Al salamu 'Alaiykum wa Rahmat Allahi wa Barakatuhu."
  14. While fulfilling the above pillars of salat, the person should be in a state of tranquillity.

The above are the pillars of the prayer, wherein if any of them is missed, the whole rak'ah (Unit) be repeated in which the pillar was omitted.

But if the takbeer al Ihram - (the first takbeer that initiates the prayer), is omitted, then the whole salat be repeated. Back

Lesson 25: Conditions of Salat

  1. Acceptance of Islamic Faith - disbelievers are not required to perform salat until they believe in Allah and bear witness that there is no god but Allah and bear witness that Muhammad (saas), is His Messenger.
  2. Al Niyyah - This Arabic word means intention by heart to perform a particular deed.
  3. Cleanliness - This includes cleanliness of the body, the cloths and the place where the prayer is to be performed.
  4. Purification - this refers to the performance of wudu (or ghusl where it is required) prior to performing the prayer.
  5. Clothes and concealing of the private parts - for man, it is essential to cover at least from navel to the knees all around, while in the case of a woman, her body should be totally covered except the face and palms. But if there are men around, she should cover her body totally.
  6. Facing the "qiblah" - A person when praying, must face towards the direction of the ka'bah, the Sacred Mosque in Makkah. If a person is in a strange place, and is not in a position to find out the right direction of qiblah, he/she can make the best guess of the qiblah and perform the prayer.
  7. Timing - prayers are to be observed at the prescribed times. Back

Lesson 26: Necessary Duties of Salat (Wajibat Al Salat) and How to recite "Tashah-Hud"

In addition to the above 14 pillars of prayer, there are also certain necessary duties, which need to be fulfilled in the course of the salat. They are as follows:

  1. All takbeers except takbeer al Ihram.
  2. Saying "subhana rabbi al azim", (once) in ruku' position.
  3. Saying "sami' Allah liman hamidah" (once) while resuming standing position from the ruku', whether the person is Imam - leading the prayer, or is praying alone.
  4. Saying "rabbana wa laka al hamd" (once) after resuming the standing position from the ruku'. This is required from the Imam, from the congregation and also when person praying alone.
  5. Saying "subhana rabbi al 'ala" (once) when in sujud (Prostration) position.
  6. Saying "rabbi aghfir li" in the sitting pause between the two prostrations of every unit of the prayer.
  7. Taking a sitting position on the recitation of the first tashah-hud at the end of first two rakat (units) of Zuhr (noon), Asr (afternoon), Maghrib (evening) and Isha (night) prayers.
  8. Reciting the tashah-hud (words of witness) after the end of first two rak'at of Zuhr, Asr, Maghrib and Isha prayers.

The above 8 acts constitute the necessary duties (parts) of the prayer and if one of the necessary duties is missed unintentionally, then the person is required to correct the mistake by performing two prostrations of forgetfulness at the end of the prayer. However, if any of these duties is left out deliberately, then the whole prayer is nullified and shall require a repetition.

How to recite "Tashah-Hud"

"At-tahiyatu lillahi wassalawatu wat tayyibatu, Assalamu alaiyka aiyyuhan-nabiyu wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu. Assalamu 'alaiyna wa 'ala ibadil-lahis-saliheen. Ash-hadu anla-ilaha ill-Allahu wa ash-hadu anna Muhammad an abdohu wa ras'luhu. Allahumma salli 'ala Muhammad wa 'ala aali Muhammad, kama sallayta 'ala Ibrahima wa 'ala aali Ibrahima. Innaka Hameedum Majid. Wa barik 'ala Muhammad wa 'ala aali Muhammad kama barakta 'ala Ibrahima wa 'ala aali Ibrahima. Innaka Hameedum Majid."

This Means:

"Greetings, prayers and the good things of life belong to Allah. Peace, mercy and blessings of Allah be on you, O Prophet.

May peace be upon us and on the devout slaves of Allah. I testify that there is no god but Allah and I testify that Muhammad (saas) is His slave and Messenger.

O Allah, bless Muhammad (saas) and his family as You blessed Ibrahim and his family. You are the All-Praised, the All- Glorious." Back

Lesson 27: Preferred acts of Salat (Sunnat Al Salat)

  1. Saying the opening supplication (dua al Istiftah) -"Sub-hanaka Allahumma wa bi hamdika wa tabaraka -smaka wa ta'ala jadduka wa la-Ilaha ghairuka" The meaning is: Praise and Glory be to You O Allah, Blessed be your name, Exalted be your Majesty and Glory. There is no god but you.
  2. Putting one's right hand over his left hand and putting them both over his chest while standing.
  3. Raising one's hands up to the level of shoulders or near the lobes of his ears in the following cases:
  1. Pronouncing :takbeer al Ihram"
  2. Bowing in ruku'.
  3. Raising from the position of ruku'.
  4. Standing up after reciting the first tashah-hud.
  1. Saying more than one time "Subhana Rabbi al Azeem" in the ruku'.
  2. Saying "Ameen" upon concluding the recitation of "al Fatihah".
  3. Saying "A'oodhu billahi min al Shaytan al rajeem. Bismillah al Rahman al Raheem."
  4. Saying more than one time "rabbi aghfir li", while taking a pause between the two prostrations. (sujud)
  5. Keeping one's head and back on one level while bowing for ruku'.
  6. Should neither bring his hands close to his sides, nor stick his abdomen to his thighs nor his thighs to his legs, in the prostration position.
  7. Elbows should be raised from the ground, while in Prostration. Prophet Muhammad (saas), said "and stretch not your hands on the ground as dogs."
  8. Laying one's left foot flat on the ground and sitting upon it keeping his right foot erect while,

    a. Reciting first tashah-hud;

    b. Pausing between two prostrations;

    c. in the last tashah-hud if the prayer consists of two rak'at (units) e.g. fajr (dawn) prayer.

AL TAWARRUK - It is a pose of sitting, wherein the person protrudes out his left foot from underneath his right leg, in such a way that the person rests the left buttock on the floor. It is preferred to practise this, when sitting for the final tashah-hud in the Zuhr, Asr, Maghrib and Isha prayers. Back

Lesson 28: Things that invalidate Prayer

  1. Talking intentionally and deliberately (knowing that prayer will be invalidated if talked.)
  2. Laughing.
  3. Eating.
  4. Drinking.
  5. Uncovering one's 'awrah. ('awrah as in lesson 26:5.)
  6. To shift position from the direction of Ka'bah.
  7. To do any noticeable act or more outside the acts and movements of prayer.
  8. To do anything that invalidates the ablution.
  9. To fail in observing any of the pillars of prayer, such as standing when capable, reciting al Fatihah etc., Back

Lesson 29: The Forgetfulness Prostration (Sujud Al Sahw)

As human beings, we are by nature subject to forget fullness, mistakes and errors, and as mentioned earlier, if a person fails to perform any of the pillars of the prayer and/or necessary duties, that person is required to rectify the error by making two additional prostrations at the end of the prayer known as "sujud al sahw". i.e. forgetfulness prostrations. But where a pillar(s) is/are omitted, a repetition of the missed pillar(s) is necessary.

The four major cases of errors due to forgetfulness are as follows:

  1. If an addition is made to the prayer e.g. praying Zuhr with 5(five) rakat (units) instead of 4(four), then the two additional prostrations for forgetfulness should be performed after saying the Assalamu 'Alaiykum (words of peace).
  2. If a prayer is performed with lesser number of rak'ah than required. e.g. to pray 3(three) rakat for Zuhr instead of 4(four). Then, the two additional prostrations for forgetfulness should be performed before saying the Assalamu 'Alaiykum.
  3. If both an addition and omission is made in the course of the prayer, the forgetfulness prostrations can be performed before saying the Assalamu 'Alaiykum.
  4. If a person is in doubt whether omission or addition is made to his prayer, he should consider it less as a precaution and perform sujud al sahw - the additional prostrations for forgetfulness before saying Assalamu 'Alaiykum.

Various instance where "Sujud Al Sahw" becomes apparent.

A. Where a Pillar of Prayer is omitted.

  1. When, for example, a person forgets to recite the "al-Fatihah" but remembers the same before ruku', or in the process of going to ruku', he is required to resume a proper standing position and read the al-Fatihah and some other ayat from the Holy Qur'an as usual. If this omission occurred in the first rak'ah and the person remembers the omission while in the course of the second rak'ah, he should count the second rak'ah as being the first rak'ah. Accordingly, he will not count the first rak'ah, in which the error occurred, and proceed to perform one extra rak'ah to complete his sal't. At the end of salat, he will say "Assalamu 'Alaiykum", after which he should perform two additional sujud al sahw - the prostration for forgetfulness, and again say his Assalamu 'Alaiykum.
  2. If a person sitting in the final "tashah-hud", remembers that he missed a prostration (in the same raka'h), then he should immediately perform the missed prostration and sit back again to repeat the recitation of "tashah-hud". This person would then say "Assalamu 'Alaiykum", to conclude the prayer, but thereafter he should perform the additional sujud al sahw - the prostration for forgetfulness, and then say the Assal'mu 'Alaiykum again.

The above are two examples where errors occur in performing a Pillar of salat (arkan al salat) while performing a salat. In these situations, the person is not only required to repeat the missed act, but he is also required to perform the two additional prostrations - sujud al sahw.

B.Where a necessary duty is omitted.

However, when someone misses a "wajib" (duty) of the prayer, the additional two prostrations (sujud al sahw) will suffice. There is no need to repeat the missed act or the whole rak'ah. Thus, if a wajib act is missed and person remembers the error, while he is in another station of the prayer, then he is not required to repeat the missed act, but would proceed to complete the rest of the prayer. At the end, before saying "Assalamu 'Alaiykum", he performs the additional two prostrations for forgetfulness.

C. When a Preferred Act is omitted.

As for Sunans (Preferred Acts) of the prayer which may be missed, there is no requirement to repeat those preferred acts, or to perform the sujud al sahw. Back

Lesson 30: Zakat

This is a very important pillar of Islam and possesses plenty of advantages of which some are mentioned here.

  1. It meets the needs of the poor in the society.
  2. It strengthens the good relation between the rich and the poor, as everyone is naturally inclined towards the one who does good to him.
  3. It purifies one's self and sanctifies it, and it purges one's morals and miserliness which is natural in human beings.
  4. It promotes generosity and sympathy in a Muslim towards the needy persons.
  5. It draws Allah's Blessing and causes increase in wealth.

Zakat is obligatory on following four types of property:

  1. The produce of earth, like grains and fruits.
  2. The grazing animals.
  3. Gold and Silver.
  4. Commercial Commodities.

For all types of properties, the Nisab is fixed which is the minimum amount or quantity liable to the payment of Zakat, below which no Zakat is payable.

The Produce of Earth:

The Minimum quantity of Nisab, for produce i.e. grains, fruits, wheat, rice, dates, grapes, barley, etc. is 5 (five) wasq, or approx. 675 kgs (Six hundred and Seventy Five).

If in cultivation, irrigation was made through rains or canal or fountain etc. Without any effort by the farmer, one-tenth of total produce is to be paid as Zakat.

If the field was irrigated by waterwheels, and other devices for irrigation which involved labour; 5% of the total produce is to be paid as Zakat.

And regarding the Zakat of animals, detailed study of it may be had from the authentic ahadith of the Prophet, or from scholars of ahadith, as we intended in this booklet only a brief account of the subject.

Gold, Silver and Cash etc.

The minimum amount (nisab) of silver for the Zakat to become due on it, is 140 (one hundred forty) mithqal, which is equivalent to 595 (five hundred and Ninety Five) grams.

And the nisab of gold is 20 (twenty) mithqal which is equivalent to about 92 (Ninety-Two) grams.

The Zakat due on either gold or silver is one fortieth (1/40 or 2.5%) of the total quantity / or the value, provided one is in possession of the minimum amount of nisab, mentioned above, of any one of them, and one lunar year has passed after owning them.

The same ruling as in gold, holds good in the case of currency notes, coins or bills of exchange as well, whether it be Dirham, Dinar, Dollar, DM, Pound, Riyal or others, provided its value reaches the minimum amount (nisab) of gold at current market value, and one lunar year has passed over it. When the above conditions are fulfilled, one-fortieth part (1/40 or 2.5%) of the total value would be given out as Zakat.

But as regards Zakat on the benefit derived from the capital (i.e. Original amount), the condition of the passing one lunar year, does not apply, The benefit would be included in the capital (original amount) at the time of calculation for payment of Zakat; and likewise the new births in grazing animals will be added to the original number of animals for the payment of Zakat, if the original number reaches the Nisab and completes a lunar year without any consideration of time passed over new births.

The same would apply to the ornaments of the women, made from gold or silver for personal use or lending, when these reach the Nisab and one lunar year has passed over them, in line with the opinions of the authentic scholars in the light of Prophet's saying:

"If any owner of gold or silver does not pay Zakat due on him, when the Day of Resurrection would come, plates of fire would be beaten out for him; these would then be heated in the fire of Hell and his sides, his forehead and his back would be cauterized with them. Whenever these cool down, (the process is) repeated during a day the extent of which would be fifty thousand years, until judgment is pronounced among slaves."

It is narrated that once the Prophet, on seeing a woman with two bracelets of gold in her hands, asked her whether she gave out the Zakat of it, When she replied in negative, He, said, "Would it please you if Allah puts on you two bracelets made of fire. On hearing this, she put off these and said, these are for Allah and His Messenger."

Umm Salamah also narrated, May Allah be pleased with her, that while she was wearing an anklet of gold, she asked the Prophet, "O Messenger of Allah! is it a Karz (a hoarded wealth)." The Prophet, replied, "If it has been purified (by paying Zakat of it), it is not a Karz (hoarded wealth)." Many other ahadith also support this command.


Type of wealth

Nisab level

Zakat rate



92 Grams


Personal use


595 Grams


Personal use

Cash ' Notes, Coins

Equivalent to gold


Present value

Produce of earth

675 Kilo grams


Manual irrigation


675 Kg.



Irrigation 'rain, canal etc.,

Commercial Commodities

Gold equivalent value


Present value

Commercial commodities and Land

As regards the Zakat on commercial commodities, the owner should calculate its value at the end of every lunar year and one-fortieth (1/40 or 2.5%) part of the current value would be given out as Zakat. Whether its current value is equal to the purchase value or more or less does not matter here.

In accordance with the Hadith narrated by Samurah,

"Allah's Messenger, enjoined us to give out Sadaqa (Zakat) from whatever we prepare for sale." (Abu Dawud)

This includes lands for resale, buildings, cars, machinery for deriving water or any other article obtained for resale.

As for buildings constructed for rent but not for sale, Zakat should be paid on the rent after one lunar year passes over the amount; but the building itself is not liable for Zakat as it is not an item for sale. Likewise, personal cars and those for hire are not liable for Zakat since they are not meant for sale as the owner has purchased it for his use. If the owner of the rental cars accumulates the returns up to the amount that is liable for Zakat, he should pay Zakat if one lunar year passes over such money whether he had kept it for personal expenses, or for expenses in marriage, or for settling debts or buying real estate or for any other purpose; this is in accordance with the evidence of Shari،ah (Islamic laws) on the obligation of Zakat. According to the authentic views of scholars, debt cannot be an excuse for non-payment of Zakat.

Similar is the case for the wealth or money of orphans and mentally retarded people; when it reaches the nisab and one lunar year passes over it Zakat must be paid, and the guardians should give out Zakat on their behalf when a lunar year passes over the goods. Allah categorizes those who deserve Zakat. He says:

"As-Sadaqa [here it means Zakat] are only for the Fuqara [poor], and al-Masakin [the poor] and those employed to collect [the funds] and to attract the hearts of those who have been inclined [towards Islam]; and to free captives; and for those in debts; and for Allah's cause [i.e. Mujahidun - those fighting in the holy battles] and for the wayfarer [a traveller who is cut off from everything]; a duty imposed by Allah. And Allah is All-Knowing, All-Wise". (Qur'an 9:60)

Nobody has authority to change, add or remove any of these above eight categories of people defined by Allah, and Allah is All-Knowing, All-Wise. Back

Lesson 31: How to wash a deceased Muslim

Preparing the body of the deceased as follows:

  1. When death is confirmed, the eyes of the deceased should be closed and jaws should be tied shut.
  2. While washing the body, awrah - private parts, should be covered, body should be slightly raised and stomach be lightly pressed to get the waste out of it. Then the person who washes, wraps his/her hands with a wash cloth or the like, to clean the expelled. Then the washer should wash the deceased as in wudu (ablution) for the salat (obligatory prayer). The head and beard be washed with water and sidr (Lote tree leaves) or soap. The right side of the body be washed before the left side. The body can be re-washed three times, and the last one should be with plain water.

    Each time the stomach should be pressed. If there is any excretion after the washing is completed, it should be washed and the anus should be covered with cotton or the like. If it does not work then plain earth or any medical device such as plaster be used, the deceased, then, be washed again as in wudu.

    If the washer feels that three washes are not enough (e.g. bleeding) to clean the body properly, then it can be washed five or seven times. The body should be dried with a clean cloth and some wood oil perfume should be applied to the hidden parts of the body and the sujud parts. It would be better to apply wood perfume to the entire body of the deceased and the coffin. The washer can clip the finger nails, and trim the moustache of the deceased, but should not comb the hair. If the deceased is a female, then her hair can be plaited in three plaits and placed behind the back.

  3. Shrouding the body of the deceased (kafn.)

    It is better to shroud the deceased man in three white pieces of cloth without using a shirt or turban. The three pieces should be rolled up together. It doesn't matter if shrouded in a shirt and waist-sheet and a wrap.

    The woman is shrouded in five pieces of cloths; a loose piece of cloth (dir), a veil, a waist-sheet and two wraps. The baby is shrouded in one to three pieces of cloth. Young female is shrouded in a shirt and two wraps

  4. People who are (preferably) entitled to wash the deceased man and pray for him and bury him are his male guardians .e.g. father, the closest Kin and so forth. Similarly female guardians are more entitled to wash a deceased female i.e. the mother, grand mother, closest female relatives etc.,

    The husband or wife can wash the deceased spouse, because the dead body of Abu Bakr, was washed by his wife and Ali, washed the body of his wife Fatima, May Allah be pleased with her. Back

Lesson 32: How Funeral Prayer is Performed

Four Takbirs are uttered in the prayer.

  1. Uttering the first takbir and reciting "al Fatihah". It is permissible to recite a Surah or one or two ayat from the Qur'an, according to the Hadith and reported by Ibn Abbas.


  2. Uttering the second takbir and sending salutations to the Prophet, as in Tashah-hud.


  3. Uttering the third Takbir, and seeking forgiveness from Allah. e.g. "O Allah! Forgive our living, our dead, our present our absent our young our old our males and our females. O Allah! Whomsoever among us You keep to live, make him to live in Islam, and whomsoever You cause to die, let him die in faith. O Allah! Forgive him, have mercy on him, heal him, be generous to him, cause his entrance to be wide and comfortable, wash him with the most pure and clean water and purify him from sins as a white garment is washed clean of dirt. Give him in exchange a home better than his home (on earth) and family better than his family, and let him into Paradise and protect him from the trial of the grave and torture of the Hell Fire. Make his grave wide and light it for him."

It is the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (saas), for the Imam to stand facing the qiblah, in front of the head of a deceased male, and in front of the middle of a deceased female body.

If there are more than one dead body, the male should be placed immediately in front of the Imam, followed by the female body. If there are children, the body of the male child should be placed after the male body. If the dead includes a female child, it should be placed after the older female body. The bodies should be put in such a way that the head of the boy should be in line with the head of the man. The female body should be placed, behind the boy, in such a way that the middle of the woman is in line with the head of the male. Similarly, the body of the girl should be in line with the elder female, and the middle of her body lies in line with the head of the male.

In this manner, the Imam stands in a position that the head of all male deceased will be in front of the Imam.

People attending the funeral prayer should stand behind the Imam, and if one cannot find enough space behind the Imam, he can stand to the right of the Imam.

All Glory and Thanks to Allah and Peace and Blessings be upon the Prophet, his family and his Companions. Back


  1. English Translation of the meaning & commentary of THE NOBLE QUR'AN: Dr. Muhammad Muhsin Khan & Dr. Muhammad Taqi-Ud-din Al-Hilali.
  2. The Most Important Lesson For Every Muslim (in Arabic) By: Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Baz.
  3. The Book Of Prayer Compiled by: Nasif Adam
  4. Salaat according to the Manners of the Prophet Muhammad. By : Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Baz.
  5. Islam in Focus By : Hammudah Abdulati
  6. The meaning of the testimony of faith "La Ilaha Ill Allah" By : Sheikh Hamoud al-Lahim
  7. Kitab at-Tauhid By: Sheikhul-Islam Muhammad bin Abdullah Abdul-Wahab
  8. Pillars Of Islam And Iman by Sheikh Muhammad Bin Jameel Zaino Back

Notice of Corrections

  • Lesson 11, Missing opening parenthesis in Second bullet of Important points of the Lesson.
  • Lesson 12, Missing closing parenthesis in Fifth bullet of Important points of the Lesson.
  • Lesson 16, All instances of Impure (Tahur) should be changed to Impure (Najis).
  • All translations of the Qur'an are Bold.
  • All Translations of the Ahadith are Italicized.

Comments on this book are highly appreciated. Please send your comments and opinions to the following address.

Attention: Abdul Aziz S. Al Shoumar
Al Haramain Islamic Foundation
PO Box: 92684,
Riyadh - 11663
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

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