بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Remember this series? The last part discussed khushoo (humility) in prayer.
Salaah (prayer) is the second pillar of Islam. After this comes the zakaah (the obligatory charity).
[Note: It is zakaah and not zakaat. And while we’re having a language lesson, I’d also like to point out that “namaz” is an Urdu/Farsi/Turkish word, not an Arabic word so could we please stop using it in the English language? Baarakallahu feekum.]
Prayer is the right of Allah, whereas zakaah is the right of the slaves of Allah.
Allah has mentioned salaah and zakaah together 82 times in the Quran (according to Shaikh Saleh Al-Fawzan), thereby showing how intertwined these two really are.
So it’s strange to find people who pray but do not give zakaah. [Of course, it’s even stranger to find people who give zakaah but do not pray!]
If one wants to be a complete Muslim, one should fulfill both the rights of Allah and the rights of creation. Safeguarding one’s prayers and paying the zakaah are the first steps towards that.
I’m completely useless with the fiqh (jurisprudence) of zakaah so I won’t even go there. [I studied it 4 times and it just keeps going above my head.] You may find many resources here though.
However, I’d like to point out the following important points:
1) Zakaah is obligatory but sadaqah (charity) isn’t.
Zakaah is a bit like the five obligatory prayers and sadaqah is a bit like the voluntary prayers, in the sense that you have the obligatory part for everyone and you also have the voluntary part for those that want to go the extra mile.
2) Zakaah is not necessarily due in Ramadan. It is due when one (lunar) year passes on the wealth.
You might have multiple times where you pay zakaah during the year as you might have zakaah due on different things.
4) Zakaah and Zakaatul fitr are two totally different things.
The former is due after one (lunar) year. The latter is due at the end of Ramadan and is paid in the form of food.
5) Zakaah is not due on everybody. It is only due on those who fulfill the required conditions .
6) The one who doesn’t pay the zakaah out of stinginess is a major sinner. However, the one who doesn’t pay the zakaah because he doesn’t think it it obligatory is a disbeliever.
7) Zakaah can only be given to one of eight categories of people, whereas there is no restriction on who sadaqah can be given to.
Apart from the fasts and the night prayers, what also distinguishes Ramadan from the other months is the brotherhood (which is shown through the zakaah and sadaqah). So we need to extend this brotherhood to the other months as well.
Unfortunately, one of the issues that we’re facing today as an ummah (nation) is that the money flows in during Ramadan and all the people in need get enough.
However, in the other 11 months, the well seems to dry up.
Why is that? Well, I guess it’s the same reason that some people pray only in Ramadan but not outside of it.
The reason is that they don’t understand the Names and Attributes of Allah, nor do they know about His Rights. Due to this, they cheat themselves by only worshipping Him during Ramadan.
So, it is incumbent for the one who is truly sincere in worshipping Allah that he does so 12 months a year, not just one!
So we not only need to work on improving our prayers but we also need to be more consistent in giving charity.
An amazing story of consistency in giving charity would be Shaikh ibn Baz (rahimahullah). I heard that he gave so much charity that he never paid zakaah (because his wealth did not fulfill the conditions as he gave it away before the year passed), subhan Allah.
Insha-Allah, in the next post of this series, I’ll clear up some misunderstandings that people have about charity.
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Are there more prayers to pray, you ask?
Salah (prayer) is the primary way of applying tawheed (worshipping Allah alone) so there are LOTS of occasions to pray.
Many times, we get overwhelmed by the different types of prayers but we shouldn’t.
Let’s just think of them as even more ways of worshipping and pleasing the Lord of the Worlds.
So what are the other prayers?
Well, at this point, it would be better for a person to read a book on the fiqh (jurisprudence) of salah.
However, I’ll give you a rundown of some of the prayers that we can do in Ramadan:
a) Prayer done after doing wudhu (ablution)
It’s 2 rakaahs and can be done after every new wudhu.
b) Tahiyyatul Masjid
This is the 2 rakaahs that one does after entering the masjid (“mosque”) and before sitting down.
Even if one walks in during the middle of the Friday khutbah (sermon), one should do this prayer and then sit down to listen to the khutbah.
Note: Some scholars consider it obligatory to pray this once one has entered the masjid.
c) Salatul Istighafar / Taubah (Prayer of Repentance)
This is not a condition of repentance being accepted* but it’s always nice to do this after one repents from any sin.
Try it. You’ll feel like a newly hatched chicken.
[*Generally speaking the conditions of repentance from any sin are: 1) Regret committing the sin 2) Stop committing the sin immediately and 3) Decide never to do it again.]
d) Salatul Istikhara (Prayer for guidance)
Once upon a time, people did this for all occasions. At present, it seems that many Muslims only do it when they are making up their minds about the big M.
Note: You need to decide on the issue and THEN pray Salatul Istikhara.
Insha-Allah, I might mention more about this prayer in a future post because many people have misunderstandings about it.
e) Salatul Janazah (Funeral Prayers)
This one is done in the masjid and it has no rukoo and no sajdah (prostration).
[Those who go to Makkah or Madinah can pray this frequently because Masjid Al-Haram and Masjid An-Nabawi always seem to have funeral prayers after every prayer.]
A small bit of advice: If you pray in a masjid where they pray Salatul Janazah, then try to do it as well. These prayers are one of the things that cause the sins of the dead person to be wiped away (to some degree).
Which one of us would not like our sins to be reduced after we die? So, let’s do this for our brothers and sisters.
[This prayer is really easy.]
What about Taraweeh, you ask?
That goes under Qiyam Al-Layl.
So, let’s make this a Ramadan where we pray more and where we pray better i.e. with more khushoo (humility).
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
What are the “optional” prayers? Well, they would include all the prayers apart from the 5 obligatory ones. Examples would include rawatib (the 12 sunnah ones), tahajjud, dhuha, etc.
Unfortunately, many people don’t seem inclined to do them at all or they just do some of them (i.e. taraweeh) in Ramadan.
That’s not good. Why not?
Well, prayer is one of the greatest acts of worship so if we don’t want to increase in it, what does that say about us?
Here’s some advice from a scholar for those who only pray the obligatory prayers and nothing else:
[Note: I should also point out that it is not just about praying the optional prayers but rather it is about being consistent with them day in and day out.]
What is your advice to someone who has stopped praying the Sunnah prayers in the daytime and does not pray anything at night?
ANSWER by Shaykh Muhammad ‘Umar Baazmool, instructor at Umm Al-Quraa University in Makkah
There is nothing more outstanding as advice than the hadeeth of the Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam), when he said:
“The very first thing a servant will be asked about on the Day of Judgement is the prayer. If it is found to be deficient, then it will be said, ‘Doesn’t he have any optional prayers?’ If it is found that he has optional prayers, then they will fill the void, and thus his prayers will be accepted, and the rest of his deeds will also be accepted.” 
And the Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) was asked about a dream that Ibn Umar had, so he (sallallaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) said:
“What a good man ‘Abdullaah ibn Umar is, so long as he prays at night.” 
So then consistently praying the optional prayers, the most important of them being the Witr prayer and the (12) Sunnahs throughout the day and night, is from the most important of all affairs to the Muslim. This is because you, O Muslim, by way of them, compensate for the lapses found in your obligatory prayers.
And the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) clarified in a hadeeth that a man may pray but he may only be credited with half of it, another may pray but only be credited with one third of it, and another may pray but only be credited with one fourth of it… 
The meaning is that it often occurs that the people have shortcomings in their prayers, while it is obligatory to offer them, completing them perfectly. So have you actually offered all of your prayers completely and perfectly according to the Sharee’ah?
So then you must take care to consistently offer optional prayers, you must take care to consistently offer the Witr prayer, you must take care to offer the other optional prayers consistently. It has been related that Imaam Ahmad said about the one who does not consistently pray the Witr prayer, “He is an evil man, his witness is not to be accepted.”
So how could a Muslim who has no work keeping him from his worship become lazy and then abandon these (optional) prayers. No doubt, he has caused himself to lose a great amount of good, and to miss an opportunity to obtain tremendous virtues, while being free to do them and try to keep consistency in offering them.
I ask Allaah to excuse us and him, and to be gracious.
There is a hadeeth of the Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam):
“May Allaah have Mercy on the one who offers four (rak’ahs) before ‘Asr prayer.” 
When you do not pray this prayer, four rak’ahs before the ‘Asr prayer, you have prevented your own self from being included in those whom the Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) supplicated for, those who pray this prayer.
The Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) said:
“Whoever consistanly prays twelve rak’ahs throughout the day and night, a palace will be built for him in Paradise.” 
When you abandon the rawaatib prayers, and you do not pray these twelve rak’ahs, you have deprived your own self from this virtue.
Most of the optional prayers have great virtues attached to them, described by the Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam). So then, O Muslim, how can you lose out, how can you not be concerned about it?
And Allaah knows best.
 Collected by At-Tirmithee, Aboo Daawood, An-Nasaa’ee, and others, see Saheeh Al-Jaami’is-Sagheer wa Ziyaadah #2020.
 Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree #1122 (3/10 of Fat-hul-Baaree)
 see Saheeh Sunan Abee Daawood #796
 Saheeh Sunan Abee Daawood #1270
 Saheeh Sunan Abee Daawood #1250
This was translated exclusively for http://www.bakkah.net from a cassette recording with the knowledge and permission of the shaykh, file no. AAMB015, dated 1423/6/25.
Yes, two important topics that are often ignored: salah and death.
Please watch the following lecture and don’t chicken out because of the contents (i.e. death).
Unfortunately, many people tend to avoid serious topics because it “distresses” them. What will they do on the Day of Judgment when they see all the “distressful” things taking place?
Remember: The righteous ones prepare for the Last Day, whereas the unrighteous simply avoid thinking about it and ignore it. Due to this, they fail to prepare for this important day.
So, please watch this lecture and don’t avoid this topic.
And don’t say that you’ll watch it later because there might not be a later.
Pray before you are prayed upon by Abdur Raheem Green
I know, I know. You’re like “Wealth is for the establishment of prayer?”
I was confused too. Did the author mean building masjids, I wondered?
Nope. He was actually quoting a hadeeth qudsi* with this wording. Subhan Allah.
[This is when the Prophet (salallahu alaihi wasallam) says “Allah says….”]
Read the article to find out what this means: Wealth is for Establishment of Prayer and Payment of Zakaah by Shaikh Hussain Al-Awaayishah.
Yes, Ramadan is the Month of Salah.
And when we pray, we should make sure that we pray PROPERLY.
It’s amazing how many people make mistakes in the salah.
Just a note: If you see someone making a mistake in prayer, you are OBLIGATED to tell them.
One of my classmates had asked one of our teachers if she was sinful if she saw a person (who spoke a different language to hers) making a mistake in prayer and she didn’t correct her. Our teacher pointed out that yes, she was sinful because she could tell the person via movements! Subhan Allah.
And for those who find it embarrassing to correct others, then my teacher’s words should be enough: “It’s better to be embarrassed in this world than to be embarrassed on the Day of Judgment.”
And really, what exactly is so embarrassing about it? We’re just afraid of what this person will think of us. Why should we be worried? We’re telling the person his/her mistake because 1) we want to be able to say (on the Day of Judgement) that we did our duty and 2) so that this sister/brother can worship Allah in a better way.
Remember that dawah is an act of ibaadah. So by correcting them, we are trying to come closer to Allah.
[A word of advice: Please don’t just jump on the person and scream at them. Show wisdom and manners and then you’ll see the good results. Use stupidity and harshness and you won’t know what hit you.]