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 Lesson Six - The Conditions for Prayer

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PostSubject: Lesson Six - The Conditions for Prayer   Lesson Six - The Conditions for Prayer EmptyThu Mar 04, 2010 3:04 pm

As Salamu Alaikum

Lesson Six
The Conditions for Prayer

There are nine conditions or requisites for prayer: Islam, sanity, (the age of) discernment, the removal of Hadath, removal of any impurity, the covering of one's 'Awrah (any area of that body the must be covered), the entrance of its time, facing the Qiblah, and intention.

Lesson Six - The Conditions for Prayer Animbu11

In Arabic, the conditions are called Shurut, the plural of Shart, which linguistically means a sign. However, in the Shari'ah, it has another meaning: When it is nonexistent it necessitates nonexistence, but when it is existent, it does not necessitate existence. Put more simply, if there is no purity, then there is no prayer, but if one is pure, it is not necessarily the case that he has to pray (at that specific moment). And by the conditions of prayer, we are referring to those conditions upon which the correctness of one's prayer depends.

The Nine Conditions For Prayer:

1) Islam, the opposite of which is disbelief (Kufr). The disbeliever's actions are rejected, no matter what deed it is he performs, for Allah Almighty says:

It is not for the polytheists to maintain the Masjids of Allah, while they witness against their own selves of disbelief. The works of such are in vain and in Fire shall they abide. (Surah At-Taubah 9: 17)

And in another verse, Allah Almighty says:

And We shall turn to whatever deeds they (disbelievers) did, and We shall make such deeds as scattered floating particles of dust. (Surah Al-Furqan 25: 23)

The only prayer that is accepted is the Muslim's prayer, a reality that is proven by this verse:

And whoever seeks a religion other than Islam, it will never be accepted of him, and in the Hereafter he will be one of the losers. (Surah Aal-‘Imran 3: 85)

2) Sanity, the opposite of which is obviously insanity or madness. The Pen is raised for the insane person, which means that he is not held accountable for his deeds until he returns to his senses. The Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) said:

The Pen has been raised from three: the one who is sleeping, until he awakens; the insane person, until he returns to his senses; and the child, until he reaches puberty.

Recorded by Ahmad in his Musnad, and Abu Dawud, An-Nasa'i and Ibn Majah.

3) The age of discernment, the opposite of which is early childhood years. The age of discernment is realized at the age of seven, the time when a child must be ordered to pray, for the Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) said:

Order your sons to pray when they turn seven, and hit them (if they refuse) when they turn ten, and at that time, make them sleep in separate beds.

recorded by AI-Hakim, Imam Ahmad, and Abu Dawud, and in one version it is:

Order your children ....

4) The removal of Hadath, and there are two kinds of Hadath:

(i) the greater one,
(ii) the lesser one.

The former includes menstruation and sexual intercourse; one purifies himself from these forms of Hadath by performing Ghusl. An example of the latter is the passing of wind, and this form of Hadath is removed by ablution; the Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) said:

Allah does not accept prayer without purification. (Recorded by Muslim and others)

He (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) also said:

Allah does not accept the prayer of one in a state of Hadath until he performs ablution. (Agreed upon)

5) The removal of impurities from three: from one's body, from one's clothing, and from the place one prays in.

And your garments purify! (Surah Al-Muddaththir 74: 4)

The Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) said:

Purify yourselves from urine because verily, it is the most common reason for punishment in the grave.

6) The covering of one's 'Awrah (any area of the body that must be covered) with clothing that doesn't reveal one's shape, skin, or complexion. The Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) said:

Allah does not accept the prayer of a woman who has reached the age of menstruation unless she wears a veil. (Recorded by Abu Dawud)

The people of knowledge concur that if one is able to wear clothes, but prays naked instead, then his prayer is invalid.

The 'Awrah for man, or the area of his body that must be covered, is the area between his belly button and his knees, and the same goes for the female slave. The 'Awrah of the free woman is her entire body except for her face, and even that must be covered when she is in the presence of strange men. (*) In a Hadith related by Salamah bin Al-Akwa', the Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) ordered him to cover himself, even if he had only one garment to accomplish that. And Allah Almighty says:

O children of Adam! Take your adornment to every Masjid.(Surah Al-A’raf 7: 31)

That means, for the prayer.

7) The entrance of the prayer's time. The proof for this condition is taken from the Hadith of Jibril (Alayhi Salam), wherein he led the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) in each prayer, once at the beginning of the time for each prayer, and then at the end of its time. He said, "0 Muhammad, the prayer is between these two times." Allah Almighty says:

Verily, the prayer is enjoined on the believers at fixed hours. (Surah An-Nisa’ 4: 103)

Perform As-Salat from midday till the darkness of the night, and recite the Qur'an in the early dawn. Verily, the recitation of the Qur'an in the early dawn is ever witnessed (attended by the angels in charge of mankind of the day and the night). (Surah Al-Isra’ 17: 78)

8) Facing the Qiblah:

Verily! We have seen the turning of your face towards the heaven. Surely, We shall turn you to a Qiblah (prayer direction) that shall please you, so turn your face in the direction of Al-Masjid Al-Haram (in Makkah). And wherever you people are, turn your faces (in prayer) in that direction. (Surah Al-Baqarah 2: 144)

9) Intention: it resides in the heart and its utterance is an innovation. The Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) said:

Indeed, deeds are by intentions, and for every person is what he intended.

* A strange man is any man that is not her Mahram; a Mahram to her is a man whom she may never marry and who is allowed to be in seclusion with her.

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