Islam Question and Answer – Conditions of worship in Islam

Conditions of worship in Islam
What are the conditions of worship in Islam?.

 

Praise be to Allaah.
 

 

Shaykh Muhammad ibn
Saalih ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: 

Firstly: the worship must be in accordance with sharee’ah in
its reasons. Any person who worships Allaah by doing an act of worship that
is not done for a reason proven in sharee’ah is doing an act of worship that
will be rejected and is not enjoined by Allaah and His Messenger. An example
of that is celebrating the Mawlid or birthday of the Prophet (peace and
blessings of Allaah be upon him), or celebrating the twenty-seventh night of
Rajab, claiming that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon
him) was taken up into heaven on that night. This is not in accordance with
sharee’ah so it is to be rejected. 

1-    
There is no kind of historical
proof that the Mi’raaj (ascent into heaven) of the Prophet (peace and
blessings of Allaah be upon him) took place on the twenty-seventh night of
Rajab. The books of hadeeth that we have do not contain even a single letter
that indicates that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon
him) was taken up into heaven on the twenty-seventh night of Rajab. It is
known that this is the kind of information that cannot be accepted without
sound isnaads.

2-    
Even if it were proven, do we
have the right to innovate some kinds of worship on that date or to make it
a festival? Not at all. Hence when the Prophet (peace and blessings of
Allaah be upon him) came to Madeenah and saw that the Ansaar had two days on
which they would play, he said: “Allaah has replaced these for you with
something better,” and he mentioned to them Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha.
This indicates that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon
him) disliked any festival to be innovated in Islam apart from the Islamic
festivals, of which there are three: the two annual Eids, which are Eid
al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha, and the weekly festival which is Friday. Even if it
were proven that the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon
him) was taken up into heaven on the twenty-seventh of Rajab – which it is
impossible to prove – we cannot innovate anything on that occasion without
the permission of the Lawgiver. 

As I have said to you, bid’ah (innovation) is a serious
matter which has a bad effect on the heart even if a person feels softness
in his heart at that moment. For the matter will subsequently be the
opposite, because if the heart rejoices in falsehood, that joy will not
last, rather it will be followed by pain and regret. Every bid’ah is serious
because it implies criticism of the Messenger, because this bid’ah implies
that the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did not
bring the complete sharee’ah, even though Allaah says (interpretation of the
meaning): 

“This day, I have
perfected your religion for you, completed My Favour upon you, and have
chosen for you Islam as your religion”

[al-Maa’idah 5:3] 

It is strange that you find some of those who indulge in
these innovations strongly urge people to follow them, but they are
negligent about matters which are more beneficial, more sound and more
useful. 

Hence we say that celebrating the night of the twenty-seventh
of Rajab as the night in which the Messenger of Allaah (peace and
blessings of Allaah be upon him) was taken up into heaven is a bid’ah,
because it is based on something that is not mentioned in sharee’ah. 

Secondly: the act of worship should be in accordance with
sharee’ah in its type or nature.

For example, if a person were to sacrifice a horse, that
would be contrary to the sharee’ah in the nature of the action. Because a
sacrifice can only involve an animal of the an’aam class, namely a camel, a
cow or a sheep. 

Thirdly: the act of worship must be in accordance with
sharee’ah in its amount. If someone were to say that he was going to pray
Zuhr as six rak’ahs, would this act of worship be in accordance with
sharee’ah? Not at all, because it is not in accordance with it in terms of
the amount or number. If someone were to say Subhaan Allaah (Glory be
to Allaah), al-Hamdu Lillaah (praise be to Allaah) and Allaahu
akbar (Allaah is Most Great) thirty-five times following a prescribed
prayer, would this be correct? The answer is that if your aim is to worship
Allaah by saying it this number of times because you believe this is the
proper way, then you are mistaken. If you deliberately add something to what
the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) has
prescribed, but you believe that the proper way prescribed in Islam is
thirty-three, then the extras are fine, because you are not suggesting that
the higher number is the proper way that is prescribed. 

Fourthly: The act of worship must be in accordance with
sharee’ah in how it is done. 

If a person does an act of worship that is acceptable in its
type, amount and reason, but he goes against sharee’ah in the manner in
which he does it, then it is not valid. For example, a man breaks wind etc.
and does wudoo’, but he washes his feet and then wipes his head, then washes
his hands, then washes his face – is his wudoo’ valid? Not at all, because
he has gone against sharee’ah in the way in which he did it. 

Fifthly: the act of worship must be in accordance with
sharee’ah with regard to its timing. 

For example, if a person fasts Ramadaan in Sha’baan, or in
Shawwaal, or he prays Zuhr before the sun has passed its zenith, or after
the shadow of an object becomes equal in length to it – because if he prays
before the sun has passed its zenith he is praying before the time has come,
and if he prays after the shadow of an object becomes equal in length to it
he is praying after the time has gone –his prayer is not valid. 

Hence we say that if a person deliberately does not pray
until the time for that prayer is over, with no valid excuse, his prayer
will not be accepted even if he prays a thousand times. Hence we follow an
important principle in this regard which is that in the case of every act of
worship that is to be done at a certain time, if a person does it outside of
the proper time with no valid excuse, it will not be accepted, rather it
will be rejected. 

The evidence for that is the hadeeth of ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah
be pleased with her) who said that the Prophet (peace and blessings of
Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever does an action that is not in accordance
with this matter of ours (i.e., Islam) will have it rejected. 

Sixthly: the act of worship must be in accordance with
sharee’ah with regard to the place where it is done. 

If a person stands in Muzdalifah on the day of ‘Arafah, this
standing is not valid, because the act of worship is not in accordance with
sharee’ah with regard to the place where it is done. Similarly, for example,
if a person were to do i’tikaaf in his own house, that would not be valid,
because the place of i’tikaaf is the mosque. Hence it is not valid for a
woman to do i’tikaaf in her house, because this is not the place for
i’tikaaf. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) saw
some of his wives had set up tents in the mosque; he told them to take them
down and not to do i’tikaaf, but he did not tell them to do i’tikaaf in
their houses. This indicates that the women should not do i’tikaaf in their
houses because that goes against sharee’ah with regard to the place where it
is done. 

So with regard to these six factors, an act of worship is not
regarded as following sharee’ah unless it combines all six: 

1-    
Reason

2-    
Type

3-    
Amount

4-    
Manner

5-    
Time

6-    
Place

 (ends).

Islam Q&A

 

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