New Muslims Reflections

New Muslims: How to Find Support and Strength

tree nature

Muslims are brothers and sisters to one another in the global sense.

The true religion of Islam is more than polemical rhetoric, or wearing a thobe, a hijab, or short pants. It’s about submitting to Allah, obeying Him, and establishing a lineage of belief, worship, family, brotherhood (love for the sake of Allah), prophetic tradition (Sunnah), honor, and akhlaq (morality), which is passed down from one generation, to the next, and to the next.

It is tragic when people enter into this faith and fail to pass it down to their children, or sometimes not even fully embrace it themselves, or try to live it through someone else’s reality without never having experienced its beauty.

In order to fully engage your Islam so that it becomes more than a bevy of regurgitated slogans, and faddish adaptations that you pick up and then discard later, you have to believe in, it in its totality, and practice it as a lifestyle.

To a true Muslim, Islam is not part of your life; it is your life:

Truly, my prayer and my service of sacrifice, my life and my death, are (all) for Allah, the Cherisher of the Worlds. (Al-An`am 6:162)

Islam is a lifestyle that you, yourself, must establish for yourself and your family. No one can do it for you; no imam, no sheikh, no scholar, and no saint. It is up to you to believe in it, embrace it, and practice it, or you can play with it. If you play with it, you are bound to lose it.

Priceless Gift

The reality is that many people who convert to Islam, are losing their religion, and fail to pass it down to their children and the next generations. Our faith is amongst the most valuable of gifts, and we need to do everything that we can to preserve and pass it down to our loved ones.

I was talking to my father, Sheikh Abdulkarim, about the issue of people leaving the religion and he reminded me of the verse: “It is He Who brought you forth from the wombs of your mothers when ye knew nothing; and He gave you hearing and sight and intelligence and affections: that ye may give thanks (to Allah).” (An-Nahl 16:78)

We have to value our Islam and realize that we came into this world with nothing, yet, now we are Muslims and have the guidance of Islam. This is a tremendous gift and there is nothing more beneficial than you can embrace for yourself, and pass down to your children, than Islam.

Success as a Muslim, without a doubt is a matter of tawfiq (divine enablement), and divine grace). Guidance is up to Allah; Verily Allah guides and leads astray who He pleases:

If Allah so willed, He could make you all one people: But He leaves straying whom He pleases, and He guides whom He pleases: but ye shall certainly be called to account for all your actions. (An-Nahl 16:93)

However, there is the matter of whether or not we engage causative factors which are determinants to the type of outcome that will occur. We cannot blame Allah for the condition of our religious practice and the loss of our children to the ways of the world. Parents have to take responsibility for how, when and to what degree we practice our faith.

Community Engagement

It is arguable that the biggest problem to beset African American Muslim communities by far is that most of them are not part of communities. This is a dangerous state; especially for someone new to Islam.

The basis of success for a community is enjoining upon each other truth and patience. This is best done with jama`ah (congregation). When there is no jama`ah, there is no leadership, when there is no leadership then there is no cohesion, and when there is no cohesion, people are left to their own individual machinations and when they are left to their own machinations, there is no religious order, and when there is no religious order, chaos almost always ensues. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Whoever among you wants to be in the middle of Paradise, let him cling to the congregation.” (At-Tirmithi)

Americans have been converting to Islam in large number since the 1960’s, and some say that Islam is the fastest growing religion in the United States. I have no reason to dispute that claim, Yet despite the phenomena of mass conversion to Islam spanning half a century, it seems that for many converts to Islam, the religion is not passed down to subsequent generations of Muslims.

So if Islam is the fastest growing religion in the United States, it can be argued that amongst converts to Islam, it is the religion with the fastest turnover rate. Many converts today are without community and end up being stray sheep, and the Shaytan (Satan) is picking them off, one by one, family by family, household by household.

Why is this important?

Well, it matters because as each subsequent generation of practicing Muslims evolve within the family, the moral and religious values of Islam takes hold and are reinforced within the family unit, the extended family, and then it impacts the society at large.

When Islam is not sufficiently passed down to the next generation, our children are left at a great spiritual disadvantage. More often than not, a person converts to Islam, has children, and the children grow up not to practice it, and take on social ills like teenage pregnancy, incarceration, social dysfunction and blatant immorality as if they have no guidance at all.

There is a conspicuous malfunction in the methodology of religious practice and thinking for much of the convert community, which resulted in impeding the generational flow of the religion to many of our children.

The number of children of converts to Islam who have either left the religion, are dead because of wanton gang or drug related violence, or are incarcerated, ex-felons, or non high school graduates, or single unwed mothers, are staggering.

The question that we have to ask ourselves is; now that we are aware of our circumstances and the consequences of our actions and inaction, what is it that works, and what is it that doesn’t work for us?

If we examine our history as Muslim Americans for the last forty years, we will get a firsthand snapshot of where we have been successful and where we have made mistakes with respect to passing down Islam to our children.

When people do not know the critical mistakes of their history, they are doomed to repeat them, and by all accounts, we as indigenous American Muslims, are making the very same mistakes, over and over again. One of the greatest errors during the last half a century is when people become detached from the masajid (mosques) which are the houses of Allah, from the congregations of Muslims, and from the salah.

Building Unity

Muslims are required to practice their religion in a local sense in order to preserve its practice within the individual and family.

Muslims are required to practice their religion in a local sense in order to preserve its practice within the individual and family.

Muslims are brothers and sisters to one another in the global sense. However, in the fragmented world that we live in, Muslims are required to practice their religion in a local sense in order to preserve its practice within the individual and family.

There is no single determinant which ensures that a convert to Islam, stays in the faith, practices in and successfully passes it down to their offspring, but there is a methodology based upon the Qur’an and Sunnah, which has proved to be most successful for converts to Islam over the last 40 to 50 years or so, and that is the establishment of jama`ah (congregations).

American Muslim congregations are one of the few places where you will find, two, three, and four generations of Muslim family, still in the practice of deen.  People who are attached to the masajid, and are part of religious congregations are much more likely to keep their Islam, and practice it, than those who aren’t.

Congregational communities, centered within a masjid, with an imam, and a community of people who establish the salah, have specific loyalty, commitment, and accountability to and with each other, and who have a communal focus, is a formula that works for American Muslims.

I didn’t say that it works perfectly; however, it does work and it does offer some sense of order, communal routine and stability. Such communities offer prayerful consistency, fraternity, cooperative spirit and effort, religious teachings, and spiritual support, which are all healthy and contributive factors to the good practice of Islam and being a Muslim in America.

Such an environment is critical for the convert to Islam. It doesn’t produce a perfect Muslim, for there is no such thing. However, it does create an environment of measured and consistent growth, as well as singularity of focus and religious message.




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New Muslims Reflections

New Muslims: Where to Find and Preserve Strength


When people are in communities, they develop familiarity with each other, understand each other’s nuances, become more inclined to cooperate.

For many Muslims, to them, Islam is simply a fad, and not an actual way of life and practicing it is optional for them; not mandatory.

For others, Islam is something to argue about more than to practice, they will argue about the Qur’an and the Sunnah while ignoring the actual principles and teachings of the religion. There are others who will only practice Islam as long as it does not require any sacrifice, or require them to go out of their way.

These are the types of people who end up losing their religion all together. However, there are those who sincerely believe that Islam is the guided way to live your life and can be applied to everything you do, and they are willing to submit to it all. These are the true Muslims, and they are the ones who will find their way by Allah’s permission through the madness, the fitnah (temptation), the sectarianism, and the turmoil of our times.

These are the people who will in sha’ Allah benefit the most from congregation, and being in communities. To these people, I am saying to you that until there is a caliphate that is for all Muslims, and until the return of Jesus the Christ, the son of Mary (peace be upon him), the awaited Messiah, the best places to be are with a congregation of practicing Muslims, with a just imam.

This will aid you in the preservation of your religion, and your children’s religion. Here are just a few of its benefits…

Prayer in Congregation

Congregational prayer is the primary institution of a worshipful family and community, worship itself is the purpose of our creation; and it is the first extension of Islam’s value system:

I have only created jinns and men, that they may serve Me. (Adh-Dhariyat 51:56)

During my sixteen years as Imam of the Masjid, I have seen many brothers come into Islam and stay within the faith and practice it, teach it to their children, who grow into adults as Muslim.

At the same time, I have seen many of them convert to Islam, and go for years without engagement in the masjids and with communities all the while their children grow up without  the knowledge of the practice of Islam, and as adults are alien to the teachings of Islam.

Of course there are a lot of reasons for this but almost in every case, the ones who left Islam, and whose children were alien to the deen (religion) were people who did not attend the masjid, were not  part of communities, and did not attend Jumu`ah (Friday Prayer) with regularity. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

“If there are three men in a village or desert and salah is not established among them, then the Satan takes mastery over them. So be with the congregation since the wolf devours the remote (stray) sheep.” (Abu Dawud)

Anytime there are Muslims living in any vicinity, it is incumbent for them to establish the salah. When this does not happen, it is inevitable that the Satan will overpower them:

(They are) those who, if We establish them in the land, establish regular prayer and give regular charity, enjoin the right and forbid wrong: with Allah rests the end (and decision) of (all) affairs. (Al-Hajj 22:41)

Establishing the salah is perhaps the single most significant factor that ensures that a person stays Muslim, and that there is trans-generational Islam. When people pray, they tend to stay in Islam, when they pray together; they tend to stay in Islam together.

This seems to have been the pattern over the years; those who pray, stay, and those who don’t pray, leave the religion. Leaving the salah and abandoning the masjids is one of the principal reasons that people leave the religion; the Prophet said, “Between man and polytheism and unbelief is the abandonment of salah.” (Muslim)

It is important that every Muslim child sees their parents, or step-parents going to the masjid for prayer, getting up for Fajr, calling the Adhan in the home, experiencing that precious family moment which occurs after they have finished the congregational prayer.

There is nothing that can replace that. Children need a distinct, moral and spiritual foundation, in order to thrive as practicing Muslim adults in America, and there is no better foundation than the salah. When there is not a strong foundation, the dunya will tear them apart.

Cooperation and Familiarity

Congregational life and lifestyle plant the seeds of cooperation in righteousness and piety;

And cooperate with one another in righteousness and piety, and do not cooperate with each other in sin and transgression.” (Al-Ma’idah 5:2)

Cooperation in righteousness and piety is fundamental to our faith is the methodology which engages group action for good. Allah has created people to depend upon one another in the handling of their affairs, both religious and temporal.

When people are in communities, they develop familiarity with each other, understand each other’s nuances, become more inclined to cooperate with one another, establish shared goals and aspirations, as well as develop a sense of belonging and accomplishment when they achieve these goals, whether it is building a masjid or a school, upgrading their facilities, feeding the poor, or engaging in religious projects to help people.

Thus, their children get to know and befriend each other, and they see each other’s children grow, and thrive. Cooperation and building upon successes breeds more cooperation.

These things are easier facilitated through congregation than through unanchored individuals, going it alone. This union develops to trust, willingness to support and do business with, and a better resolve to solve problems that arise amongst each other, because they have invested in the relationship.

These things are essential for our children to witness. When there is no cooperation, perseverance, spiritual bond, and loyalty in the religious group, it sends a message to our children that there is no stable future for them being amongst the Muslims.



Read Also:

New Muslims: How to Find Support and Strength

Young Muslims Embracing Their True Identity

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New Muslims Reflections

New Muslim: Being Part of the Whole

prayer beads

Within the jama`ah (congregation) there is a certain degree of shared accountability that is not present outside of it.

Support: Spiritual & Moral

Being a committed part of a Muslim community fosters an atmosphere of support for one another through many means; social, financial, moral, and intra-personal. The strongest method of support is to enjoin upon each other truth, and patience:

Verily Man is in loss, except such as have Faith, and do righteous deeds, and (join together) in the mutual teaching of Truth, and of Patience and Constancy. (Al-`Asr 103:2-3)

Without spiritual support and righteous actions mankind suffers a devastating spiritual loss. Personal interaction and moral support that is found in congregation, eases the burden of isolation.

In today’s world, it is difficult to know who you can trust, and who you cannot, who is sincere and who isn’t. When people are engaged in a masjid, participating in the salah, in reminding, in fellowship, and doing good acts, they naturally begin to support each other morally over time.

Collective Accountability

Within the jama`ah (congregation) there is a certain degree of shared accountability that is not present outside of it. When brothers and sisters in Islam hold each other accountable, transgression is lessened. Spousal abuse is widespread in our communities, but when sisters are a part of a congregation, there is more recourse and direct help from within the community.

When Muslim children see that their parents are true to their religious and communal obligations, and have spiritual focus and goals in life, it is easier for them to do the same as adults because such experiences, and rearing serves as their foundation in life.

When our children see that their parents have no real commitment to our faith, to our institutions, to our communities, or to each other, it sends them a message that there is no real future for them as Muslims, and that it’s not worth the effort. We are seeing this occur time and time again.


Having communities with imams is part of the tradition of Islam that has helped preserve our religion in America, dating back to the late 1800’s Being under some sort of religious leadership, whether it be an imam, an amir (ruler), a khalifah, or a sultan, is the Sunnah of our Prophet; The Prophet said:

“Whoever notices something which he dislikes done by his ruler, then he should be patient, for whoever becomes separate from the company of the Muslims even for a span and then dies, he will die as those who died in the Pre-Islamic period of Ignorance (as rebellious sinners).” (Al-Bukhari)

The ideal communities are those who have leaders who are fair, just, and knowledgeable of the religion so that can correctly teach people what is right and guide them according to the Qur’an and Sunnah. However, any leader is better than no leader at all.

When Muslim people do not have religious leaders, there is chaos. Brothers who have imams and are under some direct Islamic leadership tend to be more focused upon their religious priorities than those who aren’t. Imams are of varying qualities; some more knowledgeable, and more pious than others.

Still this should not prevent someone from the benefit of praying behind an imam in the congregational prayer. The Prophet said: “If the imam leads the prayer correctly then he and you will receive the rewards but if he makes a mistake (in the prayer) then you will receive the reward for the prayer and the sin will be his.” (Al-Bukhari)

prayer in masjid

When Muslim children see that their parents are true to their religious and communal obligations, it is easier for them to do the same.

We are living in the last days, and many of the major signs of the hour have passed. In the hadith of Hudhaifah, he was asking the Prophet about the trials of latter-day times; “What do you order me to do if such a state should take place in my life?” He said, “Stick to the group of Muslims and their imam (ruler).” I said, “If there is neither a group of Muslims nor an Imam (ruler)?” He said, “Then turn away from all those sects even if you were to bite (eat) the roots of a tree till death overtakes you while you are in that state.” (Al-Bukhari)

Ibn Taymiyah said, “It is better to endure under a tyrannical leader for 100 years than to go one night without one.”

Granted, we are all American Muslims, and brothers and sisters in Islam. However, if we take a closer look, it is evident that there are clearly two, distinctly different, Muslim Americas. One comprised primarily by immigrants from Muslim countries, and their children, and the other from American Muslim converts.

As immigrant communities are growing, thriving, and blanketing the landscape with multi-million dollar masajid, schools, and cultural institutions. African-American Muslim communities are struggling, lack physical resources, lack influence, and are very small in comparison.

The future looks very bleak for the Muslim converts unless we re-establish congregation with just and knowledgeable imams. Religious congregations are not perfect, but it is a lot better than chaos. For many Muslim converts, there is hardly any religious order in their lives. Imperfect institutions that teach, regulate, and fulfill the order of the deen of Islam, are better than no institutions at all.



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How to Make Wudu’?

We, as Muslims, have to purify ourselves before offering prayer. Therefore, a Muslim is required to follow certain purification procedure known as wudu’ (ablution). The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

“Allah does not accept prayer of anyone of you if he does hadath (passes wind) till he performs the ablution (anew). (Al-Bukhari)

But before ablution, you have to perform Istinja’ whenever one passes impurity from any of passages (front & back). One can use either stone (tissue in modern times) or water. To perform it with water is preferred. The best is to combine both water and tissue, first by wiping with the tissue and then washing.

In this video, Sheikh Mohammad Al-Naqwi explains how to make wudu’ perfectly….




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Ghusl (the Complete Ablution): Its Rulings from Qur’an and Sunnah

By: Sayyid Saabiq

Ghusl means to wash the entire body with water. Says Allah in the Qur’an, “If you are sexually impure, purify yourselves”. (AL-Ma’idah 5:6) And, “They question you concerning menstruation. Say: It is an illness, so let women alone at such times and do not have sex with them until they are cleansed” (Al-Baqarah 2:222)

When Ghusl Is Obligatory

1- Discharge of al-Mani owing to stimulation while asleep or awake The opinion of the jurists in general is that ghusl is a must should one have a discharge of al-mani (sperm) owing to stimulation while asleep or awake.

Abu Sa`eed reported that he heard the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) say, “Water (washing) is (needed) after (ejaculation of) sperm.” (Muslim)

Um Salamah reported that Um Sulaim said, “O Messenger of Allah, Allah is not ashamed of the truth. Does a woman have to perform ghusl if she has a wet dream?” He said, “Yes, if she sees the liquid.” (Al-Bukhari, Muslim and others)

There are some other points of importance that need to be noted:

If the sperm is discharged without any type of stimulation (owing to illness or extreme cold)

In this case, ghusl is not obligatory. ‘Ali reported that the Prophet, upon whom be peace, said to him, “If sperm is ejaculated, perform ghusl.” (Abu Dawud)

Said Mujahid, “We were in a meeting in the mosque with the companions of Ibn `Abbas (Tawus, Sa`eed ibn Jubayr and `Ikrimah). When he stood to pray, a man came in and said, ‘Is there one who can give a legal verdict?’ We said, ‘Ask your question.’ He said, ‘Whenever I urinate, a liquid always follows it.’ We asked, ‘Is it the type of liquid that gives birth to children?’ He said, ‘Yes.’ We said, ‘Then you have to perform ghusl.’ The man went away. Ibn `Abbas hurried to finish his prayer, after which he told `Ikrimah to bring the man back. He turned to us and said, ‘Is your verdict found in the Book of Allah?’

We said, ‘No.’ He asked, ‘Is it based on the sayings of the Prophet, upon whom be peace?’ We said, ‘No.’ ‘Then from what?’ We said, ‘From our opinion.’ He said, ‘That is why the Messenger of Allah said that one learned man is more difficult for Satan than a thousand worshippers.’ The man came and faced Ibn `Abbas, who said to him, ‘When that happens, is it owing to any stimulation?’ He answered, ‘No’. Ibn `Abbas asked, ‘Do you feel any numbness in your body?’ He answered, ‘No.’ Said Ibn `Abbas, ‘That is from the cold. Ablution is sufficient.’”

If one has a wet dream but does not find any traces of ejaculation

There is no need for ghusl in this instance either. Ibn Al-Munzhir said, “All of the knowledgeable people known to me agree on this point.”’ The hadith of Um Salamah mentioned earlier supports this proposition.

If one wakes from sleep and finds some moistness, but does not recall any wet dream, though he is sure it is sperm, what should he do? To be safe, he should perform ghusl. Said Mujahid and Qatadah:

“There is no need for ghusl until he is sure that it is sperm, for his prior condition of purity is not ended by an uncertainty.

If a man squeezes his penis to prevent ejaculation

This also makes ghusl unnecessary. This is based on the hadith which states that ghusl is required if the sperm can be seen. But, if the person walks and cannot control his ejaculation. he must perform ghusl.

2- Sperm on the clothes during prayer

If a man does not know how the sperm got on his clothes, and he has already prayed, should he perform ghusl and repeat all of his prayers since the last time he slept?

If he thinks that it happened before his most recent sleep, he should repeat all of his prayers since the supposed time of his ejaculation .

3- Touching the two circumcised parts

This refers to the penis and the vagina. If one’s penis has entered his wife’s vagina, ghusl is obligatory even if there was no ejaculation. Says Allah, “If you are sexually impure, purify yourselves.” (AL-Ma’idah 5:6)

Commenting on the subject, Ash-Shaifi says, “In the Arabic language, sexual impurity refers to any type of sexual intercourse, regardless of whether sperm was ejaculated or not. If someone says, ‘So and so is sexually impure due to so and so,’ it refers to any type of sexual intercourse between them, even if there was no ejaculation. No one disagrees that the fornication which requires the prescribed punishment is sexual intercourse, even if there is no ejaculation.”

Abu Hurairah reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him)said, “When anyone sits between the four parts of her body and exerts himself (has intercourse), bathing becomes obligatory (for both).” (Ahmad and Muslim)

Sa`eed ibn Al-Musayyab reported that Abu Musa Al-Ash`ari said to `A’ishah, “I would like to ask you something, but I am embarrassed.” She said, “Ask and don’t be shy, for I am your mother.” He asked about a man who had intercourse but did not ejaculate. She said, on the authority of the Prophet, “If the two circumcised parts encountered each other, ghusl is obligatory.” (Ahmad and Malik).

There is no doubt that there must be insertion; if there is only touching, ghusl is not obligatory for either. All scholars agree on this point.

4- Women and their period

Concerning menstruation and childbirth bleeding, Allah says in the Qur’an, “Do not approach them until they become pure. When they are pure, go to them in the manner that Allah has prescribed for you.” (Al-Baqarah 2:222)

The Messenger of Allah said to Fatimah bint Abu Habish, “Do not pray during your period. After it has ended, perform ghusl and pray.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Post-childbirth bleeding is treated in a similar manner, according to the consensus of the companions. If a woman gives birth and has no flow of blood afterwards, some scholars say that she must perform ghusl, while others say that it would not be necessary. There is no textual authority on this latter point.

5- Death

When a Muslim dies, it is obligatory to wash his or her body, according to the consensus of the Muslims.

6- A non-Muslim upon embracing Islam

New converts to Islam must perform ghusl. Abu Hurairah reported that Thumamah Al-Hanafi was captured. The Prophet, upon whom be peace, passed by him and said, “What do you have to say for yourself, O Thumamah?” He said, “If you kill me, you would be killing a relative. If you give me a bounty (set me free), I would be thankful. If you want wealth (as a ransom), we can give you what you wish.” The companions of the Prophet preferred the ransom and said, “What would we get if we killed him?” One time when the Prophet passed by him, he finally embraced Islam. The Prophet (peace be upon him) untied him and told him to go to the garden of Abu Talhah and perform ghusl. He performed ghusl and prayed two rak`ah. The Prophet said, “Indeed, your brother became a fine Muslim.” (Ahmad)

There is also a source for the story in reports by al-Bukhari and Muslim.

7- Prayer

8- Circumambulating the Ka`bah

The reasoning behind this can be found in What actions require the ablution as a prerequisite.

9- Touching or carrying the Qur’an

The companions were all agreed that it is forbidden to touch or carry the Qur’an while one is in a state of impurity. There are some jurists, such as Dawud ibn Hazm, who allow the physically unclean person, whether because of sex or menstruation, to touch or carry the Qur’an, and they see nothing wrong with this. He derives his support from a hadith in the two Sahihs in which it is stated that the Prophet sent a letter to Heraclius saying, “In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful…O people of the book, come to a statement that is common between us and you, that we should worship none but Allah, and that we shall ascribe no partner unto Him, and that none of us shall take others for lords besides Allah. If they turn away, then say ‘Bear witness that we are they who have surrendered (unto Him).” (Aal `Imran 3:64)

Ibn Hazm concludes, “This is the letter the Messenger of Allah wrote, containing this verse, to the Christians, and of course they touched it.” The majority of scholars answer him by stating that one is allowed to touch parts of the Qur’an that are used in letters, books, tafsir, and so on, as such things are not copies of the Qur’an, nor is it confirmed that such an action is forbidden.


The article is an excerpt from the author’s translated book “Fiqh Us Sunnah”.


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Wudu’: (Ablution): Its Status and Virtues from Qur’an and Sunnah

By: Sayyid Saabiq

Wudu’ (ablution) means to wash one’s face, hands, arms, head and feet with water.

Wudu’ (the Ablution) Its Status and Virtues from Qur’an and Sunnah

Wudu’ means to wash one’s face, hands, arms, head and feet with water.

Part of Islamic law

This is proven from the three major sources of Islamic law:

1- The Qur’an

Allah Says in the Qur’an:

O you who believe, when you rise for prayer, wash your faces and your hands up to the elbows and lightly rub your heads and (wash) your feet up to the ankles. (Al-Ma’idah 5:6)

2- The Sunnah

Abu Hurairah reported that the Messenger of Allah said, “Allah does not accept the prayer of one who nullified his ablution until he performs it again.” (Al-Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhhi.)

3- The Consensus

There is a consensus of scholarly opinion that ablution is part of Islamic law.

Therefore, it is a recognized fact of the religion.

Its Virtues

Many hadiths state the virtues of ablution. We shall mention just a few:

– `Abdullah ibn As-Sunnabiji stated that the Messenger of Allah said, “When a slave makes ablution and rinses his mouth, his wrong deeds fall from it. As he rinses his nose, his wrong deeds fall from it. When he washes his face, his wrong deeds fall from it until they fall from beneath his eyelashes. When he washes his hands, his wrong deeds fall from them until they fall from beneath his fingernails. When he wipes his head, his wrong deeds fall from it until they fall from his ears. When he washes his feet, his wrong deeds fall from them until they fall from beneath his toenails. Then his walking to the mosque and his prayer give him extra reward.” (Malik, An-Nasa’i, Ibn Majah and Al-Hakim)

– Anas reported that the Messenger of Allah said, “If good characteristics exist in a person, Allah makes all of his acts good. If a person purifies himself for prayer, he expiates all of his sins and his prayer is considered an extra reward for him.” (Related by Abu Ya`la, Al-Bazzar and At-Tabarani in Al-Ausat)

– Abu Hurairah reported that the Messenger of Allah said, “’Shall I inform you (of an act) by which Allah erases sins and raises degrees?’ They said, ‘Certainly, O Messenger of Allah.’ He said, “Perfecting the ablution under difficult circumstances, taking many steps to the mosque, and waiting for the (next) prayer after the (last) prayer has been performed. That is ribat. (Malik, Muslim, At-Tirmidhi and An-Nasa’i)

(Ribat is a term that normally denotes guarding the army from enemy attack, which has great reward in Islam. Here the Prophet has likened the waiting for the coming prayer to be ribat)

– Abu Hurairah also reported that the Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace, passed by a grave site and said, “Peace be upon you, O home of believing people. Allah willing, we shall meet you soon, although I wish I could see my brothers.” They asked, “Are we not your brothers, O Messenger of Allah?” He said, “You are my companions. My brothers are the ones who will come after (us).” They said, “How will you know the people of our nation who will come after you, O Messenger of Allah?” He said, “If a man has a group of horses with white forelocks amidst a group of horses with black forelocks, will he recognize his horses?” They said, “Certainly, O Messenger of Allah.” He said, “They (my brothers) will come with white streaks from their ablutions, and I will receive them at my cistern. But there will be some who will be driven away from my cistern as a stray camel is driven away. I will call them to come. It will be said, ‘They changed matters after you,’ then I will say, ‘Be off, be off.” (Muslim)


The article is an excerpt from the author’s translated book “Fiqh Us Sunnah”.

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How to Perform Wudu’

By Abdul-Rahman Al Sheha

One should know that one must perform wudu’ (ablution) before the Prayer, due to the saying of the Prophet (peace be upon him):

How to Perform Wudu’

One should exhale the water from the nose with the help of the left hand.

“No Prayer is accepted without purification, and no charity is accepted from earnings made from impermissible sources.” (Muslim)

Allah says:

O you who believe! When you intend to offer the Salah, wash your faces and your hands up to the elbows, pass wet hands over your heads, and (wash) your feet up to the ankles. (Al-Ma’idah 5:6)

One should perform wudu’ in the following manner:

Homran ibn Aban, the freed slave of ‘Uthman ibn `Affan (may Allah be pleased with him) said:

“I saw `Uthman perform wudu’. He poured water on his two hands thrice, then he rinsed his mouth and nose, washed his face thrice, washed his right hand up to his elbow thrice, washed his right hand up to his elbow thrice, wiped over his head once, washed his right foot thrice, and then his left foot thrice. He then said, ‘I saw the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) perform wudu’ like this wudu’, and then say: ‘Whoever performs wudu’ like my wudu’ I have just performed, and then prays two rak`ahs (units of prayer) not thinking about anything else, Allah will forgive him all his previous sins.’” (Al-Bukhari)

How to Perform Wudu’

1-One should intend with his heart that he is performing wudu’ to purify himself from a minor state of impurity. The evidence that the intention is obligatory is the statement of the Prophet (peace be upon him):

“All deeds depend on their intention, and each person will be rewarded according to what they intend…” (Al-Bukhari)

2- One should say, “Bismillaah (In the Name of Allah),” before commencing the wudu’. The Prophet said:

“There is no Prayer for one who does not perform wudu’, and there is no wudu’ for one who does not mention the Name of Allah.” (Abu Dawud)

3- One should wash his hands thrice in the beginning of the wudu’, due to the hadith of Aws ibn Aws Ath-Thaqafi in which he said:

“I saw Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) wash his hands three times when he performed wudu’.” (Ahmad)

4- One should rinse his mouth and rinse his nose by inhaling water into it thrice. He should exhale the water from the nose with the help of the left hand.

5- One should wash his face thrice. The face consists of the area starting from the forelock at the top of the forehead of a normal haired man to the bottom of the (chin or) beard, vertically, and from right earlobe to the left, horizontally.

6- One should wash his hands from the tips of fingers up to and including the elbow, beginning first with the right hand, then the left. If he happens to be wearing a ring or a watch, they must move it in order to allow the water to reach the skin underneath it.

7- One must wipe over his head once. This is done by wetting the hands and passing them over the head, beginning from front, proceeding to the back, then passing them back over the head to the front. `Abdullah ibn Zayd (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated:

“Allah’s Messenger passed his two hands over his head starting from the front, proceeding to the back. He started from his forehead and passed them over to the top of his neck, and then passed them back to the place where he started from.” (Sahih ibn Khuzaimah)

8- One should wipe over his ears by inserting his wet index fingers [which he used to wipe his head] into the cavity if the ears, while wiping the outside with his wet thumbs. In ibn `Abbas’s description of the wudu’ of the Prophet (peac e be upon him), he said:

“He wiped his head and ears once.” (Abu Dawud)

In another narration, he said:

“He then wiped over his head and out his two index fingers into his ears, He wiped the outside of his ears with his thumbs, and the insides of his ear with his index fingers.” (Abu Dawud)

9- One should wash his feet three times from the tips of the toes up to and including the ankles. Abu Hurairah said that he saw a person who did not wash his heels, and he said to him:

“Woe to the heels from the Hellfire!” (Muslim)

10- One should wash the parts of wudu’ in the correct sequence. He should wash one part after another in the order that Allah commanded. He should not wash one body part before another which it should come after, for in the verse quoted previously, Allah mentioned the obligatory acts of wudu’ in a specific sequence.

11- One should make wudu’ in succession, meaning that one should not delay washing one part of the body so long that the previous washed part becomes dry. In a hadith, the Prophet saw a man praying, but a portion of his foot the size of a dirham was not wet. Upon this, the Prophet ordered him to repeat his wudu’ and Prayer. (Abu Dawud)

(Note that he did not merely order him to wash his foot, but rather he ordered him to repeat the whole wudu´ as well as his Prayer.)

One must remove anything from the parts that must be washed in the wudu’ which might prevent water from reaching the skin underneath it, such as paint and other similar things.

One remains in a state of wudu’ unless something invalidates it, such as urination, defecation, passing of gas, pre-seminal fluid, prostatic fluid, false menstruation (vaginal bleeding other than menses), eating of camel meat, touching the private parts with one’s hand without there being a barrier, or deep sleep.


The article is an excerpt from the author’s book “How to Become a Muslim”.

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New Muslims Prayer

Physical Purity: Essential Condition of Prayer

By: Sayyid Saabiq

Allah says in the Qur’an: “O you who believe, when you rise for the prayer, wash your faces, your hands up to the elbows, and lightly rub your hands and (wash) your feet up to the ankles. If you are unclean, purify yourselves.” (Al-Ma’idah 5:6)

Ibn `Umar reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Allah does not accept any prayer that was not performed while in a state of purity, nor does he accept charity from what has been stolen from booty.” (Abu Dawud, Ibn Majah, An-Nasa’i)

Physical Purity- Essential Condition of Prayer

The body, clothes and place should be clean of physical impurities.

Purity of the Body,

The body, clothes and place should be clean of physical impurities as much as possible. If one cannot remove them, he may pray with the impurities present and does not have to repeat the prayer later.

Concerning bodily purity, Anas related that the Prophet (peace be upon him), said, “Stay clean of urine, as the majority of punishment in the grave is due to it.” (Ad-Daraqutni)

Reported `Ali, I used to have a great deal of prostatic fluid flowing, so I asked a man to ask the Prophet about it (as I was shy to ask him, due to my relationship with him through his daughter). He asked him and the Prophet, upon whom be peace, said, “Make ablution and wash your penis.” (Al-Bukhari and others)

`A’ishah also related that the Messenger of Allah said to women with a prolonged flow of blood, “Wash the blood from yourself and pray.”


Concerning purity of clothing, says Allah, “And purify your raiment.” (Al-Muddathir 74:4)

Jabir ibn Sumrah reported that he heard a man ask the Prophet, “May I pray in the same clothes that I had on during intercourse with my wife?” He said, “Yes, but if you see some stains on it, you must wash it.” This hadith is related by Ahmad and Ibn Majah. Its narrators are trustworthy.

Reported  Mu`awiya, “I asked Um Habibah, ‘Did the Prophet pray in the same clothes that he wore when he had intercourse?’ She said, ‘Yes, if there were no stains on it.” (Ahmad, Abu Dawud, An-Nasa’i and Ibn Majah.)

Abu Sa`id reported that the Prophet removed his shoes and the people behind him did likewise. When he finished the prayer, he asked, “Why did you remove your shoes?” They said, “We saw you remove yours.” He said, “Gabriel came to me and informed me that there was some filth on them. Therefore, when one of you comes to the mosque, he should turn his shoes over and examine them. If one finds any dirt on them, he should rub them against the ground and pray with them on.” (Ahmad, Abu Dawud, Al-Hakim, Ibn Hibban and Ibn Khuzaimah)

This hadith shows that if one enters the mosque (with his shoes on) and is unaware of some impurity or has forgotten it, and he suddenly remembers it during the prayer, he must try to remove it and proceed with the prayer. He does not have to repeat it later on.

and Place

Concerning the purity of the place where one is praying, Abu Hurairah said, “A Bedouin stood and urinated in the mosque. The people got up to grab him. The Prophet said, ‘Leave him and pour a container full of water over his urine. You have been raised to be easy on the people, not to be hard on them.” (An-Nasa’i, Al-Bukhari, Ibn Majah, At-Tirmidhi)


Commenting on this subject, Ash-Shawkani says, “If what has been produced of proof is firmly established, then one would know that it is obligatory to have one’s clothes free of impurities. Whoever prays and has impurities on his clothing has left one of the obligations of the prayer. But his prayer would not be voided.”

In Ar-Rauzhat An-Nabiyyah it states, “The majority of scholars are of the opinion that it is obligatory to purify three things: the body, the clothes, and the place of prayer. Some are of the opinion that this is a condition for the soundness of the prayer, and others say that it is just a sunnah. The truth of the matter is that it is obligatory. Whoever intentionally prays with impurities on his clothing has left one of the obligations (of the prayer), but the prayer is still valid.”


The article is an excerpt from the author’s translated book “Fiqh Us Sunnah”.

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His Character New Muslims

Inside the Prophet’s Mosque

By Dr. Hatem  AlHaj

Religious & Social

the prophet's mosque in madina

The masjid should be a center for Shari`ah-compliant interfaith communication and dialogue.

A tour through the masjid of the Prophet (peace be upon him) during his time may help us rid ourselves of this false conviction.

1- Talking and socializing in the masjid of the Prophet

Jabir ibn Samurah (may Allah be pleased with him) said:

“He (peace be upon him) would not rise from his place where he prayed subh (the Dawn Prayer) until the sun rises, and when it rose, he would then stand up. They used to chat with one another, even about matters that happened to them in Jahiliyyah (before Islam), and they would laugh and he (peace be upon him) would smile.” (Muslim and Ahmad, and in Ahmad’s report, Jabir said that he witnessed this more than one hundred times)

2- Eating in the masjid of the Prophet

`Abdullah ibn Al-Harith (may Allah be pleased with him) said:

“We used to eat bread and meat in the masjid during the time of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).” (Ibn Majah)

3- Playing in the masjid of the Prophet

`A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) said:

“I have seen the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) one day at the door of my house, while the Abyssinians were playing in the masjid, and the Messenger of Allah was covering me with his garment to watch their playing.” (Agreed Upon)

4- Sleeping over and staying in the masjid of the Prophet

`Abdullah Ibn `Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) told us that before his marriage, he used to sleep in the masjid of the Prophet. (Agreed Upon; Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

`A’ishah also told us that a tent was set up for an emancipated black girl in the masjid. (Al-Bukhari)

It is also known that Ahl As-Suffah used to stay in the masjid, and they were about seventy men, as reported by Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him). (Al-Bukhari)

5- Tending to the sick in the masjid:

`A’ishah said:

“Sa`d ibn Mu`adh was wounded on the day of the Battle of Trench, so the Messenger of Allah set up a tent for him so that he may be close to him to visit him (often).” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Women at the Masjid of the Prophet

The Messenger of Allah was well aware of the praiseworthy protective jealousy of the men of his nation. Still, he was careful not to let this protectiveness become a reason for Muslim women to be deprived of the chance to visit the house of their Lord. On the authority of Ibn `Umar (may Allah be pleased with him), the Prophet said:

“Do not prevent Allah’s slave-women from going to Allah’s mosques.” (Muslim)

Even though the Prophet indicated in an authentic hadith (reported by Abu Dawud, Al-Hakim, Ibn Khuzaymah, and others) that it is better for a woman to pray in her home than to pray in the masjid, the mothers of the believers and the believing women used to go out to the masjid of the Prophet!

They wouldn’t do what is inferior, so they must have understood that this instruction is to say that women are not meant to go to the masjid five times a day like men, and to assure women who need to be at home, that they will not miss the reward of jama`ah (congregational).

The reward of their praying at home will be greater than their prayer at the masjid, but this applies to situations when there is nothing to do at the masjid but prayer. If there are other benefits such as learning, for example, then it may be better, overall, to pray at times at the masjid.

Children at the Masjid of the Prophet

Imam Ahmad reported from Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) that he said:

“The Messenger of used to lead the people in prayer, and Al-Hassan ibn ‘Ali would jump on his back when he prostrated, and he did that more than once.” (Ahmad)

Bukhari and Muslim also reported from Abu Qatadah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah prayed at the masjid while carrying Umamah bint Zaynab, and he would put her down when he made sujud (prostration).

As expected, it was not only the Prophet who brought his children to the masjid. The Prophet would even shorten his prayers at times when he heard the crying of a child, out of mercy for his mother.

Non-Muslims Entering the Masjid

It is known that the Prophet used to receive the delegations in the masjid. It has also been reported that a delegation of the Christians of Najran stayed over at his masjid. It was also reported ” that Thumamah ibn Uthal was kept in the masjid for a few days”. (Al-Bukhari)

Muslims should reach out to everyone around them, and we should invite them to the masjid. Seeing it from inside, and watching the Muslims pray together, is likely to remove much of the fear generated by the anti-Muslim forces to define peoples’ perception of Islam and its people. The masjid should be a center for Shari`ah-compliant interfaith communication and dialogue.

Furthermore, we should initiate, participate in, and further all activities of benefit for the communities we live in. If the Islamic center has the appropriate facilities, meetings to discuss issues of common interest should be held at the masjid, such as neighborhood safety endeavors, drug-free zones, and the like.

Having said all of that, it is paramount that we put all of these reports in their right context and understand that the main function of the masajid (mosques) is still salah and dhikr. The Messenger of Allah said to the man who urinated in the masjid that the mosques have not been built for such purposes; they were built for the remembrance of Allah and establishment of the prayers.

The Prophet forbade all activities that will impede the proper establishment of these functions, to the point that he forbade people who ate garlic or onion from coming to the masjid in order to provide the best environment for those who seek to worship their Lord and engage in His munajah (subtle conversation).

It is therefore important that we keep the masajid clean and decrease the distractions as much as possible. If we could move some of these functions outside the prayer hall (masjid proper) to nearby rooms, then that would be warranted.

The children must also be instructed about the etiquettes of the masjid. If possible, we should designate areas for them where they could be best tended to and positively entertained.



Dr. Hatem AlHaj is an AMJA scholar, a pediatrician and a PhD in Islamic Shariah.

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Acts of Worship New Muslims

Women’s Prayer in Mosques: Allowed or Not? (Part 2)

By Dr. Salih Al-Fawzan

Our religion is a perfect one that comprehensively covers our welfare and interests in this world and in the Hereafter, Islam came with good to all Muslims, whether male or female as Allah says:

Whosoever does right, whether male or female, and is a believer, him verily we shall quicken with good life, and We shall pay them a recompense in proportion to the best of what they used to do. (An-Nahl 16:97)

Islam takes an interest in women, conferring honor and respect upon them as long as they abide by its rulings and adorn themselves with its virtues.

Concerning going to mosques, does Islam allow women to attend the mosques to witness congregational prayer and assemblies for remembering God? What do the Qur’an and Sunnah say about that? (Read Part 1)


Women’s Prayer in Mosques: Allowed or Not? Part 2

When a woman adheres to the high moral standards of Islam it becomes permissible for her then to go to the mosque.

When a woman adheres to the high moral standards of Islam, such as bashfulness, covering herself, keeping away from attractive adornment and perfume (when going out) and keeping away from mingling with men, it becomes permissible for her then to go to the mosque for prayer and attend gatherings for the remembrance of Allah. However, it is better for her to stay at home, because the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

“ … Yet their houses are better for them (to perform prayer therein).” (ِAhmad and Abu Dawud)

Moreover, scholars unanimously agree that it is better for women to perform prayer in their houses than in the mosque, to keep away from any satanic seduction, and for purpose of safety and for uprooting any source of evil.


If a woman does not adhere to the high moral standards of Islam and does not avoid whatever the Messenger (peace be upon him) forbids of adornment and perfume when going out, then it is prohibited for her to go to the mosque, and she must be prevented from going out by her guardian or those in authority. It is stated on the authority of `A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) that she said:

“Had Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) witnessed what the women were doing, he would have forbidden them from going to the mosque as the women of the Children of Israel had been forbidden.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

When a woman goes to the mosque, both the benefit gained behind this (for her and for the whole community) and the avoiding of any cause of evil are to be taken into account (by the Lawgiver). If the cause of evil is greater than the benefit gained, a woman, in this case, must be prevented from going to the mosque.

If a woman is asked to observe these high moral standards, when going out to the mosque, then it is more worthy for her, to be cautious and to keep away from any cause of temptation when going anywhere other than the mosque.


The article is an excerpt from the author’s book “A Summary of Islamic Jurisprudence”.

Dr. Salih Al-Fawzan is a Professor of Islamic Jurisprudence, Member of the Board of Senior Ulema & Member of the Permanent Committee for Fatwa and Research.


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