Book Name : Description of Prayer.
Author : Shaykh ibn Uthymeen Rahimahuallah.
Dars given by Abu Mu’aadh Taqweem
4th Condition for acceptance of Prayer : ‘Awrah must be covered ( ستر العورة)
- It is the condition that the certain parts of the body must be covered during the Prayer. Those parts differ from men to women and different situations.
- Shaykh ibn uthymeen mentions verse from Soorah Al ‘Araaf verse 31,”يَا بَنِي آدَمَ خُذُوا زِينَتَكُمْ عِندَ كُلِّ مَسْجِدٍ
” O Children of Adam! Take your adornment (by wearing your clean clothes), while praying ..” here, ”زِينَتَكُمْ’‘ refers to your garment covering ‘Awrah.
- There is also a Hadeeth where the Prophet Sal Allaaho ‘Alyhe wasalam said to Jaabir Ibne ‘Abdillah رضي الله عنهما about the clothing, ”If your garment is lose/wide/spacious then cover yourself with it and if it is tight, then in that case use it as Izaar(meaning around your waist, cover yourself to that level at least)”.
- None of you should pray in 1 garment worn in such a way that nothing is upon the shoulders.
- All of these narrations generally indicate that a person should be covered during the prayer.
- And one of the scholars Ibn ‘Abdil Barr Rahimahuallah he narrated that,’‘ there is consensus of scholars that you must be covered during the prayer as the condition of the prayer and that a person who prays naked with the ability to cover then his prayer is unacceptable and incorrect.”
What level of body is to be covered and what can be exposed of body?
- The scholars have mentioned that there are 3 types of ‘Awrah OR 3 levels of covering yourself:
1st type : The Top (High)level of ‘Awrah – This is basically for all body except the face. Generally speaking for women has to cover all her body except the face.However, even with regards to the face the scholars mention , ‘‘If there were non mahram men around , then she would have to cover her face too. Upon the opinion that it is absolutely impermissible for a woman to uncover her face in front of non mahram”.The Hands and the feet are differed over. Some scholars says, ” that no doubt as well you must have hands and the feets covered too”. That is the strongest opinion upon evidences regarding feets. But, about hands some of the scholars allow for the hands to be uncovered and the prayer is correct for woman. Hence, a women must cover all her body including the feet upon a strong opinion, except the face if there is non mahram around. And Hands can be left but some scholars say it must be covered infront of non mahram. This is for a free woman who is beyond the age of puberty because there are particular rulings for a slave woman.
2nd type : The lowest level of the ‘Awrah- A male child from the age of 7 to 10 because of the narration which tells to command the children from the age of 7. Technically, his prayer to be accepted he only needs to cover the private area(front and the back).
3rd type : The middle level of ‘Awrah – The middle level ‘Awrah or minimum requirement is from the belly button up to the knee.For men generally this is upwards from the age of 10. Within that , also technically it would be a girl who is below the age of puberty (a child)if she is covered to that level she is covered. This is more covering then the male child. ( As, male child covers private area (from back and front).)
- Despite this now, these categorizations that technically what must be covered and the minimum levels. The Shaykh says, ‘‘What is legislated in the right of every person, that you are upon your beautification for every prayer. And that therefore dictates, that you wear your complete clothing. These minimum levels of the ‘Awrah does not means that is what you do but that is telling you about the minimum acceptable for prayer.”
Issues regarding covering of ‘Awrah :
- If we were to suppose that there was a hole in the garment. At a section which is from the ‘Awrah section( i.e between the navel /belly button to the knee).In this case Shaykh says, ” There is a difference in this issue we have to look at, was that hole something minor or major?.Another issue you look at if that hole is directly above the highest level of the ‘Awrah (i.e actual private parts) or is it somewhere outside of the high level of ‘Awrah or further up or further down the knee, or sides of the ‘Awrah, or directly above the high level of ‘Awrah or is it on the back above the buttocks of the individual or in the stomach area there is hole, or is it below or above the belly button.So, every place where this hole could be and the size of it is all significant in looking at this issue. Therefore, we need to now looking at this issue mentioning another point which is something people do in the summer months’.A person may wear shorts which is very half way down the thigh for example. But, on top of that he is wearing the long garment (Thobe) which goes all the way down between his knees and his ankles. He is covered. But, if he wears the light material, see through garment to such an extent that you can actually see his shorts and color of his legs. Now, if he prays in that shorts he has not covered his ‘Awrah. The criteria for a garment to be seen through is that you can see the complexion(i.e Dark or fair ) of the skin then you are not completely covering your ‘Awrah.”
- A situation in which a man only covered minimum ‘Awrah (i.e between the navel to the knee) then he prays is acceptable.
- If he finds himself in a situation that he is not able to cover his minimum and barely covers the private region and the time for the prayer is going to finish in an hour and he knows he can get at some place garment to cover but it will take two hours.The prayer is prayed in whatever situation you have to such an extent that if there is an extreme situation that you had no garment (i.e nothing to cover) and the time was existing then also you would pray even without garment because the prayer MUST be prayed within the times.
Does the women cover themselves same like wearing jilbaab outside the house or is it fine to pray in the dress which is lose and worn at home in front of mahrams?
- Technically, for a prayer to be accepted it is allowed to wear any garment which fulfills the condition of covering the ‘Awrah even if its the dress which have flowers on it, worn at home. But, what is better is to wear a garment which do not distract you from prayer. meaning a garment which is plain and have no patterns or designs.
- If there was a hole in the garment and you didn’t knew about it. And you prayed will your prayer be acceptable? Shaykh ibn Uthymeen Rahimahuallah does not go into the issue because it requires a lot of details and it is not mentioned here.
Fifth condition : Facing the Qiblah (استقبال القبلة)
- In Soorah baqarah verse 144, ”Verily! We have seen the turning of your (Muhammad’s ) 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 (at Makkah). And wheresoever you people are, turn your faces (in prayer) in that direction. ..”
- Shaykh ibn Uthymeen says, ”However, some scholars give more details about this. Whomsoever can actually see the Ka’bah and you are there then you must face directly towards the Ka’bah in prayer. If you go to the Haram you will notice those blue lines as you are walking around the marble floor, you find those blue lines every so often or every meters showing you the exact direction where you should be standing so that you are exactly facing the Ka’abah.
- As for the person who is not there, here it is not the condition to be pin point to the degree. Here, what is the condition upon you is the direction of the Ka’abah.
- Scholars says,” If you are inside the Haram you pray facing directly to Ka’abah and if you are outside the Haram but still in Makkah then you pray facing towards the Masjidul Haram and if you are outside the Makkah then you pray facing towards the Makkah.”
- And the scholars they mention, a slight deviation in direction, then it does not harm a person or harm the prayer.
- If a person was in the East or in the West or in the North or in the South then you generally face towards the direction of the Ka’abah (i.e Makkah) and this will not nullify your prayer if you are one degree this way or one degree that way.
- If somebody was to the East of Makkah and he faced in his prayer to the direction of the South. Then, he has made the Ka’abah at an angle from himself.The direction of Ka’abah is no longer in the direction he was. Therefore, his prayer is wrong as he was in the completely wrong direction.
Some issues regarding facing the Qiblah:
- If somebody prayed not facing the Qiblah then his prayer is not accepted unless it was in the certain 4 situations :
1- Somebody who is unable physically to face the Qiblah.
Example :ill person maybe on hospital bed in fixed position etc. OR Somebody who is able to move but they cannot move themselves except by the help of others. Example : Broken limbs. And there is no one to help them so the time of prayer is running out. So, they pray in the direction they are in.
2-In the state of fear from the Enemy.
Example : Someone fleeing from the enemy and the direction he was fleeing in was different then the direction of Ka’abah. So, now he does not want to turn around and face backwards to the direction of the where enemy is coming from.
3-If a person was travelling and wanted to pray a supererogatory prayer (naafilah):
It is permissible to pray in whatever direction. The Prophet Sal Allaaho ‘Alyhe wasalam would be on his riding animal, on a journey somewhere and the animal walking not in the direction of Ka’abah. And he would pray naafilah prayer in whatever the direction animal was going. But, he would not pray OBLIGATORY prayers in that way. He would stop and face the Qiblah and pray obligatory prayers.
There is a Hadeeth in Bukhaare and Muslim where the Narrator , ‘Aamir Ibn Rabee’ah said, ”I saw the Prophet Sal Allaaho ‘Alyhe wasalam upon his riding animal and he was praying and was supplicating and was making indications with his head and facing whichever direction the animal went. ” The narrator then said, ” The Prophet Sal Allaaho ‘Alyhe wasalam did not used to do that with Obligatory prayer”.
4-In Situation where you simply don’t know or you are confused what the direction of Qiblah is.
In this situation the scholars often mention a condition in it which is that you must strive to the best of the ability to work out to what direction it is. Then. when you strive to the best of your ability and made judgment that this is this way or that way then you pray in that direction and your prayer is acceptable . And if he later finds out that the direction he prayed was wrong or someone tells him correct direction but the time of prayer has not finished yet. Shaykh ibn Uthymeen says, ” Even in that narration the one who didn’t pray again, the Prophet Sal Allaaho ‘Alyhe wasalam said you have done the Sunnah. Here is same thing that it is NOT upon you to have to repeat again ”.
Notes by Ommo Abdillah Al Baakistaaniyah.
Reference audio lesson 6 : https://soundcloud.com/learnaboutislam