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Fatwas regarding Women

In the Name of Allâh, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful

Questions Related to Prayer

The Ruling Concerning One Who Does Not Pray

Question: What is the ruling concerning a person who died and he did not pray, although his parents were Muslims? How should he be dealt with concerning the washing of his body, shrouding, prayer, burial, supplications and asking for mercy upon him?

Response: Any sane adult person who dies and does not pray, given that he knows the Islamic ruling about prayer, is a disbeliever. He is not to be washed nor should he be prayed over. He is not to be buried in the Muslim cemetery. His Muslim relatives do not inherit from him. In fact, his wealth is to be given to the state treasury according to the strongest opinion among the scholars. This is based on the authentic hadith in which the Prophet (peace be upon him) said,

"Between a person and kufr (disbelief) and shirk (associating partners with Allah) is the abandonment of the prayer."

This was recorded by Imam Muslim in his Sahih. The Prophet (peace be upon him) also said,

"The covenant dividing us and them is the prayer. Whoever abandons it has committed kufr (apostasy)."

This was recorded by Ahmad and the Compilers of the Sunan with an authentic chain from the Hadith of Buraidah. Abdullah ibn Shaqeeq al-Aqeely, one of the Noble Followers, stated, "The Companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him) did not consider the abandonment of any act as kufr except the [abandonment of] prayer." There are many Ahadith and reports with that meaning. This is concerning the one who does not pray out of laziness. The one who refuses to accept it as being obligatory is an apostatizing disbeliever according to all of the scholars of Islam. We ask Allah to make the affairs of the Muslims good and lead them to follow the Straight Path. He is the All-Hearing, the Responder.

Shaikh ibn Baz

Ruling Concerning a Muslim Woman Praying without Hijab

Question: If a woman who does not wear hijab is forced to pray or if her hijab is not in accord with the shariah, for example, some of her hair or her skin is exposed for some reason, what is the ruling?

Response: First, it is necessary that one realize that hijab is obligatory upon women. It is not allowed for her to abandon it or be lackadaisical towards it. If the time for prayer comes and the woman is not properly attired or properly covered, then her situation may be broken down into the following cases:

If she is not wearing hijab or is not properly covered due to circumstances forcing her to be in that state,1 then she prays in the situation that she is in. Her prayer will then be valid and there will be no sin upon her. This is based on Allah's statement,

"Allah burdens not a person beyond his scope" (al-Baqara 286).

Allah also says,

"So keep your duty to Allah (and fear Him) as much as you can" (al-Taghabun 16).

However, if the woman is not wearing hijab or is not properly covered out of a voluntary choice, such as following the customs or mode of the people, and the lack of hijab here means not covering her face and hands, then her prayer is correct. But she is committing a sin if she is doing that in the presence of men that she is not related to.

Furthermore, if she is uncovering her shin, forearms, hair on her head and so forth, then it is not permissible for her to pray in that state. If she prays in that state, her prayer is not valid. And she is committing a sin on two counts. First, she is sinful because she is not covering herself in general. Second, she is sinful for performing the prayer in that state.

Shaikh ibn Baz


1. Here the Shaikh is referring to situations where women are not allowed to wear hijab in public, at work or in school. Unfortunately, this situation exists today in some Muslim countries.-JZ

Devilish Prompting and Confusion While in the Prayer

Question: I get confused a lot concerning how many rakats I perform, even though I pray in a loud voice in order to remember what I have recited. However, I still get doubts. When I finish the prayer, I feel that I have missed a rakah, prostration or sitting, even though I try very hard not have doubts during my prayer. But still this is without benefit. I hope you will guide me to what will benefit me in such a case. Do I have to repeat the prayer when I have such confusion? Is there some supplication that I can make at the beginning of the prayer that will remove such confusion?

Response: You must fight against such devilish prompting and be cautious about them. You must increase your seeking of refuge in Allah from the accursed Satan. Allah has said,

"Say: I seek refuge with [Allah] the Lord of Mankind, the King of Mankind, the God of Mankind, from the evil of the whisperer who withdraws from his whispering..." to the end

of the surah (surah al-Nass).

Allah also says,

"And if an evil whisper comes to you from Satan, then seek refuge with Allah. Verily, He is All-Hearer, All Knower" (al-Araf 200).

If you have finished your prayer or ablution and then such doubts come to your mind, then turn away from them and don't give them any attention. Consider your prayer and ablution as proper and sound. If doubts come to you while you are praying, such as whether you have prayed three or four rakats, then consider them as three and finish your prayer, making two prostrations of forgetfulness before the salutations at the end of the prayer. This is what the Prophet (peace be upon him) ordered one who had similar doubts to do. We seek refuge in Allah for ourselves and you from Satan.

Shaikh ibn Baz

Doorbell Rings While I am Praying

Question: If I am praying and somebody rings the doorbell, and nobody is in the house except me, what shall I do?

Response: If the prayer is a voluntary prayer, the matter is much easier as there is nothing from preventing you from stopping your prayer and seeing who is at the door. However, if it is an obligatory prayer, then you should not rush your prayer unless it is something very important that you fear will be missed. If possible, you may alert the person at the door that you are busy in prayer, by saying subhanallah for men or clapping for women, that would be sufficient. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said,

"If anything happens to someone during the prayer, the men should say subhanallah and the women should clap."1

If you can make it clear to the one at the door that you are in prayer, by the man saying subhanallah and the woman clapping then you should do that. However, if that will not help because the door is far away and the person will not hear you, then there is no harm in you breaking off the prayer, in particular if it is a voluntary prayer. If it is an obligatory prayer, you should only do that if it is expected that that is something very important. In that case, you may break off the prayer and then repeat it from its beginning afterwards. And all praises belong to Allah.

Shaikh ibn Baz


1. With the exact wording in the text, this was recorded by Abu Dawud. Al-Bukhari has something extremely close to it.--JZ

A Woman in Her House Does Not Pray Following the Imam

Question: My mother lives next to a congregational mosque. Between her and the mosque is a small street. She hear the adhan and the prayer and she continues to follow the Imam in her prayer in her house. Is that allowable for her? If it is not allowed, what should she do about the prayers that she performed in that manner over the years. I hope you can benefit us in this matter, may Allah reward you.

Response: If the situation is as you mentioned in the question, she cannot follow the Imam of the mosque in her prayer unless she sees the Imam or some of the rows of the followers. If she does not see any of them, then the strongest opinion among the statements of the scholars is that she does not follow the Imam in the prayer. As for what has passed of her prayers, she does not have to repeat them, Allah willing, because there is no clear evidence that they are invalid prayers. This question is an area of ijtehad [juristic reasoning] by the scholars. The safest and strongest opinion is as we have mentioned.

Shaikh ibn Baz

There is No Harm in Reading from a Copy of the Qur'an During the Tahajjud Prayer

Question: Is it allowed to read from a Quran during the late-night [tahajjudh] prayer since I have memorized very little and I desire to finish the Quran during the late-night prayers?

Response: There is no harm in that. Dhakwan, the freed slave of Aisha, used to lead them in prayer during Ramadhan reading from a copy of the Quran. Al-Bukhari recorded that in his Sahih with a definitively-stated discontinuous chain. This is the opinion of a large number of scholars. Those who don't allow it have no evidence to support them. Not everyone has the Quran memorized and, therefore, there is a need to read it from a copy of the Quran in the prayer and otherwise. This is especially true for the late night prayers and during the night prayers of Ramadhan for those who have not memorized the Quran in their hearts.

Shaikh ibn Baz

Ruling Concerning Raising One's Hands During the Supplications of the Witr Prayer

Question: What is the ruling concerning raising one's hands during the Witr Prayer?

Response: It is legally sanctioned to raise one's hands during the supplications of the Witr Prayer. This is because it is similar to the supplications during times of affliction. It is confirmed that the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to raise his hands while supplicating during times of affliction. This was recorded by al-Baihaqi, may Allah have mercy on him, with an authentic chain.

Shaikh ibn Baz

Performed Witr During the First Part of the Night and then Got Up During the Latter Part...

Question: If I performed the Witr prayer during the first part of the night and then I woke up during the latter part of the night, how shall I pray?

Response: If you made Witr during the first part of the night and then Allah made it easy for you to get up in the later part of the night, then pray whatever Allah has made easy for you in sets of two without performing another Witr. This is because the Prophet (peace be upon him) said,

"There are not to be two Witrs in one night."1

Furthermore, Aisha reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to pray two rakats after Witr, while he was sitting. The wisdom behind that, Allah knows best, is to show the people that it is permissible to pray after the Witr prayer.

Shaikh ibn Baz


1. This hadith was recorded by Ahmad, Abu Dawud, al-Nasai and al-Tirmidhi. According to al-Albani, it is authentic. Al-Albani, Sahih al-Jami, vol. 2, p. 1256.

Doubt During the Prayer

Question: Sometimes in the prayer I forget if I had recited Surah al-Fatiha or not. Therefore, I recite it a second time. Is this action proper? Should I then perform the prostration of forgetfulness?

Response: Many people get numerous devilish whisperings during the prayer. This causes them to doubt if they had recited [al-Fatiha] or made the tashahud [and so forth]. The cure for that is to make sure that one really gets attuned to the prayer and the heart is fully conscious during it, fearing mistakes or devilish prompting. If that happens a lot and one usually recites al-Fatiha, then it is disliked to recite it again. However, if one does repeat al-Fatiha just to make certain and be on the safe side, then he does not have to make the prostration of forgetfulness.

Shaikh ibn Jibreen

Delaying the Isha Prayer

Question: What is the ruling concerning delaying the Isha Prayer to a late time?

Response: The best act with respect to the Isha Prayer is to delay it until its last time. Whatever amount it is delayed is better. This is true except in the case of men. If a man is going to delay the Isha Prayer and by so doing is going to miss performing it in congregation, then it is not allowed for him to delay it and miss the congregation. As for women in their homes, the more they delay the Isha Prayer, the better for them. However, they cannot delay it beyond half of the night.

Shaikh ibn Uthaimin

Devilish Whispers During the Prayer

Question: I am a woman who performs what Allah has obligated on me concerning the ritual acts of worship. However, while in prayer, I often forget what I have prayed. I also think about what has occurred to me during that day. I do not think of those things except when I begin the prayer and I cannot seem to free myself from these thoughts unless I recite aloud. What do you advise me to do?

Response: This matter that you complain about is something that many of those who pray also complain about. This is where Satan has the door of whispering open to him during the prayer. Perhaps the person finishes without knowing what he has said in his prayer. However, the Prophet (peace be upon him) has guided us to the cure for that. The person should blow out on his left side three times and say, "I seek refuge in Allah from the accursed Satan." If the person does that, his problem will come to an end, Allah willing. When the person enters the prayer, he must firmly believe that he is standing in front of Allah. He is in private conversation with Allah. He should get closer to Allah by his stating Allahu akbar, his glorification of Allah, and his reciting of Allah's word. Also, he should get closer to Allah by means of the places of supplication in the prayer. If a person has this feeling and consciousness in him, he will approach his Lord with humility and submission to Him. He will love what Allah has of good and fear from His punishment if he fails in what Allah has obliged him to do.

Shaikh ibn Uthaimin

The One Who Sleeps Through the Time of Prayer

Question: When should the lsha Prayer be made up when someone slept through it and did not remember it until after the Fajr Prayer? Should he pray it at its next appointed time or when he remembers it?

Response: It is recorded in an authentic Hadith that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said,

"Whoever sleeps through a prayer or forgets it should pray it when he remembers it and there is no expiation for it but that."

And then the Prophet (peace be upon him) recited the Quranic verse,

"Establish the prayer for My remembrance" (Taha 14).

(This was recorded by al-Bukhari, number 597, and by Muslim, p. 47' as well as by others, from Anas, may Allah be pleased with him.)

Based on this Hadith, there is no difference between the Isha Prayer or other prayers. When the person wakes up, even though its time is finished, he must pray it at that time and cannot delay until the similar prayer time comes again. He prays it whenever comes to his mind, even if it is during one of the times in which is prohibited to pray or even if it is during the time of another prayer. However, if he fears that the time for the present prayer will be missed, he prays the present prayer first and then prays the prayer that he had missed afterwards. And Allah knows best.

Shaikh ibn Jibreen

The Iqama for Women

Question: When the women gather to perform the prayer, do they make the iqama for the prayer?

Response: If they make the iqama, there is no harm in that. If they do not do so, there is no harm in that either. This is because the adhan and iqama are only obligatory upon the men.

Shaikh ibn Uthaimin

The "Prayer of Need" and "Prayer for Memorizing the Quran" are Unfounded and Do Not Form Part of the Shariah

Question: I have heard about the "Prayer of Need" (Salat al-Haajah) and the "Prayer for Memorizing the Quran". Are these actual prayers or not?

Response: Both of them are not correct. There is no such thing as "Prayer of Need" or "Prayer for Memorizing the Quran." This is because these kinds of acts of worship can only be confirmed through legal evidences. Neither of these have any evidences for them that can be considered proofs and acceptable in Islamic Law. Therefore, they are not sanctioned by Islamic law.

Shaikh ibn Uthaimin

Interrupting One's Prayer

Question: If I forgot and prayed in clothes that contained some impurity and then, during the prayer, I remembered it, is it allowed for me to discontinue my prayer and pray again? What are the cases in which one can discontinue his prayer?

Response: If someone prayed and had some impurity on his person or body, and he was knowledgeable of that, then his prayer is invalid. If he was not aware of that until after he finished his prayer, then his prayer suffices and it is not necessary for him to repeat it. If he discovers it while praying and he can easily remove the impurity, then he should do so and continue to complete his prayer. It is confirmed that the Prophet (peace be upon him) removed his shoes once in the prayer when the Angel Gabriel informed him that it contained some harmful matter. This did not invalidate the beginning of his prayer. Therefore, if the impurity is on one's headdress, he simply removes the headdress quickly and continues his prayer.1 However, if the removal requires a great deal of movements, such as when removing one's shirt, pants and so forth, then after removing it, one will have to re-begin his prayer. The same is the case if one breaks off the prayer because he remembered that he had invalidated his ablution or if he does so in the prayer or if he invalidates the prayer by laughing and so forth.

Shaikh ibn Jibreen


1. Obviously, the reference to removing the headdress is respect to men only since that is not part of the aurah that they must keep covered.--JZ

Labor Pains and Prayer

Question: Is it allowed for me to pray while I feel labor pains?

Response: The woman prays whenever she is free of menstruation and post-partum bleeding. However, if you see blood a day or two before giving birth, that blood is considered post-partum bleeding. Therefore, you do not pray. On the other hand, if you do not see any blood, then you continue praying even if you are having labor pains, in the same way that an ill person prays while feeling the pangs of his illness. He still has to pray as long as he is conscious.

Shaikh ibn Jibreen

It is Not Necessary for Him to Make Up the Prayers He Missed

Question: Previously, I used not to perform the prayers. Allah blessed me with guidance. I became very keen on performing them. My question is about the prayers in all of those previous years that I missed. Is it obligatory upon me to make them up or not?

Response: When a person abandons the prayer for a number of years and then repents and performs them regularly, it is not necessary for him to make up the prayers that he missed. If that were a condition, it would make many people flee from repentance itself. However, the repenting person is to perform the prayers regularly in the future and to increase his voluntary prayers, acts of obedience, good deeds, getting closer to Allah and his fear of Allah.

Shaikh ibn Jibreen

Labor Pains Are Expiation of Sins

Question: My wife used to pray regularly until he first child. After that she became quite lazy, claiming that a woman's sins are all forgiven due to the pain she faces during

labor. What do you say to her?

Response: This is not true. If the woman, like other humans, faces some hardship and she is patient and hopes for reward for that, she will be rewarded due to that pain and affliction. In fact, the Prophet (peace be upon him) gave examples of much lesser types of pain which expiate sins, such as being pricked by a thorn. Know that if a person has patience and expects reward from Allah for anything that has afflicted him, he will be rewarded according to what he has of patience and expectations. The essence of affliction is the removal of his sins. The one who is afflicted has his sins removed under any circumstance. Furthermore, if this is accompanied with patience, the person will also be rewarded for his patience with his affliction. When a woman gives birth, there is no doubt that she suffers a lot of pain and hardship. That pain removes some of her sins from her. If she is also patient and expecting reward from Allah, then, in addition to having sins removed, she will also be rewarded and have good deeds recorded for her.

Shaikh ibn Uthaimin

Wearing Forbidden Clothing Could Invalidate One's Prayer

Question: A woman uses a particular clothing for prayer and it is clothing for men. Is her prayer permissible? Is this considered part of imitating men?

Response: If the clothing is something particular for men, then it is forbidden for her to wear it regardless of whether she is praying or is outside of the prayer. This is because it is confirmed from the Prophet (peace be upon him) that he cursed those women who imitate and appear like men as well as those men who imitate and appear like women. It is not allowed for a woman to wear clothing that are particular for men and it is not allowed for men to wear clothing that are particular for women.

However, we must understand the concept of "particularity". Particularity is not with respect to color but it is with respect to color and description. It is, then, permissible for women to wear white clothing as long as it is not the same as the white clothing of men. If it is clear, though, that woman wearing men's clothing is forbidden, then her prayer in such clothing is not valid according to those scholars who say that the covering in the prayer must be a covering which is permissible.

This is a question in which there is a difference of opinion among the scholars. Some scholars say that it is a condition that the covering or clothing be clothing that is in itself permissible. Some do not lay down such a condition. The proof for those who lay down such a condition is that the covering of the aurah [what must be covered] in the prayer is one of the conditions for the prayer and the covering must be something that Allah has permitted. If it is something that Allah has not permitted, then it is not considered a legal covering since it goes against what is commanded. The proof of those who say that the prayer is still valid while the person is committing a sin is that the woman has actually covered herself and the sinful aspect is something that is external and is not particularly related to the prayer. In any case, the person who prays in forbidden clothing is in a dangerous situation since her prayer may be rejected and not accepted from her.

Shaikh ibn Uthaimin

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