Two questions regarding congregational prayer

By Dr. Mohammad Akram Nadwī Following the imam via live broadcast Many people have asked me: As we are compelled to pray in our homes, can we follow an imam via live broadcast by radio or TV or other means of ‘live-streaming’? A congregational prayer is valid if there are two or more than two doing the prayer in the same space. Recall that the Prophet, salla l-lahu `alayhi wa-sallam, said that the whole earth is made a masjid for him. So, your praying at home is always valid, and doing so is acceptable when compelling circumstances make attendance at…

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The pandemic and Ramadan

By Dr. Mohammad Akram Nadwī Only a week remains to prepare, before we welcome the month of Ramadan. With the covid-19 pandemic ongoing, so is the lockdown, and it is most likely that the lockdown will continue throughout Ramadan, and perhaps even longer. People are preparing themselves for this unusual Ramadan when they are confined to their homes. Several questions have been put to me about the fasting, tarawih, i`tikaf and `id. Here I have tried to answer some of the most pressing ones. Fasting for doctors and medical staff For the duration of the pandemic, the people at the…

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Contagion

By Dr. Mohammad Akram Nadwī and translated by Dr Abu Zayd The coronavirus is spreading rapidly throughout the world. The most effective means to stop its spread that is being considered is for people to remain in their homes and avoid coming close to others. The contagious nature of this disease is a clear empirical and rational reality that is accepted by all experts, Muslim and otherwise. For this reason, all nations have chosen to close their public places and severely restrict social interaction. While all of these restrictions are being planned, in some Muslims circles it is being debated…

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Issues related to those who have died from the corona virus: washing their bodies, their burial and funeral prayers

By Dr. Mohammad Akram Nadwī Some community workers have put to me some questions concerning those who have died as a result of infection by the coronavirus: Your question: Since the bodies (and the inside and outside of the body bags in which they are delivered) of Muslims who died because of covid-19 are still contagious and there is a high risk of being infected when doing either ghusl or tayammum for the deceased, is it permissible for us to do the funeral prayer for them and bury them without doing ghusl or tayammum? Can we do salat al-gha’ib for…

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Coronavirus (COVID-19): Guidance regarding the religious gatherings of Muslims

By Dr. Mohammad Akram Nadwī and translated by Maulana M Talhah At this present time, the Coronavirus has spread to almost every country in the world, and is continuing to spread very rapidly. There is no cure that has been found to combat this virus. The most effective means of protection which can be understood is to avoid social contact, avoid travel, and avoid places of congregation and gathering. Those countries which have strictly enforced this guidance have relatively been protected, and those that are somewhat lenient in this regard, are being immensely affected and the death rate has reached…

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Reduction (Qaṣr) in the Prayer

By Dr. Mohammad Akram Nadwī and translated by Tariq Pandor To access the original arabic, follow this link They said: What is the default regarding performing prayer (ṣalah)? I said: The default concerning the prescribed prayers is that they be performed in a house of Allah (i.e. a masjid) in congregation (jamāʿa), meeting their conditions (shurūṭ) and fulfilling their obligatory pillars (arkān), recommended actions (sunan) and etiquettes (ādāb). Establishment of the prayer is the foremost requirement of this religion and its central pillar. Missing it, neglecting it or abandoning it are all forbidden. They said: What is reduction (qaṣr) in…

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Some cautionary advice to women travelling for `umrah

By Dr. Mohammad Akram Nadwī It is important to do our religious obligations according to the norms and manners prescribed for those duties. But it is no less important to accomplish these duties in secure and peaceful environments. It is obvious, for example, that because men and women must, when they can, go out to the mosques for their obligatory prayers, it is necessary for the individual and the community to ensure their ease and safety when they do so. The duty of pilgrimage (hajj or `umrah) is particularly demanding of effort and resources because, for most Muslims, it entails…

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The Food of the People of the Book

By Dr. Mohammad Akram Nadwi and translated by Usman Khan and Dr Abu Zayd To access the original arabic, follow this link Part 1 They said to me: We have some problems understanding verse five of Sūrah al-Māʾidah: “and the food of those given the scripture before you is lawful for you and your food is lawful for them.” So, please assist us in solving the ambiguity and unveiling its hidden meaning. I replied: The book of God is surely worthy of our striving in understanding its vagaries, clarifying its difficulties, and explaining its secrets. I thank God that He…

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Children Attending the Mosque

By Dr. Mohammad Akram Nadwi and translated by Sami Zaharna To access the original arabic, follow this link They said: We’ve noticed that some Imāms and mosque administrators prevent young children from attending the mosque and chastise them when they do. I replied: This is a detestable policy! Preventing children from attending the mosque is in effect preventing their parents from attending and worshiping in the houses of God. God says specifically regarding being concerned with the religious affairs of our families and children: “Save yourselves and your families from the Fire.” And He says concerning Ismāʿīl, peace be upon…

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Vegetarianism/veganism

By Dr. Mohammad Akram Nadwi A vegetarian or vegan diet may be the right one to adhere to in particular situations. The reasons for this may be that this diet is more healthy or economical, or more something else. Reasons like this are put forward on the basis of human understanding, in turn based on human experience: a dietary regime has tangible effects on individual bodily and mental health which can be studied; similarly, the aggregate effects on the environment of a society’s consumption habits (of meat or plants) can be studied and reasoned about. But then, for different individuals…

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