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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Women doing qada’ of their missed fasts

By Dr. Mohammad Akram Nadwi Your question: Can women who missed some days of their their fasting in Ramadan due to menstruation or post-natal bleeding combine the intention of making up the missed days of fasting in Ramadan with the commended six days fasting in Shawwal? My response: Women in the state of menstruation or post-natal bleeding are not allowed to fast. Nevertheless, fasting the full month of Ramadan is obligatory on those women, and they have to make up the number of days missed when they are able to do so. Mu`adha al-`Adawiyyah asked `A’ishah, may Allah be pleased…

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Fasting six days in Shawwal

By Dr. Mohammad Akram Nadwi Your question: How important is fasting six days in Shawwal? My response: Abu Ayyub al-Ansari, may Allah be pleased with him, reported from Allah’s Messenger, peace be upon him, that he said: “For one who observed the fast of Ramadan and then followed it with six days of fasting during the month of Shawwal, it is as if he had fasted continually [i.e., the whole year].” (Muslim, k. al-Siyam, b. istihbab sawm sittati ayyam min shawwal).  On the basis of that one hadith some scholars (Imams al-Shafi`i, Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Ishaq ibn Rahawayh, others) considered…

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Not being able to take a bath after menstruation

By Dr. Mohammad Akram Nadwi Your question: If a woman’s menstruation stops while she is at work or travelling and she is not able in that situation to take a bath (ghusl), is she allowed to miss the obligatory prayers (i.e., defer them until the time when she can take a bath)? My response: Prayer (salah) is the firmest of the obligations placed on believing men and women. They must do the obligatory prayers within the time when they are due. If a Muslim is willing but simply not able to do wudu’ or ghusl within the time when a…

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Those eligible to receive zakah

By Dr. Mohammad Akram Nadwi Your question: Who should I pay my zakah to in the West? My response: The qualification in the question, “in the West”, does not have much significance for the answer, except that in the West, Muslims however numerous, do not (or do not yet) organise the collection and expenditure of zakah as a state function. Individual Muslims have to assess and tax themselves, and they have themselves to dedicate the expenditure of what they have collected from themselves. How should they spend the zakah they collect from themselves? The obligation of zakah, and the categories…

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