Thursday, 16 August 2012

Worship: The Qasar of Salat

Assalaamu'alaikum wa rahmatullah

Banna Masjid, Yunnan China


I found that it is frustrating when discussing this thing with people who don't understand because they never practice this and don't try to understand this. This is an angle of sunnah or prophetic traditions. I don't do anything without any basis from sunnah! Even some things that I perform before I didn't even realize were apart of prophetic traditions but it is not looking so puritanical because the practices were ingrained in ourselves so we may practice it according to our own consideration and creatively being suited according to necessities. 

Now let us study this. If this note is not so comprehensive than try to find a real-living teacher in front of us. Get advices from sharia teachers of your schools of jurisprudence. It is to make sure we do not leave our salat without any valid reason. I don't look like a decent person in the real life out here with sharban or jubah either, but I always make sure that I consult sharia teachers when it is related to daily life routines. I went to masjid and doing everything with the sincerity ingrained in heart and never try to show off my faith to others because it is my "precious treasure". I will try to separate the parts for this topic so we could understand this matter in detail.

So, as to begin I would like to talk about the Qasar Salat first. Firstly for myself. Secondly for brothers and sisters. Maybe there are many sites talking about this. But on my behalf, I would like to tell brothers and sisters. This is our heritage and traditions. We must be aware about ourselves. I learned about "self-awareness" through previous experiences and most of them are bitter periods. Knowledge is very important to save our selves from sufferings as ignorance is a root of sufferings. I don't have any intention to defame Sheikh Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhab. I respect this figure may Allah bless him and I read his written books but I somehow found that those "mere followers" who talked in masjids including those who had some chat with me in my university are not fully aware about themselves. That is why they create sufferings on themselves and extend them to everyone around them through their acts which are rooted from their ignorance. Their adab and akhlak is not to the standard of sunnah which they always mention when they condemn others and confident on "their" stance. It will also bear out evil characteristics and personalities such as riyaa', takabbur and 'ujub. I found the same things also in groups and movements around us which makes me staying away from them without saying any word. Naudzubillahu min dzaalik we seek protection of Allah from those things may they never reach us, amin!

What is Qasar Salat?

Allah says as recorded in Surat an-Nisaa' verse 101 which means: "And when you walk on the earth thus there is no prevention for you to simplify your salats".

So, in Arabic qasar simply means short or simple. When it refers to salat, it means a simplified salat or a shortened salat. From four unit or prayer to two units of prayer.  

What prayer service consists of four units of bows and prostrations? They are:

1. Dzuhr or the mid day prayer service
2. 'Asr or the after noon prayer service     
3. 'Ishaa' or the night prayer service

When we simplify these prayer services, the number of units will be shortened to two units of bows and prostrations. This is what we call as the qasar of salat.

What about other two daily prayer services? They are:

1. Fajr or dawn prayer service
2. Maghrib or dusk prayer service

Both of these services have nothing changing in the number of units. For Fajr, we still have to perform it full which is two units and for Maghrib we must perform it three units. No simplification nor shortening of the units for these prayers! 

How Do We Perform Qasar Salats?

The manner to perform a simplified or shortened salat is the same with the manner we perform it in the normal way. The differences are the intention and number of units.

For example dear beloved brothers and sisters, the obligatory prayer service of 'Ishaa' when we perform it in normal manner, we may mentally state the intention: "I perform the Ishaa' prayer service four units only for Allah the Most Highest". For the qasar or the simplification of this salat, we may mentally state: "I perform the Ishaa' prayer service two units only dedicated to Allah the Most Highest".

What is the Ruling for Qasar Salat?

How Many Days a Person May Perform Salats in Qasar Form?

According to Hanbali madzhab, if a person who travels to an area and in his intention he wanted to simplify in the particular area or place for more than four days or up to 20 days, so he cannot simplify the daily obligatory salats. The Hanbali madzhab counts the arrival day and the departure day into the days for a person being considered as residing in a place or not. If a person does not have any intention to reside in the particular place he is traveling, then he may perform the obligatory in qasar form until he finish up with his matters or business there. There are many hadiths which shows that it is permissible. So, this has to do with terms as the act of worship is apart of the law of nature. When we talk about law, the involvement of linguistics could not be avoided. 

Ibnu Qayyim mentions that there is no explanation that mentions about whether Muhammad s.a.w performs the four units prayer services while he was traveling. Ibnu Qayyim mentions that Muhammad s.a.w always simplify his salats (while traveling). He also mentions that Umar, Ali, Ibnu Mas'ud, Ibnu Umar, Jabir and Imam Abu Hanifah decided that Qasar Salat is obligatory while traveling and with the intention not to reside in a certain place.       

Their decision perhaps based from a hadith which was collectively being narrated by a group of narrators from Ya'la bin Umaiyya who says that Umar al-Khattab had once asked Muhammad s.a.w about the simplification of salat and Muhammad s.a.w mentions: "It is the donation of Allah given to all of you, thus accept His gift!".

And one thing to mention, Qasar and Jama' of the salats are two different things but may be combined. Many people including previous me was confused about this. Why we were confused? Because we never bother to study this issue. Other thing I would like to mention, our paternal community were once the da'is representing Fatimid empire but they're from various branches and were equipped with the knowledge of at least two schools of jurisprudence. Due to their condition, they have to travel so when people don't see them really praying since it is because they have to perform jama' and qasar prayer services. Insha'Allah we will try to talk about this issue in more detail when we are free. I'm just posting this as a reminder so everyone will keep talking about this when seeing each other. Allahumma salli 'alaa Muhammad wa 'alaa aali Muhammad.

Sealed with prayers for mercy, peace and love, amin!

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