Relaxations Related to Salah in Islam

Matters of Ease in Salah - islamictribune.org

By: Mahnoor Arif

We are all proud Muslims by religion. The religiosity of everyone is different but it is a reality that Imaan is not a stagnant thing and it keeps on fluctuating. Sometimes, we feel good and full of iman and at the other time, we question our faith. At times, Islam is portrayed as a strict religion with no room for relaxation. In reality, our deen has created ease for all of us according to any situation that might be in. Especially when it comes to prayer as we all have to pray daily 5 times. And at times, we are in a situation where we are not able to pray with 100% comfort e.g. we are ill or we cannot find water to do wudu. Allah has exempted us from certain things whenever we are in a pinch. Studying about those exemptions revives iman in our hearts. While it is imperative to know where and how can we apply those relaxations but they do ensure a lot of room for a person’s ease in difficult times. Here are some of them:

Tayammum in case of no water

Whenever there is no water available, which is usually hard to imagine, but there can be certain situations when we are not in the comfort of our homes. We could be stuck on a road trip, with our car’s tyre and busted, waiting for help to arrive and salah’s time is passing, in that situation one can simple perform tayammum and pray their salah on time. Quran describes the permission of it in two ayahs of Surah Maa’ida:

“O you who believe! When you intend to offer As-Salaah (the prayer),……. and you find no water, then perform Tayammum with clean earth and rub therewith your faces and hands”

[al-Maa’idah 5:6]

Tayammum is not only allowed if the water is unavailable but also when one is sick that the use of water will harm his health. In any case, where water is either not available or harmful (due to health condition), we can make tayammum and pray salah. And it is beautiful how Allah has created ease for us.

How to make Tayammum?

  1. Find a piece of ground that is free of najaasah (unclean elements). This could be any surface that naturally collects dust like rock, sand, or grass.
  2. Mentally make niyyah, or intention to make tayammum.
  3. Recite the bismillah.
  4. Place the hands on the surface of the ground.
  5. Lift your hands and ensure that there is no dust on your palm surface by hitting your hands together.
  6. Rub your face with both your hands. The face encompasses the right ear to the left, and the top of the forehead to the bottom of the chin
  7. Rub your hands with one another.

Note: Same things that invalidate wudu, invalidate tayammum.

A mother tending to her child whilst praying

It is extremely difficult for mothers of newborn babies and toddlers to take care of their kids and salah at the same time. As a result, they usually miss their salahs or get into the guilt of not offering their salah with proper focus and concentration. It is a pain not to be informed of the sunnah in this regard. Prophet S.A.W.W. used to hold kids while praying and would sometimes prolong his state of sajda.

Also read: Praying Salah as a new Mom

The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to pray whilst he was carrying Umaamah, the daughter of Zaynab bint Rasool-Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). According to the report of Abu’l-‘Aas ibn Rabee’ah ibn ‘Abd Shams, when he prostrated he put her down, and when he stood up he picked her up.

Narrated by al-Bukhaari, no. 486, and Muslim, no. 844

It shouldn’t be considered a disturbance to salah if a child is playing around you.

The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) came out to lead us in either Maghrib or ‘Ishaa’ one night, and he was carrying Hasan or Husayn. The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) came forward and put (the child) down, then he said Takbeer and started to pray. During the prayer, he prostrated and made his prostration long. My father said: ‘I raised my head and I saw the child on the back of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) whilst he was prostrating, so I returned to my prostration.’ When the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) finished praying, the people said, ‘O Messenger of Allaah, during your prayer you prostrated for so long that we thought something had happened or that you were receiving Revelation.’ He said, ‘Nothing at all happened, but my son was riding on my back and I did not want to disturb him until he had had enough.’”

Al-Nisaa’i, no. 1192

Also Read: Instilling Habit of Salah in Children

Joining Prayers

When one is traveling or is sure that they will be stuck in a situation when they won’t be able to pray at the right time, our deen gives us the ease of combining two prayers i.e., Zuhr and Asr can be combined and Maghrib and Isha can be combined.

Many scholars are of the view, that it is permissible to join prayers if there is an excuse for doing so because it is proven that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did that in places other than ‘Arafah and Muzdalifah.

Shortening prayers in case of traveling

It is immense ease for a person who is on his business trips or away for a few days from his place of dwelling. He can shorten his prayers and this is actually the preferred way to pray while traveling.

Shortening prayer means the prayers with four raka’hs will be prayed as two raka’h only. The maghrib salah will stay same i.e. 3 raka’h.

Ibn ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: I accompanied the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and he did not do more than two rak’ahs whilst travelling, and the same applies to Abu Bakr, ‘Umar and ‘Uthmaan (may Allaah be pleased with them).

Al-Bukhaari (1102)

One may look further into sunnah and find a lot of things in which so many relaxations are given especially to women. This makes us appreciate the beauty of our religion even more.

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