In the name of God, most Gracious, most Compassionate

In the name of God, most Gracious, most Compassionate
Al-Quran (30:30)

So direct your face toward the religion, inclining to truth. [Adhere to] the fitrah of Allah upon which He has created [all] people. No change should there be in the creation of Allah. That is the correct religion, but most of the people do not know.

فَأَقِمْ وَجْهَكَ لِلدِّينِ حَنِيفًا فِطْرَةَ اللَّهِ الَّتِي فَطَرَ النَّاسَ عَلَيْهَا لَا تَبْدِيلَ لِخَلْقِ اللَّهِ ذَلِكَ الدِّينُ الْقَيِّمُ وَلَكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ
[Al-Imran 3:8] "[Who say], "Our Lord, let not our hearts deviate after You have guided us and grant us from Yourself mercy. Indeed, You are the Bestower."

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Lessons from a bad Wudu

I was just thinking how "funny" some things are today... One of them is the extremes some people go when making wudu (ablution for prayer). Everytime I make wudu whether it be while with some friends or at the masjid most give me a weird look. I think its because of how short my wudu is compared to theirs and dont appear as if I took ghusl at the sink.  Subhana'Allah some people take wudu to WHOLE another level to the extent they make some biddah and abandon the sunnah! For example, some sisters (I shall say sisters since I never witnessed men perform wudu but does not mean they are exempt),  waste so much water whilst making wudu. Some take off their socks to make wudu thinking perhaps it is more virtuous or some wash other parts of their body thinking it is mandated such as the neck (we are to wipe over the head up the NAPE of the neck not neck). Seems they have more khushoo during wudu than in salah take longer doing wudu than in salah. Strange and Ironic indeed! 

There is so much ignorance and I hope that if I am ignorant someone corrects me and or Allah increases me in knowledge and makes it apparent to me so that I may correct myself otherwise I am at loss. 

For three years, I used to say the takbir when I would rise from ruku and then say "sami allahu liman hamida..." and no one EVER corrected me. Often timesI would even lead the prayers! So I never paid much mind or researched if I prayed correctly, I assumed I did. I learned how to pray by myself so I think along the way I somehow developed the habit of doing takbir when doing transition in salah, it only seemed obvious and I think from then I just integrated it although that is not how I learned it (I went back and looked it up). Anyways, so one day while being with another sister who was not my friend just a new acquaintance, we arrived late for maghrib at the masjid. So we thought to pray it in congregation just her and I. I lead the prayer and after the prayer she corrected me Alhamdulillah. At first I was in doubt because no one corrected me before. I also assumed that even if I did not hear the imam or others say it was just "silent" don't know how I came to that conclusion :-/ When i asked my friends why they never corrected me they said they were too "shy."  

There are several lessons that can be learned from this: One when we stray away from the sunnah we waste so much energy, time, money, and deeds. We might not and will not recompensed for them. In my situation who knows if my prayers were valid :(  Two: The importance of always seeking knowledge and not being shy about seeking knowledge (esp ladies!) Three: Just because its sincere does not mean its correct or accepted. Four: seeking knowledge protects us from biddah-hellfire and all our time spent was not in vain. 
Think about how some people who commit a lot of biddah and shirk do so much extra stuff that causes hardship and also waste so much money doing all these worthless pilgrimages to shrines and stuff.Five: Care for the welfare of others (their souls) and do not be shy to correct them sincerely. It should not to be to prove you are more knowledgeable or to take opportunity to degrade them otherwise you wont get rewarded if you do. We should assist each other in righteousness. Where is the sisterhood and brotherhood?! I dont know, somewhere lost I guess

Okay back to the wudu thingy...Why are we so wasteful?! It really bothers me that people waste so much water especially for wudu because it is so paradoxical. Salah is success and we do wudu for success. Now if we are wasteful and Allah does not love those who are wasteful [6:141] 
and we take for granted a huge blessing from Allah, water, how will we attain success?! 

Anyways I always wanted to share a story of this one woman at my masjid that loves to correct others Masha'allah in an effort to emphasize the reality of this and very much aligns the above morals: Sincerity does not always equate correctness or validity. It highlights the importance of seeking knowledge in our deen and to surmount arrogance in our hearts to DOso. May Allah protect us from it Ameen. 

So this lady for years that I have been going to this masjid always wears this very sheer transparent dupatta for salah. I wont refer to the ruling of the feet but nonetheless its not correct to reveal the feet for prayer for women. Anyhow, taking into account it is Ramadan and taraweeh is virtuous and long, I thought she would not want all her deeds to be in vain. She prayed next to me and after Isha, I finally worked up the courage to tell her because I felt intimidated since she is an older "auntie." I first apologized for what I was going to say then I put my hand in her lap and told her discreetly that her prayer will NOT be accepted because her hijab is transparent. We were instructed by the prophet sallahu allayhi wa salam that our salah will not be accepted if we don't wear hijab and the conditions of it is that it must NOT be transparent. This is not an issue of dispute! I thought that she would go and fix it but she did not. After taraweeh, she had the audacity to rebuke all the mothers with children about her not being able to attain khushoo and wants her prayers to be accepted. Not sure what that was all about but it really saddened me. She also has this really bad habit of making sounds (of annoyance) when the imam messes up during this recitation,similar to like an ufff or something. May Allah guide her and us Ameen. 

Wiping over the socks: Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal recorded that Aws bin Abi Aws said, "I saw the Messenger of Allah perform Wudu' and wipe over his Khuffs. He then stood up for prayer.'' 

Hijab during Salah: The Prophet sallahu allayhi wa salam said: Allah does not accept the prayer of a woman who has reached puberty unless she wears a khimaar (hijab).

Wudu: Imam Ahmad recorded that Ibn `Abbas once performed Wudu' and took a handful of water and rinsed his mouth and nose with it. He took another handful of water and joined both hands and washed his face. He took another handful of water and washed his right hand, and another handful and washed his left hand with it. He next wiped his head. Next, he took a handful of water and sprinkled it on his right foot and washed it and took another handful of water and washed his left foot. When he finished, he said, "This is how I saw the Messenger of Allah (performing Wudu').'' Al-Bukhari also recorded it.

  1. Intention (in the heart)
  2. Saying Bismillah to commence wudu
  3. Wash Hands
  4. Mouth and Nose
  5. Face (up to ears)
  6. Forearms up to the elbows
  7. Wipe head and ears with wet hand (no need to do a Niagara falls demonstration)
  8. Wash feet (then can wipe over socks if were put on when in a state of purity-in wudu)