Not fasting on the Day of ‘Arafah or ‘Aashooraa that coincides with Saturday is not a loss, but two gains – Shaikh al-Albaani

Q: “What is the ruling of fasting on the Day of ‘Aashooraa or ‘Arafah if it coincides with Saturday?”

Shaikh al-Albaani:

“With regard to (the hadeeth) ‘Don’t fast on Saturday,’ some people are under the false impression that if we leave off fasting on Saturday due to it coinciding with the Day of ‘Aashooraa or the Day of ‘Arafah or the like, then we would lose the excellence of fasting on one of these two days that coincided with Saturday. No, we would not lose, (rather) we would make two gains.

The first gain is that we have submitted our hearts and souls to the statement of our Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam): ‘Don’t fast on Saturday unless it is obligated upon you, and even if you don’t find anything but a bark of a tree, chew on it’ [1]. Hence we have followed this hadeeth because fasting on the Day of ‘Arafah and fasting on the Day of ‘Aashooraa are not obligatory. The Messenger (‘alayhi ssalaam) only made obligatory fasts an exception – if they coincide with Saturday, it is allowed to fast them, (but) those fasts other than the obligatory ones, we were prohibited from fasting them (if they coincide with Saturday).

The second gain is that we are included in the likes of his (‘alayhi ssalaam) statement: ‘Whoever leaves something for Allaah’s Sake, Allaah will replace it for him with something better’[2]. So we have left fasting on the Day of ‘Arafah due to it coinciding with Saturday. We have not lost the fast of the Day of ‘Arafah. Why? Because we have left it for the sake of Allaah, so Allaah will replace it for us with something better. The same thing is said even more so regarding the fast of the Day of ‘Aashooraa.”

[1] Saheeh at-Tirmidhee 744, Saheeh Ibn Maajah 1413
[2] Shaikh al-Albaani graded it authentic in Hijaabul-Mar.ah p.49

[silsilatul-hudaa wa-nnoor 211/6 / asaheeha translations]

Not fasting on the Day of ‘Arafah or ‘Aashooraa that coincides with Saturday is not a loss, but two gains – Shaikh al-Albaani

Praying at graves

Q: “How do we reconcile between the Prophet’s ﷺ prohibition of praying in the graveyard and his praying over the grave of the woman who used to sweep the mosque?”

Shaikh al-Albaani:

“There is no contradiction between the two narrations, all praise is due to Allaah. The first narration with the prohibition of praying in the graveyard is like his ﷺ statement in Saheeh Muslim: ‘Don’t sit on graves and don’t pray towards them.’[1] So the prohibition of praying in the graveyard, i.e. of praying towards the graves, is because prayer must be sincerely for the Face of Allaah تبارك وتعالى without any glorification for other than Allaah mixed in it, as that is a type of shirk. So if a Muslim starts praying to Allaah while facing the grave, there would be a clear suspicion that this person at least intends -as many ignorant people do these days- to seek blessing from this deceased individual through his prayer and through his seeking nearness to Allaah عز وجل with his prayer. Thus he has fallen into some shirk which may get to such a point that it takes him out of the fold of Islaam, wal-`iyaadhu billaah (and refuge is sought in Allaah). This is the meaning that should be considered in regard to the Messenger’s ﷺ prohibition of praying in the graveyard or towards the grave.

As for praying over the deceased while he is in his grave, this is something else. It has nothing to do with praying to Allaah -alone, who has no partner- while facing the grave of the deceased, a prayer whose aim is not so Allaah forgives him, has mercy on him, as is the intent of supplicating over the deceased. Therefore, praying over the deceased while he is in his grave is one thing, and praying to Allaah عز وجل while facing the grave is another thing. The latter is what is prohibited and the former is what is permissible, so there is nothing problematic between the two.”


[1] Saheeh Muslim 972

[fataawaa jeddah 13 / alalbaany.com]

Praying at graves

The Creator of good & evil

The Prophet ﷺ said: “If you marry a woman or buy a slave, place your hand on her forehead, say ‘bismillaah’ and supplicate for blessing and say:

اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ مِنْ خَيْرِهَا وَخَيْرِ مَا جَبَلْتَهَا عَلَيْهِ وَأَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ شَرِّهَا وَشَرِّ مَا جَبَلْتَهَا عَلَيْهِ
(O Allaah, indeed I ask You for the good in her and the good characteristics You have created in her, and I seek refuge in You from the evil in her and the evil characteristics You have created in her)

If you buy a camel, place your hand on top of its hump and say the same.”[1]

Shaikh al-Albaani:

“This narration has evidence that Allaah is the Creator of good and evil, contrary to those – such as the Mu`tazilah and others – who hold that evil is not from His creation تبارك وتعالى. There is nothing in Allaah’s being Creator of evil that contradicts His Perfection تعالى, rather it is part of His Perfection تبارك وتعالى. Details of that are present in comprehensive volumes, one of the best being the book Shifaaul-`Aleel fil-Qadhaa’i wal-Qadari wat-Ta`leel by Ibnul-Qayyim, so consult it if you wish.

Also, is this supplication legislated in the event of buying something like a car? My answer is: yes, due to the good that is hoped from it and the evil that is feared from it.”


[1] Saheeh Abu Daawood 2160 and others

[aadaabuz-zifaaf 92-93 / alalbaany.com]

The Creator of good & evil

A woman invalidating another woman’s prayer

Q: “If a woman passes in front of someone praying she invalidates the prayer, so does she also invalidate the prayer of a woman?”

Shaikh al-Albaani:

“We received this question many times very recently, and the answer is: yes, a woman invalidates the prayer of another woman under the condition mentioned in some established narrations: if she has reached puberty. There is no difference in legislative rulings between men and women unless there is legislative text that excludes women from the men; and there isn’t any such text here. Rather, the text is general: ‘Your prayer is invalidated if a (postpubescent) woman, a donkey or a black dog passes in front of you without there being something like the rear part of a camel saddle in front of you.’[1] So there is no difference in the ruling.”


[1] Saheeh Muslim 510

[silsilatul-hudaa wan-noor 93 / alalbaany.com]


A woman invalidating another woman’s prayer

Eat while standing

Q: “Is it allowed to eat while standing?”

Shaikh al-Albaani:

“There is no legislative text to prohibit eating while standing like the text that prohibits drinking while standing. But there is a narration from Anas bin Maalik رضي الله عنه that when he told those around him in a gathering that the Prophet ﷺ prohibited drinking while standing, someone said to him: ‘What about eating (while standing)?’ and he replied: ‘It is worse.’

I say here, we should follow this Companion because we don’t have anything with which we can contradict him. But what is the distinction between eating while standing and eating while walking? Eating while walking is allowed, because there is legislative text clearly stating that they used to eat while walking during the time of the Prophet ﷺ. As for eating while standing, there is no such text regarding it from the Prophet ﷺ, neither negative nor positive. All we have is this authentic narration from Anas bin Maalik and this is what we act upon.

Moreover, maybe some of you noticed in these times that it has become a fashion for disbelievers to eat while standing although chairs are available; but they don’t sit on them out of pride. In that case, the previous ruling is further strengthened. So we are with the narration of Anas because Anas knew what we don’t know, and because disbelievers nowadays and Muslims who imitate them eat while standing, hence we differ from them.”

[silsilatul-hudaa wan-noor 246 / alalbaany.com]

Eat while standing

Eating with three fingers

Q: “Does it occur in the Sunnah to eat with three fingers in general with respect to all food or just with thareed (a dish of meat and bread)?”

Shaikh al-Albaani:

“There isn’t anything in the Prophet’s ﷺ Sunnah that would help us answer this question. There isn’t anything except that the Prophet ﷺ used to eat with three fingers; but what we should say about the meaning of this hadeeth is:

This hadeeth definitely does not mean that it is impermissible for a Muslim to eat with other means like spoons that are well-known today. Rather it only means that if a Muslim eats a type of food that can be eaten with three fingers, then he does not show that he is greedy with the food such that he eats with the whole hand when he is able to eat like Allaah’s Messenger ﷺ would eat: with three fingers. This is the first point. Secondly, it is known that meat gravy for example cannot be eaten with three fingers so here one must use other means to eat it. This is from the worldly affairs; it is not from the affairs of the religion, all the rulings of which Allaah’s Messenger ﷺ was charged to convey to the people. Regarding the worldly affairs, he ﷺ said: ‘You are more knowledgeable about your worldly affairs than me.’”[1]

[1] Saheeh al-Jaami` 1488

[silsilatul-hudaa wan-noor 692 / alalbaany.com]

Eating with three fingers

A woman’s aameen, adhaan & iqaamah when praying with women

Q: “Does a woman raise her voice when saying ‘aameen’ during prayer, and does she also give the adhaan and iqaamah?”

Shaikh al-Albaani:

If she is praying with women, then yes she raises her voice when saying ‘aameen,’ but if she is praying with men who are not her mahram, then no. I do not say that a woman’s voice is `awrah, as many say, since the Mothers of the believers and the wives of the Companions, the foremost, used to speak and communicate with men; and oftentimes a woman would come to the Prophet ﷺ and ask him something in front of the men, and he ﷺ would answer her question. However, it is not proper for a woman to raise her voice when reciting the Qur’aan. We are often asked if it is permissible for a woman – when she is learning the recitation from a Shaikh, a Muqri – to repeat the recitation to him so he may correct her: the answer is no. Although she learns, her learning is restricted to listening only, like the women of all the Companions learned from the Allaah’s Messenger ﷺ by listening to his recitation during prayer or outside of prayer.

If a woman prays with women as the imaam, she raises her voice and the women behind her also raise their voices, because of his ﷺ statement: ‘Indeed, women are the counterparts of men’[1] i.e. every ruling in which men are being addressed, women are also included except for that which is made an exception. For example, it is best for a woman, in other than the taraaweeh prayer, to pray in her house, whereas it is obligatory upon a man to pray the five prayers in the mosque with the congregation. So here, the woman is not like the man. But the fundamental principle is as he ﷺ said: ‘Indeed, women are the counterparts of men.’

So if a woman leads women in prayer as an imaam, she does just as a man would do as an imaam. Firstly: she raises her voice when reciting and when saying ‘aameen,’ and the women behind her also raise their voices when saying ‘aameen.’ Secondly: not only does she lead women in prayer as an imaam, she even gives the adhaan and iqaamah. Why? Because of the previous narration: ‘Indeed, women are the counterparts of men.’ Moreover, `Aa’ishah – the Mother of the believers and the foremost of the Mothers of the believers in fiqh, knowledge and da`wah, may Allaah bless her and her father – used to give the adhaan and iqaamah when she led women in prayer as an imaam.

Now I would like to draw your attention to something that wasn’t asked about: the woman here is also different from the man in that she does not step up before the women’s row, but rather she stands in the middle as if she is one of those in the row. She does not step up before them. There is legislative text regarding this also, and thus a woman in this case is not included in the general meaning of his ﷺ statement: ‘Indeed, women are the counterparts of men.’”


[1] As-Silsilah as-Saheehah 2863

[silsilatul-hudaa wan-noor  697/3 / alalbaany.com]

A woman’s aameen, adhaan & iqaamah when praying with women