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On the topic of prayers, voice, timing, combination etc

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On the topic of prayers, voice, timing, combination etc

Post by Admin on Thu Feb 24, 2011 9:41 am

QUESTION
Asalam alaikom sheikh

Insha Allah you are well.

I want to find out if a person should pray out loud when combining Maghrib and Isha at Isha time due to a need like illness? Or should you pray silently like you have to if you've missed the time for Fajr? Also if the women are in one room and men are in another should the female Imam lower her voice in the Maghrib and Isha prayers? Is the female voice awrah and if so what is the evidence for this please? What circumstances allow the combining of prayers?

In the interim period between a question and answer: If a person has a question that needs a fatwa and they ask but get no answer and they are patient waiting for the answer but the question requires some kind of immediate action what guidelines should we follow? Should we do what seems to make the most sense by using our own reasoning or should we trust our instincts?

ANSWER:
First, a person has to be careful about this issue of joining prayers for any reason other than a journey: it is only under extreme difficulty that scholars say it is allowed to join prayers, based on the hadith in which we are told the Prophet combined prayers outside of a journey or rain in order to not put his Ummah in difficulty. This is for exceptional cases, not for any illness or inconvenience. The circumstances that allow the combining of prayers are: when on a journey or when there is an extreme danger or harm that might come to a person if he prays at the usual time, or it is virtually impossible, for example a very bad illness in which the Muslim has to have an operation and that operation cannot be done outside of prayer times, so that the Muslim will miss a prayer due to the operation, and thus he/she has to join the prayer to another as if he were travelling.

Secondly, when combining audible prayers due to a legitimate excuse, the prayer is done audibly since it is done in the time of audible prayers (i.e. maghrib or isha). Likewise, what I know to be correct is that if making up Fajr prayer, it is done audibly, as if it was being done in its proper time.
Scholars mention that there is a situation in which the audible prayers may be recited quietly. This is when a person is praying in the masjid where there are other people praying or reciting Quran, and reciting loudly would confuse and disturb them. In this case, the prayer being made up is recited quietly.

Thirdly, if women are praying together, the rule is that they recite audible prayers audibly as normal, unless there is a risk that the men will hear them, in which case they lower their voice. There is no evidence to say that the woman's voice is in of itself awrah, meaning that it has to be hidden from men in any and all circumstances. Rather, in the Quran and hadith, we have examples of women speaking to men when there is a need to do so. What the Quran forbids however, is addressing men in a way that might attract them or cause the man who has some deviation in his heart from thinking he has some chance to go further with the woman. So if the woman has to speak to a man, she should address him with straightforward, formal, to-the-point words that do not involve softening the voice or making it attractive. And in general, in any situation that may lead to fitnah, men and women should not speak to one another.

Lastly, as regards being in a situation where you need to act but cannot get a fatwa. Allah does not burden a soul beyond what it can take, and Allah has commanded us to fear Him and obey Him as much as possible. So if a Muslim finds himself in a situation where he needs to act, but does not know the Islamic ruling and cannot get an answer in time, he has to fear Allah as much as possible and act according to the best of his knowledge. Allah knows his situation, and knows when he is not following his desires, and therefore will not hold him to account if he makes a mistake in this action.

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