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Additions and Innovations

Adil Salahi

Arab News, 7/1/04

Q.1. In my home country, after Friday prayer, most people stand up and start saying greetings to the Prophet, such as ya nabi salam alaik; ya rasool salam alaik. Is this acceptable? Can we offer prayers behind the imam who also engages in such rituals? Another thing that is done is that some people request some deceased ones, whom they think were very pious, to intercede with God on their behalf so that their wishes are fulfilled. If a person who does this type of act leads the prayer, should we pray behind him?

Q.2. A money lender who charged usury died on 27th of Ramadan, and people claim that he must have done good in order to die on that day. I would like to ask if a scholar could lead the janaza prayer for that man?

Q.3. In one copy of the Qur’an published with translation I saw a printed note at the end of Surah 95, Al-Tin, stating that one must say Subhan Allah after finishing this surah. Please comment.

Q.4. How should one pay the mehr when one gets married?

M.A. Khan

A.1. This sort of ritual is an innovation. It must not be done. If people do it thinking that this is part of the prayer, or that the prayer becomes better with it, then they are adding to the prayer and their addition is not only wrong. It is forbidden. If they claim that it is correct because someone told them so, then they consider that such a person has the authority to add to Islamic worship, and this is a form of associating partners with God. On the other hand, if they do it by force of habit, knowing that it is not part of the prayer, and that the prayer is complete without it, their action is merely an innovation, or bid’ah, which must be discontinued. The imam has to be informed so that he could teach the people the proper attitude. If he does not stop insisting that it is all appropriate, then it is better not to join him in prayer. Asking dead people to intercede with God for any reason is a form of associating partners with God. This is strictly forbidden. Not only so, but it takes the person who does it out of the fold of Islam altogether.

A.2. There is no significance for dying on a particular date. It does not indicate an easier reckoning on the Day of Judgment. If the man did not repent of his work in usury, then he put himself in a position of being at war with God and His Messenger, as the Qur’an states. We do not know how God will deal with him. But when such a person dies, we join the prayer at his funeral and pray for his forgiveness. If we were to decide that this must not be done, then we are judging him, while judgment belongs to God alone.

A.3. Such a note is not placed in any copy of the Qur’an, nor is it added on the basis of a Hadith. Subhan Allah is translated as “limitless is God in His glory” and this could be said at any time, but to associate it with reading Surah 95 is not based on any evidence.

A.4. When a man agrees marriage with his prospective wife, they must agree the amount of dower, or mehr he must pay her. This becomes due when the marriage contract is done and the amount is specified. He should pay it straightaway, unless the wife agrees to defer a portion of it, or defer it all. Whatever is deferred becomes a debt owing to the wife. She can claim it at any time and it must be paid. If it is not paid until the man dies, it remains payable as a debt owed to her. As it is well known, debts are the first items to be paid out of a person’s estate after the expenses of burying the deceased person.


Earth, a planet hungry for peace


The Israeli apartheid (security) wall around Palestinian population centers (Ran Cohen, pmc, 5/24/03).


The Israeli apartheid (security) wall around Palestinian population centers in the West Bank, like a Python. (Alquds,10/25/03).

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