Opinion Editorials, May 2004, To see today's opinion articles, click here: ww.aljazeerah.info




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Quoting a Hadith in Paraphrase

Adil Salahi

Arab News

Q. Is it permissible to cite a Hadith or a verse of the Qur’an the wording of which a person does not remember exactly, saying that he is quoting its meaning but not its text?

K. Naeem

A. It is very important to remember that the Prophet (peace be upon him) warns against attributing to him something that he did not say. He said: “Whoever deliberately attributes a falsehood to me has his place reserved for him in hell.” This was the reason why many of his companions did not quote him when they explained Islamic principles and teachings. However, it is permissible to cite the meaning of a Hadith, provided that we make clear that we are not quoting the Prophet. We should make clear to our audience that we are only giving the meaning, or an approximation of it. Scholars have taught us that when we want to cite a Hadith, we better take the precaution of stating that ‘this is the gist of the Hadith’, even when we know it by heart. This is to guard against any error in the transmission of the Hadith.

The same applies to the Qur’an. If one is not sure of the exact wording of a verse he wants to cite, he should state clearly that he is not making a quotation, but rather paraphrasing the text.

Prayers and Frequent Travel

Q. A man travels twice a week to Riyadh from Al-Kharj, where his family lives. In which city should he shorten his prayers, considering that he stays only two days a week with his family. What should he do when he prays in a mosque considering that he must shorten prayers during travel? May I also ask whether a woman can lead the prayers, if there are 3 women who want to pray? What is the minimum number required for a congregational prayer of women only?

H. Husain

A. The man should decide which of the two places he considers his hometown where he should pray normally. He then shortens his prayers when he travels to the other town. On face value, we say that his hometown is where his wife and children live. Although he stays with them only two days a week, he considers himself traveling when he goes to the other place, unless he feels that this is his home and his family are staying in Al-Kharj temporarily, or for a specific reason. If he is praying in a mosque in Riyadh, he follows the imam, completing his prayers like the imam. He cannot pray with the imam two rak’ahs and finish his prayers, abandoning the congregation. It is not a sin for a traveler to offer his prayers the full length, as you indicate. He certainly should avail himself of the concession given by God for travelers, because God loves that His concessions are implemented in the same way as hard duties.

Two persons is the minimum number required for a congregational prayer, whether these happen to be two men, two women or a man and a woman. If there are a group of women worshipers, then they pray together with one of them as the imam. She stands in the middle of the first row, on the same line, not in front of them.



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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