*Essential Guidelines for Ramadhaan and `Eid 1441 / 2020*
Ramadhaan is a very special time of the year for Muslims. The pious ancestors used to look forward to the coming of Ramadhaan and prepare to make the most of it from the beginning of the year. Even in our times, many people take time off work or at least reduce their other commitments and engagement to derive maximum benefit from the blessings of Ramadhaan. This year, however, most people have been provided with an opportunity to free themselves from most other commitments, be it in seemingly undesirable circumstances.
عَجَبًا لأَمْرِ المُؤْمِنِ، إنَّ أمْرَهُ كُلَّهُ خَيْرٌ، وليسَ ذاكَ لأَحَدٍ إلَّا لِلْمُؤْمِنِ، إنْ أصابَتْهُ سَرَّاءُ شَكَرَ، فَكانَ خَيْرًا له، وإنْ أصابَتْهُ ضَرَّاءُ، صَبَرَ فَكانَ خَيْرًا له.
Sohaib Roomi radhi Allaahu `anhu has narrated from Nabiﷺ that the beloved Prophet of Allaah ﷺ said:
"A believer's matter is special. All his affairs are good. This is not for anyone except a believer. If he receives ease, he is grateful and this becomes good for him. If he receives hardship, he makes sabr and this becomes good for him."
(Narrated in Saheeh Muslim and others with slight variation.)
While in previous Ramadhaans, many people did used to try to make the most of the blessed month but still had to engage in many other aspects of life including going out to work etc, but this year most people throughout the world are in some sort of lockdown being confined to their homes except for any necessary trips out and so have already become accustomed to carrying out only essential matters and found themselves benefitting in line with advice of Nabiﷺ:
ان من حسن إسلام المرء تركه ما لا يعنيه
"Indeed it is from the beauty of a person's Deen that he leaves what does not benefit him." Abu Daud.
While we pray that Allaah SWT lift and remove the present difficulty from the world and people are able to resume some form of normality in their lives, and with Ramadhaan upon us, we can take this opportunity to turn the many seemingly negatives into positives;
• Being unable to go out and about freely, take this opportunity to spend time with the family.
• Being unable to go to the Masjid, to pray at home with all the family and engage in `ibaadah in the following activities :
• Fasting : This is the most important practical aspect of Ramadhaan.
• Prayers - including praying the obligatory prayers in congregation preferably at fixed times as well as Tarāwīḥ and Tahajjud.
• Recitation of Qur'aan.
• Istighfaar - repenting and seeking forgiveness.
• Sending salawaat (durood) upon Nabiﷺ
• Giving charity - especially the obligatory Zakaat on one's wealth if not already paid along with Ṣadaqat al-Fiṭr and as much Ṣadaqah as can be given in light of the severe and desperate conditions faced by many Muslims throughout the world.
Below are further and specific Fiqhi rulings regarding various aspects of Ramadhaan and the present situation
Fasting in the month of Ramadan is obligatory and therefore healthy individuals are required to fast between dawn and sunset.
If a fasting person struggles to continue their fast due to contracting Covid-19 symptoms, it is permissible to break the fast and make up for it later.
Individuals with confirmed/suspected Covid-19 with moderate-severe symptoms or severe underlying health conditions can postpone their fasts to a later date. A strong likelihood of falling extremely ill also permits postponing the fasts.
Pregnant women and those breastfeeding are permitted to postpone their fasts if they fear harm to themselves or their child.
In the above cases, if a person thinks they may be able to fast or they are unsure, the fast must be attempted. During the day, if they struggle, they can break the fast and make up for it later.
A person who does not fast or discontinues their fast due to a valid excuse is required to make up for the fast(s) at a later date. There is no additional penalty. If anyone suffers from terminal illness meaning that their condition is such that they are not expected to regain health and be able to fast, they will give Fidyah (£5 per fast is recommended). Fidyah does not discharge the obligation if a person is able to fast at a later date, for example, in the winter months.
Five Daily Ṣalāhs
Every attempt should be made to perform the five daily Ṣalāhs in congregation at home. All family members including females can join the congregation. If a person is self-isolating within a room, they will perform Ṣalāh alone.
The Imaam must be a male mature (bāligh) person.
Females will always stand behind male(s) in a separate row whether one female or more. Males will always stand behind the male Imam, unless there is only one male in which case he will stand to the right of the Imam with his heels slightly behind the Imam’s heels. The following table illustrates this with some examples:
|Imaam and one male
||Male will stand to the right of the Imam
|Imaam and one female
||Female will stand in a row behind the Imam
|Imaam and two males or more
||Males will stand in a row behind the Imam
|Imaam and two females
||Females will stand in a row behind the Imam
|Imaam, one male and one female
||Male will stand to the right of the Imam
Female will stand alone in a row behind the Imam
|Imaam, two males and two females
||Males will stand in a row behind the Imam
Females will stand in another row behind the males
If the room is small, the males can stand to the right and left of the Imaam with their heels slightly behind the Imam’s heels and the females behind in a separate row.
Non-Maḥram females of the family can join in the congregational Ṣalāh as long as there is one female in the congregation who has a male Maḥram in the congregation (al-Aṣl, 1:140).
If the Adhān has been performed in a Masjid in the local area, it is not necessary to perform Adhān at home. If it is performed, care should be taken to avoid disturbing neighbours.
The Iqāmah should be read before each Ṣalāh. The Imaam can also read it.
Instead of Jumuʿah Ṣalāh, Dhuhr Ṣalāh will be performed at home in congregation. If a person performs Jumuʿah Ṣalāh at home, the minimum requirement according to the Ḥanafī school is four male adults including the Imaam.
For the five daily prayers other than Jumuʿah Ṣalāh, the minimum number for congregational prayer is any two individuals. The same applies to Tarāwīḥ Ṣalāh.
Tarāwīḥ Ṣalāh is an emphasised Sunnah and was established with the consensus of Sahaabah in the blessed era of Khulafaa-e-Raashidoon. Therefore, every effort must be made to perform 20 rakʿat (units) Tarāwīḥ Ṣalāh.
If a person is unable to perform the 20 rakʿat standing due to ill health or another valid reason, they should attempt to perform it sitting down. If this is also not possible, it is strongly recommended to perform as many rakʿat possible. Not being able to perform the full 20 rakʿat does not mean that Tarāwīḥ Ṣalāh is not performed at all. It is also a common misconception that if a person is unable to perform 20, they must perform 8 rakʿat. Rather, a person unable to perform 20 rakʿat should perform as many as they can, and if standing is difficult, one can also perform Tarāwīḥ Ṣalāh sitting down.
Tarāwīḥ Ṣalāh can be performed in congregation and individually. It is recommended that families perform Tarāwīḥ Ṣalāh in congregation in their own homes.
If the household has a Ḥāfidh of the Qur'aan, it is recommended they lead and complete the recitation of the Qur'aan on 29th Ramaḍhaan. If it is possible to complete more than one recitation of the Qur'aan, this is commendable.
If there is no Ḥāfidh of the Qur'aan, the Imaam can recite from the chapters he has memorised. It is advised to avoid sufficing on the final ten chapters if a person has memorised other chapters.
The Quran must be recited in Ṣalāh from memory. A muṣḥaf or an external device cannot be used. Allah Almighty will reward those households without a ḥāfiẓ according to their intention, desire and action of previous years Inshāʾ Allah.
Joining congregational Ṣalāh via the internet, TV or receiver
To join a congregational Ṣalāh of Makkah or Madīnah or the local Masjid via the internet, TV or receiver system for any Ṣalāh including Tarāwīḥ is invalid. Iqtidāʾ (following the Imam) is only valid if a person is physically present. The fact that a person can observe the proceedings of a congregation virtually from the confines of their home does not validate iqtidāʾ.
There is no harm in listening to the Tarāwīḥ prayers via the internet or the Masjid receiver system. Listening to a verse of Sajdah al-Tilāwah via any form of live broadcast necessitates Sajdah al-Tilāwah on the listener.
A person must continue to respect their Zakaat anniversary date and discharge their Zakaat obligations if it falls in Ramadhaan via online or any other available option.
If there are local Muslims in need, it is recommended to donate Zakaat to them. There are also needy people all over the world who deserve our attention. Particular attention should also be paid to the Madāris and Daarul Ulooms from poor countries who are likely to struggle in the forthcoming year.
Ramadhaan is a month of charity. In addition to Zakaat, donate optional (nafl) charity as much as you can. Charity removes calamities and extinguishes the anger of Allaah Almighty.
Ṣadaqaat ul-Fiṭr can be given any time until `Eid Ṣalāh. As the purpose of Ṣadaqaat ul-Fiṭr includes supporting the poor, it is strongly recommended to donate it ONLINE
or via other means in advance of `Eid day
(preferably before 20th Ramadhaan) so that it reaches the poor in time.
£3.50 is the minimum amount per person should be paid for each and every member of the family, including children.