From `Abdul-`Aziz ibn `Abdullah ibn Baz to any Muslim who reads this Fatwa. May Allah guide us all and grant us the means to make sincere repentance from all sins. Amen.Peace, Mercy and Blessings of Allah be upon you.
“ :As you know, may Allah bestow His Mercy upon us all, that the ruler of Muslims, may Allah protect and guard him, gave directions for offering the Rain Prayer in the morning of Monday, 7 Jumadal-Ula, 1408 A.H., because rain season is late this year and has not fallen in many places at its annually scheduled time. Muslims are in dire need of it, and they are desperately asking Allah to overwhelm them with His Mercy [Exalted and Sublime Be He], His Bounty and Kindness. He (Exalted and Glorified be He) has guided them to invoke and implore Him so that He grants them their needs with His Grace.
He, the Most Glorified, assured them of answering their supplications, as He (Exalted and Glorified be He) said:
“And your Lord said: “Invoke Me, I will respond to your (invocation). Verily! Those who scorn My worship [i.e. do not invoke Me, and do not believe in My Oneness, (Islâmic Monotheism)] they will surely enter Hell in humiliation!“”
“And when My slaves ask you (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) concerning Me, then (answer them), I am indeed near (to them by My Knowledge). I respond to the invocations of the supplicant when he calls on Me (without any mediator or intercessor). So let them obey Me and believe in Me, so that they may be led aright.“
In other verses, He (Exalted and Glorified be He) said:
“Invoke your Lord with humility and in secret. He likes not the aggressors.”
“And do not do mischief on the earth, after it has been set in order, and invoke Him with fear and hope. Surely, Allâh’s Mercy is (ever) near to the good-doers” .
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and the early Muslims always turned to Allah seeking His Help in times of distress or adversity. He answered their invocations and granted them of His Bounties and Benevolence as He (Exalted and Glorified be He) said regarding the Battle of Badr,
“(Remember) when you sought help of your Lord and He answered you (saying): “I will help you with a thousand of the angels each behind the other (following one another) in succession.”” .
When drought intensified in Al-Madinah and its suburbs, Muslims requested the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) to pray for rain. He (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) then raised his hands while giving the Friday Sermon and prayed for rain and repeated his supplication twice.
On another occasion he (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) went out with them to the desert where he led them in two Rak’ahs prayer similar to the ‘Eid prayer. He supplicated his Lord asking Him for rain. In this prayer he raised his hands and repeated the invocation many times and then inverted his garment.
Following the example of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), Muslims also raised their hands in prayer and supplicated Allah. Then Allah sent down abundant rain, bestowed His Mercy upon them and removed their distress.
He (Exalted and Glorified be He) said: “Indeed in the Messenger of Allâh (Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) you have a good example to follow for him who hopes for (the Meeting with) Allâh and the Last Day, and remembers Allâh much.”
One of the most important means of obtaining Allah’s Mercy and being blessed with rain is fearing Allah [Exalted and Sublime Be He], turning to Him in repentance from all sins, promoting all what is right and forbidding all what is evil, cooperating in matters of piety and righteousness, holding mutual consultation for the sake of Allah, advising each other with the truth and being steadfast in implementing it, being compassionate to the poor and the needy, consoling them and being generous to them.
Allah (Exalted and Glorified be He) said:
“And if the people of the towns had believed and had the Taqwâ (piety), certainly, We should have opened for them blessings from the heaven and the earth” till the end of the verse.
He,Most Glorified, said
“And whosoever fears Allâh and keeps his duty to Him, He will make a way for him to get out (from every difficulty).“
He also said,
“…and whosoever fears Allâh and keeps his duty to Him, He will make his matter easy for him.”
He (Exalted and Glorified be He) also said in another verse:
“Surely, Allâh’s Mercy is (ever) near to the doers of good“
“The believers, men and women, are Auliyâ’ (helpers, supporters, friends, protectors) of one another; they enjoin (on the people) Al-Ma‘rûf (i.e. Islâmic Monotheism and all that Islâm orders one to do), and forbid (people) from Al-Munkar (i.e. polytheism and disbelief of all kinds, and all that Islâm has forbidden); they perform As-Salât (Iqâmat-as-Salât), and give the Zakât, and obey Allâh and His Messenger. Allâh will have His Mercy on them. Surely Allâh is All-Mighty, All-Wise.“.
In these noble verses, He (Exalted and Glorified be He) explained that fearing Allah, being kind to Allah’s servants and keeping upright and straight on the path of Allah are of the means of bringing about Allah’s Mercy to His servants, His kindness to them, sending down rain and removing their distress.
Therefore, fear Allah O servants of Allah! Be kind to His servants, and advise one another with truth and be steadfast and patient in doing so; cooperate among yourselves in acts piety and righteousness, promote what is right, forbid what is evil and repent altogether from all your sins. Hence your Sustainer (Exalted and Glorified be He) will encompass you with His Mercy upon you and send down blessed rain for you. He will also give youwhatever you desire and withhold from you whatever you dislike.
The Almighty said: “And all of you beg Allâh to forgive you all, O believers, that you may be successful“
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) advised us saying:
““Whoever is not merciful to others will not be treated mercifully”“
In another Hadith he (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) stated:
“The Most Compassionate (Allah) has mercy on those who are compassionate to people. If you show mercy to those on the earth, He Who is in the heaven will show mercy to you” .
The Qur’anic verses and Prophetic Hadiths urging people to observe piety, uprightness, mercy and kindness to those in need are many and well-known.
I ask Allah to rectify the affairs of all Muslims; to grant them sincere repentance from all sins; to send down the rain for them out of His Grace and Bounty; to reconcile and unite their hearts on piety and good deeds; to protect everyone from the evils of their selves and to purify them from their sinful acts; to rid them of misguidance of tribulations; to support His Deen; to make His word the uppermost; to guide our rulers to what is good and beneficial forpeople and countries; to correct the behavior of their advisors and enable them to do all kinds of good. Indeed, He is the Grantor of all this and is the Most Omnipotent. Peace, Mercy and Blessings of Allah be upon you.
President Of The Administrations Of
Scientific Researches, Ifta, Call and Guidance.
`Abdul-`Aziz ibn `Abdullah ibn Baz
Posted from alifta.net
Praise be to Allaah.
The regular Sunnah prayers fall into two categories:
Sunnahs which are done before the fard prayer – two rak’ahs before Fajr and four before Zuhr.
Sunnahs which are done after the fard prayer – two rak’ahs after Zuhr, two rak’ahs after Maghrib and two rak’ahs after ‘Isha’.
Concerning their virtue, it was narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever prays twelve rak’ahs during the night and day, a house will be built for him in Paradise: four before Zuhr and two after, two rak’ahs after Maghrib, two rak’ahs after ‘Isha’ and two rak’ahs before Fajr prayer.”
Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, no. 380; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami’, 6362.
The time for a Sunnah prayer that comes before a fard prayer is from the beginning of the time for that prayer, until the iqaamah.
The time for a Sunnah prayer that comes after a fard prayer is from after the salaam at the end of the fard prayer until the end of the time for that prayer.
Ibn Qudaamah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: “The time for every Sunnah prayer that comes before a fard prayer is from the beginning of the time for that prayer, until the prayer is done, and the time for every Sunnah prayer that comes after a fard prayer is from after the prayer is done until the end of the time for that prayer.”
Based on this, it is not correct to pray the Sunnah prayer before the time for the fard prayer begins, rather you should wait until the time for that prayer comes, then pray it.
Praise be to Allah;
“Allaah will build a house in Heaven for whoever is diligent in observing 12 Sunnah Rak’aat (as follows): 4 Rak’aat before and 2 after the Dhuhr (Midday) Prayer, 2 after the Maghrib (Sunset Prayer), 2 after the ‘Ishaa’ (Evening) Prayer and 2 before the Fajr (Dawn) Prayer.” Hadith sahih narrated by at-Tirmidhi No. 379 and by others. Hadith No. 6183 in Sahih al-Jaami’.
‘Anbasah ibn Abi Sufyan quoted Umm Habibah as saying “Allaah’s Messenger (May peace and blessings be upon him) said:
“A house will be built in Heaven for one who prays 12 Rak’aat in a day and evening as follows: 4 Rak’aat before and 2 after the Dhuhr Prayer, 2 after the Maghrib Prayer, 2 after the ‘Ishaa’ Prayer and 2 before the Fajr Prayer.” Narrated by at-Tirmizi under No. 380. He said: The Hadith narrated by ‘Anbasah quoting Umm Habibah in this chapter is a hassan and sahih hadith. It is under No. 6362 in Sahih al-Jaami’.
The ‘Asr (Late-Afternoon) Prayer has no routine Sunnah (basic recommended voluntary prayer). However, it is mustahab (preferable and recommended) that one prays 4 Rak’aat before the ‘Asr Prayer. The 4 Rak’ahs are of less reward and significance in importance of adhering to them compared to the “sunnan al-rawaatib” described above. The 4 Rak’ahs are the ones intended by the Prophet (May peace and blessings be upon him) in saying: “May Allaah have mercy on one who prays 4 raka’aat before the ‘Asr Prayer.” Narrated by at-Tirmidhi no. 395 and he declared it a hassan and ghareeb Hadith. Al-Albany rated the Hadith as hassan in Sahih al-Jami’ No. 3493.
All the foregoing 4-Rak’ah voluntary prayers are to be prayed two at a time according to Imam ash-Shafi’i and Imam Ahmad.
Allaah, the Exalted, knows best.
Asalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,
A sister is posing this question:
I know that from the sunnah Allah decends to the lowest heaven in last third of every night; but night times are different all over the world; if it is night time here it is day time in another country; so how we can understand that Allah descends here but not some other place in the world where it is not yet night time?? very important question; please answer
From Moosaa ibn John Richardson:(salafitak.net)
This question is about the specific details of how Allaah descends.
So the four-part answer given by Imaam Maalik (d.179)to a similar question should suffice us:
1) Descending is something well known.
2) The actual way Allaah descends is not known to us.
3) Belief in it is obligatory.
4) Seeking after its specific details is bid’ah.
From Abu `Iyaad Amjad bin Muhammad Rafiq: (salafitalk.net)
Shaykh ul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah gives a lengthy explanation of this – which is another of the doubts of the Jahmiyyah – in his book “Sharh Hadeeth in-Nuzool”, towards the end of it (p.320 onwards), and the essence of it is is that this question only arises when it is presumed that the kaifiyyah of Allaah’s Descent is like the descent of created beings, for when you presume that, then this doubt arises. So as Imaam Malik said, as mentioned by Br. Moosaa, regarding Istiwaa and as Abu Ja’far at-Tirmidhi (the faqih of Bagdhad, d. 295H) said,as mentioned by ad-Dhahabi in al-Uluww (p. 231), regarding the nuzool:
the Nuzool is ma’qool (understood), and the kayf is majhool (unknown), to have faith in it is obligatory and asking about it is an innovation.
And in summary, we hold that:
– Allaah descends without Him leaving the Throne, He remains above the Throne
– Allaah descends without coming under or beneath the heaven – and as the Salaf said to the Jahmiyyah who raised such doubts in relation to the nuzool, “We believe in a Lord who does whatever He wills”
– To all people in all parts of the earth, alongside the variation in the night and day, Allaah’s descent is for them during the last third of their night – and we are not able to understand the kaifiyyah of that – just like we are not able to understand the kaifiyyah of how Allaah will do the hisaab (accounting) of all the people at the same time.
Ibn Taymiyyah says, “As for the nuzool that is not of the type of the nuzool of the (created) bodies of the servants, then it is not impossible that it occurs at the same time for a great number of the creation … and this is like His reckoning of His servants on the Day of Judgement, He will reckon all of them within a single hour, and all of them will be alone with Him, just like a man is alone with the moon on a clear night, and He will make him affirm his sins, and that one being reckoned will not see that He is reckoning others besides him” (p.334)
And then Ibn Taymiyyah brings ahaadeeth in this regard, and he also mentions the hadeeth of Allaah responding ot the servant when he recites al-Faatihah in the prayer, so Allaah says, “My servant praised me” and so on, and this is to every one who prays, at the same time, and likewise Allaah sees everyone all at the same time, and he provides for everyone all at the same time, so likewise, the nuzool – if we remove that presumption of “kayf” that is prohibited which is that the nuzool is like that of the created bodies – then we are not subject to this doubt, and then we are able to affirm it for Allaah without tashbeeh and tamtheel and without any caution in that.
And in all of this there is sufficiency for the believer who affirms what Allaah affirmed for Himself without takyeef and without ta’teel and without tamtheel.
Here is that athar regarding Imam Malik (rahimahullaah) that our brother Moosa alluded to:
And it was narrated by Yahya ibn Yahya at-Tamimi and Ja’far Ibn ‘Abd-Allaah and a group of them said:
“We were with Malik when a man came and asked him: ‘O Abu `Abd Allah! “The Most Beneficent (Allaah) Istawa (rose over) the (Mighty) Throne (in a manner that suits His Majesty). (Ta-Ha 20:5) How did He Istawa (rise over)?” Malik lowered his head and remained thus until he was completely soaked in sweat. Then he said:
“The Istiwaa (Allaah’s Rising Over His Throne) is ma’qool (known); the “how” is majhool (inconceivable); belief in it is wajib (obligatory); asking about it is bid’ah (an innovation); and I fear that you are not anything but an innovator.” Then he commanded that the man be removed.”
Shaykh Al-Albaanee (rahimahullaah) declared this to be saheeh.
[See Mukhthasar al-Uluww Of Dhahabee, Checked by Shaykh Naasir rahimahullaah, page 141]
The Following is from -The book of knowledge by shaykh Ibn Uthaymeen Rahimullah page 47-48
“Our Lord descends every night to the heaven of this world when the last third of the night is still to come and says, “Who will call me so that I may answer him? Who will ask Me so that I give him? Who will ask forgiveness of Me so that I may forgive him”- Saheeh Bukhari.
“This Hadeeth has been narrated by the Prophet (sallallahu alyhi wa sallam), and is well known. None of the companions raised any objections by saying: “Oh Messenger of Allah! How does He descend? And does He leave His Throne or not?, and other such similar questions. However, we find some people talking like this and saying: How is He upon His Throne and descends to the lowest heaven? And that which is similar to this from the statements which reject this, even though they accept this hadeeth and say that certainly Allah (ta’alaa) has risen above His Throne, and His rising is from that which befits His Majesty, and He descends as He (ta’alaa) wishes, just so as to overcome their doubts that they are not bewildered with that which the Prophet (sallallahu alyhi wa sallam) has informed them of their Lord.
Therefore, it is obligatory upon us to accept what Allah and His Messenger (sallallahu alyhi wa sallam) has informed us concerning the matters of the unseen (wholeheartedly), in full submission, and that we do not reject them in favour of that which is in our minds from feelings and preconceived notions; Because the matter of the unseen are far above this. And the examples about this are many, and I do not wish to prolong the issue by mentioning them.
However, the position of the believer when presented with a hadeeth like this is acceptance in full submission, by saying Allah and his messenger have spoken the truth. As Allah has informs in His statement ” The Messenger believes in what has been sent down to him from his Lord, and the believers. Each one believes in Allah, His Angels, His Books and His Messengers. They say “We make no distinction between one another of His Messengers”- and they say ” We hear and obey. Your forgiveness, Our Lord, and to you is the return”-Surah al Baqarah v. 285 “
Outset and end of the last third of night 
Q: It is reported in the Hadith that Allah descends every night to the lowest heaven in the last third of the night . When does the last third of the night begin and end?
A: There are Mutawatir Hadiths (a Hadith reported by a significant number of narrators throughout the chain of narration, whose agreement upon a lie is impossible) from the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) that prove that Allah descends. The Prophet (peace be upon him) stated, Our Lord descends to the lowest heaven every night when the last third of the night begins when He says, ‘Who calls Me to answer him? Who asks Me to give him? Who asks Me for forgiveness to forgive him? 
Ahl-ul-Sunnah wal-Jama`ah (adherents to the Sunnah and the Muslim mainstream) unanimously agreed that Allah descends in a manner that befits Him and that He is not like His creation at all in any of His Attributes, as He states, Say (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم): “He is Allâh, (the) One. “Allâh-us-Samad (السيد الذي يصمد إليه في الحاجات) [Allâh the Self-Sufficient Master, Whom all creatures need, (He neither eats nor drinks)]. “He begets not, nor was He begotten. “And there is none co-equal or comparable unto Him.” Surah Al-Ikhlas, 112
He (Glorified and Exalted be He) also says, There is nothing like Him; and He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer.
According to Ahl-ul-Sunnah wal-Jama`ah, we must accept the Ayahs and Hadiths that speak of the Attributes of Allah as they are without Tahrif (distortion of the meaning), Ta`til (denial of Allah’s Attributes), Takyif (descriptive designation of Allah’s Attributes), or Tamthil (likening Allah’s Attributes to those of His Creation). At the same time, we must believe in them and believe that what is mentioned in these texts is true without likening Allah to His creation or discussing the nature of His Attributes. Rather, their view concerning His Attributes is like their view concerning His Dhat (Essence). Ahl-ul-Sunnah wal-Jama`ah affirm the Essence of Allah without Takyif, or Tamthil, and thus, we must also affirm His Attributes without Takyif or Tamthil.
The descent of Allah occurs in every country in a manner that befits Allah, because the descent of Allah is not like the descent of any of His creation. He is described as descending in the last part of the night in all parts of the world in a manner that befits His Majesty, Exalted be He.No one can know how He descends just as no one can know how His Essence is, except Him.
He states, There is nothing like Him; and He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer.Surah Al-Shura, 42: 11. Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) also says: So put not forward similitudes for Allâh (as there is nothing similar to Him, nor He resembles anything). Truly! Allâh knows and you know not.Surah Al-Nahl, 16: 74
The time of the first and last third of the night differs according to the season; if the night is nine hours long, then the time of descent begins at the onset of the seventh hour and continues until dawn. If the night is twelve hours long, then the last third begins at the beginning of the ninth hour until the break of dawn and so on, depending on how long or short the night is in each place. May Allah grant us success.
 This was published in Al-Da`wah magazine, issue no. 1138, on 2/9/1408 A.H.
 Al-Bukhari, Sahih, Book on supplications, no. 6321; Muslim, Sahih, Book on travelers* Salah and Salah shortening, no. 758; Al-Tirmidhy, Sunan, Book on Salah, no. 446; Abu Dawud, Sunan, Book on Salah, no. 1315; Ibn Majah, Sunan, Book on performing Prayer and its Sunan, no. 1366; Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Musnad, vol. 2, p. 433; Malik, Al-Muwatta*, Book on call to Prayer, no. 496; and Al-Darimy, Sunan, Book on Salah, no. 1484.’
 Al-Bukhari, Sahih, Book on Friday, no. 1145; Muslim, Sahih, Book on travelers* Salah and Salah shortening, no. 758; Al-Tirmidhy, Sunan, Book on supplications, no. 3498; Abu Dawud, Sunan, Book on Salah, no. 1315; Ibn Majah, Sunan, Book on performing Prayer and its Sunan, no. 1366; Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Musnad, vol. 2, p. 265; Malik, Al-Muwatta*, Book on call to Prayer, no. 496; and Al-Darimy, Sunan, Book on Salah, no. 1479.
Sujood ash-Shukr: The Prostration of Thankfulness
source: silsilat ul-hudaa wa nnoor, 97/6
Q: “How does one perform sujood ash-shukr (the prostration of thankfulness)?”
Shaykh al-Albaani (rahimahullaah):
“It comprises of one prostration, and none of the preconditions needed for prayer are stipulated for it. So it is like sujood at-tilaawah, they both have the same ruling. Neither of them have a precondition such as being in a state of purification, facing the qiblah, making the takbeer, making the tasleem, and so on. Rather, if he is surprised by some blessing, he prostrates immediately the way he is and praises Allaah with whatever (words) he can for that blessing that He gave him, out of thanks to Him. Likewise if he recites a verse of prostration from the Book of Allaah (‘azza wa jal), he prostrates immediately, whether he haswudhoo or not, whether he is facing the qiblah or not, without making takbeer al-ihraam and without making any tashahhud or salaam.”
You can download more of Sheikh al-Albaani’s tapes (Arabic only) at the following link: http://www.alalbany.net/albany_tapes.php
Making the palms of the hands and the fingers face the direction of the ears when raising the hands in prayer contradicts the sunnah
Imam Ibn Qayyim al Jawziyah-May Allah have mercy upon him-stated in his book ‘Raising the hands in prayer’, pg 281:
‘What is recommended is that his palms face towards the direction of the Qiblah and that he does not make them face towards his ears. Our scholars (the Hanbalis) and the Shafi’is have cleary mentioned this and from those who mentioned this is the author of ‘al Tatimma’.
However, regarding what many of the common people do from making their palms and fingers face their ears, it opposes the sunnah.
Selected by Sheikh Abdul Qadir al Junayd
Translated by: Abu Afnaan Muhammad