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'I worry this will empower racists': US Muslims on Trump's victory

The Guardian World news: Islam - 9 November, 2016 - 16:38

As Donald Trump is elected the 45th president of the United States, Muslims in America tell us how they feel

Donald Trump has been elected the 45th president of the United States. This comes after a controversial campaign that included contentious remarks about Muslims: Trump said he would ban them from entering the US if elected president; he later downgraded this threat by saying he would impose “extreme vetting” on anyone coming from a land he considers suspect. So how do Muslims in the US feel now he’s been voted into office?

Related: Hate crimes and attacks against Muslims doubled in California last year – report

Related: Panel: What does the US election result say about misogyny? | Patricia Williams and others

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Michigan Muslims face reality of Trump victory: 'I pray for our community'

The Guardian World news: Islam - 9 November, 2016 - 11:00

In Dearborn, Michigan, where a third of residents are of Arab descent, residents voice alarm at the election’s results – but say they are ‘not giving up the fight’

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For the city of Dearborn, Michigan, where one-third of the city’s 96,000 residents are of Arab descent, the presidency of Donald Trump is almost certain to be volatile and unpredictable.

Just after 2.40am on Wednesday, when the election was called for the Republican nominee, Muzammil Ahmed, the chairman of the Michigan Muslim Community Council who attended an election watch party in Dearborn Tuesday night, tried to reach for a silver lining.

Related: Yes, the polls were wrong. Here's why | Mona Chalabi

Related: 'This is terrifying': Guardian readers on how Trump's historic night unfolded

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‘I hate this beard. By God, I hate it’: Iraqi men celebrate their freedom by shaving

The Guardian World news: Islam - 8 November, 2016 - 15:33

When civilians are liberated from Mosul, many are keen to lose their Isis-enforced beards. Now a team of volunteer hairdressers is helping them achieve this symbolic return to normality

The civilians of Mosul in Iraq have lived the past two and half years under the barbaric rule of Islamic State (Isis), with the fear of death looming over their lives.

Isis implemented numerous absurd policies, often claiming their strict rules to be rooted in Islam. These included bans on smoking, watching football and wearing clothes with logos, as well as enforcing compulsory beards for men.

Related: On the road to Mosul, the battle of Bashiqa – in pictures

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Donald Trump has made it clear: in his America, Muslim citizens don’t exist | Moustafa Bayoumi

The Guardian World news: Islam - 8 November, 2016 - 12:00

The GOP candidate insulted many minority groups, but he also tried to win their votes. He didn’t even seem to want ours

The 2016 American presidential election has been an absurd, exhausting and bruising spectacle. Now imagine living through it all as a Muslim American. Somehow, this election has managed to cram all the Islamophobic sentiments of the last 15 years into the span of 15 months, and then morph them into one ugly thing.

Donald Trump is largely to blame. He called for “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims” entering the country until it became clear that the proposal was embarrassingly ill-conceived, only to be replaced by the equally vague “extreme vetting”. He fought publicly with the Gold Star Khan family, suggesting Ghazala Khan was not “allowed to speak” at the Democratic convention because of her Muslim faith. He accused Muslim Americans as a group of harboring terrorists. There’s more, but we all know the story by now.

Related: A Muslim woman was set on fire in New York. Now just going out requires courage | Linda Sarsour

Related: How we learned all the wrong lessons from 9/11 | Moustafa Bayoumi

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Enervation of Black Muslim Women

Muslim Matters - 7 November, 2016 - 23:46

While all Muslim women face intense backlash when challenging authority, Black Muslim women's intersecting identities make them even more vulnerable to marginalization when they speak up.  Black Muslim women's Islamic values are called into question as they are depicted as being more loyal to feminism than to Islam, more loyal to Blackness than to the universal ummah, and more loyal to feminism than to Blackness.  Shutting out of Black women from public discourse or dismissing their grievances and realities  goes against the spirit where women in the Qur'an and during the Prophetic time did speak their mind. Even the Creator heard the one who complained:

Certainly has Allah heard the speech of the one who argues with you, [O Muhammad], concerning her husband and directs her complaint to Allah . And Allah hears your dialogue; indeed, Allah is Hearing and Seeing. (Qur'an 58:1)

Whether through microagressions or macroagressions that dismiss our sister-scholars-activists, marginalization of Black Muslim women depletes our spiritual resources. Often, the dismissals of legitimate complaints are based on explicit and implicit bias or internalized racism, combined with sexism.

While social media allows for a widening discourse on gender, race, and Islam, it can become a toxic place. I have tried to commit myself to level of civil discussion as I critically engage with issues that reflect my anti-racist anti-sexist commitments. One of the most unnerving discourses on social media, however, involves gendered racism–especially the gendered racism that reifies stereotypes about Black women. Gendered racism is an insidious form of racism that targets only one gender of a particular racial group (i.e. all if not most Black women have attitudes, white women are easy, Black men are thugs, Asian women are submissive, Brown men are oppressors, or Asian men are asexual). The dominant society can generate these stereotypes or they may arise from internalized racism (i.e. the colorism in the Black community, orientalist tropes in discussions about gender and Islam). Even in influential scholars have generalized about Black women. In Black Skin, White Masks Frantz Fanon writes, “'It is because the Negress feels inferior that she aspires to win admittance into the white world'.”

Black Muslim women have been accused of being more committed to Western paradigms than to the Qur'an and sunnah when addressing the real world consequences of spiritual abuse, domestic violence, and discrimination in our faith community. I've seen gendered racism perpetuated  with Black American Muslim men and women bashing each other on social media. What makes it even more troubling is that a number of non-Black Muslims have chimed in on the discussion to either challenge or reify stereotypes. Many of them lack the context to understand the history of how Black men and women have been pitted against each other. As long as we are battling each other, we are not uplifting or liberating each other.

While the majority of married Black men are married to Black women, there are still negative tropes that affect how we relate to one another, how we work together, and in turn affect how effective we are as a community. In many ways the comments on my earlier blog posts provided a forum to show how these issues are a real problem within both the Muslim American and Black American communities.   One typo laden comment on my blog proclaims:

black women are what you might call a lost woman and a weak woman
her problem is she has been trained to think like racist white america but the difference is white people atach(sic) their vAlue(sic) to
themselves while black women attach
value tomaterials(sic) titles and money
she cant(sic) seperate(sic) her personal life from these things.black women
in their current state of mind will
never on a large scale ever be a
good mate for anyone especially a
american black man the white male
has ingrained to(sic) much poison into her she is therefore a walking curse the bases(sic) of her problems is she hates herself and she has been taught to hate black men she is in
a useless struggle to be a woman
to a white man notice in all her
conversations is the pursuit of
men of other races this is what they want to do they just using
problems with black men as an excuse.

Another commenter writes:

Non-Muslim professional African American men are not opting out on Black women… Just AFRICAN AMERICAN WOMEN. These brothers will marry Caribbean, Afro latina, or anything but African American sisters. The problem is the attitude they feel they get from Black women in this country. I frankly understand the point. As a Black professional I find dealing with many professional African American women to be a pain because of the 10 pound chip on their shoulders. I was talking to a group of lawyers, Black and white, they all agreed on one thing: There was nothing worse than having to deal with a Black female judge in the courtroom. The feeling was UNIVERSAL. The annoying neck rolling sass, which is more refined with the addition of university degrees basically turns EVERYONE OFF. So frankly.. I have little sympathy for these women.

Sadly, a number of Black Muslim men express negative attitudes towards Black Muslim women for being “too independent,” bossy, and in power struggles. Black Muslim women have not yet been able to overcome negative racial stereotypes.

 

Some blame Black women for robbing Black men of their manhood, without taking into consideration the broader social and historical forces that have undermined Black men's agency and sense of self and dignity. Black people have internalized the dominant narrative about Black cultural pathology.  More often than not, Black women are blamed for perpetuating the pathology. The Moynihan report conducted in the 1960s argued that assertive, intelligent, and independent Black women undermined the well being of Black men. Basically these traits emasculated Black men. In essence, it is easier to blame Black women for poor schools, inner city poverty, and crime, rather than historical legacy of segregated housing, discriminatory banking, post industrial economy, and neoliberal policies.

The tropes are harmful in that they effect how our girls grow up to see themselves. Two racial tropes shape the discourse on Black womanhood in the Black Muslim community, the sexually promiscuous Jezebel and the emasculating Sapphire. Legal scholars Marilyn Tarbrough and Crystal Bennett write:

in the stereotype of Sapphire, African American women are portrayed as evil, bitchy, stubborn and hateful. In other words, Sapphire is everything that Mammy is not. “The Sapphire image has no specific physical features other than the fact that her complexion is usually brown or dark brown.” Unlike other images that symbolize African American women, Sapphire necessitates the presence of an African American male. The African American male and female are engaged in an ongoing verbal duel. Sapphire was created to battle the corrupt African American male whose “lack of integrity, and use of cunning and trickery provides her with an opportunity to emasculate him through her use of verbal put-downs.”[3]

The Jim Crow of Racist Memorabilia concisely describes the relationship between the Sapphire stereotype and social control of Black women:

The Sapphire Caricature portrays Black women as rude, loud, malicious, stubborn, and overbearing.1 This is the Angry Black Woman (ABW) popularized in the cinema and on television. She is tart-tongued and emasculating, one hand on a hip the other pointing and jabbing (or arms akimbo), violently and rhythmically rocking her head, mocking African American men for offenses ranging from being unemployed to sexually pursuing White women. She is a shrill nagger with irrational states of anger and indignation — prone to being mean-spirited and abusive. Although African American men are her primary targets, she has venom for anyone who insults or disrespects her. The Sapphire's desire to dominate and her hyper-sensitivity to injustices means that she is a perpetual complainer, but she does not criticize to improve things; rather, she criticizes because she is unendingly bitter and wishes that unhappiness on others. The Sapphire Caricature is a harsh portrayal of African American women, but it is more than that; it is a social control mechanism that is employed to punish Black women who violate the societal norms that encourage Black women to be passive, servile, non-threatening, and unseen.

500 words blogger Abagond describes Saaphire as follows:

Sapphire, named after a character in “Amos 'n' Andy”, always seems to have her hands on her hips while she is running her mouth – putting down her man, making everything into a fight, never taking anything lying down. She is an overbearing, hard and undesirable woman who drives men away. Think of Tichina Arnold's character Pam in “Martin”.

The significance of the emasculating Sapphire is significant given the discourse on masculinity in Black Muslim communities. In most cultures, manhood is tied to being able to protect and provide for oneself and one's family. Manhood is not just about being male, but linked with notions of maturity, efficacy, courage, virility, and honor. Manliness, like honor, is something that needs to be cultivated. And a blow to the manhood literally and figuratively really hurts. The definition for emasculate reads as follows:

Main Entry: emas·cu·late
Pronunciation: \i-ˈmas-kyə-ˌlāt\
Function: transitive verb
1 : to deprive of strength, vigor, or spirit : weaken
2 : to deprive of virility or procreative power : castrate
3 : to remove the androecium of (a flower) in the process of artificial cross-pollination

Emasculation is not about making a man into a woman, that is feminization. Rather, emasculation is about dehumanizing or making an adult male feel like a child, incapable of effecting change or acting as an agent for change. In addition to systems of oppression, poisonous relationships and negative life experiences can make a person feel less than human, or zapped of vigor. When it comes to the female gender, there is no equivalent term for dehumanization through emasculation. There is, however, a gender neutral term that has a corresponding meaning:

ENERVATE

Main Entry: en·er·vate
Pronunciation: \ˈe-nər-ˌvāt\
Function: transitive verb
Inflected Form(s): en·er·vat·ed; en·er·vat·ing
Etymology: Latin enervatus, past participle of enervare, from e- + nervus sinew — more at nerve
Date: 1605
1 : to reduce the mental or moral vigor of
2 : to lessen the vitality or strength of
synonyms see unnerve

In 2009, I wrote about the Enervation of Black American Women to address what many now call misogynoir, a special variety of sexism directed at Black women. Gendered racism denies Black women of their ability to define themselves and express their experiences as real and legitimate. Black Muslim women's grievances aren't real, because they are simply attempts at emasculating others or spreading her spitefulness. They not only render a Black woman invisble, but they camouflage her behind a coded racist caricature.  Gendered racism has detrimental effects on Black Muslim women in the the public sphere, in education settings, and in religious institutions.  It is especially troubling to see the silencing of legitimate critiques of spiritual abuse, representation, or power dynamics cloaked in religious discourse about piety and proper roles of Muslim women.

I have had the pleasure to know so many Black Muslim women from different walks of life, from professional women, stay at home mothers, community activists, public speakers, religious scholars, researchers, and thinkers. We want our communities to be embodiments of the Islamic ideals we all espouse. I'm finding women who are in the trenches working beside our men, raising sons and daughters, trying to live dignified lives.  When we make Black Muslim women, who are often carrying so much in our community,  the subject of our derision, we are only harming ourselves. Allah tells us in the Qur'an:

The believing men and believing women are allies of one another. They enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and establish prayer and give zakah and obey Allah and His Messenger. Those – Allah will have mercy upon them. Indeed, Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise. (9:71)

Being a good ally means that we must support each other, as well as hold each other accountable. When we refuse to listen or grant a person respect because of their station in life, we are being misguided by arrogance. Taking the time to reflect on our biases, to listen and amplify the voices of the most marginalized in our community, and to develop empathy is key. By doing so, we can restore the honored place that Islam has always given Black women, such as Sumayyah bint Khayyat or Umm Ayman.

 

 

Vote with Your Heads, Vote Against Trump

altmuslim - 7 November, 2016 - 22:46
  By Imam Abdullah Antepli In the final tense day of what has been a long and bitter election contest, Muslims throughout the U.S. are feeling anxiety and concern as most of the polls paint a picture of a battle that is too close to call. What we do know is that it will be [Read More...]

Pauline Hanson damages Australia's standing in Asia, Penny Wong to warn

The Guardian World news: Islam - 7 November, 2016 - 19:15

The shadow foreign minister will use a speech to say that One Nation’s ‘monocultural myth’ must be rejected

The shadow foreign affairs minister, Penny Wong, will use a policy speech to warn One Nation’s return to the political scene has the potential to damage Australia’s key relationships in the region.

Wong will use a speech to the National Press Club on Tuesday, which is about the importance of maintaining openness in an atmosphere of rising xenophobia and protectionism, to argue that Pauline Hanson’s rhetoric resonates negatively in Asia, and it erodes Australia’s reputation in the region.

Related: Rod Culleton and Bob Day referred to high court – as it happened

Related: Pauline Hanson leaves Coalition at crossroads – and all roads lead north | Katharine Murphy

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School reports Muslim boy, 7, to police over 'bullet' that was piece of brass

The Guardian World news: Islam - 6 November, 2016 - 14:08

Pupil’s mother says St Edward’s Catholic school in Birmingham would not have called police if the child were not a Muslim

A Catholic primary school in the Midlands reported a seven-year-old Muslim pupil to police after mistaking a piece of brass the boy had for a bullet.

The boy was “very distressed and intimidated” when two officers were sent to his home to try to interview him, his mother told Tell Mama, a charity that monitors Islamophobia.

Related: Treating Muslim children as terror suspects does not make Britain safer | Homa Khaleeli

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So, about those Democrat infiltrators …

Indigo Jo Blogs - 6 November, 2016 - 10:21

Yesterday, someone posted a link to the blog by the author of the Dilbert cartoons, alleging among other things that violence at Trump rallies had mostly been caused by infiltrators from Clinton’s campaign, who have since been sacked:

1. Trump’s Tough Talk Inspires violence: Ask Clinton supporters if they have seen the Project Veritas video of Clinton operatives talking about paying people to incite violence at Trump rallies. The people on the video have been fired, and we haven’t seen violence at Trump rallies since.

Well, only yesterday, a Republican who held a sign saying “Republicans Against Trump” at the front of a Trump rally in Reno, Nevada was wrestled to the ground by a crowd of Trump supporters who ” kicked, punched and choked” him and grabbed his testicles:

“I had a sign that said ‘Republicans against Trump’. It is a sign that you can just print off online.”

Initially, there was the expected reaction of people around him booing, he said. “And then all of a sudden people next to me are starting to get violent; they’re grabbing at my arm, trying to rip the sign out of my hand,” he said.

He said he could not be sure but “it looked like” Trump was pointing at him, and may have been “instigating something”. Either way, the crowd piled on him, he said, kicking, punching, holding him on the ground and grabbing his testicles.

He said he was a wrestler in his youth and used his training to turn his head to the side to maintain an airway open as he was being choked by one man who had him in a headlock. “But there were people wrenching on my neck they could have strangled me to death,” he added.

… For his part, Crites said he felt relieved when police arrived and placed him in handcuffs, but said officers had to fend off Trump supporters who continued to attack him. “As I was taken from the room, people are just looking at me like I’m a demon,” he said.

So, unless you believe that Trump his himself a Democratic infiltrator who ran so as to make Clinton’s path to the presidency easier (not a ludicrous theory, as Trump has praised and supported both Clintons in the past), it’s clear that there doesn’t need to be money from the Clinton campaign to cause violence at his rallies; enough of his supporters are thugs to make it dangerous for anyone to express dissent, which is a disturbing sign of what might happen to anyone who dissents once he takes office. If he is defeated, his thugs will know they do not have popular support, and someone else can champion the Rust Belt in a future campaign.

This should be a warning to any Muslims in particular tempted to vote for Trump or for third party candidates in swing states on the grounds that Clinton is just as bad. We heard the same rhetoric in 2000 — African-American Muslims did not fall for it, because they knew the Republicans were against them, but Arabs and other American Muslims did — that Gore was pro-Israel and that Clinton’s government had infringed Muslims’ civil liberties. Then Bush took power and we all know what followed — the Patriot Act, Guantanamo Bay, Muslims locked up for decades for spurious offences or on the basis of speculation, talk radio and blogs full of anti-Muslim hate, and a war against Iraq whose disastrous consequences are still felt. In 2016 Muslims do not have the excuse of ignorance that they had in 2000; a vote for Trump is a vote for mob violence if not fascism, while a vote for Clinton is a vote for the rule of law, and if the mobs are not your kind, you do not want to vote for them.

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Author Leïla Slimani urges Moroccans to rebel against 'medieval' laws

The Guardian World news: Islam - 4 November, 2016 - 17:26

Prize-winning novelist describes arrest of two teenage girls who were caught kissing as ‘humiliation and abuse of power’

Moroccans must rebel against the country’s “medieval laws”, the winner of France’s top literary prize has declared, following the arrest of two teenage girls who were caught kissing.

Leïla Slimani, who this week became the first Moroccan woman to win the prestigious Prix Goncourt for her novel Chanson Douce (Sweet Song), lambasted her homeland’s human rights record and the way women are treated.

Related: Moroccan teenage girls to face trial on homosexuality charges

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The Amazing Virtues of Duha Prayer

Muslim Matters - 4 November, 2016 - 04:29

shutterstock_395094784

The virtues of Duha prayer are vast, uplifting, life-changing, and of immense benefit to those who implement the habit of praying it on a daily basis. What follows is an in-depth description of Duha prayer for readers who prefer to understand the full context of the prayer, including its definition, description, recommended times, virtues and rewards, number of rakʿahs, and related questions. For readers who are looking to quickly skim through the inspirational virtues, scroll down to “Virtues & Rewards of Duha Prayer”.

Definition of Duha prayer

Duḥa is linguistically defined as the time of sunrise.

The jurisprudential definition: It is an optional two-rakʿah prayer that the Prophet ﷺ prayed frequently and advised the companions to pray, and its time is between sunrise and Dhuhr.

The ruling is that Duha prayer is a sunnah mu'akkadah (confirmed Sunnah), which entails massive rewards and blessings if established, but there is no sin on the one who leaves it.

Description of Duha prayer

Duha (forenoon or “chasht”) prayer, also referred to as Salāt al-Awwābeen (the prayer of the oft-repentant), is prayed like most other voluntary prayers in that you pray two units and you end the prayer with the tasleem to the right and left. If you wish to pray more than two units, then you may pray as many as you wish, two units at a time.

The Prophet ﷺ said: “The [voluntary] prayers of the day and night are to be offered two by two.”[1]

What is meant by two by two?


Ibn ʿUmar raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) said: “Saying the tasleem after each two rakʿahs.”  [Muslim]

Recommended time

The time of Duha begins after the sun fully rises and it ends approximately 15 minutes before Dhuhr prayer. The most preferred time for Duha prayer is at the hottest part of the day, when the sun has reached its zenith (its highest point), and this is approximately halfway between sunrise and Dhuhr prayer.

The Prophet ﷺ said: “The prayer of those who are repentant is observed when your weaned camels feel the heat of the sun.”[2]

Virtues & Rewards of Duha Prayer

1. It fulfills charity on every joint in your body.

The Prophet ﷺ said:

“In the morning, every single joint of yours must pay a sadaqah (charity). Every subhanAllah is a sadaqah, every Alhamdulillāh is a sadaqah, every La Ilaha Illa Allah is a sadaqah, every Allahu Akbar is a sadaqah, every commanding good is a sadaqah, and every forbidding evil is a sadaqah, and all this is accomplished through two rakʿahs one can pray in Duha [prayer].”[3]

This hadith emphasizes the status and virtue of Duha prayer, two rakʿahs of which is sufficient as a charity on behalf of every joint in the body, and a sign of genuine gratitude to Allah (swt).

2. It is the prayer of the oft-repentant. 

The Prophet ﷺ said:
“None is diligent in establishing Duha prayer except one who is oft-repentant (awwāb), and it is the prayer of the oft-repentant.”[4]

The term “salah al-Awwabeen” comes from this narration, in which the Messenger ﷺ emphasizes that only the oft-repentant are persistent in praying Duha prayer habitually. Thus, one of the signs of true repentance is to return to Allah (swt) by not only cutting off a major sin, but striving diligently to increase in one's voluntary deeds, especially the optional prayers.

3. It was an advice from the Messenger himself.

Abu Hurayrah raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) reported: My beloved (the Prophet  ﷺ) advised me to do three things, which I will never abandon so long as I live: to fast three days of each month, to pray two rakʿahs of Duha prayer, and not to sleep until I pray Witr.[5]

Imam al-Qurtubi raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) said: “The advice of the Prophet ﷺ to Abu Hurayrah and Abu ad-Dardā' indicates the virtues of Duha prayer, and the vast rewards of the prayer as well as its significance; thus, both companions safeguarded this habit and never abandoned it.”[6]

4. Under certain conditions, the reward for praying it is equivalent to a complete Hajj and ʿUmrah.

The Prophet ﷺ said:
“Whoever prays the Fajr prayer then sits in his place of prayer remembering Allah until sunrise, then prays two rakʿahs, shall be rewarded as if he had performed Hajj and ʿUmrah, with a reward that is complete, complete, complete.”[7]

Note: This doesn't fulfill the requirement to perform Hajj.

5. Forgiveness of one's sins.

Abu Hurayrah raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:
“Whoever regularly prays the two rakʿahs of Duha, his sins are forgiven even if they are like [the vastness of] the foam of the sea.”[8]

The Prophet ﷺ also said:
“If anyone sits in his place of prayer when he finishes the dawn prayer till he prays the two rakʿahs of the forenoon prayer, saying nothing but what is good, his sins will be forgiven even if they are more than the foam of the sea.”[9]

6. Equivalent to ʿUmrah and a lofty position.

Abu Umāmah raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:
“If anyone leaves his home after performing ablution for the prescribed prayer in congregation (in the mosque), his reward will be like that of one who goes for Hajj after wearing (the clothes of) ihram. And he who goes out for the forenoon (Duha) prayer, and takes the trouble solely for this purpose, will have the reward like that of a person who performs ʿUmrah. And a prayer followed by a prayer with no worldly talk during the gap between them will be recorded in ʿIlliyyūn[10].”[11]

7. Allah will suffice you!

The Prophet ﷺ said:
“Allah the Exalted says: 'O Son of Adam, do not be heedless of praying 4 rakʿahs for Me in the beginning of your day and (as a result) I shall be your sufficiency at its end.'”[12]

In another narration:
“Allah the Exalted says: 'O Son of Adam, pray to Me in the beginning of the day with four units and I shall thereby suffice you at the end (of it).'”[13]

The meaning of “suffice” in these narrations, according to various scholars, includes the protection of Allah from all evil and harm, protection against misguidance and sinfulness, alleviation of anxiety and worries, and forgiveness for one's shortcomings during that day, or a combination of any of the above. Reflect on the fact that Allah, the Creator and Sustainer, will Himself suffice you of any of your worldly needs in ways that you cannot begin to imagine.

The scholars differed about whether this hadith refers to 4 units of Duha prayer or if it refers to Fajr prayer with its sunnah. The scholars who held the view that the hadeeth refers to Duha prayer include Abu Dāwūd, at-Tirmidhi, al-Irāqi, Ibn Rajab, and others. The wise believer, therefore, would strive to implement both views – Fajr and its sunnah as well as four units of Duha prayer – in order to maximize the reward, protection, and blessings.

8. A palace of gold in Paradise.

Anas b. Mālik raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:
“Whoever prays twelve rakʿahs of Duha, Allah will build for him a palace of gold in Paradise.”[14]

Abu ad-Dardā' raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him)  narrated that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:
“Whoever prays Duha will not be written amongst the heedless (people), and whoever prays four (rakʿahs) will be written amongst the worshipers, and whoever prays six (rakʿahs), it will suffice him on that day, and whoever prays 8 (rakʿahs) will be written amongst the pious, and whoever prays 12 rakʿahs, Allah will build for him a palace in Paradise.”[15]

Number of Rakʿahs

5.1 Minimum number of rakʿahs

The minimum for Duha prayer is 2 rakʿahs according to scholarly consensus.[16]

5.2 Maximum number of rakʿahs

There is no clear report that indicates a restriction on the number of rakʿahs for Duha prayer; however, there are three common opinions on the matter:

First opinion: 8 Rakʿahs

This is the opinion of Mālikis and Ḥanbalis based on the following report:

It was narrated from Umm Hāni' bint Abu Tālib that on the day of the Opening (of Mecca), the Messenger of Allah ﷺ prayed Duha with eight rakʿahs, saying the salaam after each two rakʿahs.[17]

Umm Hāni' said: “I never saw the Prophet ﷺ offering a lighter prayer than that [Duha] prayer, but he was performing perfect bowing and prostrations.”[18]

 The Mālikis considered it makrooh (disliked) to pray more than 8 rakʿahs if the additional prayers were with the intention of Duha,[19] and they considered 6 rakʿahs to be moderate and preferred.[20]

Second opinion: 12 Rakʿahs

This is the opinion of the Hanafis, Shāfiʿis,[21] and one of the views of the Ḥanbalis,[22] based on the aforementioned narration:

“Whoever prays Duha with twelve rakʿahs, Allah will build for him a palace of gold in Paradise.”

This narration is weak[23] according to most scholars of hadeeth; however, even if it reached a unanimous level of soundness, the narration would not necessarily indicate a maximum restriction on the number of units one can pray.

Third opinion: Unrestricted

This is the opinion held by al-Aswad b. Yazīd (d. 75/694), Ibrahīm an-Nakhaʿī (d. 96/714), at-Tirmidhi (d. 279/892), al-ʿIrāqi (d. 806/1403), as-Suyūti (d. 911/1505), and many of the earlier and later scholars, as well as this author's preferred opinion due to its evidence and reasoning.

Al-ʿIraqi (r) says, in his commentary on Sunan at-Tirmidhi:

“None of the companions or [their] successors are known to have restricted it to twelve rakʿahs.” As-Suyūti raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) agreed with this opinion.

Ibrahīm an-Nakhaʿī raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) reports that al-Aswad b. Yazīd was asked: “How many rakʿahs are to be prayed for Duha?” He answered: “As many as you wish.”

In other words, there is no restriction on how many optional prayers you can pray at the time of Duha, and as the reports indicate, none of the companions or their successors were known to have restricted Duha prayer to twelve rakʿahs. Therefore, any nafl mutlaq (general optional prayer) prayed between sunrise and Dhuhr would fall under the category of Duha prayer, and Allah knows best.

5.3 Preferred number of rakʿahs

Even within each madhhab, the scholars held different opinions about the preferred number of rakʿahs to pray for Duha prayer as a habit.

The Mālikis preferred 6 rakʿahs,[24] the Hanafis preferred 4 or 8 rakʿahs,[25] the Shāfiʿis preferred 8 rakʿahs,[26] and the Ḥanbalis did not specify a preferred number of rakʿahs.

Based on the authentic aforementioned evidences, what seems to be most preferable – and Allah knows best – is to pray at least 4 rakʿahs, as two individual units, based on the following two narrations: 

  1. ʿAishah raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her) said: The Messenger of Allah ﷺ used to observe four rakʿahs in the forenoon prayer and he sometimes observed more as Allah pleased.[27]
  1. The Prophet ﷺ said: “Allah the Exalted says: 'O Son of Adam, do not be heedless of praying 4 rakʿahs for Me in the beginning of your day, and (as a result) I shall be your sufficiency at its end.'”[28]
Questions pertaining to Duha prayer

Q: Can it be prayed while the sun is rising?

No, that time is forbidden for prayer. The sun takes approximately 15-20 minutes to fully rise, so wait from the beginning of the known time of 'sunrise' for at least 15 minutes.

Q: Do I have to stand while praying Duha prayer?  

No. It is permissible to pray a voluntary (sunnah) prayer while sitting, whether at home, at work, in a moving vehicle, or elsewhere, but the reward is decreased significantly if one has the physical ability to stand.[29] Nevertheless, it is lawful to sit, and in the case that one would not pray Duha unless they were able to sit, for whatever circumstances, then it is encouraged to pray it while sitting if that is the only option.

Q: Do I have to recite a specific surah in Duha prayer?

The Shāfiʿi opinion[30] is to recite Sūrat al-Kāfiroon in the first rakʿah and Sūrat al-Ikhlās in the second rakʿah, due to the massive rewards of reciting both suwar.[31] The Hanafi opinion[32] is to recite Sūrat ash-Shams in the first rakʿah and Sūrat ad-Duha in the second rakʿah, based on a narration[33] that is considered by some scholars to be fabricated.[34] What seems to be most correct is that there is nothing clearly authentic narrated about the matter, so you may recite any sūrah you wish after Sūrat al-Fātihah.

Q: For the reward of Hajj and Umrah, can a woman receive this reward if she prays at home?

Yes.

Q: For the reward of Hajj and Umrah, does one need to remain in the same spot they prayed, or can they move about the prayer area?

There is a known difference of opinion about this matter; some scholars were of the view that moving about the mosque is fine because the entire masjid is considered the prayer place, while others emphasized the importance of staying in one's particular prayer place due to several narrations, including the following:

I (Samik) asked Jābir b. Samurah: Did you sit in the company of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ? He replied: Yes, very often. He would not stand from the place he prayed the dawn prayer till the sunrise. When the sun rose, he would stand (to pray Duha).[35]

Ibn Ḥajar (d. 852/1449) stated, “The 'place of prayer' referred to in the hadith is the place in which the prayer took place (i.e., the masjid) … so if the individual moves about to another area within the masjid with the intention of waiting to pray (the Ishraq/Duha prayer), he will have the same (reward).”[36]

Zain ad-Deen al-ʿIrāqi (d. 806/1403) stated, “What is meant by 'prayer place'? Does it refer to the specific place a person prays in, and moving about the masjid would cause him to lose the reward (of Hajj and Umrah)? Or does the prayer place refer to the entire masjid he prayed in? Perhaps it is both of these meanings and most likely the second meaning is more apparent and correct.”[37]

Q: Is it permissible to pray Duha prayer in congregation?

Some voluntary prayers are recommended to always be performed in congregation, such as the prayer for rain, the eclipse prayers, and taraweeh. Other prayers, such as the greeting of the masjid, Duha prayer, and the regular voluntary prayers, are generally to be prayed alone, but it is permissible to infrequently pray the latter in congregation.

Thus, it is permissible to infrequently pray Duha in congregation, but most of the narrations describing the Prophet ﷺ praying Duha were not in congregation, and praying it in congregation should not become a habit as that would contradict the sunnah. As for narrations which indicate that it is permissible, we have the following report:

Abu 'Abdullah said: Abu Hurayrah raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) said, “The Prophet ﷺ advised me to offer two rakʿahs of Duha prayer.” Itbān b. Mālik raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) said, “Allah's Messenger ﷺ and Abu Bakr came to me after sunrise and we aligned behind the Prophet ﷺ and offered two rakʿahs.”[38]

Q: Ishraq (or Shurooq) prayer – what is its relation to Duha prayer? 

Some scholars specified that Ishrāq prayer was the prayer of 2 rakʿahs performed after one has remained in their prayer spot until sunrise – mentioned in virtue #4 above – and has the reward of a complete Hajj and Umrah; therefore, it is the earliest possible Duha prayer. Others, and this can be observed in many classical books of fiqh, stated that there is no difference between the two prayers, since any prayer between sunrise and Dhuhr falls under the category of “Duha”, including these two rakʿahs, and Allah knows best.

Action Items

1. Set your intention now to begin praying Duha prayer habitually in order to obtain its vast rewards, blessings, and virtues, and encourage others to pray it habitually as well.

2. Take action! If necessary, set repeated reminders for yourself to establish this new habit.

3. Try to encourage your loved ones by striving for the reward of Hajj and Umrah together, particularly on days in which it is possible to remain in your prayer place until sunrise.

4. Share this article with others in order to maximize their reward and yours too.


May Allah grant us the vast blessings and virtues of Duha prayer, sound knowledge, and consistent implementation.

 

[1] at-Tirmidhi (597) and Ibn Mājah (1322).

[2] Sahih Muslim (748).

[3] Sahih Muslim (720).

[4] Reported by Ibn Khuzaymah; authentic according to the conditions of Muslim. Sahih at-Targheeb wat-Tarheeb (1/164).

[5] Sahih al-Bukhāri (1981).

[6] al-Qurtubi, Al-Mufhim Lima Ushkila min Talkhīs Kitab Muslim.

[7] at-Tirmidhi (586), al-Mundhiri in at-Targheeb wat-Tarheeb (1/220), and Sahih al-Jāmiʿ (6346).

[8] at-Tirmidhi (476) and Ibn Mājah (1382). This narration is weak according to some scholars, but strengthened by multiple reports according to others.

[9] Abu Dāwūd (1287), Ibn Ḥajar in Takhreej Mishkāt al-Masābeeh (2/74), and al-Mundhiri in at-Targheeb wat-Tarheeb (2/221).

[10] ʿIlliyyūn: The record of the righteous, or a high place for the righteous after death.

[11] Abu Dāwūd (558), Sahih al-Jāmiʿ (6556), al-Mundhiri in at-Targheeb wat-Tarheeb (1/320), al-Khulāsa of an-Nawawi (1/313).

[12] Abu Dāwūd (1289), Musnad Ahmad (22469), al-Haythami (2/239), and Sahih at-Targheeb (672).

[13] at-Tirmidhi (475), Sunan al-Bayhaqi (4786), Sahih Ibn Hibbān (2534), Ibn Ḥajar in Takhreej Mishkāt al-Masābeeh (2/73), and Sahih al-Jāmiʿ (4339).

[14] Classified as hasan by Ibn Ḥajar in Takhreej Mishkāt al-Māsabih (2/74) and Ibn al-Mulqin in Tuḥfatul Muhtāj (1/415). Classified as ghareeb by at-Tirmidhi, and daʿeef by al-Albāni.

[15] Its narrators are trustworthy according to al-Mundhiri in at-Targheeb wat-Tarheeb (1/320) and as-Safāreeni in Sharh Thulāthiyyat al-Musnad (2/306), and weak according to al-Albāni in Da'eef at-Targheeb (405).

[16] Al-Mawsuʿah al-Fiqhiyyah, p. 225.

[17] Sunan Ibn Mājah (1323).

[18] Sahih al-Bukhāri (4292).

[19] The response to this is that any prayer performed at that time is considered Duha regardless, rather than only a nafl mutlaq (general voluntary prayer).

[20] ad-Dusqooi, Hāshiyat ad-Dusooqi, 1/313.

[21] The opinion of the Shāfiʿis, according to an-Nawawi, is 12 rakʿahs. Al-Majmūʾ 4/36.

[22] Al-Mawsuʿah al-Fiqhiyyah, p. 226.

[23] Ibn ʿĀbideen stated: What has been repeated (by many scholars) is that a weak narration may be acted upon for virtuous deeds. Hāshiyat Ibn ʿĀbideen, 1/459.

[24] ad-Dusqooi, Hāshiyat ad-Dusooqi, 1/313.

[25] Al-Haskafi, ad-Durr al-Mukhtār 1/459.

[26] An-Nawawi, Rawdat at-Tālibeen, 1/332.

[27] Sahih Muslim (719).

[28] Abu Dāwūd (1289), Musnad Ahmad (22469), al-Haythami (2/239), and Sahih at-Targheeb (672).

[29] Based on the narration, “Whoever prays while standing, that is better, and whoever prays while sitting will have half the reward of one who prays standing.” Reported in Sahih al-Bukhāri (1116), Ibn Majah, at-Tirmidhi, an-Nasa'i.  This applies to voluntary prayers.

[30] ar-Ramli, Nihāyatul Muhtāj, 2/112.

[31] It was narrated, “Qul Huwallāhu Aḥad is equivalent to one-third of the Qur'an, and Qul Yā Ayyuhal Kāfiroon is equivalent to one-fourth of the Qur'an.” Sahih Muslim (811) and Sahih al-Jāmiʿ (4405).

[32] Ibn ʿĀbideen, Hāshiyat Ibn ʿĀbideen, 1/458.

[33] Ibn Ḥajar, Fatḥ al-Bāri, 3/55.

[34] Classified as mawdooʿ in as-Silsilah ad-Daʿeefah (3774).

[35] Abu Dāwūd (1294).

[36] Ibn Ḥajar, Fatḥ al-Bāri, 2/136.

[37] al-ʿIrāqi, Ṭarḥ at-Tathreeb, 2/367.

[38] Sahih al-Bukhāri (1171).

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