Accessible Conspectus: Fasting Ramadan

This post is part of a series of posts aimed at making The Ultimate Conspectus accessible to readers who have never read fiqh before.


5 Fasting

Fasting is one of the pillars of Islam mentioned in the well-known hadith narrated by ʿUmar bin al-Khaṭṭāb (may Allah be pleased with them): the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “Islam is based on five pillars: testifying that there is no deity except for Allah and that Muḥammad is the Messenger of Allah ﷺ, establishing prayer, offering zakāt, performing Ḥajj, and fasting Ramaḍān.”

The Arabic word for “fasting” is “sawm.” Its basic linguistic meaning is abstention. Its technical meaning in the books of fiqh is to restrain oneself from things that invalidate the fast while having a specific intention for doing so, for the entire duration of the daylight hours of a day that can be fasted, by a Muslim who is of sound mind and free from menstrual and post-natal bleeding. This chapter will go into the details of what was mentioned in this technical definition.

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Concerning “Blurred Lines: Women, ‘Celebrity’ Shaykhs, and Spiritual Abuse

Ustadha Zaynab Ansari has written an article concerning some of the injustices that female scholars and students of Sacred Knowledge experience. It can be difficult to believe some of the things mentioned since they tend to occur in private. While there are good reasons to be suspicious of an individual report, the fact that there are … Read more…

“In sha Allah”-pong

“In sha Allah”-pong (n.)—One of several contemporary conversation closing styles employed by Muslims. It is especially popular on instant messaging platforms. Example:

Aḥmed: In sha Allah.

Bilāl: In sha Allah.

Aḥmed: Are we going to engage in another round of “In sha Allah”-pong. I haven’t since this morning?

Bilāl: In sha Allah.


I doubt I’m the only one who finds themselves in multi-rounds of “In sha Allah”-pong on a daily basis.

The Accessible Conspectus: Congregational Prayer

This post is part of a series of posts aimed at making The Ultimate Conspectus accessible to readers who have never read fiqh before.


2.5 Congregational Prayer

The textual foundation for praying in a congregation comes from the Quran and Sunnah. Allah Most High says, “And when you are among them and lead them in prayer…,” [Q4:102]. The Prophet ﷺ said, “Prayer in congregation is twenty-seven times superior to prayer offered by an individual.” [Bukhari and Muslim]

Congregational prayer of the five obligatory daily prayers is an emphasized sunnah [mu’akkadah]. This is one opinion in the school, and it is the one advocated by Imām al-Rāfiʿī. Imam al-Nawawī says that the stronger opinion is that it is a community obligation. According to this stronger opinion, the obligation is to establish praying the five obligatory prayers in a congregation and doing so in a way that is public. If a group of individuals has done this, the obligation falls from the rest of the community.

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Exhuming & mocking a 14 year old “Masturbate & your hand is pregnant in the Afterlife” fatwa

(nb: See the UPDATE at the bottom.The title of this article is incorrect. I have not changed the title to ensure that visitors land on the right page.) I have written several times here about the fetish for salacious fatwas. The latest one making the rounds reports that a Turkish Muslim televangelist said that people who … Read more…

Can lab-grown meat solve the #fiqh challenges?

There are many reasons to look to in vitro meat as a way to reduce the devasting environmental damage resulting from current infatuation with meat. Significant challenges stand in the way, including its price, scalability, and taste. Price is now becoming less of an issue. From Co.Exist: [I]n 2013, the dream of an artificial burger suddenly got interesting. That’s … Read more…

Guidance in this life is not the same as safe passage through it to the Afterlife

Before phones, cameras, and social media were all connected, there used to be heated discussions over the legal status of taking pictures of animate life. Today any criticism or questioning is almost immediately drowned out or ignored. It’s not that the legal and moral issues were settled. Rather, many people have taken popularity as their … Read more…

Accessible Conspectus: Invalidators of prayer

This post is part of a series of posts aimed at making The Ultimate Conspectus accessible to readers who have never read fiqh before.


2.3.6 Invalidtors

When you pray, you are worshiping Allah Most High in a manner that He has prescribed. A prayer must include certain things for it to be valid. These are its integrals, which were covered in section 2.3.2. A prayer must also be free of certain things for it to be valid. These are its invalidators, and they are the topic of this section.

The following eleven things invalidate prayer and require that the prayer be performed again.

The first invalidator is intentional speech consisting of a single letter that conveys a meaning, or two consecutive letters that do not convey meaning. The prayer is not invalided by the intentional speech that occurs as part of a supplication.

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The Accessible Conspectus: Integrals of Prayer

This is the seventh installment from a series of posts aimed at making The Ultimate Conspectus accessible to readers who have never read fiqh before or are looking for a refresher.


2.3.2 Integrals

There are eighteen integrals [arkān] of prayer. Each of them is required of the imam, his follower, or an individual praying alone. The absence of a single one along with its conditions prevents a prayer from being valid. So if a single one is missing, the prayer must be made up. These eighteen are mentioned in their order of occurrence in the prayer.

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