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mythbusters.JPGWhether you’re a “born Muslim” or convert/revert, one is often taught things or comes across things that are passed off as “Sunnah” or part of Islam. Yet, these beliefs and practices often have no basis within the Qur’an and Sunnah.

At the Madrasah, we compiled a list of misconceptions commonly found amongst Muslims – those things which are based on culture rather than solid Islamic sources.

  • Females must wear hijab while reading Qur’an.
  • Males must cover their heads while reading Qur’an and praying.

These two seem to be very much a part of Desi culture, although I don’t know if it’s something known to other cultures.

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IslamQ&A mentions that there is no evidence requiring women to cover their heads to read or recite Qur’an; and also explains that though it is considered preferable for men to cover their heads in salaah (due to a saying of Ibn ‘Umar, radhiAllahu anhu wa ardhaa), it is not obligatory. Also mentioned in the fatwah is that it’s okay for men to pray with bare arms (i.e. short sleeves).

  • Jinn will possess you if you walk under trees.

Just another one of those things that people say due to (excessive?) fear of the Jinn. Relax, people: Remember to recite Aayat al-Kursi and the Mu’aawadhatain, as well as the many other adhkaar and ad’iyah that can be found in books like Hisnul-Muslim, and you will insha’Allah be protected from whatever it is that wishes to harm you.

  • ‘Eid al-Fitr is a three day celebration.

I think that this is something which most Muslims – including myself – has believed to be true. However, it is ‘Eid al-Adha which is followed by the three days of Tashreeq; and ‘Eid al-Fitr is only one day. There is nothing in the Sunnah which indicates ‘Eid al-Fitr to be three days long. One evidence for this is that while it’s forbidden to fast the days of Tashreeq, it is not forbidden to fast the second or third days of Shawwal (which are the two days after ‘Eid al-Fitr).

  • Hanging up Aayat al-Kursi in your house/ wearing it around your neck will protect you from the Evil Eye.

This is a grave error that many Muslims subscribe to out of ignorance. While it is true that Aayat al-Kursi is one of the greatest things we can recite for our protection, the key word is that we’re supposed to recite it. Hanging it up, or wearing it as an amulet, does absolutely no good – indeed, it does a great deal of harm, because it goes against the Sunnah of the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam), who strongly warned against the use of charms and amulets.

The misconception here is that rather than reciting the Words of Allah and trusting in Him to protect us, we are instead depending upon the written word and ascribing powers of protection to it. The whole point of using the Qur’an as protection is to remember Allah and place full trust and faith in HIM to shield us from whatever evils we fear… not to depend upon the words as something which holds power separate from Allah. In fact, such a belief can be considered to constitute shirk.

  1. What is the ruling on hanging up aayaat for protection?
  2. Writing aayaat and tying them to one’s body.
  3. Ruling on amulets.
  • Bleeding nullifies the fast.
  • Accidentally eating nullifies the fast.
  • Vomiting nullifies the fast.
  • Swearing nullifies the fast.

These four came up in conversation during Ramadhaan, and it’s surprising how many people think that these are considered to break the fast.

  1. On blood that breaks the fast (other than menstrual blood).
  2. As most of us know, accidentally eating doesn’t break your fast – as long as you stop eating as soon as you remember that you’re fasting.
  3. Vomiting intentionally breaks the fast. Vomiting involuntarily – because of the flu, or getting punched in the gut, or whatever – does not. Explanation here.
  4. Although swearing at any time is extremely disliked and not befitting of a Muslim anyway, it doesn’t break the fast. It does, however, take away from the reward of fasting.
  • One should make du’a immediately after the fardh salaah.

Another (mostly?) Desi practice – as soon as they make the tasleem, they often put their hands together to make du’a. This is actually not the Sunnah. Instead, the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) used to first recite adhkaar and tasbeeh: for example, “Allahumma antas-Salaam…,”Allahumma laa maani’a li_maa a’tayt…,” and reciting Aayat al-Kursi and the Mu’awadhatain. To make du’a afterwards is fine, but the greatest amount of ajr is in following the Sunnah of the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam).

  • Wiping behind the neck in wudhu.

Wiping the neck is not a part of the wudhu, at least not how the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) used to do it. Detailed explanation here.

  • Girls must wear hijaab while eating.

This one came from my grandma. Apparently the belief is that Shaytaan sits on your head and eats with you if you don’t wear hijaab while eating. Suffice to say, nowhere is this to be found in the Qur’an and Sunnah.

  • Women should grow their hair long so that their ‘awrah will be covered when they’re buried/ on the Day of Judgement.

Aside from the fact that it’s Sunnah to braid women’s hair when they’re dead, and their bodies are wrapped in a shroud anyway (so their ‘awrah is covered already), there is no evidence for saying that long hair will be a woman’s covering on the Day of Judgement.

Having dealt with all these, what misconceptions have you come across?

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Zainab bint Younus (AnonyMouse) is a Canadian Muslim woman who writes on Muslim women's issues, gender related injustice in the Muslim community, and Muslim women in Islamic history. She holds a diploma in Islamic Studies from Arees University, a diploma in History of Female Scholarship from Cambridge Islamic College, and has spent the last fifteen years involved in grassroots da'wah. She was also an original founder of



  1. forzikr

    November 28, 2007 at 7:26 PM

    We have to be careful because not every valid source (like IslamQA) is complete enough to determine what is Islamic and what isn’t. I mean, are you sure these customs are based only on desi culture… or are they part of hanafism, which is what most desis just happen to follow?
    IslamQA wouldnt be sufficient to determine that I think?

    I know the last ruling about growing hair differs among the scholars. For sure, it is a part of hanafi ruling since i’ve personally checked this with a hanafi scholar.

  2. AnonyMouse

    November 28, 2007 at 7:32 PM

    I’ve double-checked all these things with Abu AnonyMouse (he’s the teacher at the Madrasah, so it was all compiled under him), so insha’Allah what I’ve written is correct.

    However, if you do have an accurate source that proves any of the above wrong (especially the hair thing), please do post it and I’ll retract it.

  3. AnonyMouse

    November 28, 2007 at 7:44 PM

    I came across someone specifically asking about the hair issue to the team, and here’s the answer (can’t find the link for it anymore, though):

    “Fatwa Number: 38749
    Question: Asalaamu Alaikum Sheikh: A sister from our forums had the following question. InshaAllah you will be able to answer it: ” i have heard this many a time tht a woman grows her hair long as in the day of qiyaamah on rising we will be raised nude….apart from those Allah wishe to adorn in robes ….and hence the growing the hair long is because it covers ur nudity on the day of qiyaamah does this statement have any truth to it..i have heard this many a time and believed it true so please dirct me…” IslamWay Sisters Team


    Answer: Dear questioner:

    Al-Salām `Alaykum wa Rahmah Allah wa Barakātuh.

    This is not a valid argument. We are also told in the same hadīth that nobody will be looking at anybody else on account of the horrors of that Day.

    Moreover, the logic of that argument would apply to men as well as women. The private parts of men must be covered just as much as the private parts of women.

    And Allah knows best.

    Fatwā Department Research Committee of IslamToday chaired by Sheikh `Abd al-Wahhāb al-Turayrī”

  4. zuneera

    November 28, 2007 at 8:09 PM

    The talisman and amulet problem is pretty big, and then the whole celebrating the Prophet (salalahualayhiwassalam)’s birthday a.k.a Milad’s. I believe this custom is very common in the desi culture as well.

    A few others i have encountered and that i just very recently discovered to be false was that its unlawful to urinate next to a tree or bush and that its unlawful to read in the bathroom for it ruins the concentration. Pretty wild, huh?! yeah, i believed these until i was corrected a few weeks ago! Alhumdulilah!

  5. iMuslim

    November 28, 2007 at 9:22 PM

    Females must wear hijab while reading Qur’an.

    Wow, i totally thought this up until now…

  6. Amad

    November 28, 2007 at 9:37 PM

    Or females must cover their heads during adhan… even if they don’t do hijab! Why the hijab from adhan?? :)

  7. coolguymuslim

    November 28, 2007 at 9:54 PM

    I was trying to put in a longer comment, but it wasn’t working, maybe i’ll try again in a bit

  8. coolguymuslim

    November 28, 2007 at 10:01 PM

    Looks like maybe it’s too long so I can try to do it broken up into stages. Anyways…

    From Shaykh Mashhur Hasan Al Salman, a student of Shaykh Al-Albaani

    Doing Salāt while one’s head is uncovered:

    A man may do his Salāt with his head is uncovered unlike women; their heads are part of their private parts that should be totally covered.

    However, a male muslim should preferably be in his most beautiful and neatest shape when he does his Salāt, so he should preferably wear a turban or any kind of head cover.

    Uncovering the head in Salāt for no legal reason is one of the detested act especially in obligatory and congregational Salāt.(1)

    Al-Albānī said: ‘I think, doing Salāt while the head is uncovered is a detested act for a muslim should be in his most beautiful Islamic appearance when doing Salāt. The prophet () said: ‘Allāh () is more worthy that one beautifies oneself for’

  9. coolguymuslim

    November 28, 2007 at 10:02 PM

    As-Salaf used to consider it a detested act to uncover one’s head, walk in the street and get into the mosque in such a state. This bad habit has actually got into our Islamic countries through colonization and muslims regretfully adopted it blindly and hence loosing most of their Islamic characteristics. This [hadīth](2) should not be taken as a pretext to abandon this Islamic tradition especially when doing Salāt.

    As for some Egyptian muslim brethren who claim that one is permitted to uncover his head [in Salāt] like he does in Hajj, this is indeed a false analogy. Uncovering the head in Hajj is one of its rites that no other act of worship shares. Had this kind of analogy been correct, then uncovering one’s head in Salāt would have been obligatory since it is so in Hajj. Those who claim the first part of this conditional clause should stick to its second part otherwise it should be totally abandoned and they had better do so’.(3)

    It was not proved that he () did his Salāt while uncovering his head. If he () had done so, it would have been related by the Sahāba. Whoever claims that the prophet () did so must present the proof, for truth must always be followed.(4)

    It is worth saying here that the one who does his Salāt while uncovering his head, his Salāt is correct although he has done a detested act as Al-Baghawī and many other ‘Ulamah stated.(5)

    Consequently, those who refrain from doing Salāt behind anImām who uncovers his head, their act is improper although the Imām should be in his most beautiful shape in his Salāt, fullfilling what he could of the prophet’s () Sunnah. May Allāh () guide us to the Right Path.

  10. coolguymuslim

    November 28, 2007 at 10:02 PM

    (1) Muhammad’s Rashid Rida Fatāwā (vol. 5 / p. 1849) and “As-Sunan wal Mubtada ‘āt” (p. 69). * The first part of the hadīth is “When one of you intends to do his Salāt, he should wear his best clothes, for Allāh () …”. This hadīth is narrated by At-Tahāwī in ‘Sharh Ma‘ānī Al-’Athār “(vol. 1 / p.221), At-Tabarānī and Al-Baihaqī in “As-Sunan Al-Kubrā “(vol. 2 / p. 236). Its chain of narrators is sound as is mentioned in“Majma’Az-Zawā’id “(vol. 2 / p.51). “As-Silsilah As-Sahihah “(no. 1369).

    (2) The hadīth states Sometimes, the prophet () used to take off his turban and place it in front of him in Salāt as a Sutra”. This is a weak Hadīth. Al-Albānī said: ‘Ibn ‘Asākir was the only one to narrate it. I clarified its points of weakness inthe “Silsilah Ad-Da‘īfah” (no. 2538)… Had this hadīth been authentic, it does notmean by any means to uncover one’s head all the time, it only indicates that he () used to do so if he had no Sutra, for taking Sutra is much more important than covering the head.

    (3) Tamām Al-Minnah Fī At-Ta‘līq Alā Fiqh As-Sunnah” (pp. 164-5). (

    (4) Ad-Din Al-Khālis (vol. 3 / p. 214) and “Al-Ajwibah An-Nāfi‘ah ‘An Al-Masā’il Al-Wāqi‘ah” (p. 110).

    (5) Al-Majmū’(vol. 2 / p. 51).

  11. UmmHamzah

    November 28, 2007 at 10:33 PM

    we have the females must cover their heads while reciting/reading quran too in the Malay culture. (we’re very closely tied to the Desi culture anyway, so it’s no surprise).

  12. Abu Bakr

    November 28, 2007 at 11:16 PM

    It is my understanding that the Hanafi madhhab reccomends making du’a after the prayer. An evidence for this can be found in a hadith reported by al-Tirmidhi – and judged to be authentic by Sh. al-Albani – that encourages making du’a at “adbar al-salawat,” or the ends of the prayers. These could be interpreted to refer to the final tashahhud before the taslim or after the taslim. I personally understand it to be referring to the period before the taslim due to the other statements of the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam encouraging du’a at that period of time. However, on the basis of this hadith, it would be not be unreasonable for someone to conclude that it is preferable to make du’a following the prayer as well. One might even argue that the istighfar of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم immediately following the salah was an implementation of that.

    However, I have no doubt that the fatwa I have seen from certain Brelwi sources – that one’s prayer is batil if he neglects to make du’a after the prayer – is itself batil!

  13. coolguymuslim

    November 28, 2007 at 11:54 PM

    I think most people agree on making dua after Salah and most people agree on raising one’s hands while making dua. However comes the question, do we raise hands when making dua AFTER salah? I think this is where many scholars may differ…

    Also, in terms of women not wearing hijab when reading the Quran. Even though it’s not required, it probably is still praiseworthy to cover oneself and have humility when reciting the Holy Quran out of respect. No doubt we shouldn’t consider it mandatory but at the same time we should do it out of respect.

    Consider whenever someone would come to see Imam Malik, he would ask if they came to ask about fiqh or hadith. If it was fiqh, he would answer, but if it was hadith, Imam Malik would bathe and adorn himself before talking about the words of Rasoolullah (SAW) out of respect. Shouldn’t we have more respect than this when it comes to Quran then?

  14. Alex

    November 29, 2007 at 12:39 AM

    “Accidentally eating nullifies the fast.”

    The famous position in the Maliki school is that breaking the fast out of forgetfulness does indeed invalidate that day’s fast and requires that one make up the day, though no expiation is due.

    Maybe that is where the people you refer to derive their understanding.

    • Mariam

      April 26, 2016 at 9:49 PM

      That’s odd because hadith says, “the Prophet SAW said, ‘if a person eats forgetfully, it is only provision that Allah put forth for him and there is no makeup upon him.'” (Bukhari)

      Why would they rule against an authentic hadith?

  15. AnonyMouse

    November 29, 2007 at 12:50 AM

    Re: men covering their head. The position seems to be taken due to the Hadith telling us to adorn ourselves for the salaah; yet what of those cultures wherein covering the head isn’t common/ not considered as part of “adorning” oneself?

    Also, for women wearing hijaab, sure it may be a sign of respect, but it’s taken too far when people will absolutely forbid a woman from reading or reciting it if their heads aren’t covered.

    The point(s) I’m trying to make is that while yes, these may be reccommended acts, or done out of respect, the misconception is that one MUST do these things (i.e. that it’s haraam/ sinful to not do them).

    • Zaman

      July 4, 2016 at 8:53 AM

      I was once visiting Tower of London with my wife and daughter who wearing Hijab. We saw a queue for entering the Chapel Royal and joined them. A Yeoman Guard came to us and told that if we wish to enter the chapel, the ladies should uncover their heads. My ladies to their credit pulled out immediately and went elsewhere. It was a disrespect to wear Hijab for the Tower staff!!

  16. Ibrahim

    November 29, 2007 at 3:04 AM

    AnonyMouse, what part of Indo-Pak does your family originate from?…because some of the things you’ve mentioned I’ve never heard and I’ve lived most of my life in Karachi… like men covering their heads while reading Quran, women covering heads while eating, growing hair, etc. Could it be that some things you mention are not due to Desi culture but rather Bralwi stupidity, and would mostly be found in places/houses where they take clue from the Bralwis?

  17. Islam Blog

    November 29, 2007 at 4:48 AM

    Jazakallah for sharing this. It’s great to read something beneficial after such a long time.

  18. tayyibah

    November 29, 2007 at 10:25 AM

    salamalaykum warahmatullahi wabarakaatuh,

    i live in pakistan, karachi .. and i’ve heard of these ideas .. that men should cover thier head when reciting the Quran and so should women … i’ve been told to grow my hair but not for the reason mentioned here … they just consider it really bad for girls to cut their hair for no reason.

    something i’ve heard and seen in my society is that when the adhaan is bieng done, especially the maghrib adhaan, one should sit up if they’re lying down. don’t know if there’s a basis to this.

  19. Amad

    November 29, 2007 at 10:42 AM

    The best one by far is to make sure you fold the janamaz (the prayer rug) and don’t leave it open… otherwise the Shaytan may use it to pray!!

    Thinking about it now… hey let the Shaytan pray, can’t hurt… maybe he’ll become a Muslim!!

  20. iMuslim

    November 29, 2007 at 11:54 AM

    Of course Amad… how could we forget that classic Muslim myth?!! Would really love to know the root of that one…

  21. Alex

    November 29, 2007 at 1:12 PM

    “The point(s) I’m trying to make is that while yes, these may be recommended acts, or done out of respect, the misconception is that one MUST do these things (i.e. that it’s haraam/ sinful to not do them).”

    Unless they’re Sunnahs, in which case living them without a reason may indeed be sinful.

    Sometimes these “Desi cultural” practices have firm roots in our deen and have only been slightly, if at all, reworked within the cultural milieu.

    For instance:
    A woman not cutting her hair is real fatwa in the Hanafi school, though not for the reasons stated above.
    And covering the head for men, both in and out of salah are from the transmitted sunan of the Messenger of Allah, salAllahu alaihi wasallam. It may not be the local custom, but it was the custom of the best of creation. So let’s not mock it.

  22. AnonyMouse

    November 29, 2007 at 1:13 PM

    Ibrahim: My family’s originally Gujarati, but the last few generations have been in South Africa.

  23. Alex

    November 29, 2007 at 1:14 PM

    the above should say “leaving them” not living them. Sorry

  24. Abu Maryam

    November 29, 2007 at 1:19 PM


    What about the one about you should always turn a shoe up the right way round if you see it lying upside down (common in Pakistani families)?

    Or not having your back to the Quran?

    Or sitting with your legs out with your feet pointing to the Qiblah?

  25. AnonyMouse

    November 29, 2007 at 1:19 PM

    “in which case living them without a reason may indeed be sinful.”

    Ummm, I thought that if something is Sunnah or Mustahhab, it’s not sinful to leave it (even though it would be heavily disliked to do so)? After all, doesn’t “sinful” imply that it’s haraam, that one will be punished for doing/not doing a certain action?

    For the hair cutting thing, I wrote that the belief that one must keep it long for the reason that I listed is a misconception; if a madhhab says that a woman can’t cut her hair for another reason, then I don’t have the knowledge to decide whether that’s right or wrong… and in any case, I’m not talking about it for the other reason, I’m talking about doing it in the belief that it’s required of you because of the ‘awrah thing.

    “So let’s not mock it.”

    Allah knows that I’m not trying to mock anything or anyone; my intention is to clear up misconceptions.

  26. Faraz

    November 29, 2007 at 3:04 PM

    Ummm, I thought that if something is Sunnah or Mustahhab, it’s not sinful to leave it (even though it would be heavily disliked to do so)? After all, doesn’t “sinful” imply that it’s haraam, that one will be punished for doing/not doing a certain action?

    There is a concept of “Sunnah Mu’akkadah”, more prevalent among Hanafis, that implies that it is blameworthy to leave such a sunnah. Sunnah and mustahab are separate classifications.

    Sunnah also doesn’t mean optional. While it may not be sinful to leave certain sunnahs, I don’t think it’s a good idea to consider them unnecessary, or to say that it’s something we can leave if we want. It should be within the spirit of a Muslim that we try to implement the sunnah as much as we can, as a true declaration of our love of the Prophet, peace be upon him.

  27. Asim

    November 29, 2007 at 3:15 PM

    Bismillah ArRahman ArRaheem

    Assalamu alaikum,

    The following fatwa from a Hanafi scholar states that the various weak ahadith for wiping the neck taken together reinforce each other to become ‘hasan li ghayrihi’ (a term used for a hadith that has been raised to the level of hasan despite being weak in an of itself due to other corroborating weak chains):

  28. Amad

    November 29, 2007 at 3:29 PM

    I remember from Shaykh Jamal Zarabozo, a long long time ago, that if someone constantly and consistently leaves the sunnah muakadah or the stressed sunnah, it may become an act of sin. Like for instance the witr, though I know that it is of the wajib category among the ahnaaf. Perhaps the 2 rakah sunnah before Fajr is a better example of such a stressed sunnah.

    I do think that this is an excellent post to allow us the opportunity to discriminate between the myths and the non-myths (which may have some backing in any madhab). This is healthy and I for one appreciate the information being provided from different angles of madahibs, which may make us much more conscious of what is behind what seems peculiar to us.

    So, no one has argued that you don’t need to worry about leaving the prayer mat for the shaytan yet?? Or covering your head (for women) for Quran or adhan or other “special circumstances” except doing it for hijab (amazing that its done for all the wrong reasons, yet ignored when it is really fardh!)

  29. talib

    November 29, 2007 at 3:30 PM

    salamu aleykum

    i just like to add to this interesting post and at the same time get some understanding to peoples act. So i attend regularly a masjid which you would consider a hanafi masjid, and i tend to see some strange acts done by seniors mostly.

    1. kissing the thumbs when the prophets name is mentioned
    2. yell out allahu akbar right after the fard salat, then astagfru allah.
    3. say the sallams upon the prophet during the iqama.
    4. i saw a few actually read the quran during the jumaa khutbah.

    maybe someone has explanations to these acts, and im not calling them innovators or anything but rather misinformed and i still love all of them for the sake of allah.

    • Zaman

      July 4, 2016 at 9:02 AM

      assalamo alaikum

      I request members to look at the posts under Itekaaf series on my blog where I narrated some serious Bidaat observed during my Itekaaf last Ramadan. I am yet to get serious comments / views on the incidents and I wish to amend myself if there is an error on my part. I referred to some Maulanas and they are yet to respond.

  30. Faraz

    November 29, 2007 at 3:44 PM

    The “kissing the thumbs” thing is a largely Barelwi practice. I was once thrown out of a Barelwi masjid in England for not doing this.

    The salams during iqamah is something I’ve also seen primarily in Barelwi communities, though I can see this one having some basis. I wouldn’t call it a general “Hanafi” practice, though.

  31. AnonyMouse

    November 29, 2007 at 3:45 PM

    JazakAllahu khair for the reminders about the importance of sticking to the Sunnah… also, excellent point by Amad about being “more conscious of what is behind what seems peculiar to us.”

    On the subject of hijaab, I wonder if other sisters have seen what I have – going to a wedding where it’s either mixed/ very flashy and there are lots non-hijaabis (y’know what I’m talking about, right?), and as soon as the Imam starts speaking women start pulling on their scarves or whipping out napkins to cover their heads!

  32. Hood

    November 29, 2007 at 4:15 PM

    2. yell out allahu akbar right after the fard salat, then astagfru allah.

    #2. is based on the hadith of Ibn Abbas in the Sahih, that they would know the end of the Salat by the “takbir”.
    The Majority of Scholars considered this to be an allusion to the general adhkar after prayer like saying “SubhanAllah, alhamdulillah, allahu akbar”.
    A minority held the hadith to be taken at face value (‘ala Zahirihi) and would say “Allahu akbar” immediately after the taslim. This latter opinion was held by al-Bukhari and other scholars of hadith in the lands beyond the river (maa wara al-nahar), i.e. central asia.

    3. say the sallams upon the prophet during the iqama.
    If I recall this is mentioned in Ibn al-Qayyim’s Jala’ al-Afham, I’ll have to look it up though.

    A point of benefit
    I heard Sh. Ibn Uthaymin say in class: When we are presented with two opinions, each can be derived from a text and are of equal ijtihad then it is impermissible to chastise others for acting according to one opinion if you happen to follow the other. The most that one can do is advise the person if there is supporting evidence for your claims, however if the situation arises in which neither of the two derivations is predominant, it is impermissible to chastise that person and both actions remain equally valid.
    He then gave examples of them the “takbir issue above and the differences in saying Allahu akbar when calling the adhan. The people of Morrocco and Najd say each takbir singularly, while the rest of the Muslim world says “Allahu akbar Allahu akbar” together. Both are understood from the text and there is nothing to say one is better than the other.

  33. Amad

    November 29, 2007 at 4:53 PM

    The “kissing the thumbs” thing is a largely Barelwi practice

    Since my paternal uncles are all brelwis (well I have an interesting lineage with my grandfather being a Shia, may Allah have mercy on him and forgive him), I can tell you that it is exactly as Faraz has said.

    And the story behind it (as far as I know this narration has no backing and this is an approximation from what I remember my dad telling me in childhood days) that Prophet Adam asked Allah to show him who His most beloved was… and Allah told Adam to look at his nails. And the visage of the Prophet (S) appeared on them, which Adam (AS) kissed.

    Beautiful story but don’t think it has any solid backing. wallahualam

  34. Alex

    November 29, 2007 at 5:43 PM

    On the origins and legal stauts of Kissing the Thumbs and Wiping One’s Eyes During the Adhan

    Note the last paragraphs

    In short, it is neither something that is a strongly recommended action according to the Shariah nor a baseless innovation. The scholars mention that any time an issue is differed upon among the scholars of the four schools of Sunni Islam, one cannot condemn someone who does something one differs with.

    Also, we should not forget that scholarly disagreements are limited to the sphere of scholars, and should not spill over to non-scholars. An example is two pharmacists who spend hours vigorously arguing (and questioning the soundness of each other’s judgment) about which of two medications is the one two use, each of them advocating one of them. They get very harsh with each other… but back in the pharmacy, when someone comes with the medicine they were advocating against, or when someone asks, they don’t make much of the issue…

  35. Abdullah

    November 29, 2007 at 5:53 PM

    Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem
    Asalamu alaykum,

    Jazak’Allah khayr, I read all the comments.

    While we go through these things, we must also recognize prioritizing dawah, and not to present these issues to someone who is missing salaah, or zakah, or so on, because those are much bigger to leave off.

    Also, this is a good reminder. I knew a brother from another country, and in his country they would tell him that if he does not pray the 12 rakat sunnah prayers, his prayers are not accepted, ie, he HAS to do them.

    He left the WHOLE PRAYER, 5 daily salaahs, because it was too hard on him, so he left it all entirely.

    So you can place a burden on someone when they are not ready, and they could harm themselves further.

    We told him that is not true, and he should start doing the 5 daily salaah. He started with us, and insha’Allah he is still doing them, this was in another country. Insha’Allah I may check on him soon.

    May Allah SWT help us see the truth as it is and give us the ability to follow it, and falsehood as falsehood and the ability to reject it, and give us hikma, ameen.
    Wallah Allam.

    Asalamu alaykum

  36. talib

    November 29, 2007 at 7:23 PM

    brother alex..

    the site u qouted dont have any hadeeths from the prophet or the sahabah. so how could somebody say an action is mustahab. subhan allah

    this is the fatwa from the lajna

    do we kiss our thumbs when the prophet Mohammed’s (pbuh)name is said?

    Praise be to Allaah.

    As far as we know, there is no saheeh report from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) that when the muezzin says “Ashhadu anna Muhammadan Rasool-Allaah” we should kiss our thumbs, so doing so is a bid’ah (innovation). But it was proven that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, “Whoever innovates something in this matter of ours that is not part of it will have it rejected.” And Allaah is the Source of strength. May Allaah bless our Prophet Muhammad.

    See Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah, vol. 6, p. 96.

  37. Amad

    November 29, 2007 at 8:31 PM

    ASA, akhi Alex, hope you are well. I would like to add to Talib’s comments that Masud is a well-known Braelwi sympathizer. In fact some argue that you can learn about brelvism from his site.

    In any case, it’s one thing to have differences of opinion among the madahib and not letting those differences become an issue of scorning or dislike (which the comments are exploring), but quite another to allow innovations with no backing, except the faintest of proofs, to flourish. Isn’t the following interesting and something to ponder over: have we completed all the authentic, uncontroversial sunnahs before stretching out for the controversial, weak or even fabricated ones?

  38. niamah

    November 29, 2007 at 9:06 PM

    SALAAAAAAAAAAAAAM i come from Barelwi family =( and subhanAllah all these myths ive heard of them…kissing the thumb nails, folding the rug after salah etc….the list is just endless ( I used to do them too until i started learnning aqeedah from Sheikh Yasir Qadhi and another sheikh from medinah univ who is doing an amazing job locally in NY) =)

  39. Amad

    November 29, 2007 at 9:40 PM

    Is that “amazing” Shaikh… Shakiel Humayun?

    If that’s him, I have heard about him, never heard him…hopefully one day inshallah.

    Though I should add that even though you probably didn’t mean that, these “myths” aren’t an aqeedah issue for the most part.

  40. Yursil

    November 30, 2007 at 12:26 AM

    Umm, unity pledge?

    Urge Muslims in the West, especially our youth, to leave off unproductive and divisive discussions of involved theological issues that are the proper domain of trained specialists, and we especially discourage participation in those internet chat rooms, campus discussion groups, and other forums that only serve to create ill-will among many Muslims, while fostering a divisive, sectarian spirit;

    -Urge all teachers to instruct their students, especially those attending intensive programs, to respect the diverse nature of our communities and to refrain from aggressive challenges to local scholars, especially those known for their learning and piety

  41. Didi

    November 30, 2007 at 12:32 AM

    “IslamQ&A mentions that there is no evidence requiring women to cover their heads to read or recite Qur’an…”

    *chuckles silently, and goes back to programming*

  42. Alex

    November 30, 2007 at 12:41 AM

    Salaam ‘alaikum,

    I’m neither arguing for kissing one’s thumbs nor personally making any claim about it’s validity.

    The short piece on Sidi Masud’s site was written by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani and quotes Imam ibn Abdin.

    Shaykh Faraz also points out clearly that “none of the hadiths that mention this from the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) are authentic.”

    So- It’s not my fatwa, I simply linked to it so that other could see that it is more than some “barelwi” innovation.
    (And could those who used that term please explain what is a barelwi is and why it’s used as a term of derision, even agianst some of your own family members?”

  43. Aisha

    November 30, 2007 at 2:53 AM

    Salaam, I was recently told that “quran-khanni’s” were bidah because the MINIMUM time for reading and comprehending the holy Quran must be at least three days. Although in desi culture these quran khanni’s are very popular, especially after a death. What is the accurate take on this issue?

  44. inexplicabletimelessness

    November 30, 2007 at 3:41 AM

    There seems to be a fine line between myth and bid’ah because if a myth influences religious behavior in the life of a Muslim and it has no basis in the Qur’an or sunnah, it is considered bid’ah.

    But anyway, when many (at least people I know) Muslims ask for a “surah to recite many times” or “du’a to repeat 1000 times” in order to solve their problems, this is a myth to me, because many times the Prophet (s) never said this.

  45. Kashif

    November 30, 2007 at 5:12 AM

    How about “don’t leave the Qur’an left open when you’re not reading it because then the Shaitaan will read it?”

    Last time my mum said that to me i replied “let him read it! he needs some good points!” :)

  46. Aboo Uthmaan

    November 30, 2007 at 6:58 AM

    That “amazing” Shaykh has a website and has set up a foundation for knowledge:

  47. Amad

    November 30, 2007 at 10:25 AM

    Yursil, there was no braelwi scholar in the pledge, and for good reason. Furthermore, this post is in fact positive and help many of us understand some of the practices that do indeed have foundations in the madahibs/sunnah so that we are careful in our future perceptions about them. The pledge doesn’t mean that anyone can say anything and it should be glazed over. Neither is this a “deep” theological discussion that is the realm of scholars. And most of the myths are indeed myths from all perspectives, and that is good information for people to have. wallahualam.

  48. Umm Reem

    November 30, 2007 at 11:00 AM

    Good post mouse!
    Eid al-Fitr is a three day celebration.

    hmm…i thought my kids were the only one who do that…since they have no ‘NOs’ on eid, they like to extend eid al-fitr to three days insisting that eid is for 3 days!!!

    Jinn will possess you if you walk under trees.

    tell me about it…trees still remind me of jinns!

    Girls must wear hijaab while eating.

    once i was breaking my fast and someone elder in the family told me to cover my head cuz girls must cover when they break their fast! :)

    Women should grow their hair long so that their ‘awrah will be covered when they’re buried/ on the Day of Judgement.

    hmm…i thought it was more because of the belief that metal cannot touch a woman’s body.
    I was told in the masjid once that it was ‘haram’ for women to get a haircut cuz they can’t use metal, i think they got it from a book ‘Bahishti zaiwer’ (a very famous book in Pakistan).

  49. Danya

    November 30, 2007 at 12:15 PM

    I’m really saddened to see this has turned into a bashing-of-certain groups post, though I realize this was not the author’s nor the commentator’s intention.

    I really don’t think it’s fair to make the claim “well, I’ve seen this amongst x group so their practices are deviant.”

    My family is Syrian and I’ve seen Arabs do very, very strange things. I remember my mom used to tell me if I left the Qur’an open the shaytan would read it. As I got older, I realized it was just a way for my mom to get me to clean up after myself. I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a similar reasoning behind the folding your prayer rug trick. But I’m not going to label all Hanafis (as my mom is Hanafi) deviants. That’s just a very superficial outlook on it.

    I’ve seen Arabs, who probably associate themselves with madhhabs, tie ribbons on graves and throw money in the tomb. But ask any scholar of those very same madhhabs that those lay people associate themselves with and they will tell you they are not sound practices.

    The FACT is that some of these “myths” may have a sound basis (though may not in and of itself be sound). Others are just misconstrued fiqh rulings (like the vomiting one, perhaps someone just forgot to differentiate between vomiting voluntarily and involuntarily). Others, such as covering one’s head when hearing the Qur’an, could simply have been a point of adab (etiquette).

    Others, like making dua and kissing the eyes, could just have been a point of cultural norm/practice and from my understanding, this is permissible so as long as as 1. it is not labeled a sunnah, and 2. it is not haram.

    Others like the whole tree-jinn thing, well, that’s just interesting :)

    So what’s the lesson here: Everyone should just learn one’s fiqh from a scholar. :)

  50. Abu Hudayr

    November 30, 2007 at 12:51 PM

    It is sad that in our pursuit of adhering to the “sunnah” we have actually forgotten attain in ourselves adab (good moral character which is goal of prophetic mission). Most of these scenarios could be dispelled if we look to them thru the lens of adab — for example — women wearing hijab to read quran or breaking the fast etc. – Yes it is true, legally speaking, there is no mandate for it; however, to inculcate in us the sense of humility and shame before Allah these sort of practices are usually encouraged. How do I present myself to recite the greatest of all books, do a beautiful act of breaking the fast, etc

    We have in our masjids brothers extending their feet towards the qibla (a big no no in the desi culture!) and when asked not to do so the response usually is “Brother, show me in the Quran and the Sunnah that it is haraam!” The adabsense is greatly missing and therefore for someone who has a lot of hayaa from Allah cannot take this sort of “insolence”…


  51. ruth nasrullah

    November 30, 2007 at 1:18 PM

    Asalaamu alaikum. What is a “brelwi”?

    AnonyMouse, I’ve seen exactly what you’re talking about – uncovered women at weddings and other parties who rush to put their dupatta over their head when the Qur’an is recited.

  52. AnonyMouse

    November 30, 2007 at 2:31 PM

    Hmmmmmmm… for the whole adab/ hayaa thing… I dunno.

    I’m just not really convinced that wearing hijaab while eating/ reading Qur’an/ listening to the adhaan is a sign of “good manners” – because in a way, can’t that be extended and twisted to make women wear hijaab ALL the time? I’ve even heard of some people unwilling to take off their hijaab in their own home because “What if the angels see me?” Which leads me to wonder if they ever undress to take showers, etc.
    (Please note that I’m not mocking anyone or belittling them, I’m just trying to figure out how it makes sense.)

    I do think that good manners and modesty are important to us (obviously), but I sometimes think that we’re taking it a bit far when we try to make it a MUST for us to do certain things, in the name of good manners and modesty… especially when it’s not a Sunnah at all, or something that wasn’t common amongst the first generations of Muslims (hijaab while eating).

  53. Umm Reem

    November 30, 2007 at 3:45 PM

    I’ve even heard of some people unwilling to take off their hijaab in their own home because “What if the angels see me?” Which leads me to wonder if they ever undress to take showers, etc.
    (Please note that I’m not mocking anyone or belittling them, I’m just trying to figure out how it makes sense.)

    yup…i know of some…and oh by the way there are people/group who do believe that it is not correct to completely undress to take a shower. I wont mention any names…

  54. Amad

    November 30, 2007 at 4:01 PM

    Its important to separate Sunnah from culture/good-manners. NO ONE here is suggesting that one shouldn’t do this or that for some ulterior reason. But DONT make it part of the religion or say Islam says this or this is the Islamic thing to do, etc.

    By opening it up to everyone, we have already seen how what some of us thought were myths actually aren’t, and I at least am thankful for that edification. On the other hand, the ones that are obviously not Islamic are relatively uncontroversially not Islamic, which helps people discriminate between fact and fiction.

    The only one that seems to have been really controversial is the one about kissing thumbs and you can see both sides of the coin on this thread and can decide for yourself.

    This has not become bashing of any group. The only group that has come up in a couple of comments out of almost 50 comments are the braelwi. Here is some history on Braelwi..

  55. Ibrahim

    November 30, 2007 at 4:05 PM

    Bralwis = extreme Sufis of today of Indo-Pak with many bid’aat and many shirk aqaaid. The name comes from a place called Rae Braieli in northern India, where Ahmed Rida Khan was from and hence was known as al-Bralwi. Middle East editions of today if you are familiar with them are: GF Haddad, al-Jifri, Kabbani, Haqqani, etc.

    I agree most of the things are not pulled out of thin air and not as simple as the tone of the post might suggest, but still bid’ah is a bid’ah, and there are some things that are really out there.

    The point about adab is important to consider though (but not everything is adab) and no harj as long as it’s not considered part of Sunnah and not doing these actions is not condemned. And, scholars say that we should literally “dress up” if possible to do acts of worship because of the ayaah of the Quran that tells us to adorn ourselves for worship, and for many, Desi, Arab or otherwise, hijaab while doing acts of worship is considered more proper adab. About hayaa….actually Uthman (ra) used to take bath with his garment on! I think this is sahih narration…somebody correct if it’s not.

  56. khawla hurayrah

    November 30, 2007 at 4:11 PM

    I ‘ve heard this strange one:

    “One has to pray 40 raka’at prayers in total while staying in Madinah”

    About sitting and stretching one’s leg towards people: Sister Anonymouse could you ask your dad if he knows if it is known in the Sunnah that considers this as bad manner? I read an article that says the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) never sat stretching his legs toward anyone.

    Jazzakumullahu khairan

  57. Faiez

    November 30, 2007 at 6:04 PM

    Asalaamu alaikum

    Anyone ever hear of cutting your nails at night as being haraam?

  58. Yursil

    November 30, 2007 at 6:15 PM

    Salamu’alaykum Amad,

    I think you missed the point of the pledge (a point I made in my post). It wasn’t an agreement between signatories, it was an agreement to follow those principles listed.

    In my opinion, and in most peoples opinion, this is a thread which has brought up and delved into issues of contention between those we all consider Sunni’s and encouraged the discussion by laymen.

  59. Yursil

    November 30, 2007 at 6:27 PM

    (in other words: just because a Braweli didn’t sign it doesn’t mean a signatory can delve into condemning and discussing deep theological matters as a layman with him)

    unless of course, you don’t consider Braweli’s as part of the “broad scholarly tradition of the Sunni Muslims”, which is what it seems you are suggesting.

  60. AnonyMouse

    November 30, 2007 at 6:36 PM

    Yursil, I don’t see how I’m getting into “deep theological discussions.”
    As Amad said, this post is meant to highlight common beliefs amongst us which have no backing in the Sunnah (i.e. hijab while eating). I don’t see it as an Aqeedah (theological) issue… I see it as clarifying misconceptions.

    Yes, some of the “myths” might be controversial because of potential “Aqeedah-backing” – but most aren’t.

    And just as a sidenote, I, AnonyMouse, am not a signatory of the pledge… and Allah knows best.

  61. talib

    November 30, 2007 at 6:52 PM

    theres this practice in east africa i remember was done when i was young, breaking the eggs on anything new you buy thats worth alot. such as a car or house, and i knew a friend of mine a iranian said they do it too. the reason why, i absolutely have no clue. anyone got more info on that.

  62. Yursil

    November 30, 2007 at 7:24 PM

    Salamu’alaykum Anoynmouse,

    I didn’t name you but this thread of posts and comments in general.

    Rather than spending time about issues where there is scholarly difference, why have we suddenly forgot the issues of mutual benefit that Amad speaks to so well?

    Other opinions on amulets and hanging Quran:

    Wudu – Wiping back of neck

    Dua after Salat

    Kissing Thumbs

    The covering of ones head when praying is Mustahib for Hanafi’s. etc etc the list goes on and I haven’t really gone through everyones post in detail.

    I mean, there is legitimacy to these scholarly opinions, at least, far more respect is deserved for more than being called simply myths.

    I assume by mentioning that you didn’t sign the pledge that you disagree with something in it, but did sign it.

  63. Amad

    November 30, 2007 at 8:51 PM

    The Sunni pledge was an attempt to bring moderate elements of all sunnis under an umbrella of tolerance and increased understanding. It did not intend to include the minority of extreme sufis or extreme salafis (including the cults of either).

    So I believe this pledge is in some ways, an opportunity to exclude and highlight this minority, because these fringes in fact are the division-mongers and the extremists. Case in point is that many Braelwis, including the founder I believe, consider Deobandi hanafis and ahl-hadith (both of whom they call “wahhabis”) as kaffirs.

    Faeiz, the nail-cutting at night seems to be more of a superstition than anything else. My dad used to say that but he didn’t say it was an Islamic issue but an issue of “bad luck”!

  64. Nihal Khan

    November 30, 2007 at 9:19 PM

    AsSalamu ‘Alaykum,

    Yea…um…so first thing I wanted to mention:

    Though it is not sunnah/makrooh to cover your head in salah if you follow the opinions of the Maliki, Shafi, or Hanbali schools of though, but in the Ahnaaf there is proof that not covering your head during salaah is disliked.

    Ibn Umar (R.A.) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) wore a white hat. (Tabarani — Allama Suyuti has classified this Hadith as highly authentic: see Sirajul Muneer; v.4, pg.112). It is written in Fataawa Thunaaiyya vol. 1, pg. 525), and in the Fatawaa of the Ahle Hadith Scholars (vol. 4 pg.291) that Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) always used to keep his mubarak head covered during salaah. In the same books it is also mentioned that to intentionally remove the headgear (hat) and perform salaah bare-headed is contrary to the sunnah. (vol. 1, pg.523.)

    I’m not getting angered here so please don’t get me wrong.

    Why is it that anytime someone presents there side of an opinion someone else gives a response back right away.

    Fights in regards to the Mawlid being permissble or not, arguments between Salafis and Sufis, differences of Aqeedah in the Ashari/Maturidi schools of thought versus non-Ashari/Maturidis, following a madhab or not…have been raging for the past 500 years in the Muslim Ummah.

    I’m not making this a stage for me to present my opinion on proving the permissibility/impermissiblity of following/or doing the above mentioned things, but as an eye-opener to show that you can’t solve a debate which has been going on in between scholars for centuries over the comments section of a blog. If it’s anyone that must talk on these delicate points, it should be Shaykh Yasir and Shaykh Faraz because they have the credentials to delve into these matters.

    Majority of us (including myself) are searching in Google for a hadith to support their ideas and putting it up to show everyone that “hey, look, this hadith shows that my opinion is correct and yours is wrong.!”

    Most of us aren’t learned in arabic or any islamic science in which we have authority to give our “cyber fatawa” on.

    This post turned from a way to open and find myths which we grew up with to a post about bashing others in a way.

    Imam Malik used to ask 70 fuqaha before he gave a ruling. Before you begin, ask yourself, “Am I better than Imam Malik?”

    Just my 2 cents. Forgive me if I hurt anyone. Wa’AsSalam

  65. inexplicabletimelessness

    November 30, 2007 at 10:07 PM

    Here is a general rule of thumb which will make everyone’s lives easier. It is one of the principles of fiqh in Ahlus sunnah wal jamah.

    In matters of worldly affairs, everything is permissable except that which Allah (may He be glorified) and the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) have forbidden and in matters of religion, everything is FORBIDDEN except for that which Allah and the Prophet (s) made permissable.

  66. AnonyMouse

    December 1, 2007 at 2:29 AM

    JazakAllahu khairan to everyone for the contributions and the reminders.
    I’m thinking about closing comments on this post… what do you think?

  67. tayyibah

    December 1, 2007 at 3:49 AM

    salamalaykum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh,

    i think you should close it … although i did learn a few things from it and thought it was a good idea but perhaps its better to close it …. it would be better if someone with more proper knowledge could help explain a lot of questions that came up during it … i know there are students of knowledge on this blog …

  68. Hood

    December 1, 2007 at 7:03 AM

    “One has to pray 40 raka’at prayers in total while staying in Madinah”

    Not Strange at all.
    It was narrated by Ahmad in his musnad and declared hasan by al-Hafiz Ibn Hajar in Fath al-Bari. Of the modern scholars that declared it hasan was Shaikh Hammad Al-Ansari

  69. Abu Bakr

    December 1, 2007 at 8:48 AM

    Hood Said:

    [quote]#2. is based on the hadith of Ibn Abbas in the Sahih, that they would know the end of the Salat by the “takbir”.
    The Majority of Scholars considered this to be an allusion to the general adhkar after prayer like saying “SubhanAllah, alhamdulillah, allahu akbar”.
    A minority held the hadith to be taken at face value (’ala Zahirihi) and would say “Allahu akbar” immediately after the taslim. This latter opinion was held by al-Bukhari and other scholars of hadith in the lands beyond the river (maa wara al-nahar), i.e. central asia.[quote]

    In his explanation of al-Bukhari’s Sahih, ibn Rajar also cites a number of narrations from Imam Ahmad concerning this issue. Imam Ahmad seems to have considered this to be a founded practice, one that was practiced by a number of the Tabi’in, amongst them Ali ibn Abd Allah ibn Abbas, whose father reports the particular hadith in question. Imam Ahmad was asked if he felt that hadith was the basis upon which Ali ibn Abd Allah ibn Abbas was acting and he replied in the affirmative

  70. Nihal Khan

    December 1, 2007 at 2:36 PM

    My opinion would be to close it.

  71. Amad

    December 1, 2007 at 2:42 PM

    I, for one, am learning a few new things, special thanks to our brother Hood and Abu Bakr. I had no idea that the 8×40 for Madinah was legit… apparently it is!

    Also the Maliki opinion on forgetful eating (Alex), and the dua after prayer, and some other not-really-myths.

  72. AnonyMouse

    December 1, 2007 at 3:49 PM

    Khawla Hurayrah, I asked my dad about the feet-facing-the-qiblah, and he said that many Arabs and Desis consider it disrespectful. So, culturally it would probably be better to not do it, but technically there’s nothing that says it’s haraam.
    Also, as a side note, he mentioned that if one is unable to pray standing or sitting, then they lie on their right side facing the qiblah; if they can’t do that then on their left side; if they can’t do that, they’re flat on their backs with their feet facing the qiblah.

    I hope that helped, insha’Allah.

  73. Ibrahim

    December 1, 2007 at 5:04 PM

    I hope we learned through this discussion that the bid’aat are just not “cultural” especially in matters of worship (and most things mentioned here were related to worship), but have weak or fabricated ahadith behind them. Still, they need to be pointed out and corrected….we just need to know the correct background though.

    As far as the 40 prayers in the Masjid al-Nabwi, then my understanding was that it is weak and al-Albani graded it as such. But, brother Hood quoted ibn Hajar and Hammad al-Ansari that they considered it hasan. It’s one of the ahadith included as famous 100 weak ahadith. Here is multaqa link (this hadith is number 47):

  74. Hood

    December 1, 2007 at 8:22 PM

    @ Ibrahim

    The method of declaring is Hasan by Ibn Hajar and others was that it is Hasan li ghayrihi or hasan by supporting evidence. So the isnad of the hadith may be in fact weak, and Albani may be correct in that, however there are other narrations that when considered together give us the same or similar meaning. So in this case there are narrations about making 40 prayers in ANY congregation granting a person this reward, and then there are the obvious virtues of praying in the Masjid al-Nabawi.
    This in general is what is meant when the scholars of the past spoke of acting according to weak hadith in the area of Fada’il.

  75. Ibrahim

    December 2, 2007 at 12:43 AM

    br. Hood…yes I understand the concept of hasan li ghayrihi. I was just pointing out that the particular hadith itself is weak.

  76. abu abdurrahman

    December 2, 2007 at 12:32 PM

    what about the six kalamah(pehla kalma tayyab tayyab mani pak..) ? a quran teacher I know told one of his students that he had become muslim Now since he now knows the six kalamah and the teacher’s antiBarelvi!!!!!!

  77. Muslimah

    December 2, 2007 at 1:53 PM

    hey anonymouse, do you write for islamway sisters?

  78. Danya

    December 2, 2007 at 2:06 PM

    I think at this point we should really understand what we mean by “myth” and words like “should.” When I say one “should” do something (the word “should” was used by the author of this post regarding myths). I find it somewhat inconsistent to say that it’s a myth that someone “should” do something then follow up with a “fact” in the form of a legal ruling (of which “should” is not- we have 5 categories, haram, halal, mustahab, fard, makruh).

    I think this is the first point of misunderstanding. I think one *should* cover one’s head in dhikr (see:
    but I also think one should as a point of adab, not because I think it’s halal or haram or mustahab, etc.

    I think, in the future, if one wants to “bust myths”, it would be wisest to be consistent in one’s methodology of doing so and be clear about what perspective you are using (ie, strictly legal versus including adab).

    Allahu alam.

  79. mcpagal

    December 2, 2007 at 2:57 PM


    Someone asked about the ‘Quran Khani’ thing (or khatam) – anyone know anything about that?

  80. AnonyMouse

    December 2, 2007 at 4:48 PM

    @ Muslimah
    Yes, I’m a member of the Islamway Sisters forum.

    @ Danya
    Yes, I realize now that I should have been more clear and organized in how I composed the post. Although, as I mentioned in the beginning, it’s a list that was composed at the Madrasah – my dad asked the students to list common beliefs or practices in their households/ cultures, and he let us know what was accurate and what is not. In this post, I used the IslamQA lists as “backup.”

    @ all other readers
    May Allah forgive me for anything incorrect I’ve stated in either the original post or the comments section.

  81. talib

    December 2, 2007 at 5:13 PM

    so im guessing no one ever heard of breaking eggs on expensive material things, when their bought to possibly kick out the shaytan. i always thought this was a very spread out practice among muslims. maybe im wrong

  82. Ibrahim

    December 2, 2007 at 7:21 PM

    abu abdurrahman…boy, I forget exactly what those six kalamas were. But, I’m sure they represent the six pillars of Emaan. And, since they are in Urdu, most probably they are just little ash’aar (couplets) for knowing the six pillars….like you have poems that describe the Arabic grammar, mustalah al-hadith, etc. If I’m not mistaken it’s mostly read to children.

    As far as what the Quran teacher said, then if he meant he had to recite these couplets, in URDU, to become a Muslim (i.e. they are required on top of shahaadatayn) then he is completely wrong. But, if he meant that a Muslim needs to know the six pillars of emaan then it would seem ok.

  83. Ibrahim

    December 2, 2007 at 7:24 PM

    no, brother talib, at least i’ve never heard what you are talking about.

  84. Amad

    December 2, 2007 at 7:49 PM

    McPagal, on the subject of Quran Khani, here is what Muhammad AlShareef had to say in one of his khutbas:

    The main phenomenon that happens is the Quran Khani, where people gather, each participant given a part of the Quran to read, afterwhich a feast is served. And some claim that the food is food of charity meant to be on behalf of the deceased. In modern times, some even distribute invitation cards and all types of food are prepared and enjoyed on what is meant to be a sorrowful occasion.

    In many countries of the Muslim Ummah this is a normal practice, and certain days are fixed for this Quran Khani: the 3rd day, then the 7th day, the 10th and 40th, and then annually. And unfortunately, this practice is often given more importance than some Fard duties, hence the scholars have considered it to be an innovation (bid’ah) and sinful. This is the opinion of the Ulema’. Ibn Al-Humam Al-Hanafi said in Fath Al-Qadeer, a renowned book on the fiqh of Abu Hanifah, “Gathering to feast at the house of the deceased is a sign of joy and happiness. And to do so is bid’ah.”

    These practices are taken from the Hindu religion, as a famous Historian, Al-Bairooni (303 AH) mentions in his book, Kitaab Al-Hind, “Hindus have fixed days and dates for the deceased person’s family on which they should invite people and provide food, etc.. (the 11th day after death, 15th, annually and specifically the sixth day of the month). The family members are expected to provide food and water for nine days. Otherwise, according to the Hindu belief, the soul of the deceased will wander in hunger and thrist around the home.”

    In support of this, another Indian scholar, Ubaid Ullah also mentions, “Every year a certain date is fixed when they try to convey rewards to the deceased. This tradition is named ‘Saraadh’. When preparation of food for the Saraadh is done, no one may touch it until the Hindu Priest (Pandit) comes and blesses it by reading something.” From Tuhfatul Hind, p.91.

    Muslims are only following these practices giving it a different name. In place of a Pandit, an Imam is called to bless the food, etc. And if someone does not want to come to the Quran Khani for fear it is against what the Prophet (SAAS) came with, for fear that it is against Islam, for fear that it will be rejected by Allah, the people and the community condemn him and say he is disrespecting the dead and is against giving rewards to the deceased.

  85. Abu Bakr

    December 2, 2007 at 10:57 PM

    Concerning the issue of 8 continuous prayers in al-Masjid an-Nabawi, catching the first takbira… when I went for Hajj, I heard one of the shaykhs who teaches at al-Masjid an-Nabawi asked about this hadith at the end of his class.

    He said that not only is its isnad weak, but the correct version of the text is not about al-Masjid al-Nabawi but about any masjid. Given that the narration is proven to be a mistake, it cannot be strengthened.

    I myself have seen the conflicting views on this hadith and am inclined to the view that it is weak.

  86. Hood

    December 3, 2007 at 1:05 AM

    @ Abu Bakr

    The fact that the isnad is weak is a given. This still does not negate the fact that the other hadith, the one without the addition “in my masjid” can be acted according to. As mentioned before, this hadith is not declared hasan because of its isnad, but instead because of the corroborating evidence to the meaning it contains.

    So while we cannot say that the reward guaranteed in this hadith is specific to the Masjid al-Nabawi, (i.e. if you pray 40 prayers some where else it you will not gain this reward) there is absolutely no way that we can call this action (praying the 40 in the Masjid al-Nabawi) a bid’ah or even declare it to be wrong because of its inclusion in the generality of the hadith of Anas as narrated by al-Tirmidhi (w/o the addition)

  87. SaqibSaab

    December 3, 2007 at 1:14 AM

    Yeah I’ve heard about not cutting nails past Maghrib time. I also used to hear that you can’t crack your knuckles; if you do you’ll lose your wealth in life. Desi mythology is always fun. :)

    I read your name and laughed out loud.

  88. inexplicabletimelessness

    December 3, 2007 at 5:43 AM

    How about making sure not to drop nail clippings on the carpet because they are akin to dead bodies? The cutting nails past maghrib time reminded me of that.

  89. Abu Bakr

    December 3, 2007 at 4:58 PM

    @ Hood

    Jazakallahu Khayran for the clarification. You are right.

    Just as a side note, many hujjaj have limited time and because of their believing this virtue to be particular to al-Masjid al-Nabawi, they spend more time in Madinah than in Makkah, while praying in the Haram in Makkah is more virtuous than praying in Madinah as the multiplication of the reward is greater there than at al-Masjid al-Nabawi.

  90. mcpagal

    December 3, 2007 at 8:53 PM

    Thanks for the info bro Amad. My (extended) family puts a lot of emphasis on the ‘khatam’ or Quran Khani and even have a book with proofs in it that it’s Islamic. They also do this thing where they put out small bowls of whatever food is going to be served later, along with a glass of milk and a glass of water, when dua is being read. Then they take it all away, and serve fruit. It really is quite ritualistic.

    Another question (or 3…): if you -know- something like that is not in the Quran/Sunnah, should you participate? Because of the events proximity with death it’s pretty sensitive. Also: should you have an event like that after a death in your own family, because the extended family expects it and will be offended if you don’t? And is all this any different from gatherings where everyone recites a certain surah, like Yasin?

    Sorry to derail the topic…

    (SaqibSaab: thanks, I get that a lot :P )

  91. abu khaled

    December 4, 2007 at 12:26 AM

    assalam alaikum,
    quick question about these quran khanis, is it possible that one can read quran on behalf of somebody else (whose dead) and pass the reward onto them?

  92. Alex

    December 4, 2007 at 1:14 PM

    Salaam ‘alaikum

    I would advise myself and others here to seek fatwas only from qualified muftis.

    Don’t ask on blogs, forums and the like.
    And don’t ask some guy who’s well known in the masjid. Make the effort to find qualified scholars in you area and as a last resort use the fatwa services found online, such as, and some of the others mentioned above.

    But don’t really on unqualified people (no matter how pious) to guide you in your deen. It’s too important.

  93. Amad

    December 4, 2007 at 1:45 PM

    Alex, I don’t think anyone is giving fatwas here, but if we were, then your points are valid.

    And please note that there are qualified Shayookh/students of knowledge on THIS BLOG who can answer questions (answer questions, not give fatwas AND not of the ijtihad form of course). These students of knowledge, in terms of qualifications, would be at a similar level of the shayookh who run sunnipath or askimam.

    At a different level, for new issues, I recommend :

    Finally, to add to your list: though both are good, I usually prefer over

  94. Abu Bakr

    December 4, 2007 at 3:24 PM

    On the subject of Qur’an Khanis, this is the Fatwa of Shaykh Abdul Aziz b. Baz:

    Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked:

    Is it permissible for me to read the entire Qur’aan for my parents, knowing that they are illiterate and cannot read or write? Is it permissible for me to read the entire Qur’aan for a person who knows how to read and write, but I want to give this khatmah to him? Is it permissible for me to read the entire Qur’aan for more than one person?

    He replied:

    There is no report in the Holy Qur’aan or in the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), or from his companions (may Allaah be pleased with them) to indicate that it is prescribed to give one’s reading of Qur’aan (or the reward thereof) to one’s parents or to anyone else. Rather Allaah has enjoined reading Qur’aan so that one may benefit from it, learn from it, ponder its meanings and act upon it. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

    “(This is) a Book (the Qur’aan) which We have sent down to you, full of blessings, that they may ponder over its Verses, and that men of understanding may remember”

    [Saad 38:29]

    “Verily, this Qur’aan guides to that which is most just and right”

    [al-Isra’ 17:90]

    “Say: It is for those who believe, a guide and a healing”

    [Fussilat 41:44]

    And our Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Read the Qur’aan, for it will come as an intercessor for its companions.” And he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The Qur’aan will be brought on the Day of Resurrection along with its people who used to act upon it, preceded by Soorat al-Baqarah and Aal ‘Imraan, like two clouds or two flocks of birds, spreading their wings, pleading on behalf of their companions (i.e., those who used to read them).”

    The point is that it was revealed to be acted upon and pondered, to be read as an act of worship and read a great deal, not to be given to the dead or to anyone else. I do not know of any reliable basis for giving it to one’s parents or anyone else. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever does any action that is not in accordance with this matter of ours will have it rejected.” Some of the scholars are of the view that that is permissible, and they said: There is no reason why the reward for reading Qur’aan and other righteous actions cannot be given to others, and they liken that to the case of charity and du’aa’ for the deceased and others. But the correct view is the first view, because of the hadeeth quoted above, and other similar reports. If giving the reward for reading to another was permissible or prescribed, the righteous salaf would have done it. It is not permissible to make analogies with regard to acts of worship, because they can only be proven by a text from the Book of Allaah, may He be blessed and exalted, or the Sunnah of His Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), because of the hadeeth quoted above and other similar reports.

    Majmoo’ Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn Baaz, 8/360, 361

  95. Abu Bakr

    December 4, 2007 at 3:38 PM

    @ McPagal

    Concerning your other questions, I advise you to avoid innovations as much as you are able as Allah says, “Fear Allah as much as you are able.”

    Particularly, you yourself should not be holding them in order to please extended family. My advice is that you remain firm as the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said, “Whoever seeks the Pleasure of Allah in that which angers the people, Allah will suffice him the burden of the people, and whoever seeks the pleasure of the people in that which angers Allah, Allah will entrust him to the people.” [Al-Tirmidhi, and it seems this hadith may actually be the words of A’isha although one narration is marfu’]

  96. abu khaled

    December 4, 2007 at 6:11 PM

    but cant quran khanis be considered similar to givin charity in the name of someone else? you do a good deed (i.e. give sadaqa or read quran) and do it with the intention for the behalf of your mother or father, whether they be alive or not…


      March 18, 2013 at 12:32 AM

      I am pretty sure it is perfectly fine…you can read alone or in group quran for dead..people question why do we gather for Quran but not question why we gather for way more useless things…ie hadith about people gathering without mentioning Allah it is like they get up from carcass of donkey (do not quote me as quoting it I am giving you jist of hadith you should be able to find it hopefully) ….there are plenty of examples to prove that doing things for dead (and living) is allowed in fiqh/ many hadith…the only reason you are doubting is because most people assume certain things are not ‘in islam’ only because they haven’t personally come across it and are afraid of going astray…I think many people in places like n.america have this problem including myself but learning is ongoing process…islam is based on its sources not on personal opinion and ou lack of knowing…just cause self professed scholars don’t know the answer they say ‘not in islam’…I am not saying be mad at them but am saying ignorance is not proof of it not being in islam…how much one learned/didn’t learn isn’t the ‘proof’..most of us learned very little personally, only investigated a little bit…even if we think we know…most people think there is only 6 hadith books…it is extremely vast subject which if you want to know everything through research you will probably die before then…thats why some scholars have spent their entire lives…everyday people may not even know all the sources ie all quranic ayats, hadiths used, we are not Muhaddith (ordinary people may not even have heard some hadtih even if it is saheeh )! For example hadith you can make up fasts for your mother after they die… Chapter 35. Book of Fasting (Bukhari) It is related that Ibn ‘Abbas said, “A man came to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and said, ‘Messenger of Allah, my mother has died and she still owes a month’s fast. Should I make it up for her?’ He said, ‘Yes. Debts due to Allah have more right to be settled.’ ….etc etc…

      slaughtering for eid (qurbani) (I don’t have all the specifics…but certain big animals can have the share of you and family members while you are all alive if you collectively agree to divide the big animal up to a certain number of people…does not apply to certain type/small animals which would need more than one for more than one person so do not quote me…) you can even donate qurbani reward for someone passed away like prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم‎ and others etc.. there are many examples of this stuff…look at the funeral prayer…janazah prayer, you pray over dead…dua If the deceased is a mature male or female, the following dua should be made:
      ({ اللَّهُمَّ اغْفِرْ لِحَيِّنَا وَمَيِّتِنَا وَشَاهِدِنَا وَغَائِبِنَا وَصَغِيرِنَا وَكَبِيرِنَا وَذَكَرِنَا وَأُنْثَانَا . اللَّهُمَّ مَنْ أَحْيَيْته مِنَّا فَأَحْيِهِ عَلَى الْإِسْلَامِ , وَمَنْ تَوَفَّيْته مِنَّا فَتَوَفَّهُ عَلَى الْإِيمَانِ .

      Translation: “O Allah! Forgive our living and dead, present and absent, big and small, men and women. O Allah! Whoever among us is kept alive by You, keep him alive on Islam, and whoever You give death, let him die on Imaan.”

      why this dua if it doesn’t benefit?

      I also have hadith about treating your dads friends nicely (after he passes away), lest your light goes out..etc…
      list goes on and on…

      these doubts come when one either lacks knowledge or personal investigation etc…if you look into the sources you will actually find lots of stuff that living can relay to dead…

      should you not make dua for another muslim who is dead or alive? Some people might say no or that it is shirk out of pure ignorance or they are knowingly being deceptive (hopefully not)…It is sunnah of the prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم‎ to make dua for others as proved by his whole living life caring for the ummah and even prayed for those in taif who initailly hated….even will be saying ‘ummati ummati’ ‘my ummah etc…on day of judgement when eveybody will be thinking of sins of themselves! Imagine!

      There is quranic ayat 59:10 for forgiving brethen who passed away …etc etc…

      However do not quote me look these thing up yourself or ask proper scholar not ‘self made’ scholar…I am not a scholar and not giving fatwa and do not want to give wrong interpretation…but for me personally I have plenty of proof to follow by…

      It is either lack of knowledge (not being insulting because learning is ongoing for everyone) or stubbornness (knowing proofs and still refusing) to say not to make dua for people dead or alive or even those to come in the future (like dua was made for us, future muslims too cause prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم‎ is too nice to us)! etc…

      now gathering to recite for dead you should look it up on your own maybe you will find specific to this in sunnah but regardless there is plenty of examples of where living do something for dead (and I think it does not decrease the reward for either although not sure don’t quote me please on anything learn from a scholar)

  97. Hijabster4Life

    December 4, 2007 at 6:20 PM

    Assalamu Allaykum

    JazaakAllahu khairan for putting this up. Some of these matters really bothered me. Such as wearing hijab while reading Quran. I thought women were supposed to. I guess not. JazaakAllahu kharian again.
    Wa Alaykum Assalam

  98. Mustafa

    December 6, 2007 at 10:24 AM

    I have to say that much of this sounds like nonsense. I think Islam was supposed to take us out of these trivial and ritualistic practices. Do you think God cares whether or not we raise our hands for Dua or not? We need to have discussions on serious topics like some Muslim’s beliefs that women need to wear burkas, or that they cannot drive. or the sheer darkness in terms of human rights in the Muslim world, or that reading the Quran 100 times after someones death will give the deceased some brownie points to get into heaven. Islam was supposed to end these superstitions, but by the comments here and my own experiences, it seems most Muslims are still trapped in ignorance and concentrate on the most meaningless issues.

  99. bilal

    December 7, 2007 at 12:53 AM

    Br. Mustafa,

    Al-Fudayl b. ‘Ayyâd [187H] – Allah have mercy on him – said:
    Allah ‘azza wa jalla accepts only those deeds which are both correct and sincere (pure).
    If the deed is done correctly but not sincerely, it will not be accepted.
    And if it is sincere but not correct, it will not be accepted.
    He was asked, “Abû ‘Alî! What is the sincere and correct deed?” He replied,
    The sincere deed is one that is done only for Allah ‘azza wa jall.
    And the correct deed is one done according to the Sunnah.

    -this is why we discuss these things, so that we do them correctly so that insh’Allah Allah (SWT) would accept our deeds

  100. mcpagal

    December 7, 2007 at 7:21 AM

    Jazakallah for the info Abu Bakr!

    To clarify, I wasn’t seeking fatwas from the writers, I was just looking for links/sources. I should probably have looked it up but I thought this was quicker :)

  101. ali

    June 16, 2009 at 6:51 PM

    You should expand this, include:
    folding the corner of prayer mats
    crescent symbol being islamic?
    and domes being islamic..?

  102. haya

    April 19, 2010 at 4:43 PM

    Hopefully you’ll provide evidence for all busted myths,
    otherwise this post is WORTHLESS-and mean absolutely nothing, rather a waste of time.

  103. Long Sleeved

    November 11, 2010 at 4:47 AM

    Other solutions are to search diligently through special day wear, remembering not to limit yourself to “bridal” celebration options. Or to add elbow size gloves to a gown to balance out the weather. Whenever making an attempt to choose dresses on your bridal party, remember that no female wants to use a dress that makes their particular needs look awful, and if you have a party member who’s short and curvy and just one who is drawn-out and lean the dress that makes one look magnificent won’t unavoidably flatter the other. Inquire their particular needs for their opinions on if they imagine the dress will function for them and request assistance from them find dresses. They can certainly reduce the burden on you and make the smiles in the photographs look that a lot more realistic.

  104. No Name (@BrownStaar)

    September 17, 2013 at 7:46 PM

    I wanted to know about folding the prayer mat when not using it? I haven’t come across anything from the Quran or hadith but then again I haven’t read them thoroughly. I am asking because my family does it and I wanna tell them it’s wrong but I don’t knowmyself. So if you could please explain this?

    • Aly Balagamwala | DiscoMaulvi

      September 19, 2013 at 5:49 AM

      All the earth has been made a “musalla” for Muslims. The prayer mat is just a convenience used to ensure the area is clean and clear. The practice of folding the corner of the prayer mat is not something from Islam. People in Pakistan (where I live) say Shaitan will pray otherwise. I say if he does pray that is great! :)

  105. Zaman

    July 4, 2016 at 7:51 AM

    assalamo alaikum

    Found this discussion very interesting, Masha Allah.

    I request members to look at the posts under Itekaaf series on my blog where I narrated some serious Bidaat observed during my Itekaaf last Ramadan. I am yet to get serious comments / views on the incidents and I wish to amend myself if there is an error on my part. I referred to some Maulanas and they are yet to respond.

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