Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,
As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)
One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:
Which are the proper and right Arka'ans of Namaaz? What we Bohras pray is proper or Non-shias pray is proper. I mean we pray with hands straight and others pray as folded. Our calender is also different can you highlight some details on it also. Why and how?
(There may be some grammatical and spelling errors in the above statement. The forum does not change anything from questions, comments and statements received from our readers for circulation in confidentiality.)
In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and who-ever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol, no person, no grave, no prophet, no imam, no dai, nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.
Which are the proper and right Arka'ans of Namaaz? What we Bohras pray is proper or Non-shias pray is proper. I mean we pray with hands straight and others pray as folded.
The prayers were taught to the believers by the Messenger of Allah (saws); thus if anybody wants to please Allah, they must follow the Messenger of Allah (saws).
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 3 Surah Ale Imran verse 31-32: Prophet, tell the people, If you sincerely love Allah, follow me. Then Allah will love you and forgive you your sins, for He is All Forgiving, All Merciful. Also say to them, Obey Allah and His Messenger. And if, in spite of this, they do not accept your invitation, warn them that Allah does not love those, who refuse to obey Him and His Messenger.
The truth is brother, there is nothing wrong with most of the arkaans of the prayers conducted by the Bohras. There are few things that the Bohras do extra in their prayers and their duas are much longer than that of the Messenger of Allah (saws), but these arkaans do not actually affect the sanctity of the prayers. All the arkaans that are obligatory are done properly, like intention, takbeer, qiyaam, rukuh, sujood, tashahoods and salaam.
Your comment: I mean we pray with hands straight and others pray as folded.
It has been authentically reported that at most times of his life the Messenger of Allah (saws) used to pray with his hands folded. But there is also an authentic narration which states that the Messenger of Allah (saws) did pray with his hands straight. Thus if any believer prays with his hands straight, and does so because he wants to follow the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (saws), Allah will reward him for his deeds.
The act of prayer is such that the Messenger of Allah (saws) conducted prayers in congregation for at least 10 years in Medina in front of literally tens of thousands of believers. And almost all the reported narrations report that the Messenger of Allah (saws) and the believers in the congregation used to pray with their hands folded. That is why the scholars in Islam are almost unanimous that the Sunnah is to pray with the hands folded. But it has also been reported that the Prophet (saws) did pray at times with his hands straight Thus it is also a Sunnah, and therefore allowed and fine.
Brother, we must keep in mind that our intention must always be to follow Allah and His Messenger (saws) in everything we do. Thus if a believer prays with his hands folded or his hands straight, and his intention is to follow the Sunnah of the Messenger (saws), then Allah will accept and reward him for his intention and his deeds, Insha Allah.
The one thing that the Bohras do which is absolutely wrong is that they pray the five fard or obligatory prayers combined at three times a day. This is an innovation, because the Allah commands the believers to pray at five different times of the day. The Messenger of Allah (saws) himself led the fard prayers in congregation five times every day, therefore no one has a right to change or innovate in the deen of Islam and change that to three times a day. This is a clear innovation, and all innovations must be stopped.
It has been reported in an authentic narration that the Prophet of Allah (saws) said: Whoever introduces a bida (innovation) in this deen brought by me (saws), it will be rejected.
It has been reported by Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (r.a.) that the Prophet of Allah (saws) said: If anyone introduces an innovation (in religion), he will be responsible for it. If anyone introduces an innovation or gives shelter to a man who introduces an innovation (in religion), he is cursed by Allah, by His angels, and by all the people.
And Allah Alone Knows Best.
Your Question: Our calender is also different can you highlight some details on it also. Why and how?
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 10 Surah Yunus verse 5: It is He (Allah) Who gave the sun his brightness and the moon her light, and ordained the moon's phases precisely so that you may calculate years and dates from this.
In an authentic narration, the Prophet (saws) mentioned Ramadan, and said, "Do not fast unless you see the crescent of Ramadan and do not give up fasting till you see the crescent of Shawwal, but if the sky is overcast, then act on estimation and count Sha'baan as 30 days.
In another authentic narration the Prophet (saws) said, The month can be 29 days, so do not fast till you see the moon, and if the sky is overcast, then complete Sha'baan as thirty days.
In light of the Quran and the traditions of the Prophet (saws), the muslims at the time of the Prophet (saws) always determined the number of days of every Islamic month, including Ramadan through the sighting of the moon. That Sunnah of the Prophet (saws) is still followed today by the majority of muslims who follow the Quran and the traditions of the Prophet (saws), and even today the Islamic dates are determined by the sighting of the moon by the believers worldwide.
The Dawoodi Bohra sect of Islam claim to see the so-called haqiqi moon to determine the days of Ramadan and every other Islamic month according to their published calendar. They must be able to see their haqiqi moon months in advance, as their Islamic calendar is published at the beginning of every Islamic year! Brother, I really do not have any knowledge of this so-called haqiqi moon! It would be best to ask this question to one of the Bohra scholars to get a reply regarding this innovation in the method of the Prophet (saws).
What we do know from the Prophets (saws) authentic traditions that he (saws) certainly determined the days of Ramadan and every other Islamic month through the sighting of the actual moon. Thus the people who follow the Prophet (saws), even today, and until the end of time, Insha Allah, will start their reckoning of the months by the same method as used by the Prophet of Allah (saws).
The haqiqi moon must have appeared after the Prophets (saws) death, because he (saws) never saw or mentioned anything regarding the haqiqi moon! That is because even the Bohra scholars will agree that the Prophet (saws), during his life, always started the Islamic months by sighting the actual moon.
Any changes in the way or tradition of the Prophet (saws) is known as a bida or innovation.
Thus, whoever wants to follow the tradition and way of the Prophet (saws), must do as he (saws) did, and start their reckoning of the Islamic months, by sighting the moon. Those who do not want to follow the tradition of the Prophet (saws), are the ones who determine their months through the haqiqi moon! The choice is entirely upto you whether you want to follow the Prophet (saws) or you want to follow somebody who changed his (saws) ways and introduced an innovation!
This leads us to another more serious and important question that should naturally arise from this: How many other traditions and ways of the Prophet (saws) have these people changed?
Allah Alone knows Best, and He is the Only Source of Strength.
May Allah guide you and us to read and understand the simple and plain words of the Glorious Quran. May Allah increase our knowledge from the Holy Quran. May Allah guide us to the Siraat al Mustaqeem.
Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allahs Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.
Your brother and well wisher in Islam,