Is the celebration of the Birthdays of the chosen servants of Allah regarded to be an innovation or polytheism?
ANSWER:Although the holding of memory of the pious servants of God such as celebrating their anniversaries and birthdays are accepted by the prudent, however, just in order to remove any trace of doubt left in this regard, we shall introduce the proofs to its admissibility.Holding ceremonies is a sign portraying affection and love:The Holy Quran invites the believers to love the prophet and his household:"Say, I do not ask of you any favor but love for my near relatives"It is quite obvious that holding the ceremonies in the honor of God's saints is a manifestation of the love of the people towards them, and is also acknowledged by the Holy Quran.Holding ceremonies in the glorification of the prophet:The Holy Quran considers the glorification to the position of the prophet in addition to supporting him as a decisive factor for salvation: "So those who believe in him, and follow the light that has been sent down, these are the ones who are the successful."In relation to the mentioned verse, it is clearly evident that honoring the prophet is a recommended act according to the Islamic point of view. The holding of ceremonies in the memory of the prophet and thereby glorifying his position, gratifies God because this verse explains that there are four characteristics for the successful:
Why do the Shias cut short the five daily prayers joining them to three times a day?
ANSWER:Firstly, in an effort to clarify the subject to this discussion, it is worthy to mention the view that the jurisprudents hold in this regard. All the Islamic sects agree that on the day of 'Arafah', one can perform both the noon as well as the afternoon prayers uninterruptedly during noontime. Also in 'Muzdalifah', it is permissible to perform both the 'Maghrib' and the 'Isha' prayer at the time of 'Isha'The 'Hanafi' claim that: joining of the noon and afternoon prayer, and that of 'Maghrib' and Isha is only permissible in the two cases of 'Arafah' and 'Muzdalifah' and ought not to occur at any other instance.The 'Hanbali', Maliki and Shafa-ee say: The joining of the noon and afternoon prayer or the 'Maghrib' and Isha one, at a special situation in addition to the two mentioned cases and whilst traveling becomes permissible. Some of these groups consider it permissible to join the prayers when necessary such as sickness or fear of an enemy at lurk.The Shia believe that each of the noon as well as the afternoon, and the 'Maghrib' and the Isha prayers, have a 'special time' and a 'joined time'.The special time of the noon prayer begins from mid-day till the time when the four units of prayers have been recited and this is a limited period in which only the noon prayer can be performed.The special time for the afternoon prayer is the time starting from that particular moment until sunset, only considering up to the period of performance of the afternoon prayer.The joint time that is between the two prayers of the noon and afternoon, starting from the end of the special time noon prayer to the commencing of the special time of the afternoon prayer.The statement of the Shias to this regard is that between any time of the joined period, one can perform both the noon and the afternoon prayer jointly and without any interruption. However the Sunnis believe that from the beginning of the legal noon (mid-day) up to the time when the shadow of everything is equal to its length, is the specific time for the noon prayer and during that time, one should not pray the afternoon prayer, but after this time has elapsed to the time of sunset, it becomes exclusive for the afternoon prayer and one cannot pray the noon prayer during this interval.The specific time for the 'Maghrib'prayer is from the beginning of the legal 'Maghrib' time until the time that the three units can be performed.The special time for Isha prayer is the time starting from that particular moment up to the time of being able to perform the Isha prayer, from midnight. The joined time for the two prayers of 'Maghrib' and Isha is from the end of the special time of 'Maghrib' prayer and prolongs up to the beginning of the special time of Isha prayer.The Shia believe that in the midst of this joined period, one can perform the 'Maghrib' as well as Isha prayer jointly without any interruption, however, the Sunnis say that: It ought to be recited from the beginning of sunset until the fading of the evening twilight that is exclusive for the 'Maghrib' prayer and 'Isha' should not be recited during this particular time; and from the time of the fading away of the evening twilight up to the legal midnight, is exclusive for the Isha prayer and one cannot perform the 'Maghrib' prayer during this particular time.Result:According to the theory of the Shias, after the arrival of the legal noon, one can perform the noon prayer and immediately after performing the afternoon prayer or can delay the noon prayer till close to the beginning of the special time of the afternoon prayer such that he can finish the noon prayer before the specific time of the afternoon prayer and perform the afternoon prayer. Thus, to jointly pray the noon and afternoon prayers is perfectly alright although it is recommended to perform the noon prayer after 'mid-day' and the after noon prayer when the shade of things turn out equal to their lengths. One can also perform the 'Maghrib' prayer when the specific time of 'Maghrib' arrives, and immediately after that, can perform the Isha prayer, or delay the 'Maghrib' prayer till close to the specific time for the Isha prayer so as to terminate the 'Maghrib' prayer before the specific time for Isha prayers, then perform the Isha prayer and in this way, join the 'Maghrib' and Isha, although it is recommended to perform the 'Maghrib' prayer after the legal 'Maghrib' time and 'Isha' after the fading of the evening twilight from the western frontier. This is the prospect that the Shias have. However, the Sunnis do not accept it as being permissible to pray the noon and afternoon prayers together or the 'Maghrib'and Isha for that matter, in the same manner, and at all times and places. Hence, the subject of discussion lies whether the joining of two prayers can be performed in the likely manner just as it is in 'Arafah' and 'Muzdalifah', or not.All the Muslims agree that the honorable prophet (p) also prayed the two prayers together and this tradition can be elaborated in two ways:The Shias state that at the beginning of the time for noon-prayers, one can perform the afternoon prayer as well after completing to recite the noon prayer, and likewise, if one recited the 'Maghrib' prayer at its specific timing, then he can recite his Isha prayer after completing the 'Maghrib', and this does not relate to only particular instances, rather at all times and places can this be applicable and permissible.Others claim that: What is meant by this tradition is that the noon prayer can be performed at the end of it's time and the afternoon prayer at the beginning of it, just as the 'Maghrib' prayer at its end time and the Isha, at its specific time.In an effort to clarify this matter, let us ponder over the traditions regarding this discussion and prove what is meant by these narrations in the Shia perspective; i.e., performing both the prayers whilst it ought to performed at its specific times and not to perform it at the end of its time and performing the other one at the specific time.Narrations:Ahmad bin Hanbal leader of the Hanbali sect in his Masnad, narrates the following from jabir bin Zaid:"Jabir bin Zaid said:"I heard Ibn Abbas saying: "We performed the eight units of (noon and afternoon) prayers together and also the seven units of ('Maghrib' and 'Isha') prayers simultaneously. He then added, I asked him: "O Abal-Shatha, I assume hedelayed the noon and performed the afternoon prayer earlier and did the same with 'Maghrib' and 'Isha' prayers." Abul Shaatha replied:"I also hold the same opinion as you."Hence it becomes evident from this narration that the honorable Prophet joined both noon and afternoon as well as 'Maghrib' and 'Isha' prayers without interruption.Ahmad bin Hanbal narrated form Abdulah bin Shaqeeq the following:Ibn Abbas gave a short sermon to us after the afternoon prayer until the time of sunset had reached and the stars had started to appear. The people called for prayers; amongst them was a man present from the tribe of bani Tameem who repeated the prayer. Ibn Abbas got perturbed and said: "Do you want to teach me the prophet's tradition? I witnessed the Prophet joining both the noon and afternoon prayers, not to mention that of 'Maghrib' and 'Isha' Abdullah said: " I became dubious regarding this matter and so I decided to visit Abu-Huraira and asked him about this regard, to which he approved the speech of ibn Abbas."In the mentioned tradition, two of the companions of the prophet 'Abdullah bin Abbas' and 'Abu Huraira', testified this reality that the Holy prophet himself recited the noon and afternoon prayers simultaneously, and like wise, the 'Maghrib' and 'Isha' prayer, and the fact that Ibn Abbas followed his practice. Malik bin Anas leader of the Maliki sect in his book, 'Muwata' has written the following that:"God's messenger prayed both the noon and the afternoon prayer as well as the 'Maghrib' and the 'Isha' prayer without fear from being attacked or even if he was not traveling."Malik bin Anas narrated from Ma-ath bin jabal the following: "God's messenger joined the noon and afternoon prayers and the 'Maghrib' and 'Isha' prayer."Malik bin Anas from Nafe-a, narrated the following from Abdullah bin Omar:"Whenever the prophet seemed too be in a hurry for traversing a path, he would join the 'Maghrib' and 'Isha' prayers."Malik bin Anas narrated from Abu-Huraira the following:"God's messenger used to join the noon and afternoon prayers when traveling to 'Tabuk."Malik in 'Al-Muwata' from Nafe-a narrated the following: "Whenever the leaders joined their prayers by reciting both 'Maghrib' and 'Isha' together, it happened to be raining, and Abdullah bin omar did the same."Malik bin Anas from Ali bin Al-Hussein wrote the following:"Whenever the Prophet wanted to travel during the day-time, he would join the noon and afternoon prayers and recite them together and likewise, when he wanted to travel during the night, he would join the 'Maghrib' and 'Isha' prayers and recite them together one after the other."Muhammed Al-Zarqani in the explanation of 'al-Muwata' narrated the following from Abi-Shatha: "Abdullah bin Abbas in the city of Basra recited the noon and afternoon prayer together and also the 'Maghrib' and 'Isha' prayer in a manner that there was no interruption between the two."Al-Zarqani narrated from Al-Tabarani who narrated from Ibn masood that:"The honorable prophet joined the noon and afternoon prayer reciting them together and also the 'Maghrib' and 'Isha'. He was asked in this regard as to why he did so, to which he replied: "So that my nation are not put in toil and hardship."Muslim bin Hajjaj through Abu Zubair from Saeed bin Jubair who from Ibn Abbas narrated the following,"The Holy prophet whilst in Madina, joined the noon and afternoon prayer without fear (of an enemy) or the intention to travel."Ibn Abbas, regarding the prophet's intention towards such an act, said the following: "Because the prophet didn't want to cause hardship for anybody in his nation."Muslim in his 'sahih' from saeed bin Jubair who form Ibn abbas narrated the following:"The honorable prophet in Madina joined the noon and afternoon prayer as well as the 'Maghrib' and 'Isha' prayer without having the fear of downpour."Abu-Abdullah Al-Bukhari has allocated one section exclusive to discuss this particular matter and clarify it. 'Bab Ta'kheer Al-zohr Ela Al-Asr', and this title in itself is the most evident witness that the noon prayer can be delayed and both the noon and afternoon prayer at the time of the afternoon prayer. Al-Bukhari in that very section narrated to the following tradition that:"The prophet (p) prayed seven units ('Maghrib'and 'Isha') and eight units (noon and afternoon prayers) in Madina."It is quiet clear from this narration that not only can we delay the noon prayer and that of the afternoon to the time of 'Asr' then pray both of them together, but also from the context, one can benefit that by following the holy prophet, one can also delay the 'Maghrib' prayer and perform it at the time of Isha prayer.Thus, al-Bukhari in another volume of his 'Sahih' says: "Abdullah bin Umar, Abu Ayyub Al-Ansari and Abdullah bin-Abbas had narrated: "The Prophet performed the 'Maghrib' and 'Isha' prayers without any interruption."Al-Bukhari, whilst deriving benefit from this Hadith, goes on to quote that according to this narration, the honorable prophet performed the 'Maghrib'and 'Isha' jointly because it is obvious that the holy prophet never neglected his prayers,Muslim bin hajjaj in his 'Sahih' writes the following:"A man announced the call of prayer near Ibn-Abbas saying 'Al-Salat-get ready for prayers' Ibn Abbas was quiet and did not respond, the man once again said the same phrase and once again Ibn Abbas didn't respond. The man kept on repeating the same phrase until he did so four times. The fourth time Ibn Abbas said: "Do you want to teach me how to pray? Whilst you are aware that we join the two prayers and recite it behind the holy prophet performing it together one after the other."