There have been, and still are, people who worship the sun, the moon and the stars, giving them divine attributes, for example knowledge of the future (hint: astrology). It’s natural for a person to think that they’re high and mighty because of their beauty and position in the sky that makes them untouchable. Even Prophet Ibrahim (`alayhissalaam) went through this thought process, as Allah mentions in the Quran:
Thus did We show Abraham the kingdom of the heavens and the earth that he be one of those who have Faith and certainty. When the night covered him over with darkness he saw a star. He said: “This is my lord.” But when it set, he said: “I like not that those who set.” When he saw the moon rising up he said: “This is my lord.” but when it set he said: “Unless my Lord guides me, I shall surely be among the erring people.” When he saw the sun rising up he said: “This is my lord, This is greater.” But when it set, he said: “O my people! I am indeed free from all that you join as partners in worship with Allah. Verily, I have turned my face towards Him Who has created the heavens and the earth Hanifan (Islamic Monotheism, i.e. worshipping none but Allah Alone) and I am not of the Al Mushrikeen (those who worship others besides Allah).” [6:75-79]
On the Day of Judgment, Allah will take away their light as if to show their worshipers that these beings that you worshiped and held high in esteem are actually helpless. Allah created them and He can very well destroy them if so He wills.
Volume 4, Book 54, Number 422 :
Narrated by Abu Huraira (radiallaahu `anhu)
The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “The sun and the moon will be folded up (deprived of their light) on the Day of Resurrection.”
When Ibrahim, the son of the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam), died, the sun eclipsed on the same day. People started saying that the eclipse happened because of Ibrahim’s death. So he explained..
Volume 4, Book 54, Number 423 :
Narrated by ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar (radiallaahu `anhu)
The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “The sun and the moon do not eclipse because of someone’s death or life (i.e. birth), but they are two signs amongst the Signs of Allah. So, if you see them (i.e. eclipse) offer the Prayer (of eclipse).”
Volume 4, Book 54, Number 424 :
Narrated by ‘Abdullah bin ‘Abbas (radiallaahu `anhu)
The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “The sun and the moon are two signs amongst the Signs of Allah. They do not eclipse because of someone’s death or life. So, if you see them (i.e. eclipse), celebrate the Praises of Allah (i.e. pray).”
Volume 4, Book 54, Number 425 :
Narrated by ‘Aisha (radiallaahu `anhaa)
On the day of a solar eclipse, Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) stood up (to offer the eclipse prayer). He recited Takbir, recited a long recitation (of Holy Verses), bowed a long bowing, and then he raised h is head saying. “Allah hears him who sends his praises to Him.” Then he stayed standing, recited a long recitation again, but shorter than the former, bowed a long bowing, but shorter than the first, performed a long prostration and then performed the second Rak’a in the same way as he had done the first. By the time he had finished his prayer with Taslim, the solar eclipse had been over. Then he addressed the people referring to the solar and lunar eclipses saying, “These are two signs amongst the Signs of Allah, and they do not eclipse because of anyone’s death or life. So, if you see them, hasten for the Prayer.”
Volume 4, Book 54, Number 426 :
Narrated by Abu Mas’ud (radiallaahu `anhu)
The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “the sun and the moon do not eclipse because of the death or life of someone, but they are two signs amongst the Signs of Allah. So, if you see them, offer the Prayer (of eclipse).”
Volume 4, Book 52, Number 281 :
Narrated by Abu Huraira
Allah’s Apostle sent a Sariya of ten men as spies under the leadership of ‘Asim bin Thabit al-Ansari, the grandfather of ‘Asim bin Umar Al-Khattab. They proceeded till they reached Hadaa, a place between ‘Usfan, and Mecca, and their news reached a branch of the tribe of Hudhail called Bani Lihyan. About two-hundred men, who were all archers, hurried to follow their tracks till they found the place where they had eaten dates they had brought with them from Medina. They said, “These are the dates of Yathrib (i.e. Medina), “and continued following their tracks. When ‘Asim and his companions saw their pursuers, they went up a high place and the infidels circled them. The infidels said to them, “Come down and surrender, and we promise and guarantee you that we will not kill any one of you” ‘Asim bin Thabit; the leader of the Sariya said, “By Allah! I will not come down to be under the protection of infidels. O Allah! Convey our news to Your Prophet. Then the infidels threw arrows at them till they martyred ‘Asim along with six other men, and three men came down accepting their promise and convention, and they were Khubaib-al-Ansari and Ibn Dathina and another man So, when the infidels captured them, they undid the strings of their bows and tied them. Then the third (of the captives) said, “This is the first betrayal. By Allah! I will not go with you. No doubt these, namely the martyred, have set a good example to us.” So, they dragged him and tried to compel him to accompany them, but as he refused, they killed him. They took Khubaib and Ibn Dathina with them and sold them (as slaves) in Mecca (and all that took place) after the battle of Badr. Khubaib was bought by the sons of Al-Harith bin ‘Amir bin Naufal bin ‘Abd Manaf. It was Khubaib who had killed Al-Harith bin ‘Amir on the day (of the battle of) Badr. So, Khubaib remained a prisoner with those people. Narrated Az-Zuhri: ‘Ubaidullah bin ‘Iyyad said that the daughter of Al-Harith had told him, “When those people gathered (to kill Khubaib) he borrowed a razor from me to shave his pubes and I gave it to him. Then he took a son of mine while I was unaware when he came upon him. I saw him placing my son on his thigh and the razor was in his hand. I got scared so much that Khubaib noticed the agitation on my face and said, ‘Are you afraid that I will kill him? No, I will never do so.’ By Allah, I never saw a prisoner better than Khubaib. By Allah, one day I saw him eating of a bunch of grapes in his hand while he was chained in irons, and there was no fruit at that time in Mecca.” The daughter of Al-Harith used to say, “It was a boon Allah bestowed upon Khubaib.” When they took him out of the Sanctuary (of Mecca) to kill him outside its boundaries, Khubaib requested them to let him offer two Rakat (prayer). They allowed him and he offered Two Rakat and then said, “Hadn’t I been afraid that you would think that I was afraid (of being killed), I would have prolonged the prayer. O Allah, kill them all with no exception.” (He then recited the poetic verse):– “I being martyred as a Muslim, Do not mind how I am killed in Allah’s Cause, For my killing is for Allah’s Sake, And if Allah wishes, He will bless the amputated parts of a torn body” Then the son of Al Harith killed him. So, it was Khubaib who set the tradition for any Muslim sentenced to death in captivity, to offer a two-Rak’at prayer (before being killed). Allah fulfilled the invocation of Asim bin Thabit on that very day on which he was martyred. The Prophet informed his companions of their news and what had happened to them. Later on when some infidels from Quraish were informed that Asim had been killed, they sent some people to fetch a part of his body (i.e. his head) by which he would be recognized. (That was because) ‘Asim had killed one of their chiefs on the day (of the battle) of Badr. So, a swarm of wasps, resembling a shady cloud, were sent to hover over Asim and protect him from their messenger and thus they could not cut off anything from his flesh.
Isn’t it a beautiful end to a beautiful story? Here are the original verses of Khubaib’s (radiallaahu `anhu) poetry that he said before being martyred:
Hadith no. 2636 (below) is a repeat. Read it here.
Volume 4, Book 52, Number 240 :
Narrated by Jabir bin ‘Abdullah (radiallaahu `anhu)
On the day of the battle of the Trench, the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) wanted somebody from amongst the people to volunteer to be a reconnoiter. Az-Zubair (radiallaahu `anhu) volunteered. He demanded the same again and Az-Zubair (radiallaahu `anhu) volunteered again. Then he repeated the same demand (thrice) and Az-Zubair (radiallaahu `anhu) volunteered once more. The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) then said, ” Every prophet has a disciple and my disciple is Az-Zubair.”
Volume 4, Book 52, Number 241 :
Narrated by Ibn’ Umar (radiallaahu `anhu)
From the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) the following Hadith (No. 242).
Volume 4, Book 52, Number 242 :
Narrated by Ibn ‘Umar (radiallaahu `anhu)
The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “If the people knew what I know about traveling alone, then nobody would travel alone at night.”
Imam Ahmad was asked about a man spending the night alone. He said: I prefer him to avoid that. Quoted from al-Adaab al-Shar’iyyah (1/428).
It was narrated from ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Amr ibn al-‘Aas that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The (lone) rider is a devil, two riders are two devils and three are a travelling party.” Narrated by al-Tirmidhi (1674), who said it is a hasan hadeeth. It was also classed as hasan by Ibn Hajar in Fath al-Baari (6/53) and by al-Albaani in al-Silsilah al-Saheehah (62).
These ahaadeeth indicate that it is makrooh to be alone in situations where a man fears for himself because of weakness, severe exhaustion or hardship, or when he fears that the shaytaan may tempt him and mislead him. The benefit of being with righteous companions is not limited to help and support, rather the most important thing is that it helps him to remain steadfast and pious, for the shaytaan is further away from two.
Al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar said in Fath al-Baari (6/53):
Ibn Khuzaymah reported it under the heading; “the prohibition on two travelling and that less than three are sinners,” because what is meant by “devil” is a sinner. Al-Tabari said: This is a rebuke aimed at disciplining and guiding because of the fear of loneliness for one, but it is not haraam. The one who travels alone in the wilderness and the one who stays alone in a house has no guarantee that he will not feel lonely, especially if he had bad thoughts and is weak in faith.
In fact people differ with regard to that and the prohibition concerning that is a measure of protection, but if there is need for that, it should be fine. It was said, commenting on the words “the (lone) rider is a devil” that his travelling alone is suggested to him by the shaytaan, or he is likened to the shaytaan in his actions. And it was said that it is disliked because if the person who is travelling alone dies on the journey, there will be no one who can take care of him; similarly, if two are travelling and both or one die, there will be no one to help, unlike three, because in most cases that fear will not be present. End quote.
The apparent meaning of the hadeeth is that the prohibition applies to the one who travels alone via empty and remote routes. As for well-travelled routes, and those in which there is no risk of being lost, and where there are likely to be helpers and companions, there is no report that it is makrooh or prohibited. The same applies to travelling nowadays on planes, ships and buses, because those who are in them are all regarded as traveling companions, so the one who travels by these means is not alone in the sense that is forbidden.
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen said in Fataawa Noor ‘ala al-Darb (mutafarraqaat/al-adaab):
This points to the warning against travelling alone, but that applies to journeys where the route is not travelled by many. As for journeys where the route is travelled by many, and it is as if one is in the middle of a village, such as the route from al-Qaseem to Riyadh, or Riyadh to Dammam and other such routes where there are many travellers, and the road to the Hijaz during the Hajj season, this is not in fact regarded as being alone, because many people travel by these routes. So a person may be alone in his car but he is not alone on the journey, rather there are people around him, behind him and in front of him at every moment. End quote.
Shaykh al-Albaani said in his commentary on this hadeeth in al-Saheehah (62):
Perhaps the hadeeth refers to travelling in the deserts or wilderness where the traveller rarely sees anyone. It does not include travel nowadays on paved and well-travelled roads. And Allaah knows best. End quote.
Taken from IslamQA
Volume 4, Book 52, Number 243 :
Narrated by Hisham’s father
Usama bin Zaid (radiallaahu `anhu) was asked at what pace the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) rode during Hajjat-ul-Wada’ “He rode at a medium pace, but when he came upon an open way he would go at full pace.”
Volume 4, Book 52, Number 244 :
Narrated by Aslam
While I was in the company of ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar (radiallaahu `anhu) on the way to Mecca, he received the news of the severe illness of Safiya bint Abi Ubaid (i.e. his wife), so he proceeded at greater speed, and when the twilight disappeared, he dismounted and offered the Maghrib and ‘Isha ‘prayers together and said, “I saw the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) delaying the Maghrib prayer to offer it along with the ‘Isha’ when he was in a hurry on a journey.”
Volume 4, Book 52, Number 245 :
Narrated by Abu Huraira (radiallaahu `anhu)
Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “Journey is a piece of torture, for it disturbs one’s sleep, eating and drinking. So, when you fulfill your job, you should hurry up to your family.”
1. Traveling on Thursday:
Volume 4, Book 52, Number 199 :
Narrated by Ka’b bin Malik (radiallaahu `anhu)
The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) set out on Thursday for the Ghazwa of Tabuk and he used to prefer to set out (i.e. travel) on Thursdays.
2. Traveling after Zuhr
Volume 4, Book 52, Number 200 :
Narrated by Anas (radiallaahu `anhu)
The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) offered a four-Rak’at Zuhr prayer at Medina and then offered a two Rak’at ‘Asr prayer at Dhul-Hulaifa and I heard the companions of the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) reciting Talbiya aloud (for Hajj and ‘Umra) altogether.
3. Traveling at the end of the Month:
Volume 4, Book 52, Number 201 :
Narrated by ‘Aisha (radiallaahu `anhaa)
We set out in the company of Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) five days before the end of Dhul Qa’da intending to perform Hajj only. When we approached Mecca, Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) ordered those who did not have the Hadi (i.e. an animal for sacrifice) with them, to perform the Tawaf around the Ka’ba, and between Safa and Marwa and then finish their Ihram. Beef was brought to us on the day of (i.e. the days of slaughtering) and I asked, “What is this?” Somebody said, Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) has slaughtered (a cow) on behalf of his wives.”
4. Traveling in Ramadan:
Volume 4, Book 52, Number 202 :
Narrated by Ibn ‘Abbas (radiallaahu `anhu)
Once the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) set out in the month of Ramadan. He observed fasting till he reached a place called Kadid where he broke his fast.
Which is better, breaking one’s fast when traveling or fasting?
The four Imams and the majority of the Sahaabah and Taabi’een were of the view that fasting whilst traveling is permissible and is correct and valid. If the traveler fasts, it counts and he does not have to make it up. See al-Mawsoo’ah al-Fiqhiyyah, vol. 28, p. 73
As to what is better, that depends:
1 – If fasting and not fasting are the same, in the sense that fasting does not affect him, then in this case fasting is better, because of the following evidence:
(a) It was narrated that Abu’l-Darda’ (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: “We went out with the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) [on a journey] during the month of Ramadaan when it was intensely hot, until one of us would put his hand on his head because of the intense heat, and no one among us was fasting apart from the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Rawaahah.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1945; Muslim, no. 1122).
(b) Fasting whilst traveling means that one fulfils one’s duty more quickly, because making it up later means delaying it, but fasting in Ramadaan means doing it sooner.
(c) It is usually easier for the one who has this duty, because fasting and breaking the fast with the people is easier than starting to fast all over again.
(d) It makes the most of a blessed time, namely Ramadaan, for Ramadaan is better than other times, because it is the time when fasting is obligatory. Based on this evidence the view of al-Shafaa’i, which is that fasting is better in the case of one for whom fasting and not fasting are the same, is most likely to be correct.
2 – If not fasting is easier for him, then in this case we say that not fasting (when traveling) is better. If something will give him hardship, then in his case fasting becomes makrooh, because doing something that causes hardship when there is a concession indicates that one is spurning a concession granted by Allaah.
3 – If it will case unbearable difficulty, then in this case it becomes haraam for him to fast. The evidence for that is the report narrated by Muslim from Jaabir ibn ‘Abd-Allaah (may Allaah be pleased with them), that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) went out to Makkah in the year of the Conquest in Ramadaan, and fasted until he reached Kuraa’ al-Ghameem. The people were fasting, but he called for a cup of water and lifted it up so that the people could see it, then he drank it. After that, he was told that some of the people had continued to fast. He said, “Those are the disobedient, those are the disobedient.” According to another report, he was told, “The people are finding it hard to fast, and they are waiting to see what you will do.” So he called for a cup of water after ‘Asr. (1114) So he described those who fasted even though it was very difficult as being disobedient. See al-Sharh al-Mumti’by Shaykh Muhammad ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him), vol. 6, p. 355).
Al-Nawawi and al-Kamaal ibn al-Humaam said: the ahaadeeth which indicate that it is better not to fast are to be interpreted as referring to those who will be harmed by fasting; in some of them this is clearly stated, so they must be interpreted in this manner, so as to reconcile between the ahaadeeth. That is better than neglecting some of them or claiming that they have been abrogated, without definitive evidence to that effect. In the case of those for whom fasting and not fasting are the same, they quoted as evidence the hadeeth of ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her), that Hamzah ibn ‘Amr al-Aslami (may Allaah be pleased with him) said to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): “Should I fast whilst traveling?” – and he used to fast a lot. He (the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)) said: “if you want to, then fast; if you don’t want to, then do not fast.” (Agreed upon).
Volume 4, Book 52, Number 101 :
Narrated by Malik bin Al-Huwairith (radiallaahu `anhu)
On my departure from the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) he said to me and to a friend of mine, “You two, pronounce the Adhan and the Iqama for the prayer and let the elder of you lead the prayer.”
We’ve established previously that the minimum number of people required for a congregational prayer is two. This hadith further proves the importance of the adhaan and iqaamah regardless of the number of people in congregation and the place. Adhaan and iqaamah are NOT limited to the mosque, they should be established wherever the congregation is being held – even while traveling.
While looking up the importance of adhaan and iqaamah, I came across this absolutely beautiful hadeeth of ‘Uqbah ibn ‘Aamir, who said that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:
‘Your Lord likes it when a shepherd at the top of a mountain pass calls the Adhaan for prayer and then prays. Then Allaah says, “Look at this slave of mine, saying the Adhaan and the Iqaamah for prayer and fearing Me. I ask you to bear witness that I have forgiven My slave and will admit him to Paradise.”’” (Narrated by al-Nisaa’i)
This is just too good to ignore. Such beautiful rewards for an easy act. It also proves the importance of adhaan and iqaamah for a person who’s praying alone (men only). Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz (may Allah have mercy on him) said in reply to a related question:
The Sunnah is to give the adhaan and iqaamah. As to whether it is obligatory, there is a difference of opinion among the scholars. It is better and more on the safe side for you to give the adhaan then the iqaamah, because of the general meaning of the evidence. But you should pray in congregation whenever possible. If there is a congregation or you can hear the call to prayer from a mosque near you, then it is obligatory for you to respond to the muezzin and attend the prayer in congregation. If you cannot hear the call and there is no mosque near you, the Sunnah is for you to give the adhaan yourself, then the iqaamah. End quote.
Al-Shaafa’i (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
“If a man neglects to say the Adhaan and Iqaamah when he is praying alone or in congregation, I regard that as makrooh, but he does not have to repeat the prayers he did without the Adhaan or Iqaamah.”