Q 6: In preparation to offer the obligatory Salah (Prayer) before pronouncing Takbir (saying: "Allahu Akbar [Allah is the Greatest]"), we say: "O Allah! I make the intention to offer the four Rak`ahs (units of Prayer) of Zhuhr (Noon) Prayer facing the direction of the Ka`bah, the Sacred House of Allah and following the faith of Ibrahim (Abraham) and Muhammad, Hanifa [Islamic Monotheism, i.e. to worship none but Allah (Alone)], and I am not a Mushrik (one who associates others with Allah in His Divinity or worship)." What is the ruling on this?
(Part No. 5; Page No. 299
Intention is an act of `Ibadah (worship) and acts of `Ibadah are Tawqifiy (bound by a Islamic text and not amenable to personal opinion). The intention is to be in the heart and pronouncing it is a sort of Bid`ah (innovation in religion). Neither the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) nor his successors and Companions pronounced it ever. It has been confirmed in the Two Sahih (authentic) Books of Hadith (i.e. Al-Bukhari and Muslim) and other books that
"The Prophet (peace be upon him) said to the Bedouin who offered Salah incorrectly, 'When you stand to offer Salah, pronounce Takbir and then recite whatever Ayahs (verses) you can from the Qur'an.'"
In the Sunan (Hadith compilations classified by jurisprudential themes), it was narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
"The key to Salah is Taharah (ritual purification); its beginning is Takbir and its end is Taslim (salutation of peace ending the Prayer)."
It is related in Sahih
Muslim on the authority of
`Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) that
"The Prophet (peace be upon him) used to commence prayer saying, 'Allahu Akbar (Allah is the Greatest)' and recite Surah Al-Fatihah."
It has been authentically reported in Hadith Mutawatir (Hadith reported by a significant number of narrators throughout the chain of narration, whose agreement upon error is impossible) and in the consensus of all Muslims that the Prophet (peace be upon him) and the Companions used to begin the Salah with Takbir. It has never been reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) pronounced the intention. Anyone who alleges the permissibility of
pronouncing it must be reproved. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
"Anyone who does something that we have not ordered (in worship) it will be rejected."
In another narration:
"Anyone who does something in this matter of ours (the religion) that is not from it, it will be rejected."
May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.