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Guidance on performing prayer: reciting out loud; Ikhlas three times; late Asr; wudu issues

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Qibla.com

Answered by Sidi Suheil Laher

1)I live in New Delhi (INDIA)and live in such a place where there is no mosque near my home ,so I offer all my salat farz/sunnat at my home alone so what is s the ruling in shariat for such a situation. Also I recite everything during salat (all 5 times) with loud voice, audible in 5 meters, as I lose concentration and doubts creep into my mind whether I have said the ayats/takbeer/tasbih/shahadat/darood etc. correctly or not, I have tried hard to offer salat silently but unable to do so what is the ruling in shariat for such a situation.
2) As everybody knows that reciting SURAH-IKHLAAS 3 times amounts to reciting HOLY QURAN once.I want to get the sawaab of reciting HOLY QURAN in every rakat of salat, so I recite SURAH-IKHLAAS 9 times in first rakat and 3 times in second rakat.then in third and fourth rakat I recite SURAH-FALAQ and SURAH-NAAS respectively. this is what I recite in each rakat after SURAH FATIHAH, A)FAJR SURAH-IKHLAAS(7times) SURAH-FALAQ B)DHUAR SURAH-IKHLAAS(9times) SURAH-IKHLAAS(3times) SURAH-FALAQ SURAH-NAAS C)ASR SURAH-IKHLAAS(9times) SURAH-IKHLAAS(3times) SURAH-FALAQ SURAH-NAAS D)MAGHRIB SURAH-IKHLAAS(7times) SURAH-FALAQ SURAH-NAAS E)ISHA SURAH-IKHLAAS(9times) SURAH-IKHLAAS(3times) SURAH-FALAQ SURAH-NAAS Kindly clarify whether these combination of surah is valid or not and if not valid then alternate suitable combinations. 3) I live in New Delhi (INDIA) and thus work in a office where majority are non-believers, also work in shift duty(DAY, NIGHT) so I have to travel in public transport system sometimes during the time of MAGHRIB prayer, so I want to know whether I can perform salat sitting in a bus with performing ruku and sajdah by bending my back slightly for ruku and even more for sajdah.Also in my office there is no place available pure and clean as people carry their shoes to almost everywhere, so whether I can perform salat standing and again performing ruku and sajdah by bending my back slightly for ruku and even more for sajdah. These are the only options available to me to perform maghrib,isha and fajr salat on time.
3)if asr salat offered(finished) before 20 min time of maghrib is valid
4)whether wudu breaks if one rests his back completely against wall/seat that is if one sits in these positions,
        a) Completely resting his back to some support like seat/wall.
        b) Only some portion(lower) of the back resting to some support. Kindly guide me on the above questions ,and last but not least, MAY ALLAH SUBHANA WATA AALA GUIDE US ON SIRATAL-MUSTAKEEM! AAMEEN. ”

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

wa`alaykum as-salam wa-rahmatullah
Dear brother
May Allah reward you for your great concern for your religion. You are indeed fortunate that you are making an effort to pray five times a day, and to learn the religion better, in these difficult times of much temptation and evil. Responses to your questions are below.
a) If there is no masjid or jama`at-khanah within a convenient distance, then try to find some other Muslims around you – even one other Muslim – and pray together in jam`at with him/them. If even this is not possible, then you can pray alone. For Jumu`ah (friday) prayer, you must exert your maximum effort to find a place to pray in congregation and listen to the khutbah. There are many Muslims in New Delhi, so try to reach one of the masjids for Jumu`ah, even if it means a slightly longer journey than you are used to.
b) In Zuhr and `Asr prayers (and similarly the 3rd rak`at of Maghrib and the 3rd and 4th rak`at of `Isha), it is wajib that you recite softly. The minimum “soft” recitation is that you can hear yourself, even if others cannot hear you. This volume should be sufficient for your concentration. Raising your voice slightly, once in a while, for some reason, is ok. But you should not make a regular practice of reciting very loudly in these salats, because:
i) This is against the regular sunnah practice of the Prophet (peace and blessings upon him)
ii) It can actually reduce your concentration, because you are probably more occupied with the outward sounds of the recitation than with concentrating on the meanings and imagining yourself standing before Allah.
Therefore, you must make a sincere effort to bring your recitation volume down to the sunnah level. I know, this might be difficult at first, but keep working on it: focus on improving your sincerity (ikhlas) in the salah, and ignore baseless misgivings and doubts from Shaytan. Once you start ignoring such thoughts, they will soon go away, inshaAllah. So, be courageous and defeat Shaytan.
2) All the combinations of surahs you mention are valid. However, please note that it is not recommended to fix specific surahs for specific salats. It is sufficient to recite just one surah once in each rak`ah. And in the 3rd and 4th rak`ah of a fard salah, it is not required to add anything to Surah al-Fatihah. I suggest that you reduce your recitation to only one surah, one time, in each rak`ah. This should also help your concentration, because you will not be worrying about trying to keep count of how many times you have recited.
In order to get the virtue of reciting Surah al-Ikhlas thrice, it would be sufficient for you to do this at night (e.g. before you sleep), even if it is outside of salah.
Abu Sa`id said: The Messenger of Allah said to his Companions, “Is any of you incapable of reciting one third of the Qur’an in a night?” They felt burdened by this, and so they asked, “Which of us has the capability for that, O Messenger of Allah?!” He said, “[Allah has divided the Qur’an into three parts, and Qul-HuwAllahu-Ahad], is one-third of the Qur’an.” [Bukhari]
a) If you are just traveling between home and work within the same city, then you cannot normally pray the fard prayer sitting in a seat. The fard prayer is invalid if proper standing, proper ruku` and proper sajdah are not performed. Therefore, you have two options:
i) Delay your departure slightly so that you can pray Maghrib before boarding the bus, or
ii) Pray Maghrib when you reach your destination. Maghrib Salah is not qada’ (missed) until the time of `Isha’ begins.
b) A place does not become najis (ritually unclean for the purposes of prayer) merely by people walking over it with their shoes. Dust and soil are not themselves forms of najasah. The Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) has said, “The earth has been made a masjid for me.” Therefore, you should regard every piece of the earth as clean for performing salah, unless you can clearly detect some signs of najasah (e.g. blood, faeces, urine) on it. If the environment is such that all the nearby ground is indeed najis, then you can place a prayer rug, or even a piece of cardboard, over the area on which you pray. But as we mentioned above, it is not permissible to pray the fard salah without proper standing, ruku`, sajdah, etc.
3. c) `Asr prayer offered (finished) 20 mins before Maghrib is valid.
4. For details on the invalidation of wudu’ by sleeping, see the following SunniPath answer:
And Allah knows best.
May Allah keep you firm, ease your affairs and dispel your anxieties.

This answer was indexed from Qibla.com, which used to have a repository of Islamic Q&A answered by various scholars. The website is no longer in existence. It has now been transformed into a learning portal with paid Islamic course offering under the brand of Kiflayn.