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Misgivings about intention in prayer

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by Qibla.com

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

I have wasawis [misgivings] before I start a prayer, when I try to recollect which prayer exactly I am about to pray. So I was leading a prayer with my younger brother as muqtadi (Isha prayer), and as I recollected which prayer we are about to do, the actual prayer maybe was drifting away from my mind and I was focusing on the word ‘Isha’ again and again in mind and softly-spoken words. I eventually started, but I had just thought of that word, and probably lost/forgot which prayer I was really doing… please, can you help me?

Answer:
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Walaikum assalam,

Intention is very easy:

a) the legal minimum is to have the firm resolve to be performing the given action. It is known by the fact that if someone were to ask you what you are doing, you could say, “The Isha prayer,” for example, without hesitation. In your case above, this intention was evidently present;

b) the optimal intention should include an explicit turning of one’s heart towards drawing closer to Allah.

Wassalam,

Faraz Rabbani
[email protected]
[email protected] 

Imam Abu Hanifa (Allah have mercy on him) said, “Fiqh is to know one’s self: what is for it and against it.”

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.

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