< Poetry < Interesting Articles < Inspiring Stories < Stories from Reverts | Prayer Timetables > What is Islam > Salat > Ramadan > Hajj >  Qur'an >

Saturday, 11 September 2010

The prayer room within the Twin Towers

There has been a lot of debate about the proposed islamic centre near gound zero as well as the hate pastor of Florida Terry Jones but little has been said of the Muslims that died in the Twin Towers on 9/11 (estimated to be 60) nor about the prayer rooms that existed in the twin towers.

Here is a article taken form The New York Times, Published: September 10, 2010

Muslims and Islam Were Part of Twin Towers’ Life

Sometime in 1999, a construction electrician received a new work assignment from his union. The man, Sinclair Hejazi Abdus-Salaam, was told to report to 2 World Trade Center, the southern of the twin towers.

In the union locker room on the 51st floor, Mr. Abdus-Salaam went through a construction worker’s version of due diligence. In the case of an emergency in the building, he asked his foreman and crew, where was he supposed to reassemble? The answer was the corner of Broadway and Vesey.

Over the next few days, noticing some fellow Muslims on the job, Mr. Abdus-Salaam voiced an equally essential question: “So where do you pray at?” And so he learned about the Muslim prayer room on the 17th floor of the south tower.

He went there regularly in the months to come, first doing the ablution known as wudu in a washroom fitted for cleansing hands, face and feet, and then facing toward Mecca to intone the salat prayer.

On any given day, Mr. Abdus-Salaam’s companions in the prayer room might include financial analysts, carpenters, receptionists, secretaries and ironworkers. There were American natives, immigrants who had earned citizenship, visitors conducting international business — the whole Muslim spectrum of nationality and race.

Leaping down the stairs on Sept. 11, 2001, when he had been installing ceiling speakers for a reinsurance company on the 49th floor, Mr. Abdus-Salaam had a brief, panicked thought. He didn’t see any of the Muslims he recognized from the prayer room. Where were they? Had they managed to evacuate?

He staggered out to the gathering place at Broadway and Vesey. From that corner, he watched the south tower collapse, to be followed soon by the north one. Somewhere in the smoking, burning mountain of rubble lay whatever remained of the prayer room, and also of some of the Muslims who had used it.

Given the vitriolic opposition now to the proposal to build a Muslim community center two blocks from ground zero, one might say something else has been destroyed: the realization that Muslim people and the Muslim religion were part of the life of the World Trade Center.

Opponents of the Park51 project say the presence of a Muslim center dishonors the victims of the Islamic extremists who flew two jets into the towers. Yet not only were Muslims peacefully worshiping in the twin towers long before the attacks, but even after the 1993 bombing of one tower by a Muslim radical, Ramzi Yousef, their religious observance generated no opposition
“We weren’t aliens,” Mr. Abdus-Salaam, 60, said in a telephone interview from Florida, where he moved in retirement. “We had a foothold there. You’d walk into the elevator in the morning and say, ‘Salaam aleikum,’ to one construction worker and five more guys in suits would answer, ‘Aleikum salaam.’ ”

One of those men in suits could have been Zafar Sareshwala, a financial executive for the Parsoli Corporation, who went to the prayer room while on business trips from his London office. He was introduced to it, he recently recalled, by a Manhattan investment banker who happened to be Jewish.

“It was so freeing and so calm,” Mr. Sareshwala, 47, said in a phone conversation from Mumbai, where he is now based. “It had the feel of a real mosque. And the best part is that you are in the epicenter of capitalism — New York City, the World Trade Center — and you had this island of spiritualism. I don’t think you could have that combination anywhere in the world.”

How, when and by whom the prayer room was begun remains unclear. Interviews this week with historians and building executives of the trade center came up empty. Many of the Port Authority’s leasing records were destroyed in the towers’ collapse. The imams of several Manhattan mosques whose members sometimes went to the prayer room knew nothing of its origins.

Yet the room’s existence is etched in the memories of participants like Mr. Abdus-Salaam and Mr. Sareshwala. Prof. John L. Esposito of Georgetown University, an expert in Islamic studies, briefly mentions the prayer room in his recent book “The Future of Islam.”

Moreover, the prayer room was not the only example of Muslim religious practice in or near the trade center. About three dozen Muslim staff members of Windows on the World, the restaurant atop the north tower, used a stairwell between the 106th and 107th floors for their daily prayers.

Without enough time to walk to the closest mosque — Masjid Manhattan on Warren Street, about four blocks away — the waiters, chefs, banquet managers and others would lay a tablecloth atop the concrete landing in the stairwell and flatten cardboard boxes from food deliveries to serve as prayer mats.

During Ramadan, the Muslim employees brought their favorite foods from home, and at the end of the daylight fast shared their iftar meal in the restaurant’s employee cafeteria.
“Iftar was my best memory,” said Sekou Siby, 45, a chef originally from the Ivory Coast. “It was really special.”

Such memories have been overtaken, though, by others. Mr. Siby’s cousin and roommate, a chef named Abdoul-Karim Traoré, died at Windows on the World on Sept. 11, as did at least one other Muslim staff member, a banquet server named Shabir Ahmed from Bangladesh.

Fekkak Mamdouh, an immigrant from Morocco who was head waiter, attended a worship service just weeks after the attacks that honored the estimated 60 Muslims who died. Far from being viewed as objectionable, the service was conducted with formal support from city, state and federal authorities, who arranged for buses to transport imams and mourners to Warren Street.

There, within sight of the ruins, they chanted salat al-Ghaib, the funeral prayer when there is not an intact corpse.

“It is a shame, shame, shame,” Mr. Mamdouh, 49, said of the Park51 dispute. “Sometimes I wake up and think, this is not what I came to America for. I came here to build this country together. People are using this issue for their own agenda. It’s designed to keep the hate going.”

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Joining Salah in Congression Late (i.e. Jammat)

The following has been taken form Islam Q&A - Fatwa 49037

Q: How should one who has caught up with the congregation in the last rak’ah of Maghrib complete his prayer?

Suppose we are in Magrib prayer and we joined the salat from the second rakat ie from the Tashahud part., then how shall I complete my prayers. Like I normally stand after the salam complete one rakat sit for Tashahud and then complete the third rakat and complete the Tashahud.


Praise be to Allaah.

If you join the congregation during the first tashahhud of Maghrib prayer, then you should follow the imam in the third rak’ah, and recite the tashahhud, then get up after he says the salaam to complete your prayer. You have two rak’ahs left, so pray the first one with al-Faatihah and another soorah, then recite the tashahhud, which is the first tashahhud for you, then get up for the third rak’ah, and recite al-Faatihah only, and recite the last tashahhud, then say the salaam.

What is stated above is based on the assumption that what the latecomer caught up with with the imam is the beginning of his own prayer, and what he prays on his own is the end of his prayer. This is the opinion of al-Shaafa’i (may Allaah have mercy on him).

Al-Nawawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in al-Majmoo’ (4/117): If he catches up with a rak’ah of Maghrib he should stand up after the imam says the salaam and pray one rak’ah and recite the tashahhud, then pray a third rak’ah and recite the tashahhud.

Then he said:

We have mentioned that our view is that what the latecomer catches up with is the first part of his prayer and what he makes up is the last part. This is the view of Sa’eed ibn al-Musayyib, al-Hasan al-Basri, ‘Ata’, ‘Umar ibn ‘Abd al-‘Azeez, Makhool, al-Zuhri, al-Awzaa’i, Sa’eed ibn ‘Abd al-‘Azeez and Ishaaq. Ibn al-Mundhir narrated it from them and said: This is also my opinion. He said: and it was narrated from ‘Umar, ‘Ali and Abu’l-Darda’, but that is not proven. It was also narrated from Maalik and was the view of Dawood.

Abu Haneefah, Maalik, al-Thawri and Ahmad said: What he caught up with is the latter part of his prayer and what he makes up is the first part of his prayer. This was narrated by Ibn al-Mundhir from Ibn ‘Umar, Mujaahid and Ibn Sireen. They quoted as evidence for that the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), “Whatever you catch up with, pray, and whatever you have missed, make it up.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari and Muslim. Our companions quoted as evidence the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): “Whatever you catch up with, pray, and whatever you have missed, complete it.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari and Muslim with many isnaads.

Al-Bayhaqi said: Those who narrated the words “complete it” are greater in number, have better memories and are closer to Abu Hurayrah who is the narrator of this hadeeth, so they are more correct. Shaykh Abu Haamid and al-Maawirdi said: Completing a thing can only be done after doing the first part of it. Al-Bayhaqi also narrated a view similar to ours from ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab, ‘Ali, Abu’l-Darda’, Ibn al-Musayyib, Hasan, ‘Ata’, Ibn Sireen and Abu Qilaabah (may Allaah be pleased with them).

With regard to the report which says “make it up.” This may be answered in two ways:

1 – That those who narrated the words “complete it” are greater in number and have better memories

2 – That qada’ (the word translated here as “make it up”) is actually to be interpreted as meaning “do it” and not the usual sense in which the word is understood, because this usage is that of the later fuqaha’, whereas the Arabs used the word in the sense of doing. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“So when you have accomplished [qadaytum] your Manaasik (rituals of Hajj)”
[al-Baqarah 2:200]

“When you have finished [qudiyat] As-Salaah (the congregational prayer)”
[al-Nisa’ 4:103]

Shaykh Abu Haamid said: What is meant is: what you have missed of your own prayer, not what you missed of the imam’s prayer; what the latecomer has missed of his own prayer is the latter part of it.

It says in Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah (7/322):
Question: I would like to know more about how a latecomer should pray:
1- If the imam has already prayed one or two rak’ahs of Maghrib
2- If the imam has already prayed one or two rak’ahs of a four-rak’ah prayer.
What should he recite? Should he recite al-Faatihah only or another soorah as well?

Whatever the latecomer catches up with of the prayer with his imam is regarded as the first part of his prayer. So whoever catches up with one rak’ah of Maghrib, that is regarded as being the first part of his prayer. So he should stand up after the imam says the salaam and make up what he missed. In the first rak’ah he makes up he should recite al-Faatihah and another soorah or verses, because it is the second rak’ah for him. Then he should sit and recite the first tashahhud. Then when he stands up to make up the remaining rak’ah of Maghrib he should recite al-Faatihah only, because it is the third rak’ah for him. Then he should sit and recite the final tashahhud. If what he missed of Maghrib was one rak’ah, and he caught up with two rak’ahs with the imam, then he should recite al-Faatihah only in the last rak’ah that he makes up after the imam says the salaam, because it is the third rak’ah for him.

If it is a four-rak’ah prayer and he catches up with three or two rak’ahs with the imam, then he should recite al-Faatihah only in the one or two rak’ahs that he makes up, because that is the latter part of the prayer for him, so he does not have to recite another soorah as well as al-Faatihah. This is the correct scholarly view. And Allaah is the Source of strength. May Allaah send blessings and peace upon our Prophet Muhammad and his family and companions.

Standing Committee for Academic Research and Issuing Fatwas.

And Allaah knows best.