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Rules of Namaz

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Place where Namaz should be prayed

There are seven conditions for the place where one should offer prayers:

875. The first condition: The place where the prayers are offered should be Mubah. If a person prays on a usurped property, then as an obligatory precaution, his prayers are void, even it he prays on a carpet, or a couch, or similarly objects. However, there is no harm in offering prayers under a usurped roof or a usurped tent.

876. Prayers offered in a property whose use and benefit belongs to someone else, will be void, unless permission is taken from the entitled person. For example, if a house has been rented out, and the owner of the house, or anyone else offers prayers in that house without permission of the tenant, then as a measure of precaution, his prayers are void.
And if a person made a will before his death that one-third of his estate should be used for a particular cause, prayers cannot be offered in that property until that one-third has been dispensed with.

877. If a person sitting in a mosque, is made to quit his place by someone who then occupies his place, the prayers offered there will be valid, though he will have committed a sin.

878. If a person does not know, or forgets that a place is a usurped one, and offers prayers on it, and learns or remembers it after offering prayers, his prayers are in order. However, if a person usurped a place himself but forgets it, and offers prayer there, his prayers are void.

879. If a person knows that a certain place is usurped, but does not know the rule that prayers at a usurped place are void, and offers prayers there, his prayers are void.

880. If a person is obliged to offer obligatory prayers while riding, and if the animal of his riding, or its saddle, or stirrups are usurped ones, his prayers are void. And the same rule applies if he wishes to offer Mustahab prayers while riding that animal.

881. If a person owns a property in partnership with another person, and his share is not defined, he cannot use that property to offer prayers without the consent of his partner.

882. If a person purchases a property with the sum of money from which Khums has not been paid by him, his use of that property is haraam, and the prayers which he offers in it are void.

883. If the owner gives a verbal consent for offering prayers in his property, but it is known that he is not happy about it at heart, then offering prayers in his property is void. Conversely, if he does not give verbal permission but it is known with certainty that he is happy about it, then offering prayers in his property will be in order.

884. Use of a property which belongs to a dead person, who has not paid Zakat or other similar dues, is allowed, provided that such a use does not in any way prevent from obligations. A person wishing to pray in such property can do so, with the permission of the heirs. Similarly, there will be no objection, if the debt is paid up, or guaranteed for payment.

885. The rule for the use of a property belonging to a dead person who is indebted to people, is the same as above mentioned rule, pertaining to Zakat and other similar dues.

886. If a dead person did not owe anyone, but some of his heirs are either minor, or insane, or absent, then use of that property without permission of the guardian of those heirs, is haraam, and it is not permissible to offer prayers in it.

887. To pray in someone else's property is permissible only when the owner has given an explicit consent, or has made a hint implying permission. For example, if he permits a person to stay and sleep in his property, it will be implied that he has given him permission for offering prayers as well.

888. It is permissible to pray on a vast expanse of land, even if its owner is a minor, insane, or unhappy about praying on it. This also applies to lands which have no gates or walls over them. No permission will be required from its owner, except if it is known that the owner is minor, insane, or displeased about anyone praying there. In such a case, as an obligatory precaution, prayers should not be offered there.

889. The second condition: The place for prayers should not have such a vigorous movement which would make normal standing, Ruku or Sajdah impossible. In fact, as an obligatory precaution, it should not prevent the body from being at ease.
But if one is forced to pray at such places, due to shortage of time, or any other reason, like in a car, on a ship or on train, then one should try to remain still, and to maintain the direction of Qibla, as much as possible. And if the vehicles move away from the direction, he should return to Qibla.

890. There is no harm in offering prayers in a car or a boat, or on railway train or other vehicles, while they are motionless. And if they do not cause excessive swaying to the body, when they are in motion, one can pray in them.

891. Prayers offered on a heap of wheat, or barley, or any other similar thing, which cannot remain steady, is void.

The third condition: A person should offer prayers at a place where he sees the possibility of completing the prayers. To pray at a place where one cannot complete the prayers, because of strong winds, or heavy rains or a teeming crowd, will render namaz void, even if one somehow manages to finish the prayers.

892. If a person offers prayers at a place where it is forbidden to stay, like, under a roof which is about to collapse, his prayers are in order, though he will have committed a sin.

893. To pray on an object upon which it is haraam to step, or sit, like a carpet upon which the name of Allah is drawn or written, will render prayers void, if the action is meant to displease Allah.

The fourth condition: The ceiling of the place where one prays should not be so low, that one may not be able to stand erect, nor should the place be so small, that there may be no room for performing Ruku or Sajdah.

894. If a person is forced to offer prayers at a place where it is not at all possible to stand, he will pray while sitting. And if it is not possible to perform Ruku and Sajdah, he should perform them by head signs.

895. One should not offer prayers in front of the graves of the holy Prophet, and the holy Imams, if it entails irreverence, otherwise there is no harm in it.

The fifth condition: If the place where one wishes to pray is najis, it should not be so wet that its moisture would reach the body or the dress of the person praying. But, if the place where one places one's forehead while performing Sajdah, is najis, the prayers will be void, even if that place is dry. And the recommended precaution is that the place where one offers prayers should not be najis at all.

The sixth condition: As an obligatory precaution, women should stand behind men while praying. At least, her place of Sajdah should be in line with his thighs, when in Sajdah.

896. If a woman stands in line with man, or in front of him in namaz, and both of them begin together, they should repeat their prayers. And the same applies if one of them starts earlier than the other.

897. If a man and a woman are standing side by side in namaz, or woman is in front, but there is a wall, curtain, or something else separating them, so that they cannot see each other, the prayers of both of them are in order. Similarly, the prayers of both will be valid if the distance between them is ten arms.

The seventh condition: The place where a person places his forehead while in Sajdah, should not be higher or lower than a span of four fingers, when compared to the place of thighs or toes of his feet. The details of this rule will be given in the rules relating to Sajdah.

898. For a Na-Mahram man and woman to be at a place, where there is a possibility of falling into sin is haraam. As a recommended precaution, one must avoid praying at such places.

899. Prayers at a place where musical instrument etc. is being played, is not void, but hearing or performing it is a sin.

900. The obligatory precaution is that in normal situation, obligatory prayers should not be offered in the Ka'ba, and on the roof of the Holy Ka'ba, but there will be no harm if one is forced to do so.

901. There is no harm in offering Mustahab prayers in the Holy Ka'ba, or on its roof. In fact, it is Mustahab to offer two Rak'ats before every pillar within the Holy House.