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Fatwas
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 28 - 07 - 2008

A worshipper entered the mosque while the imam was in the second Tashahhud; should he join the congregation, or wait for another congregation?
A- If a person enters the mosque while the imam is in the second Tashahhud, if he expects that there will be a second congregation, he should not join him, but if he does not expect that there will be a second congregation, he should join him. This is because the most authoritative opinion is that the congregational prayer is not deemed to have been attended except by catching at least one Rak'ah of it, according to the general meaning of the statement of the Prophet (peace be upon him), “Whoever caught a Rak'ah of the prayer has caught the prayer.” And Allah knows best.
Q- What is the ruling regarding a fasting person using an inhaler for breathing problems, and does it break the fast?
A- This spray is vaporized and does not reach the stomach, so in that case, we say that there is no objection to using it when you are fasting, and it will not cause you to break your fast, because as we have said, none of the particles enters the stomach. Since it is something that is diffused and vaporized, and it disappears, with none of it reaching the stomach, it is permissible for you to use it when you are fasting and the fast is not invalidated. And Allah knows best.
Q- Is it permissible for a Muslim to offer the Friday prayer in his house, if he is able to hear the voice of the Imam?
A- It is not permissible for him to perform the Friday prayer except with the congregation in the mosque. If the mosque is full and the rows reach onto the streets, then there is no sin in praying in the street due to necessity.
As for a person praying in his house or in his shop, that is not permissible, nor is it permissible for him to do so, because the purpose of the Friday prayer and the congregational prayer is for the Muslims to gather, so that they present the spectacle of a unified community, with harmony and love prevailing among them. This is also because the ignorant among them may learn from the knowledgeable.
If we were to open the door for every person and say to him: pray with the radio or pray with the loudspeaker while you are in your house, there would be no use in building mosques and the attendance of the worshippers in the mosque.
It is also forbidden because it would lead to the abandonment of the Friday prayer and prayer in congregation if this door were opened. And Allah knows best.
Q- What is the ruling for a fasting person to cool himself in the event of excessive heat and thirst?
A- It is permissible for the fasting person to cool himself, and there is no objection to it, for the Messenger (peace be upon him) used to pour water over his head due to heat or thirst while he was fasting, and Ibn Omar (may Allah be pleased with him) used to wet his garment when he was fasting in order to alleviate the excessive heat and thirst. Also wetness has no effect because in such cases, water does not reach the stomach and does not spoil one's fasting. And Allah knows best.
– Excerpted from Islamic Verdicts on the Pillars of Islam by Sheikh Muhammad Bin Salih Al-‘Uthaimeen, complied and arranged by Fahd Bin Nasir Ibrahim As


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