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The Suffering of An Old, Sick Man Regarding Purification and Prayers

 

The Suffering of An Old, Sick Man Regarding Purification and Prayers

 

 

Published in July 7, 2019

Translated by: Ahmed Fathy

 

 

 

Introduction:

1- This email message from a male sender exemplifies the suffering of many people in their old age regarding performance of prayers and purifying/cleaning their bodies within (complete) ablution. We publish part of this message below followed by our reply. We hope this article will provide an answer to many old people who have reached the senile age and send us the same questions about the same concerns.

2- (... I've never missed prayers for more than 60 years of my life. I no longer pray inside mosques after converting to Quranism having read your entire archive of writings and watched all your YouTube videos. Before my retirement, I was a civil engineer; when I tried to refute Sunnite and Sufi myths/hadiths (propagated in the Friday sermons) within my discussion with the preacher/sermonizer of the local mosque near my house, he accused me of being among 'heretics' and he told me that Quranists are 'infidels' and that I'm an engineer who does not understand religion which is the field of specialization of Azharite sheikhs like him! ... I perform the Friday noon prayers 4 Raqas at home and I feel this is better as your writings have taught me so ... My problem is linked to purification/ablution; in my old age, I walk and move slowly, using a walking cane, and pray while sitting; this makes me lose concentration; I suffer now from incontinence; my urine sometimes soil my underwear after, during, and before urination; no medicine managed to heal me; I sometimes urinate while sitting on my chair before I can manage to reach the bathroom! I change my underwear and outer clothes more often than not & several times daily. Sometimes, urine gets out of my body during my performing prayers! I cannot help it! This makes me weep and cry! My back-ache makes changing my clothes and underwear several times a day very painful; I'm too embarrassed to request the help of my only daughter who stays in my house after my wife died. I repeat prayers several times as a result. Sadly, things became worse as I began to find stains of feces in my underwear; I have to use anal douche to avoid violent bowel movements when I defecate so as to avoid pains in the hernia within my abdominal area because I suffer constipation; this obsession with cleanliness caused me wounds in the anal canal and they are cured only to return again; yet, my efforts in purification are fruitless as my underwear is soiled with stains of feces and urine ... It is very hard for an old man like me to bathe several times on a daily basis. I repeat prayers several times and I get distracted because of all of the above; I forget how many Raqas I performed...etc. I fear I'm suffering amnesia now! I can no longer trust my prayers, my cleanliness, and my piety! ... Have you any pieces of advice to offer to me?! Thank you ...).

 

OUR REPLY:

 

Firstly: between creation, legislation, and ease/facilitation for weak human beings:

1- The Lord God's decrees include the creation of the universe and all creatures: "Originator of the heavens and the earth. Whenever He decrees a thing, He says to it, "Be," and it becomes." (2:117). There are divine decrees about legislative commands: "Your Lord has commanded that you worship none but Him, and that you be good to your parents..." (17:23). Decrees about creation and those about commands are combine here: "God intends to lighten your burden, for the human being was created weak." (4:28). This means that the legislative purpose of ease/facilitation (i.e., to lighten our burdens) is linked directly with the fact that human beings are created as weak creatures on Earth.

2- The weakness of human beings is a tangible, undeniable fact; human beings undergo two types of weakness as follows.

2/1: The general weakness at any stage of life or age-groups of human beings because of diseases and the relative frailty of the human body in comparison to other creatures; e.g., lions and crocodiles are stronger than human beings; some bacteria and viruses, though unseen by the naked eye, can cause ailments (and even death) to the human body.

2/2: The weakness of the human body in the stage of childhood and the stage of old age or senility: "God is He Who created you weak, then after weakness gave you strength, then after strength gave you weakness and gray hair. He creates whatever He wills. He is the Omniscient, the Omnipotent." (30:54).

3- Between both stages of childhood and old age, which are somehow similar in the weakness of the human body, there is the stage of strength. Both children and old people are dependent on others; children are born knowing nothing; senile people are victims of amnesia, dementia, and/or Alzheimer's disease. The Lord God says the following in the Quran: "God brought you out of your mothers' wombs, not knowing anything..." (16:78); "God created you; then He takes you away. Some of you will be brought back to the worst age, so that he will no longer know anything, after having acquired knowledge. God is Omniscient and Omnipotent." (16:70); "O people! If you are in doubt about the Resurrection-We created you from dust, then from a small drop, then from a clinging clot, then from a lump of flesh, partly developed and partly undeveloped. In order to clarify things for you. And We settle in the wombs whatever We will for a designated term, and then We bring you out as infants, until you reach your full strength. And some of you will pass away, and some of you will be returned to the vilest age, so that he may not know, after having known..." (22:5).

4- human beings in the childhood stage are not required to perform any acts of worship; once they attain puberty, they are responsible for performing acts of worship. In the stage of old age, human beings have the right to employ ease/facilitation implied here: "God intends to lighten your burden, for the human being was created weak." (4:28); this applies also to the blind, the ill, and the lame within any age-groups.

5- The Lord God is the Creator and He knows His creatures best: "Would He not know, He Who created?..." (67:14); the Lord God created human beings with weak bodies and imposed on them two stages of weakness (childhood and old age) as well as ailments and handicaps. The Merciful Lord God will not judge us for weakness, handicaps, or ailments as such we never choose such conditions; they are imposed on us by fates ordained by the Lord God. Hence, legislative commands are to be applied as per the capacity of each one of the human beings. 

 

Secondly: the Lord God does not burden a soul beyond its capacity:

1- This is one of the main rules/facts of the Quranic legislation of True Islam; it is repeated within several laws.

1/1: "God does not burden any soul beyond its capacity. To its credit is what it earns, and against it is what it commits. "Our Lord, do not condemn us if we forget or make a mistake. Our Lord, do not burden us as You have burdened those before us. Our Lord, do not burden us with more than we have strength to bear; and pardon us, and forgive us, and have mercy on us. You are our Lord and Master, so help us against the disbelieving people."" (2:286).

1/2: "As for those who believe and do righteous works - We never burden any soul beyond its capacity - these are the inhabitants of the Garden; abiding therein eternally." (7:42).

1/3: "We never burden any soul beyond its capacity. And with Us is a record that tells the truth, and they will not be wronged." (23:62).

2- This Quranic rule is repeated within other legislative details.

2/1: Within the Quranic Ten Commandments: "And do not come near the property of the orphan, except with the best intentions, until he reaches maturity. And give full weight and full measure, equitably. We do not burden any soul beyond its capacity. And when you speak, be fair, even if it concerns a close relative. And fulfill your covenant with God. All this He has enjoined upon you, so that you may take heed." (6:152).

2/2: Within the rights of divorced women:

2/2/1: "The wealthy shall spend according to his means; and he whose resources are restricted shall spend according to what God has given him. God never burdens a soul beyond what He has given it. God will bring ease after hardship." (65:7).

2/2/2: "Mothers may nurse their infants for two whole years, for those who desire to complete the nursing-period. It is the duty of the father to provide for them and clothe them in a proper manner. No soul shall be burdened beyond its capacity. No mother shall be harmed on account of her child, and no father shall be harmed on account of his child. The same duty rests upon the heir. If the couple desire weaning, by mutual consent and consultation, they commit no error by doing so. You commit no error by hiring nursing-mothers, as long as you pay them fairly. And be wary of God, and know that God is Seeing of what you do." (2:233).

2/3: Within self-defense fighting for the Lord God's sake: "So fight in the cause of God; you are responsible only for yourself. And rouse the believers. Perhaps God will restrain the might of those who disbelieve..." (4:84).

2/4: Within Preaching the Divine Truth without receiving any wages from any people: "Say, "I ask of you no wage for this, and I am not among those who burden themselves." (38:86). This is why ease, facilitation, and removing of burdens/hardships are part of the Quranic higher legislative purposes.

 

Thirdly: removing burdens and hardships:

1- The Quranic term "burden(s)" means hardships, difficulties, and fatigue. These things are to be avoided within acts of worship through the Quranic rule of ease/facilitation. In contrast, the extremist Sunnite religion of Satan and its fiqh is filled with countless details regarding acts of worship which overburden people.

2- We have written before about the fact that there are three spheres of Quranic legislations of Islam: (1) legislative commands governed by (2) legislative rules which, in their turn, are governed by (3) legislative purposes. The legislative purposes include piety and ease/facilitation. 

3- Of course, removing burdens and hardships regarding acts of worship is a main Quranic legislative purpose in Islam; this is asserted in this Quranic phrase about Islam itself: "And strive for God...He...has not burdened you in religion..." (22:78).

4- This legislative purpose accompanies legislative commands; this is exemplified here.

4/1: "There is no blame on the blind, nor any blame on the lame, nor any blame on the sick, nor on yourselves for eating at your homes, or your fathers' homes, or your mothers' homes, or your brothers' homes, or your sisters' homes, or the homes of your paternal uncles, or the homes of your paternal aunts, or the homes of your maternal uncles, or the homes of your maternal aunts, or those whose keys you own, or the homes of your friends. You commit no wrong by eating together or separately. But when you enter any home, greet one another with a greeting from God, blessed and good. God thus explains the revelations for you, so that you may understand." (24:61).

4/2: "There is no blame on the blind, nor any blame on the lame, nor any blame on the sick. Whoever obeys God and His Messenger - He will admit him into Paradise gardens beneath which rivers flow; but whoever turns away - He will punish him with a painful torment." (48:17).

4/3: "There is no blame on the weak, nor on the sick, nor on those who have nothing to give, provided they are true to God and His Messenger. In no way can the righteous be blamed. God is Forgiving and Merciful." (9:91).

5- This legislative purpose of removing burdens and hardships is mentioned in the legislations of purification: "O you who believe! When you rise to pray, wash your faces and your hands and arms to the elbows, and wipe your heads, and your feet to the ankles. If you had intercourse, then purify yourselves. If you are ill, or travelling, or one of you returns from the toilet, or you had sexual contact with women, and could not find water, then use some clean surface and wipe your faces and hands with it. God does not intend to burden you, but He intends to purify you, and to complete His blessing upon you, that you may be thankful." (5:6). Tayammum here (using something clean like a kerchief) replaces (complete) ablution in case there is no water. Thus, Islamic legislations in the Quran are based on ease/facilitation.

 

Fourthly: the Quranic higher legislative purpose of ease/facilitation:

1- We perceive this ease/facilitation exemplified here.

1/1: Within legislations related to fasting: "Ramadan is the month in which the Quran was revealed. Guidance for humanity, and clear portents of guidance, and the Criterion. Whoever of you witnesses the month, shall fast it. But whoever is sick, or on a journey, then a number of other days. God desires ease for you, and does not desire hardship for you..." (2:185).

1/2: Within legislations related to pilgrimage and those pilgrims prevented from entering into Mecca for whatever reason(s) and that they should send their offerings (i.e., sacrificial animals) to the Kaaba: "And carry out the Hajj and the Umrah for God. But if you are prevented, then whatever is feasible of offerings. And do not shave your heads until the offering has reached its destination. Whoever of you is sick, or has an injury of the head, then redemption of fasting, or charity, or worship. When you are secure: whoever continues the Umrah until the Hajj, then whatever is feasible of offering. But if he lacks the means, then fasting for three days during the Hajj and seven when you have returned, making ten in all..." (2:196).

1/3: Within night vigils of prolonged acts of worship, one reads Quranic verses as many as one can within ease/facilitation: "Your Lord knows that you stay up nearly two-thirds of the night, or half of it, or one-third of it, along with a group of those with you. God designed the night and the day. He knows that you are unable to sustain it, so He has pardoned you. So read of the Quran what is possible for you. He knows that some of you may be ill; and others travelling through the land, seeking God’s bounty; and others fighting in God’s cause. So read of it what is possible for you..." (73:20).

2- The legislative purpose of ease/facilitation is implied (i.e., it is not mentioned explicitly) within this verse about legislations of purification: "O you who believe! Do not approach the prayer while you are drunk, so that you know what you say; nor after sexual orgasm - unless you are travelling - until you have bathed. If you are sick, or traveling, or one of you comes from the toilet, or you have had sexual intercourse with women, and cannot find water, find clean surface and wipe your faces and your hands with it. God is Pardoning and Forgiving." (4:43). After allowing Tayammum, this verse ends in the phrase (God is Pardoning and Forgiving.); this shows that the legislative purpose of ease/facilitation is linked to purification. 

 

Lastly:

1- All of the Quranic acts of worship, commands, and prohibitions have but one higher, general purpose; i.e., to attain piety. Of course, only the pious ones will enter into Paradise: "Such is Paradise which We will give as inheritance to those of Our servants who are pious." (19:63).

2- We assert the following to the sender of the above message: You have to observe piety, reverence, and concentration during your prayers as much as you can; your prayers should lead to your adherence to piety all day long within your behavior and your avoiding (small and grave) sins as much as you can. You can perform prayers in any position that gives you comfort (while sitting, reclining, lying down, etc.). As for your purification or (complete) ablution, you have to bear in mind that the Lord God does not burden a soul beyond its capacity. Physical cleanliness/purity is not the main thing in your case; do not be obsessed by it; what matters most in your case is the purity of your heart/soul by never making it contain pagan, polytheistic notions and devilish hadiths as both are abominations of Satan's doing. May the Lord God bless and help you. 


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