Allah Most High says, “I have not created jinn-kind nor mankind for any purpose other than to worship Me.” (Qur’an, 51:56) Take this course to get comprehensive and knowledge-based answers to all of the questions that you are likely to face in your worship Allah Most High, all in light of a formal textbook of in Shafi‘i law that students like you have used for centuries. This is the first of two parts. This part focuses on the detailed rules of purification and prayer. This course is taught according to the Shafi‘i school. If you would like to learn it according to the Hanafi school, take this course instead.

Curricular Context

  • This is a second-level course in Step One
  • Before taking this course, take The Absolute Essentials of Islam (Shafi‘i)
  • Take this course (or its Hanafi equivalent) before all courses in Step Two

What You’ll Learn

  • Understand slavehood to Allah Most High and why it is important
  • Learn the rules of purification and prayer that you are likely to encounter in your daily life
  • Memorize the most important rules of wudu and ghusl
  • Memorize the most important rules of prayer
  • Appreciate the rigor of the science of Sacred Law (fiqh)

Course Outline


  • Biography of Imam Shafi’i


  • Biography of Imam Abdullah Ba Fadl
  • The Text: Al Mukhtasar al Saghir
  • Author’s Introduction
  • Wudu – Integrals
  • Wudu – Sunnas
  • Wudu – Nullifiers
  • Wiping over the Khuffs
  • What is prohibited in ritual impurity


  • Etiquettes of relieving oneself
  • Cleaning oneself – al Istinja’
  • Ghusl – Reasons
  • Ghusl – Integrals
  • Ghusl – Sunan
  • Conditions of purification from ritual impurity


  • Water and Impurities
  • Impurities
  • That which can be purified and that which cannot be purified


  • Tayammum – Integrals
  • Tayammum – Conditions
  • Tayammum – Wounds and bandages


  • Menstruation
  • Lochia
  • Istihada
  • Prohibitions during Menstruation and Lochia


  • Prayer – Times of prayer
  • Prayer – Prohibited times


  • Prayer – Obligation to pray
  • Prayer – Conditions
  • Prayer – Excused Impurities


  • Prayer – Integrals
  • Prayer – Sunan


  • Prayer – Nullifiers

 WEEK 10

  • The Prostration of Forgetfulness
  • The Prostration of Recitation

 WEEK 11

  • Those whom it is invalid to pray behind (The Imam)
  • Conditions of the congregational prayer
  • The Traveller’s prayer

 WEEK 12

  • The Friday Prayer – The Obligation to Attend
  • The Friday Prayer – Conditions
  • The Friday Prayer – Integrals of the Sermons
  • The Friday Prayer – Conditions of the Sermons

About the Course Text

The course is a detailed explanation of al-Mukhtasar al-Saghir (“Short Abridgment”), a summary of the rules of purification, prayer, fasting, zakat, and hajj, according to the Shafi‘i school, along with a brief introduction to the rules of trade, marriage, and divorce.  The book was authored by the great Yemeni Shaykh Abdullah Ba Fadl (d. 918 A.H. / 1512 C.E.), whose works have been taught for centuries in traditional institutions of learning all over the world. A downloadable translation of the text is provided as part of the course materials.