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 As-Salat (Establishing The Prayer)

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PostSubject: As-Salat (Establishing The Prayer)   As-Salat (Establishing The Prayer) EmptyTue Feb 02, 2010 4:26 pm

As Salamu Alaikum

As-Salat (Establishing The Prayer)

The Pray (As-Salah) as a pillar of Islam, is second only to the two testimonies in importance and ranking: it is the first deed for which one will be held accountable on the Day of Judgement - if one's prayer is good and acceptable, then he will have achieved success; but if it is incorrect and corrupted in some way, then one has achieved failure. The prayer is a form of worship that must be performed on time:

Verily, the prayer is enjoined on the believers at fixed hours. (Surah An-Nisa’ 4: 103)


In the following verse, Allah orders us to strictly guard the five obligatory prayers, meaning that we should be diligent in perform¬ing all of them on time. Since Allah orders us to perform them on time, we necessarily conclude that there are known times for each prayer.

Guard strictly (five obligatory) As-Sa/awat (the prayers) especially the middle Sa/at (i.e. the best prayer 'Asr). And stand before Allah with obedience [and do not speak to others during the Salat (prayers)] (Surah Al-Baqarah 2: 238)


Allah gives a stem warning to those who are neglectful regarding the prayer and those who delay the prayer until its time passes:

Then, there has succeeded them a posterity who have neglected As-Sa/at (the prayers) and have followed lusts. So, they will be thrown in Hell. (Surah Maryam 19:59)


And Allah Almighty said:

So woe to those performers of Sa/at (prayers) (hypocrites), who delay their Sa/at (prayer) from their stated fixed times. (Surah Al-Ma’un 107: 4-5)

So, the meaning of neglected (above) is that they delayed the prayer from its proper time. It does not mean that they abandoned it, since abandoning it is disbelief, and we seek refuge in Allah Almighty from that.

The prayer is a sign that distinguishes between Islam and disbelief. In his Sahih, Muslim recorded that Jabir, (Radhi Allahu Anhu) said he heard the Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) say:

Between man and between Shirk and disbelief is abandoning the Sa/at.


And in a Hadith narrated by Buraidah, (Radhi Allahu Anhu), the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) said:

The covenant between us and them is the Sa/at; whoever leaves it has indeed disbelieved. (It was recorded by Imam Ahmad and the Sunan Compilers with an authentic chain of narration.)


As-Salat (Establishing The Prayer) Div11

And what - in significance - is the prayer?

It is the link between a worshipper and his Lord. The Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) said:

When one of you prays, he speaks confidentially to his Lord. (Recorded by Al-Bukhari)


In a Hadith Qudsi Allah Almighty said:

I have divided the prayer between Me and My slave into two halves, and for my slave is what he asks. When my slave says, "All the praises and thanks are to Allah, the Lord of all that exists," Allah Almighty says, "My slave has praised me." When he says, "The Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful," Allah Almighty says, "My slave has extolled me." When he says, "The Only Owner of the Day of Recompense," Allah Almighty says, "My slave has glorified me." Then when he says, "You alone we worship and You alone we ask for help," Allah Almighty says, "This is between Me and My slave, and for My slave is what he asks." And then when he says, "Guide us to the straight way, the way of those on whom You have bestowed Your grace, not (the way) of those who earned Your anger, nor of those who went astray," Allah Almighty says, "This is for My slave, and for My slave is what he asks." (Recorded by Muslim)

The prayer consists of a number of different kinds of worship ¬saying: "Allahu Akbar" (Allah is the Most Great) to begin the prayer; standing to recite Allah's Speech; bowing, and in that position, glorifying the Lord; standing from the bowing position, filling the time while one is standing with praises for Allah; prostrating to glorify Allah for His Greatness, and to supplicate to Him; sitting to supplicate, to say the Tashahhud, and then finally, to say the Taslim, which signifies the end of prayer.

The prayer not only helps us in our important affairs, it also prevents us from committing wicked and evil deeds, for Allah Almighty says:

And seek help in patience and As-Salat (Surah Al-Baqarah 2: 45)


And He says:

Recite what has been revealed to you of the Book, and perform As-Salat. Verily, As-Salat prevents from Al-Fahsha' (great sins of every kind, unlawful sexual intercourse, etc.) and Al¬-Munkar (disbelief, polytheism, and every kind of evil wicked deed, etc.) (Surah Al-‘Ankabut 29:45)


The prayer is illumination in the hearts of the believers, for the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) said:

The prayer is light. (Recorded by Muslim)


He (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) also said:

Whoever commits it to memory, he will have, on the Day of Judgement, a light, a proof, and a deliverance. (Ahmad, Ibn Hibban, and At-Tabarani)


The prayer is happiness and contentment in the hearts and souls of the believers; the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) said:

My joy has been made in the prayer. (Ahmad and An-Nasa'i)


When one prays, his sins are erased and atoned for. The Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) said:

"If there was a river by the door of one of you, in which he bathed five times every day, do you think that any of his filth would remain?"


They said, "None of his filth would remain." He (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) said:

,
"The same is the case with the five prayers: through them Allah wipes the sins away." (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)


In another Hadith, he (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) said:

The five prayers and Jumu'ah (Friday Prayer) to Jumu'ah are expiations for what occurs between them (i.e., sins), as long as the major sins are not perpetrated. (Recorded by Muslim)


Ibn Mas'ud (Radhi Allahu Anhu) said: "Whoever wishes to meet Allah tomorrow as a Muslim, then let him carefully guard these five prayers when they are called for. Indeed Allah has legislated for your Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) ways of guidance, and the prayers are from the ways of guidance. Were you to pray in your homes as this person does who remains behind in his home, then you would have left the way of your Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam), and if you were to leave the way of your Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam), you would have gone astray. There is not a man who purifies himself, and purifies himself well, and then heads to a Masjid among these Masjids, except that for each step he takes, Allah writes for him a good deed, raises him one rank, and removes a sin from him. I remember (that during previous times) that no one would remain behind from the congregational prayer except for the one who was known to be a hypocrite. (Even the sick) man was brought to the prayer; he was helped from in between two men, until he was made to stand in the row." (Recorded by Muslim)

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PostSubject: Re: As-Salat (Establishing The Prayer)   As-Salat (Establishing The Prayer) EmptyTue Feb 02, 2010 4:39 pm

As Salamu Alaikum


Al-Khushu' which is to have a heart that is present and reflective and to be steadfast in the prayer is one of the means of achieving Paradise. Allah Almighty says:


Successful indeed are the believers. Those who have Khushu' in their Salat. And those who turn away from Al-Laghw (dirty, false, evil vain talk, falsehood, and all that AlIah has forbidden). And those who pay the Zakat, and those who guard their chastity (i.e. private parts, from illegal sexual acts) except from their wives or (the captives and slaves) that their right hands possess, for then, they are free from blame. But whoever seeks beyond that, then those are the transgressors. Those who are faithfully true to their trusts and to their covenants; And those who strictly guard their Salawat (prayers). These are indeed the inheritors; who shall inherit the Firdaws (Paradise). They shall dwell therein forever. (Surah Al-Mu’minun 23: 1:11)

Sincerity to Allah in prayer, and performing it according to the way it came to us in the Sunnah - these are the two fundamental conditions for one's prayer to be accepted. The Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) said:

Indeed deeds are by intentions, and for each one is that which he intended. (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)


And he (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) said:

Pray as you have seen me praying. (*)


There are many great virtues of performing prayer in congregation in the mosque; furthermore, doing so is compulsory. Ibn 'Umar, (Radhi Allahu Anhuma) related that the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) said:

The congregational prayer is superior to the individual prayer by twenty-seven degrees. (Agreed upon)


On one occasion, according to the agreed upon Hadith, the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) intended to burn the houses of men who remained behind instead of going to pray in congregation. The Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) said:

Whoever hears the call (to prayer) but doesn't come, then there is no prayer for him, unless he has an excuse. (It was recorded by Ibn Majah, Ad-Daraqutni, ibn Hibban, and Al¬-Hakim with an authentic chain of narration.)


This Hadith indicates the elevated status of congregational prayer in Islam.

The Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) ordered the one who did not have tranquility in his prayer to repeat it.

The congregational prayer is a manifestation of equality, brother¬hood, and organization: All Muslims turn toward the direction of the Sacred Ka'bah when they pray.

Whenever the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) faced a difficult matter, he would hasten to prayer. Allah Almighty says:

Seek help in patience and As-Sa/at (the prayer) (Surah Al-Baqarah 2: 153)


The Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) used to say to Bilal (Radhi Allahu Anhu):

“O Bilal, give us comfort by it. (*2)

When praying, one is sure to find comfort and peace in his heart, body, and soul, for He is standing before His Lord, Protector, and Guardian.


As-Salat (Establishing The Prayer) Div21


The Ruling Regarding Those Who Abandon The Prayer


A great evil is perpetrated by many of those who claim to be Muslims when they abandon the prayer, for abandoning the prayer is disbelief.

In an authentic Hadith, the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) said:

Between the man and disbelief or Shirk is abandoning the prayer.


He (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) also said:

The covenant between us and them is the prayer; whoever leaves it has indeed disbelieved.


Because the prayer is the support for Islam, and because there is no religion of Islam for the person who abandons it, the one who abandons the prayer most likely has abandoned all other religious ! duties as well. Abandoning the prayer is one of the actions that lead to entering the Hellfire; Allah Almighty says about the wrongdoers:

''What has caused you to enter Hell?" They will say: "We were not of those who used to offer their Salat." (Surah Al-Muddaththir 74:42-43)


Allah Almighty says:

And perform As-Salat and be not of the polytheists. (Surah Ar-Rum 30:31)


And Allah Almighty says:

And to perform As-Salat, and to be obedient to Allah, and fear Him, and it is He to Whom you shall be gathered.(Surah Al-An’am 6: 72)

And:

But if they repent, perform As-Sa/at and give Zakat, then they are your brethren in religion.(Surah At-Taubah 9: 11)


Establishing the prayer, then, is made as a condition for repentance to be accepted and for entering Islam. Allah Almighty says:

Woe that Day to the deniers (of the Day of Resurrection)! And when it is said to them: "Bow down yourself (in prayer)!" They bow not down.( Surah Al-Mursalat 77:47-48)

The scholars from both early and later generations agree that the punishment for the one who persists in not praying is death; the verses and Hadiths that indicate the disbelief of one who abandons the prayer are indeed many.

In our time, it has become very common for one to pray the Fajr prayer after the sun has risen - and we seek protection with Allah. One way to forsake the prayer is to not pray in congregation, even though one is able to do so. The Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) said:

Whoever hears the call to prayer but does not answer it, then there is no prayer for him.


He (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) also said:

There is no prayer for the neighbor of the Masjid except in the Masjid.


The neighbor of the Masjid is one who hears the call to prayer. In yet another Hadith, the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) said:

Whoever hears the call (to prayer), but doesn't answer it, on the Day of Judgement, molten lead will be poured into his ears.


The only person who remains behind, not performing prayer in congregation is the hypocrite, just as Ibn Mas'ud said.

Another way to be neglectful in prayer is to pray in a hasty manner - praying quickly, preceding the Imam from one part of the prayer to the next, or bowing and prostrating for such a short period of time that calmness is not achieved. This is the state of the one who tries to precede the Imam: he is neither praying alone nor following his Imam, and his forelocks are in the hands of the Shaitan. This hastiness prevents one from having a wakeful heart during prayer, and having a wakeful heart is the fruit and soul of prayer without which the prayer is not accepted. Rather it (i.e., the prayer) is coiled like an old garment, and with it the face of the one who prayed without a wakeful heart is struck. It says, "May Allah ruin you as you have ruined me." Such has been narrated in authentic Ahadith.

As for the conditions and pillars of prayer, we will discuss them in detail in ensuing chapters. Insha Allah


*This section was taken from Risalaat As-Salah by Shaikh Muhammad bin Salih Al-‘Uthaimin.

*2 That was because he was he one who called the call to prayer.


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