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"and my joy is in Salah"
|Subject: "and my joy is in Salah" Sun Aug 30, 2009 7:16 pm|| |
A Summary of Mishari Al-Kharraz’s Lecture Series
“How to Taste the True Beauty of Salah”
By Mona Hubbi
Free for copy/distribution
The Aim of This Series
1. To change your Salah completely. In fact, you will actually see significant
improvement before you have finished this series.
2. To fill your heart with a joy never experienced before, and to pour down
upon it a peace and tranquility that will extinguish any pain you have ever
suffered in this life.
3. To reach the Firdous-Al-Ala (the highest Paradise), insha’Allah- Because
Allah tells us in Sura Al-Muminun:
“Successful indeed are The Believers, Those who humble themselves
in their prayers… These will be the heirs, who will inherit Al Firdous:
They will dwell therein (for ever).” (23:1-11)
Do you sometimes feel that your Salah (prayer) is not quite having the effect it is
supposed to have on you and your life? Have you ever considered that perhaps it is
because we are not giving it its due justice? It seems we have lost (or were never
taught) that ability to *connect* in Salah that makes all the difference in its effect on
Consider the following examples of those who came before us:
The Muslims once head out with the Prophet (peace be upon him) on way to
battle. During the trip the Prophet ordered two companions, one of the Ansaar and
one of the Muhaajireen, to stand guard over them. As they did the Muhaajer
decided to rest while the Ansaari chose to stand in prayer. Along came a nonbeliever
and cast an arrow striking the Ansari in the chest. The Ansari pulled out
the arrow and continued in prayer. The non-believer struck him with a second
arrow. Again the Ansari removed it and continued his prayer. A third arrow was
cast but now the Ansari could no longer stand and finally fell bleeding into his
Rukuu and Sujood. The aggressor fled as the Muhaajer rushed to his brother’s
aid, “Subhanallah! Why didn’t you alert me from the first arrow??” The Ansari
replied, “I was in the middle of a (beautiful) Sura and didn’t wish to interrupt my
recitation of it.”
Imam Bukhari was once stung by a wasp 17 times while standing in prayer. When
he finished, he felt some discomfort and asked if anyone was aware of what
Ibn-Azzubair stood firm and unflinching in his prayer while catapults fired upon
the ground he stood on.
It was said that when Ali washed in preparation for prayer, he always went pale
and trembled with anxiety as he thought of himself about to stand before his Lord.
Another companion needed an amputation. He requested that it be performed
while he was engaged in Salah.
An entire wall collapsed in the mosque that one companion was praying in, but he
was too engrossed to realize what happened till his prayer was completed.
How did they attain that level of pleasure and inner peace that Salah is meant to
inspire? Is it possible for us to reach that level too? How can we make our Salah
effective on our being like it should? This is what we hope to learn
|Subject: Outlook is Key Mon Aug 31, 2009 11:45 am|| |
Outlook is Key
Now before any change in us can take place, we need to reexamine our outlook on
Ask yourself: Why do I pray? Is it just because I have to? Is it just to get this daily
duty out of the way and over with? Or maybe it is because everyone just does it so I
do it too?
It’s time to make a change. We need to start praying out of sincere Love. Pray out of
longing to be with the one you love. Pray.. for the peace and comfort that comes from
being with the one you love. There are 3 reasons which make you love someone:
1. Either because that someone is beautiful!
2. Or because that someone always deals kindly with you.
3. Or because that someone has done many favors for you.
Think of Allah now. He is all of the above and more, isn’t He? Doesn’t He then
deserve to be the most worthy of our love over everything and anyone else? To truly
love Allah is to truly taste the greatest love in existence! It is to truly taste the beauty
- As to Allah’s beauty, look around at all that is beautiful in creation, be it inner or
outer beauty.. It is all but a small hint to the ultimate beauty He beholds. If every
person was created with the beauty of Prophet Yusuf and this total beauty was
combined with the beauty of everything we see around us- all this in comparison to
the beauty of Allah, would be like that of a weak candle light to the brightness of the
sun! And Allah’s beauty is unique, for it’s coupled with everlasting glory! And just
think. He sets this Most Beautiful, Glorious Face to yours when you stand in prayer!
- Allah’s beauty is so immense that we cannot see Him in this world, for if He were to
manifest to us His glory, it would burn everything in existence! Recall what happened
to Prophet Musa when he once asked to see Allah. Allah said,
“You cannot see Me. But look upon the mountain, if it remains firm in
place then you will be able to see Me.”
To this, Allah manifested Himself to the mountain, and the mountain crumbled in total
annihilation! Musa collapsed, and fainted (see 7:143). This was what happened to
Musa when he only saw the mountain which saw Allah’s beauty. So imagine if it was
a direct sight!
- As to Allah’s kindness and favors upon us, just close your eyes momentarily to
appreciate just the gift of sight alone. If we were to count His favors upon us, never
will we be able to enumerate them. And sometimes we gripe when a favor has not
been granted us. Don’t we then realize in hindsight, that it was much better for us this
way? The denial of this favor, we realize later, was a favor in itself. For Allah has
nothing but good.
- And Imagine. When we dare and sin against Him, we sin using the very gifts and
blessings He has given us! But out of His love and mercy for us, He continues to
guard over us and protect us, even while we’re in the act! You will not find anyone
more kind; you will not find anyone more giving. You will not find anyone more
worthy of your love than He.
Remember this: The sweetness of this life lies in remembering Him, the sweetness of
the next life lies in seeing Him!
The next time you proceed for prayer, go because you love Him, go because you miss
Him and long to be with Him. Feel your heart flutter. Only then, will you be on your
way to attaining that inner peace and comfort Salah was prescribed for.
|Subject: Upon Allahu Akbar Wed Sep 02, 2009 7:42 pm|| |
So what really happens at “Allahu Akbar”?
- But before we go into what really happens.. Have you ever wondered why we start
our prayer with “Allahu Akbar”? Why don’t we say “Subhanallah”, for instance?
“Allahu Akbar” is the key phrase because with it we affirm that Allah, before Whom
we are about to stand, is greater than anything occupying us at that moment. He is
greater than our job, greater than our business, greater than our sleep, our bills, our
family and our children, greater than all that troubles or preoccupies us. And why do
we raise our hands with it? We raise our hands to throw all of that behind us. We
raise our hands, as a gesture of complete surrender.
- When one stands to pray Allah commands, “Raise the veils from between Me and
my servant!” From the instant you proclaim “Allahu Akbar”, Allah now sets His
Beautiful Glorious Face to yours ready and engaged, with you. And He doesn’t turn
away from you… unless you do- That’s when either you turn away with your
head/sight, or drift in heart and mind back to worldly matters. And if you turn or drift,
He calls to you: “(you turn) To what is better than I??” and orders for the veils, to
draw back down.
- When you announce “Allahu Akbar”, imagine that you are before the cameras and
the red “ON THE AIR” button has now been switched on. But it is not ordinary
people who are watching you, it is The King Himself. In His hands is everything you
are and everything you will ever be. In His hands is the entire universe, running in
perfect order. Nothing, however big or small, escapes His control. How will you
stand? Feel your heart race!
- Upon “Allahu Akbar” and as we proceed to recite; any bad deeds committed by our
faculties suddenly begin to float up… up until they reach our head and shoulders.
Subsequently, with every Ruku (bow) and Sujood (prostration) we move to, these sins
fall off and away, scattered and gone! (All the more reason for us to hold in those
humbling positions longer before our Lord.)
- With “Allahu Akbar”, things we were permitted to do just moments before suddenly
become forbidden... Like food, drink, talk, unnecessary movement. What happened?
What is different now? Well, these acts are not befitting of a meeting of this nature.
For the servant has answered the call and now stands in humility before his Master.
You are on a much higher level now. Focus.
Are you still drifting? This is why we repeat these great words, “Allahu Akbar” as wemove to each position. It is a reminder, and a new chance to refocus
|Subject: Salute the King & Expel the Intruder Wed Sep 02, 2009 7:46 pm|| |
Salute the King & Expel the IntruderNow you have officially entered Salah when you proclaimed “Allahu Akbar”. Youlower your gaze to the place of your Sujood (prostration) and you now place yourhands right over left and close to your heart/lower chest. Why?Imagine that you have walked into a royal palace and you enter upon a group ofpeople standing in the distance. Some in the group fix their gaze boldly at you withtheir arms comfortably at their sides. The other group stands with their gaze to theground and their hands clasped in front of them. Just from the way they stand; youwill easily be able to distinguish the royalty from the palace servants, wouldn’t you?It is not befitting of us, as servants, but to stand in a position of humility when we faceOur Lord. It is humbling when we remember who we really are before Him. But letus remember that the humility due Allah is a dignifying humility because, in essence,it liberates us from the undue humility to fellow man. As the Prophet (pbuh) said,“The one who humbles himself before Allah is elevated (by Allah) in honor!”It is only proper now, to salute The King:“How perfect You are O Allah, praise be to You. Blessed is Your name and lofty isYour position and non has the right to be worshiped except You.”There are several salutes to choose from which the Prophet has taught us. Each oneadds a unique aspect to our prayer. Varying our salute with each prayer aids in betterfocus and concentration during these sacred moments.Expelling the intruder:As you stand in Allah’s hands, during such sacred moments, during such a grandencounter, no one is more envious of you now than Shaitan (Satan). So his mission isto steal every sweet moment you might have with The One you love, to steal everyreward! So that you will finish your prayer, but only 1/3rd has been accepted, or 1/5thor 1/9th or 1/10th since the sobering reality of the matter is: Only the parts of Salah youare mindful of are accepted by Allah. (One will come on the Day of Judgment withover 90 years of Salah under his belt, but to his devastating surprise, only 6 years willhave been recorded to his name, or 5, or 4..)It is because of Satan that we begin to drift. Do you not notice that every worldlythought, matter, issue, predicament suddenly makes its way to your thoughts in Salah?Items you have lost for days or months are suddenly remembered and maybe evenfound! Even the designs on the prayer rug start to tell all sorts of entertaining stories!What do you do? You try to fight him and refocus. But he comes back. You fighthim again. He comes back like a fly that will not leave you alone.6What is the solution for we are so weak!? We seek the help of our Beloved from theevils of his creature. With His Name is barakah! With His Name is total protectionfrom all harm. Thus, before we proceed in our prayer any further, we formallyexpress with confidence: “Aoothu billahi mina-shaitan arrajeem” (I seek Allah’sprotection from Satan the accursed). Feel its power as you say it!7
|Subject: The eseence and heart of Salah Sat Sep 26, 2009 9:06 pm|| |
salamu alaikum -Five-
The Essence and Heart of Salah
It was common that when the time for prayer came, the Prophet (pbuh) would turn to
Bilal (whose duty was to call out the Athaan) and say, “Relieve us with it, O Bilal”. In
other words, make the call, Bilal, for what will lighten our heavy burdens and will
soothe and comfort us. For when the Prophet was troubled with a difficult matter or
much worry, he would turn to prayer. After all, doesn’t Allah say:
“and seek (Allah’s) help with patient perseverance and prayer”? (2:45)
Every people have their own method of seeking comfort, relaxation and escape. Some
use music, some use exercises like Yoga, and some unfortunately- alcohol. But for us
Muslims, we attain the benefits of all of the above and more, from Salah. We resort to
the source of all solutions and the source of all peace and relief, Our Beloved, Our
Now we have guarded ourselves from Satan’s ways and ready to enter upon the most
sacred part of our Salah, the essence of it all.. The Fatiha! The greatest Surah in the
Quran! The segment of Salah without which you cannot have prayed and your prayer
would be nullified. The segment where Allah actually answers back to us at every
verse! How can we ever drift in this part of the prayer?
But first, let us remind ourselves. Again, what brought us to stand here right now?
Oh yes, our endless love and deep longing to be with Allah. And when one meets up
with his beloved, what is he first most likely to utter? It is the sweet sound of his
Beloved’s name! But this is no ordinary name. This is a name that blesses everything
around it! Everything it falls upon! This is a name that lifts away any evil, harm and
ache. With it we start, and with it we finish, and with it we taste the sweetness of this
life and the sweetness of the next… “Bismillah- Arrahman Arraheem” (In the name of
Allah, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful). Feel it soothing your heart as it gently
rolls off your lips.
“To Him (Allah) belong the most beautiful names..” (59:24)
And when you love someone, you savor in how perfect they are. Don’t you? No one
deserves this more than Allah. For only He, is truly perfect! “Alhamdulillahi- Rabbilalameen!”
(All praise is due to Allah, The Cherisher and Sustainer of the Worlds!).
In praising Him, we are in essence establishing Allah’s undeniable perfection. The
Prophet (pbuh) told us, “Alhamdulillah fills the scale!” Let gratitude fill our hearts
when we utter it, He has blessed us with so much and always keep in mind that when
we thank anyone in this world, we are in fact, thanking Allah Himself. He is the
ultimate source, isn’t He? Let’s take it to another depth, when we say
“Alhamdulillah”, we are even praising and thanking Allah for blessing us with the
ability to praise and thank Him. As even this ability is from Him! So in reality, Allah
establishes praise for Himself, through us. Glorified is He. Feel your dependence and
need for Him, feel the healing effects of the gift of remembering and praising Him.
|Subject: A journey beyond our limits Sat Sep 26, 2009 9:13 pm|| |
A Journey Beyond Our Limits
So with “Alhamdulillah”, we have affirmed Allah’s ultimate perfection and thanked
Him for all that we are and all that He is.
Now, most of us have received- at least once- that Power Point email which zooms us
out in powers of 10 from the cell world of a tiny plant leaf… all the way out to the
planets, stars and galaxies that make up what lies beyond our planet earth, in this
breathtaking universe! Now instead of starting out with that small leaf, start the zoom
out process with the image of yourself as you stand before Allah in Salah.
As you ponder over this image, think first of all of the physiological systems within
your own body running in beautiful order to sustain you (blood system, immune
system, nervous system, hormones, heart beats, respiration, firing neurons, skin cells,
liver cells, spleen, kidneys, etc..). Move out now to what’s around you. The marvels
of our plant world, the animal world, the seven seas, the insect world, the microbial
Further out to what surrounds you.. The miraculous precision of the planets and our
sun- our solar system, our galaxy. Further out still to the infinite star constellations,
nebulas, galaxies. Now what about the world of the unseen? The world of the angels,
the jinn and whatever life that lies out there that we have not been able to reach.
This may not be the end of it, but we have reached the limits of our knowledge, so
start zooming back down. Back through all of that and back to where you were
standing in prayer. Would you say you’re just a speck in Allah’s canvas above?
Nowhere even close... You are no longer even visible in relation to the magnificent
size of Allah’s universe! And imagine, this is just our heaven. The Quran tells us
there are 6 more! And Allah presides above all of that! And He is The One and Only,
orchestrating the perfect order and function of it all!
How do you feel now as you stand before Him, praising Him and speaking to Him?
How do you feel now being answered by Him with every verse? Do you still have it
in you to defy some of His commands? Can you imagine yourself ever daring to
commit another wrong against such Majesty and Might? Against such Omnipotence
and such Sovereignty? How about against such *Love*? How much love must He
have for us to select us out, given our insignificance in the canvas of His creation, for
this beautiful exchange and these beautiful terms of endearment that are in Salah?
After all, He has blessed us with the ability to answer the call to prayer and stand
before Him. That’s an honor unlike any other! How can we not give of our best that
which is due Our Majesty? Can we ever turn our backs on prayer again knowing we
are missing out on such a privilege!?
The Prophet (pbuh) tries to help us understand the Grandeur before which we stand...
He says (pbuh) that the foot of Allah’s Throne (Al Kursi) extends over the heavens
and the earth (see 2:255). And the seven heavens in comparison to Allah’s Kursi, is
like a small ring cast in the spans of a desert! And The Kursi, in comparison to the
Throne itself, is a measure like it!
The next time you stand for prayer, view yourself from above and far away, so you
can truly taste the meanings behind “Rabbil Aalameen” (Lord of the worlds!)
"and my joy is in Salah"