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The Importance And Virtues Of Salah (Prayer)

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#91 [Permalink] Posted on 7th May 2013 10:32
Imam Ibn al-Qayyim رحمه الله said,

"The prayer brings provision, protects health, prevents harm, expels illnesses, strengthens the heart, whitens the face, rejoices the soul, drives away laziness, energises the limbs, increases strength, expands the chest, nurtures the soul, enlightens the heart, preserves blessings, prevents misfortune, brings blessing, distances from shaytan, and brings a person closer to Allah سبحانه و تعالى.

The prayer has an amazing effect in repelling the evils of this world the Hereafter, especially if it is performed completely inwardly and outwardly. There is nothing like the prayer to repel evil and bring blessings; the secret is that the prayer is a connection to Allah سبحانه و تعالى. The strength of this connection determines whether the doors to good open, whether the ways to evil close, and whether one attains success, health, profit, wealth, comfort, blessings, and happiness. All can be achieved via prayer."

[at-Tibb an-Nabawi, pp. 503-504]
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#92 [Permalink] Posted on 8th May 2013 13:55
An Imam was leading the Salah with three musallees behind him when his wudu' broke. Without nullifying his salah, he drew one of the musallees towards the front to continue leading the salah, while he proceeded to perform wudu'. One of the two remaining musallees, who could not accept that the Imam had left and appointed another person to lead the salah, asked in astonishment, "What is going on here?"

The second musallee replied, "Keep quiet, this is acceptable at times!"

As both of them had spoken, their salah was nullified.

The newly appointed Imam then exclaimed, "Who should I now lead in salah, as both of your salahs are nullified?"

This statement nullified his salah as well.

[Fiqhi Lata'if, p. 272; Humorous Anecdotes, p. 73]
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#93 [Permalink] Posted on 9th May 2013 10:14
A man from Madeenah was once standing in Salah in the first row when the Imam suddenly terminated his Salah and ushered the man forward to lead the Salah in his place.

The man remained standing for a long time without any movement. When the congregation finally became weary of standing any longer they recited Subhanallah, but the Imam remained motionless.

After some time, they pushed him aside and ushered another person forward to complete the Salah. They rebuked the man but he explained, "I thought the Imam had ushered me forward to safeguard his place until he returned."

[Akhbar al-Humaqa wal-Mughafileen, p.69; Humorous Anecdotes]
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#94 [Permalink] Posted on 10th May 2013 11:08
A bedouin by the name of Mujrim, performed Salah in the first row. The Imam recited a portion of Surah (77) al-Mursalaat. He recited the verse:



"Did we not destroy the former ones?"

The bedouin stepped back into the second row. The Imam then recited,



"So shall we make the subsequent ones to follow them."

The bedouin stepped further back into the third row. The Imam continued with his recitation,



"In this way do we deal with the Mujrimeen (sinners)."

This time the bedouin abandoned his Salah and fled exclaiming, "I do believe that I am the one being pursued!"

[Akhbar al-Humaqa wal-Mughafileen, p. 94; Humorous Anecdotes]
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#95 [Permalink] Posted on 15th May 2013 10:48
A bedouin who was in a hurry performed his Fajr Salah following an Imam who recited Surah al-Baqarah (The Cow). As a result, he could not honour his appointment.

The next morning, he again arrived at the Masjid, but this time the Imam began to recite Surah al-Feel (The Elephant). The bedouin promptly terminated his Salah and departed, complaining, "Yesterday, you recited Surah al-Baqarah, and only completed after half the day had passed. Today, you intend reciting Surah al-Feel. I do not assume that you will complete it until half the night has passed."

He incorrectly based his assumption of the length of the Surah on the size of the animal mentioned in it!

[Akhbar al-Humaqa' wal-Mughafileen, p. 94; Humorous Anecdotes, pp. 70-71]
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#96 [Permalink] Posted on 21st May 2013 20:38
The Status and Virtues of Salat al-Tasbih according to the Muhaddithin

By Shaykh Muhammad Ibn Harun Abasoomar and Mawlana Zeyad Danka

Edited and compiled by 'Abd Allah Ibn Muhammad al-Afriqui


The Hadith concerning Salat al-Tasbih


'Abbas (Allah be pleased with him) has narrated that he was once informed by Allah's Messenger (Allah bless him and grant him peace), ”O 'Abbas! Should I not present to you? Should I not confer to you? Should I not inform you of such an act, which if you practise [these wordings of similar meaning were repeated in order to capture the attention of the listener and to emphasise the importance of the salah so as to instil a yearning to perform it], Allah will forgive all your sins, whether old or new, intentional or unintentional, minor or major, open or secret.” [After describing the method of performing this salah] Allah's Messenger (Allah bless him and grant him peace) stated, ”If possible, you should offer this salah once everyday, and if you cannot perform it daily, then offer it every Friday (weekly), or once a month, or once a year or at least once in your lifetime.” (Sunan Abu Dawud, hadith1297)

Discussion on the authenticity of the Hadith


The ruling regarding Salat al-Tasbih is that it is permissible and, in fact, very much encouraged. The hadith in question has been accepted as sahih (authentic) or hasan (sound) by various eminent muhaddithin (hadith scholars). Those that claimed that it was weak, did so on the basis of a few chains of narration. However, if all the various chains be gathered, there will remain no doubt as to its authenticity.

Hafiz Ibn Hajar al-'Asqalani (Allah have mercy on him) states that sometimes a muhaddith classifies a certain hadith as weak, very weak or even as a fabrication based on one or two chains that are available to him, although there may be other chains through which that hadith may be classified as hasan (sound) or even sahih (authentic). (al-Nukat 'ala Kitab ibn al-Salah, 2:848 - 850)

Ibn Hajar then mentions the hadith of Salat al-Tasbih as an example for this and he accepts it to be in fact either sahih (authentic) or hasan (sound) and not dha'if (weak). (Ibid)

Imam al-Tirmidhi (Allah have mercy on him) says that many 'ulama, among them Imam 'Abd Allah ibn al-Mubarak (Allah have mercy on him), have accepted the virtue of Salat al-Tasbih. (Jami' al-Tirmidhi, 2:348, hadith 481)

'Allamah al-Mundhiri (Allah have mercy on him) mentions many muhaddithin have accepted it's authority from among them are: Imam Abu Bakr al-Ajuri, Imam Abu Muhammad al-Misri (his teacher), Hafiz Abu 'l-Hasan al-Maqdisi (his teacher), Imam Abu Dawud and Imam Hakim (Allah have mercy on them). (al-Targhib wa 'l-Tarhib, 1:468)

'Allamah al-Suyuti (Allah have mercy on him) has enumerated up to 20 great muhaddithin who have accepted its authenticity. Besides those that are mentioned above, some of them are: Imam Abu Sa’id al-Sam’ani, Khatib al-Baghdadi, Hafiz Ibn al-Mandah, Imam al-Bayhaqi, Imam al-Subki, Imam al-Nawawi, Hafiz Ibn al-Salah, Imam Abu Musa al-Madini, Hafiz al-Ala’i, Imam Siraj al-Din al-Bulqini, Imam al-Zarkashi and a few others (Allah have mercy on them). (al-La'ali al-Masnu'ah fi 'l-Ahadith al-Mawdu'ah, 2:40)

The following list of muhaddithin is of those who have written detailed articles on this matter: Imam al-Darani, Abu Musa al-Madini, Hafiz Ibn al-Mandah, Imam Ibn Nasir al-Din al-Dimishqi, Hafiz al-Suyyuti, Ibn Tulun and others (Allah have mercy on them).

Imam al-Bayhaqi (Allah have mercy on him) states that Salat al-Tasbih was the practice of Ibn al-Mubarak and many pious predecessors of various eras. And this in fact lends strength to its acceptability. (Shu'ab al-Iman, 1:427)

The books of Hanafi fiqh support the view of its acceptance. (Radd al-Muhtar, 2:27). Several Shafi'i jurists have also endorsed it, namely Imam al-Mahalli, Imam al-Harayman al-Juwayni, Imam al-Ghazzali, Imam Rafi'i and others (Allah have mercy on them). (al-La'ali, 2:43; al-Adhkar, p.242)

Khatib al-Baghdadi (Allah have mercy on him) states that there is no reason for not being permissible.

Hafiz ibn Hajar has mentioned a quotation from Imam Malik (Allah have mercy on him) from which it could be deduced that it was acceptable in his madhhab. Qadi 'Iyad al-Maliki (Allah have mercy on him) has also accepted its virtue. (Futuhat al-Rabbaniyyah vol.4 pg.321)

As far as Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal (Allah have mercy on him) is concerned, Hafiz ibn Hajar has stated that he had reserved his decision and was possibly inclined towards its acceptability later on. (Futuhat al-Rabbaniyyah, 4:318/20)

From the above, it is apparent that there can be no doubt regarding Salat al-Tasbih being an act of virtue and that it has been established authentically. This is in view of the fact that a large number of celebrated scholars of hadith as well as the scholars of fiqh have accepted it.

Imam Taj al-Din al-Subki and Imam Badr al-Din al-Zarkashi (Allah have mercy on them) have stated that it is from the fundamentals of din and anyone who discards it despite knowing its virtue is not on the correct path. (Futuhat al-Rabbaniyyah, 4:321-322)

And Allah Knows Best

The Status and Virtue of Salat al-Tasbih


Imam al-Hakim (Allah have mercy on him), who was an authority on hadith, has written, ”The authenticity of this hadith (of Salat al-Tasbih) is supported by the fact that, since the second generation after the Sahabah until our times, all the great teachers in the various sciences of din have been offering this salah with constancy and have been advising the people to do so. Among them was Imam 'Abd Allah Ibn al-Mubarak he was the teacher of the teachers of Imam al-Bukhari (Allah have mercy on him)."

Imam al-Bayhaqi (Allah have mercy on him) has stated that, even before Ibn al-Mubarak, Imam Abu 'l-Jawza' (Allah have mercy on him), a tabi’i (one who had seen the Sahabah) and whose narrations are considered to be reliable, used to be very particular in offering this salah daily. As soon as he heard the adhan for the Dhuhr salah, he would go to the masjid and would complete this salah before the Dhuhr salah. (al-Mustadrak al-Hakim, #1196)

Imam 'Abd al-'Aziz Ibn Abu Rawwad (Allah have mercy on him), who was the teacher of Ibn al-Mubarak and who was a great devotee and saint, has stated, ”One who desires to attain Jannah should be constant in offering Salat al-Tasbih.” (Fada'il A'mal: Virtues of Dhikr, p. 244)

'Allamah Taqi al-Din as-Subki (Allah have mercy on him) has stated, ” This salah is very important and one should not get misled if some people happen to deny its importance. The one, who ignores it even after learning about its immense reward, is negligent in religious matters, fails to act like virtuous people, and should not be considered as a reliable person.” (Al-Tarshih, li 'l-Bayan 'l-Salat al-Tasbih, p. 33)

'Abd Allah Ibn 'Abbas (Allah be pleased with him) used to offer this salah every Friday. (Sharh al-Ihya' al-'Ulum, 3:794)

It is mustahab (commendable) to perform this salah on all those auspicious nights wherein extra 'ibadah (worship) are encouraged e.g. The 15th night of Shaban, he nights of Ramadan, etc. (Mirqat al-Mafatih, 31329)

Important Rulings and Points to keep in mind


Counting should not be done verbally as this act nullifies the salah. The best way is that the fingers should be kept in their position, but should be pressed one by one for counting. (Radd al-Muhtar, 2:27)

Salat al-Tasbih can be offered at any time of the day or night besides the three forbidden times. However, the more appropriate times, in order of preference, are: After midday (zawal), any time during the day, and any time during the night. (Fada'il A'mal: Virtues of Dhikr, p. 245)

If one missed out all or some tasbihs in any posture, there will be no need to make sajdah sahw (at the end of the salah) to compensate for this omission. However, the omitted amount should be made up for in the next posture unless the subsequent posture is that of qawmah (the standing position after ruku') or jalsah (the sitting position between the two sajdahs). In these postures, one should recite the kalimah as specified and then cover up for the deficiency in the next act. For instance, if one omits the recitation of the tasbbihs in the ruku', one should make up the deficiency in the first sajdah. (Radd al-Muhtar, 2:28)

Whilst performing Salat al-Tasbih, it is also advisable to tie (fold) the hands when standing in qawmah (the posture between the ruku' and sajdah) when reciting the tasbih. (Ahsan al-Fatawa, 3:491)

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#97 [Permalink] Posted on 4th July 2013 12:36
The Musallah of Salat al-'Id

By Shaykh al-Hadith Mawlana Fadl al-Rahman al-A'zami

Edited by 'Abd Allah bin Muhammad al-Afriqui


Among the Sunan of the day of 'Id is the Sunnah of performing Salat al-'Id in the open field outside the inhabited area of the town or city. Allah's Messenger (Allah bless him and grant him peace) and the Khulafa' al-Rashidun (the four righteous caliphs) attached much importance in performing Salat al-'Id on the Musallah (the open field mentioned herein). Despite the great value of Masjid al-Nabawi, Allah's Messenger (Allah bless him and grant him peace) left this Masjid on the occasion of 'Id and proceeded to the Musallah for Salat al-'Id. In addition, Allah's Messenger (Allah bless him and grant him peace) greatly stressed the importance of the Salat al-'Id at the Musalllah and enjoined upon his Companions to do the same. People nowadays, however, have become accustomed to performing the Salat al-'Id in the Masjid despite being able to fulfill the Sunnah of the Musallah.

Salat al-'Id at the Musallah is Sunnah Mu'akkadah

To perform the Salat al-'Id in the Masjid and not on the Musallah is in reality a contradiction of the Sunnah. However, there is no harm if the Salat al-'Id is performed in the Masjid for the benefit of the sick and other ma'dhur persons (people with valid Shar'i reasons, such as a very old or weak person) only. Mawlana 'Abd al-Hayy al-Lakhnawi (Allah have mercy on him) has stated that to perform the Salat al-'Id at the Musallah is sunnah mu'akkadah (emphasised Sunnah). (Majmu' 'l-Fatawa, 1:294)

Mawlana al-Lakhnawi has also written in his commentary of Sharh al-Wiqayah ('Allamah 'Ubayd Allah bin Mas'ud's fiqh compilation):

"The 'ulama of our time have differed on this question. The majority have issued the fatwa that it is sunnah mu'akkadah. Further more it is sunnah mu'akkadah to perform Salat al-'Id at the Musallah even if the Masjid is big enough to accommodate all the people. If the Salat al-'Id was performed in the Masjid it would be fulfilled. However, this would be in contradiction to the Sunnah. This is the correct view." (Umdah al-Ri'ayah)

Mufti 'Aziz al-Rahman (Allah have mercy on him), the first mufti of Dar al-'Ulum Deoband, has also affirmed that the correct view according to the fuqaha (jurists) is that the performance of the Salat al-'Id on the Musallah is sunnah mu'akkadah. In support of this claim he has quoted Mawlana al-Lakhnawi extensively. He writes:

"It is proved from the books of Ahadith and siyar (biographies) that Allah's Messenger (Allah bless him and grant him peace) always performed the Salat al-'Id in the sahra (an open field on the outskirts, another name for the Musallah) except on the occasion when it rained despite the fact that Masjid al-Nabawi is more virtuous than any other place. Similarly, the Khulafa' al-Rashidun also performed their Salat al-'Id out in the open. This practice was maintained neither due to any necessity nor merely as a habit, but rather as an act of 'ibadah. This was done so that the reward may be increased due to a large congregation as well as that the strength and grandeur of Islam may be displayed". (Fatawa Dar al-'Ulum, 5:182)

Mawlana Ashraf 'Ali al-Thanawi (Allah have mercy on him) has given a similar fatwa. Similarly, Mufti Rashid Ahmad Ludhyanwi (Allah have mercy on him) writes:

"Nevertheless in very big cities it is very difficult to go to the outskirts, hence in such a situation Salat al-'Id should be performed in some open field within the city". (Ahsan al-Fatawa, 2:119)

Likewise, Mufti 'Abd al-Rahim Lajpuri (Allah have mercy on him) is also of the opinion that it is sunnah mu'akkadah to perform Salat al-'Id at the Musallah. It is mentioned in Durr al-Mukhtar that the "commission of a makruh tahrimi (highly reprehensible) act is like omitting a wajib act which is a sin". Similar is the case of sunnah mu'akkadah (to omit it is a sin). (Radd al-Muhtar, 5:275)

The Hanafi View

In Durr al-Mukhtar, the view of the Hanafi maddhab has been stated thus:

"To proceed to the jabbanah (Musallah) for the Salat al-'Id is Sunnah even if the Masjid can accommodate the crowd." (Durr al-Mukhtar, 1:776)

The Maliki View

Imam Malik bin Anas (Allah have mercy on him) has recorded his view in his Muwatta' as well as in his Mudawwanah al-Kubra. He has stated that Salat al-'Id cannot be performed at two venues in the same city. Similarly people should not perform it in the Masjid. Instead Salat al-'Id should be performed out in the open as was the practice of Allah's Messenger (Allah bless him and grant him peace). (Mudawwanah al-Kubra, 1:171)

The Hanbali View

'Allamah Ibn Qudamah al-Maqdisi (Allah have mercy on him) writes in al-Mughni:

"It is Sunnah that Salat al-'Id should be performed at the Musallah. 'Ali ibn Abi Talib (Allah be pleased with him) has issued an order in this regard". (al-Mughni, 2:372)

The Shafi'i View

Hafiz ibn Hajar al-'Asqalani (Allah have mercy on him), a well known scholar of Hadith writes in Fath al-Bari:

"Imam al-Shafi'i (Allah have mercy on him) has stated in Kitab al-Umm: 'We have learnt that Allah's Messenger (Allah bless him and grant him peace) used to proceed to the Musallah of Madinah for Salat al-'Id. Those who come after him, followed suit unless it was raining etc. Besides the people of Makkah, those in other cities also adopted this practice". (Fath al-Bari, 2:450)

"Only the people of Makkah performed their Salat al-'Id in the Masjid. We are not aware of anyone of the pious predecessors having led the Salat al-'Id in any other place other than the Masjid of Makkah. Perhaps this is due to the Masjid of Makkah being most virtuous on the earth, hence they did not prefer to perform Salat al-'Id elsewhere. And Allah knows best". (Athar al-Sunan, 2:308)

Imam al-Shafi'i says that this practice of the people of Makkah (to perform Salat al-'Id in the Masjid) was due to the following two reasons: a) The Masjid being very large and capable of accommodating the entire crowd. b) The lack of any wide open field in the surrounding areas (since Makkah is a very mountainous area). (Fath al-Bari, 2:950)

Hence one may conclude that the view asserting the preferability of performing Salat al-'Id in the Masjid is a weak one. From our discussions we have seen that the practice of Allah's Messenger (Allah bless him and grant him peace), the Khulafa' al-Rashidun and the vast majority of the Muslims was to perform Salat al-'Id at the Musallah.

Reasons for performing Salat al-'Id at the Musallah


Allah's Messenger (Allah bless him and grant him peace) ordered the Companions to proceed to the Musallah for Salat al-'Id. Only one narration in Sunan Abu Dawud and Mustadrak of al-Hakim state that Allah's Messenger (Allah bless him and grant him peace) performed Salat al-'Id in the Masjid due to rain. However, this narration is weak. (Sahih al-Bukhari, 1:131)

Furthermore, it is narrated in Sahih al-Bukhari that Allah's Messenger (Allah bless him and grant him peace) used to slaughter his qurbani (sacrificial) animal at the Musallah. (Sahih al-Bukhari, hadith 5552)

This explains the fact that the Musallah is not the same as the Masjid since to slaughter animals in the Masjid is not permissible.

'Allamah Sayyid al-Samhudi (Allah have mercy on him), an expert on the noble places of Madinah, has extensively researched the locations of the various Musallahs of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace). He has written in Wafa' al-Wafa' that the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) performed Salat al-'Id at various places during his lifetime. Finally, he permanently choose the place known as Al-Musallah, and always performed Salat al-'Id there. (Wafa' al-Wafa', 3:780)

Descriptions of the Musallah


'Allamah al-Samhudi has described the Musallah of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) as being an open field with no buildings or Masjid erected thereon, in fact the Messenger (Allah bless him and grant him peace) has prohibited the construction of any buildings on the Musallah. Hence rajm (stoning to death) had taken place there. (Wafa' al-Wafa', 3:781-4)

From authentic narrations it is evident that in emulation of Allah's Messenger (Allah bless him and grant him peace) and the Khulafa' al-Rashidun, Salat al-'Id should be performed on an open field on the outskirts of the town. Such a place in the terminology of the fuqaha is known as jabbanah. It is preferable that this place be the property of the Muslims. It is even better if this place be made waqf (endowment) for the Musallah. However, for the fulfilment of the Sunnah, neither is necessary.

Ruling on sports fields, parks, etc.

Places such as university grounds, parks, sports fields, etc. are undesirable for Salat al-'Id. Nevertheless, until the acquisition of specific place for Salat al-'Id, such places will suffice to fulfil the Sunnah if they are on the outskirts of the town. This is due to the fact that the original requirement of the Shari'ah that the people should gather at an open place on the outskirts of the town has been fulfilled. Since undesirable activities take place at these places, they are disliked for Salat al-'Id. Nevertheless, when no un-Islamic and undesirable activities take place, there at the time of the salah, Salat al-'Id will be perfectly valid and the Sunnah fulfilled.

Mufti Lajpuri writes: "Until such a Musallah cannot be acquired, any place on the outskirts may be used with the permission of the owners, caretakers, of the state (if it is state owned property)". (Fatawa Rahimiyyah, 5:781-3)

Mufti Nizam al-Din (Allah have mercy on him), the late mufti of Dar al-'Ulum Deoband writes: "Any field may be used for Salat al-'Id, whether it is the grounds of a university or some other sports field, provided that it is clean and permission has been granted for its use. Even in these places the virtues of the jabbanah will be obtained".

Mufti Sa'id Ahmad Palanpuri (Allah protect him), teacher of Hadith at Dar al-'Ulum Deoband writes:

"...similarly any sports field or a big ground will serve as a Musallah. It is better and more virtuous to perform Salat al-'Id collectively at such fields than performing it at various Masjids. Where no Sunnah Musallah is available, it would be better to perform Salat al-'Id on any open field (such as an open sports field etc.) rather than performing it in various Masjids."

"In very big cities such as London, Johannesburg and Durban and the like thereof, any empty clean field (park) will enjoy the same status as the sahra (an open field outside the city) for the purpose of the Salat al-'Id. Similarly an open sports field or any other wide piece of land will be a substitute for the sahra. To perform Salat al-'Id collectively on any such field is better and more preferred than performing it in the Masjids. The purpose of specifying a sahra was so that a big place could be found wherein a large gathering could be accommodated. This purpose is fulfilled in the fields in question. Indeed in very big cities it would be very difficult to go to the boundaries of the city. It is due to this very difficulty that Salat al-Jumu'ah is permitted in more than one place in big cities. Based on this, the same leniency will be accorded for Salat al-'Id."

Mufti Nizam al-Din is also of the opinion that any open piece of land will suffice whether it lies within the built up areas ('abadi) or outside it. It is clear from the statements of these highly respected 'ulama that the Sunnah will be fulfilled if Salat al-'Id is performed within the boundaries of the town.

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#98 [Permalink] Posted on 14th August 2013 14:43
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#99 [Permalink] Posted on 15th August 2013 09:58
"What is Salaah (Prayer)?

It is the expression of devotedness by the created to his Creator with his whole being, i.e. heart, tongue, feet and hands;

it is the remembrance of the Most Merciful and the Most Glorious;

it is the thanksgiving for His limitless favours;

it is the praise and adoration for the eternal beauty of His creation and acknowledgement of His Unity and Greatness;

it is the communication of soul with the Beloved Lord;

it is the complete obeisance by body and soul to the Master;

it is the dedication of one's internal feelings;

it is the natural music of one's heart string;

it is the tie of relationship between the Creator and the created and the latter's strong bond of devotedness;

it is the comfort for the agitated and uneasy mind;

it is the solace for the restless soul;

it is the remedy for the hopeless heart;

it is the natural internal call of a receptive and sensitive mind;

it is the purpose of life and the essence of existence."

[Sayyid Sulayman Nadwi رحمه الله, Worship In Islam]
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#100 [Permalink] Posted on 29th August 2013 10:27
Imam Ibn al-Qayyim رحمه الله said,

"The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم never said, my comfort lies in fasting, or hajj, or al-'umrah or any other good deed but rather he said: 'my comfort has been made in the salah.' [1]

It is also worth while to pay attention to the Prophet's صلى الله عليه وسلم choice of words in this statement. He said 'my comfort is made in salah' and did not say 'my comfort is made with salah' because the former means that comfort is achieved only after commencing the salah, while the latter implies that such comfort is received even when not praying. This is why when he sought the comfort of his heart he would say: 'O Bilal, call for salah. Give us comfort by it.'" [2]

Meaning, call for the prayer so that we can pray and relieve ourselves from the hardships of this life, just as how a tired person finds repose as soon as he arrives at his house and settles down in it, breaking away from the hardships and the fatigue he endured outside.

You ought to reflect again upon his choice of words that reveal another subtlety; the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم did not say, let us relieve ourselves from the burden of duty (i.e. salah), which is the attitude of those who pray just to release themselves from the obligation of praying, who feel hassled every time they have to pray - and when they pray they cannot wait to finish it because the source of their comfort is found outside the salah, since their hearts are filled with everything except Allaah سبحانه و تعالى.

Thus, praying merely keeps them from indulging in this worldly life that they love so much. They are easily observed from their manner of performing prayer; they pray in a rush and lack tranquility and calmness. The only thing that compels them to pray in the first place is that they know it is a must (obligation). However, their salah is deficient; they utter with their tongues that which does not conform to what is in their hearts. All the while, the voice of their heart echoes, let's get this salah over with!

Therefore the difference between a person whose comfort is found in the salah and a person whose comfort is found outside the salah is obvious and self-evident. The former finds salah to be a grace upon his heart through which he experiences tranquility, calmness and pleasure, whereas the latter finds salah akin to heavy chains shackling his limbs and a gloomy cell imprisoning his heart.

Truly, those whose comfort is not found in salah feel as if praying was a prison for their soul and chains confining their limbs from committing sins. Despite that, the salah of this type of people might be a means whereby their sins are forgiven and they receive a share of Allaah's Mercy depending on how much servitude to Allaah سبحانه و تعالى they manage to demonstrate while praying. But on the other hand, it is also possible they might be punished for the deficiency in their salah.

As for those whose comfort is to be found in salah, for them praying is the garden in which they find comfort, pleasure, tranquility, and the grace of their hearts and souls. It brings them nearer to Allaah سبحانه و تعالى and elevates their rank, so that they receive a reward similar to those that proceeded, and enjoy a special rank by being brought near to Allaah." [3]

Notes:

[1] an-Nisa'i #3939

[2] Abu Dawud #4985

[3] Inner Dimensions of the Prayer, pp. 72-73


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#101 [Permalink] Posted on 26th September 2013 11:40
The Status of Salah

By Imam Abu Hamid al-Ghazali رحمه الله


It should be remembered that in Salah, one communicates with one's Lord, therefore, one should consider how one offers his/her Salah. Allah ta'ala has commanded us to establish the Salah. Establishment means to carry out Salah and all its constituents (including it's pre-requisite: wudu [ritual ablution]) very carefully. Although the command will apply to the Salah in general, however, one should be extremely particular about the following points:

To accomplish the wudu by fulfilling all the acts of sunnah and mustahab (preferable).

To recite the specific du'as mentioned in the Hadith when washing each part of the body.

Also, to ensure that the clothes and the water of wudu are free [from] any impurity. But do not go out of your way regarding this, letting minor doubts bother you, as these are usually created by Shaytan, who uses tricks like these to waste the precious time of the obedient Servants of Allah ta'ala.

An Extraordinary Wisdom Behind Wudu and the Purity of Clothes

The clothes of a musalli (person performing Salah) can be likened to the outer peel of a fruit and the body the inner layer. The heart above all is like the kernel within, and needless to say, that the object of the fruit is the kernel. Now the arrangement of all these is such that the condition of one will affect the other. Hence, the peel has to be protected in order to preserve the kernel.

Similar is the case with Salah. The soul and the heart are sure to be influenced due to the outward condition of the body and clothes. Accordingly, one will experience a unique feeling of purity and cleanliness in the heart after having performed wudu that was not present before it.

Evidently, this is the effect of wudu. In conclusion, what seems to be a mere washing of arms and face isn't only a means of physical cleanliness, but a spiritual one as well. In fact, the act of wudu has been designed chiefly to do away with the impurities of the heart and thereby, building within, the capability to face and communicate with the Lord.

The Benefits of Salah

All the constituents of Salah should be carried out in the correct manner, regardless of whether they are fard, wajib, sunnah or mustahab. One should remember that as the purity of body and clothes affect the heart, the manner in which the Salah is performed, in general, will also have an effect.

A musalli, inspite of his ignorance of the secrets and spiritual effects of Salah, will nevertheless benefit from it.

A musalli, in this context, can be likened to a sick person who, despite not knowing the ingredients and the healing properties of a medicine, is cured by it.

Salah also has a Spirit and a Body

In the transcendental world, like the tangible phenomena, the abstract too have been accorded bodies and spirits by Allah. Salah is no exception. Each of its constituents will go to signify something. Sincerity and concentration form its spirit; the various postures its body, with the ruku' and sajdah being the arms and legs; the recitations of different postures will stand for the essential organs, such as the eyes and the ears.

Further, to comprehend the meaning of these recitations will give the organs the senses they require, like the sense of hearing and the power of vision etc. Moreover, to offer the Salah with calmness, humility, and fear will constitute its beauty and good complexion. In short, the degree of the beauty and perfection of Salah will be judged by the manner in which it is performed.

In addition to above, there is also the Nearness of Allah that is an objective of Salah.

To make this better understood, it can be said that Salah in the Court of Allah is like a precious gift that is being presented to a king. In this context, it would be more appropriate if we used the example of a slave maid as the gift.

If, suppose, the Salah lacked ruku' and sajdah, it will be like presenting a lame and crippled slave maid. Similarly a Salah performed without any recitation and dhikr is like the mutilated body of a slave maid. If the recitation is present, but the musalli can hardly comprehend its meaning or is unmindful towards it, it is as if the slave maid lacks the basic senses of seeing and hearing. If, say, the Salah is devoid of sincerity and concentration, it is like presenting the king with the dead body of a slave maid. The gravity of this crime of insulting the king is not too difficult to imagine and it will be punishable only by death. What the outcome of a person gifting such a slave maid will be is quite obvious.

Perhaps, one may object by saying that when all the compulsory acts of Salah are discharged, the Ulama render the Salah valid, regardless of whether the musalli has understood the meaning of any recitation or not. The purpose, therefore, is achieved. This ultimately [means] that to comprehend the meanings of the recitations is not at all necessary due to not having any effect on the validity of the Salah.

The point to understand here is that the Ulama are like physicians and doctors. No matter how frail and disabled a person is, as long as he is breathing and still alive, the doctors will not pronounce him dead.

Similarly, if the major constituents of Salah, like ruku', sajdah and recitation are present, the Ulama will deem the Salah to be valid. Their rendering it valid is undoubtedly correct, but the point to consider here is that the Salah stands as a precious gift presented in the Royal Court; and, as mentioned, a physically and mentally impaired slave maid will never do as a precious gift. In fact, this would be classed as an outright insult to the king, deserving his anger and severe punishment. Likewise, the presentation of a deficient Salah will inevitably result in the Salah being rejected and thrown back at the musalli's face.

It should be understood that the above example has been cited only for the sake of understanding the point, otherwise there is no comparison between the Court of Allah and that of a king.

In short, since the object of Salah is to dignify and honor Allah ta'ala, the degree of this dignity and honor will be assessed in proportion to the perfectness of Salah. Any deficiency in Salah will, therefore, amount to dishonoring the Divine Being.

The Soul and Limbs of Salah

One should be extremely particular about the soul of Salah, i.e. sincerity and concentration.

The words uttered by the tongue should penetrate the heart. Upon the utterance of the words "Allahu Akbar" (Allah is the Greatest), for instance, the heart should reflect upon the Greatness of Allah and imagine every other entity to be downright inferior in comparison.

When saying the words Alhamdulillah" (All praises are due to Allah), the heart should fill with gratitude and joyfully sing praises of the Almighty. Similarly, upon reciting the verse"Iyyaka na'budu wa-iyyaka nasta'een" (You Alone we worship, and from You Alone we seek help) the feelings of humility, weakness and inability should prevail and the Omnipotence of Allah should be predominant. The various movements and postures of Salah should also send an impact on the heart. In the case of ruku', for example, the heart, in harmony with the body, should also bow with humility. To sum up, it can be said that the outward and inward conditions of the body should be in total consistence, as regards the recitations and other constituents of Salah.

Another point to remember here is that the Salah which is recorded in the Book of Deeds as creditable is only one performed with due concentration, sincerity and attention. A Salah devoid of these factors will be unworthy of acceptance.

The Method of Acquiring Concentration

In the initial stages, it is not uncommon for anybody to suffer from digression of thoughts and lack of concentration, but one will have to be determined and show diligence in regulating one's thoughts and regaining concentration. Gradually, however, such diligence will not be required as one will begin to get accustomed and digression will soon diminish.

In the meantime, one should never become frustrated due to setbacks, but continue to practice as only practice will make it perfect. Concentration should increase in every subsequent Salah.

If ever, one notices any decrease, it should be compensated by offering optional (nafl) rak'ats - as a penalty - in proportion to the ones performed without concentration. Say, for instance, out of four rak'ats of compulsory Salah, only two or the amount of two were performed with due concentration, nafl rak'ats should be offered for as long as one acquires enough concentration to make up for the two compulsory ones.

Similarly, if one has to even perform ten nafl rak'ats in order to gather sufficient concentration for a few fard (compulsory) rak'ats, one should not desist from doing so.

It may be hoped, then, that Allah, through His Grace, will accept the latter rak'ats as a recompense for the deficiency in the former ones.

Courtesy of Islamic Da'wah Academy

Note: This article was edited for spelling, grammar, and style.

http://www.ilmgate.org/the-status-of-salah/
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#102 [Permalink] Posted on 9th October 2013 11:17
Spiritual traps and defects in Salaah (Prayer)


Shariah commands that each and every Muslim should pray Salaah five times daily on appropriate time, with the method according to Sunnah.

Now, Sunnah does not only mean outward sunnahs of prayer such as proper positions, movements and duas in it. There are also inward Sunnah states and conditions of the heart and mind to be followed and in some ways they are more important than outward movements for acceptance of Salaah.

The Spiritual deficiencies and diseases manifest themselves not only in his behaviour and actions but they destroy even the person's worship and prayers (salaah).

A Muslim, who is unaware of the importance of Tazkiya and Ihsaan (rectifying the internal moral states) and has not worked to develop and refine them in his every day life, may fall into the following traps or spiritual deficiencies regarding his Salaah:

Some times he may skip the prayer all together, maybe out of laziness or being busy in worldly affairs. This reflects that he does not have the love of Allah and instead has love of this world (hubb e dunya).

Sometimes he prays to show his fellow Muslims that he is regular in his prayer or a pious person. At other times he thinks that his praying will make him outstand in his community. These are showing off (riya) and mark the absence of sincerity(ikhlas).

Even if he prays, he does so hastily, without the proper demeanor. This is reflective of absence of love of Allah and occupation in worldly affairs.

Sometimes the demeanor of his prayer changes if he notices that someone is watching him. This is show off (riya).

And when he prays on time and in proper manner, his inner self is absent from that prayer. He is busy thinking about some worldly affair. This is reflective of absence of khushoo (awe/internal quietness).

At other times he demeanor does not reflect humility before his Lord. This is arrogance (kibr).

Sometimes when he prays he feels he is superior to the other fellow mussalis. This is self praise (ujub).

At other times he is thinking of his own superiority plus the inferiority of others which is arrogance (kibr).

At times when he see someone better than himself, he thinks that he himself was more deserving of this better trait and whishes that this may go away from that person. This is envy (hasad).

During his prayer he can not contemplate that he is standing before his Lord and He is watching him. This is absence of slave hood (ihsan & uboodiyah).

After praying he may boast to others that he prayed or feel superior to them. This is a arrogance (kibr).

Or he may feel dejected by the poor concenteration he had during salah and become disappointed. This is disappointment (yaas).

This is just a quick list of deficiencies.

We should take a moment and think, where do we stand?
If we do not have these qualities, then is our worship and salaah up to the mark of being accepted by Shariah's standards?

Indeed, these internal moral states are the very soul of bodily or physical form of worship making it capable of being accepted and rewarded.

Two Rakahs of salaah of an A'rif (a Muslim who has realized and mastered these internal moral states through Tazkiya) is better than 100,000 units of an ordinary Muslim.

wa ma taufiqi ilabillah

-Adapted from Ashrafiya.com

http://tazkiyatips.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/spiritual-traps-and-defects-in-salaah.html
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#103 [Permalink] Posted on 7th January 2014 14:48
بسم الله الرحمن اللرحيم

A woman came to Prophet Musa and said, "I committed a grave sin. Please pray to Allah that He forgives me."

Prophet Musa: "What did you do?"

Woman: "I committed fornication and later gave birth to a boy whom I killed."

Prophet Musa: "Go away from here, you wicked woman, lest a fire from Heaven destroys us all because of your sin!"

The woman left broken-hearted. Then Angel Jibril descended and asked, "O Musa, why have you turned away a repentant woman? Have you not found anyone worse than her?"

Prophet Musa: "Who can be worse than her?"

Angel Jibril: "The one who abandons salah intentionally and persistently."

[Al-Kaba'ir, Adh-Dhahabi, Book of Missing Salah]

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#104 [Permalink] Posted on 24th March 2014 10:57
Signs of hypocrisy in Salah (Prayer)

Ibn al-Qayyim رحمه الله


Praying the salah properly with all it's external and internal etiquettes (proper manners) has been described in the Quran and Hadith as an indicator of true faith in Allah.

Whereas, habitually Praying salah in a careless and spiritually irresponsible manner is considered as a disaster for one's faith and a sign of nifaq (hypocrisy). Allah says:

"Successful indeed are the believers. Those who offer their Salat (prayers) with all solemnity and full submissiveness."[23:1-2]

"And those who strictly guard their Salawat (prayers)." [23:9]

"So woe to the worshippers, Who are neglectful of their prayers, Those who (want but) to be seen (of men)." [107:4-6]

"And seek help in patience and Salaah and truly it is extremely heavy and hard, except for the Khashi'oon (those who are humbly submissive to Allah)." [2:45]

The Prophet ﺻﻟﻰﺍﷲ ﻋﻟﻳﻪ ﻮﺍﻟﺳﻠﻡ said:

1. "The manner of Salah of the hypocrites is that they wait for the sun to set, up to the point that it (the sun) is between the two horns of Satan and then they stand (for Salah). He then bangs his head (on the earth) four times and he remembers Allah Ta'ala but rarely." (Sahih Muslim)

2. Abu Musa (رضى الله عنه) reports that one day the Prophet ﺻﻟﻰﺍﷲ ﻋﻟﻳﻪ ﻮﺍﻟﺳﻠﻡ led the Companions in Salah and then sat amongst them. A person then entered and performed Salah. He was very hasty in bowing and prostrating. The Prophet ﺻﻟﻰﺍﷲ ﻋﻟﻳﻪ ﻮﺍﻟﺳﻠﻡ said, "Look at this person. If he were to die, he would not die on the religion of Muhammad ﺻﻟﻰﺍﷲ ﻋﻟﻳﻪ ﻮﺍﻟﺳﻠﻡ. He is pecking at Salah like a crow pecks at blood." (Sahih Ibn Khuzayma)

3. When a person performs Salah at its earliest (most desired) time, that Salah ascends towards the heavens. It becomes light for the person and subsequently it reaches the Throne and supplicates for the forgiveness of the person who performed Salah until the Day of Judgement. It says, 'May Allah Ta'ala safeguard you just as you safeguarded me.' When a person performs Salah after its allocated time has passed, the Salah goes towards the heavens in such a manner that it is covered in darkness. When it reaches the Throne it is covered in an old cloth and thrown back in the face of the person who performed it. The Salah then states, 'May Allah Ta'ala destroy you just as you destroyed me.' (Kanz al 'Ummal, Tabarani)

Summarizing the points in the above texts, Imam Ibn al-Qayyim R.A. writes,

"Six matters that are linked to the prayer have been indicated as marks of hypocrisy:

1) Laziness when one stands up to pray.

2) Intending to show off with one's prayer.

3) Delaying the prayer.

4) Praying in an extremely hasty manner.

5) Barely remembering Allah during the prayer.

6) Abandoning the congregational prayer."

[Hukm Tarik al-Salat, p. 105]

How many of these are we guilty of?!
And, if this is the case with those who actually PRAY and demonstrate these signs, how about those who do not even pray in the first place?!

O Allah! Make us and our progeny from those who establish the prayer!

http://tazkiyatips.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/signs-of-hypocrisy-in-salah-prayer-ibn.html
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#105 [Permalink] Posted on 2nd June 2014 13:08
Imam Ibn al-Qayyim رحمه الله said,

"The servant has two standings in front of Allaah سبحانه و تعالى. A standing in front of Him during the prayer and a standing in front of Him on the Day of meeting with Him. Whoever stood for the first standing, giving its due right, the other meeting will become easier for him. And whoever took this standing lightly and did not perform it with its due right, the other standing will become hard and severe for him."

The Most High said:




"And during night, prostrate yourself to Him (i.e. the offering of Maghrib and 'Isha' prayers), and glorify Him a long night through (i.e. Tahajjud prayer). Verily! These (disbelievers) love the present life of this world, and put behind them a heavy Day (that will be hard)." (Soorah al-Insaan, 76:26-27)

[al-Fawaa'id]
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