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Blessings Of Salaat

 

Bism-illah irahman nirahim

In the name of Allah, the most Beneficent and most Merciful

‘When ye have performed the act of worship, remember Allah, standing, sitting and reclining.

‘Worship at fixed hours hath been enjoined on the believers’

(Surah 4, 103)

The night of Miraaj - it was that illuminated night our beloved Prophet (saw) ascended to the heavens. The heights reached by Prophet Muhammad (saw) physically and spiritually, are where no Prophet had ever been. This journey so unique and exalted that it confirmed that Prophet Muhammad (saw) was the Leader of the Anbiya-Prophets (as) and was the nearest to Allah (swt).

On that night the Ummah - nation of the Prophet (saw) was given a beautiful gift, a blessing which was the mercy of Allah (swt). This gift was the Salaat - prayer, this was the way of worship and the path to Paradise for those who believe in Allah (swt). Authentic hadith mentions how fifty Salats were first placed on the Ummah, which Prophet Musa (as) told the beloved Prophet (saw) as being too much for people to follow. The beloved Prophet (saw) kept returning to Allah (swt) to request a lower number of obligatory - farz salaat (prayer). Eventually five Salaat became the compulsory duty enjoined upon the Ummah of the Prophet (saw). The Mercy of the Most Merciful is such that even the five Salaat that are compulsory upon us will still equal fifty salaat in reward. Each salaat we read will have ten times the reward. .Al Hamda Lillah – Praise be to Allah.

The Prophet (saw) has confirmed the importance of Salaat as being the first to be judged, and on their basis, the other deeds will be weighed. The blessed Prophet (saw) has made the promise that;

The one who would take utmost care of his five daily salaat, in respect of wudu (ablution), prescribed time, Ruku (bowing) , Sajdah (prostrating) taking is as Allah’s right upon him, he would be forbidden upon hell’. (Musnad Ahmad)

The prayer we perform must be guarded and respected as this is the very base of Islam. How often do we remember this when we consider salaat simply to be a chore. We reluctantly get up, perform ablution (wudu) which is compulsory and then perform prayer. Unfortunately many of us today have even intentionally reduced the importance of praying by claiming that doing good deeds is most important and even if prayer is missed, we will be forgiven. The forgiveness and mercy of Allah (swt) is what we are all hoping for but we cannot try to change what has been ordained on us.

Abdullah bin Umar (ra) narrates the Prophet (saw) say ‘Between a man and polytheism as well as atheism, is skipping a prayer’. (Muslim)

The above authentic hadith has been explained in great detail as proving the significance of prayer and how even the abandonment can lead us to non-belief, some scholars have included the interpretation of this hadith as being a warning that if believers become heedless of their obligatory prayer, they will lose the fear of committing sins and therefore drift further away from Islam. The great Ulama - scholars provide the example that if anyone was to be exempt of even missing one prayer due to his piety and good deeds then surely it would have been the most blessed of all, Prophet Muhammad (saw). However as we know he was the most humble and punctual in his Salaat. One hadith narrated by his wife Hasrat Aisha (ra) speaks of the Prophet (saw) enjoying homely life just like others but when the time for salaat came, he would walk to perform his prayer as though he didn’t even know anyone sitting around him.

‘Pray as you have seen me praying’. (Bukhari)

Hasrat Aisha (ra) knew that the Prophet (saw) was free from all fault and had the keys to Jannah - paradise even during his worldly life, therefore ha was asked why he prayed so diligently, the answer from the most obedient and righteous slave of Allah (swt) ‘Should I not be a thankful slave’. (Bukhari)

The beloved Prophet (saw) was reported to have prayed so much that his blessed feet and legs would become swollen and there are authentic hadith (Muslim) which say that the Prophet (saw) has recited Surah Al- Baqarah (286 verses), Surah Ali-Imran (200 verses) and Surah An-Nisaa (176 verses) all in one rak’ah. (A rak’ah is one unit of prayer that denotes the cycle of standing along with the recitation of Surah Al Faatiha, bowing and two prostrations). Literal meaning taken from ‘Mufradaat Alfaadh il-Qur’an & Qamoos al-Muheet.

There are other reported hadith, which explain that the Prophet (saw) would complete one fifth of the whole Qur’an inside four rakaats (pl. rak’ah). The recitation of the Qur’anic verses by the beloved Prophet (saw) would be with tajweed - slow and correct intonation and including glorification of Allah (swt) with dua - supplication. This is the example of the passion and dedication our blessed Prophet (saw) had for his salaat and it needs to be inspiration for us, even though we can never come close to reaching those heights of humility and khushoo.

‘Successful indeed are the believers

Who are humble in their prayers’. (Surah 23, 1 & 2)

 

The expression of ‘Khushoo’ is attached to the feeling of dedication, humility and awe that should exist in our hearts when carrying out Ibaadat - worship. Scholars have discussed the reason why the khushoo in our salaat and other forms of worship is absent today. The answer is that we have abandoned the way of the Prophet’s (saw) Sunnah. This hadith from the Prophet (saw) ‘Pray as you have seen me praying’, has been interpreted as having a much wider meaning and significance than just performing Salaat.

The rightly guided companions of the Prophet (saw) did adopt the sunnah completely in all aspects and details of the Prophet’s (saw) life and prayer. Reported hadith mention the dedication the companions had for their salaat and how they obtained pleasure and solace when performing their prayers. Hasrat Ali (Ra) is quoted in a reported hadith as saying ‘When I wish for Allah (swt) to speak to me, I recite the Qur’an and when I wish to speak to Allah (swt), I pray salaat’. In other reported hadith, companions such as Hasrat Abu Talha (ra) was praying in his beloved garden and became distracted for a split-second by a bird. When Abu Talha (ra) completed his salaat, he was so distraught at becoming distracted from his salaat that he donated his garden to the way of Allah (swt). In another reported hadith, one of the Ansaar (Muslims in Medina who assisted the Prophet (saw) in time of need) forgot the number of rakaat he had prayed because his eye caught the beautiful garden in which he was praying. This was so upsetting that the ansaar gave up his prized garden as he did not wish to possess anything that took his mind away from his prayer.

The posture of the true Muslimeen - believers was so still while they prayed salaat that one narration describes Hasrat Abu Bakr Saddique (Ra) and Hasrat Abdullah bin Zubair (Ra) as motionless like pieces of wood stuck in the ground as they stood in their Salaat.

The Ascent of believers

A scholar once explained that when the believers pray, they ascend to the heavens through their submission of heart, tongue and action. The Salaat is our own Miraaj gifted to our Prophet Muhammad (saw) on his unique Miraaj to the heavens. There are so many authentic hadith on the blessings of Salaat, which mention how on the Day of Judgement, people will come with their faces, arms and feet shining and this glow will mean that they are performers of Salaat. How beautiful this must be for the proud believers, who will be honoured on the day when all accounts will be opened and nothing will be concealed. This day our own body and limbs will testify to what we did. We all need the closeness with our Protector and Provider Allah (swt), it is only He who can forgive us and grant us the gardens of Paradise. How do we achieve that feeling of knowing our Rabb – Lord? The answer can be found in the sincerity of praying Salaat.

The meaning of prayer is to give five moments in the day completely to Allah (swt). Allah (swt) has gifted us all the comforts and pleasures of life and has blessed us with our senses, ability to move, think, talk and act. The movement of even our little finger is the will of Allah (swt) and the mercy of His decree. Allah (swt) has given us all the gifts and blessings so how do we appreciate and give thanks, it is simply by praying and submitting to what has been ordained on us. The closest we can ever be to Rabb-ul-Alamin – Lord of the Worlds is when we are in the state of Sajda / Sujood / Prostration. When we prostrate, we are in complete submission, as humble as man can be with our head down onto the ground in fear and in hope. (Sujood means humility in Arabic and the specific prostration made to Allah (swt) is with the two hands, two knees, toes, forehead and nose touching the ground). We are the best of all that was created but we walk arrogantly in the land saying I can do this, I have this and I am this, but in reality we are nothing. When we prostrate in front of Allah (swt), this teaches us to be humble, to lower ourselves and be in remembrance of Allah (swt). There are many benefits of salaat but this benefit of lowering ourselves to the ground is often overlooked. Salaat is in fact the symbol of submission.

There is also a discipline that needs to be observed when praying to Allah (swt). We have to perform salaat within the limits of the Qur’an and Sunnah and this includes the correct actions, called the arkaan. The arkaan in salaat are the motions of standing, bowing, kneeling and prostrating. We also need to adhere to the correct times when praying each and every salaat as going against the teachings of Qur’an and Sunnah by crossing the boundaries, is punishable. Prayer being performed at the wrong time is invalid and a sin.

Performing Salaat with Understanding

Before we perform our salaat, we need to be purified by doing the ablution - Wudu. This is the cleansing of our limbs in order to become pure and clean before we go into the presence of our Maker and Fashioner. While doing the wudu, care has to be taken of the Prophet’s (saw) sunnah of not wasting water as this is undesirable to Allah (swt).

Narrated by Hasrat Abu Malik Ash’ari (ra);

The Prophet (saw) said ’The Cleanliness is the part of Imaan (faith), Praise of Allah fills the scale of deeds (with reward), Glory of Allah & the Praise of Allah fill the space between the heavens and the earth, Salat is a light, alm is an evidence, patience is light and the Holy Qur’an is an evidence for or against you. (Muslim)

The commentary by Imam Nawawi on this hadith explained the ablution is regarded as half of the Faith because Faith removes the uncleanliness of the paganism and polytheism from the heart and the ablution removes the dirtiness of the parts of the body. Salaat is a light because salaat prohibits from sins and immodesty, as the light removes the darkness, the face of the worshipper will be bright in the Hereafter due to salaat, it will be fresh and mellow in this world as well. Salaat is also a light in the darkness of the grave.

Alm is a proof, because the wealth is worthwhile to a man and when he spends it out in the path of Allah, it is a proof that he is true in Imaan and therefore reliable. Patience has been regarded as light as a perseverant one who obeys the command of Allah and avoids committing sins, bears the adversities and difficulties for the sake of Allah, has some light of guidance in his heart.

 

Have we ever truly understood and reflected over what our Salaat means?

Step by Step Guide in English

Perform Wudu - ablution

Prepare for Salaat facing the Qiblah - (direction of Mecca)

Salaat begins with the Intention and then you raise your hands to the lobe of your ears

(Palms must be facing the Qiblah and fingers spread out)

SALAAT BEGINS WITH; TAKBEER

ALLAHU AKBAR

Allah is the Greatest

Place your right palm over the back of your left hand, recite the THANA

SUBHANAKA ALLAHUMMA WA BIHAMDIKA WA TABARAKASMUKA WA TA’ALA JADDUKA WA LA ILAHA GHAIRUK

O Allah, Glory and Praise are for you, Blessed is your name, Exalted is your Majesty, there is no God but You.

Recite; TA’AWWUDH

AOUDHU BILLAHI MINASHAITANIR RAJEEM

I seek refuge with Allah from the rejected Satan

Recite;

BISM-ILLAH HIR RAHMAN IR RAHIM

Begin with the name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, Most Merciful

 

Recite ‘SURAH AL-FAATIHAH’ which is compulsory in prayer;

BISM-ILLAH HIR RAHMAN IR RAHIM

Begin with the name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, Most Merciful

AL HAMDU LILLAHE RABBIL AALAMEEN

All Praise is for Allah, the Lord of the Universe

AR-RAHMAN IR RAHEEM, MALIKE YAWMIDEEN

The Most Kind and Merciful, Master of the Day of Judgement

IYYAAKA NAABUDO WA IYYAAKA NASTAEEN

You alone we worship and from you alone we seek help

EHDENAS SIRAATAL MUSTAQEEM

Show us the straight path

SIRAATAL LAZEENA ANAAMTA ALAYHIM

The path of those whom You favoured

GHAIRIL MAGHDHOOBE ALAYHIM

Not of those who invoked your anger

WA LADH-DHWAALLEEN AMEEN

And those who went astray. Ameen

This Surah should then be followed by another Surah from the Qur’an, preferable two Surahs in the same order that they appear in the Glorious Qur’an.

Recite; TAKBEER

Bow into RUKU

Recite the following Tasbeeh;

SUBNANA RABBIYAL AZEEM

Glorified is my Lord, the Most Great

( 3 Times )

As you rise again to the standing position - QIYAAM

Recite;

SAMI ALLAHU LIMAN HAMIDAH

Allah hears the one who praises Him

As you are standing up straight, - Recite;

ALLAHUMMA RABBANA WA LAKAL HAMD

O Allah, Our Lord, You are Praised

Leaving your hands by their sides, repeat TAKBEER

Go down into SUJOOD - Prostration

(First allow your knees to touch the ground followed by your hands, nose and finally the forehead. The palms should be positioned flat on the ground with forearms raised. Make sure your hands, head and toes are facing Qiblah)

Recite the following Tasbeeh;

SUBHANA RABBIYAL A’ALA

Glory to my Lord, the Most High

( 3 Times )

Come up from prostration, resting on your knees say the TAKBEER

Go down in Prostration reciting the above Tasbeeh then come back up saying the TAKBEER.

ONE RAKA’AH IS NOW COMPLETE

To complete the second racial, you must stand up from prostration and begin by reciting Surah Al-Faatihah and then continue as above.

When reaching your Sujood, after the second prostration, remain seated and recite the TASHAHHUD;

AT-TAHIYYATU LILLAHI WASSALWAATU WAT-TAYYIBATU

All prayer is for Allah, and all worship and goodness

AS-SALAMU ALAIKA AYYUHAN NABIYYU WA RAHMATULLAHI WA BARAAKAATUUH

Peace be on you Oh Prophet, and the mercy of Allah and His blessings

ASSALAMU ALAINA WA ALA IBADILLAHIS SALIHEEN

Peace be on us and on the righteous servants of Allah

Recite the SHAHAADAT (When reciting La-ilaha illala -RAISE INDEX FINGER once)

ASH-HADU AN LA ILAHA ILLALAHU

I bear witness that there is no God but Allah

WA ASH-HADU ANNA MUHAMMADAN ABDUHU WA RASOOLUH

And bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and Messenger

If this is a three or four raka’ah salaat, then you should recite no more than the second kalimah but then stand and complete the remaining raka’ahs beginning with Surah Faatihah.

If this is the Final Raka’ah of your prayer, continue by reciting DUROOD-E-IBRAHIM - The Salutation of Ibrahim on the Prophet (saw)

ALLAHUMMA SALLI ALA MUHAMMADIN WA ALA AALI MUHAAMADIN

O Allah, Send your salutations on Muhammad and on the family of Muhammad

KAAMA SALLAITA ALA IBRAHIMA WA ALA AALI IBRAHIMA INNAKA HAMEEDUN MAJEED

As you send salutations on Ibrahim and on the family of Ibrahim. Truly You are Praiseworthy and Glorious.

ALLAHUMMA BAARIK ALA MUHAMMADIN WA ALA AALI MUHAAMADIN

O Allah, Send blessings on Muhammad and the family of Muhammad

KAAMA BARAKTA ALA IBRHIMA WA AALA AALI IBRAHIMA INNAKA HAMEEDUN MAJEED.

As you send blessings on Ibrahim and on the family of Ibrahim. Truly You are the Praiseworthy and Glorious.

The Prayer is now concluded by reciting a prayer - dua from the Qur’an or authentic Ahadith. The following dua is often used to conclude the Salaat;

 

RABBI JALNI MUQI MASAALATA WA MIN DHUIRIYATI RABBANA WA TAQABUL DUA

O Lord, Make me and my children steadfast in Salah, Our Lord accept the prayer

RABBANAGH FARLI WALIWALIDAIYA WA LIL MUMINNENA YAWMA YAQUMAL HISAAB

Our Lord, forgive me and my parents and the believers on the Day of Judgement.

The Salaam now will end the Salaat;

ASSALAMU ALAIKUM WA RAHMATULLAH

Peace and the Mercy of Allah be on you

Recite this salaam as you turn your head to the right,

And then turn your head to the left.

 

This description of performing Salaat is a very basic and general guide. Please consult an Imam or knowledgeable Maulana should you have any doubts regarding your own Salaat.

Remember when praying your Salaat…………….

1. Anas bin Malik (ra) reported the Prophet (saw) had fifty prayers enjoined on his Ummah but they were reduced to five on the night of Isra and Miraaj. Allah (swt) said ’They are five prayers but they are equal in reward to fifty, as My word does not change’.  (Bukhari)

2. The Prophet (saw) said ‘Allah the Almighty and Glorious said ‘I have made five Salaat in a day obligatory to your Ummah - Nation for I am self-committed that one who would come forth having cared of those is respect of their prescribed time (prayers to be performed at their due time) I would cause them to enter Jannah - Paradise. Those who did not take care of these Salaat, there is no commitment for such a person. (Abu Dawood)

3. The Prophet (saw) said that ‘One’s prayer in congregation - Jamaat is rewarded twenty five times more than his reward on offering at home or in the market. (Bukhari)

4. The Prophet (saw) said ‘One who performs Wudu - ablution perfectly for Salaat then walks to offer obligatory Salaat and joins the congregation - Jamaat at the Mosque, Allah will forgive his sins. (Muslim)

5. The Prophet (saw) said ‘When a man performs Wudu - ablution and comes to the Mosque looking for prayer, the two angels (in one’s guard) write for him ten good deeds for every step taken towards the Mosque. The one who waits for prayer sitting is like one who is in dedicated in worship. He is counted among the worshippers from the time he comes out from his home till the moment he returns.      (Musnad Ahmad)

6. The Prophet (saw) said while praying in congregation ‘When the Imam completes ‘Surah Faatihah’, the one whose Ameen is recited simultaneously with the angels’ Ameen, his previous sins are forgiven’. (Bukhari)

7. The Prophet (saw) said ‘Satan ties three knots on the nape on one’s head while he is asleep and strikes at every knot saying ‘You still have a long night, keep up sleeping’. If the man wakes up and remembers Allah’s name, one knot is untied, if he makes Wudu - ablution another knot is untied and if he then offers prayer, all the knots are untied. He then becomes active and cheerful, otherwise he is embarrassed and dull. (Abu Dawood)

8. The Prophet (saw) said ‘The moment when a man is closest to his Lord is Sajdah - prostration, Make plenty of Dua - supplication therein. (Muslim)

9. The Prophet (saw) said ‘Allah remains paying attention to the slave in his Salaat until the slave deviates his attention, when he diverts his attention, Allah diverts his attention from him. (Nasai)

10. The Prophet (saw) said ‘The most difficult Salaats for a hypocrite, are Isha (night) and Fajr (morning). (Muslim)

 

Hasrat Ali (Ra) narrates that the last words of the Prophet (saw) at the time of his passing away were; ‘The Salaat, the Salaat, be Allah fearing in respect of your slaves’. (Abu Dawood)

 

 

Zulfiqar Raja.

Reference Books;

Muntakhab Ahadith

Kitaabus Salaat

Islam beliefs and teachings

The Salah of a believer in the Quran and Sunnah

The Isra and Miraj

Concerning Taraaweeh