- O You who have abandoned the prayer, what is left of your Islam after you have abandoned them?! Do not you know that it is the backbone of Islam and an indication of your belief?!
- You who have abandoned prayers! All creatures prostrate to Allah except for you, while Allah Almighty says:
“See you not that whoever is in the heavens and whoever is on the earth, the sun, the moon, the stars, the mountains, the trees, Ad-Dawab [moving (living) creatures, beasts], and many of mankind prostrate themselves to Allah?! But there are many (men) on whom the punishment is justified.” (Al-Hajj: 18)
If you do not pray, then you will be among those on whom the punishment is justified.
- O you who have abandoned prayers! Do not you know that abandoning it is an act of disbelief, as the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “The pledge between us and them is (expressed by their performance of) the prayer; whosoever abandons it has disbelieved.” (Ahmad)
All creatures prostrate to Allah
- O you who have abandoned prayers! Do not you know that slackening in it is a form of hypocrisy?! Allah says:
Indeed, the hypocrites [think to] deceive Allah, but He is deceiving them. And when they stand for prayer, they stand lazily, showing [themselves to] the people and not remembering Allah except a little.” (An-Nisa’: 142)
Do you not see that the hypocrites during the time of the Prophet (peace be upon him) would pray, although to be seen, while you don’t pray at all?!
- O you who have abandoned prayers! Do not you know that abandoning it causes heedlessness and hardness of the heart, as the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Let the people stop abandoning the Friday prayer, or else Allah will surely seal their hearts, and they will become of the heedless.”” (Muslim)
- O you who have abandoned prayers! Do not you know that this leads to the punishment in Hell, as Allah says:
[And asking them], “What put you into Saqar? They will say, “We were not of those who prayed. (Al-Muddaththir: 42-43)
- O you who have abandoned prayers! Do not you know that abandoning it causes worry, disorder and a difficult life, Allah says:
And whoever turns away from My remembrance – indeed, he will have a depressed life, and We will gather him on the Day of Resurrection blind.” He will say, “My Lord, why have you raised me blind while I was [once] seeing?” [ Allah ] will say, “Thus did Our signs come to you, and you forgot them; and thus will you this Day be forgotten.” (Ta-ha: 124-126)
What a pity and a waste! How is it that the years of your life are passing, and your heart is veiled from worshiping Allah; how can you depart this life and you did not taste the best of it?! Indeed the best of this life is worshiping Allah, mentioning Him and expressing your gratitude to Him.
- O you who have abandoned prayers! What remains to be important to you in your religion if you give no importance to your prayer? Do not you know that one who abandons prayer finds it easier to abandon other acts of worship?!
Repent, O heedless one, to Allah, before death comes to you while you have abandoned the prayer.
O you who have slackened in your prayer!!
What are you going to do after you learned about the great virtues of prayer?
What are you going to do after knowing the abundant awards set for those who pray?
What are you going to do after you learned about the punishment awaiting those who abandon it?
Are you going to continue slighting and neglecting your prayer?
Will you still insist to sleep through your prayers or delay them after their prescribed times?
Dear brother! Where is your ambition? Where is your strong determination? Where is your readiness for Paradise? Where is your adherence to the prescribed timings for prayers? Where is your early arrival for the Friday and congregational prayers?
Source: Respond to the Call of Prayer’s Book.
The Fruits and Virtues of Prayer
1- It was prescribed in the heavens the night the Prophet (peace be upon him) ascended to the heavens, while the commands for the remaining acts of worship were revealed to the Prophet (peace be upon him) on earth. This indicates its great importance, sacredness and status.
2- It is the only pillar which is repeated five times each day, and it is never waved except for a woman experiencing her menstrual period or post partum bleeding.
3- It is the one of the most virtuous and most beloved of deeds to Allah as the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “…know that the best of your deeds is the prayer, and only a true believer maintains the state of ablution.” (Ahmad)
4- It is the backbone of Islam, and brings pleasure to the eyes of pious. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “The most important of all matters is Islam, its backbone is the prayer, and its highest level is Jihad for the sake of Allah.” (Ahmad)
5- It is a proof of one’s Islam, a sign of belief, and it preserves a person’s blood from being shed. Allah says what means “But if they repent [by rejecting Shirk (polytheism) and accept Islamic Monotheism], perform Prayer (Iqamat-as- Salat) and give Zakat, then they are your brethren in religion.” (At-Tawbah: 2)
6- It is a sign of honesty and frees a person from hypocrisy. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Whosoever prays forty days with the congregation, attending the initial (Allahu Akbar) of the prayer will be free of two things: Hellfire and hypocrisy.” (Ahmad)
7- It is the best issue to be occupied with, the most profitable business, and the most likely amongst all acts of worship to cause a person to become humble and submissive. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Prayer is the best thing to be occupied with, so whoever is able to perform much of it then let him do so.” (Ahmad)
8- It is a command from Allah, an advice of the Prophet (peace be upon him), and a feature which distinguishes the people of Islam and faith. Allah Almighty says what means, “Guard strictly (five obligatory) As- Salawat (the prayers) and stand before Allah with obedience.” (Al-Baqarah: 238)
9- It elevates the ranks and expiates sins, as the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Tell me, if there were a river in front of one’s house in which he would bath five times a day, would any dirt remain on him? They said: “No dirt will remain on him.” He then said, “That is the example of the five daily obligatory prayers, for through them Allah erases sins.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
10- It secures one from the Hellfire, protects against danger, and makes a person win Paradise. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “The one who prays before sunrise (Fajr prayer) and before sunset (`Asr prayer) will not enter the Hellfire.” (Muslim)
11- It is a sign for success and victory and an indication of being accepted. Allah Almighty says, “Successful indeed are the believers. Those who offer their Salat (prayers) with all solemnity and full submissiveness,” (Al- Mu’minun: l-2) and also, “…and those who strictly guard their (five compulsory congregational) Salawat (prayers) (at their fixed stated hours). These are indeed the inheritors. Who shall inherit the Firdaus (Paradise). They shall dwell therein forever.” (Al-Mu’minun: 9-11)
12- It is the first thing for which the slave will be held accountable. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “The first thing for which the slave will be held accountable for on the day of Resurrection is his prayer; if it is good (by performing it properly and on time), then the rest of his deeds will be good, and if it is ruined (by neglecting it), then the rest of his deeds will be ruined.” (At-Tabarani)
13- It is a provision for the way, a comfort for the soul and body, a light for the heart, purification for the soul and a sign for salvation. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “O Bilal! Call the Iqamah! Bring us comfort by it!” (Ahmad and Abu Dawud)
14- It frustrates Satan and the disbelievers. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “When the son of Adam recites a verse which recommends him to prostrate and he does, Satan starts crying and says, ‘Woe to me, the son of Adam followed what he was commanded and he will get Paradise as a reward, while I was commanded to prostrate and refused and will enter Hell.” (Muslim)
15- It is a form of expressing appreciation and gratitude, as well as being a treasure full of magnification of Allah glorification and praise of Him. When the Prophet (peace be upon him) was asked about the reason behind his excessive prayer, he (peace be upon him) said, “Shouldn’t I be a thankful slave?!” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
16- It protects against following desires, evil sins and cures from sicknesses, as Allah says, “Verily, As-Salat (the prayer) prevents from Al-Fahsha‘ (i.e. great sins of every kind, unlawful sexual intercourse) and Al-Munkar (i.e. disbelief, polytheism, and every kind of evil wicked deed)” (Al-`Ankabut: 45).
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Pray the optional night prayer, for it is the way of righteous before you; it brings you close to your Lord, prevents you from committing sins, expiates your sins and cures you from sicknesses.” (At-Tirmithi)
Source: Respond to the Call for Prayer’s book.
Making Up the Missed Nafl Prayers
Is it permissible to make up the nafl prayers (sunnah prayers) in case I missed them such as offering the sunnah before or after Zhuhr (Noon Prayer) after `Asr (Afternoon Prayer)?
In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright.
There is an authentic evidence in the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him) that it is permitted for one to offer the missed nafl prayers after their prescribed times.
It was narrated that Um Salamah says: “Messenger of Allah, I heard you prohibiting these two rak`ahs, whereas I saw you observing them; and if he (the Prophet) points with his hand (to wait), then do wait. The slave-girl did like that. He (the Prophet) pointed out with his hand and she got aside and waited, and when he had finished (the prayer) he said: “Daughter of Abu Umaiyah. you have asked about the two rak`ahs after the `Asr prayer. Some people of ‘Abu Al-Qais came to me for embracing Islam and hindered me from observing the two rak`ahs which come after the noon prayer. So those are the two I have been praying.” (Bukhari and Muslim)
`A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) said, “If the Prophet (peace be upon him) did not pray four rak`ahs before Zhuhr, he would pray them afterwards.” (Authenticated by Al-Albani)
Source: Huda Youtube Channel.
The devotion of standing upright before Allah in prayer comes into effect when the slave devotes his attention to the Greatness of Allah and His Attribute of Self-subsistence, as this will ensure that he turns neither his face nor his eyes from side to side.
The devotion of the statement “Allah is the Greatest” by which the slave commences the prayer is realized when the slave devotes his attention and focus to Allah’s greatness, glory, and exaltation.
Devotion in Various Acts in Prayer
Opening Supplication: The devotion of the opening supplication happens when the servant extols and glorifies and praises Him profusely, ascribing to Him all that befits Him and declares His transcendence above everything that does not befit Him, and praises Him for His Attributes and Perfection.
Ta`awudh (seeking Allah’s protection from Satan): The devotion of taking refuge in Allah from the accursed Satan is realized by having confidence and faith that Allah shall support him, protect him and aid him against Satan.
Recitation: The devotion of reciting the Qur’an lies in the slave’s endeavor to learn about Allah through His Words as if trying to see Him through His revelation. One of the righteous Salaf said: Allah manifests Himself to His slaves through His Speech (i.e. Qur’an). It is, however, the case that the degree of devotion while reciting and praying varies from one person to another, and the difference between them is like the difference between the one whose both eyes are sound and unimpaired, and the one-eyed individual, the blind person, the deaf person, etc. in their levels of perception. The slave should be as heedful as possible to His Essence, Attributes, Actions, Commandments, Laws, and Names.
Ruku`: The devotion of bowing down is contained in being mindful to the Greatness and the Pride of Allah, Exalted be He. For that reason, it is prescribed for him to say while he is in the state of bowing down, "Glory to my Lord, the Most High".
Raising up from the ruku`: After he rises up from his bowing stance, he should focus his attention upon glorifying and praising Allah repeatedly, so as to manifest his servitude to Him, the One in whose Hand is the sole authority to bestow and deny.
When the servant falls into prostration, he ought to focus his attention on feeling his nearness to Him, overwhelmed in humility in the hope that He forgives him, guides him, sustains him, protects him and bestows His mercy upon him. Then, when he raises his head and adopts the sitting posture, his inner condition takes on a different nature, one that is similar to the condition of the pilgrim when he performs the last circumambulation because at that point, his heart begins to realize that he is about to complete his prayer and with it leave this blessed condition that he is experiencing and that soon he will be returning to the dreariness of his worldly affairs that he had detached himself from just before standing before his Lord. Once again he will be subject to the feelings of pain and anguish that his heart endured before he started praying, all of which melted away as soon as he commenced his prayer. At that point, his heart rushes to enjoy the nearness of Allah for the last time, to bask in His grace, and to be saved from the disruptiveness of his worldly affairs.
The feeling of bitterness he endures is due to his recognition that all this lasts only as long as he is praying. At this stage, the heart cannot but feel burdened and troubled knowing that all this is about to end and that he is about to return to these worldly affairs and concerns. This agitates the slave to the point that he starts wishing that this prayer were the final act of his life. Not to mention the slave’s awareness that as soon as he finishes praying, he will resume communicating with those who bring him nothing but concerns, worries, and harm after he had been invoking and supplicating his Lord. However, this kind of feeling cannot be experienced except by those whose hearts are alive with the remembrance and love of Allah and who are cognizant of the negative effect that mankind leaves on their hearts. This is because interacting with people puts him in the way of harm and worries, agitates his heart and makes him overlook or miss good deeds, not to mention causing him to commit more sins. More importantly, it distracts him from invoking Allah, the most High.
Source: Quoted with slight modifications from Ibn Al-Qaiym The Inner Dimensions of the Prayer
The secret and the essence of Salah (prayer) is to devote oneself to Allah while praying. Just as the `abd (slave) should not turn his face away from the direction of the Qiblah (direction of prayer), he should also disallow his heart from giving attention to anything except his Lord. Therefore the salve should let the Ka`bah – the House of Allah – be the direction of his body and face, and let Allah be the direction of his heart and soul. Allah shall give His attention to His slave in proportion to the level of his devotion and focus in Prayer. Thus, if he turns away from Allah (by becoming unmindful), He too shall turn away from him – truly, as you judge, shall you yourself be judged.
Devotion in Prayer is of three levels:
1- The devotion of the heart: This level safeguards the heart and rectifies its affairs from the sickness of desires and the whispers of Satan, as well as all thoughts that may nullify his Prayer or lessen its reward.
2- The devotion of Ihsan: This level is when the slave is mindful of Allah in his prayer to the degree that he becomes as if he worships Him while seeing Him.
3- The devotion of understanding: This level is reached when the slave reflects upon and comprehends the meanings of the words of Allah (i.e. Qur’an) that he recites. And, when he contemplates the details of the worship (i.e. prayer) in order to pay its due right in humility and tranquility. Even if we ponder about Surat Al-Fatihah, there is so much to think and ponder about that one can get overwhelmed. Scholars have explained seven different levels of understanding of this surah and written volumes and volumes of books on this surah alone. If this one surah requires this much pondering, then how about the whole Qur’an and what Allah Almighty has legislated for us to recite in our prayer.
If the slave successfully reaches these three levels, he will have truly established and performed his prayer in the most perfect manner and in return, he will receive the full attention of Allah.
Source: Quoted with slight modifications from Ibn Al-Qaiym The Inner Dimensions of the Prayer
`Eid in Islam is a day of joy, thanksgiving, worship, brotherhood, solidarity, and morality.
`Eid: Etiquettes and Rulings
`Eid in Islam is a day of joy, thanksgiving, worship, brotherhood, solidarity, and morality. A Muslim should take the advantage of this day to bring himself nearer to Allah, Most High.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Every nation has its festival, and this is your festival.” Here, he referred to the fact that these two `Eids are exclusively for Muslims.
Muslims have no festivals apart from `Eid Al-Fitr and `Eid Al-Adha. Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) came to Al-Madinah, the people of Madinah used to have two festivals. On those two days they had carnivals and festivity. The Prophet asked the Ansar (the Muslims of Madinah) about it. They replied that before Islam they used to have carnivals on those two joyous days. The Prophet (peace be upon him) told them: “Instead of those two days, Allah has appointed two other days which are better, the days of `Eid Al-Fitr and `Eid Al-Adha.” (Abu Dawud)
These two `Eids are among the signs of Allah, to which we must show consideration and understand their objectives.
Rulings of `Eid
1- Fasting: It is haram to fast on the days of `Eid because of the hadith of Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri (may Allah be pleased with him) in which he said that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) forbade fasting on the day of Fitr and the day of Adha. (Muslim)
2- Offering `Eid Prayers: Some of the scholars say that `Eid Prayers are obligatory, this is the view of the Hanafi scholars and of Sheikh Al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah. Some scholars say that `Eid Prayer is Fard Kifayah (a communal duty, binding on the Muslims as a group, and it is fulfilled if a sufficient number of people perform it, thereby absolving the rest of sin). This is the view of the Hanbalis. A third group say that `Eid Prayer is a confirmed sunnah. This is the view of the Malikis and Shafi`is.
3- Offering Supererogatory Prayers: There are no supererogatory prayers to be offered either before or after the `Eid Prayer, as Ibn `Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to come out on the day of `Eid and pray two rak`ahs, with nothing before or after them. This is the case if the Prayer is offered in an open area. If, however, the people pray the `Eid Prayer in a mosque, then they should pray two rak`ahs for Tahiyat Al-Masjid (greeting the mosque).
4- Women Attending the `Eid Prayers: According to the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him) everyone is urged to attend `Eid Prayer, and to co-operate with one another in righteousness and piety. The menstruating woman should not forsake the remembrance of Allah or places of goodness such as gatherings for the purpose of seeking knowledge and remembering Allah – apart from mosques. Women, undoubtedly, should not go out without the Hijab.
Etiquette of `Eid
1- Ghusl (taking a bath): One of the good manners of `Eid is to take bath before going out to the Prayer. It was reported that Sa`id ibn Jubayr (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “Three things are Sunnah on `Eid: to walk (to the prayer-place), to take a bath, and to eat before coming out (if it’s `Eid Al-Fitr).”
2- Eating before Coming out: One should not come out to the prayer-place on `Eid Al-Fitr before eating some dates, because of the hadith of Anas ibn Malik who said: “The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) would not go out in the morning of `Eid Al-Fitr until he had eaten some dates… and he would eat an odd number.” (Al-Bukhari)
On `Eid Al-Adha, on the other hand, it is recommended not to eat until after the Prayer, when one should eat from the meat of one’s sacrifice.
3- Takbir on the Day of `Eid: This is a great Sunnah of this day. Ad-Daraqutni and others reported that when Ibn `Umar came out on `Eid Al-Fitr and `Eid Al-Adha, he would strive hard in making Takbir until he reached the prayer-place, then he would continue making Takbir until the Imam came.
4- Congratulating one Another: People may exchange congratulations and good greetings on `Eid, no matter what form the words take. For example they may say to one another, “Taqabal Allahu minna wa minkum (may Allah accept from us and from you our good deeds!)”. Jubayr ibn Nufayr said: “At the time of the Prophet (peace be upon him) when people met one another on the day of `Eid, they would say, ‘Taqabal Allahu minna wa minka.’” (Ibn Hajar)
5- Wearing one’s best Clothes for `Eid: Jabir (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “The Prophet (peace be upon him) had a Jubbah (cloak) that he would wear on `Eid and on Fridays.” Al-Bayhaqi reported that Ibn `Umar used to wear his best clothes on `Eid, so men should wear the best clothes they have when they go out for `Eid.
6- Changing Route on Returning from Prayer-place: Jabir ibn `Abdullah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that: “the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to change his routes on the day of `Eid.” (Al-Bukhari)