One of the significant features of the month is Tarawih prayer.
Ramadan is a time when Muslims are required to concentrate on their faith and spend less time on the concerns of their everyday lives. The whole atmosphere is permeated with religious piety and devotion to Allah. One of the significant features of the month is Tarawih prayer for which Muslims gather every night in the mosque and listen to the recitation of the whole Qur’an during the month. There is nothing wrong if people make du`a’ (supplication) or dhikr (remembrance of Allah) during the intervals between rak`ahs of the Tarawih prayer.
Commenting on this issue, Sheikh `Atiyah Saqr, former head of Al-Azhar Fatwa Committee, states:
There is no proof against making du`a’, dhikr, or reciting the Qur’an in the intervals separating every two or four rak`ahs in Tarawih prayer. This is included in the general command of making dhikr at all times. The fact that the righteous predecessors, through whom legislation reached us, did not do it is not an indication that it is prohibited, not to mention that there is no authentic report from them that it is impermissible.
This interval is similar to the practice of the people of Makkah who used to make tawaf (circumambulation) around the Ka`bah during the intervals, which incited the people of Madinah to perform more than twenty rak`ahs in Tarawih in order to compensate for the tawaf they missed (as they are not in the Holy Mosque).
In fact, it is a way that enable people to know the number of rak`ahs they have offered in addition to getting refreshed. Therefore, there is nothing wrong in it at all, and it does not fall under the heading of bid`ah (innovation). This is because the general texts and rules support this practice and do not go against it.
If this practice is called an innovation, then we would say: This is a good bid`ah, as Caliph `Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) stated when he saw all Muslims gathering to pray Tarawih in congregation behind Ubay ibn Ka`b (though they mostly prayed it individually during the Prophet’s lifetime).
In the Egyptian Encyclopedia of Fatwas, it is stated:
It is recommended to wait for a period (equal to four rak`ahs of prayer) after each four rak`ahs they offer and between the fifth interval and the witr prayer. This is the practice of the righteous predecessors since Ubayy ibn Ka`b (may Allah be pleased with him) led Muslims in the Tarawih prayer. Abu Hanifah (may Allah have mercy upon him) stated that this is inferred from the Arabic word Tarawih (from the Arabic root rawah meaning ‘to have a rest’).
What is recommendable is to wait for a while. But there is nothing reported from the righteous predecessors to be said in such intervals. The people of each city can choose between reciting the Qur’an, saying tasbih (the formula subhan Allah), performing four rak`ahs individually, saying la ilaha illa-Allah (there is no god but Allah), takbir (the formula Allahu Akbar), or remain silent while sitting.
In conclusion, it is clear now that it is recommendable for Muslims while performing Tarawih prayer to make pauses between its rak`ahs as a means of refreshment. There is nothing wrong in saying du`a’ or making dhikr, but they have freedom to say dhikr, recite the Qur’an or remain silent.
Comfort and Sweetness in Prayer (Salah)
I do not pray the obligatory salah (the five daily prayers) on regular basis and when I pray, I do so because I fear the consequences. I want to know how to maintain my 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.
It was narrated that a man said, I heard the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) as saying: “O Bilal, call iqamah for prayer: give us comfort by it.” (Authenticated by Al-Albani)
This hadith declares that if we are serious about wanting to achieve tranquility of the heart, we need to start with prayer. We should not look at the prayer as a burden or the consequences of not offering prayer. We should look at it as a source of comfort, peace of mind and coolness of one’s eyes.
In this short video, Dr. Muhammad Salah gives us some precious advice in how to feel comfort and sweetness in prayer.
Source: Huda Youtube Channel.
Nearness To Allah
It is customary for kings to promise reward and nearness to those whom they are pleased with. The magicians said to Pharaoh,
“Is there indeed for us a reward if we are predominant?” (Ash-Shu`ara 26: 41)
and he answered that they would be rewarded and be among those near to him, saying:
“Yes, and, [moreover], you will be among those made near [to me].” (Al-A`raf 7: 114)
From The Benefits Of Prayer Is Nearness To Allah
The example of the first type is like a man who entered the abode of the king but was unable to gain entrance to him as there was a barrier standing between him and the king, hence he was unable to see him or gain access to this person.
The barrier is an embodiment of his desires and lusts as well as the smoke screen of his hopeful wishes in this life; his heart is sick and his self is wrapped up in what it desires wanting only its immediate share in this life.
It is for these reasons that all the while they pray they are in an unhappy state wherein they are not only unable to obtain any comfort, but are also empty of feelings of fear and hope in Allah, which makes prayer a suffering for them that only ceases when they finish praying, as only then are they able to return to that in which they find their comfort (i.e. worldly affairs and pleasures).
The example of the second type is like a man who entered the house of the king upon which the barrier screening him from the king is removed; thus he is able to find delight in looking at the king and being at his service and in his obedience. In return, the king lavishes upon him every form of grace and brings him near to himself.
For all these reasons, he is unable to bear leaving the house and wishes to remain standing before him to enjoy the sweetness of being close to him, the tranquility that he experiences from it, and being held in esteem by Allah while he basks in His good Words (i.e. Qur’an).
He also enjoys being in such a state of humbleness and humility before Him, for which he invokes Him more and more while he is being showered with His graces from every direction, not to mention the calmness that his soul experiences while his heart and limbs are fully attentive to his Lord. He is pleased and comfortable, worshiping Allah as if he sees Him, for He manifests Himself to him through His Words (i.e. Qur’an).
It should thus come as no surprise that the most distressing thing for him is to have to leave all that (i.e. conclude the Salah). And Allah is the Guide and the Helper.
Source: The Inner Dimensions of Prayer’s Book.
Prayer (Salah) is Allah’s most favorite form of worship. It creates a direct connection between the Lord and His slave. Offering the five daily prayers every day is an act of loving Allah Almighty not on your own terms but on His.
The daily prayers essentially make up the very backbone of what it means to be a Muslim – it keeps us high in faith every single day. Hence, every Muslim must incorporate the five daily prayers in his/her everyday life.
Prayer was not ordained by Allah Almighty to burden mankind, but was introduced to serve as a means to help and guide them. It is through Prayer that a person develops a solid relationship with Allah Almighty, which goes beyond just words and oaths.
It was narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) declare that Allah the Exalted had said: “I have divided the prayer into two halves between Me and My servant, and My servant will receive what he asks. When the servant says: Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the universe, Allah the Most High says: My servant has praised Me. And when he (the servant) says: The Most Compassionate, the Merciful, Allah the Most High says: My servant has lauded Me. And when he (the servant) says: Master of the Day of judgment, He remarks: My servant has glorified Me. and sometimes He would say: My servant entrusted (his affairs) to Me. And when he (the worshiper) says: Thee do we worship and of Thee do we ask help, He (Allah) says: This is between Me and My servant, and My servant will receive what he asks for. Then, when he (the worshiper) says: Guide us to the straight path, the path of those to whom Thou hast been Gracious not of those who have incurred Thy displeasure, nor of those who have gone astray, He (Allah) says: This is for My servant, and My servant will receive what he asks for.” (Muslim)
Do not miss watching this important talk about the virtues and importance of Prayer for the Muslim.
Source: Huda Youtube Channel.
There are many virtues of praying regularly:
1- Prayer is one of the most virtues acts in Islam, and most beloved to Almighty Allah.
It was narrated that `Abdullah ibn `Amr said: “The Messenger of Allah said: ‘Adhere to righteousness even though you will not be able to do all acts of virtue. Know that among the best of your deeds is prayer and that no one maintains his ablution except a believer.’” (Ibn Majah)
2- Prayer prevents immoral sins and evil deeds:
Almighty Allah says,
And establish prayer. Indeed, prayer prohibits immorality and wrongdoing. (Al-`Ankabut 29:45)
3- Prayer expiates sins:
Jabir (may Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, “The similitude of the five (obligatory) Prayer is like a river running at the door of one of you in which he takes a bath five times a day.” (Muslim)
Abu Hurairah reported: The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “The five daily (prescribed) Prayer, and Friday (prayer) to the next Friday (prayer), and the fasting of Ramadan to the next Ramadan, is expiation of the sins committed in between them, so long as major sins are avoided.” (Muslim)
4- Guarding prayer is light, proof, and salvation:
Abdullah ibn `Amr reported: The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Whoever guards his prayers will have light, proof, and salvation on the Day of Resurrection. Whoever does not guard his prayers will not have light, nor proof, nor salvation. On the Day of Resurrection, he will be with Qarun, Pharaoh, Haman, and Ubay ibn Khalaf.” (Musnad Ahmad)
5- Prayer elevates one’s ranks and expiates sins:
Thauban (May Allah be pleased with him) said: I heard Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) saying, “Perform Salah more often. For every prostration that you perform before Allah will raise your position one degree and will remit one of your sins”. (Muslim)
6- It rescues from Hell, protects against danger, and enables a person to win Paradise:
It was narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “The one who prays before sunrise (Fajr prayer) and before sunset (`Asr prayer) will not enter Hell Fire.” (Muslim)
To know more about the virtues of offering the five daily prayers on regular basis, watch this interesting talk with Dr. Muhammad Salah.
Source: Huda Youtube Channel.
The Life in Prayer
These qualities can be expressed in many ways, but they are well summed up in six words, namely: awareness; understanding; reverence; awe; hope; shame.
The Life in Prayer
By conscious awareness we mean that state in which one’s mind and feelings are in no way distracted from what one is doing and saying. Perception is united with action and speech. Thoughts do not wander. When the mind remains attentive to what one is doing, when one is wholeheartedly involved, and when nothings makes one heedless, that is when one has achieved conscious awareness.
Understanding the meaning of one’s words is something that goes beyond awareness, for one may be conscious of making an utterance, yet not be aware of the meaning of that utterance. What we mean by understanding, therefore, is an awareness that also includes comprehension of the meaning of one’s utterance. People differ in this respect, not sharing a common understanding of the Qura’n and the glorification.
How many subtleties of meaning we have come to understand in the course of ritual prayer! Things that had never occurred to us before.
It is in this context that prayer becomes a deterrent to indecency and mischief, for the understanding it brings is a positive obstacle to vice.
As for reverence, this is something beyond both awareness and understanding. A man may address his servant in full awareness of his speech, and understanding the meaning of his words, yet without reverence, for reverence is an additional element.
As for awe, it is over and above reverence. In fact, it represents a kind of fear that grows out of the latter. Without experiencing fear, one will not stand in awe. There is an ordinary fear of things we find repugnant, like scorpions or bad temper, but this is not called awe. What we call awe is the kind of fear we have of a mighty king. Awe is the kind of fear induced by a sense of majesty.
As for hope, this is unquestionably something else again. There are many who revere some king or other, and who are in awe of him or afraid of his power, yet do not hope to be rewarded by him. In our prayers, however, we must hope for the reward of Allah, High Exalted; just as we fear His punishment for our faults.
As for shame, it is something additional to all the rest, for it is based on the realization of one’s deficiencies and the apprehension of sin. It is quite possible to conceive of reverence, fear and hope, without this element of shame.
For this reason the Mother of the Believers `A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) said: The Prophet used to do inside his house?” She answered: “He used to keep himself busy helping members of his family, and when it was the time for Salat (the prayer), he would get up for prayer.” (Al-Bukhari)
It is narrated that Allah Almighty said to Moses (peace be upon him): “O Moses, when you want to remember Me, remember Me in such a way that your limbs tremble and that you hold Me dear at the time of remembrance and rest satisfied. When you remember Me, keep your tongue behind your mind. When you stand before Me, stand before Me with fearful mind like the meanest slave and speak with Me with the tongue of a truthful man.” (Ahmad)
Source: Imam Ghazali’s Ihya Ulum al-Din