How to Find Comfort and Sweetness in Prayer (Salah)?

Comfort and Sweetness in Prayer (Salah)

Question:

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?

Answer:

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.



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Source: Huda Youtube Channel. 

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The Life in Prayer

The Life in Prayer

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

The Life in Prayer

Awareness

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

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.

Reverence

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.

Awe

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.

Hope

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.

Shame

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) 

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Source: Imam Ghazali’s Ihya Ulum al-Din

 

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Nearness to Allah Is on the Top of the Benefits of Prayer

Nearness to Allah Is on the Top of the Benefits of Prayer

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

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.

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Source: The Inner Dimensions of Prayer’s Book.

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Devotion in Various Acts in Prayer

Devotion in Various Acts in Prayer

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

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.

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Source: Quoted with slight modifications from Ibn Al-Qaiym The Inner Dimensions of the Prayer

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One Thing You Can Do to Be More Focused in Prayer?

One Thing You Can Do to Be More Focused in Prayer?

Be More Focused in Prayer

Focusing in prayer is a challenge to some of us. If there is one thing that one could do to improve the focus in prayer, what would it be? Shaykh Saad Tasleem answers.

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Source: Faithiq Facebook Page. 

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