Why Do We Pray 5 Times a Day?

Why Do We Pray 5 Times a Day?

Why Do We Pray 5 Times a Day

Our first precaution against sin is to try our best to shelter ourselves from it, no doubt.

By: Ahmed Rehab

Why Do We Pray 5 Times a Day?

For many reasons, but one simple reason is this: prayer is the sump pump to our sins. Since the sins are invariably guaranteed to keep coming, so must the sump pumps keep working. Groundwater is a consequence of rain, and sin is a consequence of life. Regulated sump pumps protect, and so does regular prayer.

Allah states that when you perform your prayer, it erases all sins accumulated since your last prayer. Kind of like how the sump pump eliminates the dirty water, your sins are erased.

Our first precaution against sin is to try our best to shelter ourselves from it, no doubt. My home’s first line of defense against rain damaging its valuable contents is the roof and walls that provide shelter. I could not have a roof-less, wall-less house and then expect the sump pumps to keep my home nice and dry. That’s just basic logic. I need both strategies. But since even the best of roofs and the sturdiest of walls won’t change the laws of physics, I need the sump pumps if I wish to avoid groundwater accumulating and flooding my foundations.

Regular prayer, which contains istighfar (or repentance) pumps out that harmful, unavoidable seepage which, if left to its own devices, will trickle slowly but surely into a flood that will, in time, leave you struggling to breathe under water.

Life, like rain, is good. You can’t and shouldn’t turn against it. How else will the grass grow? But like rain, life comes with liabilities. It can sustain and purify you, and it can leave you breathing mold toxins, or even drown you. The difference is whether you control it, or you do nothing – and thus be controlled by it.

Sin is the tax of life much like groundwater is the tax of rain. It can threaten your spiritual foundation if left unchecked much like groundwater can threaten your home’s foundation. Your nafs (soul) is the lowest point, the basement. It needs to come armed with prayer, with sump pumps.

Sump pumps must work at regular intervals in order to guarantee a dry basement. Once a week won’t cut it.  Why do you pray at night, they might ask? Well, why do sump pumps work at night? Why do you pray at dawn? Well, why do sump pumps work at dawn? Is my nafs less valuable – less worthy of protection – than my basement?

Sometimes when it rains, it pours. At such times of higher risk, sump pumps are triggered to work extra hard to keep up with the need. And so, while we have the regular prayers 5 times a day, we also have the nawafel, or voluntary prayers, as a tool for us to trigger as needed.

But remember, you can have sump pumps, and still get flooded — as I did. Until you realize that low horsepower plastic sump pumps offer a false sense of protection. Such is the case with distracted, mindless prayer that might as well be aerobics. Make sure your sump pumps are cast iron and of a high horsepower: that is, keep your prayers sincere, focused, meditative, and contemplative.

Stay dry my friends.

“Recite, [O Muhammad], what has been revealed to you of the Book and establish prayer. Indeed, prayer prohibits immorality and wrongdoing, and the remembrance of Allah is greater. And Allah knows that which you do.” (Al-`Ankabut 29:45)

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Source: muslimmatters.org.

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All About Fajr Prayer

All About Fajr Prayer

By Editorial Staff 

Prayer is a connection between a Muslim and His Lord, Allah. Prayer is the second pillar of Islam. Prayer was the last will of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and it is the first act that we will be judged by on the Day of Reckoning. Islam ordered us to offer prayers at their proper fixed times. Almighty Allah says:

Indeed, prayer has been decreed upon the believers a decree of specified times. (An-Nisaa’ 4:103)

A Muslim offers prayer at a mosque - All About Fajr Prayer

The Prophet said, ‘Whoever prays the two cool prayers (`Asr and Fajr) will go to Paradise.”

One should think deeply over the tranquility and peace that he/she feels after offering prayer to the extent that one forgets pressure of business and social strains. The Prophet (peace be upon him) emphasized the importance of observing the five daily prayers in congregation, for thus the Muslim character is formed.

Supremacy of Fajr Prayer

Among the five daily prayers, Fajr, the early Morning Prayer is definitely the most valuable.

Establish prayer at the decline of the sun [from its meridian] until the darkness of the night and [also] the Qur’an of dawn. Indeed, the recitation of dawn is ever witnessed. (Al-Israa’ 17:78)

Imam As-Suyuti (may Allah have mercy upon him) said that the word “witnessed” in the above verse means that “both the angles of the previous night and the angles of the new morning intently listen to the Fajr Prayer being recited loudly because of its great status and virtues.” (Tafsir Al-Jalalayn)

Time of Fajr Prayer

The time for Fajr Prayer starts from the true dawn until sunrise, a period which lasts about one and a half hours.  It was narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “…and the time of the morning prayer is from the appearance of dawn, as long as the sun has not risen; but when the sun rises, refrain from prayer for it rises between the horns of the devil.” (Muslim)

The majority of scholars are of the view that it is recommended to offer the Fajr prayer at the beginning of its time, before the darkness of the night is dispelled.

Status and Rewards of Fajr Paryer 

`Uthman ibn `Affan (may Allah be pleased with him) said, I heard the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) saying: “One who performs `Isha’ prayer in congregation, is as if he has performed Prayer for half of the night. And one who performs the Fajr prayer in congregation, is as if he has performed Prayer the whole night.” (Muslim)

Jundub ibn Sufyan (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “He who offers the dawn (Fajr) prayer will come under the Protection of Allah. O son of Adam! Beware, lest Allah should call you to account in any respect from (for withdrawing) His Protection.” (Muslim)

Abu Musa (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, ‘Whoever prays the two cool prayers (`Asr and Fajr) will go to Paradise.” (Agreed Upon)

Buraidah ibn Al-Hasib (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Give good tidings to those who walk to the mosques in darkness for having a perfect light on the Day of Judgment.” (Abu Dawud)

Sakhr Al-Ghamidi narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “O Allah, bless my people in their early mornings.” (Abu Dawud)

Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him)narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Angels keep on descending from and ascending to the Heaven in turn, some at night and some by daytime, and all of them assemble together at the time of the Fajr and `Asr prayers. Then those who have stayed with you over-night, ascent unto Allah Who asks them, and He knows the answer better than they, “How have you left My slaves?” They reply, “We have left them praying as we found them praying.” (Al-Bukhari)

`A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “The two Rak`ahs before the dawn (Fajr) prayer are better than this world and all it contains.” (Muslim)

Jarir (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated: “We were sitting with the Prophet (peace be upon him) and he looked at the moon on the night of the full-moon and said, “You people will see your Lord as you see this full moon, and you will have no trouble in seeing Him, so if you can avoid missing (through sleep or business, etc.) a prayer before sunrise (Fajr) and a prayer before sunset (`Asr) you must do so.” (Al-Bukhari)

Warning against Missing the Fajr Prayer

Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, “No Prayer is more burdensome to the hypocrites than the Fajr (dawn) prayer and the `Isha’ (night) prayer; and if they knew their merits, they would come to them even if they had to crawl to do so.” (Agreed Upon)

`Abdullah ibn Mas`ud (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that: Mention was made before the Prophet (peace be upon him) of a man who slept throughout the night till morning. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) remarked, “He is a man in whose ears Satan urinated.” (Agreed Upon)

How to Wake up for Fajr Prayer

1- Sleep early

2- Observe the etiquette of sleeping i.e. sleeping after performing ablution, saying the adhkar (remembrance) of sleep, and reciting the verse of Al-Kursi and the last two verses of Surat Al-Baqarah.

3- Eat less before going to sleep.

4- Take a nap during the day.

5- Intend sincerely to wake up for Fajr.

6- Get immediately out of bed when waking up.

7- Ask a family member or a friend to wake you up when they rise.

8- Ask for Allah’s help to wake you up the next morning.

May Almighty Allah make us all among those who rise and pray Fajr easily and consistently, out of submission and gratitude.

Learn how to offer the Fajr Prayer in the correct manner:

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