Prayer: The Key to Good Life

By Dr. Muzammil H. Siddiq

The benefits of prayer are numerous, both in this world and the Hereafter.

Performing the prayer is a command of Allah. It is the most important pillar of Islam. It distinguishes between the believers and non-believers. Prayer is not an option; it is obligatory. It is not once or few times a week. But, it must be performed five times a day. All the Prophets of Almighty Allah merely told their people to pray; Islam, however, made it a very essential part of religion.

Attend constantly to prayers and to the middle prayer, and stand up truly obedient to Allah. (Al-Baqarah 2:238)

Keep up prayer from the declining of the sun till the darkness of the night and the morning recitation; surely, the morning recitation is witnessed. And during a part of the night, pray Tahajjud beyond what is incumbent on you; maybe your Lord will raise you to a position of great glory. (Al-Israa’ 17:78-80)

Perform the regular prayer at both ends of the day, and during parts of the night, for good things drive bad away; this is a reminder for those who are aware. (Hud 11:114)

The sincere and devoted prayer helps a person to enter the Paradise, and it is the key to everything good. In fact, the benefits of prayer are numerous, both in this world and the Hereafter; its benefits are spiritual, moral, physical, individual, and social. Prayer is our link, our bond, and our communication with Allah. If you love Allah and want Him to love you, know that the prayer is the means to that. Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “The source of my delight is the prayer” (authenticated by Al-Albani). He used to ask Bilal (may Allah be pleased with him) to give the Adhan for the prayer thus: “Give us comfort by it, O Bilal.” He used to spend a long time in his nightly prayers. Sometimes, he used to offer prayer for one-third of the night and sometimes for half of the night, or even more than that. He used to find great comfort and joy in this heart-refining act of worship. Performing prayer is rewarded both in this world and beyond.

The whole structure of prayer is so beautiful and so remarkable that there is nothing comparable to it in any religion. Prayer is not just recitation or physical movements. Yet, mind, soul and body, all three are involved together in a most harmonious way during this obligatory act of worship.

Prayer is done both individually and collectively; it is done both in public and in privacy. If we observe our prayer as it should be observed, everything in our lives will change for the better. Our relationship with Allah will be good because we shall be living fully conscious of Him all the time. Our relations with our families, our co-workers, our neighbors, and everyone and everything will be very good. By means of prayer along with the ablution, we shall be clean from sins as much as a person who takes a bath five times a day will be clean from every kind of dirt. Almighty Allah tells us in the Qur’an that the prayer precludes all kinds of evils, vulgarities, and indecencies,

Recite that which has been revealed to you of the Book and keep up prayer; surely prayer keeps (one) away from indecency and evil, and certainly the remembrance of Allah is the greatest, and Allah knows what you do. . (Al-`Ankabut 29:45)

Moreover, we are told in the Qur’an that those who establish prayer regularly do not experience fears or anxieties when afflicted with hardships. Allah, the Most-High, says:

Surely man is created of a hasty temperament, being greatly grieved when evil afflicts him, And niggardly when good befalls him, except those who pray,those who are constant at their prayer. (Al-Ma`arij 70:19-23)

More importantly, prayer brings about the true success in this life and in the life to come, as Almighty Allah tells us in the Qur’an,

Successful indeed are the believers. Those who pray humbly … and who keep up their prayers, they shall be the heirs who shall inherit the Paradise and they shall be there forever. (Al-Mu’minun 23:1-11)

Everyday Benefits

Prayer requires taharah (Arabic for: cleanliness of one’s body and clothes, and of the place of prayer). So, those who perform the prayer enjoy clean bodies, clean clothes, and a clean environment. In addition, prayer is to be performed on appointed times. Consequently, the regular performers of prayer learn punctuality in all their affairs and get a sense of how valuable time is.

In prayer, Muslims stand together without any distinction of race, color, financial status, or political position. Those who perform prayer in congregation regularly do learn the concepts of equality, solidarity, and brotherhood. Prayer in congregation is performed behind an imam whom everyone has to follow. This teaches them discipline, order, and organization. Moreover, if the imam makes any mistake, any person can correct him. Indeed, this is a clear sign of democracy. Let us pray regularly and pray in the best way, so that the benefits and beauty of prayer may reflect in our lives. Mu`adh ibn Jabal, one of the Prophet’s Companions, reported,

“One day the Prophet took my hand and said, ‘By Allah, I love you.’ And said, ‘I advise you, O Mu`adh, not to fail to say after every prayer the following: O Allah, help me to remember You, to thank You, and to worship You in the best way’.”(An-Nawawi)

_______________

This article first appeared on Pakistanlink.com. Here taken from Onislam.net.

Dr. Muzammil H. Siddiq is Islamic scholar of North America; Director, Orange County Islamic Center, California.

Soucre Link

Prayer in the Qur’anic Sense

Do you recall when was the last time you prayed?… Readers’ answers may vary, but what is common to all is that most people pray, at one time or another. Indeed, people can pray to Allah, our Lord, at any time and in any place they like, for anything they wish. Allah calls attention to the fact that people can pray and remember Him anywhere they wish:

Those who remember Allah, standing, sitting and lying on their sides, and reflect on the creation of the heavens and the earth, [saying]: “Our Lord, You have not created this for nothing. Glory be to You! So safeguard us from the punishment of the Fire. Our Lord, those You cast into the Fire, You have indeed disgraced. The wrongdoers will have no helpers. Our Lord, we heard a caller calling us to faith: “Have faith in your Lord!’ and we had faith. Our Lord, forgive us our wrong actions, erase our bad actions from us and take us back to You with those who are truly good. Our Lord, give us what You promised us through Your Messengers, and do not disgrace us on the Day of Rising. You do not break Your promise.” Their Lord responds to them: “I will not let the deeds of any doer among you go to waste, male or female…” (Aal `Imran 3:191-195)

In the Qur’an, Allah describes the kind of prayer He most likes, which we will explain in this series of articles.

1- Praying Humbly, Without Loudness of Voice

When you are in distress or feel desperate and thus feel the need to pray to Allah, where would you like to pray? Surely, the solitude of one’s own room at night or a very tranquil place that will give you the sense of Allah’s nearness would be the place you are looking for.

While worshipping, spiritual integrity can best be attained in a time and place that offers secure undivided attention. A person who feels the need to pray to Allah for the correction of his or her mistakes prefers to be alone and pray in secret. The Prophet Zakariyya’s prayers, through which he asked for a descendant, is an example of secret prayer:

When he called on his Lord in secret and said, “My Lord, my bones have lost their strength and my head is crowned with white, but in calling on You, My Lord, I have never been disappointed.” (Maryam 19:3-4)

As stated above, prayer is “accepting one’s weaknesses and limited power before Allah’s infinite might and asking for help from Him.” For this reason, prayer demands absolute consciousness and acceptance of one’s weaknesses and destitution before Allah. In this sense, there is no doubt that one will fail to attain such consciousness if one is insincere. In the Qur’an, Allah recommends believers to pray humbly and secretly:

Call on your Lord humbly and secretly. He does not love those who overstep the limits. (Al- A`raf 7:55)

Remember your Lord in yourself humbly and with awe, without loudness of voice, morning and evening. Do not be one of the unaware. Those who are in the presence of your Lord do not consider themselves too great to worship Him. They glorify His praise and they prostrate to Him… (Al-A`raf 7:205-206)

In the Qur’an, Allah calls our attention to solitary prayer that is performed with a deep feeling of dire need. In this sense, the place, the sophistication of the outward performance, the number of participants, or the supplicants’ loud voice can by no means be the criteria for a successful prayer.

One must be aware that a loud voice in prayer is not an element that makes it heard by Allah. As already mentioned, Allah, the All-Knowing, knows even our inner thoughts and He is closer to us than our jugular vein. In this sense, it is needless to raise our voice so as to be heard by our Lord Who is close to us. One can either pray secretly or in a tone of voice audible only to oneself.

From the verses below we understand that both while praying or going about our daily business, a person needs to use his or her voice at a moderate level:

Be moderate in your tread and lower your voice. The most hateful of voices is the donkey’s bray. (Luqman 31:19)

Say: “Call on Allah or call on the All-Merciful, whichever you call upon, the Most Beautiful Names are His.” Do not be too loud in your prayer or too quiet in it, but try to find a way between the two. (Al-Israa’ 17:110)

As the verses reveal, the form of worship described in the Qur’an is far from ostentation. It is not performed to impress people: the sole purpose is the due fulfillment of one’s duty towards the Creator. The Qur’an emphasizes this point strongly. In verses related to prayer, there are strong references to “calling on Allah, making one’s religion sincerely His,” which means, performing one’s prayer to earn Allah’s good pleasure alone and not seeking any other purpose. We can see this from verses such as the following:

He is the Living—there is no god but Him—so call on Him, making your religion sincerely His. Praise be to Allah, the Lord of all the worlds. (Ghafir 40:65)

So call upon Allah, making your religion sincerely His, even though the disbelievers detest it. (Ghafir 40:14)

Say: “My Lord has commanded justice. Stand and face Him in every mosque and call on Him, making your religion sincerely His. As He originated you, so you will return.” (Al-A`raf: 29)

The religion belongs to Allah alone. All forms of worship are performed to earn Allah’s good pleasure. The only way to attain this goal is to perform our worship in the form Allah describes.

Those who do not make their prayers or any other form of worship sincerely Allah’s, that is, those who seek “ostentation,” are in great delusion. As Allah says:

So woe to the praying ones, Who are unmindful of their prayers, Who do [good] to be seen. (Al-Ma`un 107:4-6)

______________

The article was first published in Harun Yahya’s book: Prayer in the Qur’an. Here taken with kind permission from www.harunyahya.com

Soucre Link

Introduction to Prayer

It was here in Makkah where our beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was visited by the Archangel Gabriel. Muhammad was flown from his house in Makkah to Jerusalem mounted on Al-Buraq, which travelled at the speed of light.

When he arrived in Jerusalem Prophet Muhammad led the previous Prophets in prayer at AL-Masjid Al-Aqsa.  After he was descending to the heavens it was there that the prayer was established and made compulsory.

It’s till today that the nation of Muhammad (peace be upon him) answer the call to prayer in order to thank, praise and remember Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala (Exalted is He).

As the sound of the Adhan (call to Prayer) is heard throughout the world, Muslims stop and turn to the Lord, thanking Him, remembering Him, bowing down to him in prayer.

Salah is the most important Pillar of Islam after the two Shahadah (testimony of faith): ‘Ash hadu an la ilaha illa Allah, wa ash hadu anna Mohammadan rasoolu Allah’ (I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, and that Muhammad is His Messenger).

The aim of the project is to introduce salah to those who don’t know how to pray at all, for beginners or for those who have some idea or for those who want to perfect their prayer.

 

 

Soucre Link

Strength and Nobility in Prayer

The importance of the second pillar of Islam is discussed by first exploring its place in the lives and teachings of all the prophets of God. Dr. Badawi then proceeds to emphasize the fact that prayer in Islam is not a mere ritual but rather a practical way of remembering and worshipping the Creator and doing good. Other areas covered are the significance and virtues of prayer which include preparation, form, and congregation.
httpv://youtu.be/jWRlLiliUjM
_________________
Source: IslamOnDemand.com.

Soucre Link

The Call to Prayer..Meaning & Uniqueness

The Adhan (call to prayer) is that gentle meaningful alert after which Muslims stop and turn to the Lord, get in touch with Him.

The Adhan (call to prayer) is that gentle meaningful alert after which Muslims stop and turn to the Lord, get in touch with Him.

Five times a day from hundreds of thousands of mosques and places of worship the sound of the Adhan (call to prayer) is heard throughout the world, announcing prayers five times a day.

The Adhan (call to prayer) is that gentle meaningful alert after which Muslims stop and turn to the Lord, get in touch with Him; thanking Him, remembering Him, bowing down to him in prayer.

Instead of using material objects to announce the prayers like a bell or any artificial or digital sound the Islamic Adhan is a human voice carrying a very delicate and passionate message.

It has a special formula that affirms the faith in God and is a summary of the message of Islam and the content and nature of its teachings.

The Adhan begins with an affirmation of the supremacy and greatness of God. Then comes the Shahadah (Testimony of Faith), which consists of the profession of the unity and oneness of God the negation of shirk (associating other beings/gods with Allah), and the confirmation that Muhammad (peace be upon him) is the Messenger of God.

After that comes the call to the prayer and to success (in this life and Hereafter) and then rounding it up by praising God again as the great and affirming faith in Him.

Each line is repeated for affirmation and emphasis.

The words of the Adhan are articulated as follows:

Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar

Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest.

Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar

Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest.

Ash hadu an la ilaha illa Allah

I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship but Allah

Ash hadu an la ilaha illa Allah

I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship but Allah

Ash hadu anna Mohammadan rasoolu Allah

I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah

Ash hadu anna Mohammadan rasoolu Allah

I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah

Hay `ala as-Salah, hay `ala as-Salah

Hasten to the Prayer, hasten to the Prayer

Hay `ala al-falah, hay `ala al-falah

Hasten to real success, hasten to real success

Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar

Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest.

La ilaha illa Allah

There is none worthy of worship but Allah.

Click here to listen to the call to prayer (with English translation- subtitles):

Soucre Link

Sunnah before Maghrib Prayer

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Pray before Maghrib (Sunset Prayer), pray before Maghrib,” and after saying it a third time, he said: “For whoever wishes to do so.” (Al-Bukhari)

Ibn `Abbas also said, “We would pray two rak’ahs before Maghrib, and the Prophet would see us but he would not order us to do so, nor would he prohibit us.” (Muslim)

In this talk, Sheikh Muhammad Salah sheds light on the ruling of this sunnah prayer. He also explains the confirmed sunnah prayers before and after the fard (obligatory) prayers.

Learn about all these here…

_______________

Source: Huda TV.

 

Soucre Link

Ruku` in Prayer

A person is bowing during prayer.

Many of us rush our bowing and prostration, but it is very important to give each action its due measure.

Ruku` (bowing): Internal Actions

Preparing ourselves for the prayer means realizing whom we are meeting with—Allah (Exalted is He), our Lord, the Most Merciful of those who show mercy. We beautify ourselves externally because we are meeting with Allah, and we humble ourselves internally as we stand before the Most High. We stand between fear and hope, but the overwhelming emotion is love.

When we recite Surat Al-Fatihah (the Opener), we pause after every verse to reflect on it, knowing that Allah responds. When we recite a short surah (chapter) afterward, we recognize that these words are a message to us.

The External Acts of Ruku`

When finish reciting the short surah after Al-Fatihah, we should implement a very short pause just as the Prophet (peace be upon him) did (as related by Abu Dawud), and then raise our hands to say, “Allahu Akbar (God is Greatest).” Remember that between almost every change of position we say, “Allahu Akbar.”

This is to remind ourselves and to alert us that Allah is greater than anything—whatever our mind is distracted with and whatever worries plague us. And then we bow down in bowing. When we bow down, we should emulate the actions of the Prophet who said:

“When you make ruku`, place your palms on your knees, then space your fingers out, then remain (like that) until every limb takes its (proper) place,” (Ibn Khuzaymah)

In another narration, he added that we should straighten our backs. (Abu Dawud)

Many of us rush our bowing and sujud (prostration), but it is very important to give each action its due measure. The Prophet (peace be upon him) once saw a man not completing the bowing properly, and rushing his prostration such that he looked like he was pecking, and he said:

“Were this man to die in this state, he would die on a faith other than that of Muhammad—the likeness of one who does not make ruku` completely and pecks in his sujud is like the hungry person who eats one or two dates, which are of no use to him at all.” (At-Tabarani)

Why did the Prophet use such an example? Because we come to our prayer as people who are spiritually hungry and thirsty, looking for a refuge from the worries of the world. It does not make sense for a starving person to eat one or two dates if he has access to more; neither does it make sense for us to rush our bowing and prostration.

Du`aa’s (supplications) of Ruku`

Just as we discussed previously that there are different opening supplications, there are also a variety of supplications of bowing. We should try to memorize them and vary what we say so that we are conscious of them and so they do not become words we simply repeat.

We should say three times:

1. Subhana Rabbiya Al-‘Azheem.

“How Perfect is my Lord, the Supreme.” (Ahmad and Abu Dawud)

When we say “Subhan Allah” or “Subhan Rabbiya,” we are disassociating Allah from any imperfection or impurity or from anything derogatory. And we say “Rabbiya” meaning “my Lord” in order to feel closeness to Him and love Him.

2. Subuhun Qudus, Rabb Al-Mala’ikati wa Al-Ruh.

“Exalted, Pure, Lord of the Angels and the Spirit.” (Muslim)

Subuh comes from the same root word of subhan, which is Sa-Ba-Ha, and is an aggrandizement of subhan, meaning the Exalted One who is praised and glorified extensively. It has been debated by scholars as to what the ‘Spirit’ refers; most have said that it refers to Jibreel (peace be upon him), others have said it is another great Angel, and others have said that it is a formidable being that not even the Angels can see. Allah knows best.

3.Subhanak Allahuma wa bihamdik, Allahumma ighfirli.

“How Perfect You are, O Allah. Praises are for You. O Allah, forgive me.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

______________________

Source: Suhaibwebb.com.

Soucre Link

Seeking Refuge in Allah during Prayer

Two Muslim men are performing prayer.

We have been taught to seek refuge with Allah from the accursed devil before we begin to recite the Qur’an in prayer.

Do you know that Satan becomes extremely envious when a person is standing in prayer before his Lord? And thus he does everything he can to get the worshiper out of that elevated state- by distracting him or her to think about other things. And all too often, unfortunately, we accept the invitation. The likeness of Satan is to that of a fly – every time one pushes him away, he comes back.

Satan

We have been taught to seek refuge with Allah from the accursed devil before we begin to recite the Qur’an in prayer. The devil’s impact is substantial – when we come to pray we remember things that previously escaped our memory and we think of solutions to our biggest problems.

By the time we say “salam” at the end, we do not remember what we have said in the prayer or even how many rak`ahs we prayed. If this description fits us, Ibn Al-Qayyim says that this person leaves the prayer the same way he entered it – with all of his sins and burdens unexpiated. If this is how it is in this life, can we imagine how it will be in the next? In the Qur’an, Allah (Glory be to Him) tells us of the scenario on the Day of Judgment:

And Satan will say when the matter has been concluded, Indeed, Allah had promised you the promise of truth. And I promised you, but I betrayed you. But I had no authority over you except that I invited you, and you responded to me. So do not blame me; but blame yourselves. (Ibrahim 14:22)

Imagine- being duped and distracted and then having that sealed with remorse on the Day of Judgment. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

“A person may pray and have nothing recorded for it except a tenth of it, or a ninth, or an eighth, or a seventh, or a sixth, or a fifth, or a quarter, or a third, or half.” (Abu Dawud)

So the Satan wants to decrease our reward by stealing what he can from our prayers. It is as though we have already been given up all of our rewards but we must guard them- every time we become heedless the Satan steals some of it. And for some of us, he keeps on stealing until we are left with nothing.

The Solution

Sheikh Al-Shinqiti (Saudi Caller to Islam) tells us that Allah the Almighty has shown us how to guard ourselves from the human demons and from the demons of the jinn. Allah says:

And who is better in speech than one who invites to Allah and does righteousness and says, ‘Indeed, I am of the Muslims.’ And not equal are the good deed and the bad. Repel [evil] by that [deed] which is better; and thereupon the one whom between you and him is enmity [will become] as though he was a devoted friend. (Fussilat 41:33-34)

Thus to protect ourselves from the human demons, we should do the above – repel evil with good. This will not only protect us but it might make that enemy a warm friend. This is not easy, which is why Allah  says straight afterward:

But none is granted it except those who are patient, and none is granted it except one having a great portion [of good]. (Fussilat 41:35)

But what about the demons from the jinn? We cannot use the same method above. So what do we do? Seek refuge in Allah, as Allah tells in the verse directly following the one mentioned above:

And if there comes to you from Satan an evil suggestion, then seek refuge in Allah. Indeed, He is the Hearing, the Knowing. (Fussilat 41:36)

It is related that an old man asked a young lad what he would do if he saw Satan.

“I would hit him,” the young man said.

“And if he came back?”

“I would hit him again,” he replied.

And the old man asked the same question, and the young man gave the same response.

Shaking his head, the old man said, “If you were walking on a road and a ferocious dog came to you, how often would you hit him to make sure he doesn’t come back? Rather the smarter way is to ask the master of the dog to remove it from your path.”

And this is why we seek refuge in Allah when we begin the prayer. Ibn Al Qayyim said that it is narrated that when we commence the prayer, Allah orders for the barrier between us to be lifted and we are directly facing our Lord, yet if we turn away (i.e. get distracted) the barrier is brought back down. And it is in these moments of heedlessness that the Satan tries to make one thought lead to another but when the barrier is removed, Satan does not dare to distract us.

Thus, let us seek refuge in Allah from the Satan, truly think over the meaning of that supplication, and guard ourselves from Satan throughout the prayer.

___________________

Source: suhaibwebb.com.

Soucre Link

The Prayer of Fear (2/6)

Welcome to a new interesting episode of The Prayer of Fear series with Sheikh Haitham Al-Haddad.

In this episode, Sheikh Haitham continues his explanation to the rulings related the fear prayer. The Fear Prayer was made obligatory during the war or fighting which demonstrates the importance of prayer in Islam and also the link between the worshiper and his Lord.

Some scholars are of the opinion that the Muslim may delay the obligatory prayer such as `Asr (Afternoon) Prayer in case he is unable to concentrate on prayer because of fighting.

Follow us on this fascinating talk with Sheikh Haitham Al-Haddad to learn more about the rulings related to the prayer during the fighting.

Soucre Link