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.

 

 

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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
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Source: IslamOnDemand.com.

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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…

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Source: Huda TV.

 

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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)

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Source: Suhaibwebb.com.

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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.

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Source: suhaibwebb.com.

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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.

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The Prayer of Fear (1/6)

Welcome to this fascinating series of The Prayer of Fear (Salat Al-Khawf), which will be in six episodes, with Sheikh Haitham Al-Haddad who will clarify its rulings, etiquettes, conditions and the manner of performing it.

Prayer is the first pillar of Islam that was mentioned by the Prophet (peace be upon him) after the testimony of faith. It was made obligatory upon all the Prophets and for all people.

Buraidah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: “That which differentiates us from the disbelievers and hypocrites is our performance of Salah. He who abandons it, becomes a disbeliever.” (At-Tirmidhi)

In this talk, Sheikh Haitham gives a brief introduction to the position of prayer in Islam. Then he goes on explaining the meaning of fear prayer and its purpose.

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