Definition of Salaah
1. The linguistic definition is “du’a.”
Al ‘Qadia said this is the saying of most scholars of fiqh and Arabic language.Du’a means ‘supplication’. In Arabic language we usually refer to something by what isincluded in it.
The technical definition in the Sharee’ah is the ‘sayings and actions beginning with takbeer and ending with tasleem along with intention.
Salaah is a pillar of Islam. Prayer is the greatest after the Shahadah and this isestablished in the Qur’aan and the Sunnah. The Ijmaa says that the one denying this pillar goes out of Islam. There are many benefits to Salaah – religious, worldly, health-wise, social, political, systematic, regulating etc. This shows the wisdom of Allah when He made the Salaah obligatory– it upholds that which is in this world and the Hereafter. It is thefoundation of this life and the cause of happiness in the next life.
VIRTUES OF SALAH
Salaat (Prayer) performed genuinely with humility and submission to Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) has unlimited virtues and benefits. It is the noblest expression of faith and the surest way of thanking Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) for His unlimited favors. It is the way to obtaining Allah’s mercy, generosity, kindness, blessings and a sure way to paradise. Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) says in the Qur’an: “Prosperous indeed are the believers who are humble in their prayers” (Qur’an 23:1-2).
It is a deliverance on the Day of Judgement for those who used to observe it well. The Prophet ﷺ says: “The first thing that the servant of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) will be called to account for on the Day of Judgement will be the prayer; and if it was good the person’s deeds will have been good, but if it was bad, the person’s deeds will have been bad” (Reported by Imam Bukhari).
Prayer purifies the soul, refines the character and inculcates in man the excellent virtues of truthfulness, honesty and modesty. It keeps one who performs it from falsehood and from all forbidden actions as is categorically confirmed by the following verse of the Holy Qur’an: “ Verily, prayer refrains from indecency and evil” (Qur’an29:45).
Rasulullah ﷺ said “Allah has obligated five prayers. Whoever excellently performs their ablutions, prays them in their proper times, completes their bows, prostrations and khushu` [Khushu` in the prayer is where the person’s heart is attuned to the prayer.] has a promise from Allah that He will forgive him. And whoever does not do that has no promise from Allah. He may either forgive him or punish him.” [Recorded by Malik, Ahmad, Abu Dawud, al-Nasa’I and others.]
SubhanAllah Allah (swt) is giving us a PROMISE that he will forgive us! What more can we ask for? How can I pray when I have so many sins, they should realize this prayer is a way for them to get their sins forgiven.
MERITS OF SALAH
1. It prevents you from Fahsha and Munkar
Verily, As-Salat (the prayer) prevents from Al-Fahsha (ie great sins of every kind, unlawful sexual intercourse, etc) and Al-Munkar (ie disbelief, polytheism, and every kind of evil wicked deed, etc)
Surah al-Ankabut, 29:45
Fahsha = illegal sexual intercourse Munkar = all types of sins
2. It is the best deed after the Shahadah
3. It washes away your sins –from salah to salah jummah to jummah Ramadhan to Ramadhan — it washed away your sins if you abstain from the major sins –Hadith Rasool the man who has a spring
Narrated from Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “Shall I not tell you something by means of which Allah erases sins and raises people in status?” They said: Yes, O Messenger of Allah. He said: “Doing wudoo’ properly at times when it is difficult to do so, taking many steps to the mosque, and waiting for prayer after prayer. That is Ar-Ribaat.“ (Muslim, 251)
Narrated AbuHurayrah (RA) Rasulullah ﷺ said: Five prayers and from one Friday prayer to (the next) Friday prayer is an expiation (of the sins committed in between their intervals) if major sins are not committed. (Sahih Muslim Book 2, Number 0448)
Narrated Abu Huraira: I heard Allah’s Apostle saying, “If there was a river at the door of anyone of you and he took a bath in it five times a day would you notice any dirt on him?” They said, “Not a trace of dirt would be left.” The Prophet added, “That is the example of the five prayers with which Allah blots out (annuls) evil deeds.” (Sahih Al Bukhari Volume 1, Book 10, Hadith # 506)
4. It is a light for the one who performs it Both in this life and the next
5. It causes you to gain intercession of Muhammad –and therefore it causes you to enter the paradise –in order for you to enter paradise, you need the intercession of Muhammed –and you gain this by establishing salah
6. It causes you to gain the dua of the angels — The person who establishes salah the angels make supplication for that person
7. For you to sit in your place of Salah waiting is like you are doing ribaat
ribaat = watching the borders of the Muslim State
8. The Salah raises your status in the Sight of the Allah The Creator and the creation
And mention in the Book (the Quran) Ismail (Ishmael) Verily! He was true to what he promised, and he was a Messenger, (and) a Prophet (Surah Maryam, 19:54, 55)
And he used to enjoin on his family and his people As-Salat (the prayers) and the Zakat, and his Lord was pleased with him (Surah Maryam, 19:54)
This ayah tells you when you establish salah it raises your status — in the sight of ALLAH and in the sight of your fellow human beings
9. It makes Allah love you and the people love you
The Dua of Ibrahim: “O our Lord! I have made some of my offspring to dwell in an uncultivable valley by Your Sacred House (the Kabbah at Makkah); in order, O our Lord, that they may perform As-Salat (Iqamatas- Salat), so fill some hearts among men with love towards them, and (O Allah) provide them with fruits so that they may give thanks (Surah Ibrahim, 14:37)”
Non-cultivatable valley nothing grows there! –The scholars of Islam use this ayah to say –that the people will love you if you establish salah
Whenever a man and his wife do not pray, they always end up in divorce –a family that prays together, stays together –when a couple prays together their love grows
10. Your salah is a covenant between you and Allah ta’ala
And We shall drive the Mujrimoon (polytheists, sinners, criminals, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah, etc) to Hell, in a thirsty state (like a thirsty herd driven down to water), None shall have the power of intercession, but such a one as has received permission (or promise) from the Most Beneficent (Allah) Surah Maryam 19: 86-87
The only one who will receive the intercession –is the one who fulfills the covenant –the covenant is to establish the salah –the one who will receive this intercession is the one who established salah
11. It is the greatest form of dhikr
“Verily! I am Allah! La ilaha illa Ana (none has the right to be worshipped but I), so worship Me, and perform As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat) for My Remembrance “(Surah Ta-Ha, 20:14)
ALLAH’s commandment to Musa proving that salah is the greatest dhikr
12. It teaches you punctuality –all prayers have a prescribed time
13. It teaches you community cohesion, unity
When you go to the masjid to pray, you mix with your brothers and sisters
The salah teaches you unity and uniformity –if you keep your line straight, –Allah will make your line like the lines of the angels –so by keeping your lines straight, not crooked, –this means that your salah is teaching you –to be organized and it teaches you unity (community cohesion) –you see you bros and sisters on a regular basis
Narrated by al-Bukhaari (690) and Muslim (433) from Anas, that the Prophet ﷺ said “Make your rows straight, for straightening the rows is part of the perfection of prayer” According to the version narrated by al-Bukhari “… is part of the establishing of prayer”
14. Your salah teaches you humility
When you pray with your head on the ground: –this is the ultimate act of humility (to bow in that manner) –so your salah teaches you unity
15. Your salah teaches you brotherhood and sisterhood
You pray shoulder to shoulder with all races, black white yellow brown, Arab and non-Arab.
16. It causes you to be blessed by ALLAH
“He (Iesa (Jesus)) said Verily! I am a slave of Allah, He has given me the Scripture and made me a Prophet;” “And He has made me blessed whosesoever I be, and has enjoined on me Salat (prayer), and Zakat, as long as I live” (Surah Maryam 19:30-31)
Therefore Salah is a means by which you are blessed by ALLAH
17. It causes you to attain yaqeen, certainty
Yaqeen is the opposite of doubt (ie when you doubt your faith)
So glorify the praises of your Lord and be of those who prostrate themselves (to Him) And worship your Lord until there comes unto you the certainty (ie death) Surah al-Hijr, 15:98-99
18. Salah is an investment between you and ALLAH
You will reap the rewards in both worlds (in this life and the next
ALLAH refers to salah in the Quran as tijaara –the first thing ALLAH will ask you about on Judgment Day is your salah –if your salah was messed up, ALLAH won’t bother to look at your zakat –or your sawm, hajj, etc –if your salah is good, ALLAH will look at your other good deeds
Verily, those who recite the Book of Allah (this Quran), and perform As-Salat (Iqamatas-Salat), and spend (in charity) out of what We have provided for them, secretly and openly, hope for a (sure) trade gain that will never perish (Surah Fatir, 35:29)
19. Salah is a gift given to the Rasool ﷺ on the night of al Isra wal Miraj
20. Salah is a mercy from ALLAH to the ummah of Muhammad ﷺ
You were commanded to pray 50 times a day initially –then the Rasool passed by Musa, and Musa asked the Rasool –to ask Allah to decrease it –due to Musa’s experience with his own ummah
The Prophet (ﷺ) kept going back again and again, –until ALLAH reduced the salah to 5 times a day –therefore ALLAH says he will give us the reward of praying 50 times a day –if we establish the salah 5 times a day
21. It’s a regular exercise that reduces the cholesterol level
Your 5 daily salah is the minimal amount of exercise that is needed to keep your cholesterol levels down, high cholesterol causes many problems in the body, salah reduces this.
22. Your salah is a demonstration of your love to ALLAH and to his Rasool
When you read the Quran, ALLAH is speaking to you, when you pray, you speak to ALLAH. It’s a demonstration of love to the Rasool because you pray the same way he prayed. You establish your salah in accordance to the sunnah of the prophet.
Why did you do this? Because you love the prophet –the Rasool said “pray the ways you see me pray“ –therefore you if pray the way the Rasool prayed, this is a testament to your love to the Rasool
23. It is the closest you can get to ALLAH
The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said “the closest a person can get to ALLAH –is when you are in sajda“
“when you make a dua to ALLAH in sajda, ALLAH will answer your dua“.
The shaitan is jealous of you when you are in sajda.
There is no other position in salah that brings you, closer to ALLAH than when you are in sajda
ALLAH loves you the most when He sees you in sajda
“A servant is nearest to his Lord when he is in sajda, so increase your supplication when in sajda“(Muslim)
When you are in sajda, you can beg ALLAH for anything, in any language, because this shows your humility.
24. The salah is the legacy of the prophets
When the Rasool when to Isra wal miraj, he led the other prophets in prayer, he lead them in prayer, and they prayed behind him their salah and his salah was the same exact salah there is no difference between the salah of the previous Prophets.
“He (Iesa (Jesus)) said Verily! I am a slave of Allah, He has given me the Scripture and made me a Prophet;” “And He has made me blessed whomsoever I be, and has enjoined on me Salat (prayer), and Zakah, as long as I live“ Surah Maryam, 19:30-31
25. Praying 12 rakahs a day will build a house in jannah every day for each day that it is done
It was narrated that the Prophet ﷺ said: “Whoever prays twelve rakahs during the night and day, a house will be built for him in Paradise: four beforeZuhr and two after, two rak’ahs after Maghrib, two rakahs after isha and two rakahs before Fajr prayer.”
(al-Tirmidhi, no. 380; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami’, 6362)
26. Hellfire will be made haram for one who prays four rakah before and after Zuhr
Narrated from Umm Habeebah (may Allah be pleased with her) that the Prophet ﷺ said: “Whoever prays four (rakahs) before Zuhr and four after it, the Fire will not touch him.” (Al-Nasaa’i (1817) and al-Tirmidhi (428); classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Nasaa’i)
27. Praying Ishraaq after praying in congregation in masjid and doing dhikr will give reward of doing umrah and hajj
Anas ibn Maalik (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “Whoever prays Fajr in congregation then sits remembering Allah until the sun rises, then prays two rakahs (known as Ishraaq), will have a reward like that of Hajj and ‘Umrah.” He said: The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “In full, in full, in full.”
(al-Jumu’ah 535; classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh Sunan al-Tirmidhi, 480)
28. Praying fajr will put a person under the protection of Allah
Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “Whoever prays Fajr is under the protection of Allah, so do not fall short with regard to the rights of Allah, for anyone who does that, Allah will seize him and will throw him on his face into the Fire of Hell.”
28. Praying two rakah of duha is sufficient enough for giving thanks of 360 joints of body to Allah
Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “In a human (body) there are 360 joints and man must make a charity for each one.” The people said: “Who can do that, O Messenger of Allah?” He responded: “One may cover the mucus that one finds in the mosque or remove something harmful from the road. If one could not do that, he could pray two rak’at of duha and that will be sufficient for him.“ (Ahmad and Abu Dawud)
Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “Charity is required from every part of your body daily. Every saying of ‘Glory be to Allah (subhan Allah)’ is charity. Every saying of ‘Praise be to Allah’ is charity. Every saying of ‘There is no God but Allah (La ilaha illal Allah)’ is charity. Every saying of ‘Allah is the Greatest (Allahu Akbar)’ is charity. Ordering the good is charity. Eradicating the evil is charity. And what suffices for that (as a charity) are the two rak’at of duha.”
(Ahmad, Muslim, and Abu Dawud)
WARNING AGAINST ABANDONING SALAH
Allah (SWT) says “Then, there has succeeded them a posterity who have given up As-Salât (the prayers) [i.e. made their Salât (prayers) to be lost, either by not offering them or by not offering them perfectly or by not offering them in their proper fixed times, etc.] and have followed lusts. So they will be thrown in Hell. Except those who repent and believe (in the Oneness of Allâh and His Messenger Muhammad SAW), and work righteousness. Such will enter Paradise and they will not be wronged in aught.”
(Surah Maryam, ayat 59-60)
Here we see what is the place for those who have abandoned the prayer but Allah (swt) is the most merciful and gives us chances to repent and be saved.
Allah (swt) says in Sura Al-Mâ’ûn “So woe unto those performers of Salât (prayers) (hypocrites),Who delay their Salât (prayer) from their stated fixed times, Those who do good deeds only to be seen (of men),” (Sura Al-Mâ’ûn, ayat 4 – 6)
This ayah shows us that we have to pray our Salah on its fixed timings and not delay them without a valid reason (i.e. traveling, jihad etc..) and how much we need to have sincerity in your prayer and do it only for Allah (swt).
Allah (swt) further warns us in the Quran “O you who believe! Let not your properties or your children divert you from the remembrance of Allâh. And whosoever does that, then they are the losers.” (Sura Al-Munaafiqoon, ayah #9)
The commentators of the Qur’aan say: “The ‘remembrance of Allaah’ mentioned in these Aayaat means the five daily prayers. If anyone is so busy in buying and selling, or with his daily work of earning a livelihood, or with his children, that he cannot perform prayers on time, he will be among the losers.”
Informing us about the inhabitants of Hell, Allaah (SWT) says “(The people in Hell will be asked) What has caused you to enter Hell? They will say: “We were not of those who used to offer their Salât (prayers). Nor did we feed the poor. And we used to talk falsehood (all that which Allaah hated) with vain-talkers. And we used to belie thE Day of Recompense. Until there came to us that which is certain (i.e., death). So no Intercession of intercessors will benefit them. (Sura Al-Muddaththir, ayah 42-48)
Rasulullah ﷺ said “The covenant between us and them is prayer, so if anyone abandons it he has become a disbeliever.” (Agreed upon by Ahmad, Tirmidhee and Nasaa’ee to be authentic)
In another Hadith of Rasulullah ﷺ said “What lies between a man and disbelief is the abandonment of prayer.“ (Agreed upon by Muslim, Abu Dawood and Nasaa’ee as sahih authentic)