Simple Deeds in Obligatory Salah with Great Rewards
As Muslim we are to believe and implement the 5 pillars of Islam. We should note that there are great rewards in just doing the basics.
It is reported on the authority of Abu Huraira that a bedouin came to the Messenger of Allah ﷺ and said:
Messenger of Allah, direct me to a deed by which I may be entitled to enter Paradise. Upon this he ﷺ remarked: “You worship Allah and never associate anything with Him, establish the obligatory prayer, and pay the Zakat which is incumbent upon you, and observe the fast of Ramadan”. He (the bedouin) said: By Him in Whose hand is my life, I will never add anything to it, nor will I diminish anything from it. When he (the bedouin) turned his back, the Prophet ﷺ said: “He who is pleased to see a man from the dwellers of Paradise should catch a glimpse of him”. (Sahih Muslim).
The key here is to adhere to it, be consistent, not add or remove anything to it and do it with Ikhlaas (for the sake of Allah).
The best deed to perform
The greatest type of worship is to perform that which Allah makes obligatory on His servants and to refrain from all that He forbids. Abu Hurayrah narrated that Prophet ﷺ said: “Allah says: ‘The most beloved deeds with which my slave comes nearer to me are what I have enjoined on him.’” (Al-Bukhari).
Also in another hadeeth Abdullah ibn Mas’ud reported: I asked, “O Messenger of Allah, which deed is best?” The Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم said, “Prayer in its proper time….” (Bukhari & Muslim)
Ibn Al-Qayyim said: “Since the righteous predecessors lived their whole life in worship, it is then necessary for us to know with which type of worship they started, and which one have they given priority.” He then answered: “The best acts of worship are the most pleasing to Allah in that particular time. The best act of worship during the presence of a guest is to take care of him and not to be distracted from that by other recommended acts of worship. This is also in performing one’s duties towards one’s wife and family. The best act of worship in the night is to be occupied with prayer, reciting the Quran, supplication and Thikr. The best thing during the time of the Athaan (i.e. the call for prayer) is to leave whatever worship one is doing and answer the Mu`aththin (i.e. the one calling the Athaan) by repeating what he says. The best thing during the time of the five obligatory prayers is to exert one’s efforts in their prompt performance. The best thing when the poor is in dire need of assistance is to assist him and give that preference over supererogatory Thikr. The best thing to do when your brother is sick or dead is to visit him, attend his funeral, and give that priority over your supererogatory Thikr. And the best thing to do when you are afflicted and suffer people’s harm is to be patient and not to run away from them.” [End of quote]
SubhaanAllah a beautiful advice by the sheikh, this is something we generally miss out on, as one of the tricks of Shaitaan to steal from one who is busy with Ibaadah is to get us busy in something is least beneficial.
SIMPLE DEEDS RELATED TO WUDOO WITH GREAT REWARDS
Doing it properly in winter
It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah (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 ﷺ 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 constant readiness.” (Sahih Muslim)
Dua after Wudoo
The Prophet ﷺ said: “There is no one among you who does wudhu’ and does it properly and does it well, then he says, (the below Dua) but the gates of Paradise will be opened to him and he may enter through whichever of them he wishes.” (Sahih Muslim)
أشْهَدُ أَنْ لا إِلَـهَ إِلاّ اللهُ وَحْدَهُ لا شَريـكَ لَـهُ وَأَشْهَدُ أَنَّ مُحَمّـداً عَبْـدُهُ وَرَسـولُـه
Ash-hadu an laa ilaaha ill-Allâh wahdahu laa shareeka lah, wa ashhadu anna Muhammadan ‘abduhu wa rasooluhu
A report adds:
اللّهُـمَّ اجْعَلنـي مِنَ التَّـوّابينَ وَاجْعَـلْني مِنَ المتَطَهّـرين الله أكبر
“Allâhumma ij’alni min al-tawwaabeena wa’j’alni min al-mutatahhireen
(O Allâh, make me one of those who repent and make me one of those who purify themselves).” (Sunan Abi Dawood, classed as saheeh by al-Albaani)
Perform 2 Rak’aat after Wudhu
The Prophet ﷺ said to Bilal: “Tell me of the best deed you did after embracing Islam, for I heard your footsteps in front of me in Paradise.” Bilal replied, “I did not do anything worth mentioning except that whenever I performed ablution during the day or night, I prayed after that ablution as much as was written for me. (Bukhari & Muslim)
As mentioned in the ahadeeth above, amongst the best deed a person can do is to offer prayer at its prescribed times and for men it is more rewarding to offer them in congregation the Masjid.
Reward of Praying in Congregation
The Messenger of Allaah ﷺ said: “Praying in congregation is twenty-seven times better than praying alone.” (Bukhari & Muslim)
Reward of walking to the Masjid
The Messenger of Allâh ﷺ said: “Whoever purifies himself in his house then walks to one of the houses of Allâh in order to perform one of the duties enjoined by Allâh, for every two steps he takes, one will erase a sin and the other will raise him one degree in status”. (Sahih Muslim)
The First Row
While we are going to the Masjid if we just make it there about 5 minutes earlier we get to offer our prayers in the First Row. There are many ahadith about the virtue and rewards of praying in the first row:
Coming early to the masjid allows a person to offer other Sunnah prayers and to make du’a between the adhaan and iqaamah – a time when supplications are more likely to be accepted.
Saying Ameen out loud
In congregational prayers, when the imam is reciting Qur’an audibly, it is Sunnah for the congregants to say “Ameen” out loud when the imam finishes reciting Surah al-Fatihah.
The Prophet ﷺ said, “When the imam says ‘Ameen’ then say ‘Ameen,’ for if a person’s saying Ameen coincides with that of the angels, his previous sins will be forgiven.” (Bukhari & Muslim)
An-Nawawi (may Allâh have mercy on him) said:
“Saying “Ameen” is Sunnah for every worshipper after al-Fatihah, whether he is leading the prayer or is following an imam, or praying alone; for men, women and children, whether they are praying standing up, sitting down or lying down (i.e., if they have an excuse); whether they are praying an obligatory prayer or a naafil prayer; whether the prayer is one in which Qur’aan is recited silently or out loud. There is no difference of opinion concerning this among any of our companions.”
Offering Prayers with Khushoo
The Prophet ﷺ said:
How much of our prayer is accepted?
The Prophet ﷺ said
“ A person may offer a prayer and nothing of it is recorded for him except one tenth of it, one ninth of it, one eighth of it, one seventh of it, one sixth of it, one fifth of it, one quarter of it, one third of it, or half of it.” (Narrated by Ahmad, Classed as Hasan)
The scholars say that this is based on how mindful we are in our prayer and how we fight against the whispers of Shaytaan.
Levels of Prayer
Ibn-Al-Qayyim Al-Jawziyyah (rahimahullaah) said: And mankind, with regard to their performance of prayer are in five levels:
Level 5: The level of the one who is negligent and wrongs his soul: He is the one who falls short in performing wudhoo (ablution) properly, performing the prayer upon its time and within its specified limits, and in fulfilling its essential pillars.
Level 4: The one who guards his prayers upon their proper times and within their specified limits, fulfills their essential pillars and performs his wudhoo with care. However, his striving (in achieving the above) is wasted due to whispering in his prayer so he is taken away by thoughts and ideas.
Level 3: The one who guards his prayers within the specified limits, fulfills their essential pillars and strives with himself to repel the whispering, thoughts and ideas. He is busy struggling against his enemy (Shaytaan) so that he does not steal from the prayer. On account of this he is engaged in (both) prayer and jihaad (against his nafs).
Level 2: The one who stands for the prayer, completes and perfects its due rights, its essential pillars, performs it within its specified limits and his heart becomes engrossed in safeguarding its rights and specified limits, so that nothing is wasted from it. His whole concern is directed towards its establishment, its completion and its perfection, as it should be. His heart is immersed in the prayer and in enslavement to his Lord the Exalted.
Level 1: The one who stands for the prayer like the one mentioned above. However, on top of this, he has taken and placed his heart in front of his Lord Azzawajall, looking towards Him with his heart with anticipation, (his heart) filled with His love and His might, as if he sees and witnesses Allaah. The whisperings, thoughts and ideas have vanished and the coverings which are between him and his Lord are raised. What is between this person and others with respect to the prayer, is superior and greater than what is between the heavens and the earth. This person is busy with his Lord Azzawajall, delighted with Him.
The Level 5 type will be “PUNISHED”,
The Level 4 type will be “HELD TO ACCOUNT”,
The Level 3 type will have his sins and shortcomings “EXPIATED”,
The Level 2 type will be REWARDED
The Level 1 i.e. The Top Level will be CLOSE TO HIS LORD, because he will receive the portion of the one who makes his prayer the delight and pleasure of his eye. Whoever makes his prayer, the delight and pleasure of his eye, will have the nearness to his Lord Azzawajall made the delight and pleasure of his eye in the hereafter. He will also be made a pleasure to the eye in this world since whoever makes Allaah the pleasure of his eye in this world, every other eye will become delighted and pleased with him. (Source: Al-Waabil us-Sayyib)
Now think about this, what level do you think YOU ARE IN?
Are you SURE?
Could be better, right?
The “MINIMUM LEVEL” we SHOULD be on is “LEVEL 3” but are we sure we strive enough to stay focused in our Salah? Or do we just get carried away with the whispers of Shaytaan?
This is kind of scary. A true fight to the finish.
Also look at the great reward of the higher levels. We need to learn the Sunnahs of Salah to get to the higher levels and also understand the meanings of the part of Quran that we are reciting.
Allah Replies to every Ayah we recite of Surah Fatiha
Amongst the first things we recite in our Salah is surah Faitha, and we recite it in every single Rakah that we offer, whether it is an obligatory prayer or a Sunnah prayer.
Surah al-Fatihah is usually the first chapter of the Qur’an which we all memorize, and as a result, also recite the fastest out of habit. Alas, it is due to our lack of knowledge regarding the virtues, benefits and rewards of Surah al-Fatiha that most of us end up reciting it just for the sake of recitation.
In a Hadith Qudsi (Divine saying), Abu Hurayrah narrated that the Prophet ﷺ said, “Whoever performs any prayer in which they did not read Umm Al-Qur’aan (Surah al-Fatihah), then their prayer is incomplete.”
He repeated these words three times. Someone said to Abu Hurairah, “Even though we are behind the Imam?” He said: “Recite it to yourself, for I have heard the Messenger of Allâh say:
Allâh the Exalted said: “I have divided prayer between Myself and My slave into two halves, and My slave shall have what they have asked for.”
When the slave says:
الْحَمْدُ للَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَـلَمِينَ
“All praise and thanks be to Allâh, the Lord of existence”
Allâh says, “My slave has praised Me.”
When the slave says,
[الرَّحْمَـنِ الرَّحِيمِ ]
“The Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.”
Allâh says, “My servant has glorified Me.”
When they say,
[مَـلِكِ يَوْمِ الدِّينِ ]
“The Owner of the Day of Recompense”
Allâh says, “My slave has glorified Me,” or “My servant has related all matters to Me.”
When they say,
[إِيَّاكَ نَعْبُدُ وَإِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِينُ]
“You (alone) we worship, andYou (alone) we ask for help.”
Allâh says, “This is between Me and My slave, and My slave shall acquire what they sought.”
When they say,
[اهْدِنَا الصِّرَاطَ الْمُسْتَقِيمَ – صِرَاطَ الَّذِينَ أَنْعَمْتَ عَلَيْهِمْ غَيْرِ الْمَغْضُوبِ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلاَ الضَّآلِّينَ]
“Guide us to the straight path. The way of those on whomYouhave granted Your grace, not (the way) of those who earned Your anger, nor of those who went astray”
Allâh says, “This is for My slave, and My skave shall acquire what they asked for.”
These are the words of an-Nasaa’i, while both Muslim and an-Nasaa’i collected the following wording, “A half of it is for Me and a half for My slave and My slave shall acquire what they asked for.’”
Please join our free online certificate course(s) mentioned below, to learn to learn more about the Fiqh, rulings, pillars, waajibaat, Sunnahs of Salah and to learn about the spiritual side of each of the movements in Salah, to get out of Autopilot mode and make it more heartfelt. (available online now, register and learn).
Note these are not part of the course, it is an independent course that can be done at your own pace and at your own convenience.