(MENTIONED 70+ TIMES IN THE QURAN)
(SURAH TA’HA 20:14)
Allah did not just say offer/perform Salah, he said ESTABLISH PRAYER (34 times). It goes beyond the mere performance of its prescribed movements as to experience the feeling of perfect submission and humility before Allah the Almighty. It denotes the idea of one’s commitment to be regular and constant on accomplishing as-Salah regardless of all odds.
In addition, Allah threatens those who carry out as-Salah without observing the above meanings as they perform it with negligence and inattentiveness. In so doing, they disregard the real objective of as-Salah, its essence and spirit. He says, “Ah, woe unto worshippers. Who are heedless of their prayer.” (Al-Ma`un 108:4-5)
Given this, not everyone who performs as-Salah is a muqim, i.e. heedful regular observant of as-Salah.
Salaat is established in a number of ways. It is something that has to be done regularly, every day and steadfastly. It is a part of our lifestyle
According to earlier scholars (Ibn Abbas, Al Qatadah) iqamat as-Salah is: –
Allah says, “Verily, As-Salaah (the prayer) is enjoined on the believers at fixed hours” [4:103]
Prayer is the greatest pillar after the Shahadah and this is established in the Qur’aan and the Sunnah. The Ijmaa says that the one denying this pillar goes out of Islam.
VIRTUES OF SALAAH
Salaat (Prayer) performed genuinely with humility and submission to Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) has unlimited virtues and benefits. It is the best deed after the Shahadah. 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).
Prayer occupies a special position among other acts of worship because of the way in which it was enjoined.
It was not brought down to earth by an angel, rather Allaah wanted to bless His Messenger Muhammad ﷺ by taking him up to heaven and addressing him directly concerning the obligation of prayer. This is something that is unique to prayer among all the rituals of Islam.
It is a private conversation with Allah, as the Prophet ﷺ said:
“Indeed, when one of you prays, he speaks privately with his Lord.” [Sahih Bukhaari]
And Allaah says in the qudsee hadeeth: “I have divided the prayer between Myself and My servant into two parts, and My servant will have what he asks for…” (Muslim).
Establishing Salah is a sign of being a believer, “The believers, men and women, are protecting friends of one another; they enjoin good and forbid evil, and they establish Salah, and give Zakah, and obey Allah and His Messenger. Allah will have His Mercy on them, and surely, Allah is All-Mighty, All-Wise.” (Surah Tawba 9: 71)
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).
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 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. The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:
“This is the Book in which there is no doubt, a guidance for those who have Taqwa; who believe in the unseen, and who establish Salah, and spend out of what we have provided for them” (Surah Baqarah 2: 2-3)
4. Those Who Pray Shall Have Nothing to Fear on the Day of Judgment.
“Truly, those who believe and do righteous deeds, and perform Salah, and give Zakah, they will have their reward with their Lord. On them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.” (Surah Baqarah 2:277)
5. Allah’s Help Comes Through Salah
“Seek help through patience and Salah; truly it is extremely difficult except for the humble true believers.” (Surah Baqarah 2:45)
6. Salah is an investment
“ Verily, those who recite the Book of Allah (this Quran), and 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)
7. 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“
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
8. 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”
9. 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.” (Muslim (657))
10. 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
MERITS OF OPTIONAL PRAYERS
Hellfire will be made haram for one who prays four rakah before and after Zuhr
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)
Praying Ishraaq after praying in congregation in masjid and doing dhikr will give reward of doing umrah and hajj
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.” (Classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh Sunan al-Tirmidhi, 480)
It teaches you punctuality –all prayers have a prescribed time.
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
Praying two rakah of duha is sufficient enough for giving thanks of 360 joints of body to Allah
Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:
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..” (Surah Maryam, Verse 59)
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.“ (Surah 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
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, ji etc..) and how much we need to have sincerity in your prayer and do it only for Allah (swt).
Warning to those who perform Salah out of Laziness
(or just for the sake of it)
Warning from Allah for Muslims who pray but are neglectful in it.
(Does not Establish Salah in its true sense)
“Woe to those who pray! Those who are neglectful of their prayer, who pray to be seen and withhold small acts of help”. (Surah Maun)
Commentary from Tafisr Ibn Kathir:
So, woe unto those performers of Salah, those who with their Salah are Sahun.
Ibn Abbas and others have said, “This means the hypocrites who pray in public but do not pray in private.”
Thus, Allah says, َ (unto those performers of Salah),
This was said by Masruq and Abu Ad-Duha.
Ata’ bin Dinar said,
“All praise is due to Allah, the One Who said, with their Salah are Sahun) and He did not say, `those who are absent minded in their prayer.”’
The wording of the Ayah comprises all of these meanings. However, whoever has any characteristic of this that we have mentioned then a portion of this Ayah applies to him. And whoever has all of these characteristics, then he has completed his share of this Ayah, and the hypocrisy of actions is fulfilled in him. This is just as is confirmed in the Two Sahihs that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “This is the prayer of the hypocrite, this is the prayer of the hypocrite, this is the prayer of the hypocrite. He sits watching the sun until it is between the two horns of Shaytan. Then he stands and pecks four (Rakahs) and he does not remember Allah (in them) except very little. (Tirmidhi & Maalik)
This Hadith is describing the end of the time for the `Asr prayer. This is the time in which it is disliked to pray. Then this person stands to pray it, pecking in it like the pecking of a crow. He does not have tranquility or humility in it at all. Thus, the Prophet ﷺ said, He does not remember Allah (in them) except very little.
Also the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “Whoever tries to make the people hear of his deed, Allah, the One Who hears His creation, will hear it and make him despised and degraded.” (Imam Ahmad)
Do you sometimes feel that your Salah (prayer) is not quite having the effect it is supposed to have on you and your life? Have you ever considered that perhaps it is because we are not giving it its due justice? It seems we have lost (or were never taught) that ability to *connect* in Salah that makes all the difference in its effect on us.
We know, that performing Salah restricts us from evil deeds but we see so many people praying and getting back to evil deeds. We need to ponder upon this. We have to see is our Salah Perfect? Are we fulfilling its rights? If we don’t feel like not doing sins after our Salah then surely we have a problem within our Salah
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.
Ibn-Al-Qayyim Al-Jawziyyah (rahimahullaah) said: And mankind, with regard to their performance of prayer are in five levels:
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 kinda scary.
A true fight to the finish.
Al-Hasan al-Basri said: “If a man who met the righteous predecessors of early generations were to be brought back to life today, he would not recognize anything of Islam” End Quote. – This he said on that time and if we look around now we are in such a worse condition, our salah is mechanical movements or exercise, our heart is filled with desires and waswaas.
Abu Al Aliyah said: “I would travel for days to meet a man and the first thing I would notice about him is his prayer. If he would establish the prayer perfectly and on time, I would stay with him and hear the knowledge he had. If I found him to be careless concerning the prayer, I would leave him and say to myself that for things other than the prayer, he would be even more careless.” End Quote. – And here we are so heedless of our prayer, where we see a person who is just offering prayers 5 times a day to be righteous, as the famous quote goes – Praying five times a does not make you righteous it makes you a Muslim! We have to be offer them on their time, offer them properly not just rush through them to get it over with. And that will be the prayer that will keep us away from sins as Allah has promised.
Nadwi has described this effect in the following eloquent way, Its aim is to generate within the subliminal self of man such spiritual power, light of faith and awareness of Allah as can enable him to strive successfully against all kinds of evils and temptations and remain steadfast at times of trial and adversity and protect himself against the weakness of the flesh and the mischief of immoderate appetites. [Nadwi, p. 24]
The overall affect that the properly performed prayers should have upon humans is described in other verses in the Quran: “Verily, man was created impatient, irritable when evil touches him and niggardly when good touches him. Except for those devoted to prayer those who remain constant in their prayers…” (al-Maarij 19-23).
As for the Hereafter, Allah’s forgiveness and pleasure is closely related to the prayers. The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “Allah has obligated five prayers. Whoever excellently performs their ablutions, prays them in their proper times, completes their bows, prostrations and khushu` 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., authenticated by Albani]
So how do we get better? How do we offer Salah properly? How do we get to higher levels of Salah?
We do so by learning and understanding the importance and virtues of Salah, by learning the Sunnahs, by implementing and alternating between different Sunnahs so our hearts are alive and we are not on auto pilot, we do so by understanding what we are reciting, by making Dua to Allah in prayer, by getting the feel of each action and position we take, but above all by knowing that Who are we facing, The King of the Worlds!
Please join our free Certificate course “ESSENTIALS OF SALAH”, to learn more about the Fiqh, rulings, pillars, waajibaat, Sunnahs of Salah. : https://learn-islam.teachable.com/p/essentials-of-salah (available online now, register and learn).
Also please join our free Certificate course “ENJOY YOUR SALAH”, to learn about the spiritual side of each of the movements in Salah, to get out of Autopilot mode and make it more heartfelt. : https://learn-islam.org/enjoy-your-salah (available online now, register and learn).
May Allah give us all the Hidayah to get better in our prayers, to make us strong us so we can dispel the shaytaan in our prayers and give us the heart where we can pray in a way where we can taste the sweetness of faith.