‘Rewards of Salah’
Salāh is an amazing gift from Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla to this Ummah. In fact, the Sahāba loved Salāh so much that once, in a battle against Juhainah, the enemies of Allāh noticed the Muslims praying Thuhr. They thus planned to attack the Muslims when they would be praying Asr, saying “Certainly, a Salāh will come to them [Asr prayer] that it is more beloved to them than their own children.” [Muslim]
Allāhu Akbar! The Sahāba loved Salāh so much to the point they preferred worshiping Allāh through that which He loves most – the Salāh – even to their own families!
It is the only pillar of Islam that is repeated five times each day, and is never waived except for the woman during her menstrual period and post-partum bleeding.
Let us look at simply one aspect of how Salāh is a gift for this Ummah, some of the points has already been highlighted in the course but putting them here again to remind:
1. The Prayer Itself is an Expiation of Sins
The Prophet ﷺ said, “The five daily prayers and Jumu’ah to Jumu’ah is an expiation of the sins committed between those times so long as one is not guilty of major sins.” [Bukhari]
When you pray ṣalātul-fajr and then you pray ṣalātul-ẓuhr, whatever small sins you have committed between those two times are forgiven by Allāh subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He). Between Jumu’ah to Jumu’ah – the whole week long – whatever sins you have committed are wiped away by virtue of praying ṣalātul-jumu’ah. Prayer in and of itself is an expiation of all minor sins.
2. Wuḍū Washes Away Sins
The Prophet ﷺ said, “When the Muslim or the mu’min (believer) makes wuḍū’, when he washes his face, every sin that his eyes has committed (whatever ḥarām we may have looked at, if we didn’t lower our gaze when we were supposed to, if we spied on someone we shouldn’t have) wash away with the water or with the last drop of water. When he washes his hands, every sin his hand has committed is washed away. When he washes his feet, every sin that his feet walked towards is washed away with the last drop of water until he comes out of making wuḍū’ free of sin.” [Muslim]
Can you imagine that you make wuḍū’ and your sins are washed away? This whole process of prayer is a cleansing of our sins. But before you even begin prayer, your sins are washed away. Brothers and sisters, even if you have wuḍū’, make wuḍū’ again before prayer. Think when you are making wuḍū’ and have khushū’ and humility and concentration as you are washing away the sins of your hands and when you wash your mouth, you are washing away the sins of the tongue, and when you wash your face, you are washing away the sins of the eyes. It makes you humble to Allāh.
3. Walking to the Masjid Forgives Sins
The Prophet ﷺ said, “Whoever makes wuḍū’ at home and then walks to the House of Allāh to perform one of the five prayers, every step he takes wipes away a sin and the next step raises his status with Allāh.” [Muslim]
When we walk from our doorstep to the car and from the parking lot to the masjid. Every step we take is a sin forgiven and the next a rank raised. And Allāh knows best regarding driving to the masjiid, we’ll leave the generosity to Allāh and won’t try to figure it out. When you are walking to prayer, not only have you made wuḍū’ and cleansed yourself of sin, but the mercy continues as you proceed to the masjid.
4. As You Wait for Prayer in the Masjid, Angels Pray for Your Forgiveness
The Prophet ﷺ said, “The angels keep on asking Allāh’s forgiveness for anyone of you, as long as he is at his Musalla (praying place) and he does not pass wind. They say, ‘O Allah! Forgive him, O Allah! be Merciful to him.” [Bukhari]
Subhan Allāh! Simply while waiting for prayer, angels are praying for your forgiveness and mercy!
5. When You Begin Your Prayer, You Ask Allah for Forgiveness
The Prophet ﷺ said in authentic ḥadīth that one of the du’ā’s that you can say when you begin prayer after saying “Allāhu Akbar” is: “O Allah, put a great distance between me and my mistakes, as great as the distance You have made between the East and the West; O Allah, cleanse me of my sins as a white garment is cleansed from filth; O Allah, wash away my sins with water and snow and ice.” [Nasa’i, Sahih]
6. Saying Aameen (Properly) Erases All of One’s Previous Sins
The Prophet ﷺ said, “When the imām says āmīn (after Sūrat’l-Fātiḥah), say ‘āmīn’ because if you say ‘āmīn’ at the same time the angels say ‘āmīn,’ then all of your sins you have committed are wiped away.” [Bukhari, Muslim]
7. Every time you make Ruku’ or Sujud, Your Sins Fall Away
The Prophet ﷺ said, “When the worshipper stands up in prayer, all his sins are brought and placed upon his head and shoulders, so whenever he bows and prostrates, they fall from him.” [Bahyaqi, Tabaraani, authenticated by Albani]
Can you imagine? Brothers and sisters, when the believer prays, the believer looks at even the smallest sin as a mountain on top of his head that is about to fall on him and crush him. Sufyān al-Thawri said, “Because of just one mistake I made, I was prevented from praying in the night (qiyām’l-layl) for six months.” See how he viewed even one sin? We should be worried so much about even the smallest bad deed that we have done and wonder if Allāh will take us to account for that bad deed.
The scholars say, “Don’t look at how small of a bad deed that you have done, rather look to the greatness of the One you have sinned against.” How can we sin against Allāh using the blessings that Allāh has given us? Eyesight is a gift from Allāh to us and we use it to look at ḥarām? To the believer, even the smallest of sins is a big deal. To the hypocrite, he looks at a bad deed he does – even major ones like not praying, disrespecting one’s parents, not wearing proper ḥijāb – like a fly… no big deal, just shoo it away. But when the believer stands before Allāh in prayer, he realizes all his sins are on top of his heads and shoulders. He prays with so much concentration, hoping Allāh forgives his sins, so when he goes into rukū’, he goes with humility and submission to Allāh. “O Allāh, I submit myself to You. O Allāh, I turn my life away from the life of sin and I commit myself to You!” With this humility, the sins fall off of your shoulders and head every time you go into rukū’ and sujūd.
8. Every Sajdah You Make Forgives Sins
The Prophet ﷺ said, “Make a lot of sajdah (i.e. make a lot of prayer) because for every time you make a prostration to Allāh, your rank is raised and your sin is forgiven.” [Muslim]
Subhan Allah, in addition to the hadith mentioned in #7 above, the Prophet ﷺ specifically singled out the greatest part of prayer, the prostration, as a means by which our sins are forgiven.
9. We Sit Humbled Between Sujood, Asking Allah for Forgiveness
In the sitting between the two sujood, we say, “O my Lord, forgive me.” You can also say, “O Allāh, forgive me and have mercy on me and guide me and enrich me and give me health and grant me sustenance and raise my rank.” The important point we are focusing on is that we are saying, “O my Lord, forgive me.” We ask Allah for forgiveness, and He is Al-Mujeeb, the One who constantly answers.
10. Angels Pray for Your Forgiveness After Prayer
When you are done with prayer, angels pray for your forgiveness and mercy, just like they do before prayer, so long as you stay in the same position of the prayer and don’t lose wudoo’. The Prophet ﷺ said, “The angels will pray for you as long as you are in the same position that you just prayed in and don’t break your wuḍū’. The angels say, ‘O Allāh forgive him. O Allāh have mercy on him.’” [Bukhari]
11. We Ask Allah for Forgiveness After Prayer Three Times
After pray, the Sunnah of the Prophet ﷺ is to say, “Astaghfirullāh” three times. We ask Allāh for forgiveness with a heart humbled before Allah and hopeful that He will pardon our shortcomings and transgressions.
12. The Adhkaar After Salah Erases Sins
The Prophet ﷺ said, “He who recites after every prayer: Subhan-Allah (Allah is free from imperfection) thirty-three times; Alhamdulillah (praise be to Allah) thirty-three times; Allahu Akbar (Allah is Greatest) thirty-three times; and completes the hundred with: there is no true god except Allah. He is One & He has no partner with Him. His is the sovereignty & His is the praise, & He is Omnipotent, will have all his sins pardoned even if they may be as large as the foam on the surface of the sea.” [Muslim]
How long does it take? Two or three minutes? But people don’t do it… and they miss out on incredible reward.
13. Adkhār Wipes Away Sins in an Incredible Way
The Prophet ﷺ said, ‘There are two qualities which no Muslim person attains but he will enter Paradise, and they are easy, but those who do them are few.’ The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: ‘The five daily prayers: After each prayer one of you glorifies Allah 10 times (say Subhan Allah) and praises Him 10 times (say Alhamdulillah) and magnifies him 10 times (say Allahu Akbar), which makes 150 on the tongue and 1,500 in the balance.’ And I saw the Messenger of Allah ﷺ counting them on his hands. ‘And when one of you retires to his bed he says the tasbih (Subhan Allah) 33 times and the tahmid (Alhamdulillah) 33 times and the takbir (Allahu Akbar) 34 times, that is 100 on the tongue and 1,000 in the balance.’ The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “So which of you does two thousand five hundred bad deeds in a day and a night?” It was said: “O Messenger of Allah ﷺ, how can a person not persist in doing that?” He said: “The Shaitaan comes to one of you when he is praying and says: ‘Remember such and such, remember such and such,” or he comes to him when he is in bed and makes him fall asleep.” [Hasan, Nasa’i]
Why did the Prophet ﷺ say that on the scales, the reward is multiplied by 10? Because, Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla, the Abundantly Merciful, says “Whoever brings a good deed shall have ten times the like thereof to his credit, and whoever brings an evil deed shall have only the recompense of the like thereof, and they will not be wronged.” [Al-An’aam, 6:160]
So in Islam, every good deed is credited with 10 rewards, and every bad deed is only credited with 1 bad deed. But why did the Prophet ﷺ say towards the end of the hadith, “So which of you does two thousand five hundred bad deeds in a day and a night?” Because, Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla says,
“…Verily, the good deeds remove the evil deeds (i.e. small sins). That is a reminder (an advice) for the mindful (those who accept advice)” [Hud, 11:114]
So he ﷺ is saying that, even if you just pray the five prayers and make these adkhār after each prayer and before you sleep say this, then even if you do 2,500 bad deeds, these adkhār wipe it out and now you are free of sin and Jannah is yours.
14. It is a form of expressing appreciation and gratitude
It is a means to express as well as being a treasure full of the exaltation of Allah – The Almighty and glorification and praise to Him. When the Prophet ﷺ was asked about the reason behind his excessive prayer, he ﷺ said: “Should I not be a thankful slave?” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
15. In his excellent book, Zaad al-Ma’aad, which included At-Tibb an-Nabawee, Imam Ibn al-Qayyim رحمة الله عليه stated in his alphabetized discussion of medicines and nutrition:
– Prayer –
Allah the Exalted has said:
And in the Books of Sunnah it is reported that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ used to hasten to prayer whenever an affair disturbed him. And previously discussed was the concept of healing most ailments through prayer before seeking out other ways of dealing with them.
And overall it has an amazing effect on the health of the body and heart, and in strengthening them and expelling harmful pollutants from them. No two people have been afflicted with any disability, disease, or other calamity, except that the portion of the one who prays is less and his outcome is cleaner.
Also, prayer has an amazing effect on the evils of the dunyaa (the worldly life) and how it repels them, especially when the prayer is performed properly and completely, inwardly and outwardly. Nothing keeps the evils of the dunyaa at bay and brings on the benefits of it like prayer.
The reason behind this is that prayer is one’s connection to Allah, the Mighty and Majestic. So based on the strength of a person’s relationship with his Lord, the Mighty and Majestic, the doors of goodness will accordingly be opened up for him, bad things and the reasons for them befalling him will be cut off, and the elements of success granted by His Lord, the Mighty and Majestic, will begin pouring in, along with safety and good health, wealth and worldly riches, relaxation, bliss, enjoyment, and all types of joyful affairs will be brought to him, and in an expedient manner, too.
Zaad al-Ma’aad (4/304-305) of Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah, Mu’assasatur-Risaalah, 4th ed., 1424.
May Allah make us Love our Salah, our time with our Lord. May Allah give us the Hidayah to be able to get all these rewards and more as there is no limits to treasures of Allah and His giving to whom He Wills.
TIPS FOR THE TEST