Thursday, 22 October 2009

Doing it just right -five-time prayers

             ........................After the profession of faith................

After the profession of faith the next most important religious duty for a Muslim is that of prayer.
Once this is done, performing the ritual Prayer called Salah five times a day becomes obligatory. Each Prayer must be performed at its specified time everyday.
 Whilst the Qur'an mentions only three daily prayers, Muslim tradition calls for five: at dawn; at noon; in mid-afternoon; after sunset; just before going to bed at night.
It goes without saying that Prayer is the pillar of Islam, the pinnacle of good deeds, and the peak of obedience.

`Uthman ibn `Affan (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: "If the time for a prescribed Salah comes, and a Muslim performs wudu' (ablution) properly (and then offers his Salah) with humility and bowing (to Allah), it will be an expiation for his past sins, so long as he has not committed a major sin; and this is applicable to all times." (Reported by Muslim.)

Salah is a pillar of Islam. Doing it just right in accordance with Sunnah is the responsibility of every Muslim. Unfortunately, we go about performing the cardinal dictates of Salah in a carefree manner following our whims, hardly caring to see that those dictates have to be carried out in the manner they were passed on to us by the Holy Prophet (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam).

This is why most of our Salah offerings remain deprived of the gleams and blessings of Sunnah, although, following these dictates just right hardly takes any more time or labour. What is needed is a touch of concern. If we give a little time and some attention, learn the correct method and make a habit of it, then the time that we spend in making our Salah today would remain the same yet the Salah thus performed would have the advantage of having been made in accordance with Sunnah and its rewards and merits and its gleams and blessings would be much more then what you experienced earlier.

The revered Companions, may Allah be pleased with them all, took great care while performing each single unit of the act of Salah, and while doing so, they continued learning about the Sunnah of the Prophet from each other.

Hence, presenting a comprehensive account of Salah problems and rulings is not the objective here, instead, the immediate concern is to relate a few important points which would help synchronize the form of Salah with the demands of Sunnah. Another aim is to sound a note of warning against mistakes and shortcomings that seem to have gained a lot of currency these days.Acting in accordance with the brief words of advice given here will, Inshallah, help make our Salah fall in line with Sunnah, at least in it’s outward appearance when a Muslim could humbly submit before his Lord.
Lord, here I am, bearing similarly to Your beloved, through in form only, yet hoping---- You shall make it real.
And what get to do is by the help and support of Allah, in Him I place my trust and towards Him I turn passionately.

Having cleansed yourself by Wudu, you may proceed to perform Salah.( Wudu is a ritual cleansing). Before you begin your Salah, however, you must make sure that you have a clean body, a clean place to pray, and that you are wearing clothing free of impurities. The minimum clothing required during Salah is:

 A. For males: Any clothing that covers from the naval to the knees. It is preferable to cover the shoulders.

 B. For females: Any clothing that covers all of the body (including the head) except the face, hands, and according to Imam Abu-Hanifah the toes and a portion of the front of the feet.

There are seven conditions for a salaat to be corrected.
1-Niyyat (intention)
2-Tahrima (To say Allah Akbar)
3-Qiyam (Standing)
4-Qiraat (Recitation of Quran by mouth gently)
5-Ruku (To bow)
6-Sajda (Prostration)
7-Qa'da-i- Akhira (Last sitting).

TAHRIMA means to say Allah Akbar when beginning salaat,and is fard.No other word to replace it is acceptable. If the takbir is said too long, like AAllah (with AA instead of one A) in the beginning or Akbaar (with aa instead of one a) at the end, salaat will not be accepted. If 'Takbir' is said before the imam does, salaat will not have started.

QIYAM means to stand.

QIRAT: Means to read (recite) by mouth gently.

RUKU: After the sura you bend for the ruku saying takbir

SAJDAH (prostration)

Means last sitting in the last rak'at, it is fard to sit as long as it takes to say the Athiyyat,

and then complete the prayer by looking over your right shoulder (where the angel who records your good deeds is) and saying the Salaam

السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته

and then looking over your left shoulder (where the angel who records your wrongful deeds is) and saying the same.

1.  Salat (contact or link prayers) is the name for the obligatory prayers which are performed five times a day, and are a direct contact or link between the worshipper and God with no earthly intermediaries.
2.The five-time prayers become obligatory from the moment a person embraces Islam. This is an extremely important tenet of Islam and has been enjoined with great emphasis in the Holy Quran. It is a form of worship which establishes the link between man and his Creator and Benefactor, GOD. Through 'Salat' a person communes with his Lord, the Creator and the Sustainer of the Universe.
3. Just as performing 'Salat' is obligatory, learning to perform it in the prescribed way is also obligatory so that one should know what he/she is saying to his/her Lord, and enjoy the full blessings and benefits of praying. In the performance of Salat , reciting the Ftiha (Sura 1 of the Quran) have to be said in Arabic.

 Missed Prayers
The schedule of Muslim prayer is one that is generous and flexible. There are five prayers to be performed, during various periods of time throughout the day. The time needed to perform the prayer is minimal. Yet many of us miss prayers during the day -- sometimes for unavoidable reasons, sometimes due to negligence.

Of course one should try to pray within the specified times. There is wisdom in the Islamic prayer schedule, setting times throughout the day to "take a break" to remember God's blessings and to seek His guidance.

If a prayer is missed, it is common practice among Muslims that it is to be made up as soon as it is remembered or as soon as one is able to do so. This is known as Qadaa'. For example, if one misses the noon prayer because of a work meeting that could not be interrupted, one should pray as soon as the meeting is over. If the next prayer time has already come, one should first perform the prayer that was missed, and immediately after it the “on time” prayer.

It is incorrect to simply throw up one’s hands and say, “Oh, it was missed and there is nothing to do about it.” There are times when prayer is missed for unavoidable reasons. It is indeed a sin if one misses prayers regularly without a valid reason (i.e. constantly oversleeping the pre-dawn prayer). However, the door to repentance is open and the first step is to make up the missed prayer as soon as possible. One should repent any delay that was due to negligence or forgetfulness, and commit to developing the habit of performing the prayers within their timeframe.

"Prayer should be performed on time. If for some unavoidable reasons one is unable to pray on time, then Qadaa’ can be done, but it should be done as soon as possible. One does not have to wait for the time of another prayer. However, one should avoid the prohibited times of prayers. These are: when the sun is rising, when it is at its highest point in the middle of the day and when it is setting.
Similarly, if one is unable to wake up for Fajr prayer on time, one should do it as soon as one wakes up.

If it is the time of sunrise or shuruq then one should wait a few minutes until the sun is risen and then one should make the Qadaa’ of Fajr prayer. One must make the Qadaa’ of missed prayers. The prayers remain due and one is responsible to perform them until they are performed."

Prayer, obligatory and spontaneous, is an immense spiritual treasure to be tapped. It inspires peace, purity and tranquility and instills companionship with God. It amazingly reduces the hustle and bustle of life to tame proportions. By their spacing to five times a day, including its beginning, prayers tend to maintain a therapeutic level and practically leave no room for mischievous thought or deed.

Prayer is a Muslim's Mairaj, or communication with Allah. Prayer purifies and cleans your mind five times a day, and serves to bring peace to your life. Prayer is a man's way of thanking Allah, and reminds him that Allah is watching over his life, giving him the courage to face even the toughest of times.

May Allah Almighty make it beneficial for all of us and give us the taufiq it. AminBy the grace of Allah, there are a large number of books, big and small, dealing with the precepts of Salah

Say  Your Prayers before Prayers are said for You.

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