Sunday, 29 November 2009

We Must Know To Whom We Pray

...All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger...

Why Should We Pray – To whom do we pray?
Before we can answer, “why should we pray,” we must know to whom we pray. There is only one supreme Creator .

After a long and hectic day at work, how difficult it is for a tired person to stand on the prayer-mat and concentrate on his prayers to Allah Almighty.
Snuggled in a warm and cozy bed, how difficult it is to get up at the call of Mu'adhdhin:
"Come to prayer, come to success." The famous doctor and philosopher Ibn Sina (Avicenna), recalls such a moment in his life. Once cold and icy night,
he and his slave were resting in an inn in a remote part of Khurasan.
 During the night he felt thirsty and shouted out to his slave to get him some water. The salve had no desire to leave his warm bed,
so he pretended not to hear Avicenna's call.
But finally after repeated calls he reluctantly got up and went to fetch the water. A little while later, the melodious sound of the Adhan filled the air.
Avicenna began to think about the person calling the believers to prayer. My slave Abdullah, he mused, has always respected and admired me.
 He seizes any opportunity to lavish praise and affection on me but tonight,
he preferred his own comfort to my needs. On the other hand, look at this Persian slave of Allah. He left his warm bed to go out in the chilly night,
 he made ablution in the icy water of the stream,
and then he ascended the high minaret of the mosque to glorify He Whom he truly serves.

The Muslim observes his Prayers to show devotion and obedience to Allah, because Prayer is one of the greatest forms of worship that Allah likes His servants to offer.

To thank Him for creating us in the best form of creation.

Because He has guided us to the Deen (Complete way of Life, Religion) of Islam.

Prayer is a chance for a Muslim to express to his Lord whatever he feels and needs through Divine Words of Allah i.e. the Qur'an.

To remember his Lord and not forget His commands amid life's pre-occupations.

To ask Allah, The Exalted, to give him aid and continuous guidance in the darkness of life.

To strengthen love and fear of Allah in the Muslim's heart so that he might remain sticking to the Right Path of Islam, and its laws and manners.

Gaining good rewards from Allah and having our sins forgiven.

"I bear witness that there is none to be worshipped except Allah." "I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah."

Tonight, Avicenna records, I learned the essence of true love; that love which results in complete obedience. The love of Allah demands total and unconditional obedience.

Allah almighty says:

    "Say (O Muhammad (pbuh) to mankind): 'If you (really) love Allah then follow me (i.e. accept Islamic monotheism, follow the Quran and the Sunnah),
 Allah will love you and forgive you your sins.' And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful." (3:31) .

 May Allah keep us all firm in the straight path!

Prayer has a certain time in which a Muslim should offer it. Allah says, “Worship at fixed hours hath been enjoined on the believers.” (An-Nisa’: 103)

When it comes to Prayer, You have no excuse especially when in our modern times Allah has provided us with alarm clocks which would be set at any time we wish.
The problem, therefore, is one of laziness. Such people do not know what they are missing.
The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said with respect to those who do not observe `Ishaa’ and Fajr Prayers:
"Had one of them known that he would find a wholesome meal or two good targets, he would have come for `Ishaa’ Prayer."

Salah (Prayer)
The 2nd pillar of Islam. An act that affirms one's belief.
 A physical and spiritual act offered to God (Allah) alone. This act has been performed by all of the Prophets and Messengers of Allah and
their followers.

{And then there followed after them (the prophets) an evil generation who delayed the prayer and followed their lusts. Soon will they face destruction, except he who repents,
 affirms his faith and does deeds of righteousness}
[Soorah Maryam: 59-60].

Abu Musa (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "He who The observes Al-Bardan (i.e., Fajr and `Asr prayers) will enter Jannah.''
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

It is a must for every Muslim to offer every Salat regularly but there are some prayers (Salat) which cannot be performed punctually unless one takes special care of them.
This is the reason some additional merits have been mentioned in this Hadith so that people exercise extra effort for performing them. Of these two is the Fajr prayer,
the performance of which is more difficult than the other prayers because it occurs at a time of rest and deep sleep. Similar is the case of `Asr prayer, the performance of
which is difficult. Due to these reasons, special merits of these two prayers have been mentioned in this Hadith.

The Fajr (Morning) prayer (Fajr means dawn in the Arabic language.)

This is the first prayer and it consists of 2 units (raka'ts). Essentially what is said in all the 5 obligatory prayers is the same.
The only difference is the number of units (raka'ts) performed in each prayer,
how long each unit is and whether the first 2 units (raka'ts) of a prayer are said Audible or silently in ones heart

Thus the FAJR (morning) Prayer consists of 2 units (raka'ts), the DHUHR (Early Afternoon) Prayer and ASR (late afternoon ) prayer and ISHA ( night ) prayer all 4 consist
units (raka'ts) and finally the MAGHRIB (sunset) prayer consists of 3 units (raka'ts).

The other difference is that the First 2 rakaats of FAJR, MAGHRIB and ISHA  prayers are recited loudly and the remaining rakaats of these prayers are recited silently.

However all 4 rakaats of DHUHR and ASR are recited silently .

the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, warned against ignoring offering Prayers at their due times.

As for performing Fajr on time, try to sleep early so that you don't wake up tired and fall back to sleep.
If you have work that you have to do late at night, try to do it in the morning after your Fajr Prayer.
Your mind will be much clearer. Also, ask someone in your house to wake you up to pray with you.
If you live by yourself, one of the very effective ways is to agree with a friend of yours to wake each others over the phone to pray Fajr on time.
You will be helping each other in an important act of worship. Also, put the alarm far from your bed, because the most difficult thing is to actually get up out of the bed.
Therefore, by getting up to turn it off, you can simply go to the bathroom, wash, and pray.

Our Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, is our exemplar who provided the best example in spending long hours of the night in Prayer and waking in time for Fajr Prayer.
 This record was authentically known of him both in his teachings and his living example as he did not like sleeping before `Ishaa’ Prayer and discouraged his followers
from useless talk after it. In this he was followed by his Companions and all the Muslims up to a time not very far from our own days.

They knew the reasons which cause laziness and lessen motivation to observe Prayers on time and warned people against them so much that some of them are reported to have said:
"If you are unable to pray at night, then that is a clear sign that your sins have shackled you and deprived you of good deeds".

Al-Hasan Al-Basri was once asked: "Why is it that we cannot uphold Prayers at night?" He answered: "You are shackled in your own sins".

 Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "There are angels who take turns in visiting you by night and by day,
and they all assemble at the dawn (Fajr) and the afternoon (`Asr) prayers. Those who have spent the night with you, ascend to the heaven and their Rubb,
Who knows better about them, asks: `In what condition did you leave My slaves?' They reply: `We left them while they were performing Salat and
 we went to them while they were performing Salat.'''
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

(The angels for the night come at the time of `Asr when the angels for the morning are present. This is how the angels of the two shifts assemble at this time.
 The angels of the shift of `Asr leave their duty in the morning, and the angels of the morning shift resume their duty when the pious persons are engaged in Fajr prayer.
This is how the two groups assemble again at that time. Thus, when the angels come or go, the people who are punctual in their prayer are engaged in Fajr and `Asr.
Almighty Allah knows everything but even then He asks the angels about his pious slaves so that the piousness of the believers and their merit and distinction become
 evident to them).
It is a serious sin to miss any of the prescribed Salat deliberately. Some people regard it even an act of Kufr. But the willful omission of `Asr prayer is one of the most serious sins.
Its omission nullifies one's good deeds. Observing this Salat is, therefore, highly essential.

Whoever missed the Fajr prayer or any other prayer out of forgetfulness or because of oversleeping, has to perform it as soon as he remembers it and he should not delay it except
for a necessity. This is the view of the majority of scholars may Allaah have mercy upon them and they provided as evidence the narration reported by Al-Bukhaari and Muslim may
Allaah have mercy upon them. The Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention ) said: "Whoever forgets a prayer, he has to perform it as soon as
he remembers it, and its expiation is to perform it as soon as he remembers it." Then he recited the following verse, Allaah says (which means):
{And perform the prayer for My Remembrance}[Quran 20:14]." Another narration reads: "Whoever sleeps and misses a prayer or forgets to pray it, its expiation is
to pray it as soon as he remembers it." [Muslim] The scholars may Allaah have mercy upon them demonstrated that since the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam
( may Allaah exalt his mention )  ordered the person who forgets his prayer to pray as soon as he remembers it, then this is evidence that
it is not permissible to delay it further when one remembers it.
When one makes up for the missed prayer, it is desirable for him to make up for the Sunnah prayers as well [that one performs before or after the obligatory prayers]
 regardless whether he makes up the prayer before or after Thuhr. The evidence for this is that when the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention )
and his companions may Allaah be pleased with them overslept and did not pray Fajr prayer on time and it was the heat of the sun that woke them up, he ordered them
 to pray two Raka'h Sunnah of Fajr and then pray Fajr. [Abu Daawood]

“Instruct your children to observe Salat when they are seven years old,
Get them to go to bed early.
While it is usually easier to encourage young kids to pray Fajr (which may explain the wisdom of the Hadith at the beginning of this article),
it's harder to get teenagers not used to praying to do so.

In this case, it's important that they develop friendships with other practicing Muslims their age. This will have a positive effect on them,
and they are more likely to listen to their peers and follow their example at this age, than their parents.

You can start doing this by widening your circle of family friends to include practicing Muslim families who have (also practicing) kids your son or daughter's age.

Never underestimate the power of a good night's rest. This is crucial in ensuring Jehan or Amin are not just attentive in class, but that they remain healthy as well.

Parents can do more in this area than just setting a specific bedtime and enforcing it. They must set the example by also going to bed early and not wasting time
 on late night television or just lounging around. This way, the whole family is in synch and has a regular schedule.

A person who can wake up and pray Fajr can perform the other prayers easily. Let's encourage this habit in our kids .

Praying Fajr reflects how much you love Allah the Almighty."...if you try to count the blessings of Allah , you will fail...." [Surat Ibrahim: 14 : 34]

Doesn't this Lord, the The Most Merciful, the Most Generous deserve that you wake up for Him every morning at about 5.30 a.m. so as to thank Him just in 5 or 10 minutes
for His great blessings and his generous favours?.
slam is a comprehensive way of life… It is like an agreement between The Great Lord and His humble servant. According to this agreement,
the servant commits to certain obligations before Allah.
 With respect to these obligations, Allah would grant the servant rights and privileges.
 It is insensible that you agree to this contract, then, soon afterwards, you do whatever you like and neglect whatever you do not like. Allah Almighty says in the Quran:
" O ye who believe! Enter into Islam whole-heartedly; and follow not the footsteps of the Evil One; for he is to you an avowed enemy." [Surat Al-baqara: 2 : 208]
The interpreters said: this means to accept Islam with all its legislation and rules. Allah got exasperated with the people of Israel when they performed what they liked
from His religion and neglected the rest.
That's why He addresses them saying:
"…Then is it only a part of the Book that ye believe in, and do ye reject the rest? But what is the reward for those among you who behave like this but disgrace in this life?
And on the Day of Judgment they shall be consigned to the most grievous penalty. For Allah is not unmindful of what ye do." [Surat Al-baqara: 2 : 85]

Allah Almighty mentions that He disavows whosoever neglects the obligatory Salat. Besides,
The Prophet (pbuh) said: "Do not ever leave Salat on purpose because whoever does so then he is disavowed
by Allah and His Messenger." (Narrated by Imam Ahmad)
There is no word in English to translate Salah. it is not merely "prayer" in the limited sense of turning to God in supplication.
The Arabic word for supplication is Du’a.

Salah is performed in a prescribed form. It is preceded by ablutions (wudu). The five set prayers have special names
and are performed at special times
 — between dawn and sunrise (Fajr) early after noon (Zuhr), mid-afternoon (‘Asr) sunset (Maghrib) and night (‘Isha’).

Salah needs to be performed on time. It should not be delayed deliberately.Salah consists of units or rak‘ah.
 Each rak‘ah consists of the pronouncement of Allahu Akbar (God is Most Great), of the Opening Surah of the Qur’an,
of praising and glorifying God. All words in the salah are always recited in Arabic.
The last thing that Prophet Muhammad (pbuh.) emphasized at his deathbed was salah. He also said the first thing we will have
to answer about on the day of judgement is salah.
If our record on salah is good then Insha Allah the rest of our reckoning will be made easier. The importance of salah was
emphasized in the Quran about 500 times,
so all Muslims should be aware of how central salah is to our faith. Indeed, the Prophet (pbuh) said that “Salah is the only distinction
 between a believer and a non-believer.”

Salah consists of precise bodily postures — standing, bowing, prostrating and sitting.
The posture of salah is an indication of man’s relation to his Creature — a relation of reverence submission and gratitude.

Salah sharpens our moral sense. It keeps us from indecent, shameful activities. This is stated in the Qur’an:
"Salat indeed prevents a person from indecency and evil." (29:45).

Salah is a regular means of purifying both body and soul. The ablution before the Prayer with fresh water act as a refresher and cleanser.
The salah if properly performed purifies the soul of arrogance and hypocrisy.
The Prophet, peace be on him, likened a person who regularly performed salah to a person who washes himself regularly
 in a stream of clean running water five times a day.
Salah thus serves as a training in cleanliness, purity and punctuality.Salah brings mental satisfaction and emotional fulfillment.

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. Verily, the Muslims (those who submit to Allah in Islam) men and women,
 the believers men and women (who believe in Islamic Monotheism), the men and the women who are obedient (to Allah),
the men and women who are truthful (in their speech and deeds), the men and the women who are patient (in performing
all the duties which Allah has ordered and in abstaining from all that Allah has forbidden), the men and the women who are humble
(before their Lord - Allah),
 the men and the women who give Sadaqat (i.e. Zakat and alms), the men and the women who observe Saum (fast)
(the obligatory fasting during the month of Ramadan,  and the optional Nawafi fasting), the men and the women who guard their chastity
 (from illegal sexual acts) and the men and the women who remember
Allah much with their hearts and tongues. Allah has prepared for them forgiveness and a great reward (i.e. Paradise). (33:35)

  1. Every one of us should set an alarm clock to wake him/her for Fajr Salat daily.

   2.We should give Salat its status in our lives, and we should discipline our jobs according to the Salat regular times.
(Unfortunately, we simply do the opposite!)

    3. To feel guilty if we missed a single obligatory Salat. Furthermore, we should vow never to repeat this big sin.

May Allah make us all be among those who truly love Him. May He give us sincerity in both words and deeds. (Amen) .

Women are NOT supposed to pray when they are menstruating and   experiencing post-childbirth bleeding. 
Abstaining from prayers for a women experiencing post-childbirth bleeding is a maximum of   forty (40) days.
If her bleeding stops before the 40 days she must make ghusl and start praying.

Also at the end of her menstruation she must make ghusl(Bath) and begin her prayers.
Before prayer one must perform Ablution.

Prayer is a unique training and developmental program which, if well and devotedly performed, can achieve for Muslims many valuable physical,
ethical and spiritual gains such as cleanliness, health, order, punctuality, brotherhood, equality, social consolidation,… etc.

All in all, for him who sincerely wants to purify his soul from the attributes of the hypocrites, let him steer clear of laziness, be active,
put into practice the action inspiring instructions laid out in our religion, accustom himself to taking the initiative and realising what he
and everybody in his position are missing in terms of the health of the body and great reward from Allah. Only then will his performance
 improve, inshaa’ Allah, and he will make up for what he has missed and follow the lead of the best of generations.