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Saturday, August 15, 2009

When Muslims Steal

In the name of Allah, the Most-Merciful, the All-Compassionate

"May the Peace and Blessings of Allah be Upon You"

Bismillah Walhamdulillah Was Salaatu Was Salaam 'ala Rasulillah
As-Salaam Alaikum Wa-Rahmatullahi Wa-Barakatuhu

When Muslims Steal
By AB Khan

Some Muslims today often display an admirable zeal in applying some parts of Islam that may not even be obligatory while they take on a complacent, self-satisfied attitude with respect to the essentials of the Deen. In one particular area, this results in Muslims stealing.

The Prophet sallallahu alayhe wa sallam said: "The worst thief among men is the one who steals from his prayer."
When his companions asked, "O Messenger of Allah, how does he steal from his prayer?",
he replied, "He does not complete its rukoo (bowing) and sujood (prostration)."

In a related report, the Prophet, observing a man not completing his rukoo properly, and pecking in his sujood, warned that if the man were to die in that state, he would die on a faith other than Islam.

In any mosque, one can observe Muslims pecking, bobbing down and quickly back up in rukoo and sujood. Some of us move so impatiently through our prostrations that one is left wondering how it was humanly possible for an individual to have said "subhaana rabbiyal alaa" the minimum three times. And even if this was accomplished, what was its significance? Can we really reflect on our relationship with the Creator if we move through our prayer so quickly? Have we understood and pondered about what was said during any part of our Salah?

Allah subhanahu wa taaala says in the Quraan, "Successful indeed are the believers. Those who offer their prayers with humility and attentiveness (khushoo)." [23:1-2]

If we rush through our rukoo and sujood but spend long hours in idle talk or even in meetings regarding some activity we usually have, what have we achieved?

The Prophet sallallahu alayhe wa sallam said "The first matter that the slave will be brought to account for on the Day of Judgment is the prayer. If it is sound, then the rest of his deeds will be sound. And if it is defective, then the rest of his deeds will be defective."

If our prayer is no more than a no-impact, mildly aerobic workout, is it any wonder that the rest of our deeds, individual and collective, are often ineffective? Rukoo and sujood are symptomatic of the problems we have with our salah as a whole. The important thing to keep in mind is that each and every one of us, scholar or student, experienced imam or newcomer to Islam, man or woman, can and should improve our prayer from the day we learn it to the day we die.
So the next time we prepare to bow down.

Al Jumuah Magazine Vol 9, Issues 4 & 5, 1418 H
http://sisters.islamway.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=793

Go Back And Pray,For You Have Not Prayed!
By Muhammad Al-Shareef, LL.B. Shariah

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For You Have Not Prayed!
By Muhammad Al-Shareef, LL.B. Shariah

In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

The importance of the prayer in Islam cannot be understated. It is the first pillar of Islam that the Prophet (peace be upon him) mentioned after mentioning the testimony of faith, by which one becomes a Muslim. It was made obligatory upon all the prophets and for all peoples.
Allah declared its obligatory status under majestic circumstances.

For example, when Allah spoke directly to Moses, He said,

"And I have chosen you, so listen to that which is inspired to you. Verily, I am Allah! There is none worthy of worship but I, so worship Me and offer prayer perfectly for My remembrance."
[Taha 13-14]

Similarly, the prayers were made obligatory upon the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) during his ascension to heaven. Furthermore, when Allah praises the believers, such as in the beginning of surah al-Muminoon, one of the first descriptions He states is their adherence to the prayers. [Successful are the believers, those that offer their Salah with all earnestness and full obedience] - Al Mu’minoon 23/1-2

The importance of prayer is demonstrated in many of the Prophet’s statements.

For example, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said,
"The first matter that the slave will be brought to account for on the Day of Judgment is the prayer. If it is sound, then the rest of his deeds will be sound. And if it is bad, then the rest of his deeds will be bad."
[Recorded by al-Tabarani. According to al-Albani, it is sahih. Al-Albani, Sahih al-Jami, vol.1, p. 503.

In reality, when the prayer is performed properly – with true remembrance of Allah and turning to Him for forgiveness – it will have a lasting effect on the person. After he finishes the prayer, his heart will be filled with the remembrance of Allah. He will be fearful as well as hopeful of Allah. After that experience, he will not want to move from that lofty position to one wherein he disobeys Allah.

Allah mentioned this aspect of the prayer,

"Verily, the prayer keeps one from the great sins and evil deeds"
(al-Ankaboot 45).

However amongst our community of Musalleen (those who perform Salah) we find some hazy actions that need to be brought back into focus.

· Some do not concentrate on what they are saying.
· Some speed when they pray
· Some wander with their gaze during Salah,
· The number of raka’aat performed is constantly forgotten.
· For some, the Dunya hugs their hearts during Salah and clouds their minds.
· Sometimes, before the Imam says Allahu Akbar, some in the congregation are already in the next prostration.

In Bukhari and Muslim, from Abu Hurayrah - Radi Allahu Anhu, a man entered the Masjid and the Messenger of Allah - Sal Allaahu alayhi wa Sallam - was sitting.
The man prayed (2 rakat) and then came to the Prophet - Sal Allaahu alayhi wa Sallam - and said salam.
The Prophet - Sal Allaahu alayhi wa Sallam - replied the salam and then said, “Go back and pray for you have not prayed.”
So the man went back, prayed (2 rakat) like he did the first time and then came back and repeated the salam.
The Prophet - Sal Allaahu alayhi wa Sallam - replied the salam and then said, “Go back and pray for you have not prayed.”
So the man went back, prayed (2 rakat) like he did the first time and then came back and repeated the salam.
The Prophet - Sal Allaahu alayhi wa Sallam - replied the salam and then said, “Go back and pray for you have not prayed.”
He said it three times until – on the third time the man said, “By He who sent you with the truth O Messenger of Allah, I do not know any better than this. Teach me.”

The Prophet - Sal Allaahu alayhi wa Sallam - then said, “If you stand up for Salah say ‘Allahu Akbar.’ Then read what comes easy for you from the Quran. Then bow until you are comfortable in your ruku’. Then stand up until you are standing up straight. Then prostrate until you are comfortable in your Sujood. Then sit until you are comfortable in your Juloos. Then prostrate until you are comfortable in your Sujood. And do this in your entire Salah.”

Lets go back and do our Salah again. This is our topic for today.

Why do we come to the Masjid, why do we perform Salah? We do it in application of the command of our Creater Subhaanahu wa Taala. Why should we then lose the blessing and reward because of a wandering heart and an itchy hand? Concentration is the soul of our Salah. Concentration is the fruit of our Eeman. Yet regardless of this understanding, people still leave their Salah and only a small protion of it is written for them because of their imperfection of it.

The Prophet - Sal Allaahu alayhi wa Sallam - said, “Verily, a man will leave from (his Salah) and only a tenth of his Salah is written for him, a ninth, an eighth, a seventh, a sixth, a fifth, a forth, a third, half.”
– Abu Dawood and Tirmidhi.

Uthman ibn Abi Dahshah said, “I have never prayed a Salah that I have not asked Allah Subhaanahu wa Taala to forgive for my shortcomings in that Salah.”

· Someone who short changes (prays very fast) his Salah is a thief. The Prophet - Sal Allaahu alayhi wa Sallam - said, “The evilest thief is he who steals from his Salah.” They asked, “O Messenger of Allah, how does he steal from his Salah?” He - Sal Allaahu alayhi wa Sallam - said, “He does not perfect it’s ruku’ and Sujood.” – authentic

· Because of the speed some apply to their Salah, it is as if they are pecking up and down like a bird.
Narrated Ahmad, Abu Dawood and others, the Prophet - Sal Allaahu alayhi wa Sallam - forbade that someone should peck (in Salah) like a crow…”

Umar - Radi Allahu Anhu - once stood on the pulpit and addressed the community with a loud powerful voice, “A man may grow old in Islam and never have completed to Allah a single Salah!” They said, “How is this?” He said, “He does not perfect his concentration, nor his humbleness, nor his focus on Allah - Azza wa Jall.”

Once, Maroof Al-Karkhee – Rahimahu AllahimahUllah – stood amongst some of his students and one said to the other, “Please lead the Isha Salah.” The first student accepted but said, “I shall lead the Isha’ Salah on condition that you lead the Fajr Salah and not me.”
Maroof Al-Karkhe was shocked at what he said and commented, “By Allah, if you think that you’ll be alive at Fajr then – by Allah – you have not yet perfected your Salah.”

How to Concentrate in Salah

How do we concentrate in Salah? From the Sunnah, the Prophet – Sal Allahu Alayhi wa sallam – taught the following:

1. Come early for Salah and prepare yourself to concentrate.
Repeat the Adhan to yourself with the Muadhdhin, and - after the adhan - say the prescribed supplication. Between the Adhan and Iqamah make dua. Do Wudu properly, cleanse your mouth, and wear your finest clothes.

2. Aim to get the entire reward of your Salah.

Abu Bakr ibn ‘Iyaash said, “I saw Habeeb ibn Thabit in Sujood. If you saw him you would think he was dead (by how long he held his Sujood).”

3. Contemplate (try to find the meaning) of the aayaat and adhkaar being recited during the prayer.

Think about the meanings of the verses that you are reciting. Isn’t is disheartening that someone may perform Salah for decades, day after day, and he/she still does not know what they are saying?
The Quraan was revealed to be pondered over! Allaah revealed: “(This is) a Book (the Quraan) which We have sent down to you, full of blessings that they may ponder over its Verses, and that men of understanding may remember.” [Saad 38:29].

4. Pray in congregation. Allah Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala commands
[And perform Salah, give Zakah, and bow with those that bow.] 2/43

5. Never miss your Nafl Salah, especially those that the Prophet - Sal Allaahu alayhi wa Sallam - used to pray constantly, especially Witr and the sunnah of Fajr

6. Do not speed up your Salah. Take your time and do not allow your Salah to become the most invaluable action of your day.

Ibn Wahb said, “I saw Ath-Thowree at the Ka’bah. After Maghrib, he got up to pray and then prostrated. He did not come out of that prostration until the Adhan for Isha’ was given.”

7. Know that Allaah responds to your prayer

8. Pray with a barrier (sutrah) in front of you and pray close to it
Another thing that will help one to have khushoo is paying attention to the matter of having a sutrah and praying close to it, because this will restrict your field of vision, protect you from the Shaytaan and keep people from passing in front of you, which causes a distraction and reduces the reward of the prayer.

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “When any one of you prays, let him pray facing a sutrah, and let him get close to it.”
(Reported by Abu Dawood, no. 695, 1/446; Saheeh al-Jaami’, no. 651).

9. Seeking Refuge in Allah from the Shaytaan.
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) taught us the following methods of combatting the whispers of Shaytaan.

Abu l-Aas (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported that he said, “O Messenger of Allaah, the Shaytaan interrupts me when I pray, and I get confused in my recitation.” The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, “That is a shaytaan whose name is Khanzab. If you sense his presence, seek refuge with Allaah from him, and spit [dry spitting] towards your left three times.” [Abu’l-‘Aas] said: “I did that and Allaah took him away from me.” (Reported by Muslim, no. 2203)

10. Pray as if you were told that after Salah you would be going back to Allah.

Abu Bakr Al-Muzanee said, “If you want your Salah to benefit you, then say, ‘I shall die after this Salah!’”

http://www.jannah.org/articles/gopray.html
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