The foundation of Islam is on five things. To testify that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah Ta’ala and that Muhammad sallalaho alaihe wasallam is His Prophet, to establish prayer, fast in the month of Ramadhan, pay Zakat and perform Hajj (pilgrimage). (Al Hadith)
My Beloved Prophet sallalaho alaihe wasallam’s beloved devotees! The most important worship after faith in Allah Ta’ala and His Beloved Prophet sallalaho alaihe wasallam is to perform prayers (namaz). Let us look at the Commands of Allah Ta’ala in the Qur’an in this regards so that we can appreciate the excellence and try and create love in our hearts for prayer and the passion to perform it punctually. We have been ordered to establish prayer at many places in the Holy Qur’an.
Allah Ta’ala says in the beginning verses of Surah Baqara,
“That high ranked book (Qur’an) Whereof there is no place of doubt, in it there is guidance to the God fearing. Who believe without seeing, and establish prayer and spend in Our path, out of Our provided subsistence. (Surah Baqara, verse 2-3)
My Beloved Prophet sallalaho alaihe wasallam’s beloved devotees! The Holy Qur’an is guidance for the God fearing. The Qur’an also tells us the characteristics of people that are God fearing. The most important characteristic is to establish prayer. Remember that prayer is the most important worship and no matter how many claims a person makes of being pious, if he is not punctual in his prayers, he can never be a God fearing, pious friend of Allah Ta’ala. All the Prophets and all the friends of Allah that came into the world were punctual in prayers and used to invite others to do the same, as we can see from many other verses of the Qur’an. This nation has become lazy in respect to this prayer. If only the Muslim community would study the Qur’an and Hadith, they would see that establishing prayer results in great rewards from their Lord and missing prayer leads to extreme punishment. May Allah Ta’ala guide us all to establish prayer. Aameen
The Dua of Hazrat Ibrahim Alaihis Salaam
“O my Lord, keep me as establisher of prayer and some of my children too, O our Lord and accept my prayer.”
(Surah Ibrahim, verse 40)
My Beloved Prophet sallalaho alaihe wasallam’s beloved devotees! We learn from this verse of the Qur’an that Prophet’s would make prayer (dua) for themselves and their children to be punctual in prayers. This is the prayer of Hazrat Ibrahim alaihis salam, who re-built the Ka’aba, he is the friend of Allah (Khaleel Ullah), and is the base for the Hajj being made compulsory. He is not only making dua to perform prayer but is asking for his dua to be accepted. We can see the importance of prayer in the eyes of Hazrat Ibrahim alaihis salaam. Today we make dua for our children and ourselves, but we ask for worldly possessions, physical pleasures and material prosperity. If only we would follow the footsteps of Prophets and establish prayer and force our children to be punctual in prayers. May Allah Ta’ala give us all the guidance to do this. Aameen.
A Father’s Advice to his Son
The Holy Qur’an says, “O my son, establish prayer and bid doing good and forbid evil and be patient over whatever befall upon.” (Surah Luqman, verse 17)
My Beloved Prophet sallalaho alaihe wasallam’s beloved devotees! We can see from this verse the advice a father should give to his child or children. The words and advice of Hazrat Luqman alaihis salaam, a respected Prophet of Allah Ta’ala, were always full of wisdom. Allah Ta’ala took one of his sayings and placed them in the Qur’an. What is that saying? It is when he said, “Oh my son, establish prayer and order people to do good.” We see from this that a father should think about his children’s religious matters as well as worldly necessities. We should promise ourselves that we will be punctual in prayer and we will attempt to make our children and our whole family punctual in prayer. May Allah Ta’ala guide us all to be punctual in our prayers. Aameen
Prayer is the Method for Remembering Allah Ta’ala
Allah Ta’ala states in the Holy Qur’an, “Verily I am Allah there is none to be worshipped save Me. So worship Me and establish prayer for My remembrance.” (Surah Ta-Ha, verse 14)
My Beloved Prophet sallalaho alaihe wasallam’s beloved devotees! Every particle of the universe is a means to remember Allah Ta’ala. Wherever we look we see His creations. There are untold blessings of His that we see, and upon seeing them we can remember our Lord. Ponder on the fact that in the above-mentioned verse He orders His bondmen to establish prayer for His remembrance. He says, “Establish prayer for My remembrance.” From this we see that prayer is the best way to remember Allah Ta’ala. The reason for this is that a person’s whole body is in submission to His Creator during prayer. His tongue is busy reciting the words of Allah Ta’ala. His ears are listening to them. His eyes are fixed at the place of prostration (sajdah), and his heart becomes the centre of communicating with Allah Ta’ala. In short, when a person is busy in prayer he is completely in the remembrance of Allah Ta’ala. He gives up all concern for the world and focuses on Allah Ta’ala alone and becomes his humble worshipper. May Allah Ta’ala guide us to remember Him through our prayer. Aameen.
Responsibilities of those in Authority
Allah Ta’ala mentions the responsibilities of his bondmen in the Qur’an, He says, “Those, if we give them control in the land, they would establish prayer and pay the zakat (poor-due) and command good and forbid evil.” (Surah Hajj, verse 41).
My Beloved Prophet sallalaho alaihe wasallam’s beloved devotees! In this verse Allah Ta’ala has stated the responsibilities of officials and governments. The most important job of an administration if to “establish prayer, because prayer contains training that can be used in a wide variety of fields. Punctuality of time, straight rows for unity, cleanliness, and leading and following etc. Namaz is a means of training as well as spiritual contentment. May Allah Ta’ala give us all the passion to establish prayer. Aameen.
Prayer Stops You from All Evil
Allah Ta’ala explains the benefit of prayer in the Qur’an and says, “Establish prayer. Undoubtedly, the prayer forbids one from indecency and evil things.” (Surah Ankabut, verse 45)
My Beloved Prophet sallalaho alaihe wasallam’s beloved devotees! This verse contains the solution for the problems we face today. All believers are deeply concerned about how to save our families and ourselves from the tidal wave of indecency and evil acts. Listen! Allah Ta’ala has ordered us to pray five times each day. A person that prays punctually thinks about all aspects of cleanliness at least five times a day, from his body to each article of clothing. A person who stands in the court of Allah Ta’ala five times a day is always aware that if he commits a sin, how would he be able to stand in prayer and face Allah Ta’ala? This realisation stops people from committing indecent acts and saves a person from the displeasure of Allah Ta’ala. May Allah Ta’ala guide us all to establish prayer and keep away from all evil acts. Aameen.
The Glad Tidings of Being a Dweller of Paradise (Jannati)
Hazrat Abu Hurairah radiallaho ta’ala anhu narrated that a Bedouin came to Rasool Allah sallalaho alaihe wasallam and said, “Show me an action that I can do that will entitle me to be a dweller of paradise?” Rasool Allah sallalaho alaihe wasallam replied, “Worship Allah Ta’ala, do not associate any partners with Him, perform your compulsory prayers, pay your poor due (zakat), fast in the month of ramadhan.” The Bedouin said, “I will not do any less than this nor any more than this.” When he had left Rasool Allah sallalaho alaihe wasallam said, “Whoever wishes to see a dweller of paradise, should look at that Bedouin.” (Bukhari Shareef)
My Beloved Prophet sallalaho alaihe wasallam’s beloved devotees! Many acts are mentioned in this Hadith, but because the subject we are discussing is prayer, I would like to mention a few things about prayer. A person that establishes prayer is so exalted that Rasool Allah sallalaho alaihe wasallam declared him a dweller of paradise. Those of you that desire paradise should pray punctually, and not miss any prayers, and not be short in respect of fasting and paying the poor due. Insha Allah! One who is punctual in these things will be worthy of the glad tidings of paradise in this world. May Allah Ta’ala guide us all to perform the above-mentioned worships. Aameen.
The Fair Maidens of Paradise Welcome The One who Performs Prayer
Hazrat Abu Umamah radiallaho ta’ala anhu narrates that Rasool Allah sallalaho alaihe wasallam said that, “When a person stands for prayer, the doors of Paradise are opened for him. All the veils between him and Allah Ta’ala are removed and the fair maidens of paradise (Hoors) welcome him until that time that he wipes his nose.” (Tibrani)
My Beloved Prophet sallalaho alaihe wasallam’s beloved devotees! How exalted has Allah Ta’ala made the status of prayer? A person begins his prayer and the doors of Paradise are opened. The Master whose court he is standing in removes the veils between them. What a great miracle for the one who performs prayer, that he is able to see Allah Ta’ala without any veils. The condition is that he needs to be blessed with the eyes that are needed to see Allah Ta’ala. We should ensure that we respect prayer and try our utmost to perform it punctually. May Allah Ta’ala make us all punctual in our prayers. Aameen
Prayer and the Forgiveness of Sins
Hazrat Abu Muslim radiallaho ta’ala anhu states that he went to Hazrat Abu Umamah radiallaho ta’ala anhu, who was in the mosque and said, “A person told me that you had heard Rasool Allah sallalaho alaihe wasallam say that a person that does ablution (wudhu) properly, and then performs his compulsory prayer, Allah Ta’ala forgives the sins that his feet committed on that day. Also the sins committed by his hands, those sins committed by his ears, eyes, and those committed by his heart are all forgiven by Allah Ta’ala.” Hazrat Abu Umamah radiallaho ta’ala anhu said, “I heard Rasool Allah sallalaho alaihe wasallam say this on many occasions. (Ahmed)
My Beloved Prophet sallalaho alaihe wasallam’s beloved devotees! We are humans and it is possible for us to commit sins. In this dangerous era, where the wave of sins has engulfed the whole society, sins are present everywhere. Shamelessness is seen everywhere, from the streets to all functions large and small. It is very difficult to save ourselves from sins in an environment where shamelessness and disrespect is everywhere. Allah Ta’ala is the Beneficent One and knows the weaknesses of his slaves. Therefore he has said that come into my court five times a day, I am the Beneficent One, worship Me with sincerity. I am the One with Power and I will forgive your sins.
My Beloved Prophet sallalaho alaihe wasallam’s beloved devotees! Do not be miserly in bowing your head in the court of Allah Ta’ala. Perform prayers punctually and undoubtedly Allah Ta’ala will shower you with His Kindness. May Allah Ta’ala guide us all to be punctual in our prayer.
Forgiveness of Sins
Hazrat Abdullah Ibn Mas’ood radiallaho ta’ala anhu states that a person came to Rasool Allah sallalaho alaihe wasallam and said, “I embraced a woman on the outskirts of Madinah but did not have any relations with her. I am present please decide my fate.” Hazrat Umar radiallaho ta’ala anhu said, “Allah Ta’ala had covered your crime, you should have done the same.” Narrators report that Rasool Allah sallalaho alaihe wasallam did not give him any reply, and the person left. Rasool Allah sallalaho alaihe wasallam sent someone after him and called him back and recited the following verse of the Qur’an, “And establish prayer at the two ends of the day and in parts of the night. No doubt, good deeds obliterate evil deeds. This is admonition for the persons accepting admonitions.” (Surah Hud, verse 114).
A person asked, “Ya Rasool Allah sallalaho alaihe wasallam, is this just for this person?” The Beloved Prophet sallalaho alaihe wasallam replied, “This is for all the people.” (Muslim)
My Beloved Prophet sallalaho alaihe wasallam’s beloved devotees! We see from this Hadith that Allah Ta’ala forgives big sins because of prayer. But when we look at the state of Muslims today in terms of prayer, all we see is laziness (may Allah Ta’ala protect). Please do not be lazy with your prayers; show great enthusiasm and wipe away your sins through prayer. May Allah Ta’ala guide us all. Aameen.
Put Out the Fire
Rasool Allah sallalaho alaihe wasallam has said, “At the time of prayer an Angel proclaims, O children of Adam! Stand and put out the fire of hell that you have started burning yourselves with (due to sins). The Pious ones stand up perform the Zohar prayer, and because of this their sins committed between the morning and Zohar prayer are forgiven. Similarly at Asar time, at Maghrib time and at Isha time the same thing happens. After Isha prayer people are busy in going to sleep. Certain people go towards sins (adultery, stealing, immoral acts etc) and certain people go towards goodness (prayer, remembrance of Allah ta’ala, etc)” (Tibrani)
My Beloved Prophet sallalaho alaihe wasallam’s beloved devotees! The flames of hell are so frightening that thinking about them makes the hair stand. If an amount of the fire of hell equivalent to the eye of a needle was put on the earth, the whole earth would be burnt.
When a person commits a sin he is lighting the fire of hell for himself. In the light of the saying of Rasool Allah sallalaho alaihe wasallam, the person that performs the Zohar prayer, his sins up to that point in the day are forgiven. Similarly all the prayers in a day forgive the sins between each prayer. Do we have the strength to withstand the punishment for our sins? Definitely not! Repent with a sincere heart and do not miss any prayers. Our prayers will be our means of forgiveness. Insha Allah. May Allah Ta’ala make us all performers of prayer. Aameen
Welcomed by the Angels
Hazrat Abu Hurairah radiallaho ta’ala anhu narrates that Rasool Allah sallalaho alaihe wasallam said, “The angels of the day and night come amongst you one after the other. They are all together during the Fajar and Asar prayers. Then those that spent the night with you return and Allah Ta’ala asks them, (even though He knows all), “In what state did you leave my bondmen?” They reply, “We left them in such a state that they were performing prayer and when we went to them they were performing prayer as well.” (Bukhari Shareef)
My Beloved Prophet sallalaho alaihe wasallam’s beloved devotees! We see from this Hadith that the Angel’s duties change at Fajar time and at Asar time. If a person performs these two prayers, Allah Ta’ala’s innocent Angel’s refer to him as a “Namazi” (performer of prayer) in the court of Allah Ta’ala. Allah Ta’ala is pleased when He hears about His bondmen bowing their heads for Him, and when He is pleased He certainly blesses us with His Mercy. The time of Fajar and Asar are very important. People are deep in sleep at the time of Fajar and are busy in business at the time of Asar, which leads to a possibility of missing them. However if a person performs His prayers Allah Ta’ala is pleased. May Allah ta’ala guide us all to perform prayers, especially the Fajar and Asar prayers. Aameen.
Example of Prayer Removing Sins
Hazrat Abu Zar radiallaho ta’ala anhu narrates that “Rasool Allah sallalaho alaihe wasallam was walking outdoors in autumn and leaves were falling off the trees. He took hold of two branches of a tree and shook them and the leaves fell off the branches. Rasool Allah sallalaho alaihe wasallam said, “O Abu Zar!” I said, “I am here O Prophet of Allah sallalaho alaihe wasallam.” The Holy Prophet sallalaho alaihe wasallam said, “If a Muslim performs prayers with the intention of obtaining the pleasure of Allah Ta’ala, his sins fall away from him just as the leaves are falling off this tree.” (Ahmed)
My Beloved Prophet sallalaho alaihe wasallam’s beloved devotees! What a great example the Crown of the Universe sallalaho alaihe wasallam has given us. If a person is worried about the sins that he has committed, and no doubt a believer will have regret in his heart about sins, such a person is being given comfort by Rasool Allah sallalaho alaihe wasallam. He is being told that even if you have committed sins, be punctual in your prayer and Allah Ta’ala will make the sins fall off your body like these leaves are falling off the tree. May Allah Ta’ala guide us all to establish prayer. Aameen
The Prayer (Namaz) Makes Dua For The One Who Prays
Rasool Allah sallalaho alaihe wasallam said, “When one performs his prayers at the earliest possible time, his prayer goes to the heavens in a state of light and reaches the Throne of Allah Ta’ala, where it prays for the performer of namaz until the day of judgement. It says, “May Allah Ta’ala protect you just as you protected me.” If a person performs prayer out of its proper time it goes up to the heavens in a dark state. When it reaches the heavens it is thrown back in the face of the person.” (Baihiqi)
My Beloved Prophet sallalaho alaihe wasallam’s beloved devotees! Imagine how many blessings there are in performing prayer at its allocated time, and how severe the punishment is for not performing it at the correct time? Today, not only do we fail to pray it late (make it Qaza); the majority of people do not pray it at all. They do not regret the fact that they have missed prayers at all. Just think! When the punishment is such for praying it late, how severe will it be for not praying it at all? May Allah Ta’ala forgive our small and large sins and guide us to perform prayers punctually at its allocated time. Aameen.