The Importance of Salāh during Hajj

By Shaykh Mawlānā Muhammad Saleem Dhorat hafizahullāh

Throughout the world, thousands are graced every year by Allāh ta‘ālā to carry out one of the greatest obligations and worships – hajj. The many virtues and rewards related to this great act of worship have been mentioned in the last issue. However, for hajj to be accepted and for one to reap all its spiritual fruits, it will need to be performed with due care, ensuring that all its rituals are carried out correctly, along with assuring that no sin is committed. The Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam said:

Whoever performs hajj for the sake of pleasing Allāh, and therein utters no word of evil, nor commits any evil deed, shall return from it free from sin as the day on which his mother gave birth to him. (Al-Bukhārī, Muslim)

He sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam also said:

There is no reward for a mabrūr hajj except Jannah. (Al-Bukhārī, Muslim)

The ‘Ulamā have stated that a mabrūr hajj is that in which a person carries out all the rituals of hajj properly and does not disobey Allāh ta‘ālā. It is saddening to see that we spend thousands of pounds to fulfil this important obligation, yet we become negligent with regards to certain important commands of Allāh ta‘ālā, consequently becoming deprived of the spirituality of hajj and adversely polluting our hearts with sin, rather than enriching them with the spiritual vibes of hajj.

In this article I would like to address an issue in which much negligence has become prevalent on the part of many of my brothers and sisters undertaking this sacred journey.

Salāh – A Fundamental Worship

Salāh is a fundamental worship – a pillar of Islām, the significance of which needs no elaboration. Allāh ta‘ālā has commanded us over and over again to perform salāh. In the glorious Qur’ān, the order of establishing salāh has been repeated at least 15 times. The extreme importance of salāh can easily be understood from the many warnings of the Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam in regards to missing it:

•   “Verily, between a person and kufr and shirk, is leaving salāh.” (Muslim) This hadīth warns that discarding salāh destroys the barrier between a person and kufr or shirk; he can easily fall into disbelief ignoring this important pillar of Islām.

•   “Whoever misses a salāh, it is as if he has lost all his family and wealth.” (Ahmad and Al-Bayhaqī)  From this hadīth we learn that the ultimate loss incurred by missing one salāh is in no way less than the loss of the whole family and all wealth.

Moreover, there are many virtues mentioned regarding this great worship:

•   “Allāh has ordained five salāhs upon His servants. Whoever brings them to Allāh, not having missed any of them out of levity, will have a covenant with Allāh that He will enter him into Jannah. Whoever does not bring them, will not have [such] a covenant with Allāh; if He wishes He will punish him, and if He so wishes He will enter him into Jannah.” (Abū Dāwūd and An-Nasa’ī)

•   Once the Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam asked his Sahābah radhiyallāhu ‘anhum, “Do you believe that dirt can remain on a person bathing five times a day in a brook running in front of his door?” “No”, replied the Sahābah radhiyallāhu ‘anhum, “No dirt can remain on his body.” The Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam remarked, “So, likewise [is the effect of] salāh offered five times a day. Through it, Allāh washes away all sins.” (Muslim)

Despite these virtues and warnings, we become negligent with regards to salāh during the blessed journey of hajj. Some common instances are:

•   Motorway and Airport

     When travelling, we seldom keep salāh in mind. Salāh is not a factor when planning out travel arrangements. If our travel arrangements are such that we have to perform salāh at the cafe or the airport, then this becomes a great burden on us and many people will just omit the salāh altogether. We are very fortunate that dedicated spaces are now available at airports with ablution facilities where we can perform salāh in relative peace and seclusion, and so there should be no excuse to miss it out.

•   Aeroplane

     This is also another place where we become negligent with regards to salāh. Even religious people are found wanting in this regard. For many it is a factor of inferiority complex and insecurity in expressing ones religious beliefs. For others it is just a matter of it being inconvenient.

     The flight staff should be approached in a respectable manner and requested to arrange an appropriate place to perform salāh. Merely assuming that it is too inconvenient is unacceptable. Alhamdulillāh, in all my travels, I have never been declined such a request. The aeroplanes nowadays accommodate the need of a person to perform salāh.

•   Madīnah – Al-Hujjāj

     In the hajj terminal at the Jeddah Airport, much confusion and hustle bustle is observed, both on arrival and departure.  At this time, one needs to keep a cool head and not let the situation get the better of him. Many fall prey to the commotion at this place and, in making arrangements for travel, food etc. end up committing sins, and especially neglecting their salāh.

     This is our condition despite being very close to the blessed places and every facility being available, to the extent that even the adhān is called out. May Allāh have mercy on us.

•   In Makkah and Al-Madīnah

     Performing salāh in the two harams is worthy of great reward. The Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam said, “One salāh in this masjid of mine (Al-Masjid An-Nabawī) is better than a thousand prayers in any other, except for Al-Masjid Al-Harām.” (Al-Bukhārī and Muslim) The actual virtue of performing salāh in Al-Masjid Al-Haram is understood from another hadīth to be 100,000 times more than any other. (Ibn Mājah) Despite there being such a great virtue, many people are observed missing salāh altogether. How grieving it is that we should have such a disregard for a fundamental pillar of Islām even in sacred places! Indeed, we are inviting the wrath of Allāh. ‘Umar radhiyallāhu ‘anhu said, “O people of Makkah! Fear Allāh with regards to this haram of yours! Do you know who resided in this haram before you? Such and such a tribe was residing in it, and they violated its sanctity and so were destroyed…” he then went on mentioning a number of tribes, and then said, “By Allāh! That I commit ten sins outside Makkah is more desirable to me than that I commit even one inside Makkah!”(Ibn Abī Shaybah and Al-Bayhaqī)

     The importance of salāh and the great virtue for it in the haram should compel us to ensure we perform every salāh there, let alone miss it altogether or even perform it elsewhere. Even if our place of residence is at a considerable distance from the haram, we should endeavour to make it there to reap the rewards. After all, we are closer than most, and may never get the opportunity again in our lives.

     Similarly, if we happen to go for ziyārah anywhere, we should arrange it at a time when we are unlikely to miss any salāh with jamā‘ah in the haram.

     It is unfortunate to note that some people miss their salāh in Al-Masjid Al-Harām due to being pre-occupied with shopping, or going to dine further away from the vicinity of the haram. This is inexcusable and completely incomprehensible, and should never happen. Lā hāwla walā quwwata illā billāh.

•   Travelling During the Days of Hajj

     Another instance where there is much neglect in salāh is whilst travelling during hajj, between the different places, e.g. going to and returning from Tawāf-Az-Ziyārah. It is often found that whilst stuck in traffic, the times of different salāhs pass, but hardly anyone has alighted from their means of conveyance to perform salāh.

     Similarly, on the final day of hajj, the 12th of Dhul-Hijjah, in a mad rush to get back to Makkah and out of Minā, people leave in large numbers for Makkah, resulting in much congestion. Whilst stuck in traffic, the adhān for the Maghrib salāh is heard, but no-one leaves their vehicles to perform salāh. It is observed that the traffic remains at a standstill till the ‘Ishā salāh and beyond, yet no one has come out of their vehicles and performed Maghrib. How sad that we have just pelted the Jamarāt, and expressed our resolve in not falling prey to Shaytān, only to make him happy in the next hour!

Salāh was at the forefront of our pious elders in every circumstance. ‘Umar radhiyallāhu ‘anhu, expressing the importance of salāh, wrote to his governors during his reign of khilāfah, stating, “Verily, the most important of your affairs to me is salāh; whoever safeguards it and is punctual upon it, safeguards his Dīn, and whoever lets it slip, he is likely to let slip other things too.” (Mālik)

It has been recorded regarding Shaykh Mawlānā Khalīl Ahmad Sahrānpūrī rahimahullāh that he would perform all his salāh in the haram, in the first row, on the right side of the imām, whatever the circumstance. Even in the scorching heat of Arabia when the ground would become so hot that putting ones foot down would cause burns and scolds, he would hastily tip toe towards the first row and ensure that he would be standing close to the imām.

Whilst travelling, he would also be particular about performing salāh with congregation. It has been written about his travelling to Al-Madīnah that he would get off his camel for every salāh and perform it with congregation. Getting on and off a camel during travel is not an easy task, and many a young and strong are fearful of endeavouring such an act, but Mawlānā Khalīl Ahmad rahimahullāh was observed to be mounting and dismounting for every salāh to perform it in its preferred time with congregation. He would dismount his camel, perform wudū, thereafter run and advance further than where the camels had reached, and perform salāh with congregation. When the camels then passed him during salāh, after finishing he would again run a considerable distance ahead of them and perform his sunan mu’akkadah. Meanwhile, the camels would have passed him so he would run and once again mount the camel.

I myself have observed the late Shaykh Mawlānā As‘ad Madanī rahimahullāh that he would search various flight options when planning his journey, to determine in which option he would miss the least amount of salāh with jamā‘ah, and he would take such an option although it meant he may have to incur a larger expense.

These pious servants of Allāh ta‘ālā were so particular in regards to salāh that the missing of the first takbīr would grieve them. At an event in Darul Uloom Deoband, Shaykh Mawlānā Rashīd Ahmad Gangohī rahimahullāh got held back a little due to the large crowd trying to meet him, and was unable to join the row when the Imām said the first takbīr. Upon this he was much grieved. (Tadhkiratur Rashīd)

Allāh ta‘ālā’s Command is not something which we should take lightly; we should not be embarrassed in fulfilling the Commands of Allāh ta‘ālā at any given time or place. If it is a matter of inconvenience, then too the obligation of salāh is not excused, and should not be missed. Even an ill person is not excused from salāh to the extent that if he/she is only capable of performing salāh by indication, he/she will still be obliged.

May Allāh ta‘ālā instil in us all the importance of this great worship, and make us all true establishers of salāh. Āmīn.

© Riyādul Jannah 


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Solar Eclipse 2015


27th Jumādal Ulā 1436 AH ~ Tuesday 17th March 2015 


SOLAR ECLIPSE

by Shaykh Mawlānā Muhammad Saleem Dhorat hafizahullāh

Abū Bakrah radhiyallāhu ‘anhu relates: “We were with Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam when the sun eclipsed. The Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam stood up dragging his cloak1 till he entered the masjid. We also entered. He sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam led us in a two raka’āt salāh till the eclipse cleared. Then the Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam said, ‘The sun and the moon do not eclipse because of anyone’s death.2 So whenever you see these (eclipses), perform salāh and make du’ā until the eclipse is cleared.’” (Al-Bukhārī)

1 This indicated urgency.

Prior to the advent of Islām, it was a widely held belief in Arab society that eclipse would occur upon the death of a great personality. The Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam had a son named Ibrāhīm radhiyallāhu ‘anhu who passed away in infancy, on the same day as a solar eclipse. The Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam dispelled this false notion.

WHAT TO DO AT THE TIME OF SOLAR ECLIPSE

…So whenever you see these (eclipses), offer salāh and make du‘ā till the eclipse has cleared. (Al-Bukhārī)

…So when you see the eclipse, make du’ā to Allāh and say takbīr, perform salāh and give sadaqah… (Al-Bukhārī)

…He (the Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) went to the Masjid (on the occasion of solar eclipse) and offered the salāh with the longest qiyām, rukū‘ and sujūd that I had ever seen him doing. (Al-Bukhārī)

From the ahādīth above we learn that we should engage in:

1) salāh;         

2) du‘ā;           

3) rememberance of Allāh ta‘ālā; and

4) spend in causes that bring the Pleasure of Allāh ta‘ālā.

It is sunnah to perform two raka’āt salāh with congregation which is to be led by the imām of jumu‘ah salāh or any imām of the masjid. It is sunnah to perform this salāh with qiyām, rukū‘ and sujūd that are long.

After the salāh the congregation should engage in du‘ā which should last until the eclipse clears.

Mas’alah: Adhān or iqāmah will not be called for this salāh. Announcements can be made to gather the people.

Mas’alah: If whilst engaged in du‘ā the time for a fard salāh commences, then du‘ā should be concluded and fard salāh should be performed.

During such occasions we must not remain neglectful. Many people are more keen to witness the eclipse, rather than following the teachings of our beloved Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam. 

May Allāh ta‘ālā grant us the tawfīq to turn to Him during such moments in light of the teachings of our Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam.  


© Islāmic Da’wah Academy


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An Ode to the Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) Part II

Part II – In Defence of Rasul Ullah (Sal Allahu Alayhi Wasallam)

اللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ عَلى سَيِّدِنَا وَنَبِيِّنَا وَ شَفِيْعِنَا وَحَبِيْبِنَا وَ سَنَدِنَا وَ مَوْلَانَا  مُحَمَّدٍ وَ بَارِكْ وَ سَلِّم

Ismail Ibn Nazir Satia (One who is in dire need of Allah’s Forgiveness, Mercy and Pleasure).

18th Rabiul Awwal 1436

اللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ عَلى سَيِّدِنَا وَنَبِيِّنَا وَ شَفِيْعِنَا وَحَبِيْبِنَا وَ سَنَدِنَا وَ مَوْلَانَا  مُحَمَّدٍ وَ بَارِكْ وَ سَلِّم IMG_9150

The eyes weep, the heart bleeds, but our love for you, O Rasool Ullah (SAW) will never die, In Sha Allah.
Muhammad (Sal Allahu Alayhi Wasallam) is always in our hearts and on our mind.
His (Sal Allahu Alayhi Wasallam)’s remembrance keeps our tongues moist.

Eyes that are blind, hearts that are hard will never recognise your beauty.
Your kindness came like rain, that cares not, on whom it falls upon.
With the light of your sincerity, you broke the clouds of tyranny. .

Khushoo’ – An extinct element of Salah

musalla

All lofty and high praise be to Allah, The Most Honoured and The Majestic. Peace and blessings be upon the leader of the pious, the chief of al-Kha’shioon, Muhammad Ibn Abdullah, the Messenger of Allah, and on all his family and companions.

I begin by thanking Allah (Subhanahu WaTa’aala) for enabling me to shed a bit of light on the given topic. Salah is certainly not something taken lightly in the religion of Islam.

“The first thing of your religion that you will lose is Khushoo’, and the last thing that you will lose of your religion is Salah. There may be a person praying who has no goodness in him, and soon you will enter the masjid and not find anyone who has khushoo’.”

Salah is a pillar out of the five pillars of Islam.

Salah is a conversation with Our Lord.

Salah is a Mi’raaj for the Muslims.

Salah will increase our Iman and lead to Jannah. Discarding it will decrease our Iman and lead to Jahannam.

Allah (Subhanahu WaTa’aala) says, “And stand before Allah with obedience.” (2:238)

Regarding Salah, the Qur’an mentions, “And truly it is extremely heavy and hard except for al-Khashi’oon.” (2:45)

Salah is the greatest of the practical pillars of Islam and Khushoo’ in prayer is required by Shari’ah. When Iblis, the enemy of Allah, vowed to mislead and tempt the sons of Adam (peace be upon him) he said, “Then I will come to them from before them and behind them, from their right and from their left.” (7:17)

One of the most significant plots became to divert people from Salah by all means possible and to whisper to them during their prayer so as to deprive them of the joy of this worship and cause them to lose the reward for it.

“Successful indeed are the believers, those who offer their Salah with all solemnity and full submissiveness.” (23:1-2) Khushoo’ means calmness, serenity, tranquillity, dignity and humility. What makes a person have this Khushoo’ is fear of Allah (Subhanahu WaTa’aala) and the sense that He is always watching.

Hudhayfah (Allah be pleased with him) used to say, “Beware of the khushoo’ of hypocrisy.”  He was asked, “What is the Khushoo’ of Hypocrisy?” He said, “When the body shows Khushoo’ but there is no Khushoo’ in the heart.”

Fudhayl ibn Ayadh (Allah have mercy upon him) said, “It was disliked for a man to show more Khushoo’ than he had in his heart.” One of them saw a man showing Khushoo’ in his shoulders and body, and said, “O so and so, Khushoo’ is here” – and he pointed to his chest, “not here” – and he pointed to his shoulders. (Al-Madarij)

Ibnul Quyyim (Allah have mercy upon him) who is known to be the ‘spiritual’ heart doctor said, explaining the difference between the Khushoo’ of true faith and the Khushoo’ of hypocrisy, “The Khushoo’ of true faith is when the heart feels aware and humble before the greatness and glory of Allah, and is filled with awe, fear and shyness, so that the heart is utterly humbled before Allah and broken, as it were, with fear, shyness, love and the recognition of the blessings of Allah and its own sins. So no doubt the Khushoo’ of the heart is followed by the Khushoo’ of the body. As for the Khushoo’ of hypocrisy, it is something that is put on with a great show, but there is no Khushoo’ in the heart.”

Khushoo’ is obligatory in prayer, and this includes calmness, meaning submission and humility. Whoever pecks like a crow in his Sujood (prostration) does not have Khushoo’, and whoever does not raise his head fully from Ruku (bowing) and pause for a while before going down into Sujood is not calm, because calmness implies doing things at a measured pace, so the person who does not do things at a measured pace is not calm. Whoever is not calm does not have Khushoo’ in his Ruku or Sujood, and whoever does not have Khushoo’ is a sinner…

Shaykhul Islam ibn Taymiyyah (Allah have mercy upon him) explained the things that help us to have Khushoo’, “Two things help us to develop Khushoo’, a strong desire to do what is obligatory, and weakness of distractions. With regards to the first, the strong desire to do what is obligatory; (this means that) a person strives hard to focus on what he is saying and doing, pondering upon the meaning of the Qur’an recitation, dhikr, duas, and keeping in mind the fact that he is speaking to Allah as if he sees Him SWT, for when he is standing in prayer, he is talking to his Lord. Ihsan means that you worship Allah as if you see Him, and if you cannot see Him, surely He can see you.”

The more the slave tastes the sweetness of Salah, the more attracted he will be to it, and this has to do with the strength of his Iman. The means of strengthening Iman are many, and this is why the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to say, “In your world, women and perfume have been made dear to me, and my joy is in prayer.”

According to another Hadith he (peace be upon him said), “Let us find comfort in prayer, O Bilal.” He (peace be upon him said), did not say, “Let us get it over and done with.”

With regard to the second, weakness of distractions, this means striving to push away all distractions that make you think of something other than the prayer itself, and warding off thoughts that keep your mind off the purpose of the prayer. This is something which differs from one person to another, because the extent of waswasah (evil thoughts) has to do with the extent of one’s doubts and desires and the heart’s focus and dependence on what it loves, and its efforts to avoid what it dislikes.

After having read thus far, I hear some of you say, “well how does one go about acquiring this Khushoo?” One of the most important things one needs to remember is preparing oneself ‘properly’ for Salah. A lack of this or preparing inadequately is the greatest cause for deficiency in Khushoo’. We should be preparing from the moment we hear the Adhan, repeat the words the Muaddhin says, then recite Durood and the dua after the Adhan. We normally perform our Wudhu at this stage, again, this must be done thoroughly. One must ensure each part is rubbed correctly and fully not leaving a single area dry nor any hair left out (where applicable). Start Wudhu with Bismillah and Alhumdu Lillah, and ending it with the prescribed dua in the Sunnah. A forgotten Sunnah in Wudhu is using the Siwak/Miswak, it is actually Sunnah Muakkadah (emphasised sunnah) to utilise the Miswak whilst performing Wudhu, i.e. it should not be left out.

When one starts Salah it should not be rushed and he/she should move from one position to another slowly and calmly. Abu Qatadah (Allah be pleased with him) said, “The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “The worst type of thief is the one who steals from prayer.’ He asked. ‘O Messenger of Allah, how can a person steal from his prayer?’ He (peace be upon him) said, ‘By not doing rukoo and sujood properly.’ (Ahmad and alHakim)

Hammad ibn Salamah (Allah have mercy upon him) said, “I have never stood up for prayer once without imagining that the fire of Hell is before my eyes.”

Just like in worldly affairs we think of different strategies and techniques to boost our business, to make our lives easier and comfortable, similarly we must plan ways to rectify our Salah. Here is one prescribed in the Sunnah:

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Remember death in your prayer, for the man who remembers death during his prayer will surely pray properly, and (also) pray the prayer of a man, who does not think that he will pray any other prayer (after this).”

Lastly, Abu Ayyub (Allah be pleased with him) was advised by the Prophet (peace be upon him);

“When you stand up to pray, pray a farewell prayer.”

O Allah! Grant us all the ability to pray Salah daily with Khushoo’ and devotion. And make Salah the coolness of our eyes. Ameen.

Ismail Ibn Nazir Satia (In dire need of Allah’s forgiveness, mercy and pleasure).

1st Muharram 1436