* These are notes from Al Maghreb’s The Prophet’s Smile by Sheikh Yaser Birjas. I have made some additions to the notes, and am currently sharing them with sisters on Skype and at Masjed Al Huda in Minneapolis via phone.
Salaah Linguistic and Technical Definitions November 29, 2011
*Notes to Al Bayyinah’s Meaningful Prayer in Atlanta/GA Lecturer: Abdulnasir Jangda. This part discusses in detail page 3 of the handout.
We started with the explanation of basic words used in the lecture, since they are central and will come up often. So unless we understand what they mean, we will be missing out. The first word is “Salaah” obviously. The whole class rotates around it, so we ought to pause here and take our time in explain what it means.
So, what is the linguistic meaning of the word “salaah”? The word comes from four possible roots [so there is a difference among grammarians about the origins of the word]; 4 possible cores to the word Salaah.
1) The majority of Mufasereen, whose linguistic discussions of the meaning of the word pull meanings through the interpretation of the Qur’an, say it comes from “Du’a li-rahmah” which means to ask of or to request mercy.
2) The second opinion is that it comes from the word “Silah” which means ‘connection’. We understand how that develops into the word “salaah” because we see in it the connection between us and Allah [SWT]. The Divine link between us and Allah [SWT].
3) The third opinion is that it comes from the word “Salawaan” which means “hips” in classical Arabic. The hips are the connection between the top and bottom part of the body. The classical Arabs had a figure of speech, they would say “Aslat al farasu” which means the horse came in a close second. So the head of the horse is at the hip of the one in front of it.
4) The fourth opinion is that the word Salaah comes from the word “Tasliyyah” that comes from the word “Saliy” which means to burn or roast something in fire. In order to make sense of how this connects to the word Salaah, we have to go back to how the classical Arabs would use the core word. When a person is arrogant it takes extreme measures to break through that arrogance and humble him—so as the classical Arabs would say, “ Salyat Al Uodh bi-naar” literally translates to “ I burnt the wood in the fire.”
5) The fifth opinion is that the word Salaah is a foreign word that made its way into Arabic. That even if in it’s foreign origins it means “prayer” since we are not the first Ummah [nation] to pray to Allah, but other nations before us did so as well. In Islam, we have certain values and teaching that are universal—because we believe that all prophets came to teach Tawheed [monotheism, the belief in One God Alone]. Among those universal teachings of all the prophets is salaah, so it is not specific to us.
Surat Maryam, tells us about Ismail (as) who used to command his family to pray. Musa [as] in Surat Taha is commanded to believe in Allah and establish prayer, and so is Essa [Jesus] peace be upon him in Surat Maryam [as]. Even parts of the prayer are the same, Maryam [as] did Ruk’u and Sujood. True that some elements of our prayer are unique, but Salaah as a form of worship to Allah [SWT] is consistent, all prophets called for it, and established it. It’s a legacy of the prophets since the beginning of time. So, as Muslims we are part of a universal tradition.
Now the big question, which of all of the above opinions is the strongest? Which is right and which is wrong? There isn’t necessarily a right or wrong answer in this case, but rather there is an element of truth to all of these opinions. They all add depth and breadth to the word salaah. It makes you realize how deep and profound the word actually is.
As for the technical definition of “salaah” it is to worship Allah by means of certain known and prescribed sayings and actions at specified times.
It is also important when dealing with the word Salaah in the Qur’an to consider context. For at times it appears in the Qur’an in such a way that Allah is the doer. If Allah is the doer of the act of salaah, it does not make sense for us to say that he performs Salaah as we do. Instead what it means is that Allah grants mercy and blessings:
هُوَ الَّذِي يُصَلِّي عَلَيْكُمْ وَمَلَائِكَتُهُ لِيُخْرِجَكُم مِّنَ الظُّلُمَاتِ إِلَى النُّورِ ۚ وَكَانَ بِالْمُؤْمِنِينَ رَحِيمًا
“He it is who Sends blessings on you, As do His angels” [33:43]
أُولَٰئِكَ عَلَيْهِمْ صَلَوَاتٌ مِّن رَّبِّهِمْ وَرَحْمَةٌ ۖ وَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْمُهْتَدُونَ
“They are those on whom (Descend) blessings from Allah, and Mercy” [2:157]
How about when Allah and the angels are doing it as in the following ayat:
إِنَّ اللَّهَ وَمَلَائِكَتَهُ يُصَلُّونَ عَلَى النَّبِيِّ ۚ يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا صَلُّوا عَلَيْهِ وَسَلِّمُوا تَسْلِيمًا
“Allah and His angels send blessings on the prophet” [33:56]
الَّذِينَ يَحْمِلُونَ الْعَرْشَ وَمَنْ حَوْلَهُ يُسَبِّحُونَ بِحَمْدِ رَبِّهِمْ وَيُؤْمِنُونَ بِهِ وَيَسْتَغْفِرُونَ لِلَّذِينَ آمَنُوا رَبَّنَا وَسِعْتَ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ رَّحْمَةً وَعِلْمًا فَاغْفِرْ لِلَّذِينَ تَابُوا وَاتَّبَعُوا سَبِيلَكَ وَقِهِمْ عَذَابَ الْجَحِيمِ
“Those who sustain the Throne (of Allah. and those around it Sing glory and Praise to their Lord; believe In him; and implore forgiveness for those who believe: “Our Lord! Thy reach is over all things, In Mercy and knowledge. Forgive, then, those who turn In repentance, and follow Thy path; and preserve them from the penalty of the Blazing Fire” [40:7]
The meaning in this second context, means that the angels request on someone’s behalf that Allah grant mercy and blessing on them and Allah [SWT] does. Remember that angels pray for us, make du’a for us, and ask Allah to forgive us. The third context, is when the human being is doing the act of Salaah, and it is as we talked about. Look at 4:103, and 62:9.
Important Note !!!! In 8:35 Allah [SWT] says:
وَمَا كَانَ صَلَاتُهُمْ عِندَ الْبَيْتِ إِلَّا مُكَاءً وَتَصْدِيَةً ۚ فَذُوقُوا الْعَذَابَ بِمَا كُنتُمْ تَكْفُرُونَ
“their prayer at the House (of Allah). Is nothing but whistling and clapping of hands.” An important note on the ayah 35 in Surah 8 is that Allah uses the word Salaah in reference to how the Mushrikuum of Makkah [polytheists in Makkah] used to pray. Even though they performed salaah, in its linguistic meaning, and at the Bayt [the house of Allah] it was nothing but whistling and clapping. Their Salaah was incorrect.
3rd day of Divine Link [Part 1] June 22, 2011
Chapter 4: Anatomy of Salat
What parts of the Salah are absolutely crucial for it to be valid? Which are essential, but do not invalidate it? And which enhance Salah, but are neither crucial nor essential? This is what this section will discuss, and in my opinion is what most of us need to both learn about Salah, be conscious of mistakes made during Salah and strive to correct them, as well as quell the many differences among Muslims about what is:
1) Crucial [invalidates the whole Salah or parts of it],
2) Essential [does not invalidate, but should be remedied] ,
3) and a Salah enhancement factor [which are optional].
Shurut of Salah
Linguistic meaning: Shurut is the plural of Shart, and it means “the sign” or “the indicator.”
In other words, it means is that it is a precondition. So in regards to Salah it refers to something necessary to be complete before the actual Salah. So a Shart is what is necessary for it, but before it.
Technical meaning: an evident and constant attribute whose absence necessitates the absence of the hukm, but whose presence does not automatically bring about its object. And it is separate from the essence of the act itself. That is a mouthful, I know! Let’s illustrate with an example. Tahara [purification, be it Wuduu or Ghusl from a major hadath] is a condition for the validity of the Salah. But it is not part of the Salah itself, it is completely separate. If you purify yourself you do not have to necessarily pray, but if you pray you do have to purify yourself. Make sense?
2. Pre-requisite for obligating Salah
Pre-requisite of Salah are the attributes sought to obligate salah on an individual, and they are not part of the salah itself.
a) Islam: in order to obligate salah on a person, they first have to be Muslim. Narrated Ibn Abbas: When the Prophet sent Muadh to Yemen, he said to him, “You are going to a nation from the people of the Scripture, so let the first thing to which you will invite them, be the Tawhid of Allah. If they learn that, tell them that Allah has enjoined on them, five prayers to be offered in one day and one night. And if they pray, tell them that Allah has enjoined on them Zakat of their properties and it is to be taken from the rich among them and given to the poor. And if they agree to that, then take from them Zakat but avoid the best property of the people.” [Bukhari]
Q. is it obligatory on a convert to Islam to make up for the missed Salah during his/her lifetime prior to Islam? No. When they came to Islam, their files of bad deeds are expunged and the good deeds remain.
b) Puberty: Aishah narrated that the Prophet (saw) said: “The pen has been lifted for three: the insane until he regains his sanity, the child until he reaches puberty, and the sleeper until he wakes up.” [Bukhari and Muslim]
Q. Are we obligated to order our minors to perform Salah? Yes. But note that we are not obligating them because it has become incumbent upon them, but the purpose is to train them and create a routine for them for the road to Salah ahead once they hit puberty. To suppose that our children will assume their obligation of Salah once they hit puberty is unrealistic. Allah (SWT) says, “Enjoin prayer on your family [and people], and be steadfast therein. We do not ask you to provide sustenance: We provide it for you. But the (fruit of) the Hereafter is for righteousness.” [20:132] In addition, know that as long as your children live under your roof you can enforce Salah on them.
c) Sound mind: Aishah narrated that the Prophet (saw) said: “The pen has been lifted for three: the insane until he regains his sanity, the child until he reaches puberty, and the sleeper until he wakes up.” [Bukhari and Muslim]
Q. What is the ruling on someone who loses his mind voluntary [by intoxication, or medication] or by force [by sickness or passing out], and remains as such until the time of one Salah or more expires? If that person is in the primary stages of intoxication and they can pray [that is they are conscious of what they are saying and doing in salah] then they can pray. If they are totally wasted, then they need to recover first and then make up for it. The same goes for medication.
3. Conditions of validating Salah
These are the acts required and acquired to validate Salah, prior to the establishment of Salah; they are not part of the act of Salah itself. Such as Wudu or Ghusl for instance.
a) To be performed after the time has certainly started.
“Indeed prayer has been decreed upon the believers, a decree of specified times” [4:103]
Q. What is the ruling on praying while doubting the start of its time? You cannot pray when you doubt the start of the prayer time. You can estimate based on when you know prayer started the day before for example, but taking a wild guess is not acceptable. Prayers are performed at appointed times—they have a start and expiration time.
b) Purification from minor and ritual impurities.
There are two forms of impurities: minor [that just needs wudu] and major like Janabah [from sexual intercourse] that needs ghusl.
“O you who believe! When you rise to prepare for prayer, wash your faces, and your hands (and arms) to the elbows; Rub your heads (with water); and (wash) your feet to the ankles.” [5:6]
Abu Hurayrah narrated that the Messenger of Allah (saw) “Allah does not accept the prayer of a person who has released gas until he makes a new ablution. A person from Hadhramaut asked Abu Hurayrah, “What does releasing gas mean?” He answered, “Wind with or without sound.” [Bukhari and Muslim]
c) Removal of physical filth [impurities], from the body and place of worship
“And your clothing purify.” [74:4]
Note: Najes does not mean dirty. Najes means urine, stool of human beings and animals [some animals but that is a totally different story altogether—may you get a chance to take a Fiqh of Tahara class –Al Maghrib offers it through a one week course called “Purification Act.” It’s absolutely essential for every Muslim].
Narrated Anas bin Malik: “A Bedouin came and passed urine in one corner of the mosque. The people shouted at him but the Prophet stopped them till he finished urinating. The Prophet ordered them to spill a bucket of water over that place and they did so.” [Bukhari]
Abu Dawood narrated in his Sunan with his isnaad that Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri said: “Whilst the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was leading his companions in prayer, he took off his shoes and placed them to his left. When the people saw that, they took off their shoes. When the Messenger of Allaah had finished the prayer he said, “What made you take off your shoes?” They said, “We saw you take off your shoes, so we took off our shoes.” The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Jibreel (peace be upon him) came to me and told me that there was some dirt on them.” And he said: “When one of you comes to the mosque, let him check his shoes, and if he seeds any dirt on them, let him wipe them and pray in them.”
You must also consider the place where you pray, and make sure that there is no Najasa—mud and dirt does not constitute Najasa.
Q. What is the ruling on praying while carrying Najas [impure filth] unaware of it? Does not invalidate Salah, because not in direct contact with it. Patients who carry a bag of urine or stool around with them, can pray.
d) Covering the ‘Awrah
Definition: it is a term that denotes the parts of the body that are not meant to be exposed in public.
“O children of Adam, take your adornment [by wearing proper clothing] for every masjed.” [7:31] Ibn Abbas said about this ayah, “It means proper clothing for Salah” and this includes for Salah in the home as well so we clear any misunderstanding. What you wear for the Salah should be something that you would feel comfortable wearing while receiving a guest into your home. What would be better is if you have special clothing for Salah. Teach this to your kids as well, so they understand the significance of Salah.
Verdict: by unanimous agreement, it is most preferable to fully dress up in the best manner in preparation for Salah. Beyond that, there is a difference of opinion on the minimum extent of covering for the validity of Salah:
The ‘awrah of a man in Salah:
He has to cover what it between the navel and thighs. There is a disagreement about the exposing of the navel, thighs and knees.
The ‘awrah of a woman in Salah:
Her entire body, must be covered, except her hands and face. Allah says, “ . . . and to display of their adornment only that whci his apparent” [24:31]
Q. What is the ruling on covering the feet in Salah for women? Various opinions:
First Opinion: The most preferable opinion in the Madhab of Abu Hanfiah is that women are not obligated to cover their feet for Salat because they are treated like the hands, but they ought to do so outside of Salah.
Second Opinion: Women should cover their feet in Salah and outside Salah. Umm Salamah asked the Prophet (saw), “Can a woman pray in a long shirt [like a long dress] and head covering without a loincloth?” He said, “If the shirt is long enough, flowing and covers the top of her feet [i.e. it’s allowed to do so].” This is related by Abu Dawud. [Malik, Shafi’I and Ahmed]
Q. What is the ruling of Salah if the ‘awrah was accidentally exposed? If it is a one time exposure that can be fixed quickly then it is okay. But if it requires repetitive fixing, and the exposure is with every raka’a then the prayer is invalid, and must be restarted. Evidence that it does not invalidate Salah is a hadith of the Prophet (saw). And it was narrated in Saheeh al-Bukhaari that ‘Amr ibn Salamah al-Jarami said: “My father came from the Prophet (saw) and said that he had heard the Prophet (saw) say, ‘When the time for prayer comes, let the one among you who knows the most Qur’aan lead you in prayer.’ They looked and they did not find anyone who knew more Qur’aan than me, so they made me lead them in prayer, and I was a boy of six or seven years.” The boy wore nothing but a loincloth, and when he would make sujood his ‘awrah would show. So the women complained. So, money was gathered to buy him some clothes, and he was so happy with them. If the Salah was invalid, he would have been replaced right then and there, and the salah would have be redone, but the fact that he wasn’t points to the fact that the Salah was still valid. The young boy was never as happy as when he received the clothes for his imam position.
Summary of Opinions
Imam Abu Hanifah
The most preferable opinion in the madhab is that women are not obligated to cover their feet for Salah because they are treated like the hands, but they ought to do so outside of Salah
Women should cover their feet in Salah and outside Salah
Umm Salamah that she asked the Prophet, “Can a woman pray in a long shirt [like a long dress] and head covering without a loincloth?” He said, “If the shirt is long enough, flowing and covers the top of her feet [i.e. it’s allowed to do so].” This is related by Abu Dawud. And many scholars attribute this statement to Umm Salamah.
e. Facing the direction of the Qiblah:
“And from wherever you go out [for prayer], turn your face in the direction of the sacred Mosque; and wherever you believers may be, turn your faces toward it.” [Al Baqara:150]
First Scenario: If the Ka’bah is visible
By unanimous agreement, if the person can see the actual structure of the ka’bah [i.e. being in the Haram in Makkah], he or she is obligated to face the Ka’bah itself.
Second Scenario: If the Ka’bah is not visible
First opinion: Abu Hanifah, Malik and Ahmed
Facing an estimated direction of the Ka’bach is enough.
Second opinion: Shafi’i
Facing the qiblah exactly is an obligation, and it has to be done by following someone’s knowledge of the qiblah; otherwise, it should be by the best ijtihad possible.
Ministry of Islamic affairs in Makkah they realized that there were two hundred masajed in Makkah that are not facing the Ka’bah—they found this out using laser technology. So, they now need to fix the direction of the Qiblah. Shaykh Uthaymeen one day, in Hajj season, and some brothers brought the compass to figure out the direction of the Qibalah. While they did that the Shaykh asked which way is the Ka’bah. They pointed and he started the salah. So, do not stress yourself because you are unable to pinpoint the exact direction of the Ka’bah. Use your best judgment.
Q. What is the exact direction of the Qiblah for people living in the West? [North America in particular]
There is a huge dispute between ahl as sunnah wa ahl al jama’ah and some sects who believe that the qiblah is to the south east. Ahl as Sunnah has two opinions. The Malikis hold the opinion that the direction of the qiblah is to the east directly. The majority, which is held by the prominent Islamic organizations such as ISNA, is that the qiblah direction is the NE. Scientists say that the best direction is the NE because the earth is flat. If you look at a flat map, then the direction is east, but the earth is round. The actual physical measurement of the qiblah will lead to the NE as the closest direction between America and Makkah.
Since we live in America at different degrees. Generally speaking, it is NE. However, you need to measure the degrees from the local location where you live. You need to check online to determine the exact degree. Always remember when you do is that you go by the compass to that direction. Without a compass, make the best guess.
How do you determine the direction of the qiblah? It is decided when you know one of the four major directions. How do you determine one of the major directions? If you can see the sun, then it is easy. You can check the highways as well: even numbered highways travel easy-west, and odd numbered highways travel north and south. If you do not see the highways, sometimes the even the streets will give an indication and have: N, S, E or W. If there is no way to determine direction of the qiblah, then use your best judgment and make the salah.
Q. If after salah you realize that you were facing the wrong direction, what do you do? If there is still time to pray, you can pray the salah again. If it is past its time then your salah is considered valid.
Q. What if you see someone praying in the wrong direction? You can turn them in the right directly, gently. If they resist then do not argue, just let them be.
Summary of Opinions
Imams Abu Hanifah, Malik and Ahmed
To face and estimate the direction of the Ka’bah is enough.
Facing the Qiblah exactly is an obligation, and it has to be done by following someone’s knowledge of the qiblah, if not then by the best ijtihaad possible.
Savor the sweetness of the qiblah:
Do you know the significance of the moving the qiblah form Jerusalem to Makkah?
The prophet (saw) was hoping that the qiblah would be moved for many years. Allah (swt) said, “we see your face pleading with Allah to move the qiblah towards Makkah.” The sweetness of keeping it towards Jerusalem was to seal the deal with lineage of Ibrahim. Muhammad (saw) and his followers are not the bearers of the torch of guidance, it moved from another line to our line. Also, remember that you are not the only facing the direction of the qiblah, people from the other side of the globe are facing the same direction. It proves a sense of unity. Plus, Ibrahim (as) made dua that Allah make Makkah a place of worship, and Allah answered his dua.
f. An-Niyyah, the intention for Salat
Definition: it is the act of the heart concerning the action of the Mukallaf [the accountable party]
When a person makes wudu and goes to the masjid, he is doing these actions with the intention of salah. The determination for what you are doing is the intention itself. When you make wudu and take the prayer rug and put it in the direction of the qiblah, the intention is for the present salah, and you know which salah you are praying. The actual intention is the act of the heart.
Umar narrated, the Messenger (saw) said, “Deeds are judged by their intentions. . .” [Bukhari and Muslim]
Scenarios related to the niyyah:
– Should the niyyah in the heart match the actual act of that particular salat?
Yes, you cannot make the intention for dhuhr and pray asr, which may happen as a mistake. A mu’adhin said that his imam had a heavy lunch after dhuhr salah and took a nap, and when he was woken up for salat al-asr, the imam started reciting aloud. The people said, “Subhan Allah,” The imam stopped then continued reciting aloud. The people again said, “Subhan Allah.” For the third time, the imam began reciting aloud. The people said, “Subhan Allah.” Out of frustration, hes aid, “Tayyib, assalaam alaykum wa rahmatulla, assalaam alaykum wa rahmatullah” and then asked the congregation what was happening and they explained that it was salat al asr and not salat al maghrib. If you are praying a fard salah, your intention must be for the fard. Similarly with the sunnah.
– Should the niyyah be uttered by tongue?
There is not authentic evidence that the Prophet (saw) uttered the intention out loud. Although some imams do so to announce it.
– Should the niyyah start with the first takbir simultaneously?
For some fuqaha, you need to have the intention right when you start the takbeerat ul ihram. You have to have it at the time you raise your hands. Unfortunately in the Shafi’I school they are so meticulous about this issue that it causes so much obsession because when people try to the match the intention at the time of takbir and then miss it, then they will have to start again. Some people start their salah over and over again. As long as the intention is in the heart, say Allahu Akbar and start the salah.
– When is the niyyah made? Does the niyyah begin when raising the hands or when you are standing in line or when you are setting up the prayer rug? All of the preparations for the Salah are enough, and you do not have to measure the beginning of salah when you raise your hands. The Shafi’I madhan is very meticulous about this, and to come it extends to the wud’u and they do it over and over. Do not fall into the wiswas. The actual act itself as you move for the salah is already deciding what you are doing and is the intention insha Allah.
– Should the niyyah of the Ma’moom match the niyyah of the imam? The ma’moom is the one follow the imam. If the imam is praying asr, can you pray duhr behind him if you had missed it? According to Imam Abu Hanifa, the intention must match the imam. Can you pray fard behind someone who is praying nafl? Scenario: you come to the masjed for salat at-taraweeh and you have not prayed isha, can you join him in th esalat al taraweeh and pray isha? According to the Hanafi’s no, because the imam was made to be followed and this applies to the intention as well.
However, there is a hadith of Mu’adh ibn Jabal, he would pray isha with the Prophet (saw) in the masjed and then would lead his community in the salah in his neighborhood. When he lead his people, he would be praying nafl because he already prayed his fard, and the people would pray their fard behind him. One time, Mu’adh recited all of Surat Al Baqarah in the salah, and one of the people praying behind him could not take it and ended the salah early and went home. some people told Mu’adh what the man had done, and he replied that man is a munafiq. When the people talked about it, someone told the man that Mu’adh called him a munafiq, and the man went to the prophet (saw) and complained they are shepherds, and spend most of the day in the sun and Mua’dh led them with Surat Al Baqara. A companion said he had never seen the prophet so furious when giving advice and said, “What is wrong with you? Are you going to cause people to leave this deen? If you are praying by yourself, read what you wish, but when you are you leading the jama’ah then recite a shorter surah.” This is unless he knows that the congregation wants to be led in a long salah and likes to listen to his recitation.
– What if the Imam starts the salah with the wrong intention? If when the imam finishes he realizes the time that the prayer is dhuhr and not asr does it invalidate the salah of the followers? According to the majority, it invalidates the imam’s salah but not the salah of the followers. If the imam remembers while in salah, then he must interrupt and stop the salah and start over. An alternative option is that the imam pulls someone from behind to finish leading the salah.
– Can you change your intention while you are in salah? You can downgrade the intention, but you cannot upgrade it. You can make fard into nafl and nafl to nafl but you cannot make nafl into fard.
g. The continuation of the acts of salah without long intermission
When you start the salah, the actions must be done in sequence and cannot be interrupted. If too much scratching, fidgeting during salah then you must stop and restart. If it is brief then it is fine. If someone is in salah, and sees something dangerous [i.e. a baby approeaching something hazardous for instance], then the person can move from the spot and protect the child, but if it will take time for you to chase the child around, then the salah has been interrupted.
If in the middle of salah you sneeze uncontrollably—for several minutes—or you recite al fatihah and then there is a long silence then the salah has been interrupted and is invalid.
h. To avoid foreign speech
Means any speech that is not part of the adhkaar and permissible words for the act of ibaadah.
If someone sneezes and by mistake says, ‘alhamdullilah’ –if it is a mistake then it is fin. If someone responds ‘yarhamukum Allah’ then the person’s salah is invalidated. You cannot respond to the salam while you are in salah. The uleme said the minimum foreign speech is to have a word of three letters.
Exceptions: if imam made a mistake in salah say ‘suban Allah’ , forget the next ayah you can say the ayah to remind him. If you are in salah and need to alert someone of an emergency, you are allowed to say ‘subhan Allah’ or if someone is calling you can simply say ‘subhan Allah’ as well.
Zayd ibn Arqam narrated, “we used to speak in salat, unit the ayah ‘…and stand before Allah in devout [frame of mind]’ (al Baqarah: 238) was revealed. Thereafter, we were ordered to remain silent and we were forbidden from talking.” [Muslim]
Chapter 3: Adhan and Iqama
Adhan and Iqama—both forms of public announcement of Salah [one to alert that the signs of the start time of Salah has appeared, and the other indicates that the actual performance of the Salah has begun]. These show the value of Salah.
1. What is the adhan? Technical definition: “A specific call and pronouncement, given during the time of prayers, as a notification and an indication to their starting time.”
2. Virtue of adhan: If word got out of the virtue of calling out the adhan, we would see people racing to it. All who listen to the Mua’dhen [person calling out the adhan] or hear him, will testify to him.
Abu Hurayrah (raa) narrates the Messenger of Allah (saw) said, “If people would know what is there (as reward) in (calling for) adhan and (praying) in the first row, they would have to draw lots for them (to avoid conflict over them).” [Bukhari]
The Mua’dhen will be honored on the day of judgment for the Prophet (saw) said, “On the Day of Judgment, the Mua’dhins will come having the longest necks.” ‘Longest neck’ symbolizes honor, and may even mean physically so they are recognized among people on the day of Judgment. It is also a sign of beauty, we today talk about long swan like necks in some cultures.
3. Excellence of Mu’adhen: he is a trustee. In Muslim lands, it is the only job done on time, and if not then he is the only person who will be fired from his job for not doing it.
Abu Hurayrah (raa) narrates the Messenger of Allah (saw) said, “The Imam is a guarantor, and the mua’dhen is a trustee. Of Allah! Guide the imams and forgive the Mua’dhen’s.” [Abu Dawood and Nisa’]
On hearing the Adhan, we should assume that the Mua’dhen has done his job and called it at the correct time.
4. The story of the Adhan:
There wasn’t a dire need for it at first in Makkah because the number of Muslims was small. Plus they prayed individually for the most part. But when the Prophet (saw) arrived in Al Madinah , the number of Muslims grew and increasingly so, and out of the convenience of now having a Masjed [Masjed Al Nabee] congregational prayer in Madinah was regularly performed. Muslims would come to prayer by estimation and because of margins of error sometimes they were too early and sometimes too late. They would call out “As Salah ul Jami’ah” and whoever heard it would come, and whoever didn’t would miss it. They definitely needed a solution. The Prophet (saw) asked his companions for advice. Some suggested that they blow a horn like the Jews; others suggested that they ring bells like the Christians do in their churches. Others even suggested that they kindle a first like the fire worshippers. The Messenger (saw) was not satisfied with any of these suggestions and waited for someone to come up with a better idea.
One day Abdullah ibn Zayd came to the Messenger and said, “O Messenger of Allah! I had a beautiful dream last night.” “What was the dream you saw?” the Messenger asked Zayd. Zayd answered, “I’ve seen that a man wearing green garments taught me the words of the adhan and advised me to call people with these words.” He then recited the words of the Adhan. The Messenger (saw) recognized that the dream of Zayd was true. Zayd was asked to teach the words to Bilal since he had a more beautiful voice. Bilal stood up and called the Adhan as we know it today, and his voice resounded throughout the city of Al Madinah, and on hearing it Muslims started coming to the Masjed. On hearing it, Umar ibn Al Khattab came running to the Prophet (saw) saying, “O Messenger of Allah, an angel taught me that same words in my dream last night” and the Messenger of Allah said, “Alhamdullilah.” in recognition that it was not a random dreams that Shaytan was involved in. [Abu Dawood and Ibn Majah]
What is the purpose of the adhan? It is calling Muslims to come to salah and hence come to success.
5. The ruling of Adhan: it is not obligatory, but highly recommended [in other words Mustahab] according to the majority of the ulema. Imam Shafi’ee says it is fard kifayyah [meaning a communal obligation] and hence if no one calls for the adhan in a community then the entire community bears the sin.
6. Conditions of Adhan:
a) The call should be given after the start of salah time—please refer to salat start time details here.
b) To be in Arabic language. [Fact: The only time it was performed in a language other than Arabic was during the time of Kamal Attaturk who cancelled the Arabic element in Turkey altogether. So much so that he ordered that the Adhan be done in Turkish as well. Today it is done in Arabic language. Clip ]
c) Adhan should be performed by a Muslim, male who has to believe in these words. What if a non-Muslim offers to call the adan? He is not qualified, as it is not just the words but the actual belief in the words as well. Sisters can do it among sisters only.
d) To be loud enough for people to hear, so should be called from where people can hear. Today with technology and high tech microphones this is not much of a problem. Only today in the states we are not allowed to call it out in public but is enclosed within the Masjed.
e) To maintain the order of its statements. What if you make a mistake? Fix it and continue.
f) To be performed by one individual in it’s entirety. It is not acceptable to split statements of the Adhan between a number of people.
Check these out: This is called Adhan Al Juwab, in which there is a main Mua’dhan and a choir behind him, see clip. This is still done in Syria. In the past, to amplify the sound in a Masjed that was too big, they would have a Mua’dhen for each corner, this second scenario is okay. Here’s another Bida’a. It is important to note that the Adhan is a public announcement and not a public display, and should be performed as it was during the time of the Prophet (saw).
What are the words of the Adhan and what do they mean?
God is Greatest
أشهد لا اله إلا الله
Ash-had al-la ilaha illa llah
I bear witness that there is no God except the One God.
أشهد أن محمدا رسول الله
Ash-hadu anna Muħammadan rasulullah
I bear witness that Muhammad is God’s Messenger
حي على الصلاة
Come to salat (prayer, worship)
حي على الفلاح
Hayya ‘ala ‘l-falah
Come to success
الصلاة خير من النوم
As-salatu khayrun min an-nawm
Salat (prayer, worship) is better than sleep
God is Greatest
لا إله إلا الله
La ilaha illallah
There is no god except the One God.
Notes on Adhan: In Arabic what is called Af’aal al Tafdheel is used, which is completely inclusive. When we say Allahu Akbar [meaning the greatest it implies that Allah is greater than everything] So, in essence Allah is greater than everything you are doing when Salah time comes. It sets your priority right then and there.
Why is it that you believe that Allah is greater than everyting? Because you bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship but Allah.
Come to the Salah? Come to the Falah [Success]? It is not even success—but rather the ultimate and absolute success in this world and the hereafter so the meaning is much more comprehensive than the English translation of the word.
Then again a reminder, that Allah is greater. So remember Allah is greater, and that should translate to, “Leave whatever you are doing and respond to the call for prayer.”
Note: For Salaat Al Fajr another statement is added to remind you to wake up. The statement is “Salah is better than sleeping.”
Q. Are there any other forms of Adhan? In the Maliki format, especially used in North Africa, Libya and parts of Sudan they add Allahu Akbar at the beginning.
8. How many Adhans are there for Fajr Salah?
First opinion: Two Adhans, one before the actual time of fajr [to wake a person up] and one upon the start of Salat al-fajr time [Malik, Shafi’i and Ahmed]
Second opinion: There should be one Adhan for fajr, upon the start of the actual time for fajr [according to Abu Hanifah].
Third opinion: If there are two Mu’adhins in one locality, then one should call before the actual time, and one for the actual time of fajr [Scholars of Hadith].
9. Etiquettes of Adhan:
a) Purification: no t obligatory, but is highly recommended.
b) Face the direction of the Qiblah: No, you do not have to face the Qiblah; you should be facing the people whom you are calling out to. Today we have microphones to amplify the voice. Bilal would call out Adhan at the door, or the roof of the Masjed. Adhan is to call the people, and is not just to fulfill an obligation
c) Calling from an elevated area: today no need with microphones. When there is no electricity then it is necessary to climb minarets or high/elevated areas to call out the Adhan.
d) Standing while calling Adhan: Do not have to, but is highly recommended.
e) Insert index fingers into the ears: Bilal covered one ear with one hand. This is just simply to amplify the voice. This is not a virtue of any kind.
f) Slowing down while chanting the Adhan: you have to slow down for clarity, don’t kill it. On the other hand, don’t take hours. Average Adhan time is 2 minutes 30 seconds. Should not take longer than the Salaah itself. You need to beautify the Adhan with your voice, if not then give it to someone else.
g) Follow the rules of Tajweed: observe the rules of tajweed. What if a Mua’dhen doesn’t observe rules of tajweed, is his Adhan still valid? It is valid but does not sound as beautiful. And when you elongate [as in medd in tajweed], it should not be more than 6.
h) Turning the face right and left upon saying the two “haya ‘ala . . .’: No, it does not matter. Bilal did it because he wanted to spread his voice to different directions. You can of course to maintain the Sunnah. Today with the presence of microphones there is no practical need for it.
i) It is better for the Mua’dhen who calls the Adhan to call the Iqamah as well
j) For the listeners to repeat after the Mua’dhen—but remember you should repeat it to yourself, so loud enough for just you to hear and not be a distraction to others.
k) Adhan should not be interrupted by foreign speech—do not interrupt it to answer a phone call for instance.
l) People who are in the Masjed should not leave after Adhan has been called unless there is a valid reason, for the delay of the Salah after the Adhan. But if usual it is disliked to leave. In leaving you are following in the footsteps of Shaytan, who runs and escapes on hearing the Adhan.
10. The dua after the Adhan: Say it in Arabic, so memorize it—here is a translation of the dua “O Allah Owner of this perfect call and Owner of this prayer to be performed, bestow upon Muhammad al-wasilah [a station in Paradise] and al fadilah [a rank above the rest of creation] and send him upon a raised platform which you have promised him. Verily, You never fail in Your promise. “
Is speaking during Adhan permissible? It is not Haram to do so, but not recommended. It is recommended that you say the dua after Adhan.
11. What is Iqamah? “Iqamah is the call to stand up in order to establish the salah.” It is often called “another Adhan” but only you don’t repeat the lines as you do in the Adhan, but just say each line once, although this is a point of difference between scholars as will be discussed in the next point insha Allah.
12. What are the words of the Iqama? By unanimous agreement, the statement of the Adhan should be repeated in the Iqama and the statement “qad qamat is-salah” [the time for the establishment of the salah has come] should be added to it after saying “hayya ala-l-falah”
Scholars differ on the number of times each statement is repeated in the iqamah, holding three opinions:
First opinion: to repeat the statement of the adhan once each, and the statement “qad qamat is-salah” twice [Shafi’I and Ahmed].
Second opinion: Same as the first opinion except that the statement “qad qamat is-salah” should be pronounced once [Malik].
Third opinion: The iqamah should be like the Adhan in repeating each statement twice including the statement “qad qamat is-salah” [Abu Hanifah].
Q. Can we call Iqama while walking? Yes it is a practical call, and not ritualistic.
13. When should the people stand up for Salah? The people in the Masjed should stand up and line up upon seeing the imam entering the prayer area to perform the Salah. Bilal used to say the Iqamah the moment the Prophet would come to lead the prayer.
14. Scenarios related to the Adhan and Iqama:
a) Can the Adhan be given before the beginning of the Salah time? Yes, for Fajr and Jumuah.
b) Can a blind person call the Adhan? Yes, why ever not.
c) Should an individual praying alone call the Adhan and Iqama? Yes, they can but they don’t have to. Why would they even want to? Well, for some people it helps get them into the mood for Salah.
d) Should a person who enters a Masjed after the congregational Salah is over call the Adhan and Iqama? No. But if it is a different congregation then Iqama is enough.
e) Is it permissible to use the new universal Adhan system? In Amman / Jordan this system is in place. This system unifies the Masajed and uses a radio to broadcast the Adhan called out live [remember it is not pre-recorded. It is impermissible to pre-record and then flip a switch at the time of the Adhan]. The virtue of Adhan will eventually die out if it is used everywhere, so it is better to call out the Adhan.
f) Which is better, reading the Qur’an or repeating after the Mua’dhen? Repeating after the Mua’dhen is better as it is only done at specific times of the days.
g) Should the Adhan be used for anything besides the Salah? Yes, it also alerts the community to matters of relevance. It is even called out during Ruqyah as Shaytan and the Jinn run away, it can also be called out in the corners of the house for the same reason.
h) Does the Iqama nullify the nafl salah? If someone enters the Masjed and started praying the sunnah for duhr for instance, according to Abu Hanifah, that person should continue until finished even if they are going to miss a raka’a of the fard salah. The Ulema claim that the following hadith means that it does not nullify the Salah, but it is not right to continue, “When the Iqama has been called, there should be no other prayer except for the obligatory one.” So, according to this opinion if you are at the beginning of the salah and know that you will not catch takbeerat al ihram, then leave the salah. If you can finish the salah before the imam starts the obligatory salah or you are able to catch the first raka’a , then go ahead and finish it. You can pray Tahiyyat Al Masjed especially during Jumuah, while the Adhan is going on.
Savor the Sweetness
1) In non-Muslim countries that don’t respect order, time, etc. the Adhan is the only organized and punctual part of their lives. If anything, this shows that Ibadaat [forms of worship] teach etiquettes.
2) Non-Muslims who visited Muslim lands are amazed by the Adhan, indeed it is among their most memorable experiences.
3) Adhan makes a land a Muslim land.
4) It should be the first thing that child hears when they are born. Why? Is a speculation. A child can hear voices while it is in the womb, and so the mother should read Qur’an to it often and should repeat the Adhan. So, when they come out, they find it familiar when the Adhan is performed in one ear and the Iqama in the other. Check out this document from Tuhfat Al Wadood أحكام الطفل في الصلاة (1) on the ruling for children here [Arabic Only, please let me know if you find a translated version]
5) Adhan has a profound meaning, that goes beyond just the sound of it.
Memorize the words of the Adhan and Iqama
Practice the chanting of the Adhan and Iqama
Ask a learned person or the Imam to check your Adhan style for you.
Go to your local Masjed before Salah time, and take permission to give the Adhan.
Chapter 3: Time of Salat
How can you recognize the times of Salah?
1. Each Salah has a specific appointed time
Verdict: It has been established by unanimous agreement that the five daily prayers should be performed at their respective appointed times.
Allah (SWT) says: “. . . but when ye are free from danger, set up Regular Prayers: For such prayers are enjoined on believers at stated times.” [4:103]
Ubadah ibn as-Samit narrated, the Messenger of Allah said, “Allah has obligated five prayers. Whoever excellently performs their ablutions, prays them in their proper times.” [Malik and Ahmed]
2. Times of each Salah
Ibn Abbas narrated that the angel Jibril led the Prophet to teach him the prayer times. On the first day he prayed all the prayers at the beginning of their respective times and on the second day he delayed the prayers until just before the end of their times for all prayers except maghrib where he instead prayed it on both days at the same time, and then said: ‘. . . the time of each Salah is between these two times.” [Tirmidhi]
This hadith offers us the options of praying anytime between the two timings—we have times and windows within which we can perform each prayer.
Abdullah ibn Amr in Al ‘Aas narrated the Messenger said, “The time for Duhr prayer is from when the sun has passed it zenith and a man’s shadow is equal in length to his height, until the time for ‘asr comes. The time for ‘asr lasts until the twilight has faded. The time for ishha last until midnight. The time for subh [fajr] prayer last from the beginning of the pre-dawn so long as the sun has not yet started to rise. When the sun starts to rise, then stop praying, for its rises between the two horns of the Shaytan.” [Muslim]
What are these times and and windows for each prayers?
Salaat Al Duhr
The start time: by unanimous agreement, duhr start when the sun declines from its zenith. So, the sun moves from the east, then hits the center of the sky, and when it declines from the center [zenith/meridian] of the sky towards the west that is when the duhr prayer starts. If you are standing, your shadow will be stretching towards the west, and will shrink.
When does the window of opportunity to pray duhr during its appointed time end? It ends when the shadow is the height of the object plus the excess/extra shadow. Excess shadow in Arabic is called “Dhel Al Zawaal”. [This is the opinion of the majority of the scholars Malik, Shafi’I and Ahmed]
2nd opinion of Abu Hanifa—regarding when the duhr prayer window of opportunity ends is when the shadow of the object is is twice that of the object. The hadith that they rest their case on is that of Abu Hurayrah who narrated that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said, “When it is hot delay the dhuhr salah till it cools down, for the intensity of heat is from the exhalation of hell.” [Bukhari and Muslim] So, according to this opinion, delaying duhr prayer is better.
When is the preferable time to pray duhr? Delay it in the summer and hasten with it in the cooler seasons.
Anas narrated “The Messenger used to hasten with duhr Salah when the cold intensifies [in winters], but when the heat intensifies [in the summer] he would pray it in cooler times.” [Bukhari]
Prohibited times to pray duhr: Prohibited time is the when the sun is at its zenith/meridian/center of the sky. Some even delay the adhan until it is cooler—if it is in climate that is favorable and you are in an atmosphere that is comfortable then it is preferable to do it as early as possible.
[Q. Some Masajid fix the time for Salat al-duhr for the congregational prayer/jama’ah. So can we pray at the beginning of its time, or should we wait unitl the jama’ah time? If you are at work for instance, and you can pray at the early time then do so. If you can still make it to the congregational prayer as well, then do so and pray it again]
2. The time of ‘asr salah
Start time: by unanimous agreement the time of ‘asr begins when the time of duhr ends at the end of the duhr salat, depending on either of the opinions of when the duhr ends.
[Q. Can we switch between the schools of thought for convenience? No! You need to maintain an opinion based on evidences, unless you do not have a specific affiliation with a specific school of thought in which case just follow the congregation or the opinion of the majority of scholars.]
End time: It lasts as long as the sun has not set, i.e. until it has not reached the horizon. The moment the sun hits the horizon you have missed it.
Abu Hurayrah [raa] narrated that the Messenger of Allah [saw] said, “He who has caught [prayed] one rak’a of ‘asr before the sun set has caught his ‘asr.” [Bukhari and Muslim]
Time of prohibition: when the sun is on the horizon and is setting. If you start before it reaches the horizon—by about one inch [one spear] before it hits the horizon you can continue your salaah. If you can’t actually see the sun then you can estimate based on the calendar. Estimate to the best of your ability as possible. If you are able to catch one raka’a before the sun hits the horizon, you should as Abu Hurayrah narrated, the Prophet (saw) said, “He who has caught [prayed] on rakah or ‘asr before the sun set has caught his ‘asr.” [Bukhari]
Preferable time for ‘asr: the earliest the better [opinion of Malik, Shafi’i and Ahmed], and Abu Hanifa is of the opinion to delay it has long as the sun has not changed its color.
3. The time of Maghrib Salah
The start time: by unanimous agreement, the time of al maghrib begins when the disc of the sun has completely set, i.e. when sun is completely below the horizon. Note: the glare does not matter even though it is bright [there’s a glare], what matters is that the actual disc of the sun is completely below the horizon.
Narrated ‘Abdullah bin Abi Aufa “We were traveling with Allah’s Apostle and he was fasting, and when the sun set, he said to (someone), “Get down and mix Sawiq with water for us.” He replied, “O Allah’s Apostle! (Will you wait) till it is evening?” The Prophet again said, “Get down and mix Sawiq with water for us.” He replied, “O Allah’s Apostle! It is still daytime.” The Prophet said again, “Get down and mix Sawiq with water for us.” So, he got down and carried out that order. The Prophet then said, “When you see night falling from this side, the fasting person should break his fast,” and he beckoned with his finger towards the east.
Video 1 [time lapse of sun setting—time of prohibition of performing Salah is when sun hits the horizon [at 0.17 seconds in the video] and while it sets]
Video 2 [at 0.46 seconds you can see the glare as the sun has completely set—this is when Maghrib starts, refer to the hadith above narrated by ‘Abdullah bin Abi Aufa]
The end time:
First opinion [Malik, Shafi’i]: Maghrib has no extended time after the sun has set, just enough time to perform wud’u, adhan, iqamah, and five rakahs [3 fardh, and 2 sunnah]—around 15-20 minutes in length.
Ibn Abbas, “…except maghrib where he instead prayed it on both days at the same time.” [Tirmidhi]
Second opinion: Maghrib ends when the twilight disappears from the horizon. But scholars differed over the actual twilight. For this they had two opinion:
1. The read twilight according to Shafi’I in the old madhab, and Ahmad and the muhaditheen and the majority of people today
“…maghrib time lasts until the evening glow disappears,” [Abu Dawood]
“…the last tme for maghrib is when the horizon becomes dark.” [Abu Dawood]
Abdullah ibn ‘Amr [raa]: “…the time for maghrib last unitl the twilight has faded.” [Muslim]
2. The white twilight, according to Abu Hanifah
As the glow starts to disappear, it turns orange to red, and then as the red twilight dissipates, there is a white twilight which looks like a belt above ht horizon. Above the white twilight is a blue twilight which is a mixture between blue, purple and white.
Videos: Twilight and Horizon [focus on how the colors in the horizon change after sunset, this is called the twilight]
The preferable time: by unanimous agreement, right after sunset.
Recommendation: sometimes the companions would pray two rakahs sunnah before maghrib after the adhan. This is preferable. The Prophet (saw) said, “Pray before maghrib, pray before maghrib, pray before maghrib. For whoever wishes.” You can pray them either in the masjed or home.
4. Time of Isha Salah
About this prayer, Abu Hurairah (Raa) narrated that the prophet (saw) said: “No Salat (prayer) is heavier (harder) for the hypocrites than the Fajr and the Isha prayers, but if they knew the reward of these Salat (prayers) at their respective times, they would certainly present themselves (in the mosques) even if they have to crawl.”
Why? Because you are fighting , in the case of fajr the comfort and warmth of the bed, and in isha you are fighting sleep. Buraidah (raa) reported: The Messenger of Allah (saw) said, “Convey glad tidings to those who walk to the mosque in the darkness. For they will be given full light on the Day of Resurrection.” [At-Tirmidhi and Abu Dawud]
Start time: by unanimous agreement, it starts after the twilight disappears –but as we have seen with Salat al maghrib there is a different of opinion regarding the twilight that marks the end of al maghrib and beginning of isha. According to Imam Malik, the end of al maghrib does not constitute the beginning of isha, rather there is a buffer zone. It starts when it is dark [dark twilight] and the stars can be seen [if the sky is clear].
The end time:
First opinion: Abu Hanifah who says, as long as the dawn has not risen yet. So, ends when Salat Al Fajr begins.
Second opinion: Malik, Shafi’i and Ahmad say it is until the first third of the night or the first half [which is the strongest opionion], and as necessity until fajr time.
Q. What is half of the night? Does it mean midnight? No. Calculate the time from sunset until fajr and then divide by half—where the half point falls at is the first half of the night.
The preferable time/s:
First Opinion: Shafi’i is of the opinion that the best time is to perform it at the beginning of its respective tims.
Second Opinion: Abu Hanifah, Maalik, and Ahmad are of the opinion that it is best to dealy the isha to just before one third or half of the night has passed. As evidence they use the hadith by the prophet (saw) when he delayed the Isha to the extent that the companions slept in the masje. When he saw them he came out and prayed isha and said, “This is the time for salat al isha except I do not want to create hardships for my ummah.”
Abu Hurayrah narrated, the Messenger said: “If was not afraid of creating hardship I would have ordered to delay isha to just the first third or half of the night.” [Tirmidhi and Nisa’i]
When there are less worshippers the value of the worship goes up [like fasting in summer rather than winter]. But if delay means poor quality, then early is better.
Q.Which is better for me for Isha—to delay it or pay in congregation in the masjed? Of course in congregation in the masjed.
5. Fajr salat
Starts: When the true dawn starts not the false dawn [check out this video about false dawn]. The false dawn occurs when the sun has not yet hit the horizon so what you see is but the reflection of the sun rays. The true dawn is when you see the white thread in the horizon, you will see it on this video at 0.11 seconds. More information False and True Dawn.
Here is a picture of false dawn.
Another picture of false dawn from National Geographic.
Picture of true dawn:
Time of prohibition: Can’t pray when the sun has started to come up in this video it starts 0.11 seconds into the video . You have missed fajr if you pray at this time, and it will be considered Qada—make up [which has to be performed after the sun has completely risen].
1) First Opinion Al Ghalas: darkness of Fajr, so early hour of Fajr time when it is still kind of dark. In other words, although bright in the horizon it is not bright outside. [Malik, Shafi’I, and Ahmad]
Abu Musa narrated, “He [the messenger of Allah (saw)]offered fajr salat at daybreak when the people could hardly recognize one another.” [Muslim]
Jaber narrated: “…and fajr He (the messenger) used to offer it during Ghalas time (when it was still dark).” [Bukhari and Muslim]
2) Second Opinion Isfar: Brightness of the fajr, when it is bright enough you can see [Abu Hanifah]
Rafi’ bin Khadeej narrated the Messenger said, “Pray Fajr during Isfaar time, for its greater for your reward.” [Tirmidhi]
What is the reason for this difference of opinion regarding preferable times? Because the prophet (saw) practiced both depending on the crowd in the masjed. If he saw them rush, he would rush, and if they came slow he would delay. Furthermore, in winter it is convenient to start early as the day is short, whereas in the summer delay as the day is long.
Forbidden Time of Salaah
These times are forbidden for Salat except for the fard salawat.
Ubadah ibn ‘Amir narrated, “there are three times at which Allah’s messenger used to forbid us to pray or bury our dead: when the sun begins to rise till it is fully up, when the fun is at its height at midday till it passes the meridian, and when the sun darws near to setting till it sets.” [Muslim]
Abu Sa’d al-Khudr narrated, “I heard the messenger of Allah saying: “No salah is to be offered after the morning salah until the sun rises, or after ‘asr salah until the sun sets.” [Bukhari and Muslim]
1) After fajr : after your salaat al fajr you cannot pray until after sunrise. “There should be no salah performed after fajr until the sun rises.” If you pray salat al fajr, then do not pray anything else until the sun rises.
2) When the sun rises: you cannot pray the sunnah or make qad’a for the sunnah while the sun is rising, but you have to wait until the sun has fully risen and is a spear length from the horizon.
3) When the sun is at the zenith[middle of the sky]: this is 5-10 minutes before duhr. Even salat al duha should be prayed during this time either, but must be prayed before this time.
4) After asr: no salah [after your asr salah] when the sun has hit the horizon, is setting. Only after it has completely set, can you pray. Exception is if there is a need like Tahiyyat Al Masjed [two units offered when you enter into the Masjed—not applicable to a Maslah] or Istikhara [prayer requesting guidance] but should be avoided if it is the prohibition time. Abu Sa’eed al-khudri prophet (saw) said, “No salaat is to be offered after the morning salat until the sun rises, or after asr saat unitl the sun sets.” (Bukhari and Muslim)—this is according to Shafi’i madhab.
5) When sun is setting: while the sun is sinking behind the horizon. The prophet (saw) said, “The Shaytan goes in the direction o fthe sun so that it rises or sets between his two horns and those who prayed to the sun prayed in the direction of the Shaytan.”
Note: by unanimous agreement all scholars do not dispute that praying during sunrise and sunset is prohibited even if it is Fardh [like ‘qada of obligatory prayer] or Nafl like Tahiyyat Al Masjed.
Why are there forbidden times to pray in our religion? Prophet (saw) did not give us a specific reasons but scholars could hardly prevent themselves from speculating on the issue. Among the interesting interpretation that scholars have come up with, always open to dispute of course, is that it prevents Muslims from living the life of monks—a monastic life, dedicated to worship only. Islam is a religion that calls for a balance in the spiritual and worldly—so not praying at specific times points to the relevance of tending other things, like interacting with family. Everything ought to be given its right. Also, another interpretation is that the actual sunrise and sunset are specific time when idol worshippers prostrate to the planets and the sun and we have been prohibited from resembling them.
Scenarios for times of Salat
In places like Scandinavia the sun may be present for four months, and there is no distinction between night and day. There are three opinion on this topic:
The people are not obligated to perform the salawat, meaning they only pray the ones that they have distinguish the signs for in this case in the video—duhr and asr. This is a radical opinion, but the evidence for it is very strong, but does not necessarily mean it is the right one.
Most acceptable opinion among people is that they follow the closest region that is normal [in the sense that they have the signs for the five daily prayers] and follow their timings.
What about if people do not have access to technology? They need to estimate the time for the 5 prayers, and distribute them evenly. Evidence is the hadith of Ad-Dajjal, the prophet (saw) said, “The first day of his arrival will feel like an entire year. The second will be like a month. Then like a week and the rest of his day will be like ours.” The companions asked how they will make the salah during that time, and the Prophet (saw) said, “Estimate.”
2) If someone prays Salah before its beginning time for convenience would it be acceptable?
No, this is not acceptable. He can make up for it, but praying before the time of the prayer has started is not permissible.
3) If someone delays her salah until her period starts, is she accountable for that salah?
It is hard for a sister to know the onset of her period, she goes by dates of course but there is always a margin of error. No, she is not accountable unless she delays it to the very last minute when the window of opportunity for a specific salah closes.
4) If a woman [student of working] becomes pure from her period during the time of one the prayers but was unable to shower until later during the day, or later that night, is she accountable for this delay?
If it will not cause hardship to her, then she should make up for those missed prayers.
5) Is it still obligatory to perform a fard salah, even during the prohibited times?
Savor the Sweetness of the time of salah:
1) Salah was divided throughout the day and the night so that you don’t feel bored.
2) Wisdom of following the times of salat to prevent it from being a routine—you become conscious of the value of your salat so you’re always on top of the changes of time and seasons.
3) You will find this spiritual break when you really need it, it’s a time out for relief, to seek help, assistance and strength. Even to relieve yourself from the stress of life. Remember to always ask for strength for your salah.
4) Our religion is a balanced religion, between daily and spiritual activities.
Try to observe the sun for two full days
Wake up early before fajr, and watch for the white thread
Use an object to mark the shadows throughout the day, to determine the beginning of the time of each salah.
Use that same object next day to determine the end of time of each salah
Watch as the sun goes down , and praise your Lord as you see the variation in the colors through the horizon.
Can you identify the end of maghrib and beginning of isha according to the difference opinions.
Q. Did you wake up for fajr today? If not then why? possible answers death by snooze, slept late, did not make the intent to get up etc.
Q. Devise a plan to help others wake up for fajr. Be creative.
More videos for you to enjoy:
2) See if you can tell through looking at the time lapse of day and night in this video and identify, false dawn, true dawn, glare at Maghrib, twilight and white twilight
3) Time lapse of four days of sunrise and sunset
Number of Fard Salat
There are five obligatory prayers
Narrated Talha bin ‘Ubaidullah: “A man from Najd with unkempt hair came to Allah’s Apostle and we heard his loud voice but could not understand what he was saying, till he came near and then we came to know that he was asking about Islam. Allah’s Apostle said, “You have to offer prayers perfectly five times in a day and night (24 hours).” The man asked, “Is there any more (praying)?” Allah’s Apostle replied, “No, but if you want to offer the Nawafil prayers (you can).” Allah’s Apostle further said to him: “You have to observe fasts during the month of Ramad, an.” The man asked, “Is there any more fasting?” Allah’s Apostle replied, “No, but if you want to observe the Nawafil fasts (you can.)” Then Allah’s Apostle further said to him, “You have to pay the Zakat (obligatory charity).” The man asked, “Is there anything other than the Zakat for me to pay?” Allah’s Apostle replied, “No, unless you want to give alms of your own.” And then that man retreated saying, “By Allah! I will neither do less nor more than this [he was asking about the minimum].” Allah’s Apostle said, “If what he said is true, then he will be successful (i.e. he will be granted Paradise).” [Sahih Al-Bukhari]
Fajr (Dawn prayer): Two Rak’as. This Salah is called salat as-subh
Dhuhr (Noon prayer): Four Rak’as [first prayer, in congregation silent ]
Asr (Late Afternoon prayer): Four Rak’as [silent in congregation]
Maghrib (Sunset prayer): Three Rak’as
Isha (Night prayer): Four Rak’as
What is the secret behind the number of prayers [Salawaat] being 5 [5 in number and 50 in rewards]? Why are they spread out during the day?
Note: no scholar would be able to say exactly why they are five, and why are spread out during the day, so what we have are speculations. There isn’t a right or wrong answer. If we don’t know the wisdom then it is to test our obedience to the orders and commands of Allah (SWT).
The first Salah is Duhr [noon prayer] right when the sun moves out from the center of the sky—when you need a break to get some energy, and recharge from having worked since the morning to get you through the rest of the day. Then the second is Asr [late afternoon] right when we are finished with our daily obligations– farmers are leaving their field, we are leaving work [offices, schools etc]—and we praise Allah for getting us through work. Then comes Al Maghreb which is the end of day [end of daylight] and it is filled with anxiety and nervousness of the darkness of the night, so we pray to calm ourselves down and be in the protection of Allah (SWT). Then Comes Al Isha late at night, and it is a good ending to our day before we go to sleep, and before our souls are taken by Allah (SWT) [second death]. And then the fifth and last is Salat Al Fajr, and it is beginning of a new days and we praise Allah for having woken us from sleep [after taking our souls] and we ask for the blessings for the new day ahead, and charge ourselves to go out to the world and perform our duties and obligations, while still in remembrance of Allah and in His protection.
Another interpretation by scholars is:
The ingredients that make up a human being consist of 2 components—body and soul. If there is a body without a soul then you are a corpse—and indeed after someone dies, they are no longer mentioned by name but rather it is said “Where was the body found?” Likewise, a soul without a body is a ghost, a spirit.
The body is created from dirt—and its main source is the earth. And based on this if you would like to nurture and sustain this body, you would have to look for the same source to sustain it—the earth. Imagine if someone wants to nurture their bodies through meditation, spiritual retreat without eating for instance? That would not be logical. And how many meals are the average per day? 3 main meals but doctors recommend 5 small meals a day [some people cheat of course and eat more than that and snack in between of course] So likewise, the body needs the physical component of prayer to nourish its body—and that is 5 times a day.
The Prophet (saw) told us that the soul is from the heavens. When the fetus is developing in the womb, after 120 the angel comes and breaths the soul into the baby and write down four things. So, knowing that if the soul comes from the heavens—how can it be sustained? It’s sustenance has to come from the same source—food for the soul is not Soul Food as we know it down on earth, that kind of food is a stomach experience. So, we need something heavenly, and by the way music isn’t. You can get high on music, but it isn’t heavenly. Your divine link with Allah (SWT) is your heavenly experience. You worship Allah as if you see him [with the eyes of your heart], and although you do not see him with your own eyes you are certain that he sees you. So, if your body needs 3 meals—on average– to sustain itself, then your soul needs:
“ Establish regular prayers – at the sun´s decline till the darkness of the night, and the morning prayer and reading of Qur’an: for the prayer and reading of the Qur’an in the morning carry their testimony.” [Israa:78]
You can also have snacks [Nafl/involuntary/Sunnah] prayers in between, when you are spiritually hungry. So these prayers strengthen your spiritual growth. If you don’t pray five times a day, your soul can barely function.
Also, prayers/Salawaat organize your life. You wake up and renew your relationship with your Lord at the beginning of the day, in the mid day you need a soul snack, in the Duhr you want to praise Allah (SWT) to help you get through the atrocious day, and then Maghreb you are anxious with what the night brings, and then Isha is the end to your day and praise Allah for giving you life that day, and you end your day on a good note before your soul is taken temporarily.
Why are some prayers performed out loud in congregation, and some silent?
Living in postmodern world we have technology and our lives our different now because we stay up longer than those of the past. In the past, they lived natural lives—so they woke up with the rise of the sun and slept with its setting. You will realize that those prayers that are during the day when we and others are busy, the prayers are done silently so that others are not disturbed. Those that are done out loud in congregation are those prayers that are performed in the dark. If you are praying behind an Imam in Subh [Fajr], Isha and Maghrib his loud recitation awakens you and helps you focus on Salah [of course in the obligatory prayers that are done out loud, the first two Raka’as you follow the reading of the Imam] in the last two or one [in the case of Al Maghrib] you do on your own.
Why are there 3 Raka’as in Al Maghreb prayer? Witr means odd number, so Maghreb is the Witr of the day. All of these are interpretations of the scholars, are open for debate.
What is the ruling on Witr salat? It is performed after Salaat Al Isha [at the end of the Salawat of the day]. And the word Witr in Arabic means ‘odd number’ [i.e. 1, 3, 5, 7 etc.] . 2 opinions on the ruling on this prayer:
First opinion: It is a recommended Sunnnah—Sunnah Mu’akadah [this is by Maalik, Shafi’ee, and Ahmed]. Sunnah Mu’kadah—means that it is highly important and recommended but not obligatory. So not performing it won’t hold a person accountable, but will cause them to lose great rewards. The Prophet (saw) never missed it or skipped it, whether he was resident or travelling. Interestingly, he skipped the Sunnan when travelling but never the Witr. Missing it is a shame.
Abu Tamim al-Jishani relates that ‘Amr ibn al-‘Aas was addressing the people during a Friday Khutbah and he said: “Abu Basra related to me that the Prophet said: ‘Verily, Allah has added a prayer for you, and it is the witr prayer. Pray it between salatul ‘isha and salatul fajr.'” Abu Tamim said: “Abu Dharr took me by my hand and we went in the mosque to Abu Basra and [Abu Dharr] said: ‘Did you hear what ‘Amr just said from the Messenger of Allah?’ He answered: ‘I heard it from the Messenger of Allah!”‘
‘Ali says: “The witr prayer is not required like your obligatory prayers, but the Prophet would perform the witr prayer and say: ‘O you people [followers] of the Qur’an, perform the witr prayer, for Allah is one and He loves the witr.'” [ Ahmad, an-Nasa’i, Abu Dawud, Ibn Majah, at-Tirmidhi]
Ahmad, Abu Dawud, An-Nasa’i, and Ibn Majah record that Al-Mukhdaji [a person of the Kinana tribe] heard from one of the Ansar, nicknamed Abu Muhammad, that the witr prayer is obligatory. He went to ‘Ibadah ibn as-Samit and mentioned to him what Abu Muhammad had said. ‘Ibadah observed: “Abu Muhammad is mistaken for I heard the Messenger of Allah say: ‘Five prayers are ordained by Allah for his slaves. Whoever fulfills them properly without any shortcoming, he will have a pact with Allah that He will admit him into paradise. Whoever does not do them, he will have no pact with Allah, and if He wills He may punish him and if He wills He may forgive him.'”
Ijtihad: Witr can be performed while one is riding his camel and obligatory Salah cannot be performed that way [today in a car for instance].
Second opinion [Abu Hanifah]: It is Wajeb [obligatory]. In the theory of law he makes a distinction between level of Wajeb [obligatory] and Fardh is highest obligation—and Wajeb is compulsory but not obligatory. Fardh has to be established by Qur’an or Mitawater Hadith. So sees it in such a light that if a person misses it when he can peform it, then he is sinning. Plus it doesn’t show a good character, and go to the extent of saying that his testimony is not accepted.
Savor the Sweetness of the Five Salah:
1) Five spiritual meals vs. three nutritious meals
2) Acts as frequent reminders of the purpose of life, which is worshipping Allah (SWT)—a believer who finds himself awake any time of the night, is mindful of the time wonders if it is time for Fajr prayer.
3) Are effacers of the sins committed through the day and night. Abu Hurayra (raa) narrated, “I heard the Messenger of Allah (saw) saying, ‘Suppose one of you had a river running at his door, and he washed from it five times a day: would any dirt remain on him?’ They (the companions) said, ‘No dirt will remain on him.’ He [the Prophet] (saw) said, ‘That is the likeness of the five prayers. Allah remits sins with them.’” [Bukhari and Muslim]
4) Life organizer and self-discipline tool: We have gadgets today to finish tasks on time. We don’t need them if we are regular with our Salah’s. When we go shopping for instance, if we care about Salaah it will limit how long one stays there. When you’re driving on the highway, asr time is coming to an end, you start panicking so you force yourself to get off the highway so you become prompt in fulfilling your duties. Whatever the task, if you maintain your Salaah, you will be happier in your life. Nowadays, time is so fluid, it is not organized. If you truly maintain Salah on time—not those who zip prayers in one file—truly see organization to their lives.
5) Building a strong social structure for the Muslim community: mentioned earlier about being in the Masjed regularly and you recognize absence of Muslims, recognize their hardships and can offer help, and you see each other as one family.
Part 1: Salatul Faridah [the Five Obligatory Prayers]
Ubada ibn us-Samit narrated that the Messenger of Allah said, “Allah has obligated five prayers. Whoever excellently performs their ablutions [wudu is part of perfecting your Salah so don’t rush in it—no splashing—you have to perfect it], prays them in their proper times [that is during their respective times, not out of your convenience. They have to be performed within the window of time allowed you. Go out of your convenience to perform them], completes their bows, prostrations [you have to perfect the actions associated with it] and khushu` [Khushu` is concentration in the prayer is where the person’s heart is attuned to the prayer. This feeling in the heart is then reflected on the body. The person remains still and calm. His gaze is also lowered. Even his voice is affected by this feeling in the heart] has a promise from Allah that He will forgive him. And whoever does not do that has no promise from Allah. He may either forgive him or punish him.” [Recorded by Malik, Ahmad]
A person who does what is described in the above hadith has a promise from Allah (SWT) to forgive his sins. But whoever does not, or views it as an obligation that needs to be done and over with, then does not have this promise of forgiveness. He may be forgiven and maybe not. Allah (SWT) says in:
“So woe to the worshippers who are neglectful of their prayers ” [Ma’un: 4-5]
You will be asked about both the quantity and quality of your Salah.
Chapter 1: The Value of Salat
1) The main pillar of Islam:
Mu’adh ibn Jabal “The Prophet said: The uppermost level of the matter is al-Islam [submission to Allah—so you listen and obey]. Its pillar is Salah and its hump is al-jiad” [Tirmidhi]
Salah is it’s pillar: what happens to a building missing pillars, it will undoubtedly collapse. And if one pillar is missing it will be unreliable structure, anyone in it will feel uneasy. A building is considered well maintained when its 5 pillars are there.
2) The first obligation after Shahadah is Salah: The Prophet (saw) sent Mua’dh ibn Jabal to Yemen and said, “You are going to a people from the People of the Book. So let the first thing that you call them to bear the testimony that there is no deity worthy of worship other than Allah and that Muhammad is His Messenger.If they accept that from you, then inform that Allah has made it obligatory upon them 5 daily prayers in a day and a night. If they accept that from you, then inform that that Allah has obligated on them a charity ( Zakat ) that is taken from the rich and given to the poor.” [Sahih Bukhari]
Raises the question? Should we immediately ask the person who has just become Muslim to pray right away. Yes, but gradually since it takes time to learn.
3) It was prescribed in the heavens, during the magnificent journey [Al Isra wa al Mi’raj]: Salah is the only obligation that we know, that the Prophet (saw) was commissioned to appear in person before Allah to receive its command. Nothing else was prescribed other than this one form of worship, which shows how important a command it is.
4) Allah gave the Messenger the obligation of Salah directly, without any intermediaries: The command was received with no mediator—not even Jibreel—Allah (SWT) spoke to the Prophet (saw) and ordered him to perform the five daily prayers directly.
5) A public call: the Adhan was made to remind of it. It is the only act of worship that there is a public announcement for, every day, 5 times a day. In the US we don’t hear it since we are not allowed to broadcast it. But in other Muslim nations thousands of minarets make a public announcement for Salah. Today we have digital or electronic Muadhens at homes. Why the public announcement? Because the public needs to be notified about it.
6) Purification act is stipulated prior to its performance: you cannot make Salah except if you purify yourself—either by taking a full shower [major hadath], or performing ablution [minor hadath]. It is the only Ibadah that you cannot perform except with purification. If you break your purification during Salah, you have to stop , perform ablution and then come back and start over.
7) Its obligation is maintained regardless of being in state of travel, fear or sickness: If you are travelling are you no exempt for performing Salah, you shorten it and combine. If you are sick you still need to perform Salah—it is commonly known that in hospitals Muslim patients ask for trays of dirt for Tayamum, and ask for beds to be moved to face the Qiblah. Non-Muslims are amazed about how dedicated and devoted they are to Salah. They are not forced, but feel an urge and desire to maintain their prayers on a regular basis despite their struggles with their health. Actually at such times prayer is the best thing to do to get closer to Allah.
8) The first matter of account on the Day of Judgment is Salah: 2 things you will asked, of them the first is Salah, and in another hadith is blood. The scholars asked why these two especially? The first is ones relationship with Allah which is through your Salah, and the second is your relationship with people [hurting others]. So, it’s an open book exam—you already have the questions and the answers are in the manual. All you have to do is take action.
“The first matter that the slave will be brought to account for on the Day of Judgment is the Salah. 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.”[al-Tabarani]
9) The best of all deeds of worship:
Bukhari narrates on the authority of Abdullah ibn Mas’iud (ra): “I asked the Messenger of Allah (saw) which deed is most beloved to Allah (swt)”. He (saw) said: “Salah at it’s appointed times”. Then Abdullah (ra) asked: “and then what?” he (saw) said: “Then kindness to parents”, then he (ra) asked: “and then what?” he (saw) said: “Jihad in the way of Allah”.
In another narration of the same hadith, “to perform salah at the beginning of its appointed time [not just within the window but as soon as that window of opportunity opens up]”
Accountability for Salah
To be accountable for Salah a person should be:
1) Be a Muslim, man or woman: You have no right to tell a non-Muslim to come over and pray. If they so choose out of curiosity , and wanting to experience Salah come and join the Muslims while they pray, but you do not obligate them to pray. Are the commandments of Shariah obligated on non Muslims? Some scholars said yes. Others said even if they are they are not valid because they do not confess that there is one God.
2) Have reached the age of puberty: That is after a woman’s first cycle, and a man’s first wet dream. If it is delayed, at 15 regardless of whether there is a physical manifestation of puberty according to the characteristic features of each sex, we consider them of the age of puberty. Narrated Ibn `Umar: “That the Prophet inspected him on the day of Uhud while he was fourteen years old, and the Prophet did not allow him to take part in the battle. He was inspected again by the Prophet on the day of AlKhandaq (i.e. battle of the Trench) while he was fifteen years old, and the Prophet allowed him to take Part in the battle” [Bukhari]
3) Be in the state of sound mind: So one is exempt if one loses his/her faculties, permanently or temporarily until they recover. That is until they are able to recognize what they perform. Aisha (raa) narrated that the Prophet (saw) said, “The pen has been lifted for three: the insane until he regains his sanity, the child until he reaches puberty, and the sleeper until he wakes up.” [Bukhari and Muslim]
What is the ruling on the Salah of a child?
They are not obligated, until they reach puberty however you can teach them and train them at an early age. Children by nature like to imitate their parents. So, it is okay if they do part of Salah or do it off and on at the age of 6 and 7. You can also incorporate reward and punishment until they are 10 years old so they understand that they will be held accountable when they are adults. This is ensure that when they are adults they can do it on their own Insha Allah. Abdullah ibn Amr ibn al-Asr, narrated that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said, “Command your children to make salah when they become seven years old, and spank them for it (salah) when they become ten years old, and arrange their beds (to sleep) separately.” (Abu Dawud)
Ruling of neglecting/abandoning Salah
1) Consciously neglecting Salah by denying its obligation: that is that they don’t acknowledge the obligation of salah. Eg. say things like, “It’s the 21st C, we’re in America, get with the times.” This is an act of Riddah [apostasy]. This is provided that there person knows the severity of his decision and it is not merely out of ignorance [as is the case with some families who neglect to teach their children about the obligation of Salah here in the states]. Scholars say this person leaves the fold of Islam because he/she is denying a pillar of Islam.
Exemption: a new convert who has no support system to teach her/him to perform Salah–they are Muslim.
“But (even so), if they repent, establish regular prayers, and practise regular charity,- they are your brethren in Faith: (thus) do We explain the Signs in detail, for those who understand.” [9:11]
Jabir ibn ‘Abd Allah narrated that the Prophet (saw) said, “Between a man and shirk and kufr there stands his neglect of the prayer.” [Muslim]
2) Neglecting Salah out of laziness or other reasons without denying its obligation: so they say things like, “Please make dua for me. I wish I were like you.” They are not denying the obligation but say one day they hope to be among those who establish prayer. They know they should but they don’t. Regarding these there are 2 opinions:
This person is considered Muslim, but he/she is committing a major sin. Category they belong to is Fisq [disobedience], and is called Faseq [disobedient]. What they are committing is an act of disobedience, and Allah has the right and power to either forgive them or punish them.
Another opinion is that they are out of the fold of Islam, since they willingly chose to leave and abandon their religion. Why? Because most important obligation on a Muslim, what makes a Muslim is this connection with Allah (SWT).
It was narrated that Buraydah ibn al-Husayb (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: “I heard the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say: ‘The covenant that distinguishes between us and them is the prayer, and whoever neglects it has disbelieved (become a kaafir).’” (It was narrated by Ahmad, Abu Dawood, al-Tirmidhi, al-Nisaa’i and Ibn Maajah).
A person who prays once in a while belongs to this category.
Savor the Sweetness of the Status of Salah
1) Every day you have a promise from Allah to forgive you, maintain your Salah: Salah is a golden opportunity for forgiveness, and it is available every single day, and if you miss it then I feel sorry for you. You are bound to misbehave either early in the day or late in the day.
2) Your Salah is the best capital you have to offer on the Day of Judgment, so increase your investment: It is the best capital, you can invest in a lot of things but most important capital that you invest for the Hereafter is your Salah. Remember you will be stopped at stations in the Hereafter, and the very first one will be an investigation of your Salah log.
3) Salah is a unique form of creating a Muslim identity, carry your bade wherever you go: Today, the airport is a scary place to pray, but when you find someone prostrating in the corner while performing Salah you feel an immediate connection with them. Solution to problem of racism, foot by foot, shoulder to shoulder, people of different social status , all in line–no front seats, backseats, VIP. When someone is missing in the Masjed, you realize right away and go and check on them. You feel a bond with other Muslims. But if Muslims don’t come to the congregational prayer, you can’t tell what they are going through.
4) Salat was prescribed in the Heavens: it’s the divine link
The Prophet (saw) said: “The Prophet (saw) said: “Allaah, the Blessed and Exalted has said: ‘I have divided the prayer between Myself and My slave, into two halves, and My slave shall have what he has asked for.” When the slave says ‘Praise be to Allaah, Lord of the Worlds,’ Allaah says, ‘My slave has praised Me.’ When the slave says, ‘The Most Merciful, the Bestower of Mercy,’ Allaah says, ‘My slave has extolled me.’ When the slave says, ‘Master of the Day of Judgement,’ Allaah says, ‘My slave has glorified me.’ When the slave says, ‘It is You alone we worship and it is You alone we ask for help,’ Allaah says, ‘This is between Me and My slave, and My slave shall have what he asked for.’ When the slave says, ‘Guide us to the Straight Path, the path of those whom You have favoured, not the path of those who receive Your anger, nor of those who go astray,’ Allaah says, ‘All these are for My slave, and My slave shall have what he asked for.’ ” [Saheeh Muslim] Mentioned recitation of the fatiha, say it, Allah responds to you as you recite it. You have communication with Allah, you recognize his superiority over you, and you ask him for your deeds.
Oftentimes we talk to others about Salah, holding a whip to their back and frequent talk about the hellfire. So:
Target a friend or relative whom you love so much and fear for their akhirah
Talk to them about Salah
Do your best to help them value, and learn how to do their Salah.
Share the reward with them. You don’t want them to miss one Salah, do you?