Sunday, March 08, 2015

What prayer again?



The prayer

About three years ago, the idea came to me to write something about prayer. At the time, we wrote something but it does not seem adequate now.  Therefore, we are going to try again, in sha Allah.

Prayer is something lost in this time. Some Muslims do not pray and it is such a shame and a waste of life. Imagine the benefits that you attain from forsaking the world for a short space of time are innumerable. The benefits that you will attain from forsaking the world for a short time are immeasurable. How do we take advantage of these blessings? By exposing ourselves to the prayer in these times. Each prayer time has a significance and blessing.


Work

When you pray your provision will become easy; your work will become easy. You will find yourself much calmer and more composed. Even your work colleagues will notice the difference. One of fears that make us consider not praying is the fear of loss of provision. It is the exact opposites in fact you will find ease where there was difficulty.


Without prayer 

Your life has little meaning and your time is lost without benefit. Without the prayer that you have lost. Notice the times of the day in which you have 'natural' breaks; it is as if the prayer is calling you. Benefit from this time and pray.


Your prayer

Is a reminder for others without you realising. You will be praying one day and a Muslim who does not pray will see you and feel ashamed or reflect. Not that we want him to be ashamed with us but we want him to be ashamed before his Lord. One of the more common complaints that we receive from those who do not pray is that they see those who do pray commit sins. Though we cannot condone anyone's sins but the sins of others should not prevent you from good actions. Because so and so prays and you do not, does not allow you to look down on his sins. Similarly, the one who prays should not look down on those who do not pray. If you do then you are not both as bad as each other. So both of you need not to look down on those who pray and sin like those who do not pray and do not sin (other sins). 

Prayer should remove someone's sins and if they are praying and are still sinning. Then they are not praying correctly, there is a sin somewhere. Normally it is an internal disease of following the nafs or because of corruption in belief. Therefore, if someone is praying and sinning they are not praying properly with all its conditions on their wudu maybe be incomplete. Check your fiqh.


Motion

In each motion, there is stillness, in each motion there is meaning, in each meaning there is realisation. Go through all the meanings of the prayer and memorise them. Therefore, you know what you are saying if you can learn Arabic, it will bring life to the phrases and words you say. 


Do not know how

There are many people who do not know how to pray or have simply forgotten because, like everything, if you do not practice it you will lose it. Please see basic prayer guide click here. For a basic guide a simple guide to prayer of Al-Batool is worth getting. It does take time to learn to these things. Try to ask a scholar or friend you trust that is not harsh about any matters that confuse you. Attend congregational prayers where you can put into practice what you know. If you are not praying at all and want to start praying.  Then pick a prayer that you find easy and do that daily. Use that as a starting block which you keeping adding another prayer until you have all five. Do not try doing all five prayers at once because it will overcome you. Start with one prayer and build until you have your fard and wajib prayers in place then later add the Sunnah prayers. Do not be concerned if you have missed years of prayers because that will burden you to a degree that you will not pray. Maintain it for a month or then keep adding.

One of the strange things you will that non-Muslims are more accommodating to your prayer than Muslims.


Basics

The types of prayer are divided into four main sections according to the Hanafi school: Fard, Wajib, Sunna either affirmed or non-affirmed and nafl. Each one has slightly differences in terms of strength of its proof. Fard/obligatory cannot be missed, its non-performance is not accepted and sinful, if any of the five daily prayers are missed they have to be made up. 

Wajib/necessary evidence is lesser than the fard it cannot be missed and made up if missed like the witr prayer.

Sunna affirmed: these are constant actions of the Prophet (may Allah bestow peace and blessings upon him) rarely missed and deliberate non-performance is not accepted without excuse; although there disagreement here with other schools. E.g. 2 Sunnah before Fajr, 4 Sunnah before Zuhr.
Non-affirmed Sunnah: not sinful if left, one raises in rank if he performs it, he rarely done by the Prophet (may Allah bestow peace and blessings upon him).

Nafl: extra actions done by companions or successive generations. One cannot be condemned if left; it is praiseworthy to perform. 

The other schools break prayer into fard and Sunnah like the Maliki and Hanbali school; so check your school; if you do not then use this as a guide and study prayer with a local scholar until you know what validates and invalidates prayer. The common causes of invalidation are the clothes; this is a male problem in particular. When we bend over for ruku or bow down on the floor our pants are low rise and our shirts are not long enough. So our backs are exposed to the four winds! This is part of the awrah/nakedness of the prayer and if uncovered for a full pillar breaks the prayer or the length of saying subhanullah three times then the prayer is broken. 

Therefore, on Fridays I find one thing at Jummah. No drugs in the masjid but plenty of crack on display! One day I might bring some plaster and cover those cracks up. Just joking!
It is also not something you bring up with a brother. Bro, your crack was exposed when you were bowing which breaks your prayer. How did you know? Well, the whole row behind you saw it! Thanks, you put me off my lunch and now that horrible image is implanted in my mind. Stop it! Wear long shirts and cover your backs for goodness sake! If you want to be crack commando then do it where I cannot see you! Wear long shirts that are not see through. When you are in the masjid be careful of approaching anyone except a trusted friend about a mistake.

As it might cause more friction and it almost definitely means that the person will not return to the masjid. Do not argue or make the place of the masjid a fitna. Just get on with your prayer and only help if asked.


Missed

If you miss a prayer then make it up as soon as you realise. Of course praying in its time is better but praying outside the time means the obligation is fulfilled. Some people say you cannot pray now but you can but it does not contain the same benefits. The difference between praying on time and outside its time is the difference between eating lunch when it is warm and eating it after an hour or two. It might still be warm but its taste is not the same when it was warm.


Prayer

Pray dear reader and change your world. Your prayer benefits your house and the people around you. So do not want any longer put that nose on the ground and experience the pleasure of prayer and prostration. 

If you are already praying then try to intensify your worship and concentration in prayer. This can be done by memorising different surahs. Most of all realising your incapability as a servant.




Proof of the five prayers in the Quran from Munyah Al-Musali
by Imam Al-Kashghari


These are the proofs of the prayer from the Quran:

Asr Prayer

According to the opinion of Abdullah ibn Ma’sud (may Allah be pleased with him)
Guard your prayers and the middle prayer.”
(Surah Al-Baqarah 2.238)

Maghrib, Fajr, Isha and Zuhr

So glorify Allah when you enter the night and when you enter the morning, unto him be praise in the Heavens and the Earth, at evening and noon.”
(Surah Ar-Rum 30.17-18)

Ibn Abbas says that entering into the night is magrib, entering the morning is fajr, evening is Isha and noon is Zuhr)

Someone who does not pray is not a disbeliever

He (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “The difference between worship and disbelief, is leaving the prayer.” (Abu Dawud 361, Ibn Majah 1391 and Ahmed 21737.)

Ibn Abbas says disbelief here means ingratitude or rejecting blessing not actual disbelief.