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SALAH– THE SECOND PILLAR OF ISLAM


Salah is the second of the 5 Pillars of Islam. In Islam, Salah is a compulsory act, must be performed five times a day. Salah is intended to focus the mind on Allah(Glory be to Him), and is seen as a personal communication with him that expresses gratitude and worship. Salah is a compulsory  act. Salah is among the greatest foundations of Islam, the highest among the actions of Eeman, the shortest way to Allah. The prayers are recited in the Arabic language, and consist of ayah from the Qur'an. It is the sought after shelter of the repentant, the safe place for the frightened, the best asset of the hard-working and tranquility for the worshippers’ hearts.

 

Table of Contents

       

Linguistic meaning

Salah is the name given to the formal prayer in Islam. Salah is one of the obligatory rights of the religion, to be performed five times a day by Muslims. As-Salah in the Arabic language it means du’aa’ (Invocation).

 

Islamic meaning

 Islamically it means to worship Allaah through certain known and prescribed sayings and actions starting with Takbeer (saying Allaahu Akbar Allaah is the Greater), and ending with Tasleem (saying: as-salaamu ‘alaykumwaRahmatul-lahi wabarakaatuh may Allaah’s Peace, Mercy, and Blessings be upon you).

 

Nine meanings of Salah

1.      Next after the first i.e., Second in position – used by Arab poets with this meaning.

 

2.      Darood E Ibraheem ( Sahih Al Bhukari vol 6:320 - 322)

 

3.      Invocation (Qur’an 9:103)

 

4.      To make something enter to in a fire of blazing flame ( Qur’an 111:3)

 

5.      Allah’s special blessing (Qur’an 33:56)

 

6.      Monastries (Qur’an 22:40)

 

7.      Highly honoured praise and seeking Allah to confer His special blessings (Qur’an 33:56)

 

8.      Movement of Gastro-Solius i.e., action or motion of the lower part of the body.

 

9.      Ibadat and Salah as taught by Prophet Muhammad ()

 

Caution for munkireen hadith

If any person reads Quran Surah Baqrah 2:43 -  أَقِيمُوا الصَّلَاةَ(Aqeem- us –Salah) and Out of the above nine meanings if someone takes a dictionary meaning of Salah by leaving the ahadith as“To make something enter into a fire of blazing flame” (سَيَصْلَىٰ نَارًا ذَاتَ لَهَبٍ Quran Suarh Lahab 111:3) or “to move the lower part of the body” then that person will be deviant if he didn’t understand the way Prophet explained about Salah in the hadith : Muhammad [Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam] said, “ Sallu Kama Ra Aytu muni Usalli,” meaning: Perform Sala’h as you have seen me doing so. Sahih Bukhari: Vol1: 604.

 

Therefore Qur’an is to be understood by Prophet Muahmmad(S) way i.e., by ahdaith if someone understand Islam by just Qur’an as per dictionary meaning and understanding without Prophet Muhammd’s(S) way then definitely He / she will be deviated.

 

Qur’aan

Recite, [O Muhammad], what has been revealed to you of the Book and establish prayer. Indeed, prayer prohibits immorality and wrongdoing, and the remembrance of Allah is greater. And Allah knows that which you do. Qur’an.surahAnkabut 29:45

 

Prayer is supposed to prevent the believer from committing sins by developing and fostering an increased sense of God consciousness. Specifically, if a believer performs prayer properly, he or she will be discouraged from committing a sin because they will think about the prayer they have just performed and the next prayer they will perform.

 

The only ayath which gives an indication of five times salah is mentioned in Qur’an. So be patient over what they say and exalt [ Allah ] with praise of your Lord before the rising of the sun and before its setting; and during periods of the night [exalt Him] and at the ends of the day, that you may be satisfied.Qur’an.SurahTaha 20:130.

 

Hadith

“The five daily prayers and the Friday Prayer until the Friday prayer are expiation for what is between them.” Sahih Muslim 233 

 

Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) has stated: Verily between man and between polytheism and unbelief is the negligence of prayer. Sahih Muslim 82; Sunan Ibn Majah Vol. 2, Book 5, Hadith 1078

 

The Importance of Prayer

‘Salah is among the greatest foundations of Islam, the highest among the actions of Eeman, the shortest way to Allah. Salah differentiates between a Muslim and a Non-Muslim. It is the sought after shelter of the repentant, the safe place for the frightened, the best asset of the hard-working and tranquility for the worshippers’ hearts.


Its light rubs away the rust accumulating on the hearts, its secrets penetrate into the depth of the hearts, and its signposts guide to the loftiest of goals and aspirations.


Salah is the Ultimate Form of Worship

Among all act of worship and nearness to Him, Allah favoured the prayer and designed it in the most perfect and complete manner. It constitutes glorification of Allah by engaging all different limbs, the tongue through speech, hand and foot moves, the head and all senses it hosts, and the whole body.

Each limb takes its share of the fruits this great act of worship has to offer, even the inner senses. And most importantly, the heart fulfills its share of worship to its utmost in the prayer.

The Salah constitutes praise, glorification, tasbeeh and takbeer as well as the declaration of the truth. It consists of standing with humility and servitude before the Lord and Creator, feeling His care, attention and providence. It embodies humility before Allah and seeking His nearness by beseeching Him using His own words.

Then bowing in humbleness, submissiveness and acknowledgement of one’s need for Him.Thus he places the most dignified part of his body (his face) on the ground in submission and need of his Lord, in acknowledgement of His Greatness and Power; the heart is humbled, the body is submissive, the senses are attentive! MiftaahDaar as-Sa’aadah (2/230-231) by Ibn al-Qayyim.

 

A gift from Allah

The Prayer is Allah’s mercy to His believing slaves. He guided them to it, acquainted them with it, and gifted it to them through His truthful and honest Messenger (PBUH) as a means to attaining His mercy and privilege.

 

His purpose behind the Prayer is to qualify them to deserve the dignity and honour He prepared for them, and to help them win a position of nearness to Him. Not out of need for them, but absolute generosity from Him.

 

Through the Prayer, Allah guided the believers to manifest their servitude through their hearts and limbs. The heart that knows more about Allah will get the maximum benefit from it. It will be more keen to get nearer to Allah and turn completely to Him; it will feel pleasure and happiness in that state; it will enjoy His love. The reality of it being: entering in a state of standing before Allah, beautifying oneself in preparation for that moment. This serves as a constant reminder of the grand standing before Allah on the Day of Meeting.

 

Timings of five obligatory prayers

The five daily prayers are obligatory (Farz) on every Muslim (Both Male and Female). We cannot just abandon the Islamic prayers. The Salah are part of our identity as Muslims.

·        Between first light and sunrise.

 

·        After the sun has passed the middle of the sky.

 

·        Between mid-afternoon and sunset.

 

·        Between sunset and the last light of the day.

 

·        Between darkness and midnight.

 

General Guidelines

1- learn direction of Qiblah  & times of prayer in your location (contact closest Sunni Mosque)


2- Learn the movements and shorter sentences. Practice what is to be said in prayers.


3- Work to learn the Recitation of the Opening Chapter in the Qur'an (the Faatiha).

 

The Merits of As-Salah

1- Prevents from Al-Fahshaa’ (great sins of every kind, unlawful sexual intercourse, etc.) and Al-Munkar (disbelief, polytheism, and every kind of evil wicked deed, etc.). [see Q:29/45].


2- The best of deeds after the Testimony of Faith (laailaahaillal-laah, Muhammad rasoulul-laah). [hadeeth ‘AbdullaahibnMas’oud (radiyallaahu 'anhu) in Bukhari (v.9; 625) & Muslim]. 


3- Washes out sins. [hadeeth of Jaabir (radiyallaahu 'anhu) in Muslim (v1;1410)]. 


4- Expiates sins. [hadeeth of Abu Hurairah (radiyallaahu 'anhu) in Muslim (v1;450)]. 


5- A light for its adherent in this Life and in the Hereafter. [hadeeth of Ibn ‘Umar (radiyallaahu 'anhuma) in Musnad Ahmad (v2;169) with good chain of narration].


6- Raises in rank and removes sins. [hadeeth of Thawbaan (radiyallaahu 'anhu) in Muslim (v.1; 989)]. 


7- One of the greatest causes to enter Paradise with the company of the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alayhiwasallam). [hadeeth of Rabee’ah al-Aslami (radiyallaahu 'anhu) in Muslim (v1; 990)].


8- Between each performance of salaat and the next performance, sins are pardoned [hadeeth ‘Uthmaan (radiyallaahu 'anhu) in Muslim (v1;438)]. 


9- The angels will ask Allaah for Blessings and Forgiveness upon the adherent in his place of prayers. [hadeeth Abu Hurairah (radiyallaahu 'anhu) in Bukhari (v.3; 330) and in Muslim].


10- Waiting for the next prayer after observing a prayer is Ribaat(keeping oneself adhering and firm on acts of obedience).[hadeeth Abu Hurairah (radiyallaahu 'anhu) in Muslim (251)].

 

11- The one who goes to the Mosque to perform the prayer is in prayer until he returns. [hadeeth Abu Hurairah radiyallaahu 'anhu) in "saheeh" ibnKhuzaimah; authenticated by Al-Albani].

 

References

From the Book of Salah (Prayers)Step by Step by SalehAs-Saleh


http://understand-islam.net/salat/05.html

http://alhameedy.wordpress.com

 

See Also: 5 Pillars of Islam; Aqidah; Tawheed; LAA ILAHA ILLALLAH;

 

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