An article taken from one of my favorite fan pages on Facebook called: Manners in Islam. The link is below! Happy reading!
“Prayer is the soul of religion. Where there is no prayer, there can be no purification of the soul. The non-praying man is rightly considered to be a soulless man. Take prayer out of the world, and it is all over with religion because it is with prayer that man has the consciousness of God and selfless love for humanity and inner sense of piety. Prayer is, therefore, the first, the highest, and the most solemn phenomenon and manifestation of religion.” (Excerpt from Sahih Muslim: The Book of Prayers (Kitab Al-Salat) – Introduction)
Background of the Five Daily Prayers with Reward of Fifty!
The Prophet [S.A.W.] said, “Then Allah enjoined fifty prayers on my followers when I returned with this order of Allah, I passed by Moses who asked me, ‘What has Allah enjoined on your followers?’ I replied, ‘He has enjoined fifty prayers on them.’ Moses said, ‘Go back to your Lord (and appeal for reduction) for your followers will not be able to bear it.’ (So I went back to Allah and requested for reduction) and He reduced it to half. When I passed by Moses again and informed him about it, he said, ‘Go back to your Lord as your followers will not be able to bear it.’ So I returned to Allah and requested for further reduction and half of it was reduced. I again passed by Moses and he said to me: ‘Return to your Lord, for your followers will not be able to bear it. So I returned to Allah and He said, ‘These are five prayers and they are all (equal to) fifty (in reward) for My Word does not change.’ I returned to Moses and he told me to go back once again. I replied, ‘Now I feel shy of asking my Lord again.’ (Bukhari V1.B8#345)
When We Pray, We are Actually Speaking in Private with Allah (SWT)!
“Whenever anyone of you stands for the prayer, he is speaking in private to his Lord or his Lord is between him and his Qibla.”(Bukhari V1.B8#399)
The Mention of the Five Daily Prayers in the Qur’an:
“So glorify Allâh [above all that (evil) they associate with Him (O believers)], when you come up to the evening [i.e. offer the (Maghrib) sunset and (‘Ishâ’) night prayers], and when you enter the morning [i.e offer the (Fajr) morning prayer]. (17) And His are all the praises and thanks in the heavens and the earth, and (glorify Him) in the afternoon (i.e. offer ‘Asr prayer) and when you come up to the time, when the day begins to decline (i.e offer Zuhr prayer). (Ibn ‘Abbâs said: “These are the five compulsory congregational prayers mentioned in the Qur’ân).” (Tafsir At-Tabari) (18)” (The Qur’an: 30.17-18)
On Judgment Day, the First Questioning will be about Prayer!
“The first thing about which the people will be called to account out of their actions on the Day of Judgment is prayer. Our Lord, the Exalted, will say to the angels – though He knows better: Look into the prayer of My servant and see whether he has offered it perfectly or imperfectly. If it is perfect, that will be recorded perfect.
If it is defective, He will say: See there are some optional prayers offered by My servant. If there are optional prayer to his credit, He will say: Compensate the obligatory prayer by the optional prayer for My servant. Then all the actions will be considered similarly.” (Abu Dawud Book 3, Number 0863)
You MUST Pray – No Excuses!
“And if you fear (an enemy), perfrom Salât (pray) on foot or riding. And when you are in safety, offer the Salât (prayer) in the manner He has taught you, which you knew not (before).” (The Qur’an 2:239)
The Prophet [S.A.W.] said, “Pray while standing and if you can’t, pray while sitting and if you cannot do even that, then pray lying on your side.” (Bukhari V2.Book20#218)
Chances of Being Forgiven for Past Sins:
Allah’s Apostle [S.A.W.] said, “Say Amen’ when the Imam says “Ghair-il-maghdubi ‘alaihim wala-ddal-lin; not the path of those who earn Your Anger (such as Jews) nor of those who go astray (such as Christians); all the past sins of the person whose saying (of Amin) coincides with that of the angels, will be forgiven.”(Bukhari V1.B12#749)
Allah’s Apostle [S.A.W.] said, “When the Imam says, “Sami’ a-l-lahu Liman hamida,” you should say, “Allahumma Rabbana laka-l-hamd.” And if the saying of any one of you coincides with that of the angels, all his past sins will be forgiven.”(Bukhari V1.B12#762)
How We should Pray – At Ease and Not in a Hurry:
The Prophet said, “When you stand for Prayer say Takbir and then recite from the Holy Qur’an (of what you know by heart) and then bow till you feel at ease. Then raise your head and stand up straight, then prostrate till you feel at ease during your prostration, then sit with calmness till you feel at ease (do not hurry) and do the same in all your prayers.”(Bukhari V1.B12#724)
The bowing, the prostration the sitting in between the two prostrations and the standing after the bowing of the Prophet [S.A.W.] but not Qiyam (standing in the prayer) and Qu’ud (sitting in the prayer) used to be approximately equal (in duration).(Bukhari V1.B12#758)
Hudhaifa [R.A.] saw a person who was not performing the bowing and prostrations perfectly. He said to him, “You have not prayed and if you should die you would die on a religion other than that of Muhammad.” (Bukhari V1.B12#757)
The Prophet [S.A.W.] was ordered (by Allah) to prostrate on seven parts and not to tuck up the clothes or hair (while praying). Those parts are: the forehead (along with the tip of nose), both hands, both knees, and (toes of) both feet. (Bukhari V1.B12#773)
Narrated Malik bin Huwairith Al-Laithi [R.A.]: I saw the Prophet [S.A.W.] praying and in the odd Rakat, he used to sit for a moment before getting up. (Bukhari V1.B12#786)
“The Prophet [S.A.W.] in Zuhr prayers used to recite Al-Fatiha along with two other Suras in the first two Rakat: a long one in the first Rak’a and a shorter (Sura) in the second, and at times the verses were audible. In the ‘Asr prayer the Prophet used to recite Al-Fatiha and two more Suras in the first two Rakat and used to prolong the first Rak’a. And he used to prolong the first Rak’a of the Fajr prayer and shorten the second.” (Bukhari V1.B12#726)
Dhikr After the Prayer:
Narrated Abu Huraira [R.A.]:Some poor people came to the Prophet [S.A.W.] and said, “The wealthy people will get higher grades and will have permanent enjoyment and they pray like us and fast as we do. They have more money by which they perform the Hajj, and ‘Umra; fight and struggle in Allah’s Cause and give in charity.” The Prophet said, “Shall I not tell you a thing upon which if you acted you would catch up with those who have surpassed you? Nobody would overtake you and you would be better than the people amongst whom you live except those who would do the same. Say “Sub-han-al-lah”, “Alhamdu-lillah” and “Allahu Akbar” thirty three times each after every (compulsory) prayer.” We differed and some of us said that we should say, “Subhan-al-lah” thirty three times and “Alhamdu lillah” thirty three times and “Allahu Akbar” thirty four times. I went to the Prophet who said, “Say, “Subhan-al-lah” and “Alhamdu lillah” and “Allahu Akbar” all together for thirty three times.” (Bukhari V1.Book12#804)
The Prophet [S.A.W.] said: “Whoever recites Ayat Al-Kursi immediately after each prescribed Prayer, there will be nothing standing between him and his entering Paradise except death.” (Reported by An-Nasa’i and Ibn Hibban.)
Though there are numerous Ayah and Hadith related to Prayer, here are just a few:
The Prophet [S.A.W.] said, “The prayer offered in congregation is twenty five times more superior (in reward) to the prayer offered alone in one’s house or in a business center, because if one performs ablution and does it perfectly, and then proceeds to the mosque with the sole intention of praying, then for each step which he takes towards the mosque, Allah upgrades him a degree in reward and (forgives) crosses out one sin till he enters the mosque. When he enters the mosque he is considered in prayer as long as he is waiting for the prayer and the angels keep on asking for Allah’s forgiveness for him and they keep on saying: ‘O Allah! Be Merciful to him, O Allah! Forgive him, as long as he keeps on sitting at his praying place and does not pass wind.” (Bukhari V1.B8#466)
Rasulullah [S.A.W.] said “The covenant between us and them is prayer, so if anyone abandons it he has become a disbeliever.” (Agreed upon by Ahmad, Tirmidhee and Nasaa’ee to be authentic)
Rasulullah [S.A.W.] said: The similitude of five prayers is like an overflowing river passing by the gate of one of you in which he washes five times daily – No filthiness can remain on him. (Muslim Book4#1411)
Narrated ‘Aisha [R.A.]: I asked Allah’s Apostle [S.A.W.] about looking hither and thither in prayer. He [S.A.W.] replied, “It is a way of stealing by which Satan takes away (a portion) from the prayer of a person.” (Bukhari V1.B12#718)
Allah’s Apostle [S.A.W.] said, “Whoever does not recite Al-Fatiha in his prayer, his prayer is invalid.”(Bukhari V1.B12#723)
“If the people knew the Reward for the Zuhr prayer in its early time, they would race for it. If they knew the reward for the ‘Isha’ and the Fajr prayers in congregation, they would join them even if they had to crawl. If they knew the reward for the first row, they would draw lots for it.” (Bukhari V1.Book11#688)
“Guard strictly (five obligatory) As¬Salawât (the prayers) especially the middle Salât (i.e. the best prayer ¬ ‘Asr). And stand before Allâh with obedience [and do not speak to others during the Salât (prayers)].” (The Qur’an: 2.238)
The Prophet said [S.A.W.], ‘Whoever leaves the ‘Asr prayer will have all his (good) deeds annulled.” (Bukhari V1.Book10#568)
“Successful indeed are the believers. (1) Those who offer their Salât (prayers) with all solemnity and full submissiveness. (2)……And those who strictly guard their (five compulsory congregational) Salawât (prayers) (at their fixed stated hours). (9) These are indeed the inheritors. (10) Who shall inherit the Firdaus (Paradise). They shall dwell therein forever. (11)” (The Qur’an 23:1-2,9-11)
Let’s all purify our souls by offering the five daily prayers at their prescribed times with perfect wudu and Insha’Allah inherit Jannatul Firdaus!
and Allâh (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) knows best.