The Divine Link, Part 1, Author: Issa Abbasi


The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) advised five days before his death “As Salah, as salah”, translated as “I advise you in regards to your salah (prayers).  When people say “pray for me”, they don’t know that Islam has two forms of prayer; salah (the five mandatory prayers and the like) and du’a (supplication).  For this entry, prayer is strictly in reference to salah.

If someone mentions something before they die, chances are it’s something from their heart and it is meant to be important.  But if this was the case with our Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), then why are so many Muslims not heeding his message to pray?  Does it take too long to prepare for the 5 daily prayers through ablution and then to pray for 5-7 minutes per prayer?  Are they embarrassed to pray? There are so many excuses and I can’t honestly say that I know them all, but these are what I have heard.  Regardless of the excuse, we really have no excuse not to pray.  This will be the first post in a short series about one of the most important pillars in Islam and for this week will discuss the prayer and its importance.

The Divine Link

Have you heard of people saying they talk to God? You must think they are crazy right? Well, for Muslims, we actually do speak to God and God does speak to us.  When we offer our prayer (salah), we speak to Allah and when we read the Qur’an, He is speaking to us.  Being that salah is the vehicle that allows us to talk to Allah, it is literally the divine link we have to Him.  When we are in prostration during our salah, we are the closest to Allah.  There is a saying posted in my house that he who bows to Allah can stand up to anything.  Yes, anything. Whenever our Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h.) would become afflicted with a sickness, sadness or calamity, it was narrated by Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) that the Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h.) would rush to the salah.  Why? He wanted the divine link with his Lord. And don’t think that salah is just for Muslims either.  Salah was around during the time of even the Prophet Eesa’s (Jesus) time as well and it was in the Bible!

“And he (Jesus) went a little farther, and fell on his face and prayed, saying…” [Matthew, 26:39]

“And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were so afraid.” [Matthew, 17:6]

Importance

Given the background of the salah and five daily prayers, why is it so important?

Firstly, salah is what establishes the difference between Islam and its followers (Muslims) from other religions.  Find another religion that prays as much as Muslims do on daily basis.  I’ll help you right now by saying you won’t, so save your time for other research.  In fact, when the Prophet Mousa (the Prophet with the stick that Allah turned to a serpent momentarily, yeah, him) spoke to Allah (yes, the Prophet who got to speak to Allah directly), the first commandment Allah gave him was to pray. When the Prophet Musa (a.s) was lost in the valley of Madyan, wandering him and his wife in the middle of the night, cold and dark, he saw a light in the mountain, he thought it was a fire so he told his wife, “Let me go to this fire and perhaps get a brand with which we can see the way and warm ourselves”. He climbed the mountain and lo and behold, it was not a fire of men but it is the light of Allah speaking with him directly and said to Mousa:

“I Am Allah, there is not deity worthy of worship except me so worship me and establish the salah to remember me. (20:14)”

So the first meeting with Allah, the rules are laid out as Sheikh Yasir Qadhi explained.  The transliteration of the end of the verse is “Fa’budni” or “worship ME and establish the prayer.” 

So I ask us all, who are we to deny our Lord his right to be worshipped in salah? The same salah that is so important that scholars have disagreed about the status of a Muslim who neglects it.  Some scholars say neglecting the salah takes you out of the fold of Islam and others say you are still Muslim, but are a fasiq (disobedient).

Evidences of both opinions:

Opinions of Imams Abu Hanifah, Malik and Shafi’ee:

Ubadah ibn -us-Samit narrated, the Messenger of Allah said: “Allah has obligated five prayers. Whoever excellently performs their ablutions, prays them in their proper times, completes their bows, prostrations and khushu [attuning the heart to the prayer] 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.” [Malik and Ahmad]

Opinions of Imam Ahmad

Buraydah ibn al-Husayb (r.a.) said: “I heard the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) say: ‘The covenant that distinguishes between us and them is the Prayer, and whoever neglects it has disbelieved.’” [Musnad Imam Ahmad, Sunan Abi Dawood, Sunan al-Tirmidhi, Sunan al-Nisaa’i and Sunan Ibn Majah]

But to close, there is something to Muslims praying five times a day that benefits them.

Ubadah ibn -us-Samit narrated, the Messenger of Allah said: “Allah has obligated five prayers. Whoever excellently performs their ablutions, prays them in their proper times, completes their bows, prostrations and khushu [attuning the heart to the prayer] 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.” [Malik and Ahmad]

Finally, I would like to end by reminding us all what happens when we pray.  When we pray, we stand in front of Allah, the Lord of the Universe.  Yes, we stand right in front of Him and this is our divine link, our divine connection to Him.  The more focus you have, the more reward for you because only a percent of your salah when you finish is recorded for you by the angels.  The percent can be anything from 1 to 100.  In the future, there will be more posts on this topic and how to achieve this tranquility (kushoo’) in your salah and more in general about the topic of salah.  For now, establish your salah regularly if you do not and keep working on it because the shaytan is out to rob you of your salah as much as he can.

Sources: http://muslimmatters.org/2009/02/27/transcript-of-khutbah-on-salah-by-yasir-qadhi/

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~ by Yousaf on March 5, 2010.

3 Responses to “The Divine Link, Part 1, Author: Issa Abbasi”

  1. ballers

  2. If only more than 58 people would read about this!

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