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When Allah talks about `prayer` or `salat` does he mean `namaaz`?

Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,

As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.  (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)

 

 

One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:

Dear Brother Burhan,
ASAK.
When Allah talks about `prayer` or `salat` does he mean `namaaz`? When I am merely reciting the verses of the Quraan in prayers I do not seem to be much closer to Him than when I think of Him in my mother tongue. I feel like I am facing Him when I think of Him, when I look at the skies, when I look at the earth. This feeling is clearer of being closer to Him than when I am offering the ritual prayers. Am I wrong? Is `ibaadat`just `namaaz`? Please clarify. Jazakallah. 

 

(There may be some grammatical and spelling errors in the above statement. The forum does not change anything from questions, comments and statements received from our readers for circulation in confidentiality.)

 

Answer:

 

Is worship only prayers

In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol, no person, no grave, no prophet, no imam, no dai, nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.

 

Your Question: When Allah talks about `prayer` or `salat` does he mean `namaaz`?

Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 20 Surah Taha verse 14: "Verily I am Allah: there is no god but I: so worship thou Me (Alone) and establish regular salaat (prayer) for (or as a token of) My Remembrance.

 

Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 29 Surah Ankabut verse 45: Recite what is sent of the Book by inspiration to thee and establish salaat (regular prayer): for (salaat) prayer restrains from shameful and unjust deeds; and Remembrance of Allah is the Greatest (thing in life) without doubt. And Allah knows the (deeds) that ye do.

 

Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 4 Surah Nisaa verse 103: Indeed, the salaat (prayer) is a prescribed duty that should be performed at the appointed times by the believers.

 

Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 2 Surah Baqarah verses 45-46: Nay! Seek (Allah's) help with patient perseverance and salaat (prayer): it is indeed hard, except to those who bring a lowly spirit. Who bear in mind the certainty that they are to meet their Lord and that they are to return to Him.

 

Buraidah reported that the Prophet (saws) said, "The pact between us and them is salaat (prayer). Whoever abandons it is a disbeliever."

Related by Ahmad, Abu Dawud, at-Tirmidhi, anNasa'i and Ibn Majah.

 

Beloved brother, when Allah and His Messenger (saws) mention salaat, it indeed implies the namaaz or the ritual prayers as prayed and taught by the Messenger of Allah (saws).


 

Your Question: Is `ibaadat`just `namaaz`?

The salaat or prayers (like the Hajj, zakah, fasts) is a structured, required, ordained, and approved form and only a part of the vast-meaning term ibaadah, or worship of the Lord Most High. One can only imagine the vastness and expanse of the implications of ibaadah through this very important Verse of the Glorious Quran:

 

Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 51 Surah Dhariyaat verse 56: I (Allah) have only created Jinn and men (for the sole purpose) that they may do ibaadah to Me.

 

Thus the whole life of a believer, regardless of whether its personal, work, marriage, family, relations, friends, governance, eating, drinking, or sleeping, etc., as long as the objective and purpose of the deeds one does is to live within the declared boundaries of Allah would be an act of ibaadah or worship in the Sight of Allah Subhanah!

 

Suhaib ibn Sinan narrated that the Prophet (saws) said: "How remarkable is the case of the believer! There is good for him in everything, but this is not the case for anyone except for the believer. When the believer receives any good, he is thankful to Allah, and gets a reward. And when some misfortune befalls him, he endures it patiently, for which he is (also) rewarded."

 

Al-Tirmidhi Hadith 1911 Narrated by Abu Dharr

Allah's Messenger (saws) said, "When you smile in your brother's face, or enjoin what is good, or forbid what is evil, or direct someone who has lost his way, or help a man who has bad eyesight, or remove stones, thorns and bones from the road, or pour water from your bucket into your brother's, it counts to you as "sadaqah".

 

Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith 1.53 Narrated by Sad bin Abi Waqqas

Allah's Messenger (saws) said, "You will be rewarded for whatever you spend for Allah's sake, even if it were a morsel which you put in your wife's (or your familys) mouth."

 

In light of the guidance of the Messenger of Allah (saws), every act a believer does with the intention, objective and purpose to live within the declared boundaries of Allah will be considered for the Sake and Cause of Allah, and will be included in his list of good deeds as ibaadah or worship of Allah, The Most High.

 

Thus salaat (like the fasts, pilgrimage, zakah) is only a structured and ordained part of the vastness of ibaadah or worship of the Lord.

 

Allow us to relate a simple example to explain the relationship between the act of salaat in ibaadah: A soldier in an army may be required to fulfill any number of duties, but it is absolutely imperative and obligatory that every soldier respond to the call of the bugle and make himself available for a structured parade whenever the call is made to assemble.

 

Just as a soldier cannot say he will do everything required by the army but will not attend the assembly when an assembly is called; a believer cannot be a believer if he does everything but does not respond to the call of the obligatory salaats!

 

Your Statement: When I am merely reciting the verses of the Quraan in prayers I do not seem to be much closer to Him than when I think of Him in my mother tongue. I feel like I am facing Him when I think of Him, when I look at the skies, when I look at the earth. This feeling is clearer of being closer to Him than when I am offering the ritual prayers.

What you have related is indeed true for a lot of people who do not understand what exactly is being recited in ones salaat or prayers, thus the feeling of proximity and humility one should experience in the prescribed prayers is not experienced.

 

Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 3 Surah Ale-Imraan verses 190-195:

190 Behold! In the creation of the heavens and the earth and the alternation of night and day there are indeed Signs for men of understanding.

191 Men who celebrate the praises of Allah, standing, sitting, and lying down on their sides, and contemplate the (wonders of) creation in the heavens and the earth (with the thought): "Our Lord! Not for naught hast Thou created (all) this! Glory to thee! Give us salvation from the penalty of the fire.

192 O Our Lord! Any whom Thou dost admit to the fire truly Thou coverest with shame, and never will wrong-doers find any helpers!

193 O Our Lord! We have heard the call of one calling (us) to faith `Believe ye in the Lord' and we have believed. O Our Lord! Forgive us our sins, blot out from us our iniquities, and take to Thyself our souls in the company of the righteous.

194 O Our Lord! Grant us what Thou didst promise unto us through thine Messengers, and save us from shame on the Day of Judgment: for Thou never breakest Thy promise."

195 And their Lord hath accepted of them and answered them: "Never will I suffer to be lost the work of any of you be he male or female: ye are members one of another; those who have left their homes, or been driven out therefrom, or suffered harm in My Cause, or fought or been slain; verily I will blot out from them their iniquities and admit them into Gardens with rivers flowing beneath; a reward from the presence of Allah and from His presence is the best of rewards."

 

The true believers are indeed those who contemplate and ponder over the fantastic creations of the Lord Creator all around them, and remember, praise and glorify their Lord standing, sitting, and lying down; and in absolute awe, fear, humility and hope beseech and implore their Majestic and Supreme Lord to have Mercy on them, forgive them their shortcomings, and save them from the torment of that Inevitable and Tumultuous Day of Judgment!

 

One cannot truly contemplate and ponder over the creations of the Lord Most High without fulfilling the required and structured form of worship (prayer, fasts, pilgrimage, zakah); nor can one only truly perform and honor the structured forms of worship without contemplating and pondering over the creations of the Lord Most Majestic! This constant Remembrance of the Majesty of the Lord at all times, standing, sitting, and lying down, is intricately linked to the performance of ones obligatory and structured forms of worship (salaat, fasts, Hajj, and zakah); and one cannot be truly fulfilled without fulfilling the other! One cannot truly claim to remember Allah if he does guard his salaat; and one cannot truly guard his salaat if he does not constantly Remember Allah!

 

Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 20 Surah Taha verse 14: "Verily I am Allah: there is no god but I: so worship thou Me (Alone) and establish regular salaat (prayer) for (or as a token of) My Remembrance.

 

If one trusts, obeys, and follows the guidance and commands of Allah and His Messenger (saws), one can be assured of never ever being misled; but if one believes, obeys and follows any other guidance, other than that of Allah and His Messenger (saws), one can be assured of being led astray.

 

Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allahs Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me alone. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.

 

Your Brother in Islam,

 

 

Burhan

 


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