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:
Hello, I have a problem regarding my prayers. intially i used to pray (may be properly) but as time went by I started performing and reciting faster. All of a sudden i have realised that I stammer and fumble and may be miss out a couple of words or error in my recitation while praying even for ablutions. Is this a sin as I`m not rectifying my mistakes? - knowingly and unknowingly.
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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.
Beloved brother, when one offers prayer, he must realize that he is in audience with The All-Mighty Lord; and when one brings himself to feel that awesome awe, he will automatically pray with humility and sincerity.
Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith 6.300 Narrated by Abu Huraira
One day while Allah's Apostle was sitting with the people, a Hadrat Jibrael came in the form of a man and said, "O Messenger of Allah, what is Ihssan (i.e. perfection or benevolence)?" The Prophet (saws) replied, "Ihsan is to worship Allah as if you see Him; and if you do not achieve this state of devotion, then (take it for granted that) Allah sees you."
Praying slowly and carefully will constitute that the person is offering his prayers with humility and sincerity in audience with his Majestic Lord; while praying fast might be a sign of simply relieving oneself of a burdensome duty.
Allah Subhanah has praised the believers who offer their prayers with humility and absolute sincerity (khushu) in the Glorious Quran:
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 23 Surah Muminoon verses 1-11:
1 The Believers must (eventually) win through
2 Those who humble themselves in their prayers;
3 Who avoid vain talk;
4 Who are active in deeds of charity;
5 Who abstain from sex
6 Except with those joined to them in the marriage bond or (the captives) whom their right hands possess for (in their case) they are free from blame,
7 But those whose desires exceed those limits are transgressors.
8 Those who faithfully observe their trust and their covenants;
9 And who (strictly) guard their prayers:
10 Those will be the heirs
11 Who will inherit Paradise: they will dwell therein (forever).
The Messenger of Allah (saws) saw a person praying fast, and commanded him to offer his prayers again!
Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith 8.268 Narrated by Abu Huraira
A man entered the mosque while the Messenger of Allah (saws) was sitting in one side of the mosque. The man prayed, came, and greeted the Prophet (saws). The Prophet (saws) said to him, "Wa 'Alaikas Salam (returned his greeting). Go back and pray again as you have not prayed (properly)." The man returned, repeated his prayer, came back and greeted the Prophet (saws) . The Prophet (saws) said, "Wa alaika-s-Salam (returned his greeting). Go back and pray again as you have not prayed (properly)." The man said at the second or third time, "O Messenger of Allah! Kindly teach me how to pray." The Prophet (saws) said, "When you stand for prayer, perform ablution properly, and then face the Qibla and say Takbir (Allahu-Akbar), and then recite what you know from the Qur'an, and then bow with calmness till you feel at ease then rise from bowing, till you stand straight, and then prostrate calmly (and remain in prostration) till you feel at ease, and then raise (your head) and sit with calmness till you feel at ease and then prostrate with calmness (and remain in prostration) till you feel at ease, and then raise (your head) and sit with calmness till you feel at ease in the sitting position, and do likewise in whole of your prayer."
One of the best ways to make sure that one worships Allah Subhanah with the awe, humility, and sincerity due to Him, is to understand what one is praying. And if the believer can bring himself to the state and realize that he is in audience with His Majestic Lord, and believe sincerely that His Lord is watching him; he will definitely be able to offer his prayers calmly and with Ihsaan.
Your Question: Is this a sin as I`m not rectifying my mistakes? - knowingly and unknowingly.
If one knows that he is making a mistake in his prayers, he must rectify it. The most that can be said is that the person is not availing his full reward for offering his prayers.
But if one takes literally what the Messenger of Allah (saws) said to the person who was praying improperly, Go back and pray again as you have not prayed (properly)", then not praying would definitely be construed as a major sin.
Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allahs Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.
Your Brother in Islam,