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Who designed prayer format.

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:

could you please explain the reason and meaning behind our prayer?
Why do we Stand, go in Ruku, do Sajda, and then Salaam both sides?
who and how was this designed and from when?

 

(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:

 

Who designed prayer format

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 none 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: could you please explain the reason and meaning behind our prayer?

There are five major reasons or significance of the appointed conical prayers in Islam:

  1. It is an act which exhorts constant Remembrance of Allah Subhanah
  2. It exhorts a sense of absolute obedience and duty towards our Lord.
  3. It develops God-consciousness and piety
  4. It develops our knowledge of His Laws and Commandments when we recite the Holy Quran in prayer
  5. The congregational prayers generates and consolidates the social cohesiveness of the Believing Ummah.

 

Significance 1: It is an act which exhorts constant Remembrance of Allah Subhanah

To cultivate and constantly keep alive the awareness that we are Allahs slaves is not an easy task, because the Shaytaan is constantly trying to take us away from Allahs Remembrance and make us busy in pursuing the temptations of this world. Prayer is the act that will allow us to mitigate these temptations of Shaytaan and constantly link us back to our Lord.

 

Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 2 Surah Baqarah verses 45-46:

45 Nay! Seek (Allah's) help with patient perseverance and Prayer: it is indeed hard, except to those who bring a lowly spirit.

46 Who bear in mind the certainty that they are to meet their Lord and that they are to return to Him.

 

When we get up in the morning, the Fajr prayer reminds us first thing in the morning that we are slaves to our Lord. When we are busy in our work and searching for livelihood in the day, the Dhuhr and Asr prayers create our link back to our Lord. When we return home at sunset, the Magrib prayers remind us of our duty to our Lord, and when we are about to go to sleep, the Isha prayers do the same. Thus it is the act of prayer that, regardless of what we do all day and all night, reminds us and links us back to our Lord and Creator five times a day, every day of our lives.

 

Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 20 Surah Taha verse 14:

14 "Verily I am Allah: there is no god but I: so worship thou Me (only) and establish regular prayer for My Remembrance.

 

Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 29 Surah Ankabut verse 45:

45 Recite what is sent of the Book by inspiration to thee and establish Regular Prayer: for 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.

 

Significance 2: It exhorts a sense of absolute obedience and duty towards our Lord.

Those who have served in the army or police know how they were made to understand the significance of obedience and duty. A bugle is blown several times during the day and night, and parades are held at extremely short notice. The purpose of this exercise is to train the soldiers to respond and carry out orders in absolute obedience. This routine also distinguishes the obedient from the disobedient. Neither can the soldier say that he is unwilling to attend the assembly and parade, nor can a soldier say that he has developed his own routine to exercise, nor is the soldier allowed to challenge his commanding officers regarding the benefit of assembling everybody everyday at odd hours, if he truly wants to remain in the army! A soldier who does not attend the daily assembly and parade, cannot be expected to be available when attacked by enemy forces! The ones who, without an absolutely valid reason regularly miss the assembly, will soon be thrown out of the army or police force! This assembly and parade of the soldiers at the blowing of the bugle in the army is to determine one thing and one thing only: the sense of absolute obedience and duty of the soldiers towards the call of their commanding officer!


 

Similarly, the Prayers summon the believers five times a day to assemble in the House of Allah. On hearing the call to prayer, it is the duty of each and every one of Allahs true soldiers to drop whatever they might be doing, and immediately assemble to offer their prayers as an absolute act of obedience, and prove with their actions that they are ever ready to respond to the call of their Lord whenever they are called.

 

Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 9 Surah Taubah verse 111:

111 Allah hath purchased of the believers their lives and their property; for theirs (in return) is the Garden (of Paradise): they fight in His Cause, and slay and are slain: a promise binding on Him in Truth through the Law, the Gospel, and the Qur'an: and who is more faithful to his covenant than Allah? Then rejoice in the bargain which ye have concluded: that is the Achievement Supreme.

 

As believers who have submitted their will to the Will of their Lord Creator, they have made a solemn covenant with their Lord that they have willingly sold their lives and their property in return for the Gardens of Paradise. The believer who hears the call of prayer and does not respond to the assembly to pray is either unaware of his solemn covenant with his Lord, or is too lazy to willingly respond to the call of his Lord, or maybe even in complete denial of the covenant he has made! How can one who cannot even assemble when called, be expected to fulfill his covenant made and willingly sacrifice his life and his property in the Cause of Allah Subhanah when the need arises? Just as the soldier in the army who does not respond to the assembly and parade when the bugle is blown proves he is unfit to remain in the army, the believer who does not respond to the call of his Lord to assemble five times a day to fulfill his part of the bargain, proves by his actions that he is unfit to remain in the Army or Party of Allah Subhanah! That is precisely why the Messenger of Allah (saws) declared that the difference between belief and disbelief is the act of prayer!

 

Jabir reports that the Prophet (saws) said, "Between a person and disbelief is the discarding of prayer."

Related by Ahmad, Muslim, Abu Dawud, at-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah.

 

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

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

 

Significance 3: It develops God-consciousness and piety

Five times a day, every day of his adult life, the believer is reminded about his covenant he made with his Creator. From the time he gets up to the time he goes back to bed, regardless of what pre-occupations or temptations of the world he might be pursuing, he is reminded by prayer to remember his Lord and the believer thus renews his covenant made with Him with every prayer. The believer is always aware of his prayer times, and knows deep in his heart that the first thing that will be asked of him on the Day of Judgment in the Presence of his Majestic Lord is his constancy of prayer; thus he constantly fears that Day of Accounting at least five times a day, every single day of his life! The prescribed five obligatory prayers act like a battery charger for a believer, who charges his battery five times a day to remain fully conscious and charged regarding his mission of life, and the covenant he has made with his Majestic and Supreme Lord.

 

Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 4 Surah Nisaa verse 103:

Indeed, the salaat is a prescribed duty that should be performed at the appointed times by the believers.

 

Sunan of Abu-Dawood Hadith 863 Narrated by Abu Hurayrah

He heard that the Prophet of Allah (saws) said: 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 as perfect. If it is defective, He will say: See if there are some optional (Sunnah or Nafl) 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.

 

Significance 4: It develops our knowledge of His Laws and Commandments when we recite the Holy Quran in prayer

To worship Allah, we must know what His Laws and Commandments are, without which we obviously cannot follow or obey them. Prayer is that instrument through which this Divine knowledge is fostered. The parts of the Quran that are recited in each Prayer are intended to teach us the Laws and Commandments of our Lord. It is no ones fault but ours if we do not take the trouble to find out the meanings and understand what we are reciting in prayer; and it would be absolutely no use complaining that we do not understand, if we have not even bothered to try!

 

Significance 5: The congregational prayers generates and consolidates the social cohesiveness of the Believing Ummah.

Those who are faithful to their Lord and those who reject Him are always arrayed against each other, and the struggle between surrender and rebellion, obedience and disobedience is a never-ending test of life. The rebels break the Laws of Allah and enforce in their place the Laws of Shaytaan. Individually, it is almost impossible to resist this process, and it is therefore absolutely necessary for the true soldiers of Allah to join forces with the believers, just as the rebellious have joined forces with each other. The congregational prayer five times a day, the Jumuah prayer once a week, the two Eid prayers, and the assembly at Hajj once in a lifetime are all central to this establishment of the Party of Allah, united for one reason and one reason only; the worship of their Lord and Creator. The establishment of the congregation of believers make a strong wall and creates in each and every one the singleness of purpose, cohesiveness and real unity amongst the believing Ummah; which are necessary to make the believers helpers of one another in the Cause of Allah Subhanah.

 

Abu ad-Darda' reports that the Messenger of Allah (saws) said: "If there are three men in a village or desert and salah is not established among them, then the Shaytaan takes mastery over them. So be with the congregation since the wolf devours the remote (stray) sheep."

Related by Abu Dawud.

 

Al-Tirmidhi Hadith 184 Narrated by Mu'adh ibn Jabal

Allah's Messenger (saws said: Verily the Shaytaan is the wolf (enemy) of a man just as the wolf is (the enemy) of a flock! He seizes the solitary sheep going astray from the flock or going aside from the flock. So avoid the branching paths; it is essential for you to remain along with the Ummah.

 

Your Question: who and how was this designed and from when?

Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 22 Surah Hajj verses 66-67:

66 It is He Who gave you life will cause you to die and will again give you life: truly man is a most ungrateful creature!

67 To every People have We appointed rites and ceremonies which they must follow; let them not then dispute with thee on the matter, but do thou invite (them) to thy Lord: for thou art assuredly on the Right Way.

 

Under the Command and Guidance of Allah Subhanah, Hadrat Jibrael (a.s.) himself taught the approved format of prayer to the Noble Prophet (saws) at the very early stages of the appointment of Prophet Mohamed (saws) to the station and rank of Prophethood. The design, format, and the various acts of prayer are from none other than The Lord Creator, Allah Subhana wa Taala.

 

Your Question: Why do we Stand, go in Ruku, do Sajda, and then Salaam both sides?

The one and only reason the believers stand, go in ruku, do sajdah and end their prayers with the tasleems on both sides is because that is the format of prayer approved by the Lord Creator for the Ummah of Prophet Mohamed (saws).as taught by Hadrat Jibrael (a.s.) to the Prophet (saws), who in turn taught it to the believers.

 

But as with all acts in Islam, one is at liberty to seek and study the wisdom behind each Command of the Lord Most Graciousso that they would be able to follow His Guidance with full conviction of their hearts.

 

Ref: Standing.

To stand with ones folded hands in absolute humility, and awe, and fear in the audience of the Lord Most Gracious.facing the designated direction of the Sacred Mosque as Commanded by their Lordin absolute and full attention, reciting the verses from the Glorious Revelations of the Lord..is but a manifestation of ones utter subservience to their Lord Who Created.

 

Ref: Ruku

At the declaration of Allahs Greatness to bow down in ruku is an act which further manifests ones subservience unto their Lord Creator.

 

Ref: Sajdah

To bow down and place ones forehead on the ground while in the state of sujood is the act which manifests ones ultimate and utter subservience unto their Lord Most Majestic, Most Supreme.

 

Ref: the tasleems

To turn ones face towards the right and the left and make supplications for peace and blessings for all the believers around them is an act which signals the end of ones conical prayers; and manifests the message of peace with which the deen of Islam has been sent.

 

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 and well wisher in Islam,

 

 

Burhan

 


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