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Newsletter for July 2014
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The word “Sala’t” has been used in the Glorious Qur’an 98 times. Prayer is the first “Branch of Islam” and is obligatory on every adult Muslim. It is performed five times a day.
The Glorious Qur’an starts with these Ayahs: “There is no doubt that this Book is a guide for the pious. It is the pious who believe in the unseen, attend to prayer, and give in charity part of what We have granted them.”Surah Ankabut Ayah 45: “Prayer keeps one away from indecency and sins.”
Prayer is the connection of man with his Creator; Allah brings about the purity of the soul, cleanliness of the heart, achieves the spirit of piety, trains and makes him wary of sin and disobedience. In order to keep away from sins, one should remember Allah. One who forgets Allah does not think about his actions and to fulfill his desires, never thinks of any limits. Remembrance of Allah keeps us away from sensual desires. Allah is All-Aware; He knows small and big deeds, and also what is in our hearts. Commander of the Faithful, Imam Ali (a.s.) said: Remembrance of Allah is a hindrance between the person and the sin.” Surah Taha Ayah 14: “I am Allah, the only ‘ilah (One deserving to be worshiped). Worship Me and be steadfast in prayer to have My name always in your mind.”
From the Traditions, it is established that prayer is the most important of all worships. If prayers are acceptable to Allah, He will accept other types of worships other than prayers. When the prayer is rejected, worships other than prayers are also rejected. The Traditions specify that one who prays five daily prayers, is purified from sins just as if one bathes in a river every day and night five times, uncleanness is removed and no impurities remain.
Consequences of deliberately omitting prayers: Intentionally omitting prayer is one of the “Greater Sins”. Surah Maryam Ayah 59: “But there came after them an evil generation, who neglected prayers and followed sensual desires, so they will meet destruction.” The Noble Prophet (s.a.w.s.) said: “There is no difference between faith and infidelity except prayer.” He (s.a.w.s.) further said: “A person who neglects prayers and is lazy in its fulfillment is inflicted with 15 calamities by Allah. Of these, 6 are related to this life, 3 are related to the time of death, 3 occur in the grave and 3 calamities strike him in Qiyamah-Day of Judgment.
Calamities in this life: Almighty Allah reduces his life span, terminates his sustenance, signs of righteousness disappear from his face, none of the good deeds are accepted nor rewarded, invocations not accepted, and supplications of righteous people will not benefit him.
Calamities at the time of death: Disgraceful death, die in hunger, unquenchable thirst.
Punishment in the grave: An angel will squeeze and chastise him; grave will be made narrow, darkness.
Calamities on the Day of Judgment: Drag out of the grave to be witnessed by people, strict accounting, Almighty Allah will not look at him with Mercy, will not purify him and given terrible punishment.
Because Islam is a complete code of life which encompasses not only individual success and salvation but also collective unity and cohesion, hence more emphases are placed on congregational prayers.
For the acceptance of the prayers, one should concentrate on it, perform it with humility and fear of Allah considering oneself as an insignificant servant before the Almighty, and understand the meaning of every word one recites.
Our Infallible Imams, while praying used to be completely immersed in the prayer, and became unaware of the surroundings. Once, an arrow was struck in the foot of the Commander of the Faithful, Imam Ali (a.s), hence his companions pulled off the arrow from his foot and he did not feel the pain.
Conditions for the acceptance of prayers: In addition to the initial requirements for proper praying, one should seek repentance from his sins and seek forgiveness from Almighty Allah before prayer. Avoid all types of disobedience and sins like back-biting, jealousy, arrogance. All conditions necessary for the peaceful performance of prayers should be implemented. One should wear neat, clean and pure clothes, comb hair, wear perfume and should have the ring of Aqeeq in hand.
The Infallible Imam Zain-al-Abedin (a.s.) said: “The criteria for the acceptance of prayers are the acknowledgment of our Wilayah and dissociating oneself from our enemies.” (Bihar-ul-Anwar volume 84 page 285)
All obligatory prayers should be performed at its earliest time.
In one of the battles, Imam Ali (a.s.) was frequently looking towards the sun. When one of his companions inquired as to why he was looking frequently towards sun, the Imam replied: “I am looking for the time of Zuhr Prayer”. The companion asked: “Are you planning to pray Zuhr?” The Imam (a.s.) replied:”We are fighting for the establishment of prayers!”
Kinds of Obligatory (Wajib) Prayers:
Daily Prayers of five times
Jumah (Friday) Prayer (Wajib Takhyiri in the ghaybah of Imam)
Prayer of Ihtiyat – related to the daily prayers
Prayer for the dead (Salat al-Maiyyat)
Qaza Prayers of the Parents (obligatory on the eldest son)
Prayer of Ijarah. If the eldest son cannot pray for his parents himself, he may ask another person to pray for the dead.
Prayer of Nazar
Prayer of Qasam or oath
Prayer of Ahad (Promise to Gad)
Prayer of Eidayn (Eid-al-Azha, Eid –ul-Fitr) Not obligatory during ghaybah of the Imam
Prayer after wajib tawaf of Ka’bah
Prayer of A’yat (for earthquake, eclipses of sun or moon)
Recommended Prayers: There are many recommended Prayers; some of which are Prayer of: the Noble Prophet (s.a.w.s.), Imam Ali (a.s.), Lady of Paradise Fatima Zahra (s.a.), Imam of the Time (u.t.f.), Jaffer Tayyar, Haja’at, Nawafil for five time daily prayers, night prayers (Namaz-e-Shab), for parents salvation etc.
The Glorious Qur’an
Islamic Laws by Ayatullah Shaikh Nasir Makarem Shirazi
Survey of Rulings by Ayatullah Shaikh Nasir Makarem Shirazi
Islamic Studies by Allama Saeed Akhter Rizvi
Greater Sins by Ayatullah Sayyid Abdul Hussayn DasteGhayb
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