Saturday, March 5, 2011

Importance of Salah

*These Notes are based on the Meaningful Salah class taught by Sheikh Abdul Nasir Jangda*

حدبث: أول ما يحاسب عليه العبد يوم القيامة الصلاة، فان صلحت صلح سائر عمله إن فسدت فسد سائر عمله'رواه الطبر اني 
Rasulullah (SAW) said, “The first matter that the slave will be brought to account for on the Day of Judgment is the prayer. If it is sound, then the rest of his deeds will be sound. And if it is corrupted, then the rest of his deeds will be corrupted." (Recorded by al‐Tabarani)

 Allah describes the ones who are successful and their qualities with emphasis on Salah:
 قَدْ أَفْلَحَ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ
    • Certainly will the believers have succeeded: [23:1]
      • Allah is saying that with complete and utter certainty, whoever is labelled a Mu'min (special level of believer) has achieved success.  He/She does not have to worry about anything else.  But what defines this special class of believers:
الَّذِينَ هُمْ فِي صَلَاتِهِمْ خَاشِعُونَ
    • Those who have Khushu in their salah. [23:2]
      • Khushu here is the main ingredient.  It means to be humbled and overwhelmed to the point that the body and actions show signs of this fear and awe you have for Allah in your heart.  (Khushu is discussed in part 3 in more detail)
وَالَّذِينَ هُمْ عَنِ اللَّغْوِ مُعْرِضُونَ
    • Those who turn away from ill, vain, useless speech. [23:3]
      • They don't waste their time in gossip, making fun of other people, using curse words etc.
وَالَّذِينَ هُمْ لِلزَّكَاةِ فَاعِلُونَ
    • Those who are active in acts of charity. [23:4]
وَالَّذِينَ هُمْ لِفُرُوجِهِمْ حَافِظُونَ
    • Those who guard their chastity. [23:5]
إِلَّا عَلَىٰ أَزْوَاجِهِمْ أَوْ مَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُهُمْ فَإِنَّهُمْ غَيْرُ مَلُومِينَ
    • Except from those joined to them in marriage or from what their right hand possesses, for indeed in their case they are free from blame. [23:6]
فَمَنِ ابْتَغَىٰ وَرَاءَ ذَٰلِكَ فَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْعَادُونَ
    • But for those whose desires exceed those limits are transgressors. [23:7]
وَالَّذِينَ هُمْ لِأَمَانَاتِهِمْ وَعَهْدِهِمْ رَاعُونَ
    • And those who are to their trusts and promises attentive. [23:8]
وَالَّذِينَ هُمْ عَلَىٰ صَلَوَاتِهِمْ يُحَافِظُونَ
    • And strictly guard their salah. [23:9]
      • If you notice salah is being mentioned again with emphasis and in a different light.  Strictly guard their prayers means we should guard the punctuality and consistency of the offering of our salah like museum guards its most precious treasures or like the loyal body guard would protect the leader of a nation.
أُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْوَارِثُونَ
    • Those are the inheritors;
      • The use of the word 'inheritors' is interesting because if someone refuses to give someone their inheritance, that is considered a crime.  On the other hand if someone withholds the reward or a gift, that is not considered a crime.  So Allah is saying, these people (special class of believers, Mu'mineen) are the inheritors of the highest level of Paradise and it would be criminal to not give that to them.
الَّذِينَ يَرِثُونَ الْفِرْدَوْسَ هُمْ فِيهَا خَالِدُونَ
    • who will inherit al-firdaus. They will abide therein eternally.
      • Al-Firdaus is the highest and the best level of Paradise second only to the level of Prophet Mohammad's (SAS) level.
Allah describes the ones who have failed miserably and their qualities with emphasis on their negligence of Salah:
  كُلُّ نَفْسٍ بِمَا كَسَبَتْ رَهِينَةٌ
    • Every soul, for what it has earned, will be retained [74:38]
إِلَّا أَصْحَابَ الْيَمِينِ
    • Except the companions of the right [74:39]
فِي جَنَّاتٍ يَتَسَاءَلُونَ
    • in Gardens, asking each other [74:40]
عَنِ الْمُجْرِمِي
    • about the criminals [74:41]
مَا سَلَكَكُمْ فِي سَقَرَ
    • "What put you into the Fire?" [74:42]
قَالُوا لَمْ نَكُ مِنَ الْمُصَلِّ
    • They say, "We were not of those who prayed [74:43]  
      • The firs thing that led them down the road to hellfire was the fact that they did not pray.  Then all the other stuff came as a chain reaction or a domino effect of not doing their salah.
وَلَمْ نَكُ نُطْعِمُ الْمِسْكِينَ
    • and we didn't feed the poor [74:44]
وَكُنَّا نَخُوضُ مَعَ الْخَائِضِينَ
    • and we used to enter into vain talk with those who engaged (in it) [74:45]
وَكُنَّا نُكَذِّبُ بِيَوْمِ الدِّينِ
    • and we used to deny the day of recompense [74:46]
حَتَّىٰ أَتَانَا الْيَقِي
    • until there came to us the certainty." [74:47] 
As a consequence of not praying they were led down the path of becoming negligence from charity, wasting time with vanity and useless talk until the Day of Judgment came upon them and it was too late. 

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