Even if they had to crawl…

Bismillah.

What could be so valuable that you would CRAWL to it to get it?

The Prophet said,

“If they knew the merits of Salat after nightfall (`Isha’) and the morning (Fajr) Salat, they would come to them even if they had to crawl to do so.”

[Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

And he said in a similar hadith,

“No Salat is more burdensome to the hypocrites than the Fajr (dawn) prayer and the `Isha’ (night) prayer; and if they knew their merits, they would come to them even if they had to crawl to do so.”

[Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

The reward of praying Isha and Fajr in congregation is that of praying the whole night. On top of this, the Prophet said that people would crawl to the salah of Isha and Fajr if only they knew its merits. If this doesn’t push us to attend Isha and Fajr in congregation, what will?

The munafiqoon (hypocrites) had the most trouble with Isha and Fajr. If we experience this difficulty as well, perhaps its a sign of nifaaq lurking somewhere within us. The fix? Start praying Isha and Fajr in congregation. May Allah give us all the tawfeeq, ameen.

Praying Fajr and Isha in Congregation

Bismillah.

By the grace of Allah, I’m in Alexandria, Egypt studying Arabic. One of the things that I love about living in Egypt is that there is a masjid in every block, maybe more at times. Its a real blessing to be able to pray in jamat habitually, alhamdulillah, particularly the salat of Fajr and Isha. It makes a real difference to begin the day at the masjid and to end it at the masjid.

For motivation, here are some ahadith of the Prophet that show the importance of praying Fajr and Isha at the masjid:

`Uthman bin `Affan reported: I heard the Messenger of Allah saying: One who performs Isha’ prayer in congregation, is as if he has performed Salat for half of the night. And one who performs the Fajr prayer in congregation, is as if he has performed Salat the whole night.

[Muslim]

Another narration mentions:

`Uthman bin Affan narrated that he had heard the Messenger of Allah saying: “He who attends Isha’ in congregation, is as if he has performed Salat for half of the night; and he who attends `Isha’ and Fajr prayers in congregation, is as if he has performed Salat for the whole night.

[Tirmidhi]

These ahadith tell us that the reward of praying Isha’ and Fajr prayers in congregation is so great that it equals the worship of the whole night.

Think about it: every day you can earn this massive reward just by praying at the masjid. Consistent good deeds like this are beloved to Allah, so let’s try our utmost to pray at least one of the two in the masjid. In particular, there is NO reason to miss Isha at the masjid.

WAllahu alam.

Q&A: Can I Make Up Sunnah Prayers?

Bismillah.

Question:

I missed my sunnah prayers because I was in a rush. Can I make them up later on just like we make up the obligatory prayers?

Answer:

Regular sunnah prayers are a way to Paradise and one of the most beloved actions to Allah [SWT] that we can do. So, it makes a lot of sense that it is preferred to make up the missed sunnah prayers.

According to Umm Salamah [RA], the Prophet [SAWS] prayed two rak’ahs after ‘Asr. He was asked about them and he said:

“O daughter of Abu Umayyah, you asked about the two rak’ahs after ‘Asr. That is because some people from ‘Abd al-Qays came to me and distracted me from the two rak’ahs that come after Zuhr; these are they (i.e., I prayed them just now).”

[Bukhaari and Muslim]

From this, we know that the Prophet [SAWS] would make up his missed sunnah prayers. He was busy with people after Zuhr, so missed his sunnahs but he remembered them and made sure that he completed them whenever he got the chance. This is what we should do too, in sha Allah.

A final point, there is a scholarly difference of opinion on whether we are allowed to pray voluntary prayers between Asr and Maghrib (after Asr salah). Both sides have their proofs, but its safe to say that its best to avoid the conflict and not pray after Asr (even though we know the Prophet [SAWS] did so from the above hadeeth). And Allah [SWT] knows best.

Revive a Sunnah: Switching Tashahhuds

Bismillah.

Do you sometimes wonder on how to increase your concentration and humbleness in prayer? I do.

Salah (prayer) should not be a mechanical chore. To eliminate a sense of “chore-ness” from the salah, here’s something that the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam taught: switching tashahhuds[1] in prayer and learning new duaas for prayer instead of always repeating the same duaas. Just as we should read different surahs in prayer, we should read different adkhaar (remembrances).

It is reported in Bukhari and Muslim that the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam would teach the Sahaba “the tashahhud the way he taught them Surahs of the Qur’an”.

Most likely, all of us know the same Tahiyyah which is the tashahhud narrated to us by ibn Mas’ood radi Allahu anhu, he said:

“The Messenger of Allah sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam taught me the tashahhud, [with] my palm between his palms, the way he taught me Surahs of the Qur’an:

All compliments, prayers, and pure words are due to Allah. Peace be on you, O Prophet, and also the mercy of Allah and His blessings. Peace be on us, and on the righteous slaves of Allah. I bear witness that none has the right to be worshipped except Allah, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and messenger.”

[Narrated in Bukhari and Muslim]

But did you know that other companions were also taught different duaas for tashahhud? For example, take a look at the tashahhud of ibn Abbass radi Allahu anhuma, he said:

“The Messenger of Allah sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam used to teach us the tashahhud the way he taught us the Qur’an; he used to say,


All compliments, blessed words, prayers, pure words are due to Allah. Peace be on you, O Prophet, and also the mercy of Allah and His blessings. Peace be on us and on the righteous slaves of Allah. I bear witness that none has the right to be worshipped except Allah, and [I bear witness] that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah (in one narration: … is His slave and messenger).”

[Narrated in Sahih Muslim]

Continue reading “Revive a Sunnah: Switching Tashahhuds”

How to Obliterate Sins and Increase Ranks in Paradise

Bismillah.

Abu Hurairah [RA] reported:

Messenger of Allah [SAWS] said, “Should I not direct you to something by which Allah obliterates the sins and elevates your ranks.”

They said: “Yes, O Messenger of Allah”.

He said, “Performing Wudu’ properly, even in difficulty, frequently going to the mosque, and waiting eagerly for the next Salat (prayer) after a Salat is over; indeed, that is Ar-Ribat“.

[Muslim]

Commentary

Ribat means staying on the frontier of an Islamic country, for security and defense purposes. Thus, it is a continuous process of Jihad.

Continuous good deeds and `Ibadah have been compared with Ribat. Performing full ablution in Makarih (where severe unpleasantness and hard labour is involved) is quite difficult. For instance, in winter it is very cumbersome to properly wash all the organs of the body but a Muslim does it to please Allah. Thus, its reward will be more in proportion to the labour.

Similarly, the nearness of a mosque is in many respect very useful but its being far from the house is better in this respect that the greater distance one has to cover for going to the mosque, the higher the reward for going there will be. Those who live close to the mosque do not have this credit.

[Imam Nawawi in Riyadhus Saliheen]

Revive a Sunnah: Feet Together in Sajdah

Bismillah.

The Mother of the Believers Aaishah [RA] said: I noticed that the Messenger of Allaah [SAWS] was not there and he had been with me in my bed. I found him prostrating, with his heels together and his toes turned towards the qiblah, and I heard him saying, “I seek refuge in Your pleasure from Your wrath, and in Your forgiveness from Your punishment, and in You from You; I praise you and I cannot praise You enough.”

[Sahih – IslamQA]

Keeping the feet together is a sunnah of the Prophet [SAWS] that is proven from this hadith. So when we go into a sajdah, we should put our feet together while ensuring that the thighs and knees stay apart, like in this picture below:

Continue reading “Revive a Sunnah: Feet Together in Sajdah”