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Fasting New Muslims

In the Shade of Ramadan (5) Episode 2: Racing to the Houses of Worship

The popular MAS Youth video series, “In The Shade of Ramadan” is BACK!

“In the Shade of Ramadan” is an annual online video series that is produced by MAS Youth during the month of Ramadan every year. It is a series of educational and motivational reflections on the month of Ramadan featuring various speakers across the country. This year’s season will feature 15 episodes (an episode every other day) with the theme: “Racing to Allah.”

Watch Episode 2: Racing to the Houses of Worship by Jamaal Diwan.

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Fasting New Muslims

The Key to a Successful Day: Words of Remembrance and Supplication

In a hadith qudsi Allah says: “I am with my servant as long as he remembers me.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

The Prophet Muhammad related that Allah ordered Yahya Ibn Zakariyyah with five commandments; to act upon them and convey them to the Children of Israel…(the fifth one being): “…and I order you to make mention of Allah often, as this is like a man being pursued at speed by the enemy until he reaches a protected fortress and so protects himself inside it, likewise is the servant, he can only protect himself from Satan through remembrance of Allah, the Mighty and Majestic.” (At-Tirmidhi, an-Nasaa’ and Ahmad)

 

Words of Remembrance and Supplication

Words of Remembrance and Supplication

 

Click here to get your copy of this amazing and free resource filled with authentic sayings to read after each prayer, every morning and evening.

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Fasting New Muslims

Qur’anic Gems: Juz’ 16

Welcome to a new interesting episode of Qur’anic Gems series with Nouman Khan.

In this episode Nouman reflects on the verse number 59 of Surat Maryam (the nineteenth chapter of the Qur’an)

He begins his talk by shedding some light on the bad deeds of the late generations and followers of “sons of Israel” who wasted their prayer. They did not care for their prayer and followed their desires, so they will meet deviation in belief.

Follow us on this fascinating episode to learn more about the warning of Allah to the people of Israel.

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New Muslims Prayer

Prayer: Life’s Forgotten Purpose

Prayer: Life's Forgotten Purpose

Prayer: Life’s Forgotten Purpose

Man has taken many journeys throughout time. But there is one journey that nobody has ever taken. Nobody—except one.

On a vehicle no man has ever ridden, through a path no soul has ever seen. To a place no creation has ever before set foot. It was the journey of one man to meet the Divine. It was the journey of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) to the highest heaven. It was al-Israa’ wal-Miraaj (the magnificent journey).

On that journey Almighty Allah took his beloved Prophet to the seventh heaven—a place not even angel Jibreel could enter. In the Prophet’s mission on earth, every instruction, every commandment was sent down through angel Jibreel. But, there was one commandment that was not. There was one commandment so important, that rather than sending angel Jibreel down with it, Allah brought the Prophet up to Himself.

That commandment was Salah (Prayer). When the Prophet was first given the command to pray, it was to be fifty times in a day. After asking Allah to make it easier, the commandment was eventually reduced to five times a day, with the reward of the fifty.

Reflecting upon this incident, scholars have explained that the process of going from fifty to five was a deliberate one, intended to teach us the true place Prayer should hold in our lives. Imagine for a moment actually praying fifty times a day. Would we be able to do anything else but pray? No. And that’s the point. What greater way than that to illustrate our life’s true purpose? As if to say, Prayer is our real life; all the rest that we fill our day with… just motions.

And yet, we live as if it’s exactly the opposite. Prayer is something we squeeze into our day, when we find time—if that. Our ‘lives’ don’t revolve around Prayer. Prayer revolves around our ‘lives.’ If we are in class, Prayer is an afterthought. If we are at the mall, the Macy’s sale is more urgent. Something is seriously wrong when we put aside the very purpose of our existence in order to watch a basketball game.

And that is for those who even pray at all. There are those who have not only put aside their life’s purpose, they have abandoned it completely. What we often don’t realize about the abandonment of Prayer is this: No scholar has ever held the opinion that committing fornication makes you a disbeliever. No scholar has ever held the opinion that stealing, drinking or taking drugs makes you a disbeliever. No scholar has even claimed that murder makes you a non-Muslim. But, about Prayer, some scholars have said he who abandons it, is no longer Muslim. This is said based on a hadith such as this one: “The covenant between us and them is Prayer, so if anyone abandons it, he has become a disbeliever.” (Ahmad)

Imagine an act so egregious that the Prophet would speak about it in such a way. Consider for a moment what Satan did wrong. He didn’t refuse to believe in Allah. He refused to make one prostration. Just one. Imagine all the prostrations we refuse to make.

Consider the seriousness of such a refusal. And yet, think how lightly we take the matter of Prayer. Prayer is the first thing we will be asked about on the Day of Judgment, and yet it is the last thing that is on our mind. The Prophet said: “The first thing which will be judged among a man’s deeds on the Day of Resurrection is the Prayer. If this is in good order, then he will succeed and prosper, but if it is defective, then he will fail and will be a loser.” (At-Tirmidhi)

On that Day, the people of Paradise will ask those who have entered Hell-fire, why they have entered it. And the Qur’an tells us exactly what their first response will be:

What led you into Hell Fire? They will say: ‘We were not of those who prayed.’ (Al-Muddaththir 74:42-43)

How many of us will be among those who say “we were not of those who prayed, or we were not of those who prayed on time, or we were not of those who made prayer any priority in our lives?”

Why is it that if we are in class or at work or fast asleep at the time of Fajr and we need to use the restroom, we make time for that?

In fact, the question almost sounds absurd. We don’t even consider it an option not to. And even if we were taking the most important exam of our lives, when we need to go, we will go. Why? Because the potentially mortifying consequences of not going, makes it a non-option.

There are many people who say they don’t have time to pray at work or school, or while they are out. But how many have ever said they don’t have time to go to the bathroom, so while out, at work or school have opted instead to just wear Depends? How many of us just don’t feel like waking up at Fajr time if we need to use the bathroom, and choose instead to wet our bed? The truth is we’ll get out of bed, or leave class, or stop work, to use the bathroom, but not to pray.

It sounds comical, but the truth is we put the needs of our body above the needs of our soul. We feed our bodies, because if we didn’t, we’d die. But so many of us starve our souls, forgetting that if we are not praying, our soul is dead. And ironically, the body that we tend to is only temporary, while the soul that we neglect is eternal.

______________________
Source: www.suhaibwebb.com.

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New Muslims Prayer

Prayer: The Apple of My Eye

 By Fatma Bayram

A man prostrating

Prayer is a fundamental pillar in the daily life of Muslims.

 Who establish worship and spend of that We have bestowed on them. (Al-Anfal 8:3)

Concerning the guilty: What has brought you to this burning? ) They will answer: We were not of those who prayed. (Al-Muddaththir 74:41-43)

The Qur’an defines the first attribute of sincere believers as those who

“establish worship properly” (Al-A`raf 7:170)

. Verses such as

“Tell My bondmen who believe to establish worship…”(Ibrahim 14:31)

are indicative of the precedence of Prayer in the faith of a believer.

Prayer had been ordained during the first days of prophecy, albeit not in its final form. The fact that Muslims, beginning with Prophet Muhammad, performed Prayer from the first day Islam shows that Islam is not a religion that deals with the essentials of belief alone.

Prayer is important; it is a fundamental  act of worship because it represents the turning into action of belief in the Oneness of Allah and confession of servitude towards Him. Scientists who study human behavior note that a feeling and awareness that is not exhibited through behavior will weaken with time and then eventually fade. Thus we need to place Prayer in the center of our lives in order to demonstrate our loyalty to Allah and maintain consistency in our Prayer.

The proper placement of Prayer is only possible through the maintenance and uninterrupted regular performance of it. The Qur’an refers to believers as

“Those who are constant in their Prayer.” (Al-Ma`arij 70:23)

It is fundamental that we maintain an uninterrupted consistent performance of Prayer so that we may experience the benefits which our Creator desires for us and they adorn the lives of servants until they die.

“Men whom neither merchandise nor sale distracts from remembrance of Allah and performance of Prayer and paying to the poor their due; who fear a day when hearts and eyeballs will be overturned.” (An-Nur 24:37)

Due to its performance, Prayer has been called the “column of Islam,” by the Messenger of Allah. Our Beloved Prophet has stated that Prayer is a form of worship that separates belief from associating partners with Allah and denial of Allah’s existence. He even drew attention to the fact that abandoning Prayer leads to distancing one’s self from belief and even likens one to the Pharaoh.

Prayer is very beloved to us as it gives us the opportunity to consciously remove ourselves from the daily occupations of life and give ourselves a break. In one particular hadith, it is stated that,

“If there were a river passing by the front of your house and you were to wash in this river five times a day, would there be any remnants of dirt and filth on you? This is precisely how Prayer is, it washes away sins.”(Muslim)

Prayer cleanses the human soul, making one’s heart pure, impeccable and clean. A person who prays five times a day will have washed their soul many times and purified their heart of any kind of evil.

At this point we may recall people who, despite their five daily Prayers, do not have pleasing manners or personalities. If Prayer elevates the manners of man so much, then we think, how is it that these individuals are not affected for the better?

I think this seeming contradiction bothers us because we don’t pose the question accurately. The proper question should be, “What would these people have done if they didn’t pray?” Because we know that maintaining worship, in the end, plays a role in the spiritual development of a person. Because most of the time we may not able to monitor each others’ spiritual development in terms of where it began, how far it has progressed and what sort of potential it possesses. But we are sure that every Prayer we perform increases our care and awareness towards the Almighty.

Cleanliness is a mandatory requirement of Prayers, which is the greatest form of worship of all. In Islam, cleanliness comes in two forms: the first is physical cleanliness and the other is spiritual cleanliness. Because physical cleanliness is mandatory our body and the area in which we’ll be performing worship must be cleansed of things that are considered impure, and all acts of worship that are performed without this cleansing are not acceptable.

In addition to the physical and true cleanliness in Islam, there is also a symbolic cleansing. Performing ablution before Prayer and the complete cleansing of the body (ghusl) following the state of being junub (unclean) are part of this symbolic cleansing.

A person without ablution may be physically clean, however, they are not considered physically clean. And for this reason they cannot face Allah in this state; they cannot pray. In order to be accepted in the divine presence, they must perform a symbolic cleansing. This is why ablution is not just a simple washing of the face and hands. It contains both a physical and spiritual cleansing. The requirement of those who are not able to find water to cleanse through tayammum (dry ablution) (An-Nisa’ 4:53) is proof that the purpose of this cleansing is not just physical, but also spiritual

Prayer is a fundamental pillar in the daily life of a believer. A day is programmed around Prayer. During five different times throughout the day, our day is spent in a state of awareness towards Allah as we declare his Almightiness in the Prayer saying,

“You (alone) we worship; You (alone) we ask for help.” (Al-Fatihah 1:4)

Man, who faces Allah the Almighty through the words “Allahu Akbar,” leaving all of his worldly concerns and material matters behind, is never as close to Allah as he is during Prayer. For this reason, the Prayer is a believer’s ascension to heavens. It is meaningful that the tahiyyat that is read at the end of Prayer is a memoir of Prophet Muhammad saluting his Creator and the inclusion of excited angels in this salutation.

Prayer is the intensified and systematized version of supplication.

Prayer is a form of worship which contains and gathers all other forms of worship such as declaring the Oneness of Allah, remembering and honoring Him, expressing gratitude to Him, praising Him, asking for help from Him, asking for forgiveness and repenting from sins, supplication, invoking Him, showing humility, reverence and remembrance of Him and contemplation of His creation.

Movements within Prayers, such as standing, bowing, and prostration, encompass the forms of worship employed by all of creation in addition to containing and symbolically convening all of the forms of worship that exist within Islam.

All creations, from the minutest to the largest, all remember Allah in a way that is conducive to their form of creation. When we think of this as a choir that sees participation from the smallest particle of matter to the largest galaxy and all of creation, we may feel as though we are taking part in this universal activity when we allow for our worldly actions to be set aside and face Allah in Prayer. It is at every instance when we catch this feeling that Prayer will cease to be a mandatory responsibility for us and become a source of joy.

The universality of Prayer can also be felt through the scheduling of Prayer times according to the worlds rotation around the sun, which in turn causes for every moment to become a time for the commencement of Prayer and there always being people prostrating to Allah at every second. And again, the fact that there is no need for a special venue or religious leader and that Prayer can be performed in every clean area on an individual basis also speaks to its universality.

Prayer is not just a form of worship that effects the internal phases of an individual. Contrarily, it is the most important determinant that shapes all of his relations, beginning with his immediate environment and his outlook on life.

Prayer takes on the role of a measure in determining the direction and form in relations with humans.

“Your ally is none but Allah and [therefore] His Messenger and those who establish Prayer and give zakah, and they bow (in worship).”(Al-Ma’idah 5:55)

In its essence, Prayer comprises sincere tranquility in the presence of Allah (a complete respect and reverence), the remembrance of Allah on the tongue and utmost respect of the body towards Allah. Prayer that is performed without peace in the heart and honoring in the body, although appearing to be Prayer in shape and form, is not truly and completely Prayer.

The Qur’an refers to Prayer as “dhikr,” in other words, remembrance. The more a person remembers Allah during their Prayer, the more authentic their Prayer is. If a person is able to gain hold of the fact that they are in the presence of Allah even for one second in their prayer, then that is a great accomplishment for that person. It is most appropriate for this second to take place at the initial takbeer (saying Allahu Akbar) leading into Prayer. This moment can serve to ferment the whole of Prayer, spreading throughout it, transforming the remainder of Prayer to its own attributes. The reference to the spot of worship as the “mihrab” alludes to the fact that Prayer is a battle against the one’s self and the Satan. In this case, “giving the mihrab its due right,” means making the self triumphant.

Despite the fact that Prayer has been made mandatory during certain times (An-Nisa’ 4:103), the Qur’an has not clearly stated the number and rak`ahs (units) of Prayers explicitly, only touching on the times for Prayer briefly. As is the case with many other religious applications, the details of these have been left the instructions of the Messenger of Allah, which are based on the divine education he received.

The religion of Islam places a great deal of significance on the unity and convening of a religious community. To facilitate this, praying with a congregation and the places in which congregations convene, mosques, have special importance.

Muslims are encouraged to perform their five daily Prayers in congregation at mosques, while the Friday Prayer performed once a week at a mosque has been made mandatory, the two annual `Eid Prayers have been made supererogatory  and similarly the annual convening of Muslims in Mecca has been made mandatory.

The facing of the direction of Mecca, regardless of where you are on the planet, is an attestation to the universal unity of Islam. The selection of an imam to lead the Prayer, the following of the imam by the congregation, the precision of straight lines formed by the congregation, the performance of all physical activities and recitation within the Prayer in synchrony and unity carries both spiritual and physical significance. The rows of the Muslim, whether rich or poor; worker or administrator; young or old, that is based on whomsoever arrives first, side by side in order of arrival, mentally prepares Muslims right before Prayer for espousing the notion that they are equals in the sight of Allah.

__________________________

Taken with kind permission from: www.lastprophet.info. 

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Categories
New Muslims Prayer

Introduction to Prayer

The sole purpose of this production is to assist and develop the basic rules and actions of Prayer. It introduces Prayer to those who do not know how to pray at all, or to those who have some idea or to those who want to perfect their Prayer.

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New Muslims Prayer

The Prophet’s Prayer (1)

Payer is the most important act of worship in the believer’s life since it was the only act of worship that was ordained directly by Almighty Allah to His Prophet (peace be upon him) during the journey of Al-Mi`raj – when the Prophet ascended to heaven without any intermediary – unlike any other act of worship because of its significance. This series comes in response to massive requests to produce a program that explains exactly the importance of the Prayer and how the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to pray and how one can gain khushu` in his Prayer.

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New Muslims Prayer

The Prophet’s Prayer (2)

Prayer is the first pillar of Islam that the Prophet (peace be upon him) mentioned after saying the Shahadah (the testimony of faith), by which one embraces Islam. In this Episode, Dr. Muhammad Salah explains in some detail the importance of the Prayer in Islam.

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New Muslims Prayer

Prayer in Islam

brunei-ramadan-mosque-water-reflection

God is accessible at anytime and in any place.

Nowadays the media reports a lot on the religion of Islam and the Muslims; but the majority of this ‘primetime’ is used to mar the image of Islam. Muslims are often depicted as being fanatical or extreme for simply following the basic tenants of Islam.

The media goes a step further in marring the image of Islam by confusing cultures with what Islam really is. Basic practices and pillars of Islam begin to take on strange connotations when the reality is they are acts of worship that denote piety and God consciousness.

Muslims testify with certainty that there is none worthy of worship except God alone. They believe that Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) is His messenger. They fast, they give in charity, and they try to go to Mecca for pilgrimage. Muslims also pray five times per day.

Five times! When some hear this, they throw their hands up in shock and wonder just how much time this must take and how it can be slotted into a 24 hour period.

Others, who are used to communicating with God in their own form of prayer will often question the rules and regulations that are attached to Prayer in Islam. God, they say, is accessible at any time.

According to the Muslim belief, God is accessible at anytime and in any place. Muslims call on God frequently throughout the day and night. They raise their hands in supplication and ask for His help, mercy, and forgiveness.

This, however, is not the act that Muslims refer to as Prayer. This is called making du`a’ (supplications) wherein one calls unto God asking Him for His help. For Muslims Prayer is a set of ritual movements and words performed at fixed times, five times per day.

God says in Qur’an, “Indeed, prayer has been decreed upon the believers a decree of specific times.” (An-Nisa’ 4:103) Muslims pray in the early morning before sunrise, in the middle of the day, in the afternoon, at sunset and at night. Muslims pray in obedience to God because they believe God created humankind for no other purpose except to worship Him. We read in the Qur’an: “And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me.” (Adh-Dhariyat 51:56)

Consequently, for a believer, worship is a way of life. Prayer at fixed times serves as a reminder of why we are here and helps to direct a person’s thoughts and actions away from sin and onto remembrance of God.

Prophet Muhammad emphasized the importance of Prayer when he explained its ability to remove sin. He said, “What would you think if there was a river by the door of any one of you and he bathed in it five times a day, would there be any trace of dirt left on him?” They said, “No trace of dirt would be left on him.” He said, “That is like the five daily prayers, with it God erases sin.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Prayer is just one act amongst many acts of worship; it holds a very special place in Islam because of the way it was enjoined. It was not brought down to earth by an Angel rather it was bestowed upon Prophet Muhammad during his unique ascension into the Heavens.

Fifty prayers were first enjoined upon the believers but this was reduced to five, while the reward for Prayer remains as if it were still fifty. This reduction shows just how great God’s love for humanity is, a few minutes throughout the day are rewarded as if they were continuous worship.

Muslims pray five times per day. If possible men should pray in a mosque or in a congregation of men. Women have the option of praying at home. The believers stand alone, or surrounded by others, they stand in their homes and workplaces, the parks and the mosques. They stand, bow, prostrate, and sit. Their voices are sometimes raised and sometimes silent, but the words remain the same.

When a Muslim prays he or she addresses God in the Arabic language and uses the same words and movements as every other Muslim across the globe. Muslims unite in the ritual and language of Prayer.

For Prayer, Muslims stand facing the direction of Mecca in Saudi Arabia, where the House of God, known as the Ka`bah is situated. If a person is ill or injured it is possible to pray sitting, or even lying down. The leader of the Prayer known as the imam, is not an intermediary between the people and God; rather, he is usually the person able to recite the most Qur’an. Women may also pray with a congregation of women. When Muslims pray together they stand shoulder to shoulder. Their proximity to each other demonstrates unity. No one person is better than another except by his or her piety.

Kings stand next to the poor, the white stand next to the black, Arabs stand beside Europeans. The believers then raise their hands to ear level and proclaim that God is the greatest. This indicates that the Prayer has begun and that all matters related to this world are left far behind. The connection is made and in the few minutes, it takes to pray each person stands before God in full submission. Interestingly the Arabic word for Prayer is Salah and it is derived from a root word that means to connect. Muslims then recite the opening chapter of the Qur’an, al-Fatihah, and sometimes another chapter from Quran. They then go through a set of ritual movements bowing and then prostrating, all the while proclaiming God’s greatness, glory and majesty.

In prostration, when the forehead touches the ground, the believer is closer to God than at any other time. There is now an opportunity to make supplication, asking God for help, mercy or forgiveness (this can be in any language).

Towards the end of the Prayer, Muslims sit to praise and ask God to bless Prophets Muhammad and Abraham (peace and blessings be upon them). The Prayer concludes with the words As-salamu `alaykum wa Rahmatullah (may God’s peace and blessings be upon you) spoken while turning the head towards the right and then the words are repeated while turning towards the left.

The Prayer has now ended and the world comes rushing back. However, for those few minutes the believer was alone with God. Whether he or she was praying alone or within a congregation, the connection was between God and the individual. It was a moment of bliss, peace, and tranquility. Prayer is a reminder and a comfort. Every hour of every day somewhere in the world, a Muslim is praying. The believer is seeking the comfort that comes from feeling close to God and the peace that comes from feeling God’s love and mercy.

_________________

Taken with modification from: islamreligion.com.

 

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Categories
New Muslims Prayer

Women Prayer in Islam: Covering the Feet

A question on women Prayer in Islam. Should women cover their feet during Prayer at Home? Watch this Show by Dr. Muhammad Salah to know the answer.

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