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New Muslims Prayer

Prayer: The Healthy Structure of Your Life

By Amy Klooz

prayer

Prayer gives you a spiritual retreat at key points during the day, to help you break up the day and to refresh you.

My Lord! Make me one who establishes regular prayer, and also (raise such) among my offspring, O our Lord! And accept my prayer.

O Our Lord! Cover (us) with Your forgiveness: me, my parents, and (all) believers, on the day that the reckoning will be established! (Ibrahim 14:40, 41)

One of the first du`aa’s (supplications) I learned to make in my salah was one from the Qur’an, a du`aa’ of Prophet Ibrahim. In it, Ibrahim asks Allah to make him someone who establishes prayer- although the translation I learned inserted the word “regular”, i.e., “establishes regular prayer”. This du`aa’ reminds me, at the end of every salah, the important of salah, of establishing it and praying it regularly.

On just about every prayer timetable I’ve seen, part of an ayah (Qur’anic verse) is listed somewhere on the page. One translation of the part of the ayah is “Verily, the prayer is enjoined on the believers at fixed hours.” (An-Nisaa’ 4:103) The idea is to remind whoever reads that prayer table about the importance of praying regularly at the appropriate times.

Now a person can view the idea of regular prayer as either a burden, or a blessing. I have a hunch most non-Muslims, and plenty of Muslims, probably see it as a burden. And undoubtedly Satan would rather us see it as a burden, so he can easily distract us from it, urge us to procrastinate it, and eventually even convince us to abandon it altogether. May Allah protect the believers from his whispers.

There are benefits in having the prayers spread throughout the day. It gives you a spiritual retreat at key points during the day, to help you break up the day and to refresh you. And the times of the salah are intricately connected with ideal daily behavior.

We learn the prayer times from the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), who learned them from the Angel Jibreel (Gabriel) over two days.

According to Ibn `Abbas, the Angel Jibreel visited the Prophet Muhammad at the beginning of the each of the prayer times on the first day to lead him in prayer, and on the second day led him in prayer at the end of the prayer times, except for Maghrib (Sunset) Prayer. The times have been further specified by `Abdullah ibn `Amr ibn Al-`Aas, based on the sun and sky, and scholars have differed slightly in their opinions as to the exact timing.

What’s clear however is that the prayers are based on the timing of the sun, indicating that our days should follow a similar schedule. It also keeps us Muslims aware of the motion of the sun throughout the day, as it crosses the sky, and throughout the year as the time it takes to traverse the sky changes. In this way the timings of prayers keeps you alert, and it keeps you from forming a lazy habit or tradition when it comes to the prayer–your schedule will have to be flexible somewhat throughout the year. The beginning and end times for each prayer vary between some schools of thought, though not drastically so and not without evidence.

The first prayer of a waking day is Fajr, and there is unanimous agreement regarding its start and end times. It begins at the time of the ‘second dawn’ or ‘true dawn’. While the sun is at one particular angle below the horizon, there will appear the ‘first dawn’ known as the “’false dawn’, when the light spreads vertically. That is not the start of Fajr time, which actually comes later, when the sun is high enough for the dawn light to spread laterally across the horizon. It ends when the sun rises. This means that our day should begin before the sun comes up. There’s also a special blessing in the Fajr time before the sun rises. While our minds and bodies are refreshed, it can be a very productive time of day before the worries and business of the day start to clog our minds.

The start time of Zhuhr (Noon) Prayer is also unanimously agreed upon- that it is when the sun declines from its zenith. Geographically, unless a person is at the equator he will have a small amount of shadow, even when the sun is at its zenith, but the zenith is when the shadow has reached its minimum size.

There are two opinions about the end time of Zhuhr, though they all agree that Zhuhr ends at the time when asr begins. The first opinion, the Maliki, Shafi`i, and Hanbali opinion, is that Zhuhr ends when the length of an object’s shadow is equal to its height (plus the ‘extra shadow’ just mentioned.) The second opinion, the Hanafi opinion, is that dhuhr ends when the length of an object’s shadow is twice its height (plus the “extra shadow.”) This is based on a hadith that dhuhr is to be delayed on hot days until the day begins to cool off.

The start time of `Asr (Afternoon) is agreed by all to be the end time of Zhuhr, and the same differences just mentioned apply. There is also agreement as to the end time of `Asr, that it be when the sun has completely set. Scholars also agree that it is better to pray `Asr earlier (than later) as long as it is in the specified time. Hanafi scholars prefer it to be delayed as long as the sun hasn’t started to change color.

By unanimous agreement, Maghrib (Sunset) time begins when the sun has set, though there are basically three opinions regarding its end time. The first is the Maliki and new Shafi’i opinion, that basically the time for Maghrib ends once enough time has passed to actually make wudu’, adhan, iqamah, and pray five rak`as (3 for obligatory, 2 for sunnah (voluntary). In other words, Maghrib needs to be prayed right away with no ‘extended time’. The Hanbali and old Shafi`i opinion is that Maghrib needs to be prayed by the time the red twilight has faded, while the Hanafi opinion is that it may be prayed until the white twilight has faded. But they all pretty much agree that it’s best to pray Maghrib at the beginning of its time.

When it comes to `Isha’ (Night), there is unanimous agreement that it begins when the twilight has faded, but there are the same differing opinions about which twilight that means. The Maliki and Shafi`i opinions, for which there is no extended time, also say isha starts after the twilight has faded. When the sun sets, the first twilight is the red twilight, followed by the white twilight, followed by the blue twilight, just as a point of reference. There are two opinions about the end time of `Isha’. The first is the Hanafi opinion, which allows for `Isha’ to be prayed up until the time for fajr arrives. The Maliki, Shafi’i, and Hanbali opinions are that `Isha’ may be prayed until the end of the first half, or first third of the night. This is calculated as the time between the beginning of `Isha’ and the beginning of Fajr, then split into thirds or halves and added to the time `Isha’ begins.

The salah itself is an organizational tool, to help you structure your life. Sometimes people will say that time is money. But no, time is life. Whenever a day passes, part of you goes with it. Following the salah forces you to begin your working day with Fajr time- you shouldn’t go to bed after Fajr Prayer.

You also see that there is time to take a break, for Zhuhr, a good time to eat lunch, and maybe take a nap. `Asr time, when the day starts to draw to a close, is the time to stop working and see to your family. Eat dinner and prepare for bed, these are things to do in the evenings.

Even the prohibited times of prayer reminds us of the appropriate structure for the day, so we don’t turn into monks and try to pray the entire day- there are times that we should spend doing other things as well. But the larger point of regular prayer is to prevent other things, our life in this dunya, from stunting our relationship with Allah.

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Source: ibnatalhidayah.blogspot.com.

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New Muslims Prayer

How to Wake up before Fajr Prayer Every Day

fair prayer

To wake up for Fajr prayer, having a consistent morning routine can be quite challenging.

One of the challenges that a Muslim faces when trying to wake up for Fajr every day is the constant shifting of the Fajr prayer. Depending on the season you’re in, it constantly shifts either few minutes forward each day or few minutes back each day. Thus, it can be difficult to keep up with a varied Fajr schedule throughout the year.

This varied schedule poses three challenges for a productive Muslim:

1- It’s difficult to “train” your brain to wake up at a certain time each day. When you read productivity books, their advice is to always wake up early around the same time each day, e.g. 5 a.m. This helps train your brain to wake you up early regardless of how late you slept the night before.

However, for a Muslim, this is not realistic, especially with the shifting time for Fajr prayer, which can start as early as 1 a.m. or 2 a.m. or as late as 7 a.m., depending on the season and which part of the world you’re in.

2- It’s difficult to maintain a regular “night” prayer routine. If you want to benefit from the last third of the night and get up and pray, you cannot have a consistent schedule. In some seasons, this will require you to wake up as early as 1am or 2 a.m. and in some seasons, you’ll need to wake up at 5 a.m. or 6 a.m. Again, it can be difficult for you to stay consistent.

3- You cannot maintain a consistent schedule or morning routine. Since your morning keeps expanding and contracting depending on what time you have to wake up for Fajr prayer, having a consistent morning routine can be quite challenging.

So How Do You Overcome This Challenge?

The solution is in a new routine I’ve developed recently. By Allah’s permission and help, I have been able to consistently wake up 45 minutes before Fajr Adhan, regardless of the season and time of year I’m in.

This has helped me train my brain to wake up in sync with Fajr prayer Adhan, as well as in sync with the seasons. It has also helped me maintain a regular night prayer + witr routine, since I now have a 45-minute window before the Fajr Adhan .

So here’s my solution: This is a 3-step process that has worked for me and I hope and pray that it works with you.

Step 1: Get the Right Alarm

I got myself a desk Fajr clock. The clock has  a unique feature i.e. it has an alarm that goes off in sync with the Fajr Adhan  and you can set it to wake you up at least 10 minutes before Fajr, every day. Therefore, regardless of the time of Fajr Adhan, it’ll go off exactly 10 minutes before Fajr.

Step 2: Develop Your Alarm Habit

Every person has a unique “alarm habit” whether you’re consciously aware of it or not. For some, it’s the classic ‘hit the snooze button and sleep until it’s too late for you to hit the snooze button again’ habit. For others, it’s to simply shut the alarm and sleep for another 20-30 minutes before waking up scared that they’ll miss their morning commute.

I used to have quite a funny alarm habit myself. My alarm clock (the Fajr clock I mentioned above) was placed at the other end of my room. When it went off, I got up, walked across the room, turned it off and then walked straight back to bed for a snooze before my phone’s alarm woke me up. Normally, it worked for me. But, sometimes it didn’t and that bothered me.

Thinking about that routine, I realize it didn’t make sense. “Why am I heading back to my bed after waking up and walking across the room?!”. So I decided to change my routine to change my habit.

I simply changed the direction of my walk after I turned off the alarm. Instead of walking back to bed, I walked straight to the bathroom to get ready for salah. Initially, making that conscious shift of walking to the bathroom instead of the bed was quite challenging because I was trying to overcome an old habit.

However, after a few days, this habit has become ingrained in me. Now, I find it much easier to get up at any time the Adhan clock goes off and walk straight to the bathroom and get ready for salah.

Step 3: Tweak and Re-arrange

When I first changed my alarm habit, I used to have the Fajr alarm set at least 5 minutes before Fajr Adhan. Of course, this gave me no time to pray Tahajjud (late night prayer) or Witr on time. So what I wanted to do was gradually train my mind to wake up earlier and earlier each day. I knew that if I “jerk” my brain to wake up half an hour before the time it’s used to wake up, I might be tempted to go back to my old routine and walk straight into bed for a snooze.

To make this transition smooth, I followed a simple procedure. Each week, I set my alarm to go off 5 minutes earlier than the previous week. This small tweak of the alarm each week allowed me to gradually train my mind to consistently wake up 45 minutes before Fajr each day. This helped me overcome two of the challenges I mentioned earlier:

1- Training my brain to wake up at “same time” each day.

2- Staying consistent with night prayer.

What about the third challenge i.e. maintaining a consistent morning routine? To overcome this challenge, I would review my morning routine every three months. Normally, three months is enough time for Fajr prayer to have moved significantly to require me to tweak my morning routine.

The way I tweak my morning routine is by either adding or removing “optional” morning activities to/from my “core” morning activities to have an optimal morning routine, depending on the season.

What are My Core/Optional Morning Activities?

4-6 rak`ah Tahajjud

2 raka`ah Tahajjud

Witr Prayer

Istighfar (asking Allah’s forgiveness)

Repeat after the Fajr Adhan with the nearby mosque muezzin (one who calls the Adhan)

Fajr sunnah

Fajr Prayer

Remembrance after salah

Morning remembrance

Qur’an recitation

Writing, Brainstorming

Reading

Gym (swimming, weights, running)

7-30 minutes of home exercise

Breakfast

An Advance Tip

I want to go a level deeper with you and give you a really pro tip. This is for the productivity professionals out there.

You can play with the above system so you reduce the variance between your earliest summer wake-up time and earliest winter wake-up time. This way, you don’t go through massive swings during the year. For example, if Fajr gets as early as 3am and as late as 7 a.m. in your area (depending on the season), following my 45-minute routine before Fajr tip, the earliest you’ll wake up in the summer is 2.30 a.m. and the earliest you’ll wake up in the winter is 6.30 a.m. However, that’s a 4 hour swing/variance in one year, which can be quite hard to adapt to.

What if during winter, instead of waking up at 6.30am, you wake up at 4.30am and give yourself a longer period to pray Tahajjud.

This way, the gap between your earliest winter wake-up time and summer wake-up time is 2 hours, which won’t be as difficult to adjust to, In sha Allah.

I hope the above has helped you in some way to develop a powerful wake-up routine that not only allows you to never miss Fajr, but also keep up with the Fajr timings throughout the year and get a chance to keep up with your night prayer each night. Of course, I must mention that waking up early for Fajr and Tahajjud is a blessing from Allah and can only happen by His permission.

Hence whenever applying the above techniques, remember you’re simply taking the means, but your heart and hopes should be connected to Allah in Whose Hands is your ability to wake up. Pray that you wake up early and worship Him and remember: “You Alone we worship and You Alone we ask for help”.

_________________________

Source: Productive Muslim.

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New Muslims Prayer

The Muslim Prayer: Its Rules and Timing

What are the rules of Muslim prayer? How do we shorten the prayer? And when is it applicable? When should we make for the missed prayer? Are there times when it is wrong to pray?

Shortening the Prayer

When a person is travelling with the intention of proceeding forty eight miles or over from his home he should shorten the obligatory prayers of four units to two each.

What are the rules of Muslim prayer?

As a rule, every Muslim, male or female, should offer the prayer in its due time.

The curtailment is applicable to the Noon (Zhuhr) Prayer, the Mid-Afternoon (`Asr) Prayer, and the Evening (`Ishaa’) Prayer. The Early Morning (Fajr) Prayer and the Sunset (Maghrib) Prayers remain unchanged.

This advantage remains effective even after the traveler arrives at his destination, if he does not intend to prolong his stay there for fifteen days or more. Otherwise, he should offer the reducible prayers in their original and complete number of units.

While traveling under these circumstances, he is exempt from all supererogatory prayers (sunnah) except the two sunnah units of the Early Morning (Fajr) and Witr which follows the Evening (`Ishaa’) prayers

There are some minor differences of interpretation between the various schools of law regarding the travel distance and the travel duration.

Times When Muslim Prayer is Forbidden

The Muslim is forbidden to offer either obligatory or supererogatory prayers at:

1- The time when the sun is rising;

2- The time when the sun is at its zenith;

3- The time when the sun is setting;

4- The period of menstruation or confinement due to childbirth

5- The time of impurity, partial or complete

It must be clarified that if a person forgets, oversleeps or misses a prayer, he must perform it immediately when he remembers regardless of the position of the sun.

Making up for Delayed Prayers

1- As a rule, every Muslim, male or female, should offer the prayer in its due time. Failing to do so is a punishable sin unless there is a reasonable excuse for delay.

2- With the exception of women in confinement or menstruation and any who remain insane or unconscious for some time, every Muslim must make up for his or her delayed obligatory prayers.

3- When making up for the delayed prayers one must offer them in their original form, e.g., if they were due shortened they should be offered so and vice-versa.

4- Order between the delayed prayers and between these and the present ones should be maintained, i.e., the first in due-ness is offered first unless the missed prayers are too many to remember their exact dates, or the time available is not sufficient for both missed and present prayers.

In this case, the present prayer comes first and the missed ones may be offered later. At any rate, the Muslim must make certain that his record is clear to the best of his knowledge, and that there are no missed prayers.

The Taraweeh Prayers

These prayers are special characteristic of the month of Ramadan. They follow the Evening (‘Ishaa’ ) Prayers. They consist of eight to twenty units (Rak’ ahs) offered two by two with short break between each two units. It is much more preferable to say them in a congregational form and before the Witr, which is the last part of the Evening Prayer.

Invalidation of Prayers

Any prayer becomes invalid and nullified by any act of the following:

1- To anticipate the Imam in any act or movement of prayer;

2- To eat or drink during the prayer;

3- To talk or say something out of the prescribed course of prayers;

4- To shift the position away from the direction of qiblah in Mecca; unless it is

impossible to the worshipper to face the qiblah;

5- To do intentionally and unnecessary any noticeable act or movement outside the acts and movements of prayer;

6- To do anything that nullifies the ablution, e.g., discharge of urine, stool, gas, blood, etc.; unless due to a medical condition not in the worshipper’ s control, in this case the worshipper needs to perform ablution only once for every fard (obligatory) prayer, and he should not repeat the ablution to perform the Sunnah prayer relative to that Fard prayer

7- To fail in observing any of the essential acts of prayers, like standing, reciting the Qur’an, ruku’, sujud, etc.; unless for reasons of disability or physical ailment.

8- To uncover the body between the navel and knees during the prayer in the case of males; and in the case of females, to uncover any part of the body, except the face and the hands.

Any prayer which becomes invalidated must be repeated properly.

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The article is excerpted from the author’s well-known book “Islam in Focus”.

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New Muslims Prayer

Friday Prayer: Its Rules & Manner

The obligatory (fard) Prayer in Islam includes the five daily prayers and the weekly noon congregational prayer; Friday Prayer. Failure to observe these prayers on time is a serious and punishable sin.

Friday prayer

It is a convention for the Muslims to reassure themselves, confirm their religious bonds and social solidarity.

The Islamic congregation is a positive answer to the acutest problems of humanity rising from racial discrimination, social castes and human prejudices.

In the congregational service of Islam, there is no king or subject, rich or poor, white or colored, first or second class, back or front benches, reserved or public pews. All worshippers stand and act shoulder to shoulder in the most disciplinary manner regardless of any worldly considerations.

The Friday Prayer (Salatu Al-Jumu`ah)

This weekly convention of Friday Congregation is compulsory upon every Muslim who is required to observe the other prayers and has no reasonable excuses to abstain.

It falls on Friday of every week and is especially important because:

1- It is the occasion earmarked by God for the Muslims to express their collective devotion.

2- It is an appointment to review our spiritual accounts of the week gone by and get ready for the following week just as people do in any other business.

3- It is a convention for the Muslims to reassure themselves and confirm their religious bonds and social solidarity on moral and spiritual foundations.

4- It shows how the Muslims give preference to the call of God over and above any other concern

Muslim of the Daylight Saving time zones seem to run into some difficulties and confusion over the proper time for the Friday Congregational Prayer (Jumu`ah). The problem can be solved easily by setting the prayer time between 1:15 to 2.30 p.m. throughout year.

In this way there will be no need to change the time from winter to summer. We strongly recommend this to our brethren so that they may work it into their weekly schedules as a permanent arrangement.

The Highlights of the Friday Prayer

This prayer of Friday is marked by these features:

1- Its time falls in the same time as that of the noon prayer (Zhuhr Prayer), and it replaces the very same prayer.

2- It must be said in a congregation led by an Imam, no single person can offer it by himself.

3- If any person misses it, he cannot make up for it; Instead, he has to offer the noon prayer, the original prayer which this service normally replaces

4- All kinds of normal work are allowed on Friday as on any other week day. For Muslims there is no Sabbath. They can carry on with their usual duties and activities provided they come to the congregational service in time. After the service is over, they may resume their mundane activities.

5- This Friday prayer must be performed in a mosque, if there is one available. Otherwise, it may be said at any gathering place e.g. homes, farms, parks. etc.

6- When the time for prayer comes, the adhan is said, the Imam stands up, facing the audience and delivers his sermon (khutbah) which is an essential part of the service.

Muslims are recommended to offer Sunnah prayers before the sermon. As for those who will arrive at the mosque during the sermon they should offer the two brief units of the Sunnah prayer “Tahiyatu Al-Masjid” (Mosque greetings) and then sit down to listen.

While the Imam is talking nobody should talk, everyone present should take a sitting position and listen to the sermon quietly to the end

7- The sermon (khutbah) consists of two parts each beginning with words of praise of God and prayers of blessing for Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). In the first part some Qur’anic passage must be recited and explained for the purpose of exhortation and admonition.

At the end of the first part the Imam takes a short rest in the sitting posture, then stands up to deliver the second part of his sermon. General affairs of the Muslims may be stated in either or both parts of the sermon. In the second part, especially, the Imam prays for the general welfare of all Muslims

8- After that, the Iqamah is made and the two obligatory units are offered under the leadership of the Imam who recites Al-Fatihah and the other Qur’anic passage in audible voice. When this is done, the prayer is completed. After that, Sunnah prayers may be offered individually in a low voice.

The Sunnah prayers may be offered at home. Also they may be replaced with some obligatory prayers that one has missed in the past and for which one has to make up.

Any participant in the Friday weekly congregation or `Eid Prayers should do his best to be neat and tidy.

Though there is no compulsory reason for a complete ablution, a bath is strongly recommended as it makes one fresher and more pleasant.

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The article is excerpted from the author’s well-known book “Islam in Focus”.

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New Muslims Prayer

Night Prayer Negligence and Its 13 Losses

The Night Prayer or Qiyam Al-Layl stands for the practice by Muslims as they stand in the night in prayer. This prayer extends from the time immediately after `Isha’ Prayer until the Fajr (i.e., Dawn) Prayer.

Merits of Night Prayer

Many hadiths (narrations) by Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) as well as verses of the Qur’an show the significance as well as importance of the Night Prayer and the merits attributed to those who regularly and properly perform it.

Night Prayer Negligence and Its 13 Losses

“You should pray Qiyam al-Layl, for it is the habit of the righteous people who came before you, and it will bring you closer to your Lord”

Allah the Almighty says what may mean,

“O you who wraps himself (in clothing), arise (to pray) the night, except for a little – half of it – or subtract from it a little or add to it, and recite the Qur’an with measured recitation.” (Al-Muzammil 73: 1-4)

The Prophet (Peace be upon him) is reported to have said:

“Allah, Our Lord, descends (in a manner befitting His Majesty) to the nearest heaven to us of this universe during the last third of the night and says: ‘Is there anyone to call upon Me so that I shall respond to him (fulfill his prayer). Is there anyone to ask of Me that I may grant his request. Is there anyone to seek My forgiveness so that I shall pardon him (and forgive his sins)’.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

The Prophet (Peace be upon him) also said: “You should pray Qiyam al-Layl, for it is the habit of the righteous people who came before you, and it will bring you closer to your Lord, expiate for bad deeds, prevent sin, and expel disease from the body.”(At-Tirmidhi and Ahmad)

Given this, what is it really that a Muslim loses if s/he abandons and/or neglects the Night Prayer?

At least, one will lose thirteen (13) precious things; foremost among which are what follows:

The First Loss

One will lose the entitlement to the title or description of `Ibad Al-Rahman (i.e. Servants of the Most Compassionate), as Allah the Almighty says,

“And the servants of the Most Merciful are those who walk upon the earth easily, and when the ignorant address them (harshly), they say (words of) peace. And those who spend (part of) the night to their Lord prostrating and standing (in prayer).” (Al-Furqan 25: 63-64)

The Second Loss

He will lose entitlement to the title or description of “the Righteous”, as Allah the Almighty says,

“Indeed, the righteous will be among gardens and springs. Accepting what their Lord has given them. Indeed, they were before that doers of good. They used to sleep but little of the night. And in the hours before dawn they would ask forgiveness.” (Al-Dhariyat 51: 15-18)

The Third Loss

He will lose entitlement to the title or description of “the Devoutly Obedient” or “the People of Understanding”, as Allah the Almighty says what may mean,

“Is one who is devoutly obedient during periods of the night, prostrating and standing (in prayer), fearing the Hereafter and hoping for the mercy of his Lord, (like one who does not)? Say, “Are those who know equal to those who do not know?” Only they will remember (who are) people of understanding.” (Al-Zumar39: 9)

The Fourth Loss

He will lose the “high unique station” designated for those standing in prayer at night, as Allah says,

“They are not (all) the same; among the People of the Scripture is a community standing (in obedience), reciting the verses of Allah during periods of the night and prostrating (in prayer).” (Aal `Imran 3: 113)

The Fifth Loss

He will lose the chance that “supplication may be answered” such as that of Prophet Zakariya, as Allah the Almighty says what may mean,

“So the angels called him while he was standing in prayer in the chamber, “Indeed, Allah gives you good tidings of John, confirming a word from Allah and (who will be) honorable, abstaining (from women), and a prophet from among the righteous.” (Aal `Imran 3: 39)

The Sixth Loss

He will lose the chance to “be protected and assisted” by Allah the Almighty, Allah says,

“O you who wraps himself (in clothing). Arise (to pray) the night, except for a little – Half of it – or subtract from it a little. Or add to it, and recite the Qur’an with measured recitation. Indeed, We will cast upon you a heavy word. Indeed, the hours of the night are more effective for concurrence (of heart and tongue) and more suitable for words.” (Al-Muzammil 73: 1-6)

The Seventh Loss

He will lose the opportunity that his “good deeds do away with misdeeds” as one of the preconditions for this is that one performs the prayer at the approach of the night. Allah the Almighty says what may mean,

“And establish prayer at the two ends of the day and at the approach of the night. Indeed, good deeds do away with misdeeds. That is a reminder for those who remember.” (Hud 11: 114)

The Eighth Loss

He will lose the opportunity to “be resurrected to a praised station in Paradise”. Allah says in His Ever-Glorious Qur’an what may mean,

“And from (part of) the night, pray with it as additional (worship) for you; it is expected that your Lord will resurrect you to a praised station.” (Al-Isra’ 17: 79)

The Ninth Loss

He will lose “Allah’s Satisfaction” with him, as Allah says,

“So be patient over what they say and exalt ( Allah ) with praise of your Lord before the rising of the sun and before its setting; and during periods of the night (exalt Him) and at the ends of the day, that you may be satisfied.” (Taha20: 130)

The Tenth Loss

He will lose “Allah’s constant care” about him. Allah the Almighty says in His Ever-Glorious Qur’an what may mean,

“And rely upon the Exalted in Might, the Merciful. Who sees you when you arise. And your movement among those who prostrate.” (Al-Shu’ara’ 26: 217-219)

The Eleventh Loss

He will lose the opportunity to be among those regarding whom Allah says “You are in Our Eyes”. Allah says in the Qur’an what may mean,

“And be patient, (O Muhammad), for the decision of your Lord, for indeed, you are in Our eyes. And exalt ( Allah ) with praise of your Lord when you arise. And in a part of the night exalt Him and after (the setting of) the stars.” (Al-Tur 52: 48-49)

The Twelfth Loss

He will lose the “good that is hidden” for those who stand in prayer in the night. Allah says,

“And no soul knows what has been hidden for them of comfort for eyes as reward for what they used to do.” (Al-Sajdah 32: 17)

The Thirteenth Loss

He will lose the chance to “follow the sunnah” of Prophet Muhammad and his companions. Allah the Almighty says in the Qur’an,

“Indeed, your Lord knows, (O Muhammad), that you stand (in prayer) almost two thirds of the night or half of it or a third of it, and (so do) a group of those with you.” (Al-Muzammil 73: 20)

Given this, will a sane Muslim do without, neglect or abandon standing in prayer in the night or the Night Prayer? I doubt it!

Again, the Prophet  said:

“Verily, there is one hour during the (entire) night when any Muslim (submitting to the Will of Allah the Almighty) may call upon Allah and request anything of Him, regardless of whether the matter be worldly or of the hereafter. Allah, the Almighty will grant and fulfill the request. This is the case every night.” (Muslim)

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The article is taken from truth-seeker.info written by Dr. Ali Al-Halawani

Dr. Ali Al-Halawani is Assistant Professor of Linguistics and Translation, Kulliyyah of Languages and Management (KLM), International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He was Assistant Professor and worked for a number of international universities in Malaysia and Egypt such as Al-Madinah International University, Shah Alam, Malaysia (Mediu) and Misr University for Science & Technology (MUST), Egypt; Former Editor-in-Chief of the Electronic Da`wah Committee (EDC), Kuwait; Former Deputy Chief Editor and Managing Editor of the Living Shari`ah Department, www.islamOnline.net; Member of the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS); and member of the World Association of Arab Translators & Linguists (Wata). He is a published writer, translator and researcher. You can reach him at alihalawani72@hotmail.com.

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New Muslims Prayer

When Did the Adhan Become the Call to Prayer?

When did the adhan become the call to prayer?

When the Muslim community migrated to Madinah, they faced all sorts of new questions – like when exactly is prayer time over here?

So the Prophet (peace be upon him) gathered the Companions to discuss the matter. Some suggested using a bell like the Christians, or a horn like the Jewish community, but neither were from the traditions of either the Arabs nor or the Muslims. A man then came forth and said, “O Messenger of Allah, I had a very beautiful dream…”

Sheikh Hasib Noor explains in the video below…

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Source: Faith IQ

 

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New Muslims Prayer

The Adhan: Its Virtues and History

The adhan is a call to inform others in specific words that the time for a prayer has begun. It is a call to the congregation, and is an expression of the Islamic practices.

It is obligatory or highly preferred. Al-Qurtubi and others have said that the adhan, although it has very few words, covers all essentials of the faith. It begins by proclaiming the greatness of Allah, pointing to His existence and perfection. It mentions His oneness and the denial of polytheism, and it confers the messengership of Muhammad (peace be upon him).

It calls to specific acts of obedience after testifying to Muhammad’s messengership, and it calls to a prosperity which is everlasting, pointing to the return to Allah. Then, in a manner of emphasis, it repeats some of what was already mentioned.

 Virtues and Excellence of Adhan

Many hadiths describe the virtues of the adhan and the one who calls it. Such hadiths include the following:

Abu Hurairah reported that the Prophet said, “If the people knew what was in the adhan and the first row (of the prayer in virtue), and that they could not get it save by drawing lots, they would draw lots.

If they knew the reward for praying the noon prayer early in its time, they would race to it. And if they knew the reward for the night and the morning prayers in congregation, they would come to them even if they had to crawl .” (Al-Bukhari and others)

Mu`awiyyah reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him ) said, “The callers to prayer will have the longest necks of all people on the Day of Resurrection.” (Ahmad, Muslim, and Ibn Majah)

Al-Barra’ ibn `Aazib reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Allah and His angels pray upon those in the first rows. And the caller to prayer is forgiven, for as far as his voice reaches and whoever hears him will confirm what he says. He will get a reward similar to those who pray with him.” (An-Nasa’i)

Abu Ad-Darda’ reported that he heard the Prophet (peace be upon him) say, “If three people do not make the adhan and establish the prayer among themselves, Satan gains mastery over them.” (Ahmad)

Abu Hurairah reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “The imam (prayer leader) is a guarantor, and the caller to prayer is one who is given the trust. O Allah, guide the imam and forgive the caller to prayer.”

`Uqbah ibn `Aamir said he heard the Prophet (peace be upon him) say, “Your Lord, the Exalted, is amazed (and pleased) by one who is watching sheep in his pasture, then goes to the mountain to make the call to prayer and pray. Allah (the Exalted) says, ‘Look at my slave there who makes the call to prayer and establishes the prayer out of fear of Me. I have forgiven my slave and have allowed him to enter Paradise.’” (Ahmad, Abu Dawud and An-Nasa’i)

The Event Behind the Legislation of Adhan

The adhan was made part of the Shari`ah during the first year after the migration to Madinah. The hadiths clarify what led up to its institution.

Nafi` related that Ibn `Umar said, “The Muslims would gather and calculate the time of prayer, and no one would call them. They spoke about that one day. Some said, ‘We should have a bell like the Christians.’ Others said, ‘We should have a horn like the Jews.’ Suggested `Umar, ‘Why don’t we have one person call the others to prayer?’ The Messenger of Allah said, ‘Stand, Bilal, and make the call to prayer.” (Ahmad and Al-Bukhari)

Reported `Abdullah ibn (Zaid ibn) `Abd Rabbih, “When the Prophet was to order the use of a bell to call the people to prayer, he disliked it because it resembled the Christian practice. While I was sleeping, a man came to me carrying a bell. I said to him, ‘O slave of Allah, will you sell me that bell?’ Said he, ‘What would you do with it?’ I replied, ‘I would call the people to prayer with it.’ Said he, ‘Shall I not guide you to something better than that?’ I said, ‘Certainly.’ Said he, ‘You should say,

‘Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar. Ashhadu alla ilaha illa Allah, ashhadu alla ilaha illa Allah, Ashhadu anna Muhammad Rasulu Allah, Ashhadu anna Muhammad Rasulu Allah,  Hayya `ala as-salah, hayyah `ala as-salah. Hayya `ala al-falah, hayya `ala al-falah. Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar. La illaha illa Allah.’

Then he went a short distance away and said, ‘When you stand for the prayer, say, ‘Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar. Ashhadu alla ilaha illa Allah, Ashhadu anna Muhammad rasulu Allah,  Hayya `ala as-salah, hayya `ala al-falah. Qad qamat as-salah, qad qamat as-salah. Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar. La ilaha illa Allah.’

When the morning came, I went to the Messenger of Allah to tell him what I had seen. He said:

“Your dream is true, Allah willing. Go to Bilal, tell him what you have seen, and tell him to make the call to prayer, for he has the best voice among you.’ I went to Bilal and told him what to do, and he made the call to prayer. `Umar was in his house when he heard it. He came out with his cloak, saying ‘By the One who has raised you with the truth, I saw similar to what he saw.’ The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, ‘To Allah is the praise.” (Ahmad, Abu Dawud, Ibn Majah, Ibn Khuzaimah and At-Tirmidhi)

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Source: The article is excerpted from the book “Fiqh Us-Sunnah” by As-Sayyid Sabiq

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New Muslims Prayer

Praying on Time: Between Deep Faith & Fashionable Identity

The struggle to find a prayer space for praying at work is familiar to many Muslim Americans, but it’s magnified even more in creative fields like fashion….

Praying: Life Example

Muslims praying

Our faith is so deeply intertwined with our identity that we can’t compartmentalize it out of myself at work.

I’m sitting in a cubicle farm. The minutes are ticking away and time is quickly running out. If I don’t do it now, I’ll miss my chance. I could just ask somebody. But I’m new here and barely know anyone.

Shifty-eyed, I assess my surroundings to gauge the possibility of getting caught, contemplating the backlash that potentially awaits me. Finally, internal debate gives way to desperation and I just go for it.

I crawl under my desk and create a makeshift barricade with a trash bin and desk chair to block myself from view as much as possible. I hope to God no one comes by to ask me where we’re at on that brand statement. I pull my scarf over my head, and hastily offer my afternoon prayers.

Mental Break

The requirements for Muslim prayers aren’t burdensome. A clean space and five or ten minutes are all you need. There are five daily prayers and depending on daylight savings, one to three of them fall squarely within the confines of the 9-to-5 work day.

Solitary prayers are a keenly personal act. They require focus, concentration and detachment from the hustle and bustle of life as you silently recite Qur’anic passages to yourself. In this respect, the divine communication is no different from meditating, practicing yoga, or taking a quiet mental break. All are meant to renew your spirit and take your mind off of everyday minutiae.

Muslim prayers also involve certain movements like standing, bowing and prostrating- which is where things get tricky. It’s not exactly something you can do incognito. Nothing is more clumsily awkward than a coworker finding you mid-prayer. The whole experience is akin to having someone unwittingly walk in to a bathroom stall you’re currently using. There’s lots of apologizing on both sides, avoidance of eye contact and pretending afterward that the whole thing never happened.

The struggle to find a prayer space at work is familiar to many Muslim Americans, but it’s magnified even more in creative fields like fashion, where typically few Muslims end up. As a “creative type” who has worked at several fashion brands, I’ve almost always been the lone Muslim employee.

Consequently, I’ve developed the special ability to ferret out secluded nooks and crannies for prayer at work. I’ve found office gyms with changing rooms are usually the best bet for privacy and low risk of intrusion.

Sometimes I’ll pray in my car as a last resort, though it’s tough getting spiritual in a metal can that’s been baking in the Southern California heat, especially when your coworkers are pulling up to the spot next to you, fresh off a Starbucks run.

But that brings in a host of potential complications. Like so many millions of Muslim women around the world, my version of modesty does not include donning the hijab, the headscarf that anyone with a cable news subscription will recognize as a “marker” of Muslim-ness, albeit an arbitrary one. Not visually standing out in this way actually makes it that much more difficult to bring up the “Muslim conversation” and the related “prayer conversation”.

Without the visual reference, I’m simply an ethnic-looking person who seems to have assimilated into modern Western society completely, given my proficiency in non-accented English and ability to discuss the finer points of the Real Housewives franchise. Unless I volunteer that I am, in fact, Muslim, I can pass.

Unfortunately for me, the last thing Muslims are perceived as is arbiters of cool.

Adding to all of this is the fact that I’ve been working in marketing and fashion since I graduated college. These industries thrive on what’s au courant, trending, and viral. Somehow, a 1400-year-old tradition of daily prayer doesn’t fit in with that sort of ethos. Sometimes appearing outwardly religious at work can be a turnoff, like you’re out of touch with the times.

Seeking Wholeness

Sometimes, you’re afraid that asking for allowances for religious reasons might make you appear like a slacker asking for extra breaks. And sometimes you really just don’t want to become the go-to girl for questions on ISIS. Because, honestly? I don’t have any more answers than you do.

This paranoia does not come from nowhere. The worry that you might be seen as someone foreign and weird is one that any second-generation kid born and brought up in America lives with. But for Muslim Americans that fear is compounded by the way Islam is wildly misconstrued in the media as a backward and oppressive religion that needs to be brought into the 21st century.

So I resolve to keep that part of myself out of the office because I’ve found that matters of religion, especially those pertaining to Islam, can make others feel uncomfortable. I don’t want my coworkers to feel they need to handle me with kid gloves for fear of coming off as culturally insensitive. I want to be able to joke, jive and have a rapport with them. Some of the most creative ideas I’ve had were borne from those kinds of team relationships.

I just want them to think I’m normal.

But that afternoon, cowering under my desk to pray, I realize something: My faith is so deeply intertwined with my identity that I can’t compartmentalize it out of myself at work. And pre-emptively judging my new colleagues, assuming they’re too narrow-minded to understand, is unwarranted on my part.

My faith is so deeply intertwined with my identity that I can’t compartmentalize it out of myself at work.

On Balance

The next day, I gather up my courage and walk over to my manager. I imagine her giving me a look of sheer bewilderment as I reveal this deep dark secret about who I really am. I picture her discussing this moment with girlfriends in a hushed tone over drinks. I hesitate for a few seconds, stumbling over how to frame the question, before sputtering out my request.

“Sure, there’s a conference room,” she says without a hint of surprise or shock, before directing me to the holy grail of secret prayer spots: a room, tucked away in a deserted hallway, with no windows and a door that locks. I’m flooded with relief and thank her profusely.

“All you had to do was ask,” she nonchalantly responds, as if it were no big deal.

Because, in fact, it is not a big deal.

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Source: racked.com

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Acts of Worship New Muslims

How to Offer the Funeral Prayer

funeral-prayer

The imam stands beside the body facing the qiblah at Mecca with the followers behind him in lines.

The prayer to God for the deceased Muslim is a common collective duty (Fard Kifayah). This means that some Muslims should offer this prayer, and when it is offered by some of the Muslims present at the time it is sufficient, and the other Muslims become exempt from responsibility.

– When a Muslim dies, the whole body – beginning with the exposed parts washed in ablution (wudu’ ) – must be washed a few times with soap or some other detergent or disinfectant, and cleaned of all visible impurities. A man washes a man and a woman washes a woman. A woman may wash her husband, and a man or woman may wash young children. During the washing, the washer’s hands should be covered by gloves or cloth, and the private parts of the dead body should be washed without being seen.

When the body is thoroughly clean, it is wrapped in one or more white cotton sheets covering all the parts of the body

– The dead body is then placed on a bier or in a coffin and carried to the place of prayer, a mosque or any other clean premises. The body is put in a position with the face toward the qiblah (direction of Makkah).

– All participants in the prayer must perform an ablution unless they are keeping an earlier one. The imam stands beside the body facing the qiblah at Mecca with the followers behind him in lines.

– The imam raises his hands to the ears declaring the intention in a low voice to pray to God for that particular deceased one, and saying Allahu Akbar (God is the Greatest). The worshippers follow the imam’s lead and after him place their right hands over the left ones under the navel as in others prayers

– Then the imam recites in a low voice the “Du’ a Thana’” and Al-Fatihah (the 1st chapter of the Qur’an) only.

– Then he says Allahu Akbar without raising his hands and recites the second part of the Tashahhud:

Allaahumma salli ‘ala Muhammadin wa ‘ala aali Muhammadin kamaa sallayta ‘ala Ibraheema wa ‘ala aali Ibraheem. Innaka hameedun majeed. Allaahumma baarik ‘ala Muhammadin wa ‘ala aali Muhammadin kamaa baarakta ‘ala Ibraheem wa ‘ala aali Ibraheem. Innaka hameedun majeed.” (O Allah, exalt Muhammad and the family of Muhammad as You exalted Ibrahim (Abraham) and the family of Ibrahim. Verily You are full of praise and majesty. O Allah, bless Muhammad and the family of Muhammad as You blessed Ibrahim and the family of Ibrahim. Verily, You are full of praise and majesty.)

– Then he makes the third takbir saying Allahu Akbar without raising the hands and offers a supplication (du`aa’ ) in any suitable words he knows, preferably these

O God! Grant forgiveness to our living and to our dead, and to those who are present and to those who are absent. And to our young and to our old folk, and to our males and to our females. O God! whomsoever You grant to live, from among us, help him to live in Islam, and whomsoever of us You cause to die, help him to die in faith. O God! Do not deprive us of the reward for patience on his loss, and do not make us subject to trial after him.”

– Then the fourth takbir (saying Allahu Akbar) without raising the hands is made followed by the concluding peace greetings right and left as in other prayers. It should be remembered that the worshippers behind in lines follow the lead of the Imam step by step and recite privately the same utterances in low voice.

– After completing the Prayer, the body is carried to the graveyard, there the body is lowered in the grave for burial with the face resting in the direction of Mecca. When lowering the body down these words are said:

“In the name of God and with God, and according to the Sunnah (Traditions) of the Messenger of God upon whom be the blessings and peace of God.”

– Besides these, any other fit prayers may be offered. If the deceased is a child under the age of puberty, the prayer is the same except that after the third Takbeer and instead of that long supplication the worshippers recite these words:

“O God! Make him (or her) our fore-runner, and make him for us a reward and a treasure, and make him for us a pleader, and accept his pleading.”

The whole funeral prayer is offered in the standing position.

Whenever a funeral procession passes by, be it of a Muslim or otherwise, every Muslim should stand out of respect for the dead.

The grave should be built and marked in a simple way. The dead body should be covered with white cotton sheets of standard material. Any extravagance in building the grave or dressing up the body in fine suits or the like is non-Islamic. It is false vanity and a waste of assets that can be used in many useful ways.

The custom of some Muslims of offering a big and costly banquet upon burial of the deceased is also non-Islamic and an irresponsible waste of money and effort that can be of infinite benefit If used otherwise.

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The article is excerpted from the author’s well-known book “Islam in Focus”.

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Categories
Acts of Worship New Muslims

What Did the Prophet say about Congregational Prayer?

By Editorial Staff

The Prophet (peace be upon him) encouraged Muslims to attend the congregational prayer at the mosque, warning against staying away from it, and that it is fard kifayah (collective obligation).

Congregational Prayer

“The prayer in congregation is twenty seven times superior to the prayer offered by person alone.”

Superiority of Congregational Prayer

Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said, “The congregational prayer  is twenty seven times superior to the prayer offered by person alone.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “The prayer of a man with another man is better than his praying alone, and the prayer of a man with two other men is better than his praying alone or with only one other man, and the more people there are, the more beloved it is to Allah.” (An-Nasa’i and Abu Dawud)

Also, it was narrated that Ma`dan ibn Abu Talhah Al-Ya`muri said:

Abud-Darda’ (may Allah be pleased with him) reported:

I heard the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) saying:

“If three men in a village or in the desert, make no arrangement for Salah (prayer) in congregation, Satan must have certainly overcome them. So observe prayer in congregation, for the wolf eats up a solitary sheep that stays far from the flock.” (Abu Dawud)

Anas bin Malik narrated that:

Allah’s Messenger said: “Whoever performs prayer for Allah for forty days in congregation, catching the first takbir, two absolutions are written for him: absolution from the Fire, and absolution from the Fire, and absolution from hypocrisy.” (At-Tirmidhi)

`Isha’ & Fajr

Uthman ibn `Affan (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that Allah’s Messenger said:

“Whoever attends `Isha’ (prayer) in congregation, then he has (the reward as if he had) stood half of the night. And whoever prays `Isha’ and Fajr in congregation, then he has (the reward as if he had) spent the entire night standing (in prayer).” (At-Tirmidhi)

`Uthman ibn `Affan reported:

I heard the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) saying: “One who performs `Isha’ (Night) prayer in congregation, is as if he has performed prayer for half of the night. And one who performs the Fajr prayer in congregation, is as if he has performed prayer the whole night.” (Muslim)

Narrated Abu Hurairah:

The Prophet said, “Allah will prepare for him who goes to the mosque (every) morning and in the afternoon (for the congregational prayer) an honorable place in Paradise with good hospitality for (what he has done) every morning and afternoon goings. (Al-Bukhari)

Narrated Abu Hurairah:

Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said:

“If the people knew the reward for pronouncing the Adhan and for standing in the first row (in congregational prayers) and found no other way to get that except by drawing lots they would draw lots. And if they knew the reward of the Zhuhr prayer (in the early moments of its stated time), they would race for it (go early). And if they knew the reward of `Isha’ and Fajr (morning) prayers in congregation, they would come to offer them even if they had to crawl.” (Al-Bukhari)

Congregational Prayer

“For when one of you is walking for Salah, he is, in fact, engaged in Salah.”

More Virtuous

It was narrated that Ibn `Umar said:

“The Messenger of Allah said: “The prayer of a man in congregation is twenty-seven levels more virtuous than a man’s prayer on his own.” (Ibn Majah)

It was narrated that `Uthman ibn `Affan said:

“I heard the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) say: “Whoever does wudu’ (ablution) properly, then walks to (attend) the prescribed prayer, and prays with the people or with the congregation or in the Masjid, Allah will forgive him his sins.” (An-Nasa’i)

Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported:

I heard the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) saying, “When the Iqamah is pronounced, do not come to it running, you should walk calmly with tranquility to join the congregation. Then join in what you catch for and complete what you miss.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Narrated Abu Hurairah:

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Allah will prepare for him who goes to the mosque (every) morning and in the afternoon (for the congregational prayer) an honorable place in Paradise with good hospitality for (what he has done) every morning and afternoon goings. (Al-Bukhari)

Abu Musa (may Allah be pleased with him) reported:

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said,

“The person who will receive the highest reward for Salah (prayer) is the one who comes to perform it in the mosque from the farthest distance. And he who waits for Salah to perform it with the Imam (in congregation) will have a greater reward than the one who observes it alone and then goes to sleep.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Messenger of Allah peace be upon him) said, “For when one of you is walking for Salah, he is, in fact, engaged in Salah.” (Muslim)

Abu Hurairah reported Allah’s Messenger as saying:

“The servant is constantly in prayer so long as he is in a place of worship waiting for the prayer (to be observed in congregation), and the angels invoke (blessings upon him in these words): O Allah! pardon him. O Allah! show mercy to him, (and they continue to do so) till he returns (from the mosque having completed the prayer) or his ablution breaks. I said: How is the ablution broken? He said: By breaking of the wind noiselessly or with noise. (Muslim)

Narrated Abu Hurairah:

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said,

“The prayer offered in congregation is twenty five times more superior (in reward) to the prayer offered alone in one’s house or in a business center, because if one performs ablution and does it perfectly, and then proceeds to the mosque with the sole intention of praying, then for each step which he takes towards the mosque, Allah upgrades him a degree in reward and (forgives) crosses out one sin till he enters the mosque. When he enters the mosque he is considered in prayer as long as he is waiting for the prayer and the angels keep on asking for Allah’s forgiveness for him and they keep on saying: ‘O Allah! Be Merciful to him, O Allah! Forgive him, as long as he keeps on sitting at his praying place and does not pass wind.” (Al-Bukhari)

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