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Importance of Prayer

Direct communication with Allah

“The closest a person is to His Lord is when he is in prostration.”

Through prayer, you are able to connect with your Lord. The Arabic word for prayer (As-Salah) is actually derived from the Arabic word meaning “connection.” The Messenger of Allah * said: “When any one of you stands to pray, he is communicating with his Lord, so let him pay attention to how he speaks to Him.”  Don’t cut this relationship between you and your Creator.

 A pillar of Islam

Prayer is the second most important pillar of Islam, and is the most regular compulsory action in a Muslim’s life. We fast just one month a year; we must give Zakah once a year; and Hajj is only once a life time. However, prayer is the one act that must be fulfilled at least five times a day, regardless of the circumstance . In fact, Allah did not even exempt the Muslims from praying during the battle! He says:

“Guard strictly your (habit of) prayers… If you fear (an enemy), pray on foot, or riding. ” Qur’an 2:238-9

If this is the case in the time of war, then what about in peace?

Success lies in the Prayer

The Prophet * said: “The first of his deeds for which a man will be called to account on the Day of Resurrection will be the prayers. If it is found to be perfect, he will be safe and successful. But if it is defective, he will be unfortunate and a loser.”

 Its Benefits

 Shields against evil

Man was created weak and without seeking help from Allah, it will be impossible to refrain from evil.

Allah says: “Verily, prayer restrains (oneself) from shameful and unjust deeds…” Qur’an 29:45

There is no doubt that the one who stands in front of Allah willingly will be different from the one who doesn’t. How can you continue to commit the same sins if you’re standing before Allah 5 times a day?

Enriches the soul

Man is forgetful, especially with the our busy lifestyles. Prayer satisfies our spiritual need to be in contact with our Creator. This gives the soul peace and contentment.

Allah says, “Without doubt, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find satisfaction.” Qur’an 13:28

 Makes us humble

By realising Allah’s greatness and dependence on our Lord, man is humbled and rids us from pride and arrogance. In the prayer, the Muslim puts the highest part of his body and source of intellect, his head, on to the ground and says, “How perfect is my Lord, The Most High.”

Humbleness is one of the qualities which Allah has associated with success.

He says, “Successful indeed are the believers, who are humble in their prayers.” Qur’an 23:1-2

Of course this can only be achieved when one understands what one is reciting and concentrates with humility.

Washes away sins

Everyone commits sins, however, Allah has provided, in prayer, a way to wipe out those sins.

Allah says: And perform prayer… surely the good deeds remove the evils deeds. Qur’an 11:114

The Messenger gave a beautiful example when he said to his companions: “Consider if one of you had a river by his door in which he bathed five times a day. Would any filth remain on him?” They said, “No.” Then the Prophet replied: “Likewise, Allah wipes away sins with the five daily prayers.”

Cures our Problems

Man is surrounded by numerous trials and problems. Once we focus on strengthening our relationship with our Lord, He, who is All-Powerful, will fix our worldly problems. Like our scholars say, whoever strengthens their relationship between themselves and Allah, Allah will strengthen their relationship between themselves and the creation.

Allah says, Seek help in patience and prayer. Qur’an 2:153

 Unites the Muslims

When the prayer is performed in congregation, it cultivates brotherhood, equality and humility between Muslims. The worshippers stand in rows, shoulder to shoulder, without any distinction of race, nationality, colour, wealth, family or status, and all pray together as one body. This act of unity helps demolish all barriers which stand between men.

The Prophet * said, “Prayer in congregation is better than praying alone by twenty-seven degrees.”

 Abandoning Prayer

“O Mankind, What has deceived you concerning your Lord, the Most Generous?” Qur’an 82:06

You are disobeying your Creator

This is the most serious and obvious consequence. The whole purpose of your existence is to worship Allah, yet you are disobeying your Creator every day.

“Then, there has succeeded them a generation who have given up prayer and have followed their desires. So they will be thrown in Hell. Except those who repent and believe, and work righteousness.” Qur’an 19:59-60

“(The people in Hell will be asked:) What has caused you to enter Hell? They will say: We were not of those who used to pray…” Qur’an 74:42-43

 You are being ungrateful

Refusing the invitation of your Creator to establish this close relationship with Him is the ultimate ingratitude. Allah created you and gave you everything,

He says,  “ It is He who has created you and endowed you with hearing and seeing and hearts, little are you grateful.”      Qur’an 67:23

The Prophet’s feet would sometimes get swollen because he would stand in prayer for lengthy periods, and when asked about this, he would reply: “Should I not be a grateful servant of my Lord?”

 You are being lazy

What excuse will you give to your Creator, the Creator of the heavens and the earth, on the Day of Judgement?  The One who blessed you with 24 hours, yet only asked that you spend about 30 minutes a day for prayer.

The Prophet * said, “On the Day of Resurrection the feet of the son of Adam will not move away till he is questioned about five matters: on what he spent his life; in doing what he made his youth pass away; where he acquired his property, and on what he spent it; and what he did regarding what he knew.”

 You will be miserable

The human that has no connection with Allah helplessly seeks an alternative and leaves no stone unturned looking for calmness and bliss. It, however, searches in vain, wandering aimlessly.

Allah says: “ And whoever turns away from My remembrance – indeed for him is a life of hardship. And We will raise him on the Day of Resurrection, blind. He will say, “My Lord, why have you raised me blind while I was (once) seeing?” (Allah) will say, “Thus did Our signs come to you, and you forgot (disregarded) them; and thus will you, this Day, be forgotten.”   Qur’an 20:124-6

 You are only harming yourself

Allah doesn’t need your prayer. Allah doesn’t need anything from anyone-Glory be to Him. It is you that stands in need of His mercy.

“Give thanks to Allah, and whoever gives thanks, it is only for his own soul’s good, and whoever is ungrateful, surely Allah is Free of all needs, Worthy of all praise.” Qur’an 31:12

 You are flirting with disbelief

Many Scholars of Islam hold the opinion that the one who does not pray is a disbeliever. They quote the following hadeeth:

“The covenant which distinguishes between us and them (i.e., between believers and disbelievers) is the prayer, and whoever neglects it has disbelieved.”

Additionally, the companions of the Prophet * did not consider the abandonment of any act as disbelief, except for prayer.

 Common Excuses

No time/ Work  / Study/ Busy Pure and simple deception. You haven’t given prayers priority.  Allah will bless your time and make you more effective, efficient and successful.
My heart is clean Allah judges who has clean hearts, and He wants us to pray!  Actions will reflect what is in your heart. No one has a cleaner heart than Prophet Muhammad * who used to pray regularly.
My alarm It’s hard for your alarm to go off, if you don’t SET it !!! Purify your intention and sleep according to the Sunnah.
My family/ spouse/ parents/ friends prevent me. The Prophet * said, “There is no obedience to anyone in disobedience to Allah.” You will be judged alone.
Praying after its time / joining prayers “Surely, the prayers are made obligatory for the believers at their prescribed times.”  Qur’an 4:103
I’m sinning too much In time, your prayers will prevent you from committing these sins – just pray! You are sinning because you are not praying.

Contemplate over this hadeeth: “If they knew the merits of the ‘Isha and Fajr prayers, they would come to them (in the mosque) even if they had to crawl.”

What excuse do we honestly have when we face our Lord on that difficult Day?

 

Source: http://islamicpamphlets.com

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Islamic History Part 1 of 5

In or about the year 570 the child who would be named Muhammad and who would become the Prophet of one of the world’s great religions, Islam, was born into a family belonging to a clan of Quraish, the ruling tribe of Mecca, a city in the Hijaz region of northwestern Arabia.

Originally the site of the Kaabah, a shrine of ancient origins, Mecca had, with the decline of southern Arabia, become an important center of sixth-century trade with such powers as the Sassanians, Byzantines, and Ethiopians.  As a result, the city was dominated by powerful merchant families, among whom the men of Quraish were preeminent.

Muhammad’s father, “Abd Allah ibn” Abd al-Muttalib, died before the boy was born; his mother, Aminah, died when he was six.  The orphan was consigned to the care of his grandfather, the head of the clan of Hashim.  After the death of his grandfather, Muhammad was raised by his uncle, Abu Talib.  As was customary, the child Muhammad was sent to live for a year or two with a Bedouin family.  This custom, followed until recently by noble families of Mecca, Medina, Taif, and other towns of the Hijaz, had important implications for Muhammad.  In addition to enduring the hardships of desert life, he acquired a taste for the rich language so loved by the Arabs, whose speech was their proudest art, and also learned the patience and forbearance of the herdsmen, whose life of solitude he first shared, and then came to understand and appreciate.

About the year 590, Muhammad, then in his twenties, entered the service of a merchant widow named Khadijah as her factor, actively engaged with trading caravans to the north.  Sometime later he married her, and had two sons, neither of whom survived, and four daughters by her.

In his forties, he began to retire to meditate in a cave on Mount Hira, just outside Mecca, where the first of the great events of Islam took place.  One day, as he was sitting in the cave, he heard a voice, later identified as that of the Angel Gabriel, which ordered him to:

“Recite: In the name of thy Lord who created, Created man from a clot of blood.” (Quran 96:1-2)

Three times Muhammad pleaded his inability to do so, but each time the command was repeated.  Finally, Muhammad recited the words of what are now the first five verses of the 96th chapter of the Quran – words which proclaim God to be the Creator of man and the Source of all knowledge.

At first Muhammad divulged his experience only to his wife and his immediate circle.  But, as more revelations enjoined him to proclaim the oneness of God universally, his following grew, at first among the poor and the slaves, but later, also among the most prominent men of Mecca.  The revelations he received at this time, and those he did later, are all incorporated in the Quran, the Scripture of Islam.

Not everyone accepted God’s message transmitted through Muhammad.  Even in his own clan, there were those who rejected his teachings, and many merchants actively opposed the message.  The opposition, however, merely served to sharpen Muhammad’s sense of mission, and his understanding of exactly how Islam differed from paganism.  The belief in the Oneness of God was paramount in Islam; from this all else follows.  The verses of the Quran stress God’s uniqueness, warn those who deny it of impending punishment, and proclaim His unbounded compassion to those who submit to His will.  They affirm the Last Judgment, when God, the Judge, will weigh in the balance the faith and works of each man, rewarding the faithful and punishing the transgressor.  Because the Quran rejected polytheism and emphasized man’s moral responsibility, in powerful images, it presented a grave challenge to the worldly Meccans.

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Children Rights In Islam

The Rights of Children in Islam

By Sheikh Al-Uthaymeen

Let us first establish that children in accordance with the Islamic concept means both male and female. Some Islamic opponents accuse Islam of differentiating between male and female children claiming that Islam prefers boys over girls in terms of inheritance, ‘Aqeeqa (slaughter of two lambs upon the birth of a male baby, and one lamb only for a baby girl) and other matters. In accordance with the true Islamic teaching, both male and female are alike in the sight of Allah, the Almighty. Each, however, is physically prepared and equipped to perform certain tasks and duties that are suitable to his/her nature. All, again are equal in religious duties, except for certain exceptions that are defined and illustrated by Allah, the Almighty, in the Glorious Quran, or declared and specified by Allah’s Apostle, PBUH. Only these differences are to be acknowledged and honored and only in accordance with Islam and its teachings.

Children, according to Islam, are entitled to various rights. The first and foremost of these rights is the right to be properly brought up, raised and educated. This means that children should be given suitable, sufficient, sound and adequate religious, ethical and moral guidance to last them for their entire lives. They should be engraved with true values, the meaning of right and wrong, true and false, correct and incorrect, appropriate and inappropriate and so forth and so on. Allah, the Almighty stated in the Glorious Qur’an:

“O ye who believe! Save yourselves and your families from a Fire whose fuel is People and Stones.” (66:6)

Allah’s Apostle, PBUH also said: “Every one of you (people) is a shepherd. And every one is responsible for whatever falls under his responsibility. A man is like a shepherd of his own family, and he is responsible for them.” This Hadith is reported by both Bukhari and Muslim.

Children, therefore are a trust given to the parents. Parents will be responsible for this trust on the Day of Judgement. Parents are essentially responsible for the moral, ethical and the basic and essential religious teachings of their children.

If parents fulfill this responsibility, they will be free of the consequences on the Day of Judgement. The children will become better citizens and a pleasure to the eyes of their parents, first in this life, and in the hereafter.

Allah, the Almighty stated in the Glorious Quran:

“And those who believe and whose families follow them in Faith, to them shall We join their families: Nor shall We deprive them (of the fruit) of aught of their works: (Yet) is each individual in pledge for his deeds.” (52:21)

Moreover, Allah’s Apostle, PBUH said: “Upon death, man’s deeds will (definitely) stop except for three deeds, namely: a continuous charitable fund, endowment or goodwill; knowledge left for people to benefit from; and pious righteous and God-fearing child who continuously prays Allah, the Almighty, for the soul of his parents.” This Hadith is reported by Muslim.

In fact, such a statement reflects the value of the proper upbringing of children. It has an everlasting effect, even after death.

Unfortunately, many parents from every walk of life, in every society, regardless of creed, origin, social and economical status, etc., have neglected this very important imposed right of their own children on them. Such individuals have indeed lost their children as a result of their own negligence. Such parents are so careless about the time their children spend with no benefit, the friends they associate with, the places they go to, etc. Such parents do not care, are totally indifferent about where their children go, when they come back and so forth and so on, causing the children to grow up without any responsible adult and without caring supervision. Such parents neglect even to instruct, direct or guide their children to the proper way of life, behaviour or even right attitudes towards others. Yet, you may find these parents are so careful about guarding their wealth. They are extremely concerned about their businesses, work and otherwise. They exert every possible effort to lead a very successful life in terms of materialistic gains, although all this wealth is not actually theirs. No one will take wealth to the grave.

Children are not only to be well-fed, well-groomed, properly dressed for the weather and for appearance, well-taken care of in terms of housing and utilities. It is more important to offer the child comparable care in terms of educational, religious training, and spiritual guidance. The heart of a child must be filled with faith. A child’s mind must be entertained with proper guidance, knowledge and wisdom. Clothes, food, housing, schooling are not, by any means, an indication of proper care of the child. Proper education and guidance is far more important to a child than this food, grooming and appearance.

One of the due rights of children upon their parents is their spending for their welfare and well-being moderately. Over-spending or negligence is not condoned, accepted or even tolerated in Islam. Such ways will have a negative effect on the child regardless of the social status. Men are urged not to be miserly to their children and households, who are their natural heirs in every religion and society. Why would one be miserly to those who are going to inherit his wealth? Children are entitled to such an important right. They are even permitted to take moderately from their parent’s wealth to sustain themselves if the parent declines to give them proper funds for their living.

Children also have the right to be treated equally in terms of financial gifts. No one should be preferred over the others. All must be treated fairly and equally. None should be deprived his gift from the parents. Depriving, or banning the right of inheritance, or other financial gifts during the lifetime of the parents or the preference of a parent for one child over the other is considered according to Islam as an act of injustice. Injustice will definitely lead to an atmosphere of hatred, anger and dismay amongst the children in a household. In fact, such an act of injustice may, most likely, lead to animosity amongst the children, and consequently, this will affect the entire family environment. In certain cases a special child may show a tender care for his aging parent, for instance, causing the parent to grant such a child a special gift, or issue him the ownership of a house, a factory, a land, a farm, a car, or any other valuable items. Islam, however considers such a financial reward to such a caring, loving and perhaps obedient child, a wrong act. A caring child is entitled only to a reward from Allah, the Almighty. Although it is nice to grant such a child something in appreciation for his dedication and special efforts, this must not lead to an act of disobedience to Allah, the Almighty. It may be that the heart and feelings of such a loving and caring child may change, at one point in time, causing him to become a nasty and harmful child. By the same token, a nasty child may change, at any given time, as well, to become a very caring and kind child to the same parent. The hearts and feelings are, as we all know, in the hands of Allah, the Almighty, and can be turned in any direction at any given time and without any previous notice. This, indeed, is one of the reasons for preventing the act of financial preference of a child over another. On the other hand, there is also no assurance or guarantee that a caring child can handle the financial gift of his parent wisely.

It is narrated by Abu Bakr, RAA, who said that Allah’s Apostle, PBUH, was approached by one of his companions, al-N’uman bin Basheer, who said: “O Prophet of Allah! I have granted a servant to one of my children (asking him to testify to that gift).” But Allah’s PBUH asked him: “Did you grant the same to each and every child of yours?” When Allah’s Apostle, PBUH was informed negatively about that, he said: “Fear Allah, the Almighty, and be fair and just to all your children. Seek the testimony of another person, other than me. I will not testify to an act of injustice.” This Hadith is reported by both Bukhari and Muslim. Thus, Allah’s Apostle, PBUH called such an act of preference of one child over the others an act of “injustice.” Injustice is prohibited and forbidden in Islam.

But, if a parent granted one of his children financial help to fulfill a necessity, such as a medical treatment coverage, the cost of a marriage, the cost of initializing a business, etc., then such a grant would not be categorized an act of injustice and unfairness. Such a gift will fall under the right to spend in the essential needs of the children, which is a requirement that a parent must fulfill.

Islam sees that if parents fulfill their duties towards all their children in terms of providing them with necessary training, educational backing, moral, ethical and religious education, this will definitely lead to a more caring child, a better family atmosphere and a better social environment and awareness. On the other hand, any negligence in those parental duties can lead to the loss of a child or ill treatment of the parents at a later age.

Source: https://www.missionislam.com

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