Significance of Prayers
God, to whom be ascribed all majesty and might, said, “For such prayers. Are enjoined on Believers At stated times,” (The Women sura – verse 103), that is, prayer is an obligation imposed on the believers (as Bin Abass, Mojahed, Al Baker and As-sadek said); it is also said that it is “an obligation at stated times” (by Bin Masoud and Qatada), where both sayings are close in meaning.
The Almighty confirmed that praying believers must win through when He said, The Believers must (Eventually) win through, Those who humble themselves in their prayers;” (The Believers sura – verses 1 and 2). Prayer is a relation between the servant and the worshiped, therefore, he who has a relationship between him and God shall pray in humbleness to the authority of divinity (godhood) over servitude. Accordingly, the successful are those who pray in humbleness, whereas, the losers are those who avoid humbleness. When the messenger of God (pbuh) saw a man playing with his beard at praying, he said, “Has his heart prayed with humbleness, his organs shall have been humble.”
The messenger of God (pbuh) said, “Seek God’s protection from hypocritical humbleness,” where the real meaning of hypocritical humbleness was questioned. He replied, “The humbleness of the body and the hypocrisy of the heart.” When the prophet (pbuh) was asked about humbleness, he said, “Humbleness at praying takes place when the servant dedicates his entire heart to his God.” The Almighty said, “…for Prayer Restrains from shameful And unjust deeds;”(The Spider sura – verse 45). The shameful could be of speech or deed, and the unjust includes all that is shameful of speech and deed. The word “as-salat” (prayer) is derived from the word “As-salla” which means the fire. As all that is crooked of wood is exposed to fire to be adjusted, so is the crooked servant, whose soul bid him with all that is harmful, shall be exposed to the fire of prayer to be warmed and get rid of his crookedness so that his soul would be saved from the fire of hell.
“As-salat” (prayer) is a necessity, since whoever seeks warmth abides by fire – as if abiding by prayer is intended within the limits set by the Almighty.
The Almighty also said, “And establish regular prayer For celebrating My praise,” (Ta-ha sura –verse 14); if prayer is established for celebrating His praise, how is it neglected?! He, to whom be ascribed all majesty and might, said, “So woe to the worshippers Who are neglectful Of their Prayers,” (The Neighborly Needs sura – verses 4-5). It is narrated that the honorable follower “as-sahabi aj-jaleel” Ammar Bin Yasser told that the messenger of God (pbuh) said, “Some of you establish a full prayer, others half prayer and others establish the two third, one fourth, one fifth until he reaches the one tenth,” Ammar also told somewhere else about the messenger of God (pbuh) that he said, “Only what is understood of prayer by the servant is considered.”
The Almighty said, “Approach not prayers With a mind befogged, Until ye can understand All that ye say,”(The Women sura – verse 43); therefore, how does he who says, and does not know what he says, establish prayer and God forbid him to do so? So as the drunk says things in the absence of his mind, is the unmindful who prays also in the absence of his mind.
The messenger (pbuh) makes it obvious to us that prayer wipes off sins, for he asked, “Had there been a river next to the door of someone who bathes in its water five times a day, shall there be any dirt left on his body?” They said, “No, messenger of God,” He said, “So do the five prayers wash sins.”
If prayer is only imposed on the sane mature Moslem, for he (pbuh) said, “A pen is raised off three: the sleeping until he wakes up, the boy until he attains puberty and the insane until he becomes sane.” It is mentioned in the holy Hadith, “Bid your children to establish prayer when they are seven years old, and hit them for not establishing it at the age of ten, and separate them in bed. The boys are bid to pray not because prayer is imposed on those not having attained puberty but in order to help them get used to it.
Abou Saied EL KHARRAZ was once asked about entering upon prayer, he answered, “The same as you do when you enter upon Him on the Day of Judgment, standing between the hands of God where no interpreter stand in between you, where He approaches you when taking into His confidence knowing between whose hands you stand, for He is the Great King.”
It is said that the Almighty advised some prophets saying, “If you enter upon prayer, grant me humbleness off your heart, submission off your body and tears off your eyes, for I am close.”
Bin Abass said, “Two kneels in reflection better than burning the oil of a night,” such saying indicates the significance of expenditure in religion, and the real jihad in worship is not that of the body, for in reflection the believer defeats the greatest enemy of God, defeats Satan – in reflection, the soul transcends obediently in its ascension to the seven heavens of salvation to approach the Righteous Almighty.
We finally sum up by the prophet’s (pbuh) saying, “Save yourselves and perform good deeds; the best of deeds to perform is prayer (as-salat).”
The prophet (pbuh) also sail, “I recommend prayer which is the pillar of religion and the basis of Islam.”
Delivered on Rabih Al Awal 7, 1430 Hegira corresponding to March 3, 2009 A.D.
Issued by Bureau of Mashyakhat Al Akl
Of the Mouwahidoune Druze Sect