February 26th, 2016This Week's Khutbah
The Importance of Prayers
Almost every person in the modern world is involved in some basic worldly activity like earning a living, going to school, eating, sleeping, and socializing. Naturally, we forget Allah and the obligations due to Him. When we forget Allah, this life and its worries become the central occupation of the human mind. Desires run wild. A person begins to‘chase his shadow’, something he can never catch. For many, money becomes the sole goal of life. The more you make, the more you spend, the more you want.
Allah has set times to break regularly from the daily chores of life for a few minutes and worship Him. First thing in the morning before we begin our day, in the middle of the day, in the late afternoon, in the evening, and at night before we go to sleep. When done with concentration and properly, it awakens and stimulates the soul.
"And I have chosen you, so listen to that which is inspired to you. Verily, I am Allah! There is none worthy of worship but I, so worship Me and offer prayer perfectly for My remembrance." [Surah Taha,20:13~14]
Allah also says in the Quran,
"Recite (O Muhammad SAW) what has been revealed to you of the Book (the Quran), and perform As-Salat (the prayer). Verily, As-Salat (the prayer) prevents from Al-Fahesha (i.e. great sins of every kind, unlawful sexual intercourse, etc.) and Al-Munkar (i.e. disbelief, polytheism, and every kind of evil wicked deed, etc.) and the remembering (praising, etc.) of (you by) Allah (in front of the angels) is greater indeed (than your remembering (praising, etc.) Allah in prayers, etc.). And Allah knows what you do." (Surah Al-Ankabut,29:45).
Here are additional facts about prayers (salat) that show its significance in Islam:
- The prayers were made fard (obligatory) upon the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) during his ascension to heaven.
- When Allah praises the believers, such as in the beginning of surah al-Muminoon, one of the first descriptions He states is their adherence to the prayers.
- Once a man asked the Prophet SAW about the most virtuous deed. The Prophet SAW stated that the most virtuous deed is the prayer and he repeated this three times. [This is form a hadith recorded by Ahmad and ibn Hibban. According to al-Albani, the hadith is hasan. Muhammad Nasir al-Din al-Albani, Sahih al-Targheeb wa al-Tarheeb (Beirut: al-Maktab al-Islami, 1982), vol. 1, p. 150]
- The Prophet SAW said, "The first matter that the slave will be brought to account for on the Day of Judgment is the prayer. If it is sound, then the rest of his deeds will be sound. And if it is bad, then the rest of his deeds will be bad."[Recorded by al-Tabarani. According to al-Albani, it is sahih. Al-Albani, Sahih al-Jami, vol.1, p. 503.]
- Prayers help in establishing one’s relationship with Allah. Therefore, if the prayers are sound and proper, the rest of the deeds will be sound and proper; and if the prayers are not sound and proper, then the rest of the deeds will not be sound and proper, as the Prophet SAW himself stated.
- As for the Hereafter, Allah’s forgiveness and pleasure is closely related to the prayers. The Messenger of Allah SAW said, "Allah has obligated five prayers. Whoever excellently performs their ablutions, prays them in their proper times, completes their bows, prostrations and khushu (complete sincerity) has a promise from Allah that He will forgive him. And whoever does not do that has no promise from Allah. He may either forgive him or punish him."[Recorded by Malik, Ahmad, Abu Dawud, al-Nasa’I and others. According to al-Albani, it is sahih. Al-Albani, Sahih al-Jami, vol. 1, p. 616.]
- The Prophet SAW: "If a person had a stream outside his door and he bathed in it five times a day, do you think he would have any filth left on him?" The people said, "No filth would remain on him whatsoever." The Prophet SAW then said, "That is like the five daily prayers: Allah wipes away the sins by them."(Recorded by al-Bukhari and Muslim.)