THE STATUS OF SOLAT (PRAYER) IN ISLAM

IN THE NAME OF ALLAH, THE BENEFICENT, THE MERCIFUL

BEING THE FOURTH KHUTBAH FOR THE MONTH OF RAJAB 27/RAJAB/1439AH (13/APRIL/2018CE)

THE STATUS OF SOLAT (PRAYER) IN ISLAM

Praise be to Allaah, the Lord of the worlds, we praise and thank Allah, the exalted. We seek help and guidance from Him, we believe in Him and trust Him. And we seek refuge in Him from the evil of our souls and deeds. He that Allah guides is the guided, and the one He misleads will have no one to be his guide. I testify there is no god except Allah, and that our master- Muhammad is His servant and messenger. O Allah send peace and blessing on Muhammmad (SAW), his household, companions and those who follow them in righteousness until the Day of Judgment.

O servants of Allaah! I admonish you and myself to fear Allaah the exalted both in secret and public since it is (the means to) success, victory and salvation. Allaah says:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ حَقَّ تُقَاتِهِ وَلَا تَمُوتُنَّ إِلَّا وَأَنْتُمْ مُسْلِمُونَ (102

O you who have believed, fear Allah as He should be feared and do not die except as Muslims [in submission to Him].  (3:102)

Brothers in faith, today’s sermon is on the STATUS OF SOLAT (PRAYER) IN ISLAM as it was made obligatory in the course of the Miraculous Night Journey of the Prophet in Rajab.

STATUS OF PRAYER IN ISLAM

  1. Solat is the most emphatic obligation after the shahaadah– testification among the five pillars of Islam. The Prophet said: “Islam has been built upon five things – on testifying that there is no god save Allah, and that Muhammad is His Messenger; on performing salah; on giving the zakah; on performing pilgrammage to the House (the Ka’bah at Makkah), and on fasting during Ramadhan.  (bukhari)
  2. The neglect of solat is regarded as an act of kufr- disbelief. The Prophet said: “Between a person and disbelief and shirk is discarding prayer.” (Muslim.). Abdullah said: “The companions of the prophet do not regard the neglect of any act as being kufr other than solat.”
  3. Prayer is the pillar of the religion: The Prophet (pbuh) says: “The peak of the matter is Islam (submission to Allah), the pillar is prayer; and its topmost part is jihad.” (Tirmidhi)
  4. Solat is the first act that a person will be held accountable for on the day of judgement. The Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace, said “The first act that the slave will be accountable for on the Day of Judgement will be prayer. If it is good, then he succeeds and is saved, but if it is bad, then he fails and incurs wrath.” (Related by at-Tirmidhi.)
  5. Solat was the last recommendation of the Prophet (pbuh) to the Muslim nation. The messenger of Allah says: “(Be mindful of) Prayer, “(Be mindful of) prayer and what your right hand possesses.” (Ibn Majah)
  6. Solat will be the last part of Islam to be lost, and when it is gone, the religion is lost.: The messenger of Allah says: If Islam were stripped away, piece by piece, people would hold tight to the next one. The first thing taken would be ruling and governance, and the last thing would be prayer.” (Related by Ahmad)
  7. Solat is the only act of worship that remains obligatory on any Muslim throughout his life till death.
  8. Solat wipes out sins. “Have you considered, if there is a river at the door of any one of you where he takes a bath five times daily, would any of his dirt remain? They said: “Nothing will remain of his dirt” He replied: “That is the similitude of the five daily solat, Allah cleanses dirt with it.”
  9. The special status of solat among other forms of worship is that it was made obligatory on the night of the miraculous journey of the prophet (pbuh) where Allah communicated to him directly, about three years before the hijrah.
  10. It was made obligatory as fifty salah daily but reduced to five with reward equivalent to fifty.
  11. Solat is one of the most important attributes of the believers as seen in suratul-mu’minun where it commences with the attribute of solat and ends with it as well:

{قَدْ أَفْلَحَ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ – الَّذِينَ هُمْ فِي صَلَاتِهِمْ خَاشِعُونَ – وَالَّذِينَ هُمْ عَنِ اللَّغْوِ مُعْرِضُونَ – وَالَّذِينَ هُمْ لِلزَّكَاةِ فَاعِلُونَ – وَالَّذِينَ هُمْ لِفُرُوجِهِمْ حَافِظُونَ – إِلَّا عَلَى أَزْوَاجِهِمْ أوْ مَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُهُمْ فَإِنَّهُمْ غَيْرُ مَلُومِينَ – فَمَنِ ابْتَغَى وَرَاءَ ذَلِكَ فَأُولَئِكَ هُمُ الْعَادُونَ – وَالَّذِينَ هُمْ لِأَمَانَاتِهِمْ وَعَهْدِهِمْ رَاعُونَ – وَالَّذِينَ هُمْ عَلَى صَلَوَاتِهِمْ يُحَافِظُونَ} [المؤمنون: 1 – 9]  

(1 )   Certainly will the believers have succeeded🙁 2 )   They who are during their prayer humbly submissive( 3 )   And they who turn away from ill speech ( 4 )   And they who are observant of zakah ( 5 )   And they who guard their private parts ( 6 )   Except from their wives or those their right hands possess, for indeed, they will not be blamed -( 7 )   But whoever seeks beyond that, then those are the transgressors – ( 8 )   And they who are to their trusts and their promises attentive ( 9 )   And they who carefully maintain their prayers – ( 10 )   Those are the inheritors

Legislation of Solat with evidences from the Qur’an and Sunnah.

From the beginning of Islam, solat in general term has been legislated as evident in the makkan surahs that enjoin its establishment. However, the five daily prayers were made obligatory during the Isra wal miraaj. The evidences on the legislation of the five daily prayers could be drawn from the Qur’an and the Hadith as follow:

From the Qur’an

Allah says in many verses of the Qur’an “And establish prayer”  (2: 110) Also (إِنَّ الصَّلاةَ كَانَتْ عَلَى الْمُؤمِنِينَ كِتَاباً مَّوْقُوتاً) “Indeed, prayer has been decreed upon the believers a decree of specified times.” (4: 103).

(حَافِظُواْ عَلَى الصَّلَواتِ والصَّلاةِ الْوُسْطَى) “ Maintain with care the [obligatory] prayers and [in particular] the middle prayer” (2:238)

Allah says: (وَأَقِمِ الصَّلاةَ طَرَفَيِ النَّهَارِ وَزُلَفاً مِّنَ الَّيْلِ) “And establish prayer at the two ends of the day and at the approach of the night.” (11: 114). This command covers the five daily prayers. The two ends of the day- Solatul- fajr is observed at the early part of the day while solatuz-zuhr and asr is observed at the other end of the day. Solatul Maghrib and Isha come up in the night. Allah says:

(أَقِمِ الصَّلاةَ لِدُلُوكِ الشَّمْسِ إِلَى غَسَقِ الَّيْلِ وَقُرْءَانَ الْفَجْرِ إِنَّ قُرْءَانَ الْفَجْرِ كَانَ مَشْهُوداً) Establish prayer at the decline of the sun [from its meridian] until the darkness of the night and [also] the Qur’an of dawn. Indeed, the recitation of dawn is ever witnessed.” (17: 78)

From the Sunnah:

The prophet said  during the farewell sermon: “Worship your Lord, observe your (five daily) solat, observe your (Ramadan) fast, make pilgrimage to your (sacred) house, pay the zakat of your wealth generously, your shall enter the paradise of your Lord.”    

Finally, it is unanimously agreed upon by the Muslims regarding the obligatory nature of solat.

Judgement of he who neglects Salah:

Neglecting the obligatory prayers is an act of disbelief. He who neglects it out of denial of its obligation has committed great disbelief even if he observes it, this is agreed upon by scholars’ consensus. However, he who left it entirely, but believes in its obligation and never denies it is a kafir. The sound statement of Islamic scholars is that this disbelief is great kufr as well and it takes him out of Islam as shown in the following evidences:

1- Allah says: (يَوْمَ يُكْشَفُ عَنْ سَاقٍ وَيُدْعَوْنَ إِلَى السُّجُودِ فَلَا يَسْتَطِيعُونَ – خَاشِعَةً أَبْصَارُهُمْ تَرْهَقُهُمْ ذِلَّةٌ وَقَدْ كَانُوا يُدْعَوْنَ إِلَى السُّجُودِ وَهُمْ سَالِمُونَ})

The Day the shin will be uncovered and they are invited to prostration but the disbelievers will not be able, Their eyes humbled, humiliation will cover them. And they used to be invited to prostration while they were sound.” (68: 42- 43. This shows he who neglects prayer despite being a Muslim will be gathered with the disbelievers and hypocrites who failed to prostrate when Muslims prostrate

2- He will be among the sinners doom for hell: Allah says:

Every soul, for what it has earned, will be retained,  Except the companions of the right, [Who will be] in gardens, questioning each other about the criminals. [And asking them], “What put you into Saqar?” They will say, “We were not of those who prayed, Nor did we used to feed the poor. And we used to enter into vain discourse with those who engaged [in it], And we used to deny the Day of Recompense.” (74: 38- 46)

3- He is not of brothers to the believers: Allah says: (فَإِنْ تَابُوا وَأَقَامُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَآتَوُا الزَّكَاةَ فَإِخْوَانُكُمْ فِي الدِّينِ وَنُفَصِّلُ الْآيَاتِ لِقَوْمٍ يَعْلَمُونَ)

 But if they repent, establish prayer, and give zakah, then they are your brothers in religion; and We detail the verses for a people who know.” (9: 11)

4- Jabir reports that the Prophet, upon whom be peace, said, “Between a person and disbelief and shirk is discarding prayer.” (Muslim.)

Buraidah reported that the Prophet, upon whom be peace, said, “The pact between us and them is prayer. Whoever abandons it is a disbeliever.” (Related by At-Tirmizhi, anNasa’i and Ibn Majah.)

5- Abdullah bn Buraidah

SECOND KHUTBAH

All praises are due to Allah the lord of the worlds. May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon Muhammad (pbuh) his household, companions and all believers till the day of accountability.

Dear honoured Muslims, Allah praises the month of Ramadan in the Qur’an thus: (شَهْرُ رَمَضَانَ الَّذِي أُنزِلَ فِيهِ القُرْآَنُ) “Ramadan is the (month) in which was sent down The Quran.” (2:185), explaining the existence of night of majesty in it, which is better than a thousand month. Muslims hold the month in high esteem, they strive in worship; solat, fast, charity, umrah and other forms of good deeds in the month. When the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him saw the people’s attention to Rajab in the days of ignorance, preferring it over other months, and the dedication of Muslims to the month of Qur’an, he wanted to clarify the virtues of other months to them.

Duties in Sha’baan:

Firstly- Fasting in Sha’baan

Imam Ahmad narrated from hadith of Usama Ibn Zayd said: The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) fasts for days and does not break until we say: ‘The Messenger of God never intend to break (the fast). And he remain without fasting for days as if he does not fast except two starting from Friday, provided those two days are among his days, otherwise he fasts the two, and he does not fast in any other months as he does in Sha’abaan. I said: ‘O messenger of Allah, you fast to the extent that you do not break, and you also remain without fasting to such extent that you does not fast except two days if it goes with the days you are fasting, otherwise you fast on those two day alone? He said: “Which two days?” I replied: Monday and Thursday. He said: “In those two days, the deeds are brought to the Lord of the worlds and I love that my deeds are present while I am fasting” I said: “I have not seen you fast in other months what you fast in Sha’abaan” He said: ‘That (Sha’abaan) is a month between Rajab and Ramadan forgotten by people, it is a month where deeds are presented before the lord of the worlds (the exalted) and I love that my deeds are present while I am fasting”

Without doubt, there should be an important reason behind the specific selection of fasting in this month and this is what the Prophet emphasized saying: “it is a month where deeds are presented before the lord of the worlds (the exalted)”

Thus, the deeds of the slaves of Allah are presented in this month every year, and the deeds are brought on Monday and Thursday every week, the Prophet loves that his deeds are presented to Allah while fasting because fasting is of patience, Allah says: (إِنَّمَا يُوَفَّى الصَّابِرُونَ أَجْرَهُم بِغَيْرِ حِسَابٍ) “Those who patiently persevere will truly receive a reward without measure!” (39:10)

The month of Sha’baan is a great month which is honoured by the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). It is important for us to honour it and observe several acts of worship and seek forgiveness in it, just as it is correctly reported from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).

‘A’isha, the Mother of the Believers (Allah be pleased with her), reported that the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) used to observe fasts (so continuously) that we said that he would not break, and did not observe (them) till we said that he would not fast: and I did not see the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) completing the fast of a month, but that of Ramadan, and I did not see him fasting more in any other month than that of Sha’ban.

In Muslim’s narration: He used to observe fast (at times) so continuously that we said: He has fasted, he has fasted. And (at times) he did not observe fast (for days) and we began to say: He has abandoned fasting, he has abandoned fasting.”

Anas (Allah be pleased with him) reported that some of the Companions of Allah’s Apostle (may peace be upon him) asked his (the Prophet’s) wives about the acts that he performed in private. Someone among them (among his Companions) said: I will not marry women; someone among them said: I will not eat meat; and someone among them said: I will not lie down in bed. He (the Holy Prophet) praised Allah and glorified Him, and said: What has happened to these people that they say so and so, whereas I observe prayer and sleep too; I observe fast and suspend observing them; I marry women also?And he who turns away from my Sunnah, he has no relation with Me.

Fasting in Sha’abaan is a form of practice before that of Ramadan in order to experience and get accustomed to the challenges of fasting and taste of the joy in it. It is equally seen as the supererogatory act before the compulsory one. All the meritorious acts- including Quranic recitation, enjoined in Ramadan is equally enjoined in Sha’abaan. Anas narrated that when Sha’abaan begins, Muslims preoccupy themselves with the qur’an, they read it, pay the zakat of their wealth in support for the weak and poor towards Ramadan.

Salamah bu Kuhail says: “Sha’abaan is described as the months of reciters (of the qur’an). In his quest for adequate preparation, Amr bn Qays used to lock-up his shop to devote to quranic recitation when Sha’abaan begins”

It was said that Sha’aban said to Allah: “O my Lord, you placed me between two great months what then is my portion? He (Allah) said: “I have ordained quranic recitation in you”

Secondly, the middle of Sha’abaan

Narrated Abu Hurairah: The Prophet says: “When Sha’abaan get to half, do not fast until Ramadan” (Ahmad, Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi,) Scholars differ on the soundness of this hadith and its application. Tirmidhi, Ibn Hibaan, Al-hakim, At-tahaawiy and Ibn Abdul-Barr regarded it as sound. While some other greater and more knowledgeable scholars than those mentioned- such as Ar-Rahman bn Mahdi, Imam Ahmad, Abu Zar’ah Ar-Raazi and Al-Athram described it as disliked. Imam Ahmad rejected this hadith on the basis of the following hadith: “Do not precede fasting in Ramadan with the fast of a day or two.” The understanding is the permissibility to precede Ramadan with more than two days with fast. Al-Athram said: All hadiths disagree with it (hadith on middle of sha’abaan). He also pointed to the hadith that describe the prophet practice of fasting all days of sha’abaan and linking it with Ramadan as well as the prohibition of preceding Ramadan with two days. Hence, the hadith remain strange and unusual with sound hadith. At-Tahawiy said the hadith is abrogated, and consensus to desist from applying it. Other scholars such as Imam Shafi and his companions forbid to commence supererogatory fasting in the second half of Sha’abaan for someone who is not used to that. Scholars are also different on the reason for prohibition. A group said it is the fear of adding to Ramadan what is not of it. However, this opinion looks inconsistent with what concerns the second half of Sha’baan except in preceding Ramadan with a day or two. Another group holds that the prohibition is to guaranty strength for fasting in Ramadan lest one get weak. Similarly, the practice of the prophet (pbuh) in fasting all sha’abaan at times, most of it at times, and continuing it with Ramadan at other times, disagrees with the opinion of the second group above because all these fasting took place in the second part of Sha’abaan.      

Fasting of the middle day of Sha’abaan

This is not forbid as it counts among the days of the thirteenth, fourteenth and fifteen of every month which is enjoined monthly.

Salamah Ibn Kuhayl said: “Sha’baan is called the month of the reciters of the Qur’an” Also Amr bn Qays do close up his shop whenever the month of Sha’baan sets in and he devote himself to reading the Qur’an.

Abubakr Al-Balkhi said: “The month of Rajab is a month for planting, and the month of Sha’baan is the month of watering the plants and the month of Ramadan is for harvesting” He also said: “The month of Rajab is like the wind, while Shaaban is like the clouds, and Ramadan is like the rain, and whoever have not planted  and sowed in Rajab, and have not watered in Sha’baan how does he expect to harvest in Ramadan?”

Here Rajab is winding up what are you going to do in Sha’baan if actually you wish for Ramadan? And here is the illustration of the practice of the prophet (pbuh) and our pious predecessors in the months.

SOME OF THE INNOVATIONS IN SHABAAN

– Solat Alfiyyah- which is a hundred rakats prayer done in congregation where the Imam recites ten suratul ikhlas in every rakat.

– Choosing the middle night of shabaan specifically for special prayer and the day for fasting.

– Observing six rakat in the middle night of shabaan for warding off evil, seeking prosperity,..

O Allah destroy the cunnings of the enemies of Muslims. O Allah invalidate their plots and tricks. O Allah extinguish the flame of their evil. O Allah cast the round of consequence on every unjust impostor, and render destruction and shame on whoever tries to ruin the country. O Allah protect the blood of the people, their properties, and their dignity. O Allah set free all Muslim captives and prisoners. O Allah, protect them from before them and from behind them and on their right and on their left, and from above them.

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