Qualities of the People of Jannah – Part 7: Guard Your Salah

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Amreen Rehman

Amreen Rehman is Freelance Writer and Coordinator of "Rising Youth Forum", Islamic workshops for girls.

ayah 7

“And those who strictly guard their (five compulsory congregational) Salawat (prayers) (at their fixed stated hours).” (Al-Muminun 23:9)

Salawat is the plural of Salah. In verse 2, the act of Salah itself was implied, but here the plural number means the individual prayers offered in their own time. This highlights the importance of prayers, as the 7 qualities started with Khushu in prayer and end on the punctuality of prayer. “They strictly guard their prayer” can be understood in the following ways:

1. They strictly adhere to the prescribed times of Salah. Be punctual with your Salah. Develop the habit of praying at the earliest hour. Do not procrastinate! Abdullah has narrated that he asked the Prophet (sa): “Which deed is the dearest to Allah?” The Prophet (sa) replied: “To offer the prayers at their early stated fixed times.” Abdullah asked: “What is the next (in goodness)?” He replied: “To be good and dutiful to your parents.” Abdullah again asked: “What is the next (in goodness)?” He replied: “To participate in Jihad (religious fighting) in Allah’s cause.” Abdullah added: “I asked only that much and if I had asked more, the Prophet (sa) would have told me more.” (Bukhari)

2. They perform Salah with due regard to the proper performance of all the physical postures.  They do not ‘peck like a crow’, when doing RukusandSajdas, as every posture in Salah, even the rests, are important. Performing your prayer in a satisfactory manner should lead to a radical change in the way you lead your daily life. Salah must be as the Quran states: “Verily, As-Salat (the prayer) prevents from Al-Fahsha’ (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.).” (Al-Ankabut 29:45) In turn, your improved and more disciplined life will increase the quality of your Salah even more. The two should continuously reinforce each other. Also, we should utilize the occasion of Sajda for making additional Duas to Allah (swt). The Prophet (sa) said: “A servant is nearest to his Lord when he is in Sajda, so increase your supplication when in Sajda.” (Muslim)

3. Pray in a pure physical state – perform your Wudu with care and perfection. We must be very careful in performing the acts of Wudu, as we learn from the following incident: “Once, the Prophet (sa) remained behind us in a journey. He joined us, while we were performing ablution for the prayer, which was over-due. We were just passing wet hands over our feet (and not washing them properly), so the Prophet (sa) addressed us in a loud voice and said twice or thrice: ‘Save your heels from the fire.’ (Bukhari 1:164, narrated by Abdullah bin ‘Amr] “…and then he washed his feet up to the ankles.” (Bukhari 1.186, narrated by Amr)

4. They perform Salah, as performed by the Prophet (sa) (as close as possible to the Sunnah). Mode of prayer is also important as the prayer itself. The Prophet (sa) ordered not only to offer the prayer but also “to offer prayer in the way you see me offering”. (Bukhari)

(Read the introductory article to the series here.)

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