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I – The Great Loss of the One who does not Pray

When the topic of Ṣalāh is addressed on the public platforms, the conventional method focuses on establishing its importance, the sins associated with a person who fails to perform it and the ruling of such a person. This method is without doubt essential and reflects one of the many Qur’anic approaches when speaking about Ṣalāh. As for this piece, the method will not be conventional. May Allāh make these words a means of wakefulness for our hearts.

We will take different narrations which speak not only of Ṣalāh, but of other matters that are attached to it, such as wudhūʿ, the voluntary prayers and walking to the Masjid. There are those who feel that performing Ṣalāh is an inconvenient obligation that they find difficult in fulfilling in face of the demands of their daily routines and hectic lives. It is an uncomfortable and awkward ‘ritual’ anachronistic to the progressive 21st century they find themselves in. The purpose of this series of articles is for us to recognise the great loss of those who miss their prayer. To miss a prayer is to lose so much more.

Ṣalāh and Īmān  

The Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) said,

الطُّهُورُ شَطْرُ الْإِيمَانِ

“Purity (Wudhūʿ) constitutes as half of īmān.”[1]

Regardless of the varying scholarly opinions of what the term īmān refers to in this Ḥadīth, what is clear is that the one who misses their prayers will also miss wudhūʿ. By this virtue, the question is just how much has the one who misses his prayer actually lost? He has missed out on half of īmān. For the life of this world, for the embarrassment at work, for the shame of praying in front of others, for the lackadaisicalness that follows an already demanding day, a person has lost half of their īmān.

Ṣalāh: The unparalleled act of worship

The Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) said,

من قالَ في دُبُرِ صلاةِ الغداةِ لا إلهَ إلَّا اللَّهُ وحدَهُ لا شريكَ لهُ لهُ الملكُ ولهُ الحمدُ يحيي ويميتُ بيدِهِ الخيرُ وهوَ على كلِّ شيءٍ قديرٌ مئةَ مرَّةٍ قبلَ أن يثنيَ رجليهِ كانَ يومئذٍ أفضلَ أهلِ الأرضِ عمَلًا إلا من قالَ مثلَ ما قالَ أو زادَ على ما قال

“Whoever says after finishing his Fajr prayer, lā ilāha ila Allāh wahdahu lā sharīka lah, lahul mulk and wa lahul ḥamd, yuḥyī wa yumīt, biyadihil khair, wahuwa ʿala kulli shay in qadīr 100 times before changing his position, he will be amongst the best of people on earth with respect to their good deeds, except a person who did the same as this or more.”[2]

This ḥadith does not address the Ṣalāh itself, but rather, merely an action that is linked to Ṣalāh, and yet, this is the enormity of the reward involved. What then about the Ṣalāh itself? In a narration,

إن رجلا جاءَ إلى النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم فسأَلهُ عن أفضلِ الأعمالِ فقال رسولُ اللهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم : الصلاةُ ثم قال مَهْ قال الصلاةُ ثم قال مَهْ قال الصلاةُ ثلاث مرات

“A man came to the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) and asked him about the greatest of good deeds, to which he responded, ‘The Ṣalāh’. The man asked, ‘Then what?’ He replied, ‘As-Ṣalāh’. The man asked again, ‘Then what?’ The Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) said, ‘As-Ṣalāh’ three times.”[3]

By this ḥadīth, just how much has the one who misses his prayer actually lost? He has missed out on the greatest of all actions in the Eyes of Allāh. On a Day where one will be desperate for every iota of a good deed, to be informed that “your scrolls of good deeds are in fact lacking the best of deeds” would be devastating, to say the least.

Thus, when the time for prayer arrives, drop everything that is within your hands at once and realise that regardless of the importance of what it is that you are engaging in at that time, you will not be doing anything that comes close in the slightest to the greatness of Ṣalāh.

Ṣalāh and the treasures of Dunya

The Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) said,

 رَكْعَتَا الفَجْرِ خَيْرٌ مِنَ الدنْيَا وَمَا فِيهَا

“The two units of prayer before Fajr are greater than this world and everything with it.”[4]

This is the value of the Sunnah prayer associated with Fajr, let alone the value of the Fajr prayer itself. Thus we ask, just how much has the one who misses his prayer actually lost? He has missed out on something that is far more precious than the Dunya and its delights combined. This is a person who purposely sets his alarm clock to ring after the sun has risen in order to catch enough sleep before school or work. Thus, he begins his day with a darkened face and a darkened heart that have been stripped from the light of īmān, as he begins his day in the worst way possible, without Ṣalāh.

Ṣalāh, your family and wealth

Envisage yourself checking your bank account one morning only to find that your savings have mysteriously disappeared. Then, after returning home from work, you realise the absence of your family. You find a note on the coffee table which reads, ‘we have robbed you of all of your wealth and family’. One’s heart wrenches with pain at the mere thought of such a scenario. With that in mind, the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) said,

من فاتته صلاةُ العصرِ، فكأنما وُتِرَ أهلَه، ومالَه

“Whoever misses his ʿAsr prayer, it is as if his wealth and family had been taken away from him.”[5]

Thus we ask, just how much has the one who misses his prayer actually lost? He has lost out on a matter that is far more precious than one’s wealth and family.

Ṣalāh and protection

Imagine being informed by an individual of power and influence that ‘you are under my protection for today’. Such an individual’s anxiety will disappear for that day, as he walks the earth with the highest of spirits and attends to his daily doings with the greatest of confidence and mixes with the people fearlessly, having realised that so and so has his back. Similarly, the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) said,

من صلَّى الصبحَ كان في جوارِ اللهِ يومَه

“Whoever prays the Fajr prayer, then for that day, such a person is under the protection of Allāh.”[6]

Should he who performs the Fajr prayer truly sense the meaning of this Ḥadīth by day, his demeanour would most certainly change, having realised that anyone who insults him that day or abuses him in any way is in fact levelling abuse at the One who has offered him protection.

Thus we ask: Just how much has the one who misses his prayer actually lost? What strength can there be in a person whom Allāh has abandoned? With what confidence does such a person meet people and attend to his affairs? Is he not afraid? Is he not aware that he has been left exposed, bare and incredibly vulnerable?

How unfortunate is the status of the one who misses their prayer. In this article we have explored, in large part, the worldly losses of a person who is neglectful of their Ṣalāh. In the following article we address a time when we shall feel this loss far more acutely; the effect of missing Ṣalāh on a person’s Hereafter. May Allāh protect us and give us the Tawfīq to perform our Ṣalāh.

grave

Click here for part 2

Source: www.islam21c.com

Notes:

[1] Narrated by Muslim, on the authority of Abū Mālik Al-Ash’ari

[2] Narrated by Al-Munthiri in his ‘Targhīb wat Tarhīb’, on the authority of Abū Umāma

[3] Narrated by Aḥmed in his ‘Musnad’, on the authority of ʿAbdullāh b. ʿAmr

[4] Narrated by Muslim, on the authority of ʿĀ’isha

[5] Narrated by An-Nasā’i in his ‘Sunan’, on the authority of Nawfal b. Mu’āwiya

[6] Narrated by At-Tabarāni in his ‘Muʿjam Al-Kabīr’, on the authority of Ibnu ʿUmar

About Ustādh Ali Hammuda

Ustadh Ali Ihsan Hammuda is an educator and writer on Islam. He is of Palestinian origin but was brought up in the UK and although an architect/planner by profession, he currently works with Al-Manar (Cardiff) as the English Islamic programmes officer. Ali is known as the author of various books including 'Origins of the Mosque of Cordoba' and 'The End of Times', and continues to deliver sermons, lectures and regular classes across the country. He is a regular writer on Islamic issues to a wide audience.

6 comments

  1. May SWA bless u for this educative article.jazakhallahu khair.

  2. May Allah reward you with firdous Ustad, a much needed reminder for me.

  3. What an article MashaAllah.
    May Allah swt open our hearts to the wonders of Salah.
    Also recite Quran at fajr and the blessings are endless.

  4. The Salah is the nutshell of all Muslim education. It carries the Quranic lessons direct to the praying ones. Their reaction;bowing and prostrating to show complete submission. The lesson of discipline, obedience and collective life hidden in prayer and much much more regarding spiritual and scholastic gains depending on how much one may gain from it.
    There is also the loss of salah with actions contrary to the ones learned in the Salah.
    Further the Salah becomes wider in the perspective when it is related to the lives of the orphan and so on.
    Alas these lessons are hardly mentioned and many a person pray without getting the best of themselves and the Salah.

  5. JazakAllahukhair indeed, very beneficial article.

  6. aisha siddiqui

    JazaKAllah kher Ustad

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