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Devotion to Salaat.

Salaat is the most important of all forms of worship. It is in fact the first and foremost item to be reckoned with on the Day of Judgment. The Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe Wasallam) is reported to have said, "Salaat is the only line of demarcation between Kufr and Islam."

1. Blessings of Nafl (Nonobligatory) Prayers.

The Prophet (Sallallahu alaihe Wasallam) reported that Allah told him:

My wrath descends upon a person who bears ill will towards My friends. And only those are blessed with My love who implicitly carry out Fardh (obligatory) injunctions. A person keeps on advancing in My esteem through nafl, till I choose him as My beloved. I then become remembered by his ear by which he listens, his eye by which he looks, his hands by which he holds, and his feet by which he walks (i.e. his listening, looking, holding and walking are all in perfect accord with My injunctions, and he would never even dream of employing any part of his body in any action contrary to My commands). If such a person prays for anything, I grant it to him and if he seeks My protection I do protect him."

Those people are really blessed who, after performing their Fardh, are in the habit of observing Nafl profusely. May Allah give me and all my friends the strength to earn this blessing. [


2. The Prophet (Sallallahu alaihe Wasallam) spends the whole night in Salaat.

A certain person asked Aishah (Radhiyallahu Anha), "Tell me something noteworthy concerning the Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe Wasallam)."

She answered:

There was nothing which was not unusual about him. Everything he did was noteworthy. One night he came and lay down with me. After sometime, he got up saying, "Now let me pray to my Lord, the Sustainer."

With this, he stood up in Salaat, humbling himself before his Creator with such sincerity that tears rolled down his cheeks to his beard and on to his breast. He then bowed for Ruku and Sajdah, and his tears flowed down as fast as before and after raising his head from his Sajdah, he continued weeping in this manner till Hadhrat Bilal (Radhiyallaho Anha) announced the approach of Fajr.

I pleaded with him, "Oh Prophet of Allah! you are sinless, as Allah has in His munificence has forgiven your each and every sin (even if committed) in the past and which may happen in the life to come (XLVIII:2) and still you grieve so much."

He replied, "Why then should I not be a grateful slave of Allah?"

Then he added, "Why should I not be praying like this when Allah has today revealed to me these verses?

ayat

 

ayat

"Lo! In the creation of the Heavens and the Earth, and in the difference of night and day, are tokens(of His Sovereignty) for men of understanding, such as remember Allah, standing, sitting and reclining ..." (III:190-191) "

It has been reported in many Ahadith that the Prophet's feet would get swollen because of his very long rakaats in Salaat. Some people tried to reason with him, "Oh Prophet of Allah! You are sinless and still you labor so hard!"

He would reply, "Should I not be a grateful slave of my Allah then?"


3. The Prophet's (Sallallahu alaihe Wasallam) recitation of the Quran in Salaat.

Hadhrat Auf (Radhiyallaho Anho) narrates:

I was once with the Prophet (Sallallahu alaihe Wasallam). He brushed his teeth with a Miswak, performed his Wudhu and stood up for Salaat. I also availed of the opportunity to join him. He recited surah Baqarah in his first rakaat. He would pray for mercy when he recited any verse extolling the Grace of Allah, and would supplicate for Divine forgiveness when reciting any verse referring to His wrath. He took as much time in Ruku and Sajdah each as he had taken in Qiyaam. In Ruku he recited:

Glorification

"Glory to Allah the Lord of Majesty, sovereignty and magnificence."

He recited the next three successive Soorahs in the remaining three rakaats, and each rakaat was of about the same length as the first one.

Hadhrat Huzaifah (Radhiyallahu Anho) has also narrated a similar story about his Salaat with the Prophet (Sallallahu alaihe Wasallam).

The Qiraat (recitation) of the Quran by the Prophet (Sallallahu alaihe Wasallam) in the above mentioned four rakaats amounts to more than one-fifth of the whole Quran. And the Prophet (Sallallahu alaihe Wasallam) recited the Quran with proper intonation (Tajweed), and would also pray and seek forgiveness after relevant verses. Again his Ruku and Sajdah also would last as long as his Qiyaam.

We can thus have a fair idea of how much time he must have taken to say his Salaat. This can only be possible when Salaat is a source of great inner satisfaction and spiritual ecstasy. That is why the Prophet (Sallallahu alaihe Wasallam) has often been quoted as saying, "The comfort of my eyes lies in Salaat."


4. Salaat of a Few Eminent Sahabah.

Hadhrat Mujahid (Radhiyallaho Anho), describing the Salaat of Hadhrat Abu Bakr (Radhiyallaho Anho), and that of Hadhrat Abdullah bin Zubair (Radhiyallaho Anho) says, "They stood in Salaat motionless like a tree stuck in the ground."

The ulama agree that Hadhrat Abdullah bin Zubair (Radhiyallaho Anho) learnt to say his Salaat from Hadhrat Abu Bakr (Radhiyallaho Anho), who in turn learnt it direct from the Prophet (Sallallahu alaihe Wasallam).

It is said about Hadhrat Abdullah bin Zubair (Radhiyallaho Anho) that he remained in Sajdah for so long, and kept so motionless therein, that birds would come and perch on his back. He would sometimes remain in Sajdah or Ruku all night long. During an attack against him, a missile came and hit the wall of the musjid wherein he was saying his Salaat. A piece of masonry flew from the wall and passed in between his beard and throat. He neither cut short his Salaat, nor was he the least perturbed.

Once he was saying his Salaat while his son Hashim was sleeping near him. A snake fell from the ceiling and coiled round the child. The child woke up and shrieked, and the whole household gathered round him. They killed the snake after a great hue and cry. Ibn Zubair (Radhiyallaho Anho), calm and quiet, remained engaged in his Salaat all the while. When he had finished it, he said to his wife, "I heard some noise during my Salaat. What was that?"

His wife exclaimed, "May Allah have mercy on you! The child's life was in danger, and you took least notice of it."

His answer was, "Had I turned my attention to anything else, what would have remained of the Salaat?"

Hadhrat Umar (Radhiyallaho Anho) was stabbed at the close of his career, and this same wound caused his passing away. He bled profusely and remained unconscious for long intervals. But when he was informed of the time of Salaat, he would perform it in that very condition, and say, "There is no portion in Islam for the person who discards Salaat."

Hadhrat Uthman (Radhiyallaho Anho) would remain in Salaat all night long, finishing the whole of the Quran in one rakaat.

It is reported about Hadhrat Ali (Radhiyallaho Anho) that he would turn pale and tremble at the time of Salaat. Somebody asked him the reason, and he said, "It is the time to discharge that trust which Allah offered to the Heavens and the Earth and the hills, but they shrank from bearing it, and I have assumed it."

Somebody asked Khalaf bin Ayub, "Do not the flies annoy you in your Salaat?"

His answer was, "Even the sinful persons patiently bear the lashes of the government, to boast of their endurance afterwards. Why should I be made to skip about by mere flies when standing in the presence of my Lord?"

Muslim bin Yasaar when he stood up for Salaat, said to members of his family, "You may keep on talking, I shall not be knowing what you talk."

Once he was saying his Salaat in the Jaami Mosque of Basrah. A portion of the Mosque wall fell down with a crash and every body ran for safety, but he never even heard the noise.

Somebody asked Haatim Asam as to how did he say his Salaat. He replied, "When the time for Salaat comes, I perform my Wudhu and go to the place where I have to say my Salaat. I sit down for some time, till all the parts of my body are relaxed. Then I stand up for Salaat, visualizing the Kabah in front of me, imagining my feet upon the Bridge of Siraat, with Paradise to my right, and Hell to my left, and Azraeel (angel of death) close behind me, and thinking that it may be my last Salaat. Then I say my Salaat with full sincerity and devotion."

And I finish my Salaat with fear and hope about its acceptance.


5. Salaat of a Muhajir and an Ansari keeping watch.

While returning from a campaign, the Prophet (Sallallahu alaihe Wasallam) happened to halt for the night at some place. He inquired, "Who would keep watch over the camp this night?"

Hadhrat Ammar bin Yasir (Radhiyallaho Anho) of the Muhajirin and Hadhrat Abbaad bin Bishr (Radhiyallaho Anho) of the Ansar offered their services. Both of them were posted to watch from a hilltop against any possible night attack by the enemy.

Abbaad (Radhiyallahu Anho) said to Ammar (Radhiyallahu Anho), "Let us keep watch and sleep turn by turn. In the first half of the night I shall keep awake, while you go to sleep. In the next half, you may keep watch while I go to sleep."

Hadhrat Ammar (Radhiyallaho Anho) agreed and went to sleep, and Hadhrat Abbaad (Radhiyallaho Anho) started his Salaat. But an enemy scout made him out in the dark from a distance, and let fly an arrow at him. Seeing that he made no movement, he shot another and still another arrow at him. Hadhrat Abbaad (Radhiyallaho Anho) drew out and threw away each arrow as it struck him, and at last awakened his companion. The enemy fled when he saw them both together, fearing that there might be many more of them. Hadhrat Ammar (Radhiyallaho Anho) noticed Abbaad (Radhiyallaho Anho) bleeding from three places.

He said, "Subhanallah (Glory is to Allah)! Why did you not awake me earlier?"

Abbaad replied, "I had started reciting Surah Kahf in my Salaat. I did not like to cut it short, but when I was struck by the third arrow, I was greatly concerned that my death might jeopardize the safety of the Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe Wasallam). I therefore finished the Salaat and awakened you. But for this fear, I would not have gone to Ruku before finishing the Surah even if I had been killed."

Look at the devotion of the Sahaba to Salaat. One arrow after another is piercing Hadhrat Abbaad's (Radhiyallaho Anho) body and he is bleeding profusely, but he is not prepared to sacrifice the pleasure of reciting the Quran in his Salaat. On the other hand, the bite of a wasp, even of a mosquito, is sufficient to distract us from our Salaat.

According to the Hanafiyyah school of jurisprudence, Wudhu breaks with bleeding, while according to the Shafiyyah it does not. It is just possible that Abbaad might be having the latter view, or that this point might not have been brought to an issue till then.

 

There are many Ahadith about Salaat, which I have collected in a separate book.

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