Performing Salah to Perfection
Performing Salah to Perfection – A Reason for the Descent of Material Blessings
By Shaykh Said Afandi Al-Chirkawi ad-Daghestani an-Naqshbandi
Describing the characteristics of God-fearing people, Allah says: “They are people striving to perform the five times daily prayers with hudhur, fulfilling all its foundations and conditions, performing each bow and prostration to the utmost, and are consistent in it.”
One of the knowers of Allah, the great scholar Ibrahim Naha’i said: “If you will see, that a person carelessly bows and prostrates in salah, then pity his family and children: they are threatened with poverty and their wealth is being depleted.” Notice the significance salah has even for one’s worldly well being.
Respected Muslims! Many complain that their affairs in this worldly life and at work are going badly. For the most part, they turn out to be people who do not perform their salah, and if they perform it, then they do so inattentively. There are even people, who complain that there is not enough time to perform salah.
As has already been said, Allah provides for everyone, indiscriminate of whether they are believers or disbelievers, or good or bad. But remember, there will be no blessing in the affairs of those who do not perform salah or observe the fast, do not differentiate between what is permissible and forbidden, having forgotten their Islamic upbringing and their spiritual heritage. Such people’s wealth is deprived of blessing. They don’t know and don’t even have an inkling that they acquire from one side, and loose from another. The life of these people is spent in a race after the worldly, which is actually running away from them. At the end of the day, after leaving all that they have earned to their inheritors, they go with nothing into a dark grave. Wealth, given in that way, if it is given at all, is called deceptive (istidraj). May Allah protect us from that.
Salah performed to Perfection
Khatam Al Asam, one of the knowers of Allah, went to ‘As ibn Yusuf. ‘As asked Khatam: “Do you know how to perform salah?”.
Khatam answered: “I do.”
‘As then asked: “And how do you perform it?”
Khatam said: - “When the time for salah draws close, I meticulously make wudhu, I stand at the the place for prayer and I get ready. Before my eyes is the Ka`ba, and Allah is looking at me, He knows, what I have in my heart. My legs are as if they are on the sirat, to the right of me is paradise, to the left is the fire, and behind me the angel of death is standing. My heart assumes that this is my last prayer. Then, with sincerity and hudhur (presence), I begin my salah for the sake of Allah, I meaningfully read al-Ham [Fatiha], humbly bow, and then, submissively pleading to Allah, I prostrate. Then I sit and read “at-Tahiyyat” with my hope on the Most High. Likewise, with ikhlas and hudhur, I greet the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). While in a state between fear of the Most High and hope on Him, I leave the salah, saying salam. Then I get ready to be patient in all circumstances.”
Then ‘As said: “Is that the way you perform salah, oh Khatam?”
Khatam answered: “That is how I have been performing Salah for 30 years now.”
Then ‘As cried, admitting that he had never performed Salah in that way.
In the commandments regarding salah, the Most High Allah commands to perform it regularly, not leaving it or missing it, on time, and with jama’a (many scholars consider this to be a fard kifaya[i], and Imam Ahmad says it is a fard al-‘ain[ii]), and with hudhur and khushu`[iii].
After the Most High instructed us to perform salah in that way, people fell into different groups. Some did not accept the salah at all and their leader was Abu Jahl, may Allah deprive him of His mercy. Others recognized the salah as obligatory, yet did not take it upon themselves to perform it, and these were the people of the book, specifically, the followers of the Torah. People of a third group performed the salah at times, but would also miss it, and these were the Munafiqun. One other group of people acknowledged the salah, they pledged to perform the salah and performed it, as Allah commanded, and were consistent in it. Their teacher was the Prophet (peace be upon him), and after him all his companions, may Allah be pleased with them. Ayahs were sent down which told of Hell which had been prepared for, as well the hardships and struggles which awaited, every group in the Akhirah except for those who followed the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). And all of those groups have always had their followers.
Those in whose hearts the heavenly light of knowledge of Allah has penetrated, as a consequence of which they came to see the truth, they, having recognized the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and followed him, are coming into Islam even today. They are the followers of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). Dear Muslims! If that eternal joy, waiting for them and us, was just as visible and tangible as a salary, which we can get in our hands today, then those who forgot about the next life and are distracted by this transient world would not have left it to us. We must be exceedingly grateful to Allah.
The prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) says: “Whoever fails to perform one salah without reason until the time for its performance has run out will spend 80 years in hell.”
The prophet also said: “The one who leaves the jama’a, that is who does not attend the congregational prayer, is not my person and I am not his.”
One of the great scholars said: “He who does not attend the congregational prayer, is worse than a drunkard, a murderer of an innocent person, one who tortures his parents and a blasphemer.” In the Gospel, the Torah, the Psalms and the Qur’an such a person is considered to be deprived of Allah’s mercy, and the angels curse him. It is said, that he is not to be visited if he is sick and his funeral is not to be attended if he dies.
From the book of the venerable Sheikh Said Afandi Chirkawi “Invitation to heed the Call of the Qur’an”
Translation from the Avar language book “Tanbih al Awam ila Da’wat al Qur’an”
[i]Fard al-Kifaya: An obligation, which at least one person in the community must perform and then the rest of the community is relieved of the obligation for it. If nobody performs it, then the whole community falls into sin.
[ii]Fard al-‘Ain: An obligation which is placed on all Muslims.
[iii]khushu’: reverence, awe before the Most High