Establishing Salaat (2)
We should pay heed to the fact that when we ask for something and we are given just a token then we become angry, and when Allah Ta’ala asks then we do not even give something of token value, whereas the right here is to present that offering which is of worth, in fact which is of the highest order. If this is not the case, then we will take a step back and say that at least it should be according to what we would like for ourselves. A worthwhile offering is that in which the essence is found.
And what is the essence of Salaat? It is mentioned in this Aayat:
“Correctly discharge your Salaat for My remembrance.” (Surah Taha, 16)
The thought of Allah should be in the heart and mind.
To remember Him is the essence of Salaat. We are far, extremely far from this. A worthwhile Salaat is that in which Allah Ta’ala is thought about. If this cannot be achieved then let the Salaat be Salaat in name, for it is not remote of the Rahmat of Allah to accept it. But if the obligatory postures are even missing then it cannot even be called Salaat.
If our Namaaz was an imitation then, too, it would have been appreciated. But we have destroyed our Namaaz. Neither is there any essence to our Namaaz nor any correct form to it. We read Salaat but our Salaat is of no value. Not reading is an even darker issue. On account of this state of affairs the Command is given: “Aqeemus Salaah!” In other words, “Correct your Salaah”. Allah Ta’ala did not command reading only. In fact, He has commanded that the Salaat be offered correctly.
What does “correctly offering” mean? “To correctly offer” means to offer the Salaat with all its rights and regulations. Among these rights is to be regular with Salaat. I have broached this topic for this reason that in the rural areas Salaat is not offered regularly. Firstly, many people do not offer their Salaat, and if they do then it is ugly. If there happens to be people who are regular with their Salaat then they make do with performing the Salaat in its time; they are not regular with Jamaat Salaat, whereas all these are necessary.
And if we find someone punctual and observant then these are restricted to the person in question. He does not emphasise to his family at home the rights of Salaat. Friends, be punctual yourselves and make your womenfolk and children punctual. You will have to answer for their actions. Make everyone regular and observant of Namaaz. Ensure that no one’s Salaat is ugly.
In our town there was a Moulana Shaikh Muhammad Saheb. Once, it was the moon issue. Some people from the rural area came to testify to their sighting of the moon. Moulana asked one villager if he performs his Salaat. The villager replied: “On one occasion the Moulanas raised a hue and cry about Namaaz. The village folk came together and decided to boycott the Janaazah of one who did not offer his Namaaz. Then I read.”
My address at this moment of time is to those who believe in Salaat and regard Salaat to be good. Such people should offer their Salaat as required, that is, firstly they should be regular with their Salaat and secondly they should be observant of its times.
Some people offer their Asr Salaat after having attended to all their other work. The sun is setting and this person is engaged in Salaat. The reason behind this is sometimes laziness and negligence, and sometimes the reason is that these people think that after a short while Maghrib Salaat has to be performed, so why break work twice? “We will complete all our work and take care of both Salaats together.”
Friends, it is an obvious fact that whether you offer your Salaats simultaneously or separately, the time taken to offer the two Salaats remain the same. For instance, if it takes five minutes to offer one Salaat then for two Salaats it will take ten minutes. Now even if you offer the Salaats apart from each other the time duration will still remain ten minutes. Thus, if you take a break from your work and offer one Salaat, the Salaat will be offered in its correct time and the same five minutes will be spent in discharging the Salaat.
Another right of the Salaat is for the Rukoo’ and Sajdah to be perfect. Also, whatever Tasbeeh and Azkaar are due in Salaat check these by someone to ascertain whether you are reciting them correctly. Also ensure that your recitation of the Qur’aan Shareef is correct. If you cannot get the pronunciation of certain letters right then at least iron out your zabar, zer (fat-hah, kasrah) mistakes.
Offer your Salaat and ensure that the wife and children also offer their Salaats. Allah Ta’ala has appointed you as governor over them. Just as you educate them in matters of this world, educate them in Deen as well. If not, you are going to be answerable.
Enforce Salaat upon those you have power over if they do not offer their Salaat. Mete out appropriate punishment. Fines are not permissible as punishment in the view of the Hanafiyyah. Punish them in some other way.
Namaaz is not an issue with one’s clan or neighbours. It is an issue with Allah Ta’ala. Its discharge is necessary. One who misses his Salaat should impose upon himself some punishment. For example, when he misses a Namaaz he should forgo a meal. Doing this once or a few times will set the mind straight. The nafs will then become subordinate. I, furthermore, assure you that by forgoing one meal or a few meals you won’t die. It is confirmed by Tibb-practice that not eating a few meals does not kill a person.
In short, take up courage and carry out what you have to do. Without courage, not even a morsel of food will go into the mouth. This was the bayaan of Aqeemus Salaah. Unintentionally the bayaan has become somewhat lengthy. Nevertheless, it should be of benefit, Insha-Allah.
(From Adabul Islam of Hazrat Moulana Thanwi Rahmatullahi Alaih)