While there are many aspects that are related to Mi’raaj, the most important thing that pertains to us daily is the gift that was granted to Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) on the occasion of Mi’raaj. When Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) proceeded to the seven heavens and beyond and met his Rabb, Allah Ta‘ala, he was granted the gift of salaah.
Such was the importance of salaah that its injunction was not revealed while Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) walked on the earth, like the other injunctions of Deen. Rather it was saved for this special occasion beyond the seven heavens.
An obedient child attaches great importance to the parting advice that his father gives him. He will try his utmost to fulfil it and strictly adhere to it. One of the last words that emanated from the blessed tongue of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) before leaving this world was with regard to upholding the injunction of Salaah.
Ummu Salamah (radhiyallahu ‘anha) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) used to say during his final illness,
“Safeguard your salaah and take care of your subordinates.”
He kept on repeating these words until his tongue could no longer speak clearly.
As Ummatis of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), we should be asking ourselves, “At the time of Fajar do I remember the impassioned plea of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) as he parted from this world with regard to upholding the injunction of salaah?” The same should be considered with regard to Zuhr and ‘Asr - when the tills are ringing and with regard to Maghrib and ‘Esha when other distractions are in the way.
Furthermore, the very first aspect that a person will be questioned about on the day of Qiyaamah will be regarding his salaah.
Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said, “Indeed the first deed which a servant will be accountable for on the Day of Qiyaamah is his salaah. If it is in order, he is successful and saved, but if it is defective, he has failed and lost.”
Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said, “Salaah is a pillar of Deen.” Thus, if a person’s salaah is in order, his entire Deen will be in order, as salaah is like the electric current that gives him a spiritual charge, assisting him and motivating him towards righteousness. If one’s salaah is lacking in any way, the negative impact will definitely be witnessed in the other aspects of one’s Deen.
People understand that they are dependent on electricity and energy in all areas of their lives, and so they attach great importance to paying the electricity bill, anxious that the municipality should not disconnect them from the grid.
We should realize that the disastrous loss incurred through neglecting just one salaah has been likened to a person losing all his wealth and his entire family! Over and above the sin that one incurs, one is ‘cut off from the grid’ and left with a ‘powerless’ imaan. The result is that he feels no motivation and inclination whatsoever to carry out righteous deeds and abstain from sin. Neglecting salaah is thus a sin that causes a breakdown in the rest of a person’s Deen.
‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu):
When ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) was stabbed, Miswar bin Makhramah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) came to see him. On entering, he found ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) covered with a sheet (and unconscious). Miswar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) asked those present, “How is he?” They replied, “He is as you can see (unconscious).” Miswar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) thus advised them, “Wake him up by calling him for salaah, as there is nothing that you can awaken him for that is more urgent and important to him than salaah.” Accepting this suggestion, they called out, “Salaah, O Ameerul Mu-mineen!” As soon as they did this, ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) awoke and exclaimed, “Yes! By Allah! There is no share in Islam for the one who neglects salaah!” ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) thereafter performed his salaah while blood flowed from his wound.
‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) truly understood the value and importance of salaah in Islam and the life of a Muslim. Hence, even in his final moments, when his wound was flowing with blood, he ensured that he performed salaah. In fact, he even mentioned that a person who neglects salaah has no share in Islam. Furthermore, the fear of missing salaah was so strong in ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) that they used the call for salaah to revive him from unconsciousness. Today, there are people who will wake up in the early hours of the morning to frequent the gym, travel to work or catch a flight. Come what may, they ensure that they wake up on time. However, when it comes to the Fajr Salaah, let alone leaving the home and going to the musjid, they fail to even wake up and perform it at all!
Ibnu ‘Abbaas (radhiyallahu ‘anhuma):
When ‘Abdullah bin ‘Abbaas (radhiyallahu ‘anhuma) began turning blind, he was advised to have it treated. However, the treatment required him to leave out salaah (normally and offering it lying down with signs) for a few days. He refused, saying that Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said: “Whoever omits his salaah will meet Allah Ta‘ala in such a condition that Allah Ta‘ala will be angry with him.”
Salaah was so dear to the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) and meant so much to them that they could bear the challenges of remaining blind for the rest of their lives, but could not tolerate the missing of a few salaah. On the other hand, missing salaah upon salaah for lame excuses is something absolutely normal for us. More tragic than missing the salaah is perhaps the lack of any regret or remorse over missing it, due to having become accustomed to missing salaah often.
The kindness of our Allah Ta‘ala is such, that although salaah is an injunction of Allah Ta’ala and a responsibility and duty upon His servants, he has promised great rewards and many benefits for the one who performs it. Many of these virtues have been recorded by Shaikhul Hadeeth, Moulana Muhammad Zakariyya (rahimahullah) in his renowned and exemplary book, Fazaail e Aa’maal. It is essential that we read this book together with our families regularly in order to understand the importance and value the position of salaah in our lives.
Resistance from Sins:
One of the many benefits of salaah is that a person who is punctual with his salaah, together with all its etiquettes and devotion, develops a spiritual strength within him that makes it easy for him to resist and refrain from sin and temptation.
Allah Ta‘ala says in the Quraan Majeed,
“Recite what is revealed to you of the Book, and establish salaah. Verily salaah restrains one from shameful and evil acts.”
Furthermore, if a person does commit any minor sin, then salaah becomes a means of the sin being forgiven.
Abu Hurairah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) once asked the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum), “Tell me, if there is a river flowing at the door of one of you and he baths in it five times a day, can any dirt remain on him?” The Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) answered, “No dirt can remain on his body.” Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said, “So exactly like that is the example of the five daily salaah. Allah Ta‘ala erases the sins of a person through these salaah.”
Means of Sustenance:
The concern of most people is that of sustenance. In the Quraan Majeed, Allah Ta‘ala explains the close link between punctuality on salaah and the receiving of sustenance.
“Instruct your family to perform salaah and adhere to it yourself. We do not ask you for sustenance, We give provision to you.”
Under the explanation of this verse, the great commentator of the Quraan Majeed, Haafiz Ibnu Katheer (rahimahullah) explains thus: “When you are punctual on your salaah, sustenance will come to you from sources and avenues that you did not even think off.” (Tafseer Ibni Katheer vol. 5, pg. 319)
How unfortunate it is that salaah is often delayed or even totally discarded due to preoccupation in business and seeking sustenance! This is due to having forgotten that we do not sustain ourselves. It is only Allah Ta‘ala who sustains us. Hence to continue to trade at the expense of salaah will most definitely not yield profit in Islamic terminology, since what Allah Ta‘ala declares a loss can never be profit. Hence salaah must be given the first priority even if it means that we have to abandon a hundred customers.
In order for a person to do something, he requires the co-operation of those around him. Hence, instructing one’s family to perform salaah, is a strategy to make one more committed to salaah himself.
Instructing one’s Family:
Together with this, inculcating salaah in the lives one’s family is extremely important. For six months after the revelation of the above aayat, when leaving for Fajr Salaah, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) would announce outside the home of ‘Ali and Faatimah (radhiyallahu ‘anhuma), “(It is the time of) Salaah O my family.”
Similarly, it was the habit of ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) that after spending a portion of the night in Tahajjud Salaah, when the night would be coming to an end, he would awaken his family for salaah while reciting the above aayat.
Such was the concern for salaah, that one of the du‘aas of Nabi Ebrahim (‘alaihis salaam) was,
“O my Rabb, make me steadfast in salaah, and my offspring as well.”
Furthermore, Allah Ta‘ala says regarding his son, Nabi Ismaa‘eel (‘alaihis salaam),
“And he used to enjoin salaah and zakaah upon his family.”
If our child has to lose a large sum of money or cause a loss to the business, we will immediately reprimand him and adopt measures to ensure that it does not happen again. Does it ever disturb us when our children miss their salaah? The one who is responsible for the upbringing of the child has to ensure that the basics of Deen (salaah etc.) are ingrained into the child.
Solution to the Crisis of the Ummah:
While there are many reasons for the present pitiful condition of the Ummah throughout the world, one of the main reasons is the neglect of this fundamental injunction of Deen. While we try doing various things to assist the Ummah, it is of prior importance that we become punctual on the performance of the five daily salaah (in the correct manner) and make an effort to bring the others onto salaah. Without this it will be wishful thinking to expect the degradation of the Ummah to change for the better. With the proper fulfilment of salaah and all the other injunctions of Deen, the help of Allah Ta’ala will be with us. This was the exactly same solution that Allah Ta‘ala had given to the Banu Israaeel when they were being persecuted by Fir‘aun.
“And We revealed to Musa (‘alaihis salaam) and his brother that have homes for your people in Egypt and make your homes places of worship and establish salaah.”
The reason for them been instructed to make their homes into places of worship was that Fir‘aun had destroyed the places in which they would be worshipping Allah Ta‘ala. (Ma‘aariful Quraan vol. 4, pg. 560) Haafiz Ibnu Katheer (rahimahullah) explains: “When the persecution of Fir‘aun and his people intensified, and they constricted the Banu Israaeel, they were commanded to offer salaah in abundance, as Allah Ta‘ala says,
“O you who believe, seek assistance through patience and salaah.”
It is mentioned in the hadeeth of Sunan Abi Dawood that when anything worried Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), he would engage in salaah.” (Tafseer Ibni Katheer vol. 4, pg. 417) Thus, salaah is the real solution to the crisis of the Ummah.
Source: Ibnu Masood Institiute