It is said in a hadith that Allah bestows five favours on a person who is mindful of his salaah:
- His daily bread is made easy for him;
- he is saved from the punishments in the grave;
- he shall receive his record in his right hand on the Day of Judgement;
- he shall cross the Siraat with the speed of lightning and
- he shall enter Paradise without reckoning.
As for him who neglects his salaah, he shall meet five types of punishments in this world, three at the time of death, three in the grave and three after resurrection.
Those in this world are: he is not blessed in his life and age; he is deprived of the light with which the faces of the righteous are endowed; he receives no rewards for his good practices; his prayers are not answered; and he has no share in the prayers of the pious.
Those at the time of death are: he dies disgracefully; he dies hungry; he dies in such thirst which the water in the oceans of the world cannot quench.
Those in the grave are: He squeezed so tightly there that the ribs of one side penetrate into the ribs of the other side; fire is burnt inside for him and he is rolled on cinders day and night; a serpent with fiery eyes and iron nails equal in length to a day’s journey is let loose on him and shouts with a thundering voice, 'My Lord has charged me with thrashing you till sunrise for neglecting Fajr, till Asr for neglecting Zuhur, till sunset for neglecting Asr, till Ishaa for neglecting Maghrib and till dawn for neglecting Ishaa. The serpent will keep on thrashing him thus till the Last Day. Each blow pushes him to a depth of seventy arm's length. The punishments will last till the Day of Judgement.
Those after resurrection are: His reckoning will be a hard one; Allah will be angry with him; and he will be thrown into the Fire.
According to one report, he will have following three lines inscribed on his forehead:
'0 you who neglected Allah's duty'
'0 you who has deserved Allah's wrath.'
'Now despair of Allah's mercy, as you neglected your duty to Allah.'
Eminent theologians like Ibn Hajr, Abu Laith Samar qandi (Rahmatullah alaihim), and others, have mentioned this hadith in their books.
Ibn 'Abbas Radiallahu Anhu said, "On the Day of Judgment, a man is brought before Allah. Then Allah issues a command to cast him into Fire. The man asks Allah, "O My Lord, why? Allah, then, replies, "Because you neglected to perform the Salaah in its time and you swear falsely by Me."
"One day Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam said before his Companions:
"O Allah, let not any of us be wretched or deprived." Then, he said, "Do you know who the wretched and deprived are? “They said, "Who is that, O Messenger of Allah?" He said, "The one who neglects the Salaah. “
Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam said,
"The first faces that will turn dark on the Day of Judgment are the faces of those who neglect the Salaah. In the Jahannum there is a valley called AI-Malham that contains serpents. Each serpent is as fat as a camel's neck and its length is equal to the distance covered in a day. Then, it stings the one who neglects the Salaah, the poison boils in his body for seventy years then the flesh is torn out.” - Reported by AI-Hakim.
Once, an Israelite woman came to Musa (Alaihis Salaam) and said, "0 Messenger of Allah, I committed a grievous sin but I repented to Allah. So may you invoke Allah to forgive me and accept my repentance?" Musa (Alaihis Salaam) said, "What was your sin?" She replied, "I committed adultery and then gave birth to a child whom I killed." Musa (Alaihis Salaam) said, "Go away you corrupt woman, lest the fire strikes from the sky and bum us." Accordingly, the woman went out with a broken heart. Then, Jibreel Alaihis Salaam came down and said, "O Musa, Allah the Almighty has asked why you rejected the penitent woman. Have not you found anyone worse than her?" Musa (Alaihis Salaam) asked, "Who is that oh Jibreel?" He replied, "The one who intentionally neglects the Salaah."
IMPORTANCE OF PERFORMING SALAAH IN THE CORRECT MANNER
It was related that Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam said, "The worst thief is he who steals from his Salaah.” Someone asked, "How?" He answered, "When he does not bow, prostrate or recite therein perfectly.” - Reported by AJ-Darami, Ahmed and AI-Hakim.
Mas'ud AI-Badri related that Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam said, "A Salaah is not valid if one's back is not upright after bowing and prostration.” - Reported by Ahmad.
Thus, he who prays should remain motionless for a moment while bowing, prostrating, standing etc.
Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam said,
"Allah does not look at a man who does not raise his back upright after prostration.” - Reported by Ahmed.
"This is the Salaah of a hypocrite, the one who who watches the sun until he finds it about to set, then he stands and performs it as quick as a bird picking the seeds and he hardly remembers Allah in it.” - Reported by Muslim
Abdullah AI-Ash'ari Rahmatullahi Alayhi related that one day Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam led the companions in Salaah. After finishing the Salaah, someone came in to pray. He started to pray so fast that he could hardly remain motionless for a moment while bowing or prostrating. Meanwhile, Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam said, "Behold, if this man dies, he dies believing in a religion other than Muhammad's."
'Umar Ibn AI-Khattab Radiallahu Anhu related that Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam said, "Whoever prays is surrounded by two angels on the right and left. If he performed it properly, they take it and ascend to Allah, the Almighty. Otherwise, they strike his face with it.” - Reported by Ad-Dar Qutni
'Ubadah Ibn As-Samit Radiallahu Anhu related that Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam said,
"Whoever makes ablution properly and performs properly the postures of Salaah viz. bowing, prostration and recitation therein, the Salaah says, "May Allah preserve you as you preserve me.” Then the Salaah is risen up skyward enveloped with light. When approaching heaven's gates, it will find it opened. So it keeps on rising up until it reaches Allah. There, it intercedes for the one who performed it. But if he does not perform (its postures) properly: bowing, prostration or recitation therein, the Salaah says, "May Allah neglect you as you neglected me.” Then, the Salaah is risen up skyward enveloped with darkness. Approaching the gates of heaven, it will find it closed. Then, it will be folded as an old cloth and kicked back to the doer's face.” - Reported by Al-Haithami.
Salman AI-Farsi Radiallahu Anhu narrated that Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam said,
“The Salaah is a measure. Whoever gives a just measure, he will be rewarded in full. Whoever gives less, you know what Allah says about the stinters (defrauders). "
Allah, the Almighty says, “Woe to the stinters!” (AI-Mutafifeen)
The stinter is he who cheats when weighing or measuring out goods or during Salaah. Allah promises to punish them with Wail. A valley in Jahannum, Hell itself seeks refuge from its heat. We seek Allah's refuge from it.
Ibn 'Abbas Radiallahu Anhu narrated that Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam said,
"Whoever prostrates should place his forehead, nose and hands on the floor, as Allah has revealed upon me to prostrate on five body parts viz the forehead, nose, the palms of hands, the knees and feet. I have also have been ordered not to prostrate on hair nor cloths. Thus, whoever prostrates improperly, the body part which fails to touch the floor will curse him until he completes the Salaah.” - Reported by Al-Bukhari and Muslim.
AI-Bukhari reported on the authority of Huzayfa Ibn AI- Yamman (may Allah be pleased with him) who said that he once noticed a man praying but he bowed and prostrated improperly. He said to him: "You did not pray. If you die, you will die believing in a religion other than Muhammad's (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam).”
In Abu Dawud's narration, the above hadith is reported as the following, "How long have you prayed in this manner?" He said, "Forty years" He said, "You did not pray for forty years and if you died you would die believing in a religion other than Muhammed's (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam)."
AI-Hassan AI-Basri Rahmatullahi Alayhi used to say, "O son of Adam what is dearer to you of your religion than Salaah. It is the first thing that you will be called to account for on the Day of Judgment.
Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam said, "The first of peoples deeds which they would be called to account for on the Day of Judgment is Salaah. Our Lord, Holy and Exalted is He, will say to His angels, while knowing better than them, "Look at the Salaah of My servant. Did he perform it in full, or fell short of it?" If it is in order, then he will have prospered ad succeeded; if it is wanting, then he will have failed and lost. While if anything is missing from it, He will say, "Look to see if My servant has any supererogatory (Nafl) Salaah.” And if he has, Allah will say, "Complete My servant's obligatory Salaah for him from his supererogatory ones. “And he will be dealt with likewise in his other deeds.”
Hence, we should increase our Nafl Ibaadat (supererogatory worshipping) to complete the Fardh (obligatory) ones if they fall shorter.