Friday Khutbah (27th May 2005) delivered by Shaykh Muhammad TaherDISCLAIMER: This reminder was originally delivered in Arabic. Any meanings lost in translation are not to be attributed to the speaker as reminders are translated by volunteers. The mosque has no official translater and volunteers often have no formal qualifications to translate on the day. Please forgive any errors as they are from our human weakness and any right guidance is from Allah.
We continue (this week) with our discussion of the following ayah which refers to the people of true faith:
“Righteousness (Al-Birr) is not whether you turn your face towards the East or the West; but the one who has al Birr is he who believes in Allah, the Last Day, the Angels, the Scriptures and the Prophets; and spends wealth out of love for Him on his relatives, the orphans, the helpless, needy travellers, those who ask and to set slaves free; those who establish the prayer, practice regular charity, fulfil promises when made, and are steadfast (patient) in tribulation, hardship and in times of distress. These (people) are the truthful and these are the pious” (2: 177)
This verse describes the perfect Islamic methodology. It represents the union
Whosoever has the characteristics mentioned in this verse, possesses great qualities and righteous actions. He has immersed himself in faith and surrendered to Allah and has taken an ample share of goodness.
Today we focus upon Allah SWT’s description of the believers as those who establish Salah - the prayer (as He says in this verse: “And establish the prayer”):
Firstly – the place that salah has in Islam
Salah or prayer is to be performed five times a day and is an obligation upon every Muslim who is mukallif (i.e. has capacity to be responsible for the obligations imposed upon Muslims by Islamic law). The prayer which Allah the Most High accepts and rewards abundantly is the prayer in which its conditions, obligations and components are perfected.
Prayer has a place in Islam which no other act of worship can match, as it is the pillar of religion itself. The Prophet, SAW him said:
“The peak of the matter is Islam; the pillar is prayer; and its topmost part is Jihad in the way of Allah”
The Noble Qur’an has made prayer an ingredient of spiritual identity as Allah SWT has mentioned the establishing of the prayer to be from among the characteristics of the truthful believers and has made it an act of Al-Birr or righteousness.
O Muslims, prayer is tranquillity for the soul and purification for the spirit. It represents the (true) relationship of a servant with His Lord;
The truthful believers are in the most calm of states when they stand in humility in front their Lord SWT.
O Muslims, prayer should be a moment of spiritual ascent, where a person takes some time awayfrom the distractions of the world and stands before their Lord, their Master and praises Him with the praise that is due to Him SWT
Prayer is a link with Allah, the Most High, the Greatest and through this connection the soul is strengthened, made more determined and the spirit is content. Thus Allah SWT has made prayer a weapon which is not to be overlooked when facing the difficulties of this life, its catastrophes and agonies.
And Allah SWT says in Surah Al-Baqara; 153:
“O you who believe, seek help with patience and prayer, for Allah is with those who patiently persevere”
Secondly, we consider the place that prayer had for the Prophet SAW:
Whenever a matter concerned or grieved the Prophet SAW, he would take refuge in prayer. His prayer was not solely an outward act or a series of movements which he undertook; prayer for him was to be completely immersed in secret conversation with Allah. When the time for prayer came, he would call his muezzin Bilal to perform the call to prayer- yearning and desiring to meet Allah and connect to Him SWT.
The Prophet SAW would say:
“Give us comfort by the prayer O Bilal”
(Let us) find comfort in remembrance, supplication and reciting the Qur’an, let us establish the prayer so we devote ourselves and our lives to Allah and practice piety.
The Prophet SAW said:
“The coolness of my eyes is in prayer”
His soul, body and heart only found rest and comfort in Salah.
Abdullah Ibn Rawaha RA (a companion of the Prophet) described the Messenger of Allah SAW; his reciting of the Qur’an during night prayers (tahajjud) and during the Fajr prayer:
“Amongst us is Allah's Apostle, who recites Allah’s Book when it dawns. He showed us the guidance, after we were blind. We believe that whatever he says will come true. And he spends his nights in such a way as his sides do not touch his bed, while the pagans are in deep sleep."
(Related in Bukhari)
- do we (as Muslims) find such spiritual and blessed meaning in our prayer? In which prayer (of ours) is the connection between the servant and his Lord actually realised? In which prayer (of ours) does the soul find comfort, the heart find tranquillity, and the limbs display humility; where worry and grief, trouble and pain disappear?
Is a person satisfying the conditions of prayer simply by movements alone? Are they fulfilling the obligation of prayer simply by knocking their head on the floor in haste?!
Have you not seen how the Noble Qur’an clearly states the establishing of the prayer? (“And establish the prayer)
Finally - just how can we establish the prayer?
Know that establishing the prayer is to complete it at its appointed time, to perfect its bowing (Ruk’u) and prostration (Sujud) and to have tranquillity and humility and to perform it in the correct manner according to the Shari’ah. This manner was taught to us by the Prophet SAW when he said (to his companions)
“Pray as you have seen me pray”
If you want to establish prayer in the true way that it should be established and you want to possess the qualities of those who have true faith, then it is vital that you turn to your Lord completely; with every part of your being- outwardly and in inwardly, physically, mentally and spiritually.
Praying is analogous to Islam in one’s life. Because Islam recognises a person to be (made up of) body, mind and soul. Islam does not accept that there is any contradiction between any of these faculties that make up a person.
Prayer- through its
and all this happens simultaneously.
And Allah SWT says:
“Successful (happy) indeed are the believers who are (khashi’un) humble in their prayers” (Surah Al-Mu’minun: 1-2)
I.e. they are the winners, they are happy and they achieve prosperity and success!
Why?? Because they establish their prayer;