Saturday, October 22, 2011
In the name of Allah, Praise belongs to Allah, and Blessings and Peace be upon the messenger of Allah...
In the Qur’an, Allah says,
“Indeed, I am Allah. There is nothing worthy of worship except Me, so worship Me and establish the Salah for My remembrance.” (Quran 20:14)
These are the words that Allah spoke to Musa (as), to Moses, and Allah reminds us of them again in the Qur’an. There is no doubt that the Salah, the established formal daily prayer, has always been a fundamental part of Allah’s religion, even before the last messenger Muhammad (saws). Allah says elsewhere in the Qur’an,
“And We certainly sent into every nation a messenger, [saying], "Worship Allah and avoid false gods." (Quran 16:36)
So why is the Salah so important? It’s simple. The Salah is so important because it is the precise way that Allah has instructed us to worship Him, and because worshipping Allah is the purpose of our creation, as Allah says,
“And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me.” (Qur’an 51:56)
In a video titled Prayer in Islam, I explained that in Islam there are different types of prayer, or different actions that are commonly translated as prayer, and that, aside from the Salah, the established daily prayer, there is also dua, the act of calling on Allah in prayer at any time or place, and dhikr, remembrance and continuous contemplation of Allah, and all these things are considered “prayer.” What’s interesting is that the Salah itself is in many ways an established form of dua and dhikr, calling on Allah and remembering Allah.
The importance of the Salah can also be understood though the ways in which the Salah benefits us.
It’s reported that the Prophet Muhammad (saws) was speaking to his companions, and he asked them, “If a person had a stream outside his door and he bathed in it five times a day, do you think he would have any dirt left on him?” The companions said, “No dirt would remain on him at all.” The Prophet (saws) then said, “That is like the five daily prayers: Allah wipes away the sins by them.” (Saheeh Al-Bukhari, Saheeh Muslim)
Subhanallah, think about the amazing mercy of Allah, that he gives us five prayers throughout the day, every single day, with which we can be purified of our sins.
The messenger of Allah (saws) is also reported to have said, "Allah has obligated five prayers. Whoever excellently performs their ablutions, prays them in their proper times, completes their bows, prostrations and khushu' (total concentration and spiritual connection) has a promise from Allah that He will forgive him. And whoever does not do that has no promise from Allah. He may either forgive him or punish him." [Recorded by Malik, Ahmad, Abu Dawud, al-Nasa’I and others. According to al-Albani, it is sahih. Al-Albani, Sahih al-Jami, vol. 1, p. 616.]
Really think about that! If you maintain your prayers and pray them the way they’re meant to be prayed, Allah is giving you a guarantee of forgiveness! Who can give a better guarantee than Allah?
And not only does the Salah remove the sins you have, but it also protects you from further sins! In the Qur’an, Allah says,
“Indeed, the Salah keeps one from the great sins and evil deeds” (Quran 29:45)
Just think, at any given time during the course of the day, you either just finished praying or you are going to pray soon. That consistent routine of prayer continuously boosts your level of taqwa, conciousness of Allah. Since you’re always mindful of Allah, you’re aware that He sees everything you do, you’re less likely to commit sins.
According to Allah’s messenger (saws), the Salah is the most virtuous deed anyone can perform, and that’s why it’s so important to keep the prayer. Just as performing the Salah can be of tremendous benefit, neglecting the Salah can cause us tremendous harm.
As the Prophet (saws) informed us,
“The first matter that the slave will be brought to account for on the Day of Judgment is the Salah. If it is sound, then the rest of his deeds will be sound. And if it is bad, then the rest of his deeds will be bad.”
[Recorded by al-Tabarani. According to al-Albani, it is Sahih. Al-Albani, Sahih al-Jami, vol.1, p. 503.]
So insha’Allah now that you truly understand the importance of the Salah, you can take the next step by perfecting your Salah. That can mean different things for different people. If you are inconsistent with your prayers, it could mean disciplining yourself to pray them every day in their time. If you always find yourself praying at the last minute, it could mean making an effort to pray as soon as the prayer comes in. If you have trouble focusing in your Salah, it could mean studying the meanings of what you are saying in prayer and concentrating on it more deeply while in prayer. If you are a new Muslim, it could mean beginning to learn and practice the Salah, and make it part of your regular routine. Whatever our individual cases may be, I hope and pray that we can all remember why Salah is so important to us and to stay motivated to always improve. Until next time, Assalaamu ‘alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.
Saturday, October 15, 2011
I've had this blog for about two years, but I haven't done much with it. Recently, I've been planning some changes and improvements for the YouTube channel and associated sites, and insha'Allah I'm starting here on the blog. In general, I'd like to be more active in sharing knowledge, and insha'Allah I think the text blog, requiring far less time and work than the channel, will help me to get more out more often.
So insha'Allah here's what you can expect to start seeing from this blog:
-New original blog posts
-Videos converted into blog form
-Blog post that may later be converted into videos (giving you the first look at new material)
-Updates and news about the channel
-Campaigns, contests, and projects from Dawah Addict
and of course all new videos as they come out.
Jazakum Allahu khair to everybody for reading, and make sure to share this page, as well as the channel itself.
Monday, October 10, 2011
Imagine you walked into you job on Monday, and said to your boss,
“Hey listen, I know how you always like for me to get all of the work done that you give me to do, you have the whole work routine for us, but I was thinking that, instead, I would take care of some things that I need to take care of, some work I have to do, for myself, maybe do some texting, watch like five videos on YouTube, then I thought I would take a two hour lunch over at Fridays, I’m meeting some friends, and I mean, since I’ll be out that long anyway, I figure I’ll just stay out and hit the beach. I really gotta work on my tan. That’s not a problem, right?”
How do you think that would go over? Probably not to well. Would your boss accept your personalized work routine? Of course not. Would you still expect to get paid at the end of the day? Don’t count on it. See, when I it’s presented like this, it’s not hard to understand. So why, when it comes to religion, do people think that they can make up whatever religion they want, picking and choosing what THEY want to follow and what THEY want to ignore, and then think that at the end of their life, God will accept this from them? Does that make any sense?
In the Qur’an, Allah is very clear on this point:
“And whoever seeks a way of life other than Islam (Submission to Allah’s will on His terms), it will never be accepted of him, and in the Hereafter he will be among the losers.”
I’ve heard people say things like, “God doesn’t care if you pray five times a day. You can just pray whenever you want,” or “God wont mind if you come out drinking.” Oh really? Who gave YOU the authority to speak on God’s behalf? Do you have any proof to back that up? In the Qur’an, Allah says,
“Say: The things that my Lord has forbidden are shameful deeds, whether done openly or in secret, and sin, and unjust oppression, and that you associate with Allah that for which He has not sent down authority, and that you say about Allah that which you do not know.”
We are certainly in no position to say that we know what Allah wants based on nothing but a guess, and we are not in a position to decide what is right and what is wrong. Some people think they should follow their own way of life, thinking, “I know what is best for me.” Do you think you know better than Allah? Doesn’t the Creator know what He created? Allah knows what’s best for you, and for me, and for everybody. Allah is giving you something that will benefit you; that will bring you peace and real satisfaction in this life and the next. Unfortunately, a lot of people actually hold themselves back from following Allah because of their own wants and desires.
See, these days, everybody wants Burger King Religion. Burger King Religion? You know, “Have it your way.” It’s all about what I want, what I get out of the deal. People are busy thinking, “how can my religion serve me?” When they should be asking, “how can I serve my Creator?”
“And I did not create the jinns and humankind except to serve Me.”
Allah created you, and gave you everything you have in your life, not just your XBOX 360 and your iPhone, but the parents who raised you, the food you eat, the bed you sleep in, and the air you breathe. After all that, don’t you think you owe it to Allah to follow the way of life that He has also created for you? Doesn’t Allah deserve to be worshipped, the way He wants to be worshipped?
This is part of the beauty of Islam; that Allah has made a perfect way of life for us, in that we can worship him constantly, but we don’t have to sit in a corner praying day and night. You don’t have to stop living your life to be a Muslim. Allah does not wish difficulty upon us. This is mentioned repeatedly in the Qur’an.
“Allah intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship.”
“Allah does not want to place you in difficulty”
Worship in Islam is not limited to prayer and fasting, but extends into every part of life. Everyday things like working hard to support your family, being kind to your parents, and even a smile can be worship. As long as you live your life, as Allah wants you to live, everything you do for the sake of Allah is a way of serving your Creator.
If this all makes sense to you, if it sounds right, and if you’re thinking, “You know, I might want this way of life for myself,” then I invite you to enter Islam, submission to Allah’s will on His terms, putting what He wants before what you want.
That’s it for this time. Make sure you subscribe to the YouTube Channel and stay tuned for more Dawah Addict videos coming soon insha’Allah. Thanks for reading, and watching. Peace! Assalaamu ‘alaikum.