TO AVOID IN PRAYER
Salat or prayer is
one of the most important pillars of Islam. The Messenger of Allah(p.b.u.h.)
warned that the first thing man will be questioned about on the Day of
Resurrection is prayer. Abu Hurairah reported: I heard the Messenger
of Allah(p.b.u.h.) saying: The first act of worship man shall be
questioned about the Day of Resurrection is prayer. If it was performed
regularly and correctly, man shall certainly succeed and prosper, if it
is not, he shall certainly lose and fail. If however, mans prayer
was incomplete, the Lord, the Exalted, would say (to His angels):
See if My slave
performed supererogatory prayers to make up what he had missed of the
obligatory prayers. The rest of mans deed will be reckoned in the
same manner. Allah has prepared great rewards for the believers who observe
prayer and are particular about it. Perfect prayer effaces sins.
It is very important
to be regular on prayer, and perform it correctly. One may perform prayer
according to the way he was taught by his parents or shaikh. But you should
always remember that it is only the Messenger of Allah(p.b.u.h.) who must
be followed. The angels will not ask you, while in grave, Did you
follow this imam or that imam?
Your imam will not
be with you then, nor will he defend you on the Day of Resurrection.
The following are
some common errors committed by Muslims in their salah. These errors must
be avoided hoping that Allah would accept this act of worship and reward
or garment that hangs below the ankles.
This is one of the greatest sins. Abu Dthar reported that the Messenger
of Allah(p.b.u.h.) said: There are three people whom Allah shall
not speak to them on the Day of Resurrection, nor shall He look at them,
nor purify them, and they shall have a painful torment: one whose garment
hands down below his ankles, almannan and(a merchant) who sells of his
merchandise by means of false oath.
Some people think
that wearing clothes that hang below their ankles is a sin if they abstain
from doing so while praying only. Others think that wearing such a garment
is abstain only if it is worn out of pride; otherwise, they believe there
is no harm in doing so.
However, the above
and many other traditions indicate clearly that wearing clothes that hang
below the ankles(for men) is a grave sin regardless of whether such garments
are worn out of habit or pride.
of bad smell such as garlic or onion before coming to prayer.
the praying people are bothered by offensive smell. On the contrary, one
should wear perfume, if available, before coming into mosques. Jabir reported
that The Prophet(p.b.u.h.) said: He who eats from the smelly plant(garlic
or onion), let him come not near our mosque; the angels are bothered by
that which bothers men.
Proceeding to mosque
for prayer with brisk walk, or even running for fear of missing part of
disturb those who are already in prayer. The Messenger of Allah(p.b.u.h.)
said: When prayer has already started, do not walk quickly to join
in. Proceed to it calmly ;then join in whichever part of it you catch
up, and complete whichever part you missed.
al-Ihram while in rukoo.
Many of those
who come late to the mosque and join in prayer which is already in progress,
rush to take the same posture, while people are in rukooo and say takbeer
al-Ihram, or opening takbeer of prayer while bowing for fear of missing
that rukah. Takbeer al-ihram is to be pronounced when one is standing
Mumbling the niyyah
or intention, and uttering it in a low audible voice.
The heart is
the place of intention. Mumbling words such as I intend to pray
such prayer or such number of rakkaat, or I intend to fast
or to do such act of worship or another, just before starting praying
in bidah which was practiced neither by the Prophet(p.b.u.h.) nor
his companions, nor by their followers. Uttering the above words of niyyah
allows shaitan to put irrelevant words in the mouth of the person who
utters the niyyah.
the hands in the opening takbeer of salah and before and after rukoo,
and upon standing up for the third rakah.
Umar said: I saw the Prophet(p.b.u.h.) raising his hands to the
level of his shoulders, upon starting prayer, and before bending for rukoo
and when he stood up again. Raising hands with every takbeer, subsequent
to the first takbeer in janazah, Eed or rain prayers is not recommended.
The messenger of Allah(p.b.u.h.) used to put his hands on his chest (while
standing in prayer).
facing a sutrah.
The sutrah is
an object, such as a wall, or a post, which a person faces while praying.
Or any other object which a person places to serve as a sutrah, by putting
it on the ground in order that no one may cross in front of him while
praying. The Messenger of Allah(p.b.u.h.) said: Pray facing a sutrah,
and let no one cross in front of you while praying. If he insists then
prevent him by force because he is accompanied by shaitan.
Reluctance to stand
in the front line in congregational prayer.
of Allah(p.b.u.h.) said: Were people to realize the value of making
adthan, and the great reward(for doing so), and the virtue of standing
in the first line (in congregational prayer), and had no choice but to
make a draw (to decide who makes adthan or stands in the first line),
they would have justifiably of coming early to (congregational) prayer,
they would have raced with one another (to reach the mosque first). And
if they were to know the great reward(for coming to mosque) for Isha
and Fajr prayers, they would have come even if they had to crawl.
Gazing upward during
prayer, or looking at the imam, right or left.
This may cause
loss of concentration. We are commanded to lower our gaze, and look at
the point at which the head rests during sujood. The Prophet(p.b.u.h.)
warned: Let those who raise their gaze up during prayer stop doing
so, or else their sights would not return to them.
Leaving gaps in
lines of congregational prayer.
commanded: Straighten your lines, level your shoulders and block
the gaps, shaitan passes through.
Lowering the head
excessively, or pushing it up, and arching the back during rukoo.
The head must
be kept in normal position, while the back must be straight during rukoo
to form with legs a right angle. Sticking the arms to the sides of the
body, in rukoo or sujood, and sticking the belly to the thighs in
sujood. The Messenger of Allah (p.b.u.h.) said: Let not one of you
support himself on hiss forearms(in sujood) like the dog. Let him rest
on his palms and keep his elbows away from his body. The Prophet(p.b.u.h.)
used to keep his arms away from his body during rukoo and sujood
that the whiteness of his armpits could be seen.
of prayer which does not allow repose and calmness in rukoo or sujood.
The Messenger of Allah (p.b.u.h.) saw a man who did not complete his rukoo(bowing),
and made a very short sujood(prostration); he said: If this man
dies while praying in this manner, he would die upholding a religion other
than the religion of Muhammad. Abu Hurairah, may Allah be pleased with
him said: My beloved friend Mohuammad, peace be upon him, forbade
me to perform postures of prayer copying the picking of a rooster; (signifying
fast performance of prayer), moving eyes around like a fox and the sitting
like monkies, i.e. to sit on thighs. The Messenger of Allah(p.b.u.h.)
said: The worst thief is the one who steals from his own prayer.
People asked, Messenger of Allah! How could one steal from his own
prayer? He said: By not completing its rukoo and sujood. To
complete rukoo is to stay in that posture long enough to recite subhana
rabbiyalAdtheem three times, slowly, and subhana rabbiyal-aala
three times, slowly, in sujood. He also announced: He who does not
complete his rukoo and sujood, his prayer is void.
Sitting in a tawarruk
position in the last rakah of Fajr and Jumah prayers.
It is praiseworthy
to take tawarruk position only in the last rakah of Dhtuhr, Asr,
Maghrib, and Isha prayers. Tawarruk is described in Sahih al-Bukhari
as resting the body, during sitting position, on the left thigh and putting
the left foot under the right leg, while setting the right foot upright;
and supporting the body by the left hand with which the left knee is grasped.
Raising hands for
dua soon as prayer is over.
This was not
practice of the Messenger of Allah(p.b.u.h.). The Sunnah is to start with
dthikr soon after salah is over. The Prophet(p.b.u.h.) said: When
your recite, At-tahiyyat..., (just before tasleem), choose
whichever dua you like. The best forms of dua are those
authentically related to the Prophet(p.b.u.h.).
Crossing in front
of a praying person.
of Allah(p.b.u.h.) warned: Were the one who crosses in front of
a prayer person to know the consequences of doing so, he would have waited
for forty better than to cross in front of him. The forty in the
tradition may be days months or even years. Allah knows best.
Walking away right
after tasleem, at the end of prayer,and neglecting dthikr, which is reciting
subhanal-Lah 33 times, alhamdu Lilah 33 times, Allahu Akbar 33 times,
reciting La llaha illalLaah 10 times reciting ayat al-Kursi(i.e.
verse 255 of surah 2 al-Baqarah), or other authentic dthikr.