ERRORS 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, man’s 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 man’s 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 for it.

Wearing pants, 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.

Consuming food of bad smell such as garlic or onion before coming to prayer.
Angels and 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 the prayer.
This may 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.

Saying takberr 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 ruk’ah. Takbeer al-ihram is to be pronounced when one is standing upright only.

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 rak’kaat, or ‘I intend to fast or to do such act of worship or another,’ just before starting praying in bid’ah 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.

Neglecting raising the hands in the opening takbeer of salah and before and after rukoo’, and upon standing up for the third rak’ah.
Abuullah bin 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).

Neglecting praying 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.
The Messenger 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.
The messenger(p.b.u.h.) 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.

Hasty performance 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-a’ala 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 rak’ah of Fajr and Jum’ah prayers.
It is praiseworthy to take tawarruk position only in the last rak’ah 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 du’a 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 du’a you like.” The best forms of du’a are those authentically related to the Prophet(p.b.u.h.).

Crossing in front of a praying person.
The Messenger 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 illal’Laah 10 times reciting ayat al-Kursi(i.e. verse 255 of surah 2 al-Baqarah), or other authentic dthikr.

 
 

 

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