MUMIN - The meaning of Namaz (salat)

Namaz (Salat) All Muslims should perform Namaz because there is no excuse. During the Day of Judgement the first questions raised will be about Namaz (Salat). Also known as salat (in arabic) was introduced to us by our beloved prophet (S.A.S). It came in the blessed night of miraj when the prophet (S.A.S) went on an ascension to the heavens. Salat is performed five times a day but when the order was first revealed it was fifty times a day! Then by Allah (SWT)'s mercy it was changed to five. The benefit will still be fifty for the performing of salat and on the day of judgement when you will be asked about salat, if you have not performed salat you will not be asked about five but fifty as a punishment! Just as we have daily commodities i.e. Gas, electricity, water etc. salat can be likened to these , if you do not pay bills for these services then they will be removed .The mercy and everything that you take for granted will be taken away from you.

These are the names of the five prayers:
Fajr
Zuhr
Asr
Maghrib
Isha

From hadith we have the following information about missing prayers:

The one who misses Fajr(morning) prayer will not get blessing in his provisions. The one who does not maintain Zuhr (afternoon) prayer will not receive guidance from Allah (SWT) in his heart. The one who ignores Asar (late noon ) prayer will gradually lose his physical power. One will not find taste in his food if Maghrib prayer is not read. The one who does not read Isha (late evening) prayer will not be blessed with faith (iman) in the hereafter.

The beauty is that one can perform the Salaat in whatever condition or whatever circumstances one is in. Salaat is a kind of carrier which will take one Mumin nearer to the blessings of Allah (SWT). Based on one's intentions the Salaat can be a dead horse or it can be a rocket, or even faster than a rocket. Without good and pure intentions towards Salaat it is like an aeroplane without an engine, the mechanical body can be seen, the plane can be boarded, but it will not fly. Allah (SWT), with His kind grace summoned the Mumin for His Ibadaat, many many times in His Qalam (Quran).

Allah (SWT), The Great and Only Knowledgeable Creator has created His own mechanised system for all of His creations. Our knowledge as Human beings will only go as far as what has been revealed to us and Allah (SWT) has His own way of telling us. For example, in the Holy Quran Allah (SWT) describes human beings (Insaan). He says that Insaan has been created in three types.

Say for example in the cat family Allah (SWT) has created lions, tigers, wild-cats, panthers and cheetahs among many others, which all have their own individual identity and characteristics, which mean that we can tell them apart from each other from their appearance, attitude, action, and from our own experiences.

Accordingly, Allah (SWT) has also created Insaan in three categories. In the Holy Quran Allah (SWT) describes these categories as:

(i) Mumin (believers),
(ii) Kafir (disbelievers), and
(iii) Munafiq (hypocrites)

Allah (SWT) has described them so that we can recognise them by their manner of looks and actions. In the Quran, Allah (SWT) clearly depicted their nature and showed their ultimate destination. "This is the book; in it is guidance sure without doubt, to those who fear Allah (SWT), who believe in the unseen, are steadfast in prayer and spend out of what we have provided for them" - "And who believe in the revelation sent to thee", from Surah Baqhara (Q2:2-3).

Allah (SWT) described Mumin in His book that Mumin are those who have trust in the unseen, they do not see it but they must believe (without any question) in somebody who is their Creator and He controls everything whatever is bestowed in the Heavens and the Earth. The first Kalimah is believed in the 'Alimul Ghayb', to Salaat (prayer). We know that the average Muslim knows the meaning of Salaat, there are some terms and conditions to start and finish Salaat. We can learn how Salaat can be performed from the book of Hadith. So we know how to practice Salaat. This is an obligatory duty for all Mumins without conditions.

Allah (SWT) said, "Wa youkeemu na Salata wa mimma razaqna." We must know that He created us for His worship and He is always reminding us not to forget our duties. If we forget our duties, the consequences are known to Allah (SWT). May Allah (SWT) forgive us and grant us the power to overcome our difficulties, and observe and discharge our duties according to Quran and Hadith.

The basic qualification of Mumin (True believer) is fear of Allah (SWT). A man cannot be a man of Taqwa (fear of Allah (SWT)) and Tawhid (having oneness of Allah (SWT) within him), till he fears Allah (SWT). The Prophet Muhammed (S.A.S) says, "The grave is either a garden of Paradise or a pit of Hell" (Hadith). He (S.A.S) advised the Mumin, the believers to remember death and keep the fear of Allah (SWT) ever present in their Heart.

During Arafat, at the time of Hajj, a Hajji is not allowed to pray Asr and Maghrib, even if it is time. The Hajji must journey to Muzdalifa and pray Asr and Maghrib together at Maghrib time. So the duty of a Mumin is not just to pray at certain times but to obey Allah (SWT) exactly as He has ordered.

Worldly success is a very alluring goal for all of us and it can bring a sense of dignity and purpose which can lead to self respect, to true unselfishness, but on its negative side it can also bring about an insatiable greed for reaches or fame, then fierce competition for materialistic gain leads to a nervous anxiety about ones possessions, then the day will come when we will have to depart from this world, no one knows when.

That day will be the end of it all. There is a Hadith in which the Prophet Muhammed (S.A.S) asked his companions (The Sahabas), "Do you know in what relation your relatives, your wealth and your deed stand to you?" The Sahabas expressed their desire to learn about this. He (S.A.S) replied "It can be likened to a person having three brothers. When he is about to die he calls one of his brothers to him and asks him "Brother! You know what plight is mine? What help can you render me at this state?" The brother replies: "I shall call the doctor to you, nurse you and attend upon you and when you are dead, I shall bathe you, enshroud you, and carry you to the grave. Then I shall pray for you after you are buried. "This brother is his kith and kin".

He puts the same question to his second brother, who delivers him like this, "I shall remain with you as long as you are alive. No sooner as you are dead I shall betake myself somewhere else". This brother is his worldly wealth.

He then questions his next bother in the same strain, who gives the response, "I shall not forsake you even in the grave" and I shall accompany you into that place of utter solitude. When your deeds are weighted in the balance, I shall forthwith lend my weight to the side of your good deeds and weight it down." This brother is the personification of his good deeds. Now tell me which of the brothers would you regard most useful to the person?" The Sahabas replied: "Oh Prophet of Allah (SWT), the last brother is really the most useful to him. There is no doubt about it. The other two brothers were of no avail". (Hadith).

Although Allah (SWT) created this Universe he created Mankind superior to all other creations, it is not possible to know of his intention to create this universe to serve mankind and for mankind to serve Allah (SWT). Allah (SWT) is the All-Knower of the unseen. He is 'Alimul Ghaib'. He has created the Angels and sent down His Holy Books the last of which is the Glorious Quran which was sent down by means of Jibril (A.S.) to our beloved Prophet of Allah, Muhammed (S.A.S). Muhammed (S.A.S) taught us the code of life of His Universe and how to live and lead a life as a Mumin. Allah (SWT) says that "Verily the Religion with Allah (SWT) is Islam". Allah (SWT) also says that He does not want to force or impose His Religion onto any Human being. This is because Allah (SWT) does not like oppression and undue force, so Allah (SWT) left His code of Deen to the option of Human beings.

In the beginning of the Quran Allah (SWT) says that in Surah Baqhara is the Scripture wherein there is no doubt. But this Scripture (the Quran) is not a guidance for everybody, it is a guidance unto those who ward off evil, who believe in the unseen, and establish worship, and spend off that which Allah (SWT) has bestowed upon him. This is the Book of guidance for the Mumins (True Believer). Allah (SWT) tells us who the believers are. The believers are those who believe in the Ghaib (The unseen). Once one believes in one Allah (SWT) he accepts the code of Allah (SWT) and his duty comes with it. The first duty is to perform the Prayer (Salaat), pay the Zakat which is to give to those to whom Allah (SWT) has not been so generous, so that they share Allah (SWT)'s bounty for the sake of Allah (SWT).

A believer is someone who believes in Allah (SWT), the Angels, the Quran, all His Prophets and whatever happens whether good or bad is from Allah (SWT), and he believes in the Day of Judgement. On that day, whatever we have done in this world will be accounted for. People who believe in the above without any condition, are those who are the rightly guided. For those people Allah (SWT) has sent this Quran as a guidance. Allah (SWT) describes vividly in the beginning of the Quran during the first three Rukus of Surah Baqhara, who are the Mumin, Kafir and the Munafiq.

As the Quran provides complete guidance for mumin, Allah (SWT) sent down His dearest and latest Prophet, Muhammed (S.A.S), to show us how to live this life correctly and avoid forbidden things (Haram) and only to take the allowed things (Halal) of this life. When Allah (SWT) created the Earth, the Heaven and the Hell, Allah (SWT) ordered Heaven, "Please wait! You will be blessed by all my blessed servants." He also created Hell and ordered it "Wait! Your Food is coming." In the Quran Allah (SWT) says to His servants, the mumins I have created three types of Human beings. The first type are the blessed obedient servant of Allah (SWT), the second type are the kuffar the food of Hell because Hell is waiting for them, and Allah (SWT) intentionally created them for Hell. The third type are the Munafiqun (hypocrites) who with the stones will be the fuel of Hell and the kafir will burn there.

It is narrated that in the Hadith that Abu Bakr (R.A.) had a slave who used to give him a portion of his daily income as the master share. Once he bought him some food and Abu Bakr (R.A.) took a piece of meat out of it, the slave remarked "You always enquire about the source of what I bring to you, but today you haven't done so".

He replied, "I was feeling so hungry that I failed to do that. Tell me now, how did you come by this food?"

The slave said, "Before I embraced Islam, I practised Soothsaying. During those days I came across some people for whom I practised some of my charms. They promised to pay me for that later on. I happened to pass by those people today, while they were engaged in a marriage ceremony, and they gave me this food."

Abu Bakr (R.A.) exclaimed: "Ah! You would have surly killed me?" He tried to vomit the food but was unable to because he had quite an empty stomach. Somebody suggested that he should take water to fill his stomach and then try to vomit. He sent for a goblet of water, he kept on taking water and forcing it out, till the meat was vomited out. Somebody remarked: "May Allah (SWT) have mercy on you! You put yourself to so much trouble for just one piece of meat". To this he replied: "I would have thirsted it out even if I had to lose my life. I have heard the Prophet Muhammed (S.A.S) say "The flesh nourished by Haram food is destined for the fire of Hell." I therefore made haste to vomit the meat, at least any portion of my body should not receive nourishment from it."

We can find hundreds of examples of this nature when we go through biographies of the noble Prophets and of our most noble Prophet Muhammed Mustafa (S.A.S), Sahaba and Wali Allahs. If we study their lives with true and sincere eyes, that means their eyes, ears, hearts, and minds were open and every step of their lives is an example to a Mumin who wants to become an Abid (an obedient servant of Allah (SWT). They sacrifice everything and Allah (SWT) rewards them by making them His best friend, giving them the stage of Wali Allah, friend of Allah (SWT), because they fear non but Allah (SWT). The more they fear Allah (SWT) the more, the tender is the love they will receive from Allah (SWT). So a person without the fear of Allah (SWT) cannot be judged as a good believer, but Allah (SWT) knows best.

The Prophet (S.A.S) reported that Allah (SWT) told him: "My Wrath descends upon a person who bears ill - will towards My friends and only those are blessed with My love who implicitly carry out Fardh (obligatory) injunctions. A person keeps on advancing in my esteem through Nafl (supplementary worship), till I choose him as 'My beloved' I then become his ears by which he listens, his eyes by which he sees, his hands by which he holds, and his feet by which he walks (i.e. his listening, seeing, holding and walking are all in perfect accord with my injunctions, and he would never dream of employing any part of his body in any actions contrary to my commands). If such a person prays for anything, I grant it to him, and if he seeks my protection, I protect him".

How wonderfully and tenderly Allah (SWT) expresses His wish to save the believers. He teaches us to say, "A'udhu billahi minash shaytanir rajim" which means, 'I seek refuge in Allah (SWT) from the outcast Shaytan'. This means that Allah (SWT) says to His believers, you cannot save yourself from this disobedient, evil, outcast Shaytan, so you may ask for help from me so that I will protect you from Shaytan's harmful influence.

Just as in England where there is a system to get protection from the authority against outlaws - in any kind of emergency dial 999 and ask for the type of help you need. Suppose we are attacked by some outlaws, we call the police who will have two authorities and they arrive, (first authority to protect the caller, second authority to punish the outlaw up to their limit) the outlaws will flee or the police will charge the outlaws if they are found.

As I have mentioned before, Allah (SWT) teaches the believers to say "A'udhu billahi minash shaytanir rajim" then "Bismillahi rahminir rahim", Allah (SWT) will save us just as we are saved from the outlaws when we are in the care of the police. On the other hand if we start fighting with the outlaws we might be injured or killed. Such is the case between Mumin and Allah (SWT). As we are advised not to fight with the Shaytan but to seek Allah (SWT)'s refuge. We must always say, "A'udhu billahi minash shaytanir rajim" followed by "Bismillahi rahminir rahim". Above all we must have faith in Allah (SWT) and Allah (SWT) alone. He is the only One with power.

He can do and undo anything whenever He likes, He can say (Kun) be and (Faya Kun) it is. He just orders and it is there. The rest of the things He puts in the systems to make everything easily reachable for mankind. When you ask for help and dial 999 (without any charge) but your telephone has been cut off you cannot contact the police. Even if you dial 999 a hundred times, it will not respond, it is the same with Allah (SWT). It is necessary to be a Mumin to ask for help and you should be sincere, only then you will get the connection and the help you need although it will not cost anything.

We Muslims of today never want to go to the fundamental base even in the materialistic world from which the source of energy (power) comes. Each and every one of us is given a limited amount of energy, when it is finished we will fade away and die. If we look at history, it not only happens to individuals, it happens to nations. But Allah (SWT) teaches Mumins how to get energy from the creator who is the source of all energy - all powerful Allah (SWT) can make and break anything He likes.

We are proud of new inventions which give us more energies. We think that through these energies we can do whatever we like, but we never want to consider what the fundamental source of all this energy is. Allah (SWT) has given temporary energy to people who have no Iman (Kafir and Munafiq). How far the Kafir and Munafiq can go with this limited energy is not known by them as they are deaf and blind (Q2:18 to 20).

Allah (SWT) welcomes the Mumin to come to His true ways by testing them to see how much Iman they have in Allah (SWT) (Q2:21). He sent the Prophets to show how we can obtain the real energy, but we Muslims sometimes go after artificial energy and we feel proud of being with the Western world, but this Western world will be destroyed as can be seen in the history.

We are associating artificial energies with Allah (SWT). This is a Shirk that Allah (SWT) does not like. Nowadays we become so materialistic, involving ourselves in worldly matters, selling our self and purchasing Taqdir from the Shaytan, and dependant on other than Allah (SWT), Allah (SWT) does not like these lazy people.
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