Have you ever thought that as long as you don’t miss your salaah, you’re in the clear? Perhaps you heard the athan but you wanted to finish up what you were doing. Have you ever said something like, “the movie is almost over” or “I still have time?” Or maybe you are at work or in a classroom and find it difficult to leave. Today I would like to talk to you about the importance of offering salaah on
time. Why our prayers must be on time and the reward we get if done so. I would hope to shed some light on the obedience we as Muslims are obliged towards Allah subhaana wa ta’aala.
Let us first think about the Athan. When we hear the Athan we must stop talking, listen and repeat. We repeat everything except Hayya alassalaah (Come to prayer), and Hayya alal-Falah (Come to success.)
What does Allahu Akbar (Allah is great) really mean…? Allah subhaana wa ta’aala is greater than all things, plain and simple. Allah is greater than the T.V. (preferably what you are watching on it,) greater than your professor, your boss, your husband, wife and your children. As a Muslim we cannot let our life responsibilities take priority. Salaah is the second most important pillar of Islam after the two declarations of faith (shahada).
Narrated `Abdullah: I asked the Prophet “Which deed is the dearest to Allah?” He replied, “To offer the prayers at their early stated fixed times.” I asked, “What is the next (in goodness)?” He replied, “To be good and dutiful to your parents” I again asked, “What is the next (in goodness)?” He replied, ‘To participate in Jihad (religious fighting) in Allah’s cause.” `Abdullah added, “I asked only that much and if I had asked more, the Prophet would have told me more.” (Buhkari & Muslim)
If we are planning to leave our house, before we leave we must ask our self, when is the next prayer? Is it going to be in 20 minutes? If so than shouldn’t we wait, pray, then leave? What if God forbid something happened and we died before we can come home to pray. Wouldn’t you be glad that you prayed before you left the house? That you died knowing you didn’t miss your salaah because you were racing for this dunya (life) instead of the akhirah (afterlife). Allah has made it easy for us when it comes to traveling as well. He has shortened our prayers in half if on a journey.
Narrated Anas bin Malik: Whenever the Prophet started the journey before noon, he used to delay the Zuhr prayer till the time for the `Asr prayer and then he would dismount and pray them together; and whenever the sun declined before he started the journey he used to offer the Zuhr prayer and then ride (for the journey). (Sahih al-Bukhari) *May I make clear that this hadith is not for our everyday traveling but for journeys that are long distance.
So even our prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam made sure he checked the time before leaving his home. Our prayers should revolve around our lives. Not the other way around. Before we plan we should plan around our prayer times. When making schedules and meetings, etc. It only takes 5 minutes to pray. We take longer to eat, shower, talk on the phone, etc. Are all those other things more important than taking some time off? When I say time off I mean it literally. When we sit in prayer we must train our self to forget all worldly matters and focus on Allah subhaana wa ta’aala, and Allah only. Look at it as a type of meditation. You know people pay to take yoga classes or meditate and yet Allah has made our prayers to be the best meditation there is. Standing before your lord should be a moment of rest, relaxation and a time to speak to Allah about any and all things. A time to reflect and ask for forgiveness and remember to thank Allah for his guidance. With this being done, Allah subhaana wa ta’aala is most giving, most rewarding…
What is the reward we get for praying on time?
Funny you ask! Because there are so many rewards you would be shocked on how generous Allah suhaana wa ta’aala is. Every prayer has its own reward. Infact even the Athan has it own reward…
Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah’s Apostle said, “If the people knew what is the reward of making the call (for the prayer) and (of being in) the first row (in the prayer), and if they found no other way to get this privilege except by casting lots, they would certainly cast lots for it. If they knew the reward of the noon prayer, they would race for it, and if they knew the reward of the morning (i.e. Fajr) and `Isha prayers, they would present themselves for the prayer even if they had to crawl to reach there. (Sahih al-Bukhari)
May Allah help us in achieving these rewards. Each prayer erases sins, so if we kept on top of our prayers though out the day and night we would go to bed sinless. Imagine not having a single sin… Priceless! Prayer is the purpose of our lives, being punctual is required for our prayers as it is for school, work, meetings, interviews, everything. Why would it be any different when it comes to the God who created us! Allah subhaana wa ta’aala has promised us paradise and His protection. There is nothing better than that.
For all the mothers, daughter, fathers, and sons, how do you show your love to those you respect? Simply by listening to them. If my mother asked me for something, even if I do not like to do it, I know I must out of love and respect for her. Love; because I don’t want to upset her, and respect; because she is my mother. Just the same as I would want my daughter to listen to me when I tell her to clean up her room, she will not want to but she will because one, she knows this would make me so happy and two, she knows that I am her mother and she must listen to me. This is the same mentality we should have towards Allah subhaana wa ta’aala. We do our prayers because He would be pleased with us and this is a mercy from Allah to us, and that He is Allah and we fear His punishment. This has been only a reminder for all my Muslim brothers and sisters in Islam and most of all for me.
May Allah help us in achieving the highest rank in paradise, and his happiness. Ameen.
Sahih al-Bukhari & Muslim-Book 12, Hadith 1286*Best Deed*
Sahih al-Bukhari Vol. 2, Book 20, Hadith 213*Journey Prayer*
Sahih al-Bakhari Vol. 3, Book 48, Hadith 854*Reward*