Fruits for the Week

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Abu Musa (ra) said: “The Prophet (saw) said: ‘The one who will receive the greatest reward for his prayer is the one who has come to the farthest distance, and the one who waits to pray with the imam will receive a greater reward than the one who prays, then goes to sleep.’’’ (Bukhari and Muslim)

Believers are particularly encouraged to attend the congregational prayers in the morning (fajr) and at night (isha’). The Prophet (saw) explained that there is a great reward for those who attend the mosque for these two prayers (fajr and isha’). It will suffice here to quote just two of these reports:

1. Uthman bin Affan (ra) said: “I heard the Prophet (saw) says ‘Whoever prays isha’ in the congregation, it is as if he stayed up half the night in prayer, and whoever prayed fajr in the congregation, it is as if he spent the entire night in prayer.’” (Muslim).

2. Abu Hurayrah (ra) said: “The Messenger of Allah (swt) said: ‘No prayer is a greater burden on the munafiqeen (hypocrites) than fajr and isha’. If they knew how much (blessing and reward) there is in them, they would come even if they had to crawl.’” (Bukhari and Muslim)

The devout Muslim who is keen to succeed in the Hereafter will not hesitate to perform as many nafl (supererogatory) deeds as he can, night and day, because performing many nafl deeds brings the servant closer to his Lord, and includes him among those who receive His divine, as is referred to in the hadith Qudsi: “My servant continues to draw near to Me with supererogatory works so that I will love him. When I love him, I am his hearing with which he hears, his seeing with which he sees, his hand with which he strikes, and his foot with which he walks. Were he to ask (something) of Me, I would surely give it to him; and were he to ask Me for refuge, I would surely grant it to him.” (Bukhari)

Because of Allah’s love for His servants, the person will be loved by the inhabitants of heaven and earth. The Prophet (saw) said: “When Allah’s love for His servants, He calls Jibreel and tells him: ‘I love so and so, so love him.’ Then Jibreel will love him, and will proclaim to the inhabitants of Heaven: ‘Allah loves so and so, so love him.’ So the inhabitants of heaven will love him too, and he will be well accepted by the inhabitants of the earth….” (Muslim)

The Prophet (saw) used to stay up at night in prayer, standing until his feet were swollen. Aishah (ra) asked him: “Why are you doing this, O Messenger of Allah when Allah has forgiven all your sins, past and future?” He replied, “Should I not be a grateful servant?” (Bukhari and Muslim)

The true Muslim tries to perform all his prayers perfectly. It is not merely a matter of going through mere rituals – standing, bowing, sitting, etc. – when the heart is empty and the mind is wandering.

When he has completed his prayer, the Muslim does not rush straight back into the hustle and bustle of daily life. Instead, he seeks forgiveness from Allah, and praises and glorifies Him in the manner prescribed in the Sunnah. Then he turns to Almighty Allah in humble supplication, asking Him to guide him and to grant him the goodness of this world and the next.

Thus, prayer plays its role in the purification of the heart and soul. For these reasons, the Prophet (saw) used to say: “The source of my deepest satisfaction is in prayer.” (Ahmad and Nasa’i)

Those who pray sincerely and humbly are under the care and protection of Allah, so they do not fear when evil approaches, neither do they become miserly when something good befalls them: “Truly man was created very impatient – fretful when evil touches him: and niggardly when good reaches him – Not so those devoted to prayer.” (Al-Ma’arij: 19-22).


by Muhammad Ali Al-Hashimi


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