Purification of Soul

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Purification of Body

5 Principles of Prayer

“Just as the prayer has been built upon 5 principles: Qira’ah (recitation), Qiyam(standing), Rukoo‘ (bowing), Sujood (prostration) and Dhikr (remembrance), it has also been named as such.

The prayer has been called ‘Qiyam‘ in the verse:

قُمِ اللَّيْلَ إِلَّا قَلِيلاً
Stand (to pray) all night, except a little.” [al-Muzzammil: 2]

And in:

وَقُومُواْ لِلّهِ قَانِتِينَ
“… And stand before Allah with obedience” [al-Baqarah: 238]

It has been called Qira’ah in:

وَقُرْآنَ الْفَجْرِ إِنَّ قُرْآنَ الْفَجْرِ كَانَ مَشْهُوداً
“… and recite the Qur’an in the early dawn (i.e. the morning prayer). Verily, the recitation of the Qur’an in the early dawn is ever witnessed.”
[al-Isra: 78]

And:

فَاقْرَؤُوا مَا تَيَسَّرَ مِنْهُ
“… So recite as much of the Quran as may be easy…” [al-Muzzammil: 20]

It has also been termed ‘Rukoo‘ in:

وَارْكَعُواْ مَعَ الرَّاكِعِينَ
“… And bow down along with the Raki’un (those who bow in prayer).” [al-Baqarah: 43]

وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمُ ارْكَعُوا لَا يَرْكَعُونَ
“And when it is said to them: “Bow down yourself (in prayer)!” They bow not down.” [al-Mursalat: 48]

And again it’s been named Sujood in:

فَسَبِّحْ بِحَمْدِ رَبِّكَ وَكُن مِّنَ السَّاجِدِينَ
“So glorify the praises of your Lord and be of those who prostrate themselves (to Him).”
[al-Hijr: 98]

وَاسْجُدْ وَاقْتَرِبْ
“… Fall prostrate and draw near to Allah!” [al-‘Alaq: 19]

And finally it has been called Dhikr in:

فَاسْعَوْا إِلَى ذِكْرِ اللَّهِ
“… come to the remembrance of Allah (i.e. the Friday prayer)…” [al-Jumu’ah: 9]

لَا تُلْهِكُمْ أَمْوَالُكُمْ وَلَا أَوْلَادُكُمْ عَن ذِكْرِ اللَّهِ
“… Let not your properties or your children divert you from the remembrance of Allah (i.e. prayer).”
[al-Munafiqun: 9]

Ibn al-Qayyim: ‘The most honourable of actions (in the salah) is the sujood and the most honourable of adhkar (words of remembrance) is recitation. The first chapter revealed to the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) was:

اقْرَأْ بِاسْمِ رَبِّكَ
“Read in the Name of your Lord…”
[al-‘Alaq]

It begins with the command to read and it ends with the command to prostrate. So each unit of prayer has been established upon this, its first part is recitation and its end is that of prostration.’

[‘Asrar al-Salat’, by Ibn al-Qayyim]

Levels of Salah!



Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allah have mercy on him) said,
“And mankind, with regard to their performance of prayer are in five levels.”

The First:
The level of the one who is negligent and wrongs his soul. He is the one who falls short in performing ablution properly, performing the prayer upon its time and within its specified limits, and in fulfilling its essential pillars.

The Second:
The one who guards his prayers upon their proper times and within their specified limits, fulfils their essential pillars and performs his ablution with care. However, his striving is wasted due to whisperings in his prayer so he is taken away by thoughts and ideas.

The Third:
The one who guards his prayers within the specified limits, fulfils their essential pillars and strives with himself to repel the whisperings, thoughts and ideas. He is busy struggling against his enemy (Shaitan) so that he does not steal from the prayer. On account of this he is engaged in (both) prayer and jihad.

The Fourth:
The one who stands for the prayer, completes and perfects its due rights, its essential pillars, performs it within its specified limits and his heart becomes engrossed in safeguarding its rights and specified limits, so that nothing is wasted from it. His whole concern is directed towards its establishment, its completion and its perfection, as it should be. His heart is immersed in the prayer and in enslavement to his Lord, the Exalted.

The Fifth:
The one who stands for the prayer like the one mentioned above. However, on top of this, he has taken and placed his heart in front of his Lord, the Mighty and Majestic, looking towards Him with his heart with anticipation, (his heart) filled with His love and His might, as if he sees and witnesses Allah. The whisperings, thoughts and ideas have vanished and the coverings which are between him and his Lord are raised. What is between this person and others with respect to the prayer, is superior and greater than what is between the heavens and the earth. This person is busy with his Lord, the Mighty and Majestic, delighted with Him.

The first type will be punished, the second type will be held to account, the third will have his sins and shortcomings expiated, the fourth will be rewarded and the fifth will be close to his Lord, because he will receive the portion of the one who makes his prayer the delight and pleasure of his eye. Whoever makes his prayer the delight and pleasure of his eye, will have the nearness to his Lord, the Mighty and Majestic, made the delight and pleasure of his eye in the hereafter. He will also be made a pleasure to the eye in this world since whoever makes Allah the pleasure of his eye in this world, every other eye will become delighted and pleased with him.

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