Saturday, January 29, 2011

Congregational prayer and manner in Islam

Khutbah Haroon Mosque

       Friday  January 14th. 2011

Brothers and Sisters,
مَا كَانَ لِيَ مِنْ عِلْمٍ بِالْمَلَإِ الْأَعْلَىٰ إِذْ يَخْتَصِمُونَ

Surah Sad 38:69 "I had no knowledge of the chiefs (angels) on high when they were disputing and discussing (about the creation of Adam).
      Rasullulah (Sal) had not heard anything about the disputes among the Angels.  He knew only what had been revealed to him.   Related to the above verse and the knowledge revealed to Rasullulah (Sal), Imam At-Tirmithi reported that Prophet Muhammad (Sal) said:   “The deeds that wipe out the sins are walking for the congregational prayer, remaining still in the masjid after the prayers, and making a lengthy ablution in times of hardship.", and he continued "providing food to the people, gentle talk, and the prayer at night while the people are asleep."  This Hadith also shows the importance of righteous deeds that Allah (Sub) wipes out sins and wrongdoings, and elevates with them to higher degrees on the Day of Judgment. 
    The first good deed is the steps that a Muslim takes toward the masjid for the prayer in jama'ah congregational prayer.  The more steps he takes toward the masjid, the more benefits he gets from this good deed in wiping out the sins. Prophet Muhammad (Sal) recommended to the people of Bani Salamah when they wanted to relocate closer to the masjid that they should remain in their places and do not leave, they will have more rewards in coming to the masjid. 

Next is remaining in the masjid after the prayers to remember Allah (Sub) or waiting for the next prayer. Reported by Imam Bukhari that Rasullulah (Sal) said: "....If a man prays, the angels keep praying upon him as long as he is in the prayer location, saying: Oh Allah pray onto him, Oh Allah have mercy on him." Then the prophet (Sal) added: "The one among you who is waiting for prayer is considered to be in prayer."
    Prophet Muhammad  (Sal) reconfirmed to his companions that: "Would I not show you what wipes out the sins and elevates to higher degrees?" they replied: "Yes, Oh messenger of Allah.", he said: "Making lengthy wudu' in times of hardships, taking many steps to the masjid, and waiting for the next salat after a salat, and this is the Ribat (Guarding land against enemies)." Reported by Imam Muslim.
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وَيُطْعِمُونَ الطَّعَامَ عَلَىٰ حُبِّهِ مِسْكِينًا وَيَتِيمًا وَأَسِيرًا

Surah Al-Insan 76:8 And they give food, inspite of their love for it (or for the love of Him), to Miskin (poor), the orphan, and the captive,
      Offering food to the people imply to everyone poor or non-poor.  If it is for the poor, it would be better.  Rasullulah (Sal) said: “"Oh people, convey my salam, and offer food and pray at night while people are asleep, you will enter Paradise peacefully." Imam At-Tirmithi reported.
    As to gentle talk with people, this was from the manners of the prophet (Sal) who orders us to follow him. It is general with Muslims and non-Muslims even with the enemies. As in a case when Mushrikeen suggested Rasullulah (Sal) to a compromised plan that Rasullulah (Sal) worship their gods along with them for one year and in return they will worship Allah (Sub) along with Rasullulah (Sal) for one year too.  Rasullulah (Sal) made no reply until Surah Al-Kafirun 109. was revealed to him and that was a gentle but firm rejection.
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Surah Adh-Dhariyat 51:17-18
كَانُوا قَلِيلًا مِّنَ اللَّيْلِ مَا يَهْجَعُونَ

17: They used to sleep but little by night [invoking their Lord (Allah) and praying, with fear and hope].

وَبِالْأَسْحَارِ هُمْ يَسْتَغْفِرُونَ

18 : And in the hours before dawn, they were (found) asking (Allah) for forgiveness, Offering night prayer or plan to do good deed at night is much better than joining in idle activities.  And offering prayer before dawn is good for asking forgiveness.
Imam Muslim reported that Prophet Muhammad (Sal) said: "....The best prayer after the obligatory prayer is the night prayer."

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