The Conditions, Pillars and Requirements of the Prayer

Author: Muhammad bin Abdil Wahhab | Size: 700kb | Pages: 20 | Format: PDF
This is a translation of the beneficial treatise of Imaam Muhammad bin ‘Abdil-Wahhaab, “Shuroot as-Salaat wa Arkaanuhaa wa Waajibaatuhaa.”

In this short treatise, Imaam Muhammad bin ‘Abdil-Wahhaab, may Allaah have mercy on him, briefly outlines the nine conditions for the acceptance of one’s prayer, as well as the fourteen pillars and eight requirements of the prayer, mentioning some of their proofs and evidences from the Book and the Sunnah.

A condition is something that is required before the commencement of prayer in order for it to be valid. “The pillars are that which if one fails to perform any of them out of forgetfulness or intentionally, his prayer is rendered invalid because of his abandoning it. The requirements are that which if one fails to perform any of them intentionally, his prayer is rendered invalid due to his abandoning it, but if he leaves any of them due to forgetfulness, he is obligated to perform the (extra) prostrations for forgetfulness.”

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The Purpose Of All Religious Practice

Ibn ul Qayyim al Jawziyyah

The Invocation of God – Al-Wabil al-Sayyib min al-Kalim al-Tayyib

55. All practice prescribes the remembrance of God, and to achieve this remembrance is its goal.

God says, ‘And establish regular prayer for My remembrance.’ ‘My remembrance’ is said to have an active sense: ‘In order that I might remember you thereby.’ It is also said to refer to the One remembered: ‘That you might remember Me thereby,’ with the letter lam in both cases expressing purpose.

Others, however, argue that the lam carries a sense of time: ‘Establish the prayer when I am mentioned’, as in the verse, ‘Establish the prayer at the sun’s setting’ or the verse, ‘And We all set up the scales with justice on the Day of Judgment’ In these two verses, time is certainly meant, but this explanation is merely an opinion. The difference is that , the lam of time precedes the nouns of time ; whereas , it precedes a noun derived from a verb, unless an expression of time is understood, so that the verse means ‘at My remembrance’ – which is possible.

However, lam most plainly expresses purpose. The verse means ‘Establish the prayer for the sake of My remembrance.’ This includes the fact that the prayer is offered at the time that God is remembered; and the fact that when the servant remembers his Lord, God’s remembrance of him has preceded his remembrance of God. For when God remembers His servant, it inspires the servant to remember Him. Therefore, all three meanings are correct.

God has also said: ‘Recite what has been revealed to you of the Book and establish the prayer. Verily, the prayer restrains from shameful and unjust deeds. And God’s remembrance is greater.’ It has been said that this means, ‘In prayer you remember God and He remembers you, and His remembrance of you is greater than your remembrance of Him.’ According to Ibn `Abbas, Salman, Abu l-Darda’ and Ibn Mas`ud, this is the meaning. And Ibn Abi l-Dunya related from Fudayl ibn Marzuq that `Atiyya said that “And God’s remembrance is greater” is “Remember Me, I shall remember you.” His remembrance of you is greater than your remembrance of Him.’

Ibn Zayd and Qatada, however, held that it meant the remembrance of God is greater than everything. And when Salman was asked, ‘Which is the best practice?’ he answered, ‘Do you not read the Qur’an: “And God’s remembrance is greater “?’ This is supported by the hadith from Abu l-Darda’ already quoted above: ‘Should I tell you which of your deeds is best? Which purifies you most before your Sovereign … and is better for you than giving away gold and silver?’

The Shaykh of Islam Abu l-`Abbas said, ‘The correct understanding of the verse is that the prayer has two major purposes, one greater than the other: prayer restrains from shameful and unjust deeds and contains the remembrance of God Most High; the remembrance of God contained in the prayer is greater than the restraint from shameful deeds and injustice.’

Ibn Abi l-Dunya said that when Ibn `Abbas was asked which deed was most excellent, he answered, ‘And God’s remembrance is greater.’ In the Sunan, for maintaining the remembrance of God Most High.’ This hadith was narrated by Abu Dawud and Tirmidhi, and is considered both good and sound .

56. The most excellent of those who perform any practice are people who do it with the greatest remembrance of God. The most excellent of those who fast are people who remember God most in their fasting. The most excellent of those who give charity are people who remember God most . The most excellent of those who make the pilgrimage are people who remember God most . And the same holds true for all other practices.

Ibn Abi l-Dunya mentioned a hadith reliably transmitted from the first generation that when the Prophet was asked which of the people who frequented the mosque were best, he answered, ‘Those who remember God most.’ When asked which of the people who attended a funeral were best, he answered, ‘Those who remember God most.’ When asked which wariors were best, he answered, ‘Those who remember God most.’ When asked which pilgrims were best, he answered, ‘Those who remember God most.’ And when asked which of those who visited the sick were best, he said, ‘Those who remember God most.’ At which Abu Bakr said, ‘Those who remember have taken all the good!’

Said `Ubayd ibn `Umayr, ‘If you find this night too long for standing, and you find Yourselves too worried about your money to give it away and too cowardly to fight your enemy, then invoke God Most High abundantly.’

The State of Repentance

Imam Ibn ul Qayyim al Jawziyyah

Madaarij as-Saalikeen
AlJumuah Magazine

The state of repentance, tawbah, is at the beginning, the middle and the end of all states of submission to the will of Allah. The servant who seeks the pleasure of Allah never abandons tawbah. He remains in the state of tawbah until his death. Whatever his state of belief, the servant makes tawbah his constant companion. Thus, tawbah is at the beginning and at the end of his servitude to his Creator. His need for tawbah at the end, just as at the beginning, overrides, and supersedes all other needs. Allah says: “And turn to Allah altogether (make tawbah), O you who believe so that you may succeed,” (24:31)

The verse above is contained within a Madinan Surah (revealed after the migration to Madinah), in which Allah addresses the people of emaan, who are the best of His creation. He calls upon them to make tawbah “turn in repentance” to Him after they had already believed, gone through hardships, trials of faith, executed patience, migrated and performed jihad. Allah then made success conditional on perfecting such tawbah, as the effect is often conditional on the cause. No one can hope for success, except: those who make tawbah. Allah says: “And those who do not make tawbah are indeed the dhaalimoon (wrongdoers).” (49:11)

Allah divides His servants into two categories only: the repentant and the wrongdoers. There is no third category. Allah calls those who do not make tawbah, “dhaalimoon” (wrongdoers and transgressors) and no one is more of a wrongdoer and a transgressor than a person who does not repent for his evil actions. This state is a result of a person’s ignorance of his Lord and the rights due to Him, as well as, his own defects and the evil of his deeds. The Prophet, sallallahu alayeh wa sallam, is reported to have said: “O people, make tawbah to Allah. By Allah, I make tawbah to Him more than seventy times each day.” (Bukhari)

His companions used to count for him in each congregation his saying one hundred times: “My Lord, forgive me and accept my repentance, for You are At-Tawwab (the One who accept repentance), Al-Ghafoor (The Oft Forgiving).” The Prophet, sallallahu alayhe wa sallam, is also reported to have said: “No one will be rescued (on the Day of Judgment) by his deeds. They (his companions) asked even you Messenger of Allah? He said, even me, unless Allah would grant me His mercy and Grace.”

May Allah’s blessings and peace be upon His Messenger, the most knowledgeable among His creation of Him, His Rights, His Greatness and what servitude He deserves. He is the most knowledgeable of servitude and its requirements and the most committed in servitude to Allah.

The Starter (Fatihah) of Tawbah

Tawbah is the return of the servant to Allah. It is also his turning away from the path of those with whom Allah is angry and those who are astray. This returning cannot be done except by Allah’s guidance to the Straight Path. The servant will not attain guidance except through Allah’s help and the servant’s submithrough tawheed. Suratul-Fatihah explains this concept in the most complete and eloquent manner.

Whoever appreciates Surat-ul-Fatihah and gives it is right estimate, through knowledge, contemplation upon its facts and by living its directives, will realise that one cannot recite it, with the true recitation of a servant, unless one makes sincere tawbah. The perfect guidance to the Straight Path cannot be attained with the indifference to sins or the persistence on sins. Indifference to sins negates the knowledge of guidance. Persistent sinning negates the intention and the will of the servant. Thus, tawbah will not be valid except after one recognises the sins, admits to them and seeks to rid oneself of their evil consequences.

Seeking Refuge from Sin

The first aspect of tawbah, then, is to see how one was taken away from seeking the pleasure of Allah, by committing sins. Next, one has to recognize that Allah didn’t safeguard him from sin. One should also ponder how happy one was while sinning and being persistent on the sin, while knowing with surety that Allah ever watches over whatever is done in the heavens or on the earth. If the servant had sought refuge in Allah, he would not have gone away from the guidance of obedience, “And whoever holds firmly to Allah, then he is indeed guided to a Right Path.” (3:101)

If one’s holding onto Allah is firm, one would never be forsaken by Allah, “And hold firmly to Allah, He is your Mawlaa (Protector) and what an excellent Mawlaa and what an excellent Naseer (Helper).” (22:78)

In other words, whenever we hold firm to Him, He will become our Protector and He will support us against our nafs (inclinations) and the Shaytan. These two enemies, the nafs and Satan, are the ones that do not leave the servant for even a moment. Their enmity is more harmful to the servant than the enemies from without. Attaining victory over such enemies is more difficult, and the servant’s need for such a victory is far more important. The degree of help rendered to defeat these enemies is dependent upon the degree of our dependence and holding onto Allah. If we do not hold firmly to Allah, we will go away from Allah’s protection. This is indeed the true loss. Allah could have aided us in staying away from sins, however, because we deserted Him, we were allowed to listen to any obey our nafs. If He wished to protect us, the sin would not have found a way to get to us.

When the servant becomes heedless of the consequences of sin, he finds pleasure when he satisfies unlawful desires. This pleasure in disobedience is evidence of his ignorance of the Greatness of the One of disobeys, and his ignorance of the evil consequences of sins and evil actions. His pleasure with sin has concealed all of this from his sight. In fact, his pleasure with sin is more harmful to him than perpetrating the sin itself. The believer can never have any pleasure from sin. He cannot have complete satisfaction with it. On the contrary, he would not even pursue it, except with grief in his heart. But the intoxication of the desires obscures one from feeling this remorse. When the heart becomes empty from such grief and one is happy with sin, then one should question his faith and weep for the death of his heart. If one were alive, he would be sad for the perpetration of any sin, big or small. The evil effects of sin, more times than not, go unnoticed in us and in our brothers and sisters in Islam. Diligences in constant self-evaluation is necessary in leading us away from sin and its destructive ends. One can do this by focusing on the following.

1. The fear of dying before making tawbah.

2. Remorse about the good that was missed because of the disobedience of Allah.

3. Working seriously on regaining what has been missed.

If one becomes completely heedless then one becomes persistent, which means constant disobedience with the intention to perform the sin again and again. This by itself is another sin that could be far greater than the first. Part of the punishment for sin is that it leads to a greater sin, then another, and so on until it completely and certainly destroys the person if he does not repent.

Persistence on sin is another sin. Not attempting to rectify the sin means persistence on it and satisfaction with it. This is the sign of ruin. Worse than all of that, is the commission of sin in public when we are sure that Allah watches and sees everything from above His Throne. If we believe that Allah watches us, yet we proceed to commit sins publicly, this is a great contradiction. But if we don’t believe that He watches us, then we are completely out of the realm of Islam.

There are two considerations for a sinner: lack of embarrassment from Allah knowing that Allah’s sight watches over all, and lack of fear to go out of the deen. Therefore, one of the conditions of the acceptance of tawbah is that a person should firmly believe that Allah was watching and that He will always watch over him. He sees everything during the perpetration of sins.

The reality of tawbah is to return to Allah is not sound or complete without the knowledge of the Lord’s names and attributes and their manifestations within Himself and in the world. The repenting servant should know that he was running away from his Lord, captured in the grip of his enemy. He didn’t fall into the claws of his enemy except as a result of his ignorance of his Lord and his daring to go against Him. He should know how and when he became ignorant, and how and when he was captured. He should believe that tawbah requires great determination and complete awareness to rescue himself from the enemy and be able to return and run back, to his Lord Ar-Rahman Ar-Rahim. He should realise that returning to his Lord is actually turning away from the road of destruction, where his enemy had taken him. He should know the number of steps taken away from his Lord and the efforts and obstacles that he must strongly work on to get back to the Straight Path.

Ibadaah Articles

Allah says in Surah Dhariyaat, ayah 56:
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I created the jinn and humankind only that they might worship Me.

The Easiest form of Worship – ibn Qayyim
Usul al Ibaadah (The Fundemantals of Worship) – ibn Taymiyyah
Seeking Repentance – ibn Taymiyyah
The State of Repentance – ibn Qayyim
The Great Benefit and Virtues of Supplication – ibn Qayyim
Between the Past and the Future – ibn Qayyim
Benefits of the Remembrance of Allah – ibn Rajab al Hanbali

The Major Sins

Author: Imam al Dhahabi | Size: 1MB | Pages: 191 | Format: PDF
The major sins are those acts which have been forbidden by Allah in the Quran and by His Messenger (SAW) in the Sunnah (practise of the Prophet), and which have been made clear by the actions of of the first righteous generation of Muslims, the Companions of the Prophet (SAW) There is some difference of opinion among scholars in this regard. Some say these major sins are seven, and in support of their position they quote the tradition: ‘Avoid the seven noxious things’- and after having said this, the propeht (SAW) mentioned them: ‘associating anything with Allah; magic; killing one whom Allah has declared inviolate without a just case, consuming the property of an orphan, devouring usury, turning back when the army advances, and slandering chaste women who are believers but indiscreet.’ (Bukhari and Muslim) ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas said: ‘Seventy is closer to their number than seven,’ and in this book Imam Dhabi goes through the 70 Major Sins Supported by the Qur’an and the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) The Author Muhammad bin Ahmad bin `Uthman bin Qaymaz at Turkamani, Shams al-Din al-Dimashqi al-Dhahabi al-Shafi`i (673-748 AH), the imam, Shaykh al-Islam, head of hadith masters, critic and expert examiner of the hadith, encyclopedic historian and biographer, and foremost authority in the canonical readings of the Qur’an. Born in Damascus where his family lived from the time of his grandfather `Uthman, he sometimes identified himself as Ibn al-Dhahabi – son of the goldsmith – in reference to his father’s profession.

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The Journey to Allah

Author: al-Hafidh Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali | Size: 5MB | Pages: 48 | Format: PDF

Bukhari records on the authority of Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet (pbuh) said, ‘Your actions alone will not save any of you.’ They asked, ‘Messenger of Allah, not even you?’, He replied, ‘Not even me, unless, Allah were to envelop me in His mercy. Be firm; steadfast and balanced; and journey in the beginning of the day, the end of the day, and a portion of the latter part of the night. Moderation, moderation! Through this you will attain your goal!” He also recorded this hadith in another place with the wording, ‘This religion is easy, none makes it hard upon himself except that it overwhelms him; therefore be firm, steadfast, and balanced; upon which have glad tidings! Seek help in this by journeying at the beginning of the day, at the end of the day, and a portion of the latter part of night.’

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I want to Repent, But..

Author: Salih al Munnajid | Size: 1MB | Pages: 35 | Format: Word Doc

People face many obstacles which they think stand between them and repentance, some of which exist within their own selves, and others in the world around them. This brief book clears up this confusion, dispel doubts, explain wisdom and drive away the Shaytaan.

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The Ill Effects of Sins

Author: Salih bin Uthaymeen | Size: 860kb | Pages: 20 | Format: PDF
This short booklet is a translation of a khutba (sermon) delivered by Shaykh Muhammad ibn Salih on the 12th of Muharram in the year 1411AH. Which has been published in Arabic under the title: Athar ul-Ma’aasee ‘ Alal Fardi Wal Mujtama.’

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The Humility in Prayer

Author: al-Hafidh Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali | Size: 5MB | Pages: 80 | Format: PDF

This is a treatise we have written concerning humility (Khushu’) and the hearts meekness and breaking (inkisar) before the Lord. The basic meaning of Khushu’, is the softness of the heart, its being gentle, still, submissive, broken, and yearning. When the heart is humble, so too is the hearing, seeing, heard, and face; indeed all the limbs and their actions are humbled, even speech. This is why the Prophet (saw) would say in his bowing (ruku), “My hearing, sight, bones, and marrow are humbled to You,” another narration has, “and whatever my foot carries.” One of the Salaf saw a man fidgeting in his prayer and remarked, ‘If the heart of this person was humble, so too would his limbs be.’ The source of the Khushu, that takes place in the heart is the gnosis of Allah’s greatness, magnificence, and perfection. Teh more gnosis a person has of Allah, the more Khushu’ he has. The greatest action of worship which manifests the Khushu, of the body to Allah is the prayer (Salaah). Allah has praised those who have Khushu’ in the prayer.

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Duas in the Life of a Muslim

Based on the Madrassah textbooks: ‘Du’as in the Life of a Muslim’ and ‘Basic Essentials for Muslims’.

Arabic: Qari Altaf Hathodwi

English: Jazaar Raad

Two CDs worth of Du’as in mp3 including for:

Fasting, On breaking fast, Having iftaar at someone else’s house, Sneezing, On wearing a new garment, On hearing good news, Greeting a Muslim and Replying to the greetings, and more.

CD 1
CD 2

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