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Why is Salah so Important?

Some questions that we can ask ourselves, our family, our friends or our students –

– Where is the place that Allah loves most? Are they the Masajid (plural for masjid)? Do we need to treat it with respect? How much respect?

– Reverts & Born-Muslims: Sometimes the former is a “better quality” Muslim than the latter. How come? Is Islam ‘franchised’ to any particular race or culture?

– Prayer, Du’a & Salah: What are the differences?

– Knowing the meaning of recitations in Salah. Is it necessary?

– If you know that God is the only One who can control you and who gives you permission to carry out your ideas or plans in life, wouldn’t you want to please HIM? And please HIM well, while you’re at it? Wouldn’t you want to put your heads down to the ground to show your obedience to HIM and only HIM. Maybe we should remind ourselves, “I pray to my Maker. The One who made me.”?

– Guidance to Islam: Can we guide others to Islam, or is it Allah who Guides? The difference types of “guidance”. So do we remind others, encourage or teach others instead of ‘guide’? We can ‘show’ others the path, but it is Allah who lets them ‘see’ the path! So should we get upset when someone does not appreciate our lessons on Islam, for example? Do we continue to teach others even if no one seems to be listening?

– “Idol-worshipping” Muslims? What is one of the latest rumours spread by some non-Muslims regarding the Kaabah and Muslims? Is there really an idol at or inside “the black box”? Do we worship or submit to the Kaabah? How do we answer non-Muslims who think that we do? Do we worship 5 times a day for the sake of Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) or for the Rabb (Lord) of Muhammad?

– Who is the owner of Happiness? Who is the owner of Sustenence? Who is the owner of all kinds of Goodness? Who is the owner of Patience? Who is the owner of our life?

– Can one get true happiness but fail ore refuse to obey the One who created happiness? We want things in our life to be in order and not in chaos, but we do not want to put the extra effort in becoming a better Muslim? Is that fair?

– Taking leave off work, or even go on an extended holiday (for instance). Is it OK to ask our employer for time off if we are barely a good worker? Do we have the cheek to ask?

– Are we prepared to do the hard work? Are we prepared to sacrifice our time? Are we prepared to ‘go the extra mile’? Are we prepared to do the extra hours? Can we come a bit earlier for work from now on? Compare these questions to our Salah to our Maker.

– How dare we ask why Allah does not give us a certain gift when we do not obey HIS commands? (E.g. just because we pray 5 times a day & we don’t cover our awrah properly, how can we expect Allah to give us tranquility in our hearts? Or perhaps we want Allah to bless us with a child, but we don’t want to spend some extra minutes praying the nawafil or extra voluntary prayers? Or maybe we want Allah to grant us more rizq but we fail to observe the correct timing for our 5 daily prayers? Or perhaps we don’t wear clean-smelling hijab when we pray, but we put on our best quality hijab when we go to a wedding? There are so many other examples regarding this matter. Have we got our priorities right? May Allah protect us against such ungrateful behaviour.)

– Are we happy with our level of faith? Do we think that it should be enough for us to gain Allah’s Mercy and thus, HE’ll grant us Jannah? Can we gamble with that idea? Is it safe to think that we have done enough for HIM? So perhaps, it is a good plan not to be satisfied with our level of faith? Should we always strive for a level higher? Will we get into more trouble? Is it worth it? If we can aim for a higher level of success in our studies and career, why can’t we aim for a higher level of success in faith? Should we then be lazy? Must we really try harder?

– Mobile phones in Masajids. Do not forget to switch off before you enter the Masjid. Or better still, leave it in our vehicle outside. Change our mobile ring tones to non-musical ones, just to be safe. It is such a disgrace to have ‘haram’ music blaring in Masjids while we pray Salah. Show more respect to Allah!

– Who needs our Salah? Does Allah need it? Or do we need it? Allah owns us COMPLETELY! Do not for a moment think that we can exist without HIM creating us. He does not need anything from us. It is us who needs HIM. It is us who needs to pray. The prayer is for our benefit, not Allah’s. Allah is totally independent of us! We, on the other hand is ever-so-dependent on Allah! Do we do our 5 daily Salah just as a routine exercise, a lip-service to Allah? Just so that we can get ‘Allah off my back’?? Is Salah just a burden for us? No! Salah should be a gift that we want to present to Allah. Salah at the masjid is an even better gift that we have for Allah. A priviledge and honour to sujud in the house of Allah, just for Allah. It is an offering that we make for Allah, just as the way Allah likes us to submit to HIM. The 5 daily prayers are just the minimum. Do not think that it’s enough. We should look for ways where we can do even more. Do not be satisfied with our minimum offering to Allah. Strive for more!

– Make use of your health & wealth before it goes!

– Show Allah our seriousness in meeting with Allah. Look forward to each Salah as if it is an important meeting that we are going to! Don’t go to Masjid or come to prayer at home in your pyjamas or most shabby-looking shirts, even if your awrah is properly covered. Try your best in looking sharp for your Lord, during your “conversation” with HIM. Each Salah is a conversation between us and our Lord. Let us try be more respectful in our dress, insha’Allah.

– Treat Salah as a “gift”, not a “burden”.

The above are some of the notes taken by V.M. on some of the matters that are touched by the lecturer in the following lecture.

The 28-min Lecture by Mufti Ismail Musa Menk of Zimbabwe