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Muslim Students

By: Hamid Syed

Salah (Prayer) is the second pillar of Islam. It is one of the most important pillars of Islam. Salah is the key to Islam. Salah is Ibadah or worship.

In our lives we have many duties that we do like school, jobs and other sort of activities. And when we are doing these things we forget Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta‘ala). Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta‘ala) doesn’t want us to forget that we are His servants and also why we are here in this universe. That’s the purpose of Salah and why Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta‘ala) made Salah. Salah not only helps us to remember Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta‘ala), but it also keeps us on the right path, it helps us from not doing bad, from disobedience of Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta‘ala), makes us clean and healthy and also it gets us closer to Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta‘ala). If you stopped offering Salah you would no longer be a proper Muslim.

Salah has to be prayed right. Wudu (ablution) is the key to Salah. If you do not do wudu properly and you pray Salah, your Salah will not count. And when you are praying Salah, you must be facing in the direction of the Ka‘ba which is our Qiblah. Children at the age of ten must start praying Salah and when they reach puberty Salah is obligatory on them.

There are five fard (obligatory) Salah in a day. Fajr is the first Salah of the day, which helps us to start our day with remembering Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta‘ala). Fajr is prayed early in the morning before sunrise. Zuhr is the next Salah. It is prayed after mid day in the afternoon, so that after you have eaten your lunch you can remember Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta‘ala). Then comes Asr which is prayed when most parents and children come back from school or work. This is another time to remember our Great Lord, Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta‘ala). After the Asr Salah is Maghrib which is prayed immediately after sunset. We remember Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta‘ala) before sunrise and now we remember our Mighty Lord again after sunset. After Maghrib comes Isha at night. It is the last Salah of the day, when we pray to Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta‘ala) to thank Him for all He has given us that we asked for! We pray for the forgiveness of our sins. We also pray for a peaceful night and also another happy and successful day tomorrow.

The Jumu‘a Prayer is the most important Salah in the week. The Jumu‘a Salah is at the time of the Zuhr prayer, prayed on Friday, with a khutbah and in a jama‘ah, but the fard Salah of the Jumu‘a Prayer is only 2 rak‘ah. If you miss the Jumu‘a Salah you can pray it as Zuhr, but the Jumu‘a Salah is highly recommended to pray.

When we pray Salah, we stand in straight rows shoulder to shoulder, the rich and the poor, the black and the white, Arab and non-Arab. This shows the unity of Muslims.

We should also pray the Salat ul-witr which is next in importance to Salat ul-fard. We should also pray Salat us-sunnah which are the additional prayers of the Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam). We should also pray Salat un-nawafil which are the additional optional prayers. These prayers bring us closer to Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta‘ala).

In each rak‘ah of Salah, we recite Surah al-Fatiha which is the greatest Chapter in the Holy Qur’an. In each rak‘ah we also recite Allahu Akbar (Allah is Supremely Great) five times. In each Salah we also recite As-Salat-Ibrahimiyya to send blessing on the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam).

When we finish praying Salah, we make du‘a (supplication to Allah, Subhanahu wa Ta‘ala).

Salah is so important that you must perform it in any circumstance. Even if you are on a journey, and also if you are very ill and are confined to bed you still must pray Salah. You may ask how are you supposed to pray Salah when you are truly ill and are confined to bed? In that case, we can pray Salah while lying down in bed, using postures and signs.

Rabi‘ Awwal 1421, July 2000


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