And pray namaaz: for prayer restrains from shameful and unjust deeds; and remembrance of Allah is the greatest (thing in life) without doubt.
(Surat al-Ankabut: 45)
Namaaz (prayer, salaat) is the “face of our religion” and one of the 7 Pillars of Islam (Da’aimul-Islam). It is an obligation (farizat) on each one of us to perform the 5 faraz at the designated times. It is said that on the Day of Judgment Allah Ta’ala will look first at whether we have prayed namaaz and then He will look at our other good deeds.
Namaaz – at the designated times – is an obligation that demands time and attention amidst our hectic daily schedules, in the middle of our never-ending worldly stresses. Namaaz demands that we pause for a few minutes and stand before our Creator, facing the Ka’ba, and remember Allah Ta’ala. The Qur’an states “establish namaaz in my remembrance” (Aqimis-salaata li zikri – Surat Taha: 14).
The observance of namaaz inculcates discipline and introspection. It forces us to think, at least five times a day, that there is a Creator to whom we pray and it reminds us that there is a higher purpose in our life. It gives a broader perspective to our lives, when often that perspective is lost in the grind of day-to-day life.
The deeper meaning of each of the tenets of namaaz is explained at great length in the books of Da’wat, especially in the Tawilud-Da’aim by Syedna al-Qadi al-Nu’man RA.
In many bayaans, Syedna Qutbuddin TUS emphasizes that in a world in which people are increasingly conscious of their time and what they spend it doing, the time spent in prayer is the best possible investment of our time. The returns of that investment are felt not only here in our lifetime but also, and even more so, in the Hereafter.
It is narrated in the Da’aimul Islam on the authority of Imam Ja’farus Sadiq SA that obligatory namaaz prayers were, originally, 50 (yes, FIFTY), until Allah Ta’ala in His benevolence reduced them to 5. The reason for that was that on the night of Me’raj, when Rasulullah SA was returning, Musa Nabi SA asked him about the commands that he was given by Allah Ta’ala. Rasulullah stated that he was commanded to prescribe 50 daily obligatory namaaz prayers. Musa Nabi told Rasulullah that in his experience, no one would pray namaaz so many times in a day. He urged Rasulullah to seek a concession from Allah Ta’ala. Rasulullah sought the concession.
When he was returning, once again Musa Nabi enquired about the command Rasullullah was given. Rasulullah said that the burden was reduced by 5 to 45 prayers. Once again Musa Nabi repeated what he had said before (that no one would pray namaaz so many times) and again Rasullulah returned to Allah Ta’ala. Each time Rasulullah sought concession, the burden of namaaz was reduced by 5 until only 5 prayers remained. But still Musa Nabi said that no one would pray namaaz 5 times. Rasulullah at that point said, “I am embarrassed to ask for further concession” and thus the five farizat namaaz remained. Imam Ja’farus Sadiq, at the end of this narration, states that, “May Allah Ta’ala reward Musa Nabi on behalf of the Muslim Ummah.”
We are among those who are fortunate and confident that our prayers are accepted by Allah Ta’ala because we perform them with the walaayat of the Nabi who prescribed them, the walaayat of his successors, our Imams and their Du’aat in times of seclusion and walaayat of the Dai of our age Syedna Khuzaima Qutbuddin. Therefore, we must be foremost amongst Muslims to fulfill our obligation to Allah Ta’ala and we should do so with discipline, and try to be fully engaged and absorbed in our prayer. We are, as all good humans should be, conscious of fulfilling our commitments. The commitment of the 5 prayers is one of the main commitments we give in our Misaaq to Allah Ta’ala. May Allah Ta’ala grant us the tawfeeq and conviction to fulfill our commitments towards Him.
On the occasion of Rasulullah’s SA Me’raj (when 50 came down to 5) we are pleased to present the beginning of the Namaaz module on Fatemimadrasa.com. This is in furtherance of our constant efforts to enable mumineen to observe Namaaz as it should be and also to facilitate the teaching of Namaaz to our children.
This week we have also started a FAQ section on the questions regarding Namaaz and qasar Namaaz etc. This section will be periodically updated.