His Hands are stretched and the angel waits …for you to repent! Turn back to At-Tawwaab: the One who consistently accepts repentance AND doesn’t tire of accepting it AND accepts repentence each time His slave repents.
Abu Musa Al-Ash`ari (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam said: “Allah, the Exalted, will continue to stretch out His Hand in the night so that the sinners of the day may repent, and continue to stretch His Hand in the daytime so that the sinners of the night may repent, until the sun rises from the west”. [Muslim]
Abu Umamah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger of Allah sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam said, “The angel of the left raises [and holds] his pen for six hours from the Muslim servant of Allah who has wronged or committed a mistake. So if he regrets and seeks Allah’s forgiveness from it he returns it back, and if that is not the case then it is written as one.” [Mu'jam al Kabeer, Hasan according to Albani]
Usually we think that repenting immediately after committing a sin is like being a hypocrite or that it is not a sincere repentance but rather this is a trick from Shaytan to make us despair in the Mercy of Allah. Look at the description that Allah gives to the people of Jannah:
“Those who when they commit a sin or wrong themselves remember Allah right away and ask for forgiveness for their sins - and none can forgive sins but Allah - and do not persist in what (wrong) they have done, while they know.” (3:135)
Do not think that your sins are too great or too many for Allah to forgive! Allah calls those who despair and lose hope in His Mercy disbelievers. Rather, repent immediately if you happen to fall into a sin and there you will find the Mercy of Allah before you. Remember that every son of Adam is a sinner, but the best of the sinners are those who repent. The Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam said, “Allah turns with mercy to him who turns to Him in repentance”. [Bukhari and Muslim] The Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam also promised Tooba for the one who seeks forgiveness much. So, what are you waiting for?
The Messenger, peace be upon him, once asked: "Listen. Shall I guide you to the things through which God blots out sins and elevates you to higher ranks?" When his Companions asked him to do so, he told them: "Perform wudu (ritual ablution) as correctly as possible, even in the most adverse conditions; walk to the mosque for each prayer, and wait for the next prayer after praying. This is the ribat, this is theribat (preparation, dedication)." [Muslim]
The hadith begins with 'Listen' to stress the importance of what follows. In this case, it is the five daily prayers.
The prescribed prayer is the pillar of Islam. Without it, Islam cannot be maintained. When believers pray correctly, they are protected from evil thoughts and deeds. It is also a sacred ladder for ascending to the Presence of God. But before we climb it, we must perform wudu as perfectly as possible. From the first step toward wudu, believers begin to gain reward. While performing it, they are relieved of the stress of daily life and cleansed of sins. When performed in difficult circumstances, believers receive an even greater exhilaration.
God's Messenger describes the prescribed prayer as ribat, which can be translated as "dedication to something or guarding the frontier." By describing the prescribed prayers as ribat, God's Messenger also emphasizes that Muslims should dedicate their lives to Divine worship and organize their daily activities around the five daily prayers. They should ensure that they can pray when necessary and with full attention. After each prayer, they should wait expectantly for the next one. Those who pray in such a manner will be cleansed of sins and, moreover, protected against committing more sins.
THOUGH ONE SHOULD TRY HIS UTMOST BEST TO ATTEND THE MASJID FOR ALL THE 5 SALAT, BUT IF SOMEONE IS AFTER TRYING HIS UTMOST BEST IS UNABLE TO DO SO, THEN HE MAY PRAY ALONE.
If I am praying an obligatory prayer alone at home, do I need to say the Adhan and Iqama?
In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,
Sayyiduna Uqba ibn Amir (may Allah be pleased with him) relates that I heard the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) say: "Your Lord, the Exalted, is pleased with a shepherd of goats at the peak of a mountain, who makes the call to prayer (gives the Adhan) and offers prayer. Allah, the Exalted, says, "Look at this servant of mine; he gives the Adhan and Iqama for prayer out of fear for me. I have forgiven my slave and entered him into Paradise." (Sunan Abi Dawud no: 1196, Sunan Nasa'i no: 665 and Musnad Ahmad 4/157)
Sayyiduna Malik ibn al-Huwayrith (may Allah be pleased with him) says that two men came to the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace), wanting to travel. So the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said: "When you set out, give the Adhan and the Iqama and then the oldest of you should be the Imam." (Sahih al-Bukhari no: 604)
Sayyiduna Salman al-Farisi (may Allah be pleased with him) relates that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said: "If a man is in a deserted land and the time of prayer arrives, thus he performs ablution (wudhu); and if he does not find water he performs the dry ablution (tayammum). If he gives the Iqama [and offers prayer], his two angels offer prayer with him, and if he gives the Adhan and Iqama, an army of Allah pray behind him - the two sides of which is not visible [due to it's sheer number]." (Musannaf Abd al-Razzaq no: 1955 and Al-Mu'jam al-Kabir of Tabarani 6/249)
The follower (tabi'i), Tawus (Allah be pleased with him) says: "When a man [who is alone] offers prayer with Iqama, his two angels pray with him. And when he gives the Adhan and Iqama, many angels offer prayer with him." (Musannaf Abd al-Razzaq no: 1952. Similar statements have been recorded in the same chapter of the Al-Musannaf from Abdullah ibn Umar, Mak'hul and Sa'id ibn al-Masayyab, may Allah be pleased with them all).
It is stated in the renowned Hanafi Fiqh primer, Nur al-Idah:
It is an emphasized (mu'akkada) Sunna to give both the Adhan and Iqama for obligatory prayers (fara'idh), even when praying alone, whether for current prayers or make-up prayers, whether on journey or at home, for men. It is [prohibitively] disliked for women to give both the Adhan and Iqama. (See: Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah Sharh Nur al-Idha, P: 194-195)
It is stated in another Hanafi Fiqh primer, Kanz al-Daqa'iq:
It is [prohibitively] disliked for a traveller to omit both the Adhan and Iqama, but not for the one praying alone at home within a town [where Adhan and Iqama have been given in the local Mosque]... (Kashf al-Haqa'iq Sharh Kanz al-Daqa'iq, 1/39)
Based on the above Hadiths and based on the above and other similar texts found in classical Hanafi works, there are few scenarios to the situation at hand:
1) For a non-traveller; when praying alone at home or elsewhere, if he is not in the vicinity of a Mosque where the Adhan and Iqama have been given, then it is an emphasized Sunna to give both. As such, it is prohibitively disliked (makruh tahrim) to omit both the Adhan and Iqama. However, if he were to merely omit the Adhan and not the Iqama, then it is not disliked. On the contrary, if he were to omit the Iqama but give the Adhan, then it is disliked.
The reason for this, as explained by Imam Ibn Abidin in light of the Hadiths quoted above, is that the objective of Adhan is not restricted to calling others for prayer; but rather, the objective includes proclaiming the name of Allah and his religion in the lands, and reminding the slaves of Allah consisting of human and Jinn of this.
2) For a non-traveller; when praying alone at home or elsewhere, if he is in the vicinity of a Mosque where the Adhan and Iqama have been given, then it is recommended (not emphasized Sunna) to give both the Adhan and Iqama. As such, it is not disliked to omit both. Sayyiduna Abdullah ibn Mas'ud (may Allah be pleased with him) is reported to have said: "The Adhan of the vicinity is enough for us (adhan al-hay yakfina)." One should, however, try and at least give the Iqama.
3) For a traveller, it is an emphasized Sunna to give both the Adhan and Iqama. As such, it is prohibitively disliked (makruh tahrim) to omit both. However, if he were to merely omit the Adhan and not the Iqama, then it is not disliked. On the contrary, if he were to omit the Iqama but give the Adhan, then it is disliked.
Finally, two points are worth considering:
Firstly, both Adhan and Iqama are Sunnas for men only, and not women, rather it is disliked for women to give Adhan and Iqama, as reported from Ibn Umar, Anas and others (Allah be pleased with them). The reason for this is that Adhan and Iqama are from the Sunnas of congregation, and the basis of men's prayer is that it is performed in congregation; thus, when they pray alone, they perform it as the congregational prayer. The basis of women's prayer, however, is that it is performed alone, and as such, Adhan and Iqama are not Sunna for them.
Secondly, where it is prohibitively disliked (makruh tahrim) for a man to omit the Adhan and Iqama, if he were to pray without giving the Adhan and Iqama, his prayer is still valid and he is not required to repeat it. (The above details are gathered from Radd al-Muhtar ala 'l-Durr al-Mukhtar 1/394-395, Al-Fatawa al-Hindiyya 1/54, Maraqi al-Falah Sharh Nur al-Idah with theHashiya of Tahtawi P: 194-195, Imdad al-Fattah Sharh Nur al-Idah P: 192-193, Kashf al-Haqa'iq Sharh Kanz al-Daqa'iq with Sharh al-Wiqaya on the margins 1/39, and Umdat al-Fiqh 1/38)
And Allah knows best
Muhammad ibn Adam
Salah Mentioned In Quran
1) Establishing Salah Develops Taqwa (Fear and Awareness of Allah)
“This is the Book in which there is no doubt, a guidance for those who have Taqwa; who believe in the unseen, and who establish Salah, and spend out of what we have provided for them”(Surah Baqarah 2: 2-3)
2) Salah Is the Sign of a Believer.
“The believers, men and women, are protecting friends of one another; they enjoin good and forbid evil, and they establish Salah, and give Zakah, and obey Allah and His Messenger. Allah will have His Mercy on them, and surely, Allah is All-Mighty, All-Wise.”(Surah Tawba 9: 71)
3) Establishing Salah Leads to Allah’s Eternal Blessings.
“So whatever you have been given is but (a passing) enjoyment for this worldly life, but that which is with Allah is better and more lasting for those who believe and put their trust in their Lord. And those who avoid the great sins and lewdness, and when they are angry, they forgive. And those who answer the Call of their Lord, and perform the Salah, and who conduct their affairs by mutual consultation, and who spend of what We have bestowed on them.” (Surah Ash-Shura 42:36-38)
4) Those Who Pray Shall Have Nothing to Fear on the Day of Judgment.
“Truly, those who believe and do righteous deeds, and perform Salah, and give Zakah, they will have their reward with their Lord. On them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.”(Surah Baqarah 2:277)
5) Remain in Allah’s remembrance after prayer.
“When have finished performing the Salah, remember Allah standing, sitting, and reclining, but when you are free from danger, perform the Salah. Surely, Salah is enjoined on the believers at fixed times.”(Surah Nisaa 4:103)
6) Command to Pray with Congregation.
“And establish Salah and give Zakah, and bow down (in worship) along with those who bow down (in worship)”(Surah Baqarah 2:43)
7. Special Command Regarding Punctuality of Prayer.
“Guard strictly the Salah, especially the middle Salah. And stand before Allah with obedience.”(Surah Baqarah 2:238)
8. Allah’s Help Comes Through Salah.
“Seek help through patience and Salah; truly it is extremely difficult except for the humble true believers.”
(Surah Baqarah 2:45)
“Oh you who believe! Seek help through patience and Salah. Truly, Allah is with those who are patient.” (Surah Baqarah 2:153)
9.) Special Emphasis on Friday Prayer.
“Oh you who believe! When the call is made for the Salah on Friday, come to the remembrance of Allah, and leave off business. That is better for you, if you only knew! And when the Salah has ended, you may disperse through the land, and seek the Bounty of Allah, and remember Allah much so that you may be successful.”
(Surah Jumuah 62:09-10)
10) Shaytaan Tries His Best in Finding Ways to Take You Away from Salah
“Shaytaan desires only to excite enmity and hatred between you with intoxicants and gambling, and hinder you from the remembrance of Allah, and from Salah. So will you then not abstain (from these evils)?”(Surah Maeda 5:91)
11) Prayer Protects Against Evils.
“Recite that which has been revealed to you of the Book, and perform Salah. Verily, Salah prevents from lewdness and evils. And indeed, the remembrance of Allah (by you) is greatest. And Allah knows what you do.”(Surah Ankaboot 29:45)
12)Friendship Should Be with Those Who Pray.
“Indeed, your protecting friend (Wali) is none other than Allah, His Messenger, and the Believers who establish Salah, and give Zakaat, and bow down (in prayer).(Surah Maeda 5: 55)
13) Allah’s Special Order to Women.
“And stay in your houses, and do not display yourselves like that of the times of ignorance, and perform Salah, and give Zakah, and obey Allah and His Messenger. Allah wishes only to remove uncleanness from you, Oh people of the House, and to purify you with a thorough purification.”(Surah Ahzaab 33:33)
14) Hypocrites Are Lazy in Salah.
“Verily, the hypocrites seek to deceive Allah, but it is He who deceives them; When they stand up for Salah, they stand with laziness, only to be seen by men; and they do not remember Allah but a little.” (Surah Nisaa 4:142)
15) Laziness in Salah Leads to Rejection of Sadaqah.
“And nothing prevents their Sadaqah from being accepted from them, except that they disbelieve in Allah and in His Messenger, and that they do not come to Salah except in a lazy manner, and that they do not give Sadaqah except unwillingly.”
(Surah Tawbah 9:54)
16) Leaving Salah Leads to Shirk.
“(And remain always) turning to Him (only), and be fearful and dutiful towards Him, and perform Salah and be not of those who commit Shirk.”(Surah Room 30: 31)
17) Previous Nations Were corrupted when Salah Was Left.
“Then, there came after them a generation who gave up Salah and followed lusts; so they will be thrown in Hell.”(Surah Maryam 19: 59)
Few things are more demanding than eliminating bad habits, since they are part of our daily routines and personality. It takes days of patience and practice to break old habits.
However, the good news is, Ramadan offers a perfect and natural environment for moral training. Interestingly, researches from “positive psychology” (scientific study of successful people) have repeatedly shown it takes 30 days to kick a bad habit and develop a new one.
In addition to the physical discipline in the 30-day boot camp of Ramadan, the increased spiritual exercise and connection with Allah, can transform your habits for life.
Try these proven techniques for a successful positive change in your habits (during Ramadan and beyond!):
1. Acknowledge and identify your bad habits: First step is to admit you need to change. If you are in a state of denial, you won’t recognize that you have a bad habit to change.
2. Pick a habit for 30 days: Prioritize your bad habits and focus on one for 30 days. Take a 30-day trial to re-condition your habits. If you are committed to changing at least one habit, you will see remarkable results, God-willing.
3. Realize that it’s in us to change: Don’t believe the old saying, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” You can break a bad habit if you really want to. No one else can change your habits, if you don’t want to.
4. Remember, Allah loves those who commit mistakes and repent: Prophet Muhammad said:
“By Him in Whose Hand is my life, if you were not to commit sin, Allah would sweep you out of existence and He would replace (you by) those people who would commit sin and seek forgiveness from Allah, and He would have pardoned them.” [Sahih Muslim Book #10 Hadith#6622]
5. Intention & plan to change: “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” A healthy process of change in character requires a gradual pace, which entails planning. Develop concrete milestones to measure your progress.
6. Replace a bad habit with a good one: Completely eliminating a habit is more challenging than replacing it with a more productive habit. Moreover, it’s crucial to replace the lost natural needs, such as the need to socialize and to be entertained with something healthy.
For instance, it’s easier to replace or balance your addiction to TV with a physical workout or reading, than to suddenly remove the TV from your life. Interestingly, Prophet Muhammad, the greatest ‘psychologist’ of humanity, illustrated this principle in these words:
“Fear Allah wherever you may be; follow up an evil deed with a good one which will wipe (the former) out, and behave good-naturedly towards people.” [At-Tirmidhi]
7. Change your environment: Resist the negative peer pressure by finding a better company of friends. Collective action to change is very powerful. Prophet Muhammad explained this peer pressure effect with this analogy:
“A good friend and a bad friend are like a perfume-seller and a blacksmith: The perfume-seller might give you some perfume as a gift, or you might buy some from him, or at least you might smell its fragrance. As for the blacksmith, he might singe your clothes, and at the very least you will breathe in the fumes of the furnace.” [Sahih al-Bukhari Vol#3 Hadith#314 & Muslim]
8. Exercise (physical and spiritual): A habit of regular physical exercise is obviously important for lasting weight loss. But you may not realize that exercise helps in eliminating a number of bad habits. For example, among smokers who become competitive runners, for example, over 80% give up smoking.
Moreover, exercising your will power (struggle to fight temptations) for 30 days helps you kick all kinds of bad habits and form new good ones. Willpower is like a muscle; the more you exercise it, the more you strengthen it.
9. Think of yourself as a changed, different, new person: This simple psychological shift in your thinking about your own image can do wonders. Tell yourself, “I can’t continue this ill-behaviour. I am better than that. I am stronger. I am wiser.”
10. Reward success: The most fundamental law in all of psychology is the “law of effect.” It simply states that actions followed by rewards are strengthened and likely to recur. Unfortunately, studies show that people rarely use this technique when trying to change personal habits.
Setting up formal or informal rewards for success greatly increases your chances of transforming bad habits into good ones, and is far more effective than punishing yourself for bad habits or setbacks. As Muslims we should also remember that the ultimate reward is Allah’s Pleasure and Paradise in the Hereafter.
11. Schedule / limit your bad habits: If you are really struggling to kick a bad habit, try limiting the habit to a specific time and place. Research and case studies confirm that this rather unconventional approach can be a useful first step in changing bad habits or learning new good ones.
12. Tell someone about your effort to change if it helps: He or she may keep you on track.
13. Resolve to continue on and follow up: Giving up bad habits or learning good habits requires regular maintenance and determination. It is a long, ongoing process, also known as “Tazkiyyah” in Islamic terminology. It’s more difficult than the first few steps of change. (“How many times have I dieted, for example, only to gain the weight back?”)
14. Remind yourself of death and hereafter often:
“Remember often the terminator (or destroyer) of all the pleasures [i.e. death],” the Prophet once stated. [At-Tirmidhi.]
15. Develop a relapse strategy: How do you ensure not to return to your bad habit you are trying to change? Some people donate money to a good cause every time they return to sinning or a bad habit. This reminds them of the ‘cost’ of going back to old bad habits. Others try physically demanding acts to deter them from reverting to old ways.
16. Ask Allah for help: Last but not least, make Asking for Allah’s Help an integral part of the overall change process. Ask for Allah’s Help before, during and after every attempt at kicking a bad habit. Do so sincerely, even begging and crying, like a child does when he or she really wants something. Allah is Ever-Willing to Help and to Respond to our needs, but it is us who must take the first step towards Him.
“And whosoever is conscious of Allah and keeps his duty to Him, He (Allah) will make a way for him to get out (from) every (difficulty), and He will provide him from (sources) he could never imagine.” [Quran 65:2-3]
“What did I ever do to deserve such a fate,” we sometimes ask ourselves. “Why me?” The timeless question that most complainers utilize to justify their self-pity. The confusion even strong willed and persistent people may find themselves wondering about when life’s circumstances are too difficult to bear. A sense of being a meaningful ‘speck’ within the universe comes over each person as they grapple with their self-identity. Coming to terms with oneself is the true return home.
As a new year arrives, we are often left wandering with these painful questions. Perhaps we had survived some defining ordeal in the past year. Maybe we have still not forgiven others or ourselves for past mistakes. A loss of a loved one, a job, health issues or more may be troubling us. Maybe we feel guilty about a sin and need to ask for forgiveness from the All High, the Most Merciful, our Lord Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala.
The first step in reconciling these types of thoughts is to realize we are all in a certain position in life for a reason. Each human being was given certain circumstances because Allah knew they could handle it. He is All-Knowing, All Merciful. Our past surely painted us with certain colors but it should not continue to haunt us. Rather, when we know we are in control of our choices, we can grow stronger from the experience and accept Allah’s will knowing that everything happens for a reason. We gain strength from the fact that our Lord entrusted us with a certain experience and He deemed us strong enough to take it on! Subhan Allah!
Allah says in the Qur’an: No soul shall have a burden laid on it greater than it can bear. (2:233)
Wouldn’t He as our loving Creator have the complete 360 degree view of our situation? Indeed, He does. And we don’t have the full picture yet. Allah knows our past, present and future and knows that the challenges we face, in the long run, we face for a reason. To accept this and stop wallowing in self-pity is the start of change.
The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) said, “Allah `azza wa jall said:
‘Verily, from amongst My slaves is he whose faith cannot be rectified except by being inflicted with poverty, and were I to enrich him, it would surely corrupt him. Verily, from amongst My slaves is he whose faith cannot be rectified except by wealth and affluence, and were I to deprive him, it would surely corrupt him. Verily, from amongst My slaves is he whose faith cannot be rectified except by good health, and were I to make him sick, it would surely corrupt him. Verily, from amongst My slaves is he whose faith cannot be rectified except by disease and illness, and were I to make him healthy, it would surely corrupt him. Verily, from amongst My slaves is he who seeks worship by a certain act but I prevent that from him so that self-amazement does not enter his heart. Certainly, I run the affairs of My slaves by My Knowledge of what is in their hearts. Certainly, I am the All-Knower, All-Aware.‘” [Reported by al-Tabarani]
With humility and submission, we must realize that we lack complete knowledge. However, we need to accept our free will and potential to change our situation. Accepting each day as a new beginning while hoping for the best will free our mental shackles.
“The beginning of a journey starts with the single step…”
Let the first step today be thankfulness for our situation, not complaint. Let’s practice gratitude and Shukr as a daily routine. Let’s say “Alhamdulillah” today as though we mean it.