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The Acts of Worship of People of Perfected Faith


A man of perfected faith also distinguishes himself through the meticulous attention he pays to his acts of worship. Throughout his life -as long as he is able- he zealosly performs his salat (regular prayers), fasts, pays his alms, that is, fulfills the acts of worship Allah made obligatory. in many verses, Allah informs us about the excitement true Muslims feel while performing their acts of worship:

Those who are steadfast in seeking the face of their Lord, and establish salat and give from the provision We have given them, secretly and openly, and stave off evil with good, it is they who will have the Ultimate Abode (Surat ar-Ra'd, 22)

...(Those) whose hearts quake at the mention of Allah, and who are steadfast in the face of all that happens to them, those who establish salat and give of what We have provided for them. (Surat al-Hajj, 35)

The Importance of Salat

Salat (obligatory prayers which are performed five times a day), is one of the most important acts of worship after faith. a believer is obliged to perform salat, which is an act of worship prescribed at specific times, throughout his life.

Man is prone to forgetfulness. Engrossed in everyday routines, he may easily become distracted from the real issues to which he actually needs to pay attention. He may easily forget that Allah encompasses him all around, that He watches him at every moment, that He listens to him, and that he will one day have to give an account of his actions to Allah. He may well forget about the certainty of death, the grave, Paradise and Hell, that nothing happens other than that which is Allah's will, and that there is ultimately a reason for everything.

Performing salat five times a day, however, removes this state of forgetfulness and keeps the believer's will and conscious vivid. Salat makes him constantly turn to Allah and live by the commands of our Lord. a person of perfected faith who stands before the presence of Allah to perform his salat secures a strong spiritual bond with Allah. That salat reminds man of Allah and that it hinders him from all kinds of evil is stated in a verse as follows:

Recite what has been revealed to you of the Book and establish salat. Salat precludes indecency and wrongdoing. And remembrance of Allah is greater still. Allah knows what you do. (Surat al-'Ankabut, 45)

Salat is an act of worship that is obligatory upon all prophets and believers. the prophets sent to humanity throughout history summoned their people to this obligatory act of worship. Meanwhile, they performed it themselves in the most accurate manner and became role models to follow for all believers. in this respect, salat is a form of message communicated by Allah's prophets to their individual peoples.

In the Qur'an, there are several verses about Allah's commands to His prophets about establishing salat, the importance attached to this act of worship, the prophets' meticulous observance of it, and their commands to their peoples about establishing salat:

- in one verse, Allah relates the following about the Prophet Ibrahim (as):

My Lord! Make me and my descendants people who establish salat. My Lord! Accept my prayer. (Surah Ibrahim, 40)

- in the Qur'an, the Prophet Isma'il (as) is related thus:

Mention Isma'il in the Book. He was true to his promise and was a Messenger and a Prophet. He used to command his people to do salat and give zakat and he was pleasing to his Lord. (Surah Maryam, 54-55)

- in another verse, Allah says to the Prophet Musa (as) the following:

I am Allah. There is no god but Me, so worship Me and establish salat to remember Me. (Surah Ta Ha, 14)

Allah also commanded Maryam, who is given as an example in the Qur'an to all women in the world, to establish salat:

Maryam, obey your Lord and prostrate and bow with those who bow. (Surah Al 'Imran, 43)

'Isa (as), who is decribed as the "word of Allah" in the Qur'an also received the same command:

He said, "I am the servant of Allah, He has given me the Book and made me a Prophet. He has made me blessed wherever I am and directed me to do salat and give zakat as long as I live." (Surah Maryam, 30-31)

What are the Times of the Salat?

In the Qur'an, salat is described as an obligatory act of worship that is prescribed for believers at certain times. the related verse reads:

When you have finished salat remember Allah standing, sitting and lying on your sides. When you are safe again do salat in the normal way. the salat is prescribed for the muminun at specific times. (Surat an-Nisa', 103)

The times of the five obligatory salats are "morning", "noon", "mid-afternoon", "evening" and "night". the times of salat are made explicit in many verses of the Qur'an. One of them reads:

So be steadfast in the face of what they say and glorify your Lord with praise before the rising of the sun and before its setting. And glorify Him during part of the night and at both ends of the day, so that hopefully you will be pleased. (Surah Ta Ha, 130)

Our Prophet (saas), who best understood and interpreted the Qur'an, thanks to the revelation and inspiration of Allah, described to believers the beginning and ending times of the five performances of salat during the course of a day. the following hadith narrated by Abdullah b. Amr b. Al- As is one of the most well-known of these hadiths:

Our Prophet (saas) said:

The time for the morning prayer (lasts) as long as the first visible part of the rising sun does not appear, an the time of the noon prayer is when the sun declines from the zenith and there is not a time for the afternoon prayer and the time for the afternoon prayer is as long as the sun does not become pale and its first visible part does not set, and the time for the evening prayer is that when the sun disappears and (it lasts) till the twilight is no more and the time for the night prayer is up to the midnight. (Muslim)

Both the verses of the Qur'an and the hadiths of our Prophet (saas) and the explanations of Islamic scholars make it certain that the obligatory salat is to be performed five times a day.

The total number of rakats for the five obligatory prayers is 40. the allocation of these rakats according to the times is as follows:
- Morning prayer: 2 rakats sunnat, 2 rakats fard
- Noon prayer: 4 rakats initial sunnat, 4 rakats fard, 2 rakats last sunnat
- Midafternoon prayer: 4 rakats sunnat, 4 rakats fard
- Evening prayers: 3 rakats fard, 2 rakats sunnat
- Night prayers: 4 rakats initial sunnat, 4 rakats fard, 2 rakats last sunnat, 3 rakats witr.

A Person of Perfected Faith Prays in Awe

Awe is a kind of fear mixed with respect. Feeling awe while praying, on the other hand, is to feel the majesty and might of Allah before His presence and harbour a deep seated fear while performing this act of worship. a believer who is aware that he is before Allah, the Lord of all the worlds, will surely feel this might and draw near to Allah in relation with the fear and respect he feels for Him.

A believer who aims to perform his prayer with due care must take all measures against the obstacles likely to hinder his concentration and pay the utmost attention to ensure the required mood and concentration. Before His presence, our Lord commands us to remember and glorify Him alone and be people of pure, natural belief in Him. Praying with due care is a great opportunity to realize all these. Indeed, Allah commands us to perform prayers to remember Him:

I am Allah. There is no god but Me, so worship Me and establish salat to remember Me. (Surah Ta Ha, 14)

Fards (obligations) of Salat

A- There are seven fards (obligations) a believer must fulfill before he establishes his prayer. These are:

- Ritual Cleanliness
- Actual Cleanliness
- Covering the Private Parts of the Body
- Facing the Qiblah
- Proper Time
- Intention
- Glorifying

B- the other five fard actions, called the Pillars of Prayer, are executed during the actual performance of prayer.

- Qiym
- Qirah
- Rükû'
- Sajdah
- Qadah

Ritual Cleanliness: Cleansing by performing the minor ritual ablution or major ritual ablution.
Actual Cleanliness: Cleansing actual impurities on the body, clothes or the place that are likely to hinder the prayer.
Time: Performing the prayers within the prescribed times.
Facing the Qiblah: Performing the prayer by turning to Mecca.
Intention: is the remembrance and inner declaration of the believer's intention to perform the specific prayer.
Glorifying: Glorifying Allah with the words, "Allahu akbar".
Qiym: Standing position (for those who are able)
Qirah: Reading a few verses from the Qur'an while in qiym.
Rükû': Bowing Position, in which the knees are grasped by the palms of both hands, thus supporting the body
Sajdah: Prostration, in such a way that only the nose, forehead, both palms of hands, knees and toes are touching the ground
Qadah: Sitting in the last rakat of the prayer as long as reading "Ettehiyyatu."
Below, we will expand on ablution, Covering the Private Parts of Body and Qiblah.

What is covering the Private Parts of the Body?

Every person who is liable to religious duties needs to cover her/his private parts of her/his body that need to be covered during prayer and forbidden to exposure to others at other times. Dress for men should be such that it covers from the navel to the knees at least. the dress of the woman should be such that it covers her whole body, from head to feet, leaving only the face and the hands uncovered.

Ablution

Before offering prayers, a believer must first perform ablution. There are certain conditions of ablution. There are:

- Washing the face once
- Wash the hands up to the wrists once
- Wiping the one fourth of head
- Washing the two feet up to the ankles once

There are also sunnats of ablution. the sunnats of ablution that must be performed by a believer of perfected faith is as follows:

- Starting by saying "Bismillah."
- Washing the hands up to the wrists, three times
- Rinsing out the mouth with water, three times
- Cleansing the nostrils of the nose by sniffing water into them, three times
- Wetting the hidden skin below eyebrows, beard and mustache
- Wetting below the eyebrows
- Wetting the protruding part of the beard
- Cleansing the teeth, rubbing them with something if possible
- Wiping both sides of the head once
- Wiping both ears once
- Wiping the back of the neck once with three fingers joined
- Thoroughly wetting the spaces between fingers and toes
- Thoroughly wetting all the organs that needs to be washed.
- Making an inner intention while washing the face
- Washing and wiping both hands, mouth, nose, face, arms, head, ears and scruff and feet one after the other
- Rubbing the organs that are washed
- Washing every organ one after the other, without any interruption.

Qiblah

In the Qur'an, it is stated that Muslims have to face Kabah in Mecca while performing their prayers. It is sufficient for those who are not in Macca to stand in a direction that makes one say "he is standing in the direction of Qiblah."

The religion of Islam introduces Kabah as the center of worship of  Allah and Muslims are commanded to turn to Qiblah whereever they may be on earth, so that solidarity, unity and order can be maintained among them.

Praying in the direction of Qiblah is an opportunity to bring the memories of the Prophet Ibrahim (as) and the Prophet Isma'il (as), the noble messengers of Allah who built the Kabah, to mind and turning to Allah for worship. Also, turning in the direction of Kabah while eating and sleeping is good. in addition, the deceased are also buried with their faces turned to the Qiblah.

How is the Qiblah Determined?

Qiblah is not the building of Kabah but the land on which it stands. That is to say, that space from the earth to the sky is the Qiblah. For this reason, if one is under the water or in the sky, he can still pray.

It is possible to determine the direction of the Qiblah through mathematical calculations. This can also be accomplished by a compass. Even if a very accurate determination of the Qiblah can not be made by calculations and equipment, one can have a strong conviction of the true direction, and this conviction is acceptable.

At places where equipment, compass, stars etc. are not available, believers must consult Muslims who know the direction of the Qiblah.

In moving vehicles such as ships or trains, one must stand in the direction of the Qiblah and put a compass next to the place of the sajdah. in this way, as the vehicle turns, the person must also turn to the Qiblah. Alternatively, another person may turn him in the right direction.

If a person performs his prayer without consulting a Muslim who knows the direction of the Qiblah, establishing the direction himself or exhausting all the other methods to learn it, he will not totally fulfill the obligations of prayer, even if he has coincidentally prayed in the right direction.

 

 

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