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Mistakes of purification and prayer

 

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I present to you in this digest some of the Muslims’ mistakes in their purification and prayer; in order that you may avoid them and advise whoever commits them, to gain the reward of the advice.

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All praise is due to Allah, and prayers and peace of Allah be upon the Messenger of Allah and his family and whoever supports him.

 
It is known that Allah enjoined upon us prayers every day, and people differ in the way of performing these prayers; some Muslims perform them perfectly while others perform them imperfectly. Therefore, every Muslim should care for performing his prayers as perfect as he can to gain the complete reward. Furthermore, he should dedicate his acts sincerely to his Generous Lord.
 
Then, among the reasons of not having the reward of prayer completely is not performing it like the Prophet (prayers and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “and pray as you saw me pray.” [Reported by Al-Bukhari: 631]
 
«وصلوا كما رأيتموني أصلي» رواه البخاري 631
 
The same is applied to not performing ablution properly, although the Prophet (prayers and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “he who performs ablution as he is ordered to do and then performs prayer as he is ordered to do, he would have his previous sins expiated for him.” [Reported by An-Nasâ`i 144 and authenticated by Al-Albani]
 
«من توضأ كما أُمِر، وصلّى كما أُمِر، غُفِر له ما قدّم من عملٍ» رواه النّسائي 144 وصححه الألباني
 
Finally, dear Muslim brother, I present to you in this digest some of the Muslims’ mistakes in their purification and prayer; in order that you may avoid them and advise whoever commits them, to gain the reward of the advice. The Prophet (prayers and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “he who guides to good will have a reward equal to the reward of the one who does it.” [Reported by Muslim 1893]
 
«من دلّ على خيرٍ فله مثل أجر فاعله» رواه مسلم 1893
 
May Allah guide us to every good and may He make us guided people who guide others; indeed He is All-Hearer, Responsive.
 
 
Mistakes in purification:
 
1- Wasting the water of ablution. “The Prophet used to take a bath with one Sa’ up to five Madds (1 Sa'= 5 Madds) of water and used to perform ablution with one Madd of water.” [Reported by Al-Bukhari 201]
 
«كان النّبيّ -صلّى الله عليه وسلم- يغسل أو كان يغتسل بالصّاع إلى خمسة أمداد، ويتوضأ بالمد» أخرجه البخاري 201
 
Al-Bukhari said: “and the people of knowledge hated excessiveness in it (i.e. ablution) and doing more than the doing of the Prophet (prayers and peace of Allah be upon him).”
 
2- Not washing all the organs of ablution thoroughly. The Prophet (prayers and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “woe to the heels from Fire.” [Reported by Al-Bukhari 163]
 
«ويلٌ للأعقاب من النّار» رواه البخاري 163
 
Moreover, the Prophet (prayers and peace of Allah be upon him) ordered a man to repeat his ablution because he left a spot in his foot without washing.
 
3- Some people think wrongly that they have to wash their private parts before every ablution. Actually, this is wrong thinking; he who gets up from sleep, or releases wind, does not need to wash his private parts, unless he wants to answer the call of nature.
 
4- Performing Tayammum (i.e. dust ablution) in the presence of water and having the ability to use it. Indeed, this is clear wrong; He Almighty said: {and you find no water, perform Tayammum with clean earth} [Surat An-Nisa 4:43]
 
{فَلَمْ تَجِدُوا مَاءً فَتَيَمَّمُوا صَعِيدًا طَيِّبًا} النّساء: 43
 
Transliteration: falam tajidoo maan fatayammamoosaAAeedan tayyiban 
 
This verse indicates clearly that Tayammum is not allowed as long as there is water.
 
5- Some people fall asleep in the Masjid, then when they are alerted by their neighbors to the second call of prayer (i.e. Iqama), they get up and pray without having new ablution. Indeed, such people have to perform ablution before prayer. However; if the person was just sleepy and feels what is going around him, he would not have to perform ablution again.
 
6- The time of prayer may come while a person prevents himself from excretion, either because he is lazy not wanting to perform ablution again or because of having the water in a remote place (believing that praying while preventing the self from answering the call of nature is better than praying with Tayammum after answering the call of nature). Indeed; this is ignorance. The Prophet (prayers and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “No praying (to be observed) in the presence of food or in need of excretion.” [Reported by Muslim 560]
 
«لا صلاة بحضرة الطّعام، ولا هو يدافعه الأخبثان» رواه مسلم 560
 
When Sheikh Al-Islam, Ibn Taymiyyah (may Allah Almighty mercy him), was asked about the person who holds excretion, what is better for him? Would he pray in this status or answer the call of nature then perform Tayammum because of not having water?
 
He (may Allah Almighty mercy him) answered: “his prayer with Tayammum after answering the call of nature is better than his prayer with ablution before answering the call of nature. Because performing prayer while being prompted by the call of nature is detested and there are doubt about its soundness, while his prayer with Tayammum is sound without any doubt. And Allah knows best.
 
 
Among the mistakes of people in the prayer:
 
1- Raising the voice during reciting the Qur`an or remembrance, in the prayer, in a way that distracts the others. The Prophet (prayers and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “when someone of you indulges in prayer, he talks to his Lord; so you should not raise your voices by the Holy Qur`an, lest you hurt the believers.” [Authenticated by Al-Albani 1597 in the authentic chain]
 
«إنّ أحدكم إذا كان في الصّلاة فإنّما يناجي ربّه، فلا ترفعوا أصواتكم بالقرآن فتؤذوا المؤمنين» صححه الألباني 1597 في السّلسلة الصّحيحة
 
2- Not erecting the back in Ruku’ or sujud (prostration). The Prophet (prayers and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “there is no prayer to whoever does not erect his back in Ruku’ or sujud (prostration).” [Reported by Ibn Majah 718 and declared authentic by Al-Albani]
 
«لا صلاة لمن لا يقيم صلبه في الرّكوع والسّجود» رواه بن ماجه 718 وصححه الألباني
 
3- Not letting the seven parts touch the earth thoroughly. The Prophet (prayers and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “we are ordered to prostrate ourselves on seven bones.” [Reported by Al-Bukhari 810]
 
«أُمرنا أن نسجد على سبعة أعظم» رواه البخاري 810
 
Among such mistakes which are committed by some people during prayer are;
- Lifting one foot or two feet above the earth during the prostration.
- Raising the nose little above the earth.
Actually, such things are not allowed.
 
4- Performing the prayer quickly. This is not permissible; the Prophet (prayers and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “the worst thief is the one who steals from his prayer.” People asked: “O Messenger of Allah, how could he steal from his prayer?” The Prophet said: “by not performing its Ruku’ or prostration completely.” Or he said: “by not erecting his back in the bowing or prostration.” [Reported by Al-Albani in Sahih At-Targhib 524 and said that it is authentic by the virtue of another Hadith]
 
«أسوأ النّاس سرقةً الّذي يسرق من صلاته. قالوا: يا رسول الله كيف يسرق من صلاته؟ قال: لا يتم ركوعها ولا سجودها أو قال: لا يقيم صلبه في الرّكوع و السّجود» رواه الألباني 524 في صحيح التّرغيب وقال: صحيح لغيره
 
5- Some of those who come late and attend just a part of the prayer stand to perform what they missed, although the imam did not finish the final Tasleem yet. Actually, this is not permissible; the Prophet (prayers and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “The Imam is appointed only to be followed; so when he recites takbir, you should also recite that; and when he bows, you should also bow.” [Reported by Al-Bukhari 378 and Muslim 417]
 
«إنّما جُعل الإمام ليؤتم به، فإذا كبّر فكبّروا، وإذا ركع فاركعوا» رواه البخاري 378 ومسلم 417
 
Therefore, the follower should wait till the imam ends the final Tasleem (i.e. greeting) before standing up to performing what he missed from the prayer.
 
6- The same is applied to moving before the imam or moving in the time of his move or doing other than his doing. This is like bowing or rising before the imam or with him or long time after him. Actually, all such deeds are not allowed; rather the follower should strictly follow the imam.
 
7- Some people when he sees others in bowing position (in congregational prayers) he walks in a fat pace to catch them. Actually, this is prevented act; the Prophet (prayers and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “When the Iqama has been pronounced for prayer, do not go running to it, but go walking in tranquility and pray what you are in time for, and complete what you have missed.” [Agreed upon]
 
«إذا أقيمت الصّلاة فلا تأتوها تسعون، وأتوها تمشون، عليكم السّكينة، فما أدركتم فصلّوا، وما فاتكم فأتموا» متفقٌ عليه
 
And when Abu Bakra hastened and joined people in the bowing position, the Prophet (prayers and peace of Allah be upon him) said to him: “May Allah increase your love for the good. But do not repeat it again (bowing in that way).” [Reported by Al-Bukhari 783]
 
«زادك الله حرصًا ولا تعد» رواه البخاري 783
 
8- Not making the rows straight. Muslims should make their rows straight and not leave gaps to the devils. Everyone should care for putting his heel next to the heel of his neighbor and putting his shoulder next to the shoulder of his neighbor, without any rivalry, as the companions (may Allah be pleased with them) used to do.
 
9- Going to Masjid after eating onion or garlic. The Muslim person should avoid that if the time of prayer is close. However; if their odor died because of cooking, it is ok. The Prophet (prayers and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “whoever eats garlic or onion should keep away from our Masjid”
 
«من أكل ثومًا أو بصلًا فليعتزلنا» متفقٌ عليه
 
or “should remain in his house.” [Reported by Al-Bukhari 7359 and Muslim 564]
 
«ليعتزل مسجدنا، وليقعد في بيته» رواه البخاري 7359 ومسلم 564
 
Here we would like to mention two things:
 
First: Some people seek to deceive Allah by deliberately eating garlic or onion before the time of prayer, to take it as an excuse for not performing prayer in congregation. In fact; such persons are sinners, because they seek to deceive Allah.
 
Second: Whoever smokes; we would like to say to him, firstly, “fear Allah and neglect smoking, because Allah (the Exalted the Glorious) said: {he allows them as lawful At-Tayyibât (i.e. all good and lawful as regards things, deeds, beliefs, persons, foods), and prohibits them as unlawful Al-Khabâ’ith (i.e. all evil and unlawful as regards things, deeds, beliefs, persons and foods)} [Surat Al-Araf 7:157]”
 
{وَيُحِلُّ لَهُمُ الطَّيِّبَاتِ وَيُحَرِّمُ عَلَيْهِمُ الْخَبَائِثَ} الأعراف: 157
 
Transliteration: wayuhillu lahumu alttayyibati wayuharrimu AAalayhimu alkhabaitha 
 
And secondly, “you (may Allah guide you) should know that you hurt the Muslims, by the smell of your smoking, in their Masjid, markets and all other places. The Prophet (prayers and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “he who hurts the Muslims in their roads deserves to be cursed by them.” [Declared good by Al-Albani 148 in Sahih At-Targhib]
 
«من آذى المسلمين في طرقهم، وجبت عليه لعنتهم» حسنه الألباني 148 في صحيح التّرغيب
 
Since this is the punishment of whoever hurts the Muslims in their roads, what is the punishment of the one who hurts them in their Masjid! Therefore, you (may Allah guide you) should intend abstaining from smoking. Indeed; when Allah knows that you are truthful in your intention, He will support you to fulfill it.”
 
10- Some people make a sound with their throat (ehm!) or recite: {Truly! Allâh is with As-Sâbirûn (the patient)} [Surat Al-Baqarah 2:153],
 
{إِنَّ اللَّهَ مَعَ الصَّابِرِينَ} البقرة: 153
 
Transliteration: inna Allaha maAAa alssabireena
 
If they entered the masjid and found the imam in the status of Ruku’ or do other things, such as reciting Takbir or Tasbih, just to make the imam wait for them. In fact; this is wrong. The person should enter the Masjid in tranquility and dignity without causing any disturbance to those who perform prayer.
 
11- Reserving a place in the Masjid. This is especially seen in the two sacred Masjids. Some people put carpets or rugs to reserve places and come late. And if one of them found that someone sat in his place, he would get him out of it or scold him, if he refused, pretending that it is reserved place. In fact, such person is a sinner, because he prevented a Muslim from performing the prayer in a place he came to it first.
 
Sheikh Al-Islam (may Allah almighty mercy him) said: “As for the people who send carpets to the Masjid on Fridays and other days, before their going; this act is prevented by the consensus of the scholars. Rather, it is forbidden. As for the soundness of the prayer on that carpet; the scholars differed about it, because the person unlawfully seized part of the Masjid by spreading such carpet and preventing the others from performing the prayer in it. Hence, it should be said to those who reserve places in the Masjid and prevent whoever comes before them, ‘fear Allah for yourselves and do not decrease your reward by hurting the Muslims and harming them.’”
 
12- It is noticeable that some people raise their voices by yawning in prayer. Furthermore, someone may repeat this action, causing his neighbor to feel nausea and lose submissiveness. Therefore; we would like to say to the person who is affected by yawning, “try to prevent your yawn, as much as you can, by putting your hand over your mouth.” The Prophet (prayers and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “when someone of you yawn, let him puts his hand over his mouth.” [Reported by Muslim 2995]
 
«إذا تثاوب أحدكم، فليمسك بيده على فيه» رواه مسلم 2995
 
13- Excessive moving while praying. It is noticeable that some people move much in the prayer; you could see someone rubs his head then rubs his chest then plays by his hands then be busy by tidying his clothes, and so on, till the end of the prayer. Actually; the prayer of such person is not valid, according to the saying of the scholars. Therefore; the Muslim should enter the prayer in heartily and physical submissiveness, whether it is obligatory or supererogatory prayer, because Allah Almighty said: {Successful indeed are the believers. Those who offer their Salât (prayers) with all solemnity and full submissiveness} [Surat Al-Mu`minûn 23:1-2]
 
{قَدْ أَفْلَحَ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ (1) الَّذِينَ هُمْ فِي صَلاتِهِمْ خَاشِعُونَ} المؤمنون: 1-2
 
Transliteration: Qad aflaha almuminoona (1) Allatheena hum feesalatihim khashiAAoona
 
14- Some people move their eyes while praying; you could see someone looking for some time at his foot and then looks for some time in front of him and then looks for some time at his side and then raises his head up. Actually; the Sunnah in prayer is to look at the position of prostration, because it is narrated that the Prophet used to look, during the prayer, at the position of the prostration. However, in the sitting of Tashahud; the person could look at his index finger (if he liked), because it is proved that the Prophet (prayers and peace of Allah be upon him) did so, or look at the position of the prostration (if he liked).
 
 
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