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Are You among Those Who Are Humbly Submissive in Prayers?

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Everything has adornment and submissiveness is the adornment and glory of prayer.

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In the Name of Allâh, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

 
All the praises and thanks be to Allâh Almighty, the One that no vision can grasp, and the Creator of day and night. Prayers and peace of Allah be upon the chosen Prophet, and upon all his family and his righteous and guided companions.
 
My Muslim brother! Everything has adornment and submissiveness is the adornment and glory of prayer. A prayer without submissiveness is like a moonless night and a sunless day.
 
The people of submissiveness are the adornment of the creation and the delight of the age.
 
This speech is another of our assemblies where we call ourselves to account, another assembly in which the souls are reformed and are given the most valuable gifts.
 
The first pause in the moments of this assembly is the question, “What is submissiveness?”
 
Aj-Junaid, may Allah have mercy on him, said, “Submissiveness is the humbleness of hearts towards the Knower of the unseen.”
 
It is said that it is a meaning which reforms the soul and results in the stillness of the limbs of the body to suit the purpose of the act of worship.
 
Submissiveness is the yielding and the submissive is the one who is humble and bowing down. It also means supplication and calmness.
 
O you, who stood steadfast by the Hands of your Lord, Glorified and Exalted, for praying! Have you reviewed your heart while you are praying?
 
How is your case while praying? Are you among the submissive ones?
 
There are many people who pray without paying attention to such meaning.
 
You find the one of them performing a soulless prayer. It is only to say, “I have prayed.”
 
My Muslim brother! Submissiveness in prayer is a great matter. Many people have neglected it to the extent that you hardly see someone who is submissive in his prayer.
 
The Prophet, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, has told us that submissiveness is the first thing that will be removed from this nation.
 
The Prophet, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, has said, “The first thing that will be removed from this nation is submissiveness until you will not see anyone who is humble.” [Reported by al-Albâni 542 in the Book of Sahîh At-Targhîb, He said: It is good and authentic]
 
«أول شيء يرفع من هذه الأمة الخشوع، حتى لا ترى فيها خاشعا» الألباني، حسن صحيح
 
O you who pray! Where is your heart when you stand before your Lord, the Exalted?
 
Is it with you while you are praying? Or is it missing from prayers, away from you?
 
Only few people understood the meaning of prayer and started it with a sincere intention. Some scholars said, “Prayer is (something) from the Hereafter. When you start it, you go out from this worldly life.”
 
Whenever Zain Al-’Abedîn ‘Ali ibn Al-Hussein,may Allah be pleased with him and his father, performed ablution, his color changed and went yellow. And when he is asked, “What is wrong with you?” he used to say, “Do you know before Which Hands I am going to stand?”
 
Ar-Rabî’ ibn Khaytham, may Allah have mercy on him, said, “I have never started a prayer with concern of anything except of what I say and what is being said to me.”
 
Allah Almighty has praised His close slaves by being humbly submissive during prayer. Allah Exalted says, {Successful indeed are the believers. (1) Those who offer their Salât (prayers) with all solemnity and full submissiveness.} [Surat Al-Mu’minûn 23:1-2]
 
{قَدْ أَفْلَحَ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ ﴿١﴾ الَّذِينَ هُمْ فِي صَلَاتِهِمْ خَاشِعُونَ ﴿٢﴾} المؤمنون: 1-2
 
Transliteration: Qad aflaha almuminoona (1) Allatheena hum fee salatihim khashiAAoona (2)
 
Ibn ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with him and his father, said, “When they wanted to perform prayer, they devoted themselves to their prayer, lowered their gazes at the point of their prostration. Moreover, they knew that Allah is looking at them. Thus, they never turn their faces to the right nor at the left.”
 
Al-Hasan Al-Basri, may Allah have mercy on him, said, “Their humble submissiveness was in their hearts, so; they lowered their gazes and became humble.”
 
My Muslim brother! Being not submissive during praying has become the disease of many people. Some people enter into prayer with a weak intention. Whoever has such intention will never perform a submissive prayer. On the contrary, his prayer will be merely performed movements which are meaningless. Moreover, whoever has such state will not taste the sweetness and fruits of prayer. What is greater than that,  is that his concentration will be directed to ending it. Thus, he will hasten to finish its pillars and movements until he finishes his prayer.
 
Whoever has such a state, his prayer will not be accepted. Moreover, he will be among those who wasted it.
 
The Prophet, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, has severely forbidden such way of performing prayer. And he, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, warned against this in many Hadiths.
 
The Messenger of Allah, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, has said, “The prayer of a man does not count unless he straightens his back in rukû’ (bowing down) and sujûd (prostrating).” [Reported by An-Nasâ’i 1026, ibn Majah 717 and deemed authentic by Al-Albâni]
 
«لا تجزئ صلاة لا يقيم الرَّجل فيها صلبه في الرُّكوع والسُّجود» رواه النسائي وابن ماجه وصححه الآلباني
 
He, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, has said, “A man may perform prayer for sixty years, and none of it will be accepted. It may be that he completes the bowing but not the prostration or completes the prostration but not the bowing.” [Classified as good by al-Albani 529- Book of Sahîh At-Targhîb]
 
«إنَّ الرَّجل ليصلي ستين سنة وما تقبل له صلاة، لعله يتمّ الرُّكوع، ولا يتمّ السُّجود، ويتمّ السُّجود ولايتمّ الرُّكوع»  حسَّنه الألباني 529 في صحيح التَّرغيب  
 
Abû ‘Abdullah Al-Ash’ari, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Messenger of Allah, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, saw a man who was not completing bowing down and who was pecking prostration during praying. Therefore, the Messenger of Allah, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, has said, “Do you see this? Whoever dies upon this (case) will die upon other than the religion and way of Muhammad.” Then, the Messenger of Allah, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, said, “The likeness of the one who pecks at his bowing and prostration is like a famished man who only eats one or two dates, so what will they avail him?” [Reported by Ibn Khuzaymah 665 and classed as good by al-Albâni]
 
وعن أبي عبد الله الأشعري -رضي الله عنه- أنَّ رسول الله -صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم- رأي رجلًا لا يتمُّ ركوعه، وينقر في سجوده وهو يصلِّي فقال رسول الله -صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم-: «أترون هذا من مات على هذا، مات على غير ملَّة محمَّد» ثمَّ قال رسول الله -صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم-: «مثل الَّذي يركع وينقر في سجوده كالجائع لا يأكل إلا التَّمرة والتَّمرتين فماذا تغنيان عنه» رواه ابن خزيمة 665 وحسَّنه الألباني
 
The Messenger of Allah, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, said, “The worst kind of theft is one who steals from his prayer.” The Companions asked, “How can someone steal from their prayer?” He said, “He does not fulfill (the conditions of) its bowing down nor its prostration.” [Reported by Al-Albâni 534 classed as authentic by means of another Hadith]
 
«وأسوأ السَّرقة الَّذي يسرق صلاته قالوا: وكيف يسرق صلاته؟ قال: لا يتم ركوعها و لا سجودها» رواه الألباني 534 وقال: صحيحٌ لغيره
 
The Messenger of Allah, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, has said, “Allah Glorified and Exalted does not look at the prayer of a person who does not straighten his back between his bowings and his prostrations.” [Deemed authentic by Al-Albâni in Book of Mishkât Al-Masâbîh]
 
«لا ينظر الله -عزَّ وجلَّ- إلى صلاة عبد لا يقيم فيها صلبه بين ركوعها وسجودها» صحَّحه الألباني في تخريج مشكاة المصابيح
 
My Muslim brother! When you stand to perform prayer, remember that you are standing between the Hands of the King of the kings who knows the secret and what is [even] more hidden.
 
You stand between the Hands of Allah Almighty five times a day. So, have you felt the Greatness of the One between Whose Hands you stand?
 
If you did not feel (the influence of) that, hold yourself responsible for that and remind it of the Greatness of this situation.
 
It was narrated that while Ar-Rabî’ ibn Khaytham, may Allah have mercy on him, was praying, his horse was stolen. His servant said, “How come that your horse is stolen while you are looking at it?” He said, “I was standing between the hands of Allah Glorified and Exalted. So, I was not to turn my face away from Allah Glorified and Exalted.”
 
It was narrated that while Ya’qûb Al-Qari’, may Allah have mercy on him, was praying, a thief came and took his garment. The thief went with the garment to his companions who knew to whom it belongs. They said, “Give it back to the righteous man. We fear his supplication (against you).” The thief took the garment, put it back on his shoulders and apologized for his deed. When the man finished his prayer, he was informed with the matter. He said, “I have not felt who has taken it or who has brought it back.”
 
‘Amer ibn ‘Abdullah, may Allah have mercy on him, was asked, “Does your soul think about anything while you are praying?” He said, “Yes. It thinks about standing between the Hands of Allah Glorified and Exalted. And that my destiny is to the Home of the Hereafter. They asked, “Do you think about something of the maters of this worldly life as we do?” He said, “To be thrown by many spears in (various parts of) my body is better for me than thinking about something of what you think about during prayer.”
 
My Muslim brother! This is the case of the righteous who live the moments of prayer by their hearts. They do not mix it with anything of the matters of this worldly life nor the shares of the soul which is persistent enjoiner of evil.
 
Whoever has such a state will undoubtedly gain a lot of his prayer. O you who pray! Meditate on the situations of the people of humble submission by an eye of contemplation and consideration. Compare your state to theirs and then call yourself to account because of your negligence and heedlessness.
 
O you who pray! Do not think that wasting prayers just means praying them after their fixed due times. Whoever does not achieve submissiveness during his prayer and does not fulfill its pillars is considered among those who waste prayer, too.
 
Allah says: {So woe unto those performers of Salât (prayers) (hypocrites), [4]. Those who delay their Salât (prayer from their stated fixed times).} [Surat Al-Mâ’ûn 107:4-5]
 
فَوَيْلٌ لِلْمُصَلِّينَ (٤) الَّذِينَ هُمْ عَنْ صَلاتِهِمْ سَاهُونَ} الماعون:4-5}
 
Transilteration: Fawaylun lilmusalleena (4) Allatheena hum AAan salatihim sahoona (5)
 
Abû Al-’Aliyah, may Allah have mercy on him, said that this verse means “Those who do not pray on the fixed due time and do not fulfill their bowing down and their prostration.”
 
O brother! Do you know what “Al-Wail” is?
 
It is the pus of the people of Hellfire which flows at its bottom. Moreover, it is the drink of the people of Hellfire.
 
Call yourself to account and ask yourself, “Can you endure such torture?” Today, you shall work without being called to account but tomorrow, you shall be called to account without having a chance to work.”
 
Beware of being among those who waste the limits of prayer and its submissiveness. When you enter into prayer, do it with a sincere intention as you are turning to a secret talk with the One who is overtaken neither by slumber nor by sleep.
 
My Muslim brother! How ugly the case of a Muslim is when he prays without submissiveness and turns to Allah during prayers with insincere intention!
 
The virtue and honor of prayer is great. O you who are forgetful! How can you be satisfied while you are wasting all such blessings!
 
Or do you wish your case to be as ‘Umar ibn Al-Khattâb said, “The man may grow old in Islam and he has never fulfilled a prayer for Allah Almighty.” He was asked, “How is that?” He said, “If he does not fulfill its submissiveness and humbleness along with fully giving his attention to Allah Glorified and Exalted.”
 
My Muslim brother! Let not your state be like that of the heedless. Whenever he enters into prayer, his mind gets busy with distractions, and whispers surround him.
 
Some people do not remember their matters until they enter into prayers. He is praying with his body but his heart is in another universe.
 
He remembers his projects. How much did he win? How much did he lose?
He remember what he has given, and what he has taken.
He remembers what he has said and what he has been told.
He thinks where he is going to go today. What is he going to do?
 
O you who pray! You should know that prayer stirs the rage of the Satan. The Devil is never contented with seeing you prostrating for Allah Almighty and turning to His remembrance and secret talk.
 
On the contrary, he is pleased when you are among the heedless of their prayer and the negligent from performing it.
 
‘Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her, said that she has asked the Messenger of Allah, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, about looking hither and thither in prayer. He replied, “It is a way of stealing by which Satan takes away (a portion) from the prayer of a person.” [Reported by al-Bukhari, 751]
 
«عن عائشة -رضي الله عنها-، قالت: سألت رسول الله -صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم- عن الالتفات في الصَّلاة؟ فقال: هو اختلاس يختلسه الشَّيطان من صلاة العبد»رواه البخاري 751  
 
Therefore, guard your prayer against the cunning of Satan. Thus, when you enter into prayer, do it with a sincere intention and devotion to the One between Whose Hands you stood to have a secret talk with Him, Exalted and Almighty. Check your heart during praying and if you find it heedless, bring it back to the (right) path. Do not give free rein to it lest it runs away from you and leaves you during prayer. By this way, you will perform prayer merely by your body.
 
If you intend to pray, the first thing you should do is to empty your heart from everything occupying it, so that you will enter into prayer with an empty heart free from the matters of this worldly life.
 
For the previously mentioned, the Prophet, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, has said, “When the supper is brought and the prayer begins, one should first take food.” [Reported by al-Bukhari 5464 and Muslim 557]
 
«إذا أقيمت الصَّلاة وحضر العشاء، فابدؤوا بالعشاء» رواه البخاري و مسلم
 
The Prophet, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, has also said, “No prayer can be (rightly said) when the food is there (before the worshipper), or when he is prompted by the call of nature.” [Reported by Muslim 560]
 
«لا صلاة بحضرة الطَّعام، ولا هو يدافعه الأخبثان» رواه مسلم
 
‘Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her, said that the Messenger of Allah, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, prayed in a Khamisa (a square garment) having marks. During the prayer, he looked at its marks. Therefore, when he finished the prayer he said, “Take this Khamisa of mine to Abu Jahm and get me his Inbijaniya (a woolen garment without marks) as it (the Khamisa) has diverted my attention from the prayer.” [Reported by al-Bukhari 373]
 
«أنَّ النَّبيَّ -صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم- صلَّى في خميصةٍ لها أعلام، فنظر إلى أعلامها نظرة، فلمَّا انصرف، قال: اذهبوا بخميصتي هذه إلى أبي جهم، وأتوني بأنبجانية أبي جهم فإنَّها ألهتني آنفًا عن صلاتي» رواه البخاري
 
Abû Ad-Darâ’, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “It is a sign of the understanding of man to do what he needs before entering into prayer so that he enters into it with unoccupied heart.”
 
My Muslim brother! It is prayer. It is the best reward that you save for yourself in this worldly life and the Hereafter. Do not waste it and hold it tightly.
 
Some of the ancestors were asked, “Do you remember anything while you are praying?” He answered, “Is there anything which is more beloved to me than prayer to the extent that I remember it during prayer?”
 
It was narrated that a man prayed in one of his gardens where the palm trees were full of fruits. He looked at it and he was impressed by this, so; he forgot how many prostrations he had performed. He informed ‘Uthmân, may Allah be pleased with him, of this and said, “I give it as a charity, so; spend it in the way of Allah, Glorified and Exalted.” After that, ‘Uthmân sold it for fifty thousand.
 
This is the way by which the righteous used to hold themselves accountable in order to lead them to the way of guidance and success.
 
How far you are, my brother, from calling yourself to account!
 
Are you among those who check their hearts?
How are you when you enter into prayer?
What is your condition when you finish it?
 
These are some questions that should be taken into consideration by every wise man in order not to be among the heedless.
 
My Muslim brother! You should know that submissiveness of prayer lies in the heart. If the heart becomes humbly submissive, all the parts of the body will be submissive too.
 
‘Umar ibn Al-Khattab, may Allah be pleased with him, saw a man who lowered his neck during prayer. ‘Umar said, “O you the owner of this neck! Raise your neck. Submissiveness is not in necks but it is in the hearts.”
 
Hudhayfah, May Allah be pleased with him, said, “Beware of the submissiveness of hypocrisy.” He was asked, “What is the submissiveness of hypocrisy?” he said, “It is when you see the body submissive while the hearts is not submissive.”
 
When the heart is upright during prayer, it will have an amazing influence that the one who is praying will find in himself. In addition, he will feel its fruits after fulfilling his prayer.
 
My Muslim brother! The one who is submissive in his prayer will be successful in this worldly life and in the Hereafter. In this worldly life, he gains the fruits of prayer which is gained by the people of submissiveness. In the Hereafter, he gains the pleasure of Allah Almighty and he enters Paradise.
 
The Prophet, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, has said, “If anyone performs ablution well then stands and prays two rak’ahs without negligence, all his previous sins will be forgiven.” [Reported by Abû Dawûd 905 and classed as good by Al-Albâni]
 
«من توضأ فأحسن وضوءه ثمَّ صلَّى ركعتين لا يسهو فيهما غفر له ما تقدَّم من ذنبه» رواه أبو داود و حسنه الألباني
 
The Messenger of Allah, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, has said, “If anyone performs ablution well, then stands and prays two rak’ahs; embarking on them with his heart as well as his countenance, Paradise would be guaranteed to him.” [Reported by Abû Dawûd 906 and deemed authentic by Al-Albâni]
 
«ما من أحد يتوضأ فيحسن الوضوء ويصلِّي ركعتين يقبل بقلبه ووجهه عليهما إلا وجبت له الجنَّة» رواه أبو داود و صححه الألباني
 
The Messenger of Allah, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, has said, “Allah, the Exalted, has made five prayers obligatory. If anyone performs ablution for them well, offers them at their (fixed due) time, and observes perfectly their bowing and submissiveness in them, it is the guarantee of Allah that He will pardon him. If anyone does not do so, there is no guarantee for him on the part of Allah; He may pardon him if He wills, and punish him if He wills.” [Reported by Abû Dawûd 425 and it is deemed authentic by Al-Albâni]
 
«خمس صلوات افترضهنَّ الله -تعالى- من أحسن وضوءهنَّ وصلاهنَّ لوقتهن وأتمَّ ركوعهنَّ وخشوعهنَّ كان له على الله عهد أن يغفر له ومن لم يفعل فليس له على الله عهد إن شاء غفر له وإن شاء عذبه»  رواه أبو داود و صححه الألباني
 
My Muslim brother! This is submissiveness and this is its virtue along with the threats against those who are negligent in it.
 
Look into your condition and think deeply of your prayer. How do you perform it?
 
The prayer is not accepted from all those who pray, as you have known. So, call yourself into account and check your state in your prayer.
 
The first step in this is to learn how to pray exactly as the Prophet, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, has performed it. All the praises and thanks be to Allah Almighty that books concerning this subject are available.
 
Secondly, do not be negligent in the deeds that are relevant to prayer such as ablution. Many people are not keen on performing ablution as it is reported from the Prophet, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him. The Muslim should follow the steps of the Prophet, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, in this and in other things, too.
 
Thirdly, correcting one’s intention: you should turn to prayer faithfully and sincerely without wishing to be seen by anyone or doing it for the sake of anyone. You should pray for Allah Almighty turning to Him and begging His pleasure.
 
Fourthly, remember that you are standing between the Hands of Allah Almighty, the King of the kings, the One Who no vision can grasp.
 
Fifthly, free your heart from any distractions that occupy it, as previously mentioned.
 
Sixthly, when you enter into prayer, always check your heart. Whenever you feel heedlessness, bring it back to the right way.
 
Finally, O brother, be keen that your deeds are accepted. Keep asking Allah Almighty to help you perform the acts of obedience and to grant you its rewards and merits.
 
All the praises and thanks be to Allah Almighty. Prayers and peace of Allah be upon our Prophet Muhammad, and upon all his family and companions.
 
 
Azhari Ahmed Mahmoud
Ibn Khuzaymah House
 

 

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