The Importance of Namaz (prayer)

The Namaz is a very dignified form of worship in the s'ght of Almighty Allah. It is dearest to Allah of all forms of .,.orship. Allah has prescribed for His servants the obliga-:ion of Namaz to be offered five times every day. To offer it regularly carries great reward, but to abandon it entails the commission of a grievous sin. It occurs in a Hadith that Al-*ah will award Paradise to a servant and forgive all his mi-nor sins on the Day of Judgement, who offers prayers with ,:arty devotion after performing ablution with due care and nice. The Holy Prophet has said that prayer is a pillar of the Deen (Faith). Thus, he who offers the prayer nicely maintains intact this pillar of the Faith, but he who pulls down this pillar (i e. abandons the prayer) destroys the Faith. The Holy Prophet has also said that on the Day of Judgement, the prayer will be the first to be questioned about; and on that day the hands, feet and faces of the Namazis will be shining like the sun, but the non-Namazis will be deprived of this distinction. Again, the Holy Prophet has said that on the Day of Judgement, the Namazis will be among the Prophets, the martyrs and the saints, where-as the non-Namazis will be dealt with along with Pharaoh, Nimrood, Qaroon (Korah) and other prominent infidels. That is why it is very essential for all Muslims to offer the prayers regularly. To neglect prayers entails huge loss of this world as well as of the Hereafter. What can be more grievous that non-Namazis will be dealt with along with the infidels and will be regarded as at par with the unbelievers! God forbid, how bad it is to abandon the prayers!

Prayer has been prescribed as an obligatory duty for a Muslims, except madmen, minor girls and boys. The pa-- ents have been commanded to make their children offe-prayers when they reach the age of seven years and tc beat them for not praying when they are ten years old. In no circumstances is it right to abandon prayers. One must try to offer prayers under all odds. No sin will lie against a person who misses a prayer because of forgetfulness c-falling into sleep. It is, however, obligatory for such a man_ as soon as he remembers or rises from sleep, to perform ablution and offer compensatory prayer without any loss of time. If the time is repulsive (Makrooh), he should wait a lit-tle till the passing away of the Makrooh moments. Similarly if one fails to complete his prayer owing to fainting, one in-curs no sin, but one is bound to offer compensatory prayer as soon as one regains one's senses.

The secret of our outer and inner health lies in Namaz; to be enabled to offer Namaz is a sign of its acceptability.

In one of his addresses Arif Billah, Hazrat Doctor Abdul Hayee Sahib said: Be regular in your prayer which is a great blessing. In prayer lies the secret of our outer and inner health, whether you do or do not under-stand this secret. So. accustom yourselves to prayer A time is sure to come when you shall realize that prayer is a great blessing conferred upon us by Allah. Once this reality has dawned upon you, you will not be able to give up praying despite yourself Until this happens, you will consider prayer to be a mere movement of your limbs and your mind will be wandering in all directions obsessed by all sorts of foul, dirty and indecent ideas, unm,ndful totally of the ele-ments and stages of the prayer you are offering Even so, I call upon you in all sincerity and for the sake of Allah to be punctual in your prayer, whatever the quality and standard of the prayer may be. Never give up praying, because by praying you are complying with Allah's command. This is an act which will bring salvation to you in the Hereafter. This will add weight to the scale of your good deeds. The prayer to which you are not attaching its due value today is expected to take you to Paradise. This very prayer with its prostrations will shine on your forehead with brilliance on the Day of Judgement. Devoid of rapt attention, depth of devotion and submission though your prayer may be, yet think awhile before whom you are standing hands folded and head-bowed; into whose august presence you have been graced to be admitted. What an unprecedebted hon-our it is for an humble servant I This is a very elevated sta-tion of life for you. Allah Almighty has said: Prostrate your-self before Me and attain nearness to Me. If your prostration takes you into the presence of Almighty Allah, it has a value, despite the fact that it may be lacking in due attention, submission and depth of sincerity. After all, it does possess the form of prostration. What does it indi-cate? If this your present prayer had not been accepted by Allah, you would not have been enabled to pray a second time. For Allah's sake appreciate and value this situation. The ability to persevere in prayer is in itself a sign of the acceptance of that prayer.

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