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Ritual Prayer - Its Meaning & Manner

Ritual Prayer - Its Meaning & Manner

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Ritual Prayer - Its Meaning & Manner
Ritual Prayer - Its Meaning & Manner

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Published by: Abdul Khaliq Muhammad on Jun 25, 2014
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06/20/2015

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Shaykh Muhammad Hisham Kabbani
Prayer is one of the central elements of Islamic practice and worship. Indeed, it is the second of the Five Pillars of Islam and, along with the testimony of faith, the pilgrimage to Mecca, fasting the month of Ramadan and paying the poor tax, forms the essential framework of religious life for Muslims. More than that, the observance of the ritual prayer forms the framework of each Muslims day, from the pre!dawn morning prayer to the night prayer that precedes sleep.
Prayer’s Importance in Islam
Prayer, in the ritual sense, is an obligation of the faith, to be performed five times a day by adult Muslims. "ccording to Islamic law, prayers have a variety of obligations and conditions of observance. #owever, beyond the level of practice, there are spiritual conditions and aspects of prayer which represent its essence.In the #oly $ur%n, "llah says&
 ودبعيل
 
إ
 
سناو
 
جلا
 
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مو
I created the jinn and humankind only that they might worship Me.
'hus, prayer first and foremost, is the response to this (ivine directive to worship the )reator. Prayer represents the individuals affirmation of servanthood before the *ord of )reation and submission to #is +mnipotent ill. It also represents a willing acknowledgment of our weakness and neediness by seeking (ivine -race, Mercy, "bundance and Forgiveness. Prayer, then, is a willful, directed action by the believer, seeking direct, unmediated communication with "llah, for Muslims believe that every human being is of interest to the (ivine. It also represents a concrete manifestation of the Islamic conception of freewill, in that the decision to pray is one that must be made by each individual. In this way, prayer is a uniuely /human0 form of worship, for all other creatures submit without uestion to "llahs ill and are engaged in #is praise, glorification and remembrance, as the #oly $ur%n asserts&
 هقف
 
 
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and there is not a thing but hymneth His praise; but ye understand not their praise.
Prayer, by its very nature, is a form of reuest or entreaty, and thus reuires the full conscious participation of the one praying, with will, intellect, body and soul. 'he one engaged in prayer is in direct connection with the )reator ho hears everything the supplicant says and responds 1 though not necessarily in the affirmative 1 to each reuest. 'his is the concrete manifestation of  "llahs role as 'he #earer, 'he "ware and 'he Responsive, which represent three of the ninety!nine #oly 2ames and "ttributes of "llah that form the basis of the Islamic conception of the (ivine.In Islam, there are two forms of prayer. +ne has ritual, formal reuirements and manners, which are essential to its correct observance. 'his is called 3al%t. 'he other form is supplicatory prayer, and in its more general sense, represents an open!ended conversation with "llah, which may occur at any time or place, with few restrictions or reuirements. It is called du4a.5
 
Supplication
'he term dua is derived from the "rabic verb meaning /to supplicate0 or /to call upon.0 +ther similar terms for such prayer are mun%6ah, nid%, and a7!7aru4a.Mun%6ah means /a secret conversation with "llah,0 usually with the intention of seeking delivery and relief. Referring to this form of prayer, "llah says in the #oly $ur%n&
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Say: Who delivereth you rom the darkness o the land and the sea! "e call upon Him humbly and in secret# $saying%: I we are delivered rom this $ear% we truly will be o the thankul.
2id% means /to call upon "llah while withdrawn from people.0 'he #oly $ur%n relates the story of the prophet 8achariah who, having no son, beseeched "llah in his old age to give him a successor to inherit his prophetic knowledge and duties&
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 & mention o the mercy o thy 'ord unto His servant (achariah. When he cried unto his 'ord a cry in secret# Saying: My 'ord)... give me rom *hy +resence a successor who shall inherit o me and inherit $also% o the house o ,acob- $It was said unto him%:  (achariah) 'o) We bring thee tidings o a son whose name is ,ohn; We have given the same name to none beore $him%.
 "7!7aru4a means /a loud entreaty to "llah for safety,0 as mentioned in the #oly $ur%n&
 
 
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/eore thee We sent $apostles% to many nations# and We alicted the nations with suering and adversity# that they might submissively entreat $Him%) 
Salat - Ritual Prayer
The Linguistic Root of Prayer: Salat
Ritual prayer in Islam, is called 3al%t, a word whose full meaning is best understood by examining its linguistic roots. +ne of the origins of 3al%t is the root word 3ilat which means /connection0 or /contact.0 +ne of Islams most renowned philosophers, Ibn Rushd, said&It derives from the word /connection0 93ilat: in that it connects the servant with his )reator, meaning that the prayer brings him near #is Mercy and connects him to #is -enerosity and #is #eavenly Paradise.'his word is also used in the context of close relations 93ilat ar!ra;im: whose connections with an individual are due to blood ties and are therefore imperishable in the eyes of the (ivine. In this sense, prayer is seen as the unseverable bond between the individual and his or her *ord.)ommenting on this, another renowned $ur%nic exegete, "l!$urtub< said&=
 
'he word 3al%t derives from the word 3ilat, one of the names of fire as when it is said, /'he wood is burned by fire.0 "l!$urtub< attributed six different meanings to the word 3al%t in his commentary of the #oly $ur%n&Prayer is the invocation of "llah> it is mercy, as when one says, /+ "llah, bestow prayers on Muhammad0> it is worship, as when "llah says, @BBD E EEHJJ@ EN @O /"nd their worship at the 9holy: #ouse0> it is a supererogatory prayer, as when "llah says,  @B@S EEEV@EWD EYNZJ /"nd en6oin upon thy people worship0> and it is "llahs praise, as when #e says, \E@E^ EBYEZ E @J EL J  E B@O /"nd had he not been one of those who glorify 9"llah:...0 Prayer is also recitation.
Salat in Shari‘ah
Ritual prayer is bound by detailed obligations and structure. It encompasses both obligatory 9far7: prayers, which are observed five times daily at specified intervals, as well as voluntary prayers, which are performed by the worshipper before or after the obligatory prayers as well as at other times.
The Oligatory !spect of Salat
Prophet Muhammad 9s: called prayer /the pillar of religion.0 2o fundamental element of Islam has been stressed as much as prayer in the #oly $ur%n. Indeed, "llah mentions it in over  verses of the holy text. "mong those that define its role in the religion of Islam are&
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Worship at i0ed hours hath been enjoined on the believers.
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/e guardians o your prayers# and o the midmost prayer.
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1njoin prayer on thy people# and be constant therein. We ask thee not to provide sustenance: We  provide it or thee. /ut the $ruit o% the Hereater is or righteousness.
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2ecite that which has been revealed to thee o the /ook# and observe +rayer. Surely# +rayer restrains one rom indecency and maniest evil# and remembrance o &llah indeed is the greatest virtue. &nd &llah knows what you do.
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$*hey will be% in 3ardens $o 4elight%: they will 5uestion each other# and $ask% o the sinners: 6What led you into Hell 7ire!8 *hey will say: 6We were not o those who prayed8 
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