CULTURE OF ISLAM

111 Salaah - Point 1
Imtiaz Muhsin 04-Jan-13

The main objective of these talks (and therefore the scripts of these talks), is to stimulate thinking. Sensible, rational and logical thinking. So, my message, think, think & think! Be sensible, be rational and be logical.

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111 Salaah - Point 1

Please Note
1. I have had the great privilege, (since Aug 2010), of presenting talks on the weekly Radio Program ‘Culture of Islam’ [Every Friday 8 to 8.30 pm, Radio Sri Lanka - FM 97.4] 2. Since these are Radio Talks, I refer to, or address the audience as ‘listeners’ 3. I am well aware that the audience to these talks would consist of people belonging to a variety of faiths. So as to make people of all faiths feel included, I very often use words and names that are common to all religions. 4. For these reasons, I use the name GOD, as well as Abraham, Moses, Jesus etc as well as the names Allah, Ibrahim (Alaihis Salaam), Moosa (Alaihis Salaam), Easa (Alaihis Salaam) etc 5. Muslims by habit usually say ‘Sallallahu Alaihiwasallam’, when the name of Prophet Muhammad is mentioned, and ‘Alaihis Salaam' when the name of a Prophet is mentioned. However, in these series of talks I have reduced the use of these prayers & sayings to the bare minimum. 6. Muslims, also by habit, use a number of Arabic prayers or sayings, such as Alhamdulillah, Insha Allah and so on. Again, I have reduced the use of these prayers or sayings to the bare minimum. 7. Sometimes I have to write Arabic words in the English script. I have devised my own way of writing Arabic in English, as follows;

‫ت‬ ‫ط‬

th TH

‫س‬ ‫ث‬ ‫ص‬

s Ss SW

‫ض‬ ‫ظ‬

DHL DHZ

‫ه‬ ‫ح‬

H h

‫ع‬ ‫غ‬

Gh GH

    

Information on these talks along with all download links can be found on my on my Blog (http://imtiazm.wordpress.com/) The dates or the schedules of these talks can be viewed on the Facebook Page (http://www.facebook.com/ImtiazMuhsin786) The Scripts of these talks can be downloaded from www.ScribD.com (www.ScribD.com Author – Imtiaz Muhsin) The audio files of these talks can be downloaded from YouTube (YouTube Channel – Imtiaz Muhsin) The YouTube Link to this talk is at

All Praise and Thanks is due to Allah and Allah alone Alhamdulillah!

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111 Salaah - Point 1

111 Salaah - Point 1
Dear Friends, Assalamu Alaikum, Alhamdulillah, we are at the dawn of a New Year. I take this opportunity to wish all you listeners a New Year full of blessings and pray that all of us receive guidance towards understanding the great mysteries of the Universe, especially the mysteries surrounding the purposes of our creation; and also pray that we be guided towards fulfilling with devotion and sincerity the objectives or the purposes of our short but immensely valuable lives. The topic for today’s talk is the phrase ‘Wa YuQeemoonas Swalaath’. Now what does ‘Wa YuQeemoonas Swalaah’ mean? The most common translation is ‘and establish Swalaath’ By the way, listeners may notice that I use the word Swalaath as well as the word Swalaah. What would be the difference? Both words mean the same. However, in Arabic it is Swalaah if the word appears at the end of a sentence and it is Swalaath if the word appears anywhere else in the sentence. Now, what is Swalaah? Almost every Muslim would immediately reply – ‘Swalaah means prayer’ They may even add that it especially refers to the obligatory daily 5 times prayers as well as the many optional prayers. Now I ask a simple question. You may even call it a stupid question. Does Swalaah really mean prayer? Prayer, as we understand it? It appears to be a very simple question, with a very simple answer, but then, when attempting to find or to give a true answer, the task becomes fascinatingly complex. To demonstrate what I mean by complex, let me, as an example, cite the topic for today’s talk. The topic is the phrase ‘Wa YuQeemoonas Swalaath’ If Swalaath means ‘Prayer’ then ‘Wa YuQeemoonas Swalaath’ would have to mean ‘and establish Prayer’ Now, I ask a simple question. You may even, again, call it another stupid question. ‘How do I establish prayer’ or ‘how do I establish swalaath’? Again, most Muslims would give prompt answers. I call it the reflex answers. Many of us would answer, ‘It is a ritual, which, if performed correctly, is the means to obtaining all our needs in this world and the hereafter’ Let me repeat that again. ‘It is a ritual, which, if performed correctly, is the means to obtaining all our needs in this world and the hereafter’ But then think and think again. Is this not a programmed answer? Is this not what we have been repeatedly taught, and do we not, all of us, accept this response without even thinking? Are we convinced with this answer? Whilst providing this answer, do not all of us have this disturbing feeling, deep within us, that the answers we are giving or listening to, is not complete. There is something missing!

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111 Salaah - Point 1

What is ‘this something’ that is missing? Is it possible to ‘learn an answer’ or even to ‘discover an answer’, that would be so profound and so convincing, that we would all say ‘Yes, that is it!’ It should be sensible, logical, rational, based on and corraborated by the many other Aayaths in the Quran that describes Swalaath. That is what we should be seriously looking for. So the talk on ‘Wa YuQeemoonas Swalaath’ is going to be more complex than we all first thought and believe me it is going to be more fascinating – Insha Allah! So, for this talk, it is necessary that I describe a few other points or topics, all of which would contribute towards the better understanding of the word Swalaah and the phrase ‘Wa YuQeemoonas Swalaath’ At present I think it necessary to explain or to elaborate on five points, before I can begin discussing the phrase ‘Wa YuQeemoonas Swalaath’ Let me, ever so briefly, first read out to you, the headings of the 5 points that I wish to discuss. The First Point would be a brief review of the 3 earlier phrases that I have gone through over the last few weeks. This is very important, because I am taking the phrase ‘Wa Aqeemus Swalaath’ from the 12 phrases that make up the first 5 Aayaths of Surah Baqarah. I discussed those 3 phrases before coming to the phrase ‘Wa Aqeemus Swalaath’ because in the sequence that I am following, those 3 phrases lead up to describing this phrase. The Second Point, would be for us to understand the meaning of the word Swabr. Many of us face trying situations in life. Whilst facing these tribulations we realize that we must practise patience. But then do we understand the true meaning and nature of patience? Is what we are trying to practise really patience or is it something else? Frightening thought isn’t it? Here too, you could ask the question, “To understand ‘Wa Aqeemus Swalaath’ why should I first have to know about or learn about patience?” To answer this question only, let me read to you Aayath No 153 from Surah Baqarah;
(2:153) O you who believe, seek help through patience and prayer. Surely, Allah is with those who are patient.

‫يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذين آمنُوا استَعِينُوا بِالصْب والصَلة ۚ إِنَ اّللَمع‬ َ َ َّ َّ ِ َ َّ َ ِ ْ َّ ْ َ َ ِ ﴾﴿ ‫الصابِرِين‬ ٣٥١ َ َّ

The Third Point, also a very interesting point is to discuss the changes that have been taking place in the Muslim world over the last 1400 years. Now this point sounds far removed from the topic ‘Wa Aqeemus Swalaath’. In fact I am including this point after considerable thinking. All of us know, rather vaguely that the Muslim World has faced a number of massive trials and tribulations over its history of 1400 years. All of us must understand that these massive turmoils and turbulations has to have had considerable impact on how we view or understand the Quran or even how we view and understand anything that we consider Islamic or of interest to Muslims. So what were these trials and tribulations? What were the responses of the Muslim World towards these trials? What would have been their overall effects?

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111 Salaah - Point 1

It is through this description that all of us would begin to understand how many new concepts that we now call ‘Islamic’ has to have emerged over the ages. Are they the still the pure original concepts or have these concepts been warped? Necessary to find out isn’t it? Maybe, Insha Allah, with this knowledge, we could seriously try to work out what the original pristine pure concepts as described in the Quran should really mean. I am sure all listeners would enjoy listening to the research done on this point as much as I enjoyed doing the research. The Fourth Point, this is also a very important point, a very revealing point. The word Swalaath appears 99 times in the Quran. If we actually want to know as to what Swalaath really is, we should at least, try to read and understand all 99 of these Aayaths. Do not be surprised if at the beginning most of these Aayaths do not seem to make much sense. But if we were to continue to patiently persevere, one by one the meanings would begin to dawn on us. Just to demonstrate how much research and thinking we should be doing, let me read to you two Aayaths from the Quran. These are two Aayaths that inform us about those who perform Swalaah. But then, one Aayath describes them as successful and the other describes them as those desererving misfortune – what a difference! Why is there this difference? Let me read these two Aayaths; First from Surah Mu’minoon
(23:1) Successful indeed are the believers

(23:2) Those who in their Swalaah are humble;

﴾﴿ ‫الَّذين هم ِِف صَل ِِِتم خاشعون‬ ٢ َ ُِ َ ْ َ َ ْ ُ َ ِ

﴾﴿ َ‫قَد أَفْل َح اْلُؤمنُون‬ ٣ َ ِْْ َ ْ

From Surah Maaoon
(107:4) So, Woe to those performers of Salāh

(107:5) who are neglectful of their Salāh

﴾﴿ ‫الَّذين هم عَن صَل ِِِتم ساهون‬ ٥ َ ُ َ ْ َ َ ْ ُ َ ِ

﴾﴿ ‫فَويْل لِّلْمصلِّني‬ ٤ َ َُ ٌ َ

So, how can someone be a performer of Swalah – a MuSwalli - whilst at the same time be neglecting the Swalaah? The Fifth Point what would Swalaath really mean. Understanding it by reading other Aayaths of the Quran where the word Swalaath is mentioned or even described – there is so much to learn here. And then after discussing these 5 points, Insha Allah, I could attempt to now describe ‘Wa Aqeemus Swalaath’ this would be the holistic picture. The explanation that we would have built up through all the points that I have discussed – Insha Allah, there should be so much material for what I like to describe as ‘intellectual stimulation’

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111 Salaah - Point 1

So today I would be concentrating on the first point. The other points, Insha Allah would be discussed in future talks, again, Insha Allah. The First Point I find that the first 5 Aayaths of Surah Baqarah make up one lot, and contains immense meaning and is a good base or introduction to understanding the rest of the Quran. To understand these 5 Aayaths I am discussing them through the phrases that make up these 5 Aayaths. Altogether there are 11 phrases, we could say there are 12 phrases if we were to consider the combination of the letters Alif Laam Meem from the first Aayath as a phrase too. Out of these 11 or 12 phrases, in my last few talks I have thus far spoken on 3 phrases. The three phrases were,
   Zaalikal Kithaab or in that Book, Laa Raiyba Feehi, or there is no doubt in it, and Yu’minoona Bil ghaib or believe in the unseen

Now let me read the two Aayaths that contain those three phrases;
(2:2) This Book has no doubt in it - a guidance for the MutthaQeen (or the Godfearing) (2:3) who believe in the Unseen, and establish their Salāh, and spend out of what We have provided them;

ِ ِ ِ ‫الَّذين يُؤمنُون بِالْغَيْب ويُقِيمون الصَلةَ وِمَّا رزَقْنَاهم‬ َ ْ َ ْ ُ َ َ َ َّ َ ُ َ ِ ﴾﴿ ‫يُنفقون‬ ١ َ ُِ

﴾﴿ ‫ذََلَ ِك الْكتَاب َل ريْب ۛ فِيه ۛ هدى لِّلْمتَّقِني‬ ٢ َ ُ ً ُ ِ َ َ َ ُ ِ َ ٰ

In short God points out to us 3 diagnostic qualities of a MutthaQi. What are they?  Yu’minoona Bil ghaib or believe in the unseen  Wa YuQeemoonas Swalaatha, those who establish Swalaah, and  Wa Mimmaa RazaQnaaHum YunfiQoon, and those who spend out of what We have provided them Now, to many of us, these three qualites would be ‘stand alone’ qualites. What I mean is that we would not think that these spell out some sequence, a very meaningful sequence. I am, sure if I were to ask you to describe the sequence, many of you would not be able to discern one. My thinking is that not only has there to be a sequence in these 3 qualities but each quality has to flow from the other. For example, it is only those who possess the quality ‘Yu’minoona Bil ghaib’ could effectively attempt the ‘Wa YuQeemoonas Swalaatha’, and it is only those who then establish the Swalaah that can ‘Mimmaa RazaQnaaHum YunfiQoon’ or spend out of what Allah has provided them! That might have sounded like a mouthful. So let me describe it more clearly. This is very very necessary. When God tells us ‘Yu’minoona Bil ghaib’ or to believe in the unseen, my reflex question to this would be, ‘What, believe in the unseen, how can I do that? Surely we can only believe what we see?

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111 Salaah - Point 1

After all, we often say ‘Seeing is believing’ But then, this is an instruction in the Quran. So we must think. We must work it out. So then I begin to think, ‘Is God pointing out to me, to us, that all that we see is really delusionary? It is all misleading. Is God not pointing out to me that in fact more than 90% of all my knowledge, or even all knowledge possessed by mankind is actually inferred knowledge and not seen knowledge? In fact I would even say that over 99% of the knowledge that I posses, is in fact inferred knowledge – it is not seen knowledge. Then does it mean that God is instructing me to make use of the speacial faculties that he has endowed humans with, the faculties of observing, thinking and inferring and is actually instructing me to use these faculties to infer what is not seen from observing what is seen, to infer as to how or what is actually running the universe. Is God not instructing me to diligently infer as to what is actual, the truth the real but hidden, the real but has to be sought out truth. The ultimate truth! So those who search out this inferred knowledge, or serch out the dynamic presence of the ‘unseen’ would now begin to make effort towards understanding, or benefitting, or the better description would be, falling in line with this ‘unseen’ but inferred knowledge. Now I come to the phrase Laa Raiyba Feehi. Which means ‘in which there is no doubt’ So God is telling us that the Kithaab or His Kithaab contains no doubt whatsoever. Which would also mean that all His Aayaths or all the Signs of God contain no doubt. So when we are told that the Mutthaqi believes in the unseen, we are also being told that a diagnostic feature of these Signs or Aayaths, are that they contain no elements of doubt whatsoever. Everything we see in this world is surrounded by doubt, is delusionary and temporary, whilst all the Aayaths of Allah or the Signs of Allah have no doubt in them. So in other words, what should I seek in this life? Should I seek out the delusionary, temporary, materials of this world, all of which I can never be certain of acquiring, OR, Should I devote my life to recognizing and identifying the Signs of God, all of which have to inferred through the Signs or the Aayaths of God and all of which are definite and are not surrounded by doubt. The former would be the path of materialism and the latter the path spirituality. Let me very briefly repeat or elaborate on what I just stated. So there would now be two efforts made by people. One would be the efforts of those who only believe in the seen. This is delusional and temporary. The other is of those who strive in the path of the unseen. The efforts of those who believe in the seen would be to collect or to accumalte material wealth and to wield power. As I said, it is delusionary and temporary.

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111 Salaah - Point 1

Their efforts, their focus, their drive would be on the external materials. They would aspire to be Doctors, Lawyers, Engineers, Politicains, CEO’s and so on. They would aspire to own and possess material wealth. Luxury Houses, Luxury Vehicles, Plantations, Factories, Holiday Homes etc etc. Now the efforts or the focus of those who now believe in the unseen would be very different. They would aspire to be; The Mu’mineen – those who really believe, The Swaadiqeen – those who are truthful The Mukhliseen – those who are sincere The Khaashigheen – those who are humble And so on. Now let me tell you something very very revealing. To those who believe in the unseen, the effort necessary or the process that has to be put in to practise to becoming a Mu’min or a Swaadiq or a Mukhlis or to be of the Khaashigheen and so on is what we call SWalaath. It is the transforming process. It is very very important to every Muslim, to every believer, to every person who wishes to get to know God better. This process is very important to all those who wish to get to know the ultimate truth of life, the ultimate knowledge that empowers and that knowledge that liberates. Swalaath is that process that transforms us. Very enlightening isn’t it? So how do we perform this Swalaath that would make us these fine personalities? So now when you take on the task of inferring and begin to believe in the unseen, you would necessarily begin to seek out the truths by doing research in to the Aayaths as pointed out to us in the Kithaab, and then Insha Allah, gradually you will begin to acquire the diagnostic qualities of these personalities. Then we have the question. ‘We know what a Doctor a Lawyer, and Engineer, a Computer Systems Analyst etc should do, so what should the Mu’min the Swaadiq the Mukhlis and those of the Khaashigheen etc do?’ Well God gives these people special gifts and it is out of those special gifts that God instructs them to spend. Let me read those two Aayaths to you once again;
(2:2) That Book has no doubt in it - a guidance for the God-fearing, (2:3) who believe in the Unseen, and establish their Salāh, and spend out of what We have provided them;

ِ ِ ِ ‫الَّذين يُؤمنُون بِالْغَيْب ويُقِيمون الصَلةَ وِمَّا رزَقْنَاهم‬ َ ْ َ ْ ُ َ َ َ َّ َ ُ َ ِ ﴾﴿ ‫يُنفقون‬ ١ َ ُِ

﴾﴿ ‫ذََلِك الْكتَاب َل ريْب ۛ فِيه ۛ هدى لِّلْمتَّقِني‬ ٢ َ ُ ً ُ ِ َ َ َ ُ ِ َ ٰ

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111 Salaah - Point 1

Do you now not see the sequence? Is it not now obvious or clearer, how one flows to, and from, the other? I think that needs repeating and elaborating. Let me do so in point form. 1. When God says ‘That Book’ (Zaalikal Kithaab) he is pointing out to us his Aayath or His Signs in the Universe, in the creations of the Universe and the Earth and the amazing phenomena that He has established that run this Universe. He is also pointing out to us His signs or His Aayaths within our selves – possibly our qualities our personalities. 2. God describes that book as Laa Raiyba Feehi – there is no doubt in it Which also means that everything else contains doubts. Our lives, our health, our careers, the desires, needs and wants that we run behind, the hopes, plans and ambitions, all have huge chunks of doubt embedded in them. 3. God then describes to us 3 diagnostic qualities of the Mutthaqi. The first of these qualities is what God describes as ‘Yu’minoona bil ghaib’ that is that the MutthaQi would believe in the unseen. Which also means that he will observe the seen world, but then he would also observe the delusionary and temporary nature of everything he sees. But then he would also through his observations, he would make inferences, and this would lead him to an enlightened knowledge the knowledge or the belief in the unseen. The Mutthaqi would infer from what he sees that there is an unseen power an unseen arrangement that is running the world. The Aayaths of the Quran would provide to him the pointers to assist him in identifying the unseen, establish in his mind that the unseen that he is inferring all have the quality of being without any doubt. Let me give an easy to understand example. We see life, but life is doubtful, we do not know when it is going to end. We cannot see death, but we have no doubt that death will reach everyone. We plan our lives – it is full of doubt. We do not plan our deaths but we are aware that death is round the corner. 4. The person who believes in the unseen would begin to divert his efforts from the delusionary temporary material world to the real spiritual world of which there is no doubt – an important ingredient of this effort is Aqeemus Swalaath 5. As he proceeds on the path of spirituality he would acquire God given special spiritual qualities and he would spend out of these qualities. So I am sure listeners would have been able to easily grasp the flow, the sequence of;  Yu’minoona Bil ghaib or believe in the unseen, leading to;  Wa YuQeemoonas Swalaatha, those who establish Swalaah, leading to; and;  Wa Mimmaa RazaQnaaHum YunfiQoon, and those who spend out of what We have provided them Nice, isn’t it?

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111 Salaah - Point 1

What I spoke on today is the First point, explaining Salaah. There are 4 more points. Insha Allah next week my talk will be on the second point, which is, the meaning of the word Swabr because Allah Ta’aala informs us;

(2:153) O you who believe, seek help through patience and prayer. Surely, Allah is with those who are patient.

‫يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذين آمنُوا استَعِينُوا بِالصْب والصَلة ۚ إِن اّللَمع‬ َ َ َّ َّ ِ َ َّ َ ِ ْ َّ ْ َ َ ِ ﴾﴿ ‫الصابِرِين‬ ٣٥١ َ َّ

So Swabr is an important element to understanding or even acquiring the quality of Swalaath. I hope that all of you benefit from listening to these talks as much as I benefit from preparing and then presenting these talks to you. May Allah Ta’aalah guide us all and accept us all. Jazza Kalla Khairan. Assalamu Alaikum
Imtiaz Muhsin Colombo Sri Lanka crescent786@hotmail.com

You Tube Channel - HaneefanMusliman

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111 Salaah - Point 1

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