Conditions of Prayer

Today we continued the series on salah and this time the topic was the condition of Salah.

The imam relayed a hadith in which the Prophet SAWS is reported to have said:

The Prophet (ﷺ) appointed Mu’adh (May Allah be pleased with him) as governor of Yemen, and at the time of his departure, he instructed him thus: “First of all, call the people to testify ‘La ilaha illallah’ (there is no true god except Allah) and that I (Muhammad) am the Messenger of Allah, and if they accept this (declaration of Faith), then tell them that Allah has enjoined upon them five Salat during the day and night; and if they obey you, tell them that Allah has made the payment of Zakat obligatory upon them. It should be collected from their rich and distributed among their poor.”

Dear brothers and sisters, if you ponder over the hadith it becomes clear that the first point after declaration of faith for the people was one of prayer. This is the level of importance that is placed upon this act of worship.

However, our religion is also one of ease and not overburdening us and so we have the following hadith reminded to us by the imam in which the Prophet SaWS is reported to have said:

“There are three whose actions are not recorded:a sleeper till he awakes, a boy till he reaches puberty, and an idiot aka mentally ill person till he is restored to reason.”

Dear brothers and sisters, we can deduce from this hadith that those who are impaired mentally are not to be held accountable.

For most of us, we are not in a position to judge if someone is mentally sound but it is a reminder that we are not to judge on others if we see them not praying. A polite and gentle reminder in the best of manners is enough and then we leave it to Allah SWT for we don’t know the private reasons behind anyone else and so must not judge them ourselves.

Another condition of prayer is that of the age of the individual. This is resolved today by the imam relaying the following hadith in which the Prophet SAWS is reported to have said:

“Command your children to perform Salat (prayer) when they are seven years old, and beat them for (not offering) it when they are ten, and do not let (boys and girls) sleep together”.

Dear brothers and sisters, we can conclude from this that our children are encouraged to pray whilst they are still in Primary School. This contrasts with the standards set in the society in which we live as usually children have very little to account for in school at that age.

We need to be mindful that Islam is the standard that we must adhere to. Everyone and everything else is inferior in comparison as the standards of our deen are delivered by Allah SWT through the best of all creation SAWS.

We need to therefore reset our mindset if we think that this age is too young because Allah SWT is our designer and our creator and He knows what exactly we are capable of and what our youth is capable of.

And for the sisters who enquire about the requirements to pray all year round, the imam relayed the following hadith in which the Prophet SAWS is reported to have told Aisha, may Allah SWT be pleased with her:

Mu’adha al-‘Adawiya said that when she asked ‘A’isha why one who has been menstruating must make up for her fast but not for her prayer, she replied, “That happened to us, and we were ordered to make up for the fast, but were not ordered to make up for the prayer.”

Dear brothers and sisters, our salah has exceptions and guidelines just like any other aspect of our faith. We need to be mindful that we offer salah in the correct manner and so this reminder concludes with 5 quick points to follow in order to make your salah accepted.

  1. Purity – Spend time performing wudu aka ablution correctly.
  2. Cover – Make sure your private parts are covered and for the brothers, make sure that your clothing is long enough so that when you go into sajada i.e. head on the floor that no part of your lower back or backside is showing as this invalidates the prayer.
  3. Qibla – Face the Qibla when praying. Apps on phones help when travelling and also a quick tip, all Sky satellite dishes in this country coincidentally face in that direction so just see where one is pointing to get an idea of Qibla.
  4. Make Intention – Begin your salah by making intention
  5. No Interruptions – That means, no phone sounds, no talking, no yawning, no fidgeting and remain still except for the actions of the salah.

Dear brothers and sisters, our salah is that important it stands besides the declaration of faith. Let’s use this series on Salah to remind ourselves and perfect our most important of acts of worship.

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