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20 I SPECIAL CHARITY FEATURE Passion Islam I June 2009
The Missing
Ingredient
in Our Salāh!
Imagine the inconvenience one what is happening around him. He and burdensome except for those
would have to undergo in arranging states that, so too is the pitiable state who are mindful.”
to meet the country’s president? of our salāh. That is, during our salāh, The ahādīth also explicitly state
Imagine the numerous phone calls we are so unmindful of Allah Y; it is that concentration in salāh is the
to parliament and the influence of the as though we also ‘fly’ in our own factor which determines the amount
rich and ‘powerful’ people that would world of thoughts (touring countless of reward one receives for the salāh.
be required just to arrange a simple destinations with neither a visa nor Nabi sallallahu alayhi wasallam
meeting with him? And finally, when a passport at hand!). It is only when has mentioned, “Whoever makes a
the scheduled time does arrive after the imām makes the salām, do we thorough wudu and then performs an
hours of anticipation, how alert and ‘awaken’ from our ‘slumber’ only to attentive salāh, while being mindful
ecstatic wouldn’t one be? Yet, the realise that the salāh has terminated! and conscious of what he says, will
‘prominent’ man, hard-pressed for These comments really serve complete his salāh with all his (minor)
time, would give one an inattentive as a perfect reflection of our daily sins erased like the day his mother
hearing and will be eager to conclude salāh. So in truth, isn’t it time for us to gave birth to him.”3 A similar narration
the meeting. How disappointing? improve on the ‘outdated version’ of has it as, “Jannah becomes wājib
Now compare all this effort with salāh which we have been performing (guaranteed) for this person.”4 Note
just a ‘simple’ wudu, donning of clean ever since! again that, these benefits depend on
respectable clothing, and there you In the Quran, Allah Y constantly the level of one’s concentration in the
are, in the Majesty’s court. With no reminds us of the need to improve salāh. So why deprive ourselves when
hassle and no appointment, you our salāh by saying, “Establish your a little effort will make for a better, as
have the distinguished opportunity salāh (i.e. perfect it)”. The Úlamā have well as a more enjoyable, salāh!
of conversing with your Beloved defined a perfect and attentive salāh
Creator, The King of Kings with His to mean that when one stands before The ‘Secret Ingredients’
full attention focused on you. Yet Allah , being conscious of his Divine to a Better Salāh
ironically, this time round, we are the presence, one should be motionless i.e.
ones ‘too busy’ in our thoughts to avoiding all unnecessary movement, ADVANCE PREPARATION
dedicate a few attentive moments to while divorcing oneself from worldly Try and complete all needs and duties
our Allah! thoughts - worldly thoughts should before the approach of salāh, or at
Allah Ta’ala states that an not be voluntarily imported to the least leave them in such a condition
intoxicated person should not perform mind. Yes, if they arise naturally, one that would not distract the mind during
salāh until he is aware of what he says, should just ignore them and continue the salāh. It is sinful to perform salāh
that is, until he is sober. However, with the salāh. Disregarding this vital in an uneasy distracted state of mind
while commenting on this verse and ingredient of concentration has led to when one is able to avoid it.
the deplorable state of our salāh, our salāh becoming somewhat ‘bland, A distracted mind also refers to
Imām Ghazali ﺭﺡﻡﻩ ﺍﻝﻝﻩ mentions, boring and mechanical’. performing salāh when in need of
“There are many who despite not What did I just recite? Which rakat relieving oneself or of even passing
being intoxicated are yet ‘unaware’ am I in? Do I have to stand up now, or ‘wind’ (i.e. flatulence). In fact, if such
of what they utter in their salāh (due sit for tashahud? are questions which an acute need does occur during the
to being inattentive).”1 Moulānā Dhul haunt one in nearly every salāh. salāh, the salāh should be terminated
Fiqār ﺩﺍﻡﺕ ﺏﺭﻙﺍﺕﻩﻡ has also very aptly Remember that salāh is in reality a and only resumed once at ease
compared our salāh to a passenger great gift from Allah Y which keeps (irrespective of whether, by doing so,
aboard an aeroplane. The passenger us connected to Him despite our the salāh with congregation is missed
is asleep and therefore totally numerous involvements. However, or not).
oblivious of his surroundings. It is only as long as we don’t make an effort to
when the aircraft prepares for landing improve our concentration, salāh will WUDU
and the wheels forcefully strike the continue to be regarded as a burden. Perform a thorough wudu maintaining
runway, does he awaken and realise For, Allah Y states, “(Salāh) is difficult the fard, sunnah and mustahab
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