By Dr A Q Khan
May 11, 2015
My previous two columns on this subject dealt with ablutions for prayers and cleanliness. Today’s edition is to remind us of Allah’s edicts on the importance of prayers and charity. As mentioned earlier, one has to be clean and pure to present oneself before Allah Almighty, who is the purest of all.
“(Momnis are those) who are steadfast in prayers and spend out of what We have provided for them” (2:3). And be steadfast in prayer, practice regular charity and bow down your heads with those who bow down in prayer” (2:43). “Seek help with patience, perseverance and prayer” (2:153). “Guard strictly your habit of prayers, especially the middle prayer (asar) and stand before Allah respectfully and in full concentration” (2:238).
“Those who believe and do deeds of righteousness and establish regular prayers and regular charity, will have their rewards with Allah. They shall have no fear, nor shall they grieve” (2:277). “(Those are the momnis) who establish regular prayer and give regular charity” (4:162). “They are the momnis who establish regular prayers and charity and bow down (before Allah) humbly” (5:55).
“The mosques of Allah shall be visited and maintained by those who believe in Allah and the Last Day, establish regular prayers and practice regular charity and fear none but Allah. It is they who are expected to be on the true guidance” (9:18). “And establish regular prayers at the two ends of the day and the approaches of the night” (11:114).
Those are the momnis who patiently persevere, seeking the countenance of their Lord, establish regular prayers, spend out secretly or openly of the gifts We have bestowed on them for their sustenance, turn away from evil, do good: for these people there is the final attainment of Jannah” (13:22). “Tell (O Prophet) my servants who have believed, that they should establish regular prayers and spend secretly or openly in charity of the sustenance we have given them, before the coming of the Day in which there will be neither mutual bargaining nor befriending” (14:31). “The other (lucky) person is one whom we have bestowed goodly favours from Ourselves and he spends thereof freely, privately and publicly” (16:75).
“We commanded them to guide them and We sent them inspiration to do good deeds, to establish regular prayers and to practice regular charity and they constantly served Us and Us only” (21:73). “They are those whom, if We establish them in land, establish regular prayer, and give regular charity, enjoin the right and forbid the wrong. And with Allah rests the end and decision of all affairs” (12:42). “So establish regular prayers, give regular charity and hold fast to Allah. He is your protector, the best to protect and the best to help” (12:78).
“The believers must eventually win through – those who humble themselves in their prayers, who avoid vain talks and actions, who are active in deeds of charity, who abstain from sex except with their wives or the captives whom their right hands possess, for (in this case) they are free from blame - but those whose desires exceed those limits are transgressors - those who faithfully observe their trusts and their covenants and who strictly guard their prayers” (23: 1-9).
“So establish regular prayer and give regular charity and obey the Prophet so that you may receive mercy” (24:56). “Those (are the believers) who establish regular prayers and give in regular charity and who have full faith in the Last Day” (27:3). “O Prophet, recite what is sent of the book by inspiration to you and establish regular prayers - for prayers restrain from shameful and unjust deeds – and remembrance of Allah is the greatest thing in life without doubt” (29:45).
“Turn back in repentance to Allah and fear Him. Establish regular prayers and you be not amongst those who join other gods with Allah” (30:31). “Those who establish regular prayers and give regular charity and have in their hearts the assurance of the Hereafter, these are true guidances from their Lord and those are the ones who will prosper” (31:4-5). “O my son, establish regular prayers, enjoin what is just and forbid what is wrong and bear with patient constancy whatever betide you for His firmness (of purpose) in the conduct of life” (312:17).
“And establish regular prayers and give regular charity and obey Allah and His Prophet” (33:33). “Those who recite the Book of Allah (Quran), establish regular prayers and spend in charity out of what We have provided for them, secretly or openly, hope for a deal that will never be unprofitable” (35:29). “Those who hearken to their Lord and establish regular prayer, who conduct their affairs by mutual consent, who spend out of what We bestowed on them for sustenance: (42:38).
“Then at least establish regular prayers, practice regular charity and obey Allah and His Prophet. And Allah is well acquainted with all that you do” (58:13). “And establish regular prayers and give regular charity and a beautiful loan to Allah” (73:20). “And they have been commanded no more than this: to worship Allah, offering Him sincere devotion, being faithful, to establish regular prayer and to practice regular charity. And that is the religion, right and straight” (98:5).
See how many times and how clearly the Almighty has ordered us to offer prayers. But He has also warned that: “It is not righteousness that you turn your faces towards east and west, but it is righteousness to believe in Allah, the Last Day, in Angels, in the Book, the Messengers, to spend of your substance out of love for Him, for your kin, for orphans, for the needy, for the wayfarer, for those who ask and for the ransom of slaves, to be steadfast in prayer and practice regular charity, to fulfil the contracts which you have made and to be firm and patient in pain and suffering and adversity and throughout all periods of panic. Such are the people of truth, the God fearing” (11: 177).
Thus we see that prayer is not just standing and turning to east and west. It is a drill, an exercise in discipline in which one’s whole body and mind are totally devoted to Allah. More about this in the next column.
To be continued