The Importance of Prayer in Islam and the Perils of being Negligent Regarding it

BISMILLAH

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Islaam gives the highest of stations to the prayer, it has the highest of levels and greatest position after the testimony of faith (the shahaadatayn). Ibn `Umar (radiyallaahu `anhumaa) said that Allaah’s Messenger (salallaahu `alayhi wassallam) said:

بُنِيَ الإِسْلاَمُ عَلَى خَمْسٍ عَلَى أَنْ يُعْبَدَ اللَّهُ وَيُكْفَرَ بِمَا دُونَهُ وَإِقَامِ الصَّلاَةِ وَإِيتَاءِ الزَّكَاةِ وَحَجِّ الْبَيْتِ وَصَوْمِ رَمَضَانَ

“Islaam is built upon five pillars: That Allaah alone is to be worshipped and to disbelieve in the worship others besides Him, to establish the daily prayers, to pay the Zakaat, to perform the Hajj and to fast the month of Ramadaan.” (Muslim, no. 16)

And in a narration:

بُنِيَ الإِسْلاَمُ عَلَى خَمْسٍ شَهَادَةِ أَنْ لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ اللَّهُ وَأَنَّ مُحَمَّدًا عَبْدُهُ وَرَسُولُهُ وَإِقَامِ الصَّلاَةِ وَإِيتَاءِ الزَّكَاةِ وَحَجِّ الْبَيْتِ وَصَوْمِ رَمَضَانَ

“Islaam is built upon five pillars: That none has the right to be worshipped besides Allaah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah, to establish the daily prayers, to pay the Zakaat, to perform the Hajj to the House and to fast the month of Ramadaan.” (Muslim, no. 16)

The prayer is the first affair that the servant will asked about on the Day of Resurrection. Abdullaah Ibn Qarat narrated from Allaah’s Messenger (salallaahu `alaihi wassallam) that he said:

“The first thing that the slave will be accounted for on the Day of Resurrection will be the prayer – if that is sound then the rest of the deeds will be sound, and if that is corrupt then the rest of the deeds shall be likewise corrupt.” (At-Tabaraanee in Al-Awsat 1859; Al-Albaanee declared it saheeh in As-Saheehah 1358)

Jaabir (radiyallaahu `anhu) narrated that Allaah’s Messenger (salallaahu `alaihi wassallam) said:

إِنَّ بَيْنَ الرَّجُلِ وَبَيْنَ الشِّرْكِ وَالْكُفْرِ تَرْكَ الصَّلاَةِ

“Verily between man and polytheism and unbelief is the abondonment of prayer.” (Muslim 82)

The prayer is the barrier between a person and sins, just as Allaah said:

اتْلُ مَا أُوحِيَ إِلَيْكَ مِنَ الْكِتَابِ وَأَقِمِ الصَّلَاةَ ۖ إِنَّ الصَّلَاةَ تَنْهَىٰ عَنِ الْفَحْشَاءِ وَالْمُنكَرِ ۗ

“Recite, [O Muhammad], what has been revealed to you of the Book and establish prayer. Indeed, prayer prohibits immorality and wrongdoing.” (Al-`Ankaboot:45)

Its importance is such that during the final hours of the life of the noble Prophet (salallaahu `alaihi wassallam) he advised with it.

كَانَ آخِرُ كَلاَمِ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم

الصَّلاَةَ الصَّلاَةَ اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ فِيمَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُكُمْ

Narrated `Ali Ibn Abu Talib: The last words which the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) spoke were:

“The prayer, prayer! And fear Allah about those whom your right hands possess.” (Sunan Abu Daawood 5156 – Al-Albaanee declared it saheeh)

So the Salaah has a tremendous position in Islaam, and due to this station, their are numerous benefits and bounties attached to it:

The Prayer is an expiation for mistakes and sins:

وَأَقِمِ الصَّلَاةَ طَرَفَيِ النَّهَارِ وَزُلَفًا مِّنَ اللَّيْلِ ۚ إِنَّ الْحَسَنَاتِ يُذْهِبْنَ السَّيِّئَاتِ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ ذِكْرَىٰ لِلذَّاكِرِينَ

“And establish prayer at the two ends of the day and at the approach of the night. Indeed, good deeds do away with misdeeds. That is a reminder for those who remember.” (Hood: 114)

Abu Hurairah (radiyallaahu `anhu) narrated that the Prophet (salallaahu `alaihin wassallam) said:

أَرَأَيْتُمْ لَوْ أَنَّ نَهَرًا بِبَابِ أَحَدِكُمْ يَغْتَسِلُ مِنْهُ كُلَّ يَوْمٍ خَمْسَ مَرَّاتٍ هَلْ يَبْقَى مِنْ دَرَنِهِ شَىْءٌ.

قَالُوا لَا يَبْقَى مِنْ دَرَنِهِ شَيْءٌ قَالَ فَكَذَلِكَ مَثَلُ الصَّلَوَاتِ الْخَمْسِ يَمْحُو اللَّهُ بِهِنَّ الْخَطَايَا

“Do you think that if there was a river by the door of any one of you, and he bathed in it five times each day, would there be any trace of dirt left on him?” They said: “No trace of dirt would be left on him.” He said: “That is the likeness of the five daily prayers. By means of them Allah erases sins.” (An-Nasaa’ee 462)

The prayer is a bright guiding light for the servant of Allaah. Abu Maalik al-Ash`aree (radiyallaahu `anhu) narrated that Allaah’s Messenger (salallaahu `alaihi wassallam) said:

الطُّهُورُ شَطْرُ الإِيمَانِ وَالْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ تَمْلأُ الْمِيزَانَ ‏.‏ وَسُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ وَالْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ تَمْلآنِ – أَوْ تَمْلأُ – مَا بَيْنَ السَّمَوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ وَالصَّلاَةُ نُورٌ وَالصَّدَقَةُ بُرْهَانٌ وَالصَّبْرُ ضِيَاءٌ وَالْقُرْآنُ حُجَّةٌ لَكَ أَوْ عَلَيْكَ كُلُّ النَّاسِ يَغْدُو فَبَائِعٌ نَفْسَهُ فَمُعْتِقُهَا أَوْ مُوبِقُهَا

“Purification is half of Imaan and al-hamdulillah (Praise be to Allah) fills the scale; subhanallah (Glory be to Allah) and al-hamdulillah (Praise be to Allah) fill up whatever is between the heavens and the earth; the Prayer (Salaah) is a light; charity (sadaqah) is proof (of one’s faith); patience is a brightness; and the Qur’an is a proof for you or against you. All people go out early in the morning and sell themselves, thereby either setting themselves free or destroying themselves [depending on their deeds].” (Muslim 223)

By a Muslim establishing the Salaah, paying the Zakaah and fasting Ramadaan, he can attain the station of the Siddiqeen and the Shuhuadaa.

Abu Hurairah (radiyallaahu `anhu) said:

“There were two brothers from Baliyy who came to Allaah’s Messenger and they had both become Muslims together. One of them was martyred, and the other one lived for another year. Talhah Ibn `Ubaidillaah (radiyallaahu `anhu) said: I saw Paradise in a dream   and I saw that the one who lived longer out of the two entered Paradise before before the martyr. I was surprised at that. So when I awoke I mentioned that to the Prophet (salallaahu `alaihi wassallam) or it was mentioned to him by another, so he responded:

“Why are you surprised at that? Did he not continue to fast after his death, and did he not prayer with six thousand rukoos (bowings) and with such-and-such a large number of Sunnah prayers? The difference between them is greater than the difference between heaven and earth.” (Musnad Ahmad 2/333; Ibn Maajah 3925)

The prayer itself must be prayed at the times allocated in the Sharee`ah. Allaah, the Most High, said:

إِنَّ الصَّلَاةَ كَانَتْ عَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ كِتَابًا مَّوْقُوتًا

“Verily, the prayer is enjoined on the believers at fixed hours.” (An-Nisaa 4:103)

Imaam Al-Bukhaaree said: “That the times are prescribed upon them.” The fulfilment of the prayers at their prescribed times is from the most beloved acts to Allaah. Abdullaah Ibn Mas`ood said: “I asked the Prophet (salallaahu `alaihi wassallam): “Which of the deeds are most beloved to Allaah?” He replied:

“The prayer on its time.”

I said: “Then what?” He replied:

“Being kind and dutiful to one’s parents.”

I said: “Then what?” He replied:

“Jihaad in the path of Allaah.” (Bukhaaree 527; Muslim 85)

There is another amazing narration regarding the condition of people in the barzakh (life of the grave) after their deaths, and one of the people who is tried in his grave is the one who ngelected his prayer:

سَمُرَةُ بْنُ جُنْدَبٍ ـ رضى الله عنه ـ قَالَ كَانَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم مِمَّا يُكْثِرُ أَنْ يَقُولَ لأَصْحَابِهِ ‏”‏ هَلْ رَأَى أَحَدٌ مِنْكُمْ مِنْ رُؤْيَا ‏”‏‏.‏ قَالَ فَيَقُصُّ عَلَيْهِ مَنْ شَاءَ اللَّهُ أَنْ يَقُصَّ، وَإِنَّهُ قَالَ ذَاتَ غَدَاةٍ ‏”‏ إِنَّهُ أَتَانِي اللَّيْلَةَ آتِيَانِ، وَإِنَّهُمَا ابْتَعَثَانِي، وَإِنَّهُمَا قَالاَ لِي انْطَلِقْ‏.‏ وَإِنِّي انْطَلَقْتُ مَعَهُمَا، وَإِنَّا أَتَيْنَا عَلَى رَجُلٍ مُضْطَجِعٍ، وَإِذَا آخَرُ قَائِمٌ عَلَيْهِ بِصَخْرَةٍ، وَإِذَا هُوَ يَهْوِي بِالصَّخْرَةِ لِرَأْسِهِ، فَيَثْلَغُ رَأْسَهُ فَيَتَهَدْهَدُ الْحَجَرُ هَا هُنَا، فَيَتْبَعُ الْحَجَرَ فَيَأْخُذُهُ، فَلاَ يَرْجِعُ إِلَيْهِ حَتَّى يَصِحَّ رَأْسُهُ كَمَا كَانَ، ثُمَّ يَعُودُ عَلَيْهِ، فَيَفْعَلُ بِهِ مِثْلَ مَا فَعَلَ الْمَرَّةَ الأُولَى‏.‏ قَالَ قُلْتُ لَهُمَا سُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ مَا هَذَانِ قَالَ قَالاَ لِي انْطَلِقْ ـ قَالَ ـ فَانْطَلَقْنَا فَأَتَيْنَا عَلَى رَجُلٍ مُسْتَلْقٍ لِقَفَاهُ، وَإِذَا آخَرُ قَائِمٌ عَلَيْهِ بِكَلُّوبٍ مِنْ حَدِيدٍ، وَإِذَا هُوَ يَأْتِي أَحَدَ شِقَّىْ وَجْهِهِ فَيُشَرْشِرُ شِدْقَهُ إِلَى قَفَاهُ، وَمَنْخِرَهُ إِلَى قَفَاهُ وَعَيْنَهُ إِلَى قَفَاهُ ـ قَالَ وَرُبَّمَا قَالَ أَبُو رَجَاءٍ فَيَشُقُّ ـ قَالَ ثُمَّ يَتَحَوَّلُ إِلَى الْجَانِبِ الآخَرِ، فَيَفْعَلُ بِهِ مِثْلَ مَا فَعَلَ بِالْجَانِبِ الأَوَّلِ، فَمَا يَفْرُغُ مِنْ ذَلِكَ الْجَانِبِ حَتَّى يَصِحَّ ذَلِكَ الْجَانِبُ كَمَا كَانَ، ثُمَّ يَعُودُ عَلَيْهِ فَيَفْعَلُ مِثْلَ مَا فَعَلَ الْمَرَّةَ الأُولَى‏.‏ قَالَ قُلْتُ سُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ مَا هَذَانِ قَالَ قَالاَ لِي انْطَلِقْ‏.‏ فَانْطَلَقْنَا فَأَتَيْنَا عَلَى مِثْلِ التَّنُّورِ ـ قَالَ فَأَحْسِبُ أَنَّهُ كَانَ يَقُولُ ـ فَإِذَا فِيهِ لَغَطٌ وَأَصْوَاتٌ ـ قَالَ ـ فَاطَّلَعْنَا فِيهِ، فَإِذَا فِيهِ رِجَالٌ وَنِسَاءٌ عُرَاةٌ، وَإِذَا هُمْ يَأْتِيهِمْ لَهَبٌ مِنْ أَسْفَلَ مِنْهُمْ، فَإِذَا أَتَاهُمْ ذَلِكَ اللَّهَبُ ضَوْضَوْا ـ قَالَ ـ قُلْتُ لَهُمَا مَا هَؤُلاَءِ قَالَ قَالاَ لِي انْطَلِقِ انْطَلِقْ‏.‏ قَالَ فَانْطَلَقْنَا فَأَتَيْنَا عَلَى نَهَرٍ ـ حَسِبْتُ أَنَّهُ كَانَ يَقُولُ ـ أَحْمَرَ مِثْلِ الدَّمِ، وَإِذَا فِي النَّهَرِ رَجُلٌ سَابِحٌ يَسْبَحُ، وَإِذَا عَلَى شَطِّ النَّهَرِ رَجُلٌ قَدْ جَمَعَ عِنْدَهُ حِجَارَةً كَثِيرَةً، وَإِذَا ذَلِكَ السَّابِحُ يَسْبَحُ مَا يَسْبَحُ، ثُمَّ يَأْتِي ذَلِكَ الَّذِي قَدْ جَمَعَ عِنْدَهُ الْحِجَارَةَ فَيَفْغَرُ لَهُ فَاهُ فَيُلْقِمُهُ حَجَرًا فَيَنْطَلِقُ يَسْبَحُ، ثُمَّ يَرْجِعُ إِلَيْهِ، كُلَّمَا رَجَعَ إِلَيْهِ فَغَرَ لَهُ فَاهُ فَأَلْقَمَهُ حَجَرًا ـ قَالَ ـ قُلْتُ لَهُمَا مَا هَذَانِ قَالَ قَالاَ لِي انْطَلِقِ انْطَلِقْ‏.‏ قَالَ فَانْطَلَقْنَا فَأَتَيْنَا عَلَى رَجُلٍ كَرِيهِ الْمَرْآةِ كَأَكْرَهِ مَا أَنْتَ رَاءٍ رَجُلاً مَرْآةً، وَإِذَا عِنْدَهُ نَارٌ يَحُشُّهَا وَيَسْعَى حَوْلَهَا ـ قَالَ ـ قُلْتُ لَهُمَا مَا هَذَا قَالَ قَالاَ لِي انْطَلِقِ انْطَلِقْ‏.‏ فَانْطَلَقْنَا فَأَتَيْنَا عَلَى رَوْضَةٍ مُعْتَمَّةٍ فِيهَا مِنْ كُلِّ نَوْرِ الرَّبِيعِ، وَإِذَا بَيْنَ ظَهْرَىِ الرَّوْضَةِ رَجُلٌ طَوِيلٌ لاَ أَكَادُ أَرَى رَأْسَهُ طُولاً فِي السَّمَاءِ، وَإِذَا حَوْلَ الرَّجُلِ مِنْ أَكْثَرِ وِلْدَانٍ رَأَيْتُهُمْ قَطُّ ـ قَالَ ـ قُلْتُ لَهُمَا مَا هَذَا مَا هَؤُلاَءِ قَالَ قَالاَ لِي انْطَلِقِ انْطَلِقْ‏.‏ ـ قَالَ ـ فَانْطَلَقْنَا فَانْتَهَيْنَا إِلَى رَوْضَةٍ عَظِيمَةٍ لَمْ أَرَ رَوْضَةً قَطُّ أَعْظَمَ مِنْهَا وَلاَ أَحْسَنَ‏.‏ ـ قَالَ ـ قَالاَ لِي ارْقَ فِيهَا‏.‏ قَالَ فَارْتَقَيْنَا فِيهَا فَانْتَهَيْنَا إِلَى مَدِينَةٍ مَبْنِيَّةٍ بِلَبِنِ ذَهَبٍ وَلَبِنِ فِضَّةٍ، فَأَتَيْنَا باب الْمَدِينَةِ فَاسْتَفْتَحْنَا فَفُتِحَ لَنَا، فَدَخَلْنَاهَا فَتَلَقَّانَا فِيهَا رِجَالٌ شَطْرٌ مِنْ خَلْقِهِمْ كَأَحْسَنِ مَا أَنْتَ رَاءٍ، وَشَطْرٌ كَأَقْبَحِ مَا أَنْتَ رَاءٍ ـ قَالَ ـ قَالاَ لَهُمُ اذْهَبُوا فَقَعُوا فِي ذَلِكَ النَّهَرِ‏.‏ قَالَ وَإِذَا نَهَرٌ مُعْتَرِضٌ يَجْرِي كَأَنَّ مَاءَهُ الْمَحْضُ فِي الْبَيَاضِ، فَذَهَبُوا فَوَقَعُوا فِيهِ، ثُمَّ رَجَعُوا إِلَيْنَا قَدْ ذَهَبَ ذَلِكَ السُّوءُ عَنْهُمْ، فَصَارُوا فِي أَحْسَنِ صُورَةٍ ـ قَالَ ـ قَالاَ لِي هَذِهِ جَنَّةُ عَدْنٍ، وَهَذَاكَ مَنْزِلُكَ‏.‏ قَالَ فَسَمَا بَصَرِي صُعُدًا، فَإِذَا قَصْرٌ مِثْلُ الرَّبَابَةِ الْبَيْضَاءِ ـ قَالَ ـ قَالاَ هَذَاكَ مَنْزِلُكَ‏.‏ قَالَ قُلْتُ لَهُمَا بَارَكَ اللَّهُ فِيكُمَا، ذَرَانِي فَأَدْخُلَهُ‏.‏ قَالاَ أَمَّا الآنَ فَلاَ وَأَنْتَ دَاخِلُهُ‏.‏ قَالَ قُلْتُ لَهُمَا فَإِنِّي قَدْ رَأَيْتُ مُنْذُ اللَّيْلَةِ عَجَبًا، فَمَا هَذَا الَّذِي رَأَيْتُ قَالَ قَالاَ لِي أَمَا إِنَّا سَنُخْبِرُكَ، أَمَّا الرَّجُلُ الأَوَّلُ الَّذِي أَتَيْتَ عَلَيْهِ يُثْلَغُ رَأْسُهُ بِالْحَجَرِ، فَإِنَّهُ الرَّجُلُ يَأْخُذُ الْقُرْآنَ فَيَرْفُضُهُ وَيَنَامُ عَنِ الصَّلاَةِ الْمَكْتُوبَةِ، وَأَمَّا الرَّجُلُ الَّذِي أَتَيْتَ عَلَيْهِ يُشَرْشَرُ شِدْقُهُ إِلَى قَفَاهُ، وَمَنْخِرُهُ إِلَى قَفَاهُ، وَعَيْنُهُ إِلَى قَفَاهُ، فَإِنَّهُ الرَّجُلُ يَغْدُو مِنْ بَيْتِهِ فَيَكْذِبُ الْكَذْبَةَ تَبْلُغُ الآفَاقَ، وَأَمَّا الرِّجَالُ وَالنِّسَاءُ الْعُرَاةُ الَّذِينَ فِي مِثْلِ بِنَاءِ التَّنُّورِ فَإِنَّهُمُ الزُّنَاةُ وَالزَّوَانِي‏.‏ وَأَمَّا الرَّجُلُ الَّذِي أَتَيْتَ عَلَيْهِ يَسْبَحُ فِي النَّهَرِ وَيُلْقَمُ الْحَجَرَ، فَإِنَّهُ آكِلُ الرِّبَا، وَأَمَّا الرَّجُلُ الْكَرِيهُ الْمَرْآةِ الَّذِي عِنْدَ النَّارِ يَحُشُّهَا وَيَسْعَى حَوْلَهَا، فَإِنَّهُ مَالِكٌ خَازِنُ جَهَنَّمَ، وَأَمَّا الرَّجُلُ الطَّوِيلُ الَّذِي فِي الرَّوْضَةِ فَإِنَّهُ إِبْرَاهِيمُ صلى الله عليه وسلم وَأَمَّا الْوِلْدَانُ الَّذِينَ حَوْلَهُ فَكُلُّ مَوْلُودٍ مَاتَ عَلَى الْفِطْرَةِ ‏”‏‏.‏ قَالَ فَقَالَ بَعْضُ الْمُسْلِمِينَ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ وَأَوْلاَدُ الْمُشْرِكِينَ فَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏”‏ وَأَوْلاَدُ الْمُشْرِكِينَ‏.‏ وَأَمَّا الْقَوْمُ الَّذِينَ كَانُوا شَطْرٌ مِنْهُمْ حَسَنًا وَشَطَرٌ مِنْهُمْ قَبِيحًا، فَإِنَّهُمْ قَوْمٌ خَلَطُوا عَمَلاً صَالِحًا وَآخَرَ سَيِّئًا، تَجَاوَزَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُمْ

Narrated Samura bin Jundub:

Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) used to often ask his companions, “Did anyone of you see a dream?” So dreams would be narrated to him by those whom Allah wished to tell. One morning the Prophet (ﷺ) said:

“Last night two persons came to me (in a dream) and woke me up and said to me, ‘Proceed!’ I set out with them and we came across a man lying down, and behold, another man was standing over his head, holding a big rock. He was throwing the rock at the man’s head, injuring it. The rock rolled away and the thrower followed it and took it back. By the time he reached the man, his head returned to the normal state. The thrower then did the same as he had done before. I said to my two companions, ‘Subhan Allah! Who are these two persons?’ They said, ‘Proceed!’

So we proceeded and came to a man lying flat on his back and another man standing over his head with an iron hook, and behold, he would put the hook in one side of the man’s mouth and tear off that side of his face to the back (of the neck) and similarly tear his nose from front to back and his eye from front to back. Then he turned to the other side of the man’s face and did just as he had done with the other side. He hardly completed this side when the other side returned to its normal state. Then he returned to it to repeat what he had done before. I said to my two companions, ‘Subhan Allah! Who are these two persons?’ They said to me, ‘Proceed!’

So we proceeded and came across something like a kind of baking oven, [a baking pit clay-lined]. In that oven there was much noise and voices.” The Prophet (ﷺ) added, “We looked into it and found naked men and women, and behold, a flame of fire was reaching to them from underneath, and when it reached them, they cried out loudly. I asked them, ‘Who are these?’ They said to me, ‘Proceed!’

And so we proceeded and came across a river, red like blood.” The Prophet (ﷺ) added, “And  in the river there was a man swimming, and on the bank there was a man who had collected many stones. While the other man was swimming, he went near him. The former opened his mouth and the latter (on the bank) threw a stone into his mouth whereupon he went away swimming. He returned and every time the performance was repeated. I asked my two companions, ‘Who are these (two) persons?’ They replied, ‘Proceed! Proceed!’

And we proceeded till we came to a man with a repulsive appearance, the most repulsive appearance, you ever saw a man having! Beside him there was a fire and he was kindling it and  he was running around it. I asked my companions, ‘Who is this (man)?’ They said to me, ‘Proceed! Proceed!’

So we proceeded till we reached a garden of deep green dense vegetation, having all sorts of spring colors. In the midst of the garden there was a very tall man and I could hardly see his head because of his great height, and around him there were children in such a large number as I have never seen. I said to my companions, ‘Who is this?’ They replied, ‘Proceed! Proceed!’

So we proceeded till we came to a majestic huge garden, greater and better than I have ever seen! My two companions said to me, ‘Go up’ and I went up. So we ascended till we reached a city built of gold and silver bricks and we went to its gate and asked (the gatekeeper) to open the gate, and it was opened and we entered the city and found in it, men with one side of their bodies as handsome as the most handsome person you have ever seen, and the other side as ugly as the ugliest person you have ever seen. My two companions ordered those men to throw themselves into the river. There was a river flowing across (the city), and its water was like milk in whiteness. Those men went and threw themselves in it and then returned to us after the ugliness (of their bodies) had disappeared and they became the best of forms. My two companions (angels) said to me, ‘This place is the Paradise or Graden of `Adn (Eden), and that is your place.’

I raised up my sight, and behold, there I saw a palace like a white cloud! My two companions said to me, ‘That (palace) is your place.’ I said to them, ‘May Allah bless you both! Let me enter it.’ They replied, ‘As for now, you will not enter it, but you shall enter it (one day). I said to them, ‘I have seen many wonders tonight. What does all that mean which I have seen?’

They replied, ‘We will inform you: As for the first man you came upon whose head was being injured with the rock, he was one who studied the Qur’an and then neither recited it nor acted on its orders, and sleeps, neglecting the prescribed prayers.

As for the man you came upon whose sides of mouth, nostrils and eyes were torn off from front to back, he is the man who goes out of his house in the morning and tells so many lies that it spreads all over the world.

And those naked men and women whom you saw in a pit resembling an oven (tannoor), they are the adulterers and the adulteresses.

And the man whom you saw swimming in the river and given a stone to swallow, is the eater of usury (ribaa).

And the bad looking man whom you saw near the fire kindling it and going round it, is Maalik, the gatekeeper of Hell.

And the tall man whom you saw in the garden, is Ibraaheem and the children around him are those children who die upon the Fitrah (upon the innate nature of the tawheed of Allaah).

The narrator added: Some Muslims asked the Prophet, “O Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ)! What about the children of pagans?” The Prophet (ﷺ) replied, “And also the children of pagans.”

The Prophet (ﷺ) added, “My two companions added, ‘The men you saw half handsome and half ugly were those persons who had mixed an act that was good with another that was bad, but Allah forgave them.'”

(Al-Bukhaaree, 7047)

The most difficult of prayers upon the hypocrites who profess faith is the `Ishaa and fajr prayers. Abu Hurairah (radiyallaahu `anhu) narrated that the Prophet (salallaahu `alaihi wassallam) said:

إِنَّ أَثْقَلَ الصَّلاَةِ عَلَى الْمُنَافِقِينَ صَلاَةُ الْعِشَاءِ وَصَلاَةُ الْفَجْرِ وَلَوْ يَعْلَمُونَ مَا فِيهِمَا لأَتَوْهُمَا وَلَوْ حَبْوًا

“The most burdensome prayers for the hypocrites are the ‘Isha’ prayer and the Fajr prayer. If only they knew what reward there is in them, they would come to them even if they had to crawl.” (Ibn Maajah, 797)

There also occurs in the hadeeth of the seven who will be shaded upon the Day when there is no shade except for His shade. Abu Hurairah narrated that Allaah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said:

سَبْعَةٌ يُظِلُّهُمُ اللَّهُ فِي ظِلِّهِ يَوْمَ لاَ ظِلَّ إِلاَّ ظِلُّهُ الإِمَامُ الْعَادِلُ، وَشَابٌّ نَشَأَ فِي عِبَادَةِ رَبِّهِ، وَرَجُلٌ قَلْبُهُ مُعَلَّقٌ فِي الْمَسَاجِدِ، وَرَجُلاَنِ تَحَابَّا فِي اللَّهِ اجْتَمَعَا عَلَيْهِ وَتَفَرَّقَا عَلَيْهِ، وَرَجُلٌ طَلَبَتْهُ امْرَأَةٌ ذَاتُ مَنْصِبٍ وَجَمَالٍ فَقَالَ إِنِّي أَخَافُ اللَّهَ‏.‏ وَرَجُلٌ تَصَدَّقَ أَخْفَى حَتَّى لاَ تَعْلَمَ شِمَالُهُ مَا تُنْفِقُ يَمِينُهُ، وَرَجُلٌ ذَكَرَ اللَّهَ خَالِيًا فَفَاضَتْ عَيْنَاهُ

“Allah will give shade, to seven, on the Day when there will be no shade but His:

1. a just ruler,

2. a youth who has been brought up in the worship of Allah (i.e. worships Allah sincerely from childhood),

3. a man whose heart is attached to the mosques (i.e. to pray the compulsory prayers in the mosque in congregation),

4. two persons who love each other only for Allah’s sake and they meet and part in Allah’s cause only,

5. a man who refuses the call of a charming woman of noble birth for illicit intercourse with her and says: I fear Allah,

6. a man who gives charity so secretly that his left hand does not know what his right hand has given (i.e. nobody knows how much he has given in charity),

7. and a person who remembers Allah in seclusion and his eyes fill with tears.”

(Al-Bukhaaree, 660; Muslim, 1031)

A masjid is from the houses of Allaah, so whoever enters a masjid of Sunnah and Tawheed is a guest of his Lord – and there is not heart better, nor a soul more joyous than the one that is a host of Allaah in one of His houses. Abu Dardaa (radiyallaahu `anhu) stated that the Prophet (ﷺ) said:

“The masjid is a home for every god-fearing, pious and dutiful person (taqiyy). Allaah promises the one who makes the masjid his home to give him ease, tranquility, mercy and permission to cross the siraat (bridge over hell) to the pleasure of Allaah and Paradise.” (At-Tabaraanee in Al-Kabeer, 6143; Al-Albaanee declared it Hasan in his checking of Al-Mundhiree’s At-Targheeb wat-Tarheeb, no. 330)

This is the joy and happiness given to the believer who worships his Lord and desires the Masjid of Sunnah and Tawheed, making that his home.

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