In this holy month of Ramadhan which is full of Barakah, Muslims all over the world try to spend as much time as possible at prayers.
To implant ‘Kushoo'(deep concentration) in prayers, I think it would be better to know why we pray. I have given the answers in the form of answers to 6 questions regarding prayers. I shall present in segments ― 2 questions and their answers each time. Please follow.
Why should we pray?
‘Muslim’ means complete submission to Allah’s commandments without any hesitancy or question.
During the episode of Israk-Mikraj, Allah SWT commanded Muslims to pray 5 times a day. So, as Muslims, we are obliged to do so.
When a person renders any sort of help to us − such as picking up our fallen handkerchief or purse, and returning it to us − we say “thank you”, to show our gratitude. To express our thanks and gratitude for the help given is man’s most noble quality.
There is a saying by Prophet Muhammad SAW:
“One who is not thankful to another person, is not thankful to God.”
Hadith Tirmizi; Sunan Ahmad
For all the Blessings (Nikmat) that Allah SWT is bestowing on us, we are required to thank Him. He says in Al-Quran:
“And a sign for them is the dead land, We give it life, and We bring from it grains, so that they eat thereof. And We have made therein gardens of date-palms and grapes, and We have caused springs of water to gush forth therein. So that they may eat out of the fruit thereof − and their hands did not make them. Will they not, then, give thanks?” (Surah Yasin 36:33-35)
Not only these! Thanking Him every second of the day also is insufficient!
(a) For having created us, not as an animal, or a bird, or any other mean creature, but as Man − we thank Him.
(b) For keeping us not as a kafir, but as a Muslim − we thank Him. If we had been created in a kafir family, we might not have seen the Light (Nur) and the Truth (Haq).
(c) For having created us without any physical defect − blind, mute, deaf or limp − we thank Him.
(d) While breathing, the air that goes in during inhalation, He makes it comes out, keeping us alive − we thank Him.
(e) The food that we take, does not go in en masse, and block the intestinal passage; but go down little by little, being digested all the way, to derive the necessary components and energy from the food, for healthy living − we thank Him.
(f) For continuously fulfilling our basic necessities − food, clothes, place to stay − we thank Him.
(g) For creating and alternating daytime for us to work, to earn, to support our family; and night, to rest, so that we can awaken afresh with vigour − we thank Him.
In this way, for the countless Blessings (Nikmat) that Allah SWT bestows upon Man, of which no words can completely narrate, we pay gratitude and thanks in the form of PRAYER.
Allah SWT says of the immense benefits of thanksgiving (through prayer) thus:
“And (remember) when your Lord proclaimed: ‘If you give thanks, I will give you more (of My blessings); but if you are thankless, verily My punishment is indeed severe.” (Surah Ibrahim: 7)
To express our thanks and gratitude is it not enough just to say, “Ya Allah! Thanks to You! All praises are to You!” instead of praying?
Angel Jibrail a.s. taught Prophet Muhammad SAW how to pray (as we pray now). Prophet Muhammad SAW, in turn, taught the Sahabah how to pray. That was passed down generation after generation to the present time; and it will be carried on in the future until Akhirat. As Muslims (complete submission to Allah’s and Rasulullah’s commandments) we should also pray as taught by Rasulullah SAW, without any question.
All that has been created by Allah SWT: the sky, earth and other planets, wind, mountains, animals, birds, oceans and everything in it; and all that are between the sky and earth, all praise and thank Him.
Allah SWT Himself has stated in His Revelation that everything in the heavens and the earth, and those in between, pray to Him and praise Him.
“See you not (O Muhammad) that everything in the heavens and the earth, the birds (flying) with the wings spread out praise Allah? Indeed everything knows of its obligation of Solat and Thasbeeh (praises) and Allah is All-Aware of what they do.” (Surah An-Nur 24:41)
The sound the sea waves is the sign of praise of Allah SWT.
The movement of wind− sign of praise of Allah SWT.
The sounds of birds − sign of praise of Allah SWT.
The ‘mooing’ of cows after their food − sign of thanks to Allah SWT.
The toned-down roar of lions and tigers after their food − sign of thanks to Allah SWT.
Likewise, our bodies too must give thanks to Allah SWT, the Creator. Man is created of 2 components: body & soul. Expressing thanks by the soul is manifested by the thought of Allah SWT − Dzikir.
Expressing thanks by the body to its Creator, has got to be in the form of its movements: stand, bend, prostrate, etc.