Light Up Your Life With Islam

Posts tagged ‘prayer’



You’d often come across people who when they meet you say desperately, “please make dua for me”. Being a Muslim, this is a very common occurrence. Everyone is always in need of something and everyone wants their needs to be fulfilled, their problems to be solved, their supplications to be answered.

Some people are a little more far-sighted, they don’t just ask you to supplicate for them and let it be rather they want to know the ways or means through which supplications are accepted. If you are one of those people who want to know the secret recipe of acceptance of prayers, then go through the following story:

Sahih Bukhari, 3465:

Narrated Ibn `Umar:
Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “Once three persons (from the previous nations) were traveling, and suddenly it started raining and they took shelter in a cave. The entrance of the cave got closed while they were inside. They said to each other, ‘O you! Nothing can save you except the truth, so each of you should ask Allah’s Help by referring to such a deed as he thinks he did sincerely (i.e. just for gaining Allah’s Pleasure).’ So one of them said, ‘O Allah! You know that I had a laborer who worked for me for one Faraq (i.e. three Sas) of rice, but he departed, leaving it (i.e. his wages). I sowed that Faraq of rice and with its yield I bought cows (for him). Later on when he came to me asking for his wages, I said (to him), ‘Go to those cows and drive them away.’ He said to me, ‘But you have to pay me only a Faraq of rice,’ I said to him, ‘Go to those cows and take them, for they are the product of that Faraq (of rice).’ So he drove them. O Allah! If you consider that I did that for fear of You, then please remove the rock.’ The rock shifted a bit from the mouth of the cave. The second one said, ‘O Allah, You know that I had old parents whom I used to provide with the milk of my sheep every night. One night I was delayed and when I came, they had slept, while my wife and children were crying with hunger. I used not to let them (i.e. my family) drink unless my parents had drunk first. So I disliked to wake them up and also disliked that they should sleep without drinking it, I kept on waiting (for them to wake) till it dawned. O Allah! If You consider that I did that for fear of you, then please remove the rock.’ So the rock shifted and they could see the sky through it. The (third) one said, ‘O Allah! You know that I had a cousin (i.e. my paternal uncle’s daughter) who was most beloved to me and I sought to seduce her, but she refused, unless I paid her one-hundred Dinars (i.e. gold pieces). So I collected the amount and brought it to her, and she allowed me to sleep with her. But when I sat between her legs, she said, ‘Be afraid of Allah, and do not deflower me but legally. ‘I got up and left the hundred Dinars (for her). O Allah! If You consider that I did that for fear of you than please remove the rock. So Allah saved them and they came out (of the cave).”

Many of us might have read or heard this story in our childhood but did you ever notice how deep it is? This story tells us that one of the ways through which we can make sure that our dua is accepted is doing good deeds with sincerity. Yes, this is it!


If you do good deeds, Allah will be pleased with you and will answer your prayers. Even when you want something from humans, what do you do? You make them happy. You want a favour from someone, say, you want permission from your mother to go somewhere. What do you do? You clean your room and cupboards because you know it will please her and she just might give you permission. But this is the Creator we’re talking about. Not humans. He has no comparison with His creation. He is extremely merciful and always listening to us. Only we need to take the first step. Do things that please Him instead of just talking about it here and there. Good deeds are a means of earning blessings anyway.

Also, note the sincerity in the actions of these three people. All the things that they did weren’t very big or famous or done for the sake of people. No one applauded them for these deeds. They were everyday situations. And yet it is in everyday situations that we slip. We lose the little opportunities that come our way, thinking we’ll do the big stuff one day inshaAllah. But it is those little things that are actually more difficult to do, they require us to get out of our comfort zones ever so often and to make the right decision so many times a day. It is those little things that carry great khayr (good). Because no one is there to see you doing them, it’s a test if you’d do it or not because that would be really for Allah.

So if you have any problem in life, think, do I have any hidden good deeds in store that I can use in my dua and ask Him to grant me what I need?

May Allah make us of those who are given opportunities to do good, who recognize them and avail them only to seek Allah’s pleasure. Ameen.

Delusional Prospects


A few weeks ago I attended The News Education Conference 13. The bureaucrats and elite of the nation were the major participants. Policies and education plans of massive scale were argued and negotiated upon. Other than leaders of political parties and officials of government, professors and senior teachers of some of the best institutes of Pakistan were present there. Teachers; those people who prune and shape the youth and thus play a major part in the progress of nations.

After a panel discussion or two, there was lunch break. As that was the only break during the course of the conference, I headed towards the reception while everyone else went towards the dining hall. I asked them where the prayer hall was and finally found an usher who pointed the way. I went up the stairs and found myself in a deserted corridor. On the left was the prayer hall for women and on the right was the men’s. I went into the still more deserted prayer area. I was the only one there and I felt my heart sinking… I had a shrewd idea about the number of men in the men’s praying hall as the same corridor led to both praying areas.

This was the reality. This is the reality of our people, of Muslims today. We talk big, we give ideas as if we’re the most intelligent beings on earth, we think educating (secular education only) the masses is the only solution… My foot! Who’re we trying to fool, really? If we can’t even bow in front of the Creator five times a day then this ‘change’ will never come. Almost 700 times the invitation to prayer has been given in the Quran. Yet we ignore it and then we wonder what’s wrong with us.

Allah says in the Quran, “And whoever turns away from My remembrance – indeed, he will have a depressed life, and We will gather him on the Day of Resurrection blind.” (Taha 124)

Aren’t we living depressed lives today? If we had heeded the Quran, we would have been compelled to pray. And these depressions and anxieties that are being talked about are for this life, whereas in the hereafter when the righteous will ask the criminals, “”What put you into Saqar (hellfire)?” They will say, “We were not of those who prayed,” (Al-Muddathir 42-43)

The only end that we’re heading towards as a nation, if this situation continues, is loss! “But there came after them successors who neglected prayer and pursued desires; so they are going to meet evil –” (Maryam 59)



*Disclaimer: This post in no way is intended to pinpoint a certain person/party/institute or segment of the society. 

education conference

Most Grievous Situation!

Assalam u ‘alaikum,

I want to share a little experience of mine. It breaks me from inside when I recall it…

A few days ago we were travelling and had to stop for Maghrib prayers in the central masjid of Wah Cantt. It is a very big masjid and is often talked of when the famous masjids of Pakistan are discussed (or so I have heard). Anyway, though we were in a hurry and mentally preoccupied, I couldn’t help feeling a tinge of excitement somewhere inside my heart. After all it was the big ‘pink’ masjid we used to visit with our grandfather (may Allah have mercy on him) when we were little. And now I was going inside it again after years. The sky was just turning pink and the muaddhin (caller toward prayer) could be heard loud and clear. We took of our shoes and stepped inside and………… It was as if someone pricked the balloon inside me. I deflated. You know the feeling when you feel going weak in the limbs? :'(

The Mosque that I mention in my post

‘Pink’ Masjid at night

The biggest masjid in the town and only one and a half row for the Maghrib prayers??? Allah u Akbar! Do you feel the grief? If not, then you should. I wonder why do people wonder that our nation is in the worst decline ever? How can we ever progress with this state of events? Next time, someone talks to you about our nation being down in the dumps or about the corrupt leaders or any such matter, just ask them directly: “Do you offer prayer in congregation?” Seriously, let’s spread this question. Make people think!

(I’m only talking about the congregational prayer right now. Not the fact that when we got out of the masjid there were people busy selling things on carts and busy in their other worldly dealings, right outside the masjid). Know, that at the time of Prophet Muhammad s.a.w there was no concept of not offering prayers in congregation. Even the pure hypocrites could only get away with their claim of being a Muslim by offering prayer in congregation. So it was a sort of distinguishing factor between Muslims and non-Muslims.

Get an idea from the following:

Sahih Bukhari, Volume 1, The Book of Adhaan, Hadith no. 650:

Narrated Saalim: I heard Umm-Dardaa’ saying, “Abu Dardaa’ entered the house in an angry mood. I said to him, ‘What makes you angry?’ He replied, ‘By Allaah! I do not find the followers of Muhammad s.a.w doing those good things (which they used to do before) except the offering of congregational Salaat (prayer).” (This happened in the last days of Abu Ad-Dardaa’ during the rule of ‘Uthmaan).

The above narration implies that there was no concept of not offering prayer in congregation even though Muslims of that time had left other good things. But they just had to do this one. Imagine Abu Dardaa’ coming to visit us now… Would he even survive?

Scholars have always talked about the immense importance of prayer in congregation. Some scholars talk about congregational prayer being fard (obligatory) and some talk about its not being obligatory. Whether obligatory or not, in either case its importance is not lessened.

Feel the intensity by the following hadith:

Sahih Bukhari, Volume 1, The Book of Adhaan, Hadith no. 644:

Narrated Abu Hurairah r.a: Allah’s Messenger s.a.w said,

“By Him, in Whose Hand my soul is, I intended or planned or was about to order for collecting fire-wood (fuel) and then order someone to pronounce the Adhaan for As-Salaat (the prayer) and then order someone to lead the Salaat (prayer), then I would go from behind and burn the houses of men who did not present themselves for the (compulsory congregational) Salaat. By Him, in Whose Hand my soul is, if anyone of them had known that he would get a bone covered with good meat or two (small) pieces of meat present in between two ribs, he would have turned up for the ‘Ishaa prayer.”

The above hadith implies a number of things:

  • Nabi s.a.w was ready to leave his honorable position of Imam in order to punish those who missed congregational prayer.
  • He s.a.w did not talk about those who do not offer prayer at all. Rather they might be men who offered prayer regularly in their homes. They just missed prayer in congregation.
  • The last lines mean that if people could see even benefit as little as getting two small pieces of meat, they would come to the congregational prayer. Which means that people only look for materialistic gains (which do not exist in congregational prayer), they don’t look for the real benefit behind it (though the real benefit is in abundance in the congregational prayer).
  • Last, but not the least, just imagine these words coming out of the mouth of the person who was the most gentle, loving and kind and rarely angry. Imagine burning the houses of those people… It’s almost as if the loss that they’re facing in the hereafter on account of missing prayer in congregation is as if their houses burn down, with everything in them.

O Muslim men! Wake up. Wallahi! Don’t wait anymore. This Ramadan, if only you could develop the habit of offering prayer in congregation, your Ramadan would not be wasted.


Secrets Of Salah – 41


Page 45..
Closing page. 

An example of the first is that of a slave who enters the King’s palace but there is a veil or screen between him and the King. Therefore, he is unable to taste the bliss of actually beholding the King. He is caged or confined within his suffocating desires and the fever of his vain hopes and worldly preoccupations. His heart is distracted and he finds salat a burden and a nuisance. He finds neither rest nor repose until he thankfully emerges from it and returns to his beloved dunya.

The second category is the example of a man who enters the King’s palace and the veils between him and the King are lifted. He tastes the exquisite ecstasy of actually beholding the King and standing before Him in His service and obedience. The King brings him near to himself and showers him with kindness and tenderness. He can hardly bear to part from the King, and to part with the ecstasy of being  honored by the King, and His attention and His speech. He is in this awesome position enfolded by Allah’s Love and tenderness in all directions, and his heart bows before his Lord in adoration. Thus, his soul finds repose as his body and soul bow before Allah in reverence. He is in the seventh heaven of delight worshipping Allah as though he could see Him, and Allah has manifested Himself to His slave in His words.

So what could be more unbearable than tearing himself away from such intimacy with Allah?

And all this is but a tiny drop in the vast, boundless ocean of bliss to be found in salaat, and merely a glimpse into the mysteries of salaat, and a glimmering of its effulgence.

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Secrets Of Salah – 40


Page 44..

There is a mighty difference between one for whom salaat is like a cage, imprisoning his body and his heart in suffocation, and the one for whose heart salaat is sheer ecstasy and delight for his body, and a fragrant garden of beauty for his soul. As for the first, salaat is a prison for his soul, and it’s preventing his body from its destructive desires, or it may be a precious chance to gain forgiveness for sins or Divine Mercy depending upon the share of devotion. Or he can be punished for deficiencies in its performance.

As for the one in the second category, for him, salat is like a garden in which he finds his heart’s peace and soul’s delight, repose for his tired body, a garden for his soul. So he is in utter ecstasy, experiencing a special nearness to Allah, and in an exalted station bestowed upon him by Allah, and he will be granted such elevation as a unique bounty coupled with the reward for salaat.

For kings grant their special nearness as a special reward. For example the magicians said to Pharoah,

“Will we have a reward if we succeed?” (26:41)

“Yes and you will be of those brought near” (7:114)

So Allah has promised them reward and nearness to Himself and that is the greatest felicity.

To be continued…


Secrets Of Salah – 39


Page 43..

In other words, establish salat to gain repose from the exhausting distractions of dunya, just as the exhausted traveler finds rest once he reaches his destination and returns to his home and personal haven.


And notice the words are ‘the comfort of salaat’ (Prophet salallahu alayhi wa salam felt fatigued by the worldly labor, he would simply say: “O Bilal bring us the comfort of Salat”…), and he did not say comfort us from it, for such would be the words of one who finds salat a burden, and he is in a state of torture as long as he is praying, and once he leaves it, he finds relief. And this is because his heart is so full of other than Allah. And salat cuts him off from his pursuits and his beloved worldly desires. So he is in agony as long as he is praying. And this is obvious because his heart is full of other than Allah, and he does not find peace in it. And since he knows that he has to pray, (like a necessary burden) and performs the bare minimum uttering with his tongue what is not in his heart, and he thinks to himself, “let us pray and be relieved of the burden of salat…” So this is a person who falls in a totally different category.

To be continued…


Secrets Of Salah – 38


Page 42..

He was tested by his tempting self that incites him to commit evil, and corrupting desires, and by shaytan. All of whom urge him to waste his share. So Allah, in His Infinite Mercy decreed one salaat after another to grant the slave the opportunity of renewing his Imaan and toning for lost opportunities. Also, He placed between the prayers an interval for rest out of wisdom and mercy. He granted each of His slave’s limbs a chance to express his devotion and He made the fruit, or essence of salat, devotion towards Allah. He made the reward of salat the nearness towards Allah which he experiences, and also gaining His honor in the world and the Hereafter. And He made the slave stand before Him as a reminder of his standing before Allah on The Last Day.

Just as one of the main fruits of fasting is the purification of the soul, one main fruit of Zakat is the purification of wealth, for Hajj is the gaining of Divine Forgiveness, for Jihad is surrendering the soul which Allah bought from His slaves for Paradise, for the main fruit of salat is devotion to Allah, and this one quality combines all the above mentioned advantages of all deeds of worship.

This is why the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa salam) never said that the coolness of his eyes was in fasting, Hajj or Umrah.

Instead he said, “…the coolness of my eyes is in prayer”. This implies that his heart only found ecstasy once he entered the prayer, just as the lover finds joy in the company of his beloved, and the terrified one finds peace in a sanctuary. When the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa salam) felt fatigued by the worldly labor, he would simply say: “O Bilal bring us the comfort of Salat”…

To be continued…


Secrets Of Salah – 37


Page 41..

Now two matters remain regarding the slave.

Allah’s commands regarding his state, outwardly and inwardly and the enjoining of devotion. Firstly, by submission to what Allah has destined for him (the reference is to al hukm ut takweeni), and secondly, deeds that the slave performs as worship for his Lord (the reference is to al hukm ut tashreeiee).

And both matters demand surrender of the spirit to Allah, and the word Islam has been derived from the word taslim (surrender).

When he submits to his Lord’s decree, both takweeni and tashreeiee, by upholding the rights of devotion, and restraining his desires or lusts, he is called a Muslim.

When his heart finds peace in the remembrance of Allah, the speech of Allah, and in His Love, he then attains serenity in (worshipping) Allah, and draws near to Allah and he achieves his heart’s delight and he gains utmost felicity by Allah’s Grace.  He is in Allah’s Protection because of his faith, and it is essential that he fulfill both matters, for without them he has neither spiritual life, success, nor felicity.

To be continued…



Secrets Of Salah – 36


Page 40..

When he raises his head from sajdah, he sits back on his knees and his focus must be on Allah’s Generosity, Boundless Bounty and the intensity of his need for Allah’s Grace and Tenderness. Thus, he casts himself upon Allah’s Mercy, begging Allah to forgive him, have mercy upon him, and grant him well-being, guidance and provision.


Then when he sits back for tashahud, he resembles a pilgrim during his farewell tawaaf, and his heart experiences the anguish of parting from his Lord and returning to the worldly distractions and pursuits that prevent him from standing before his Lord. His heart had already tasted the agony of this separation before he started his prayer. Then in salat his heart savored the exquisite ecstasy of nearness to Allah, and tasted the bliss of salat, and the feeling of well being.


So now his heart experiences desolation at the thought of termination of that joy, and he wishes that his salat could be continued till the Day of Judgment. For he knows he is parting from The One who has always granted him felicity, and he is returning to the company of those who have invariably troubled him, hurt him and pained him. The pangs of agony at the termination of salat are only experienced by one whose heart is spiritually alive with Allah’s remembrance, Love, and who is fully aware of the dangers of people, and how the heart suffers stifling suffocation and spiritual darkness, and loses the opportunity for good deeds and ears sins in their company.

 To be continued…



Secrets Of Salah – 35


Page 39..

When he does qiyam, his focus must be on Allah’s Glory, so he turns neither left nor right. When he utters takbeer, his focus must be on Allah’s Might and Majesty, and during the opening, his focus must be on praising Allah’s Qualities and Perfection. When he seeks refuge in Allah from Satan, his focus is on Allah’s strength and the reliance that Allah alone can protect him from his foe. When he recites the Quran, his focus must be reflecting on the Divine Speech as though he could see Allah. Some scholars say: “Allah has manifested Himself to His slaves in His speech.”

People have varying degrees and tastes. Among them is the one who sees with both eyes, the one-eyed, the blind and deaf and the bleary-eyed during his recitation and salat (these are the spiritual levels). And during recitation he must focus on Allah’s Being, His Qualities, Commands, Prohibitions, His deeds, His Laws and His names. When he goes into ruku he must focus on Allah’s Grandeur and His Majesty. This is why he utters reverently, ‘Transcendent is my Majestic Lord.’

Then when he lifts his head from ruku, he must concentrate on the praise of his Lord, and that He alone has power to bestow or deprive.

When he does sajdah, his focus must be on drawing close to Allah and utterly abasing himself before Him, and expressing his complete need and poverty before Allah.

To be continued…



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