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How To Offer Namaz !

It is related by Hazrat Abu hurairah (R.A.) that (once) the Apostle of Allah (Sallallaho alaiho wasallam) was sitting to one side in the mosque that a man came in and offered his Namaz (Prayer). Afterwards, he came to the holy Prophet (SAW) and paid his respects to him. The Holy Prophet (SAW) returned the salutation and remarked: "Go and offer the Namaz (Prayer) again. You have not said it properly." He went back and said the prayers again and returned to the Holy Prophet (SAW), and paid his respects. The Holy Prophet (SAW), returning the salutation, once again remarked: "Go and offer the Namaz (Prayer) again. You have not said it properly". After offering Namaz (Prayer) for the third (and the fourth) time, the man said to the Holy Prophet (SAW): "Sir, tell me how to offer Namaz (Prayer)". The Holy Prophet (SAW) replied: "When you decide to offer Namaz (Prayer), first perform Wadhu throughly and well, then turn to Qibla, then begin the Namaz (Prayer), after uttering Takbir-i-Tahrima. After it recite some part of the Holy Qur’aan which you know by heart and can recite easily. (In other Traditions relating to the same incident it is stated that the Apostle of Allah (SAW) told the questioner, specifically, to recite Surah-i-Fateha and whatever he liked, in addition to it). Then after the recital, perform Ruku till you are still and at ease in Ruku. Then, arise from Ruku till you stand erect. Then, perform the Sajadah till you are still and at ease in Sajadah. Then arise till you sit up comfortably. (According to another narrator, the Holy Prophet (SAW), instead of it, said: "Then arise till you stand erect). Then, do like that throughout the Namaz (Prayer) (i.e., in every Ruku, Sujud, Qauma and Jalsa in a calm and collected manner)." (Bukhari and Muslim)

The incident mentioned above related to Hadhrat Khallad bin Rafay (RA), the brother of the well-known Sahabi, Hadhrat Rifa’ah bin Rafay (RA). According to Nassai, he had offered up two Raka’ah of Namaz (Prayer) in the Holy Prophet’s (SAW) mosque but some other commentators suggest that these Raka’ah were of Tahiyyat-ul-Masjid which Hadhrat Khallad (RA), had said rather hurriedly, and upon it, he was reproached by the Holy Prophet (SAW) and told to offer them up again.

It shows that the Holy Prophet (SAW) did not plainly tell Hadhrat Khallad bin Rafay (RA), at the first time, what was wrong with his Namaz (Prayer) and how it was to be said correctly but at the third or fourth time, and, then, at his own request. It was, probably, for the simple reason that a lesson imparted in such a manner suffices for a lifetime and gets talked about among others as well.

The paractical teaching imparted in the above Tradition is that Namaz (Prayer) should be offered up in a calm and composed manner and if it is offered hurriedly and wiithout making the necessary pauses and carrying out the various acts properly it be as good as unsaid.

Namaz (Prayer) of Holy Prophet (SAW)

Hadhrat Ayeshah (RA) narrated that the Apostle of Allah (SAW) commenced his Namaz (Prayer) with Takbir and the recital with Al-Hamdu-Lilaahi Rabbil ‘Alameen, and while performing Ruku he neither raised his head upward nor bent it downwards but kept it in the middle position (i.e., in line with the waist) and when he from Rukuh he did not go into Sajadah till he had stood erect, and when he raised the head from Sajadah he did not perform the second Sajadah until he had sat upright and he recited At-Tahiyyatu after every two Rak’ah and at that time, he flattened the left foot under him and kept the right foot in the upright postion and he forbade Uqbatish Shaitan (sitting like the Devil), and he, also, forbade that a man sat (in Sajadah) with his forearms (i.e., parts of arms between elbow and wrist) placed on the ground like the animals, and he brought the Namaz (Prayer) to an end by saying Assalmu ‘alaikum wa rahmatullah." ----Muslim

Namaz (Prayer) is a worship of a very high order. For it such forms and postures of Qayam, Qaood, Ruku and Sujood have been prescribed as constitute the finest marks and expressions of adoration and humbleness, and all the unbecoming manners of holding the body that are indicative of vanity, awkwardness or indifference, or bear a resemblance with the lowly creatures have been, particularly, forbidden. The Holy Prophet (SAW) has, accordingly, ordered us not to sit in Sajadah with forearms spread on the ground as the dogs and wolves do or in the manner which, in this Tradition, has been described as Uqbatish Shaitan , and, in another, as Aq’aa-al-kalb.

Commentators have differed in their explanation of the two terms. In our humble view, however, they denote sitting on the heels with the feet held upright on the toes and since this posture gives the impression of haste and exaggerated self-es-teem and only the knees touch the ground and it is the way dogs and wolves and other wild animals, generally, sit, the Holy Prophet (SAW) took special care to forbid against sitting like that in Namaz (Prayer).

Special prayers and formulas of Allah-remembrance

The inner feelling of earnestness and deep devotion that runs through the prayer-formulas through which the revere and adore the Lord during the various parts or acts of Namaz (Prayer) like Qayam, Ruku and Sujood, and the entreaties he made in them, form the essence of Namaz (Prayer). The sayings we are now going to discuss should be read from that point of view and the endeavour should be to produce the same emotional and spiritual state of feeling because it is the characteristic legacy of the Holy Prophet (SAW).

Hadhrat Ayeshah (RA) related to us that ‘when the Apostle of Allah (SAW) began (to offer up) Namaz (Prayer) he first glorified the Lord in these words: Subhaanakal-laa-humma wabihamdika wa tabarakasmuka wa ta’ala jadduka wa laa-ilaaha ghiruka (O Allah, with Thy glorification and Thy praise; blessed is Thy Name; and there is no Allah save thee). Tirmidhi, and Abu Dawood.

Hadhrat Ibn-Taimiyah (RA) writes in Muntaqa about Hadhrat Abu Bakr (RA), on the authority of Hadhrat Sunnan-i-Saeed bin Mansur (RA), and about Hazrat Omer (RA) on the authority of Sahih Muslim, and about Hadhrat Osman (RA) and Hadhrat Abdullah bin Masud (RA), on the authority of Qutni, that they began their Namaz (Prayer) with Subhaanakallahumma wa bihamdika... and, then, goes on to observe that it appears from it that the Holy Prophet (SAW), usually, recited this short prayer after Takbir in Namaz (Prayer). It, therefore, enjoys preference over all the other prayers of adoration mentioned in the traditions with relation to the commencement of the service though there is no harm in reciting the other proven hymns, as for instance, the one occurring in the next Tradition related on the authority of Hadhrat Ali (RA).

Hadhrat Ali (R.A.) related that "when the Apostle of Allah (SAW) stood up to offer Namaz (Prayer) he recited the following prayer after Takbir: Waj-jahtu Waj-hil-lazi fataras samawati wal-arz hanifan wa maana minal-mushrikeena in-nasalaati wa nusuki wa mahya-yawa ma-matillahii rabbil ‘Aalimeena Laa Shareeka Lauhu Wa bizaalika omirtu wa ana minal muslimeena allahumma antal maliku laa ilaaha anta anta rabbi wa ana abduka azlamtu mafsi wa-’ataraftu bizanbi faghfirli zunubi jamee’an in-nahu laayaghfiruzzunuba illa anta wahdin li-absaril akhlaq laa yahdi liahsaniha illa anta was-rif’ annisaiyyi-aha laa yahsnifu ‘an-nisajyyi-aha illa anta, labbaika wa sa’adaika was-sharru laisa ilaika anabika wa ilaika tabarkta wa ta’a-laita astghfiruka wa atoobuilaika (I have turned away from every direction and set the Creator of the heavens and the earth, and I am not of those who associate anyone with Him in allegiance. My worship, and my every religious act, and my life and my death are for Allah alone, the Lord of the Worlds. To this I have been commanded and I am of those who obey. O Allah Thou art the Sovereign and Master. No one is worthy of obedience save Thee. Thou art my Lord and Owner, and I am Thy slave. I have wronged my soul, and ruined myself, and I confess my inquities. O Lord! Forgive me my sins; no one can forgive sins expect Thee. And remove all bad manners and deplorable morals from my side, and take them away from me. This, too, no one aside of Thee can do. I am in THY presence the service and Thy victory. Here I am, O Lord! All the good things, and every kind of piety and virtue are in Thy hands, and evil has no access towards Thee. Thou art the Blessed, the Most High, then art my only hope and my face is turned towards Thee. I beg The forgiveness and unto the do I turn penitent).

This prayer the holy Prophet (SAW) recited after Takbir and before the commencement (of recitation from the Holy Qur’aan. Then, as he perform the Ruku’, (after completing the recital), he used to say: Allahumma laka rak’atu wa bika aamantu wa laka aslamtu khash’a laka sam’anini wa basari wa mukhkhi wa’azmi wa ‘asbi (O Allah! I am bowed low before Thee and I have believed in Thee and placed myself I Thy charge. My earns, and my eyes, and my marrow and my bones, and my muscles, and my nerves are all bent in submission to Thee). Later, as the Holy Prophet (SAW) raised his head from Rukuo’ and stood erect, he said: "Allahhumma rabbana lakal-hamdu mila-a-as- samawaati wal-arzi wa ma bainahuma wa mila-a ma shiata min shaiyyan b’adu" (O Allah! Praise is for Thee alone, such boundless praise as my cover the extensiveness of the heavens and the earth and fill all the empty space between them). After it when the Holy Prophet (SAW) performed Sajadah, he used to say (placing his forehead on the ground): Allahumma laka sajad-tu wa bika aamantu wa laka aslamtu sajada waj-hiyyallazi khalaqa-hu wa sawwar-tuhwa shaq-qa sam-’ahu wa basarahu tabarak-allahu ahsanul khaliqeen (O Allah! I am prostrating myself for Thy sake, and in Thy presence, amd I have believe in Thee, and I have placed myself in Thy charge. My face is carrying out genuflexion before the Creator who created it, and gave it its shape, and its ear, and its eyes out of nothing. \Blessed, indeed, is the Best of Creators).

In the end, between Attahyyaatu (Also known as Tashahhud) and Salutation,he would pray: Allahummaghfirli ma qaddamtu wa ma akhkhartu wa ma anta a’alamu bihi minni antalmuqqdimu wa ant-al muwakhkhartu la ilaaha illa anta (O Allah! Forgive me all the sins I have committed earlier or later, and secretly or openly) and whatever in equity I have been guilty of, and of which Thou art better informed than me.

"Thou it is who raises to higher rank and reduces to lower position. Verily, there is no deity save Thee)."--Muslim

From the narratives relating to the Namaz (Prayer) of the Holy Prophet (SAW) is it clear that it was not the Prophet’s (SAW) regular practice to recite in Namaz (Prayer) the prayers mentioned by Hadhrat Ali (RA) in the above report. Perhaps, he did so occasionally, and most probably,in Tahajjud. Infact, Imam Muslim (RA) has quoted this Tradition in connection with the traditions appertaining Tahajjud.

Many other prayers were, also, recited by the Holy Prophet (SAW) in Namaz (Prayer), particularly in Tahajjud which will be taken up at the approbate time. These possess a special significance and are charged with rare feeling. The Imam can read them in Fardh Namaz (Prayer) as well if he is satisfied that it will not go hard with the Muqtadis, and as far as supererogatory services are concerned, there is no reason why one should not avail oneself of this marvellous bequest in them.

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