VIRTUES OF SALAAH
IMPORTANCE OF SALAAT
HADITH - 3
Hadhrat Abu Uthman (Radhiyallaho anho) says: "I was once sitting
under a tree with Hadhrat Salmaan (Radhiyallaho anho). He caught
hold of a dry branch of the tree and shook it till all its leaves
fell off. He then said to me, "0, Abu Uthman! (Radhiyallaho
anho) Will you not ask me why I am doing this?" "Do tell
me," I entreated. He said, "The Apostle of Allah had done
exactly like this before me, while I was with him under a tree.
He caught a dry branch of it and shook it, till all its leaves
fell off". At this he said: *0, Salmaan! (Radhiyallaho anho)
will you not ask me why I am doing this?' I replied: 'Do tell me
why you are doing this?' He remarked: "Verily when a Muslim
takes wudhu properly and then observes his salaat five times a day,
his sins fall off just as these leaves have fallen off. He then
recited the following verse of the Holy Qur'an:
"Establish salaat at the two ends of the day, and
at the approaches of the night. Verily, good deeds annul ill deeds.
This is a reminder for the mindful. (XI: 114)"
The behaviour of Hadhrat Salmaan (Radhiyallaho anho) in the above
Hadith displays the profound love which the Sahaabah had for the
Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe
wasallam). They would often cherish the sweet memories of the time
when the Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) was living among them.
They would, while quoting him, enact exactly what they had seen
him doing at a particular moment.
It is really very difficult to cover all the traditions of the
Holy Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam), which deal with the importance
of salaat and which declare forgiveness for those who guard it.
As had already been said before, the theologians restrict this declaration
of forgiveness to saghaa'ir (minor sins) only, but in the text of
the Hadith there is no such restriction.
My learned father gave me two reasons for this. Firstly, it does
not really become a Muslim to commit any of the kabaa'ir (major
sins). If perchance any such sins are committed by him, he cannot
rest in peace (due to inherent fear of Allah in him) until he washes
them with his tears of repentance in crying before Allah. Secondly,
the person who performs his salaat with sincerity and thoroughness
is very likely to do istighfaar quite a number of times daily. Look
for instance at the closing prayer of salaat itself, viz:
"0, My Lord! I have wronged my soul a great wrong,
and none forgiveth sins save Thou alone. Then forgive me and have
mercy on me. Verily, Thou art the Forgiving, the Merciful.
In the above Hadith, mention is made of wudhu to be done properly.
We should, therefore, be sure of the regulations about wudhu and
try to observe all of these. For example, take the case of miswaak.
It is sunnat of wudhu, but is very often neglected. It is said in
a Hadith that the salaat offered after doing miswaak is seventy
times superior to the salaat without miswaak. In another Hadith,
use of miswaak has been enjoined very strongly, and the following
benefits are attributed to it:—
"It cleanses and sweetens the mouth and checks its bad smell."
"It is a cause of Allah's pleasure and a blow to the Devil."
"Allah and his angels love the person doing miswaak."
"It strengthens the gums and improves eye-sight."
"It is a purge against bile and phlegm."
To crown all, "It is a sunnah i.e. the practice of our beloved
Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam)."
As many as seventy virtues of the miswaak have been enumerated
by the theologians. It is said that a person in the habit of miswaak
dies with the Kalimah on his lips. The rewards of taking wudhu properly
are very many. It is mentioned in Ahaadith that the parts of body
washed in wudhu shall glitter on the Day of Judgment and, by this
(distinction), the Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) will at
once recognise his followers.
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