Today, the Ayah that I am sharing, mentions two of the five basic pillars of Islam. It is from Surah Baqarah, the second and the longest Suran of the Quran.
And perform As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat), and give Zakat, and Irka’ (i.e. bow down or submit yourselves with obedience to Allah) along with Ar-Raki’un.
(Al Baqarah 2:43)
Allah swt mentions Salat (prayer) and Zakat (obligatory charity) in this beautiful ayah. As Muslims, we are to pray 5 times daily across the day through night, from early dawn to the depth of night. Five times, Allah swt has given us a chance to communicate with Him. We are closest to Allah swt in salah, during our sujood, our prostration. There is no better way to communicate to Allah for us, except during salat. It is the first thing that we will be held accountable for on the Day of Judgement.
Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) said: “Indeed the first deed by which a servant will be called to account on the Day of Resurrection is his Salat. If it is complete, he is successful and saved, but if it is defective, he has failed and lost. So if something is deficient in his obligatory (prayers) then the Lord, Mighty and Sublime says: ‘Look! Are there any voluntary (prayers) for my worshipper?’ So with them, what was deficient in his obligatory (prayers) will be completed. Then the rest of his deeds will be treated like that.” (At Trimidhi 413)
Therefore, make sure that you guard your five compulsory prayers everyday. Add to them the Sunnah prayers as well. And to be on safer side, pray additional voluntary prayers as well. Maybe just a few nawafil, say 2 units every day, consistently till we build up on them. They are a compensation for our missed prayers. Iqamat As Salaat is the prayer performed at its earliest fixed time and with proper khushoo. It is very hard for many of us to pray with perfect khushoo. While many of the day’s mundane and trivial things show up during the salaah as thoughts, we get very easily distracted by these. But if it is worked on, it can be developed and is certainly not something unachievable.
The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said, pray as if you are seeing your Rabb and if you cannot do so, then keep in mind that Allah, your Rabb is seeing you. Anytime we feel our mind is wandering off to somewhere in salah, remember that Allah swt is seeing you. Remember that you are standing before Him swt. Imagine it, till you can really make it so! We can always train our minds and heart, they just need efforts. May Allah swt make it easy for us to concentrate in salaah, and perform our salah is the most beautiful way. Ameen.
Hold on to your Salah more these days. We are living in times of deception and oppression. And nothing can help us more than staying firm on our deen. And salah is tour shield for that. It is a protection against sins and immorality. It is the way through which we seek Allah swt’s help and guidance. Abandoning salah will lead to a heedless mind and a hardened heart. If you are not yet there, take baby steps, pray all the obligatory salah first, then add to them sunnah and later nawafil. But don’t give up. Pray everyday. Start today, in sha Allah, Allah swt make it easy for you.
The next pillar mentioned in this ayah is the Zakat, the obligatory charity that we as Muslims, have to pay every year. Allah swt does not need your money, He just needs to see who will uphold His command. Zakat is a charity that is aimed to strike a balance in the society. To help the needy and the poor. Nobody has ever become poor by giving charity. When you pay Zakat, you are spending money in the way of Allah. And Allah has promised an increase for every penny that you spend in His way.Try it, at least once in your life. Give out charity only for Allah swt’s sake, to seek his pleasure and then see how He swt blesses you with it.
Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said, “Charity does not decrease wealth, no one forgives another except that Allah increases his honor, and no one humbles himself for the sake of Allah except that Allah raises his status.” (Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 2588)
Charity begins at home! The people who have a right on your Zakaat and other charity first, are your family, relatives and the neighbors that are in need of it. When you begin with them, it is more benefiting and rewarding for you. One you earn Allah swt’s pleasure for keeping up His command of spending your wealth in His way, and second you earn His pleasure of keeping up the ties of kinship. It is a double reward for a single deed. Therefore, do not be stringent and give, whatever you should as Zakat, and whatever you can as voluntary charity, to those in need in order to purify your wealth and purify your soul.
Salah and Zakah, are both the means of tazkiya, self purification. With one you achieve salvation, peace and purification of the heart. With other, you achieve purification of the wealth, which indirectly purifies your heart and soul as well. We have been so blessed by Allah swt, doing what He commands us to, that is following what is obligatory, is the least we can do to show Him our gratitude. And if you are seeking to get nearer and closer to Him swt, then start with the voluntary acts of worship as well. In sha Allah, you will among the successful. Ameen
May Allah swt help us pray our daily salah in the perfect of manners. May He swt make our life revolve around the salah and not the other way round. May He swt help us spend in His way with what is obligatory on us and with what we can as voluntarily. May He swt increase us in our voluntary acts of worship. May He swt accept us as and keep us among His grateful slaves.