Hadith no. 684 is a repeat. Read it here.
Narrated An-Nu’man bin ‘Bashir:
The Prophet said, “Straighten your rows or Allah will alter your faces.”
The Prophet said, “Straighten your rows, for I see you from behind my back.”
Narrated Anas bin Malik:
Once the Iqama was pronounced and Allah’s Apostle faced us and said, “Straighten your rows and stand closer together, for I see you from behind my back.”
Narrated Anas bin Malik:
The Prophet said, “Straighten your rows as the straightening of rows is essential for a perfect and correct prayer. “
Narrated Anas bin Malik:
I arrived at Medina and was asked whether I found any change since the days of Allah’s Apostle. I said, “I have not found any change except that you do not stand in alignment in your prayers.”
Narrated Anas bin Malik:
The Prophet said, “Straighten your rows for I see you from behind my back.” Anas added, “Everyone of us used to put his shoulder with the shoulder of his companion and his foot with the foot of his companion.”
Need I say more?
Narrated ‘Ubaid-Ullah Ibn ‘Abdullah bin ‘Utba:
I went to ‘Aisha and asked her to describe to me the illness of Allah’s Apostle. ‘Aisha said, “Yes. The Prophet became seriously ill and asked whether the people had prayed. We replied, ‘No. O Allah’s Apostle! They are waiting for you.’ He added, ‘Put water for me in a trough.” ‘Aisha added, “We did so. He took a bath and tried to get up but fainted. When he recovered, he again asked whether the people had prayed. We said, ‘No, they are waiting for you. O Allah’s Apostle,’ He again said, ‘Put water in a trough for me.’ He sat down and took a bath and tried to get up but fainted again. Then he recovered and said, ‘Have the people prayed?’ We replied, ‘No, they are waiting for you. O Allah’s Apostle.’ He said, ‘Put water for me in the trough.’ Then he sat down and washed himself and tried to get up but he fainted. When he recovered, he asked, ‘Have the people prayed?’ We said, ‘No, they are waiting for you. O Allah’s Apostle! The people were in the mosque waiting for the Prophet for the ‘Isha prayer. The Prophet sent for Abu Bakr to lead the people in the prayer. The messenger went to Abu Bakr and said, ‘Allah’s Apostle orders you to lead the people in the prayer.’ Abu Bakr was a soft-hearted man, so he asked ‘Umar to lead the prayer but ‘Umar replied, ‘You are more rightful.’ So Abu Bakr led the prayer in those days. When the Prophet felt a bit better, he came out for the Zuhr prayer with the help of two persons one of whom was Al-‘Abbas. while Abu Bakr was leading the people in the prayer. When Abu Bakr saw him he wanted to retreat but the Prophet beckoned him not to do so and asked them to make him sit beside Abu Bakr and they did so. Abu Bakr was following the Prophet (in the prayer) and the people were following Abu Bakr. The Prophet (prayed) sitting.”
‘Ubaid-Ullah added “I went to ‘Abdullah bin ‘Abbas and asked him, Shall I tell you what Aisha has told me about the fatal illness of the Prophet?’ Ibn ‘Abbas said, ‘Go ahead. I told him her narration and he did not deny anything of it but asked whether ‘Aisha told me the name of the second person (who helped the Prophet ) along with Al-Abbas. I said. ‘No.’ He said, ‘He was ‘Ali (Ibn Abi Talib).
I was thinking about the initial part of this Hadith. Prophet (SAW) is so ill, he can’t even stay awake for long. He faints each time he wants to get up. Each time he recovers, he asks about the prayer. He worries about the people waiting for prayer. He is so weak, so close to death, yet he keeps Salah above everything else.
What is it about Salah? Why is it SO important? Why do Allah and His Messenger (SAW) emphasize on its establishment so much? Why does Prophet (SAW)’s face get lit up when he sees the Muslims praying during his last days? Why does he want to burn the houses of those men who do not turn up for congregational prayer in the masjid five times a day? Why are Muslims promised an ‘honorable’ place in Paradise for praying? Why is praying on time so important? Why so much reward on doing it properly and such severe punishment on ignoring it? Have you ever thought about it?
This is what I came across when I Googled ‘importance of Salah’:
“Then, there came after them a generation who gave up Salah and followed lusts; so they will be thrown in Hell.” (19: 59)
“Salah is the second pillar and one of the most important pillars of Islam. Salah is the key to Islam.” -Hamid Syed
“The first matter that the slave will be brought to account for on the Day of Judgment is the prayer. If it is sound, then the rest of his deeds will be sound. And if it is bad, then the rest of his deeds will be bad.” [Tabarani]
“Salat is a pillar of the religion (Islam). He who establishes it, establishes religion; and he who destroys it, destroys religion.” [Tabarani]
After going through all this, I’m now thinking: Salah is one of the basic necessities of life. If water keeps your body alive, Salah keeps your soul nourished. We can go on about the physical, emotional, psychological, spiritual, personal, social and other benefits of Salah. But I can conclude early: Salah is a Muslim’s basic necessity.
Let your soul live. PRAY!
Narrated Ibn ‘Umar:
Allah’s Apostle said, “Whoever misses the ‘Asr prayer (intentionally), then it is as if he lost his family and property.”
Imagine such a loss. And it’s not so hard to imagine. Some people have to through natural disasters like earthquakes and floods in order to lose their family and property. Some people do it simply: by not praying/delaying ‘Asr. Astaghfirullah!
Narrated Abu Al-Mahh:
We were with Buraida in a battle on a cloudy day and he said, “Offer the ‘Asr prayer early as the Prophet said, “Whoever leaves the ‘Asr prayer, all his (good) deeds will be annulled.”
You woke up, prayed, helped your mother in the kitchen, smiled at your brother, carried someone’s baggage for them, gave good advice to a friend, swallowed your anger for Allah’s sake, and left the ‘Asr prayer because you were busy playing/working. Guess what, all those good deeds, LOST. Like you never did them. And ‘all good deeds’ probably implies the good deeds you’ve done all your life. This is just a day’s work. SubhanAllah.
Remember, delaying the prayer intentionally and not praying at all are the same.
حَافِظُوا عَلَى الصَّلَوَاتِ وَالصَّلَاةِ الْوُسْطَىٰ
“Guard strictly (five obligatory) As-Salawat (the prayers) especially the middle Salat (i.e. the best prayer – ‘Asr).” [Al-Baqarah: 238]
No doubt, the middle prayer, ‘Asr, holds immense importance. This does not mean the other prayers are any less significant. It’s just to emphasize and remind us that we better not leave our prayers, especially the ‘Asr prayer. Because we usually tend to forget this one. Either we’re busy working, or studying, or even resting. That time of the day you find the roads jammed. So in all that rush, we’re likely to forget/delay our ‘Asr prayer. One word: DON’T!
Narrated Ibn ‘Abbas:
“Once a delegation of ‘Abdul Qais came to Allah’s Apostle and said, “We belong to such and such branch of the tribe of Rab’a and we can only come to you in the sacred months. Order us to do something good so that we may (carry out) take it from you and also invite to it our people whom we have left behind (at home).” The Prophet said, ” I order you to do four things and forbid you from four things. (The first four are as follows):
1. To believe in Allah. (And then he: explained it to them i.e.) to testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and (Muhammad) am Allah’s Apostle
2. To offer prayers perfectly (at the stated times)
3. To pay Zakat (obligatory charity)
4. To give me Khumus
(The other four things which are forbidden are as follows):
4. Naqir (all these are utensils used for the preparation of alcoholic drinks).”
Offering praying perfectly or ‘establishing’ the prayer includes praying on time. A Muslim is required to pray five times a day. Not just that, he has to pray on the specified time. For example, Fajr has to be offered before sunrise. Importance of praying on time is emphasized in the Qur’an as well:
إِنَّ الصَّلَاةَ كَانَتْ عَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ كِتَابًا مَّوْقُوتًا
“Verily, As-Salat (the prayer) is enjoined on the believers at fixed hours.” [An-Nisa: 103]
This book, Kitaab Mawaqeet as-Salah, is all about the times of prayers. We will know exactly when to pray which salah, without having to rely on our watches or the adhaan, or even the prayer alarms on our devices. InshaAllah.