Part of the Do'a Iftitah

"Verily my solats, my ibadah, my life and my death I surrender to Almighty Allah, Creator and Lord of all the worlds. Never will I associate anything with Him. So am I commanded and I am of those who are Muslims."

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Monday, August 28, 2006

Peace of mind through Solat @ Muslim Prayers

In these times when Mankind is engrossed in the distractions of this worldly life, we need to be fully aware of the many opportunities available to us today, to seek God's Mercy and to be amongst those who seek His Blessings. Yes, even in modern day life, there are still opportunities open to us whilst living in this concrete jungle and metropolitan capital city of Kuala Lumpur and elsewhere around the world.

Humanbeings need to realise that the most important thing for us living in these stressful and challenging times is to maintain a well balanced sense of peace in our minds. Muslims get to attain this spiritual wellbeing by performing their 5 daily prayers @ Solat.

Picture shows Syaikh Adnan al Haqqani al Qubrusi al Naqsybandi, brother and Khalifah of Syaikh Nazim, the Sufi Master and Head of the Tariqah Naqsybandi based in Cyprus.


It is crucial for a person to be at peace with him or herself whilst going through the daily hustle and bustle of city life or even in the rural areas!
Many modern people living in the cities of this world get so stressed out and exasperated by the rigours of daily routine of dealing
with other humanbeings who at times drive them nuts and almost to a breaking point!

Some do cross the line and take the easy way out by ending their lifes unnecessarily such as jump off their office buildings, commit suicide by taking sleeping pills or overdose themselves by swallowing psychotropic drugs,etc!
Islam offers the easiest way out for everyone by way of Solat @ the 5 daily prayers offered at intervals throughout each day.


There's nothing as effective as Solat to ease away all those sorrows and soothe away the many kinds of stress we go through each day in our lifes and daily routines.


Take a look at one who is in constant prayer and you can't help but notice the peace and tranquility visible on their person and in their heart!


The face reflects whats present in the heart and those who are in constant contact with Almighty Allah, show the benefits of remaining at peace within themselves and also when they deal with the society present in their lifes.
'Whatever's in the heart; shows up on the face!' an ancient parable that is so accurate and true.

When a Muslim takes 'Wudhu' @ ablution , he or she washes away grime, dirt and dust physically from their bodies and at the same time experience a spiritual spring cleaning in their heart, purifying them body and soul in order to be ready to stand before their Maker!
  • First,one makes the intention to perform ablution in your heart .
  • Start by reading 'Bismillahirrahmanirrahim' followed by washing your hands 3 times ,
  • Followed by washing one's mouth 3 times,
  • washing one's nostrils 3 times,
  • then washing the face 3 times whilst reciting the do'a: 'Nawaitu Raf'al hadathil asghari lillahi ta'ala 3 times which means 'I intend to perform my ablution for the sake of Allah Ta'ala'
  • then washing your right hand upto the elbow 3 times,
  • then the left hand upto the elbow 3 times,
  • then followed by wiping the head 3 times,
  • right ear 3 times , both inner and outer part of the earlobes
  • left ear 3 times, both inner and outer part of the earlobes
  • wiping the neck 3 times
  • then wash the right leg 3 times from above the ankles and below
  • followed by the left leg 3 times from above the ankles and below
  • Followed by the do'a after ablution.
Then the Muslim is ready to face Allah SWT in prayer.

The Muslim has to be clean in all areas, clothing, place of prayer and self, body and soul. The ablution requires one to refrain from even passing wind from oneself or any of the other bodily emitted filth such as urine or faeces. We wash with water and soap our private parts after passing motion or urinating. Not a drop of urine is allowed to pollute our garments or selfs.

Any violation of those 3 renders the ablution void and one needs to take it again. Talk about being clean in total. So, is the preparation to stand before God in prayer.


One has to focus his or her mind towards the objective at hand that is to submit to God's Will and ask for forgiveness for one's sins! Sincerity in prayer is utmost important and any false pretences will render the prayer invalid and not accepted by God. So, one needs to be knowledgable about the do's and don'ts in Islam.

This knowledge is known as 'Fardhu Ain'. Also known as the building blocks of one's faith.


After taking the ablution @ 'Wudhu', the Muslim faces the Qibla @ Direction towards Makkah, Arabia where the Holy Ka'aba is located.

We pray towards the Ka'aba in Makkah as a central focus point only from all parts of the world.
It serves just as a focus point to stand in prayer before God!


Muslims from Malaysia stand in prayer North to NorthWest according to the compass. People from other places stand in prayer according to their own locations following the compass towards the Holy Ka'aba. We make the intention to pray whatever prayers is in the current time frame.

If it is the early dawn prayers @ Subuh @ Fajr prayers, it consists of 2 cycles of prayers @ raka'ats.
The midday prayers @ Dzohor consists of 4 raka'ats. The afternoon prayers consists of 4 raka'ats also. Followed by the Maghrib @ Sunset prayers of 3 raka'ats and last is the 'Isya prayers @ night prayers of 4 raka'ats. Contrary to what the ignorants say that we worship the Ka'aba, we worship only Almighty God, Allahu Akbar by focusing our hearts and minds to God, body and soul. We glorify Him by raising our hands upto our ears and proclaim 'Allahu Akbar!' which means 'Allah is the Greatest'. Then followed by reading the Do'a Iftitah :


Allahu Akbaru kabiraw walhamdu lillahi kathiraw wasubhanallahhi bukratau waasila. Wajjahtu wajhia lillazi fataras sama wati wal ardha hanifam muslimaw wama ana minal musyrikin. Inna solati wanusuki wamahyaya wammamati lillahi rabbil'alamin. La syarikalahu wabiza lika umirtu wa ana minal muslimin.

Meaning :
Allah is the Greatest and Most Largest. And all Praises be upon Allah as there much as they are. And most pure is Allah day and night. I face Him who has created the heavens and the earth.I dedicate myself to Allah and verily I am not amongst those who ascribe partners to Allah. Verily my prayers, my ibadah, my life and my death I dedicate only to Allah, Lord of all the Universes. Never will I ever associate Him with others. And so have I been commanded and verily I am among those who are Muslims.

We then read the Surah Al Fatihah :
Bismillah hirrahma nirrahim.Alhamdulillahi rabbil 'alamin. Arrahma nirrahim. Maliki yaumiddin.Iyyaka na'kbudu waiyyaka nasta'in. Ihdinassiratal mustaqim. Siratal lazina an'amta'alaihim ghairil maghdubi 'alaihim waladdhalin.Amin.
Meaning:
In the name of Allah ,Most Compassionate, Most Merciful.
All praises be to Allah, Lord of all the Worlds.
Most Compassionate Most Merciful.
Master on the Day of Judgement.
Only You whom we worship;Only to you do we seek help.
Show us the straight path.
The path of those whom you have blessed.
Not the path of those whom you have cursed and those gone astray.
Ameen.

Then , we read from any of the Surah's in the Qur'an. Usually we would read short verses from the Juzu' Amma. Surah's like Al-Ikhlas, Al-Falaq and An Nas are read.

We then say the Takbir 'Allahu Akbar' and bow down to God saying:
'Subhana Rabbiyal Adhimi Wa bihamdihi'

x 3 times.

This carries the meaning : 'All praises be to Allah, our Lord, Most Powerful!'
The hidden symbolism of this act in prayer is to bring our high and mighty 'touch me not' egoistic head down parallel to our buttocks, effectively normalising any sense of ego we have within ourselves down before the Majesty of God. Every Muslim, no matter that he be a King or a pauper bows down before the Majesty of God, thus effectively equalising all mankind in status before Him, Lord Almighty, God Most Supreme, Allah!


We then stand up saying 'Sami Allah hu liman hamidah! Rabbana lakal hamd!' which means
'Allah hears those who glorify Him'. O Lord, To you belongs all praise!'

We then go down on all fours and prostrate before God just as all of God's Messengers did including Moses, Jesus and Muhammad, the Final Messenger Sallallahu Alaihi Wassallam.

Placing our forehead down on the prayer area, we say :
'Subhana rabbiyal 'aqla wabihamdihi'
x 3 times which means
'Glory be to you Lord Most High'.


At this stage, whatever ego remained in our hearts gets vanquished and eliminated from our souls for our high and mighty head has thus been lowered as low as we can go before Almighty Allah!

Look at the head which is even lower than our buttocks! Not an iota of pride remains in the heart and soul! Our proud selfs have successfully been submitted to God. Peace reigns in our hearts again
.

We then sit on our haunches and recite this prayer :

Rabbighfirli warhamni wajburni warfa'kni warzuqni wahdini wa'afini wa'kfu 'anni.


Meaning : 'O Lord, Forgive me, Bless me, Rectify me, Raise my status, Give me my Sustenance, Guide me, Strengthen me and Pardon me'.

At this stage, we ask God for Forgiveness, we ask Him to Bless us, Correct our demeanour, our personalities, ask for our Sustenance, ask Him to Guide us towards Goodness, Heal us from our infirmities and to give us Health and Strength and to Pardon us.

It is important to focus on our prayers at this stage and mean what we say in our hearts and soul.

Do not rush yourself in prayers. Take your time and appreciate the opportunity God has given us to be in prayer before Him!


We then prostrate before the Lord again and repeat our prayers to Him as before.

'Subhana rabbiyal 'aqla wa bihamdihi' x 3 times

Thus completes one cycle of prayer @ 1 raka'at.

Subuh : 2 raka'ats
Dzohor : 4 raka'ats
Asar : 4 raka'ats
Maghrib : 3 raka'ats

Isya : 4 raka'ats




5 times a day, a constant cycle of prayers connecting us to God, Most Supreme, Most High.

After the 2nd raka'at, we say our Tahiyyat prayers :
Attahiyatul mubarakatus solawatut taiyibatu laillah. Assalamu'alaika aiyuhan nabiyu warahmatullayhi wabarakatuh. Assalamu'alaina wa'la 'ibadillahis salihin. Asyahadu alla illaha illallah. Wa'asyhadu anna Muhammadar Rasulullah. Allahumma solli'ala Muhammad wa'ala alihi Muhammad.

Meaning:
Greetings and wellwishes, Blessings and Prayers all be to Allah. Greetings and Wellwishes be upon you Dear Prophet who is Blessed and Showered Mercies by Allah. May the Greetings and Blessings also be upon those who are devout in their prayers.I declare that there's no other God but Allah! I also declare that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.
O Allah, Bestow Thy Blessings and Mercies upon Muhammad and his lineage.
This is the Tahiyyat Awwal for prayers more than 2 raka'ats.

If it is the Fajr prayers, the Tahiyyat is continued with :
'Kama solai ta'ala Saiyidina Ibrahim, wa' ala alihi Ibrahim. Wabarik ala Muhammad Wa 'ala alihi Muhammad. Kama barakta 'ala Ibrahim wa 'ala alihi Ibrahim. Wabarik 'ala Muhammad wa a'ala alihi Muhammad. Fil 'alamina innaka hamidun majid.'

So is the same for the 3 raka'ats Maghrib prayers, 4 raka'ats Dzohor, Asar and 'Isya prayers.

We finalise the prayers with the Greetings to both the Angels who record our deeds day in, day out, on duty ascribed to each and everyone of us, taking into account all that we think, say and do.

Not an iota of data is missed out by the Angels Raqeeb on our right (good deeds) and 'Ateed on our left (bad deeds).


If we think good, we are already being accorded with a blessing in our records. If we follow up with that good deed, we will be blessed multifold according to the Rewards of Allah pertaining to the deed.

If we think bad, we are yet to be ascribed a sin. But when we do go ahead and commit that sin, depending on the sin , we are given 6 earthly hours to repent before that sin is recorded permanently into our records.

This is something I learned from my Sufi Masters and is considered as hidden knowledge , not usually found being known by the masses. Anyway, I leave it to you the reader to do your own study on the matter.

If we repent, then we are forgiven and the record deleted by the Angel Ateed who records all our bad deeds. Wallahu alam. God knows best.


We end our prayers with the Salam to the Malaikats @ Angels who are on our right and left.

'Assalamualaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh' to the right and another Salam 'Assalamualaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh' to the left, intending in our hearts to wish upon the Angels who are recording each and every deed of ours.

The Salams carry the meanings :

'Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon you!'


Isn't this the best form of greetings we can ever give to anyone and also receive from others?

It's the very same greeting used by each and every Prophet and Messenger of Allah, God Almighty and in use each and every second on Earth by the billion over Muslims who are increasing in numbers all over the world through conversions and new births, Alhamdulillah!


Thus, humanbeings who are fortunate to be blessed with being in Islam, get to maintain their balance in their souls through constant prayer and being in communication with their Lord and Master, Almighty Allah, God of all the Heavens and the Earth, Creator and Sustainer of Everything, even of those who after being created from a clot of blood, given senses to comprehend and to perceive Him, yet still choose to oppose and deny the Very One Who has given them Life and Intelligence to think but they do not.

Allah the Almighty Reigns Supreme above the entire Creation, Majestic and Most High is He Who Blesses those who seek His Favors and Blessings in the Hereafter!

Praise be to Allah, Ar Rahman Ar Raheem, God Most High!
Who grants us His Forgiveness and Mercies both in this mortal life on Earth and in the Hereafter!



Picture shows the Chief Imam of Masjid Az Zubair Ibnul Awwam in Cheras, Kuala Lumpur, Al-Ustaz Hazman, a close friend of mine who consented to be my model for the solat rituals.

In the Name of Allah, The Merciful, The Compassionate.

Allah is the Light of the Heavens and the Earth.
The parable of His Light is as if there were a niche, and within it a lamp:
The lamp enclosed in glass:
The glass as it were a brilliant Star:
Lit from a blessed tree, an olive, neither of the East nor of the West,
Whose oil is well-nigh Luminous, though fire scarce touched it:
Light upon Light!
Allah doth guide whom He will to His Light:
Allah doth set forth parables for mankind: and Allah doth know all things.
Al-Qur'an Surah 24, 35