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Tuesday, January 06, 2009

IMPORTANCE OF NAMAZ (SALAT)

Since Adam (alaihissalam), there was namaz [1] once a day in every religion. All that had been performed were brought together and were made fard for us. Although performing namaz is not a pillar of iman [2], it is a pillar of iman to believe that namaz is fard. 'Namaz' means 'dua' [prayer]. The ibadat that is commanded by the Islam and which we all know was named 'namaz' (salat). Performing the five daily prayers of namaz is fard-i 'ain [3] for every Muslim who has reached the age of puberty. That it is fard is openly stated in the Qur'an and hadiths. Five daily prayers of namaz became a commandment on the Mi'raj night [4]. The Mi'raj happened on the twenty-seventh night of the month of Rajab a year before the Hegira. Before the Mi'raj, only the morning and afternoon prayers were performed.

Ibn Jawzi wrote in his tafsir [5] Elmugni: Abu Bakr-i Siddiq (radiy-Allahu 'anh) said that, when the time of a daily prayer of namaz comes, angels say, 'O the sons of Adam, get up! Extinguish the fire prepared to burn human beings by performing namaz. ' " In a hadith-i sherif, it was said, "The difference between the Believer and the unbeliever is namaz," that is, the Believer performs namaz, and the unbeliever does not. Munafiqs [6], however, sometimes perform it and sometimes do not. Munafiqs will undergo very bitter torment in Hell. Abdullah ibn Abbas (radiy-Allahu 'anh), the leader of mufessirs [7], said that he heard Rasulullah say, "Those who do not perform namaz will find Allahu ta'ala wrathful on the Day of rising."

The imams of hadith unanimously said, "A person who does not perform a namaz in its correct time intentionally, that is, if he is not sorry for not performing a namaz while its correct time is ending, will become a kafir (disbeliever) or will lose his iman during his death. What will become of those who do not remember namaz or see namaz as a duty?" The Ahl as-Sunnat [8] savants unanimously said, "Ibadat (worship) are not a part of iman." But there was not a unanimity concerning namaz.
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GLOSSARY
[1] namaz: prayer that is performed five times per day in Islam.
[2] iman: faith, belief, beliefs of Islam; kalam, i’tiqad.
[3] fard ‘ain: fard for every Muslim; obligation for every Muslim.
[4] mi’raj: i) the Prophet’s ascension from Jerusalem to heaven. ii) Prophet’s Ascension from Jerusalem to the skies.
[5] tafsir: (book, science, of) interpretation of the Qur’an al karim.
[6] munafiq: one in the disguise of a Muslim but disbelieves Islam, but believing in another religion; a hypocrite.
[7] mufassir: expert scholar of tafsir.
[8] Ahl as-Sunna (wa’l-Jama’a): the true pious Muslims who follow as-Sahabat al-kiram. These are called Sunni Muslims. A Sunni Muslim adapts himself to one of the four Madhhabs. These madhhabs are Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi’i and Hanbali.

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