Assalaamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakaatuh,
I pray this note finds you all to be in the best of health and highest of Islamic spirits.
Alhamdulillah, during the second night of Ramadaan our journey through Surah al-Baqarah continued as we witnessed the magnanimity of our Shari’ah.
Surah al Baqarah is a chapter of several virtues. Abu Hurairah reported our Prophet ﷺ to have said, “Do not make your houses graveyards. The devil flees from the house in which Surah Al-Baqara is recited.” [Muslim]
It was also reported on the authority of Ibn Mas’ood that our Prophet ﷺ said: “Whoever recites the last two verses of Surah al-Baqarah at night, they will be sufficient for him.” [Bukhari]
During the second evening, over and above being educated about our Islamic Belief, we learnt about our Qiblah, the rights of Allah سبحانه و تعالى , the rights of man, the method of living and the principles of social interaction. Surah al Baqarah also outlines laws pertaining to Salaah, Zakaah, Hajj, charity, social welfare, mutual consultation, marriage, divorce, ‘Iddah (waiting period after a woman is divorced or widowed), bequests, commercial etiquettes, loans, capital punishment and penalties, and the nursing of our young, amongst the several other lessons present!
It comes as NO surprise that Umar رضي الله عنه spent years studying the chapter of al-Baqarah, paving his way towards becoming one of the most prolific governors the world has ever witnessed.
Before logging off, I would like to turn your attention towards the importance of Salaah, from an abstract perspective, since the second Juzz begins with verses dedicated to our Qiblah.
The importance of Salaah is a topic well known to us all, Alhamdulillah- thus the essence of the next few sentences will not detail that already widely understood.
I instead would like to draw your attention towards our physical activities during the observance of our Salaah. Those who think deeply will come to realise that our Salaah is an actual physical trainer of our ethics, character and conduct…Alhamdulillah.
A magnified look at our actions during Salaah would make manifest that which our Salaah teaches us-
- The importance of having a direction in life-as it is a condition for the acceptance of one’s obligatory Salaah that it is observed whilst facing the Qiblah, a life without direction is a recipe for disaster in both worlds, and Allah Almighty trains us five times a day to ensure successful navigation.
- Unity- as offering the obligatory Salaah in congregation is an obligation upon all qualifying males. Further recognition of this is manifest in the Jumu’ah and Eid prayer. The Prophet ﷺ said, “The Salah in congregation is twenty – five times superior in degrees to the Salah offered by a person alone.” [in some ahadith twenty – seven] (Bukhari)
- Equality- as our beloved Prophet ﷺ always ensured the rows being straight without an iota of precedence being given to a ‘royal’ over a ‘peasant’. Our Prophet ﷺ said: ‘Keep straight, don’t be irregular for there would be disagreement in your hearts.’ [Muslim]
- Closeness- Abd Allah bin Umar رضي الله عنه reported that our Prophet ﷺ said, ‘Set the rows in order, stand shoulder to shoulder, close the gaps, and do not leave openings for the devil. If anyone joins up a row, Allah will join him up, but if anyone beaks a row, Allah will cut him off.’ [Abu Dawood]
- To be a good follower of successful leadership- During our Salaah behind the Imaam, we are obliged to act in accordance with his instruction. It is totally impermissible to act out ahead of the Imaam. This same rule applies to us in our daily lives today. Al-Baraa’ ibn ‘Aazib said: When the Prophet ﷺ said ‘Sami’a Allaahu li man hamidah’, none of us would then bend our backs [to start prostrating] until the Prophet ﷺ went down into prostration, then we would go down into prostration after him. (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 690; Muslim, 474)
- Uniformity and synchronisation- Our Salaah trains us daily how to be a successful team player, since we bow, prostrate and observe the Salaah together in sync!
- Not to speak over the voice of another- Those who deliberate will come to learn this from the way we say out aloud ‘Ameen’ during our Salaah. A believer patiently waits for the Imaam to complete his recitation of Surah al Faatiha before reciting the Ameen.
This is a mere tip of the iceberg, and one cannot help but say:
“Allahumma lakalHamd” – “All praise is due to Allah.”
May Allah Almighty grant us the understanding.
And Allah knows best.
I love you all for the sake of Allah.
Sajid Ahmed Umar