Command to listen to the recital silently.
At present, the imaams leading the swalah prayers enjoin the people standing ready for prayers to straighten their rows and stand closely to eliminate the gaps between one another.
However, it is clear from verse 29 of Surah Al-ahqaaf that when the jinns stood to listen to the recital of Qur-aan by prophet Muhammad, (peace upon him), they said : "Answitoo!" i.e., "Listen in Silence!".
We should say the same, to ensure compliance of the following Aayah (No. 204) of Sura Al-A'raaf :
"And when the Qur-aan is recited, listen to it, and be silent that you may receive mercy." (7:204)
Hence, it is more important to remind the people on whom the verses of Qur-aan are going to be recited to listen to it and be silent at that time.
Zikr of Allaah.
At the commencement of swalah and at the time of going to Rukoo' and Sujood and while raising from it, we remember Allaah by magnifying Him with the words " Allaahu Akbar". But we make a deviation at the time of raising from Rukoo' (when we say : sami'Allaahu liman hamidah) and at the time of completion of swalah (when we say : Assalaamu 'alaikum wa rahmatullaah).
The deviations at these two points practised by us have no sanction in Qur-aan, as Allaah has said with emphasis that indeed the remembrance of Allaah is " Akbar ". As you can see, no exceptions have been made in the verse quoted below, which contains mention of establishing swalah.
" Recite what has been revealed to you of the book and establish swalah ;
Indeed as-swalah forbids from the shameful deeds and the unrecognized deeds ;
And indeed the remembrance of Allaah is 'Akbar' ;
And Allaah knows what you (would) do." (29:45)
Takbeer and raising of hands.
We have been enjoined to remember Allaah with His magnification / glorification " Allaahu Akbar " in the swalah. While utterance of the words "Allaahu Akbar" constitutes magnifying Him (Takbeer), what has the lifting or raising of our hands got to do with this "
A part of verse 77 of Surah An-nisaa reads :
" Have you not seen those who were told to hold back their hands (from fighting) and perform As-swalah, and give Zakaat, but when the fighting was ordained for them, a section of them fear men as they fear Allaah or even more." (4:77 part)
Before fighting was prescribed, those people were told to hold back their hands and perform swalah.
Here, we have been manipulated into raising or lifting our hands, as if for hitting / fighting. (Our fiqh books tell us to lift the hands above the shoulders, the palms facing the Qiblah and the thumbs nearly touching the ear-lobes.)
Is our adopting this hitting posture, before and during the performance of swalah, is to show that we do not even fear Allaah, leave alone fearing men as the fearing of Allaah or more "
Brothers! Let us avoid this abominable act.
Joining our hands at the time of recitation.
In our prayers, most of us keep our hands one over the other, in various manners, while the recitation of Qur-aan goes on. When we think over the following verse of Qur-aan, we can understand why this practice has been introduced into our prayers.
48:10 "Indeed those who swear allegiance unto you (Muhammad), swear allegiance only unto Allaah ; the hand of Allaah is above their hands. So whosoever breaks his oath, breaks it only to his soul's hurt ; while whosoever keeps his covenant with Allaah, on him will He soon bestow immense reward."
When Allaah says that His hand is above our hands, we should not ridicule it by keeping our own hands one over the other. Therefore, we should leave down our hands hanging naturally, instead of lifting them to keep one over another.
Recitation of Qur-aan.
1. After saying takbeer, as we are going to recite Surah Al-Fatiha and some verses of Qur-aan, we seek the protection of Allaah, from satan the outcast, complying with the verse of Qur-aan quoted below : (verse No.98 of Surah An-nahl).
"When you read the Qur-aan, seek Allaah's protection from satan, the rejected one." (16:98)
2. Since Bismillaah-ir Rahmaan-ir Raheem is included in the beginning of Surah Al-Fatiha, we should recite the surah entirely, including Bismillaah-ir Rahmaan-ir Raheem.
We have been instructed to recite in praise of our Lord while we stand (in prayer).
".. and celebrate the praises of your Lord while you stand forth." (Sura At-Twoor 52:48 part). So, we repeat Sura Al-Fathiha, which contains and begins with the praise of our Lord, every time we stand for swalah.
3. At the end of Surah Al-Fatiha, we say Aameen . Some of us say this loudly and some of us say this quietly, that is, without being heard by others. This word is not there in Qur-aan, either at the end of surah Al-Fatiha or at the end of numerous other supplications made by various prophets (peace on them), whose guidance our prophet (peace upon him), and, consequently, all of us, are required to follow ; (see 6:90). Allaah has accepted their supplications without utterance of this word.
(One of the meanings given in an English dictionary for the word 'Amen' is : "The Egyptian god of life and reproduction, represented as a man with a ram's head." We have to be very careful in this matter, because this expression is borrowed from other religions, whose followers have gone astray.)
We should also keep in mind the verse mentioned earlier : "And when the Qur-aan is recited, listen to it, and be silent that you may receive mercy." (7:204), and, therefore, make no utterance.
4. Our recitation in swalah, either of Surah Al-Fatiha or verses of the rest of Qur-aan, is done loudly or audibly in three times of swalah, i.e., Fajr, Maghrib and 'Ishaa and the recitation is done inaudibly, that is, without being heard by others, in two times of swalah, i.e., in Zwuhr and 'Aswr prayers. In Qur-aan, however, there is no differentiation as to how the different times of swalah should be recited. Only one course has been shown to be followed, that is to recite in a middle level of sound, neither loudly nor in a low tone.
"Say: 'Call upon Allaah, or call upon Rahmaan: by whatever name you call upon Him, (it is well): for to Him belong the Most Beautiful Names. Neither speak your prayer aloud, nor speak it in a low tone, but seek a middle course between.' " (17:110)
After completion of recitation of Qur-aan, we bow to perform Rukoo', with the takbeer : "Allaahu Akbar ".
In rukoo', we say tasbeeh, repeated glorification of our Lord, with the words : " Subhaana Rabbiyal Azweem " meaning "Glorified is my Lord, the Great". But in Sura Al-Waaqia verse No. 74 and 96, and in Sura Al-Haaqqah 69:52, Allaah has instructed us :
" Then glorify with name of your Lord, the Great." So it will be appropriate to mention the name of our Lord, "Allaah" and say : " Subhaanallaahil Azweem", meaning : " Glorified is Allaah, the Great."
In verses 15:98, 110:3, 40:55, 50:39 we have been instructed : "Fasabbih bi-Hamdi Rabbika" and "Wasabbih bi-Hamdi Rabbika" "" and "" meaning " Then / And glorify with praise of your Lord". So, it is necessary to include" praise and say : " Subhaanallaahi wa bi Hamdihi".
Thus, in the light of the above verses, the appropriate glorification of Allaah in Rukoo' and Sujood is :
" Subhaanallaahi wa bi Hamdihi , Subhaanallaahil Azweem. "
Rising from Rukoo' .
While rising from Rukoo' , the imaam says audibly : " Sami'allaahu liman Hamidah ", meaning "Allaah listened to him who praised Him", to which persons behind him are expected to say : "Rabbanaa Lakal Hamd " meaning : "Our Lord, for you the praises."
a) This is a departure from the zikr taught "Allaahu Akbar " and, therefore, a violation and an act of pride and arrogance () by failing to say Takbeer of Allaah.
b) The Rukoo' and sujood which follow it are a continuous act, of the believers, in response to the recital of Qur-aan, as can be deduced from the mention of the attribute of the non-believers :
"And when the Qur-an is read to them, they fall not prostrate." (84:21)
We, the believers, have done the Rukoo' after the recital of Qur-aan, but if a non-Qur-aanic text is introduced between Rukoo' and Sujood, it is tantamount to doing Sujood for a non-Qur-aanic text, that is, not for the Word of Allaah, but for a speech of someone other than Him.
c) The same is true of the supplications done before Sajdah in Witr prayers (in the standing position). It is important not to introduce anything in between the recital of Qur-aan and Rukoo' / Sujood, other than Takbeer and Tasbeeh in the prescribed manner.
In some countries, supplications are made in Witr prayers in standing position, after Qir-ath (recital of Qur-aan) and after Takbeer is pronounced for Rukoo', but without bowing for Rukoo' after hearing Takbeer. This, again, is a violation and an innovation introduced to make us like unbelievers, whose attribute is given in Qur-aan as :
"And when it is said to them, "Bow down!" They bown not down." (77:48)
d) There is possibility of more sin, if we say (as in some countries)
: " "
With the addition of wa, the statement could mean, "Our Lord, and for you, the praises.", leading to the inclusion of the imaam in our praise of Allaah, and, therefore, to shirk.
However, since the whole practice of the imaam saying " Sami'Allaahu liman Hamidah" and the people behind him responding in various manners is an innovation leading to sin, the practice should altogether be abondoned, and we must just say the Takbeer : "Allaahu Akbar" while rising from Rukoo' and at the time of going to Sajdah.
Making us to sit and commit a series of abominable acts.
After performing the Sujood, we stand up to repeat one more rak'ath like the first rak'ath and after performing the sujood of the second rak'ath, we have been instructed by our elders to sit and recite a series of supplications.
From the next article (about Qaswr Swalah - -- Shortened prayer), we come to know that those praying the first rak'ath behind the prophet (peace upon him) have been instructed as follows :
"Then when they have performed their prostrations, let them fall to the rear and let the other party - that has not prayed - come and let them pray with you." (4:102 part).
Thus, we come to know that the prayer of those who prayed first with the prophet (peace upon him) is complete when they have performed their prostrations. Then it is the turn of the second party to come and pray with the prophet (peace upon him). This being the position, what is the reason that we are asked to sit and commit a series of acts which constitute ridicule and rejection of the verses of Quran?
"He has already revealed unto you in the Book that, when you hear the Signs of Allah rejected and ridiculed, you are not to sit with them (who disbelieve and mock) until they engage in some other conversation. If you did (i.e., continue to sit, then) you would be like them. Indeed Allah will gather hypocrites and disbelievers, all together, into hell." (4:140)
As though all that abominable acts which we committed while standing and bending was not enough, we are made to commit more such utterances and acts in the sitting position, because Allaah has said :
"when you hear the Signs of Allah rejected and ridiculed, do not sit with them."
Let us study the rejections and ridicules committed in the sitting position:
We have been told in the Qur-aan not to call or invoke in the mosques anyone besides Allaah.
"And the mosques are for Allaah (alone): so invoke not anyone along with Allaah "(72:18)
Therefore, we should avoid reciting the At-Tahiyyaat in swalah as this contains address to the prophet with the words or , i.e., "Salaam on you O Prophet".
Lifting of Index Finger.
The learned men (ulamaa) of the Indian sub-continent teach us to lift our index finger while saying La ilaaha (in tashahhud) and to drop the finger while saying illallaah. (If one tries to meticulously follow this instruction on movement of finger, a slight pause is unavoidable between La-ilaaha and illallaah, thus breaking one good sentence into two sentences of kufr. (See page : devzikr.html for details of this practice.) Their full stipulation about tashahhud is that we should make a circle with our thumb and our middle finger, raise and drop the index finger as stated above, and after dropping the finger, we should continue to keep the circle and the index finger in the same condition until we complete the swalah.
In some other parts of the world, the learned men teach us that we should fold in our fingers but keep shaking / moving our index fingers.
I wish to point out that there is nothing in our deen that sets a relationship between tashahhud and the index finger or its movements.
After saying that this innovation has been brought into our prayers, only for the purpose of introducing obscene gestures into it, I request my brothers to desist from this act and turn in repentance towards Allaah.
I quote verses from Qur-aan relating to the subject of shameful acts :
7:28. When they do anything that is shameful, they say: "We found our fathers doing so"; and "Allaah commanded us thus"; say: "Allaah never commands what is shameful: do you say of Allaah what you know not""
7:29 Say: "My Lord has commanded justice; and that you set your whole selves (to Him) at every time and place of prayer, and call upon Him, making religion pure for Him (only) : such as He created you in the beginning, so shall you return."
Some He has guided: others have deserved the loss of their way; in that they took the evil ones, in preference to Allaah, for their friends and protectors, and think that they receive guidance.
I quote two more verses from another Surah, Aal-i-'Imraan.
3:135 And those who, having done something to be ashamed of, or wronged their own souls, earnestly bring Allaah to mind, and ask for forgiveness for their sins; and who can forgive sins except Allaah" And are never stubborn in persisting knowingly in (the wrong) they have done.
3:136 For such the reward is forgiveness from their Lord, and Gardens with rivers flowing underneath; an eternal dwelling: how excellent a recompense for those who work (and strive)!
Salaam at the end of sitting.
In verse 5 of Surah Al-Munaafiqoon, some of the attributes of the hypocrites are given as under:
" And when it is said to them: ' Come, so that the messenger of Allaah may ask forgiveness from Allaah for you', they turn aside their heads, and you would see them turning away their faces in pride."
After reciting the "(asking forgiveness)" while sitting, we do the same act of turning away our faces and we fail to pronounce the takbeer - - at the end of swalah, thereby fulfilling another description of the hypocrites : - "and they pride". Some of us also shake their heads while turning the faces.
Thus, having been given a false reason that we have to say salaam to the angels on our sides, we have been manipulated into doing acts of the hypocrites " munaafiqoon.
Stretching the hands forward for supplication.
We have been taught by our elders to stretch our hands forward while supplicating (saying du'a). Please read the following verse :
" For Him (alone) is prayer in Truth: any others that they call upon besides Him respond them no more than if they were to stretch forth their hands for water to reach their mouths, but it reaches them not ; The prayer of the disbelievers is nothing but futile." ()
Thus we are forced to imitate the example given in Qur-aan of those who call others besides Allaah, and whose prayers remain unanswered, and about whom Allaah has said : "The prayer of the disbelievers is nothing but futile."
Placement of our feet in swalah.
Brothers belonging to some of our groups place their feet in swalah, wide apart. This has been taught by our elders to make us commit another ridicule. I will not tell the details, but I will request my brothers to think: " In what condition (of disease) a man is forced to keep his feet wide apart." After you arrive at the answer, think how the words in your answer constitute a ridicule of takbeer which we keep repeating in our prayer. I request my brothers to desist from this practice and keep the feet as we would stand naturally.