Teaching children that prayer is similar to meeting
Fatwa No: 344092

Question

While explaining the prayer to small children learning the basics of Islam, is it wrong to say the following:
“The prayer is similar to a meeting. Allaah has decreed that we, humans, meet with Him five times every day. We need to prepare for these meetings just as we would prepare for a meeting with an important person on earth.”
Kindly clarify.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

It seems – and Allah knows best – that there is nothing wrong with this style as a way of bringing the intended meaning closer. Among the meanings of the word ‘meeting’ (Liqaa’) in the Arabic language is facing something in front of you. Lisaan Al-Arab (an Arabic lexicon) reads, “Everything that faces something or encounters it has met it...”

The scholars said that meeting does not necessarily mean seeing. There is no doubt that the worshiper faces his Lord and converses with Him, and Allah is in front of the face of the worshiper; a hadeeth reads, “If one of you is praying, he should not spit in front of him, because Allah is in front of him when he prays.” [Al-Bukhaari and Muslim]

Ibn ‘Uthaymeen  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said, “This meeting is confirmed for Allah as a fact in a manner that is befitting of Him.

A worshiper converses with his Lord in prayer, and Allah hears him and answers him, as stated in a Qudsi hadeeth:

Allah (The Almighty and Sublime) has said, ‘I have divided the prayer between Myself and My servant into two halves, and My servant shall have what he has asked for. When the servant says, 'Al-hamdu lillahi rabbil ‘Aalameen (All the praise is to Allah, the Lord of all that exists),' Allah says, 'My slave has praised Me.' And when he says, 'Ar-Rahmaanir-Raheem (The Most Gracious, the Most Merciful),' Allah says, 'My slave has extolled Me.' And when he says, 'Maaliki yawmi-iddeen (The Owner/The only Ruling Judge of the Day of Recompense],' Allah says, 'My slave has Glorified Me.' And when he says, 'Iyyaaka na'budu wa iyyaaka nasta’een (It is You (Alone) we worship, and You (Alone) we ask for help),' He says, 'This is between Me and My slave, and My slave shall have what he asks for.' And when he says, 'Ihdinas-siraat-al-mustaqeem, siraat-allatheena an'amta 'alayhim ghayri-l-maghdhoobi 'alayhim wala-dhaalleen (Guide us to the Straight Path, the Path of those on whom You have bestowed Your Grace, not (the path) of those who earned Your Anger, nor of those who went astray),' He says, 'This is for My slave, and My slave shall have what he has asked for.'’" [Muslim]

Allah knows best.

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