How to make prayer the comfort of your heart and the delight of your eyes
Fatwa No: 74911

  • Fatwa Date:24-8-2015 - Thul-Qi'dah 10, 1436
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Question

What is the religious ruling on he who forces himself to perform prayer?

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, the Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger.

I supplicate to Allaah, the Exalted, to guide us and all Muslims to what pleases Him and what He loves. I implore Him to safeguard us from all that incurs His Wrath. It is known to all of us that Muslims are obliged to perform the five obligatory prayers in their due times, and they are also obliged to observe all other obligations. There is no doubt that observing the religious obligations and duties entails a degree of hardship since a Muslim, who is competent for religious assignment, is required to tame and discipline himself to comply with the Commands of Allaah, the Exalted, until performing the prayer becomes easy (and lovable to him). In fact, if one holds on to Khushoo‘ (having attentiveness and submissiveness in the heart and mind) and ponders over the verses of the Quran being recited in the prayer, this sense of laziness and laxness will fade away and the prayer will become the comfort of his heart and the delight of his eyes. Allaah, the Exalted, says (what means): {And seek help through patience and prayer, and indeed, it is difficult except for the humbly submissive [to Allaah], who are certain that they will meet their Lord and that they will return to Him.} [Quran 2: 45-46]

Performing prayer in such a manner indicates fulfilling its due obligation upon such a person if he performs it as due. This means that he is not required to perform these prayers again, even if he performed them sluggishly. The dear questioner should know that prayer in Islam enjoys a refined status in the sight of Allaah, the Exalted, and this is quite evident for every Muslim. Allaah, the Exalted, says (what means):

•        {Maintain with care the [obligatory] prayers and [in particular] the middle prayer and stand before Allaah, devoutly obedient.} [Quran 2:238]

•        {Indeed, prayer has been decreed upon the believers a decree of specified times.} [Quran 4:103]

•        {But there came after them successors who neglected prayer and pursued desires; so they are going to meet evil.} [Quran 19:59]

The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said:

•        "Between a person and disbelief is abandoning prayer." [Abu Daawood, An-Nasaa'i, At-Tirmithi, Ibn Maajah, and Ibn Hibbaan]

•        "The covenant between us and them is the prayer. Whoever abandons it becomes a disbeliever." [At-Tirmithi, An-Nisaa'i, and Ibn Maajah]

Moreover, Abu Ad-Darda'  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him reported that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: "Do not abandon the prayer intentionally, for whoever deliberately missed an obligatory prayer thereby becomes a disbeliever." [Ibn Maajah]

In fact, numerous Ahaadeeth highlight the refined status of prayer in Islam and warn against abandoning it or being lax in performing it. He, who has been afflicted with such a degree of spiritual sluggishness and laxness in performing prayer, should be mindful so as not to acquire the characteristics of the hypocrites. One of the characteristics of the hypocrites is displaying a lazy attitude towards performing prayer. Allaah, the Exalted, says (what means): {And when they stand for prayer, they stand lazily, showing [themselves to] the people and not remembering Allaah except a little…} [Quran 4:142]

The dear questioner should contemplate these verses and reflect upon these Ahaadeeth carefully, believe in them and their correctness. Moreover, he should implore Allaah, the Exalted, sincerely to guide him to the Truth, help him to tame and discipline himself and guide him to observe the obligations of Allaah, the Exalted, as due.

We advise you to read Islamic books like Riyadh As-Saliheen, especially the chapters about the virtues and merits of performing prayer regularly. Keeping the company of good and righteous Muslims is also an important factor that helps one to observe prayers in their times, do righteous acts and abandon evil deeds.

Allaah Knows best.

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