In this interactive halaqah, Ustadh Wisam Sharieff reminds us about opportunities throughout our daily lives where we can focus our attention and mind towards Allah in performing the simplest acts such as making wudhu, praying, eating and other acts in order to make ourselves physical and spiritual fit.
Brother Adeel Hussain died while travelling to the event where Mufti Ismail ibn Musa Menk was speaking. Upon hearing this news, Mufti Menk decided to change the topic and remind us all about death. We need to reflect on when and how we will die. How do you want to leave this world?
The importance of the prayer in Islam cannot be understated. It is the first pillar of Islam that the Prophet (peace be upon him) mentioned after mentioning the testimony of faith, by which one becomes a Muslim. It was made obligatory upon all the prophets and for all peoples. Allah has declared its obligatory status under majestic circumstances. For example, when Allah spoke directly to Moses, He said,
“And I have chosen you, so listen to that which is inspired to you. Verily, I am Allah! There is none worthy of worship but I, so worship Me and offer prayer perfectly for My remembrance.” [Taha 13-14]
Similarly, the prayers were made obligatory upon the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) during his ascension to heaven. Furthermore, when Allah praises the believers, such as in the beginning of surah al-Muminoon, one of the first descriptions He states is their adherence to the prayers.
Once a man asked the Prohpet (peace be upon him) about the most virtuous deed. The Prophet (peace be upon him) stated that the most virtuous deed is the prayer. The man asked again and again. The first three times, the Prophet (peace be upon him) again answered, “The prayer,” then on the fourth occasion he stated, “Jihad in the way of Allah.” [This is form a hadith recorded by Ahmad and ibn Hibban. According to al-Albani, the hadith is hasan. Muhammad Nasir al-Din al-Albani, Sahih al-Targheeb wa al-Tarheeb (Beirut: al-Maktab al-Islami, 1982), vol. 1, p. 150]
The importance of prayer is demonstrated in the many of the Prophet’s statement. For example, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said,
“The first matter that the slave will be brought to account for on the Day of Judgment is the prayer. If it is sound, then the rest of his deeds will be sound. And if it is bad, then the rest of his deeds will be bad.” [Recorded by al-Tabarani. According to al-Albani, it is sahih. Al-Albani, Sahih al-Jami, vol.1, p. 503
The title of the lecture is ṣalāh in focus – creating some focus in regards to ṣalāh. Let’s go back to a time in the history of our ummah when the focus of ṣalāh was solidified. The most important period in our history is the life of the Prophet (s) . To understand the focus ṣalāh has in our dīn (religion) and in the life of the Prophet (s), we have to go back to the most difficult and tragic time in the life of the Prophet (s): a period of his life remembered as The Year of Grief and Sorrow.
A unique look at how the Islamic tradition articulates itself, irrespective of how it has been practiced by its people. In a strategic and tactful manner, Hamza Yusuf makes clear the whole concept of “islam” by analyzing the profound meaning of the word as it is explained in the Holy Qur’an. He then moves into a descriptive examination of the Islamic teaching by thoroughly explaining the fundamental practices of Islam: prayer, zakat (obligatory alms-giving), fasting, and hajj (the pilgrimage to Mecca). These series of lectures have been immensely popular due, in large part, to the atmosphere created by the classroom-style format and the interaction and engagement by the speaker with the non-Muslim audience. (Recorded at the Dar al Islam Teachers’ Institute seminar). Other topics discussed: the meanings of “surah” and “ayat”, submitting when death comes, religion as self-deception, development and discipline of children, the four seasons as a metaphor for the cosmology of life, determining the prayer times using the sun, women in the mosque, women in the home, wudu (ablution), why pork is forbidden, want vs. need, envy, obeying the laws of the land in which you live, revolution in Islam, symbols in Islam, and going to extremes in practice.