Prayer Time

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See the previous article

In the name of Allah the Most Gracious the Most Merciful. All thanks and praise belong to Allah, Lord of all the worlds. May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon our beloved Prophet, his household, companions and upon those who followed their path till the day of resurrection. After that;

We have discussed in brief in our previous article on how gathering is manifested through one of the elements of the community, which is “the family”, and the vital role the it plays in bringing people together through various means.

In this article, we will be discussing some of the remaining elements we have outlined in our previous article, as follows:

2- Worship: This is one of the most important components of gathering in Islam. Islam has demarcated the beginning and ending of the prayer and the ways of coming together for it, the place of the prayer and the criteria of the Imam, who is he? how people should live with each other and how they should behave to the Imam as well as the Imam’s behavior towards them.

The prayer has a stipulated time through which Muslims come together in congregation to perform it. Allah said in the Qur’an:

{إِنَّ الصَّلَاةَ كَانَتْ عَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ كِتَابًا مَّوْقُوتًا}.

{Indeed, prayer has been decreed upon the believers a decree of specified times.} (Qur’an 4:103).

This gathering is clearly manifested during the offering of the compulsory prayers, Friday prayers, Taraweeh and Tahajjud prayers, the two Eid prayers and so on.   

The mosque has been and will always be the main center and meeting place of the Muslims since the don of Islam. That’s why the prophet urged Muslims to offer their prayers congregationally. Ibn 'Umar (May Allah be pleased with them) reported that the prophet (peace be upon him) said:

[صلاة الجماعة أفضل من صلاة الفذ بسبع وعشرين درجة‏].

[Prayer in congregation is twenty-seven times more meritorious than a prayer performed individually.] (Agreed upon by Bukhari and Muslim).

Fasting also contributes a lot in bringing Muslims together. In the month of Ramadan for instance Muslims all over the world come together to break their fasts where ever they may be, irrespective of their color, race, tribe or country. As they also come together to perform Taraweeh and Tahajjud prayers, as well as the two Islamic festivals Eid al-Fitr which marks the end of the fasting period of Ramadan and the Eid al-Adha during the time of Hajj.   

The Hajj which is considered to be the fifth pillar of Islam also manifests in itself one of the largest gatherings in the world. Muslims from all over the world come together in one place, having the same dress, worshipping Allah alone. Allah said in the Qur’an:

{وَأَذِّن فِي النَّاسِ بِالْحَجِّ يَأْتُوكَ رِجَالًا وَعَلَىٰ كُلِّ ضَامِرٍ يَأْتِينَ مِن كُلِّ فَجٍّ عَمِيقٍ}.

[And proclaim to the people the Hajj [pilgrimage]; they will come to you on foot and on every lean camel; they will come from every distant pass.] (Qur’an 22:27).

Think of this, millions of Muslims with different languages and culture meeting in one place at the holy land in Makkah, Mina, Arafah, Muzdalifah and then Madinah. They live together without any dispute or fight. This is the true manifestation of gathering in Islam which cannot be seen in any other gathering apart from Islam.

3-  Farming: Islam has stated special etiquettes, conditions and advantages for farming, like the contracts between people in farming and sharecropping, the share of the farmer, the ways and means of using it, his rights and the rights of the land owner and so on.

In this, farming brings people together in order to achieve good productions. Where all the people involved get their share and or profit at the end of the day. And it also creates love and a sense of belonging and support to members of the society by sharing some of the products to them. Allah said in the Qur’an:

{وَهُوَ الَّذِي أَنشَأَ جَنَّاتٍ مَّعْرُوشَاتٍ وَغَيْرَ مَعْرُوشَاتٍ وَالنَّخْلَ وَالزَّرْعَ مُخْتَلِفًا أُكُلُهُ وَالزَّيْتُونَ وَالرُّمَّانَ مُتَشَابِهًا وَغَيْرَ مُتَشَابِهٍ ۚ كُلُوا مِن ثَمَرِهِ إِذَا أَثْمَرَ وَآتُوا حَقَّهُ يَوْمَ حَصَادِهِ ۖ وَلَا تُسْرِفُوا ۚ إِنَّهُ لَا يُحِبُّ الْمُسْرِفِينَ}.

{And He is the one who causes gardens to grow, [both] trellised and untrellised, and palm trees and crops of different [kinds of] food and olives and pomegranates, similar and dissimilar. Eat of [each of] its fruit when it yields and give its due [zakah] on the day of its harvest. And be not excessive. Indeed, He does not like those who commit excess.} (Qur’an 6:141).

Rafi' ibn Khadij Narrated that the prophet (peace be upon him) said:

[مَنْ زَرَعَ فِي أَرْضِ قَوْمٍ بِغَيْرِ إِذْنِهِمْ فَلَيْسَ لَهُ مِنَ الزَّرْعِ شَيءٌ وَلَهُ نَفَقَتُهُ].

[If anyone sows in other people's land without their permission, he has no right to any of the crop, but he may have what it cost him] (Sunan Abi Dawud, Book 22, Hadith 3396. And sheikh Al-Albani classed it as authentic).

4- Dealings and Transactions: Islam has made the conditions and laws of treatment very clear to the dealers, whether the dealing is with a single person, between contractors in trade, security pledged as a guarantee(for repayment of a loan), lease or tenancy from period to period, or others.

In dealings and transactions, whether in business or other works, people come and work together to achieve their personal interests and at the same time promoting the business or work they are involved in. Islam points out the basis through which they can work collectively, help each other in truth and trust for their betterment. Allah said in the Qur’an:

{يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تَأْكُلُوا أَمْوَالَكُم بَيْنَكُم بِالْبَاطِلِ إِلَّا أَن تَكُونَ تِجَارَةً عَن تَرَاضٍ مِّنكُمْ ۚ وَلَا تَقْتُلُوا أَنفُسَكُمْ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ بِكُمْ رَحِيمًا}.

{O you who have believed, do not consume one another's wealth unjustly but only [in lawful] business by mutual consent. And do not kill yourselves [or one another]. Indeed, Allah is to you ever Merciful.} (Qur’an 4:29).

Hakim bin Hizam (May Allah be pleased with him) reported that the prophet (peace be upon him) said:

[البيعان بالخيار مالم يتفرقا، فإن صدقاً وبينا بورك لهما في بيعهما، وإن كتما وكذبا محقت بركة بيعهما‏].

[Both parties in a business transaction have a right to annul it so long as they have not separated; and if they tell the truth and make everything clear to each other (i.e., the seller and the buyer speak the truth, the seller with regard to what is purchased, and the buyer with regard to the money) they will be blessed in their transaction, but if they conceal anything and lie, the blessing on their transaction will be eliminated] (Agreed upon by Bukhari and Muslim).

5- The school: Islam talked about schools, cultures, the intellectual development, the conditions to be fulfilled for a person to be a teacher, the etiquettes of the student, the characteristics of the lessons and what is supposed to be the aims and objectives of schooling.

The school brings together the teachers, students parents and guardians with the aim of building up a society that is well equipped with intellectuals who will work for the development of themselves and the society at large. Because illiteracy separates people and destroys the society. That’s why Islam gives preference to knowledge and Education. Allah said in the Qur’an:

{وَقُل رَّبِّ زِدْنِي عِلْمًا}.

{…and say, "My Lord, increase me in knowledge} (Qur’an 20:114).

He the Almighty also said in another verse:

{قُلْ هَلْ يَسْتَوِي الَّذِينَ يَعْلَمُونَ وَالَّذِينَ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ ۗ إِنَّمَا يَتَذَكَّرُ أُولُو الْأَلْبَابِ}.

{Is one who is devoutly obedient during periods of the night, prostrating and standing [in prayer], fearing the Hereafter and hoping for the mercy of his Lord, [like one who does not]? Say, "Are those who know equal to those who do not know?" Only they will remember [who are] people of understanding.} (Qur’an 39:9).

All the Most High said again:

{يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِذَا قِيلَ لَكُمْ تَفَسَّحُوا فِي الْمَجَالِسِ فَافْسَحُوا يَفْسَحِ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ ۖ وَإِذَا قِيلَ انشُزُوا فَانشُزُوا يَرْفَعِ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا مِنكُمْ وَالَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْعِلْمَ دَرَجَاتٍ ۚ وَاللَّهُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ خَبِيرٌ}.

{O you who have believed, when you are told, "Space yourselves" in assemblies, then make space; Allah will make space for you. And when you are told, "Arise," then arise; Allah will raise those who have believed among you and those who were given knowledge, by degrees. And Allah is Acquainted with what you do.} (Qur’an 58:11).

Abud-Darda (May Allah be pleased with him) reported that the prophet (peace be upon him) said:

[من سلك طريقًا يبتغي فيه علمًا سهل الله له طريقًا إلى الجنة، وإن الملائكة لتضع أجنحتها لطالب العلم رضا بما صنع، وإن العالم ليستغفر له من في السماوات والأرض حتى الحيتان في الماء، وفضل العالم على العابد كفضل القمر على سائر الكواكب، وإن العلماء ورثة الأنبياء وإن الأنبياء لم يورثوا دينارًا ولا درهما وإنما ورثوا العلم‏.‏ فمن أخذه أخذ بحظ وافر].

[He who follows a path in quest of knowledge, Allah will make the path of Jannah easy to him. The angels lower their wings over the seeker of knowledge, being pleased with what he does. The inhabitants of the heavens and the earth and even the fish in the depth of the oceans seek forgiveness for him. The superiority of the learned man over the devout worshipper is like that of the full moon to the rest of the stars (i.e., in brightness). The learned are the heirs of the Prophets who bequeath neither dinar nor dirham but only that of knowledge; and he who acquires it, has in fact acquired an abundant portion] (Abu Dawud: Book 13, Hadith 1388. It was also reported by At-Tirmidhi).

So this is how Islam values knowledge and brings people together using the school as an element of gathering in the community.

 

To be continued, insha Allah with the remaining elements.

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