Prayer Time

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All praises and thanks are due and belong to Allah; the Sole Possessor of all beautiful Names and perfect Attributes. May Allah’s blessings be upon the Prophet of Islam,  Muhammad, his family and all companions.

The belief of the pious predecessors of Islam concerning worship of Allah is that a person should do acts of worship while his heart is filled with fear and hope. Fear from the punishment of Allah and hope of His infinite mercy and reward. The presence of these two conditions in the heart of a person guarantees the acceptance of his /her acts of righteousness.

While the above is undeniable fact, it is prudent to point out that, one should not just offer acts of devotions merely for fear of dangers he apprehends or for hope of attaining something from Allah, for doing so does not lead to the fulfillment of Allah’s attributes. Worship must be done sincerely and purely for the sake of Allah alone in recognition of His right to be worshiped and admittance of one’s bondship to Him as a slave. Allah says:

وَمَآ أُمِرُوٓا۟ إِلَّا لِيَعْبُدُوا۟ ٱللَّهَ مُخْلِصِينَ لَهُ ٱلدِّينَ حُنَفَآءَ وَيُقِيمُوا۟ ٱلصَّلَوٰةَ وَيُؤْتُوا۟ ٱلزَّكَوٰةَ ۚ وَذَٰلِكَ دِينُ ٱلْقَيِّمَةِ

They were commanded only to worship God, devoting their faith to Him alone, and to practice regular prayer, and to give alms. That is the upright religion.” ( Al-Bayyina: 5)

The unbelievers used to turn to Allah in devotion, sincerely calling upon Him in times of difficulty and exploring His relief, and when they are relieved from their difficulties they turn away from Him in disbelief, persisting in their old state of idol worship and polytheism. Allah condemned them for this action because He Alone deserved to be worshipped at all times and at all conditons and not for the sake of achieving anything else beiseds His pleasure. About the unbelievers Allah says:

وَإِذَا غَشِيَهُم مَّوْجٌ كَٱلظُّلَلِ دَعَوُا۟ ٱللَّهَ مُخْلِصِينَ لَهُ ٱلدِّينَ فَلَمَّا نَجَّىٰهُمْ إِلَى ٱلْبَرِّ فَمِنْهُم مُّقْتَصِدٌ ۚ وَمَا يَجْحَدُ بِـَٔايَٰتِنَآ إِلَّا كُلُّ خَتَّارٍ كَفُورٍ

"When waves, like canopies, cover them, they call upon God, devoting their religion to Him. But when He has delivered them to dry land, some of them waver. No one renounces Our revelations except the treacherous blasphemer. (Luqman: 32)

He says Again in Qur’an chapter: 10 verse :12

وَإِذَا مَسَّ ٱلْإِنسَٰنَ ٱلضُّرُّ دَعَانَا لِجَنۢبِهِۦٓ أَوْ قَاعِدًا أَوْ قَآئِمًا فَلَمَّا كَشَفْنَا عَنْهُ ضُرَّهُۥ مَرَّ كَأَن لَّمْ يَدْعُنَآ إِلَىٰ ضُرٍّ مَّسَّهُۥ ۚ كَذَٰلِكَ زُيِّنَ لِلْمُسْرِفِينَ مَا كَانُوا۟ يَعْمَلُونَ

Whenever adversity touches the human being, he prays to Us-reclining on his side, or sitting, or standing. But when We have relieved his adversity from him, he goes away, as though he had never called on Us for trouble that had afflicted him. Thus the deeds of the transgressors appear good to them.” (Yunus: 12)

Again in the chapter of Az-Zumar verse no. 8,  Allah says:

وَإِذَا مَسَّ ٱلْإِنسَٰنَ ضُرٌّ دَعَا رَبَّهُۥ مُنِيبًا إِلَيْهِ ثُمَّ إِذَا خَوَّلَهُۥ نِعْمَةً مِّنْهُ نَسِىَ مَا كَانَ يَدْعُوٓا۟ إِلَيْهِ مِن قَبْلُ وَجَعَلَ لِلَّهِ أَندَادًا لِّيُضِلَّ عَن سَبِيلِهِۦ ۚ قُلْ تَمَتَّعْ بِكُفْرِكَ قَلِيلًا ۖ إِنَّكَ مِنْ أَصْحَٰبِ ٱلنَّارِ

When some adversity touches the human being, he prays to his Lord, repenting to Him. But then, when He confers on him a grace of His, he forgets what he was praying for before, and he attributes rivals to God, in order to lead astray from His way. Say, "Enjoy your disbelief for a little while; you will be among the inmates of the Fire."

This state does not befit the true believers, for they offer their devotions only to Allah and for His sake alone not for anything else. The force that ignites their quest for worship is their sincere love for their Creator (Allah) and His right over them.  Abu Hazem Al-Madany used to say: “'I would be ashamed of my Lord to worship Him for fear of punishment, where I would be like a bad slave who does not work unless in fear and would be ashamed to worship him hoping for reward, where I would be like a bad employee, who will not work unless paid but I worship Him out of love for Him” (see: Al-Hikam By Ibn Atta’illa)

However, this does not negate worshipping Allah for fear of His Punishment (Hell) and hope of His reward (Paradise) as mentioned earlier, as there are many texts from the glorious Qur’an and the Noble sunnah that exhort believers to work for Paradise and to save themselves from Hellfire, and this cannot be possible except through observance of devotions.

Allah puts fear in His servants with the hellfire from which they can only be saved through their worship, thus it is allowed to worship Allah for fear of His punishment. Allah says:

فَٱعْبُدُوا۟ مَا شِئْتُم مِّن دُونِهِۦ ۗ قُلْ إِنَّ ٱلْخَٰسِرِينَ ٱلَّذِينَ خَسِرُوٓا۟ أَنفُسَهُمْ وَأَهْلِيهِمْ يَوْمَ ٱلْقِيَٰمَةِ ۗ أَلَا ذَٰلِكَ هُوَ ٱلْخُسْرَانُ ٱلْمُبِينُ

لَهُم مِّن فَوْقِهِمْ ظُلَلٌ مِّنَ ٱلنَّارِ وَمِن تَحْتِهِمْ ظُلَلٌ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ يُخَوِّفُ ٱللَّهُ بِهِۦ عِبَادَهُۥ ۚ يَٰعِبَادِ فَٱتَّقُون

“But you can worship whatever you wish besides Him." Say, "The losers are those who lose their souls and their people on the Day of Resurrection." That is indeed the obvious loss.  They will have layers of Fire above them, and layers beneath them. That is how God strikes fear into His servants-"O My servants! Beware of Me!" (AZ-Zumar: 15-16)

Again, Allah; the Most Esteem and Most High says, commanding His Messenger (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him):

قُلْ إِنِّىٓ أَخَافُ إِنْ عَصَيْتُ رَبِّى عَذَابَ يَوْمٍ عَظِيمٍ

Say, "I fear, if I disobeyed my Lord, the punishment of a horrendous Day."}

Again, the Most Magnificent and Most High says;

أُو۟لَٰٓئِكَ ٱلَّذِينَ يَدْعُونَ يَبْتَغُونَ إِلَىٰ رَبِّهِمُ ٱلْوَسِيلَةَ أَيُّهُمْ أَقْرَبُ وَيَرْجُونَ رَحْمَتَهُۥ وَيَخَافُونَ عَذَابَهُۥٓ ۚ إِنَّ عَذَابَ رَبِّكَ كَانَ مَحْذُورًا

Those they call upon are themselves seeking means of access to their Lord, vying to be nearer, and hoping for His mercy, and fearing His punishment. The punishment of your Lord is to be dreaded.” (Al-Israa: 57)


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