Errors in Prayers that must be AvoidedWritten by: by Ad-Deen an-Naseehah :: (View All Articles by: Ad-Deen an-Naseehah)
Table of Contents
published in Ad-Deen an-Naseehah)
Prayers that must be avoided
- Wearing pants, or garments that hangs below the ankles.
- Consuming food of bad smell such has garlic or onion, or smoking10 before coming to prayer.
- Proceeding to mosque for prayer with brisk walk, or even running for fear of missing part of the prayer.
- Saying Takbeer al-Ihram while in rukoo'.
- Mumbling the niyyah or intention, and uttering it in a low audible voice.
- Neglecting raising the hands in the opening takbeer of salah and before and after rukoo', and upon standing up for the third rak'ah.
- Neglecting the opening du'a of prayer, t'awwudth, and basmalah.
- Neglecting praying facing a sutrah.
- Reluctance to stand in the front line in congregational prayer.
- Gazing upward during prayer, or looking at the imam, right or left.
- Leaving gaps in lines of congregational prayer.
- Reciting surat al-Fatiha fast without pausing after each verse.
- Fidgeting during prayer, or looking at a watch or fiddling with one's fingers, clothes or moving feet or other parts of the body restlessly.
- Holding the Qur'an and reciting from it by the muqtadi in congregational prayer to check the imam's recitation.
- Racing with the imam, or moving with or before him in congregational prayer.
- Lowering the head excessively, or pushing it up, and arching the back during rukoo'.
- Sticking the arms to the sides of the body, in rukoo' or sujood, and sticking the belly to the thighs in sujood.
- Praying while part of the back is exposed.
- Neglecting ta'meen (to say 'Aameen) loudly when the imam recites the concluding verse of surat al-Fatiha, "waladh-dhalleen".
- Resting only the tip of the head on the floor during sujood.
- Hasty performance of prayer which does not allow repose and calmness in rukoo' or sujood.
- Sitting in tawarruk position in the last rak'ah of Fajr and Jum'ah prayers.
- Moving the two palms upon saying, 'assalamu aleikum warahmatul-lah' to end prayer.
- Counting tasbeeh with the left hand.
- Shaking hands with other praying people right after fardh prayer is over, saying, 'taqabbala-llah', or 'haraman'
- Raising hands for dua' soon as prayer is over.
- Walking away right after tasleem, at the end of prayer, and neglecting dthikr.
- Crossing in front of a praying person.
- Neglecting prayer when one is sick or ill.
- Praying in a graveyard
Salat (namaaz) or prayer is one of the most important pillars of Islam. The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu 'alaihi wasallam) warned that the first thing man will be questioned about on the Day of Resurrection is prayer. Abu Hurairah said, "I heard the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu 'alaihi wasallam) saying:
The first act of worship man shall be questioned about on the Day of Resurrection is prayer. If it was performed correctly1, man shall certainly succeed and prosper, if it is not, he shall certainly lose and fail. If, however, man's prayer was incomplete, the Lord, the Exalted, would say (to His Angels), "See if my slave performed supererogatory (nafl) prayers to make up what he had missed of the obligatory prayers. The rest of man's deeds will be reckoned in the same manner2.
Buraidah reported that the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu 'alaihi wasallam) said, The covenant3 which is between us and those (who embrace Islam) is prayer. Whoso neglects it, becomes an unbeliever4.
On the other hand, Allah has prepared great rewards for the believers who observe prayer and are particular about it. Perfect prayer effaces sins. Abu Hurairah reported that the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu 'alaihi wasallam) said: Have you considered, a river running by the door of you in which he bathes five times a day; would any of his dirt stay on him? They said "None of his dirt would stay on him." The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu 'alaihi wasallam) said So does Salah; therewith Allah eliminates sins5.
Therefore, brothers and sisters it is very important to be regular on prayer, and perform it correctly. One may perform prayer according to the way he was taught by his parents or sheikh, according to their madthhab. But you should always remember that it is only the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu 'alaihi wasallam) who must be followed. The angels will not ask you, while in the grave, "Did you follow this imaam or that imaam?" Your imaam will not be with you then, nor will he defend you on the Day of Resurrection.
The traditions quoted here, and in every issue of Ad-Deen an-Naseehah, are authentic. Anyone who rejects the authentic Sunnah of the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alaihi wasallam) exposes himself to destruction, as stated by Imaam Ahmed.
The following are some common errors committed by Muslims in their Salah. These errors must be avoided hoping that Allah would accept this act of worship and reward us for it.
6, and (a merchant) who sells of his merchandise by means of false oath7.
Some people think that wearing clothes that hang below the ankles is not a sin if they abstain from doing so while praying only. Others think that wearing such a garment is a sin only if it is worn out of pride; otherwise, they believe there is no harm in doing so. However, the above and many other traditions indicate clearly that wearing clothes that hang below the ankles (for men) is a grave sin regardless of whether such garments are worn out of habit or pride. There are other authentic traditions that emphasize wearing clothing that hangs below the ankles out of pride entails harsher punishment. Abu Hurairah reported that the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu 'alaihi wasallam) said The part of the garment which hangs below the ankles is (punishable by) Fire (on the Day of Resurrection)8.
It is commonplace to see brothers folding up the hems of their pants for prayer. However, as soon as prayer is completed, they unfold their pants. The belief that wearing garments that hang below the ankles is prohibited during prayers only is a misconception commonly held by many Muslims. Such Muslims are unaware that the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alaihi wasallam) forbade praying with folded clothes9. Based on this prohibition, scholars have agreed that praying with folded sleeves or pants is unlawful.
2) Consuming food of bad smell such has garlic or onion, or smoking10 before coming to prayer.Angels and the praying people are bothered by offensive smell. On the contrary, one should wear perfume, if available before coming into mosques. Jabir reported that the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alaihi wasallam) said: He who eats from the smelly plant [garlic or onion], let him come not near our mosque; the angels are bothered by that which bothers men11.
3) Proceeding to mosque for prayer with brisk walk, or even running for fear of missing part of the prayer.This may disturb those who are already in prayer. The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu 'alaihi wasallam) said: When prayer has already started, do not walk quickly to join in. Proceed calmly and reposefully; then join in whichever part you catch up, and complete whichever part you missed (i.e., soon after the imaam ends the prayer)12.
Uttering the above words of niyyah allows shaitaan to put irrelevant words in the mouth of the person who utters the niyyah. Do you remember at one time or another that once you stood up for dhuhr prayer and discovered yourself saying, "I intend to pray four rak'aat of Isha," or when you were standing for Asr prayer you made your intention to pray fajr instead? This confusion is from shaitan. Had you kept silent, shaitan would have no chance of confusing you.
6) Neglecting raising the hands in the opening takbeer of salah and before and after rukoo', and upon standing up for the third rak'ah.Abdullah bin Umar said, "I saw the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alaihi wasallam) raising his hands to the level of his shoulders, upon starting prayer, and before bending for rukoo' and when he stood up again13.
Raising hands with every takbeer, subsequent to the first takbeer in janazah, Eed or rain prayers is not recommended. The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu 'alaihi wasallam) used to put his hands on his chest (while standing in prayer)14.
And he said: When one of you prays facing a sutrah, let him pray close to it so that shaitan may not be able to nullify his prayer16.
The above tradition indicates clearly that shaitan crosses in front of a praying person who prays without a sutrah, causing his prayer to be null and void without being aware of it. Even if one prays in an open field, he should place a sutrah in front of him.
Allah says: (Verily) He (the shaitan) and his own people see you while you do not see them17.
13) Fidgeting during prayer, or looking at a watch or fiddling with one's fingers, clothes or moving feet or other parts of the body restlessly.All of this diminish the reward for prayer. Submissiveness is a condition of acceptance of prayer. Allah's command signifies: And stand [in prayer] to Allah submissively21.
14) Holding the Qur'an and reciting from it by the muqtadi in congregational prayer to check the imam's recitation.This act distracts the person who is doing so and prevents him from concentration. It is a dispraised act during salah.
22. He also said: Does not the one who raises his head before the imam does fear that Allah would transform his head into a donkey's head23.
17) Sticking the arms to the sides of the body, in rukoo' or sujood, and sticking the belly to the thighs in sujood.The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu 'alaihi wasallam) said: Let not one of you support himself on his forearms (in sujood ) like the dog. Let him rest on his palms and keep his elbows away from his body24. The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu 'alaihi wasallam) used to keep his arms away from his body during rukoo' and sujood that the whiteness of his armpits could be seen25.
19) Neglecting ta'meen (to say 'Aameen) loudly when the imam recites the concluding verse of surat al-Fatiha, "waladh-dhalleen".The Prophet (sallallaahu 'alaihi wasallam) commanded: When the imam says, 'waladh-dhalleen', say 'Aameen', because the angels also say, 'Aameen', and the imam says, 'Aameen'. He whose aameen coincides with the aameen of the angels, Allah forgives his past sins26. In another narration, the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alaihi wasallam) said: Then say, 'Aameen', Allah loves you27.
28. Applying the above command necessitates resting the forehead and the nose on the ground during sujood.
The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu 'alaihi wasallam) said: The worst thief is the one who steals from his own prayer. People asked, 'Messenger of Allah! How could one steal from his own prayer?' He said: By not completing its rukoo' and sujood30.
To complete rukoo' is to stay in that posture long enough to recite 'subhana rabbiyal Adtheem' three times, slowly, and 'subhana rabbiyal-a'ala' three times, slowly, in sujood. He also announced: He who does not complete his rukoo' and sujood, his prayer is void31.
The above hadeeth indicates clearly that the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alaihi wasallam) used only one hand for counting tasbeeh. No Muslim with sound mind would imagine that the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alaihi wasallam) used his left hand for counting tasbeeh. Aa'ishah, with whom Allah is pleased, said that the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alaihi wasallam) used his left hand only for Istinjaa', or cleaning himself after responding to the call of nature. He never used it for tasbeeh. Yasirah reported: The Prophet (sallallaahu 'alaihi wasallam) commanded women to count tasbeeh on their fingers.
The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu 'alaihi wasallam) said: They (the fingers) will be made to speak, and will be questioned (on the Day of Resurrection.)34
The above hadeeth indicates that it is preferable to count tasbeeh on the fingers of the right hand than to do so on masbahah (rosary).
25) Shaking hands with other praying people right after fardh prayer is over, saying, 'taqabbala-llah', or 'haraman'This is a bid'ah which was never practiced by the Prophet's companions or their followers, may Allah be pleased with them.
The best forms of du'a are those authentically related to the Prophet, (sallallaahu 'alaihi wasallam).. Insha' Allah, we will publish the authentic du'a masnoon, soon.
36. The forty in the tradition may be days months or even years. Allah knows best.
The format of prayer is enjoined by the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu 'alaihi wasallam). No imam or a scholar has the right to alter it by adding to or deleting from it. There is no book of authentic hadeeth or Prophetic tradition reporting that the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu 'alaihi wasallam) commanded men to pray in one way, and women in another. He commanded: Pray as you saw me praying38. The Prophet (sallallaahu 'alaihi wasallam) did not differentiate between men and women in prayer.
Some scholars opine that it is better for women to gather themselves in sujood. As every body knows, prayer is an act of worship, and like every other act of worship, there must be a textual proof for it in the Qur'an or the authentic Sunnah. A future issue of Naseehah will, insha'Allah, include the format of prayer as reported in the authentic traditions. Let us pray to Allah, extolled be His glory, seeking His forgiveness, and asking him to guide us to the straight path. Aameen.
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