Salah cements unity and love in society
( This article was published in Oman Daily Observer, Oman's most prestigious Newspapers.The article is reproduced with the permission of the author )
By Hasan Kamoonpuri - During the Holy Month of Ramadhan, mosques in Oman wear a new look. Although the mosques overflow with worshippers on all Fridays in particular, during the holy month mosques overflow with worshippers at all the five daily Salah (remembrance of Allah the Exalted), including Suhur (pre-dawn meal) and iftar (fast-breaking meal).
Oman is dotted with mosques. There are mosques in every nook and corner of the country. Inside every shopping mall, office and hotel, there is a specially designated space for Salah. Each mosque has its own beauty, distinctive architecture and unique personality. What stands out most glaringly is that all the mosques are generally seen overflowing with worshippers.
The reason for this overflow of worshippers is not far to seek. Muslims understand the significance of offering Salah and the added significance of congregational prayers which bring people together and deepen the bonds of love and unity. Salah helps to bring about awakening and awareness about the need to develop and maintain unity throughout the world of Islam. In Sura Al-e-Imran of the Glorious Quran, Allah, the Most Exalted, says;
“And hold fast, all of you together to the rope of Allah, and be not divided among yourselves.” (3:103). One of the fundamental principles of Islam is to strive for a better, safer and more peaceful world; defend the oppressed people and to repudiate the oppressors. One of Islam’s messages is that the origin of all people is traceable to Adam and Eve and all people are brothers and sisters in faith or humanity.
Significance of Salah
Salah is a direct contact or link between the worshipper and Allah the Most Exalted with no earthly intermediaries. Salah builds a strong defence against evils which exist around us. We learn in the Glorious Quran that Salah keeps you “away from indecency and evil”.
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) once asked his companions “Tell me if there was a river at your door step in which you washed five times a day would any of your dirt remain?” When he received the reply that none of it would remain he then said, “That is like the five times Salah, with which Allah wipes out sin”.
Salah is the first thing that a person is judged by on the Day of Judgement. If it was good, the rest of all his deeds will be good. But if it was poor, the rest of all his deeds will be poor.
Everything has a face and the face of Islam is Salah. Those whose hearts are filled with awe for the Almighty Creator, know very well that Salah is placing the face on dust five times a day as a sign of recognition and confession of the Creator’s Greatness.
Salah is the most effective way of spiritual migration towards Allah and attaining the exalted position of His nearness. The most esteemed and favourite deed before Allah is Salah. Salah is the last dying will of all prophets. Salah helps you keep away from temptation and deviation. Salah is a visit to Allah, the Almighty Creator of all that exists.
In his book Concentration in prayer Dr Jameel Kermalli, a US-based naturopathic physician, says Salah has several built-in properties that make the worshipper far better than the angels and makes life worth living. Only when the true reality of Salah is understood then one is awestruck by its daily performance. Salah is the acknowledgement of the Lordship of Allah and negating all kinds of partners and plurality for the Creator. Salah is standing before the Omnipotent, with humility, humbleness and confession (of sins) and begging forgiveness of the previous sins.
Salah is for remembering the Creator and shunning all arrogance and negligence. Salah brings about material and spiritual progress both in this world and the hereafter.
Scholars have noted that if a man does not fulfil the conditions of this act of Salah, he defies Allah and is a kind of rebel. For man to climb higher in the realm of existence, he must lower himself to the Almighty Creator. The more he lowers himself to the Almighty, the higher he reaches in the realm of existence.
The Prophet has made this clear by saying: “All good deeds depend on Salah. Salah is the cornerstone of Islam. If Salah is accepted then the good deeds will be accepted. If Salah is not accepted, then the good works will not be accepted”.
Ali, the fourth caliph of Islam, says: If the worshipper knew to what extent Allah’s Mercy surrounded him during Salah, he would never raise his head from the state of prostration.
Allah says in the Glorious Quran: “Be watchful over the Salahs, And the middle Salah; And stand obedient to God”. (2:238)