Thursday, May 8, 2014

The wisdom behind different factors of Salaah (Prayer)- Part 1

This is going to be a series of posts Inshaa-Allah taking you through the entire salaah and explaining some of the reasons for the postures and words in the salaah.

All the information in this series will be taken from the following source:

My Salaat  by  Moulana Muhammad Idris Ansari, translated by Dr. Imtiaz Kamal Madani, 

Please note that this is just a basic introduction, the Salaah has so many dimensions to it and there are so many secrets in this beautiful prayer that we will never fully comprehend. This is why salaah is regarded as a gift to Muslims. It should be remembered that Salaah is about connection to Allah Almighty, it is about breaking oneself away from this worldly life, to connect with the Creator and remember what our true purpose on this earth is.

Inshaa-Allah if time permits then this can become a regular weekly thing where posts specifically about Salaah is put up. I am still learning, just like all of you and the more I learn the more it helps me to appreciate the beautiful gifts I have being given, may Allah Most Glorious guide myself and all of you to love and understand what He has given us.

I hope that you enjoy this series and please leave your comments below, if anyone requires any further information or explanation please email me ( and Inshaa-Allah I will try my best to find the information that you need. 


 The wisdom behind starting salaah with Takbir (that is reciting Allabu Akbar)

  • -          Allahu Akbar means that Allah (Most Glorious) is the greatest in all His powers and characteristics, and the meaning of the entire salaah is that by his every action, man is displaying his own and the whole world’s helplessness in comparison to Allah’s greatness.

  • -          For this reason, before one begins his salaah, Allah showed his servant that he will have to perform his entire salaah under the title of Allahu Akbar and perform it with that perspective in mind.

The wisdom behind raising hands to the ears at the start of salaah

  • -          When Allah Almighty’s servant says Allahu Akbar, and at the same time raises his hands, he expresses his freedom from associating any partner with Allah, so that the words and actions of the worshipper may be the same.

  • -          When a man is drowning in a river (or other body of water), he raises his hands up in the hope that maybe he can grab something to save his life. In the same way, Allah’s servant says with his tongue, Allahu Akbar, and at the same time, thinking about the river of his sins, he raises his hands as though to say, “O my Saviour, I am drowning, but if you hold me, then I will be saved from drowning in my sins.”

  • -          In short, by raising his hands, the person is expressing his helplessness in front of Allah.

The wisdom behind standing with hands folded in salaah

  • -          Man is both accused and guilty in front of Allah on account of his sins, and salaah is like that appeal which the accused has placed in Allah’s court of justice for forgiveness.

  • -          It is as though, at this time, Allah’s court is in session, the King of Kings is present in His court and the case of the accused is being tried.

  • -          In this condition, it is the duty of the accused, that he stand with his eyes downcast and his hands folded in front of him, so that by looking at his helpless and humble condition, Allah the most merciful of those capable of showing mercy, would relent towards him.

The wisdom behind reciting surah Faatiha (the Opening Chapter of the Glorious Quraan) in salaah

  • -          Surah Faatiha is actually the substance of the appeal, and as mentioned already, salaah is a means of presenting oneself in the Supreme Court of Allah.

  • -          Now what do you think will happen if one enters the court and his petition is not acceptable, or his plea does not properly express his purpose, or what if he has no petition or plea in itself?

  • -          Thus, Allah Almighty has given us the appeal or the plea to make, when we stand in front of Allah, and this is none other than Surah Faatiha.

  • -          So this petition or plea would then be appropriate to Allah’s Grandeur, and also encompass the most important needs of the servant.

The wisdom behind the requirement of bowing (ruku) in salah

  • -          The Lord of the Worlds accepts the plea that the servant has presented, even before the servant performs ruku (bowing)- SubhanAllah (Glory be to Allah!)

  • -          It is narrated in a hadeeth something to the effect that when the servant of Allah reaches the part in Surah Faatiha which says (guide us to the straight path- Ihdenassirtatul Mustaqeem), and completes the Surah, then Allah Almighty says, “O my servant! Your appeal has been accepted, and I have fulfilled your request.”

  • -          In thankfulness for his acceptance, the servant makes ruku, and thereby bows his head and waist, in an action that says, “My Lord your servants head and waist are at your service. How can I thank you? This slave is helpless in front of You. This head is also present in front of You. You can create whatever thought (in this head) that You want, and this waist is also present, You can give it strength in whatever action You want.

  • -          In another hadeeth it is narrated something to the effect that, the Prophet (pbuh) said, that when the worshipper stands up for salaah, all his sins are gathered together in the form of a bundle and placed on his head. When he goes into Ruku (bowing), all his sins fall off his head. Because the worshipper becomes pure from his sins after performing ruku, he is happy at his purpose being fulfilled, and says with his tongue (Sami-Allah-u-liman Hamidah- which translates as, “Allah heard the one who praised him), and then he stands up again.

Taken from: My Salaat  by  Moulana Muhammad Idris Ansari, translated by Dr. Imtiaz Kamal Madani, 


  1. Zarina,
    Thank you for answering in such details. I think I have still an issue with the idea that we are nothing and God is everything. I mean, God created us the way we are, for a reason. Sin is part of our human nature. Why should we always be ashamed of it?
    Just questions I am asking myself while reflecting on religion and prayer.

    Stay well and be blessed for taking the time to share this priceless information.

  2. Marie

    Thank you for your comment.

    I remember someone saying to me once in a course I attended, that human beings have the ability to be better than the angels and lower than animals, it is our ability to choose that decides what we are. The thing is that human beings have been described as the best of the creation and Allah loves us, and while sin may be a part of our human nature, so is goodness, so we are making the choice of whether we will sin or do good. God is everything and we are nothing if we don't have God. Through the mercy of Allah, we have been made the best of creation and our value comes from our connection with God. Allah Almighty tells us something to the effect in the Glorious Quraan that if we obey Allah then Allah will make everything subservient to us, other people, all creatures even all creation, but we are nothing on our own because we have no ability to do anything without the will of God. We wouldn't even be able to breathe if it wasn't for Allah's mercy, so this is why we are nothing without Allah, but with God in our lives, we can reach high stages, even higher than the angels.

    I think that feeling shame for our sins is as normal as sinning. Most people naturally feel bad for sinning, whether they are very religious or not, and I think this is because we know that we are displeasing God by breaking His rules. Again, for me it goes back to our ability to choose.

    I think salaah allows us to be thankful to Allah, and it reminds us to be humble because if we forget the source of everything, the source of what we are and what we have, then it's very easy to be full of pride and arrogance, and these are qualities that are destructive for ourselves and others.

    I will leave it at that for now, but you are always welcome to debate these issues with me at any time.

    Thanks so much for commenting again, stay well always;-)

  3. Wow, thanks for this explanation Zarina.
    I agree...feeling ashamed for our sins is something that is natural to our nature. We are born flawed, but we have the potential to always do and be better alhamdullelah.

  4. Salma

    JazakAllah Khayr for your comment, I am as always thankful that you find this useful.

    I was supposed to put up part 2 of this post but unfortunately I came down with a bit of flu, I am much better now though alhamdulillah and trying to catch up with things so InshaAllah it will be posted soon.

    Stay well and remember me in your prayers.

  5. Asalamu alaikum,

    JazakAllah khair for sharing , have you heard about the Warning! not to be ignored..

    Take Care

  6. Asalamu alaikum,

    Thx for sharing Warning!