Importance of Salat in its Prime Time (Awwal-e-Waqt) 2

Salat in its Prescribed Time from the Masumin

5) Anas ibn Malik said, "Normally, whenever the Prophet travelled, if the time for Salat would set in, he would stop right there and recite his Salat."

6) Imam Hasan ibn 'Ali al-Mujtaba (peace be upon him) said: "When my father 'Ali (peace be upon him) was struck with the sword, he turned towards me and said,' O' my son! I advise you about the Salat in its appointed time!"

7) Umm al-Hamidah, the wife of the 6th Imam (peace be upon him) narrated to Abu Basir - who was blind - when he came to pay condolences to her on the death of the Holy Imam and said, "Abu Basir you were not here and did not witness the last moments of the Imam' s life, but it was a startling time."

Abu Basir questioned,' Why?' She said,' The Imam was in such a state that he was pretty much unconscious. Then he opened his eyes and said, "Go and tell all the family to come and gather around me." I obeyed the Imam's command and asked everyone to come. When everyone had gathered, the Imam who was semi-unconscious, and was in the last few moments of his life opened his eyes, turned to the family members and said only one thing:

لَنْ تَنَالُ شَفاعَتُنَا مَنِ اسْتَخَفَّ بِالصَّلاَةِ؛

Our intercession will never reach that person who takes his Salat lightly. After saying this, the Imam (peace be upon him) left this world for his heavenly abode.

8) At the time of Salat, Imam Hasan al-'Askari (peace be upon him) would stop any work he was doing and would not consider anything to be more important than the Salat. Abu Hashim Ja'far said, "I had the honour to go and see Imam al-'Askari (peace be upon him) and (when I went to see him) he was busy writing something; but as soon as the time for the Salat came, he put his writings aside and stood up for the Salat."

Giving Preference to Salat in its Prescribed Time to all Other Work

9) Imam 'Ali ibn Abi Talib (peace be upon him) said, "Recite the Salat in its designated times; and do not recite it before it time just because you are free (don't have anything else to do) and do not delay it because you feel you are too busy; for you should know that all of your actions are connected to your Salat."

10) Imam 'Ali ibn Abi Talib (peace be upon him) said, "There is no action that is better in the eyes of Allah than the Salat, therefore, one must not let any worldly thing stop one from performing the Salat at its prime time. Allah (Glorified and Exalted is He) condemns the one who is negligent of his Salat, and know that Allah (Glorified and Exalted is He) does not accept anything except that which is performed with sincerity."

11) The late Marja', Ayatullah al-'Uzma al-Hajj as-Sayyid Baha ad-Dini gave a lot of importance to the performance of Salat at its prescribed time and he used to encourage those who would perform the Salat on time by telling them, "If you want to attain great blessings, then you should not leave out the Salat it its prime time."

Awaiting the Time of Salat

12) The Holy Prophet (blessings of Allah be upon him and his family) said, "If someone prepares himself for his obligatory (wajib) Salat to the extent that he is awaiting the time of the Salat and he prays his Salat in its prime time and performs the Ruku' and Sujud properly, with attention and humility, and then he is busy in the praise of Allah (Ta'qibat) until the time for the next Salat sets in and during this time period, does not indulge in vain or useless actions, then Allah will write for him the reward of performing Hajj and 'Umrah and will classify him as one of the 'Illyin (the most high)."

Delaying the Time of Salat

13) Hujjat ibn al-Hasan al-'Askari al-Mahdi (peace be upon him) has said, "Cursed is the one, cursed is the one, who delays his Salat al-Fajr until the time when the stars disappear." He then said, "Cursed is the one, cursed is the one who delays his Maghrib Salat until the time that the stars come out. (1)

14) Imam 'Ali ibn Abi Talib (peace be upon him) said, "There is no action more beloved in the eyes of Allah (Glorified and Exalted is He) than the Salat; therefore, do not let any affair of the world stop you from performing the Salat right when its prescribed time sets in, since Allah (Glorified and Exalted is He) reproaches you in Surah Ma'un and has commanded the people that, ‘Woe to the people who perform the Salat, but have accustomed themselves to negligence in regards to the Salat.’ Meaning that woe upon the person who performs his prayer, however he is negligent of the timings of the Salat and is careless in performing the Salat in its prime time."

15) The Prophet of Islam (blessings of Allah be upon him and his family) told Imam 'Ali (peace be upon him) that, "With complete and proper Wudhu', stand up for the Salat at its prime time, and do not delay it from its appointed time because delaying the Salat without a (valid) reason brings about the wrath of Allah."

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To close this discussion, we narrate an incident about the late Imam Khomeini (may Allah raise his rank). It has been narrated from Aqa Mahmudi Burujerdi that he said, "Imam Khomeini used to give a lot of importance to the Salat in its appointed time. He used to often quote the narration from Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (peace be upon him) that "if anyone takes their Salat lightly, then they will be deprived of our intercession."

Once I asked him,' to take the Salat lightly maybe means that a person sometimes performs the Salat and sometimes he does not.' The late Imam replied, ' No! This goes against the explanation of the hadith. What the Imam meant by this was that the time for Zuhr sets in and the person does not perform his Salat in its prime time, then in reality, he has given preference to something else (over his Salat and thus has taken it lightly).

"DO NOT TELL YOUR SALAT THAT YOU HAVE WORK TO DO, RAHTER, TELL YOUR WORK THAT YOU HAVE SALAT TO DO!"

 إِنَّ الصَّلَاةَ كَانَتْ عَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ كِتَابًا مَوْقُوتًا؛

"Surely the Salat at fixed hours (of the day and night) has been enjoined upon the believers."(2)

Author: Arifa Hudda

NOTES:

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1. Please note that cursed is the one' which has been used by the 12th Imam means that he is praying that may the mercy of Allah be removed from that individual.

2. The Holy Quran, Surah an-Nisa, 4:103