Description of prayer Class 1 Notes

Book Name : Description of Prayer. 

Author : Shaykh Mohammad bin Saalih Al-Uthymeen Rahimahuallah.

Dars given by Abu Mu’aadh Taqweem


In Introduction Shaykh Mohammad bin Saalih Al-Uthymeen  رحمه الله discusses :

  1. Linguistic and Islamic meaning of Salah.

  2. Virtue of Salah.

  3. Great Benefits behind Salah.

  4. How Salah prevents from falling to evil activities and ill actions .


1-Linguistic and Islamic meaning of Prayer الصلاة :

الصلاة في اللغة: الدعاء

As-Salah linguistically means : Supplication.

EVIDENCE : Soorah Tawbah verse 103,

…وصل عليهم”   يعني أدعولهم”

”and pray upon them” meaning supplicate for them.

Evidence from Sunnah : Hadeeth in Saheeh Muslim

Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “When any of you is invited to a meal, he should accept the invitation. If he is observing Saum (fasting), he should supplicate for the betterment of the host and if he is not fasting, he should eat.”

عن أبى هريرة رضى الله عنه قال: قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم : “إذا دعي أحدكم ، فليجب، فإن كان صائما فليصل، وإن كان مفطراً فليطعم” . reference : Book 3, Hadith 11 Arabic/English book reference : Book 3, Hadith 738

Principle : Linguistic meaning is GENERAL and Islamic/legislative/Shari’ah meaning is SPECIFIC.The  Islamic/legislative/Shari’ah meaning is same as Linguistic meaning BUT with few additions or with few restrictions. 

As-Salah Islamically /legislatively/Shari’ah meaning:  supplication but it is a particular type of duaa , a particular type of worship, with specific statements, specific actions,  which begin with a takbeer and they end with a tasleem.

This includes all specific types of prayers like 5 daily prayers,  Jumm’a prayer, ‘Eed prayer, Janaazah prayer etc.

Shaykh Further mentions an example to highlight this matter:

Tawaaf around the Ka’aba is Salah or not?. Some people say the Narration : ”الطواف بالبيت صلاة” (Tawaaf around the Ka’aba is Salah),  Here it means linguistically, ”دعاء” (Supplication). But, Shaykh mentions this narration is not proven  or established  anyway.


When Ruling Given for Salah (When legislated Prayer was Established):

1 )The 5 daily prayers were prescribed before the Hijrah(i.e Hijrah from Makkah to Madinah).Prophet Sal Allaaho ‘Alyhe wasalam  remained 13 years in Makkah, before Hijrah. The Prayer was established just prior to the very end of 13 years, because in end Hijrah occurred.Many of the scholars say, it was just prior to it. Not 10 years , 5 years prior to the Hijrah but a year or 2 prior to the end. 

2)Many of the scholars mention that the Establishment of prayer was on the night of Israa. That is the night when Prophet Sal Allaaho ‘Alyhe wasalam was taken to Heavens physically. Some people say it was only a dream type of incident and he was not taken physically, which is not true.

3)It is not established or known Precisely that when this night occurred. Some Scholars says maybe one year before Hijrah and others say maybe 3 years before Hijrah and some say 5 years. But, majority says it was closer to Hijrah.

4)Initially prayer was prescribed as 50 prayers a day and night.

  • قَالَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏”‏ فَفَرَضَ اللَّهُ عَلَى أُمَّتِي خَمْسِينَ صَلاَةً، فَرَجَعْتُ بِذَلِكَ حَتَّى مَرَرْتُ عَلَى مُوسَى فَقَالَ مَا فَرَضَ اللَّهُ لَكَ عَلَى أُمَّتِكَ قُلْتُ فَرَضَ خَمْسِينَ صَلاَةً‏.‏ قَالَ فَارْجِعْ إِلَى رَبِّكَ، فَإِنَّ أُمَّتَكَ لاَ تُطِيقُ ذَلِكَ‏.‏ فَرَاجَعْتُ فَوَضَعَ شَطْرَهَا، فَرَجَعْتُ إِلَى مُوسَى قُلْتُ وَضَعَ شَطْرَهَا‏.‏ فَقَالَ رَاجِعْ رَبَّكَ، فَإِنَّ أُمَّتَكَ لاَ تُطِيقُ، فَرَاجَعْتُ فَوَضَعَ شَطْرَهَا، فَرَجَعْتُ إِلَيْهِ فَقَالَ ارْجِعْ إِلَى رَبِّكَ، فَإِنَّ أُمَّتَكَ لاَ تُطِيقُ ذَلِكَ، فَرَاجَعْتُهُ‏.‏ فَقَالَ هِيَ خَمْسٌ وَهْىَ خَمْسُونَ، لاَ يُبَدَّلُ الْقَوْلُ لَدَىَّ‏.‏ فَرَجَعْتُ إِلَى مُوسَى فَقَالَ رَاجِعْ رَبَّكَ‏.‏ فَقُلْتُ اسْتَحْيَيْتُ مِنْ رَبِّي‏.‏ 
  • The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Then Allah enjoined fifty prayers on my followers when I returned with this order of Allah, I passed by Moses who asked me, ‘What has Allah enjoined on your followers?’ I replied, ‘He has enjoined fifty prayers on them.’ Moses said, ‘Go back to your Lord (and appeal for reduction) for your followers will not be able to bear it.’ (So I went back to Allah and requested for reduction) and He reduced it to half. When I passed by Moses again and informed him about it, he said, ‘Go back to your Lord as your followers will not be able to bear it.’ So I returned to Allah and requested for further reduction and half of it was reduced. I again passed by Moses and he said to me: ‘Return to your Lord, for your followers will not be able to bear it. So I returned to Allah and He said, ‘These are five prayers and they are all (equal to) fifty (in reward) for My Word does not change.’ I returned to Moses and he told me to go back once again. I replied, ‘Now I feel shy of asking my Lord again.’ (Reference : Saheeh Bukhaare 349 )

5)Initially when the prayer was prescribed all of the prayers was 2 Rakah  apart from Maghrib which is 3 and is always 3. Then when Prophet Sal Allaaho Alyhe wasalam made Hijrah,  the prayer of resident (i.e the one not travelling but in home) increased to 4. Like Dhuhr, Asr and Ishaa became 4, Maghrib stayed 3 and Fajr was 2 and thats because it should be prolonged. This is Sunnah. But as for those travelling it remained 2 Rakahs. Fajr is prolonged so that it equivalent to 4 Rakah length.

  • (البخاري 3935 ) عن عائشة رضي الله عنها قالت (فرضت الصلاة ركعتين ثم  هاجر النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم ففرضت أربعا وتركت صلاة السفر على الأولى )
  • That the prayer was prescribed in (2) Rakatein then the Prophet Sal Allaaho ‘Alyhe wasalam made the Hijrah and then after that, it was prescribed 4’s for resident and for the traveler it was left upon its original state (i.e 2 rakah).
  • An Imaam Ahmed mention in addition to this narration,”إلا المغرب ” (except maghrib),  ”لأنه وتر” (Because it was odd number). ”والصبح ” (and the morning (fajr prayer)),  ”لأنه يطول فيها القرأ ” (because , the person is suppose to elongate to e long the recitation of fajr prayer)

6. There is Ikhtilaaf between scholars regarding,” was there a prayer existing before the night of Miraaj?”

  • Some scholars say that before the night of Israa and Miraaj there was no obligatory prayer as such, except what has been mentioned the rulings regarding night prayer had been mentioned before. But there was no particular restriction obligation.Hence, many scholars said there was not any obligatory prescribed prayers before night of Israa.
  • Some of the scholars mentioned that there was a particular type of prayer being obligatory on muslims before Israa miraaj but that was at Morning and Evening meaning 2 prayers. But, Shaykh ibn Uthymeen says Allaah knows best but what is certainty is that 5 prayers obligatory prayers prescribed after or on the night of Israa.


 Importance(status) of Prayer in Islaam:

1)It is second pillar of Islaam. One of the most important pillars of Islaam after the Shahadatyien. This indicates status and level of prayer.

2)A person who abandons the prayer becomes a kaafir.Shaykh ibn Uthymeen says, ”we are saying that statement based upon the evidence from Qur’aan and Sunnah and from the statements of Sahaabah”.As for the other pillars, scholars have not mentioned them with this severity (i.e becoming Kaafir). This indicates importance.

3)The legislation of the prayer was not revealed in the same way as other rulings. It was not brought down by Jibraeel ‘Alyhe salaam. Instead, the Prophet Sal Allaho ‘Alyhe wasalam himself was taken up to the heavens to receive this revelation.

4)The revelations used to come via Jibraeel ‘Alyhe salaam and revelations descend on earth but for prayer Prophet Sal Allaho ‘Alyhe wasalam ascended to heavens without having in between Jibrael Alyhe salaam, but given to Prophet directly from Allaah ‘Azza wa jal.

5)The very fact that initially Allaah prescribed as 50 prayers indicates love of Allaah for this worship.It also indicates the importance given to this worship and it indicates that it is deserving that a servant should spend his time in the prayer, because if it was a 50 prayers a day then a large portion of day would be spend on prayer. And, more time should be given to prayer.

6)By mercy of Allaah Azza wa jal it was made 5 after 50 in actual action but its reward is equal to 50 prayers on scale.

7)This act of worship cannot be done unless you are upon purification and it is not accepted by person except if he is in wudu and have purity of cloth and place. Where as, other worships can be done without purification. This worship needs external (body, cloths, place) purification and internal (heart) purification. Charity do not need wudu.


Virtues of Prayer

Virtues are slightly different then importance because they highlights great number of benefits, a servant achieves from a prayer.

1)There are many verses from Qur’aan and narrations from Sunnah to guard the prayer, virtue of prayer and give you encouragement to perform it. One such example from Qur’aan is Soorah Mu’minoon verse 1 and 2 in which Allaah Azza wa jal mentions some of the descriptions of those who pray,Successful indeed are the believers.Those who offer their Salat (prayers) with all solemnity and full submissiveness.” In this, success is linked with the establishment of the prayer upon Khushoo and full submissiveness.

2)Mentioned in Qur’aan how will be the end result which is paradise for those who guard over their prayers. In Soorah Ma’arij verse 34 and 35,”  And those who guard their Salat (prayers) well ,Such shall dwell in the Gardens (i.e. Paradise) honoured.”

3)Specially mentioning about establishing the prayer. In Soorah Ankabut verse 45, Recite (O Muhammad ) what has been revealed to you of the Book (the Qur’an), and perform As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat).” The fact that Allaah Azza wa jal mentions specially here to establish prayer indicates great virtue behind this act of worship.

In Hadeeth of ‘Abdullah ibne ‘Umar Radi Allaaho Anhumaa says a man came to the Prophet Sal Allaaho ‘Alyhe wasalam and he asked him about the best worship (obedience or action). So, the Prophet Sal Allaaho Alyhe wasalam said, ”As-Salah”. Then the man said, ” then what?”He said, ”As-Salah”. Then the man said, ”then what?” He said, ”As-Salah” (Three times the Prophet replied to him about prayer). And then the narration moves on to other affairs. 

In Another Hadeeth in Ibno Maajah, its narrated that the Prophet Sal Allaaho ‘Alyhe salam said, ”Know, that the best of your actions of your obediences is As-Salah”.


Benefits you receive from prayer:

 1)Salah gives peace and tranquility to the soul of the one who guards over their prayer.Its coolness of eyes.

Prophet Sal Allaaho ‘Alyhe wasalam said, ”“The coolness of my eyes is in Salah.” (Musnad Ahmad – v.3 pg. 128)

3)Salah is Dhikr of Allaah so it gives satisfaction or comfort to hearts. As in Soorah Ar-Ra’ad verse 28, ” Verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest .”

4)Prevents from sins, if you perform properly 5 times with focus and submission. Soorah Al Ankabut verse 45,Verily, As-Salat (the prayer) prevents from Al-Fahsha’ (i.e. great sins of every kind, unlawful sexual intercourse, etc.) and Al-Munkar (i.e. disbelief, polytheism, and every kind of evil wicked deed, etc.) and the remembering (praising, etc.) of (you by) Allah (in front of the angels) is greater indeed [than your remembering (praising, etc.) Allah in prayers, etc.]. And Allah knows what you do.”

5)Makes your religious and worldly affairs better for the one who guards over the prayer. 

6)It expiates/wipes off minor sins. 

Abu Huraira reported Radi Allaaho Anhu : The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “If there was a river at the door of anyone of you and he took a bath in it five times a day, would you notice any dirt on him?” They said, “Not a trace of dirt would be left.” The Prophet said, “That is the example of the five prayers with which Allah erases evil deeds.” Source: Sahih Bukahri 505, Sahih Muslim 667

7)Friday prayer to friday prayer wipes off minor sins.

Abu Huraira Radi Allaaho Anhu narrated that Allah’s Messenger Sal Allaaho Alyhe wasalam said:“Five (daily) prayers and from one Friday prayer to the (next) Friday prayer, and from Ramadan to Ramadan are expiations for the (sins) committed in between (their intervals) provided one shuns the major sins.” (Saheeh Muslim)

8)Prayer is connection between yourself and Allaah. So, Allaah faces him when servant prays. The closest a person is, himself with his Lord is in sujood.

Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him), according to which the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “The closest that a person is to his Lord is when he is prostrating, so say a great deal of du’aa’.” Narrated by Muslim, 482 


Notes by Ommo Abdillah Al Baakistaaniyah.

Reference audio lesson 1 :


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