Monday, August 25, 2008

The Call for Jamaah Prayers

All praise be to Allah the Lord of the Worlds, and peace and blessings of be upon His noble Messenger.

Islam has never been a religion for individuals ever since it was first revealed to our Prophet Muhammad pbuh. We could see this through the implementation of the Islamic teachings as believers are urged to spread good deeds and prevent mischievous acts amongst others no matter who they are . From the lowest social rungs to the highest level everyone can give and be given advise. From this, it leads to a better society as every one is given the right to voice out their opinion on what to improve based on the Islamic teachings. Just imagine if islam focus on the individuals only. Then we would probably have good personalities but having to live (or rather struggling hard to maintain his/her integrity) in a corrupt society.

It is a sad reality that the muslim world today is filled with individualistic attitudes. We live in 300 different countries bordered by the wrongly placed spirit of nationalism and patriotism so much so that we don’t even take a glimpse at the suffering of our bothers and sisters in faith . In Malaysia for instance, take the tragic case of little Nurin Jazimin, I’m not surprised if there’re Malaysians, yes muslim Malaysians, that don’t even took notice of the issue just because she ‘is not related to me’ type of attitude. Palestine is yet another big issue. Many muslims don’t even see that the struggle of our brothers and sisters there is also in every way our own stuggle . It’s more like adopting ‘their land, their war’ kind of stand. Whatever happens to the bonds that bind us together as believers? As muslims the ties of the ‘aqidah is far stronger than family bondings. What could have made us this way?

The answer lies deep inside our hearts. And one of these answers could be found in the urge to perform solat jamaah (congregration prayers).

Yes, there has been many different opinions regarding the obligatory status of jamaah prayers, some say it’s a prerequisite for a prayer to be accepted by Allah while others say it’s sunnah mu’akkadah (confirmed regular practice of the Prophet SAW, yet the term is used here to imply that it is optional). I wouldn’t go into details but would like to stress out the benefits of performing jamaah prayers and how it builds integrity amongst us, insyaAllah.

Obviously performing congregation prayers are 27 far superior than praying alone.

Ibn Omar said that the Messenger of Allah SAW said,
"Prayer in congregation is 27 grades in excess of one's prayer alone."
(HR Muslim)

Well, although this clearly states that prayers done alone are still acceptable (the acceptance of our ibadah is only in the knowledge of Allah), but it is way much better if we perform jamaah prayers. Why deny ourselves the great benefits and goods? How can we allow ourselves to lose the reward of 27 grades, and sufficing with one grade only. Have we reached a state that we have no need for hasanat (merits) from Allah?

Jamaah prayers are amongst the times that we unite as one towards fulfilling our main purpose of living which is to obligate our lives for Allah. If the solution to our ummah’s individualistic problem is to find a common ground, why can’t it be solat? “together we stand, divided we fall?” then we should stand together in a straight line to perform our prayers.

Logically, if we’re in the wilderness, we are more prone to be attacked by wolves if we’re alone. And from a different point of view, the wolves will have a bigger chance of success if they attack as a pack. Clearly, even though some might just see prayers are only done in mosques or prayer room and even have the idea of questioning how could it bring any effects to themselves and others. However we must not forget that everything ordained by Allah and his Messenger has benefits beyond our knowledge.

Abi Ad-Darda'a said that the Messenger of Allah SAW said
"There are not three in a town where no Athan is called, and congregational prayers are not established amongst them except that the Syaitan will overcome them, so you must stick to jama'ah because the wolf gets the stray ones."

(Authentic hadeeth narrated by Abu Dawood and Ahmed)

Either we notice this or not, each time we pray we always recite:

“Only to You whom we obligate to, and only to You whom we seek for help. Guide us the straight path.”
(Al-Fatihah: 5 & 6)

We recite this verse in every prayer and each time we recite it, we use the term of ‘us’ and ‘we’. This clearly shows that islam is never and will never ever be a religion for individuals. Even during prayers, we pray for ourselves and other as stated in Al-Fatihah verse 6.

I hope the following analogy wouldn’t be crossing the line as a conclusion just to give a little more push towards urging jamaah prayers.

“Salat (prayer) is of the most important of the pillars of the deen”

If we must bring the pillars to a stand, wound’t it be easier if we did it together?

May this little effort towards uniting our ummah is accepted by Allah. And that those reading will have all the benefits, insyaAllah.

Building Integrity From Solat Campaign
broQ: ayuh kita bina kekuatan ummah dengan titik yang menyatukan kita semua!

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