Khutbas by Imam Habib
Khutba on Prayer
الحمد لله، الحمد لله الذي جعل الصلاة سيدَ الحسنات، وأفضلَ القُرُبات، وأمر عبادَه بالخشوعِ فيها وإقامتِها في الأوقات، نحمده تعالى ونستعينه، ونشكره تعالى ونستغفره ونستغيثه، نعوذ بالله من شرور أنفسنا ومن سيئات أعمالنا، من يهد الله فهو المهتد ومن يضلل فلن تجد له وليا مرشدا، ونشهد أن لا إله إلا الله وحده لا شريك له، له الملك و له الحمد، يحيي ويميت، بيده الخير، وهو على كل شيء قدير، ونشهد أن سيدنا و مولانا محمداً عبده ورسوله، وحبيبه وصفيه، بلغ الرسالة وأدى الأمانة ونصح الأمة، النبي الأمي الذي أرسله الله بالهدى والدين الحق، بشيرا ونذيرا بين يدي الساعة، صلى الله عليه وسلم وعلى آله وأصحابه ومن تبعهم بإحسان إلى يوم الدين.
أما بعد! فيا عباد الله اتقوا الله حق تقاته ولا تموتن إلا وأنتم مسلمون. يأيها الذين ءامنوا اتقوا الله وقولوا قولا سديدا يصلح لكم أعمالكم ويغفر لكم ذنوبكم. ومن يطع
الله ورسوله فقد فاز فوزا عظيما. اتقوا الله فيما أمر وانتهوا عما نها عنه وزجر.
قال الله عز وجل في كتابه العزيز: وَأَقِمِ الصَّلَاةَ طَرَفَيِ النَّهَارِ وَزُلَفًا مِنَ اللَّيْلِ إِنَّ الْحَسَنَاتِ يُذْهِبْنَ السَّيِّئَاتِ ذَلِكَ ذِكْرَى لِلذَّاكِرِينَ
Allah says in His Mighty Book, the translation of which is, “Establish the prayer at each end of the day and in the first part of the night. Good actions eradicate bad actions. This is a reminder for people who pay heed.”
Muslims, last week we talked about the shahada and how it is, both inwardly and outwardly, the key to the Deen of Allah. But if the shahada is the key to the building that is the Deen, then the prayer is its central support. The Prophet said,
الصلاةُ عِمادُ الدينِ فمَن تَرَكَها فقد هَدِمَ الدين
“The prayer is the central support of the deen. Anyone who leaves it has destroyed his deen.” And Umar ibn al-Khattab said,
من حفِظ صلاتَه وحافط عليها فقد حفِظ دينَه
“Anyone who safeguards his prayer and is constant in it, has safeguarded his entire deen.” Thus, a person's deen is inextricably linked to the prayer - if his prayer is absent or lacking, then his deen will also be absent and lacking, and so nothing that he does will be of any value. And that is why it has been narrated that:
إنّ أولَ ما يُنظَر فيه من عملِ العبدِ يومَ القيامة الصلاةُ فإن وُجِدَت تامةً قُبِلَت منه وسائرُ عملِه وإن وُجِدَت ناقصةً رُدَّت عليه وسائرُ عملِه
“The first of a slave's actions that is looked at on the Day of Qiyama is the prayer - if it is sound and complete then it and the rest of his actions are accepted from him, but if it is found lacking, then it is rejected along with the rest of his actions.” So our duty as Muslims is to make sure our prayer is sound and complete and that we are not like those whom Allah describes in surat al-Ma‘un:
فَوَيْلٌ لِّلْمُصَلِّينَ، الَّذِينَ هُمْ عَن صَلاتِهِمْ سَاهُونَ
the translation of which is, “So woe to those who do the prayer, and are forgetful of their prayer,” How does one ensure that his prayer is taamma - sound and complete? The secret is in the word aqeemu, ‘establish’. In the Quran, Allah does not command us to pray but rather to ‘establish the prayer’. For example, in surat al-Baqara, He says:
وَأَقِيمُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَآَتُوا الزَّكَاةَ وَارْكَعُوا مَعَ الرَّاكِعِينَ
the translation of which is, “Establish the prayer and pay zakat and bow with those who bow.” And in surat Ibrahim, He says:
قُلْ لِعِبَادِيَ الَّذِينَ آَمَنُوا يُقِيمُوا الصَّلَاةَ
the translation of which is, “Tell My slaves who have iman that they should establish the prayer.” According to the fuqaha and the Mufassirun, there are three aspects to iqamat as-salat - establishing the prayer:
The first is establishing it in the community - in other words, building a building in which the adhan is called and people pray the prayer in jama'at behind an imam.
The second is establishing it in its time. Allah has made five prayers obligatory on us and has assigned to each one a specific time. Allah says:
إِنَّ الصَّلاَةَ كَانَتْ عَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ كِتَابًا مَّوْقُوتًا
the translation of which is, “The salat is prescribed for the believers at specific times.”
The sahun - those who are forgetful of their prayer - are said to be those who are not careful about keeping those times and regularly find themselves praying their prayers outside of them, such as praying Asr after sunset, or Subh after sunrise - they experience no joy or relief at catching the prayer in its time nor any sadness or regret at praying late. Such people are the sahun to whom Allah has promised wail. And wail is said to refer to a valley in Jahannam.
And the third is establishing it in terms of praying it in as complete a fashion as possible - meeting all its preconditions, doing all its necessary movements, saying all its necessary sayings while giving each and every one of them their full due. The Prophet said:
أسوأُ الناسِ سرقةً الذي يَسرِقُ من صلاته. قالوا: وكيف يَسرِقُ من صلاته؟ قال: لا يُتِمُّ ركوعَها ولا سجودَها
“The worst type of thief is the one who steals from his prayer.” “How does someone steal from his prayer?” asked the Companions. He replied, “By not completing his ruku's or his sujuds.” This does not mean, however, that it is incumbent to spend a long time in each of those positions or pray very slowly, as some might think, for it is narrated that some of the Companions, including Ammar ibn Yasir, Talha and az-Zubayr, used to pray quickly in order to ensure that there was no time for their mind to wander and their concentration to lapse. The Prophet said,
إنما يُكتَبُ للعبد من صلاته ما عَقَل منها
“The only part of a slave's prayer which is written for him is that in which his mind is present.” No, what it means is that you must achieve full stillness in each position and pray with concentration and humility - that is how you give your prayer its full due and avoid stealing from it.
So far, we have talked about the consequences of falling short in one’s prayer, but there is something that is infinitely worse and that is not praying at all. In one hadith, the Prophet refers to leaving the prayer as kufr while in another, he declares himself free of them and their kind. And in yet another, he describes the myriad punishments Allah has in store for them, saying,
مَن تهَاونَ في الصلاةِ عَاقبَه اللهُ بخمسةَ عشرَ عُقوبَة، مِنها ستةٌ في الدنيا، وثلاثةٌ عند الموت، وثلاثةٌ في القبر، وثلاثةٌ في القيامة،
“Allah will inflict fifteen punishments upon those who neglect their prayers - six in this world, three upon his death, three in the grave and three on the day of Rising.”
أما التي في دارِ الدنيا فأولُّها ينزَعُ اللهُ البركةَ من رزقِه، والثانيةُ ينزع الله البركةَ من حياته، والثالثة يرفَع الله سِيمَا الصالحين من وجهه، والرابعة لا حظَّ له في دعاءِ الصالحين، والخامسة كلُّ عملٍ يعملُه من أعمالِ البرِ لا يُؤجَرُ عليه، والسادسة لا يرفَع الله دعاءَه إلى السماء.
“As for punishments in this world, the first is that Allah will take away all baraka in his provision, the second is that Allah will take away all baraka in his life, the third is that allah will remove the mark of the salihin - the right-acting - from his face, the fourth is that he will receive no portion of the duas of the salihin, the fifth is that he will not be rewarded for even a single one of his good actions, and the sixth is that Allah will not let his duas rise up to heaven.”
وأما التي تُصِيبُه عند الموتِ فيموتَ ذليلا جائعا عطشانا ولو سُقِيَ كلُّ ماءٍ في الدنيا لم يُروَ عطشُه. ،
“As for the punishments that will be inflicted on him at the time of his death, he will die despised, starving and so thirsty that even if he were to be given every ounce of water upon the earth, his thirst would not be satisfied.”
أما التي تصيبه في قبره فيوكِّلَ الله به ملكا يُزعِجُه إلى يوم القيامة، والثانيةُ تكون ظُلمَةٌ في قبره، والثالثة تكون وحشةٌ في قبره
“As for the punishments that will be inflicted on him in the grave, the first is that Allah will assign an angel to him to harass him and make things unpleasant for him until the Day of Rising, the second is that he will be in total darkness throughout his time in the grave, and the third is that he will be totally alienated and alone.”
وأما التي في القيامة فأولها يوكِّلُ الله به ملكا يسحَبُه على جُمَرٍ بوجهِه في عُرَصَات القيامة، والثانية يحاسبه حسابا طويلا، والثالثة لا ينظر الله إليه يوم القيامة وله عذاب أليم. ثم تلا: فَخَلَفَ مِنْ بَعْدِهِمْ خَلْفٌ أَضَاعُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَاتَّبَعُوا الشَّهَوَاتِ فَسَوْفَ يَلْقَوْنَ غَيًّا
“And as for his punishments on the Day of Rising, the first is that Allah will assign an angel to drag him on his face over the plains of Qiyama over hot coals, the second is that his reckoning will be long and drawn-out, and the third is that Allah will not look at him on that day and that he will have a painful punishment. Then the Prophet recited the aya, the translation of which is, ‘An evil generation succeeded them who neglected the prayer and followed their appetites. They will plunge into the Valley of Evil.’” We ask Allah to protect us from all those punishments by keeping us constant in our prayers!
أقول قولي هذا و أستغفر الله لي و لكم و لسائر المسلمين من كل ذنب فاستغفروه إنه هو الغفور الرَّحيم.الحمد لله الحمد لله رب العالمين، وأشهد أن لا إله إلا الله وحده لا شريك له وأشهد أن محمداً عبده ورسوله، صلى الله وسلم وبارك عليه وعلى آله وصحبه، والتابعين وتابعي التابعين ومن تبعهم بإحسان إلى يوم الدين.
أما بعد! فيأيها الذين ءامنوا اتقوا الله ما استطعتم واسمعوا وأطيعوا وأنفقوا خيرا لأنفسكم. يا عباد الله أوصيكم وإياي بتقوى الله وطاعته وأحذركم وإياي عن معصيته ومخالفته.
قال الله عز وجل في كتابه الكريم: “وَالَّذِينَ هُمْ عَلَى صَلَوَاتِهِمْ يُحَافِظُونَ أُولَئِكَ هُمُ الْوَارِثُونَ الَّذِينَ يَرِثُونَ الْفِرْدَوْسَ هُمْ فِيهَا خَالِدُونَ”
Allah says in His Noble Book, the translation of which is, “those who safeguard their prayer: such people are the inheritors who will inherit Firdaws, remaining in it timelessly, for ever.”
The prayer should not be viewed as a heavy weight or an onerous duty. Yes, there are many frightening punishments for not doing it, and fear of them may be what drives many to pray. But that is not what drives the ‘awliya - they pray because they love the prayer and yearn for it. They know its reality - and understand its secrets and benefits.
“Arihna biha - bring us rest by means of it” the Prophet said to Bilal when he wanted him to call the adhan. It is that moment of calm in which one finds rest from the bothers and distractions of this world. The prayers are the life-giving oases that provide us with the sustenance necessary to get through our lives. The lovers sole desire is to please their beloved and there is nothing more loved by Allah than the prayer. The Prophet said,
ما افترضَ اللهُ على خلقِه بعدَ التوحيدِ أَحَبُّ إليه من الصلاة، ولو كان شيءٌ أحبُ إليه منها لَتعبُدُ به ملائكتُه فمنهم راكعٌ ومنهم ساجدٌ ومنهم قائمٌ وقاعد
“Apart from tawhid, there is no action that Allah has prescribed for his creation more beloved to Him than prayer. If there had been anything more beloved than it, then the angels - some of whom bow down, some of who prostrate and some of whom stand and sit - would have worshipped Him by means of it.” The prayer is thus the ultimate form of worship, and that is why Shaykh Muhammad ibn al-Habib said, “The only reason we do dhikr is to deepen our awareness in the prayer.”
Man goes through life, accumulating wrong actions. The Messenger of Allah said,
كلُّ ابنِ آدمَ خطَّاء، وخيرُ الخطَّائين التوابين
“Every son of Adam is a wrongdoer. The best wrongdoers are the oft-returning - those who make tawba often.” The best place for tawba, turning to Allah, is in the prayer, for that is when a slave is at his closest to his Lord. Every second that you spend in the prayer you are shedding wrong actions, as the Prophet said,
إنَّ العبدَ إذا قام إلى الصلاة أُتِيَ بِذنوبِه كلِّها فَوُضِعَتْ على عاتِقَيْه فكلما رَكَعَ أو سجد تساقطتْ عنه
“When a slave stands up to pray, his wrong actions are brought to him and placed atop his shoulders. Then, every time he bows or prostrates, they fall away from him.”
Every prayer that you complete washes away more wrong actions until it is as if you had never acted wrongly at all. The Prophet said,
أرَأَيتُم لو أن نهراً بِبابٍ أَحدُكم يغتسلُ منه كلَّ يومٍ خمسَ مرَّاتٍ هل يبقَى من دَرنِه شيء؟ قالوا: لا يبقى من درنه شيء. قال: فذلك مَثَلُ الصلواتِ الخمسِ يمحُو اللَّهُ بِهِنَّ الخَطَايا
“Imagine a man had a river by the door of his house and bathed five times in it every day, would any dirt remain on him?” they said: “No, no dirt would remain on him”. He said: “The five prayers are like that; by them Allah erases wrong actions.“
The people of intellect and discernment see the prayer for what it is - a tremendous honour and an unprecedented opportunity, an audience with our Lord, the King of the Day of the Deen. Imagine the excitement you would feel being invited to meet, and stand in the presence of, one of the leaders of this world - you would bathe and put on your best clothes, you would arrive at the court early and count down the hours, minutes and seconds, you would view it as one of the most special moments of your life. All of that you would feel for the honour of being granted an audience with one of the slaves of Allah, so how much greater the honour at being granted an audience with his and your Master!
And that is exactly how the awliya and men of Allah view the prayer. My father narrated to me a story of the time he spent with Mouli Hasan al-Majdhoub, one of the great murids of Shaykh Muhammad al-Habib. He told me that Mouli Hasan would start to get restless and agitated some three quarters of an hour before the prayer in eager anticipation of its coming and would leap up and go and refresh his wudu. Then some twenty minutes before, he would go and get his prayer mat and put it somewhere close by. Then ten minutes before he would carefully lay it out on the ground, and patiently await the first syllables of the adhan whereupon he would leap up and commence his prayer. He knew the significance of the prayer and did not want to keep his Lord and Master waiting for even a single second. And that was not an isolated occurrence - that was how he was for every single prayer throughout the course of his life.
And that is how we must all be if we want success in this life and the next. So we ask Allah to give each and every one of us a full appreciation of the prayer. We ask Him to make it a joy for us and not a chore. We ask Him to make us constant in it, forgive us and grant us the promised Firdaws. We ask him to increase us in it in humility and concentration so that we are present in every one of its moments. We ask him to bring us together in it and multiply the number of our rows and strengthen us by it so that we may go out from it nourished by it and determined to see the whole of Allah's deen established in our time.
إنَّ اللهَ ومَلائِكَتَهُ يُصلُّونَ على النَّبِي يَا أَيُها الذينَ آمنوا صَلُّوا عَلَيْهِ وسَلِّمُوا تَسْليماً. اللهمَّ صَلِّ وسَلِّم وبارِك عَلَيْهِ وعلى آلِهِ وصَحْبِهِ أجمعين.
وارض اللهم عن الخلفاء الراشدين أبي بكرٍ وعمرَ وعثمانَ وعلي ، وعن سائر الصحابة أجمعين، خصوصا الأنصارَ منهم والمهاجرين، وعن التابعين وتابعي التابعين ومن تبعهم بإحسان إلى يوم الدين.
اللهم اهد ولاة أمور المسلمين لما يرضيك ولاتباع سنة نبيك صلى الله عليه وسلم وثبت أقدامهم على الصراط المستقيم وأصلحهم يا رب العالمين.
اللهم بارك على شيخنا، و على أميرنا، وعلى جميع أمراءِ وزعماء المسلمين.
اللهم بارك على المسلمين في هذه المدينة ووفقهم لما تحبه وترضاه يا أكرم الأكرمين.
اللهمّ أَعِزَّ الْلإسلامَ والمُسِلمينَ (3) واَخْذُلِ الكُفْرَ والكافِرينَ، وانْصُرِ المُجاهِدينَ في سَبِيلِ اللهِ. واجْعَلْ كَلِمََتَكَ هِيَ العُلْيَا وكَلِمَةَ الكُفْرِ هِيَ السُّفْلى.
ربنا ءاتنا في الدنيا حسنة وفي الأخرة حسنة وقنا عذاب النار.
اللهم لا تضعْ في مقامِنا هذا ذنبا إلا غفرْتَه، ولا عيبا إلا سترْتَه، ولا مريضا إلا شفيتَهُ وعافيتَه، ولا مسجونا إلا طلَّقْتَ سراحَه، ولا مسافرا في برِّك وبحرِك إلا سلِمتَهُ وغنِمْتَه.
إن الله يأمر بالعدل والإحسان وإيتاء ذي القربى وينهى عَنِ الفحشاءِ والمُنكَرِ والبغي، يعظكم لعلكم تذكرون، ولَذِكْرُ اللهِ أكبر والله يَعْلَمُ ما تَصْنَعُون. وقُومُوا إِلَى صَلاتِكُمْ يرحمكم الله