Saturday 8 April 2017

The Priority of Qadha Salaah

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem

By Hadhrat Moulana Abdul Hamid Saheb (Daamat Barakaatuhum)

It is well known to all of us that Salaah is Fardh-e-Ain (compulsory upon every sane, adult, Muslim) and it is Fardh, five times a day. Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) described Salaah as, “the coolness of my eyes”. In Arabic, this is an expression of immense joy and deep love. This would naturally be the case when a true lover understands that Salaah is that treasured meeting and cherished conversation with his true Beloved – Allah Ta’ala. It is that prized opportunity of enjoying extreme closeness to Allah Ta’ala. This beautiful description reveals that Salaah offers joy, happiness, tranquility, ease and calm, as well as safety, rejuvenation and revitalisation.  

Various Ahadith expound numerous benefits, merits and rewards that follow on establishing Salaah – in this world and the next. Success is enjoyed here, in our worldly lives, as well as in the Aakhirah. Every single day, the Azaan is called out and we are invited to this GUARANTEED success, with the words “Hayya ‘alas Salaah (Come to Prayer), Hayya ‘alal Falaah (Come to Success!).” … When Allah Ta’ala makes a promise, He most certainly fulfils His Promise!

Sadly, the love and appreciation for Salaah has become lost to the majority of us. Perhaps 80% or more of the Ummah are negligent in establishing Salaah. Many of us read a few Salaah, or perhaps attend the Jumu’ah Salaah once a week; if not, then we may, perhaps, make it for the Eid Salaah, just twice a year. …The majority of us are neglectful and careless in respect to establishing Salaah, as it should be established.

However, on realising our failing, and understanding the importance of Salaah, some of us begin to perform Salaah, until it becomes a habit and part of our daily lives. Alhamdulillah. ...Although, this is a great milestone and great progress has been made in the direction of fulfilling Allah Ta’ala’s Command of Salaah, we sometimes do not consider the need to fulfil those obligatory Salaah that were not performed in the past … that is, the Salaah that are Qadha.

We generally love to read the Nafl Salaah – whether it is Ishraaq, Salaatud Dhuha (Chaasht), Salaatul Awwabeen and Tahajjud Salaah. There is a lot of diligence when it comes to the Nawaafil. Much time is given to these Nafl Salaah, whilst the Qadha Salaah remains unfulfilled. Qadha Salaah is obligatory whereas Nafl is optional. Let us understand the difference: One is obligatory and necessary; the other is optional or voluntary. Qadha Salaah thus takes priority over the Nafl.

Hadhrat Abu Hurairah (Radhiyallahu ‘Anhu) said: “We heard Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) saying: “The first among the doings of a person to be reckoned for on the Day of Judgement shall be his Salaah. A person will succeed and attain his goal if his Salaah is accepted, and he will fail and lose badly if it is rejected.” …We will be questioned about the Fardh Salaah that were not performed, but we will not be questioned about the Nafl Salaah which were not performed. Of course, the Nafl Salaah, should not be left out completely, since these Salaah too will be a means of immense goodness, where there is a deficiency in the compulsory Salaah. The Hadith continues: “If any deficiency is found in his Fardh Salaah, Allah will say (to the Angels): “Look for any Nafl Salaah in his account.’ Then the deficiency in his Fardh Salaah will be made good with his Nafl Salaah. The rest of his religious practices (Fasts, Zakaat, etc.) will then be reckoned for in the same manner.”[1]

Sheikhul Hadith, Hadhrat Moulana Muhammad Zakariyyah (Rahmatullahi ‘alayh) had mentioned in the Fazaa’il-e-Sadaqaat: “Allamah Suyuti (Rahmatullahi ‘alayh) had written in his book, Mirqaatus Su’ood: ‘Seventy Nafl acts of virtue are equal in merit to one corresponding obligatory (Fardh) act of virtue.’ …For example, seventy Rakaats of Nafl Salaah are equal in merit to one Rakaat of Fardh Salaah.”  

Imam Nawawi (Rahmatullahi 'alayh) has stated that the grand scholar of the Shafi’i Madh-hab; Imamul Haramain Al-Juwaini (Rahmatullahi 'alayh) to have quoted from certain ‘Ulama that the reward of a Fardh act is actually equal to 70 Nafl (voluntary) deeds![2]

…It is the Qadha Salaah that is due to Allah Ta’ala and this is what needs to be fulfilled, but we deceive ourselves of being pious, based on the amount of Nafl Salaah we read. We are happy to read the Nawaafil but lazy in fulfilling the Qadha. Hadhrat Abu Hurairah (Radhiyallahu ‘Anhu) had related a Hadith, wherein Rasulullah Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam said that Allah Ta’ala said: “My slave draws near to Me with nothing more beloved to me than that which I have made OBLIGATORY upon him. And My slave continues to draw nearer to Me with optional acts of devotion (Nawaafil) until I love him. …”[3]

The performance of the Faraa’idh (obligatory acts) are the most beloved of deeds in the Sight of Allah Ta’ala. One who carries out his compulsory duties to Allah Ta’ala will draw nearer to Allah Ta’ala with his optional deeds. However, the Faraa'idh are a must.

One of our noble Aslaaf (pious predecessors) had very aptly said: “Whoever is too busy with his obligations to do what is optional has an excuse; while he who is too busy with what is optional to do what is obligatory is beguiled and led astray.”

Our similarity is like a person who borrows R100 000 from a friend. This is a loan and has to be paid back, but the person delays and delays, and does not make any payment. He, however, considers himself very kind-hearted, magnanimous and noble ... because whenever he visits his friend, who had loaned him the R100 000, he hands out sweets to his friend’s children. The sweets are distributed generously - and the person feels very pleased with himself and is happy over his kind gesture - but there is no talk and no mention of the R100 000 that needs to be paid, and no effort made to pay. In a similar way, we are pleased with our Nawaafil but make no effort to fulfil what is due to Allah Ta'ala.

Generally, our performance of the Nawaafil leads us to believe that we are pious, whereas, we are owing Allah Ta’ala, hundreds, if not thousands of obligatory Salaah… Of course, no matter how many years of Salaah are outstanding, one should not consider it an impossibility to complete, or become discouraged or disheartened. Thousands of people, sincerely undertook discharging their Qadha and completed years of Qadha in due time. Alhamdulillah. ...They persevered and saw its completion, with Allah Ta’ala’s Fadhl.

An easy recourse to fulfilling one’s Qadha Salaah, is to read one Qadha Salaah with each of the five daily Salaah. In this manner, 5 Qadha Salaah will be discharged every day. If a person has the time, like when out in Jamaat, during Ramadhaan, Umrah, etc. more Qadha Salaah could be fulfilled in a day … as long as the effort is being made.

For those who require encouragement to establish Salaah in their lives and make up the outstanding Salaah, a reading of the Fazaa’il-e-Salaah (Virtues of Salaah) by Sheikhul Hadith, Hadhrat Moulana Muhammad Zakariyyah (Rahmatullahi ‘alayh) will be found to be extremely beneficial and inspirational. 

Like Qadha Salaah needs to be fulfilled, Zakaat, Saum, Qurbani, Sadaqatul Fitr, Kaffaarah have to also be fulfilled – if these duties were not discharged when obligatory. Refer to a reliable Aalim or Mufti and find out the necessary details on how to fulfil these outstanding dues.

May Allah Ta’ala grant us the Taufeeq to fulfil all dues before we leave this world.

[1] Sunan Abi Dawud, Hadith: 860, Sunan Tirmidhi, Hadith: 413 and Musnad Ahmad, Vol.2 Pg.425.
[2] Sharh Sahih Muslim, Vol.1 Pg.324
[3] Sahih Al-Bukhari