Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Where the 5 times Salaah (Prayers) come from

People often wonder why Muslims have to pray 5 times a day. To many people it seems like it’s way too much and they just can’t understand it. I can tell you many benefits of praying, physical, spiritual and psychological benefits. However, I’m going to try and keep this post as short as possible today because it is the blessed month of Ramadhaan and people have much better things to do than read my blog.

Today I was reminded of where the 5 times Salaah comes from. This reminder was so good because it reminded me once again that Islam is linked to all the Prophets, from all times. This makes it clear to me that Islam is the final religion. The same message was given by all the Prophets, from the time of Adam (May Allah give him peace) till our Beloved Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). The link of Islam to other Prophet’s can be seen in many things and on many occasions but our everyday Salaah (physical prayers) reminds us of this link most clearly.

So here is where the 5 times Salaah comes from:

1.       Fajr Salaah- Very early morning before sunrise)- When the Prophet Adam (May Allah give him peace) was sent from Heaven to Earth, it was night time and the world was in darkness. This was very scary for him because he came from a world of light (Heaven) to this world of darkness. So when he saw the first glimpse of morning, when the sun shone its first, very faint light, Adam (PBUH) was so grateful that he bowed down and prayed to cycles of prayer thanking Allah and this is why Muslims pray two cycles of Salaah at that time.

2.      Zohr Salaah (Afternoon prayer)- When the Prophet Ibrahim / Abraham (PBUH) was tested and asked to sacrifice his son Isma’eel/ Ishma’eel (PBUH), and then Allah Almighty exchanged Ishma’eel (PBUH) for a ram. Ibrahim (PBUH) was so happy and thankful that he prayed 4 cycles of prayer, bowing in submission to the Lord Almighty and thanking him. This is why Muslims pray 4 compulsory cycles at that time.


3.      Asr Salaah (Late afternoon prayer)- When the Prophet Yunus / Jonah (PBUH) was  stuck in the belly of the whale and then Allah allowed him to come out. He was so happy and thankful that he prayed 4 cycles, thanking Allah . This is why Muslims pray 4 cycles of compulsory Salaah at that time.

4.      Maghrib Salaah (Very early evening, just after sunset)- We perform 3 cycles of compulsory prayer at this time because this is what the Prophet Isa/ Jesus (PBUH) prayed. He prayed 1 cycle, bowing to Allah rejecting any worship for himself, he prayed the second cycle denying the worship of his mother Maryam / Mary (PBUH) and he prayed the third cycle to show that Allah alone, the One Lord of all mankind, Creator of everything is the only One to be worshipped.

5.      Esha Salaah (Evening Prayer)- This one is attributed to the Prophet Moosa/ Moses (PBUH). After Moosa (PBUH) mistakenly killed a man in Egypt, he left and went on his way to Midian. He lost his way and this is when Allah guided him and told him that he is a Prophet. This happened around the time of Esha Prayer and Moosa (PBUH) was so thankful that he bowed down and prayed 4 cycles of Salaah. This is why Muslims pray 4 compulsory cycles at this time.

Masha’Allah I really love this and when I heard it again today I just knew I had to share it here. I hope that this can inspire others the way it inspires me. It’s so beautiful. These 5 prayers were given directly to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) as a gift for the Muslims. Allah Almighty loved the worship of these Prophets so much and he honoured Muhammad (PBUH) and his community of Muslims with this precious give. The link between Muhammad (PBUH) and all the previous Prophets (Peace be upon them all) is so evident and the link between Muslims and the Prophets is also so clear. Alhamdullillah (Praise be to Allah)!!!
This should serve as a reminder to us that we should love all the Prophets and we should also thank Allah for giving us this special gift of Salaah. SubhanAllah (Glory be to Allah) If we remember this, it will also help us to appreciate our Salaah and to perform it in the best of manner’s.
Image from here

May Allah guide us all and inspire truth in our hearts and bless us with beneficial knowledge, Inshaa-Allah.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Ramadhaan Greetings

The Blessed Month has dawned once more,
and there is joy and happiness all around,
the peace can already be felt
and the hearts are ready to receive the goodness.

The Devils have all been locked up,
and the blessings from Allah have descended,
all around people are waiting to receive it,
eagerly and willingly preparing to please their Lord.

May Allah bless us all and give us the opportunity to make the best of this beautiful month.
May ALlah forgive us all for our sins and accept all our efforts,
May Allah forgive the deceased who have not had the chance to see another Blessed Ramadhaan,
May Allah, All Glorious and Merciful shower His blessings and mercy upon us.

Please remember me in your prayers if you can.

Let us try and take this opportunity to make the best of the time we have been given, the days pass by very quickly and before we know it this Blessed month will be gone.



Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Cancer CAN be beaten

 When I was a child I remember reading the slogan “ Cancer Can be beaten” which was displayed as part of a campaign by the Cancer Association of South Africa. At the time I obviously didn’t understand this deeply, I just remember reading it on billboards and hearing about it on TV adverts. I thought about this because while combating cancer seems to have been a top priority in my childhood days, these days there doesn’t seem to be much campaigning, and recently more and more people seem to be getting cancer.

Last week we visited a family member who has been diagnosed with leukaemia. In her case the doctors can’t do anything and so she basically has to live with it. She’s been given some strong   pain killers to combat the pain but there is no other treatment they can do. This lady made me realise that indeed cancer can be beaten. Maybe not physically, but with a positive attitude, this disease can be stopped from taking over your life.

She calmly sat there telling us how she is not afraid of death because death is inevitable and how else will she return to the Lord, who created her. Her words were something like this; We are not going to a terrible place. We are going back to Allah who made us and who loves us.  She is trying to live each day to the fullest and she seems happy and content despite her illness. She also told us that this disease has given her a different perspective on life and now she knows that she should only focus on good things. The thing that stood out though was that she said to us that there are days when she feels sorry for herself, but then she reprimands herself and asks herself what is there to complain about.

Another strong woman I know, the Director of a counselling institute I worked at was also recently diagnosed with breast cancer. I saw her after her first chemotherapy treatment. You would expect her to be in bed, but she was at her office in the counselling centre. She told me that she had to fight this and could not let it get to her. She was at the office doing what she could at her own pace, but just being around people made her feel better.

These are just two examples, but there are many more. These days it seems that cancer is all around. I know of at least 5 people who have recently being diagnosed with cancer, and those are only people within my very small social/family network. Many people agree that this disease appears to be more prevalent these days. Allah alone knows what the true reasons for this are. But from what I can see, cancer can be beaten! It’s not medication or chemotherapy that can beat it, but a positive attitude and willingness to accept what is happening to you. In the end, even if someone does die from cancer, the cancer would not have beaten them if they were positive till the end. After all it is not a disease that kills you. The disease is just an excuse for our return.

I pray that Allah helps all those with cancer to remain positive and strong and if He wishes to cure them, then I pray for their cure, but if Allah wishes to take them, then I pray that they find peace in the hereafter. May Allah ease the burden of all His servants!